Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

my greatest adventure. a bright & colourful wedding in little crosby – laura & david

August 9th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (48)

Today’s couple, Laura and David, are self-confessed globetrotters, and we just love the fact that they injected this sense of adventure into their special day at Crosby Hall Educational Trust in Little Crosby, back in May.

Paying homage to all the wonderful memories they’ve created together so far, hopping from country to country, their colourful wedding day featured some rather lovely nostalgic touches, including miniature globes and Polaroid pictures aplenty. It comes as no surprise to us to hear that, post-wedding, the newlyweds will also be embarking on a very unique honeymoon experience (more deets on this later).

Swapping the traditional wedding breakfast for an indulgent afternoon tea followed by a hog roast, our couple definitely put their own stamp on the day’s proceedings. A pork pie wedding cake and vintage ice cream camper van are just two of the other scrumptious foodie highlights from their big day. A deliciously different line-up, if we do say so ourselves!

With photos by Hayley Blackledge Photography.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (64)

laura says: We got engaged in January 2016. We had gone out for dinner and David arranged for my sister to decorate the living room while we were out. I came home to a candlelit living room with photographs of us in various places around the world attached to balloons saying, “Will you marry me?”.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (54)

Our wedding took place on 27th May 2017. We originally wanted a summer date but the venue didn’t have any of our preferred dates available. We then considered Easter, but decided on May in the end. I’m a teacher so I wanted to make sure I had some school holidays after the wedding. We liked the fact it was a Bank Holiday weekend too, as we had lots of people travelling to the wedding and it allowed them to make the most of their time with us.

We had the ceremony and reception at Crosby Hall Educational Trust (CHET) in Little Crosby. The ceremony took place in the old barn. We loved the venue as soon as we saw the space. It ticked all the boxes for us – it was relaxed, pretty, private and allowed us to put our own stamp on things.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (62)

We didn’t have a theme as such but we incorporated lots of travel elements, due to the fact we have spent most of our relationship traveling the world! We used globes as decorations and we named our tables after some of our favourite places. We also decorated the walls of the corridors in the venue with photos of us in various locations.

We wanted the wedding to be bright and colourful, with a touch of sparkle. We used lots of bright colours in the decorations and flowers, with touches of metallic gold and glitter.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (58)

I got my dress from Wed2be in Liverpool. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress and originally, I went along just to get a feel for the style I wanted. I tried on lots of different gowns, but this dress just felt like ‘me’. I’m not a particularly girly girl and didn’t want anything too traditional. I felt the dress suited my personality perfectly and I felt really comfortable in it.

My shoes were from Irregular Choice. I’d had my eye on them for a while. My mum tried to persuade me to get something else but I’m glad I didn’t listen to her! I really want to wear them again!

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (6)

David wore a three-piece blue checked suit from Slaters with a champagne gold coloured tie to match the gold in the bridesmaids’ dresses. He also wore a personalised pocket watch, which I gave to him as a present on the morning of the wedding.

My bridesmaids wore gold and ivory dresses from Chi Chi London. I wanted them to wear neutral colours to make the bright flowers pop against the dresses. Originally, I had said I was happy for them all to have different dresses if they wanted, but they all liked this one when I suggested it. My sister was my maid of honour and she chose her own dress from House of Fraser.

Our little flower girl wore a champagne gold dress with a sequined bodice and our page boy wore a beige linen suit with a gold dickie bow. Our groomsmen all wore navy blue suits from Slaters and the same champagne gold tie as David.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (10)

We hired Lola the camper van from Chasing Rainbows Vintage Campers to take me, my bridesmaids and my dad to the venue. It was really nice to all travel together. We had a great time on the way there listening to the music of our choice and getting excited! After the ceremony, David and I went for a ride in Lola with a bottle of fizz to get some photos taken. This was one of our favourite parts of the day as it was our first opportunity to really talk and find out about each other’s mornings.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (16)

Our photographer was Hayley Blackledge. She was fantastic! She really listened to what we wanted and had some great ideas for ‘arty’ shots. She worked so hard and managed to capture all of the little moments and emotions of the day perfectly. We couldn’t be happier with our choice.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (28)

Our bouquets were provided by Passion for Flowers in Aigburth. I wanted the flowers to look wild, natural and bright with plenty of foliage. On my bouquet I had a charm of my granddad, who had passed away, which was a gift from my sister.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (34)

The venue provided lovely colourful flowers for our table decorations. As well as these, we decorated the venue with lots of gold jars and bottles, some with candles and some with flowers in. We wanted to give a nod to our love of travel and the adventures we have had as a couple, so my sister painted black globes with cute phrases. We used colourful paper pom poms to add some colour to the rooms at the venue and we decorated the walls of the corridor with polaroid-style photographs of us in different places all over the world. Our tables were decorated with gold sequin table runners, mini-globes and colourful flowers in gold jars.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (41)

I made mini bottles of liqueurs for favours. There were three different flavours – rhubarb gin, apple and blackberry gin, and cherry and cinnamon vodka. They were pretty lethal by all accounts but they were all drunk by the end of the night!

Our cake was made by L’Oven Cake in Wavertree. It was a semi naked cake with a gold drip, decorated with colourful flowers. The bottom layer was lemon, the middle was chocolate orange and the top was red velvet. It was really tasty, especially the lemon!

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (66)

We also had a tiered pork pie wedding cake, from Nelsons Butchers, which we served with our afternoon tea. We had a huge feast of sandwiches, scones, cakes, cheese and pie, washed down with Pimms cups, wine and tea. Later in the evening, we had a hog roast, which went down really well with everyone. We also had ice cream served from a vintage ice cream van during the drinks reception, while the Mersey Belles entertained guests.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (70)

Ukulele band Splintered Ukes provided the entertainment in the evening. They were fab and got everyone in the party mood.

As a special touch during the ceremony, we had our good friend Sam do a reading, which her and my sister had written for us. It was made up of the lyrics of different Beatles songs, since David and I met working at the Beatles Story in Liverpool.

As another personal touch to the day, we had our special wedding cocktail named ‘The Happy Wanderer” as a nod to my granddad, as that’s what he used to call me.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (67)

If you’re looking for somewhere relaxed and private where you can make your wedding personal to you, we would definitely recommend CHET. We loved the fact they gave us free reign to do things our way and there were no hidden costs or charges.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (71)

If I had to pick one favourite moment from the day, I would say towards the end of the evening when we were all totally relaxed, happy and enjoying our time on the dance floor. It was so much fun and I felt there was so much to be grateful for at that time.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (77)

As we love to travel, we milked the whole honeymoon thing! We started off with a mini-moon in Marrakech straight after the wedding. We spent four days exploring the city and relaxing in a beautiful riad. Our main honeymoon is yet to come – we are about to jet off to South Africa and Mozambique. We will spend a week exploring Cape Town and the Winelands before spending four nights on safari in Kruger National Park – something which has always been a dream for me! After that we head to Vilanculos in Mozambique to relax by the beach for a week.

A Colourful Wedding in Little Crosby (c) Hayley Blackledge Photography (80)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, don’t be afraid to do things your way – people may find it strange if you break with tradition but ultimately, it’s your day and you should have it exactly how you would like it! Also, don’t worry about the little things – they don’t matter at the end of the day! Lots of little things didn’t go according plan on our day and it didn’t matter one bit – we still had the best day ever.

the big picture

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about the author

Laura McDonagh
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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