November 25th, 2013 | Julia Braime
The people in the above photograph just happen to have been responsible for some of the worst hangovers in my whole life (the last on Friday morning, thanks to a flying visit and some Beaujolais Nouveau). They are my great friends Claire and Ben and I’m thrilled to share their Real Wedding at the beautiful Hilltop Country House – one of our fabulous new wedding exhibition venues for 2014 – on the blog this morning and kick starting the week.
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Lee Brown Photography, Ben and Claire’s wedding – at which I was honoured to be a guest – was oh so pretty, personal and lots of fun (from what I can remember of it)! I hope the sun shines on their marriage as it did on their wedding day, bright and beautiful. I know it will.
Claire says: Ben asked me to marry him in November 2011 at the Feversham Arms Spa Hotel in North Yorkshire and we were married on Saturday 8th June 2013 at the beautiful Pott Shrigley Church followed by our reception at Hilltop Country House, Prestbury.
We wanted a summer themed party and Hilltop had fantastic tiered gardens, a great marquee set-up and excellent hosts who we knew would do a really good job for us on the day.
We both (shamelessly) like our holidays and we wanted an almost Caribbean theme, so we organised mojitos and a steel band for the drinks reception. Luckily, the sun was shining all day too! The colour palette was pastels and we had a pale mint green with lace details.
My dress was from La Sposa and Ben wore a morning suit from the vintage collection at Austin Reed. The bridesmaids wore mint lace dresses from Marks and Spencer. The groomsmen wore classic morning suits from Austin Reed vintage with mint ties and a grey waistcoats.
All the flowers were from Zu Zu’s Petals and my bouquet was perfect for the colour theme.
We had two open top Victorian cars. Ben reminds me that I wouldn’t let him have the roof down though so it didn’t spoil my hair!
As well as the steel band during the drinks we had garden games such as croquet, boules and giant Jenga on the lawns.
We had some great quality food at the wedding breakfast and then cheese, crackers, chutney and port later in the evening. Our wines and champagne were from Villa St Simon in Bordeaux.
Our cake was a tiered design from a shop called Choccywoccydodah. One tier was lemon, the next was chocolate, the top was coffee. The outside of the cake was covered in white chocolate icing with mint stripes to match our colour theme.
As a surprise to us, we had a TV screen on loop throughout the day in the marquee playing a montage of shots of both of us as babies and toddlers.
We loved every bit of it but, if we had to choose, my favourite part was the service and Ben’s was either arriving at the venue and seeing how great it looked, or, oddly for him (!) even the first dance.
We had a band called A Few Good Men after dinner and we finished with a DJ. The speeches were also good entertainment too!
For our honeymoon we went to the USA – New York, Las Vegas , San Francisco and then we drove down Route One to LA and San Diego. We were away for just under the weeks.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try and get all the last minute “small” details sorted at least a couple of days before the big day – then take some time to relax in those last few days beforehand.
Congratulations Claire & Ben!
Lee Brown Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post
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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…