February 21st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s glamorous bride describes her agonising decision as to whether to go ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Kim Kardashian’ on the wedding dress front. In the end, her elegant gown was more grown-up princess than KK but every bit a showstopper.
This gorgeous duo really knows how to organise a party: their big day features a ten-piece band, a photo booth and gallons of Champagne. Plus, the photographs of Katherine with her seven gorgeous bridesmaids? Real #SquadGoals material.
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke.
katherine says: I had already picked my ring out at ROX jewellers in Leeds, with Oliver when we got engaged as we’d regularly talked about getting married. I had a very specific style in mind and we both agreed it would be better to pick a ring I loved instead of one I only liked! It was an amazing experience we both enjoyed and will cherish forever. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and chocolate truffles as the glass doors behind us were locked by the security guard. We were the only customers in the store – absolute bliss!
Given that I knew the ring was coming (although I didn’t know when and where!) I told Oliver if he wanted to surprise me he’d have to catch me off guard. He did just that: he asked me to pop downstairs to help him carry something inside the house and as I reached the bottom step he was on one knee – with my ring! Of course, I said yes.
We both wanted to be married fairly quickly and were lucky enough to be financially able to do so. We were engaged August 2015 and were married September 2016. Oliver’s parents were married on the 28th September and my parents were married on the 29th September, so we decided to follow the trend with 30thSeptember. To get married on a Friday was significantly cheaper at most venues than a weekend and that encouraged us to go for a week day.
We visited dozens of venues, but fell in love with Monk Fryston Hall in Yorkshire, immediately. We wanted to find a venue that wasn’t too big (more than one wedding per day at some places), not too small (we both have big families) and that could provide overnight accommodation overnight. We both wanted a church wedding but were willing to organise and pay for the transportation of the guests from the church to the venue. However, this wasn’t necessary as there was a beautiful church, St. Wilfrid’s, just over the road. This sealed the deal for us and we organised a meeting with the wedding co-ordinator.
There was no real theme to the wedding other than the colour scheme, which was lilac – only because I had seven bridesmaids to cater for and found a lilac dress that everyone was happy with at the bargain price of £49 each in the January sales!
Everything was very simple. I wore a white gown with no bling, our cake was white with flowers, we used simple tea lights and hydrangea buds for decoration. It was such a beautiful venue it didn’t need much styling!
Style-wise, I batted between ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Kim Kardashian’ for months! Did I fulfil my lifelong dream of wearing a wearing a poofy ball gown or did I go fashion forward and wear a skin tight fishtail gown? I went to several dress shops until I found Precious Bridal in Garforth – no pushy sales pitch, just a general introduction and then I was let loose in a shop full of gowns. Every bride’s dream! As my mum flicked through a catalogue she pointed out a dress she thought was lovely. I immediately recognised it – I actually had it saved on Pinterest. Donna suddenly revealed that she had it in stock! I had to try it on. Donna names each of her dresses so she can remember them easily, and so out of curiosity I asked what this dress was called. She replied ‘Katherine.’ I hadn’t even seen the dress and I knew it was the one. It was the perfect combination of elegance and a little bit of Cinderella.
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February 15th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Sometimes, we just want to have it all. And for today’s couple, their venue choice – Sledmere House in East Yorkshire – more than delivered when it came to fulfilling their wedding day wishlist.
Tying the knot last September in the stately home’s regal setting, the couple then shifted their celebrations in to the more rustic backdrop of the venue’s on-site barn, which Josie and Bruce describe as their own personal ‘DIY project’.
And with so many special touches – the ice cream tricycle, stairway to heaven and petal drop are just a few of our personal favourites – we think you’re going to feel inspired by the abundance of original ideas from their big day. Josie shares all the gorgeous details…
With images from Photogenick
josie says: We got engaged on 26 September 2016. Bruce said there was no specific relevance to this date, however we had booked a trip to Paris near Christmas, so he had got a lock engraved with the date to mark the occasion. Bruce planned to propose at Sails café, Skidby windmill, a location that meant a lot to me. However, I scuppered Bruce’s plans by inviting my mum and granddad to lunch. Bruce chickened out. However, knowing it had to be that day because of the engraved lock, Bruce had to think on his feet and suggested a walk…eventually popping the question! He presented me with the most beautiful ring and, of course, the engraved lock. We celebrated in Paris in December and placed the lock on the love lock bridge.
We got married on 17 September 2016. We didn’t want to wait too long to get married. There was no relevance to this date but we hoped for good weather and, based on previous years, September had been lovely and this gave us just under a year to plan and organize everything for our special day.
We got married at Sledmere House – a Georgian and Edwardian House in East Yorkshire. We were looking for a venue that had everything! We had a big guest list, which we initially found restricting when considering other venues. Plus, we wanted to make the day unique and personal to us but keep some aspects of it traditional.
We quickly learnt that choosing the venue was going to be one of the biggest and hardest decisions. When we came across Sledmere House and the barn located on site – we were blown away, as it enabled us to have everything we wanted; two completely contrasting venues in one day.
We also chose the option of the bridal party having the beautiful ‘red’ room to get ready in with the hairdresser (Hannah Cormack) and make-up artist (Ali Gomerson) attending while the group enjoyed a celebration breakfast.
The house was beautiful, sophisticated and elegant and the most formal parts of our day took place here. We got married in the library and had a petal drop on the grand staircase. We felt like royalty.
The barn was the complete opposite; you could not get anymore rustic! Initially it had no doors, no toilets and there was a tractor inside. It was a huge DIY project but it had so much potential and we had so many creative ideas.
There was no specific theme but the contrasting venues provided two opposing styles, the house was grand whereas the barn was very quirky and rustic. The barn featured a lot of handmade décor and props too. We had indoor and outdoor hay bale sofas and the yard was decorated with bunting. We intended to make this part of the day informal as we wanted everyone to relax and enjoy themselves. We even provided blankets, umbrellas (thankfully, not needed) and flip flops for our guests to ensure they were kept comfortable! The House did not require any dressing – it was perfect as it was.
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February 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Happy Valentine’s Day Brides up North! Did you catch our weekend wish list?
It’s time to get all romantic on these pretty pages as today’s seriously sophisticated couple pulled out all the stops for their wedding in glorious Yorkshire. After the groom’s idyllic proposal in Champagne, Lindsey wore Madison James, Andy wore his RAF Number Ones, and beautiful blooms, jaw-dropping home bakes and fizz (Champagne, obviously) were the order of the day.
This outdoor-loving pair created a striking fusion of styles – Lindsey’s deep-cut beaded dress and the colour scheme’s copper accents feel very city chic, but their stunning sailcloth Sperry marquee and those hayfield tandem photographs are pure countryside class.
The best of both worlds – and simply gorgeous to boot.
lindsey says: We got engaged in the Champagne region of France in August 2015. Andy booked us first class Eurostar tickets for a weekend in Paris and Champagne. On the day we got engaged, he had hired a tandem bike (we both like cycling and had cycled from London to Paris earlier in the year together). We cycled from vineyard to vineyard and sampled lots of champagne. It rained a little in the morning so we got wet on the bike but at the last Champagne House the clouds parted and the sun came out beautifully. At around 3pm we got back on the tandem for the last time to cycle back. We’d only been cycling for about ten minutes down a beautiful quiet country lane when we got to a hill. Having had a good few glasses of bubbly in us, Andy asked if we could ‘take five’ at the top and enjoy the view down the valley. And that’s where he took off his helmet (and I thankfully did the same!) and he dropped down on one knee and popped the question!
We spent the rest of the evening drinking champagne (obviously!) and got planning what our dream wedding could look like….
We got married on 30th July 2016. We wanted a day in the summer so that (weather permitting) we could celebrate in the sun in my beautiful home county of Yorkshire. I grew up on a farm and we both love the countryside so we wanted to be able to celebrate in with the trees and flowers in full bloom and Yorkshire looking glorious.
We got married at St Helen and the Holy Cross Church in Sheriff Hutton, followed by a Sperry (white marquee by Papakata) reception at Aldby Park in Buttercrambe. We fell in love with the venue and it ticked every box for us – a combination of a stunning stately home surrounded by acres and acres of open fields and countryside as far as the eye can see. A very country style look with the glamour of an incredibly handsome period property. The owners allowed us to have our marquee on their beautiful garden at the rear of the house so that we also had a view down the steep bank to the River Derwent. Perfect! The owners also allowed us to have a camping area so as many of our friends as we wanted were able to camp at the venue for free which was really helpful. We hired a handful of deck chairs and shepherds’ crooks (from Add Vintage) to create a summer’s evening chillout area on the lawn.
The Sperry tent is stunningly elegant. It is made out of sailcloth and has incredible roof contours. We both loved how striking it is and different to any normal marquee we’d seen. Also, Andy has sailed extensively (his parents have a boat on the South coast still) so having a tent made out of sail cloth seemed very apt.
We had a bit of a bike theme (referencing back to the big fat engagement) so we made a bicycle wheel chandelier, sprayed it bronze and suspended it above the dancefloor. We also had a tandem on the day and cycled through the fields at dusk (I just about mastered the art of hitching up a wedding dress!)
Our colours were pale blue and copper. We wanted some blue in the theme as Andy’s RAF uniform is blue. So we went with a pale shade throughout with some copper touches to complement and also to bring some sparkle to the colour theme.
I wore a fitted beaded gown from Madison James. It had straps and a deep cut-out back. I actually found it at a wedding fair in Manchester. Andy agreed to attend one fair and accidentally (honestly!) I picked one of the biggest in the UK. Typically, I found the dress on a mannequin while we were walking round so I waited until we were well past it before asking Andy if he wouldn’t mind finding a quiet spot in a café at the other side of the show and having a coffee on his own while I checked something out! About 45 minutes later I returned to poor Andy, knowing that I had probably found the dress, but hadn’t felt brave enough to hand over the credit card without having had a second opinion.
The same show returned in the October so I went back with my mum and one of my bridesmaids (Natalie, who had flown over from Amsterdam where she lives) so I could try the dress again. I safely assumed that mum and Natalie’s tears were a good sign so half-an-hour later (after they’d wrestled the dress off me!) we were sitting drinking more champagne celebrating that I’d found my dream dress.
Andy is an Officer in the RAF so he wore his Number Ones to get married in. He changed into a navy suit (matching the bestman and ushers) just after our drinks reception and before sitting down for dinner. Andy’s wedding ring was made out of an engine turbine from a Concorde airplane. His dad was a flight engineer on Concorde and flew for British Airways for 20 years until retirement. We trawled the country trying to find a working jewellers who could work with a titanium piece of engine and eventually found one in Birmingham. They etched a drawing of Concorde into the inside of the ring alongside our initials and our wedding date.
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February 6th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
It’s styled shoot time once again on the blog, and today we’re sharing the second installment of a dreamy two-day winter wedding shoot captured in West Yorkshire. I think we all need a little winter hygge about now.
With images by Silvery Moon Photography.
Last month we shared the results of day one, which was winter hygge to a tee, with beautifully relaxed florals, rustic styling and soft, cosy knits. The second part of the shoot features a similar whimsical feel, but with injections of bold berry tones in rich purples, crimson reds and dusky pinks.
The beautiful blooms, which include Roses, Lisianthus, Skimmia, Waxflower and Ranunculus, have once again been put together by talented florist Susan Dobson of The Yorkshire Dales Flower Company, and this time it’s her garage that provides an ideal blank canvas setting.
To achieve the desired effect, the bare space was styled with rustic furniture and accessories while the bridal look was created with stunning gowns provided by Amelia’s of Skipton, chunky designer knitwear from Just Unwind, and a pair of vibrant Hunter wellies.
As a trained beauty therapist and owner of Beauty by Hannah, the model did her own makeup and Skipton-based stylist Ella Beau created the beautiful bridal hair dos.
February 6th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on the blog, we’re stepping back in time with Rachel and Harry as they tie the knot at the medieval Skipton Castle in Yorkshire.
After 10 years together – Rachel awoke from her slumber one day to find an engagement ring on her finger; the definition of a dream come true if ever we saw one!
Their wedding was just as dreamy, with wildflowers, pretty pastels, a classic Bentley and a gorgeous three-tiered cake, not to mention a subtle nod to all things art deco. Read on for all the exquisite details…
With images by Bethany Clarke
rachel says: We had been together for 10 years before we got engaged and always joked that there was no point in Harry proposing as he knew I would say yes, so we may as well skip the engagement and just get married. In the early hours of 31st August 2015 Harry popped the most beautiful sapphire and diamond ring on my finger while I was asleep! Obviously, it was a wonderful surprise to wake up to, and Harry had spent hours nervously waiting for me to be in a deep enough sleep to put the ring on.
We got married on 23rd July 2016. We knew that we wanted a summer wedding and the venue we wanted only had a few weekends left and this date worked the best for us.
We tied the knot at Skipton Castle. We are both really interested in history and love visiting heritage sites and museums. We had visited Skipton Castle together a few times and always had a lot of fun there so it was really exciting to find out that they actually hold weddings there too! Of course, I wanted the whole fairytale princess in a castle vibe too! We had visited a few other venues but Skipton Castle just felt so special to us, everyone that works there is so lovely and genuinely wanted us to have the best day; they really put us at ease and made our wedding super special.
We wanted to have a really casual and fun wedding. It was quite small and intimate, we didn’t have a seating plan or anything like that, we just wanted everyone to mingle and have a great time.
I wouldn’t say we had a particular theme but due to our own personal styles there was a bit of a vintage feel to the day – my dress was 1920s inspired, we had a classic Bentley and wild flowers everywhere. It’s hard not to get swept up when you’re getting married in a medieval castle!
We didn’t have a colour scheme; everything was quite neutral. We had a range of different colours in our flowers and these were the only real colours on the day, at the castle and later at our reception venue too. We matched the car and the cake to the bridesmaid’s pale grey dress as it was important to us that everything looked quite minimal.
I wore a Maggie Sottero dress from Abigail’s Bridal Boutique. Looking through bridal magazines and blogs I fell in love with Maggie Sottero’s designs and I discovered that Abigail’s Bridal Boutique is one of the few shops in Leeds that stock this brand. I tried on a handful of dresses but as soon as I put on ‘Ettia’ I knew that was the dress for me. It was everything I had ever dreamed of in a wedding dress and the lovely ladies at Abigail’s had to coax me out of it in the end as I didn’t want to take it off. I paired it with a cathedral length, Swarovski trimmed veil and an art deco headpiece – I felt like a princess.
We hired a classic S-type Bentley from Classic and Vintage Travel in Harrogate. The car was incredible and the driver was so wonderfully friendly and surprised us with a bottle of Champagne after the ceremony. He drove us out to a lovely area of greenery in Skipton and we drank some Champagne and enjoyed a few minutes to ourselves before driving to the reception. It was such a special moment and we were so grateful to the driver for suggesting it.
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January 30th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
One of the things we love most about our Luxury Wedding Fairs, that we host across the north of the UK, has to be the efforts exhibitors go to in order to showcase their talents and capture brides’ imaginations.
During our Denton Hall wedding fair in October last year, we were particularly impressed by the stunning display created by florist Angela Naylor, of Floral Dance, based in Ilkley, Yorkshire. Her creative stand was a beautiful botanical show for the eyes, with green and white flowers and foliage mixed in with accents of luxe copper. How heavenly?!
So, when Angela mentioned that she was teaming up with Yorkshire-based photographer Jenny Maden for a styled shoot the following day to make full use of her wonderful creations, we jumped at the chance to feature it on the blog.
And so, here’s the lovely Jenny to tell us how it all went whilst inspiring us with lots of pretty petals…
With images by Jenny Maden Photography.
jenny says: The shoot was an opportunity for both myself and Ange to get creative! We had discussed collaborating for a styled shoot since the week that she opened her gorgeous new florists.
So, when Ange pulled together such a fab collection of floristry pieces for the Brides Up North wedding fair at Denton Hall, we thought that scheduling the shoot for the day after the fair would be a perfect opportunity to make the most of the beautiful floral arrangements.
The shoot took place in the rural hamlet of Denton, which is a really beautiful place, just outside the town that both Ange and I live in. It’s pretty wild and bleak there in the winter month, but just beautiful and fit the ‘rustic’ theme perfectly. Luckily, on the day of the shoot, we had relatively mild weather, so the props didn’t blow away and Ange didn’t freeze!
We called the shoot ‘Lovers Lane’, after the name of the lane that ran through the shoot location. Apparently, it was the place for lovers’ liaisons back in the day.
We both had a rural and rustic theme in mind, with lots of greens and whites, with hints of copper and burgundy.
All the floral arrangements were created by Ange; from the stunning table arrangements, to the dreamy bouquets and flower crown, which we hope will help inspire styling ideas for Brides Up North readers.
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