December 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Initially setting out with no set wedding theme, the inspiration for today’s featured celebration was triggered by the couple’s choice of venue. Reminding Aimee and Simon of a swanky speakeasy, the stunning art nouveau style of The Belle Époque in Cheshire, provided all the bridal inspo this pair could need for their special day.
In preparation for the party to come, the bride and groom named each table after a gin or whisky cocktail, placing their guests’ names into corks to create place settings, and also treated everyone to a shot of elderflower gin, sloe gin or whisky.
It wasn’t all about the tipples though – there are plenty of wonderful details and throwbacks to look out for, including a kitsch VW campervan and old vinyl – a quirky guestbook idea if ever we saw one. As for the chalkboard style cake – this is simply divine! We’ll pass the blog over to Aimee now though to talk us through all the fabulous day…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Slice of Pie Photography.
aimee says: We got engaged in Venice, in September 2014. Simon later told me that he had planned to propose at Christmas but brought it forward when we booked Venice. We had been out to dinner that night when Simon suggested heading back to the hotel early. I was initially reluctant, as I wanted to soak up as much as Venice as I could but was easily persuaded when he said there would be cake, prosecco and a bubble bath! Whilst relaxing in the bath (feeling totally spoilt at this point!) he gave me his iPod and asked me to listen to a song he had recorded. I’d heard him play guitar many times before but had never heard him sing. He had written the most beautiful song about our relationship. The last line was ‘so Aimee will you be my wife?’ At this point Simon had made his way back into the bathroom and was down on one knee. He had even been to my parents’ house and collected the ring box that my grandma’s engagement ring was in because he knew how much I cherished her. It was perfect and to say I was surprised was an understatement – I had absolutely no idea!
We tied the knot on Sunday 7th August 2016. We’d both decided early on that we’d like to get married in the summer and that date was available.
The ceremony took place at St Mary the Virgin Church in Leigh, which is our local church. Simon’s mum used to ring the bells there when she was a young girl.
We chose The Belle Époque as the venue for the reception. We both wanted something a little different from your traditional wedding venue. Within seconds of visiting The Belle Époque we gave each other a look and we knew it was the right choice for us.
Initially we didn’t set out to have a theme and just wanted our wedding to be filled with things that we both liked. However, we were inspired by the art nouveau style of The Belle Époque and how it reminded us of an old speakeasy so we definitely styled a lot of our wedding around this.
We didn’t set a specific colour scheme. We just wanted soft colours that complemented each other. In the end it was a mixture of blues, greys, pinks and purples. We actually had lots of compliments afterwards about how well everything matched!
August 30th, 2017 | Julia Braime
This morning on the blog, we’re delighted to be catching up with one of our fabulous Sponsor photographers, Yorkshire-based Jenny Maden.
A self-confessed “softie”, Jenny loves capturing every element of a big day; from the thought-out details and styling, to the true emotions and expressions of those involved.
Summing up her style as natural and relaxed, Jenny prides herself on making couples feel totally at ease so they barely even notice her capturing their day.
Here to tell us more about her passion for photography (and romance) is the lady herself…
When did you first start photographing weddings and what was it that attracted you to the industry?
jenny says: I’ve been photographing weddings on a full-time basis since 2014. I love photographing people and wedding days are so full of opportunities to capture expression and emotion.
How would you describe your style of photography?
My style is very relaxed. When I’m working with my couples, they are generally chatting and laughing throughout, either with me or with each other. So much so that many couples tell me that they almost forget I’m photographing them. As a result, I achieve images that capture ‘you’.
I also constantly watch the light, the image composition and the angle in which I’m shooting, to ensure that the final images are polished and flattering – as well as natural.
What is it that you love most about your job?
There are so many things I love about being a wedding photographer!
I love getting to know my couples before the big day; getting a feel for their personalities, how they like to spend their time, what they have planned for the big day etc. I’ve stayed in contact with many of my couples, long after their weddings, often meeting them again to photograph their growing families.
I just love weddings! The dress, the flowers, the jewellery, the shoes, the table décor, the cake, the food and drink, the venue, bunting, games on the lawn, musicians…you name it. Sometimes couples incorporate quirky and unique touches into their wedding day, which I’ve perhaps not photographed before, which is a real treat for me.
Lastly, and I think perhaps my upmost favourtite thing, about being a wedding photographer, is capturing the emotion of the day; happiness, laughter and love. The feelings between the bride and groom are so evident, but the love between them and their parents, siblings and friends, is so clear to see too. I get to witness this close-hand and document it. Being a hopeless softie with a passion for photographs, this is an absolute pleasure!
In your opinion what are the most important things for a couple to consider when deciding which photographer to book for their wedding?
I strongly suggest you review their portfolio of work, to ensure that their style of work is to your taste. I also think it’s useful to meet as it’s really important that you feel at ease with your chosen photographer.
What is the feedback like from your couples?
I’ve had some lovely feedback, which I hugely value. Instead of me paraphrasing, take a peek for yourselves here.
Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day to capture?
I genuinely love the whole day. The bridal prep, the ‘first look’, the ceremony itself, the speeches, the first dance, but I also really love those quiet moments when I take the bride and groom off for a few pictures away from the guests. It’s often the only part of the day that they are alone together, and it’s a really special time that I get to capture.
July 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
You will often hear us remark on how imperative we consider a professional wedding photographer to be, in order to capture and record your big day, with fabulous images to look back on forevermore. That said, we do totally understand that some couples are camera shy – or downright terrified of having their photo taken!
There is a compromise however – a pro photographer that specialises in natural and relaxed shots that are discreetly captured throughout the day with the couple in question barely even noticing. One such photographer to embody these skills, is our brand-new Sponsor, Robbie Venn of Venn Photography.
Based in the North West, Robbie takes a photo-journalistic approach to weddings capturing the “real moments” of the day while remaining unobtrusive. This work ethic results in honest and natural photos with at-ease brides and grooms enjoying their special day, and the album of beautiful images that follows.
Tell us a little about your background and how long you have been in wedding photography for?
robert says: I first became involved in photography after I left school in 1999 and went on to complete a HND in photography; this was in the days of analogue photography and I have always continued to take film pictures for my personal use.
After becoming a digital photography convert I travelled around Asia for six months, doing a lot of street photography and portraits which was a great learning experience. Back from travelling, a friend asked me to photograph their wedding as a favour and I ended up really enjoying the experience. That’s how I started my career in wedding photography and I haven’t looked back since!
What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?
I’m really interested in the fact that you have to have so many skills as a photographer; from being a good documentary photographer to capture all the candid moments in the day to being like a fashion or portrait photographer for when you have time with the couple to shoot some more artistic couple shots and even a product photographer when photographing the details like the flowers and the ring. I believe you can really test yourself as a photographer as there is so much involved in wedding photography.
And what is it about your job that you love?
Well just taking photos really! I love the fact I have free rein to take photos all day and in such a nice setting. Being able to share people’s wedding day with them is great, such a nice time to share with people and to document their wonderfully creative days.
How would you describe your style of wedding photography?
I see myself more of a documentary wedding photographer, I like to keep things natural and un-posed, I’ll try to blend into the background for the day and make myself unnoticed and capture those candid moments. I also use natural light mainly, which adds a particular look to photos. I like to give the couples simple, good documentary photos that will stand the test of time when they look back at them in ten, twenty or thirty years’ time and they will help reminisce about the day.
What do your clients love about your approach, service and images?
The feedback has been great so far, people particularly love the natural documentary style of photos which I present to them. The main comments have been about how I capture the emotions perfectly which is something I’m really happy with, and how calm and relaxed I am to work with. The wedding day can be stressful to plan and also can be on the day so I like to be as organised as I can to make the day go smoothly.
What is the top piece of advice you would give to camera shy couples?
I’d say that you should try to have some fun with each other, I like to keep things natural and un-posed during the couple shots and this creates a more natural image. It’s better to try and forget about the camera (and me) and concentrate on each other. Also, I try and be as discreet as I can throughout the day so the couples usually don’t notice me taking their photo so that’s not a problem!
June 29th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
This wonderful Bonfire Night wedding gives us all the fuzzy feels – think hearty food, toffee apples, sparklers and a striking orange colour scheme.
Brave bride Bekki got hands-on with her rustic theme, creating delicate paper roses and assembling glass jars, logs slices, candles and greenery, with a little help from friends and family.
With so much gorgeousness it seems wrong to highlight one feature – but please, do me a favour and check out that plait. So. Many. Hair. Goals. You can thank us later.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves.
bekki says: It was difficult for Thomas to organise a proposal without me getting suspicious as we’d recently had our first son, Robbie, and I didn’t ever want to leave him. So instead of organising something big, I came downstairs from putting Robbie to bed to find the room lit with candles and a big bunch of flowers. Thomas pulled me into his arms and asked me if I would marry him. The best part is, before he popped the question the only thought that ran through my head was, “Whatever this is, it better be worth him lighting my display candles!”
We were married on Saturday 5th November 2016. We only ever considered an autumn or winter wedding and we thought it would be nice to have it as close to the anniversary of us becoming a couple as we could. It just happened that the closest weekend our venue could manage was Bonfire Night. It’s one of our favourite nights of the year; we love fireworks and the atmosphere so it pretty much made up our mind!
We had both our ceremony and reception at Santo’s Higham Farm, Derbyshire. It was the first ever hotel we’d stayed at together. We found the room online at the last minute for my 18th and as soon as we got there we both said it would make an amazing wedding venue. And so we returned some years later for a consultation and they couldn’t do enough for us.
We wanted a rustic, autumnal feel to our wedding to match the season and so we combined natural wood, logs and ivy with hints of sparkle and glitter to tie in with Bonfire Night and the fireworks. I got crafty and aimed to make as much as I could myself, with the help of friends and family. Thank goodness for Pinterest!
Orange and grey were our chosen colours. Think autumn leaves. They tied in perfectly with the date. We also knew very few couples choose orange as a wedding colour scheme and we liked how uncommon it was.
When I first went dress shopping I was adamant I wasn’t going to have a sweetheart neckline or a big dress but otherwise I had no real idea what I wanted. After trying on close to 50 dresses in various shops I visited a fourth shop – a spur of the moment trip to The Bridal Suite. I tried on every dress I liked but none of them were ‘the dress’ so the consultant picked one instead. I instantly screwed my nose up at it but agreed to try it on. I came out of the changing room to see my maid of honour crying! They added the veil and I knew it was the one – sweetheart neckline and all! Finally!
The ladies who helped pamper me for my wedding day were incredible, too. I had my nails done at DLR Beauty and Nails at the 3D Clinic in Pinxton and Paige White worked her magic on my makeup.
Laura from Shillitto’s Hair put up with the worst as she had to deal with me changing my mind on how I wanted mine and the bridesmaids’ hair the day before the wedding without the opportunity for another trial. Despite this, she did an amazing job on us all and we received compliments all round.
We wanted to incorporate tweed into Tom’s wedding outfit so teamed a tweed waistcoat with a sharkskin blue suit from Moss, finished off with light tan brogues and an orange tie.
Our bridesmaids wore Little Mistress grey maxi dresses with an embellished top while the groomsmen wore the same suit as Tom but with the matching waistcoat rather than tweed.
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May 22nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
If we were to describe today’s gorgeous real wedding, we’d go for ‘classic with a twist’. Maybe it’s the Spanish design of bride Sarah’s Jesus Peiro gown, or perhaps the sherbet colour pop of her lemon and pink bouquet, but this is English elegance with an extra oomph.
Mottram Hall provided a timeless backdrop with exquisite gardens and the venue was dressed with candelabras and roses, roses and more roses.
But despite their fine surroundings and sophisticated styling, today’s couple knew how to get their party on – just take a look at those dance floor photos!
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown.
sarah says: We got engaged in May 2015 in our hotel room overlooking Lake Windermere. Tom got down on one knee as we were getting ready for dinner.
Our wedding date was fixed for 25th March 2017 – we’d always wanted a spring wedding.
We decided to host our wedding at Mottram Hall for both the ceremony and the reception. Tom is local to Cheshire and the hotel is in such a wonderful setting. In fact, we knew as soon as we arrived to view it that it was ‘the one’. Tom is a keen golfer so the prospect of a pre-wedding game on the Friday was an added bonus!
Our theme was classic and elegant with plenty of roses to match the beauty of Mottram.
Colour-wise, we went with mostly pink. We picked the bridesmaids dresses first and everything else followed.
My dress was a Jesus Peiro in white lace with sleeves from The White Closet in Didsbury. I loved the intricate lace and always wanted a wedding dress with sleeves. The White Closet had lots of beautiful dresses but I couldn’t stop thinking about the Jesus Peiro, so I knew it was the one! Boutique Alterations in Bramhall did a great job making sure it fit perfectly.
Our three bridesmaids wore floral dresses from Coast.
April 19th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Spring might have finally sprung (can you feel it?!) but this morning we’re stepping into the romantic backdrop of Eaves Hall in Lancashire, for today’s sublime winter wedding.
Deciding on a timeless white and silver colour scheme complemented by plenty of twinkling fairy lights and a pared back setting, Sally and Chris’s wedding is the epitome of elegance and class. Add in some rather pretty gypsophila flowers, a hint of glitter and some delicious cupcakes and we think you’ll be swept away by Sally’s recount of their special day.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves Weddings.
sally says: We got engaged in 2015, while in New York for Christmas. On the evening of Christmas Day, Chris took me to the Rockefeller tree and proposed there – it was the best trip of our lives.
We got married a year later, on Christmas Eve. Christmas is a special time for us, with it being the time we got together and also when we got engaged, so we thought, why not? We couldn’t think of anything better than being with all of our friends and family for Christmas.
We got married at Eaves Hall, Lancashire. We instantly fell in love with it when we visited. It is so unique and beautiful, and it makes the perfect Christmas venue.
We chose a winter white and silver theme, complemented by lots of Christmassy fairy lights.
I purchased my dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Barrowford (now moved to Colne). I instantly fell in love with the gown because of the fabric. I wanted lace and I could have a lace top to go over it. I took this off for the night do, so it looked like two different dresses.
The bridal party stayed at the Eaves Hall lodge the night before the wedding while Chris hired a Range Rover from one of his friends to arrive at the venue in.
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