June 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Though couples marry all the year through, summer remains peak wedding season with brides and grooms pinning their hopes on warm and dry weather for their special day.
And as we’re just on the cusp of official British summer beginning, we thought what better way to see in the new season (and hopefully the sunshine) than with some top tips for those of you planning summer celebrations.
Today’s words of wisdom come courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor, award winning hospitality and event management company Dine. Established in 1998, Yorkshire-based Dine caters for more 200 weddings a year as well as offering exclusive private dining. Through its stunning portfolio of venues, the team provide event services for organisations ranging from English Heritage and the National Trust to the owners of some of the UK’s most notable private houses, providing a varied choice of beautiful big day settings.
For this afternoon’s post, we’re welcoming Dine’s managing director, Matt Jones, to the blog to share some of his pro pointers on planning a wedding in the season of blue skies and sunshine…
Matt says: If a summer wedding is something you have been dreaming of, Yorkshire is the perfect county in which to realise your dreams. With Dine’s impressive portfolio of stunning venues, from historic castles and magical gardens to spectacular deer parks and unique marquees, if planned properly a summer wedding can be truly breath-taking.
Make sure to start booking both venues and suppliers months, or sometimes years, in advance – a longer engagement is more sensible for a summer wedding. While it can be helpful to have several venues and suppliers in mind, if you plan ahead more options will be available. Flexibility is important for a successful summer wedding, but that still doesn’t mean that you should settle for options that won’t make you happy. Hiring an experienced event planner like Dine ensures that your most cherished dreams can become your reality on the day.
A marquee can make a stunning backdrop to your celebrations and offer the ultimate flexibility. They can accommodate as many or as few guests as you choose and are available in a vast range of styles – from tipis and vintage army tents to on trend sailcloth. If you don’t have enough room in your garden, Dine offers a number of stunning sites which make the most of Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside. Choose from panoramic views at Bolton Abbey, lakeside settings at historic Ripley Castle and the Gothic-style Carlton Towers, or the quintessentially English Dalton Hall walled garden.
A well-chosen indoor venue can be equally impressive however – providing picturesque views over gardens through large picture windows and respite from whatever the weather might throw at you.
Dine’s flagship venue The Mansion is perfect for any bride-to-be looking for the best of both worlds. Set in Roundhay Park, Leeds, one of the largest urban parks in Europe, the Greek Palladian style building offers several ceremony and reception rooms of varying sizes all with large windows overlooking the park and modern, luxurious décor.
Other exciting Dine venues include the magnificent Wentworth Woodhouse with a façade longer than Buckingham Palace, the chic city venue New Craven Hall and the glorious 18th century Palladian mansion Nostell Priory set in enchanting gardens.
While you can have a fantastic wedding breakfast in any season of the year, there’s so much more variety during the summer months. The sheer choice makes choosing (and tasting) your menu a lot of fun. With such an extensive range of choice available, it is reassuring to choose a specialist caterer and events manager such as Dine which can recommend what will work best and help you narrow down your menu choices.
The warmer summer months are the perfect opportunity to incorporate light and spicy foods from around the world. Canapés can be a fantastic way of incorporating small elements of international cuisine into your wedding breakfast without intimidating your more traditional guests. A ‘shot’ of Teriyaki beef, giant tiger prawns, and wild mushroom and truffle arancini are only a small selection of global ingredients available in summer.
The great weather also means that more informal, outdoor dining experiences are perfect for a wedding with a twist. Dine can offer a wide range of interesting and relaxed dining options including carnival themes, barbecues, picnic hampers, bowl and street food that take advantage of the fantastic weather and produce that is available. A more casual wedding breakfast can be a unique experience and a great conversation starter.
Dine can also cater for you if you’re concerned about veering too far from the traditional wedding food route. Traditional British food, such as mini sausage and mash, mini roast dinners and lobster ‘n’ chips, ensure that some time-honoured seasonal Yorkshire produce is incorporated into your wedding breakfast.
April 24th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding is a dreamy, laid-back affair with bags of country charm.
Pretty blooms, pastel hues and some frolicking in a cream camper van and a pond are just a few of our favourite moments from Jess and Adam’s big day. And let’s not forget about Jess taking to the stage to perform with her own band – certainly a bride that rocks!
With images by Fossca Photography.
jess says: Adam proposed on my 21st birthday while we were away in London together.
We set the wedding date for 7th August 2016. We chose this time of year because we wanted a summer wedding with plenty of time for a honeymoon afterwards, as I work as a teacher.
The wedding ceremony took place at All Saints Church in Wighill, and our reception was held at Priory Cottages in Wetherby. The venue ticked every box and was perfect for our rustic themed day.
We complemented the setting with a pastel pink and peach colour scheme. I’m not usually that much of a ‘girly girl’ but wanted to go all-out for our wedding day!
After having no idea what dress I wanted, I found the most beautiful dress shop, Glory Days Bridal in York. I fell in love with a minimalist silk dress – no zips, no buttons – just elegant. It was specially made; I felt amazing and so comfortable while wearing it.
Adam hates having his top button done up, so it was a no-tie affair. He wore tweed trousers, a white shirt and tweed waistcoat to match, all from the high street.
The groomsmen wore the same tweed trousers as the groom, with a patterned shirt and braces. They all looked so handsome.
The bridesmaid dresses were a steal from H&M; pastel pink and simple.
March 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Tying the knot in the Lunedale Valley in Teesdale last August, our couple Natalie and Will went to great lengths to involve their guests in their summer wedding – including the family sheep and chickens – in every element of preparing for their day.
Throw in a beautiful colour scheme inspired by the heather and wildflowers in the surrounding terrain, together with the family tartan, a spot of paddling and the most stunning tree chandelier we’ve ever seen, and you’ve got yourself a wedding that’s like no other.
Natalie, who would like to dedicate this blog post to her Uncle Iain Macintyre, who sadly died shortly after the wedding, shares all the special details.
With images from Bloom Weddings.
natalie says: We had known each other for years. After our paths crossing when we both worked for a local wedding venue, and with me finally moving into my first home – which happened to be in Will’s local village – he finally plucked up the courage to ask me out. On our one-year anniversary whilst we were holidaying in Iceland chasing the Northern Lights, he got down on one knee on a glacier and presented me with a gorgeous vintage ring. Of course, I said yes!
We decided that as we both love the outdoors, we wanted to be married in our parent’s bottom field and that the start of August would be ideal. It meant we could spend lots of time outdoors enjoying the stunning scenery the venue had to offer.
The wedding was very much focused in the Lunedale Valley in Teesdale. The morning began with the bridal party assembled in my mum and dad’s house with batches of bacon sarnies and glasses of Prosecco. Hair and make-up was provided by Vikki and Jordon from the Zhoo in Barnard Castle, who were fantastic and even helped us with last minute tweaks in the marquee. My beautiful bridesmaids did their own hair and make-up and we added flowers into their plaits to tie their hair with my hairstyle.
We chose a gorgeous small church known affectionately as the ‘holy barn’ because of its rustic and humble beginnings and its stunning view over the valley. It’s a really small church, which was perfect for us, as it meant we could have a lovely intimate wedding that we craved. We spent a lot of time going to services in the run up to our wedding and really got to know the Reverend and all the people of the church. This made the service itself really special as everyone went really above and beyond to make it so personal. The ladies of the church were kind in helping with our flowers, and giving us access to the church to make sure we could add our little details to make it so ‘us’.
January 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon’s real wedding is a shining example of just how beautiful an outdoor British ceremony can be. Marrying at the height of summer, Emily and Jordan enjoyed an open-air ceremony before partying the night away under the cover of a cool tipi tent.
Highlights for us include Emily’s stunning lace detailed dress, the beautiful ‘meadow’ colour palette and that gorgeous floral archway!
With images by Mick Cookson Photography.
emily says: We got engaged in Bali on a very relaxing holiday. Jordan had booked a ‘100 candlelit’ meal at a 5* restaurant. We had our own table by the riverside surrounded by candles and flower petals. We were laughing because they provided us with speakers but the only music they had put on the iPod was Boyzone and Westlife. Very cheesy but great to sing along to! I turned around after a photo to find Jordan on one knee saying “you going to marry me or what then?”
We set the date of the wedding for 30th July 2016, as it was the only date our perfect venue – Sycamore Farm Barns in Matlock – had available. It’s in the middle of the Peak District surrounded by rolling hills and farmland. We love the great outdoors so it was perfect. We had a tipi and we were able to get married outside, which was amazing. We were able to stay at the venue in beautiful cottages from the Thursday to the Monday so we could decorate the tipi, put up an archway and include personal touches. Our friends could also camp in the field.
We didn’t have a theme as such for the wedding, we just wanted things relaxed, informal and beautiful.
We had a humanist ceremony led by Janice Castings – it was perfect. Janice was brilliant and it meant the ceremony was personal to us. We married legally on the 24th July with close family present.
I found my dress in The Cheshire Wedding House. The staff were so friendly, they made me feel really comfortable and at ease. They also let my four-year-old niece try on a flower girl dress, which made her day! My dress was made by Romantica of Devon and it was called Yvonne. The skirt was made out of delicate tulle and felt lovely and floaty. The sleeves were lace and it had a heart-shaped cut out back. I loved it!
My wedding makeup was done by Sarah Morten and I loved it! Luckily, she is an amazing makeup artist and one of my best friends so she also doubled up as one of my bridesmaids.
Jordan picked a navy tweed suit with a waistcoat from Jennis & Warmann, which he ordered online. The best man wore the same suit.
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November 21st, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
This afternoon on the blog, we join couple Charlotte and Tom as they tie the knot in the captivating surroundings of Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa – an exquisite country house that dates back to the 1800’s.
The epitome of country chic, their big day brings together beautiful blooms, gorgeous ice creams and drinks on the outdoor terrace and dreamy photographs amongst the splendor of the venue’s stunning gardens and fountains.
With images by Mr Sleeve.
charlotte says: We got engaged on 21st July 2012 in Bruges, Belgium. Tom had flown out to Belgium for work and I joined him to make a holiday of it. After some Dutch courage (or just a casual drink from my perspective), Tom suggested a walk around the Lac D’Amour at sunset. After waiting what seemed like an age for a Chinese tourist group to leave the picturesque bridge, Tom got down on one knee and popped the question.
We got married on 28th August 2015. We chose this date to make the most of the Bank Holiday weekend and so that friends and family travelling long distances could make the journey more easily and enjoy the weekend more.
We tied the knot at Rookery Hall in Nantwich, Cheshire. When we visited the venue, we immediately fell in love with its light airy rooms, grounds and the overall feel of the place.
We didn’t have a wedding theme, as such. Instead, we decided on summer tones with the groomsmen and bridesmaids wearing light shades of blue. We had brightly coloured flowers, with lots of wildflowers and herbs.
Tom and our groomsmen wore slate blue suits from Next, and the bridesmaids wore a bluey-green coloured dress. We really struggled to decide on a colour; we didn’t want anything too dark or rich as we hoped for a lovely sunny day. We both liked blue tones though, and we thought that these shades would also flatter our entourage!
I wore the Cielo gown by Miquel Suay in ivory. After lots of online window shopping and a couple of visits to wedding boutiques to try on dresses of all shapes, this dress ticked all the boxes with a lace bodice and a soft, romantic feel.
Our photographer was Mr Sleeve (Steve Longbottom). He was fantastic and captured some amazing shots; we loved his style of candid, journalistic photography.
We also had Charlene of Love Gets Sweeter as our videographer. Charlene was great too – she blended into the background and even helped out with an emergency safety pin and we have a lovely video to help remember our special day.
Our flowers were supplied by Heather at Living Colour Flowers in Stockton Heath, Warrington. Heather was fantastic at understanding the overall aesthetic we were after, other florists seemed unable to offer any suggestions when we said we had no specific flowers in mind. The bouquet had bright Vuvuzela roses, purple veronica, blue thistle, yellow craspedia, bay, thyme, rosemary, succulents, and was wrapped in blue leather as a ‘something blue’. The bridesmaids had similar bouquets, and the boys had buttonholes of tiny succulents with a small flower, wrapped in twine.
The flowers for our reception were also provided by Living Colour, with an undone feel, lots of bright colours, with arrangements in little jam jars and scientific glassware (as we both have microbiology PhDs) and on wooden plinths. As for the room décor – Eventures in Manchester provided the chairs and room dressing.continue reading
October 13th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding is bringing back thoughts warm summer days as bride and groom, Genna and Martin, enjoyed a beautiful outdoor July ceremony at their chosen venue of Abbeywood Gardens in Northwich.
An equally pretty reception followed at the venue, which was made complete with simple rustic styling and a rather dreamy four-tired cake.
We must also mention Genna’s gorgeous gown which has the most exquisite detailing – a Brides Up North dress crush for sure!
With images & video by Two Birds.
genna says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2014, while at home. It was late in the afternoon and I’d spent the day saying “no, he still hasn’t asked” to family and friends (we’d been together seven years at the time). So when we had to pop home for more chairs for Christmas dinner at my brother’s house, it was a total shock to turn around to find Martin down on one knee!
We set the date for 1st July 2016. We’ve always wanted a warm wedding and our preference would have been May, but we fell in love with our venue – Abbeywood Gardens, Delamere – and this was the next available date!
We stumbled across Abbeywood Gardens by accident on the way to another venue’s open day. We totally fell in love with the glass house, beautiful gardens and the outside space, but the real clincher was the staff. Matt, Lauren, Calum and all of the staff were so nice and friendly from the first visit all the way through to the day itself.
We wanted a relaxed wedding that suited the surroundings. It was quite rustic in appearance, but with a hint of Disney style ‘happily ever after’ to it, along with a few little bits of sparkle.
We chose a soft colour palette of mostly creams, golds and pale pinks. The gardens at the venue were so vibrant, that we wanted everything else to be quite neutral.
My dress was a beautiful Maggie Sottero design from Emily Eve, in Birmingham. I knew I didn’t want a typical ‘princess’ dress, and wanted something slightly more fitted, but maybe with a vintage feel. And that’s exactly what I got! It was the third dress of four dresses that I tried on, and after trying on all four, I couldn’t wait to put it back on again. I ordered my full length veil as a last minute addition at my first dress fitting, which was just four weeks before the big day.
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