March 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Welcome to another week Brides Up North! Any “I do”s over the weekend?
This was Team Brides Up North’s first weekend off in quite a long while, and I spent it catching up on sleep, enjoying some quality family time and sampling a few real ales at our village beer festival. Although I still prefer a chilled Sauvignon Blanc, there’s definitely a place in my life for a pint of pale ale, a pork pie and peas and rocking out to a questionable The Killers tribute act with my one year old on my hip of a Saturday afternoon!
However you spent yours, I hope it was glorious.
Talking of great occasions, let’s get things kicked off around here with a trip to Cheshire to celebrate the nuptials of Sarah & Gavin, who wanted a pretty yet modern feel for their big day. Here at wedding blog HQ we are loving Sarah’s gown – which proves that lace and tulle can look contemporary as well as vintage. Just lovely.
With images by Amanda Balmain.
Sarah says: We got engaged on my birthday in January 2012 in Barcelona, where Gav had taken me for a birthday weekend away, and we were married don 26th October 2013 at Statham Lodge Country House Hotel in Lymm, Cheshire.
We wanted a venue where we could hold the whole day and night without doing any travelling and where we and our guests could stay overnight. We looked at lots of places but Statham Lodge was our favourite from the start. The building and grounds were beautiful and we liked that there were different rooms for each part of the day and evening so we felt like we had plenty of space. It has lots of character but as it’s family run it felt quite intimate and not too grand, and the staff were so friendly and couldn’t do enough for us – they really made a difference to the day. We also got an amazing out of season package which included the food, drink, DJ… there wasn’t much we actually had to worry about!
I love lace so that was a thread which ran throughout everything, but I didn’t want to go down the vintage route so tried to keep it quite sleek, modern and laid back. Our colours were deep purple and grey. We really didn’t want ‘Cadbury’s purple’ which is a popular shade for weddings, so trying to find everything in the right shade was a challenge! It’s the one thing I was really particular about!
I chose a Blue by Enzoani dress which I bought from Dreamcatcher Bridal in Kirkham, Preston, and wore it with an amazing belt from Sash & Co. I loved the heavy lace top which was very fitted down to my hips, then the lace faded into a gorgeous tulle skirt which made me feel so special but not too over the top. The belt and lace trim veil I wore were both stunning and were the perfect finishing touches.
Gav and the groomsmen wore light grey three piece suits from Slaters, Liverpool, with deep purple ties and Gav wore a pale grey tie to set him apart from the others. They all looked so smart and the tie, rather than a cravat, made them look and feel much more laid back which is exactly what we wanted.
My three bridesmaids wore purple chiffon maxi dresses from H&M which were a real bargain and the colour was spot on! My lovely designer friend Amy Saville altered them to fit perfectly, adding an extra layer for length and adding the lace cap sleeves and V insert at the back which tied them in with the lace theme. They all looked so beautiful!
As we had the ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception in the same place we didn’t need to travel anywhere. I arrived at the venue with my Mum and Dad which was nice as we got to spend some time alone in the car on the way, and everyone met us there to get ready and start the day at Statham Lodge!
I carried a small teardrop bouquet made up of ivory mini orchids and freesias and a couple of deep purple flowers to match the colour theme. My bridesmaids carried small posies of ivory freesias and the Mum’s and groomsmen all had orchid button holes. Our flowers were by 2lips Florists in Stockton Heath.
The music during the ceremony made it really special for us, as we chose the string versions of some of our favourite songs. I walked down the aisle to the strings version of U2’s “With Or Without You” and it still makes me a bit teary when I hear it now!
Amanda Balmain was our photographer and is a genius at capturing those little moments and the general feeling of the day.
We tried to keep the day as small and personal as possible, so I made a lot myself, including the invitations, centre pieces, place names and favours. I made use of lots of small online retailers to source my many materials! The favours which were wine glass charms with each person’s initial as a charm.
My favourite part of our wedding was the speeches, I loved seeing everyone together, having a good time and enjoying the day. My Dad had been nervous about his speech since the minute we got engaged but I was so proud of him, and of Gav and his best man and brother, Jon, who all got the balance of emotional and funny just right! Gav says his favourite part was when I walked down the aisle, which is very sweet of him and despite concentrating so hard on not crying was also one of my favourite bits.
The casino by Fun Casino Royale before the evening ceremony was a lot of fun and kept that day to evening part really upbeat, and at night we just wanted everyone to dance so had Dave Buck as a DJ, who came as part of the Statham Lodge package and was brilliant!
Our honeymoon really was our trip of a lifetime, we went to San Francisco, Las Vegas, LA and finished with a week of all inclusive luxury in Mexico. It was really important to us to not get carried away and overspend on the wedding so we could go all out on our honeymoon and do a trip that we’ve always wanted to do, and the best decision we made was booking the honeymoon for January so we really stretched out the whole wedding experience and there were no January blues for us!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be: honestly, don’t stress! Do what you want to do and don’t worry too much about all the little details. People are there to see you get married and as long as you’re having the best time, so will they.
Congratulations Sarah & Gavin!
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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…