Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

wow-worthy. dusky pink & silver for an elegant wedding at the principal york – kirsty & dan

November 9th, 2017 | Julia Braime

An Elegant Wedding at The Principal York (c) Daz Mack (26)

Can we get a Fri-yay! Just sneaking in before wine o’clock is this truly stunning real wedding, which took place in one of our favourite northern cities, and at a fabulous venue that we’ve had the pleasure of visiting for ourselves.

Kirsty and Dan instantly fell for the gorge interiors and beautiful features of The Principal York, – as did our Features Ed Rachel (read her experience of the hotel here), so we totally get their draw to its charm and opulence.

Planning a wedding that would wow, they built on the hotel’s beautiful rooms with luxurious décor and blooms in deep, dusky pink and elegant silver.

Kirsty’s intricately detailed dress just blows us away and we love that she had a second makeup artist to transform her pure bridal beauty to a glam night time look, ready to party at the evening reception. Now that’s an idea worth noting!

With images by Daz Mack.

An Elegant Wedding at The Principal York (c) Daz Mack (12)

kirsty says: We got engaged on the 22nd April 2015, in our bedroom. We had just had our beautiful baby girl Honey, who was a week old and planned to celebrate my birthday in York with a nice meal and a bit of shopping during the day. I was getting ready upstairs and Dan came up looking a bit pasty, he said he had been wanting to wait until we got into York however he couldn’t wait because he felt sick and he just dropped on to one knee and asked if I would marry him, I said yes…of course! We then celebrated my birthday and engagement!

We set the date for 1st September 2017, as this was the only Friday available at our dream venue The Principal, in York, which was needed for our best man who is a teacher.

We fell in love with the venue’s staircase and black and white tiled hallway when we first saw it. It took our breath away and we knew this is where we wanted to celebrate our big day.

An Elegant Wedding at The Principal York (c) Daz Mack (22)

We went for an elegant/romantic theme. I wanted everybody to walk in and think wow!

We had a dusky pink and silver colour scheme. We chose the silver due to men being in grey tails and wanted it to tie in with what they were wearing. When I saw the swatch colour for the bridesmaid dresses I fell in love straight away and then started to look at flower arrangements and just knew the two colours would go together perfectly.

An Elegant Wedding at The Principal York (c) Daz Mack (9)

I went dress shopping with my mum. She had sourced a wedding dress shop in Northallerton which she said had good reviews. I always knew I wanted something quite fitted and the style of a fishtail dress. I tried a few on and didn’t feel special and then I saw the dress and tried it on. I felt like a princess. It was very detailed with lace and sparkle and had a feature back, which I adored. It was very different to everything I had seen and just knew it was for me.

I had two bridal makeup artists. Catherine Elizabeth, who is based in York, came in the morning to do my hair and makeup and also my bridesmaids’ and my mum’s. Catherine Elizabeth was recommended by The Principal and was amazing for giving me the fresh-faced bridal look I wanted. In the evening I had Amy Halliday, who gave me a glam night time look.

An Elegant Wedding at The Principal York (c) Daz Mack (52)

Dan wore a grey three-piece suit which had a tails jacket, all from Moss Bros. The groomsmen wore the same.

My two bridesmaids were in Dessy bridesmaid gowns, which we bought from Joys Bella Bridesmaids in York.

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coming home. a cosmopolitan wedding at the hope street hotel – anna & phil

November 6th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Lisa Howard Photography (58)

We’re beginning the week by heading to one of our favourite cities, Liverpool, for a stylish, contemporary wedding brimming with urban elegance.

Anna and Phil said “I do” in June of this year at the exquisite Hope Street Hotel – a chic, dog-friendly venue. And yes, the latter means that there’s a very special four-legged guest to look out for in the photos…

Plumping for a ‘Liverpool Love’ theme, the couple decided to keep things pared back in the venue itself – allowing the hotel’s stunning city location to take centre stage, with breathtaking views from their private terrace. And of course, no Liverpudlian themed wedding would be complete without an appearance from a Superlambanana!

With images by Lisa Howard Photography.

A Pretty City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Lisa Howard Photography (42)

anna says: We got engaged on my birthday, 8th April, in 2016. Phil was insistent that we went out for lunch to The Punchbowl pub, which is where we went on our first date. I was feeling pretty delicate after going out with my friends the night before, but Phil was desperate to go there. We sat on the same seats as on our first date and Phil passed me a birthday present which turned out to be an engagement ring, I was so shocked I couldn’t believe it!

A Pretty City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Lisa Howard Photography (63)

We tied the knot on 8th June 2017. We wanted to get married in June and decided to get married on a Thursday as the venue we wanted did mid-week package offers.

We had our ceremony and reception at the Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool. We both live in Sheffield but are originally from Liverpool so decided that it would be nice to get married there. We looked at loads of venues online and then went to a wedding fair at the Hope Street Hotel. As soon as we walked in, we fell in love with it. The views from the Fifth were amazing and the staff were lovely, so we booked it straight away. After we had booked the venue, we saw online that it was a dog friendly hotel so decided to ask if we could have our little dog Martha at the wedding and they loved the idea.

A Pretty City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Lisa Howard Photography (48)

We decided on a Liverpool Love theme, since we were coming back to Liverpool and it fitted our venue perfectly.

We went for nude pink, navy and silver colour scheme. We knew we wanted navy and silver but the nude pink was decided once the bridesmaids had picked a dress that they all liked.

A Pretty City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Lisa Howard Photography (77)

I didn’t really have any idea what sort of dress I wanted, apart from that I didn’t want strapless. I got my dress from Natalie Ann Brides in Huyton, Liverpool. The staff were all so helpful and made me feel relaxed as soon as we walked in. I didn’t pick my dress – it was actually the lady in the shop who suggested I try it on and I fell in love with it straight away. I paired the dress with Rachel Simpson shoes.

One of my bridesmaids, Estelle Greenhalgh is a makeup artist so she did my hair and makeup along with the other bridesmaids’ and my mum’s, and it looked amazing!

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up our street. a pretty & personal wedding in manchester city centre – sarah & ben

October 30th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A City Wedding In Manchester (c) Katie Dervin (53)

For some couples a wedding is about getting away from day to day life and escaping to a far-off venue for vows and celebrations. Other couples, however, like to make their big day all about their local surroundings, sharing the place they call home with their family and friends. The latter is certainly true of today’s featured couple, who chose to tie the knot in their home city of Manchester.

By combining personal touches and pretty décor, Sarah and Ben’s wedding is as cool as it is classy – and we flippin’ love it!

There’s pretty pink flowers, glittering sequins and twinkling fairylights but also an urban backdrop, smoke bombs and tattoos.

What this couple easily deliver is a lesson in how to truly make your wedding your own…

With images by Katie Dervin.

A City Wedding In Manchester (c) Katie Dervin (42)

sarah says: We got engaged at my parents’ house in Cheshire, on Christmas Day 2014. It had started as an unfortunate day as Ben was currently living in London and all I wanted was to see him and spend some quality time together but I woke up to an awful 24-hour bug and was bed ridden for most of the day. So, after a quick change of plan he said he was going to come to mine and spend the day with me being ill and not very in the mood for Christmas. My parents had gone around to my brother’s so there was just the two of us in the flat. He went downstairs to make me a tea and next thing he shouted up to me to come downstairs to open my presents, which I wasn’t happy about at all as I could barely stand up. As I got to the top of the stairs I heard playing faintly our song, which is How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding and I immediately burst into tears. I walked down the stairs to see him in my living room standing in the middle of a rose petal heart and candles everywhere. He then went down on one knee and asked me. I was hysterical. I wasn’t expecting it at all as we had only been together for 13 months. It was perfect. No big show, no embarrassing displays of public affection. Just me and him.

Our wedding date was Saturday 8th July 2017.

A City Wedding In Manchester (c) Katie Dervin (15)

We got married at the Renaissance Manchester hotel on Blackfriars Street in the city centre. We have lived in Manchester for nearly two years now and having looked at numerous venues in Cheshire, where we are both originally from, we realised that they weren’t for us and we are now officially city people and wanted our friends and family to see where our lives are now. The venue wasn’t actually our first choice. Our original venue cancelled on us six months before the wedding due to renovations and we then essentially had to start again. But Ben managed to find The Renaissance, who turned out to be our saviours and we had the amazing day we had always wanted.

A City Wedding In Manchester (c) Katie Dervin (34)

We didn’t have a theme per say. We just wanted to have a great day that everyone would enjoy and remember for all the right reasons. It was once described to me as an ‘urban fairy-tale wedding’ with a little rock and roll. We are a non-traditional couple with traditional values so we tried to have the best of both worlds.

The colour scheme was pinks and gold. I didn’t just want to have a specific shade of pink, mainly because I couldn’t decide but also I felt it’s a colour which can have all different shades in one place and still look right.

A City Wedding In Manchester (c) Katie Dervin (44)

My dress was from Wed2B in Bolton. It was the first thing we purchased after we had set the date. In my head, I had always wanted a typical princess fairy-tale style dress and I remember walking in and saying “take me to the tulle”. I tried on my first dress and hated it as this was all I had wanted and it looked awful. The lovely assistant persuaded me to try a different, more fitted style. I still wasn’t convinced until the straps fell down off my shoulders due to it being a little too big and I fell in love. I loved the style and fit and making the straps more of a Bardot on the shoulders gave it a more vintage style.

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up on the roof. a cool city wedding at oh me oh my, liverpool – lindsey & andrew

October 9th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Bobtale Photography (50)

Kicking off your week in style, we’re showcasing a stunning wedding in the heart of Liverpool – proof, if any was needed, that an urban backdrop can provide the most beautiful of settings for your special day.

Our couple, Lindsey and Andrew, tied the knot earlier this summer. Hosting their celebrations at the truly mesmerising Oh Me Oh My venue, dubbed a ‘secret space’ in the city – the newlyweds opted for a rustic vintage theme. We’re talking a VW campervan, pretty foliage and floral arrangements, miniature chalkboards and pegs, and the most divine naked wedding cake.

We just love the combination of an impressive rooftop garden, sparklers and an enviable view over the city – perfect for couples seeking something a little bit alternative.

With images by Bobtale Photography.

A City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Bobtale Photography (5)

lindsey says: We got engaged on New Year’s Eve 2014, in London, on the River Thames, as Big Ben struck midnight and the fireworks went off.

We tied the knot on 15th July 2017, at St George’s Hall Liverpool as we wanted a civil ceremony. We then hosted our celebrations at Oh Me Oh My in Liverpool – I absolutely fell in love with this venue the first time I saw it. I love its vintage quirkiness and city centre location.

A City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Bobtale Photography (29)

The wedding had a rustic vintage theme which went perfectly with the venue. I wasn’t too hung up on colour schemes – I let my bridesmaids pick their own dresses and we took it from there.

A City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Bobtale Photography (56)

I knew I wanted a lace wedding dress but still tried on lots of different styles. I got my dress from Jules Bridal in Wigan, and knew from the minute I put it on that it was the one.

A City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Bobtale Photography (31)

Andrew wore a grey three-piece suit from Greenwoods Menswear in Wigan. The groomsmen also wore grey three-piece suits from Greenwoods.

The bridesmaid dresses were purchased from Monsoon and Debenhams. The adults wore grey while the flower girls donned pale pink.

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hot topic: urban vs rural

September 20th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

City - image by Mike Plunkett

Mike Plunkett Photography

It goes without saying that choosing your dream wedding venue is one of the first – and most important – decisions you’ll make when it comes to tying the knot.

And even before you hone in on different venues and draw up a wish list, the most basic of questions will need consideration: should you marry in the country or the city?

Both locations offer couples something unique; complementing your grander plans and priorities for the day – whether it’s unrivalled photo opportunities, ease of getting from the ceremony to the party after, or quite simply fitting with your overall theme.

For some brides, you may already have the perfect backdrop mapped out in your head, but for others who are undecided, we’re taking a closer look at the merits of both locations and the special qualities they could bring to your wedding celebrations. Which will you choose?

country charm

When you think of a country wedding, chances are you’ll think of a magnificent manor house, or even a castle with impressive sprawling grounds.

Country weddings are typically traditional, grand and offer exclusivity. And for the most regal of settings, they tend to come with a heftier price tag, too.

Country - image by Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography

If you’re after something classic, steeped in heritage and in complete contrast to your day-to-day lives, then this style of wedding offers a true fairytale moment and is perfect for couples after a touch of elegance and decadence.

The backdrop will require minimal effort on your part, with the venue decked out in the most pristine and classy of decors – think chandeliers, illustrious artwork, spellbinding staircases and balconies, and majestic furnishings. The surrounding estate (the stuff from period novels, no doubt) will offer the finest of photo opportunities too. What’s not to love?

Of course, there are other types of country weddings which have become increasingly on-trend in recent years. We’re talking about the country barn or tipi.

City - image by Bethany Whittaker

Bethany Whittaker Photography

The barn is another serene, stylish backdrop but it’s much more informal. You’re likely to have more freedom on how you decorate this space (candles, blossom trees and festoon lighting are just a few ideas we’ve seen recently) and you’ll probably be able to bring in your own catering – ice cream parlours, burger vans and street food pop-ups abound!

For something unconventional with an ethereal twist – the tipi is the venue du jour for the boho bride and groom. This is the ideal setting for outdoorsy types who want to break away from the traditional wedding day formula and do it their way, with bundles of rustic charm. We’ve seen everything from outdoors game tournaments to bake offs, and of course, mesmerising photos set within atmospheric woodlands and meadows.

Country - image by Shimma Photography

Shimma Photography

The down-side? The country wedding takes place in a rural, secluded spot and your guests may have to travel far to get to and from the venue. Local accommodation may be limited as well, so guests will need to be super-organised and book early.

Whatever your style or theme though – the country wedding comes in many captivating guises. And irrespective of the venue you choose, all you can really hope for on the day is some good British weather to top it all off!

city chic

The city wedding is brimming with cosmopolitan, contemporary vibes. It’s for the bride and groom who are forward thinking, pragmatic and modern in their outlook, looking to make a statement.

The hustle and bustle of the city might prove too much for some couples, but for the bride and groom who opt for an urban backdrop – the thrive on this hectic yet lavish location. And they don’t shy away from attention either. There’s also the added convenience it offers both them and their guests in terms of transport and accommodation on the day itself.

A city wedding can bring glamour and glitz by the bucket load with chic hotels and city landmarks – everything from maritime museums and art galleries to former warehouses, rooftop bars, breweries and zoos – providing your celebrations with an unconventional edge.

There might be limitations on how you can access and decorate these venues and some spaces may also need to remain open to the public, so it’s worth clarifying these points when you go for a show around.

City - image by 2 Ducks Galleries

2 Ducks Galleries

A city location can present unusual and iconic photo opportunities too. Suddenly the everyday becomes a stunning prop in your photo…crossing a busy road, standing in a doorway scribbled in graffiti or even the quirky architecture of the pub on the corner or a distant towering office block.

And if you’re choosing a city wedding, then chances are, the city in question holds special memories for you and your hubby-to-be, so why not go all-out and pay homage to this in your décor and theme for the day? From your table names and centre pieces to your welcome drink and favours – think of original ideas that will personalise the venue and help put your stamp on the day.

Country - image by Lucy G Photography

Lucy G Photography

Country and city weddings offer such a contrast to your celebrations, and within each location, there’s another myriad of choices to be made when selecting a specific venue. But like most things associated with your wedding planning, we’re pretty sure you’ll have a gut feeling what’s right for you and your fiancé. The key is to make whatever venue you choose your own, and make it the flawless backdrop for showcasing your personalities and sharing your special memories together with your loved ones. Country or city? You decide!

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invisible kisses. a glamorous, gatsby-inspired winter wedding in manchester – rebecca & james

July 25th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Christmas Wedding in Manchester (c) Shane Weber (30)

When Rebecca and James’ Christmas wedding dropped into our inbox we simply couldn’t believe our luck. In Rebecca we saw a kindred spirit: a girl hell-bent on gorgeousness, glamour, sequins and a festive berry lip. Plus, she tells a blummin’ good story, not just spilling all the pretty details (obvs) but also gets across a real sense of the laughter and love they shared with their guests on the day. All the goosebumps.

Our highlight? Well, that Ritva Westenius gown is a beauty – a slinky statement of a dress with a simple, timeless silhouette – and the gallery setting is something very special indeed –  but if the Brides Up North team could direct you to just one detail it would be that makeup. An education in how to do bridal glamour right there. You’re very welcome.

With images by Shane Webber.

A Christmas Wedding in Manchester (c) Shane Weber (25)

rebecca says: We got engaged in 2015 while on holiday in Singapore (this makes us sound very extravagant – it was a treat!)  We were sitting drinking cocktails at the long bar in Raffles (as you do), munching away on the complimentary monkey nuts (as you do), when I looked down to see that one had a ring around it. Cue floods of tears from me for the next hour – the poor barmaid didn’t know what was going on. It was a complete surprise (although there may have been some, ahem, gentle encouragement from me in the months proceeding) and the happiest moment of my life (pre-wedding!)

Initially we looked at a September wedding, but struggled to match up availability of our venue and the registrar. I also had a niggling idea about a winter wedding that wouldn’t budge…after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing and wails of “But I thought we’d agreed September!” I think it was actually James who first said “well, what about Christmas?” And that was that.  We had a hankering to do something just a little bit different and we both love the festive season, so it felt perfect.

A Christmas Wedding in Manchester (c) Shane Weber (36)

We had both the ceremony and reception at the Manchester Art Gallery. We really wanted to get married in the city centre as it’s local to us, and we both love the paintings there.  We looked at a couple of other venues but when we went to look round the Gallery, James (not normally the world’s most effusive about these kind of things) turned to me and said: “I actually feel a bit excited!” I could’ve hugged the woman showing us around!  It’s a beautiful building inside and out and such a privilege to marry there.

We loved the idea of an elegant, glamorous theme with a touch of Gatsby. With the ceremony being later in the day at 4pm and the time of year, this theme worked really well.  We considered a black-tie dress code for guests but James wasn’t sure.  In the end our invites said: “It’s Christmas, it’s evening, so feel free to throw the glitter around and GO ALL-OUT GLAM’”.  Sums it up, really!

So the colours? Hints of gold, sequins and dark jewel shades for the best men.  And the ‘feel’? Glamorous, warm, festive. We wanted our guests to feel special and essentially have a fantastic pre-Christmas party!

A Christmas Wedding in Manchester (c) Shane Weber (33)

I chose a simple but elegant dress by Ritva Westenius from Isaac Charles in Poynton.  It was a sample on its own in the store and when I tried it on I loved how I felt in it.  Because of our theme I really wanted something that felt glamorous and luxurious (…and a bit sexy, as I said to my slightly bemused mum) The store and staff at Isaac Charles were lovely and I’d definitely recommend them to any brides-to-be.

A Christmas Wedding in Manchester (c) Shane Weber (18)

James, the best men and both our dads wore elegant white dress shirts, black trousers and velvet dinner jackets from Reiss.  The boys wore black and James’ was a dark blue just to stand out a little.  They all had contrasting silk scarves, pocket squares and bow ties.  I absolutely loved it; they all looked so handsome.  James was really keen for something a bit different but also a ‘non-traditional’ suit (that could be worn again for special occasions) and I think he nailed it.

The bridesmaids wore floor-length gold sequinned gowns from Jenny Packham at Debenhams.  I had such a strong idea of what I wanted them in that we ended up getting their dresses before mine. Thankfully, they liked them! They both looked so beautiful. Amina at Stockport Wedding Services did a great job with alterations for us all.

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