Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

cool venue alert: inox, sheffield

January 16th, 2018 | Rachel Parry


With a rise in the number of cool city locations available for weddings, we’re delighted to be introducing a brand-new Brides Up North Sponsor venue to the blog today, which is situated in the heart of Sheffield.

Contemporary and flexible, Inox is a stunning event space located within the University of Sheffield Students’ Union Building, which boasts fabulous ceremony and reception spaces, amazing cityscape views and an award-winning kitchen team.

Able to accommodate weddings of all sizes, couples are invited to utilise and design the space as they wish (which includes a fabulous outdoor balcony area!) to produce a day that is truly unique to them.

If Inox sounds right up your street, then be sure to mark Saturday 27th January in your diary as the venue will be hosting a Wedding Open Day 11am to 2pm, providing a great opportunity to view this impressive space for yourself while meeting Inox team and a selection of local suppliers.

In the meantime, we’ll hand over to the Inox team for more information on the venue’s awesome wedding offering…

Inox (2)

Where is the venue located?

inox say: Inox is located on level five of the University of Sheffield Students’ Union Building. Situated in the heart of Sheffield, Inox has a cool city centre vibe and is ideally located close to transport links making it an easy location for guests to reach.

Can you tell us a little about the history of the venue?

Inox was opened in 2013 as part of a multi-million-pound redevelopment of the University of Sheffield Students’ Union Building. We have developed our offering over the years to suit couples’ needs and provide very flexible and bespoke services for individual wedding celebrations.

Inox (6)

How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?

Stylish, contemporary and unique, Inox offers a flexible option, which is fully adaptable. Inox aims to provide a fun, modern and unique venue for couples to design and use as they wish. It boasts a large bar and outdoor balcony area too, with fabulous views of the city.

Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas and how many guests the venue can cater for?  

Inox is ideal for celebrations of all sizes. The venue can host wedding receptions of up to 250 guests, or is suitable for intimate wedding breakfasts for just close friends and family. It is available for civil ceremonies in the restaurant and the Discovery Rooms, which boast incredible views across Sheffield, providing a stunning backdrop to the proceedings. Couples get exclusive use of the venue’s facilities for their wedding breakfasts and evening receptions.

What makes Inox a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

Inox includes a first-class restaurant and bar, catered for by award-winning head chef Joe Berry and his team, using only the freshest, seasonal produce from Sheffield’s finest local producers. The chic bar serves cocktails, a wide range of spirits, beers and fine wines. You can shape our suites to cater for anywhere between ten and 200 guests and put your own unique spin on our space in order to make your special day truly yours.

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a venue with a difference: the deep, hull

December 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Cluskey Smith Wedding Photography

Cluskey Smith Wedding Photography

While all some brides have ever dreamt of is the traditional church wedding followed by an elegant hotel reception, others desire something more unusual for their ‘I do’ setting.

Thanks to relaxed wedding laws, the options for couples are now pretty much endless – from cinemas and art galleries to barns, warehouses and even treehouses; there really is venue to suit all styles, personalities and interests.

And in celebration of this choice and freedom, we’re catching up with one of our out-of-the-ordinary Sponsor venues on the blog today, Yorkshire-based aquarium, The Deep.

Perfect for marine fans out there, or those that simply want to stray on the other side of tradition, this spectacular venue promises ceremony and reception spaces like no other, with couples able to take their vows in-front of rare sea-life filled tanks, or even have a waddle of penguins observe their ring exchange. And don’t even get us started on the photo opportunities!

We’ll now hand over to The Deep’s events team to find out all that this extraordinary venue has to offer…

Insight Photography

Insight Photography

How would you describe the look and feel of the venue and what style of weddings does it suit?

the deep say: With amazing aquaria, stunning corals and bold architecture, The Deep is one of the most unique venues in Yorkshire. From traditional to romantic, or even a little bit quirky, any theme can find a home with us.

Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas and how many guests the venue can cater for? 

We can accommodate celebrations of varying sizes – whether your wedding is a small, intimate affair or something much bigger, we have some great spaces for you to celebrate.

The Deep is licenced to hold civil ceremonies around the attraction, and so couples can choose from a range of locations to say ‘I do’.  These include Endless Ocean alongside majestic green sawfish, sharks and rays, the dark and intimate Cool Seas, or in front of the quirky Gentoo penguins. We can also host ceremonies in the fourth-floor glass Observatory, which boasts views over Hull and the Humber.

What makes The Deep a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

The Deep offers unusual and distinctive locations for wedding celebrations and the photographs. Couples can be captured walking through the underwater tunnel, with the beautiful jellyfish or maybe a catfish or two! Then head to the Observatory at sunset to capture romantic moments like no other.

Ilto Photography

How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

Our dedicated events team pride themselves on attention to detail and ensuring the most important day of your life goes without a hitch.

Do you have any accommodation or getting ready areas at the venue?

There are rooms on site that can be used for changing subject to availability. The Deep doesn’t have its own accommodation but is close to several hotels that suit a variety of budgets.

Tell us about your catering options at the venue…

Your first meal as a married couple is extremely important, so be assured that our in-house chefs can muster up a masterpiece. From simple canapés to a three-course dinner, all our food is sourced locally, prepared in-house and served to you by our experienced corporate team. We do not allow external catering to be brought onto site, but we are able to cater for special dietary requirements including gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan.

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setting & style: a wedding dress to suit your venue

December 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Photo credit Olegs Samsonovs Photography

Olegs Samsonovs Photography

A feature for those of you on the dream dress hunt today, as we welcome our lovely guest writer, Carrie Marsden of media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine, to the blog to discuss picking the right wedding dress, to suit not only your style but also that of your chosen venue…

carrie says: Be it urban, rustic, boutique, historic or coastal, your venue sets the tone for your special day, and so it helps to make sure that your dress style is in-line with the setting for all over harmony.

As wedding planning goes, what’s the first thing we brides-to-be think of mere moments after saying yes to that certain special someone? “What dress am I going to wear?” (if you’re anything like us, in fact, you’ve had an idea of ‘the one’ even before The (other) One popped the question). But consider: with many spectacular wedding venues now taking bookings of upwards of two years in advance of the big day, increasingly, securing the venue is becoming a couple’s number one on the ‘to do’ list. Many brides assume their choice of dress will set the tone for the entire day. But if the venue has been chosen first, where does that leave the dress?

It might seem obvious. The venue and the bride’s dress ought to be in perfect harmony; one complementing and completing the other, a beautiful simpatico symphony (much like the bride and groom themselves, in fact!). And in many cases, an overall theme will draw together and incorporate both. But occasionally, dresses and venues will clash -having been present at a beach-themed wedding in a tipi with the bride tightly bound in a heavily structured fishnet-effect gown, I can assure you, ‘twas truly a confusing affair.

So, here’s our guide to making sweet, sweet music and harmonising two of your most important big-day elements: your venue and your dress…

boho bride

Boho Bride

Cherry Williams | Lilian West

Rustic weddings are playful, outdoors-y affairs, full of a kaleidoscope of colour and with the emphasis on a celebration of the beauty of nature. The details and decor don’t typically include anything too structured or deliberately ‘matching’ so mirror this more relaxed and carefree attitude in your dress of choice. More bohemian styles with lose, tousled hair work well here, as do soft frills and flowing tulle.


Urban Chic

Clockwise from top left: Modeca | Rita Colson | White Rose Bridal | Elbeth Gillis

Love the idea of marrying in iconic style? If you’re joining the glitterati and marrying in a sophisticated city setting, reflect this slick, polished and uber-cool vibe in your dress. Think subtle sparkle, a seriously structured silhouette and even a sharp trouser suit. For an ultra-glam effect in a town setting, opt for monochrome and ask you guests to wear black tie.

boutique hotel

Boutique Hotel

Clockwise from top left: Special Day | Peppermint Love Photography | Eliza Jane Howell | The White Garden Collection

The great thing about a boutique hotel venue is that they tend to be unique, curiously quirky and inimitable in their own sense of style. This gives you free license to choose a gown that best reflects the venue’s holistic ‘feel’. Tea-length dresses work well here in the summer time, or, if the venue calls for it, chose a vintage-inspired or even ‘indie’ dress to suit the individual surroundings.

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blissed out bride: matfen hall

November 15th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (2)

We’ve been out on the road again all in the name of research to share with you our experiences of the North’s finest hotels, getaway retreats and spas, providing inspiration for pre- and post-wedding relaxation, and sometimes also a setting for the big day itself!

Cue our recent visit to Matfen Hall – a stunning stately home set in 300 acres of lush parkland in the Northumbrian countryside. The award-winning Hall houses fabulous function spaces, accommodation and spa and leisure facilities, making it an option for sophisticated hen dos, romantic getaways, such as a minimoon, plus a dream wedding venue too.

All images by Sean Elliott Photography.

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (6)

Ahead of a super-exciting wedding refurbishment at Matfen, we were invited to view the current celebration spaces and to see what’s in store to take this already gorgeous venue to the next level. And my word, are couples saying ‘I do’ to Matfen in for a treat! Keen not to give away too much at this stage, we will be following up with a Dream Venue post soon that will detail the stylish refurbish plans in more depth.

Furthermore, on Sunday 4th March 2018, we will be holding a Luxury Wedding Fair at Matfen to reveal the results of the quarter-of-a-million-pound-refurbishment programme first-hand – so be sure to mark the date in your diaries!

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (8)

But for today’s post, we return to our visit. During our blissful overnight stay, we experienced Matfen’s warm and welcoming hospitality, making use of its leisure facilities, restaurant and accommodation.

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (13)

We began as any busy business ladies should, with a trip to the spa! Hotel guests can enjoy access to such facilities or there are a number of full and half-day ‘Escape’ packages to choose from, comprising different treatments, food and drink, so ladies (and gents) can pick which best suits their needs and wishes.

There is a 16-metre swimming pool and spa pool, plus thermal suites including an aromatherapy room, steam room, sauna, ice cold bucket shower, monsoon shower and ice fountain. We worked our way round, prioritising the warmer options, to relax and revive weary muscles, before indulging in a little chill time around the pool.

Matfen’s treatment choices cover off facial, body and massage therapies for men and women, as well as ‘Finishing Touch’ treatments such as nails, waxing and tinting.

Sean Elliott Photography at Matfen Hall (10)

Feeling in need of a radiance boost part-way through our autumn season of wedding fairs, we both opted for the Skin Specific Facial. Having been led to quiet, candle-lit treatment rooms, our knowledgeable therapists took time to enquire about our skin concerns before tailoring our facials to help combat such issues using heavenly Elemis products. We both emerged with hydrated, glowing complexions and super-soft skin (if only we could indulge one of these treatments every week!).

Leaving the spa feeling super-relaxed, it was time to freshen up (and wake-up!) before dinner. We were staying in one of Matfen’s stunning Principal Rooms in the original part of the Hall, that was spacious, comfortable and boasted gorgeous views of the garden.

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tonight’s the time to sparkle! a luxury evening wedding fair at hornington manor, york

November 2nd, 2017 | Rachel Parry


For those on the hunt for a blank canvas style venue with a hint of rustic charm, we’d highly recommended putting our stunning Sponsor venue Hornington Manor, on your must-visit list. Set within rural Yorkshire, this homely venue invites brides, grooms and their guests to enjoy a full weekend of celebrations with fabulous accommodation, ceremony and reception spaces, all on site.

We know just how special this place is and are so excited welcome brides to our sparkling evening event at this stunning venue TONIGHT!  On Thursday 2nd November 2017, 6pm till 9pm, FREE ENTRY, we’re transforming the already gorgeous Hornington Manor Wedding Barn into a twinkling wedding inspiration paradise! And you are all invited…

Joe Stenson Photography

Joe Stenson Photography

bride to be?

Even if you’re venue is already sorted, the inspo at this event is out of this world!  We’d love to see you and your bridal party there!

We’re giving away up to 100 free Bride To Be Media Packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North and UNVEILED Magazine. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.

While stocks last.


wedding industry pro?


We would love to welcome new exhibitors and old friends to the Brides Up North family in 2018. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our award winning luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions. Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Discounts are available for block bookings. Get in touch for pricing, exhibitor info and to guarantee your place.

Email listing the events or area that you are interested in.

Hornington Manor (3)

We’ve invited the lovely Hannah from Hornington Manor to get the party started and tell us more…!

Where is Hornington Manor located?

hornington manor say: Our venue located in the picturesque village of Bolton Percy, nestled into the rolling North Yorkshire countryside. It is approximately ten miles from the historic city of York, and less than 20 miles from the bustling city of Leeds. With easy access from the A1 and M1 motorways – great for travelling guests.

Tell Brides Up North about the venue, what is its history?

Hornington Manor was built in 1770 and is set on a beautiful 300-acre working farm. The Grade II listed farm house was lovingly restored when farm was brought back to life in 2009 by local bed-makers Harrison Spinks, with the aim of growing some of its own natural mattress fillings. The 18th century Hornington Manor wedding barn was, until very recently, nothing more than a lambing barn.

Mark J Hillyer

Mark J Hillyer

Is Hornington Manor licensed for civil ceremonies and, if so, what areas of the venue are available for weddings and what capacity can they cater for?

Hornington Manor is fully licensed to hold civil ceremonies at a number of remarkable locations around its grounds to suit couples’ individual preference. Hornington Gallery has huge floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the sheep grazing in the fields outside and is wonderfully bright and airy, holding 120 guests.

Our most popular place to hold wedding ceremonies is in the infamous Hornington Wedding Barn. The original 18th Century rustic barn can comfortably house up to 150 guests and is beautifully decorated with huge external doors opening onto the Manor courtyard.

For more intimate ceremonies, the lavish ballroom in the West Wing of the Manor could be perfect. Alternatively, couples may wish to take advantage of the stunning surroundings and hold their ceremony outside. Saying their vows under the charming Lych Gate in the Manor Courtyard, or facing the gentle fields on the Manor Lawn.

And what areas are available for the reception?

The beautiful wedding barn is available for wedding receptions, and can seat 150 guests comfortably. Other than boasting a stunning bar and relaxing snug areas, the wood panelled walls and exposed brick is a blank canvas for brides and grooms to style as they wish.

Kate Cooper

Kate Cooper

How would you describe the look and feel of Hornington Manor?

The Manor has a rustic feel to it whilst also being the perfect untouched setting. Brides and grooms can choose to draw on the organic features of the venue, or alternatively use the blank backdrop for a more glamorous theme – anything goes! We’ve seen some amazing ideas; some of which can be seen on the blog section of our website.

What makes Hornington Manor a special wedding venue?

Hornington Manor is so special due to its unique surroundings and its magical element of exclusivity. Not many people can say they’ve married with a flock of sheep as members of the audience! If you’re lucky enough to wed during lambing season, some guests have the extra bonus of feeding pet lambs before the wedding begins! Our team endeavour to do all they can to make each wedding day special, unique and seamless.

Hornington Manor (1)

What sort of bride would be a Hornington Manor bride?

A Hornington Manor bride is excited by the chance to create their very own dream wedding – brides can be as creative as they wish. A Hornington Manor bride also appreciates the time before and after their wedding – being able to spend the whole weekend with their family in the house and grounds of the Manor.

How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

Our wedding co-ordinator Jo and her assistant Hayley will be on hand from the moment you have your first viewing, to the moment you leave Hornington Manor as a married couple. Their nothing-is-too-much attitude means our brides and grooms can plan their wedding with peace of mind that everything will run smoothly. On call throughout the big day and in the lead up to a wedding, they will go the extra mile to make sure every couple has the wedding day of their dreams. We also have a number of trusted and recommended suppliers, many of which are regulars at Hornington weddings; and are featured on our website under Recommended Suppliers.

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cool character: the bowdon rooms, cheshire

September 6th, 2017 | Julia Braime

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Eclection Photography (6)

If you’re currently on the hunt for a venue with individual features, charm and class, plus that’s totally private and a space you can truly make your own – then you’re in luck! For today we are catching up with our fabulous Sponsor venue, the stunning Bowdon Rooms.

Located in the leafy idyll of Bowdon, near Altrincham, Cheshire, this really is a rare gem of a venue, complete with high ceilings, sparkling drapes and ornate fireplaces and features. Furthermore, (for you party lovers out there) it boasts a sprung dancefloor and stage large enough for an 18-piece swing band, so dancing shoes are a must!

Impressed? Us too! And that’s why we regularly visit The Bowdon Rooms to stage one of our Luxury Wedding Fairs, inviting couples to come and see this beauty for themselves. Our next event at the venue – a Mini Pop-Up Wedding Festival – will take place on Sunday 5th November, 11am to 3pm, and its FREE ENTRY, so there really is no excuse to miss out! We’ll be joined there by the areas crème de la crème of wedding suppliers to help bring all your big day plans together.

To whet your appetite in the meantime, we’re handing over the blog to director of The Bowdon Rooms Neil Hughes, to tell us more about this spectacular space.

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Eclection Photography (2)

Can you tell us about the style and history of The Bowdon Rooms?

neil says: Our luxury wedding venue in Cheshire is a charming building that offers an abundance of authentic character and beautiful features. More than 110 years old, the property’s Edwardian decadence will offer you and your guests a superior environment.

Amid subtle yet exquisite details of art nouveau charm, you can relax and dine in our glorious ballroom, with its stunning chandeliers suspended from a 40-foot domed ceiling, against a backdrop of romantically-lit voiles.

What types of couples does the venue appeal too?

The Bowdon Rooms is definitely suited to couples who would like an authentic vintage venue, that is what we are. We have over 100 years of unspoilt architecture and features. And because we also host live music, we attract couples who wish to party, with fantastic live bands playing on our stage at most functions. We have a full sound and light system, in house engineers and event managers you can trust. Plus, a late licence until 1am.

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Eclection Photography (4)

Can you tell us about its reception rooms?

The ballroom – Our beautiful spacious ballroom seats up to 230 guests and offers a stage large enough for an 18-piece swing band. With a fully-integrated lighting system and an experienced team to help create your ideal theme, we have everything to inspire and deliver – all under one roof. It is a period ballroom with chandeliers and has a fully-sprung maple dance floor to really get the party in full swing.

The lounge – Our other reception room is located on the first floor and offers a more intimate environment. An air-conditioned jazz lounge at the top of the building. It accommodates up to 90 guests and is perfect for wedding reception drinks or civil ceremonies. It can either be set as a 1940’s speakeasy, or a modern voile lit lounge.

What would you say are the unique and special features of The Bowdon Rooms?

We were built in 1905, so we do really have an abundance of period features; from sprung dance floor to fireplaces, to those hard to describe nooks and crannies – but they all ooze charm. We have two huge chandeliers that tower above the ballroom adding a touch of elegance.

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Eclection Photography (3)

How can couples really make the space their own?

We love having couples help design their own special day, so just ask about anything at all. Couples can choose their own colour scheme as we can completely dress the room in their fabric of choice, and they can also work on table decorations, favours, table layouts – in fact nearly every aspect of the wedding. We also have plenty of couples who provide their own band.

Tell us about the food and drink options available at the venue…

We do all of the catering with our team of award-winning chefs. They have worked around the world and provide every type of food; from an informal Mediterranean risotto to a formal four-course meal. If couples want to go away from standard menus and personalise their choices, that’s fine, they can come in, meet with chefs and have a menu tasting.

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Eclection Photography (5)

How do the venue’s staff assist couples in planning their big day?

Every bride and groom are assigned their own wedding event manager. Karen has worked here for more than ten years, and Suzanne for more than six, so couples can rest assured that our team has a huge amount of experience.

What is the feedback like from couples who have married at The Bowdon Rooms?

Most couples love our flexibility; we are not a hotel with fixed packages. So, clients can really get involved, helping with table design, centre pieces and venue set-up. Quite often we have a team of ushers and bridesmaids in helping out, it makes for a very relaxing wedding party.

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