August 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This stunning country venue is fabulous all year round – I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – marquee weddings (done right, and Hilltop do them right) don’t just have to be for summer days, and it can be especially magical to be under (warm) canvas in the winter months. This gorgeous celebration, packed with early spring hues, proves my point perfectly.
Be inspired… and will we see you on 14th September?
With images by Happily Ever Captured.
Gemma says: We went for a romantic stay in Ludlow,Shropshire – well as romantic as it could be with our then 1 year old with us! – we climbed to the top of Ludlow Castle Tower and Mark pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him!
We wanted to get married pretty quickly and decided on March 2014, our dream venue had one date available so it was meant to be: 14th March 2014. We chose Hilltop Country House in Prestbury. We chose to get married here as it was just such a pretty, understated, not pretentious at all house and we thought it reflected us perfectly.
I chose ivory and blush pink as our colour palette as I wanted to keep it really feminine. My bouquet was a beautiful array of roses, peonies, stocks and sweet peas all in blush pink and ivory, provided by Gracie Janes of Blakemere Craft Centre.
My wedding dress was from Essense of Australia from a local bridal boutique Bethany Hannah Bridal in Stockton HeatIh where we live. I was fairly open to ideas but did have my heart set on a fishtail style dress but something still quite classic. I didn’t like my dress on the hanger but the sales assistant suggested it and from the second I put it on I knew it was the one. They were so helpful and knew exactly what I wanted from my dress.
Mark had a beautiful tailor made suit from Kings and Allen in Wilmslow, he had it personalised with our wedding date embroidered on the inside pocket and it was lined with Everton Blue satin as he is an avid supporter!
I wanted my bridesmaids to feel special on our wedding day so after I selected the colour scheme we chose the dresses together. Each maid had a different dress which reflected their personalities! Most of them were from Lipsy with some from designers at Debenhams. The Best Man wore a navy suit from Next.
Our photographer was Georgia from Happily Ever Captured. We had met her at Manor Park in Halifax and she had taken some beautiful photographs of our daughter and niece and nephew. Once we got engaged we knew we wanted her straight away! We get so many compliments on our photographs and our photographer was so lovely and down to earth, she will be our photographer for life whenever we need photos!
We got married outside and were incredibly lucky with the weather! My brother is a fantastic guitar player and he played Canon in D on the acoustic guitar as my father walked me through the gardens.
My favourite part was straight after the ceremony once my nerves had gone and we were actually married! Everyone was having prosecco in the sunshine and it was just perfect, exactly what we wanted!
We had blush pink ranunculus as the centre pieces and some hyacinths on the top table, provided by the florist as above. We also made an arrangement ourselves in a special ring shaped vase which we bought the weekend we got engaged in Ludlow. I was lucky that I have a clever sister in law who handmade my invitations and even made bunting for the whole marquee and top table!
As we got married on Cheltenham Gold Cup day and Mark normally attends, as an alternative to favours we decided to place a bet for each guest on a horse and we showed the race on a projector! We had pretty hair clips for the little girls and “love is in the air” paper aeroplanes for the little boys.
Our cake was designed by myself and made by the wonderful CakeyDoodle. It was three tiers, fruit, sponge then chocolate, covered in flowers and white chocolate fingers!
We would hugely recommend our wedding venue. It was absolutely magical and more than we ever could have dreamed. It is a family run business and Martin and Clare are so welcoming and helpful, I sent many a panick stricken 5am e-mail to Clare and she always managed to curb my worries! I will always hold them close to my heart.
We used Hipswing Entertainments to provide a fun photobooth which went down a treat in the evening! They were totally hassle free and did everything for us.
We had Chapelford Films to video the day and they did a wonderful job of capturing the feel of the day.
As we have a little girl we had teo honeymoons, lucky us!
The week after our nuptials Mark and I jetted off to New York City for three days to spend some quality time together! It was so lovely strolling around Central Park as newlyweds! Then in June we went to a resort in Sardinia for two weeks with our daughter Lola which was tiring but lovely and we made lots of friends!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to be organised and give yourself targets of when things need to be done by! I got myself a brilliant wedding planner with a timeline so I could see clearly how much time was left! It really helped as I did not know where to start, it breaks it down into sections so you can gather suppliers, insert photos or quotes and even write your guest list with addresses and check when you have sent stationery out like save the dates, invitations and thank yous.
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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…
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