Brides Up North

the great british wed off. a colourful wedding at Scarborough’s seaside – fiona & sam

November 27th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

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Today’s real wedding kicks-off with an incredibly romantic and festive engagement which is perfect as we’re soon to begin the big Christmas countdown with the help of our advent calendars (some things you are never too old for).

Sam and Fiona agreed on a laid back seaside wedding set around a cute afternoon tea during the day and a rocking party in the evening.

I love that Fiona was brave enough to shun tradition and work a blush pink dress on the aisle, which she looked fabulous in. Not to be left out, the guys also projected some colour with their daring but dashing sky blue bow ties.

So grab your bucket and spade as we journey to the maritime town of Scarborough for Sam and Fiona’s big day.

With images by Photography34

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fiona says: I was eight months pregnant with our first child when we got engaged. It was our first Christmas in our first ‘family home’. We set about putting the Christmas tree up on a snowy Saturday afternoon, when Sam announced that he had a special bauble to put the tree. He presented me with a gold gift box tied with red ribbon, and I opened it to find a glass bauble inside. I took it out of the box and realised there was a message engraved on it so I looked closer, and in the meantime Sam got down on one knee. The message on the bauble said “You are the love of my life. Will you marry me?” Of course, I said yes, and the glass bauble has pride of place on our Christmas tree every year.

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We chose 26th July 2014 for our wedding day – firstly as it wasn’t during the World Cup, but mainly as it was the anniversary of my beloved Nana’s death in 2009. She was my everything, and after a lot of thought we chose this day so as we could turn a sad day in to a happy day for the family.

We married at St Mark’s Church, Scarborough. My parents literally live over the road from the church and it held a lot of happy childhood memories, including me attending dancing lessons in the church hall every Saturday. Both our daughters were christened there also, so it seemed only right that we be married there too.

For the wedding reception, we decided on Betton Farm, East Ayton. Initially attracted by the love of their afternoon tea, I fell in love with the venue’s scenery and the relaxed vibe. We weren’t restricted to just one area, and that was a huge selling point for me. We had the marquee, the main building and the terraces so people could sit in the thick of it or sit where it was a little more quiet and idyllic.

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There was no theme in particular, we wanted a relaxed wedding. We know how hard it is with two small children to sit down for a three-course meal, so we took the whole element of that away and provided our guests with a traditional afternoon tea so as to keep the whole event laid back.

The most important thing was that the people we loved the most could share our happiness with us.

When it came to styling, I was inspired by The Great British Bake Off, which featured an array of colours set in a marquee in the country. I wanted pastel colours, which could be mismatched to create a beautiful pallet.

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In my head I wanted a simple, lace style wedding dress. After visiting a number of bridal shops, I made an appointment at Wedding Belles of Scarborough. I picked out a few dresses and after a discussion with the owner, Jackie, she asked if I would consider wearing a pink dress. I said yes, purely to keep my options open and mainly not wanting to appear rude. After trying on half a dozen dresses, the pink dress was next. I nearly said no, but once I stepped in to the gown I knew it was the one for me.

It was a one off Phil Collins bridal gown, which I wore off the peg. I loved the tone, the way it shone gold in the sun. I had never seen anything like it in my life, and despite it being everything that I said I didn’t want, it was the one for me – like a fairytale moment. I complemented the dress with an antique gold toned veil and a burnished gold tiara. I wore Paradox of London peep-toe shoes, but I had these dyed the same blush colour to match the dress. On the day I also wore my grandmother’s topaz ring.

I carried a bouquet of cream astilbe and my bridesmaids carried a similar bouquet of pink astilbe. I wanted the flowers to look handpicked and not too structure. I used Forget Me Not Florists in Scarborough, and after listening to the image of what I wanted, they created the most amazing bouquets.

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Sam wore a charcoal grey suit from Greenwoods, shirt from ASOS and shoes from Kurt Geiger. He wore the same bow tie and braces as the groomsmen, which I found on eBay.

I also found my mint green adult bridesmaids dresses on eBay for a bargain price of £10 each from a boutique seller. They wore pastel pink heeled shoes from New Look and finished the look off with a cream floral garland and a cream corsage, both of which were purchased from Boyes Department Store’s bridal range in Scarborough.

The flower girls (five in total) wore dresses made by my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law. The fabrics and pattern were purchases from The Sewing Centre in Scarborough, and were adorned with the same flowers which were added to the bridesmaid dresses. Each dress was a different colour, so we had pale pink, coral, buttercup yellow, country green and a deep pink. Together the little ones looked so colourful.

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On the day, I walked to the church from my parents as it was over the road. Stopping traffic was fun! To get from the church to Betton Farm, we hired an open-top bus from Shoreline Suncruisers to take us via Scarborough’s North and South Bay. It was such fun, we were all singing and laughing in the sunshine, with tourists on Scarborough beach cheering and applauding us and cars beeping their horns.

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Our stunning wedding photographs were done by Photography34. Tony listened to exactly what I wanted and that was relaxed images. I didn’t want any traditional bride’s family and groom’s family pictures; I just wanted pictures capturing the magic of the day, which he did perfectly. I can see the happiness and emotion in the pictures, and that to me is priceless. I cannot thank Tony enough for the amazing memories he has given us of our day – such a talented photographer.

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My favourite part of the day was defiantly the bus ride, as it was light hearted and fun. Spurred on by the glorious sunshine and the emotional high of the wedding, we were singing Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside and it was one of the groomsmen’s birthdays so we sang a rendition of happy birthday. It was quite literally a fun bus!

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a seaside wedding in scarborough (c) Photography34 (48)

Decorations on the day included bunting in the marquee, which was provided by Betton Farm, who also arranged some vintage-style bits and pieces that I had collected over time. Forget Me Not dressed the tables using wine bottles and jam jars that I up-cycled at home beforehand using twine and antique lace. These were dotted around the tables with wild looking flowers and tea lights. I also hired birdcages from the florist and had these filled with gypsophila, burlap and wild flowers.

We hired a vintage style bike to use as an alternative to a central flower arrangement and the florist moved this up to the farm for the wedding reception.

I also used Celebrate Balloon Box in Scarborough for several selections of brightly coloured balloons to decorate the tables. They matched the theme perfectly and the colours really stood out in the marquee. Andrea Willis Designs, from Scarborough, was a huge help in making various signs which I used in and around the wedding venue. She also helped to make presents for the bridesmaids.

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As we live by the seaside, and as I thought the colours would look amazing, I gave favours of Scarborough rock to my guests purchased from John Bull on the foreshore in Scarborough. I attached a manila luggage tag to each stick of rock which had different messages such as “All You Need Is Love” and “To Have And To Hold”. I tied the seaside theme in by hiring a ‘kiss me quick’ style vintage photo board, which was situated at the entrance of the reception venue. It created fun photo opportunities for everyone and kept the mood light.

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My cake was from Bimbles Cake Emporium, Scarborough. I had a three-tier cake, with individual chocolate orange, strawberry sponge and chocolate cream tiers, which was decorated in country green icing. It featured an antique gold ribbon and lace and was topped with the same cream corsage which the bridesmaids wore.

Our afternoon tea was provided by Betton Farm, which is renowned in the local area for its amazing cakes and scones. We toasted the speeches with champagne for all the guests, which was provided as a gift from my father. In the evening, we had a hog roast from Glaves Butchers with all the trimmings.

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We wanted a party, a pure and simple party, so we used Spectrum Discos, who was amazing and kept the dance floor full right up until the end of the night. I couldn’t have asked for a better night. He played songs from my playlist and seemed to time the mood right to get the guests up and dancing. Everyone had an amazing time.

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Instead of a traditional wedding guest book being passed around all night, I used a battered leather suitcase which had a banner saying “love notes” across it and asked guests to write us a letter on paper and place it in the case. It was amazing to read these messages as they included poems, pictures and words of love. I have made a scrapbook of these and treasure it dearly.

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Betton Farm is a beautiful, idyllic and unique setting for a wedding and I’m so happy we chose the venue, especially combined with the weather – it proved to be a spectacular setting. I would recommend the venue to other wedding couples.

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We took a mini-moon to Rudding Park Hotel and Spa in Harrogate. We stayed in a Follifoot Suite and the hotel couldn’t have done more for us. We were treated to champagne on arrival and were given the best experience. The hotel is stunning, the food exquisite and the treatments were out of this world. We are planning on taking a honeymoon with our two daughters early in 2015.

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My advice to other Brides Up North would simply be to be relaxed. Don’t stress and don’t be afraid to break from tradition. We tailored our day to fit exactly what we wanted and everything was perfect. Enjoy every moment, drink in every emotion, and most of all, have fun as it is the happiest day of your life. When I think if our wedding day, I still grin like a Cheshire cat.

All I wanted was to have fun on my wedding day, and boy, we certainly had that! It was so relaxed and laid back – I couldn’t have dreamt of more.

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shore thing. justin alexander for a simple yet stylish seaside wedding – nicola & eamonn

September 11th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

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There’s something about being by the seaside that causes a welcome state of relaxation.

Nicola and Eamonn chose the pretty seaside town of Scarborough for their laid-back big day which they were proud to show-off to their guests via an open-top bus ride and fabulous sea-front reception venue.

What I love about this wedding is that the bride and groom didn’t get swept up in wedding planning mania, but instead really thought about what they wanted and then executed it to perfection.

This fab real wedding oozes style and sophistication and is topped-off with a good glug of fun.

With photos by Photography34.

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Nicola says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2012 after being together for 11 years.  Eamonn surprised me by dropping to one knee in front of our two little girls. It was very romantic as he had written a poem which incorporated all of the favourite places we have travelled to together.

We got married on Saturday 27th July 2013. We chose the 27th as it was Eamonn’s mother Helen’s birthday – she sadly passed in 2010.

Our wedding ceremony was at St Peters RC Church in Scarborough, our girls were baptised here so it was a natural choice. It’s a very beautiful building.  I chose for my brother to walk me down the aisle. We celebrated afterwards at the Ambassador Hotel and Spa, which we chose because it’s such a lovely boutique hotel with fab views of Scarborough. The venue was perfect for our requirements. We would have no hesitation in recommending it to future brides and grooms. Kieran there listened to our every request and suggestion and together we made it all work to create our perfect day.

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The one thing Eamonn and I discussed at length though at the start of the planning process was how we wanted the day to play out.  We wanted everyone who shared the day with us to be there from the beginning until the end – it did limit us to the number of guests for the day (120) but everyone agreed that the day had a great flow to it.  From the moment we were married we all travelled together to the reception (the long way around the Marine Drive at Scarborough so we could take in the stunning views on the open-top bus) and while everyone had their Meze starters outside the venue we snuck away with our photographer Tony for a quick photo shoot.  We’ve all been to weddings where there is a pause in the day for photos and then another while the evening guests arrive and we didn’t want that. We chose to have the wedding a little later in the afternoon at 3pm which did put us on a tighter timescale than most weddings but we wanted the day to be one continual celebration with a natural flow and relaxed feel.  As a result of the thought and planning that we put into the scheduling of the day it all played out really well and all of the guests thought that it had happened by chance.

There was no particular colour theme from the start – it all kind of just pulled itself together. Once we found the taupe bridesmaid dresses it cemented the spectrum of colours we used, from the invitation to the cake and the flowers.

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I was quite nervous about shopping for my wedding dress. I was completely out of my comfort zone but with the help of my trusty bridesmaids and the ladies at The Wedding Room in Scarborough we picked out about seven dresses in all sorts of cuts and styles to work out what I might like.  The first dress I tried was beautiful – big, full and very princess like (I thought this might be the type I would go for) but when I stepped out in it and looked in the mirror I was overwhelmed with the size of it! I cried and wanted to turn and run. But the ladies at the Wedding Rooms had obviously seen this before and whipped me straight back into the changing rooms to get out of it and encouraged me to try on something not so huge. Gypsy bride it wasn’t, but it just didn’t feel right for me.  I tried a couple more on and they were all beautiful but I couldn’t pick between them. Then I tried on the fourth dress – it was a very detailed fishtail dress with lace, sequins, pearls and bugle beads by Justin Alexander. The moment it went over my head and I looked in the mirror I knew it was the one. I just loved the way I felt in it and when I walked out to show my bridesmaids I cried again – this time with happiness – their faces confirmed what I was feeling.  It was so disappointing to put on my own clothes after wearing such a fabulous dress.

Eamonn wore a tailored suit from Mullen and Mullen in York. He chose a dark navy blue colour suit with a waistcoat. The suit jacket had a taupe colour lining to complement the bridesmaid dresses and he got our initials and the wedding date 27.07.13 stitched into the lining which was a lovely touch.  I always thought Eamonn wore a suit well but have to say seeing him in a tailored suit made him look particularly dashing!

The bridesmaids wore a Jenny Packham No.1 taupe lace bodice maxi dress from Debenhams while the groomsmen wore dark grey lounge suits from Jaeger to complement Eamonn’s suit.

My flowers came from the very talented Kirsty Berridge from Minnie Bee’s Floral Design. I didn’t have a clue about flowers but I used my wedding board on Pinterest to show Kirsty what type of flowers and colours I liked. She was fabulous and brought lots of pictures of previous bouquets she had done to show me. She came up with my fabulous hand-tied bouquet of gypsophila, soft vintage pink hydrangea, dahlias, peonies and English grown roses in soft pinks, peaches and cream.  We had two fabulous pedestal arrangements in the church and the tables at the reception venue again featured the same flowers, although we went for a much brighter tone of colours and displayed them in jam jars all supplied by Minnie Bee’s.

The bridesmaids all carried hand-tied bouquets of gypsophila and the flower girls carried small pomander balls of gypsophila and the groomsmen had button holes made of the same. Kirsty also supplied gypsophila on bits of wire to add to the bridesmaids’ and flower girls’ hair.

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I had five bridesmaids and two flower girls (my daughters Stella and Grace), plus my mum and my brother to get from the hotel to the church so Ozzy the camper van from Scarborough Kombi Van Hire was the perfect solution. We had a lot of guests from out of town and abroad who we wanted to see the beauty of Scarborough while they were here, plus parking can be quite tricky around the church, so hiring an open top bus from Shoreline Suncruisers to take us all to the reception made perfect sense – and it was great fun!

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Our photographer was our good friend Tony Wilson from Photography34 who has documented a number of our special days over the last couple of years, our daughters’ baptism being one of the first.  Tony does such a great job of translating the feel of the day into pictures.  We will be forever grateful for the precious moments that Tony has captured for us – we will always have them to look back on. He was also a guest at our wedding so he can definitely multitask.

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The cake was provided by Gemma Flood at Cotton House Cakes. It was a four-tier chocolate fudge cake topped with Italian meringue butter cream. The colour graduated from light to dark – another spot on Pinterest.

For our wedding meal we decided that we didn’t want something that was going to be too gastro, even though Eamonn is a bit of a foodie. We went for a bit of a Greek theme with the food as we enjoy holidaying there and love the food. We chose to have a Greek meze as an informal starter which was served on arrival. We had these instead a formal starter as we didn’t want to be sat inside for a lengthy three-course meal. The Ambassador did a great job of serving these in a way that were easy to eat with fingers and stood up while relaxing outside.  We decided to have the speeches before the main meal once everyone was seated indoors – this just seemed like a natural break to fit in the best man’s and groom’s speeches.  We continued with the Greek theme for the main meal opting for a choice of beef stifado or vegetable moussaka.  We kept the wedding cake as a dessert and then had a selection of cheeses that were brought to each of the tables so everyone could nibble throughout the evening.

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We wanted a relaxed theme so didn’t go heavy on the entertainment. We did want some music for when we arrived at The Ambassador in the open-top bus and while we had the drinks reception and starters.  We had discussed various live acts but Eamonn saw a young jazz band busking in town and booked them for the wedding! The Jelly Jolly Jazz Band fronted by a young musician called Laurence Marshall were just great, they played some really uplifting jazz which set everyone off on the right tone for the day.  For the evening we opted for Spectrum Discos, who were great!  We had a few particulars we wanted playing but were pretty relaxed with the play list. Our first dance was a Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel classic You’re All I Need to Get By, which was just perfect!

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To keep our young guests entertained, I ordered some small cardboard suitcases and filled them with colouring books and quiet toys. I also asked The Ambassador to add a small pack-up so the children could tuck in as soon as we sat down. They could then run around the dance floor after the speeches had taken place while the adults enjoyed their stifado!

We chose to have circular tables for everyone, so no top table – just to avoid any issues with who might feel they should be sat on it!  We had paper pom poms, added by Alex Anderson from Homebird House, hanging from the ceiling above our table just to make it a focal point. They were also hung above the table for wedding cards which we decorated ourselves with an old suitcase, a beach towel, ball, bucket and spade.

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Eamonn and I had told all of our guests that we didn’t expect any gifts as many people were already travelling great distances to attend the wedding but any gifts of money we did receive would be used on what we were calling a ‘familymoon’.

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a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (59)

We couldn’t choose a favourite part of our wedding – we loved the whole day! We really thought about what we wanted and what was important for us and we made it happen. All of our guests really got that the day was a reflection of us and enjoyed it as much as we did!

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Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to get sucked into everything that’s on offer. We had a very traditional church wedding but personally picked everything that went around that, including flipping around the proceedings of the day and for us that really worked.  Everyone is different but it’s so easy to get pulled into ‘the perfect Pinterest wedding’ which can be daunting and crazy expensive.  We decided that we wanted a simple wedding which was about Eamonn and I standing up in front of our loved ones and saying ‘this is us forever’ followed by great food and drink and a kick ass party!

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love light. a wedding at st mary’s lighthouse, tynemouth – PJ & James

July 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

PJ and James’ Real Wedding is all about location, location, location. Engaged at the Tynemouth Lighthouse, what better place to return to tie the knot… along with their friends (of the four legged variety too!) and family?

One slap up Italian meal later and everyone’s happy!

With images by Little Miss Boyco.

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

PJ says: I had just about given up hope of James ever proposing to me when it happened very unexpectedly.

Being from Tynemouth, I moved to the Midlands when I was 6 years old and went to St Mary’s Lighthouse very often. It has always been my favourite place in the world. I have lots of fond memories of walking from Tynemouth to St Mary’s with my Poppa and going around the rocks with my brother Jonny.

James had heard a lot about the north east and had never been so I booked a little cottage in the village for a long weekend. I really wanted to show him all of the great places and things around Tynemouth that I remember and see them with adult eyes.

Before getting engaged we quite rarely went back up north and enjoyed the coast. We only really went for family gatherings so I wanted to spend time up there doing things I used to love.

Anyway, the top thing on my list of things to do was walk on the beaches from Tynemouth up Longsands all the way to the lighthouse like I used to with Pop’s. We had a fantastic walk and finally got to the lighthouse and I started retracing my childhood steps around those rocks.

James veered off towards the sea and we saw a seal, then James knelt down… I thought he was just trying to stop our dog Tinker from bothering the seal. But then he got on one knee and said ‘Me and Tinker have brought you here today to ask if you will be my wife?’. I was in shock. Then he produced a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring which I immediately recognised as being my Granny’s.

We had a cup of tea and got the bus back to Tynemouth. That night we took the metro to Newcastle where James had booked a nice restaurant… I’ve still got the metro ticket in my purse from 27th April 2013.

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

When we left the lighthouse having just had the proposal I asked a chap to take our photo together. He said yes but I’ll have to be quick as I’m getting married in a minute!

The seed was sown! James really wanted to get married in the lighthouse and kept on about it. I was reluctant because I worried about how difficult it would be to plan from 200 miles away but it didn’t turn out to be that hard.

We ended up having 3 venues for the day which was quite ambitious! But later the day of the proposal we saw a small wedding in the old Italian restaurant at Tynemouth Station and another seed was sown. After that we made contact with the station and found that Davanti (a popular restaurant in Tynemouth) were taking over the station restaurant. I got in touch with them and we originally wanted to have the reception out on the platform but decided against in case of bad weather.

We had to wait for the restaurant to be completely refurbished but were blown away with the results and booked the reception straight away. The Manageress Helen was absolutely brilliant, she had so many good ideas and spoiled us rotten on the day. The restaurant is called Davanti Classico.

The evening reception was an easy choice at The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth, which was where most of the guests stayed too. My parents had their wedding reception there in the 70’s so it was another sentimental choice.

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

Because the wedding was away from home we turned it into a bit of a wedding week. We travelled up on Tuesday and were joined by a host of our guests on that day and the other days leading up to the day. The idea stemmed from James wanting to play golf at Tynemouth Golf Club, where my dad played for most of his life and was Captain. James wanted to beat my dad on his home turf. How rude!

The day after the wedding we all went to the beach with the dogs and the lads played boules and drank beer and the girls drank champagne. We went out for another meal that night and stayed up for the first World Cup match, England v Italy. On Sunday it was Fathers Day so we had breakfast together then played crazy golf before we headed off to our ferry.

I arranged afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel for all my girlfriends the day before the wedding, there were about 30 of us in total!

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

James has blue eyes so we went with blue for our colour scheme. No particular shade as we wanted everything to be really relaxed and informal. The stationery was blue with a bit of a nautical, travel style.

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

I had a make up artist Laura Gemmell come to do my make up, the bridesmaids and Mum’s. She was absolutely brilliant, everyone loved their make up… one of my friends said I should do my make up like that everyday, if only she knew how long it took to put on! It was a nice treat for everyone though.

We all had our hair done at Headlines Hairdressers in Tynemouth. They were brilliant too, managing to squeeze everyone in.

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

James bought me a very unexpected but beautiful wedding present which I received on the morning of the wedding, it was a sapphire and diamond necklace to match my ring. I wore it round my wrist on the day but have worn it around my neck ever since.

I bought James a stainless steel shovel which according to him was the only thing he could have wanted.

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

I tried on hundreds of dresses before I found ‘the one’. I knew from the start that I didn’t want anything too big, so I was looking for a sleek dress.

I found a new designer called Lillian West and one of her dresses looked exactly what I was looking for. I tracked down a stockist near Kidderminster (not exactly close to home either) La Couture Bridal Boutique. They had a designer weekend so I went to try it on but my eye caught another gown in the window and that was the one. Karen and Millie at the shop were so helpful. I wish I could do it all again.

I had a headdress by Halo & Co, also bought from La Couture. My shoes from Rainbow Club. I loved it that you could see my feet with the dress so had my nails and toes painted bright pink.

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

James is a builder so doesn’t dress up often. In fact is scruffiness is part of the attraction. You can’t beat a buff guy in shorts and a tool belt!

Anyway, he wore his own navy M&S suit, bought for a friends wedding last year… so you could say it was vintage! He wore his own shoes and shirt but forgot his tie… fortunately his mum knows him so well that she brought a spare with her so he wore that!

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

The bridesmaids were tricky because we found that one of them, James’ little sister Vicky was pregnant and that the baby would be about two weeks old for the wedding. We had to choose something which she could wear and was flexible to her size.

We chose some slinky multi-way dresses from Marks & Spencer which were really good value (£55) and looked fantastic. We found some matching shoes by Debut at Debenhams in the sale. I had to go to about five stores to track stock down in the right sizes!

The groomsmen all wore their own suits but were asked to wear a blue tie and they all had matching button holes.

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

Our dog Tinker was ring bearer in the ceremony. Tink goes to work with James every day so they are best buddies, as soon as we realised we could have Tink with us all day (until the evening reception) we didn’t think twice. When we were at Davanti he just sat on the terrace outside the door and got lots of scraps of pork and crackling!

Wedding at Tynemouth Lighthouse (c) Little Miss Boyco

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Real Wedding Recap Summer 2013: Docksiders! A Real Wedding In North Wales – Danielle & Tom

June 25th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for the second half of what’s set to be the biggest and best year year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty. 

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Usual service will recommence on 1st July 2013,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far in 2013, plenty of eye candy, new features that we won’t be able to wait to share, some special supplier showcases and a couple of surprises too!

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North Wales Wedding by Dan Vernon Photography

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Now I try so, so hard not to have favourites… but goodness, today’s beautiful and spirited Real Wedding, sent to me by Dan Vernon Photography, real bride Danielle and first featured back in March of this year is testing my resolve.  Rainbow groomsmen, a rowing boat full of plonk, one stunning bride, seaside sing-a-longs and dancing on the dock… where was my invitation guys?!

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Relish it, and be inspired… 

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Dan Vernon Photography

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Dan Vernon Photography

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Dan Vernon Photography

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Danielle says:  Tom proposed on a Ferris wheel in a culture park called Tivoli in Copenhagen on 17th November 2011 (after 12.5 years!) it was also the same day my niece Sofia was born!

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We tied the knot on 7th July 2012 at St Fraid’s Church, Treaddur Bay, Anglesey and afterwards the reception was held in a boathouse close by on the inland sea.

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We chose our venue for it’s natural beauty and closeness to the sea. We also wanted to be close to home and childhood memories. This is where we both grew up. 

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We opted for a country chic, homemade style, with multi coloured chinos for our groomsmen, navy bridesmaids and a cream and yellow decor.

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I travelled in my cousin Craig’ s Volkswagen camper van, which he had specially valeted with beautiful flower petals!

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I wore a simple ivory chiffon dress from a boutique in Chester called Aristocrats and carried a hand tied bouquet of white Lily of the Valley and Sweet Peas, whist my bridesmaids had country flowers. 

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A friend played the trumpet for our marriage procession whilst my Mum walked me down the aisle.  My brother was my best man. 

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We used Snowdonia Marquee Outdoor Catering Company (North Wales). 

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I have the best aunties in the world who made a series of cakes and pies. We had cherry pies, chocolate cakes, cupcakes, coconut ice – amazing homemade cakes thanks to our lovely family!

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We had a harpist for the champagne reception and wonderful Casey Jones and Co playing live piano and Irish tin whistle for outdoor jigging down the jetty after the dinner.  Later on we entertained ourselves with an Ipod DJ and asked friends to submit songs to spotify playlist.

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All of it was the best day of my life, I cannot choose a specific favourite moment. I loved standing on the jetty with Tom and looking out to sea and then back at all our family and friends.

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After the wedding we honeymooned in Italy.  We went to the Amalfi Coast to an agriturismo farm for a week and then Venice for the second week.

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My top tip for Brides Up North would be to hire Dan Vernon! Let the photographer capture your moments rather than posed shots. Be comfortable with your photographer, Dan was absolutely exceptional and we enjoyed having him be a part of our day.

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Also, don’t worry about your dress, makeup, other people, enjoy the experience together as it goes too fast!

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Congratulations Danielle & Tom!

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Want to see your own Real Wedding featured on these pages?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © Dan Vernon Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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French Frills & Seaside Thrills! A Real Wedding In Cornwall – Adam & Clare

October 29th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Fauvette by Cymbeline, Evolve Photography

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It’s not often that a can say that they helped a bride to pick her wedding dress, but in the case of the gorgeous Clare and her beautiful wedding dress I was honoured to be involved in the process during an ‘on location’ day as a Saturday girl at The White Room Sheffield.

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Clare and her lovely Mum came in during the Cymbeline trunk show hosted by Chloe in her gorgeous boutique to check that Fauvette, with her swanlike layers of tulle and funky adjustable skirt really was ‘the one’. 

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And what can I say Clare?  I knew it all along!  Stunning. 

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Now Northerners Clare and Adam did officially tie the knot down in Cornwall, but I wouldn’t deny you a peek at their gorgeous day (and her fabulous frock!) just because of a little thing like geography now, would I?

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So enjoy your mini break down Cornwall way… as it’ll be back to good old Yorkshire later this afternoon!

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Clare says:  We got engaged on Easter Sunday 2011. Adam proposed over a picnic by the Minnewater (or ‘Lake of Love’) in Bruges, and we tied the knot on 28th September 2012 at the Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall.  We’ve been going there for years and it’s our favourite haunt for a mini break. 

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I chose to wear Fauvette by Cymbeline from The White Room. I wanted something fun, lightweight, and that I could wear easily and dance in – the underskirt comes off for shorter party wear!  I also had a feather shoulder cover from Monsoon for warmth when outside, and sparkly shoes from Jimmy Choo.  I carried a bouquet of white chrysanthemums by George Mackay.    

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Adam wore a seersucker jacket and waistcoat with dark blue trousers by Marc Wallace.  

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I chose a colour theme of bright candy colours, and my bridesmaids wore short, flirty dresses by Alfred Angelo in three different colours to suit three very different ladies.  The best man and ushers wore what they wanted, we just asked that they donned a different coloured hanky each to tie-in with the three maids’ colours. 

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I was nervous about the vows, but as soon as I entered the room the nerves disappeared and I enjoyed myself. 

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We purposefully kept the day fuss free and simple – to create ‘our perfect day’ we wanted to do something we would normally do but this time shared with close friends and family. Wedding vows at the hotel were followed by champers on the balcony and we then walked over to Fifteen for more fizz, speeches and fab food. We had free time on the beach/in the hotel and then a cream tea back at the hotel before dancing all night and late night Cornish pasty snacks. 

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The food, atmosphere and service at Fifteen was immense. Dancing all night with a room full of pals can’t be beaten!  We had a very carefully selected playlist to ensure that the dancing never stopped!

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We wanted to serve scones with jam and clotted cream so we asked Portreath Bakery to make them into a tower with a Victoria sponge on top to cut, decorated with strawberries to make it pretty. 

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We have a party to look forward to in a pub in Sheffield for a wider circle of friends and family in early November, we then go to Brazil for three weeks on honeymoon. 

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that this is your day. Be selfish – create the day you both want, ignoring pressure or expectations from others.

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Congratulations Clare & Adam!

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Get in touch to see your Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 Evolve

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Wednesday Wedding Inspiration!

August 8th, 2012 | Julia Braime

Simple Sea Mist

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1. Wedding Wishes Bottles 2. Mellifluous Necklace 3. Seafoam Lacie Shoes 4. J Crew Sinclair Dress 5. Stemmed Sea Glass 6. Sea Shell Cake 7. Sea Glass Earrings 8. Sea Island Stationery 9. Jenny Packham Berkley Gown

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A good friend of mine came to me with a wedding dilemma recently (yes, I do get a lot of that!), asking how to incorporate her favourite colour – green – into her wedding day, without it looking too, well, green.  She had considered other colour schemes, but just didn’t want to leave her favourite out, yet couldn’t quite get it right. 

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Leave it to guest blogger Katy of What Katy Did Next and her fantastic fortnightly wedding inspiration boards to come up with the solution in this beautiful sea mist collage. 

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Katy says: Though I’m sure (in the North) we are all sick of excessive water, I have taken this week’s inspiration from the sea and created a simple and elegant beachy wedding style. Seafoam, mint and sage greens are so beautiful combined together or used alone. I have used them to soften the simple stark white Jenny Packham gown, which would work so perfectly with the textured freshwater pearl necklace from BHLDN that has a tassel tipped strands that dangle down your back, begging to be shown off! Team it with a tousled updo – which is great for a beach wedding and keeps the sea breeze from messing with your locks.

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You can be sure your accessories are completely unique with the Sea Glass Earrings handmade by Surf & Silver Sea Glass Jewellery. They would make perfect gifts for your bridesmaids. I am completely in love with the J Crew ‘Dusty Shale’ coloured chiffon dress! The draping is exquisite but if the style isn’t for all your maids the colour is available in other styles too. Stick with the sea theme and have flashes of sea glass in your bouquet or a charm around the base.

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My favourite part? Possibly the coloured glass bottles labelled ‘Wedding Wishes’ – words of wisdom and loving messages left from all your guests, which would make a fabulous keepsake in your love nest! I am also blown away by the simple but effective cake – seriously stylish!

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And her wedding inspiration brilliance isn’t all that Katy is offering us this week! Katy is holding a giveaway over on her blog and she would like to invite Brides Up North readers to enter too.  For the chance to win a bespoke headpiece  from What Katy Did Next to the value of £150 you just have to email info@what-katy-did-next.co.uk with your details or comment on Katy’s blog post (say hello from Brides Up North too!).  The competition closes on 27th August 2012. 

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Remember: the plan is to share a new inspiration board in this time slot every week, either compiled by myself, regular guest blogger Katy or YOU: get in touch with your own ideas and inspiration boards! We’ll be discussing our inspirations behind the images too so it’s simply going to be a whole load of lovely.

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If you are a little less arty but in need of inspiration and still want to play along, we will also be taking requests for colour schemes and themes and making bespoke boards for my readers. Please contact me to suggest a theme or colour scheme.

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Click here to see previous Wednesday Wed-spiration Mood Boards

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2012 as credited, supplied by What Katy Did Next

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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And They All Lived Happily Ever After! A Real Wedding In The North West – Megan & Darren

April 12th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Real Wedding In The North West: Paper Daisy Photography

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Today’s real bride and regular reader Megan got in touch with me via my Facebook page after seeing the gorgeous art deco wedding inspiration shoot that was featured on these swirly silver pages a few weeks ago.  Click here if you missed it.   Megan got married at the very same location as our shoot – The Midland Hotel – and wanted to share her beautiful wedding day with you lovely lot.

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Now here’s an admission: I don’t usually cry when I blog Real Weddings.  It’s a good job as I’d need shares in Kleenex for the amount that pass through my inbox on a daily basis.  But this one totally did it for me.  Sniff. 

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I hope that you love it too.

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We decided to get married when our very close friend, Jane, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We have been together for 7 years and although we had discussed marriage kept waiting until we had the money. We decided that you never know what is around the corner and it was time to get on with it.

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I said I wasn’t bothered about an official ‘engagement’ and I bought a bling wedding ring from Ebay. On Christmas Day Darren surprised me with a treasure hunt around the house. My ring was hidden in a box on the Christmas tree with a note saying ‘Will you marry me?’

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We were married on 24th March 2012.  The ceremony was at Lancaster Town Hall, followed by a reception at The Midland Hotel, Morecambe.

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I love being by the sea and really wanted a venue which over looked Morecambe Bay. at first we thought The Midland would be out of our price range and wrote it off. In the end we decided to talk to them and met with Vicky Cruse, who was brilliant. We discussed ways of getting the wedding in on budget and although it was slightly more than we initially had in mind we knew we would regret it if we didn’t go for the place we liked the most.

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Having the ceremony elsewhere broke up the day a little and made it a slightly less expensive option. The town hall were brilliant, very accommodating. We can’t fault either venue.

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The ‘theme’ was loosely based on Old Hollywood Glamour. The Midland is an iconic 1930′s hotel and it seemed apt to go with a more opulent theme then perhaps a ‘vintage’ wedding. We chose The Midland not only because it had stunning views and the interior was gorgeous, but because we knew they would look after us. We had to do very little to make the place look stunning – and all we did was provide the décor and they did the rest.

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As Lancaster town hall and The Midland are totally different in style and décor I decided to not have a colour scheme. The bridesmaids were all in white, I was in white and the flowers were white with lime green and dark green accents. This meant we could add splashes of colour where we wanted. For example we had red heart balloons for the car and the car had turquoise bows on it.

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I had an Essense wedding dress. Initially I wasn’t going to have a real wedding dress, but one morning I was walking past Butterfly Bridal in Lancaster and I decided to try some on. They were so lovely. There was less than six months to go and with the Chinese New Year approaching they were concerned I might not get a dress in on time. So we searched the ex-samples.

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On my second visit I found ‘the’ dress. It was just wanted – it gave me a really curvy shape and the flowers on the train were just stunning. I felt amazing wearing it. Darren said it was better than he could ever imagine.

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I did the flowers – I ordered them from Triangle Nurseries. They were very helpful I would recommend them to anyone.  I carried white ranunculus with green viburnum.  The button holes were made from freesias, ranunculus and berries.  Chloe’s bouquet was made from white hyacinths and white freesias with dark green foliage.  The table decorations were made from twigs I sprayed white with flowers around the bottom {Brides Up North side note: Wow!}.  

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My sons were supposed to give me away and our son Rory was supposed to be ring bearer. However, in the end Rory walked down the aisle with my son Callum and my other son Liam gave me away. We used the box in which Darren had used to propose at Christmas.

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The brooch I wore to keep my wrap on was given to me at Christmas by Callum and Liam to wear on my wedding dress.

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The bridesmaids all had different dresses. I had our daughter, Farrah (3), who was wearing a dress from Monsoon. She also had the strap from my dress as a head dress. There was my niece, Holly, 2 who had a dress from Debenhams. However she decided she didn’t want to walk down the aisle with us and promptly fell asleep as the ceremony started! The oldest bridesmaid (Darren’s niece) was Chloe, 14, who wore a lovely chiffon dress we found in Debenhams. She looked like a little starlet! It was really nice having the girls in different outfits but having them all tied in by being white. Chloe carried flowers but I bought the little ones heart decorations at Christmas as I knew that if I gave them flowers they would soon destroy them!

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The boys outfits came from various high street shops and Darren’s suit came from Marks and Spencer.

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We travelled in style on the day! A friend of a friend had an open top beetle from 1972. It was great fun. They are thinking of a setting a business up so this was a great way for them to get some pictures. It was great driving along with the roof down, everyone was shouting congratulations at us!

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The cakes were made by Darren’s cousin, Emma. She made three stunning cakes which faded in in colour from pink, green and yellow to white {Brides Up North side note #2: Double Wow!}. His Aunt and Uncle also provided some fondant fancies and french macaroons from Betty’s in Harrogate. I made some ‘truffles’ with my sisters and bought the rest of the items on the dessert table.

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The decorations came from months of collecting items from high street shops.

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We had a band in the evening called ‘The Tracks’. Darren plays the guitar so he got up and did a couple of songs.  Darren’s brother, Kevin, brought his ukulele and did an impromptu singalong in the bar between the meal and the evening do.

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We also spent a lot of time thinking about the music during the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa ‘Something’s got a hold of me’ we wanted it to be lively and fun. After the ceremony I tried to find as many of our friends first dances as possible and put them on a cd. I am not sure whether people noticed though!

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I have so many favourite moments:

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Seeing Darren’s face as we all walked down the aisle. He cried whilst I beamed!

Getting woken up by my friend Jenny at 6.45am in the suite at The Midland (STUNNING!) jumping around saying ‘you’re getting married today’!

Realising it was a sunny day.

Seeing Farrah in the rain shower at the Midland, she was like a little mermaid.

Pulling up at The Town Hall and seeing my boys all dressed up and gorgeous.

Being able to relax and know nothing was too much trouble.

My parents surprise Charleston dance in the evening. Talk about being upstaged!

Becoming Mrs Hawkins. 

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My advice for other Brides Up North is enjoy yourself. All too often I read about stressed out brides – it is supposed to be fun! Remember all that is important is marrying your other half. The other ‘stuff’ is exactly that. If it is stressing you out or distressing you then don’t worry about it. Do the things you like and find enjoyable.  Also, remember everything on the day will take far longer than you think. Listen to the advice of your wedding coordinator if you have one. Or ask those who have recently married.

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Ooh, and don’t give up on your ideal venue. Approach them and see what they say. You will never regret asking.

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Congratulations Megan and Darren!

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Contact me to share your Real Wedding memories with Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 Paper Daisy Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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