January 15th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
A wedding that lasts a whole weekend has to be every bride’s dream, as anyone who’s ever been married will tell you that the big day goes by in a flash.
Today’s featured couple, Neil and Sarah, who held their wedding at Brides Up North Sponsor venue Hornington Manor, squeezed every minute they could into their nuptials, hiring the venue exclusively for a full weekend and bookending their wedding day with relaxed barbecues for their family and friends.
An unusual but inspired detail of their big day was to have a juke box in the evening instead of a band, so everyone could plug in their favourite tunes and create their own DJ set.
We love the barn setting, with its hanging chandeliers, and the bunting that Sarah’s mum took a whole year to make – now that’s dedication! If you too adore the country charm of this stunning venue then be sure to join us on Thursday 19th April, when we will be hosting an Pop Up Evening Wedding Festival Fair at Hornington Manor, with a collection of fabulous local suppliers and the venue’s amazing team!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Richard Perry Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged in 2016. Neil had bought a ring in the August but had been thinking about how to pop the question for a few months. He decided to propose when we were on holiday in Edinburgh, in September. We stayed in a small town called Linlithgow, for a few days where there is a castle by a loch, which would have been a lovely setting. He had planned the proposal to be there and we went after dinner one night – but it was really dark. We went into Edinburgh for the latter part of the week, by which point Neil was running out of chances. One night I had a dream that Neil proposed while in Edinburgh, so he thought I knew! It got to our last night: we had dinner in town and walked back through the Princes Street gardens. He took me to a quiet part away from other people and got down on one knee. I was so surprised that I started laughing and crying at the same time. So much so that he had to prompt me for an answer!
We got married on 22nd July 2017. I liked the idea of a summer wedding but wasn’t set on an exact date. When we booked the beautiful Hornington Manor near Tadcaster, they didn’t have many dates left, so we just picked one before they got booked up! The venue is an old manor house, which has all the original bedrooms and kitchens, and large front lawns, and they’ve refurbished the barn into a reception area. It was perfect – so relaxed and homely. You can hire the whole place for the weekend, which is an extra bonus. We would definitely recommend the venue: it’s so beautiful and the barn was just perfect for our style of wedding. Having it for the whole weekend meant we could invite all our family down, have barbecues on the Friday and Sunday and have a good catch up with people we hadn’t seen for a while. Joanne, Simon and all the team are so helpful and go above and beyond to make the weekend perfect.
We didn’t choose a particular theme. With the venue being quite ‘country’ and relaxed, we just aimed for the whole wedding to be easy going. We both like the colour blue, so were happy to incorporate that where we could. The wedding party was dressed in blue and all the stationery, made by Megan at Pretty Neat Studios in Harrogate, was done on navy blue card. She laser-printed our invitations, menus and thank you cards. We gave her an idea of what style we wanted, which she based the design on. They were beautifully made and unique. We would highly recommend looking her up!
I got my dress from Scarlet Poppy in Pudsey, Leeds. The staff there are so helpful and not pushy. I knew I wanted a slim-fitting dress, as I have a small figure. It was a sweetheart gown in ivory, with the underskirt a sand colour. It had lace detail and the straps could be either straight or criss-crossed. I loved it and it was so comfortable to wear all day.
Neil wore a suit hired from Harrogate Suit Hire. It was a navy, slim-fitting tailcoat, with a tweed waistcoat. He wore tan brown shoes. The groomsmen wore the same as Neil.
The bridesmaids wore pale blue maxi dresses, which had an oriental print along the bottom. They suited the venue style really well and the girls looked really nice.
December 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s couple, Lauren and Andrew, wanted timeless over trendy for their special day, and so tails, armfuls of roses and a traditional hearty Yorkshire menu were the order of the day.
Light-up letters, live music and a talented DJ ensured their reception went with a bang, as well as an alternative guest book in the form of some fun photobooth action.
Of all the gorgeous details you’ll see below, however, there’s one that really stands out: Lauren’s gown. In our humble opinion, her stunning Ronald Joyce creation steals the show – the lace overlay, sequin detailing and that beaded string back is Choirs-Of-Angels-Singing-Halleluiah levels of stunningness – just take a look for yourselves…
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Photography.
lauren says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2015, and chose Saturday 2nd September 2017 as our wedding date. We liked the fact that we would get the end of summer/early autumn colours outside but also hoped for a warm, sunny day (which we got!) It was also important to give my sister and husband enough time to fly in from New Zealand for the wedding.
We were married at the Immaculate Conception Church in Sicklinghall. It’s a catholic church which was important to Andrew, but had the attractive setting that I’d always imagined getting married in.
The reception was at The Bridge Hotel & Spa Wetherby. It was the first place we looked round after researching some places that took our fancy. It was an instant hit and nothing we saw afterwards compared to the overall package they were offering. It had a spacious function room and lovely grounds but still had a ‘country inn’ feel to the bar and restaurant, which we loved.
Colour-wise, we went for coral. We felt it matched with the time of year and the coloured roses we wanted for the bouquets.
Andrew wore a silk slate grey suit with tails and a white waistcoat from Bridal Apparel, Leeds. We wanted a more traditional look compared to a normal suit and felt it was important for a once-in-a-lifetime day. He matched it with a coral cravat and handkerchief.
Our bridesmaids wore coral Morilee dresses from Platinum Brides, and the groomsmen wore the same as Andrew but with grey waistcoat.
September 27th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
September 18th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We’re kicking off the week with a truly cool and individual big day that had a relaxed rustic and boho vibe.
Taking place at an exclusive location in Mulgrave Woods, Whitby, today’s couple Ceri and Liam, tied the knot in the ruins of a castle before moving onto a marquee at Liam’s parents’ house for a chilled reception, complete with views over the whimsical woodland and coastline beyond.
We’re totally crushing on Ceri’s gorgeous lace dress by Brides Up North Sponsor, the fabulous Charlotte Balbier, not to mention those uber-cool bell, bead and pearl anklets.
Keeping the style bar up high, we also adore the bridesmaids’ pastel dresses and flower crowns, as well as the men’s brace and bow tie combos! This party are on point!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.
ceri says: Liam had originally planned to propose during a surprise trip to Edinburgh but didn’t find the right time so ended up asking me once we got home to Durham. He popped the question on a bridge over the river during the Lumiere light festival.
We set the date for 24th June 2017, as it was close to the solstice so we’d have lots of daylight.
We got married at the Old Castle in Mulgrave Woods, Whitby. These are some old ruins deep in the woods, we wrote to Lord Normanby who owns the land and who Liam’s dad has worked for, for 40 years to ask his permission for us to hold our ceremony there. Our guests had to walk through the woods to reach it though some were taken via Land Rover. For the reception, we had a marquee in a field overlooking the woods and sea at Liam’s parents’ house, which is a gatehouse to the woods in a village called Dunsley.
As our ceremony at Mulgrave Woods wasn’t the legal one (we went to the register office another day) we asked Liam’s close friend Tristan to conduct the ceremony. He did such a fantastic job and it made it even more personal and relaxed.
Our rings were mad by my friend Geri of Smuggler’s Treasure. It meant a lot to us that they were made locally and by a friend, they are a hammered texture with an engraved heart inside. Geri also made me some anklets, which had brass beads, bells and fresh water pearls on as I had bare feet on the day.
The theme of the wedding was very relaxed we didn’t have a colour scheme but we incorporated the woods into the styling with real trees in the marquee, log cuttings and lots of wild flowers. I’m a photographer so we had lots of vintage cameras around too.
There was lots of green throughout the wedding due to the amounts of foliage – we made living chandeliers using old bike wheels, greenery and fairy lights and hung them in the marquee.
September 4th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
August 30th, 2017 | Julia Braime
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…
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.
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!
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.
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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