Charlotte Balbier
Luxury Wedding Fairs

snowflakes & lilies. a winter wedding at peckforton castle – lorna & dave

October 21st, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth


Today’s elegant real wedding was arranged in just six months and perfectly illustrates the beauty of tying the knot in the winter season.

The couple, Lorna and Dave, had been together for more than five years before getting engaged. Briefly contemplating a beach wedding in the Caribbean sunshine, the couple couldn’t resist the allure of staying close to home and celebrating their big day at the magnificent Peckforton Castle.

Dressed in an off-the-shoulder, fluted fishtail gown, Lorna was every bit the fairy-tale princess.

With images from Jonny Draper Photography.


lorna says: We got engaged on 23rd May 2015, at Tre-Ysgawen Hall, Anglesey, Wales. At this point we had been together for more than five years, so I’d pretty much given up hope, but it turns out he was waiting for me to stop hinting so that it would come as a surprise. Dave had taken me away for the weekend and chosen Wales because of my Welsh roots. We enjoyed spa treatments on the Saturday and even joked in the Jacuzzi that Dave was rubbish at keeping secrets! Later that day, he got down on one knee in a lovely little meadow in the grounds of the hotel. I was so stunned he had to prompt me for a response as his knee was getting wet from the grass!


We tied the knot on Thursday 17th December 2015. We both wanted a winter wedding and weren’t concerned about the weather. We love Christmas time, so thought we could make the most of the gorgeous festive decorations at our venue, Peckforton Castle in Cheshire. We also first met on 17th January so there was certain symmetry to the date.

We got married in the Great Hall at Peckforton. Dave wanted to either wed on a beach in the Caribbean or in a castle. As I’m red head and not a huge fan of sand – the decision was quickly made! We looked at a number of other locations in and around Cheshire, but Peckforton was by far the most magical and perfect venue.


We both love to travel so our table names were places we had visited together and our table plan was a map of the world. We also had a vintage suitcase for our cards. For us, this signified that we had already been on many adventures, and that we are now embarking on another big adventure together into married life.

We tried to keep a personal touch throughout the wedding, with my sister designing our wedding invitations and other stationery, and my mum making the most fabulous snowflake wedding cake. Overall, we were going for an understated but elegant look.

Our colour scheme was dark purple. It’s a rich shade that stands out for a winter wedding and it also complemented the decor in the castle – and we both love the colour!

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hessian & lace. maggie sottero for a rustic wedding in the north west – belinda & dan

October 11th, 2016 | Rachel Parry


Fans of relaxed rustic wedding styling prepare to take note, for the décor and details in this afternoon’s celebration are guaranteed to earn a place on your Pinterest board.

From hessian chair ties and cute bunting to natural log slices and twine-wrapped glass jars filled with wonderful wild blooms, Dan and Belinda’s big day has it all.

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.


belinda says: Dan proposed to me in front of Peel Tower on Holcombe Hill, on 15th March 2015. Dan knows that Holcombe Hill is my favourite place so knew it would have meaning for us to get engaged there. He asked my dad’s permission earlier in the day and then suggested we go for a Sunday evening walk. We got to the top of the hill and I started to take some photographs – when I turned around he was down on one knee with the ring in his hand. I cried for about 15 minutes before I remembered to actually say yes!

We set the date of the wedding for 1st April 2016. We had chosen this as our ‘official’ anniversary date of when we first got together (mainly so that Dan would never have an excuse to forget with it also being April Fool’s Day). The wedding fell on our fourth anniversary.


Our chosen venue was The Fisherman’s Retreat, in Shuttleworth, Lancashire. We wanted a venue where we would be able to see Holcombe Hill, and at The Fisherman’s you have the view of Holcombe Hill right from the spot you have the wedding ceremony so there was never really any other choices on the cards.


I’d describe the style of our wedding as rustic and natural! We just picked out things we liked the look of really – so lots of brown card, jars with twine, crates, log slices, wooden hearts, etc. This is just our taste in general so seemed the right thing to do!

We didn’t particularly have a colour scheme. We picked a heathery colour for the bridesmaid dresses and Dan’s tie and handkerchief (because I saw the colour on a Dessy swatch and it was the only one I liked) but apart from that we just had all different colours of wild flowers, and then the rustic details in between.


I wore a Maggie Sottero dress called Cassidy, which I got from The Bridal Lounge, in Accrington. I actually only chose it six weeks before the wedding as I had a total change of heart about the first dress I had chosen from another bridal shop. Lee at the Bridal Lounge turned everything round within the time frame and made sure I had the perfect dress on the day. I teamed my dress with a long veil and wore bright red heels as a surprise for Dan (had to get a little nod to Liverpool FC in somewhere as I had refused it on every other thing he’d suggested!)

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love on the lake. enzoani for a stylish wedding at storrs hall – sam & aron

October 3rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry


Let us help you push those Monday blues to one side with this gorgeous hit of real wedding inspiration.

Keen to keep things simple, bride Sam chose an elegant colour palette of white, navy and silver, which complemented the stylish setting of Storrs Hall perfectly.

The attire of the wedding party also kept the style bar high with the groomsmen ditching jackets in favour of relaxed shirts and waistcoats and Sam looking a million dollars in her stunning mermaid style gown.

We are thrilled to see that several of our talented Sponsors featured in this wedding, including Kelly’s Event Boutique, LOVE Bridal and also photographer Jonny Draper, whose birthday it happens to be today. There’s a Jägerbomb waiting at Brides Up North HQ with your name on it JD!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Jonny Draper Photography.


sam says: We got engaged in October 2013 while on holiday in Mexico. It was 18 months exactly from the day we first met. Aron had it all planned, a gorgeous dinner followed by a romantic walk along the beach at sunset. Though, this wasn’t what happened! It had been raining constantly for about five days, so to say Aron was slightly upset that the evening wasn’t going to plan was a little bit of an understatement. Instead of heading out for a walk he invited me onto the balcony of the hotel where he got down on one knee with the most beautiful ring (no small feat as I’m a jewellery designer so I know what I like!) I think he must have asked about three times before words actually came out of my mouth. I was in shock and completely over the moon! It may not have been what he had originally planned, but to me, it was perfect!

We married on 28th August 2015, at Storrs Hall in The Lake District. We had looked at so many venues that when we found Storrs Hall we jumped on the list of available dates – there weren’t many left, but the 28th August suited us even though it only left us six months to plan.


The outside space and the setting were just idyllic and being able to book Storrs Hall exclusively was an added bonus – the idea of lots of people we didn’t know wandering about on our wedding day didn’t appeal to us.

The colour scheme for the wedding was white, navy and silver. I wanted a classic and simple colour palette that reflected our style. As I’m not keen on colourful flowers we chose to have just white flowers throughout the wedding. I love the way it all pulled together on the day.


My chosen dress was an Enzoani mermaid design, which I wore with a long veil – though this only lasted about five minutes before the wind wrapped it around one of our guests! I got my dress from LOVE Bridal Boutique, which I would highly recommend to other brides-to-be. The owner Emma helped me find my dress with just six weeks to go!

On the day of the wedding I had a photo of my mum hanging from my bouquet as we lost her about four years before the wedding. This was my way of having my mum included in our special day.


Aron wore a navy three piece with a silvery grey tie, but as the sun was out he didn’t wear the jacket. Instead we decided on a relaxed look with waistcoats and sleeves rolled up. His chosen footwear was a pair of tan and navy brogues, which completed his look.

My bridesmaids wore navy maxi dresses and the groomsmen wore grey three piece suits (minus the jackets) with navy ties.

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get set, sparkle. ian stuart for a winter wedding at armathwaite hall – emma & mark

September 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime


Today on the blog we have some beautiful inspiration for those of you planning winter weddings as we share the details of Emma and Mark’s big day.

Following an Ikea proposal (don’t worry, he made up for it), Emma and Mark set about planning an atmospheric November wedding, complete with lots of soft candlelight and sparkling décor.

Going all out on the opportunity to wear a big dress, bride Emma chose a stunning Ian Stuart gown with accents of shimmering silver to match both the colour scheme and season. Now that’s what we call a dress with the wow-factor!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.


emma says: We got engaged in Ikea over meatballs! Honestly! But then we had my engagement ring specially made and Mark surprised me with a trip to London to see the Lion King (I love Disney). He got us box seats and had champagne and chocolates put in the box. It was amazing!

As we loved the idea of a Christmas or winter wedding we set the date for 28th November.


Our chosen venue was Armathwaite Hall in Keswick. We both love the Lake District and when we went to look at venues Armathwaite felt really personal. I like modern venues and Mark likes old fashioned and Armathwaite had the perfect blend of both.

To fit the time of year we went for a sparkly wedding theme (with a hint of Disney!) As we knew it would be dark outside we thought lots of sparkles and candles would look great.


When it came to the colour scheme we knew that we didn’t want everyone in the same colour as we had an unconventional bridal party in that the maid of honour was male and we had female groomsmen. I also wanted each of the bridesmaids to have dresses that suited them, rather than sticking to a certain theme. In the end we went for pale pastel colours accented with a silver shimmer.


I chose to wear an Ian Stuart dress from Ava Rose Hamilton. I instantly fell in love with it. I’d tried on about seven or eight dresses beforehand but none of them made me excited, or felt quite so special. I knew I wanted a big dress – the sort that you can only ever wear on your wedding day – but also wanted something that really suited me. I loved the silver woven into the lace of the dress and that it had a huge skirt but fitted silk body. I never thought I would get a strapless dress but the minute I tried it on I knew it was right.

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#bridesquad: we reveal the stunning new orangery at newby hall!

September 8th, 2016 | Julia Braime


We just keep those can’t miss diary dates coming!  This one is for our Yorkshire readers, and if you are on a venue hunt (or just want to network with the area’s most lovely suppliers) then this one is for you.


On Sunday 18th September 2016 we are hosting a luxury wedding fair spanning the beautiful house, gardens and brand new Orangery at beautiful Newby Hall. We’ve added 30 of the area’s most fabulous wedding industry suppliers to create a perfect day of wedding planning!


Planned as a luxury immersive experience to let you truly see why Newby Hall and it’s surroundings are so special, you’ll start in the stunning Hall where you’ll meet the first of our wedding experts and then make your way across the torch lined lawn and through the manicured hedges to discover our “Secret Garden” collection of suppliers, waiting for you in Newby’s stunning glasshouse and marquee. Watch out for our beautifully dressed ceremony and wedding decor inspiration areas as you go!


We’ve said it before, but our events really are something else!  Would you like to join us?

The event runs 11am till 3pm on Sunday 18th September and – as usual – is on us! The event is completely free of charge for you and your guests.  That’ll be us spoiling you again then.


bride to be?

We’re giving away up to 150 free Bride To Be media packs at the event, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag – and for FREE ENTRY – all you need to do is pre-register using the form for your venue of choice (you can register for more than one) found by clicking below. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.


want to exhibit?

For all our autumn 2016 events please email us at


Images by John Hope Photography/ Jonny Draper/ provided by Newby Hall.

charming cherry blossom. charlotte balbier for a summer wedding at hurlston hall – jennifer & adam

September 5th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (39)

Today we’re packing in an extra punch of pretty with a second real wedding for to feast your eyes on.

For anyone planning a classic wedding that will truly stand the test of time, Jennifer and Adam’s big day is a perfect example of how it’s done; starting with a traditional church ceremony and ending with a lively reception at an elegant venue.

The dusky pink colour scheme works perfectly for the time of year and we just love the delicate touches of cherry blossom dotted throughout.

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (52)

jennifer says: We got engaged in September 2014, while we were away on holiday in Antalya, Turkey. The hotel was amazing and there was a gorgeous private beach. We went for a stroll on the second night and Adam brought his camera. He wanted to get a picture of the both of us so I sat in one of the sun huts. He set the camera up on a timer and once ready he ran over and got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife – just in time for the camera to capture the moment! I loved that he didn’t just ask me to marry him – he specifically asked me to become his wife, which was really special to me.

We picked 28th May 2016, as the date for the wedding. It was a bank holiday weekend and we wanted to give everyone an extra day to recover – we are party animals after all!

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (79)

We got married at the lovely St Michael’s Church in Aughton. If you went there yourself, you’d know why. The people there are amazing too. Our reception was at Hurlston Hall, in Ormskirk. We were over the moon with the venue. The views from the function room are breath-taking as it overlooks the golf course, plus it has an outside balcony so everyone could be in the sun.

We didn’t intend on having a theme but it kind of brought itself together – pink cherry blossom ran through pretty much everything, giving the wedding a slight oriental vibe. As such the colour scheme was of course, pink!

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (25)

My dress was a Charlotte Balbier design – Iscoyd Park – the one that Charlotte herself chose to get married in! Although I did get it made an extra metre longer as I wanted a huge train. It wasn’t what I thought I’d go for at all. When I tried it on it was like Cinderella finding that shoe; it is a truly beautiful dress and Charlotte is an amazing designer. I got the veil to match too, which was a last minute decision! I’m so glad I did though. I got my outfit from Belle’s Bridal Boutique in Liverpool, a really cute bridal shop and the girls there are lovely.

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