November 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Turns out that our talented Brides Up North Sponsors make the very prettiest of brides. Today’s absolutely beautiful wedding at Eshott Hall, starring our own Natalie Power, is a lovely lesson in romantic pastels and pretty detailing. I’ve saved this to share with you for a special start to the week, Pinterest fingers at the ready…
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
natalie says: We got engaged in November 2008, it was my birthday and Warren had surprised me with a trip to Barcelona. If that wasn’t surprise enough, he proposed, I could not believe it, it was so unexpected but perfect!
We were married on Saturday 31st May 2014, at Eshott Hall, Northumberland.
After looking at other possible venues we were becoming a little disheartened but then we arrived at Eshott Hall and as soon as we drove up the tree lined gravel driveway and past the manicured lawns we both knew this would be the venue. We wanted to have exclusive use of the venue for the weekend, stunning scenery and not be constrained by minimum numbers: Eshott Hall ticked all those boxes.
We didn’t have a ‘theme’ as such, we just felt everything fell into place; it was little mix of modern classic with a country edge. We chose a soft colour scheme of creams, pinks and peaches. We wanted to keep things pretty neutral and unstructured.
I wore a fitted Vera Wang wedding dress, which is completely the opposite of what I thought I wanted when I started looking. I had been pinning like crazy on the best wedding tool ever and had my heart set on a Jenny Packham dress. After trying it on I was very disappointed, it just didn’t feel like it was my ‘wedding’ dress so I was back to square one. It wasn’t until my Mum suggested I try on something completely different that I came across the dress, I tried it on once and fell in love. To complete the look I wore Jimmy Choo Crown heels in Nude, a gift from my husband
Make-up was provided by Jo Leversuch of Make-up by Jo, she did a super job and was even able to fit in an extra person on the day – nothing was too much for her, I would definitely recommend Jo. She was able to create a look for each of the bridesmaid that was unique to them, not a carbon copy of one another.
Warren wore a navy double-breasted jacket from Hugo Boss with a crisp white shirt from The Kooples. His cream trousers were also from Hugo Boss and completed his look with a set of braces from Bromleys. His shoes were brown double monk straps from Magnanni.
My bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses, style no. 2909 in Cameo to compliment the soft neutral colouring.
The groomsmen wore their own suits in navy to tie in with the Groom’s suit jacket; they all wore matching pink bowties and pocket squares from Etsy.
My bouquet was a selection of garden roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, soft grey foliage and brunia berries – all very loose and effortless. All of the flowers throughout the day were in the same style as my bouquet, provided by Helen of Bels Flowers. She is fabulous and I would highly recommend her.
Helen Russell was our photographer, we would definitely recommend Helen, she is so lovely and captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.
As well as creating my own wedding invitations (my daytime job – see Natalie Power’s website) I also made the signage, table numbers and seating plan. Of course, my husband was on hand with his trusty saw and drill.
The food and drink was provided by Eshott Hall, it was beautifully presented and tasted just as good, everyone commented on how tasty it was.
We had a selection of cakes, a dessert table provided by the amazingly talented Bernadette of Dreamworld Cakes. The wedding cake itself was chocolate baileys flavour, victoria sponge cupcakes, mini cakes were chocolate orange flavour, macaroons in both rose and pistachio flavours, cake pops and artisan meringues.
During the ceremony, canapés and wedding breakfast the wonderful Aurora Strings entertained us; they played a selection of classical and pop music, which was perfect.
Our evening entertainment was provided by an amazingly talented band, The Noise, that I found through Warble Entertainment. They did an amazing job and were very enthusiastic, I highly recommend them.
We would highly recommend Eshott Hall. The venue itself is perfect if you are looking for somewhere you can use exclusively, it has beautifully manicured grounds to compliment your photography and décor that will not dictate your colour scheme.
For our honeymoon we decided on a US adventure taking in as many locations as we could. Our first stop was San Diego, from there we moved onto Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Carmel, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley before our last stop in Las Vegas. There were so many highlights from the trip from whale watching in Morro Bay, the tour in San Francisco, a Grand Canyon helicopter flight and watching Cirque Du Soleil ‘O’, it was all amazing! We loved the fact that we got to explore so many different places along with amazing weather and ever changing scenery.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be when things get on top of you or don’t go to plan remember the reason you’re doing this. To marry the love of your life, that’s what’s important, everything else will fall into place.
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November 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m firmly of the opinion that your wedding day should be the very best party that you’ve ever been to.
It looks like Jessica and Craig took the same view when they said ‘I do’ at the gorgeous Thornton Manor on The Wirral earlier this year. Gorgeous outfits, good food, vibrant flowers and plenty of fun and games left their guests in the mood for a very beautiful all night party.
With images by Elbowroom Photography.
jessica says: We got engaged in Rome, Italy. After a romantic candlelit dinner we caught a taxi to the Trevi Fountain. We found a quiet spot to the side in an alcove and he got to one knee. This was after a day walking around the Vatican.
We were married on 23rd May 2014 at Thornton Manor – the beautiful setting & extensive grounds coupled with the exquisite manor house made it an easy decision. It’s spectacular venue with so much history.
We chose careful colour palettes throughout the day using white and cream for purity and innocence during the Ceremony, and then the Wedding Breakfast & my bouquet were extremely colourful to reflect our personalities!
I chose a plain but elegant champagne/oyster dress with a long cathedral veil from Blush Bridal.
Flower Design created the most beautiful of bouquets, button holes and displays throughout the venue, using orchids and other vibrant flowers. Flower Design worked with my ideas really well and produced the most splendid arrangements.
Elbowroom Photography were our photographers. They were fantastic – beautiful pictures, lots of coordination on the day and part of the party!
Chapman Holmes were our caters and were fantastic! Craig’s favourite food is steak, so decided that we really wanted the menu to reflect what we love to eat. We decided on Goats Cheese with Pesto Credot, Roast Sirloin of Steak with Dauphenois Potatoes and our cake as dessert.
Our pretty wedding cake was by The Frostery in Uppermill. It was Lemon Drizzle and we served it as our dessert with Raspberry Coulis. We had a cheesecake for the evening so the evening guests could enjoy an alternative wedding cake.
We had David Buckingham, a guitarist from the ceremony through to the end of the meal. My father has always played the guitar and when we came across him at a wedding fair he was playing the very piece that my father used to play to me as a child.
Soul Apostle were the band providing lots of fun and great music. Tom was our DJ and listened to our tastes and played us the best music which meant I danced all night!
We had a photobooth which people stuck into a book and left us their best wishes and messages.
We hired the lakeside marquee for the evening reception so we could have a big party and part of the marquee is a nightclub so we could create the party atmosphere. My favourite part of the day was dancing all night!
We took a week’s mini moon in Barbados but plan to go to South America in September for 3.5 weeks.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure you take time out on the day to spend together and have a moment of reflection.
November 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Beth and Tom’s wedding is the very best type: relaxed, fun and colourful with lots of pretty details, good food and a packed, twinkling dance floor.
Add a swingingly gorgeous (high street!) frock, the most beautiful of bouquets and a visit from the ice-cream fairies and that’s one mighty fine big day nailed.
Can I get a flake with that?
With images by James and Lianne.
Beth says: We got engaged on holiday in Cape Cod, America. We’d just arrived at where we were staying and took a little drive to go for a walk on the beach. I think Tom thought that this was a good opportunity to pop the question. It was a fab surprise and made our holiday really special.
We were married on 1st August 2014. We chose this date as I’m a teacher so it fitted nicely with the school holidays. It also happened to be Yorkshire Day which made it extra special.
We got married in the Airedale Barn at East Riddlesden Hall, which is a National Trust Property in Keighley, West Yorkshire. It was the only venue we looked round and knew straight away that it was just what we wanted. The barn is set in lovely grounds with a lake, a walled garden so lots of space for guests and fab photo opportunities. The inside of the barn and really simple with prettry fairy lights and we knew that we could add our own little touches to make the barn personal to us. Also the team at East Riddlesden Hall are brilliant and were so helpful in helping us to organise the day.
We didn’t have a particular theme but we had lots of bright colours and quirky touches. We were keen for the wedding not to be formal or traditional so we tried to make the flowers and decorations colourful, fun and relaxed. We didn’t have a set colour scheme but chose lots of faded bright colours for the flowers and decorations, in particular the bridesmaid dresses and men’s ties which were a coral/ pink colour.
I knew that I wanted a short 50′s style dress as I thought it would suit my shape and I wanted to be able to dance in it. After reading lots of wedding blogs I knew exactly what I wanted and thought that I would have to have the dress made. Luckily when looking on the Coast website I spotted the dress that I had in mind. I went to try on the dress at the Coast store in London when visiting a friend and loved it. I added a petticoat underneath it to give the skirt a bit more volume. The dress was perfect for me and I really did love wearing it. My auntie had made my jewellery and jewellery for the bridesmaids which went perfectly with mineand their outfits.
My flowers were done by Emma Flora Home and Garden and they were exactly what I wanted. I had met Emma at a wedding fair at East Riddlesden Hall and knew her style would be perfect for what I fancied. Emma is so talented and created amazing bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids. I explained the colours that we were incorporating and I showed Emma lots of pictures that I had collected. I was really excited to see my flowers on the morning of the wedding and they were even better than I expected!
My bridesmaids wore coral dresses from Warehouse. I wanted something bright and nothing too ‘bridesmaidy’ so these dresses were perfect and the girls looked gorgeous!
Tom chose a navy suit from Ted Baker and a coral tie from Charles Tyrwhitt which matched the girls’ bridesmaid dresses. He also chose a piece of fabric that matched his suit and tie that my mum made into a pocket square.
The dads, best man Daniel and groomsmen wore their choice of suits and the same tie as Tom’s.
To keep with the theme of the day we wanted to hire transport that was a little quirky. We found Liberty Campers when searching for camper vans to hire for weddings and loved ‘Dylan’ the campervan. We couldn’t recommend Liberty Campers enough and Tracey was so lovely on the day and made it feel extra special.
Our close friend Helen read ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ by John Cooper Clarke during the ceremony as it was a poem we studied when we were at school together. She did an amazing job!
Our rings were hand made in Yorkshire by Nikki Barret, from NB Jewellery.
We were so glad that we chose the amazing James and Lianne Photography to capture moments from the day. I had seen some of their photo’s on various blogs and loved the relaxed and natural look of their photos. Guests commented on how they both just fitted in with the rest of the guests and didn’t even notice they were there. We are so pleased with the photos and would highly recommend them!
To help create a colourful relaxed feel to the barn, My amazing mum had made meters and meters of colourful bunting which looked gorgeous. She also made a fab little banner that we attached to the curtain behind where we sat which used the same fabric as the bunting. We were very keen for the day to be very personal to us. For the table names we had found postcards from the special places we had visited, which was very personal to us. We also had made a photo board showing photos of when we were younger and with friends and family.
Other decorations included flowers in jam jars that I decorated with my mum and sister. Jill, a close family friend did an amazing job and put all the flowers together which were picked from our gardens and some from the flower market in Leeds. These were placed in the middle of the tables on cut up tree slices and some were placed on the window ledges of the barn. She also made the button holes for the lads and mums. We also used tea lights that were dotted around the tables to create a nice glow.
We also had three large silver vases that we filled with flowers from friends and families gardens.
The ladies were given button heart favours that were made by myself, our mums, sisters and bridesmaid.
Our caterers were GFS Catering and they were fantastic in both producing amazing food and providing excellent service. For the evening food we also had bacon and sausage sandwiches. We would highly recommend using GFS.
A close family friend Jill, made our fab cake and it was just what we wanted. We loved the bright colours and bunting to match our actual bunting. The mini Beth and Tom were made by my friend Mandy and we loved the little clothes and detailed she added. I made the little models of our cats, Will and Boo.
We had a sweet table, with lots of jars of our favourite sweets, and for dessert guests were treated to an ice cream from the Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream van which were really delicious!
We chose the brilliant Jonny Ross band who played a fab mix and really got everyone up dancing. Our first dance was ‘You and Me’, by Penny And The Quarters.
It is difficult to choose just one part of the day that we enjoyed the most. It was fantastic having all of our family and friends together. We also enjoyed the ceremony much more than we thought and our brilliant registrar Jeff really helped us to relax. Coming down the aisle to a song that was special to us, Micky P Kerr, ‘Where its At’ and the barn doors opening opening as we said our vows was also lovely. Getting ready at my Mum and Dad’s, travelling in the campervan, the speeches and dancing all night were just fab!
For our honeymoon we went to San Fransisco and down the coast to Carmel, Monteray and the Big Sur.
Our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the build up to the day, don’t get too bogged down by all the little details, it will all come together. Add touches to make your day personal to you. Also try to relax as much as you can on the day, it really does fly by so try and take a moment to take everything in! Lads, go for a pint before hand to calm the nerves and relax. Tom felt loads better after going to the Busfeild Arms first with the boys. Need to take your mind of things!
November 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Joanna and Amit’s wedding day fuses the traditional with the unusual, the pretty with the quirky and best laid plans with really no plans at all. The result? A unique and happy celebration, bringing together all the things they love the most.
Bring on the origami elephants!
With images by Sarah Mason Photography.
Joanna says: We got engaged on bonfire night, watching the fireworks at our local park (Brockwell Park in South London). I’m not very good at remembering anniversaries so Amit wanted to choose a date I would definitely remember!
The redevelopment of Hebden Bridge Town Hall was a community project, and lots of people I know were involved in it! It meant a lot to me to be able to get married in my home town in this Town Hall.
Todmorden Town Hall is a beautiful Grade 1 listed Victorian hall in the next town along the valley. I had only been there as a kid and hadn’t remembered all of the beautiful period features. It was a great venue for the evening reception and had plenty of space for dancing and a band!
We joked about lots of different themes to begin with as all the magazines told us it was the thing to do. In the end we had a kind of Indian/British theme, combined with lots of other things that we love (like wool and origami elephants) but it wasn’t so much a plan as a collection of things we liked and wanted to do.
We chose a colour scheme of pink, green and white. Soft colours in the daytime and in the evening all a bit brighter.
We broke with tradition and decided to do photos before the ceremony (partly because the ceremony wasn’t till 4pm). It was so nice to spend time together and some time out from the hecticness of the rest of the day. It was raining all day up until we started the photos so we go very lucky with the weather (plus it meant I got to wear my wellies).
I wore a white dress from Angelica Bridal in London. I hadn’t realised how long in advance you need to order your dress (6 months lead in time!) and left it all a bit late. The dress was Justin Alexander. I also had an Indian lenga style dress for the evening from Simla’s in London.
I knitted a lace shawl for the day, I love knitting and it seemed really appropriate for the day. I was a bit nervous it wasn’t going to go or it wouldn’t work, but was really pleased with how it looked .
Amit went to Bangkok on his stag do and had a suit tailor made at Raja’s Fashions there (this apparently saved money and time…). His Indian outfit was also from Simla’s.
My bridemaid wore a dress from Coast with an Indian style shawl from Simla’s too. Amit’s best man wore a suit he already owned.
I don’t really know one flower from another which became apparent in the florists conversations. Amit kept googling flowers to try and sound knowledgeable, so between us we muddled through. But we trusted the florist and on the day what we had was truly beautiful.
Willow Garden in Hebden Bridge did the flowers. We had so many great people who helped us bring the day together. We were also keen to use local suppliers.
Jo’s mum decorated the whole of Hebden Bridge Town Hall. This did mean carrying round trees for the local garden centre and sourcing a lot of chair covers (not to mention stringing up pompoms and bunting) but the end result was really lovely, and it was so nice to give it a personal touch.
Sarah and Suzi from Sarah Mason Photography did the photos. We both felt so comfortable with them and we couldn’t imagine anyone doing a better job. We still love looking back on the photos.
We hired a bus from Keighley Bus Museum. It had to be a London Routemaster and the guys on the day were lovely and gave out special wedding bus tickets.
Lauren at Zouk’s Catering in Bradford sorted out the food (including several tastings and many iterations of the menu). She also looked after organising the cutlery and plates and staff to set up and serve the food on the day. She was amazing!
Neither of us are that big a fan of traditional cake. However at the last minute we did decide to stack a cake stand with baklava (Turkish pastry sweets). It made an awesome tower and it was a big hit.
We had the Rumblefatband doing the music. We were debating whether or not to get a band for a while and I’m really glad we did. They do a mix of funk and soul music that’s just great to dance to. They also let one of the guests go up and join them for an Elvis number.
We also had Dave Nelson playing the piano for the ceremony and one of Jo’s friends playing ukulele, walking in to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and walking out to ‘Umbrella’, unintentionally weather themed.
There were lots of kids at the wedding so we wanted to keep them entertained. Amit’s sister put together party packs for the children; which also made them feel special on the day.
We went to Vietnam and Cambodia for our honeymoon. It was very relaxing after the trials and tribulations leading up to the day.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that if you’re organising things yourself you should realise that there are all kinds of things that need to be done (like hiring plates and buying napkins). Don’t underestimate how much organisation this can take (and delegate where you can)!
Spreadsheets are your friend.
And it’s much more fun when it’s the two of you doing it together and makes the whole day much about you as a couple.
November 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Could this be the magic, at last?
November 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Designed and shot by husband and wife team Kristin & Mark (collectively Mr & Mrs W), I’ve a styled bridal treat lined up for you today! With rich colours, dramatically dark styling and texture galore, this is a decadent close to an autumnal Thursday afternoon.
Wrap up warm…
With styling and images by Mr & Mrs W.
Kristin says: Our inspiration for the shoot was in essence ‘Tweed and Country’. With tweed being seen more and more in wedding fashion, I wanted to incorporate it with the Bride as well as the Bridegroom and nothing encompasses tweed and country than a Cheshire farm shoot, in both senses of the word.
I wanted to start with outdoor pursuits and end with a debauched party and feast with a dark undertone, using antlers, feathers and the odd skull here and there.
The team we used for the shoot are local to the area. We worked together before and I knew that each supplier would provide exactly what I envisaged, which sometimes even I can’t do!
To realise my concept, the venue was always going to be Owen House as its so rustic, quirky and rural and there is nowhere quite like it in the North West.
For menswear it was no contest with the tweed experts at Whitfield and Ward being close at hand, and the beautiful wedding dresses came from The Wedding Boutique Cheshire. Fiona actually hand designs and makes her own styles so was able to make all the little extras I needed.
The shoot was such good fun. Everyone got so involved and really understood the brief. We hope that you like the results! Going forward I have another couple of shoots in mind and I might even go a bit darker next time, but in the meantime I am looking forward to creating some enchanted woodlands and a sequin extravaganza in a Tipi for some real life brides.
All the suppliers, props and styling are all available in and around the Knutsford area.
November 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
We’re starting the day off brightly as we commence the downhill to the weekend, with Jennie and Jon’s fabulous fuchsia wedding day in glorious Yorkshire.
Following the cutest proposal ever (read on!), beautiful bride Jennie combined traditional romance with bold brights and fun extras for a memorable and show stopping celebration.
And here at Brides Up North, we love her choice of accent colour… funny, that.
With images by John Hope Photography.
Jennie says: We got married on 27 March 2013, I was full of cold and feeling disgusting, Jon planned date night, a romantic candlelit meal in our home, with Emeli Sande playing in the background, to “cheer me up”. Jon took me upstairs where there were two wrapped up presents on the bed, I opened the first one and it was a cuddly elephant, the second was a box of fireworks, then Jon switched off the light and written on the ceiling in glow in the dark stars were the words “Marry me?”. He had remembered years earlier that I had said if he was to propose I’d want it to be like the end of the film Annie – complete with elephants and fireworks! Jon said it was pretty difficult to get real elephants to come to our back garden in suburban Leeds in March.
We celebrated by letting off the fireworks whilst we sipped cocktails and excitedly rang round family and friends to share the news!
We were married on 31 May 2014, we were working around my studies for my Postgrad degree and the school holidays for Jon’s daughter, Alicia, our beautiful bridesmaid. This was the first feasible date that we could do it, it seemed so far away when we set it but it really creeps up on you!
We got married in a Catholic Church as this is Jon’s family’s faith, St Edward’s King and Confessor in a small village called Clifton. I knew I wanted a church that was picturesque and this one certainly delivered, I felt like we were in a movie.
Wood Hall was the reception venue, picked for the stunning views and amount of open space for the children to run around outside and for the drunken guests to stagger around!
I picked fuchsia pink as it’s one of my favourite colours; I knew I wanted a bold colour rather than a more traditional pastel. I particularly liked the contrast between the white and the pink which shows really well on the photos.
My Dad was in charge of the car, he picked a navy Bentley to travel in style. It was totally his choice, he paid, despite admitting it was the most expensive taxi ride of his life!
I tried on hundreds of dresses, which I would thoroughly recommend; it’s a great day out! I bought a strapless gown with sweetheart neckline and full skirt. It is an ivory lace dress called Greta from The Bridal Lounge of York.
I had tried on mainly slim fitting style dresses as that is what I thought I wanted, but the full skirt on this one was so much fun to swish round in that I came skipping out of the changing room, decision made!
We hired a suit for Jon, from our local Moss Bros. Jon wanted one that fitted well and was nicely tailored and I managed to persuade him that tweed was a bad idea. We hired the same suits for the Best man and Ushers, with the only difference being that Jon had a pink pocket handkerchief and they had a silver one.
I had one adult bridesmaid, my sister, she had recently had baby number two, so we took a bit of a gamble and ordered a dress online that we hoped would be too big and then had it fitted nearer the day to take some of the pressure off her. She looked amazing!
My favourite part of the day was definitely walking down the aisle! I was so nervous beforehand, I’d been worrying about the walk for months, concerned I would be too emotional to enjoy it, but the second I got to the church and I saw all the guests, I felt fine and I really enjoyed the walk down and took everything in.
John Hope was our photographer, we picked him after our first meeting as we both felt very comfortable with him, we thought this was important as he would be a large part of our day. We did a pre-wedding shoot which was incredibly useful for us to get used to each other and for me and Jon to relax in front of the camera (turns out Jon’s lifetime of posing came in handy!)
I would thoroughly recommend John as a photographer, he arrived at the crack of dawn and left late in the evening, he didn’t stop all day and we are incredibly grateful for the beautiful shots he took (we don’t look that good in real life!) My overwhelming memory of him on the day was helping me to take the tags off the flower girls dresses with his teeth as we realised we had no scissors in the room and they needed to leave for the church – above and beyond!
I had cerise gerberas and they were provided by a wonderful florist called Angie Walker. I asked for them to be simple and bold, which is exactly what she delivered, the bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet.
We stuck with the same flowers for all my arrangements, knowing very little about flowers and how to arrange them we were very happy to let the florist guide us. We asked for smaller arrangements on the tables as we wanted them to add to the beauty of the room and not detract from the guests on the tables trying to talk across them.
The favours were chocolates that tied in with the table names. We chose not to have place names but to use old/embarrassing photos of the guests in their places. This was a lot of work to take on before the wedding but definitely worth it for the reactions and the laughs it brought!
My Dad made the wedding cake, he baked a traditional fruit cake pretty soon after we got engaged and kept topping it up with alcohol to keep moist until the big day. Or at least that was the excuse he used to keep buying brandy!
We hired a singer called Jade, who learnt especially for the Wedding Angry Anderson’s ‘Suddenly’. There were plenty of Kylie and Jason references throughout the day, if only Jon looked a little more like a Donovan…
We hired a magician/pick pocket called Magic Matt who was brilliant and had the guests in stitches; we wanted some light relief whilst the room was turned around for the evening do. This was mainly for our Dad’s but everyone got in on it. He even managed to control the friends table who started the drinking games from 4pm. Not sure doubling up as a babysitter came as part of the package but he was delighted to help out!
Then we hired a chocolate fountain and a photo booth through The Amazing Company, we didn’t get to try the chocolate fountain but we have been assured it was very good and the photo booth book was one of my favourite things. We know it’s a standard “wedding” thing to do but it’s really funny to see people deteriorate over the course of the evening do and have it all in recorded forever!
We made a family tree, full of photos of Grandparents, parents, through to us and the generation below. We wanted to physically show the two families coming together to make our marriage and also include Grandparents who were no longer with us.
Jon’s daughter who was six had written messages and drawn pictures for the guests to thank them for their attendance; these were included by the guest book and enabled her to feel part of the day, so much so, Alicia told everyone it was her wedding too.
We had a DVD of the day made, I would definitely recommend it. It was so exciting to receive and you live back bits of the day that you forgot or missed as it passes so quickly – plus you can see what your friends get up to after a few drinks! We used Picture House Wedding Films who did a great job.
Our wedding planner has since won an award for her role at Wood Hall. They took all the stress and planning of the day out of our hands and put up with our weird and wonderful requests!
The venue is just stunning as are the rooms; the staff were really friendly and went over and above to help us.
We had an amazing honeymoon, we flew to LA and hired a mustang convertible and drove up the coast to San Francisco, where we stayed for a few days before driving down to Vegas, through Yosemite Park, Death Valley etc, stayed there for a few days before heading back to LA and Orange County to see how the rich and famous live. It’s something we could get used to; we just need Jon to start working a little harder so we can afford the lifestyle!
We knew very early on that we would marry in a Catholic Church as that was important to Jon’s family; the hard part is that I was never baptised! This meant that we had to seek permission from the Bishop and this was a long time coming, so my top tip for other Brides Up North is to bear this in mind if you are in a similar situation, it took some chasing and gave us and the parents some hairy moments.
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November 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Today’s couple, Tracey and Steven, know it pays to keep things classic. Their celebration at the soon to reopen fire ravaged Crathorne Hall (click here for the full story) with traditional detailing, fabulous florals and one killer frock, is a masterclass in elegance.
With images by Phil Smith Photography.
Tracey says: Steven proposed on our two week road trip holiday through Europe, travelling through Germany, Austria, Italy and France in May 2012.
Whilst in Austria we spent some time camping and trekking in the Alps. On the day of our engagement we trekked up one of the most beautiful mountains in Austria. On the way back down the mountain, surrounded by the most stunning Alpine scenery, Steven paused to tie his laces and asked me to take some photos. Whilst I was taking some photos of the amazing scenery, Steven sounding startled asked me to look at the lump that had appeared in his walking socks. He then revealed a personalised wooden ring box and proceeded to ask me to marry him. Of course I was overwhelmed and completely shocked, of course I said yes!
Unbelievably Steven had driven from Sheffield to Alpendorf two months earlier, a 35 hour, 2000 miles round trip, just to find the perfect location to propose! Once he had found the perfect setting, he dug a parcel into the mountain, behind a tree, containing the Champagne, flutes and a little note in German, asking if found, for the parcel to not be removed!
As you can imagine, I was astonished at the time, trouble and effort Steven had gone to, to make our engagement so special. I couldn’t believe someone could have done this for me. The final surprise came from Steve’s back pack, when he revealed a brochure of a 5* spa hotel in Alpendorf for that night! This made a refreshing and romantic change to the Camping.
We were married on 11th July 2014 at Crathorne Hall Hotel. Crathorne Hall Hotel was the venue of one of our 1st Weekends away and after view dozens of other venues it was clear that we had been comparing them all to Crathorne Hall. Its such a beautiful building in superb surroundings. The staff had also always been to friendly and professional.
With such an amazing venue, we wanted to best complement Crathorne Hall and so went with an English Country Rose theme. The flowers were really important in accomplishing this. We chose a colour scheme of dusky pinks, green foliage and champagnes.
My dress was a Maggie Sottero gown, Ivanka Marie. I chose this dress because I wanted a statement dress. The dress has a sweetheart neck line, fitted corset, huge fluffy layered tulle and a very long train with Swarovski detail. When I first saw the dress on a mannequin I didn’t like but when I tried it on I knew it was the dress for me.
Steven wore a grey three piece suit from House of Fraser in Birmingham.
My adult bridesmaids wore dusky pink maxi dresses from House Of Fraser in Meadowhall and the flowergirls wore ivory embellished dresses from Debenhams in Sheffield.
Phil Smith was our photographer. Choosing the right photographer was one of our most important decisions, when planning our wedding. We had decided that we would sacrifice having a professional videographer to ensure we could have the perfect photographer and the best quality photo album we could. Phil certainly was the perfect photographer.
From the first time we met Phil at a wedding fair at Crathorne Hall, we knew he was the man for us. Phil was such an easy person to talk to and nothing seemed too much trouble, but more importantly it was Phil’s portfolio of work that really caught our eye. Phil’s ability to really capture the mood in his shots stood out from the competition. This was really important to us, as we didn’t just want traditional shots.
I carried a bouquet of pink peonies, mixed English garden herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, finished with large oyster pearls and pink blush German lace. All flowers were supplied and designed by Michelle Meehan owner of The Grange Wedding Flowers from Sheffield. The help and guidance Michelle provided was second to none, she really is a superb florist, that’s willing to go the extra mile.
During the ceremony and also outside for reception drinks we had Arco String Quartet playing personally selected tracks, including my entrance music ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri from the Twilight Saga.
During the reception drinks we also had Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting, this went down very well with all the guests, especially as we had keep this a secret. The Class Laser Clay Team were ultra-professional and extremely friendly, I would certainly recommend them.
We also had a selection of garden games, such as lawn darts, croquet and French boules.
As we had a lovely summer’s day, we had Strawberry Daiquiris and bottles of Peroni for welcome drinks served with a selection of lovely canapés.
For favours, we had lemon drizzle butter cream cupcakes, iced in the colour scheme of the flowers with a Alice In Wonderland style eat me flag. These were placed inside vintage tea cups and saucers on the table. We used Kiss Me Cake Bakery, based near Holmfirth. They allowed us to keep our own vintage tea cup and saucer as a memento.
I choose an Alice In Wonderland inspired three tier cake, two tiers were toffee and the middle tier lemon. The cake was made by Angel Cakes in Rotherham. The cake design was even better than I had imagined. We tried many cake samples at wedding fairs and Angel Cakes was by far the best, extremely moist and lovely flavours.
It’s so difficult to pick a perfect part to our wedding. The ceremony was amazing and the speeches were great fun but the quiet times when we went off with our photographer for some couple shots were a nice way to break up the day and help it all sink in.
We left for our honeymoon the morning after the wedding. We had breakfast with our guests and set off to the Airport at 11am. We flew to Nairobi, Kenya and then on to the Masai Mara for 3 nights safari at the Kicheche Bush Camp.
The Camp was amazing, with zebra and wildebeest coming right up to our tent at night. We literally saw everything whilst on safari, including lion, cheetah and leopard. An evening watching two lionesses and seven cubs play only 20 metres away, whilst the sun went down was a real highlight.
From Kenya we flew to the Seychelles and stayed at the Constance Ephelia Resort on Mahe Island. Rather than just spending our time on the beach, we managed to explore the Island, with some trekking and even managed to try the local delicacy of Fruit Bat Curry!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to visit and research venues, it is so important to get the perfect venue for you. Similarly ensure you find the right photographer for you, your photographs along with your memories are the items that will last the longest. It’s so important to be happy with them.
For our First Anniversary we plan to visit the spot of our engagement in Austria. I wonder if Steven will be planting anything in the Mountain this time!
November 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning we join Gemma and Jim for their simple yet stunning wedding in the Yorkshire countryside. Our homecoming couple kept things plain yet interesting with delicate, handmade touches and a pretty pale colour palette for their celebration under canvas at the heart of village life.
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
Gemma says: When Jim proposed it was totally unexpected! He had insisted on taking me out for a slap up evening meal as a Christmas treat. We live in London and it had snowed all day, I was wet, cold and just wanted to make sure we could get home! The odds were against him – my mood wasn’t the warmest, and little did I know, he had called my Mum to ask her permission – to be promptly told to call back later as she was ‘in the middle of dishing up tea’! Poor fella! He took me to the Oxo Tower Restaurant on the Southbank – at which point I insisted this was far too lavish and I would prefer to have a Chinese take away and save the money! He pressed on..! During the meal he started to look a little ‘off colour’ which I later realised was because he desperately needed the toilet but couldn’t risk standing up and me seeing a square bulge in the pocket of his skinny jeans! He proposed with the most romantic words of love for me and with a standing ovation from the other dinners when I said ‘yes’ (in floods!).
We married in a small village called Hackness, North Yorkshire on 6th September 2014 – close to where our families live. Hackness has a beautiful church and wonderful countryside surroundings. It was quite tricky choosing the location as, living in London, there was a bit of a North, South divide! As luck would have it, we found a wedding blog showing a great wedding in the same village, with a Tipi reception at the village hall. We had been to our friends Tipi wedding and loved the idea of putting our own personal touches on the day. Plus we are outdoorsy people and go camping all year round – so this really suited us. It all started to fall into place!
We wanted to make everything ourselves to give our day a real personal touch – and save money of course! Romantic, rustic and simple was the theme! We didn’t want to over decorate the tipis as we thought they looked wonderful with simple sparkly lights. We tied in parts of our London life – our table plan was based on the tube map and we used Oxo Cubes (engaged in the Oxo Tower) to hold each name plate. My Mum made meters and meters of hessian table runners with a lace centre, and we had lots of glass jars and sundae dishes with candles in them, with sand from Scarborough Beach to hold them in place.
The initial colour scheme was duck egg, but the actual colour of duck egg blue is a very serious debate within our family and friends now! So we’ll just say ‘light bluey’!
My dress was from London Designer Bridal Room just off Oxford Street. I am very simple in what I wear day to day so I knew a large dress wasn’t for me…(I did have fun trying one or two on though!). I went for a simple, slinky dress which made me feel very elegant, womanly and, most of all, me!
Jim showed me quite a few pictures of David Gandy in suits…so I knew he wanted something quite fitted and trendy! We went to some amazing tailors but in the end the slim-fit style we found (as luck and budget would have it) in Red Herring at Debenhams was the one. It had a matching scoop neck waistcoat which looked perfect with his skinny French Connection tie. His shoes were from Linea at House of Fraser and shirt was a white slim fit dress shirt from TM Lewin.
The Bridesmaids and I had to do a lot of virtual shopping as they both live miles away. I came across the dresses on one of my many web searches and they both loved it! The dresses had a subtle sequin hem which tied in perfectly with my dress – from Kalico at John Lewis. The Bestman and Usher wore the same suit and tie as Jim. They were a little concerned with the ‘slim fit’ description but they both looked amazing!
For our centre pieces we ordered 100 stems of loose gypsophila from our florist, to put into the vases we had decorated for the table centres. My Mother-in-Law has done a bit of floristry so she made sure each stem was cut nice and level. We also had (my favourite) white hydrangea heads in jam jars.
Our florist at Blooms of Scarborough was so clever, I wanted a simple gypsophila bouquet but she suggested tying in a hydrangea centre to match our centre pieces. I was so pleased with the final result which was all tied together with hessian.
Our photographer was the wonderful Hayley Baxter. I have fallen in love a bit with Hayley… she is just a little genius and the nicest person to boot! We could not believe the wonderful intimate shots she managed – most of the time we had no idea she was there! Our edited pictures arrived very quickly – but we got a little sneak peek the day after via Facebook – which was such a lovely touch!
We made all the favours ourselves. I made pretty dangly earrings for all the ladies and Jim made a ‘mix tape’ of all sorts of music (some meaningful, some just fun!) for the gents. We spent many a Sunday afternoon cutting and sticking and creating. I think I loved this part a bit more than Jim… but he is a dab hand with the heart shaped hole punch now!
On each table setting we added a question card from the Logo board game, which we thought would be a nice ice breaker.
Having a tipi wedding limits your food choices to a degree but we managed to work it – I think! Well… no one went hungry! Malton Relish made all our gorgeous canapes and the vegetarian options of ‘Wild Mushroom Loaf’ and ‘Italian Vegetable Frittata’ they delivered them on the day so we didn’t have to worry about chilling them. Stepney Hill Farm provided the main meal of a Hog Roast with stuffing and apple sauce. Jim’s step father is a dab hand in the kitchen so he lovingly prepared some amazing salad accompaniments. We had lots of cheese and biscuits, wedding cake and my friend made delicious chocolate brownies for dessert. Late evening we had Pickering Fish and Chips arrive with their mobile van – which went down an absolute treat! We ran a free bar so shopped for the alcohol during various promotions in the supermarkets. Aldi was an absolute winner for spirits! We also had a hand pull real ale from Scarborough Brewery which people went crazy for!
Jim’s Mum is a wonderful baker and so she kindly baked our cake – traditional fruit on the bottom tier and lemon sponge with lemon curd and butter cream on the top tier. Her super clever friend did all the icing. We have the figurines set now and sitting on our book case – a wonderful keepsake!
We were so pleased with The Big Party Band, a 5 piece band based in Keighley. We had seen them perform at a rare public gig and knew they were good! The music was a mix of modern and dance floor classics. The real wow factor comes when the band get on the dance floor with their wireless guitars – so much fun! We paid extra to hire their kit all day to allow us to have music during the day and a PA system for the speeches. We gave them two options for our first dance and they surprised us on the day having learnt them both – so gave us a first and last dance!
We put a confetti balloon in the centre of the dance floor which was popped during our first dance – the actually popping caused lots of laughs as it just wouldn’t go!
We had these huge LOVE letters which I scrounged from Debenhams on Oxford Street – it was one of their valentines displays that they were throwing away. We underestimated how large they were which made for a bit of hilarity when trying to get them home on the tube!
Boutipi were our Tipi suppliers and they are just the best!! They are a family run business which really shows, nothing is too much trouble and they really care about giving you the best day possible! They even gave us a crash course in the Waltz the day before!
Crystal Penguin Events did our on the day coordination along with two waitresses my mum knows. I would recommend to anyone having a Tipi wedding to have someone there on the day to worry about timings etc. Steph made everything run like clock work, she also brought along some of her family to help run the bar and wash up!
Abbey Sound and Light hired our generator, we had no idea what size we would need but they worked this all out for us and plugged it all in – a real weight off our mind.
Our wedding day was truly the best day of our lives. It’s impossible to say what our one favourite moment was – but saying our vows to each other was wonderful, we were finally becoming man and wife! I messed up my lines and cried all the way through…but people said they loved that it was sincere and not polished. The three days prior to our wedding was wonderful, everyone turning up to help decorate and lift and shift… just made your heart melt. We felt so lucky to have such hard working family and friends!
We had a couple of days away after our wedding in Bruges – which was wonderful! Such a pretty and romantic place, perfect for relaxing and mooching about! We are planning our honeymoon for later next year.
I have so many tips for other Brides Up North! These types of blogs are so handy for reading about the experience of others. Having now been there, done that, I would have explored the second hand dress market a bit more, it is such a huge part of your budget and after all, most second hand dresses have only been worn once!
abbey sound and light, blooms of scarborough, boutipi, crystal penguin events, french connection, hayley baxter photography, john lewis, london designer bridal room, malton relish, outdor wedding, real wedding, red herring, rustic wedding, scarborough brewery, simple wedding, the big party band, tipi wedding, tm lewin, uk wedding blog, yorkshire wedding
November 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime
“I used to be snow white, but I drifted” Mae West
Velvety, red, winter wedding shoe perfection. Right there.
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