June 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 7th July 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
I loved every moment of putting together Vicky & Paul’s Real Wedding feature back in February this year. You see, the bride and I go way back, as I used to go out with her lovely brother Neil at University. Although it didn’t work out for us (and Neil is now happily married himself to a gorgeous lady!) I’m glad to say that we still keep in touch, and that it did work out ever so well for Neil’s little sister Vicky and one of our Uni mates, Paul.
Knowing Vicky, I knew her wedding celebration was going to be big, colourful and offbeat… and couldn’t wait to see her submission. I was exactly right: Vicky and Paul’s wedding was a fabulous day full of feeling, personality, beauty and fun.
Bravo Mrs Hough!
With images by Andy Gaines.
Vicky says: Paul and I first met when I went to visit my brother Neil at University in 2003. We got together four years later in early 2007 after meeting up again and Paul plucked up the courage to ask my brother if he could go out with me!
Paul and I aren’t a very traditional couple and I suppose it follows that our engagement wasn’t either. One evening out of the blue and in the run up to our five year anniversary, Paul asked me to go online and pick out what my ideal engagement ring would look like. The task itself was easy as like many other girlfriends, I’d been looking at rings for months but this was the first time he’d ever uttered the ‘E’ word and I was beside myself with excitement. The fact, however, that it was a vintage ring not available to buy immediately online was something Paul was not prepared for. His solution was to take me to London to spend a day trying on diamond rings… it was tough, but I accepted the challenge! By a stroke of luck the exact ring I’d seen online was still there and after purchasing I was one happy bunny. However we still weren’t actually engaged yet so back it went into the box.
About a week later, we were getting ready to go out and I was running spectacularly late. Running downstairs with fluffy hair and makeup half on, I noticed that our song was playing, and as I turned the corner into the lounge, Paul was there on one knee. Paul has never been one for grand romantic gestures, and you know what, getting engaged in our little house, listening to our song, with just the two of us, was perfect
Our wedding day was the day of the deluge – 6th September 2013. After decorating the hall in temperatures pushing 30 degrees on the Thursday, my heart sunk when I woke to a total downpour and grey skies on our wedding day. However, once the day got into full flow, the rain added a comedy element (watching people running under the cover of umbrellas), a dramatic element (fabulously moody skies in our photos) and ultimately created a fantastic cosy, party atmosphere for the meal and evening dancing. Plus as my friend texted me ‘Better that 2 beautiful people get married in the rain, than 2 mingers get married in the sun’ – brilliant!
We chose to say “I do” at a beautifully refurbished old barn at East Riddlesden Hall, Yorkshire.
I’m a country lass, growing up in the wilds of Norfolk and I desperately wanted to get married in somewhere I felt had that element of the countryside. Now finding a barn in Norfolk would have pretty easy but our hearts were set on getting wed in the county we had met and begun our lives together. Despite its proximity to the Dales, there are few barns to choose from in reach of Leeds, so we weren’t sure what we’d find at East Riddlesden Hall. Our first trip there was a gloriously sunny day and the place combined a sense of rural beauty and aged grandeur. Emma, who is the wedding planner was so helpful and relaxed, taking on board all our ideas and answering our questions. It is pretty fair to say that we were smitten as soon as we entered the barn. Even undecorated, the place looks stunning; with exposed beams, flagstone floors and whitewashed walls dotted with tiny windows. As a keen crafty-type, the thought of such a beautiful blank canvas to work on was a dream come true. The venue is also run by the National Trust and the thought that we were investing in the future of such a beautiful place was the icing on the cake.
It must be said that the staff at ERH are brilliant and they have put so much work into making this a fantastic wedding venue. Particular thanks go to Emma and Sam who were on hand to chauffeur people and perform emergency cake decorating duties. The in-house bar run by ERH served a great selection of drinks, including locally brewed beers, much to my husband’s delight. Having such dedicated staff all working tirelessly, made a huge difference to the day.
I began by actively rebelling against having a theme as I am, by nature, unable to decide on any one thing (except for a husband of course). Our wedding motto was ‘good music, good food and good times’. I knew I didn’t want anything matchy-matchy (I always think that allowing things to be a little rough round the edges means you can be a bit more flexible!). Plus as we decided to get married in a beautiful old barn, anything too polished would have looked out of place. We just wanted ourselves and our guests to feel relaxed, included and have an awesome time.
As time went on and my Pinterest account bulged with pictures that had caught my eye, I realised that bright colours and handmade details kept appearing in my selections. I decided that whilst I wouldn’t outlaw any particular colours, I would focus on blues, purples, white and add touches of gold (if only to force me in making decisions on decorations). I have always been obsessed by peacock feathers so they played a big role in tying decorations together too.
The glamorous and very lovely Anna Stephenson was a joy to have doing my hair and makeup. We spent the entire trial run chatting and laughing and the final look was exactly as I wanted. Anna and Lucy turned up early and were so flexible with how we wanted to organise the morning, it put me at ease and I absolutely loved the whole getting ready part of the day. Despite a lot of dancing and a bit of limboing, both hair and makeup stayed put the entire day.
The dress! Such a big decision! And one I made in a single day! I spent hours, nay days, looking at dresses – shapes, lengths, decorations, straps – the choice is bewildering and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. Facing this uncertainty, I decided to leave my first wedding dress shop until my mum could accompany me. Now one of my mum’s best qualities is that she wears her heart on her sleeve. After 14 dresses, none of them were meeting with much excitement. That is until I tried on an ivory crinkle chiffon, one strap, corset dress with sweetheart neckline at Confetti and Lace in Stanningley. After looking in the mirror and deciding I really quite liked this one, I looked up at Mum who had tears rolling down her face. Either I looked bloody awful and she was in despair, or it was ‘the one’. Luckily after a few moments I established it was the latter and I bought it on the spot. The women at Confetti and Lace were fantastic and helped me alter the dress by removing all crystal detailing and the strap, so the individualist in me is quite proud to say my dress is a one off.
With such a clean cut dress, the detailing in my outfit came from a fascinator I made with blue, purple and white flowers decorated with pearls. My shoes were bright blue vintage style sling backs from Rocket Dog. For my jewellery, I decided to wear a gold chain with my grandmothers’ wedding rings hung on it, so I could feel like they were part of the day. As a wedding gift, Mum also gave me a gold heart locket that had belonged to my grandmother who had worn it almost every day. I felt a strange mix of sadness and pride, and the fact the Mum was giving it to me was very, very, special indeed.
Paul wore a gorgeous bright blue fitted 3-piece suit from Reiss with brown brogues from Hudson. I may be biased but I thought he looked pretty damn handsome.
I wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable and glamorous so opted for navy blue 1940s style dresses from Phase Eight. I then bought them some amazing chunky necklaces from Ashley at TheEnchantedOwl on Etsy, sent all the way from Georgia, USA. The bright purple looped in the colours from the decorations and the girls all looked beautiful!
The groomsmen all wore grey 3-piece suits hired from Slaters. They were accessorised with purple ties, Hawaiian-print pocket squares and my homemade peacock feather buttonholes tied with navy blue ribbon.
I carried a beautiful mix of flowers by the ever so lovely Lynne of Stems Design. Deep pink Celoxia, bright blue Nigella, light pink astilbe, Blue Veronica, Scabious, Blue Wax, Cornflower, various grasses, tiny succulents and of course, peacock feathers. Lynne was a joy to work with, so enthusiastic and full of ideas – the final result was stunning.
I was originally planning on going down in a taxi with my bridesmaids but my Dad took an uncharacteristic step in intervening. He said that he would arrange my transport but refused to reveal what it would be. I had nightmarish visions of going side-saddle on a horse or riding pillion on a quadbike. As it turns out, my Dad and Brother, Neil (who was also our best man) had spent the previous night decorating Neil’s car with white ribbons, stashing a bottle of champagne in the back seat and recording an eclectic pre-wedding message and playlist. Little did I imagine that the last song I would hear before I entered the world of marriage would be Gangnam Style!
It was a very special time to have with Dad, who drove us. He was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year and I am fiercely proud of how he dealt with it with humour and love, having a precious few minutes talking and laughing with just the two of us was very important to me.
Wedding readings were really hard to decide on – we wanted to strike a balance between celebratory, real and emotional but absolutely not smush. After much searching we opted for the lyrics from Noah and the Whale’s ‘Give a Little Love’ and an extract from ‘The Game’. There were many chins a quiver by the end – it really was a memorable moment.
Special thanks must go to Geoff, our fantastic registrar from Keighley Council. He completely put us at ease, conducted the ceremony with heart and humour.
Paul and I are super foodies, not in the foams and micro-herb type of way but in the yummy, fill-you-up type of way. With this in mind, the food at our wedding was pretty important and the fine fayre served up by the people at GFS Catering was exceptionally good. Goat’s cheese tarts for starters, Lamb shanks and mash for mains and chocolate profiteroles for pudding were all delicious crowd-pleasers. An evening buffet of sausage baps and halloumi pittas served to mop up some of the great selection of drinks also served up by GFS with the help of the brilliant Martinez Wines in Ilkley. Special thanks to Alex from GFS who was such a great help on the day, finding alternatives to unknown food allergies and making sure each course flowed into the next seamlessly.
Cake wasn’t high on our priorities so we used up some vouchers and opted for three layers of M&S loveliness. I then decorated with homemade flower crown and mini glitter bunting. All in all a pretty little cake which cost us less than £10! In the end I’m glad we didn’t spend loads on the cake, because by the time it came to try it, it had all gone!
Andy Gaines, our photographer, was the very first wedding-related enquiry I made, even before we had a date or a venue. His photographs are stunning. They have this gritty yet ethereal quality that I find fascinating. Plus Andy himself is a blooming lovely chap – so welcoming, unobtrusive and damn talented. Andy worked like a ninja-trooper on our wedding day, capturing shots whilst keeping out of the way and staying from morning ‘til way past everyone’s bedtimes in order to capture our day. Everyone has commented on how awesome the pictures are, with even my normally-bored-silly-by-photos Dad confessing and I quote, ‘Fantastic photos – absolutely brill. Can’t wait to see the rest!’. Andy’s gone from strength to strength in the two years we’ve known him and it’s not hard to see why.
We employed the fantastic talents of Rachel from Simply Vintage to help us decorate the huge space. Rachel strung a plethora of fairy lights, colourful pom poms with peacock feathers and white lace bunting across the beams. I then decided to make a lot of the decorations myself, including props for the tables, peacock name places and adding little splashes of our personalities across the barn, including photographs of my grandparents on their wedding days. I think however, the biggest and most complex decoration was our sequin LOVE sign. This beast was lovingly crafted out of gold sprayed MDF letters and sequins individually nailed on. It took a hell of a lot of work but looked pretty darn good strung up on the barn beams and glistening in the fairy lights.
Without a doubt the speeches was my favourite part of the day. 2013 was a tough year having had both my Dad and Paul’s Mum diagnosed with cancer within a couple of months of each other. Dad’s speech was emotional – not only because of what we were going through at the time but because it reaffirmed just how much I owe to my fantastic family. He laughed about my unrivalled ability to be untidy, spoke about the time I drew a picture of him stark naked much to the disapproval of my nursery teachers (but to the hilarity of my parents!) and how he was so proud of me despite having no idea what my job title actually means.
Paul’s speech talked of how he did the unthinkable and asked out his best friend’s sister, how darn well it had all worked out and even how despite his hatred of clichés, he thought we were made for each other!
Then it was the turn of my older brother Neil to give the best man’s speech. I wondered if he might take this opportunity for the ultimate teasing of his little sister but I needn’t have worried as he mostly concentrated on his best friend and long-time drinking partner, my husband! Superbly written and with touches of comic brilliance, it was the ultimate tribute to Paul and I being both deeply personal and evoking fantastic memories. I will always be thankful to him for the effort he put into the speech. Oh and not to forget our wedding present – a canvas featuring our Back to Future drinking game– rather nattily named by myself as ‘Flux Incapacitated’ – I thank you!
Music is big in our house, so we always knew it would feature a lot in the wedding. We employed the gorgeous sounds of the Northern String Quartet for the ceremony, playing a mixture of old and new for the waiting guests. I walked down the aisle to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ which was just gorgeous. During the signing were the sublime ‘One Day like this’, God only knows’, and ‘All you need is Love’. Then I entered the world as Mrs Hough to sounds of ‘Hoppipolla’ which was such an uplifting way to end the ceremony.
For the evening, we had the brilliant City Lights who blew our socks off with a great mix of modern tunes and some classic floor fillers, kicking off the set with a stonking rendition of ‘Got my mind set on you’ by George Harrison.
The evening celebrations were added to by some unorthodox entertainment in the form of glow sticks. What was an off the cuff purchase reminiscent of my raving days, became the biggest success of the day. Never did I think I’d witness friends of my parents fighting over who would get the glow bunny ears! The glow stick limbo was a total stroke of genius and made for some memorable photos!
We decided to delay our honeymoon both because we had no money left and the weather in Thailand is much better at this time of the year. So in but a few weeks time, we’ll be heading off to Thai cities and shorelines.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to decide where you want to focus your efforts and your money – for us it was the look and feel of the venue, excellent food and awesome music. Wedding preparation is hard so don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to do too much. I absolutely adored being engaged and putting my heart and soul into planning our wedding day and I’m so glad we had the time to enjoy it all.
Congratulations Vicky & Paul!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014
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June 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Have I got some eye candy for you lovely lot today! The lady behind this (fabulous) wedding dress is nothing if not versatile. She’s also extremely talented and a rather lovely person at that. I know. I’ve met her, and see these beauties in real life.
Step forward Kelly Redhead of KMR Bespoke Bridal. One to watch and superstar designer of the future, she’s here to present her 2015 Whiting Collection to Brides Up North. You saw it here first girls (oh, except from on the pages of Vogue Italia – yes, that’s exactly how we roll!).
Images by Folega Photography.
Kelly says: A collaborative literature vintage themed shoot at Cusworth Hall, Doncaster brought together a talented group of suppliers. Cusworth Hall was a fantastic venue to hold the shoot with many of the shots taken in the Library, in keeping with the literary theme.
The little details from the various suppliers involved with the shoot worked perfectly with my designs and the fresh approach of the photography by Sarah really did make this shoot romantic and full of love.
The Whiting Collection is my debut 2015 collection of bridal gowns. The collection is named after my late Grandmother who inspired me from a young age to become a designer. Three of the collections gowns were used in this preview shoot at Cusworth Hall; Grace, Ivy and Annie.
Grace is an elegant floor length bias cut ivory silk crepe and guipure lace gown. A high illusion neckline is finished with bound silk crepe detailing and delicate cap sleeves. A KMR signature of a keyhole back opening paired with a detachable lace train creates a stunning back. The gown is finished with a silver crystal embellished waistband.
Ivy is a stylish ivory embroidered lace and silk crepe backed satin gown. Elegant lace sleeves and a deep V-shaped neckline at the back of the gown are finished with a delicate scallop lace edging. Creating a figure enhancing silhouette the gown has a bias fishtail skirt with a train to add a feminine touch. The gown is finished with delicate covered buttons and rouleau loops down the back.
Annie is a sophisticated strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline. The elegant circle skirt is made up of layers of silk taffeta and silk chiffon with a beautiful train. The bodice is finished with delicate pleated silk taffeta, a plunging back and fastened with rouleau loops and covered buttons. The gown is finished with a stunning silver crystal motif on the waist.
There are three other gowns in KMR’s 2015 bridal collection. As this was a preview shoot of the collection the final three gowns will be revealed soon.
June 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Lisa says: We got engaged in April 2011 at Alpsee Lake, Bavaria, Germany by the Neuschwanstein Castle. It is the castle that Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle is based on.
We had a Medieval themed wedding. All the wedding guests were invited to wear Medieval attire to suit the theme of the wedding.
Our wedding date was Saturday 20th July 2013. We got married at Escrick Park, Escrick, near York, using Papakata tents. We wanted an outdoor wedding and Escrick Park has a huge estate that we were able to book out for the full weekend for a really good price. We had plenty of land all to ourselves where children could run off and play safely while the adults could party. We were completely secluded, which we thought was important to immerse ourselves in the magic of the Middle Ages. Regardless of the theme, we thought it was nice to have the place to ourselves and we didn’t need to worry about noise or curfews
I wore a bespoke, handmade medieval style wedding dress designed and made by KMR Bridal. Kelly helped me with the design, choosing fabric and the details of the dress to help create exactly the dress I wanted. I really valued her knowledge and advice on which fabrics would suit the theme, wouldn’t crease and would hang beautifully. Her attention to details helped tie it all together, I was very happy with it.
Sylvia from White Gables Patchwork and Quilting helped made a fabulous embroidered trim for my dress
My bridesmaids wore medieval style dresses, also designed and made by KMR Bridal. Kelly helped me find the exact shade we wanted for the bridesmaids; all four dresses were perfect and created the medieval faerie feel we were looking for. The groomsmen all wore various medieval outfits, each one looking different.
I carried daises, white roses, other yellow and green flowers and lots of ivy. Fiona from Firenza Floral Design is used to working with Papakata and dressed the teepees beautifully. She made a crown of flowers for both of our heads (Mark’s was more of a bush really, which is just what he asked for). My bouquet and top table flowers were lovely.
We had a honeymoon teepee at the bottom end of the field, which I managed to sneak in to get changed. My bridesmaids, my parents and I were escorted from there by Paul from Trouvere, playing bagpipes. I didn’t want to make an extravagant entrance, I walked barefoot from the tent, it did feel quite dramatic on the day though, but lovely.
It was so exciting to emerge from the honeymoon teepee to the sound of bagpipes and drums and see a sea of colourful costumes and happy, excited faces. The whole ceremony was beautiful and very personal, we helped write the vows and made precisely the eternal promises that we wanted to.
Trouvere did us a beautiful hand fastening ceremony, medieval music and storytelling.
We designed and forged our own wedding rings under the guidance of a talented bespoke jeweller at Silver & Moor.
June 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon’s real bride Nicola is a lady after my own heart. Can you guess what our mutual favourite colour is? Once, in another life when I was a practising lawyer I asked my sister in law the same question and she guessed grey. Honestly! I think I knew right then that I was in the wrong job.
Anyway, my life got a lot more colourful after that (thank god) and things are always, always prettier in pink. Isn’t that right, Nicola?
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
Nicola says: We went to Brighton for a long weekend in July 2012. We were getting ready for a meal out and I had taken time doing my hair and makeup. Just as we were leaving Silas said I didn’t look quite right, there was something missing. I was a little annoyed until he got down on one knee and proposed!
We got married on 3rd May. No specific reason but as it turned out was quite a nervous day for the groom. His beloved Notts Country were in a relegation battle… luckily for me, they survived to fight another season…
We chose the Woodlands Hotel in Leeds, it’s a beautiful venue with a marquee. There are only twenty three rooms which means it felt like we had the whole hotel to ourselves. Lauren the wedding planner at the hotel was fab at suggesting extra things to make the day even more special.
Through the whole planning process, nothing was too much trouble and on the day, they fully kept me informed of everything. The food was amazing, the rooms immaculate and the hotel and grounds itself were better than I had remembered. All this made it a perfect day.
The colour scheme was pink and ivory. I love pink – it’s my favourite colour!
My dress was a strapless gown with satin bust and lace to the floor. I actually bought it from a wedding fair at the NEC. It was too big to start with but then I got pregnant and Evie (our daughter) was only four months old when we got married and the dress didn’t need too much taking in! I tried so many different dresses on – the style I though I would want looks silly on me as I am only 5ft – but fell in love with my dress as soon as I put it on.
The bridesmaids wore floor length chiffon dresses from Ted Baker. They were beautiful. The groomsmen work the same suits as the groom, which was a grey morning suit and an ivory tie from Young’s Formal Hire.
I chose pink peonies for myself and white peonies for the bridesmaids. Sally at Serendipity Flowers did them and they were beautiful.
My work colleague offered to drive us to the wedding as he has a selection of vintage cars! How lucky!
It was a cream Morris Minor Moggy convertible. It had red leather interior and was stunning! The weather was amazing on the day and we travelled from the church to the Woodlands with the roof down. Good job I had plenty of hairspray on.
Hayley Baxter Photography did the photographs. I couldn’t have chosen anyone better to capture our special day. She put us at ease and the pictures are so much better than I could have imagined.
Helen Archer was my make up artist and did an amazing job! I wanted something subtle and feminine… and it lasted all day & night.
I wanted a clean fresh & modern look for the marquee – I chose to make a feature of the gorgeous bouquet’s & peonies by placing them in vases on the top table.
For favours, I chose Yankee Candles in Wedding Day for all the ladies and Silas got betting slips for all the men for football matches on the closing day of the season for the men… I am not aware of any winners!
My chief bridesmaid and best friend Jodie and her family bought us the wedding cake as a gift. Netty’s Cakes made it for us. We chose a three tier cake made of chocolate and plain sponge with a frosting which started off dark and then graduated lighter, all in shades of pink of course. I am not a massive fan of fruit cake and so I went for sponge instead.
We had a band called The Saints and they were great! The dance floor was full and they played some good crowd pleasing songs. Looking back, I am not sure if we asked for Gangnam Style or Cotton Eye Jo but hey, people seemed to enjoy it.
My favourite part of the day was dancing with all my friends. It was quite emotional, it was nearly the end of the night and all the hard work and planning was nearly over. I enjoyed spending that time with the people who had helped me to make the day so great.
For our honeymoon we went to Crete. We took Evie with us so we didn’t want to go too far.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning! I really enjoyed planning of the wedding as much as I enjoyed the day. Its all so special.
Congratulations Nicola & Silas!
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May 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Back at your desk and recovering from the long weekend? I hope it was an epic one! If you enjoyed a tech detox over the holiday, don’t despair – we didn’t! Make sure to check out yesterday’s fashion eye candy before getting stuck into today’s beautiful Real Wedding.
Emily and Cyrus’s stunning, Gatsby inspired celebration at Oulton Hall in Leeds is glossy, golden and gorgeous. Just the thing to pep up your blue Tuesday. Enjoy!
Images by Paul Joseph Photography.
Emily says: Cyrus proposed on 2nd September 2012, the day we arrived home from a trip to New York. I think he lost the bottle in New York!
I actually thought he was joking as I thought if he’d planned on proposing why wouldn’t he have proposed in New York so as you can imagine it didn’t go quite to plan. It wasn’t until he pulled out my Grandma’s wedding ring that I realized he was serious and of course I was overwhelmed with emotion and said yes!
We were married on 27th December 2013, we wanted a winter wedding as it’s a magical time of year however we didn’t want a Christmas themed wedding.
Our wedding was at Oulton Hall in Rothwell, Leeds. We fell in love with the period features but loved how they had decorated it in a contemporary style. We also liked the idea of having two separate locations for day and night (our ceremony was in the old, listed part of the building and our evening reception was in the golf club).
We tried to take inspiration from the 1920s, art deco era and chose a colour scheme of black, ivory and gold. We wanted it to feel like a party from The Great Gatsby!
I chose a laced, low back a line dress which had pearl beading draping at the back. I also had a handmade silk cathedral veil with pearls to match my dress made by Marie Flanagan.
Cyrus had a custom made suit by Owen Scott which incorporated his love for basketball. I think his suit jacket got more attention than my dress!
The adult bridesmaids wore black evening gowns from Mango, the teenager girls wore a shorter version of this dress and the flower girls wore ivory dresses from Monsoon. The groomsmen wore black tie hired from Owen Scott.
I am known by family and friends to always have a house full of orchid plants so there was no choice as to what flowers I would be walking down the aisle with. I chose to have a waterfall bouquet of white orchids, this also carried the family tradition on as my mum and grandma had this style of bouquet at their weddings. My florist Janine at Greenhouse Florist also managed to incorporate some material from my mum’s wedding dress into the bouquet handle too.
I remember the look on Cyrus’s face as I entered the room, the emotion was overwhelming (we’ve been together since we were eighteen…12 years)!
We have nothing but praise for our photographers Paul and Kelly of Paul Joseph Photography. We loved their style of photography and knew we wanted our wedding to be told like a story which they managed to do so well.
We met up on a hot day in July 2013 for our ‘Love Shoot’ where they managed to capture the most amazing sunset photos and from that point we knew that Paul and Kelly had an amazing eye for detail. This was proven in our wedding pictures… I loved how they captured every emotion throughout the day.
I personally think your wedding pictures should be one of your main priorities when planning your wedding. When you look back in years to come you should still be able to feel the emotion you felt at that exact point. Paul and Kelly achieved this perfectly.
We chose a tall two tier cake. The bottom tier was chocolate cake covered in white chocolate and painted gold and the top tier was red velvet covered with white fondant. It also had white orchids positioned around it too.
We lost both my Grandma and Aunty to cancer so we made a donation to Kirkwood Hospice in lieu of a favour and asked everybody to wear the pin broaches in remembrance of them. I also chose to frame my parents and grandparents wedding pictures and display them with the cake.
Music was one of our main priorities, luckily we have friends who are professional musicians so as a favour they helped out on the big day.
Thabo Mkwananzi sang Corrine Bailey Rae’s version of Bob Marley’s ‘is this love’ accompanied by Stephen Simpson on keys as I walked down the aisle. They also played lots of our favourite songs during cocktail hour and got our friends and family involved in singing along.
In the evening we had hired a vocalist Louise Golbey and her band who made sure everyone was up on their feet. After the band finished their set we then chose to have a DJ (Sean Marks) play out for the rest of the night, he made sure no one was sitting down!
For our honeymoon we stayed at the El Dorado Royale in the Riviera Maya, Mexico for two weeks.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t sweat the small stuff! Remember what the day is actually about, never lose sight of that and you will enjoy every moment!
Congratulations Emily & Cyrus!
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May 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime
There’s a dreadfully cheesy bit in the movie Titanic that the teenage me used to (absurdly) absolutely love. You know, that cringey scene where Rose (Ms. Winslet) slips off her crinoline and whispers to Jack (Mr. Di Caprio) to “Paint Me Like Your French Girls…”
Well, I’m pleased to say that the paint job that fun loving couple Amy & Jack had in mind to celebrate their engagement is nothing at all like that. Thank God.
Although (paint brushes aside) I’d still be partial to a bit of Leo.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Sarah Mason Photography.
Side note – a Google Images search of “Paint Me Like Your French Girls” brings up some very amusing and not entirely work place appropriate results.
Amy says: We got engaged in September 2012 on the first day of our holiday to Las Vegas. We’d gone for a brunch at the Belagio and had a suspiciously amazing table right in front of the fountains. The fountains move in a display every 10 minutes to music and James proposed in the first ‘display’ after we’d sat down. After I’d said yes and the rush had died down, I realised he’d proposed to a Celine Dion song (nooo!) but he said ‘Sorry I couldn’t wait’.
We’re getting married at the end of this month! The wedding is at St Michael & Our Lady Church in Wragby and then we’re having a marquee reception at James’ parents’ house.
We met when we were were both working at Oulton Hall Hotel in Rothwell. It was Christmas and I had to dismantle a parquet dance floor single handed. James was passing so he came and helped me and we just got chatting.
Our first date was a night out on Greek Street in Leeds. I was slightly alarmed that he’d worn a full suit (!), but by the end of the date we realised we really liked spending time together.
I knew he was the one when I went off to university and missed him loads. We just love having fun together (like on the shoot)! Our biggest wish for married life is many happy years ahead.
We decided to have an engagement shoot to get us used to having photos taken. Most people haven’t had a photo taken since school and I didn’t want us to look really awkward on the day. We chose the paints because we wanted to do something a bit fun and different.
The shoot was brilliant! Throwing the paints was so much fun and the colours looked amazing.
I like the Real Wedding articles on Brides Up North. They’re great for other couples wanting a bit of inspiration and we’ll be back to share our own shortly…
Congratulations Amy & James!
March 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
There’s a whole lot of coffee and Kit Kats being consumed at Brides Up North HQ right now, as we motor through four weeks “on tour” of back to back luxury wedding exhibitions. All in the name of bringing you the finest wedding inspiration at the most gorgeous venues in your area!
With our huge event at Ramside Hall Hotel last Sunday under our belt, we’ve still found time to squeeze in our chicest bridal exhibition of all, and will be opening the doors to Leeds’ most fashionable brides at it’s most gorgeous boutique, exclusive use, wedding venue – The Mansion, Roundhay Park – this very Sunday.
The Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition at The Mansion
Mansion Lane, Roundhay Park, Leeds, LS8 2HH
Sunday 16th March 2014
12pm till 4pm
I’ve said it before, but you have to see this place. If Carrie and Big decided to up sticks to Yorkshire, this is where I imagine their wedding would take place. Plus, with loads of wedding dress and accessory inspiration on site this Sunday (plus live music and every other decorating detail conceivable covered too!), it’s certainly one for the fashionistas!
Visit the venue’s brand new website to check it out.
As well as all that inspiration – completely FREE – we are also giving away up to 200 FREE Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, on the day discounts, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our amazing sponsors House Of Fraser and Love Hearts. Just because we love you. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below. While stocks last only.
To register for for speedy entry and a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be goody bag fill in your details below, marking “THE MANSION” in the subject line and quoting “VIP”. Only the bride need register for larger groups.
You can also email email@example.com if you do not wish to use the contact form. Welcome packs are limited and subject to availability. We operate a first come, first served policy.
This is a Brides Up North event
March 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Yesterday I spent the day at the glorious Allerton Castle (our fifth event at this beautiful venue) surrounded by beautiful brides, supremely talented local wedding industry suppliers, gorgeous gowns – they seem to get better year on year – floral towers, hand crafted cakes, bespoke stationery and fancy hats. All that plus photographers, a photo booth, cars, cupcakes, honeymoons, menswear, magic… diamonds… you name it. It was a wonderfully relaxed and happy day in a perfect setting, and felt so luxurious and lovely to be there. I hope that every bride and groom attending enjoyed the special day and felt the love in the room. I certainly did! There’s plenty more lovely where that came from too… check out the fabulous events we still have planned across three regions this season, and be sure to clear those diaries!
For now though, online is where the magic is at, as we stay in Yorkshire to join Brides Up North reader Colleen and her new husband Richard for their own sumptuous celebration at Goldsborough Hall. I love Colleen and Richard’s cool yet classic Christmas styling with just a touch of elegant quirkiness. But then, when you’re as pretty as these two, a paper bag would look good! Enjoy their beautiful day.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Laura Calderwood.
Colleen says: We got engaged at Bunker Bay, Western Australia on September 21st 2013 and were married on 30th December 2013 at Goldsborough Hall near Harrogate.
We chose Goldsborough Hall because it has the perfect mix of elegance and comfort, which we found suited us perfectly. The panelled library with its large stone fireplace and chesterfield sofas was a unique and beautiful space to have our reception drinks. It was turned into a ‘disco library’ later in the evening.
We also had exclusive use of the venue, including the six gorgeous suites on the top floor. I was able to get dressed in the amazing Presidential Suite after travelling from The Majestic Hotel in Harrogate to the venue.
Goldsborough also offers a group breakfast the following morning for those who stayed at the Hall. It was one of the best parts of the wedding experience to enjoy a relaxed full English breakfast with loved ones after the hype of the wedding.
We wanted the day to be simple and romantic and chose an ivory and burgundy colour scheme.
I carried a simple hand-tied bouquet of white roses and gypsophila.
I wore a simple long “vintage” style dress designed by Sanyukta Shrestha. I bought it from her wedding dress boutique Behuli in Fulham, London. The dress itself was made from a bamboo/silk blend. The short-sleeved bolero was made of handmade French lace. The belt was beaded with shell beads.
My shoes were 1940s vintage embroidered silk and leather. I got them from Catherine Smith Vintage in Harrogate.
Instead of a veil I wore a beautiful silver hair piece – from Behuli – and I accessorised with a string of pearls and pearl earrings. I also wore a vintage brown mink cape for our outdoor photographs. I got that from Fat Faced Cat in Angel, London.
Richard wore a three-piece suit, made to measure at The Cad and The Dandy, Saville Row, London. His burgundy tie and pocket square matched the groomsmen’s from TM Lewin. His shoes were single monk straps from Church’s.
We decided to let the bridesmaids and groomsmen choose their own dresses and suits.
We quite liked the idea of having everyone wear something unique to themselves. The only guideline we gave the bridesmaids was on the colour – burgundy. They all wore a pearl drop necklace from Blennerhasset Fine Jewellers, Perth Western Australia – a gift from the bride.
The groomsmen wore different suits, from dark blue to light grey. Their ties and pocket squares were burgundy – a gift from the groom from TM Lewin.
had my hair and makeup done by Harriet Steele. She is a mobile makeup artist and hairdresser. She was wonderful and travelled to my hotel the morning of the wedding. She was such a calming influence and definitely got the day off to a good start!
Goldsborough Hall has a beautiful little baby grand piano in the bay window of the ceremony room, so we hired a pianist from The Event Music Company, Leeds to play as the guests arrived. He also played during the ceremony – Processional: Air in F by Handel; Signing of the Register: Pavane by Fauré; Recessional: Prelude to Te Deum by Charpentier.
We served mulled wine during the drinks reception. It was a cold day so it was a nice touch for a winter wedding.
Our florist was Helen James Flowers, Harrogate. They do beautiful, classy flower arrangements and bouquets. Our table centrepieces were simple and elegant and played on the idea of it being a winter wedding. There were large hurricane lamp candle-holders surrounded by a wreath of winter foliage, white roses, small red roses, gypsophila and red berries.
I wouldn’t say we intentionally added this, but given that it was winter and just after Christmas, there was a big Christmas tree in the dining room and there were various other Christmas decorations of good taste throughout the venue. It added a nice touch to the winter feel of the wedding.
We chose to have a cupcakes and a small cake by Moorish Cakes in Ilkley. The cupcakes were actually a gluten-free sponge, half were chocolate the other half were vanilla, with a vanilla buttercream frosting. The cake was a traditional vanilla sponge cake, with strawberry jam between the layers, covered with a white vanilla fondant icing.
Our wedding favours were shortbreads made by my mother-in-law. It added a nice touch to such a small wedding. And they were delicious!
We chose a DJ in the evening, Jonny Ross Music. He was brilliant on the night had had a keen sense of what the people in the room wanted to dance to.
Although I was dreading it, my favourite part of the day was the first dance. The formalities of the ceremony were complete so the first dance was just a very joyous, happy moment where Richard and I were able to sink into being husband and wife for the first time.
We are hopeless dancers so asked my parents for some lessons a couple days before the wedding. We spent an evening trolling through Spotify jumping from song to song and trying to dance. Most of the time we were terrible, but once we found one we could dance to together (Cheek to Cheek, Ella Fitzgerald) I was less stressed about doing it on the day.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to remember it’s about the two of you. It’s easy to forget that the wedding is only the start of something. All that matters after the wedding is how you two are together. So choose the details of your wedding for yourselves, and let your wedding be a reflection of your relationship and your personalities. You’ll end up forgetting all about these details on the day anyway! It really does become just about each other.
Also, if you can find a venue with accommodation it is a great addition. It’s really nice to be able to walk up to your room after a long and emotional day.
Congratulations Colleen & Richard!
February 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jane of JB Creatives is one talented chick. Not content with her thriving photography business, she can also make sure your guests turn up for the wedding too with her stunning bespoke wedding stationery! Like it says on the tin, this girl is super creative. Get her involved in your big day, for I can vouch that whatever she turns her hand to, it’ll be very, very beautiful (and pretty cool too).
There’s also a special little offer exclusive to Brides Up North readers on the table too… read on!
Images by JB Creatives, of course.
What is the story behind JB Creatives?
JB Creatives started in 2009 after plenty of encouragement and enthusiasm from friends and family to make the leap and make my dream a reality. With a background in Design and Photography my stationery is very much influenced by my strong Graphic roots. I love beautiful typography and different papers, textures and colours and it seemed the perfect way to make a living doing something I love. Don’t get me wrong, it’s more than cutting and sticking pretty bits of paper together; there are long hours and lots of dedication. Every second has been worth it as now it’s a year-round occupation that keeps me busy 24/7. There are just not enough hours in the day!
Who is a JB Creatives bride?
There are all kinds of JB Creatives brides. From small family weddings to big stately home weddings, we welcome all kinds of clients.
Where are you based?
I am based in Otley just outside Leeds. I work by appointment only where couples can come see examples of previous stationery and discuss the sort of stationery they want for their day. I also get a lot of my bookings online. These initial enquiries are usually about a design they have already seen on my website but can soon lead to a totally new design once we’ve chatted about their wedding plans.
Tell us about the range of gorgeous designs on your website?
As the stationery is bespoke you can have the minimum and just order invites or you might want to get absolutely everything in whichever design you have chosen. I design and hand make everything from the save the dates, invitations and RSVPs, orders of service, table plans, place names, table menus and individual menus to the thank you cards and even baby announcements after the wedding day! All the designs including those on the website are available in the whole range from save the dates to thank you cards.
What style of stationery designs are popular at the moment?
There are so many lovely styles around at the moment here at JB Creatives HQ we have found our square invites with plain bands or lace bands very popular. Along with the New York style invites.
What other products do you offer?
I offer all stationery requirements; save the dates, invites, rsvp, order of services, table menus, individual menus, place names, table/seating plans, favour tags and thank you cards and any other stationery items you might wish. I also have some large decorative frames and props for displaying table plans which are available to hire. You can also see my wedding photography on my website too.
What would be your top tips for Brides Up North when choosing their wedding stationery?
Your stationery is the first thing that your guests will see to do with your wedding, it sets the tone for the big day itself. So make it personal to your day and to you! Have one theme or style in mind and stick to it. Don’t get too mixed up with too many different styles.
So, does all the stationery have to match?
Stationery doesn’t have to match. I would normally make it all to match but it really depends on the sort of look you’re going for. Most stationery would use the same card, ribbon or font to give a consistent look and in that sense it matches, but its by no means compulsory!
What are your prices like?
Please get in touch to receive the price guide; there are so many designs that the price range depending on the style of stationery. The invitations are priced per item and start at as little as £3.80 each.
Which designs are your bestsellers?
Of the more off the shelf invites I do, the New York wedding invitations seem to be popular at the moment, usually because that is where the couples got engaged. The square pocket fold invitations are also popular. These are a great invitation as not only are they like opening a present but they can be made in a variety of colours, paper and ribbons so they work for all colour themes. They also have space for plenty of additional information inserts as you may wish to tell your guests lots of little details. Beer mat save the dates and beer mat place names have also proved popular. I’ve had lots of lovely feedback from couples on how many guests have raved about the beautiful invitations.
What sets JB Creatives apart from its competitors?
This beautifully bespoke stationery is designed and hand made to the highest quality. If you want something a little different designing from scratch I can do that. I love it when a couple come to me with a sweet story of where or how they got engaged, this can then be incorporated into their stationery. I designed some wedding stationery for a couple that had a little red car on everything as they met when Ian, the groom, sold his car to Martha, the bride, so it was a lovely thing to incorporate into their stationery! With a design background I have created lots of bespoke illustrated maps for the invitations too. I’m also a perfectionist so all the little details are taken care of.
How long do you take to turn around an order?
I would usually ask my clients to allow 3-4 weeks from the initial call to the delivered items. These are all hand made – you can’t rush perfection!
How can I get in touch to discuss my requirements or place an order?
Anything else we should know?
If you order your invitations, place names and order of services (minimum order 45 invites) I will give you a free table menu for each table (1 per table free).
Please order your stationery before 14th March to receive one of these exclusive offers and quote Brides Up North when doing so.
Why do you read the Brides Up North blog?
For the varied wedding inspiration. There’s always something beautiful to look at on the Brides Up North pages.
February 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Whilst the wind rattles the windowpanes, sit back, enjoy, and remember a time when it was possible to go outside in Yorkshire without being blown away…
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Jane at JB Creatives.
Kate says: George asked me to marry him in Roundhay Park, 23rd May 2012, and we were married on 5th October 2013 at The Courtyard at Harewood House.
Harewood House has beautiful grounds and scenery and we were pleasantly surprised with the price, especially because they were really flexible with meal and drink options. And they have PENGUINS!
My dress was by Maggie Sottero and I got it from Angel Brides in Horsforth. It was quite romantic with lace and tulle over the top. I bought the bridesmaid dresses from Oasis, they were dark purple with a full floaty skirt. The ushers, best man and dads all wore their own suits with a dark purple tie that we bought for them.
George and I had decided to save money on the transport so I thought I was just going in a taxi with my dad. On the day when someone said the taxi had arrived, I came outside and was totally flummoxed when I saw a huge white Rolls Royce (it was called a ‘Silver Shadow’). It was amazing! My parents had organised it as a surprise with George’s help. My sister came with us in the car because she was so excited about it!
I carried a colourful mixture of freesias, gerberas, roses and veronica. It was hot pink, purples and white. The bouquet had a ‘hand picked’ feel according to our florist!