Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

When There’s Somethin’ Strange, In Your Neighbourhood…

October 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

This is definitely one for the ghostbusters.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I’ve seen the piles of pumpkins outside the supermarket.  Read the tabloid spoofs.  Spooked myself silly reading “The Orphan Choir” by Sophie Hannah (just don’t). Bought my baby a pumpkin outfit.  Dressed as a skeleton for #weddinghourlive…

There was no way I wasn’t going to share something frightful to celebrate the spirit of the season (see what I did there?) Ladies and gents, beware the Bridezillas this Halloween night…

Styled by Donna Hartley Redfern of North East Wedding Planner and images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jamie Penfold Photography, let me make this clear:  I do not suggest that you use this shoot as wedding inspiration!

Just horrible.  But so very Halloween

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Donna says:  This week the wedding industry decided to take advantage of old hallows eve and show the fun side of those who work within the wedding industry.  The new folly at Woodhill Hall in Otterburn gave Jamie and I a wacky idea. So after a few phones calls lots of industry specialists offered their services to help us get spooky!

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Corrinne, the quirky owner of Woodhill Hall loves seeing the hall re-created with each wedding, so leapt at the opportunity to show the dark side of the stunning wedding venue to show future grooms what happens if you don’t give your bride what she wants on her wedding day!

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

The team transformed models into bride zombies. The brides all received a make under by the unbelievably talented team including KF Make up and Amanda Williamson hair stylist, complete with wedding dresses by House of Mooshki.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I’m off to hide under my duvet till morning!

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Jamie Penfold Photography

Woodhill Hall & Jamie Penfold Photography are Brides Up North Featured Suppliers

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

Posted in Just For Fun, Styled Shoot | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Love In Technicolor: Vintage Lace & Sparkles For A Rainbow Real Wedding At Woodhill Hall, Northumberland – Lina & Andrew

August 4th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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We’re celebrating Sunday on Brides Up North today with this gorgeous rainbow wedding sent to me by real bride Lina and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jamie Penfold Photography.  It’s at Brides Up North dream venue Woodhill Hall in Northumberland, and Lina and husband Andrew certainly made the most of this stunning boutique venue’s colourful and quirky charm.

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Be inspired!

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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Lina says:  Andrew asked me to marry him at  The Alnwick Garden in July 2011, and we were married on 25th May 2013 at Woodhill Hall, Otterburn, Northumberland. 

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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We chose Woodhill Hall because it was so beautiful. The fact we could have a lot of people staying at the venue for the Saturday was great and Corinne who owns the venue is amazing. We love everything about it!

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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We wanted a vintage inspired, very relaxed day.  The main colour at first was yellow but then we started adding more and more colour. It got a little out of control!

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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At first for my wedding dress I wanted something very plain… but then when I met the Y.A.P Bridal team they found me something perfect. It was a fitted vintage style lace wedding dress with little sparkles. 

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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My pretty bridal jewellery was by Sareli, another local North East company (and a Brides Up North Featured Supplier). 

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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We always knew what we wanted suits-wise (ours were from Slaters) but we couldn’t find any ties we liked. We came across a new company; Pangaea, who made us some custom ties which had stripes on the back: ‘business up front…party at the back’. 

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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I carried sunflowers, ranunculus, peonies, feverfew daisies, craspedia, gelder rose, stocks and veronica supplied by Hannah at Wildflower Florist in Northumberland. 

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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We stayed at the venue over the weekend from the Friday so we didn’t need transportation.

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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The ceremony was both our favourite part of the wedding. It was very informal and everyone really enjoyed it.

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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Our wedding cake had Lemon sponge on the bottom, victoria sponge in the middle and cookies and crème on the top. Yum!  It was made for us by Isabelle & Richard at The Designer Cake Company. 

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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We made a donation to a charity called ‘Josies Dragonfly’ The aim of Josie’s Dragonfly Trust is to brighten the lives of children & young people living with cancer. We had dragonfly pin badges for everyone (supplied by the charity) with lollypops and vintage disposable cameras.

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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Our rainbow chair covers and bows were supplied by Janine at Simply Bows & Chair Covers. 

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk.

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We had birds of prey displays from Falconry Days and a photo booth from Snaparazzi on the night. We also had two bands; one for the daytime and one for the night which both were amazing – they were the Zoe Gilby Trio and The Dean Solomon Band

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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After the wedding we honeymooned in New York. 

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that it’s one day – so no matter what goes wrong, just shrug it off and enjoy yourselves

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© jamie penfold photography 2013 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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Congratulations Lina & Andrew!

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Would you like to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Jamie Penfold Photography

Jamie Penfold Photography and Woodhill Hall are both Brides Up North Featured Suppliers, but this is not a sponsored post

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

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Posted in Featured Supplier, North East Wedding, Wedding Jewellery, Wedding Photography, Wedding Venues | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Supplier Showcase: By Gina Jewellery In A Styled Bridal Shoot At Woodhill Hall, Northumberland

May 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Wahey!  Friday’s only gone and bloomin’ landed!  Why is it that the week following a Bank Holiday always seems longer (and busier!) than ever?

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I’ll be collapsing in an event planning induced stupor – did you know it’s our last luxury wedding exhibition of the season next Sunday at Sarah Beeny’s Rise Hall (finishing with flair – click here for all the details!) – but whatever your plans for the weekend (anyone getting wed? hands up!) I hope it’s filled with glamour and glitter, just like this cute and colourful little styled shoot by Brides Up North Featured Supplier By Gina Jewellery to show off her handmade twinkly things. 

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With some help from some of my very favourite Featured Suppliers and North East wedding industry friends, the result is a little pop of sparkle to start your Friday off beautifully!

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Gina says:  I organised the shoot to showcase my jewellery but also the amazing venue Woodhill Hall, which hadn’t been used in a photo shoot before. I wanted to do something a little different from the usual head and shoulder shots of jewellery so hunted all over Pinterest for some inspiration and to show Phil Smith Photography the sort of style I was looking for. Luckily, Phil and I have very similar ideas of what works and he came up with some more excellent ideas. I loved the quirkiness of Woodhill and wanted to use their wallpaper and scenic views in the shoot. I have seen so many ‘vintage’ shoots about that I wanted to use the jewellery as a focus rather than a specific style.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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The day was excellent.!  We had been forecast for rain all day but when we got up to Otterburn the sun was shining but it was blowing a gale! Phil and I had a walk around the venue and discussed shots and locations and a few extra ideas we had for getting some excellent shots. There aren’t a lot of stairs at Woodhill, but when  you run up and down them at least 50 times an hour it seems likes there are a lot more!

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Phil and I were both very keen to get some shots on a sofa outside… the only problem being the sofa was brand new, the walls had just been painted and papered and the doorframe didn’t have an inch spare! After a lot of debate the sofa went outdoors and we prayed that the heavens didn’t open we were lucky and the shots were so worth it!

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Since the photo shoot, we have had a bit of news. My other half accepted a promotion meaning we will be moving to Colchester in August. I will still be making and selling jewellery and the great news is that AJ Bridalwear in Newburn is now a stockist of my jewellery, so I will still have jewellery in the North East! I’m going to miss it up here, but I will be up every month or so and so will be able to keep up with what is happening in the region. 

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Phil Smith Photography has a reputation for creating stunning yet personal images, he undoubtedly tells the story of every wedding. With eight years experience as a head photographer for the UK’s biggest portrait brand, Phil has the ability to engage and create genuine expressions within seconds. It’s with this experience, whether you’re someone who hates their photograph been taken or enjoys the limelight, Phil will help create memorable moments with friendly and positive direction. This gives your images great expressions, comfortable body language and makes you look great and feel great.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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By Gina Jewellery offers a stunning range of handmade Swarovski crystal and pearl wedding jewellery. All the designs are priced to ensure that all budgets can afford to have quality design without compromise. They also offer a bespoke service to create the perfect piece of handmade wedding jewellery unique to you.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Woodhill Hall is a 300 year old detached Georgian country manor, situated near the village of Otterburn in the heart of Northumberland. The Hall has been lovingly restored to offer luxury accommodation for up to 26 guests to enjoy the house and its grounds. Set on a private estate of 100 acres of woodland and meadow, Woodhill Hall provides exclusive use for you and your guests to unwind in elegant surroundings with family and friends, free from distractions of other parties.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Favour-it-ism can make your special day as unique as you are. By hiring their products you can tailor the design and colours to match your theme. Their bespoke favours and alternatives to traditional names cards provide novel gifts for your guests and their lollipop trees add an element of fun to any buffet table.

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At The Design Studio they offer a fantastic personal service to help you create perfect floral designs for your special day. Whether your wedding will be a small intimate affair, or a much larger event, we will be able to cater for your individual plans

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Award winning Y.A.P Bridal based in Newcastle has come to life from the beliefs of a family who know the importance of love, friendship and marriage. Their bridal boutique is treasured and is about ‘You’ being precious to your family, friends and most importantly your groom on ‘Your Day’.

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Their bridal boutique houses exquisite wedding dresses and wedding gowns offering a wonderful collection of elegance, sophistication and uniqueness from local designers in and around Newcastle to couture designers from home and from across the seas.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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At Mia Sposa Bridal and Menswear, they understand that shopping for your wedding dress or outfit should be the experience of a lifetime! Their staff are all naturally warm, friendly and attentive – they want you to feel at ease from the moment you enter their bright and airy store. Their bridal dress department has spacious fitting rooms with large mirrors and also seating areas for your family and friends. It is their aim at Mia Sposa Bridal and Menswear to make your search for your dream wedding dress as enjoyable, relaxed and comfortable as possible.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Lauren E Summers is a north east based makeup artist, who has trained in all aspects of cosmetic, fashion, photographic, media and airbrush makeup. She is also a fully trained beauty therapist, and owns a successful salon is Washington, Tyne and Wear, which offers a full range of hair and beauty treatments.

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The Big Event is a professional freelance make up artist, hairstylist & beautician based in the North East of England, creating hairstyles to suit each individual, from elegant, classic, vintage & modern for any event or occasion.

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Images by Phil Smith Photography

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Little Black Book:

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Venue – Woodhill Hall 

Photographer – Phil Smith Photography

Jewellery – By Gina Jewellery

Wedding Dresses – Y.A.P Bridal 

Suit – Mia Sposa Bridal and Menswear

Makeup – Lauren E Summers

Hair – The Big Event

Chair Covers – Favour-it-ism

Venue Decor – The Design Studio

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Due to her relocation Gina is having a sample sale. She has lots of Rainbow shoes, umbrellas and handmade jewellery & tiaras looking for happy homes. You can see the items online www.bygina.co.uk or pop into Gina’s Washington boutique before it closes at the end of June.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Phil Smith Photography

By Gina Jewellery is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Posted in Bridal Accessories, Featured Supplier, North East Wedding, Wedding Jewellery | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Under The Apple Tree: A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Emma & Neil

January 24th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Yorkshire Wedding by Sarah Mason Photography

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It feels like everything has been happening at 1,000 miles  an hour here at HQ.  It’s a whirlwind of exhibition preparation, freelance features, meetings, plans and – on the personal side of things – refurbishing our new home and getting everything ready for the new arrival of baby Brides Up North.

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Anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook (come and join the party!) will have seen a few candid shots of our renovation project and will understand that it’s been pretty much a happy chaos around these parts for the last fortnight, whilst I sit calmly in the midst of it all processing all the beautiful Real Wedding submissions and bridal inspiration in my inbox.  There’s been a lot of irregular hours worked to keep up to speed with both the blog and the business side of the brand, but so far, we are coming out fighting (and I figure it’s good practise for the arrival of this little one anyway)!

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This morning, though, I have hidden myself away in a back bedroom whilst all the mayhem happens in the rest of the house – and for once in my life – I’m feeling serene!  It’s been thoroughly lovely to welcome the new day with a big pot of tea, work through the email backlog due to last week’s server issues and indulge myself with Emma and Neil’s beautiful Real Wedding images and story.  With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sarah Mason Photography, this gorgeous day is a sunny breath of fresh air on an otherwise hectic January morning.

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Enjoy, and have a wonderful day (it’s nearly the weekend)!

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Wedding in Yorkshire by Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah, our photographer, says:  As soon as Emma & Neil started talking about their day, I knew it was going to be amazing! One of the first things they mentioned to me was that Wetherby Silver Band would be playing at their reception at Wood Hall! As the wedding was late October, I knew the autumn colours would be stunning in the grounds.

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We went to Emma’s parents’ house after being to the hairdressers and the sun started to shine, in fact it stayed out all day! As Emma and her bridesmaids were having their cuppas and their bacon sarnies, Emma was telling me about the apple tree in the garden, a tree she used to climb when she was younger. I was so pleased she agreed to me taking the dress out to the tree to take a few pictures!

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I loved all the personal touches. It was a beautiful day – so many smiles and laughter. Congratulations Emma & Neil.

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Emma, our bride, says:  We got engaged on 14 June 2010 on Whaleshead Beach in Oregon, USA. We were doing a road trip from Vancouver down the coast to San Fran and then back up inland. Neil proposed a couple of days in – he must have been certain I would say yes as we had 2 weeks left and 3000 miles to cover!

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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We were married on 27th October 2012, with the ceremony at St Mary’s RC Church, Horsforth, Leeds.  I was christened there and went to the primary school next to the church so it meant a lot to get married there. We live in Horsforth and both grew up there.  Our reception was at Wood Hall, Wetherby.

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The first time we drove there our jaws dropped as we came round the corner and saw the hotel. The views are just stunning. We had looked at quite a few places and Wood Hall was the standout winner.

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Sarah Mason Photography

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I wore a Charlotte Balbier dress from Bridal Boutique in Guiseley. I knew I didn’t want a strapless dress and found my dress the first day I went out searching. My sister Suzy spotted it in the window of Bridal Boutique and we both knew it was the one when I tried it on.

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Charlotte and Sally at Bridal Boutique were incredibly helpful, I always looked forward to my dress fitting appointments with them!

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Sarah Mason Photography

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The bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses in blue from Angel Brides in Horsforth. Again they found them the first day they went looking. They’re not too bridesmaidy looking and they all looked very sophisticated in them!

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Neil, his best man and the groomsmen had suits made at Michelsberg.  They all looked incredibly smart and had a handkerchief on their suits to match the bridesmaids’ dress colour.

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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We had our rings made by Iain Henderson Designs.

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Sarah Mason Photography

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The bridesmaids, me and my Mum and Dad went from Emma’s parents’ house to the church in a Daimler limousine.  From the church to the wedding, Neil’s groomsman Paul was our chauffeur and drove Neil’s BMW M5 (Neil’s pride and joy, called “Pudding”). Neil had bought Paul a chauffeur’s hat especially for the occasion!

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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We really enjoyed the ceremony. The priest who married us (Father Boniface) was so funny and made the ceremony very special – even when he thrust a microphone at each of us asking us why we were marrying each other – nothing like putting us on the spot!

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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The whole day was just fabulous – from the amazing sunny weather doing our photos at Wood Hall to the speeches to the party afterwards.

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Sarah Mason Photography

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We had Wetherby Silver Band playing at the reception drinks. We love the sound of brass bands and thought it was a nice ‘Yorkshire’ touch as a lot of the guests were coming from afar.

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Wood Hall Wedding by Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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I carried a bouquet of white roses and green foliage and berries – I wanted something that was autumnal and reflected the season. The bridesmaids had similar but with white gerberas and the groomsmen and VIPs wore white flower buttonholes. Our flowers came from Eden Florists, Horsforth. They were great and the arrangements were beautiful.

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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We chose Sarah Mason Photography as we are big fans of her work (we’d seen her photos from Neil’s best man’s wedding) and we knew she’d capture the day in a way nobody else would. We discussed the kind of shots we wanted and Sarah put us both at ease at the pre wedding shoot and on the big day itself. We love the photos and are so glad Sarah could join us and share our special day.

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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We had a mock up newspaper front page dated 27 October 2012 displayed around the hotel – we first met many years ago whilst doing paper rounds at a paper shop in Horsforth. After the ceremony we went and had a few shots outside that shop, much to the amusement of people on a bus going past at the time!

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Sarah Mason Photography

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For the wedding breakfast we had the tables named after places we had visited during our US road trip when we got engaged and the table plan was a map of our route. Neil’s sister and brother in law are very creative and designed and made our menus and place names.

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Sarah Mason Photography

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We had a cake of fruit, chocolate and sponge mix from M&S.  We had a cake of cheeses from Millie’s Deli in Leeds which we served in the evening too.

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Sarah Mason Photography

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The best man Graham’s speech was incredibly entertaining. It had a section where he wigged up as Philip Schofield and posed Mr and Mrs style questions!  We had a disco in the evening. We had a large Irish contingent of guests so had given some song suggestions to keep the dance floor packed out.

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Sarah Mason Photography

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We had a cosy thatched cottage in the Cotswolds for the week after the wedding – was great to relax, go for walks, eat and drink! With organising the wedding we hadn’t had chance to plan our honeymoon – we knew we wanted to go to South America so we booked after the wedding to go on our proper honeymoon to Argentina in February 2013 visiting Buenos Aires, Patagonia, Iguacu Falls and Salta then a few days on the beach in Uruguay at the end.

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Sarah Mason Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be on the day just savour it all and enjoy every moment. I don’t think either of us have smiled and laughed as much on one day!

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Sarah Mason Photography

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Congratulations Emma & Neil!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on these pages – here’s how.  I can’t wait to hear from you.

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Brides Up North – Images © 2013 Sarah Mason Photography

Sarah Mason 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

Posted in Featured Supplier, Real Weddings, Wedding Photography, Yorkshire Wedding | Filed Under | 3 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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