Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

autumn amour. maggie sottero for a chic urban wedding in leeds – rachel & robin

December 2nd, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s chic city real wedding simply exudes elegance. There’s a stunning Maggie Sottero dress, a gorgeous autumnal colour palette and an organic, woodland theme.

There was also plenty of personality to this stylish wedding too, with nods to the groom’s love of owls, Cockney rhyming slang table names and a real ale special brew called ‘Old Legover’!

With images by Olivia Brabbs Photography

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rachel says: Robin’s proposal centred around an owl theme. He has a particular passion for owls – since he was a child he collected all things owl. It has turned into a running joke that owls are literally taking over our house, so it was no surprise that they featured quite heavily in Robin’s proposal. Robin went to great lengths to set out an owl-themed treasure hunt, which went on for a few weeks (!) and, led by a number of clues, I found Robin under the ‘Owl of Justice’ – a carved owl that can be found at the back of the Civic Hall in Leeds, where Robin proposed and we later got married.

Our wedding date was the 9th September 2016. We both love autumn and wanted a natural earthy wedding. The weather also always seems to be lovely in Leeds in September, so we were lucky to secure the date when we did.

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We got married in the Banqueting Hall in the Civic Hall in Leeds city centre. We chose the venue for obvious reasons (hello gold owls!) but we were both so stunned at how beautiful the hall is once you get inside. We even decided to have a drinks reception after the ceremony to make the most of our time there. We really wanted to have our reception somewhere close to where we got married and settled on the Devonshire Hall in Headingley, to have our party; an amazingly grand hall of residence, which forms part of the University of Leeds. We loved the blank canvas of the dining hall and the design of the building is so lovely with the cloisters and outside space. We both got a great feel from the place when we visited so it was an easy decision.

In terms of theme, we’re big lovers of the great outdoors and our vision was for a woodland/autumnal/natural style of wedding. If we’d been brave enough (and my mum had allowed us!) we’d have had our reception in the woods, so this was a good compromise.

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Our colour scheme was navy and gold and, fitting with the autumnal theme, the groomsmen wore navy suits with a variety of dark gold and burnt orange accessories. My sister is a personal stylist so she helped choose the bridesmaid dresses, and navy is a gorgeous universal colour that looks great on everyone. I’m also a big fan of a bit of sparkle so gold shoes were a must!

If I’m honest, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to the wedding dress shopping – I had no idea what I wanted and felt a bit nervous about it all. When I walked into the first bridal shop (the wonderful Bridal Boutique in Baildon) I knew that the first dress that I saw would be the one I’d wear. I tried on all sorts of different styles anyway – and was surprised by how much I loved the huge princess dresses! But I settled for the first dress: Vidonia by Maggie Sottero. Such gorgeous detailing and I felt so comfortable in it, I knew it had to be the one. I cancelled my next booking!

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Robin and the groomsmen wore three-piece navy Ted Baker suits, which we hired from Moss Bros. We got the bowties and ties, made from knitted English silk, from the website Swagger & Swoon.

The bridesmaids wore A-line navy dresses from Coast and they each chose their own gold shoes. As a thank you for being my best women, I got them all engraved bangles made by the fab Libby Jubb Jewellery. They had a little birdy charm on them which matched the turtle doves I wore in my hair. Hannah De Ath and Annabel Bailey also did a fantastic job with hair and make-up and made my mum, bridesmaids and me feel like a million dollars.

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to the manor. a pretty, flower-filled teepee wedding at hornington manor – danielle & jack

June 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (30)

When it comes to tying the knot it’s always great if you, or those close to you, have some fabulous skills you can use, not only to save yourself a few pennies, but also to make the day more personal and memorable.

Today’s bride Danielle is a baker, so not only did she bake her own wedding cake, but she also made her guests’ trio of desserts for the wedding breakfast (she admits she likes a challenge). Better still, Danielle’s Aunty is a florist so as well as lots of sweet treats, her wedding day was brimming with beautiful blooms all carefully arranged by her talented relative.

The day as a whole looks like an incredibly loved-up, emotional and fun-filled affair set against a well styled backdrop.

We must also congratulate the happy couple on the fantastic news that they are expecting their first baby in September. All together now…ahhhh!

With images by Alexandra Holt Photography.

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danielle says: We got engaged at the place where we met! Jack took me back to London where we had met at a student ambassador event. He got down on one knee in a lovely snowy park and I had no idea. I cried. A lot! He had then arranged for all of my friends to be at the friend’s house we were staying a, and they had organised an engagement party to celebrate! Later we went for posh cocktails up a super high building in London. All in all, the perfect engagement.

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Our wedding day was 23rd August 2014. We chose the date because we wanted a summer wedding and also because it was a bank holiday weekend.

We got married at St Olaves Church in York. We chose it because even though neither of us are from York originally, it was now our home and where we wanted to bring our family up. The church was suggested to us by a friend and we went along to meet the vicar and congregation and they were all lovely. Our reception venue was the beautiful Hornington Manor where we had a Papakata tepee.

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We didn’t have a themeas such, we just went for a rustic/vintage feel. Coming from an arty background, we made a lot of the decorations ourselves and felt this made it extra special! We chose the style because neither of us really like anything matching, and it seemed to fit our creative personalities. We didn’t have a colour scheme either – just lots of it! Pastels mainly but some brights thrown in there too.

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I chose my dress from a bridal shop called Elizabeth of York in York. It was probably only the second or third dress I tried on and it was perfect! Lace all over, a long (ish) train and quite fitted at the top.

Jack and the groomsmen wore suits from Peter Werth while the bridesmaid wore dresses from Coast.

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We hired a vintage cream VW Beetle for myself and my dad to get to the church and the boys had a VW camper van in black. They were hired from LoveDubz Campers in York – the friendliest car company people ever! We also hired a vintage double decker bus for our guests. This was from Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company.

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Our photographer was an old friend of mine called Alex Holt. She is the most amazing photographer and I couldn’t recommend her enough. She gets shots when you don’t even know she’s there and every single one was perfect! They took my breath away – I couldn’t believe it was our wedding!

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Luckily, my Auntie is the best florist in the world, so she did my flowers for me. We had a lot of flowers! Mine and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were hand tied bouquets of wild flowers with lots of colours and variations of flowers. Beautiful.

My Auntie also did the reception flowers for me. I went along to the wholesalers and choose hundreds of flowers and then she worked her magic! We had lots of vases scattered over all of the tables, hanging bird cages filled with flowers and lanterns lining the pathway to our wedding reception filled with flowers too.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (27)

As a baker by trade I’m a lover of all things sweet so for favours I used small jars with lids and filled them with yummy gourmet popcorn then labelled each jar with the guest’s name.

I made my own wedding cake as it’s what I do every day! We had a simple three tiered stacked cake and covered it in ribbons and fresh flowers. I didn’t want to make life too complicated for myself!

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Our wedding breakfast and evening food was provided by a company called The Hog and Apple. We had a delicious starter of ham hock terrine and a main of roast meats and posh veg! I made the trio of desserts myself (I like a challenge!) and we had mini cheesecakes, chocolate dipped strawberries and tiramisu heart stacks. The evening food was a hog roast which was divine!

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (28)

When our guests arrived at our wedding reception we had a beautiful acoustic guitarist/singer called Jonny Woodhead who played to our guests whilst they had arrival drinks. We then had a band in the evening called The Hot Jazz Biscuitsand they were amazing! We had our own laptop and playlist for after the band had finished. Perfect!

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As a special touch on the day my family had arranged to let a helium balloon off for my Mum who we lost when I was 18. It was a really nice surprise for me and made the day extra special.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (46)

Our wedding reception was held in the garden of a Manor House called Hornington Manor near York and it was held in a teepee. The teepee company Papakata were truly fantastic and I would highly recommend them!We would highly recommend both our wedding venue and reception venue to other couples as they were fantastic. Hornington Manor is a great huge house that you can hire out. There are around 16 self-catering rooms where all the family could stay and made the long bank holiday weekend an extra special one!

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I think the ceremony was my favorite part of the day. Emotional, meaningful and perfectly suited.

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We went to Cornwall on our honeymoon which was lovely. Jack had hired us a camper van for a few of the nights which was a nice surprise and I then surprised him with a trip to Monza, Italy, to see the Formula 1 (he is a huge fan!) as it was his 30th birthday whilst we were away.

A Colourful Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Alexandra Holt Photography (48)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to do as much as you can yourself without causing yourself too much stress! Don’t be scared to shop around either – there are things that you won’t want to skimp on but others that you might be able to get some good bargains on if you shop around!

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Summer Lovin’. Canvas & Lace For A Real Tipi Wedding In The Peak District – Jess & Matt

June 2nd, 2014 | Rachel Parry

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I’m so excited to kick off the week and share Jess and Matt’s Real Wedding with you. Not only because it took place in my home city of Sheffield (and featured some fantastic suppliers I know *waves*) but also because it has all the right ingredients for one hell of a party.

In the run up to the wedding Jess and Matt built the excitement among their guests by tasking family and friends with helping to organise their special day, making them feel an important part of the proceedings whilst creating beautiful personal touches to set their wedding apart from others.

Then there’s the evening do – quirky outdoor location, amazing homemade food, locally brewed beer, live music and fire pits! What more could you want?

This is one wedding I wish I’d attended.

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Jess said: We got engaged on Monday 29th October 2012. We were in Spain visiting the beautiful Andalusian town of Granada and had spent a lovely sunny day at the 1,000-year-old Moorish citadel The Alhambra. As the sun was beginning to set (and my feet were beginning to ache) Matt suggested we walk to a viewpoint. An hour later we reached the top after a pretty steep climb. As I sat down on a bench to regain my breath, Matt bent down to tie up his shoelaces and returned with a stunning antique ring! On our return from Spain late that Friday night, Matt surprised me a second time by driving me from Liverpool airport to a luxury spa resort in Cheshire, where we stayed for the weekend.

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We decided to set the date for Saturday 10th August 2013. We wanted a summer wedding and, as we are both teachers, this date gave us enough time to prepare for the wedding but also to have a three-week honeymoon abroad.

We wanted a combination of a traditional church ceremony in the city alongside a more alternative reception venue in the countryside. So we chose our stunning parish church St John’s in Ranmoor, Sheffield, for the ceremony and Green Directions at Townfield Head Farm, Stannington, for our reception.

We wanted to have a very relaxed and informal wedding which was a bit different so we hired Papakata teepees.

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I love blues of different shades so this was our theme. It is also a colour which suits all of the bridesmaids. Our brilliant florist Tracey from Campbell’s Flowers also showed us lots of gorgeous blue flowers which would be in bloom in August so this sealed our decision.

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Initially I wanted a strapless lace wedding dress but the woman at the bridal shop I visited suggested I try on a scalloped neck lace dress called Ali by Augusta Jones which I fell in love with. It has a beautiful long chapel train and a stunning lace back with simple buttons. There’s a vintage belt which accentuates your waist and really sets off the lace. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford it so my sister (chief bridesmaid) helped me find a pre-loved dress, exactly the same and to my precise measurements, for half the price at www.preloved.co.uk. My shoes were simple alabaster sling-backs by Bertie which I found in the Christmas sale.

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Matt wore a black French Connection suit which he’d recently bought and only worn once to an awards ceremony. He made it look more unusual by wearing a multi-coloured Ted Baker bow-tie and black shoes with an orange sole to complement his auburn hair!

My bridesmaids wore handmade baby blue 50s style dresses made-to-measure from Etsy with petticoats to boost the skirts. The ushers and best man all wore dark suits and blue ties (bow tie for the best man).

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We hired a Yorkshire Heritage vintage double decker bus to transport me and my family to the church and then took most of us to the farm afterwards. It was fab!

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As previously mentioned, our beautiful rustic bouquets were made by Campbell’s Flowers. They were absolutely stunning – lots of local blooms and even some eucalyptus from our own garden. My bridesmaids and I carried matching bouquets down the aisle. The groomsmen all had matching buttonholes. We also had a large, wild, ‘just-picked’ looking bouquet on each table at the reception.

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Lots of friends and family (especially my mum) pitched in to help make lots of hand-made touches to decorate the teepees. These included guest names on luggage tags which we strung from a washing line around the teepee entrance which had table names on the back and served in place of a table plan. We also made candle holders from empty jars we’d collected and decorated with hessian and lace, baby blue gingham table runners and bows for chairs, hand-sewn material hearts for each table, table names which were each a place in Sheffield with a picture and a menu on the back, plus patchwork cushions and blankets for the benches.

My Dad is a keen allotmenteer so when it came to the favours he donated lots of seeds with appropriate names such as ‘love in the mist’ or ‘party girl’. My parents then put them in rustic brown seed-envelopes and labelled to double up as place-names.

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Helen and Paul Haigh of PH Weddings did our photographs and we love them! They were very discrete and captured lots of hidden moments without being at all intrusive. We also had a great pre-wedding shoot in Endcliffe Park as part of their package.

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Matt’s aunty makes the best desserts so she agreed to make enough cup-cakes for all of our guests. We bought a huge stand and another friend (with immaculate handwriting) wrote out guest names so that everyone could find their own cake.

On arrival at the farm, we ate scones (homemade by super-baker Matt’s mum) with clotted cream and jam (made with fruit from my Dad’s allotment). A complimentary drink of local ale or cider was also served. For our main evening meal, we used Coco Catering who provided a delicious and inexpensive barbecue of locally sourced meat such as sausages and lamb burgers alongside unusual salads such as butternut squash and cous cous. Later in the evening, they provided a snack-sized portion of fish and chips once our evening guests arrived.

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Matt and I bought all of the alcohol ourselves and sold it at cost price to keep everything as cheap as possible for our guests. We drank lots of prosecco and also had kegs of local ale and cider from Bradfield Brewery who I would highly recommend for great tasting drinks and efficient, well-mannered staff at a good price.

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To keep the children entertained during the day we had a section of the teepee devoted to kids’ things such as colouring books and games. The farmer Mark Woodward was really chilled and let the little kids all go for a farm tour during the speeches

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We really wanted love music so we splashed out on an amazing live band The Cassettes from London who my brother had recommended. They played two one hour sets of motown and classics and were awesome!

In the middle of the teepees were fire pits which were great fun later at night. Once the band finished at midnight we all went into the ‘chill-out kungs’ and sat around the fire playing guitars, singing and carrying on the party until 4am.

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I would most definitely recommend Green Directions as a venue. For us it was the perfect as it’s close to Sheffield city centre whilst still having stunning views out into the peaks. The cost was much cheaper than at other farms we visited as they have their own wind turbine which provides all the electricity and there are also toilets on site so you save money on portaloos and a generator. What really made it special though was how laid back, friendly and enthusiastic Mark and his wife were.

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I loved the whole day start to finish but perhaps the evening, when the band was playing and all of my favourite people were together dancing or relaxing in our giant teepees, was the best part.

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For our honeymoon we went to Sri Lanka on my parents’ recommendation as they’d be there when they were our age. Our favourite place was Casa Columbo where we stayed in the capital for our first two nights – we should have stayed much longer!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be if you’re organising the wedding yourself, rather than through a wedding planner at a hotel/venue, make sure you have a very patient, efficient and willing chief bridesmaid! Also, make sure there is someone on the day who knows exactly what needs to happen and ensure that contractors are not contacting you about logistics on the day. I would not have had such an amazing wedding without my sister and brother taking on these two taxing jobs!

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Congratulations Jess & Matt!

Would you like to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Get in touch!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 PH Weddings

This is not a sponsored post

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Bowled Over! A Sweet & Simple Real Wedding At Hebden Bridge – Sara & Jimi

June 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon’s Real Wedding, sent to me by Sara and Jimi and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sarah Mason Photography is all about doing things your way and thinking local.  Sentiments that you know we would endorse heartily here at Brides Up North HQ.

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And isn’t the result – planned in just 12 weeks – something very sweet and special indeed?

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Sara says:  We didn’t really get engaged. We just decided to get married last Christmas. We planned the wedding in just three months!

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We tied the knot on 6 April 2013 at Hebden Bridge Town Hall in the old Council Chambers.  We had thought of April and asked Sarah (our photographer) which Saturday she was free!

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We live in Hebden Bridge so this was the perfect venue in addition to being very beautiful and full of history.

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We themed the wedding around the Vintage Tea Party that we had planned for the reception. We accidentally also had a mini theme of thistles (flowers & earrings) which fitted nicely as we live in an area called Thistle Bottom.

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Our colour scheme was loosely based around the colour of my shoes (cerise/purple) but they turned out to be a shade of purple that didn’t exist anywhere else on the planet so we ended up with Fifty Shades of Purple!

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We got rid of all the traditional parts of weddings that neither of us liked and had a really chilled day. We arrived at the Town Hall almost an hour early so all had chance to mingle on the terrace drinking tea and lemonade in the glorious sunshine.

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After trawling around several bridal stores I worked out that I didn’t like wedding dresses! Big and flouncy and covered with sparkles just isn’t me. I’d also decided on tea-length which most bridal shops don’t seem to stock. Eventually went to see Julie at From This Day Forward (Greengates, Bradford) and she made it all SO easy. She had dress samples with four different styles of tops and bottoms so we just had to work out which suited me best then pick the length and fabric. At the second fitting (three weeks before the wedding) it was snowing heavily. I started to panic that I’d get hypothermia at the wedding so she quickly whipped up a jacket to match.

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Jimi wore a vintage mod/retro suit with black piping on collars and pockets. He also wore black winklepickers with purple laces.

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Claudette at Fleur De Lys did all the flowers. She did the amazing ‘pimping’ of the shoes with silk flowers in addition to the Town Hall flowers, the bouquet, reception flowers, button holes and hair flowers.

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We chartered a vintage 1959 double-decker bus in black and ivory from Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company. This took guests from the wedding reception venue to the ceremony and back to the reception venue. The bus journeys were great. They had a real ‘Summer Holiday’ feel to them but luckily no Cliff Richard! We see these buses go past the house all the time and stare at them. It was really weird being on the bus with everyone staring at us.

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We tried to keep everything as local as possible. The rings were hand-made in Hebden Bridge at The Workshop. We used the Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company (just down the road in Luddenden Foot). Truly Scrumptious is a local tea party caterer. Our  florist (Fleur de Lys) is also based in Hebden Bridge. The reception was held at The Fielden Centre in Todmorden – a large Victorian Hall.

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We hired the bandstand in the park behind the Fielden Centre to have some ‘glamorous’ photos taken. We also borrowed some bowls to have some ‘action’ shots on the Bowling Green just behind the Fielden Centre.

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We had three cakes made by Jimi’s niece and sister. We don’t like fruit cake so had Lemon Drizzle, Chocolate and Carrot all covered in matching butter icing. Jimi’s sister also made the cake toppers of us. My curly hair was made with a garlic press!

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We didn’t have any evening entertainment. We just had the Vintage Tea Party at The Fielden Centre. Neither of us wanted any kind of disco.

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After the wedding we honeymooned in  Ambleside in the Lakes. It’s a great town for cinema-loving vegetarians!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t get carried away with all the things that everyone expects you to have in a wedding. Think about what you actually want and just leave the rest out.

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Congratulations Sara & Jimi!

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Fancy sharing your own Real Wedding with Brides Up North?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Sarah Mason Photography

Sarah Mason Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

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

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Cross Keys & Polka Dots: A Real Wedding In Leeds – Laura & Mathew

October 30th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Wedding in Leeds by JB Creatives

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We are right back on home turf this morning with a vintage inspired celebration in the centre of Leeds.  In a past life I used to work near the city’s Town Hall and used to love to see newlyweds celebrating on it’s huge stone staircase from my office window.

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Today’s lovely Real Wedding, with images from Jane at JB Creatives, is all about celebrating love with your nearest and dearest – a close knit celebration with your best people.  Oh, and some good pub grub. 

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With some pretty finishing touches and a nod to bygone eras, this small (yet perfectly formed) city wedding is just the thing to lift the spirits on a Tuesday morning. 

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Laura says:  We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2010 in our house. Mathew cooked us a lovely meal and then got down on one knee and produced a lovely engagement ring!

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He had asked my parents for my hand in marriage the day before so when we arrived round at their house to start our Christmas celebrations, they were ready with champagne and balloons.

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We made it official on 25th August 2012 at Leeds Town Hall. We wanted a small wedding so it was just close family. Following the ceremony, we had a meal at The Cross Keys on Water Lane in Leeds.  The following Saturday we had our wedding reception at The Cruck Barn, The Craven Arms in Appletreewick. 

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We wanted to get married locally and Leeds Town Hall is such an impressive building. The Cross Keys does fabulous food and the staff are lovely.Appletreewick has lots of childhood memories because I used to go camping at Mason’s campsite down the road from the pub.

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We travelled in style on the day in a cream vintage bus from the Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company.

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My dress was by Cymbeline and I got it second hand from The Wedding Mill in Saltaire. I realised quite quickly into my wedding planning that I didn’t like a lot of wedding dresses; I don’t like satin, ruching or strapless dresses. The dress I chose didn’t look very inspiring on the hanger but when I tried it on I knew it was ‘The One’ because it fitted so well and felt so nice to wear. I wanted a dress that I could walk and dance in confidently, and that dress enabled me to do both comfortably!

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I also had a lovely garter made by Nicola Wellard from the gorgeous Silver Sixpence In Her Shoe. 

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My bridesmaids wore dresses by Geri from Next and Mathew and his Dad wore suits by Chester Barrie.

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Many, many thanks to Jane at JB Creatives for the fabulous photographs of our wedding.   She has such a good eye for capturing a perfect shot. Mat and I particularly like all the natural photos of our guests at our reception. It was so nice to see the experience other people had on our day.  She is a joy to work with and is so friendly, professional and hardworking. I am desperately trying to think of the next big event we can have so we can get her back to photograph it!

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I had a theme of vintage of tea party. I collected teapots from charity shops and filled them with flowers for the table centres. We also used a selection of my late Grandma’s teacups as candle holders for the tables. I didn’t have a strict colour scheme but did incorporate quite a lot of pink!

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I made a lot of the things for myself but I did have a beautiful memory book, ‘I Do’ & ‘Love Is Sweet’ flags which we had in incorporated into to our table centres; and sweetie jar labels made by Vintage Twee. 

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Lots of family and friends contributed towards our wedding and as part of their Thank You gifts, I had rosettes made for them which stated their role. For example, my best friend Leanne did my hair and her rosette said ‘The Bouffant Boss’. The rosettes were from Vintage Twee. 

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We had a lot of help from our family.  My brother, Howard and his girlfriend, Helen performed for us. Howard plays the guitar and Helen sings. We also had a Ceilidh organised by the brilliant Aluinn Ceilidh Band.  Mathew’s cousin’s wife made our cake for our wedding day. She decorated the cake with a piece of my late Grandma’s lace. My friend Emily made a chocolate and Guinness cake version of the Cruck Barn for our party.

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The speeches were wonderful, and when my Dad said that I had walked back down the aisle as Mrs Johnson, it filled me with happiness and made it all seem real rather than just a dream!

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Mathew and I stayed at 42 The Calls on the wedding night and we sat wrapped in our fluffy dressing gowns reading our wedding cards and memory book. It was lovely and very moving to read our all the kind words from our families. We felt very, very lucky.

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After the wedding we honeymooned in Rio De Janeiro!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to film your day especially the speeches. I loved watching back our wedding video and the more amateur the better!  In addition, don’t go on honeymoon straight after the wedding. All I wanted to do after my wedding was talk to people about their experiences of the day and read my cards and memory book!

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Congratulations Laura & Mathew!

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Get in touch to see your Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North, I would love to hear from you!

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  – Images © 2012 JB Creatives 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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