Wedding Planning

Pearls of Planning Wisdom: Top Tips from Real Brides Up North

Rachel Hirst

What better way to start the year than with some words of wedded wisdom from the most recent brides to have graced our pretty pages?!

Whether you’ve just had a sparkler put on it this festive season, or you are soon to be walking down the aisle as a 2020 bride, the gems in today’s post provide knowledge for all that can set you on a smooth planning path and also calm any last-minute jitters.

Covering an array of wedding planning particulars, there is plenty of encouragement for doing your day your way, advice on how to get the most out of the celebrations, confirmation that some areas of the planning are well worth investing in and approval that others are simply, well, not!

Getting the right people on board to build a big day A-team also features highly, and as some of these clued-up brides point out, the Brides Up North online directory is a great place to locate top local suppliers, as are our EPIC Luxury Wedding Shows that we host at top venues across the North. And with our Spring season of events kicking off this month, you can soon follow in their wise planning footsteps.

We’re also thrilled to read how our blog content, including of course, our gorgeous featured real weddings, have inspired brides’ big day plans; from dress crushes and dream venues to providing ideas on the little details that make each wedding stand out on its own.

Now, on with that golden advice as our featured brides complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…”

Click on the links to see each wedding in full.

Enzoani for a fun-filled celebration at Sandburn Hall – Claire & Cai

Claire says: Let the day be yours. Planning can be tricky, especially when you have families who want to help, and you need to get the balance right to make sure the day remains yours.

Also, get pampered! It’s one of the few guilty, ‘selfish’ things you can do, and an hour or two of peace is luxury as the wedding gets nearer.

Jesus Piero for a Mediterranean inspired wedding at Brooks Country House – Lucie & Jonty

Lucie says: Elongate your day as much as you can. Time goes by so quickly. I really regret not being able to have a conversation with all of my guests.

Catherine Deane for a spring wedding at Healey Barn – Fiona & Martin

Fiona says: Don’t stress! The tiny details you might fret over really don’t matter on the day, you will probably forget you even wanted that exact style of napkin or colour of name card! What matters is dancing with your new husband, chatting with old friends, or getting to eat the beautiful cake. If it rains, don’t worry. If you forget something, it’s OK. You’ve waited for this day for a long time – make sure you enjoy it!

True Bride for a family-focused wedding at The Arches, Dean Clough Mills – Kathryn & Paul

Kathryn says: Follow your heart. When it comes to making decisions about your wedding, think about what YOU want and go for it. We wanted a wedding that was really family orientated so we put every effort into ensuring the younger guests would be happy, and in turn their parents would enjoy the day more too.

I’d say don’t be afraid to challenge tradition; there are no rules. I walked down the aisle on my own, I didn’t have a floor length wedding dress, we didn’t have a top table and my mum made a speech. Make your day work for you.

During the planning I loved browsing online for ideas. As the saying goes ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ and I enjoyed looking at the photographs from real weddings on Brides Up North. There’s so much you can include in your wedding day and the photos helped bring ideas to life and help me envisage how our own day would unfold. Just looking at dresses, flowers, venues, décor, transport etc fills you with inspiration. The photos also helped me decide the style of photography I wanted to remember our wedding by.

A bespoke gown for a colourful wedding on The Wirral – Sarah & Mark

Sarah says: Enjoy the planning process – we never found it stressful at all and actually really enjoyed it! I think this was mainly due to us being organised and aiming to get a few little jobs ticked off each week.

During the planning I found reading about other real weddings on Brides Up North particularly useful for many ideas and for inspiration.

Finally, it’s important to get a photographer that you get on well with, as they are there with you throughout the whole day. We were so lucky as we got on so well with Sarah. She was brilliant and so much fun to work with.

A colourful wedding at The Holford Estate – Megan & Eamon

Megan says: Don’t worry about the weather! We spent the week before the wedding frantically checking the weather forecast, which turned out to be pouring down rain and ruined our chances of the outdoor ceremony we’d always wanted. Just have a backup plan ready and spend your time thinking about the things you can control. You’ll have such a happy and amazing day; the weather will be the least of your worries.

Pronovias for an idyllic spring wedding in West Yorkshire – Fran & Joe

Fran says: Stay true to yourself. Don’t let people influence you and your decisions. You are ultimately spending a lot of your money on a day which is about you and your partner. Surround yourself with ideas and positivity, and you won’t go far wrong. Know when to stop though – you don’t need to overdo it!

Also, enjoy your day – take a step back with your spouse to see what you have spent the past months organising. It’s so overwhelming.

Finally, don’t drink yourself to death! Take it easy and enjoy watching everyone have a great time!

A romantic luxe wedding at Wharfedale Grange – Sarah & Luke

Sarah says: Start the planning ASAP to make things less stressful the closer you get to the day. We managed to get everything done and dusted so that we could sit back a week or two before the day and just relax and get excited.

Also, call around all your suppliers a week or two before the day to check everything is on track. I did this (despite Luke saying I was worrying too much) to find that our wedding bus company had gone into administration. J&B Travel came to our rescue and made sure we had a lovely silver double decker there to deliver all of our guests to the venue in style.

In the build up to the big day, we used the Brides Up North site a lot for inspiration and ideas, whether it was colours, room décor or little tips and suggestions. It was great to get ideas and really helped me envisage how I wanted the day to look/feel. The examples and stories of real weddings were great for when I got nervous; the real couples really helped me relax and gave me tips on what helped them plan their big day. We found the BUN website really easy to use and a huge shout out to all the staff representing you at the wedding fairs, who’ve been nothing but helpful and friendly despite, I’m sure, a non-stop stream of excited brides and grooms asking the same questions and with the same worries! I may just keep coming to your events for the people and happy vibes (and cake tastings!).

Anna Georgina Bridal for a black and white themed wedding at Dorfold Hall – Lucy & Iain

Lucy says: Don’t get caught up in thinking you need what people expect from a wedding or planning to please other people. Have what you want. We compromised on cars, favours and a couple of other things so it meant we could have the music we wanted. No one noticed and it didn’t affect the day in the slightest. Also – hire a videographer!

La Sposa for a romantic wedding at Eden Barn – Hayley & Matt

Hayley says: Research definitely helps when booking or ordering anything. We have been to weddings where suppliers have let the bride and groom down a few weeks before or something hasn’t turned up on the day. Read reviews, contact suppliers and if you have doubts at all, look around for someone else. Planning our wedding was so stress-free and it’s because all of our suppliers were so helpful and organised.

Justin Alexander for a relaxed rustic wedding at The Priest’s House – Katie & Joe

Katie says: Use Brides Up North for inspiration! As we had a strong idea in mind of the type of wedding we wanted, I used the website and blog posts to try and figure out how to turn ideas into a reality. The online directory was super useful too as I needed to find a number of suppliers myself.

& For Love for a colourful wedding at Brinkburn Priory – Abbey & Christopher

Abbey says: Don’t rush into anything. Make sure the venue, suppliers and so on are right for you! You really don’t want to make the wrong decision and end up regretting anything.

Mark Lesley for a country marquee wedding in Askwith – Camilla & Ed

Camilla says: If you’re having a marquee wedding, I would get a wedding planner to be there on the day to help minimise any stresses that may come up unexpectedly, and make sure all the small details that you’ve spent forever planning are done to the standard you want.

When planning our day, I really enjoyed using Brides Up North to get inspiration on the small details of the wedding that I would have never thought of!

Enzoani for a pretty summer wedding at Charlton Hall – Ellie & Martin

Ellie says: Try to relax and don’t let your nerves get in the way! The morning goes so quickly so try to plan to be ready an hour before you actually need to be ready – trust me, you’ll need that extra hour!

Hayley Paige for a spring wedding at Rudding Park – Hannah & Stuart

Hannah says: Enjoy it! Everyone said it but it was such important advice. You’re not getting married for anyone else but yourselves, so do what you want to do. If you want to sit on the top table on your own, then do it! If you don’t want a first dance, don’t have one. We did everything for us, how and when we wanted. Yes, we had timings for our day, but we didn’t want to be ordered around and we weren’t. It was simply fabulous and if I could do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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