December 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
It might be Monday, but it’s the last Monday before Christmas which makes it bearable, right? And to ease you into these last few working days before the festive break we have something truly beautiful to share with you – the wedding of Lauren and Lee.
Now this is a couple with impeccable taste who know that you don’t have to go OTT to make a statement. The understated beauty of this wedding is what makes it so special and easy on the eye.
From the chic colour scheme and soft blousy blooms, to the elegant décor and that swoon-worthy Jenny Packham gown (complete with Nana Choos), guys – you nailed it!
With images by Sarah Mason Photography.
lauren says: We got engaged after being together for six years in November 2013. We’d recently moved into our first house together and so Lee proposed at home in our front room, out of the blue after I got home from work one night. I work in retail management, so hours around Christmas time are long and stressful, coming home from work to a proposal at 11pm was definitely a welcome surprise although I was entirely lost for words!
We got married on Sunday 30th August 2015, which was the Bank Holiday weekend. We wanted people to have a little longer to enjoy the celebrations, and be able to travel to the venue and relax the day before. My parents wedding anniversary is on the 31st, and they were celebrating their 30th anniversary this year so it felt like a way to share to celebrations while everyone was together.
We got married at Oulton Hall in Leeds. We live just outside of Manchester now, but met in Leeds which is where Lee is originally from and where I went to university. We looked around a lot of venues, across the North West and Yorkshire, and found a lot of places only ticked a couple of boxes. One of my bridesmaids suggested Oulton Hall, as she’d looked at it before deciding to get married abroad instead. We fell in love with how it was so grand but in an understated way, and felt really warm. The décor of the Repton Room was something nowhere else had and fitted in with a lot of ideas I’d already had about the wedding. We also liked the idea that the reception is held in another part of the hotel, at The Claret Jug in the golf clubhouse. It was nice to have a change of scenery and have a different ambience for the evening reception.
Another reason we chose a venue in Leeds was because Lee’s dad sadly passed away in 2005 and is buried at the cemetery around the corner from Oulton Hall. It was nice to think although he couldn’t be there, he wasn’t too far away.
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November 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Joanna and Amit’s wedding day fuses the traditional with the unusual, the pretty with the quirky and best laid plans with really no plans at all. The result? A unique and happy celebration, bringing together all the things they love the most.
Bring on the origami elephants!
With images by Sarah Mason Photography.
Joanna says: We got engaged on bonfire night, watching the fireworks at our local park (Brockwell Park in South London). I’m not very good at remembering anniversaries so Amit wanted to choose a date I would definitely remember!
The redevelopment of Hebden Bridge Town Hall was a community project, and lots of people I know were involved in it! It meant a lot to me to be able to get married in my home town in this Town Hall.
Todmorden Town Hall is a beautiful Grade 1 listed Victorian hall in the next town along the valley. I had only been there as a kid and hadn’t remembered all of the beautiful period features. It was a great venue for the evening reception and had plenty of space for dancing and a band!
We joked about lots of different themes to begin with as all the magazines told us it was the thing to do. In the end we had a kind of Indian/British theme, combined with lots of other things that we love (like wool and origami elephants) but it wasn’t so much a plan as a collection of things we liked and wanted to do.
We chose a colour scheme of pink, green and white. Soft colours in the daytime and in the evening all a bit brighter.
We broke with tradition and decided to do photos before the ceremony (partly because the ceremony wasn’t till 4pm). It was so nice to spend time together and some time out from the hecticness of the rest of the day. It was raining all day up until we started the photos so we go very lucky with the weather (plus it meant I got to wear my wellies).
I wore a white dress from Angelica Bridal in London. I hadn’t realised how long in advance you need to order your dress (6 months lead in time!) and left it all a bit late. The dress was Justin Alexander. I also had an Indian lenga style dress for the evening from Simla’s in London.
I knitted a lace shawl for the day, I love knitting and it seemed really appropriate for the day. I was a bit nervous it wasn’t going to go or it wouldn’t work, but was really pleased with how it looked .
Amit went to Bangkok on his stag do and had a suit tailor made at Raja’s Fashions there (this apparently saved money and time…). His Indian outfit was also from Simla’s.
My bridemaid wore a dress from Coast with an Indian style shawl from Simla’s too. Amit’s best man wore a suit he already owned.
I don’t really know one flower from another which became apparent in the florists conversations. Amit kept googling flowers to try and sound knowledgeable, so between us we muddled through. But we trusted the florist and on the day what we had was truly beautiful.
Willow Garden in Hebden Bridge did the flowers. We had so many great people who helped us bring the day together. We were also keen to use local suppliers.
Jo’s mum decorated the whole of Hebden Bridge Town Hall. This did mean carrying round trees for the local garden centre and sourcing a lot of chair covers (not to mention stringing up pompoms and bunting) but the end result was really lovely, and it was so nice to give it a personal touch.
Sarah and Suzi from Sarah Mason Photography did the photos. We both felt so comfortable with them and we couldn’t imagine anyone doing a better job. We still love looking back on the photos.
We hired a bus from Keighley Bus Museum. It had to be a London Routemaster and the guys on the day were lovely and gave out special wedding bus tickets.
Lauren at Zouk’s Catering in Bradford sorted out the food (including several tastings and many iterations of the menu). She also looked after organising the cutlery and plates and staff to set up and serve the food on the day. She was amazing!
Neither of us are that big a fan of traditional cake. However at the last minute we did decide to stack a cake stand with baklava (Turkish pastry sweets). It made an awesome tower and it was a big hit.
We had the Rumblefatband doing the music. We were debating whether or not to get a band for a while and I’m really glad we did. They do a mix of funk and soul music that’s just great to dance to. They also let one of the guests go up and join them for an Elvis number.
We also had Dave Nelson playing the piano for the ceremony and one of Jo’s friends playing ukulele, walking in to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and walking out to ‘Umbrella’, unintentionally weather themed.
There were lots of kids at the wedding so we wanted to keep them entertained. Amit’s sister put together party packs for the children; which also made them feel special on the day.
We went to Vietnam and Cambodia for our honeymoon. It was very relaxing after the trials and tribulations leading up to the day.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that if you’re organising things yourself you should realise that there are all kinds of things that need to be done (like hiring plates and buying napkins). Don’t underestimate how much organisation this can take (and delegate where you can)!
Spreadsheets are your friend.
And it’s much more fun when it’s the two of you doing it together and makes the whole day much about you as a couple.
June 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, 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 7th July 2014, 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.
First featured just before the turn of the year on Brides Up North, it’s a Yorkshire Austrian mash-up on the blog today (the bride’s words!) as we join Liz and Christian for their fun and fabulous Real Wedding in Hawes. Combining Austrian traditions with Yorkshire charm, their big day is pretty and personal.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sarah Mason Photography.
Liz says: We got engaged in October 2012 in the Seychelles and were married on 16th August 2013 at West Burton Chapel, North Yorkshire with the reception at Simonstone Hall, Hawes.
We live in Vienna, Austria as Christian is from here. I am from Yorkshire and my family spotted Simonstone Hall while walking in the Yorkshire Dales – we trusted them! We tried tried to incorporate English and Austrian traditions into the day as much as possible, with a lavender and green colour scheme.
I saw a dress I loved in a boutique and then had it remade with some changes! I loved that it was one of a kind and I got to have some input from the drawing stage! We had two flower girls and a pageboy and they wore traditional trachten from Vienna. The girls in dirndls and the boy in lederhosen!
We got our flowers from The Yorkshire Lavender Farm and then made the decorations and bouquets ourselves the day before with help from Aunties and sisters!
I loved every second but I think walking down the aisle and seeing Christian for the first time that day was the most special moment.
My husband and his best man had an old red Morgan for the weekend and so they arrived at the chapel in that. Our guests travelled on a double decker bus and I was taken there by a close family friend and returned with my husband in the Morgan.
Our cake was made by a friend and much of the other decoration was done by Tilly Rose Designs, who made our centre pieces and signage.
We hired a bus from The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company and a car from Lakes and Dales.
We wanted a really relaxed day and for it to be and English-Austrian cultural mash-up! We had a log sawing activity – an Austrian tradition where the bride and groom saw through a log to signify them working together to succeed.
We had goulash soup at midnight (another Austrian tradition) and a great band – ‘Mad dog and the Sophisicats’ playing throughout the day with a ceilidh band at night.
We had a honeymoon before our wedding! We went to New York and Toronto as some close friends were getting married in Canada.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax – don’t stress about little things – as long as everyone is happy you’ll have a great day!
Congratulations Liz & Christian!
May 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Friday morning bacon sarnie and brew at the ready? Good. Then we’ll begin.
Franki and Anthony’s Real Wedding – high on the beautiful Otley Chevin – packs a proper Yorkshire punch. With flippy skirts, powerful polka dots and super hero details, this celebration is cute and quirky, but also seriously authentic. And very cool.
They had me at those heels.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Sarah Mason Photography.
Franki says: We got engaged in April 2010. Anthony had booked us a short break in Skipton for my birthday. He proposed to me as we were walking around the moat at Skipton Castle.
We tied the knot on 17th August 2013, we had originally set the date for the 18th August 2012 but decided to push it back a year to give us more time. It turned out to be a very wise decision as later that year I found out I was pregnant and my due date would only have been a few weeks before the wedding!
We got married at Chevin Country Park Hotel & Spa in Otley.
We had been to many venues on our hunt for the perfect place and although some of them ticked all the right boxes they just didn’t feel right. We visited the Chevin on a whim one day and loved it even though it didn’t tick as many boxes as the others. The wedding coordinator told us we could basically do what we wanted on the day bar letting off sky lanterns. It just felt right and every time I thought about getting married after that first visit I always pictured us there.
We had a slight 1950’s theme, but it was a mix of a few things. It was a bit rockabilly, a bit vintage, a bit geeky, a bit buttony and a whole lot of us! Our wedding colour scheme was navy blue, white and pink.
I always knew the style of dress I would wear, a short, 1950’s style, halter neck circle dress with petticoat. I bought mine from Vivien of Holloway and my petticoat was custom made by Honeypie Boutique. I wore a custom made birdcage veil from What Katy Did Next which had a big white button covered heart to tie in with all the other buttons throughout the wedding. My shoes were a bargain as they were massively reduced when I bought them, from an online store called Nelly. They were pale pink suede with spikes running all the way down the inside of the heel. The finishing touches were my pearl necklace like the one stolen by Cat Woman in the Dark Knight Rises from a seller on Etsy and my navy belt also from Vivien of Holloway.
My five bridesmaids wore the exact same dress as me, just in a navy polka dot pattern with pink petticoats all from Vivien of Holloway. My niece was a little bridesmaid too, she wore a pink polka dot dress similar to the bridesmaids which a very talented family friend made for her.
We had five groomsmen who all wore the same suit as the groom but with just the navy polka dot pocket square.
We had three little ushers, our son Luca and my oldest friend’s two little boys. They wore grey chinos from Next with a white linen shirt from Gap. The had navy blue Converse, navy blue braces and navy bow ties both from eBay.
Between family, bridesmaids and myself we made six button bouquets and a mini button bouquet wand. It was time consuming but definitely worth it and my bouquet has pride of place in my kitchen now.
As I chose not to carry flowers we needed an alternative for the buttonholes as well. We decided on Lego superhero buttonholes for the groom and groomsmen and some button button holes for the wedding party. We DIY’ed them all.
Buttons played quite a large part in our day from being flower replacements to decorating our card box and being part of our centrepieces. They were everywhere.
The best money we spent was definitely on our photographer Sarah Mason. She captured our day absolutely perfectly and is a lovely, lovely lady who I cannot praise enough, we think she is a little bit fabulous!
A family friend played acoustic guitar as our ceremony music before singing with his partner during the reception drinks.
Our centrepieces were milk churn glass vases from Ikea. We tied ribbon that matched our wedding invitations around them and glued some buttons around the top. They were filled with some play sand and a white candle in which Anthony had carved numbers out of and filled with navy wax to make table numbers.
Our wedding favours were wine glasses dipped in chalkboard paint with a ribbon tied in a bow around the stem. We then chalked names onto them to double up as place settings.
Our chair covers were provided by Lindsey from Ambience Venue Styling, who I would highly recommend. Everything else was made by ourselves, family or friends. We made over 40 metres of bunting to decorate the balcony around the lake at our venue from blue, pink and white polka dot fabric.
We set up our own sweet stall for the evening reception for people to help themselves and instead of a guest book, Anthony’s dad made us some speech bubble chalkboards and another friend took pictures of people with messages they had written for us which we have in an album.
My friend made us a lovely three tiered chocolate and sponge cake that she covered in icing buttons. We had a Lego bride and groom as our cake topper.
We then had an absolutely amazing band for the evening reception called The Jukebox Jets. They are a rock n roll band and were absolutely fabulous as well as being super lovely. We literally danced all night, I have no idea who was at my evening reception as if they weren’t up dancing with me then I didn’t see them. They held a little dance competition too. Anthony and myself had to eliminate a couple after each song until we crowned a winning couple. They wore their crowns the whole night.
Obviously getting married and becoming a real family was the best part and the speeches were really good, the boys did themselves proud. Truthfully though, my favourite part was our first dance, we danced to Hallelujah I Love Her So, played by the band, our first dance as husband and wife, it was so much fun!
We went on a mini-moon after our wedding to a beautiful little cottage in Staffordshire. It was lovely as it was our first break as a family.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t sweat the small stuff. Things more than likely will go a little bit wrong on your big day. Our guitarist broke his guitar five minutes before I made my way up the aisle (he still managed to play), we lost the buttonholes for the grandparents, a pair of shoes turned up for Anthony’s dad in odd sizes plus a few other small things. Apart from us, nobody else knew and it made no difference to the day whatsoever. Designate two people you trust as problem solvers, make sure suppliers and other people know they are the people to contact if needed on the day and let them deal with any issues that do arise, leaving you to enjoy yourselves and relax.
Congratulations Franki & Anthony!
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May 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime
There’s a dreadfully cheesy bit in the movie Titanic that the teenage me used to (absurdly) absolutely love. You know, that cringey scene where Rose (Ms. Winslet) slips off her crinoline and whispers to Jack (Mr. Di Caprio) to “Paint Me Like Your French Girls…”
Well, I’m pleased to say that the paint job that fun loving couple Amy & Jack had in mind to celebrate their engagement is nothing at all like that. Thank God.
Although (paint brushes aside) I’d still be partial to a bit of Leo.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sarah Mason Photography.
Side note – a Google Images search of “Paint Me Like Your French Girls” brings up some very amusing and not entirely work place appropriate results.
Amy says: We got engaged in September 2012 on the first day of our holiday to Las Vegas. We’d gone for a brunch at the Belagio and had a suspiciously amazing table right in front of the fountains. The fountains move in a display every 10 minutes to music and James proposed in the first ‘display’ after we’d sat down. After I’d said yes and the rush had died down, I realised he’d proposed to a Celine Dion song (nooo!) but he said ‘Sorry I couldn’t wait’.
We’re getting married at the end of this month! The wedding is at St Michael & Our Lady Church in Wragby and then we’re having a marquee reception at James’ parents’ house.
We met when we were were both working at Oulton Hall Hotel in Rothwell. It was Christmas and I had to dismantle a parquet dance floor single handed. James was passing so he came and helped me and we just got chatting.
Our first date was a night out on Greek Street in Leeds. I was slightly alarmed that he’d worn a full suit (!), but by the end of the date we realised we really liked spending time together.
I knew he was the one when I went off to university and missed him loads. We just love having fun together (like on the shoot)! Our biggest wish for married life is many happy years ahead.
We decided to have an engagement shoot to get us used to having photos taken. Most people haven’t had a photo taken since school and I didn’t want us to look really awkward on the day. We chose the paints because we wanted to do something a bit fun and different.
The shoot was brilliant! Throwing the paints was so much fun and the colours looked amazing.
I like the Real Wedding articles on Brides Up North. They’re great for other couples wanting a bit of inspiration and we’ll be back to share our own shortly…
Congratulations Amy & James!
September 9th, 2013 | Julia Braime
I’m waking up in Durham this morning after the most epic day yesterday at our Brides Up North Super Showcase at Ramside Hall Hotel. Over 300 of you lovely brides to be and over 1,200 people in total came to join the fun, and what fun it was! I think it was our best show yet! With over 90 exhibitors, some very different Gatsby inspired bridal catwalks (our break-dancers were very popular), a beautiful venue, goody bags packed with treats from our exhibitors and our sponsors House Of Fraser, lots of swinging live music, games and two very buff butlers in the buff (!) excitement levels were very high.
I must have walked about five miles across the five exhibition spaces throughout the huge venue: saying hello, sorting logistics, wiring in electrics, packing goody bags, chatting to exhibitors, brides, choreographers, models and (ahem) butlers in the buff (what? It’s a perk of the job!)… and I couldn’t wait for room service and a hot bath at 6pm.
Thank you to everyone who supported the event and to our fabulous readers for attending in their droves. As I always say, North East – you rock!
Here on these pretty pages as ever though, it’s on with the show, and straight back into the real wedding inspiration. Today we join Cat and Tim for their beautiful sun dappled Real Wedding in the Yorkshire Dales, with images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sarah Mason Photography. Just how gorgeous is today’s leading lady?! If you are planning a traditional country wedding under canvas, you’ll love this one!
Cat says: We got engaged over a year and half before our wedding day- on a morning dog walk. Tim sat me down on a bench at the top of the hill to admire the view. Next thing I knew he was on bended knee and there was a bottle of champagne stashed over night behind the wall. We basked in engagement bliss for as long as possible and only dipped into wedding planning 8 months before.
We were married on July 6th 2013. The first beautifully sunny day this summer at St Chads Church, Middlesmoor . Luckily the sun was shinning – as it has been known to be a cold and windy exposed church on the top of the hill in the middle of nowhere! Our reception was at The Sportsman’s Arms, Wath in Nidderdale.
We typically thought of every other possible location to get married, down south in the Cotswolds where I am from or France – in a chateau we both love, and then realised we had the perfect spot on our doorstep! We dine at the Sportsman’s Arms a lot and it’s a field away from where we live so had sentiment to the both of us and of course meant the church was in our parish. It’s a beautiful setting with warm, friendly and impeccable service.
A theme sort of transpired just from choosing colours and things we both love and elements we have in our home. The wedding was simple rustic, with a touch of French. We used wine crates as planters and vintage chateau scroll elements on the order of service and table plan with wood from our garden for table centres and cake stand. The bridesmaids’ dresses where a range of muted colours and there was lots of lavender. The flower arrangements were ‘spilling’ and loose for a ‘just cut from the countryside ‘ look!
I wore a simple,unstructured, draped, superfine Jersey dress from Amanda Wakeley. It was so light and lovely to wear. It was backless and had an interesting Mikado silk hip-belt feature.
My bridesmaids wore dresses from Whistles and the ushers were in Charles Tyrwhitt morning suits and Gieves and Hawks waistcoats.My hair and makeup was done by Jenny Howson at Lips & Lashes Makeup who had her work cut out with 7 bridesmaids and a bride – but her results for a natural look were amazing!
Our florist was local to Ripley and runs ‘Friday Flowers’. We didn’t want contrived arrangements and she was so helpful at offering advice and selections that would be seasonal to July. Everything was originally thought out in the depths of winter!
I carried a natural ‘just-picked’ look bouquet containing Lavender, Astrantia, Milca Sensation Spray Roses, Gypsophila, Rosemary and Cinerea Eucalyptus finished with open stems and hessian ribbon with natural twine. The bridesmaids carried bunches of white Gypsophila and the flower girls had delicate Gypsophila head circlets.
We used our own land rover to get up the windy roads at the top of the hill. We didn’t want any dramas on the day of an old car not quite making it!
We had a fantastic pianist David Robertshaw play throughout Pimms on the lawn reception – modern songs with a classical twist. It created a lovely, peaceful ambiance.
I designed the table illustrations and wedding stationery (www.partridgecreative.co.uk). It was fun to draw bespoke birdie illustrations for the table centres, which stood on wooden stands made with wood from the garden. We planted wine crates with flowers before the big day, assembled lavender church pew ends and we felt the day was personal to us as a couple.
Our photographer was the very talented Sarah Mason. She met with us before the big day and immediately put us at ease. We loved her style of reportage photography and we knew we could enjoy our day and all the special memories would be captured. We were so thrilled to return from honeymoon and have them to view and relive the day over again.
I loved very part of the day! It went so quickly. It was so lovely to have friends and family all in one room and wasn’t half as intimidating as I had thought it would be. It was such a happy, happy day.
After the wedding we jetted off to Bali, Lombok and the Gilli islands. It was utter bliss, relaxing and magical. The Indonesian food was to die for – fresh fish everyday – and perfect beaches for surfing and snorkelling. We didn’t want to return!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t over think the day. Enjoy finding things you like and making decisions together. We made the decisions only once and everything came together very easily as it was a culmination of flowers, colours, food, drinks and settings we loved. Comfortable heels would also be a top tip – as mine weren’t!
Congratulations Cat & Tim!
Sarah Mason Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier
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