Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

real wedding recap summer 2017: vera wang for an intimate spring wedding at weston hall, staffordshire – laura & ryan

June 20th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

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It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Dressed in a gorgeous Vera Wang mermaid style gown, Laura looked every inch the beautiful bride. And with a dreamy palette of rose, blush pink and champagne combined with a dazzling sprinkle of gold – this, we think, is a wedding exuding all things classically chic and romantic.

With images by Fairclough Photography.

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laura says: For his proposal, Ryan booked us a night away at Weston Hall in Stafford, as he knew how much I loved it there. When we checked into our lovely room I was hanging out of the window admiring the view of the terrace (dreaming of one day getting married there) then when I turned around he was on one knee with a huge grin on his face holding the most perfect ring! At first I thought he was joking but soon enough realised what he was actually asking. After all the crying, I remembered I to say yes!

The morning after the night before we went down for breakfast and I asked to see the Wedding planner at Weston Hall – there’s no time like the present, right?

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We knew we wanted a spring wedding so didn’t hesitate to book for the 27th May 2016, this was the Friday before the bank holiday and knew it was the perfect date! May is one of my favourite months, too, I just love spring and know there can be some beautiful sunny days in the month of May.

We got married at the prettiest church just down the road from Weston Hall, called St Andrews. Whenever we had drove past we always admired how quaint it looked. With all the beautiful blossom trees lining the church path, it seemed too perfect having the wedding ceremony there then afterwards celebrating at Weston Hall.

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We didn’t have a theme as such, all I knew was that I wanted it to look timeless and Weston Hall gave me the perfect backdrop to do so.

I chose a romantic colour palette consisting of rose, blush pink, nudes, champagne and lots of gold for a bit of glamour! I had these colours in mind from the beginning so when I found the bridesmaid dresses it all followed from there.

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I tried on what felt like hundreds of wedding dresses, realising that the mermaid style was what I really wanted. I had always loved the Vera Wang Gemma dress and had it at the back on my mind, so I decided to go for it as I was only going to get married once – and I am pleased that I did! When I tried it on, nothing compared; I just knew that dress was made for me. I felt a million dollars! I teamed it with some stunning bespoke accessories from Joan Brown Vintage in Leek, Staffordshire, and some amazing Jimmy Choo’s to finish it all off!

Ryan wore a really nice navy blue three-piece fitted suit from Next’s Signature collection with a skinny navy blue tie, tan brogues and belt. He looked very dapper! The groomsmen wore the same Signature suits from Next as Ryan.

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My beautiful bridesmaids wore a dress from an Australian company called White Runway. The dress was called ‘The Sequined Gatsby Gown’. It was a bit of a risk ordering online and from Australia but it paid off. I wanted the girls to feel extra special in something a bit different to the usual bridesmaid dress. I let them choose everything else such as hair accessories and shoes as I wanted their different styles to come through.

A special mention must go out to my bridesmaids’ ‘glam squad’ on the day. Daniella Robinson MUA for making us girls look flawless and Belleamour Hairdressing and Bridal Specialist for some beautiful wedding hair that stayed put all day!

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When it came to the wedding transport, were lucky enough to have family with very nice cars. Ryan’s uncle supplied us with Bentleys and a Rolls Royce Ghost to chauffeur myself, Ryan the bridesmaids and a few of the wedding guests from the church to the reception at Weston Hall in style.

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We booked the amazing and very talented Fairclough Photography to capture our day. I saw that they had photographed a wedding of a lady I know and thought how special hers looked. So when they confirmed that they were available for our wedding date I snapped them up straight away! They are the nicest people you could ever meet and made me and Ryan feel so at ease. We hardly noticed that they were at the wedding snapping away. When we got our photos back I couldn’t believe how much they had captured. They are an amazing team and we can’t thank them enough!

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The Topiary Tree from Hanford Stoke-on-Trent supplied our beautiful bouquets and flower arrangements. This was the perfect way to bring in the soft blush and nude tones I wanted. Rose at The Topiary Tree helped my vision come to life and supplied me with a mixed bouquet of Sweet Avalanche Roses, Spray Roses, David Austin Roses, Peonies, Astilbe, Anemone and Lamb’s Ear foliage. Attached to my bouquet I had a small photograph of my Nan who had sadly passed away a few months before the wedding. It was a lovely way of having her there with me.

I collected lots of mercury glass, candle holders and containers the months before the wedding from lots of boutiques and markets around where we live. I wanted lots of candles set in a collective way in the centre of the tables surrounding Weston Hall’s stunning candelabras. As a designer I really enjoyed the creative side to dressing the venue. I designed and made all the stationery – from the invitations to the order of services and table plan. It was amazing to see it all laid out how I had envisioned in my head for months before. It made me very emotional seeing it after all the hard work that had been put into it.

We used a number of other suppliers to dress the venue too. Whitehouse Event Crockery supplied us with beautiful gold beaded charger plates. Pudding Bridge provided the sequin tablecloths for the top table and cake table. We also hired some light up letters ‘L&R’ from a company called Strictly Weddings.

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We had cake pops as favours for our guests made by Amerton Cakes near Stafford.

The wedding cake itself was completely in keeping with the theme of the day. We chose Amerton Cakes to design our wedding cake table. I wanted a dessert table setting to complement our cake. Amerton Cakes provided coordinating cupcakes and macarons within the display on cake stands that I had collected. The design of the cake was just beautiful, one tier was gold glitter and decorated with delicate icing flowers. We had a great time choosing the different flavours of the cake. We decided to have raspberry and white chocolate on the main tier then chocolate orange and salted caramel for the other two. Needless to say it went down a treat with our guests!

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In terms of the wedding meal, we had canapés on arrival at the venue to keep guests going before the wedding breakfast. After a few glasses of fizz we all sat down and enjoyed a lovely three course meal. For the starter, we chose a ballotine of smoked salmon, pate and goat’s cheese, for main chicken wellington and for dessert my ultimate favourite – sticky toffee pudding!

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To provide the evening entertainment, we had Weston Hall’s in house DJ called Blaze Entertainment.

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The staff at Weston Hall were amazing throughout the whole wedding planning and ensuring that the day went like clockwork. It’s such a beautiful intimate wedding venue I would recommend it to anyone! It’s a very special place for us!

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The highlight of the day was the ceremony. From walking down the aisle to leaving church being husband and wife – was the best feeling and my favourite part of the day. Standing at the church entrance and realising this was what it was all about, seeing Ryan standing at the bottom of the aisle waiting for me. When we said our vows it felt like no one else was in the room, as I had been so nervous about that part. All the nerves had gone the second I walked in and saw Ryan.

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After the manic run up to the wedding we were both pleased to have booked a relaxing beach honeymoon and planned to do not much else than sit in the sun and relax. We chose the Dominican Republic as our destination as the beaches there are some of the best. We enjoyed lots of eating and drinking and spent the whole time reminiscing about the day. We were very glad of the rest.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North is, enjoy the build up to the big day and try not to worry about anything. It’s hard not to worry about all the little details the days before but, actually, all that doesn’t matter. Also, make sure to take in that moment just before you walk down the aisle and when you say your vows to each other. I was told this advice by many brides before our day and I am so glad I took note!

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the big picture

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about the author

Alexis Forsyth
Originally from north of the border, Alexis has lived in the North East for the past 15 years and considers herself officially an adopted Geordie. A qualified journalist - Alexis took up the position of editor at the region’s longest running business publication in 2015 before moving into a marketing role for one of the UK’s largest independent arts and craft galleries. Alexis currently edits her own lifestyle blog, where you can find her latest musings on all things Newcastle-related, together with a smattering of her Instagram-worthy cocktail and foodie pics. Yet to find Mr Right herself, Alexis sees this as a mere formality when it comes to tying the knot, as she’s already picked out her dream wedding dress, theme and venue...

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