March 11th, 2016 | Julia Braime
We may have mentioned just one or two times before that here at Brides Up North HQ, we absolutely LOVE Christmas. It will therefore come as no surprise that we are big fans of festive weddings – I mean, why not hold you big day at a time of year when people are already in high spirits and give friends and family yet another reason to raise a glass of champers?
Today’s real wedding couple did just that, hosting their wedding at the lovely Eaves Hall on the 21st December. To get their celebrations off to a fabulous start, the bride, groom and their guests enjoyed a pre-Christmas party, complete with carol singing (how perfect?), before the main event got underway.
We love the simple midnight blue and ivory colour scheme with red berry pops, as well as the elegant floral and table displays of thistles, roses and pine cones.
So join us as we rewind the clock to the most wonderful time of the year…
With images by Stella Photography.
anna says: We got engaged at Valley Gardens in Harrogate. The first weekend that we met, we went for a walk through the park and woods in there and then Dan took me back there for a walk one Saturday morning and proposed. It was very romantic! I was in complete shock as I really wasn’t expecting it at all. He had also planned a surprise stay at The Feversham Arms in Helmsley, where we celebrated with champagne in the spa!
We set the date for 21st December. We wanted to get married around Christmas time and getting married just before Christmas seemed like the perfect way to start off the celebrations and festivities.
Our chosen venue was Eaves Hall. It’s gorgeous and was the perfect location for our big Christmas wedding party. We hired out the whole venue for two days (day before and day of the wedding) and all the family were able to stay in the same place so it felt like our ‘home’. The night before the wedding we had a meal and had organised for a pianist to come and play carols and Christmas songs so we could have a ‘sing song’ around the grand piano. This was amazing and really got everyone in the mood for Christmas and to party!
February 29th, 2016 | Julia Braime
It’s Monday morning and we’re ready and raring to bring you yet another week of fabulous inspiration here on the blog, kicking off with this gorgeous autumnal wedding at Salford Quays, in Manchester.
Having found their perfect venue in the form of On the 7th, an exclusive members club featuring modern décor and vintage touches, Leanne and Ashley decided to follow suit in their simple styling by mixing the old with the new.
They also decided to incorporate beautiful tones of rich purples and gorgeous berry hues as a nod to the season, which makes an elegant alternative to the traditional red and orange tones, usually picked for autumn weddings.
We just love the opulent blooms, Leanne’s sparkling princess gown and the men’s checked shirt and bow tie combos – looking good guys!
With images by Clara Cooper Photography and second shooter Paul Williams.
leanne says: We got engaged at Grill on the Alley, our favourite restaurant in Manchester on 14th July 2013. It was where we had our first date and as we celebrated three years since the day we got together Ash asked me to marry him.
We had agreed to exchange gifts so I’d got him the aftershave he’d ran out of but he said that the gift he had ordered me was late. It was a Sunday and he was sure it would arrive on the Monday. I thought nothing of it and we had a great day in the sunshine at Media City sitting on the deck chairs they have there in the sun. Later on we went for our meal and Ash had ordered champagne to the table for when we arrived and his explanation was that three years was a big deal.
After we ate our meal Ash decided to tell me that he had something to tell me….he’d been lying to me. I wasn’t sure what to expect but after what felt like a lifetime he explained he had my present with him and that he hadn’t ordered something. He asked me to close my eyes and when I opened them Ash was down on one knee presenting me with the ring. I asked him whether he was joking and then cried for what felt like a long time until Ash finally told me I hadn’t answered him.
Our wedding day was 19th September 2015. We got married at On the 7th, which is a member’s bar that’s part of the Eclectic Hotel Group. It’s on Media City in Salford. When I visited the venue it was perfect; modern in décor with some vintage touches. I loved the old style armchairs and the black and white tiled floor in the pantry. Ash and I love going out for food and drink in Manchester and On the 7th is exactly the type of place we would go to for a date night.
When it came to styling the wedding, we tried to mix the old – candelabra’s, book cases, hessian table runners and chair ties – with the new – modern furniture, minimal flowers, our outfits etc.
January 7th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
For us there’s nothing better than a bright, breezy & beautiful wedding which is why we love this afternoon’s pretty celebrations so much.
Deciding on an elegant English country garden theme for her big day, bride Emma set about picking seasonal blooms and hand-making lots of dainty décor that would set the feel of the day perfectly.
Girl, we think you hit the nail on the head! Cue soft, pastel colours, dreamy styling and lots of fabulous flowers…
emma says: We got engaged in September 2013, when we had been together eight months. Patrick told me he was going to take me away as an early birthday present, I had no idea where we were going but presumed somewhere in the UK. The morning we were travelling I was woken up with a wrapped gift which was a travel guide to Venice! When we arrived we found a lovely Italian pizzeria for some dinner then we had a slow wander along the canals back towards our hotel and this is when I started to suspect a little as Patrick became nervous and very aware of his surroundings. He walked me onto the bridge that goes over the Grand Canal and when no one else was around he dropped to one knee and asked me if I would do him the honour of being his wife! It was all very romantic and unexpected. I couldn’t have planned a proposal more perfect.
We chose 16th September 2015, as our wedding date as we felt two years was a good amount of time to both plan and save for the wedding we wanted. It was also close to the date that we got engaged.
We got married at Woodhill Hall, Northumberland. There was something about the venue that drew us in from when we first saw it on the internet and as soon as we saw it in person we just knew it was for us. The location speaks for itself with breath-taking views and the venue is so quirky with its fantastic interiors. We wanted a small, intimate wedding and loved that all our guests could stay in one place with us. The majority of our guests (and us included) were travelling from over 300 miles away so it was important that we could provide the accommodation for them. We felt that Woodhill Hall was somewhere worth travelling all that way for.
We went for what I would call an ‘English Country Garden’ look for the theme – the flowers especially were key to this. I just felt like there needed to be flowers everywhere in jars which I’d hand decorated with ribbon, lace and twine. It’s a look I’ve always had in my head as how I would envisage our wedding to be and thankfully Patrick completely agreed and wanted the same things.
We chose pastel pink and a very light pink as our main colour scheme and duck egg blue as an accent colour, which came from a photograph I’d found on Pinterest.
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December 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
We wish you a Merry Christmas! We’re taking a short break to celebrate the season, but will be back bright and early on 4th January 2016. Until then, you can catch up on your favourite weddings of 2015 here, and we’ll leave you with this incredibly beautiful real wedding to whet your appetite for some super pretty inspiration coming your way in the New Year. Now, pass the prosecco would you..?
Not only is this wedding stunning to look at, but there’s real sentiment and thought behind the various elements of the day. In particular, the first dance that Rachel had with her dad pulls at the heart strings and hopefully encourages brides to plan details that will stay with them long beyond the big day itself.
So let’s get into the pretty (just look at that House of Mooshki gown!) and look forward to another fabulous year of real weddings to come in 2016. Cheers to that!
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
rachel says: We got engaged while in Paris in February 2014 – the trip was a surprise organised by Daniel. He got down on one knee as we were walking along the banks of the River Seine in the shadow of Notre-Dame. It was the perfect proposal!
Our wedding was on 12th August 2015, at Woodhill Hall in Northumberland. Exclusive use was very important to us. We also wanted to have an intimate gathering with close friends and family the night before the wedding and the self-catering facilities at Woodhill Hall made this possible. We also fell in love with the location, the distinctive décor and the flexibility that this venue provided.
Above all else I wanted the wedding to be elegant, timeless and pretty. We chose a colour scheme of muted pastel shades in blushes and mint, which suited our theme perfectly.
My dress was Poppy by House of Mooshki – a blush tea length, tulle and lace gown with illusion neckline and cap sleeves. It was love at first sight – the first dress I tried on! My shoes were Jimmy Choo.
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October 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime
This afternoon on the blog we have a delicious scoop of wedding day inspiration for you in the form of Jo and Nick’s rustic themed big day at Keythorpe Manor.
After saying their vows in a quaint barn setting, the newlyweds and their guests moved onto an onsite marquee for the reception where they danced the night. (Nick perhaps putting in a little too much effort on the dancefloor resulting in a rather embarrassing trouser incident!)
Highlights for us (apart from Nick’s comedy moment) include the gorgeous pink colour palette, a rather delicious looking wedding cake and Jo’s stunning dress, personalised to perfection!
With images by Emily & Katy Wedding Photography.
jo says: Nick proposed in Prague during a long weekend away. I had suspected that it may happen but couldn’t find the ring anywhere in the house so my suspicions were squashed!
Nick spent the day looking for a place to propose but I kept ruining it by needing the toilet, or a drink, or some food! Eventually, we went back to the amazing hotel we were staying in, I ran a bath and enjoyed champagne with strawberries. When I got out there was a fruit platter on the bed with the ring in the middle. I burst out crying and Nick got down on one knee.
We set the date for Friday 21st August. Nick really wanted a summer wedding. Even a year in advance, securing a date was difficult as our chosen venue already had most weekends booked up. A Friday seemed workable as we sent out invites as soon as possible so few people had booked their summer holidays. It was also in the school holidays so our friends who were teachers could attend.
We got married at Keythorpe Manor, Leicester. We were keen to have a marquee setting for the reception and as many of our friends lived outside the area, we also wanted to have the ceremony and reception in one place to reduce travel on the day.
We viewed a few venues which had marquees on site but some were rather tired and worn. The beauty of Keythorpe was that it had a permanent marquee with proper windows and doors which was well maintained. They also had a barn for the ceremony, which despite being recently built, had an authentic feel to it.
We were pretty relaxed about a wedding theme. With the rolling countryside around the venue, we wanted it to feel quite rustic with a countryside feel. This is what drove the colours and style of the flowers and we used a lot of brown string and wooden pegs for hanging decorations.
Pink and metallics made up the colour scheme. We had visited Keythorpe Manor on the day of a wedding so we could see how it looked setup. The venue used a lot of neutrals and pale peach. I wanted it to have more colour than that and so added pink to our scheme which I thought fitted in with the countryside styling.
I wore a full length, lace, Essense of Australia dress with lace straps and an open heart back. The lace was ivory with a coffee coloured underlay. I wore it with a coffee coloured belt with crystals on the front and added a crystal and pearl back necklace myself.
I have always liked lace and saw myself wearing it on my wedding day. After trying on many different styles I found this dress on my first shopping trip, though I decided not to buy it immediately. I found it again at the Birmingham Wedding Show being sold by Georgina Scott Bridal. They were offering a 20% discount if deposit was paid on the day. This time we went for it and my mum kindly paid the deposit there and then!
During one of the fittings one of my friends suggested trying to get something to go across the back of my dress. I searched Etsy for many back necklaces and came across one made by a supplier called La Luna Couture, which I ordered. It had broaches on each end which meant I could simply clip it to the back of my dress. I was so pleased when I received it, it was absolutely gorgeous. It made such a difference to the dress and I received so many compliments on how beautiful it was. Everyone thought it was part of the dress!
Nick wore a blue suit from Reiss with waistcoat, white shirt with a cutaway collar and pink tie from TM Lewin, pink socks from Thomas Pink, Mulberry cufflinks, gold personalised tie clip from Not On The High Street, Daniel Wellington watch and black buckle shoes from Russell and Bromley.
The groomsmen had blue suits from M&S with the same pink tie as Nick and their own black shoes.
My uncle/godfather drove me and my dad in his BMW with cream, leather interior to the wedding venue. It meant a lot to me having them both there and my uncle had even prepared a playlist for the car journey. My aunt also arranged flowers for the back of the car. Nick meanwhile borrowed his grandad’s convertible Jaguar XK8 to drive to the venue.
Emily and Katy Wedding Photography were our photographers on the day. We also had an engagement shoot with them at the venue before the wedding. I will actively recommend them to everyone! We really enjoyed the experience of having our photos taken by them. We were really pleased with the outcome of the engagement shoot and even more pleased with our wedding shots. Their turnaround time and communication is also fantastic, which you don’t find with all wedding suppliers. We never once felt uncomfortable.
My bouquet was made up of memory lane and pink roses, gypsophila and pink hydrangea. It was absolutely beautiful. Caroline Billson provided all of the flowers on the day. She was amazing from start to finish and one of the easiest suppliers I was lucky enough to deal with. She made sure that the barn for the ceremony was complete by adding some of her own lanterns on the day of the wedding.
The bridesmaids had gypsophila posies to fit in with my bouquet. All the flowers were so full and gorgeous. In the barn for the ceremony there were twig hearts decorated with gypsophila and eucalyptus. Caroline also provided lanterns at the entrance to create an arch at the beginning of the aisle surrounded by roses and hydrangeas.
For the table decorations we had metallic vases filled with pink hydrangeas and gypsophila dotted throughout. The vases sat on mirrored plates with heart chalkboard table numbers resting on top.
We decorated the marquee drapes with several paper pompoms and bunting which was bought from Amazon. The tables were also decorated with glass candle holders and taillights and pink and gold table confetti.
We weren’t sure if we were going to give any favours at first but then I spotted some cheap mini bottles of Jagermeister whilst skiing in Austria. We had to stuff our ski kit with enough bottles for the entire wedding to get them home! It was definitely worth it though and they were consumed following the speeches. For the non-drinkers, we placed Loveheart sweets on the tables instead.
Our wedding cake was a naked Victoria sponge cake decorated with fruits, which was baked by my aunt. She has made every birthday cake I have ever had and I was so pleased when she accepted my request to bake our wedding cake. It tasted fantastic, I never expected anything less from her. All the guests loved it.
We were always keen to show some personality in the food we chose for our wedding breakfast. As we are big pie fans and I’m from Melton Mowbray, pie was an obvious choice from the start. We did the classic three course sit down meal and guests had three choices of pie to pick from: steak and ale, chicken, ham and leek or fish pie. In the evening, we had a cake of cheese, pork pie and a selection of chutneys, crackers and accompaniments.
Emerson & West in Market Harborough were our caterers. They were really great. It is a family run business and Michael made sure we had thought of everything. They were really flexible and on the day everyone said how great the staff were.
During the evening reception we also had a sweet table, that we did ourselves, with treats such as Lovehearts, Haribo hearts, pink shrimps and cola bottles, which kept everyone going later in the night.
To provide entertainment, we had The Wigornia String Quartet to play during the ceremony and the drinks reception. We also had lawn games such as boules and croquet.
For the evening reception we had a DJ called Matt from Dancefloor DJs & Events to make sure that everyone was up and dancing to burn off all that pie and sweets. Nick was very particular about the music and band any cheese! The music was so good that there was even a girl/boy dance off during Justin Timberlake’s Senorita.
Looking back my favourite part of the day was the ceremony, it was fantastic. It meant so much and reminded us that the day was all about us, the promises we were making to one another and our lives together. It is easy to forget what the day is about during the planning and worrying about all the other details. We were lucky with our registrars too, they were fantastic and captivated the guests throughout the ceremony.
Nick’s favourite part of the wedding was the dancing at the reception. All of our family and friends were on the dance floor at some point during the night and Nick even split his trousers!
For our honeymoon we toured around a few destinations. First stop was Hong Kong where we explored the peak, huge Buddha and enjoyed a luxury meal and the views at Aqua restaurant. We had plenty of cocktails courtesy of wedding gifts funded through Prezola. We then flew to Bali, stayed in Ubud for a few days then travelled around Lombok and Nusa Lembongan, which are islands nearby.
We had a gift list on Prezola where we listed out the activities we planned to do on our honeymoon which guests could contribute money to. This was great for us as we got to do so many activities and guests really felt that they had involvement in our honeymoon. Overall, we did canyoning (abseiling down waterfalls and jumping in to water from rocks), surfing lessons, private snorkelling trip, bicycle hire, romantic candlelit dinner in our pool villa, Indonesian cooking class and plenty of cocktails and champagne! We had the most amazing time.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would definitely be to consider a wedding planner, especially if you are restricted on time or don’t have access to your venue the day before. We decided it would be an unnecessary cost, however on reflection it would have been worth it, you underestimate how much time it takes to coordinate suppliers, particularly when working full time.
Even if your venue already has one, don’t expect them to be completely on top of things. There are so many weddings they handle they will not always remember the details which you have provided. However an independent planner will and would take care of the setting up and ensure that the day runs smoothly for you.
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September 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Where do we start with today’s real wedding? We love it all!
From the dreamy Lake District venue to the chic, simple styling and romantic blooms, this wedding is brimming with class. Who would think that an all ivory wedding could pack such a pretty punch?
So to all those bride-to-bes looking for styling inspiration, sit back and take note on how simple can become stand out!
With images by Jessica O’Shaughnessy.
carly says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2011. We were walking in Sefton Park, a large park in Liverpool at the time. This is the place where my nan and grandad met on the boating lake. David proposed on one knee whilst we were sitting on the park bench.
We set the date for Thursday 23rd July 2015. No significant reason really, other than I’m a teacher and it fitted in nicely with the six week break. A mid-week wedding at first wasn’t what we wanted, but the venue, Askham Hall in Penrith, had no other availability so we went with it.
We always fancied the Lake District for our wedding as David’s mum has a place there and we visit quite often. When I was looking for the venue, I stumbled across Askham Hall; we both travelled up there Christmas of last year and loved it! It was exactly what we were looking for, small enough to be able to have exclusive use; it has a civil ceremony license to hold the ceremony in the barn attached to the venue and the grounds are stunning so it was perfect!
We didn’t have a theme as such, but the styling was simple and clean. I’ve always liked the look of things when they’re not fussy and over the top so that’s what I had in mind really – classy)
In terms of colour, everything was ivory. My dress, bridesmaid dresses, stationary, cake etc. Again, I like the simple, clean look of this.
My dress was bespoke Kirsty Doyle a local Liverpool designer, who I worked with when I was younger. Kirsty was making bridesmaid dresses for a good friend of mine and I approached her one day about making my dress. I took in a number of images and ideas to her studio and it was a step-by-step process until I had my dream dress, which fitted perfectly. My bridesmaid dresses are also designed and made by Kirsty. I knew Kirsty was the best and had heard numerous stories about her, so there was no question.
David, the best man and father of the bride all wore navy suits from Reiss, which were shop bought and then tailored to fit.
Jessica O’Shaughnessy was our photographer and she is amazing! I couldn’t have wished for a better photographer on the day. She is so professional, laid back, friendly and of course creative. The images are stunning; she has a real natural flare I feel and I would certainly recommend her to others. Jessica fitted right in with the wedding party/guests and was really accommodating all day!
My flowers were provided by Heather Feather from Flower Fashion. I carried a bouquet of David Austin roses and peonies and my bridesmaids’ bouquets were roses, peonies and sweet peas. They were divine! All ivory.
All the floral decorations were also done by Heather, and again all ivory. The table decorations were a mixture of tall centre pieces and lower ones. Floating candles were used. Candles were placed in tall vases down the aisle with rose petals too. Huge vases with hydrangeas were placed at the top and bottom of the aisle. Heather did all of this set up, arriving before the ceremony at 10am and staying until the wedding breakfast was set up! Other décor at the reception included drapes and fairy lights across the beams in the ceiling provided by SVL Lighting.
We also used a light up ‘love’ sign provided by a local guy called Matt from Party Pics Photobooths. He was great. He delivered, installed and collected the sign at no extra expense and the sign itself really made the venue in the evening.
Favours were Grasmere gingerbread in the shape of a heart. Two pieces were given to each guest in a white heart shaped box with a simple piece of ribbon across the box with our names and the date on. There were provided by Grasmere Gingerbread.
Our cake was made by a family friend. Four tiers and all Victoria sponge with ivory icing. Fresh David Austin roses were placed on the cake by Heather at the venue for decoration.
In terms of food we had prosecco and canapés after the ceremony. Then for the wedding breakfast we chose, carrot and coriander soup to start, chicken, dauphinoise potatoes and seasonal vegetables for main and then shortbread, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce for desert.
To create the desired ambiance, we had a string quartet playing for the guests in the barn before I arrived and they remained throughout the ceremony. They played Cannon in D as I was walking down the aisle, Kissing You as we were signing the register and then The Beatles All You Need Is Love as we were walking out together. We then had the Gypsies of Bohemia playing on the lawns of the hall as our guests were having prosecco and canapés. Later in the evening we had a band called The Four Wise Monkeys playing for two hours, then a DJ until 1.30am. David was responsible for sorting out the entertainment. The two groups were recommended by the hall however, and after some of our own research, we decided to go with them – they were great!
Special additions to the day included a reading in the ceremony given by David’s sister. We also decided just before our first dance, to get everyone in the mood to have a good dance, that we would offer everyone a shot of tequila. The staff at the venue were very accommodating and came around with the shot, salt and lime, for each guest. We all got together on the dance floor, had the shot and hopefully then everyone was in the mood for the evening even more so!
We would definitely recommend our venue to other couples. The whole experience was amazing. We were able to have the venue exclusively, so we checked in on the Wednesday, used the spa, outdoor heated pool and had amazing food and drinks in the evening for all guests. Then breakfast the following day was stunning too. Everything that the staff did was perfect. They were always there, without being seen really, so it felt like the whole place was ours for those few days. Just amazing!
It’s hard to say what my favourite part of the day was, but if I had to choose it would probably be just after the ceremony and having prosecco and canapés on the lawns of the venue. The weather was amazing, and it was the perfect time to soak it all up, chat with our guests and listen to The Gypsies of Bohemia playing lovely music. I wish I could re-live that time and time again!
Because David works in Qatar, our honeymoon had to be short so as he could get back to work. We travelled to Paris for two nights and two days, and then flew to Cannes for three nights, three days, then to Monte Carlo for one night. It was brilliant. David organised this without me knowing! So when I was told about this, I was over the moon! It was a magical time!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not over-think anything. Go with your gut instinct on things that you like and see and stick with it. One thing everyone told me was to enjoy it and make sure you take everything in because it goes by so quickly! It’s the best time of your life.
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