Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

real wedding recap summer 2017: pronovias for a chic city wedding in liverpool – niamh & pete

July 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Chic City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Starwinkle Photography (36)

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Today’s real wedding bride, Niamh, says that her only theme for her and Pete’s city centre wedding in Liverpool was “things we like”.

All we can say here at Bride Up North is that it’s a theme that really works. Led by instinct, Niamh opted for a hint of 1920s decadence with her beaded bridesmaid dresses and a timeless clean-cut Pronovias gown with statement red lips.

Liverpool is a significant place for this gorgeous couple, and their photographs make it clear why – see how many stunning views, famous landmarks and cheeky references to this fabulous city you can spot.

With images by Starwinkle Photography.

A Chic City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Starwinkle Photography (32)

niamh says: We got engaged in July 2013 in London. I‘d just turned 27 and Pete and I returned to London (where we used to live) for a night out with friends to celebrate. The following morning we set off for a day out in the glorious sunshine. We put together an amazing picnic and headed up to Primrose Hill, just the two of us. True to form, I fell asleep in the sunshine on the hill, and when I awoke we had to hotfoot it to Piccadilly for dinner – Pete had booked a table at Sketch, a fave restaurant, as a birthday treat.

En route, he suggested we take a detour to Green Park; another old haunt from our London days.  It was a really warm evening and the park was beginning to empty out – there were just a few people left catching the last rays.  We walked together under the trees; it was really beautiful, no one else around, and the light dappled through the trees. The next bit is all a blur…

Pete is one of the sweetest boys you will ever meet, not one for big ostentatious gestures. He’s incredibly thoughtful and charmingly clumsy and cries at X Factor.  As he walked along he began to tell me how much he loved me – he dropped down onto two knees, asked me to marry him, fumbled with his backpack and then produced the most beautiful antique sapphire and diamond ring.

It was so surreal, I couldn’t believe what was happening. All I remember was dropping to the floor with him, both of us on two knees and saying “are you you really doing this?”, and both of us teary-eyed kneeling in the grass. Then Pete said, “you haven’t said yes or no,” and I shouted “yes!”

It was perfect.  I had absolutely no idea and the element of surprise was the best thing.  It was so simple, no big fancy holiday, just a summer day out with my favourite person.

A Chic City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Starwinkle Photography (33)

We were married on Saturday 25th April 2015.  We ‘d always talked about having a spring wedding. We decided to get married in Liverpool where we met at Uni in 2006, as it’s a city that means a lot to both of us and our families. So that was it – we went back to where it all began.

We both lived on Catharine Street at Uni in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter.  Although we wanted a fun, different, quirky personalised wedding, it was also important to us to have all of our family and friends there and to say our vows in church.  There’s a small church on Catharine St, St Phillip Neri. We explained to the priest that we loved Liverpool and it was where we’d met and he agreed to marry us!

A Chic City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Starwinkle Photography (23)

My mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer two months after we got engaged so in the months leading up to the wedding there were ups and downs. Thankfully, she was there on the day and was in great spirits.  For so many reasons, our wedding was just the most incredible celebration of life, love and happiness. She made it her goal to be there and she was, she was well and it was brilliant. Some of mine and many others’ lasting memories of her will be her having the time of her life at our wedding.

We chose Oh Me Oh My as the venue for the reception. From the moment we stepped foot inside we fell in love with it.  The stunning high ceilings, natural light, quirky vintage furniture, fairy-lit balcony, incredible roof garden and beautiful views of Liverpool’s iconic Liver Building: it was just perfect. Cafe by day and events/exhibition venue by evening/weekend.  Then we met Katie, who was so warm and friendly and her enthusiasm and passion for the venue was palpable. She listened to our ideas and suggested amazing ones of her own and made us feel as if anything was possible.

A Chic City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Starwinkle Photography (30)

Our only theme was ‘things we like’. We both really like old things and bright colours, so there was a bit of that! We decorated the venue with brightly coloured pom poms and tassle garlands.  I made a polaroid timeline with pictures of me and Pete which were punctuated by coloured paper doilies.

We hired a candyfloss and popcorn stand as the canapes with reception drinks. We also had pick and mix and personalised football accumulators bets as the favours.

We didn’t really have an ‘official’ colour scheme, either.  The bridesmaids wore silvery grey, the boys wore navy and then venue was filled with bright coloured and gold paper decorations fairy and candle light. The reception venue was a big blank space, with high ceilings and beautiful natural light and carefully picked quirky pieces.  We decided to embrace this and add more of our own.

We filled a glass cabinet with our parents and grandparents’ wedding photos. We decorated the balcony as a ‘games area’, including Subbuteo, a game called ‘Pucket’ and DIY photo booth. I made bunting out of Trivial pursuit cards to mark out the games area as Pete is a massive trivia/useless information fan!

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lust for lace. suzanne neville for a claret & blue wedding at colshaw hall – lizzy & toby

December 15th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh


Readers, you’re in for a treat. Today’s real wedding is packed with pretty details, from the bride’s stunning Suzanne Neville lace creation to a gorgeous textured bouquet bursting with the best of British colour.

Champagne flowed all day long at this stylish celebration, and the combination of an exquisite menu and live music guaranteed a day to remember for the lovely Lizzy and Toby.

With images by Toni Darcy.


lizzy says: We got engaged on 22nd November 2013 at Split Apple Rock, South Island, New Zealand. We‘d planned a three week trip across New Zealand and this particular place was one of the reasons we went. Before we left, Toby had spoken with my parents to ask them if he could propose and, of course, they said ‘yes!’

We‘d gone to the beach a few days before but I got caught in a wave, so Toby didn’t think it would be best to propose then. So the morning of leaving Split Apple Rock, two weeks into the trip, we went to the beach for the last time with a cup of tea each, sat on the rock together and he asked me to marry him. I was completely shocked and I think he had to ask me twice before I said yes, even though that was my answer on the first asking.


We knew we just didn’t want our wedding day to be one day. Our married friends say the day goes by so quickly, plus I wanted to be married before I was 30, so August bank holiday weekend seemed the perfect weekend to plan for.

We married on Saturday 29th August, allowing us to plan activities for the Friday and Sunday. We married at Saint Peter’s Church in Prestbury, Cheshire, and our celebrations continued at Colshaw Hall. I know that normally the bride marries close to her home, but we decided to be slightly different and marry close to where Toby had grown up. Picturesque surroundings and church were part of the decision but I also wanted my Mum to be able to enjoy the experience and be waited on, rather than having to rush around on the morning of the wedding.


We didn’t really have a particular theme, apart from eat, drink and be merry.

After attending our friends’ weddings, we pinched all the ideas that we really loved and recreated them so that they became our own. Good food, good champagne and good music always lead to lots of fun!


Onto the outfits. My bridesmaids wore soft plum and the groomsmen all wore navy with grey waistcoats. Claret and blue are my favourite colours – Toby reckons it’s because I’m a Burnley girl through and through, but I just think these colours look stunning together!

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made with love. a pretty homemade wedding at saltmarshe hall – jennifer & robert

October 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (43)

It might be Monday morning but today we’re sharing with you Jennifer and Robert’s stunning Yorkshire wedding, brimming with so much prettiness, that it’s bound to turn any frown upside-down.

Talented bride Jennifer, assisted by her uber helpful mum, crafted all the gorgeous decorations and the beautiful flower arrangements themselves to create a homemade wedding that is elegant through and through. Huge kudos ladies!

With images by Sarah Beth Photography.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (3)

jennifer says: We got engaged on Christmas Day in 2008.  We were at home opening our presents and Rob handed me a little present and when I opened it there was my ring and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so surprised and so happy. It was extra special as we were expecting our baby in the January.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (7)

Our wedding date was Friday 24 July 2015. We chose this date as we wanted a summer wedding and we had to fit in with the school holidays as Rob is a teacher and our daughter Isabelle is at school.  Also we wanted to go on our honeymoon soon after the wedding so this date worked perfectly.

We had our whole wedding at Saltmarshe Hall, near Howden, Yorkshire. Rob goes road biking and he found the hall when he was biking in the area.  We went to see the hall soon after and we knew it was just what we were looking for. We chose the venue as the hall itself is beautiful inside and out and the surrounding gardens are lovely and very picturesque.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (9)

We did not have a theme as such, I just wanted a homemade feel to everything and something that was simple but classic which made it possible for me and my mum to do all the decorations ourselves for the whole wedding.

The colours I decided on were pinks, greens, nudes and ivories because I wanted to go for natural pastel colours which were summery and went with our homemade theme.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (15)

I chose a ball gown style dress by Jasmine which had a heavy laced bodice and a tulle skirt. I had a drop veil with lace around the edges which went perfect with my dress bodice. I got my dress and my veil from The Wedding Collection in Beverley.  I always wanted a simple and elegant dress and when I saw my dress in the shop I knew it was ‘the one’.

Vicci my bridesmaid did my make-up and Zoe of Toni & Guy did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair, which all looked beautiful on the day.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (11)

Rob wore a dark blue three piece suit from Slaters with a tailored white shirt with a pink and blue striped tie which fitted in with the colour scheme. He also wore brown shoes from Slaters which went well with his suit.

I had four bridesmaids, our daughter Isabelle who was ‘chief’ and three older bridesmaids: Lizzie, Vicci and Jane. Isabelle wore an ivory dress with a ruffled top and tulle skirt. The older bridesmaids wore beautiful nude dresses from Little Mistress at House of Fraser. All of the dresses had high necklines which were similar to mine. I bought each of the girls a pearl bracelet to wear on the day as a thank you grift and they went perfectly with their dresses.

Rob’s best man, Chris, wore a matching dark blue suit and the rest of the groomsmen wore blue suits and brown shoes with matching ties.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (26)

Sarah Beth Photography was our photographer. She had already done our pre-wedding pictures which were brilliant so we knew our wedding photos would be the same. Sarah is a very talented photographer who takes natural/relaxed photos which was just what we wanted. We would highly recommend Sarah as she is very friendly, easy to work with and put us at ease.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (24)

For mine and Isabelle’s flowers my mum made us a hand tied bouquet of avalanche roses and gypsophila with hessian and ribbon around the stems. For the other bridesmaids she made hand tied bouquets of gypsophila, which also had hessian and ribbon around the stems. My mum ordered the flowers from a local wholesaler and put them together on the morning of the wedding.  She practiced the bouquets numerous times before the wedding so she knew exactly what she was doing.

We wanted to use natural petal confetti which we ordered online from Shropshire Petals. We filled cones with petals and put them in a pretty basket for Isabelle to hand out to all the ladies to throw.

For Rob and all the groomsmen I made buttonholes using gypsophila and entwined small pink beads to match the colours we used.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (33)

As with everything for the wedding I wanted as much homemade as I could so I went for simple ideas and seasonal flowers and plants which I knew, with help from my mum, we could do ourselves.  All the flowers we used were sourced from wholesalers, various garden centres and all the greenery was from my mum’s friend’s garden.

For all the tables we used various sized glass vases, which we personalised by wrapping jute around and tied pretty ribbon bows which we then filled with avalanche and heavenly pink roses and gypsophila.  We also put mirrored plates under the lit hurricane vases for the centre pieces and had lots of glass tea light holders around the tables.

To decorate the hall we used potted hydrangeas and geraniums which when put in large unusual metal hanging baskets, wicker baskets and urns, creating large impressive arrangements in keeping with the hall.

The mantel arrangement on the entrance fire place was bunches of different greenery, hydrangeas and roses which we put together to look like a garland and, with the glass hurricane lanterns on either side, made it quite a feature.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (38)

My mum made some wicker hearts well before the wedding and to some of them we wired dried hydrangeas and tied jute and ribbon bows on for the staircase. The rest we tied on fresh gypsophila for the chair ends at the ceremony.

As well has making our own arrangements I also made the napkin holders, which I wrapped pieces of hessian and pink ribbon around and tied a luggage tag with the guest’s name on. I made the table plan using a board with jute string attached at both sides and I hung cut-out squares of hessian (name list printed and stuck on) with pegs.

Finally, I decorated a sweet table for everyone to tuck into on the evening. I used a long trestle table and put all the sweets in jars. I put small pink potted flowers on the table and I made the ‘sweets’ banner by cutting out squares of hessian and then using a stencil and white paint to put the letters onto each piece of hessian.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (40)

For favours, I filled kraft brown pillow boxes from Hobbycraft with Ferrero Rocher and tied raffia around finished off with a small pink artificial rose. These went down well after the wedding breakfast.

We decided not to go for a traditional wedding cake and instead had a vintage style stand with a Victoria sponge cake on the top tier and cupcakes on the bottom tiers. The cupcakes were vanilla, chocolate and lemon. I wanted it to be simple but pretty so the cake was plainly iced, with ribbon around the bottom and a simple rose on the top. The cupcakes were iced with little flowers/sprinkles on the top.  All this was done by Cupcake Carousel who we would definitely recommend as it all tasted delicious.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (47)

We used Bon Appetit, located in Broughton, as our caterers who supplied a carvery for our wedding breakfast as we wanted something we enjoyed and loved having at home with our families. We followed this with a trio of desserts, which was lovely so we could all have a little of each. For the evening reception we had a fish and chip van (which was a big hit) and had the cupcakes as the dessert.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (46)

For the entertainment on the evening we had a DJ, Andy and Jamie of Ace Disco Party Sounds, as we wanted a room where people could go and have a dance which everyone enjoyed. We used Ace Disco because we have already used them on a previous occasion and they were excellent and again at the wedding they did a brilliant job and the dancefloor was packed all night.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (52)

We would highly recommend Saltmarshe Hall to other couples as it is a beautiful place and the grounds, which overlook the River Ouse, are amazing. Kate, who owns the hall, and Katie her wedding coordinator, could not have been more accommodating.  We met with Kate and Katie at the hall a number of times before so we could let them know how we wanted our day and they ran through everything with us. On the day they made sure the whole thing ran very smoothly and it went to plan perfectly. We hired the hall for the day and we were able to decorate it just how we wanted. There is also accommodation in the hall and cottages in the grounds for any guests which are wanting to stay over.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (54)

The ceremony and the approach to the ceremony were my favourite parts of the day as it was so nice to walk down the stairs and through the hall and see all of our hard work put into place and then to walk down the aisle with my dad, daughter and bridesmaids seeing Rob at the end and all of our close family and friends there to celebrate our special day with us.

A Pretty Homemade Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Sarah Beth Photography (45)

On the Sunday after the wedding, we jetted off to Alcudia in Majorca. It was lovely and relaxing and a perfect way to finish off our wedding celebrations. We took our daughter with us so it was also a lovely family holiday.

It was great doing a lot of the wedding ourselves and made it all the more special on the day, but my top tip to other Brides Up North would be make sure you give yourselves plenty of time to find what you need and to practice beforehand to make sure you get it how you want it. It is worth every minute when you see the finished results!

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apple of my eye. a fun-filled nyc themed wedding in lancaster – sohaila & john

May 12th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (18)

Today’s loved-up couple gave their guests a taste of the big apple by theming their wedding around New York following their engagement in the city.

To help pull their American dream together John and Sohaila called on the skills of their friends and family, which resulted in some extra special touches being added along the way.

So in the words of Alicia Keys – let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York!

With images by Jon Bird Photography.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (3)

sohaila says: John proposed at Brooklyn Heights on 7th December 2014. Going to New York was my life ambition and I think he knew it was the best opportunity he was ever going to get! The day was perfect – the sun was shining, I had New York in front of me and even though it’s a popular tourist spot, in the moment he chose to get down on one knee there was no-one there! He was lucky I didn’t find the ring beforehand, which he’d kept in the hotel room safe all week!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (9)

We got married on the 21st March 2015. I was quite keen to get the ball rolling so we worked out how long we’d need to save up a decent budget and settled on March so that it gave people time to recover from Christmas (as we know weddings are expensive for guests too). We didn’t really think about the weather as in Lancaster it rains just as much in summer as it does any other time of year!

We got married at the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster. Since we moved to Lancaster we have loved this building and we couldn’t think of a more perfect wedding venue. Not only is it a stunning building but from its position (on the top of a big hill) you get amazing views over Lancaster, Morecambe and the Lake District. The venue is situated in Williamson Park which has some lovely areas – perfect for photos! For our reception we picked The View at the University of Cumbria.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (8)

As I have a bit of an obsession with New York and as that was where we got engaged I knew we had to have a bit of a NY theme. I didn’t want it OTT or tacky…so it was a ‘no’ to John’s suggestion of a life sized Statue of Liberty(!) but we did have: custom made skyline place cards, NYC landmark table names, Million Dollar Chocolate Bars for favours, NYC themed photo booth props and an American mailbox for the cards!

Our colour scheme was black, gold and pink. It came to me one day after hours of browsing Pinterest. I don’t think I came across anything that was exactly what I wanted – it was more of a combination of a few things.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (10)

I went for a mermaid shaped dress. I always thought that would be the style I’d go for but was prepared to end up with something completely different as everyone has said this is what happens! I tried on everything from skin tight fishtail dresses (how anyone manages to walk in these I do not know) to a big puffed out princess dress (I tried it on for a laugh but actually loved it). I found ‘the one’ in The Wedding Dress & Prom Dress Bridal Factory Outlet in Stockport. It was a lovely little shop with hundreds of beautiful dresses averaging around £500. I didn’t even dare step foot in an expensive boutique. I knew if I did I would more than likely find a dress I loved but I just couldn’t justify spending thousands on a dress I’d only wear once.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (11)

Neither of us are keen on the traditional morning suits so John went for a modern, grey two piece from Next. He wore this with a dark pink tie and pocket square to suit the colour scheme.

We were very relaxed when it came to the bridesmaids and groomsmen. We wanted everyone to feel comfortable and we were conscious of the fact that one style does not always look good on all!

The bridesmaids were asked to find pink/nude coloured dresses with lots of sparkle and groomsmen were simply asked to find a grey suit. We really liked the idea of mismatched outfits as I had seen a lot of examples of this (again on Pinterest) and thought it looked great. Luckily for us, all the outfits came together perfectly on the day – even though we had not seen them altogether beforehand! The bridesmaids dresses were from Debenhams, Miss Selfridge and Next.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (15)

On the wedding day Jen Ferguson Makeup made me, my mum and my bridesmaids feel beautiful by working her magic on us in the morning. The makeup was gorgeous and I don’t think I touched mine all day/night – it was great!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (16)

We live a couple of minutes away from our ceremony and reception venues so I could not justify spending £500-£600 on a nice car to take me up the road! Luckily my uncle is a private hire driver and kindly offered to dress up his shiny new Mercedes and be our chauffeur. As all our guests were travelling from West Yorkshire or further we opted to give them a helping hand when they got here by hiring a coach for the day. This was used to get guests from the hotel, to the ceremony, to the reception then back to the hotel at the end of the night. Everyone thought it was a great idea and we were really pleased with the service from Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (17)

Our photographer was Jon Bird. We came across him on Facebook when one of our friends ‘liked’ his page. At the time he was only doing child shoots and hadn’t done any weddings but I liked the quality of the pics I saw so asked for a quote. As he was just getting into photography, the price was fantastic and we saw a lot of potential in his photos. Jon developed a lot over the following year and the photos he captured of our day completely blew us away. They were stunning. He made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera and that really showed in the photos. We would 100 per cent recommend Jon – and he’s only going to get better with time!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (19)

My bouquet was beautifully made by my mum out of pink and purple silk flowers with lots of pretty brooches in and amongst to add sparkle! I originally opted for silk flowers to save on costs – in the end it was pretty much the same price as real ones but better as I get to keep it!

I was quite reluctant to spend lots of money on real flowers that would die in a few days so apart from the parents’ gifts we didn’t use any! All our flower arrangements and bouquets were beautifully arranged in silk flowers by my mum.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (20)

Events by Design UK supplied our floor length black table cloths and gold glitter runners along with white chair covers with black bows. They also provided all our beautiful gold, black and pink heart shaped balloons which we used to line the long corridor and to decorate the sweet table.

For centrepieces we used lovely birdcage tea light holders (which we bought from Matalan) and decorated with pink rose garlands from Sass & Belle.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (22)

The most standout piece of decor we had was the large light up ‘love’ letters supplied by Typical Type. They were definitely the main focal point and made some brilliant photos! We also hired a full length mirror from them (which also had light bulbs all around it) which looked fabulous and came in very handy!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (30)

As our reception venue wasn’t the hotel I opted to set up a toiletries table in the ladies with everything they could possibly need to freshen up! Deodorant, hairbrush, chewing gum, safety pins, wipes, hair spray, clips etc. We also put some in the men’s but it was a slightly smaller selection of – combs, hair gel, deodorant etc. It was well used and a lot of our female guests told me how grateful they were for it!

We set up the venue with the help of our bridesmaids, ushers and best man the night before the wedding. We had so much fun doing it and the sense of achievement was great. That is really when the excitement started – I couldn’t wait for our guests to see it!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (29)

Our beautiful wedding cake was made by my mum. After many taster sessions we decided on four flavours, one for each tier: red velvet with white chocolate filling, Victoria sponge, lemon and blueberry cake and orange cake with a raspberry meringue filling. It had the NY skyline on the bottom tier and was topped with handmade pink peonies made out of icing. I even found a cake topper replica of the famous New York ‘love’ sculpture on Etsy! My mum also added a touch for the groom – Yoda’s head sticking out of the back of the cake! He loved it.

After the ceremony our guests we served a variety of savoury and sweet canapés which we bought from M&S. These were served with my favourite sparkling Rose by Mondelli. For the wedding breakfast the guests chose from a variety of starters, mains and desserts which were served with a Chardonnay-Semillon white wine and also Barfefoot White Zinfandel Rose. In the evening guests were served a buffet of paninis, sausage/bacon sandwiches and a selection of cold snacks.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (27)

For entertainment we hired a DJ in the evening, booked through PartyU. We gave them a list of all the songs we definitely wanted playing and let the DJ fill in the gaps.

Robin Grenville-Evans (a cartoonist, known as ‘Evsie’) was present for the whole of the reception. I met him through work and was so impressed with his work we booked him for the wedding. The guests loved him. He also did a large portrait and me and John with a scroll effect on either side for our guests to write on. It looks great!

We also had a photo booth from Startrax Photo Booth Hire for three hours in the evening. The staff were great and our guests had loads of fun with the NY themed props we provided. Guests got a copy of their picture and we were handed an album at the end with a copy of each photo and also a CD with them all on. So much fun – definitely recommended!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (40)

On our special day it was also a special day for our niece (and flower girl) who turned three the same day! During the speeches, John got everyone to sing happy birthday to her and her face when her princess carriage cake got brought out was priceless.

It was also a special day for a second reason for my dad. He is Iranian and Iranian New Year happened to fall on the 21st March this year. We therefore set up a traditional ‘Haft Sin’ table for him which he really appreciated – especially as our Iranian family were unable to make it over to enjoy this day with us.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (42)

We would definitely recommend The View at the University of Cumbria as a venue for any party. On a daily basis the room is used as a canteen so when we went to view the place it was very hard to imagine how it could look dressed up!

The back wall of the room consists of floor to ceiling windows which provide a stunning view over Lancaster, Morecambe and the Lake District which is what really sold it to us. Once cleared, the room is a large, empty, black canvas which we could do what we wanted with. Although at times I regretted it as I struggled to try think of ways to decorate the vast empty room, in the end I am so glad we chose it as it allowed us to add so many personal touches. In the end the staff were fantastic, the room looked great, the food was delicious and the bar was well stocked – and cheap!

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (45)

To avoid the Easter holidays we decided to book a delayed honeymoon which we are going on in April. New York (of course) then on to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. After the wedding we went off on a two-night minimoon to Edinburgh.

a New York themed wedding  in Lancaster (c) Jon Bird Photography (44)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to organise as much as you can by yourself. It’s such an achievement and apart from the odd bit of stress it’s so much fun to do! It also allows you include lots of personal touches which made it all more special to us. Also, take advantage of the skills and talents of family members and friends – you’ll save loads of money and most likely they will enjoy giving you a helping hand with your big day!

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just married? we’d love to hear from you!

August 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

One of my very favourite parts of my job as Editor here at Brides Up North is receiving and reviewing Real Wedding submissions from my newly-wed readers and industry suppliers.  There’s nothing quite like the love and joy that radiates from the images of a couple’s big day and the palatable excitement in the accompanying email.  I’m putting this post together late on Sunday evening, and I’ve just spent the best part of the afternoon approving some very, very special submissions that I’m so looking forward to sharing with you soon.

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

I hope that those of you who visit these pages daily will come back to share your own celebrations and help to inspire the thousands of readers who pop in to see us daily.  It’s so simple to contact us with a submission – and all the details of how to do this are found permanently under the submit tab above – but now and again I like to reach out and remind you that I’d love you to get in touch.

We accept submissions from brides and grooms, photographers, planners and other wedding vendors, and as well as weddings, we also love to see engagement session photographs, couples shoots, trash the dress, cherish the dress and styled session photographs. We accept wedding submissions of all themes, sizes, religions and gay weddings.

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

If you’d like to submit your own Wedding to feature on Brides Up North all you need to do is drop us a line.

step one

Your initial contact email should include:

  • Your name and email address
  • Your Wedding venue and date
  • A brief description of your Wedding including general theme, colour scheme and any other special details
  • 5 to 10 varied images from your Wedding
  • Confirmation that your Wedding has not been submitted to any other blogs/ websites/ magazines (with the exception of the photographer’s own blog)

step two

Should Brides Up North wish to review your submission further we will require:

  • 40 to 50 high quality varied photographs – mostly in colour and without watermarks – of the day from start to finish to include stylish details of your Wedding (your photographer will be able to assist with this). I accept submissions as a ZIP file or via Dropbox only
  • Completion of the Brides Up North Wedding Interview which will be provided by email
  • Details of your photographer and any other key suppliers
  • Online exclusivity for 28 days after date of publish


(c) Cat Hepple Photography

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Mostly Monochrome. A Cool & Casual Real Engagement – Stacey & Ben

April 2nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Lucius Fox Photography

Usually, when I approve a submission for these pages, I ask for the majority of the images to be in colour.  I want my readers to be able to immerse themselves in my Real Weddings, and I think colour is such a huge part of that.

However, when Matthew of Lucius Fox Photography and Brides Up North reader and bride to be Stacey sent in their images celebrating Stacey & Ben’s engagement, my usual rule book went out the window.  This cool, casual and fabulously striking set of images could only ever work in monochrome.  Have I gone all arty on you or what?!

Let’s say hello (and congratulations!) to Stacey & Ben. 

Lucius Fox Photography

Stacey says: I have been a regular reader of the website since the minute we booked the wedding, so it’s a pleasure to be here.  I like reading other peoples wedding stories to get inspiration for our own day.

Lucius Fox Photography


Ben proposed on Christmas Eve 2009. We had been out for a romantic meal to start the festivities as our first Christmas together and as we left the restaurant and started walking down the parade in the rain under the Christmas lights Ben dropped down to one knee and popped the question.

Lucius Fox Photography

Lucius Fox Photography

We are getting married on Friday 18th April 2014 which is also Good Friday.

Our wedding is going to be extra special as we are having a Double Wedding with our best friends Charlene and Dan. We all had been looking at different venues to hold the capacity of our guests and came across somewhere special which we all fell in love with so decided to join forces!  The building and décor was stunning and exactly fitted in with our theme. We wanted somewhere we were able to spend the whole day without our families having to travel but something big enough with different areas for the space.

Lucius Fox Photography

Lucius Fox Photography

We met at work when Ben started working for the same company in 2008. We generally started seeing each other as friends from work who had just come out of relationships so nothing was too serious to start with. On our first date we went to the cinema to watch Slumdog Millionaire and as time went on we gradually become a lot closer the more time we spent together.

Lucius Fox Photography

Lucius Fox Photography

It took a good six months of dating until we decided we would see how things would go, as we didn’t want to ruin the friendship we had formed during the time we knew each other.  Once we decided to give a relationship a go it took no longer than two weeks before Ben had moved his belongings into my flat and I haven’t been able to get rid of him since…

Lucius Fox Photography

I love how caring Ben is and how we still act like we did when we first got together.

Lucius Fox Photography

Lucius Fox Photography

Lucius Fox Photography

Our biggest wish for married life is happiness.  Simple. 

Lucius Fox Photography

Lucius Fox Photography

We came across Lucius Fox Photography and loved Matt’s work so we wanted to have an engagement shoot to have more photos of just the two of us.  We had already been shot by Matt in a family visit to Coventry’s War Memorial park with our two boys, and fell in love with all of the photos he had produced for us.

Lucius Fox Photography

Lucius Fox Photography

We were both so nervous about our shoot but we met with Matt beforehand for a coffee and instantly we knew we were in good hands, he made us feel so relaxed and for two people that generally don’t like being photographed he made us feel really at ease. We’re planning on putting our photos into an album to keep to show our children when they’re older.

Lucius Fox Photography

We’ll definitely be back to share our Real Wedding with Brides Up North.

Lucius Fox Photography

Congratulations Stacey & Ben!

If you’d like to share your engagement news, love story or Real Wedding with Brides Up North, I’d love to hear from you!  Here’s how


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Lucius Fox Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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