Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.
Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013. Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
Ok, ok. hands up, this wedding isn’t ‘Up North.
I’m normally super strict with my submissions, but I’ve a free pass to publish Carla and Jonny’s fantastical and fabulous Real Wedding this morning (yes, even though it’s in the Cotswolds!) as it comes to us via Brides Up North Featured Supplier Peter Boyd Photography and their online competition – featured on these pages – for one lucky couple to win their wedding photography completely free.
Carla and Jonny got lucky – as did Pete, as he and Kelly got to shoot their absolutely stunning big day in this brilliant location. I’m feeling pretty lucky to share it here today with you. Be inspired!
And if there’s any beef at all on the geography thing – one of the ferrets is a Mancunian. So there.
Carla says: Jonny proposed on Hampstead Heath on 23 September 2012 and we were married on 15th August 2013 at Aynhoe Park.
We really loved the fun, quirky feel to the place, and loved the idea of a house party atmosphere at the reception. And they did ferret racing…
We tried to make each element of the wedding as personal to us as possible. There was no real colour scheme but a lot of navy blue and splashes of pastel pink.
I chose a 1950s style dress from Johanna Hehir in Marylebone, London. It had an organza skirt with a lace bodice. It was light and easy to walk in! I wore some bubblegum pink vintage Miu Miu shoes to add a fun touch!
Jonny, the best man and my dad wore simple slim navy blue suits, white shirts and pale blue ties. Jonny wore his dad’s shoes as a memory of him on the day.
The two bridesmaids (my sisters) were both heavily pregnant and wore Grecian navy blue maternity dresses from ASOS – I made sure I was flanked by people who made me look thinner!
Groomsmen wore navy suits, slim navy ties, white shirts and navy blue braces.
I carried a vintage pastel bouquet of ivory and pink roses, freesias, lisianthus, wild daisies, eucalyptus, hydrangeas.
We tried to involve our friends and family as much as possible – my sister Anna did all of our flowers, our best friend Stan provided beer from his family’s brewery (Rebellion Brewery) and two of our ushers managed the music.
The church and venue are next door to each other, so we didn’t need much transport. Jonny and his brother/best man arrived in his brother’s prize possession – his Porsche. I walked over to the church with my dad and bridesmaids (We stayed at the venue the night before).
We used Aynhoe Park’s recommended caterer, Indulgence, for the food – they were fantastic (especially the popping candy strawberry cheesecake and late night fish finger sandwiches!)
Our table plan was Scrabble themed – all our guests had to unscramble anagrams of their names to work out where they were sitting.
On the tables were gingerbread men with each person’s name on (for anyone who didn’t manage the anagram!). These were baked by our friend, Sarah.
Our favours were mini apothecary bottles of limoncello (for the girls) and Hungarian palinka (for the boys). The palinka was brought back from Hungary by our usher Jules, who then flavoured the spirit with apricots (Aynho is known as “the apricot village”).
Our usher Alex managed our video diary room, which was our take on a traditional guest book.
In particular, the speeches were brilliant! My dad did a slideshow of horrendously embarrassing photos from throughout my life – and he even resurrected some notes I’d written as a child (“Them Smarties made my day”).
Walking in to dinner as a married couple was really amazing.
In the late afternoon we played cricket in the grounds – only a couple of injuries, and I managed to bowl Jonny out!
The main attraction was a ferret racing event, with Jonny’s brother Alex as the resident bookie! Each ferret had a name – i.e Madferret (the Mancunian), Ferret Across the Mersey, Ferret O’Rocher and so on…
In the evening we had a band – The TwentySomethings – who played two sets of everything from motown to modern classics. They also played a medley of Israeli music, to which our Jewish friends threw us around on chairs, table cloths etc!
OnCafe did our “cake”, which was actually a tower of flavoured petits choux. The flavours were peanut butter, salted caramel, raspberry crème and citrus crème.
For our honeymoon we went Greek island hopping – Santorini, Folegandros and Spetses.
My top for other Brides Up North would be to forget about what people expect from a wedding and strip back your day to the things you really want.
Get as many friends and family involved as you can – not only to cut costs but to make the day as personal as possible.
Congratulations Carla & Jonny!