July 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Let’s keep the Real Wedding pretty coming this morning with this stunning and stylish celebration at Arley Hall & Gardens. Jenna & Martin opted for a modern and muted colour scheme for their beautiful big day, dotted with gorgeous vintage inspired details.
As soon as I saw her choice of heels, I knew that today’s bride and I would be sartorially compatible. Jenna, I like your style.
With images by Lisa Howard Photography.
Jenna says: We got engaged in Stratford Upon Avon on 24th March 2012. Martin had arranged a weekend away for us and luckily it turned out to be one of the hottest weekends of the year! He proposed whilst we were sitting on the banks of the River Avon with a bottle of bubbly! It was perfect!
Our wedding day was 23rd May 2014. We got married at Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire.
We had actually been out looking at another venue which we were really disappointed with, when we drove past a signpost for Arley. We had seen it online but thought it looked way over our budget to even consider it an option. However, we decided to go and have a nosey. We didn’t have an appointment booked at Arley but the staff were so accommodating and the venue was so perfect! It was just what we wanted with the two aspects of the stately home and the rustic barn for the evening reception.
Styling wise, it just seemed to work out in the end that everything was a little bit vintage with a modern edge. We opted for a colour scheme of grey and white – we wanted to keep everything quite neutral as the rooms in the venue already have so many colours in them anyway; we didn’t want it to look too busy. Plus grey is my favourite colour!
I wore a lace mermaid style dress by Mori Lee from Always & Forever Bridal Boutique, St Helens. I had gone into the shop with the mind set that I definitely didn’t want a lace dress! However that soon changed. I also didn’t want a lace up corset style back and seeing as my dress had both I was reluctant to try it on, however after much persuasion I did and I loved it (but I did end up having the seamstress swap the lace ups for a zip)!
I carried a posy of white peonies from the floristry department of St Helens College.
I was really close to my nan who died a few years ago so really wanted to try and incorporate my memories of her into the wedding. I had a locket with a picture of her in it wrapped around my bouquet and a large photograph of her from my mum’s wedding with a candle burning.
Martin wore a dark blue slim fit three piece suit from TM Lewin, Liverpool. His shirt was white with accents of blue from Hugo Boss. His shoes were brown brogues from Bertie in Steve Madden, Manchester.
June 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Today we join Stacy and David for their relaxed and pretty Real Wedding at Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue Woodhill Hall. The beautiful scenery and fab furnishings at this Northumberland home really do create a ready made backdrop, so Stacy sensibly kept her own decor light and natural to create a gorgeous day to say “I do”.
With images by Leighton Bainbridge Photography.
Stacy says: David asked me to marry him on 3rd February 2013, in Hamsterly Forest in the trees. We were married on Easter weekend (so that we could extend the celebration by another day!) in spring 2014, at Woodhill Hall, Northumberland.
We loved Woodhill Hall because it was very laid back with amazing scenery and was dog friendly. We wanted everyone to feel relaxed and have a good time and not feel too formal.
The couple who own the venue are willing to accommodate anything you want to make your day special. It’s a lovely relaxed atmosphere and such a special place.
We chose a natural garden theme of whites and greens. We prefer understated beauty.
I didn’t want a big over the top dress but something simple and pretty. I chose a Mori Lee wedding gown from Wedding Essentials in Newcastle. It was strapless with a sheer lace panel over the skirt and a small train. I didn’t wear a veil and instead twisted flowers into my hair.
David and his groomsmen wore morning suits from Greenwoods and the bridesmaids wore green and white strapless calf length dresses.
My bouquet was made by a family friend and was artificial. It was a combination of roses and woodland flowers including thistle so it looked like it was gathered from the garden.
We chose Leighton Bainbridge Photography because he has an amazing talent at capturing the beauty of a picture without it being staged. We love his pictures.
For our favours we bought some seeds online which were our table name cards but opened up as wild flower seeds for guests to take home to plant in the garden.
Our cake was made by the my uncle and it was a three tier white iced cake with two layers of fruit and decorated with white roses and greenery.
We had a roast lunch and guests had a choice of lamb or beef. The evening food was a Mexican buffet. We paid a corkage fee and supplied white and rose wine to all of our guests and a jug of Pimms with fruit and soft drinks.
After the speeches and cutting the cake, we had a local DJ who entertained us all evening and we hired a company from Liverpool who provided a photo booth and a star lit dance floor.
I planned a surprise honeymoon to Morocco and told David about it on the morning of the wedding.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to be very organised. Make lists so not only you but also your bridesmaids and ushers know the basics too because it is impossible to try and do everything!
Congratulations Stacy & David!
June 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning I’ve done something that when gave up the corporate rat race to be come a full time wedding blogger (you can read my story here) I thought that I would do all the time, but in the reality of deadlines, features schedules, event planning and all the time consuming minutiae of running a busy small business – never do. Ladies, I’ve done a Carrie Bradshaw (albeit in Kurt Geiger rather than Manolo Blahnik) and decamped from Brides Up North HQ to my local coffee hot spot.
Sometimes you have to shake off the four walls of normality and mix things up a little to refuel your creativity. Writers block? What writers block (a homemade raspberry muffin and a vat of coffee later)?!
Inevitably, with change comes challenge, and a challenging Wi-Fi connection means that today’s Real Wedding feature comes to you a little later than planned, but (like the raspberry muffin!) the wait was totally worth it.
Clare and Philip’s wedding is contemporary (whilst still remaining a classic), stylish and cool, and any bride who nips out of her own reception for a quick drink with her girls gets serious kudos from me…
Images by Samuel Docker.
Clare says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2009. It was a complete surprise. Our tradition is to go for a meal on Christmas Eve before going out and that year Phil told me to drive to The Hilton in Sheffield. When we got there he had booked a room, he said he thought it would be different. In the room were candles and my Christmas presents. He then told me to close my eyes and he put a t shirt on me over my dress. I thought it was a band t shirt and my gift was tickets to a gig. He took me to the mirror and he’d drawn a design on the t shirt which read the right way to me and it said “I love you with all my heart will you marry me?” He was then next to me with a gorgeous ring.
I obviously said yes and was thrilled to bits!
We were married on 31st August 2013 at Sheffield City Hall.
Phil actually found the venue, he liked it because of the detail of the building and the grandeur feeling inside. He had also played there a few years before so had a personal meaning to him.
When I was looking at the website for the City Hall I noticed that there was a competition to win the venue for your wedding, so I entered never expecting to win and I did!
I didn’t mention that I’d entered to Phil because I thought it would be a nice surprise if i did win but probably wouldn’t so wasn’t worth getting our hopes up. Well a letter arrived in the post and I had only gone and won the venue of our wedding! We were ecstatic and the Sheffield City Hall were brilliant throughout and really on board with what we wanted to do.
We didn’t need to travel far on the day, my Dad drove me to the City Hall where I spent the morning getting ready with my bridesmaids and Mum. Phil got ready at the Leopold Hotel just a two minute walk from the City Hall so he and his best man walked there!
The theme of our day was soft, elegant and simple and we wanted guests to have a very romantic feel to the day with lots of candlelight. The evening reception theme was a surprise to everyone, only ourselves and parents knew about it: “Wedstock”.
Creams and whites were the main colours to give a soft romantic feel. The spindle back chairs were brushed vintage white and most of the table details were cream and white with pearl detail. The bridesmaids wore navy and the groom and groomsmen wore navy ties with grey suits.
I’m not a fussy dress kind of person so I wanted something elegant and simple. My dress was from Blissful Daze in Sheffield, it was one of the first bridal shops we tried and originally I picked the dress up because of the detail on the shoulders but that was all, but once it was on it felt perfect. It’s by Ellis Bridals. It has jewel embellishment on the hip and shoulders, a cowl back and button detail down the back.
I wore peep toe heels with a jewelled detail. I’m fairly tall for a girl but definitely wanted heels for the big day which was fine when I stood next to Phil but my poor Dad looks a little short!
We searched for some time for jewellery as I wanted understated jewellery but something that went with the detail on the dress. By chance we found the bracelet, earrings and hair piece in Debenhams and they went so well with the dress we immediately stopped looking for anything else.
I also carried with me a sixpence that my Grandad gave to me before the wedding, he said my Nanan had been saving it for my wedding day but sadly she is no longer with us so it was important to have that with me. The freesia flowers were also a symbol of my Nanan as they were one of her favourite flowers.
Philip wore a Ted Baker suit. He was very picky and his suit took longer to pick than my dress!
I carried cream and white roses, veronicas, eustomia, white freesia and gypsophila by Janice Johnson Vintage Floral Design.
Samuel Docker was our photographer – a great photographer and a genuinely nice man!
Phil is a big metal music fan and we both love festivals so we wanted to inject some of our personality and fun to the day. Everyone was in the bar area and when the ballroom was opened for the evening reception, staff handed out lanyards similar to those at a festival complete with map and set list. In the ballroom was a gazebo Photo Booth, a signing tent with artificial grass, vinyls to sign along with guest book, there was a tattoo inspired sweet table made by Phil’s parents, a guitar case displayed for cards and gifts and tents dotted around for people to go in, there was also a chill out area called the rescue room with lanterns where the evening buffet was served.
Unexpectedly to the crowd a band called Our Friends Electric then took to the stage. The band had Phil’s friends in it who have gigged a few times together and he was on lead guitar. They played cover tracks old and new and everyone was dancing and having a good time. By this time sunglasses were everywhere and we threw glow sticks into the crowd so it had a real festival feel. This was really special as Phil’s grandparents had never seen him play live before so was a really nice moment.
I’d been hearing Phil practice for weeks in the spare room and knew most of the songs but it was a lovely surprise when he got down from the stage to dance with me as the band played “My Girl”, me in my dress and Phil in his black flag t shirt!
I always said I wanted my mum to make my wedding cake. As I’ve grown up I’ve really enjoyed baking cupcakes, so me and my Mum made the cake two days before the wedding. It sounds stressful but it was a really nice to take some time out doing something we both enjoy together.
The cake was six tiers of cream topped cupcakes with brushed pearls and glitter on top with a fruit cake top tier made by my mum. We wanted something simple but elegant.
I think the whole evening reception was one big special touch for us, because we and our parents had made everything it felt extra special. We were excited that our family and friends had no idea about it and that the response to it was overwhelming,everyone loved it.
During the day the small touches made all the difference like the music sheet confetti cones we gave out, rose petals on the aisle, having our favourite film scores playing at the wedding breakfast, walking down the aisle to the instrumental ‘Inhale’ by Killswitch Engage: one of Phil’s favourite bands.
Other highlights include confetti cannons going off as we danced with our friends for the second dance and my brother’s poem reading during the ceremony.
The most random but also fun part of the day was when myself and the bridesmaids left the wedding for about 20 minutes in the evening for a cheeky shot. I’d joked to my friend before that it would be funny to leave the wedding and nip up busy Division Street to have a cheeky drink at The Frog & Parrot one of our go to places. Well she made this happen! Very random and very funny as we sat in a booth for a quick one with people gazing with puzzled faces and then ran back to the City Hall without too many people noticing. That’s why I love my friends!
The honeymoon was a complete surprise to me. On the morning of the wedding Phil had delivered a rucksack with a letter explaining the bag contained clues of our honeymoon destination. This included flip flops, sun cream, a Mickey Mouse top, a french baguette plus much more.
During the speeches Phil had four of my bridesmaids stand up and announce where we were going. We went to London, Paris and Disneyland and then onto Ibiza. It was pretty jam packed but the perfect honeymoon for us.
Someone told me to take a few moments to yourself throughout the day at different times just to take in what’s happening. I definitely did this, just a pause here and there and it really helps you absorb it all and gives you an extra smile. But my biggest tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy it, we obviously both felt nervous before the big day but that was mainly because of the evening plans not the actual marriage. On the morning of the day all my tummy flutters disappeared and I just couldn’t stop smiling all day
Congratulations Clare & Philip!
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February 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Yes, that really is today’s bride and groom’s married name – Mr & Mrs Perfect. Don’t you love it. No pressure or anything..! Anyway, it turns out that their gorgeous Real Wedding in Manchester was pretty much that – a chic and simple and prettily perfect winter city wedding.
With images by Stella Photography.
Gemma says: Nigel asked me to marry him on 1st December 2012, on Llanmadoc beach in Wales, on a weekend away. It was a beautiful isolated beach on a lovely crisp winter’s day.
We were married on 23rd November 2013. We had the ceremony at Manchester Town Hall, and the reception at The Place Apartment Hotel, a converted cotton warehouse in central Manchester.
We wanted everything to be indoors, firstly because it is Manchester, so it was more than likely to rain, and secondly because of the time of year. We had looked at country locations, but decided that as we had so many guests coming not only from over this country but also from abroad, the city centre would be best for travel from the airport, train or the motorway. Also, we live very close to the city centre, so going in to see our wedding coordinator at the venue, and meeting local suppliers was so much easier than if we had picked somewhere far away. Manchester Town Hall is a stunning old building, with high stained glass windows so we felt it added to the occasion. The Place is beautifully restored, maintaining many original features such as red brick walls and steel columns.
Our theme was simplicity. The venue for the reception made it seem urban chic and we also teamed this with a vintage feel with the flower displays – very natural, in small glass bottles and jars – and hand-tied favours with luggage tag labels.
The wedding was mainly white and ivory, however my husband had decided that he wanted to wear his kilt, in the family tradition, so I picked a dark forest green for the bridesmaids to match this.
My dress was from The Staite Rooms in Huddersfield. It was a Maggie Sottero gown (Geneva), fitted to the waist and slightly over the hips, and had a long train. The top layer was a delicate lace with floral adornments, and a a band in light mocha under the bust, which made it look quite different to any I had seen before. I loved my long train! The dress was strapless which I didn’t think I would like when trying on dresses, but it fit beautifully with a lace-up back.
My bridesmaids wore full length forest green chiffon dresses from Fairytale Occasions in Bury. The groomsmen wore kilts in a similar style to my husband, our fathers wore black suits to match the kilt jackets. These were all hired from Slaters.
I had a fantastic hair & makeup artist come to make up myself, my bridesmaids, my mother and mother-in-law at the hotel, Jodie Smith, also based in Manchester.
December 1st, 2013 | Julia Braime
Can you believe its Advent already? I’ve so much gorgeous Real Wedding content to share with you between now and when that New Year’s ball drops that I thought I’d sneak in a pretty Sunday post to welcome the season.
If you’re planning a winter wedding – or just thinking about decorating your home for the holidays – there’s nothing chicer than layering white on white, as this lovely little decor and details inspiration shoot from North West photographer Amanda Balmain and floral designer Sharon Saberi at Aphrodite Flowers shows. Be inspired to create something lovely this Christmas.
Amanda says: Sharon and I actually put together this simple shoot earlier this year, but the ideas would work equally well for a beautiful winter wedding breakfast. We would both love to work on an outdoor wedding and we thought this gorgeous tree in the pretty woodland setting was just perfect. We had such fun decorating the tree and it looked so pretty that we both thought we would like to get married again right there (although we’d have to wrap up warm)! On the day the light was just perfect to give a warm glow to our all white winter floral colour palette.
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October 18th, 2013 | Julia Braime
And would you look at that, it’s Friday! Three cheers and let’s celebrate by feasting our eyes on this beautiful Real Wedding at one of my very favourite wedding venues – The Mansion, Leeds. I’ve just celebrated my third wedding anniversary, but if we had to do it all again, this venue would be seriously near the top of my list. Helen and David’s celebration is just lovely – simple, chic and perfectly executed. Of course, it helps that they’re blooming gorgeous too.
With images by Dorchester Ledbetter Photography.
Helen says: We got engaged in Summer 2011 in Las Vegas in an amazing restaurant overlooking the Bellagio fountains. It was a complete surprise.
When we got married we had been together for 15 years as we got together at High School. We finally said “I do” on Friday 16th August 2013 at The Mansion, Roundhay Park, Leeds.
We chose the venue for the beautiful interiors, the stunning views of the park and because we both grew up nearby. From the first time we went inside The Mansion we knew we wanted to get married there.
My dress was from Berketex Bride in Leeds. It was an ivory strapless gown with lots of subtle detailing and a slight hint of pink in the lace. It needed no alterations and fit perfectly on the day.
I wore customised converse on my feet. They had my married name on and were covered in crystals.
My seven year old nieces wore ivory dresses from Debenhams with floral appliqué. Our one adult bridesmaid (my wing woman) wore a floral print dress from Phase Eight. The groomsmen wore suits from Yorkshire Menswear and matching socks from Paul Smith.
We had Jill Ryder to sing and play guitar at the ceremony, drinks reception and wedding meal. She really made the day with her fantastic acoustic music. We saw her play at a friend’s wedding and knew we had to have her on our special day.
In the evening we had a brilliant band called Vibetown who got everyone dancing.
My bouquet was made from white hydrangeas with green leaves. Our bridesmaid Emma had a matching bouquet. We then had table flowers to match in glass cube vases. I have always loved white flowers and we wanted a clean, simple yet elegant look.
Our photographer was Martin from Dorchester Ledbetter Photography. We were so impressed with the quality of the photos and had a hard time choosing pictures for our album. Martin had such a good knowledge of our venue and suggested all the best places to get a good shot. He even stayed for the evening reception and we got some great pictures on the dance floor!
Our on the day stationery was by Pink Sherbet. We chose butterfly place cards, which sat on the glasses and frosted candle holders lit the room in the evening.
We hired an ivory post box with our names on it for guests to place their cards in.
We chose a blush pink and ivory three tier cake with fondant flowers from Bored to Tiers in Morley. The bottom and middle tiers were vanilla sponge and then middle tier was red velvet with white chocolate ganache.
I have lots of amazing memories from the day – walking into the room and seeing everyone’s smiling faces; walking up the aisle as a married couple then onto the terrace for some pink fizz; the speeches, which were brilliant and funny and hen everyone hit the dance floor to a Michael Jackson medley by our amazing band, Vibetown.
We just loved sharing such a perfect day with our family and friends. Everyone kept saying what a brilliant day it was.
For our honeymoon we went to Koh Phangan and Koh Samui in Thailand then onto Singapore.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax and enjoy the day. Get the main things booked as early as possible (venue, photographer, registrar) as these get booked up then take your time with all the other aspects. Book people that you trust and then you can relax and let them do their job on the day. We really trusted our venue team and photographer and felt able to enjoy every moment.
Don’t feel you have to have a colour theme, our approach was ‘if we like it then we will have it’. Enjoy the planning process, ours was exciting not stressful.
Congratulations Helen & David!
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