Charlotte Balbier

all i want is you. maggie sottero for a small and intimate wedding at hipping hall – laura & peter

November 16th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Laura and Peter’s intimate wedding at Hipping Hall was full of luxurious details: a Maggie Sottero Ettia gown, Jimmy Choo heels and home-grown seasonal blooms that packed a real punch – just take a look at those peonies!

This pair of foodies also created a menu to die for, agonising over canape and course choices until they were sure their perfect day could boast the perfect wedding breakfast.

Laura is full of praise for photographer Rachel Joyce and it’s easy to see why: these photographs sparkle with joy, love and summer sun.

With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.

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laura says: Peter proposed on Boxing Day 2013, when we were in Australia visiting Peter’s brother, his wife and children. Peter was insistent that just the two of us head out on Boxing Day. However, Peter’s plan of proposing to me amongst the vineyards at Moet & Chandon didn’t work out so all day he was on edge and wanting to stop at every lookout or place of interest on our trip. Finally, after driving up mountains and through forests, he found a perfect spot at Sugarloaf Reservoir in Christmas Hills, Victoria. I wasn’t expecting it and we both cried!

We arranged our wedding for Saturday 30th July 2016.  We chose the date because we wanted a summer wedding and for Peter’s family from Australia to be there.

We decided on Hipping Hall in Kirkby Lonsdale for our venue. We visited the hall in 2015 and loved that it was so small and intimate. Plus, there was snow and it looked so pretty. We couldn’t wait to see it in summer. Being foodies, we also loved that our guests would be well looked after and enjoy amazing food and wine.

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There was no particular colour scheme to the wedding; we just wanted bright and fun colours. The venue was impressive enough without having to dress it too much. We did however, theme a lot of the wedding around the lyrics to our first dance song, All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar, as they’re so lovely.

I wore a Maggie Sottero dress called Ettia. I adored it from the first time I tried it on. I’d always wanted quite a straight dress and thought that the vintage style of this particular gown was just stunning, especially the pearl and crystal embellishment. I bought it from Aristocrats in Chester, who were fabulous. Dress shopping was unexpectedly easy. Aristocrats was the first shop I visited. I tried about ten dresses on and they were all lace apart from the Ettia, which I eventually went for. To this day I’ve no idea how I even ended up trying it on – it was nothing like the others I was trying. My mum and two friends all cried (so did I!) so I knew it was ‘the one’.  I bought Jimmy Choo shoes as a treat and on the wedding day Peter left a matching Jimmy Choo clutch bag in my room.

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Peter wanted a less formal feel for his outfit and I’ve always known he doesn’t enjoy wearing a tie for work. So we asked ourselves why would he wear one for the wedding? He looked so handsome and smart in his Hugo Boss suit with crisp white shirt and no tie. His accessories also added a touch of style with his Oliver Sweeney shoes and handmade pocket square from Ylleanna, Biella in Italy, matching lapel pin and socks.

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As we had such a small wedding (only 41 people), we decided that we didn’t want formal bridesmaids and groomsmen and wanted to make it a family day instead. I therefore had Peter’s three nieces as my bridesmaids. They looked stunning in pink floral dresses. Pete’s nephew kept the rings safe and presented them to us in the ceremony.

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captain’s table. justin alexander for an urban wedding at the merseyside maritime museum – beth & will

November 14th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog, we’re all at sea as we head to Liverpool for our latest real wedding.

Engaged for just over a year, Beth and beau Will – who is in the Navy – tied the knot at Bridge Chapel in Garston. Despite their best attempts to avoid an obvious naval theme, the couple were won over by the Maritime Museum and its picture-perfect views of the city’s skyline, and ended up hosting their celebrations in this iconic landmark, complete with a swing and jazz band.

With some of the couple’s guests contributing to their special day – we’re talking a handmade wedding cake and specially written music for them to walk down the aisle to – this is a wedding brimming with unforgettable and sentimental touches.

With images by Ian MacMichael Photography.

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Beth says: Will and I got engaged in May 2015 in Sefton Park in Liverpool. Will is from Liverpool and loved taking me to visit where he grew up. I quickly fell in love with the place and Sefton Park was one of my favourite spots.

Will is in the Navy, and whilst abroad in Gibraltar he was window shopping and found my engagement ring. As he didn’t have a permanent space to leave his belongings, he hid it in one of his bags in my house, waiting for the opportunity to ask.

We visited his family one sunny day in May and had lounged around all morning so decided to go for a long walk. After settling down by the lake and reading together in Sefton Park, he pulled a big black box out of his rucksack and it was filled with sentimental items that told the story of our relationship, like a wooden postcard I carved for him one Valentine’s Day when he was away on a ship, and the train tickets from when he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was touched that he had kept all of these things and the next thing I knew, Will told me to close my eyes. When I opened them, there he was with the ring. He had to ask twice as I was so surprised I didn’t answer the first time!

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We were married on Saturday 6th August 2016. I didn’t want a long engagement but I have family who were living abroad at the time that we both wanted there. It also meant that Will could give plenty of notice to his boss so that he could request leave.

We were married at Bridge Chapel in Garston – the church that Will and his family have attended since Will was small. We are both committed Christians and wanted God to be a big focus of our day. The service was beautiful.

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We held our reception at Merseyside Maritime Museum. I’m a bit of a self-confessed hipster, so I love anything red brick and museum related. Will had asked that we avoided a naval theme, but when we stepped inside the venue and saw the gorgeous Liverpool skyline out of the window, we simply couldn’t resist!

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love & laughter. mori lee for a blush pink wedding at ashfield house – debbie & darran

November 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Today’s wedding is a stunning example of how a wedding can be both lavish and relaxed.

Working around an elegant blush pink and dove grey colour scheme, Debbie and Darran went all out with the wedding styling choosing striking floral decorations and an abundance of candles to enhance their already stunning venue.

The wedding party looked extra glam too, with the bridesmaids in shimmering grey dresses and Debbie in a stunning fish-tail style gown.

Keen not to overdo the formalities though, the bride and groom opted for relaxed bowl-food style dining, lots of sweet treats and enjoyable live entertainment. A winning combination we say!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

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debbie says: Our love story began on 25th February 2012. Darran and I had known each other for over ten years, our youngest children went through school together. We had both become single and Darran took the opportunity to ask me to go for a drink with him. Little did I know that 1,527 days later he would become my husband.

We officially got engaged on Sunday 22nd February 2015, Darran got down on one knee on the Sunday morning not long after we had woken up, and he was wearing just his undies! So romantic.  The following day we had a surprise 40th lunch to attend. After we left the lunch I suggested we take a drive over to Ashfield House, unbeknown to him I had secretly popped in their six months previously to pick up a brochure. We rocked up unannounced on the off chance that we could get a proper look around. Fortunately for us Katie Street was more than accommodating. From the moment I walked through Ashfield’s front door I knew that this was where I wanted to get married.

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To get the ball rolling we made an appointment for the following Saturday to visit Prestons of Bolton to pick out my engagement ring. We had an amazing experience at Preston’s of Bolton, being served with Veuve Clicquot champagne whilst we looked at various diamonds. I had pretty much made up my mind beforehand that I would like a pear cut solitaire, as Darran had bought me pear cut earrings a few years previously.

We set the date of the wedding for Sunday 1st May 2016. We knew that by picking a bank holiday weekend that it would give our travelling guests the opportunity to make a full weekend of it.

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Ashfield House was such a perfect venue for the wedding. The building, in our opinion, is stunning with so much character and history. We loved the bright airy feel to the recently revamped Langtree Suite, which is where our ceremony took place.

The grounds at Ashfield House are simply stunning too. Unfortunately for us the weather was wet and temperamental, and although we did manage to get outside to get some fantastic shots, the fact that there are so many places inside for your photographer to shoot some cool original shots is a massive bonus. We also loved the fact that Ashfield House is an exclusive wedding venue Monday to Saturday. On a Sunday they do serve Sunday lunch. This didn’t cause us any problems though as we knew that the lunchtime guests would have left by the time our ceremony took place.

The icing on the cake was that Ashfield House has 15 ensuite rooms with a handful of suites that are competitively priced. This meant that our travelling guests had the beauty of staying over at the wedding venue too.

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in the moment: introducing er photography

November 11th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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The weekend is almost within our grasp, and what better reason to raise a glass of Friday fizz than welcoming new Brides Up North Sponsor, ER Photography, to the blog.

Having seized the opportunity to photograph a friend’s wedding back in 2010, Manchester-based Jo and Jon of ER Photography, have relished in the challenge of capturing couples’ big days ever since.

Keen to achieve those natural “in the moment” shots as well as picture-perfect portraits, the dynamic duo work as a team to cover the day from different angles resulting in beautiful full day coverage.

Better still, if you like the look of what you see ER Photography are offering Brides Up North readers £135 off their Full Wedding Photography Package, bringing it down to £1,560.

Now let’s take a look at some more of their stunning work, whilst finding out more about their photography style and approach.

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Tell us a little about the ER Photography team and how long you have been photographing weddings for?

er photography say: We are Jo and Jon and our very first wedding was on the 5th September 2010, at the beautiful Peckforton Castle in Cheshire. Since our first wedding in 2010 we’ve loved every minute of being wedding photographers. We had a portrait studio near the Trafford Centre for two years prior to our first wedding, but then after starting to shoot weddings they took over and so we stopped doing portraits.

What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?

We’ve always loved weddings but we were initially a little bit scared. Then when we got asked to do our first wedding for a friend, we were hooked! Weddings go through all the emotions: fun, laughter, tears of joy and sadness. It’s just wonderful to be able to capture and build a story of a perfect day that’s unique to each couple.

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And what is it about your job that you love?

We love everything! From the preparations beforehand, getting to know our couples, having fun on the pre-wedding shoots, finding out all the details, and then, of course, the day itself and the delivery. This is always special as couples are so looking forward to reliving the day again.

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How would you describe your style of wedding photography and what makes you stand out from others?

We are a great team and love working together; we have our favourite lenses and equipment so each shot we take is not the same as each other’s so our couples really benefit from having both of us.

We have decided that we do only come as a pair, going out separately would not allow us to produce the style that we love, we are candid, in the moment and unobtrusive. Whilst one of us can be seen by the guests and wedding party, the other one is usually hiding or out of sight so those natural photos you see in our portfolio are so much easier to get when guests think you’re not around. Each wedding is as unique as the couple and their guests, even at the same venue no two of our weddings are ever the same.

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What is the feedback like from your clients?

Feedback is always fantastic, and not just from our couples, but guests at the wedding generally say how great our approach is and how friendly we are. We believe you get the best out of people when being friendly, approachable and polite.

Our couples like the little touches too. For example, we put a sneak peek of a few images on the blog for them within a week of their wedding, which gives them something to show people they meet on their honeymoon. We also take pride in how we deliver our product, and the handmade USB presentation boxes that we personalise especially for each couple go down a treat.

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laidback glam. a chic wedding with a rustic twist at the saddleworth hotel – hannah & tom

November 11th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog we bring you a beautiful real wedding in the picturesque foothills of the Pennines.

After a three-year engagement, Hannah and Tom exchanged vows over the May bank holiday weekend, in the quaint setting of the village church in Ripponden.

Blending rustic charm with an elegant and contemporary décor – not to mention one of the most stunning balconied ballrooms we have ever seen – The Saddleworth Hotel provided the gorgeous backdrop to the couple’s memorable celebrations.

With handwritten notes to each and every guest, as well as a special donation to a charity close to their hearts – this was a wedding brimming with nostalgia and personal touches from start to finish.

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

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hannah says: We got engaged three years ago. Tom arranged for us to go away for the weekend to one of our favourite hotels. He hired a beach hut and brought along a picnic with prosecco. He pulled out the ring which he’d had made for me and, obviously, I said yes. We then headed back to the hotel, where he’d arranged to meet my parents for a meal to celebrate.

We got married on Saturday 28th May 2016. I’m a teacher so we needed a date that fitted in with the school holidays, and with a good chance of nice weather! The bank holiday weekend fell in the middle of our spring bank holiday, so it was perfect.

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We tied the knot at St Bartholomew’s Church, in Ripponden. This is our village church and it was also the church I went to whilst growing up, so it was really special to get married there.

Our reception was at The Saddleworth Hotel in Delph. It was actually the first venue we looked at, and nothing else came close. We loved the mix of old and new – the ballroom is amazing and fitted really well with our vision for the day. The double height room really is special.  The venue and grounds are absolutely stunning and the team there is brilliant; nothing is too much trouble.

We chose The Saddleworth Hotel partly because of its glamorous setting and wanted to incorporate this theme within our wedding. We wanted our day to be classic and glam, but at the same time reflect us as a couple and be laidback enough for guests to really enjoy themselves. We wanted our guests to feel special, and spot those little touches that made the day about us as a couple and as individuals. So, not an easy job!

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We didn’t have a specific colour scheme, although the bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses and the flowers were blush pink and white. Everything else we picked because we loved it and it fitted our idea for the day.

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My dress was a chiffon and beaded Justin Alexander gown, which I bought from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I had an idea of what I wanted when I started looking for dresses, and this was absolutely not it! But when I tried the dress on, I swished around the room and felt like an amazing version of me! It wasn’t what I set out to get, but it was the perfect dress for our day.

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woodland wonderment. stewart parvin for a luxurious winter wedding at colshaw hall – luisa & peter

November 9th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s real wedding is just perfect for the snow flurries that we are seeing up and down the country today.  We hope you are all safe and cosy with a steaming cup of something chocolately on your desk or on your knee!

Luisa and Peter pulled off the impressive feat of a Christmas wedding without a can of snow spray or a gilded pine cone in sight. Instead, their big day at Colshaw Hall in Cheshire, was led by an organic woodland theme, full of warm earthy tones and plenty of grown-up black-tie glamour.

The food and the playlist were particular focal points for this Manchester music-loving pair, and the following day saw the festivities extended with an aprés-ski extravaganza. So get comfortable, perhaps with a glass of Malbec or a mulled wine – go on, Luisa would definitely approve!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography

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luisa says: Peter and I got engaged in Barbados. One night we went down for dinner and, instead of heading for our usual table in the restaurant, we were led down a path lined with candles that took us to a private beach and a table for two. When we sat down and opened the menus, I saw all of my favourite foods and champagne. Then a steel band appeared playing Elvis Presley’s I Cant Help Falling In Love With You. When I looked around, Peter was down on one knee; it was a truly magical moment. He made a beautiful speech and, of course, I said yes. We spent the rest of the week celebrating and relaxing; it was just so perfect!

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We chose to get married on 19th December 2015 because it was the closest Saturday to the Winter Solstice – a date important to me and my mum. We wanted a winter wedding as we felt that there were lots more options to explore in terms of the decorations and the vibe that we could create.

For the venue, we chose Colshaw Hall in Cheshire. We wanted to make sure that the event was totally private and this was the huge bonus of Colshaw: the venue and all of its grounds are hired exclusively so we wouldn’t be sharing our special day with anyone else. Secondly, as Peter’s family are based in Suffolk, we wanted to make sure that there was accommodation onsite to ensure that the wedding weekend was as easy as possible for those travelling. Having looked at quite a few venues in the area, Colshaw’s accommodation was, we felt, the most beautiful. Each room has its own stunning theme and beautiful view over the grounds. Colshaw’s Peel Suite also offered a beautiful blank canvas; no wedding looks the same there. We had hired the main house for the drinks and canapés straight after the service and this offered a unique, cosy, Christmas drinks party atmosphere.

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Theme-wise, we wanted to create a natural and organic winter forest. Peter and I love walking our dog Digby up on the Edge and we wanted to recreate that same earthy, woodland environment. I wanted my wedding to be just that little bit ‘out there’, and having the trees as the centrepiece certainly achieved that goal. As our wedding was the weekend before Christmas, I think people expected us to go down the more conventional festive route and it was truly lovely seeing their reactions to the chapel and the main room. We’d focused on lots of earthy tones, such as dark greens and ambers, making sure that everything was lit by candles to create warmth.

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I had chosen quite a traditional and simple gown designed by Stewart Parvin with the lace detail as a nod to my Italian heritage. My dress was bought and styled by the incredible ladies at LOVE Bridal in Cheshire. They helped accessorise my gown with a Stewart Parvin veil, lace jacket and honey-toned belt which contemporised it perfectly. My shoes were Hangisis by Manolo Blahnik; I just loved their quirkiness. In the evening, I removed the lace jacket and added a thin sparkly belt to liven it up for the dancing. I visited several bridal stores and LOVE Bridal’s service surpassed all the London boutiques. From the beautiful little cakes they serve to the ‘grand reveal’, the wonderful Emma and Clare have it covered.

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