July 20th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
For the second time this week we’re visiting one of our very favourite Yorkshire venues, Saltmarshe Hall, located near the lovely town of Howden. Did you notice that we are hosting another of our Brides Up North Bespoke Luxury Wedding Shows here on Sunday 7th October, 12pm till 3pm, free entry? Pop that one in your diaries!
As well as ours, the Hall holds a very special place in today’s featured couple’s hearts, as it was where the bride’s grandparents worked and first met. It’s a heart-warming connection that we could only dream of when searching for our perfect wedding venue.
Tying the knot earlier this spring, Faye and David opted for a classic grey colour palette that beautifully complemented the elegance of the Grade II listed venue. Throw in a DIY approach to some of the key decorations on the day – think calligraphy, pebbles and agate, and you’ve got one seriously pretty backdrop.
We just have to mention the bride’s beautiful Enzoani dress and bouquet of earl grey roses, menthe roses, avalanche roses, and foliage. Again, perfectly in keeping with the backdrop and a truly classic bridal look that we’re crushing on big style!
It’s now time to hand the blog over to our bride to share all the precious moments from the couple’s special day – prepare to be inspired!
With images by Clique Visuals.
faye says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2016. On the morning, I was quite angry with David as he’d had a few too many drinks the night before and said he felt ill. I went off to eat my breakfast with my family and when I came back into the room he had dressed our baby girl in a vest that said, ‘Will you marry my Daddy’. It was the sweetest thing and he was obviously let off the hook, although he never did get down on one knee. I said yes, and it was the most perfect Christmas Day.
We tied the knot on April 28th 2018. We chose a spring date because our venue has the most beautiful gardens and we hoped to get some pictures with the flowers in full bloom.
We hosted both our ceremony and reception at Saltmarshe Hall, East Yorkshire. We fell in love with the Hall the moment we saw it, as the recent renovations are both luxurious and elegant. It was important to us to have exclusive use of the venue, which created such an intimate and comfortable feeling for our guests on the day. It is also a very dear place to my family as my great grandma and granddad both met and worked at the Hall as a maid and grounds man. We would not hesitate to recommend this venue to anyone, our wedding planner Kate was so lovely and attentive, she made our day extra special.
Choosing a theme for the wedding was something which caused me some stress during the planning phase. Our vision for the day was for our decor and styling to complement the beautiful decor and surroundings at the venue. I was keen for the wedding to be romantic and timelessly elegant.
The colour palette for our wedding was shades of grey. The delicate tones of lilac, blue and blush really worked especially on the slightly overcast spring day. I wore the Juri gown by Enzoani purchased at The Bridal Lounge in Stockport. The dress was probably the exact opposite of what I had in mind that I would like, but my sister insisted I try it – and she was right. We knew it was the one instantly.
David wore a Prince of Wales morning jacket and navy waistcoat and pants from Best Man Suit Hire in Stockport. The groomsmen, meanwhile, wore navy morning suits, also from Best Man Suit Hire.
July 18th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Today’s real wedding between Helen and Ed has been on the cards for more years than most – they first met at primary school aged five and have the photo evidence to prove it! With so many years of history behind the couple, Helen was keen to bring plenty of memories with her to the wedding, incorporating lots of photographs of the couple from throughout the years. Furthermore, she created place names out of photographs of each guest with either her or Ed, and also made decorations for the aisle out of song lyrics that are important to them as a couple. A little bit of extra thought when planning these details certainly adds to the personal feel of the day.
Breaking the bridal mould Helen ditched a traditional ivory gown in place of a striking magenta gown and centred the wedding décor around her love for the bold hue. Beautiful beaded detailing gives Helen’s gown a wonderful vintage feel that, paired with her gorgeous curled locks, results in a look reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour. A vibrant lip anchors her style and echoes the brights in her dazzling bouquet. Seamless colour scheming skills Helen, we salute you!
With images by A Little Picture.
helen says: Ed’s proposal came as a complete surprise. We both went to Rome on a whim and every day we would walk past the Trevi Fountain and admire its beauty. On the penultimate day of the holiday, after a lovely meal near the fountain, Ed insisted we see it one last time. It was about 10pm, so it was relatively quiet compared to normal. I was doing my usual selfie-taking, trying to get the right angle, when Ed turned to me and got down on one knee. I was so shocked but elated. I knew he was the man I wanted to marry since our first date in 2012. Beaming with excitement and glee, I said “yes!”
We got married on 21st April 2018 at Saltmarshe Hall near Howden in East Yorkshire. We chose the date primarily because the venue was booked up for the entire summer but also because I love blossom and I wanted to get some photos of the blossom during that time of year.
Most venues we looked at would either have multiple weddings on at the same time or the general public walking by during the ceremony. Saltmarshe Hall, however, ensured exclusivity for the entire day and there was just us and our family and friends in the grounds, which we loved. We also liked that there were separate rooms we could use; for example, in the evening, there was the room that had the disco in but also two additional rooms for seating. It meant those who didn’t want to dance and wanted a bit of quiet time could use these rooms to talk and not feel like they were losing their voice to shout over the music. Overall, the venue is beautiful inside and out; we couldn’t fault it and would definitely recommend it. It was perfect for what we wanted – somewhere exclusive with lots of different rooms and places to go outside for the guests and for photographs.
In terms of a theme, we went for a floral style, which we felt would suit the venue. The colours we chose were magenta, dusky pink and navy, with silver accents. As my wedding dress was magenta, I wanted to tie in the décor with it. Everything was made to match these colours – even the wedding cake.
For my dress, I went for a colour as I just didn’t feel like myself when trying on white dresses. I always wear bright colours and I feel I suit colours better, so I went against the tide and bought a beautiful chiffon dress in magenta. I got it from Elenor Rose in Huddersfield. They were so helpful and supportive with my idea to get a coloured dress, which was amazing. In other bridal shops, I felt I was pigeon-holed into getting the standard white dress but Elenor Rose were so kind and understanding. The dress I chose was actually a bridesmaid dress of which I could choose any shade I wanted from an amazing swatch book. I was in colour heaven. I loved the beading detail on it as well. It was so pretty and delicate. On the day, with my long Hollywood curls, I felt like a vintage movie star.
Ed opted for hired suits for himself and the groomsmen. They were from a suit rental shop in Sheffield called Ashley Rogers. He chose a gorgeous mid-blue suit, which had a tonal effect and a shine to the fabric. It was such a flattering colour and looked amazing on all the groomsmen. Ashley Rogers were very helpful as well. All the suits fitted like a glove.
For my bridesmaids, I had two adults and two young girls. The adult bridesmaids, Emma and Helen, chose Little Mistress dresses bought from Debenhams – one in a mink colour and the other in a dusky pink. My younger bridesmaids, Daisy and Alice, chose Monsoon dresses in their favourite colours – lilac and pink. The dresses complemented each other very well, which I was pleased about, and they looked gorgeous in them.
I chose the ties for the groomsmen, as I wanted to make sure the colours matched the dresses. I was delighted to find a tie for Ed that matched exactly to the colour of my dress and the rest of the adult groomsmen had dusky pink ties that matched Emma’s dress. In addition, the page boy had a bow tie matching Helen’s bridesmaid dress. They were all bought from various shops on the high street.
July 17th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Ten months – well actually less than ten months to go now until our big day! Our featured brides aren’t lying when they say the run up to the wedding flies by, and in a twist of roles, it is these knowledgeable now-married ladies that I’ve found myself turning to for guidance along this tricky planning path. For despite being immersed in weddings day in day out, and constantly absorbing the expert advice passed on by the amazing suppliers that we work with, I’ve come to realise that nothing quite prepares you for planning your own – and those armed with the most solid advice are the couples that have been there, done that, and bear the wedding bands to prove it.
I therefore really enjoyed putting together this recent post, which lists top tips from our real brides over the past few months, and I’m now trying to put their wise words into practise – “enjoy the organising”, “don’t stress”, “split the workload”, “be decisive”, “break things down into bite-size chunks”. And so, I found myself scheduling a ‘wedding meeting’ with groom-to-be Andy. Sounds rather bridezilla-esque I know, but as we both lead busy lifestyles (or more to the point, our evenings are currently taken up with Love Island #teamdanijack) I felt like it was necessary to ensure we gave the plans some quality time and got a few things ticked off the ever-growing to do list.
It started out all angelic with a notebook and glass of Buck’s Fizz in our sunny garden, though ended with us sat at a computer screen indoors with our heads in our hands. But I’m pleased to report that progress was made!
The invites are almost ready to hit ‘print’ on thanks to my super talented best friend Nic – a graphic designer/art director with a fabulous eye for detail and styling. Another top tip often mentioned by our featured brides is to call on the skills of family and friends, and I couldn’t agree more. As well as potentially saving you a little money, it’s also a lovely way to involve someone you care about in your plans and to bounce ideas off too. I can’t wait to reveal the final result, but if you want to check out some of Nic’s gorgeous wedding stationery designs in the meantime, take a look at her lovely little business, Paper Dates.
In-line with the sorting the invite designs we’ve also firmed up our guest list, which is no mean feat, as despite family politics, we’ve remained determined to invite those closest to us, rather than who’s ‘expected’ to be attending. At my brother’s recent wedding (where Andy and I are pictured in the opening image to today’s post), he and his partner Ben invited just 40 people to their ceremony and evening reception – the vast majority of these being friends – and then opened up the invite to around 100 guests the following evening for a larger-scale party. The result was a really special and intimate atmosphere for the main part of the wedding that we’d love to replicate on our big day, though our numbers are slightly higher due to the style of wedding. Evening guests have been kept to a minimum not to disrupt the flow of the proceedings, and as we’re having a Thursday wedding we appreciate the logistics of people travelling on a work night could be tricky.
So what else? Just the small matter of finding my wedding dress! It fills me with both excitement and nerves to say that after just two bridal boutique appointments, I’ve found the one! I’m not nervous about my choice, just that it makes it all seem so real and we have plenty of planning left to do.
When initially thinking about my dress search I loved the idea of going to around four or five boutiques, trying on lots of gorgeous dresses while enjoying glasses of fizz before making my mind up – but that wasn’t quite the case as it all happened rather quickly, and on reflection I’m rather glad it did. You see, I’m notoriously indecisive so in the back of my mind I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find the perfect dress and as the search would continue I’d become more disheartened and lose my focus.
For anyone fearing the same, my advice to help you in your search would be:
1 Initially look in magazines and blogs to find styles of dresses that you think you would like.
2 Next, try to find designers that have those styles in their collections, the price range of such dresses and the boutiques that stock them.
3 If you come across a certain dress by a designer that you are really drawn to, enquire with the boutique if they stock that particular design and, if not, are they able to call it in from the designer for you to try on at your appointment or do they have a designer event coming up where they will have the full collection in store for a limited time?
4 Take two, three people maximum to your appointment with you to avoid too many differing opinions. I took my mum and best friend Nic as these are the people I tend to shop with and they know my style and personality best. Most importantly I knew they would be 100% honest with me.
5 Try on a variety of styles. Even if you couldn’t think of anything worse than an A-line princess gown it’s good to try a variety of style to get an idea of what you do want – and while you might not like the overall style on you, there may be an element, such as the neckline, that you love and can look for in another design.
6 Go to a professional boutique rather than shopping on the high street or at warehouse style stores. The service that I received at both boutiques was second to none, as experienced stylists they listened to my plans and style and suggested dresses accordingly, and even made further suggestions on how the design could be altered. Those that have an in-house seamstress in particular are great at giving you alternatives, such as differing necklines, adding straps, sleeves or building in bra cups (the ab-so-lute dream for us small-busted girls keen not to look like a 13-year-old on their wedding day).
7 Move. Don’t just walk around the changing room and boutique rigid, you will need to be able to eat, drink, sit (and possibly kneel if in church), hug and dance in that dress so you have to feel comfortable and at ease.
8 Finally, when you find a dress you like ask yourself – can you see yourself getting married in that dress and will it work with the venue? Don’t worry about the styling, as these are details that will follow and that you can alter to work in-line with the dress. The most important thing is that you are comfortable, feel confident and above all, you love it!
During my appointments my mum and Nic compared me to Princess Diana and Shirley Bassey in some of the dresses so their speechless reactions and teary eyes spoke volumes when I emerged in what will be my dress for the big day. Thankfully there were no comparisons and the overriding opinion was that the dress was totally me!
And so, my journey continues, and I imagine there will need to be a fair few more ‘wedding meetings’ scheduled with Andy up to May, not to mention a ‘hen do brief’ with my #bridesquad as I try to decide where to have my final hurrah as Miss Parry – and make clear that no phallic straws or inflatables will be required!*
*Editor’s note: Just try and stop us Rach!
July 17th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
An understated 1920s theme weaves through today’s featured wedding, bringing in very subtle nods to the decade, such as the 1920s-style font used for the table numbers and the strings of beads draped over the candelabras on the table centrepieces. The cake meanwhile is a little more ‘out there’ – a spectacular confection in gold and white with a definite 1920s’ feel and topped with white feathers.
Stacey is beautiful and elegant in a fitted gown with a long train and an equally glorious cathedral-length veil. The dress features a pretty sweetheart neckline and cap sleeves and the illusion back with its white buttons all the way to the floor is nothing short of stunning. She finishes the look with a delicate bouquet of pale pink and white. Wesley’s smart tuxedo is the perfect complement to her timeless look.
One idea we’re certainly a fan of is booking a crèche to keep the little ones entertained during the meal as Stacey and Wesley did, especially if you plan to have plenty of speeches. It gives your guests a nice break from wiping hands and mouths and passing colouring pencils while also trying to enjoy your wedding breakfast! Let’s hear more from Stacey…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Nik Bryant Photography.
stacey says: We got engaged in Sardinia. It was a complete surprise and it was booked for my birthday in October 2015. We were out in the gardens of the hotel with a beautiful stream and, while we were on the bridge, Wesley got down on one knee and proposed!
We got married on 21st August 2017, as we wanted a summer wedding. The whole day was at Eaves Hall in Clitheroe and the girls and I stayed in the lodge the night before the wedding. We picked Eaves Hall because it was a beautiful setting with amazing gardens. We really loved the exclusivity of the venue and all the staff were really helpful. On the day, nothing was too much trouble. The venue was really classy but still relaxed and comfortable. We would absolutely recommend Eaves Hall to other couples. The fact they have the lodge, so you can stay with all the bridesmaids the night before is a really nice touch.
In terms of a theme, the table plan and decorations were very 1920s inspired but we didn’t want this to overtake our day, so we kept it minimal.
Wesley and the groomsmen wore tuxedos with a bow ties from Slaters Formal Hire.
My bridesmaids wore gold dresses from Debenhams’ evening wear. There wasn’t any real reason we chose this colour but, again, we wanted to keep their look comfortable and classy.
For hair styling we had Kate Simmons and Sonara Parker did our makeup. They were both great and we would recommend them to anyone.
July 16th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple, Nikki and Mike, are showing us a thing or two when it comes to stylishly pulling off a rustic barn wedding. Traditional yet contemporary – we think they got the balance just right.
Hosting their big day at the quaint Sandhole Oak Barn in Cheshire, the couple kept things pared back and beautiful, with plenty of rustic feels to complement the enchanting setting, with hessian and wood textures, bunting, jam jars, candles and crisp white floral arrangements just a few of the delightful details to look out for.
The wedding breakfast was a particular highlight for the newlyweds – just take a look at the sublime menu they dished up – not to mention their elegant naked cake with a delectable four different flavours to choose from!
Plenty of inspiration awaits though, so it’s best we hand the reins over to Nikki so that she can talk us through all the magical moments of their big day. Enjoy!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
nikki says: We were staying at a vineyard just outside Bordeaux in May 2016 when Mike proposed. Mike decided to take me for a morning stroll just outside the chateau, which was on the vineyard. We walked though some woodland and then he got down on one knee and popped the question!
We got married on 11th May 2018. The weather has been great the last few years in May, so we decided to hedge our bets and go for that month.
We tied the knot at Sandhole Oak Barn, in Congleton, Cheshire. The setting was just perfect and exactly what we were looking for. We knew we wanted a barn style wedding and Sandhole ticked all the boxes.
We went for a rustic, countryside theme, although we didn’t have a particular colour scheme in mind, it was just more of the rustic feel with hessian and white tied in.
Mike wore a blue suit with a grey waistcoat from Suits Direct, in Cheshire Oaks. The groomsmen wore matching suits to the groom, but with different button holes from Mike.
The bridesmaids, meanwhile, wore blue/grey multi-way dresses from M&S with gypsophila worn in their hair.
July 13th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Our fabulous Friday real wedding between Lauren and Nick begins with a rather novel proposal – a one carrot gold proposal, if you will (yes, we did say carrot!). It sets the tone for a cool and quirky wedding at the stylish Holmes Mill, Lancashire, where industrial meets luxury.
We love Lauren’s original 1950s below-the-knee dress in blush pink with its flirty skirt, lace detail and wide sash nipping in at the waist. It suits Lauren down to the ground as she conveys an air of vintage charm and her wonderful lively personality, shines through in all the images. She completes her individual attire with a pair of sparkly, striped shoes topped with pink and blue ruffles. And groom Nick too has a strong sense of style – we more than approve of his slim tan tie and the two-tone brogues.
This carefree couple look comfortable throughout resulting to a relaxed and fun day filled with entertaining interludes; from calling up some of the guests to take on carving duties (complete with chef’s hats) to competitive ice-cream-eating and one seriously happening ceilidh. So, join us as we two-step this way to hear more about their truly awesome celebrations.
With images by Sarah Glynn Photography.
lauren says: We got engaged on Christmas morning 2015. We grow a lot of our own food in our garden, and whilst preparing dinner we went outside to pick some carrots. Nick kept suggesting a specific one, but I didn’t think it looked any good. He eventually convinced me to pick it and there was a piece of string attached to the carrot. At the end of the string was a bag; in the bag was an engagement ring! It was his maternal grandmother’s ring and it still had the original receipt from 1910!
We got married on Saturday 9th June 2018 at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe. We were driving our daughter to a music gig in a library in Lancaster and talking about weddings; Nick mentioned he’d seen “somewhere pretty cool” on a website, so I checked it out and called three days later. The venue and everyone involved there were totally unbelievable! Everyone at Holmes Mill went above and beyond to ensure we had the most perfect day. They accommodated everything and took any stress away from us – even when I asked that someone bring Nick eight ice creams throughout the day. (We once attended a wedding where the groom managed to eat six ice creams. Nick later described him as an “absolute hero” and so I wanted Nick to be a hero at his own wedding!) Communication and organisation was second to none and we were thrilled with everything about the day.
We didn’t have a specific theme – just that we wanted the wedding to be very ‘us’. That meant having lots of wine, good music, lots of friends and the odd cycling reference here and there. I guess the wedding colour scheme was dictated by my dress really. With the dress being pale pink, it felt right that flowers, etc. should be muted and very ‘earthy’.
When it came to my dress, Nick actually bought it for me. I’m a real lover of everything vintage and second hand and it’s a genuine 50s dress. I had seen the dress on Susan Hayward’s Facebook page and loved it. On Christmas day it arrived wrapped up. I mentioned on the day that I had seen the dress and imagined it as my wedding dress, he agreed and it sat in the wardrobe until this year. Thank goodness it still fitted! Nick has always been great at choosing clothes for me; I‘m very lucky.
My hair was done by Rachel Wigle at Watermelon Studio in Liverpool. She’s an amazing hairdresser and a fantastic friend; she was invited to the wedding and insisted I wasn’t to do my own hair for my own wedding! It was perfect.
My makeup was done by my wonderful sister Emma Parker. She’d just completed her Level 2 in beauty and so I was really keen for her to do my makeup. We had a few trials and she knew exactly what I wanted. Again, it was perfect.
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