Charlotte Balbier

pink to perfection. a pretty winter wedding at east riddlesden hall – stephanie & robert

April 2nd, 2015 | Julia Braime

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Here at Brides Up North we make no secret of the fact that we love all things pink! And so when we saw Stephanie and Robert’s incredibly pretty day (with lots of lovely pink touches) we knew we had to have it on our pages.

This big day is both cute and classy with special touches including a vintage tiffany blue VW campervan named Dylan, original Penguin paperback books as favours and wonderful décor in paper diamonds, twinkly lights and rustic style bike wheels in a nod to the couple’s love for cycling.

So let’s saddle up for this flawless Yorkshire celebration.

With images by Weddings by Smith.

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stephanie says: We got engaged at home in our bedroom. It was a low key affair, fitting of our relationship – quiet and understated. The ring was a real surprise, and beautiful, inherited from the groom’s mother’s great aunt. It is lovely to have such a family heirloom.

We chose Saturday 13th December 2014 as our wedding date. We wanted a winter wedding as December has always been a special time for us, and we thought the Yorkshire setting would be stunning on a crisp winter’s day (which we got). We didn’t want to follow the traditional summer wedding approach, this was a way to make ours a bit different.

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Our wedding was at East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire. We chose the venue as it’s been somewhere we have cycled past on one of our many cycling outings, but never visited. The Rob’s sister, Sarah (one of the bridesmaids), had previously been to a wedding there and said it was wonderful. Upon visiting we fell in love with it straight away, the barn is beautiful and we loved the fact that the whole wedding could be held in the same venue. Also, being a National Trust venue, fitted with my past as a history graduate from Oxford University.

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We didn’t have a specific theme but wanted all the details to be as personal to us as possible. As big cyclists we wanted to incorporate cycling into the wedding – hence the bike wheels decorated with flowers that were hung up around the barn and a poem about a couple and cycling as one of our readings. We’re also both keen readers – note the original Penguin paperback books as favours and place markers for the wedding breakfast.

The colour scheme was generally pink and silver, which were chosen to fit with the bridesmaids’ dresses. And pink has always been my favourite colour!

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My gown was an ivory lacy dress with a satin underlay. The back was low cut and the dress had a very simple and sleek silhouette. I really liked the simplicity of the dress, with added elegance from the sparkles on the lace. I bought it from Teokath in Wimbledon. Originally I thought I would want a sixties style tea-length dress, but couldn’t find any that suited my figure. The dress I bought in the end was perfect for my figure.

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Rob wore a navy suit from Moss Bros. He, along with the groomsmen, all had pink socks to keep in with the theme. Rob wore a charcoal tie to match the bridesmaids’ dresses while the groomsmen had pink ties. These also tied in with the maids’ dresses, which were pale pink and charcoal dresses by Vera Wang.

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Our transport for the day was Dylan – a vintage tiffany blue VW campervan. It did two trips, one with four bridesmaids, and a second trip with the two remaining bridesmaids, the father of the bride, and the bride. It was perfect! Dylan stayed around for photographs afterwards, and was a key part of our vision for the day.

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Tom Smith of Weddings by Smith was our photographer. He is a friend of the Rob’s and was a wonderful and perfectly unobtrusive photographer. We wanted photos that weren’t too formal, but picked out the small details we had spent time organising and making. We were also keen to have photos of guests that were of individuals picked out from the crowd in a natural setting, rather than any posed photographs.

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Beth Webber, another friend of the Rob’s, did our flowers. She is not a professional florist, but has some experience helping out at other weddings, and we both think she did a wonderful job. We had a theme of wild flowers in pinks and greys. None of the flower arrangements were too fussy, we just wanted to work a casual vintage theme. We think the flowers perfectly reflected the happy, relaxed vibe of the day.

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We hired caterers GFS to take care of the food.They were wonderful and fitted the menu around what we wanted. Specifically we requested half the welcome drinks to be Kir Royales (to go with the pink theme), Yorkshire pudding with the main course, the groom’s favourite sticky toffee pudding for dessert (along with specially requested jugs of extra sauce for the tables) and a bottle of port and petit fours to follow dessert. My talented mum made our iced wedding cake of three tiers – one fruit and two sponge.

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A group called The Frankies provided our entertainment. We originally requested a band known as The Funtime Frankies, but unfortunately they were not available. However their B group, The Frankies, were, and they were no less fun!

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We incorporated several special touches into our day to help reflect our theme. We used beautiful vintage crockery to go on the tables and each guest had their own unique combination of crockery, including tea cup and plate. The effect was wonderful.We also had bike wheels hung on the walls around the barn, decorated with flowers to reflect our love for cycling. Rob’s mum made our hand folded heart books and his sister made paper diamonds in all different sizes and materials.

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When guests arrived at the ceremony they were met by the groomsmen, who had a basket of badges with a photo of either the bride or groom on. They were asked to pick a badge to wear for the day to identify themselves. We chose not to have traditional divisions in seating (groom’s family/friends on one side, and the bride’s on the other). Instead we asked guests to mingle, to reflect the relaxed vibe of the day.Our table plan for the reception was created by cutting out photos of all of our guests and placing the photos into wooden pallets. Each table had its own small pallet. We wanted to do something quirky and original.

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We would most definitely recommend East Riddlesden Hall to other wedding couples. The venue is stunning and being able to hold everything in the same place really helps when it comes to logistics.

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We followed our wedding up with an amazing honeymoon – three months travelling around New Zealand!

My tip to other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every moment; it will be the best day of your life, so relish every second of it!

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love birds. pastels and pops of pink for a magical wedding at Danby Castle – hannah & lawrence

March 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a colourful country wedding at Danby Castle (c) Weddings by Smith (35)

Notebooks and pens at the ready ladies as this wonderful Whitby wedding has bucket loads of inspiration.

Bride Hannah, who is a designer and illustrator, clearly has an eye for detail and makes top choices, not only in her own individual attire, but also in her flower, theming and décor choices, with some of the pretty made with her own fair hands.

We’re also big fans of Lawrence’s handsome woollen grey suit – swit swoo!

Oh, and this is the first time we’ve witnessed photobombing chickens at a wedding…

With images by Weddings by Smith.

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hannah says: Our engagement was a funny story. We went away for our seven year anniversary on 24th October 2012, to the Lake District where I thought it was going to happen…it didn’t! Slightly disappointed (to put it mildly) we came home and I didn’t give it another thought. Christmas Eve arrived and we exchanged gifts as Lawrence was a chef at the time and was working Christmas Day. We were watching Home Alone (one of my favourites) with a glass of Bucks Fizz. I opened all my gifts and then Lawrence said he had one more for me. He came back with a small white box, got on one knee and ask me to marry him. I burst into tears, and shouted yes!

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Our wedding date was 29th August 2014. We chose this date as we love the sunshine, and as it was a bank holiday weekend we thought it would be handy for Lawrence’s family to have more time as they were travelling from down south. I’m also a fan of Leeds Festival and normally go at this time every year. For some reason I thought it would be nice to have it then for that reason as well.

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We got married at Danby Castle – the only choice for us. We were quite disheartened at the lack of quirky venues whilst browsing online. Then we found Danby and it looked so different and was everything I was hoping for. I have always loved Whitby and have visited regularly all my life. As Danby Castle is right next door, this was a bonus for me. We went to view the venue and knew straight away it was a yes. It’s surrounded by the beautiful Yorkshire Moors and has animals roaming everywhere, including, a cat, dog, chickens, cows and a donkey! The castle ruins were stunning, then we had a sunny spacious marquee filled with bunting for the wedding breakfast with a vintage tea party theme and a barn yard themed bar. It was full of personality, but really suited Lawrence and I.

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I chose a bird theme and general vintage vibes for our wedding. I’m a designer and illustrator and did all my own invites, seating plan and painted my own wedding cake. I love the style of birds and have them all over my home, so wanted the theme to carry on. We had different birds for each table and on the seating plan, each table was a nest, each seat was an egg, with a bird in the centre. The head table were love birds! Lawrence’s grandma made the stunning bird decorations hung everywhere.

I love pastel colours so wanted a lot of them and bright vintage prints too. So the colour scheme was pastel colours with pops of bright pinks. Powder/baby blue became a bit of a theme, with the bridesmaids wearing powder blue dresses and a lot of blue suits appeared.

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I chose a vintage style wedding dress covered in beading from Monsoon bridal. It was the only dress I saw that I had in mind that was a good price. I made the bridesmaids’ and my headpiece with birds, fabric flowers and leaves and weaved them onto a hair grip. I wore mine with a birdcage veil to match the bird and vintage theme. My shoes were from Irregular Choice and basically I saw them, wanted them, got them! I love cats and the heels were cats, makes total sense!

Lawrence wore a woollen grey slim fit suit from Ben Sherman and got Ben Sherman tie, shirt and shoes as well. He had a powder blue slim tie and wore a Frank Zappa (his favourite band) badge.

Our bridesmaids were my sisters and wore powder blue crochet dresses from Monsoon.

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We all travelled up the day before to our hotel on our own cars and everyone got taxis from the hotel to the venue. My dad surprised me with a beautiful vintage car that was hired through Danby Castle. We drove across the moors and had some champagne.

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Tom Smith of Weddings by Smith was our photographer. He was recommended by a friend. I would highly recommend him. His presence was barely noticed, not that I minded when it was as he was such a lovely person!

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I had wild flowers, a mixture of shapes and colours. They were stunning! I had them wrapped in raffia to keep the rustic vintage theme. They were arranged by a florist called Audrey who was recommended by the venue. She put flowers in small glass bottle all over the venue, which looked amazing. Other decorations were provided by Danby Castle and myself and Lawrence’s grandma made the birds and favours and name places.

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As favours we gave toy cars to the boys and small pastel coloured heart soaps for the girls. I designed all the labels.

My cousin’s fiancée made the cake. We chose carrot cake as it’s our favourite. Sarah made and iced the cake, then I painted it with cake paints with birds and roses all over it.

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We had a vintage tea party as our wedding meal as it matched the theme, and was nice and light as it was a summer’s day. I liked the idea of the interaction as everyone was taking from the centre and all enjoying it together. It was constantly replenished until everyone was full as well which was great. All the cakes looked so pretty and all the food was very dainty.

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We had giant outdoor games to play and had a DJ with a playlist chosen by me and Lawrence.

We had a sweetie table, outdoor games, and a chip van pulled up at the evening for the evening food. Everyone loved it! There was also a photo booth section with fancy dress, props and funny frames to pose with.

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We would most definitely recommend the venue. It was such a magical day and the atmosphere was lovely. They went all out to create a wonderful day, but remained calm. So many extra touches made it even more special. The decorations, the buildings, the animals, the view, the food, the staff – everything was top notch! The whole team seemed on my wave length so felt really comfortable with them all. A great day thanks to the venue!

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There were several parts of the day that stood out. I really enjoyed the car ride down the venue with my Dad as I had it all to look forward to. Plus the car and the view was great! The actual ceremony has to be the best part, marrying the man I love and walking into a room seeing all your friends and family looking gorgeous waiting for you was amazing!

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For the honeymoon we went to France and did three nights in Paris and nine in Cannes. France is our cup of tea as we love French food and the culture. In Paris, we went to the Louvre and enjoyed all the art including the Mona Lisa. It was amazing to see! We also went up the Eiffel Tower and to the Arc de Triumph. We had some wonderful meals trying the local delicacies. After our three days we got the train to Cannes which took five hours. In Cannes, we totally relaxed. We did lots of sunbathing, eating and drinking. We got the train the other close cities including Nice and Ville France sur la Mere, Which was my favourite place. It was a wonderful two weeks.

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My top tips to other Brides Up North would be to take a few moments to stop, look round and take it all in, you’ll never forget that moment. Don’t expect complete perfection, people will get drunk, things may go slightly wrong. Yes it’s an amazing day, but it’s still another day. Oh, and spend a lot of time choosing the right underwear – very important!

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loved up cinema club. a bespoke vintage wedding dress for a cool and quirky Sheffield wedding – lydia & jamie

February 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a cute and kitsch wedding at The Lantern Theatre (c) Weddings By Smith (36)

As soon as I saw the stunning images of Lydia and Jamie’s wedding day I knew it was one we just had to share with our readers. The creative couple tied the knot in The Lantern Theatre, a unique wedding venue in Sheffield that I had no idea existed, despite it being in the city in which I live.

This wedding is packed full of inspiration from Lydia’s fabulous bespoke vintage dress to the home-grown flowers, cool favours and gorgeous décor.

So take a seat, as Brides Up North is now showing Lydia and Jamie’s big day.

Images by Weddings by Smith.

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lydia says: We got engaged at La Rosa Campsite in Whitby which is a campsite full of beautifully decorated themed caravans. Our caravan was a Catholic kitch theme and somehow we picked a weekend that was quiet which meant we had the whole place to ourselves. Jamie hadn’t planned to ask the big question, but suddenly over lunch one afternoon the timing just felt right. We searched for a ring the following weekend in Nottingham, the city where we first met and I chose a blue antique ring.

We set the date for 17th August 2013. We chose that date because of the weather mainly, and it was around one year after we got engaged.

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We had our ceremony at The Lantern Theatre in Nether Edge, Sheffield. It is a small theatre that seats around 84 people with a miniature balcony. It is Sheffield’s oldest surviving theatre, 120 years old, and a Grade II listed building. We loved that it was small and intimate, laid back, yet a bit grand and opulent, and a bit of a hidden secret. It was also extra special because it was a minute’s walk from our house. It reminded me of the film Moulin Rouge, which is by Baz Luhrmann, a film director whose visual style I love. Our party venue was Hagglers Corner, a cafe bar and venue space all set around a lovely courtyard, on the edge of Sheffield city centre.

The theme was kind of inspired by where we got engaged, our venue and all the things we love. It was a little bit of everything, vintage, romantic, Hollywood, rustic and kitsch. We wanted soft and romantic hues of blues, pinks, reds and golds. We chose the overarching colour scheme based on what we both wanted to wear.

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I chose a beautiful lady called Joanne Flemming from Brighton to make my dress and took a little mini break there to get fitted. I wanted a vintage wedding dress with a blue underlay and bow. My shoes where Vivienne Westwood Melissa heart shoes and I wore a birdcage veil.

Jamie wore a blue checked suit and red bow tie from Ted Baker.

My grown up bridesmaids wore Karen Millen silk blue dresses, and my flower girl wore a pink dress from Monsoon. We asked the groomsmen to all wear an eclectic mixture of blue tones, and we gave them a red bow tie and I made button holes to tie it all together.

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We hired a red vintage bus from a local bus museum to take guests from the ceremony to the party venue. The ceremony was so close my dad took me in his car (which my nan would like to point out she made a special bow for).

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Tom Smith of Weddings by Smith did our wedding photography. He was absolutely amazing, we had seen him shoot a wedding before, and I knew that we could not get married without him shooting ours. We gave him some mood boards and he got exactly what we wanted straight away. He also made us feel very comfortable and kept staged photos to a minimum.

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I bravely decided to do my own flowers, a mixture of flowers that I planted and grew in my garden, foliage stolen from roadsides in the Peak District and flowers bought the day before from the flower market. I spent the two days before the wedding in my garden cutting flowers, arranging about 100 vases, making bouquets for me and all the bridesmaids and all the button holes for the men. We decorated both venues ourselves (with help from friends and family) the day before with pompoms, bunting, ornaments, homemade table cloths and candles. I carried a bouquet that was made from blue hydrangeas, pink peonies (the Chinese flower of love) and gypsophila.

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For our favours we had popcorn boxes which contained fortune cookies, blowing bubbles, a fan and 3D glasses. The fans had quotes from our reading on one side, and timings on the other. Our reading was ‘advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young’ which is on the end of the Baz Luhrmann Romeo and Juliet original soundtrack.

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Our cakes were by Victoria Made.We had a naked cake with sugar flowers and a cake made from layers of cheese covered in fruits. Our cake topper was made by the wonderful people at Lollipop Workshop which we will treasure forever.

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After the ceremony we had ice cream and Pimms. At the party venue we had a healthy vegetarian BBQ by Organic Fusion.

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To entertain our guests we hired a magician called Steve Faulkner for the theatre, plus a lady who made balloon animals for the kids. We had an ice cream VW van from Ice-Cream Dub and later at night a DJ. We also had lots of board games and toys and fancy dress bits for the kids.

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As a special touch we had a wishing tree at the ceremony. We had guests pass around our rings in a box of ribbons and tags, and write a little wish for us to tie to the tree. I also designed our wedding invites myself via my creative studio, Studio Binky.

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Our venue didn’t have wedding license at the time, so we chose a humanist ceremony by Kate Gee.

It was everything we wanted, really personal and full of love. Kate really got to know us over a couple of meetings and wrote a great ceremony, with us writing our own set of vows. I would highly recommend her.We did the legal part a week before in secret at the town hall.

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The Lantern Theatre and Hagglers Corner where both really accommodating, they allowed us to decorate the day before and really helped on the day, whilst at the same time leaving us free to enjoy the venue hassle free. I would definitely recommend them both to other couples.

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I’d say my favourite part of the day was sitting down on the stage next to Jamie before we said our vows. Time seemed to stand still, I was worried I might be nervous being on a stage, but surprisingly I felt really relaxed. Everyone in the crowd was someone I really cared about and it felt so special, more than just marrying Jamie, it felt like a big life moment and I’d never felt so loved or happy and at ease.

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We had a night in our favourite hotel La Rosa in Whitby straight after the wedding (a gift from a friend), we stayed in a swan themed room which was very romantic and went to a folk gig in the basement that night. This was followed by an unfortunate honeymoon from hell camping trip to York which had to be abandoned. We planned to go somewhere tropical a few months later, but it unfortunately didn’t happen which is why I would advise all brides to book a proper honeymoon, you will need it.

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In addition, my top tips to other Brides Up North would be to make mood boards, they come in really handy when showing a supplier the look and feel you want. Also, let people help you (especially if planning a DIY wedding). I should have done this more.

Jamie and I are now planning for the next chapter in our life – we are having a baby in June, eek!

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