Charlotte Balbier

breezy boho. a fun filled papakata wedding in north yorkshire – fiona & james

May 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (32)

Today’s wedding couple booked their big day for the middle of summer with the hope of blue skies and sunshine. Fortunately the unpredictable British weather was kind and delivered just that for their teepee reception held at the local cricket ground.

Highlights for us include Fiona’s stunning lace dress and her choice of boho-style, short white dresses for her maids complete with girly gyp headpieces. Ladies you look gorgeous!

In cricket terms we’re ‘bowled’ over by this fab Yorkshire wedding!

With images by Valentina Weddings.

Fiona and James (Papakata) from Bouncing Ball Films on Vimeo.

fiona says: We got engaged in October 2012. It was on a rainy day (as it always is) at the top of Cat Bells in the Lake District. We decided to get married on 9th August 2014. Bang in the middle of summer, hoping for some sunshine!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (15)

Our ceremony was at our local church, St Radegunds Church in Scruton, North Yorkshire, which we can see from our living room window. We love where we live so it was nice to keep everything local and for our guests to enjoy our fab village. We decided to hire a Papakata teepee for our reception which was pitched at our village cricket ground where my dad has played cricket for years. They were so accommodating and we were able to use the loos in the pavilion which saved us many pennies!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (8)

There wasn’t really a set style for the wedding. I seem to acquire lots of random bits and bobs, so these kind of became the props for the day – an old vintage singer, a bargain wooden wardrobe my friend bought from a hospice sale and lovely retro marmalade pots.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (17)

I tried on every kind of style of wedding dress you can imagine and had good old laugh in the process! I found that I really liked lace and something quite fitted. I changed the back of the dress, to have more of a full keyhole style back as it was a high neck and added some onto the length to the train. It felt really vintage and quite a lot dressier than I pictured myself in, but I absolutely loved it. I got it from Charlotte at the Bridal Lounge in Northallerton – I can’t recommend this place enough!

To accompany my dress, I chose nude Hasbeens for my shoes and wore a gyp floral headpiece made by my lovely florist, Lucy. My hair was done by Becca Hunton and Jackie at Lady J’s did my makeup.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (18)

James hired his and his boys’ suits from Most Suitable in Newcastle. They were grey with a mushroomy coloured cravat and a grey waistcoat. We also had some handmade cufflinks made through Most Suitable as pressies for all of the boys and a pair of matching ‘Happy Socks’.

The girls had short white dresses from ASOS with aubergine clogs from Lotti’s in Stockholm. It was a really simplistic but boho style and they also wore a floral gyp headpiece to match mine.

Our little page boy Archie wore summer tweed trousers, a white linen shirt and braces, all from H&M, with some Saltwater sandals in blue. Meanwhile our little flower girl Harlowe wore a white cotton summer dress from Zara, yellow Saltwater sandals and a floral head piece to match the other girls.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (20)

We used my bridesmaid’s Dad’s camper, Bertie to transport us on the wedding day. He drove me and my Dad to church, and then me and James to the tepee after the service. A big thank you to Les for Bertie the camper! Our friends also surprised us with a hand drawn ‘just married’ sign and beer cans tied to Bertie!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (25)

Our photographer was Mark of Valentina Weddings. Mark was recommended to us by friends and we just clicked instantly! He’s so lovely, totally approachable and super creative. Mark listens to everything you say you’d like, styles of shots and compositions you love but equally suggests ideas that he has. We had a Pinterest board going for us both to pin photography ideas to and it’s the biggest photography board you’ll ever see!

Our wedding album, Mark and I designed together, which was great fun. The quality of the album is so high, definitely worth the money! Every one of our guests spoke of how professional and friendly Mark was, and one of our closest friends has already booked him for her wedding off the back of ours!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (26)

Mark also recommended to us a wedding videographer – Dom at Bouncing Ball Films and Ryan at Riff Raff Photography. At first we weren’t so keen, but in hindsight we are so glad we did. The finished video has been put together and footage edited so cleverly to create a short snap shot of our day. The choice of music was totally in their hands and perfectly suits our day. We have a huge smile every time we watch it!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (27)

The bouquets and headpieces I chose were all gyp bound by natural garden twine, as were the boys’ buttons holes. We kept the church flowers really simplistic, just small tin buckets full of gyp. Churches have so much heritage and beauty that I think you should just leave them be.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (31)

In the teepee we had beautiful multi coloured dahlias on the tables in the retro marmalade pots and a wooden crate filled with sunflowers. Again really simplistic but super vibrant creating a contrast from the neutral tones of the bouquets and church flowers. Our florist Lucy Hope was great and she helped with props that we needed too.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (29)

I designed our own wedding stationery, a small booklet invitation with foil blocking detail of the teepee illustration and hand rendered typography. I also drew all of the signage for the day and designed the thank you postcards through my business, Plewsy.

The table numbers were created by hanging old cricket score board numbers from the beams of the teepee, it was nice to have a link back to the cricket club whilst it also left us with more room on the tables for wine!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (35)

I totally forgot about the cake until two weeks before the wedding. Luckily our local farm shop, Springhouse Farm Shop, came to the rescue and created a beautiful naked sponge cake. They delivered it to the teepee on the morning of the wedding. The caterers layered it with strawberries and cream and we had a cake!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (36)

We wanted a relaxed feel to the day and so decided on tapas for the food. Our caterers, Paul and Chris of Indulge in Harrogate, were recommended by a work colleague and again when I met Paul I knew I trusted him to be the caterer for our big day! I had some ideas, but Paul suggested most of the dishes. Canapés were served with prosecco to our guests when they arrived at the teepee. We had crazy amounts of tapas including spicy chicken wings, tabbouleh, vegetable lasagne, chicken paella and chorizo. We served the wedding cake for pudding with berries and cream.

Paul and his team also ran the evening barbecue, serving grilled halloumi, salmon, chicken, homemade kebab skewers, coleslaw and a humongous salad! To drink we went for Rioja and Pinot Grigio for wine on the tables and behind the bar, along with barrels of Black Sheep and Carling (we ran out and had to raid the village pub for more!)

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (42)

We booked Goldsands, a local band who we had seen play live a couple of times before, to entertain our guests. They are acoustic and were perfect for our venue. Everyone has said how great they were and they have been booked a fair few times by our guests since.

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (45)

We filled my friend’s retro wardrobe that she lent us full of disposable cameras, tambourines, sombreros, maracas, glitter and other bits and bobs! We also managed to exchange some bales of straw for a few free pints with a local farmer for seating outside the teepee! Oh, and borrowed a retro sofa from the cricket pavilion which was perfect!

As a special touch James and a few of our friends surprised me with a fireworks display, along with a life sized cut out of Guy Martin (long story)!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (40)

We would highly recommend Papakata to other wedding couples – Rhian and the team were fab. All the organisation went so smoothly and the teepees are so bloomin’ gorgeous! My favourite part of the day has to be seeing so many of our friends and family together in one place, shaking tambourines and feather bowers on the dance floor!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (47)

We flew to Ibiza for a week a couple of days after the wedding day. We stayed near the hippy village, it was really chilled out, super-hot with lots of beer and sunshine. Perfecto! In the October we used our honeymoon pot (set up through Spear Travels) to visit Thailand for a couple of weeks. We spent a couple of days in Bangkok, then flew south to Krabi / Ao Nang for a little while, then spent the rest of our time on Koh Phi Phi. It is such a lovely relaxed country, with beautiful coast lines and a great culture. We rode elephants, went on long boat trips to four small islands and drank a lot of mojitos!

a Papakata wedding in Yorkshire (c) Valentina Photography (49)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – don’t stress! The best advice I can give is to go with suppliers that you get on with and click with! I did this with every supplier and each and every one worked their socks off to create our day. If you trust the people you book, this will take the stress away from you! Also people don’t notice if there’s a flower out of place or a mark on a napkin. It might matter to you, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not a huge deal. Just relax and enjoy your big day!

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love lights. a relaxed yet glamourous tipi wedding at home – carly & louis

January 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (16)

Can we all just pause for a moment please and admire today’s bride’s beautiful wedding style? From her bejewelled headband to her full length veil and beaded gown, this lady looks like she’s straight off the catwalk.

And her boy doesn’t scrub up badly either, does he?

Carly and Louis’s super stylish, yet relaxed tipi wedding celebration was full of fun, blousy blue blooms, twinkling fairy lights and special little touches.  Just lovely.

Be inspired…

With images by GS Studio.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (17)

carly says: We were on a snowboarding holiday in Sauze D’oulx, Italy for New Year’s 2013/2014. Half way down a gorgeous tree lined slope, snow coming down on New Year’s Day, Louis stopped me saying he needed a rest, when we stopped, he flipped over onto both knees (still strapped in) and pulled the little box out his pocket.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (23)

We set the date for 6th September 2014, we chose it hoping it would be a good day for the weather, it was so nerve wracking getting married in a tipi, it could have gone one way or another!

We got married in a tipi supplied by the fantastic Unique Tent Company in my parents’ garden. It had always been a dream of mine ever since they bought the place, they weren’t quite as excited as I was when I came to them with the idea, but they came round in the end and it couldn’t have been more perfect. It was a real labour of love getting the garden ready.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (30)

We had a very natural, garden theme, it just fit with the fact we got married at home, very relaxed. Charlotte from The Finishing Touch Company and Helen at Bels Flowers really pulled the whole place together, it was an absolute wonderland.

We chose to go with blues and greys for our colour palette, the stone in my engagement ring is a star sapphire and blue-grey in colour so we decided to follow that.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (42)

I chose an Eliza Jane Howell full length gown with long sleeves in a heavily beaded 20’s style, I felt so glamorous the second I put it on, I knew it was the one. I bought it from Kathryn S Trueman in Morpeth and the girls were amazing!

Louis wore a three piece navy suit, tartan tie and some fabulous Grenson shoes from End Clothing, very dapper!

Our groomsmen, all TWELVE of them wore the same as Louis, and the bridesmaids wore the Ghost dye to order Chelsea dress.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (43)

Gemma Smith at GS Studio was our photographer and she was fantastic and followed exactly what we wanted. I can’t recommend her enough, everyone was so at ease, and the pictures are so natural, exactly what we wanted!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (46)

My dad bought a 1953 Ford Popular when I was about 3 years old and after a few fun trips as a child it sadly went into retirement when I was about 8 years old.  Dad knowing how much I adored the old car secretly had it all fixed up, serviced, new wheels the lot as a surprise and we’re so lucky to be able to take our little wedding car for a tootle now whenever the weather permits all be it at a max of 20mph (which made the journey to the church that morning VERY interesting!)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (1)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (12)

Helen at Bels Flowers provided the most beautiful natural bouquets of hydrangeas, nigella, dusty miller and even included some herbs so the bouquets had the most beautiful aroma.

The Finishing Touch Company provided most of the internal decorations with bell jars and watering cans bursting with flowers on the tables, the festoon lighting and the blackboard seating plan were the piece de resistance from Coco Luminaire.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (57)

We gave out Krispy Kreme Doughnuts as favours, they went down a treat!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (58)

My mum’s best friend made the wedding cake, she’s so talented! I wanted an informal cake that really represented us so she made it look like an alpine slope with two little snowboard figurines on the top dressed in our wedding clothes, it was so special and absolutely delicious!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (65)

We chose a band called the Soundcasters from London, we’d heard them on the holiday in the Alps when we got engaged and couldn’t get them out of our heads, they had the whole place jumping every night, exactly what we wanted for our special day.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (71)

100% everyone we used were top notch, we didn’t hit one hitch throughout the day, largely thanks to the co-ordination from our catering team at Sheer Elegance Catering, Anthony and Chris ran the day like clockwork and Jane from Newcastle Falcons supplied the bar.  She managed to come up with every request we had and didn’t run short of a thing on the night.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (70)

Snaparazzi Photobooths supplied us with one of their fabulous booths which went down a treat and Coco Luminaire supplied the large illuminated letters, they even managed to get them outside on the lake, it looked absolutely stunning! Bit-a-Sweet supplied the sweety cart and were kind enough to keep it stocked all night.

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (79)

I couldn’t choose a favourite part of the day, I guess the speeches were pretty special though, I have the give my dad, Louis and all 12 best men their dues, we were in stitches!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (84)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (88)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (85)

After the wedding we took a two week snowboarding holiday in the alps, a little energetic for a honeymoon, but it was so much fun, we had a week alone and a week with friends, my stomach still hurts from laughing so much!

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (91)

a tipi wedding at home (c) GS Studio (96)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to relax, enjoy it and if you know you’re a worrier then give yourself plenty of time, it’s the most amazing day!

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relaxed romantics. a simple & stunning tipi wedding in Yorkshire – gemma & jim

November 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (34)

This morning we join Gemma and Jim for their simple yet stunning wedding in the Yorkshire countryside.  Our homecoming couple kept things plain yet interesting with delicate, handmade touches and a pretty pale colour palette for their celebration under canvas at the heart of village life.

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (13)

Gemma says: When Jim proposed it was totally unexpected! He had insisted on taking me out for a slap up evening meal as a Christmas treat. We live in London and it had snowed all day, I was wet, cold and just wanted to make sure we could get home! The odds were against him – my mood wasn’t the warmest, and little did I know, he had called my Mum to ask her permission – to be promptly told to call back later as she was ‘in the middle of dishing up tea’! Poor fella! He took me to the Oxo Tower Restaurant on the Southbank – at which point I insisted this was far too lavish and I would prefer to have a Chinese take away and save the money! He pressed on..! During the meal he started to look a little ‘off colour’ which I later realised was because he desperately needed the toilet but couldn’t risk standing up and me seeing a square bulge in the pocket of his skinny jeans! He proposed with the most romantic words of love for me and with a standing ovation from the other dinners when I said ‘yes’ (in floods!).

We married in a small village called Hackness, North Yorkshire on 6th September 2014 – close to where our families live. Hackness has a beautiful church and  wonderful countryside surroundings. It was quite tricky choosing the location as, living in London, there was a bit of a North, South divide! As luck would have it, we found a wedding blog showing a great wedding in the same village, with a Tipi reception at the village hall. We had been to our friends Tipi wedding and loved the idea of putting our own personal touches on the day. Plus we are outdoorsy people and go camping all year round – so this really suited us. It all started to fall into place!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (17)

We wanted to make everything ourselves to give our day a real personal touch – and save money of course! Romantic, rustic and simple was the theme! We didn’t want to over decorate the tipis as we thought they looked wonderful with simple sparkly lights. We tied in parts of our London life – our table plan was based on the tube map and we used Oxo Cubes (engaged in the Oxo Tower) to hold each name plate. My Mum made meters and meters of hessian table runners with a lace centre, and we had lots of glass jars and sundae dishes with candles in them, with sand from Scarborough Beach to hold them in place.

The initial colour scheme was duck egg, but the actual colour of duck egg blue is a very serious debate within our family and friends now! So we’ll just say ‘light bluey’!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (21)

My dress was from London Designer Bridal Room just off Oxford Street. I am very simple in what I wear day to day so I knew a large dress wasn’t for me…(I did have fun trying one or two on though!). I went for a simple, slinky dress which made me feel very elegant, womanly and, most of all, me!

Jim showed me quite a few pictures of David Gandy in suits…so I knew he wanted something quite fitted and trendy! We went to some amazing tailors but in the end the slim-fit style we found (as luck and budget would have it) in Red Herring at Debenhams was the one. It had a matching scoop neck waistcoat which looked perfect with his skinny French Connection tie. His shoes were from Linea at House of Fraser and shirt was a white slim fit dress shirt from TM Lewin.

The Bridesmaids and I had to do a lot of virtual shopping as they both live miles away. I came across the dresses on one of my many web searches and they both loved it! The dresses had a subtle sequin hem which tied in perfectly with my dress – from Kalico at John Lewis. The Bestman and Usher wore the same suit and tie as Jim. They were a little concerned with the ‘slim fit’ description but they both looked amazing!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (23)

For our centre pieces we ordered 100 stems of loose gypsophila from our florist, to put into the vases we had decorated for the table centres. My Mother-in-Law has done a bit of floristry so she made sure each stem was cut nice and level. We also had (my favourite) white hydrangea heads in jam jars.

Our florist at Blooms of Scarborough was so clever, I wanted a simple gypsophila bouquet but she suggested tying in a hydrangea centre to match our centre pieces. I was so pleased with the final result which was all tied together with hessian.

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (25)

Our photographer was the wonderful Hayley Baxter. I have fallen in love a bit with Hayley… she is just a little genius and the nicest person to boot! We could not believe the wonderful intimate shots she managed – most of the time we had no idea she was there! Our edited pictures arrived very quickly – but we got a little sneak peek the day after via Facebook – which was such a lovely touch!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (30)

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (32)

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (38)

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (1)

We made all the favours ourselves. I made pretty dangly earrings for all the ladies and Jim made a ‘mix tape’ of all sorts of music (some meaningful, some just fun!) for the gents. We spent many a Sunday afternoon cutting and sticking and creating. I think I loved this part a bit more than Jim… but he is a dab hand with the heart shaped hole punch now!

On each table setting we added a question card from the Logo board game, which we thought would be a nice ice breaker.

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (4)

Having a tipi wedding limits your food choices to a degree but we managed to work it – I think! Well… no one went hungry! Malton Relish made all our gorgeous canapes and the vegetarian options of ‘Wild Mushroom Loaf’ and ‘Italian Vegetable Frittata’ they delivered them on the day so we didn’t have to worry about chilling them. Stepney Hill Farm provided the main meal of a Hog Roast with stuffing and apple sauce. Jim’s step father is a dab hand in the kitchen so he lovingly prepared some amazing salad accompaniments. We had lots of cheese and biscuits, wedding cake and my friend made delicious chocolate brownies for dessert. Late evening we had Pickering Fish and Chips arrive with their mobile van – which went down an absolute treat! We ran a free bar so shopped for the alcohol during various promotions in the supermarkets. Aldi was an absolute winner for spirits!  We also had a hand pull real ale from Scarborough Brewery which people went crazy for!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (9)

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

Jim’s Mum is a wonderful baker and so she kindly baked our cake – traditional fruit on the bottom tier and lemon sponge with lemon curd and butter cream on the top tier. Her super clever friend did all the icing. We have the figurines set now and sitting on our book case – a wonderful keepsake!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (35)

We were so pleased with The Big Party Band, a 5 piece band based in Keighley. We had seen them perform at a rare public gig and knew they were good! The music was a mix of modern and dance floor classics. The real wow factor comes when the band get on the dance floor with their wireless guitars – so much fun! We paid extra to hire their kit all day to allow us to have music during the day and a PA system for the speeches. We gave them two options for our first dance and they surprised us on the day having learnt them both – so gave us a first and last dance!

We put a confetti balloon in the centre of the dance floor which was popped during our first dance – the actually popping caused lots of laughs as it just wouldn’t go!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (46)

We had these huge LOVE letters which I scrounged from Debenhams on Oxford Street –  it was one of their valentines displays that they were throwing away. We underestimated how large they were which made for a bit of hilarity when trying to get them home on the tube!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (55)

Boutipi were our Tipi suppliers and they are just the best!! They are a family run business which really shows, nothing is too much trouble and they really care about giving you the best day possible! They even gave us a crash course in the Waltz the day before!

Crystal Penguin Events did our on the day coordination along with two waitresses my mum knows. I would recommend to anyone having a Tipi wedding to have someone there on the day to worry about timings etc. Steph made everything run like clock work, she also brought along some of her family to help run the bar and wash up!

Abbey Sound and Light hired our generator, we had no idea what size we would need but they worked this all out for us and plugged it all in – a real weight off our mind.

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (60)

Our wedding day was truly the best day of our lives. It’s impossible to say what our one favourite moment was – but saying our vows to each other was wonderful, we were finally becoming man and wife! I messed up my lines and cried all the way through…but people said they loved that it was sincere and not polished. The three days prior to our wedding was wonderful, everyone turning up to help decorate and lift and shift… just made your heart melt. We felt so lucky to have such hard working family and friends!

a cute tipi wedding with pale blue details (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (66)

We had a couple of days away after our wedding in Bruges – which was wonderful! Such a pretty and romantic place, perfect for relaxing and mooching about! We are planning our honeymoon for later next year.

I have so many tips for other Brides Up North! These types of blogs are so handy for reading about the experience of others. Having now been there, done that, I would have explored the second hand dress market a bit more, it is such a huge part of your budget and after all, most second hand dresses have only been worn once!

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Summer Lovin’. Canvas & Lace For A Real Tipi Wedding In The Peak District – Jess & Matt

June 2nd, 2014 | Rachel Parry

PH Weddings

I’m so excited to kick off the week and share Jess and Matt’s Real Wedding with you. Not only because it took place in my home city of Sheffield (and featured some fantastic suppliers I know *waves*) but also because it has all the right ingredients for one hell of a party.

In the run up to the wedding Jess and Matt built the excitement among their guests by tasking family and friends with helping to organise their special day, making them feel an important part of the proceedings whilst creating beautiful personal touches to set their wedding apart from others.

Then there’s the evening do – quirky outdoor location, amazing homemade food, locally brewed beer, live music and fire pits! What more could you want?

This is one wedding I wish I’d attended.

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Jess said: We got engaged on Monday 29th October 2012. We were in Spain visiting the beautiful Andalusian town of Granada and had spent a lovely sunny day at the 1,000-year-old Moorish citadel The Alhambra. As the sun was beginning to set (and my feet were beginning to ache) Matt suggested we walk to a viewpoint. An hour later we reached the top after a pretty steep climb. As I sat down on a bench to regain my breath, Matt bent down to tie up his shoelaces and returned with a stunning antique ring! On our return from Spain late that Friday night, Matt surprised me a second time by driving me from Liverpool airport to a luxury spa resort in Cheshire, where we stayed for the weekend.

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We decided to set the date for Saturday 10th August 2013. We wanted a summer wedding and, as we are both teachers, this date gave us enough time to prepare for the wedding but also to have a three-week honeymoon abroad.

We wanted a combination of a traditional church ceremony in the city alongside a more alternative reception venue in the countryside. So we chose our stunning parish church St John’s in Ranmoor, Sheffield, for the ceremony and Green Directions at Townfield Head Farm, Stannington, for our reception.

We wanted to have a very relaxed and informal wedding which was a bit different so we hired Papakata teepees.

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I love blues of different shades so this was our theme. It is also a colour which suits all of the bridesmaids. Our brilliant florist Tracey from Campbell’s Flowers also showed us lots of gorgeous blue flowers which would be in bloom in August so this sealed our decision.

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Initially I wanted a strapless lace wedding dress but the woman at the bridal shop I visited suggested I try on a scalloped neck lace dress called Ali by Augusta Jones which I fell in love with. It has a beautiful long chapel train and a stunning lace back with simple buttons. There’s a vintage belt which accentuates your waist and really sets off the lace. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford it so my sister (chief bridesmaid) helped me find a pre-loved dress, exactly the same and to my precise measurements, for half the price at My shoes were simple alabaster sling-backs by Bertie which I found in the Christmas sale.

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Matt wore a black French Connection suit which he’d recently bought and only worn once to an awards ceremony. He made it look more unusual by wearing a multi-coloured Ted Baker bow-tie and black shoes with an orange sole to complement his auburn hair!

My bridesmaids wore handmade baby blue 50s style dresses made-to-measure from Etsy with petticoats to boost the skirts. The ushers and best man all wore dark suits and blue ties (bow tie for the best man).

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We hired a Yorkshire Heritage vintage double decker bus to transport me and my family to the church and then took most of us to the farm afterwards. It was fab!

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As previously mentioned, our beautiful rustic bouquets were made by Campbell’s Flowers. They were absolutely stunning – lots of local blooms and even some eucalyptus from our own garden. My bridesmaids and I carried matching bouquets down the aisle. The groomsmen all had matching buttonholes. We also had a large, wild, ‘just-picked’ looking bouquet on each table at the reception.

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Lots of friends and family (especially my mum) pitched in to help make lots of hand-made touches to decorate the teepees. These included guest names on luggage tags which we strung from a washing line around the teepee entrance which had table names on the back and served in place of a table plan. We also made candle holders from empty jars we’d collected and decorated with hessian and lace, baby blue gingham table runners and bows for chairs, hand-sewn material hearts for each table, table names which were each a place in Sheffield with a picture and a menu on the back, plus patchwork cushions and blankets for the benches.

My Dad is a keen allotmenteer so when it came to the favours he donated lots of seeds with appropriate names such as ‘love in the mist’ or ‘party girl’. My parents then put them in rustic brown seed-envelopes and labelled to double up as place-names.

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Helen and Paul Haigh of PH Weddings did our photographs and we love them! They were very discrete and captured lots of hidden moments without being at all intrusive. We also had a great pre-wedding shoot in Endcliffe Park as part of their package.

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PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

Matt’s aunty makes the best desserts so she agreed to make enough cup-cakes for all of our guests. We bought a huge stand and another friend (with immaculate handwriting) wrote out guest names so that everyone could find their own cake.

On arrival at the farm, we ate scones (homemade by super-baker Matt’s mum) with clotted cream and jam (made with fruit from my Dad’s allotment). A complimentary drink of local ale or cider was also served. For our main evening meal, we used Coco Catering who provided a delicious and inexpensive barbecue of locally sourced meat such as sausages and lamb burgers alongside unusual salads such as butternut squash and cous cous. Later in the evening, they provided a snack-sized portion of fish and chips once our evening guests arrived.

PH Weddings

Matt and I bought all of the alcohol ourselves and sold it at cost price to keep everything as cheap as possible for our guests. We drank lots of prosecco and also had kegs of local ale and cider from Bradfield Brewery who I would highly recommend for great tasting drinks and efficient, well-mannered staff at a good price.

PH Weddings

To keep the children entertained during the day we had a section of the teepee devoted to kids’ things such as colouring books and games. The farmer Mark Woodward was really chilled and let the little kids all go for a farm tour during the speeches

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

We really wanted love music so we splashed out on an amazing live band The Cassettes from London who my brother had recommended. They played two one hour sets of motown and classics and were awesome!

In the middle of the teepees were fire pits which were great fun later at night. Once the band finished at midnight we all went into the ‘chill-out kungs’ and sat around the fire playing guitars, singing and carrying on the party until 4am.

PH Weddings

I would most definitely recommend Green Directions as a venue. For us it was the perfect as it’s close to Sheffield city centre whilst still having stunning views out into the peaks. The cost was much cheaper than at other farms we visited as they have their own wind turbine which provides all the electricity and there are also toilets on site so you save money on portaloos and a generator. What really made it special though was how laid back, friendly and enthusiastic Mark and his wife were.

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

I loved the whole day start to finish but perhaps the evening, when the band was playing and all of my favourite people were together dancing or relaxing in our giant teepees, was the best part.

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

PH Weddings

For our honeymoon we went to Sri Lanka on my parents’ recommendation as they’d be there when they were our age. Our favourite place was Casa Columbo where we stayed in the capital for our first two nights – we should have stayed much longer!

PH Weddings

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be if you’re organising the wedding yourself, rather than through a wedding planner at a hotel/venue, make sure you have a very patient, efficient and willing chief bridesmaid! Also, make sure there is someone on the day who knows exactly what needs to happen and ensure that contractors are not contacting you about logistics on the day. I would not have had such an amazing wedding without my sister and brother taking on these two taxing jobs!

PH Weddings

Congratulations Jess & Matt!

Would you like to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Get in touch!


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 PH Weddings

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The Editorials. Bride-o-meter Spring/Summer 2014

March 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Brides Up North for Belle Bridal Magazine SS 14

The start of every season always begins with a flurry of freelance commissions here at Brides Up North, and days spent with my head buried in my laptop feeling like “a proper writer”.  Of course, the end product is rarely very different from producing features for my own blog, but when it’s for someone else’s publication (and they’ve entrusted you with one, two or even four of their precious editorial pages) and it’s actually going to be “in print”, the stakes somehow seem higher. 

Brides Up North for Belle Bridal Magazine SS 14

Respected North East bridal title Belle Bridal Magazine celebrated their fifth birthday this season, and so, when they bestowed upon me the honour of selecting the hots and the nots of the wedding world for spring 2014, I was thrilled. But oh, the pressure!

So, with a lot of industry knowledge behind me, and a little bit of crystal ball gazing, these were my predictions for the trends that’ll be topping the charts (and sliding off the scale) at a wedding near you soon.  Tell me, are you incorporating any of these trends into your big day? 

I wrote…

Brides Up North for Belle Bridal Magazine SS 14

Going Up…


Blame Jay Gatsby, but flamboyance is back in a big way. A little party never killed nobody, but why do things by halves? After these mean recession years, we’re ready for some fun. Expect heavy embellishments, cascading blooms and excess all areas.

Katy Melling Photography

Image: Katy Melling Photography 

Lucabella Wedding Photography

Image: Lucabella Wedding Photography

Alternative Settings

It started with the tipi, and now there’s an outdoor option for almost every theme. Whether it’s a Scandinavian hat, Mongolian yurt or Bedouin tent, it’s still chic to say I do under canvas. Just remember to budget for a generator too!

Gerrard Photography

Image: Gerrard Photography

Jo Bradbury

Image: Jo Bradbury 

Structured Silhouettes

Amongst all the usual layers of lace and tulle a new breed of wedding gown is emerging: clean lines, sharp edges and super cool. Closer to catwalk trends than a Royal Wedding, these frocks are for the slick chicks who don’t want to leave their personalities by the church door. Choose bold shapes and structured satin (not a sequin in sight) for strut-your-stuff wedding day style.

Astral Sundholm Circa Brides

Image: Astral Sundholm Circa Brides 

KMR Bridal

Image: KMR Bridal 

Brides Up North for Belle Bridal Magazine SS 14

Gold Rush

Platinum will always be precious, but all the best dressed ring fingers are going for gold this season. Romantics should try rose gold and pave diamonds for an on trend look that’s forever timeless.

Helen Russell Photography

Image:  Helen Russell Photography 

Colour Me Pretty

Adding a touch of complimentary colour to your wedding day wardrobe is nothing new, but this is a trend that refuses to fade. Pastels are huge on the catwalks and in the bridal boutiques for 2014 and designers are upping the ante with all over washes of warmth or layered ombre lace effects. Go on, live life in colour! If a dip dye wedding dress isn’t for you, you can still give a nod to this pretty trend with colourful stationery or blushing blooms.


Image: Ian Stuart 

Going Down…

Traditional Tinsel

Forget the humble tiara, 2014 is the year that bridal headwear gets big and bold. From glittering bunny ears and feather head-dresses to vibrant flower garlands, the fashion forward bride will dare to decorate herself in colour and originality. Still not sure? Stick to simple for the ceremony and style things up for the after party!

Katy Melling Photography

Image: Katy Melling Photography

Brides Up North for Belle Bridal Magazine SS 14

James Melia Photography

Image: James Melia 

Cat Hepple Photography

Image: Cat Hepple Photography 

Words:  Julia Braime for Belle Bridal Magazine, S/S 2014


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Brides Up North/ Belle Bridal Magazine/ as credited where relevant

This is not a sponsored post

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

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