Real Weddings

Maggie Sottero for an industrial style wedding at The Arches – Carrina & Joseph

Sarah Symonds

Today’s bride and groom opted to exchange their vows in a traditional church and then move on to a stylish industrial venue for their reception, accented with exquisite floral arrangements, pops of bright pink and plenty of personal touches.

From the church to the heritage site, we follow the wedding party over to The Arches in the historic Dean Clough Mills. Exposed brick and bare stone floors set the scene, while the candlelight, pretty pink peonies and herbs help to create the perfect soft, rustic juxtaposition. You’ll see the Halifax-based venue really comes into its own with today’s wedding, as a backdrop of very dramatic skies turned pure romance thanks to utterly breath-taking photography.

Joe’s custom suit is perfection and Carrina looks gorgeous in her ballgown style Maggie Sottero dress, surrounded by her bridesmaids, all in Jenny Packham. It’s an inner-city fairytale that’s for sure.

With photography by Joel Skingle


Joe proposed at home, in our front room, after we had been together for six years. We bought our house and did it up together, so a private proposal at home was perfect. He then took me away to Chester for a long weekend, we stayed in The Chester Grosvenor Hotel, in the Prince William Suite, ate Chateaubriand and drank champagne. It was April but the weather was gorgeous, we had sun all weekend. I think it’s the only time Joe has actually surprised me!


We got married at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Huddersfield. Joe’s parents and grandparents were married here, so it seemed fitting. We then had the reception at The Arches, Dean Clough Mills. We had no idea what kind of venue we were looking for; the most important thing for me was that it was completely disabled accessible for my gran. When we saw The Arches we both loved it; the stone floors, high ceilings, big bar area and the arches themselves. It was full of character, with a relaxed feel and the whole style of the wedding came from there.


We had no real theme for the wedding; it was styled around the industrial feel of the Arches. Joe made the seating plan and menu stands out of a copper pipe. He also made the table numbers from the trunk of our Christmas tree and decorations from old pallets donated by friends. Lynne at Stems Design complemented the look with wooden crates and other beautiful decorations, and made it look magical with hundreds of candles, flowers and foliage everywhere.

Our colour scheme was pink, but not in a tacky way (I hope!). I wanted something bright and happy, and trying to find a colour that suits a range of people is difficult!


My grandad asked if he could buy my dress for me. I wore a wedding gown by Maggie Sottero, which I got from Hoops A Daisy, Wakefield. I wanted a ballgown style dress, something I will probably never get the chance to wear again. I loved it as soon as I put it on! It was fairly plain but the material and the way it sat in waves made it soght away in it. I would like to say a special thank you to Suzanne for being so good and patient with me while I made my decision.


Joe’s Baba (Ukrainian for grandma) bought his suit. He wore a bespoke suit made and designed by Antich’s, a tailors and fabric manufacturer based in Huddersfield. It was navy blue with small touches we picked ourselves to make it unique for him. We both liked the idea that the suit was locally made and the quality far surpassed anything he tried ‘off the peg’. His dad also had a suit made. I found Joe’s shoes in TK Maxx, blue leather and tweed brogues.

Joe’s best man and groomsmen wore their own blue suits, with pink ties and pocket squares to tie them in. Joes best man was living in New Zealand at the time and the groomsmen were also scattered around the UK, so meeting up for suits shopping was not easy. They all ended up matching really well and everyone was comfortable in a suit they had picked and tried for fit.


My bridesmaids wore pale pink Jenny Packham maxi style dresses, with pearls round the neck and waist.


For makeup we had Gina Young and hair was by Leah Varnham, based in Salendine Nook. Having Gina and Leah made my morning. We all had such a lovely time it was so relaxed and they made us all look amazing!


My dad and I travelled to the church in an S Class Mercedes provided by Mark Tindall from City Executive Travel York.

Joe and I travelled from the church to the reception in Luigi, my first car, which Joe taught me to drive in! Luigi is a bright green VW Lupo. Joe drove us both in the car, with ribbons and a ‘just married’ sign in the back. This was fun as it gave us some time by ourselves and a few beeps and waves on the way to the reception!


Joel Skingle was our photographer and he was fantastic. We spoke to quite a few photographers before we met Joel at the Brides Up North WEDSTOCK tour at Stockeld Park, Wetherby. Neither me or Joe are very comfortable with photos but we felt at ease as soon as we started talking to Joel, and seeing the other weddings he had photographed made me feel excited for my own. Joel felt like part of the family on the day, he got stuck in and got everyone organised when needed, blended in and had a laugh. I couldn’t have been happier when we got our photos back. We would recommend him to anyone.


Lynne at Stems Design did all our flowers and decorated the venue. She was amazing, she made the venue look spectacular. The main flowers in my bouquet were peonies as these always make me think of Eva (Joe’s mam). I had different shades of pink, deep and bright, and my bridesmaids had pale pinks to complement. Joe had a buttonhole with herbs and Madam Bombastic Rose.

We had foliage down the length of the tables, with flower heads sprinkled throughout giving accents of colour. We had two large arrangements at either side of the alter at the church that were then transported to the reception, and we placed our bouquets into vases for extra decoration. The Arches provided chandeliers and we collected spirit bottles and added fairy lights, along with the other decorations Joe made, the whole look was breath-taking.

We also hired “Mr & Mrs Holmes” lights from Lovelights and a mirror photobooth from Big Picture Photobooths.


We gave out small favours; we filled small corked bottles with locally sourced olive oil and put these into cellophane bags with chocolates and a small, made-hand, wine flavoured soap, wrapped in cork, which my mam brought from Sicily. This was to represent our link to Italy; Joe’s Baba (grandma) is from Casino and I grew up in Turin.


Oliver James, at Sugarcraft Creations, made our wedding cake, and a surprise birthday cake for Joe’s mam Eva as we married on her birthday. We wanted something fairly simple and went for a semi-naked, three-tiered cake with vanilla, chocolate and lemon layers. Eva’s birthday cake was fruit with gorgeous decoration. Oliver and his wife were fantastic throughout the whole process and so easy to work with. The cake was so good it all went on the night!


We went for crowd pleasers for food and drink; ham hock, beef dinner and a trio of desserts (chocolate brownie, lemon tart and sticky toffee pudding) for our wedding breakfast. We did half and half beer and prosecco for entrance drinks with fish and chips, spicy sausage with mustard dip and halloumi fries as canapés. In the evening we served steak sandwiches, burritos and plenty of chips! The catering at The Arches is all done by Eat Me – Drink Me. Fantastic food!


We had live music on the evening by Wired as we had seen them at an event by Keighley Worth Valley Railway with our friends Matt and Cherise. I would recommend live music to everyone, and Wired were fantastic. They played some great songs and really got people up dancing and created a great atmosphere.

Thanks to

We loved our venue and would recommend it to another couple. The staff at The Arches were great, from booking, support all the way through, and right through the actual day. Food was fantastic and the place was beautiful. We couldn’t have asked for more.

I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who helped and supported us, helping to make our day so special. Especially my sister, who I think was more excited about the day than I was.

We were so lucky to get so much support from everyone. A special thank you to aunty, Jan, for making the name tags for place settings. Joe, his best man (Sean) and his dad (Pete) went to the Stod Fold brewery and picked the beer we had on tap (one job he volunteered for!). And Dot did a beautiful reading at church.

Special touch

I wore my mam’s head-dress from when she married my dad and a blue pendant from my Aunty Paula who died of leukaemia in 2012.

Best bit

I really enjoyed the actual wedding ceremony; walking into the church seeing all our family and friends, then standing next to Joe feeling so excited but also content.

Joe said he loved having all our family and friends together, it meant so much. But his favourite part of the day was the ride from the church to the Arches, after the ceremony, and all the posed photos, taking a deep breath and having time just the two of us. He said to me, “Well, we did it”!


We went to South Africa on our honeymoon. We booked with Kuoni and travelled from Cape Town across to Port Elizabeth, sight-seeing, vineyard tours and a safari, then flew to Mauritius for a week relaxing on the beach. I would recommend South Africa to anyone, the people were so friendly and helpful, the food was fantastic and Kuoni made it extra special with honeymoon touches.


My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to just enjoy it, have fun and remember what is important to you both and why you are getting married.

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