Brides Up North

And They All Lived Happily Ever After! A Real Wedding In The North West – Megan & Darren

April 12th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Real Wedding In The North West: Paper Daisy Photography

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Today’s real bride and regular reader Megan got in touch with me via my Facebook page after seeing the gorgeous art deco wedding inspiration shoot that was featured on these swirly silver pages a few weeks ago.  Click here if you missed it.   Megan got married at the very same location as our shoot – The Midland Hotel – and wanted to share her beautiful wedding day with you lovely lot.

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Now here’s an admission: I don’t usually cry when I blog Real Weddings.  It’s a good job as I’d need shares in Kleenex for the amount that pass through my inbox on a daily basis.  But this one totally did it for me.  Sniff. 

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I hope that you love it too.

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A Real Wedding In The North West: Paper Daisy Photography

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We decided to get married when our very close friend, Jane, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We have been together for 7 years and although we had discussed marriage kept waiting until we had the money. We decided that you never know what is around the corner and it was time to get on with it.

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I said I wasn’t bothered about an official ‘engagement’ and I bought a bling wedding ring from Ebay. On Christmas Day Darren surprised me with a treasure hunt around the house. My ring was hidden in a box on the Christmas tree with a note saying ‘Will you marry me?’

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We were married on 24th March 2012.  The ceremony was at Lancaster Town Hall, followed by a reception at The Midland Hotel, Morecambe.

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I love being by the sea and really wanted a venue which over looked Morecambe Bay. at first we thought The Midland would be out of our price range and wrote it off. In the end we decided to talk to them and met with Vicky Cruse, who was brilliant. We discussed ways of getting the wedding in on budget and although it was slightly more than we initially had in mind we knew we would regret it if we didn’t go for the place we liked the most.

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Having the ceremony elsewhere broke up the day a little and made it a slightly less expensive option. The town hall were brilliant, very accommodating. We can’t fault either venue.

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The ‘theme’ was loosely based on Old Hollywood Glamour. The Midland is an iconic 1930′s hotel and it seemed apt to go with a more opulent theme then perhaps a ‘vintage’ wedding. We chose The Midland not only because it had stunning views and the interior was gorgeous, but because we knew they would look after us. We had to do very little to make the place look stunning – and all we did was provide the décor and they did the rest.

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As Lancaster town hall and The Midland are totally different in style and décor I decided to not have a colour scheme. The bridesmaids were all in white, I was in white and the flowers were white with lime green and dark green accents. This meant we could add splashes of colour where we wanted. For example we had red heart balloons for the car and the car had turquoise bows on it.

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I had an Essense wedding dress. Initially I wasn’t going to have a real wedding dress, but one morning I was walking past Butterfly Bridal in Lancaster and I decided to try some on. They were so lovely. There was less than six months to go and with the Chinese New Year approaching they were concerned I might not get a dress in on time. So we searched the ex-samples.

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On my second visit I found ‘the’ dress. It was just wanted – it gave me a really curvy shape and the flowers on the train were just stunning. I felt amazing wearing it. Darren said it was better than he could ever imagine.

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I did the flowers – I ordered them from Triangle Nurseries. They were very helpful I would recommend them to anyone.  I carried white ranunculus with green viburnum.  The button holes were made from freesias, ranunculus and berries.  Chloe’s bouquet was made from white hyacinths and white freesias with dark green foliage.  The table decorations were made from twigs I sprayed white with flowers around the bottom {Brides Up North side note: Wow!}.  

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My sons were supposed to give me away and our son Rory was supposed to be ring bearer. However, in the end Rory walked down the aisle with my son Callum and my other son Liam gave me away. We used the box in which Darren had used to propose at Christmas.

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The brooch I wore to keep my wrap on was given to me at Christmas by Callum and Liam to wear on my wedding dress.

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The bridesmaids all had different dresses. I had our daughter, Farrah (3), who was wearing a dress from Monsoon. She also had the strap from my dress as a head dress. There was my niece, Holly, 2 who had a dress from Debenhams. However she decided she didn’t want to walk down the aisle with us and promptly fell asleep as the ceremony started! The oldest bridesmaid (Darren’s niece) was Chloe, 14, who wore a lovely chiffon dress we found in Debenhams. She looked like a little starlet! It was really nice having the girls in different outfits but having them all tied in by being white. Chloe carried flowers but I bought the little ones heart decorations at Christmas as I knew that if I gave them flowers they would soon destroy them!

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The boys outfits came from various high street shops and Darren’s suit came from Marks and Spencer.

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We travelled in style on the day! A friend of a friend had an open top beetle from 1972. It was great fun. They are thinking of a setting a business up so this was a great way for them to get some pictures. It was great driving along with the roof down, everyone was shouting congratulations at us!

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The cakes were made by Darren’s cousin, Emma. She made three stunning cakes which faded in in colour from pink, green and yellow to white {Brides Up North side note #2: Double Wow!}. His Aunt and Uncle also provided some fondant fancies and french macaroons from Betty’s in Harrogate. I made some ‘truffles’ with my sisters and bought the rest of the items on the dessert table.

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The decorations came from months of collecting items from high street shops.

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We had a band in the evening called ‘The Tracks’. Darren plays the guitar so he got up and did a couple of songs.  Darren’s brother, Kevin, brought his ukulele and did an impromptu singalong in the bar between the meal and the evening do.

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We also spent a lot of time thinking about the music during the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa ‘Something’s got a hold of me’ we wanted it to be lively and fun. After the ceremony I tried to find as many of our friends first dances as possible and put them on a cd. I am not sure whether people noticed though!

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I have so many favourite moments:

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Seeing Darren’s face as we all walked down the aisle. He cried whilst I beamed!

Getting woken up by my friend Jenny at 6.45am in the suite at The Midland (STUNNING!) jumping around saying ‘you’re getting married today’!

Realising it was a sunny day.

Seeing Farrah in the rain shower at the Midland, she was like a little mermaid.

Pulling up at The Town Hall and seeing my boys all dressed up and gorgeous.

Being able to relax and know nothing was too much trouble.

My parents surprise Charleston dance in the evening. Talk about being upstaged!

Becoming Mrs Hawkins. 

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My advice for other Brides Up North is enjoy yourself. All too often I read about stressed out brides – it is supposed to be fun! Remember all that is important is marrying your other half. The other ‘stuff’ is exactly that. If it is stressing you out or distressing you then don’t worry about it. Do the things you like and find enjoyable.  Also, remember everything on the day will take far longer than you think. Listen to the advice of your wedding coordinator if you have one. Or ask those who have recently married.

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Ooh, and don’t give up on your ideal venue. Approach them and see what they say. You will never regret asking.

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Congratulations Megan and Darren!

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Contact me to share your Real Wedding memories with Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 Paper Daisy Photography

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comments

  • April 12, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    Gorgeous photo’s, I love how the photographer has used the surroundings, very pretty :)

  • April 12, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    I love the dress, it is gorgeous! The day looks truly lovely, and I have to admit, the story together with the photos brought a tear to my eye! :)

  • megan
    April 12, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    Oh, this is lovely! Thank you so much for including us!
    Alex – we love the photo’s too! We were so lucky to find Claire and highly recommend her. Thanks Tory – I loved my dress too. I felt amazing in it,
    Mx

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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