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.
February 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Prepare yourself for some Monday afternoon swooning ladies, as this real wedding at Newton Hall has all the necessary elements to make you go completely weak at the knees.
From the picture-perfect venue, to the dreamy colour palette, and the bride’s show-stopping dress – we are 100% in love!
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
samantha says: We got engaged in November 2010. We had talked about getting engaged in the past and when we found out we were expecting our first child, Mark suggested we make it official and bought me a beautiful engagement ring.
We got married on Friday 4th November 2016 – we had been together for eight years to the date. We both wanted an autumn/winter wedding, something that didn’t rely on the weather being beautiful. However, we were lucky enough to be blessed with some gorgeous winter sunshine.
We got married at Newton Hall in Northumberland. The venue is quirky and beautifully decorated and offers exclusive hire, which was something that was particularly important to us. It has the perfect mix of luxury with an intimate, relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It was the first venue that we visited and we fell in love immediately, each room is decorated so elegantly. We did visit one other venue, but nothing compared; we already had made our minds up.
We didn’t have a theme as such, we just chose finishing touches that complemented the style of Newton Hall. We chose a mix of vintage and rustic accessories to add to the already quirky detail within the hall.
We chose a pale pink colour scheme as I wanted a soft colour which added to my vintage theme.
We booked our wedding back in June 2014 and I couldn’t wait to go dress shopping. I managed to hold off until one year before the wedding as I was afraid I would change my mind. I am quite an indecisive person, and couldn’t believe how easy I had been making decisions leading up to our wedding, surely my dress was going to be the most difficult decision yet.
I booked an appointment at The Wedding Dress Company in Corbridge, as they were holding a Stella York event and I had become really fond of the designer after scrolling through wedding dresses for a number of months. The ladies in the shop were extremely helpful. I explained that I wanted something with a detailed back which was a fit and flare style. With each dress I tried on, I found less things to dislike. Then they handed me ‘my’ dress, it was a Stella York fit and flare dress in champagne with ivory lace overlay. It had beautiful detail and had the most amazing illusion back; it fastened with beautiful buttons. Surely, I couldn’t buy my dress in the first shop I went to? But I did, and it was perfect!
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March 16th, 2016 | Julia Braime
This morning’s real wedding just goes to show what can be achieved when people pull together and combine their skills.
Keen to keep costs down while getting creative, bride Gillian and groom James, called upon their friends to help style and decorate their wedding venue whilst rolling up their sleeves to pitch in with the pretty too.
The result is a simple yet stylish wedding, filled with meaningful homemade touches that were totally unique to Gillian and James’s big day.
With images by Louise Jacob Photography.
gillian says: We got engaged on the 23rd August 2014. James proposed at our home with a ring box that was made out of a log and had the words ‘Marry Me?’ inscribed on the top. He’d planted it amongst real logs and asked me to light a small fire while he made breakfast. I thought it was strange as it was August and pretty warm but he was very insistent. When I found the box and realised what was happening I was over the moon. When I looked round he was holding two glasses of champagne. It was perfect.
We got married on 26th September 2015. We knew we didn’t want to wait too long to get married as we’d already been together for nearly eight years when James proposed.
We had our ceremony and reception at The Red Lion in Burnsall, North Yorkshire. It’s a lovely rustic style venue nestled in a beautiful part of Yorkshire. It was important to be able to have our friends and family stay over with us and they have a number of rooms available as well as cottages next door.
We didn’t have a theme as such but were going for a look of simple understated elegance. I’m not overly creative but to keep costs down I wanted to do as much of the decorating as possible. I set up Pinterest boards for the different areas of the wedding and enlisted the help of my friend Ros and together with James, we decorated jars and made bunting. The day before the wedding the three of us and my chief bridesmaid Michelle, were busy cutting flowers and putting up fairy lights. It was manic but immense fun.
October 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
When it came to this morning’s wedding couple’s venue search it was a case of there’s no place like home as they opted for a traditional church ceremony followed by a marquee reception in the garden of the bride’s mum and stepdad’s home.
Keen to make the occasion fun for their guests, Lisa and Tim put on garden games, live entertainment and an informal afternoon tea, all in keeping with their garden party themed relaxed wedding.
We very much enjoyed that Lisa switched things up a bit when it came to her and her maids’ attire by choosing a blush pink dress for herself and cute ivory dresses for her leading ladies.
With images by Jemma King Photography.
lisa says: We got engaged outside a restaurant after Tim had taken me for a meal to celebrate my 30th birthday in August 2014. He had wanted to propose inside, but it was tight space wise for getting down on one knee and he didn’t fancy being practically sat on the couple next to us knee! After a lovely evening he proposed outside overlooking a football pitch which was very fitting as football is Tim’s other love. He did however get a soaking wet knee as the grass was wet!
Our wedding date was 27th June 2015. It turned out on enquiring with the church that it was also the weekend of the village garden festival and so the church would be already decorated, which was a lovely and lucky coincidence.
We had our ceremony in our parish church, St Helens in Welton, East Yorkshire. The church and setting are beautiful and on attending some services we, and our two children, were made to feel very welcome. Our reception was held in a marquee (hired from All Occasions Marquees and Events in Hull) in the meadow at my mum and step dad’s home. They moved there the year previous and we instantly knew it was the perfect setting for us with a pair of old railway cottages stood in the garden and the countryside views – it was personal and unique. We are very lucky that we had this option and that my parents were so willing to open up their home and do so much work to prepare the garden and install a couple of toilets in their outbuildings and cottages so we had proper loo’s to use!
As we held our wedding in my parent’s garden we aimed for a relaxed garden party feel incorporating some vintage glamour. We opted for substantial canapés and afternoon tea with a hog roast in the evening. With having two children ourselves (aged 11 and two) and plenty of other children attending we wanted a vibe which allowed everyone to relax and enjoy themselves. We borrowed some giant garden games from the school my sister teaches at and set up a homemade photo booth with props, which the kids ended up using mainly as a dressing up box! We were also gifted some amazing children’s activity packs from my friend Joanne at Angelic Angels which kept the children entertained through the speeches and beyond.
Our colour scheme was based around my blush pink dress! We were not too precious over colours but once I had fallen in love with the dress I did subtly steer things in a more pink direction. I had also fallen completely in love with some rose gold sequin table cloths so between them and my dress I created our vintage blush scheme.
My dress was Stella York’s 5923 design in moscato. I actually spotted it as soon as I walked into the shop and only tried it on as I thought something so beautiful would look ridiculous on me…but it was too beautiful not to try on. The colour was so much more flattering on my skin tone than ivory and white, but it wasn’t until I returned to the shop to try that and another dress on again that I realised I couldn’t get it out of my head. I chose a full length veil in blush which made me feel like the bride I’d always imagined, and a hairband with sparkle and lace detailing which coordinated beautifully.
My shoes were from Red or Dead with a chunky heel for height and comfort.
I bought my dress, veil and hairband from Cheryl Chambers Bridal Boutique in Sutton, Hull. The ladies there are so helpful and provide a lovely relaxed atmosphere, and the shop is full of sparkly little treasures, I really enjoyed every visit.
Tim chose a grey tailcoat suit with matching waistcoat and a pink tie. They were hired from Slaters Menswear. Tim’s best man and ushers, along with both our step dads, wore the same as Tim, including our 11-year-old son. My dad wore his own kilt in our family tartan and our two-year-old was more relaxed but traditional in a buster suit from childrensalon.com and white T-bar shoes from Babyshoes.
The bridesmaids wore ivory lace dresses from BHS that were actually short wedding dresses but as I was wearing blush pink with ivory lace, their dresses coordinated lovely with mine.
As a little extra, I bought all the men pink socks with their role in the wedding printed on them and gave them as a surprise. We also gave the men cufflinks shaped into their initials as a thank you gift, and I gave my bridesmaids silver knot earrings as a thank you for helping us ‘tie the knot’.
We hired a beautiful Humber car from Marshalls Wedding Cars to take us to the church, it was only a five minute journey between where each of us were staying and the church so we used the same car which did four trips in total to get us all there. The car we used was actually Tim’s mum and step dad’s wedding car, which was a lovely touch. The owner of the cars has a huge collection and provided a great service, I would highly recommend brides contact him to go and view the cars.
To solve the issue of lack of parking space at my mum’s, our guests and us travelled from the church to reception in a vintage bus and coach hired from East Yorkshire Coaches. It was certainly a novelty and everyone travelling together kept a lovely social atmosphere. We travelled on the small coach with close family and the bridal party and it was really lovely to have that journey all together after the church.
Our photographer was Jemma King. She really understood our vision for the day and we felt very comfortable around her. The first time we met, our toddler had her on the floor playing! It was like having a friend there, but one who could get people organised! We had loads of compliments on the day of how good she was with people and are thrilled with our finished photos. I would, and already have, recommended her.
We didn’t have any fresh flowers on the day other than what was already in church for the garden festival. I made my own brooch and bead bouquet as it was something I had always wanted to try since I fell in love with one I saw online years before. The men had dried flower buttonholes which I won on eBay! And I bought dried flower bouquets to coordinate from daisyshop.co.uk for my two bridesmaids. That way we could buy everything in advance and they could be kept and displayed afterwards. Plus the dried flowers with lavender smelt amazing!
As décor for the reception we hired some stunning rose gold sequin table cloths from Belle Bijoux Events, and I decorated Hobbycraft white twig trees with paper flowers to create centrepieces that doubled up as a guest book. We left tags on each table for guests to leave us a message and hang on the trees. They looked great once they were filled with lovely messages from our family and friends.
Dragonfly Print made us some fabulous personalised signs for our photo booth, our homemade date jar, and a ‘rules of the dancefloor’ amongst others.
At my hen weekend all my hens set aside time to help me assemble and stick sparkles on my order of service booklet, wrap pens in ribbon and paint our Hobbycraft post box. It was a real team effort!
We displayed our table plan, which I handwrote onto card bunting, on a borrowed vintage step ladder and decorated it with jars and bottles filled with fake flowers bought from Hobbycraft and Dunelm. My mum filled wicker baskets full of essentials such as a mini sewing kit, paracetamol, baby wipes etc. and left one in each bathroom. She even bought bride and groom printed loo paper!
Our cake was a four tier Cath Kidston inspired creation. It was made by the lovely Cakes By Leni, in Hull. We chose a Baileys sponge, a chocolate Malteaser layer and a lemon sponge layer. The smallest top layer was a dummy cake. It was almost too beautiful to cut, but tasted yummy!
Tim’s brothers are both chefs and organised a catering team for us. We opted for substantial canapés such as mini fish and chips, followed by an afternoon tea type sandwiches and cakes during the speeches. We didn’t want people to have to wait around or spend a long time sat at a table, and wanted to create a relaxed, informal vibe. To continue this feel, we chose a hog roast for our evening food which was very popular! Tim’s parents provided champagne and a couple of glasses of wine per person, however there was more wine than we anticipated! Which nobody seemed too unhappy about. We also hired Escapade Bars who brought a fully stocked bar and we chose five cocktails that they could also offer throughout the night.
In terms of entertainment, my step dad sings in a barbershop quartet who kindly sang for us on arriving at the reception and whilst we disappeared for photographs. They even personalised one song with our names, which was a lovely surprise. For the evening do we hired The Mike Brown Band, who really got the party started and were absolutely fantastic. They did a split of live sets and DJ’ed in between. We didn’t think we would be able to afford a live band, however their prices were comparable to a decent DJ, but the atmosphere they created in our opinion was worth so much more.
Following our wedding I would certainly recommend that if couples can use a family home or garden for their big day that they consider it. It is lovely visiting my mum’s house and remembering our special day. It also creates something true to the couple and very unique.
My favourite part of the day was the church ceremony. We kept things very traditional in the church and I really enjoyed singing the hymns and all our music choices and reading choices really brought it together giving me goose bumps. I was so nervous walking in, but couldn’t stop smiling and even did a little cheer when we were pronounced as husband and wife.
With having two children, including one at school, we haven’t gone on an official honeymoon. Instead my dad gifted us a weekend in Centre Parcs with our boys the week after the wedding. We all enjoyed our mini family moon just relaxing and spending quality time all together in one of our favourite holiday destinations.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to remember that whatever happens in the run up to the day, it will all be ok. I had to have a tooth extracted two days beforehand, our first choice of vintage bus broke the day before our wedding amongst many other perceived disasters, but honestly on the day none of it mattered! It’s only one day, and it goes so quickly, just breathe and take it all in. I want to do it all again!
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