Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

lilac & lilies. a super stylish wedding at the leeds club – rachel & tom

October 28th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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When we first set eyes on today’s real wedding we were totally blown away by the bride’s cool and individual style, perfectly showcasing how to make your big day attire your own.

Wearing an insanely beautiful lilac, bias-cut silk dress, Rachel exudes Hollywood glamour by the bucket load, completing her look with a sparking birdcage veil headpiece and shower style bouquet. We love!

As the couple’s stylish choice of venue didn’t have a marriage license, Rachel and Tom made things legal with a ceremony at Leeds Town Hall a few days previous, and yes, they looked flippin’ gorgeous for that bit too!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Mark Newton Photography.

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rachel says: We got engaged on 29th February 2012, at the Bier Keller in Leeds. We’d randomly gone there for a drink after. After a discussion about wedding and such things, I decided to ask Tom to marry me, we had been together for five years after all. He said yes and we both got quite emotional. I was lucky enough to inherit my grandmother’s engagement ring so we didn’t have to buy one.

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We had our legal ceremony at Leeds Town Hall on 18th May 2015, as unfortunately the venue we wanted to have our wedding at didn’t have a licence to marry us there. We then had a blessing at The Leeds Club on 29th May, as part of our wedding celebrations. I always remember walking past the venue as a child and seeing the business men in the wing back chairs and being really fascinated as to what was inside.

We chose lilac and sage green for the wedding scheme, as we wanted colours that would complement the venue and that also matched my dress.

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I was lucky enough to have two wedding dresses as we had the two ceremonies. For the town hall I wore head to toe Vivienne Westwood. For the blessing, I was fortunate enough to have a bespoke dress from the amazing Glory Days, in York. My dress was based on 1940’s Hollywood glamour and the dresses worn by Joan Crawford. It was lilac bias cut silk, with an open back and fishtail train. It was the best dress ever.

Tom wore a suit from River Island for the town hall and then a three-piece 60’s style, royal blue suit from Topman for the blessing.

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Both my bridesmaids have very different styles, so I asked them to wear their favourite dresses. Jules made her own 1940’s style cocktail dress and Suzanne wore a floor-length maxi dress from Seraphina.

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Our photographer was Mark Newton, who is brilliant! I ‘d known him a good couple of years and bumped into him and his wife at brewery pop up and he said he was doing weddings, so when we decided to get married  it was obviously Mark we were going to choose. Mark did our engagement shoot to start with which was awesome. He put us both so at ease and the pictures were so natural and really showed our personalities.

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For my wedding flowers, I carried amnesia roses with lilac calla lilies in a 1940’s shower style bouquet. My bridesmaids had wrist corsage instead of the traditional bouquets. They were all provided by Adrienne Florist, in Farsley.

In terms of venue decoration we had oversized balloons filled with petals on our tables, along with gin bottles that had roses in them. The tables were named after gin brands as a nod to my favourite drink. We also had various bottles with purple tulips in and lilac and silver balloons dotted around the venue.

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As favours we gave guests silver Chocolate Dragees, as they are one of my favourite sweets.

We had a fabulous three-tier cake that was made up of different flavours: red velvet, lavender and expresso. This was decorated with sugared lavender. The cake was totally gluten free and was made by the fabulously talented Victoria at 2 Oxford Place, in Leeds.

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For the wedding food we had canapes on arrival and a sit down meal for 60. The starter was a gazpacho salad or chicken liver parfait all served with gluten free bread; the main was roast leg of lamb honey and rosemary with a red wine and port jelly or woodland and mushroom stroganoff; and the dessert was raspberry brulee. For the evening reception we had sausage butties and chips.

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Entertainment wise we had Tom Rocks & The Repliacants as our wedding band. They were brilliant and kept the guests dancing. We also had Magic Al, who went around our guests at the evening reception doing amazing sleight of hand. He impressed people so much he was booked by my friend for her wedding.

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Overall The Leeds Club was a fantastic venue for our wedding, and the staff were so helpful with everything. We had the whole venue to ourselves and it was really central for people who came from out of town and didn’t know Leeds well.

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Looking back my favourite part of the day was surprising Tom with the vows I’d written as he didn’t know I’d done that, and also seeing all my family and friends together.

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After the wedding we spent a few days in Edinburgh where we were lucky enough to stay at The Witchery. We were greeted with champagne in our suite, which was above the Edinburgh Gin Distillery. We then went onto Copenhagen were we fortunate enough to eat at the renowned Noma.

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My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – talk to each other and don’t fall out about things. Also don’t let things get on top of you or stress you out.

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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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