September 6th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
The unpredictability of the British weather means that couples are looking beyond the key wedding season for their big day, opting for an autumn or winter date instead.
Low lighting, cosy venues and warm comfort food, can make celebrations at these times of the year more appealing to some brides and grooms, despite the shorter days and lower temperatures. So, as we head towards the end of summer (or what was supposed to be!), we thought it was high-time for some autumnal wedding inspiration, which comes courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor, award-winning hospitality and event management company Dine.
Established in 1998, Yorkshire-based Dine caters for more 200 weddings a year as well as offering exclusive private dining. Through its stunning portfolio of venues, the team provide event services for organisations ranging from English Heritage and the National Trust, to the owners of some of the UK’s most notable private houses, providing a varied choice of beautiful big day settings.
For this afternoon’s post, we’re welcoming Dine’s Managing Director, Matt Jones, to the blog to share some of his top tips for planning a wedding at the most colourful turning of the seasons.
Matt says: With the right forward planning, marquees can be a great year-round alternative to an indoor venue. With cooler weather in prospect, your event planner will include heating and flooring in your marquee to ensure you and your guests are warm and comfortable, even if the weather isn’t ideal. While Dine boasts spectacular sites for a marquee, an at-home wedding can be the perfect option to enjoy an intimate and relaxed day.
With a marquee being the ultimate blank canvas, an at-home wedding often feels more informal and rustic and vintage themes can be used to create an even more welcoming atmosphere. Encouraging your guests to get involved and create decorations or provide flowers can also make your day, and venue, feel even more special.
With the leaves turning red and gold, an indoor venue might not feel like the right space to take advantage of the gorgeous colourful backdrop. However, choose a venue set in acres of parkland with large picture windows and you have the perfect compromise between taking the guesswork out of the weather and making the most of spectacular views and autumnal scenery.
With extensive views across the 700 acres of Leeds’ Roundhay Park, photo opportunities at Dine venue, The Mansion are in abundance. The Greek Palladian style, Grade II listed building offers several ceremony and reception rooms, all with large windows offering fantastic vistas over the park. The private terrace is the ultimate spot for the bride and groom to steal a few minutes together and take in the autumnal colours.
Autumn menus are all about taste and satisfaction. Warming, layered flavours incorporating plentiful seasonal ingredients are fundamental to ensure your guests are left feeling satisfied. This is even more important as the weather turns colder.
If you’d like to carry the autumnal theme through to your menu dishes, seasonal British produce is at its best just now and an autumn wedding is the perfect opportunity to showcase the very best in the larder. Rich meats like venison, duck and beef are versatile and readily available. Try them in a terrine of duck confit to start, and beef wellington or roasted fillet of venison for a hearty, seasonal main that are sure to delight your guests.
British fruit and vegetables are also in abundance in autumn, fantastic for a side to your flavoursome main or as the star of a dish. Perfect with strong cheeses, apples can be used in any course. For a twist, why not incorporate this classic British fruit into your starters with a Yorkshire blue and leek terrine with a Granny Smith jelly. Or if you’re looking for a richer vegetarian dish, why not take advantage of the abundance of mushrooms available in the UK and treat your guests to a brioche of creamed wild mushrooms with a garlic and shallot hollandaise.
Although often overlooked, cocktails can be a wonderful way to incorporate seasonal flavours. Hot, mulled apple ciders, sloe gin and whisky sampling take the chill off, while nut-based liqueurs like amaretto provide a seasonal base for autumnal cocktails.
December 1st, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Sarah and Chris’s elegant Yorkshire wedding is a tale of two halves. First, there was the poignant ceremony in the village church where Sarah grew up, with precious memories woven into the smallest of details.
Then there was a good old-fashioned party, with plenty of laughter, live music, Limoncello and even an Elvis wig!
Sarah’s Justin Alexander gown is a jaw-dropper with just a touch of sparkle and lace, and the couple’s romantic moors photographs are some of the most stunning shots incorporating landscape that we’ve seen here at Brides Up North.
So what are you waiting for? The pretty beckons….
Photography by Neil Jackson Photographic
sarah says: We got engaged at Robin Hood’s Bay almost exactly two years before we got married. We’ve been together for a long time and we’d talked about getting engaged, but I left the where and when up to Chris. I was fooled into thinking that I’d planned a weekend trip to the seaside to visit one of my favourite childhood places, but Chris had other ideas! So we went to Robin Hood’s Bay on the Saturday as planned and went for a stroll out along the scars prior for a picnic lunch. It was the first weekend of nice weather that summer so the beach was busier than expected. Instead of popping the question over lunch, he chose a spot where we were alone on the edge of the scars looking out to sea and asked me there. The seaweed prevented him from getting down on one knee!
Our wedding date was 28th May 2016. May is one of our favourite times of year and it also meant that we would be getting married almost 15 years to the day of us getting together (yes, I’m very patient!) I love late spring/early summer: everything is so fresh and colourful and you can also get some pretty decent weather.
We got married at St Mary’s Church, Burley-in-Wharfedale and had the reception at Denton Hall, Ilkley.
The church was important to me as it‘s the church I went to as a child and my parents still live in the village. I’m lucky enough to know lots of people still living in Burley-in-Wharfedale, too, and they were all so kind and supportive of our marriage.
Denton hadn’t initially been on our radar because of budget but we went along just to see and we fell in love with it immediately. They were so welcoming and have such a wonderful, personalised set up. It was the only venue to offer exclusivity without us having to pay ridiculous amounts. Plus, Box Tree is their caterer, so in the end it was a no-brainer!
We didn’t really have a wedding theme as such. We’re very proud Yorkshire folk so that helped us come up with a few ideas. Our wedding was like coming home for us, and we wanted to share our Yorkshire home with family and friends from all over.
I’m also a sentimental old fool. My grandparents, who were a big part of our lives, had sadly all passed before our wedding and we wanted to stress their importance to us. My grandad was a very talented watercolour artist, so we used one of our favourite paintings of his for our invites and table place names. We also displayed the original painting on the day. Although we created our own invites, we had the help of The Cherry Orchard printers in Belper, who reproduced the painting and helped me realise my ideas.
The colour scheme for the wedding developed from my grandad’s painting too. I didn’t want to restrict myself colour-wise and it was more about having access to a range of colours that went together. The bridesmaid dresses captured the purple and lilac from the painting and then I wanted the flowers to pop out against these with some brighter, yet still elegant, pink roses. We then chose things to go with a floral garden-type colour scheme, which was pretty flexible!
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November 28th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Last week on the blog we were thrilled to share with you the fabulous wedding day of Michelle Hudson, events manager top catering company and Brides Up North Sponsor, Box Tree Events. Today we’re delighted to welcome her back to the blog to update us on Box Tree Events’ fabulous offering to wedding couples, whilst also giving us details of an exciting new venture.
So guys, if you’re looking to impress your guests with Michelin quality food and services, and indulge in some truly delicious culinary delights, then it’s time to pay attention. Over to you Michelle…
Images provided by Box Tree Events, by Steve Moran/ Bruce Rollinson.
Can you give us a little introduction to Box Tree Events?
michelle says: We have been in the restaurant and catering industry for some 30 years; the Box Tree Restaurant has independently held a Michelin star for 15 of those years. We provided a wedding for one of our clients who felt they had never had the quality of service or food at a wedding before. This motivated us to explore this avenue and we decided that we wanted to bring Michelin quality and excellence of food service to the wedding industry and provide our clients with an exceptionally memorable occasion.
Which wedding venues is Box Tree Events the in-house caterer at?
We provide wedding catering at a variety of stunning venues around Yorkshire, including Denton Hall, Broughton Hall and Harewood House, to name a few! We also cater for smaller intimate celebrations in the beautiful Box Tree Restaurant itself.
Tell us about your outside catering service?
We can cater for larger marquee weddings as well as outside events and parties nation-wide. We have catered from many unusual structures, such as garages, utility rooms and barns, we can adapt to pretty much any surroundings!
What types of dining do you offer?
We offer a wide range of dining options, from canape receptions and formal fine dining meals, to hot and cold buffets, barbeques and afternoon teas.
What sets Box Tree Events apart from other catering companies?
We work very closely alongside the Box Tree Restaurant when training staff, creating menus and planning weddings. This enables us to deliver Michelin quality food and service at each of our weddings.
We are not just caterers we have evolved to offer the whole package, we can assist with all aspects of the day: invites, transport, accommodation, table centres, flowers, venue dressing, name cards, favors, toast master and entertainment.
September 29th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Having set your budget, booked your venue, sent out your save the dates and secured your photographer and entertainment, it’s time to move onto tasks that many brides deem as the more enjoyable and exciting parts of the planning schedule.
This is because it’s time to start thinking about how to style yourself and your venue for the big day to come! So in today’s wedding planning post we’ll be talking blooms, bridal boutiques and bridesmaids.
Today beautiful blooms tend to stretch way beyond bouquets and button holes with many couples opting to incorporate pretty petals into their décor too. From dainty pew ends to grand floral chandeliers, the possibilities are pretty much endless, though you will need to find a florist that shares your botanical visions in order for them to become reality.
When searching for the right florist, it’s important to look for a trusted supplier with good testimonials from previous couples. You will also want to view examples of their recent work to get an idea of the styles and arrangements that they can achieve. So it might be that you are looking for a florist known for loose, natural and rustic designs, or perhaps neat and elegant arrangements or those that can wow with modern, striking floral structures.
Once you have whittled down a short list meet up with the florist to see how you ‘click’ and if they share your visions on bouquets and floral decorations. They might even suggest great ideas you’d never even thought of.
In many cases shopping for the dream dress is a bride’s favourite part of the planning, though it can be daunting and frustrating at times too with so many options to choose from.
Having done your initial wedding dress research using magazines, blogs and websites to get an idea of the type of gown you might like and to suss out which designers fall into your dress budget, it’s time to search for boutiques that stock your chosen designers and make appointments to visit.
When attending bridal boutique appointments it can be easy for brides to get carried and invite a small entourage to accompany them but it really is best to keep numbers to a minimum to avoid becoming confused by differing opinions. Take those who know you and your style best and will give you an honest opinion – so perhaps mum, sister and maid of honour.
Though it’s good to have an idea of the type of dress you might like, it’s also good to be open minded at your appointment as a style that you’ve never considered just might turn out to be ‘the one’. Bridal stylists know their stuff so if they make a suggestion to try a certain gown on, go with it but don’t feel pressured – the decision is ultimately yours.
Once your dress is sorted you can move onto finding the right gowns for your maids. Again, though most ladies love to shop, bridesmaid dress hunting can be far from retail therapy with bridesmaids clashing on what they would and wouldn’t want to wear.
To avoid shopping centre tantrums it’s a good idea to get together with/speak to your bridesmaids about what type of design and colour you were hoping to dress them beforehand, giving them an opportunity to express any concerns early on. If you have maids of varying figures you could dress them in one colour but different styles of dresses to suit their individual shapes. Alternatively, if you have maids of varying hair colours and complexions, you could ask them all to wear the same design but in varying complementary colours, to suit both them and the wedding styling.
Also, when picking suitable colours for the maids’ dresses think about the styles and tones of flowers you’ve picked and how they will work together.
At this point in the planning process it’s also a good idea to get the catering search underway if the venue you’ve booked won’t be providing the food.
Over time wedding breakfast menus have been extended beyond traditional meat and vegetables, meaning that there are now lots exciting options to whet your appetite. Some couples base their food choices on their personal preferences while others make their decisions by the season of the wedding. There’s also the option to pick menus that complement the style of the wedding, so for example afternoon tea for a rustic, country themed wedding, or street food, such as pizza or Mexican, for informal outdoor weddings.
Whatever you decide look for caterers with good reputations and find out what is included in the price, such as waiting staff and glass/crockery hire, to avoid any hidden costs. Then it’s time to sample the goods with a tasting session so you’ll know exactly how the food will look and taste when it’s served up on the day.
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