January 19th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
We’ve definitely got that Friday feeling as we gear up for our first Luxury Wedding Fair of 2018 at the gorgeous Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire. If any of you North West couples still haven’t got this fabulous event in your diary, take note now – Sunday 21st January, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY, and you can pre-register to attend here.
But before we hop-foot it over there, we’re finishing off a fabulous week on the blog with a gorgeous real wedding that took place over in the North West…
It was love at first sight for today’s couple Ellis and Joe – but we’re talking about when they found their perfect venue rather than their first meeting (although we’re sure that was pretty magical, too!) Oddfellows of Chester brims with style, character and idiosyncratic charm and it’s crystal clear how this laidback couple knew that it would be perfect for their relaxed TV-and-film-inspired wedding.
Here at Brides Up North HQ we can’t get enough of that rich green and purple colour scheme – the perfect complement to Ellis’ flaming hair – and the contrast between grungy garage door shots and more whimsical, romantic portraits. We also love the photographer’s range of quirky shots, angles and close-ups, producing a creative and playful – yet still super-stylish – vibe.
Get ready for gorgeousness galore…
With images by Carla Blain Photography.
ellis says: We got engaged on 3rd March 2016, in Las Vegas. Joe took me to the rooftop bar of the Delano hotel, got down on one knee and proposed as we were having drinks overlooking the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip.
We got married on 25th March 2017. There was no particular reason behind the date, just that the venue we loved was available.
We got married at Oddfellows, Chester. As soon as we saw it we loved its relaxed vibe and the fact it was a little different to the average wedding venue, which suited us perfectly.
Our wedding had a film and TV theme. We thought long and hard about what felt most ‘us’ and our love of cinema trips and box sets sprung to mind. Our tables were named after fictional places from our favourite films and shows, we had our favourite childhood characters on top of the cake and various soundtracks playing throughout the day. I even walked down the aisle to a beautiful violin version of the Jurassic Park theme.
Sage green and purple were our main theme colours. I had chosen green as the main theme colour and then Joe found his suit which had a purple back. Since our wedding I’ve been told the colour theme went really well with my hair colouring, which is the exact reason I picked it!
I wore Faith by Diane Harbridge, which I found at her shop in Chester. It was an off-the-shoulder gown which I didn’t really want to try on, but my sister insisted and I’m so glad she did. I had a layer of sequin tulle added to the dress to give it some extra sparkle.
Jemma Stenning from VAIN in Chester, worked her magic with my hair for the day and also for my mum and bridesmaids. I highly recommend VAIN and Jemma – in fact, I won’t let anyone else near my hair. Mandy Rigby was my makeup artist for the day and Jennifer Hughes from The Doll House, Eastham did a fantastic job with the bridesmaids’ makeup.
Joe wore a navy blue Ted Baker suit which had a purple lining on the back and a slight purple pinstripe through it.
My bridesmaids wore long, pleated, sage green dresses which we found on ASOS.
The groomsmen wore their own suits but all wore the same silver tie.
Carla Blain was our photographer – and what a fantastic job she did! I couldn’t recommend her enough. I found her on Facebook and, after seeing some of her work, I knew she had to photograph our day. We aren’t the most comfortable people in front of a camera, but Carla made us feel so at ease and this is definitely reflected in our photos.
The florist next door to our venue, Wild, provided the flowers. I wanted simple flowers but with a hint of purple for my bouquet. The team at Wild were great and put the flowers together exactly as I’d imagined them.
Wild also provided the flowers for our centrepieces, although we bought the vases ourselves and decorated them with my sister’s help. I knew that the bridesmaids’ bouquets would just be put to one side at the reception, so instead we used them as the main centrepieces coupled with smaller vases of lisianthus to match my bouquet.
We had a two-tier cake covered with buttercream made by Helen Bingham with The Little Mermaid and Optimus Prime figures on the top. One tier was chocolate and the other vanilla. As we were close to Easter, we opted for mini eggs as our favours.
As a pair of foodies, we chose a buffet for the wedding breakfast provided by the venue’s caterers. The food at Oddfellows is amazing and we’d recommend it highly. In the evening we had a mixture of hot food such as pizza, fish and chips and bacon sandwiches as we felt this would be an easy option for guests to enjoy as they were milling about.
For the evening entertainment, we’d put together a playlist with recommendations from friends and family and Oddfellows’ DJ took it from there.
My mum and dad also booked a caricaturist for our evening reception as a surprise, which kept our guests entertained. Carla even managed to capture some of their reactions and they still make us laugh!
After our wedding, we’d definitely recommend Oddfellows to other couples. The staff were great and couldn’t help enough and our toastmaster for the day made sure everything ran smoothly. It’s a cop-out, but we really can’t pick a favourite part of the day – we loved it all from start to finish!
We honeymooned in Orlando. We spent a week at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, enjoyed a three-night Bahamian Disney Cruise and then finished up with a week at Universal’s Portofino hotel. It truly was the best holiday we’ve ever had.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to make sure you enjoy the day and not to worry about what might happen because it all goes far too quickly. All of the hard work (saving and planning!) is over, so make sure you relax and just take everything in.
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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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