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love is the way: handwritten promises for a romantic wedding at samlesbury hall – isis & martyn

June 8th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Romantic Wedding at Samlesbury Hall (c) Jess Yarwood (61)

The sentiment of today’s real wedding between Isis and Martyn is this: on the day, it doesn’t matter how many days, weeks and months you’ve spent organising the perfect wedding, the most important element is the exchanging of the vows, witnessed by all the people who love you. In the end, that’s the fairy tale and it’s worth reminding ourselves sometimes, when the ink has smudged on the invitations or the band we love is already booked, that love conquers all that stuff.

Having made the inspired decision to research the weather of their chosen wedding date over the previous ten years, only to find that each year it had offered up blue skies and sunshine, Isis and Martyn secured their March wedding date and were not disappointed with the forecast. With a focus on the ceremony, they crafted their own vows as a truly special touch and ensured there was not a dry eye in the house as they emerged into the spring sunshine as husband and wife.

Isis made all the decorations herself, even assembling the cake from individual tiers and adding the decorations. Despite not following a colour scheme, the couple chose a delicate palette of blue and sage green, which toned beautifully and offered echoes of spring to complement the time of year. Tell us more, Isis…

With images by Jess Yarwood.

A Romantic Wedding at Samlesbury Hall (c) Jess Yarwood (33)

isis says: Martyn and I got engaged in the Cairngorms in Scotland. I was studying for a degree and was one exam away from finishing. I had secured training at Manchester University to become a teacher and just needed to complete my degree with high scores. Martyn booked a weekend away in advance of me getting the results I needed, so that we could celebrate (there was no reason to think I wouldn’t get the results I needed). At the time, Martyn was living in Manchester and I was in Scunthorpe at the other end of the country, so I needed to pass so I could move over to be with him. The day we left, I got the terrible news that I hadn’t got the results I needed and wouldn’t be able to move over or go to Manchester University. I spent the whole seven-hour drive to Scotland in tears.

We arrived, and Martyn had booked a stunning country house on the river with its own private sauna and hot tub. The next morning, I woke up to an email saying there had been a mistake and I actually had received the results I needed! We spent the day exploring the area and, in the afternoon, I came out of the kitchen to a trail of rose petals. I followed them out into the garden to the river bank, where Martyn was waiting on one knee. It was completely unexpected and so romantic. Just the two of us with nobody else to see – perfect.

A Romantic Wedding at Samlesbury Hall (c) Jess Yarwood (51)

We got married on Saturday 24th March 2018. We chose the date after choosing the venue. We checked out the weather on that date for the last ten years and every year it had been warm and sunny. We took the risk and booked it. We made the right decision because our day was beautiful – blue skies and warm spring sunshine.

Our venue for the ceremony and reception was Samlesbury Hall in Preston. It was the first (and only) venue we visited and we both fell in love with it straight away. Not being religious, a church ceremony wasn’t something we would consider and we didn’t want a hotel or country house. Samlesbury Hall was perfect – a traditional Tudor home with loads of original features and open fires, which were lit at night. Everyone loved it and commented on what a unique and beautiful venue we had chosen. The staff were amazing – so friendly – and would literally do anything for you. The venue is beautiful and the grounds are gorgeous too.

A Romantic Wedding at Samlesbury Hall (c) Jess Yarwood (66)

We are the least fussy people you could imagine and wanted something simple, so we didn’t opt for a particular theme or colour scheme. We didn’t want to spend lots of money on things that didn’t really matter to us (like table decorations, flowers, etc.) and instead wanted to focus on the actual ceremony and wedding.

A Romantic Wedding at Samlesbury Hall (c) Jess Yarwood (75)

For my dress, I chose a fitted, illusion back dress with lace on the sleeves and the front. I bought it from WED2B in Bolton more than a year-and-a-half before the wedding! I wasn’t going to buy it that early but saw it on the internet and loved it – I knew I had to try it on just in case. It was perfect. I wore it with a full-length veil.

I had my hair done by Marsha Lloyd in Wilmslow, Manchester – my local hairdresser who I trusted, and I did my own makeup.

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real wedding recap 2018: a country wedding at le petit chateau, otterburn – melanie & rory

June 2nd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Kristos Kabiotis (36)

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th June 2018 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Bride and groom, Melanie and Rory, were one of the first couples to book their wedding at Le Petit Chateau – a truly gorgeous French-inspired country manor hotel in the heart of beautiful Northumberland; instantly falling in love with its summer holiday feels. After getting engaged in the Big Apple, it seemed only fitting that there would be a subtle nod to this special location; and this came in the form of their table names. Keeping things simple though, no other theme was needed. But this doesn’t mean the wedding was lacking in personality or special touches – far from it!

As well as writing their own vows, Rory’s mum aka ‘Crafty Crofty’ stepped in to create some truly wonderful favours, table centrepieces, invitations and decorations for the couple, re-imagining their ideas and bringing them to life. She even baked their elegant white cake. (We’re wondering if we can steal her away for our special occasions too?) We’ll let Melanie tell us more about this quirky DIY approach though – prepare to soak up those Mediterranean vibes!

With images by Kristos Kabiotis Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Kristos Kabiotis (31)

melanie says: We got engaged on 12th February 2015, in New York. We were in an extremely cold Central Park and Rory was attempting to get me to walk out onto one of the lakes, which had frozen over – I flat out refused as I was scared we’d both end up cracking it and falling through into the freezing water! Instead, we went to see the Alice in Wonderland statue and it was just along from here – on a bank called Cedar Hill – that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

I was completely taken by surprise and just to make the moment even more magical, it started to snow! He had managed to find possibly one of the few secluded spots in one of the busiest cities in the world where it felt like it was just the two of us. He later told me he wanted to propose on the frozen lake but I’d scuppered that plan!

A Pretty Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Kristos Kabiotis (11)

We always wanted a summer wedding as we love going on holiday and our venue – Le Petit Chateau – definitely provided that Mediterranean vibe. We were one of the first couples to book the venue on its first open day, so were lucky enough to have our pick of the dates available. We ended up choosing a date almost a year from the day we booked!

I’d been interested in the venue since The Apartment Group announced the plans to build a new venue in Otterburn, and we fell in love with Le Petit Chateau the moment we saw its Belle Époque on the open day. We loved the idea of being in one venue for the entire day, so we wouldn’t have to travel between the ceremony and reception.

A Pretty Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Kristos Kabiotis (37)

We had no specific theme for the day, but I loved the idea of naming the tables after places we’d visited on our trip to New York, where we got engaged. We used Central Park as the top table.

I knew I wanted to have a neutral/pastel colour scheme, which would contrast with the venue and its colourful gardens during the summer.

A Pretty Wedding at Le Petit Chateau (c) Kristos Kabiotis (15)

I searched for hours online looking at different wedding dress designers and visited around seven bridal shops trying on almost every style of dress, but nothing was exactly what I wanted. I eventually went to Wed2B at Gateshead, after it was recommended by a colleague and tried on even more dresses…until I found the one! It had everything I had envisioned, and I knew straight away that this was what I wanted to walk down the aisle in.

Rory didn’t want to go for something conventional and had his heart set on a dark tweed suit. We heard about Master Debonair in Boldon from a friend, so Rory and his dad (who was also his best man) went to try on some suits, along with my dad. The guys in the shop were great and allowed Rory, and both dads to try on several suits whilst enjoying a couple of beers (I arrived after work and was delighted to find a glass of prosecco on arrival). Rory eventually decided on a dark blue slim cut suit – he looked very dapper! Rory also selected a skeleton pocket watch and a champagne coloured tie and pocket square.

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real wedding recap 2018: pink & gold for a romantic wedding at beamish hall – chloe & simon

May 23rd, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Romantic Wedding at Beamish Hall (c) Chris Parkinson Photography (45)

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th June 2018 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

The utterly gorgeous August wedding that we’re sharing on the blog today is certainly whetting or appetite, with blue skies, a stunning strappy gown and delicate detailing.

Real bride Chloe, is a loyal Brides Up North reader *waves* and we’re thrilled that our daily inspiration helped to shape her and Simon’s big day. Keen on all things “glamorous and girly”, Chloe picked a soft, pretty colour scheme of gold and blush pink for their romantic celebrations at the very grand Beamish Hall.

With beautiful, high-impact flower centrepieces to echo the tall ceilings of the hall, festoon lighting swagging from the ceiling, fairy lights climbing the pillars between the tables and a curtain of twinkling lights behind the top table – not to mention an elegant string quartet – Chloe and Simon went all out with sophisticated glamour and achieved the look to a tee.

With images by Beneath The Pines.

A Romantic Wedding at Beamish Hall (c) Chris Parkinson Photography (41)

chloe says: Simon and I got engaged on 4th October 2015, in Central Park, New York. He took me by complete surprise a couple of days into our trip when he popped the question by the boating lake.

We got married on Saturday 26th August 2017. We chose this date as we wanted a summer wedding. I had envisioned everyone enjoying the beautiful grounds of Beamish Hall in the sunshine and that is what we got. We married at Beamish Hall, County Durham, with the ceremony held in the Shafto Hall, and the reception in the Winter Gardens. I immediately fell in love with the Winter Gardens the first time we went to have a look around the venue – it was just everything we wanted and more. I would recommend Beamish Hall to anyone who is looking for a luxurious wedding. The staff are amazing, the service was second to none all day and everything went perfectly.

A Romantic Wedding at Beamish Hall (c) Chris Parkinson Photography (47)

For our theme, we chose to go for a modern, romantic-styled wedding. I love anything glamorous and girly. I chose blush pink and gold for our colour scheme, as it went with our theme and I think the colours look so beautiful together. While I was planning our wedding I read (and still do!) the Brides Up North real weddings, as I love reading about how other people style their weddings and what elements they have added in their day to make it unique.

A Romantic Wedding at Beamish Hall (c) Chris Parkinson Photography (11)

When it came to my dress, I first saw it on an Instagram image of a wedding dress store and I told my mum that was the dress I wanted. Designed by Anna Sorrano, it was only the second dress I tried on and, as soon as I looked in the mirror, I knew it was the dress I wanted to walk down the aisle in – fishtail in style with a low back and lace strap detailing. I bought it from Wed2b in Gateshead. My shoes were Ted Baker.

Simon wanted to wear a navy suit and wanted all of his groomsmen to wear the same, as well as my father and his. We bought each suit from Next. Simon wore a gold tie and the rest wore blush pink.

A Romantic Wedding at Beamish Hall (c) Chris Parkinson Photography (37)

I wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable in their dresses and also for each one to feel as though they suited it. That’s why we went for multi-way dresses, so they could wear it in whichever style they wanted to and they still all matched. We bought the bridesmaid dresses in Debenhams. Two of them wore a champagne gold dress and one a blush pink dress. Our flower girl wore a dress by John Rocha, which was blush pink on the bottom and gold on the top.

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entertain you: laughter, games & song for a fun-filled wedding in chester – kate & anton

May 4th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Fun Filled Wedding In Chester (c) About Today Photography (29)

Today’s talented featured couple, Kate and Anton, are in the entertainment biz, which means they had a host of wonderfully talented friends to call upon to add a bit of extra-special magic to their wedding in Chester.

From a friend touring in the stage production of The Wedding Singer, who performed Grow Old With You after the cutting of the cake, to a Disney Cruise Line vocalist belting out a beautiful rendition of At Last during the ceremony, Kate and Anton ensured their celebration was punctuated with meaningful moments created by their close friends.

And, keen not to deflate their guests hopes, they took to the dancefloor to put on a couple of impressive performances of their own. Lights, camera, action…

With images by About Today Photography.

A Fun Filled Wedding In Chester (c) About Today Photography (38)

kate says: Anton and I used to work together on the cruise ships; I was a singer and Anton was a dancer. During our contract in November 2016, my mum and stepdad were cruising with us around the Caribbean. We had planned to take them on our favourite excursion to Trafalgar Falls Waterfall on the island of Dominica, which I had completely fallen in love with during our previous contract. Little did I know, Anton had planned a distraction with my mum and, once there, he went off climbing the rocks whilst mum and I swam in a natural pool. I kept trying to get him to join us and thought it was odd that he wouldn’t jump in the water as he normally would. As mum and I got out of the water, he all of a sudden appeared from behind a rock and got down on one knee. The setting was stunning and I was so surprised they’d managed to keep it a secret!

A Fun Filled Wedding In Chester (c) About Today Photography (42)

Our wedding date was Thursday 24th August 2017. We chose to have a mid-week wedding during the summer knowing it was a bank holiday weekend. We wanted an outdoor, light feeling to our day, so the summer was the perfect time and we were super lucky with the weather. Also, having it on a Thursday luckily cut costs just a little bit.

When we were planning our wedding, we visited a Brides Up North wedding fair at Chester Grosvenor Hotel, which we really loved. It gave us a lot of ideas and it was great to meet the different suppliers. It was the first one we attended as a couple and I loved getting my ‘bride to be’ sticker!

A Fun Filled Wedding In Chester (c) About Today Photography (33)

When it came to the venue, we knew we wanted to stay in one place for the whole day and not have to worry about travel. We came across Pryors Hayes Golf Club in Chester; they were building a new event space and, when we saw the artist’s impressions, we instantly fell in love and knew it was our perfect venue. The venue gave us our dream outdoor ceremony under a pagoda surrounded by beautiful green foliage and the reception area was so beautiful and bright, with wooden beams and exposed brick walls. It was all so new that it really felt like ours. We would highly recommend the venue. Not only is it absolutely stunning but the manager, Richard, and his team did absolutely everything and more for us on the day. From start to finish, Richard was absolutely brilliant.

A Fun Filled Wedding In Chester (c) About Today Photography (63)

With regards to a theme, after seeing the venue we decided to keep things very simple and light, especially with it being during the summer. We didn’t want too much of a colour ‘pop’, so chose to go with dusky pinks and to keep the whole theme very homemade and rustic, hand-making most of the decorations, such as the signs and favours. Anton is Ukrainian, so we also incorporated this into our decoration choices and used Polaroid photographs of all the places we had travelled together as decoration and also table names.

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real wedding recap 2017: a pretty & personal wedding in manchester city centre – sarah & ben

December 27th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A City Wedding In Manchester (c) Katie Dervin (53)

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 8th January 2018 (we’re hoping we’ll be over the hangover by then, right?) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from last 6 months. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

For some couples a wedding is about getting away from day to day life and escaping to a far-off venue for vows and celebrations. Other couples, however, like to make their big day all about their local surroundings, sharing the place they call home with their family and friends. The latter is certainly true of today’s featured couple, who chose to tie the knot in their home city of Manchester.

By combining personal touches and pretty décor, Sarah and Ben’s wedding is as cool as it is classy – and we flippin’ love it! There’s pretty pink flowers, glittering sequins and twinkling fairylights but also an urban backdrop, smoke bombs and tattoos. What this couple easily deliver is a lesson in how to truly make your wedding your own…

With images by Katie Dervin.

A City Wedding In Manchester (c) Katie Dervin (42)

sarah says: We got engaged at my parents’ house in Cheshire, on Christmas Day 2014. It had started as an unfortunate day as Ben was currently living in London and all I wanted was to see him and spend some quality time together but I woke up to an awful 24-hour bug and was bed ridden for most of the day. So, after a quick change of plan he said he was going to come to mine and spend the day with me being ill and not very in the mood for Christmas. My parents had gone around to my brother’s so there was just the two of us in the flat. He went downstairs to make me a tea and next thing he shouted up to me to come downstairs to open my presents, which I wasn’t happy about at all as I could barely stand up. As I got to the top of the stairs I heard playing faintly our song, which is How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding and I immediately burst into tears. I walked down the stairs to see him in my living room standing in the middle of a rose petal heart and candles everywhere. He then went down on one knee and asked me. I was hysterical. I wasn’t expecting it at all as we had only been together for 13 months. It was perfect. No big show, no embarrassing displays of public affection. Just me and him.

Our wedding date was Saturday 8th July 2017.

A City Wedding In Manchester (c) Katie Dervin (15)

We got married at the Renaissance Manchester hotel on Blackfriars Street in the city centre. We have lived in Manchester for nearly two years now and having looked at numerous venues in Cheshire, where we are both originally from, we realised that they weren’t for us and we are now officially city people and wanted our friends and family to see where our lives are now. The venue wasn’t actually our first choice. Our original venue cancelled on us six months before the wedding due to renovations and we then essentially had to start again. But Ben managed to find The Renaissance, who turned out to be our saviours and we had the amazing day we had always wanted.

A City Wedding In Manchester (c) Katie Dervin (34)

We didn’t have a theme per say. We just wanted to have a great day that everyone would enjoy and remember for all the right reasons. It was once described to me as an ‘urban fairy-tale wedding’ with a little rock and roll. We are a non-traditional couple with traditional values so we tried to have the best of both worlds.

The colour scheme was pinks and gold. I didn’t just want to have a specific shade of pink, mainly because I couldn’t decide but also I felt it’s a colour which can have all different shades in one place and still look right.

A City Wedding In Manchester (c) Katie Dervin (44)

My dress was from Wed2B in Bolton. It was the first thing we purchased after we had set the date. In my head, I had always wanted a typical princess fairy-tale style dress and I remember walking in and saying “take me to the tulle”. I tried on my first dress and hated it as this was all I had wanted and it looked awful. The lovely assistant persuaded me to try a different, more fitted style. I still wasn’t convinced until the straps fell down off my shoulders due to it being a little too big and I fell in love. I loved the style and fit and making the straps more of a Bardot on the shoulders gave it a more vintage style.

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my greatest adventure. a bright & colourful wedding in little crosby – laura & david

August 9th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (48)

Today’s couple, Laura and David, are self-confessed globetrotters, and we just love the fact that they injected this sense of adventure into their special day at Crosby Hall Educational Trust in Little Crosby, back in May.

Paying homage to all the wonderful memories they’ve created together so far, hopping from country to country, their colourful wedding day featured some rather lovely nostalgic touches, including miniature globes and Polaroid pictures aplenty. It comes as no surprise to us to hear that, post-wedding, the newlyweds will also be embarking on a very unique honeymoon experience (more deets on this later).

Swapping the traditional wedding breakfast for an indulgent afternoon tea followed by a hog roast, our couple definitely put their own stamp on the day’s proceedings. A pork pie wedding cake and vintage ice cream camper van are just two of the other scrumptious foodie highlights from their big day. A deliciously different line-up, if we do say so ourselves!

With photos by Hayley Blackledge Photography.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (64)

laura says: We got engaged in January 2016. We had gone out for dinner and David arranged for my sister to decorate the living room while we were out. I came home to a candlelit living room with photographs of us in various places around the world attached to balloons saying, “Will you marry me?”.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (54)

Our wedding took place on 27th May 2017. We originally wanted a summer date but the venue didn’t have any of our preferred dates available. We then considered Easter, but decided on May in the end. I’m a teacher so I wanted to make sure I had some school holidays after the wedding. We liked the fact it was a Bank Holiday weekend too, as we had lots of people travelling to the wedding and it allowed them to make the most of their time with us.

We had the ceremony and reception at Crosby Hall Educational Trust (CHET) in Little Crosby. The ceremony took place in the old barn. We loved the venue as soon as we saw the space. It ticked all the boxes for us – it was relaxed, pretty, private and allowed us to put our own stamp on things.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (62)

We didn’t have a theme as such but we incorporated lots of travel elements, due to the fact we have spent most of our relationship traveling the world! We used globes as decorations and we named our tables after some of our favourite places. We also decorated the walls of the corridors in the venue with photos of us in various locations.

We wanted the wedding to be bright and colourful, with a touch of sparkle. We used lots of bright colours in the decorations and flowers, with touches of metallic gold and glitter.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (58)

I got my dress from Wed2be in Liverpool. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress and originally, I went along just to get a feel for the style I wanted. I tried on lots of different gowns, but this dress just felt like ‘me’. I’m not a particularly girly girl and didn’t want anything too traditional. I felt the dress suited my personality perfectly and I felt really comfortable in it.

My shoes were from Irregular Choice. I’d had my eye on them for a while. My mum tried to persuade me to get something else but I’m glad I didn’t listen to her! I really want to wear them again!

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