Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

destination fairytale. bespoke sarah willard for a chateau wedding in pays de la loire – helena & owen

March 16th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

A Destination Wedding in France (c) Marie Marry Me (42)

Soooooo over the ‘Beast from the East’, we’re leaving our weather woes behind this Friday afternoon and escaping to a 19th-century chateau in beautiful western France for today’s hugely Pin-worthy real wedding!

Vintage enthusiasts Dick and Angel set about restoring Chateau de la Motte Husson to its former glory and more than three years ago, and today’s bride Helena reports that she fell in love with it immediately. Looking at this veritable wonderland of circus memorabilia, fake taxidermy and eclectic additions (think unicorn heads and butterfly-adorned walls and you’re getting there…), it’s immediately obvious why.

For their magical wedding, Northern couple Helena and Owen chose to decorate the venue with meadow grasses and wildflowers and chose sparkly mismatched gowns for the bridesmaids in delicate shades of oyster grey, gold and pistachio. They ‘ate French’ (beef, baguettes, cured meats, local pork pie and wine) and added a touch of whimsy with hand-embroidered napkins as favours.

In short, the overall effect was sublime and, looking at these pictures, we can’t help but wish we’d had an invitation.

With images by Marie Marry Me.

A Destination Wedding in France (c) Marie Marry Me (30)

helena says: We got engaged while on holiday with two of our closest friends in September 2016. We’d hired a car for the day and were exploring the volcanic Nature Park when we stumbled across a hidden beach. Owen asked me to walk over the rock pools so that we could get a photo together – our friend Ben volunteered to take it. As we stumbled across the rocks, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Naturally, I said yes!

Our wedding date was 28th May 2017. We chose it as it was a bank holiday weekend and we knew we wanted to have a weekend full of celebrations!

A Destination Wedding in France (c) Marie Marry Me (14)

We got married at Chateau de la Motte Husson in the Pays de la Loire, France. We went to visit the venue in November with our parents and fell in love with it straight away. Dick and Angel, the owners, are the most amazingly accommodating couple and we knew straight away that we would have the most perfect celebration here.

There wasn’t a strict colour scheme. In fact, it took longer to find my bridesmaids dresses than my own! I chose a grey/green for the bridesmaids as it was a colour that all four girls felt comfortable in and suited their different complexions.

A Destination Wedding in France (c) Marie Marry Me (33)

I had a bespoke, couture gown made for me by Sarah Willard. Sarah is a ridiculously talented designer and dressmaker based in Staffordshire. When I went to view her gowns with my mum and bridesmaids, she was so friendly and nothing was too much trouble. She spent almost three hours asking questions and listening to us describe the wedding and two weeks later she sent the most beautiful sketches and swatches in the post. It was a very easy decision to choose Sarah’s dress.

A Destination Wedding in France (c) Marie Marry Me (39)

Owen wore a blue Hugo Boss suit, a white shirt and a red tie gifted to him by my dad. He bought two suits and chose to wear this one on the day as it was slightly less heavy than the other. It was around 27 degrees, so pretty warm for a suit!

My bridesmaids’ dresses were a mixture of Jenny Packham and Adrianna Papell.

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rachel’s diary: the wedding venue hunt

March 16th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Andy & Rach

After riding that cloud-nine-feel of getting engaged over Christmas and New Year the realisation of planning a wedding hit me head on in mid-January. Even though I work in the industry my vision was clouded by the ring-finally-on-finger euphoria and I thought (possibly like many other couples) that we had loads of time to find a venue and start making plans.

However, when Andy and I started to seriously discuss timings we narrowed when would like to say our “I dos” down to a three-month-window next spring; being April, May, June 2019. Now, if you’re quite happy to have a long engagement, or perhaps, aren’t too fussed about what time of the year you get wed, you don’t need to panic just yet. For us it was a case of timing the wedding to fit in with a season that we like, months that would work well with our jobs, and also avoiding the peak summer season price hike – we, like the vast majority of brides and grooms, don’t have a bottomless budget and therefore are taking care to spend wisely.

With this in mind, we have also done the unthinkable and booked a, wait for it…Thursday wedding! We figured those that love/like/just about tolerate us will be willing to sacrifice a day’s annual leave to celebrate our special day with us – and, as a thank you, we will be investing the saving we made by opting for a week day into elements our guests will most definitely benefit from – being the food, booze and entertainment!

Middleton Lodge Fig House - Image by Gary Walsh Photography

Middleton Lodge Fig House – Gary Walsh Photography

So, where oh where will the big day take place? Well prompted into panic mode we went to view three venues which I know of and love; and so really it was a case of gauging Andy’s feelings on these. New addition to the stunning Middleton Lodge Estate in North Yorkshire, The Fig House was a front-runner from the off. Fresh and fabulous, this stunning Georgian inspired building is set to start holding weddings in the coming months, and we both loved the fact that none of our family or friends would have got hitched there before. Better still, The Fig House is concealed within a breath-takingly beautiful walled Kitchen Garden, and visions of beers and Bellinis on the lawns had us hooked. However, back home when we mulled things over, logistically it was going to be a struggle for us with pretty much all guests being from our home-city of Sheffield and even further south. Those of you on the venue search around the North Yorkshire area though must absolutely check out The Fig House and wider Middleton Lodge Estate.

Saltmarshe Hall - Image by Aden Priest

Saltmarshe Hall – Aden Priest Photography

Next up was gorgeous Grade II country house, Saltmarshe Hall, located in rural East Yorkshire. What I adore about this venue is its grand façade and gorgeous interiors, which offer an air of luxury and opulence, and yet it feels a real home from home, instantly welcoming and exclusive. Having recently added more stunning bedrooms to its offering it was another strong contender, with its light and airy reception rooms and speak-easy style bar adding extra ticks. Though in the end, for us, we felt we needed just a bit more space for the size of our wedding party (and also to accommodate Andy’s dance moves without people getting injured!) However, again, if your wedding venue search area covers East Yorkshire, please do look up this truly beautiful Hall.

The West Mill

The West Mill

And so that brings me onto our third and, as it turns out, winning venue – The West Mill in Derby. I’d never visited this place in person prior to our viewing but I’d often spent far too long staring at images of it, either via real weddings featured here on the blog or those I found on Instagram. What drew me to it was its cool, industrial luxe style and I thought (and hoped!) this would be right up Andy’s street too. Cue a wonderfully personal show around by owner Andrew, and we were sold.

The West Mill

The space within the Grade I listed former cotton spinning mill, situated next to the river Derwent, is nothing short of exceptional with space to wed, dine and party across four fabulous levels, plus outdoor space too – oh and eight brand new gorgeous on-site bedrooms.

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blossoming romance. suzanne neville for a fine art inspired wedding at rudding park – maria & simon

March 14th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Fine Art Inspired Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Paul Read Photography (62)

Quite simply, today’s wedding is all kinds of pretty. From the bride’s beautiful bespoke gown to the dreamiest of floral arrangements, complete with plush hydrangeas and peonies – there’s lots of wonderful ideas and special touches from Maria and Simon’s celebrations to pin away to your heart’s content.

But, before we can even gush about these details, we have to talk about the fact that Maria underwent spinal surgery in the lead up to the wedding. We think you’ll agree, this adds extra significance to their nuptials, and we’re delighted to hear that Maria had a speedy recovery that didn’t hinder plans for their big day.

And what a big day it was! Exchanging vows against the grandiose backdrop of Leeds Cathedral, Maria and Simon then went on to host their celebrations at luxury Harrogate hotel, Rudding Park, set in 300 acres of beautiful gardens and woodland. Maria’s Italian and Greek heritage influenced their overall theme for the day, too, with pretty olive branches, a lemon tree and even Greek dancing all bringing Mediterranean feels to the proceedings. Read on as Maria tells all…

With images by Paul Read Weddings.

A Fine Art Inspired Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Paul Read Photography (64)

maria says: We got engaged in August 2015, in Rome, at the beautiful Giardini degli Aranci (garden of oranges) with its stunning view of the city. We went just before sunset, and it was such a romantic setting. I really didn’t expect the proposal and after being there for a while, I asked when we could go for a Prosecco! It was then that Simon said it would be nice to take a seat on one of the benches further back from the wall.

Long story short, he said there was a reason he had brought me to the most beautiful secret spot in Rome, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Once I had stopped crying and said yes, we could hear applause from around the park – such a surreal moment but one we will never forget and that place will remain special for both of us forever.

My mum is Italian so I think Simon always knew he wanted to propose in Italy and it was a trip of a lifetime. We ate at a Michelin star restaurant afterwards but spent most of the evening on our phones telling our family and friends about the amazing news!

A Fine Art Inspired Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Paul Read Photography (42)

We tied the knot on Saturday 24th June 2017.We chose this date as it was 11 years to the day since we first started going out.

We got married at Leeds Cathedral, where I used to sing in the choir. I have also known the priest (now a Monsignor) since I was a child, so it was perfect that he conducted the service for us.

A Fine Art Inspired Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Paul Read Photography (49)

We then held the reception at Rudding Park in Harrogate, voted number one hotel in the UK by Trip Advisor for three years in a row. We knew immediately we wanted our wedding to be attended by all our friends and family, and had considered Amalfi (where my family heritage is from) but given difficulties with older family members being able to get there, we decided that there would be nowhere better than Yorkshire, especially given that I’m a Leeds girl and he’s a Wetherby boy.

We’ve both known Rudding Park for years and it was the perfect balance between city and country. The service at Rudding Park is exceptional and the new spa was going to open the year of our wedding – we just knew we were in safe hands. Plus, I have a pretty huge family and it is one of the few venues in Yorkshire that caters for more than120 people. It’s everything we wanted.

A Fine Art Inspired Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Paul Read Photography (55)

I had spinal surgery for scoliosis in November 2016 – it was a huge procedure but I bounced back within three months – just in time for my wonderful wedding dress to be measured and created. I had often been really paranoid about my waist and I am so lucky to have had this corrected before I walked down the aisle. It seemed a long journey back to health and I had three months off work, but that just left more time for wedmin to take my mind off things!

We didn’t have a theme in the beginning, but once I started my Pinterest obsession, I realised I kept pinning things that were tagged as “fine art”. I tried to bring in a bit of a Mediterranean theme, along with pastel colours to keep things understated and elegant. For example, the olive branches on the cake and the lemon tree in the middle of the main hall, the soft candles, soft blues and pale pinks, and the menu was very much inspired by my Italian and Greek heritage. There was so much food! There was also Greek dancing and a bit of Italian Vin Santo which added much more alcohol to proceedings!

With regards to the pastel colour scheme, I wanted pale pinks and blues with Mediterranean greenery as I thought they would stand the test of time when looking back at the photographs. I also love hydrangeas and peonies which helped guide the colour scheme, and indeed the month of June for the wedding, when peonies are available and in bloom.

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omg! its the big bridal super show at ramside hall hotel, golf & spa!

March 14th, 2018 | Julia Braime


Taking a break from the #wedmin are we?  Well, you picked the right time to stop by, because look!  It’s the Brides Up North big bridal super show Grand Wedding Exhibition!  It’s THIS WEEKEND!  And it’s only the biggest event in our whole North East spring calendar.

The region’s best and most beautiful wedding industry suppliers will gather at of the North East’s favourite wedding venue – Ramside Hall Hotel, Spa & Golf Club – on Sunday 18th March 2018, from 11am till 3pm, FREE ENTRY.  

Yep. Free.  With a goody bag on top! Judging by our stellar supplier lineup and our pre-registration figures, it’s going to be pretty epic…


Once again, we don’t do things by halves here at Brides Up North!  We are filling the whole hotel – that’s five huge function areas – and it’s going to be spectacular!

If there’s one wedding fair to attend this year, this is it.  This isn’t your typical wedding fair though, it’s a knock-your-socks-off bridal fashion bonanza with all the extra pretty on top!  This should most definitely be one for your diaries.

Whether you are shopping for the final details or have no idea where to start, I can promise you the very best choice of the best wedding experts in the region.  Everything you can think of for planning your big day will be represented and there’ll be on the day discounts too.

And NEW for this season, the Ballroom at Ramside Hall Hotel has undergone a complete refurbishment.  Come and check out this beautiful new light-filled space! (And get it booked before everyone else finds out too…)

CHP small no logo IMG_5272-48

As well as our two Brides Up North designer bridal catwalks as standard (we’re planning some really beautiful shows with the best boutiques in the area – don’t miss them!), we’ve also added a bargainous designer dress sale area courtesy of The Wedding Wardrobe!

You can also meet the Ramside Hall wedding planners, pose in our photo booths, taste our sweet treats, kit out your man and bridesmaids,  play dress up with gorgeous gowns and accessories (you are going to be spoilt for choice let me tell you!), get lost in our beautiful floral displays, get the hair and make up sorted, source your stationery, find a top photographer and tick off all those last essential details.  You name it, we can sort it.

I adore this event – it’s big, it’s busy, it’s exciting but most of all it’s really beautiful.  I can’t wait to see you all there for a day of wedding planning heaven… and lots of fun too.

CHP small no logo IMG_4440-101

bride to be?

To pre-register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack (stuffed with treats and glossy mags, including the hot off the press issue of UNVEILED Magazine) and FREE ENTRY, fill in your details below. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack upon entry to the event. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.


fancy exhibiting with us?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions.

Click here to view the full schedule.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place. Please email for exhibitor booking and pricing information listing the events or area that you are interested in.

Images by Cat Hepple Photography.

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style sheet. pantone 2018: ultra violet

March 12th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Ultra Violet

image source, photography by Jenna Bechtholt Photography

While some predicted Pantone to return to a more muted tone for its colour of 2018 following a year of bold greenery, the tonal experts threw something even louder our way in the form of Ultra Violet.

Described as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade” the deep hue gives a fashion forward alternative to traditional Cadbury tones that we’ve seen numerous times before. Related to “mysteries of the cosmos” the blue-based purple of Ultra Violet is said to light the way for what is to come whilst also having connections to the spiritual world.

So, who’s it for? Well as Pantone see it, the vivid colour will spur on individuals to make their own mark on the world and push boundaries. In which case, confident wedding couples looking for options beyond ivory, creams and gold for their celebrations, and those that love to use colour in both an impactful and beautiful way.

With this in mind, we’re taking a look at how to incorporate Ultra Violet into varying elements of a wedding day; from subtle suggestions for the décor and details, right through to strong styling in accessories – and possibly even the dress!

Prepare to get starry-eyed…


UV Decor

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Linda Chaja Photography| image source| image source, photography by The Ganeys| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Lauren Kinsey| image source.

Though admittedly a dark shade of purple, we find that Ultra Violet lends itself beautifully to all seasons: mix with light, soft and creamy shades of purples and creams for spring/summer and vibrant, deeper tones of purples and blues for autumn/winter.

As the shade itself is rather opulent, it instantly works well in regal centrepieces with plentiful arrangements placed in urn style vessels and mercury glass vases.

In a nod to its spiritual relations, romantic ribbons and flowing fabrics are captivating when trailed down table centres, or draped from decorative structures, such as aisle arches or top table backdrops.

For full on luxury bring in cut glassware, metallic crockery, decorative charger plates and elegant tapered candles. Meanwhile, those wanting to keep the mood lighter, could introduce pretty pompoms, paper fans and large helium balloons.


UV Dress

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Michael and Carina Photography| image source, photography by Brookelyn Photography| image source, photography by Jenna Bechtholt Photography| image source| image source.

Certainly not for the colour-shy, injecting Ultra Violet into the attire makes a bold statement.

There are options for those more coy though, such as jewellery featuring pretty purple gems, or a pop of colour in the shoes that are largely concealed beneath the dress. Alternatively, you could always divert the Ultra Violet spotlight onto your bridesmaids dressing them all in the bold hue or mixing up the tones for added interest and depth.

As for your own dress, it takes one brave bride to wear purple, but it can be done in a stylish fashion for those who want to tip the traditional bridalwear box on its head. The Ultra Violet tone is very deep to be worn from head-to-toe so consider a bespoke ombre design with the colour just washing up a fraction of the dress, or chose a softer shade of purple that will complement Pantone’s reining hue. To keep any harshness at bay, look for designs in romantic fabrics, such as delicate lace and tulle.

And grooms too can get in on the cosmos action; whether it be a flash of Ultra Violet in the socks and tie, or a full on violet velvet tux for next-level dapper.


UV Details

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Melanie Aubin| image source| image source, photography by Zahra Creative| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Ed & Aileen Photography| image source| image source| image source.

There are so many pretty purple blooms out there that putting together a Pantone posy should be a joy for you and your florist. We adore full bouquets of varying shades of lilac, lavender, violet and indigo, but also those that bring in powder and fuchsia pinks. Greenery also works beautifully with the bewitching charm of Ultra Violet, and when combined with soft blousy petals, can create a more rustic/country garden style vibe.

Its Parma Violet-like appearance also links the shade perfectly to all things sweet; from on-trend marble and geometric cakes to elegant macaroons, enchanting cocktails and a Brides Up North confectionery favourite, doughnuts.

The colour also makes for bright and bold invites, a fabulous way to heighten the anticipation amongst guests for the big day to come. Its jewel type properties have seen Ultra Violet weddings featuring gorgeous geodes too in areas such as the paper goods, place names and show-stopping cake designs.

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peachy keen. jesus peiro for a timeless lake district wedding – victoria & christopher

March 8th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

A Pretty Wedding in the Lake District (c) Shane Webber Photography (49)

Victoria was just one of the legions of brides-to-be who walked into a bridal boutique claiming she knew what she wanted only to find herself disappointed. Thankfully, she was persuaded to try this classic Jesus Peiro number with ultra-elegant high neck and heavy silk, satisfyingly-swishy princess skirt and the rest, as they say, is history.

Her wedding to the lovely Christopher (full marks for that surprise Italian balcony proposal, Chris!) has sophistication in spades – we particularly love the dreamy peach and sage colour-scheme, just perfect for a summer bash, and the way these gorgeous images glow with a champagne-y light.

And we have a Brides Up North first! Have you ever seen a GoPro camera on a bottle of whisky? No? Us neither! We bow down to your ingenuity, guys – and we would love to see the footage…

With images by Shane Webber Photography.

A Pretty Wedding in the Lake District (c) Shane Webber Photography (35)

victoria says: Chris took me away in October 2016 as a surprise 30th birthday present. – I had no idea where I was going until we were checking in at Gatwick!  We went to Cinque Terre in Italy and on the second day we were making breakfast to enjoy on our balcony. When I walked outside, Chris was waiting for me on one knee. It was the day of our 5th anniversary.

Our wedding date was set for 5th August 2017. I’m a teacher, so I really wanted it to be during the summer holidays – I knew I’d be so much more relaxed and it meant we could go on a three-week honeymoon straight afterwards. Chris also wanted a day where it was more likely to be sunny!

A Pretty Wedding in the Lake District (c) Shane Webber Photography (31)

Our venue was The Grange Hotel, Grange Over Sands, for both the ceremony and reception. We wanted to have the wedding in the Lake District as it’s somewhere we love and visit often. We spent a whole day visiting venues and fell in love with The Grange Hotel straight away; it was just what we wanted and luckily the perfect date was free!

A Pretty Wedding in the Lake District (c) Shane Webber Photography (39)

The idea of a theme only came up once we started designing our seating plan, table names and favours. We were already considering using holiday photos and destinations as our table names as they were responsible for some of our best memories in our five years together. When looking for favours and seating plan ideas, I came across some DIY suitcases on Amazon that we could use for both, so a travelling theme became a small part of our wedding!

Palette-wise, sage was the primary colour, with peach as a secondary. We just love those subtle, natural, summery colours.

A Pretty Wedding in the Lake District (c) Shane Webber Photography (51)

I wore a Jesús Peiró dress purchased from Marrime Bridal Wear. I was really struggling to get ‘that’ feeling in any of the dresses I’d been picking out on visits to other bridal shops. However, I instantly loved the thick silk material used in the Jesús Peiró selection, so decided to try some with a fuller skirt for fun (one of the many styles I was certain I didn’t want!) Once it was on I knew I couldn’t go back; I was so excited. I’d found my dress! I used Belles and Bows on the Isle of Man for my alterations.  Rachel was so patient and went out of her way to make the dress fit perfectly; I’d recommend them to anyone looking for dress alterations.

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