Brides Up North

And I Love You Like Never Before: A Real Wedding In The North West – Deborah & Neil

April 10th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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Got those back to work Tuesday afternoon blues?  I hear ya!  Well, it’s time for a touch of romance instead with this beautiful Real Wedding in the North West, sent to me by real bride Deborah of Grafted & Crafted and the lovely Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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Deborah tells us more:  We got engaged in July 2009 after Neil proposed to me at the airport following my girly family holiday! It was such a shock that during the mobile phone video of the event, all you can hear is me saying, “oh my God!” In a good way of course! I had been on holiday with my mum and Leoni my niece and I had been giving Leoni grief on the holiday for spending loads of time on her phone to her other half. Little did I know it was Neil planning the proposal and sending pictures of engagement rings! As we landed back at Manchester I was sent through the arrivals first as Neil had been winding us up saying he was going to hold up a big sign with our names on. I hate embarrassing things like that! I went through and there was the sign with my name on, but then he flipped it over and it read, “will you marry me?” I just couldn’t believe it! I of course eventually said yes, and I loved the ring: a gorgeous diamond and sapphire in 18ct white gold. The boy did good (with Leoni’s help of course!) It was such a nice proposal, and one to remember and talk about.

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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We were married at Farington Lodge and picked 18th February 2012 as our wedding date. 18th February was our first daughter’s original due date, and the year was a play on her actual birth date of the 12th of February: 12/02. We also got together in the month February, so it was fitting!

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We looked at a few venues, but we were restricted by budget, and needed it to be fairly local for family. I never realised this gem of a place was right on our doorstep! It offered everything we needed. Great package deals, excellent staff – especially the lovely Simon Tauber – and a beautiful setting. The chef also did amazing food (please all go there and try the cheesecake)! The day was perfect

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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I booked two rooms at Farington Lodge for the night before the wedding so that all the bridesmaids, my mum and I could all stay over and get ready together. We also invited a few friends for some pre-wedding drinks at the hotel the night before which was lovely.  Our make up was done by Jade from Paper Doll Beauty, with hair by Jodie Baron. 
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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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I knew from the start I wanted a no frills, streamlined dress. Either lace or satin. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the Ronald Joyce Sandra dress. It had the mixture of being slim fitting, elegant, satin, but with gorgeous detailing in the beautiful pearl beading necklace draped down the back, and beading on the front. I loved it and bought it fairly early on in the planning! I never wanted a tiara, but loved the idea of a birdcage veil. I played around with some ideas but ended up making my own headdress! I used pearls to match the strings on my dress, and incorporated birdcage veiling and some exquisite dress material I had been given by a local lady who used it to make her daughter’s wedding dress! I found an old pearl brooch, and ta-da, the head piece was born!

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For the flowers I wanted something small, but kept changing my mind about what flowers and style. I ended up with a variation of white flowers with eucalyptus foliage, and of course I had to give the florist some little bits and pieces of feathers and pearls to add in. They did a lovely job, and they looked really pretty. I used a local florist in Bamber Bridge, Preston called ‘Flowers by Louise’

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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The bridesmaid’s dresses were a true bargain! My chief bridesmaid and I took a wander around The Trafford Centre to get some ideas, but ended up coming home with all the dresses sorted! They were from Debenhams bridal and gowns section and were less than half price. The dresses were a deep teal and were long and elegant, with satin detailing to match in with mine. Leoni of course bumped up the price by finding beautiful grey feather boleros from Coast. They did finish the look perfectly though. For their accessories they had simple comb headpieces also made by me. I just can’t help myself!

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The boys wore suits by Moss Bros Formal Suit Hire, Preston. 

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography  North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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The whole day was fabulous, and my favourite bit was the service and saying our vows. It’s a very special moment, and I cried, but so did Neil! But I have to say bedtime was brilliant. I was shattered as I had just found out that I was pregnant (!), and it was nice to sit in the huge bed and open all our cards and presents as husband and wife. It was the perfect time to reflect on the whole day and spend some time chatting together.

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography   North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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The cake was made by ‘Auntie Joyce’. Not actually an Auntie at all, but she is the cousin of my nan who makes cakes. It was our wedding gift from her. I took some pictures of the cakes I liked and she made a four tier, four flavours sophisticated cake for us.

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography   North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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I run my own wedding stationery company – Grafted & Crafted – so whilst there was no intended theme at first, but as dress picking began, and with me designing the stationery, it began apparent that it was going to be a hint of vintage glamour, with a few birds thrown in! The birds represented the song that I walked down the aisle to, Songbird by Eva Cassidy. It all seemed to fit perfectly. My Auntie Maureen is also creative and she helped out massively by making the napkin rings, and putting together all things I had bought for the table decorations. She hand made all the silk roses that were in the vases. They looked fab!

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography  

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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We were hoping to book a honeymoon late in May this year, but we may have to delay it until next year as our second baby is due on September 22nd! I was already pregnant at the wedding and we surprised people with the news during the speeches.

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to plan early so that you can relax and enjoy the running up to the event. If you aren’t a control freak, then let people help out as they enjoy it too!

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North West Wedding: Hannah Dornford May Photography

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Congratulations Deborah & Neil!

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  – Images © 2012 Hannah Dornford May Photography

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

learn more about Julia Braime