January 21st, 2015 | Julia Braime
Jancis and Casey’s choice of wedding venue was all about the memories – a special place that they could share with their friends and family on their special day and for years to come.
It’s one of our favourite venues here at Brides Up North HQ too and you can join us for our beautiful wedding exhibition here in April, but for now, let’s celebrate Jancis and Casey’s ‘catch of the day’.
With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography.
jancis says: Just after we met Casey promised that he would one day take me to Rome. Three years later we still hadn’t made it so while we were planning what to do for our anniversary I decided to have a look at flights. I never thought they would be reasonably priced but it worked out less than we could have spent on petrol if we had stayed in the UK. I floated the idea to Casey and with one thought of pizza and Peroni he was sold! We booked the tickets and off we went to a destination I had only dreamed of!
After three days seeing the amazing sights and eating fabulous food it was our third anniversary. We spent the day doing all the things we had wanted to do. We went to Castel Sant’angelo in the morning which had the most spectacular views of the Vatican City. Then walked down to watch the Pope hold his service and went up to St Peters Basillica. Casey had thought about proposing at the top but after the 320 steps and around 100 other people squeezed up there he decided against it.
After spending most of the day on our feet we decided to go back to the hotel room for a rest and to get ready for a lovely meal to celebrate our anniversary. We got all dressed up in our best clothes and Casey asked me to open a bottle of prosecco. We toasted three years together and Casey sat me down on the edge of the bed and started talking about how thankful he was and how much he had enjoyed the past three years. Before I knew it he was down on one knee asking me to marry him. I didn’t need to think about it the words just spilled out: “Of course I will!”
We were married on 25th May 2014. We chose this date as it was a bank holiday Sunday and we were asking our guests to travel from far and wide across the UK and the world to celebrate with us. We knew this would mean most of them wouldn’t need to take too much time off work, if any at all, or like us, they would be able to make the celebration into a week long holiday.
We were married at The Alnwick Garden, It is one of our favourite places to visit. Casey first took me there on a spur of the moment weekend away. I has been having a really hard time at work and got home one Friday night to him looking up b&b’s in Northumberland, a place I’d never been. He whisked me away to Warkworth, a village we have both now fallen in love with, for the weekend and decided to make the trip the gardens for the day. We both love that it is a charity, run by donations from other people who love to visit and enjoy the flowers and of course the fountain.
We wanted a venue where we felt like we were contributing to the local community and somewhere in the future we will be able to take our children and relive our special day.
We had been to a wedding in America the year before where the bride and groom had their first look before the ceremony. The photos were very personal and it meant that they got to spend their cocktail hour with their guests. Casey and I decided to do the same. Around 3 miles from our venue is a beach where we have spent a lot of time. We decided to head down there before the ceremony and have a first look moment. We took our wedding party to the beach and one of the bridesmaids cleared the area for us. A group of people started forming so it wasn’t the most intimate moment however it felt special and we will always have the memories of that moment.
The style we went for came from the venue we chose. The Garden is full of bright colours and earthy tones so we chose green, white and brown for our wedding colours inspired by the plants, the water and the hessian sacks the compost came in. Then when I found my dress I knew we had to include lace in the wedding and it added that much needed feminine touch to our plans.
We brought the garden inside with our centre pieces which we made ourselves, in fact almost all of the decorations were made by us. The table squares were hand cut and the lace added by Casey, the centre piece boxes were made by Casey, painted by me and planted together (the flowers from each box are now planted in gardens around the UK!), the bunting was homemade, the signs were homemade and even the favours too!
Less than a month after we were engaged I spotted a dress in Debenhams and decided to try it on just for fun. As soon as I put it on I felt beautiful and graceful (something I’m usually not!) and with the manageable price tag I bought it there and then. When I returned home I excitedly called my mum, unfortunately she was fairly disappointed she hadn’t been there so insisted she take me shopping with my bridesmaids so I could have the wedding dress shopping experience every mother dreams of having with her daughter. I agreed but told her I wouldn’t find one I liked as much.
On the day it felt like I tried on every dress in the shop so the lady who was helping me asked for three words to describe what I was looking for, “elegant, fishtail and lacy” I replied. The lady wouldn’t let me look in the mirror as she dressed me so when I walked out of the dressing room I hadn’t seen what I looked like. All of my bridesmaids were speechless and my mum burst into tears. A pretty good reaction when you don’t know what you’re wearing!
Unfortunately the dress was strapless and I didn’t like that feature so for the next half hour the shop assistants brought me lace, ribbon and readymade straps to try on with it. None felt right so I came away with just the dress and a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that even though it was the one, it wasn’t. It took me another 12 months to find the right material to make straps but I loved them when I did.
I carried a gypsophila and hydrangea bouquet tied with brown string and green ribbon which matched my bridesmaids’ dresses. They were supplied by Simply Flowers of Alnwick.
My bridesmaids wore a long, strapless green chiffon dress which was bought over the internet from a specialist bridesmaid dress designer.
I knew the most important part of the wedding, apart from getting married of course, for me was the photographer. I am an amateur photographer myself and have photographed a few friends weddings so I knew that I wanted the best of the best to photograph my wedding. I first saw Lissa’s work at a wedding fair in Leeds and fell in love immediately and knew I had to have this person as my photographer. When Lissa came back to the stand she was so lovely and helpful we booked her there and then. Other than getting married in the first place it was the best decision we made!
She was fabulous in the run up to, on the day and afterwards. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding photographer. My guests really enjoyed her company, she made everyone feel at ease and she captured moments that most people didn’t even notice happened. We couldn’t have asked for a better service!
We spent the afternoon before the wedding with a select few of our guests dressing the venue so it was exactly how we wanted it to be. All the effort was worth it, we love how it turned out and the small touches are what our family and friends still talk about!
My brother has set up his own upcycling business and made our ceremony décor, the bulbs with flowers in where his own creation and beautiful they looked too!
We gave out mini shot bottles filled with flavoured vodka. Casey and I met while working at Revolution Bar in Lancaster. Casey was the assistant manager there and I was working on the bar so it felt appropriate to incorporate that into our wedding somehow. We bought the vodka from the actual vodka factory where Revolution make the different flavours of vodka that they sell in their bars and decanted it into smaller bottles. It went down a storm with most of the guests although some found the flavours a little strong for them!
We chose a four layer cake: chocolate, lemon and raspberry, red velvet and fruit cake. All of which are our favourite flavours – we couldn’t choose between them. Our cake was made as a gift by Casey’s cousin Leanne. She is a professional cake maker and brought it all the way from Reading for us! She decorated it in a new style she hadn’t tried before for us so but I think you’ll agree she did an excellent job!
We had been to a wedding a few years ago where they had a live band, after having a brilliant time we decided this was the way forward for us. We spent hours on the internet listening to previews of different bands and finally found a band that made us want to dance.
The Shakedown Band North East made our wedding incredibly special. They kept the dance floor full for the whole evening and we have had numerous people come to us asking for their contact details. We would highly recommend them for a great night of dancing!
Our bridesmaids and a few friends decided to surprise us with a flashmob! They recorded a video and sent it to various family members and friends. On the night they sat us down and on came the three bridesmaids singing the first lines to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” gradually other people joined in and eventually the whole dance floor was filled with our nearest and dearest singing to us.
It was brilliant and the first moment I actually took stock of what the whole day meant to us. All we had wanted was to have the people we loved around us as we made a commitment to each other. Only when we saw how much effort they had gone through for us did we truly realise what they all meant to us.
The venue was stunning- in the day time you felt like you were part of the garden and in the evening with the venue and fountain lit up it felt like being transported into a fairy tale.
We enjoyed all the parts of the garden from the ornamental garden with its huge cast iron gates to the meadow of purple flowers and the castle turrets which make up the garden walls. Each area adds a different feature to the photographs we had taken and allowed our guests to take some time away from the festivities to explore.
My favourite part of the day was hammering the nails into our “Love letter Box”. A box filled with a bottle of wine we bought the day we were engaged and a love letter from each of us. We plan to only open the box if we get to the point of no return or on our 35th wedding anniversary.
Casey says his favourite part of the day was seeing me for the first time on the beach. He said it was a relief that I’d turned up and the first moment he felt calm all day.
We went to Disney World in Florida for the first week of our honeymoon. We like to have fun so decided to “do Disney” one last time. The second week we spent at my aunt’s house in Clearwater, Florida relaxing – if you can call it that! We hired a car, played golf, went sightseeing up and down the coast, and ate out far too many times. The third week we went to the Kennedy Space Centre and Universal Studios.
We had a lot of fun but felt like we needed another holiday afterwards!
Our top tip for other Brides Up North is to take ten minutes together during the evening reception to have a walk through the garden and have a drink together. One of our friends found me and told me to go and find Casey to do this – it was a brilliant tip and I would recommend this to anyone who is getting married. You are pulled in so many directions all day on your wedding day that spending a small amount of time with your husband to reflect on the day is invaluable.
January 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Like many people who write for a living, I’m also an avid reader, so I absolutely adore that Diane and Aeddan chose a literary theme for their beautiful Real Wedding in North Wales.
Their lovely wedding day was filled with pretty touches, personal details and themed surprises for their guests, but on a day filled with words, it’s really only three little ones that matter the most…
Diane and Aeddan seem to have the i love yous sorted.
Images by Daffodil Waves Photography.
dianne says: We got engaged in May 2013. As a history teacher I love all things historic, so Aeddan surprised me with a weekend away for my birthday which included a visit to Harlech Castle where he proposed with a custom made necklace as he knew I wanted to pick my own ring. We then spent the weekend at a beautiful country hotel.
We got married on 12th September 2014 at Nant Gwrtheryn, which is a restored quarrying village on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. Its primary function is as a Welsh language centre but it also does functions. We chose this venue because we wanted somewhere we could put our own mark upon. We also loved the idea of having a wedding that lasted all weekend with everything including the chapel and the guest accommodation (in restored quarrymen’s cottages) all in one place. Also, Aeddan is a Welsh speaker and I am English so we were able to have a bilingual wedding that brought our two cultures together.
Our theme was words, so we had our tables named after books that we both love and our place names were made from scrabble pieces. As a favour each guest was given a personalised Penguin book cover postcard. There were lots of other literary touches throughout the day.
We picked this theme because we both like reading and the theme evolved with the planning and took on a life of its own.
Our colour scheme was mint green and navy blue. Navy blue was decided upon because I had two bridesmen who needed to be in different coloured suits to the groomsmen and mint green worked well with navy blue.
I had a lace Justin Alexander dress from Bridal Path in Liverpool. I wanted a dress that I felt like the best version of myself in but that wasn’t too heavy so I could forget I was wearing it on the day. As soon as I put my dress on I felt comfortable. I knew I wanted lace from the start so it was an easy decision. Although I knew something was missing, three weeks before I realised my dress needed a belt, luckily the staff at Bridal Path were happy to let me hire one.
My flowers were pastel coloured roses and gypsophilia. I wanted a vintage look to my bouquet which Carol from Acacia Flowers on Anglesey delivered.
Nina Wren did the hair and make up on the day and was fantastic. She made all the ladies look amazing and was very professional.
Aeddan had a suit made from Moss Bros Bespoke, he tried on many suits but was never happy with the fit, so we decided to have one made for him.
The groomsmen also had suits hired from Slaters but these were in grey to match the groom.
Our photographer was Nicola from Daffodil Waves who exceeded our expectations. I would wholeheartedly recommend her. On the lead up to the day she was professional and her level of communication was amazing. I honestly felt like her only bride. On the day she was wonderful, it felt like having a friend there not a photographer. As for the photographs, we were blown away by how amazing she made everything look.
The centre pieces for the reception were provided by Acacia Flowers and matched my bouquet, we then stacked the centrepieces on piles off vintage books. We did much of the decoration ourselves including over 100 metres of bunting that we made. We really wanted to capture our personalities in the decoration which included a vintage ladder that Aeddan painted, a homemade scrabble board table plan and place names made from scrabble pieces. There was also some Welsh décor.
Our chairs were hired from Chair Covers of Anglesey who went above and beyond by decorating the chapel for us on the morning of the wedding.
We gave out various favours including: CDs with music on from the day (for the men), Penguin book themed thank you notebooks (for the women), a personalised penguin book postcard for each guest and activity packs and games for the children.
We had a four tier cake from Benjamin Lee on Anglesey which included chocolate and baileys, chocolate and vanilla and strawberry.
We also had a sweet table, gave female guests flip flops in the evening and had garden games for the children. We had two guest books, a vintage typewriter to fit in with our theme and giant colouring in where guests could colour a character and leave us their advice for a happy marriage, this now has pride of place in our hallway.
We had a harpist in the ceremony who was a family friend who also played at Aeddan’s parents’ wedding.
In the evening we had a soul band called The Soul Boys, Aeddan was adamant he wanted a live band from the start and the Soul Boys kept our guests dancing all night. The band were followed by a DJ who was under strict instructions not to play any cheesy music, we even had an hour of indie music.
I would recommend the venue without hesitation, it is absolutely unique. To have everything on one sight and views out to sea over the Llyn Peninsula was amazing. The service both in the lead up and on the day was professional and attentive. Nothing was too much trouble. Being able to book the venue for the weekend was an added bonus.
Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony. We had a Catholic ceremony which was conducted by a friend the family. He tailored the ceremony to suit our different beliefs and backgrounds. We were able to design a bilingual ceremony that all our guests loved. A particular highlight was our readings an Apache blessing translated in Welsh and A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton.
The bilingual elements of our day made it very special and personal to us, I even learnt some Welsh to surprise Aeddan with in my speech.
Our honeymoon was spent in The Maldives where we enjoyed ten days relaxing on the Island of Kuramathi, Aeddan did manage to fit in some diving however!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that all those details are worth it and your guests will notice all your hard work. We had a vision and a spreadsheet and never compromised on it.
December 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.
I’m all about the flowers in today’s stunning real wedding, sent to me by Brides Up North Sponsor James Jebson Photography and newlyweds Mark and Stephanie.
On the menu: all things bright and beautiful, a very beautiful bride, a dapper groom, some super cool styling and an abundance of pretty blooms.
Be inspired… and it’s over to the groom to talk you through it!
With images by James Jebson Photography.
mark says: We were married in Lancaster on 24th August 2014.
We chose our venues because we felt they complimented each other in their own special way and we are both fond of old grand buildings. We loved the grandeur of The Ashton Memorial overlooking The Lake District with its striking appearance. The boldness of the dome on the horizon for us sold it as it would be something we will always see and think about.
Thurnham Hall was picked as the reception because of its history and the intimate feel it had, alongside this was the huge fact that it looked like a castle and so went well with The Ashton Memorial.
Our theme was based around a show/play where each part of the day on the program was put together like a set of acts with a synopsis for each part. The programs were designed like you would receive at a show on arrival. The tables were set with each one being a scene from a London market and using the guests on the table we wrote a funny introduction to each scene including them in it. Our invites were designed and printed like an invite to a play based around the old Empire posters where it was heavily typographic with an old ‘admit one’ ticket in each tube for the guests.
The colours were a mixed bunch taking the lead from the bridesmaids dresses and ties and pocket squares to pick out the flower colours. There were bright pastel colours used in the flowers and more subtle tones used in the bridal party’s outfits.
Stephanie’s dress was a princess style dress from Enchanted Brides, Lostock Hall. The gown had a pale pink lace bodice and ivory at the bottom with a band around the waist.
My outfit was bought from Ben Sherman and it was a pale blue suit with a white shirt. The vintage waistcoat and brown braces with it were bought from a vintage fashion shop on Brick Lane.
The bridesmaids wore dresses from two places; the younger three dresses came from an online retailer called Vertbaudet, the older two bridesmaids wore dresses from Dorothy Perkins. The groomsmen got suits from Slaters in Preston and the ties came from Ben Sherman for each groomsman. The pocket squares were handmade from fabric bought from Abakhan.
Stephanie carried a bouquet with various vibrant flowers in it from Flower Design St Annes. There were blooms of different shades with a full poppy head.
I had a wooden bowtie and two ceramic scrabble pieces on each side of the cuff link with L(left) and R(right). Each groomsman had a personalised scrabble piece for their first initial inside the button holes.
Our photographer was James Jebson Photography.
James understands creativity and understands people. Even on the first meeting with James I instantly felt comfortable with him. He has a great personality and he makes you feel in control throughout the day but adds his creative direction to it. He is such a lovely bloke too and has great banter which makes it even nicer. I would actually say he is someone we would like to see more often as I think we formed a bond with him on the day.
When we first saw our images we were absolutely stunned, they were amazing. They brought tears to my eyes when I saw them for the first time.
Our stationery was by Ditto Press, Dalston.
All table furnishings and props were sourced by us from vintage tins to old books as you will see in the photographs. We had a sack for all the wedding notes, the wedding notes were hand letterpressed postcards that people could write on.
We chose to use cupcakes from Yummy Cupcakes in Lancaster. 7 tiers were used, the top cake was a fruitcake and the other 6 tiers were various assorted cakes with different flavours.
We had a pianist to play throughout the evening reception for the guests and a DJ afterwards.
We went to Windermere for a minimoon. We stayed at a place called The Rum Doodle, a boutique hotel. Our main honeymoon is in New Zealand next year.
Designing the theme or idea is the trickiest part, so my top tip for Brides Up North would be have a really rough concept from the start, brainstorm ideas together and build a really rough storyboard of what you want in moodboards, Pinterest or drawings, whatever you can. What you will find is that when you start building up the people you are using you will gather ideas and create more ideas with them when meeting them. Its not a bad thing that you have a rough guide. We started the ball rolling with our invitations and this gave us a great design base/concept with look and feel, typography, colours and that reflected in the flowers we wanted and how they were created by our florist.
And drink lots after the wedding watershed. The wedding watershed is around 9:30pm!
December 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Let’s get this week’s gorgeous wedding schedule kicked off with this absolute beauty, sent to me by newlyweds Lindsay & Chris and their fabulous photographer Anna Louise Crossley.
This afternoon we’re back at Taitlands (check out this lovely wedding that we featured only last week), and I can see why the venue’s brides and grooms fall in love with this place.
Ey up, lets head to the Dales, for a vintagey wedding full of pretty – not least the stunning bride herself!
lindsay says: We got engaged on a cruise in Alaska on 17 August 2013. We were in our room getting ready for the first formal night, which was our second night on the cruise. Chris was in his tuxedo and I was in a long black dress. Chris asked me to come out on the balcony for a minute but as I had no idea he was going to propose I refused saying it was too cold and windy and I had just done my hair! He got down on one knee in the room and asked me to marry him.
We wanted somewhere in the country that was relaxed yet stylish. It had to be somewhere where we could hold the wedding, the reception and the evening party. It wasn’t easy but we found the perfect place, Taitlands, near Settle in the Yorkshire Dales. Chris and I just fell in love with it and knew it was the place for us to get married. We tied the knot on 18th October 2014.
We wanted our wedding to be relaxed, rustic and romantic, with a touch of vintage thrown in. My mum has been a huge fan of vintage for a long time, so had some brilliant ideas up her sleeve. We also decided to make as much as possible ourselves. My mum did an amazing job making the bunting, cake, bouquets, confetti and the list goes on!
Our colour scheme evolved as we went along. In the end it was a mixture of navy, dusky pink, white and burgundy.
Both my mum and I had been looking at dresses independently. When we got together we realised that we had been looking at the same dresses. I wanted a fitted mermaid lace dress with straps. The first dress I tried on was from Wedding Belles Of Otley, it reduced my mum to tears… twice! I tried other dresses on in different shops but I knew I would go back to the first dress. It was by Nicola Anne and called Dolce. I loved my dress!
Chris had a tailor-made suit from Kristopher’s on Kirkstall Road in Leeds. The material he decided on was navy with a black fleck. His suit was perfectly made and had nice little touches such as a label stitched to the inside of his jacket with our names and wedding date.
Chris said he wanted to wear a pocket watch with his suit, so he borrowed his granddad’s watch and my mum lent him a silver fob chain that had belonged to her great uncle.
My bridesmaids dresses came from Coast.
My chief bridesmaid Helen, had a full length navy dress with a beaded belt and a plunging back. Jenny, Angela and Joanna had knee length floaty navy dresses to accommodate Jo’s baby bump! Imogen, my little niece and flower girl wore a dress came from Accessorize. It was dusky pink with little flowers and she had some pink sparkly shoes which she loved to bits and a hair band to match her dress.
Both dads and the two best men bought blue suits from Slaters in Leeds. They teamed them up with white shirts, burgundy paisley ties and tan shoes.
Because our wedding was relaxed and DIY, we decided to do the flowers ourselves.
My mum and my uncle Tony went down to the wholesale market in Huddersfield and came back with a car full of flowers. I had some beautiful dusky pink vintage roses called Memory Lane in my bouquet, together with blue veronica. My bridesmaids has a mixture of pink roses, white and pink spray roses and purple limonium. Imogen carried a little bucket full of petals from the hydrangeas in mum’s garden.
My mum was in her element decorating the venue! She made the cones for the ends of the chairs and we filled them with gypsophelia. She had collected vintage glass vases and jars wrapped with string, we just filled them all with a selection of flowers and they looked amazing. We also had tea lights in lace covered jars in vintage saucers. My mum’s trusty sewing machine came out of retirement and she made 100 metres of bunting. If you want a wedding planner, you should book my mum!
We spent the Friday before the wedding decorating the Coach House and the marquee and had lots of help from family and friends. Karen (my new mum in law) brought her mum’s vintage sewing machine which we gave pride of place to. We wanted the wedding to have special memories for us so tried to include as much as we could that was personal. Imogen also wore her great- great grandmas pearl necklace. I wore a comb made from the tiara that mum had worn when she was married. My mum’s lovely and very clever friend, Jill, made it up for me and it looked amazing!
Instead of favours we had a sweet table. It was a real favourite and everyone loved it. After all, what’s not to like about a table full of sweets!
Our photographer was Anna Louise Crossley.
Anna lives in Leeds like us and we met up for a chat and booked her straight away. She has a lovely relaxed style and we knew she was just right for us. I would recommend her to anyone, her photos are amazing!
Taitlands provided all the food and it was delicious. We chose Roast Beef for our wedding meal. Each table had their own joint of beef, so one person on each table had to put on an apron and carve for everyone. It was a lot of fun and something that was certainly different. We provided a selection of wine for each table and some fizz for the toasts. We also had sausage sandwiches for supper and they went down a treat!
Since I was a little girl my grandma’s chocolate cake has been my absolute favourite. Two mammoth baking sessions later and my grandma, (who is 92) and my mum had made 9 cakes for a 3 tiered naked chocolate cake.
The chef at Taitlands assembled the cake and decorated it beautifully with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
Chris is a big fan of Superman, so I asked Karen to try and find a blonde bride and a Superman groom for the toppers and she did!
My Uncle Jon has played guitar in a band for years. He played Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy for me to walk into the ceremony. You could hear a pin drop! Then at the party his band were amazing. They played a mix of classic songs that made sure everyone was on their feet. My mum had very sneakily arranged for my school friend, Kay and Chris’s brother Stevie to join the band with their ukuleles. It was the most amazing surprise and brought the house down. When the band had a break, we had a playlist of requests from the RSVPs. Even after the party had ended, a few of us were sat singing… we just didn’t want the party to end!
I loved it all from start to finish. I can’t pinpoint an exact favourite moment!
We went to New York for 8 nights and then the Bahamas for 6 nights. New York was absolutely amazing, it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. Chris organised the honeymoon and didn’t let me know what he had planned in New York. He did an amazing job, we went to a Nicks game (go Nicks!), we went to see Lion King on Broadway and went on a cruise around the Hudson River that went right up to the Statue of Liberty. As well as going on a rowing boat in Central Park, up the Empire State Building and many more! The Bahamas was red hot and we had an amazing room with our balcony overlooking the beach.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get everyone involved and make lots of lists!
December 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Lizzie and Phil’s pastel wedding – featuring the stunning videography of Brides Up North Sponsor Silver Sixpence Films (check out the lovely little movie below) – was as pretty as it was personal, even though the date clashed with the groom’s footy team’s first game of the season.
Lucky for Lizzie (and for Phil) he didn’t mind missing kick off that Saturday.
lizzie says: Phil and I had been together for nearly five years when we took our new puppy Douglas away to a cottage in Robin Hood’s Bay for a little break in October last year. One afternoon Phil suggested walking along the top of the cliffs because of the beautiful view of the beach. It was cold and there were a lot of steps but in the most beautiful spot, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, with his new best pal by his side. It was lovely and a moment I’ll never forget, only problem was getting a signal to call all our friends and family!
We got married on the 16th August 2014. Not a popular choice as it was Hull City’s first game of the season and Phil is a football reporter and all my family are Hull City fans, but it was the only date we could get the church and venue we wanted!
We got married at All Saints’ Church in Brantingham, East Yorkshire and had the reception in a field behind a B&B opposite. We always knew that we wanted a marquee so we just had to pick the location. I used to horse ride in Brantingham so it’s a place I have always loved. It’s a beautiful countryside location with a small and lovely church. Keepers Lodge and Butterfly Meadow, the field we used is on the top of a hill looking over the beautiful scenery and we fell in love with it as soon as we saw it. We even saw some deer running around but unfortunately they didn’t join us on the day!
We went for a vintage tea party theme with lots of handmade bits and bobs. I love bird cages, vintage china and the idea of teapots and cake stands so we based it around that. We wanted it to be relaxed and fun, acoustic guitars, straw bales and picket fences.
We had a mix of pastel colours, my bridesmaids wore the same dress from Brides and Grooms of Lincolnshire in three different colours, one was light pink, one was pale lemon and the other was turquoise. They looked stunning. The boys wore navy suits and pastel blue ties, ditching the suit jackets about 10 minutes into the reception!
My wedding dress was also from Brides and Grooms of Lincolnshire. I just loved it and wish I could wear it again! I knew I wanted a strapless dress that was slim fitting and elegant. I tried on plenty and then I found the one, it was a Justin Alexander ivory dress with lace and a beautiful pattern. A mum’s tears are usually a good sign that it’s the perfect dress and she certainly got a bit emotional. I also found a lovely veil there and the seamstress even used the excess lace from the dress to add a pretty clip for my hair. They were wonderful. My shoes were a gift from my bridesmaid Rachel who was in the process of setting up her own bridal shop in Willerby, Forever Bridal Boutique. Rick Roberts in Beverley did my hair, and my bridesmaid’s hair. It was great to get out of the house in the morning and spend a couple of hours being pampered at the salon., and we were already pleased with our styles.
Phil wore a navy blue suit and waistcoat from Marks and Spencer with a white shirt and white tie. It was a really nice fit and I‘ve never seen him look so handsome. We hired navy suits for his ushers and best men from Slaters in Hull.
A light blue and cream camper van was the first thing we booked, it was from The Alternative Wedding Car Company in East Yorkshire. The bridesmaids and my mum travelled in the camper. My dad and I travelled in a cream Daimler from Superior Motor Cars in Pocklington. The driver was wonderful, he made us feel really important from the moment he pulled on to the drive and couldn’t do enough to make the journey perfect.
Nick Freeman from 246 Photography did our wedding pictures. I knew Nick anyway so I’d already seen a lot of his work and really loved his photographs. He was brilliant on the day, he made us all feel very comfortable and I was delighted with the pictures. I really feel like he captured the best bits of our day, exactly how we want to remember it!
We booked Silver Sixpence Films to do our wedding video after seeing a film of a friend’s wedding. It was lovely to have them there on the day, they were very professional and fitted in perfectly amongst our guests. I wasn’t quite prepared for how beautiful the video would be, so there were a lot of tears when we saw the finished product. They caught some wonderful little moments that we hadn’t even noticed they were filming!
All of my flowers came from Sandhill Garden Centre near Preston, I don’t really know much about flowers so I went in with a picture of a bouquet I liked and hoped for the best. We went through all sorts of ideas and decided on pastel coloured roses and all sorts of other types of flowers that I can’t remember the names of! The bouquets and the flowers in the church and at the reception were stunning, there were roses in colours I didn’t even know existed. The other great thing about them was how affordable they were, it didn’t cost me half as much as I expected!
My favourite decorations were the centre pieces my mum made. She spent hours filling beautiful birdcages with flowers and fairy lights and they looked so elegant and lovely. In fact, a good few people asked if they could take them home! My friends and family were amazing in the run-up to the wedding, the girls helped me make a hundred name cards with pretty bows and coloured card and we spent a whole night decorating an old suitcase and hanging the table plan from pegs inside it. Phil, my brother Matthew and our good friend Pete made a white rural road sign from scratch which pointed to the far flung locations people had travelled from. Phil’s mum ordered pink and white pom poms and lanterns and hung them from the trees and made lace runners for the tables. It was a great team effort and I will always remember setting up the marquee the day before the wedding and getting a bit teary about the number of people who turned up to help us. It was a great day.
We decided bags of penny sweets would make good favours so Phil ordered personalised bags from the internet and we did a big Makro shop to get all the bits we needed. They seemed to go down well, which was nice for Phil and his usher James who had lovingly put them all together and sealed them with heart pegs!
We decided to go for the kind of food we know our friends love and that meant pies! 2Chefs, a Beverley catering company made fantastic pies on the day. We had very tasty bruschettas beforehand and then for a desert we had three tier cake stands layered with all sorts of mini cakes and tarts, served with pots of tea. It was perfect. Apparently the pork and stuffing sandwiches were amazing on the night too, but I was still too full from all the cake! A company called Marquee Bar near York provided the bar and bar staff. Harriet and the team were incredibly efficient, they provided all the drinks we wanted and there was never a long queue which is rare at a wedding. They were also really lovely, and even kept my little flower girl entertained when she got a bit bored during the speeches!
Our cake was made by mum and dad’s neighbour, Lesley. I had seen a picture of a cake I liked so I took it round and was delighted when she said it was possible. I didn’t see it until the day and I remember getting a text from Phil’s mum in the morning saying the cake is stunning and it really was. It also tasted amazing.
Our friend Mike kicked off the entertainment by playing an acoustic set of our favourite songs. He’s an incredible singer and has also been my brother’s best friend since I was little so it meant a lot to have him playing. A local band called the Fork Handles got us all dancing our socks off on the night.
It’s hard to pick a favourite bit of the day, I loved everything from getting ready with the girls to a really special drive to the church with my dad, to seeing Phil for the first time, it was all wonderful. But if I could go back to one moment it would be watching Mike play ‘Chasing Rainbows’ by Shed Seven on the guitar while dancing with my new husband and looking around at all our wonderful guests. I remember just wanting that moment to last forever.
We had a honeymoon we’ll never forget in Barbados. We stayed at Crystal Cove hotel and just felt incredibly lucky for two weeks. We knew we’d be shattered and ready for a break so with the wedding behind us we fully embraced the golden sands, blue sea and rum cocktails.
My biggest bit of advice for other Brides Up North is something a friend said to me: Look around now and again and take it all in. Your wedding is the one day that you get to have all of your favourite people in one room and they’re all there for you two, it’s very humbling.
246 Photography, 2chefs, brides and grooms of lincolnshire, brides up north featured supplier, forever bridal boutique, justin alexander, marks and spencer, real wedding, sandhill garden centre, Silver Sixpence Films, slaters, superior motor cars, the alternative wedding car company, uk wedding blog
October 27th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
So the clocks may have gone back drawing the darkness in that bit earlier every night but today we have a super stylish wedding full of uplifting pastel tones that is bound to brighten up your day.
Rob and Mia wanted a simple and relaxed outdoor celebration made up of pretty colour and natural, simple décor.
Despite working on a budget, the creative couple pulled their desired look off beautifully showing others that even if you haven’t got bucket loads of cash to blow you can still have a flippin gorgeous big day.
Just like Mia I’m head over heels for pretty pastels and it was her bridesmaids’ lovely lilac dresses that attracted me to the wedding in the first instance. Add to this a stunning bride, fabulous blooms and an impressive venue and you’ve got all the ingredients for an incredibly swoon-worthy wedding.
With images by EverThine Photography.
Mia says: We got engaged on our fifth anniversary of being together when we were celebrating at a spa hotel. Rob got down on one knee and proposed in the hotel room before we went out for a beautiful dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Thames.
We set the date for Saturday 16 August 2014 as we wanted to get married after I’d graduated. We choose the summer because we both wanted an outdoor ceremony.
We both grew up in Yorkshire and knew we wanted to get married back there even though we were both living in London at the time. My mum came across our venue, Saltmarshe Hall pretty quickly which was great. It’s a beautiful venue in Howden, a gorgeous stately home with lovely gardens and surrounded by countryside – it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere, which was perfect for us. The house itself is stunning and has lots of different rooms downstairs that can be used for different things and with the gardens it gave us the freedom to do what we wanted which was an outdoor ceremony (depending on the weather). It had just been bought by new owners and opened for weddings the year before so that was very lucky for us!
We didn’t really have a theme for the wedding. We wanted to get married outside so we started by basing things around a garden ceremony, like having a simple dress and bridesmaid dresses and natural flowers. The hall itself is stunning so didn’t need much decorating, just small details and then we went with our own choices so having black tie and summer dresses for the dress code and our own choice of music and the vows and readings within the ceremony to make it personal.
I love pastel colours and decided on lilac for the bridesmaid dresses because it’s a really pretty colour. The colour scheme wasn’t strict; we just had a range of pastels because it kept with the idea of a garden wedding and suited it being in summer. The bridesmaid dresses were all slightly different shades of lilac, the flowers were creams, pale pinks and lilacs and then the table decorations were pale pink, lilac, pale blue and mint green
I had an idea in my head of what dress I wanted. Quite simple, nothing too big (as I am quite short) and with it being quite a simple ceremony in summer I wanted something suitable to that – light and comfortable. After A LOT of shopping, which was fun but got frustrating after a while, I found my dress in a shop in Beverley called Bridal Reloved. Kate there sells second hand and sample dresses, so beautiful dresses with a reduction. She was so helpful and honest about everything. I knew I wanted white/cream with some lace, and I really wanted an open/pretty back. I think the dress I chose was the perfect dress because it had all those things but was also something different that I hadn’t seen before. It was simple but still ‘wedding’ enough and had stunning details like the lace edge at the bottom and cross straps at the back. My veil was something borrowed from my oldest sister Lauren, who got married the year before me, and my shoes were cream lace peep toes from Next. For my something blue my sister India sewed a little blue tag into the inside of my dress with the wedding date and our names on the front and inside was a sixpence given to me from the lady who sold me the dress, for good luck.
Rob wore a black dinner suit from House of Fraser with a dicky bow. He also wore blue superman socks, which were a little wedding present from me.
My bridesmaids all chose their own dresses. I said I wanted lilac but wanted them to be comfortable and find something that they loved and that suited them. They were all slightly different shades of lilac and different lengths and styles that showed off their personalities and own styles. The groomsmen all hired black dinner suits from Slaters in Hull with black dicky bows.
Lucy and Nate Aspray at EverThine Photography did our photography. I would absolutely recommend them to anyone. I’ve known Lucy for a long time as she is best friends with my sister so it was lovely to have someone I knew there taking the photos. She is very talented and takes stunning photos. We asked for very natural shots of the day, wanted the small details captured and asked for a few specific shots – for example I wanted a photo of my bridesmaids and me holding the bouquets over our faces. They really made everyone feel comfortable and took great photos but without imposing. Looking back through them they captured the happiness of the day perfectly and I hardly remember most of the photos being taken!
Gill Tomkinson, a local florist/plant seller from Broomfleet, did my bouquet and the bridesmaid bouquets. I asked for natural, hand held bouquets which were lilac with some pale pinks and creams tied together with lace. She did an amazing job and did the button-holes and corsages for the wedding party which were beautiful and really suited the garden/outdoor style.
The venue flowers were by Hannah from Vintage Rose, a florist from Newport. Again I asked for lilacs, pale pinks and creams and I wanted some gypsophila and roses – the lilac roses were particularly stunning! The table flowers were in little milk bottles and there were hanging jam jars of flowers on the sides of the seats in the ceremony. The rest of the decoration was all done by me pretty much. I painted wooden numbers in pastels for the tables, and blackboard hanging hearts for the place names. Rob wanted photos of us at each of the tables so on table one there was a picture of us both at aged one, right up to table seven. We used those photos for the table plan, tea lights and photos of us as decoration around the venue, lace bunting made by my sister India and a wedding sign made by my sister Talitha and an old painted suitcase to hold our cards.
As a special touch Rob and I wrote our own vows and chose the readings from film quotes and lyrics that we loved, which made it really personal.
We enjoyed the whole day so much! It was great to see it all come together after a year-and-a-half of planning, and to share it with family and friends. I think my favourite part was the ceremony – we got to have it outside which is what we both really wanted, it was so personal to us and it was just amazing to get to marry the love of my life and my best friend.
We had little chocolate heart lollipops as favours as well as the place names, which were blackboard hearts which could be hung up by lilac lace.
Jan Harker made the wedding cake, who is my best friend’s mum. We wanted a three-layer round cake with a layer of vanilla, chocolate and fruit cake. The icing was white with a ruffled effect, there was a bow on the middle layer and white roses on the top.
Croft Kitchen provided the catering for the day. We served canapés and prosseco after the ceremony and then had a sit down dinner with three courses. For starter we had Italian meats and anti pasti, for main rosemary chicken and vegetables and for dessert mini banoffee pies (Rob’s favourite pudding).
We would definitely recommend all our suppliers including the venue. The food by Croft Kitchen was lovely, well presented and a very reasonable price. Vintage Rose and Gill Tomkinson did exactly what we wanted them to and the flowers were stunning. EverThine Photography captured the day perfectly, we are so so happy with the photographs and have had many compliments on them. Saltmarshe Hall is a beautiful venue and with the many rooms and gardens it really is left open for you to do what you want with it. The owner Kate was so great and suggested vendors and ideas but also allowed us to do what we wanted with our special day.
We went to Riviera Maya in Mexico for two weeks for our honeymoon. We both love the sun and spent a fortnight in a gorgeous hotel and laid on the beach, just relaxing after the wedding and spending time together. It was perfect.
We were on quite a tight budget with our wedding. The advice I would give to other Brides Up North would be don’t settle with what you first find. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and a lot of frustrating hours sat at a computer or on the phone to find the right thing but researching and looking is the only way to find it and it’s definitely worth it.
Personally I loved planning it and being involved, it was stressful at times but being able to make things like the table decorations was a lot of fun and I felt really proud on the wedding day when I saw everything together.
September 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Hey, hey its only bloomin’ Friday! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a breather.
Lets get out in the fresh air and join Joanne and Brendan for their fresh and vibrant countryside wedding.
Just what the doctor ordered.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, James Tracey Photography.
Joanne says: We got engaged at The Abode Hotel, Chester on the 17th February 2012.
Brendan left for work early one morning as normal. I got up an hour later, walked to the bathroom and found an envelope taped to the door! In the envelope was a letter from Brendan explaining how I wasn’t going to work that day as he had booked it off for me (with the help of my friend at work). I was told to pack a bag for a night away and would be picked up at 11am. Brendan had even included the weather forecast for the mystery location so I could plan as well as a menu for a restaurant we were going to that night! Brendan picked me up as planned (he’d had to hang around in Tesco for four hours!) and we set off…I still didn’t know where we were going. Eventually it became clear we were heading for Chester.
We went for an amazing lunch at Piccolino’s, complete with Prosecco! We then made our way to The Abode Hotel by the racecourse, checking into an amazing luxury bedroom! I started unpacking my bag and could hear Brendan rustling through his and I thought “What is he doing?!” Next thing I hear is Brendan say, “Joanne”. I turned around and he was on one knee! “You know I don’t have a way with words…will you marry me?”
Brendan has since told me that he got a bit worried because it took a while for me to say yes between the tears!
We got married at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Chorley, Lancashire on Friday 20th June 2014. The church has always been special to me as my Grandma used to take me there when I young and her funeral was held there as well as our Niece’s Christening. The inside of the Church is absolutely gorgeous and Father Stanley is really down to earth and approachable.
We had our reception at Marsh Farm Hall in Great Eccleston. We went for this venue due to Brendan wanting to organise all of the catering at the wedding himself! Brendan has worked in the catering industry all of his life and has run so many weddings, so his had to be the best he’s ever done. Marsh Farm Hall allowed him to plan the whole food service from scratch!
We went for a vintage/shabby chic look to fit in with the style of our reception venue. The hall itself is a gorgeous bare-stone wall room, with a beautiful bar area. There is so much land surrounding the property, which made it an easy choice to go for natural colours. I made all of the wedding stationery myself with the help of my Sister, using Kraft card, cream lace and hessian string. I can change my mind with colours quite a lot so I didn’t want to go with a colour in case I went off it! We also thought a neutral theme would suit the venue.
My dress was Amanda Wyatt “Felicia”. I had no idea what style I wanted and went with a completely open mind. It worked though as it was the one and only shop I went to! The Felicia was the last dress I spotted on the way to the changing room and the first I tried on… none of the others compared to it (luckily my sister is very honest and would just laugh when a dress didn’t suit me)! I loved everything about it – the fit, the lace overlay and just enough sparkle!
I carried a simple ball of gypsophila (Baby’s Breath) bouquet, from Flowers in Thyme based at Heskin Hall in Chorley.
Brendan got his suit from Slaters in Preston. He went for a grey suit with tails, with a cream waistcoat. To keep it a bit more modern, he opted for a tie instead of cravat. He looked so handsome.
Our bridesmaids (both of Brendan’s sisters, with my sister as maid of honour) wore dresses from Monsoon. They were a cornflower blue. Our flower girl, Eva (our Niece) wore a gorgeous little dress with sewn on flowers with diamantes from Debenhams.
Both of our Dad’s and Brendan’s groomsmen, including our Nephew, Lennon who was pageboy, wore the same suit as Brendan’s but with grey waistcoats. All of their ties and pocket handkerchiefs were specially made to match the bridesmaid colours (it turned out to be a nightmare to try and match the colour).
James Tracey did our photographs. I found James on the internet about a year before the wedding and his photos stood out.
We could not praise or recommend him enough! For a couple who aren’t really comfortable in front of the camera, we chose James for his natural style of photographs, getting the shots without people realising it. He made us feel so relaxed on the day and even managed to get Eva to pose!
We used gypsophila wreaths inside the birdcages (from Dunelm) on the tables. We also had small vases of gypsophila along the top table. I bought the vases from Home Bargains (they definitely were bargains at 50p a vase!) and Flowers in Thyme dressed them for us.
The tables and chairs were dressed by Create and Cherish – Incorporating Cherish Wedding Services from Chorley. As I didn’t want to have a colour in the theme, I wanted to keep things neutral. Kirsten was so helpful in working out which fabrics would work. The room looked amazing! We had lace on the chairs with brooches on each one.
We became a bit stuck about what to get as favours, knowing we wouldn’t really find anything that would suit men and women, so instead we went for something that would look good on the tables and were a bit different! We went to Birkacre Garden Centre in Chorley and ordered a mixture of 60 herb plants. Our Mums then re-potted them into some terracotta pots we bought online. The Groomsmen then had the job to wrap them with cellophane the night before… speedily so they could watch the England match!
Five of our Grandparents are no longer with us, but we wanted them to a part of the day. We got some photos of them all and put them together with a message “We know you’d be here today if Heaven wasn’t so far away”. This was proudly displayed at the entrance door.
The food is where Brendan came into his own! I knew this was where I had to take a step back and completely trust his ideas. We both love our food so Brendan took a lot of time over choosing the perfect menu including Chicken Liver Parfait, Fillet of Beef (accompanied by a Herb Rosti, Glazed Parmentier Potatoes, Chantenay Carrots and Baby Asparagus with a Red Wine Jus) and Lemon Possett, washed down with a selection of cheeses, coffee and chocolates.
With the help from my Dad and his friend Ahmed, Brendan made mini “wine crates” for the starter to be served in. He ordered personalised stencils with “Quirke Dootson Est. 2004 Blackpool” (we met in 2004 in Blackpool). They were amazing! They also doubled up as another favour for guests to take away.
The meal absolutely blew everyone away! Paul (the chef) did us so proud and we could not have had a more perfect meal!
Our guests had red and white wine on the tables. The white was Quirky Bird Chenin Blanc Semillon Muscat – I spotted it in Tesco and loved the fact I was about to become a “Quirky Bird” (surname Quirke!) so had to have it! It turned out to be quite a nice wine too! Our red was the only wine I have managed to get Brendan to drink with me…Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva.
For the toast we had Blanc de Bleu sparkling wine. My dad and I are huge Manchester City fans, so this was my only way I was allowed to get blue into the wedding!
We bought a few outdoor games, including Twister for the kids (and bigger kids!) to play with to make the most of the nice weather!
We chose a DJ Brendan has worked with quite a lot, so knew how good he was, Paul Atkinson from Ice Entertainment. He was brilliant, even mingled with guests on the dance floor! He got a great mix of music which meant the dance floor was full most of the night!
We also had a photo booth in the evening, from Boothtube. Being a City fan… I sneaked Joe Hart and Yaya Toure masks into the accessories box!
We would definitely recommend Marsh Farm Hall – for any event!
Emma and her family were so helpful, letting Brendan get on with the set up and helping out when needed. We even had comments from family and friends about how nice Emma was and how she couldn’t do enough for everyone on the day.
They even got us a couple of presents – a newspaper from the day we got married and a bottle of wine with a personalised label.
We just need an excuse for another party there!
Our parents were an amazing help running up to the wedding… without them and all of their help the day would not have been as amazing as it was!
For our honeymoon, we had two weeks in Cala Llonga, Ibiza at the Fiesta Hotel Cala Llonga.
Brendan and I went on our first holiday together in Ibiza ten years earlier and fell in love with it! On that holiday, we went on a boat trip round to Cala Llonga one day – after booking the honeymoon we found a picture of Brendan in the sea, with our honeymoon hotel in the background.
As a treat for Brendan, I booked us tickets to watch Lily Allen at Ibiza Rocks. My sister and her partner then gave us some money as our wedding present, with strict instructions to get Tiny Tempah tickets too (my treat!)! We had such a great time on the VIP balcony!
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to take in every minute! It’s scary how quickly it can all become a blur! Make sure your Groom doesn’t throw out his speech… I would love to be able to read Brendan’s again, and make sure you get plenty of photos (even selfies!) with all your loved ones.
August 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon wedding photographer Samantha Broadley finds herself on the other side of the lens, as she shares her bright and beautiful (destination) wedding in Manchester with Brides Up North.
With images by Victoria Franks Photography.
Samantha says: We were married on 26th July 2013. I’ve always wanted a summer wedding in the hope we might get some sunshine, and we did!
We tied the knot at Manchester Town Hall. Neither of us are from Manchester but it is where we met and where we have started our lives together, so Manchester will always have a special place in our hearts. As well as the exterior of the building the interior is beautiful and believe it or not, not a lot of people have been inside. None of our guests had a clue what it was like, so they were blown away with the grandeur of it all. The reception was at The Mere Golf Resort and Spa, just because it’s quite simply beautiful, and had all the facilities we wanted.
We didn’t have a specific theme, but a lot did revolve around Manchester. My invites and name cards for the tables all had Manchester skyline on them. Our table names were places we’d been together that were special, for example, Brooklyn Bridge as we walked across there for my 21st, Syndey ANZ Stadium as we watched Australia v New Zealand there (Ben’s a big rugby fan) and our top table was of course Manchester Town Hall.
Being a wedding photographer, I have seen lots of different colour themes and I wanted something different. I would have loved to get married abroad but our grandparents wouldn’t have been able to fly and it was important to us to have them there. I wanted to bring the brightness and boldness of a destination wedding to Manchester, so I chose shades of teal with coral and pink flowers.
I chose a Mori Lee dress from The Bridal Collection in Lancaster. I was torn between two dresses, both completely different. One had a lot of lace detail and was a fish tail, the other had more ruffles and had a sweet heart neckline. I decided to go for the ruffles as it reminded me of a Spanish flamenco dress, again bringing the abroad feel back in for me.
Ben wore a light grey three piece suit from Slaters in Manchester. We bought the suits instead of hiring them, after all he’s more likely to wear his suit again than I am to wear my dress.
The Bridesmaid dresses were from In Wedding Dress, I was very conscious of the price of the bridesmaids dresses as I had six attendants, so I spent a lot of time researching.
I’m not very good with flowers, knowing the names and what’s in season. I just found a few pictures of the sort of bouquet I liked, I showed the lovely florists my pictures and colour ideas at Lune Valley Home & Garden Florist and they came up with the rest. My trust in them was well placed my flowers were beautiful.
Decor wise, I bought paper lanterns which were hung in the trees outside in the garden at The Mere Golf Resort with fairy lights wrapped round the terrace. We dotted some vintage style tea light holders around the tables outside. We had table flowers included in our package and I just paid a bit extra to have a few more flowers added. The entertainment was more important to me rather than decorating the room.
For the ceremony and for the arrival drinks we booked a singer and guitarist called Rob Yates, I’ve seen him at a number of other weddings and I’ve always loved what he does.
We also had a singing waiter, Jamie Reeves. After being to so many weddings I know there can be a little lull after the desserts waiting for the speeches and this is when Jamie came in. He was a complete surprise to everyone especially as he’d been serving most of them earlier. Only Ben, my maid of honour and I knew about him, so to see everyone’s faces was so funny.
We knew what we wanted from the very beginning for our favours. Ben sadly lost his Dad when he was 11 to Cancer so instead of spending money on little presents for everyone we donated money to Cancer Research and we had the ribbon badges. It’s lovely looking back at the pictures as everyone’s wearing them so in a way it’s like Ben’s Dad was there.
Ben and I are known for having parties and making Vodka Jellies, so we couldn’t have the biggest party of our lives go without them. They were supposed to be welcome drinks for our evening guests but I don’t think they got a look in!
The transport was very important to me on the day and my dad let us use his pride and joy, his Mercedes SL convertible. I was praying for sunshine so we could have the roof down and it worked. My Dad drove me from The Mere Golf Resort where we got ready to the Town Hall, it was nice as we got time completely on our own. Then after the Ceremony Ben drove me back and my Dad had a ‘Just Married’ reg plate made for the photographs which was a nice surprise.
Being a photographer the photographs where at the top of my to do list so as soon as I had the venues booked the photographer was next, as I know how soon dates can go. I chose my friend Victoria Franks Photography. I was more than happy with the photographs. On the day she was amazing, it’s so important you get along with your photographer as you do spend a lot of time with them on the day, so it’s good to have someone you can feel relaxed and have a laugh with.
We loved all of it, but I thinkmy favourite moment was the first dance. When Ben proposed he also bought me tickets to see Coldplay at the Etihad in Manchester and it was amazing. We wanted to relive that experience for our first dance so chose ‘Paradise’. Everyone loved it and got involved, all the people you love on one dance first floor, perfect.
We went travelling in 2009 and one of the places we never got to was Malaysia so it was on the top of our list when it came to our honeymoon. As the weather over there isn’t great in July we went to Palma in Majorca for a mini moon for three nights the day after the wedding but I couldn’t wait for the main one. We went away for three weeks over Christmas and New Year. It was nice to have a break between the wedding and the real honeymoon, it meant it wasn’t all over straight away.
We started off in Kuala Lumpur for 3 nights, then over to Langkawi for 8 Days, Penang for Christmas, finishing it off in our favourite place for New Years Eve in Singapore. It was all amazing, if only every holiday could be like that.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make it as personal as you can, don’t get wrapped up in what a wedding ‘should be’ and do what you both want to do.
in wedding dress, jamie reeves singing waiter, Lune Valley Home & Garden Florist, manchester town hall wedding, manchester wedding, mori lee, real wedding, rob yates, samantha broadley, slaters, summer wedding, teal wedding, the bridal collection, the mere golf and country club, uk wedding blog, victoria franks photography
June 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, 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 7th July 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
I loved every moment of putting together Vicky & Paul’s Real Wedding feature back in February this year. You see, the bride and I go way back, as I used to go out with her lovely brother Neil at University. Although it didn’t work out for us (and Neil is now happily married himself to a gorgeous lady!) I’m glad to say that we still keep in touch, and that it did work out ever so well for Neil’s little sister Vicky and one of our Uni mates, Paul.
Knowing Vicky, I knew her wedding celebration was going to be big, colourful and offbeat… and couldn’t wait to see her submission. I was exactly right: Vicky and Paul’s wedding was a fabulous day full of feeling, personality, beauty and fun.
Bravo Mrs Hough!
With images by Andy Gaines.
Vicky says: Paul and I first met when I went to visit my brother Neil at University in 2003. We got together four years later in early 2007 after meeting up again and Paul plucked up the courage to ask my brother if he could go out with me!
Paul and I aren’t a very traditional couple and I suppose it follows that our engagement wasn’t either. One evening out of the blue and in the run up to our five year anniversary, Paul asked me to go online and pick out what my ideal engagement ring would look like. The task itself was easy as like many other girlfriends, I’d been looking at rings for months but this was the first time he’d ever uttered the ‘E’ word and I was beside myself with excitement. The fact, however, that it was a vintage ring not available to buy immediately online was something Paul was not prepared for. His solution was to take me to London to spend a day trying on diamond rings… it was tough, but I accepted the challenge! By a stroke of luck the exact ring I’d seen online was still there and after purchasing I was one happy bunny. However we still weren’t actually engaged yet so back it went into the box.
About a week later, we were getting ready to go out and I was running spectacularly late. Running downstairs with fluffy hair and makeup half on, I noticed that our song was playing, and as I turned the corner into the lounge, Paul was there on one knee. Paul has never been one for grand romantic gestures, and you know what, getting engaged in our little house, listening to our song, with just the two of us, was perfect
Our wedding day was the day of the deluge – 6th September 2013. After decorating the hall in temperatures pushing 30 degrees on the Thursday, my heart sunk when I woke to a total downpour and grey skies on our wedding day. However, once the day got into full flow, the rain added a comedy element (watching people running under the cover of umbrellas), a dramatic element (fabulously moody skies in our photos) and ultimately created a fantastic cosy, party atmosphere for the meal and evening dancing. Plus as my friend texted me ‘Better that 2 beautiful people get married in the rain, than 2 mingers get married in the sun’ – brilliant!
We chose to say “I do” at a beautifully refurbished old barn at East Riddlesden Hall, Yorkshire.
I’m a country lass, growing up in the wilds of Norfolk and I desperately wanted to get married in somewhere I felt had that element of the countryside. Now finding a barn in Norfolk would have pretty easy but our hearts were set on getting wed in the county we had met and begun our lives together. Despite its proximity to the Dales, there are few barns to choose from in reach of Leeds, so we weren’t sure what we’d find at East Riddlesden Hall. Our first trip there was a gloriously sunny day and the place combined a sense of rural beauty and aged grandeur. Emma, who is the wedding planner was so helpful and relaxed, taking on board all our ideas and answering our questions. It is pretty fair to say that we were smitten as soon as we entered the barn. Even undecorated, the place looks stunning; with exposed beams, flagstone floors and whitewashed walls dotted with tiny windows. As a keen crafty-type, the thought of such a beautiful blank canvas to work on was a dream come true. The venue is also run by the National Trust and the thought that we were investing in the future of such a beautiful place was the icing on the cake.
It must be said that the staff at ERH are brilliant and they have put so much work into making this a fantastic wedding venue. Particular thanks go to Emma and Sam who were on hand to chauffeur people and perform emergency cake decorating duties. The in-house bar run by ERH served a great selection of drinks, including locally brewed beers, much to my husband’s delight. Having such dedicated staff all working tirelessly, made a huge difference to the day.
I began by actively rebelling against having a theme as I am, by nature, unable to decide on any one thing (except for a husband of course). Our wedding motto was ‘good music, good food and good times’. I knew I didn’t want anything matchy-matchy (I always think that allowing things to be a little rough round the edges means you can be a bit more flexible!). Plus as we decided to get married in a beautiful old barn, anything too polished would have looked out of place. We just wanted ourselves and our guests to feel relaxed, included and have an awesome time.
As time went on and my Pinterest account bulged with pictures that had caught my eye, I realised that bright colours and handmade details kept appearing in my selections. I decided that whilst I wouldn’t outlaw any particular colours, I would focus on blues, purples, white and add touches of gold (if only to force me in making decisions on decorations). I have always been obsessed by peacock feathers so they played a big role in tying decorations together too.
The glamorous and very lovely Anna Stephenson was a joy to have doing my hair and makeup. We spent the entire trial run chatting and laughing and the final look was exactly as I wanted. Anna and Lucy turned up early and were so flexible with how we wanted to organise the morning, it put me at ease and I absolutely loved the whole getting ready part of the day. Despite a lot of dancing and a bit of limboing, both hair and makeup stayed put the entire day.
The dress! Such a big decision! And one I made in a single day! I spent hours, nay days, looking at dresses – shapes, lengths, decorations, straps – the choice is bewildering and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. Facing this uncertainty, I decided to leave my first wedding dress shop until my mum could accompany me. Now one of my mum’s best qualities is that she wears her heart on her sleeve. After 14 dresses, none of them were meeting with much excitement. That is until I tried on an ivory crinkle chiffon, one strap, corset dress with sweetheart neckline at Confetti and Lace in Stanningley. After looking in the mirror and deciding I really quite liked this one, I looked up at Mum who had tears rolling down her face. Either I looked bloody awful and she was in despair, or it was ‘the one’. Luckily after a few moments I established it was the latter and I bought it on the spot. The women at Confetti and Lace were fantastic and helped me alter the dress by removing all crystal detailing and the strap, so the individualist in me is quite proud to say my dress is a one off.
With such a clean cut dress, the detailing in my outfit came from a fascinator I made with blue, purple and white flowers decorated with pearls. My shoes were bright blue vintage style sling backs from Rocket Dog. For my jewellery, I decided to wear a gold chain with my grandmothers’ wedding rings hung on it, so I could feel like they were part of the day. As a wedding gift, Mum also gave me a gold heart locket that had belonged to my grandmother who had worn it almost every day. I felt a strange mix of sadness and pride, and the fact the Mum was giving it to me was very, very, special indeed.
Paul wore a gorgeous bright blue fitted 3-piece suit from Reiss with brown brogues from Hudson. I may be biased but I thought he looked pretty damn handsome.
I wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable and glamorous so opted for navy blue 1940s style dresses from Phase Eight. I then bought them some amazing chunky necklaces from Ashley at TheEnchantedOwl on Etsy, sent all the way from Georgia, USA. The bright purple looped in the colours from the decorations and the girls all looked beautiful!
The groomsmen all wore grey 3-piece suits hired from Slaters. They were accessorised with purple ties, Hawaiian-print pocket squares and my homemade peacock feather buttonholes tied with navy blue ribbon.
I carried a beautiful mix of flowers by the ever so lovely Lynne of Stems Design. Deep pink Celoxia, bright blue Nigella, light pink astilbe, Blue Veronica, Scabious, Blue Wax, Cornflower, various grasses, tiny succulents and of course, peacock feathers. Lynne was a joy to work with, so enthusiastic and full of ideas – the final result was stunning.
I was originally planning on going down in a taxi with my bridesmaids but my Dad took an uncharacteristic step in intervening. He said that he would arrange my transport but refused to reveal what it would be. I had nightmarish visions of going side-saddle on a horse or riding pillion on a quadbike. As it turns out, my Dad and Brother, Neil (who was also our best man) had spent the previous night decorating Neil’s car with white ribbons, stashing a bottle of champagne in the back seat and recording an eclectic pre-wedding message and playlist. Little did I imagine that the last song I would hear before I entered the world of marriage would be Gangnam Style!
It was a very special time to have with Dad, who drove us. He was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year and I am fiercely proud of how he dealt with it with humour and love, having a precious few minutes talking and laughing with just the two of us was very important to me.
Wedding readings were really hard to decide on – we wanted to strike a balance between celebratory, real and emotional but absolutely not smush. After much searching we opted for the lyrics from Noah and the Whale’s ‘Give a Little Love’ and an extract from ‘The Game’. There were many chins a quiver by the end – it really was a memorable moment.
Special thanks must go to Geoff, our fantastic registrar from Keighley Council. He completely put us at ease, conducted the ceremony with heart and humour.
Paul and I are super foodies, not in the foams and micro-herb type of way but in the yummy, fill-you-up type of way. With this in mind, the food at our wedding was pretty important and the fine fayre served up by the people at GFS Catering was exceptionally good. Goat’s cheese tarts for starters, Lamb shanks and mash for mains and chocolate profiteroles for pudding were all delicious crowd-pleasers. An evening buffet of sausage baps and halloumi pittas served to mop up some of the great selection of drinks also served up by GFS with the help of the brilliant Martinez Wines in Ilkley. Special thanks to Alex from GFS who was such a great help on the day, finding alternatives to unknown food allergies and making sure each course flowed into the next seamlessly.
Cake wasn’t high on our priorities so we used up some vouchers and opted for three layers of M&S loveliness. I then decorated with homemade flower crown and mini glitter bunting. All in all a pretty little cake which cost us less than £10! In the end I’m glad we didn’t spend loads on the cake, because by the time it came to try it, it had all gone!
Andy Gaines, our photographer, was the very first wedding-related enquiry I made, even before we had a date or a venue. His photographs are stunning. They have this gritty yet ethereal quality that I find fascinating. Plus Andy himself is a blooming lovely chap – so welcoming, unobtrusive and damn talented. Andy worked like a ninja-trooper on our wedding day, capturing shots whilst keeping out of the way and staying from morning ‘til way past everyone’s bedtimes in order to capture our day. Everyone has commented on how awesome the pictures are, with even my normally-bored-silly-by-photos Dad confessing and I quote, ‘Fantastic photos – absolutely brill. Can’t wait to see the rest!’. Andy’s gone from strength to strength in the two years we’ve known him and it’s not hard to see why.
We employed the fantastic talents of Rachel from Simply Vintage to help us decorate the huge space. Rachel strung a plethora of fairy lights, colourful pom poms with peacock feathers and white lace bunting across the beams. I then decided to make a lot of the decorations myself, including props for the tables, peacock name places and adding little splashes of our personalities across the barn, including photographs of my grandparents on their wedding days. I think however, the biggest and most complex decoration was our sequin LOVE sign. This beast was lovingly crafted out of gold sprayed MDF letters and sequins individually nailed on. It took a hell of a lot of work but looked pretty darn good strung up on the barn beams and glistening in the fairy lights.
Without a doubt the speeches was my favourite part of the day. 2013 was a tough year having had both my Dad and Paul’s Mum diagnosed with cancer within a couple of months of each other. Dad’s speech was emotional – not only because of what we were going through at the time but because it reaffirmed just how much I owe to my fantastic family. He laughed about my unrivalled ability to be untidy, spoke about the time I drew a picture of him stark naked much to the disapproval of my nursery teachers (but to the hilarity of my parents!) and how he was so proud of me despite having no idea what my job title actually means.
Paul’s speech talked of how he did the unthinkable and asked out his best friend’s sister, how darn well it had all worked out and even how despite his hatred of clichés, he thought we were made for each other!
Then it was the turn of my older brother Neil to give the best man’s speech. I wondered if he might take this opportunity for the ultimate teasing of his little sister but I needn’t have worried as he mostly concentrated on his best friend and long-time drinking partner, my husband! Superbly written and with touches of comic brilliance, it was the ultimate tribute to Paul and I being both deeply personal and evoking fantastic memories. I will always be thankful to him for the effort he put into the speech. Oh and not to forget our wedding present – a canvas featuring our Back to Future drinking game– rather nattily named by myself as ‘Flux Incapacitated’ – I thank you!
Music is big in our house, so we always knew it would feature a lot in the wedding. We employed the gorgeous sounds of the Northern String Quartet for the ceremony, playing a mixture of old and new for the waiting guests. I walked down the aisle to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ which was just gorgeous. During the signing were the sublime ‘One Day like this’, God only knows’, and ‘All you need is Love’. Then I entered the world as Mrs Hough to sounds of ‘Hoppipolla’ which was such an uplifting way to end the ceremony.
For the evening, we had the brilliant City Lights who blew our socks off with a great mix of modern tunes and some classic floor fillers, kicking off the set with a stonking rendition of ‘Got my mind set on you’ by George Harrison.
The evening celebrations were added to by some unorthodox entertainment in the form of glow sticks. What was an off the cuff purchase reminiscent of my raving days, became the biggest success of the day. Never did I think I’d witness friends of my parents fighting over who would get the glow bunny ears! The glow stick limbo was a total stroke of genius and made for some memorable photos!
We decided to delay our honeymoon both because we had no money left and the weather in Thailand is much better at this time of the year. So in but a few weeks time, we’ll be heading off to Thai cities and shorelines.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to decide where you want to focus your efforts and your money – for us it was the look and feel of the venue, excellent food and awesome music. Wedding preparation is hard so don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to do too much. I absolutely adored being engaged and putting my heart and soul into planning our wedding day and I’m so glad we had the time to enjoy it all.
Congratulations Vicky & Paul!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014
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June 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon we join Sarah & Paul for their sun-drenched, monochrome, marquee celebration in the Lake District. The happy couple kept proceedings classy and sharp before tearing up the dance floor!
With images by Mick Cookson Photography.
Sarah says: We got engaged in August 2013 at The Waterhead Hotel, Coniston. Paul took me away for the weekend as a surprise (as I had spoken about how beautiful the Lake District is). He proposed to me on a small pier over Lake Coniston.
We were married on 17th May 2014. We chose May as it always seems to be nice weather that month! We chose Silverholme Manor or the Graythwaite Estate as they allow you to do whatever you like and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous!
Our theme was music – a passion that Paul & I share! We chose a classy, simple black and white colour scheme.
I chose a fishtail, ivory lace wedding dress from The Wedding Factory Outlet in Bolton. I fell in love with the shape of the gown and it’s open back.
I carried a bouquet of Picasso cala lilies from Deborah’s Florist, and our table decorations were vintage birdcages with floral designs inside them.
Mick Cookson was our photographer. I would definitely recommend him as he takes beautiful, amazing pictures and I didn’t notice him all day. He made feel completely at ease.
For me, seeing Paul’s face as I walked down the aisle was my favourite part. It made me feel complete and full to burst of love.
Our wedding cake was a three tier sponge, decorated with a cascade of roses and lilies from Sugar Ruffles in Barrow-In-Furness.
For our wedding breakfast we used Karen Rhodes Catering. The food was all locally sourced and of very high quality.
James Fletcher Marquee Hire provided our marquee, they were so professional during the lead up to the wedding and when setting up. The black and white dance floor was a must have!
After the wedding they went to St Lucia for a week and stayed at Ansi Chastenet. It was complete paradise! We lounged on the beach all week.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to worry too much about your plans, it will all work out on the day!
Congratulations Sarah and Paul!
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