Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

wedfest. a colourful & personal wedding at the bowdon rooms – anna & dan

February 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Eclection Photography (41)

We don’t usually repeat posts here on the blog, but (like we reminded you earlier on today!) we’re hosting A POP-UP Mini Wedding Festival at The Bowdon Rooms next Sunday 26th February from 11am till 3pm, and we’re so excited that we wanted to remind you exactly how fabulous this versatile venue can be!

For any brides out there considering a vintage dress for your big day, today’s real wedding is likely to seal the idea as part of your plans. Just looking at today’s bride Anna in her unique vintage gown makes us go weak at the knees as she radiates such flawless beauty and elegance.

In line with her choice of attire, Anna’s wedding to beau Dan followed a vintage festival route with the ‘I dos’ and party taking place at one-of-a-kind venue, The Bowdon Rooms in Cheshire, with homemade décor to match.

Now, on with the pretty…

With images by Eclection Photography.

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Eclection Photography (7)

anna says: We got engaged in 2013 on a beach in Kefalonia. We’d spent the day sailing over to Ithaca on a little boat and then made a picnic to take down to our local beach. I had no idea it was on the cards until Dan suggested getting some fizz, and then I had an inkling!

We got married on 23rd August 2014. We chose the date because it was a bank holiday weekend and we wanted get the most out of our celebrations with a day-after party at my mum’s house.

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Eclection Photography (57)

Our wedding took place at The Bowdon Rooms in Cheshire. We chose it because it’s in the area I grew up, close to my mum’s house, old school and teenage drinking haunts! We really wanted a local feel to our wedding and The Bowdon Rooms really provided that. We actually made the decision to book it when we popped into the Brides Up North wedding fair there and saw how lovely the space could look. The fact we could decorate and personalise the space as much as we wanted was a big deciding factor and the team at The Bowdon Rooms really accommodated this – especially when helping us hang hundreds of paper pom poms!

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Eclection Photography (83)

We didn’t really have a theme but we knew we wanted to go colourful, instead of traditional white/cream. We also wanted to have seasonal wild flowers on the tables with a vintage, DIY kind of look so I guess that defined our theme. Our wedding invitation also lent itself to this as we worked with an illustrator called Ryn Frank, who specialises in flora and fauna designs, and designed us a beautiful illustrated wedding wreath for our invites.

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next sunday: it’s a pop-up mini wedding festival at the bowdon rooms!

February 17th, 2017 | Julia Braime


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We’re so excited to introduce another event in our so-far so-fabulous spring 2017 calendar! *Does dance*

The finest North West wedding industry talent will be descending upon The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham, for our Mini POP-UP Wedding Festival Bridal Show at this unique & authentic vintage venue next Sunday 26th February 2017, 11am till 3pm, FREE ENTRY!

This brilliant, exclusive use venue is as fun as it is special, with it’s high ceilings, sparkling drapes, ornate fireplaces and perfectly sprung dance floor.  Dancing shoes at the ready!  If you are looking for a bespoke and private wedding venue with a little added pizazz, it’s your lucky day.

We’ve added the very best floral designers, bridal boutiques, stationers, vintage cars , venue stylists, photographers, cakes, diamonds (and more!) that the area has to offer – plus a festival styling twist and lots of live music – to make sure that every detail of your big day is covered with individual style.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like a bit of a party…

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Eclection Photography (83)

bride to be?

We’re giving away up to 150 free Bride To Be media packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North.  As demand is high, to pick up your media pack all you need to do is register.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR FREE ENTRY

While stocks last only.

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Eclection Photography (40)

fancy exhibiting with us?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2016. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this year.

Click here to view the full schedule.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Email Julia at contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk for details.

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fairy lights & flamingoes. a magical wedding at as you like it in newcastle – jess & stephen

February 16th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Quirky Wedding at As You Like It (c) Bennett Media (24)

If a bucket load of quirkiness is your thing, then you’re going to love this afternoon’s third installment of gorgeous – one beauty of a real wedding, set in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Jess and Stephen tied the knot at As You Like It in Jesmond last year, transforming the intimate city venue into a hullabaloo of rainbow-bright colours, gorgeous flowers, fairy lights, flamingoes and even Prosecco gummy bears!

We don’t want to spoil it for you though, so scroll down for all the oh-so-pretty pictures and wonderful details…

With images by Bennett Media

Jess & Stephen | Wedding Film from Bennett Media on Vimeo.

jess says: We got engaged in Italy. We were at Marina Grande in Sorrento, which is a local fishing harbour where Sophia Loren starred in Italian cinema. The local fishermen bring in their catch of the day and take it straight to the restaurants to dish up on your plate. Stephen drank lots and lots of Chianti and proposed, down on one knee, on the beach by the harbour. It was a complete surprise…

“Jess my darling on this Italian night

I hope that you will think it’s right,

To take this ring a gift for life

To honour me and be my wife”

I jumped up and down in the sand screaming yes then it was off for Champagne and gelato.

A Quirky Wedding at As You Like It (c) Bennett Media (19)

We got married on 12th August 2016. Summer is our favourite time of year as everyone is in good spirits because it’s the best chance of sunshine and, luckily for us, the sun had his hat on that day!

We only ever looked at one venue  – As You Like It in Jesmond, Newcastle. It’s cool, quirky and has fairy lights – what more could anyone want? It suited us and our vibe, and we are both big cocktail fans (well, one of us more than the other!).

A Quirky Wedding at As You Like It (c) Bennett Media (45)

There was no religious element to our wedding, just tears of laughter, joy and happiness. It really was the best day of our lives.

The style was vintage meets quirky, weird, wacky and wonderful. My mum and me collected all sorts of quirky weird wonderfulness ranging from pink flamingoes to gold parrots. We had a full vintage tea set, old records, black and white postcards, hibiscus flowers for the Prosecco, along with Prosecco gummy bears. There were cocktails, magicians and a whole tropical rainforest – it was the best vintage mish mash ever!

A Quirky Wedding at As You Like It (c) Bennett Media (42)

My colour scheme was every colour under the rainbow! (Seriously, it was!)

The bridesmaids were in pastels, meanwhile the groom was in burgundy red tweed, and the ushers and best man wore dogtooth tweed and burgundy braces with vintage badges.

My flowers were breathtaking – boho gypsy style with lots of peonies. Some of the flowers were even imported especially; they were so unusual.

A Quirky Wedding at As You Like It (c) Bennett Media (50)

My hair was like Rapunzel and plaited with flowers and gold feathers. I wanted to look like Downton Abbey meets boho bride, so I went with a dress from The Wedding Dress Company in Corbridge. It was ivory lace over cafe latte silk encrusted with old-fashioned antique jewels. It was divine! Stella York made it and I got Alexander McQueen shoes to match, and finished off the look with a Swarovski veil.

Stephen wore a burgundy tweed skinny fit suit from Next along with a shirt and cravat from Woven in Durham paired with brown brogues. The groomsmen wore summer tweed from Woven in Durham and the bridesmaids wore pastel 1950’s style dresses with petticoats from ASOS.

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once in a lifetime moments: say hello to arusha’s images

February 16th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon on the blog we’re catching up with our fabulous Sponsor and talented wedding photographer, Arusha of Arusha Images Photography.

As a self-confessed romantic, North West based Arusha loves nothing more than photographing couples’ weddings in a relaxed yet enthusiastic manner, capturing the big day as it naturally unfolds.

Having built up another year of fabulous photography in 2016, she’s back on the blog today to tell us what it is that keeps her utterly hooked on weddings, and what she can offer to brides and grooms who are currently on the search for a friendly pro to document their big day.

Also, Arusha is kindly offering Brides Up North readers a complimentary signature frame, or framed image from their wedding day, should they book with her, so be sure to mention this when dropping the lovely lady a line.

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Tell us a little about your background…

arusha says: I have always loved photography, since being a child and playing in my dad’s dark room as he developed images. As soon as I picked up a camera I was in love, I studied photography, and as soon as I started photographing people I knew that was for me. I have been working in wedding photography and perfecting my style as a wedding photographer for nearly ten years now.

What attracted you to the wedding industry specifically? 

I am a romantic at heart, and I adore photographing real people, real moments and real emotions. Wedding days are just packed full to bursting with emotion, which is perfect for my natural style of photography. I also love seeing and photographing all of the gorgeousness of weddings. Working as a wedding photographer I get to constantly be creative in my photography, as all my couples and their weddings are personal and different.

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And what is it about your job that you love? 

As a romantic, I love having a job that allows me to photograph so much excitement, happiness and love, and involves me being constantly creative. Being a wedding photographer is a fabulous job, yes it is hard work, and long days, but it is totally all worth it when you perfectly capture those once in a lifetime moments on your couple’s wedding days. I love hearing from excited newly married couples when they see their wedding images for the first time, and are just so overjoyed with what I have created for them. That is just a really awesome feeling!

How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

I am primarily a documentary wedding photographer, so this means that the majority of my wedding photography is un-posed. I love to let your wedding day happen, allow you to be immersed in the excitement of it all, and photograph it all as it happens without getting in the way. I do not do a lot of posing. I do love creating unique and romantic images, and having a little play with my couples when it comes to your newly married images. Maybe we will go for a dance in the grounds of your venue, a walk through the streets outside, or to a little hideaway I have found close by beforehand. I love to make people laugh, and work hard to create really relaxed and beautiful photographs.

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What do brides and grooms love about your approach, service and images?

I love the feedback I get from couples. I find that they love how naturally beautiful my images are, and how relaxed and friendly my approach is on their wedding days. I often get feedback that my images are romantic, and that I have captured so many of the little moments. I always try to go the extra mile, helping out with advice during wedding planning, if my couples ask for it, and giving little extra surprises when I deliver their images.

How do you help camera-shy couples to relax in front of the lens?

After working as a wedding photographer for a number of years, I have experience of helping even the most anxious and camera-shy couples to relax in front of the lens. I always recommend a pre-wedding/engagement shoot to all my couples. This is a wonderful way for you to ‘have a go’ at being photographed professionally before your wedding day itself, and also allows couples to see that even with couple portraits I photograph in a really natural way. I like to start with getting you to walk together, talk to one another, make each other laugh, whilst I photograph in the background. I find that this approach soon helps everyone to relax and really flourish in front of the lens.

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What would you say was your career highlight of 2016?

There were lots of wonderful moments, I loved featuring in a whole range of wedding blogs and wedding magazines over the year. It’s always super exciting for my couples when their weddings are shared with the world.

But, I think that a more personal highlight was being able to photograph the wedding of an amazing couple, whose Lake District wedding was postponed after the bride was diagnosed with breast cancer. I often get to know my couples quite well in the build up to their wedding days, and following this bride’s battle with breast cancer, then hearing the best news that she had been given the all clear just weeks before their rearranged wedding day, and then being able to photograph her day knowing that she was now cancer free, was amazing. Emotions were definitely running high all day, and it felt extra important that I could capture all that celebration of life and love for them and their family and friends. Plus, it was a beautiful wedding!

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very berry. a glorious woodland wedding at healey barn – emma & ben

February 16th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

An Autumn Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Willow & Hare (2)

Emma and Ben’s wonderful woodland wedding at Healey Barn combined an autumnal colour scheme with gorgeous grey neutrals. Their big day was alive with berry purples, burnt oranges and zingy reds and the resulting photographs are phenomenal.

This beautiful couple wanted trees, woodland and fields as far as the eye could see, and so Healey Barn in Northumberland was the perfect venue. Warmth, cosiness and a whole lotta love – this wedding really has it all.

With images by Willow and Hare.

An Autumn Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Willow & Hare (12)

emma says: My engagement ring was bought by Ben’s father as a gift to his mother when Ben was born. She‘d worn it since the day Ben was born until the day he asked her for it in 2014. On a sunny Saturday in September we decided to go for a drive into the countryside, as we often do. I still had no idea anything was going on. Pulling over near a secluded footpath with beautiful views over the Derwent Reservoir at Edmundbyers, Ben suggested we stretch our legs. We headed up into the hills, taking silly photographs and enjoying the sunshine. As we were standing at the top of a hill a Red Kite flew overhead. As a bird-lover, I got very excited and said, “This day couldn’t get any better.” Ben replied, “I can think of a way to make it better,” put his hand into his pocket and pulled out the ring.

We were married on 15th October 2016. I’d always dreamed of an autumn wedding as it’s my favourite season with all the colours and leaves. Both my parents and grandparents had been married in the autumn and had beautiful weather so we took a chance and it definitely paid off.

An Autumn Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Willow & Hare (21)

Our venue was Healey Barn, Riding Mill. We knew we wanted a relaxed, natural wedding and after seeing a few photos of the recently-opened venue we knew we had to go visit it. As we drove to the venue we were stunned at the surrounding area. Our one condition was that we wanted plenty of trees for our photographs and to guarantee the autumnal theme and Healey was surrounded by woodland and beautiful fields. We knew it was the place; the whole layout felt right and we could imagine immediately our wedding taking place there. We put the deposit down on the spot.

Everything about the wedding was inspired by autumn. For the suits and bridesmaids we chose grey with burgundy accents. We really wanted the flowers and foliage to be the main feature.

An Autumn Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Willow & Hare (9)

My dress was a Mori Lee 6788 from Elizabeth George Bridal in Middlesbrough. It was a beautiful ivory ball gown with a dropped waist. I’d originally been looking at lace fitted dresses but not found anything that really felt right until my aunty suggested I try something totally different on and pulled this one out. The second I came out of the changing room my mother, sister and aunty all burst into tears which, of course, set me off too. The girls at Elizabeth George were amazing – they made the whole experience truly special.

An Autumn Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Willow & Hare (25)

Ben and his groomsmen wore grey suits from Occasions at Debenhams. As everyone was so scattered across the world (two groomsmen in Devon, his brother in Australia, father in Thailand) we needed to find a suit that we could quickly change if they didn’t fit.

Ben teamed his suit with a burgundy paisley tie and tan brogues from Schuh.

My bridesmaids wore dresses from For Her and For Him. I was initially dubious about ordering dresses online but again, as my bridesmaids were scattered across the globe, I needed to get them made to their measurements and not off the peg. I chose three shades of grey to complement the suits and to act as a neutral against the flowers. I was so impressed with the quality of the dresses: they fit each of my bridesmaids perfectly and were great value.

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posh frocks & cocktails. justin alexander for a relaxed wedding at the bowdon rooms – hayley & tim

February 15th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Relaxed Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Stuart Hornby Photography (37)

Given that we’re super excited about our Brides Up North ‘Pop-up Wedfest’ at The Bowdon Rooms in Altrincham next Sunday 26th February, we thought it best to showcase how fabulous the venue is with a real wedding that made use of its versatile function space.

Craving a relaxed yet fun big day, bride and groom Hayley and Tim chose The Bowdon Rooms as the ideal venue for their evening reception following a low-key ceremony at Altrincham Town Hall.

Keen to stray away from tradition, the couple threw the ‘wedding rule book’ out of the window and made the day all about what suited them – from posh frocks, suits and Jimmy Choos to an informal afternoon tea, signature cocktails and one big evening party.

So ladies, if you like what you see be sure to come view The Bowdon Rooms for yourselves at our event between 11am and 3pm on Sunday 26th February, by registering here (Hayley and Tim did!)

With images by Stuart Hornby Photography

A Relaxed Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Stuart Hornby Photography (26)

hayley says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2015 at our local Italian restaurant Coco’s in Altrincham. It was totally unexpected as after us both being married before, we had pretty much ruled it out. Tim chose my favourite day of the year to propose and I was truly stunned! One of our daughter’s Amelia was with us on the evening and she screamed louder than I did!

We chose Friday 28th October 2016 for the wedding. I’m a little impatient and didn’t want to wait too long!

A Relaxed Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Stuart Hornby Photography (29)

We got married at Altrincham Town Hall, which was beautiful, followed by pictures in Altrincham Market House, and afternoon tea and cocktails at the Sugar Junction in Altrincham. We for our evening reception by many more guests and partied the night away at the nearby Bowdon Rooms. We were very keen to have a low-key wedding, (despite going full out on the Justin Alexander gown and Jimmy Choo shoes of course!) and our day was truly perfect in every way.

With us both having been married before we very much wanted to shy away from tradition, so apart from posh frocks and a lovely suit, everything was kept very informal, hence the stand-up afternoon tea and cocktails! We did add just a touch of vintage styling.

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