September 3rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon on the blog we have another wedding that stands out, not for having an unusual theme or vibrant colour scheme, but due to its simplicity.
After finding a dream venue in the West Tower, bride Victoria set to work adding elegant touches for the classic wedding she’d always dreamed of.
We love Victoria’s stunning Ronald Joyce gown, her maids’ lovely latte coloured dresses, the chic looking cake and all the pretty peonies. Just perfect!
With images by Teresa C Photography.
victoria says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2012, three months after having our little boy so Christian asked me when he had got in from work as he was working that Christmas Day. Not very romantic but it was nice.
We picked the date the 30th May 2015 for the wedding because ever since we have been together the weather has always been nice around that time of year.
We got married at West Tower, Ormskirk. I was told about the venue by my florist, who I have known for more than 15 years. We went and took a look around and fell I love with it that much it made me cry. It was just what we were looking for, it had character but was modern at the same so was perfect for us.
I wanted an elegant theme just because it looks so lovely and classy. I think I went for this theme once we had found our venue and I had found my dress as it made me feel elegant so everything just fell into place.
I went with a latte type of colour scheme as again I thought it looked elegant and classy. I just knew I didn’t want bright colours.
I chose a dress I didn’t think I would have as it had a high neckline and I always thought I would go for a strapless. It also had a lot of Swarovski crystals, which again I didn’t think of having initially. When I tried it on I was very surprised as it made stand up straight and made me feel so elegant – I just loved it. I did keep looking for a while but I just kept going back to the first one so that’s how I knew it was ‘the one’.
My dress was by Ronald Joyce and my full length vail was by Joyce Jackson, both bought from Romantica in Wigan. My headdress was by Richard Designs and that was from a friend’s bridal shop, Bride 2 Be, in Leigh. My shoes where Jenny Packham from Debenhams and all jewellery was from Debenhams too.
My husband, the best man and ushers all wore Moss London slim fitted suits with bid like waistcoats, which we thought really set them off. Their shoes were from Aldo and Topman and shirts from TM Lewin. Sue at The Wow Factor (who is amazing) made our son Harry’s full suit, the men’s ties and pocket ties and the bridesmaid dresses.
For transport on the wedding day we hired a Daimler car from Grace Wedding Cars in Ashton Wigan, which was lovely.
Our photographer was Teresa C Photography, who had already done photos for us in the past which we love so we didn’t hesitate at all in asking her would she do our wedding and the outcome was amazing. She is a very talented photographer and we would highly recommend her, as we always do.
Our cake was made by Jane at Coco Cakes. I wanted a simple cake with pearls and a faded colour effect. We also wanted it to be all different flavours, as it was going to be our evening desert after our barbecue. We went for Victoria sponge, carrot, chocolate and then lemon drizzle, plus more chocolate in 50 cupcakes. It was all delicious. She is amazing at cake making and I’ve always got my cakes made by her. It was a three-day proses to make the cake, which was well worth it – she is a perfectionist!
Stacey Whitaker from Perfect Daze, in Wigan, created all the flower arrangements, including those carried by me and my bridesmaids. I wanted all flowers for table arrangements to be mainly hydrangeas and peonies so left Stacey to work her magic. She is an amazing florist and would highly recommend her and her team.
As favours we gave soaps to the ladies and scratch cards to the men.
The entertainment for the evening was a band called Kings of the Dance Floor, who we found on the intern. They were an indie type of band and really got the place rocking! They were excellent all night and the dance floor was packed from beginning to end, which I guess you get with a very good band.
Special touches on the day included my one of my best friends Olie, giving me away as my mum and dad have both passed away. I also had an old picture of my parents displayed on the day. The best man David did an amazing job of his speech and everybody has been talking about it since. He managed to get everyone clicking their fingers to the Adams Family!
We would highly recommend West Tower to other couples, as they couldn’t do enough for us and the whole day ran smoothly. It was an amazing day, and one we will never forget!
We have yet to go on honeymoon. We are planning that for next year as we have just done the two of the most stressful things in life – buying a house and getting married.
August 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This is another one if those weddings that’s so pretty we actually gasped when we first saw the images.
We adore Donna’s choice of a delicate lace Claire Pettibone dress, which complements her soft colour scheme of pale cornflower blue and antique pink to a tee.
Keeping things simple, Donna and Ric didn’t go OTT with their décor, instead opting for dreamy floral arrangements to bring the colour and leaving the rest of the detail to the venue. For us, this is pure perfection!
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
donna says: We got engaged in May 2014 on our hotel balcony in Montmartre, Paris. Ric was hoping to pop the question in Jardins du Luxembourg earlier in the day during a picnic, but as it was a sunny bank holiday Sunday in Paris, there were crowds and never quite the right moment! We celebrated on Monday with a gastro lunch on Bateaux Parisiens cruise on the Seine, which was fantastic.
We set the date for 18th July 2015, hoping for a sunny summer’s day and our chosen venue, Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire, only had two Saturday dates left in 2015.
We chose the venue as we wanted a civil ceremony, and also somewhere with history and where we could show our family in years to come. As a historic home with bags of character and a really welcoming team, we knew Samlesbury was for us. The Whittaker Room where we were married was the old family chapel of the family that used to live there, so felt so special and unique.
We didn’t want a clear theme as such. However, soon into planning our marriage, we tended to like vintage glamour, antique type styles. We also wanted to reflect the summer and a relaxed, elegant style. We also noticed a ‘scallop’ theme emerging in our choices – our stationery pattern, the lace in my dress and my jewellery.
Our colour scheme was pale cornflower blue (Dessy – Larkspur) and pale antique pink. We both love cornflower, and it fitted perfectly against the backdrop of Samlesbury’s black and white buildings and green lawns.
A wonderful friend of ours Nikki Graeme is director of The White Closet in West Didsbury, and it was top of my list for dress shopping! I did look at a number of different designs before making my choice. The new gown Estelle in Claire Pettibone’s Romantique collection just felt right as soon as I tried it on. I wanted something that was light and comfortable whilst also elegant with a touch of glamour. When I tried it on Sweet Disposition came on the radio and I found myself twirling around in the dressing room, so I knew it was the one!
My two bridesmaids Imogen and Jen wore knee length Dessy dresses in Larkspur and our flower girls wore ivory satin dresses with netted skirts with Dessy accessories to match the older bridesmaids.
Our hair and makeup artists was Nathan Hynes. We couldn’t recommend him enough, such a lovely friendly guy and really creative and talented with hair and makeup using Charlotte Tilbury products.
On the day of the wedding, my mum, two bridesmaids and I travelled in a silver Bentley Flying Spur from David Anthony Chauffeur Services in Manchester. They were wonderful and incredibly reliable and professional.
Hayley Baxter was our photographer and she was truly exceptional. From the moment we met Hayley on our pre-wedding shoot at Dunham Massey, we felt totally relaxed in her company, and really confident in her professionalism and technical skills.
On the big day Hayley arrived at our home whilst we were having hair and make-up done, she subtly starting capturing special moments, and felt like part of the day immediately. Hayley was so discreet, yet in these quiet moments was brilliantly capturing the details of the day. Hayley has a real knack of making sure the photographs progress swiftly, whilst being charming and friendly and put all our family and friends at ease. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.
I had a loose bouquet of summer flowers, including peonies and roses. I cried when I saw them, they were so beautiful! We also had a flower arch over the doorway at Samlesbury Hall which looked beautiful too. The Flower Lounge provided these as well as our floral decorations for the reception. We had silver candelabras with the same theme of peonies and roses on each of our top tables.
We used Amanda at Love Invited, who was wonderful, for all our stationery using her ‘Hollywood Glamour’ designs. She was thoroughly professional and the quality of her stationery was fantastic.
To continue our Parisian theme we gave our guests favours of colourful sweet Macaroons from Sam Joseph chocolatiers in Altrincham Market. They are a local supplier who we had seen at our local market and their macaroons were exquisite!
For our wedding cake, we decided to go for a simple iced sponge cake with three tiers of different flavours: orange and raspberry, blueberry and walnut, and lemon on top. This again was from a local supplier who we have tried and tested in the past from visits to The White Closet – The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon on Burton Road. We chose a ‘The Smiths’ cake topper from Not on the High Street for a bit of fun.
There was plenty of choice on the wedding breakfast menu from Samlesbury’s chef. At our tasting we loved the lamb, so this was an obvious choice for us. Starters and dessert were a bit more of a challenge, however we went for a summery Caprese salad with parma ham to start, and finished with our favourite – an unseasonal sticky toffee pudding!
Music was a really important element of the wedding to us and so we chose John Gilmore to play live Saxophone outside on the lawn during our canapés. We also chose songs during signing of the register and walking back down the aisle which were light hearted and set the mood of the day – happiness and celebrations.
Rick Cropper was our DJ for the evening entertainment. We met him back in September at Samlesbury Hall and were impressed by his friendly relaxed style. The dance floor was busy all night! We provided some fun kiddies packs for the little ones to keep them entertained too.
My favourite part of the day was saying our vows in front of family and friends and looking into Ric’s eyes – it was magical. For Ric it was (apparently) me walking down the aisle with my dad Peter! And the first dance, which was lots of fun and very improvised.
Following the wedding, we had a lovely relaxing minimoon in North Yorkshire, near Helmsley, in a little cottage. We are lucky enough to be visiting South Africa (Safari, Capetown and the Winelands) and Dubai next month for a longer break.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to remember that however challenging the planning might feel at times (when working long hours and decorating a new house, it can be tough) it will all be worth it the moment your day begins and all your hard work and vision pays off. You should relax and enjoy it – a few people commented that we both seemed very relaxed and involved in enjoying our day. That was absolutely the case and this was due to wonderful suppliers and time invested up front.
My other top tip would be to leave a couple of days before the wedding when you literally are all planned out and have time to relax. We finished all of the final details the weekend before so I had two days with my bridesmaids and my mum and had time to write cards, wrap presents and be pampered!
August 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North we love to see couples’ cool and quirky wedding ideas play out in their imaginative themes, but we also feel you just can’t beat a simple & classic big day.
Bride Gillian was set on having the latter for her wedding to Ashley, which took place at the lovely Beeston Manor in Preston, a venue the couple were set on from day one.
With elegance in abundance, everything about this wedding fits in with Gillian’s wishes for pretty and romantic, from her beautiful slim fit dress, to the simple styling and the bridesmaids’ dreamy pastel gowns.
With images by Arusha Images Photography.
gillian says: We got engaged in Egypt. We were completing our PADI diving course whilst on holiday and Ashley decided our first open water dive was the best time to propose. He popped out a ring on the bottom of the red sea. I was in total shock! The whole dive crew were in on it and everyone cheered when we got back to the boat. It was all very thoughtful and romantic!
Our wedding date was 6th June 2015. We had our hearts set on Beeston Manor in Preston, as our venue and so waited two years for a Saturday in spring! We had viewed the venue back in in May 2013 and instantly loved it, both of us knew that was where we wanted to get married.
We didn’t have a theme as such, I just wanted a pretty, romantic and classic wedding. Our colour scheme was pink, ivory and pearls. It was a perfect, simple and pretty wedding.
I chose a dress from Dreamcatcher in Kirkham. I actually bought a strapless dress and had a bespoke jacket made to go out the top. I chose a fairly simple lace dress – I wanted something stylish and classic, but not over the top. I felt the final dress was very me! On the wedding day Be Beautiful did my hair. They were amazing and put up with my fussing.
Ashley wore a blue three piece suit from Ted Baker and the groomsmen all wore navy suits from Next.
Our bridesmaids’ pale pink dresses were all from ASOS.
Ashley and I bought our wedding rings from George Banks Jewellers. We decided this was an area to splash out on since we will wear them every day for the rest of our lives!
Arusha Images Photography photographed our wedding day. We would totally recommend her to other brides and grooms. Her photographs are very romantic and utterly beautiful. They are exactly what we wanted as a memory of our day!
Rachel at Sweet Peas Florist did all our wedding flowers, including my huge bouquet of beautiful blooms. I went to her with ideas and let her get creative with the final pieces. I was so impressed. She is extremely talented!
We use Add a Little Sparkle to decorate Beeston Manor to suit our chosen theming and colours. Using this company totally made our venue. Everything looked stunning!
As favours gave out sparklers to our guests and at 10pm everyone got together for a photo. The idea was more successful than the reality!
We had a three course sit down meal as our wedding breakfast. It was delicious! The wine was provided by Beeston and perfectly complemented the menu. For our wedding cake we had a three tiered simple floral design, which was from Simply Cupcakes.
To provide entertainment at the reception, we hired a three piece jazz band fronted by Willy Fluss. I can’t recommend them enough!
Following our wedding, we would certainly recommend Beeston Manor to other couples. The venue is so beautiful and everyone there was so lovely to us and our guests! We had the perfect day.
Looking back we would say the reception was our favourite part of the day – we loved that everyone could let their hair down and dance!
After the wedding we went on honeymoon to Miami. We have a nine-month-old so we decided this was a good place for a family trip. We are due to go to Thailand in January for our official honeymoon and can’t wait!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to check in with your other half regularly throughout the day! Everyone wants to speak to you on your wedding day and before you know it you find it’s been ages since you last checked in with each other. We found it best to greet and thank all our guests together so then we could enjoy the rest of the evening on the dance floor!
August 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime
I’m so, so excited to be launching our extremely beautiful season of Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions for autumn 2015 in just over two weeks’ time at the exceptionally pretty Hilltop Country House! Is this the loveliest, most friendly and personal wedding venue I’ve come across? Just maybe!
Hilltop Country House
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition
Flash Lane, Prestbury, Cheshire, SK10 4ED
Sunday 13th September 2015
12pm till 4pm
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?
Read our Dream Venue feature on Hilltop Country House by clicking here.
As you know we don’t sit still for long at Brides Up North HQ and our Hilltop Country House event is just the first in an absolutely sensational (as ever!) selection of beautiful bridal events that we have planned for you. We take pride in the variety and diversity of our venue portfolio – you can see our full schedule of nine dates and venues by clicking here – and we’re sure that there’s something to inspire every one of our readers.
bride to be?
As well as all that inspiration – completely FREE – we are also giving away up to 150 FREE Bride To Be media packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North. Just because we love you. As demand is high, to pick up your pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below. While stocks last only.
As a new feature for 2015, we plan to follow up the event to each visiting bride with an interactive show newsletter packed full of exhibitor discounts and links, meaning that the wedding inspiration continues after the main event.
Only the bride need register for larger groups.
You can also email email@example.com if you do not wish to use the contact form. Media packs are limited and subject to availability. We operate a first come, first served policy.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
August 25th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon on the blog we’re thrilled to introduce you to another of our dream venues, hilltop country house, situated in the heart of the Cheshire countryside.
As a family run business, Hilltop Country House aims to make each wedding as individual as the bride and groom themselves, while providing a stunning setting, first class service, exclusivity and to-die-for menus. What more could you want?
Here at Brides Up North we’re more than familiar with how fabulous this charming country house is as we stage our luxury wedding exhibitions in its romantic gardens twice a year (the next one is coming up on 13th September 2015, so put it in your dairies!)
But rather than us harp on, we thought we’d hand over to those who know Hilltop best to give more details on its wonderful wedding offering…
With images by Lee Brown Photography.
Tell Brides Up North about Hilltop Country House, what is its history?
hilltop country house say: Hilltop, located in Prestbury, Cheshire, is a 17th century house set within 15 acres of its own land and surrounded by fields. It has been home to the Gardner family since 1985 and has been a wedding venue since 2008.
What facilities does it have?
Hilltop is purely a wedding venue and offers private and exclusive use to our clients. The ground floor of the house is used for both ceremonies and drinks receptions and we have a large marquee and dance room for larger ceremonies, the wedding breakfast and the evening party. Our guests are free to wander throughout our spectacular gardens. The many different parts of the garden offer countless enchanting locations for wedding photography. In addition to the main formal garden, there is a parterre with a lovely gazebo, the herb garden and nooks and crannies galore!
What types of weddings can Hilltop Country House cater for?
Civil ceremonies for up to 66 guests are offered in the house. We can accommodate up to 160 guests for a civil ceremony and wedding breakfast in the marquee, and up to 100 guests for an outside ceremony on the terrace overlooking our beautiful gardens.
What makes Hilltop Country House a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?
Hilltop is unique. There is no other venue in Cheshire that offers quite the same variety and choice. Our business is family run and the same team has been together since the very first wedding was held at Hilltop. Our attention to detail is exceptional and we offer an unlimited number of appointments to our brides and grooms as they make their way through the planning process.
What sort of bride would be a Hilltop Country House bride?
A Hilltop bride is someone who wants to feel at home and very special on her wedding day. She is a girl who has the confidence in her own ideas and wants to work with our team to make her day completely personal to her and her groom. A standard package is certainly not for this type of bride!
How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?
We offer an outstanding service during the planning process. Our couples can visit as often as they wish and there is no limit to the number of appointments they may have during this period. We offer a food and wine tasting and we keep an eye on each couple’s progress and are always ready to remind them to attend to any outstanding matters – not only ones connected with the venue, but also in the wider sense, such as dresses, holidays etc.
We do all our own catering at Hilltop using locally sourced produce. We grow our own herbs and tons of mint for the mojitos! Our bar is run by Thirst Aid Limited. They are professional, knowledgeable and always ready to help and advise our couples. We have a list of recommended suppliers but we never take fees for any bookings they get through us. When we recommend someone, it is because we feel their excellent product or service will reach the same high standards as we expect of ourselves, and we feel that the lack of financial recompense emphasises our integrity.
Can guests stay over at your venue?
We have four ensuite bedrooms at Hilltop and there is a huge variety of accommodation within five to ten minutes of the venue. We supply our couples with a comprehensive information document that includes a list of accommodation.
Tell us about your catering services? What makes them special?
As previously mentioned, we do all our own catering at Hilltop using locally sourced produce. Our lamb is grazed on our own fields and all our meat is free-range and comes from within five miles of the venue. We grow our own herbs and source Cheshire vegetables and salads. We have no fixed menus at Hilltop and we are more than happy to prepare a meal or a style of cuisine that is not on our lists of starters, main courses and desserts. We can do hog roasts and barbecues, buffets and tapas. You name it and we can do it. We offer a food tasting free of charge.
Any really memorable weddings at the venue?
That is the whole ethos at Hilltop – each of our weddings is memorable, particularly to each bride and groom, as their day will have been exactly as they wished and will have been created especially for them.
Where can readers get more information/ contact the venue?
Do you have any bridal events or open days coming up shortly that my readers should know about?
Brides Up North are the only company allowed to organise wedding fairs at Hilltop and our next fair is on Sunday 13th September 2016. As we feel that we are the best, so we like to work with the best.
Is there anything else that Brides Up North should know?
Yes, that we think you are brilliant!
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