Brides Up North

big love. a retro styled shoot at The Midland, Morecambe

December 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (39)

Unless you just got engaged, like, yesterday (and hey, if you did, congratulations – you are in the right place!) then you might have caught onto the trend for spelling out your love in lights. One supplier who has that service nailed over in the North West is the lovely Megan of Typical Type, who shares this pretty, retro styled shoot with us here on the wedding blog today.

big love people. big love.

With images by Tiree Dawson Photography.

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (46)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (36)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (32)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (43)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (37)

megan says: The premise behind the shoot was the idea that, as suppliers, we are starting to see women styling their hen do’s along the same lines as their weddings.  We have also noticed that hen do’s are no longer all about wild nights out, women are choosing quality time with their girlfriends and family.  We feel this is really reflected in Tiree’s photographs.

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (42)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (45)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (29)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (28)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (27)

We decided to use The Midland Hotel, Morecambe, which is an iconic 1930′s hotel as we knew it has lots of amazing areas for us to photograph in. However, instead of sticking with the glamorous 1930′s we decided on more of a fun and flirty 1950′s influenced theme.

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (25)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (19)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (20)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (23)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (18)

We asked the best suppliers around to come on board and they did.  We invited a stunning mother and daughter combo to model, who along with beautiful Hannah, really made the photos come alive.  And so, one hair dresser, one make up artist, three models, one bridal shop, a florist, an ice-cream tricycle and a macaroon supplier later what had initally started life as a mini shoot had blossomed into something a bit more special!

And the rest, they say, is history.

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (10)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (13)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (8)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (7)

We hope Brides Up North love our work – as you will see, we are all proud Northern Birds!

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (35)

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i Choo! a glamorous country garden wedding in Lancashire – alex & nick

December 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (22)

Alex & Nick’s glam & gorgeous country garden themed wedding has it all – beautiful blooms, a fab frock and plenty of fudge!

Groom Nick also knows what side his bread’s buttered on, sending his best man bearing a pair of Jimmy Choo skyscrapers to his bride to be on the morning of the wedding. Alex, you’ve trained him well.

With images by Niki Mills Photography.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (2)

Alex says:We got engaged at home on our five year anniversary and were married on 19th September 2014. We chose the date due to it being seven years to the day we met. Were not the romantic type so this made our day extra special.

We got married at St Peters Church in Darwen because it is where I was christened and due to it having links with St Pauls, where Nicks Grandparents, Aunty and Parents were married.

We chose The Inn at Whitewell as our reception venue as I remember going to a wedding when I was younger and thinking to myself ‘If I ever get married I want it to be here!’. Nick also loved the character of the place and we agreed it was ‘us’.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (1)

I picked a ‘Garden’ theme as my wedding dress had the most intricate floral lace and embellishment on it and I wanted everything to relate to the dress on the day. My husband calls me a magpie as I love anything sparkly so the day needed to be glam too.

The colour scheme chose me. I love the vintage feel with golds, blush, nudes, creams, greys and pinks and made sure they all had a part to play somewhere. I also added a little fresh green to break it up and give the theme a little dimension! Everything that featured in the day was there because I liked it not because it matched.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (4)

All wedding dresses are beautiful and its hard finding ‘the one’. After searching when we first got engaged I found a beautiful Blue by Enzoani dress in Lulu Browns (Whalley) that was fresh and young with one shoulder. It was so completely different to what I thought it would want but so beautiful too. We didn’t start planning properly until December 2013, and when I went to look for dresses again I walked in Bellisima (Holcombe Brook, Bury) and there it was there waiting for me.

Joanne Tudda MUA did my make up on the day, she is recently qualified and was valuable to the ladies of the wedding party on the morning of the wedding.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (9)

Nick very clothes conscious and wanted a mod suit and to arrive on a Vespa, but after a discussion on how our Dads would look in this type of suit and a successful fitting at Amelia’s Bridal (Clitheroe) he decided on light grey tails, skinny trousers, a floral tie and brown brogues – and looked ever so classic and handsome.

Bridesmaids dresses are lovely but I didn’t want them to look the same as everyone else, I chose metallic evening gowns from Phase Eight and had them custom fit for every girl.

The flower girl dresses were chosen by Nick by accident in Monsoon, the vintage frocks had the exact same colour sash as the bridesmaids and floral lace. They were perfect for my girls who were 8, 4 and 3.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (12)

I arrived in a classic black Mercedes, I love the vintage cars but as the venue is 40 minutes away we decided to spend the majority of the transport budget on a double decker bus for the night guests. Apparently it was quite a ride on the county roads home!

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (16)

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (18)

Our photographer was Niki Mills from Niki Mills Photography. After watching her DVD and crying at how beautifully she had captured other couples special days I booked her. From that moment on she went above and beyond, from a really fun engagement shoot (which really helped our confidence under the lense) to rounding everyone up on the day to ensure she got all the shots we wanted. When starting the wedding planning process my dad said to me ‘Make sure you spend good money on the photographer, you’ll never get that day back’. And he was right, Niki captured our day in a way that really tells our story, in exactly the relaxed fun style we wanted. I am so glad I didn’t have a videographer as Nikki achieved what they would have done with just her talent.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (21)

I remember seeing a Naked Cake for the first time and thinking ‘Wow, I wonder who can make me one of those?’. I enlisted the help of my godmothers daughter Victoria who does cake baking as a hobby but who is extremely good. She goes by the name of ‘Victoria Sponge’. She took the task on board and did not disappoint with the cake being a huge hit!

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (31)

I envisioned the flowers to be as though they had been collected from a country garden with a vintage rose as the centrepiece. Sue’s Bluebells worked extremely hard at ensuring this vision was perfect over many cups of tea.

My bouquet was made by a good friend Danielle who made her own brooch bouquet a few years ago. I collected all the individual brooches and pieces of jewellery and she magically put it all together with added extras – such as my grandma & granddad being with me all day in a locket.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (38)

The decorations were all finds by my mum and me from Home Sense, The Range, charity shops, car boot sales, the wine loving next door neighbours and by painstakingly soaking jars in the washing up bowl to the annoyance of Nick. He would come home and say ‘Why are there so many watering cans in this house?!’ or ‘Surely you have enough jars now?!’.

Sue’s Bluebells put together all the centrepieces and Nicola at Bride’s Little Helper set up the marquee and created my unique crate and gold frame table plan.

I also envisioned a very romantic feel as it went dark in the marquee so with the help of Nicola put candles in everything.  It really made a spectacle as the day room was so fresh and at night it changed into candlelight. I asked for the braziers to be lit outside and some guests sat outside with drinks round the fires.

Bride’s Little Helper is a wonderful little business, Nicola and Mark did so much for me in the run up to the wedding, from the beautiful stationary, the room, the transport and emotional support battling out ideas.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (40)

Nick and I are foodies and we love fudge. I ordered in a huge amount of the stuff from a gorgeous shop in the Peak District (where we go camping) and gave out Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate fudge to the delight of the guests. They were then given in little plant pots to go with the theme.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (45)

For the day guests we had a vintage ice cream trike, provided by Laura at Love My Trike which went down a treat with the guests, but for the evening entertainment we simply had a DJ. Nick has a brother and together they are all the entertainment any wedding needs. Nick being a huge lover of music (he went to Ibiza for his Stag weekend) talked me into the idea of an ‘Ibiza Hour’ which I ok’d as he hadn’t asked for much. It was all the entertainment we needed and had the guests up dancing all night long.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (52)

We added lots of special touches to the day, Nick and I no longer have any grandparents and we wanted them to be a part of our day, my dad and I spent an afternoon shabbing up an old pair of ladders and Nicola at brides little helper made the most gorgeous remembrance jars with their names in, which lit up at night.

We also love to go camping so every table was named under a place that we have visited in our tent, this went down a treat with our guests as many of them have been on these trips with us!

I really hate the pain of high heels so I painted an old magazine rack silver and made sure the girl guests had flip flops so there was no excuse not to dance!

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (48)

I have many favourite moments, but sitting at the top table with my new husband surrounded by our closest friends and family who were there for us that day meant so much.

We honeymooned in Sri Lanka for a week and then onto the Maldives for ten nights. Nick is an action lover so in Sri Lanka we went white water rafting and on safari and snorkelled and scuba dived in the Maldives, together with a lot of sunbathing! A special surprise was the honeymoon being a gift to us from my mum and dad – we found out at the top table!

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (55)

People say the best advice is to take a step back and take it all in. However, I would say to other Brides Up North– ground yourself in the morning, tell yourself that this is really happening and try to get into the moment. You spend months and months planning the most perfect day and on the day feel as though you are watching through a dream.

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lost in love. a styled bridal shoot in Manchester

December 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (55)

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… this bloomin’ beautiful styled bridal shoot in the heart of Manchester City Centre, that’s what.

Iconic backdrops, sexy styling and seriously stunning gowns.  What’s not to adore about this beautiful collection of images, styled by Vicky of Isla Jean Bridal Boutique and with images by Claire Penn Photography.

Let’s get lost in love…

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (9)

vicky says: The concept for the shoot was created whilst driving along Deansgate in Manchester at the height of rush hour.  Imagine being in such love with your other half that you are unaware of the people around you.

I decided that the new gowns from Belle and Bunty would be perfect dresses to fit in with my vision and I ended up running out of daylight time to fit all the planned gowns in!

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (15)

I decided to get in touch with a good friend, the amazing Claire Penn and asking whether she would like to be involved. She said yes straight away! From that point I started my mood board on the priceless Pinterest gathering images showing couples posing and being ‘connected’. This was mainly so I had some visual reference to show the models which would help to guide them.

After choosing the most gorgeous models, Erin and Tom (Nemesis Manchester) the date and destination was set.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (17)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (18)

The day ran really smoothly and the models, as you will see from the images just completely understood what we were trying to achieve and whilst only meeting hours earlier, really made it look like they had known each other for years and, best of all looked like they were utterly in love!

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (19)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (22)

As a Northern girl, I absolutely wanted to capture some of the most iconic landmarks in the city and we got to shoot in Piccadilly Train Station, Deansgate, The Great Northern Courtyard, the infamous Market Street and Liverpool Street.  I love the rawness  and honesty of both Market and Liverpool Street. As we were just about to call it a day in the train station, we were lucky to have a train just pulling in so managed to have the final images with lots of commuters passing us by. Needless to say we all finished on a massive high!

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (27)

The hair and make up was done by the lovely Sophie of Make Up by Sophie Battersby who specialises in all make up and hair but really excels in the vintage era look.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (34)

The photography by Claire Penn, captured my vision perfectly, using natural light and femininity Claire has managed to put my vision in images. Claire and I have worked together now on a couple of occasions and I have got to say I am so thankful to Claire as she has just understood me from day one.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (39)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (42)

The dresses!

I had a list of dresses I wanted to show but actually in real time, got to use four.   There are only so many hours in a day!

The dresses used were from the most lovely designers Belle and Bunty and the wonderful Lucille from Eliza Jane Howell. Each dress has movement and details, whether it be the detail of the beads or the sheer simplicity of beautiful silks each has its own magic. I wanted to show the movement of the gowns and how bringing style and the unexpected shapes of a gown really can make the most beautiful wedding gown.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (48)

The gorgeous wedding heels were by Charlotte Mills Bridal and flowers by Bloomin’ Lovely.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (52)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (61)

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’tis the season – a christmassy wedding at Crewe Hall – rebecca & callum

November 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (23)

I don’t think I can resist it any longer.  So let’s bring on some christmas cheer!  Grab yourself a (first?) mince pie of the season, make mine a gingerbread latte and let’s get this festive season started with a little help from a lady who loves herself a little seasonal styling.

Rebecca and Callum’s big day was festive and fabulous, designed to leave their Antipodean relatives in no doubt that us Brits know how to celebrate.

With sleigh bells on top!

Images by Chapter Photography.

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (35)

rebecca says: Callum and I met in Australia in 2009 and I moved over to live in Melbourne for 18 months. My parents came to visit in April 2011 and Callum asked my dad’s permission when out at a beer factory together. Dad kept it quiet from everyone and we all thought we were just going to Melbourne Zoo so that they could feed some Kangaroos. Turns out I was going to meet the Giant Tortoise! My favourite animal. Dad had Mum filming and there was a photographer present. Callum got down on one knee in front of a massive crowd and presented me with the cutest little box. We had professional photos with the tortoise and went off to celebrate with everyone. Mum was crying!

We got married on 30th November 2013. We chose this date because we wanted to tie it in with Callum turning 30 and so that all his Australian family could celebrate with us and make a big weekend of celebrations!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (1)

We got married at my church in my home village of Thelwall and the Reverend was fantastic! He had asked me if I wanted serious, religious or funny and I said ‘Just be yourself’. He was amazing – everyone was laughing along with him.

We went on to Crewe Hall which was just stunning. We chose this venue as it was the only one that made my Dad smile when he walked inside. Plus the original Crewe Hall was built before Australia was founded! Australians love a bit of history and it was important for me to show them a spectacular venue.

The staff at Crewe Hall are passionate about what they do and giving you the best day. The drive way is full of trees and when you see Crewe Hall for the first time it takes your breath away. Inside the wood carvings and the stair case made it the closest thing to being at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (7)

We chose to have a Christmas theme because most of our Australian guests were returning home around the 15th December. So we wanted them to experience a real English Christmas time. We had a few complaints in the run up to the wedding about the cold and there being nothing to see so I wanted to prove them wrong that actually it’s the best time of year to visit.

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (9)

I wanted a fish tail dress and couldn’t find one anywhere that I liked. I wanted something unusual as I’m a size 14/16. If you can’t on your wedding day when can you? When I was shopping with my Auntie in Melbourne we saw a little dress covered in feathers, she wanted me to try it on and it was about $5,000. So when I got home I decided I wanted white Christmas feathers to trail behind me as I walked. So my mum Janet got going and we made it together. It had 14 rows of feathers at just under 21 metres and a lace jacket.

Phoebe, my make up artist at Flossy & Leigh was so amazing and didn’t let anybody stress and I love her to bits!

Callum wore the Scottish National Tartan and looked amazing! He hired it from Groom in Warrington and it came with the shoes and accessories. Jennie his mum, was so desperate for him to wear it. We told her he was wearing the traditional morning suit and she was so disappointed. She didn’t know until the groomsmen parted at the door to reveal Callum in full Scots regalia. It was caught on our wedding video the moment and it was brilliant she screamed and cried and hugged. A memory that will last a lifetime.

My bridesmaids wore a dark green so we decided to go with red as the contrasting colour. My teacher always told me ‘red & green should never be seen, except at Christmas time’. So I followed his advice.

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (38)

Callum is a bit of a geek so I gave him his own Robin cloak and t-shirt to go under his shirt. Obviously I am Batman and he’s my Robin!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (12)

We hired a vintage red bus from Warrington Borough Transport which took the guests staying at Crewe Hall the night before and all the bridal party back to Thelwall.

My dad Anthony, hired a beautiful cream Rolls Royce. The Rolls reminded me of the Beatles and I knew Callum’s dad David would love it! Again it was all really about impressing the Australians with our Englishness!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (14)

We had an amazing photographer called Evie who works with her husband at Chapter Photography. Not only was she brilliant at family wrangling (as Callum’s dad calls it) she had become a really good friend and we keep in contact still. She had come from Ireland and nearly didn’t make it getting stuck out at sea for 12 hours before docking! I had no idea as she didn’t want to worry me. So even with no sleep she was amazing!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (20)

All my flowers were silk as I didn’t want any real ones. My flowers were put together at Bents Garden Centre. My bridesmaids’ bouquets and boutonnieres all came from KateSaidYes who sells the most amazing silk real touch flowers on her Etsy store. I couldn’t recommend her enough.

The wedding reception was decorated by Precious Things and it looked stunning. We provided our own hearts which we had collected from little shops and boutiques. They used holly & Ivy to tie them all together and placed it on top of the tartan swags. Crewe Hall also had their own trees up and decorated the main entrance which was lovely.

We had a little presents for all our guests with their names on a tag. This was a favour as well as a place setting.

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (47)

We had a fruit and Madeira cake that was baked and decorated by myself and my Mum. Each tier was covered in cut out snowflakes and reindeers and in-between we added pearls. The top tier had Kangaroos and Koalas and we wrote the words ‘Callum & Becca’ on one tier and ‘You are the Robin to my Batman’ on the other. We topped the cake with two little robins we bought at Bents Garden Centre.

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (46)

For our entertainment we decided to use the in house DJ and she was brilliant! She kept everyone up dancing all night! Earlier on we had arrived to a bagpiper who played Flower of Scotland and Waltzing Matilda when Callum got off the bus. Everyone thought he was fantastic.

On leaving the church we dedicated a song to Callum.  He had no idea what it was until it started playing. It was the original theme tune to Neighbours! Everyone in the church started laughing and singing along. Some of the Australians didn’t know what it was!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (26)

Reel Weddings provided us with the most magical wedding video. I said it was my own personal Love Actually. Everyone who has seen it has cried and laughed and the music choices were perfect. They edited the day together perfectly that we had our own little movie. We will forever have those memories on DVD and I would hire Reel Weddings again and again. Aaron is so funny and I loved spending time with him and our photographer who made the time fly.

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (50)

We decided not to go on honeymoon but spend time with the Australians instead. In February we are going to Vegas for our real honeymoon and we are going to see Britney Spears!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (29)

Everything was perfect for us and the Australians loved all the little touches that were for them. My family and friends partied the night away and by 10pm I had my slippers on under my dress!

My top tip for other Brides Up North is that if you want to see all the bits that went by whilst you were being photographed or hitching you dress up to go to the toilet – a videographer is a fantastic thing to have. I love being able to watch all my family and friends enjoying themselves. It was the best present we got and it was from Callum’s parents.

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you are gold. supplier showcase: Calligraphy For Weddings

November 25th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Calligraphy menu close up gold lettering

We’re going for gold as I welcome back Brides Up North Sponsor Claire of Calligraphy For Weddings. She’s making our pages even prettier this afternoon as she launches her stunning new gold calligraphy service.

You saw it here first… get ready to glisten.

Calligraphy outdoors tablescape wide angle

claire says: Gold calligraphy glistening in the sunshine on handwritten menus, place cards, tags and table cards – a wonderful counterpoint to a messy, richly coloured natural setting. I wanted to show brides how to work with a natural theme and bring together sophisticated details and a messy, rustic background. I went back to nature and this intimate shoot took place on the shores of England’s deepest lake on a sunny autumn morning.

Back to nature pink gold calligraphy

Calligraphy table number card

The tablescape is all about rich, natural colours: a palette of burgundy and pink tones with mossy greens and glowing gold. The lettering sparkles in the sunshine: metallic gold calligraphy inks are super luxurious and oh so wonderful to see – rub your finger across the letters and you can feel the raised gold swirls under your fingertips.

Calligraphy menu outdoor wedding

Calligraphy tree stump shoot

A rich and colourful place setting was created using mixed textures and materials: moss and branches in their natural setting were complemented by ombre brocades, vintage china plates and rich pink gilded glassware. All of the styling elements were locally sourced from independent businesses – from forks to flowers! Counterbalancing the natural backdrop and messy tangles of brocade was the elegant calligraphy: loops and swirls of gorgeous gold on luxury burgundy paper stock.

Calligraphy thank you tag uk

I really wanted to create a look which can be remade by DIY brides: vintage china and glassware is everywhere; and mixing natural textures of wood and moss with just a few bought flowers can add magic to every wedding table. It’s what tablescapes are all about – combining elements in a creative way to make unique and charming place settings for your guests. Replace my lakeshore ‘table’ with the real tables at your venue and you’ll have an enchanting reception style your guests will love!

Calligraphy lake district shoot

Calligraphy by Claire Gould, at Calligraphy-for-Weddings.com

Gold menu calligraphy from £7
Place name calligraphy £1.40
Table number cards from £4
Thank you tags £1.20

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tweed & country. a dramatic bridal shoot in Cheshire

November 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (2)

Designed and shot by husband and wife team Kristin & Mark (collectively Mr & Mrs W), I’ve a styled bridal treat lined up for you today!  With rich colours, dramatically dark styling and texture galore, this is a decadent close to an autumnal Thursday afternoon.  

Wrap up warm…

With styling and images by Mr & Mrs W.

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (11)

Kristin says: Our inspiration for the shoot was in essence ‘Tweed and Country’. With tweed being seen more and more in wedding fashion, I wanted to incorporate it with the Bride as well as the Bridegroom and nothing encompasses tweed and country than a Cheshire farm shoot, in both senses of the word.

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (14)

I wanted to start with outdoor pursuits and end with a debauched party and feast with a dark undertone, using antlers, feathers and the odd skull here and there.

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (4)

The team we used for the shoot are local to the area.  We worked together before and I knew that each supplier would provide exactly what I envisaged, which sometimes even I can’t do!

To realise my concept, the venue was always going to be Owen House as its so rustic, quirky and rural and there is nowhere quite like it in the North West.

For menswear it was no contest with the tweed experts at Whitfield and Ward being close at hand, and the beautiful wedding dresses came from The Wedding Boutique Cheshire. Fiona actually hand designs and makes her own styles so was able to make all the little extras I needed.

The outstanding hair and make up was by Nicholas Austen, the flowers were by Living Colour Floral Design and our props came from The Authentic Hire Company and Pretty Little Trio.

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (9)

The shoot was such good fun.  Everyone got so involved and really understood the brief. We hope that you like the results! Going forward I have another couple of shoots in mind and I might even go a bit darker next time, but in the meantime I am looking forward to creating some enchanted woodlands and a sequin extravaganza in a Tipi for some real life brides.

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (7)

tweed & country styled bridal shoot at Owen House Wedding Barn (c)  Mr & Mrs W (10)

All the suppliers, props and styling are all available in and around the Knutsford area.

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let’s get fizzy! A colourful champagne poppin’ wedding at Colshaw Hall – miriam & richard

November 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (21)

Packing a zesty punch to end the week on a vibrant high, we welcome Miriam and Richard to the blog with their opulent, colourful and champagne fuelled Algerian inspired wedding.

Get ready to pop the fizz… this looks like my kind of celebration.

With images by Matt Horan.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (2)

Miriam says: Richard proposed when we went away for the weekend to the lakes, it was actually my brother in law’s 30th Birthday which Rick kyboshed. We walked up to the room and the bed was laid out with flowers, it took me a while to comprehend what they said and the first thing that came out my mouth was “ I think we are in the wrong room!” anyway, on closer inspection the rose petals said “Will you marry me?” and I turned round  and Rick was on one knee. It was a surreal moment but I of course said yes and the champagne got opened.

We were married on Thursday 17th July 2014 at Colshaw Hall in Pever. We just fell in love with this place. It is a stately home and was just beautiful. The owner is also very down to earth which made us want to go with them even more.

It is just the most beautiful venue, gorgeous gardens and you felt you were a million miles away even though you weren’t.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (1)

My dress was a Heritage gown, by Amanda Wyatt and Charlotte Balbier. I got it from Love Bridal Boutique and I just fell in love with it. Rick wore a tailored suit that he had especially made for him and my fabulous bridesmaids all wore dresses from Debenhams.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (14)

We had a Algerian theme as my dad is Algerian and also a fizz theme as I love Champagne, so all the tables were named after Champagnes. The colours were all middle eastern and the food followed this theme.

Our flowers were from Red Floral Architecture and were very blingy with diamante in them! We also had lanterns and candles.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (17)

Matt Horan was our photographer and we’d certainly recommend him! He was very natural and really caught the moment.

We had a videographer, Tom from Silk Wedding Films who was great, you didn’t even know he was there.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (20)

We used a wedding planner called Janice who really supported and helped us through the whole process.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (30)

We carried the Algerian theme into our wedding breakfast so served a mezze to start which included taboluh, merguez sasuage, humous, feta with harissa, flat breads, we then had lamb and couscous with roasted veg and a trio of desserts.

My dad picked all the wine which included red, white, fizz and champagne.

We gave Algerian sweets as favours and instead of a wedding cake we had lots of mini pavlovas, they were lovely!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (35)

We had a jazz band in the day called Gypsies of Bohemia and a band called The Rush in the evening – we all had a good dance!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (38)

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (41)

The whole  day was just amazing but it just went very quickly. We are both foodies so I would have to say the food part was lovely, even though Rick was too nervous to eat as he knew he was going to do his speech!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (45)

We went to France, Italy and Spain for our honeymoon.

In France we stayed in a Michelin starred chateaux for 4 nights, we then got the train to Italy for 4 nights where we visited Lake Maggorie and finally relaxed in a villa in the Andalusian mountains for a week.

It was great that we visited a few different places.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (49)

I am sure all brides say this but my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to ENJOY every second as it flies by!

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outdoor elegance. a romantic real wedding in the north west – kerry & anthony

November 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (38)

This morning we join newlyweds Kerry and Anthony for their oh-so-pretty wedding in the North West.  A gorgeous gown, beautiful blooms and a softly romantic colour palette proved the perfect recipe for a stunning celebration.

Le sigh.

With images by Julie Lomax Photography.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (9)

Kerry says: We got engaged in Barcelona. Anthony took me away for the week after my birthday, he made a scrap book with pictures and quotes in it of our time together over the previous 5 years. It included our first Christmas and our first holiday together along with other special occasions. On the back page it read ‘Will you marry me?’ and he was down on one knee when I looked up.

The women in my family all share our wedding anniversary in August. Keeping up with family tradition we chose 9th August 2014. We were married at St Peters Church RC, Middleton. This is a family church, my dad and my granddad made built the entrance to this church and the original altar.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (10)

The wedding had a rustic country garden feel, with a vintage twist. We are both very down to earth people and wanted people to feel comfortable and enjoy the day. We feel like this came across on the day, a lot of people commented on the feeling of romance in the theme and style.

We chose a colour scheme of vintage mauve, in keeping with the country feel.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (18)

My wedding dress was a Jenny Packham gown, called Ruby (also my birth stone)! I only tried three wedding dresses on and knew straight away that ‘she’ was the one. It was in keeping with the style and feel of the wedding and I felt a million dollars wearing it.

I bought her from the girls at The White Closet in Didsbury.

Anthony wore a morning suit, in deep navy, with an ivory cravat from Groom in Manchester.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (22)

The girls wore twobirds Bridesmaid dresses, They loved them! Everyone commented on how gorgeous they looked. The girls wore their dresses differently, to reflect their different personalities and styles. The colour I wanted had not been released in the UK so had to be shipped to the shop from America.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (26)

We had a VW camper Van, our all-time favourite! We hired her from Nick Connah Camper Hire. The guests travelled in a 1961 AEC Bridge Master vintage bus hired from Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (34)

Our photographer was Julie Lomax, We met her at a wedding fair in Manchester. She was very approachable and very professional, however after spending time with her felt like she was a long-time friend. She knew exactly how we wanted our wedding photographing and it really felt like she was one of our guests on our wedding day. We were totally at ease working with her.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (39)

Rebecca Reville was our videographer.  We cant wait to see her master piece from our wedding day, another amazingly talented person who made our day so special. She worked amazingly well with Julie our photographer!

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (41)

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (48)

We had birdcages with tea lights hanging from the inner side of the cage. This sat on a bed of flowers (in keeping with flowers in my bouquet) and in the centre was a layer of moss, sitting on a tree trunk plinth.

Scattered on the table were numerous tea light holder in different sizes and styles. These really added to the country garden effect and added that extra romance in the evening once it had gone dark.

Our flowers were by the amazing Victoria from Lancashire Floristry. Her hard work and commitment in the run up to our wedding day was outstanding. I loved my flowers!

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (45)

Everyone received a scratch card and a miniature spirit bottle, these were in a personalised favour box with our names and the date of the wedding. These were printed by Cotton Letterpress. We individualised the favour boxes by giving each person their favourite spirit.

Our cake was four tiers made by the wonderful Rachel Hanna, owner of Marie Antoinette Cakes.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (52)

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (47)

Sheila O’Sullivan our wedding singer sang in the Church, adding to the romance with her perfect voice. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church! Our wedding guests still comment on her talent.

We hired a casino and a magician to keep everyone entertained whilst we had our pictures.

Our band for the evening cancelled on us on the week before the wedding, after being booked for 14months. After everyone chipping in to help find a replacement, Champagne Skies came to the rescue. They were amazing and totally pulled it out of the bag for us.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (54)

My favourite part of the day was walking down the aisle. It was day I dreamt about for so long. I couldn’t wait to see Anthony and his reaction when he saw me, but I also knew that once I got to the end of the aisle and met him, I’d soon be his wife. After 9 years together, it was a moment I was so looking forward to.

For our honeymoon we went to Mexico, Rivera Maya. It was total luxury and relaxation. We had both worked so hard in the 12 months before the wedding and it was just what we needed. We spent two weeks bonding and being together. Plus Anthony surprised me to swimming with Dolphins during our second week out there, number one on my bucket list! Daily massages on the beach, tea on the beach in the evenings and plenty of drunken nights on tequila.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (56)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that although at times the planning can be very stressful, remember the main reason why you are doing it. It really will be the best day of your lives if you relax and take it all in. Make sure you make time for each other on the day too! It goes so quickly and before you know it, it’s the last dance, but make sure to enjoy the day together, we stayed by each other’s side throughout the day.

If I had the chance to do it all again tomorrow… I would!

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eye candy. So Pretty Bride at Rocks For Frocks

November 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon its all about the finishing touches, as we join Brides Up North exhibitor Rocks For Frocks as the debut their gorgeous new collection on these pages. What will be your crowning glory? With images by Morgan Wiltshire Photography.

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Gail says: Our Rocks For Frocks collection this year is called So Pretty Bride and features pieces with hand made Swarovski crystal and freshwater pearl flowers.  Coming slightly away from the heavy vintage influence, it has plenty of sparkle, beading and subtle shades of colour, including pale golds, chalk white, ivory and white opals.

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The brand new 30 James Street Hotel were delighted to be involved in our collection launch and gave us free reign in the hotel to shoot whereever we wanted.  We made the most of their amazing roof terraces and entrances which have stunning views of the Liverpool skyline and the river. We started the shoot with a “pretty princess” feel and finished with a dark and dramatic look, which so suited the interior of the hotel lobby. A large field next to our boutique at The Wedding House had been planted with poppies and wildflowers for the Remembrance Sunday and it looked so pretty that we stayed outdoors for the first shots, before moving to the hotel.

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Morgan Wiltshire Photography created these beautiful images. Based in Shropshire, Morgan has a serene, relaxed working style, she is so easy to work with and she captures the details and the backgrounds wonderfully. Make Up was by Cathryn Kerwin Rawlinson. The brief given to Cathryn was very much a ‘pretty and romantic bride’.  Cathryn used Airbase airbrush makeup to give our model the perfect flawless base and for the eyes she opted for a lovely pinky/lilac look using a Kiko Cosmetics quad palette in lilacs, pinks and dark burgundy.  For contour Cathryn used her HD Makeup contour palette and on cheeks she used a pinky glow using Illasmasqua shades Lover and Hussy.  Finally for the lips she finished with two different colours starting with Lollitint by Benefit and moving onto a lip gloss by Mac. Hair was by Carol Ellis Thompson.  A stylist with over 21 years experience, Carol is a Rocks For Frocks bride.  With a passion for wedding hair, she creates wonderful curls, up dos and plaits and is not phased at all by the constant need for hair changes on the go in photo shoots. All gowns were  from Cloud 9, and accessories by Rocks For Frocks.

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a certain magic. supplier showcase: Fairclough Photography

November 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Fairclough Photography (40)

Today I’m really proud to make your acquaintance with one of our lovely Brides Up North sponsors, Fairclough Photography.  Katie and James, the awesome husband and wife team behind these amazing images: fabulous photographers and all round lovely souls.

Get them booked for your big day, and your wedding pictures could look as good as this little lot.

Katie and James are also offering a free 20” x 14” museum quality canvas print if you quote ‘Brides Up North Is The Best Wedding Blog!’ when making your booking.  Can’t argue with that!

All images by Fairclough Photography.

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How did you get into wedding photography? 

We are both self-taught photographers; Katie’s passion for photography developed through a side project on her graphic design degree course, and after developing her street photography in New York as a student, discovered that people and emotional storytelling were her passion and inspiration to voice through photography. James fell in love with the photography of National Geographic, and after a lot of wet, muddy outings and ruined 35mm film, started applying some of his theatre experience and techno-geekery to the creative lighting we are constantly developing to use with our couples.

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Why wedding photography specifically? 

Since getting married ourselves in March 2013, we have both been obsessed with weddings! We are fascinated by the whole process, from planning up until the ‘i do’ (and the shenanigans that come after that of course!) and the amazing people you get to meet. We just didn’t want it to end. So to combine both of our passions for photography with another love of ours is the dream.

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer? 

There are so many things! If we had to choose one though, it would be sharing our Bride and Groom’s special day, it always feels like such a privilege to be chosen to share in such an momentous occasion. It always brings back lovely memories from our day too!

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Fairclough Photography (36)
How do you get couples to relax on the day?

Having been recently married ourselves, we know how the nerves and emotions feel on the morning of the wedding – we don’t go in shooting away straight away, we just become part of the day right from the beginning, which let’s us all be comfortable and relaxed for the rest of the day.

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

Definitely come and have a pre wedding/engagement shoot – it’s very important to get to know your photographers, and once you’re used to the camera being around, when it comes to the wedding day you’ll be a natural, and it won’t be such a shock to have a photographer around.

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

Any good make up artist will be able to work with you to create the look you want on your day – it can also influence the types of pictures you want to make on your day too – for example, if you create a film noir look with high contrasts, that’s really going to shine through in the pictures.

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

Using too much fake tan can sometimes create an awkward contrast between skin and the white of the wedding dress – also under tungsten lighting in reception venues, it tends to naturally bring out the orange tone, which isn’t desirable for a natural look.

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

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter’s! We’re both huge lovers of their work and just imagine the type of wedding they’d have with both of their styles and imaginations fused together!

Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

One of the most memorable was a really intimate, small outdoor wedding in cambridge, perfectly elegant, with the bride and groom walking down the aisle together. We love an elaborate wedding, but when it’s simply driven by the emotion of a tight group of close family and friends, there seems to be a certain magic we can’t get enough of.

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Are you married? Tell us about your day.

YES! We said ‘I do’ in Ashton Memorial on 19th March 2013, a beautiful but freezing cold afternoon at the top of Lancaster. We chose the folly as we wanted a grand yet intimate building for our small party of 45, and after a beautiful and emotion-charged ceremony and portraits around Williamson Park, we retired to The Grand Hotel in our home town of St Anne’s for the reception. With a purple, black and white colour scheme, Katie pulled off a stunningly elegant look, with flowers by Flower Design throughout. We had a superb string quartet and a 5 piece jazz band for the evening entertainment, and then headed out to the seafront to let off Chinese lanterns to round off the evening.

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Any funny stories to share? 

We were recently doing an engagement shoot with a lovely Bride and Groom to be in a little village called Downham in Clitheroe. James was stood in the river photographing (as you do) and Katie is at the side. A ‘lady’ pulls up in her car just beside Katie, gets out and very indiscreetly lets one off! James instantly (and very loudly) blames Katie! How very rude?! Luckilly the couple heard none of this, obliviously schmoozing on the bridge over the river.

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What sets you apart from other wedding photographers? 

As a husband and wife team, we can be in two places at once on a wedding day, capturing twice the emotion and little moments which make the day special. Katie follows the bridal party from first prep all the way to the ceremony, while James hangs around with the groom and checks out the venue. We can then get two angles on the ceremony, and create more complex and elaborate lighting setups between us to really add some sparkle.

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

We like to be as unobtrusive as possible on the big day and the fact that we’re a husband and wife team helps us to achieve this; neither of us has a set thing to photograph, we just lurk like photographic ninjas, capturing the fun and emotion in a spontaneous fashion. In the morning, Katie is hanging out with the Bridal party capturing the goings-on, whilst James checks out the venue and photographs the groomsmen’s antics. We then come together to shoot the ceremony. Whilst James is at the front with the Groom nervously waiting, Katie is capturing the emotional last moments before the Bride walks down the aisle. After the happy couple are declared Mr & Mrs, we love to take them away from the hustle and bustle of the wedding party for a portrait session that gives them time to reflect on ‘wow, we are married!’ Even though we’re there, our couples always seem oblivious to that fact and they tell us how magical those moments of alone time are – we always find we make the most natural beautiful pictures this way too. The rest of the day is usually party time, where we continue stalking the guests, photographing the laughter and fun up until the first dance as husband and wife.

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What is included in your “package”?

Our most popular package is the Full Day Package and included in that is the following:

*A face-to-face chat about your wedding day and what we could do for you and then two consultations leading up to your wedding so we all know what we’re doing!

*Two photographers (Mr & Mrs Fairclough!) to capture each and every special moment of your big day (up to 12 hours coverage);

*Pre-wedding portrait shoot in a location of your choice – a fun way to build up to the big day and get to know us;

*Professional editing of your images;

*A private password protected gallery for you to view, share and download your images after the wedding;

*Large print quality images on a USB stick presented to you in a stunning presentation box (see the image below

*A CD with a slideshow of the best images from your big day.

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Can you give us an idea on price? 

Our Full Day Package is £1,350

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Any special favours for Brides Up North readers?

Of course! If you quote ‘Brides Up North Is The Best Wedding Blog!’ we would give a free 20” x 14” museum quality canvas print.

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

Our work can be seen on our website is www.faircloughphotography.co.uk and you can get in touch by calling on 07921 386761 or emailing us at info@faircloughphotography.co.uk

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 Anything else we should know?

We also offer a package that includes an amazing quality 10” x 10” photo album; these are gorgeous hand-made, leather or hessian bound, chunky, lay flat coffee table style books priced at £1,700. There’s nothing quite like a printed photo album, we think it’s such a shame to just get your USB stick, watch the slideshow and then it gets shoved in a draw and hardly thought about!

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