February 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
The winter might still be dragging on but get ready as we’re about to inject your Monday with a fabulous dose of sunshine and happiness.
Olivia and Nathan’s rustic wedding sets the style bar sky high with stunning attire and décor to match.
I adore the pale grey and vibrant yellow colour palette which shines through in the mens’ get up, lovely blooms and the bridesmaids’ cute dresses, designed by the bride herself no less!
So let’s head down to the farm to relive this gorgeous couple’s big day.
With images by Maryanne Scott Photography.
olivia says: We got engaged early April 2013. Nath picked me up from work as a surprise on a Friday afternoon and took me to Chester for the weekend. On the Saturday we went for a picnic on a river bank which he had prepared, he remembered everything, the blanket, basket and champagne! After eating lunch he proposed. It was absolutely freezing but very romantic.
We chose to tie the knot on August 9th 2014. We knew we wanted a summer wedding and we were restricted to school holidays, if we wanted a honeymoon, as Nath is a teacher.
We got married at All Saints RC Church in Hassop, where we had a Catholic ceremony with full mass, followed by a reception at Brosterfield Farm in Foolow. Having grown up in Sheffield I was always being brought out to the Peak District at the weekend for walks. It is such a beautiful part of the world and I wanted a beautiful setting for the wedding.
I very much wanted a rustic, DIY wedding and knew I wanted a field and marquee. The marquee allowed us to have enough space for 120 day guests and around 185 in the evening. This is what Brosterfield provided, a long open space for the marquee with beautiful scenery, enough space for us and our immediate families to stay and an excellent service. It was perfect!
The theme was DIY/rustic/handmade, which is very much the theme at home, so it was easy for me to adapt this to the wedding. There wasn’t a colour scheme as such. I decided I wanted grey dresses for the bridesmaids – I wanted something neutral and knew I didn’t want the pale pink ‘pretty’ look. Nath wanted a grey suit so we went for grey for the lads too. Nath saw a yellow tie he really liked, he wanted a bit of colour to stand out and it really suited his colouring. So we decided to use the yellow in my bouquet and his button hole too to make us stand out and tie us together.
My dress was a Blue by Enzoani Dakota fish tailed lace dress. It was the perfect shape for my figure as I have a very small frame at the top but hips and a bum so it showed everything off. As it was a Catholic ceremony I wanted to have my shoulders covered. I had a small top made with ¾ sleeves in the same lace as the dress with matching buttons down the back. I then took this off for the evening reception. I also had a long veil with very small diamantes on it. I bought my dress from Emily Bridal Wear in Sheffield. Emily and her staff were superb throughout the process.
I bought a vintage belt before I bought my dress, which I spotted at a vintage fair. I wanted to change my outfit a little for the evening so it was the perfect addition for the reception. I also wore a handmade forehead band in the evening made by Debbie Carlisle. She was incredible and replaced all the diamantes with pearls to match my jewellery and shoes. My shoes were pearl coated five-inch heels which I bought from Etsy from a Yorkshire-based seller called Project Elegance.
Nath wore a three-piece grey suit from Reiss. He bought a white shirt from the Saville Row Company with a white collar bar and had this personalised with McG on the cuffs (our surname is McGuinness). The knitted tie was from Ted Baker and we managed to find a matching pocket hankie in Reiss and socks in Urban Outfitters. I bought Nath a pair of silver cufflinks with a pearl detail which I had designed at the jewellers and had given to him the morning of the wedding. These were engraved with McG on one and the wedding date on the other.
I had the bridesmaids dresses made as I had designed the dresses and there was nothing similar on the high street or online. They were a grey sweetheart neckline with mesh top, a tutu bottom and a big bow on the back. They had pearl buttons down the back. The girls wore Kurt Geiger silver/grey heels and pearly flowered headbands. The younger bridesmaid and flower girl had very similar style dresses but made in ivory. They had fresh flowers in their hair.
The ushers and best men had three-piece suits from Next and the dads had very similar ones from M&S. They had grey ties made by the lady who made the girls’ dresses. They all had a different pocket square made from vintage scarves which I collected from vintage fairs and shops in the grey theme too. We also had two page boys; Charlie wore a mini version of the groomsmen’s suit from Next with a bow tie and braces with converse. George wore shorts with braces from Etsy with a bow tie.
I went to the church in a vintage VW Beetle called Jenny and the bridesmaids in a vintage VW Campervan called Harry. They were hired from Vintage Volksweddings. Nath and I then had the Beetle to the farm and we had lots of lovely photos with it at the end of the drive whilst our guests arrived. Richard from the company was absolutely superb – I would recommend him to anyone.
The photographer was Maryanne Scott and she was brilliant. Maryanne did a trial shoot with us before we booked her – we were both a bit nervous about being in front of the camera but she put us at ease straight away. We also had an engagement shoot before the wedding. On the day we couldn’t have asked any more of her. Maryanne was at my Mom’s house where I was getting ready early on, she took some fab getting ready shots and then set off into the countryside to get photos of all the lads and then the guests arriving. She takes natural, beautiful photographs, capturing the details of the day and special moments without you even knowing she is there. What an amazing photographer and a lovely person, she really was a joy to have photograph our big day!
I knew I didn’t want the standard pretty flowers for our wedding day. We used a lady called Catherine at Petalis in Sheffield. From our first visit Cat understood my vision. We had vintage tins as centre pieces and dotted around the marquee which Cat filled with beautiful flowers with pops of colour as well as using milk churns and watering cans with bright, wacky summer flowers as displays. Cat decorated the church with beautiful, more subtle flowers. She also created stunning button holes and bouquets using natural textures and grey foliage to fit our theme. Cat managed to deliver very high quality flowers to fit the rustic vision and colours, delivering to multiple venues. I was so pleased with them all!
The men were given vintage football programmes as their favours. As a massive Sheffield Wednesday fan and Nathan being a massive Manchester United fan we decided to purchase a programme from the 60s-80s depending on the person’s age for either SWFC or MUFC versus the team that person supported. The women meanwhile were all given vintage brooches which I had collected from charity shops, antique shops and car boot sales before the wedding. The children were all given a personalised colouring pack and crayons which I ordered off eBay. I also made 80 jars of strawberry jam as extra favours with special labels. I’ve had so many people asking me to make more jam since!
We had a three-tier cake made by Lindy Lou Cakes with a Victoria sponge tier, fruit tier and lemon drizzle tier. It was decorated very simply with ivory icing and pearl details all over with an icing bow. I then made the cake toppers to add some more colour. We also had chocolate cupcakes to match.
We hired The Butlers Pantry in Mickleover to do the food and they were absolutely fantastic! First we had prosecco and canapés, including mini Yorkshire puddings with beef, and cheese and sundried tomato tartlets. We then had sharing platters as our starter so there was something for everyone. For main we had Chicken filled with brie and basil wrapped with Serrano ham in a mushroom and tarragon sauce and then Eton Mess for pudding. We had a pizza van for our evening catering by Fabio’s Wood Fired Pizza Oven. They arrived and set up without disturbing us in the slightest and created a variety of amazing pizzas to suit everyone’s tastes!
For entertainment we had a band called ‘up4thedownstroke’ who came up all the way from Birmingham. They were just incredible and everyone commented on how amazing they were – not a typical wedding band but a professional set up with soul, RnB and some more generic songs to please everyone. Our friend Cookie DJ’d between the band’s sets and afterwards. We also provided games both inside and outside the marquee for the few children who were at the wedding and they went down really well too.
The special touches on the day were just all the little things I made, from bunting on each chair to the crocheted doily table runners. I also made signs to go around the venue, did photo displays and a ‘rules of the dance floor’ sign too.
Other suppliers from our wedding that I would recommend include Julie at Stephen Bywater Hair, who did mine, the bridesmaids’ and my Mom’s hair. Posh Frocks and Wellies marquee company were also very good. They provided the marquee, the hardwood flooring, the tables and chairs, linen and the toilets. I’d also highly recommend Brosterfield Farm if you are looking for somewhere to make your wedding your own. It gave us the freedom to use all different suppliers and contacts and make the day perfect for us.
I genuinely enjoyed every single minute of our wedding. I thoroughly enjoyed our vows – it was really important to us both to have a catholic ceremony and it was really special. I also loved our first dance where we had a slide show of photographs of us in the background and followed this with a dance with my Dad. The speeches were also brilliant, though I think it was just really special to have all our friends and family together.
We went to Bali on our honeymoon which was wonderful. We spent the first ten nights in Nusa Dua – a more touristy resort and the last two in the most amazing boutique hotel in the jungle in Ubud.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be make it your day, don’t let anyone put you off any of your ideas. This is your day, the most special day of your life, and it has to be perfect for you both. Incorporate details of both of you into the day and make memories to last a lifetime!
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February 2nd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Unless you follow Brides Up North over on Instagram (ahem!) then you probably won’t have noticed that I’ve been off skiing in the Alps for the past seven days… a sneaky little holiday before the Brides Up North wedding exhibition madness begins, but things certainly weren’t any less pretty or less busy on these pages this last week!
I’ve left one set of mountains to come home to an email mountain of my own, so whilst I get cracking on that lot, I’ll leave you with our first beautiful wedding of the week, Helen and Joe’s stunning vintage inspired celebration in the Yorkshire Dales.
With images by Joe Stenson.
helen says: For my 33rd birthday we went to Manchester to watch Eddie Izzard Live. We had booked an apartment and Joe had secretly upgraded us to the penthouse suite. On the morning of my birthday Joe surprised me on the roof terrace with a champagne breakfast and my birthday presents. The last present I opened was an empty box… when I looked over to Joe he was beside me and down on one knee with a ring in his pocket. I was shocked that he had finally proposed to me and I hadn’t even seen it coming!
We were married on 19th April 2014. We made the most of the long Easter weekend with our friends and family.
I am from Staffordshire and Joe is from North Yorkshire so we looked at venues in both counties. We wanted to get married at a venue that had everything on one site and could offer us the whole weekend. After doing lots of internet research on our summer holiday we had shortlisted it down to three places. After visits to all three we quickly decided on Taitlands in Stainforth, North Yorkshire. This beautiful venue had everything on site: a coach house with marquee, a grade II listed house with guest bedrooms, a smaller cottage and beautiful walled garden with the amazing Yorkshire Dales as a backdrop.
As the venue was fairly vintage and rustic I knew to keep it in with that theme. There were lots of homemade bunting and fabric hearts which I had spent months making and with the help of family and friends collected lots of vintage bottles from car boot sales, vintage fairs and antique shops for the flowers. I also spray painted vintage lace doilies with coral fabric paint and used these for the table centres – a job I really loved. For the marquee we hired some huge letters of our initials from Add Vintage who I met at a vintage fair in Leeds.
My favourite colour is coral so I wanted the bridesmaids and the flowers to follow that. I also wanted spring colours so ivory and sage green went perfectly with the coral. The colour theme wasn’t too obvious but there were subtle hints.
After trying on about fifty different dresses (!) I had a good idea about what suited me (and what really didn’t). After trips to 13 different shops, I found a beautiful ivory gold vintage lace design by Justin Alexander at Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden and knew it was the one. I chose my veil from Ava Rose and purchased some beautiful vintage hair pieces from Chez Bec after seeing them on a wedding blog. My pearl earrings and bracelet were also from Chez Bec and I had personalised bracelets made for the bridesmaids, each with their birthstone on. I wore beautiful vintage closed toe shoes called Orla from Rachel Simpson.
My hair and make-up was all done by Helen Whincup from Harrogate, a self-employed hairdresser. She travelled to the venue very early and was a huge help at calming me down and getting us all ready on time.
Joe wore a blue three piece suit which he bought from Reiss in the January sales. He accessorised with tan brown shoes from Barker Shoes and a coral and blue tie from House of Fraser. His outfit was finished off with his Granddad’s 1970s gold pocket watch which was a surprise from me on the wedding morning enclosed in an engraved pocket pouch. He really looked very handsome.
My bridesmaids, my sister Sarah and two closest friends Thea and Jenny, wore coral lace mid length dresses from an American supplier on Etsy complimented with patent nude shoes from BHS, again in the January sales.
I walked in to ‘I will wait for you’ by Mumford and Sons (I had been waiting nearly 14 years!) and as I got to the front and Joe finally turned round I stopped crying and started to sing the lyrics to him. I hadn’t planned to do this and afterwards I learnt that the entrance song had been played in full when they thought I was ready to come in so really he had been waiting for me!
After seeing two or three florists I visited Twisted Willow Floristry in Ripon. Joanna was absolutely lovely and really got the idea of what look I wanted without me knowing much about flowers. She came up with some amazing bouquets, buttonholes and corsages made up of peonies, roses, gypsophila, lily of the valley, ranunculus, anemones, larkspur and muscari. She also provided dried confetti for my DIY paper doily confetti holders and the same flowers as the bouquets for the table centres and venue which my mother-in-law then put together in a very natural way. Joe’s mum did such an amazing job the day before putting this all together.
After the ceremony we had an Easter egg hunt and also hired some outdoor games (croquet and giant jenga) from Add Vintage to keep guests entertained.
RSVP Candy helped us produce all of our fantastic wedding stationery from the amazing personalised wedding story invite and poster to the personalised name badges, wedding programmes, table plan, table names and signs for our photo booth, easter egg hunt and sweet table.
We used vintage postcards of the Yorkshire Dales and a stamp from Not On The High Street for our save the dates. As we had lots spare my creative sister used the leftover postcards and created us a print of our names which we hung up on the day in the ceremony room.
We also had photo bunting hung around the coach house of all our guests from over the years. This created a lot of laughter and some embarrassment for our guests.
The food was all supplied by Taitlands’ caterers and we had a selection of Yorkshire canapés out on the lawns followed by country terrine, slow cooked Taitlands lamb and lemon tarte for the wedding breakfast. Locally produced and perfect for spring.
The fizz and wine was all supplied by Majestic. We had gin and elderflower tonic for when guests arrived, prosecco and raspberry liqueur for after the ceremony and a sauvignon blanc and rioja for the wedding breakfast which complimented the lamb perfectly.
We had two cakes, a 6 tier wedding cheesecake made by The Courtyard in Settle which was the main part of the evening supper with pork pies. Our good friend Hannah made three different flavoured cupcakes with a top tier fruit cake. These were amazing and I really can’t recommend Hann-made cakes enough.
During the wedding breakfast we had a wedding quiz (all about our guests) and later on in the evening we had a DIY photobooth and polaroid camera so guests could leave their photos and messages in a guestbook.
Our favours also doubled up as pin badge place names in coral for the girls and sage green for the boys. By the end of the day everyone was wearing them, which also helped with introductions. We also had a sweet table and wedding quiz for our guests to enjoy.
Joe researched the entertainment for months and we were so pleased with the Leeds band that we finally chose. Vibetown provided two great sets of live music, with two singers, brass, guitar and drums. Our first dance was ‘Hey Ho’ by the Lumineers as we didn’t want a slow smoochy one and we both loved the lyrics. By the second set everyone had bought the photo booth masks and props onto the dancefloor which the band found hilarious. We also had a spontaneous breakdance competition between guests and there were one or two power cuts when the generator kept cutting out but the saxophonist kept playing solo until the power came back on. Superb.
We managed to find a top guy to take our wedding photos at a vintage fair in Leeds. Joe Stenson is unbelievably talented and such a kind, great guy to work with! We did two engagement shoots before the wedding, including a trip to the pub which made us feel right at ease with Joe. A month or so before the wedding Joe asked if Jemma, a friend of his, could come along as a second photographer as she wanted to shoot some more film so we got two fantastic photographers for the price of one. Jemma was so good at making the girls feel relaxed on the morning of the wedding and Joe was so great at capturing the real feel of the day. We would give them both the best possible recommendation to anybody looking for a wedding photographer.
The venue and the backdrop of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales was perfect. Everything was on site, including accommodation for the bridal party and all our other guests stayed locally in Settle, only a 10 minute taxi ride away.
Emma the owner and her husband Martin were very good at accommodating our requests. We wanted the wedding breakfast in the marquee which they didn’t usually do, we were able to set up the venue on the Thursday and our bridal party could arrive early on the Friday so we could relax the day before. Emma let us use her home as if it was our own and was very relaxed about most things. Her staff on the day were great too.
I can’t wait to go back there one day for a visit when we are walking in the Dales.
Our favourite moments from the day included our entrance to the wedding breakfast. We came into the A-Team and high-fived everyone as we went round the room. We loved the speeches and the surprise video messages from guests that couldn’t be there, including my nan and a few words from one of Joe’s favourite comedians Richard Herring!
A couple of days after the wedding we flew to Miami beach for a short stay and then went onto Belize and Mexico for jungle trekking, visits to lots of ruins, snorkelling and lazing on beautiful Caribbean beaches. It was great to spend some quality time with my new husband after 10 months of wedding planning and the scenery and weather was amazing. It was tough going back to work after nearly 4 weeks off!
Joe and I planned the wedding we wanted in 10 months! We did have ‘wedmin’ to do pretty much every day but we really enjoyed it. I would say spend your budget on the food, drink and music – that’s what all your guests will appreciate the most. We wanted those special little touches too so made time to have or make things that were personal to us, that others may not have noticed.
My top planning tips for other Brides Up North would be to set budgets and make decisions early to give yourselves time at the end for all the fun things. On the day itself, try and relax and take it all in as it can be quite overwhelming. We had half an hour by ourselves just as the sun was setting, when we went off with the photographer, and it was lovely just to catch up and relive some of our favourite moments.
Finally, never put your drink down, you’ll never remember where you put it!
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January 7th, 2015 | Julia Braime
When I try to find the words to introduce this wedding, I’m stalled.
Because, oh my god that dress.
Ok, so the romantic blousy roses, the chic venue, the super cool milk float ride home and the sparkly Choos are all something else, but kudos to you Lizzy, I think we have a contender for my favourite gown of all time. Those blush ruffles blow my mind.
With beautiful, atmospheric images from Brides Up North Sponsor, Fairclough Photography, I think I better let Lizzie do the talking…
lizzie says: We got engaged on 2nd April 2012 on my 29th Birthday. We went out for a meal at the Michelin starred Sharrow Bay in the Lake District, then went for a short walk when James proposed by the lake.
Our wedding date was 2nd August 2014.
We got married at St Anne’s Church, Woodplumpton which is a beautiful old church near my family home. Our reception was at Northcote Manor in Langho. The food was and is out of this world.
The theme for our wedding was ‘intimate and romantic’. We picked this because we were busy planning on building our first home at the time so we wanted an smaller wedding and a romantic style matched my dress perfectly.
Our wedding colour scheme was blush pink, ivory and gold to match my wedding dress.
I added a long chapel length blush pink veil covered with Swarovski crystals and a garter made by Keli Thompson.
We travelled to the church and the venue in a stunning ivory vintage Rolls Royce from Leacars. We travelled from the church to my parent’s home in my great granddad’s 200 year old milk float!
My bouquet was blush pink and ivory roses provided from Ashton Flower Shop, a local florist.
Our photographer was Fairclough Photography from Lytham.
Well what can I say…we met these two in a pub for a chat and fell love with their passion, ideas, creativity and individual style. Plus there’s two of them so they managed to perfectly capture every special moment and detail of our wedding day. Since our wedding several of our family and friends have booked them but we had them first!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
After the church, we had champagne waiting for everyone at the Wheatsheaf Pub opposite the church.
We carried the roses from my bouquet on into our reception decor. Each larger table at the reception had a sphere of blush pink and ivory roses to match my bouquet, and each sat on top of a tall clear vase. Hurricane candles were also used for decoration on the tables.
The favours were blush pink macaroons.
The cake was a three tier confection: the bottom tier chocolate, middle tier vanilla and the top tier fruit. It was blush pink and ivory and decorated with three large edible roses. It was from Ava Rose Cakes in Lytham.
For our evening entertainment, we had our friend’s band, Sold To The Sky. We are good friends with one of the members of the band.
For our honeymoon we went to Kuredu Resort in the Maldives. Complete relaxation – wining and dining on the beach and swimming with sharks! Luckily we got upgraded on the Emirates flight on the way home. A perfect ending!
Our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to come up with a theme based around your own individual style.
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January 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Happy New Year! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, 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 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. 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 for 2014.
Well, what can I say, from the memorable wedding proposal to the stately venue and swoon-worthy wedding attire (especially the Jimmy Choos) – this couple have style.
Chris popped the question to Sami when they were travelling together so it seemed only natural to them to incorporate their love for globetrotting into their big day celebrations – and my word they did it well.
With Sami’s creative eye and Chris’s exceptional carpenter skills, they created a host of gorgeous personal props that were a whole classy world away from what Handy Andy used to create with a piece of plywood.
So pack a suitcase guys, as it’s time to join Sami and Chris on the journey of their splendid wedding day.
With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.
sami says: We got engaged in Hoi An, Vietnam, on June 23, 2013 during our travels. We’d been travelling for nine months before Chris went down on one knee during a romantic cycle ride into the countryside, with rice fields galore. We stepped off our bicycles then walked between rice paddies to reach a distressed bamboo bridge to take photographs. The next thing I knew, Chris popped the question with a “will you marry me?” which he had created with wooden letters he bought from a market stall in Bangkok six weeks earlier and attached them onto a world map paper. Chris had created the proposal, using snatched moments when I was in the shower each evening! It was an unexpected moment even though I was hoping that Chris would propose one day during our travels!
Sunday September 14, 2014 was the date we decided to tie the knot. We chose this date as we liked the fact that September is usually warm and pleasant and with the hope of an Indian summer, still retaining the colours of the flowers and leaves from the lingering end of the season, that end of summer feeling we love so much, when the sun appears lower in the sky, giving everything a soft warm glow and it doesn’t go dark until around 8pm. The date also includes our personal significant numbers, so it all worked out perfectly, as if it was written in the stars for us!
We chose Hodsock Priory in North Nottinghamshire as our venue as it has the perfect magical, fairytale and country feel and is in a tranquil setting. It looks like a castle with its Tudor gatehouse as a welcoming entrance, grounds with woodland offering romantic walks, a quirky summerhouse and an Italian terrace, creating endless opportunities for amazing photographs. The interior of Hodsock Priory was just as perfect! What also attracted us to Hodsock Priory is its exclusivity, so we wouldn’t have to worry about sharing our wedding with another wedding party.
The moment we stepped into Hodsock Priory we immediately fell in love with it and knew nothing else could compete with this stunning and special place! Also we live near Hampton Court in London, so there are some connections – Henry VIII once visited Hodsock Priory and to us, it’s like a mini version of Hampton Court. The venue is also local to where my parents live, about 20 minutes away, yet we had never heard of it before we got engaged!
It was a no-brainer to pick a travel related theme as we had travelled around the world and visited 20 countries together in our four-year relationship. So we had a vintage travel theme with a natural, rustic boho chic style.
Our colour scheme was grey, ivory and natural kraft, which was used in our wedding stationery, along with splashes of blue, green and pink colours in the flowers. We chose this scheme because grey is one of our favourite colours and the other colours were thrown in the mix to complement it and bring the whole scheme to life with the natural look we were after. Chris made lots of wooden props, which also blended in well with the colour theme.
The day Chris and I returned from our travels in July 2013, we received our first wedding magazine as a part of our engagement gift. Already having an idea of the look I wanted in my mind, I flicked through the magazine and there it was – I spotted ‘the one’. It was Holly by Charlotte Balbier. I sourced local stockists and found Emily Bridal Wear in Sheffield, who was fantastic. I looked at dresses in other bridal shops first to make sure, but once I slipped into the Holly dress, I just knew, tears welled up in my eyes and my mum welled up too!
I wanted a simple, flowing, ethereal and dreamy dress that I could wear again after my wedding (the hem can easily be shortened). I also wanted to wear the dress rather than it wearing me, plus I wanted some details to add interest, such as embellishments around the waist and detailed bodice – that dress ticked every box! I had a halter neck strap added to it to make it a little more unique from the usual strapless dress.
When it came to accessories, I fell in love with my Jimmy Choos and I had a matching handbag to go with it. I wanted shoes to complement my dress and they did with the lattice effect just like my dress bodice. They felt so special! My floral clay circlet meanwhile was bespoke, created by the lovely Sofia of Lilain London, whose work I spotted at The Brides Show in Battersea.
Chris wore a country look grey suit. It was purchased from Reiss along with a white shirt and tan brogues. The silver/grey tie was from Aquascutum and a silver/grey silk pocket square was from John Lewis.
For our décor, we had the same flowers as my bouquet, with lots of gypsophila! We collected lots of glass jars with the help of both sets of parents for the tables. Me and my mum decorated these jars with ribbon, jute string, raffia and wicker hearts then Kay at Hodsock added the flowers. I also collected large glass coffee jars from work, filled with pebbles collected from a beach near Chris’s family’s regular seaside place; they were perfect for the table names! We had each table named after some of our favourite countries and instead of just writing them out, I made a country outline template then Chris cut it out on plywood using a jigsaw. We originally planned to have the guests guess what each country was but realised it was too difficult, so made a label with country name for each one. For each table, we also sourced candle lanterns and photo frames. We love candle lanterns as they evoke warm memories of our travels we felt they gave an enchantingly calm atmosphere.
We used props to give our day more of a personal touch. Chris made some large ‘LOVE’ letters, a wooden wedding post box and also wooden hanging hearts for the aisle, which we alternated with, bunches of gypsophila. He also made a rustic wooden signpost, which depicted some of the places we had visited. It was placed on the lawn giving photo opportunities for guests.
We added family wedding photographs of our parents and dear departed grandparents and had decorations to tie in with vintage travel theme, such as world map board used for table plan, a map photo frame with our engagement photo and C & S letters covered with world map. We also had two wooden step ladders – the large one made a lovely decoration at the entrance, with flowers scattered all over it, topped with a bicycle to represent us (we got engaged whilst out cycling) and a handwritten painted ‘welcome’ sign. We even borrowed a vintage globe from Hodsock Priory for our ceremony table.
Together with my creative eye and perfectionist way, and Chris’s skilled hands, we were able to make the decorations and props we wanted. Since we got married, we have decided to set up our own website as we are looking to go into the wedding props market.
We went for natural and wild looking flowers. I carried a bouquet filled with gypsophila, ivory and dusky pink roses, pink veronica, eryngiums, eucalyptus, small daisies, all tied together with jute string. The flowers were part of the Hodsock Priory package. Chris and the men in the bridal party wore eryngium buttonholes and the ladies wore ivory roses.
We wanted to arrive at Hodsock Priory in style while continuing our travel theme, so we hired Harry, a beautifully restored VW campervan from Vintage VolksWeddings. It was reminiscent of our road trips in Australia and New Zealand. The campervan transported me and my bridesmaids to Hodsock Priory first, where we had our final preparations. Then the groom and groomsmen were collected from a hotel, along with the groom’s parents to be taken to the venue. It was an awesome start to the day and a great photo opportunity!
Jo and Simon at Shoot Lifestyle were our photographers on the day. We discovered them by Googling and admired their blog with photographs of a couple whose wedding also took place at Hodsock Priory. We loved their natural and candid style and felt the photographs oozed freshness and colours, and lots of close up shots of details, which were also so important to us. We also hired two videographers to film our wedding as we feel it is a memory in motion that we can keep and cherish over the years.
For our favours we presented the ladies with stainless steel heart spoons and for the men we gave antique key bottle openers.
After many months of changing our minds on how we wanted our cake and cupcakes to look, we eventually settled on a lattice effect for half of the cupcakes and small ivory roses for the rest of the cupcakes. The lattice effect tied in with my dress bodice and the ivory roses with our flowers. I loved the simple dot design also, so had that for the main three-tier cake finished with cascading ivory roses. I didn’t want to decide between a three-tier cake and cupcakes, so I managed to persuade Chris to have both! Yvonne, another supplier of the Hodsock Priory package, baked the scrumptious three-tier fruitcake and sponge cupcakes made in two separate flavours – Victoria sponge with jam and lemon.
As Chris is a carpenter, he made the wooden cake stand to present the cupcakes in a creative and unique way and the top stand was personalised with engraving. We also had a wooden base for the three-tier cake. We decided to use fairylights for the lighting effect as it reminds us of travelling in faraway places, especially restaurants by the beach! The cake topper was a bespoke design, created to look like us! It was by Cheryl at Artlocke Designs.
The wines were included in the Hodock Priory package and we chose Gail Dandy as our caterer as we felt her variety of food covered everyone’s tastes. When we went food sampling and were impressed by the numbers of dishes on offer and how delicious her food was!
As we wanted everyone to join in on the dance floor, we decided to have a ceilidh band. We hired Knitters Jig, who provided an entertaining performance. It was brilliant fun. It didn’t matter if guests made mistakes, it only added to the atmosphere and everyone had a really good laugh!
We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue to others – it is such a beautiful and fairytale like venue with stunning grounds. The woodland and the lake give the place a magical, enchanted feel! George and the staff were so helpful and friendly and so well organised. We were made to feel very welcome to share their beautiful home.
It’s really difficult to pinpoint our favourite part of the day as we loved every moment. It was the best day of our lives but if we had to choose, the greatest part would be seeing each other at the aisle!
For our honeymoon we went to Hawaii for three weeks island hopping, visiting three different islands, which was a fantastic and amazing experience. We hired a Jeep for a week to explore one of the islands and we swam along with turtles and stingrays in the sea! It was an amazing honeymoon with a variety of things to do but at the same time offered a lot of relaxation time, which we so desperately needed. We didn’t want to come home!
Our advice to other brides and grooms-to-be is to enjoy the planning and make sure you leave plenty of time if you want to DIY everything and do rope in family or friends to help – make use of their skills. For example, whilst we had our own ideas for wedding stationery, Chris’s brother-in-law helped us by honing our ideas into reality with his creative graphic design skills for travel themed invitations, order of service, table plan and place cards. Although the day flies by so quickly, make sure you have time for each other but also circulate with your guests between meals like we did, it makes them feel appreciated.
If you want a creative first wedding dance, it’s worth investing in a few dance lessons to build up your confidence and learn your moves, like we did. We wrote our own promises for the ceremony as we wanted our wedding to be more personal, meaningful and unique. If you wish to do the same, make sure you leave plenty of time to think and write them.
aquascutum, artlocke designs, blue wedding flowers, charlotte balbier, coast, gail dandy, hodsock priory wedding, holly by charlote balbier, jimmy choo, john lewis, knitters big ceilidh band, lila, pretty wedding, real wedding, reiss, river island, shoot lifestyle wedding photography, travel wedding, uk wedding blog, vintage volksweddings
December 16th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Don’t know about you, but here at Brides Up North HQ, we think we’ve been pretty damn good this year, so we’re emailing St Nick with our Christmas wish-lists. First up, it’s our lovely Rachel, who’s sticking to form with a stocking full of girly, glittery loveliness.
If you haven’t missed the elf post, you might want to leave this browser window open where your other half can see it…
urban decay Naked eye shadow palette, £37
Shimmery, sultry and sexy, Urban Decay’s Naked palette is loaded with 12 bronze-hued shadows in a stunning range of textures, including matte, satin and sparkle. I’m putting this on my Christmas list as an essential to see me through the party season and beyond. Brides searching for beautiful shadows that won’t budge during their moment in the limelight need look no further!
viktor & rolf Flowerbomb eau de parfum 30ml, £49.50
Every lady wants a new sweet scent for Christmas. My signature that I find it difficult to stray from is Vera Wang Princess, but I do love a quick spritz of Flowerbomb whenever I find myself in the fragrance aisle. I’d highly recommend this to brides-to-be in search of a romantic scent for their big day.
glitzy secrets earrings, £46
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend – but I doubt anyone buying for me this year could cover the cost of such an item. These sparklers from Glitzy Secrets are a good budget backup though. Great for dressing up the Little Black Dress over the festive period, this pair would definitely make my wish list. Also – a great choice for brides-to-be looking to add some opulent accessories to their wedding day attire.
michael kors Selma Saffiano leather bag, £302
In the words of Mariah ‘All I want for Christmas is you’. My ultimate dream pressie would have to be a Michael Kors bag. I’m head over heels for the solid structure of Selma, especially in this gorgeous shade of grey.
office shoes, £65
As I pointed out in a previous post, the festive season is a perfect time to pick up a new pair of fierce heels. These bobby dazzlers would most definitely put a smile on my face on Christmas morning. A classic court but with a whole load of in-your-face attitude! Also a stunning choice of fancy footwear for brides wanting to release their inner Cinderella, just try not to lose one!
olivia burton watch, £75
This item has been on my wish list since the beginning of the year when I first spotted Olivia’s dreamy designs on Instagram. There is a stunning range to choose from with varying straps, faces and dials. I was initially drawn to the baby blue and mint designs, but now I’m hoping Father Christmas brings me Olivia’s big dial design in gold, with classic tan strap.
paperchase tea light holders, £6
Men don’t quite understand females’ fascination with Paperchase – to them its bits of card and paper but to us it’s a whole shop of prettiness! I adore these cute tea light holders which have a Christmassy appearance but can be kept out all year round. Also, a fab décor idea for winter weddings, a few of these dotted in the middle of the table with some festive foliage would certainly set the right ambience.
reiss Lolly metallic bandeau dress, £195
Every girl needs a killer dress for the festive season and this sparkling number from Reiss would be my number one choice to find under the Christmas tree. Figure-hugging, flattering and fabulous, oh so sweet Lolly has it all – a perfect New Year’s Eve party dress, if ever I did see one!
marks & spencer Rosie for Autograph luxurious satin pyjamas, £35
A Christmas classic for every girl –PJs. This set by the stunning Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Marks & Sparks offers both comfort and class. Now if only I could request her figure from Santa Claus too.
ted baker Bowlee leather gloves, £75
As temperatures continue to plunge, lovely leather gloves are required to keep ones manicured hands protected from the wintry weather. And they don’t come much prettier than Ted Baker’s Bowlee design in playful blush pink finished with a cute metallic bow.
I seriously hope I made Santa’s nice list this year!
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