June 5th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Quirky and fun was the order of the day for teacher couple Andy and Sammi’s winter wedding. After an early morning visit to the registry office decked out in Christmas jumpers, this unconventional pair headed to 18th century corn mill, Fishlake Mill, for their stunning outdoor ceremony lit by candles and fairy lights.
Guests enjoyed a hog roast, a shot cake, hot chocolate and mulled wine and the entertainment just kept coming with a live band, a magician, photobooth and a string quartet. Phew – sounds exhausting!
No wonder bride Sammi says it was all a “bit of a blur’”. Here, she tells us more…
With images by Lara Frost Photography.
sammi says: We got engaged in the Lake District. We’ve been visiting the Lake District during October half-term with family every year since we met, and hope to continue this tradition for many years to come.
On this particular visit, we had a week with family and then a week on our own. On one of the days it was particularly sunny, so we went on a long walk around Elterwater. Looking back, the day was filled with many opportunities for a beautiful proposal up on the moors with stunning views. After sitting on a rocky ledge admiring the countryside with the sun setting for an abnormally long amount of time and a very tense Andy… we went home.
Following this, we then went to an incredible Michelin starred restaurant (which was amazing despite feeling slightly out of place with our strong Yorkshire accents – barely understood by the poor waiter – and complete cluelessness about half of the items on the menu which led to a lot of nodding and smiling). Not that we were too concerned though, as a few drinks helped us blend into our swanky surroundings rather quickly – in our eyes. It was a fantastic evening and has left us with lots of memories. Still no ring though…
Finally, on the journey home, I was really cold and asked to borrow Andy’s coat. He refused, because of the ring in his pocket. As we got to the edge of the lake where our lodge was, he got down on one knee and proposed. Although it wasn’t quite what he’d originally planned, it was still perfect.
Our wedding date was 21st December 2016. We chose the date partly because it fitted with the school holidays – we’re both teachers – and partly because we liked the idea of a winter wedding but mostly because we loved the idea of getting married as the sun was setting with lots of fairy lights and candles (and a more flattering light for photos).
We got married at Fishlake Mill in South Yorkshire, as they had a beautiful pagoda and would let us have our ceremony outside in mid-December – no matter what the weather (we were hoping for the best). We did the legal bit at the registry office early that morning with two witnesses, all dressed in Christmas jumpers. We didn’t consider this as our ‘official’ ceremony, although it technically was.
To us, our ‘actual’ ceremony was led by a close family friend, Andrea Bonser, a celebrant who made our ceremony quirky and humorous – perfect, we thought, to reflect us. Also, she too was willing to marry us at 3.45pm, outside, mid-December no matter the weather.
The theme? As I said, we were going for quirky and fun. Hopefully it came across like that, anyway. We aimed for a less formal affair than normal, starting our wedding at 3.45pm and, rather than a sit down meal, we had a hog roast. We changed quite a lot of the traditional elements; instead of a fruit cake, for example, we had a ‘shot’ cake, which seemed to go down well and certainly settled our nerves.
I wore an ivory drop-waist dress from It’s Bliss Bridalwear. I chose it as I thought it was wintery in style and matched our loose theme quite well. For shoes, I wore black sparkly wellies and warm, fluffy socks when outside and some little sparkly heels for inside.
Andy wore a tweed three-piece suit and a bow tie from Moss Bros.
June 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Err, bride Maxine from today’s real wedding, can we be your friend please? Check out these photographs from her wedding to the lovely Alex and try to deny that this wedding belle was seriously good to her #bridesquad girls: not only are they wearing the most beautiful floral dressing gowns in their preparation pics, but she chose floor-length, rose gold sequinned gowns for them for the ceremony. I mean, I’d be literally skipping down the aisle!
Maxine herself wows effortlessly in her slinky lace number, which moved smoothly from the hotel ceremony to the couple’s gorgeous outdoor photoshoot and from day to night. And what a night it was from the look of things – love lights, laughter and leapfrogs. What all good weddings are made of!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lee Brown Photography
maxine says: Alex proposed to me in Cairns. He had been in Australia with work for six months and I had gone to visit him. He popped the question just after we‘d been scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. It was perfect!
We got married on 18th February 2017. We wanted to get married fairly quickly; a long engagement wasn’t for us. We knew we couldn’t rely on the weather and liked the idea of a winter wedding.
We got married at Mere Court Hotel, Cheshire, and had both the ceremony and reception there. I viewed it while Alex was in Australia. I knew as soon as I looked at I that it was what we both wanted. It had a country house feel with lots of rooms for our guests to stay in, an intimate ceremony room with a lot of character and an amazing conservatory for the reception.
For our theme, we went with a winter glamour/Gatsby-type feel. I knew I didn’t want red and knew I wanted the bridesmaids in rose gold sequin maxi dresses and so the ideas just stemmed from there. I love how rose gold, bronze and ivory work together – the bridesmaids looked amazing in their dresses!
I bought my dress at a bridal shop owned by my friend Holly, Dream Dress Bridal. I‘d tried a few dresses on at wedding fairs for Holly and had an idea of the style I liked. I loved the one I eventually chose, particularly its detailed back. I knew I didn’t want a veil but a tiara; it went perfectly with the dress.
Alex wore a blue Signature suit from Next with a waistcoat and taupe tie. The colour looked amazing on Alex and thankfully went with the theme! The groomsmen also wore blue suits from Next.
May 24th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
The sun may be shining outside, but for today’s real wedding we’re focusing on an elegant Christmassy affair, perfect for those of you in the midst of planning a classy winter wedding.
Sophie and Callum were wed at the stylish and striking Matfen Hall in Northumberland – sold to Sophie on the basis of its jaw-dropping entrance staircase for the bride’s grand arrival.
This gorgeous couple opted for an elegant celebrity-styled vibe with black and white tuxedos, a Cinderella-esque princess gown and luxe favours. They also remained true to themselves, however, with their favourite chocolate Krispie slices transformed into the wedding cake of their dreams.
Sophie balanced big spends with some judicious bargain-hunting, and making savings on details like her dress helped her budget for big splurges – like a visit from some real-life reindeer. Yes, you read right – real-life reindeer!
So, sit back readers and enjoy Sophie’s gorgeous winter’s tale.
With images by Philip Ryott.
sophie says: We got engaged on Callum’s 21st birthday. It was the night before we flew to Dubai for two weeks and I’d booked a stay at Jesmond Dene House with a surprise afternoon tea with our parents.
Callum seemed nervous and, just as we were having tea, a couple had came in with the wedding planner. I commented, “Aw, how sweet! They’re planning their wedding!” Everyone suddenly seemed keen to change the subject, which I thought was a bit strange but didn’t think too much of it.
After our parents left we went back to the hotel room for a bath and to get dressed for dinner. Callum was looking at me with so much love throughout the evening and it was a gorgeous night. After we came back to our room, he suggested going onto the balcony and drinking some champagne. I agreed and went to get comfy – taking off my makeup and getting into my dressing gown – whereas Callum stayed in his suit and waistcoat!
I went back out to the balcony and he was sitting there with champagne looking gorgeous. He spoke to me under the moonlight and went back over all our special memories of early dates, fancying each other in school and holidays we’d been on. Then he said, “You know, I’m 21 today. I’m officially a man. I’ve got something to ask you”. I couldn’t contain my emotions and started to cry as he got down on one knee and asked me if I would do him the honour of becoming his wife. It was so beautiful, emotional and personal – and, of course, I said yes!
We were married on Thursday 1st December 2016. We chose this date because I loved the idea of a magical Christmas wedding – what better day than the 1st December?! It’s the start off the official countdown to Christmas, everyone is in good spirits, Christmas music can officially be played and, of course, advent calendars!
We were married at the gorgeous Matfen Hall. I heard someone say that of all the venues they’d been to, Matfen Hall had the grandest entrance for the bride – so I had to check it out!
As soon as we entered the Great Hall we got goosebumps and a sense of ‘this is it.’ It has a traditional church-like atmosphere with its high ceilings and stained glass windows; you definitely get the feeling that a lot of beautiful things have happened there over its history. I loved the staircase entrance, too – I mean, wow! What a statement! I had real nerves walking down there to greet everyone but the excitement and anticipation was just amazing.
The Matfen Hall team were incredible, especially Victoria Paterson (wedding planner) and Peter Dawson (master of ceremonies). Their hard work and care to every detail, enquiry and question was just outstanding. Such down-to-earth, lovely, lovely people who went so far beyond their role. I can’t thank or praise them enough.
We chose to have an elegant winter wedding theme with a Christmassy touch. I wanted the colour-scheme, decor, favours, chairs, tables – everything, really – to be very classy – with whites, silvers and sparkles. My Christmas touch was brought to life with real reindeer from Santa’s Reindeer based in Birmingham! I’d never seen reindeer before and had always wanted to; I’ve always believed in their magic and what better day to see them than on your wedding day?
Of course, my family thought I was bonkers! But my mantra is, “You can’t put a price on memories!”
I also had a reindeer-themed seating plan made by my friend Shawnee Quinn, and the tables were named after Santa’s reindeer. We had advent calendars as favours and snowflakes for name cards and the children had mini Santa hats.
For my dress, I originally wanted a fitted, possibly mermaid-style, beaded gown and – like most brides – I ended up with the total opposite! The wedding dress outlet store WED2B had recently opened in Gateshead so we tried there first.
My cousin and matron of honour Kelly pulled out a dress that was totally different to what I’d said I wanted – it was plain and Cinderella-style. But when I saw it I just felt something. Then I tried it on and, well, wow. I felt like a real bridal princess, like all the Disney princesses in one; I couldn’t stop smiling! They added the veil and the embellished belt and I just knew. My mam and maid of honour (who’s like a brick when it comes to emotion!) started to cry. Later, my fantastic dressmaker Kayleen added a five-layer tulle train with crystals scattered along the back and sides.
April 19th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Spring might have finally sprung (can you feel it?!) but this morning we’re stepping into the romantic backdrop of Eaves Hall in Lancashire, for today’s sublime winter wedding.
Deciding on a timeless white and silver colour scheme complemented by plenty of twinkling fairy lights and a pared back setting, Sally and Chris’s wedding is the epitome of elegance and class. Add in some rather pretty gypsophila flowers, a hint of glitter and some delicious cupcakes and we think you’ll be swept away by Sally’s recount of their special day.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves Weddings.
sally says: We got engaged in 2015, while in New York for Christmas. On the evening of Christmas Day, Chris took me to the Rockefeller tree and proposed there – it was the best trip of our lives.
We got married a year later, on Christmas Eve. Christmas is a special time for us, with it being the time we got together and also when we got engaged, so we thought, why not? We couldn’t think of anything better than being with all of our friends and family for Christmas.
We got married at Eaves Hall, Lancashire. We instantly fell in love with it when we visited. It is so unique and beautiful, and it makes the perfect Christmas venue.
We chose a winter white and silver theme, complemented by lots of Christmassy fairy lights.
I purchased my dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Barrowford (now moved to Colne). I instantly fell in love with the gown because of the fabric. I wanted lace and I could have a lace top to go over it. I took this off for the night do, so it looked like two different dresses.
The bridal party stayed at the Eaves Hall lodge the night before the wedding while Chris hired a Range Rover from one of his friends to arrive at the venue in.
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April 18th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
We’re easing you back into the four day week by featuring the beautiful big day of Danni and Rich, who tied the knot last November after more than six years together.
They exchanged vows in their parish church in Melbourne, Derbyshire, and then celebrated at one of their favourite local venues, Amalfi White – a stunning restaurant and cocktail bar complete with a contemporary ballroom.
We just love the couple’s special touches throughout the day, which included a nod to their love of books, and also lots of glorious sweet treats in the form of a dessert table.
Wih images from Ragdoll Photography
danni says: Rich had a ring, ready to propose for a while, so when we booked a last-minute trip to Rome in June 2015, he decided to pop the question, which was incredible! We’ve been together for over six years (four-and-a-half when he proposed) so we’ve always talked about it, but it still took me by complete surprise. I’d always said please, please do not propose in front of anyone, so he tried a few times in various super romantic locations but every time he was about to get down on one knee (unbeknown to me) a crowd of people would come along. In the end, he proposed in our hotel room at the end of a perfect evening. I was in my pyjamas but immediately after saying yes got dressed and we went out for champagne.
We got married on 25th November 2016, which has always been a special time of the year for us. Our first date was on 22nd November 2010 and Rich’s mum’s birthday, who sadly passed away ten years ago, would have been on 27th November. So, this date was a way to honour Rich’s ,um.
We tied the knot in Melbourne, Derbyshire, which is the village we live in. We got married at Melbourne Parish Church. Angela, the vicar, is amazing (she was extremely patient with me when I sobbed my way through our vows) and we were so glad that it was her who married us.
Our reception was at The Ballroom at Amalfi White. It’s where we celebrated buying our first home and is literally our local as it’s along the road. We wanted a very relaxed day full of lovely food and drinks and our favourite people so it felt perfect to be somewhere we loved and where we would feel comfortable.
We didn’t have a particular theme. Overall, we just wanted it to be relaxed with great lighting so that it felt atmospheric and romantic. The combination of chandeliers on dimmers, light-up ‘love’ letters and candles as table centre pieces looked beautiful together.
We knew we wanted to entwine our love of books into the day and do this in a subtle way. Our table names were Minas Tirith, Hogwarts and The Shire (Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter references) and we had quotes from F Scott Fitzgerald (our new surname is Fitzgerald) dotted around.
We’re also Christmas fanatics, so Amalfi White put the Christmas decorations up and we had some of our favourite Christmas songs on our playlist in the evening.
There was no particular colour scheme. I don’t like anything to be ‘matchy matchy’ so all of the bridesmaids wore different dresses in complementing shades and we kept decorations soft and neutral. We used burgundy ribbons in the flowers and burgundy ties and pocket squares to give a bit of depth and winter warmth to the neutral colour palette.
March 15th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on the blog, we’re being swept away by a captivating woodland themed wedding on the outskirts of York.
Newlyweds Jade and Carl decided on a winter’s wedding at the beautiful Sandburn Hall. The surrounding forest provided the most romantic of backdrops to their fabulous wedding photography, complemented by the venue’s rustic interior.
With pops of berry tones, log centre pieces, faux fur to keep the bridal party cosy and a pair of wellies for the blushing bride – this wedding really showcases the best of the British outdoors! Jade talks us through their special day.
With images by Photography 34
jade says: We got engaged on 3rd August 2013. We went for a picnic to Dalby Forest, a place we often go to. After our picnic, we went for a walk around the lake and Carl got down on one knee and proposed!
Our wedding date was set for 18th December 2015. We loved the idea of a winter wedding and Christmas seemed like the best time as there are many people are already celebrating. Plus, the thought of it being cold outside, with everyone warm and cosy inside, really appealed to us. It was also a guaranteed way not to be disappointed by the weather!
We got married at a beautiful church in our village called St Laurence’s. My mum and dad were married here and my grandpa was buried there, so it has special meaning for me. My husband, Carl, had grown up in the village most of his life too, so it was an obvious choice.
Following on from this we had our reception at Sandburn Hall near York. We chose this venue as we loved all the exposed oak beams and the huge windows. It gave it an outdoorsy feel even though we were inside. Without any decoration, the room looked beautiful and overlooked a forest and golf course.
We went with a woodland theme for our wedding based on our love of being outdoors.
We chose navy and berry colours as these felt wintery, especially the lovely berry colours which were incorporated into the flowers and men’s ties.
I wore a Maggie Sottero gown from The Wedding Room in Scarborough. The straps were embellished with Swarovski crystals all the way round the low scoop open back and under the bust. The dress was loose fitted, with a train and a down to the floor veil which framed the dress beautifully.
The groom wore a navy wool suit from Next. As for the bridesmaids, they wore navy floor length Adrianna Papell gowns with embellishment on the chest area. The best men wore the same navy suits as Carl. Meanwhile, my dad and brothers wore kilts which were berry coloured, as they are Scottish.
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