June 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Err, bride Maxine from today’s real wedding, can we be your friend please? Check out these photographs from her wedding to the lovely Alex and try to deny that this wedding belle was seriously good to her #bridesquad girls: not only are they wearing the most beautiful floral dressing gowns in their preparation pics, but she chose floor-length, rose gold sequinned gowns for them for the ceremony. I mean, I’d be literally skipping down the aisle!
Maxine herself wows effortlessly in her slinky lace number, which moved smoothly from the hotel ceremony to the couple’s gorgeous outdoor photoshoot and from day to night. And what a night it was from the look of things – love lights, laughter and leapfrogs. What all good weddings are made of!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lee Brown Photography
maxine says: Alex proposed to me in Cairns. He had been in Australia with work for six months and I had gone to visit him. He popped the question just after we‘d been scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. It was perfect!
We got married on 18th February 2017. We wanted to get married fairly quickly; a long engagement wasn’t for us. We knew we couldn’t rely on the weather and liked the idea of a winter wedding.
We got married at Mere Court Hotel, Cheshire, and had both the ceremony and reception there. I viewed it while Alex was in Australia. I knew as soon as I looked at I that it was what we both wanted. It had a country house feel with lots of rooms for our guests to stay in, an intimate ceremony room with a lot of character and an amazing conservatory for the reception.
For our theme, we went with a winter glamour/Gatsby-type feel. I knew I didn’t want red and knew I wanted the bridesmaids in rose gold sequin maxi dresses and so the ideas just stemmed from there. I love how rose gold, bronze and ivory work together – the bridesmaids looked amazing in their dresses!
I bought my dress at a bridal shop owned by my friend Holly, Dream Dress Bridal. I‘d tried a few dresses on at wedding fairs for Holly and had an idea of the style I liked. I loved the one I eventually chose, particularly its detailed back. I knew I didn’t want a veil but a tiara; it went perfectly with the dress.
Alex wore a blue Signature suit from Next with a waistcoat and taupe tie. The colour looked amazing on Alex and thankfully went with the theme! The groomsmen also wore blue suits from Next.
Our photographer was Lee Brown and he was fabulous – we would definitely recommend him. He captured everything we wanted and we didn’t feel like he was really there. We wanted a natural feel for the photographs from the day, and that’s what we got.
We also had a videographer: Michael Langley from Satin Pictures. He did an amazing job of capturing all of the special moments from the day.
Julie from Artisan House of Flowers provided our wedding flowers. I carried a bouquet of ivory roses with diamantes in each rose and lace around the stems; they were stunning and she was fantastic to deal with. She also did our venue flowers for the top table and cake table. Perfect Weddings provided the rest of the décor, including rose gold sequin table covers, candelabras with roses, candles, chairs and a ‘love’ sign.
Our favours were our place names – wooden names sprayed in gold made by VMBespoke. Alex and I attached a stamped note to each place name thanking them for coming and joining us at our first meal as Mr and Mrs.
We chose a four-tier wedding cake covered in buttercream with three different fillings – Bakewell, chocolate fudge and Baileys, and sticky toffee and salted caramel. The cake was also covered in fresh flowers and petals were scattered on the table. Bloomsbury Wedding Cakes made our cake and we couldn’t have been happier – it was perfect!
The food was a very important decision for Alex. For the wedding breakfast, we chose pate for our starter, roast beef for the main and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. All of the food options were amazing at the venue – any choices would have been fabulous!
Entertainment-wise, we had The Opera Boys perform after our main courses at the wedding breakfast. We knew we wanted singers and they were outstanding, singing a variety of opera/theatre music and crowd pleasers. We couldn’t recommend them enough. We had a DJ from Solar Entertainment for the evening, who I’d also used for my 30th.
After marring at Mere Court Hotel, we’d definitely recommend the venue to other couples. We loved the venue, layout and the food.
For our honeymoon we went to St Lucia and stayed at the Sandals St Grande resort.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to try not to stress about the organisation. Just enjoy it and try and take everything in on the day – it goes by so quickly!
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Laura is a true Northophile: she married Adam in Durham in 2011 accompanied by 200 Northumbrian lamb shanks and a Mackem 1950s tribute band who did a rockabilly cover version of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. They honeymooned in Northumberland in a 1972 MG convertible, went surfing in Alnmouth and made it to the Edinburgh Fringe (let's ignore the fact that it rained all week). Her big mantra is 'no regrets'...but if she could travel back in time and wear a wedding dress with a Peter Pan collar and pockets, she'd pretty much die happy.
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