It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, 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 4th July 2016 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some 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.
Not only is this wedding stunning to look at, but there’s real sentiment and thought behind the various elements of the day. In particular, the first dance that Rachel had with her dad pulls at the heart strings and hopefully encourages brides to plan details that will stay with them long beyond the big day itself.
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
rachel says: We got engaged while in Paris in February 2014 – the trip was a surprise organised by Daniel. He got down on one knee as we were walking along the banks of the River Seine in the shadow of Notre-Dame. It was the perfect proposal!
Our wedding was on 12th August 2015, at Woodhill Hall in Northumberland. Exclusive use was very important to us. We also wanted to have an intimate gathering with close friends and family the night before the wedding and the self-catering facilities at Woodhill Hall made this possible. We also fell in love with the location, the distinctive décor and the flexibility that this venue provided.
Above all else I wanted the wedding to be elegant, timeless and pretty. We chose a colour scheme of muted pastel shades in blushes and mint, which suited our theme perfectly.
My dress was Poppy by House of Mooshki – a blush tea length, tulle and lace gown with illusion neckline and cap sleeves. It was love at first sight – the first dress I tried on! My shoes were Jimmy Choo.
Mine and my bridesmaids’ makeup was done by Sarah Walsh Freelance Hair and Makeup, who made us all look stunning. Meanwhile Cheryl from Reef Salons was up bright and early on the day of the wedding to make sure we had the most beautiful wedding hair too!
Daniel wore a blue woollen three-piece suit with a grey linen tie and a mint polka-dot pocket square. All items were from Reiss. His shoes were Grenson teamed with Paul Smith socks. The groomsmen wore the same tie and pocket squares as Daniel. My father’s suit was hand-tailored and my brother’s suit was from Hugo Boss.
Helen Russell was our photographer and I would whole-heartedly recommend her! She has the ability to capture precious moments that could be lost in the blink of an eye and portray them in the most beautiful and natural way. Our wedding photographs tell the perfect story of our wedding, and we will treasure them forever. We really can’t thank her enough.
We also had a videographer to capture the day. Neil Mitchell from A Little Less Salt Productions, provided us with the most amazing wedding video. He showcased the key moments of the day perfectly, and filmed in a very relaxed and unobtrusive way.
Natalie from Sweet Pea Events, was one of my bridesmaids, and she very kindly styled my wedding and provided all of the decorations and stationery for our wedding. An extremely talented and creative lady, she worked tirelessly to make sure everything looked as beautiful as it did.
The lovely Helen from Bels Flowers, provided us with the most stunning flower arrangements. I carried a hand tied bouquet of hydrangea, garden roses, David Austin roses, vintage spray roses, stocks and sweet peas. There was foliage throughout with natural movement from stocks, sweet peas and dusty miller. All of the groomsmen wore clustered buttonholes of foliage, flowers and a pheasant feathers tied in ribbon to finish. The bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bridal bouquet.
Flowers were a big feature at our wedding. We had two large urns with natural, overflowing arrangements for during the ceremony. Down the aisle, there were glass cylinders of varying sizes filled with pillar candles.
For the reception, on tables we had either posy bowls with overflowing flowers and soft foliage and sweet peas for loose, effortless effect or glass cylinders with floating candles along with vintage silver goblets with full abundant flowers and small mercury vases with stem flowers. Ceramic roses, perfume bottles and tea lights were also part of table decorations.
Our table plan was a silver gilt frame set on an easel decorated with a garland of flowers on one side. Hanging postcards with table details printed onto them were attached to the frame.
As favours our female guests received a Molton Brown miniature and a Ferrero Roche. The men received a bottle of Innis and Gunn ale. We wanted to give the guests something that we both enjoy! Shinta Shop provided the fantastic personalised gift bags and luggage tags that I used to present the favours in, which also acted as our place holders.
Our gorgeous cake was made by a wonderful lady called Kelly from Any Excuse For Cake. I wanted the cake to tie in with the general theme/colours/details of the wedding, so I basically drew Kelly a picture of what I wanted and she brought it to life! It was made up of three delicious tiers of carrot cake, chocolate ganache cake and lemon and poppy seed cake with a lemon curd filling. It was covered with a mint green fondant icing and each tier was tied with a blush bow. Helen from Bels Flowers decorated the cake with a large full rose that sat on top and a smaller bundle of clustered stems on one of the tiers.
As Daniel and I are known to be ‘foodies’, the wedding menu was a very important element of the day to us. We didn’t want the traditional food that is often served at weddings, so the idea of a Greek meze really appealed to us. Woodhill Hall were very flexible and allowed us to modify the menu as much as we liked. We also loved the sharing element of the meze and felt it would be the perfect opportunity to bring people together on tables.
The meze consisted of a selection of Greek dips, hummus and tzatiki, with pita bread, olives with feta, filo parcels with ricotta and mint, stuffed peppers, slow roasted lamb with rosemary, chicken souvlaki, Greek style potatoes, Greek salad and halumi and roasted vegetable skewers. This was followed by a dessert of raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake. The food was delicious and people still talk about the lamb to this day.
Music is another huge part of our lives as Daniel is a musician and has been in bands/produced music for most of his life. Many of our friends are also musicians/DJs so we asked a couple of them to DJ for us. Our friends Kev and Walter made sure the dancefloor was packed all night long.
The polaroid guestbook that we had at our reception was handmade in Lithuania by a company called LiuMy. It came with pockets to insert a photograph from an Instax camera and space for guests to write a message. It was so much fun looking at the pictures our guests had taken and reading the messages they had left us after the wedding. We used the camera and left over film to take pictures on our honeymoon and slotted them into the back of the guestbook.
I’m so thankful to all of the suppliers that we used. They worked so hard to make our day as perfect as it was. I would readily recommend them all, along with our venue Woodhill Hall, which is a really special place.
On reflection there were so many wonderful parts to our wedding day, but saying my vows to the man I wish to spend the rest of my life with whilst feeling the love and energy from everyone in the room had to be my favourite part – that’s what it’s all about!
My dance with my father was a very special part of the day too. My dad and I are very close and this moment with him was something I will never forget. My dad is a talented Salsa-Jive dancer so I knew he would want to dance with me at the wedding. We spent a while trying to find the perfect song to dance to, then one day when I was visiting him around a year before the wedding he played Eighteen Yellow Roses by Bobby Darin. It reduced me to tears instantly; the song was chosen.
From that day onwards until the day of the wedding, my dad text me with a countdown to the wedding…353 yellow roses came today, 352 yellow roses came today…the texts came every day without fail. When we finally arrived at Woodhill Hall on the day before the wedding, 18 yellow roses were waiting for me in my room.
I was a little nervous before the dance with dad, as unlike my first dance with Daniel, our dance was completely unrehearsed. However, he did a brilliant job of making it look like we had been polishing our performance for a long time! I think our wedding video tells the story perfectly!
Daniel and I love hiking in the Lake District so following the wedding we hired a little cottage in Coniston and conquered a few new mountains together during our honeymoon. As I mentioned, we also love our food, so we spent a night at The Samling where we enjoyed a delightful meal in Michelin starred restaurant.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to plan and rehearse your first dance – even if it’s just a little. Daniel and I didn’t like the idea of a rehearsed first dance routine at all as we find the whole thing a bit ‘cringe-worthy’. However, Helen from Woodhill Hall asked us about our first dance and said it would be a good idea to put a little something together. Luckily, my dad was able to show us a few basic moves. I’m so happy that we decided to come up with a basic routine now as I think shuffling awkwardly around in front of a room full of people would have been a nightmare.