October 5th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Soughton Hall – a stunning Georgian country house on the border of North Wales and Cheshire – is today’s enchanting backdrop to Ashleigh and Rhys’ special day in early August.
Opting for a classic white theme accentuated by beautiful cleans lines and lots of shimmering glass, the wedding is a blueprint for a truly timeless décor and look. And, unconventionally, the bride even wanted her bridesmaids dressed in white, but eventually settled on an Instagram-worthy pastel pink shade instead. Equally divine!
Along with some utterly beautiful outdoor pics – there are plenty of other pretty touches and moments to pore over; from the bride’s gorgeous calla lily bouquet and confetti balloons to the stunning four-tiered cake and shortbread biscuit favours.
So, as we gear up for the weekend ahead – which for us, and you lovely brides-to-be that join us, will include spectacular Luxury Wedding Shows at Saltmarshe Hall, East Yorkshire, and Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire – we’ll leave you in Ashleigh’s capable hands as she talks though all her wonderful wedding day highlights – enjoy!
With images by Samantha Kay Photography.
ashleigh says: We got engaged while in Liverpool. Rhys pretended we were going to meet friends for the evening but took me for a surprise meal at our favourite restaurant, The Art School. The ring was hidden in the starter board which featured a number of small boxes containing different foods. I opened the box with the ring and the next thing I knew, he was down on one knee! Awkwardly, I had just taken a very fishy mouthful of the starter so was reluctant to kiss him after saying yes! We then continued with the seven-course tasting menu and then headed to Alma de Cuba to dance the night away with my brand-new rock!
We got married on 4th August 2018. It was one of the Saturday summer dates Soughton Hall had available for 2018, and we were adamant that the wedding needed to take place in the summer holidays as we’re both teachers. If I’m honest, I also liked the even numbers; 04/08/18 has a nice ring to it!
We were married at Caldy Church about 200 metres from my mum and dad’s house, where I got ready on the morning of the wedding.
We had the wedding breakfast and evening do at Soughton Hall down the road from Rhys’ mum and dad in North Wales. Rhys worked there when he was younger and we had walked past several times walking his dog and always said we’d love to get married there. We didn’t even bother to go and view any other venues – we knew that was the one.
In terms of the styling of the wedding, I wanted clean lines and modern simplicity so there was a lot of glass: vases and circular glass plates with flowers underneath on the table. I tend to take the reins when it comes to interior, fashion and design so Rhys was happy to let me run with ideas.
As for the colour scheme – this was white, white, white – you can’t go wrong! Also, its timeless nature was important to me.
August 30th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
If a chic barn wedding is your kinda thing, then you’re going to be all a flutter with excitement over today’s real wedding, set in one of our favourite corners of the UK – the Lake District.
Three Hills Barn was the unique blank canvas Emma and Josh were craving for their special day earlier this summer, offering up a dose of laid-back, outdoorsy feels, which was the most perfect of backdrops to bring their dream wedding to life. We’re talking deckchairs, hay bales and a saxophone player, not forgetting a pop-up gin bar in the oh-so-pretty marquee. And that’s before we even mention the fabulous country views and surroundings.
The couple also hosted a ‘Wedding Bake Off’ – an ingenious idea that involved all the guests and supplied everybody with plenty of sweet treats on the day. It wasn’t all forward planning though…the couple enjoyed a few surprises too, but we’ll let Emma tell all, in her own words!
With images by Camilla Lucinda Photography.
emma says: We got engaged while on a weekend away in Edinburgh at the top of Arthur’s Seat, a small hill just outside the city centre. When we got to the top, we were completely alone and could see the castle and all the way out to sea. It was a complete surprise and very romantic.
We got married on 23rd June 2018 as we really wanted a summer wedding.
Our wedding venue was the lovely Three Hills Barn in the Lake District. The venue is in the North Lakes, near to Keswick, which has always been a favourite place of ours.
I heard about the venue through a friend at work. I was describing the venue that we wanted, something that would be relaxed, and a blank canvas for us to make our own. Three Hills was the only venue we looked at, it was just everything we were looking for. It was important to us that our wedding would be unique and that we could put our own stamp on the venue.
Mark and Jenny who own the barn (which is on a working farm) were fantastic; such lovely, laidback people, which is exactly what we needed when planning our wedding. Nothing was too much to ask, and they accommodated everything that we wanted for the day.
As we live in Manchester, it was quite a distance for our friends and family to travel, but that made the weekend all the more special as our guests were great and treated it like a holiday, enjoying the rest of the weekend in the Lakes.
We wanted a very relaxed and informal atmosphere. We didn’t have a theme as such, but one thing that ran throughout the day was gin. We had a gin bar in the marquee and used gin bottles as vases for our flowers. We’d asked friends and family to collect bottles for us, and we ended up with hundreds to choose from – not sure what that says about our friends!
Early on I saw one picture of a bouquet on Pinterest which became a bit of a basis for everything else, so the colour scheme kind of came from that. The colours were dark and blush pink, but we were keen to have lots of colour during the day.
My dress was by Stella York and purchased from Ava Rose Hamilton in Lancashire. I would definitely recommend paying them a visit, as they have such a beautiful boutique. I had no idea what style of dress I wanted and was looking forward to trying on lots of different styles. But this was only the fifth dress that I tried on. I just couldn’t leave the shop without having it!
I wore a watch that was my great grandma’s and a Swarovski crystal bracelet of my mum’s, both of which my mum wore on her wedding day to my dad.
July 27th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Hearts and flowers is the overarching theme for today’s beautiful barn wedding, and we couldn’t imagine a more romantic combination! After exchanging vows at the magnificent Ripon Cathedral, Emma and Martin celebrated with loved ones at the stunning Thief Hall – an exclusive countryside venue in North Yorkshire. In keeping with the rustic theme, the venue was chock full of bunting, garden jugs, jars, pretty fairy lighting, a wooden pallet and pegged pictures aplenty.
Mixing things up a little (would we expect anything else?!) the couple opted for an afternoon tea instead of a traditional wedding breakfast, and in the evening, served up artisan pizzas from a street-food-style van named Hettie, no less.
Keen to find out more? Us too. We think it’s time we pass the blog over to Emma to reveal all the fabulous details…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd Clarke Photography.
emma says: We got engaged on my birthday two years ago. I was feeling a bit down as it was my last Friday off before going back to teaching full-time again. We were just about to leave the house to go out for tea with our two children but when I walked into the living room I found Martin down on one knee with our children watching. It was perfect as they were involved too. I had the biggest grin on my face for days!
As I’m a teacher, we needed to choose a wedding date during the school holidays so that we could have time before to prepare and some time after the wedding to go away for a few days. We chose Saturday 7th April as it was the middle weekend of the Easter holidays and we love spring.
We got married in Ripon Cathedral which is the most stunning building. We were lucky enough to have our children christened there and wanted to get married there too. After the ceremony we had our reception at Thief Hall, near Northallerton, which is just gorgeous. We wanted a barn venue where we could have a more relaxed reception and plenty of outdoor space for the kids to run around. It ticked all the boxes for us!
Our theme was quite rustic with us having a barn venue. After lots of pins on Pinterest, our theme evolved into ‘hearts and flowers’ with lots of bunting and hessian decorations. I really wanted to decorate the hall ourselves, so it was definitely a labour of love.
In terms of a colour scheme – Martin really wanted a navy suit with tan brogues and after lots of searching on the internet we also decided to have navy for the bridesmaids too.
I chose a fit and flare Stella York gown with an illusion back from Abigail’s Bridal Boutique in Leeds. After a couple of unsuccessful appointments, I really wasn’t sure what I wanted and what suited me. Margaret at Abigail’s was absolutely brilliant, and I tried on lots of different styles. As soon as I tried my dress on, I could picture myself walking down the aisle and knew it was the one! I chose to wear a lace edged Cathedral length veil and shoes by Miss KG.
Martin chose a navy suit from Next with a silver tie and the rest of the groomsmen wore the same suit but with a navy tie. He wore tan brogues from River Island.
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December 29th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 8th January 2018 (we’re hoping we’ll be over the hangover by then, right?) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from last 6 months.
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.
If your morning caffeine hit hasn’t managed to fully wake you up, we’re pretty sure this stunning real wedding will open your eyes – and possibly cause them to pop out of your head – as this is an outdoor celebration with a difference! We’re talking chandeliers, sofas, mirrors and all kinds of opulent details that you wouldn’t expect in this woodland setting.
Opting for Applewood and Blossom Barn Weddings on the outskirts of Leeds, this backdrop was everything they could wish for, giving them free rein over the décor, entertainment and catering for their special day. The transparent marquee offering stunning views of the tree canopies above sounds positively dreamy, and as for the cocktail shack – this is the kind of bar we’d just love to stumble upon in the forest!
Here, Rosie tells us more about how they brought their original and boldly imaginative theme – The Ritz in the Woodland – to life…
With images by A Little Picture.
rosie says: We got engaged on 10th of December 2015, in Lake Bled, Slovenia. Every year we go away for a short break during the festive period and we had decided on Lake Bled for its fairytale, picturesque landscape. On our first day, whilst we were walking round the lake, I stopped to take a photo to send to friends, when I turned around Ben was on one knee! We continued the walk together knowing it was only the two of us who knew, and stopped for lunch and champagne to celebrate!
We got married on 19th August 2017. We didn’t choose the date for any particular reason. We knew we didn’t want a traditional reception venue, such as a manor house, and I came across Applewood and Blossom Barn Weddings. They had only done one wedding before and we knew we could make it our own. They had two dates left for 2017 – so the 19th August it was!
We held our service at St Mary’s Church, Mirfield, which is our local church and happens to be stunning, and then the reception at Applewood and Blossom Barn Weddings on the outskirts of Leeds. We knew we wanted a traditional church service and a different reception venue. We have been to a lot of weddings and though each was beautiful, we wanted something different. At Applewood you can do whatever you want (within reason), so we could pick the decoration, food, music, drinks, entertainment, cake – everything!
The theme for our wedding was ‘The Ritz in the Woodland’. We wanted to create a complete juxtaposition between what people would traditionally expect of a woodland wedding (bunting, wellies, burlap, hay bales) and instead create drama with chandeliers in the trees, plush sofas, mirrors, texture, all white flowers and minimal greenery.
We had a three-course meal, including steak and wine on white table linen with champagne velvet table runners. We had a transparent marquee so people could sit in luxury and see the trees, and walk through the woodland and see elegance and opulence every step of the way.
Our colour scheme was simply ink blue and white. We wanted to keep it classy and elegant.
White flowers with a focus on peonies, roses and hydrangea stood out from the dramatic woodland background – the concept was to use flowers that you wouldn’t find in a woodland setting. We had white table linen and white flowers on mirrored centrepieces.
September 13th, 2017 | Julia Braime
The look of love is certainly present in today’s real wedding, particularly in the stunning shots of bride and groom, Kerry and Richard, wrapped in each other’s arms on the stunning Cumbrian coastline.
After a traditional church ceremony, the loved-up couple and their guests travelled to the Seacote Hotel in St Bees, located right by the beach, where the celebrations continued with live music, dancing and cupcakes.
As an individual touch to their big day, Kerry and Richard asked their guests to rock a headpiece or hat, so look out for some fabulous fascinators, magical millinery and top trilbies!
With images by Joshua Wyborn.
kerry says: We got engaged in September 2016, while in Grasmere, and set the date for 3rd June 2017.
Our ceremony was at St John’s Church, Whitehaven, followed by a reception at Seacote Hotel in St Bees, Cumbria. We chose St John’s as it is our local church. St Bees is a favourite place for us both and it has a fantastic beach right on the door step!
We had a rustic theme for the wedding and chose a pale pink colour scheme. We didn’t set a dress code but we did ask our guests to all wear a headpiece or hat, which added a quirky element.
August 8th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s featured wedding took place more than a decade after the proposal but it was absolutely worth the wait. Bride Zorina, a florist who works in the wedding industry, had a head-start in her planning, knowing what she wanted – orchids, a saxophonist and a Kim and Kanye-style white hydrangea wall – and what she didn’t – a dress that would drown her petite frame. Luckily, a determined wedding dress boutique assistant had her way and Zorina ended up rocking a Stella York beauty.
Their wedding was an intimate family-orientated celebration and these photographs just scream happiness. The bride and her girls holding hands and leaping into the air is the very definition of joyful, and the silhouetted group shots against a stunning night sky are simply glorious. Tears, laughter and sunflare – what more do you need for an utterly gorgeous set of wedding pictures?
With photography by HBA Photography.
zorina says: We got in engaged in the leap year in 2004. I wanted to ask Mark but he beat me to it! We were at Mark’s house in Leamington Spa. He’d just come home from work and was behaving very oddly. Then he went down on one knee with a red rose and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!
We were married on 26th May 2017. May is normally a warm month and having a Friday wedding with the Bank Holiday Monday to follow appealed to us both.
Our venue was Goosedale in Papplewick, near Nottingham. Being a wedding florist, I’ve seen many venues and none of them was exactly what I/we wanted for whatever reason. But Mark was Googling wedding venues one night and came across Goosedale. It looked perfect. We booked an appointment, went over and I fell in love instantly. Mark didn’t take much persuading, either.
We wanted an intimate wedding with just close friends and family and the venue ticked all the boxes. It’s also absolutely beautiful and the surroundings are so picturesque.
I didn’t want to stick to a theme, I just wanted to do what I wanted and not think “oh I can’t do that, it doesn’t fit the theme…” I knew I wanted a romantic feel using pastel colours but also wanted a glam look too, so incorporated that using rose gold and Phalaenopsis orchids.
Our colours were peach, pink blush, white and rose gold. I’d chosen rose gold as a colour and knew I wanted orchids before we even set a date!
Being a 4ft 11 bride, I struggled to find a dress that had the correct proportions. Out of all the aspects of planning a wedding, the dress was the most worrying for me. I must have tried on more than 30 dresses and nothing wowed me or fit me properly.
RS Bridal in Melton Mowbray, was going to be my last bridal shop before I went to a dressmaker and Siobhan was utterly lovely. I tried a few on and I liked two but wasn’t completely sure. Siobhan then asked me to try a lace dress on with a horrible skin colour mesh top. I said “nope”. She said “what do you have to lose?”. So, unwillingly, I tried it on, walked to the mirror and nearly cried. I loved it. Siobhan said “that’s the one”. I made my mum and best friend cry and just knew it was right.
The dress in question was an Essence gown by Stella York. It had a blush pink/peach underlay and a lace overlay with a skin colour mesh top (so it looked strapless) and beautiful lace applique on the back. It had crystals over the dress, a pearl button-up back and a three-tier scalloped bottom. I also wore a photo locket with pictures of my nana and grandad and Mark’s grandma.
Before the wedding though, my dress needed to be taken in due to me losing a bit of weight, and so I went to The Fitting Room at Aylestone. They’re lovely people to be around and nothing is too much trouble. I would recommend them for any wedding dress alterations – they’re a very talented team.
Melancholy Magpie Couture Bridal Accessories in Southampton, made me a stunning hairpiece and it was personalised to my colours and size.
Alison Jenner,based in Nottingham, did my hair on the morning of the wedding. She has a lovely personality, is super-helpful and so reassuring.
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