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 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016.
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.
Brace yourself for some incredible beauty and blooms, as today’s real wedding is among the prettiest that we have ever seen!
The elegant wedding of Stefanie and Jason took place at the incredibly stunning, exclusive-use venue that is Lartington Hall, a beautiful country manor in the Teesdale countryside. As you can see from Stefanie and Jason’s wedding, beautifully captured by photographer Helen Russell, this is a first class venue for a first class big day!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Helen Russell Photography.
stefanie says: We got engaged on 8th May 2015, which was exactly six years to the day since we met. Jason had booked a surprise trip away to New York, and I only found out where we were going once we arrived at the airport. It was such an emotional moment when I found out!
On the second afternoon there Jason had booked me a surprise massage in the hotel spa. When I returned to the room he was nowhere to be seen! He had left me a note saying I had to be ready for 7pm as a driver would be waiting for me at the hotel reception. The driver took me to a mystery location which turned out to be a private rooftop overlooking Manhattan. Jason was there waiting for me with a bouquet of red roses and his hand behind his back! He then got down on one knee! We celebrated with a bottle of champagne on the rooftop, before heading to a lovely little restaurant nestled underneath Brooklyn Bridge with a view of Manhattan, to continue the celebrations. It really was like fairy tale!
We got married on 8th October 2016. We chose this date as the venue we had fallen in love with – Lartington Hall – was fully booked up for every Saturday until this date!
Lartington Hall is a beautiful country manor in the Teesdale countryside. We got a good feeling as soon as we drove up to the venue, along the long gravel track through a field of curious sheep! We instantly fell in love when we saw how stunning all the rooms were, it certainly had the wow factor we were looking for. We also loved that the venue offered exclusive use of the hall and gardens for the weekend. Knowing it was just our friends and family there certainly gave it a more intimate feel.
We didn’t have a theme as such however we wanted to create a stylish and luxurious feel that tied in with the style of the venue.
The colour scheme was pale grey/blue with lots of whites/creams and a hint of blush. We also incorporated a lot of gold as Lartington Hall has lots of gold detailing throughout the venue. For example we added gold beaded charger plates from The Whole Sch-bang, to complement the gold chairs and the gold mirrors/candelabras in the dining room where we had our wedding breakfast.
My wedding dress was a Moroccan silk and lace fitted gown by Martina Liana from Ava Rose Hamilton, in Silsden. The top half of the dress was made from guipure lace, with illusion sleeves and an illusion back. There were buttons right the way down the back of the dress from the top to the bottom of the skirt. I visited a few wedding dress shops first but nowhere seemed to have the style of dress I was after. I then spent hours searching the internet trying to find this style of dress, but struggled to find one that had all the aspects I envisioned! When I finally came across this Martina Liana gown, it was the only dress I got shivers over, I knew it was the one before I even tried it on! Ava Rose Hamilton ordered a sample dress into store for me to try and it was everything I imagined. Terri (the seamstress) did an incredible job at making sure the dress fitted perfectly – it fitted like a glove!
On the morning of the wedding, Lisa Cameron did the hair for the bridal party and Heather-Francesca did our makeup. We would highly recommend both, they were brilliant to have around on the morning and a calming presence as I was extremely nervous the whole morning.
Jason and his groomsmen wore navy blue suits from Marks & Spencer. Jason originally wanted to go for a designer suit, however with five groomsmen it was getting rather pricey! In the end we came across a really good quality suit in M&S. Jason also wore a Thomas Pink shirt, a navy spotted tie and a grey waistcoat. He completed his look with Ted Baker shoes, Mulberry cufflinks and a Mulberry tie clip.
I had five bridesmaids who wore the soft grey multiway dresses from In-One Clothing. I chose this style as it was flattering on all the girls, and I liked the idea that the girls could tie them in different ways to suit them.
Helen Russell was our wedding photographer for the day – we loved her vintage style of photography as soon as we came across her website – we booked her without even meeting her! Helen managed to capture so many gorgeous shots of our special day, and made us feel completely at ease as she worked her photography magic! We would highly recommend her to any other couples.
We also chose to have our wedding filmed by One Digital Image. Janet and Chris were fantastic to work with, they really did feel more like friends – they were so helpful on the morning of the wedding while we were getting ready, and throughout the day. It would have been much more stressful had they not been there! They also added a three-minute preview video to Facebook on the night of the wedding, showcasing some of the highlights of our wedding day – which was lovely to see – we can’t wait to get the full finished video from them!
Helen from Bels Flowers, provided our wedding flowers – she was amazing! Helen was lovely to work with and listened to everything we wanted to happen. She took our vision of what we wanted on the day, and Helen made it far better than we ever imagined. I carried a large bouquet, which included lots of different types of roses, such as O’Hara, Juliet, Alabaster and Kiera roses, in shades of pale blush, peach and cream. The bouquet also included white hydrangea and it was finished off around the bottom with some dusty miller. The bridesmaids carried a slightly smaller version of my bouquet, in paler shades, with ribbons tied round the bottom.
We had a huge flower arch created by Helen to stand in front of during our ceremony. We were blown away when we first saw it and it certainly created a wow factor. It was full of lots of white hydrangea and roses.
Helen also create two large urns of flowers inside the entrance to the venue, garlands of flowers outside the venue, and some beautiful tall centrepieces for the tables, which had tea lights hanging from them – the wedding breakfast room looked stunning. Helen also added plenty of candles throughout, which gave the venue that extra little romantic feel to it.
For the favours we decided to have two favours for each guest. We gave each guest a small roll of personalised spearmints which we had ordered from Etsy. The mints had ‘Mint To Be’ written on them – a slight play on words! For the ladies we also chose to give a ‘wedding day’ Yankee candle, as I love candles and we always have them burning at home! For the men we decided on a miniature bottle of Disaranno as this is one of our favourite drinks.
We always wanted to have a ‘cake table’ as opposed to one individual cake, and Dawn from The Master Cakesmith, didn’t disappoint! We had enough cake to feed a small army! We absolutely loved what she made for us. Our cake table was a 5ft table filled with a main three-tier cake, two single tier ‘his and hers’ cakes, and then lots of homemade treats, such as chocolate brownies, truffle pops, white chocolate macaroons, cupcakes and biscuits. It was heaven! We’ve even frozen some of the cake, to enjoy with some champagne when we get the wedding video from our videographers.
For our wedding breakfast, we treated our guests to a five course meal. To start, we had sweet potato and parsnip soup in a tea cup, followed by quenelle of chicken liver parfait with toasted brioche and chutney. For the main we had fillet of beef served with red wine jus lie and fillet of pork with a café au lait sauce – the meat was to die for! For dessert we opted for our favourite – salted caramel brownie! And finally, we had a cheese board – although not many people could fit the last course in!
Entertainment-wise, we chose Andrelli Strings to play during our ceremony. Jason’s favourite band is Oasis, so they played lots of different oasis songs as the guests were being seated. It was a special touch that all of the guests enjoyed, in particular the groomsmen, as all of Jason’s friends are big Oasis fans! Jessica Avison, sang and played the guitar for our guests during our drinks reception. She created a lovely chilled out atmosphere. We booked her through AMV Live Music. On the evening we hired Harry from Jonny Ross Music , to DJ as we didn’t want the typical wedding DJ playing lots of cheese. Harry got the type of music just right. Henry, also from Jonny Ross Music played the saxophone along with the DJ – which was also great addition as it added a modern vibe to the evening’s entertainment!
We also hired a magician Paul Lytton, to entertain our guests between courses during the wedding breakfast. He was a great addition and it certainly created lots of excitement in the room! He stole Jason’s watch from under his nose at one point, and also linked our wedding rings together!
For the reception we also hired some initial light-up letters from Coco Luminaire and a photo booth from Booth Revolution – which was great fun. North Star AV provided the up-lighting for the evening reception and they also used a gobo projector to project our wedding logo on the wall.
One of the most special touches to the wedding day was my grandad singing for us during our ceremony. We had originally asked him to do a reading, but he then asked if he could sing instead. He sang the same song that he sang to my grandma on their wedding day and he also sang it to my mum on her wedding day too. It was really emotional and so special, a memory we will always treasure.
Another little touch we had was to attach a cocktail voucher to the bottom of each guest’s individual menu during the wedding breakfast. They could tear it off and then swap it at the bar for one of our signature cocktails. There was the choice of a Mrs Martini (which was actually pornstar martini) or a Mr Mojito (raspberry mojito).
We also created a ‘polaroid picture frame’ which consisted of a large empty picture frame filled with seven rows of Polaroid photos. Each row showed a number of photos from each of the seven years that we have been together. It was a lovely addition as it included lots of highlights from our relationship through the years, including all of the places we have travelled.
Another little touch (which we weren’t expecting) was that my sister Sophie (maid of honour) also made a short speech at the wedding breakfast which was a lovely surprise. We’re really close as sisters, and she helped a great deal in the planning of the wedding
On reflection we’d say that our favourite part of the day was definitely the ceremony. As we’ve been together (and inseparable!) for seven years, it was so special to finally become husband and wife. It was very emotional, as Jason was in tears before I even entered the room! Standing in front of all of our close family and friends as we said our vows to one another was a memory we’ll both cherish for the rest of our lives. I wish we could do it again
The day after the wedding we went for a spa day at Rockliffe Hall, which in hindsight was a great idea as it was just what we needed, time to relax and also plenty of time to reminisce about the previous day! After that we went to Rome for four days for a short mini moon.
We have our main honeymoon booked for January where we will spend three weeks travelling to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and then onwards to the Maldives – which we’re very excited for! We are glad we waited for our honeymoon as we were so tired for the whole week after the wedding, we feel we will appreciate it a lot more when it arrives now.
My first tip to tip to other Brides Up North would be to book a videographer! The day passes by in the blink of an eye and we are so glad that we will be able to look back on it all clearly and see all the things you might not have noticed at the time.
Also, make sure you take a little time to yourselves. After we left the ceremony Jason and I were taken off to another room to have ten minutes to ourselves to have a glass of champagne to celebrate for a short while in private, before heading into the confetti throw. Most couples would usually get this time in the journey from the church to the reception. However if your wedding is taking place in one venue, it’s definitely something to consider!
Jason also recommends getting to the venue in plenty of time, as he very nearly missed the ceremony due to standstill traffic on the A1 motorway! The only reason he made it was due to driving down the hard shoulder for three miles with his hazard lights on to ensure he arrived on time!