September 19th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding is something of a showstopper; we hardly know where to begin as there are so many Insta-worthy moments and details to pore over.
Our featured couple Laura and Ash tied the knot at the astoundingly beautiful Peckforton Castle in Cheshire in May. And we love what they done with the venue – think blossom trees, floating candles, a whimsical floral arch and a candlelit aisle lined with ivory petals. The stuff of fairy-tale dreams. And that’s before we even mention their moreish food and drink line-up of a chocolate truffle brownie cake, elderflower cocktails and a hog roast!
Music played an instrumental (ahem) role in the couple’s big day. Not only did the bride and groom surprise their guests with a performance of two of their own songs, but Laura’s uncle performed a violin solo during their ceremony too, and they also had a string quartet later in the day. And, we have to confess, Laura’s wedding gift to her hubby-to-be – a guitar – is one of the most memorable and thoughtful we’ve ever seen!
With images by Sansom Photography.
laura says: We got engaged on our third anniversary of dating – Valentine’s Day 2017. We had a spontaneous date in the Peak District village of Castleton in the Hope Valley, not far from Sheffield. We had just finished dinner in a charming little restaurant called 1530. Over coffee, our first and favourite pastime, Ash inconspicuously reached into his pocket, to offer me a ‘sweet’ he’d picked up earlier that day – but instead he presented the ring, brightly sparkling in the humble glow of the empty room! It was a complete shock to me, I was instantly brought to tears. The sweetest, softest words were spoken as he moved to one knee beside me, where he received my resounding “yes”. The kind waitstaff re-entered the room in delight and took our photo.
Our wedding date was Saturday 19th May 2018. Although we liked the idea of an autumn wedding, spring 2018 was far enough to plan and ensure a large amount of family and friends from abroad would able to attend and sooner than waiting until autumn 2018. Within three weeks of our engagement, we confirmed our date with the registrar and venue. Ten months later, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their wedding date as the 19th of May, also! We were delighted to share the day (and the beautiful weather).
We initially thought of getting married in London where I spent my childhood in Chiswick, but due to my elderly grandparents living in Cheshire now, we wanted to find an option closer and easier for them to enjoy. Through a casual Google search, Ash came across the incredible Peckforton Castle in Tarporley, Cheshire. From our first glimpse in pictures, we were blown away by the beauty of the castle and grounds. It included stunning countryside surroundings, historic Grade I listed buildings and the perfect backdrop for our dream come true. We went to an open house conveniently that next week and wanted to look no further.
The venue is licensed for civil ceremonies only, which we chose to follow with a Christian blessing and arranged for my uncle to be our celebrant, rather than a local reverend, as this was more personal and meaningful for us. My uncle is also a first violinist for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and performed a violin solo to a song we chose called Vapor by husband and wife duo, Gungor, during a candle memorial to honour those no longer with us. We included readings by family members: excerpts from The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis and 1 Corinthians 13 before an inspiring closing and prayer.
While we didn’t have a set theme, our style was a gilded floral romance. We chose a palette of ivory, blush and nude against lush foliage of eucalyptus and olive leaves.
Blush and gold were our feature colours as they complemented our florals delicately without distracting from the castle décor. These worked well for spring and kept the mood light and romantic.
I chose a dress by MillaNova, which I purchased from Elements of Serenity Boutique, Swindon. I had originally seen the dress on Pinterest but had no details on who the designer was. After two visits to other boutiques and countless evenings scrolling through my dress inspo board, I hunted down the details and found that only one boutique in the country carried this line! I visited EOS as soon as possible with my aunty who lives in Cheshire and my iPad as we facetimed my mum who lives in the States. We knew that this was the one! I had tried on so many chic, fitted dresses that looked and felt lovely but hadn’t spoken to me the way this MillaNova dress did – I wasn’t initially looking for a ball gown, but this made me feel so beautiful and most like myself. It was a wonderful experience without the hype or pressure you see on TV. The boutique didn’t rush me or over-influence, they were excellent from start to finish.
August 14th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There’s something about a bride on her wedding day, as she brims with beauty, elegance and an inner radiance – and today’s bride, Harriet, is certainly no exception. Looking 100% gorgeous in a fitted lace gown with capped sleeves and a delicate full-length veil, she glides down the aisle with grace. And to complete the moving moment – a live church choir performing.
Harriet and Mike chose a beautiful, natural theme to complement the countryside setting and their personalities. The rustic look was echoed on the tables of the wedding breakfast, with candles, wooden log slices and trails of ivy. The two large foliage hoops hanging from the roof of the marquee provide a pretty focal point and draw guests’ attention to the fairy-lit ceiling, which really comes into its own as the light fades and the band strikes up for the first dance.
A further detail highlight has to be the cake stand made from a tree trunk, decorated with wispy foliage and topped with a naked cake in a beautiful; summery yellow hue. Confectionery perfection!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd Clarke Photography.
harriet says: We got engaged on 17th July 2015, at the breakfast table on our balcony. Mike made a lovely cooked breakfast and shortly afterwards he brought me a red velvet cupcake that said ‘Marry Me’ on it. To my great surprise, I turned to him and he was already on one knee. Later that evening we travelled to India to explore the Himalayas. What a way to start our journey!
We got married on 5th August 2017. It was one of the only dates available at the stunning Priory Cottages where we held our reception – a very popular place! Without question we would recommend the venue; it’s simply stunning if you enjoy being in the countryside. Serena and her team were very accommodating. We also reserved all the cottages for our families, which was convenient for us.
Our ceremony took place at All Saints Church in Kirk Deighton. We chose this venue because it is a beautiful church and close to my family home. I also have fond memories of the church because my eldest sister got married there in 2012. I must give a special mention to the wonderful choir that joined us at the ceremony – Collavoce from Harrogate.
We chose a rustic theme for our wedding. I felt it complemented the venue and we also like a natural approach with nothing too extravagant. There was no set colour scheme, other than whites, greens and blush pink in the flowers to bring a hint of colour into it. We wanted it to be as natural as possible.
My dress was from a shop in York called Bridal Rogue Gallery – a full-length, white lace dress from the designer Pronovias. I chose it because I liked the fit, the lace detail and the slightly lower back. It was a very statement wedding dress for me, which I wouldn’t have normally gone for. I went into the shop thinking I would choose a completely different kind of dress but instead I fell in love with that one.
My bridal makeup was done by Laura Wilkinson. She was very friendly, professional and reasonably priced. She wasn’t pushy in any way and gave advice as to what best suited my complexion. I would recommend her to anyone.
August 8th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
The gorgeously vivid flowers that feature in today’s real wedding between Sophie and Rob add some real pizzazz to this lovely summer celebration; in pinks and oranges, purples and yellows, they pop spectacularly against the neutral marquee and white paper lanterns and balloons. Achieving a ‘grown-up boho’ vibe for their big day, Sophie and Rob opted for some lovely homemade details, such as the chalkboard running order of the day and table plan.
Sophie went with a lesser known designer for her delicate boho-inspired dress; the Inbal Raviv creation is stunning with its lace and bead embellishments and unusual tassel straps. Completing her ensemble with a headdress of vibrant flowers and a simple pair of earrings, Sophie’s look is elegant and oh-so chic with a playful twist.
Sophie and Rob had all the right connections to make their wedding extra special. Working in PR meant Sophie had access to plenty of fantastic suppliers and being the son of the Bishop of Warrington meant Rob could secure a pretty high-profile figure to conduct the ceremony – not many people can say they’ve been married by their own father!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
sophie says: We got engaged during a weekend away that Rob booked “as he had some points on his credit card” to spend, which saw us staying in a hotel in Richmond for the weekend – one of my favourite places in London. I should have thought it was all too good to be true (we were in a huge suite) but was, of course, completely oblivious. After we’d had lunch and been to the spa, he caught me off guard in the room with the ring and I was completely shocked. We then headed for a meal by the river and a few too many drinks to celebrate! The next day he’d planned a surprise Sunday lunch with friends, too: safe to say I had a very sore head on Monday at work.
We got married on 12th August 2017 and had our reception at the amazing Priory Cottages in Wetherby, which I cannot rate highly enough. We looked at loads of places online (we live in London but wanted to get married in the north as Rob is from Sheffield and I’m a Leeds girl) and wanted somewhere we could celebrate for the weekend and that felt informal and fun. The cottages meant we could have the whole wedding party stay the night before and the night of, and it had a beautiful marquee and gardens, of which we could have free reign. Serena at The Priory was amazing and answered so many of our questions, putting us at ease and making everything super easy – we would 100% recommend it. The Priory is a stunning setting (so many people said so) and the people who manage it (shout out to the lovely Serena and Phoebe) are so helpful and down to earth and honestly made the experience so hassle free and easy. I asked so many questions and they always had an answer and can suggest great suppliers to work with, as well as tips for the big day.
We had our ceremony in a gorgeous village church up the road from The Priory, called Wighill Church. Rob’s dad is part of the church (at the time, the Bishop of Warrington) and so he married us, which was one of the most amazing parts of the day. He got everyone laughing and really matched the service to our personalities and became a bit of a celebrity at the reception afterwards.
For transport, we splashed out and hired a little red sports car – an AC Cobra for anyone who knows anything about cars – from Classic Car Hire North, which actually became one of our favourite bits about the day – it looked so good in pictures! My dad drove him and I to the church and then Rob and I drove back with the top down (the hair wasn’t loving it, but it was worth it) down all the pretty country roads.
There was no theme as such but we’re both quite non-traditional in our style and wanted something laid back to match the countryside setting. If forced to say so, I would describe it as ‘grown-up boho’, which probably started with my dress and came through in everything else. We just tried to pick things that felt like our personality. We had such a great backdrop to begin with, with The Priory, which really brought everything together.
In terms of a colour scheme, I scoured Pinterest and became obsessed with big, bright bouquets and flowers, which is the opposite to my usual style as I’m often dressed head to toe in black or one simple colour, but I loved the pictures and so decided that, to make it more ‘us’, we’d create a really simple white blank canvas, with white lanterns and balloons, and then have bright flowers popping throughout.
August 6th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
In true stretch-out-the-celebrations style, today’s featured couple made a full weekend of their nuptials, with a pre-wedding meal on the Friday evening for their families and the bridal party, the big event on the Saturday and a party for all their guests on the Sunday, which included a chilly dip in Lake Windermere. That’s one way to shake off the fuzzy head the morning after the night before!
Having chosen a spectacular setting, Tom and Zoe didn’t need to go overboard with their decorations but an elegant blush pink and navy colour scheme, using an abundance of real and faux flowers to dress the rooms and slate on the tables as a nod to the local area. We love their idea for favours too – s’mores to toast on the outdoor fire pit, both sociable and delicious!
The bride, who delivered her own speech, wore a beautiful, strapless sweetheart gown with a mermaid skirt in tulle and lace and a beaded waist, offering a gorgeous silhouette for plenty of romantic lakeside photos. Ultimately, it’s the huge smile on both their faces that really make the photographs sing – as Zoe sagely advises; if you remember your wedding is all about you as a couple, it will show through in your day!
With images by Amy Jordison Photography.
zoe says: We got engaged on 12th February 2017. Tom had taken me to Berlin to celebrate my birthday; we had a great few days away, drinking lots of German beer and touring the city. When we came back, we went up to our flat and outside the door Tom said he had one more surprise for me. I thought it was going to be something for my birthday like some flowers or a little present, so when he made me put on a blindfold, I thought he was just playing up the surprise. We went into the flat and he left me waiting in the hallway for a couple of minutes before finally telling me I could come into the lounge. I walked in and the room was full of balloons and on the balloon strings were little pictures of us. I initially thought they were for my birthday until I saw a ring in the box on the table, along with a collage of all the anniversary and birthday cards we had given each other over the years. Tom got down on one knee and it was the biggest surprise of my life. Tom has always been disappointed as I am really good at guessing what my presents are, but I had no idea about this one – which was amazing! (How did the balloons get there? His mum and dad had come round earlier that day and done the whole thing: got my favourite flowers and put prosecco and strawberries in the fridge!)
We got married on 23rd June 2018. I wanted a winter wedding originally, but Tom was set on a summer wedding; when I realised a June wedding would mean peonies, I was more than happy to go along with what he wanted!
We got married at Silverholme Manor in the Lake District and had our reception in a marquee in the grounds. When you see the pictures of Silverholme, there’s no question that you’d want to get married there. The views are insane, the house is huge, and it meant all our family could stay in one place for the whole weekend. The day after we saw it, Tom said to me we should get married there and I was so happy!
I would recommend Silverholme to other couples as it is breathtakingly beautiful. It allows your nearest and dearest to be close by and you can really make a weekend of it. We stayed from Thursday to Monday and it felt like the most amazing holiday with both of our families and best friends. We didn’t leave the grounds for the entire weekend! Alex, the events coordinator, is so attentive; she is on hand if you need anything. It’s just such a fantastic place to be. We are hoping to be able to go back with all our family for our fifth (or maybe tenth) wedding anniversary.
We wanted to try and use a lot of local suppliers and we used slate for our centrepieces as it reminds me of the Lake District. I wanted a lot of flowers but a really relaxed vibe. Everyone commented on how relaxed the wedding was, which was great.
The colour scheme was blush pink and navy. I had always wanted navy bridesmaid dresses, but my sister beat me to it (she got married the year before) so I decided blush pink would be nice with the navy suits as it was light and summery.
August 2nd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
If the sunnier climes up North this summer have given you a taste for the sun drenched, carefree life, then we have the perfect styled shoot for you today, as we transport you to California to provide inspo for that other big day in your life – your hen do!
Led by Natasha, stylist and creator at planning and styling company Want That Invite, the shoot is a dreamy, colourful affair bursting with fun factor – everything we could want from our celebrations with our girl squad in tow!
There are gorgeous prints, palm trees (of course), rainbow bright cocktails, balloons and cake pops to get the party vibes in full swing. And it all takes place in a back garden in the North West of the UK, no less – so no airfare required! We’re just wondering if we even need the excuse of hosting a hen do to recreate this beauty ourselves?!
natasha says: We decided to create this shoot to show our clients what can be achieved in their own back gardens. With the help of us at Want That Invite, and our dream team of suppliers we can transform any space to suit their needs.
California is a popular hen party destination, but this is not always easy to get to (think money, flights and getting everybody to commit). So, instead, we decided to bring California to the UK!
Our colour scheme was inspired by Palm Springs’ architecture; think pastel pinks paired with geometric shapes. The shoot’s overarching theme is California dreaming with a ‘party in Palm Springs’ concept.
We wanted the party to be relatable and to show what’s possible with the help of a planner and stylist. We selected a colleague’s garden as the venue for the shoot, which was fairly neutral with pastel grey fences and no bold flowers or decor. We knew it was the ideal spot for our shoot as we loved the different areas available. There was a grassed area for the picnic, decking for a seating area and also a great long fence for the Photo Booth (supplied by Vivalabooth) to go in front of. It wasn’t overpowered by bushes or trees, which meant our styling was the focal point.
A variety of styling elements were taken into consideration when designing this shoot – from the patterns on the picnic rugs, to the colours of the placemats and cushions. Modern elements were introduced with the use of gold cutlery and Perspex name-tags and signage, with stationery supplied by Ever After Paperie and favours from Team Hen.
Beautiful fresh florals were introduced to add pops of colour to the picnic table, the drinks cart and even in the bride-to-be’s hair, supplied by the talented Milly Davey Flowers. Even the desserts, crafted by Honeywell Bakes and Polka Pops, were styled to match with the theme – think palm trees and pineapples.
We wanted the attire for the shoot to be relaxed, fun and realistic to what would be worn to a garden party. But we wanted to add a statement piece, which is why we decided to get Bee Davies Illustration involved. She created a bespoke denim ‘Miss to Mrs’ jacket to add to the relaxed atmosphere.
July 18th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Today’s real wedding between Helen and Ed has been on the cards for more years than most – they first met at primary school aged five and have the photo evidence to prove it! With so many years of history behind the couple, Helen was keen to bring plenty of memories with her to the wedding, incorporating lots of photographs of the couple from throughout the years. Furthermore, she created place names out of photographs of each guest with either her or Ed, and also made decorations for the aisle out of song lyrics that are important to them as a couple. A little bit of extra thought when planning these details certainly adds to the personal feel of the day.
Breaking the bridal mould Helen ditched a traditional ivory gown in place of a striking magenta gown and centred the wedding décor around her love for the bold hue. Beautiful beaded detailing gives Helen’s gown a wonderful vintage feel that, paired with her gorgeous curled locks, results in a look reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour. A vibrant lip anchors her style and echoes the brights in her dazzling bouquet. Seamless colour scheming skills Helen, we salute you!
With images by A Little Picture.
helen says: Ed’s proposal came as a complete surprise. We both went to Rome on a whim and every day we would walk past the Trevi Fountain and admire its beauty. On the penultimate day of the holiday, after a lovely meal near the fountain, Ed insisted we see it one last time. It was about 10pm, so it was relatively quiet compared to normal. I was doing my usual selfie-taking, trying to get the right angle, when Ed turned to me and got down on one knee. I was so shocked but elated. I knew he was the man I wanted to marry since our first date in 2012. Beaming with excitement and glee, I said “yes!”
We got married on 21st April 2018 at Saltmarshe Hall near Howden in East Yorkshire. We chose the date primarily because the venue was booked up for the entire summer but also because I love blossom and I wanted to get some photos of the blossom during that time of year.
Most venues we looked at would either have multiple weddings on at the same time or the general public walking by during the ceremony. Saltmarshe Hall, however, ensured exclusivity for the entire day and there was just us and our family and friends in the grounds, which we loved. We also liked that there were separate rooms we could use; for example, in the evening, there was the room that had the disco in but also two additional rooms for seating. It meant those who didn’t want to dance and wanted a bit of quiet time could use these rooms to talk and not feel like they were losing their voice to shout over the music. Overall, the venue is beautiful inside and out; we couldn’t fault it and would definitely recommend it. It was perfect for what we wanted – somewhere exclusive with lots of different rooms and places to go outside for the guests and for photographs.
In terms of a theme, we went for a floral style, which we felt would suit the venue. The colours we chose were magenta, dusky pink and navy, with silver accents. As my wedding dress was magenta, I wanted to tie in the décor with it. Everything was made to match these colours – even the wedding cake.
For my dress, I went for a colour as I just didn’t feel like myself when trying on white dresses. I always wear bright colours and I feel I suit colours better, so I went against the tide and bought a beautiful chiffon dress in magenta. I got it from Elenor Rose in Huddersfield. They were so helpful and supportive with my idea to get a coloured dress, which was amazing. In other bridal shops, I felt I was pigeon-holed into getting the standard white dress but Elenor Rose were so kind and understanding. The dress I chose was actually a bridesmaid dress of which I could choose any shade I wanted from an amazing swatch book. I was in colour heaven. I loved the beading detail on it as well. It was so pretty and delicate. On the day, with my long Hollywood curls, I felt like a vintage movie star.
Ed opted for hired suits for himself and the groomsmen. They were from a suit rental shop in Sheffield called Ashley Rogers. He chose a gorgeous mid-blue suit, which had a tonal effect and a shine to the fabric. It was such a flattering colour and looked amazing on all the groomsmen. Ashley Rogers were very helpful as well. All the suits fitted like a glove.
For my bridesmaids, I had two adults and two young girls. The adult bridesmaids, Emma and Helen, chose Little Mistress dresses bought from Debenhams – one in a mink colour and the other in a dusky pink. My younger bridesmaids, Daisy and Alice, chose Monsoon dresses in their favourite colours – lilac and pink. The dresses complemented each other very well, which I was pleased about, and they looked gorgeous in them.
I chose the ties for the groomsmen, as I wanted to make sure the colours matched the dresses. I was delighted to find a tie for Ed that matched exactly to the colour of my dress and the rest of the adult groomsmen had dusky pink ties that matched Emma’s dress. In addition, the page boy had a bow tie matching Helen’s bridesmaid dress. They were all bought from various shops on the high street.
We strive to represent the very best in our industry, but Brides Up North cannot be held liable for the products/ services of our sponsors. Any bookings are made at your own risk. Terms & Conditions.
All images © Brides Up North/ original author. Images should not be reproduced without written permission. Terms & Conditions.