January 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Things are looking really rosy red this week on Brides Up North aren’t they? First up, the sun baked celebration of Annie and Lee yesterday, and now a complete about turn with today’s stunning winter Real Wedding. Shot by Hayley Baxter Photography, Clare and Lee-John’s big day had all the hallmarks of the perfect Christmas wedding – red berries, a feather cape, a dress to die for, Christmas pudding, a ruby red carriage and a partridge in a pear tree!
Clare says: We got engaged on 16 August 2013, in North Wales and were married on 21 December 2013 at Norcliffe Chapel, Styal with our reception at Quarry Bank Mill.
We visited the National Trust village and Mill in June 2013 and both absolutely loved the church and the imposing architecture of the Mill itself. Mandi and her team at the Mill were so helpful and were happy to assist in any way possible.
We chose a Christmas theme, we sang carols in the church and had mulled wine and mince pies at the drinks reception instead of canapés. We decorated the Mill ourselves with fairy lights, Christmas garlands and Christmas trees, including edible decorations and a gingerbread house. The table centres were hurricane vases with candles, holly, ivy, cinnamon, pine – all natural flowers and seasonal.
The colours were dark green and red. The green was chosen to incorporate the Bride’s Irish roots and the red for the groom’s Welsh roots. The bridesmaids wore dark green and the groomsmen all wore red ties and hankies. The bouquets were gorgeous red and green with grand prix roses for the bride and tulips for the bridesmaids and flower girls.
My dress was called Hazel by Anoushka G. I love it! I bought it from Lace Bridal in Hale who were so helpful. I am not a keen shopper and had given myself one day and two bridal shops to find my dream dress – I didn’t have to search for long… it was the first dress I tried on and it could not be matched! It was cut on the bias with mini capped embroidered sleeves with a cowl scoop at the back.
I had an oyster feather shrug to keep me warm too. I wore my wellies into the church as the path down was muddy and I didn’t want to spoil my Jimmy Choos!
My two adult bridesmaids wore a dark green maxi dress from Coast and the three flower girls wore gorgeous white dressed from Debenhams. They all had gorgeous fur shrugs for warmth and the two littlest flower girls wore White Uggs boots.
The groomsmen wore hired suits from Slaters in Manchester. They were dark grey tails with waistcoat and their own classic white shirts with bright red ties and hankies.
We hired a beautiful red and cream vintage car supplied by Love & Carriage.
Our Orders of Service had a sketch of the UK with our two home towns and Styal being the only visible place names. We are both very family orientated people and being from separate countries and marrying in a third we wanted to recognise the value of those places in our lives.
The cellist in the church played music chosen by my Granny who was unable to make the wedding.
Our photographer Hayley Baxter was absolutely amazing! She made us feel so at ease and took the most stunning pictures!
My bouquet was beautiful and smelled so gorgeous! It contained red Grand Prix roses, thistles, pine cones, sage and holly and was just so amazing. I gave it to my Granny after the wedding.
The bridesmaids and flower girls’ bouquets were a smaller version of my bouquet but with tulips instead of roses. The groomsmen all had rose buttonholes with sprigs of holly and sage.
Our flowers and table centres were supplied by Springbank Flowers who were recommended by Lace Bridal, as was the lovely lady who made our cake and shortbread – Christine at the Cake Garden. We couldn’t have been happier with the flowers and the cake.
Lee-John’s mum made all 120 mince pies which were served at the drinks reception!
We both loved every minute and felt really blessed that so many of our friends and family had travelled so far to share our special day.
We mini-mooned in the Lake District and hope to go away later in the year.
It sounds cheesy but it really is the best day of your lives being surrounded by all who love and care for you and vice versa. So my top tip for other Brides Up North is to savour every minute!
Congratulations Clare & Lee-John!
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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…