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understated elegance. sophia tolli for a vintage wedding at whitworth hall – paul & marie

October 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (34)

We just love the simplicity of today’s real wedding.

It’s not always about the most extravagant decor, the biggest cake or the most flamboyant flowers (though we do adore details) but simply about the love the bride and groom have for one another.

Paul and Marie’s big day was brimming with elegance but without being OTT thanks to a stunning choice of venue, attractive attire and a pretty colour palette.

We are also totally crushing on all the natural outdoor shots, especially the ones with the deer! Super classy!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Paul Liddement Wedding Stories.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (4)

paul says: I proposed to Marie on her birthday while we were staying in a cottage in the Lake District. I gave her a bunch of silly presents and a wax jacket that she really wanted and I’d put an envelope inside the pocket containing a card asking her to marry me. When she opened it the envelope fell out and she didn’t notice it so I had to grab the card quickly and hand it to her once she’d sat down again. She opened the card and I got on one knee.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (10)

Our wedding was on 20th June, 2015. We booked this date as it seemed far enough away at time of booking to be able to get everything done and we thought the weather should be ok at this time of year.

Both our ceremony and reception were held at Whitworth Hall, Spennymoor. We chose the venue for its location, grounds and layout. Also due to the feeling we got when we visited it.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (13)

We didn’t have a cast iron ‘theme’ but we were working from the vintage end of things, not in a way which restricted us, but that merely gave the appearance of wedding continuity. Examples of this could be seen in our table names and seating plan as they used the same text fonts and floral illustrations as on all of our other stationery, but to add a little personal touch we named the tables after locations from the Lord of the Ring books, which we love. We also went for a vintage mute colour scheme. So overall, vintage meets middle earth subtly.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (20)

Marie wore the Leigh dress designed by Sophia Tolli, which she bought from Elizabeth George in Middlesbrough. On the wedding day her hair was done by her sister Stacy and her makeup was done by her sister Dawn. Marie looked beautiful so I think it would be fair to say we would recommend her sisters.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (32)

I wore a conventionally cut grey suit with a white shirt and silver tie. These were hired from Troughear Suit Hire, Durham. The night before the wedding I had a hot towel shave at Guappo Hair Design in Shotton. It was fantastic and helped to relax me – I’d definitely recommend this to other grooms.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were all from Debenhams.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (33)

As a photographer myself, I was very picky as to who I would pick to capture our day. After some time researching, we chose Paul Liddement because of his style and the obvious quality of his work but mostly because of his approach and the fact that we felt comfortable with him.

On the wedding day Paul was relaxed, focused and very well prepared. He managed to take lots of photographs that we were completely unaware of and seemed very good at catching that moment when you are more yourself. He also fitted in with the guests and spent time getting them at ease with him. We were blown away by our wedding images when we received them. We had high expectations based on the quality of our engagement shoot but the wedding photos far exceeded our expectations and managed to put an extra shine on an already magical day.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (35)

Marie arrived at Whitworth Hall buy classic car, along with her maid of honour and bridesmaids who travelled in a separate car, both of which were hired form Classic Wedding Cars, Durham.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (40)

We designed and made all of the wedding stationery ourselves. A time consuming process as we wanted to get it just right and put a lot of thought into it, but it was the right thing to do as we ended up with exactly what we wanted and it made the wedding more personal. We are immensely proud of the results.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (46)

In terms of flowers, Marie and her bridesmaids had vintage style bouquets and we had corsages for the mothers, female grandparents and the guests who did readings. The groom, best man, ushers, fathers, grandfather and all the male partners of the bridal party then had matching button holes. All were supplied by Elvet Flowers, Durham.

For decoration, we had another small arrangement of flowers on the top table also supplied by Elvet Flowers, Durham. We also had a miniature handmade birdcage made from pages of a book, which was positioned in the middle of the top table. This was made by a friend of ours, Gillian.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (68)

All the other tables at the reception had a vintage bird cage on them, which were put together by Marie and her sister Dawn (although myself and my brother-in-law Jona did put one together each and I think these were the best!) We purchased the materials from a variety of sources including Country Baskets, Home Bargains and eBay.

We handmade all of our favours; historically accurate 13th Century medieval coins for the men and angel charms for the ladies.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (71)

Our wedding cake was a three tiered spice cake. It had a very subtle vintage rose colour icing, with a lace like pattern piped down one side (as if a doily had been draped down on side). There was also an arrangement of icing sugar flowers on the third tier. The cake was made locally by a lady called Vicky who makes them more as a hobby than a business.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (73)

As a special treat we also had a sweetie table, which we put together ourselves. The sweets were bought at B&M and Home Bargains, which is where we also got the giant martini/wine glasses and other glass bowls from that held the sweets.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (54)

To fill the lull period after the meal (while the venue staff rearranged the room for the evening do) we arranged for the medieval re-enactment group The Dawn of Chivalry, of which I’m a member, to put on a combat display for our guests in the venue’s grounds. We chose this as it was something a bit different & again made the wedding more personal to us. For the evening do we had the venue supplied disco, during which my brother-in-law managed to take on a guest DJ spot much to everyone’s (apart from the actual DJ’s) amusement.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (63)

Following our wedding we would definitely recommend Whitworth Hall to others. The venue was brilliant, they were very accommodating and great on the day! The venue has plenty of space for people to mill around and relax and it is possible to find a quiet corner if you need some space providing you are not either the bride or groom, in which case you won’t have time to catch your thoughts! It lends itself very well to weddings as the ceremony room is very tasteful and has plenty of scope for some lovely photo locations without ever having to go too far from your guests.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (77)

Looking back, my favourite part of the day was the moment I first saw my wife-to-be in her dress. I fell in love all over again and then couldn’t see anyone but her.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (79)

We have not yet been on our honeymoon yet as we are planning to go to New Zealand (see Lord of the Rings sneaking in again) and it is currently winter there.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (83)

Our top tip for other Brides (and grooms) Up North would be to set a realistic budget then be honest with yourself and really set an actually realistic budget. Look at what you can actually afford and what you really feel is absolutely important. This will help you strip away a lot of the gimmicky, frivolous I wants.

We paid for the majority of the wedding ourselves by saving up and doing over time at work, but we also had some very generous gifts from family members. All in all it’s a party, so look at it as such – people are there for you and not what is on the tables or festooned around the room.

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all you need is love. a lilac & ivory themed wedding at walworth castle – christina & chris

July 14th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding at Walworth Castle (c) Essence Of The Moment Photography (53)

When putting together this post on Christina and Chris’s wedding I actually cried. The sentiment of Christina’s words regarding her family, who she clearly loves dearly, is so sincere that I couldn’t help welling up with a couple of tears then sent streaming down my face when she spoke of the dance she shared with her Granddad. A truly special moment that I’m sure she will cherish for years!

Keen to feel like a real princess for the day, Christina fell in love with Walworth Castle as the setting for the big day. Along with the help of groom Chris, she then planned an elegant wedding that was special yet simple, keeping the main focus on what weddings are all about – love!

With images by Essence of the Moment Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Walworth Castle (c) Essence Of The Moment Photography (4)

christina says: We got engaged in July 2013 in Las Vegas. Chris had planned to ask me outside the Bellagio as the fountains were playing and had been planning it for months, but due to the heat I fainted and ruined the moment. Instead, he asked me when we had been out for a lovely dinner that same evening back at our hotel. After checking that he had asked my Grandfather’s permission, I said yes.

Our wedding date was 23rd August 2014. We selected this date as it was a bank holiday so we knew that people would be off work and able to attend and it would give us time together following our wedding.

An Elegant Wedding at Walworth Castle (c) Essence Of The Moment Photography (1)

We got married at Walworth Castle in West Auckland, Darlington. We chose this venue as being a History teacher I love castles and loved the idea of being a princess for the day. We looked at other venues but from the moment that we drove up the drive of the castle, I knew that it was perfect.

I wanted my wedding to be simple and elegant. I really wanted to focus on Chris and I getting married rather than anything else. I therefore tried to combine vintage ideas with elegance which would reflect both of our styles.

In terms of colours, I chose lilac and ivory as I felt that they were nice, summer shades and I also knew that my sister would look beautiful in lilac.

An Elegant Wedding at Walworth Castle (c) Essence Of The Moment Photography (2)

An Elegant Wedding at Walworth Castle (c) Essence Of The Moment Photography (3)

My wedding dress was from First Glance Bridal in Sunderland and was made by Allure Bridal. It was the second dress that I tried on and I instantly fell in love with it. I loved the delicate lace but also the train giving it a vintage yet dramatic feel. I never imagined that I would choose a form fitting dress, but from the moment that I put on the dress I knew that it was the one. I chose to only take my Grandmother with me when choosing a dress and she loved it too.

My shoes were made by an American designer and were modelled on Bella’s shoes from the Twilight movies as I fell in love with them when I first saw them in the Twilight wedding. My headpiece was from Rocks and Roses bridal boutique and my diamond bracelet was borrowed from my Grandmother.

Chris wore a grey suit with lilac accessories and an ivory waistcoat from Troughear Suit Hire at Gilesgate in Durham. The owner has been friends with my father in law for years so we knew that this was the place we would use. We chose grey as both my husband and his brother, the best man, have dark hair and I felt it would complement both their hair and skin tones and the colour scheme. Chris wore shoes from Kurt Geiger.

My sister, who was my maid of honour, wore a lilac Grecian style dress from a brand called Diva Sophia, which is stocked in Harrods. I felt that it would suit her figure and wanted her to feel comfortable as well as looking elegant. Her shoes were from Next and her clutch bag was from Accessorize.

The best man wore the same suit as Chris from Troughear Suit Hire as we wanted them to match and complement my sister’s dress.

An Elegant Wedding at Walworth Castle (c) Essence Of The Moment Photography (48)

Our photographer was Jed Wee from Essence of the Moment Photography. I would highly recommend Jed as he shot some beautiful photos and really captured our style and personalities. He made us feel very relaxed and was willing to be flexible with what we wanted. On the evening, my good friend Helen took many beautiful shots and we also had a photo booth to give us some slightly different images.

An Elegant Wedding at Walworth Castle (c) Essence Of The Moment Photography (51)

I love fresh flowers however when it came to my bouquet, I decided that I wanted something with more of a vintage feel and something that I could keep as a memento of the day. I therefore had my bouquets made by a company called Ditsy Bride, who I found online. She made me a beautiful bouquet with silk flowers, pearls, vintage brooches and lace and made a miniature version for my sister, plus she did the button holes. They were stunning.

For the reception I purchased and styled all of the decorations myself. I used several websites such as Not on the High Street and Confetti and also attended several wedding fayres to gather ideas. My chair covers and sashes were hired from Princess Occasions whom I found online and my sister took care of these for me, as she is fantastic with small details, while I decorated the venue. My centrepiece flowers came from Flowers 4 U, a local florist in Durham.

For favours the female guests had a small box designed on a bridal gown with two heart shaped chocolates inside and the male guests had a box in the shape of a suit with the same chocolates inside. The chocolates were from Hotel Chocolat and were wrapped in lilac foil. The children were given a heart-shaped chocolate lolly wrapped in lilac foil, again from Hotel Chocolat.

An Elegant Wedding at Walworth Castle (c) Essence Of The Moment Photography (49)

For the cake, we decided that we wanted a traditional fruit cake as it is Chris’s favourite and we knew it would be popular with our families. We were very lucky that Chris’s lovely Aunty Heather makes and sells beautiful cakes and offered to make our cake for us. We looked through several cake books and wedding magazines and eventually chose a petal and butterfly design with lilac detailing and ivory icing to match our colour scheme. Heather also made some beautiful cupcakes with the same lilac butterflies resting on the icing for the children.

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sequins and tulle. mori lee for an opulent winter wedding at ellingham hall, northumberland – caroline & james

February 19th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (51)

A fine stately home was the setting for Caroline and James’ big day in the North East.  The couple incorporated a rich colour palette of champagne gold and ivory into their celebrations resulting in one very stylish affair.

Extra sparkles were added in the bridesmaids dresses and decor while bride Caroline dazzled in her fabulous Mori Lee fishtail dress, complete with Jimmy Choo heels.

Images by Focal Point Photography.

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (14)

caroline says: James romantically proposed to me on 31st August 2013 at Slayley Hall in Northumberland. He hired a private function room with champagne afternoon tea, after the proposal we had a romantic walk along the grounds and returned back to my parents’ house for further celebrations.

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (18)

Saturday 20th December 2014 was our chosen wedding date. We both agreed that there is something about winter weddings that bring a fairy tale touch to the day’s celebrations. We also loved the early evenings that come with the winter season – this meant that there was more celebration time, lots of candles and glitter. Although the evening was darker earlier, it allowed us to create our own light with a soft, romantic and inviting mood for our guests.It also enabled us to have our dream honeymoon in the Maldives in their peak season of January.

We chose Ellingham Hall in Northumberland as our wedding venue. We stumbled across the location of Chathill during a countryside drive one weekend and when I later researched that it was in fact a wedding venue, there was no need to look anywhere else. The thought of taking over our very own grand, stately home within secluded grounds for our December wedding wasn’t going to be just a dream… our dreams were about to come true with just over a year to plan.

Ellingham Hall offered us the entire hall for a three-night stay, this included three reception rooms with cosy log burning fires, eighteen bedrooms, along with twelve estate cottages within the grounds.

The cottages proved to be so efficient for our family travelling from far afield as Australia, Hong Kong and New York, as well as offering a private space for James and his groomsmen to prepare for the big day ahead.

Our theme throughout was champagne gold and ivory. We felt this was appropriate for a winter wedding and it definitely worked on the day.

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (9)

I chose a stunning, elegant Mori Lee all over tulle fishtail wedding dress in ivory. The dress was purchased from a bridal shop in Morpeth, Kathryn Trueman Bridal. As the dress was so simple and elegant, it allowed me to customise the dress to my exact wishes. The customised service at the bridal shop made the winter theme that extra bit special by adding a Swarovski crystal sash as a belt and also some detailed lace sleeves. The Jimmy Choo ivory silk satin peep toe pumps with crystal detail were the icing of outfit.

James wore a bespoke navy blue three-piece suit, a white crisp shirt, a sevenfold champagne gold silk tie and lace-up brown brogue shoes. James is fortunate to have an uncle who owns a well-established suit hire company in Durham city, Troughear Suit Hire.

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (11)

For my six stunning bridesmaids, we found the perfect sequined gold maxi dress from Little Mistress. The two flower girls wore the matching dresses and fur shawls. On the wedding day each bridesmaid had personalised dress hangers, dressing gowns and we also presented them with Tiffany bracelets during the speeches.

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (24)

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (27)

The majority of the bridal party stayed within the hall, or within the grounds, from the Friday until the Monday so the only transport needed was our wedding car to take us on the short two minute journey to St Maurice Church in Ellingham. For this journey we were fortunate to be gifted the use of James’ Director’s Bentley Arnage.

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (29)

Photography is such an important aspect of your wedding day and those photos are lifetime memories to cherish, so with this in mind I chose a photography company which I had previously dealt with at my brother’s wedding a few years ago. Focal Point Photography were so professional and both David and Paul worked incredibly well together. With a winter wedding and the poor visibility, they still made the photographs just perfect – we both can’t recommend them enough!

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (34)

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (36)

I am fortunate enough to have my own floristry business – Poplar Tree Florist, with a team of florists at hand to make the flowers perfect. With it being so close to Christmas, we themed the church flowers with Christmas red and golds and the hall itself was very gold and ivory. The florists decorated the hall and church with Christmas trees, garlands and candelabras galore! My wedding bouquet and bridesmaids’ flowers were Vera Wang and consisted of cream avalanche roses and ranunculus flowers, with the two adorable flower girls carrying little gypsophila pomanders.

We chose simple gold candelabras for the table arrangements with an array of white avalanche roses and hydrangeas situated below the candles. Again these were provided by Poplar Tree Florist. For our chair covers we used Flawless Weddings and Events in Morpeth and also used Crosby Hire for the white limewash chiavari chairs. I would highly recommend these suppliers.

With my family connection in landscaping and garden centres we chose to incorporate this and our theme of a winter wedding all in one for the favours. We chose mini Christmas tree seedlings wrapped in hessian with personalised name tags for each of the men and for the ladies we had gold chocolate Ferrero Rochers – as they are James’ favourite chocolates.

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (43)

We had an elegant, four-tiered ivory iced wedding cake with our initials displayed on the top tier.

Each tier consisted of a deliciously different flavour, including red velvet, chocolate and spice and Victoria sponge. This was made by the lovely Amy at Pretty Sweet.

For our wedding meal we chose a traditional menu of peppered tomato soup, Northumberland beef roast dinner, followed by orange chocolate cake. To accompany the meal we selected three of our favourite wines for each table – a red, white and rose, kindly gifted to us as our wedding gift off our good family friends at Lanchester Wines.

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (55)

We had Anna Reay as a wedding singer during our church ceremony. We then chose Marty Scott as a wedding singer for the duration of the day. Marty provided us with the perfect background music during our wedding breakfast, followed by more live singing afterwards.

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (70)

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (72)

We enjoyed every single moment of the day, but our favourite part was saying “I do”.

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (74)

For our honeymoon we visited the Maldives for just over two weeks in January – it was a dream come true and we hope to revisit the island again in the near future.

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (86)

My top tips for other brides up north would be to enjoy every single moment without any stress. When you walk down the aisle, try to look at each of your guests and take it all in slowly. Also try to take you and your husband away from your guests for just five to ten minutes in a quiet room to chat about how your day is going – this is important because you both struggle to find time to be together during the day as you’re so occupied chatting to your guests.

a glittering winer wedding at Ellingham Hall (c) Focal Point Photography (90)

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Layers Of Lovely! A Real Wedding In The North East – Kerry & Lee

March 27th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon we join Kerry and Lee in the North East for their glamorous big day with personalised fun touches.  With images by Grange Photography and a venue to die for (my own choice for my own wedding day in actual fact, so I may be a little biased) this wedding was always going to be a favourite.  And then I clocked Kerry’s amazing dress…

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Kerry says:  We got engaged at Seaham Hall Spa on 19th August 2010, and were married on 30th June 2012 at St Cuthberts Church, Shadforth, County Durham then Hardwick Hall Hotel, Sedgefield for our reception. 

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We chose the venue because of it’s amazing grounds for photo opportunities and because it’s a beautiful hotel that has a good reputation.  We opted for a marquee wedding with a colour scheme of sage green and white to bring the outside in.  

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I chose a Maggie Sottero white dress from Poppy Bridal at Darlington. This was every girl’s dream princess dress with layers of tulle and real Swarovski crystal.  I added a sparkly headpiece by Jenny Packham.  I wore my Nana’s necklace that my sister also wore for her wedding day and placed a photo of her by the wedding cake so she could be thought of on our special day.

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I carried a bouquet of white roses by The Flowershop at Spennymoor. 

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My bridesmaids wore sage green full length dresses from Susan’s Bridal at Sunderland and the groomsmen the same as the groom. Lee wore a grey suit with matching waistcoat.  The suits were from Troughear Suit Hire in Durham. Everyone looked amazing!

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My husband surprised me with a retro VW camper van form Go Retro Vehicle Hire to take us to the wedding and venue. They give you a pretend number plate with your new married name on it.

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The whole day was amazing and just watching our family and friends enjoy our special day made our day fantastic and gave us memories we will never forget!

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In the afternoon, Lickety Split ice cream parlour from Seaham came with their vintage ice cream trike to give all the guests ice creams of their choice.

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After the wedding we honeymooned in Jamaica. 

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We had a two year engagement as this allowed us to save enough money and plan things that we wanted. My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to take time on your day to stand back and watch everyone for a few minutes. Enjoy every minute as it goes so quick!

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Congratulations Kerry & Lee!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North – here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Grange Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Brides Up North: My Own Wedding Day…Let’s Hear It for the Boys!

January 6th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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And so we come to one very nervous groom, a relatively calm best man (well done Carl!) and some very excitable ushers.  Its a wonder Alan made it to Durham School Chapel on time to meet me at the altar! My heartfelt thanks to David Lawson Studios for capturing the action (and helping to calm the groom down)…

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Presenting, the “A” Team…

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Alan was sick with nerves the morning before our wedding – he even suspected my Dad had tried to poison him at our rehearsal dinner (which may not have been far off the mark…)

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Our rings were bought from Ace Jewellery in Leeds.  A fantastic little shop, hidden away above W H Smith in the city centre.  Pay them a visit!

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Whisky for the ushers, with a cut glass tumbler each.

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Ever mindful of budget, Dad sourced the top hats on Ebay.  We needed 8, we had 13.  Er…well done Dad.

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We hired the gentlemen’s morning suits from Troughear Suit Hire in Gilesgate, Durham.  Alan’s shiny new shoes were from Dune.

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Better weather than August!

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A fabulous lady leading her troops…

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.Alan with his best man, his brother Carl, awaiting the bride’s arrival… but where is she…?

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…still posing probably!

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Coming up tomorrow morning… I’m goin’ to the Chapel…

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Stay tuned!

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Did you miss me and the bridesmaids? If so, scroll down, or click here!

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Only two more days to enter the Wedding and Baby Giveaway – Click here for more details!

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David Lawson Studios is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your Real Wedding photographs

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