November 8th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
The moment a father glimpses his baby girl in her wedding dress about to embark on the biggest day of her life is particularly special – perhaps it’s only at this moment that he realises his girl is a baby no longer. For Laura, today’s featured bride, this split-second was one of her most favourite moments of the day. Tears a-plenty. Forget the details and dress, sometimes it’s these freeze-framed flashes in time that produce the strongest memories to remind us what’s really important. Love is all you need, after all.
OK, so of course we’re not really going to forget the dress or details. What do you take us for? We can’t get enough of those special touches that make your weddings all about you, and Laura and Tom certainly didn’t disappoint with their endless metres of handmade hessian bunting – some featuring photographs of friends and family, homebrewed gin to tickle the guests’ taste buds, romantic quotes to inspire the guests during dinner, and a roulette table for those who like to take a gamble – and where else would you be invited to ‘pimp your prosecco’? Don’t mind if I do!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.
laura says: The day we got engaged, Tom and I were moving into our new home. I was making Tom do the obligatory selfie outside the sold sign and, next thing I knew, he was down on one knee outside our dream home with the most perfect engagement ring asking me to marry him. Once I said “yes”, there were builders clapping and cheering from the other side of the estate!
Our wedding date was 21st July 2017. We always wanted to get married in the summer in the hope the weather would be good. A friend of a friend raved about their wedding at The Coniston Hotel, in Skipton, and, when we compared it to three other venues, we both loved how “us” The Coniston was; it felt so relaxed and romantic and we loved how the wedding area felt very private from the rest of the hotel. The views over the lake are incredible, so we knew (whatever the weather!) that wedding pictures by the lake would be amazing.
The Coniston was everything we wanted in a venue; everything we asked Sophie and Sharon, the wedding co-ordinators, to do was never too much trouble; they really seemed to understand what type of wedding we wanted. Everything went perfectly on the day and that was largely down to Sophie co-ordinating every aspect. We were never without a drink in our hands and all our guests felt so very well looked after. We couldn’t recommend The Coniston enough.
We didn’t have a specific theme for the day – more of a vintage style. We love the look of lace and hessian together – we’d used these materials for our save the date and wedding invitations – and we included some pastel peach colours to complement the look. We also had an inordinate amount of hessian bunting! Tom’s mum is extremely crafty and wonderful at bringing ideas to life; she made a very impressive 180m of bunting: 120m of it were incorporated into the ceiling drapes in the wedding breakfast room and the rest were dotted around the venue with lovely hand-painted lettering. We also had quite a lot of wood involved, with wooden slices for the table decorations and wooden stands for scented candles throughout the venue.
For my dress, I visited Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden, and instantly knew I wanted to get my dress from there; it’s so beautiful inside the shop and all the girls working there are great. I tried on a Justin Alexander dress that I just knew was perfect: Bardot-style with beautiful beading, nipped in at the waist with a very floaty skirt and long train. It sounds really clichêd but I knew when I tried it on it was the dress I wanted to marry Tom in.
November 7th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
We’re often blown away by the talents of our incredible featured brides; whether it be their ability to style a theme to precision, their skills in the kitchen to create home-baked goods, or their passion for arts and crafts that results in both pretty and personal décor.
The leading lady from today’s featured wedding boasts all such assets, and had such fun styling her big day that she’s since set up a business motivated by her creativity. From an LED sign spelling out her new surname to a jigsaw guestbook and bespoke cake topper, Rebecca went to town with her homemade touches.
We’re also a little bit in love with the idea of designing your own wedding shoes – an assurance that no guest is going to steal your thunder wearing the same pair of designer heels you spent ages deliberating over and a king’s ransom purchasing. Throw this into the mix with a barbecue, ice cream and pizza feast, 500m-worth of bunting made by the bride’s nanna, a band that played all day long, vodka jellies and a cake table that was demolished by the guests in 30 minutes flat, and we reckon you’ve got a wedding to remember!
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
rebecca says: Ashley proposed in August 2016, the day before we were due to fly to New York for a holiday. He pretended he had found something in the suitcase that turned out to be the ring!
I was keen not to have a long engagement as we had already been together more than ten years, so we got married on 26th August 2017 at The Out Barn in Bashall Eaves, near Clitheroe. I knew I wanted something in the countryside and we spent a week looking at different venues all over Lancashire, but nothing took our fancy. I was beginning to lose hope of finding somewhere that I liked when my maid of honour sent me a picture of The Out Barn. We had never heard of it before as it is quite a new venue but this one picture sold it to us. The barn has a huge, round main room and the huge windows look out to Pendle Hill.
I decided on a colour scheme of navy, grey and lilac for the flowers and bunting. Initially, I was going to go for bright wedding colours to contrast with the navy but found it hard to get things to coordinate!
My wedding dress was a tea-length design by Ellis with a jacket, belt and veil, all from Amelia’s Brides in Clitheroe. It was exactly like the image I’d always had in my head, so when I saw it I felt like it was fate! It was the first dress I tried on. I went to three dress shops in total and the experience I had at Amelia’s was by far the best. The girls are so lovely and welcoming.
For my shoes, I knew I wanted a chunky heel and closed toe because those are the shoes I am most comfortable in but, unlike with my dress, I couldn’t find what I had in my head, until I found Shoes of Prey! This is an Australian website where you can design your own shoes. I chose the fabric, heel height, shape, etc. and even got my name and wedding date inscribed on the inside. The whole process was a lot of fun and my shoes ended up cheaper than if I had bought them off the shelf – plus nobody has a pair like them! For the reception, I changed into silver sequinned Converse pumps.
Ashley chose to wear a blue suit, also purchased from Amelia’s, with a grey checked waistcoat. His two best men and our dads matched.
I wanted navy bridesmaid dresses from the very beginning. It’s timeless, very flattering and easy to match with other colours, so my bridesmaids wore navy blue dresses with pleated skirts from ASOS. My maid of honour had the same dress with a different neckline, so she stood out a little. Their shoes were from New Look. I felt so guilty about making them wear heels all day that I also got them some white pumps with their names on for the evening.
November 6th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
We’re beginning the week by heading to one of our favourite cities, Liverpool, for a stylish, contemporary wedding brimming with urban elegance.
Anna and Phil said “I do” in June of this year at the exquisite Hope Street Hotel – a chic, dog-friendly venue. And yes, the latter means that there’s a very special four-legged guest to look out for in the photos…
Plumping for a ‘Liverpool Love’ theme, the couple decided to keep things pared back in the venue itself – allowing the hotel’s stunning city location to take centre stage, with breathtaking views from their private terrace. And of course, no Liverpudlian themed wedding would be complete without an appearance from a Superlambanana!
With images by Lisa Howard Photography.
anna says: We got engaged on my birthday, 8th April, in 2016. Phil was insistent that we went out for lunch to The Punchbowl pub, which is where we went on our first date. I was feeling pretty delicate after going out with my friends the night before, but Phil was desperate to go there. We sat on the same seats as on our first date and Phil passed me a birthday present which turned out to be an engagement ring, I was so shocked I couldn’t believe it!
We tied the knot on 8th June 2017. We wanted to get married in June and decided to get married on a Thursday as the venue we wanted did mid-week package offers.
We had our ceremony and reception at the Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool. We both live in Sheffield but are originally from Liverpool so decided that it would be nice to get married there. We looked at loads of venues online and then went to a wedding fair at the Hope Street Hotel. As soon as we walked in, we fell in love with it. The views from the Fifth were amazing and the staff were lovely, so we booked it straight away. After we had booked the venue, we saw online that it was a dog friendly hotel so decided to ask if we could have our little dog Martha at the wedding and they loved the idea.
We decided on a Liverpool Love theme, since we were coming back to Liverpool and it fitted our venue perfectly.
We went for nude pink, navy and silver colour scheme. We knew we wanted navy and silver but the nude pink was decided once the bridesmaids had picked a dress that they all liked.
I didn’t really have any idea what sort of dress I wanted, apart from that I didn’t want strapless. I got my dress from Natalie Ann Brides in Huyton, Liverpool. The staff were all so helpful and made me feel relaxed as soon as we walked in. I didn’t pick my dress – it was actually the lady in the shop who suggested I try it on and I fell in love with it straight away. I paired the dress with Rachel Simpson shoes.
One of my bridesmaids, Estelle Greenhalgh is a makeup artist so she did my hair and makeup along with the other bridesmaids’ and my mum’s, and it looked amazing!
November 1st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple, Natalie and Tom, tied the knot at the truly captivating Danby Castle, set on the edge of the North York Moors. Like something from a romantic novel, this magnificent setting has all the drama you could desire for your big day, and then some.
The wedding is brimming with rustic feels, perfectly in keeping with the venue, with confetti hand cut from real maps, atlas lollies for favours, hessian decorations and – as a nod to their venue’s wild and wonderful location – heather floral arrangements.
And for the bride looking to thank her bridal party with something a little bit different – we just love the gift bags Natalie created, with personalised totes for her bridesmaids and children – a lovely keepsake from their special day.
With images by Paul Hawkett Photography.
natalie says: We got engaged on the 14th April 2013, at Levisham Estate. Tom had planned for us to go for a picnic, but when we got there, it was so windy and cold, we ate the picnic in the car with Oliver, our son, who was three-and-a-half-months-old. We then went for a little walk and Tom took us to the top of the hill and got down on one knee – with Oliver fastened to him in his carrier. I, of course, said yes!
We got married on 24th June 2017. There was no particular reason behind the date, other than that we knew we wanted to get married at Danby Castle, in the spring when the heather was starting to come out. We knew from the very first time we saw the venue in the thick fog that we would get married there!
The staff were so helpful with the wedding planning and we still keep in touch to this day. We attended lots of wedding open days because we just simply couldn’t get enough of the place! We now miss it, but visit the area on a regular basis.
We didn’t really have a theme, we went for a rustic, vintage style but nothing was set in stone. Tom loves maps so I found some old maps and used a heart shaped cutter to make confetti for the tables. We also used hessian as part of the decoration, including the table runners, our Mr and Mrs banner for the top table and much more.
We had a dusky pink colour for the bridesmaid dresses and the ties, again we didn’t really plan a colour scheme, everything just fell into place. Looking through magazines, we had liked the idea of blush colours – so it was along the lines of that.
My dress was a mermaid fishtail, which I got from The Wedding Shop in Selby. It had lace all over with small sequin details. I then added a belt that finished off the dress beautifully, even the girls in the wedding shop were amazed! I fell in love with the dress as soon as I saw it; having tried many others, this was by far my favourite!
Once Upon a Dress in York altered my dress, as during the run up to the wedding I had lost quite a bit of weight and was panicking that my dress – originally a size 14 – didn’t fit anymore, and because of the style I thought it may not look right. They did a brilliant job and took it in to a size 8. It looked even better than it did before and fitted me absolutely perfectly!
October 30th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
If a woodland wedding setting is the stuff of your dreams, then you’re in for a real treat, as today’s newlyweds, Zara and Mike, tied the knot in June of this year in the beautiful Lake District.
Their photographer, J.P.R Shah Photography, knew how to capture this breathtaking backdrop just perfectly, with gorgeous shots amidst the leafy trees and – one of our personal favourites – onboard a rowing boat. Could this be any more romantic?
What also sets this wedding apart is its intimate size, with only 25 close family and friends – and this includes the bride and groom. Doing things differently – there were no bridesmaids either. Other special touches that we just love include shots of homemade raspberry liquor for all the guests and Swedish massages for all the ladies on the day. Wedded bliss all-round!
With images by J.P.R Shah Photography.
zara says: We got engaged at home. I had recently given birth to our son and after a very difficult pregnancy and labour, Mike said to me that as he couldn’t take me out for a meal (due to our new baby) that he was going to cook me a three-course meal instead, but I had to get dressed up as though we were going out. He even provided alcohol-free champagne. He made a playlist of all my favourite songs and really did wine and dine me. He waited until my favourite song at the time Kodaline The One came on and at that point he got down on one knee and presented me with the ring box and asked me to marry him.
We got married on 1st June 2017. The start of June tends to have lovely weather, which was ideal as we wanted an outdoor wedding. It was also exactly two years from the day we had first visited our wedding venue of choice.
We tied the knot and held the reception at The Gilpin Lake House, just outside Windermere. Mike and I only ever looked at one wedding venue and we instantly fell in love. Not only was the venue one of the most amazing hotels, but the grounds were beautiful, the scenery was amazing and the lake was simply stunning too. This is even before mentioning the swimming pool, two hot tubs and the sauna that we had exclusive use of for our time there! As a special surprise we treated all the female guests to a full body Swedish massage.
Mike and I both have large families, so we decided that we wanted a very small wedding with immediate friends and family; a grand total of 25 people.
We had exclusive use of the lake house, so we arrived on the Wednesday and tied the knot on the Thursday. All our friends and family left on the Friday, but Mike and I stayed the extra night for a minimoon.
We didn’t have a theme, but we wanted everyone to be as relaxed as possible. Our guests were told to bring swimwear as once the wedding was complete, meals eaten and speeches done, we wanted our guests to enjoy themselves, as though they were on an actual holiday themselves.
I chose a lilac and pink colour scheme. These are my favourite colours and I chose the flowers for my bouquet before I did anything else. I wanted roses as they are my birth flower, along with lavender as it has such a stand out smell. Now every time I smell lavender I am reminded of my wedding day.
October 26th, 2017 | Julia Braime
You know those too-good-to-be-true scenes in romantic films that you never expect to actually happen in real life? Well the proposal story that goes with today’s featured engagement shoot is just like that!
We can’t believe the planning and romantic levels Rob went to in order to make his proposal to Rebekah so incredibly and utterly special. We seriously hope there are more Robs out there for ladies yet to get engaged!
Keen not to spoil the tale, we’ll let Rebekah explain how their love story began and built up to one of the most epic proposals we’ve had the pleasure of featuring on the blog. Rebekah, you’re one lucky lady!
With images by Stories Of I Do.
rebekah says: The engagement was a complete surprise to me. I had just been offered a new job and Rob decided he was taking me away to celebrate. He gave me a list of items to bring and the rest was a mystery.
We arrived at the stunning Patrick Brompton Hall in North Yorkshire, late on Friday night and were greeted by the owners and their beautiful Great Danes; still I had no idea of what was ahead.
The Saturday was a glorious day and Rob drove us to the dales and pulled out some riding boots from the back of his car. He had arranged a horse riding lesson and a trek through the dales (something which I had always wanted to do). We then went to Aysgarth Falls and headed back to Patrick Brompton before dinner.
Just before we left for dinner Rob told me that he had spoken to the owners and we were allowed to look around the grounds as they were away from the house. We walked in front of the beautiful house and down a path framed with trees either side and came to a white door that lead to a walled garden. I opened the door and the sun was shining on a picturesque rose garden and I could see an easel between the roses.
As we walked up to the easel I could see pictures from our time at university, Rob lead me round the box hedge to two more easels filled with pictures of our time together. Here, he knelt down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
Rob arranged for us to have an engagement shoot following the proposal (another surprise to me!). He thought that we would want to remember such a fantastic weekend – and he was right.
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