Brides Up North

silver screen. jenny packham for a 1920s inspired cinema wedding in Manchester – melanie & chris

September 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (25)

Let’s get the week of to a really fabulous start with this old Hollywood inspired – and super cool – cinema wedding in Manchester, sent to me by Brides Up North Sponsor Andrea of Fabulous Day wedding planning, and real bride Melanie.

Popcorn at the ready.  Roll film.

With images by Miki Photography.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (4)

Melanie says: We got engaged in Wembley Stadium. We had spent the day at Wembley waiting to see my favourite artist Bruce Springsteen. When he played an acoustic version of Thunder Road to finish the set, Chris got down on one knee in the middle of the crowd and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!

We were married on 7th June 2014. With a World Cup year and Glastonbury tickets booked we were limited to which dates we could pick, we would hate to miss an important football match! The 7th June was sports and festival free! Our engagement was just under one year which was the timeframe we wanted.

We chose Cornerhouse Cinema on Oxford Road in Manchester. We wanted somewhere that we had been before and had a connection with. We’re not church people and we felt that the town hall was a right of passage for Mancunians – which neither of us are! So when we realised the Cornerhouse was licensed to do weddings, it was an easy decision to make. We go there regularly and it’s somewhere we enjoy spending time.

The cinema venue seemed to naturally lend itself to influence the theme for the day which was 1920s Hollywood glamour.

Tying in with the theme, we tried to keep the colours classic with deep navy, burgundy and rosewater (bridesmaid dresses) the main colours. The groom and the best men were in navy and our flowers were a mix of nude, rosewater and burgundy.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (6)

My dress was ‘Eden’ by Jenny Packham which I bought from The White Closet in Didsbury.

Anyone who knows me will not that I’m not the girliest girl or someone who would be naturally drawn to a floor-length dress. I always thought I was too short to wear one. Originally I was looking for a tea-length dress. So I tried on many beautiful dresses but nothing seemed to click. Then the lady at The White Closet suggested ‘Eden’, immediately I said it wouldn’t suit me but she encouraged me to try it ‘even just to rule it out’, when I put it on I couldn’t believe how it looked and I knew straight away that this was the dress for such a special occasion.

Chris wore a tailor made suit which was made in Italy but measured and designed at Doherty Evans & Stott in Manchester. It wasn’t cheap but their service was perfect, not too stuffy but very informative in terms of etiquettes. Chris learned some valuable life lessons!

The bridesmaids wore floor length twobirds dresses in Rosewater, ordered through The White Closet and the groomsmen wore navy blue suits from Austin Reed.

I carried an orchid bouquet, provided by a great little florist in the Northern Quarter called Frog Flowers.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (7)

I was chauffeured to the venue in a classic Jaguar. It was beautiful, really classy and fitted with our theme really nicely. It was provided by Platinum Wedding Cars who were great, particularly the driver who held the brolly at the photo shoot with aplomb!

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (8)

Mick from Miki Photography was our photographer on the day and I would 100% recommend him to anyone. He was upbeat, organised and a total pro on the day, as well as being a great guy and easy to get along with.

Mick made us feel comfortable and relaxed and played a big part in bringing a relaxed atmosphere to the wedding.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (12)

We packaged up traditional cinema sweets to give out to the guests: popcorn for some and pick and mix for others.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (15)

We had a beer brewed for the occasion – a light, citrus IPA (my favourite) from local Manchester brewery Blackjack Beers.

We had a four-course menu of asparagus with pancetta, sea bass, steak and then chocolate brownie. The first two courses were paired with a white Gavi and the latter were paired with a red Nero D’avola. During the meal tasting we tried several wines and we felt like these were the best options to suit all tastes.

We wanted a four course menu to extend the length of the meal to really appreciate and enjoy it. We followed the meal with a special selection of Whisky, Port and Sherry chosen by my father.

We had a red velvet two-tiered cake with coconut buttercream icing piped in a floral pattern. The cake was made by Bakeorama (Charlotte) who provides the cakes for Home Sweet Home in the Northern Quarter.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (17)

My favourite part of the day was the drinks reception we had at the Cornerhouse immediately after the ceremony, and it was just a great chance to go and soak up everyone’s excitement and share that feeling with all our close friends and family.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (21)

We used props and uplighters from i Catching based in Hyde. The props were really cool, and they were really helpful and easy to deal with so would definitely recommend them as well.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (24)

In the evening, we had a photo booth with fancy-dress accessories which provided good fun for everyone.

We also had a local band, The Coolers, play two fantastic sets. Our good friend Roger Hughes works in the music industry organising session bands and wedding bands so we left the music in his more than capable hands, he even played keyboard on the night!

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (26)

We were getting a lot of help from my Dad and Step-mum in organising the wedding, and since they were living abroad at the time they decided to get some help with a wedding planner, Andrea from Fabulous Day. At first we weren’t sure we needed it, but by the end of the day we knew the day wouldn’t have been the same without her. Absolutely everything was taken care of and we were all able to relax and totally enjoy the day. 100% recommend her services to anyone.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (32)

We went to Croatia two days after the wedding. We spent the first four nights in a private villa on Vis Island in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. It was lovely and peaceful where we could just relax in the aftermath of the wedding. We then had three nights in Split, just as the World Cup started, so we were able to catch some games on the big screens!

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (36)

Everybody advised us to soak up every moment of the day and try to take it all in because it goes by in a flash. This was brilliant advice and I think we both tried to do it and really enjoy every minute of the day. There were some nerves at times, but we didn’t let it get the better of us and we just had enjoyed the day.

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supplier showcase: Camera A Photography

September 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Camera A Photography (6)

This little corner of the internets wouldn’t be here without my fabulous Brides Up North Sponsors (by the way, have you checked out our slick new Directory yet… you could explore for hours, and do all your wedding planning at once!) so today, I’m very pleased to introduce the lovely Jane of Camera A Photography to these pages.

And it’s a Happy Friday indeed!

As a special treat for Brides Up North readers Jane is offering a pre-wedding shoot at her studio or at a venue within 20 miles of her studio if you quote ‘brides up north’ on booking. You can then choose your favourite image and Camera A will produce a guest signage board free of charge. Lovely!

Let’s say hello.

Camera A Photography (8)

How did you get into photography?

Camera A Photography is a family run business. My mum Ann set up the business when I was born, 32 years ago, working from home. She was college trained and worked for a photographer before going it alone. Twenty two years ago we moved to our present studio: which is situated at 3, Skinnergate, Darlington.

I joined the business 10 years ago to originally help mum expand the business as my background is in marketing and sales. However, I fell in love with photography and the wedding business is now mine (mum works for me)! After joining the business and many courses later I achieved my diploma in photographic practice. You never stop learning with photography. Sarah Atkinson who is college trained also works for me, and has been with Camera A for 8 years. We also have Zoe who has worked for Camera A for 15 years part time, who is again fully trained and insured. We are a well established all female team.

Why wedding photography specifically?

A wedding is one of the most important days in people’s lives, so it is a great privilege to be a part of that day. We also have a studio, where we do lots of family portraits, so the next best thing is when a bride and groom bring their newborn baby for me to photograph.

Camera A Photography (1)

Camera A Photography (4)

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

Being female, as I can really connect with the bride because I understand what she wants from her special day. It enables me to go into the bedroom at home or the hotel to take photographs of the finishing touches. I can be on hand and offer you help, advice & support, like an extra girlfriend! At this point I also take photographs of all the flowers, your jewellery, all the extra details that you have put into the wedding that makes it special to you.

How do you get couples to relax on the day?

By the time the wedding day comes, the bride and groom will have met me a few times so they already feel like they know me. I have discussed with them their requirements regarding family and friend photographs and made a plan of the day together, so everything runs smoothly and all they have to do is enjoy themselves.

Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?

It might sound a bit obvious, but I say to them not to worry, the day goes by so quickly and half the time they will not even realize that they are having their picture taken. They will be naturally beaming which will come across in the photographs. On the day, our priority is the bride. We have over 30 years experience in the wedding business, we know what works and what doesn’t, experience is priceless. We have come across every scenario and can help you keep calm.

What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?

I would always recommend a makeup artist, as a make-up artist will make the most of the brides features. We would also advise not to wear glitter, as this can reflect if flash is used and to use a matt foundation to help with the shine. Always have a trial to make sure you like it, this goes for hair too.

Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures?

If you are going to have a spray tan, make sure you have it a good few days before hand!

Camera A Photography (3)

Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?

I’m going to have to say the obvious, Kate Moss. She has cheek bones to die for and she wouldn’t take a bad picture, I’m sure!

Any really beautiful weddings that you have captured?

I did such a beautiful wedding at Judges in Yarm in May. All of the pink blossom was out on the trees. The bride was stunning, the bridesmaids had these lovely short funky dresses on, the sun was shining and the bride arrived on a carriage pulled by two white horses. If this was not a fairy tale wedding, I’m not sure what is. As a surprise the brides own horse was brought to the wedding, with pink roses plaited into his mane, it was perfect. (I have a horse myself, so I just loved it even more).

Camera A Photography (2)

Any funny stories to share?

Ann crashed her car on the way to a wedding once, it was her fault. The man she crashed into was not pleased as you can imagine. Her car could no longer be driven but she knew she could not be late for the wedding and had no time to wait for the AA so made the man who she crashed into drive her to the wedding! He was really not happy about this, but did as he was told. Well a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

Camera A Photography (5)

What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

The fact that we are a larger team sets us apart from others, there’s myself, Ann and Sarah as three main fully trained and insured photographers. With all the goodwill in the world, if you are ill or an emergency happens, there may be a reason why the photographer you have booked cannot attend the wedding. This would not happen with Camera A. As we are a large team we will always have back up.

The quality of our work also stands out; we use Photoshop to edit our images and to make them as perfect as possible. You have gone to so much time and effort to look and feel good, so we carefully enhance and can soften the skin to give you that little extra celebrity help, as all of the magazines do. You can tell us how much or little airbrushing you would like!

Camera A Photography (7)

What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

Amazing photography, a fantastic time and professional service.

What is included in your “package”?

Camera A Photography offer many different packages, which can also be tailored to suit the requirements of each bride and groom.

We offer coverage from the brides preparations until the wedding breakfast as standard then additional coverage to include speeches and the first dance can be added if desired.

We have packages with one photographer and two photographers.

Every image is edited as standard to make then as perfect as your special day.

All images can then be provided on disk as high resolution files with the copyright to the image and we have a wide range of options which include beautiful albums and Graphistudio Wedding Books. If a Wedding Book package is opted for, you will also receive 20 mini books for family and friends.

Thank you cards are included and in the thank you cards are details of how guests can access your wedding photographs with your own unique password from our website.

Camera A Photography (9)

Can you give us an idea on price?

We offer a mid week special package, which is one photographer to cover from the bride’s preparations to the wedding breakfast. All images provided on a DVD slideshow to music, an A4 Wedding Book, a disk containing all album images, 20 mini books, all for £995.

For a Saturday and Sunday, the above package is a larger 25x35cm Wedding Book starting at £1395 including 40 thank you cards.

Our Ultimate Collection is more expensive but is the best value for money. Two photographers to cover from the bride’s preparations to the first dance. A DVD slideshow of all images as well as the high resolution files and copyright to all of the images. A 30x40cm Wedding Book with 70 images. 2 parents books which are A4 in size, 20 mini books and 40 thank you cards, all for £1995.

If you would prefer not to have an album we can do all of the images on disk starting at £900 for mid week or £1000 for a Saturday or Sunday.

Any treats for Brides Up North readers? 

If you quote ‘brides up north’ I can offer you a pre wedding shoot at the studio or at a venue within 20 miles of the studio. You can then choose your favourite image and we will do you a guest signage board free of charge.

Camera A Photography (10)

How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?

We would love to hear more about your wedding and to be given the opportunity to put a package together for you and to show you examples of our work, hopefully at your chosen venue.

Please call us on 01325 381055, email info@cameraa.co.uk or our web address is www.cameraa.co.uk.

Come along and meet the Camera A team at our Brides Up North Bridal Bonanza at Hardwick Hall Hotel on Sunday 28th February 2014, 12pm till 4pm, free entry. Click here to find out more

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something for the weekend?

September 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Hilltop leaflet-1

And so, it starts (yippee!)…

Luxury Wedding Exhibition

Hilltop Country House

Flash Lane, Prestbury, Cheshire, SK10 4ED

Sunday 14th September 2014

12pm till 4pm

FREE ENTRY

Hilltop leaflet-2

As well as all that inspiration – completely FREE – we are also giving away up to 150 FREE Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, on the day discounts, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our amazing sponsors like John Lewis, Clarins and Cheshire Bride.  Just because we love you.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.  While stocks last only.

To register for for speedy entry and a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be goody bag fill in your details below.  Only the bride need register for larger groups.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

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

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this sunday! we’re off to Hilltop Country House!

September 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Hilltop leaflet-1

I’m so, so excited to be launching our extremely beautiful season of Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions for autumn 2014 this very weekend at the sensational Hilltop Country House on Sunday 14th September 2014, 12pm till 4pm.  Hooray!

You can see our full schedule of nine dates and venues by clicking here, but we’ll be starting exactly as we mean to go on – gorgeously.

Lee Brown Photography

Hilltop Country House

Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition

Flash Lane, Prestbury, Cheshire, SK10 4ED

Sunday 14th September 2014

12pm till 4pm

FREE ENTRY

Lee Brown Photography

If you missed our last beautiful show at this pretty and unique venue (or if you loved it so much that you want to do it all over again!) you need to be here.

Hilltop’s just a little bit a lot special.  A stunning, exclusive use, family home with seriously gorgeous gardens, a pristine permanent marquee, rooms on site and a civil license, book nothing till you’ve seen it!

Add 30+ of the region’s very best wedding supplier stars – this line up is an absolute knockout – and we’ve a recipe for another crazy beautiful day.  Are you in?

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

bride to be?

As well as all that inspiration – completely FREE – we are also giving away up to 150 FREE Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, on the day discounts, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our amazing sponsors like John Lewis, Clarins, Amanda Wyatt and Charlotte Balbier.  Just because we love you.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.  While stocks last only.

To register for for speedy entry and a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be goody bag fill in your details below.  Only the bride need register for larger groups.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

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

You can also email contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk if you do not wish to use the contact form. Welcome packs are limited and subject to availability.  We operate a first come, first served policy.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

wedding industry professional?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2014. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this autumn.

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 for our autumn season to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

Email Julia at contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk today.

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it’s official! free entry to the North West Wedding Fair with Brides Up North (you are welcome!)

September 2nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

#getsetsparkle Brides Up North (c) Cat Hepple Photography  (67)

The North West Wedding Fair is taking place at EventCity, Manchester on 26th to 28th September 2014. 

Visit www.theweddingfairs.com for more details. Brides Up North can save 1/3 off usual show prices by entering exclusive discount code NW58 at checkout.

I’ve also got a handful of FREE passes for two people up my sleeves, and I’ll be giving those golden tickets away to the first 150 brides through the door at our own Luxury Wedding Exhibition at Hilltop Country House on Sunday 14th September 2014.  Bonus! Be there…

If you’re a regular around these pages, you’ll recall that last spring (doesn’t it seem like absolutely ages ago now?) I was approached by Mercury Events, the organisers of the ma-hoo-sive North West Wedding Fair, and invited act as their ‘Official Blogger’.  Quite the compliment!

^^^And yes, that is me nervously introducing the showreel above! (dies) ^^^

Now, you know that we run our own Luxury Wedding Exhibitions here at Brides Up North – including two very special events in the North West this autumn – so at first I wasn’t sure… partner with the competition?  Hmm.

But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Whilst our events are bespoke, exclusive (and perfectly formed… are they in your diaries yet !?), The North West Wedding Fair is the largest premium show for brides from the North West. Visitors love that every one of their Exhibitors and Partners are dedicated to serving the North West region. Isn’t that what Brides Up North encourages: thinking local?

Also, whilst I can’t wait to see as many as possible of you at our own events this season, I wouldn’t want my North West readers to miss out on the biggest juggernaut of a bridal event to come your way this autumn either.  There’s plenty of room in the diary for us both and what better way to get my brand in front of thousands more Brides Up North and fuel this Northern Revolution even further?

Plus, it was loads of fun last time.  And I like having fun.

Our position as one of the top wedding blogs in the UK – and the only one specifically for Northern Brides – is extremely valuable, so alliances like this one need to be right for us. It is Mercury Events’ excellent reputation in the market that gave me the confidence to join up with The North West Wedding Fair, and I‘m happy to report that it was the start of a beautiful friendship.

#getsetsparkle Brides Up North (c) Cat Hepple Photography  (57)

I’m back this autumn, reprising my Official Blogger role.

As well as hosting my own features over on the show’s official blog, I’ll also be on site on the Friday evening at the event, tweeting, facebooking and instagramming like mad (from a front row seat on their designer catwalk no less), trying to meet as many of you lovely brides to be as possible and also putting my judging hat on to award the “best in show” exhibitor prize.

Joining me this autumn will be 150 of the most trusted suppliers from Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and Liverpool. The best boutiques in the North West will be on hand to help you find the best type and fit of dress for you and your whole wedding party. 

Ideas for every aspect of your wedding will be on tap all weekend, with stunning Catwalk Shows, The Essential Bridalwear Collection, Favours & Finishing Touches Marketplace, Live Entertainment Stage, Inspired Bakes Showcase, free Tasting Sessions and so much more.

I can’t wait.

Louise Bjorling wedding photography

Louise Bjorling wedding photography

Louise Bjorling wedding photography

Louise Bjorling wedding photography

Visit www.theweddingfairs.com for more details. Remember – Brides Up North can save 1/3 off usual show prices by entering exclusive discount code NW58 at checkout, or we’ll see you for those free tickets at our Hilltop Country House event!

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pastel fantastical. a rustic wedding in the north west – leanne & tom

September 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (55)

Welcome to the week Brides Up North!  Let’s start this one super prettily, as we join Leanne and Tom for their rustically styled wedding day, full of beautiful blooms and soft pastels.  Very easy on the eye.

With images by Arusha’s Images.

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (57)

Leanne says: Tom proposed on the 26th April 2013. We went for a walk on the beach in Morecambe. My 6 year old daughter took her metal detector & her & Tom were hunting for treasure when ‘surprisingly’ they stumbled across a message in a bottle which my daughter read out to me. It said “Leanne, I love you, will you marry me?”. When I turned around to look at Tom and he was on one knee with the most beautiful ring!

Our wedding date was Sunday 29th June 2014. We chose that date as it was one day before I turned 30!

We chose the beautiful Beeston Manor in Hoghton. The location was ideal for both sides of our family to travel to. It was a family run business & we loved the story of its history, being transformed from an old run down ruin of a barn into a stunning wedding venue, by its owners John Bickerstaffe & his father. The grounds & gardens were amazing & each room had a lovely intimate feel to it. It was a blank canvas which I loved as I am quite fussy with decor & a lot of places we looked at had pictures on the walls or carpets that clashed with the wallpaper. We loved all the stone & the wooden beams.  It was perfect!

I would not hesitate to recommend Beeston Manor to other couples. It is the most beautiful venue and the staff are fantastic.  They will work with you to ensure you have a wedding that is exactly how you want it.

The style of the wedding was quite rustic; hessian bows, bunting, jam jars, etc. We chose this as it worked well with the style of venue & all looked so pretty. The colour scheme was brought out mainly with the flowers. I chose ivory for my dress & also for my flower girls then pastel shades of pink, lilac, lemon, green & ivory for all the flowers & the cupcakes.

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (15)

I chose an Essense of Australia gown from Butterfly Bridal in Lancaster. It was ivory, strapless, with a sweetheart neckline, drop waist and full skirt. The bodice was lace with a full tulle skirt with lace detail between each layer. It was stunning! I chose that dress because it was completely different to anything I had originally wanted & it made me feel like a princess. It was classy and glamorous & after trying on hundreds of different dresses that was the one that I kept thinking about & going back to!

My hand tied bouquet was provided by Abi’s Arrangements in Bare, Morecambe. She used a mix of flowers including spray roses, phlox, lisianthus, peonies, & gypsophila.

Tom wore a tailor made brown tweed suit by Victor Valentine. It was pretty unique.

We didn’t have groomsmen, or big bridesmaids. But the flower girls wore ivory dresses that had a full net skirt with scattered Swarovski crystals and big flowers attached, from BHS. They also had flower crowns by Abi’s Arrangements

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (29)

Our photographer was Arusha Jenks from Arusha’s Images Photography. She was fantastic & we couldn’t recommend her enough! She arrived early so she could look around the venue and the grounds & find the best spots for our posed photos. She took photos throughout the day and captured all the special moments without intruding or getting in the way. She was so lovely & knew exactly what to do to get the best from us & get smiles from all the children! She has produced beautiful photos that we will treasure for the rest of our lives!

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (21)

All the flowers for the wedding reception were provided by Abi’s Arrangements. Other decorations included decorated jam jars, hessian place mats and top table runner, bunting, place names cards & seating plan. All these little details were made by my mother in law, Shirley. She worked tirelessly to recreate all my ideas & she did a wonderful job!  The chair covers & bows were provided by Dalton’s Catering of Morecambe.

We had favours on the tables for our guests. These were shortbread biscuits with an iced heart design, they were wrapped in brown paper & tied with string & a “with love T & L” gift tag. These were also provided by Dalton’s Catering of Morecambe.

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (19)

We decided to have a BBQ instead of a sit down 3 course meal. We both wanted something informal and it worked so well. We had homemade burgers, sausages & BBQ chicken with floured buns, salad, jacket potatoes and garlic bread. We had so many compliments about the food. It was delicious! In the evening, cones of chips were given out to our guests with all the condiments on the table. It was a great idea & perfect when you’ve had a few beers!

For our wedding cake, we chose vanilla, lemon & white chocolate cupcakes, decorated with iced flowers in pastel colours. They were yummy! These were also provided by Dalton’s Catering of Morecambe.

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (23)

During the day we had a guy called Brendan McMahon, who sang and played guitar. I had found him busking in Manchester city centre a couple of months before the wedding, and just asked him there and then if he would play. He was fantastic! I knew I wanted the whole day to just feel really laid back and relaxed and he created the atmosphere perfectly!

Later in the evening we had a band called Sold to the Sky. They are very well known locally & were my first choice! They played a mixture of songs from ACDC to Rhianna and had everyone up dancing all night!

We also had a photobooth from The Party Project, which kept everyone laughing. It was a great idea & everyone loved.

I arranged a surprise for Tom. He was in the army for 7 years and was also in the pipe band: The Pipes & Drums 1st Battalion Scots Guards, as a base drummer. It was a huge part of his life which he loved and the other band members are some of his best friends so it seemed fitting to have them play on our wedding day. Along with a highland dancer from the regiment. Tom was so happy! It was the best present I could have given him, and he even got to play his old drum again with the band on our special day! Everyone danced along too!

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (64)

My favourite part of the day was the look on my husband’s face, firstly when he saw me walking down the aisle towards him then later when he saw the Pipes and Drums play. Priceless memories. Also waiting to walk down the aisle seeing how excited my daughters & my other flower girls were. They all looked so beautiful.

a rustic wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Arushas Images (63)

We went on a cruise for our honeymoon. Starting in Barcelona, then moving to Cannes, Genoa, Rome, Montenegro, Croatia & ending in Venice! We had a week of child free, complete relaxation! Lounging by the pool. Afternoon siestas in the hammocks that looked out onto the beautiful views. Hot tubs, massages, great on-board entertainment! The ship was stunning. The food was amazing. I think we came home at least a stone heavier than when we left! It was so romantic. The perfect start to married life!

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to invite the people that mean the most to you, even if others may be offended. It’s your special day, surround yourself with all the special people in your life! Think outside the box, most hotels have wedding packages, but it doesn’t mean other options aren’t available! It’s your day, do it the way you want it!! Enjoy every single moment because it really does go so fast!

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LOVE Bridesmaids. a Maids To Measure event popping up near you soon

August 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime

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On Sunday 29th June Brides Up North Featured Supplier LOVE Bridal Boutique hosted an amazing launch event at Styal Lodge in Cheshire for their new ‘LOVE Bridesmaids’ offering in conjunction with London based bridesmaid designer Maids to Measure.

The first large scale bridal event purely for bridesmaids in the North West, the day celebrated the launch of LOVE Bridesmaids/Maids to Measure ‘Pop-up’ Events… days that you’ll be wanting to put in your diary for you and your favourite ladies.

Images by Jonny Draper Photography.

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Let’s hear from LOVE Bridesmaids’ founder Emma about how it all went and how you can get in on the pretty…

Emma says: I’m pleased to report that the event was a resounding success, we had so many fabulous comments from brides and of course bridesmaids on the day about the event itself plus of course the range of dress styles and colours to choose from, and how they stand apart from a lot of bridesmaid dresses currently on the market. They really loved being able to come to an event like this and being able to share it with their maids too!

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The event looked amazing, who was involved?

When we first decided to be a Maids to Measure stockiest we knew we had to make a big splash and launch it properly with a fabulous event in true LOVE style! We looked no further than Styal Lodge, a venue popular not only with us, but with a lot of our brides who have chosen it for their big day too! The wonderful Higham family at Styal Lodge were just as excited as we were when we first spoke with them about it and helped to make the event a huge success with their wonderful hospitality.

The brains behind the amazing Maids to Measure brand, sisters Sinclair and India, helped us to host the event, giving styling advice to our guests on the day, not to mention styling our models and helping backstage with the dressing for the catwalk.

A whole host of our wedding friends helped to make it a great day too including Gemma Hallowell, make-up artist, and Paisley Gamble, hair stylist, who worked their magic on our models back stage and created some stunning looks. Sian at The Flower Lounge blew us away with her dressing of the catwalk and flower styling around the venue – lots of brides were eyeing this up as a great way to dress their aisle for their big day! Hipswing provided the fabulous glitzy backdrop for our catwalk, Francesca from the Cheshire Cat Cake Company made the most amazing macarons which were given out in our goody bags. A LOVE event would never be the same without LOVE letters from The Word Is Love, and these letters lit up the entranceway to the Lodge. Our guests were kept entertained by singer Kirsty Rogers who sang throughout the day – brides loved her so much that they booked her for their big day! Sam Fitton magician went down a storm too and also the fab photobooth from Forever Photobooths who captured some hilarious moments with our guests!

Not to mention our gorgeous models, Ailsa, Jill, Natalie, Izzy, Lizzie and Sarah who showed off the dresses beautifully and looking so stunning! Thanks so much to Ailsa (of Ailsa Baker Dance) for choreographing our show too.

Our very own Jonny Draper Photography was on hand with his camera to capture the day’s events, culminating in an exciting photoshoot at the end of the day, and some hilarious Austin Powers inspiration during our catwalk show… this had to be seen to be believed!

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So, when will you officially start your LOVE Bridesmaids/Maids to Measure ‘Pop-up’ Events at the boutique?

We have actually already had our first fully booked event in August which went brilliantly and resulted in lots of brides and their maids choosing dresses! We will be holding the events monthly on a Sunday; our next one will be on September 14th and this is fully booked already but we are still taking bookings for October onwards. Our next dates include Sunday 12th October, Sunday 9th November and Sunday 7th December. 2015 event dates to be released very soon.

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How can brides find out more and potentially book an appointment?

For more information and to book in for one of our events please contact

bridesmaids@lovebridalboutique.co.uk

or call 0161 941 6446.

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the friday feeling! a fun & fabulous wedding at Heaton House Farm – helen & ryan

August 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (85)

Sometimes a bank holiday weekend comes around exactly when you need it.

Even when you love your job as much as I do, sometimes you can still have one of those weeks.  Computer issues (no good for a blogger let me tell you), having to put the heating back on, wifi troubles (kill me now) building work, boring admin, deadlines, husbands (!) and just too much to do, means I’m frazzled and frustrated.

So I decided to shift the schedule round a little and end the week on a high with this fun and fabulous wedding sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.

Pour me a massive glass of wine.  It’s the weekend, Brides Up North!

And yes, I will be having Monday off!

(see you on the other side)

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Helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012.  The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!

We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014.  As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!

Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.

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My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye.  As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come.  I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.

Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50′s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.

My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme.  My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.

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Jonny Draper was our photographer.  The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job.  I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.

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Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.

We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste.  We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.

As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags.  The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.

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On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.

We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!

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We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day.  There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.

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We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September.  I can’t wait!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key!  We were very organised which saved a lot of stress.  Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (61)

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garden party. a wedding at Hilltop Country House – gemma & mark

August 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

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I’m bursting with pride this morning to bring you a real wedding at our beautiful Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition venue, the achingly gorgeous Hilltop Country House in Prestbury, Cheshire.

This stunning country venue is fabulous all year round – I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – marquee weddings (done right, and Hilltop do them right) don’t just have to be for summer days, and it can be especially magical to be under (warm) canvas in the winter months. This gorgeous celebration, packed with early spring hues, proves my point perfectly.

Be inspired… and will we see you on 14th September?

With images by Happily Ever Captured.

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Gemma says: We went for a romantic stay in Ludlow,Shropshire – well as romantic as it could be with our then 1 year old with us! – we climbed to the top of Ludlow Castle Tower and Mark pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him!

We wanted to get married pretty quickly and decided on March 2014, our dream venue had one date available so it was meant to be: 14th March 2014.  We chose Hilltop Country House in Prestbury. We chose to get married here as it was just such a pretty, understated, not pretentious at all house and we thought it reflected us perfectly.

I chose ivory and blush pink as our colour palette as I wanted to keep it really feminine. My bouquet was a beautiful array of roses, peonies, stocks and sweet peas all in blush pink and ivory, provided by Gracie Janes of Blakemere Craft Centre.

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My wedding dress was from Essense of Australia from a local bridal boutique Bethany Hannah Bridal in Stockton HeatIh where we live. I was fairly open to ideas but did have my heart set on a fishtail style dress but something still quite classic. I didn’t like my dress on the hanger but the sales assistant suggested it and from the second I put it on I knew it was the one. They were so helpful and knew exactly what I wanted from my dress.

Mark had a beautiful tailor made suit from Kings and Allen in Wilmslow, he had it personalised with our wedding date embroidered on the inside pocket and it was lined with Everton Blue satin as he is an avid supporter!

I wanted my bridesmaids to feel special on our wedding day so after I selected the colour scheme we chose the dresses together. Each maid had a different dress which reflected their personalities! Most of them were from Lipsy with some from designers at Debenhams. The Best Man wore a navy suit from Next.

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Our photographer was Georgia from Happily Ever Captured. We had met her at Manor Park in Halifax and she had taken some beautiful photographs of our daughter and niece and nephew. Once we got engaged we knew we wanted her straight away! We get so many compliments on our photographs and our photographer was so lovely and down to earth, she will be our photographer for life whenever we need photos!

We got married outside and were incredibly lucky with the weather! My brother is a fantastic guitar player and he played Canon in D on the acoustic guitar as my father walked me through the gardens.

My favourite part was straight after the ceremony once my nerves had gone and we were actually married! Everyone was having prosecco in the sunshine and it was just perfect, exactly what we wanted!

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We had blush pink ranunculus as the centre pieces and some hyacinths on the top table, provided by the florist as above. We also made an arrangement ourselves in a special ring shaped vase which we bought the weekend we got engaged in Ludlow. I was lucky that I have a clever sister in law who handmade my invitations and even made bunting for the whole marquee and top table!

As we got married on Cheltenham Gold Cup day and Mark normally attends, as an alternative to favours we decided to place a bet for each guest on a horse and we showed the race on a projector! We had pretty hair clips for the little girls and “love is in the air” paper aeroplanes for the little boys.

Our cake was designed by myself and made by the wonderful CakeyDoodle. It was three tiers, fruit, sponge then chocolate, covered in flowers and white chocolate fingers!

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We would hugely recommend our wedding venue. It was absolutely magical and more than we ever could have dreamed. It is a family run business and Martin and Clare are so welcoming and helpful, I sent many a panick stricken 5am e-mail to Clare and she always managed to curb my worries! I will always hold them close to my heart.

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We used Hipswing Entertainments to provide a fun photobooth which went down a treat in the evening! They were totally hassle free and did everything for us.

We had Chapelford Films to video the day and they did a wonderful job of capturing the feel of the day.

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As we have a little girl we had teo honeymoons, lucky us!

The week after our nuptials Mark and I jetted off to New York City for three days to spend some quality time together! It was so lovely strolling around Central Park as newlyweds! Then in June we went to a resort in Sardinia for two weeks with our daughter Lola which was tiring but lovely and we made lots of friends!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to be organised and give yourself targets of when things need to be done by! I got myself a brilliant wedding planner with a timeline so I could see clearly how much time was left! It really helped as I did not know where to start, it breaks it down into sections so you can gather suppliers, insert photos or quotes and even write your guest list with addresses and check when you have sent stationery out like save the dates, invitations and thank yous.

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a family affair. a pretty & personal wedding in east yorkshire – amy & carl

August 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime

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Weddings are all about the people in them and at them, no matter the budget, theme or styling. Amy and Carl wanted an understated celebration surrounded by their nearest and dearest and with a little help from their families, that was exactly what they got.

Fuss free and fabulous.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Fairclough Photography.

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Amy says: We first got together in 2009, then split up for a little while. We both went out to the same village pub for New Years Eve 2011 and got back together. When we went out together back to the same village pub for New Year a year later he proposed.  We all went outside to do the countdown and he got down on one knee. While everyone else was holding hands and singing we were getting engaged!

We were married on July 14th 2014. We had our ceremony at Patrington Church, also known as the Queen of Holderness.  Its our village parish and we have both grown up around it.  I sang in the choir there for a short time as a child, and my primary school is a Church of England school so harvest festivals and nativities were held there through growing up, and now our son goes to the same primary school.  Friends and family have their christenings and weddings there often which made it even more special for us.

We had our reception at The Gardener’s Country Inn, we wanted some where family friendly where everyone could relax, have fun and enjoy themselves. Gardeners have a lovely little play area where children can go so with having 11 children at our wedding reception it was perfect.

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Over the course of planning the wedding our style choices varied so much, the only thing we knew we wanted for sure was a simple, natural and understated look.  I’m not an overly fussy person and don’t like anything too over the top.

We opted for a colour scheme of sage green and lemon, with daises. We used large tins covered with hessian, filled with flowers and finished off with lace for the centerpieces. We picked up a couple of hessian buntings, one saying Mr&Mrs for our archway, and one saying “just married” for the top table.

My friend Kathy and her husband and daughter spent hours making and hand cutting and painting various sizes of sugar daisies to scatter on the tables which just helped tie everything in together and the children loved them.  They also hand painted and filled miniature glass jars with sparkly confetti and decorated them with daisies.  We had to have bubbles on the tables too of course!

Everything was family orientated, planning the wedding made our two families come together and everyone did anything they could to make our day special.

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Usually wedding dress shopping is the first thing on a bride to be to do list, but I left my dress shopping a little bit last minute and it ended up being a bit of a panic. When I first went I was a bit overwhelmed by it all (mostly having to get undressed in front of a stranger). My original idea for a wedding dress was for a bohemian style wedding dress, simple and flowy, but after trying on the style it just wasn’t for me.

I went to Samantha’s in Hull and there was my dress. I fell in love with it instantly and although it was out of my budget I had to have it! It was a princess cut gown with an ivory lace illusion neckline with pearl detail and finished off with a silver crystal and pearl waist band. With the wedding only 12 weeks away it had to be put a fast track for delivery and manic dress fittings the week before the wedding but the ladies in the store were really helpful and did their best for me and I was so happy with my dress.

Carl wore a grey Prince Edward cut suit, hired from Greenwoods with an ivory rouche and brogues. It was the only part of the wedding planning I had no say in, but he chose well and looked very handsome.

The bridesmaids wore sage green floor length Coast dresses.

Carl’s Aunty Toni volunteered to do our flowers for us, she is very artistic and creative and we were really happy with the end result. We wanted simple, country style flowers and we had a silk daisy assortment.  My bouquet was slightly different holding some yellow and white roses too.

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Our friends came up with the idea for our cake and made it for us.  Instead of having a tiered cake they made a large daisy. The centre of the daisy was a fruit cake, and the petals around the daisy were alternating chocolate and lemon sponge.  They made us a Mr and Mrs Bumble Bee to sit in the center, the Mr had a little top hat and the Mrs had a little veil and bouquet.

We had a singer join us for the ceremony and the reception, she sang as I walked down the aisle and again as we walked back up the aisle together as husband and wife.  She then travelled to the reception venue where she played throughout the rest of the daytime, up until the DJ started at 7pm for the party.

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We have planned our honeymoon to Fuerteventura during the school holidays so our 5 year old son can come with us. A holiday wouldn’t be the same without him.

The best advice we can give to other Brides Up North is that no matter what your budget, your photographer is one of the most important parts of your wedding day.  Do your research, look at their web page see if you like their style of photography.  meet with them and make sure you hire someone you can trust and get along with.  If you don’t like your wedding photos you can’t have a re-run.

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