Charlotte Balbier

awesome wedding photography: darren mack

October 21st, 2015 | Julia Braime

Darren Mack Wedding Photography (54)

This morning on the wedding blog we are very happy to introduce the one and only Ed Sheeran. Oh, sorry, we mean darren mack!  Darren is the professional wedding photographer who always gets mistaken for the flame haired crooner, but we think he might be as good at wedding photography as Ed is at crooning.

Let’s meet the man behind the lens.

All images by Darren Mack.

Darren Mack Wedding Photography (23)

How did you get into wedding photography? 

I was first asked to shoot a friend’s wedding nearly 5 years ago and it was amazing! I fell in love with photographing people that day. I’d done a few years at college studying photography, but only shooting still subjects and landscapes was getting a bit boring.

Darren Mack Wedding Photography (22)

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer? 

How awesome it is! I literally get to go to the happiest days of peoples’ lives, and be there while they party with their friends and family and basically have an amazing time. After that, I get to blow the couple’s minds with my awesome pictures of their special day. Whats not to love!?

Darren Mack Wedding Photography (25)

How do you get couples to relax on the day? 

I’m a super nice guy. I think all of my couples will vouch for me that they probably felt relaxed within the first few minutes of me being there. Usually we have met beforehand or Skyped, so we are practically already BFF’s. I’m not some unapproachable creep in the corner with a camera. I’m your best photographer bud, that’s there to capture you being amazing.

Darren Mack Wedding Photography (7)

Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken? 

Nobody likes their picture being taken! I don’t like my picture being taken! I swear I make it so easy. I’ll have you getting all cosy with your loved one, playing daft games and just having a laugh rather being all posey and cheesy.

Darren Mack Wedding Photography (1)

What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures? 

Whatever she wants to! If she feels great, then she will look great.

Darren Mack Wedding Photography (19)

Any really memorable weddings that you have captured? 

This is gonna sound so corny, but I genuinely love every wedding I have photographed. They are all so amazing and wonderful, and yet so different! From tipis to manor houses, I LOVE them all!

Any funny stories to share?

I literally get called Ed Sheeran at every wedding I photograph. No joke. Sometimes I get serenaded. Its nice.

Darren Mack Wedding Photography (5)

What sets you apart from other wedding photographers? 

I bloody LOVE my job. I can’t speak for all other wedding photographers, but I genuinely have a passion for what I do. I think its amazing to be included in such wonderful days, so I put all of my effort into doing the best job.

Darren Mack Wedding Photography (4)

What can a couple who book you expect on the day? 

I’m going to be your best bud. I’m going to be approachable for all of your guests. I’ll get the pictures of you guys looking awesome, and I’ll get the shots of your guests having an amazing time and being natural. I’ll be there when you want me to arrive, and I’ll leave when you get sick of my face.

What is included in your “package”? 

All day coverage has no time limits!

500+ images on USB;

A private online gallery with password;

Some sexy prints from the day;

Full printing rights;

A slideshow of your pictures set to music; and

Travel through mainland U.K is included.

angrove, park, yorkshire, wedding, photographer, middlesbrough, north east

Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers? 

Yes! Im offering an awesome deal for Brides Up North Readers, just get in touch and let me know you found me through the blog.

Darren Mack Wedding Photography (21)

How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or see more examples of your work? 

Through my sexy website of course:

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

simply splendid. a bespoke gown for a country wedding at calke abbey – jane & lee

October 19th, 2015 | Julia Braime

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (69)

Today’s real wedding couple chose their venue because it provided something that little different – and looking at their images, we can see why it ticked boxes.

Rustic and minimalist, with a modern edge, the white wash brick structure with beautiful exposed beams, does a lot of the talking for itself. Its natural charm was further enhanced by Lee and Jane with the use of lots of twinkling fairy lights, which draped elegantly across the ceiling.

Opting to keep things simple, they then just added a few simple decorative touches here and there in white gypsophila and rustic bird cages to complete their dream setting. It certainly gets the thumbs up from us.

Images by James Tracey Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (8)

jane says: We got engaged on 3rd July in the New Forest at a beautiful hotel called The Pig. It a beautiful sunny evening and the night before my 40th birthday, needless to say lots of champagne was consumed!

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (12)

We set the date for Friday 19th June as we’d always wanted an early summer wedding. Dates at our chosen venue, The Ridings School at Calke Abbey, Derby, were quite limited so rather than change the timing of it, we opted for a Friday.

We chose The Ridings School as it was a little different from your run-of-the-mill wedding venue and was something that we could put our own stamp on.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

Overall we just wanted a relaxed wedding day with a country/rustic feel to it. We also wanted to involve as many friends as possible in the planning to make it more personal.

We decided to stick to a very simple colour scheme of green and white to complement the theme.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (26)

I chose to have a fairly traditional dress, which was made Charlotte Thompson Bridal. I picked elements of different dresses which I loved and she made me a bespoke gown which I absolutely loved!

On the wedding day Claire Elizabeth did my makeup. She used an airbrush technique, which meant it stayed on all day. My hair was done brilliantly by a good friend of mine.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (32)

Lee wore a suit from Ted Baker and the groomsmen’s suits were hired from Moss Bros. Our bridesmaids completed the wedding party in pretty dresses from Coast.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

James Tracey was our fabulous photographer. We already knew him through friends and so we had seen his excellent work.  We booked him early on to make sure he was available on our day.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (49)

All the wedding flowers were sourced and arranged by my best friend and chief bridesmaid, Claudia. We had a mixture of simple gypsophila and green roses to fit the colour scheme.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (53)

We loved the giant ‘love’ letters that we had seen about so decided to hire some for the wedding, which looked great in the photos. We also had lots of fairy lights and some decorative bits and pieces on the table.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (58)

As favours we gave our guests personalised paper bags filled with heart-shaped sweets.

We had a beautiful wedding cake which was made by my mum and multi-talented friend, Claudia. Mum made the huge bottom tier and top tier, which were fruit cake, and Claudia made the middle tiers and iced it all. I loved it!

The rest of the food on the wedding day was taken care of by Black Peppermint and was absolutely delicious.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (63)

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (68)

To provide the entertainment we hired The Serious Hat Band. I had heard them before when I went to a party on the Isle of Wight. They were brilliant and kept the dance floor full all night long.

We also made our own photo booth by hiring a large frame so guests could have their photos taking whilst posing in it using a Polaroid camera. They were then asked to stick a photo in our guest book to provide memories of the day.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (74)

We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue to other couples. It’s a lot different to other venues and the staff there are brilliant. It has a great feel to it!

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (80)

Looking back we couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day as we loved all of it! We didn’t stop smiling!

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (85)

For our honeymoon we went to Sri Lanka and the Maldives and then stopped off at Dubai on the way home to see some friends. It was the perfect combination of destinations and we would recommend them to other couples in search of honeymoon ideas.

An Elegant Wedding at Calke Abbey (c) James Tracey Photography (98)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to organise the big things early on and then you can really enjoy the run up to the wedding. Also, take some time out on the wedding day to spend with your new husband.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

pastels & peonies. mori Lee for an oh so pretty wedding at wynyard hall – caitlin & matthew

September 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (73)

We love pink, we adore peonies and we’ve always got room for cake – these are just a few reasons why we fell head over heels for this morning’s real wedding (as we’re sure you will too) when it landed in our inbox.

Bride Caitlin wanted an elegant shabby chic feel to her big day and so teamed cute homemade decorative items with her favourite pastel tones of lemon and dusky pink.

The result is just beautiful and it’s not just the setting that looks stunning, for the wedding party themselves are pushing the bar high in the style stakes. We love the maids’ girly full-length dresses, the guys’ smart suits and of course Caitlin’s gorgeous Mori Lee lace dress, complete with a pretty bespoke belt.

With images by the fabulous Helen Russell Photography.

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (1)

caitlin says: We got engaged at home, in our cosy little bungalow! Matthew decided to wine and dine me with a Chinese box from the supermarket (good job I love things like that!) and surrounded by candles he got down on one knee and popped the question! Matthew is not the type to make a scene in front of people in a posh restaurant, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

We set the date for Friday 10th July 2015. We were hoping it would be a perfect sunny day and luckily enough, it was!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (5)

Wynyard Hall was our chosen venue. I just loved the stately home, picturesque feel it had. The terrace out of the back had amazing views of the lake and it just felt perfect. The first time I visited I was with my mam and she loved it just as much as I did (good job Matthew liked it too!)

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (4)

The theme I had in mind was a vintage, rustic, shabby chic theme. I love all things like this and we decided to make/source as many of the decorations we could ourselves. We recycled glass jars for months on end and decorated everyone differently! I made all of the save the dates, invitations, order of services and loved every minute! Not only did this keep costs down, but it also made things feel extra special.

Our colour scheme was pale lemon and dusty pink. I loved these pastel colours as I thought they were summery but classy!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (7)

I was lucky enough to find my amazing Mori Lee dress in a lovely little family run boutique called Dobinsons of Darlington. It was a beautiful mermaid style with lace detail throughout. Initially the dress had straps and I thought it didn’t suit me, however with a few changes to make it a sweetheart neckline, it was perfect! A friend of mine made my wedding belt and I wore Kurt Geiger sandals to complete my look.

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (15)

Matthew wore a Paul Costello charcoal grey suit with faint checks from Slaters in Newcastle. He wanted a three piece suit with a waistcoat and wore a dusty pink tie, pocket watch and tan Ted Baker shoes!

All six of our bridesmaids wore gorgeous, floaty, one-shouldered, pale lemon dresses from Coast and the groomsmen wore charcoal suits, also from Slaters in Newcastle, with pale lemon ties and hessian flower shaped button holes.

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (21)

Helen Russell was our photographer. Helen was absolutely amazing, she was the best photographer we could have asked for and made everyone feel so comfortable on the day. We loved the natural photographs Helen takes and we would 100 per cent recommend her to anyone. We had our pre wedding shoot the month before which made us so relaxed and excited for the day and are over the moon with all of our photographs!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (26)

When it came to the flowers, I carried dusty pink peonies with pale lemon roses and the bridesmaids and flower girl carried the same in smaller bouquets.

We wanted to keep with the peony theme in the décor and so used the same flowers in jugs placed on pieces of wood for the centrepieces along with rustic jars and candles. We also had single peonies and carnations in jars along the aisle and on the fireplaces at Wynyard. My family helped so much with sourcing the jars and centrepieces and made the day extra special.

For the reception we also hired chiavari chairs from The Finishing Touch Company, which made the rooms look perfect!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (28)

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (69)

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (72)

As favours we gave small jam jars filled with pink alcohol for the adults and filled with sweeties for the children. Also a chocolate truffle heart for an extra treat!

Our guests were also treated to an amazing cake table, made by Bernadette from Dreamworld Cakes in Newcastle. Our wedding cake had four tiers, two being Belgian chocolate and the other two being white chocolate and raspberry, it was then decorated with rustic theme in mind with peonies and raffia. We also had Baileys chocolate and Victoria sponge mini cakes, lemon and passion fruit cupcakes, cake pops and strawberry and pistachio macaroons!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (40)

For the entertainment we decided to hire wedding pianists, Daniel Ackerley and Martin Dack, who played throughout the ceremony and right through the wedding breakfast. We also had Paul Lytton who was a fantastic magician and The Ultimate Wedding DJ for the disco. As an extra special touch we also hired large ‘C & M’ letters from Coco Luminaire and a vintage photo booth from Snaparazzi.

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (42)

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (45)

I would recommend all of ours suppliers and also our venue to other couples. Our wedding coordinator Emily made the day go as smooth as possible and I felt confident everything would go to plan! Wynyard made our rooms look amazing and all the staff were friendly and helpful. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (43)

It’s difficult to pick a favourite part of the wedding as the whole day was amazing, but I think it would be walking in to the conservatory being announced as Mr & Mrs Summerbell ready to cut the cake and have our first dance!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (77)

For our honeymoon we went to El Dorado Casitas Royale in Riveria Maya, Mexico! This place was heaven and we were so lucky so spend our honeymoon in such luxury! The restaurants were all a la carte and on the beach front, it was so relaxing and we would definitely revisit on our anniversary – one day! We are now expecting our first baby. After unexpectedly finding out on our honeymoon, we are so shocked but so excited and can’t wait for the future!

A Pretty Pastel Wedding at Wynyard Hall (c) Helen Russell Photography (78)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to stress too much about all the tiny details leading up to the wedding, and for the groom I’d say try and help take some of this stress away from the bride! I was so worried about the room looking how I imagined however the staff at the venue were so good they made it look better than I ever could have. Brides and grooms should also try to take in as much of the day as possible as it goes so fast, enjoy every minute.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

the italian lakes. a colourful wedding in windermere – julia & alex

September 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (37)

A little later than planned (we’ve been in recovery from another very busy weekend of wonderful wedding inspiration!), but worth waiting for, we bring you the super gorgeous wedding of Brides Up North reader Julia and her brand new husband Alex.  Inspired by the colours and tones of their one time Italian home, this beautiful, colourful wedding is an absolute feast for the senses.

Prepare for a Pinterest frenzy.

With beautiful images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (8)

julia says: We were living in Italy at the time we got engaged. Disguising a trip home as ‘lads university reunion’ Alex assembled the ‘Ring Squad’ – made up of his parents, brother and very lovely cousin to help choose a ring for me. The jewellers were Michael Levin of Nottingham who specialise in antique pieces, which I’d long before fallen for on a shopping trip to the city.

Living in Milan at the time, Alex had planned a trip down to Rome for my birthday – unbeknownst to me he was ducking into the toilet on the train trying to call my dad at every opportunity to ask him for permission to marry me! On our second night in Rome, Alex asked me to come out onto our balcony that was picked intentionally with its towering view of the Eternal City, as we were getting ready to go out. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife and pulled out the most beautifully sparkly ring I have ever seen. We both burst into tears. I said ‘yes’ of course and celebrated by heading out for a really romantic dinner. We were in such a bubble, it was incredible. We delayed telling our friends and family until the next day (we let our parents know), so that we could truly live in the moment that we’d created.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (6)

We knew we wanted to get married in the summer, and I was under strict instructions from Alex to avoid the football season due to our football mad families. We set our hearts on 6th June 2015 – which is actually D-Day! One week after the conclusion of the Premiership season!

We’ve had many romantic weeks and even a few New Year’s Eves in Windermere up in the Lake District over our 6 year relationship. It’s also somewhere we used to go as kids with our families before we met – weirdly enough! We both decided on the Lakes pretty early in the planning – we’re both from the North (me from Liverpool and Alex from Bradford) so we wanted somewhere meaningful but a middle ground. We saw a few venues in the area before we came across the Merewood Country House Hotel. It had the stunning views of Windermere we wanted, plus it was such a historic mansion (once the home of the Earl of Lonsdale) with beautiful interiors. Once we met Lorna (the fierce Scottish manager!) we knew it was meant to be. She went out of her way to make things happen for us and it was like coming home every time we came to visit the venue. Once we tasted the food that was it, we signed on the dotted line.

I am Catholic and it was really important to me to get married in a church. We tied the knot at Sacred Heart Catholic church in Coniston perched above the lake. It was a very Cumbrian looking slate church with gorgeous stained glass windows. Father Bob was really good at making the service enjoyable for people who weren’t religious; we had so many moving comments from guests about the ceremony and it was really inclusive.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

Our wedding day was inspired by a weekend we had in Cinque Terre when we were still living in Italy. It was a year to the day until we got married and we walked between the stunning Italian towns on the coast. They’re five fishing towns in Liguria made up of warm copper colours, with yellow and pinks, with lots of luscious plants and the sea close by. It was a very romantic weekend and I was really inspired by the tones. My flowers by Jane Thompson at Flower Design, reflected these colours and included many Italian foliage. Our wines and some of the menu also had a subtle Italian theme. I even propped my mood board for Jane in the hallway of the Merewood on the day.

Our colour scheme was coral and greens – I wanted to remind us of the stunning Mediterranean colours and vibrancy of Cinque Terre – even though we were celebrating with guests in the English Lakes, it really worked with the beauty of another special place for Alex and I.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (16)

For my wedding gown, I knew I wanted something fitted, but elegant. I tried on a few ballgowns and they really didn’t suit my curvy figure, so I narrowed my search down to sweetheart neckline with a trumpet style fit and flare gown. I went to about 5 shops with my mum and bridesmaids and left empty handed, sadly. A few weeks later, on a whim my mum and I went to Society Brides  in Liverpool city centre and they had just received Sophia Tolli’s dreamy lace Brienne and they persuaded me to try it on. It was meant to be, it was the one for me.

My veil was a two-tiered veil from Richard Designs. I wanted the drama of a chapel length veil for our church wedding but also the blusher over my face, which I could flick back and wear all day. My headpiece was from Glitzy Secrets and the flowers worked really well with the lace of my dress. My shoes and earrings were from Jenny Packham at Debenhams. The shoes were so comfortable; I danced in them all night long.

My signature scent was the spicy and oriental Calincantus by the ancient apothecary Santa Maria Novella in Florence. I wear it on special occasions now, Alex loves it too. I also wore a vintage pearl bracelet from the gorgeous antique jewellers in Nottingham which is where all our rings are from.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (22)

Alex is into his style so he knew early on that he wanted a tailored three-piece suit in navy blue. I found Michelsberg Tailors in Leeds’ Victoria Arcade on a wedding blog, and the process began. He even had a shirt tailored with his initials ‘AB’ on the cuffs. Why should the brides have all the fun?!

I bought him some solid silver cufflinks in the shape of white roses (the symbol of Yorkshire for my Yorkshire groom) from an amazing lady on Etsy called Sarah-Jane Egan based in Caerphilly. He wore black Loake’s dress shoes and a pistachio green tie from Reiss.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (24)

My three bridesmaids wore coral convertible dresses which were actually from New Look. They all wore them differently to suit their figures and they were all floor length versions. I loved how they looked with their bouquets and they swished around the dance floor in them all night. Their shoes were strappy light gold sandals from Dune and I bought them rose gold tear-drop earrings to wear on the day.

The groomsmen wore navy blue two-piece suits from Charles Trywhitt in Leeds with silk green ties with leaves on them.

Our two flower girls – one was my niece, Catherine and the other was Alex’s cousin’s little girl, Sophie – wore pretty ivory dresses and shoes from John Lewis. I made their headbands with flowers from H&M and a very interesting few hours with a glue gun in my parents’ kitchen.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (29)

The day was wonderful because the start was so chilled. In the morning myself, my mum and my three bridesmaids donned our floral robes and sipped prosecco. Lorna set up a table in the bridal suite for me and the bridesmaids to have breakfast which was lovely. It was great to start the day so relaxed and looked after. We had so much fun with utterly adorable Katie Tweedale our hairdresser for the day, and the fabulous Bridget Foster on make-up who were loving our 1990s playlist and our Liverpudlian humour!

But our (joint!) real favourite part of the day was turning around to our guests in the church as we were about to walk down the aisle to see their faces when our brother in law Richard began to play us out to ‘Match of the Day’ on his piano! No one expected it and both families are huge football fans so we got a great reaction – even some high 5s as we made our way out of the church! That was such a proud and fun moment for both of us – we literally floated out of the church.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (36)

Our guests had come from far and wide – even as far as the USA and Italy so we wanted everyone to relax. We hired a Routemaster bus from Classic Buses to collect everyone at the Merewood and take the guests to and from the church. I sourced a vintage ticket clipper for my bus geek of an Uncle Brian who was able to clip pretend tickets for everyone getting on the bus with the help of his granddaughter. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more!

I travelled to the church with my parents and my 4-year-old niece in a 1937 Rolls Royce which was fabulous and owned by the lovely Tony Henderson at Lakeland Wedding Cars. I felt no nerves travelling to the church and the scenery was really gorgeous. Alex and I then travelled back in the car to the Merewood and sipped a few glasses of bubbles in the back. We got a lot of waves and cheers from the mountain climbers and walkers en route.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (45)

Our photographer was James Tracey. He’d shot a wedding of a friend a few years back in Manchester’s Victoria Baths and I loved his style. He captured all the emotions of a wedding day and we booked him very early on in the process. Our pre-shoot in April was really fun with James, even though it was blowing a gale in Manchester, he still made us laugh and we loved the photos. On our wedding day, James brought along the lovely Daniel Lloyd Photography who assisted on the day. The two of them were really good at getting in there and getting on with things and letting us get back to our guests. We really appreciated that. I’d recommend both of them, we love the vibrancy and realness of our photographs.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (67)

My flowers were my favourite things about the day (after marrying the love of my life, of course!) We chose Jane Thompson at Flower Design early on – she’s based in Blackpool and made time for us on our flying visits back from Italy. Jane totally got what we wanted from our wedding day. In our pre-meet a few weeks before the meeting she made prototypes of my bouquet and the table settings. It was a wrench to give my prototype bouquet back!

My bouquet included coral & bowl of cream peonies, viburnum opulus, fresh lily of the valley, apricot hyacinths, olive foliage, juliet & patience roses from David Austin, white hydrangeas, sperengerii, eucalyptus, umbrella fern, sweet peas and lovely fragrant rosemary. The peonies changed throughout the day and opened up, I really loved how they looked and the scent was to die for.

All the groomsmen’s’ boutonnieres were totally different. Alex commented that his white peony looked like a scoop of gelato (ice-cream)!

In the church we had posies to match the flowers in the bouquets, tied in little jars at the pew-ends. These were then transported to the Merewood and dotted around the reception.

The Merewood’s dining tables were decorated with the gorgeous crystal cake plinths topped with relaxed designs featuring a stunning combination of roses, peonies, hydrangeas, gloriosa rothschild and sweet peas and foliage with Italian Olive foliage, with real peaches and apricots scattered about. Jane used the same flowers on the top table in a range of different glass vases and vessels, they were so pretty in the afternoon sunlght. We chose low flower displays so our guests could enjoy the Lakeland countryside from the Merewood’s huge windows.

We took lots of our flowers to our minimoon hotel which was close by and scattered them around our suite. They lasted until the end of the minimoon!

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (52)

We used the very patient Kerry from Project Pretty in Chester for our Save the Dates and invitations, the green backgrounds and coral flowers hinted at our colour scheme. Kerry also made the menus for each table which we stood up on old Prosecco corks we collected in Italy. Kerry was really easy to work with, even after our many amends on countless proofs!

I also designed the order of services for the church and my mum got these printed out in Liverpool. I collected family wedding photographs from both sets of parents of their own weddings and the weddings of their parents and they took pride of place in the hall way of the Merewood next to Alex’s Roman head which he has had since he was about 15! I also covered the J & A with special paper and glue to sit alongside these bits in the hallway of the Merewood to make it more personal.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (56)

The gold calligraphy table numbers were handmade in Texas by Tina at Better Off Wed. I loved how they looked against the flowers. We also hired gold Cheltenham chairs from Lancashire Event Hire, they tied in with the gold tones throughout the day.

I made the table plan from scratch and printed the table cards myself. I found the frame in a charity shop and painted it and bought the lace to string the tables onto it from a craft shop. The table plan sat on a really ornate gold easel from Megan at Typical Type. I loved how it turned out! We also hired a huge light up heart from Megan at Typical Type, this was really fun later on on the dancefloor and we got some great group shots after hours with it!

I also made the confetti out of coloured tissue paper and the confetti cones out of doilies which everyone used outside the church. We went bright on colour because you never know how the weather will be in the Lakes. I was really happy with the colours!

My bridesmaid Kate made the card sign which we hung on a vintage wicker picnic basket and bunting out of gorgeously pretty floral material, it looked so lovely on the day. I also bought tasseling for the sweet table and pom poms from Decopoms on Etsy which were dotted around the bar area.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (53)

Instead of favours we had a sweet table which my bridesmaid Claire organised the sweets for. She has a massive sweet tooth! We hired the jars and containers from local wedding stylist Amy Brunton at Sure to Surprise You and Amy styled the dresser with lace and pearls. I bought some peachy tasseling from Etsy to go along the sweet table.

Alex is a Yorkshire boy and one of our first dates was in Betty’s York on August 1st 2009. We decided early on that the cake would be from Betty’s, choosing between them was the hard part. In the end we went for three-tiered cake with two layers of their famous fondant fancies and the top layer was iced Swiss Sacher chocolate and apricot cake. It came with the most stunning solid silver cake stand and knife which were nearly 100 years old.

Lorna saved us two cakes and we ate these the next day in our suite with some champagne at the Gilpin and wallowed in the love.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (55)

We chose The Twentysomethings after researching and finding them online. They’re a covers band with great vocals and a trumpeter and saxophonist so they played all sorts from Prince to Daft Punk and Shaka Khan. It was really easy to work with Daniel and the band to get the set list right. Everyone danced all night, it was wonderful to see everyone letting their hair down and partying with us.

Music played a big part in our day. We had a close family friend, Richard, who is a super talented pianist play the music in the church. I entered to a really special song for both of us, the Cinematic Orchestra’s ‘To Build A Home’, and we left the church on a high with ‘Match of the Day’. It was amazing to have him play for us during these special moments.

Our first dance was to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ – they’re one of our favourite bands and we learned a fun 2 minute routine with Emma-Joy at All Steps who visited our house to teach us. Our guests loved it and it really set the tone for the night – the second song was ‘You Can Call Me Al’ for Alex! Everyone went crazy for that!

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (61)

I would whole-heartedly recommend the Merewood, it’s intimate enough to feel like home but grand enough to really make the day special. Lorna and her team quite frankly know their weddings so if something really won’t work they’ll tell you and suggest an alternative. That’s really helpful during wedding planning. They looked after every single guest and worked so hard to make everything run smoothly. Planning a wedding from aboard can be tough, but Lorna and the team at the Merewood were great over email and kept us updated on things.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (71)

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (76)

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (80)

We spent 3 romantic days at the Gilpin Lodge near Windermere in a garden suite with our private hot-tube, next to a very interested family of llamas. It was lovely to be surrounded by Jane’s flowers and to read our cards and open our gifts. We enjoyed lots of great food and some lovely spa treatments, as well as a cruise on Windermere.

Our proper honeymoon or maximoon is in October this year and we are going to India for three weeks. We’ll visit India’s spiritual centre in Rishikesh (the home of yoga), the have a few days in Delhi, then head to Agra and the Taj Mahal, then we’ll go on safari in Ranthambore and hopefully see some tigers, followed by a few nights in Jaipur (the Pink City) and Udaipur to the stunning lake. We both love India food and adventure.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (87)

Make time for each other throughout the day were you take in everything that is going on around you. It goes in the blink of an eye, so it’s important to have a few parts of the day alone to appreciate what you have achieved and what it means now for both of you. The amazingness has just begun, really.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

win your wedding photography with jemma king!

September 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Jemma King Photography (31)

Sometimes, the best things in life are the things that you didn’t plan for. We love surprises here at Brides Up North (the freebie kind of surprises, rather than the server troubles kind of surprises, of course), so that’s why we’ve collaborated with one of our shiny new Brides Up North Sponsors to run a really rather fabulous competition here on the wedding blog, on this otherwise pretty dull Thursday.

Creative wedding photographer, Jemma King is offering one lucky bride the chance to win your wedding photography for the day! Completely free. Now how about that for a bargain?

A professional photographer since 2011, Jemma says that she loves the fact that each wedding is unique, and to be there to document the story of each couple’s big day unfold is just priceless.  Now, she’s looking to work with one very special, lucky couple to give some love back your way!

Jemma King Photography (25)

jemma says: Wedding photography is such a huge responsibility, but it’s a responsibility I absolutely love to have. For me, it is the biggest honour to photograph someone’s wedding day, and I am so lucky that I get to call this my job.

Your wedding day is so special, but once the guests have gone home and the cake is eaten, all you have left are the photographs. Years down the line when you look back at those photographs I want you to relive your day over and over again. I want you to feel what you felt in that moment – whether it was excitement, nervousness or just pure happiness.

I am offering one lucky couple the chance to win their wedding photography worth over £1000 completely free!

Jemma King Photography (20)

up for grabs

– A 1-2 hour pre-wedding engagement shoot in/around the  Yorkshire area;
– A full day of wedding photography (preparations to first dance);
– All final edited high resolution images from both the wedding and engagement shoot with printing and sharing rights.

Jemma King Photography (10)

in it to win it

You can enter if you’re getting married in 2015 or 2016, and to be in with a chance of winning simply visit Jemma’s site to enter, armed with the following information (simples!):

– Your and your partner’s name;
– a photograph of the two of you together;
– your wedding date;
– your wedding venue(s);
– a little about the type of day you’re planning (plus links to your Pinterest boards if you have them);
– and what makes your wedding plans unique.

Jemma King Photography (22)

the small print

– The winners will receive an engagement shoot and a full day of wedding photography from Jemma King Photography, with a disk of 300+ high resolution, fully edited wedding images, and  25+ high resolution, fully edited engagement images.
– The closing date for entries is 31st October 2015, winners will be notified by email within 2 weeks after this date.
– The winning wedding must take place before 31st December 2016.
– The wedding can take place anywhere in the world. Reasonable transportation (and accommodation if required) costs from Hull must be covered by the winners.
– Only 1 entry per couple.
– Winners must be willing to be featured on Brides Up North.
– Jemma King reserves the right to use the wedding and engagement images for promotional purposes.
– No purchase necessary.
– No cash alternative will be offered and the judge’s decision is final.

Jemma King Photography (15)

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

sweet on you. a pretty wedding at the ashes – lisa & james

September 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (26)

Today’s real wedding captivated us as soon as it landed in the Brides Up North inbox. Not only because it’s up there with the prettiest weddings we’ve seen, but also because so much thought and love has been poured into all the different elements of the day to ensure it is both personal & pretty!

When submitting her wedding, bride Lisa said some very kind words about our blog, which she used as the main source of guidance and inspiration for planning her own big day. We are blown away with the results and are so pleased that what we post on our pretty pages is of such use to our creative and stylish brides.

Prepare to swoon (a lot)…

With images by Helen Russell Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (11)

lisa says: We got engaged all the way back in July 2013. We used to date in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, and James proposed where we used to frequent on the cliff top ‘Lover’s Walk’ overlooking the town, on one knee with an amazing vintage inspired engagement ring! It was how I’d always imagined us getting engaged, and luckily he’d had the same idea without us ever speaking about it!

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (6)

We chose July 31st as our wedding date as we wanted a weekday summer wedding and knew for family with children the summer holidays would be best. We chose to wait two years to give us enough time to save up and have the wedding we wanted without rushing things or compromising on what we wanted, which really took the pressure off! The date is also one day after my grandparents’ wedding anniversary date, so tied that in beautifully.

We came across The Ashes venue whilst searching Derbyshire wedding venues. I’m from Derby, and the place has always been special to us, as well as the Peak District and the North of England generally being stunning anyway! As soon as we walked into the ceremony barn at The Ashes for our first viewing we knew it was where we were meant to be married, and didn’t look anywhere else, it just felt right! We wanted somewhere beautiful but with a laid back and rustic feel at the same time, and The Ashes had all of that and more.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (14)

The theme naturally evolved into an English rose/country theme the more we chose! My dress started that as it’s covered in lace and chiffon roses, and the flowers followed suit. I’m so pale I’ve always been called an English Rose anyway! James works on a farm and as a tree surgeon, so lots of the country elements were inspired by him and his job, such as incorporating lots of wood (he cut all the centrepiece tree logs himself), the wheat in the boutonnieres, and the peonies, which he grows. The venue really helped complement our choice of theme. We’re quite laid back people, so things like just having the rolled up shirts and braces and mismatched bridesmaids dresses just worked for us.

We chose pale pinks and mint greens as the colour scheme to keep things natural but pretty. The venue was a great blank canvas, with lots of natural earthy wooden and stone colours, so pinks and greens stood out as soft and summery without being too over the top and distracting.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (18)

My dress was Justin Alexander style 8711, a lace ball gown with a sweetheart neckline and cathedral length train in ivory, with lace and chiffon laser cut roses. I went into Courtyard Bridal Boutique in Kettering near where we now live to try a different Justin Alexander dress, but that one just wasn’t quite ‘the one’. I chose this to try on too while we were waiting as I loved the quirkiness of the roses, and once I tried it on and came out of the dressing room I was convinced – everyone gasped and there were a few tears! The dress was the perfect combination of fairy tale wedding with a fun quirky twist that suited us well. For the evening I switched to a Chi Chi London lace midi dress from ASOS, as I knew I couldn’t run about and dance all night in my daytime one!

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (21)

James wore a pair of grey/brown tweed trousers, with a white shirt rolled up at the sleeves, brown leather braces and brown leather shoes. All the groomsmen were similar but with different braces. This was to keep with the laid back style and just to suit us. James also wanted to show off his amazing half sleeve tattoo, which had elements inspired by our engagement, and we had hoped it was going to be a hot day (we were right!) so opted to have no jackets.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (23)

The bridesmaids were all in pale pink, but all the dresses were completely different. I wanted them all to feel comfortable on the day, and we didn’t want the uniformed look of all girls being the same. This way they all got to pick a dress they felt suited them and their body types. The dresses were from Debenhams, BHS, and ASOS. The flower girl’s dress was from Monsoon, and she looked like an angelic little fairy princess!

Jenn Edwards hair and makeup team were on hand to help me and my bridesmaids complete our looks. Jenn and the team really put us at ease on the morning of the wedding. They were so professional and got to work right away making everyone look fabulous and were a great girly addition to the wedding morning, which should be a fun and girly part of the day. I would highly recommend!

On the morning of the wedding the girls and I got ready on site in the lovely Old Dairy cottage, which meant we didn’t require transport. For James, as a surprise a hired a DeLorean! This wasn’t in keeping with the theme of the day at all, but I wanted to do everything I could to make sure the day was as much about him and his loves as much as it was mine, and he does love that car! It collected him from where he was staying the night before and he was in total shock! It was great fun to have in the pictures too, and a once in a lifetime experience for him.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (25)

Our photographer was Helen Russell Photography. Choosing a photographer was one of the most, if not the most important element for us, as once the day is over the photos are what you have left to treasure. We wanted a photographer that had a slightly more artistic and soft almost vintage style, without being too over processed and cheesy, and after lots of Googling we found Helen! We had an amazing engagement shoot with her, and she was a joy to work with, so professional and creative. On the day she was like a wedding ninja, appearing everywhere at the right place at the right time to get some amazing shots. She captured some really great moments for us, and the images feel soft and romantic.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (31)

The flowers were all provided by Campbell’s Flowers in Sheffield. After finding them online and meeting the owner, Tracy, we knew they were the florist for us. They really care about creating the right flowers for your day, and have a wonderful fresh, handpicked feel to their arrangements. The bouquet was mostly roses, with hydrangeas, dahlias and peonies, and was a great mix of soft pastel colours. They also provided the flowers for my hair, which was perhaps one of my favourite elements of the day! The most beautiful big pale pink rose, with smaller foliage and tea roses – they just finished off my outfit and looked stunning.

The flowers used for decoration were also from Campbell’s. We had an assortment of vases for the centrepieces on the tables and windows to add to the relaxed feel, and Campbell’s filled them with gypsophila, roses and dahlias. It all just looked so fresh picked and colourful. They even filled our teapot and teacups on the top table which suits our love of tea so well! We had rose petals to decorate the aisle, and hydrangea petals for confetti.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (35)

Most of the decorations were handmade, and my good friend Angela really helped craft some of the more amazing decorations, such as our welcome sign, Mr & Mrs light up letters, and our amazing wreath for our ceremony. We had more than 70 meters of bunting in the reception barn, and lots of lovely handmade lace bunting in the ceremony barn too. We wanted little personal handmade touches everywhere to bring our personalities and love of crafts into the day, so we had handmade confetti cones and programme fans too.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (38)

We decided not to do favours on people’s places, as so often they seem to get left behind, so we opted to do napkins with personalised luggage tags and engraved wooden cookies with wheat and lavender for the tables, and had a separate table with homemade jams, honey, teabags and wild flower seeds for people to collect after the meal. That way guests could choose what they wanted to take home and nothing was wasted or left behind.

Our cake was from Pretty Fancy Cakes in Derbyshire. Faye at PFC was brilliant in listening to us describe our day and create a cake around that. It was four tiers of white icing, with the same lace piped on that was on my dress, icing peonies and petals, and our tattoo emblem (we have a matching LJ logo tattoo on both our wrists!). I also, as another surprise for James, had a Lego cake made with little Lego toppers – I know he loves Lego, and again wanted him to have special touches on the day that I knew would represent him and his hobbies.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (41)

The wedding breakfast food was a quite traditional, an English three course meal with ratatouille tart or salmon for starters, and a choice of chicken with a duck farce, beef with a Tio Pepe reduction, or butternut squash and pecorino crumble for mains. The dessert was a selection of three mini desserts so everyone could enjoy a bit of a variety. The food was so well presented at The Ashes – Jenkinsons were the caterers. For the drinks reception we kept it laid back and fun with Pimms with fresh fruit and fruity Old Mout ciders for the summer’s day.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (43)

As entertainment, we chose to have Dan and Jess from Replay Acoustic Duo sing throughout the day. They were a fantastic touch, as they played a great variety of non-cheesy songs from all genres with their own lovely laid back acoustic feel. Jess’ voice was angelic, and it again added to that laid back summer fun vibe.

We also had Polly’s Parlour vintage ice-cream van for an alternative to traditional canapés for the drinks reception post-ceremony. We’re big Volkswagen fans (all our tables were named after VW cars!) and Florence is such as fun and beautiful campervan. All the guests commented on how tasty and refreshing the ice-cream was, and it looked amazing in the photos, so colourful and cute.

We also chose to put on some lawn games on the grassy area and hired some huge light up ‘love’ letters for the dance floor. These were a great focal point for the day and the evening, especially as we opted to have an iPod disco rather than a DJ. Our first dance, which was a waltz (as we ballroom dance anyway) looked lovely against the sparkle of the letters.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (44)

We would definitely recommend The Ashes venue to other couples. First of all the location is stunning, the views are breath-taking and it’s immaculate inside and out! With its stone walls and wooden beams it’s a great blank canvas, no crazy carpets or curtains to try and work around, it’s just yours to play with! The other brilliant thing is that they set everything up and pack everything away for you – I can’t tell you how much of a help that was, you can just sit back and enjoy arriving on the day to everything being decorated, and at the end of the night can leave without a worry!

My favourite part of the day was our first look shoot. We knew it was something we wanted to do for a while, and we were so right to do it. It was probably the only part of the day that we got to experience just for us. No crowds of people watching. We got to keep the moment of seeing each other for the first time for ourselves, and weren’t at either ends of an aisle. We got to hug, kiss and high five and say how we felt before all the madness began! It really helped calm our nerves pre-ceremony, and made us feel like we went into the ceremony already united. We also got some lovely photo and video moments from it. I’d recommend a first look shoot to anyone considering it, as it really is a special moment to share.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (50)

We chose to visit Sri Lanka for our honeymoon. We wanted somewhere that was paradise with beauty and beaches, but also plenty to see and do, as we can’t sit still for long! This worked really well, as we spent some days lazing on the beach and by the pool with a good book and a cocktail, and some days seeing Sri Lanka, riding elephants, visiting tea and spice gardens, seeing the wildlife on boat tours, and taking in the culture. The weather and surroundings were incredible, and the people so friendly. We really got chance to unwind.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Helen Russell Photography (48)

My top tip for other Brides Up North, apart from the first look shoot, would be to really enjoy the planning and the lead up to the wedding. The wedding day is just a few hours and goes so quick, so try to really stop and enjoy the time choosing lovely things with your suppliers, crafting those special details, trying on that dress, and having the family and friends time. There won’t be another time in your life like it, and it’s important to enjoy the wedding as a journey and an experience, not just for the day.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone