Charlotte Balbier

Ruby Vintage: A Real Wedding At Southport Beach – Charlotte & Austin

July 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Ok, I’ll admit it.  The missing blog post in yesterday afternoon’s regular slot was not due to computer meltdown or technical issues, rather due to a very strong desire to get away from my computer screen and off into the big sunny outdoors with my parents and baby girl.  Sometimes a (tactical) skive is just what you need to set the World to rights and get those creative juices flowing again, and goodness do I have some beautiful features lined up to share with you over the next week and this weekend. 

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So, after exploring the fabulous Great Yorkshire Show yesterday (come on, where else would a blogger so passionate about the great and good in the North be?) armed with pushchair and ice-cream, I’m back this morning to make amends with a rather lovely celebration sent to me by Charlotte, Austin and their photographer Teresa of Cunningham Photography

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Charlotte and Austin’s Real Wedding was personal and passionate with heaps of style.  I hope that you enjoy our recap. 

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Charlotte says:  We got engaged on 26th October 2011 at Southport Beach, one of our favourite places, and were married on Friday 5th October 2012.  The ceremony was in the Chambers Room at Southport Town Hall and the reception was in the Prince of Wales Hotel, Southport.

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We chose our venue for it’s gorgeous ballroom and as it was where we first met at the age of 16 and had our first kiss (although we didn’t start dating until 7 years later).

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We didn’t have a theme as such but went for reds, autumnal colours and a vintage feel.

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I bought a cheap, disastrous dress from eBay but my Mother’s friend is an amazing seamstress and managed to make the perfect dress for me from it. It was a just below the knee, 50s style dress with a detachable long sleeved overtop. Austin wore a grey teddy boy style suit with a black velvet collar, red bow tie and black and white winkle pickers!

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I had eight bridesmaids all of different shapes and sizes and so asked them all just to buy their own red dresses for the occasion. I did start to stress a few days before the wedding when I realised I still hadn’t seen any of their dresses but it turned out looking really nice having all different shades of red and different styles of dresses. Austin had three groomsmen (one being his lovely female friend Katy) and just asked them the wear grey which had the same lovely effect as the bridesmaids originality.

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We were so lucky that a lot of our family and friends were so very helpful (and useful!). A family friend made our cakes while Austin’s Grandmother worked in a florist and sorted our flowers out for us. We also made a lot of things ourselves and with friends to keep the costs down.

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I was driven to the Town Hall in a cream Volkswagen Campervan and then we were both driven around in it after the ceremony for our photos.

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Our dream wedding was for everyone to have fun and so we had a home made “photo booth” consisting of an underwater scene with inflatables and snorkelling gear and disposable cameras. We also had a “tuck shop” with lots of different sweets in jars and striped paper bags for people to take some goodies home!

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A friend of ours is in a covers band, The Grace, that often plays weddings and so they played two sets for us and got everyone dancing! After the band we relied on Austin’s laptop for the tunes.

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All of the day was perfect and it was just amazing having all our family and friends there in the same place. I loved our first dance to ‘No one’s Gonna Love You More Than I Do’ by Band of Horses and all the bridesmaids and groomsmen joining in after the first chorus, such a special moment.

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My family friend, Ann, made out dream wedding cake. The bottom tier was chocolate and strawberry cheesecake with the middle and top layer as fruit cake, all decorated with roses and vines. She also made a separate carrot cake for myself with little marzipan carrots all over it.

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After the wedding we drove to Hull and got the overnight ferry to Zeebrugge where we then drove around Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany for two weeks. It was magical. We stayed in a tree house, a space themed room and a canal boat among lots of other hotels.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North is just remember that although you’ll want to make everyone happy, ultimately this is yours and your loved one’s big day and you should do everything to make it special and meaningful for the both of you.

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Congratulations Charlotte & Austin!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Cunningham 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…

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