April 11th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Prepare to get pinning ladies as this morning’s real wedding is a true beauty!
Having dreamt about her wedding day since being a little girl, bride Michaela knew exactly what she wanted for her moment in the limelight – from her dress to the décor!
The result of her careful planning is a beautifully classic wedding celebration, centred round a romantic colour scheme of white, grey and silver (a Brides Up North favourite!) The attire of the wedding party is a definite highlight for us; from the men’s dapper suits and bridesmaids’ lacy dresses and, of course, Michaela’s fabulous Sassi Holford gown.
With images by our superstar Brides Up North Sponsor Laura Calderwood Photography.
michaela says: We got engaged on the 13th February 2013, in the middle of Central Park, New York. New York was in the middle of a snow storm with below freezing weather conditions so our trip was definitely a cold one. The sun was shining on the 13th and the temperatures had increased so we took a stroll through the park. We started off with a horse carriage ride around the park where Ben had initially planned to pop the questions but our rider had plenty to say and Ben could not get a word in edge ways so he had to change his plan. As we were walking through the park he got down on one knee near the John Lennon memorial “Strawberry Fields” in front of a lot of tourists. I could tell Ben was very nervous and embarrassed doing it in front of others and it took me a while to get my response out from nervous laughing but I eventually said “yes, of course”. He said he felt like he was down on one knee for ages with people starring and taking photos.
Our wedding took place on the 1st May 2015. I always wanted a spring wedding as it’s my favourite season and the 1st May is a special day for me as it’s my grandma’s birthday. It was lovely that my grandma got a double celebration on her birthday plus she got to spend it with all her family. It was a double advantage that it fell on a Bank Holiday weekend so we had an extra-long weekend of celebrations.
We got married at the Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate. We knew as soon as went to visit that it was the perfect place for us to have our big day. It was a mixture of old and new, modern and traditional, which is exactly what we wanted – plus it had gorgeous grounds, which was another thing on my wish list.
I always wanted a classic wedding with a modern twist so this was the theme I ran with. I had grown up watching American chick flick movies and got a lot inspiration from them when I was a teenager so I knew from a young age things I wanted when the time came for me to have my own wedding.
As our planning got underway we chose a lot of grey, silver and white which came to form the colour scheme. We also added a mixture of mirrored objects into the decor to give it a stylish modern twist.
May 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Bride Emily experienced a nightmare situation when the boutique she had found her gown in went out of business. Determined to still secure her dream dress, Emily went straight to the designer whose team went above and beyond to make sure she got her wish – and we’re sure you will all agree she looked absolutely stunning!
Groom Rory then chose to reflect his family roots by donning traditional Scottish Highland dress for the occasion and the pretty maids completed the attractive line-up in their elegant lavender dresses.
An abundance of pretty blooms in bouquets, button holes and décor enhanced the already romantic setting of Iscoyd Park for one very dreamy day indeed.
With images by Jo Bradbury Photography.
emily says: Rory had planned a romantic trip to Ireland where he intended to propose at Giant’s Causeway. Unfortunately heavy snow over two consecutive weekends scuppered his plans. I was wondering why he was so insistent that we travel to Ireland in a blizzard. Having asked my parents’ permission I think he was becoming worried about the cat being let out of the bag so, during a snowy weekend in January, whilst I was busy defrosting the freezer, he called me into our living room where I found him down on one knee. I was completely shocked, it was so unexpected but absolutely perfect as it was.
We had originally planned to marry on the 2nd August, which would have been five years to the day that we had met, but when we eventually found our perfect venue the only date they had available was 24th May 2014. So although it was a little earlier than we had planned it was absolutely worth it to secure the venue.
We got married at Iscoyd Park in Shropshire. Apart from being the most beautiful Georgian house in a gorgeous setting, from the very start the staff were overwhelmingly wonderful and relaxed and remained so right through to the big day itself – absolutely nothing appeared to be too much trouble. I had become a bit of a bridezilla and was struggling to find a venue that ticked all our boxes. Iscoyd Park ticked the boxes and more, I really couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
We didn’t have a fixed theme as such we just wanted an elegant and happy day with lots of personal touches and I like to think we achieved that. In terms of colour, we tried to match one of the colours to Rory’s family tartan, which was a sort of dusty lavender.
After a fairly exhaustive search, I settled on a dress by Sassi Holford. Unfortunately the shop where I had ordered the dress from went out of business just before the wedding leaving me without a dress. Thankfully Sassi Holford were incredible and after a trip from Derbyshire to Taunton to be re-measured they made another dress from scratch. I really can’t thank the team at Sassi Holford enough for pulling out all the stops to make the dress for me at breakneck speed to ensure I had the dress of my dreams.
Rory’s family is Scottish so he opted to follow tradition and wear a kilt, which was hired from Greenwoods. The best man also wore a kilt hired from Greenwoods. Rory also had sgian-dubhs, worn as part of traditional Scottish Highland dress, made and personalised to go with the kilts.
Sourcing bridesmaid dresses in the right colour proved more challenging than I had originally thought but, thanks to family in the USA, we were able to obtain them from Donna Morgan via Nordstrom.
We booked Iscoyd Park for the whole weekend so my bridesmaids and I stayed in a beautiful cottage in the grounds the night before for a girly spa evening and Rory drove himself to Iscoyd the morning of the wedding.
In our view, the photography was probably one of the most important elements, it is really the only thing you are left with other than memories after the day itself and I really wanted to be able to look back and see all the little details and moments from our wedding. Our photographer was Jo Bradbury. She had photographed my mum’s wedding to my step father at which I had been a bridesmaid, so I knew from direct experience that the photographs would be beautiful. Rory and I aren’t always the most serious of people, and models we certainly are not, so I really wanted someone who would be able guide us. I could not recommend Jo highly enough. She was there from getting ready, where she was incredibly non-intrusive during the nervous moments but was able to capture some really lovely shots. She then stayed almost right until the end to get photos of some dodgy dancing. Very importantly she managed to make one of the rainiest days of the year (we even had to throw the confetti indoors) look like a classic late spring day.
I carried a bouquet of white peonies, roses, freesia with a lamb’s ear greenry. All the bouquets and buttonholes were provided by Selina Godsal, the mother-in-law of Phil who owns Iscoyd Park. She is the on-site florist which is so handy for tying in meetings with venue visits.
I wanted predominantly white flowers so we used peonies, roses, hydrangeas, gypsophila with a few coloured roses in the hanging vases behind the top table. We decided early on to do some of the flowers ourselves so my mum sourced an enormous van-load of flowers from her local flower stall in Manchester as well as the best part of a small lavender bush from friends. We arranged them in hundreds of vases sourced from Ikea. Selina then did some big displays for us in the ceremony room and a large ball display hanging from the centre of the marquee.
I wanted to do something a little different for the favours and as I had decided most of the flowers and table settings were to be white I added a little colour by planting succulents into small glasses which would double as a wedding favour and a name place setting. It’s quite nice really as I am still getting updates from our guests nearly a year on as to how their plant has grown.
I had seen a cake on Pinterest which I fell in love with and which fitted well into our dusty lavender theme. We couldn’t decide what flavour to have so went for different flavours in each tier. It was absolutely beautiful and tasted great too!
I was given free rein on the décor for the wedding but the food was definitely my husband’s domain. Iscoyd works closely with the Fine Dining Company – the food was incredible and not only tasted great but looked lovely too.
For entertainment, we had the Vittorio String Quartet play as our guests arrived and as I walked down the aisle through to the drinks reception. I’m not sure it was necessarily a wise decision as I managed to cry almost every time I heard them play in the run up to the wedding. Thankfully, I successfully held it together on the big day.
For the evening Iscoyd suggested a DJ for us which was really useful as we are not from the area so any recommendations were gratefully received. We spoke to Robert Maxfield who asked our likes and dislikes music wise and he really created a party atmosphere for our evening of dancing.
I took a lot of inspiration from Pinterest for the little details. We printed a little poem for the ladies bathroom complete with a basket of toiletries to try and refresh the guests before continuing the party. Another of my favourite details were the little packs of tissues on the seats for during the ceremony; ‘for happy tears’. I really wanted to personalise a lot of the wedding so we had various things made, from a wooden card box painted with our names and wedding date, to the arrows directing the guests to the venue.
Other suppliers we used that I would recommend include Sash and Co who supplied the belt to go with my wedding dress. This too was originally ordered from the bridal shop that went out of business so they also pulled out all the stops to remake the belt in time. Gemma Cosgrove was my make-up artist, who was another calming influence on the morning of the wedding, not forgetting my friend Emma who not only managed to do my hair but also four bridesmaids, two flower girls and a few aunts all in time for the ceremony! Jean Jackson Couture also deserves a mention for making my mum look amazing!
I actually don’t think I can ever recommend Iscoyd Park highly enough. Not only is it incredibly beautiful but the people there are great too, Jen the wedding planner and Phil the owner were always on hand for any questions I had and Jen particularly really put my mind at ease. They have the perfect set up from the onsite beauticians and florist to the luxurious accommodation and venue. They urge you to make Iscoyd your home for the duration of your stay which I have to say, during what can be such a stressful time, was a really welcome comfort.
The moment that stands out in my mind from the wedding day is hearing the string quartet start to play as I began to walk down the aisle and catching the eye of my soon to be husband – a moment which Jo managed to capture perfectly. My mum’s speech was also incredibly touching, not sure there was a dry eye in the house, including a couple of Rory’s friends from the Army. Other than that I genuinely loved everything from getting ready with all the girls to the amazing best man speech to endless dancing and finally being able to call Rory my husband.
We went on a mini moon to a lovely boutique hotel in Norfolk booked through Mr and Mrs Smith. Later in the year we then went to stay in Tuscany in the most magnificent villa called Villa Fontelunga. Neither of us had ever been to Italy before and it is without doubt one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Phillip and Paulo the owners of Fontelunga were so welcoming and although we were offsite in our own villa they were always at the end of the phone to make dinner reservations for us or recommend places to visit. They hold weekly dinners for all the guests where everyone can get together to eat, drink and have lots of laughs overlooking the gorgeous rolling hills of Tuscany! We absolutely cannot wait to plan our return trip!
My top tip for other Brides Up North to help with the planning would be – Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest (you can follow Brides Up North’s boards on Pinterest here). It became my wedding planning bible, from colour schemes to flowers, to personalised details, I found it a really useful tool to create a mood board for the wedding.
March 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime
We are so proud of our fabulous industry Sponsors here at Brides Up North, and were thrilled to support gorgeous Diana of The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in the run up to her (very pretty) launch party.
A little while ago, we ran a feature to introduce the beautiful boutique and show off some of the amazing gowns that they’ll be stocking. You can click here to catch up on the stunning shoot and hear about, and if I was excited then..
Girls, doors are officially open!
Images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
diana says: It seemed only right to have a little party to celebrate the launch of our gorgeous new boutique, so a few days before our open day, we had an exclusive launch evening for our lovely family, friends and industry friends. It’s certainly been hard work getting to this point, but to see everyone’s expressions when they came into the boutique that night was unforgettable.
The night was filled with a flurry of emotions, from being paranoid about fizz getting spilt on the freshly laid carpet to having to make a speech! Thankfully no fizz was spilt and the speech as someone else described was ‘epic’, although I wouldn’t have given it that description! It was really important for me to thank my family for all the love, support and hands on help they have given me to get the boutique looking like it does. I could not have done it without them. The look and feel of the boutique is everything I had hoped for and more.
I was also very touched by so many industry friends travelling from near and far to support the launch. I know how manic this industry is and how busy everyone’s diaries are, so to see so many there was just lovely. To top the night off we made a booking for a bride to be too! We were so pleased with how a great an evening everyone had and there was certainly a buzz in the air ahead of our official open day.
At The Little Pearl we pride ourselves in offering a one on one, by appointment only service to all of our brides, in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. We have carefully selected our gown and accessory designers to bring our customers the very best in bridal wear, whilst suiting a wide variety of styles. Our gown designers are the award winning Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier and Enzoani and the up and coming Maria Senvo. We also offer accessory styling appointments for all those finishing touches. Our accessory designers are Rachel Simpson (shoes), Flo & Percy (headwear and jewellery), Sasso (stoles) and Pompadour (garters).
Valentine’s Day is not only the day of love but also the day The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique opened its doors! We had a day of bookings and lots of lovely treats for the bride-to-be and their families. This is what all the hard work has been about, getting to meet these lovely ladies and helping them on their journey to finding the perfect gown and accessories. We had lots of happy brides in the boutique, who had such lovely things to say about The Little Pearl. We are so proud of our boutique already and can’t wait to welcome more lovely ladies through our doors.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or sign up to ‘Pearl’s Girls’ via our website to keep up to date with everything at The Little Pearl. Contact us at email@example.com to book your Little Pearl experience now.
January 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This morning on these pretty pages I’m very proud to introduce a new Brides Up North Sponsor and brand new (so new its doors haven’t even opened!) bridal boutique for North Yorkshire, The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique.
The boutique’s fabulous owner, the lovely Diana, wanted to organise a special photo shoot to show off the wedding dresses that you’ll be able to find at The Little Pearl on launch day and beyond. I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously excited…
Readers, I give you, pearl’s girls.
diana says: The inspiration behind the launch shoot for The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique was creating our own style of hollywood glamour. Our vision for the boutique is elegant yet stylish with a warm, relaxed and welcoming feel.
We decided on The Talbot Hotel in Malton as a shoot location due its classic British design, period features, but also its modern take on traditional comforts. The landscaped gardens and historic setting also provided some great backdrops for the photographers to work their magic! We had the most talented people in Yorkshire involved on the day, all assisted by my good friend Jonny Draper at Jonny Draper Photography, who helped bring all these fantastic people together.
We had the best photographers Yorkshire has to offer, who all brought their different style and edge to the shoot. Hayley Baxter has such a contemporary style to her shooting, with the most stunning use of light. Samantha Ward takes a relaxed and romantic approach. She’s passionate about film photography and incorporates shooting film within the wedding day, producing beautiful images, rich in tone and depth. Sam was thrilled to be involved in the Little Pearl Bridal photo shoot and says “Diana has sourced some stunning dresses for her boutique along with incredibly beautiful accessories and what a wonderful opportunity to be able to photograph these gowns and details creatively with film.”
Georgina Harrison shoots hybrid with traditional medium format film along side digital. Her style is feminine, using natural light to create luminous , light airy images that have a sense of romance with soft pastel tones. She always loves shooting bridal portraits and making woman feel comfortable so was delighted to be involved in this shoot and despite the damp, grey day she produced some gorgeous soft, light romantic images.
Having these photographers come together for our launch shoot was an honour and they’ve captured such beautiful and complimentary shots between them.
Our stunning models were styled by the superb and internationally renowned, hair and make up artist, Catherine Elizabeth. She came along knowing exactly what would work both for the shoot and on the models themselves – a true pleasure. I even learnt a few techniques myself!
Sarah of Leafy Couture brought along some stunning floral displays, from bouquets to floral crowns, which helped bring the essence of glamour and elegance together.
The models (Laura, Kirstie, Livvie and Molly) are all friends of mine and even though it was a new experience for them, they were naturals! They all brought something different to the shots and loved playing dress up for the day!
The shoot itself went so well! Obviously it was my first time organising and running something like this, and everyone involved was so supportive and helpful throughout the day. I loved finally seeing the dresses on, watching their movement and experimenting with different accessories to complete the look. They all looked stunning!
The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique is a beautifully elegant boutique, situated in the historic market town of Pickering, North Yorkshire. We will be opening the doors in February and can’t wait for brides to come and see us. Searching for your perfect gown is such an emotional experience, and should be a joy from the moment you start seeking out what designers you like to the day you walk down the aisle.
I have had a passion for all things bridal for as long as I can remember. After working with my husband in the wedding industry and then searching for my own gown, I knew that opening a bridal boutique was my destiny. I wanted to give brides the experience that I feel you should have when planning such an important purchase!
At The Little Pearl we pride ourselves in offering a one on one, by appointment only service to all of our brides, in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. We have carefully selected our gown and accessory designers to bring ourcustomers the very best in bridal wear, whilst suiting a wide variety of styles. Our gown designers are the award winning Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier and Enzoani and the up and coming Maria Senvo. We also offer accessory styling appointments for all those finishing touches. Our accessory designers are Rachel Simpson (shoes), Flo & Percy (headwear and jewellery), Sasso (stoles) and Pompadour (garters).
We have lots of exciting plans for the boutique, including exclusive events and helping brides and their families get access to and experience the very best wedding suppliers in Yorkshire.
The diary is now open! We will be having a launch open day, so follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or sign up to Pearls Girls via our website to keep up to date with everything at The Little Pearl. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your Little Pearl experience now.
brides up north featured supplier, cathering elizabeth, charlotte balbier, Enzoani, flo and percy, georgina harrison photography, hayley baxter photography, leafy couture, maria senvo, pompadour lingerie, rachel simpson shoes, samantha ward photography, sassi holford, Sasso, the little pearl bridal boutique, the talbot hotel, wedding dress, wedding dress north yorkshire
January 7th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Mae by Stephanie Allin
We were recently Highly Commended in the Wedding Blog Awards 2014’s “Best City Wedding Blog” category, and chic cosmopolitan styling is one of our favourite trends for wedding day fashion, like, ever. goodbye meringues! A stylish city ceremony gives brides-to-be the opportunity to rock sleek attire that varies from the wedding norm.
Moving around busy urban areas and climbing staircases of grand city halls and hotels calls for a slim line, fluid number that isn’t going to slow you down or trip you up. And we’re not just talking dresses; a city centre do pushes the style boundaries wide open, inviting fashion forward brides to consider a two-piece skirt and top design, or even an all in jumpsuit, Solange Knowles style.
Those preferring to stick to tradition with a dress can always hitch up their hemline to free their feet ready for stepping out through bustling streets.
Pia by Monique Lhuillier
Monique Lhuillier has some particularly striking options for city brides, including stylish mini-length dresses and sophisticated two-piece designs.
Billie is a particular favourite of mine, not that I would be brave enough to work its cut-away silhouette. But for those that are, its gorgeous crisscross crop top and elegant illusion pencil skirt scream high fashion. Meanwhile, for those planning a more vintage affair, the pretty embroidered Charlotte top and ballerina skirt cover a little more flesh and are still easy to get around in.
Lhuillier’s short-length dresses are also incredibly swoon-worthy options, particularly the Pia and simple yet striking Zelda designs.
Billie by Monique Lhuillier
Zelda by Monique Lhuillier
The princess of prettiness, Stephanie Allin boasts several slim line dresses within her collections that would most definitely stand out in a city scene.
Chicago, Eternal, Ingrid and Olivia are all stunning examples of city simplicity at its best, but for those wanting a more structured design there is the Ashlea or even Mae, which has a detachable skirt, to give brides two equally wonderful looks.
The pièce de résistance has to be Allin’s Garbo jumpsuit as she dares to go where few other designers would. The fabulous sweet-heart neckline and wide-leg design also has an optional lace shrug for that extra piece of prettiness and cover-up where required.
Chicago by Stephanie Allin
Olivia by Stephanie Allin
Eternal by Stephanie Allin
Garbo by Stephanie Allin
Finally, I’d encourage city brides to consider the svetle, sleek lines of Suzanne Neville’s Novello Collection (click here to see a preview on Brides Up North), the fab and flirty frocks in Charlotte Balbier’s Iscoyd Park Collection (click here) or some of Sassi Holford’s cute designs as big day contenders.
For city brides wanting to bring a bit of bling to their big day, well, you can’t go wrong with a beaded Jenny Packham number, can you?
Simone by Jenny Packham
Rio by Jenny Packham
Noa by Jenny Packham
January 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime
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.
Starting a brand new year on a high by recapping one of our most fun and fabulous weddings from 2014 sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.
Check out those rocking bridesmaids. Girl power.
helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012. The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!
We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014. As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!
Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.
My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye. As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come. I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.
Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50’s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.
My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme. My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.
Jonny Draper was our photographer. The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job. I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.
Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.
We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste. We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.
As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags. The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.
On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.
We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!
We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day. There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.
We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September. I can’t wait!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key! We were very organised which saved a lot of stress. Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.
bellissima bridal boutique, brides up north featured supplier, cheshire wedding, dominic halpin and the honey bs, heaton house farm wedding, ice cream dub, jonny draper photography, leo strings, real wedding, sassi holford, secret garden florist, silk wedding films, uk wedding blog, whitfield and ward
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