June 18th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Richard and Francesca’s dreamy engagement atop an Italian castle inspired the rustic Italian theme for their glorious ‘back garden’ wedding in the height of the English summer. And, when you have a back garden like that of Francesca’s parents, there could be no finer place to pitch your yurt, scatter your hay bales and soak up the atmosphere to the chilled-out sound of a five-piece band in the sunshine!
A wedding sign proclaimed “Let us make our own fairy tale today” – and Richard and Francesca duly did. They even enjoyed a sprinkle of fairy godmother magic: Richard’s late grandmother spoke to them across the decades in a letter 30 years old and gifted Francesca a gorgeous diamond ring despite never having known her.
Wearing a stunning Jenny Packham gown, Francesca looked every inch the modern princess. We love the capped sleeve detail and beading that echoes a sunbeam pattern across the bodice – the perfect complement to a sunny June day. Apparently, Richard planned most of the big day by himself and we have to agree with his bride that he did a marvellous job #majorgroompoints
With images by Eyesome Photography.
francesca says: We got engaged in a small town called Calitri in southern Italy in August 2015. We were on holiday with my family and Richard arranged to have a tour of a castle in the town in the evening. What I didn’t know was that he planned the whole evening weeks in advance. He arranged for the castle to stay open after hours and for us to have a private tour. When we reached the top of the castle with views of the vineyards and open countryside, whilst the sun was setting I turned around from looking at the view and there he was, on one knee. As you can imagine I was shocked and taken back. Perfect proposal.
We got married on 3rd June 2017, in a very small local church in Copt Hewick, Ripon. The reception was in my parents’ garden, a short walk from the church. This was the home I grew up in, so I had always dreamt of this for my wedding day.
Our theme was Italian rustic. We chose this style because of where we got engaged and also because we have lots of family holidays across Italy every year and we love the food. We didn’t really have a colour scheme – just very rustic colours.
For my dress, I went to The Bridal Collection in Harrogate and chose a Jenny Packham gown. I tried it on and instantly knew it was the one. My shoes were Aquazzura and my veil was borrowed from a good friend.
Richard, the groomsmen and dads wore navy blue suits with light pink ties, which they hired from a local suit shop in Harrogate.
June 15th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
If you like your inspo rugged and natural then today’s Nordic wedding styled shoot will be ticking all the boxes – and then some! Getting back to basics, the shoot brings together nothing more than a field, a teepee and a fire pit for an all-out bohemian affair inspired by rustic charm.
Conceived by photographer and Brides Up North Sponsor Jenny Maden, the photo shoot is brimming with all kinds of pretty, including copper cutlery, sheepskin rugs and cow hides. We think it’s safe to say that Jenny nailed it when it came it rounding up the best wedding suppliers for her shoot.
The ‘bride’ looks simply gorgeous with her pared back gown and dainty flower crown, a real ethereal beauty if ever we saw one. You’d never guess that the weather delayed the shoot though, because if anything, the pale grey skies only add to the drama. Proof that a little rain isn’t always a bad thing on your big day!
Enough talking though – it’s time to scroll through the dreamy photos and soak up all those cool Nordic vibes!
With images by Jenny Maden Photography. Model, Charlotte Brown.
jenny says: Following a recent trip to Iceland, I had been poring over Instagram and Pinterest for Nordic-inspired interiors, landscapes and artwork. I love the simplicity and earthiness of their styling and wanted this bridal shoot to reflect a wild Nordic theme.
We chose a field in a farming area of Denton, North Yorkshire, for the shoot. Getting out into the sticks helped to achieve that feeling of remoteness and wilderness! We also featured a teepee, provided by Bar Events UK. We used one of their small teepees but they also provide much larger structures, should events require a larger capacity. Bar Events UK also provided our wooden tables and benches, as well as the fire pit.
The interior of the tepee was styled by Ange at Floral Dance, using some of her own collection of props, alongside some amazing pieces sourced from Alpine Lifestyle Boutique in Ilkley. This shop is an absolute joy to visit; full of unique and quirky pieces. Lots of natural materials were used to achieve the rustic, Nordic look, including wood, sheepskin rug and cow hides, copper cutlery, vintage brown pot vases, a silver rug, and pampas grass in copper pots. The lovely Raspberry Toast also provided us with beautiful stationery.
We also had a flower archway, made from copper piping, intertwined with hazel, birch twigs, dried phalaris grass, eucalyptus and yellow broom to create a very wild and dramatic backdrop.
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June 14th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Through our trusted Sponsors we’re able to hook you up with the top pros in the industry who can guide you safely along the wedding planning path, helping to avoid any trips and falls along the way. From how to pick a standout venue and dream dress, to tips on styling and completing your day, our guys have got it covered.
Today on the blog, we’re inviting along an expert who can assist in the ‘live music’ category, with a host of incredible acts on their books that can bring the added wow factor to your celebrations – step forward the team from Entertainment Nation.
Covering oodles of weddings every year, the team have mastered the best way for couples to go about picking the right band and ensuring the logistics of the performance go to plan too, with an easy to use website and friendly staff available to answer any questions or queries.
And so keen to help make the entertainment task that bit easier for brides-and-grooms-to-be they’re sharing some of their pearls of wisdom with us this afternoon as they list their top tips on booking a live band. Take it away team…
entertainment nation say: What better way of rounding off your special day in style than by hiring a live wedding band?
The atmosphere begins to build from the moment the band arrive and start setting up fancy instruments and equipment. Short bursts of song and isolated chords from the soundcheck build anticipation further, and then, before you know it, the band are on stage, delivering an adrenaline-pumping performance that encourages even the most reticent of dancers to unleash their inner Michael Jackson!
But, as much as we hate to be the boring folks getting in the way of the dream, we need to let you in on a few things you need to consider when hiring a live wedding band. We’ve been helping brides and grooms book their dream wedding band for years, and during that time we’ve encountered every potential issue possible – and figured out how to solve or avoid these hiccups altogether.
As such we’re sharing our golden band booking tips with you today ensuring that you can sort your evening entertainment without a hitch and be on that dance floor with your new husband or wife, surrounded by family and friends rocking it out before you know it!
If you don’t book your wedding band early, you risk missing out on your number one choice. Just like with wedding venues, the best wedding bands get booked up well in advance; peak dates getting filled two years ahead of time is common, and we’ve often received enquiries for even farther into the future.
So, if you want the biggest and best choice of wedding bands possible, make sure you book as far in advance as possible. Booking well ahead of your wedding date also means you can benefit from paying this year’s prices, rather than the inflation-adjusted prices of two years’ time.
Generally, you’ll secure your venue before you book a wedding band (although we’ve seen it done the other way around when a couple has their heart set on a particular band). If you’re keen on having live music at your evening wedding reception, it’s important to find out whether your venue is able and willing to host a live band.
There’s nothing more soul-destroying than spending hours finding the perfect musical entertainment and then discovering the venue won’t allow them to perform.
June 14th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
We love to see a bride and groom take a style that represents who they are and really run with it – like today’s real wedding couple Erin and Joel. In love with the 1950s, the post-war rock and roll era and a time of great social change, Erin and Joel went to town with their black and white polka dot and red theme. The bridesmaids in their polka dot dresses are accessorised with striking red pillbox hats and gloves, while Erin wears a bold red lip to add oomph to her classic vintage, detailed wedding gown and Joel sports a side parting hairstyle reminiscent of the era.
The bold colour scheme is carried throughout the whole day and bangs a buck at the wedding reception, where vibrant red rose centrepieces proudly sport black feathers to echo the popular feather-adorned hats of the time. With photographs on the tables of icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Erin and Joel made sure they used every opportunity to bring the 50s’ vibe to their big day. Guests were even treated to a CD compilation of 50s’ hits, so they could carry the rock and roll essence home with them at the end of the night.
With images by Ian MacMichael.
erin says: We got engaged on 29th May 2014. Joel got down on one knee at Haydock Races and proposed in front of my family. We were all dressed up and it was a lovely way to start the day.
We got married on 19th January 2018. It was the same date my parents got married in 1985, so they were 33 years married on our day.
We held our ceremony at St Margaret Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in my local and amazing parish. Our reception took place at the Isla Gladstone Conservatory, Liverpool – such a beautiful location. The venue was a blank space and we just fell in love with it as soon as we saw it. We loved the exclusivity and the coordinators were amazing throughout the whole process. The food was stunning; we got amazing feedback from guests. All the staff were friendly and helpful – nothing was too much trouble.
Our theme was 1950s for the whole day. We both adore this decade – we love the colours and the music, etc. For our colour scheme, we went for black and white polka dot with red, which fitted the 1950s theme perfectly. I love the bold colours.
My dress was a lace, fitted mermaid dress with sleeves. I also wore a two-tier, cathedral-length veil and a replica of Princess Diana’s tiara. I love the classic vintage bridal look. My hair was styled by Beauty Box Aesthetics – they are amazing girls. Two of my close friends – Jess Hardy and Ashlee Platt – did our make-up.
June 13th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s exquisite wedding has pretty autumnal feels by the bucket load. From conkers, pinecones and mini pumpkins to a vibrant red and green colour scheme – Jodie and Daniel’s special day last October was utterly on point when it came to those fabulous seasonal touches.
Knowsley Hall, a private walled estate in Merseyside, provided the backdrop to their wedding, brimming in opulence with stunning grounds to match. The floral arrangements chosen by the couple beautifully enhanced this space, with rosemary, eucalyptus and berries all beautifully offset by lanterns, vases and twinkling lights.
As always, it’s the personal touches that really tug at the heart strings though and there’s plenty to inspire you today, with nods to the bride’s miniature dachshund, loved ones remembered in Jodie’s bouquet and even cartoon versions of the couple made out of plastic! So, if you’re contemplating an autumnal wedding date – we think this one might just sway your decision.
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
jodie says: For our anniversary we usually book a nice hotel and restaurant, but for our third anniversary Daniel told me he had booked somewhere special and wanted the location to be a surprise. In July 2016 he drove us to the stunning Augill Castle in Kirkby Stephen. We had a gorgeous suite to ourselves and when it came to the evening meal we were taken to a private dining room which had been set out with candelabra’s and roses. After the meal – and as the sun was setting – we took a walk in the grounds. We were in the gardens at the front of the castle when Daniel turned around, bent down on one knee and proposed! After the initial surprise of him taking my glass of wine off me in order to hold my hands, I then repeated ‘Oh my God!’ possibly a hundred times and, of course, said yes!
We got married on 7th October 2017. We both love deep rich autumnal colours so chose this season to make the most of them, the weather is also still quite mild in October. Plus, with it being a Saturday and having family and friends coming from all over the world, we knew it’d be easier for people to attend.
We visited a number of venues but when we walked through the doors at Knowsley Hall we knew this was the one. The venue is breathtakingly beautiful inside and has so many spectacular features, from the opulent ceremony room/ballroom and dining room to the wonderful views of the gardens and the luxurious bedrooms – it’s all just wonderfully stunning. The staff made us feel so welcome and we couldn’t wait to invite along our family and friends to share the experience with us.
We’re not one for ‘themes’ however we knew we wanted it to be seasonal, natural and elegant. As much as the day was about us, we wanted to provide an experience for people that they would remember. We wanted very natural greens and autumnal colours throughout the day to reflect the time of year and also because the colours match my hair! So we opted for a deep red as our main accent colour and incorporated it into all the groomsmen, grooms-woman, bridesmaids and brides-man outfits, stationery and flowers.
I chose a beautifully simple Pronovias dress called Bena which was very flattering and added a diamante belt for a little sparkle and a cathedral veil, also with diamante detail. I purchased them from Swarbricks Bridal Shop in Middleton.
I originally thought I wanted something lacy and sparkly with a fishtail but when trying these styles on, they didn’t feel special at all. I felt a little disappointed, so Louise at Swarbricks asked me to keep an open mind and try on something different. She picked out the Pronovias for me which I wouldn’t have given a second look at on the hanger and asked me to trust her, she wasn’t wrong because as soon as I put it on I knew it was the one for me.
June 12th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Joe Mather Photography
We’ve made it to the last hurdle readers – parts one, two and three of our ‘planning like a pro’ series have dealt with (most of) the wedmin and now it’s (mostly) the smaller elements left to organise in the final countdown to your big day! Eek! Notebooks at the ready ladies and let us chivvy you along to Operation Get Wed!
In the last three instalments we’ve covered how to choose a season and date, venue choice, how to make a decision on key suppliers, the guest list, budget thoughts, the dress and styling and now we’re really focusing in on those all-important details.
Phew! So now it’s time to round things off by taking a look at what should be filling your days when you have just a month or so to go until the vows and celebrations!
It’s time to speak to your celebrant and find out the rules surrounding music for your ceremony before making some tough choices. Churches are often more flexible than they used to be and allow ‘secular’ music, but you’ll find that registrars must check the music for civil ceremonies and that it must be secular in nature. So what, you might think, I wasn’t planning on hymns, but if you’re a diehard Jeff Buckley fan (Halleluiah) or you fancy a classical piece that doesn’t immediately strike you as religious but is (Ave Maria), you might run into difficulties. So, get thinking, discussing and checking – it’s a great excuse to run up a Spotify playlist or two and pit each other’s choices against each other…can we convince you to go for Frankie Goes to Hollywood Two Tribes? Pretty please?
You’ll also need to print your Orders of Service, your menus and other bits of stationery if you’re doing these yourselves. Run menus by your caterer or venue for a final check, especially for the spellings of obscure French wines and vegetable varieties and ask at least two other family members or friends to look over your Orders of Service – preferably those with a particularly beady eye or, you know, an English degree. There’s nothing more dispiriting than unearthing a typo two hundred copies in. Doh.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the scenes in our living room leading up to our wedding were reminiscent of Churchill in the Cabinet War Rooms – minus the cigars, but probably with a comparable amount of claret. How to sit our uni friends together without putting one particularly bitter pair of exes within spitting distance of each other was a feat of problem solving that would have taxed Alan Turing. Where to position Uncle Willy out of harm’s – and the bar’s – way? Our advice: do not underestimate the time a seating plan will take. It’s not a last-minute admin task and the squabbling that may (will) endure will test your marriage before it’s even begun. And that’s before you even get started with the last-minute cancellations. You have been warned!
You might also want to buy your other half a gift for the morning of the wedding – nothing says ‘I love you’ like a carefully considered gift or, you know, a novelty tea towel if that’s what floats your boat. We’ve seen everything here at Brides Up North from a favourite scent to a designer watch – I had a beeyootiful leather satchel made especially for my other half (lined with William Morris fabric, no less) and presented it to him (via his best man) on the morning of our wedding. He was bowled over and still uses it to this day – and I’m still reaping the #excellentwife points. Choose well, readers.
It’s time to work with your key suppliers – we’re thinking celebrant, photographer, caterers, wedding planner/master of ceremonies at the venue and evening entertainment – to compile a definitive running order for the day. This needs to be given to the best man and other members of the bridal party – it’s what they signed up for! – with instructions for them to follow it to the letter. They’ll need to give directions, guidance and hurry people along if they seem to be stalling at certain points, so encourage them to be assertive – after all, you’ll be too busy mingling, posing for pictures and scoffing canapes to take much notice. Plus, you probably won’t have any pockets keep a copy close at hand sooo **insert shrugging emoji here**
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