February 14th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
We love a good love story here at Brides Up North and today’s couple, Amy and Mostafa, prove that a long-distance relationship can indeed lead to that happily ever after moment down the aisle.
After five years together doing the long-distance thing, Amy had finally joined Mostafa over in Dubai. But when it came to tying the knot, Amy yearned to return to her native North East for their special day. And we’re glad they did! The couple got married last autumn at As You Like It, a quirky urban venue in Newcastle.
Trying to plan the wedding while overseas was a tricky process for the couple (cue lots of conversations with their suppliers via Skype!) but like any good story, it all came together seamlessly in the end.
A literary theme snuck in, as well as a nod to Mostafa’s Egyptian heritage. There are lots of other beautiful and personal touches to look out for too (just wait until you see those flowers!) but we’ll let Amy talk us through all the finer details…
With images by JPR Shah Photography.
amy says: Mostafa proposed during the sunset one evening while we were in Abu Dhabi. I was hurrying to get a good view of the presidential palace to take some pictures, and when I turned around he was on one knee with the most beautiful ring in his hand. It was a total surprise!
We got married on 8th September 2017. Mostafa is from Egypt and we both live together in Dubai, so we have friends and family all over the world. September seemed like a perfect month for as many of our guests as possible to attend and we hoped the summer would hang on enough for us to get a nice day for them – which it did!
Living abroad, it was really important for me to come back to the North East to get married. We got married at As You Like It in Jesmond. I chose the venue without Mostafa as he was in Dubai and I was in UK at the time. I called, begging him to let me book it after going to a wedding fair with my mum and absolutely falling in love with it. Thankfully he trusted me and when he saw it a year later, he loved it just as much as I did.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but I’m a bit of a book nerd so we had a literary theme with the table names and centerpieces, which went down really well with the guests. Since Mostafa is Egyptian, we decided to play some Arabic music during the ceremony and chose one of our favourite romantic ballads by Amr Diab.
Our colour scheme was a gorgeous blue as it has always been my favourite colour and seemed to match so well with the venue. I also wanted to honour my granddad who had the most bright blue eyes, so the colour scheme was special in that way too. I kept a small picture of him tied around my flowers to feel like he was with me on such a big day.
My dress was by Art Couture bridal and I bought it at Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton. I had pointed it out to my mum as we entered the shop, but she said she didn’t like it, so I tried on other dresses without any success. Tired and hungry, we were about to leave but I decided to try on the first dress I’d seen, to satisfy my curiosity. As soon as I put it on – I knew it was the one, and my mum agreed!
Mostafa wore a grey suit and waistcoat from Debenhams, and the groomsmen wore the same. The ties were handmade using one of the bridesmaid dresses by Ohh Sew Beautiful and Make N Mend as I wanted the colour to match perfectly.
January 30th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple know a thing or two about picture perfect settings. After a romantic proposal on the terrace of a medieval castle in Italy, Sophie and Michael then decided to host their special day in the Peak District National Park, at the exquisite Upper House in Hayfield, overlooking Kinder Reservoir.
The couple tied the knot last summer, extending their wedding celebrations across the bank holiday weekend. Opting for a classic colour scheme of blush pink and ivory, they adorned the venue with the most beautiful of floral arrangements and foliage. Festoon lighting and glowing candles, meanwhile, added a mesmerising ambience to the space.
Not only did their wedding look the part, it was also a lot of fun! Their guests were certainly in for a treat during the weekend, with a prosecco van, pizzas and ice cream, as well as garden games, a silent disco and a live band to keep everybody entertained. Everything, we think, you could possibly want for you and your guests on your big day!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
sophie says: Michael proposed while on a surprise trip to Italy on the 9th October 2015. We visited a small village called Castelfalfi in Tuscany, and Michael got down on one knee on the terrace of the medieval castle that stands in the centre of the village. We then had dinner overlooking the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany. He even managed to get the moment videoed. It was the most magical day!
We got married on Saturday 26th August 2017. We chose the bank holiday weekend as we wanted to extend our wedding celebrations. We invited all of our guests back to our venue on the Sunday to continue the party. The day consisted of lots of garden games for the children (and adults!) gorgeous pizzas supplied by The Woodland Rover, delicious ice cream by Ice Cream Dub and fantastic entertainment by Alexander Stewart. Our guests also enjoyed a silent disco.
We tied the knot at St Thomas’ Church in Mellor, and held our wedding reception at Upper House, Hayfield. Upper House stands alone on the magnificent Kinder Scout in the Peak District National Park and has to be seen to be believed. We knew instantly it was the venue for us. From the incredible views, to the courtyard, the Great Hall, the beautiful bedrooms to even having its own mini pub – Upper House is simply stunning. I couldn’t have imagined having our wedding anywhere else.
As we got engaged in Italy but chose to get married in the UK we wanted to bring a little Italian style to our wedding. This consisted of olive trees dotted around the venue, the black tie dress code, festoon lighting over the courtyard, a prosecco van and a string quartet.
I wanted a romantic and sophisticated look, so we went for a blush pink and ivory colour scheme paired with lots of candles and foliage, which I felt suited the venue and the Italian theme.
I wore a beautiful dress by Pronovias from Maria Modes in Macclesfield. I had my dress customised to include shoulder straps, buttons down the back and a sparkling belt. I also wore a Pronovias veil. My dress was one of the first I ever tried on and I absolutely fell in love with it and I knew instantly it was the one. I loved all of the ruffles and the long train, it was everything I’d ever dreamed off. I also wore Jimmy Choo shoes. I didn’t want to go for traditional satin wedding shoes, so I chose some that sparkled instead!
On the morning of our wedding myself, my bridesmaids and my mum all wore matching robes from Plum Pretty Sugar and had our makeup and hair styled by the very talented and gorgeous Samantha Green of DonebySG. She put my whole wedding party at ease and ensured we all had a fun and relaxed wedding morning.
January 25th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Michelle and Steve’s small but perfectly formed celebration has us all a-quiver here at Brides Up North. They were determined to keep things intimate, elegant and classic and, looking at these stunning images, we’re sure you’ll agree that they achieved their goals.
Brides Up North Sponsor, the stunning Bowcliffe Hall hosted their ceremony and reception and this classy couple opted make to use of the entire venue. Steve was already a Bowcliffe fan, but for Michelle it was love at first viewing – the different rooms and idiosyncratic layout provided endless potential for wedding day planning. They were even lucky enough to have a private blessing in the tiny garden Chapel – a beautiful moment of still and calm reflection before the partying began.
Over to the lovely Michelle to spill the gorgeous details…
With images by Catherine Kerr at Eyecapture Photography.
michelle says: Steve and I met through work and had been together for four years. Steve proposed whilst on holiday in the Maldives and we were married exactly a year later.
Steve hadn’t really planned the actual proposal in advance; he just felt the time was right and that it would be good to have some time alone whilst we were on holiday. The biggest challenge, apparently, was keeping the ring hidden and safe until he actually proposed. He was paranoid I’d find it, or he’d lose it before he actually popped the question! Luckily, though, he kept it safe and decided to ask me mid-way through our holiday one morning after breakfast. He’d written the big question in the sand before we went to breakfast and thankfully it was still there when we headed to the beach!
We live locally to Bowcliffe Hall and Steve is also a member of the Drivers Club, so he knew the venue well. He thought from the beginning that it might fit the bill but hadn’t mentioned it to me. When I saw the Hall for the first time, however, I knew instantly that it was going to be the place where we would get married. It was fantastic – it made the decision so easy, we didn’t even visit anywhere else. It was the perfect choice.
From the start we were both focused on ensuring that the wedding would be intimate and tailored to the things we love the most. We had a vision of a small family wedding with approximately 50 guests at the ceremony and wedding breakfast and an additional 20 joining us for the evening celebrations. The Hall is so unique with the various rooms that we decided to use the entire venue including the wing and the chapel – after the main ceremony we had a wedding blessing with only our parents present, which was incredibly special. It was a moment of calm and reflection which gave us all time to truly appreciate our wedding and the day.
In terms of a colour scheme, we went for cream with a touch of pink – very subtle and classic. The venue accommodated our every wish and the rooms looked amazing, utilising the lighting with hints of pink throughout.
I went with my mum to choose my wedding dress from Abigail’s Brides and I was more than delighted with the end result. It was by British designer Nicola Anne from her Vintage collection. I’ve never felt so amazing in a dress and I absolutely loved the lace detail and the fish tail. I got my shoes from Nine West.
Steve had always wanted bespoke tailored suit, so he treated himself to one for our special day. He tracked down a tailor, James Shipton, he’d met at a dinner a few years earlier as he’d promised him that if he ever was going to have a suit tailored then he’d ask him. He did a fantastic job. Steve completed the outfit with a pair of navy Jeffery West navy.
January 3rd, 2018 | 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.
Today’s featured bride is a florist by day, so it goes without saying, she had a very clear idea of (a) her favourite season and (b) what floral arrangements she wanted for her wedding with hubby-to-be, Gareth. And they truly are exceptional – with exquisite terracotta pots and a beautiful trellis just two of the floral highlights.
Tying the knot at Hotel du Vin in York, the venue is beyond pretty, brimming with character. And just a short car ride away lies the Museum Gardens, lending another captivating backdrop to the couple’s fabulous wedding photography.
Beth has recounted so many wonderful and touching details from their special celebrations – we suggest you grab a cuppa and join us as we soak up this impressive springtime wedding…
With images by Sarah Beth Photo.
beth says: Gareth proposed in Rome on July 4th 2015. We had just bought our first house together and decided a city break away was just what we needed before a hectic couple of months moving in and decorating our house. We’d gone for a romantic meal near the Trevi Fountain and Gareth had been very quiet and said that he was tired from a busy day of sightseeing. We then walked along to St Peters Square to see it lit up at night. We were both admiring the view and I was busy taking photos. I then turned around and Gareth was on his knee! It was perfect, and even more so that a kind lady had captured it all, unbeknown to us; a very special photo that we will treasure forever.
We got married on Saturday 22nd April 2017. Spring is one of our favourite times of the year as we love anything outdoorsy. As a florist, I automatically thought, when are my favourite flowers in season?! So it had to be April. We chose the back end of the month hoping there’d be more chance of sunshine, and we certainly did get that! We couldn’t have wished for a more perfect day.
We chose Hotel Du Vin in York as our wedding venue. We spend a lot of time in York as it’s one of our favourite cities. Gareth and I made an appointment to speak to Mollie, the events organiser, and we loved it. The style and décor of the hotel is timeless and simple. The courtyard where our ceremony and evening reception was held has a glass roof so it felt as though we were outside, which was just what we were after.
We had our wedding breakfast in the bistro – another beautiful room with lots of character. We only had 50 guests during the day, so it was lovely to be so close to our family and friends.
There wasn’t any particular theme to the day. Flowers and springtime were obviously a big part of the wedding, but the main thing was creating a relaxed and happy day.
I wanted to include little personal touches, too. I had some gorgeous signs made by Painted by Katie: an order of the day, Instagram hashtag (#happilyeverstorey), and a special board made for a table featuring photos of my grandma and gramps, who I have lost. It meant the world to me having their photos there for everyone to admire. I also had my gran’s brooch attached to the binding of my bouquet, it really felt as though she was there with us.
The colours tied in with spring, with lemons, mint green, cornflower blue and lots of green foliage throughout. They are my absolute favourite colours.
I chose an Enzoani dress from The Harrogate Bridal Lounge. It was the first shop I went to and the fifth dress I tried on. The girls were amazing at the shop, so friendly, professional and full of knowledge about all the dresses and designers.
The dress was everything I said I didn’t want! Flicking through the rails, my mum loved the Kerianna dress. It was very detailed with beautiful pearls, crystals and delicate lace which I loved, but it was strapless. She persuaded me to give it a try and, of course, as always, mum was right! I wore a veil, too, which made me feel less exposed around my shoulders and back; it finished my bridal look perfectly.
My Rachel Simpson shoes were so pretty and they were comfy all day, I took them off for the last hour of the night so I think I did pretty well to stay in heels for nearly 12 hours!
December 8th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
Our final real wedding of the week shows the magic that can be achieved in next to no time, as Jemma and Paul planned their day in an eye-popping 12 weeks!
Despite the clock ticking, the couple secured a fabulous new venue and then spent time getting the personal touches, dining and décor just right.
To complement their show-stopper of a venue (just take a look at those interiors!) Jemma and Paul chose an abundance of glowing candles, on-trend white and green floral displays and opulent metallic touches – all of which we adore! Add to this a fine ‘his and hers’ feast and personal messages to each and every guest and we think you’ve got a pretty damn special big day!
With photography by Kazooieloki Photography.
jemma says: We got engaged in November 2016 at Sensatori Tenerife – Paul booked the trip as a birthday present and then proposed as a surprise on the first night.
We decided to plan our wedding in a fairly short time frame (12 weeks!) so we picked a date that the venue could accommodate – 21st October 2017 – and that would give us enough time to get everything sorted.
We chose The Highfield House and Grounds, Driffield, East Yorkshire; it was the first venue we looked at and we both loved it. We would be the first people to get married there, as they hadn’t even got their wedding licence when we booked! Ellen, the house manager, couldn’t do enough to help and was a pleasure to deal with throughout. We picked an elegant, glamorous theme with accents of gold, which we felt really suited the venue – lots of glassware, candles and white/cream roses and greenery.
I chose a fitted lace dress with a fishtail and lace straps. I instantly knew this dress was the one when I tried it on.
Paul wore a navy blue three-piece suit, as did the groomsmen, and my bridesmaids wore Showcase dresses from Debenhams.
Our photographers, Richard and Christine from Kazooieloki, were amazing! So professional yet friendly and we barely noticed they were there. We had a pre-wedding shoot and I was really nervous but they soon put me at ease. The photos speak for themselves – beyond words! We could not be happier with them. They have a great eye for catching all the details, which I love, and you get to see all the parts of the day you missed at the time. The photos really are a story of our day and looking back at them really is like going back through the whole day – fabulous! We’ve had lots of people tell us they are the best wedding photos they’ve ever seen!
My brother-in-law Kris Knight kindly filmed the ceremony and speeches for us.
November 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
For today’s real wedding, we’re escaping to beautiful Teesdale for Helen and John’s special day back in April, following their year-long engagement.
We could begin by talking about their enchanting venue, Lartington Hall, nestled in 75 acres of parkland, with its exquisite ballroom, chapel and gardens. We could even talk about the couple’s bold teal and purple colour scheme, with peacock feathers thrown into the mix. We might even share details of their scrumptious chocolate Guinness cake and the fact that the wedding also coincided with the groom’s birthday celebrations, making the occasion extra special.
But we just have to throw the spotlight on Helen’s stunning Vera Wang Odette dress – offering you lucky readers a glimpse into what we think is a true fairytale-inspired moment. This oh-so-pretty floor-length ball gown, named after the leading female character in Swan Lake, is utter perfection and a welcome reminder to all brides-to-be out there that it really is worth making a statement with your bridal look. Trust us, your wedding album will thank you later.
With images by Stan Seaton Photography.
helen says: Every year since we started dating we have gone to the Peak District in April for a long weekend, camping usually in fairly frosty weather, and 2016 was no exception. We had stopped on Eyam Moor to admire the view with not another soul in sight. Although beautiful, it was absolutely freezing, and I had already set off again when John called me back as he was ‘looking for his scarf’ in a bag, which concealed a Claddagh ring, which he had made with my birthstone as a proposal ring. He got down on one knee to ask the question and, of course, I said yes!
Our wedding date was a bit controversial. There was availability for the date exactly a year on from our engagement, but as it was John’s birthday the week after, he thought it would be a great idea to combine this with getting married on the same weekend! So, 29th April it was! It turned out perfectly as it meant John’s family and friends from Ireland could join us for a double celebration and a bank holiday Monday in the UK so everyone had some extra time recover.
I’m originally from the North East and it was my mum who had heard about our chosen venue, Lartington Hall, and all the work that owners John and Shona had put in to the restoration and developing such a beautiful venue and grounds. As soon as we walked into the Grand Corridor, we knew it was the venue for us.
Combining two special occasions and being able to celebrate in this private and stunning setting was a dream. We loved the freedom of being able to host different parts of our day across the rooms at Lartington; from the chapel ceremony, ballroom for our wedding breakfast and dancing the night away to rounding the night off (with whoever was left standing!) in the drawing room. We knew we were in safe hands with the team at Lartington, who ensured our wedding day ran seamlessly.
I have to credit my bridesmaid Jo for helping me when it came to our colour scheme! I’ve always loved bold colours, and John and I both like purple so that was our starting point, mixed with the organic natural forms of art nouveau, which I’ve always loved. That led us to peacock feathers so we added a teal to the purple along with silver accents. These ideas were carried through in the flowing lines of the sleepy S-shaped bouquets and the peacock feathers that featured in our stationery.
My mum is a fantastic seamstress and made her own wedding dress, as well as her sister’s wedding dress from scratch, but I didn’t want to put the mother-of-the bride under too much pressure leading up to the big day. And so, I eventually chose a Vera Wang dress called Odette, which was fitting as I have always loved ballet. My mum then hand-stitched embellishments to the front and back of the bodice. It was so much fun to wear!
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