Charlotte Balbier

behind the blog: rachel

October 19th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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Day to day we’re used to dishing out questions; to our wonderful featured brides, talented local suppliers and top dress designers, so that we can bring you all the latest bridal news and inspiration. It’s not that often that the tables are turned and we find ourselves in the spotlight. However, we keep being asked for gossip and insight into what goes on behind the scenes here at Brides Up North HQ. Who are we to argue?

And so, in order to give a glimpse as to what we get up to during both work and non-work hours (not that we have too many of the latter!) we’re introducing a new series of ‘behind the blog’ features to our pretty pages.

Here we’ll give you all the latest Brides Up North developments, as well an update on our home and social lives, plus a look at what we have planned in the coming months.

I’m kicking things off this month, with a personal post from Julia to follow in November. So readers, welcome to my world…

work

Dine Taste Test (32)

September and October are crazy busy months for Brides Up North as we take to the road to stage our Luxury Wedding Fairs at some of the finest and coolest venues in the top half of the country. This is a fabulous opportunity for us to leave our white-walled office and meet/catch up with skilful suppliers in the industry while meeting you lovely brides-to-be first hand. We love to see the fabulous displays that our exhibitors put on to inspire our visitors whilst hearing what couples have planned for their big day. So far it’s been an epic season, that’s seen our events taking place in rustic barns, urban warehouses, elegant hotels and fine stately homes, offering something for all. And there’s still five events lined-up in the Autumn calendar – check them out here!

Elsewhere we have been fortunate to be invited to some spectacular industry events, including The Bridal Buyer Awards in Harrogate (for which we act as a judge), the Northern Blog Awards in Manchester (where we won the title of ‘Best Wedding Blog’, no less!) and a fabulous ‘Tickle Your Tastebuds’ event with hospitality specialists Dine.

Dine Taste Test (25)

Held at their beautiful headquarters and gorgeous wedding venue The Mansion, in Leeds, (where we just so happen to be hosting one of our Luxury Wedding fairs this Sunday), Dine treated us to a delicious three-course meal with accompanying wines, which culminated in a sorbet taste test (turns out our senses aren’t quite as in tune as we thought!) The stunning presentation matched the amazing flavours and we can highly recommend these guys to deliver incredible food and service for your big day. The images accompanying this post by Olivia Brabbs Photography will show you a little of what we got up to.

Even further north, we travelled up to Matfen Hall in Northumberland, to hear all about the refurbishment plans that the team there have in store to take this already fairy-tale venue to the next level. Prepare for full details coming up on the blog soon and we will be unveiling the transformation with a Luxury Wedding Fair at Matfen on Sunday 4th March 2018!

Dine Taste Test (13)

home

After weddings, this is one of the main topics discussed at Brides Up North HQ at the moment, as both Julia and I have both recently purchased new properties. For me it was a move across Sheffield, taking us from an apartment to a house (that’s right, I now have stairs and outdoor space!) I’ve found this means becoming excited about things I would have previously considered quite mundane (light switches and radiators mostly), plus my ‘home’ pinning is off the Pinterest scale!

It’s a project in that it requires cosmetic attention throughout, as well as a new kitchen, but we (my boyfriend and I) are learning to take things one step at a time and enjoy the planning and process too. So far, we’ve transformed a tired once-cream living room into a deep-blue sanctuary – the walls took three coats, four in some areas, and I know we will curse our choice of deep-hue when trends change and muted tones are back in, but for now we will enjoy our ‘Blue Fringe’ selection.

The bathroom is underway now, and again we’ve shunned light tones in favour of something with depth, unable to resist Pantone’s colour of the year, which literally pours from every interior magazine and plumed for a dark green tone and botanical theme. Further updates to follow.

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beautiful blooms. a stylish wedding at hotel du vin, york – beth & gareth

October 19th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Stylish Wedding at Hotel Du Vin (c) Sarah Beth Photo (72)

Today’s featured bride is a florist by day, so it goes without saying, she had a very clear idea of (a) her favourite season and (b) what floral arrangements she wanted for her wedding with hubby-to-be, Gareth. And they truly are exceptional – with exquisite terracotta pots and a beautiful trellis just two of the floral highlights.

Tying the knot at Hotel du Vin in York, the venue is beyond pretty, brimming with character. And just a short car ride away lies the Museum Gardens, lending another captivating backdrop to the couple’s fabulous wedding photography.

Beth has recounted so many wonderful and touching details from their special celebrations – we suggest you grab a cuppa and join us as we soak up this impressive springtime wedding…

With images by Sarah Beth Photo.

A Stylish Wedding at Hotel Du Vin (c) Sarah Beth Photo (31)

beth says: Gareth proposed in Rome on July 4th 2015. We had just bought our first house together and decided a city break away was just what we needed before a hectic couple of months moving in and decorating our house. We’d gone for a romantic meal near the Trevi Fountain and Gareth had been very quiet and said that he was tired from a busy day of sightseeing. We then walked along to St Peters Square to see it lit up at night. We were both admiring the view and I was busy taking photos. I then turned around and Gareth was on his knee! It was perfect, and even more so that a kind lady had captured it all, unbeknown to us; a very special photo that we will treasure forever.

A Stylish Wedding at Hotel Du Vin (c) Sarah Beth Photo (45)

We got married on Saturday 22nd April 2017. Spring is one of our favourite times of the year as we love anything outdoorsy. As a florist, I automatically thought, when are my favourite flowers in season?! So it had to be April. We chose the back end of the month hoping there’d be more chance of sunshine, and we certainly did get that! We couldn’t have wished for a more perfect day.

We chose Hotel Du Vin in York as our wedding venue. We spend a lot of time in York as it’s one of our favourite cities. Gareth and I made an appointment to speak to Mollie, the events organiser, and we loved it. The style and décor of the hotel is timeless and simple. The courtyard where our ceremony and evening reception was held has a glass roof so it felt as though we were outside, which was just what we were after.

We had our wedding breakfast in the bistro – another beautiful room with lots of character. We only had 50 guests during the day, so it was lovely to be so close to our family and friends.

A Stylish Wedding at Hotel Du Vin (c) Sarah Beth Photo (63)

There wasn’t any particular theme to the day. Flowers and springtime were obviously a big part of the wedding, but the main thing was creating a relaxed and happy day.

I wanted to include little personal touches, too. I had some gorgeous signs made by Painted by Katie: an order of the day, Instagram hashtag (#happilyeverstorey), and a special board made for a table featuring photos of my grandma and gramps, who I have lost. It meant the world to me having their photos there for everyone to admire. I also had my gran’s brooch attached to the binding of my bouquet, it really felt as though she was there with us.

The colours tied in with spring, with lemons, mint green, cornflower blue and lots of green foliage throughout. They are my absolute favourite colours.

A Stylish Wedding at Hotel Du Vin (c) Sarah Beth Photo (55)

I chose an Enzoani dress from The Harrogate Bridal Lounge. It was the first shop I went to and the fifth dress I tried on. The girls were amazing at the shop, so friendly, professional and full of knowledge about all the dresses and designers.

The dress was everything I said I didn’t want! Flicking through the rails, my mum loved the Kerianna dress. It was very detailed with beautiful pearls, crystals and delicate lace which I loved, but it was strapless. She persuaded me to give it a try and, of course, as always, mum was right! I wore a veil, too, which made me feel less exposed around my shoulders and back; it finished my bridal look perfectly.

My Rachel Simpson shoes were so pretty and they were comfy all day, I took them off for the last hour of the night so I think I did pretty well to stay in heels for nearly 12 hours!

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time to sparkle! a luxury evening wedding fair at hornington manor, york

October 18th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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For those on the hunt for a blank canvas style venue with a hint of rustic charm, we’d highly recommended putting our stunning Sponsor venue Hornington Manor, on your must-visit list. Set within rural Yorkshire, this homely venue invites brides, grooms and their guests to enjoy a full weekend of celebrations with fabulous accommodation, ceremony and reception spaces, all on site.

We know just how special this place is and are so excited to announce our sparkling evening event at this stunning venue!  On Thursday 2nd November 2017, 6pm till 9pm, FREE ENTRY, we’re transforming the already gorgeous Hornington Manor Wedding Barn into a twinkling wedding inspiration paradise!

Joe Stenson Photography

Joe Stenson Photography

bride to be?

We’re giving away up to 100 free Bride To Be Media Packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North and UNVEILED Magazine. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.

While stocks last.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

wedding industry pro?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors and old friends to the Brides Up North family in 2017/18. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our award winning luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions. Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Discounts are available for block bookings. Get in touch for pricing, exhibitor info and to guarantee your place.

Email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk listing the events or area that you are interested in.

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We’ve invited the lovely Hannah from Hornington Manor to tell us more about the venue in the meantime…

Where is Hornington Manor located?

hornington manor say: Our venue located in the picturesque village of Bolton Percy, nestled into the rolling North Yorkshire countryside. It is approximately ten miles from the historic city of York, and less than 20 miles from the bustling city of Leeds. With easy access from the A1 and M1 motorways – great for travelling guests.

Tell Brides Up North about the venue, what is its history?

Hornington Manor was built in 1770 and is set on a beautiful 300-acre working farm. The Grade II listed farm house was lovingly restored when farm was brought back to life in 2009 by local bed-makers Harrison Spinks, with the aim of growing some of its own natural mattress fillings. The 18th century Hornington Manor wedding barn was, until very recently, nothing more than a lambing barn.

Mark J Hillyer

Mark J Hillyer

Is Hornington Manor licensed for civil ceremonies and, if so, what areas of the venue are available for weddings and what capacity can they cater for?

Hornington Manor is fully licensed to hold civil ceremonies at a number of remarkable locations around its grounds to suit couples’ individual preference. Hornington Gallery has huge floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the sheep grazing in the fields outside and is wonderfully bright and airy, holding 120 guests.

Our most popular place to hold wedding ceremonies is in the infamous Hornington Wedding Barn. The original 18th Century rustic barn can comfortably house up to 150 guests and is beautifully decorated with huge external doors opening onto the Manor courtyard.

For more intimate ceremonies, the lavish ballroom in the West Wing of the Manor could be perfect. Alternatively, couples may wish to take advantage of the stunning surroundings and hold their ceremony outside. Saying their vows under the charming Lych Gate in the Manor Courtyard, or facing the gentle fields on the Manor Lawn.

And what areas are available for the reception?

The beautiful wedding barn is available for wedding receptions, and can seat 150 guests comfortably. Other than boasting a stunning bar and relaxing snug areas, the wood panelled walls and exposed brick is a blank canvas for brides and grooms to style as they wish.

Kate Cooper

Kate Cooper

How would you describe the look and feel of Hornington Manor?

The Manor has a rustic feel to it whilst also being the perfect untouched setting. Brides and grooms can choose to draw on the organic features of the venue, or alternatively use the blank backdrop for a more glamorous theme – anything goes! We’ve seen some amazing ideas; some of which can be seen on the blog section of our website.

What makes Hornington Manor a special wedding venue?

Hornington Manor is so special due to its unique surroundings and its magical element of exclusivity. Not many people can say they’ve married with a flock of sheep as members of the audience! If you’re lucky enough to wed during lambing season, some guests have the extra bonus of feeding pet lambs before the wedding begins! Our team endeavour to do all they can to make each wedding day special, unique and seamless.

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What sort of bride would be a Hornington Manor bride?

A Hornington Manor bride is excited by the chance to create their very own dream wedding – brides can be as creative as they wish. A Hornington Manor bride also appreciates the time before and after their wedding – being able to spend the whole weekend with their family in the house and grounds of the Manor.

How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

Our wedding co-ordinator Jo and her assistant Hayley will be on hand from the moment you have your first viewing, to the moment you leave Hornington Manor as a married couple. Their nothing-is-too-much attitude means our brides and grooms can plan their wedding with peace of mind that everything will run smoothly. On call throughout the big day and in the lead up to a wedding, they will go the extra mile to make sure every couple has the wedding day of their dreams. We also have a number of trusted and recommended suppliers, many of which are regulars at Hornington weddings; and are featured on our website under Recommended Suppliers.

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modern elegance. pinks & pearls for a romantic wedding in the north west – amanda & kevin

October 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Romantic Wedding In The North West (c) Robbie Venn Photography (40)

“Life’s too short” is a phrase and thought responsible for bringing on, or speeding up, many a plan, whether it be booking that holiday of a lifetime, taking the plunge on a new business venture or simply agreeing to a spontaneous night out. For today’s featured couple however, it was that very thought that led to them getting hitched, after Kevin was taken seriously ill in hospital.

Fighting back strong, Kevin spent the next 18 months recovering while Amanda got the big day plans underway and together they achieved their goal of becoming Mr and Mrs, surrounded by family and friends at a stylish venue in the North West.

Working to a budget, creative Amanda kept costs down by doing her own wedding flowers and centrepieces, which looked gorgeous in shades of pink with pretty pearl detailing. We also love Amanda’s Bardot neckline dress, which has the perfect balance of fashion and fairytale.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Robbie Venn Photography.

A Romantic Wedding In The North West (c) Robbie Venn Photography (11)

amanda says: We began planning our wedding after Kevin suffered three cardiac arrests in November 2015 – he was given 5% chance of survival. We realised life is too short so decided to get married. It was more a case of me actually saying: “I think after this I’ll marry you”, and it snowballed from there.

We set the date for 20th May 2017. We didn’t want to wait too long but it also gave Kevin enough time in his recovery.

A Romantic Wedding In The North West (c) Robbie Venn Photography (36)

Our chosen venue was On The 7th, The Landings at Media City, Salford. After looking at several venues we realised we didn’t want the usual white covered chairs style of venue. On The 7th is a modern venue, with stylish décor – we didn’t need to do anything to decorate it. The staff were also amazing, from the wedding coordinator to the master of ceremonies.

I didn’t have a colour in mind for the wedding initially but then I saw a bridesmaid dress style I liked, which was navy, so settled on a navy and pink colour scheme.

A Romantic Wedding In The North West (c) Robbie Venn Photography (33)

I wore a ball gown style dress with a sweetheart bodice, which was from Wed2Be, Bolton. I didn’t know what style would suit me at all, so went with Kevin’s mum try different styles on. Being a larger-chested girl, I had in my mind totally ruled out anything without straps. I tried several dresses on and the last one was the one I ended up choosing – the one with no straps! It felt amazing, I couldn’t believe how it made me feel, and how it didn’t make me look busty, surprisingly.

Kevin wore a navy blue suit from Next with a matching waistcoat and pink tie, pink button hole, and black shoes. The groomsmen’s suits were all from Next too.

The bridesmaid dresses were from Chi Chi London, which were also navy blue, 50’s sort of style. I didn’t want to go for a usual bridesmaid dress. Luckily the dresses suited all bridesmaids. The flowergirl’s dress was from Monsoon.

A Romantic Wedding In The North West (c) Robbie Venn Photography (47)

The bridal party arrived at the venue in a white campervan, from Posh Pampa Campa. I didn’t take in to account how old campervans were at the time of booking! It cut out at each set of traffic lights on the way to the venue, which made the journey all the more memorable. Kevin’s twin brother booked a limousine from bookerlimo.com, which was a surprise to Kevin.

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alternative edge. a country-chic styled shoot at stock farm, tatton estate

October 16th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Boho Wedding Styled Shoot at Stock Farm (c) Chiascuro (1)

We’re now nearing the end of our autumn season of Luxury Wedding Fairs across the north of the country (though five still remain, check them out here!) and we have to hand it to the suppliers that have exhibited with us – they rock!

Keen to introduce brides-to-be the very best talent in the north, we always encourage our exhibitors to pull out all the stops on their stands to showcase their talents and inspire visiting couples – it’s amazing what’s possible through hard work, skills and creativity!

We were therefore thrilled to hear that a group of suppliers at our debut Stock Farm wedding fair in September, had seized the opportunity to style up a shoot onsite at this fabulous Cheshire venue, which really made the most of their incredible efforts.

Prepare for some crazily cool dresses, a to-die-for ceremony backdrop and delectable details as we let Emmylou Kelly, owner of Manchester-based photography and styling company Chiascuro, take over the blog to tell how she and the team achieved these truly stunning images

Diary Date: Our next Pop Up Wedding Festival Fair at Stock Farm takes place on Sunday 8th April 2018! We’ll see you there then!

With images by Chiascuro.

A Boho Wedding Styled Shoot at Stock Farm (c) Chiascuro (59)

emmylou says: As Stock Farm is a brand-new wedding venue, the team involved in the shoot were all eager to work in partnership with the venue on future weddings.

The Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Fair presented an ideal opportunity to arrange a styled shoot (at the end of the event as the day was so busy!) as we would all be in the same place at the same time and so could collaborate on a joint project.

A Boho Wedding Styled Shoot at Stock Farm (c) Chiascuro (7)

When arranging such shoots, I like to ask suppliers to showcase their best pieces or to bring/create something that is true to their company and their own style which allows the shoot to look versatile, whilst still flowing as a collective.

The shoot was based around the dresses supplied by Wilderness Bride and Ghost Orchid Bride, which were a mix of ultra-stylish and discreetly modern designs. Our model, Stephanie, who is also owner of Wilderness Bride, had a cool rock vibe going on, so we went with this look for the styling. We then mixed things up a little with leather jackets and veils to give the look an alternative vibe.

A Boho Wedding Styled Shoot at Stock Farm (c) Chiascuro (39)

Having the beautiful and stylish flowers from Sassflower to work with made it easy to create a look that will be the envy of 2018 and 2019 brides. I tried to envision what Stock Farm’s future brides would choose for the wedding. A little bit of country rock chic?

A Boho Wedding Styled Shoot at Stock Farm (c) Chiascuro (31)

The venue is situated next to a wheat field which couples are able to use for photos. Even though the field had been harvested, I knew it would be a beautiful backdrop to photos and would show off the venue’s beautiful farming landscapes and surroundings. The backdrop also complemented Sassflowers’ stunning ceremony backdrop.

The ceremony arch was dressed with pampas grass, nude Sahara roses, white gladioli, vanda orchids, chrysanthemums, acacia and eucalyptus spray as well as spray roses. The bouquet complemented the backdrop and was made up of vanda orchids, quick sand carnations, astrantia, grasses, spray roses, scabiosa and black seedheads.

A Boho Wedding Styled Shoot at Stock Farm (c) Chiascuro (20)

Other dreamy elements of the shoot included cake designs by Yolk, stationery by Artsynibs and lighting by Love Lights The Way.

A Boho Wedding Styled Shoot at Stock Farm (c) Chiascuro (5)

Overall the shoot went really well and we were delighted with the results! It had been raining on and off all day but the Cheshire sun came out for us at 4pm and gave us that beautiful golden light that I love so much. We utilised various spots around the farm as the wedding fair was still taking place so we were able to showcase different looks, themes and styles as the venue offers so much will appeal to so many different types of brides.

With big thanks to Brides Up North for bringing us all together!

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bee mine. an elegant wedding at owen house, cheshire – fiona & james

October 12th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Romantic Wedding at Owen House (c) Paul Joseph Photography (44)

The wonderful Owen House wedding barn in Cheshire provides the delightful backdrop to today’s beautiful nuptials between Fiona and James, who tied the knot back in May of this year.

With a dusty pastel palette, a classic red double decker bus and a floral bouquet that made the mother-of-the bride shed a tear or two – the couple’s rustic themed day has got us falling head over heels for an effortlessly chic barn wedding.

What we love best though is how the couple ‘tell their story’ through all their personal touches, from their wedding cake to their table names – and even Fiona’s special gift to James on their big day. It comes as no surprise to us that this is Fiona’s top tip for other brides-to-be, too!

With images by Paul Joseph Photography.

A Romantic Wedding at Owen House (c) Paul Joseph Photography (29)

fiona says: We got engaged while we were living in London. James had secretly booked one of the treehouses at Chewton Glen on the south coast as a surprise getaway. He had intended to propose whilst we were there, but he got himself a little too excited so he popped the question in our bedroom whilst we were packing! He didn’t use many words, but the gestures were all there and he was down on one knee with a ring! I said yes – after asking whether he was sure!

A Romantic Wedding at Owen House (c) Paul Joseph Photography (39)

We got married on Friday 19th May 2017. When we started looking for venues, we were set on a Saturday in the summer of 2017. However, we fell in love with Owen House and didn’t want to have to wait until 2018 to get married there, so chose a date entirely based on their availability. Having a Friday actually ended up quite useful, as we were able to set up on the Thursday afternoon. The venue is charming yet cheeky, elegant yet relaxed. The ceremony room with its lovingly carved wooden benches and twinkle lights has a real rustic beauty. I cried when we first saw it!

Vanessa, Dan and the rest of the family have created something truly special at Owen House. They work tirelessly to make sure your day runs like clockwork, and yet they make it look effortless. Nothing is ever too much trouble, no question is too silly.

A Romantic Wedding at Owen House (c) Paul Joseph Photography (34)

Family and friends are really important to us, and we are fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of amazing people. We wanted to create a day that was personal and relaxed, without losing the gravity of the commitment we were making to each other.

We wanted quite a muted palette which lent itself to the rustic nature of the barn. We opted for pale pinks and dusty blues to create a relaxed romantic feel.

A Romantic Wedding at Owen House (c) Paul Joseph Photography (20)

Although James and I have settled in Manchester, I am a Surrey girl. Since we were getting married in Cheshire, I wanted to get my dress from near my parent’s. I went to Chobham Bride in Chobham, Surrey, where I met the lovely Louise who spent a lot of time with me and helped me find the perfect fit. I was adamant that I didn’t want a strapless fishtail, but that’s exactly what I fell for in the end.

The dress I chose was from the Pronovias White One collection. The original dress had a high neck, which I had peeled back by Louise’s seamstress, Lucy, to reveal a sweetheart neckline. I then had an off the shoulder lace bolero made, to wear over the top. It was gorgeous, and was a dream to wear on the day.

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