May 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Apparently today’s beautiful bride Karen described herself as being “addicted” to Brides Up North in the run up to her wedding, so I do hope that I do her gorgeous big day justice on these pretty pages!
With images by Adam Riley Photography, Karen and Tom’s celebration is relaxed, personal and oh, so very stylish. Karen? This love-in is mutual.
Karen says: We got engaged on 14th April 2012 at Chatsworth House in Derbsyhire. We had visited there on an early date so it always had special memories for us both.
We were married on 14th September 2013 Hoghton Tower near Preston.
We both loved the venue as soon as we saw it. It had everything we wanted for both the service and wedding breakfast and allowed flexibility both in the suppliers we could use and how we organised the day. We loved how it was exclusively ours for not only the entire day but from the Friday afternoon before and it didn’t feel too corporate. It was so different to other places we had seen and the venue and location were just stunning.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were quite a bold colour we thought it would work best for everything else to be quite muted to avoid clashes. We wanted everything to be relaxed rather than stick to a strict scheme – although we did match the Groom’s tie to the bridesmaid’s dresses which was about the only planned scheme.
I wore Dentelle by Jenny Packham which was from The White Room in Sheffield. I knew I wanted something relaxed and comfortable although I was surprised at how much I liked the more "formal" dresses. In the end, I just felt more like "me" in Dentelle and loved the detail at the back and the beautiful skirt. Chloe at the White Room was fantastic and I couldn’t recommend the boutique enough.
I travelled to the venue in a Bentley and Tom to got to travel in a friend’s Peugeot which was perhaps slightly unfair!
Our photographer was Adam Riley Photography – who was amazing. We loved his reportage style of photography which meant we could really enjoy the day.
The ceremony was really special but I loved the drinks reception as well afterwards. Seeing our friends and family who mean so much to us all together having a great time and being so genuinely happy for both of us was really wonderful. It was exactly how I hoped the day would be.
We had a string quartet for the ceremony and drinks reception. A Manchester band, The Fraudsters played in the evening. They are friends of Tom and played an amazing set which packed out the dance floor all night.
We are also big Game of Thrones fans so we asked the quartet to play the theme tune at appropriate points – it was very funny to see the guests’ faces recognise the song.
Flower Design in Blackpool supplied our flowers. We gave Jane a very broad idea of colours and ideas of bouquets I liked from previous weddings and the rest was down to her. She understood both of us and what worked well in the venue. Jane really nailed the flowers on the day and we couldn’t have been happier with them.
A friend of the family who used to own a patisserie in Lytham made our cake. We went for three tiers of lemon, chocolate and a traditional fruit cake.
It was a close family member’s 60th Birthday and Wedding Anniversary on the day itself, so we arranged for a separate birthday cake during the meal. It was such a nice moment and was really well received from both family and friends alike.
We used tried and tested suppliers from the North West who we knew we could trust. Food is a real passion of both of ours so Rowleys did the catering and we devised our own menu with their help – we still have friends talk about how good the food was!
As our wedding favours we made our own sloe gin. It was great fun foraging for the sloes in Chorlton and we enjoyed a few tasting sessions in the run up to the day! We left shot glasses on the table for the guests to enjoy the drink at the start of the wedding breakfast.
For our honeymoon we had two weeks in South Africa in Cape Town, the Winelands and safari in Kruger followed by a week in Mauritius.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning together, relax and have a wonderful time. Trust your suppliers – they have done this far more often than you have (hopefully) and will know how to make the day run as smooth as you’d envisaged.
Congratulations Karen & Tom!
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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…