March 17th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding couple might have got engaged amidst the bright lights of NYC, but chose a very different theme for their summer wedding: an English country garden x Downton Abbey inspired celebration. In fact, bride Natasha admits that her guiding mantra during planning was WWLMD? (What Would Lady Mary Do?)
Looking at these gorgeous blooms, floral confetti and the Gothic-style setting of their stunning Yorkshire venue, it’s a mantra that served them well. On with the pretty!
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Laura Calderwood.
natasha says: Matt proposed on Christmas Day in Central Park in New York. We’d spent Christmas morning exploring Times Square and decided to go for a walk. We were watching the skaters on the ice rink when he got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Of course I said (or, should I say, screamed) “Yes”!
Our wedding date was 6th August 2016. We originally tried booking the ever-popular Bank Holiday weekend but this date was taken, so we went for the 6th. It probably sounds strange but I had a strange feeling then that we’d have really good weather that day. Luckily, I was right! The sun shone all day and it rained like crazy on the August bank holiday. It was a blessing in disguise that date was taken!
We got married at Carlton Towers in Yorkshire. I had actually provisionally booked another venue and decided on a whim to go visit Carlton Towers because my uncle recommended it. I completely fell in love with the Gothic-style turrets and opulent Venetian Drawing Room and knew it was the place for us. I’m so glad I took a chance on it!
The theme was ‘Downton Abbey’. I wanted something romantic and classic with a feel of English country garden to it. If I ever had to make a decision during the planning process, I’d ask myself, ‘Would Lady Mary like this?’ If the answer was yes, then I’d go with it!
We chose a blush palette with petal pinks and ivory as the main colours. We wanted something fresh and pretty that had a summer wedding feel.
I wore a Justin Alexander mermaid-style gown in ‘Sand and Silver’ from the Harrogate Wedding Lounge. It was actually the second dress I tried on and as soon as I stood in front of the mirror I knew it was the one. The mermaid-style complemented my curvy figure (and, most importantly, nipped me in all of the right places) and the detailing made it stand out from the others. I also absolutely loved the colour. It was much warmer than a traditional ivory, which complemented my slightly olive skin tone.
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January 1st, 2017 | 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 uber-pretty real wedding comes directly from one of our lovely readers, the beautiful Sarah, and features some of our fabulous Brides Up North Sponsors too, making it all the more special.
When submitting her wedding, Sarah wrote: “I love the Brides up North blog and used it to research over the last 18 months when planning my wedding. It also helped me find some of my amazing suppliers!”
And it’s wonderful comments like that which keep us busily working away here at Brides Up North HQ.
For us there are so many elements of Sarah’s May marriage to beau Alan that we love – from the bride’s incredible dress, to the romantic colour palette, blousy blooms and homemade décor. Oh and not forgetting Oscar – the couple’s super cute puppy who makes a special appearance!
sarah says: We got engaged on the 11th October 2014. Alan booked a surprise romantic cottage in the Lake District. After a day of exploring the local scenery, back at the cottage that evening he cooked us a candlelit three course meal and after our warm chocolate brownie dessert (the way to my heart!) Alan got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was such a beautiful setting for a romantic proposal and he had picked a gorgeous princess cut ring.
We got married on the 14th May 2016. We chose to get married in May as we both loved the idea of a spring time wedding. The colours and flowers I had dreamt of fitted perfectly with a spring theme. We also love to travel and explore new places and choosing a honeymoon in May meant we would get the best of the weather long haul while beating the “summer rush”.
Our wedding ceremony was held in my home town at St Mary’s Church, Beverley. The church is more than 900 years old and is just gorgeous. Inside the ceiling is painted with stars and the long aisle made for a really grand entrance.
Our reception afterwards was held at The KP club in Pocklington. As soon as we visited The KP we both instantly fell in love with the rolling countryside views. The bright and modern interior meant we had a blank canvass to personalise the room with our finishing touches. We also loved the log cabins with hot tubs in the grounds, the perfect place to get ready on the morning of the wedding.
We wanted our wedding to have a pretty spring time feel so we incorporated lots of soft pinks, ivory and lilac florals on our wedding stationary, as well as using florals and ribbons to decorate the venue. The overall effect was so dreamy and it all came together perfectly. The theme created a really relaxed feel for our guests which was also something that was really important to us.
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December 2nd, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s chic city real wedding simply exudes elegance. There’s a stunning Maggie Sottero dress, a gorgeous autumnal colour palette and an organic, woodland theme.
There was also plenty of personality to this stylish wedding too, with nods to the groom’s love of owls, Cockney rhyming slang table names and a real ale special brew called ‘Old Legover’!
With images by Olivia Brabbs Photography
rachel says: Robin’s proposal centred around an owl theme. He has a particular passion for owls – since he was a child he collected all things owl. It has turned into a running joke that owls are literally taking over our house, so it was no surprise that they featured quite heavily in Robin’s proposal. Robin went to great lengths to set out an owl-themed treasure hunt, which went on for a few weeks (!) and, led by a number of clues, I found Robin under the ‘Owl of Justice’ – a carved owl that can be found at the back of the Civic Hall in Leeds, where Robin proposed and we later got married.
Our wedding date was the 9th September 2016. We both love autumn and wanted a natural earthy wedding. The weather also always seems to be lovely in Leeds in September, so we were lucky to secure the date when we did.
We got married in the Banqueting Hall in the Civic Hall in Leeds city centre. We chose the venue for obvious reasons (hello gold owls!) but we were both so stunned at how beautiful the hall is once you get inside. We even decided to have a drinks reception after the ceremony to make the most of our time there. We really wanted to have our reception somewhere close to where we got married and settled on the Devonshire Hall in Headingley, to have our party; an amazingly grand hall of residence, which forms part of the University of Leeds. We loved the blank canvas of the dining hall and the design of the building is so lovely with the cloisters and outside space. We both got a great feel from the place when we visited so it was an easy decision.
In terms of theme, we’re big lovers of the great outdoors and our vision was for a woodland/autumnal/natural style of wedding. If we’d been brave enough (and my mum had allowed us!) we’d have had our reception in the woods, so this was a good compromise.
Our colour scheme was navy and gold and, fitting with the autumnal theme, the groomsmen wore navy suits with a variety of dark gold and burnt orange accessories. My sister is a personal stylist so she helped choose the bridesmaid dresses, and navy is a gorgeous universal colour that looks great on everyone. I’m also a big fan of a bit of sparkle so gold shoes were a must!
If I’m honest, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to the wedding dress shopping – I had no idea what I wanted and felt a bit nervous about it all. When I walked into the first bridal shop (the wonderful Bridal Boutique in Baildon) I knew that the first dress that I saw would be the one I’d wear. I tried on all sorts of different styles anyway – and was surprised by how much I loved the huge princess dresses! But I settled for the first dress: Vidonia by Maggie Sottero. Such gorgeous detailing and I felt so comfortable in it, I knew it had to be the one. I cancelled my next booking!
The bridesmaids wore A-line navy dresses from Coast and they each chose their own gold shoes. As a thank you for being my best women, I got them all engraved bangles made by the fab Libby Jubb Jewellery. They had a little birdy charm on them which matched the turtle doves I wore in my hair. Hannah De Ath and Annabel Bailey also did a fantastic job with hair and make-up and made my mum, bridesmaids and me feel like a million dollars.
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November 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today’s wedding is a stunning example of how a wedding can be both lavish and relaxed.
Working around an elegant blush pink and dove grey colour scheme, Debbie and Darran went all out with the wedding styling choosing striking floral decorations and an abundance of candles to enhance their already stunning venue.
The wedding party looked extra glam too, with the bridesmaids in shimmering grey dresses and Debbie in a stunning fish-tail style gown.
Keen not to overdo the formalities though, the bride and groom opted for relaxed bowl-food style dining, lots of sweet treats and enjoyable live entertainment. A winning combination we say!
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
debbie says: Our love story began on 25th February 2012. Darran and I had known each other for over ten years, our youngest children went through school together. We had both become single and Darran took the opportunity to ask me to go for a drink with him. Little did I know that 1,527 days later he would become my husband.
We officially got engaged on Sunday 22nd February 2015, Darran got down on one knee on the Sunday morning not long after we had woken up, and he was wearing just his undies! So romantic. The following day we had a surprise 40th lunch to attend. After we left the lunch I suggested we take a drive over to Ashfield House, unbeknown to him I had secretly popped in their six months previously to pick up a brochure. We rocked up unannounced on the off chance that we could get a proper look around. Fortunately for us Katie Street was more than accommodating. From the moment I walked through Ashfield’s front door I knew that this was where I wanted to get married.
To get the ball rolling we made an appointment for the following Saturday to visit Prestons of Bolton to pick out my engagement ring. We had an amazing experience at Preston’s of Bolton, being served with Veuve Clicquot champagne whilst we looked at various diamonds. I had pretty much made up my mind beforehand that I would like a pear cut solitaire, as Darran had bought me pear cut earrings a few years previously.
We set the date of the wedding for Sunday 1st May 2016. We knew that by picking a bank holiday weekend that it would give our travelling guests the opportunity to make a full weekend of it.
Ashfield House was such a perfect venue for the wedding. The building, in our opinion, is stunning with so much character and history. We loved the bright airy feel to the recently revamped Langtree Suite, which is where our ceremony took place.
The grounds at Ashfield House are simply stunning too. Unfortunately for us the weather was wet and temperamental, and although we did manage to get outside to get some fantastic shots, the fact that there are so many places inside for your photographer to shoot some cool original shots is a massive bonus. We also loved the fact that Ashfield House is an exclusive wedding venue Monday to Saturday. On a Sunday they do serve Sunday lunch. This didn’t cause us any problems though as we knew that the lunchtime guests would have left by the time our ceremony took place.
The icing on the cake was that Ashfield House has 15 ensuite rooms with a handful of suites that are competitively priced. This meant that our travelling guests had the beauty of staying over at the wedding venue too.
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November 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s wedding is a real family affair with the couple’s son and daughter almost stealing their mum and dad’s limelight entirely – talk about cute!
But beyond the page boy and flower girl there is much more sweetness to be found in Sara and Chris’ big day.
With images by Mandy Charlton.
sara says: We got engaged in July 2010, three months after the birth of our first child – Eoin. There was no romantic proposal as such, I think we both just came to the natural conclusion that since we’d already made the big commitment of raising a mini human together, marriage was the natural next step to make our family ‘official’.
We got married on 10th September 2015. I wanted to get married sooner but life (including buying a house, graduating from university and having another baby) kind of got in the way! We chose September because it’s my favourite time of year, and usually the weather is pretty good (and it really was!)
We got married at our local church, St. Peters. My dad is buried there and I was also christened there so it holds a lot of sentimental value. It’s a lovely little church. Our reception was held at The Crab & Lobster in Thirsk. It was the second venue I looked at, and I knew it was perfect the minute I saw the diver’s suit hanging from the ceiling! It’s very quirky and intimate, with beautiful gardens, without feeling pretentious. John, the wedding planner, was also so welcoming and lovely with our children; it felt like it was a home from home.
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November 18th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s bride and groom are perhaps among the cutest we’ve had on the blog. From their sweet proposal to their personal wedding ‘promises’ and their love of dancing together, it’s clear these too are totally smitten!
Having had her dream ring placed on her finger, Sara worked with Josh to come up with a wedding day that was true reflection of them as a couple, leading to a music theme for their big day.
Get ready for moving song choices, record décor, a guitar guest book and, of course, dancing!
With images by Sophie Kerr Photography.
sara says: Our engagement came about quite suddenly and was a modern joint decision, we’d been speaking about marriage and it was always as a certain ‘when’ not an ‘if’. One Saturday shopping in Manchester Josh suggested going into a jewellers and he then started looking at rings. He kept telling me to not getting excited it was simply just for future. After a few rings being tried on he went and paid for the ring that in his words, ‘made my eyes light up’. As soon as I saw the bag I got so excited but he kept saying that I needed to put it out of my mind. We followed up our day with a trip to the Cloud 23 bar at the Hilton to raise a glass to a very exciting future. Later I was happily gazing out the window at the sunny view when I turned back to face Josh and I realised he was on one knee. Suddenly everything else disappeared – the only thing I remember him saying was, “I don’t want to be engaged to you – but I want to marry you”. To add to this a lovely couple from Bermuda had been watching, they apparently sensed something as about to happen and started taking pictures and later approached us to get our details to share them. It’s thanks to them that we now have beautiful natural pictures of one of the most important moments in our lives.
We got married on 18th April 2015. We chose this date as we both agreed that we preferred the change of seasons the most and spring 2015 fitted nicely allowing us a comfortable 18 months to plan.
We quickly decided we wanted to get married in a venue that would be exclusive to us and our guests as we wanted it to be a personal and intimate day. We found a few places that fitted in budget and with our preferences. Styal Lodge was actually the first place we went to visit and from the minute we arrived there we fell completely in love, it was perfect. We loved how neutral it was meaning we could truly make it our own and how much light and nature still felt so close due to the big windows. Above all though the reason we chose the venue is due to the people who run it. Styal Lodge’s whole focus is weddings and so everyone is so passionate and dedicated to making your day wonderful.
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