June 4th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
We’re back from our hiatus ready and raring for more real wedding pretty than ever before. On the back of our bi-annual rest, recharge and reassess, there’s a proper update coming soon on some verrrrry exciting plans for this little corner of the internets, but for now, let’s just give the people what they came for, eh? Straight into the #wedspo it is then…
After a year-long engagement, today’s couple Emily and Fraser tied the knot at the chapel in Leeds General Infirmary. Not your conventional choice although one that held lots of sentimental value for the pair, as it’s not only where they both work but it’s also where they originally met.
For their celebrations afterwards, New Craven Hall – an industrial events space in the heart of Leeds – provided the beautiful backdrop and all the versatility the bride and groom could need to craft their special day. And when we say craft we mean quite literally – as they either made their decorations from scratch or borrowed from family or friends – everything from hula-hoops with flowers and fairy lights to glass baubles with candles and bunting.
Adding a playful element to their day – Emily and Fraser plumped for a board games theme. Think a Battleships table plan and place name cards featuring Scrabble pieces and you’ll get the idea! This is just one of the many highlights though, so we think we’ll pass the blog over to Emily now to tell us all the details!
With images by Stevie Jay Photography.
emily says: We got engaged on 24th February 2017. We had gone away for the weekend and just about made it to Pitlochry in Scotland, driving through some really bad snow from Leeds. On our first day, we got up, had breakfast in the hotel and planned a walk through the countryside. The walk took us past a waterfall called Black Spout. As I turned around from looking at the waterfall, Fraser was down on one knee and asked me to marry him! After lots of tears of happiness and saying ‘yes’ we then continued the walk and stopped off at a local microbrewery for a drink.
We tied the knot on 24th March 2018. We wanted to get married within about 12 months of our engagement, so this was just over! We got married at St Luke’s Chapel at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) Hospital. We both work as radiographers and met at the LGI, and felt it was a special place to both of us. We had to apply to the Archbishop of Westminster to get a Special Licence. The old hospital entrance and the chapel are 250 years old and have lots of beautiful characteristics.
Our reception was held at New Craven Hall. We chose this venue because we wanted somewhere we could have freedom to do what we wanted. We wanted to make our own decorations and centrepieces as my mum and me are both very crafty. Inside, it’s an industrial style venue with fairy lights, beams and copper features, with lots of decorating to do. We wanted a good choice of food and beer too, and the venue allowed us to have our favourite cans of craft beer for our welcome drinks. We had access to the venue to set everything up ourselves, but the New Craven Hall team were on hand if we ever needed anything.
We love playing board games together, so our theme for the day centred on board games. For example, we had Articulate save the date cards and Monopoly invites, as well as a Battleships table plan where the guests had a coordinate and had to find what battleship (table) they were on; Jenga coasters; place name cards featuring Scrabble pieces; and a Guess Who game with the guests as the faces. Our guestbook was made from jigsaw pieces too and we also had a dart board.
Our colour scheme was pale teal and light duck egg blue. We weren’t adamant on any particular colour scheme prior to organising our wedding. I found some bridesmaid dresses of this colour which we liked, and we just went from there. We used this colour for the ties of the male wedding party, as well as the bunting and ribbon on the order of service.
I wanted a simple, fitted dress with a slight fishtail, nothing too big or sparkly. When trying on dresses, I soon realised I liked shoestring straps and loved dresses with no back or a very detailed lace/sequinned back. I purchased my dress from Ava Rose Hamilton near my hometown in Colne and it was designed by Willowby. I just loved the lace back and the simple look at the front. I wanted some sparkle so added a belt. I loved the long cathedral veil, which I got for a bargain from Preloved and it was held in with my bridesmaid’s hair clip from her wedding day – my something borrowed.
Fraser bought his suit from Slaters as did the best man, groomsman and our dads. They were all in navy, standard fitted suits. Fraser’s suit had a slight textured look to it compared to the others. He wore a tie that complemented the bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen’s ties, and also bought his shoes and socks from Jeffery West, as his wedding treat.
June 28th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
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 3rd July 2017 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.
Jenna and Andrew light up the lens with their mega-watt grins and serve as a reminder as to what this whole getting-married business is all about.
Their rustic barn venue in East Yorkshire needed little decoration but fresh blooms, bunting and spray-painted tin cans created just the right balance between simplicity and charm. There was also a nod to earthy tones with their mustard yellow, sage green, copper and white colour scheme, and Jenna’s down-to-earth crocheted Maggie Sottero gown was perfect for this effortlessly elegant day.
With photography by Victoria Baker Weddings.
jenna says: We got engaged at home – and it was a total surprise. I’d been out for dinner with some work friends and Andrew was supposed to be picking me up afterwards. He later said that he wasn’t feeling well and I got a taxi back home instead.
I arrived home to a note on the front door with instructions. Once inside the house, I was greeted with beautifully lit candles and a video he‘d recorded on his phone which set me off on a treasure hunt – at this point, Andrew was nowhere to be seen. It started with clues about the place we first met and moved onto several special memories we’d shared together. There were about ten clues in total, all leading me to the final clue, stuck to our laptop. The clue asked me to Google the Michelin star restaurant The Black Swan in Olstead, pick my favourite dish from their menu and then look for a file saved on the laptop with the same name as the dish. I found it: scallops – he’d guessed in advance the dish that I would pick! I opened the file and it was the most amazing video made up of pictures of us and captions. The last caption said “and so there is something I wanted to ask….” I turned around and there he was, down on one knee – eek! We downed a bottle of champagne while ringing around the family. The next night we ate at the restaurant and had a taster menu that included the dish!
I must add that Andrew was a true gent and asked for my dad’s permission beforehand. He even Facetimed my mum in India for her permission, too!
We were married on 8th October 2016. Autumn is our favourite time of the year. The beginning of October was just perfect for us – it’s when leaves start turning, and dropping but there is still enough light in the day and if you drop lucky (like we did) and the sun comes out, it’s still warm enough to be outside.
Our venue was Barmbyfield Barn, Barmby Moor, where we had both our ceremony and reception. We were keen on a barn wedding but, living in Leeds, we struggled to find anywhere big enough locally. All it took was one visit to Barmby and we both knew we wanted to get married there. I didn’t even need to persuade Andrew, which is unusual! The venue is so beautiful, rustic and well-kept and the owner, Paul, was a pleasure to deal with.
We didn’t have a theme or style, however we wanted to make sure all our decorations were in keeping with the look and feel of the barn. We also wanted the day to reflect how we are and the things we like, and therefore be informal and relaxed. Decor-wise, though, I’m mad on exposed brick and so it really didn’t need much work.
We didn’t have a strict colour scheme – although we wanted it to feel autumnal, we weren’t going for gimmicky. We stuck to natural, earthy tones using lots of whites and hessian, as well as coppers, sage greens and mustard yellows.
My dress was called Trudy, by Maggie Sottero. I’d initially seen it online and luckily found it in my local bridal shop in Leeds centre, Abigail’s Bridal Boutique. It was the nicest dress I’d seen or tried on and happened to be the cheapest, which was a bonus. It was full length, crocheted lace in ivory with capped sleeves and button down back. I chose a champagne colour cami slip to go underneath to soften the ivory.
Andrew wore a navy blue three-piece suit from Moss Bros, paired with white shirt, blush tie and brown shoes and the groomsmen wore the same as Andrew.
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February 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Happy Valentine’s Day Brides up North! Did you catch our weekend wish list?
It’s time to get all romantic on these pretty pages as today’s seriously sophisticated couple pulled out all the stops for their wedding in glorious Yorkshire. After the groom’s idyllic proposal in Champagne, Lindsey wore Madison James, Andy wore his RAF Number Ones, and beautiful blooms, jaw-dropping home bakes and fizz (Champagne, obviously) were the order of the day.
This outdoor-loving pair created a striking fusion of styles – Lindsey’s deep-cut beaded dress and the colour scheme’s copper accents feel very city chic, but their stunning sailcloth Sperry marquee and those hayfield tandem photographs are pure countryside class.
The best of both worlds – and simply gorgeous to boot.
lindsey says: We got engaged in the Champagne region of France in August 2015. Andy booked us first class Eurostar tickets for a weekend in Paris and Champagne. On the day we got engaged, he had hired a tandem bike (we both like cycling and had cycled from London to Paris earlier in the year together). We cycled from vineyard to vineyard and sampled lots of champagne. It rained a little in the morning so we got wet on the bike but at the last Champagne House the clouds parted and the sun came out beautifully. At around 3pm we got back on the tandem for the last time to cycle back. We’d only been cycling for about ten minutes down a beautiful quiet country lane when we got to a hill. Having had a good few glasses of bubbly in us, Andy asked if we could ‘take five’ at the top and enjoy the view down the valley. And that’s where he took off his helmet (and I thankfully did the same!) and he dropped down on one knee and popped the question!
We spent the rest of the evening drinking champagne (obviously!) and got planning what our dream wedding could look like….
We got married on 30th July 2016. We wanted a day in the summer so that (weather permitting) we could celebrate in the sun in my beautiful home county of Yorkshire. I grew up on a farm and we both love the countryside so we wanted to be able to celebrate in with the trees and flowers in full bloom and Yorkshire looking glorious.
We got married at St Helen and the Holy Cross Church in Sheriff Hutton, followed by a Sperry (white marquee by Papakata) reception at Aldby Park in Buttercrambe. We fell in love with the venue and it ticked every box for us – a combination of a stunning stately home surrounded by acres and acres of open fields and countryside as far as the eye can see. A very country style look with the glamour of an incredibly handsome period property. The owners allowed us to have our marquee on their beautiful garden at the rear of the house so that we also had a view down the steep bank to the River Derwent. Perfect! The owners also allowed us to have a camping area so as many of our friends as we wanted were able to camp at the venue for free which was really helpful. We hired a handful of deck chairs and shepherds’ crooks (from Add Vintage) to create a summer’s evening chillout area on the lawn.
The Sperry tent is stunningly elegant. It is made out of sailcloth and has incredible roof contours. We both loved how striking it is and different to any normal marquee we’d seen. Also, Andy has sailed extensively (his parents have a boat on the South coast still) so having a tent made out of sail cloth seemed very apt.
We had a bit of a bike theme (referencing back to the big fat engagement) so we made a bicycle wheel chandelier, sprayed it bronze and suspended it above the dancefloor. We also had a tandem on the day and cycled through the fields at dusk (I just about mastered the art of hitching up a wedding dress!)
Our colours were pale blue and copper. We wanted some blue in the theme as Andy’s RAF uniform is blue. So we went with a pale shade throughout with some copper touches to complement and also to bring some sparkle to the colour theme.
I wore a fitted beaded gown from Madison James. It had straps and a deep cut-out back. I actually found it at a wedding fair in Manchester. Andy agreed to attend one fair and accidentally (honestly!) I picked one of the biggest in the UK. Typically, I found the dress on a mannequin while we were walking round so I waited until we were well past it before asking Andy if he wouldn’t mind finding a quiet spot in a café at the other side of the show and having a coffee on his own while I checked something out! About 45 minutes later I returned to poor Andy, knowing that I had probably found the dress, but hadn’t felt brave enough to hand over the credit card without having had a second opinion.
The same show returned in the October so I went back with my mum and one of my bridesmaids (Natalie, who had flown over from Amsterdam where she lives) so I could try the dress again. I safely assumed that mum and Natalie’s tears were a good sign so half-an-hour later (after they’d wrestled the dress off me!) we were sitting drinking more champagne celebrating that I’d found my dream dress.
Andy is an Officer in the RAF so he wore his Number Ones to get married in. He changed into a navy suit (matching the bestman and ushers) just after our drinks reception and before sitting down for dinner. Andy’s wedding ring was made out of an engine turbine from a Concorde airplane. His dad was a flight engineer on Concorde and flew for British Airways for 20 years until retirement. We trawled the country trying to find a working jewellers who could work with a titanium piece of engine and eventually found one in Birmingham. They etched a drawing of Concorde into the inside of the ring alongside our initials and our wedding date.
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August 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Hazel and Adam stamped their personalities all over their unique & beautiful wedding under canvas, and that’s just the way we like it here at Brides Up North.
What better way to start the week than a wedding involving lots of pretty touches, vintage finds, brilliant blooms and a first night spent sleeping in a chicken hat… oh, yes. Read on, read on…
With images by Brides Up North sponsor JB Creatives.
hazel says: We got engaged in a wine bar in London, the day before we went on holiday. My sister had just come back from a year in Canada, and as hard as Adam tried to get rid of her, we hadn’t seen each other in ages, so in the end he had to tell her to go and wait in the toilets while he proposed!
We were married on October 4th 2014 – we wanted to get married while Adam’s sister who lives in New Zealand was back in the country. We got married in St. Helen’s church in Escrick, just outside of York. We absolutely loved the church, and it was close to where we held our reception. Helen at Escrick Park was absolutely fantastic, as were Papakata who provided the teepees. They both did such a great job of making our day so special, perfect and unique to us.
Our venue was a field – this meant that we could choose absolutely every detail ourselves and make our day exactly as we wanted. It meant some very long days in the run up, and I never expected my wedding to include a lesson in how to run a generator or heavy lifting of fridges, but it was 100% worth it!
We didn’t want a strict style or colour scheme – just things that we liked. I guess you could say that we went for a vintage theme, but really we just picked the things that we thought looked nice! We deliberately avoided a strict colour scheme, and just went with pastels where colour was required.
I chose a lace wedding dress from an outlet in Northallerton. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress I knew would inevitably end up covered in grass and mud – which it did!
Adam wore suit trousers, a shirt and waistcoat from Next. He tried on a couple of suits but they looked too formal and we wanted a more relaxed style.
The groomsmen wore the same as Adam, but with different coloured ties, and I only had my sister as a bridesmaid. This made it much easier, and she just picked a dress that she liked!
We hired VW campervans to sleep in at the teepees, and ended up using one to transport me to the church too. They were from The Campervan Company in Thirsk.
Jane Beadnell from JB Creatives was our photographer, she was absolutely fantastic from start to finish and she takes brilliant photos. She did an amazing job and captured our day perfectly in a style that really suited the wedding itself. We had so many lovely comments from our guests about how hard she worked and the lovely photos.
My bouquet was made up predominantly of roses, hydrangea, and freesias. The flowers were provided by another friend – Sarah Richardson at Leafy Couture, she also did an amazing job, with our very limited knowledge of flowers and vague descriptions of what we liked!
The flowers for the reception were also provided by Leafy Couture – again lots of roses and freesias – in mini milk bottles on the tables. We also decorated with lots of home made bunting.
Adam was in charge of the favours – he had a boy’s night in and made them all! Everyone had a big bag of marshmallows to toast on the open fires, and a jar of hot chocolate to take home and help them through the morning after!
We had an afternoon tea, so rather than more cake we had wheels of cheese provided by Love Cheese in York. We are both big cheese fans, and we served it up after the afternoon tea with a glass of port (or 3!) – so it was great to see the guests tucking into it.
Katie & Maz at The Flax & Twine in York provided our catering – they were amazing, providing solutions to Adam’s crazy ideas and stopping him when they got out of control – he desperately wanted to make and serve crepes to all 130 guests personally!! In the end we settled for afternoon tea, followed by the cheese from our “cake” then later in the evening we had a hogroast provided by The Hog & Apple in York, and finally a waffle station – dreamt up by Adam and spectacularly brought to life by Katie & Maz from their vintage caravan… amazing! We provided all of the drinks, the wine was Cono Sur Bicicleta because Adam works in a bike shop and all of the bottles had a bicycle on them, and then we put on four beers – two from North Wales where my dad’s family is from, and two from the local York Brewery!
We tried to have lots of special touches – we painstakingly collected all of the crockery for the afternoon tea, and it included a set my granny was given as a wedding present over 60 years ago! We made lots of things too, all of the bunting, the bar, the photo booth, the coconut shy, the table plan was made of ladders covered in things that were important to us both, and the typewriter we used to write the invitations and sewing machine that made all of the bunting made an appearance too!
In the evening we had a ceilidh provided by the Dark Horse Ceilidh Band from Harrogate – they were great fun, then we hooked up the ipod for the rest of the evening.
The whole day was amazing, but the end was our favourite. We waved off our last guests on to a coach at 1am, and then had the teepee all to ourselves to reflect on the day. We were meant to sleep in the campervan, but Adam forgot to bring the duvet and the keys went home with a guest. By this point, it was pretty cold in the teepees, so I slept in my wedding dress, Adam slept in his suit, and then we raided the fancy dress box from our photo booth for extra warmth. I’m pretty sure there are no other brides that can claim to have spent their wedding night in their dress, an army camouflage jacket and a chicken hat!
Straight after the wedding we spent a week in the Dales in the camper van we had hired – mostly catching up on sleep and recovering from doing so much in the run up to the wedding. We then had 2 weeks in South Africa in January which was absolutely fantastic – the highlight of which was a 2 night stay in a tree house.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t leave too much to the last minute! The night before the wedding I was up late refining the ipod playlist, and Adam arrived at the church with the decorations after the guests did! Ooops!
June 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime
When it comes to tying the knot it’s always great if you, or those close to you, have some fabulous skills you can use, not only to save yourself a few pennies, but also to make the day more personal and memorable.
Today’s bride Danielle is a baker, so not only did she bake her own wedding cake, but she also made her guests’ trio of desserts for the wedding breakfast (she admits she likes a challenge). Better still, Danielle’s Aunty is a florist so as well as lots of sweet treats, her wedding day was brimming with beautiful blooms all carefully arranged by her talented relative.
The day as a whole looks like an incredibly loved-up, emotional and fun-filled affair set against a well styled backdrop.
We must also congratulate the happy couple on the fantastic news that they are expecting their first baby in September. All together now…ahhhh!
With images by Alexandra Holt Photography.
danielle says: We got engaged at the place where we met! Jack took me back to London where we had met at a student ambassador event. He got down on one knee in a lovely snowy park and I had no idea. I cried. A lot! He had then arranged for all of my friends to be at the friend’s house we were staying a, and they had organised an engagement party to celebrate! Later we went for posh cocktails up a super high building in London. All in all, the perfect engagement.
Our wedding day was 23rd August 2014. We chose the date because we wanted a summer wedding and also because it was a bank holiday weekend.
We got married at St Olaves Church in York. We chose it because even though neither of us are from York originally, it was now our home and where we wanted to bring our family up. The church was suggested to us by a friend and we went along to meet the vicar and congregation and they were all lovely. Our reception venue was the beautiful Hornington Manor where we had a Papakata tepee.
We didn’t have a themeas such, we just went for a rustic/vintage feel. Coming from an arty background, we made a lot of the decorations ourselves and felt this made it extra special! We chose the style because neither of us really like anything matching, and it seemed to fit our creative personalities. We didn’t have a colour scheme either – just lots of it! Pastels mainly but some brights thrown in there too.
I chose my dress from a bridal shop called Elizabeth of York in York. It was probably only the second or third dress I tried on and it was perfect! Lace all over, a long (ish) train and quite fitted at the top.
We hired a vintage cream VW Beetle for myself and my dad to get to the church and the boys had a VW camper van in black. They were hired from LoveDubz Campers in York – the friendliest car company people ever! We also hired a vintage double decker bus for our guests. This was from Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company.
Our photographer was an old friend of mine called Alex Holt. She is the most amazing photographer and I couldn’t recommend her enough. She gets shots when you don’t even know she’s there and every single one was perfect! They took my breath away – I couldn’t believe it was our wedding!
Luckily, my Auntie is the best florist in the world, so she did my flowers for me. We had a lot of flowers! Mine and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were hand tied bouquets of wild flowers with lots of colours and variations of flowers. Beautiful.
My Auntie also did the reception flowers for me. I went along to the wholesalers and choose hundreds of flowers and then she worked her magic! We had lots of vases scattered over all of the tables, hanging bird cages filled with flowers and lanterns lining the pathway to our wedding reception filled with flowers too.
As a baker by trade I’m a lover of all things sweet so for favours I used small jars with lids and filled them with yummy gourmet popcorn then labelled each jar with the guest’s name.
I made my own wedding cake as it’s what I do every day! We had a simple three tiered stacked cake and covered it in ribbons and fresh flowers. I didn’t want to make life too complicated for myself!
Our wedding breakfast and evening food was provided by a company called The Hog and Apple. We had a delicious starter of ham hock terrine and a main of roast meats and posh veg! I made the trio of desserts myself (I like a challenge!) and we had mini cheesecakes, chocolate dipped strawberries and tiramisu heart stacks. The evening food was a hog roast which was divine!
When our guests arrived at our wedding reception we had a beautiful acoustic guitarist/singer called Jonny Woodhead who played to our guests whilst they had arrival drinks. We then had a band in the evening called The Hot Jazz Biscuitsand they were amazing! We had our own laptop and playlist for after the band had finished. Perfect!
As a special touch on the day my family had arranged to let a helium balloon off for my Mum who we lost when I was 18. It was a really nice surprise for me and made the day extra special.
Our wedding reception was held in the garden of a Manor House called Hornington Manor near York and it was held in a teepee. The teepee company Papakata were truly fantastic and I would highly recommend them!We would highly recommend both our wedding venue and reception venue to other couples as they were fantastic. Hornington Manor is a great huge house that you can hire out. There are around 16 self-catering rooms where all the family could stay and made the long bank holiday weekend an extra special one!
I think the ceremony was my favorite part of the day. Emotional, meaningful and perfectly suited.
We went to Cornwall on our honeymoon which was lovely. Jack had hired us a camper van for a few of the nights which was a nice surprise and I then surprised him with a trip to Monza, Italy, to see the Formula 1 (he is a huge fan!) as it was his 30th birthday whilst we were away.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to do as much as you can yourself without causing yourself too much stress! Don’t be scared to shop around either – there are things that you won’t want to skimp on but others that you might be able to get some good bargains on if you shop around!
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