July 20th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
If you’re planning a wedding with any kind of wild woodland element – natural flowers, untamed hair or foliage and greenery, for instance – then this stunning styled shoot at Alnwick’s Treehouse Restaurant, part of the Alnwick Garden, will be inspo overload.
Talented photographer Rachael Fraser brought together a group of innovative suppliers to display the very best of the North East, including the beautiful surroundings of her hometown, Alnwick. We adore the use of warm coppery metallics, which sit perfectly against the lush greenery of the gardens and create a super-gorgeous, slightly frenzied Midsummer Madness-feel. Even the cake is on the wild side, with a delicate floral design that’s (almost) too good to eat.
If you want to see more from Rachael, head over to her newly-updated website for more details or get yourself to the Brides Up North Big Bridal Super Show at Ramside Hall on Sunday 24th September, where she’ll be exhibiting along with a whole host of other luxury bridal suppliers.
So, it’s over to Rachael to tell us more about the inspiration behind the shoot and her feelings about the results…
rachael says: My reasons for doing the shoot was that I really wanted to bring together local suppliers in a collaborative way to showcase some of the beautiful work that I’d seen at wedding fairs and on their individual websites. I wanted to create an inspirational shoot that was quite light and natural with blush, grey and cream tones – all super-popular at the moment. And, of course, the vibrant lush greens of the surrounding area!
The Treehouse Restaurant is part of the Duchess of Northumberland’s stunning Alnwick Gardens, in the town where I grew up and where I still live today. It’s a completely unique venue which, with the surrounding woodland, offered a variety of creative opportunities in terms of settings for the shoot. We started on the rope bridges and then made our way down onto the woodland walk where wild garlic and flowers bloom on either side of the path.
The Wedding Dress Company provided the gorgeous dress by Maggie Sottero, which was a beautiful blush dress with a sheer lace overlay. I’d seen the gown on display at Brides Up North’s Luxury Wedding Fair at the Alnwick Gardens and knew it would look perfect in the pictures.
Hair and makeup was styled by Tina Elliot who created a beautiful natural look with some simple foliage in the hair to keep in with the wild, whimsical feel.
The Finishing Touch Company provided a stunning bouquet with white and cream flowers and trailing grey ribbons. For the table settings, they also created a stunning display with a floral garland on the table and copper details which worked perfectly alongside Amanda Michelle’s copper and pastel scripted stationery and table plan.
November 25th, 2016 | Julia Braime
It’s time to forget about the cold and miserable weather that we’ve been having as we brighten up your Friday morning with this fun and fabulous styled shoot.
Captured by Yorkshire-based photographer Chloé Grayson of Fox & Owl Photography, the shoot provides perfect inspiration for any laid-back and boho brides out there who crave a vibrant outdoor wedding in natural, rustic surroundings.
We love the lively tropical hints and bold splashes of colour showing how bright hues can be incorporated into a wedding in a beautiful, rather than brash way.
Here with all the details on the styling and the full team behind the shoot is photographer Chloé…
With images by Chloé Grayson of Fox & Owl Photography. Models Sophie Martin-Stokes, Lianne Kaye and Katie Beck.
chloe says: We teamed up with a bunch of very inspirational local vendors for this shoot, who all worked incredibly hard organising and carrying out preparations. As a group, we wanted to put together a styled shoot that was bold, full of colour and a lot of fun – we quickly opted for a summery ‘fiesta in the woods’ theme that would provide the perfect inspiration for any laid-back brides out there.
With an intimate three acres of woodland in Leeds, unique venue Applewood Weddings provided us with the perfect backdrop for this outdoor wedding shoot. We made the most of the venue’s woodland walks, ceremony area, cocktail shed and decking. The way-finding signage pictured throughout the shoot was also the perfect way for us to tell the ’story’ of the day in a more coherent manner.
The fiesta look is quite laid-back and is the perfect theme for adding splashes of bright primary colours amongst more traditional and neutral tones. Stylists, Whimsical Events adorned the trees with festive crepe streamers and hand-made tissue paper pom-poms that bounced around excitedly in the wind.
Applewood’s cocktail shed and decking area were dressed up with more of these pom-poms as well as fruity paper pineapples. Little details were important too. A string of pink Flamingo fairy lights injected some light-hearted fun into back of the shed. Both the bar and tables were decorated with vibrant food objects and party cocktails.
Not for the traditional, our three-tier cake boasted every colour of the rainbow. The eccentric base, which looked like it had been caught in the middle of a paint party, juxtaposed with an elegant top tier arrangement of icing flowers and ribbons. Taking on bespoke projects to match clients’ personalities, Debbie Gillespie Cake Design is no stranger to unconventional requests and here is the evidence.
Our woodland fiesta was further beautified by the wildly romantic British flowers; locally grown, cut and arranged by Owl House Flowers. Organic, colourful and relaxed in style, the bouquet and arrangements fit in with the theme just perfectly.
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July 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime
If you’re looking for a wedding venue with a difference, this post might just bring an end to your search as we introduce another of our famous Dream Venues to the blog.
Located around half-an-hour away from the historic city of York, the North Star Club is somewhat of a hidden gem, nestled away in secluded countryside for a woodland wedding like no other.
Inspired by the legendary American Great Camps, everything about this place is seriously cool and unique. From its welcoming Woodshed to its cosy and contemporary woodland suites, the North Club provides an ideal setting for those that have a rustic chic theme in mind.
There’s also the open woodland to make use of and tipis can be hired for those looking at larger celebrations. Add into the mix creative owners, attentive staff and first-class caterers and you’ve got yourself what qualifies as a Dream Venue here at Brides Up North.
Here to tell us more about this super special setting is North Star Club owner Carolyn Van Outersterp…
Where is the North Star Club located?
carolyn says: The new North Star Club is nestled within 500 acres of native English woodland in the peaceful Yorkshire Wolds. Inspired by the legendary American Great Camps and suffused with Yorkshire country style, it blends beautifully into the untamed forest setting.
Tell us about the venue and how it has been developed…
Myself and partner Christian, who foundered the company, are multi-award winning designers, with Christian a former landscape architect and I previously trained in fashion.
We are best known for having revolutionized the contemporary fireplace market, (our iconic Firebowl was exhibited at the V&A) and creating CVO Firevault in central London. This unique restaurant bar gained a cult following and was described by Time Out as “one of London’s 10 best kept secrets”.
Six years ago Christian and I put urban life behind us and started Jollydays Glamping, changing the face of British Glamping forever. This unique, woodland camp put four-poster beds and roll-top baths into safari style vintage tents, it won a host of accolades and a loyal fan base, as well as spawning a host of imitators. With Jollydays firmly on the map we turned our attention to developing a new venture and the North Star Club is the culmination of our 15-year dream to create the quintessential woodland retreat.
The Club is inspired by Christian’s North American heritage and his Canadian grandmother’s tales of the American Great Camps – rustic, wilderness retreats, more akin to woodland hotels, they built for wealthy industrialists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We were keen to recreate the magic of these camps, in a rugged Yorkshire setting and the result is a serene and indulgent escape from the pressures of 21st century life.
Since escaping urban life, Christian and I have become passionate advocates of country life – we live on the edge of the North York Moors with our four children, two dozen hens and Binny the Border Terrier.
What facilities does North Star Club have?
The Club has only five private and well-spaced woodland suites, decorated in modern rustic style. These each have a large veranda with gas fired barbecue, cosy sitting room, large bedroom and indulgent spa style bathroom. Close by is The Woodshed, a communal chill out area with an outdoor fire pit and oodles of natural woodland beyond. There is a pizza oven on side ready for guests to use and our Star Suite has the gorgeous Copper Bath and Infra-Red sauna.
Tell us about the space that is available for weddings…
Woodland Weddings at The North Star Club blend sophisticated style with rustic chic. Whether you’re looking for an intimate ceremony or huge theatrical affair, the enchanted woodland is the perfect venue.
The cosy Woodshed can host up to 40 guests for an intimate wedding blessing ceremony and then sit down dinner, or the wider woodland area can be used for a blessing ceremony area and Papkata tipis can provide tepees for up to 120 guests on the lawns at North Star Club.
Hire the woodland and our ruggedly cosy woodland suites for the whole weekend and enjoy a relaxed and unique experience.
October 5th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
It might be Monday morning but we’ve got a gorgeous real wedding that will provide a little escapism from your 9 ‘till 5!
Danielle and Christopher’s picture perfect woodland wedding took place at the stunning tree house within Alnwick Gardens in Northumberland. Embracing the rustic setting the couple settled on a natural theme adding complementary touches in their cake and décor choices.
This pair are certainly up there with the most stylish brides and grooms we’ve seen grace our pages, with Christopher opting for a blue tweed suit and Danielle picking a stunning Mori Lee fishtail gown – definite dress crush!
With images by Sarah Thew Photography.
danielle says: We got engaged on holiday, it was in Murcia. We hired a car and decided to visit the town Cartagena, it was mid-July so a scorching hot day. We arrived and walked around the town, making our way towards the port. Christopher insisted we walked all the way to the end of the pier; I wasn’t so pleased about this in the baking heat! However we did, as we got to the end of the pier, it was beautiful. Out of nowhere he pulled a box out from his shorts and got down on one knee (for a split second, may I add). I was so shocked and over-whelmed. It was the best day!
Our wedding date was 1st August 2015. Christopher proposed to me on the same day in 2013. So we thought this would be memorable – and he would never forget our anniversary!
We got married at the beautiful tree house in Alnwick Gardens. I originally discovered this watching Don’t Tell The Bride and loved it. We did visit a few other venues closer to home but decided to put this one off no longer. As soon as we arrived that was it for us both, the tree house itself, its grounds and inside was just magical. We both knew it was the right place for us.
We kind of decided to go with the woodland theme taken from the venue itself, with a slightly relaxed feel too. Because the venue is so beautiful it didn’t need much else added to it. It speaks for itself really.
Our colour scheme was a very relaxed pastel shade. The bridesmaid dress was a mocha colour and my flowers were cream roses with sweet peas. I wanted to keep it simple and not too formal really.
My dress was a fishtail style, it was Mori Lee from the bridal boutique Y.A.P in the heart of Newcastle. I had always wanted this style of wedding gown and soon as I tried it on for the first time it was the one. Because the dress itself was very ‘statement’ I felt I didn’t need much else, deciding on not to wear a veil meant it wasn’t too over-powering.
Both and his groomsmen’s’ outfits were from a suit hire venue called Most Suitable in Newcastle. The groomsmen wore green tweed with mocha pocket square which linked in well with the colour of the bridesmaid dress.
My bridesmaid had her dress made for her. It was from a bridal boutique in Newcastle called Laura Lea Boutique.
I arrived at the wedding venue in a vintage Rolls Royce. The company which provided this service was called Alnwick Wedding Cars. They did an amazing job; they also took Christopher and his best man before me.
Sarah Thew was our photographer and I must say she was absolutely fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer being part of our big day. She made us both feeling at ease and relaxed from start to end. She also went away while we had our wedding breakfast and later returned to take images of the night time, which I was so grateful for. We got some fabulous shots.
My wedding flowers consisted of cream roses, spray roses, double lisianthus, gyp, sweet peas, and foliage in a hand held posy. The button holes and corsages were a cream rose and greenery. To decorate the ten tables at the reception we had milk bottles with gyp and spray roses. For the aisle we used jam jars and milk bottles with a mixture of gyp and spray roses in with some greenery. I also used a plain white bunting for around the turret which was an area before we arrived up to the treehouse. All the flowers were provided by Simply Flowers in Alnwick.
Our favours for the ladies were a brown hessian bag with a printed heart on the front. Inside there was a small wooden engraved hearts saying ‘Mr & Mrs Burke’ and the date of our wedding. A small pack of love hearts and bubbles. The men had a small green shot glass and poem attached on a vintage post tag.
The wedding cake was a vanilla sponge made by Baked With Love By Laura. I had discovered a dew design I liked and asked Laura to come up with something similar, it was perfect. I purchased the cake toppers from Not On The High Street and used a slice of tree trunk for the base of the cake – this finished it off perfectly
We decided on the Aaron Bayley Band for our night time entertainment. They were a five piece band and played live music for all genres, which meant all guests could really enjoy it. They played right through until mid-night, which was a bonus! Lucy Bewley was my pianist who played me up the aisle during the ceremony. The song she played was Kissing You by Des’ree. It was beautiful.
As a special touch we provided guests with a guest book and ‘signature tree’ – they printed their thumb print onto the tree and signed next to it. This worked perfectly for the tree house setting and was a great piece to frame and keep.
We also hired some love letters from New Image Signs, which were placed just outside the venue. These worked great when it began to get dark. New Image Signs did an amazing job and the service was outstanding! The love letters really made the whole venue light up and we managed to get some shots sitting inside the letters which was amazing! Would fully recommend this company for any special occasion.
I’d also highly recommend Alnwick Gardens. The venue is so special and the staff are brilliant, especially the wedding planner Wendy who helped me plan and make my ideas become real! She was amazing leading up to the day but also on the day itself! I couldn’t have asked for a better venue, it was perfect in every way; both the food and drinks were fabulous too!
My favourite part of the wedding had to be walking up the aisle – it was beautiful, and seeing Christopher and all my family and friends made it so special. Saying our vows was slightly nerve-racking however we were just us and laughed our way through it!
We delayed our honeymoon until later in the year. We will be jetting off to Dubai on Boxing Day! We wanted to drag our celebration out even longer and have something special to look forward to at the end of our best year!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every second! It really does fly by, even though everyone says it! End the night on the dance floor with your new husband and best friends! That’s what made it special for me.
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August 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Leanne and Rob brought the outdoors in for their elegant, woodland wedding at the lovely Eaves Hall in Clitheroe. With sensational images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Fairclough Photography, this outdoorsy couple’s big day is naturally stunning. We love.
With images by Fairclough Photography.
leanne says: We got engaged in June 2014. We started dating in my first week at University (Rob is a year older) and seven years later got engaged! Rob had booked a private island called Tanera Mor in the Summer Islands off the coast of Scotland where we stayed in a lovely little cottage right on the beach. Four days into the holiday, we got in our sea kayak and started kayaking to another uninhabited island with a beautiful white sand beach for a picnic. We kayaked passed a colony of seals that played around the kayak for half an hour – it was amazing! Then, as we came ashore on the island, I started tucking into the sandwiches and turned around to see Rob down on one knee in the sand! It was a perfect day.
We were married on 9th May 2015 at Eaves Hall, near Clitheroe, Lancashire. The minute we saw Eaves Hall, we were blown away and knew we had to get married there. It’s such a spectacular building and beautifully decorated inside – intimate yet still quite grand. The snooker room and bowls lawn were a massive plus for Rob! Also, we really liked the idea of having our guests stay at the venue so that no-one had to go home early and we could all have breakfast together the next day.
We went for an elegant woodland theme. We had lots of silver birch wood, trailing ivy and gypsophila to decorate the venue. We had a cake topper specially made which was a doe and stag in silhouette, and our table plan was a birdcage draped in ivy. We both love nature and being outdoors so it seemed like a natural theme to pick! We also tried to make sure we picked eco-friendly suppliers where possible (even our invitations were printed on recycled elephant dung paper!)
To keep with the natural woodland theme, we kept the colours simple – ivory, forest green and bronze.
I chose the Parker dress by David Tutera (from Bethany Hannah Bridal Studio in Stockton Heath). It was the first dress I tried on and I fell in love with it instantly. Although I tried many on after that, none of them matched up as I had set my heart on that dress and I had to go back for it. It’s like a fairytale dress – quite traditional with intricate beading, romantic lace and a long train. I wore a plain cathedral length veil with it.
We hired Miss Jessica Makeup as our makeup artist for the bride and bridesmaids and we couldn’t recommend her highly enough! She made us all look beautiful and was a really calming influence during the hectic morning when we were all getting ready!
Rob wore his Munroe tartan kilt – it’s the family tartan and he’s had it since he was 18!
The groomsmen wore Blackwatch tartan – some had never worn kilts before but they all loved it! The pageboy wore a miniature version of the kilt!
The bridesmaids wore a full length, blush-coloured dress from ASOS, detailed with beading on the sleeves. One of my bridesmaids was pregnant so some clever alterations had to be done. The flower girl wore the Estella dress from Monsoon and a beautiful gypsophila flower coronet.
We hired the Faircloughs – a husband and wife team who were just perfect! Firstly, there are two of them, so we got pictures from every angle! But more than that, they were brilliant on the day and everything was really relaxed and natural (no standing around for ages trying to get group shots!) The pictures turned out beautifully – they captured the whole feel of the day so well. We’d highly recommend them.
The 9th May was the second anniversary of the death of my granddad. After the marriage ceremony, we all went outside and released some red balloons in his memory. It was really nice to have all the family together to remember him and include him in the day.
The flowers were provided by Passion Flower in Clitheroe. Debra was amazing at helping us narrow down our ideas and pick flowers that complimented our theme. We wanted lots of forest green leaves to surround ivory roses and ranunculus, as well as lots of gypsophila. The top table decorations included roses, church candles and trailing ivy.
Debra from Passion Flower lent us her huge collection of vintage glassware for the tables which we filled with gypsophila. It looked really romantic but not too formal. We also borrowed Eaves Hall’s gorgeous silver candelabras for the tables. Rob’s mum made place cards for everyone using small rounds of wood with the bark still on. It looked lovely.
We’re not fans of traditional, heavy fruit cake so we went for a really light, zingy lemon and lime sponge with lime cream in the middle and soft, buttercream icing on the outside. We got the cake from Mrs Spendlove’s Cakes in Bashall Barn and it was delicious.
We had a ceilidh using a local band (The Riot Band) and a fantastic caller (Sid Calderbank) to call out the dances. It was one of the highlights of the wedding. Everyone got up to dance, even if no-one knew the moves! After people had worn themselves out with the ceilidh, we had a DJ who played all our favourites songs.
Rob’s family are Scottish, whereas mine are English. Just before the ceilidh, Rob’s family presented me with my own Munroe tartan sash and broach to wear over my wedding dress – it was a really sweet and touching moment!
Eaves Hall is such a special place. The Hall and the gardens are breathtaking – it’s like stepping back in time. Everything is decorated impeccably and the Hall is really atmospheric. The food was wonderful and all our guests said that their accommodation was lovely. The bridal suite (with the whirlpool bath and huge balcony!) was especially stunning. The staff were so helpful and made everything really easy for us.
We can’t narrow it down to just one favourite part – we know it’s cheesy but there were so many little special moments. We wrote our own vows and saying those words to each other was really special. Walking down the aisle hand-in-hand after we’d said ‘I do’ with all our family and friends clapping and cheering was a euphoric moment! The speeches were amazing, the first dance (Cornerstone by The Arctic Monkeys), the ceilidh…everything!
For our honeymoon we went to the beautiful islands of Grenada and Carriacou in the Caribbean. We’re quite outdoorsy, so we spent most of our time in the sea, swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and dolphin watching.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to remember to enjoy every moment, especially on the day because it goes so fast, and not get caught up worrying about the little things that don’t really matter.
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December 1st, 2013 | Julia Braime
Can you believe its Advent already? I’ve so much gorgeous Real Wedding content to share with you between now and when that New Year’s ball drops that I thought I’d sneak in a pretty Sunday post to welcome the season.
If you’re planning a winter wedding – or just thinking about decorating your home for the holidays – there’s nothing chicer than layering white on white, as this lovely little decor and details inspiration shoot from North West photographer Amanda Balmain and floral designer Sharon Saberi at Aphrodite Flowers shows. Be inspired to create something lovely this Christmas.
Amanda says: Sharon and I actually put together this simple shoot earlier this year, but the ideas would work equally well for a beautiful winter wedding breakfast. We would both love to work on an outdoor wedding and we thought this gorgeous tree in the pretty woodland setting was just perfect. We had such fun decorating the tree and it looked so pretty that we both thought we would like to get married again right there (although we’d have to wrap up warm)! On the day the light was just perfect to give a warm glow to our all white winter floral colour palette.
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