Charlotte Balbier

lakeside love-in. a pretty pastel styled shoot in cumbria

November 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Lakeside Bridal Shoot (c) Beth Sunners Photography (34)

We’re rounding off Tuesday with something lovely here on the blog with this super sugarey, super girly styled shoot, captured water-side in the Lake District.

As someone fairly new to the wedding industry (not that you’d know it), talented photographer Beth Sunners used this stunning styled shoot as an opportunity to show off the area in which she lives while collaborating with some of her top supplier friends and building her portfolio.

We love the pretty pastel tones, dreamy dresses and quaint backdrop, which all work together perfectly to create some gorgeous girly inspiration for all you brides-to-be.

To tell us more about the shoot’s concept and how she made it happen, we’ll hand you over to Beth. Enjoy!

With images by Beth Sunners Photography.

A Pretty Lakeside Bridal Shoot (c) Beth Sunners Photography (33)

beth says: My inspiration for this lakeside bridal shoot was to embrace the beauty around us, and to use one of the stunning locations in the area that I’m lucky enough to live in.

I decided on St Bega’s Church at Bassenthwaite, as I’d recently been to a wedding there, and it was just beautiful! The church is situated in a stunning location, on the edge of Bassenthwaite Lake. The building itself is a small, pretty church, with lots of charm, and so I wanted the styling for the shoot to convey a soft, feminine feel, but with a hint of fun.

A Pretty Lakeside Bridal Shoot (c) Beth Sunners Photography (35)

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ain’t no mountain high enough. a handmade wedding in the lake district – emily & neil

November 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

The wedding of Emily & Neil at the Coppermines

This morning on the blog we’re travelling to the beautiful Lakes to relive Emily and Neil’s big day.`

Following a proposal at the top of Coniston Old Man, Emily and Neil felt it fitting to hold their wedding in the Lake District too, and so decided on a relaxed & homemade affair in a venue at the base of the mountain where they got engaged.

So grab your walking boots and trekking poles, as we join the happy couple in Cumbria.

With images from Darren Athersmith.

The wedding of Emily & Neil at the Coppermines

emily says: We got engaged in January 2014, it was a surprise engagement at the top of Coniston Old Man, Neil had asked my dad the day before, he planned to be at the top for sunrise however the top was covered in a snow blizzard so it was an icy proposal but we soon dropped down out of the blizzard to a lovely January sunrise.

The wedding of Emily & Neil at the Coppermines

Our wedding was on the 25th July 2015; we chose the date as Neil is a school teacher so we wanted to tie it into his school holidays.

We got married at Coniston Coppermines Mountain Cottages – we chose the venue as we live locally and both love the Lake District. We are at our happiest when up in the hills and knew we didn’t want a traditional church/hotel wedding. We also felt it so fitting that there was a wedding venue at the base of the mountain we go engaged at the top of. We loved the flexibility that the Coppermines offered us, the venue being ours for the whole weekend. We wanted guests to have a mini holiday as well as celebrating our marriage, plus we wanted family and friends travelling from around the country to see the surroundings we love. We had a marquee put up on the side of the cottages by Evans Marquee Hire, the front elevation of the marquee was all windows to make the most of the beautiful views down the valley towards Coniston Water.

We wanted a small intimate ceremony of just our immediate family, then as we were away having some photos taken our guests arrived for afternoon tea, it was great to get back to find everyone had joined us. More friends and family then joined us in the evening for the party.

The wedding of Emily & Neil at the Coppermines

We didn’t want a themed wedding and wanted the feel of the wedding to be relaxed and to suit the mountainous surroundings so all materials were natural and rustic. It was important to us that as much of the wedding as possible was home made. We didn’t want the wedding to be just about one day; it was a real family effort over the 18 months of our engagement. We did call on friends for help too – my good friend and owner of Dotty Flamingo laser cut the lace design on our wedding stationery and I then put together the cards for invitations and place names.

I didn’t want a colour scheme as such either and so had limited colour palette of white and natural tones. I wanted to use varying materials rather than have a ‘colour theme’ I loved the contrast of using the hessian and lace together teamed with simple flowers and lots of timber.

The wedding of Emily & Neil at the Coppermines

My fair colouring and red hair means white just washes me out so I found a nude coloured wedding dress online that had the warmth I needed and my mum was able to customise it for me. I chose a tea length dress as I didn’t want to spend the day worrying about my dress trailing on the ground as I knew we would be having photos taken in the mountainous surroundings.

The only splash of colour I had was my bright orange hunter wellies – thankfully the weather was glorious so the wellies weren’t critical. My shoes were from Dune, they were the same nude tone as my dress and had coloured stones on the T-bar. I got the same shoes in flats and heels if I needed to change for the dancing later in the night. I liked the fact that the shoes weren’t traditionally bridal so I could wear them after the wedding.

I made my hair piece myself, I bought a selection of wires and beads from Bojangle Beads in Loughborough and twisted the beads and wire around a thin gold Alice band. My jewellery was all borrowed from my mum, I wore pearl stud earrings, bracelet and pendant. My mum always used to wear the pendant when I was a child, it brings back lovely childhood memories every time I see it so I wanted to wear it on the day.

The wedding of Emily & Neil at the Coppermines

Neil wore a grey-brown slim fit tweed wool suit from Next.

Our two nieces (18-months-old and 4-years-old) were flower girls and wore sundresses from Marks and Spencer, in a soft mint green with flowery lace overlay and shoes from Next.

The wedding of Emily & Neil at the Coppermines

Our photographer was locally based Darren Athersmith. As soon as we met Darren we knew he was the photographer for us, not only did we want him to capture our wedding day, it was important to capture the mountain landscape we were in and he has a love of Lakeland landscape photography as well as portraits. We didn’t want any formal posed line up photos, we just wanted him to disappear into the day and capture us, our family and friends enjoying themselves again keeping that relaxed feel to the day. His whole approach is relaxed and puts you immediately at ease.

The wedding of Emily & Neil at the Coppermines

I wanted all white flowers and grew our own sweet peas that I had in my bouquet, they are my favourite flowers, and I love the scent.

We also grew other flowers to be dotted around the venue; we then topped up the flowers with green foliage from the garden and bought some white stocks, freesia (again for their scent) and sprays of gypsophila.

We made an arbour from silver birch branches that we added to with greenery from the garden, it was great as a natural frame for some of the photos. As an extra special touch, we used my grandad’s old watering can and steel bucket to arrange some flowers in, it was a small touch that meant a lot to me.

We made silver birch candle holders and jam jars covered in hessian and lace as small flower vases for the table centre pieces. Our table names were all mountains we have summited.

As mentioned the wedding was a real family effort and everyone pitched in to help. Mum and I set about making all the bunting that adorned the ceiling of the marquee, it took months and months to make, but was well worth it. The most special flags have lace that my mum took from her own wedding dress for us to use.

My dad made planters from old pallets that we put branches into with fairy lights on, they were a great backdrop during the day behind Neil and I during the afternoon tea and looked lovely when lit up in the evening.

The wedding of Emily & Neil at the Coppermines

Being outdoorsy we wanted favours that would remind guests of the day longer than just a mouthful of sugared almond so we made seed packets for each guest to take away to (hopefully) plant, grow and enjoy.

Neil’s mum made the three tiers of fruit wedding cake for us and I decorated it myself with lots of advice from friend and local cake maker Bird Bakes from Ulverston. I made the wooden dolly peg cake topper people myself and my 4-year-old niece painted some pegs as ‘the congregation’ that we stuck into the large timber homemade cake stand.

Our catering was by local company Premier Outside Catering of Baycliff, they served champagne and canapés (the canapés were made by Neil’s brother-in-law who is a chef) to family after the ceremony. We then had and afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches, pastries and cakes. Later in the evening we had pie and peas.

We didn’t have a bar and asked people to bring their own drinks for the day/evening whilst we provided Pimms on arrival then wine and Prosecco for the afternoon tea and speeches.

The wedding of Emily & Neil at the Coppermines

To provide entertainment, put together playlists for the ceremony and afternoon tea and hired a speaker/PA system from local company SAP Pro Audio in Kendal. It was so much fun putting together songs we both liked in the months leading up to the wedding and we still listen to the playlists now.

It was really important for us to have live music at the evening part of the wedding as we wanted everyone up and dancing – we even provided a hamper full of flip flops so there was no excuse for sore feet!  Local band Ulpha590 played into the night as we danced away.

The wedding of Emily & Neil at the Coppermines

We loved having our wedding at the Coppermines and thankfully the sun shone all day; we felt the whole place reflected us as a couple perfectly. It was great that we had use of the venue all weekend; we had a barbeque on the Sunday and guests had use of the four hot tubs which overlooked the surrounding hillside.

I couldn’t really say I have a favourite part of the day; all of it, including the run up was great fun. I think because we wanted everything to feel relaxed we didn’t feel under pressure at all.

The wedding of Emily & Neil at the Coppermines

We went to the Isle of Harris and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides for our honeymoon. We used my parent’s campervan to tour for two weeks with our dog. We had an amazing time, the weather was kind to us so we got to explore the many beaches that really are incredible, the sand was so white and sea so clear blue plus it was lovely and quiet.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to get sucked into what you think is expected of you as a bride or groom; it’s your day so do whatever feels right for you. Also take some time, just the two of you, stand back and take in all that’s going on around you as the day will fly by.

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fallin’. maggie sottero for a grey & blush themed wedding at lodore falls – emma & ryan

October 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (44)

For this afternoon’s real wedding we are heading North West to the beautiful Lake District to relive Emma and Ryan’s big day.

You’re all in for a treat, as there’s lots of fabulous elements to admire in this wedding, in addition to the breath-taking views! We love Emma’s gorgeous Maggie Sottero dress as well as her chosen colour palette of elegant blush pink and grey which is reflected beautifully in the numerous flower arrangements and décor.

Our favourite bit however has to be the boat ride for the bride, groom and their guests part way through the day. We’d quite like to be aboard that boat ourselves, sipping on prosecco and taking in the surroundings. Just stunning!

With images by Bethany Sunners Photography.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (3)

emma says: We got engaged at home after an evening out at a wedding reception, where it was just the two of us. Ryan had something planned a couple of weeks before this but I ruined it when I picked up some shifts at work.

We were married on 8th August 2015. We chose the date because it was mid-summer and right in the middle of some special family events.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (4)

We got married in our local parish church, St Mungo’s in Dearham, Cumbria. My parents, and grandparents got married there so it is a special place. It’s a beautiful little church. Our reception was at the Lodore Falls Hotel at the bottom of Borrowdale Valley. We chose this venue as the scenery is out of this world, it’s on the edge of a beautiful lake in the middle of the Lake District. Perfect for a summer wedding.

We didn’t have a theme as such, we just wanted a summer wedding with a relaxed feel to it. The words ‘all you need is love’ was also a big feature.

Our colour scheme was grey and blush colours, with a bit of silver sparkle. I chose these colours as grey is my absolute favourite colour. It makes the blush colours really stand out and looks really pretty.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (13)

My dress was a Maggie Sottero from I Do Bridal, Cockermouth. It was an ivory slim A-line design with a delicate sweetheart neckline, with gorgeous beaded lace across it. It had a corset back with a short train. I first saw the dress online and immediately knew it was the one for me. It was the first dress I tried on, I felt so elegant in it. It was also called Emma. Fate! My veil and headband was by Linzi Jay. My shoes were Vivienne Westwood, I seen them in the window of a Vivienne Westwood store. They were ivory with a big red heart on the front. Really quirky, I loved them and had to have them for our wedding. I also had a vintage sapphire ring, which my nan gave me before the wedding as my something blue, which meant the world.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (9)

Ryan had a two piece slim-fit grey suit from Debenhams. He wore it with a slim fit white shirt, silver grey slim tie and pocket square from ASOS, grey braces and tan brogues. We just wanted a relaxed look. The groomsmen all wore the same.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (15)

My bridesmaids’ outfits were grey bandeau midi length dresses from ASOS and silver sparkly barely there sandals from Next. They all looked stunning. My little flower girl had an ivory lace beaded dress from John Lewis and ivory lace shoes from Monsoon. Our pageboys had grey waist coat and trousers from Next and white Converse.

Mine and my bridesmaids’ hair and makeup was done at my parents’ house the morning of the wedding. Jazz Hair Studio and Elegant Touch both of Maryport, did an amazing job. We all felt a million dollars!

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (20)

Our chosen wedding transport was a 1964 VW splitscreen camper van and a 1973 Cabrio VW Beetle in white, from Lake District Vintage Wedding Cars. My dad and I travelled in the Beetle with the roof down to the church, it was a gorgeous summer’s day. My mum and bridesmaids travelled in the camper van. Following the ceremony, my new husband and I then travelled to our reception in the Beetle and we enjoyed a complimentary bottle of fizz. Paul who owns the company is fantastic, very professional.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (23)

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (24)

Bethany Sunners, was our photographer. She was amazing from the very start. Constantly keeping in touch right up until the wedding day. She met us in person to discuss ideas and listened to exactly what we wanted. On the actual day, Bethany arrived early at my parents’ house to take pictures of my bridal party whilst getting ready, she was so discreet. She built up a brilliant rapport with our vicar, meaning she was able to get the best shots at the front of church. She also put all our family and friends at ease. Bethany literally captured every moment of our special day with the most perfect natural shots. We would most definitely recommend her.

We also had our wedding captured on film by Lake District Weddings Videos.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (27)

For my flowers, I had a beautiful hand tied bouquet of white hydrangea, white and ivory roses and spray roses with a little eucalyptus (to add to my obsession with the colour grey). My bridesmaids had hand tied bouquets of peach, blush and ivory roses and spray roses. My flower girl had a little flower crown of spray roses and gypsophila. Ryan had an ivory rose button hole and the groomsmen and page boys had blush rose button holes. The bouquets and button holes were provided by the Floral Boutique, Cockermouth. We got a fantastic service from them, Elizabeth was extremely helpful.

My auntie Karen, who I must say is amazing with flowers, made all our arrangements for the church and reception. In total she made five window arrangements for church, one arrangement for the alter, 20 pew ends, an arrangement for the milk churn we had outside the church gates, a flower arch for outside the church, ten hand tied bouquets for the table centre pieces, two top table arrangements and two cake table arrangements (I know what you’re thinking, wow!)

She used a combination of white hydrangea, peach, blush and white roses and spray roses, white and pink lyzianthus, gypsophila and eucalyptus were used. The Wholesaler Dutch Flower Auction is where we purchased the flowers and we would recommend them for DIY wedding flowers, they deliver all over and the flowers lasted ages. My auntie did the most fantastic job with the flowers, she got so many well deserved compliments. They were stunning – evidently she’s now got a part time job at the Floral Boutique shop.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (28)

Our venue decorations included some bunting, handmade signs and DIY table decorations. Chair covers and bows were provided by Finishing Touches. We also had giant light up ‘love’ letters provided by a close friend at Love in Lights.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (30)

For the ladies favours, my auntie Helen made homemade strawberry jam. For the men my Grandad made home brewed Sloe Gin in miniature bottles. Both went down extremely well and just added a bit more of a personal touch. A friend also made gingerbread brides and grooms for the children.

A local cake maker Jules Huck (The Cake Fairy) made a fantastic cake for us. Our guests were amazed by it and it tasted even better then it looked. My uncle Graeme, a chef made us the most brilliant cheese wedding cake too. It had every single cheese you could think of on it, he even personalised the covers of some cheeses with our picture and date of our wedding on. I made a fruit wedding cake just for the toasts, during the speeches.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (45)

After the wedding breakfast before our evening reception got underway, we all went out on a launch boat around Derwent Water for an hour’s cruise. We all just sat back, relaxed and had a glass of prosecco or two whilst taking in the breath-taking views of the Lake District. Keswick Launch Company provided the launch, they even let my sister who was also my maid of honour drive.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (43)

For the evening entertainment we hired The Heist, a cover band from the North East. They sing songs from the 1960s up to current hits. They delivered a great set, had the dance floor full all night. Genuine, nice guys. We also had a sweet cart as an extra treat for our guests which was provided by Love in Lights.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (40)

Following our wedding we would definitely recommend Lodore Falls as a wedding venue to other brides and grooms. The staff were fantastic, nothing was too much trouble for them. There is so much choice with their packages and the food was delicious. The actual location speaks for its self, simply stunning!

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (31)

We couldn’t pick a favourite part of the da as we loved all of it. From the lead up to the wedding, making all the personal little touches, getting pampered in the morning, putting on the most beautiful dress, the actual ceremony, watching all our favourite people have an amazing time. It really was the best day of our lives.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (46)

We are going on honeymoon in November to Las Vegas then flying on to Cancun, Mexico. We intend on doing lots of touristy things in Vegas and having a chill out on a beach in Mexico. We delayed the honeymoon as we didn’t want everything to be over at once.

An Elegant Blush & Grey Wedding in the Lake District (c) Bethany Sunners (50)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – sit back and have a moment to yourselves to take it all in because the day is over before you know it. Also enjoy yourselves, don’t worry about others it’s your special day!

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the italian lakes. a colourful wedding in windermere – julia & alex

September 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (37)

A little later than planned (we’ve been in recovery from another very busy weekend of wonderful wedding inspiration!), but worth waiting for, we bring you the super gorgeous wedding of Brides Up North reader Julia and her brand new husband Alex.  Inspired by the colours and tones of their one time Italian home, this beautiful, colourful wedding is an absolute feast for the senses.

Prepare for a Pinterest frenzy.

With beautiful images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (8)

julia says: We were living in Italy at the time we got engaged. Disguising a trip home as ‘lads university reunion’ Alex assembled the ‘Ring Squad’ – made up of his parents, brother and very lovely cousin to help choose a ring for me. The jewellers were Michael Levin of Nottingham who specialise in antique pieces, which I’d long before fallen for on a shopping trip to the city.

Living in Milan at the time, Alex had planned a trip down to Rome for my birthday – unbeknownst to me he was ducking into the toilet on the train trying to call my dad at every opportunity to ask him for permission to marry me! On our second night in Rome, Alex asked me to come out onto our balcony that was picked intentionally with its towering view of the Eternal City, as we were getting ready to go out. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife and pulled out the most beautifully sparkly ring I have ever seen. We both burst into tears. I said ‘yes’ of course and celebrated by heading out for a really romantic dinner. We were in such a bubble, it was incredible. We delayed telling our friends and family until the next day (we let our parents know), so that we could truly live in the moment that we’d created.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (6)

We knew we wanted to get married in the summer, and I was under strict instructions from Alex to avoid the football season due to our football mad families. We set our hearts on 6th June 2015 – which is actually D-Day! One week after the conclusion of the Premiership season!

We’ve had many romantic weeks and even a few New Year’s Eves in Windermere up in the Lake District over our 6 year relationship. It’s also somewhere we used to go as kids with our families before we met – weirdly enough! We both decided on the Lakes pretty early in the planning – we’re both from the North (me from Liverpool and Alex from Bradford) so we wanted somewhere meaningful but a middle ground. We saw a few venues in the area before we came across the Merewood Country House Hotel. It had the stunning views of Windermere we wanted, plus it was such a historic mansion (once the home of the Earl of Lonsdale) with beautiful interiors. Once we met Lorna (the fierce Scottish manager!) we knew it was meant to be. She went out of her way to make things happen for us and it was like coming home every time we came to visit the venue. Once we tasted the food that was it, we signed on the dotted line.

I am Catholic and it was really important to me to get married in a church. We tied the knot at Sacred Heart Catholic church in Coniston perched above the lake. It was a very Cumbrian looking slate church with gorgeous stained glass windows. Father Bob was really good at making the service enjoyable for people who weren’t religious; we had so many moving comments from guests about the ceremony and it was really inclusive.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

Our wedding day was inspired by a weekend we had in Cinque Terre when we were still living in Italy. It was a year to the day until we got married and we walked between the stunning Italian towns on the coast. They’re five fishing towns in Liguria made up of warm copper colours, with yellow and pinks, with lots of luscious plants and the sea close by. It was a very romantic weekend and I was really inspired by the tones. My flowers by Jane Thompson at Flower Design, reflected these colours and included many Italian foliage. Our wines and some of the menu also had a subtle Italian theme. I even propped my mood board for Jane in the hallway of the Merewood on the day.

Our colour scheme was coral and greens – I wanted to remind us of the stunning Mediterranean colours and vibrancy of Cinque Terre – even though we were celebrating with guests in the English Lakes, it really worked with the beauty of another special place for Alex and I.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (16)

For my wedding gown, I knew I wanted something fitted, but elegant. I tried on a few ballgowns and they really didn’t suit my curvy figure, so I narrowed my search down to sweetheart neckline with a trumpet style fit and flare gown. I went to about 5 shops with my mum and bridesmaids and left empty handed, sadly. A few weeks later, on a whim my mum and I went to Society Brides  in Liverpool city centre and they had just received Sophia Tolli’s dreamy lace Brienne and they persuaded me to try it on. It was meant to be, it was the one for me.

My veil was a two-tiered veil from Richard Designs. I wanted the drama of a chapel length veil for our church wedding but also the blusher over my face, which I could flick back and wear all day. My headpiece was from Glitzy Secrets and the flowers worked really well with the lace of my dress. My shoes and earrings were from Jenny Packham at Debenhams. The shoes were so comfortable; I danced in them all night long.

My signature scent was the spicy and oriental Calincantus by the ancient apothecary Santa Maria Novella in Florence. I wear it on special occasions now, Alex loves it too. I also wore a vintage pearl bracelet from the gorgeous antique jewellers in Nottingham which is where all our rings are from.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (22)

Alex is into his style so he knew early on that he wanted a tailored three-piece suit in navy blue. I found Michelsberg Tailors in Leeds’ Victoria Arcade on a wedding blog, and the process began. He even had a shirt tailored with his initials ‘AB’ on the cuffs. Why should the brides have all the fun?!

I bought him some solid silver cufflinks in the shape of white roses (the symbol of Yorkshire for my Yorkshire groom) from an amazing lady on Etsy called Sarah-Jane Egan based in Caerphilly. He wore black Loake’s dress shoes and a pistachio green tie from Reiss.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (24)

My three bridesmaids wore coral convertible dresses which were actually from New Look. They all wore them differently to suit their figures and they were all floor length versions. I loved how they looked with their bouquets and they swished around the dance floor in them all night. Their shoes were strappy light gold sandals from Dune and I bought them rose gold tear-drop earrings to wear on the day.

The groomsmen wore navy blue two-piece suits from Charles Trywhitt in Leeds with silk green ties with leaves on them.

Our two flower girls – one was my niece, Catherine and the other was Alex’s cousin’s little girl, Sophie – wore pretty ivory dresses and shoes from John Lewis. I made their headbands with flowers from H&M and a very interesting few hours with a glue gun in my parents’ kitchen.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (29)

The day was wonderful because the start was so chilled. In the morning myself, my mum and my three bridesmaids donned our floral robes and sipped prosecco. Lorna set up a table in the bridal suite for me and the bridesmaids to have breakfast which was lovely. It was great to start the day so relaxed and looked after. We had so much fun with utterly adorable Katie Tweedale our hairdresser for the day, and the fabulous Bridget Foster on make-up who were loving our 1990s playlist and our Liverpudlian humour!

But our (joint!) real favourite part of the day was turning around to our guests in the church as we were about to walk down the aisle to see their faces when our brother in law Richard began to play us out to ‘Match of the Day’ on his piano! No one expected it and both families are huge football fans so we got a great reaction – even some high 5s as we made our way out of the church! That was such a proud and fun moment for both of us – we literally floated out of the church.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (36)

Our guests had come from far and wide – even as far as the USA and Italy so we wanted everyone to relax. We hired a Routemaster bus from Classic Buses to collect everyone at the Merewood and take the guests to and from the church. I sourced a vintage ticket clipper for my bus geek of an Uncle Brian who was able to clip pretend tickets for everyone getting on the bus with the help of his granddaughter. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more!

I travelled to the church with my parents and my 4-year-old niece in a 1937 Rolls Royce which was fabulous and owned by the lovely Tony Henderson at Lakeland Wedding Cars. I felt no nerves travelling to the church and the scenery was really gorgeous. Alex and I then travelled back in the car to the Merewood and sipped a few glasses of bubbles in the back. We got a lot of waves and cheers from the mountain climbers and walkers en route.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (45)

Our photographer was James Tracey. He’d shot a wedding of a friend a few years back in Manchester’s Victoria Baths and I loved his style. He captured all the emotions of a wedding day and we booked him very early on in the process. Our pre-shoot in April was really fun with James, even though it was blowing a gale in Manchester, he still made us laugh and we loved the photos. On our wedding day, James brought along the lovely Daniel Lloyd Photography who assisted on the day. The two of them were really good at getting in there and getting on with things and letting us get back to our guests. We really appreciated that. I’d recommend both of them, we love the vibrancy and realness of our photographs.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (67)

My flowers were my favourite things about the day (after marrying the love of my life, of course!) We chose Jane Thompson at Flower Design early on – she’s based in Blackpool and made time for us on our flying visits back from Italy. Jane totally got what we wanted from our wedding day. In our pre-meet a few weeks before the meeting she made prototypes of my bouquet and the table settings. It was a wrench to give my prototype bouquet back!

My bouquet included coral & bowl of cream peonies, viburnum opulus, fresh lily of the valley, apricot hyacinths, olive foliage, juliet & patience roses from David Austin, white hydrangeas, sperengerii, eucalyptus, umbrella fern, sweet peas and lovely fragrant rosemary. The peonies changed throughout the day and opened up, I really loved how they looked and the scent was to die for.

All the groomsmen’s’ boutonnieres were totally different. Alex commented that his white peony looked like a scoop of gelato (ice-cream)!

In the church we had posies to match the flowers in the bouquets, tied in little jars at the pew-ends. These were then transported to the Merewood and dotted around the reception.

The Merewood’s dining tables were decorated with the gorgeous crystal cake plinths topped with relaxed designs featuring a stunning combination of roses, peonies, hydrangeas, gloriosa rothschild and sweet peas and foliage with Italian Olive foliage, with real peaches and apricots scattered about. Jane used the same flowers on the top table in a range of different glass vases and vessels, they were so pretty in the afternoon sunlght. We chose low flower displays so our guests could enjoy the Lakeland countryside from the Merewood’s huge windows.

We took lots of our flowers to our minimoon hotel which was close by and scattered them around our suite. They lasted until the end of the minimoon!

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (52)

We used the very patient Kerry from Project Pretty in Chester for our Save the Dates and invitations, the green backgrounds and coral flowers hinted at our colour scheme. Kerry also made the menus for each table which we stood up on old Prosecco corks we collected in Italy. Kerry was really easy to work with, even after our many amends on countless proofs!

I also designed the order of services for the church and my mum got these printed out in Liverpool. I collected family wedding photographs from both sets of parents of their own weddings and the weddings of their parents and they took pride of place in the hall way of the Merewood next to Alex’s Roman head which he has had since he was about 15! I also covered the J & A with special paper and glue to sit alongside these bits in the hallway of the Merewood to make it more personal.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (56)

The gold calligraphy table numbers were handmade in Texas by Tina at Better Off Wed. I loved how they looked against the flowers. We also hired gold Cheltenham chairs from Lancashire Event Hire, they tied in with the gold tones throughout the day.

I made the table plan from scratch and printed the table cards myself. I found the frame in a charity shop and painted it and bought the lace to string the tables onto it from a craft shop. The table plan sat on a really ornate gold easel from Megan at Typical Type. I loved how it turned out! We also hired a huge light up heart from Megan at Typical Type, this was really fun later on on the dancefloor and we got some great group shots after hours with it!

I also made the confetti out of coloured tissue paper and the confetti cones out of doilies which everyone used outside the church. We went bright on colour because you never know how the weather will be in the Lakes. I was really happy with the colours!

My bridesmaid Kate made the card sign which we hung on a vintage wicker picnic basket and bunting out of gorgeously pretty floral material, it looked so lovely on the day. I also bought tasseling for the sweet table and pom poms from Decopoms on Etsy which were dotted around the bar area.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (53)

Instead of favours we had a sweet table which my bridesmaid Claire organised the sweets for. She has a massive sweet tooth! We hired the jars and containers from local wedding stylist Amy Brunton at Sure to Surprise You and Amy styled the dresser with lace and pearls. I bought some peachy tasseling from Etsy to go along the sweet table.

Alex is a Yorkshire boy and one of our first dates was in Betty’s York on August 1st 2009. We decided early on that the cake would be from Betty’s, choosing between them was the hard part. In the end we went for three-tiered cake with two layers of their famous fondant fancies and the top layer was iced Swiss Sacher chocolate and apricot cake. It came with the most stunning solid silver cake stand and knife which were nearly 100 years old.

Lorna saved us two cakes and we ate these the next day in our suite with some champagne at the Gilpin and wallowed in the love.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (55)

We chose The Twentysomethings after researching and finding them online. They’re a covers band with great vocals and a trumpeter and saxophonist so they played all sorts from Prince to Daft Punk and Shaka Khan. It was really easy to work with Daniel and the band to get the set list right. Everyone danced all night, it was wonderful to see everyone letting their hair down and partying with us.

Music played a big part in our day. We had a close family friend, Richard, who is a super talented pianist play the music in the church. I entered to a really special song for both of us, the Cinematic Orchestra’s ‘To Build A Home’, and we left the church on a high with ‘Match of the Day’. It was amazing to have him play for us during these special moments.

Our first dance was to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ – they’re one of our favourite bands and we learned a fun 2 minute routine with Emma-Joy at All Steps who visited our house to teach us. Our guests loved it and it really set the tone for the night – the second song was ‘You Can Call Me Al’ for Alex! Everyone went crazy for that!

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (61)

I would whole-heartedly recommend the Merewood, it’s intimate enough to feel like home but grand enough to really make the day special. Lorna and her team quite frankly know their weddings so if something really won’t work they’ll tell you and suggest an alternative. That’s really helpful during wedding planning. They looked after every single guest and worked so hard to make everything run smoothly. Planning a wedding from aboard can be tough, but Lorna and the team at the Merewood were great over email and kept us updated on things.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (71)

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (76)

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (80)

We spent 3 romantic days at the Gilpin Lodge near Windermere in a garden suite with our private hot-tube, next to a very interested family of llamas. It was lovely to be surrounded by Jane’s flowers and to read our cards and open our gifts. We enjoyed lots of great food and some lovely spa treatments, as well as a cruise on Windermere.

Our proper honeymoon or maximoon is in October this year and we are going to India for three weeks. We’ll visit India’s spiritual centre in Rishikesh (the home of yoga), the have a few days in Delhi, then head to Agra and the Taj Mahal, then we’ll go on safari in Ranthambore and hopefully see some tigers, followed by a few nights in Jaipur (the Pink City) and Udaipur to the stunning lake. We both love India food and adventure.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (87)

Make time for each other throughout the day were you take in everything that is going on around you. It goes in the blink of an eye, so it’s important to have a few parts of the day alone to appreciate what you have achieved and what it means now for both of you. The amazingness has just begun, really.

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i dos in ivory. a bespoke gown for a simple yet stylish wedding at askham hall – carly & david

September 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (21)

Where do we start with today’s real wedding? We love it all!

From the dreamy Lake District venue to the chic, simple styling and romantic blooms, this wedding is brimming with class. Who would think that an all ivory wedding could pack such a pretty punch?

So to all those bride-to-bes looking for styling inspiration, sit back and take note on how simple can become stand out!

With images by Jessica O’Shaughnessy.

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (5)

carly says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2011. We were walking in Sefton Park, a large park in Liverpool at the time. This is the place where my nan and grandad met on the boating lake. David proposed on one knee whilst we were sitting on the park bench.

We set the date for Thursday 23rd July 2015. No significant reason really, other than I’m a teacher and it fitted in nicely with the six week break. A mid-week wedding at first wasn’t what we wanted, but the venue, Askham Hall in Penrith, had no other availability so we went with it.

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (8)

We always fancied the Lake District for our wedding as David’s mum has a place there and we visit quite often. When I was looking for the venue, I stumbled across Askham Hall; we both travelled up there Christmas of last year and loved it! It was exactly what we were looking for, small enough to be able to have exclusive use; it has a civil ceremony license to hold the ceremony in the barn attached to the venue and the grounds are stunning so it was perfect!

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (1)

We didn’t have a theme as such, but the styling was simple and clean. I’ve always liked the look of things when they’re not fussy and over the top so that’s what I had in mind really – classy)

In terms of colour, everything was ivory. My dress, bridesmaid dresses, stationary, cake etc. Again, I like the simple, clean look of this.

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (11)

My dress was bespoke Kirsty Doyle a local Liverpool designer, who I worked with when I was younger. Kirsty was making bridesmaid dresses for a good friend of mine and I approached her one day about making my dress. I took in a number of images and ideas to her studio and it was a step-by-step process until I had my dream dress, which fitted perfectly. My bridesmaid dresses are also designed and made by Kirsty. I knew Kirsty was the best and had heard numerous stories about her, so there was no question.

David, the best man and father of the bride all wore navy suits from Reiss, which were shop bought and then tailored to fit.

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (15)

Jessica O’Shaughnessy was our photographer and she is amazing! I couldn’t have wished for a better photographer on the day. She is so professional, laid back, friendly and of course creative. The images are stunning; she has a real natural flare I feel and I would certainly recommend her to others. Jessica fitted right in with the wedding party/guests and was really accommodating all day!

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (16)

My flowers were provided by Heather Feather from Flower Fashion. I carried a bouquet of David Austin roses and peonies and my bridesmaids’ bouquets were roses, peonies and sweet peas. They were divine! All ivory.

All the floral decorations were also done by Heather, and again all ivory. The table decorations were a mixture of tall centre pieces and lower ones. Floating candles were used. Candles were placed in tall vases down the aisle with rose petals too. Huge vases with hydrangeas were placed at the top and bottom of the aisle. Heather did all of this set up, arriving before the ceremony at 10am and staying until the wedding breakfast was set up! Other décor at the reception included drapes and fairy lights across the beams in the ceiling provided by SVL Lighting.

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (19)

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (25)

We also used a light up ‘love’ sign provided by a local guy called Matt from Party Pics Photobooths. He was great. He delivered, installed and collected the sign at no extra expense and the sign itself really made the venue in the evening.

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (26)

Favours were Grasmere gingerbread in the shape of a heart. Two pieces were given to each guest in a white heart shaped box with a simple piece of ribbon across the box with our names and the date on. There were provided by Grasmere Gingerbread.

Our cake was made by a family friend. Four tiers and all Victoria sponge with ivory icing. Fresh David Austin roses were placed on the cake by Heather at the venue for decoration.

In terms of food we had prosecco and canapés after the ceremony. Then for the wedding breakfast we chose, carrot and coriander soup to start, chicken, dauphinoise potatoes and seasonal vegetables for main and then shortbread, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce for desert.

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (30)

To create the desired ambiance, we had a string quartet playing for the guests in the barn before I arrived and they remained throughout the ceremony. They played Cannon in D as I was walking down the aisle, Kissing You as we were signing the register and then The Beatles All You Need Is Love as we were walking out together. We then had the Gypsies of Bohemia playing on the lawns of the hall as our guests were having prosecco and canapés. Later in the evening we had a band called The Four Wise Monkeys playing for two hours, then a DJ until 1.30am. David was responsible for sorting out the entertainment. The two groups were recommended by the hall however, and after some of our own research, we decided to go with them – they were great!

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (32)

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (31)

Special additions to the day included a reading in the ceremony given by David’s sister. We also decided just before our first dance, to get everyone in the mood to have a good dance, that we would offer everyone a shot of tequila. The staff at the venue were very accommodating and came around with the shot, salt and lime, for each guest. We all got together on the dance floor, had the shot and hopefully then everyone was in the mood for the evening even more so!

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (40)

We would definitely recommend our venue to other couples. The whole experience was amazing. We were able to have the venue exclusively, so we checked in on the Wednesday, used the spa, outdoor heated pool and had amazing food and drinks in the evening for all guests. Then breakfast the following day was stunning too. Everything that the staff did was perfect. They were always there, without being seen really, so it felt like the whole place was ours for those few days. Just amazing!

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (41)

It’s hard to say what my favourite part of the day was, but if I had to choose it would probably be just after the ceremony and having prosecco and canapés on the lawns of the venue. The weather was amazing, and it was the perfect time to soak it all up, chat with our guests and listen to The Gypsies of Bohemia playing lovely music. I wish I could re-live that time and time again!

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (48)

Because David works in Qatar, our honeymoon had to be short so as he could get back to work. We travelled to Paris for two nights and two days, and then flew to Cannes for three nights, three days, then to Monte Carlo for one night. It was brilliant. David organised this without me knowing! So when I was told about this, I was over the moon! It was a magical time!

A chic wedding at Askham Hall (c) Jessica O'Shaughnessy (49)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not over-think anything. Go with your gut instinct on things that you like and see and stick with it. One thing everyone told me was to enjoy it and make sure you take everything in because it goes by so quickly! It’s the best time of your life.

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lake side. sophia tolli for an intimate wedding at the samling – mia & pete

August 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (49)

The guest list for today’s wedding at The Samling doesn’t even reach double figures as Mia and Pete decided on a small and intimate wedding featuring spectacular views and first class food surrounded by just their very nearest and dearest.

Showing that size doesn’t mean everything, the day is brimming with class, elegance and smiles as all involved enjoy the relaxed and magical atmosphere by the side of Lake Windermere.

With images by James Tracey Photography.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (1)

mia says: We got engaged in January 2014 in the Lake District. Pete surprised me with a weekend away to Aphrodite’s near Bowness to celebrate our third year anniversary. We had just finished relaxing in the hot tub with a glass of champagne and I went into the bathroom to get changed. I came back out to Pete down on one knee holding out a ring! It was a complete surprise and I kept asking him over and over again whether he was being serious! In the end he said “So what do you think, then?” and of course, I said “yes”.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (2)

Our wedding was 20th June 2015. We chose that date as we wanted a summer wedding, the day before the longest day of the year being ideal. It also gave us enough time to save up for it!

We chose The Samling in the Lake District as our venue. We knew we wanted to get married in the Lake District as it was where we had spent our first weekend together as a couple and it was also where Pete proposed so the location had a lot of meaning. The Lake District also has absolutely stunning scenery making it a perfect setting for a wedding. As we were having a very small intimate wedding (just eight people including ourselves!) we wanted a venue that would complement this which The Samling did, given the exclusivity of the venue. We were also attracted to the Samling for its Michelin star menu, Pete and I being very much into our food. We went to visit The Samling and knew straight away it was where we wanted our wedding – it was the first and last place we visited when looking for a venue. After seeing the panoramic views of Lake Windermere, we knew we were making the right choice!

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

We didn’t have a theme for our wedding but wanted an intimate, understated affair which was very special at the same time. The venue where we had the wedding matched our styles and tastes exactly in that it is not stuffy and overly fussy but had luxurious and special features to it. The style of wedding we had allowed us to think of different ideas as went along while planning the wedding.
While we had a very small wedding, we’re also having a party later in the year to celebrate with all our friends and family.

We didn’t have a colour scheme as such but chose a lot of white and yellow as they both complement each other and are lovely, summery colours.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (12)

My dress was a gown by Sophia Tolli purchased from The Bridal Path in Altrincham. It was a fitted lace dress which was ivory and champagne coloured. It had a plunging v neckline and crystal beading scattered across the dress. It also had a sheer back bodice with crystal buttons cascading down the back and a long train. I felt the dress was very elegant and classic. I knew it was the right dress for me as soon as I tried it on!

On the wedding day I wore my dress with peep toe silver shoes by Jimmy Choo. I chose these shoes as they really fitted the style of my dress and I can wear them again.  On my head I wore a Swarovski crystal encrusted head piece by Halo & Co, purchased from Liberty in LoveRebecca Forshaw, a hair and makeup artist based in the North West, did my hair and makeup on the day. She did a fantastic job and I never imagined I could look so glamourous!

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

Pete wore a blue-grey, light woollen three piece suit. The cloth came from Scabal, and was ordered and tailored by Richard Smith Bespoke in Manchester city centre, who also provided the tie and pocket square. The pale blue, super slim-fitting stretch shirt came from Thomas Pink in Manchester, and the brown shoes were from Jeffrey West, also in Manchester.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (21)

For my flowers, I had a beautiful but simple shower bouquet made up of white orchids, with green foliage which was provided by Kerry at The Floristry in Kendal. Kerry also provided all our flowers for the day. We had had a mixture of white orchids, yellow flowers and green foliage to decorate the wedding reception. We had a large vase of flowers in the centre of the dinner table with smaller vases of flowers at the side of this. Kerry was fantastic and created everything we asked for.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (34)

Our wedding cake was a two tiered fruit cake with white icing which was decorated with pink flowers. It was from Marks & Spencer.

For the wedding breakfast we had a Michelin star taster menu created by Ian Swainson, head chef at the Samling. It was an absolutely unbelievable gastronomic experience! We had a wine pairing with each course as recommended by their sommelier.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (38)

We chose Maxine Molin, a harpist, to play during the ceremony and our champagne reception due to her excellent reputation. Also the harp sounds beautiful and fitted in with the understated and relaxed theme of our wedding.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (41)

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue. Not only was it spectacular and exclusive, the service we were provided with was second to none. All the staff ensured our whole day went seamlessly and they made us feel very relaxed. They were very open to what we required and went out of their way to provide it.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (50)

It really was the best day of my life so it’s difficult to pick a favourite part of the day! I would say one of the highlights however was relaxing in the outdoor hot tub in the evening after our meal overlooking the whole of Lake Windermere!

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (54)

We aren’t going on honeymoon until October. We are going to South Africa and then on to Mauritius and we cannot wait! We’re spending a few nights in Cape Town, then on to the wine regions for plenty of wine tasting! We’re then ending the trip in Mauritius which will be completely relaxing.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be don’t be scared of breaking with tradition. We had traditional but many untraditional elements to our wedding, for example, I walked into the wedding ceremony to the harpist playing Metallica! Tradition and convention also advocate a large, lavish wedding. Although these events can be fantastic, if an intimate event suits you then you should go for it as it is so personal and rewarding. Whatever you choose, make the most of all the attention being lavished on you for one day!

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