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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July 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North we do enjoy it when brides push the boundaries with their dress choices. Falling for something a little different, today’s bride Victoria chose a stunning soft golden gown instead of a traditional ivory or white design – and we’re sure you’ll all agree, she looks gorgeous!
The rest of the wedding party keep the style bar high with maids in pretty pale gowns with lace detailing and the groomsmen in smart navy suits with polka dot tie and pocket square.
From the beautiful blooms to the elegant cake the entire day comes together perfectly for the classic and sophisticated wedding that Victoria had dreamt of.
With images by Cahill Photography.
victoria says: We got engaged in London over August bank holiday weekend in 2013. We had booked a weekend away and were staying at the Royal Horseguards Hotel. We always try to go to a Michelin starred restaurant when we go away so Neil had booked a meal at a surprise location. On our way out we had a walk through Whitehall Gardens just in front of our hotel. It was such a pretty little garden with a really old tree in the centre which we had seen through our hotel window. We stopped by it and Neil said something along the lines of ‘I don’t want to embarrass you but….’ Then got down on one knee and pulled out a little blue Tiffany & Co bag from his suit pocket and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked and in a complete daze, I really wasn’t expecting it. Of course I said “yes”. We celebrated our engagement at Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley.
Our wedding day was 3rd April 2015. We had no specific date in mind to get married, we had talked about a bank holiday weekend during the early stages of planning and it just so happened our chosen venue – West Tower Country House Hotel in Aughton, Lancashire – had Good Friday available.
I had my heart set on West Tower from the first time I saw it. A friend of a friend was a bridesmaid at West Tower a few years ago and upon seeing the pictures I fell in love with it! We did a little bit of research online and narrowed our choices down to a handful we wanted to view in person. West Tower for us just blew the rest out of the water, it was everything I had ever dreamed of and more.
We didn’t really have a specific theme for our wedding day, we just want it to have a classic and sophisticated look to the day to fit in with the venue.
Our colour scheme was vintage/soft pinks, cream and gold. I wanted to have soft colours for a spring wedding and I had always liked the idea of vintage pinks and the colours worked perfectly with the venue.
My dress was from designer Stella York. I bought from Bridalwear by Emma Louise in Bolton. I had seen the dress at a wedding fair at the Emirates Stadium displayed by a bridal wear shop based in Chester and I fell in love with it. I did some research into North West stockists of Stella York dresses and Bridalwear by Emma Louise was the only one. I contacted the store and from day one Emma was so helpful. She didn’t stock this particular dress but ordered in a sample for me to try on. I fell in love as soon as I put it on, it was so different to anything I had tried on previously. The colour, the lace, the detail, everything was perfect! It had to be ‘the one’.
Neil wore a dark navy blue three piece suit from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow with a polka dot tie and pocket square. He also wore a bow waistcoat with a pocket watch to make him stand out from the other groomsmen who had classic four button waistcoats with the same time and pocket square.
Our photographer was Martin Cahill of Cahill Photography. We would most definitely recommend Martin to other couples as he was great from start to finish. The pictures say it all, we are so amazed by them and they will bring us happy memories for the rest of our lives.
The majority of our flowers were silk with a few fresh ones here and there. Neil’s mum did all our arrangements throughout the venue and our bouquets. My flowers were hand tied, long stemmed cream silk roses bound with lace.
The chair covers, aisle runner, lanterns, pillars and swagging throughout the venue were provided by Add A Little Sparkle.
All our stationary, from invites to table names were handmade by me. I also handmade all of the pearl and crystal napkin rings for the wedding breakfast which doubled up as name cards.
We gave our guest favours of Charbonnel et Walker milk chocolate truffles which came in a white boxes edged in gold, which tied in perfectly with our theme. We had lots of ideas for favours but in the end went with simple and classic.
Our cake was made by Taylormade Cakes by Tracy. We chose a five tier cake made up of fruit, lemon drizzle, chocolate fudge and carrot. We wanted a quite a large cake to make an impact in the room. It was a classic five tier design with some of the tiers edged in edible lace and decorated with handmade flowers which Tracy had replicated from the silk flowers used in our arrangements. We didn’t see the finished cake until the day. It was so perfect and just what we had imagined, I didn’t want to cut it. I would highly recommend Tracy to anyone.
For our wedding breakfast we had a starter of smoked chicken Caesar salad with herb croutes and bacon crisps followed by mains of Lancashire blade of beef slow cooked in a beer jus with wholegrain mustard mash, roasted shallots, button mushrooms, carrots, swede and bundles of green beans. To finish we had sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and ice cream (our favourite pudding). In the evening we had a hog roast.
As entertainment we hired a string quartet called The Dotted Crotchets to play for our guests’ arrival, my entrance, signing the register and for our drinks reception. The Dotted Crotchets were our choice, we first heard them play at the Trafford Centre and we fell in love with the idea. We hadn’t been to a wedding with a quartet before and thought it was a nice touch and a little different to anything we’ve experienced as guests at a wedding. We had full control over the song choices which enabled us to pick songs that meant something to us.
We hired Robin, the MD of Dancefloor Couture, as our DJ for our evening reception. He had played at a number of our friends’ weddings in previous years and was absolutely amazing. We knew we had to have him and didn’t want anyone else. He certainly didn’t disappoint!
We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to other couples. The staff made us feel comfortable from the first day we visited West Tower, they could not have been more helpful from start to finish. They made our vision of what we wanted our wedding day to be into a reality. It was so much more than we dreamed of. I could not fault them on anything they have a fabulous team and would highly recommend them as a wedding venue.
I enjoyed every single minute of our wedding day, it was such an amazing day and one I will never forget. For me there were a couple of standout points; the moment my bridesmaid and my dad saw me in my dress for the very first time. I had concealed everything about my dress from everyone other than my mum until I was dressed on the day. It was such an overwhelming feeling to see their faces when they finally saw it. It was definitely tears all round moment. Another special moment was when I saw Neil waiting for me at the end of the aisle and taking our vows.
For our honeymoon we went to Hong Kong for four nights then onto Koh Samui, Thailand, for six months and then Singapore for six nights. We wanted to have a long holiday as we normally only do short breaks away, so it was nice to enjoy almost three weeks away from everything together as a newly married couple.
Neil spent a few years as a child in Singapore and time as a teenager in Hong Kong as his dad worked away in these countries, so he was excited to go back and see what it was like now and also to show me where he lived and the things he experienced as a child. We chose Koh Samui as our ultimate luxury destination for rest and relaxation in the middle of our two city stays. We had our private villa with our own pool. It was paradise.
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every minute and try to take in as much as possible as the day just flies by so quickly. Also, take five minutes together to discuss the day so far.
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