March 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
BIG LOVE to our brilliant and talented exhibitors, fabulous brides and goody bag touting grooms who supported our event in Leeds yesterday. The Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition at The Mansion was glorious! Thank you to everyone involved for your support and attendance, our team loved every minute of it. Roll on our next show at this favourite venue of mine… in the diary for 19th October! More on that later.
Meanwhile, it’s still a March Monday on these pretty pages, and I’ve got something rather lovely in store for you this morning. Today we are celebrating with not one stylish Bride Up North but two, as we join Adele and Donna for their bright, balmy and beautiful Real Wedding celebration in Lancashire.
With images by Catharine Noble Photography.
Donna says: We got engaged in May 2010. One Saturday morning there was a knock on the door. I was faced with a big bunch of flowers and a card saying ‘Will you marry me?’ and as I was reading this Adele produced a lovely white gold diamond ring in the shape of a flower.
We were married on 3rd August 2013 at Heskin Hall Tudor manor house in Chorley, Lancashire. We had looked at an array of venues in the area and didn’t come across any that understood us as a couple and understood what we wanted our wedding day to be like. The venue was perfect and just what we had in mind.
From the onset we had a 1950’s vintage theme. This included a VW Camper Van from Cheshire Campervan Hire as our transport, dapper floral shirts and dickie bows for the men and boys, vintage ice cream van from Every Day Is Like Sundae, high tea with vintage mismatched china, bunting, birdcages and heart shaped table confetti made from old sonnets. We collected jam jars, tied lace around these and added meadow flowers to them. We also had lawn games for our guests including croquet. Our motto – Live, Laugh, Love – was also featured throughout our ceremony and celebrations.
We visited our local mill and our bridesmaids selected the same print in a different colour each to be made into the same dresses. Our little flower girl Elise wore a simple flower girl dress from BHS, which matched perfectly with the theme. The page boys wore matching floral shirts from Debenhams and waist coat and trousers from BHS. My father also wore a matching suit and shirt from Debenhams. All the boys wore dickie bows and 50’s style shoes.
We both chose a similar style of dress even though we hadn’t consulted each other. Our local bridal shop and dress maker Something Special based in Horwich made both our dresses and bridesmaid dresses simply from a couple of pictures and ideas.
We carried simple but elegant meadow flowers and tea roses by Fleur De Lyn Cooper. I had a Scottish thistle within my bouquet in memory of my grandma who was from Scotland.
We had a male soloist on a guitar who learned all our favourite songs and sang these straight after the ceremony on the lawn and also while we were having high tea.
We chose a simple top tier cake with miniature bunting and delicate roses. The rest of the cake was made up of beautiful cupcakes, intricately detailed along the vintage theme and incorporating our live, laugh, love theme with handmade signs.
We handmade all our favours, table confetti, seating plan, card suitcase and centre pieces and decorated a tree outside on the front lawn with bunting, birdcages and vintage hearts which became a great photo spot.
I can’t really pinpoint a favourite part of the day. Obviously the ‘getting married’ and professing our love and unity in front of all our friends and family was a high point, but you can’t beat the atmosphere and feel of watching the guests eating ice cream and drinking Pimms, the kids playing on the lawn, the campervan and the ice cream van complementing each other, listening to live music whilst the sun shone.
We had a magician who entertained the day guests and for a couple of hours in the evening and a photo booth which was part of our photography package at night.
To encourage dancing in the evening in the wedding invitations we had a poem which requested guests to return a slip with songs which will make them get up and dance. We also added flip flops in a basket in the ladies’ toilets with a sign saying “Dance like nobody is watching” and supplied props for dancing at night (inflatable saxophone, microphone and guitar and glow sticks).
I surprised Adele with a honeymoon to Majorca and told her in the wedding speeches we were going that Monday. We had a nice week away in the sun to relax after such an amazing day. We had also booked a dream honeymoon to America including all the places we wanted to visit together. We started in Las Vegas, then Los Angeles, San Francisco and finished up in New York. We visited America 6 weeks after our wedding and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to think outside the box, don’t try to fit in with tradition if you don’t want to. Live, Laugh & Love!
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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…