May 26th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
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 4th June 2018 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.
Intimate and relaxed is how today’s bride Laura, describes her wedding with hubby Alex, and we couldn’t agree more. Taking place at the quaint Shireburn Arms Hotel, which dates back to the 17th century and offers enviable views over the Ribble Valley – it took just one visit by the couple, over Sunday lunch no less, to decide that this was their dream venue.
Keeping the decorations minimal and sophisticated, with pops of deep red and dusky pink – the perfect winter’s palette, we think – the couple exquisitely demonstrate how to achieve an understated yet beautiful wedding day look. Throw in some pretty fairy lights, a chalkboard and extra large balloons, and you have the most perfect of backdrops.
With white and pink heart-shaped jellybeans handed out as favours, advice cards from their guests and the prettiest of wedding cakes – we have plenty of ideas coming your way, so read on for all the wonderful details!
With images by Alfred and Co. Photography.
laura says: We got engaged on Easter Bank Holiday. Alex had suggested we visit Lyme Regis where his parents spend some weekends. We had broken the journey up by staying at his brother’s (who lives half-way), but Alex had still made me get up at 5am on Good Friday (supposedly to beat the traffic…) to make sure we got down to the seafront early while it was still quiet. We had a walk down to the end of the Cobb and after looking slightly suspicious; I turned around to see him on one knee holding a beautiful sapphire ring, with the sea on all sides of us. We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating with the family who had sneakily also walked down to join us afterwards.
We got married on Friday 24th November 2017. The date was partially an accident as we found a perfect venue with this date available. It was also close enough to Christmas without it being inconvenient for people, and I just love Christmas!
We tied the knot at The Shireburn Arms, near Clitheroe. Alex carried out the venue search and found the Shireburn. We decided to visit the very next day to have a look around and sample the Sunday lunch. It was a beautiful spring day and the views, atmosphere and food sold it to us straight away.
We tried to keep the style of the wedding quite intimate and relaxed so we could get on with enjoying our day with family and friends, without having to worry about running a really big wedding. We also kept the venue dressing quite simple, as we didn’t want to detract from the spectacular views across the Ribble Valley from the ceremony and reception rooms.
The colour scheme came about from Alex’s love of red! There was no way I was getting him in a pink tie and the love of red is a family thing. So, we settled on dusky pink and deep red with some lovely wintery touches.
My dress was from Bliss Bridal in Bolton. Like many brides, I had an idea in my head of exactly what I wanted and after a few of those looks only a mother would get away with during the trying on of dresses, I found the perfect one!
My dress was by Maggie Sottero, it held you in in all the right places and felt super comfortable. Plus, it was perfect for winter. I also added a shawl for when it got a bit chilly outside.
Alex wore a blue herringbone tweed three-piece suit from Jennis & Warmann in London. The groomsmen wore tweed suits to match the groom.
After much consideration, the bridesmaids settled on a Lipsy dress in a pale pink. They were such a lovely fitting and fortunately didn’t require any expensive alterations. The groomsmen, meanwhile, wore tweed suits to match the groom.
We had a wonderful hairdresser, Ashley’s Hair from Bolton, who came nice and early on the morning of the wedding to do all the bridal party’s hair and took all the hassle out of the preparations.
Our photographer was Kirsty from Alfred and Co. After booking the venue I started searching for probably what is one of the most important parts of the wedding. I contacted Kirsty and immediately she sounded perfect. She agreed to cover an engagement shoot for us as I really wanted to have some pictures of us with our Shih Tzu, Besty who wasn’t there on the day of the wedding. She absolutely made the day for us and took some wonderful photos, we were also fortunate enough to have a second photographer (Laura Duggleby) accompany her on the day.
In terms of flowers, I carried roses, scabious, wax flower and astilbe. I found our florist – Sam Williams Flowers – via Instagram and, similar to the photographer, she played a huge part in the wedding. I got so much inspiration from her on colours and themes and she created some absolutely stunning flowers that lasted for weeks after the wedding. She was literally one of the most enthusiastic and talented people I have ever met.
Sam provided all our venue decorations too – we had beautiful centrepieces to match the bouquets and included fairy lights around the log bases. She also provided us with a great order of service chalkboard and table seating plan. Oh, and not to forget some extra-large balloons with Mr and Mrs on that I couldn’t resist after her suggestion.
For our favours, we used laser-etched wooden name settings, and made small jars of white and pink heart-shaped jellybeans, with a small thank you note tied around the neck.
LouLou’s Meringues made our wedding cake. I found her on Instagram and luckily, she had our date available. She does regular pop up shops, so we got the opportunity to sample the amazing meringue kisses and rocky road, I then had so many ideas for how I wanted the cake to be. I settled on a semi naked in our colour scheme. We had salted caramel and white raspberry ripple cakes and sneakily added a dessert box to the order. I also added a lovely cake topper from Etched Studio in rose gold.
We made a few trips to the Shireburn before we settled on the menu for the day, all on the pretense of menu testing. We eventually settled on salmon and haddock fishcakes to start, followed by roast chicken with confit leg as a main, and finished with sticky toffee pudding, all accompanied by a Merlot and a Sauvignon Blanc.
We also had a selection of canapés for during the photos, including mini fish and chips, sausage and apricot roll, and beer battered prawns.
For the ceremony itself, we had music from the Lydian String Quartet, with a mix of both classical and contemporary pieces, which really helped make the ceremony feel special for us. In the evening, we had live music from The Cave, based in Manchester, who were brilliant and even learnt our first dance song at pretty short notice.
As an individual touch, we decided to put out ‘advice cards’ on all of the tables during the meal, which have proven to be really nice, as they’ve given us something we could take away from the day and look through again. The advice on them was – mostly – constructive!
We had a photobooth for the evening too from Flash Photobooths, from Preston, who arrived to deliver and then collect the photobooth without us even noticing. They then got the photos to us quickly and easily, adding to the keepsakes we have from the wedding.
After our wedding, we would recommend the Shireburn without hesitation. The staff were all fantastic and couldn’t do enough for us to ensure the day went without a hitch. Mark and Didier, in particular, were brilliant – both in making sure everything went to plan, but also in making us feel relaxed throughout the whole day.
My favourite part of the day was walking into the wedding breakfast, all the formalities were done and we could sit down and relax, enjoy some prosecco and watch all our guests enjoying the lovely food and drink.
With proximity to Christmas, we decided to just have a few days away at the Cranleigh Boutique in Bowness, so we could carry on enjoying “the bubble” of being newlywed, we plan to go on honeymoon later this year when the weather is a little warmer!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is, don’t be daunted by the organising of the big day! Prowl Instagram, as I can honestly say without this we would not have found most of our wonderful suppliers. Try and find suppliers who have worked at your venue previously, they’ll know how to get the best out of the place for you.
I looked at Brides Up North too and really enjoyed looking at all of the real weddings.
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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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