May 21st, 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 4th June 2018 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
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.
Imagine almost setting fire to your wedding dress while exchanging vows with your hubby-to-be, and imagine being completely unaware that it was happening… Deep breath, readers, as this story has a happy ending! Today’s bride, Emily, thankfully, can laugh about this near-miss incident now. And as you’re about to discover, the rest of her picture-perfect wedding to partner Philip went without a hitch. Hurrah!
In fact, we’re pretty bowled over by the gorgeous details and original ideas incorporated within their special day. There’s Dexter, their dog, who walked down the aisle and even filmed some of the ceremony. Then there’s the elderflower pale ale brewed by the couple in the lead up to the wedding, with the help of the micro-brewery on-site at their fabulous venue, Carlton Towers, in Yorkshire.
Self-confessed foodies, the couple provided their guests with plenty of options for the wedding breakfast and evening buffet, as well as a candy table brimming with sweets. And we haven’t even talked about their dreamy pastel colour scheme and classic theme which featured – as Emily nicely puts it – ‘a touch of grandeur’, tying in wonderfully with the venue’s spectacular, gothic backdrop. We think it’s about time we handed the blog over to the bride and let her delve into all the finer details. Enjoy!
With images by Bloom Weddings.
emily says: We got engaged in Rome, in February 2016. I booked a weekend break as a surprise for Phil’s birthday, letting him know where we were going only three weeks before – I had no idea the surprise would actually be on me! On the second night of our trip, we went for a lovely romantic meal in a restaurant called That’s Amore. Being a cosy, candlelit restaurant, we were quite warm but I had no idea why Phil wouldn’t take off his jacket! As it happens, he was smuggling a ring in his inside pocket.
After dinner we took a short walk to the Trevi Fountain, which was beautifully lit up. As it was February, the area wasn’t too busy, with around 100 people sat on the steps down to the fountains. Phil insisted we get some pictures beside the fountain, which I thought unusual as he’s never one to insist on photographs! After we’d posed away in front of the fountain, Phil gave me a hug and said “Em…” before getting down on one knee, taking a box out of his pocket and asking, “will you marry me?”. I was taken by such surprise, I thought he was joking, and was absolutely speechless! When I managed to find my words, I said “Yes, of course I will!”. The tourists began to cheer and applaud!
We got married on Saturday 26th August 2017. We chose this date as we were keen to get married in the summer, and thought, what better time than the Saturday of the bank holiday weekend? This allowed relatives from further afield to spend longer up in Yorkshire too before returning to work, and for guests to properly let their hair down with two days to recover before heading back to work! Plus, it’s the weekend of my birthday.
We hosted the whole day at Carlton Towers in the Selby District of North Yorkshire. We were seeking a venue where we could host both the ceremony and reception under one roof, and which also had accommodation. Carlton Towers immediately made the shortlist for those practical reasons. And when we viewed the venue, we immediately fell in love with it! Carlton Towers was the first venue we saw, and no other came close to competing.
We loved the gothic grandeur, its history and that it is family owned. We wanted a classic, traditional venue with a wow factor and with just enough grandeur inside for our more formal photographs, in case the August bank holiday weather made the weekend a wash out! Thankfully, we got lucky in that respect.
Our style was actually very in keeping with the venue – traditional, classic and with a touch of grandeur. We also wanted something timeless, so that in years to come, our wedding wouldn’t look dated.
Our colour scheme centered on summer pastels, think blush pink and a light mint and sage green. Although we chose a formal venue, we wanted the feel of the wedding to be summery, bright, light and relaxed, which is why we chose this palette. Plus, we wanted relaxed floral arrangements, with traditional blooms interspersed with more relaxed flowers and arranged with a touch of wildness. Succulents featured throughout the floral arrangements too, complementing our blush wild roses and, of course, our pastel colour scheme.
May 7th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
There’s a gorgeous, soft, uber-romantic quality to these sublime photos from Aaron and Harriette’s wedding at East Riddlesden Hall – everything feels a bit dreamy, like we’re seeing their day through their misty, love-tainted eyes. Maybe it’s the delicate pastel shades of their colour-scheme, or perhaps it’s down to the abundance of British blooms and natural foliage that filled their stunning venue. Whatever it is, we feel like we’re under a spell!
This wedding is brimming with accessible inspiration, from fairylights and bunting galore to rustic pallets and a relaxed sharing-plates menu. And we’re agog at the news that Aaron and Harriette pulled off the ultimate feat – securing their dream teaching jobs in Dubai, their honeymoon destination! “We went on honeymoon and never came back!” says Harriette. If they weren’t such a blatantly lovely couple we’d be green with envy…
With photography by Emily Olivia.
harriette says: We got engaged at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire on the 6th December 2015. Chatsworth is my favourite country house; we’ve visited it several times with family and friends. It was a cold, wintry day and Aaron revealed afterwards that he’d planned to ask me to marry him next to the Emperor fountain with a view of the house and the grounds as a backdrop. Unfortunately though, he’d forgotten to bring a box for the ring! Luckily, there was a jewellery counter in the gift shop and the assistant had a spare box – she wished him good luck, apparently! When we arrived at the fountain Aaron turned to me and smiled. We hugged and I put my hands into his coat pocket, feeling the ring box! He promptly got down on one knee and popped the question!
Our wedding date was 29th July 2017. There was no particular reason why we chose this date; although saying that, we’re both teachers and wanted a summer wedding with as many friends and family members there as possible, so the end of July seemed like the perfect fit.
We got married at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Pudsey, Leeds. This happened to be the church linked to my primary school, and the priest who married us was also the Chaplin at my secondary school. The reception took place at East Riddlesden Hall, near Keighley. We both wanted a barn wedding but found it really difficult to find something close by – most seemed to be down South or in North Yorkshire. Then one day, we came across East Riddlesden Hall and it was perfect! It had everything we wanted and the staff were amazing.
We had lots of ideas when we were planning the wedding. In the end, we decided we wanted something rustic and Italian with lots of flowers and botanicals. When we first started dating, we went on holiday to the Italian lakes and loved it. We wanted to create something with the same feel: a large, relaxed, family and friends gathering with amazing food to reflect our personalities.
To fit in with our loose theme we wanted lots of flowers and foliage, so we decided on pastel colours: greens, pinks, blues and copper. We also really liked the idea of ‘literary’ invites so we chose Feel Good Invites’ vintage Penguin invitations. Ged was brilliant – quick to respond, really helpful with our designs and we couldn’t recommend him enough!
My dress was from Lace and Co., Wakefield. I really wanted a bohemian, flowing dress and Charlotte Balbier’s designs just matched perfectly. The dresses were beautiful and they really suit the individual. The dress I chose was called Lily May and it was simple with a lovely bohemian feel. My Aunty Ann made my veil using a 17th century lace pattern and we’re going to keep it in the hope that it becomes a family heirloom. I wore my grandma’s engagement ring as well as a vintage cameo which we added to the bouquet as something old and borrowed.
February 7th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
The summer wedding of Patrick and Katrina has a sweet vintage, village hall vibe and took place in their local community so they’ll always be reminded of their special day setting.
They chose an afternoon tea menu for their reception, with delicate culinary treats served on charming old-fashioned crockery. Add to that the bunting and fairy lights strung from the rafters, a homemade cake table showcasing mouth-watering treats baked by talented family and friends – and even a cheese table in the evening – and you have a wonderful, personal day that reflects Katrina and Patrick’s wedding wishes perfectly.
And the dress is rather dreamy, too!
With images by Kate Gosney.
katrina says: We got engaged in December 2016. I cycled home from work on a dark, rainy, Friday night. As I pulled into our road, I noticed that my car had been moved from the road onto our drive, which was a bit unusual. As I pulled closer, I noticed there was a note tucked under the windscreen and my heart sank, thinking one of the neighbours must have been complaining about my car being in the way. I couldn’t bear to open it but Patrick was inside waiting for me and he urged me to read it. Inside it said, “Katrina, seeing as this all started three years ago with a note on your car, it seemed only right that this should also be a note. Will you marry me?”
We got married on 29th July 2017. Neither of us wanted a long engagement and Patrick is a teacher, so this coincided with the start of the school holidays.
Our ceremony was at Sale Town Hall, as we wanted it to be in our local community and somewhere we would pass regularly. Our reception took place at Mobberley Victory Hall. We wanted the reception venue to be beautiful, low key and to allow us to do our own thing with it.
The old-fashioned approach to a wedding appealed to us, so we went for a natural, handmade, rustic and vintage look with involvement from family and friends.
I wore a Brighton Belle dress. I wanted a knee-length dress, as I liked the idea of being able to move around freely and dance.
My bridesmaids wore pale grey lace dresses from John Lewis.
Patrick and his best man wore beautiful blue suits, which were also from John Lewis.
December 18th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Martin Hambleton Photography
If you’re anything like us, you flit from one favourite wedding season to another as the various months of the year each have something different to offer.
Whether it be the possibility of a relaxed outdoor wedding in the height of summer taking your fancy, or the image of a cosy and atmospheric winter wedding that has you hooked, an epic choice of venues and hugely creative wedding suppliers means a show-stopping wedding is achievable all year round.
As such, deciding when to set the big day date for can be a little tricky, and so we’ve invited our lovely guest writer, Izzy Hicks of our media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine, to share the pros and cons of the options, so you’ll know which of the seasons is best for you to say “I do”…
Lee Dann Photography
Winter, and in particular the holiday season, is a wonderful time of year for a wedding, as it’s already a time of getting together with family and friends to celebrate. It’s easy to create a cosy winter wedding theme, as around Christmas and New Year your venues are already likely to be decked out with fairy lights and extra decorations.
Depending on which month you opt for, winter can also be one of the cheapest times of the year to tie the knot. November, January and February are great months for bargain-hunters.
The weather is often a big drawback for brides considering a winter wedding. At best it’s likely to be dry yet cold – more likely, it’s going to be drizzly or raining. Although snow may look beautiful in photographs, it can seriously interfere with your wedding travel plans, so be prepared for this possibility.
You’ll lose the light quickly in winter, as the days are at their shortest, which can wreak havoc with your wedding photography. Choose a photographer who’s experienced in shooting in low-light conditions, and consider having your ceremony earlier rather than later in the day to avoid taking group photos in the dark.
If you want the potential good weather and beautiful settings of summer, but haven’t got the budget for peak season, then spring could be your next best option. And if you’re lucky with the weather you’ll still be able to get all those gorgeous outdoor shots.
Spring is all about new life, which means that you’ll have some of the best blooming flowers and fresh local produce to choose from for your big day. You’ll have your pick of ranunculi, hyacinths, daffodils and tulips for your bouquet, and everyone will be ready for a light and fresh wedding menu after the heavy excesses of winter.
Once again, it comes down to the weather. Spring is one of the most unpredictable seasons when it comes to the weather, so you’ll need to be prepared for all eventualities and keep your eye on the forecast. At worst, you may end up dealing with flooding due to the Spring rains, so make sure you’re protected against this.
With budding flowers comes pollen! If you or your fiancé suffer from sever hayfever or allergies, then you may want to reconsider marrying in a season when the pollen count is at its highest.
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.
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