Charlotte Balbier

keeping things personal. a pretty green wedding in beverley, yorkshire – laura & ranj

November 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Relaxed Wedding in Beverley (c) Jemma King Photography (52)

Today’s bride and groom built their wedding around the things most important to them: close friends and family, the bride’s home town of Beverley – and food!

This resulted in an intimate wedding party of just 19 guests who were treated to little tour around Beverley before settling at the town’s Whites Restaurant for an impressive nine course meal (that’s right, nine courses!)

We love the relaxed vibe to Laura and Ranj’s big day as well as their pretty green colour scheme which all started with Laura’s vision for her wedding shoes.

With images by Jemma King Photography.

A Relaxed Wedding in Beverley (c) Jemma King Photography (1)

laura says: We got engaged in London, January 2015. We went from engagement to wedding in under seven months! We were just so ready to be married and didn’t want to spend too long in the planning stages.

We went to London for my birthday and saw Philip Pullman’s Grimm Fairy Tales at the Oxo Tower. I love theatre and it was an amazing night. As we walked along the Thames, to find somewhere to eat after the theatre, Ranj said, “Doesn’t St Pauls look amazing. Let’s sit and look at it for a bit”. I refused to sit down because I was hungry and cold and apparently totally spoilt Ranj’s first attempt at proposing to me. Whoops! He’d carried the ring around all night!

The next morning we were all cuddled up in the hotel room and Ranj pulled the ring out from under his pillow and proposed there instead. Although I felt bad when I realised that I’d spoilt his first attempt I preferred the hotel room proposal. It set the tone for how we eventually designed our wedding; intimate, personal, just us.

A Relaxed Wedding in Beverley (c) Jemma King Photography (47)

We got married on Tuesday 11th August 2015. We wanted to marry in the summer so that we could go on a mega honeymoon. I’m a self-employed drama teacher, so get time off during school holidays.

Although we’re both currently living and moving around the southeast, while Ranj finishes his training as an orthopaedics and trauma registrar, I’m a Beverley girl at heart. I was born and bred there, my family live there, as well as the majority of my friends. It was really important to me that we got married in my hometown.

We only had 19 guests at our wedding, so chose venues that would suit the intimate, personal style we were going for. We had the ceremony at Beverley registry office and worked really hard with the registrar to make the service really personal. We wrote our own vows and had some brilliant readings.

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roses & lace. essense of australia for a rustic wedding at keythorpe manor – jo & nick

October 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (39)

This afternoon on the blog we have a delicious scoop of wedding day inspiration for you in the form of Jo and Nick’s rustic themed big day at Keythorpe Manor.

After saying their vows in a quaint barn setting, the newlyweds and their guests moved onto an onsite marquee for the reception where they danced the night. (Nick perhaps putting in a little too much effort on the dancefloor resulting in a rather embarrassing trouser incident!)

Highlights for us (apart from Nick’s comedy moment) include the gorgeous pink colour palette, a rather delicious looking wedding cake and Jo’s stunning dress, personalised to perfection!

With images by Emily & Katy Wedding Photography.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (16)

jo says: Nick proposed in Prague during a long weekend away. I had suspected that it may happen but couldn’t find the ring anywhere in the house so my suspicions were squashed!

Nick spent the day looking for a place to propose but I kept ruining it by needing the toilet, or a drink, or some food! Eventually, we went back to the amazing hotel we were staying in, I ran a bath and enjoyed champagne with strawberries. When I got out there was a fruit platter on the bed with the ring in the middle. I burst out crying and Nick got down on one knee.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (1)

We set the date for Friday 21st August. Nick really wanted a summer wedding. Even a year in advance, securing a date was difficult as our chosen venue already had most weekends booked up. A Friday seemed workable as we sent out invites as soon as possible so few people had booked their summer holidays. It was also in the school holidays so our friends who were teachers could attend.

We got married at Keythorpe Manor, Leicester. We were keen to have a marquee setting for the reception and as many of our friends lived outside the area, we also wanted to have the ceremony and reception in one place to reduce travel on the day.

We viewed a few venues which had marquees on site but some were rather tired and worn. The beauty of Keythorpe was that it had a permanent marquee with proper windows and doors which was well maintained. They also had a barn for the ceremony, which despite being recently built, had an authentic feel to it.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (21)

We were pretty relaxed about a wedding theme. With the rolling countryside around the venue, we wanted it to feel quite rustic with a countryside feel. This is what drove the colours and style of the flowers and we used a lot of brown string and wooden pegs for hanging decorations.

Pink and metallics made up the colour scheme. We had visited Keythorpe Manor on the day of a wedding so we could see how it looked setup. The venue used a lot of neutrals and pale peach. I wanted it to have more colour than that and so added pink to our scheme which I thought fitted in with the countryside styling.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (31)

I wore a full length, lace, Essense of Australia dress with lace straps and an open heart back. The lace was ivory with a coffee coloured underlay. I wore it with a coffee coloured belt with crystals on the front and added a crystal and pearl back necklace myself.

I have always liked lace and saw myself wearing it on my wedding day. After trying on many different styles I found this dress on my first shopping trip, though I decided not to buy it immediately. I found it again at the Birmingham Wedding Show being sold by Georgina Scott Bridal. They were offering a 20% discount if deposit was paid on the day. This time we went for it and my mum kindly paid the deposit there and then!

During one of the fittings one of my friends suggested trying to get something to go across the back of my dress. I searched Etsy for many back necklaces and came across one made by a supplier called La Luna Couture, which I ordered. It had broaches on each end which meant I could simply clip it to the back of my dress. I was so pleased when I received it, it was absolutely gorgeous. It made such a difference to the dress and I received so many compliments on how beautiful it was. Everyone thought it was part of the dress!

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (33)

Nick wore a blue suit from Reiss with waistcoat, white shirt with a cutaway collar and pink tie from TM Lewin, pink socks from Thomas Pink, Mulberry cufflinks, gold personalised tie clip from Not On The High Street, Daniel Wellington watch and black buckle shoes from Russell and Bromley.

The bridesmaids wore fawn skater dresses from Marks & Spencer with adjustable straps. Each of them wore a different style strap to suit them. Their gold strappy sandals were from Dorothy Perkins.

The groomsmen had blue suits from M&S with the same pink tie as Nick and their own black shoes.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (36)

My uncle/godfather drove me and my dad in his BMW with cream, leather interior to the wedding venue. It meant a lot to me having them both there and my uncle had even prepared a playlist for the car journey. My aunt also arranged flowers for the back of the car. Nick meanwhile borrowed his grandad’s convertible Jaguar XK8 to drive to the venue.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (38)

Emily and Katy Wedding Photography were our photographers on the day. We also had an engagement shoot with them at the venue before the wedding. I will actively recommend them to everyone! We really enjoyed the experience of having our photos taken by them. We were really pleased with the outcome of the engagement shoot and even more pleased with our wedding shots. Their turnaround time and communication is also fantastic, which you don’t find with all wedding suppliers. We never once felt uncomfortable.

My bouquet was made up of memory lane and pink roses, gypsophila and pink hydrangea. It was absolutely beautiful. Caroline Billson provided all of the flowers on the day. She was amazing from start to finish and one of the easiest suppliers I was lucky enough to deal with. She made sure that the barn for the ceremony was complete by adding some of her own lanterns on the day of the wedding.

The bridesmaids had gypsophila posies to fit in with my bouquet. All the flowers were so full and gorgeous. In the barn for the ceremony there were twig hearts decorated with gypsophila and eucalyptus. Caroline also provided lanterns at the entrance to create an arch at the beginning of the aisle surrounded by roses and hydrangeas.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (41)

For the table decorations we had metallic vases filled with pink hydrangeas and gypsophila dotted throughout. The vases sat on mirrored plates with heart chalkboard table numbers resting on top.

We decorated the marquee drapes with several paper pompoms and bunting which was bought from Amazon. The tables were also decorated with glass candle holders and taillights and pink and gold table confetti.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (44)

We weren’t sure if we were going to give any favours at first but then I spotted some cheap mini bottles of Jagermeister whilst skiing in Austria. We had to stuff our ski kit with enough bottles for the entire wedding to get them home! It was definitely worth it though and they were consumed following the speeches. For the non-drinkers, we placed Loveheart sweets on the tables instead.

Our wedding cake was a naked Victoria sponge cake decorated with fruits, which was baked by my aunt. She has made every birthday cake I have ever had and I was so pleased when she accepted my request to bake our wedding cake. It tasted fantastic, I never expected anything less from her. All the guests loved it.

We were always keen to show some personality in the food we chose for our wedding breakfast. As we are big pie fans and I’m from Melton Mowbray, pie was an obvious choice from the start. We did the classic three course sit down meal and guests had three choices of pie to pick from: steak and ale, chicken, ham and leek or fish pie. In the evening, we had a cake of cheese, pork pie and a selection of chutneys, crackers and accompaniments.

Emerson & West in Market Harborough were our caterers. They were really great. It is a family run business and Michael made sure we had thought of everything. They were really flexible and on the day everyone said how great the staff were.

During the evening reception we also had a sweet table, that we did ourselves, with treats such as Lovehearts, Haribo hearts, pink shrimps and cola bottles, which kept everyone going later in the night.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (51)

To provide entertainment, we had The Wigornia String Quartet to play during the ceremony and the drinks reception. We also had lawn games such as boules and croquet.

For the evening reception we had a DJ called Matt from Dancefloor DJs & Events to make sure that everyone was up and dancing to burn off all that pie and sweets. Nick was very particular about the music and band any cheese! The music was so good that there was even a girl/boy dance off during Justin Timberlake’s Senorita.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (54)

Looking back my favourite part of the day was the ceremony, it was fantastic. It meant so much and reminded us that the day was all about us, the promises we were making to one another and our lives together. It is easy to forget what the day is about during the planning and worrying about all the other details. We were lucky with our registrars too, they were fantastic and captivated the guests throughout the ceremony.

Nick’s favourite part of the wedding was the dancing at the reception. All of our family and friends were on the dance floor at some point during the night and Nick even split his trousers!

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (57)

For our honeymoon we toured around a few destinations. First stop was Hong Kong where we explored the peak, huge Buddha and enjoyed a luxury meal and the views at Aqua restaurant. We had plenty of cocktails courtesy of wedding gifts funded through Prezola. We then flew to Bali, stayed in Ubud for a few days then travelled around Lombok and Nusa Lembongan, which are islands nearby.

We had a gift list on Prezola where we listed out the activities we planned to do on our honeymoon which guests could contribute money to. This was great for us as we got to do so many activities and guests really felt that they had involvement in our honeymoon. Overall, we did canyoning (abseiling down waterfalls and jumping in to water from rocks), surfing lessons, private snorkelling trip, bicycle hire, romantic candlelit dinner in our pool villa, Indonesian cooking class and plenty of cocktails and champagne! We had the most amazing time.

A Rustic Wedding at Keythorpe Manor (c) Emily & Katy Wedding Photography (60)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would definitely be to consider a wedding planner, especially if you are restricted on time or don’t have access to your venue the day before. We decided it would be an unnecessary cost, however on reflection it would have been worth it, you underestimate how much time it takes to coordinate suppliers, particularly when working full time.

Even if your venue already has one, don’t expect them to be completely on top of things. There are so many weddings they handle they will not always remember the details which you have provided. However an independent planner will and would take care of the setting up and ensure that the day runs smoothly for you.

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future classic. justin alexander for a dreamy wedding at east riddlesden hall – kate & luke

October 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (34)

It’s been a very pretty week indeed on the Brides Up North pages – and it’s not over just yet, as this afternoon’s real wedding is yet another beauty.

Taking place in Yorkshire, Kate and Luke’s big day is brimming with style & romance thanks to a pretty blush pink colour scheme, a well-dressed wedding party and lots of twinkling fairy lights.

With images by MJ Holding Photography.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (13)

kate says: We got engaged on 22nd June 2014, at an Eric Clapton concert in Leeds. Luke picked it because the first present I ever bought him was tickets to Eric Clapton. He proposed during the song, Wonderful Tonight. It was a really special moment and the song will provide us with a lifelong reminder.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (10)

We got married on 10th July 2015. It was actual only one of the few dates left at our venue – East Riddlesden Hall – for 2015 and happens to also be my dad’s birthday so it was extra special. It was meant to be!

Having lived in Australia for a few years, when we moved home we decided that we would like a local wedding surrounded by all our family and friends. We got married at Bingley Parish Church, as it is a picturesque church with a great local feel, and then went onto East Riddlesden Hall.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (19)

We didn’t really have a theme as such apart from I wanted it to be a very pretty wedding, lots of blush colours, lots of flowers and lots of candles.

We decided on a navy blue and blush colour scheme as I didn’t want lots of bright colours and wanted it to look very classic.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (21)

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (23)

I went for a Justin Alexander sweetheart neck strapless dress with lots of ruffles, which I wore a lace jacket over the top as I wanted to put my own touch on the dress. I took the jacket off at night and added a belt and a diamante clip in my hair. I tried lots of dresses on until I found my dress at Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. I didn’t want a dress that I could die black and it be used as a cocktail dress but I didn’t want a big princess gown either so mine was perfect in that it was big but it had some structure and detail to it without being ‘blingy’ as I didn’t want a lot of beading. I absolutely loved it!

We found the style of Luke’s wedding suit when visiting Rome and asked George Lilley, a Leeds tailor to recreate the design. Luke wore a double breasted pale pink waistcoat with a navy blue suit which had some pink detailing on the jacket to match the waistcoat. We teamed it with a navy tie. All the boys wore pale pink socks, which looked fab too.

Our bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses and they all picked their individual styles which all really suited them as they are different ages and have different tastes. The groomsmen wore TM Lewin slim fitting suits with a matching pink tie and dark brown shoes.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (25)

Fir transport, we hired a traditional wedding car from Halifax Wedding Cars – it looked amazing as we were able to take the roof down when we travelled from the church to the venue.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (36)

Our photographer was one of our best friends and groomsmen – Mike Holding. Mike has been a photographer for a long time and just recently turned professional so it was an obvious choice! He was absolutely incredible in making everyone feel relaxed, he didn’t seem phased by anything and we couldn’t have been happier with the photos we received. We would recommend Mike to everyone!

I carried a soft, natural, handtied bouquet of soft vintage pink sandstorm roses, scented white O’Hara roses with majolica spray roses, sweet peas and pink peonies. We used Stems Design, from the minute I met Lynne I knew she had to be the person to do my flowers. Lynne took all my ideas and brought them together to give the reception barn the perfect look. As the barn is quite a blank canvas it was really important to get the décor right and the flowers just made it. We had candelabras on every table filled with flowers and in all the windowsills we had flowers and candle lanterns.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (50)

We wanted favours that could be enjoyed on the day and so our family helped us to create them with Luke’s grandma Annie making Sloe Gin for the Ladies, and my uncle Andrew making Bramble for the men.

We had a five tier cake made by Charlotte at Sugar Therapy who is actually Luke’s Step Auntie. We had five different flavours: vanilla and raspberry, Belgian chocolate, passionfruit, Himalayan salt and caramel and white chocolate and raspberry. Instead of icing we had white chocolate covering the cakes and a waterfall of roses coming down.

The food and wine for the day were really important to us as we wanted to create our own menu. We chose James Brown Catering as his personal approach, passion and enthusiasm set him apart from the other caterers we spoke to. The food and service we received was absolutely incredible, we had so many comments on the food being of restaurant quality rather than mass catering.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (52)

When it came to the entertainment, we had our own playlist for during the meal and the band – Psychoslinkys for the evening. They were a band who we used to watch when we were first dating and we remembered them being fantastic – they didn’t disappoint! They even played the song we got engaged to – Wonderful Tonight!

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (56)

There were a few extra special touches to the day which included having our own Instagram hashtag #thelaverys2015 which was great and everyone used it! We also hired a huge ‘love’ sign which I was debating about for a long time as they are quite costly but I am so glad we got it as it looked great on the dancefloor – especially in pictures. I did a lot of the outside decorations myself, pompoms and hearts hanging from the trees, a ladder with a love sign and flowers on it. Basket in the ladies toilets with lots of handy items to spruce yourselves up with. We also purchased Polaroid cameras and asked guests to create a ‘memory’ book.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (3)

We would absolutely recommend East Riddlesden Hall to other couples, particularly those that want to really make the day their own. The venue is very idyllic with a lake at the front and picturesque gardens and scenery at the back. You can make it as unique as you like. As it is basically a blank canvas, this was great for us as we didn’t want a “package wedding” we wanted to make it our own. It is harder work than a hotel wedding where everything is included but absolutely worth it. The staff there couldn’t have been more helpful, and from the minute we looked around to the day itself, they were so helpful.

It’s hard to pick a favourite part of the wedding that stood out more than the rest. There are lots of special parts that I still look back on and smile about weeks later. The whole day was perfect from start to finish and it really was the happiest day of our lives. Being able to celebrate with all our friends and family and seeing how happy everyone was on the day made it extra special.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (60)

For our honeymoon we went the California and Las Vegas – we did San Diego, Orange County, LA, San Francisco and Las Vegas over three weeks. It was amazing, I had never been to America before and it certainly didn’t disappoint! We did lots of travelling and saw absolutely loads, some of our highlights included the baseball in San Diego, dinner at The Ivy in Beverly Hills, cycling the Golden Gate Bridge and The Beatles show in Las Vegas.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at East Riddlesdon Hall (c) MJ Holding Photography (64)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – enjoy it! Don’t let anything get stressful and enjoy all the planning and run up as that all part of creating your perfect day. Also, don’t always go for big companies and rely on reputation when choosing suppliers. We went with people who took a genuine interest in our wedding and were as passionate about making the day a success as we were. The results were fantastic!

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vintage vision. augusta jones for a sweet village hall wedding in the north west – claire & matt

August 17th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (23)

Wow, where to start with today’s village hall wedding? It’s absolutely gorgeous, from the bride’s bargain wedding dress to the pretty afternoon tea reception, and all that’s in-between!

As they were footing the bill for the wedding themselves, Claire and Matt where careful to stick to their budget, looking for areas in which they could make savings but without cutting corners, whilst also calling in favours from family and friends along the way.

Their vintage vision came together perfectly and provides so much inspiration for couples wanting to follow in similar themed footsteps. So let’s take a closer look at the pretty…

With images by Andrew Keher Photography.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (7)

claire says: We got engaged on my 30th birthday in November 2013 while in Belfast. I was born in Northern Ireland and my family still live there so Matt wanted to take me home to get engaged. Matt managed to plan the whole thing and keep it a secret – I had no idea! Throughout the day we arrived Matt was secretly recording little videos and pictures and sent them to an email account he set up for me. He later told me he had the ring with him all day but couldn’t find the right moment to ask the big question. He decided to ask me on my birthday so when I woke up he showed me the email account and got me to read all the messages he’d sent through. When I got to the final one he was down on one knee and before I knew it had asked me to marry him. We were both in tears at this point – it was perfect! Plus he chose ‘the ring’ I’d seen – a vintage 1920s engagement ring that was in a local jewellers, Mr Allan’s. Every time we went past we would look at it but then one day I noticed it had been sold – I was sad until I realised he’d saved up and bought it for me!

We set the date for 6th June 2015. We’d been together for nine years on the 4th June 2015 so this was the closest date we could get to that.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (1)

We got married at our church, St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Church in Ashton-in-Makerfield. We both went to the high school there and some of Matt’s relatives are buried in the church grounds so it has a special connection for us. It’s a beautiful church – the photos from Andy really show off the church at its best. We chose Dunham Massey Village Hall for our reception as we love the area and the nearby National Trust Park. We also loved that it gave us the freedom to do what we wanted with the space. The price was so reasonable it was perfect for us as we were paying for the whole wedding ourselves.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (5)

We went with a vintage theme but it wasn’t really a conscious thing – we just love everything vintage! We were really keen on having afternoon tea which lends itself to the vintage theme really well.

We didn’t really have a set colour scheme. The colour came from the flowers – when we met Clare from The Flower Farm we decided on seasonal flowers with pinks, purples and blues to add some colour to the venue.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (11)

I was set on a dress in a vintage style. I knew I wanted lace and tried on a few styles before I found ‘the one’! I tried Ali by Augusta Jones in a local bridal shop and knew instantly it was the one but it was way out of my budget – £2,000! I tried to find something similar on the high street but couldn’t get this dress out of my mind. In the end I found it for sale for £600 on eBay and arranged with the seller to go and try it on. I would recommend that anyone buying second hand does the same and be 100% sure you’re happy with it before you hand over any money.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (16)

To go with the dress, I wanted some shoes that were special so I knew I’d find something from Rachel Simpson. The Gardenia style in powder blue were just what I wanted and were so comfortable to wear – I kept them on all day. I kept my accessories really simple with a pair of drop pearl earrings from Marks & Spencer and my engagement ring.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (18)

Matt was keen to wear something a little different and special for the big day. After a ‘few’ shopping trips he eventually found his suit in Reiss – the Claymore. After that nothing compared so it had to be that one. He paired this with a slim fit shirt from TM Lewin, navy bow tie from Red Herring, navy braces from Next and tan brogues from Autograph at Marks & Spencer. Matt’s best man wore a navy suit and shirt from Next.

My bridesmaids wore a dress from Debut at Debenhams – it fitted both of them perfectly and was a great find! The silver shrug was from Monsoon.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (24)

We booked a vintage double decker bus from Belle Vue Coaches in Stockport as our transport. I travelled with my bridesmaids and mum to the church in the bus and then we travelled down to the venue after the wedding. Alan the bus driver was a legend – he managed to navigate the small country roads to get us all there in one piece.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (37)

Andrew Keher was our photographer and I would 100% recommend him! Andy was amazing on the day and was fab throughout the whole process of booking and our engagement shoot. Andy does natural really well, we didn’t want to have lots of group shots but wanted to remember those little moments throughout the day. That’s what Andy does so well and after the wedding he posted little sneak peeks to Facebook which kept us going until we received our wooden box in the post. He puts so much thought into what he does and really cares about the whole experience for the couples he works with. Just amazing – money well spent!

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (28)

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (39)

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (32)

On the wedding day I carried a bouquet of wild flowers from The Flower Farm. It was beautiful, smelled amazing and Clare put some peonies in there too, which are my favourite flowers!

To decorate, we bought three buckets of wild flowers from Clare. We had jam jars on the tables so this allowed us to create a rustic feel to the arrangements. Clare also made the bridesmaids bouquets, some flower hair clips and all of the buttonholes. We also bought 100 stems of gypsophila, which we suspended from the ceiling.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (42)

Our venue dresser Harri Bradburn came up with some lovely ideas for the venue which included a little area for our guests where they could take a picture using an Instax camera or write us a message using the typewriter. On the tables she put some advice cards for our guests to give us advice for a happy marriage. There were some interesting ones! Harri spent so much time on the little details that really made the difference on the day.

The room just looked stunning! We had lots of bunting, lace panels with fairy lights and lots of jam jars! Our friends were very generous and we borrowed some beautiful pieces to use in the venue. My friend Kath loaned us the tea trolley that the cake sat on and the stepladders that were adorned with flowers on the stage. At my hen do my friends gave me some little trinkets that we used to dress the venue on the day. My bridesmaids both had some keepsakes made for us so we used those as well. It was lovely to include those little personal touches.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (40)

For our wedding cake we wanted Victoria sponge (as we both love it) and we were really keen on having tiered naked cake. We met with Annalise from One Sweet Day who immediately understood what we wanted. It was even better that I expected and the bunting was a gorgeous finishing touch. It was delicious too!

We knew early on that we wanted afternoon tea for our wedding meal – we’ve become a bit obsessed! My friend Wendy (from work) and Anne were the perfect choice as this is their forte! They also provided all of the vintage china that our guests used. We met with them a few times to decide what we were going to have – the lemon drizzle cake is their speciality and went down a treat on the day!  We also love pizza so early in the planning process we found a few companies that have pizza vans. We knew we had to have one so we contacted Honest Crust who were so lovely and provided us with the best pizza’s we’ve had. The salads were also delicious and went down well. We bought the wine from Majestic Wines and went with a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Blush. Matt was in charge of beer and contacted Dunham Massey Brewery to order a keg of their Summer Meadow ale and cider for our guests. This went down really well especially with the men attending!

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (31)

At the reception Matt and I decided to have a sweetheart table. We were so happy we did this as it gave us some time to ourselves to catch up after the wedding. Everyone says your wedding day goes so fast but I think this helped us to have a moment for just us.

In terms of entertainment, Matt’s mum arranged for the Haydock Male Voice Choir to sing at the church. We chose a few songs for them to sing: Embraceable You, Cwm Rhondda and a few others – everyone was in tears as it was so emotional and sounded amazing.

For the reception we had an outdoor seating area with some hay bales and outdoor games and we booked a DJ, Paul Leffler, on recommendation from one of our friends. We gave him a list of songs we love and he managed to fit them all in and get everyone up dancing. Our first dance was When I Fall in Love by Nat King Cole – we loved that it is a classic and suited us as a couple.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (44)

Others fab suppliers we used on the day included Nicola at Johnson Hairdressing Group in Wigan, who did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair and our makeup was done by the fantastic Mika Johnson. We hired our folding wooden chairs from The Chairman Company, who were very reasonably priced and provided easy delivery to the venue. Our wedding rings were from Mr Allan, the same jewellers that Matt bought my engagement ring from. Matt had his grandad’s ring re-sized and I had a white gold band specially made to fit the round shape of my ring. Our confetti was from Shropshire Petals – we went with the Vintage Daydream mix, which I think this summed up the day perfectly!

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (51)

We would recommend our wedding venue to other couples that want control over what they do on their big day. The location is in the lovely village of Dunham Massey and has some outdoor space that can be used as well. Andrew, the caretaker is so helpful and lives next door so was on hand if we needed any help. I was amazed when we were looking at venues how much money couples are charged for various things (corkage, cake cutting etc.) so if you want to save some money this is a really good way to do it.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (45)

Meeting Matt at the top of the altar was my favourite moment of the day – it was all worth it at that point. I was close to tears all the way up the aisle but managed to keep it together. Matt said his favourite moment was when we were outside on the hay bales with all of our friends.

A Vintage Village Hall Wedding (c) Andrew Keher (46)

We haven’t been on our honeymoon yet but we’re planning on going to Italy at the end of September. We want to go to Florence, Rome and then spend some time on the Amalfi Coast. We’re really looking to it – with all the saving for the wedding we’ve not been away for years! We did manage to get a few nights away after the wedding to chill out. We stayed at The Drawing Room in Powys.

Everyone says this but my top tip to other Brides Up North is to do what makes you happy as a couple – it’s your day. It was a little easier for us to do this as we paid for the wedding so we didn’t feel obliged but I think there are ways to get what you want while keeping everyone else happy. And make sure you have some time to just you on the day.

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kiss from a rose. an intimate wedding at the black swan, helmsley – andrea & steve

July 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (30)

Today’s real wedding takes place at the gorgeous The Black Swan hotel, one of our beautiful Brides Up North Sponsor venues, and so when Andrea talks about it being an amazing venue, we know exactly what she means.

To fit in with their roots and the idyllic setting for their big day, Andrea and Steve chose to have a pretty garden themed wedding, complete with a simple white and green colour scheme.

We love the relaxed drinks reception in the hotel’s pretty gardens and the gorgeous shots of the newlyweds in the surrounding countryside, which ties the whole day together beautifully.

Oh, and if you want to see more of The Black Swan, watch out for a stunning styled shoot at the hotel, coming up on the wedding blog this afternoon.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Georgina Brewster Photography.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (1)

andrea says: Steve popped the question on the evening of 29th November 2014. We had tickets to see Passenger at the O2 Academy that night and had gone for a pre-gig drink in a champagne bar in Leeds called Epernay on Great George Street. An unforgettable evening!

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (2)

We got married on 23rd May 2015. After narrowing down our venues it was a case of what availability they had, we couldn’t believe our luck when the bank holiday weekend was still available so we plumped for that.  As we were having the ceremony and reception under the one roof and it wasn’t our hometown, the bank holiday gave our guests a chance to make a weekend of it with us.

Our wedding venue was The Black Swan in Helmsley, North Yorkshire. It is just amazing! The staff, the area, the food, the accommodation and just the general feeling and atmosphere of the place. We can’t thank the staff enough, they were exceptional and looked after us all so well.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (3)

The theme just evolved. As Steve is from Lancashire and I’m from Yorkshire the roses seemed an obvious choice, although my white rose seemed to prevail over the red of Lancashire! Steve designed our logo that was printed on all the stationary and favours. The Black Swan has a great garden area to the rear and the wedding room is called the Garden Room so I suppose all in all it was a garden theme if any.

In keeping with the theme we had a simple colour scheme of white and green.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (6)

My dress was from Alison Jane Bridal in Mirfield, West Yorkshire.  It was a Grecian style gown by Alexia Designs, with crystal detailing. Steve loves my back, so a backless dress was a design I chose.

Steve wore a Hugo Boss suit and white shirt with a green skinny textured tie from T.M.Lewin and tan leather Jeffrey West shoes.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (13)

We chose Georgina Brewster Photography, based in Skipton, North Yorkshire, to capture our day and we love our photos! We’ve had so many comments from our friends about them too. Georgina really captured every element so well, she is so personable and really went that extra mile by whisking us away at sunset to a location she had spotted on her drive over. We would highly recommend Georgina to any couple tying the knot. Amazing!

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (15)

In terms of flowers on the day we had avalanche roses, freshias and vintage roses, which were all from Busy Liz’s Floral Design in Kirbymoorside.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (20)

Our favours were napkins with our guests’ names embroidered on the corner. We also gave raspberry and Chambord jam by Woody’s Preserves in Yorkshire.

Jo’s Cakes in Honley created our gorgeous three tiered iced cake of vanilla and chocolate sponge.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (31)

For entertainment we hired a pianist called Joseph Barton, to perform. The venue’s recommended musician wasn’t available that day and Joe was mentioned to us. We are so glad we chose him.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (38)

To add to the evening reception, we also hired some giant illuminated ‘love’ letters, which we placed in the garden. They were supplied by Fabulously Finished, near York.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (26)

We would most definitely recommend The Black Swan to other brides and grooms-to-be. They provide such great service and hospitality with a relaxed atmosphere. The food is exceptional too!

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (36)

I can’t pin point one particular aspect of the day as my favourite as I loved all of it! It was so magical from start to finish.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (42)

For our honeymoon we travelled to Iceland, a place we were both keen to explore. We share a great love for the outdoors and when time allows we participate in triathlons to test ourselves. We had a wonderful time.

An Intimate Wedding at The Black Swan, Helmsley (c) Georgina Brewster Photography (45)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be simply to relax and enjoy every minute. The day really does go by so fast.

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suits you sir: t.m. lewin

July 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry


In preparation for a wedding a lot of attention is focused on the bride and what she will wear for her moment in the limelight. But we shouldn’t forget that the groom is also a main focal point and they too will want to look and feel their best on the big day.

Over time we’ve seen menswear designers branch out on the formalwear front to give style-conscious grooms choices beyond traditional top hat and tails and standard Prince Edward suits. This not only gives grooms the opportunity to be more fashion forward, but also means they can pick attire that will complement the bride, theme and even the setting.

To tell us more about current groom looks, we’ve called upon our expert friends at British menswear retailer T.M.Lewin, whose latest collection of luxurious tailoring includes up to 30 different cuts of suits in wool/mohair mix cloths, plus an unrivalled choice of beautifully finished 100% cotton shirts and finishing touches in the form of smart ties and dapper pocket squares.

Here they share their top five occasion wear trends for the upcoming season, and they’ve even gone to the trouble of matching them up to some of Brides Up North’s very favourite wedding venues. Handy eh?


cool contemporary – alnwick garden

A cool setting calls for a cool suit. Blue is perhaps the new grey when it comes to an alternative groom look so those planning a wedding in modern setting, such as The Alnwick Garden in the North East, should consider the handsome hue. We can easily imagine a groom in the bright and airy Pavilion Room taking his vows while overlooking the incredible gardens in a relaxed two piece suit. And to complete the look a crisp white shirt, tan belt and shoes, and textured bow tie. Finally, for the ultra-cool groom, a polka dot pocket square as men appear to be dotty about all things spotty at the moment.

2015_03_02-06_TMLewin_0686 alnwick-gdn-cascade

urban elegance – braime pressings

City weddings give grooms the opportunity to mix up their look with some modern additions. For a venue such as 125-year-old steel factory Braime Pressings, attire that mixes old with new is an excellent choice as it will pick up on the venue’s heritage as well as its modern day surroundings.  We suggest a classic three-piece suit but in a slim-fit cut and edgy blue hue to strike the right balance. Through industrial, Braime Pressings, in the heart of Leeds, features impressive parquet flooring and a marble bar which call for a hint of elegance. This can be achieved in finishing touches of a fabric button hole and slim tie, complete with tie bar.

Lee Scullion Photography for Braime Pressings (148) 2015_03_02-06_TMLewin_0434b

timeless traditional – allerton castle

Certain venues do lend themselves well to traditional groom attire including the likes of Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire. Its fairy tale interior and dramatic features give brides the opportunity to be a real princess for the day, but of course they need a prince to match, making a three-piece suit with waistcoat a top option. We find that light grey and tonal blue tailoring is an ideal choice for a formal wedding day and our 50s inspired pastel accessories will polish off the look perfectly, whether it’s a sharp mint green fitted shirt with textured cotton linen mix tie, or a colourful pocket square and stylish lapel pin.

2015_03_02-06_TMLewin_0453 Chris Chambers009

country casual – hilltop country house

With an increase in country garden themed weddings it seems only right that designers have come up with fitting groomsmen attire. Whether indoors or out, a wedding at a countryside location, such as Hilltop Country House in Cheshire, gives grooms the opportunity to go for a more laid back look that complements with their surroundings. Our new casual blazers are ideal for those in favour of more informal attire. Woven in tweeds exclusive to T.M.Lewin, they’re still smart when paired with a pressed pair of cotton chinos and one of the season’s new plain, patterned or textured pocket squares. Those wanting a smarter look still can add a waistcoat and tie while those who prefer the simpler things in life can go for a blazer, chinos and open neck shirt.

Hilltop Country House 2015_03_02-06_TMLewin_0786b

modern classic – the mansion

Just as some old venues are brought up to date with a few cosmetic tweaks so too are classic suits. So for a groom saying his ‘I dos’ in grand stately home, such as The Mansion in Leeds, which boasts beautiful boutique style décor, we suggest a simple yet sophisticated two piece suit, with a one or two button blazer. The accessories can then be picked to suit the colour theme and/or bridesmaid dresses whether that means pairing with a pale pink or elegant blue shirt, tie and matching pocket square.

2015_03_02-06_TMLewin_0476 W Ellen & Jonathan [Printable] 224 Colour

For more designs and information, visit

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