Brides Up North

Location, Location, Location! Supplier Showcase: Sykes Cottages

January 21st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Slipping away to a cottage retreat in the middle of nowhere (or somewhere near to spas and shopping where the neighbours can’t hear your raucous singing) for one last “relaxing” weekend with the girls might be expected as your big day approaches, but have you considered a holiday cottage as a potential venue for the wedding day itself?

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In my job as a full time and bridal features writer, I come across gems of wedding venues all the time – from the stately and sublime to the cosy and chic, but I must admit that I hadn’t considered the option of hiring a holiday cottage to host a private and personal wedding celebration until I was approached by Brides Up North sponsor Sykes Cottages

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Why haven’t I thought of this before? 

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Sykes Cottages manage a veritable smorgasbord of beautiful holiday homes which are available to hire for your special day.  Think about it – it’s a wedding “at home” (the dream home of your choice, selected from a vast variety of options that you can browse online), but “on location” at the same time.  Choose your property, location, length of stay and any added extras… then send out the save the dates.  And, as the mini-moon and staycation remain as popular as ever,  the after the event possibilities are endless too.

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Genius.  Maybe that girly get-away can wait…

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Amanda of Sykes Cottages says: So you’ve got the ring (congratulations!) and now you can look forward to the next few weeks and months of planning every little detail of your big day. From the dress to the flowers and the transport, your ‘to-do’ list seems endless.

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When it comes to the venue, your decision is crucial as the venue itself will dictate the tone of the entire day. Whether you choose a grand stately home, your childhood church or an outdoor location, choosing the venue is one of the biggest and most difficult decisions before the big day. But if a grand property isn’t quite what you have in mind, perhaps a more intimate wedding venue would fit the bill.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Finding a holiday cottage ideal for your wedding isn’t as difficult as you might think. Choose a grand property set in beautiful grounds for the wow factor with an intimate feel or a more traditional cottage for a romantic, outdoorsy style. Some properties even have a dance floor, offer a private chef and maid service to ensure your nuptials go without a hitch.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Feeling at home at the venue a few days before the wedding should help settle those last minute nerves on the big day. Book a make-up artist or hairdresser so you and your bridesmaids kick start the day in style. If you’re planning a big day with a home-spun feel, choosing a property to accommodate all the guests in the run up to the wedding is a great choice: make use of the willing volunteers and create a truly unique backdrop to your big day.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Wherever you choose to celebrate your big day, choosing a holiday cottage for the occasion is a good way to guarantee a totally unique wedding. Pick a holiday cottage in some of the UK’s most stunning countryside for exceptional wedding photos that you’ll love forever.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Instead of disappearing on honeymoon towards the end of the reception, many couples now choose to enjoy the first few days of wedded bliss closer to home before embarking on their honeymoon to remember later on. While tradition dictates that the groom to be is responsible for planning (and financing!) the honeymoon, it certainly doesn’t hurt you to drop a few hints in the lead-up to the big day!

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Choosing a holiday cottage is a really great way to combine the high-end finish of a boutique hotel with all the privacy you want in your first few days as a married couple. Find honeymoon accommodation with a private hot tub and celebrate with a glass of champagne under the stars for the perfect start to married life any time of year.

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For a summer honeymoon, why not choose a holiday cottage with access to a swimming pool or by a secluded beach for a wonderful few days. Winter brides might prefer a cosy, traditional cottage with a roaring log fire for romantic days and nights in. Wherever you choose to spend those first few days as Mr and Mrs, you’re sure to leave with memories to treasure.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Got your mind whirring?  Thought as much!  For more information, visit the Sykes Cottages website to find your perfect wedding venue or honeymoon destination.

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  – Images © 2013 supplied by Sykes Cottages

This is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Real Wedding Recap 2011: Something In The Air, A Real (Double)Pagan Wedding – Pam & Stuart and Vicky & Tony

December 29th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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This Real Wedding which featured on the wedding blog back in June is so unlike any other that I have featured in terms of religious beliefs, location, dress and the fact that it’s a double celebration, that it had to take it’s place in my recap of favourites from 2011.  Broomsticks at the ready!  

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Brides Up North Featured Supplier Andy of Peacock Pix sent Brides Up North this amazing Real Wedding.  When this landed in the Brides Up North inbox I really sat up and took notice.  This (double) wedding is quirky and different, yes, but very very very special too. 

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Peacock Pix tells us more: On 30 April 2011, on the eve of the Pagan festival of Beltane we were privileged to shoot a double handfasting within the circle of Stonehenge. The couples Pam & Stuart and Vicky & Tony were already legally wed but as practising Pagans they felt that the ancient ritual of handfasting where knots are tied and broomsticks jumped and more importantly vows made that are not formulaic and seek to bind the relationship with the forces of nature, earth & the universe just had to be done.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix.

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The logistics had been quite protracted for the Lancashire quartet & obviously the arrangements made via phone & internet, including finding their celebrants Cat Treadwell & her partner James Begley, both priests of the Druid faith and myself as photographer and my wife Sally as second camera.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Despite the necessity of these arrangements we met up on Saturday afternoon and immediately felt the warmth & sincerity of purpose embodied by all involved. At Stonehenge itself the wedding party attracted a lot of attention & curiosity from the last tourists of the day; the couples, their witnesses, family & friends remained focused in anticipation as the site was cleared.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Finally we were escorted to the monument by Stonehenge security staff, the wedding parties congregated outside the circle to remove their shoes & make final preparations while the celebrants prepared their altar and artifacts within. As venues go it was quite literally an awe inspiring location: the sun was shining and the wind blew quite fiercely as the ceremonial circle was made & the spirits of the ancestors invoked to witness. Our plan as ever was to not intrude but to record the ceremony from all perspectives and to create a wedding portfolio that captured the atmosphere of the day. As the sun began to set the ceremony began & even the wind seemed to abate a little. My wife & I moved around the outer circle to exploit light & shadow and capture all aspects of the ceremony.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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All wedding days are very special days for those getting married and we aspire to rise to the challenge of capturing the atmosphere  and occasion for all involved sometimes the venue has a little extra wow factor but in the end we hope our photographs capture the essence of what the day meant to the happy couple.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Peacock Pix

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Just wow.  It’s rare that this wedding blogger is left speechless.  But there you go.

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Brides and Photographers – fancy seeing your Real Wedding photographs featured on the Brides Up North wedding blogContact me 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © Peacock Pix

Peacock Pix is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog

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Winner! The Assassynation Win Your Wedding Photography Unique Wedding Search

June 6th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Assassynation Winner

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The brief was simple:

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Assassynation is offering one lucky Brides Up North reader the chance to have their wedding photographed completely free! But here is the catch, only the most unusual wedding will take the crown.

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It can be crazy, kooky or cool – but it has to be unique!  To the victor the spoils!

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We had some fabulous entries from all you cool cat brides to be, but in the end this wedding blogger and that fabulous photographer had a tough decision to make. 

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It was a close call, but the winner is Jade, who impressed us both with her cute and quirky take on the English Country Garden affair.  We just could not resist the lure of the mini Shetland ponies!  Who honestly could?!

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Jade wrote…

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Dear Brides Up North and Sassy,

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Hello! My fella Alex and I are getting married in Lincolnshire on Sept 8th 2012, and we think we should win because not only will our wedding be a bit different, you will also get to meet some diddy Shetland ponies :)!

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We got engaged after 2 years together in January, when Alex proposed by putting the ring around the collar of a lovely old wrinkly pug dog wearing a sparkly bow-tie- for us, it doesn’t get any better than that!

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From the start we knew we didn’t want a ‘conventional’ wedding, with no formalities and within a £4000 budget- we just couldn’t imagine standing in the ‘receiving line’, awkwardly shaking hands and air-kissing the people we really just wanted to be partying with instead! So that kind of set the whole theme of the wedding- just a big old knees up, where everyone mingles and there’s no pressure other than to have a good time!

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So over the months, we have come up with the idea of a big old English garden party (possibly not the most unique idea ever, but one we love!). And this has led us to the fun bit (found with the help of another Sassy bride, Gem of ‘Gem and Dan’s farm-wedding’ fame!)- the whole day is going to take place at a
Heavy Horse Centre!
They house some of Britain’s biggest horses, and several tiiiiiiiny Shetlands, who are ridiculously cute when they come running up to you like excitable puppies!! They are being kind enough to lend us their fields to hold our wedding day in, and are even letting us use the big horses to do cart rides for the guests and the little horses for some fun photos!

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We’re going to have a low-key legal ceremony the day before, to allow us to have a gorgeous outdoor ceremony the next day that everyone will attend. Think hay bale seating, pastel cushions and throws, pug bridesmaids and a floral ‘altar’… hopefully it’ll look amazing and the good old English weather stays in our favour! The ceremony will be officiated by a friend, and afterwards we’ll all go to the next field where there’ll be a canvas marquee, decorated in bunting and pastel colours, for the afternoon tea-style reception (complete with vintage china, which has been so much fun to collect!).

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Guests will be greeted with jam jars of Pimms or home-made lemonade, and then invited to help themselves to a buffet lunch. Dessert will be in the form of a ‘bake-off’- all guests are being asked to bring a dessert, and we’ll judge which one is best (for a bit of fun!). There will be a bouncy castle and an ice-cream van to keep kids and grown-up kids entertained, and in the evening we’re having a ceilidh band for a bit of a barn dance. Evening guests will be getting a good old hog-roast, and there’ll be a mid-afternoon raffle for a bit of fun, and also to help raise funds for the horses!

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I think Sassy’s style would really bring out the best of our wedding in pictures- your pictures are beautifully soft and light, and create a wonderful feeling of fun and romance- something which we’re hoping to bring out in bucket loads on our day!

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So in short – after the essay above! – please pick us, as we love your photos, and hope to do them justice with our DIY knees-up! Plus, who else will be able to offer you a ride on a shire horse or a cuddle with a Shetland??!

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Thanks!

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Jade x

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Its just like Jim’ll Fix It! Many many congratulations Jade!  Contact Brides Up North to claim your prize!  I literally cannot wait to share your real wedding here on Brides Up North.  Its going to be epic!

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Click here to see Brides Up North and Assassynation’s Rock The Royal Wedding Photoshoot

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Click here to read an interview with Sassy

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 Assassynation

Assassynation is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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