January 24th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
We love it when a wedding offers up something alternative and today’s couple certainly hosted a day to remember – complete with guests of the furry variety!
Ruth and Marc exchanged vows in the magnificent St Elphin’s Church in Warrington before hosting their wedding at Chester Zoo. Guests then enjoyed a private safari with the zookeepers, with other highlights including a trip on a London Routemaster bus, afternoon tea and a special performance from the choir that first brought the couple together.
Opting for a pretty pastel palette, this wedding combines classic touches with the unconventional. Here are all the dreamy details…
With images by Jack Knight.
ruth says: We got engaged on Monday 14 December 2015 on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We were on holiday in Disneyland at the time and had gone to Paris for the day. After soaking up the culture in the Louvre, visiting the Christmas markets and enjoying some lovely food, we went up the Tower that evening to enjoy the spectacular view of Paris at night. I can remember looking at Marc on the way up and thinking he looked really nervous – which was odd because he isn’t particularly scared of heights. As we were looking out at the beautiful twinkling lights I heard Marc saying my name behind me. I turned around and there he was on one knee! It was all very romantic!
We got married on Tuesday 30th August 2016. We wanted a date that was in the summer holidays as I am a teacher and so are lots of my friends.
We tied the knot at St Elphin’s Church in Warrington, which is a truly spectacular church. I lived just round the corner when I was growing up and used to love listening to the bells. I always hoped I’d get married there!
Our reception took place at Oakfield Manor at Chester Zoo. As soon as we began looking for a venue we knew this was the one for us – we didn’t even look anywhere else! There are so many reasons why we loved this venue: it is a beautiful building with beautiful surroundings, it was budget friendly and incredibly flexible, and it’s something a bit different. We loved that we were able to have a private safari once the zoo closed, and our guests loved it, too. And even better, all the money went back into the charity so we were helping the zoo’s conservation efforts too whilst having the most amazing day!
We didn’t have a them, but just put together a day which reflected us. I made a lot of things myself, and some friends and family made things for us too, so the whole wedding had a slightly handmade, rustic feel.
We chose pastels for our colour scheme because neither one of us wanted to choose one specific colour. I loved this choice because it gave me more freedom; provided everything was a pastel shade – it was ok! No stressing about finding things that matched an exact shade.
I chose a White Rose dress from Wife to Be in Warrington. The staff there are amazing and so lovely. I went along with my mum expecting to just have a look and try a few styles but ended up finding ‘the one’. It was just perfect for me. I knew I had to have it when my mum started crying, which then made me cry – the shop assistant gave us all a group hug as she got caught up in the emotion too! When I went for my first fitting, the dress fit absolutely perfectly – not a single alteration was needed. It was definitely MY dress!
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December 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding couple love nothing more than escaping to the beach with their daughter for some quality family time. It was little surprise then that when a wedding venue by the sea was suggested, they booked it straight away.
Taking inspiration from the season, Philip and Amanda’s wedding day featured elegant autumnal touches including some rather unusual white pumpkins that are apparently only available for a few days of the year. Shame, they would suit our office perfectly!
With images by Danny Birrell Photography.
amanda says: We got engaged on 7th December 2013, during a weekend away to York where we met at university (we now live in Whitley Bay). We went for a nice lunch and a few glasses of wine, and got all wrapped up to go for a walk around York. We were in the York Minster Gardens when Phil got down on one knee and popped the question, just as the minster bells began to chime. Everyone around us cheered and it was all very romantic. After seven years together of course I said yes.
We were married on Sunday 18th October 2015. We knew we wanted an autumnal wedding, in October, as that was the month we met nine years previously.
We went for a look around As You Like It in Jesmond, Newcastle, and had a chat with them about their venue. They mentioned a sister venue, Newton Hall in Northumberland, were having an open day soon after, so we went there for a look around, fell in love and reserved the date that day! Newton Hall had a formal, yet relaxed atmosphere that we just loved! All of the little eccentricities just added to the character of the venue, and when we walked into the garden suite, we just knew it was perfect. It was an added bonus it has its very own beach close by!
October 2nd, 2015 | Julia Braime
For Friday’s real wedding we’re heading North East, to the lovely Newton Hall to relive Nicola and Richard’s big day.
Both elegant and pretty, this wedding features dreamy blush pink touches in the wedding party’s attire, floral arrangements and decorations, to fit in with the couple’s chosen vintage garden party theme.
The clear blue skies meant the bride, groom and their guests could take full advantage of the venue’s gorgeous gardens for photo opportunities and cocktails before the evening party, complete with live music, got underway.
With images by Paul Liddement.
nicola says: We got engaged at Rockliffe Hall Hotel and Spa. Richy surprised me with an overnight spa day with evening meal and overnight stay.
The date of the wedding was 17th April 2015 as this was would’ve been my parent’s 35th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately my father passed away 14 years ago.
Our chosen venue was Newton Hall, Newton-by-the-Sea. We chose that venue as it is quite ‘quirky’ and different from your more traditional wedding venues. We were both looking for something a little different and Newton Hall was perfect.
The theme was ‘vintage garden party’, which I picked as it went perfectly with the venue. To complement the theme we chose a colour scheme of blush pink, creams and gold. The wedding stationery, which we sourced from various suppliers online, also followed a vintage theme which helped to tie everything together.
My dress was ivory lace by a designer called Olvi’s Lace. I found it in Kathryn S Trueman bridal boutique, based in Morpeth. On the day of the wedding my hair was styled by Kara Scott and Irene MUA, both of whom I would highly recommend as they were fantastic.
Paul Liddement was our photographer. He was my friend’s wedding photographer and I loved her photos so I booked him for our wedding too. His photographs tell a story, which I love. Paul takes very natural photos and is quite discreet when photographing but captures the best reactions in his images because of this.
Paul was absolutely fantastic on the day and my initial response when we received our photographs was ‘wow’! The photos are all amazing and our experience with Paul was ten out of ten. We would definitely recommend him to other couples.
All the flower were supplied by Bels Flowers, Jesmond. I carried a gorgeous bouquet of cream roses while the bridesmaids had bouquets of cream and pink roses and the groomsmen had pink rose button holes.
We provided many of the decorative items ourselves, which we sourced from various suppliers to help set the scene of our vintage garden party theme. Our favours were white chocolate Jazzie sweets presented in a little jar.
The wedding cake was a four tier creation with cream icing and blush pink roses made by Burnett4cakes. Each of the tiers were a different flavour, including lemon and chocolate velvet.
Before the wedding breakfast we served welcome drinks of mojitos, strawberry mojitos and cherry drop cocktails and mocktails for the children and non-drinkers. Our starter was a sharing platter of Northumbrian meats followed by a traditional lamb roast dinner. For dessert we served up our wedding cake.
To keep guests entertained we hired Jess Avison, a singer and acoustic guitar player, from AMV Live, to perform during the ceremony. In the evening we had a band called Redwings to provide the entertainment. We chose both acts because we had seen them before and loved what they did so asked them to play at our wedding. For some extra fun we also hired a photo booth and some love lights for the evening reception.
Following our wedding, we would most definitely recommend Newton Hall to other wedding couples –it’s an amazing venue!
Looking back I would have to say that the speeches were my favourite part of the day – so emotional!
After the wedding we jetted off on honeymoon to Florida for two weeks with the family. My top tip to other Brides Up North would simply be to enjoy every second – the day goes so fast!
December 11th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Today’s newlyweds Pete and Jenn not only share the names of one of my all-time favourite onscreen couples (Cold Feet fans will know what I’m talking about) but they also share my love for a vibrant wedding palette and wonderful wild blooms.
I absolutely adore Jenn’s wedding attire and styling, from her cute tea length dress and skyscraper something blue shoes, to her fabulous bouquet and gorgeous hair do. And the lads sure scrub up well too! Beautiful, just beautiful!
So forget the gales blowing outdoors and let yourself drift away into this incredibly classy, colourful celebration of love.
With images by Photography34
pete says: We got engaged at home in February 2011. It was just a normal day at home but that’s what was important to us.
We set the date for August 2, 2014. It was a special date to us as it was the eighth anniversary of when we first met.
Bardney Hall in Barton on Humber, North Lincolnshire, was our chosen wedding venue. We picked it as it gave us a blank canvas to do with what we wanted and the setting was well suited to our theme. The home owner and staff were all very caring too, which made us very comfortable.
Our colour scheme was blue and orange – Jenn’s choice of vibrant colours, which she then built the theme of the day around. Jenn also made all the decorations, with a little help from me and the wedding party.
Jenn designed the bridesmaids’ dresses that were then specially made for the big day by Bonita of Chanterlands in Hull.
Jenn’s dress was from Elite Bridal in Hull. It was a simple backless tea length dress with a boat neck and diamante brooch on the waist in ivory satin. She knew she wanted a shorter dress as she’s only wee and she also wanted to wear statement shoes as her something blue.
I wore a blue suit from Slaters Menswear in Hull, along with a white shirt, burnt orange accessories and tan shoes and belt. The groomsmen wore the same.
Holyhocks in Hull put together our wedding flowers which were a selection of vibrant blue and orange flowers, including Scottish thistle to honour Jenn’s family and home.
Our photographer was Tony Wilson of Photography34. We would highly recommend him. He provides a really excellent service and his stunning pictures speak for themselves.
Extra decorations on the day included bunting handmade by Jenn and her mum. Jenn also made our table decorations, wedding stationery and table plan, incorporating the bunting theme. I made hanging orange and blue decorations and we had more flowers provided by the venue.
For favours we gave our guests vinyl records with a message on a label from me and Jenn. These also doubled up as place settings on the tables.
For our wedding day meal we had barbecue food served straight from the grill in the gardens with wine and deserts. It was provided by 2chefs Catering of Beverley, East Yorkshire, who provided a really amazing service. We would highly recommend them!
We chose this style of food as we love to host at home by having friends over for barbecues. We also had cocktails served as welcome drinks and kept them coming throughout the day.
We designed the cake following theme of wedding. It was a blue, white and orange, three-tier creation made by Kalou’s Cups and Cakes in Barton on Humber.
To entertain our guests we had vintage garden games, which were enjoyed by both the children and adults. Later in the evening we had a disco in the marquee.
For us the whole day was amazing – we couldn’t possibly pick a favourite part.
We followed up our wedding with a honeymoon in Dalyan, Turkey. We stayed at Villa Saadet which was kindly offered to us as a wedding gift from the best man and his family who own the villa. It’s a really beautiful place and we highly recommend it to anyone wanting to visit Turkey. It was a very relaxing week – one which we will remember forever!
Our top tip to other Brides (and grooms) Up North would be to prepare everything in advance and always have a back-up plan! We got caught out 24 hours before the wedding as a supplier went bust. We wouldn’t want anyone else to go through that. Fortunately we have some contacts that helped us out – life savers!
November 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
We’re in the North East this afternoon as we join Kate and Andrew for their beautiful and intimate wedding at Blackfriars in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Not the keenest couple ever to dash down the aisle, when they finally ‘got around to it’ they definitely did it in style. Just look at the cut of that dress. Audrey Hepburn, eat your heart out.
Images by Duncan McCall Photography.
kate says: Back in 2010, we had a short break away to Bath. On my birthday we took a trip to see Stonehenge. After a secret chat with one of the security staff, Andrew persuaded me to hop over the barriers where we dashed up to the monument and Andrew got down on one knee to propose!
We got married on 21st June 2014. We had been engaged for a long time and had never made any serious wedding plans, knowing we would get around to it one day. Unintentionally we stumbled across the perfect wedding venue and spur of the moment booked it! We always knew we wanted a summer wedding so we thought the longest day of the year would be perfect.
We got married at Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle Upon Tyne. We loved it as soon as we saw it (we didn’t even look at any other venues!). It was local for all of our family and friends, and Andrew is very keen on history so it made sense to get married in a 13th century friary! We always wanted a small, laid-back wedding and what with their reputation for amazing food, we knew it was the venue for us.
We didn’t really choose a particular theme – as Blackfriars Restaurant was such a stunning setting, we tried to match everything to suit the venue. We went for a simple vintage look, with lots of lace, flowers and foliage and chose a nude/taupe colour scheme, with lots of ivory lace and hints of dusky pink.
I wore a full length ivory lace fish tail dress made by White Rose. It was bought from Truly Madly Deeply in Monkseaton. This was accompanied by a handmade Swarovski floral head piece, also purchased from Truly Madly Deeply.
My bridesmaid wore a full length nude/taupe coloured dress with a cinched in waist. This was made by my Auntie who is a seamstress.
Andrew wore a three piece grey morning suit, teamed with a wing collared shirt and nude coloured cravat. This was hired from Slaters Menswear in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
As the ceremony and the reception were all based at the same venue, there was very little travelling for our guests. I arrived in an ivory and black vintage-style Regent Convertible, provided by AB Wedding Cars in Newburn.
All of the flowers were provided by Katherine’s Florists in Newcastle Upon Tyne. My bouquet was hand tied and very rustic, made up of mainly ivory and dusky pink roses with a lot of foliage. My bridesmaid carried a smaller version of the same bouquet.
To decorate the venue, we worked with a lovely lady called Dot from Katherine’s Florists, whose son had previously got married at Blackfriars Restaurant, so she knew the place like the back of her hand! We had three large floral arrangements and used rose petals and trails of ivy to decorate the room. For further decoration to the venue we used a huge amount of church candles and trimmed the chairs with ivory lace.
Our photographer for the day was Duncan McCall Photography. Duncan made us feel so relaxed and he captured every little memory from our big day. Amazing service and we were overwhelmed by the finished album. We have already been recommending Duncan to all of our family and friends.
We had a traditional three tiered fruit cake with ivory icing. It was decorated with ivory and dusky pink roses to match the flowers. This was made by the Andrew’s mum!
Blackfriars Restaurant is known for its fantastic food, so together we created a three course menu for our wedding breakfast. This consisted of a North Sea Fishcake to start, Northumbrian Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding and spring veg, and Sticky Toffee Pudding and ice cream for dessert! All of the ingredients were locally sourced. This was accompanied by a choice of wines we had selected, along with Prosecco for toasts.
As we wanted a laid-back reception we treated our guests to a bacon or sausage sandwich later in the evening (both the sausage and the rolls were handmade at Blackfriars Restaurant that day)!
For the evening reception we created our own candy buffet, with all of our favourite sweets! Throughout the day we added lots of special touches to make the day as personal to us as we could – from asking our family and close friends to take part in readings during the ceremony, to providing guests with a small scratch-card quiz on love and marriage before the wedding breakfast (this was an after-thought and went down very well with our guests)!
We provided the entertainment ourselves by creating our own music playlist for guests to join us on the dance floor at the evening reception.
We would like a special mention to Toni & Guy hair salon in Newcastle Upon Tyne, who styled both our hair for the big day. Their service was fantastic and we were both really pleased with the results.
We would also recommend Dressmaking by Kaylean in Newcastle Upon Tyne who provided the alterations for the my dress.
We would definitely recommend Blackfriars Restaurant to another couple. The service was outstanding and they made us feel so special all day. The wedding coordinator, Lee, never stopped all day and made sure every small detail was just perfect.
Our favourite part of the day was later in the evening when we were having our photographs taken up on the balcony at Blackfriars. It was our first proper chance to relax and chat to each other as husband and wife. The weather was perfect and we were looking down into the terrace garden watching all of our family and friends having a great time – it certainly made us smile for the photographs!
We went to Rome for our honeymoon! Ever since we first met we always wanted to visit Rome to enjoy the amazing food, sunshine and soak up the history. It lived up to our expectations and more, and was the perfect romantic city to spend our honeymoon in.
The top tip that Andrew received before the wedding was to just remember to not be nervous, as chances are he had already made a bigger fool of himself in the past in front of everybody who was present at the wedding! We would certainly recommend this to any future bride and groom!
June 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Rachel and Mark’s beautiful wedding day in Wetherby is full of pretty. Peonies, pink, tulle, lace, Louboutins and a rather lovely bespoke gown.
No further introductions needed. I’ll leave you to it!
With images by Helen Lishman Photography.
Rachel says: Mark booked a surprise trip for us in December 2012 and I didn’t know until we got to the airport that we were going to New York!
We stayed in the Plaza and he had pre-planned everything down to the last detail. On the last night after dinner we stopped to look at the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Centre one last time before we went home. Mark was shaking and I thought he was shivering – he then got down on one knee and I burst into tears! We then went for a carriage ride through Central Park but I can’t remember any of that – it was all a blur!
We got married on Friday 9th May 2014. We chose that day because it was exactly four years to the day since our first date. It had a bit of special meaning!
We chose Wood Hall Hotel in Linton near Wetherby. We nearly chose another venue but decided to take a look at Wood Hall before we made a final decision. The drive up to the hotel is fantastic and as we rounded the corner and saw the hotel on the side of the valley it took me completely by surprise and we both said ‘Wow!’. We both had butterflies as we drove up to the building and knew that was the place for us.
My mum had been taken seriously ill in December before the wedding and we very nearly cancelled the whole day as we didn’t know if she would pull through, never mind make it to the day. She did! The plan was always for mum to give me away and I was over the moon when she made it out of hospital and could still give me away – be it from her wheelchair. It was the first time most of the family had seen her since she was seriously ill in hospital and just seeing mum brought everyone to tears.
Our wedding theme was white white and more white! The only colour was in the flowers around the room.
After trying on lots of dresses I couldn’t find anything that felt like the ‘one’. We had met the ladies from Scarlet Poppy at a wedding fair in Harrogate months earlier who had told us that they could make a couture dress to however I wanted it. Eventually my mum said: “Right come on now Rach, its going to have to be made for you”. So we went to see the team at Scarlet Poppy in Pudsey and it was the best decision I could have made. It was exactly as I wanted it. White duchess satin with a tulle overlay and appliqued lace round the neck and bodice and around the hem in a fitted fishtail style with a v neck and low v back. I wore white Christian Louboutin peep toes which Mark had shipped over from America because I couldn’t find them in the UK.
Helen Lishman of Helen Lishman Photography shot the day and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her – the photographs were better than we could ever have imagined! Helen was so professional yet so friendly and warm with all the guests and we both agreed that choosing Helen was one of our best decisions about the whole day.
It sounds cliché but we both said that our favourite moment was the moment we saw each other at the end of the aisle. I was shaking like a leaf and it was a relief to reach Mark at the other end and have him take both my hands – I felt like I might faint before that! We were both grinning from ear to hear whilst we said our vows.
I had a bouquet of pink Sarah Bernhardt peonies – my favourite flowers! Our fantastic florist was Annemarie Wilkinson who could see our vision straight away for the flowers. She was great to work with and we would definitely recommend her! The bridesmaids had smaller versions of the brides bouquet but with a mixture of pink and white peonies.
The venue was decorated with flowers, peonies, white gelder roses, hyacinth, freesias and sweet peas, both on white candelabras and in rustic white jugs.
We bought our own personalised white aisle runner to compliment the colour scheme as the hotel usually provide a red one. The tables were named after our favourite places that we had visited together – New York, St Tropez, Cannes, Monaco and so on.
We gave our guests beautiful white laser cut birdcage style favour boxes tied with ribbon held mini rolls of personalised love hearts, Lindt strawberries and champagne chocolates and drinks tokens for the guests.
The cake was a three tier cake of red velvet, Victoria sponge and chocolate cake made by Lucie Barron – the owner of Cinderella Cakes in Leeds – who just happens to be a good friend of mine! It was beautifully iced in pretty white layers and topped with a pink peony.
We drank champagne all day! The courses were all chosen by the groom during our tasting meal at the hotel six weeks beforehand as I only felt it was fair that he could choose the aspect of the wedding that he got most excited about! We ate Roast Plum Tomato, Red Pepper and Basil Soup to start, Roast Sirloin of Yorkshire Beef with Roast Root Vegetables, Chateau Potato and Yorkshire Pudding for main and Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream and custard for dessert. Followed by the chefs delicious homemade fudge with tea and coffee! A very Yorkshire menu for a very Yorkshire couple!
The magic of the day was unreal. It was lovely to get married in such a beautiful venue and the backdrop of the North Yorkshire countryside was simply stunning. The guests all commented on how polite all the serving staff were and the day went completely without a hitch.
Mark and I provided lots of sweets in glass jars and bought the bags and scoops ourselves so the guests could help themselves throughout the evening. We also had a traditional ice cream cart from the Ice Dream Experience – they went down a treat!
We also provided a basket of white flip flops for ladies to pop on to soothe their aching dancing feet as the night wore on.
We had the resident hotel DJ John Bradd who was fab and not cheesy. We also had a photobooth by Booth Revolution that provided hours of fun for the guests, including Uncle Tony who made one too many visits to the booth even on his own!
For our honeymoon we went to a beautiful resort called Shanti Maurice on the south coast of Mauritius. We spent 10 days swimming in turquoise water and walking on white sand. We took private speedboat tours of the tiny surrounding islands, swam with dolphins, went quad biking through the mountains, had private dinners on the beach in the evening and drank far too much champagne and rum cocktails!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure you take a moment together just the two of you alone at some point in the day. The hustle and bustle is so much to take in and everyone wants to talk to you both, that 10 minutes alone before the evening reception is a must. During our few minutes of time alone Mark gave me a wedding present of some gorgeous black lace Jimmy Choo heels with a card that made me cry!
Congratulations Rachel & Mark!
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