December 19th, 2013 | 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.
It’s a special one for me today as I’m sharing the wedding of two of my very best friends – Charlotte and Smithy (known formally as Matthew, Mathlete or whatever Charlotte feels like calling him). Sod the leftover baby-weight, I was honoured to be a bridesmaid at Charlotte and Matt’s amazing, sun dapped celebration at the stunning Priory Cottages in Wetherby.
A woman who knows her own mind, Charlotte’s wedding was never going to be the same as everyone else’s. Matt proposed on a group ski trip February 2012 and after all the excitement had died down, Charlotte looked me in the eye over a cafe au chocolat, and asked me to be her bridesmaid, adding:
“I’m going to ask all the guys to wear coloured chinos, and I want everyone in featherhead dresses and a rainbow cake”. This was going to get interesting…
Budget summits – “Jules, persuade Matt that I need the Jimmy Choos, he listens to you” (she got them, he does) – dress dramas – a thousand “talking it over” cocktails and a million Pinterest pins later, the wedding day arrived. And I have to tell you, it was one of the most beautiful days that I have ever seen. From a professional wedding blogger, that’s saying something. The brand new Mrs Smith isn’t just a pretty face!
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Richard Wynn Davies.
Charlotte says: Matt asked me to marry him in February 2012, in an igloo in Mayerhofern whilst skiing for Jules’ 30th! We tied the knot on 6th July 2013 at our local church, Saint Mary’s of Stainburn then reception was at Priory Cottages, Wetherby.
Originally we wanted to wed in the South of France. The venue looks like it could be in the South of France; It is gorgeous, it is a blank canvas (you don’t have to follow rules e.g what you have to drink, what the room will look like – rules which sometimes hotels impose) and you can exercise your creativity as you please. I wanted our wedding to be unique and creative, and we felt it the venue was perfect for this.
Serena, the venue manager is amazing… I think that’s the only word for her.
We asked our guests to wear loud and colourful chinos – we wanted the photos to look colourful, a little crazy and be lots of fun. In the evening I asked people to bring masks… for our own masquerade ball. We wanted to keep to tradition but shake it up a touch.
Our colour theme was colourful (!) and we went with nude/ pale pink colours, for bridesmaids. We then added bold colour in the marquee with duck egg blue and turquoise.
My flowers were bright pastel colours, as was our cake. I didn’t stick to a specific scheme as such, I just tried to use complementing colours, and colours that worked well with skin tones and together.
I fell in love with the Jenny Packham Aspen, the moment I saw it. It was the second dress I tried on. After weeks trying on many other dresses, it confirmed that Aspen was for me! The dress was stunning, comfy, and light, just what you need on a hot summers day. I was very conscious of not feeling too hot, or restricted. And, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t corseted so I could eat as much delicious canapés, plated BBQ and fish & chips!
I then chose a gorgeous sparkly pair of Jimmy Choos – I worked on the basis that I can wear a fabulous pair of shoes again and again; this is better than spending a smaller amount on a pair that will only get used once. Pounds per wear!
I wore my grandma’s grandma’s silver clasp bracelet. It was my ‘something old’ and made my outfit really special.
I then added a long veil, with crystals which was sparkly in a subtle way and I had a pearl hair slide hand made by a designer in Yorkshire.
The bridesmaids wore wrap dressed by Eliza and Ethan at Pookie, Harrogate. The girls had gypsophila in their hair and wore nude shoes of their choice.
Our groomsmen wore specially commissioned bow ties, Paul Smith style in pink floral, suits from Marks & Spencer & brightly coloured braces (the brighter the better- of their choice).
I had a hand tied bouquet of beautiful pastel flowers; roses, herbs and peonies.
We travelled by vintage Rolls Royce. My mum also had a vintage Daimler, and the bridesmaid travelled in a vintage VW Campervan.
The whole day was amazing, from getting ready, to the church, throwing confetti, the food, the dancing… I would have to say one of my favourite memories was arriving at the reception, following the church and seeing everyone in the courtyard waiting to greet us!
The driver sounded his horn, and everyone cheered and waved. The colours were spectacular, we were handed our blue cocktails, and we could hear the steel band playing.
We had a BBQ and the summer Olympics (sports day) the night before the wedding. This was great fun and was a chance to catch up with guests ahead of the wedding. This was a great tactic!
We made our own cake- well Matt and my grandmas made the cakes! I chose a traditional fruit cake. It was decorated by a family friend, and was going to have white chocolate truffles on the side in pastel colours. However, because the weather was so hot, we had to change the truffles last minute to icing! The cake also leaned a touch!
The wedding party spent hours tying 100 lanterns to the marquee roof with ribbons, and tied ribbons to the chairs. More hands make light work, and I think we did a great job!
I had to ensure we had fabulous food and drink all day. This was the most important thing for me- great food. We used MCK Catering.
We had a plated BBQ of fillet steak, lamb and prawns, with sauté potatoes for our wedding breakfast. Friends of Ham, Leeds supplied the beer. We chose a Yorkshire white wine, which was delicious- Lethenthorpe.
Later on in the evening, we wanted people to have traditional beer munchies- fish & chips with a twist. (tapas with lime and chilli batter).
Our wedding favours were bags filled with a coin, a teddy bear, a piece of string, a marble a rubber and a heart. Inside was a special message relating to the reasoning behind why the object was included e.g.:- ‘a marble, because we all seem to have lost ours’ ‘a piece of string to bind us together wherever we are in the world.’ The cost of the wedding favours went to a school in Ghana.
We chose a string quartet for the church, a Caribbean Steel Drum band for the reception, and for the evening we had a band.
We honeymooned in the south of France (I secretly wish I was French!)
We stayed at the Hotel Crillon Le Brave in Provence (stunning) saw the Tour de France Stage at Mont Ventoux, visited lavender fields, went horseback riding and then drove in a sports car to the Fairmont in Monte Carlos, via St Tropez, Cannes and Antibes. We chilled out & drank cocktails and hit the Casino of course! We then took the helicopter back to Nice airport.
Fantastic trip; can we do it again?
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t be afraid to break the mould and try non- conventional ideas. People will raise eyebrows, but be true to yourself, do what you want to do. You’re a unique individual couple, so be creative!
Congratulations Charlotte & Matt!
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November 8th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Sometimes in the wedding World, it seems like everything is always more, more, more. More lace, more skirts, more flowers, more guests, more details… more money. So sometimes, it’s nice to strip everything right back and rejoice in the simple.
This Friday morning, I bring you a small, simple and absolutely beautiful little styled bridal shoot from a group of Yorkshire wedding suppliers whose work I really rate (some of them are even Brides Up North Featured Suppliers). So grab a cuppa and a KitKat, and prepare for something blissful.
Hayley of The Harrogate Wedding Lounge says: The initial idea for the shoot was very ethereal so the location on the Yorkshire Moors was perfect! We set up shop in a lovely warm local inn to do Hair, Makeup and dressing before heading out into the wind and rain. Our beautiful model Amy was a true professional and coped well with the difficult conditions.
We wanted to demonstrate a more simple laid back look and what you can achieve with your bridal look by adding different accessories including belts, shoes, headwear, flowers and dashes of colour. The gowns we used were beautiful yet very simplistic.
We chose Mistletoe from the Mia Mia collection by Alan Hannah and the Ghislaine Dress from the Enzoani collection. Mistletoe is a stylish long sleeved Silk Chiffon gown with pretty covered buttons and a flowing sash. The Ghislaine is a full skirted lace and tulle gown with a beautiful beaded belt. we teamed this gown with a fabulous lace edge cape by Joyce Jackson. Both gowns are available in my boutique, The Harrogate Wedding Lounge.
The flowers on the shoot were from Emma’s Home and Garden and featured beautiful details used in unique ways. We styled three looks including: an arc of pale pink astilbe; an asymmetrical head piece of lisianthus, lavender, craspedia, gypsophilaand wax flower and a flower crown of lisianthus, craspedia, lavender, tree fern, and dried protea plus a simple hand tied posy of faded lilac limonium finished with vintage velvet ribbon.
Hair and Makeup on the day was styled by the super talented Victoria Farr Hair & Make Up Specialist.
Victoria says: The brief was to create a look that is different to what we have seen on this type of styled shoot with lots of creativity. Think ‘Vogue’ with statement lips and eye liner!
Our model had the most beautiful elfin features and short blonde pixie hair which is perfect to let the makeup speak for itself. Our first look was to show the eyeliner and using lashes on the lower lash line instead of the top, which created the illusion of wider eyes and using an almost white colour on the lips with a matt finish kept the look editorial. The lashes were removed for our second look which concentrated on Amy’s lips. Using the floral arrangements as inspiration and our location, a dark plum was used on the lips to stain them, giving a natural just bitten finish.
Jess of Jess Petrie Photography says: In regards to overall styling I always free-style… it’s the way I work! It helps me have more creative freedom on the shoot. When something is planned expectations are under-met and/or “panic mode” sets in if something is out of place, unexpected, or different. To work on a shoot I have to be calm and embrace things as they happen naturally. The worst thing you can do is over think it!
Everyone had an input on the overall styling, which is what I prefer, as I like to involve the team. It’s not all about the photographer, everyone is bringing the shoot together and working equally as hard.
We are trying to help brides bring out a little creativity in their overall bridal look and feel and by using matching accessories i.e belts, flowers, shoes and so on, you can style a dress in a very unique and individual way.
The colours are always important, especially for great pictures. I would advise brides on choosing pastel colours for their accessories and flowers. It’s nice to create a colour theme throughout and have complimenting colour schemes towards your dress and venue.
Little Black Book
Images: Jess Petrie Photography
Wedding Gowns: The Harrogate Wedding Lounge
Hair & Make Up: Victoria Farr Hair & Make Up Specialist
Flowers: Emma’s Home and Garden
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October 30th, 2013 | Julia Braime
This morning we join Brides Up North reader (and Canadian bride) Chelsey and her other half Andy for their gloriously colourful countryside Real Wedding in Yorkshire. The best bit? All the beautiful blooms are picked right from the garden. It’s just one of the special details that makes this pretty celebration stand out. Be inspired!
With images by Andy Gaines Creative.
Chelsey says: Andy proposed in 2011 during our annual “Orphan’s Christmas” that we host every year for friends in our ski resort community who are away from home, sometimes for the first time. I was so surprised and it was so fun to celebrate our brand new engagement with so many friends!
We were married on 30th August 2013. Our ceremony was at All Hallows Church in Sutton-on-the-Forest and our reception followed at the Stone Trough Inn in Kirkham Abbey.
We chose our venue because the manager, Tim was so helpful and the location was like a picture postcard – even on a foggy October afternoon when we first saw it. The food was incredible and they did it up just beautifully for us on the day.
Our theme was vintage English countryside. Andy grew up in a small village in Yorkshire and the surrounding area is so beautiful with amazing views and beautiful landscapes.
Our colours were based on the bright colours of wildflowers – cornflowers, marigolds and meadowsweet, with splashes of poppy and violet. The main colour was bright yellow because it is such a happy colour!
I wore a Manuel Mota for Pronovias lace and chiffon gown. I bought it on a sort of whim very early on in our engagement from Viva Bridal, in my town of Kamloops, BC. I fell in love with it from the first moment I tried it on, and it made my mum tear up right away so we knew we had a winner! It was exactly what I had always imagined I’d wear. My veil came from Sibo Designs on Etsy.
Judy Wright of The Plantsmiths supplied all of our flowers right from her very own garden, which I loved. The bouquets were lovely and full hand-tied bunches with lots of bright colours, wrapped in hessian and ribbon.
My bridesmaids wore yellow sun dresses from ModCloth with nude suede pumps. Andy and his best man wore grey suits from Moores in Kamloops. His other two groomsmen wore their own suits and they all looked so sharp! All of the groomsmen accessorized with yellow seersucker ties and pocket squares. Our little ring-bearer had grey suit from Next and a yellow seersucker bow-tie as well.
We chose a 3 tiered cake with two tiers of chocolate and one of lemon, with a delicious buttercream icing, decorated with silk wildflowers from Cakes Unlimited of Yorkshire. We were so busy visiting that the only piece we had was when we cut the cake! Everyone said it was delicious though.
We had plenty of flowers on the tables, with lots of candles too.
Each table had a photo of a wedding from our families — each of our parents and grandparents. I also made yards and yards of bunting which was hung from the rafters.
We also had a lovely guest book alternative which was a thumb print tree from an Etsy shop called Spotted Nest. She even incorporated our cat, Dominic on it!
Love Invited did our beautiful custom stationery suite. They were wonderful to work with and we got exactly what we were after. I hand made the escort cards with tea-soaked shipping tags and vintage buttons.
My favourite little extras were the cuff links I bought Andy, which were little bits of maps with our birth cities on them, as well as the bird cake toppers, both custom made from Etsy shops Paper Arcadia and Cinnamon Birds, respectively. I love Etsy and went a bit mad with wedding purchases there.
We worked with amazing local vendors. Andy Gaines Creative did our photos and they turned out better than we ever could have hoped. He captured so many special moments of the day and in such a beautiful, artistic way. He was so enthusiastic and we had a great time having him there.
If I had to choose one favourite moment it would be when we had our photos done in the field across from the Stone Trough Inn. It had just been harvested and we got my favourite pictures of the day there and had so much fun while we were at it.
We had the most amazing DJ that we met while clubbing in Manchester, named Melanie Carter. We asked her if she’d like to make a trip out to Yorkshire for our big day and luckily she agreed. She had everyone dancing all night; the music was really one of the highlights!
We honeymooned on the Amalfi Coast and Rome in Italy. We had such an incredible time, and absolutely stuffed ourselves full of pasta, pizza, gelato and wine. It was an unforgettable two weeks. We finished our honeymoon with a quick visit in Manchester with Andy’s family before we flew home to Canada.
My top tips for other Brides Up North are to take in every moment as best you can because the day really does fly by. Try and get a good night’s sleep the night before and don’t fret if something goes wrong; no one will notice (really!). Tell your parents you love them and wear lash extensions instead of mascara, you won’t regret it once the speeches begin.
Congratulations Chelsey & Andy!
This is not a sponsored post
September 3rd, 2013 | Julia Braime
This afternoon’s Real Wedding – with images by Pixies In The Cellar – is cool and classy and conducted under a blustery Yorkshire sky. An outdoor ceremony is always special, but with our British summertime, it’s also downright brave. Luckily Nicola and Mike’s gamble paid off, as the sun shone for their stunning celebration at The Saddleworth Hotel.
Nicola says: We got engaged in The Maldives in June 2011 and were married on Saturday 3rd August 2013 at The Saddleworth Hotel. It’s an amazing setting and the venue has great staff – overall, truly everything we wanted in a wedding venue!
We didn’t really have a colour scheme – everything was kept neutral with white, grey and black. The only hint of colour was pale, blush pink roses dotted amongst the cream in the bouquets.
My bridesmaids wore slate grey shift dresses from Bride to Be by Hannah Lois and I added an ivory coloured sash to these to match their shoes and bags. The groomsmen wore slate grey suits from Swarbricks with dark grey cravats and waistcoats to tie in with the sash on the bridesmaid’s dresses.
I stayed at the venue the night before and Michael was picked up by the owner of The Saddleworth Hotel in a vintage Rolls Royce convertible.
The ceremony was gorgeous – the best part of the day for both of us. It was so lovely and really did feel personal to us.
As a surprise, I wrote a personal reading to Michael telling the story of us in the form of a poem. I’d gone through the process of ‘choosing one’ with him so he didn’t have a clue until one of my bridesmaids started reading it. It made the ceremony so personal and there was barely a dry eye in the house.
To add to this, turns out he’d done the same and wrote me a poem as part of his speech – a truly in sync couple.
Our beautiful flowers were by Kelly Louise. I carried a hand tied bouquet of white, cream and pale pink roses and this was echoed in our centrepieces.
We chose a very simple three tier, white iced cake from Slattery’s. The only detail was a small grey ribbon and row of pearls placed around the bottom of each tier to tie in with our overall details and theme.
We had a band called Under The Covers perform during the evening reception.
The honeymoon was planned all as a surprise by Michael – literally until we arrived at the airport. He planned the whole thing and didn’t tell a single person. We went to New York then on to Maroma Beach, Mexico
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy every second and make sure you spend as much of it as possible with one another – it truly is the most magical day you could wish for, make sure you share it together
Congratulations Nicola & Mike!
This is not a sponsored post
August 21st, 2013 | Julia Braime
This morning things are getting pink and girly here at Brides Up North (oh alright then, more pink and girly) as we join Emma and Jordan for their sugar spun celebration in Leeds. With a princess dress, candy colours and big blousy blooms, Brides Up North reader Emma’s wedding is straight out of a fairy-tale.
With images by Blackmill Photography.
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