April 20th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
With the warm weather set to last into the weekend (yessssssssssss!), we’re dusting down the barbecue and putting the prosecco on chill, but before we head off to find a sunny beer garden for the obligatory Friday after-work drinks, we’re leaving you with this diamond of a real wedding!
Transporting us to the 50s – a magical era of Hollywood glamour and jukebox easy listening, jazz and swing – bride Charlotte had her heart set on a glitzy style wedding of this bygone time from the very beginning, and her vision determined everything; from the choice of venue (opulent York hotel The Grand) to the striking black and gold colour-scheme.
Charlotte initially thought her dress would be subtle and slinky, but one look at the beaded bodice of this (Brides Up North headline sponsor, dontcha know?) Pronovias beauty and it was love at first sight. And what a dress it was – delicate pearls, ornate beading and tulle, tulle, tulle for days. The father of the bride’s reaction – tearful, in the best possible way – says it all.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd Clarke Photography.
[jennaope]charlotte says: We got engaged in October 2016 while in Dubai. Matthew had arranged for us to stay in a room overlooking the Burj Al Arab. On our first night I came out of the bathroom to a bedroom in darkness other than a small light reflecting onto a beautiful diamond ring and two glasses of champagne next to it. It was so magical – the light was reflecting off the ring and all around the room! He then finally popped the question and we burst into tears of joy. It was a moment we’ll remember forever.
Our wedding was on 30th September 2017, as we wanted to get married fairly quickly. We’d been together nearly seven years by the time we were engaged!
I’d always wanted a vintage glamour themed wedding – I love anything glitzy and Rat Pack-related – so we needed a venue to match. The Grand Hotel & Spa in York, was the perfect choice for us: it was quickly apparent that venue was very glamorous and opulent but also so central for everyone – we also lived only five minutes away, which was particularly handy!
In keeping with the theme, our colour scheme was black and gold. This worked pretty perfectly with our venue as the room had gold curtains and chandeliers.
I’d always sworn I’d be wearing a simple, slimline dress on my wedding day but I (rather unexpectedly) fell in love with a very big princess-style dress! My Pronovias gown was strapless and had a fully beaded bodice, adding some real 50s glamour. It was the second dress I tried and I knew straight away I loved it. Bridal Rogue Gallery in York, where I found the dress were great at every stage of the process.
We bought Matthew, the best man and our dads a simple black suit, white shirt, champagne-coloured waistcoat and a gold tie from Dobell – we needed a style to fit all heights (and widths)!
For our transport, we borrowed my dad’s black Mercedes and dressed it with gold ribbon, staying true to the colour scheme.
March 30th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
The prosecco is chilling in the fridge, the cupboards are stacked high with hot cross buns and we can literally hear the bells of the Lindt bunny ringing aloud – Easter is here, and so it’s a weekend of socialising and indulgence for us. But just before we down tools for the Bank Holiday, we’re opening an obligatory bag of Mini Eggs and poring over this afternoon’s stunning real wedding.
Here at Brides Up North we’re a sucker for stunning church shots, and Helen and Will’s big day really pulls out all the stops – the stained-glass windows, columns and nave are soaked in history and grandeur, plus there’s the heart-warming story of the Canon who couldn’t have been more welcoming. Their reception followed at Whitley Hall, and wandering peacocks, live music and a gin fizz or two made for the perfect evening celebration.
Helen’s vision exudes elegance – all-white florals, a seriously classy duchess satin and lace gown – but there were also plenty of personal touches; from her grandmother’s wedding ring which she wore on the ankle strap of her shoe, to her love for Newcastle United (haway the lads!) being reflected in the black and white colour scheme.
With images by Stu Ganderton Photography.
helen says: We got engaged around midnight under the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Will had surprised me with the trip for Christmas, and we went at the end of March 2015. He had carried the ring with him all day, looking for a perfect opportunity. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen – the weather was terrible and he kept setting off security alarms due to the hidden ring! He had to send me on in front of him when we were going into galleries! That evening, he took me for champagne at the Moulin Rouge. It was a fabulous evening. As we walked back to our hotel, I felt a tug on my arm. When I turned around, he was down on one knee. I was completely overwhelmed, and I think I cried for days! When we got back to the hotel, they wouldn’t serve us champagne as they were just closing the bar – miserable lot! However, they did have a vending machine that dispensed champagne, so we were able to toast our engagement.
Our wedding was 5th August 2017. We wanted a summer wedding so that we could enjoy a honeymoon – I’m an assistant head at a secondary school, so I can only go away during holidays.
Our ceremony was at Sheffield Cathedral and our reception at Whitley Hall, Sheffield. The Cathedral was Will’s idea. A church ceremony was very important to me, but as Will has previously been married and divorced, some churches refused to marry us. After a rather rude vicar declined our request to be married at his church, Will took it upon himself to find a way. We attended the Sunday service at the Cathedral and met with Canon Chris. When we explained our situation, he couldn’t have been more welcoming or understanding. We became members of the congregation from May 2015, and we remain so today. The Cathedral community immediately welcomed us, especially Canon Keith, who married us. He spent hours getting to know us and he performed the most beautiful ceremony. To be married in the heart of the city was so special to us, as it was where we first met and bought our first home together.
We visited several reception venues before we went to Whitley Hall. None of them quite met our expectations, whereas Whitley exceeded them. We wanted somewhere elegant, classy and with character. The staff were so accommodating and helpful, and they were able to give us the date wanted. We were guaranteed access to the beautiful walled gardens and the main banqueting suite. We also felt that the rooms were reasonably priced for our guests.
My nana picked my wedding dress, but she sadly passed away four months before our wedding. She was a huge part of my life and she was a big miss on the day. She insisted on paying for the bells to ring at the Cathedral, so she was definitely part of our ceremony. I wore her wedding ring on the ankle strap of my left shoe, so that she was with me every step of the way.
Styling-wise, we wanted our wedding to be simple, striking and elegant. The tables had tall vases with white oriental lilies and greenery, tea lights and a few crystals. Our colour scheme was black and white. It’s a striking and clean-cut combination – and I’m also a Newcastle fan!
I chose a beautiful gown from Nora Eve in Chesterfield. It was the third shop we had been to and nothing had quite met what I had in mind. I wanted something very plain with regards to detail, but with a dramatic silhouette. When I came out of the changing room wearing it my mam, nana and sister (my maid of honour) were all in agreement that it was ‘the one’. I hadn’t wanted lace, but I loved the delicate bodice of the dress with the duchess satin skirt. My nana had the final word, and that was that! I also picked a full cathedral veil to suit the venue. My hair was styled by Amanda from Face2Face – she was very reasonable and accommodating.
Will had a bespoke three-piece suit made via Moss Bros. He wore a white shirt with a cutaway collar, white cravat and pocket square.
March 16th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
After riding that cloud-nine-feel of getting engaged over Christmas and New Year the realisation of planning a wedding hit me head on in mid-January. Even though I work in the industry my vision was clouded by the ring-finally-on-finger euphoria and I thought (possibly like many other couples) that we had loads of time to find a venue and start making plans.
However, when Andy and I started to seriously discuss timings we narrowed when would like to say our “I dos” down to a three-month-window next spring; being April, May, June 2019. Now, if you’re quite happy to have a long engagement, or perhaps, aren’t too fussed about what time of the year you get wed, you don’t need to panic just yet. For us it was a case of timing the wedding to fit in with a season that we like, months that would work well with our jobs, and also avoiding the peak summer season price hike – we, like the vast majority of brides and grooms, don’t have a bottomless budget and therefore are taking care to spend wisely.
With this in mind, we have also done the unthinkable and booked a, wait for it…Thursday wedding! We figured those that love/like/just about tolerate us will be willing to sacrifice a day’s annual leave to celebrate our special day with us – and, as a thank you, we will be investing the saving we made by opting for a week day into elements our guests will most definitely benefit from – being the food, booze and entertainment!
Middleton Lodge Fig House – Gary Walsh Photography
So, where oh where will the big day take place? Well prompted into panic mode we went to view three venues which I know of and love; and so really it was a case of gauging Andy’s feelings on these. New addition to the stunning Middleton Lodge Estate in North Yorkshire, The Fig House was a front-runner from the off. Fresh and fabulous, this stunning Georgian inspired building is set to start holding weddings in the coming months, and we both loved the fact that none of our family or friends would have got hitched there before. Better still, The Fig House is concealed within a breath-takingly beautiful walled Kitchen Garden, and visions of beers and Bellinis on the lawns had us hooked. However, back home when we mulled things over, logistically it was going to be a struggle for us with pretty much all guests being from our home-city of Sheffield and even further south. Those of you on the venue search around the North Yorkshire area though must absolutely check out The Fig House and wider Middleton Lodge Estate.
Saltmarshe Hall – Aden Priest Photography
Next up was gorgeous Grade II country house, Saltmarshe Hall, located in rural East Yorkshire. What I adore about this venue is its grand façade and gorgeous interiors, which offer an air of luxury and opulence, and yet it feels a real home from home, instantly welcoming and exclusive. Having recently added more stunning bedrooms to its offering it was another strong contender, with its light and airy reception rooms and speak-easy style bar adding extra ticks. Though in the end, for us, we felt we needed just a bit more space for the size of our wedding party (and also to accommodate Andy’s dance moves without people getting injured!) However, again, if your wedding venue search area covers East Yorkshire, please do look up this truly beautiful Hall.
The West Mill – Richard Murgatroyd Photography
And so that brings me onto our third and, as it turns out, winning venue – The West Mill in Derby. I’d never visited this place in person prior to our viewing but I’d often spent far too long staring at images of it, either via real weddings featured here on the blog or those I found on Instagram. What drew me to it was its cool, industrial luxe style and I thought (and hoped!) this would be right up Andy’s street too. Cue a wonderfully personal show around by owner Andrew, and we were sold.
The space within the Grade I listed former cotton spinning mill, situated next to the river Derwent, is nothing short of exceptional with space to wed, dine and party across four fabulous levels, plus outdoor space too – oh and eight brand new gorgeous on-site bedrooms.
March 14th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Quite simply, today’s wedding is all kinds of pretty. From the bride’s beautiful bespoke gown to the dreamiest of floral arrangements, complete with plush hydrangeas and peonies – there’s lots of wonderful ideas and special touches from Maria and Simon’s celebrations to pin away to your heart’s content.
But, before we can even gush about these details, we have to talk about the fact that Maria underwent spinal surgery in the lead up to the wedding. We think you’ll agree, this adds extra significance to their nuptials, and we’re delighted to hear that Maria had a speedy recovery that didn’t hinder plans for their big day.
And what a big day it was! Exchanging vows against the grandiose backdrop of Leeds Cathedral, Maria and Simon then went on to host their celebrations at luxury Harrogate hotel, Rudding Park, set in 300 acres of beautiful gardens and woodland. Maria’s Italian and Greek heritage influenced their overall theme for the day, too, with pretty olive branches, a lemon tree and even Greek dancing all bringing Mediterranean feels to the proceedings. Read on as Maria tells all…
With images by Paul Read Weddings.
maria says: We got engaged in August 2015, in Rome, at the beautiful Giardini degli Aranci (garden of oranges) with its stunning view of the city. We went just before sunset, and it was such a romantic setting. I really didn’t expect the proposal and after being there for a while, I asked when we could go for a Prosecco! It was then that Simon said it would be nice to take a seat on one of the benches further back from the wall.
Long story short, he said there was a reason he had brought me to the most beautiful secret spot in Rome, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Once I had stopped crying and said yes, we could hear applause from around the park – such a surreal moment but one we will never forget and that place will remain special for both of us forever.
My mum is Italian so I think Simon always knew he wanted to propose in Italy and it was a trip of a lifetime. We ate at a Michelin star restaurant afterwards but spent most of the evening on our phones telling our family and friends about the amazing news!
We tied the knot on Saturday 24th June 2017.We chose this date as it was 11 years to the day since we first started going out.
We got married at Leeds Cathedral, where I used to sing in the choir. I have also known the priest (now a Monsignor) since I was a child, so it was perfect that he conducted the service for us.
We then held the reception at Rudding Park in Harrogate, voted number one hotel in the UK by Trip Advisor for three years in a row. We knew immediately we wanted our wedding to be attended by all our friends and family, and had considered Amalfi (where my family heritage is from) but given difficulties with older family members being able to get there, we decided that there would be nowhere better than Yorkshire, especially given that I’m a Leeds girl and he’s a Wetherby boy.
We’ve both known Rudding Park for years and it was the perfect balance between city and country. The service at Rudding Park is exceptional and the new spa was going to open the year of our wedding – we just knew we were in safe hands. Plus, I have a pretty huge family and it is one of the few venues in Yorkshire that caters for more than120 people. It’s everything we wanted.
I had spinal surgery for scoliosis in November 2016 – it was a huge procedure but I bounced back within three months – just in time for my wonderful wedding dress to be measured and created. I had often been really paranoid about my waist and I am so lucky to have had this corrected before I walked down the aisle. It seemed a long journey back to health and I had three months off work, but that just left more time for wedmin to take my mind off things!
We didn’t have a theme in the beginning, but once I started my Pinterest obsession, I realised I kept pinning things that were tagged as “fine art”. I tried to bring in a bit of a Mediterranean theme, along with pastel colours to keep things understated and elegant. For example, the olive branches on the cake and the lemon tree in the middle of the main hall, the soft candles, soft blues and pale pinks, and the menu was very much inspired by my Italian and Greek heritage. There was so much food! There was also Greek dancing and a bit of Italian Vin Santo which added much more alcohol to proceedings!
With regards to the pastel colour scheme, I wanted pale pinks and blues with Mediterranean greenery as I thought they would stand the test of time when looking back at the photographs. I also love hydrangeas and peonies which helped guide the colour scheme, and indeed the month of June for the wedding, when peonies are available and in bloom.
March 12th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Opulence is the hallmark of this stunning real wedding, which took place in the magnificent Gothic surroundings of Carlton Towers in North Yorkshire. Chloe and Lee were craving drama and decadence, and – with their Gatsby theme, gold and silver accents, pearls, candelabras, feathers and troupe of dancing girls – we think they just about pulled it off.
Chloe confesses to dreaming of a winter wedding since she was a little girl, and the Christmas season gave her plenty of opportunities to create the fairytale day she’d always wanted. Her bridesmaids wore floor-length gold sequin dresses, she treated herself to a pair of Jimmy Choo stilettos and her own gown was an absolute showstopper. We’re unashamedly in love with its epic train and lace detailing, and her feathered cape and scarlet lips are the perfect partners for a celebration of such ultra-glam proportions.
Get ready for some fireworks, literal and metaphorical!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Valentina Weddings.
chloe says: We got engaged on 12th October 2015, at Daytona Beach in Florida. We were on holiday in Orlando and had decided to take a road trip over to the coast for the night. We’d booked into the Hilton and when we arrived at our room I thought we’d been upgraded – little did I know that Lee had told the hotel of his plans to propose! We had the penthouse suite with a wraparound balcony overlooking the ocean all the way to the city. As we were checking everywhere out, I ran out onto the balcony to find Lee down on one knee. I couldn’t believe it was true and neither of us remember exactly what was said, other than Lee’s “Will you marry me?” Of course I said yes, and the rest is history!
We got married on 15th December 2017. I’d wanted a winter wedding since I was a little girl and this particular date just happened to fall well. We chose Carlton Towers for our full day of celebrations from the night before, to the ceremony and the day and evening receptions. We only looked at a couple of venues and fell in love with Carlton Towers’ Gothic and opulent charm. As well as offering us exclusive use, we knew it was a place people wouldn’t ordinarily go to and probably wouldn’t ever go again, making it that extra bit special.
Our wedding had a loose Great Gatsby theme. We incorporated lots of gold sequins, white feathers and our stationery was in a 1920s style, too. Our colour palette was blush pink, silver and gold – they’re my favourite colours and we felt that they went with the opulent and elegant theme we wanted to convey.
My wedding dress was Aurora from Essense of Australia. I tried on lots of different styles of wedding dresses; I wanted to make the most of the experience, plus you never know what you’ll love until you’re wearing it. I fell in love with my dress; it showed off my figure in such a beautiful way, as well as having a stunningly long train which I was desperate for. I bought my dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden, who were amazing and made my whole experience a dream.
Lee wore a slate blue tail suit from Joshua Adams in Cleckheaton. He and his best man wore a grey fleece waistcoat, while the other groomsmen wore a blue dogtooth print waistcoat. They all finished off their outfits with matching tan shoes and blush pink cravats and handkerchiefs. Lee also gave the men a hare pin to wear on their jackets and matching socks with their role, e.g. best man, usher etc. Lee also accessorised with a new Hugo Boss watch in a deep blue colour from a limited-edition range.
Our four adult bridesmaids wore gold sequin Sorella Vita dresses from Limelight Occasions in Lepton. We picked two different styles to suit everyone’s figures and style. Our junior bridesmaid and flower girl wore matching blush pink dresses from Monsoon. They also wore white fluffy capes and sparkly rose gold shoes. I bought all of the girls their jewellery as gifts.
February 28th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s wedding is something of a dreamy countryside affair, close to the historic spa town of Ilkley in Yorkshire. And the location plays another key role for our bride and groom, Emily and Tim, as it’s also the overarching theme for their special day – giving the bride’s Canadian family a little taster of her hubby-to-be’s local heritage!
The couple chose their venue, Denton Hall – a Brides Up North Sponsor and Luxury Wedding Fair venue, no less (in fact, this feature is full of our lovely suppliers *waves*) – for both their ceremony and reception, and is often the case – the venue not only looked the part, but it was also conveniently placed for their guests. A little reminder that practicalities also beckon when it comes to those all-important big decisions!
But, getting back to the breathtakingly beautiful backdrop – there’s 2,500 acres of stunning parkland and gorgeous country views to fall head over in heels in love with; all exquisitely captured in the couple’s stunning wedding photography.
Stepping inside the 18th century stately home – crystal chandeliers, ornate fireplaces and a spiral staircase are just a few of the standout features delivering elegant Georgian vibes by the bucket-load.
And we simply must mention the couple’s colour palette – navy blue and pink, two of the bride’s favourite colours. Just look at the oh-so-pretty bouquets, floral arrangements and cheese tower, and you’ll see why this combination works together so beautifully.
There’s lots of other special moments to pore over today, so we’ll hand over the reins to Emily and let her talk us through all the splendorous highlights.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Laura Calderwood Photography.
emily says: We got engaged on 13th February 2016, while in Miami, Florida.
It was in our hotel room after a romantic dinner. Tim had hurt his back the day before so was struggling to get down on one knee. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing and kept on telling him, not to move but he was so determined! I was too focused on getting him to stop moving that I didn’t listen to what he was saying. When he took out the ring I was so surprised and had to ask him to repeat his proposal.
We got married on 6th May 2017. We chose this date as it was one of the few available at our venue that year.
We held our ceremony and reception at Denton Hall in Ilkley. We loved the house and wanted the venue to be close by for Tim’s parents, who live in Ilkley. We also wanted my family and friends to be able to stay at the venue as they were all travelling to the wedding from Vancouver, Canada.
Our wedding had a Yorkshire theme because Tim wanted the Canadians to experience his culture! We teamed this with a navy blue and pink colour scheme – two of my favourite colours.
I wore a vintage dress which I fell in love with as soon as I tried it on.
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