May 19th, 2017 | Julia Braime
To round off a winning week of blog posts we have this heart-achingly beautiful styled shoot put together by a talented collaborative of suppliers in rural North Yorkshire.
With Brides Up North Sponsor and exceptionally creative stylist Louise Hughes of One Stylish Day, at the helm of the design for the shoot, the end result was only ever going to be a set of stunning images brimming with stylish inspo for your big day.
So ladies, prepare to spend the rest of your Friday afternoon lost in world of natural wedding beauty. Sorry, not sorry!
With images by Nicola Dixon Photography.
nicola says: I organised the shoot as part of my styled shoot workshops for amateur and pro photographers. I chose Camp Katur for the location because I love outdoor wedding venues, and really wanted to add this venue to my portfolio. The outdoor woodland ceremony at Camp Katur is really unique and was a really big pull for me. I knew Lucy MacNicoll, the florist and Louise the stylist, could create something really special in that area. And they did. Watching them at work was awe-inspiring. This styled shoot was probably my most memorable because of the team, that creative energy was present through-out the whole day, all the attendees of the workshop felt it too.
I think the shoot came to life fairly naturally, Louise and I threw around words like kinfolk, organic and wild and Louise put together a moodboard for Lucy and I.
There really was something magical in the air that day, I know I was on a natural high for days. When a group of creatives come together and bring a vision to life for a group of photographers to photograph and marvel at, hearing everyone’s ‘wows’ when they saw the styled areas made all the emails and planning worthwhile. So much so that we have planned a couple more styled shoots for 2017 as it really felt like a dream team.
louise says: Styling wise, I wanted to steer away from the ‘boho’ look, which this style of venue can naturally call for. Instead I wanted to go with a fresh approach to outdoor weddings and focus on slow living with an essence of stillness and calm.
The shoot focused on a deep respect for the surroundings with a vision that the tablescape design did not look out of place in any way, but blended with the backdrop effortlessly.
The intent was to create a design inspired by the Danish Hygge aesthetic, with elements that looked like they had been gathered and swept up from the surrounding forest floor but with pops of soft highlights and rich toned accents. A key focus was on highlighting the beauty of the outdoors, whatever the season.
December 27th, 2016 | Julia Braime
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 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016.
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.
Today’s real wedding is nothing short of stunning and we’re struggling to peel ourselves away from it – be warned, you too may face the same problem.
In a wedding that celebrates both love and the city of Manchester, we are bowled over by all elements: from the natural blooms and cute honeybee touches to the stunning attire and décor. Oh, and that cake – seriously, that cake #toobeautiful
With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.
chorcha says: We got engaged while celebrating my birthday with friends at an urban picnic in Downtown Dubai. Quite a few of those who were there were in on it – so we have some wonderful video footage of the moment. Our engagement was typically us – in front of our dearest friends (who have become like family as we are ex-pats) and loud!
Our wedding took place on 3rd April. Spring and Easter time in England is typically bright and crisp. We figured if we picked a date around this time we would be safe from the grey Manchester skies – and boy, were we lucky!
Manchester Town Hall was our chosen ceremony venue. Glen and I met in Manchester 12 years ago, and then met again in Dubai three years ago. We are both originally from Manchester and both moved to Dubai for work (not at the same time). Living away from such a great city really does strengthen your appreciation and love for the place. Whenever we get time for a holiday, all we want to do is go back home to Manchester! Don’t get me wrong, Dubai is great – but it doesn’t beat cobbles, rain, gravy with your chippy and that wonderful Manc spirit!
The city’s town hall is such a beautiful building – a real icon of Manchester. It was a simple decision for us, why pay a fortune for a country manor when this gorgeous piece of the city’s heritage is everything you need and more!
Our reception was held at Mr Cooper’s House & Garden at The Midland Hotel. The restaurant is by Michelin star chef, Simon Rogan, therefore the food was absolutely outstanding! The venue itself being in Manchester’s oldest hotel is steeped in heritage with gorgeous original features and that typical Manchester quirkiness. Both venues are only a one-minute walk from each other, which meant our guests could walk between the two!
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June 8th, 2016 | Julia Braime
If you’re looking for inspiration for a fun city centre celebration then you might want to take note of today’s real wedding, which took place in Liverpool.
Opting for a church ceremony and restaurant reception, Zoë and Shaun’s big day had both traditional and modern influences. There are so many elements to it that we love, including the city bus tour, pastel colour scheme, personal stationery, live entertainment and Zoë’s stunning Charlote Balbier gown!
All in all a very enjoyable and relaxed big day!
With images by Ruth Atkinson Photography.
zoe says: We got engaged a couple of weeks before Christmas in 2013, when we hosted a party for our friends. Once it was suggested that we did Secret Santa at the party, Shaun’s plan came together. It was engineered so that my present was last and after opening up a notebook with a message leading to a ring in the back, I looked up and Shaun was on one knee!
Our wedding was on Friday 25 March 2016, which was Good Friday. We chose the date as we were looking for a time in spring when everyone could come together so the long weekend seemed like the perfect time. We didn’t want to get married in summer as we were worried the British weather might not be up to scratch.
We chose the church because, aside from being completely beautiful, the Minister was very open-minded about our ceremony and allowed us to have the relaxed service that we wanted, with secular readings and our own choir. The church also had beautiful cloisters and library where we were able to hold a drinks reception after the ceremony. We chose Oh Me Oh My for the reception as it is a stunning former bank serving amazing food and with a roof terrace that has the best view of the Liver Building you can possibly get.
We didn’t have a theme as such; we tended to pick elements we liked and everything fell into place. We ended up hand-making lots of elements, such as signs, table decorations, favours, all of the stationery and one thousand paper cranes. We didn’t necessarily set out to make so much ourselves but since Shaun is a designer, it made good sense.
We chose a fresh a spring colour palate, mostly pastel yellow and grey with a splash of blue and white. However we weren’t too strict with this so we could incorporate other accent colours where we wanted to.
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May 12th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Daffodil Waves Photography
We’re big believers in it being the little details that bring the overall look and feel of a wedding together. We’re therefore over the moon to be introducing another fabulous Brides Up North Featured Supplier to the blog this afternoon, who happen to know a thing or two about styling a wedding.
Prepare to go slightly weak at the knees as we say hello to The Wedding of My Dreams and their fabulous wedding prop and décor offering.
Run by mother and daughter team, Karen and Gemma, this easy to navigate website is an Aladdin’s cave of pretty details for your wedding day. Better still, as well as shopping till you drop on the site, The Wedding of my Dreams also offers an abundance of stunning big day inspiration to really crank up the creativity… and they are giving an exclusive 5% discount to all Brides Up North readers, just enter the code BUN5 at the checkout.
To tell us more about all the pretty on offer, we’ll now hand over the blog to one half of the dream team…
Daffodil Waves Photography
Can you give us a little overview of The Wedding of my Dreams?
gemma says: I’m the younger half of the mother and daughter team who founded The Wedding of my Dreams in 2010. My amazing mum, Karen Morgan, runs the award winning wedding florist Passion for Flowers, which I got more and more involved with after graduating from uni. I’d help on busy weekends picking up floristry skills as I went along, learning only from the best, and developed a real passion for floristry, styling weddings and to be honest everything wedding related! My job at the time was in digital marketing and social media, I knew a thing or two
At the time Passion for Flowers couples were hiring an array of props and decorations from us to complement their florals, saying they couldn’t find anything as lovely elsewhere in the market. Mum and I both love sourcing decorations and wanted couples all over the country to have access to the props and decorations we had searched so hard to find and so The Wedding of my Dreams was born.
Going into business with my mum was the best decision I’ve ever made, we both love going to work every day and both now work across the two companies. It’s so rewarding to see how far we’ve come and how both businesses have blossomed. All the hard work and late nights have really paid off. In 2015 Passion for Flowers was voted best wedding florist in England in The Wedding Industry Awards and The Wedding of my Dreams has won numerous awards since its launch.
Daffodil Waves Photography
What services and products do you offer to wedding couples?
The Wedding of my Dreams is an online shop brimming with beautiful wedding decorations and details to style your tables and venue. We sell table decorations, centrepieces, tea light holders, table plans, favours, and signs, oh and so much more.
Our blog runs alongside our website and we use it as a way to show styling ideas and how our products can be used at weddings. If you’re a crafty DIY bride we have a number of free printables and step-by-step guides on our blog too, so you can make your own bits and pieces. Check it out our blog here.
June 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Sorry to go all girl crush but I’m totally besotted by today’s bride Louise. Now here’s a lady that hasn’t conformed to the stereotypical bridal dress, hair or makeup. Instead Louise chose to stay true to her own personal taste and style with her fabulous blunt bob, red lippy and a gorgeous bespoke dress, complete with dreamy bell sleeves.
And Louise wasn’t the only one injecting personality into the big day. Groom David kept his wedding attire modern and relaxed opting for a blue Reiss suit, white shirt and no tie.
In fact the whole day is a perfect reflection of Louise and David, both individually and as a couple, from their stylish dress to the unusual venue and informal dining.
As Louise points out it’s important not to be swayed too much by other people’s opinions so that the bride and groom become detached from the celebrations – guys take note, you’ve got to do it your way.
With images by Elisabeth Kurtis.
louise says: We got engaged our four year anniversary, which is January 1st. We went out for a meal to celebrate and when we got back home Dave proposed in our kitchen. He thought it would be too cheesy if he did it in the restaurant, even though he did take the ring with him. He asked me what my New Year’s resolution was, then he said that his was to marry me and produced the ring!
We set the date for 27th April 2013. We wanted to get married in spring when the weather could possibly be sunny but not too warm as I always knew I wanted a long sleeve dress. I also really like the flowers that are around in spring time. To determine the date we then checked all our close friends’ birthdays and picked a date that wouldn’t clash with anything.
We got married at Ordsall Hall in Salford and held our reception at Islington Mill. We knew we wanted our reception at The Mill because it suited our budget and we had enjoyed some great nights out there over the years. Plus it was quite an unusual venue where we would have a free reign on decorating the place how we wanted and was licensing until 3am!
There was no particular theme, it just all came together to represent us as a couple. We never wanted a colour scheme as such either and instead flowers and decorations were chosen simply because we liked them.
I tried on lots of dresses in various wedding shops around Manchester and hated all of them. I wanted something stylish, almost catwalk like and nothing off the shelf seemed to fit the bill. This was when I knew I would be best to design and have one made. I did lots of research on the internet and found the images of the style I wanted. I then took my pictures to a few wedding dress makers and that’s when I met Jean Jackson. As soon as I met her I knew she was on the same wave length, she just got me and knew exactly what I was after.
We wanted it to be a relaxed wedding, nothing too formal so Dave opted for a blue suit from Reiss and chose not to wear a tie.
I really didn’t want matching bridesmaids. Everyone is different and if you were a guest at a wedding you wouldn’t want to be seen wearing the same dress as another guest, so why should a bridesmaid be any different? Each of my bridesmaids have their own style, personality and shape so they both chose a dress they liked and would wear again.
Our venues we’re only five minute drive from each other so we didn’t feel the need to spend money on transport. Instead we ended up using our own car, which is Mark1 Golf GTI soft top.
We had two photographers. Our friend Ciara Leeming took photos of the ceremony which she offered to do as a wedding gift. Elisabeth Kurtis, who is a friend of friend, then took our portrait shots and covered our wedding reception. Both are such amazing photographers I would highly recommend both of them.
We bought our wedding flowers from a wholesaler at Smithfield Market and a family friend arranged them for us.
In the run up to the wedding we spent six months during our evenings and weekends making paper decorations to dress our venue. We bought ten sets of fairy lights and hundreds of jam jars were collected over a year for tea light and flower table decorations. The reception flowers were also from the wholesales which friends helped to arrange into jam jars and vases to spread around the venue. We hired tables and chairs from a company called Dale Event Hire which were great to deal with and good value for money.
As favours we had a bowl of sweets with candy coloured bags for guest to help themselves to on the dessert table. We didn’t have a traditional wedding cake. Instead our close friends made cakes and desserts which were displayed on a table for guest to help themselves.
We wanted a relaxed informal dinner so opted for a help yourself barbecue by Kro Catering. We had always heard good things about Kro Catering and they were so helpful and accommodating. Due to The Mill not really having kitchen facilities as such this was the perfect solution.
For entertainment, Dave organised playlists for different parts of the day, such as while guests were arriving and eating. Then after the speeches we then had various friends DJing into the early hours.
In addition we bought a Polaroid camera and set up our own photo booth area with props that related to each of us. Guests then hung the photos onto ribbons that were strung along a wall with small pegs. With the help of our friends we also made a ‘love’ sign out of rope light that was illuminated on the back wall. This seemed to attract lots of guests having their photograph taken with it has a background.
We would recommend both of venues to other couples. Ordsall Hall is a great alternative to the town hall and is still close to other venues in the city which you could then go onto for reception afterwards. We really liked the feel of it and liked that no one we knew had got married there. Everyone seems to always opt for the town hall. Islington Mill meanwhile is a great venue if you are looking for somewhere a bit different to the usual standard wedding venue. It does require a lot of effort on your part, but if you have a vision and are prepared to put lots of work into dressing the venue it is well worth it.
We thoroughly enjoyed the whole day, particularly when Dave’s best friend Niamh, who was his best man (lady), made her speech – it was excellent, everyone loved it!
We had two honeymoons. Straight after the wedding we went to a friend’s apartment in Ibiza for five days. A few months later after saving up some money we then went on a two week honeymoon to Santorini.
My top tips to other Brides Up North would be to make the wedding day about you and your groom as a couple and don’t get too bogged down with trying to please family members. Also, it doesn’t matter what your budget you can still make it the best day ever, even if you spend very little. Finally, plan in advance and be as organised as possible.
May 5th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s bride and groom knew that they couldn’t guarantee sunshine at their October wedding and so instead of relying on the weather to provide some rays, the clever couple created their own in the form of bright bridesmaid dresses, vibrant flowers and sunny decorations.
Their chosen venue was the Crab & Lobster in Thirsk, an incredibly quirky hotel and restaurant which Stacey and Andrew agree suited them perfectly. And so while they let the venue speak for itself, they brought their own style to the day with their fabulous attire – Stacey in her cute vintage style dress and Andrew in his handsome grey and navy get-up. Their leading lads and ladies didn’t scrub up half bad either!
And Stacey scored extra bride brownie points by getting Andrew a puppy as a wedding day gift – ladies, take note!
With images by Shutter Go..Click Photography.
stacey says: We got engaged in Paris in March 2013. Andrew surprised me with a trip to Paris and we stayed in the most gorgeous hotel ‘Secret de Paris’ where all the rooms are themed on different Paris landmarks. On the first night we ate at a great restaurant called Bones and then at midnight we visited the Louvre museum where Andrew proposed, after which a French couple cycled past and shouted congratulations! It was amazing apart from my ring being so big it wouldn’t even fit my thumb so I couldn’t wear it for the rest of the trip (or for another month after whilst it got remade).
We got married on 19th October 2014 which was 11 years since our first date. Our wedding was at the Crab & Lobster in Thirsk, Yorkshire – we loved the venue and the food is amazing. We didn’t fancy a traditional white wedding and I think the decor and atmosphere was just perfect for us.
There wasn’t a specific theme we just wanted to be relaxed, not too formal and good fun. We wanted things we liked too, not just things you should have at a wedding.
In terms of colour we had a really colourful wedding. The main colour which ran through everything, from the stationary to the bridesmaids and flowers was yellow. I really love yellow and have a yellow diamond in my engagement ring so wanted to emphasise this. Also with the wedding being in October the chances of sun was slim so I knew that I would always have sunshine with my lovely bridesmaids.
I love navy blue too so the boys went with that and then we had a bit of everything in the flowers. Crab Manor is full of colourful pieces of decor so it suited it really nicely.
I had a tea length dress that I got from Bride & Co in my home town of Hull, the girls there we’re lovely and the whole experience at Bride & Co was fab. I knew I wanted a short dress, I don’t know why but I always did. I tried other styles but this was the one. It had a little jacket, which I wore through the day then I whipped it off for the evening and it was party time!
Andrew wore a mix and match grey and navy outfit with trousers and jacket from Reiss, a waistcoat from Ted Baker and shoes from Paul Smith. The bridesmaids wore amazing yellow shift dresses we bought from ASOS, it was good fun doing bridesmaid shopping – we did one day out and one massive online order all from the high street. They picked their own shoes and went for blue pointy courts. They all looked great and got loads of compliments.
The men matched Andrew apart from the waistcoat, he bought them both shoes as their thank you gifts so they were different too.
We stayed at Crab Manor the evening before the wedding so it made it much easier, no transport required! It also gave us a chance to start the celebrations earlier with a lunch with guests and get final preparations done, whilst having a few glasses of bubbly and enjoying the hot tub too!
Our photographer was Ryan at Shutter Go..Click Photography. I found it really hard to find a photographer but absolutely loved Ryan’s style as soon as I saw some of his work. He was really friendly and good fun from the start and just got our style. I’d definitely recommend Ryan and have already passed on his details to others.
My bridesmaids and I carried mixed hand tied bouquets that were made for us by my friend and her mum who used to be florists. The most unusual thing in the bouquet was artichokes, some open flowers and some closed, they were really striking. The button holes were made by Stacey and Barbara too, I can remember getting to the ceremony and seeing Andrew’s button hole for the first time, it was lovely and it made one of my favourite photos too.
The venue is already jam packed with all sorts of vintage finds from a diver to old fashioned beer pumps so we didn’t need to go mad with table designs.I opted to do the table décor myself including flowers which was fun – many hours spent on Pinterest!
My mum and mother-in-law made it their mission to collect old bottles and vases and I ended up with such an eclectic mix, I then went for single or double stems dotted along the tables and central points, cake table, post box etc. I chose my flowers by picking some key pieces from my bouquet including Miss Piggy roses, yellow craspedia and Scottish thistles and I got them from Dave in Leeds market. It was great I popped in two weeks before, ordered what I wanted and collected them the morning before the wedding, we even picked more on the day just in case!
Whilst the boys were in the hot tub my room was a hive of activity the evening before the wedding cutting stems, adding water to vases and grouping items together for tables, making sure everything was just right. I couldn’t have done it without my bridesmaids; Amy, Ellie and Rose and my lovely friends Kate and Steph. We also decorated the aisle with massive crepe paper flowers that we had made in advance, they went a bit floppy but still added a lovely pop of colour.
For favours we went for a little box with two chocolates each – I never even ate mine! We got our mums lovely bouquets, our dads got tie clips that they could wear on the day and our niece and nephew got some glow stick wands to help them bust moves on the dance floor. My bridesmaids got little goody bags which included some gorgeous personalised bracelets which were hand made by my lovely mother-in-law Liz. Since then she’s set up an Etsy shop as everyone loved them.
Cake was an interactive part of our wedding, we invited our guests to join in ‘The Great Wedding Bake Off’ and ended up with about 15 cakes. It looked amazing! Me and my friends found old plate sets and pink glasses in a charity shop and the cake stands were superglued together the night the before and luckily made it through the day.
For the big cake cutting event we doubled up cake with evening food by having a three tiered cake of cheese and a giant Wilson’s pork pie. It went down a treat and there wasn’t even a crumb left.
Our ceremony was at 12 noon and wedding breakfast was at 4pm so we needed nibbles, rather than canapés. We organised a leg of parma ham and some n’duja, a spreadable spicy salami – by the time we were back from wedding duties there was nothing left!
For our wedding breakfast we had some absolutely gorgeous food, one of the reasons we picked Crab and Lobster. Starters were smoked roast salmon or a goat’s cheese tart, which came with mustard ice cream – we’d tried this before in the restaurant and knew we had to have it. For main it was lamb shank or halibut with a crab and coriander crust and a gorgeous saffron and lobster bisque – mmm! Desert was a simple fruit crumble and everyone had to leave room for cake!
We had Prosecco throughout the day for toasts, I much prefer it to champagne. In the evening Andrew and I had our own special bottles of fizz behind the bar called Nyetimber which is an English wine and will be our special occasion wine forever.
For entertainment we thought more about the day than the evening as we had a good few hours in between the ceremony and wedding breakfast. We hired a magician called Chris Kendal who was magic! Chris kept our guests entertained and blew my mind, that was Andrew’s decision and it was a great part of the day. We also made use of the grounds and had a mini golf competition, I even had a go in my dress. It kept everyone busy and apart from one small injury everyone enjoyed themselves.
In the evening we opted for a juke box rather than a DJ it added another element of interaction for our guests and it just looked really cool.
Crab Manor has a secret beer tap that we had found the day before our wedding so we let our guests know where they can grab a sneaky beer. We also had a photo booth in the evening and got our wedding guests to write messages alongside their pictures. I love looking back at it, it’s funny because you can tell the booze was flowing on some of them. We had a bubbles and sparklers instead of confetti to make more interesting photos.
We would most definitely recommend the Crab and Lobster to other wedding couples. Brilliant location, lovely staff, the perfect backdrop to a wedding.
Andrew’s favourite part of the day (on top of getting married) was when during a jukebox disc change our friend Aaron walked into a silent dancefloor and belted out the first line of We’ve Lost That Loving Feeling from Top Gun. It was perfect timing and had everyone in hysterics. Our joint worst part of the day was our first dance, it was so cringe worthy! We chose Ray LaMontagne – You Are the Best Thing. However a few hours later was our second first dance and that was one of my favourite parts, everyone singing along to Take That, Never Forget.
We went to Gaya Island in Borneo for two weeks for our honeymoon. It was an idyllic island where you could do as much or as little as you wanted. I think our grand plans of activities melted away when the warm sun hit our bodies though and we just enjoyed the relaxation of it all. We did a bit of kayaking and a few jungle hikes, we saw orangutans and ate loads of amazing food. It was the perfect place for a honeymoon and if we ever travelled to Borneo again we would have to go back.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – enjoy it all, don’t sweat the small stuff, no one will notice and if you get stuck just ask, ask anyone, everyone loves a wedding and will feel happy to be able to get involved.
I got Andrew a puppy for his wedding gift and it was a complete surprise so that was an exciting part of the day too. We collected Ralph the day we got back from honeymoon and he has been a brilliant addition to married life!
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