Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

Sparkling Glamour. A Grace Kelly Gown For A Real Wedding At The Baltic Flour Mill, Newcastle Upon Tyne – Kat & Ben

January 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.

Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013.  Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Kat and Ben’s Real Wedding by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jamie Penfold Photography is filled with sequins, sparkle and beautiful details.  This chic couple chose a very modern landmark venue in the North East and filled it with pretty, for a personal and precious celebration. 

We’ll be back tomorrow to start 2014 as we mean to go on – beautifully – but for now, enjoy the last day of your holiday!

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Kat says:  We got engaged in March, 2013 – Easter weekend.  Ben had arranged a meal out with both of our families and just before they arrived at our home he blindfolded me (after much persuasion, I had just done my hair!) and gave me an Easter present, which was a box of chocolates spelling out ‘will you marry me’. We then all went out in Durham for tapas and bubbles.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We got married on 16th November 2013 at The Baltic Mill, in Gateshead. 

Ben’s family all live in Whitley Bay and mine live in Chester-le-Street. We are both proud North-Easterners and fell in love with the views of the Tyne that can be seen from inside The Baltic.  The staff from Fresh Element, who plan events at The Baltic, were fantastic. Mary-Jane and Tracy in particular, went above and beyond to give us everything we wanted, and more.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Our theme was ‘glamorous’, with a silver and ivory colour scheme. 

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

My bridesmaid’s dresses were silver and charcoal sequins from Phase Eight. They all looked a little too beautiful for my liking, I should have gone with peach taffeta!

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I wanted something in the style of Grace Kelly but with a modern twist. My dress is by Moreland and I got it from Wedding Essentials in Newcastle. I fell in love with the low back and simple style.

I used www.16braunton.com for our hair pieces.  Kate is wonderful. I emailed her photos of the details on my dress and she sent me photos of what she thought would match. I was so happy with them.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Nick from ND Makeup did my makeup as well as two of my bridesmaids. We all loved it and it honestly lasted all day.

Rachelle Summerson-Wright, my best friend and bridesmaid did my hair on the day, as well as the other bridesmaids. She is a very talented hairdresser so I am extremely lucky to count her as my BFF.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

A special touch personally was my shoes. I am obsessed with Carrie Bradshaw and was so lucky to be treated by my parents to the same pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes she wore for her wedding in the Sex and the City film. I also had a pair of personalised converse with diamantes and my married name and wedding date on to change into for dancing the night away.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Jamie Penfold Photography was our wedding photographer.  The pictures speak for themselves. Jamie is not only a talented photographer, but also a lovely person who put us both at ease.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I had a large bouquet of baby’s breath. The bridesmaids had smaller posies and the buttonholes were made up of baby’s breath as well. I wanted to keep the flowers as simple as possible.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Our best man’s wife, Wendy Johnson, is a talented cake maker so she made our cake for us. We had one lemon, one chocolate and one spice tier and it was decorated in lace effect icing. We had a personalised cake topper from Miss Cake, which read ‘Cakey Kisses From The Mr & Mrs’.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We used mini-frames with photos of each guest in, instead of name cards on the tables.

Terri Hosler did all our wedding stationery. She let me decide exactly what I wanted, from scratch, and all our guests commented on how beautiful the invitations were. She covered everything in silver glitter, so I was very happy!

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Timeless Table Venue Styling provided decorations like wedding wish trees, candles and lanterns, throughout the day.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I really enjoyed the speeches (despite crying throughout). My dad, Ben and his best man Andrew all did amazingly well and I’m so glad we have them all caught on camera, by the lovely Andrew and Gail from A&G Productions.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We used the cinema room in The Baltic and played a slideshow of family photos and childhood snaps for all our guests.

We hired a vintage sweet cart from www.bonbonssweetsshakes.co.uk, who are based in Chester-le-Street. They were so helpful and we couldn’t recommend them enough.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We had flip flops for the ladies to change into when their feet hurt from their heels, pashminas for those who wanted to sit on the terrace outside, to keep them warm and umbrellas in case it rained, for the guests to help themselves to.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Ben is friends with a few members of an 8-piece band called Bay6. They played at a wedding we were guests at on New Year’s Eve and I fell in love with them. They did not disappoint on the day, we were dancing all night.

We also used Limelight Photo Booth Hire.  The girls were lovely and our guests loved all the props, especially the horses head!

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We had a cheeky week away in Tenerife, at Costa Adeje, a week after we got married. We plan to honeymoon properly next year … Ben is currently trying to convince me to go to Brazil in June so he can go to a World Cup match!

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I was so nervous in the lead up to our day. I was worried about walking down the aisle, speaking in front of everyone, our first dance and pretty much everything else. From the second I woke up on my wedding day the nerves disappeared. I felt so laidback and happy, so my top tip for other Brides Up North is please don’t fret, you’ll enjoy every second, even if you usually hate being the centre of attention.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

 

Congratulations Ben & Kat!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how!

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Jamie Penfold Photography

Jamie Penfold Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

Posted in Featured Supplier, North East Wedding, Wedding Photography | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Deep Blue. A Bespoke Fishtail Wedding Gown For A Real Wedding At Jesmond Dene House – Leigh & Jamie

December 5th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Today we are in Newcastle Upon Tyne for a chic city wedding at the beautiful Jesmond Dene House.  Real bride Leigh kept her colour scheme simple and striking and upped the glam factor with a bespoke fishtail gown (and check out those heels!).  And not forgetting her groom (remember him?!) Leigh also made sure to incorporate lots of things that Jamie liked into the day too.

With images by` Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leigh says:  We got engaged in July 2009 in Bowness on Windermere – we were there on a week break staying in a log cabin – and were married on 25th September 2013 at Jesmond Dene House 

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We chose the date as it was my mother and father in-laws wedding anniversary and sadly they have both passed away. So this is a date that we will always share with them.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

The venue was perfect for what we wanted, beautiful surroundings, feeling like you were in the middle of nowhere but very accessible for our guests. It was an ideal size for our numbers and just a gorgeous venue with lovely staff. We fell in love straight away!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We had deep purple and pewter as our colours. I’m quite boring when it comes to colours so we had purple for the bridesmaids then pretty much everything else was pewter!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

I chose an ivory satin fish tail gown with structured ruffles starting from above knee. I had it specially made for the wedding. 

The bridesmaids had beautiful dresses from House of Fraser in deep purple. Two of my bridesmaids wore floor length and the other four wore calf length. The dresses where perfect as I didn’t want the usual satin strapless bridesmaid dresses.

We hired the groomsmen’s suits from Slaters in Newcastle, they chose the wool/silk tailcoat suit, which was nice and light.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

My bouquet was made up of white akipo roses, white avalanche roses (with diamantes in the centres), white freesia, purple freesia and white bouvardia all hand tied with ivory ribbon and fixed with diamantes.  Flowers by Margret provided all our flowers including bouquets, button holes and table centres. 

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

The ceremony was really special. I thought that it would be the worse part of the day as I am no good speaking in front of people and thought that nerves would get the better of me. But the closer it came to me walking down the aisle, the nerves disappeared and we laughed and smiled all the way through.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

My mum originally hired a camper van to do three trips as a surprise for the groom, groomsmen and bridesmaids. Me and my sister stayed the night before at Jesmond Dene House so didn’t need transport but on the morning of the wedding we ended up nipping over to our Mum and Dad’s house so we got to travel in it too!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Kelly Moor made a fantastic job of our four tier wedding cake.  For the base layer we chose fruit/spice cake then red velvet (our favourite), chocolate and the top was vanilla sponge. We kept the cake quite simple with the only pattern on it being strips in a slight metallic icing. We topped the cake with fresh flowers provided by our wedding florist.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We didn’t have a strong theme as such but cars definitely made a few appearances through-out the day. We had track names for our tables and driving simulators in the evening. I wanted it to be as much about the groom, rather than it all focusing on the bride.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We had the excellent Prime Entertainment to do our evening entertainment. They provided us with two driving simulators which went down a storm and a brilliant disco for in the Great Hall.

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

We went to Mexico for our honeymoon.  We stayed further out from Cancun as all we wanted to do was chill rather than have a party holiday. I would recommend Mexico to anyone we had an amazing time.  Its a beautiful place and the beaches were amazing! Our hotel and travel agent knew it was our honeymoon and spoilt us rotten!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what you and the groom want to do but keep reminding yourself that its only one day, it’s easy to get yourself carried away. Enjoy every second of it as the day really does fly over!

Leighton Bainbridge Photography

 

Congratulations Leigh & Jamie!

If you would like to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North, here’s how to do it. 

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Leighton Bainbridge Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

Posted in Civil Ceremonies, North East Wedding, Real Weddings | Filed Under | 2 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

I Du Vin. A Real Wedding In The North East – Lyndsey & Stephen

July 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Andy Hudson Photography

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There’s nowt like a proper Geordie wedding, is there?  Particularly if it’s done in sleek and chic style like Lyndsey and Stephen’s beautiful big day at Hotel Du Vin. 

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With images by Andy Hudson Photography, this wedding is simple and lovely.  Simply lovely. 

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Lyndsey says: We got engaged at Macquarie’s Point in the botanical gardens in Sydney, over looking Sydney harbour in on 28th February 2012. Our favourite place in the whole world where we were so lucky to have been able to visit again after we travelled there almost nine years ago. 

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We were married on 5th May 2013 at Hotel Du Vin in Newcastle. 

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We chose our venue because we are both from Newcastle but have been living in Manchester for over four years and we wanted a venue that was very much in Newcastle and we wanted to be near the quayside as town is an important place to both of us. We also loved the character and décor at Hotel Du Vin, it is such a beautiful venue. The courtyard was a perfect place for our drinks reception and we loved how we had exclusive use of the hotel so it was only ourselves and our wedding guests allowed in the venue throughout our whole day.

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Andy Hudson Photography

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We opted for a colour palette of corals and peaches. 

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I chose a dress from Brides Dream bridal shop in Walker. It was a simple but beautiful design – I don’t like a lot of fuss!

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Stephen and the groomsmen all wore suits from Slaters  with coral coloured cravats and my bridesmaids were in full length coral dresses, again from Brides Dream. 

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As the whole day was at the hotel we did not need any fancy forms of transport! Stephen stayed at another hotel on the quayside the night before with his best man and dad and usher and they were able to walk over the millennium bridge to the hotel because it was such a sunny day!

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I stayed at my mum and dad’s house the night before and my dad hired an Audi Q7 to drive me and my bridesmaids up to the hotel in the morning to get ready there.

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The whole day really was amazing. We enjoyed just being with all of our family and close friends who we don’t get to see that often with living away from Newcastle. One thing we will remember is just how happy everyone seemed throughout the day. 

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I had a mixed bouquet of all coral and peach coloured flowers.  This was stunning and made by Naomi The Flower Girl, in North Shields. We also got button holes and bridesmaid flowers from her. The bridesmaid just wore flowers on their wrists rather than having bouquets.

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Andy Hudson Photography

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Andy Hudson Photography

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All food was made by the hotel and my mum and I made table decorations with flowers we bought.  As a bit of a silly touch we had pizzas as our food for our evening reception because we met when we both worked at a pizza restaurant when we were both in 6th form. 

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We had a DJ for the evening reception from Signature One. 

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For our honeymoon we went to the island of Kuramathi in the Maldives. It was a stunning island and we loved every minute of it! The food was absolutely amazing too, we would definitely recommend others to go there!

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Andy Hudson Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North is to relax – little details really don’t matter what matters is you are marrying the person you love with all your family and friends around you!

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Andy Hudson Photography

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Congratulations Lyndsey & Stephen!

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Fancy sharing your own Real Wedding with Brides Up North?  Here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Andy Hudson Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Posted in North East Wedding, Real Weddings | Filed Under | 2 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Real Wedding Recap Summer 2013: A Jenny Packham Gown For A Chic Real Wedding At The Baltic Centre For Contemporary Art – Emily & Jonny

June 24th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for the second half of what’s set to be the biggest and best year year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty. 

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Usual service will recommence on 1st July 2013,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far in 2013, plenty of eye candy, new features that we won’t be able to wait to share, some special supplier showcases and a couple of surprises too!

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Katy Melling Photography

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These pages just seem to be getting prettier and prettier…first shared on the wedding blog at the beginning of April, today we join Emily and John for their cool and contemporary Real Wedding on the banks of the River Tyne.  With imagery by Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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Emily says:  Jonny asked me to marry him in November 2011 in the New Forest and we were married on 23 June 2012 at The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.  We chose the Baltic as we loved the views of the quayside and the feeling of space the venue offered.

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Katy Melling Photography

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We wanted a modern yet relaxed look and I hope that’s what we achieved.  We chose accent colours of grey/silver and white -  we wanted to go for colours that would compliment the venue and give us a classic look.

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Katy Melling Photography

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I wore a Jenny Packham gown which I was lucky enough to snap up at a sample sale in London and a bird cage head piece which I got from Browns Brides. I loved my dress and wish I could find an excuse to wear it again! Jonny wore a Spencer Hart suit.

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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The floor length silver bridesmaids dresses were from Monsoon. We had so many groomsmen that we simply asked them all to wear their own grey suits which was a bit risky as we didn’t have the chance to see them beforehand. Luckily they didn’t let us down and all scrubbed up very well! 

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Katy Melling Photography

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Our flowers were from 5th Avenue Flowers on Queen Street in Newcastle – they did an amazing job.

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We used Louise Lunn Makeup Artist and Katy Melling Photography both of whom we would highly recommend. We  were also very happy with the Malmaison Hotel where the bridal party got ready and where we stayed after the celebrations had finished.

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A friend of the family very kindly put a ribbon on his posh car and drove me and the bridesmaids over the bridge from the Malmaison, where we were staying, to the venue.

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Our favourite part of the day was probably the ceremony – it felt very special to be standing in front of such a lovely view of the Tyne saying our vows in front of all our friends and family. We also loved the evening celebrations – it was a relief to be able to let our hair down once the formalities were all over.

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A friend of my mother in law made the cake which was a delicious chocolate ganache with white chocolate icing. 

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We hired The Paul James Band to provide the music and we were really happy with the results. 

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We honeymooned in Cordoba in Spain.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do all they can to ensure that the staff at the venue know exactly what they expect in advance so that they can relax on the day. It’s over so quickly and you don’t want to be worrying about the finer details on the day.

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Congratulations Emily & Jonny!

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Fancy seeing your big day on these pages?  Here’s how.  I can’t wait to hear from you.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Katy Melling Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Posted in North East Wedding, Real Weddings | Filed Under | 3 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Get Ready To Rokka! A Real Engagement In The North East – Natasha & Arvind

January 14th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Rokka Party by Andy Hudson Photography

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This afternoon, we join Brides Up North reader Natasha and her fiancé Arvind for an engagement shoot with a difference: these two invited 60 friends and family along too, to celebrate their “Rokka”. 

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A Real Engagement in Newcastle by Andy Hudson Photography

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A Rokka is an unofficial betrothal ceremony of Punjabi origin where the family and friends of the bride and groom give presents, money and blessings to the couple to be.  Though rings are not exchanged, the couple stand engaged after this ceremony. 

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Natasha says: We got engaged at my house in November 2012 and it was a planned engagement – a Rokka – allowing both extended families to meet. We are getting married in Newcastle in July 2013.

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We first spoke over the phone in February 2012 having met on Asian Matrimonial website called Shaadi.com. Following the phone conversation, a week later, we met in Leicester square, London where we had a coffee then dinner. It snowed that day too!

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After our first date, Arvind made the move and asked for a second! I knew there was something very different about him and agreed. After the second date, we both knew that this was meant to be.

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Most couples have a big party for their Rokka. To make it memorable, we wanted a small meeting of two families (still 60 people!) and asked Andy of Andy Hudson Photography to come along to capture the memories.

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A first we felt quite uncomfortable in front of the camera, but soon relaxed. We also managed to slip outside for a few photographs of just the two of us and despite the freezing weather, we really enjoyed ourselves!

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HEARTCongratulations Natasha & Arvind! HEART

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Get in touch if you would like to share your love story, engagement shoot or Real WeddingHere’s how.

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  – Images © 2013 Andy Hudson Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Engagement, North East Wedding, Real Weddings | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

The Most Special Of Days! A Real Wedding In The North East – Kat & Mike

July 7th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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Today’s Real Wedding comes to you from the North East and was sent to me by real bride and Brides Up North reader Kat.  Kat and Mike’s wedding was a real mix of traditional and contemporary, the combination creating a beautiful and memorable backdrop to a fabulous celebration. 

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Have a great Saturday everyone!

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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Kat says: We got engaged on 5th May 2011 in Las Vegas, USA in the middle of the Grand Canyon. We splashed out on a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon. We landed in the most beautiful spot and after all the tourist shots I turned round to Mike where he suddenly put his arms around me and the next thing I knew he was down on one knee. It was a truly a fabulous way to propose and I will never forget it.

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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We dais “I do” on Friday 23rd March 2012.  We were limited on time as I work in a school and we only had two weekends to chose from, 16th or the 23rd. The 23rd March turned out to be a very special day for me and my family, as my brother Iain died 13 years ago when he was 18 and I was 14. The 23rd March would have been his 31st birthday after much deliberation with family and friends I thought it was a great idea, what a special day to get married, it was meant to be. What usually is a sombre day for us has now been turned into a celebration and it really just felt like he was there with us.

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Mike and I feel in love with the venue straight away. The Mansion House in Jesmond was exactly what we wanted: classy, stylish and a bit different. I loved all the original features, the decor and also loved the location.  The gardens were beautiful and even though it was in a busy area it felt so quiet. There is so much character and I absolutely loved the bedrooms, I could really see me and my bridesmaids getting ready there in the morning. I heard amazing things about the food, the gardens looked beautiful, all our guests were so impressed and the service was amazing.

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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We chose another venue for the evening, Mike and I are very social people, we have lots of friends and we basically wanted a venue with space for a band and room for dancing. Now the evening do was more tricky we visited so many venues, I studied Art and Design at University and also went on to study a MA Art Museum and Gallery/Education Studies so I have always had links and love for galleries and museums in the North East. We chose to have our evening do at The Biscuit Factory in Shieldfield.  We absolutely loved the venue especially the way the art is kept in view, fairy lights and low lighting, the high ceiling and beams were just what we liked and there was tons of space for dancing. This was a complete contrast to the Mansion House as this was so contemporary and The Mansion House was a traditional manor house.

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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I never decided on a theme as such but I suppose it was a vintage shabby chic style wedding with lots of personal touches. I had birdcages for my centre pieces, “Would You Rather?” games on the tables, and different runners with polka dots, roses and birds. Every table was different.

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I decided I didn’t really want a colour scheme I wanted things to be a bit different. I chose electric blue Grecian maxi dresses for my bridesmaids dresses, green and nude bows, and different colour runners.

All the flowers were white so everything looked very classy.

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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I never wanted a big or sparkly dress, it is really true you never know what is going to suit until you try things on. I definitely knew I would have to get a sweetheart neckline as it would suit my shape better. For some reason in the shops I was always attracted to chiffon style dresses that sculptured to my body. Even though my dress was plain it had the most beautiful detail with the knotted material at the front and on the back and the long train made it stunning. I also loved the way the material was gathered on the bodice, all these things made the dress extra special. I felt amazing in it and I loved the way it made me feel. I chose to have a veil but ended up taking that off half way through the meal. My dress was from New Beginnings Bridal in Whitley bay by Sottero and Midgley

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My bridesmaids wore electric blue Grecian style maxi dresses from Monsoon and silver heels. 

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I carried cala lilies and my bridesmaids and flower girls carried the same but a smaller bouquet from Flowers By The Bay, Cullercoats. The groom had a lily for his button hole and the rest of the party had white roses. I didn’t want many flowers so the only other flowers were the ones in the birdcages which were minimalistic.

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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We used Simply Bows & Chair Covers for our event dressing, The Finishing Touch Company for hiring the trees, tea cups and the vintage post box.

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Our photographer was Roger Burlison Photography, his partner was a very good friend of mine from school so Roger and Vicky took some amazing photos on the day. It was so nice having them there as guests and I think it made it more personal.

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We added lots of personal touches.  On the order of services I thought it was a nice idea to write a story of how me and Mike met and this was also displayed in frames with a poem I found.

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We didn’t like the idea of favours so on each tables we had tea cups filled with mini eggs, dolly mixtures and heart shaped mints instead which went down a treat. We also placed several “Would You Rather?” game cards on the tables which we picked personally – the ruder the better for people to have some fun.

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Instead of a message book we had a wishing tree for people to write their messages on.

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My mum is an amazing cake maker so I naturally wanted her to make our cake. At the time I didn’t realise how much work it would be and my mum needs a medal.  I knew I didn’t want a traditional cake but I wasn’t sure what I wanted. My mum was amazing throughout and started baking like a mad woman. My mum came up with a brilliant idea. a three tier chocolate cake with chocolate butter icing, The cake was then covered with white and milk chocolate fingers and white and milk chocolate maltesers on the top.

It was absolutely fabulous and delicious.

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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I would say the speeches were the best memory of the day. My dad’s speech was great: my dad is definitely a talker, it was funny, emotional and kind everything I expected. Mike’s never been big on talking about emotion but his speech was again perfect, he kept it together until the very end. Mike never met my brother and he touched on that beautifully during his speech. We had two best men: one who didn’t eat any of the delicious food as he was so nervous. I wasn’t sure how they would do it but they really made it work. It was a very funny combination and they did so well.

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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We hired a band for the night called The Imposters. We saw these guys first play at As you Like It, Jesmond and we just had to have them for the wedding. They were great they really know how to get people up and dance. The photos are evidence – they play all sorts of music from Kings of Leon to Stevie Wonder. There was people aged 15 to 70 dancing!

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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For our honeymoon we went to Thailand! We travelled to a few different places,  Bangkok, Koi Samui, Krabi, Phi Phi Island and Phuket.  It was amazing, true paradise.

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A Real Wedding in the North East - Roger Burlison Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to get too stressed about all the small things as you won’t notice any problems on the day and don’t worry about other people, it’s your day.

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Congratulations Kat & Mike!

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  – Images © 2012 Roger Burlison Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in North East Wedding, Real Weddings | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Marabou, Choos & Merry Making – A Real Winter Wedding In The North East: Laura & John

March 14th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Yesterday, the hubby and I took a much needed half day’s holiday together and headed off to The Spa at Oulton Hall for a few hours of rest and relaxation.  What bliss!  This was part of a Groupon deal that we had booked before Christmas, and I almost missed the expiry deadline, hence the random Tuesday afternoon getaway!

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How these first three months of the year have flown by – it’s been an absolute whirlwind for the Brides Up North brand and (I’m pleased to report) things are busier and more exciting than ever here at BUN HQ.

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I’m just putting my finishing touches to my latest subscriber newsletter – and it’s a hefty one! – so if you would like to know more about what goes on behind the scenes here at the wedding blog and keep updated with all the latest news, just sign up using the little black box at top right.  Easy peasy. 

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Speaking of looking back to the festive season, today’s beautiful Real Wedding with images by Alison Groves Photography does just that, and shows that the Winter hasn’t all been doom and gloom – especially not for today’s lovely loved up couple and their sparkling Winter wonderland wedding!

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Let’s hear from Laura: We were married on 4th December at Jesmond Dene House Hotel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Why would a couple from London get married 350 miles north? Both my parents are born and bred Geordies, while John’s dad was originally born just outside of Newcastle, but we had desperately wanted a proper capital knees-up in London. Several astronomic quotes later, however, and we realised that just wasn’t going to be possible.

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We were up in Newcastle visiting family one snowy January a couple of months after getting engaged and took my grandparents for lunch at Jesmond Dene House. And that was it. We loved the historic house features combined with tasteful, modern décor (John has a thing – and I mean a THING – about patterned carpets). We loved the natural setting in the Dene – surrounded by trees with the river rushing through the gardens – yet just 10 minutes from Newcastle Central Station for the convenience of our guests. We also liked the fact that it used to be the country pad of Lord Armstrong, the Victorian engineer who made the original lifting mechanism in Tower Bridge – which is where we live and where John proposed. Ok, admittedly that last point is a little tenuous… but we loved the warmth of the staff, the award-winning wines, the incredible food. Basically, we just wanted to move in.

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The dress – arrrggghh! I’ve got to be honest – choosing the dress was one of my least favourite parts of the whole wedding planning experience. That’s weird, right?! I knew what I didn’t want – strapless, flouncy, frilly, lacy, sparkly – because I just looked ridiculous in things like that. I encountered a fair few snooty shop assistants when I first started looking who seemed to be appalled by my lack of enthusiasm for the frou-frou creations they kept heaping on me. And the amount of red dresses you’re shown when you say you’re getting married in winter! So I didn’t look in as many places as I probably should have done, knowing what I know now about all the amazing designers there are out there (ahh, the benefit of hindsight eh?). I’m not sure to this day that I encountered “The One”, but I did adore my dress. I’d seen an advert for Le Spose di Gio in a bridal mag and something about the dress in that advert really spoke to me – it was quite ballet-esque, very dreamy, so I checked out their website and fell in love with the one on the homepage. I loved the Audrey Hepburn-esque boat neckline and the keyhole back. I loved the super-flattering ruching in the middle. I loved the way the material caught the light, the way it moved and how it felt against my skin. It was unlike any dress I’d ever seen, by a designer neither I nor anyone else had ever heard of, all of which caused me endless wobbles, but ultimately it was just very me. Simple as that.

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Not being an ivory bridal shoe person, I had a sparkly, strappy pair of Jimmy Choos and a silver pair of Hunter wellies (complete with fleecy, ivory welly socks!), which saw me through from the ceremony to the outdoor photos to the dance floor. Every time I see my wellies sitting in the hallway at home now I remember our wedding day and it puts a massive smile on my face.

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I never wear my hair up or do anything with it, so I knew that all I wanted from my hairdresser was a good blow dry to make my thick mop look sleek and glossy. I soon fell in love with the idea of a sparkly headpiece that could blend into my hair while adding glamour. I tried loads of amazing ones on but none of them looked quite right, until I found a gorgeous vintage-inspired headband from the decidedly un-vintage Fenwicks department store.

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With my hair down and a high neckline I didn’t bother with earrings or a necklace. I very much wanted an understated, elegantly relaxed look. My something old and borrowed was a gorgeous Swarovski crystal cuff, which added just the right amount of statement sparkle to offset the relative plainness of my dress. I also had a marabou feather shrug from John Lewis, which was brilliant for the outdoor shots – I only wish I’d worn it more during the whole day, as it made me feel like a 1950s Hollywood movie star!

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Alison Groves Photography

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When it came to choosing a photographer we were at a complete loss as to where to begin. I turned to bridal magazines but soon discovered that there’s actually very little winter wedding love out there. It was all about that dreamy light (er…not much of that in deepest, darkest December), the cute jugs of homemade lemonade, gorgeous bunting wafting in a summer’s breeze, rippling cornfields and dancing at sunset. Sigh. And then while up in Newcastle visiting family we met Alison Groves at a wedding fair and instantly loved her work. There were no big, cheesy group shots or those ridiculously moody poses where the bride is pinning the groom up against a wall with a murderous look on her face (what is it with those pictures?!). They were natural, atmospheric and told a real story about the day, come rain or shine, which is exactly what we wanted. We were lucky enough to have snow on our wedding day and Ali made it work to our advantage – both the fun and the romance of it – resulting in those gorgeous outdoor shots that we absolutely love. Ali is a total professional – very discreet and efficient – but also very lovely, which is exactly the kind of person you want around on your wedding day. We were blown away when we first saw our photos and will treasure them for years to come.

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John wore a tuxedo from Ralph Lauren. John wanted to wear a tux (and what girl is going to turn that down?!) so we decided to make it black tie and politely ignore all the comments about what a faux pas it is to wear dinner jackets during the day (seriously – who cares? And it’s dark virtually all day in December!).

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Despite the dress code, we aren’t ones for standing on ceremony – relaxed elegance was the aim. We were actually heartened by how enthusiastic everyone was about getting super glammed up, enjoying all the discussions about whether to go long or short (girls), shawl collar or pointy collar (boys) and who made the best James Bond (boys again). Walking into the Great Hall on the day and seeing everyone there looking so gorgeous was a real moment for me.

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I walked down the aisle to the third movement from symphony number 3 in C major, op 52 by Jean Sibelius. John’s dad was a big Sibelius fan and it was our way of including him in the day. We hired Arco String Quartet who very kindly had the symphony reconfigured for a string quartet and we hired a flute and clarinet to recreate the piece of music as closely as possible. It’s not particularly bridal but it’s very moving and very personal to us.

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Organising a wedding from 300 miles away was not an easy task. But I learnt pretty quickly to put my faith in our suppliers – all recommended either by our venue or our photographer – and trust the professionals. For flowers we went with the fantastic Viv at 5th Avenue flowers on the Quayside in Newcastle. Viv was enthusiastic, laid back and really genuine – she even gave me a lift back to the hotel the night before the wedding because the snow was creating massive queues for the taxis. As the first Saturday in December, the Christmas decorations were up and I decided against adding in more colours or foliage into the mix to avoid total décor overkill. Less is most definitely more. So I had a wonderfully pouffy ivory hydrangea bouquet – classic yet modern. For the registrars’ table Viv did us a lovely mix of all kinds of things (er, flowers not really my strong point!), all ivory with frosted foliage, and we hung a large ball of mistletoe in one of the doorways and placed hydrangea heads in low vases around the bar. We hired magnificent silver candelabra for the table centrepieces (also from the florist), lit the candles, switched on the fairy lights and voila! Magical, just as I’d hoped.

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Jesmond Dene House provided all the catering. The food was a really important element to us (eating is one of our favourite pastimes – we named our tables after our favourite restaurants around the world) so the acclaimed restaurant at the hotel was an influential factor in us choosing it as a venue. The standard of the food on the day was superb – all our guests commented on how spot on everything was cooked and how amazing it tasted. I also liked their policy of using local produce, such as the Craster smoked salmon for the starter and Northumbrian lamb as the main.

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As the Christmas decorations were up there was very little that we needed to add. Fairy lights, candles and roaring fires – sparkle and cheer – was what I wanted to create. Jesmond Dene House have really lovely, unusual decorations that made it look really special. But I decided it wasn’t about having a winter wedding, a December wedding, and certainly not a Christmas wedding. It was about our wedding, so I was keen to make it as personal to us as possible.

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I bought loads of antique-effect mercuried glass tealights and votives to put about the place and we arranged photos of our families through the generations on their wedding days on the fireplaces. We framed a drawing of a bride and groom that one of John’s neices had made for us when we got engaged and had that on the entrance table along with wooden J&L letters from Not on the High Street. We tied the napkins with some “To Have and To Hold” ribbon from Cox & Cox and also had boxes of matches (“The Perfect Match” followed by the definition of marriage) in a bowl on the bar for the smokers and anyone else who fancied them (I randomly collect matches). We arranged with the local brewery to have our very own Archer Ale complete with personalised badge, which went down a storm with the lads (and a few ladies). And we personalised our menus with a description of the restaurant each table was named after, our favourite dishes at that restaurant and why it was a significant place in our relationship.

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We weren’t bothered about a live band, as we lived too far away to have been able to take on researching that as well as everything else! We used the hotel’s recommended DJ and asked everyone to put on their RSVP cards the one song that was guaranteed to get them on the dance floor. We then compiled a playlist of all the song choices and gave that to the DJ. We also hired a photo booth from Groovy Booth, complete with wind machine and props, which proved fantastic fun. It kept the kids entertained until they went to bed and all the adults loved it too – everyone got a set of prints to keep and one to stick in the guest book. Needless to say they get funnier as the night wore on!

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I’d been keen not to have a first dance but John wanted to as the time drew nearer, so we decided on “Misty Blue” by Ella Fitzgerald. It’s not a particularly happy song (!) but we love Ella and followed it up with Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” to get everyone on the dance floor.

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The advice I’d give to other Brides Up North is that there were so many things I’d wanted to do and either never got around to or just forgot about in the general wedding chaos leading up to the big day. So many little touches and details. But it really doesn’t matter in the end. Although loads of people commented on how much they liked the thought that had gone into things, no one said “but you didn’t have xyz!” Because what kind of crazy person would do that?! Certainly not one you’d invite to your wedding. There’s a lot of pressure out there to have the perfect day, to be original and not have a production-line wedding. And yes, we had a photo booth and pic ‘n’ mix and half of Cox & Cox – not original to brides poring over blogs and mags, certainly, but your guests will simply love it. Because they love you, and you could probably give them ham sandwiches and a mug of tea and they’d all cheer and laugh and have a ball.

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Timings will go awry, people close to you will let you down badly and people you don’t know all that well will go above and beyond the call of duty in ways that will touch you. We had several inches of snow that brought the roads, trains and planes to a standstill just two days before our wedding, people were snowed in on the day itself, my gran was taken to hospital just before the ceremony started, one of the best men left his tux in the dry cleaners, the other best man dropped me on my head on the dance floor – and a glass candlestick exploded randomly, just to top it off! And no amount of planning or stress can take those things into account, so just breathe, have a glass (or three) of champagne with your best girls in the morning and remember that you’ll be walking out of there that night married to the man you love, and nothing can detract from that.

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Congratulations Laura & John!

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Fancy sharing your real wedding memories on the wedding blog?  Get in touch!

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  – Images © 2012 Alison Groves Photography

Alison Groves Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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