Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

vintage elegance. eliza jane howell for a green and gold wedding at the villa – nicola & marc

June 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (46)

For me there’s one thing about today’s wedding that really stands out – that dress!

Bride Nicola chose a detailed, 1920s style dress by Eliza Jane Howell for her moment in the limelight, and boy did she work it! Nicola looks just stunning and her maids are also a pretty vision in their dresses, which reflect the soft green and gold colour scheme.

It has to be said that the men easily live up to the style stakes too in their handsome air force blue suits.

We love all the pretty vintage touches in this wonderful wedding, including Nicola’s bouquet and the button holes that she made herself. Also big love to Oscar the pug dog – what a cutie!

With images by Teresa C Photography.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (15)

nicola says: We got engaged on 26th November 2013 at Rivington Pike. Marc had asked permission from my dad and it took him two weeks to actually pluck up the courage to do it!  We have a gorgeous dog, Oscar, so we were trying out new places to take him on walks. Marc took the engagement ring with him several times but there were always too many people for him to do it. We then went to Rivington Pike and Marc was adamant that we were going to find this waterfall he had heard about – which we did! As Marc proposed four deer ran past! Marc and I have been together since we were 17 years old so it only took him ten years to propose!

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (18)

We set the date for 18th April 2015. We really wanted a Saturday, as quite a few of our friends are teachers so we needed a weekend date. The venue we wanted the reception to be at also only had two Saturdays free at that time. You definitely need to book in advance!

We got married in St John’s the Baptist Church. It was the church Marc’s parents were married in and where he was baptised. It is also local to us, just a five-minute drive. It’s a gorgeous church and we knew it would look great in the photos. We also had bell ringers, which was a perfect ending to the ceremony. Our reception was at The Villa Country House Hotel in Wrea Green, Preston.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (19)

I always wanted a vintage theme, similar to my sister’s wedding that had taken place two years earlier. For the colour scheme we chose sage/mint green and gold. The green went perfectly with the theme and also with the men’s suits, which were air force blue.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (22)

Again, I wanted a vintage theme dress. My two sisters and my mum all went wedding dress shopping with me and I tried on nearly every dress possible! When I finally found my dress I knew straight away. It was on display in Dan Kerr in Preston. I tried it on straight away and fell in love. I wanted a dress that I could feel comfortable in all day; one I could eat in, breathe in and dance in! The dress was Lauren from Eliza Jane Howell, which has an elegant, 1920s feel. Everyone has said that it was definitely a ‘Nicola’ dress!

The fantastic Kerry Baker did my wedding makeup, which I loved. A friend recommended Kerry and from the very beginning with communication via emails I knew Kerry was going to be great. Both at the trail and on the day she was professional, organised, skilled and fun! Kerry totally understood and perfected the ‘look’ I wanted. The morning of my wedding was very relaxed, which was mainly due to the organisational skills of Kerry and my hair stylist Duncan Fisher. I would highly recommend both.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (26)

Marc is a 6ft 4in guy who struggles to buy suits and we needed to get a suit to fit him and seven other men at a reasonable price. We got the suits from Slaters in Preston, the sales assistant there was fantastic!  Marc chose a charming air force blue three-piece suit. The colour went perfectly with the green ties and hanky. The groomsmen wore the same suits and shoes. They looked great!

I wanted the bridesmaids to have a dress that they could wear again after the wedding. Their dresses were from Oh My Love. They were gold in colour so I added the green with use of a green wrap and a green belt, which my sister made with the ribbon used to make the invites.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (30)

We hired a car from Broughton Cars as they provides the transport for my sister’s wedding. They were great.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (31)

Teresa Cunningham of Teresa C Photography did our wedding photos. When we got engaged I knew that the important things were the church, the venue and the photographer – and I knew I needed to get these sorted first. A friend recommended Teresa and I am so glad she did.  So talented, professional and I loved her work. I also absolutely fell in love with her story of how she became a photographer. I would definitely recommend Teresa to anyone. We also had a second shooter called Jodie who I only met on the day and she was great too. She had the pleasure of photographing the guys and she did a great job.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (32)

I made the bouquets and the buttonholes. I bought fake flowers and other details to go into the bouquet. I knew I wanted the flowers on display once the actual day was over. I loved making the bouquets and was very happy with the end result. I wanted the buttonholes to be slightly different so I made a quick design with what things I had left after the bouquets were made. I also made a small throwing bouquet, as I knew I couldn’t chuck my main one, as it would knock someone out!

Nita Patel of Petal Interiors provided all the fresh flowers for the church and the venue. I showed Nita my vision and then just left her to it. The results were fantastic. I used some of the table centrepieces from my sister’s wedding and added some vintage birdcages and candelabras.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (33)

I absolutely love sweets so I knew our favours were always going to be a jar of sweets. I had a bridesmaid night in where we made all the sweet jars. We named all the tables after retro sweets and each jar represented the table they were on. We also wanted to donate to Cancer Research, as this is something very close to our hearts.

My mum made our cake and we all enjoyed her practising (not that it helped with our waistlines though). When my mum showed us the cake she had made I was absolutely speechless, as it looked so professional. We had a personalised topper on it, which was me, Marc and our dog Oscar. It was from Angel in My Attic – the lady that made it asked for details of the bride, groom and clothing – the results were fantastic and the small details were great. This is a keepsake that will last forever.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (35)

Marc eats a lot so the food tasting was the one part of organising the wedding that Marc wanted to be involved in!  We went to The Villa where Greg fed us the choice of menu and wine. I wanted a chocolate dessert and Marc wanted sticky toffee pudding – Marc won and I’m so glad he did, as it was yummy! We had canapés when the guests arrived which everyone commented on being great. I was worried that Marc and the guests would starve as the wedding breakfast was going to be after the speeches but there was definitely plenty of food!

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (39)

I went to lots of wedding fairs to help me chose some entertainment for our big day! We really wanted something different and found these in the form of a caricaturist and a magician. Again, these went down really well with the guests. It was nice for the guests to have another keepsake from the wedding in the form of a caricature of themselves. I also asked my dad to make a vintage photo booth wall – something different to a normal photo booth. Dad didn’t let us down and made a wall with frames on where guests could take photos of themselves in the holes – all the guests loved this too.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (47)

Other extras on the day included a sweetie stall and a ‘cigar bar’ – an idea I’d seen in a wedding magazine and asked Marc if he would like one, which of course he did! All the male guests really enjoyed this.

We also had toiletry boxes in the toilets, flip-flops for sore feet and a ‘Wedding Survival Kit’. I made the survival kits and added things like earplugs and a salty snack to help with the hangover the next day!

Instead of having a guest book we had a wish tree, which Nita provided, and we gathered together photos, old and new, of family members on their wedding day. This was a lovely surprise to these family members.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (41)

We also wanted our dog to be involved in the day. He was at the dog sitters and I asked if they would bring him to the church once the service was over wearing his bow tie. It was great to have him involved in the photos.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (53)

I always knew I wanted to get married at The Villa – my sister was married there and it was fantastic.  The organisers at the venue were great – they were always at the end of the phone or email. I’m a perfectionist and had perfected every detail up to the day of the wedding, and then I had to let go and let the venue do the rest! We took everything the day before the wedding and handed over to Michael Hails. He assured me that everything would be how I wish – and it was. They did an amazing job!  They kept the day running smoothly and were very attentive of me and Marc ensuring we had food and drink at all times.

One of my favourite parts of the day was seeing Marc at the altar. All the hard work and organisation had finally come together. When we were saying our vows Marc had a lucky money spider on his head – I couldn’t stop looking at it! I knew the bridesmaids had seen it too as I could hear them giggling! I removed the spider at the end and put it in some nearby flowers. We took this as a lucky sign!

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (59)

Marc’s brother and sister-in-law came over from America to join us on our wedding day so we enjoyed the week after our weddingwith them. The weather was fantastic and it was great to relax after the wedding. We are going on honeymoon to Gran Canaria in August.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to make some things for the wedding yourself if you can as it makes it more personal. I loved making everything myself from the invitations through to the bouquets. However I would also recommend that you do as much as you can in advance.

I would also recommend going back to the tradition of throwing the bouquet. I have been to quite a few recent weddings where this didn’t take place. I’m so glad we did it, as it was a highlight of my day seeing a friend practically push everyone out of the way to catch it!

Also, definitely get a make-up artist and hairdresser. The morning of the wedding was so relaxed as we didn’t need to worry about anything. The makeup artist and hairdresser told us where we had to be at what time. All I did in the morning was make brews and toast!

the big picture

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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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