April 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s bride Zoe was aiming for ‘1940s film starlet’ for her vintage wedding day look. After seeing these photographs, we’re sure you’ll agree that she smashed it. With her tea-length dress, birdcage veil and amazing Ingrid Bergman-esque ‘do’, she looks every inch the glamourous bride.
Retro vibes permeate every aspect of this gorgeous wedding, from the live music to the rich colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the stunning floral arrangements. Full marks, guys!
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re also touched by Zoe’s advice to brides-to-be: look into your partner’s eyes and not the registrar’s (!), and get thee to a Brides Up North wedding fair. Who are we to disagree?!
With photography by Kate McCarthy Photography
zoe says: We got engaged in Venice at 5.30am on a bridge in Canaregio on 7th May 2016. We’d always wanted to have a two-week holiday in Italy with a week in Venice then a week in Tuscany. We arrived on the Friday and got a water taxi (a complete treat, but obviously Chris knew he was going to propose on holiday whereas I had no clue!)
We love seeing a city wake up, so got up early on the Monday to go and walk round the beautiful streets. We started to cross the bridge right by our apartment and Chris caught my hand, stopped me and said, “Do you love it here?” I replied “Yes, of course” and he then got down on one knee – at which point I started grinning madly! And then he said “Great – in that case, would you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?” and produced the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring! At this point I wanted to shout “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!” quite loudly but remembered no one else was awake. Instead, we skipped (literally) down the street grinning our heads off!
Our wedding was planned for 10th February 2017. We wanted to get married quickly but still have some time to plan. We were extremely flexible and so chose our location and then saw what they could offer us – they had this particular Friday free and so we booked it!
Our venue was The Belle Epoque in Knutsford. We had quite a tick list – we wanted somewhere unusual and quirky, with a dancefloor and room for a band but also somewhere with a separate room so that people could sit down and talk. Chris doesn’t dance and so wanted to be able to go around and speak to everyone. I visited it with my mum and, walking in, I was immediately excited; it has a lovely feel, is full of art deco art and pieces, it has a huge welcoming fireplace and the bar is straight in front as you walk in. I spied a room off this entrance with tables and chairs in, so immediately thought that was a tick. We then went upstairs to the dining area which was set up for a wedding – I actually gasped! They had twisted willow and flowers and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling and huge tall vases of flowers, vibrant, rich, opulent colours and gorgeous iris-patterned wallpaper. I was a little bit teary and knew this was the place.
Our theme was a bit vintage and Peaky Blinders, I suppose. I love vintage dresses and wanted to look like a 1940s film star. We didn’t have a colour-scheme as such, but we chose deep reds, purples and pinks for the bridesmaids and flowers. I wanted the bridesmaids to choose their own dress and style but with a vintage theme. I wanted them to be able to wear them again and really enjoy choosing their own dresses!
For my dress, I knew I wanted something in a vintage style from the 40s/50s and tea-length. I started to look on Pinterest and came across a dress that I loved, so went onto the designer’s website and found a local stockist. I went to Puure in Lymm and Angie, the owner, saw me. I tried the dress I’d seen on and liked it but she insisted I try on more – and I was happy to oblige! After another one, she bought a dress out that I looked at and my heart started to beat faster even though it was full-length and had no sleeves! She fastened me up and explained it could be made-to-measure, adjusted to tea length and have three-quarter sleeves fitted. I looked at myself and felt fantastic. My mum grinned and I had a little tear! That was it. It was ivory satin – so rich and so many sumptuous folds of gorgeous material! It had a little belt with a sparkly diamante square buckle, a fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a net top with tiny sparkles on. I had so many lovely compliments. Angie and her team and Sonya, the seamstress were absolutely incredible and made me feel like a 1940s film star on my day!
I wanted my hair setting in a vintage style and so booked the amazing Ewa Baberska, hair and makeup artist, to finish the look. Suzie Taylor was my makeup artist and she was great. I wanted a very natural look as I don’t wear much and she did exactly that, yet made me look fab.
For my headpiece I also wanted something vintage and had met Kaye Hannabuss of Kaye Hannabus Textiles at a networking meeting. We got chatting and I asked her if she would be able to make me something. She made me a fabulous vintage-inspired headpiece with a birdcage veil, a smartie base and a bow. For the evening, she made me a gorgeous hair slide with beads and pearls and diamante. Kaye works with Harris Tweed and so Chris was interested in talking to her about his and Holly’s waistcoats.
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April 7th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
We’re committed to upping your daily dose of pretty here at Brides Up North (I know, I know, it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it!) and this morning’s offering is no different.
Prepare thyself for Bethan and Jacob’s afternoon tea extravaganza of gorgeousness. After Jacob proposed at an ice cream farm (is there a more perfect engagement location out there? Methinks not) this super-sweet couple opted for a relaxed big day at The Ashes in Leek. There were wildflowers everywhere, jams and chutneys, floral prints, origami, sweetie jars and a surprise rendition of Summer Lovin’ from Grease.
In fact, today’s real wedding is so sweet that these photos from Corneli Fleur may well leave you on a sugar high. Enjoy…
bethan says: We got engaged at Snugbury’s Ice Cream Farm in Cheshire. Back when we were 17 and had been best friends for a number of years, we went on a friend-date to Snugburys, got some ice cream and walked through the fields nearby. It was here that we realised we had feelings for each other, so Jacob brought me back to the same spot to propose. We had a picnic underneath a tree he climbed that day and he put the ring box in a muffin tray. I turned around and he was on one knee holding out the tray with the ring box in it. He smiled and said “I was wondering if you’d like to be Mrs Taylor”. Our engagement wasn’t necessarily one of those super-glamorous stories you read about in bridal magazines; it was awkward and fumbly and neither of us really knew what to do afterwards (except run away from the rain that was fast approaching), but it was us and I wouldn’t change it.
We got married on 30th July. We fell in love with our venue as soon as we saw it, so had to find an available date. One of my bridesmaids was also getting married that summer, so that restricted us too. We could have gone slightly earlier in July but it was really important for us to be able to have children there.
The ceremony happened at our church in Crewe, West Street Christian Fellowship. We didn’t even really discuss that as it was kind of a given. As Christians, it was important to us to get married in church, and West Street is our home where our church family are based. It wouldn’t have felt right doing it anywhere else.
The reception venue was The Ashes in Leek. We knew we wanted a barn and completely fell in love with The Ashes as soon as we saw it. The venue itself is amazing and the grounds are beautiful. Jane was the staff member who showed us round and she was so nice and not at all funny about us being 21 at the time (some people had been!) She got to be with us on the day too, which was lovely.
We didn’t really have a theme, although my dress and Jacob’s suit had a kind of accidental 1920s vibe about them. We didn’t have a colour-scheme either – neither of us were really fans of the whole colour scheme ‘thing’ so we went with vintage-y shades (no reds or strong colours).
My dress was kind of 1920s in style, a mix of satin/silk and silk chiffon with some sparkly details. I didn’t give myself a massive dress budget – only £500 – so I didn’t go to any boutique shops for fear of falling in love with a dress way over budget. I went to a wedding dress outlet with my mum, sister and mother-in-law-to-be and was in a bit of a state when we arrived. I was so scared of not liking anything that I just couldn’t look. My mother-in-law asked me to pick out any dresses that had something I liked (sleeves, shape etc) and just try them on, even if it was just to rule out certain styles.
I picked my dress because I loved that the straps were made of gemstones. When I tried it on I honestly felt amazing – like a 1920s movie star, or a passenger on the Titanic. I knew I was a young bride and wanted something that was individual; something I hadn’t seen before. It had to be my ‘Titantic’ dress.
Jacob wore a suit from Next, with a shirt and bow tie from Topman. His brown shoes were from Next as well. We went together to choose his suit and he loved the vibrant blue of the one he chose, the contrasting lapels and the 1920s vibe.
Jacob had six official ushers who all wore matching suits from Burton; they were like navy versions of Jacob’s blue suit, and also had darker lapels. Our dads also wore the same suits. Jacob’s little brother (six at the time) wore a similar suit but a mini version, obviously!
April 6th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple, Sadie and Lee, know how to throw a good party. Celebrating their wedding on New Year’s Eve in the exquisite surroundings of a country house hotel in the Yorkshire Dales – the couple’s vintage themed nuptials are the epitome of modern day elegance combined with retro charm.
With splashes of vibrant florals, gorgeous lace and some rather dapper woolen suits – there’s lots of beautiful wedding inspo to indulge in. Sadie tells us more…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Richard Perry Photography
sadie says: We got engaged on 14th March 2015. We were at home about to head out for a meal, when Lee appeared with pink champagne. He proposed before we left the house, as he knew I wouldn’t want a scene in public.
We chose to get married on Saturday 31st December 2016. We knew we wanted a wintery Christmas wedding and New Year fell on a Saturday, so it just seemed like the perfect fit – we wanted a good party!
We decided on the setting of Falcon Manor as soon as we visited the venue. The building really stands out. When we went for a look around, it had just re-opened after a full refurbishment. It was so lovely; we didn’t look anywhere else.
We both wanted a vintage theme, with wool suits, lace and 50’s length dresses. This seemed to fit perfectly with the style and interior of the venue too.
We had a mixture of colours and textures that all fitted with our theme. The men wore darker colours and the girls wore vintage florals. When it came to table colours, we kept it simple with white and then lace for the sashes. We added splashes of colour using jars and flowers on the tables.
I struggled to find a dress I liked, partly due to being only 5ft tall with a petite frame. So I took a risk and ordered a dress from a website called Lily and Louie. It was made to my measurements – a 1950s inspired tea length dress with a petticoat. I added a lace slip over the top for the ceremony.
The groom and groomsmen’s suits were from the heritage range at Next. They were perfect because they came in a range of sizes, lengths and fit to accommodate the whole groom’s party. Lee chose navy wool fleck suit trousers and a waistcoat, and the jacket was in the same material but in a camel colour with a wool bow tie. His shoes were tan brown, purchased from Goodwin Smith. The groomsmen all wore the same suits but with a tie.
I am a hairdresser so my business partner and I chose to do the bridesmaids’ hair and we booked a makeup artist called Annabel Bailey.
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April 5th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
This wonderful Bonfire Night wedding (our second of the week, what are the chances?!) gives us all the fuzzy feels – think hearty food, toffee apples, sparklers and a striking orange colour scheme.
Brave bride Bekki got hands-on with her rustic theme, creating delicate paper roses and assembling glass jars, logs slices, candles and greenery, with a little help from friends and family.
With so much gorgeousness it seems wrong to highlight one feature – but please, do me a favour and check out that plait. So. Many. Hair. Goals. You can thank us later.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves.
bekki says: It was difficult for Thomas to organise a proposal without me getting suspicious as we’d recently had our first son, Robbie, and I didn’t ever want to leave him. So instead of organising something big, I came downstairs from putting Robbie to bed to find the room lit with candles and a big bunch of flowers. Thomas pulled me into his arms and asked me if I would marry him. The best part is, before he popped the question the only thought that ran through my head was, “Whatever this is, it better be worth him lighting my display candles!”
We were married on Saturday 5th November 2016. We only ever considered an autumn or winter wedding and we thought it would be nice to have it as close to the anniversary of us becoming a couple as we could. It just happened that the closest weekend our venue could manage was Bonfire Night. It’s one of our favourite nights of the year; we love fireworks and the atmosphere so it pretty much made up our mind!
We had both our ceremony and reception at Santo’s Higham Farm, Derbyshire. It was the first ever hotel we’d stayed at together. We found the room online at the last minute for my 18th and as soon as we got there we both said it would make an amazing wedding venue. And so we returned some years later for a consultation and they couldn’t do enough for us.
We wanted a rustic, autumnal feel to our wedding to match the season and so we combined natural wood, logs and ivy with hints of sparkle and glitter to tie in with Bonfire Night and the fireworks. I got crafty and aimed to make as much as I could myself, with the help of friends and family. Thank goodness for Pinterest!
Orange and grey were our chosen colours. Think autumn leaves. They tied in perfectly with the date. We also knew very few couples choose orange as a wedding colour scheme and we liked how uncommon it was.
When I first went dress shopping I was adamant I wasn’t going to have a sweetheart neckline or a big dress but otherwise I had no real idea what I wanted. After trying on close to 50 dresses in various shops I visited a fourth shop – a spur of the moment trip to The Bridal Suite. I tried on every dress I liked but none of them were ‘the dress’ so the consultant picked one instead. I instantly screwed my nose up at it but agreed to try it on. I came out of the changing room to see my maid of honour crying! They added the veil and I knew it was the one – sweetheart neckline and all! Finally!
The ladies who helped pamper me for my wedding day were incredible, too. I had my nails done at DLR Beauty and Nails at the 3D Clinic in Pinxton and Paige White worked her magic on my makeup.
Laura from Shillitto’s Hair put up with the worst as she had to deal with me changing my mind on how I wanted mine and the bridesmaids’ hair the day before the wedding without the opportunity for another trial. Despite this, she did an amazing job on us all and we received compliments all round.
We wanted to incorporate tweed into Tom’s wedding outfit so teamed a tweed waistcoat with a sharkskin blue suit from Moss, finished off with light tan brogues and an orange tie.
Our bridesmaids wore Little Mistress grey maxi dresses with an embellished top while the groomsmen wore the same suit as Tom but with the matching waistcoat rather than tweed.
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April 4th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s Bonfire Night wedding is full to the brim with woodland gorgeousness. Kayleigh and Paul opted for a rural wedding venue, daisies and natural grasses in the bridal bouquet and a dramatic ivy arch as the focal point for their ceremony. The result? Fan-flipping-tastic.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also some cool retro styling, sparklers a-go-go and the most glorious confetti shots. Look no further: this is autumn wedding inspo at its best.
With photography by Lumiere Photographic.
kayleigh says: We got engaged in 2015 after 12 years of being together (we‘re high school sweethearts!) Paul took me down to a log cabin in the Cotswolds where we’d stayed before. While I unpacked the bags, he hung up fairy lights on the terrace and lit candles. The sun was setting and it was so beautiful when I walked out and saw it all.
We got married on Bonfire Night 2016. We didn’t want a summer wedding because we both prefer the cold and the colours associated with this time of year. It was also the perfect excuse to have hot dogs and chilli at night and celebrate with fireworks and sparklers!
We got married at Priory Cottages near Wetherby, Yorkshire. We loved this venue because it was kind of an ‘all-in-one’. We got married in the beautiful barn, moved into the marquee for our reception and our guests could stay overnight in the cottages. The drive up to the barn was beautiful and the surrounding fields were a gorgeous backdrop for our pictures.
Our theme was autumn, using warm dark colours and earthy tones throughout. We used a lot of hessian, wood and fairy lights to create an almost woodland theme. As lovers of vintage and retro styling, we also used some old suitcases and house blankets for the inevitable chill.
Our colour scheme was dark blue and forest green. We had the bridesmaids in blue and the groomsmen too with hints of green in their ties, shoes and scarves.
I chose a Justin Alexander dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. It was strapless which I didn’t initially like, but the staff added a gorgeous attached lace top and it had a V-shaped back which gave it an extra special touch, too.
Getting ready, we used Luxe Beauty Lounge in Yeadon for our makeup. Emily was fantastic and made all the girls feel confident. Courtney Wilson from Hair by Courtney is my usual hairdresser and was absolutely brilliant.
April 3rd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today, we’re escaping to beautiful Durham City for a vintage inspired wedding that celebrates all those wonderful bridal traditions we often find ourselves daydreaming about.
The couple – Michelle and Anthony – created a special day brimming with understated elegance – we’re talking an ivory and sage green palette, 1920s cars, beautifully decorated candelabras and exquisite floral arrangements. Just look at the bride’s pretty gown and we promise you’ll be swept away by their captivating fairy-tale theme.
With images by Teardrop Photography
michelle says: After five years together, we got engaged on 15th July 2015, in Santa Ponsa, Spain. We went for a posh meal at a cliff-side restaurant followed by a stroll along the beach. The sun was just beginning to set and I remember thinking to myself how romantic it was – we stopped to admire the view and when I turned around Anthony was down on one knee asking me to marry him…and, of course, I said yes! Anthony had picked the most beautiful engagement ring with the help from the staff at ROX Newcastle.
Our special day was Saturday 27th August 2016. We wanted a summer wedding and it fell perfectly on the Bank Holiday weekend. We were very fortunate with the weather as the sun kept shining all day long!
We were married at St. Patrick’s RC Church, Langley Moor. I had always dreamt of being married in church and this church has a special meaning to Anthony as he went to the neighbouring catholic school. The church was breathtakingly beautiful without the need for accessories and decoration.
Our wedding breakfast through to evening reception was at St. Mary’s College in the heart of Durham city. This venue is primarily used for Durham University students and we had to seek permission to hold our wedding at this prestigious building with its ornate great hall and lavish landscaped grounds. My grandad was a Professor of Chemistry at the University and his ongoing involvement enabled us to be granted approval.
Our wedding day embraced fairy-tale romantic elegance, which included many bridal traditions. Anthony and I had the wedding rehearsal a few days before the big day then did not see each other until my dad walked me down the aisle on our magical day to the traditional Bridal March played by our organist. I incorporated the “something old, something new…” tradition as I wore my mam’s blue garter (which she wore on her wedding day 27 years ago) along with wearing a matching earring and necklace set which I borrowed from my mother-in-law. We also greeted each and every guest by doing a “line up” which gave our reception a personal feel and took the time to welcome and thank all our loved ones for sharing our special day with us. Another tradition I embraced was that my cousin Emma, who was also one of my bridesmaids, wore my engagement ring until after our ceremony – and not forgetting Anthony carrying me over the threshold of our new home the following day!
Our wedding colour scheme was a mixture of sage green with ivory, we opted for very natural colours which matched perfectly with the foliage and flowers we used to decorate most of the venue.
When I first started looking at wedding dresses, I had a completely different style of what I would like in mind. I originally wanted lots of lace with sleeves – completely different to the wedding dress I chose in the end! As soon as I tried on my fairy-tale princess style gown, with my full-length veil and tiara, I fell in love with it and knew instantly it was ‘the one’. This was then confirmed as I walked out of the fitting room and my mum and mother-in-law were in tears! It was such an emotional experience and I think all brides will agree this is one of the most special moments of the whole wedding process.
I got my wedding dress from Alice Elizabeth, a local boutique bridal shop in Coxhoe. The owner and dress maker Heather, and bridal consultant, Anne-Marie were truly amazing from the moment I walked through the door to find my dress, even to the moment I was just about to walk down the aisle! Heather surprised me and was waiting outside the church on my special day to give me a good luck hug and ensured my dress and veil was looking incredible! I was blown away by this touching moment! I couldn’t recommend Alice Elizabeth enough – they transformed my dream dress into a reality and I will be forever grateful to them both.
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