Brides Up North

Sun Bleached Love: A Colourful Real Engagement In The North East – Beck & Gary

July 2nd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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The Twins

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And who was saying that there’s no such thing as a British Summer?

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Today’s engagement shoot – sent to me by real bride Beck and North East photographers Caroline and Kelly of The Twins – is like a shot of pure sunshine (with a rather lovely love story thrown in).

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Bask in it!  And SPF at the ready, because next week is supposed to be scorching…

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The Twins

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The Twins

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Beck says:  We got engaged on Christmas Day 2010. It was the first Christmas we had spent together despite being a couple for three years as our families lived in different parts of the country. Gary knows how much Christmas means to me and my family and stayed up North with me. We woke up together at my parents’ house and he hugged me a put the ring box in my hand! Huuugggge surprise! I never technically said yes apparently, I just cried…lots!

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The Twins

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We are getting married in July at Woodhill Hall in Otterburn, Northumberland. 

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The Twins

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The Twins

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The Twins

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We met at a fashion brand’s head office, Gary was the junior accountant and I was on a year’s university placement, we first started talking at the photocopier!  On our first date Gary invited me to his flat and we ate lots of cheese Doritos and watched DVDs and then he walked me back to my sister’s flat like a true gentleman…with a cheeky kiss added in! And yes it was love from the start!

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The Twins

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The Twins

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I knew he was the one when he told me I looked beautiful when I first wake up in the morning, when I have crazy bed hair, I’m half asleep and can’t see (I wear contacts!) He even proposed to me when I had just woken up!

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I love the silly nicknames we call each other, even when we’re in public and we don’t care!

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The Twins

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Our biggest wish for married life is to be happy, have a family and experience what the world has to show us side by side.

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The Twins

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The Twins

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We loved our engagement shoot with Kelly & Caroline! It has made us much more relaxed about the big day and helped us to get used to the camera. We’re planning on printing some of the photographs out and framing them to give to the Mums on the day of the wedding as a gift. 

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The Twins

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The Twins

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We’ll be back to share our Real Wedding photographs on Brides Up North!

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The Twins

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Congratulations Beck & Gary!

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Get in touch to see your own love story featured here on Brides Up North.  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 The Twins

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Love Birds! A Real Wedding In The North East – Sameera & Harry

November 30th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Northumberland Wedding by GS Studio

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Ok, so it’s Friday afternoon, and we are just about to tick over into Advent. The season of mince pies, late night shopping, day time sequins (ok, they are always in season at Brides Up North HQ), mulled wine, twinkling light, log fires, Quality Street, Christmas parties, winter weddings, acceptable two day hangovers and Santa Claus is almost upon us. And that’s a very good reason to be cheerful.

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As is a last bit of Real Wedding eye candy to complete a week of loveliness here on Brides Up North!  This afternoon’s celebration was sent to me by Gemma of GS Studio, and takes place at a Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue – and one that I had the chance to visit recently to give my personal seal of approval – the gorgeous and perfectly formed Woodhill Hall.  Let’s hear from Hong Kong based real bride Sammy about the inspirations behind her big day. 

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Woodhill Hall Wedding by GS Studio

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Sameera says: We got engaged in a little French private kitchen in Hong Kong, where we live, on September 12th 2010. Harry took me out for a birthday meal: it’s one of our favourite, special occasion places to go. The tables are all partitioned with beautiful hanging fabrics, so you’re unaware of any other diners. It’s definitely the best birthday present I’ve ever received!

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North East Wedding by GS Studio   Wedding in the North East by GS Studio

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GS Studio   GS Studio

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We were married on August 15th 2012 (I’m a teacher so it had to be in the school holidays) It was either that or summer 2013, and well, we just really didn’t want to have a long engagement, and 11 months was plenty of time to plan. Harry works in events and as an art teacher, with a design background the task of planning a wedding was more exciting than daunting.

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We got married at Woodhill Hall in Otterburn, Northumberland. It had to be Northumberland, growing up in Newcastle, I couldn’t have imagined getting married in any other part of the world.

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As we were planning our Wedding from Hong Kong we had to base out decision on internet searches, and the rest was on price and instinct, and the vibe we got from the venue in their response to us. We thought Woodhill Hall looked like the perfect home away from home venue, and Corinne who owns Woodhill, came across as warm and accommodating, and reassured us that she had worked with overseas couples and it would pose no problem at all. The price was unbeatable and we were able to bring in our own caterers, and a very reasonable corkage. We didn’t visit the venue till a month before the wedding, but when we walked in it was like Christmas Eve… we were so excited, it was perfect!

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GS Studio

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A ‘Love birds’ theme ran throughout the styling of the wedding and the saying ‘happily ever after begins here’ was a huge part of creating the magic of our wedding. I’ve always had a thing for birdcages, they had to be part of my wedding!  We chose a colour scheme of gold, white and wood, with a touch of dusky pink and blue. 

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GS Studio

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I found my dress in a little boutique in Hong Kong. Finding a dress in Hong Kong was not a nice process. Boutiques were rude and unfriendly with either a huge deposit to put down to to try on, or a fee for trying on each dress – once place was nearly 30 pounds per dress! But I stumbled across a boutique called Hitched, the owner was amazing, and I found the dress! Beautiful full length, fully beaded and embroidered, with a key hole back. The cut wasn’t quite what I wanted but she sent me to a wonderful tailor who customised the dress to suit my needs.

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I also had a diva like dress change! During the Wedding Breakfast I wore a fully beaded and sequined Wedding Saree. It was so heavy! Harry changed at this point too, his outfit was almost as bling as mine!

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GS Studio

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Three out of four of my bridesmaids live in the UK (two in Newcastle and one in London, with the fourth living in Hong Kong as well) so this posed quite an issue initially, as we were not going to be in England until the run up to the wedding. So I decided on sarees: one piece of fabric fits all and the perfect way to tie in my Pakistani culture. I couldn’t find anything suitable in Hong Kong, so sent my mum images of what I liked, and she found the perfect match in London– using whatsapp to keep checking with me! The girls then went to my mum to get their blouses fitted, and on the day, Mum and my Aunt dressed the girls. They looked stunning!

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I had a beaded bouquet of white hydrangeas and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were small versions of mine. 

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We used Katherine’s florists. I used silk flowers for the table centrepieces, which we chose in Hong Kong from what can only be described as a department store full of silk flowers. I then made an appointment with Katherine’s Florists for as soon as we arrived in Newcastle to match the bouquets to the silk arrangements. Katherine’s was the first florist I contacted, and they were fantastic!

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GS Studio

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Our photographer was Gem Smith from GS Studio.  Despite having recently been hit by a car, Gem brought such a fantastic energy to our day. If you meet her you’d find it impossible NOT to smile when she points her camera at you.

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GS Studio

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Straight after the ceremony we had an Indian Dhol band, Bombay Baja during the champagne reception. They came on again in the evening as evening guests were arriving, and as our band for the evening were setting up. We hired Funk Conspiracy. As You Like it is my go to bar when I’m back in the North East so I googled their regular acts!

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GS Studio   GS Studio

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I pretty much hand made everything:  invitations, order of service, menus, table plan and decorations. The favours were hand made tea bags, combining both our favourite teas, with our ‘love bird tea’ labels. A basket full of tea bags was left out for evening guests as well. Working in a school, I made use of the DT department, with laser cut wooden hearts for the name cards that I used a wood burner to hand write/ burn names into, the centre pieces were hand made and we bought the bird cages from Hong Kong’s famous bird market.

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GS Studio   GS Studio

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We wanted to add as much fun to the day as we could, so I designed chalk board speech bubbles to amuse guests at their tables (two of my art students were desperate to be involved in my wedding so they helped paint them!)

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To keep with my background, and also Harry’s Dad was born in India, we used Asian caterers Saffron, from Glasgow, and everyone was well fed! Can’t beat a curry!  For the evening meal we hired a pizza oven, The Woodfire Wagon, a new company in the North East. Freshly made stone baked pizza, and they even did gluten free bases (for me and some G/F guests). We really wanted to keep the day fresh and different, but without being to ‘fussy’.

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My friend Laura made absolutely beautiful cup cakes, with a small cake top. She did the most amazing job. She’s so creative, I simply sent her the colour scheme and pictures of the flowers. She had the invitation too of course. What she came up with could not have been more perfect!

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GS Studio   GS Studio

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It may sound clichéd but I really loved every second from waking up, with my bridesmaids, till going to bed with my husband… I didn’t want the day to end. The most special moment was a moment after the ceremony when I looked at Harry and thought, wow, you’re my husband, and I looked around the room and it was full of all the special people in our lives. It was magic.

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There was a surreal moment on the dance floor when suddenly Harry was crowd surfing, and every man in the room had their tie around their head! The day was the most fun I have ever had! I’m still buzzing.

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We had Snaparazzi Photobooth, which brought such a buzz to the evening, with a trunk load of fancy dress, and bizarre props, we’re still getting comments about how much fun people had in the booth!

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As we spent a month in England for the run up to the wedding, we were out of holiday time, so we’ll go on our honeymoon, to Sri Lanka, at Christmas, something to look forward to!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be take the time to share a moment with your new husband, leaving our guests to have our photos taken was a great way to do this. Make the most of that time, and keep stealing moments together, in between being a good host.

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I guess the other thing is follow your instinct, if having to hand tie 200 favour bags is what you want to do to add that special touch, don’t let anyone talk you out of it. I don’t regret a second of the time I spent on what people might say are ‘unnecessary details’ Do the things that you think are important because it is your day, and if it’s important to you then it IS important! And after all that planning is done, on the day hand it all over to someone else and let them deal with the logistics so you can enjoy being a bride!

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GS Studio

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Congratulations Sameera & Harry!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on the blog. Here’s how

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  – Images © 2012

GS Studio is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Darling Buds, A Real Wedding – Sarah & Richard

August 9th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Have I got a corker of a Real Wedding for you Brides to Be today!  Sent to me by bridal blog Featured Supplier Karen McGowran Photography, this wedding is brimming with ideas.  Today’s beautiful Bride Sarah helpfully explains where she found her own inspirations and the suppliers that she just couldn’t do without.  North East Brides – pens and paper at the ready!

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Enjoy…

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography    Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Over to the new Mrs Jennings: Richard proposed at the Priory in Tynemouth at the end of September 2010. We were there first thing on a Saturday morning, so we had the whole place to ourselves. The proposal was on bended knee, right on the edge of the cliff overlooking the sea, and the sun even made an appearance just as he popped the question – perfect!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography 7

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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We married on 21st May 2011 at Woodhill Hall in Otterburn, Northumberland.  A lot of family were coming over from Canada, so we were primarily looking for a venue we could hire for the whole weekend. Our families and bridal party were able to come and stay with us there for three nights, which gave us lots of time to have a proper visit with them and to have an extended wedding celebration. We knew Woodhill Hall was the place for us as soon as we walked in – grand enough to feel special, but somehow still managing to feel intimate and comfortable.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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I had an all white bouquet with hydrangeas, tulips, peonies, sweet peas and roses by Bels Flowers

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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I wanted a reasonably simple and elegant dress – I’m not a ‘bling’ type of girl, so I wasn’t after anything with too much sparkly fuss. I also didn’t want a strapless gown, which was a hard thing to find! I struggled to find the right dress until I visited YAP Bridal Boutique in Newcastle. After trying a few dresses on with no success, the owner Jo mentioned she was going to start carrying a new designer, and showed me a picture of a dress from their catalogue. She was sure it would look great, so went to the trouble of ordering up a sample from London, in my right size, just so I could try it. Wouldn’t you know, Jo was right – it was the ‘one’!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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My bridesmaids wore Alfred Sung style D476 in Niagara – they looked AMAZING! I ordered them from Bridal Wish, who had the most competitive prices for that style.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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I can’t recommend Karen McGowran Photography, Bels Flowers, The Fine and Funky Events Company, Simone Whitehead (hair) , Paula Pace of Perfection Nail & Beauty (makeup) and Real Life Films enough – they all went above and beyond for us! We also worked with Simply Bows and Chair Covers, Purple Peacock Stationery, Blades Suit Hire, Stuart Collingwood (pianist) to name a few more – all were great.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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We wanted to day to feel quite personal – instead of a traditional guestbook, we had a wedding ‘tree’ where guests inked their thumbs and pressed them onto the print as leaves on the branches and then signed their names next to it. It looked amazing by the end of the night and will be lovely framed. We also had special favours, which were small pieces of traditional Danish wedding cake, which reflected my family’s heritage – this type of cake was served at my mother’s, grandmother’s and great grandmother’s wedding, and we were so lucky to find Birgit Underwood in London who was able to make them for us! I also embroidered our initials and wedding date in blue onto a vintage handkerchief (which was my ‘something blue’ carried in the pocket of my dress) and also designed keepsake escort cards which were then made by Purple Peacock Stationery.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography  

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Our wedding cake was made by a friend of ours – unfortunately it had an ‘accident’ on the way to the venue! It tasted great though!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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We had an AMAZING band, No Time For Jive, agree to come and play for us. They got us and our guests up and embarrassing ourselves on the dance floor in no time!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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How can you pick a favourite part of a day like this!? I loved the band, and I loved the ‘evening buffet’ where we replaced the ‘buffet’ with a crepe station! Executive Catering provided everything we needed and a selection of crepes that were made to order in front of the guests – they were delicious! And good value!

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Most of all, I just loved marrying the man I loved in front of so many people who care about us… it’s amazing.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North is to find a supplier that you like and trust, and ask them for reliable suppliers that they’ve worked with before – it really is the best way to find great suppliers. Karen tipped us off to a lot of great people.

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Brides, Grooms and photographers – Contact Brides Up North to share your Real Wedding on the wedding blog

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © Karen McGowran Photography 

Karen McGowran Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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