Hardwick Hall Grand Wedding Exhibition
Charlotte Balbier

by the sea. sophia tolli for an autumnal wedding at newton hall – amanda & phil

December 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

An Autumn Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Danny Birrell Photography (57)

Today’s real wedding couple love nothing more than escaping to the beach with their daughter for some quality family time. It was little surprise then that when a wedding venue by the sea was suggested, they booked it straight away.

Taking inspiration from the season, Philip and Amanda’s wedding day featured elegant autumnal touches including some rather unusual white pumpkins that are apparently only available for a few days of the year. Shame, they would suit our office perfectly!

With images by Danny Birrell Photography.

An Autumn Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Danny Birrell Photography (62)

amanda says: We got engaged on 7th December 2013, during a weekend away to York where we met at university (we now live in Whitley Bay). We went for a nice lunch and a few glasses of wine, and got all wrapped up to go for a walk around York. We were in the York Minster Gardens when Phil got down on one knee and popped the question, just as the minster bells began to chime. Everyone around us cheered and it was all very romantic. After seven years together of course I said yes.

An Autumn Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Danny Birrell Photography (65)

We were married on Sunday 18th October 2015. We knew we wanted an autumnal wedding, in October, as that was the month we met nine years previously.

We went for a look around As You Like It in Jesmond, Newcastle, and had a chat with them about their venue. They mentioned a sister venue, Newton Hall in Northumberland, were having an open day soon after, so we went there for a look around, fell in love and reserved the date that day! Newton Hall had a formal, yet relaxed atmosphere that we just loved! All of the little eccentricities just added to the character of the venue, and when we walked into the garden suite, we just knew it was perfect. It was an added bonus it has its very own beach close by!

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understated elegance. sophia tolli for a vintage wedding at whitworth hall – paul & marie

October 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (34)

We just love the simplicity of today’s real wedding.

It’s not always about the most extravagant decor, the biggest cake or the most flamboyant flowers (though we do adore details) but simply about the love the bride and groom have for one another.

Paul and Marie’s big day was brimming with elegance but without being OTT thanks to a stunning choice of venue, attractive attire and a pretty colour palette.

We are also totally crushing on all the natural outdoor shots, especially the ones with the deer! Super classy!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Paul Liddement Wedding Stories.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (4)

paul says: I proposed to Marie on her birthday while we were staying in a cottage in the Lake District. I gave her a bunch of silly presents and a wax jacket that she really wanted and I’d put an envelope inside the pocket containing a card asking her to marry me. When she opened it the envelope fell out and she didn’t notice it so I had to grab the card quickly and hand it to her once she’d sat down again. She opened the card and I got on one knee.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (10)

Our wedding was on 20th June, 2015. We booked this date as it seemed far enough away at time of booking to be able to get everything done and we thought the weather should be ok at this time of year.

Both our ceremony and reception were held at Whitworth Hall, Spennymoor. We chose the venue for its location, grounds and layout. Also due to the feeling we got when we visited it.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (13)

We didn’t have a cast iron ‘theme’ but we were working from the vintage end of things, not in a way which restricted us, but that merely gave the appearance of wedding continuity. Examples of this could be seen in our table names and seating plan as they used the same text fonts and floral illustrations as on all of our other stationery, but to add a little personal touch we named the tables after locations from the Lord of the Ring books, which we love. We also went for a vintage mute colour scheme. So overall, vintage meets middle earth subtly.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (20)

Marie wore the Leigh dress designed by Sophia Tolli, which she bought from Elizabeth George in Middlesbrough. On the wedding day her hair was done by her sister Stacy and her makeup was done by her sister Dawn. Marie looked beautiful so I think it would be fair to say we would recommend her sisters.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (32)

I wore a conventionally cut grey suit with a white shirt and silver tie. These were hired from Troughear Suit Hire, Durham. The night before the wedding I had a hot towel shave at Guappo Hair Design in Shotton. It was fantastic and helped to relax me – I’d definitely recommend this to other grooms.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were all from Debenhams.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (33)

As a photographer myself, I was very picky as to who I would pick to capture our day. After some time researching, we chose Paul Liddement because of his style and the obvious quality of his work but mostly because of his approach and the fact that we felt comfortable with him.

On the wedding day Paul was relaxed, focused and very well prepared. He managed to take lots of photographs that we were completely unaware of and seemed very good at catching that moment when you are more yourself. He also fitted in with the guests and spent time getting them at ease with him. We were blown away by our wedding images when we received them. We had high expectations based on the quality of our engagement shoot but the wedding photos far exceeded our expectations and managed to put an extra shine on an already magical day.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (35)

Marie arrived at Whitworth Hall buy classic car, along with her maid of honour and bridesmaids who travelled in a separate car, both of which were hired form Classic Wedding Cars, Durham.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (40)

We designed and made all of the wedding stationery ourselves. A time consuming process as we wanted to get it just right and put a lot of thought into it, but it was the right thing to do as we ended up with exactly what we wanted and it made the wedding more personal. We are immensely proud of the results.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (46)

In terms of flowers, Marie and her bridesmaids had vintage style bouquets and we had corsages for the mothers, female grandparents and the guests who did readings. The groom, best man, ushers, fathers, grandfather and all the male partners of the bridal party then had matching button holes. All were supplied by Elvet Flowers, Durham.

For decoration, we had another small arrangement of flowers on the top table also supplied by Elvet Flowers, Durham. We also had a miniature handmade birdcage made from pages of a book, which was positioned in the middle of the top table. This was made by a friend of ours, Gillian.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (68)

All the other tables at the reception had a vintage bird cage on them, which were put together by Marie and her sister Dawn (although myself and my brother-in-law Jona did put one together each and I think these were the best!) We purchased the materials from a variety of sources including Country Baskets, Home Bargains and eBay.

We handmade all of our favours; historically accurate 13th Century medieval coins for the men and angel charms for the ladies.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (71)

Our wedding cake was a three tiered spice cake. It had a very subtle vintage rose colour icing, with a lace like pattern piped down one side (as if a doily had been draped down on side). There was also an arrangement of icing sugar flowers on the third tier. The cake was made locally by a lady called Vicky who makes them more as a hobby than a business.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (73)

As a special treat we also had a sweetie table, which we put together ourselves. The sweets were bought at B&M and Home Bargains, which is where we also got the giant martini/wine glasses and other glass bowls from that held the sweets.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (54)

To fill the lull period after the meal (while the venue staff rearranged the room for the evening do) we arranged for the medieval re-enactment group The Dawn of Chivalry, of which I’m a member, to put on a combat display for our guests in the venue’s grounds. We chose this as it was something a bit different & again made the wedding more personal to us. For the evening do we had the venue supplied disco, during which my brother-in-law managed to take on a guest DJ spot much to everyone’s (apart from the actual DJ’s) amusement.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (63)

Following our wedding we would definitely recommend Whitworth Hall to others. The venue was brilliant, they were very accommodating and great on the day! The venue has plenty of space for people to mill around and relax and it is possible to find a quiet corner if you need some space providing you are not either the bride or groom, in which case you won’t have time to catch your thoughts! It lends itself very well to weddings as the ceremony room is very tasteful and has plenty of scope for some lovely photo locations without ever having to go too far from your guests.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (77)

Looking back, my favourite part of the day was the moment I first saw my wife-to-be in her dress. I fell in love all over again and then couldn’t see anyone but her.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (79)

We have not yet been on our honeymoon yet as we are planning to go to New Zealand (see Lord of the Rings sneaking in again) and it is currently winter there.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (83)

Our top tip for other Brides (and grooms) Up North would be to set a realistic budget then be honest with yourself and really set an actually realistic budget. Look at what you can actually afford and what you really feel is absolutely important. This will help you strip away a lot of the gimmicky, frivolous I wants.

We paid for the majority of the wedding ourselves by saving up and doing over time at work, but we also had some very generous gifts from family members. All in all it’s a party, so look at it as such – people are there for you and not what is on the tables or festooned around the room.

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the italian lakes. a colourful wedding in windermere – julia & alex

September 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (37)

A little later than planned (we’ve been in recovery from another very busy weekend of wonderful wedding inspiration!), but worth waiting for, we bring you the super gorgeous wedding of Brides Up North reader Julia and her brand new husband Alex.  Inspired by the colours and tones of their one time Italian home, this beautiful, colourful wedding is an absolute feast for the senses.

Prepare for a Pinterest frenzy.

With beautiful images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (8)

julia says: We were living in Italy at the time we got engaged. Disguising a trip home as ‘lads university reunion’ Alex assembled the ‘Ring Squad’ – made up of his parents, brother and very lovely cousin to help choose a ring for me. The jewellers were Michael Levin of Nottingham who specialise in antique pieces, which I’d long before fallen for on a shopping trip to the city.

Living in Milan at the time, Alex had planned a trip down to Rome for my birthday – unbeknownst to me he was ducking into the toilet on the train trying to call my dad at every opportunity to ask him for permission to marry me! On our second night in Rome, Alex asked me to come out onto our balcony that was picked intentionally with its towering view of the Eternal City, as we were getting ready to go out. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife and pulled out the most beautifully sparkly ring I have ever seen. We both burst into tears. I said ‘yes’ of course and celebrated by heading out for a really romantic dinner. We were in such a bubble, it was incredible. We delayed telling our friends and family until the next day (we let our parents know), so that we could truly live in the moment that we’d created.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (6)

We knew we wanted to get married in the summer, and I was under strict instructions from Alex to avoid the football season due to our football mad families. We set our hearts on 6th June 2015 – which is actually D-Day! One week after the conclusion of the Premiership season!

We’ve had many romantic weeks and even a few New Year’s Eves in Windermere up in the Lake District over our 6 year relationship. It’s also somewhere we used to go as kids with our families before we met – weirdly enough! We both decided on the Lakes pretty early in the planning – we’re both from the North (me from Liverpool and Alex from Bradford) so we wanted somewhere meaningful but a middle ground. We saw a few venues in the area before we came across the Merewood Country House Hotel. It had the stunning views of Windermere we wanted, plus it was such a historic mansion (once the home of the Earl of Lonsdale) with beautiful interiors. Once we met Lorna (the fierce Scottish manager!) we knew it was meant to be. She went out of her way to make things happen for us and it was like coming home every time we came to visit the venue. Once we tasted the food that was it, we signed on the dotted line.

I am Catholic and it was really important to me to get married in a church. We tied the knot at Sacred Heart Catholic church in Coniston perched above the lake. It was a very Cumbrian looking slate church with gorgeous stained glass windows. Father Bob was really good at making the service enjoyable for people who weren’t religious; we had so many moving comments from guests about the ceremony and it was really inclusive.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

Our wedding day was inspired by a weekend we had in Cinque Terre when we were still living in Italy. It was a year to the day until we got married and we walked between the stunning Italian towns on the coast. They’re five fishing towns in Liguria made up of warm copper colours, with yellow and pinks, with lots of luscious plants and the sea close by. It was a very romantic weekend and I was really inspired by the tones. My flowers by Jane Thompson at Flower Design, reflected these colours and included many Italian foliage. Our wines and some of the menu also had a subtle Italian theme. I even propped my mood board for Jane in the hallway of the Merewood on the day.

Our colour scheme was coral and greens – I wanted to remind us of the stunning Mediterranean colours and vibrancy of Cinque Terre – even though we were celebrating with guests in the English Lakes, it really worked with the beauty of another special place for Alex and I.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (16)

For my wedding gown, I knew I wanted something fitted, but elegant. I tried on a few ballgowns and they really didn’t suit my curvy figure, so I narrowed my search down to sweetheart neckline with a trumpet style fit and flare gown. I went to about 5 shops with my mum and bridesmaids and left empty handed, sadly. A few weeks later, on a whim my mum and I went to Society Brides  in Liverpool city centre and they had just received Sophia Tolli’s dreamy lace Brienne and they persuaded me to try it on. It was meant to be, it was the one for me.

My veil was a two-tiered veil from Richard Designs. I wanted the drama of a chapel length veil for our church wedding but also the blusher over my face, which I could flick back and wear all day. My headpiece was from Glitzy Secrets and the flowers worked really well with the lace of my dress. My shoes and earrings were from Jenny Packham at Debenhams. The shoes were so comfortable; I danced in them all night long.

My signature scent was the spicy and oriental Calincantus by the ancient apothecary Santa Maria Novella in Florence. I wear it on special occasions now, Alex loves it too. I also wore a vintage pearl bracelet from the gorgeous antique jewellers in Nottingham which is where all our rings are from.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (22)

Alex is into his style so he knew early on that he wanted a tailored three-piece suit in navy blue. I found Michelsberg Tailors in Leeds’ Victoria Arcade on a wedding blog, and the process began. He even had a shirt tailored with his initials ‘AB’ on the cuffs. Why should the brides have all the fun?!

I bought him some solid silver cufflinks in the shape of white roses (the symbol of Yorkshire for my Yorkshire groom) from an amazing lady on Etsy called Sarah-Jane Egan based in Caerphilly. He wore black Loake’s dress shoes and a pistachio green tie from Reiss.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (24)

My three bridesmaids wore coral convertible dresses which were actually from New Look. They all wore them differently to suit their figures and they were all floor length versions. I loved how they looked with their bouquets and they swished around the dance floor in them all night. Their shoes were strappy light gold sandals from Dune and I bought them rose gold tear-drop earrings to wear on the day.

The groomsmen wore navy blue two-piece suits from Charles Trywhitt in Leeds with silk green ties with leaves on them.

Our two flower girls – one was my niece, Catherine and the other was Alex’s cousin’s little girl, Sophie – wore pretty ivory dresses and shoes from John Lewis. I made their headbands with flowers from H&M and a very interesting few hours with a glue gun in my parents’ kitchen.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (29)

The day was wonderful because the start was so chilled. In the morning myself, my mum and my three bridesmaids donned our floral robes and sipped prosecco. Lorna set up a table in the bridal suite for me and the bridesmaids to have breakfast which was lovely. It was great to start the day so relaxed and looked after. We had so much fun with utterly adorable Katie Tweedale our hairdresser for the day, and the fabulous Bridget Foster on make-up who were loving our 1990s playlist and our Liverpudlian humour!

But our (joint!) real favourite part of the day was turning around to our guests in the church as we were about to walk down the aisle to see their faces when our brother in law Richard began to play us out to ‘Match of the Day’ on his piano! No one expected it and both families are huge football fans so we got a great reaction – even some high 5s as we made our way out of the church! That was such a proud and fun moment for both of us – we literally floated out of the church.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (36)

Our guests had come from far and wide – even as far as the USA and Italy so we wanted everyone to relax. We hired a Routemaster bus from Classic Buses to collect everyone at the Merewood and take the guests to and from the church. I sourced a vintage ticket clipper for my bus geek of an Uncle Brian who was able to clip pretend tickets for everyone getting on the bus with the help of his granddaughter. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more!

I travelled to the church with my parents and my 4-year-old niece in a 1937 Rolls Royce which was fabulous and owned by the lovely Tony Henderson at Lakeland Wedding Cars. I felt no nerves travelling to the church and the scenery was really gorgeous. Alex and I then travelled back in the car to the Merewood and sipped a few glasses of bubbles in the back. We got a lot of waves and cheers from the mountain climbers and walkers en route.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (45)

Our photographer was James Tracey. He’d shot a wedding of a friend a few years back in Manchester’s Victoria Baths and I loved his style. He captured all the emotions of a wedding day and we booked him very early on in the process. Our pre-shoot in April was really fun with James, even though it was blowing a gale in Manchester, he still made us laugh and we loved the photos. On our wedding day, James brought along the lovely Daniel Lloyd Photography who assisted on the day. The two of them were really good at getting in there and getting on with things and letting us get back to our guests. We really appreciated that. I’d recommend both of them, we love the vibrancy and realness of our photographs.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (67)

My flowers were my favourite things about the day (after marrying the love of my life, of course!) We chose Jane Thompson at Flower Design early on – she’s based in Blackpool and made time for us on our flying visits back from Italy. Jane totally got what we wanted from our wedding day. In our pre-meet a few weeks before the meeting she made prototypes of my bouquet and the table settings. It was a wrench to give my prototype bouquet back!

My bouquet included coral & bowl of cream peonies, viburnum opulus, fresh lily of the valley, apricot hyacinths, olive foliage, juliet & patience roses from David Austin, white hydrangeas, sperengerii, eucalyptus, umbrella fern, sweet peas and lovely fragrant rosemary. The peonies changed throughout the day and opened up, I really loved how they looked and the scent was to die for.

All the groomsmen’s’ boutonnieres were totally different. Alex commented that his white peony looked like a scoop of gelato (ice-cream)!

In the church we had posies to match the flowers in the bouquets, tied in little jars at the pew-ends. These were then transported to the Merewood and dotted around the reception.

The Merewood’s dining tables were decorated with the gorgeous crystal cake plinths topped with relaxed designs featuring a stunning combination of roses, peonies, hydrangeas, gloriosa rothschild and sweet peas and foliage with Italian Olive foliage, with real peaches and apricots scattered about. Jane used the same flowers on the top table in a range of different glass vases and vessels, they were so pretty in the afternoon sunlght. We chose low flower displays so our guests could enjoy the Lakeland countryside from the Merewood’s huge windows.

We took lots of our flowers to our minimoon hotel which was close by and scattered them around our suite. They lasted until the end of the minimoon!

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (52)

We used the very patient Kerry from Project Pretty in Chester for our Save the Dates and invitations, the green backgrounds and coral flowers hinted at our colour scheme. Kerry also made the menus for each table which we stood up on old Prosecco corks we collected in Italy. Kerry was really easy to work with, even after our many amends on countless proofs!

I also designed the order of services for the church and my mum got these printed out in Liverpool. I collected family wedding photographs from both sets of parents of their own weddings and the weddings of their parents and they took pride of place in the hall way of the Merewood next to Alex’s Roman head which he has had since he was about 15! I also covered the J & A with special paper and glue to sit alongside these bits in the hallway of the Merewood to make it more personal.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (56)

The gold calligraphy table numbers were handmade in Texas by Tina at Better Off Wed. I loved how they looked against the flowers. We also hired gold Cheltenham chairs from Lancashire Event Hire, they tied in with the gold tones throughout the day.

I made the table plan from scratch and printed the table cards myself. I found the frame in a charity shop and painted it and bought the lace to string the tables onto it from a craft shop. The table plan sat on a really ornate gold easel from Megan at Typical Type. I loved how it turned out! We also hired a huge light up heart from Megan at Typical Type, this was really fun later on on the dancefloor and we got some great group shots after hours with it!

I also made the confetti out of coloured tissue paper and the confetti cones out of doilies which everyone used outside the church. We went bright on colour because you never know how the weather will be in the Lakes. I was really happy with the colours!

My bridesmaid Kate made the card sign which we hung on a vintage wicker picnic basket and bunting out of gorgeously pretty floral material, it looked so lovely on the day. I also bought tasseling for the sweet table and pom poms from Decopoms on Etsy which were dotted around the bar area.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (53)

Instead of favours we had a sweet table which my bridesmaid Claire organised the sweets for. She has a massive sweet tooth! We hired the jars and containers from local wedding stylist Amy Brunton at Sure to Surprise You and Amy styled the dresser with lace and pearls. I bought some peachy tasseling from Etsy to go along the sweet table.

Alex is a Yorkshire boy and one of our first dates was in Betty’s York on August 1st 2009. We decided early on that the cake would be from Betty’s, choosing between them was the hard part. In the end we went for three-tiered cake with two layers of their famous fondant fancies and the top layer was iced Swiss Sacher chocolate and apricot cake. It came with the most stunning solid silver cake stand and knife which were nearly 100 years old.

Lorna saved us two cakes and we ate these the next day in our suite with some champagne at the Gilpin and wallowed in the love.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (55)

We chose The Twentysomethings after researching and finding them online. They’re a covers band with great vocals and a trumpeter and saxophonist so they played all sorts from Prince to Daft Punk and Shaka Khan. It was really easy to work with Daniel and the band to get the set list right. Everyone danced all night, it was wonderful to see everyone letting their hair down and partying with us.

Music played a big part in our day. We had a close family friend, Richard, who is a super talented pianist play the music in the church. I entered to a really special song for both of us, the Cinematic Orchestra’s ‘To Build A Home’, and we left the church on a high with ‘Match of the Day’. It was amazing to have him play for us during these special moments.

Our first dance was to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ – they’re one of our favourite bands and we learned a fun 2 minute routine with Emma-Joy at All Steps who visited our house to teach us. Our guests loved it and it really set the tone for the night – the second song was ‘You Can Call Me Al’ for Alex! Everyone went crazy for that!

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (61)

I would whole-heartedly recommend the Merewood, it’s intimate enough to feel like home but grand enough to really make the day special. Lorna and her team quite frankly know their weddings so if something really won’t work they’ll tell you and suggest an alternative. That’s really helpful during wedding planning. They looked after every single guest and worked so hard to make everything run smoothly. Planning a wedding from aboard can be tough, but Lorna and the team at the Merewood were great over email and kept us updated on things.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (71)

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (76)

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (80)

We spent 3 romantic days at the Gilpin Lodge near Windermere in a garden suite with our private hot-tube, next to a very interested family of llamas. It was lovely to be surrounded by Jane’s flowers and to read our cards and open our gifts. We enjoyed lots of great food and some lovely spa treatments, as well as a cruise on Windermere.

Our proper honeymoon or maximoon is in October this year and we are going to India for three weeks. We’ll visit India’s spiritual centre in Rishikesh (the home of yoga), the have a few days in Delhi, then head to Agra and the Taj Mahal, then we’ll go on safari in Ranthambore and hopefully see some tigers, followed by a few nights in Jaipur (the Pink City) and Udaipur to the stunning lake. We both love India food and adventure.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (87)

Make time for each other throughout the day were you take in everything that is going on around you. It goes in the blink of an eye, so it’s important to have a few parts of the day alone to appreciate what you have achieved and what it means now for both of you. The amazingness has just begun, really.

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lake side. sophia tolli for an intimate wedding at the samling – mia & pete

August 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (49)

The guest list for today’s wedding at The Samling doesn’t even reach double figures as Mia and Pete decided on a small and intimate wedding featuring spectacular views and first class food surrounded by just their very nearest and dearest.

Showing that size doesn’t mean everything, the day is brimming with class, elegance and smiles as all involved enjoy the relaxed and magical atmosphere by the side of Lake Windermere.

With images by James Tracey Photography.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (1)

mia says: We got engaged in January 2014 in the Lake District. Pete surprised me with a weekend away to Aphrodite’s near Bowness to celebrate our third year anniversary. We had just finished relaxing in the hot tub with a glass of champagne and I went into the bathroom to get changed. I came back out to Pete down on one knee holding out a ring! It was a complete surprise and I kept asking him over and over again whether he was being serious! In the end he said “So what do you think, then?” and of course, I said “yes”.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (2)

Our wedding was 20th June 2015. We chose that date as we wanted a summer wedding, the day before the longest day of the year being ideal. It also gave us enough time to save up for it!

We chose The Samling in the Lake District as our venue. We knew we wanted to get married in the Lake District as it was where we had spent our first weekend together as a couple and it was also where Pete proposed so the location had a lot of meaning. The Lake District also has absolutely stunning scenery making it a perfect setting for a wedding. As we were having a very small intimate wedding (just eight people including ourselves!) we wanted a venue that would complement this which The Samling did, given the exclusivity of the venue. We were also attracted to the Samling for its Michelin star menu, Pete and I being very much into our food. We went to visit The Samling and knew straight away it was where we wanted our wedding – it was the first and last place we visited when looking for a venue. After seeing the panoramic views of Lake Windermere, we knew we were making the right choice!

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

We didn’t have a theme for our wedding but wanted an intimate, understated affair which was very special at the same time. The venue where we had the wedding matched our styles and tastes exactly in that it is not stuffy and overly fussy but had luxurious and special features to it. The style of wedding we had allowed us to think of different ideas as went along while planning the wedding.
While we had a very small wedding, we’re also having a party later in the year to celebrate with all our friends and family.

We didn’t have a colour scheme as such but chose a lot of white and yellow as they both complement each other and are lovely, summery colours.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (12)

My dress was a gown by Sophia Tolli purchased from The Bridal Path in Altrincham. It was a fitted lace dress which was ivory and champagne coloured. It had a plunging v neckline and crystal beading scattered across the dress. It also had a sheer back bodice with crystal buttons cascading down the back and a long train. I felt the dress was very elegant and classic. I knew it was the right dress for me as soon as I tried it on!

On the wedding day I wore my dress with peep toe silver shoes by Jimmy Choo. I chose these shoes as they really fitted the style of my dress and I can wear them again.  On my head I wore a Swarovski crystal encrusted head piece by Halo & Co, purchased from Liberty in LoveRebecca Forshaw, a hair and makeup artist based in the North West, did my hair and makeup on the day. She did a fantastic job and I never imagined I could look so glamourous!

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

Pete wore a blue-grey, light woollen three piece suit. The cloth came from Scabal, and was ordered and tailored by Richard Smith Bespoke in Manchester city centre, who also provided the tie and pocket square. The pale blue, super slim-fitting stretch shirt came from Thomas Pink in Manchester, and the brown shoes were from Jeffrey West, also in Manchester.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (21)

For my flowers, I had a beautiful but simple shower bouquet made up of white orchids, with green foliage which was provided by Kerry at The Floristry in Kendal. Kerry also provided all our flowers for the day. We had had a mixture of white orchids, yellow flowers and green foliage to decorate the wedding reception. We had a large vase of flowers in the centre of the dinner table with smaller vases of flowers at the side of this. Kerry was fantastic and created everything we asked for.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (34)

Our wedding cake was a two tiered fruit cake with white icing which was decorated with pink flowers. It was from Marks & Spencer.

For the wedding breakfast we had a Michelin star taster menu created by Ian Swainson, head chef at the Samling. It was an absolutely unbelievable gastronomic experience! We had a wine pairing with each course as recommended by their sommelier.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (38)

We chose Maxine Molin, a harpist, to play during the ceremony and our champagne reception due to her excellent reputation. Also the harp sounds beautiful and fitted in with the understated and relaxed theme of our wedding.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (41)

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue. Not only was it spectacular and exclusive, the service we were provided with was second to none. All the staff ensured our whole day went seamlessly and they made us feel very relaxed. They were very open to what we required and went out of their way to provide it.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (50)

It really was the best day of my life so it’s difficult to pick a favourite part of the day! I would say one of the highlights however was relaxing in the outdoor hot tub in the evening after our meal overlooking the whole of Lake Windermere!

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (54)

We aren’t going on honeymoon until October. We are going to South Africa and then on to Mauritius and we cannot wait! We’re spending a few nights in Cape Town, then on to the wine regions for plenty of wine tasting! We’re then ending the trip in Mauritius which will be completely relaxing.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be don’t be scared of breaking with tradition. We had traditional but many untraditional elements to our wedding, for example, I walked into the wedding ceremony to the harpist playing Metallica! Tradition and convention also advocate a large, lavish wedding. Although these events can be fantastic, if an intimate event suits you then you should go for it as it is so personal and rewarding. Whatever you choose, make the most of all the attention being lavished on you for one day!

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oh i do like to be beside the seaside. sophia tolli for a traditional wedding in the north west – kate & colin

June 18th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (26)

Following a romantic proposal in Central Park, New York, today’s couple Kate and Colin set their hearts on a classic wedding by the sea. The Clifton Arms Hotel in Lancashire provided the perfect setting with views of the stunning seafront in Lytham.

To complete their vision, Kate and Colin called upon talented family and friends to help with the cake, flowers and décor, resulting in a very beautiful and personal big day.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Amanda Balmain.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (3)

kate says: Colin proposed three years ago during a trip to New York which was to celebrate his birthday. I had no idea he would propose as we had planned a full week of sightseeing. Colin says he carried my engagement ring everywhere during the five days whilst waiting for the perfect moment. Apparently he was planning to propose at the top of the Empire State building but he couldn’t make me stand still for long enough as it was freezing cold in November and I kept doing laps at the top to try and keep warm!

On the third day we decided to go for a walk around central park as this was our favourite place in the city. During this we passed a couple who had just got engaged and were asked to take pictures for them, little did I know Colin was gutted as he says he was about to propose before we bumped into them. Colin later proposed during a very romantic horse and carriage ride around Central Park, this was incredible and so special, it felt like we were in a Hollywood film. Best proposal ever!

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (6)

Our wedding day was on 11th October 2014. We chose October as we love autumn and all the different colours – it reminded us of walking around central park in New York.

We live very close to the sea which we love and wanted our venue to be by the seaside. We researched local venues and fell in love with the Clifton Arms Hotel, Lancashire. The hotel is situated overlooking the seafront in Lytham. The area has a classic seaside feel with lots of character, a very friendly atmosphere and picturesque coastline which we wanted to have as part of our wedding day.

Classic and traditional was the theme for the day. We wanted our wedding to be a stylish celebration with our all of our close family and friends. The Clifton Arms Hotel radiates a traditional elegance which we wanted to reflect with our wedding theme.

Our colour scheme for the wedding included dusky pinks, slate grey, ivory and silver. With our classic theme we wanted to keep the colour scheme natural.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (11)

Finding my dress is one of my favourite memories of planning our wedding. I wore a Sophia Tolli A-line gown called Jillian which had layers of misty tulle and lace. I chose my dress from Bridal Boutique in Bispham where I was able to try on many different styles. I went in thinking I would choose a fitted plain straight dress as I’m quite tall and I didn’t feel a big dress would suit me. As soon as I tried the Sophia Tolli gown on I knew it was the one. I loved the uncomplicated skirt and the chapel length train as well as the lace bodice, which I felt flattered my figure. I added a chapel length ivory veil also from Bridal Boutique and a sparkly hair clip from Debenhams.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (19)

Colin wore a Jeff Banks slate grey three-piece suit from Debenhams accompanied with an ivory tie to match my dress. He also wore a very smart pair of Jeff Banks shoes which he says were very comfy and helped him throw some great dance moves during the evening reception! Craig, who was our best man, also wore a three-piece Jeff Banks Suit from Debenhams and a grey tie to match.

We had six bridesmaids which were both our sisters Laura and Katy and my best friends Jenny, Hayley, Pippa and Aisling, who wore black floor length dresses by Mark Lesley from Bridal Boutique in Bispham. Our beautiful flower girl Harriet wore an ivory sparkly dress from Monsoon.

Ian and Paula of Allure Rococo in Poulton-le fylde, Lancashire, did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair on the day which we loved.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (20)

Amanda Balmain was our amazing photographer on our wedding day. A friend had attended a specialist photography course a few years ago with Amanda and she had followed some of her photography work online. When we mentioned to our friend that we were looking for a photographer she was able to recommend Amanda straight away. As soon as we met her we knew she was great. We organised an engagement shoot on a beach on the Wirral where she made us feel very relaxed and was able to get very natural, romantic shots.

Amanda managed to capture our wedding day in a very special way, we love our wedding pictures and we can’t stop looking at our wedding album! She is very talented and such a lovely person I have recommended her to all of my friends and family for their weddings.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (24)

My Aunty Lisa, who is an independent florist in Norfolk, created all of our flowers. The flowers were purchased from the wholesale Dutch Flower Auction. My bouquet included dusky pink amnesia roses, ivory roses, thistles, wax flowers, eucalyptus, gypsophila, snow berries, astible and some green foliage. Lisa did an amazing job – she took my imagination and made it happen.

My mum Helen and Aunty Lisa created our amazing centrepieces – we had tall candles in hurricane lamps surrounded by the same flowers which were in my bouquet. They also created the top table flower display which included roses, ivy and green foliage as well candles which looked fantastic.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (31)

The Wedding Place in Blackpool supplied our white chair covers and lace white sashes – they did a fantastic job and we would highly recommend them!

As a special touch, a family friend created a handmade post box with our names and wedding details on the front, which was used by our guests to post their cards into at the reception.

For favours we gave chocolate miniature hearts and wrapped sweets placed in silver drawstring bags.

Our three-tier wedding cake was a family creation. My Granddad, who is a baker, made the fruit cake. The cake was then decorated by my talented and creative Mum and Gran. It featured layers of Victoria sponge and fruit cake. My mum spent many hours incorporating wedding details such as the ivory colour scheme which matched my dress and handmade sugar crafted flowers which mirrored my bouquet.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (39)

Daniel Sings provided our musical entertainment. Daniel provided amazing live vocals, played acoustic and electric guitars and wonderful saxophone. He performed a huge range of songs which had everyone singing along during our wedding breakfast and did not stop all evening. He made our perfect day even better and all of our guests often comment on how brilliant he was.

For the children we provided colouring books and quizzes, which many mums and dads appreciated during the wedding breakfast.

We would highly recommend The Clifton Arms Hotel as a wedding venue to other couples – the food was fantastic and the staff were very helpful which made our day run very smoothly. The hotel is situated in a fantastic position overlooking Lytham Green and the coastline. After our ceremony we were able to walk outside and have our pictures taken on the green, there is also a little wooden jetty by a windmill very close to the hotel which our photographer used to get some stunning photographs. It is a very classy and traditional venue – we would not change a thing about it as it made our day very special!

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (25)

After our wedding ceremony we were able to go and have some private pictures taken by the sea, which was one of our favourite parts of the day. It was such a glorious sunny day, the water was very calm and it was silent on the wooden jetty. We were able to have a few minutes to reflect that we had just got married and before we walked the short distance back to the hotel for the evening reception – it was lovely to have a few moments to ourselves. We could hear our guests singing in the distance as Daniel performed on his guitar. We had the biggest smiles on our faces and we can both definitely say it was the most fantastic and best day of our lives.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (47)

For our honeymoon we spent ten days in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (49)

Our top tips for other Brides Up North would be to look for ways to incorporate family and friends into your day, this made ours extra special to us as we have a very close family around us. Also, be sure to steal a few minutes away together during the height of wedding celebration to talk, look at each other and take it all in. We would also advise other brides and grooms to book time with their photographer. Our pre-wedding shoot with our photographer was brilliant as we got to know each other and she then knew what we wanted and was able to give us good advice with shots and family group photos.

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cheers to that! a pretty, rustic wedding at Wold Top Brewery – hannah & jaxon

November 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (35)

Hannah and Jaxon’s wedding day was filled with soft colours, pretty details and homemade touches… and better yet, the beer supply was never going to run dry!  Turns out that you can organise a piss up wedding at a brewery…

I’ll raise a glass to Hannah and Jaxon for their super pretty, stylish, fun filled big day!

With images by Neil Jackson Photographic.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (9)

Hannah says: We got engaged on Friday 30th August 2013 in a beautiful village of Brompton on the outskirts of Scarborough, the place where I grew up as a child. It was a gorgeous day and we went for a little walk and a picnic. My husband had bought a blanket made by his Mum and a bag full of food and a bottle of bubbly. We laid this out in front of Brompton Church (where I’ve always wanted to get married…we didn’t end up getting married there-oops!), very picturesque. Just as I was getting ready to tuck into the lovely food Jaxon got down on one knee and asked me to do him the pleasure and be his wife. I said yes.

We were married on 2nd August 2014. We wanted a summer wedding and fortunately our dream venue had a cancellation on this day so it was meant to be. We got married at Hackness Church followed by a reception at Wold Top Brewery. Wold Top Brewery was everything I wanted it to be, beautiful, different, in the middle of nowhere, country style and who doesn’t want to get married in a brewery!

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (7)

The theme for our wedding was rustic and country. The colour palette was neutral and dusty pink. I love neutral colours, we used lots of hessian, baby breath, creams and pinks.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (18)

I fell in love with my dress the moment I put it on. It was a Sophia Tolli dress from the wonderful wedding dress shop The Wedding Room in Scarborough. The most lovely and friendly staff.

Jaxon hired his traditional morning suit from Greenwoods.

The beautiful bridesmaids’ dresses were made by my wonderful Mum. The pattern was a Vogue pattern and we bought the material from the Sewing Centre in Scarborough. All 4 dresses were a slightly different shade of dusty pink. They all wore matching nude heels from Next.

My gorgeous flower girl wore a matching dusty pink flowery dress from Monsoon Children. My page boy wore linen trousers, linen waistcoat and a cotton shirt also from Monsoon Children.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (20)

My flowers were provided from my friend’s mother who is a retired florist. My flowers mainly consisted of Dutch Roses and Gyp (baby’s breath), they were beautiful.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (25)

Neil Jackson was our photographer.

I would recommend Neil to absolutely everyone, I already have. I believe some of my friends have booked him for their wedding. Neil did everything we asked him to and more. You can see from his photos how amazing and talented he is.

Previous to our wedding we did an engagement shoot which I would recommend to everyone. It gave Neil the chance to get to know us slightly better and it gave Jaxon and I the change to feel comfortable in front of a camera… I loved it!

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (26)

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (27)

For the wedding reception I made all the decorations, along with my wonderful little helpers. We decorated jars and tins and put them everywhere, jars filled with tea lights and cans filled with baby breath. The centre of the tables had slices of tree trunks, jars and a wine bottle wrapped in a hessian bag filled with baby breath. Dotted around the marquee we had huge pots with branches in wrapped in fairy lights.

I love that all the decoration, table plan, invitations, menus and so on were all homemade; it made the day feel so special and unique.

We gave out jars of homemade raspberry jam and bottles of our personalised Wold Top beer…Top Tite Tipple.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (31)

We used Florida Marquees to hire the marquee from which comes with tables, chairs, lights, dance floor etc. They’re a great company, very helpful.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (37)

We had a sit down three course meal catered for by our very close friends Nabs Nosh. The wines were provided through Wold Top brewery with a mixture of white and red on each table.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (43)

My favourite cake is Victoria sponge cake, so that’s what we had. A huge 4 tier Victoria sponge cake filled with berries and cream and laced with more berries and baby breath. The cake was made my talented sister-in-law Camilla.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (45)

For the evening we hired a Vintage Ice Cream Bike from Casino Knights with a choice of our ice creams in. This was a hit with our guests, they absolutely loved it. It was perfect on a lovely summers evening in the courtyard at Wold Top Brewery.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (48)

We hired a band called Grand Theft Audio and my brother was the amazing drummer. They played for the entire evening and were fantastic. They played requests on demand and guests never left the dance floor. The band was revealed in the evening in the entertainments marquee with the dance floor and starlit ceiling.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (52)

I would 100% recommend Wold Top Brewery. The events coordinator is hugely helpful and there is plenty of time to set everything up before the day, and even better…the guests can camp on the evening! A lot of our guests camped and it was great.

I loved the whole day, everything about it, everything ran smoothly and just how we wanted it. We loved becoming husband and wife and sharing it with our family and friends. Everywhere we looked on our special day was full of smiling faces and people that we loved, an amazing feeling.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (57)

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (60)

We went on a mini-moon to Cornwall for 5 days the day after our wedding which was fab. The honeymoon will come one day!

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (62)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy the build up to the wedding, the creativity, the panics and the laughter and when the day comes just enjoy every second, nothing else matters when the day finally arrives. Enjoy being the centre of attention and remember it’s your day, nobody else’s, it’s your day to have everything how you want it, it’s your day to be selfish!

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (66)

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