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Handmade Vintage: A Real Wedding In The North West – Rachel & William

Posted on: 12/06/2012

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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I thought a beautiful vintage style handmade wedding from Manchester, sent to me by Brides Up North reader and real bride Rachel, might just get Tuesday off to a good start.

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As it turns out, I was right.

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Enjoy this perfectly personal, simple yet stunning celebration at one of my favourite North West wedding venues.  I’ll be back with more wedding pretty later on. 

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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Rachel says: We got engaged in December 2011, off the cuff in our living room! William had been saving the ring for when the moment felt right, he didn’t plan anything, he just knew when he wanted to do it, he would!

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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We tied the knot on Wednesday 11th April 2012 at Didsbury House Hotel for the ceremony and Islington Mill for the reception.  We chose Didsbury House Hotel as it is a period house with a modern edge. Its fairly small too for a hotel, with 20 rooms it meant we could have the entire hotel to ourselves making it really intimate as we didn’t want a huge wedding. There were 40 in total for the ceremony with an extra 40 evening guests.

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Islington Mill in Salford was the perfect place for our handmade relaxed vibe. Having used to be a cotton mill, it is now an artists space with galleries and studios. Authentic and full of character – smack bang in the middle of high rise flats, it doesn’t evoke a typical wedding… that’s why we loved it!

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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We had Bacchus String Quartet play at our wedding ceremony.  Clair De Lune played as my Dad walked me down the stairs, passed me to William and we all walked into the ceremony room together.

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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We didn’t set out to have a theme as such, all we knew is we wanted everything handmade with a craft feel, so that everyone could relax.  There were no formalities, more a "when it happens, it happens, we are having a good time who cares!" vibe.  Inadvertently, I suppose we had a 40′s style country fete!

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Colour-wise, we opted for greens, blues and creams. We wanted to create a relaxed spring garden, something that would also work well with the exposed brickwork and nature of the mill.

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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I wore the ‘Revenant’ dress by Anna Sui from BDLDN. I’d been to bridal shops and found everything a bit too formal for me, so I ordered this on the Internet. I loved it and with a few nips and tucks it fit perfectly. I was comfortable all day and night and could pull off any dance move I wanted! My shoes were by Folk.

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We had three bridesmaids who all wore tea style dresses from Oasis in a rich forest green. Shoes were character shoes from a local dance shop.

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin     A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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I work for Benefit Cosmetics so did my own make up and got a fellow bene-babe to help out with the bridesmaids. Our vintage hair was coiffed by the fabulous Laura from BlushHair and Make-up Artistry. 

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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All flowers were from Northern Flower in Manchester who we asked to create bouquets and buttonholes that looked like they had been picked from a meadow all tied with string. We all had sage, rosemary, thistles, echinops, white roses and wax flower. For the tables we ordered bunches of baby’s breath, rosemary, eucalyptus and peonies and displayed them in glassware found in my nan’s garage!

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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We had a 1950′s Guy Arab bus from the Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company transport us from hotel to mill complete with sing song and horn tooting! We also made bags of sweets with bus tickets for the journey.

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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Our photographer was our friend Jon who shot on both film and digital.

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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Our cakes were made by Anna at Dish Ran Away with the Spoon in Didsbury.  She made a lemon drizzle cake along with tarts and mini Victoria sponges and mini chocolate cakes…delicious.

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin    A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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Our caterer was the lovely Matt from Go Green Gages – he arrived at the Mill in his refitted American style postal van and served us a country picnic. We had bushel boxes filled with baguettes, soup, cheese and
oatcakes, chutneys, olives and armed with our very own box it was a free for all tuck in!

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To follow we had strawberries, clotted cream and scones. When everyone got hungry later on, there were sausage butties for all!

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Our favours were supplied by The Kernel Brewery in a nod to William being a beer geek. Hanging Ditch in Manchester and Summerwine Brewery in Holmfirth provided dinner drinks.

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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We are blessed to have such amazing friends who helped us out massively, Steve designed our invites and John from Savwo Screen printed them. The Volkov Commanders created the perfect scene at the Mill with threads, ribbons, twine sweeping from the beams. Myself and my bridesmaids handmade windmills for the ceremony and favour tags followed by vino of course as a reward for our hard work!

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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For the evening entertainment we had Pete Masters play 30′s-60′s music followed by Alex Humphreys
of Pumping Iron who had everyone up to some classic 90′s. We also had the good old iPod playlist so everyone could enjoy the final few hours.

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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After the wedding we honeymooned for two weeks in San Francisco and New York.

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A Vintage Style Real Wedding in the North West by Jon Stanley Austin

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to not allow yourself to lose focus on what is actually important – two people who love each other – and sharing that with the people who matter most. You do have a life outside of planning a wedding, don’t forget that! Chill out, relax and enjoy it!

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Congratulations Rachel & William!

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Newlyweds – don’t be shy!  Contact me to share your Real Wedding memories with Brides Up North.

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  – Images © 2012 Jon Stanley Austin

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4 Comments

  • June 12, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    Love all the beautiful little details! And LOVE the bridesmaid dresses. Great color and style.

  • June 12, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    What a perfect way to start a Tuesday (or for me to end a busy day!) I love that Rachel’s and William’s individual style has come through is clearly evident throughout their special day. Thanks for sharing. :-) T x

  • June 12, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    What a stunning Wedding, love the dress & the bridesmaids too. I too got married at Didsbury House in 2004 and it will always have a special place in my heart. Congratulations to Rachel & William

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