Charlotte Balbier
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castle & culture. a beautifully personal wedding at allerton castle – kimberley & simon

September 27th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Colourful Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) York Place Studios (68)

Where to start with today’s beautiful real wedding? There’s a magnificent, grand venue, two dress changes for the bride, some fabulous floral and amazing entertainment!

All bride Kimberley’s childhood dreams can true when she and beau Simon stumbled upon Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire, which provided the perfect fairy tale backdrop to their fine celebrations.

It was also important to Kimberley that her Chinese roots and traditions were incorporated into the wedding, and so the day featured ‘door games’, a tea ceremony and a lion dance! Here to explain exactly what this consisted of is the beautiful bride herself. Take it away Kimberley…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor York Place Studios.

A Colourful Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) York Place Studios (59)

kimberley says: We got engaged on 9th May 2015. My girlfriends took me out for the afternoon to celebrate my birthday which was a few days earlier. One of them feigned sick and we were close to my place so they asked if we could go there to lie down for a bit. As soon as I opened the door I could tell something was up because it was super tidy and there were tea lights everywhere. I walked into the living room and Simon took my hand and sat me down then asked me to watch a video. It turned out to be a video that he had put together of me, telling our story from the beginning up to our engagement. The first night we met, instead of talking to me he took loads of pictures of me. Since then it’s been a running joke that he’s my personal photographer which is why he put the video of me together, basically me doing all kinds of silly things and it was his way of showing how I looked in his eyes. Towards the end of the video, he added in clips from rom-coms with cheesy lines and ending with Forrest Gump where Forrest proposes to Jenny. Then Simon proposed to me and I noticed that the girls had been filming in the background the whole time!

Simon then said he had another surprise and led us out of the flat. We went to a pub and as we walked in I saw our friends and family there, some who travelled down to London from Harrogate and Manchester! Simon told me he’d also organised a surprise engagement party for that evening. We went to the Candlenight Club all dressed up, Great Gatsby style. It was a fantastic day and I had the best time!

A Colourful Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) York Place Studios (43)

Our wedding took place on 25th June 2016, at Allerton Castle, near Harrogate. Since I was a little girl, I’d always gone on about getting married in a castle. When we started looking for venues, we looked at places close to Harrogate so that Simon’s family could attend and found Allerton Castle. I loved the beautiful main hall and ballroom – it was the perfect setting for our wedding. I also loved the grand staircase and chandeliers; it meant that I hardly needed to decorate the venue because it was already so decadent and suited us perfectly, especially as I’m known for being over the top.

There wasn’t really a theme to the day as such, we just wanted to be able to incorporate both our cultures into the wedding.

A Colourful Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) York Place Studios (31)

The day started with the door games, which is a Chinese tradition where the groom and groomsmen come to the bride’s house (in our case a rented holiday property for the weekend) to pick up the bride. The boys are met by the bridesmaids who put them through a series of challenges to see if the groom is worthy of the bride. This tradition is a symbol of the love of the bride’s family and their unwillingness for their daughter to leave. The door games end with the bridesmaids bartering for an “entrance fee” of red envelopes. The amount of money inside the envelopes is also symbolic and will often be a combination of three, eight, nine because in Chinese, three sounds like life, eight sounds like wealth and nine denotes the idea of longevity and being together forever.

Once I’d been ‘picked up’, we travelled to Allerton Castle to get ready. I then got changed in the bridal suite, which is a beautiful room that I wish was my bedroom all the time!

A Colourful Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) York Place Studios (74)

We had the civil ceremony and then the blessing, which incorporated the spiritual element that we wanted as part of our day without having a church wedding. I then got changed again into my Chinese traditional dress, and my husband put on his Chinese gilet and got wrapped up in a nice big red bow!

We got to walk down the staircase again where the front of the hall had been set up with a bench for the tea ceremony. This is where we kneel in front of our elders in order of seniority, one (or a couple) at a time and offer them tea. Traditionally, after each elder takes a sip, they hand the couple lucky red envelopes, which usually contain money or jewellery. For Cantonese weddings, a common gift is a pair of gold bangles called ‘dragon and phoenix bangles’. For the bride; the dragon and the phoenix being regarded as the perfect couple of “Yang” and “Yin” in Feng Shui that represent love, harmony and marital bliss.

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lady of the manor. a rustic wedding styled shoot in yorkshire

September 4th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Rustic Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Jenny Maden Photography (33)

Today’s styled bridal shoot is sure to appeal to the outdoorsy brides out there, thanks to its fiery autumnal colour palette, captivating moorland backdrop and felled logs aplenty. There’s even a horse; the perfect four-legged wedding guest if ever we saw one!

Set in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, this spellbinding shoot was captured by the talented Jenny Madden and brings together a host of local suppliers and businesses. Going all-out with the country chic theme – the team peppered the shoot with pretty details, from pheasant feathers and a hunting horn to a bronze fox and even a hunting jacket (who knew this would make the ultimate fashion accessory to a wedding dress?).

The orange smoke bomb adds a dynamic burst of colour to the all-natural setting, beautifully offset against the bride’s flamboyantly rustic bouquet. The model’s berry lip, copper eyes and textured up-do complete the rural, seasonal vibe perfectly.

Tempted to incorporate the great outdoors in your special day? We think this rustic wedding styled shoot might just win you over…

A Rustic Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Jenny Maden Photography (55)

jenny says:Styled shoots are just a great excuse to get creative, with fewer time constraints than an actual wedding day. I also get to work with some awesome suppliers across the industry, who love what they do – and do it brilliantly.

A Rustic Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Jenny Maden Photography (12)

We called this shoot Lady of the Manor – a nod to country chic styling. The colour palette was very earthy, with oranges, reds, coppers and greens featuring heavily. All these tones came together in the floral pieces, supplied by Floral Dance, with the colour accents picked up in other elements of the styling too; coppers in the table display and eye make-up, the khaki green hunting jacket, the chestnut horse, red lips and an orange smoke bomb adding a bit of fun to the final few frames.

A Rustic Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Jenny Maden Photography (74)

As with other styled shoots we’ve worked on, we wanted to keep the look both pretty and rustic and incorporate the beauty of the great outdoors as much as possible. We chanced upon a really nicely lit woodland area with a huge pile of felled logs. With a bit of persuasion, we were allowed in! We then moved on to a nearby country path and then on to the moors where we met Snip the horse from Langbar Livery for a few frames, before trying out the smoke bombs.

A Rustic Styled Shoot in Yorkshire (c) Jenny Maden Photography (31)

Rustic shades and texture were key to capturing the country feel. The bouquet and button holes incorporated coppers, browns, oranges, dark burgundies and a touch of cream – all colours that perfectly complimented the pheasant feathers, which were an integral part of the floral arrangements. The fiery colours of the kniphofia (red hot pokers), viburnum berry and rosa esplanade set against the continuous (burgundy foliage) added depth and drama. Dried weeds from the hedgerow added a rustic feel, while the cream astilbe and miscanthus softened the look slightly and added a touch of femininity.

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happiness, laughter & love: say hello to jenny maden photography

August 30th, 2017 | Julia Braime

Jenny Maden Photography (22)

This morning on the blog, we’re delighted to be catching up with one of our fabulous Sponsor photographers, Yorkshire-based Jenny Maden.

A self-confessed “softie”, Jenny loves capturing every element of a big day; from the thought-out details and styling, to the true emotions and expressions of those involved.

Summing up her style as natural and relaxed, Jenny prides herself on making couples feel totally at ease so they barely even notice her capturing their day.

Here to tell us more about her passion for photography (and romance) is the lady herself…

Jenny Maden Photography (28)

When did you first start photographing weddings and what was it that attracted you to the industry?

jenny says: I’ve been photographing weddings on a full-time basis since 2014. I love photographing people and wedding days are so full of opportunities to capture expression and emotion.

How would you describe your style of photography?

My style is very relaxed. When I’m working with my couples, they are generally chatting and laughing throughout, either with me or with each other. So much so that many couples tell me that they almost forget I’m photographing them. As a result, I achieve images that capture ‘you’.

I also constantly watch the light, the image composition and the angle in which I’m shooting, to ensure that the final images are polished and flattering – as well as natural.

Jenny Maden Photography (16)

What is it that you love most about your job?

There are so many things I love about being a wedding photographer!

I love getting to know my couples before the big day; getting a feel for their personalities, how they like to spend their time, what they have planned for the big day etc. I’ve stayed in contact with many of my couples, long after their weddings, often meeting them again to photograph their growing families.

I just love weddings! The dress, the flowers, the jewellery, the shoes, the table décor, the cake, the food and drink, the venue, bunting, games on the lawn, musicians…you name it. Sometimes couples incorporate quirky and unique touches into their wedding day, which I’ve perhaps not photographed before, which is a real treat for me.

Lastly, and I think perhaps my upmost favourtite thing, about being a wedding photographer, is capturing the emotion of the day; happiness, laughter and love. The feelings between the bride and groom are so evident, but the love between them and their parents, siblings and friends, is so clear to see too. I get to witness this close-hand and document it. Being a hopeless softie with a passion for photographs, this is an absolute pleasure!

Jenny Maden Photography (30)

In your opinion what are the most important things for a couple to consider when deciding which photographer to book for their wedding?

I strongly suggest you review their portfolio of work, to ensure that their style of work is to your taste. I also think it’s useful to meet as it’s really important that you feel at ease with your chosen photographer.

What is the feedback like from your couples?

I’ve had some lovely feedback, which I hugely value. Instead of me paraphrasing, take a peek for yourselves here.

Jenny Maden Photography (8)

Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day to capture?

I genuinely love the whole day. The bridal prep, the ‘first look’, the ceremony itself, the speeches, the first dance, but I also really love those quiet moments when I take the bride and groom off for a few pictures away from the guests. It’s often the only part of the day that they are alone together, and it’s a really special time that I get to capture.

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rustic charm meets 1920s chic: a summer wedding at skipton castle – rachel & harry

February 6th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (44)

Today on the blog, we’re stepping back in time with Rachel and Harry as they tie the knot at the medieval Skipton Castle in Yorkshire.

After 10 years together – Rachel awoke from her slumber one day to find an engagement ring on her finger; the definition of a dream come true if ever we saw one!

Their wedding was just as dreamy, with wildflowers, pretty pastels, a classic Bentley and a gorgeous three-tiered cake, not to mention a subtle nod to all things art deco. Read on for all the exquisite details…

With images by Bethany Clarke

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (9)

rachel says: We had been together for 10 years before we got engaged and always joked that there was no point in Harry proposing as he knew I would say yes, so we may as well skip the engagement and just get married. In the early hours of 31st August 2015 Harry popped the most beautiful sapphire and diamond ring on my finger while I was asleep! Obviously, it was a wonderful surprise to wake up to, and Harry had spent hours nervously waiting for me to be in a deep enough sleep to put the ring on.

We got married on 23rd July 2016. We knew that we wanted a summer wedding and the venue we wanted only had a few weekends left and this date worked the best for us.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (20)

We tied the knot at Skipton Castle. We are both really interested in history and love visiting heritage sites and museums. We had visited Skipton Castle together a few times and always had a lot of fun there so it was really exciting to find out that they actually hold weddings there too! Of course, I wanted the whole fairytale princess in a castle vibe too! We had visited a few other venues but Skipton Castle just felt so special to us, everyone that works there is so lovely and genuinely wanted us to have the best day; they really put us at ease and made our wedding super special.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (39)

We wanted to have a really casual and fun wedding. It was quite small and intimate, we didn’t have a seating plan or anything like that, we just wanted everyone to mingle and have a great time.

I wouldn’t say we had a particular theme but due to our own personal styles there was a bit of a vintage feel to the day – my dress was 1920s inspired, we had a classic Bentley and wild flowers everywhere. It’s hard not to get swept up when you’re getting married in a medieval castle!

We didn’t have a colour scheme; everything was quite neutral. We had a range of different colours in our flowers and these were the only real colours on the day, at the castle and later at our reception venue too. We matched the car and the cake to the bridesmaid’s pale grey dress as it was important to us that everything looked quite minimal.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (32)

I wore a Maggie Sottero dress from Abigail’s Bridal Boutique. Looking through bridal magazines and blogs I fell in love with Maggie Sottero’s designs and I discovered that Abigail’s Bridal Boutique is one of the few shops in Leeds that stock this brand. I tried on a handful of dresses but as soon as I put on ‘Ettia’ I knew that was the dress for me. It was everything I had ever dreamed of in a wedding dress and the lovely ladies at Abigail’s had to coax me out of it in the end as I didn’t want to take it off. I paired it with a cathedral length, Swarovski trimmed veil and an art deco headpiece – I felt like a princess.

Harry wore a gorgeous suit from The Kooples and my bridesmaid wore a pale grey dress from ASOS.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (28)

We hired a classic S-type Bentley from Classic and Vintage Travel in Harrogate. The car was incredible and the driver was so wonderfully friendly and surprised us with a bottle of Champagne after the ceremony. He drove us out to a lovely area of greenery in Skipton and we drank some Champagne and enjoyed a few minutes to ourselves before driving to the reception. It was such a special moment and we were so grateful to the driver for suggesting it.

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a touch of class. enzoani for a romantic wedding at the grand hotel and spa – hannah & michael

October 31st, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog we bring you Hannah and Michael’s special day, at the beautiful five-star Grand Hotel and Spa, in York. The historic city was already close to the couple’s hearts and they were totally won over by the Edwardian venue’s truly romantic backdrop.

Opting for a gorgeous gold, bronze and blush pink colour scheme complemented by an abundance of candles, petals and even pom poms – this is a wedding exuding understated glamour and charm.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Richard Perry Photography.

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hannah says: We got engaged at home, in our living room, on 13th April. Everything was pretty hectic as we were planning a move to the Middle East with Michael’s job. It was just perfect, I was sat playing with our little boy, Archie, and Michael literally gave me the shock of my life as he appeared with a box and got down on one knee to propose. I couldn’t believe it!

We got married on 4th August 2016 – we didn’t want to wait, plus I had always really wanted a summer wedding. With it being last minute, we were limited by dates but after settling on August, this date just seemed right.

Our wedding venue was The Grand Hotel and Spa, in York. We knew the venue had to be in York as it has a lot of special memories for us – from our first date to the birth of our son, as well as it being my hometown. I fell in love with The Grand Hotel from the moment I saw the grand boardroom; the venue’s elegance and history was just perfect.

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Our wedding theme was vintage glamour with a touch of romance. I wanted something with class and sophistication, and once we found the venue, I knew that the grand features of the hotel would work perfectly. As for the colour scheme, this focused on gold, bronze and blush pink.

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I found my wedding dress at The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in North Yorkshire. I always knew this would be my starting place, as I know the owner Diana through a close friend. As soon as I stepped into the boutique I knew my dream dress would be in there, somewhere. After trying every different style and fit, I finally found the one – that butterfly feeling was most certainly there! I chose an Enzoani gown in ivory; a vintage style silk and lace embellished dress. It matched the venue and style of the wedding perfectly. I could not recommend Diana and The Little Pearl more. I had the most magical experience from start to finish and felt like a true princess. Diana didn’t miss a detail and would go out of her way to accommodate any request.

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Michael wore a pale blue French Connection suit with a blush pink tie from Reiss. His shirt was from The Kooples and he bought shoes from Jones Bootmaker.

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framing moments: sier photography

August 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime

North Yorkshire Wedding

This afternoon we’re thrilled to be introducing another talented wedding photography company to our list of fabulous list of Sponsors – say hello to Sier Photography.

Set up by Sheffield-based husband and wife team Matthew and Deborah, Sier Photography offers the services of two skilful photographers with more than a decade’s experience of shooting weddings.

Capturing the day as it unfolds, the dynamic duo aim to blend into the background, framing beautiful moments as they happen while also working to a couple’s brief to ensure they achieve exactly what the bride and groom want for their big day images.

For those of you that like what you see, Sier Photography is offering a free pre-wedding photoshoot to our readers who book them for their wedding, simply quote “Brides Up North”. Just be sure to hurry though as these guys are in demand!

To explain a little more about their wedding day image style and approach we’ll hand over the blog to the main man himself, Matthew.

North Yorkshire Wedding

Tell us a little about your background…

matthew says: We have been photographing weddings for a little over ten years. Our first was as a favour to a colleague of Deborah’s who wanted a few images of her day. As well as being our first, it is also our smallest to date with a total of eight guests, including us!

What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?

We love weddings and being there to capture the emotions of the day for everyone involved gives you such a buzz. It was the thought of helping create memories for our clients that appealed to us.

North Yorkshire Wedding

And what is it about your job that you love?

I think we both like the happiness of the day, seeing people at their best and most lively. It is a wonderful privilege to be part of one of the biggest days in a couples lives (up to then at least) and so nice to be able to capture it for them.

How would you describe your style of wedding photography and what makes you stand out from others?

Our style of wedding photography is to be as hands-off as possible. We love to capture the day as it unfolds around us, using the features of the venue and lighting to give our clients the best images possible. We try to work in a relaxed and informal way, to blend in with guests. This doesn’t mean that we won’t take any formal shots or grouped posed photographs though. We always say it is your day, your way and we are there to work for you.

North Yorkshire Wedding
What do your clients love about your approach, service and images?

The feedback from our clients has always been highly positive and they are always really surprised just how hard we work for them on their wedding day!

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