March 22nd, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
It’s time to say a huge ‘welcome!’ once again to the newly-engaged amongst our readers – a big, pink, sparkly Brides Up North congratulations to you all (psst! Did you know that our very own lovely Rachel joined the ranks of the betrothed over the Christmas break? Catch up on the first instalment of her wedding diary here if you missed it!)
Even if your organisational OCD gives Monica from Friends a run for her money, the reality of planning a wedding can feel a little daunting – ok, let’s be honest, terrifying. There’s so much to consider – Venue! Guest list! Photographer! Entertainment! – and so many people, well-meaning and otherwise, clamouring to give you their esteemed opinion on all things wedding-y.
Enter Brides Up North **curtsies** – we’re here to share everything we know about wedding planning like a pro and put it all into some kind of more easily-digestible timeline rather than a constant stream of random demands that you find vying for your brain’s attention at 4am.
So if you missed Part 1 – all the first stage essentials of date, venue, guests, budget and photographer – have a read here. Otherwise, it’s onwards to the pretty!
Now that you have a season and venue in mind, you can start thinking about the specifics of your wedding day theme – in fact, if you’ve been true to yourself in your choice of venue, the chances are you’ve already thought about it!
No one wants a cookie-cutter wedding exactly the same as the last, but there are definitely broad wedding styling themes that run through even the most personal of big days. If you’re both fans of the outdoors and have chosen a venue that reflects that – a barn, a marquee at home or in a farmer’s field for example, you may find that elements of a natural, organic, woodland wedding theme start to sneak in – rustic log slices, pine cones, greenery, hessian and so on. Treat it like a buffet, though – you don’t have to have it all, just choose the bits that really take your fancy! Of course, this is just one theme of many; we pride ourselves on featuring a range of wedding inspiration on the blog, from laid-back cool to vintage glamour and from clean and contemporary to timeless fairy-tale elegance.
Believe us, there’s a lot out there, so go on and get inspired. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – Pinterest is your friend, check out our pretty boards here. Get onto those wedding and photography blogs and give that pinning finger some exercise to get some big, broad ideas fermenting.
What’s the difference between theme and styling? Well, this is where things get a bit more specific. So, theme-wise, you and your beau might opt for a vintage winter wedding, and your styling takes your research and ideas to the next level. You’ll need to think about a colour-palette that matches theme (oohh, amethyst and fuschia?), start considering broad dress ideas (Beading galore? A 1920s dropped waist? A super-sparkly headpiece rather than a veil?) and how these could be reflected in other areas of the wedding planning; from favours to font styles on stationery. And speaking of stationery…
It’s become more common for couples to send out a Save The Date card (or photo, or magnet, or whatever you like, really) even over a year in advance so that guests have ample notice of their intention to tie to knot. Of course, you don’t have to rely on mail if you don’t want to (although pretty paper always gives us a buzz) – there’s the option of a slick We’re-Getting-Married website where you add more details over time and you have the option of changing the design as your planning – and styling – develops.
No, not the partner of your dreams – we’re pretty sure you’ve sorted that one already – but rather the dress of your wildest imaginings. Most bridal boutiques recommend you start the search for your dress 12 to 18 months in advance in order to leave time for ordering, alterations and fittings ahead of the big day. We’d certainly recommend you getting stuck into window shopping sooner rather than later so that you get an idea of the range that’s out there and set up some bridal boutique appointments – be warned that in popular stores, weekend appointments are often booked up weeks in advance.
October 2nd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Image source, Photography by Hayley Blackledge Photography
A wedding is the ultimate form of self-expression that a couple can make. Not only is it the one day where they formally declare their love and commitment to one another, but it’s also a chance for them to showcase who they are, individually and a as a couple, and share the memories they’ve created together so far.
That’s why, when it comes to the finer, smaller details, these can sometimes be more telling, more intimate, and more personal than the grander, sweeping statements made around the choice of venue, the colour scheme and so on.
The table names, the favours, the guest book, even the entertainment and those special extra touches you plan – they all make your wedding, yours. So, don’t overlook these – they’re the really important entries listed in your wedding planner.
As such, we’re today exploring just some of the ways you can inject your personality and interests into your big day and make it a memorable one for you and all your guests.
Image source, Photography by Hayley Blackledge Photography
First things first, an overarching wedding theme can be a catch all means of making your wedding personal to you and knit together all the different elements of your day. A nod to a Celtic heritage, a love for travel, a passion for a local football team, a special era such as the 1920s – whatever allows you to showcase ‘you’ is a great starting point.
Your table names are one of the simplest ways to make a personal statement – think about sharing your favourite holiday destinations, your favourite books or musicians, or something that relates to a shared hobby. Your centre pieces and place names can also tie in with this.
Many couples take a DIY approach to their wedding table plan and the box that houses their wedding cards. And instead of a guest book, why not create a jigsaw of a special photograph, and ask your guests to leave a message on each piece?
Image source, Photography by Ginger & Lime Photography
You might want to create a montage of photographs too showing you both in your early childhood and then chronicling your time together. Another special touch is to feature wedding photos of your parents and grandparents, or loved ones who are sadly no longer with you.
As for other decorations in the venue – what ambience do you want to create, and what expresses you as a couple? Do you consider yourselves as laid-back cultural enthusiasts, sporty and adventurous, or nomads forever indulging in your wanderlust? Think about the lighting, flowers and foliage, and other props that can help express your ‘vibe’ as a couple.
Image source, Photography by Jessica O’Shaughnessy
Here at Brides Up North, we’re always intrigued by the vast assortment of favours handed out at weddings. Gone are the traditional sugared almonds and instead, guests are presented with chocolates, macaroons, candles, scratch cards, wooden hearts, homemade jam, glow sticks and even a donation to a charity on their behalf, close to the couple’s hearts. The question is, what small gesture encapsulates you both, or ties in with your wider wedding theme?
Image source, photography by Bethany Clarke
June 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Though couples marry all the year through, summer remains peak wedding season with brides and grooms pinning their hopes on warm and dry weather for their special day.
And as we’re just on the cusp of official British summer beginning, we thought what better way to see in the new season (and hopefully the sunshine) than with some top tips for those of you planning summer celebrations.
Today’s words of wisdom come 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 pro pointers on planning a wedding in the season of blue skies and sunshine…
Matt says: If a summer wedding is something you have been dreaming of, Yorkshire is the perfect county in which to realise your dreams. With Dine’s impressive portfolio of stunning venues, from historic castles and magical gardens to spectacular deer parks and unique marquees, if planned properly a summer wedding can be truly breath-taking.
Make sure to start booking both venues and suppliers months, or sometimes years, in advance – a longer engagement is more sensible for a summer wedding. While it can be helpful to have several venues and suppliers in mind, if you plan ahead more options will be available. Flexibility is important for a successful summer wedding, but that still doesn’t mean that you should settle for options that won’t make you happy. Hiring an experienced event planner like Dine ensures that your most cherished dreams can become your reality on the day.
A marquee can make a stunning backdrop to your celebrations and offer the ultimate flexibility. They can accommodate as many or as few guests as you choose and are available in a vast range of styles – from tipis and vintage army tents to on trend sailcloth. If you don’t have enough room in your garden, Dine offers a number of stunning sites which make the most of Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside. Choose from panoramic views at Bolton Abbey, lakeside settings at historic Ripley Castle and the Gothic-style Carlton Towers, or the quintessentially English Dalton Hall walled garden.
A well-chosen indoor venue can be equally impressive however – providing picturesque views over gardens through large picture windows and respite from whatever the weather might throw at you.
Dine’s flagship venue The Mansion is perfect for any bride-to-be looking for the best of both worlds. Set in Roundhay Park, Leeds, one of the largest urban parks in Europe, the Greek Palladian style building offers several ceremony and reception rooms of varying sizes all with large windows overlooking the park and modern, luxurious décor.
Other exciting Dine venues include the magnificent Wentworth Woodhouse with a façade longer than Buckingham Palace, the chic city venue New Craven Hall and the glorious 18th century Palladian mansion Nostell Priory set in enchanting gardens.
While you can have a fantastic wedding breakfast in any season of the year, there’s so much more variety during the summer months. The sheer choice makes choosing (and tasting) your menu a lot of fun. With such an extensive range of choice available, it is reassuring to choose a specialist caterer and events manager such as Dine which can recommend what will work best and help you narrow down your menu choices.
The warmer summer months are the perfect opportunity to incorporate light and spicy foods from around the world. Canapés can be a fantastic way of incorporating small elements of international cuisine into your wedding breakfast without intimidating your more traditional guests. A ‘shot’ of Teriyaki beef, giant tiger prawns, and wild mushroom and truffle arancini are only a small selection of global ingredients available in summer.
The great weather also means that more informal, outdoor dining experiences are perfect for a wedding with a twist. Dine can offer a wide range of interesting and relaxed dining options including carnival themes, barbecues, picnic hampers, bowl and street food that take advantage of the fantastic weather and produce that is available. A more casual wedding breakfast can be a unique experience and a great conversation starter.
Dine can also cater for you if you’re concerned about veering too far from the traditional wedding food route. Traditional British food, such as mini sausage and mash, mini roast dinners and lobster ‘n’ chips, ensure that some time-honoured seasonal Yorkshire produce is incorporated into your wedding breakfast.
April 27th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Thursday evening’s don’t come much better than this! It’s very nearly the beginning of a bank holiday weekend and to top that, we’ve got an uber-gorgeous styled shoot packed with wedding inspiration to share with you. Ladies, it’s time to let down your hair, fill up your glass (with bubbles, we hope) and feast your eyes on this bridal beauty.
Lead by award-winning Sheffield florist Tracey Campbell, of Campbell’s Flowers, this shoot is the work of a talented team of South Yorkshire suppliers who relished in the opulent ‘fine romance’ brief.
True to form, Tracey created some truly breath-taking designs, which were complemented by the stunning choice of bridal attire, hair, makeup and details.
The backdrop of the misty Peak District hills adds to the romantic tale, and we are thrilled to see a little cameo appearance from some rather gorgeous greyhounds.
With images by Shelley Richmond Photography. Models: Jessica Fletcher and Jessica Leatherday.
tracey says: The big idea behind the shoot was to really visually explore the growing trend of floral wedding designs moving away from the meadowy, just-picked look so dominant in recent years, and towards a very opulent, luxe look. It’s an incredibly romantic look, so we worked with the shoot title ‘A Fine Romance’.
To create that style, I used lots of textures when crafting the floral designs, and maximised contrasts, by juxtaposing more traditional blooms, like amaryllis with exotic flora, such as King Protea.
Much of the inspiration came from the wonderful Marilyn gown by Sassi Holford, particularly in terms of the colour palette, which featured silvery grey eucalyptus and pinks in a range of hues from soft, baby blushes through to some magnificently vivid magenta. The stunning gowns for the shoot, including Marilyn, were provided by Sheffield-based bridal boutique, The White Room.
When it came to the shoot location, we decided on Losehill House Hotel and Spa. We’ve long been fans of this superb venue, and as preferred suppliers we adore working with them. For us, its incredible location is hard to beat as the rolling hills of the beautiful Peak District will always hold a very special place in our hearts; constantly inspiring us and drawing us back.
Losehill also perfectly matched our theme, as the whole place is brimming with luxury details and feels very special. We also love to collaborate with other businesses who share our ethos, and Losehill really does, particularly when it comes to insisting on quality and supporting local artisans and suppliers, for example, the lounge and restaurant furniture was all hand crafted to their design by a nearby company.
To create our romantic, high-end look with our flowers for the shoot, we focused on a contemporary classic look that was all refined elegance with a muted, soft and incredibly feminine colour palette, which we then contrasted with vivid colour pops like cerise. We also incorporated rich colours that were reminiscent of oil paintings, such as a deep emerald green as seen in the simple ivy crowns.
April 11th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Image by Theresa Furey
We’re getting your Tuesday off to a bright and beautiful start by welcoming our guest writer, the lovely Sophie Grabham, Online Editor at Love Our Wedding Magazine, back to the blog to give us the all-important deets on the current wedding colour trends…
sophie says: When it comes to choosing a colour scheme for your wedding, the possibilities can seem endless! So where do you start?
Consider what sort of wedding you’re hosting. If it’s informal and laid-back you may not want a rigid scheme at all, but for many of us it’s nice to have something to work from. Think about what colours you love, what will suit your venue and the time of year, and what will be easy enough to put together. Matching very specific shades can be tricky, so bear that in mind and be flexible about mixing and matching shades if necessary.
Need a little inspiration? Check out our five favourite colour schemes for 2017 weddings here:
One of our all-time favourite wedding colours has to be nude. Chic and understated on its own or easily mixed with other shades, nude is a real winner whatever your venue or wedding style. Why not ask your bridesmaids to find their own gowns in shades of nude, for a pretty and eclectic look that shows off their individuality without looking bland.
Bethany Clarke Photography
Pantone’s colour of the year for 2017 is Greenery, so we’re expecting to see gorgeous green tones featuring a lot in weddings for 2017/18. This scheme works beautifully for any season, whether it be pastel shades for spring, bright hues for summer or darker, more rustic palettes for autumn/winter. Foliage is a huge trend right now, and lends itself perfectly to this scheme. Include beautiful leafy green foliage everywhere from your floral displays and bouquets, to your wedding cake and decor. A beautiful way to create a natural wedding look, that’s much more cost effective than using expensive, traditional blooms, such as roses or peonies.
Paul Liddement Photography
Take a modern twist on tradition, by turning your ‘something blue’ into your scheme! We’ve seen plenty of weddings featuring pastel blue shades recently and are completely in love. This is a great alternative shade for a vintage theme and may go down better with your hubby-to-be than girly pink! Team with silver and sparkles for a wintry look or try a darker shade, such as navy, for a formal alternative to black.
A trend that’s been going strong for a while and is showing no sign of slowing down, is metallics. Silver, gold, copper and our favourite, rose gold, are all hot picks, whether you choose to mix and match shades or keep things simple with one metal taking centre stage. Sequins are a wonderful way to incorporate metallics into your day, and are everywhere right now, from bridesmaid dresses to table cloths.
Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography
One scheme you can never go wrong with, is white. Traditional and timeless, white is a great choice if you’re indecisive or can’t agree on a scheme. Details in this colour are easy to come by and will never date in your photographs. Plus, they’re easy to pull together, with no messing about trying to match specific shades. Perfect!
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March 27th, 2017 | Julia Braime
After the clock change at the weekend, we’ve officially sprung into spring, meaning lighter nights, warmer weather and the approach to peak wedding season are all on the way!
To mark the arrival of the new season, we’re bringing a glorious helping of inspiration to those of you planning springtime weddings, 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 helpful pointers on planning a wedding in the season of new beginnings…
Matt says: With Yorkshire offering some of the finest countryside in Britain, make the most of the warmer, longer days by choosing a spectacular setting for your big day. Dine boasts an impressive portfolio of stunning venues to suit every taste – whether you favour a magnificent deer park, picturesque walled gardens, or breath-taking views over historical ruins.
While beautiful indoor locations can be appealing for a spring wedding owing to the chance of April Showers, marquees can provide a fantastic compromise. Although popular for the quintessentially British summer wedding, with the right planning, flooring and heating, a reception under canvas can be a perfect venue whatever the time of year. You can even choose a marquee with sides that can be removed or with windows to enable you to make the most of the weather and the view.
Many of Dine’s stunning venues provide fantastic lakeside settings with outstanding outlooks across Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside. Gothic-style Carlton Towers and Ripley Castle’s Lakeside settings provide panoramic views – across an island which is home to majestic swans and a glorious, rolling deer park respectively. Alternatively, Bolton Abbey nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, provides a secluded and private setting with exclusive access to the River Wharfe and views of the Augustinian Priory. Belvoir Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland offers a magnificent setting for a marquee wedding while Dalton Hall’s walled garden is quintessentially English and perfect for a more formal spring theme.
Marquees make a spectacular backdrop to wedding celebrations, and offer the ultimate in flexibility, even allowing you the ultimate luxury of getting married at home. Such a wedding can create a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, while the individual location enables couples to buck the trend of a traditional spring wedding and create their own traditions in their unique family setting.
With marquees able to accommodate as many or as few guests as you choose, a huge garden is not necessary. Marquees are also available in an array of sizes and styles, from tipis and vintage army tents, to sailcloth and traditional, enabling you to match a style to your spring wedding theme.
No matter the season, it’s always a fantastic idea for your wedding breakfast to reflect the seasonality of your day, in terms of both the dishes and presentation. With 18 years’ experience as a hospitality and catering specialist, Dine can provide innovation and skill when creating food for your spring wedding. Experienced and imaginative event managers and chefs, combined with seasonal ingredients always promise to deliver your perfect spring menu.
Edible flowers available in spring on both savoury and sweet courses are an innovative and impressive use of unique ingredients to make your dishes look gorgeous. Nasturtiums, French Marigolds and Cornflowers all make colourful additions to your dishes and provide a seasonal touch. Yet if you’d prefer greenery to the bright colours of seasonal flowers, adding fresh herbs to dishes, especially desserts for a unique touch is another great way to add spring colour to your food. Chocolate and rosemary are a match made in heaven so why not add dark chocolate and rosemary tart with a fennel ice-cream and orange sherbet to your wedding breakfast for bright colours and fresh flavours.
Incorporating seasonal vegetables such as asparagus, sugar snap peas, baby carrots and new potatoes provides fresh flavours and crunchy textures. Dine can provide innovative starters, main courses and desserts which combine spectacular presentation and fantastic flavours.
From asparagus velouté with a soft poached quail’s egg and crème fraîche, to fillet of halibut marinated in lemon confit and thyme with vegetables Provençale, gazpacho dressing and buttered anya new potatoes, Dine can create dishes which will remind your guests of spring no matter your venue or the weather.
Menu tasting well ahead of your big day is vital to ensure seasonality and the combination of your chosen ingredients are a perfect match. This also allows you to discuss the menu with your Dine event manager and any adjustments you would like to make.
Wherever you choose to get married, a spring wedding should reflect on the rejuvenation and expectation of the season with soft hues and delicate textures. Pastel pink, lavender and green can be incorporated through dresses, suits, bouquets and food to bring the season inside.
Building a Pinterest ‘mood board’ will help you focus on the spring styles you like, and look carefully at brochures and social media to see what has been done previously at your wedding venue. Working with your venue, whether it be a marquee which provides a blank canvas for you to dress. or somewhere pre-prepared, is important to see how your theme can be incorporated and what might not be as easy to achieve.
According to the Pantone Colour Institute, the colour of 2017 is ‘greenery’ and this certainly reflects the seasonality of spring with images of new growth and new life.
With simple greenery bouquets also becoming increasingly popular, this can be a great backdrop to other colour choices for decorations and favours. The contrast between bright vivid green and delicate pastel colours will create a fresh and vibrant palette, evoking sensations of spring even if the weather isn’t as glorious as you would like, or you are having an indoor wedding.
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