Brides Up North

Take Your Marks! A Real Wedding In The North East – Nick & Sarah

February 25th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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Need a Monday morning endorphin boost?  I’m still on a high after yesterday’s amazing Brides Up North Bridal Bonanza (what a day people!) but I think it might take more than coffee, toast and a banana to get me started today.  So what’s better than a burst of colour and fun to get the week off to a cracking start?  With images by Ruth Mitchell Photography, Sarah and Nick’s “Wedding Chase” is brimming with energy, personal touches, DIY details and love.  Get set…

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Sarah & Nick from Sarah MacVean on Vimeo.

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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Sarah says:  We got engaged on a weekend to Keswick in the Lake District. We were on a hike up one of the mountains and I was walking ahead. I heard Nick shout me back to look at something. He had painted a stone with a poem and placed it on the top of a cairn so when I found it and read it I turned around back to him and he was on one knee. It was perfect. It was still such an amazing surprise.

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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We got married on 21 July 2012 at Hurworth Methodist Church, with the reception at Michelin rated Bay Horse.  I grew up in Hurworth and we chose the church as it was where I used to go as a child and always knew it was where I wanted to get married. We chose The Bay Horse as we wanted an outdoor feel and didn’t want to be inside a hotel all day. We were able to have a marquee and use the gardens so it was perfect – plus the food is totally amazing. It was great that the guests were able to walk from the church to the reception as Hurworth is such a pretty village. We also knew there would be some fantastic scenery for the photos.

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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We are both very keen runners so we hosted our own Wedding Chase (!) and we teamed that with a country fair feel. Most of all we wanted it to be relaxed and be more fun than too formal with lots of colour. 

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I love bright colours and originally we had chosen pink as a colour base, but while looking for bridesmaids dresses we found some amazing green ones (my favourite colour) which all the girls loved although we teamed it with pink and blue for decorations and flowers.

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I’m not really used to dressing up so to be honest I found dress shopping quite stressful. As I am small a lot of the dresses didn’t fit in the right areas and were so long. I must have tried on about thirty dresses by the time I found my dress.  After trying on a few plainer dresses the lady in the shop sensed that I wanted something a bit different and brought out ‘the one’. It was very princessy and floaty and different from the others I’d tried and fitted much better. I felt special in it and my mum and bridesmaid cried so I knew it was a winner.  I’m glad I didn’t go down the safe dress route as I felt great in it on the day.

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The girls wore full length green dresses from Monsoon which were floaty and complimented my dress. The boys wore dark blue hired suites from Woven in Durham, they also custom made Nick’s suit which was pin stripe blue and looked amazing.

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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The minister – Andrew – did a beautiful service and as my father had passed away last Christmas he included some lovely words about him during the service. While we were signing the register we put up pictures of Nick and I growing up with music in the background which kept guests entertained.

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I actually made my own bouquets for me and the girls as love to do crafty thing. I was really pleased with the flowers. I also attached my Dad’s ring to my bouquet so I felt like he was there with us.

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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Unknown to us members of our running club did a guard of honour when we came out of the church which was awesome.

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We really wanted to personalise the day and we had so many special touches.  We had race numbers on the back of guests chairs instead of place name cards, which most guests ended up wearing by the end of the night and we gave all the guests race medals as favours.

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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We asked our guests or their favourite songs and played them all during the day.  We were originally going to have a band but eventually decided on a disco as we love a good dance. It was great and perfect for the day. We also added a few games on the tables, had bubble machines and piñatas and of course a limbo pole. We did a quiz on how well the guests knew us which was fun, and also had a sweet table with personalised bags for guests to take home

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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We knew we wanted something a bit different and didn’t want to go down the traditional white cake route. I have a love of baking and cake decorating and decided to do the cake myself. My mum made the fruit part and I made the cupcakes and we decorated them with lots of bright colours to match out colour scheme. It certainly had the wow factor and got lots of notice.

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It’s so hard to pick a favourite part of the day. Being there with our closest friends and family and having them spend such as special occasion with us was certainly one. It was great to see everyone smiling all day and enjoying themselves. It was awesome being introduced into the reception as Mr and Mrs Watson. I loved the ceremony and saying our vows as our minister made it so personal to us, it’s important to remember that is the part which is about just the two of you, after that it all goes crazy. My mum also made a beautiful speech on behalf of her and my dad which I know was hard for her but she did amazing. I loved every minute of the day, especially knowing I was married to Nick.

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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We spent our wedding night at Clowbeck – a lovely bed and breakfast in Hurworth and the following day went on a mini-moon to the Lakes for the week after the wedding and us being us tagged a 24 hour running race onto the end of it. We asked for contributions to our proper honeymoon from guests and are planning on getting away next year.

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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My top tips for other Brides Up North would be that I know it’s a cliché but just enjoy the day, it really does go so fast. Invest in a good photographer, ours was great, we also hired a videographer (Sarah McVean) who captured so much of the day that we hadn’t seen and it was great to watch the ceremony again.

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Don’t over invite, we were lucky and didn’t feel pressure from family to invite people we didn’t want which we were glad of, you spend so much of the day meeting and greeting everyone, so make sure it’s spent with people you really want there.

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Pick good ushers, ours were great and ended up doing so much, and all the jobs behind the scenes.

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Most importantly don’t sweat the small stuff. For example I forgot to wear my bracelet and Nick forgot to wear his button hole, neither of which stopped it from being the best day we could imagine.

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Ruth Mitchell Photography

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Congratulations Sarah & Nick!

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Would you like to see your own Real Wedding featured here?  Here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Ruth Mitchell Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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It’s a (Wedding) Jungle Out There! Supplier Showcase: Real Oasis

May 3rd, 2011 | Julia Braime

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After Wills and Kate lined the aisle at Westminster Abbey with real trees, it seems that bringing the outside in may just be en vogue.  Stay ahead of the trend with Real Oasis.

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Fancy a countryside wedding in the heart of the city or a jungle in your back garden?  Real Oasis can bring nature to you when saying I do! Brides Up North chats to this Featured Supplier about topiary, all things flora and breaking with tradition…

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Real Oasis

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What services does Real Oasis offer?

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Greenery hire for special events, i.e. Palm trees, bamboos, olive trees, topiary, artificial grass, shrubs, floral displays, wedding arches, trees…the list is endless. From providing a pair of matched topiary lollipops through to creating a wedding jungle.

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Real Oasis

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What is your favourite "look" that Real Oasis has created and why?

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Wow, that’s a difficult one. From a personal point of view I always like the challenges when someone says “We’d like to do X or how can we achieve Y?”! Creating the first wedding jungle was exciting – two hours to get 400 plants into place and no time to snag and twiddle but it went really well. Another memorable one was creating a circle of large birch trees with fairy lights in them as a meeting spot at midnight, the photos we were sent were all blurred but you could tell it was a special time with everyone sitting, chatting and laughing, it looked like it went on until dawn.

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What are the plant trends for weddings in 2011?

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“Experimental” seems to be this years growing trend. Topiary is always in demand for weddings but we are seeing more and more people are starting to experiment with the look of their weddings, especially for couples over 30. Creating a themed wedding using plants is on the rise and people are definitely getting more experimental with what they can achieve.

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Real Oasis

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What "themes" can you cater for and how would this work?

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If it’s greenery related we can probably do it. In the past we have done jungles, bamboo forests, tree walkways and bespoke creations like using greenery to create a certain effect. This area is probably the most interesting from Real Oasis’s point-of-view because we get to be creative, rather than just placing specimen plants.

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Are plants and flowers really that important at a wedding?  Why?

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Not at all. Plants and flowers have to mean something to the individuals concerned, just because having flowers at a wedding is a tradition that does not mean that a wedding has to have them. We hate it when the bride or groom calls and they are obviously not particularly interested but are just going through the motions.

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On the other hand, when the couple are excited about what is possible and want to achieve something special that’s great and it makes working towards their event a pleasure.

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Real Oasis

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What sets your service apart from other similar companies?

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There are only three companies in the UK doing what we do. The other two are based near London, one of them specialises in film work rather than weddings.  However, there are quite a few companies that supply topiary.

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When we compare ourselves to these competitors I think we come out pretty well. We constantly strive to come up with new ideas and products, we don’t just supply topiary. We are always experimenting in order to make a real impact.

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On the floral side, we work with a number of fantastic floral companies and individual florists. In addition, we refer work on if a client is not having any plants.  This arrangement works well as the florists tend to reciprocate when they need plants.

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Real Oasis

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What flowers or plants would you choose for your own wedding?

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Cheeky, I’m already married. ;)

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I think a lot would depend on the venue we booked. I might have to get married quite a few times to have all the different options that are available, that would be expensive but it would be fun.

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on prices for your services?

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Every event we do is bespoke, no two weddings are the same and everyone has a different vision of what they would like to achieve. Price wise our plants range from cheap and cheerful items like small table top lavenders or olive plants at around £5 through to seriously large palm trees and bamboos some costing hundreds.

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Real Oasis

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?

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Most people find us through referrals or the website www.realoasis.com and get in touch to chat through their requirements. If anyone wants to visit, they are welcome but they must make an appointment, as the plants are located on a number of working nurseries.

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Real Oasis

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Any thing else that Brides Up North should know?

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There’s more secret sauce!

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At this point, we are not giving much away apart from saying that we are calling it the ultimate wedding arch. It’s a fantastic product, which hotels, marquee companies, wedding planners, everyone in the wedding industry whom we have discussed the idea with has been very enthusiastic about. The ultimate wedding arch will go live in June 2011.

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We think there will be a huge demand for weddings and will not only look great but will also solve a number of problems for weddings using outdoor spaces.

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We also offer a design service which is free of charge, especially useful for clients that are not used to working with plants as inexperience can lead to hiring completely the wrong type or size of plants.

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Real Oasis

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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We think our prices are very fair, but we do offer a discount based on quantity. We also have trade accounts for wedding professionals.

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Why do you read and like Brides Up North?

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Huh? Doesn’t everyone? ;)

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The approach is really fresh, passionate and very exciting.

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Real Oasis is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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