February 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime
The turn of the year seems so long ago now doesn’t it? After being deluged by storms and darkness, if anyone’s kept their New Year’s resolutions by now, it’ll be a small miracle, right?
Well, funnily enough though, for once I have, so allow me a moment of smug! Mine were simple – stress less, exercise more and prioritise the things (and folk) I love most. So far I’m on the right track. How are you checking in? March is a new month after all…
Two people who are sure to have kept their resolutions and promises are today’s beautiful bride Amy and her new husband Anthony, who said their vows in front of friends and family in Hexham on New Year’s Eve. This morning they are here to share their celebration with us.
With images by Paul Santos Photography.
Amy says: We got engaged on March 29th 2012, we had just been on a ride on the gondolas in Venice when Anthony popped the question.
We were married on December 31st 2013. We had the most fantastic ceremony held at Hexham Abbey with a reception at Langley Castle.
We chose our venues based on the history and style of buildings. We had wanted a very grand wedding with it being New Year’s Eve and wanted a day for everyone to remember.
Hexham Abbey was chosen to hold our ceremony as the religious side of things was taken very seriously at the Abbey making the day very personal, but it was also set in one of the most beautiful churches we have visited in the North East. Langley Castle gave us another grand and elegant building to host our reception and it had such good reviews from previous brides and grooms. The entrance to the castle was a main selling point.
We didn’t have a theme, we just wanted to create a day to remember. Most people are at a loose end on New Year’s Eve so we wanted to celebrate the date in locations that people would remember for years to come.
We chose a colour scheme of black, red and ivory. Red was to tie in with the colours of the castle and blacks were to bring in a classic look to go with New Year’s Eve.
After nearly a year of hunting I finally found a dress that was different to anything I had seen. I went for a fish tail style lace overlay dress designed by Justin Alexander and by one of his private labels so I knew it would be very unlikely that others would have seen this dress. As it is sold only in limited shops across the UK and can’t be viewed on his website, it gave me the exclusive look I had desired. I got my dress from Wild Brides At Heart in Durham City Centre.
My bridesmaids wore one shoulder Dessy dresses purchased from Isabelles Brides in Easington. I wanted a classic look to go with the style of wedding and we wanted our maid of honour and best man to stand out so they wore claret red whilst the rest of the groomsmen and bridesmaids wore black. The men wore French Connection evening suits with dicky bow ties for a classic evening look.
My flowers were put together by Wild and Wonderful Flowers and consisted of deep red roses, black berries and ivory roses to blend in with the colour theme.
My favourite part of the day was our ceremony. It was so meaningful and very touching. To add an extra special touch, during the signing of the register we had a recently signed professional opera singer performing which made the ceremony so elegant.
Our wedding cake was kindly made by Anthony’s auntie who makes cakes in her spare time.
We chose Gary James who performs swing and Michael Buble numbers for our entertainment. Gary sang throughout the meal which was a great touch as it took away the clattering of knifes and forks and helped the meal run even more smoothly. In the evening we had an acoustic singer called Alex Dobson who put his own spin on various new releases by bands and singers, before going into a traditional disco on the evening.
Following the wedding we jetted off on honeymoon to Lucea, Jamaica.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that before booking any suppliers do your research and never book based on price alone. To ensure quality and value for money we sometimes had to bend our budget, but by doing this we got some of the best suppliers out there who had amazing reviews. Always read reviews before booking!
Congratulations Amy & Anthony!
This is not a sponsored post
black tie wedding, dessy, gary james, henry cooppers, hexam wedding, hexham abbey wedding, justin alexander, langley castle, langley castle wedding, new years eve wedding, north east wedding, Paul Santos Photography, real wedding, red wedding, uk wedding blog, vintage bus, webbs special occasion cars, wild and wonderful flowers, wild brides at heart
January 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Things are looking really rosy red this week on Brides Up North aren’t they? First up, the sun baked celebration of Annie and Lee yesterday, and now a complete about turn with today’s stunning winter Real Wedding. Shot by Hayley Baxter Photography, Clare and Lee-John’s big day had all the hallmarks of the perfect Christmas wedding – red berries, a feather cape, a dress to die for, Christmas pudding, a ruby red carriage and a partridge in a pear tree!
Clare says: We got engaged on 16 August 2013, in North Wales and were married on 21 December 2013 at Norcliffe Chapel, Styal with our reception at Quarry Bank Mill.
We visited the National Trust village and Mill in June 2013 and both absolutely loved the church and the imposing architecture of the Mill itself. Mandi and her team at the Mill were so helpful and were happy to assist in any way possible.
We chose a Christmas theme, we sang carols in the church and had mulled wine and mince pies at the drinks reception instead of canapés. We decorated the Mill ourselves with fairy lights, Christmas garlands and Christmas trees, including edible decorations and a gingerbread house. The table centres were hurricane vases with candles, holly, ivy, cinnamon, pine – all natural flowers and seasonal.
The colours were dark green and red. The green was chosen to incorporate the Bride’s Irish roots and the red for the groom’s Welsh roots. The bridesmaids wore dark green and the groomsmen all wore red ties and hankies. The bouquets were gorgeous red and green with grand prix roses for the bride and tulips for the bridesmaids and flower girls.
My dress was called Hazel by Anoushka G. I love it! I bought it from Lace Bridal in Hale who were so helpful. I am not a keen shopper and had given myself one day and two bridal shops to find my dream dress – I didn’t have to search for long… it was the first dress I tried on and it could not be matched! It was cut on the bias with mini capped embroidered sleeves with a cowl scoop at the back.
I had an oyster feather shrug to keep me warm too. I wore my wellies into the church as the path down was muddy and I didn’t want to spoil my Jimmy Choos!
My two adult bridesmaids wore a dark green maxi dress from Coast and the three flower girls wore gorgeous white dressed from Debenhams. They all had gorgeous fur shrugs for warmth and the two littlest flower girls wore White Uggs boots.
The groomsmen wore hired suits from Slaters in Manchester. They were dark grey tails with waistcoat and their own classic white shirts with bright red ties and hankies.
We hired a beautiful red and cream vintage car supplied by Love & Carriage.
January 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Brides Up North might know them better as members of the fantastic party band Func On The Rocks (trust me, I’ve partied with them – these guys really do rock, if you are looking for a band, check them out!) but today Annie and Lee are here to share their own wedding celebration on these pages, choosing a romantic red theme for their sunny big day in Cyprus. Just what the doctor ordered on a cold Wednesday morning!
With images by Mandy and Louis Christodoulou.
Annie says: Our’s is a real life ‘girl next door’ story. Lee was in a band with my housemate at the time and he moved in next door with another fellow band member. I used to go to a lot of their gigs and for a long time I was so shy around him that I couldn’t even make eye contact because I thought he was so hot! Eventually our eyes met after many fun nights out and the rest is history. Six years on, the bass player and lead singer were actually best man and maid of honour at our wedding.
After much pondering we decided to get married in Cyprus as we’ve had many memorable holidays there and have always had a soft spot for it.
We wanted somewhere private and intimate, for just us and our nearest and dearest. We fell in love with Vasilias Nikoklis Inn, near Paphos as soon as we saw it and knew it was perfect. It had everything we wanted, true authentic Greek family run business with delicious home cooked food and beautiful surroundings. It’s tucked away from all of the touristy hustle and bustle, at the foot of the Troodos mountains. You can’t beat waking up the morning after your wedding to a view like that.
December 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.
Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013. Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
My god, Helen and Jamie’s wedding day looks like fun. This is one of those features – put together in the early hours of the morning (or the late hours of the night, whichever way you want to look at it) that makes me want to shut down the laptop, pick up those dancing shoes and a bottle of something cold and head off to party till dawn.
Bright, vibrant, individual and full of fun, I hope that this gorgeous Real Wedding spreads a little sunshine your way. Just watch out for dragons…
With images by Mike at One Wedding.
Helen says: We got engaged in June 2011, in Hong Kong. We were living in a city called Zhuhai in mainland China at the time and Jamie whisked me away to Hong Kong as a surprise to celebrate 9 years since our 1st date. Despite a typhoon and last minute customs issues with the ring J’s plan came together!
We were married on 6th July 2013 in the gardens of Woodthorpe Hall in Derbyshire The ceremony took place in the cider press and the reception outside and in a marquee on the lawn.
We chose the venue because of it’s stunning location. We were showed round by the house owner Dick and he was so friendly and his wife Sue was brilliant. We had the freedom to choose anything we liked, bringing in our own suppliers and spend the week before customising the whole place.
Our theme was a hint of China! We lived in China for almost four years and got engaged in Hong Kong so there were a few nods to that part of our lives. We brought back all sorts of lanterns and flags for decorations and filled the fridges with Tsingtao beer (from the city where we lived). Our first dance was a Chinese pop song. Our colours were lucky Chinese red and white.
My dress came from a shop in Manchester, I was after something a bit different and once I saw it I knew I’d found the right one. It was a bit of an ordeal because I had sorted something from China that didn’t work out in the end so it was quite a last minute find but it was all ok in the end!
I had one bridesmaid; Jamie’s sister Em. She looked stunning in a red dress made for her in China. She sent us some pictures of the style she liked and we chose the material and had it made. My other best mates all wore something with a touch of red and we all carried red or white parasols. Jamie and the groomsmen wore the same suit they found on a shopping outing together. The teamed it up with waistcoats/ties to suit their own style.
We originally wanted red and white orchids in our bouquets but it was such a hot week that the florist, Jo Price, called and said they wouldn’t last the day so we added in roses.
The ceremony was in the same place as the reception so we didn’t have any transport between the two. I travelled in style with my Dad whose car my bro polished to perfection. We had a great moment with the top down and the music playing going down the country lanes.
A really special moment was when three friends sang a song during the ceremony. A school friend, uni friend and neighbour got together for the first time the morning of the wedding and by the afternoon were playing beautifully during the ceremony!
A highlight of the day was the arrival of the Sheffield Chinese Lion Dance Troupe just after the meal. Jamie and I had arranged for this to be a total surprise so everybody was shocked and excited. Brilliant!
Thanks to the help of friends and family we personalised the tables and marquee. We glued photos of us with friends and family onto red ribbon to make bunting and string it around the marquee. There were photos of every guest as well as friends who couldn’t make it everywhere.
We used beer bottles from around the world as table markers and a friend did calligraphy for names. The table centres were flower arrangements made by Jamie’s Mum and friends teamed up with some Chinese fans. We brought back some Chinese bracelets which we used as napkin rings for the guests to keep. Instead of favours we put a pound coin in a Chinese box and told guest to choose a pot labelled for three different charities. People added some extra coins and we raised over £300.
Dick and Sue at Woodthorpe Hall were fantastic. They were so hands on and helpful. The guests said they felt very well looked after. They only do a handful of weddings a year so it felt very personal.
We hired a Marquee from Ascot Marquees. ‘Marquee Mark’ helped us hang lanterns and red bunting (expertly made by my Mum!) and the place looked great. A friend from Totally Gazeboed contributed gazebos for the string quartet and a photo booth. We raided the attic for some props and got some hilarious shots.
We brought in our own booze and homemade canapés. Jamie used to live in Germany so the last time he went to visit his friends there he filled up the car with mini kegs of German beer which we placed around the garden for people to help themselves to. PJ Taste provided the main food. Wonderful! We had BBQ steak, swordfish and veg with lots of lovely salads. Highly recommended. Our friends from Cocoa Wonderland sorted us out with some yummy chocs.
My mum baked fruit cake for the three tiers and iced them white then the week before the wedding my friends came over to help decorate. Kat and Sarah made sugar paste flowers and James helped stack the tiers and add the ribbon. We also had friends bake cakes to bring along so we had lots to choose
For the evening dancing we played our favourite tunes and friends and brothers helped to DJ. We also had a fab impromptu ukulele song by Geoff who got everyone singing along.
I have so many favourite parts to the day! Standing there with Jamie at the ceremony. Seeing all our different friends and family all together having fun. The speeches. People’s reaction to the Lion Dance. Having a moment with Jamie taking it all in looking over the moors. The first dance and the dancing to Design for Life with my Dad and friends. Everything was so positive and lovely.
After the wedding we honeymooned at a music festival in Lisbon (including seeing Biffy Clyro whose music we used during our ceremony) and spent some time on the Portuguese coast.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to add lots of little things to make the day feel yours and don’t get too worried what other people do for their weddings. The day is very personal, there are a lot of extras that you don’t always need. Include things that reflect you!
Congratulations Helen & Jamie!
Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages? Here’s how.
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 One Wedding
This is not a sponsored post
December 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Brides Up North reader Cristina is clearly a lady who likes her own way, and her beautiful Celtic influenced wedding in Northumberland shows that when it comes to your wedding – your way is the right way. Delicious.
With images by Leighton Bainbridge Photography.
Cristina says: We didn’t get engaged as such. As I always said I would never got married, Kevin gave up but one day I realised that I wanted to marry him (when you find the right person), so I started suggesting places where I’d like to do it, but he always thought I was joking. One day I just said ‘Hey, I changed my mind, right?’ so on the 28th of April 2012 we agreed! In June, for my birthday, he gave me a beautiful Celtic engagement ring.
We got married on the 21st of July 2013 at Longhirst Hall near Morpeth. We chose a Sunday because it was easier for the Spanish party to travel on the Saturday/Friday. I spent the whole year wishing for a sunny day, as I didn’t want to hear my family complaining about English summer. It was warm and perfect!
Kevin asked me if I wanted to get married in Spain and I didn’t. I hate weddings at the registrar office, and that’s the only option if you don’t want a church wedding. I saw a brochure about weddings in Northumberland, and checked some places. We both liked Longhirst and went for a look around. We fell in love with this 19th Century building, and having accommodation was perfect, as we had people travelling, so we booked it!
We started planning this wedding with some Celtic elements in mind (like the rings), but it ended up being a little bit of everything we like. We chose a burgundy and black colour scheme.
I had a bouquet of burgundy calla lilies and roses and my bridesmaids carried only calla lilies, which were the flower for the buttonholes too. The first time I saw this sort of flower I knew I wanted it for my wedding, but lots of florists overcharge you for it. We went to a wedding fair and we met Greener Interiors; they offer very interesting packages which included this flower, so we were really happy. When I first saw my bouquet, I couldn’t believe how perfect it was!
As I never thought I would get married, I didn’t have any ideas about what dress I wanted to have for my wedding. I knew I would get it in Spain, as I wanted my mum and my sister to be there with me. I went for a weekend to Madrid and we used one day to visit as many shops as possible. We were in the street, making time for the next appointment, when I guy gave us a flyer from a shop we didn’t know, called Nathaly Novias… my dress was waiting there! I chose a few to try on, but not ‘The One’. However, the girl thought I would like it, and I loved it! Its a romantic dress, mostly lace, with a medieval touch: just perfect for me.
I wore the most beautiful shoes, from Irregular Choice. I wanted something different, and something I could wear again after the wedding…they make amazing shoes.
My bridesmaids (my sister and a friend) wore black long dresses from a shop in Spain called Vertize. They are very different girls, so it was hard to get a dress both would be happy with. My friend Cristina wouldn’t wear a light colour dress, and my sister didn’t want a short dress. I thought black was the easiest colour (which sort of decided the colour scheme) and we went together to choose it. It was a very simple but elegant dress.
We tried to personalise as much as we could. We chose to have two readings during the ceremony (done by both Mums), and I have to say that the entrance music was a bit special
Kevin’s niece works in a hairdresser’s in Ashington (Venue Hair Salon) and her boss is also a friend of the family; so she was invited to the wedding too. They did my and my bridesmaids hair as a wedding present. We didn’t have a hair trial, but they’re awesome and did our hair just the way we wanted. Leah at Make Up By Leah did my make-up on the day and she was fantastic.
We chose Leighton Bainbridge to take our photos. We weren’t going to get a photographer, as part of our family are media people and they offered to do it, but we realised that it wasn’t fair on them, because they couldn’t enjoy the day and we wouldn’t get enough photos because they were there as guests.
We found Leighton on the net, and we decided to book him. We had a first meeting to decide some things, and we had a pre-wedding shoot a month before the wedding. This was a great opportunity to get to know each other and feel comfortable on the wedding day (and we got some amazing pictures). When we saw the photos from the day, they were so perfect.
We handmade as many things as possible, not just to save some money, but because I wanted to be involved and I used it as a break from my PhD. All the stationery had to be made in two languages, and it was quite hard to find a supplier that made half in English and half in Spanish. I made the invitations, a program with the whole ceremony translated in Spanish for those who wouldn’t understand a word.
We made the favours – mini bottles of Spanish wine/cava, with some Swiss chocolates – and a heart brooch for the girls. We also made some labels to add to the bottles and my sister made some lovely ‘bride & groom’ pegs to add to the favours.
I made the seating plan and we had every table named after a Northumbrian castle. The centrepieces were white birdcages with some dried flowers (which we dried for months in the house) and my mum made some table runners. We added some mini Spanish/English dictionaries for the wedding breakfast.
After the meal we had a pub quiz; We thought it would be a great way to get people to know each other and interact a bit, as each table from the meal was a different team. For the night-time, I put together a sweet table, with jars and candles we collected through the year; it looked lovely.
We decided to get a two tiered cake: the bottom tier was vanilla and strawberries and the top one was carrot cake (my favourite). We wanted something different, so we asked Nicola, from ‘A Zombie Stole My Cupcake’ (from Bedlington), to make us a black cake! Then she added some Celtic decorations in burgundy, and it looked lush… it was a big surprise for the guests. For the evening buffet, she made some lovely cupcakes, in two flavours: mint choc chip and cookies and cream. We couldn’t ask anything better than this, she did a great job!
As there were a few children at the wedding, we decided at the last moment to get a bouncy castle, and not just the kids enjoyed it!
For the night, we had a DJ, but we made our own playlist, as we are a bit ‘fussy’ about music, and we really wanted to dance! We prepared CD’s with the playlist for everyone to take home; we still get messages about how great the compilation is. Kevin brought his guitar with him, and he played a few songs (my nephew, who is five, is his number one fan, so he was over the moon).
We went to Crete and Santorini for our honeymoon. We had lots of different destinations in mind, but we have both wanted to go there for years, before we met, and see the Palace at Knossos, and we thought it was the perfect occasion for it. We had a great time.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to follow your heart; I had people trying to change my mind about some decisions I made for the day, but it never worked… remember, it’s your day! And during the day try to enjoy every single second, it really flies by!
Congratulations Cristina & Kevin!
This is not a sponsored post
Subscribe to receive the FREE weekly Brides Up North e-shot, our newletters and notifications of events, giveaways and offers
We strive to represent the very best in our industry, but Brides Up North cannot be held liable for the products/ services of our sponsors. Any bookings are made at your own risk. Terms & Conditions.
All images © Brides Up North/ original author. Images should not be reproduced without written permission. Terms & Conditions.