August 20th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
When your parents have a garden as stunning as today’s real wedding bride Katy’s, what ya gonna do? Throw the most gorgeous country-themed wedding reception that is tailored perfectly to your tastes of course! After one or two nightmares during the planning stages – think putting your coffee on the roof of your car while you search for your keys and driving off with it still in situ and then multiply this by around a hundred! – Katy and Greg totally pulled off a dreamy wedding day to be proud of, with a little help from their family and friends.
We’re loving all the super pretty country garden style touches; from gorgeous seasonal blooms to the delicate pompoms and cute bunting suspended from the marquee ceiling. Katy and Greg went to town with the personalisation, too – including shot glasses as favours, beer mat save the dates and a customised cake topper – there’s no mistaking who the happy couple are!
And we can’t hand the floor over to Katy without a mention of her amazing Jenny Packham gown – so elegant and snapped up in a sample sale for a fraction of the price. Serious dress goals! Over to you, Katy…
With images by Suzy Wimbourne Photography.
katy says: We bought our first house last July in West Didsbury, and Greg proposed moments after we stepped through the door when we got the keys – I was caught completely off guard! The engagement ring was his grandma’s, which made it even more special.
We got married on 9th June 2018, at Chester Town Hall. I’d never been inside Chester Town Hall but knew it was a lovely historic building from the outside. When we saw the ceremony room, it had so much detail that we knew it was perfect for what we needed. We would highly recommend it. For such a beautiful building, it was surprisingly cheap to get married there. Our registrar, Honora Crisp, was also really lovely.
We had the reception in a marquee at my parents’ house in Manley, near Chester. My parents have a beautiful garden, but I’d never thought of having our wedding there until I bumped into someone I used to work with who told me she had just had her wedding in her parents’ garden, which gave me the idea. We knew from the start we wanted our wedding to be really relaxed and there were a few non-negotiables to make this happen, such as a free bar and sharing plates of food on the tables!
In terms of a theme, I guess I would describe the style as ‘country’. I did watercolour flowers and hand-drawn writing for the invitations and signage on the day. We have also been told that our wedding theme was ‘alcohol’ (!) as our save the dates were beer mats, we had a free bar, vodka bottles on the tables, and we all drank Greg’s sugar-free prosecco (he runs a sugar-free prosecco business on the side). I also used corks for the name holders and menu holders, and Mr & Mrs corks for the cake decoration!
For the colour scheme, pink and purple are my favourite colours, so I knew it was going to be one of those for my bridesmaids’ dresses. With the wedding being in June, we were going to have peonies as our flowers and I thought a dusty pink would look lovely with them. As navy complements pink really well and Greg tends to wear a lot of navy anyway, that was an easy decision for the suits! We had lots of other pastel colours, with blues, purples and yellows on our signage and decorations, such as the bunting.
For my dress, I’d done tonnes of research on Pinterest and narrowed down shops in the North West that would fit my budget. I was on a mission to get something lace and A-line. We live around the corner from The White Closet in West Didsbury, but I’d initially dismissed them as they were out of my price range. I saw a post on Facebook on the Friday night saying they’d had a cancellation for their sample sale that weekend and I managed to get that slot! As it was so last minute, my mum and bridesmaids couldn’t make it but fortunately my friend Claire was able to come along. I remember walking in and thinking none of the dresses would suit me. Claire took a dress of the rails that was quite sparkly that I’d normally dismiss but I tried one on and absolutely fell in love with it. I can’t believe I had that ‘dress moment’ when Claire and I both cried! I think I was in shock that it was the opposite of what I’d had in mind, but it made me feel amazing. The dress was Carrie (with ivory beads) by Jenny Packham and I managed to get it for a fraction of the price in the sample sale, so it was still within my budget!
August 16th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
All kinds of prettiness grace the blog today, as we delve into Sarah and Greg’s beautiful spring wedding at Dorfold Hall, a Grade I listed Jacobean house in Cheshire which offered the couple everything they could desire in a venue.
Opting for gorgeous coppers, blush pinks and ivory for the most elegant of colour schemes, this was exquisitely offset by an abundance of delicate roses and peonies. The flower arch alone has got all those Insta-worthy feels! Other original highlights to take note of include the cute whisky and pink gin favours, and the fire pits with marshmallows and sparklers in the evening for a dose of childhood nostalgia.
Alongside their absolutely stunning wedding photography, which you’ll be poring over very soon – we promise, they also captured their day via drones – a thoroughly modern approach! But, let’s get back to blogging basics and hand things over to the beautiful bride to chat through all the fabulous details!
With images by Joasis Photography.
sarah says: Greg and I first met in May 2011 at a wedding in Trikeri, Greece. Greg was one of the groom’s friends and I was a bridesmaid. He decided he quite fancied a date with me and tried for some months to arrange a meet up. This wasn’t easy as he lived in Germany! After a few fun dates Greg was sent away with the Army for six months and we didn’t last the course. We remained friends and met up when Greg visited London – and I also visited him in Germany. We got together properly in March 2014 and Greg moved into my flat in Balham in June – then he never left! We bought a house together in 2015, and then he proposed on 17th February 2017, at the top of Pitch Hill in Surrey. The time between then and May 2018 has been a whirlwind of work, romance and wedding planning!
We got married on 27th May 2018. We had a lot of people travelling up from London to Cheshire and therefore thought a bank holiday Sunday would work well for people. I also love springtime gardens.
We visited a few venues near where we live in Surrey however I soon realised that having the wedding near where I grew up was important to me. We viewed a few places in Cheshire but both fell in love with the history of Dorfold Hall when we saw it, as it reminded Greg of army life, and me of the Cambridge colleges. We loved the fact that we could do everything on site but have different elements in multiple locations. For example, we could use the 200-year-old coach house for the ceremony, then the gardens, hall and the marquee. We could also customise everything in whichever way we liked and avoid a cookie cutter feel.
The whole style of the wedding was designed to be elegant and beautiful. I had never been one of those girls who had their wedding planned in advance, but once I started planning, I knew what I wanted it to look and feel like. I have a creative streak and wanted to design as much of it as possible so the invites, table placing and orders of service all used my script and drawings. Cara at The Little Paper Shop designed some loose leaf florals for me in a muted pink (to match the bridesmaids dresses that I had already bought) which we put with rose gold and the theme grew from there. The styling of the day was all muted pinks, ivories and delicate flowers with beautiful scents – such as roses and peonies – with lots of texture and sage green. I loved the flowers – and in particular my bouquet – which blew me away! It was such a beautiful shape, with lots of texture, and it smelled divine!
I love the elegance and beauty of blush pink and the pop of metallics. We added lots of ivory to keep it all muted and avoid saccharine.
My first dress didn’t work out – so with less than three months to go I was in a real quandary! However, I came across Kate from Mariee in Nantwich, who in fairy godmother style said she could make me a bespoke one in time! So, we set upon designing it ourselves based on all the bits I had liked from other dresses, and I loved it! The dress was covered in tiny lace motifs and I loved the trumpet shape that was held by a big net skirt. The lace veil was my favourite accessory – the lace edging matched the dress, and then for the evening we created a Coco Chanel style cape to add structure. I loved the whole thing and had so much fun wearing it! I also wore Liberty in Love earrings and decided that silver Manolos were a must – why not?! And Bridal Hair and Makeup in Cheshire worked their magic on me on the day.
August 10th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
A contemporary barn venue overlooking the stunning Cheshire countryside provides the enviable setting for today’s real wedding. The Oak Tree of Peover was the only place Kim and Robbie viewed during their wedding venue search and they knew instantly it was the one. And we can see why.
We just love what this couple did with the space – decorating it with plush green foliage, festoon lighting, lanterns and candles. Truly divine. A dreamy lavender grey colour scheme works exquisitely with their rustic theme; perfectly offset by pops of orange and purple blooms – just wait until you see the bride’s bouquet and the sublime three-tiered cake!
The perfection doesn’t stop there though. Little jam jars of gin make for an original wedding favour and we just love the bride’s mode of transport – a Land Rover. And – what could be a Brides Up North first – a converted horsebox as a vintage style photo booth! Needless to say, there are lots of pretty details and unconventional twists to gush over today (afternoon tea and Spanish tapas, anyone?) so ladies let’s get scrolling!
With images by Jess Yarwood.
kim says: We got engaged at my favourite place: Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest on the 3rd December 2016. We were there with two other couples and go every year around the same time. We had been out that night for tea followed by bowling and a few drinks, so everyone was in very high spirits. We headed back to our lodge on our bikes and Robbie took me on a scenic route, to this little walkway that was all lit up with Christmas lights. It was beautiful and that’s where he proposed. Safe to say, I was over the moon after being together for six years.
We tied the knot on 12th May 2018. We chose this date as we knew we wanted a spring wedding as I love the flowers at this time of year and we always tend to have a nice spring here in the UK. It was also the only Saturday our venue had available, so it all worked out perfectly.
We got married at St Michael and All Angels Church – the church where I was christened, located in my hometown of Middlewich. We then held our reception at The Oak Tree of Peover. We were looking for a barn wedding and came across The Oak Tree and fell in love with it straightaway; we never looked at any other venue and it didn’t disappoint on the day.
We went for a rustic theme with a lavender grey colour scheme. I love purple, so this was a great take on that, but just a bit more of a seasonal hue. It went fabulously with the orange in my flowers.
I had a tight fitted dress with a cowl neck and a very low back, made by Ellis Bridals and bought from Sarah’s Wedding Boutique in Northwich. I fell in love with the gown as soon as I tried it on – it felt amazing. This wasn’t the style I expected I would get, but I felt amazing on the day and it really suited my figure.
My hair and makeup was done my Harry Jon in Middlewich. She came to my mum’s house, where we all got ready while enjoying croissants and Bucks Fizz. We had matching pyjamas too – it was such a lovely morning.
The groom and groomsmen’s suits were all from Jeff Banks.
My bridesmaids – Jo, my maid of honour and my sister-in-laws, Laura and Amy – wore long lavender grey ruffle wrap dresses from Monsoon. It was meant to be, as when I walked in the shop, there was just three left on the rail in the three sizes I needed. I couldn’t put them down. My flower girl was my niece and her ivory dress was from Next. She looked perfect and danced the night away in it.
August 9th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
‘I wanted everything to be fluffy, floaty and smelling gorgeous,’ states today’s bride, Stacey. A combination that sounds utterly wonderful to us. Who needs a wedding theme anyhow, when you have such a distinct vision for your big day?
Tying the knot at the fabulous Heaton House Farm in May 2017, Stacey and Vinny were keen to host a springtime wedding and make the most of the stunning English countryside. And the Cheshire-based venue, we think you’ll agree, more than fulfilled this brief! Greenery and white flowers with the scent of freesia and eucalyptus set the scene inside the venue, with the addition of candelabras, hanging crystals and sequin table runners transforming the space come nighttime.
And something especially for the grooms up north – prepare for some of the most memorable groomsmen photos you’ll ever see, as the boys pay homage to their favourite superheroes on the day, too!
With images by Suzy Wimbourne Photography.
stacey says: We got engaged during a trip to London in July 2015. Vinny popped the question whilst we were having drinks in The Shard. I didn’t have a clue it was about to happen and initially I thought it was a prank! We spent the rest of the day celebrating with lots of fizz, ending it by seeing Ed Sheeran in concert at Wembley. It was the best day ever!
We chose 30th May 2017, as our wedding date mainly because I just don’t think you can beat a spring wedding in the English countryside. The extra-long bank holiday weekend for our guests was a bonus!
Our ceremony and reception were both held at Heaton House Farm, just outside of Macclesfield. It was the only venue we looked at and we fell in love with it as soon as we walked into the oak beamed entrance barn. The outside space around the venue is just incredible, surrounded by fields, flowers and wildlife, with views of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire. You feel like you are the only people around for miles.
We didn’t really have a theme, I just knew that I wanted everything to be fluffy, floaty and smelling gorgeous! Although, the boys did have their own superhero theme with the cufflinks and socks that they wore! Our colour scheme was mainly white with navy blue to keep things classic and timeless.
I chose a strapless ivory dress with a sweetheart neckline, lace bodice and tulle skirt by Wtoo by Watters from Penny Gray Bridal in Oxton, Wirral. The detailing and fabrics were beautiful, so it was an easy decision to make.
Vinny wore a blue French Connection suit with matching waistcoat from Moss Bros in Chester, along with a light blue tie and brown shoes. His superman socks and cufflinks made an appearance once or twice too!
The boys all went for blue Ted Baker suits and waistcoats, also from Moss Bros, and my bridesmaids wore navy multi-way dresses. The flower girls looked so cute in their satin and lace ivory dresses from Monsoon.
August 6th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
In true stretch-out-the-celebrations style, today’s featured couple made a full weekend of their nuptials, with a pre-wedding meal on the Friday evening for their families and the bridal party, the big event on the Saturday and a party for all their guests on the Sunday, which included a chilly dip in Lake Windermere. That’s one way to shake off the fuzzy head the morning after the night before!
Having chosen a spectacular setting, Tom and Zoe didn’t need to go overboard with their decorations but an elegant blush pink and navy colour scheme, using an abundance of real and faux flowers to dress the rooms and slate on the tables as a nod to the local area. We love their idea for favours too – s’mores to toast on the outdoor fire pit, both sociable and delicious!
The bride, who delivered her own speech, wore a beautiful, strapless sweetheart gown with a mermaid skirt in tulle and lace and a beaded waist, offering a gorgeous silhouette for plenty of romantic lakeside photos. Ultimately, it’s the huge smile on both their faces that really make the photographs sing – as Zoe sagely advises; if you remember your wedding is all about you as a couple, it will show through in your day!
With images by Amy Jordison Photography.
zoe says: We got engaged on 12th February 2017. Tom had taken me to Berlin to celebrate my birthday; we had a great few days away, drinking lots of German beer and touring the city. When we came back, we went up to our flat and outside the door Tom said he had one more surprise for me. I thought it was going to be something for my birthday like some flowers or a little present, so when he made me put on a blindfold, I thought he was just playing up the surprise. We went into the flat and he left me waiting in the hallway for a couple of minutes before finally telling me I could come into the lounge. I walked in and the room was full of balloons and on the balloon strings were little pictures of us. I initially thought they were for my birthday until I saw a ring in the box on the table, along with a collage of all the anniversary and birthday cards we had given each other over the years. Tom got down on one knee and it was the biggest surprise of my life. Tom has always been disappointed as I am really good at guessing what my presents are, but I had no idea about this one – which was amazing! (How did the balloons get there? His mum and dad had come round earlier that day and done the whole thing: got my favourite flowers and put prosecco and strawberries in the fridge!)
We got married on 23rd June 2018. I wanted a winter wedding originally, but Tom was set on a summer wedding; when I realised a June wedding would mean peonies, I was more than happy to go along with what he wanted!
We got married at Silverholme Manor in the Lake District and had our reception in a marquee in the grounds. When you see the pictures of Silverholme, there’s no question that you’d want to get married there. The views are insane, the house is huge, and it meant all our family could stay in one place for the whole weekend. The day after we saw it, Tom said to me we should get married there and I was so happy!
I would recommend Silverholme to other couples as it is breathtakingly beautiful. It allows your nearest and dearest to be close by and you can really make a weekend of it. We stayed from Thursday to Monday and it felt like the most amazing holiday with both of our families and best friends. We didn’t leave the grounds for the entire weekend! Alex, the events coordinator, is so attentive; she is on hand if you need anything. It’s just such a fantastic place to be. We are hoping to be able to go back with all our family for our fifth (or maybe tenth) wedding anniversary.
We wanted to try and use a lot of local suppliers and we used slate for our centrepieces as it reminds me of the Lake District. I wanted a lot of flowers but a really relaxed vibe. Everyone commented on how relaxed the wedding was, which was great.
The colour scheme was blush pink and navy. I had always wanted navy bridesmaid dresses, but my sister beat me to it (she got married the year before) so I decided blush pink would be nice with the navy suits as it was light and summery.
July 31st, 2018 | Julia Braime
Many bridal boutiques recommend you begin your dream dress hunt between 12 and 18 months in advance of your big day, which means ladies getting wed in the latter half of 2019, it’s time to get your search on!
Picking which gorgeous bridal boutiques to visit can be tricky as you want to give yourself enough choice but without becoming too overwhelmed. As such, it’s a good idea to look for those that stock a fabulous line up of differing designers to help present initial options of varying shapes and styles.
It’s perhaps very timely then that we introduce one of our most recent Sponsors to the blog today, fabulous mother and daughter team Kendal and Moira of Along Came Eve Bridal Boutique. Located in the gorgeous historic city of Chester, the rails of this welcoming boutique boast an incredible selection of designers that each offer brides a different look; from elegant lace numbers, to heavily detailed designs, sexy silhouettes and boho beauties.
With backgrounds in bridal and fashion, Kendal and Moira are well equipped to help ladies find that one special dress and are proud of their personal approach and exciting range of dress designers that provide stunning gowns that are a little “out of the ordinary”.
And as if that wasn’t enough to tempt you through the boutique’s doors, Along Came Eve will be holding its Summer Sample Sale on Sunday 19th August, when brides-to-be can bag an ex-sample gown at a bargain price, with some dresses reduced by more than £1,000 – just think of the bridal shoes you could buy with that saving!
So, let us leave you in Kendal’s capable hands as she talks us through her lovely family-run boutique…
Boutique images by Orphic Photography, gown images by Willowby, supplied by Along Came Eve.
How did you become involved in the wedding industry and what led you to set up your own boutique?
kendal says: We are a mother and daughter team. My mum Moira had her own couture bridal studio when I was growing up and that kick-started the passion for bridal. Moira’s career took her into the clothing industry where she still works as a Technical Director for a leading clothing production company. After following different career paths, we came together to start Along Came Eve and combined our passion for all things bridal. We have always wanted to have our own business together and our strengths make us work really well as a team.
Where is your boutique located and how would you describe the look and feel of it?
We are based in a gorgeous Grade II listed building on the historical rows of Chester city centre. Our boutique is light and airy with pops of colour throughout and an atmosphere that provides privacy and comfort for all of our brides.
What designers do you stock at Along Came Eve?
We stock eight fabulous brands at the boutique. Enzoani, a flagship collection that oozes detail and sophistication with sexy silhouettes and delicate beading. Blue By Enzoani, which is a sought after collection that brings a modern twist on classic looks with plenty of detailed fabrics and textures. Rosa Clara Couture will be landing in the boutique in autumn 2018 and offers a fashion forward and super elegant collection with dramatic details. We also stock mainline Rosa Clara, which features beautiful fabrics, amazing details and classic design. Martin Thornburg for Mon Cheri, is a collection where pretty meets sexy, with modern necklines and incredible detail! Then we have the Watters flagship collection, which combines exclusive laces and exquisite silks with fashion forward design. Willowby By Watters, is their super soft, boho inspired collection that is not only stunning, but also so incredibly comfortable to wear. Finally, Agnes provides a truly special collection with each piece handmade to order in Poland, using unique laces, stunning design and fantastic attention to detail.
How do you select the right designers for your boutique and what do you look for in a collection?
Our main objective is to have a point of difference between each of the brands that we stock. We chose from collections that we adore and look for something out of the ordinary. We did our research and didn’t want to be one of those stores that has the same lace dress ten times over. The quality of our gowns is so important to us, we look for brands with super high standards and real identity for their brand as these designers produce fabulous collections season after season.
What trends are proving popular with your brides at the moment?
For us, classic silhouettes and fabrics are certainly on the rise! Our brides are loving crepes georgettes and Mikados at the moment with classic boat necklines and super detailed backs. We think there will be more of this in future collections with embellished details coming forward ahead of lace.
What preparation would you advise brides to do before visiting the boutique?
We advise ladies to take a look at the websites of the designers that our boutique stocks and screen shot or pin dresses that they love, we will then take a look at these with the bride when they arrive at our boutique and help them pick out the dresses in store. We also give our brides some advice around what to expect from their appointment with us i.e. how long it lasts, who to bring along, what underwear to wear. We find our brides really appreciate this bit of advice as it makes them feel more comfortable with the process before they get to us. Most brides find dress shopping a really daunting experience so being prepared really helps to calm the nerves!
What can brides expect from an appointment at Along Came Eve?
Firstly, all of our bridal appointments are completely private. When a bride arrives for her appointment she is welcomed to our boutique and then taken upstairs to our bridal showroom along with her friends and family. We will then talk the bride through the dresses and take a look at her inspiration photos pulling out any dresses she has highlighted (they can look very different on hanger in comparison to press shots). We make sure the bride is totally comfortable and knows how many dresses she will have time to try on during her appointment. We then leave the bride and her entourage to look through the dresses and make her choices returning within five minutes to take them through to our separate fitting room, where we fit the dresses in private and then the bride gets to make a grand entrance to her waiting party.
What size and price range of dresses do you stock?
Our samples range in size from an 8 to an 18 with the majority being a 12 or 14. Our prices range from £1,200 to £4,000.
Do you stock accessory ranges at the boutique?
We do, we have beautiful handmade tiaras and hair pieces from UK based Miranda Templeton and stunning veils from Nieve Couture with a bespoke veil service from Joyce Jackson. We also stock stunning silk flower crowns from UK based Frida Flower Crowns, faux fur accessories from Helen Moore and stunning hand painted, vegan-friendly biker jackets from Lucky Sew and Sew.
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