Charlotte Balbier

i Choo! a glamorous country garden wedding in Lancashire – alex & nick

December 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (22)

Alex & Nick’s glam & gorgeous country garden wedding has it all – beautiful blooms, a fab frock and plenty of fudge!

Groom Nick also knows what side his bread’s buttered on, sending his best man bearing a pair of Jimmy Choo skyscrapers to his bride to be on the morning of the wedding. Alex, you’ve trained him well.

With images by Niki Mills Photography.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (2)

Alex says:We got engaged at home on our five year anniversary and were married on 19th September 2014. We chose the date due to it being seven years to the day we met. Were not the romantic type so this made our day extra special.

We got married at St Peters Church in Darwen because it is where I was christened and due to it having links with St Pauls, where Nicks Grandparents, Aunty and Parents were married.

We chose The Inn at Whitewell as our reception venue as I remember going to a wedding when I was younger and thinking to myself ‘If I ever get married I want it to be here!’. Nick also loved the character of the place and we agreed it was ‘us’.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (1)

I picked a ‘Garden’ theme as my wedding dress had the most intricate floral lace and embellishment on it and I wanted everything to relate to the dress on the day. My husband calls me a magpie as I love anything sparkly so the day needed to be glam too.

The colour scheme chose me. I love the vintage feel with golds, blush, nudes, creams, greys and pinks and made sure they all had a part to play somewhere. I also added a little fresh green to break it up and give the theme a little dimension! Everything that featured in the day was there because I liked it not because it matched.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (4)

All wedding dresses are beautiful and its hard finding ‘the one’. After searching when we first got engaged I found a beautiful Blue by Enzoani dress in Lulu Browns (Whalley) that was fresh and young with one shoulder. It was so completely different to what I thought it would want but so beautiful too. We didn’t start planning properly until December 2013, and when I went to look for dresses again I walked in Bellisima (Holcombe Brook, Bury) and there it was there waiting for me.

Joanne Tudda MUA did my make up on the day, she is recently qualified and was valuable to the ladies of the wedding party on the morning of the wedding.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (9)

Nick very clothes conscious and wanted a mod suit and to arrive on a Vespa, but after a discussion on how our Dads would look in this type of suit and a successful fitting at Amelia’s Bridal (Clitheroe) he decided on light grey tails, skinny trousers, a floral tie and brown brogues – and looked ever so classic and handsome.

Bridesmaids dresses are lovely but I didn’t want them to look the same as everyone else, I chose metallic evening gowns from Phase Eight and had them custom fit for every girl.

The flower girl dresses were chosen by Nick by accident in Monsoon, the vintage frocks had the exact same colour sash as the bridesmaids and floral lace. They were perfect for my girls who were 8, 4 and 3.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (12)

I arrived in a classic black Mercedes, I love the vintage cars but as the venue is 40 minutes away we decided to spend the majority of the transport budget on a double decker bus for the night guests. Apparently it was quite a ride on the county roads home!

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (16)

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (18)

Our photographer was Niki Mills from Niki Mills Photography. After watching her DVD and crying at how beautifully she had captured other couples special days I booked her. From that moment on she went above and beyond, from a really fun engagement shoot (which really helped our confidence under the lense) to rounding everyone up on the day to ensure she got all the shots we wanted. When starting the wedding planning process my dad said to me ‘Make sure you spend good money on the photographer, you’ll never get that day back’. And he was right, Niki captured our day in a way that really tells our story, in exactly the relaxed fun style we wanted. I am so glad I didn’t have a videographer as Nikki achieved what they would have done with just her talent.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (21)

I remember seeing a Naked Cake for the first time and thinking ‘Wow, I wonder who can make me one of those?’. I enlisted the help of my godmothers daughter Victoria who does cake baking as a hobby but who is extremely good. She goes by the name of ‘Victoria Sponge’. She took the task on board and did not disappoint with the cake being a huge hit!

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (31)

I envisioned the flowers to be as though they had been collected from a country garden with a vintage rose as the centrepiece. Sue’s Bluebells worked extremely hard at ensuring this vision was perfect over many cups of tea.

My bouquet was made by a good friend Danielle who made her own brooch bouquet a few years ago. I collected all the individual brooches and pieces of jewellery and she magically put it all together with added extras – such as my grandma & granddad being with me all day in a locket.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (38)

The decorations were all finds by my mum and me from Home Sense, The Range, charity shops, car boot sales, the wine loving next door neighbours and by painstakingly soaking jars in the washing up bowl to the annoyance of Nick. He would come home and say ‘Why are there so many watering cans in this house?!’ or ‘Surely you have enough jars now?!’.

Sue’s Bluebells put together all the centrepieces and Nicola at Bride’s Little Helper set up the marquee and created my unique crate and gold frame table plan.

I also envisioned a very romantic feel as it went dark in the marquee so with the help of Nicola put candles in everything.  It really made a spectacle as the day room was so fresh and at night it changed into candlelight. I asked for the braziers to be lit outside and some guests sat outside with drinks round the fires.

Bride’s Little Helper is a wonderful little business, Nicola and Mark did so much for me in the run up to the wedding, from the beautiful stationary, the room, the transport and emotional support battling out ideas.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (40)

Nick and I are foodies and we love fudge. I ordered in a huge amount of the stuff from a gorgeous shop in the Peak District (where we go camping) and gave out Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate fudge to the delight of the guests. They were then given in little plant pots to go with the theme.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (45)

For the day guests we had a vintage ice cream trike, provided by Laura at Love My Trike which went down a treat with the guests, but for the evening entertainment we simply had a DJ. Nick has a brother and together they are all the entertainment any wedding needs. Nick being a huge lover of music (he went to Ibiza for his Stag weekend) talked me into the idea of an ‘Ibiza Hour’ which I ok’d as he hadn’t asked for much. It was all the entertainment we needed and had the guests up dancing all night long.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (52)

We added lots of special touches to the day, Nick and I no longer have any grandparents and we wanted them to be a part of our day, my dad and I spent an afternoon shabbing up an old pair of ladders and Nicola at brides little helper made the most gorgeous remembrance jars with their names in, which lit up at night.

We also love to go camping so every table was named under a place that we have visited in our tent, this went down a treat with our guests as many of them have been on these trips with us!

I really hate the pain of high heels so I painted an old magazine rack silver and made sure the girl guests had flip flops so there was no excuse not to dance!

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (48)

I have many favourite moments, but sitting at the top table with my new husband surrounded by our closest friends and family who were there for us that day meant so much.

We honeymooned in Sri Lanka for a week and then onto the Maldives for ten nights. Nick is an action lover so in Sri Lanka we went white water rafting and on safari and snorkelled and scuba dived in the Maldives, together with a lot of sunbathing! A special surprise was the honeymoon being a gift to us from my mum and dad – we found out at the top table!

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (55)

People say the best advice is to take a step back and take it all in. However, I would say to other Brides Up North– ground yourself in the morning, tell yourself that this is really happening and try to get into the moment. You spend months and months planning the most perfect day and on the day feel as though you are watching through a dream.

the big picture

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comments

  • December 9, 2014 | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Julia
    I’m Niki Mills – Alex & Nicks wedding photographer.

    What a lovely feature you have done on Alex & Nick’s wedding, it was certainly one of my favourites of the year – fab lovely couple and such a fun day :)

    The link to me at the bottom of the page goes to another photographer not me – please could it be changed to link to mine which is http://www.nikimillsphotography.co.uk

    Thank you and hopefully they may be another wedding you feature soon

    Take Care
    Niki x

    • December 9, 2014 | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Niki,

      What beautiful work! I’ve changed the link for you, thanks so much.

      Julia xxx

  • December 10, 2014 | Permalink | Reply

    Great looking wedding with some wonderful details. Terrific!

  • Lara
    October 9, 2016 | Permalink | Reply

    Hi, love the lanterns where are they from?

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about the author

Julia Braime
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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