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love in the dales: a picturesque outdoor wedding at hazel brow house – jess & jonny

October 29th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Wedding In The Yorkshire Dales (c) Maree Frances Photography (69)

We’re kick-starting your week with the utterly gorgeous wedding of Jess and Jonny, who celebrated their marriage in the glorious setting of the Yorkshire Dales, even enjoying their wedding breakfast outside against a backdrop of rolling green hills and under a beautiful spring sky.

Unafraid of a little DIY, Jess and Jonny threw themselves into making their day a true reflection of their taste and, with such a picturesque backdrop to complete the vision, they achieved it admirably.

Talented Jess made the cake herself – super impressive – and also styled the table centrepiece flowers, with help from family and friends. A preparation detail we love is that two days before the wedding, Jess visited a flower farm to pick the flowers for the big day – such a special personal touch and she evidently did a great job in selecting blooms that perfectly suited the rural setting with a lovely, rustic vibe.

We also admire Jess’ confidence in shunning a traditional wedding gown in favour of a pretty textured lace dress with spaghetti straps and a scallop-edged neckline. Teamed with a pair of pale blue shoes and pretty daisies in her hair, she pulls off a stylish yet effortless bridal look that we’re sure many brides-to-be would love to mirror!

With images by Maree Frances Photography.

A Wedding In The Yorkshire Dales (c) Maree Frances Photography (15)

jess says: We got engaged in our front room in Greenwich on 12th May 2015. It was one year after Jonny’s dad sadly passed away. It had been a very sad and difficult time, but it made us realise how important it was to appreciate what you have in life and celebrate it. We sat down together, talked about how we felt about each other and decided to get married. We talked about what sort of ring I would like and went to Liberty and picked one out. About a week later, Jonny came home with a little leather bag, inside which was my resized, polished engagement ring. He sat beside me and unceremoniously said, “Put it on then” and that was it. We were engaged.

A Wedding In The Yorkshire Dales (c) Maree Frances Photography (16)

We got married on 1st September 2018. We had been engaged for three years when we decided to finally get married. We were living in London and money was tight, so we had put it off. In March 2018 I was discussing our long engagement with my mum and how we were a little strapped for cash and she told me “jump and the net will appear”, so we jumped! We searched for a good few weeks for the perfect, affordable wedding venue and, as a last resort, I searched through the list of licensed wedding venues in North Yorkshire (where we now live) on the North Yorkshire County Council site. There I found Hazel Brow House, a beautiful house in Swaledale, and the weekends they had available for that year were 8th June and 1st September. June was too close, and 1st September had a lovely ring to it, so we decided on that date!

Hazel Brow House has stunning views and we felt at home there from the moment we stepped in the door. We wanted somewhere we could get married, have our reception and then fall into bed at the end of the night. We weren’t scared of a little DIY either, so it worked perfectly for us. It allowed us to build the wedding we wanted, and, with such a beautiful house and location, it was never going to go wrong. Ruth and Cath were absolutely fantastic and made us feel at home from the very first viewing.

We would absolutely recommend the venue to other brides- and grooms-to-be. We had the honour of being the first couple to get married at Hazel Brow House – if you want a laid-back, intimate wedding in incredible surroundings, this is the place for you! It had everything we were looking for: guest accommodation, great facilities for cooking and drinks prep and, of course, the setting was just amazing!

A Wedding In The Yorkshire Dales (c) Maree Frances Photography (18)

The colour scheme happened quite naturally. Jonny picked burgundy ties for him and his groomsmen, so that laid the foundation. I had the wonderful experience of picking my own wedding flowers with Verde Flowers. Caroline grows her own flowers on a farm in Sacriston, Durham. We both went up two days before the wedding and picked the bridal bouquet and the boutonnières. I gravitated towards burgundy and added soft neutral tones with a little dash of yellow. Everything else just fitted around that. The bouquet featured burgundy dahlias, astrantia, scabious, phlox and much more.

A Wedding In The Yorkshire Dales (c) Maree Frances Photography (27)

My dress was lace and by Self-Portrait. I bought it online after looking tirelessly for the right style. I spent a very long time looking for something that was modern and clean but also pretty and the Azaelea dress was perfect. I teamed it with a pair of soft blue, heeled sandals from Lauren by Ralph Lauren.

My hair was styled by Jade Walker of IDOHair and I did my makeup myself.

A Wedding In The Yorkshire Dales (c) Maree Frances Photography (52)

Jonny wore a made-to-measure suit from Reiss. His tie and shirt were also from Reiss, while his shoes were from Joseph Cheaney. The groomsmen wore their own suits and their ties were from Reiss.

Our little bridesmaids wore dresses from Next.

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when in rome. a sumptuous wedding at swinton park – victoria & matthew

November 23rd, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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For today’s real wedding, we’re getting swept away by the enchantment of Victoria and Matthew’s beautiful wedding set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

Combining the tradition of a church ceremony with the decadence of a castle, hotel and stately home for their celebrations – this is a wedding with class and sophistication in spades, and we simply adore every little detail from their special day!

With images by Andy Sutcliffe Photography.

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victoria says: Matthew proposed during a surprise break away to Rome, leaving me guessing right until check in at the airport as to where we were going. Little did I know that in the luggage that I’d been carting around, on and off trains and through the airport, there was an engagement ring.

The hotel in Rome had a balcony that overlooked the city and the view was incredible. Every day the hotel staff kept leaving bottles of champagne and strawberries in the room and I had no idea why. I just thought it was all part of their hospitality and even said that we should stay in this hotel more often, as I felt like a princess.

We visited many historical sights and enjoyed sightseeing around the city, including a visit to the Vatican. On the final evening, I was so exhausted from walking around that I suggested that we should stay at the hotel for a meal, but Matthew insisted that we should go out. When we arrived back at the hotel, the balcony had been lit up with candles and there was a large parcel wrapped up on the table with a bottle of champagne. I was very surprised and I thought Matthew was too. Matthew insisted I open the parcel. Initially I thought it was a gift from the hotel, because of all the surprises they kept sending to us each night. I carefully tore the paper and inside was a canvas with photographs of Matthew’s niece and nephews holding up signs reading, “Will you marry Uncle Matthew please?” At this point, Matthew got onto one knee and pulled a ring box from his pocket and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!

A few days after we returned home, I received a postcard stamped from Vatican City. Matthew had sent me a postcard when we were in the Vatican City saying that by now he hopes that I am his fiancée and can’t wait to marry me. I didn’t even notice that he had done this and I was with him the whole time. This came as a great surprise. Just as well I said yes!

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We got married on 3rd August 2015. The ceremony took place at St. Joseph and St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, Richmond, North Yorkshire. We chose this church as it was fairly local to our reception venue – Swinton Park in Masham, North Yorkshire. Our local priest, Father Butters was able to conduct the ceremony too, which made it even more special.

We had a Roman Catholic ceremony with two readings. The first was from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, read by the mother of the groom and then then a reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians read by my godmother. We also had bidding prayers that were read by our eight-year-old nephew Louis, and my cousin Michelle.

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vintage coral. a pretty easter wedding at taitlands – helen & joe

February 2nd, 2015 | Julia Braime

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (30)

Unless you follow Brides Up North over on Instagram (ahem!) then you probably won’t have noticed that I’ve been off skiing in the Alps for the past seven days… a sneaky little holiday before the Brides Up North wedding exhibition madness begins, but things certainly weren’t any less pretty or less busy on these pages this last week!

I’ve left one set of mountains to come home to an email mountain of my own, so whilst I get cracking on that lot, I’ll leave you with our first beautiful wedding of the week, Helen and Joe’s stunning vintage inspired celebration in the Yorkshire Dales.

And breathe…

With images by Joe Stenson.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (17)

helen says: For my 33rd birthday we went to Manchester to watch Eddie Izzard Live.  We had booked an apartment and Joe had secretly upgraded us to the penthouse suite.  On the morning of my birthday Joe surprised me on the roof terrace with a champagne breakfast and my birthday presents.  The last present I opened was an empty box… when I looked over to Joe he was beside me and down on one knee with a ring in his pocket.  I was shocked that he had finally proposed to me and I hadn’t even seen it coming!

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (19)

We were married on 19th April 2014.  We made the most of the long Easter weekend with our friends and family.

I am from Staffordshire and Joe is from North Yorkshire so we looked at venues in both counties. We wanted to get married at a venue that had everything on one site and could offer us the whole weekend.  After doing lots of internet research on our summer holiday we had shortlisted it down to three places. After visits to all three we quickly decided on Taitlands in Stainforth, North Yorkshire.  This beautiful venue had everything on site: a coach house with marquee, a grade II listed house with guest bedrooms, a smaller cottage and beautiful walled garden with the amazing Yorkshire Dales as a backdrop.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (29)

As the venue was fairly vintage and rustic I knew to keep it in with that theme.  There were lots of homemade bunting and fabric hearts which I had spent months making and with the help of family and friends collected lots of vintage bottles from car boot sales, vintage fairs and antique shops for the flowers.  I also spray painted vintage lace doilies with coral fabric paint and used these for the table centres – a job I really loved. For the marquee we hired some huge letters of our initials from Add Vintage who I met at a vintage fair in Leeds.

My favourite colour is coral so I wanted the bridesmaids and the flowers to follow that.  I also wanted spring colours so ivory and sage green went perfectly with the coral.  The colour theme wasn’t too obvious but there were subtle hints.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (6)

After trying on about fifty different dresses (!) I had a good idea about what suited me (and what really didn’t). After trips to 13 different shops, I found a beautiful ivory gold vintage lace design by Justin Alexander at Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden and knew it was the one. I chose my veil from Ava Rose and purchased some beautiful vintage hair pieces from Chez Bec after seeing them on a wedding blog. My pearl earrings and bracelet were also from Chez Bec and I had personalised bracelets made for the bridesmaids, each with their birthstone on.  I wore beautiful vintage closed toe shoes called Orla from Rachel Simpson.

My hair and make-up was all done by Helen Whincup from Harrogate, a self-employed hairdresser.  She travelled to the venue very early and was a huge help at calming me down and getting us all ready on time.

Joe wore a blue three piece suit which he bought from Reiss in the January sales.  He accessorised with tan brown shoes from Barker Shoes and a coral and blue tie from House of Fraser.  His outfit was finished off with his Granddad’s 1970s gold pocket watch which was a surprise from me on the wedding morning enclosed in an engraved pocket pouch. He really looked very handsome.

My bridesmaids, my sister Sarah and two closest friends Thea and Jenny, wore coral lace mid length dresses from an American supplier on Etsy complimented with patent nude shoes from BHS, again in the January sales.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (20)

I walked in to ‘I will wait for you’ by Mumford and Sons (I had been waiting nearly 14 years!) and as I got to the front and Joe finally turned round I stopped crying and started to sing the lyrics to him.  I hadn’t planned to do this and afterwards I learnt that the entrance song had been played in full when they thought I was ready to come in so really he had been waiting for me!

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (4)

After seeing two or three florists I visited Twisted Willow Floristry in Ripon.  Joanna was absolutely lovely and really got the idea of what look I wanted without me knowing much about flowers.  She came up with some amazing bouquets, buttonholes and corsages made up of peonies, roses, gypsophila, lily of the valley, ranunculus, anemones, larkspur and muscari. She also provided dried confetti for my DIY paper doily confetti holders and the same flowers as the bouquets for the table centres and venue which my mother-in-law then put together in a very natural way. Joe’s mum did such an amazing job the day before putting this all together.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (21)

After the ceremony we had an Easter egg hunt and also hired some outdoor games (croquet and giant jenga) from Add Vintage to keep guests entertained.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (23)

RSVP Candy helped us produce all of our fantastic wedding stationery from the amazing personalised wedding story invite and poster to the personalised name badges, wedding programmes, table plan, table names and signs for our photo booth, easter egg hunt and sweet table.

We used vintage postcards of the Yorkshire Dales and a stamp from Not On The High Street for our save the dates.  As we had lots spare my creative sister used the leftover postcards and created us a print of our names which we hung up on the day in the ceremony room.

We also had photo bunting hung around the coach house of all our guests from over the years.  This created a lot of laughter and some embarrassment for our guests.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (25)

The food was all supplied by Taitlands’ caterers and we had a selection of Yorkshire canapés out on the lawns followed by country terrine, slow cooked Taitlands lamb and lemon tarte for the wedding breakfast.  Locally produced and perfect for spring.

The fizz and wine was all supplied by Majestic.  We had gin and elderflower tonic for when guests arrived, prosecco and raspberry liqueur for after the ceremony and a sauvignon blanc and rioja for the wedding breakfast which complimented the lamb perfectly.

We had two cakes, a 6 tier wedding cheesecake made by The Courtyard in Settle which was the main part of the evening supper with pork pies. Our good friend Hannah made three different flavoured cupcakes with a top tier fruit cake.  These were amazing and I really can’t recommend Hann-made cakes enough.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (1)

During the wedding breakfast we had a wedding quiz (all about our guests) and later on in the evening we had a DIY photobooth and polaroid camera so guests could leave their photos and messages in a guestbook.

Our favours also doubled up as pin badge place names in coral for the girls and sage green for the boys.  By the end of the day everyone was wearing them, which also helped with introductions.  We also had a sweet table and wedding quiz for our guests to enjoy.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (7)

Joe researched the entertainment for months and we were so pleased with the Leeds band that we finally chose.  Vibetown provided two great sets of live music, with two singers, brass, guitar and drums.  Our first dance was ‘Hey Ho’ by the Lumineers as we didn’t want a slow smoochy one and we both loved the lyrics.  By the second set everyone had bought the photo booth masks and props onto the dancefloor which the band found hilarious.  We also had a spontaneous breakdance competition between guests and there were one or two power cuts when the generator kept cutting out but the saxophonist kept playing solo until the power came back on. Superb.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (32)

We managed to find a top guy to take our wedding photos at a vintage fair in Leeds. Joe Stenson is unbelievably talented and such a kind, great guy to work with!  We did two engagement shoots before the wedding, including a trip to the pub which made us feel right at ease with Joe.  A month or so before the wedding Joe asked if Jemma, a friend of his, could come along as a second photographer as she wanted to shoot some more film so we got two fantastic photographers for the price of one. Jemma was so good at making the girls feel relaxed on the morning of the wedding and Joe was so great at capturing the real feel of the day. We would give them both the best possible recommendation to anybody looking for a wedding photographer.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (27)

The venue and the backdrop of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales was perfect.  Everything was on site, including accommodation for the bridal party and all our other guests stayed locally in Settle, only a 10 minute taxi ride away.

Emma the owner and her husband Martin were very good at accommodating our requests.  We wanted the wedding breakfast in the marquee which they didn’t usually do, we were able to set up the venue on the Thursday and our bridal party could arrive early on the Friday so we could relax the day before.  Emma let us use her home as if it was our own and was very relaxed about most things.  Her staff on the day were great too.

I can’t wait to go back there one day for a visit when we are walking in the Dales.

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (26)

Our favourite moments from the day included our entrance to the wedding breakfast.  We came into the A-Team and high-fived everyone as we went round the room.  We loved the speeches and the surprise video messages from guests that couldn’t be there, including my nan and a few words from one of Joe’s favourite comedians Richard Herring!

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (12)

A couple of days after the wedding we flew to Miami beach for a short stay and then went onto Belize and Mexico for jungle trekking, visits to lots of ruins, snorkelling and lazing on beautiful Caribbean beaches. It was great to spend some quality time with my new husband after 10 months of wedding planning and the scenery and weather was amazing.  It was tough going back to work after nearly 4 weeks off!

a rustic Easter wedding at Taitlands by Joe Stenson (33)

Joe and I planned the wedding we wanted in 10 months!  We did have ‘wedmin’ to do pretty much every day but we really enjoyed it.  I would say spend your budget on the food, drink and music – that’s what all your guests will appreciate the most. We wanted those special little touches too so made time to have or make things that were personal to us, that others may not have noticed.

My top planning tips for other Brides Up North would be to set budgets and make decisions early to give yourselves time at the end for all the fun things.  On the day itself, try and relax and take it all in as it can be quite overwhelming.  We had half an hour by ourselves just as the sun was setting, when we went off with the photographer, and it was lovely just to catch up and relive some of our favourite moments.

Finally, never put your drink down, you’ll never remember where you put it!

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pretty chilled. a relaxed wedding at taitlands – emily & tom

December 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (43)

Emily and Tom invited their friends and family to enjoy a relaxed wedding in the Yorkshire Dales, specifically not wanting to make the weekend “all about them”. Well, their wedding day was all about them – and in the best possible of ways: friendly, fun and full of special, meaningful details.

Exactly the way it should be.

With images by Johnboy Wilson.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (3)

emily says: We got engaged in September 2012, on The Isle of Skye. It was my 30th Birthday and Tom proposed to me at the top of the Quirraing. It was a very special place to us from a previous adventure together. We spent the rest of the week in a cottage on the Isle of Lewis on a secluded beach.

We were married on 31st May 2014 as it is around our anniversary of when we met – we thought six years together should be celebrated!

We chose Taitlands near Settle in the Yorkshire Dales. We both love walking and the Dales is one of our favourite places in the world. We actually only looked at Taitlands as a venue, we knew the area was right and as soon as we met Emma (the owner of Taitlands) we knew she would help us organise a relaxed wedding set to the backdrop of the hills.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (4)

We wanted a relaxed wedding and encouraged guests to stay in the local area for the weekend so they could go walking or have a meal down at the local pub before/after the wedding day. We didn’t want the weekend to be all about us!

The day was a mixture of themes to reflect the things we really love in the world. We chose natural materials such as wood and wicker and the decor and flowers were inspired by the Hebrides, but we decided to go more elegant for the ceremony itself.

As we love camping and walking I wouldn’t say I was overly girlie so I thought why not go for it on your own wedding day – we chose pale pink and cream theme for the ceremony and wedding breakfast and we teamed this scheme up with dark blue to balance it out.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (15)

I looked at lots of dresses online as starting point. I then realised that I was putting off going to a shop to try on actual dresses – the idea made me feel very uncomfortable. I then found online a small independent shop in Pudsey called Scarlett Poppy. The shop makes bespoke dresses and I loved the fact that they are independent.

The ladies at Scarlett Poppy put me at ease and really listened to my ideas. The draft drawings were really helpful to envisage the dress and the process of designing something from scratch was amazing.

I went for a classic figure hugging dress as I love the art deco era and my Mum choose the beaded lace pattern for the back of the dress – a very special moment.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (2)

Tom wore a blue suit from TM Lewin, his best man got married 9 months before and they agreed to where the same suits for both weddings.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (7)

I wanted to get dresses that the bridesmaids would feel comfortable in and potentially wear again. I went for Karen Millen dresses in pale pink.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (17)

Emma at Taitlands is also a florist which made the organising of flowers easy. Emma has fantastic taste and we gave her the colour scheme and a few details and she provided the rest – the flowers were elegant and suited the ceremony perfectly.

Emma provided flowers for the entrance, button holes and bouquets.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (20)

Johnboy Wilson was our photographer. I would recommend Johnboy as a photographer; he strikes the balance between being friendly yet professional. We gave a brief to him that we only wanted a few formal photographs of the day and we would rather have more natural pictures of our friends and family having fun – he really did capture the atmosphere of the day and respected our request. I think the pictures speak for themselves.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (26)

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (28)

I would highly recommend Victoria Edwards as a makeup artist, Victoria travelled to the venue making getting ready on the morning of the wedding a fun and girlie time. My Mum and bridesmaids looked fantastic and Victoria listened to each person to find out what style they wanted and gave some great suggestions. Getting ready together was a fun experience.

Our hairdresser was Hannah from Verve in Ilkley, again Hannah travelled to the venue and really transformed my hair into the vintage style I was looking for.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (29)

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (31)

Our families helped the table decor and the marquee – it was a real team effort.  We decorated the main rooms ourselves, especially the marquee, where we had lanterns and pompoms. We even added beer mats from New York and Canada which is where we went on honeymoon.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (34)

Taitlands has a wonderful chef that cooks traditional yet beautiful food. The guests commented on how fantastic the food was. As Taitlands is independently owned we were able to organise our own wine and Champagne for a corkage fee. The charge was very reasonable and it meant we could buy good quality wine.

Tom and I love cheese and we new pretty early on that we wanted a cheese tower rather than a traditional wedding cake. On our trips to the Dales we would stop off at The Courtyard on the A64. The Courtyard has an independent cheese shop which we love called The Courtyard Dairy. We knew we would have to buy our cheese from there as the selection and knowledge of the owner, Andy, was fantastic.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (36)

Whether we should give favours seem one of the things we debated the most! We decided give favours in the end and went for quite a simple idea. We bought a favours kit from Hobbycraft and filled the small wine glasses with a mixture of five sweets including some sugared almonds to be traditional

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (42)

The best part of the day was walking round the lawn after the ceremony with my new Husband chatting with the people we love.

We had a selection of lawn games, which we arranged ourselves and we even made little signs. Taitlands supplied the Croquet.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (45)

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (48)

One of Tom’s best friends, Simon is a wedding DJ and he did last performance in the UK as he has since moved to Dubai! The company was called BigBigLove. Tom and Simon worked together and use to DJ together at parties in Leeds.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (49)

We had a short break in the Yorkshire Dales after the ceremony to just relax and remember the day, then three months later we went to New York and Canada, taking in the Niagara Falls, Victoria, the Canadian Rockies and Vancouver.

a relaxed wedding at Taitlands (c) Johnboy Wilson Photography (50)

A tip that was given to us and that I’ll pass on to other Brides Up North was to take the time with your Husband/Wife to just stand back and take in the moments on the day. It really made it special for us.

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What A Triumph! Vintage Wheels & Latte Lace For A Real Wedding At Bolton Castle – Jeanette & Nick

July 15th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Rain.  What’s that?  We’ve all been enjoying the heatwave in the UK over the past week, but real bride Jeanette and her new hubby Nick didn’t let a splash of our usual weather spoil their big day at Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue Bolton Castle.  With some hot wheels, rainbow bunting and feathered friends, they brought the outside in for a pretty celebration inside the ancient walls. 

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Jeanette says:  We got engaged in October 2011 on ‘date night’ at the end of an evening run around Ashridge National Trust Estate in Herts, and were married on 18th May 2013. 

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We had our wedding ceremony at Bolton Castle, near Leyburn in the Yorkshire Dales. This was followed by a champagne reception at the Castle and then onto Aysgarth Falls Hotel for food and evening entertainment. The Castle setting was brilliant. It was quirky and had the appeal of an old building which was great for photos. Katie who is the contact there couldn’t have been more helpful which was really refreshing. We were able to decorate the room and the views were stunning – even on a rainy day. We were told that it gets quite cold in the room as there is no heating but we had the fire roaring away which just gave it extra ambience!

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We originally wanted an outdoor wedding but in reality there are very few places with the right licence (as yet). We actually had three venues booked at one point but they all fell through for different reasons. So, on a last minute tour of the Dales to find an alternative we came across the Castle and loved it.

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We wanted to keep everything informal and fun so did just that. I didn’t want to turn into Bridezilla!  The bridesmaids were in shocking pink and the best men and ushers sage green which actually went together really well. We had bunting up in the Castle with these colours and a pale yellow and blue too.

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I got my dress from the Northallerton Bridal Factory Outlet store and everyone said it was amazing! It was satin with lace over the top and covered in sequins to add some sparkle. The bridesmaid dresses were from there too and they looked stunning in them.

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The guys all wore their own suits so were a few different colours but we got them matching waistcoats and ties from an online store (Formal Tailor). The best men had cravats and the ushers ties.

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We hired Fidget (the Castle’s barn owl) to deliver our rings down the aisle for us. It was only a small amount extra to arrange and everyone loved it!

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I had my flowers made up by Fleurish in Richmond and they were fantastic although I’ve no idea what the flowers actually were!

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We hired a Triumph TR4A for my dad and I to drive to the ceremony in and then after the ceremony, we went for a spin in it and took it onto the top of the dales for some photos. Despite the rain, we did get to drive it with the roof down and again the next day when it was glorious sunshine!

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We hired a band called Hudson who were very good. We were a bit uncertain as we hired them via Function Central and only based on their reviews online however we weren’t disappointed.

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We didn’t have a cake – too busy doing everything else! The food was so filling I don’t think anyone even noticed.  We gave the guests Wensleydale cheese truckles and everyone loved them. We stacked them up in lieu of a cake and guests just helped themselves on their way out.

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The whole day was perfect, even the things which didn’t turn out as you planned. It’s such a fun day that it didn’t matter that I’d forgot to ask the seamstress to add my dress bustle and ended up having to string it up with balloon ribbon!

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After the wedding, we went to the Lake District as we’ve got a little girl and didn’t want to be too far away from her, or for too long. The weather wasn’t that great but we still managed to fit lots in such as running up Skiddaw, rowing on Derwent Water, Honistor Pass and mountain biking at Whinlatter.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – don’t stress. No one knows what you’ve got planned except yourself so if something doesn’t work out as planned, it’s only really you that notices as the rest of the guests are drinking champagne and having a great time.  Just relax and enjoy it – it really does go too quickly.

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Congratulations Jeanette & Nick!

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013

Bolton Castle 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 Dream Venue: Bolton Castle

March 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Bolton Castle

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This afternoon we are off to Wensleydale, Grommit! 

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Sorry, I couldn’t resist (I’m so very much a product of the 90’s)!  However, the gorgeousness of today’s dream venue is no laughing matter.  Today we are in the Dales to meet Katie of Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue Bolton Castle and find out why this medieval fairy-tale venue should be on your shortlist. 

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Bolton Castle

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Where is Bolton Castle located?

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Bolton Castle is in beautiful Wensleydale, just inside the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Our closest town is Leyburn and we are situated in the village of Castle Bolton, North Yorkshire.

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Tell Brides Up North about the venue, what facilities does it have?

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Bolton Castle is a 600 year old medieval fortress completed in 1399 by Sir Richard Le Scrope. The castle is steeped in history and has a wonderful atmosphere, which is brought to life when people come to celebrate here.

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Our spectacular rooms are licenced for Civil Ceremonies and Receptions and couples are able to entertain their guests as royalty once did. Wedding couples who choose to hold their reception at Bolton have exclusive use of the Castle and are able to treat it as their own. We hold ceremonies in our light and airy Solar room which is south facing to get the best of the sunlight and has stunning views over to Penn Hill. Wedding breakfasts are held in our magnificent Great Chamber which would have once held great banquets and feasts. We have several options for drinks receptions including our rustic old kitchen, partially ruined chapel, courtyard and medieval gardens.

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The Castle can seat 120 guests for the wedding breakfast and then up to 240 for an evening reception.

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Bolton Castle

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What makes Bolton Castle a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?

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Bolton is a completely unique and special venue as it is a partially ruined Medieval Castle and so the accommodation ranges from romantic ruined areas (which are a photographers dream) to fully restored stunning banqueting halls where couples can entertain their guests like royalty. We offer special extra experiences including having our beautiful barn owl deliver the wedding rings, enjoying a hawk and owl display in the courtyard, a falconry display in the grounds or an archery demonstration at the archery butts. We want each couple to have a day which is completely unique to them and so every wedding here is different. We only ever have one wedding a week and we allow couples to set up the rooms up to two days before the wedding meaning they do not have to worry about anything on the day. Our relaxed approach and limited restrictions mean that couples start to feel as if Bolton is their own personal Castle and completely fall in love with the place. Our couples have free visits on their anniversaries so many couples come back year after year to see their favourite castle.

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What sort of bride would be “a Bolton Castle bride”?

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A bride who wants something completely different for her big day. Our brides are often very creative with themes and colour schemes and enjoy doing a lot of the decoration and planning themselves so the day is very personal and homemade.

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Bolton Castle Wedding Photography by Richard Wynn-Davies

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How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

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Our staff can recommend trusted suppliers who have worked at the Castle before and we are always on hand to respond to any queries, meet potential new suppliers/photographers to show them around and help in any way we can. We are a very small team so couples can get to know the person who will be looking after them on the big day and feel confident that everything will run according to plan.

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We have our own in house caterers who can cater for all tastes and budgets from hog roasts and cold buffets to three course meals. Our caterers provide sample menus but are able to work with couples to create their perfect menu for the big day.

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Tell us about your catering services?  What makes them special? 

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Our catering services are provided by Guy Fairhurst who grew up in North Yorkshire and whose parents ran the successful and locally renowned restaurant at Bolton Castle in the 1980s.

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Since his childhood, Guy has been passionate about food. He qualified as a Chef at York College in 2005 and worked in London at the fashionable Eight Over Eight  Thai restaurant in Fulham, before returning to his native county of Yorkshire to further his career among his family and friends and the surroundings he loves.

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The North of England is famous for the quality of its stockmen and animal husbandry and we are lucky to be surrounded by farmers who take great pride in the meat and crops they produce and hope that this reflects in our food. Guy and his team are determined to combine the best local and homemade produce with a high quality and  friendly service.

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Bolton Castle

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Can guests stay over at your venue? 

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We do not have any accommodation in the Castle as the whole building is open to the public during the week and wedding guests can explore the whole building during the wedding reception if they wish. We have a list of recommended accommodation including local pubs and inns, boutique hotels and B&Bs. 

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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Ceremony Only: £19 per head (minimum charge £1,520)*: This includes exclusive use of the magnificent Great Chamber for duration of the ceremony and for an hour afterwards, as well as non exclusive use of the remainder of the Castle and gardens. We will also provide lime washed chiavari chairs, registrars table and cloth and a roaring log fire.

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Reception Only: £30 per head (minimum charge £2,400)*: This includes exclusive use of the entire Castle from 5.30pm until half past midnight. We will also provide lime washed chiavari chairs, a choice of round banqueting or rectangular trestle tables, registrars table and cloth, cake table and a roaring log fire.

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Ceremony and Reception: £37 per head (minimum charge £2960)*: This includes exclusive use of the entire Castle from 3.30pm until half past midnight. We will also provide lime washed chiavari chairs, a choice of round banqueting or rectangular trestle tables, registrars table and cloth, cake table and a roaring log fire.

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*All charges include VAT at the current rate.  Minimum charge is based on 80 guests and is not on top of the price per head.  At certain times of the year we can offer discounts where couples would pay the minimum charge and then be allowed up to 120 guests.

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Bolton Castle

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Any really memorable weddings at the venue?  Any stories to share?

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Our most memorable wedding recently was last November when the entire wedding party were dressed in beautiful, vibrant and authentic medieval costume. The groom was dressed in a full chainmail suit and they chose to have the barn owl ring bearer. We were a bit concerned that the barn owl would be upset by the chainmail suit as he hadn’t come across it before but he flew perfectly. He just didn’t want to come back afterwards! The couple had decorated the Castle with help from family members and it looked absolutely amazing with flowers and autumn foliage on every surface and the autumnal colours were really striking. The little details such as place settings and table numbers really set off the medieval theme.

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Another fabulous wedding we had was the first wedding I worked on when starting at the Castle. The couple transformed the castle into a fairyland with  hundreds of tea lights and candles everywhere and beautiful greenery all over the Castle. It took them a whole week to decorate and half an hour to light all of the candles but was absolutely stunning.

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What else goes on at Bolton Castle?

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The Castle is open to the public 7 days a week from February to November (shutting early for weddings) and we have a full programme of events during the year including living history weekends, children’s craft activities, outdoor performances and more. We have a wonderful tea room serving homemade and locally sourced refreshments. We also have beautiful medieval gardens and a daily programme of archery demonstrations, falconry displays and wild boar feeding times.

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Bolton Castle Wedding Photography by Richard Wynn-Davies

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Where can Brides Up North get more information or contact the venue?

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More information is available at www.boltoncastle.co.uk, email me on katie.boggis@boltoncastle.co.uk or call on 01969 623981.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by Bolton Castle

Bolton Castle is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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