July 2nd, 2017 | Julia Braime
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
From the venue’s name, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is an overseas wedding, but in fact the stunning French inspired venue can be found in rural Northumberland.
Cheerleaders Rachelle and Liam fell whole-heartedly in love with its unique styling and charm, planning a big day with French shabby chic touches to complement their surroundings.
So, let’s get straight into the pretty. Ready? Ok!
With images by Sean Elliott Photography
rachelle says: We got engaged in Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2013, while we attended the seventh World Cheerleading Championships, in which we both were competing together as part of Team UK.
We set the date for 30th July 2016 – the beginning of the school holidays as Liam is a teacher and we wanted to make sure we had time to fit in a good honeymoon before he went back to work.
Our ceremony took place at St. Peters Church, Harton, South Shields at 12pm as it had sentimental value to Liam. We then held our reception in Le Petit Chateau, Otterburn. We originally booked a different reception venue when we first got engaged but when we discovered the plans for Le Petit Chateau, we fell in love and decided to lose our previous deposits and change to Le Petit Chateau, despite never actually seeing the venue until a month before our wedding. After seeing the venue, it looked a million times better than what we’d expected from the plans and knew we had made the right decision to change our wedding
We didn’t have a theme as such but it was almost aimed towards French shabby chic. We incorporated old books and watering cans into our centrepieces. Our table plan was a mannequin with French inspired shabby chic labels pinned to it containing the table plan to incorporate the French fashion scene. We added a cheerleading bow to this as that was how we met and how we’d got engaged. We picked our favourite looks from Pinterest and the shabby chic appealed to us the most. When we found our new venue, we tailored it more to suit the style and it worked perfectly.
We chose a coral colour scheme, as it was a very summery colour that we thought would brighten the photos. When we first saw the venue, we were excited to see that the same colour was used on the external walls of the Belle Epoque!
I chose my dress – an ivory Mori Lee gown – from The Bridal Factory Outlet, and had a wonderful shopping experience there. My dress was a full A-line dress with a slight sweetheart neckline. The bodice was covered in a heavy lace with pearls and crystals. It had a lovely crystal belt that tied into a lovely flowing tulle bow at the back. The skirt kicked out at the waist into layers of tulle. I picked the dress to show off my waist and as a cheerleader, I wanted sparkle but I didn’t want to go too overboard.
I also picked a shorter knee length dress for the evening, which was a white Sherri Hill dress that had a bodice full of pearls and a full tulle skirt with lace detail at the bottom.
Liam wore a grey three-piece suit from Slaters with a white shirt and black Ted Baker shoes also from Slaters, and a coral and ivory paisley silk tie and pocket square that I’d found on Pinterest and sourced from Amazon. They matched the colour scheme perfectly and were such much nicer than a block colour.
I won my bridesmaids dresses from Brides Dream in Newcastle, from a wedding show in 2014 and picked them from a wide range at their store in summer 2015. I picked a coral floor-length gown with an illusion sweetheart neckline. The top of the dress was a coral mesh with a lovely delicate lace detail on the shoulders. The dress also had an illusion low back, that accented my wedding dress.
I had a man of honour in my bridal party too, my best friend Ben Pardey, who helped my maid of honour, Olga Crehan. They were my two best friends from university and I couldn’t have got married without them both by my side with a main role in the wedding.
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March 29th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding has a sprinkling of Disney magic – surely, the stuff that happily ever afters are made of?
Our couple, Ellen and Jason, tied the knot at the beautiful Eslington Villa in Gateshead. Complete with camper vans, Micky and Minnie balloons and candles – this is a wedding that’ll be sure to put a big smile on your face – and get you reminiscing about your favourite Disney princess.
With images by GS Studio.
ellen says: Jason proposed on Christmas Day 2014 in my Auntie Kim’s living room. My parents, brother, auntie, uncle, cousins and grandparents all gather at my auntie’s every year to celebrate Christmas together. After lunch we started to open our presents, everyone had finished unwrapping gifts, just chatting amongst ourselves, until Jason said, “Ellen has one last present.” I was sitting on the sofa next to my Mam. He handed me a large grey box tied with a white ribbon, I opened the box to find it full of fake snow, another square box and a ceramic heart which read “loved you yesterday, love you still, always have, always will”. I opened the square box to discover a glass bauble, I held the glass bauble up to see a little piece of paper inside – it read ‘Ellen will you marry me?’ When I looked up Jason was on one knee holding out a ring! Of course, I said yes after much blubbering.
We got married on Friday 30th December. We chose this date as Christmas is our favourite time of year! We knew lots of our friends and family would already be off work, too.
We got married at St John’s Church, Sherriff Hill. I have been a member of the congregation since I was christened many years ago. Ever since I was a young girl this has always been the place where I dreamed I would get married. We were married by the previous Vicar of St Johns, Reverend David Tully, who is now Rector at St Mary & St Cuthbert’s Chester Le Street. David has known me since I was six-years-old, playing table tennis on our yearly Church weekend to Blaithwaite. It was only fitting that he conducted our ceremony, I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing it.
We held our reception at Eslington Villa, in Team Valley, Gateshead. The building is beautiful and the surroundings are breath taking! You wouldn’t believe you are in the middle of a residential area! My father has always liked to give business to the local shops, restaurants and cafes, so it was his idea to consider Eslington as a possible venue. We knew the food was fabulous and the service was impeccable, so why pick anywhere else?
Our theme was Disney Hollywood chic. I am a huge Disney fan; the films are constantly playing in our house. We holiday at least once a year to Orlando to visit the Disney castle and all the characters. Originally, there was no Disney at all in the wedding as I thought Jason wouldn’t like the idea, but after a month or so of planning he suggested we call the tables different Disney films, and that was it – I had the go ahead for the Disney theme! After all, it was our day and we deserved to be our very own Prince and Princess!
The Hollywood chic was Jason’s idea, he knew how much I love sparkles and glitter so he thought, why not add a touch of Hollywood glam? It would allow us to make a lot of the decorations and put our own spin on the theme.
Our colour scheme was white and silver with a touch of pink. White and silver worked perfectly with the glitter and sparkles, and pink is my favourite colour so I was happy we were able to subtly incorporate it too.
I wore a White Rose ivory lace fishtail dress with long buttoned sleeves, extended train, and glitter under layer, teamed with a cathedral lace edged veil, diamond headband and BHS ivory Mary Jane style shoes with pearl detailing. I purchased my gown and accessories from Brides and Beauty on Old Durham Road in Gateshead.
I always knew I wanted a fishtail dress but after visiting numerous bridal shops they all tried to push me away from the idea. One Thursday afternoon, my Mam suggested we try the bridal shop close to my Nanna’s house. As soon as we went into the shop Ali and the team were ever so welcoming, asking exactly what I wanted and, of course, they let me try on a fishtail. When I tried the first dress on – me and my Mam just looked at each other – we knew it was the one. The original dress I tried on had short cap sleeves, no glitter and a short train. I explained to Ali I wanted a princess look, so she showed me a variety of ideas and samples. After another hour we had created my perfect dress, which I was going to wear to marry my Prince Charming!
My bridal makeup and hair were both done by Savannah Miller, who is based in Sunderland. I have never felt so beautiful in all my life, my hair and makeup were just perfect, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
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February 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today we are welcoming Abbie and Darren back to the blog to share their big day with us, having previously shared their sweet engagement shoot on our pretty pages.
This wedding is a lesson in luxe styling – there’s a pair of Valentino Rockstuds softened by some perfect floral detailing, romantic calligraphy and plenty of gold and blush accents.
Quite frankly, Abbie and Darren’s big day at Leeds’ stunning venue Oulton Hall, gives us goosebumps.
Today’s mantra? Go gorgeous, or go home.
With images by Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography.
abbie says: We got engaged in Santorini in June 2014; it was just perfect. Darren presented me with a gorgeous princess cut diamond ring, which was exactly what I wanted. Our engagement shoot was featured on Brides Up North last year.
Our wedding date was Saturday 30th July 2016. We chose this date because we wanted a summer weekend wedding, plus it means we get to celebrate our anniversary in summer – who wouldn’t want that? I’d always wanted a string quartet at our wedding and had pictured them playing outside while our guests enjoyed the summer weather and drinks. Amazingly, it was a beautiful summer day and the dream became the reality!
We got married at Oulton Hall in Leeds. I’ve always loved this venue as it has the modern décor I adore while still having the charm of an older building. We also loved the courtyard which turned out to be perfect for the drinks reception.
The style of our wedding was elegant and romantic, with lots of floral patterning, blush and gold tones and lots of white. I love these colours and Darren let me run away with my ideas for the colour scheme!
I choose a Pronovias gown called Duende from Bridal Rogue Gallery in Harrogate. After trying on probably around 20 dresses, I just knew this was the one. I hadn’t wanted tulle to start off with – in fact, I had my heart set on a lace fishtail gown. However, after lots and lots of trying on, I still couldn’t find one to fit the bill. My dress was the perfect mix of tulle and lace and I customised it to make it perfectly ‘me’ – it originally had feathers! I also wore a pair of Valentino nude rockstud heels – man, I love those shoes! I also wore a pair of diamond earrings that were gifted to me by Darren the morning of the wedding.
Our bridesmaids wore fitted fishtail blush dresses from Coast. I wanted my bridal party to feel gorgeous and they got lots and lots of compliments on the day.
The makeup artists for the bridal party was Frankie of Makeup by Frankie. I would recommend her wholeheartedly to any bride. My sister was so nervous about having her makeup done but Frankie put her completely at ease and my sister was delighted with the result. We also used a brilliant hairdresser, Bridget of Hair One located in Ossett. Again, I’d recommend Bridget to any bride-to-be.
Our groomsmen and both fathers wore navy suits from Slaters with navy ties – we wanted them to match but make sure that Darren stood out. It all ended up looking perfect.
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November 24th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Today’s couple took the ‘my way’ approach to their wedding by picking a theme and colour scheme that reflected their passions and interests.
Without a hint of pink to be seen, James and Fiona opted for a cool Britannia style wedding with a red, white and blue colour scheme and attire inspired by fashions of the 50’s and 60’s.
Bride Fiona, pulls off the look perfectly in a sweet tea-length dress, faux fur shrug and vintage birdcage veil, while her bridesmaids remain on form in striking red Vivian of Holloway dresses. We must also give a mention to the cute flower girls who look super-angelic in their twirly dresses!
With images by Eye of the Tyne Photography
fiona says: We got engaged on holiday in Northumberland. James grandparents were from there and after they passed away his mum bought a caravan so we would go a couple of times a year. One of our favourite places to go was Druridge Bay, which is a very pretty with lots of sand dunes, so on Easter weekend last year James and I decided on a little trip there, although the weather forecast was a bit ominous James insisted we go and made me walk up the biggest sand dune, even though I was wearing slippery boots and at one point I wanted to turn back but he pulled me up to the top. We then took some pictures and as I turned around he was on one knee.
Our wedding was on the 19th June 2016. We thought about June or September and our venue had a Sunday free in June which would be easier for my family to travel up from London the day before. When we booked it we didn’t actually realise it was Father’s Day until we sent out our invitations, but maybe this day had chosen us, as both myself and James’ father were not present at the wedding, James due his father passing away when he was a child and mine due to ill health, so it was a fitting tribute!
We got married at East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley, West Yorkshire. Their barn is a beautiful Grade II listed building. Our original idea was that we wanted to get married in the Yorkshire dales where we camp every year and looked into hiring a yurt, but the logistics were too complicated and as I had family and friends coming from London we decided on somewhere a bit closer to home. The barn was ideal as we could decorate it ourselves, and the backdrop was stunning for photographs.
We had a 50’s/ 60’s cool Britannia theme for the wedding. Both myself and James love 60’s music and I also love the fashion of the 50’s and 60’s so it was pretty much a given we would have some element in our wedding. We decided on a cover of Love is All Around, for the wedding march and played the Beatles and the Kinks during the register signing. My dress and bridesmaids were 50’s inspired and James’ shirt and suit was 60’s inspired.
Our wedding colour scheme was red, white and blue, so a bit different to the usual pinks. We wanted colours that reflect our own tastes and we also wanted vibrant colours that would stand out.
As soon as I started planning the wedding I knew I wanted a tea length dress. I have always liked vintage styles and had a couple of 50’s style dresses so knew that it suits my body shape and height. I did search several local bridal shops and looked at specific designers who did tea length dresses and ended up going to four or five different shops but each dress I tried I found either I didn’t like part of the dress or the material wasn’t right. Eventually I found a lovely shop called Wedding Belles of Otley. They had already selected a few dresses for me to try on, including one that and been designed as a bridesmaid dress but I was assured that lots of brides had chosen it as their wedding dress, although the colour was pink they also did it in ivory. As soon as I tried it on it was exactly what I wanted; lace bodice and satin skirt with buttons down the back, perfect!
I also like to accessorize and found the perfect accompaniment with a feather shrug and vintage style shoes from BHS. I didn’t think a long veil would suit the style of my dress so bought a plain birdcage veil and a lovely feathered clip from Debenhams, which matched very well with my shrug.
For my bridal hair and makeup, I used Le Keux Vintage Styling, who were great!
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November 17th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding is a feast for the eyes. There was a sumptuous naked cake, bucket loads of petal confetti and plenty of fun and frolics in the venue’s jaw-dropping grounds.
Flowers were key in creating the bride’s rustic theme and reflecting her outdoorsy lifestyle, with Stevie donning a floral crown and the couple exchanging vows below a stunning wildflower arch.
If you adore all things laidback and lovey-dovey, this one’s definitely for you.
Photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, ER Photography.
stevie says: We got engaged at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – our favourite place – in August 2014. Christopher woke me up on our last morning with my Grandma Betty’s engagement ring and both of us were in tears by the time he’d got to “Will you marry me?”
We arranged our wedding for 23rd July 2016. We wanted an outdoor wedding and hoped that July would do it weather-wise!
Our venue was the beautiful Haslington Hall, in Crewe. We chose our venue as it was an enormous and totally gorgeous Tudor hall (Christopher is doing a history PhD), and it had a marquee which I wanted for the wedding breakfast, plus it had beautiful grounds too. What really swayed it was that the wedding coordinator at the time (Sian Hopwood) was extremely friendly and laid-back about all of our arrangements. She was enthusiastic about having an outdoor ceremony, coming up with a vegetarian menu with two options per course and possibly even involving my little horse, Galaxy.
Our theme was rustic, relaxed and fun – just like the two of us! We wanted a country-style wedding to match my horsey lifestyle with plenty of wildflowers but at the same time wanted to maximise the fun for our guests (we’re big children at heart) with a sweetie table, photo booth and plenty of games, including space hoppers (adult and child-sized), bubbles, wind-up toys and lots of outdoor games.
Our colour scheme of pastel tones was rustic-inspired. We weren’t particularly fussed about specific shades as long as they were natural – the more varied the better!
I always wanted to look like a princess on my wedding day with classic lace and sparkles but didn’t want to pay an extortionate price for a custom-made dress. After trying on all sorts of gowns from slinky, tight-fitting numbers to full-on ball gowns all over the country we found a bridal outlet shop two streets away from us, The Wedding Dress & Prom Dress Outlet, Stockport. I settled on a gorgeous ivory A-line gown that was everything I wanted; it even drew a genuine ‘wow’ from one of my maids of honour. This was paired with an absolutely stunning pastel wildflower crown from Flowers by Briege and a cathedral length veil with small lace/sparkle appliques from Boutique Alterations, where I had my dress fitted. I bought some beautiful ivory heels with pearl ankle ties from Amazon for the day and some squashy ivory slippers from John Lewis for the evening – this turned out to be a very good idea indeed!
Sarah Meredith was my incredible hair and makeup artist on the day of the wedding. She understood that my bridesmaids and I wanted a natural look and made us feel so relaxed on the morning of the big day. She was extremely creative, even weaving leftover flowers into the bridesmaids’ hair.
To fit our country theme, Christopher bought a beautiful dark blue Ted Baker tweed suit from Slaters, Manchester, teaming it with a pastel blue cravat and brown shoes.
We let the bridesmaids and groomsmen have free reign over their outfits and choose any colour or style they wanted. My four bridesmaids settled on three different shades/styles of pastel blue dresses and a very dapper black suit and blue shirt for the fourth bridesmaid, Emily. She had the most awesome blue and grey brogues too!
Our groomsmen wore different shades blue and grey, all with a pastel blue tie or cravat. The groomsmen also wore different superhero cufflinks as the heroes of the day.
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November 1st, 2016 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon’s real wedding took place at the stunning Belle Epoque boutique hotel in the gorgeous town of Knutsford, Cheshire, where we just so happen to be holding one of our fabulous Luxury Wedding Fairs THIS SUNDAY. So ladies, if you like what you see register here to attend the event, which will feature some of the area’s very finest wedding suppliers whilst showcasing the unique venue! We’ll be open 11am to 3pm and it’s free entry for all, so be sure to bring along the groom, maids and parents too!
We love that today’s bride and groom styled the venue with pretty rustic details and delicate blush blooms, perfectly demonstrating how The Belle Epoque’s spectacular spaces work beautifully with a variety of different themes and colour schemes.
Now, on with the pretty…
With images by Kate Williams Photography.
kate says: We got engaged in August 2014. We were on a road trip through California. We had just climbed to the top of a waterfall in Yosemite and that’s where Dan popped the question!
Our wedding date was 6th August 2016. Dan is a teacher so we wanted it during the summer holidays, we were also hoping for a warm day, and luckily we had great weather!
We had a church ceremony in Warrington, followed by a reception at The Belle Epoque, in Knutsford. We chose The Belle Epoque as we loved all the décor and it has a beautiful terrace to sit out on. The hotel is also yours for the day, we liked that it was private.
We went with a rustic theme for the wedding. We made our invitations using Kraft card and carried this theme through in terms of the table plan and favours etc. We also had logs on the tables, which were underneath crates made by my dad that were holding flowers.
The colour scheme was blush pink and creams, with the groomsmen in navy blue. I had seen lots of flowers I really liked in blush pink and thought it was the perfect colour for the time of year.
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