January 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
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 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016.
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.
Luisa and Peter pulled off the impressive feat of a winter wedding without a can of snow spray or a gilded pine cone in sight. Instead, their big day at Colshaw Hall in Cheshire, was led by an organic woodland theme, full of warm earthy tones and plenty of grown-up black-tie glamour.
The food and the playlist were particular focal points for this Manchester music-loving pair, and the following day saw the festivities extended with an aprés-ski extravaganza. So get comfortable, perhaps with a glass of Malbec or a mulled wine – go on, Luisa would definitely approve!
With images by Jonny Draper Photography
luisa says: Peter and I got engaged in Barbados. One night we went down for dinner and, instead of heading for our usual table in the restaurant, we were led down a path lined with candles that took us to a private beach and a table for two. When we sat down and opened the menus, I saw all of my favourite foods and champagne. Then a steel band appeared playing Elvis Presley’s I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You. When I looked around, Peter was down on one knee; it was a truly magical moment. He made a beautiful speech and, of course, I said yes. We spent the rest of the week celebrating and relaxing; it was just so perfect!
We chose to get married on 19th December 2015 because it was the closest Saturday to the Winter Solstice – a date important to me and my mum. We wanted a winter wedding as we felt that there were lots more options to explore in terms of the decorations and the vibe that we could create.
For the venue, we chose Colshaw Hall in Cheshire. We wanted to make sure that the event was totally private and this was the huge bonus of Colshaw: the venue and all of its grounds are hired exclusively so we wouldn’t be sharing our special day with anyone else. Secondly, as Peter’s family are based in Suffolk, we wanted to make sure that there was accommodation onsite to ensure that the wedding weekend was as easy as possible for those travelling. Having looked at quite a few venues in the area, Colshaw’s accommodation was, we felt, the most beautiful. Each room has its own stunning theme and beautiful view over the grounds. Colshaw’s Peel Suite also offered a beautiful blank canvas; no wedding looks the same there. We had hired the main house for the drinks and canapés straight after the service and this offered a unique, cosy, Christmas drinks party atmosphere.
Theme-wise, we wanted to create a natural and organic winter forest. Peter and I love walking our dog Digby up on the Edge and we wanted to recreate that same earthy, woodland environment. I wanted my wedding to be just that little bit ‘out there’, and having the trees as the centrepiece certainly achieved that goal. As our wedding was the weekend before Christmas, I think people expected us to go down the more conventional festive route and it was truly lovely seeing their reactions to the chapel and the main room. We’d focused on lots of earthy tones, such as dark greens and ambers, making sure that everything was lit by candles to create warmth.
I had chosen quite a traditional and simple gown designed by Stewart Parvin with the lace detail as a nod to my Italian heritage. My dress was bought and styled by the incredible ladies at LOVE Bridal in Cheshire. They helped accessorise my gown with a Stewart Parvin veil, lace jacket and honey-toned belt which contemporised it perfectly. My shoes were Hangisis by Manolo Blahnik; I just loved their quirkiness. In the evening, I removed the lace jacket and added a thin sparkly belt to liven it up for the dancing. I visited several bridal stores and LOVE Bridal’s service surpassed all the London boutiques. From the beautiful little cakes they serve to the ‘grand reveal’, the wonderful Emma and Clare have it covered.
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December 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime
With just a matter of days to go until it’s fizz, presents and turkey all the way, we’re getting into the spirit of things with this gorgeous Christmas wedding.
Rachel and James opted for a traditional church ceremony, made personal with input from family and friends, followed by a gorgeous rustic reception at Owen House Wedding Barn.
We love the subtle seasonal touches such as berries, wreathes and fairy lights, plus the bridesmaids’ sparkling dresses, which give just a nod to the (most wonderful) time of the year!
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
rachel says: We got engaged in Mozambique on New Year ’s Eve in 2014, just before midnight. At that time we were living and working in Malawi as volunteers and were taking a Christmas break. We had arrived in the beautiful coastal town of Vilanculos that evening and had a lovely dinner on the beach before going to see the New Year in with fireworks on the beach front.
We returned from travelling in late July 2015, and had our date set within a few weeks. We decided on 29th December 2015, as we both love that time of year and knew a lot of our friends and family would be home and able to attend.
The wedding ceremony was held in St Chads Catholic Church, in Cheadle, as this is my home parish church and the church my family have always attended. We have a lot of connections with the church and were able to include friends and family throughout the service to give the wedding a more personal touch. We also used the adjoining church hall for tea, coffee, canapés and prosecco after the service which was provided by a local coffee shop (Rustic Coffee Co) and childhood friend.
The wedding reception was held at Owen House Wedding Barn, in Mobberley. The venue was perfect in every way and everything we both wanted. We had looked through hundreds of venues online and as soon as we walked in, I knew it was the right place.
We didn’t pick any particular theme for the wedding. We just wanted a relaxed atmosphere with as little fuss as possible so everyone could enjoy themselves.
We didn’t really pick a colour scheme either, but everything came together really well. I had picked the bridesmaids dresses first as I had fallen in love with them at first sight and fitted everything around them. They were perfect for Christmas and matched in the boy’s ties and the flowers.
Wedding dress shopping was a little rushed as I only had five months to pick and order the dress. I looked in three local boutiques and chose a dress by Lusan Mandongus. I wanted a simple but elegant dress and wanted it to be comfortable and to be able to dance all night.
James chose the suits from Next and we had them tailored to fit each individual groomsman. They were a lovely colour and suited everyone really well. James’ tie was from Liberty and somehow linked all the colours of the wedding together.
The best man, groomsmen and fathers all wore three-piece suits from Next.
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December 7th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
This evening on the blog, we’re sharing with you Alexandra and Adrian’s picturesque summer wedding.
Celebrating with friends and family at the luxury five-star Hillbark Hotel in the Wirral, the couple opted for a pared back, elegant look with a cornflower blue colour scheme, which was beautifully offset by floral arrangements of lilies, hydrangeas and roses with pale blue delphiniums.
With images by Jonny Draper Photography
alexandra says: We got engaged on 7th June 2015, at our apartment in Spain. It was our six-year anniversary and we were having champagne on the terrace when Adrian surprised me with a photo book of our time together. On the last page it said he had a question to ask and then he got down on one knee; it was perfect!
We got married on 25th June 2016. We wanted a summer wedding roughly a year after our engagement. We looked at when our church and venue were both available and 25th it was!
We tied the knot at St Joseph’s Church in Crosby. I’m from Crosby and this is the church I went to when I was younger.
We hosted our reception at the Hillbark Hotel in the Wirral. When we viewed the venue, we fell in love with it, plus we didn’t know anyone who had already been married there, which was important to us.
We didn’t have a specific theme, instead we wanted a classic, fresh look and our florist and wedding coordinators were fantastic at achieving this.
For our colour scheme, we chose cornflower blue. As we were having a summer wedding we wanted a light, summery colour and it was our favourite next to my white dress and the groomsmen’s blue suits.
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November 29th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
Today, we bring you Liz and Jon’s special day, set in the beautiful National Trust village of Styal in Cheshire.
Pretty paper lanterns, candles and fairy lights create a charming backdrop to their nuptials, but for us, it’s the couple’s Great Wedding Bake Off that steals the show – with so much cake to tuck in to, what’s not to like?
As a lovely touch, Liz even enlisted the help of her Year One class and the couple made a donation to two charities close to their hearts.
So, sit back and relax as Liz shares all the dreamy highlights.
With images by Jonny Draper Photography
liz says: We got engaged in April 2015, in New York. I had wanted to find an Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park that I had heard about and when we got there Jon insisted that I sit on one of the toadstools for a photo. As I turned around to refuse him, he was down on one knee! I was blown away – it was all caught on camera too as Jon had arranged for a photographer to capture the moment!
We got married on 25th March 2016. It was Good Friday and the perfect opportunity for us and our guests to enjoy a lovely long Bank Holiday weekend. As a teacher, I wanted to get married close to a holiday so we could have a honeymoon straight after the wedding.
We tied the knot at Styal Lodge in Cheshire; it was the only venue we viewed. As soon as we arrived we knew it was the place for us, it was perfect – relaxed, spacious but still intimate.
Our invitations and table names featured a New York skyline but apart from that we kept everything quite simple with a relaxed but elegant feel, complete with lots of beautiful fairy lights everywhere.
Our colour scheme leaned towards white, green and grey, from the bridesmaids’ dresses to the flowers.
My dress was from Felicity Cooper Bridal in Knutsford. I knew it was the dress for me as soon as I saw it; something drew me to the dress even though it was everything I hadn’t set out to have! I loved the dress as soon as I put on; it felt like ‘me’ and was light and comfortable, too. Fiona, who designed my dress, couldn’t have been more wonderful and encouraged me to have the dress exactly as I wanted.
Jon wore a grey suit from Next and a tie from Reiss. My very talented mum made the four bridesmaid dresses, and for the best men and groomsmen we hired navy suits from L&J Formal Hire near Middlewich. Colin, who owns the company, couldn’t have been more friendly, helpful and accommodating.
November 23rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry
As couples become more creative with their big day plans, the wedding menu is one element of the proceedings which is being given somewhat of a shake-up, with options beyond the traditional sit-down meal growing in popularity. So whether you want a menu to reflect the theme or season of your wedding, or you simply want to serve up your very favourite dishes, you’re going to need some experts who can produce food that tastes as good as it looks.
Fortunately, we have news of a new catering service in the North West, that can do just that…
For the first time in its 43-year history, Knutsford’s The Belle Époque, is to offer fine dining outside of its historic walls, providing event catering to external functions and events in the form of “Belle Époque Bespoke”. As one of the North West’s leading culinary beacons and wedding venues, The Belle Époque has attracted discerning diners, sporting stars and celebrity guests for more than four decades, securing its place within the top 5% of UK restaurants. Having just sampled this foodie gem’s delicious cuisine (and plenty of bubbly!) last night at a North West wedding industry dinner, we can certainly see why (we’re still dreaming of the dessert now).
Whether for events at home, in a marquee or in an external venue, and whether for 20 or 500 guests, The Belle Époque fine dining team will be bringing the same attention-to-detail that has helped maintain its place within the Michelin Guide for a staggering 38 consecutive years.
So for all you foodies out there, we’ll hand over the blogging reins to Kelly Angus, wedding and events manager at The Belle Époque, to give us more details about the delicious new venture.
Images by Jonny Draper.
Why has The Belle Époque decided to extend its services to outside catering via Belle Époque Bespoke?
kelly says: After providing award-winning food and dining in-house for more than 40 years, we now feel the time is right to extend our offering to people in their own setting. We have a highly experienced outside catering team who can offer exceptional food, service and planning, so it really is the perfect time for us to expand what we do.
What types of dining will Belle Époque Bespoke offer for weddings?
We can offer formal dining, canapes parties, sharing platers, barbecues, afternoon teas, and in fact, we pride ourselves on offering a totally bespoke service, so if you have a wild and wonderful idea we would love the challenge of creating it to our very high standards for you.
Can you tell us a little about the Belle Époque Bespoke team and their experience?
Our team of fine dining chefs is headed up by Paul Wright. As a former protégée of Simon Radley, Paul trained at the Michelin-starred Chester Grosvenor restaurant. He’s cooked for members of the royal family, along with many of the North West’s most discerning diners. Paul is incredibly excited about The Belle Époque’s expansion into outside catering, and has set his sights on creating one of the finest catering businesses in the North West. Paul and his team have crafted outstanding event and wedding menus for you to choose from.
What would you advise brides and grooms to look for in a catering company for their big day?
Flexibility to create the menu you want, quick response times to your queries and a willingness to take time to understand what you want with a clear plan on each stage of the planning until the day arrives.
What sets Belle Époque Bespoke apart from other wedding catering companies?
At The Belle Époque, we hold our outside catering services to the same high standards as our fine dining restaurant. We’re proud to have been awarded two AA rosettes, placing us amongst the top 5% of restaurants in the UK. Our numerous awards and accolades give you the assurance that your event management is in good hands.
Beyond the food what other services does Belle Époque Bespoke offer?
As a popular wedding venue, we know how to make sure that events run smoothly. Event management is what we do, so we’ll ensure the process is as easy and stress-free for you as possible. We want you to enjoy your big day, not be worrying about the canapes.
Whether you’re planning your wedding, or event managing a team away day, you want to know that you can trust your caterers to deliver outstanding food for each and every guest. We’re a family business and are proud of our reputation for excellent, friendly customer service. Over the last forty years, we’ve built up a solid reputation for fine dining and event management and have been recognised by the Michelin Guide for more than 35 years in a row.
November 21st, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding made everyone here at Brides Up North go weak at the knees. First, there was the romantic New York proposal story. Then we got a glimpse of the stunning blush, gold and ivory detailing. And then we saw the photographs of Louise’s backless fishtail Berta Bridal gown.
So. Insanely. Beautiful.
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
louise says: Glen and I got engaged in New York in December 2013. We’d just enjoyed a horse and cart ride around Central Park before we were due to go for a meal at the Rockerfeller Centre. After the horse and cart ride had finished Glen got down on one knee and proposed. I think it’s safe to say that neither of us will forget that day!
Our wedding date was Sunday 29th May 2016. We chose the date as it was the bank holiday weekend and May is usually a really sunny month – and fortunately for us, it was!
Our venue was Styal Lodge in Cheshire. We chose our venue as it was local, but it’s also one of the most beautiful venues in Cheshire. Lucky us!
There was no theme to the wedding as such, but we did choose to name our tables after our favourite Manchester United and Liverpool players. Glen is from Liverpool and I’m from Manchester and it added a fun touch to the day.
We chose blush, ivory and gold for our colour scheme. We thought it looked simple, but beautiful and elegant.
My wedding dress was the real star of the show. It was by designer Berta Bridal and purchased from The Wedding Club in Knightsbridge, London. It was a backless, fishtail style with lace detail. It was truly exquisite. It even sparkled in the sunlight!
Glen wore a navy blue and black tuxedo with black velvet bow tie from Moss Bros.
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