Charlotte Balbier

only natural. a moss-green themed wedding at meols hall – jen & ben

June 15th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (30)

Today’s couple had their heart set on their chosen wedding venue from the moment they viewed its website – and looking at the images below we can see why.

Meols Hall provided a wonderful rustic setting for Ben and Jen’s romantic big day with its exposed brick walls and large wooden beams tying in perfectly with the couple’s moss-green colour scheme.

To complete the desired look they added natural flower displays and a gorgeous naked wedding cake – rustic romance at its best!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (2)

jen says: We got engaged in May 2012. It was a while back but we’ve never been a couple to rush things: we got together in 2004! Ben arranged a long weekend break to Paris for my 28th birthday. It was not the most original choice, but Ben was going for the double-bluff!

We had a wonderful time seeing the sights, but it wasn’t until the last day when Ben proposed. We went to Sacre Coeur on top of Montmatre (the telescope scene from Amelie, with a sweeping view of Paris). Despite us having been partners for more than seven years, Ben was shaking with nerves, and it ended up being a very emotional moment for both of us. He gave me a platted string ring that turned out to be impossible to put on! Ben knew that I would appreciate a say in the choice of ring so he was waiting until we could go ring shopping together.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (4)

We set the date for 28th March 2015. I’m a primary school teacher, so it coincided with the start of the Easter Holidays. We had a hearts set on the venue, and it was one of the very few dates left for 2015 that worked well for me.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

Our chosen wedding venue was Meols Hall in Churchtown, Southport. Not far from Wigan, where my family live. We fell in love with it as soon as we saw their website. It is a wonderfully tasteful barn conversion that is more rustic than ostentatious. After we’d seen it, my parents went to visit it, and we were thrilled to hear that it was as beautiful in real life as it was in the website’s pictures.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

We had a relatively informal feel to the day. We didn’t want things to be straight-laced and serious. It really helped us – we were as relaxed as we could have been throughout the day.

Our order of service matched the style of our invites. They were both designed by a close friend of ours and featured a collage of fonts and black and white photos of Ben and I. As we both now live in London we also had a London Underground theme on the day. We wanted to bring a bit of the south up north! Our table names were stations in London that have meaning to both of us. The table plan was presented with an old London Underground map. We wrote funny(ish) short blurbs of why we had chosen the stations on the flip side of the table signs, to help break the ice on the tables.

We went with a moss green colour scheme, to complement the rustic venue, but to also go well with my hair.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (15)

I wore a beautiful Justin Alexander dress which I bought from Angelica Bridal in London. It was simple, elegant and covered in lace. I absolutely loved it! I added a moss green belt with a lace applique to fit in with the theme which I’m really glad about because I think it made the dress come alive.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (16)

On the wedding day Samantha Marshall did my makeup. It was fantastic and made me look glamourous yet natural! I would highly recommend her. Meanwhile, one of my oldest friends, and now professional hair stylist, Nicola Farrell, made my hair look wonderful! She plaited gypsum into the back which fit beautifully with the tasteful flower arrangements at the venue.

Ben didn’t want to hire a morning suit because he wanted something he could be proud of wearing over and over again. He found a tailored-fit three piece dark grey suit from T M Lewin that fit like a glove. He wore a luxury wide-collared plain white dress shirt from M&S and a well-matching moss green tie from Debenhams. The grooms and my dad wore the same suits as Ben.

My bridesmaids wore a moss green dress from Monsoon. They were a bargain and looked amazing!

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (18)

We hired a London cab to take us to the venue on the wedding day. We didn’t have any money left in the budget to hire a posh car, plus it fitted in with the London theme perfectly!

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (20)

James Tracey was our wedding photographer. His ethos mirrored our intentions for the day perfectly. The photos on his website were of a very high quality, but what set him apart was the imaginative, playful and natural feel that they had. We couldn’t recommend him highly enough. He was unobtrusive and a lot of fun to be with throughout the wedding day, and we now have a gallery-worthy selection of photos of our special day to cherish for the rest of our lives.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (21)

I had a beautiful and simple bouquet of callow lily, white rose and gypsum. It was provided by a florist that Meols Hall deal exclusively with, called Mary Ambrose who provided flowers for the whole day.

Flowers were all white and mirrored the bouquet: callow lily, rose and gypsum. We were given a wonderful degree of choice for all aspects of the flower decorations, and Mary gave us exactly what we asked for. She was fantastic.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (27)

We didn’t give favours out on the day and instead are donating a sum to the National Brain Appeal. This was in appreciation of the work they and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery did for a close friend of ours, who sadly passed away two years ago after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

For our wedding cake, we chose a slightly asymmetric naked Victoria sponge. It was based on a photo we had seen on the internet and was baked by All About Cakes in Southport. They recreated it perfectly and it tasted delicious!

Carringtons Catering deal with Meols Hall exclusively, so we chose a hot buffet with them for our wedding meal. We also chose a vegan stew to cater for Ben and a few other vegetarians. Before the meal we had canapés, and being a Wiganer, we had to have pies and peas for the evening celebrations!

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (45)

When it came to choosing entertainment, we listened to a lot of bands online before stumbling across Toni James. She sounded head and shoulders better than anything else we had heard, so chose her instantly. Although Toni provided us with the option of having a bigger band accompanying her, a pesky sound limiter at the venue meant that we couldn’t really have more than a four-piece. We were anxious about what sound they would be able to make, but they absolutely rocked! They normally play a lot of pop music, but Ben is a big fan of funk and soul. They had enough in their repertoire to make him very happy, and even learnt Erma Franklin’s Piece of My Heart for the evening.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (49)

In addition, a friend of mine, Zoe Baldwin, is an opera singer, and she very kindly agreed to sing three arias during the signing of the register. Our guests – and the registrars – all appeared spellbound! It made the ceremony very special indeed.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

As extra entertainment, we had little fun activities after the ceremony. There was a Polaroid camera and some old-fashioned fair games, like hoopla and a sweet stall, all made possible by our wonderful friends who created and operated everything.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (53)

We would absolutely recommend our venue to other couples! It was a stunning back-drop, with the whole day based in the one location. There was enough space to make it suitable for all weather possibilities. Also, the staff at Meols Hall were friendly, relaxed and professional, and helped the day progress seamlessly.

It is hard to choose to favourite part of the day as we had a few; saying our vows which we wrote ourselves, listening to Zoe sing, and dancing the night away whilst eating a pie! Heaven!

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (58)

For our honeymoon we went to Marrakech for five days. It was incredible. We stayed in a beautiful, scented and tranquil Riad just a few minutes’ walk of the main market. We took in the sights and sounds, bartered in the souks, ate like kings, pampered ourselves in one of the best spas the city had to offer and caught up on some much needed sleep! Although it flies by, no-one tells you how tiring your wedding day will be.

A Rustic Wedding at Meols Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (59)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to relax and enjoy yourself. As our photographer said, you get to be a rock star for the day – make the most of it! Also, use your friends and their talents. It made it really special, personal and unique.

We are hugely grateful to everyone who helped make our wedding the magical day that it was. In particular, my parents who gave so much of themselves on the day and the months leading up to it.

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golden. pronovias for a romantic wedding at rockliffe hall – emma & mark

June 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (68)

While we love to see the quirky wedding themes that certain couples pull out of the bag here at Brides Up North HQ, we also never tire a classic and romantic themed celebration like Emma and Mark’s big day.

After a decade together, Emma and Mark tied the knot during a traditional church ceremony followed by an elegant reception at Rockliffe Hall, complete with pretty styling in loved-up hues of pale pink and champagne.

Emma looked absolutely stunning in her lace Pronovias gown but was also keen for her maids to feel amazing on the big day too and so let them choose their dress style for the wedding. Certainly no sign of Bridezilla here then!

With images by Brides Up North featured supplier, Stan Seaton Photography.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (1)

emma says: Mark and I had been together for eight years when he proposed. We met at college at 16. Mark proposed to me in our flat in Gateshead on Christmas Day. I remember the morning vividly, in fact he hadn’t slept well all night! He woke very early on Christmas morning, showered and shaved and encouraged me to get dressed. I insisted on staying in my PJs like I always do on Christmas Day. Mark let me open my other presents under the Christmas tree. There was then a large box left at the back of the tree. As I unwrapped it I quickly saw there was a smaller box inside. At this point Mark went down on one knee and popped the question! My family were excitedly waiting to see the ring at Christmas dinner.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (8)

Our wedding was the 3rd August 2014. We were very keen to have a summer wedding and hoped for a warm sunny day which we were fortunate enough to get. With being a teacher it made sense having a summer wedding as we have lots of family and friends who are teachers who we wanted at the wedding. It also allowed a good amount of time off for our honeymoon.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (13)

We got married at St Philip and St James Church in Witton-le-Wear. I was born and raised in Witton village and the church was very meaningful to me and my family as it was where my younger brother and I were christened.

We then travelled to Rockliffe Hall for our reception. My mum encouraged me to visit Rockliffe Hall when we were first planning the wedding and as soon as we stepped inside we knew it had to be our venue. Rockliffe Hall is absolutely stunning and the staff are so accommodating.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (15)

We chose to get married in 2014 as that year we celebrated our tenth anniversary together. We chose a ‘Ten Years in Love’ theme where each table name was a year we had spent together with a picture of something special we had done during that year. We were both keen to keep the style of the wedding as traditional as possible and so went for a romantic feel with pink and cream roses.

We chose champagne as our wedding colour scheme as it fitted well with our romantic theme. My bridesmaids were at the front of my mind when picking the colours for the wedding as I wanted a colour that they would all feel comfortable wearing.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (16)

I knew from the beginning of planning the wedding that I wanted a lace wedding dress. Though I did make sure to try on other styles too. I was keen to wear a fitted lace dress and chose a beautiful Pronovias gown from Mia Sposa in Newcastle.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (41)

Mark was keen to buy himself and the other groomsmen a suit that fitted well. This wasn’t the easiest of tasks as we had to find a suit that would fit both my 16-year-old brother and our dads! We purchased the suits from T M Lewin. We hired the ivory waistcoats from Affleck and Moffat in Darlington and bought the champagne ties and pocket squares from Moss in Newcastle.

The bridesmaids were a great help in finding their dresses. I was keen for them to help shop for them as I wanted them to feel comfortable and happy on the day. We found their champagne BIBA dresses in House of Fraser. They looked beautiful.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (43)

For the big day we hired a Daimler and a Beauford from Classic Wedding Cars. My dad and I travelled in the Beauford and our bridesmaids and my mum travelled in the Daimler. Mark travelled with our best man in his car alongside my brother and his brother. Mark and I then travelled to Rockliffe in the Beauford.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (51)

Our photographers were Jane Miller and Stan Seaton from Stan Seaton Photography in Darlington. There was no question about choosing Stan and Jane as our photographers as my family had already worked with them before on a family photo shoot. We took a look at their wedding albums at a wedding fayre and were blown away by the quality of their work. They are both extremely professional but also very friendly and helpful.

On the day they felt more like our guests than photographers. Many of our guests commented on their work on the day of the wedding and also since seeing our wedding album. We would highly recommend them and can’t wait to work with them again in the future – perhaps when we have a family of our own!

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (53)

I carried a beautiful bouquet made by Flowers by Nattrass in Darlington. I chose to have pink and avalanche roses in my bouquet as they are my favourite flowers. The flowers also worked extremely well with the colour scheme and complemented both my dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses.

Nattrass also supplied our flowers for the church and reception. Laura from Nattrass was extremely helpful when we were choosing our flowers as we were unsure how to decorate the room. Laura invited us down to the Rockliffe during a wedding fayre to see an idea set up on the table. It was a great help to visualise the room and we ended up going for that display. We had roses inside large martini glasses.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (57)

We had our wedding stationery designed by Kristen from Noble Fine Art. She was an excellent help and certainly very patient as we made our decision. We could not have asked for nicer wedding stationary. They complemented the tables in the orangery extremely well.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (65)

We wanted to keep the traditional part of the wedding of cutting the cake but neither of us were too worried about spending lots of money on a cake. As such, we bought a jam and sponge wedding cake from Marks & Spencer and decorated it ourselves with fresh roses from Nattrass and champagne ribbon.

Choosing the menu for the wedding breakfast was a huge highlight of our wedding planning (especially for Mark). We knew all the food at Rockliffe would be stunning and we found it extremely difficult to choose.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (67)

For our wedding day entertainment we chose to have David Ball play the piano during the drinks reception. Later in the evening he also performed a live set with his guitar and sang a range of songs from Buble to Kings of Leon. We also had a photo booth for guests to have fun with the props. This worked well as our guestbook too as they stuck their photos in alongside a message and then had a set of photos to take away with them as a wedding favour.

A very special touch to our wedding day was my younger brother Patrick playing me down the aisle. He played Trumpet Voluntary on his trumpet. A family friend of ours Ali Cochlan also sung a modern version of Ave Maria whilst we signed the register.

Later in the day my parents surprised us with another performance by Ali and Richi of May You Stay Forever Young by Bob Dylan as part of my dad’s speech. That was a real tear jerker for all the guests but a wonderful surprise too.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (71)

Rockliffe Hall is a stunning venue and we would certainly recommend it to others. We especially enjoyed having our wedding breakfast in the orangery as it was so light and airy. It felt so private to us and the guests. The staff are extremely helpful and on the day everything felt seamless. The grounds of Rockliffe are superb and made for great photo opportunities. Overall it was a perfect experience and we certainly didn’t want to leave the next day!

Our favourite part of the day has to be exchanging our vows in front of all our family and friends. We had both known from an early age that we wanted to marry each other and when the day finally came we couldn’t wait. We both also enjoyed the evening reception where we got to relax and party with our close friends and family, some of which had travelled some distance to be there so it was great to catch up with them!

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (74)

We went to Santorini in Greece on our honeymoon. Mark actually booked it as a surprise and I had no clue where we were going until we reached the departure lounge! It was a great feeling having the surprise after a busy 22 months planning the wedding. The only difficulty I had was knowing what to pack! Lots of my friends asked me how I felt leaving the honeymoon plans to Mark but I knew I could trust his decisions. We spent a glorious two weeks away in the sun eating lots of beautiful Greek food.

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (75)

Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be that although at times you can get carried away with the wedding plans (and sometimes get stressed) remember what the big day is really all about. The only important thing that matters on the day is that you are committing to spend the rest of your life with your best friend and the person you love. Don’t let the small things worry you!

A Romantic Gold Wedding at Rockliffe Hall (c) Stan Seaton Photography (81)

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laughter & tears. an emotional wedding at newton hall – jordana & jay

May 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (43)

I love it when the images from a wedding really reflect the way people were feeling on the big day. Today’s real wedding captured by Kyle, of Kyle Hassall Photography, provides a perfect example.

Here we see everyone from the bride and groom to the maids and guests shedding a tear of happiness as emotions run high. Thankfully the tears are broken up with lots of laughter & smiles, suggesting that all involved had a fabulous time.

I think the memories of this gorgeous day will last a lifetime, not only for Jordana and Jay, but also for their guests who were clearly moved by this wonderful occasion.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (13)

jordana says: We got engaged 18th August 2013. We went for a long walk in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, on a sunny day. Jay had his hand in his pocket holding the ring the whole time which I was completely unaware of as I was too busy chatting away. He finally managed to shut me up by getting down one knee and popping the question in the middle of a corn field with beautiful views of the Yorkshire countryside. There were no tears, just laughter. We then sat on a picnic blanket swigging warm champagne from the bottle which Jay had managed to sneak in the car boot (he forgot the glasses).

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (17)

Our wedding date was June 4th 2014. There was no reason for that particular date. It was a Wednesday so the cost of the venue was a lot cheaper with it being mid-week and we hoped that the people we wanted there would understand and wouldn’t mind taking the time off work. Luckily it worked out.

We got married at Newton Hall in Northumberland. I saw a picture of the venue in a newspaper article and showed Jay, we thought we might as well check it out as it would be a nice day out at least (we live in Leeds). It was the first venue we went to, but as soon as we stepped through the front doors we loved it. We loved the décor, it had a relaxed feel to it and the staff made us feel completely welcome with their infamous northern charm. We really felt it was perfect, and after having a wander down to the beach nearby we were sold!

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (1)

We were determined not to have a ‘theme’. We didn’t want to limit ourselves by having a particular colour or theme to have to consider constantly. However after the wedding, our close friend (who was determined we must have a theme) said it was ‘shabby chic boutique’ so I guess that’s the closest description we have.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (3)

Again, we didn’t have a particular colour in mind, we chose a lot of metallic and glass pieces for the tables and venue decoration but then used a lot of pastel colours in other areas, such as the pom poms, bridesmaid dresses and flowers.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (2)

I chose a princess style dress which was the complete opposite to what I thought I would go for. There’s a lot of pressure finding a wedding dress which is ‘the one’ – I never really got that feeling but I’m so indecisive that I’m not sure I ever would. I ended up purchasing my dress from Boutique Bridal in Leeds, the shop was the third shop I had looked in and was a lot more informal, which I like. I changed a couple of aspects to the dress and I loved wearing it on the day. My shoes were from Dune.

Jay wore a dinner suit from Kooples, shirt from TM Lewin and Paul Smith shoes.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (22)

The bridesmaids wore Grecian style dresses from Debenhams and the groomsmen wore their own navy suits with shirts from TM Lewin. Jay changed all the buttons on his and the groomsmen’s shirts to black, to give the look of a dress shirt and to work alongside their black bow ties. They also wore matching socks.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (24)

I stayed in the bridal suite of Newton Hall so didn’t have far to walk. We hired a big house nearby and stayed with friends and family for the week of the wedding so Jay stayed there the night before the wedding and drove our car to the venue.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (30)

Our photographer was Kyle Hassall and we would definitely recommend him. Kyle was lovely to have around on the day and captured it perfectly. As part of the package Kyle offered, we had an engagement shoot which was great in helping us get to know him and feel a bit more at ease on the day. We didn’t want to spend a great deal of time away from the wedding party having pictures taken of just Jay and I – Kyle completely understood and managed to get a perfect range of pictures which reflected the feel of the day.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (35)

I carried a bouquet of various roses and peonies. We purchased the flowers from a wholesaler and after reading a few blogs and watching videos on YouTube, we made the flowers arrangements ourselves.

To decorate we used a range of roses, peonies, carnations and gypsophila for the venue which we purchased from the wholesaler. We did the flowers with help from family, friends and our lovely wedding planner Jayne from Newton Hall.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (9)

We made CDs as wedding favours with songs which are special to Jay and I from over the years and which would be played on our wedding day.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (37)

We chose a three tier cake from Marks & Spencer which was chocolate sponge with white chocolate cigarette coating. It was amazing and we were still eating it when we got back from our honeymoon.

We wanted a relaxed feel to our day so in terms of food we opted for canapés, which included a mini cottage pie in honour of my dad (it’s his signature dish), followed by a barbecue as the main meal, white chocolate cheesecake for dessert and fish and chips on the evening. All the food went down a treat with all of our guests. Drinks wise we provided prosecco and beer on arrival, red and white wine for the meal and tea and coffee refreshments after dinner.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (4)

Getting the music right was such an important aspect of our day for us. We asked all of our guests to rsvp and include song requests, and an old friend of ours who used to DJ agreed to pre-mix the music which worked perfectly. Every song had a memory to match it which felt so personal and the dance floor was never empty.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (45)

Along the way we added our own special touches to the day. We made our own wedding invitations together and included a folded ‘fortune teller’ which revealed the details of the day. For table numbers we dug out pictures of Jay and I when we were aged 1, 2, 3 etc. and we gathered pictures of all the guests which formed their place settings. Our friends and family helped us decorate the venue the day before, including making confetti cones with poems attached, our wedding arch and lace chair ties.

A last minute addition was the lighting of candles during our ceremony. Our mothers each lit a candle from which Jay and I lit a further candle to represent the coming together of two families to form a new one.

During the reception we had black and white romantic movies projected onto a big screen, we stole the idea from a lovely restaurant we dined in a few years back. We hired ‘J&J’ movie style lights to create a focus point to where you would usually find the DJ. We held a balloon release when the evening guests arrived; the guests released white balloons whereas we released two red hearts – of course Jay’s got stuck in the tree, which added a bit of extra entertainment.

Our J&J letters came from Coco Luminaire, and our balloons were supplied by Party Atmosphere. Both suppliers were flexible and friendly to deal with.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (34)

We would defiantly recommend our wedding venue to others. We love Newton Hall as a venue, the stylish mix of old and new, the location, the luxury accommodation and the food was delicious, but the staff truly made our day what it was. The day ran like clockwork, all the while keeping it personal rather than regimented. We are aware of how popular the venue is, however, we were made to feel so special and that it really was ‘our day’. Any request was met by the endearing response ‘ne bother’ and they could not do enough for us. Our wedding planners on the day, in particular, Jayne and James, left us with extremely fond memories and we will always be thankful.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (32)

I’d say my favourite part of the day was sitting on the top table during dinner, looking at all of our loved ones together enjoying dinner and letting it sink in that we were now man and wife.

After the wedding we had a few more days with our friends and family exploring Northumberland, including a boat trip to the Farn Island, and then we spent a week in Hvar, Croatia for our honeymoon. The Croatians were welcoming and witty. We enjoyed incredible food everywhere we ate and the town was extremely romantic with lots of little bars and ice cream parlours down cobbled streets. The only drama we had was when we braved taking a small motor boat out for the day to a nearby island and Jay managed to step on a sea urchin. However, after a quick stop at the doctor’s we were on our way and ready to enjoy another cocktail.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (50)

We tried really hard not to get wrapped up in other people’s expectations and also to absorb and enjoy the whole process. So my top tip to other Brides Up North would be don’t spend all your time anticipating the big day and miss out on enjoying the preparation of it.

Another little tip we were given, and which we would also be keen to pass on, is consciously take a ‘time out’ together as bride and groom on the day. For us this was when all of our wedding guests were being seated for dinner. Otherwise the day can fly by so fast and you forget to take it all in.

Our only regret is not getting video footage of the day – pictures are a great documentation, but there are elements, such as the speeches, that we would have loved to relive more.

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pretty chilled. a relaxed wedding at taitlands – emily & tom

December 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (43)

Emily and Tom invited their friends and family to enjoy a relaxed wedding in the Yorkshire Dales, specifically not wanting to make the weekend “all about them”. Well, their wedding day was all about them – and in the best possible of ways: friendly, fun and full of special, meaningful details.

Exactly the way it should be.

With images by Johnboy Wilson.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (3)

emily says: We got engaged in September 2012, on The Isle of Skye. It was my 30th Birthday and Tom proposed to me at the top of the Quirraing. It was a very special place to us from a previous adventure together. We spent the rest of the week in a cottage on the Isle of Lewis on a secluded beach.

We were married on 31st May 2014 as it is around our anniversary of when we met – we thought six years together should be celebrated!

We chose Taitlands near Settle in the Yorkshire Dales. We both love walking and the Dales is one of our favourite places in the world. We actually only looked at Taitlands as a venue, we knew the area was right and as soon as we met Emma (the owner of Taitlands) we knew she would help us organise a relaxed wedding set to the backdrop of the hills.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (4)

We wanted a relaxed wedding and encouraged guests to stay in the local area for the weekend so they could go walking or have a meal down at the local pub before/after the wedding day. We didn’t want the weekend to be all about us!

The day was a mixture of themes to reflect the things we really love in the world. We chose natural materials such as wood and wicker and the decor and flowers were inspired by the Hebrides, but we decided to go more elegant for the ceremony itself.

As we love camping and walking I wouldn’t say I was overly girlie so I thought why not go for it on your own wedding day – we chose pale pink and cream theme for the ceremony and wedding breakfast and we teamed this scheme up with dark blue to balance it out.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (15)

I looked at lots of dresses online as starting point. I then realised that I was putting off going to a shop to try on actual dresses – the idea made me feel very uncomfortable. I then found online a small independent shop in Pudsey called Scarlett Poppy. The shop makes bespoke dresses and I loved the fact that they are independent.

The ladies at Scarlett Poppy put me at ease and really listened to my ideas. The draft drawings were really helpful to envisage the dress and the process of designing something from scratch was amazing.

I went for a classic figure hugging dress as I love the art deco era and my Mum choose the beaded lace pattern for the back of the dress – a very special moment.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (2)

Tom wore a blue suit from TM Lewin, his best man got married 9 months before and they agreed to where the same suits for both weddings.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (7)

I wanted to get dresses that the bridesmaids would feel comfortable in and potentially wear again. I went for Karen Millen dresses in pale pink.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (17)

Emma at Taitlands is also a florist which made the organising of flowers easy. Emma has fantastic taste and we gave her the colour scheme and a few details and she provided the rest – the flowers were elegant and suited the ceremony perfectly.

Emma provided flowers for the entrance, button holes and bouquets.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (20)

Johnboy Wilson was our photographer. I would recommend Johnboy as a photographer; he strikes the balance between being friendly yet professional. We gave a brief to him that we only wanted a few formal photographs of the day and we would rather have more natural pictures of our friends and family having fun – he really did capture the atmosphere of the day and respected our request. I think the pictures speak for themselves.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (26)

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (28)

I would highly recommend Victoria Edwards as a makeup artist, Victoria travelled to the venue making getting ready on the morning of the wedding a fun and girlie time. My Mum and bridesmaids looked fantastic and Victoria listened to each person to find out what style they wanted and gave some great suggestions. Getting ready together was a fun experience.

Our hairdresser was Hannah from Verve in Ilkley, again Hannah travelled to the venue and really transformed my hair into the vintage style I was looking for.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (29)

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (31)

Our families helped the table decor and the marquee – it was a real team effort.  We decorated the main rooms ourselves, especially the marquee, where we had lanterns and pompoms. We even added beer mats from New York and Canada which is where we went on honeymoon.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (34)

Taitlands has a wonderful chef that cooks traditional yet beautiful food. The guests commented on how fantastic the food was. As Taitlands is independently owned we were able to organise our own wine and Champagne for a corkage fee. The charge was very reasonable and it meant we could buy good quality wine.

Tom and I love cheese and we new pretty early on that we wanted a cheese tower rather than a traditional wedding cake. On our trips to the Dales we would stop off at The Courtyard on the A64. The Courtyard has an independent cheese shop which we love called The Courtyard Dairy. We knew we would have to buy our cheese from there as the selection and knowledge of the owner, Andy, was fantastic.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (36)

Whether we should give favours seem one of the things we debated the most! We decided give favours in the end and went for quite a simple idea. We bought a favours kit from Hobbycraft and filled the small wine glasses with a mixture of five sweets including some sugared almonds to be traditional

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (42)

The best part of the day was walking round the lawn after the ceremony with my new Husband chatting with the people we love.

We had a selection of lawn games, which we arranged ourselves and we even made little signs. Taitlands supplied the Croquet.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (45)

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (48)

One of Tom’s best friends, Simon is a wedding DJ and he did last performance in the UK as he has since moved to Dubai! The company was called BigBigLove. Tom and Simon worked together and use to DJ together at parties in Leeds.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (49)

We had a short break in the Yorkshire Dales after the ceremony to just relax and remember the day, then three months later we went to New York and Canada, taking in the Niagara Falls, Victoria, the Canadian Rockies and Vancouver.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (50)

A tip that was given to us and that I’ll pass on to other Brides Up North was to take the time with your Husband/Wife to just stand back and take in the moments on the day. It really made it special for us.

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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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