May 30th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th June 2018 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
We may be called ‘Brides’ Up North but it’s fair to say this blog has its fair share of inspiration for the grooms as well – particularly when it comes to romantic proposals! Naomi’s description of Jonathan’s is vivid and the way he takes the pen and writes his proposal on the back of Naomi’s hand has an air of spontaneity that is super lovely. Add champagne in the rain for cinematic value (not to mention a trip to iconic Tiffany) and that’s one memorable way to kick-start married life together.
Naomi and Jonathan chose a cool, rustic location for their wedding celebrations and dressed it up with glorious flower arrangements and atmospheric candlelight.
We’re also going all starry-eyed over Naomi’s beautiful long-sleeved Suzanne Neville dress and that stunning bouquet. Then, just when we thought we couldn’t fall any deeper in love with this big day, the couple go along and cradle a couple of cute golden puppies for some super sweet images *heart literally melts*!
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
naomi says: Jonathan and I got engaged in the beautiful gardens of Versailles, Paris on 25th September 2016. Jonathan had organised for us to stay at Hotel Regina, which is the most gorgeous hotel. The morning after our first night, I was told by Jonathan that I had an hour to get ready before a taxi was due to collect us. When I asked where we were going, Jonathan told me it was a surprise and not to ask any more questions. The taxi took us to the Palace of Versailles – my favourite place!
It was a lovely sunny morning as we strolled around the grounds before finding ourselves in one of the more intimate gardens; it was a small, round garden with a stunning water fountain in the centre. There was nobody around, so Jonathan suggested we take a seat and relax for a moment. As we sat, I decided to take my map and pen out to mark which gardens we had covered. At this point, Jonathan took the pen from me and started to write on the back of my hand, covering it up as he did so; when he had finished, I turned my hand to see what he had written. As I read the words “Will you marry me?”, Jonathan got down on one knee and asked if I would do him the honour of marrying him. I think the words I used were “Oh my God! Yes!” As he stood up to kiss me, the heavens opened. I have never seen rain like it! I was crying with happiness but laughing at the rain and how soaked we were getting. It was a surreal moment.
As we reached shelter from the rain, Jonathan pulled out of his rucksack a bottle of champagne and some croissants. “Where is the ring?!” I asked. Jonathan explained he wanted the ring to be exactly what I wanted and that our next stop was Tiffany. We finished our croissants and jumped back into a taxi and headed to the Champs-Elysées. There I chose my perfect ring after having the most incredible experience at Tiffany. From there, we went for an early dinner before heading to the very cool Hotel Costes to celebrate with lots of cocktails!
We got married on 29th September 2017. We really wanted to get married as close to a year from the date that we got engaged but decided to go with that date as it was at the weekend, which we thought would work better all round.
We had both our ceremony and reception at Owen House Barn in Mobberley, Cheshire. We completely fell in love with the venue from the moment we drove up the drive. We knew immediately it was the one, so we didn’t feel the need to look at any other wedding venues. It’s located down a lovely country lane in Mobberley and is situated on a real working farm. The barn is full of quirky rustic charm, yet it has a relaxed feel about it. It is stunning.
For ideas and inspiration, I went on the Brides Up North website so many times and have read so many of the real weddings, which were all so beautiful. For our wedding, we didn’t have a specific theme; however, we did try and keep everything quite simple, a little romantic and within keeping of the style of the barn.
The colour scheme for our wedding was determined by my choice of flowers, which was something I chose quite early on. The colours were a dusky pink/lilac colour, a grey/green colour and brown from the Kraft paper and twine, which doesn’t sound great but it all looked beautiful and tied together perfectly.
For my dress, I wore a Fiorella bridal gown and veil by British designer Suzanne Neville with Swarovski-covered Gina (Cinderella) shoes. The dress was so elegant yet striking in a beautiful and timeless way. It featured a gorgeous corseted bodice and full organza skirt, Queen Anne neckline and long lace sleeves, and a covered lace back with exquisite button back detail. Owen House Barn has an amazing ‘Beauty Shed’ for the bridal party to get ready in; it was so much fun getting ready there on the day of the wedding!
Jonathan wore a Polo Ralph Lauren navy blazer with gold button detail and navy polka-dot silk satin tie, paired with a white shirt and pocket square and black trousers. On his feet he wore classic Saint Laurent monk strap shoes in tan suede to add a little edge.
May 9th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
The city of York provides the backdrop to today’s gorgeous rustic wedding, with Rachel and Jonathan’s big day perfectly reminding us that saying ‘I do’ in the autumn months can be a very pretty affair indeed.
After exchanging vows at the quaintest of churches, the newlyweds then celebrated with family and friends in the 14th Century Hospitium – a two-storey listed building situated within the stunning York Museum Gardens. This is such an idyllic setting – think stone walls, wooden beams and magical ruins – that paired beautifully with the couple’s vision for a rustic themed wedding dressed abundantly with flowers and plush greenery to create a dreamy enchanted forest vibe.
Hessian, gypsophila, ivy, hurricane lanterns and brown Kraft paper blend to create all the natural feels, with the bride getting crafty in the lead up to her big day, creating her own order of service, invitations, menu place cards and table plan. And if there’s ever a time to exploit the cake maker in the family then this would be it – and their stunning four-tiered creation (made with more than 2kg of chocolate ganache!) doesn’t disappoint! We’ll pass the blog over to Rachel to fill us in on all the exquisite details…
With images by Photogenick.
rachel says: Having been together for five years and talked about our future, it felt like a proposal was imminent. When Jonathan surprised me with a romantic holiday to Rome I, as well as all my friends and family, thought ‘this is it’. However, the holiday, which was amazing, came to an end and there was no ring. Over the next year Jonathan kept surprising me with romantic trips away and meals out and each time I would think it would happen but, alas, I was still without a ring.
Then one Wednesday night, on 12th February 2015, I finished a long shift at work and came home very tired and cranky. I had bought Jonathan a magazine on my way home and said to him ‘oh, I’ve got you this’ and gave it to him. He then said ‘I’ve got you something too, close your eyes’, which I did and then when I opened them – he was there with the ring! I burst into tears and didn’t stop crying happy tears for the rest of the night. It was a complete surprise and so special. We celebrated with an Indian takeaway!
We got married on 30th September 2017. I have close family in Australia, so it was very important that they could come to the wedding. That narrowed it down to the end of April or September. We decided on the latter as Museum Gardens, our chosen venue, begins to turn autumnal at this time and we loved the idea of all the autumnal colours of the trees and plants.
Jonathan and I both come from Christian backgrounds and it was important to both of us that we were married in a church. We are lucky as our Parish Church, St Olaves, is stunning. My granddad is a church minister and was able to play a big part in the service and it was so special to have him up there with us. And, unbeknown to us at the time, we had picked the same three hymns that my grandparents had at their wedding. They have just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary so hopefully we will follow in their footsteps.
Our reception was at The Hospitium in York Museum Gardens. The first summer we got together, we would often meet there and sit in the gorgeous gardens in the sunshine getting to know each other. It was always a special place for us. When we were thinking about wedding venues it was the first place we both thought of. We both love York and its history, so to have a wedding in such a historical and meaningful place was a dream come true. We also loved the two different feels you get in the venue with the more rustic, barn feeling upstairs with the beams and wooden flooring, then the stone pillars and ruins of the downstairs.
The theme was rustic elegance. We wanted lots of greenery, with flowers as the main decoration. In particular, lots of trailing ivy to create the feeling of being in an enchanted woodland. The Hospitium is so beautiful, we knew we wanted to work with the building using candles and greenery to enhance the setting. The stationery and finishings were in brown Kraft, with hessian and twine to pull together the rustic feel.
To tie in with the theme, we kept the colour palette for the wedding fairly neutral. The bridesmaids wore different shades of dusky pink and the men had dusky pink ties and pocket squares. This brought some warmth whilst maintaining the overall rustic theme.
April 16th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple shows us what you can do when you have real vision and plenty of original ideas for your big day; celebrating with family and friends in a barn in the beautiful Peak District which – at the time of their first visit – wasn’t yet fully renovated and didn’t even have a door or solid walls!
Needless to say, when their wedding day came around last October, it was brimming with rustic charm, brought to life by all kinds of pretty – including fairy lights, hanging ivy and paper lanterns. This was paired with homemade jam for their favours, a gourmet barbecue, live music, a sparkler send-off and so many other special touches, beautifully captured on camera.
Our bride even added a splash of glitter to the proceedings, in keeping with the vintage glam theme for the day and opted for a neutral palette complemented by sumptuous white and gold. Proof that a barn wedding can be anything but ordinary! We’ll pass the blog onto bride, Hannah, now though to talk us through her special day with hubby, Ben – prepare to swoon!
With images by George Krousti of U and Eye Photography
hannah says: We got engaged in Canary Wharf in London. We were away with some friends and family for a few days in London. One evening (about 11pm) me and Ben went for a walk along the river, and then round the corner I saw some people stood with a guitar and singing (thought it was a little odd late at night) but as we got closer I could hear the song Green Eyes by Coldplay, which has been ‘our song’ since we met in school. I recognised the voices singing as Ben’s sister and one of our friends. Then I realised what was going on! Some of the lyrics had been changed so we stood and listened to them until the end when Ben turned around, got on one knee and asked me to marry him, obviously I said yes! Some friends had arranged a small party, so we headed there and celebrated together.
We got married on Friday 27th October 2017. Twenty-seven has always been a special number for us – my birthday is 27th April, Ben’s is 27th August, we got engaged on 27th July and whilst I was living in Australia (we did two years long distance) Ben sent me a gift when he officially asked me to be his girlfriend and it arrived on my doorstep on 27th May. I’ve always wanted an autumn wedding as I love the colours and cosy vibes.
We had our ceremony at Christian Life Church in Chesterfield (now called IKON church) and had our reception at Peak District Holiday Barn. We are both hugely involved in church and lead the youth ministry there. Ben grew up going to CLC and I have been going since I was 15 and it has become a home to us so there was no doubt that was where we wanted to get married.
We went for a vintage glam style wedding and loved the idea of a barn reception with some glitter! We stumbled across the venue as we couldn’t find anything that quite fitted our idea, so we went off on a tangent looking for somewhere to put up a marquee.
When I called Mark, who owns the barn, I asked if he had a field we could use, his response was ‘we do have a barn out the back instead if you want to look at that’ – we went to look and we were blown away (at an empty barn with no door or solid walls). Mark was amazing and said it was in the process of being refurbished and painted – it was our dream venue right in front of us. It was a year-and-a-half before our wedding and we visited it throughout that time, always confident in Mark, we can’t thank him enough for making our dream a reality!
We went for a colour palette of neutral wood tones, with white and a hint of gold glitter. We’re not a fan of garish colours, so wanted something neutral yet warm and cosy. The vintage style fitted with the autumn season too and I based the gold glitter on my choice of bridesmaid dress as it was something different and gave it that extra pop of fun.
April 13th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
The beauty of a barn setting is that it’s a completely blank canvas – no patterned carpets to work around or looming portraits from a bygone era, which may appeal to some but won’t suit everyone.
You can decorate such a rural setting any which way you like and today’s real wedding couple Lisa and James certainly put their own gorgeous spin on Park House Barn. Filled to the brim with guests (including 42 children!) and glowing with soft fairy lights, the barn was dressed for the occasion in a romantic botanical theme, which enabled Lisa and James to introduce their own style while letting the setting’s natural beauty shine through.
We love how a beautiful sunset is present at both their engagement and their wedding day – although, for those of us who married under a rain cloud, there’s a touch of envy at this poetic detail!
With images by Beecham Photography.
lisa says: We got engaged on a campervan holiday in the north of France. We had spent the day on a wine-tasting tour, where James insisted on buying a nice sparkly. We headed out on an evening bike ride to watch the sunset on a local vineyard, only for James to get off his bike and down on one knee, where he pulled out a ring box from his back pocket! I soon guessed why we had bought the expensive bubbles.
We got married on Saturday 22nd July 2017. We knew we needed a school holiday with James being a teacher and couldn’t believe our luck when the first weekend of the summer holidays was still available.
Our venue was Park House Barn at Heversham, although we officially tied the knot the previous day in a small ceremony at Kendal Registry Office. We fell in love with Park House Barn as soon as we saw the location and loved the relaxed feel. Overlooking the Arnside estuary, the views are stunning and on a sunny day you can see for miles. We knew the venue would suit our wedding style and it didn’t disappoint. We would 100% recommend it. I couldn’t imagine our wedding being anywhere but the barn; it really was perfect. We can’t believe how many people still talk about how beautiful it is there.
We chose a country, botanical theme. We dressed the barn in greenery with large trees placed in the barn’s corners. Lots of fairy lights gave the barn a cosy feel as the evening drew in. We knew the barn wouldn’t suit a style that was too ‘done’ and tried to keep the feel relaxed. We filled the barn with green and white flowers. The colours were an easy choice as we didn’t want to detract from the barn’s natural finishes.
Our wedding co-ordinator and barn stylist Emma from Emma Jane Events was the most helpful person to know when planning our wedding. She helped choose the style of the wedding, had a large selection of accessories to hire and was invaluable on the day helping everything run smoothly.
I wore my mum’s wedding dress when I married James on the Friday. She altered it for me on her sewing machine to turn it into a knee-length summer dress. It was so special knowing it’s what my mum wore on her wedding day. I was lucky enough to have a second dress for the Saturday ceremony. I found a dress on the sale rail in Marrime Bridalwear in Kendal. It was the first dress I had seen and the only one I tried on! I knew it was the one straight away; it was simple enough for the barn yet had delicate detail to show off the back. You have to think about the dress when you’re using posh portaloos!
April 4th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s bride and groom, Erin and Matt got engaged in Kenya, but decided to tie the knot back in the UK, in the stunning Lake District, won over by the location’s rugged, rural landscape – perfect for such an outdoorsy couple, if we do say so ourselves!
They chose the adorable Knipe Hall for their reception – a period farmhouse which offered the versatility they very much craved, enabling them to really put a personal stamp on things – encompassing everything from the catering and décor to the entertainment.
Bamboo hearts, paper lanterns, a handmade cake stand, love themed books hidden in the crevasses of the barn wall, and a specially composed piece of music…we think you’ll be smitten with some of the couple’s creative ideas. As for the food, afternoon tea followed by a fish and chip van in the evening sounds like the perfect combination to us! We only wish we could have been there, too…
With images by Mr Sleeve.
erin says: We got engaged while living and working in Kenya, teaching in an international school, after we first met 18 months before at Heathrow, on the way out to Kenya to work in the same school. We were on holiday in Ethiopia during the Easter holidays in 2016 and were walking in the Simien Mountains when Matt proposed, sat on the edge of a very high cliff. We had no mobile or internet signal for a few days, so it was lovely knowing that it was only us who knew about the engagement for a while.
Our wedding took place on 12th August 2017. As teachers, we wanted a date in the holidays and were also hoping for some nice weather.
Our ceremony was held in The Parish Church of St. Peter’s, Martindale. As Matt is from Kent and I am from the Yorkshire Dales, we didn’t have a place in the UK that held shared memories for us both. We both love the wild and rugged fells of the Lake District and fell in love with this little church on a hill. The views of Lake Ullswater were amazing.
We chose Knipe Hall, Bampton Grange, for our reception as it has such a rustic and authentic location. We could choose whatever caterers, decor and style of wedding we wanted, but still have all the basics catered for, like clearing up, linens, cutlery etc. It was such a good compromise as we could be involved in all the exciting bits and leave the other parts to someone else. The flexibility and rurality of the location and the friendliness of the Knipe Hall team, as well as being great value for money, were real selling points to us.
It was also lovely to have our wedding in two places that have differing rural English landscapes; the steep volcanic mountains and beautiful lakes of the Lake District, as well as the more rolling and farming/estate land of the Lowther Estate.
Our theme was outdoor adventure and rustic vintage, with a creative twist. The outdoor adventure part was because we both love the outdoors and adventure. The vintage part came from the idea of an afternoon tea for our wedding breakfast, both for practical reasons and because everybody loves cake, right?! The rustic part was important because, when we looked at other ‘grander’ venues with wedding packages, we just felt it wasn’t really ‘us’. We wanted a venue that reflected our personalities and that we could put our stamp on, and this was certainly it, sheep and all! As for the creative part – this was based on the many parts of the wedding that were ‘created’ in some way by family and friends.
We didn’t have too much of a colour theme, but the bridesmaids were all in mint green. The green was echoed through the men’s ties and bunting too, but not much else.
February 13th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
It’s not every day that we see a llama making an appearance in a wedding photo. But that’s exactly what we have in store for you today on the blog, as we head to the wonderfully unique Wellbeing Farm in Lancashire – an alternative wedding venue with that all-important wow factor. Bride and groom, Cassie and Sam could really put their stamp on the space when they tied the knot there last summer – decorating it with gorgeous floral displays, homemade jam jars and even milk churns.
Music played a big part in the couple’s day too – and not just in the way that you’d first expect. Along with a guitarist and live band, Cassie and Sam incorporated records and song lyrics within their centrepieces and menus – a nostalgic throwback to their early dating days in Manchester.
Other stand-out ideas likely to get you hovering over your Pin button include a wedding cheese cake, limoncellos for favours (a lovely link to their honeymoon destination in Italy) and an all-out indulgent cake cart, complete with caterpillar cake!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Slice of Pie Photography.
cassie says: We got engaged on 20th November 2015 at home. We were about to go to New York and Las Vegas for Sam’s 30th birthday and I had a feeling he was going to propose then. Turns out, he surprised me – and himself – and did an impromptu proposal at home. The fire was roaring and there was prosecco and cheese on toast – and then it started to snow. It was perfect. We kept it a secret from friends and family for three whole weeks while we were away.
We got married on 26th August 2017. We didn’t want to put too much pressure on a specific date and wanted to get a great venue. We had said the August bank holiday weekend would be perfect. The wedding venue we went for was up and coming and luckily had availability that weekend, so we reserved the date, and two weeks later it was all booked!
We got married at The Wellbeing Farm in Edgworth. We had both the ceremony and reception here. We chose this venue as it was so very different to the traditional wedding venues we had been to before. It definitely had the wow factor and potential to be flexible in what we wanted. It was quite a new in terms of a wedding venue and they had big plans for additional features, which we loved.
We had a music theme as we both love music and met while going out to indie clubs in Manchester. Our centrepieces were records, featuring one of our favourite song titles. Each table also had a section of our favourite lyrics from each song displayed with the menu.
We had a bright colourful summer colour scheme and the bridesmaids and groomsmen matched each other. The colours were powder blue, mint green, lemon, coral and lilac. We went these shades as they were summery and were a great burst of colour.
I chose an Allure dress, which was all-lace and mermaid style. It was the first dress I tried on at a wedding fair but I thought I best try some more on first. My mum was the one who spotted it and told me to try it on. Mums know best! My mother-in-law found it in a shop in Ramsbottom called The White Gallery. It turned out the dress was being discontinued and we got it half price, which was a bonus!
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