Charlotte Balbier

love locks. lilac and lace for a stunning celebration at adlington hall – sarah & ross

March 26th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (66)

Avid Brides Up North reader Sarah’s wedding to her new husband Ross was a truly gorgeous affair. From her lace Victoria Jane dress (oh, how we love a gown with beautiful back detailing) to the stately setting and vintage transport, everything about the big day is stunning.

We also absolutely adore the theme for this fabulous North West wedding – love is the key.

So join us as we unlock and relive Sarah and Ross’ big day.

With images by James Tracey Photography and Daniel Lloyd Photography.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (2)

sarah says: We got engaged on 14th August 2013. This was the day before my birthday and Ross had surprised me with a night at Peckforton Castle in Tarporley. Whilst he was checking in, they told him there would be a tour of the hotel before dinner. I was more concerned about traipsing around in my heels but Ross managed to persuade me (as he had planned this it was a good job!) The guy showing us round took us all around the hotel, telling us the history which was great. In the grounds of the castle there is a chapel, as we walked in the whole place was filled with candles and looked beautiful. As I was looking around, Ross had gone down on one knee with a beautiful ring. I was so shocked and lost for words he had to ask me three times if it was a yes! We came out to a champagne reception and had the most amazing meal – it was perfect.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

We chose to get married on 15th February 2015. It gave us 18 months to plan which we thought would be about right. We looked at having it on Valentine’s Day but we though guests might want to be on their own that day. Also it means that Ross has to buy me a present for Valentine’s and our anniversary now instead of having a combined one!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (17)

We got married at Adlington Hall & Gardens. We looked at a few venues, as we were having a civil ceremony, we knew we didn’t just want to get married in any old hotel room and none we saw were quite right. We made an appointment to view Adlington Hall and as soon as we walked into The Great Hall we were absolutely blown away by how stunning it was, it was the one! We loved the fact the whole place was ours for the day and we were truly treated like royalty. We also loved the fact we had two different venues in one. The ceremony in The Great Hall and wedding breakfast at the Hunting Lodge. From the very first meeting we had, the whole team were amazing professionals. This gave us confidence that the day would go smoothly. It was perfect!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

We have two children Scarlett, aged eight, and Oscar, aged three, who were our flower girl and page boy at the wedding. Scarlett did a beautiful reading (A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton) at the ceremony which was very special and there were definitely a few tears shed by all. It was lovely to have them involved.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (23)

I came across the quote by Oliver Wendel Holmes – ‘love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness’ – and the whole ‘Love is the Key’ theme was born! I wanted something elegant and vintage that would reflect the history of the venue. Also very romantic with lots of candles, beautiful flowers and pearls.

We chose lilac and ivory as our colour scheme. Purple is my favourite colour and this fitted in nicely for the vintage elegance we were trying to achieve.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (25)

I knew I wanted a fitted, mermaid style lace dress but I wanted something at the back of the dress that made it different. As soon as I saw the Victoria Jane Ivy dress I knew that ticked all the boxes! I loved the pearl draping at the back and I thought it looked very elegant and vintage, which is exactly what I was looking for. I teamed this with a beautiful pearl headpiece which reflected the draping on the dress. I got this from a shop on Etsy called Gilded Shadows, it came over from the United States and was perfect. I also wore a crystal edged veil which was my ‘something borrowed’ as it was my wonderful sister Rebecca’s wedding veil she let me use. My diamante encrusted shoes came from Next and matched perfectly.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (34)

Ross wore a dark blue suit with grey waistcoat by Paul Costelloe. He teamed this with a grey and lilac tie which brought the whole outfit together. He looked very handsome!

My two sisters wore long lilac chiffon dresses with embellished necklines, which they teamed with a pale lilac feather cape from Coast. They also wore a pearl hair comb from Highland Angel which finished the whole outfit beautifully, they looked stunning!

The three (yes three!) best men and our fathers all wore two-piece navy blue suits from Austin Reed. They teamed this with a lilac tie. My son and three nephews as pageboys wore navy suits from BHS with lilac bow ties and lilac trainers – super cute! My daughter’s dress was by Pearce Fionda, I also got a vintage style diamante brooch to put on the waistband which mirrored my dress.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (38)

My father, my son and I arrived at the venue in a stunning 1930s Beauford. The rest of the bridal party arrived in a Daimler State Limousine.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

Our photographer was James Tracey. I had looked at loads of photographers on the internet and James’ images really stood out. We knew we didn’t want the cheesy poses and wanted natural, documentary style images that really told the story of our day. James did not disappoint at all. We met for a pre-wedding shoot which was fantastic as it really helped us to relax in front of the camera when wedding day nerves set in and gave us confidence that the images would be great on the day. The images we have are stunning and have really captured the best moments of the day. James really talked us through every stage but was so unobtrusive on the day, it was perfect. We were both blown away and would highly recommend him. So many of our guests have commented on how amazing the images are too!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (50)

I wanted an informal bouquet in lilac and ivory with foliage. I had seen the amnesia rose and knew I wanted them included as they are a beautiful lilac colour and look so vintage. I also included lavender in all the flowers as I love the smell and the colours and style matched perfectly with the day. I also got some vintage style pearl brooches which were put onto mine and my bridesmaids’ bouquets and really finished them off. The flowers were provided by The Wild Bunch in Macclesfield. They were absolutely fantastic and exceeded my expectations in how they translated my vision for the styling of the day.

The Wild Bunch also provided flowers for the decor. I wanted lots of candles and cluster vases with various flowers that tied in with my bouquet. We had this set up for the ceremony table and also the top table. We used some vases which my sister-in-law had used at her wedding last year which was a special touch. It was stunning and took my breath away when I first walked in. The smell of lavender was amazing. The tables had fish bowl centre pieces with matching flowers. I had sourced lots of mercury glass tea light holders as well as some gorgeous antique lilac coloured ones which had pearl details on. There were lots of holders in various shapes and sizes on every table and around the cake. It created such a romantic feel to the day. There were also scatters of table pearls which completed the look.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (55)

We gave our guests bottle openers shaped like a vintage key as favours. They seemed to like the practical gift! For the evening we made some hangover kits. I found some small muslin bags on Etsy and had them personalised and sent over from The States. I filled them with mints, plasters and Alka Seltzer and put them over a bottle of water. A lifesaver for those who were celebrating a bit too hard!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (57)

My amazing friend Nova made my cake despite being nearly eight months pregnant! It was a three-tier sponge cake of chocolate, lemon and vanilla – delicious! It was lilac and ivory and had lace effect icing on the top two tiers. There were ivory and amnesia roses, foliage and pearl droplets in between the bottom two tiers. I also had an amazing cake topper custom made from Better off Wed on Etsy which said Love is the Key.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (61)

Ross and I are massive foodies so this was a really important part of the day. We had a delicious selection of canapés after the ceremony with champagne and mulled wine, which was perfect for a winter wedding. For our wedding breakfast we wanted food that we love and decided on smoked salmon to start, fillet mignon, which was absolutely amazing and perfectly cooked, for main followed by profiteroles with chocolate rum sauce for the gents and raspberry creme brûlée with shortbread biscuit for the ladies with coffee and petit fours to finish. We had a choice of wine and champagne too. For the evening we had bacon, sausage and fish finger sandwiches. Just what was needed! The crepes just about finished us off but I managed to squeeze in a chocolate and Baileys one!

The food was unbelievable, all our guests couldn’t compliment it enough. We also used vintage champagne saucers for the toast. These had been tirelessly scoured for by Ross’ parents and sister Fran and had been used at her wedding last year. It was a lovely finishing touch and was extra special as they were hers.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (65)

We used the amazing pianist Guy Porteous, to play from the ceremony right through to the end of the wedding breakfast. He is fantastically talented and was a lovely extra special touch to have him there. In the evening we chose to have a DJ to get the party started. He is the resident DJ at Adlington Hall and did a great job getting everyone dancing with a variety of songs that catered for the varied age range.

In terms of special touches, I had seen the large light up letters people hire for weddings and thought they made such a great focal point. I hired our LOVE sign from Dressed to Impress at Blakemere and it added a real wow factor, perfect for photo poses! We also had a wish tree as an alternative guest book. I found some tags on eBay which guests wrote their ‘key to a happy marriage’ message on and hung them on the tree. This was decorated with fairy lights, crystals and some vintage keys borrowed from Ross’ parents. I spent ages making escort card tags for the guest seating plan. I attached small keys to each tag and hung them from a mirror on ribbons. The guests then took their own key tag to keep. It was something different and the guests loved it. We hired a crepe station as a surprise for our guests in the evening. Original Crepes were fantastic, they provided a huge choice of sweet and savoury crepes and they tasted delicious. It was something the guests weren’t expecting and everyone loved it!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (69)

I had a sign made for our son Oscar to carry down the aisle, it said: ‘Daddy here comes Mummy’. He’d been practicing holding it and walking so steadily and was so proud of himself when he got to the end! We also had framed photographs of both sets of parents on their wedding days, as they have both been married for over 40 years this was a good inspiration!

We hired a videographer as we wanted to capture the day and have a great memento of the action. We used Creative Videos, Barry was fantastic and as he had filmed my sister’s wedding previously, we knew the video would be fantastic.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (73)

We would absolutely recommend Adlington Hall! From the moment we walked in we were overwhelmed by how stunning it was. The food amazing, the staff so professional and accommodating. Everything was more than we hoped for, my dream wedding venue!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (76)

I think my favourite part of the day was when the doors opened to The Great Hall and I was ready to walk down the aisle. On my dad’s arm, looking at all the most important people in our lives all there just for us was totally overwhelming.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (80)

We are going on a family honeymoon with our children in the summer. My next planning project now I have no wedding to plan!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (79)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is to utilise the talents of your friends and family. My sisters Rebecca and Jessica did my makeup and hair and my talented friend Nova made our fabulous cake. It was extra special for them to play such an important role. Oh yes, and plenty of waterproof mascara!

From getting engaged Brides up North was my go to for inspiration. I have been an avid reader of the real life weddings and I’m so excited to now be one of them!

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silver lining. a highly entertaining wedding at west tower – sally & simon

March 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (66)

Having a good time was certainly high up on the priority list for today’s real wedding couple.

Sally and Simon planned their wedding date around securing the right entertainment for their big day in order to ensure the celebrations went with a bang.

Lots of singing, dancing, cocktails and a Jaeger train resulted in a fabulously fun wedding that went on into the small hours.

So it’s full steam ahead with today’s real wedding inspiration… cheers!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (9)

sally says: We got engaged on July 18th 2014. Simon took me and our dog Oscar for a walk up Rivington Pike, it’s all uphill and I nearly gave up half way up but he made me carry on. I’m so glad I did as when we reached the top he got down on one knee! He had a mini bottle of champagne with glass and a can of Stella in his back pack to celebrate! He chose there as we often visit and you can see the church where his dad is buried so it made it that little bit more special!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (11)

We tied the knot on 7th February 2015, the date kind of picked us! We didn’t want a long engagement and always wanted a winter wedding so decided early 2015. The only thing that was a must was having Howard Wing as our entertainment, so it was a case of checking Howard’s diary along with the venues (and Bolton Wanderers fixtures!). I loved having the wedding so soon after the engagement, it meant I didn’t dwell on decisions and everyone’s excitement levels were high all the time!

We were married at Holy Trinity Church, Horwich as Simon’s dad is there. We then went on the have our reception at West Tower, Ormskirk. Years before I met Simon my sister was planning her wedding and was given the brochure by a friend, from that day I said it was where I wanted to get married. We thought it would be out of budget but we were allowed to tailor a package that suit our budget. Neither of us had ever been but we booked straight after our first visit!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (15)

I wanted the theme of the wedding to be very simple and classic. I always wanted an all-white wedding and added a touch of silver to add a little sparkle!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (18)

I wore an Ellis dress, style 11330 from Bridal Italia in Bolton, who were amazing! I always wanted lace strapless mermaid design and must have tried every lace strapless dress made! I wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice but I felt a million dollars on the day and wouldn’t change it! The in-house seamstress made so many changes to the dress to get it exactly as I wanted, covering the tulle neckline with matching lace and creating a deeper sweetheart. I always wanted a bolero to cover up at church so they made me a matching one from scratch. It was exactly what I had pictured in my mind! A few days before the wedding I decide to have a cathedral length veil which Bridal Italia altered to add extra lace down the edges – it gave the wow factor!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (19)

Simon wore a navy three-piece suit from Next, my dress had polka dots within the tulle so he wore a spotty pocket square and a silver tie to match the bridesmaids!

The groomsmen wore matching two-piece suits to Simon but had polka dot navy ties. I had seven bridesmaids who all have their own styles and I wanted them all to love their dress and feel comfortable. So, I decided to go for a multiway dress where each girl could choose a style that suited them. They also had an optional lace bandeau. I encouraged them all to be different with hair, makeup and accessories so they felt amazing and they all did! The dresses were from Coralie Beatrix who sells on Esty.

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (21)

It took a team of people to get me and seven bridesmaids ready on the day! My hair was done by Paisley Gamble and make-up by Helen Cafferky, I cannot recommend both enough and will use them both again in the future.

We wanted to cut back on some expenses so decided my dad would drive me to church as he has a lovely car. I bought ribbons to put on and champagne for the journey to the venue. However! On the day just as I had put my dress on and was making my way downstairs my sister told me to look out the window, and there was a vintage silver car waiting! Her and my mum had surprised us, Simon didn’t know about it either until we left the church, he loved it!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (29)

Our photographer was Jonny Draper. He was recommended to us by Howard Wing and as soon as I saw his blog I knew I had to have him! I can’t recommend Jonny enough, he’s great fun and completely put us at ease, he understood exactly what I wanted and the pictures are fantastic!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (33)

My flowers were supplied by Sue Nunn, we were on the same page immediately! I carried a simple bouquet of white roses and I chose centrepieces in all white. She made the table arrangements propped on four test tube vases so views were not obstructed and we added lots of mini tea lights and vases all over the tables! To save a little I asked Sue to provide seven empty vases on the top table for my bridesmaid bouquets, they looked great and kept the flowers fresh to take home! I also hired petal table clothes and silver sequin runners from Gilded Linens for something a little different along with lace chair sashes from Princess4aday.

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (49)

As favours we decided to make a charity donation to two charities close to our hearts in remembrance of loved ones we have lost. I bought charity pins for the guests to take away with them.

I called in quite a few favours for the wedding, the cake being one! I left the whole cake design to one of my bridesmaids, Michelle, who had a friend at work that made individually designed cupcakes and a cutting cake. I didn’t see them until the day and they were a lovely surprise!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (43)

One of our planning highlights was the food and wine tasting. We sampled several dishes and settled on butternut squash soup, chicken with a creamy leek and mushroom sauce (yum) and profiteroles. West Tower allowed us to tweak recipes to get exactly what we wanted. We were given so many wines to choose from and Brian spent a lot of time with us tailoring a drinks package to suit. We had several compliments on the red wine we chose! We chose two different beers for the reception drinks, Moretti and Budvar and a Kir Royale for the ladies. The only thing I can recommend for any brides getting married at West Tower is don’t drive to the tasting! I have never seen so much wine and so many cocktails!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (50)

We had Mike Smith Sax Player to provide entertainment for reception drinks, this was a surprise given to me on my hen party from the girls! Later we had Howard Wing. Since we saw Howard for the first time at a friend’s wedding I said I would never get married without him! We wanted a huge party to celebrate our wedding and that’s certainly what Howard delivers. There aren’t enough words to describe how good he is and how many amazing memories I have from the day. He gets everyone involved and in the party spirit. We also booked a DJ – Dave Jones – through Howard Wing, he was amazing, I didn’t leave the dance floor all night!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (52)

We wanted to add special touches to our day to ensure our guests had the best time! One extra was the Jaeger train; we had 100 Jaeger bombs set up and had a race against each other. Simon won however he did slip and fall knocking a few over the bar! Luckily it was all caught on camera and on the short video Howard Wing made on the day! Another little special touch was to have our ‘last kiss’ before our first kiss. We really wanted to make our mums feel special on the day, so as a surprise they were invited up during the ceremony to give us our last kiss as single people before our first. We chose our mothers as they had given us our first ever kiss at birth. We also had Candles 2 Cherish make us two candles in memory of lost ones which we lit during the ceremony and are a great keep sake.

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (60)

We would definitely recommend West Tower to others. The venue and setting are stunning and the main reason we booked. Other than the fact the place is stunning, the food is incredible and the staff couldn’t do enough for us. Brian and Charlotte helped with all the planning and Lindsey made sure our day went without a hitch! Lindsey cares about every little detail which was great as I was very particular! After meeting Lindsey I had no worried about the day and felt completely relaxed to leave everything to her! The waiting staff and bar staff are also superb, extremely polite and accommodating, they even stayed up until we wanted to go to bed at 4.30am!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (70)

My favourite part of the day was standing in church next to Simon, all nerves disappeared and I couldn’t take the smile off my face! Closely followed by Howard Wing’s entertainment – epic!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (72)

We left a few days after the wedding for our honeymoon, we went to Jamaica and stayed at Secrets Wild Orchid. The hotel was amazing and it was great to just get away alone and really relax!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (76)

I would advise other Brides Up North not to cut corners on a photographer as after it’s all over you will want amazing memories to look back on! And…the little things really don’t matter!

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hens in the city: manchester

March 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Manchester Hen Ideas  (1)

For our next hen do hot spot we’re shining the spotlight on the cool city of manchester.

Perhaps most famous for its elite football teams, the city has so much to offer those who venture further than Old Trafford.

By day ladies can enjoy some serious retail therapy and fun daytime activities before the city really comes alive in the evening with different areas for groups to explore. Quirky bars, cosmopolitan restaurants and swanky clubs – it really has got it all.

Hens could also be lucky enough to spot the odd celeb with members of the Corrie and Hollyoaks cast, not to mention a WAG or two, living close by.

So pack the ‘L’ plates ladies as we go west!

where to stay

There is accommodation to suit all groups of ladies in Manchester’s bustling city centre. In order to make the right choice for you and your gals, you’ll need to look at the location, price range and setting that’s most desirable.

Those looking for a grand hotel with historic charm will adore The Midland, ideally located in the heart of the city centre on Peter Street. During its 100 year history, the hotel is said to have played host to kings, queens presidents, prime ministers, rock stars – and no doubt a few hens.

A haven of relaxation can be found at the Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa on London Road or the Radison Blu Edwardian Hotel on Peter Street. Both boast tranquil spas, ideal for hens who want to unwind during the day before hitting the bars hard at night. Radison’s Sienna Spa located in the basement includes a sauna, steam room, gym and swimming pool while Macdonald’s signature thermal suite features a hot rock sauna, infra-red sauna, eucalyptus scented steam room, sensation shower, ice igloo and heated loungers.

Keeping at the luxury end of the budget the Great John Street hotel is a top pick for many who visit the city. A former Victorian school house located in walking distance of Deansgate, this is a stylish hotel with quirky features, including separate boys and girls staircases to its roof top playground. Here hens will find a terrace, hot tub, sun lounges and bar – what more could a girl want?

For those not wanting to splurge as much on accommodation The Crowne Plaza Hotel located on Shudehill close to the city’s Northern Quarter offers modern rooms at a modest price. Alternatively hens might like to book into Princess Street’s Roomzzz Aparthotel – serviced apartments with a stylish finish. The rooms boast quirky touches such as four-poster beds and all have a well-equipped kitchen, which could save you some money on your meals.

As with all big cities Manchester is also home to numerous budget hotels such as Premier Inn and Novotel – ideal for parties not looking to spend much time in their rooms.

Manchester Hen Ideas  (2)

what to do

Undoubtedly Manchester is one of the very best destinations in the country for shopping (hello Selfridges!) and therefore a spree is a must for hen parties. In the city centre ladies will find both independent fashion retailers and high street favourites including Zara, Whistles and Reiss as well as designers like Vivienne Westwood, plus top department stores Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

And if that’s not enough, groups can always allocate a day of the hen do for some serious retail therapy at the Trafford Centre. Located five miles out of the city centre, the famous shopping complex houses more than 200 stores meaning you can literally shop ‘til you drop.

Groups looking for a fun and competitive activity might like to visit to Manchester’s All Star Lanes for a spot of boutique bowling. The Deansgate venue has a private bowling room perfect for hens that comes complete with two bowling lanes, a private cocktail bar, seasonal canapé menu, staff and even the option of karaoke.

Hens worried about breaking glasses with their singing voices however might prefer a dance class. The Manchester Dance Centre offers groups the opportunity to learn a routine of their choice, from the fierce moves of Beyoncé to musical favourites, such as Dirty Dancing and Chicago.

Or for something different altogether, ladies could book to play Breakout Manchester – a live escape room where groups of friends are locked into a room for an hour and have to solve a series of puzzles to escape. Sounds very Crystal Maze to us!

After a heavy night on the tiles, a visit to a spa may well be in order and fortunately there are two fabulous options tucked away in Manchester’s city centre: Spa Satori and Bali Health Lounge. Here hens can indulge in spa and beauty treatments including massages, facials, manicures and much more.

where to eat & drink

Different areas of Manchester’s city centre offer different types of nights out.

Hens looking for a cool and quirky scene would probably be best suited to The Northern Quarter. Bursting with character the area is known to have some of the city’s very best independent bars and pubs. Prepare for some highly stylish as well as weird and wonderful décor.

For cocktail fans there is the cosmopolitan Montpellier’s Cafe & Bar which claims to have an ever changing cocktail menu, or the 1950s inspired Hula Tiki Lounge with more than 100 different rums behind the bar. Dry Bar is the perfect place to go for drinks and dancing with its DJs playing everything from indie to 80s electronica. Hens not keen on a heavy meal before a night out should look up the Wood Wine & Deli Bar which offers delicious cheese and meat sharing platters along with a glass of vino. For something a little different groups should book into Abel Haywood for brunch where you can design your own bloody Mary to wash down a Manchester fry up.

Deansgate is known for the more trendy bars in the city – an area where people like to be seen. Top picks for drinks and eats would be The Botanist, The Living Room and also Elixir Tonic & Treats. Meanwhile for clubbing there is the swanky Suede Nightclub – a VIP super club – and the Bijou Club, which is said to attract the city’s celebs.

Keeping things sophisticated, Spinningfields has become a more upmarket area of the city that has attracted numerous stylish cocktail and champagne bars. Australaisa is a sleek venue known for its signature cocktails and Australian cuisine with Southeast Asian influences. Popular haunts including The Alchemist and Artisan can also be found in this area.

Chain bars such as Revolution and Pitcher & Piano are located in the Deansgate Locks area while late night options for hard-core hens include Tiger Tiger at the Printworks and the Black Dog Ballroom in the Northern Quarter. For a little bit of cheese (after all it is a hen do) there’s also The Birdcage located in Manchester’s Arndale Shopping Centre which hosts cabaret performances by drag artists, showgirls and male dancers (think Magic Mike), plus DJs playing disco classics so groups can still hit the dance floor.

Never mind a weekend, you might need a whole week in this city ladies!

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diary date. vintage sparkle at the bowdon rooms!

March 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

The Bowdon Rooms Spring 2015

We’re so excited to introduce the next event in our so-far so-fabulous spring 2015 calendar with more than a good sprinkle of vintage sparkle! *Does dance* The finest North West vintage wedding industry talent will be descending upon The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham, for our fifth Luxury and Vintage Wedding Exhibition at this unique & authentic vintage venue next Sunday 22nd March 2015!

Like everything vintagey, these events just get better and better with age.  It’s going to be even fabulous this time around. You need to be there.

This brilliant, exclusive use venue is as fun as it is special, with it’s high ceilings, sparkling drapes, ornate fireplaces and perfectly sprung dance floor.  Dancing shoes at the ready!  If you are looking for a bespoke and private wedding venue with a little added period pizazz, it’s your lucky day.

The venue’s helpful team will be on hand to answer your queries and take bookings (form an orderly queue please!) and I’ll be there to talk wedding pretty till I’m hoarse.  I genuinely love this venue and am really excited to see my gorgeous readers there.  Please do seek me out and say hello, I adore hearing about your plans.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like a bit of a party…

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

the bowdon rooms

Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition

The Firs, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 2TQ

Sunday 22nd March 2015

12pm till 4pm

FREE ENTRY

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

bride to be?

We’re giving away up to 150 free Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our sponsors John Lewis Cheadle & Love Hearts.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.

While stocks last only.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

Number of people attending the event (including yourself) (required)

Middleton Lodge ONLY: Would you like to book a venue viewing appointment with the Middleton Lodge team? Brides Up North will contact you with available times.

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

wedding industry professional?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2015. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this year.

Click here to view the full schedule.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Since their inception in spring 2012, all exhibitions have been sell outs on exhibitor space with a record attendance for every venue. Consequently, we expect demand to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

Email Julia at contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk for details.

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

We had such a fantastic time at our last four events at this beautiful venue – these images were snapped by Martin Hambleton Photography – and can’t wait to do it all again, with a host of great suppliers ready to make your big day into the stuff of your dreams.

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

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the cool kids. donna lee for a stylish and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall Hotel – jai & mish

March 6th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (10)

When we received the details of Jai and Mish’s big day I had to double take the time frame between their engagement and wedding date – three months, surely it’s an error. But the error was mine, for this incredibly organised couple planned their fabulous big day in just 12 weeks. Here Jai and Mish prove that keeping things simple can sometimes work best.

We love Mish’s cool wedding day look and the men keep their style stakes high too with their burgundy and navy suits and patterned paisley shirts.

Fashion fans might want to take note.

With images by Pixies in the Cellar.

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (3)

mish says: We got engaged 1st November 2013 in Edinburgh and set the date for 25th January 2014.

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (6)

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (4)

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (5)

Rowton Hall Hotel in Chester was our chosen venue for both the ceremony and reception. We wanted somewhere we could hire on an exclusive use basis. We booked the whole hotel including all 37 bedrooms so that family and friends could stay all weekend with us.

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (12)

Rustic woodland was the theme we picked. Jai made all of the table centre log candles, the wooden bench that we asked guests to sign and the wooden box for guests to put cards in.

We didn’t have a colour scheme as such but chose a palette of creams, lilacs, and browns.

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (14)

My dress was by Donna Lee, a British designer and the style was called Pansy. I wore a handmade veil that I made myself and a necklace that my mum had made by Simon at Fraser Bell jewellers in West Kirby, Wirral, using stones from my great grandmother’s and my mother’s engagement rings.

Simon also made all of our rings, including my engagement ring.

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (18)

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (20)

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (21)

Jai wore a burgundy blazer and paisley shirt from Burtons and navy suit trousers, as did the best man.

The bridesmaids wore dresses from Ted Baker and the groomsmen wore navy slim fit suits from Moss Bros which we bought so that the boys could keep them.

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (27)

There were several special touches to our day which were contributed by different people. I travelled in my dad’s yellow 1973 Ford Capri. It rained on the way to the wedding and a windscreen wiper fell off but my dad luckily had a spare in the boot! Our wedding cake was made by Jai’s mum – it was a three-tier rice crispy toffee cake, his grandmother’s recipe. She isn’t with us anymore so this was a nice way to remember his grandmother.

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (35)

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (32)

We gave Kinder Eggs for favours and as a little extra for our guests we also made goody bags to go in each of the hotel rooms, which included paracetamol and some crisps and juice!

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (37)

For my flowers I had a round vintage arrangement and the bridesmaids had smaller versions. The flowers were from Cocoa Flowers in Chester.

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (41)

We used a DJ from Event Services Direct to provide the evening entertainment.

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (43)

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (48)

Having the photographs taken in the evening with the sparklers was definitely one of our favourite parts of the day. It was great fun because we told our friends about our engagement on bonfire night.

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (47)

For our honeymoon we went to Sri Lanka on a private tour around the country and then a stop off for two nights in Dubai for a bit of shopping.

a cute and quirky wedding at Rowton Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar  (42)

My top tip to other brides up north would be that it doesn’t have to take years to plan a wedding, we organised everything in three months, just keep it simple. Making a lot of the details ourselves kept everything within budget and gave our wedding a personal touch.

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