Brides Up North

Less Cash, More Class. A Real Wedding (On A Budget!) In York- Stef & Rich

June 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

When Brides Up North reader Stef first contacted me asking if I’d like to share her Real Wedding memories, she made it clear that she was extremely proud to have planned her big day whilst sticking to quite a narrow budget (in comparison to the “average” spend), and very much wanted to show other Brides Up North that you can have the day of your dreams without getting yourself into debt. 

It might mean that there aren’t any “getting ready” shots or images of Stef and Rich’s wedding breakfast to share today (they had mates ready with a camera for those bits instead) but it did mean that they start their lives together money-worry free.  An excellent trade off, in my opinion. They don’t seem particularly put out by the lack of all those “details” that we are conditioned to think should make up a good wedding either.

C’mon, I’m a wedding blogger – it goes without saying that I love a huge blowout bash – but I like a refreshing (and savvy) approach too.  Don’t be afraid to work out a budget for your big day and then – here’s the clever part – stick to it.  If there’s money in the pot and you want to, go large (and send me the photos!), but if you’d rather save a few pennies for rainier days, that’s fine too.

Kudos to you Stef, your wedding looks like it was awesome.

With images by Emilia Smith.

 

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

Stef says: We got engaged on holiday in Bulgaria. We went on holiday with a group of friends, their children and my step daughter. Rich said he wanted to take me out for a meal on our own.

Next thing I know a horse and carriage pulls up. I knew instantly what he was up to. I was so nervous… but very happy. He asked me on the carriage. We didn’t go for dinner as we decided to go back to the hotel, buy champagne and celebrate with our friends and later we all went for a wonderful meal on the beach.

The ring was perfect! So different and so perfectly me.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

Our wedding date was 29th March 2014. I ran York marathon in October 2013 and after the marathon we walked round York and saw York Registry Office. We went in and had a look. We both instantly knew that was where we wanted our small ceremony to be. We paid the deposit without a second thought.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

We picked vintage blues and pinks and went for a tea party style. I love pink and we like to coordinate outfits a lot (yawn!) so we naturally went for pink and blue. 

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

I wanted a tea length 50’s style dress. I found it at Deborah Moore Bridal and it was by Pronovias. I was originally going to get a high street dress or a bridesmaid dress as our budget was so small but I went with my best friend to try on dresses and saw “my dress”.  It was in the sale at more than half price but it was a full length gown. We played around with some pins and I decided to buy it and alter it.  I was so delighted with it and it is still hanging over my bed! It fits with my style perfectly… it’s different but still elegant and very “weddingy”. 

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

My husband got his suit from the internet. It was extremely cheap but we ordered it and had it altered. He wore all blue with a blue dickie bow and his favourite blue suede brogues.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

As we were on a strict budget we asked all our guests to wear what they wanted and informed them of the colour scheme and theme of the wedding. Our friends and family know us well and all followed our wishes.

I had my beautiful step daughter as my flower girl. We got her (unworn) dress from a second hand bridal shop called Bridal Reloved in Beverley.  She wanted a dress similar to mine and we wore matching shoes that we won on an auction site and I bought pink near shoe clips to jazz them up.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

My photographer was a friend of a friend. Her name is Emilia smith (freelance). She was brilliant and we had such a wonderful experience with her

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

I wanted silk flowers mainly to keep them forever but also as they cost much much less.  I found a lady who makes bouquets on Etsy and I emailed asking for a custom order. I sent her pictures of our shoes and general theme and ordered two bouquets, a hair clip, and a button hole for my husband.

I made button holes for the guests from wool and pipe cleaners. I was super pleased with how it all turned out. The registry office had flowers of their own and we didn’t feel the need to have any more.

My mum made wooden spoons with bells and ribbons on… this was for the guests to shake and wave when we came out of the ceremony room. They were a fun and quirky idea and the kids loved them.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

We opted for a champagne afternoon tea at the Grange Hotel, York.

I was very informal, with no seating plan.  We arranged sofas and comfy chairs so people could sit with who they wished and it was very relaxed.

For our evening shindig we served curry and cake. We had such a wonderful peaceful day – we wanted our night party to be a good knees up and it was!

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

The best part of the day for me was having the photographs in the city with just me and my husband.

We got a lot of attention and it was so much fun. We wanted the photos to be fun and capture our personalities and we wanted them to be natural. The weather was fantastic and it was such a wonderful buzz. We were on cloud nine!

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

We went to Tunisia for our honeymoon. Again we were on a budget and we shopped around. We did lots of activities like wine tasting, camel riding and had a spa day. It was a lovely hotel and as it was “out of season” the value for money was unbelievable… ultimately all that mattered to us was a bit of sun and seven days to be together.  Everything else was a bonus.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what you want and don’t do things because they are expected. We feel that people spend a lot of money on things that are forgotten. We had a budget of £3000 and that had to include the honeymoon. We had a wonderful experience and we are now married and we don’t have any debts to pay. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for favours… we did and it was the best move we made, and also included them in our day.

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Congratulations Stef & Rich!

Fancy sharing your Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Get in touch.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Emilia Smith

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

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The Designer Series: Haazar Of London

March 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Camille long

This afternoon I’m proud to welcome designers Rachel and Issy of Hazaar of London to our pages.  The duo design adaptable bridal gowns that can take a bride from day to evening without the need for a second dress.  Clever and beautiful. 

Camille short back

Please introduce Hazaar of London and tell us a little about your brand?

The idea of Hazaar of London began to form when we met at the London College of Fashion while studying Costume design for the performing arts.

The concept of designing adaptable bridal gowns came from seeing our friends feeling frustrated with their long gowns by the evening, and having to change out of their perfect wedding dress and into a different, shorter dress so they could enjoy the rest of their day unrestricted. We felt that brides should be able to stay in their dream dress for as long as possible on their wedding day so we designed gowns around that concept. 

What is your style philosophy?

Our background is in historical costume design and dress making and we are continuously influenced by classic style icons and designers – some of our absolute favourites being the classic elegance of 50s Dior and icons Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. This means that our design style naturally includes elements of vintage styling, but with a modern take on what bridal wear means to brides today.

Camille with Pink Ophelia back

Tell us about the collection by Hazaar of London? What were your inspirations behind this beautiful collection?

Our Rose Blush collection is a combination of classic design and delicate detailing, with a touch of rose blush tones, creating an exciting blend of warmth and detail.

The new collection of adaptable gowns has evolved to offer our brides the chance to find their perfect wedding day look, by choosing a fusion of their favourite pieces to create their own style.

Where do you look for inspiration?

We find inspiration in the most unlikely of places. We never stop designing and are always talking about new ideas and plans for future collections.

Camille with Pink Ophelia front

What sort of woman do you design for, did you have a specific “muse” for this collection?

We design for brides who are looking for something classically beautiful with a modern twist that not only allows them the freedom to enjoy the evening celebrations, but holds a surprise for their guests and groom! We always love to hear stories from our brides about their wedding guests’ excited reactions to their change of look.

Our ‘muse’ and inspiration for this collection was classic English beauty, which is why we chose our beautiful ‘English Rose’ model for the Rose Blush shoot.

Evie long

What fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the new collection and why?

We chose flowing duchess satins and soft blush chiffons, with overlays of delicate lace and pretty beaded detail to create the pretty and feminine designs of our new Rose Blush collection. Fabric choice is very important to us and we take care to choose fabrics that will create perfect movement and structure.

Do you have a personal favourite from the new collection?  Which piece and why?

We find it hard to choose favourites as we only design gowns that we really love and talk about them as if they were people! However, Rachel is planning her wedding for 2014 and is currently besotted with our fusion of the short lace Violet dress with our duchess satin Ruby skirt.

Evie short

What jewellery would you pair with pieces from your new collection?  Why?

We are drawn towards vintage jewellery and accessories and have seen some beautiful jewelled head pieces and earrings that would work well with any of our gowns. However, accessory styling is very personal to each bride and we encourage our brides to express their individual style in every way.

Evie with Viola skirt

How do you decide on the “names” for your gowns?

The names for our gowns come from the inspiration behind each collection. We named the gowns in our first ‘Grace’ collection after the names of women from Shakespearean plays. This was partly to do with our theatrical background and was a nod to historical design and British heritage. When designing the Rose Blush collection, we were inspired by natural English beauty and classic styling so we named our gowns after pretty English names.

Pearl long

What sizes are available in your gowns?  Are your pieces made to measure?

Our gowns are made to order and are available in sizes 8-18.

Pearl short

What is the process for your clients from finding “the one” to the final fitting?

We carefully choose our stockists and are fortunate to work with some fantastic boutiques who offer a very attentive and personal service. Once a bride finds her perfect gown, it is hand made to order and personally checked and finished by us before being sent to our stockist for fittings.

Pink Ophelia front

What is the retail price range for your designs?

Our gowns range from £1,500 – £2,345.

Ruby long front

What sets Hazaar of London apart from other bridal wear brands?

The adaptability of our gowns enables brides to be playful, change their look on the day and even create their perfect gown by choosing their favourite pieces. Hazaar brides can walk down the aisle looking classically beautiful and go on to enjoy their wedding reception looking equally perfect but ready for the celebration.

Ruby short

How did you get into wedding dress design – what is your story?

Wedding dress design was a natural progression for us. Throughout our costume degree and into our careers in the costume industry, we found we most enjoyed working with and designing exquisite women’s wear, ball gowns and evening wear.

We love bridal design and we believe that a wedding dress is more than just a dress. The perfect dress complements a brides’ personality and makes them feel unique and utterly beautiful on their special day, and we love being a part of that.

Is this your dream career? 

We love bridal and everything wedding related. We both previously worked in costume in the theatre, film and music industry which we did enjoy, but bridal is what we are truly passionate about.

What would “a day in the life” at Hazaar of London HQ be like?

A day at Hazaar of London is never the same! Typically we will start the day by answering emails and checking up on orders. We then decide on the rest of the day depending on what we are working towards. Earlier this year it was all about the White Gallery and now we are working on our plans for the National Wedding Show at Earl’s Court in September. We’re really excited as it’s our first major retail show and we can’t wait to meet lots of brides and showcase our unique collection of adaptable gowns.

Violet long

Where do you go and what do you do to relax?

We head to the spa at any opportunity and have been known to hold meetings in the sauna! However, when we aren’t on Hazaar duty, we tend to either spend time with the men in our lives or meet up with our friends. We also attend ballet classes (we both love ballet and danced a lot when we were younger) and we have just started doing pilates.

VioletViolashort

How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you/ see more of your designs? 

Images of our Grace and Rose Blush collections can be viewed on our website www.hazaaroflondon.com along with stockist details. We can also be contacted by email enquiries@hazaaroflondon.com.

Do you have any Northern stockists – how can Brides Up North find them?

We are currently searching for the perfect Northern stockists for our brand. There are lots of fantastic boutiques who we would love to work with, so will hopefully be available soon! Currently, our nearest stockist is the beautiful Anais Bridal Couture in Glasgow.

Viola long

Is there anything else that we should know?

All of our gowns are hand made to order in the EU and we personally choose and check every detail of each gown. Each design is adaptable but can be made as a single gown, and although our Rose Blush collection has been designed using soft pink tones, we are happy for brides to order in ivory. We like to think that our collection is playful and offers brides the chance to customise their gown to create their perfect wedding day look – without paying bespoke prices!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Hazaar Of London

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I Gotta Feelin’. A Short & Flippy Ted Baker Frock & Red Peonies For A Real Wedding In Manchester – Charlotte & Pete

March 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Lucie & Bruce Photography

So here’s an interesting thing.  These images of Charlotte and Pete’s cute and funky city centre wedding feature almost no “detail” (in the traditional sense… centrepieces, stationery, favours) at all.  But I’d bet that you’re still feeling inspired?!

So where’s the wedding inspiration at?  Right there.  In the “feeling” of it all.  In their cool style choices, their city centre location, their hugely fun looking friends and family, their beaming smiles and their made-for-each-other kisses.  Their wedding was their wedding, no question about it.   

Have fun, be yourselves and be inspired to plan your wedding your way.  If it’s even half as cool as Charlotte and Pete’s day, you’re doing alright. 

With images by Lucie & Bruce.   

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Charlotte says:  We got engaged in June 2011 in our kitchen! Pete put the ring in a Krispy Kreme donut!  We were married on 8th June 2013 at Manchester Registry Office

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

We wanted a city centre wedding rather than a country house and chose a black and red colour scheme. 

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

The girls stayed in Malmaison Manchester the night before and we all walked down to M.A.C at House Of Fraser in the morning for our make up – they got to keep the make up they liked as a gift from me. 

My hair was by Hayley Staniland. 

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Once we were ready we hopped in a black cab to the registry office. 

Lucie & Bruce Photography

My dress was short with a full skirt and a vintage look from Ted Baker.  I carried a bouquet of red roses and peonies from Funky Floral in Rochdale. 

Lucie & Bruce Photography

My bridesmaids looked hot in black Karen Millen pencil dresses. Our groomsmen simple grey suits from Next… and Converse trainers of course!

Lucie & Bruce Photography

My favourite part of the day was walking into the registry office to a string version of Coldplay’s Paradise, and seeing Pete choking up when he saw me.

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Following the wedding we all went for a meal at Grill On The Alley. 

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Our cake was a stack of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and after dinner we had a disco night at Malmaison with a photobooth from Bloom Pics – we made our own entertainment!

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

My dad’s speeches were really special.  He read an email from my brother in Oz who couldn’t be there. I think everyone shed a tear at that!

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

For our honeymoon, we went to Tavira in Portugal in a beautiful villa with the kids and my parents. They helped so much with the kids and we got to have a few luxury days to ourselves. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen also bought us a night in a stunning hotel. Very nice!

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Lucie & Bruce Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax! Nobody notices the tiny details. The people you invite make your wedding.

Lucie & Bruce Photography

Congratulations Charlotte & Pete!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Get in touch!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Lucy & Bruce

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Country Rose, City Chic. A Leap Year Proposal & Last Minute Plans For A Pretty Real Wedding In Leeds – Lucy & Darren

November 5th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Lissa Alexandra Photography

This afternoon we are fusing country wedding pretty with city glamour as we join Lucy and Darren for their gorgeous Leeds City Centre Real Wedding.  After a major setback (read on) which derailed Lucy’s original plans, this beautiful bride came back fighting to create a celebration that was even better than she’d imagined.

With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lucy says:  We got engaged on 29th February 2012 – it was the leap year so I took the opportunity to propose to him!

I proposed at home, he came home from work to a candlelit bath, the table was set with candles, I had prepared a three course home cooked meal – I bought his wedding ring, put it in his desert bowl & popped the question!

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

We got married on 29th June 2013 at Leeds Town Hall then the Malmaison Hotel

We originally booked Anthony’s Piazza Restaurant in the Corn Exchange, but on Friday 21st June (one week before the wedding) they sent me an email to say they were closing the business & could no longer do our ‘event’! So, in a mad panic a very distressed bride to be went in to the Malmaison Hotel in Leeds who said very calmly not to panic and they would sort everything out for me! They took a copy of the menu that Anthony’s were going to produce for us and copied it. They upgraded me to the Suite and the staff were so helpful, I didn’t feel like my wedding collapsed the week before. The wedding ended up being 100% better than what was originally booked. 

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

The wedding had an English rose, vintage, romantic feel with a lilac colour base.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

My tea length dress was by Sottero & Midgley at The Bridal Boutique in Guiseley.  The guys wore indigo blue three piece suits from M&S with lilac ties. 

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

I carried a big bouquet of Peony, Sweet Pea, Hydrangea, Stocks and freesia – I wanted the wild flower look.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

We kept it simple at the venue and used lots of candles and low lighting to create a romantic setting.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

We bought everyone a Lotto ticket for a favour, held in a brown card holder with a Good Luck verse, tied with brown string and dotted vintage disposable cameras around the tables for our guests to take some snaps.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Our cutting cake was Victoria Sponge and we also had cupcakes in Cherry Bakewell, Lemon Meringue & Chocolate.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

My favourite part of the day was seeing all the evening guests arrive & dancing to the band, twirling to the music in my wedding dress!

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

After the wedding we honeymooned at Loch Long in Scotland.  We rented a cottage overlooking the Loch. 

Lissa Alexandra Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax & enjoy the day as it goes too quickly!

Lissa Alexandra Photography

 

Congratulations Lucy & Darren!

Fancy sharing your own Real Wedding with Brides Up North?  Here’s how.  We’d love to hear from you.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Lissa Alexandra Photography 

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

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Ruby Vintage: A Real Wedding At Southport Beach – Charlotte & Austin

July 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Cunningham Photography

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Ok, I’ll admit it.  The missing blog post in yesterday afternoon’s regular slot was not due to computer meltdown or technical issues, rather due to a very strong desire to get away from my computer screen and off into the big sunny outdoors with my parents and baby girl.  Sometimes a (tactical) skive is just what you need to set the World to rights and get those creative juices flowing again, and goodness do I have some beautiful features lined up to share with you over the next week and this weekend. 

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So, after exploring the fabulous Great Yorkshire Show yesterday (come on, where else would a blogger so passionate about the great and good in the North be?) armed with pushchair and ice-cream, I’m back this morning to make amends with a rather lovely celebration sent to me by Charlotte, Austin and their photographer Teresa of Cunningham Photography

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Charlotte and Austin’s Real Wedding was personal and passionate with heaps of style.  I hope that you enjoy our recap. 

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Cunningham Photography

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Charlotte says:  We got engaged on 26th October 2011 at Southport Beach, one of our favourite places, and were married on Friday 5th October 2012.  The ceremony was in the Chambers Room at Southport Town Hall and the reception was in the Prince of Wales Hotel, Southport.

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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We chose our venue for it’s gorgeous ballroom and as it was where we first met at the age of 16 and had our first kiss (although we didn’t start dating until 7 years later).

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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We didn’t have a theme as such but went for reds, autumnal colours and a vintage feel.

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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I bought a cheap, disastrous dress from eBay but my Mother’s friend is an amazing seamstress and managed to make the perfect dress for me from it. It was a just below the knee, 50s style dress with a detachable long sleeved overtop. Austin wore a grey teddy boy style suit with a black velvet collar, red bow tie and black and white winkle pickers!

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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I had eight bridesmaids all of different shapes and sizes and so asked them all just to buy their own red dresses for the occasion. I did start to stress a few days before the wedding when I realised I still hadn’t seen any of their dresses but it turned out looking really nice having all different shades of red and different styles of dresses. Austin had three groomsmen (one being his lovely female friend Katy) and just asked them the wear grey which had the same lovely effect as the bridesmaids originality.

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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We were so lucky that a lot of our family and friends were so very helpful (and useful!). A family friend made our cakes while Austin’s Grandmother worked in a florist and sorted our flowers out for us. We also made a lot of things ourselves and with friends to keep the costs down.

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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I was driven to the Town Hall in a cream Volkswagen Campervan and then we were both driven around in it after the ceremony for our photos.

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Our dream wedding was for everyone to have fun and so we had a home made “photo booth” consisting of an underwater scene with inflatables and snorkelling gear and disposable cameras. We also had a “tuck shop” with lots of different sweets in jars and striped paper bags for people to take some goodies home!

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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A friend of ours is in a covers band, The Grace, that often plays weddings and so they played two sets for us and got everyone dancing! After the band we relied on Austin’s laptop for the tunes.

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All of the day was perfect and it was just amazing having all our family and friends there in the same place. I loved our first dance to ‘No one’s Gonna Love You More Than I Do’ by Band of Horses and all the bridesmaids and groomsmen joining in after the first chorus, such a special moment.

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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Cunningham Photography

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My family friend, Ann, made out dream wedding cake. The bottom tier was chocolate and strawberry cheesecake with the middle and top layer as fruit cake, all decorated with roses and vines. She also made a separate carrot cake for myself with little marzipan carrots all over it.

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Cunningham Photography

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After the wedding we drove to Hull and got the overnight ferry to Zeebrugge where we then drove around Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany for two weeks. It was magical. We stayed in a tree house, a space themed room and a canal boat among lots of other hotels.

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Cunningham Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North is just remember that although you’ll want to make everyone happy, ultimately this is yours and your loved one’s big day and you should do everything to make it special and meaningful for the both of you.

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Cunningham Photography

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Congratulations Charlotte & Austin!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Cunningham Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Love Is All You Need! A Flirty Frock For A Real Wedding At Liverpool’s Hard Day’s Night Hotel – Angela & Christopher

June 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Karen Julia

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It seems like the blog’s gone all musical all of a sudden!  Last week I featured a beautiful celebration (click here to catch up if you missed it) inspired by the music of Bob Dylan, and today we join Angela and Christopher in Liverpool for their big day with more than a hint of influence from the City’s fab four.

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With swishy skirts, a quirky and colourful venue and a seriously wow wedding cake this fun filled Real Wedding with images by Karen Julia certainly hits all the right notes.

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Ok.  Enough of the terrible musical puns, let’s take it away… a one, two, three…

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Angela says:  Chris asked me to marry him on Christmas day in 2011.  He wrapped up four gifts – something old (a vintage brooch) something new (a handbag) something borrowed (his favourite book) and something blue (Armani perfume), then got down on one knee with my beautiful ring!

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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We tied the knot on 27th April 2013 at The Hard Day’s Night Hotel in Liverpool (the Beatles themed hotel).  We had stayed there on my 30th birthday and loved it, and wanted a quirky venue that our guests would remember. 

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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We opted for a colour scheme of midnight blue and ivory as the venue is very colourful.  I chose a tea length Justin Alexander dress  and a birdcage headpiece from Cheshire Brides in Frodsham.  The service at the boutique was excellent and they really went above and beyond. 

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Karen Julia

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I carried a bouquet of ivory roses, freesias and carnations with diamante sparkle by Dovedale Florist in Mossley Hill, Liverpool. 

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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My bridesmaids wore long midnight blue gowns by Ebony Rose and Chris and his groomsmen wore gorgeous dark blue suits from Groom in Warrington. 

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My favourite part of the day was walking into the “Two Of Us” suite for the ceremony and seeing Chris trying desperately not to cry. 

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Michelle Halewood Hair & Beauty did my make up and hair.  She was fabulous and made me feel really glamorous.

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We chose hand made favours in the shape of hearts with our guests’ names and the date of the wedding on them, from Alayna Ellis Ceramics.

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We chose a six tier “All You Need Is Love” wedding cake by Arty Cakes in Ruthin, North Wales.  We had lots of comments about our cake that included lots of details that were all very personal to us. 

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We set up a “diary room” in the evening with www.diaryroom.com for guests to leave us messages. 

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We chose Karen Julia as our photographer, she was amazing and we would recommend her highly. 

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In the evening our band, The Warning Tones, kept the dance floor full all night.  They even learned our first dance, which was “Gravity” by Embrace. 

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We still haven’t been on our honeymoon!  We are going to book something special once all the excitement has calmed down. 

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what you want to do!  Everyone will have their opinions but at the end of the day it’s your wedding!

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Karen Julia

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Congratulations Angela & Christopher!

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Fancy seeing your own big day on the wedding blog?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Karen Julia

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Wedding Blog Fashion Exclusive: Starlets! A Styled Bridal Shoot In Yorkshire By The Little Bridal Company

January 29th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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This afternoon I am proud to introduce lovely Brides Up North Featured Supplier Becky of Bradford based The Little Bridal Company as she debuts her first complete collection here on the blog.  Becky is fiercely proud to be a Northern bridal designer and draws heavily on design influences from bygone eras to create beautiful and distinctive designs.  And we are all for that around here!

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Get ready to twirl, girls!

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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Becky says:  The photo shoot took place in the simply stunning The Midland Hotel in the centre of Bradford.  The idea behind the shoot was to bring together up and coming bright stars of the bridal business based in and around Bradford. Bradford has had a bad press over the last few years, resulting in a lack of jobs and opportunity. I wanted to show that there really is something good happening in our city so watch out!

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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My first complete off the peg collection is named ‘Starlets’  and my muse a young actress, especially one working her way up through the star system. This rings so true in so many ways. The Little Bridal Company with myself at the helm is at the beginning of its own journey through the star system. So too is a bride.

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company.

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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The inspiration behind The Little Bridal Company has many origins.

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Thanks to my grandparents the love of musicals is deep-set: ‘Seven Brides For Seven Brothers’, ‘Wizard Of Oz’ and ‘Some Like It Hot’ (to name but a few). Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Sofia Lauren graced the screens with their true beauty – no air brushing needed – and they had womanly, hour glass figures. No wonder we are seeing a vintage revival with so many smoke screens in the world today! These films take you away to a fantasy world where the good prevail, the bad lose and everybody lives happily ever after.  Isn’t that what we need to pick us up in this time of austerity?

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It isn’t reality but who wants reality 24/7 and what better time to embrace this feeling than on your wedding day were you do get your happily ever after and your knight in shining armour?! You are the star in your own show for that one day and just maybe if you work at it that feeling will stay with you for your entire marriage just like in the good old days.

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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The Little Bridal Company harps back to the days of elegance and sultriness of the 1940′s and 50′s glory days, with echoes of the war time ethos ‘make do and mend’ when dresses were made from old bed sheets and curtaining during the war and grow your own and self sustainability were encouraged.

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In this current age we are encouraged to spend, spend, spend and told that new is best, but in the world of weddings this is not always the best way to go. Embracing the old and fashionably labelling it ‘vintage’ has helped the modern day bride personalise every element of her special day.  ‘Something old’ and ‘something borrowed’ has now taken on a whole new role and I applaud this.

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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‘Starlets’ is a soft, feminine collection created for my 2013 brides to be.  The collection is heavily influenced by ‘The New Look’ collection of 1947 by Dior:  this post war collection brought back the femininity, soft rounded shapes and full flowing shapes which had been lost during the war when women went to work to aid the war effort and fabric was in short supply.

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The term fit or flounce was first penned around this time describing the quintessential silhouettes of the era. The dresses placed great emphasis on the narrowing of the waist, creating a feminine and curvaceous silhouette.

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Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

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Little Black Book

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Dresses – The Little Bridal Company

Suits – Pins Bespoke Tailors

Photographer – Karen Spencer

Location – The Midland Hotel

Make up – Holly Hutchinson

Florist and props – Greenhouse

Bouquets and headpieces – Urban Bride

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  – Images © 2013 Karen Spencer

The Little Bridal Company is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Real Wedding Recap 2012: Wish You Were Here! A Real Vintage Travel Christmas Wedding In The North West – Carlene & Adam

December 25th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Over the festive period I’ll be recapping some of my very favourite Real Weddings from the last 12 months on the wedding blog. It’s been a tough choice! In true Brides Up North style, each wedding featured on these pages is unique, beautiful and gorgeously personal. It’s been an exceptionally fabulous year! Enjoy…

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Carlene & Adam chose a vintage travel theme for their winter wedding in the North West, sent to me by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Phil Drinkwater Photography and North West Wedding Planner Caroline Hale of Pomp & Ceremony.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Phil Drinkwater Photography

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Caroline of Pomp & Ceremony explains: Carlene and Adam were married at Thornton Manor on 18 December 2011 with a fabulous vintage travel theme. The wedding ceremony was held at 4pm in the dining room followed by a reception in the stunning music room.

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Prior to the ceremony, guests were welcomed to the main hall for mulled wine and mince pies.  The couple met working in Singapore, where they still live today, and wanted to incorporate their love of travel in the theme of the wedding. Carlene is originally from the Wirral where many of her family still live today so wanted to return for her big day. We (Pomp & Ceremony Planning) were on hand via email and Skype to make it happen on the UK side.

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The bride wore a stunning short dress  (The dress was designed by the bride and made by Renee L in Singapore). teamed with navy Louboutin shoes and the groom sported a bow tie as part of his ensemble. There were no bridesmaids. groomsmen wore stylish silk pocket handkerchiefs instead of button holes which fitted with the vintage theme. Carlene carried a rose bouquet provided by The Olive Tree florists.

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In place of reception flowers there were centrepieces of vintage cameras, postcards, stamps, statues, map hearts and stacks of vintage books tied up with ribbon. All items were sourced from charity shops, vintage shops and trusty Ebay and Etsy. There were also stacks of vintage suitcases dotted around the room, a large display map with vintage flag pins showing a selection of places the bride and groom had been, postcard garlands, travel posters and each table had its own passport menu. Navy paper poms were used for ceremony chair decorations.

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Boarding cards were used instead of a formal table plan and took guests to their destination, all tables were named after countries that Carlene and Adam have visited together. Once at the table luggage tags at the back of each chair directed the guests to their seat.

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The guest book was replaced with postcards from around the world deposited in a vintage vanity case.

Favours were pots of jam with ‘Spread the Love’ printed on and vintage style ribbon tied around the neck. There was also a sweetie table and kitsch kissing booth sign with a basket filled with mistletoe.

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The cake was provided by Jennifer O’Neill Cakes in Thornton Hough.  The cake was 3 tiers in French Vanilla  with Champagne, Strawberry and Buttercream, simple icing with piped dots simple ribbon and a vintage couple atop. There was also a sweetie table provided by Tamaryn’s Treasures fitting the vintage and navy theme, plus destination inspired cocktails served by Vibrant Bars. Anne Wilson Cordon Bleu catered the wedding with a seasonal winter warming menu.

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Entertainment was supplied by Big Entertainment with Wayne Allen doing a live Motown set followed by DJ Ian Haskell.

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HEARTCongratulations Carlene & Adam! HEART

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Photographer – Phil Drinkwater Photography

Assistant Photographer – Tim Johnson

Wedding Planner – Caroline Hale at Pomp & Ceremony

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Brides Up North – Images © 2012 Phil Drinkwater Photography

Phil Drinkwater Photography is a  Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

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

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By The Bridges: A Real Wedding In The North East – Kay & Rob

August 1st, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Wedding In The North East

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Have I got an absolute cracker of a Real Wedding for you this afternoon on the wedding blog Brides Up North!

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I recently featured Kay and Rob’s love story and engagement shoot and we were blown away by those images (click here to catch up), but today’s round up of their wedding day sent to me by reader Kay and the fabulous Mandy Charlton is knock your socks off lovely.  Be so very inspired. 

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A Real Wedding In The North East by Mandy Charlton

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North East Wedding Photographer Mandy Charlton

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Newcastle Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton    Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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Kay says:  Rob and I got engaged at home in March 2011, nearly 6 years after first meeting.  We got married on Saturday 9th June 2012.  We had a Church ceremony at St Peter’s in Monkseaton and held our reception at BALTIC Centre of Contemporary Art on Gateshead Quayside.

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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We chose to get married at St Peter’s as I loved the tradition of it. Both my parents and grandparents were married there and I couldn’t think of anywhere more perfect. I have photographs of my parents and grandparents on their wedding days and wanted to replicate the same picture on our day (we even went as far as locking everybody into the Church after the ceremony so that we could get the right shot in front of the doors!)

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Our reception was held in the River Terrace at the BALTIC and we chose this for a few different reasons. Most of all, we wanted somewhere we could have a good party! We didn’t get married until 4pm so wanted to go straight into a party atmosphere. The BALTIC is also really beautiful both inside and out. They offer a stylish alternative to the traditional hotel/country house venue as well as amazing views of the Tyne – perfect for Rob’s family and friends visiting Newcastle for the first time! I’d like to say that Tara, the wedding coordinator at the BALTIC, was fantastic and really helped us to achieve our perfect day!

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton   Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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There was no real theme to our day. I did try to include a few vintage touches but ultimately we aimed to keep things quite classic and simple.  Keeping in with the simplicity theme, most things on the day, such as the flowers and the cake, were kept white or ivory. There were also touches of grey/silver. Our bridesmaids wore navy blue, however I wanted them to stand out so chose not to pull blue into the rest of the decorations.

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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My dress was from Truly, Madly, Deeply in Monkseaton. Debbie who runs the shop helped me find my dream dress – an Amanda Wyatt, tea length dress which had a 1950s/Audrey Hepburn feel to it. I had always had a tea length dress in mind when looking but tried not to get my heart set on it as so many people told me I’d come away with the complete opposite to what I thought. I was so happy when I found it and new straight away that it was "the one". I’d wear it every day if I could!

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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Also from Truly, Madly, Deeply, our bridesmaids wore long Alfred Angelo (7016) dresses in Navy. They all looked beautiful so I hope they felt that way! Their outfits were finished off with a wrist corsage and a vintage hair comb pinned into a victory roll hairstyle.

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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As a special touch, I hired Backworth Colliery Band to play outside the Church. This was a surprise for Rob and my dad but I managed to keep it from everyone (except the vicar) until the big day. I cannot speak highly enough about how amazing this was! It added such a lovely atmosphere outside the Church and meant everybody had some entertainment/a talking point whilst we were greeting our guests and having our photograph taken. Rob and I managed to fit in a little dance and we have photographic evidence of my dad and sister doing the same. I really hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did!

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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Our photographer was the fabulous Mandy Charlton! I think our photos speak for themselves but we are so happy with results. Kudos to her for thinking on her feet when the rain decided to come – the unplanned photos in the BALTIC viewing box are some of our favourites. Everybody has commented on how much they love them!

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton   Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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Baltic Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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Christina from Fleurt in Monkseaton did a fantastic job with my flowers (I’m definitely not a flower expert so was really lucky to have her help!) My bouquet was kept quite simple with white flowers of lisianthus, sweet peas, chin chin and daisies. I didn’t want anything too structured so things were kept quite loose, all being held together with an ivory lace bow. Pinned onto the bow I had a vintage brooch, which I classed as my something old and blue.

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Short 1950s wedding dress

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Vintage wedding photography

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A lady Rob used to work with made our cake for us. We had a layer of chocolate cake and two of sponge cake. She even made us an additional cake so that we could make sure there was enough to go around! To say this isn’t her day job we really couldn’t have asked for anything better!

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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Entertainment was provided by the band Jam Hot and Jamie Daniels from North East DJ.

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Jam Hot were recommended to us by a friend and after going to see them at
As You Like It in Jesmond we didn’t hesitate to book them. Susan and the rest of the band were brilliant from start to finish and managed to get everybody up and dancing and the party started!

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Jamie was equally as brilliant. I communicated with him quite a lot before the day in order to produce a playlist. He suggested asking our guests for song requests and this worked really well. It meant everybody was dancing to songs they knew and liked and kept an amazing atmosphere all through the night.

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It’s so hard to pick a favourite part of the day – everything went exactly to plan (if it didn’t everybody did a good job at keeping it hidden from us!) and I loved every minute. Seeing Rob for the first time in the Church was pretty special and rather emotional – something I’ll never forget. I also remember feeling so happy and relaxed after the ceremony, with the sun shining, greeting our guests for the first time.

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Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton   Newcastle Upon Tyne Wedding by Mandy Charlton

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We spent our honeymoon in Rhodes. We opted for an all-inclusive hotel on the sea front and splashed out for a room with a private pool. It was really the perfect opportunity for recharging the batteries and made it hard to come back to the real world!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every minute of the build up and not to stress over the little things. Try to remember what the day is about, everything else will come together in the end. I promise!

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Congratulations Kay & Rob!

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Have you just said “I do”?  Contact me to share your Real Wedding memories. 

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  – Images © 2012 Mandy Charlton

Mandy Charlton is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

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

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Botanic Beauty! A Real Relaxed Wedding In Sheffield – Anna & Matt

July 30th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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Morning Brides Up North!  How was your weekend? 

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I spent the weekend working on some special behind the scenes wedding blog projects and some new material for blog posts that will be appearing on your screen shortly.  Before running the Brides Up North blog, events and brand I couldn’t have imagined enjoying a fully working weekend, but they are now becoming the norm – and I wouldn’t change things for the world.  The need to put in even more extra hours stems from all the bridal freelance work that I have been taking on recently alongside developing the business on home turf.  Working hard to spread the Northern Revolution’s message beyond the pages of this site is definitely worth it. 

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This post was one of my very favourite to work on (somewhere between the early hours and brunch on Saturday morning), and certainly got my weekend off to a great start.  Sent to me by real Bride Anna and the fabulous Sheffield wedding photographer India Hobson Weddings – who also shot the official photographs for the Brides Up North Tweet Up Yorkshire this year – this pretty and personal Sheffield wedding at the Botanic Gardens is bloomin’ beautiful.  Happy Monday!

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India says:  I loved shooting Anna & Matt’s wedding.  The weather held out for us, and the glasshouses gave such stunning light that it was actually a pleasure when it did start to drizzle a little! I love how relaxed Anna & Matt were, not only at the wedding but when I met with them before – they trusted me completely and I knew that Anna (a graphic designer) would love for me to be creative with the images.

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I had endless conversations with their guests and every single one started with them saying "It’s such a perfect day isn’t it?" there was so much love for these two and it made me all warm and fuzzy inside!
I loved the cake, and I wanted to eat the flowers because they looked so good.

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Our bride Anna says: We got engaged on 2nd March 2012. It was a really short engagement for us – which is what we wanted. We got engaged whilst sitting at home on the sofa. Matt had the ring tucked into his cardigan pocket.

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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We got married on 14th July 2012 at The Botanical Gardens in Sheffield with our reception at The Chimney House, Kelham Island.

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We chose the Botanical Gardens because we had spent some time there before and thought it was really pretty. When we went to look around it was a beautiful sunny day, and it just seemed perfect. We had been looking for somewhere that we had both enjoyed visiting previously; that was quite informal but was still very special.  We fell in love with Chimney House before we even looked around. We knew that was where we wanted to have our reception instantly as Matt used to live near there and we love the area so such. Inside was even better than we could have hoped and everything just fit in perfectly with our idea of how we wanted the day to be.

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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We didn’t really have a theme, we just wanted it to be fun and relaxed. Our colours started as mustard and grey but ended up having some pale blue and pale pink thrown in for good measure! I found it hard to stick to a particular scheme because I kept changing my mind!

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I definitely knew that I wanted a short dress. This proved quite hard to come by and many shops didn’t have many in stock. As we planned a short engagement, this also limited the kind of dress I could get in time.

I ended up going to The Bridal Rooms in Chesterfield and they had ‘the dress’- which was actually a bridesmaids dress made in ivory! It was perfect- very swirly and 50’s in its style.

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We never planned to have the bridesmaids in the same dress, we thought we would just stick to a certain colour scheme. However when we went shopping, we saw a beautiful grey dress in Noa Noa and both of my bridesmaids loved it! It suited the colour scheme, it was so pretty and not too ‘bridesmaidy’ which none of us

wanted! The dresses were perfect and looked amazing on the day!

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Matt bought his suit from Jigsaw and had shoes by Clarks Originals.

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Where possible we wanted to choose very local suppliers. Our rings – and my engagement ring- were by Jennie Gill a jeweller working in Sheffield at Persistence Works. Her work is amazing and I knew I wanted a Jennie Gill ring way before we got engaged! Luckily Matt knew this and asked Jennie to design a ring especially for our engagement.

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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We got all of the wedding flowers from Fresh Ideas in Chesterfield. My mum had used this florist for years and they always did really beautiful flowers.  I really wanted quite a wild looking freshly picked bouquet. I wanted to bring in the yellows of my colour scheme. The result was such a delicate pretty bouquet with craspedia, spray roses and other little flowers.

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We decided to have a wedding bus to take all of our guests to the botanical gardens and back to the Chimney House. We hired a London Routemaster from Vintage Vehicle Hire in Doncaster. This was such a success and the guests loved it!

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It took the guests to the botanical gardens, then returning to the Leopold Hotel to collect myself and the bridesmaids.  After the ceremony it took us on a scenic tour of the Rivelin Valley around Sheffield. It was an excellent way to keep all of the guests together and keep in the party spirit!

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There are too many favourite parts of the day – and some that I didn’t even remember until I saw the photos! Just having the opportunity to spend time with all of our friends and family in such a beautiful venue.

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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We didn’t want to splash out on a huge cake as it wasn’t something that we felt was very important to us. We ordered a two tier cake from M&S that I decorated myself with pom pom trimmings and little ceramic birds.  Matt’s mum also kindly made us a yummy chocolate cake and buns that went down a storm.

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My bridesmaid Helen and I hand embroidered pin badges for all of the guests with tiny hearts and moustaches on!

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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We love soul music so we hired a local soul DJ – Debbie Soul – to play some tunes later in the evening to get people dancing.  We were also so lucky to have my bridesmaid’s brother Colin Taylor to play guitar throughout the meal. He sounded amazing! Such lovely background music that really made the evening.

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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We honeymooned in Basilicata, Southern Italy.

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that you can totally arrange a wedding in less than 6 months!

Make sure that you think about what is important to you and what kind of wedding you want. Our wedding was exactly how we wanted it and everyone said the whole day was unique to us. This made it even more special.

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A Real Wedding in Sheffield by India Hobson Weddings

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Congratulations Anna & Matt!

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  – Images © 2012 India Hobson Weddings 

India Hobson Weddings is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but 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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