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Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

dream venue: rise hall, with sarah beeny

April 6th, 2018 | Julia Braime

Rise Hall Hull Weddings by Wedding photographer Joel Skingle Award Winning Wedding photography at Rise Hall-0001

Joel Skingle Photography

We don’t like to get too carried away, but with the temperatures reaching double figures over the past few days we’re inclined to believe that spring has finally arrived – hallelujah! This means that those of you set to tie the knot in the coming weeks can stop considering a snowmobile as a practical method of wedding transport as calm is restored across the country.

Meanwhile, for those of you just getting started on the big day planning, we’re bringing you details of a stunning East Yorkshire venue perfect for stately celebrations. Introducing new Brides Up North Sponsor, the gorgeous Rise Hall.

Sound familiar? You may well recognise the name of the building from Channel 4 show Sarah Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare, when the property guru and her husband Graham Swift brought the historic building back from the brink of dereliction.

From nightmare to dream, the determined couple painstakingly restored the Hall to its former glory, transforming it into a truly unique wedding venue that invites others to share its beauty and heritage, while also helping to safeguard its future.

A grand yet welcoming home from home, Rise Hall is available to hire exclusively for a full weekend of celebrations, giving couples and their guests use of the entire house, including all 29 bedrooms.

Here to tell us more about the venue’s incredible transformation and wedding offering, while also passing on some words of wedded wisdom, is the lady that know Rise Hall best, Sarah Beeny…

Sarah&Graham at Rise

Can you tell us a little about the history of Rise Hall?

sarah says: Rise Hall was built in 1820 and was the home of the Bethell family until the Second World War. During the war it was used for the army and shortly afterwards the family moved out to the rectory and rented the house out to a convent who opened a boarding school. This shut down around 1980 and it was then inhabited by the nuns for ten years falling further into disrepair until around 1990 when they moved out. It stood empty and on the market for ten years until myself and my husband bought it in 2000.

What attracted you to Rise Hall and what kind of condition was it in when you bought it?

It was pretty bad but unlike many of the houses ‘at Risk’ that we had looked at, the dry rot hadn’t taken hold too much and it sat happily in the centre of its land. It was solid and straight and surprisingly quick to get to from London, Leeds and York, despite looking a long way east on the map. The first few years were spent with a lot of buckets trying to keep the rain out, but we had fun there and had lots of hardy friends who used to come and stay on mattresses with electric blankets!

What was your vision for Rise Hall and can you give us an overview of the work that has been carried out so far

When we first bought it, I think I honestly thought we might just live there. However, when we had the children we had to make a decision about their schooling and as much of my work was based in London we based ourselves there. It made us look at Rise in a different way and we realised that for it to come out of a ‘building at Risk’ category, it needed a proper future that was financially secure and for that it had to have a purpose. Weddings seemed the perfect option as the dozens of friends who had visited Rise over the years all wanted to get married there so we started the major internal refurbishment which resulted in the finished home we have today.

Rise Hall Wedding photography by rise hall wedding photographer joel skingle photograpy yorkshire-0125

Joel Skingle Photography

What is the look and feel of the Hall like now?

We very much want people to feel it is ‘their home’ when they get married at Rise Hall. Yes, it is incredibly grand and walking down the amazing main staircase it is difficult not to pretend you are in a film, but it is also wonderfully relaxed with our ‘pub’ and ‘kick off your shoes’ style mixed with seamless, cheerful service. Rise is pretty classic and traditional in many ways (with a few modern exceptions in the bedrooms) and I believe this is what attracts a lot of our couples.

When did Rise Hall become available for brides and grooms?

It was about six years ago – we wanted Rise Hall to have a sustainable future and knew that weddings were a great place to start. We also have quite a lot of special birthday parties celebrated at Rise also and regularly host corporate getaways.

Is it still a home to you and your family too?

Yes, very much so – it is trickier now that the children are getting older to get there as much as we’d like but all the children, their cousins and most of our friends’ children all have childhoods full of memories of Rise Hall.

Wedding-Rise-Ally Byrom Photography2

Ally Byrom

Can you tell us about the areas of Rise Hall that can be used for ceremonies and receptions and how many guests the venue can cater for?

There are actually eight different spaces you can get married in at Rise Hall – and of course Rise Church, which is a lovely walk across the parkland. At Rise itself we have rooms that can seat from as few as 20 in the Gallery to 300 in the Ballroom. We want people to be able to have the wedding that perfectly suits them and their guests.

What makes Rise Hall a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

To be honest I think the proof is in the pudding – people rarely visit Rise Hall and don’t book it. It is exclusive yet accessible, impressive but informal, grand but comfortable. It truly is your stately home from home!

What sort of bride would be a Rise Hall bride?

We see such a variety of brides at Rise – from the more relaxed bohemian bride, to the dark red tartan bodice wearing bride and to the bride who has always dreamed of the 20-foot train! You name it, we can do it – we are entirely flexible and it truly is your day. I think the thing that all the Rise Hall brides have in common is a love for grand architecture, the feeling that they want the house to be all theirs for their stay and wanting a really great party with feasting and celebration.

Commercial -Photography-Rise Hall-214-Aly Byrom

Ally Byrom

How can the venue’s events team help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

I believe that a perfectly organised event is generally down to how experienced the person delivering it is. We have amazing staff who not only know Rise Hall, but they are headed up by our general manager, Ed, who joined us last summer and is fantastically capable of ensuring the planning and delivery of a wedding is seamless. Our motto is that you should enjoy the journey as well as the destination and our team help to make that happen.

Can you tell us a little about the accommodation at Rise Hall?

We have 29 bedrooms. Graham is an artist and was very hands on for much of the design of all the rooms. We have three rooms that reflect the different periods that the house has lived through – Regency, Victorian and Millenium as houses such as Rise Hall would have had perhaps one or two rooms that were refurbished every generation, but most would have stood the test of time. All the beds are fantastically comfortable with loads of feather pillows and shutters or blackout curtains to ensure a great night’s sleep.

What is the feedback like from couples about Rise Hall?

They all say that it feels like home despite being amazingly grand – they never want to leave as the house and gardens are beautiful and somehow time stands still whilst they are there. I think the roaring fires in the winter and endless lawns that can be enjoyed in the summer are a big plus but also that they can have a truly bespoke wedding that is completely different to all the weddings they’ve been to before – that is probably the biggest selling point.

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foliage & finery: elizabeth gregory couture for a winter wedding at samlesbury hall – suzanne & bevan

March 26th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Winter Wedding at Samlesbury Hall (c) Chelsea Shoesmith Photography (34)

We may currently be praying for even the tiniest glimpse of spring, but today on the blog we have some breathtakingly beautiful wintery wedding inspiration, perfect for those of you planning a seasonal celebration.

The festivities were in full swing for today’s couple, Suzanne and Bevan, who invited Christmas into their wedding and threw a jewel-coloured, lively celebration that incorporated guest participation, with each guest asked to sing a line from The 12 Days of Christmas during the wedding breakfast.

Suzanne’s desire for foliage and no flowers to keep the decorations seasonal shows how incredible a bouquet can look without the traditional floral additions. Another show-stopper is the cake – an exquisite naked confection studded with foliage and feathers, which perfectly complements the Tudor theme of the wedding breakfast. With an artfully dressed chandelier presiding over long tables in the great hall, Suzanne’s love of this bygone period is evident in the evocative yet simple styling. If this was history coursework, we’d give her an A-star!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Chelsea Shoesmith Photography.

A Winter Wedding at Samlesbury Hall (c) Chelsea Shoesmith Photography (42)

suzanne says: Bevan and I met in Singapore on Tinder, despite both living around the corner from each other in London! One of the first places we headed to as a couple when we were back visiting the UK was Grasmere, where we walked up the Lion and the Lamb. So, when Bevan decided he wanted to propose, he took me back to Grasmere and up to the top of the Lion and the Lamb, where he suggested we take a break. He then pulled from his rucksack what appeared to be a Christmas present (Bevan proposed on 21st December 2016). I opened the gift and it was a book entitled ‘Our Adventures’. Each page was a different picture of our life together so far. When I reached the final page, there was a picture of a jewellery shop with the caption, “I want to ask you to begin another adventure with me” and the next page said, “Will you marry me?” Bevan got down on one knee with a vintage engagement ring – a 1930s blue sapphire with two diamonds either side.

A Winter Wedding at Samlesbury Hall (c) Chelsea Shoesmith Photography (23)

We got married on 22nd December 2017, at Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire. As we live overseas, we tried to pick a date when our overseas friends would also be back in the UK. We liked the idea of making the day a big Christmas party. The venue is in my home town of Preston and I love history, especially the Tudor period, so a Tudor house seemed ideal. The ceremony was in the old chapel, the drinks reception in the antechamber and the wedding breakfast in the great hall. Some of our guests stayed overnight in the shepherd’s huts, which are located in the grounds of Samlesbury Hall. Angela, who runs the venue, is amazing at making your day run smoothly and the venue is bursting with character.

The wedding was not a religious ceremony. However, the ceremony itself was very personal to us. We used Cate Baines at The Ceremony Company and she was fantastic. She really set the scene with a flamboyant explanation of how we met.

A Winter Wedding at Samlesbury Hall (c) Chelsea Shoesmith Photography (19)

In terms of a theme, I was keen to have a vintage feel to my dress because of my engagement ring but we didn’t really have a specific theme, other than telling everybody it was first and foremost a Christmas party.

For the colour scheme, I went with champagne (because of my dress having that vintage look), dark green, dark red and dark blue. I wanted to keep the colours simple and in tune with Christmas.

A Winter Wedding at Samlesbury Hall (c) Chelsea Shoesmith Photography (39)

My dress was designed for me by an Irish designer based in Singapore called Elizabeth Gregory Couture. It was great working with Elizabeth. She designed my dress around my engagement ring and she also designed and made my fake fur stole, which I finished off with a vintage brooch that belonged to Bevan’s great grandmother. I added a back necklace by Tilly Thomas Lux and matching hairpins. I’d like to give a shout out to Chloe and Sarah for the fantastic hair and makeup – two lovely working mummies!

Bevan wore a suit, also designed and made by Elizabeth. Her suit brand is called Elizabeth Grace. Bevan wore navy with a beautiful grey waistcoat sporting bright red lining.

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stately style. discover the secrets of saltmarshe hall

March 23rd, 2018 | Julia Braime

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Some of our very favourite recent real weddings and styled shoots like this one here (and you know we get through our fair share of those here at Brides Up North HQ!) all had one thing in common – the venue.  Saltmarshe Hall was a name that kept cropping up again and again in our most stylish celebrations, so we just had to find out more. One thing led to another – as these things often do – and that curiosity was the start of a (VERY) beautiful friendship!

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Now a permanent fixture in our diary, we are delighted to present another Brides Up North Bespoke Luxury Wedding Fair at Saltmarshe Hall on Sunday 15th April 2018, to showcase the venue and a truly handpicked selection of the area’s most fabulous wedding suppliers. As those of us sporting a sparkler on our ring finger know all too well, the best things come in smaller packages. As wedding inspiration goes, this event is one of our best!

This event is pure luxury, an open doors, friendly soiree, to show you exactly why Saltmarshe (and our chosen supplier team) is so very special. If you are on a venue hunt, or are simply looking to finalise the last wedding details with the very best industry creatives available in a relaxed and stunning, no pressure environment, then you must put this date in your diary.

We’ll be showing off our most fabulous find yet – East Yorkshire’s most romantic wedding venue – between 12pm and 3pm on Sunday 15th April, and as with all of our events, entry is FREE.

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A restored Georgian Grade II listed Hall with a dash of style and elegance combining both traditional and contemporary charm and set in 17 acres of stunning parkland, Saltmarshe Hall is a truly unique place to say I do. The Saltmarshe ethos is to listen to what you want; and we love that they don’t enforce any off the shelf packages, rather letting their couples’ creative input flourish.

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All the rooms are licensed for ceremonies and there’s also the option to hold your ceremony outdoors.  The team also promise to never hold more than one wedding per day at Saltmarshe Hall, so that the venue is truly your home – and blank canvas – for your personal celebration.

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bride to be?

We’re giving away up to 100 free Bride To Be Media Packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North and the brand new issue of UNVEILED Magazine. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.

While stocks last.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

wedding industry pro?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors and old friends to the Brides Up North family in 2018. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our award winning luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions. Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Discounts are available for block bookings. Get in touch for pricing, exhibitor info and to guarantee your place.

Email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk listing the events or area that you are interested in.

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Find out and see more at www.saltmarshehall.com

in the frame: how to pick your wedding photographer

March 1st, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

Mike Plunkett Photography (2)

Mike Plunkett Photography, image source

The date’s in the diary, the venue’s booked and now it’s time to make one of the biggest weddingland decisions of them all: who gets the photographer gig?

Trust us, there are lots of talented snappers out there (including those featured in our Suppliers We Love directory) – we are blown away by the beautiful imagery that is submitted to the blog every week, and so we understand it can be tricky to narrow down the choices.

Beyond the aesthetics there are further aspects to consider – cost, packages, approach, albums – but there’s no need to get in a head-spin, for we’re elaborating on these points today as we share our top tips to finding the right photographer for you and your big day…

James Tracey Photography (1)

James Tracey Photography, image source

what’s your style?

As you trawl through magazines and blogs, what style of photography speaks to you? Classic portraiture, i.e. posed couple shots and family groups with everyone smiling and looking the right way? Or are you a fan of a more documentary-esque, reportage style – pretty much the opposite, with events caught candidly ‘in the moment’ and barely an eye on the camera? Are edgy shoots your thing – often (but not always) featuring urban settings, bold colours, dramatic backdrops and quirky props, angles and cropping? Or there’s fine art, where reality has an extra-dreamy romantic filter applied; these pictures are super-tasteful, with the pretty pumped up to the max and a fashion magazine feel.

There’s always some overlap, but a wedding photographer generally leans towards one of the above – so decide what feels most ‘you’ and start looking for shooters who specialise in your favourite style.

Sarah Mason Photography

Sarah Mason Photography, image source

the package

There isn’t one set standard in wedding photography, so now that you’re noting down names and details it’s time to pay attention to the fine print. How many hours coverage will you need? Can they be flexible if the day runs over? Are you set on a second shooter and, if so, can they offer one? What do they provide in terms of an album: how many edited images; what about hard copies; is there an online gallery for friends and family to peruse? Start digging deeper: check client testimonials, look at whole albums rather than a handpicked selection of highlights from the last few years and make comparisons between your shortlist and other similarly-priced photographers.

Kate McCarthy Photography

Kate McCarthy Photography, image source

making your mind up

You’re going to spend a LOT of time with your wedding photographer – probably more time than any of your other suppliers – so once you’ve narrowed the potentials down, it’s best to meet in person. Have a list of questions ready – perhaps email them in advance – and put together a Pinterest board of images you love so that you can clearly communicate the kind of end result you want. A wedding photographer needs to be personable, confident, and outgoing, but also sensitive, respectful and professional. Once you’re face to face, it’s easier to make the judgement call as to whether they’re the one for you. Do they feel right? Our ultimate advice is to trust your gut.

Jessica Grace Photography

Jessica Grace Photography, image source

trust your choice

Once you have the photographer on board, it’s time to relax.  You picked them because you loved their work. Now its time to let them do their thang!

Obviously, your chosen photographer will have to work within the constraints of your agreement (and what actually happens on the day and what’s there to shoot!) but if you want our advice, here’s ten popular photographs we think you can’t miss. If you love these ideas, talk to your photographer in advance of your wedding, then stand back and let them set the agenda for the day.  Everyone works best if they are allowed the freedom work in their own way and if everyone is on the same page, then its sure to be a match made in heaven!

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real wedding recap 2017: a stylish wedding at hotel du vin, york – beth & gareth

January 3rd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Stylish Wedding at Hotel Du Vin (c) Sarah Beth Photo (72)

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 8th January 2018 (we’re hoping we’ll be over the hangover by then, right?) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from last 6 months. 

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.

Today’s featured bride is a florist by day, so it goes without saying, she had a very clear idea of (a) her favourite season and (b) what floral arrangements she wanted for her wedding with hubby-to-be, Gareth. And they truly are exceptional – with exquisite terracotta pots and a beautiful trellis just two of the floral highlights.

Tying the knot at Hotel du Vin in York, the venue is beyond pretty, brimming with character. And just a short car ride away lies the Museum Gardens, lending another captivating backdrop to the couple’s fabulous wedding photography.

Beth has recounted so many wonderful and touching details from their special celebrations – we suggest you grab a cuppa and join us as we soak up this impressive springtime wedding…

With images by Sarah Beth Photo.

A Stylish Wedding at Hotel Du Vin (c) Sarah Beth Photo (31)

beth says: Gareth proposed in Rome on July 4th 2015. We had just bought our first house together and decided a city break away was just what we needed before a hectic couple of months moving in and decorating our house. We’d gone for a romantic meal near the Trevi Fountain and Gareth had been very quiet and said that he was tired from a busy day of sightseeing. We then walked along to St Peters Square to see it lit up at night. We were both admiring the view and I was busy taking photos. I then turned around and Gareth was on his knee! It was perfect, and even more so that a kind lady had captured it all, unbeknown to us; a very special photo that we will treasure forever.

A Stylish Wedding at Hotel Du Vin (c) Sarah Beth Photo (45)

We got married on Saturday 22nd April 2017. Spring is one of our favourite times of the year as we love anything outdoorsy. As a florist, I automatically thought, when are my favourite flowers in season?! So it had to be April. We chose the back end of the month hoping there’d be more chance of sunshine, and we certainly did get that! We couldn’t have wished for a more perfect day.

We chose Hotel Du Vin in York as our wedding venue. We spend a lot of time in York as it’s one of our favourite cities. Gareth and I made an appointment to speak to Mollie, the events organiser, and we loved it. The style and décor of the hotel is timeless and simple. The courtyard where our ceremony and evening reception was held has a glass roof so it felt as though we were outside, which was just what we were after.

We had our wedding breakfast in the bistro – another beautiful room with lots of character. We only had 50 guests during the day, so it was lovely to be so close to our family and friends.

A Stylish Wedding at Hotel Du Vin (c) Sarah Beth Photo (63)

There wasn’t any particular theme to the day. Flowers and springtime were obviously a big part of the wedding, but the main thing was creating a relaxed and happy day.

I wanted to include little personal touches, too. I had some gorgeous signs made by Painted by Katie: an order of the day, Instagram hashtag (#happilyeverstorey), and a special board made for a table featuring photos of my grandma and gramps, who I have lost. It meant the world to me having their photos there for everyone to admire. I also had my gran’s brooch attached to the binding of my bouquet, it really felt as though she was there with us.

The colours tied in with spring, with lemons, mint green, cornflower blue and lots of green foliage throughout. They are my absolute favourite colours.

A Stylish Wedding at Hotel Du Vin (c) Sarah Beth Photo (55)

I chose an Enzoani dress from The Harrogate Bridal Lounge. It was the first shop I went to and the fifth dress I tried on. The girls were amazing at the shop, so friendly, professional and full of knowledge about all the dresses and designers.

The dress was everything I said I didn’t want! Flicking through the rails, my mum loved the Kerianna dress. It was very detailed with beautiful pearls, crystals and delicate lace which I loved, but it was strapless. She persuaded me to give it a try and, of course, as always, mum was right! I wore a veil, too, which made me feel less exposed around my shoulders and back; it finished my bridal look perfectly.

My Rachel Simpson shoes were so pretty and they were comfy all day, I took them off for the last hour of the night so I think I did pretty well to stay in heels for nearly 12 hours!

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real wedding recap 2017: pronovias for a relaxed countryside cheshire wedding – sarah & dan

January 2nd, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

A Pretty Wedding at Meols Hall (c) Bobtale Photography (40)

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 8th January 2018 (we’re hoping we’ll be over the hangover by then, right?) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from last 6 months. 

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.

Sarah and Daniel’s glorious big day at Meols Hall, Tithe Barn, is just the ticket if you’re looking to inject some rustic charm and countryside elegance into your ceremony and reception.

There’s a stunningly simple Pronovias gown, homegrown British garden blooms, a subtle colour palette that Farrow and Ball would be proud of and some seriously classy designer elements – Jenny Packham shoes and a Tiffany bracelet as a wedding morning gift from the groom.

These pictures have a lovely sun-soaked charm, full of intimate joy and relaxed laughter – just the vibe this gorgeous pair were going for, and the perfect end to another beautiful week on the blog.

With images by Bobtale Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at Meols Hall (c) Bobtale Photography (32)

sarah says: For our engagement, Dan surprised me with a trip to the Cotswolds; it’s a place I’d wanted to go for a long time. He booked a cottage called ‘The Old Smithy’ in a village called Kingham. We were celebrating our ten year anniversary together that year.

Whilst I went to freshen up after the long journey, Dan set about preparing the cottage, filling it completely with candles, flowers and champagne on ice. He’d even set up the table with vintage cutlery given to my mum and dad as a wedding present back in the day!

When I walked through I found him with our six-month-old Cockapoo puppy, Waffle, who was dressed to impress in a Harris tweed bow tie!

He’d had a book made with a wax stamp seal on the cover reading “D️+S” and he’d filled it with nine polaroid pictures from each of the years we’d been together – with one missing on the final page. The book also contained the poem ‘I carry your heart’ by EE Cummings and the final verse of the poem was on the last page. Dan got down on one knee and removed the final verse of the poem to reveal a hollowed-out section containing an engagement ring and an empty section to fill with the tenth image! The poem was read at our wedding, which was very special.

We announced it with a picture using vintage lexicon letter cards spelling out ‘She Said Yes’ and Waffle proudly leaning over the table!

A Pretty Wedding at Meols Hall (c) Bobtale Photography (23)

We were married on Saturday 10th June 2017 – I’d always wanted a June wedding. We had our ceremony and reception at Meols Hall Tithe Barn in Southport.

We’d attended a wedding at Meols Hall around three years previously and, at that moment, knew that would be our chosen venue. It was just our style, and we really wanted it to be ‘us’. It was the most important decision we made.

A Pretty Wedding at Meols Hall (c) Bobtale Photography (37)

Our theme was ‘English country garden’. We chose it to go along with the Cotswolds feel; a sort of relaxed, wildflower, rustic vibe. We also wanted a more informal day so that our guests felt relaxed.

We went for pastel colours, dove greys, blues and blush pinks. We felt the more subtle colours would create the relaxed feel we were going for – we definitely didn’t want to have everything in one colour which we felt could look a little harsh.

A Pretty Wedding at Meols Hall (c) Bobtale Photography (1)

My dress was Pronovias and purchased at Brides of Liverpool. I went to the store and tried on a number of dresses, but it was only when I went back a second time that I saw ‘the one’. It was very fitted and felt it was a more classical look rather than flashy.

My shoes were from Jenny Packham and I wore some Swarovski earrings and a Tiffany & Co infinity bracelet, which was a wedding gift from Dan.

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