Brides Up North

in good hands. a unique & romantic wedding in Lancashire – saoirse & william

October 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (32)

Earlier this week I introduced you to lovely Brides Up North Sponsor Rachel Joyce Photography, and couldn’t resist sharing a few sneak peek pics from Saoirse and William’s cute and quirky nuptials.

Today I’m back with the beautiful rose gold and ribbons celebration in all it’s gorgeous glory.

Brides Up North, if you’re wondering how you can work both pretty and original styling elements into your big day, here’s an absolute masterclass.

With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (10)

Saoirse says: Though we had discussed getting married, we had not made it public or official. So the proposal either occurred on Chinese New Year when I demanded of William: ‘Are you going to propose yet? I can’t spend every day waking up thinking is this the day I get engaged?’ or two days later, when we got engaged ‘officially’ in a coffee shop in London. The decision to look for a ring was mutual but after trying on a few and then almost deciding on one, we went to a coffee shop to decide. Then William said “Do you like that ring? Shall we buy it? Will you marry me?” I cried and we went to buy the ring.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (11)

We were married on 14th September 2014. Our ceremony was in the Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington. We didn’t want to get married in a church, or in an ‘all-in-one’ venue so we researched venues with wedding licences. The room was small, but it fitted our guest number perfectly.

Also, we were looking for somewhere where our money might do some good – Haworth Art Gallery is open to the public and I remember going when I was younger. Barley Village Hall was also a childhood destination of mine and is run and maintained by volunteers.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (13)

If there was a theme, it was ‘colour’. Everything was bright and that was intentional. It’s the north in September. We had no control over the weather but we wanted the day to be bright in any way it could.

In addition, a few of the motifs were ‘words & music’ due to my love of poetry and William’s of music. It was very DIY but it wasn’t intentionally meant to look that way, just that the day had our mark on it.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (14)

My wedding dress was from Vintage Lane Boutique in Bolton. I wanted a 50s/60s style dress with sleeves and luckily this was the first dress I tried on. I was only looking for ‘style’ but having tried it on and her friend, who is not a squealer, squealing, she was torn. One cream tea later, I went back to buy it.

It was perfect; a simple 1960s dress. Lace, long-sleeved but with a chiffon train.

My now mother-in-law made me a beautiful lace knit shawl in pale blue and my pink flat pointy shoes were from Russell & Bromley.

My hat was yellow, my flowers had multi-coloured ribbons and there were balloons! I chose a hat as a love them and it would be the only chance I really had to get one designed for me. The sister of a good friend is a miliner and I went and tried on a variety of styles. The one I chose was ‘the wild card’. Mary Franck – the miliner – then helped me changed the colour and shape. I love my hat and Mary was fabulous.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (15)

William wore a bespoke suit from Cad & The Dandy on Savile Row. His shoes were from Office and shirt and tie from Hawes & Curtis.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (17)

Our bridesmaids and groomsmen wore what they liked. We didn’t want matching outfits for anyone. Three ‘non-bridesmaids’ wore Miss Piggy rose wrist corsages, as did the mother-in-laws, whilst the men wore Miss Piggy buttonholes.

My bouquet was simply amnesia roses with rosemary from Garlands Florist in Oswaldtwistle. Rachel at Garlands listened carefully to my design and produced exactly what I had in my head, choosing a lovely mixture of colour and texture for the various lengthed ribbons.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (19)

I arrived at the Gallery in a Morris Minor Traveller named Buttercup from Regent Classics. We both travelled from the venue to the reception in the same car.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (22)

We used Rachel from Rachel Joyce Photography. As you can see her photos are incredible. Everyone we have shown them to have remarked on how good they look. We heartily recommend her to anyone and everyone in the Lancashire area. And she is the only person who can make William smile in a posed shot!

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (24)

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (23)

For the reception, we had a variety of balloons from Party Glitz in Padiham. Other than that, we did all the decorations ourselves, from flowers in teacups, to bunting in the hall, and streamers, doileys, coloured table cloths and flowers from supermarkets. The flowers were in glass vases we had been collecting all year. The teacups were my grandmother’s wedding set.

In fitting with the ‘Words & Music’ theme, we gave everyone a pencil with the words ‘In Good Hands’ on them (this was the title of our first reading at the service) and a 7” record, supplied by William’s father who buys and sells records.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (26)

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (28)

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (29)

We had a three tiered cake, each with a different filling; one red velvet, one lemon and one Victoria sponge. It was made by a friend of William’s mother’s.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (33)

The food was supplied by Cabin Catering in Barley. Paula was brilliant in doing everything we asked for and providing a tasting session for us a few months before.

William’s mother and father kindly supplied the wine which they bought in France. The white was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the Champagne was Paul Goerg and the red has all been drunk so we can’t remember what that was!

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (36)

We had an additional poetry blessing before the meal, with five more poems. Also, as we allowed our friends to brng their children, we gave them each crayons, colouring books and the older ones got finger puppets of the bride and groom, kindly knitted by William’s mother.

One set was stolen by a friend of the bride as she loved them so much!

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (41)

We would definitely recommend Barley Village Hall. The couple who run it (John and Audrey) not only gave us free run of the place all of the day before and until lunchtime the day after, they also helped us set up.

In the evening, we hired a PA system and then Djed ourselves. It ended up that one friend did most of the music from his iPod.

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (43)

William: My favourite part of the day was when Saoirse and I were first at the front of the wedding room in Haworth. We were holding hands and smiling to each other. It was wonderful to think that the decision we had made to be with each other was about to be made in front of all our family and friends.

Saoirse: My best bit was walking down the aisle. I had already met Will and said hello to most people so I was relaxed and thoroughly excited. I was so full of joy that I was to marry Will and these glorious people I loved were in one place that I got the biggest fit of giggles! I couldn’t keep my joy in!

a pretty quirky wedding (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (48)

For our honeymoon we stayed in a cottage in Staithes in North Yorkshire. We spent the time pottering about in the village, walking on the beach and taking drives to Whitby and Scarborough. We are planning a grander honeymoon to Texas next year when we have a bit more money.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to put your own stamp on the day. As much as you think all wedding have to be the same or it is easier to let someone do the majority of the organising, putting the effort in will make your day even more special. We had a lot of people say how inventive our day was, but all we did was take control of the arrangements and not do anything that we didn’t want to do. It caused quite a bit of stress (and a few tears) but knowing now how the day turned out, we would go through it all again.

Think how you want your wedding to feel and work on that. We made a list of what we wanted it to feel like (fun, easy, small) and a list of everything we didn’t want and stuck to it.

Whilst hard at times, our day was so special. I won’t ever stop smiling when I think about it. It was truly, truly glorious.

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going out in style! vintage sparkle at The Bowdon Rooms

October 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime

The Bowdon Rooms Autumn 2014

I honestly can’t quite fathom it, but our very last Brides Up North event of 2014  is upon us. What an abso-effin-loutely amazing whirlwind of a season it’s been. Our best yet.

But we’re going out in style, with more than a good sprinkle of vintage sparkle! *Does dance* The finest North West vintage wedding industry talent will be descending upon The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham, for our fourth Luxury and Vintage Wedding Exhibition at this unique and authentic vintage venue next Sunday 2nd November 2014!

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

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

the bowdon rooms

Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition

The Firs, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 2TQ

Sunday 27th April 2014

12pm till 4pm

FREE ENTRY

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

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

bride to be?

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

While stocks last only.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

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

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

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

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

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

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

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

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got chemistry. a rustic tipi wedding at Heaton House Farm – sian & stu

October 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (14)

Sian and Stu’s outdoor wedding is full of individuality, meaningful touches, casually cool couture and fun. A bride who carries a textbook bouquet and plans a laboratory style bar for her guests is absolutely my kind of geek.

Top marks.

With images by Chelsea Shoesmith.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (18)

Sian says: We got engaged just before Christmas 2012 back where I grew up in Anglesey, and we were married on 23rd August 2014. We were lucky enough to be able to choose the summer bank holiday, with the intention of our families, who would be travelling, to be able to enjoy the long weekend.

We had the wedding ceremony at Heaton House Farm, and the reception in a nearby field owned by Fairborough’s Farm. We love the beautiful scenery in the Peak District and the Staffordshire Dales. We were very keen on having the Tipis for the reception, and centered our search on finding venues with outdoor spaces with great views, which we found in spades in Rushton Spencer. The Tipis were provided by Peak Tipis.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (19)

I was keen on keeping the decor and styling quite rustic and natural in order to keep in line with the look and feel of the Tipis. We also wanted to feature a bit of science and chemistry, as both of our careers are chemistry based. It was a fun little juxtaposition with all of the natural elements.

I picked the colour scheme – neutrals with blue accents – to inject a bit more colour into the decor of the Tipi without looking at odds with the the colour of the canvas.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (21)

I fell in love with infinity dresses while looking for a bridesmaid dress that would suit all three of my very different bridesmaids. I found Coralie Beatrix on Etsy who also makes bridal infinity dresses and loved the idea of being able to wear the dress in different ways as the day went on, and being able to choose complementing shades for my bridesmaids. My own dress was actually custom made for me by my mum, Linda, which is amazing to have something so personal.

For the boys, we chose Edinburgh Woollen Mill waistcoats, BHS trousers, Burton shirts and stag head lapel pins from River Island. We wanted something more relaxed and casual than the traditional suits, whist still looking put together.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (24)

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (26)

My bouquet was made out of pages of an old chemistry textbook, glued together rather messily by me and my mum in the dead of night a few days before the wedding. I loved being able to make as much as I could for the wedding, but I did superglue my fingers together on several occasions on this particular project!

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (27)

We met with a few photographers and found Chelsea Shoesmith who has worked at the venue may times before, which gave us a lot of confidence. Of the photographers we met, she had the perfect balance of professionalism and friendliness, and throughout the planning process and the wedding day put us at ease and got the best out of us. She was totally on board and enthusiastic about doing a ‘First Look’ photo shoot too. This allowed Stu and I to see each other just before the ceremony and calm our (his) nerves and get some portrait shots in, leaving us with more time after the ceremony to get the group shots done and get back to the day. I’d recommend this to any couple who aren’t fussed about only seeing each other coming down the aisle for the first time; we aren’t traditional in that sense. I’d recommend Chelsea to anyone, and already have!

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (29)

Glass jars were collected for me by various people and we decorated them ourselves using various techniques, including authentic Trearddur Bay sand collected by my niece in the summer. I found so many amazing ideas on Pinterest but had to reign myself in and only use a few to keep things looking cohesive! The bunting and cutlery sleeves were made by Stu’s mum Lynn and were some of people’s favourite features (a lot went missing)! We have kept some bunting and plan on putting it up in our first nursery as a little reminder of the day.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (32)

The first concrete decision I made about the wedding was that instead of giving our guests favours, I wanted to make a donation to Cancer Research UK. Like all families, we have lost and won battles with cancer and I know that all of our guests would appreciate the gesture.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (35)

My sister Rachel’s chocolate orange cake has long been one of my favourites, and asking her to bake our wedding cake was a total no-brainer. We had four layers: chocolate orange, carrot cake, lemon drizzle and vanilla sponge. We also have an amazing log cake board cut and engraved by my uncle. I’m going to have to start baking in order to use it again!

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (37)

We had a barbecue consisting of lamb, ribs and sausages, salads and breads supplied by Vanilla in All Seasons. I think the best testimony we can give was that one of my friends had to be sent back to the table as he was up for second helpings within minutes before everyone had even been fed! In the end I think there were some people going back for thirds… fourths… fifths…

We supplied the drinks ourselves, with a master plan of having a chemistry lab/bar set up. In the end it wasn’t as grand as we first set out, as it turns out some of the lab glassware was extremely fragile! We also had mini-kegs of beer from Stewart’s donated from our friends Charlotte and Jamie after being a big hit at their own Tipi wedding.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (38)

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (39)

For the ceremony music we had string and instrumental versions of a couple of our favourite songs by Incubus and The Cure. I think there were only a few people who noticed!

We also asked our friends’ band to play, and they ended up doing an acoustic set with a few of their own songs and a few covers that they knew we’d like, then played a carefully selected playlist in the evening. It was tough to put together as there were people with very different music tastes, but I think we managed to pull it off pretty well. We actually shared the wedding playlist with our friends afterwards, too.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (41)

During the day we had a few outdoor toys, bubble machines etc for the kids (and big kids) to play with, which they loved.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (43)

I would recommend this venue to any couple, especially those who just doesn’t get excited by the ‘standard’ weddings they see, and want to shape their own day.

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (44)

I realised the time half an hour before I knew we were supposed to finish and pack up, and I was desperate for it not to end; for it to carry on with us all singing and dancing. There were little details that hadn’t gone exactly to plan or that I hadn’t thought of, and I knew that none of them mattered at all because I’d just had so much fun all day with all the people that I love most around me, and I could see how much fun everyone else was having, too.

With the money generously gifted to us by our guests, we went on a last minute all-inclusive holiday to Cyprus, where we both got to put our feet up and plan absolutely nothing after the stress on planning the wedding!

a rustic wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Chelsea Shoesmith (45)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that I’ve been assured that it’s normal to feel like you haven’t spent enough time with each guest – although I certainly tried!

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glorious. a cool and colourful real wedding in lancaster – stephanie & mark

October 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (34)

I’m all about the flowers in today’s stunning real wedding, sent to me by Brides Up North Sponsor James Jebson Photography and newlyweds Mark and Stephanie.

What a way to start the weekend with all things bright and beautiful, a very beautiful bride, a dapper groom, some super cool styling and an abundance of pretty blooms.

Be inspired… and it’s over to the groom to talk you through it!

With images by James Jebson Photography.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (10)

Mark says: We were married in Lancaster on 24th August 2014.

We chose our venues because we felt they complimented each other in their own special way and we are both fond of old grand buildings. We loved the grandeur of The Ashton Memorial overlooking The Lake District with its striking appearance. The boldness of the dome on the horizon for us sold it as it would be something we will always see and think about.

Thurnham Hall was picked as the reception because of its history and the intimate feel it had, alongside this was the huge fact that it looked like a castle and so went well with The Ashton Memorial.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (8)

Our theme was based around a show/play where each part of the day on the program was put together like a set of acts with a synopsis for each part. The programs were designed like you would receive at a show on arrival. The tables were set with each one being a scene from a London market and using the guests on the table we wrote a funny introduction to each scene including them in it. Our invites were designed and printed like an invite to a play based around the old Empire posters where it was heavily typographic with an old ‘admit one’ ticket in each tube for the guests.

The colours were a mixed bunch taking the lead from the bridesmaids dresses and ties and pocket squares to pick out the flower colours. There were bright pastel colours used in the flowers and more subtle tones used in the bridal party’s outfits.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (7)

Stephanie’s dress was a princess style dress from Enchanted Brides, Lostock Hall. The gown had a pale pink lace bodice and ivory at the bottom with a band around the waist.

My outfit was bought from Ben Sherman and it was a pale blue suit with a white shirt. The vintage waistcoat and brown braces with it were bought from a vintage fashion shop on Brick Lane.

The bridesmaids wore dresses from two places; the younger three dresses came from an online retailer called Vertbaudet, the older two bridesmaids wore dresses from Dorothy Perkins. The groomsmen got suits from Slaters in Preston and the ties came from Ben Sherman for each groomsman. The pocket squares were handmade from fabric bought from Abakhan.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (17)

Stephanie carried a bouquet with various vibrant flowers in it from Flower Design St Annes. There were blooms of different shades with a full poppy head.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (19)

I had a wooden bowtie and two ceramic scrabble pieces on each side of the cuff link with L(left) and R(right). Each groomsman had a personalised scrabble piece for their first initial inside the button holes.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (20)

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (23)

Our photographer was James Jebson Photography.

James understands creativity and understands people. Even on the first meeting with James I instantly felt comfortable with him. He has a great personality and he makes you feel in control throughout the day but adds his creative direction to it. He is such a lovely bloke too and has great banter which makes it even nicer. I would actually say he is someone we would like to see more often as I think we formed a bond with him on the day.

When we first saw our images we were absolutely stunned, they were amazing. They brought tears to my eyes when I saw them for the first time.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (27)

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (31)

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (38)

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (39)

Our stationery was by Ditto Press, Dalston.

All table furnishings and props were sourced by us from vintage tins to old books as you will see in the photographs. We had a sack for all the wedding notes, the wedding notes were hand letterpressed postcards that people could write on.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (43)

We chose to use cupcakes from Yummy Cupcakes in Lancaster. 7 tiers were used, the top cake was a fruitcake and the other 6 tiers were various assorted cakes with different flavours.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (41)

We had a pianist to play throughout the evening reception for the guests and a DJ afterwards.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (46)

We went to Windermere for a minimoon. We stayed at a place called The Rum Doodle, a boutique hotel. Our main honeymoon is in New Zealand next year.

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (49)

Designing the theme or idea is the trickiest part, so my top tip for Brides Up North would be have a really rough concept from the start, brainstorm ideas together and build a really rough storyboard of what you want in moodboards, Pinterest or drawings, whatever you can. What you will find is that when you start building up the people you are using you will gather ideas and create more ideas with them when meeting them. Its not a bad thing that you have a rough guide. We started the ball rolling with our invitations and this gave us a great design base/concept with look and feel, typography, colours and that reflected in the flowers we wanted and how they were created by our florist.

And drink lots after the wedding watershed.  The wedding watershed is around 9:30pm!

a fresh & colourful wedding at Thornham Hall (c) James Jebson Photography (55)

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pretty eclectic. a marquee wedding at Chirk Castle – gemma & david

October 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (34)

I do love autumn.  Crisp skies, moody mists, golden leaves, better telly.

This is a special season and a special week, in fact, for my family as my husband and I celebrate four happy years of marriage together, and our second anniversary with our little daughter in tow.

If you tie the knot yourself this week, let me tell you, it’s a great one for it – and I hope you are as happy in your future lives as we are.

For the rest of you, let’s kick off another week of wedding inspiration with this pretty marquee castle wedding, sent to Brides Up North by our fabulous Sponsor Andrea of Fabulous Day wedding planning, and real bride Gemma.

String out the bunting…

With images by SMH Photography.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (8)

Gemma says: We got engaged on a weekend away in Cardiff.  We saw the perfect ring and knew the time was right.

We set the date for 25 July 2014.  We are both teachers and knew we wanted to marry at the start of the summer holidays.  The venue is lovely on a sunny day and we wanted to maximise our chances of plenty of sun.

We were married at Chirk Castle.  It is one of our favourite places to visit.  We have always found it very romantic and loved the idea of being able to have the ceremony in the Hawk House.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (16)

We decided on a pretty eclectic theme.  There were lots of flowers and pastel colours but we wanted it to feel relaxed and have an informal, thrown together feel. We didn’t have just one main colour.  Lots of floral patterns and colours were important to us so that is what we were aiming for.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (21)

I chose a Maggie Sottero gown.  It was a long dress in light gold with beading.  It had straps and was corseted at the back.  I didn’t want a white dress and after searching for a year found one that I thought was perfect.  I used Aristocrats Of Chester.

David wore a grey Cameron Ross morning suit.  The morning suit seemed to go better with the informal style of the day.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (32)

We used SMH Photography.  They were great and we would highly recommend the services of Sandra and Steve.  They were very professional and worked really hard all day.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (37)

Our flowers were from Fletcher and Foley.  We had a variety of fragrant herb and flowers to link the the garden theme. We had jugs of flowers on the tables that matched the bouquet and buttonholes.

The favours were homemade whiskey marmalade for the men and strawberry jam for the ladies.  David’s parents made them and we bought personalised labels from notonthe highstreet.com.

We choose a ‘Naked Cake’ after seeing something similar in a newspaper.  We had three tiers each filled with cream and decorated with fresh flowers and fruit.  Our colleague, Nerys, has made the cakes for lots of the teachers at our school and did a great job on a very hot day!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (40)

Andrea at Fabulous Day was our wedding planner and we couldn’t have done it without her. We want her to come and live with us now!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (25)

We used Ice Cream Dub ice cream for desserts, including mojito and strawberry champagne flavours. The van looked great.

In the evening we had a curry station served outside as the weather was so great. Rupert Frazer Worden was our fantastic caterer. At the bar we had Wrexham Lager on tap as David’s grandad worked for the company. It was great to have it there.

We also loved the DIY photo booth provided by our marquee company. The guests had loads of fun playing around.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (43)

We used Lucy of Memento Stationary and were very pleased with the results. We’ve even used Lucy for our thank you cards.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (47)

We loved the setting for our wedding and would have chosen it a thousand times over. The place was already special to us and now it’s a special part of our lives. My family members from South Wales loved it so much they’ve been back to visit.

I was apprehensive about the ceremony as I’m a very emotional person but it was just perfect! Very natural and laid back, just as we wanted it!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (48)

I really wanted to go to the Maldives and it was just perfect. We booked through Kuoni and had 10 days in the Maldives and three days in Dubai. It was the perfect end to the whole experience. A perfect setting and great service at a wonderful resort. We want to go back now!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (54)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to hire Andrea, she had so many unique and money saving tips and contacts. Our day would have been completely different without her. Thank you Andrea!

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funny face. a pretty wedding at victoria baths – vivienne & dave

October 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

Today’s real wedding feature comes a little later than planned.  I’ve been in London attending the Cosmopolitan Wedding Blog Awards alongside fellow leaders in our industry, and travelling back Up North today, East Coast Wifi’s upload speed just ain’t up to scratch for blog business.

This little corner of the internet was proud to be nominated for Best Wedding Blog in last night’s ceremony, and whilst we didn’t take the gong – robbed! – it was great to be recognised for our hard work, and celebrate it in a whirl of Cosmos (what else?), glitter and cupcakes.

A huge thank you to all our readers and supporters who voted for us.

It’s straight back into the pretty here on these pages this evening, as we join reader Vivienne and her new husband Dave for their lovely day at the gorgeously vintage Victoria Baths in Manchester.

Enjoy.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor James Tracey Photography.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (7)

Vivienne says:  I was 8 months pregnant and Dave surprised me with a mini break to Loch Lomond. The proposal came as a total surprise as we had been together for 9 years so had given up dropping hints…. he was very romantic though, we walked to a private beach where he got down on one knee.

We were married on Saturday 12th April 2014. We chose this date because, being a teacher, I needed to fit it in with school holidays. I also love that time of year as it’s when all the fresh flowers start to bloom and sunshine comes out after winter.

We only looked at a few venues, and when we walked into the Victoria Baths, we knew straight away that it was the venue for us. We wanted a venue we could put our own stamp on and make all our own decisions on the details of our day.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (9)

We had a vintage fete theme, mostly because we could make all our own decorations and I felt that the colours would suit an April wedding. We tried to use the colours blue and green in order to complement the colours of our venue. However, we really weren’t too prescriptive as I didn’t want to be dashing round shops colour matching in the run up to our day.

We used my grandma’s old table cloths to decorate tables such as where we signed the register. Looking back at photos, they are even more special because of these personal touches.

We used Hipswing Entertainments to hire our beautiful lanterns over the dance floor. They were fantastic and really special when it got darker for our first dance.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

As little girls, myself and my sister got bridesmaid dresses from a shop in Edinburgh called Pretty Women. Since that day we have said we will get our own wedding dresses from there and every time we visit family in Edinburgh look forward to seeing what’s new in the window.

I absolutely love Audrey Hepburn and felt inspired by the wedding dress she wears in Funny Face. After trying on a range of dresses, I knew it was the one for me as couldn’t resist spinning round and watching the skirt float round!7

Dave wore a navy 3 piece suit from a brand called Tiger of Sweden.

Our bridesmaids wore dresses from BHS and Monsoon.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (12)

Our photographer was James Tracey, we saw his photo’s of another wedding at our venue and loved them. We loved how he incorporated the venue into his photographs and caught every emotion during the day.

I would definitely recommend him, in fact a lot of our wedding guests asked if he was a friend we had used as he is so personable and easy to get on with!

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (15)

As the venue we used was so big, we ordered our flowers directly from a wholesaler. We used Triangle Nursery, I told them the theme of our wedding and they suggested suitable options for us. We then filled paper covered tin cans for the tables and to decorate the venue.

I intended to use the flowers we ordered for my bouquet, however a couple I days before the wedding I walked into Marks and and Spencer and saw the most beautiful bunch of pink tulips. With help from my mum we used these with some gypsophila to create my bouquet.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (17)

We had quite strong ideas about the foods we wanted, so chose Thyme Out Deli, Didsbury to do our catering. They took our ideas and made the most delicious foods for us.

We spent weekends cleaning slate so that we could serve local cheeses and ham as a ploughman’s starter board to share. For main we had steak and Manchester ale pie, Thyme Out even painstakingly cut out our initials to put on the top of every pie. We spent further weekends scouring charity shops and making our own vintage cake stands to serve our desserts of macaroons, lemon tarts and brownies on.

My kind and talented friend Hannah Bayliss made our cake. I told her I wanted it to be sage green and was using vintage lace in the wedding, she created the most perfect cake for us!

Our wedding was the weekend before Easter so we gave Lindt bunnies as favours.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (20)

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (27)

My best friend Joanna Łabiak did my make up on the day. I was so pleased to have her with me during an anxious morning and loved the pretty colours of the make up she used on me. Once my make up was complete, Joanna also dashed to our venue to set up and play”Blowers daughter” by Damien Rice on the piano while I walked down the aisle. This is the song we both remember when we first met and it’s been special to us ever since.

We chose a Sheffield band called The Bootleggers, one of our friends had seen them at a wedding and said they were brilliant and everyone was up on the dance floor. They definitely didn’t disappoint!

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (32)

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (42)

Walking back down the aisle with our daughter Ava was definitely my favourite part of the day.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

Our guests kindly contributed to our honeymoon in Las Vegas. When looking for a honeymoon destination, we realised that this would be the last opportunity for a child free holiday so felt Las Vegas was perfect! We had an amazing week, some days spent simply lying by the pool, recuperating from all the wedding chaos!

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (51)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t become too fixated on thing such as colour schemes. Go with what you like and it will all come together on the day and be personal to you. Make sure you use family and friends to help out too as this will make the day even more special.

a pretty wedding at victoria baths (c) James Tracey Photography (52)

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peony pink. a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall – natalie & anthony

October 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (43)

I really, really don’t want to jinx it, but I honestly think this might be the best Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition season yet.

I’m recharging (and still on a high!) today after my fourth weekend (a double bill in Leeds and Northumberland this time) at the helm of some very lovely, very busy events indeed, and taking a breather having reached the half way point for autumn 2014.

It was another record attendance all round yesterday and I’d really love to see you at our remaining shows this season – we’re back in action this very weekend at both Middleton Lodge and Allerton Castle – so click here for the full line up.

But for now. it’s back to the online gorgeous, as we join Natalie and Anthony for their pretty & pink wedding at Bartle Hall in Preston.

I love my job.

Images by Samantha Broadley Photography

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (1)

Natalie says: We got engaged on my 21st birthday at a meal with all our family. After we had eaten, Anthony got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was completely shocked and didnt have a clue. All our family knew before the meal and my Mum even helped him pick out the ring.

We were married on Saturday 31st May 2014 at Bartle Hall, Preston.

We went looking around a few venues but eventually choose Bartle Hall. The grounds are beautiful and the staff were very welcoming and helpful. Most importantly the venue had accommodation so our family could stay over, that played a big part in helping us decide.

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (3)

I’ve always wanted to use pink for my wedding, which Anthony wasn’t too keen on! I wanted my venue dressing to be all about the flowers and I wanted them to make the room. We used Flower Design from Blackpool who did an amazing job and created the exact look that I wanted, using lots of blousy peonies.

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (6)

My dress was by Mori Lee from Dan Kerr, Preston. Although the style of the dress I chose was quite simple, the detail on it was amazing. It was very heavy in lace and had lots of bling!

My bridesmaids had tried lots of different styles of dresses on but I was looking for something that was a little bit different. I wanted them to stand out from the other guests and I found with the typical maxi style dresses they could of easily of been mistaken for guests. I chose a shorter design of dress as the wedding was in a summer months and to show off their shoes. I was really pleased with how the dresses looked on the day and all the girls said they were really comfortable to wear throughout the day, even after a three course meal. They were from Lottie’s Bridal Boutique.

The flower girls’ dresses were from BHS and great value for money.

For the boys, we needed twelve suits in total so we decided to hire them for the day. We went to a few places looking but finally decided on Moss Bros. Their suits looked smart and not worn, unlike others we’d seen previously. They were great at organising fittings for twelve people and made the collection and return process so easy.

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (10)

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (17)

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (18)

Our photographer was Samantha Broadley.  Sam made us feel so comfortable throughout the day and half of the time I never knew she was there! After getting the pictures back we are so,so pleased with how they turned out and they really captured the whole day from start to finish. Sam made us a snapshot DVD of images which she set to music of our choice, this was so well done and even brought Anthony to tears. Everyone has commented on how lovely her photos are and my brother-in-law has even booked her for his wedding next year!

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (22)

We had a mixture of high and low table centre pieces for our reception. As the high centre pieces were so big we had to be careful that they didnt overface the room. Flower Design perfectly placed the high centre pieces to create maximum effect when walking into the room. I also had the whole length of my top table draped in flowers, it looked amazing and so effective.

We chose a simple white cake as we used flowers to decorate it. The cake was four tiers with spacers in between for the flowers which gave it extra height. Two layers were chocolate and two sponge, by The Cake Lady, Blackpool.

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (28)

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (32)

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (34)

We decided on a last minute honeymoon which we booked after the wedding, and went to the Sensatori Hotel in Crete.

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (42)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what makes you both happy and what you want to do, not what pleases other people.

a pretty wedding at Bartle Hall (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (45)

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green & pleasant. amanda wyatt for a vibrant countryside wedding in lancashire – joanne & brendan

September 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

Hey, hey its only bloomin’ Friday! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a breather.

Lets get out in the fresh air and join Joanne and Brendan for their fresh and vibrant countryside wedding.

Just what the doctor ordered.

With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, James Tracey Photography.

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (4)

Joanne says: We got engaged at The Abode Hotel, Chester on the 17th February 2012.

Brendan left for work early one morning as normal.  I got up an hour later, walked to the bathroom and found an envelope taped to the door!  In the envelope was a letter from Brendan explaining how I wasn’t going to work that day as he had booked it off for me (with the help of my friend at work). I was told to pack a bag for a night away and would be picked up at 11am.  Brendan had even included the weather forecast for the mystery location so I could plan as well as a menu for a restaurant we were going to that night! Brendan picked me up as planned (he’d had to hang around in Tesco for four hours!) and we set off…I still didn’t know where we were going.  Eventually it became clear we were heading for Chester.

We went for an amazing lunch at Piccolino’s, complete with Prosecco!  We then made our way to The Abode Hotel by the racecourse, checking into an amazing luxury bedroom! I started unpacking my bag and could hear Brendan rustling through his and I thought “What is he doing?!” Next thing I hear is Brendan say, “Joanne”.  I turned around and he was on one knee!  “You know I don’t have a way with words…will you marry me?”

Brendan has since told me that he got a bit worried because it took a while for me to say yes between the tears!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

We got married at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Chorley, Lancashire on Friday 20th June 2014. The church has always been special to me as my Grandma used to take me there when I young and her funeral was held there as well as our Niece’s Christening.  The inside of the Church is absolutely gorgeous and Father Stanley is really down to earth and approachable.

We had our reception at Marsh Farm Hall in Great Eccleston.  We went for this venue due to Brendan wanting to organise all of the catering at the wedding himself! Brendan has worked in the catering industry all of his life and has run so many weddings, so his had to be the best he’s ever done. Marsh Farm Hall allowed him to plan the whole food service from scratch!

We went for a vintage/shabby chic look to fit in with the style of our reception venue.  The hall itself is a gorgeous bare-stone wall room, with a beautiful bar area. There is so much land surrounding the property, which made it an easy choice to go for natural colours. I made all of the wedding stationery myself with the help of my Sister, using Kraft card, cream lace and hessian string. I can change my mind with colours quite a lot so I didn’t want to go with a colour in case I went off it! We also thought a neutral theme would suit the venue.

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (16)

My dress was Amanda Wyatt “Felicia”. I had no idea what style I wanted and went with a completely open mind.  It worked though as it was the one and only shop I went to! The Felicia was the last dress I spotted on the way to the changing room and the first I tried on… none of the others compared to it (luckily my sister is very honest and would just laugh when a dress didn’t suit me)! I loved everything about it – the fit, the lace overlay and just enough sparkle!

I carried a simple ball of gypsophila (Baby’s Breath) bouquet, from Flowers in Thyme based at Heskin Hall in Chorley.

Brendan got his suit from Slaters in Preston.  He went for a grey suit with tails, with a cream waistcoat.  To keep it a bit more modern, he opted for a tie instead of cravat.  He looked so handsome.

Our bridesmaids (both of Brendan’s sisters, with my sister as maid of honour) wore dresses from Monsoon.  They were a cornflower blue. Our flower girl, Eva (our Niece) wore a gorgeous little dress with sewn on flowers with diamantes from Debenhams.

Both of our Dad’s and Brendan’s groomsmen, including our Nephew, Lennon who was pageboy, wore the same suit as Brendan’s but with grey waistcoats. All of their ties and pocket handkerchiefs were specially made to match the bridesmaid colours (it turned out to be a nightmare to try and match the colour).

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

James Tracey did our photographs.  I found James on the internet about a year before the wedding and his photos stood out.

We could not praise or recommend him enough!  For a couple who aren’t really comfortable in front of the camera, we chose James for his natural style of photographs, getting the shots without people realising it. He made us feel so relaxed on the day and even managed to get Eva to pose!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (21)

We used gypsophila wreaths inside the birdcages (from Dunelm) on the tables.  We also had small vases of gypsophila along the top table. I bought the vases from Home Bargains (they definitely were bargains at 50p a vase!) and Flowers in Thyme dressed them for us.

The tables and chairs were dressed by Create and Cherish – Incorporating Cherish Wedding Services from Chorley.  As I didn’t want to have a colour in the theme, I wanted to keep things neutral.  Kirsten was so helpful in working out which fabrics would work.  The room looked amazing!  We had lace on the chairs with brooches on each one.

We became a bit stuck about what to get as favours, knowing we wouldn’t really find anything that would suit men and women, so instead we went for something that would look good on the tables and were a bit different! We went to Birkacre Garden Centre in Chorley and ordered a mixture of 60 herb plants.  Our Mums then re-potted them into some terracotta pots we bought online. The Groomsmen then had the job to wrap them with cellophane the night before… speedily so they could watch the England match!

Five of our Grandparents are no longer with us, but we wanted them to a part of the day.  We got some photos of them all and put them together with a message “We know you’d be here today if Heaven wasn’t so far away”.  This was proudly displayed at the entrance door.

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (31)

The food is where Brendan came into his own!  I knew this was where I had to take a step back and completely trust his ideas. We both love our food so Brendan took a lot of time over choosing the perfect menu including Chicken Liver Parfait, Fillet of Beef (accompanied by a Herb Rosti, Glazed Parmentier Potatoes, Chantenay Carrots and Baby Asparagus with a Red Wine Jus) and Lemon Possett, washed down with a selection of cheeses, coffee and chocolates.

With the help from my Dad and his friend Ahmed, Brendan made mini “wine crates” for the starter to be served in.  He ordered personalised stencils with “Quirke Dootson Est. 2004 Blackpool” (we met in 2004 in Blackpool).  They were amazing!  They also doubled up as another favour for guests to take away.

The meal absolutely blew everyone away!  Paul (the chef) did us so proud and we could not have had a more perfect meal!

Our guests had red and white wine on the tables.  The white was Quirky Bird Chenin Blanc Semillon Muscat – I spotted it in Tesco and loved the fact I was about to become a “Quirky Bird” (surname Quirke!) so had to have it!  It turned out to be quite a nice wine too! Our red was the only wine I have managed to get Brendan to drink with me…Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva.

For the toast we had Blanc de Bleu sparkling wine.  My dad and I are huge Manchester City fans, so this was my only way I was allowed to get blue into the wedding!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (35)

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (30)

We bought a few outdoor games, including Twister for the kids (and bigger kids!) to play with to make the most of the nice weather!

We chose a DJ Brendan has worked with quite a lot, so knew how good he was, Paul Atkinson from Ice Entertainment. He was brilliant, even mingled with guests on the dance floor!  He got a great mix of music which meant the dance floor was full most of the night!

We also had a photo booth in the evening, from Boothtube.  Being a City fan… I sneaked Joe Hart and Yaya Toure masks into the accessories box!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (36)

We would definitely recommend Marsh Farm Hall – for any event!

Emma and her family were so helpful, letting Brendan get on with the set up and helping out when needed.  We even had comments from family and friends about how nice Emma was and how she couldn’t do enough for everyone on the day.

They even got us a couple of presents – a newspaper from the day we got married and a bottle of wine with a personalised label.

We just need an excuse for another party there!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

Our parents were an amazing help running up to the wedding… without them and all of their help the day would not have been as amazing as it was!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (48)

For our honeymoon, we had two weeks in Cala Llonga, Ibiza at the Fiesta Hotel Cala Llonga.

Brendan and I went on our first holiday together in Ibiza ten years earlier and fell in love with it!  On that holiday, we went on a boat trip round to Cala Llonga one day – after booking the honeymoon we found a picture of Brendan in the sea, with our honeymoon hotel in the background.

As a treat for Brendan, I booked us tickets to watch Lily Allen at Ibiza Rocks.  My sister and her partner then gave us some money as our wedding present, with strict instructions to get Tiny Tempah tickets too (my treat!)!  We had such a great time on the VIP balcony!

a vibrant countryside wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (51)

My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to take in every minute!  It’s scary how quickly it can all become a blur! Make sure your Groom doesn’t throw out his speech… I would love to be able to read Brendan’s again, and make sure you get plenty of photos (even selfies!) with all your loved ones.

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

September 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

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

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

Popcorn at the ready.  Roll film.

With images by Miki Photography.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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supplier showcase: Camera A Photography

September 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Camera A Photography (6)

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

And it’s a Happy Friday indeed!

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

Let’s say hello.

Camera A Photography (8)

How did you get into photography?

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

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

Why wedding photography specifically?

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

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

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

How do you get couples to relax on the day?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any really beautiful weddings that you have captured?

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

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Any funny stories to share?

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

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What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

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

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

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

Amazing photography, a fantastic time and professional service.

What is included in your “package”?

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

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

We have packages with one photographer and two photographers.

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

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

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

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Can you give us an idea on price?

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

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

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

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

Any treats for Brides Up North readers? 

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

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

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

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

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

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