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pearls of wedding planning wisdom: top tips from real brides up north

October 19th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Samantha & Alex

Given the popularity of this priceless post we have allocated a quarterly yearly slot to round up the very best nuggets of advice from the real brides that have graced our pretty Brides Up North pages over the last few months.

For these are the ladies fully in the know of the beautiful, if not at times bumpy, wedding planning journey that you brides-to-be have ahead of you as you pull together all the elements of your dream day.

From budget and timeline tips to advice on the venue, theme and supplier choices, our certified newlyweds share where it’s worth investing your time, money and stress and when it’s time to just full on Frozen-style let it go!

Within their clued-up comments, we’re thrilled to hear how we at Brides Up North have helped to play a part in the planning of their gorgeous celebrations; from taking inspiration from our beautiful featured real weddings, to using our handy online directory to locate top local suppliers and also visiting our Luxury Wedding Shows that we host at wow-worthy venues across the north, directly linking couples and industry pros to take care of every wedding detail while providing an abundance of inspiration.

We hope you too will use and benefit from such fabulous resources as well as the priceless knowledge that our fully-fledged brides are about to impart as they complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…”

Click on the links to see each wedding in full.

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Beach chic: Bespoke Emma Beaumont for a dreamy Lake Como wedding – Samantha & Alex

samantha says: My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to try to keep everyone happy; it is your day, so it’s the only time you can be truly selfish. We worried too much about everyone else throughout the whole process. Funnily enough, my best friend gave me the same advice! I would also say relax and don’t let the small things on the days leading up to it, and on the day, get to you. So many small things did not go exactly to plan for us, but it doesn’t dampen your mood on the day. The most important thing is having your friends and family around you – all the laughter, happy tears, dancing, eating good food and celebrating while they watch you marry your best friend. It is the most amazing day, no matter what.

Linsey & Tom

Glamping with love. A DIY wedding at Woodthorpe Hall – Linsey & Tom

linsey says: Don’t worry about the weather – you can’t control it so try not to waste time stressing about it. Think about how to keep the day interesting and enjoyable for your guests. For us, we knew that if we could see our family and friends enjoying themselves then this would make the day even more perfect! In the run up to the wedding, I also spent a lot of time looking at the real weddings section on Brides Up North – it was so helpful to get tips from other brides and to get a feel for the types of things that we wanted to incorporate into our wedding day.

Stacey & Wesley

Vintage chic: Justin Alexander for a 1920s wedding at Eaves Hall – Stacey & Wesley

stacey says: Don’t settle for anything less than you want. If there are suppliers you really want, get them booked in as soon as you can. We knew the suppliers we wanted to make our day special and each one made it perfect.

Emma & Martin

Labour of love: Stella York for a rustic wedding at Thief Hall – Emma & Martin

emma says: Definitely get a videographer! We were unsure for a long time but so pleased we did in the end. The guest messages definitely made us chuckle! Also, take time out to be on your own, just the two of you. We had a 25-minute journey between the ceremony and reception that meant we had some time alone before greeting all of our guests. Finally, when looking for suppliers, the online directory on Brides Up North was extremely helpful. I followed Brides up North on Instagram and took a lot of inspiration from the real weddings section too.

Natalie & Tom

Floral fancy: Enzoani for a dusky pink wedding at Middleton Lodge – Natalie & Tom

natalie says: Enjoy every minute of the planning. I never really understood why brides were stressed before the wedding. I really enjoyed the whole process. I particularly liked choosing the flowers and also liked creating all of the finishing touches.

RW - Zoe & Tom

Relaxed romance: Blush & navy for a wedding weekend at Silverholme Manor – Tom & Zoe

zoe says: Think about what wedding you want. Don’t worry about what other people will think. I know that people thought we were ‘doing too much’ or ‘doing the wrong things’ because they couldn’t see the bigger picture but, in the end, everyone could see it all came together and was worth it. I like to be organised and have things written down, so make lots of lists, talk to lots of different suppliers and don’t rush into booking the first one you see. Just remember it’s all about you as a couple and it will come through in your day.

Sophie & Rob

Colour pop petals: A bloom-filled wedding at Priory Cottages, Yorkshire – Sophie & Rob

sophie says: Give yourself lots of time the few days before the wedding to get things sorted – there were lots of last-minute bits we were running around doing and I was pretty organised, so it’s always worth having the time as a contingency.

Caroine & Nathan

Castle & ceilidh: Morilee for a spectacular Scottish wedding in Edinburgh – Caroline & Nathan

caroline says: Trust your suppliers. You’ll have chosen them for a reason, so let them do their thing! We also put them all in touch with each other, which meant they could chat to each other without us being the middle man – much quicker! My other tip is to do a full ‘run of show’ and contact sheet and give it to everyone who is part of your day. Then everyone is kept in the loop and you don’t get plagued with a million questions in the run-up to the big day.

Lucie & Harry

Vintage elegance. A picture-perfect wedding at Denton Hall, North Yorkshire – Lucie & Harry

lucie says: Choose a venue that suits you as a couple. I would say that picking and choosing the bits that actually matter to you is really important, and also helps you to prioritise and budget. At the end of the day, the most important part is the vows and making sure you’re in an environment that feels right to celebrate with your nearest and dearest. The rest of it is detail, and no amount of flowers or hours spent agonising over stationery colours will matter as much to you both on the day itself. Also, during the planning, we went to several Brides Up North wedding fairs at Denton Hall, which were a very handy way to catch up with all our suppliers and generally think about where we wanted to display things on our day. I visited the Brides Up North website too. I didn’t really do overwhelming amounts of research, but for me looking at real weddings on the blog was the best way to get inspiration or to think of extra details. It’s also a great way to track down tried and tested suppliers.

Sarah & Greg

Metallics & peonies. A bespoke gown for an elegant wedding at Dorfold Hall – Sarah & Greg

sarah says: Make sure you make time for yourself and invest in a photographer you trust to take great pictures and who you would want to hang out with for 12 hours! Also, make whatever decisions feel right for the two of you. Changing my dress with three months to go felt like a crazy thing to embark on, but it was the best decision I made – I felt a million dollars!

Rachel & Paul

Silver sparkle: Morliee for an intimate wedding at Styal Lodge – Rachel & Paul

rachel says: Get the big things booked in as soon as possible; you are therefore more likely to get the suppliers you want before they get booked up and you have a good idea of how much everything is going to cost well in advance. We wouldn’t recommend a two-year engagement like we had but it was the time we needed to save up for everything we wanted; it was worth it, but it did get a little stressful thinking of the wedding for two whole years. Also, don’t worry about getting around all your guests on the day – just take everything in and enjoy the moment. The only thing we wish we’d had that we didn’t was a live band for the reception.

Emma & Marc

Story of love. A rustic barn wedding at Owen House, Cheshire – Emma & Marc

emma says: Throughout the wedding planning process, I visited Brides Up North to look for local suppliers and read the real weddings with a similar theme so I could get more ideas on what we wanted our wedding to look like. Myself and my maids of honours also visited a wedding fair in Leeds, held by Brides Up North, which we fully enjoyed, particularly sampling the cakes and prosecco on offer!

Katy & Greg

Country charm: Jenny Packham for a homespun Cheshire wedding – Katy & Greg

katy says: Get people to help you, don’t try to do everything yourself! People helped us with all sorts – the wedding playlist, teaching us to dance, making the cake – you name it! Not only does it take some of the stress away, but everyone feels a part of your wedding, which makes it even more special. We got a group of us together to make the decorations about six weeks before the wedding. It was a great way to power through making them all and we had a lovely day spending time together getting excited for the big day. Also, if you’re going on your honeymoon straight afterwards, make sure you have the first few days to just relax, recover and enjoy being newlyweds. We love packing loads into our trips, but boy did we need a few days to just veg out on the beach after it all. It’s more emotionally exhausting than you realise!

Alex & Alex

English Country Garden: Rime Arodaky for a summer tipi wedding at Brinkburn – Alex & Alex

alex says: Enjoy every single part of the planning process. It’s a cliché but the day itself will go by in flash – it may not even go to plan (although we were lucky that ours did) – but the wedding process is so much more. Enjoy your engagement, searching for venues, meeting with suppliers, dress shopping, the hens and stags; it’s all part of it, so enjoy every second.

Lucy & Christopher

Especially for you. A thoughtful tipi wedding in Yorkshire – Lucy & Christopher

lucy says: Having a DIY wedding was much more challenging than we anticipated, mainly in terms of building an infrastructure around the effort and ensuring the costs for this don’t spiral. So, if you do something similar, make sure you talk through with your marquee/ tipi provider what they require in terms of electricity and water, and how they can support you in this area of your planning. There are so many things to think about, from how you can facilitate your caterer, and whether you need a generator, through to organising suitable toilets. Totem Tipi were amazing in helping us to understand all of this and without this level of advice we would have been struggling.

Holly & James

Sweet loving. Amanda Wyatt for urban wedding in Sheffield – Holly & James

holly says: Do exactly what you want to do on your day – just because it doesn’t fit the ‘regular mould’ of a wedding day doesn’t make it any less special. Early in your planning, sit down together and work out what your top priorities are for your day and keep those as your focus.

Emma & Josh

All you need is love. Stella York for a stylish barn wedding in the Lake District – Emma & Josh

emma says: Accept help from people. There were so many family and friends who helped with different aspects of our day. We couldn’t have done it without them and they made our day even more special. Also, there were also some aspects of our day that were a complete surprise to us. We hadn’t seen the wedding cake, we’d given Milly the florist free reign over the flowers and the decorations, and it was so lovely as the bride and groom to have some surprises waiting for us at the venue, rather than knowing every detail inside out.

Rebecca & Joshua

Arriba los novios! A Mexican fiesta at Yorkshire Wedding Barn – Rebecca & Joshua

rebecca says: The Brides Up North site gave us a great starting point when searching for suppliers. The main element we found useful though was definitely the Brides Up North wedding fairs; it’s important to meet your suppliers in person as the people you work with are often far more influential to your day than the products they offer.

Ashleigh & Rhys

Where the heart is. Stella York for an elegant wedding at Soughton Hall – Ashleigh & Rhys

ashleigh says: Start getting ready early on the day of the wedding! The only time I felt any stress or nerves was whilst getting ready in case I was late! My other top tip would be to take in every moment and make a mental note. I got told that so many times before the big day and now I think back and remember so many lovely details.

Charlotte & Jamie

Peonies & prosecco. Suzanne Neville for a sophisticated wedding at Thornton Manor – Charlotte & Jamie

charlotte says: If you are planning a fairly large wedding and know you are going to have a lot going on, get a wedding planner. If you are as meticulous as me, having someone else also with an eye for detail takes a huge weight off your mind on the day. Our day definitely would not have run as smoothly if we didn’t have Helen Eriksen involved. We also found Brides Up North helpful when looking up local suppliers for our day.

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Your Wedding, Only Better! Supplier Showcase: Pomp & Ceremony Wedding Planning PLUS 10% DISCOUNT

May 17th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon I am proud to introduce two lovely ladies (who also happen to be able to plan a wonderful wedding or two) to the pages of Brides Up North. These girls are wedding planning maestros who can bring their expertise to your own wedding day and in the meantime are full of hints and tips for the DIY bride. Lets meet Caroline and Claire of Pomp & Ceremony. They know weddings, that’s for sure!

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All images courtesy of Jeff Ascough with thanks.

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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How did Pomp & Ceremony begin?  What is your background and training?

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Pomp & Ceremony was officially launched in September 2010 after much preparation. We are both from marketing, PR, and events backgrounds so in terms of training we were used to running events. We did however make sure that we took a course to specialise in weddings to make sure that we had everything covered. This was fantastic and fuelled our creativity and inspiration for our wedding events. We share a passion for creating bespoke and beautiful events that reflect each of our couples and also love the organisational side of things ensuring that everything is executed perfectly – a little nutty but it makes us tick!

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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Tell us about your wedding planning services?  What different packages do you offer?

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We have three main packages that we offer to couples which we feel suit the needs of most people. Full Planning which involves our assistance from the beginning to the end of the process, mood board concepts, sourcing suppliers, budget, negotiation, timeline and basically guiding the couple through the process then being there on the day to ensure that it all runs smoothly. Preparation Planning is suited to those who have booked their main suppliers but who are looking for some assistance to sort out some remaining items and décor to make sure that it is just right. On the Day Coordination is popular with those who have planned the day themselves but want to relax on the day itself safe in the knowledge that they have professionals coordinating suppliers, helping to set-up spaces and making sure that everything runs on time. This is very popular with the mums too! We also create bespoke packages to suit our couple’s exact needs so that they can get the service that they are looking for.

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012   Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012   Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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What can a bride and groom who book Pomp & Ceremony expect?

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They can expect an individual approach to wedding planning. Each couple is unique and are therefore treated as such, some have a very strong idea of exactly what they want but want help and support to make it happen, whereas some are looking to be inspired and have a creative team helping them to work on the look and feel of their day. We strongly believe that every decision is completely the couples, and will keep going until it is perfect for their day.

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What sets you apart from your competition?

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We completely balance our creativity with our sound knowledge of event planning and coordination to provide a complete service. We don’t just specialise in either area so like to think that our clients don’t have to compromise between having someone who will help them to create a stunning visual for their day or making sure that everything is expertly organised down to the last detail.

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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Why do a bride and groom need a wedding planner?

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Planning a wedding involves a lot of work. From research and supplier sourcing, negotiation, budgeting and timekeeping down to pulling it all together for the perfect event. Our clients are typically savvy in the understanding that it isn’t their area of expertise so they look to the professionals for assistance with their wedding planning. The main reason for most of our couples is not having the time and wanting to avoid stress so that they can relax and enjoy the process. It isn’t that they are surrendering involvement for their wedding but rather working with people to support them through the process.

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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What are your top 5 wedding planning tips for a DIY bride?

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Get Creative – Look at blogs and tutorials to find things that you can replicate and recreate for your big day.

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Get the family on board – There could be some great skills within your family that could come in useful!

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Involve your Fiancé – When going down the DIY route the groom can be a little left out due to the sheer amount of work the bride is doing! Select some tasks that you can enjoy doing together so that the work gets done but you also get to spend some time together.

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Use your relationship as your inspiration – The best weddings are those that represent the couple and their relationship from a love of a certain hobby, to a favourite place or experience. Try to personalise items and details wherever possible.

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Double-Up: A great way of saving money is to make detail items have a double-function to save on the number of items that you need to buy. Examples include: Favours doubling up as place cards, bridesmaids bouquets being used in vases at the reception for additional decoration etc…

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What are your wedding planning words of caution for a DIY bride?

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Go Easy – However tempting it is at the beginning to take on everything to do with the wedding be mindful that only so much is possible. If you take on too much yourself it can get quite intense and stressful.

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Prepare Ahead – Enjoy creating things for your wedding before the big day, such as favours, but don’t take on DIY jobs that will require your attention on the day, such as the floral arrangements! Few brides will enjoy having to be there on the morning rushing around putting it all together when they should be relaxing.

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Play to Your Strengths – Don’t attempt to learn a new skill unless there is a lot of lead time before the wedding, instead look at your skill set and use this to create a list of DIY items. Be realistic.

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Delegate – Put your family and friends to work! You’d be amazed how honoured those around you will be to help make your day special by contributing to helping you make or do something. Don’t take it all on your shoulders.

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Go OTT – There are plenty of things that can be embellished and personalised yourself to save money without having to do it all yourself and go DIY OTT!

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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What wedding styling trends and colour schemes are popular for 2012?

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Last year nudes and whites were the key look for super stylish elegant weddings, and coral colours for those looking for a more statement look. This year the bright corals are being toned down for a more knocked back powder pastel look. Inspired by the designer fashion catwalk shows of this year which showcased lots of very pale yellows, greens, pinks and lavenders these are set to be key for 2012/2013.

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What is your all-time favourite “look” for a wedding? 

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As mentioned earlier we both genuinely believe that each wedding should be unique and reflective of the couple. Once this is established it’s all about working within this to form an amazing colour palette and style that will create a remarkable look.  

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What new styling trends have you really excited?

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We adore the American ability to style weddings with amazing bespoke details; they really have got the whole industry down to a tee over there. It really excites us that increasingly we have access to their products over here, and it is so easy to source things from all over the world for couples these days which is amazing. Some items that have blown us away over the last year are gold edible paper dragonflies to decorate the edges of wine glasses, personalised retro couple cake topper, paper pom aisle decorations, glass drinks pedestal jars with taps, glass ball tea light holders suspended with ribbon the list could go on and on!

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012   Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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Are there any really memorable weddings that you have worked on? 

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We have been very lucky to work on fantastic weddings with amazing couples over the past few years. Some examples include…

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A Sweetie Theme in Cheshire – A whimsical fun affair including a handmade museum pattern dress, individual flavoured cupcake tower, ice cream cart, sweets aplenty and a lovely palette of sage, lavender, lemon and rose.

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White Ethereal Elegance in Yorkshire – Relaxed elegance with a Buddhist inspired outdoor ceremony, white chandeliers hanging from the ceremony tree, A pathway lined with lanterns and petals, white Chivari chairs and a first dance on a lake surrounded by white lanterns. The colour palette for this wedding was whites and nudes.

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Vintage Travel in Cheshire – Inspired by the couple living and working in Singapore, vintage travel is a wonderful theme. Lots of old luggage, cameras and postcards, luggage card seating cards and place names, maps, stamps you name it. The colour palette was navy and white to provide a stylish edge to the vintage travel look.  {Editor’s note:  you can see the wedding here on Brides Up North}

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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Where are you located and will you travel?

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We are located in Cheshire but cover all of the North West, Lake District, Manchester and extending up to the whole of Yorkshire. We are happy to travel and love working in a variety of locations and destinations.

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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Our Full Planning service is percentage based at 10% as we feel that it is easier for couples when the cost is incorporated into their existing budget rather than adding it on top. This way it shouldn’t cost any extra to benefit from our services, it’s down to us to make sure that the other areas of their budget come in at the right price!

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Full Planning – 10% (existing budget)

Preparation Planning – £1200

On the Day Coordination – From £400

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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We would love to offer Brides Up North readers 10% off any of our services for 2013 weddings – quote BUN when enquiring.

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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How can Brides Up North see more examples of your work/ find out more?

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Visit our website www.pompandceremonyplanning.co.uk to see more about us, read our testimonials from clients and view our gallery.

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Image (c) Jeff Ascough 2012

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Why do you read and recommend Brides Up North to your customers?

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It’s all happening in the North when it comes to weddings and it’s so great that Brides Up North exists to keep us all in the loop about this! We are spoiled with amazing venues and suppliers on hand to create amazing wedding days. It’s great to be linked with a professional wedding blog who ‘gets it’ and promotes excellence in the local industry.

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  – Images © 2012 Jeff Ascough

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