June 4th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
We’re back from our hiatus ready and raring for more real wedding pretty than ever before. On the back of our bi-annual rest, recharge and reassess, there’s a proper update coming soon on some verrrrry exciting plans for this little corner of the internets, but for now, let’s just give the people what they came for, eh? Straight into the #wedspo it is then…
After a year-long engagement, today’s couple Emily and Fraser tied the knot at the chapel in Leeds General Infirmary. Not your conventional choice although one that held lots of sentimental value for the pair, as it’s not only where they both work but it’s also where they originally met.
For their celebrations afterwards, New Craven Hall – an industrial events space in the heart of Leeds – provided the beautiful backdrop and all the versatility the bride and groom could need to craft their special day. And when we say craft we mean quite literally – as they either made their decorations from scratch or borrowed from family or friends – everything from hula-hoops with flowers and fairy lights to glass baubles with candles and bunting.
Adding a playful element to their day – Emily and Fraser plumped for a board games theme. Think a Battleships table plan and place name cards featuring Scrabble pieces and you’ll get the idea! This is just one of the many highlights though, so we think we’ll pass the blog over to Emily now to tell us all the details!
With images by Stevie Jay Photography.
emily says: We got engaged on 24th February 2017. We had gone away for the weekend and just about made it to Pitlochry in Scotland, driving through some really bad snow from Leeds. On our first day, we got up, had breakfast in the hotel and planned a walk through the countryside. The walk took us past a waterfall called Black Spout. As I turned around from looking at the waterfall, Fraser was down on one knee and asked me to marry him! After lots of tears of happiness and saying ‘yes’ we then continued the walk and stopped off at a local microbrewery for a drink.
We tied the knot on 24th March 2018. We wanted to get married within about 12 months of our engagement, so this was just over! We got married at St Luke’s Chapel at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) Hospital. We both work as radiographers and met at the LGI, and felt it was a special place to both of us. We had to apply to the Archbishop of Westminster to get a Special Licence. The old hospital entrance and the chapel are 250 years old and have lots of beautiful characteristics.
Our reception was held at New Craven Hall. We chose this venue because we wanted somewhere we could have freedom to do what we wanted. We wanted to make our own decorations and centrepieces as my mum and me are both very crafty. Inside, it’s an industrial style venue with fairy lights, beams and copper features, with lots of decorating to do. We wanted a good choice of food and beer too, and the venue allowed us to have our favourite cans of craft beer for our welcome drinks. We had access to the venue to set everything up ourselves, but the New Craven Hall team were on hand if we ever needed anything.
We love playing board games together, so our theme for the day centred on board games. For example, we had Articulate save the date cards and Monopoly invites, as well as a Battleships table plan where the guests had a coordinate and had to find what battleship (table) they were on; Jenga coasters; place name cards featuring Scrabble pieces; and a Guess Who game with the guests as the faces. Our guestbook was made from jigsaw pieces too and we also had a dart board.
Our colour scheme was pale teal and light duck egg blue. We weren’t adamant on any particular colour scheme prior to organising our wedding. I found some bridesmaid dresses of this colour which we liked, and we just went from there. We used this colour for the ties of the male wedding party, as well as the bunting and ribbon on the order of service.
I wanted a simple, fitted dress with a slight fishtail, nothing too big or sparkly. When trying on dresses, I soon realised I liked shoestring straps and loved dresses with no back or a very detailed lace/sequinned back. I purchased my dress from Ava Rose Hamilton near my hometown in Colne and it was designed by Willowby. I just loved the lace back and the simple look at the front. I wanted some sparkle so added a belt. I loved the long cathedral veil, which I got for a bargain from Preloved and it was held in with my bridesmaid’s hair clip from her wedding day – my something borrowed.
Fraser bought his suit from Slaters as did the best man, groomsman and our dads. They were all in navy, standard fitted suits. Fraser’s suit had a slight textured look to it compared to the others. He wore a tie that complemented the bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen’s ties, and also bought his shoes and socks from Jeffery West, as his wedding treat.
February 20th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
When you think of a destination wedding, a sandy beach and an epic sunset usually spring to mind. You know – somewhere hot. But actually, if you live halfway across in the world in San Diego, where could be better for a destination choice than a magnificent castle wedding in bonny Scotland?
Today’s feature couple, Ellen and Ryan, thought just that, enticing 62 guests across the pond to Edinburgh to laird it up at the beautiful Dalhousie Castle. There they laid on Highland Games and fireworks, live entertainment, and surprised guests with a rather unusual ring bearer.
We just love Ellen’s beautiful Watters gown, perfect for swishing around the dancefloor as she desired; and my word, that’s some serious #girlsquad she has – do we count nine beautiful bridesmaids!?!
With images by JPR Shah Photography.
ellen says: We are from San Diego, USA, and we had our first date at Balboa Park, a collective of many different museums, galleries, restaurants and gardens. My favourite place in Balboa Park is the Botanical Garden, so Ryan knew he wanted to propose there. He is known for his off-the-wall ‘what if’ jokes. So, as we strolled through the Botanical Garden, Ryan noted that the building was 100-years-old. He asked me, “What if this building collapsed on us?” Following my eye roll, he then asked, “Or, what if I said I wanted to be with you for the rest of my life?”
Ryan proposed with a family heirloom diamond. His mom had a ring with three diamonds that was passed down to her. Ryan received one of the diamonds from the ring and designed a ring to match our relationship. Ryan knew I would want friends and family to share in the joy of the engagement. So, after the obvious kissing and reply of “absolutely yes!”, he took me to the rooftop of a building where our friends and family were waiting to congratulate us.
We got married on 22nd June 2017. I’m a teacher and, in order to have a destination wedding, we knew we’d need to get married over summer. So, we picked the earliest summer date that allowed us and our guests to get overseas. We knew that, if we were going to get married abroad, we wanted to do so in a place that was different from anywhere we could get married in the USA. Ryan presented me with the idea of getting married in a castle and we found a castle that could house all of the guests overnight, that was close to an airport and that we loved! Dalhousie Castle fit all the bills and we would absolutely recommend it! The staff was incredibly helpful and friendly, and the food and venue were amazing. Our friends and family left our wedding saying it was the best wedding they had ever attended. Our venue was perfect!
We didn’t have a theme, other than ‘Scottish Castle’, which for us was pretty unique. We had a company come and do the Highland Games with our guests, which helped acclimatise everybody to Scottish culture.
We chose purple and grey colour scheme, simply because we really like these colours.
We travelled to Edinburgh a few days before the wedding and stayed at the castle the night before everybody arrived. We hired a bus company, Ladywell Travel, to transport our guests from Edinburgh to the castle.
October 31st, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding is brimming with timeless details to inspire all of those brides-to-be hankering after an elegant, traditional affair.
Melissa and Chris tied the knot at a beautiful local church with a family connection and held their reception at the stunning Deanwater Hotel in Wilmslow. And they didn’t let it rain on their parade – despite the inclement weather, we think these breath-taking photographs radiate pure joy.
So sit back and enjoy Melissa’s account of a day full of sunshine in spite of the showers…
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
melissa says: We got engaged in January 2013. Chris didn’t want to be predictable and ask over Christmas; he wanted to catch me completely off guard. He proposed at home, one of our favourite places, on a very ordinary Saturday morning. He presented me with a photo book which contained memories of our holidays, adventures and fun times we‘d had over the ten years we’d been together and on the last page I read the all-important four words. The next thing I knew, Chris was down on one knee and holding out the most beautiful ring he had designed with the help of jeweller Simon Washbrook.
Our wedding date was 14th August 2015, exactly 12 years after we got together. My wedding ring also contained 14 diamonds to represent the date of our anniversary.
The wedding ceremony was held at Christ Church, Woodford. It’s a meaningful place for us as my parents were married there 33 years ago and I was christened there. And the tradition will continue: my sister is planning her wedding there for December 2016, too!
The reception was held in the Gold Suite at the Deanwater Hotel in Wilmslow. The newly-refurbished suite was a perfect venue for us as we wanted a small wedding which was close by for friends and family.
In terms of our wedding style, we went for a very traditional a gold, pearl and champagne colour scheme. I wanted something simple and elegant which would stand the test of time.
agape bridal boutique, andy murphy, brides up north sponsor, cc cakes, coast, dax on sax, deanwater hotel, dressed to impress, glacial ice sculptures, green earth flowers, horgans, jonny draper photography, lozzi woo, moss bros, north west wedding, north west wedding photographer, north west wedding photography, oona linnett, paul george hair and beauty, rachel simpson shoes, real wedding, silk wedding films, simon washbrook, uk wedding blog, Watters
June 1st, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Following on from our hugely successful WEDSTOCK’16 and WESTIVAL’16 events this season, we just love to see couples planning celebrations with relaxed yet enjoyable festival wedding vibes, incorporating bright colours, vibrant decor and cool live music.
Today’s wedding is therefore right up our street, as bride and groom Sally and Dan based their big day on their love of music festivals; picking a bold colour scheme (and a dash of Coronation Street fun!) to reflect their upbeat theme and the warm summer season.
Taking place at Manchester’s Great John Street hotel, this is the perfect example of how to make ‘festival’ stylish and chic…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Zen Photographic.
sally says: Dan proposed to me at home after returning from a business trip to South Africa – it was a real shock. Even though we had been together for 12 years, getting married had never been top of our agenda. Dan knows I’m not one for lots of attention, so it was the perfect way to propose, just us two. After much deliberating Dan had decided to choose the engagement ring himself – it’s a beautiful classic Tiffany solitaire and fitted perfectly, much to his relief!
We set the date for 11th July 2015 in the hope that we may see some sun! As football fans, we also didn’t want a date that may clash with any important fixtures.
We decided on a church ceremony, followed by a reception at the Great John Street hotel in Manchester city centre. Prior to looking at wedding venues we hadn’t heard of the hotel but several people had mentioned it to us when looking, and what a hidden gem the hotel turned out to be! The hotel is an old Victorian school house which has been converted into a luxurious boutique hotel. The interior design of the hotel is stunning and boasts a south facing roof terrace, making it the perfect venue to host a party. We both love the city centre of Manchester and wanted this to be reflected in our day. This intimate venue enabled us to do this, with views looking out over the iconic Beetham Tower, and the old cobbles of the original Coronation Street set.
One of our shared passions is attending music festivals so we wanted this to be included in our day. We therefore incorporated a few things which resonated with this theme, such as the wedding stationery, flowers and camper vans.
Royal blue and yellow were the main colours for our colour scheme as we wanted vibrant summer colours which would go well with the festival style elements of the day that we had chosen.
agape bridal boutique, appleberry press, brides up north sponsor, cheshire bridal wear, city centre wedding, dotties pantry, great john street hotel, hummingbird flowers, john lewis, lisa simms, little limos, manchester wedding, moss bros, mulder and co, real wedding, saville row, the wedding of my dreams, uk wedding blog, Watters, zen photographic
May 12th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Did you catch our exciting news on Thursday? The Brides Up North team has grown! The lovely Rachel joins our editorial team, and you’ll be hearing a lot more from her every week on these pretty pages. Opening the blogging for another beautiful week, it’s our Rach, on blossoming bridesmaids…
The Classic Gown by twobirds bridesmaid
Rachel says: You’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid which is a great honour – you’re excited and flattered though you can’t help feeling ever so slightly anxious as you wait to find out what dresses the bride will pick for you and your fellow maids. Will it be a flattering colour, fit, style? Or are you going to be thrust into the limelight feeling massively uncomfortable while the entire experience is captured on camera? Even if you weren’t keen on the dress choice you’d have to grin and bear it right? It’s ultimately the bride’s decision, it’s her big day and you don’t want to add to her pre-wedding stress now do you?
I feel there may be one exception to this underlying rule though – a bridesmaid with a baby bump. I have great admiration for these ladies – especially those who will be approaching their due date when the big day arrives.
Alfred Sung style M423
Not only does a pregnant bridesmaid have to worry about what she will look like and how she feel at the point the wedding arrives, but also who are the other bridesmaids and how will she compare on the day with a hefty bump, enhanced breasts and the strong possibility of a sweaty, I mean glowing, appearance?
I feel mutual respect is key in such as situation – it is ultimately the bride’s decision, but she should take the feelings of her pregnant bridesmaid into account when selecting the bridesmaids’ attire so that all maids feel equally comfortable and attractive.
Dessy Collection style 2904
Dessy Collection style 2909
Dessy Collection style 2913
One option for pregnant maids is to buy a regular bridesmaid dress several sizes too big and get it altered by a seamstress nearer the time. This can work out fine though it is rather difficult for a bride to predict what stage her fluctuating weight gain will be at on the big day or in which areas she is going to expand. Therefore, in order to avoid numerous costly alterations and the dress being chopped and changed within an inch of its life, brides should consider what styles and fabrics of dresses will be most flattering and forgiving on their pregnant maids.
twobirds – High-lo Gown (above and below, with and without sash)
Another option is to choose a maternity specific dress in the same colour and fabric as the other maids’ dresses, or alternatively, choose a maternity-friendly dress for all your maids that the pregnant bridesmaid can buy simply buy in a slightly larger size for that little extra space.
Designers including Dessy and Alfred Sung have maternity specific dresses as well as designs more suitable for pregnant maids such as pretty A-line dresses and floor-length, flowing frocks. Meanwhile, twobirds is a great example of a designer with maternity-friendly options that will look equally attractive on pregnant and non-pregnant maids. Its Classic Gown (top image) has an empire waistline below the breasts which provides some support while its straps can be tied in 15 different ways for various looks and further support for those that need it. The loose jersey-blend material skims over bumps beautifully for an overall flattering appearance. The designer’s latest Hi-Lo Gown (above) is another maternity friendly option. It’s a strapless dress but with a built in bra in the same comfortable material as the Classic Gown which can be worn with a sash, to cinch the waist, or without a sash for a fabulous floaty feel.
Watters Bridesmaids Juniper style 3535
Watters Bridesmaids Max style 5537
Wtoo bridesmaid style 919
Now there’s just the question of suitable shoes to consider!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited
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November 28th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Today’s Real Wedding, sent to me by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Katy Melling Photography and real bride Jenny couldn’t get any lovelier. From the pretty details, outdoor ceremony and relaxed styling to the personal touches throughout, Jenny and Jon’s day has a really happy feel, with family at it’s heart.
I’ve loved sharing in their big day, and I hope that you do too. Be inspired!
Jenny says: We got engaged in Copenhagen – February 2012 – and were married on July 27th 2013 at Guyzance Hall in Northumberland.
We chose the venue as it was only 3 miles from my parents’ village of Warkworth which was important as, although we live in London, I still have a strong pull to the North East (I was brought up in Whitley Bay). We also loved the idea of an outdoor wedding and the opportunity to have the majority of the wedding guests stay in the hall and the surrounding cottages for the weekend. Although the hall itself is grand and elegant, the whole weekend felt intimate and personal which is exactly the feel we wanted.
As the wedding ceremony was going to be outside, we adopted a country garden theme complete with lawn games and a quiz. We opted for a colour theme of peach and blue – I wanted the colours of the wedding to be muted and in the theme of the wedding.
My dress was called Nina (Short) by Stephanie Allin and came from Darcy Weddings in Morpeth. Darcy’s was the first bridal shop I visited and I spotted my dress almost as soon as I walked in. Knowing that I wanted a vintage feel to my dress, as soon as I spotted this 50s style, tea length lace dress, I knew I had found a winner. I tried it on and turned to my mum who said..’You look like your Grandma when she was your age’ – that was it – it was the one!
The bridesmaids wore dresses by Watters – also supplied by Darcy Weddings. They were nude/peach chiffon sleeveless dresses with soft pleating around the neckline, down the centre front of dress and at the waist with covered buttons behind the neck.
The groom and ushers wore the “Lingfield” suit from Moss Bros – a grey suit with tails. The ushers wore a pale blue cravat while Jon wore a cream one.
The music throughout the day was very important to me. I walked down the aisle to ‘Canon in D’ by Pachbel and then chose ‘Magic Moments’ by Perry Como as we signed the register. This was my Nanny’s favourite song so having that as part of the day was very important to me.
My favourite part of the day was saying our vows. Although we opted for a very simple and short ceremony, our registrar was brilliant and really put us at ease – we felt so relaxed and so happy to say the special words.
My bouquet was blue hydrangeas with gypsophila and peach avalanche roses by Fern Flowers. It was a ‘hand picked’ style bouquet which had a relaxed wild flower feel to it. The same flowers were used for the centre pieces for the tables.
As a personal touch I had a little sprig of Lily of the Valley as a reminder of my Grandma – it was her favourite flower.
Straight after the wedding ceremony, we had arranged a quiz. Sheets were handed out and guests had to collect signatures of other guests e.g. Someone who is a doctor, someone who is the parent of twins, someone born in Suffolk, etc. It was great fun and encouraged different groups to family and friends to chat and get to know each other.
The lawn games before and after our Wedding breakfast were great fun – my dad had been collecting them over the previous months and they were so popular on the day – it gave the day a lovely relaxed feel.
We decided to go for a different kind of guest book and had each guest/couple complete a ‘fill the blanks’ style sheet e.g. We have travelled from _______, You should call your children ________ and ___________. They made for very funny reading the next day and we’ve since had them bound into a book which we can pick up from time to time and smile.
The sparkling wine we chose for straight after the ceremony and our speeches was from a vineyard 5 miles from Jon’s parents house in Suffolk. We’ve bought wine from the vineyard before and it was important that we had some Suffolk element to our day.
We had a cheese cake made for us by The Northumberland Cheese Company based at Blagdon Farm, Milkhope. We had three main layers: nutty cheddar, oak smoked cheese and then a blue cheese on top. It was decorated by my mum and Auntie Sheila with figs, grapes and ivy. We also had two handmade mice made for the top by Lynn at Little Mouse Gallery. They were made to look like us; the bride with a lace dress and peach and blue bouquet and the groom with a blue cravat and a blue flower buttonhole
We had a fantastic band called ‘Hip Operation’ – they were a 7-piece band including a saxophone, trumpet and trombone. They really got the party started and created a brilliant atmosphere for the whole evening.
For our honeymoon we went to France. We spent one week in a beautiful little cottage in the Loire Valley (lots of wine tasting and cheese eating) and then a week in Paris.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to try to think of as may ways to personalise your wedding as you can – it’s lovely to hear people comment on those little touches; those are the things you’ll remember the most.
Congratulations Jenny & Jon!
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