Charlotte Balbier

truly timeless. a black tie wedding at rudding park, harrogate – thais & james

December 5th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Carrying on the glamour from earlier today, this afternoon’s real wedding is a seriously classy affair. Thais and James opted for a black-tie dress code, an all-white colour scheme and a frothy dream of a dress.

After a long-distance relationship across the Atlantic and a romantic airport proposal, they were finally married in the stunning 19th Century chapel at Harrogate’s Rudding Park.

This gorgeous couple simply exude elegance, sophistication and more than a dash of movie star glamour.

With images by Barber Photography

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thais says: We were engaged in December 2013. So much of our lives were spent in airports with our relationship being long-distance between the UK and USA, so it made sense for James to propose in one. We were actually on the same flight coming back from NY to Myrtle Beach, with James’ mum. However, James had planned ahead of time and, with a little help, was waiting, ring in hand, balloons spelling ‘marry me?’ and For the First Time by The Script playing in the background as I came down the escalators. Someone captured the whole thing on video (see here – you can also see a shortened version on our wedding website!)

We decided to get married on 10th October 2015, exactly five years after the day we went on our first date (coincidentally all the 10s – 10/10/10!)

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Our venue was Rudding Park in Harrogate. Aside from the fact that it’s an absolutely stunning venue, the staff were amazing throughout the whole process and it was only 30 minutes from James’ hometown. They also had a chapel in the grounds, which we wanted to avoid extra travel for our guests who were travelling and to preserve the fluidity of the day.

Theme-wise, we went for a black tie, formal dress code. We wanted the day to be classic, timeless and elegant. For the decor, we went all-white. Again, we wanted a chic and elegant look.

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My dress was from Gown Boutique of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. I had no idea what kind of dress I wanted, but when I tried it on I just knew it was the one.

James wore a classic Calvin Klein black tuxedo – again, timeless!

My bridesmaids all wore long, black dresses from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The groomsmen donned black tuxedos from a store in Leeds.

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Our photographers were Phil and Lou Barber of Barber Photography. They’re a fantastic husband and wife team and we’d recommend them highly. They were so professional and made us feel very comfortable, both for the engagement shoot and the day of the wedding. The end products were also amazing. All their products were beyond our expectations!

Our flowers were incredible and put together by the fabulous Leafy Couture. I carried a bouquet of red roses, which was absolutely stunning. We would highly recommend our florist, Sarah Richardson, and the ‘Leafy girls’. They truly made our wedding come to life.

At the venue, Leafy Couture set up everything in terms of floral decorations. We had a mixture of all white flowers, which included roses, calla lilies, orchids, stocks, dahlias, carnations and hydrangeas. The table arrangements were so beautiful.

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

December 2nd, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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

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

With images by Olivia Brabbs Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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laughter & limoncello. justin alexander for a timeless wedding at denton hall – sarah & chris.

December 1st, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Sarah and Chris’s elegant Yorkshire wedding is a tale of two halves. First, there was the poignant ceremony in the village church where Sarah grew up, with precious memories woven into the smallest of details.

Then there was a good old-fashioned party, with plenty of laughter, live music, Limoncello and even an Elvis wig!

Sarah’s Justin Alexander gown is a jaw-dropper with just a touch of sparkle and lace, and the couple’s romantic moors photographs are some of the most stunning shots incorporating landscape that we’ve seen here at Brides Up North.

So what are you waiting for? The pretty beckons….

Photography by Neil Jackson Photographic

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sarah says: We got engaged at Robin Hood’s Bay almost exactly two years before we got married. We’ve been together for a long time and we’d talked about getting engaged, but I left the where and when up to Chris. I was fooled into thinking that I’d planned a weekend trip to the seaside to visit one of my favourite childhood places, but Chris had other ideas! So we went to Robin Hood’s Bay on the Saturday as planned and went for a stroll out along the scars prior for a picnic lunch. It was the first weekend of nice weather that summer so the beach was busier than expected. Instead of popping the question over lunch, he chose a spot where we were alone on the edge of the scars looking out to sea and asked me there. The seaweed prevented him from getting down on one knee!

Our wedding date was 28th May 2016. May is one of our favourite times of year and it also meant that we would be getting married almost 15 years to the day of us getting together (yes, I’m very patient!) I love late spring/early summer: everything is so fresh and colourful and you can also get some pretty decent weather.

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We got married at St Mary’s Church, Burley-in-Wharfedale and had the reception at Denton Hall, Ilkley.

The church was important to me as it‘s the church I went to as a child and my parents still live in the village. I’m lucky enough to know lots of people still living in Burley-in-Wharfedale, too, and they were all so kind and supportive of our marriage.

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Denton hadn’t initially been on our radar because of budget but we went along just to see and we fell in love with it immediately. They were so welcoming and have such a wonderful, personalised set up. It was the only venue to offer exclusivity without us having to pay ridiculous amounts. Plus, Box Tree is their caterer, so in the end it was a no-brainer!

We didn’t really have a wedding theme as such. We’re very proud Yorkshire folk so that helped us come up with a few ideas. Our wedding was like coming home for us, and we wanted to share our Yorkshire home with family and friends from all over.

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I’m also a sentimental old fool. My grandparents, who were a big part of our lives, had sadly all passed before our wedding and we wanted to stress their importance to us. My grandad was a very talented watercolour artist, so we used one of our favourite paintings of his for our invites and table place names. We also displayed the original painting on the day. Although we created our own invites, we had the help of The Cherry Orchard printers in Belper, who reproduced the painting and helped me realise my ideas.

The colour scheme for the wedding developed from my grandad’s painting too. I didn’t want to restrict myself colour-wise and it was more about having access to a range of colours that went together. The bridesmaid dresses captured the purple and lilac from the painting and then I wanted the flowers to pop out against these with some brighter, yet still elegant, pink roses. We then chose things to go with a floral garden-type colour scheme, which was pretty flexible!

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style & substance: box tree events

November 28th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

THE COPYRIGHT OF THIS IMAGE IS HELD BY RICHARD MORAN. THEY ARE INTENDED AS SAMPLES OF WORK AND SHOULD NEVER BE RE- PRODUCED IN ANY MANNER (VISUAL REFERENCE ONLY)

Last week on the blog we were thrilled to share with you the fabulous wedding day of Michelle Hudson, events manager top catering company and Brides Up North Sponsor, Box Tree Events. Today we’re delighted to welcome her back to the blog to update us on Box Tree Events’ fabulous offering to wedding couples, whilst also giving us details of an exciting new venture.

So guys, if you’re looking to impress your guests with Michelin quality food and services, and indulge in some truly delicious culinary delights, then it’s time to pay attention. Over to you Michelle…

Images provided by Box Tree Events, by Steve Moran/ Bruce Rollinson.

White chocolate parfait, summer fruits. Box Tree, Ilkley. 26 July 2013. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Can you give us a little introduction to Box Tree Events?

michelle says: We have been in the restaurant and catering industry for some 30 years; the Box Tree Restaurant has independently held a Michelin star for 15 of those years. We provided a wedding for one of our clients who felt they had never had the quality of service or food at a wedding before. This motivated us to explore this avenue and we decided that we wanted to bring Michelin quality and excellence of food service to the wedding industry and provide our clients with an exceptionally memorable occasion.

Which wedding venues is Box Tree Events the in-house caterer at?

We provide wedding catering at a variety of stunning venues around Yorkshire, including Denton Hall, Broughton Hall and Harewood House, to name a few! We also cater for smaller intimate celebrations in the beautiful Box Tree Restaurant itself.

THE COPYRIGHT OF THIS IMAGE IS HELD BY RICHARD MORAN. THEY ARE INTENDED AS SAMPLES OF WORK AND SHOULD NEVER BE RE- PRODUCED IN ANY MANNER (VISUAL REFERENCE ONLY)

Tell us about your outside catering service?

We can cater for larger marquee weddings as well as outside events and parties nation-wide. We have catered from many unusual structures, such as garages, utility rooms and barns, we can adapt to pretty much any surroundings!

What types of dining do you offer?

We offer a wide range of dining options, from canape receptions and formal fine dining meals, to hot and cold buffets, barbeques and afternoon teas.

What sets Box Tree Events apart from other catering companies?

We work very closely alongside the Box Tree Restaurant when training staff, creating menus and planning weddings. This enables us to deliver Michelin quality food and service at each of our weddings.

We are not just caterers we have evolved to offer the whole package, we can assist with all aspects of the day: invites, transport, accommodation, table centres, flowers, venue dressing, name cards, favors, toast master and entertainment.

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cool britannia. a red, white and blue, fifties inspired wedding at east riddlesden hall – fiona & james

November 24th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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Today’s couple took the ‘my way’ approach to their wedding by picking a theme and colour scheme that reflected their passions and interests.

Without a hint of pink to be seen, James and Fiona opted for a cool Britannia style wedding with a red, white and blue colour scheme and attire inspired by fashions of the 50’s and 60’s.

Bride Fiona, pulls off the look perfectly in a sweet tea-length dress, faux fur shrug and vintage birdcage veil, while her bridesmaids remain on form in striking red Vivian of Holloway dresses. We must also give a mention to the cute flower girls who look super-angelic in their twirly dresses!

With images by Eye of the Tyne Photography

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fiona says: We got engaged on holiday in Northumberland. James grandparents were from there and after they passed away his mum bought a caravan so we would go a couple of times a year. One of our favourite places to go was Druridge Bay, which is a very pretty with lots of sand dunes, so on Easter weekend last year James and I decided on a little trip there, although the weather forecast was a bit ominous James insisted we go and made me walk up the biggest sand dune, even though I was wearing slippery boots and at one point I wanted to turn back but he pulled me up to the top. We then took some pictures and as I turned around he was on one knee.

Our wedding was on the 19th June 2016. We thought about June or September and our venue had a Sunday free in June which would be easier for my family to travel up from London the day before. When we booked it we didn’t actually realise it was Father’s Day until we sent out our invitations, but maybe this day had chosen us, as both myself and James’ father were not present at the wedding, James due his father passing away when he was a child and mine due to ill health, so it was a fitting tribute!

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We got married at East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley, West Yorkshire. Their barn is a beautiful Grade II listed building. Our original idea was that we wanted to get married in the Yorkshire dales where we camp every year and looked into hiring a yurt, but the logistics were too complicated and as I had family and friends coming from London we decided on somewhere a bit closer to home. The barn was ideal as we could decorate it ourselves, and the backdrop was stunning for photographs.

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We had a 50’s/ 60’s cool Britannia theme for the wedding. Both myself and James love 60’s music and I also love the fashion of the 50’s and 60’s so it was pretty much a given we would have some element in our wedding. We decided on a cover of Love is All Around, for the wedding march and played the Beatles and the Kinks during the register signing. My dress and bridesmaids were 50’s inspired and James’ shirt and suit was 60’s inspired.

Our wedding colour scheme was red, white and blue, so a bit different to the usual pinks. We wanted colours that reflect our own tastes and we also wanted vibrant colours that would stand out.

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As soon as I started planning the wedding I knew I wanted a tea length dress. I have always liked vintage styles and had a couple of 50’s style dresses so knew that it suits my body shape and height. I did search several local bridal shops and looked at specific designers who did tea length dresses and ended up going to four or five different shops but each dress I tried I found either I didn’t like part of the dress or the material wasn’t right. Eventually I found a lovely shop called Wedding Belles of Otley. They had already selected a few dresses for me to try on, including one that and been designed as a bridesmaid dress but I was assured that lots of brides had chosen it as their wedding dress, although the colour was pink they also did it in ivory. As soon as I tried it on it was exactly what I wanted; lace bodice and satin skirt with buttons down the back, perfect!

I also like to accessorize and found the perfect  accompaniment  with  a feather  shrug  and  vintage style shoes from BHS. I didn’t think a long veil would suit the style of my dress so bought a plain birdcage veil and a lovely feathered clip from Debenhams, which matched very well with my shrug.

For my bridal hair and makeup, I used Le Keux Vintage Styling, who were great!

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

November 23rd, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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

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

With images by Andy Sutcliffe Photography.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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