October 10th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Though this week’s unseasonably warm weather may suggest otherwise, we are upon a turn of season which we thought signalled the perfect time for a discussion post on which time of the year is best suited to the style of wedding that you crave – spring/summer or autumn/winter.
Of course, we all know that the Great British weather can be massively unpredictable so no matter if your organisational skills could rival those of Monica Geller, some elements will remain out of your power meaning you never can guarantee that a July date will deliver wall to wall sunshine or indeed that a December day will bring with it an idyllic sprinkling of snow.
But there are further considerations beyond the weather that could have you favouring a spring/summer wedding over an autumn/winter celebration – or vice versa – as we discuss on the blog today.
Hello Sunshine: In most cases, the weather will be the number-one reason for couples choosing to get hitched in spring or summer, with hopes pinned on a cerulean sky and bright sunshine. While it’s certainly more likely you’ll experience decent weather if you choose such seasons, you could find you’re unprepared for a rogue thunderstorm, which is exactly what happened ten years ago at my July wedding. All geared up for a drinks reception on the spectacular terrace of Harewood House, our plans were dashed at the last minute by an uninvited guest, who sent friends and family running for cover under a torrential downpour. Our advice? Always have a plan B in place, including a few emergency umbrellas!
Celebrate Outside: Of course, with a greater guarantee of appealing weather in spring/summer, you could opt for an outdoor wedding. Following an increase in demand for ‘open-air I dos’ many venues have extended their wedding offering with spectacular outdoor structures and settings available for ceremonies and receptions. Whether you go woodland chic, vibrant festival or secret garden style, an outdoor celebration comes with laid-back vibes and limitless styling possibilities so let those creative juices run free!
Happy Holidays: A big tick for summer weddings is that wonderful six-week summer holiday in July and August. And so, if you or your other half are of a teaching profession, or you’re planning a week-day wedding and inviting lots of families, this is the ideal time to plan your big day ensuring more friends and family can make the date and that you have time to tie the knot and honeymoon too. Make sure you send out your save-the-date cards well in advance, however, so you don’t clash with guests’ pre-planned summer getaways.
Blooming Beautiful: A quick look at your own garden during the warmer months of the year demonstrates how many gorgeous and colourful flowers are available in spring and summer. Whether dainty and pale or big, blousy and bright there is so much choice for seasonal bouquets, buttonholes and arrangements during such months that will both look and smell divine.
Summer Nights: Warm, balmy and romantic, the longer nights give couples the opportunity to extend their celebrations outdoors with garden games, evening street food and even open-air musical entertainment. Better still, there’s also the opportunity for some killer couple portrait photographs during the ‘golden hour’, that wonderful time of day just before the sun begins to set when it turns skin golden and throws a magical light across the land.
Dare To Bare: With warmer temperatures on the cards, brides can embrace light, flowing bohemian style gowns as well as fashion-forward designs that reveal a flash of flesh, be it a backless ballgown, cut-out detailing, a plunging neckline or high leg split that takes your fancy.
Alfresco Feasting: More relaxed dining styles come into play in spring /summer with options for elegant afternoon teas, barbecued sharing platters, street food and picnics all welcome alternatives to a traditional three-course, sit-dwon meal.
Stress Less: The weather expectations of autumn/winter couples are reduced with most taking a ‘what will be will be approach’ to the conditions that could arise on their big day. This doesn’t mean they won’t get that bright but crisp autumnal day, or a lovely wintery scene come their ‘I dos’ but they are much less likely to let thoughts of the weather consume them in the wedding run-up.
Keep It Cosy: Those who opt to host their celebrations in the cooler months can fill their ceremony with wonderfully soft candlelight to create a romantic ambience and, with an indoor ceremony comes the ability to control lighting to best effect. Fairy lights can be strung from the rafters – you can even buy battery-operated Eddison-style bulbs for a really warm, vintage glow – and fires can be lit to create a cosy atmosphere and add comforting warmth.
July 31st, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Love Island is over (and we’ve already got #TeamJani withdrawal, we’re loyal like that). What’s a good wedding blogger to do?
Bring on the winter weddings.
It’s hard to imagine winter ever existed as we roast our way through this incredible heatwave, but today’s real wedding is here to remind us how magical winter nuptials can be; with roaring open fires, candlelight and inviting colour schemes, just like Natalie and Paul’s celebrations. They chose marsala as a key colour for their wedding, which evokes feelings of warmth and cosiness on the coolest of days and is dramatic and festive on the photographs.
To continue the cosy theme, the couple decorated the wedding breakfast with fairy lights draped from the ceiling and placed giant love letters behind the top table, which looks wonderfully effective as the daylight begins to fade. For an autumn or winter wedding the lighting is so important – balancing your light levels using plenty of different, gentle light sources enables your photographer to get some fantastic, atmospheric shots and really capture the ambience you’ve worked so hard to create.
Natalie and Paul share a love of travel, so the map of the world they used as a table plan is a great idea to bring their personalities to the fore. They also dotted photographs on little easels throughout the wedding breakfast of their adventures, which is a lovely, personal touch. We also love the photo opportunity at night, when all the guests line up and wave sparklers for the couple to walk through – another magical use of light!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Nik Bryant Photography.
natalie says: Paul and I got engaged while we were on holiday in America on 25th May 2016. We were in Austin, Texas, and, after eating our bodyweight in delicious barbecue meat in Franklin’s BBQ, we climbed to the top of Mount Bonnell, which overlooks Austin city and the Colorado River. There’s a superstition that says couples who hold hands the whole way to the top without letting go will be together forever, so we decided to give it a go (harder than it sounds in the humid Texas heat!). When we got to the top, we found a secluded spot overlooking the river to cool down and Paul got down on one knee and popped the question. The ring was so beautiful that I couldn’t believe he’d chosen it all by himself!
Our wedding date was 18th November 2017. We really wanted it to be cosy and intimate, so we thought a winter wedding would be perfect, but this date also left us enough time for a longer honeymoon before Christmas!
We had our ceremony at St Cross Church in Knutsford. The church was really pretty and, as soon as we went in, we felt really welcomed by everyone, so we were so happy to be able to get married there! Our wedding reception was at the Oak Tree of Peover in Knutsford, Cheshire. We loved the venue as soon as we saw it! It was so cosy and rustic and was beautifully decorated. We couldn’t recommend the Oak Tree of Peover enough, particularly for a winter wedding with its lovely fire, fairy lights and ivy. It was the kind of venue that looked amazing without adding anything, but there was plenty of space to add personal touches if you wanted.
On the day of the wedding, we travelled between the church to the reception venue in a car hired from Broadoak Cars. We weren’t sure about hiring a car as both venues were so close but it meant we got some good quality time together to take a breath after the ceremony, and the driver was great at helping me get my dress into the car!
Our colour scheme was marsala and dusty pink, with olive and gold. We wanted the darker red as a nice contrast to my white dress and it felt perfect for a winter wedding, whilst the softer pink and olive helped to keep it warm and cosy.
June 12th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
For Jonathan and Julia, today’s real wedding couple, the most important element of their wedding day was being together at the ceremony and exchanging those poignant vows – despite all the hours spent agonising over the smallest details! For them, the celebration was a huge – and wonderful – bonus.
However, that doesn’t mean we won’t pour over all those gorgeous details and find inspiration in the rose-gold tinted centrepieces and the festive Christmas styling! A berry red wreath on the front door of the reception venue welcomes guests to a jolly celebration with a New Year vibe and personalised champagne glasses, each one hand-decorated by the couple, add a special touch to the toasts and a unique memento of the occasion.
With a rich and opulent colour scheme of burgundy with peach highlights and soft greenery, the styling complemented the Christmas theme beautifully. In the spirit of true New Year celebrations, guests were treated to a very generous free bar and an energetic band, while they helped themselves to the array of sweets on offer at the sweetie bar and delicious cupcakes baked by the groom’s mother.
Julia – who looked gorgeous in a sparkly, A-line Morilee gown with a faux fur shrug to keep the winter chill off her shoulders – has plenty of sage advice for you soon-to-be-brides. So, sit back and enjoy, as she takes us through her and Jonathan’s big day.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd Clarke Photography.
julia says: We got engaged on New Years’ Eve 2015. Jonathan and I always go away for New Year and Jonathan had booked for us to go to Mottram Hall in Chester for two nights. We had a meal with cocktails and watched some fireworks, bringing the New Year in together as we had done for the previous three years of being together. However, this year was to be different: when we got to the room, Jonathan unexpectedly got down on one knee and proposed! Little did I know, he’d been planning the proposal and even had the ring made with me in mind, which he had been carrying around every day since October to ensure I did not find it! It was a complete surprise but perfect in every way.
We got married on 30th December 2017. I love winter and the feel of Christmas; it’s such a wonderful family time, which is important to us. I always knew I wanted something different to a summer wedding, so we aimed to wed between Christmas and New Year.
We decided we wanted a church wedding and have always loved All Hallows Church, which is local to my family home in Bardsey. The church is steeped in history, the original part of the building having been built in 800AD, and it stands proud in the village. Once we booked the church, everything fell into place. We visited Wood Hall Hotel and Spa in Wetherby on the off-chance as we were passing by. The hotel is so beautiful, set high on a hill that overlooks the surrounding villages, and we knew instantly this was our venue.
We would definitely recommend Wood Hall Hotel to those on the venue hunt. The staff were approachable, supportive, attentive and efficient. They made the experience very personal and added special touches, such as a free dining experience to try the menu choices and a teddy that had our names and wedding date stitched on as a lovely keepsake. We found the venue intimate enough for our wedding to feel personal but large enough to cater for guests and food on a large scale. No problem was ever too big and no detail was too small – even those last-minute changes.
We didn’t pick a particular theme or style for our wedding, although Jonathan and I are quite traditional and knew we would like a church wedding. We liked the idea of having a winter wedding and, when we visited Wood Hall in December and saw it decorated for Christmas, we knew instantly we would like that for our wedding! Our colour theme stemmed from there, along with flowers and smaller details such as centrepieces.
Knowing we wanted to get married in winter, especially around Christmas, lent itself to rich, deep, beautiful colours. We decided to have burgundy as the colour theme throughout our wedding, with a few enhancing colours for different aspects. Our bridesmaid dresses were burgundy with navy shawls and it was the main colour of the flowers in the bouquet and posies, which were broken up with peach and lots of greenery. The men’s suits were navy and the ties were burgundy, as well as the flowers used for the centrepieces and favours.
June 7th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s bride and groom clocked up quite a few air miles when it came to their big day, deciding to tie the knot at the stunning Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, travelling all the way from their home in Kuala Lumpur. Needless to say, planning their wedding from Malaysia proved quite a challenge, but luckily for the couple, they brought on board some fabulous suppliers to make the process a cinch!
Madelaine and Jack – both teachers – settled on a date just before Christmas and brought those festive feels to life with the most beautiful nude, blush and crimson palette. And just wait until you see the bouquets, which also feature these oh so pretty shades.
The industrial vibe to the venue really added to their winter celebration, too, think twinkly fair lights, exposed walls and stone floors. Throw in a cake table, mulled wine, sparklers and live music – and you’ve got the perfect mix for a fine festive soiree!
And if you’re craving a cool urban wedding of your own, we’ll be returning to the totally awesome Victoria Warehouse on Sunday 16th September to host our BigCityWedFest’18 wedding show, that’s not to be missed! For now, here’s the lovely Madelaine to tell us more about her perfect day…
With images by Dan Hough.
madelaine says: We got engaged at home in our flat in Kuala Lumpur on a normal Friday evening after work. It turns out that Jack was planning on proposing during our holiday a couple of weeks later, but panicked the minute he picked the ring up from the shop, so proposed that evening! In his words, “it was like having a live grenade in his pocket!”.
We got married on Friday 22nd December. We knew that we wanted to get married during our Christmas holidays – we’re both teachers living abroad but would be back for the school holidays. I also thought that if we had the big day before Christmas I could still tuck into a huge Christmas dinner!
We had both the ceremony and the reception at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. We knew that we wanted an industrial setting for our big day and fell in love with the brickwork and high ceilings the minute we saw it on the internet. It was great to see how other couples had set the warehouse up with fairy lights and candles too – we thought it would be perfect for the time of year!
We are both from Sheffield originally, but couldn’t find the right venue there. However, Jack lived in Manchester for a few years, we both love the city and it is a great distance from Sheffield so it was a brilliant place to tie the knot!
There was no real theme for the wedding, we just wanted an industrial style with some nods to Christmas, with candles, fairy lights and mulled wine.
We chose nudes, blush and some crimson as our wedding colours. I just loved this combination and the crimson, again, gave a nice nod to the time of year.
I wore an Essense of Australia crepe dress that I found at Emily Bridal in Sheffield. I absolutely loved the fitted style and the low back. In fact, it was the first and only bridal shop that I visited and I found the perfect dress within about 20 minutes! The team at Emily Bridal were great and helped me to figure out which style would suit me best and feel right on the day.
May 17th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Here at Brides Up North we love to see a wedding that truly expresses the personalities of the bride and groom – just like today’s real wedding between Arron and Nicola.
The bride, clearly a very talented artist, crafted some unbelievable creations to delight the guests on the day. Take the beautiful table plan, for instance, which depicts their venue, Monk Fryston Hall, under a velvety, star-studded sky, complete with the welcoming glow of a Christmas tree at the front door and two cats enjoying the view. And then there’s the card box – exquisite portraits of Nicola and Arron are encircled by a whimsical floral pattern, adding a unique edge to an often mundane object.
Nicola also handmade a huge number of delicate paper flowers – it’s hard to tell they’re not real – and the utterly gorgeous crown she wears to adorn her sparkly dress is beautiful. Of course, she made that herself too.
She did, however, have a little help with some of the details. The bird cake toppers and the flower-embroidered cape she wears over her dress were sourced from some talented independent suppliers – unusual and quite enchanting, they add to the overall personal feel of the day.
With the wedding taking place just three days after Christmas Day, Nicola and Arron were blessed with a seasonal scattering of snow to complete their festive celebrations. Time to hear more from the beautiful bride…
With images by Victoria Baker Weddings.
nicola says: Arron proposed on 28th December 2016. We’d just come home from visiting family for Christmas and had a few little gifts left under our tree to exchange with each other. Arron had put the ring on the Christmas tree and proposed there!
We got married exactly a year after Arron proposed, on 28th December 2017. We absolutely love Christmas time and it’s also my birthday on Christmas Day, so it really is a time of celebration for us. It was just perfect having everyone we love all together at a time that is so magical.
Our venue, Monk Fryston Hall in North Yorkshire, is a gorgeous old building, with lots of character, beautiful grounds and surrounded by nature – and it’s local to many of our guests. The grounds were just what we wanted for our photographs: very natural with plenty of trees, plants and ducks! The building has an intimate feel, with lovely patterned wallpaper, wooden floors and cosy fireplaces – perfect for a winter wedding. We would definitely recommend the venue to other couples.
We knew the venue would be decorated for Christmas, so we wanted to embrace this. We didn’t want to make things overly festive, but chose colours of sage green and berry red for our theme. I am an artist, so I love to make things myself; all the invitations, flowers, table decorations and wedding favours were made by Arron and me. All the wedding invitations, menus, table plan, stickers and thank you cards that I designed were printed by printed.com and the quality is always lovely.
We love wildlife and nature, so incorporated moss and pieces of wood in the glassware lanterns we made. All the candleholders had wreaths around them that I crocheted wool around and then attached artificial flowers to. As most of our wedding was handmade, we didn’t use many external suppliers.
It sounds awful to say so, but my dress wasn’t my priority for the wedding. I didn’t want to spend a lot on it, as I wouldn’t be comfortable and able to enjoy myself in something that cost a fortune. I just happened to look at the Phase Eight sale and saw my dress! It was the first one I tried on and I loved it. A light skirt with a beautifully embellished top, it was very festive and shiny. I adored my Rachel Simpson sage green shoes (so comfy, I walked through woodland for our photos without a problem!). I really didn’t want any fur shawls for the bridal party, even fake ones – fur looks better on the animals it originated from! I found someone on Etsy who hand-embroiders stunning silk piano shawls. They look vintage and are incredible. I love patterns and wanted to have some colour and florals in my outfit, so I had my floral embroidered silk shawl and a flower crown I made from artificial flowers.
May 16th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
A romantic venue that dates back to the late 1800s is the picture-perfect setting for today’s beautiful wedding in the heart of Lancashire. Say hello to Imogen and Neil, who tied the knot at the fabulous West Tower manor house in February.
Opting for a classic, elegant theme, the couple’s big day is brimming with prettiness and sophistication in every imaginable way. The ivory flowers, the blossom trees, the buttercream sponge cake, and that stunning Ronald Joyce gown – we think you’ll be coveting all these exquisite details just as much as we are!
Swapping a traditional guest book for a Polaroid camera, serving shots of Limoncello (yes, please!) and even hosting a competition relating to their first dance with a £50 bar tab up for grabs – there are lots of personal touches to inspire all the brides-to-be among you, and so much more besides. We think it’s time to hand the blog over to Imogen to talk us through all the dreamy highlights from their special day. Enjoy!
With images by Ian MacMichael.
imogen says: We got engaged at home. Neil attached the ring to our new Boston Terrier puppy, Michael. He proposed just before our 11-year anniversary.
We got married on 11th February – there was no particular significance associated with this date, but we decided that we didn’t necessarily want a summer wedding because the weather wouldn’t be guaranteed. We chose February half term because I’m a teacher.
We tied the knot at West Tower in Aughton, Ormskirk. We wanted somewhere close to home and this venue is just a short drive away. We went to a wedding open day and thought the venue was lovely. We only viewed two different venues, but it quickly became clear to us that West Tower was the ideal choice.
We wanted to keep the theme classic and elegant. We didn’t want anything that would date too easily, so we kept it simple. Above all, we just wanted everyone to have a good time and look back in years to come and think ‘that was a fantastic day’.
We chose to keep the colour scheme quite neutral. The groom and groomsmen wore grey and navy suits, and the bridesmaids wore dark green as I saw the dresses and loved the colour. We wanted to have lots of green and ivory in the flowers, and both like thistles so a few of those were included. All of this tied in with the dress and suit choices.
I bought my dress from Always and Forever Bridal Boutique in St Helens. It is a local wedding dress shop and the service was great! I went back for a second time and they had taken the dress out of the window for me to try. I loved it. It felt comfortable and was quite traditional except for the scooped back and beading. The designer was Ronald Joyce and the dress was called Jillian.
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