July 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
A whole lot of heart and soul went into the planning of Aimee and Graham’s wedding day, with the bride to be firmly at the head of operations. Known for her girly ways and pretty styling efforts, this Brides Up North reader certainly wasn’t going to disappoint on the biggest day of her life.
The result? A personal and pretty celebration with lots of delectable DIY details. If you like really pretty things, you’re going to be very inspired. Pinterest fingers at the ready.
With images by Weddings By Luke
Aimee says: We got engaged in London at Christmas time. We were at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, which I had been so excited to visit as I absolutely love all things Christmassy! We were at the ice rink which looked so pretty all lit up with fairy lights at night when Graham pulled out the most perfect ring and proposed to me! Afterwards we headed straight to Harvey Nichols champagne bar for a glass of celebratory bubbles.
Our wedding was on 26th April 2014. There was no real special reason behind the particular date other than when we visited Beeston Manor for the first time we absolutely fell in love with it and they were fast running out of Saturday availability! We always wanted a spring wedding so the last Saturday they had left until later in the year was perfect for us. We got in pencilled in there and then.
We got married at All Saints Church on Hesketh Bank. It meant such a lot to us both to get married there as we both grew up visiting that church, all our family weddings and christenings happen there so I really couldn’t imagine it being anywhere else. Ever since I was a little girl imagining my wedding, I always dreamt of it being there. It was so lovely that Reverend Bill knew us and our family to make the service personal and really special. To top it off, it’s a gorgeous little church too!
The theme for our wedding was a vintage style English country garden look with a slight rustic twist, but I am a girly girl so it was kept very pretty with lots of lace everywhere. We chose this style as it is very “me” and really reflected my personality and of the style of our home. Graham always says that it is my job to make everything pretty so he was more than happy to go along with it and helped out with picking everything.
Our wedding colours were ivory, blush pink and mint. We chose these as we felt ivory and pink colours always make for a pretty and classic wedding, I am a bit obsessed with mint at the moment so adding that in just added some extra interest.
I wore an A-line tulle skirted dress from Blue by Enzoani which I bought from Emma Hartley Bridal in Colne. It featured lace appliqués and beading detail on the skirt and the bodice was a ruche waist with lace overlaid with beaded flowers. I tried on 67 dresses trying to find “the one” but I loved this dress as it was so pretty and romantic, with so much beautiful detail, I felt like a princess when I tried it on.
I knew I wanted a full skirted dress but also wanted a covered top so we had it customised with a tulle top with lace appliqués which matched the skirt to create an illusion neckline and V shape back.
In my hair I wore the Autumn headband from Liberty in Love with tulle and silk flowers and beads. I had a two tier waterfall veil with tiny diamantes to catch the light, again from Emma Hartley Bridal.
Our bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses from Coast with petal detail on the bust, they were perfect for the romantic and floral look we were going for and looked beautiful on the girls. We were very fortunate about the fit of the dresses as mid way through planning after we had bought the dresses, two of my bridesmaids found out they were pregnant and luckily the dresses were a perfect shape for a growing baby bump, they looked lovely on the day! We had two flower girls who wore dresses very similar to the bridesmaids but in white and had little cardigans featuring the same petal detail to tie everything together.
The groomsmen wore matching suits to Graham and our page boy had a mini version with a tailcoat, waistcoat and bow tie and which we paired with Converse which looked adorable
Michelle Sisson did my makeup and my bridesmaid’s hair and makeup, she did a fantastic job and we all felt amazing after she had worked her magic, she was so lovely to have around on the wedding morning and made sure we look perfect before we left for church. My friend Emma Shaw Hair did my bridal hair and was again fantastic at achieving a gorgeous do which was exactly as I wanted.
Graham wore a grey three piece slim fit suit, with a blush pink tie and hankie. It is not really his style to wear a full tail coat suit so this was perfect, it created a relaxed but smart look which really suited him and I think he looked really handsome. We hired the suits from Winstanleys at Oswaldtwistle.
My mum and I travelled to church in a vintage Bentley in cream and the bridesmaids followed in a matching Daimler then n the way to the reception me and Graham were in the Bentley and the flower girls had a turn in the “posh car” which they loved! We hired the cars from a local company called Classic Wedding Cars and Jimmy the driver had us laughing the whole journey which helped with nerves!
I carried an amazing white and pink bouquet of peonies and hydrangeas which are my absolute favourite flowers. They were so gorgeous and fluffy; I didn’t want to put them down all day! They were hand tied with matching ribbon and lace, I pinned my best friend’s Grandma’s heart shape brooch onto them as my something old and borrowed. Our flowers were all from Libbi at Flowers by Strawberry Fields and she did such an amazing job, they were better than I ever imagined. As soon as I met Libbi it was clear we had very similar taste and we knew we could completely trust her to make everything super beautiful.
Our photographer was Luke Richards of Weddings By Luke and we really couldn’t recommend him enough, he was fantastic! Luke’s natural style of photography was exactly what we wanted and he captured our special day perfectly, making sure all the little moments weren’t missed! Everyone commented on how amazing the photos are and how nice Luke was on the day. We really couldn’t be happier with how he has captured our day
At the venue, my mum and I decorated hundreds of jam jars with lace, ribbon, hessian and wooden buttons for our reception flowers to go in. Libbi filled them with a gorgeous mix of flowers including hydrangeas, peonies, ranunculus and sweet peas. The overall effect was amazing; she really achieved the natural vintage style we wanted.
We had cut glass cake stands on some of the tables to stand the jars on to add height and mixed in candles and wooden Love signs and hearts to created individual centre pieces. Above the top table we had a wooden heart hanging with flowers on, and either side of the top table were hydrangeas in cream planters with metal love heart stakes in them. We also had masses of white bunting with heart cut outs and paper pompoms hanging above the centre of the dance floor in our colour scheme which me, my mum and our best friends made.
We gave out different favours for the men and the ladies, the men received chocolate moustache lollypops- great photo props! And the women were given a kraft card box tied with lace and pegged with a paper flower, inside were small white shabby chic heart and bird hanging charms. It’s a running joke that my shabby chic heart obsession takes over our house so it seemed fitting and personal to have these as favours. I made personalised bags with the children’s initials on for their favours and filled them with sweets, stickers and wedding theme activity books to keep them busy.
When wedding planning, a massive cake wasn’t top of our priorities, we wanted something simple and cute which we could serve with cupcakes and other treats. A family friend, Nicola from Sweet Little Treats, worked with us to create the perfect cake for us, it was two tier sponge, with rough butter icing on to create a rustic look and it was finished off with burlap “Just Married” bunting and a single peony head. It was exactly what we wanted and tasted delicious!
We used Sophisticated Events at Weddings by Alexander Jones for our chair covers and would really recommend them, Linda ensures everything looks perfect and nothing is too much trouble, she travelled down to meet us at the venue to check the bows we had picked were the exact shade we wanted.
We also hired a massive light up G&A for on the dance floor from China Blossom Vintage Hire which made fabulous photos.
We would absolutely recommend Beeston Manor to other couples, aside from it being an absolutely stunning venue for a wedding, with gorgeous grounds and rooms, the staff are just amazing! Janet really takes care and attention over your wedding to make it just how you wanted we felt really special and like our wedding was really important to her which was so lovely. We could totally trust her and everyone at Beeston to make everything run smoothly and look gorgeous
Our favourite part of the day is so hard to choose as we loved every minute and it was filled with so many special moments, but a really amazing part of it was when we were able to go down to the bluebell woods at the back of Beeston Manor for some photos. It was lovely to be in such a gorgeous setting and me and Graham had some precious time alone to take a moment to take everything all in.
I made all the stationary for the reception which I really enjoyed as it was really personal to our tastes. I loved the doily menus and the stamped name cards for each place setting, the table plan frame on a ladder was also a big success.
We chose Steven Bayliss as our wedding singer which really made our night, he is someone who we have been to see perform many times while we have been together and always loved so it was really special to have him at our wedding. He is always guaranteed to have everyone up dancing and our wedding was no exception, I don’t think me or Graham left the dance floor all night, he was fabulous and sings an amazing range of songs to suit everyone.
We flew off to Koh Samui, Thailand on the Monday after the wedding, it was absolute paradise! We stayed in a gorgeous villa right near the beach and just had time to relax, lots of spa visits and some amazing sightseeing. Thailand has always been near the top of our lists of places to visit so it was amazing to go for such a special holiday
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do everything you want, regardless of being worried if everyone will like it and think about the details that will make the day personal to you. We were so happy with how everything turned out; all the planning and little touches really do pay off to make an amazing and unforgettable day.
It’s also really important to carefully choose suppliers who you really trust and are on the same page as you with how you envisage your wedding, it took a lot of stress out of the day knowing I could trust everyone to make our wedding look beautiful and run smoothly
Congratulations Graham & Aimee!
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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…