November 16th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Fun, food and drink were high up on today’s featured couple’s hit list of priorities for their big day which resulted in a hugely enjoyable American inspired wedding with fabulous entertainment and feasting as standard.
Tying the knot during a traditional church ceremony, the reception element of Jack and Naomi’s big day was influenced by a cool farmer’s market they visited in San Luis Obispo during a trip to California. Guests were treated to outdoor games, delicious snacks and free-flowing booze before taking a seat for the wedding breakfast – though even this aspect called for another tipple with guests invited to ‘take a shot and a seat’ – cue friends, aunties, uncles, parents etc rising to the challenge!
Forming a key part of the celebrations, the main wedding breakfast was a glorious American style barbecue, followed up by cocktails, amazing cakes and a doughnut wall.
Hungry? Us too! So, let’s tuck into this beautiful summer celebration with details direct from the bride…
With images by Emily Green Photography.
naomi says: We got engaged on our anniversary in 2017 – Jack and I have been together since we were 15, so it was a long time coming. Jack proposed in the most perfect way, we were at home and he enlisted the help of our French Bulldog Lola – she had the ring around her collar – Jack having a cup of tea in hand proposed to me in the morning and by lunchtime (still in a daze) we walked around Otley Chevin, which happens to be one of our favourite places to visit! This was supposed to be where Jack proposed but the thought of Lola losing the ring or her running through a puddle and then making it muddy made him change his plans!
We got married on Saturday 4th August. We choose this date, as we knew we really wanted a Saturday summer wedding – Jack is a teacher, so it was the ideal time for us to get married – it was the only Saturday they had left at our chosen venue. This date also happened to be special as it’s my little sister’s birthday and she was kind enough to let us share the day with her – we had a cake made for her which Jack brought out during his speech and we all sang Happy Birthday to her.
We got married at the Parish Church of All Saints, Broughton with Elslack, and then went onto a reception at Utopia, Broughton Hall in Skipton.
In all honesty, the whole wedding was formed after I visited Utopia in Broughton Hall for the first time. The building, which is completely open with full length glass walls and doors, opens up onto an immaculate walled garden which helped make the whole day private and special!
After choosing Utopia we were delighted to discover that the church, which was a five-minute drive away, would allow us to get married there. Jack and I had to attend every Sunday for six-months, but it was worth it as we could have a sneak peek at the venue and explore Skipton.
Our wedding was inspired by a trip to the West Coast of America in 2015. We visited a city in California called San Luis Obispo and stumbled across a farmer’s market whilst staying there – we had such a fun night, drinking and eating delicious foods!
When it came to thinking about our wedding and the initial stages of planning, Jack and I were thinking about what we could do and we kept coming back to the fact that we both love America and most importantly American foods and we decided to try and recreate the night that we spent in San Luis Obispo. To capture the essence of the farmers market and to create the balance between the traditions of a wedding and something that everyone could enjoy we had lots of fun surprises for our guests, including popcorn and candy floss on arrival, games on the lawn, a ‘take a shot and take a seat’ seating plan, polaroid guest book and then beer pong in the evening.
The colour scheme was in keeping with what you would find in California. We made use of lots of neutral tones such as greens and greys which complemented the venue perfectly. Green also happens to be my favourite colour.
October 10th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Though this week’s unseasonably warm weather may suggest otherwise, we are upon a turn of season which we thought signalled the perfect time for a discussion post on which time of the year is best suited to the style of wedding that you crave – spring/summer or autumn/winter.
Of course, we all know that the Great British weather can be massively unpredictable so no matter if your organisational skills could rival those of Monica Geller, some elements will remain out of your power meaning you never can guarantee that a July date will deliver wall to wall sunshine or indeed that a December day will bring with it an idyllic sprinkling of snow.
But there are further considerations beyond the weather that could have you favouring a spring/summer wedding over an autumn/winter celebration – or vice versa – as we discuss on the blog today.
Hello Sunshine: In most cases, the weather will be the number-one reason for couples choosing to get hitched in spring or summer, with hopes pinned on a cerulean sky and bright sunshine. While it’s certainly more likely you’ll experience decent weather if you choose such seasons, you could find you’re unprepared for a rogue thunderstorm, which is exactly what happened ten years ago at my July wedding. All geared up for a drinks reception on the spectacular terrace of Harewood House, our plans were dashed at the last minute by an uninvited guest, who sent friends and family running for cover under a torrential downpour. Our advice? Always have a plan B in place, including a few emergency umbrellas!
Celebrate Outside: Of course, with a greater guarantee of appealing weather in spring/summer, you could opt for an outdoor wedding. Following an increase in demand for ‘open-air I dos’ many venues have extended their wedding offering with spectacular outdoor structures and settings available for ceremonies and receptions. Whether you go woodland chic, vibrant festival or secret garden style, an outdoor celebration comes with laid-back vibes and limitless styling possibilities so let those creative juices run free!
Happy Holidays: A big tick for summer weddings is that wonderful six-week summer holiday in July and August. And so, if you or your other half are of a teaching profession, or you’re planning a week-day wedding and inviting lots of families, this is the ideal time to plan your big day ensuring more friends and family can make the date and that you have time to tie the knot and honeymoon too. Make sure you send out your save-the-date cards well in advance, however, so you don’t clash with guests’ pre-planned summer getaways.
Blooming Beautiful: A quick look at your own garden during the warmer months of the year demonstrates how many gorgeous and colourful flowers are available in spring and summer. Whether dainty and pale or big, blousy and bright there is so much choice for seasonal bouquets, buttonholes and arrangements during such months that will both look and smell divine.
Summer Nights: Warm, balmy and romantic, the longer nights give couples the opportunity to extend their celebrations outdoors with garden games, evening street food and even open-air musical entertainment. Better still, there’s also the opportunity for some killer couple portrait photographs during the ‘golden hour’, that wonderful time of day just before the sun begins to set when it turns skin golden and throws a magical light across the land.
Dare To Bare: With warmer temperatures on the cards, brides can embrace light, flowing bohemian style gowns as well as fashion-forward designs that reveal a flash of flesh, be it a backless ballgown, cut-out detailing, a plunging neckline or high leg split that takes your fancy.
Alfresco Feasting: More relaxed dining styles come into play in spring /summer with options for elegant afternoon teas, barbecued sharing platters, street food and picnics all welcome alternatives to a traditional three-course, sit-dwon meal.
Stress Less: The weather expectations of autumn/winter couples are reduced with most taking a ‘what will be will be approach’ to the conditions that could arise on their big day. This doesn’t mean they won’t get that bright but crisp autumnal day, or a lovely wintery scene come their ‘I dos’ but they are much less likely to let thoughts of the weather consume them in the wedding run-up.
Keep It Cosy: Those who opt to host their celebrations in the cooler months can fill their ceremony with wonderfully soft candlelight to create a romantic ambience and, with an indoor ceremony comes the ability to control lighting to best effect. Fairy lights can be strung from the rafters – you can even buy battery-operated Eddison-style bulbs for a really warm, vintage glow – and fires can be lit to create a cosy atmosphere and add comforting warmth.
September 26th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Today’s real wedding between Hazel and Marc gives us a real flavour of their personalities; it’s lovely when a wedding is a true expression of the couple and, even though we’ve never met them, we feel like we know a little bit about these lovely newlyweds just from the details they added to their big day.
Hazel and Marc had a lot of input from their nearest and dearest while planning their wedding too, with the bride’s mother growing all the fresh flowers herself in her garden for a really personal – not to mention seasonal – feel. They even had an original poem penned by a close friend read out during the ceremony and friends singing and playing the guitar to add a special touch.
The décor and details add to the cosy, rustic setting; from the dried flowers in the bouquets and button holes and calligraphy adorned leaf place settings, to the swags of fairy lights and trawling greenery draped along the venue’s exposed brick walls and beams.
Other star elements for us include Hazel’s pretty boho style dress and flower crown as well as the flashes of mustard yellow throughout the flowers, groomsmen’s ties and on the rather spectacular cake, which is beautifully bedecked with fresh fruit and flowers – naked but with plenty of adornments to preserve its modesty!
With images by Jenna Kathleen.
hazel says: We got engaged in Wensleydale on a snowy winter weekend away. Marc took me by surprise when he got down on one knee at a waterfall!
We got married on Sunday 12th August 2018. We wanted to go for a summer date and needed to set the date before my twin sister moves to New Zealand in autumn. It is also the peak of the Perseids shooting star shower.
Our chosen venue was Cubley Hall in Penistone, South Yorkshire. We were hoping for an outdoor ceremony at the band stand, but the English weather let us down in the end! Nevertheless, the barn has really nice cosy lighting with fairy lights and candles, and the walls have plenty of decorations, so you really don’t need to add much extra yourself. We would definitely recommend the venue to other brides and grooms as they did a great job of our big day.
Theme-wise, we loosely went for a natural summer meadow/boho style, both being outdoorsy people.
In terms of colour, we had no set scheme. My mum grew the flowers in her garden, so it was basically all the colours of August flowers.
The bridesmaids wore multi-way silver dresses from Oasis.
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.
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.