December 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.
Today’s real wedding at the amazing Castle Howard near York is all kinds of beautiful. Elegant and classic, with unexpected touches and an overarching feeling of full on luxury, this is my kind of a wedding day.
Twinkling candles, layers of scent, stunning blooms and a black tie theme. Sensational.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Ally Byrom Photography.
laura says: We got engaged in Barbados two years ago. We were on holiday and Daniel suggested we went to the Sandy Lane beach for the day, a beautiful pristine beach attached to the well known hotel. We were walking along the shore when Daniel got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
We got married on 21st June 2014. We knew we wanted an early summer wedding.
We got married at Castle Howard. If you have ever been there you will know how stunning it is. We had also been there the previous year to race in a triathlon. The views during the drinks reception and on arrival at Castle Howard are lovely.
We had black tie dress code but we didn’t have any special theme. I don’t think you really need to add anything else to Castle Howard, otherwise it might detract from the beautiful venue. We had matte silver colour scheme. We went through endless bridesmaid dress colour swatches before we settled on matte silver! We think it looked chic and elegant on my gorgeous bridesmaids.
I had an Enzoani dress. It had an elegant racer back with some delicate thin lace detail on the neck line and back, fitted to just below my hips and then straight down with a train; and in white of course!
My hairdresser was incredible. Carrie at Urban Hair in Boroughbridge managed to create the exact style I wanted and was so nice and relaxed on the day. I highly recommend her.
My hair accessories were from Flo and Percy, they had a great selection and made each accessory to order. I also got miniature versions of my headpiece for my bridesmaids to wear.
My shoes were from Harriet Wilde, she had a sophisticated, elegant selection of styles. I am quite fussy on shoes but Harriet came to meet me at her London shop to help me choose the right ones.
Daniel wore a Moss Bros dinner suit with a white waistcoat and white cravat.
The bridesmaids wore JLM Couture dresses in matte silver with each of the five bridesmaids in different style dresses. They each chose their own style from a shortlist I gave to them. All the dresses were floor length and fitted with a black beaded waist belt and beige court shoes.
Ally Byrom was my photographer. She did an amazing job! We were very relaxed having our couples shots and she captured the moment perfectly without other guests even realising they were being snapped! I would highly recommend Ally!
Kymm Queen was our florist, I carried some beautifully scented, white peonies and white roses with freesia and lavender hidden around the base (because I love the smell of lavender but didn’t want the colour on display!).
We had white peonies, white roses, lilac freesias and lavender in the centre of the candelabras. We had dried rose petals scattered on the wedding breakfast tables too.
Kirsty Guest at Piece of Cake Harrogate made our impressive four tier (Baileys, Limoncello, Fruit and Chocolate and Guinness) cake with intricate lace design (to match my dress) and little bikes around the base (to keep the husband happy). We also had real flowers between two of the layers.
We had Sloe Gin miniature bottles with personalised ‘Laura and Dan’ stamped labels that we made ourselves. We also filled the miniature bottles ourselves, which was a messy job, but we had plenty of volunteers to help us!
We supplied our own individual types of beers from the countries we had visited together over the last 8 years and had fun little additions with a pick and mix table and giant chocolate letters that spelt out our names.
Our singer Tommy Ludgate (contact through www.michaelhallmusic.co.uk) was sensational and made our ceremony the highlight of the day with acoustic renditions of modern songs which we chose. We really can’t recommend her enough.
My favourite part of the day was the ceremony, but we hadn’t expected it to be. We were looking forward to drinks reception so we could relax but it was just so incredibly special, it was easily the most memorable part of the day. The atmosphere in the great hall at Castle Howard was perfect.
For our honeymoon we visited Lake Como, Tuscany and Sicily. We took our bikes and explored the lakes and Tuscany on them. We enjoyed some wine tasting and amazing meals.
We took a private helicopter trip over Mount Etna for a close up look into the crater.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t get hung up on minor details, they aren’t that important, as long as you have the main things in place you will have the best day.
June 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
When Brides Up North reader Stef first contacted me asking if I’d like to share her Real Wedding memories, she made it clear that she was extremely proud to have planned her big day whilst sticking to quite a narrow budget (in comparison to the “average” spend), and very much wanted to show other Brides Up North that you can have the day of your dreams without getting yourself into debt.
It might mean that there aren’t any “getting ready” shots or images of Stef and Rich’s wedding breakfast to share today (they had mates ready with a camera for those bits instead) but it did mean that they start their lives together money-worry free. An excellent trade off, in my opinion. They don’t seem particularly put out by the lack of all those “details” that we are conditioned to think should make up a good wedding either.
C’mon, I’m a wedding blogger – it goes without saying that I love a huge blowout bash – but I like a refreshing (and savvy) approach too. Don’t be afraid to work out a budget for your big day and then – here’s the clever part – stick to it. If there’s money in the pot and you want to, go large (and send me the photos!), but if you’d rather save a few pennies for rainier days, that’s fine too.
Kudos to you Stef, your wedding looks like it was awesome.
With images by Emilia Smith.
Stef says: We got engaged on holiday in Bulgaria. We went on holiday with a group of friends, their children and my step daughter. Rich said he wanted to take me out for a meal on our own.
Next thing I know a horse and carriage pulls up. I knew instantly what he was up to. I was so nervous… but very happy. He asked me on the carriage. We didn’t go for dinner as we decided to go back to the hotel, buy champagne and celebrate with our friends and later we all went for a wonderful meal on the beach.
The ring was perfect! So different and so perfectly me.
Our wedding date was 29th March 2014. I ran York marathon in October 2013 and after the marathon we walked round York and saw York Registry Office. We went in and had a look. We both instantly knew that was where we wanted our small ceremony to be. We paid the deposit without a second thought.
We picked vintage blues and pinks and went for a tea party style. I love pink and we like to coordinate outfits a lot (yawn!) so we naturally went for pink and blue.
I wanted a tea length 50’s style dress. I found it at Deborah Moore Bridal and it was by Pronovias. I was originally going to get a high street dress or a bridesmaid dress as our budget was so small but I went with my best friend to try on dresses and saw “my dress”. It was in the sale at more than half price but it was a full length gown. We played around with some pins and I decided to buy it and alter it. I was so delighted with it and it is still hanging over my bed! It fits with my style perfectly… it’s different but still elegant and very “weddingy”.
My husband got his suit from the internet. It was extremely cheap but we ordered it and had it altered. He wore all blue with a blue dickie bow and his favourite blue suede brogues.
As we were on a strict budget we asked all our guests to wear what they wanted and informed them of the colour scheme and theme of the wedding. Our friends and family know us well and all followed our wishes.
I had my beautiful step daughter as my flower girl. We got her (unworn) dress from a second hand bridal shop called Bridal Reloved in Beverley. She wanted a dress similar to mine and we wore matching shoes that we won on an auction site and I bought pink near shoe clips to jazz them up.
My photographer was a friend of a friend. Her name is Emilia smith (freelance). She was brilliant and we had such a wonderful experience with her
I wanted silk flowers mainly to keep them forever but also as they cost much much less. I found a lady who makes bouquets on Etsy and I emailed asking for a custom order. I sent her pictures of our shoes and general theme and ordered two bouquets, a hair clip, and a button hole for my husband.
I made button holes for the guests from wool and pipe cleaners. I was super pleased with how it all turned out. The registry office had flowers of their own and we didn’t feel the need to have any more.
My mum made wooden spoons with bells and ribbons on… this was for the guests to shake and wave when we came out of the ceremony room. They were a fun and quirky idea and the kids loved them.
We opted for a champagne afternoon tea at the Grange Hotel, York.
I was very informal, with no seating plan. We arranged sofas and comfy chairs so people could sit with who they wished and it was very relaxed.
For our evening shindig we served curry and cake. We had such a wonderful peaceful day – we wanted our night party to be a good knees up and it was!
The best part of the day for me was having the photographs in the city with just me and my husband.
We got a lot of attention and it was so much fun. We wanted the photos to be fun and capture our personalities and we wanted them to be natural. The weather was fantastic and it was such a wonderful buzz. We were on cloud nine!
We went to Tunisia for our honeymoon. Again we were on a budget and we shopped around. We did lots of activities like wine tasting, camel riding and had a spa day. It was a lovely hotel and as it was “out of season” the value for money was unbelievable… ultimately all that mattered to us was a bit of sun and seven days to be together. Everything else was a bonus.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what you want and don’t do things because they are expected. We feel that people spend a lot of money on things that are forgotten. We had a budget of £3000 and that had to include the honeymoon. We had a wonderful experience and we are now married and we don’t have any debts to pay. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for favours… we did and it was the best move we made, and also included them in our day.
Congratulations Stef & Rich!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Emilia Smith
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November 15th, 2013 | Julia Braime
It’s been one seriously fabulous year here at Brides Up North, both online (the prettiest real weddings, most fabulous regional suppliers, lots of great press in the National media and a Wedding Blog Award for “Best Big Day Inspiration” from Wedding Magazine, thank you very much) and offline (sixteen absolutely brilliant wedding exhibitions packed to the rafters with wedding industry talent, inspiration and brides to be, plus two super fun wedding industry parties).
Whilst your double weekday daily dose of online inspiration ain’t going anywhere, it’s time to wrap up our offline season of bridal events with our grand finale – The Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Grand Wedding Exhibition at National Railway Museum, York, on Sunday 17th November 2013, 10am till 5pm – and completely FREE entry!
That’s THIS SUNDAY!
Now didn’t that come around fast?!
Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Grand Wedding Exhibition
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ
Sunday 17th November 2013
10am till 5pm
Like it says on the banner above, this is one seriously beautiful event. Set amongst the vintage carriages, our suppliers really do pull out all the stops to show you what they can do – and how they can make your wedding day dreams a reality. With vintage styling and luxury products and services, we have literally every detail covered. Join us in this unique and stunning setting for a bridal event that feels like a “proper day out” and leave with more inspiration than you can handle.
Images from our last event and photo shoot by Peter Boyd Photography. And that was just a warm up!
Come along and meet Add Vintage,
As well as all that inspiration – completely FREE – we are also giving away up to 200 FREE Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, on the day discounts, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our amazing sponsors Fenwick York. Just because we love you. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below. While stocks last only.
To register for for speedy entry and a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be goody bag fill in your details below, marking “NRM YORK” in the subject line and quoting “VIP”. Only the bride need register for larger groups.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not wish to use the contact form. Welcome packs are limited and subject to availability. We operate a first come, first served policy.
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November 13th, 2013 | Julia Braime
If you’re going to theme a wedding, you may as well do it properly. Or at least that was today’s newlyweds’ motto (that and “Be Prepared” of course) when planning their entirely Scout and Guide themed wedding.
I’ve been looking forward to sharing this fun and fabulous day with you. Campfires at the ready, it’s Claire & Andrew’s big day…
Images by Alex Knight Photography
Claire says: We got engaged on 12th August 2012 at Whitby Abbey. I had just been on a JEKA adventure with my Guide & Ranger groups to Adelboden in Switzerland via Disneyland Paris on the way back. I was very tired and hadn’t showered in 2 days! I had managed to change my pants and brush my teeth though – small things to make a long coach journey bearable!
Andrew had been clearing out the Scout stores and I had to suffer a variety of vintage gas lamps in the kitchen. Upon collecting me he declared that he found a Scout campsite willing to have said lamps; "It’s a bit of a drive but you can tell me about your trip in the car." I was too exhausted to argue.
It turned out the "bit of a drive" was Scarborough; a likely story. I had an inkling that Andrew might propose but didn’t think he would be so cruel. Meanwhile I kept looking at the road signs wistfully that said Whitby – my favourite place in the entire world. I had a nap; woke up to tell Andrew off for nearly ploughing into the back of a tractor; fell asleep again and eventually woke up in a car park.
"This doesn’t look like a Scout campsite."
"Do you not know where you are?"
"Look out of the window to your right."
"*Sees Whitby Abbey* oh… OH!"
I guess what the game is; immediately feel sick, think I’m about to ramble and ruin everything and promptly clam up. Andrew and I go for an ice cream and a walk around the Abbey.
Andrew gets on one knee and pops the question. I squeak and nod. Andrew then gets extra Brownie points by reading a love letter from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn (one of my idols). He was going to memorise it but it was too hard! .
We wanted something historical and a little bit different to a modern hotel. We were never going to get married in church so we needed to widen the search. We loved Temple Newsham in Leeds but it was very booked up and the amount of chasing we had to do with marquee people started to get a bit silly.
As we had a lot of guests travelling we looked to York. I always enjoyed day trips there with my Mum and there is history around every corner; plus it has an abundance of hotels for every budget and a major train station!
The Great Hall in Barley Hall is decorated with white roses – perfect for a Yorkshire girl and it still has the medieval fireplace in the centre. Andrew wanted a small ceremony (promptly forgetting how large his family is!) due to stage fright – speeches he can do but being “on stage” for something so important and intimate brought us both out in the heebie jeebies! The exhibition when we got married was “Horrible Histories” – I’ve got a full set of the books; cue one very excited bride. I’m proud to say even the costume for “Stupid Death” was on show plus a skeleton and a stuffed rat. What can I say? I love my history!
A Google search for “large venue hire York” revealed the De Grey Rooms. Lindsey was possibly the most excited, lovely and welcoming person I’ve ever spoken to on the phone. Once I revealed the theme she was ecstatic – her Mum was a Brown Owl and got on board with the theme straight away!
We walked from each venue in York. The heavens opened in the morning and I was willing the forecast to be right and that it would pass by the time we needed to leave. Thankfully, the rain stopped by lunch time and we were ready to rock n roll!
Our theme was Scouts & Guides – we both volunteer for the movements and it’s how we met. We were both volunteering on the Physical Zone at Wings 2009 in Berkshire. We didn’t really have a colour scheme as such but sapphire blue and purple did make an appearance – my favourite colours.
My bouquet was white & antique roses with blue thistles by The Floral Studio – blending Yorkshire and Scotland. Twisted Willow Floristry did our table garland and herb pots.
I had a few requirements for my wedding dress: I wanted some sort of sleeve (narrows the search right down); to be corseted and to have covered buttons rather than the criss cross of corseting shown on the back.
I was willing to try on pretty much anything at the start of the search but quickly realised that sleeves or straps were high on my wish list. I’m short at 5ft2 and I’ve got a good bosom so I didn’t want anything to highlight my top heaviness!
The Bridal Boutique in Guiseley was where I ended up finding my dress: Angelina by Diane Harbridge. There were so many dresses in the range (and now the new range) that I loved. I loved the way it pulled me right in on the top half but my legs weren’t constrained.
The back of the dress was really detailed – that’s what most people see in the ceremony. I could hear so many comments as we walked through York complimenting the dress – I felt fantastic!
We asked the groomsmen and ushers to wear their best suits and I got them a tie and our Scottish best man wore his full Bonnie Prince Charlie kilt get up.
Bridesmaids were trickier – two of them weren’t in the country during the planning. I sent an email with links to dresses that I had found online and by a stroke of luck all three liked the same dress. Monsoon had come to the rescue. We got a sapphire blue dress called Meadow and my Mum made ivory sashes to jazz them up a bit.
During the ceremony Andrew’s Dad’s quartet played various pieces from the TV show the Tudors. I’m a big fan of Jonathan Rhys Meyers and I got permission from Trevor Morris who wrote the music for the show to use it in our ceremony.
My favourite part of the day was probably walking through York. On the way I got stopped and had photos taken with tourists. We had photos taken with bridesmaids, best men and groomsmen taken at the doors of York Minster and we could see a crowd of about 200 people stopping and watching. I couldn’t resist some photo bombing of photos on the walk back to the hall (bad bride!)
Overall, the seeing all the hard work come together was fantastic.
We went to town on the theme. All tables at the reception were named after real Scout & Guide patrols and each guest got a specially made wedding badge – quickly popped into pockets and bags by the many Scouters and Guiders at the wedding!
Mum made a necker for each guest to wear and also bunting from donated Scout & Guide neckers. Our table centres were old Scout & Guide books and we displayed the gas lamps used in the proposal on the fireplaces.
Andrew made a considerable amount of wine for the reception – this went down a lot better than expected! We made our own pub quiz and then we had a good old boogie to some cheesy classics.
My bridesmaid’s Mum made our cake. This was very fitting as she made my naming cake and some of my birthday cakes growing up. We had three layers: fruit, chocolate and Victoria sponge. Yummy! The wedding cake had Scout & Guide emblems around the top layer and on the very top was a tent made from icing with two pairs of feet sticking out and our personalised woggles.
Andrew’s an engineer and loves trains so for our honeymoon we went from Leeds to London and then to Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin all by train! We flew back to London to see Les Miserables and then one final train back to Leeds. When we got back Andrew asked for a beach holiday next time!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is this: When you enter Wedding World; be prepared to leave common sense at the door. You can be in a classic no win situation as no matter what you say you are immediately accused of being a Bridezilla.
Weddings have a weird habit of turning people a bit strange – and I’m not including the bride here! You will hear so many different daft comments and questions. Just remember: “There’s nowt as queer as folk!” & “Keep Calm and Carry on!”
Congratulations Claire & Andrew!
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November 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Time for a Tuesday afternoon love in. After meeting online back in 2010, Brides Up North reader Lyndsay and her boyfriend Paul are tying the knot this Christmas. So, where better to celebrate their engagement than on the interwebs? With images by Mark Newton Weddings, lets hear their love story.
Lyndsay says: We got engaged on New Year’s Eve in the afternoon, 2012 in the Guy Fawkes Pub in York. It was a complete surprise – I had absolutely no idea! It was very wintry and cosy by candlelight. Paul had chosen the ring too so that made it even more special and meant a lot to me. York is a very special place to us, as we have spent many Sunday afternoons having drinks and nice meals.
We are getting married in December this year at Snaith Priory St Laurence Church, followed by a reception at Wentbridge House Hotel. We really wanted a winter wedding!
Paul and I met on match.com in February 2010. For our first date we met at a pub for a drink which funnily enough I now work in the same village a couple of years later! I very nearly didn’t go to meet Paul as I had been held up at work, so ended up meeting up a couple of hours later than had planned. I am so glad that I didn’t cancel!
Paul and I went to Whitby for the day a few weeks later after we met. This day really stands out in my mind and we are actually going there for a few days after the wedding. I knew that day that he was someone special and who I wanted to be with.
Paul is very caring, considerate and generally a big support to me. He knows me very well and understands me. We also love doing the same things together. We enjoy days out at the coast or country walks. Equally, we like nice restaurants and bars.
Paul says: I love that Lyndsay is very thoughtful and giving to others. We also both have the same things in common and the same values in life
I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with Paul. He makes me really happy and we have a lot to look forward to! I would like us to be happy and healthy for a very long time.
We chose to have an engagement shoot as we wanted to get used to the camera. As it was a warm, hot, sunny day in June, we had drinks by the river afterwards and made a day of it! We spent some time having photos taken in York where we had got engaged. Our photographer found some really lovely places around the city that we never knew existed! We were very pleased with the photographs that were taken.
I love Brides Up North as it is great to read about other weddings and get inspiration for my own! We’ll be back soon to share our winter wedding photographs.
Congratulations Lyndsay & Paul!
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