Charlotte Balbier

real wedding recap summer 2017: a sophisticated wedding at west tower, ormskirk – jenn & mark

June 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (82)

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Today we’re poring over Jenn and Mark’s exquisite wedding at the magnificent West Tower manor house in Lancashire.

Wearing the most stunning Mori Lee mermaid style gown, the beautiful bride carried a gorgeous bouquet of peonies and roses for a quintessential summer bridal look.

With a five-tier artificial cake – every inch the picture-perfect creation – the couple also laid on a special cocktail hour for their guests, complete with the breezy sounds of a live saxophonist.

With images by Ian MacMichael Photography

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (83)

jenn says: We got engaged in London on 15th November 2014. We were celebrating Mark’s birthday, staying in our favourite hotel – The Grange St Paul’s. We were out sightseeing all day and when we got back in the early evening, there were roses and champagne in our room. Mark asked if they were for his birthday, I said no, then turned around and he was on one knee.

We got married on 11th June 2016. There wasn’t a specific reason why we chose this date, other than that we knew we wanted to get married on a Saturday at the beginning of summer.

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (92)

We tied the knot in All Saints Church in Childwall, which is Mark’s family church and is stunning. This was followed by a reception at West Tower. I had always dreamed of getting married at West Tower; it was the first venue we viewed and we both knew straight away that it was perfect for us. The grounds are gorgeous and the staff are unbelievable, too.

Our colour scheme was white. We wanted everything neutral so that our photographs wouldn’t look dated in the years to come.

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (101)

I chose a lace mermaid style Mori Lee dress – I tried on more than 50 dresses before I found ‘the one’. It was from a gorgeous shop called Natalie Ann Brides. As soon as I started to try on different gowns, I knew I would find my perfect dress there. I was petrified I wouldn’t find one that I loved and was really nervous, but they really put me at ease. I didn’t actually choose my dress – Natalie said she had found the perfect dress for me and, it turns out, it was exactly what I’d been looking for!

Mark wore a three-piece black dinner suit with bow tie from William Hunt in York. He has seen a photo of the suit on Pinterest which we couldn’t find anywhere, but he eventually tracked the shop down. They had one in London and another in Harrogate. He dealt with Gavin who was brilliant and nothing was too much trouble.

The bridesmaid dresses wore floor-length nude dresses from AX Paris. The groomsmen wore two-piece black dinner suits from Next with ties from Debenhams.

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (107)

Peaches and Cream did the bridal party’s hair and makeup. I loved the trials in the buildup and it was such a fun atmosphere in the shop on the day. They don’t come out to your house, which I quite liked as there were ten of us so it could have got a bit manic! All the girls looked stunning.

Our wedding transport was a vintage car from The Wedding Rooms, Formby.

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real wedding recap summer 2017: vera wang for an intimate spring wedding at weston hall, staffordshire – laura & ryan

June 20th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

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It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Dressed in a gorgeous Vera Wang mermaid style gown, Laura looked every inch the beautiful bride. And with a dreamy palette of rose, blush pink and champagne combined with a dazzling sprinkle of gold – this, we think, is a wedding exuding all things classically chic and romantic.

With images by Fairclough Photography.

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laura says: For his proposal, Ryan booked us a night away at Weston Hall in Stafford, as he knew how much I loved it there. When we checked into our lovely room I was hanging out of the window admiring the view of the terrace (dreaming of one day getting married there) then when I turned around he was on one knee with a huge grin on his face holding the most perfect ring! At first I thought he was joking but soon enough realised what he was actually asking. After all the crying, I remembered I to say yes!

The morning after the night before we went down for breakfast and I asked to see the Wedding planner at Weston Hall – there’s no time like the present, right?

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We knew we wanted a spring wedding so didn’t hesitate to book for the 27th May 2016, this was the Friday before the bank holiday and knew it was the perfect date! May is one of my favourite months, too, I just love spring and know there can be some beautiful sunny days in the month of May.

We got married at the prettiest church just down the road from Weston Hall, called St Andrews. Whenever we had drove past we always admired how quaint it looked. With all the beautiful blossom trees lining the church path, it seemed too perfect having the wedding ceremony there then afterwards celebrating at Weston Hall.

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We didn’t have a theme as such, all I knew was that I wanted it to look timeless and Weston Hall gave me the perfect backdrop to do so.

I chose a romantic colour palette consisting of rose, blush pink, nudes, champagne and lots of gold for a bit of glamour! I had these colours in mind from the beginning so when I found the bridesmaid dresses it all followed from there.

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I tried on what felt like hundreds of wedding dresses, realising that the mermaid style was what I really wanted. I had always loved the Vera Wang Gemma dress and had it at the back on my mind, so I decided to go for it as I was only going to get married once – and I am pleased that I did! When I tried it on, nothing compared; I just knew that dress was made for me. I felt a million dollars! I teamed it with some stunning bespoke accessories from Joan Brown Vintage in Leek, Staffordshire, and some amazing Jimmy Choo’s to finish it all off!

Ryan wore a really nice navy blue three-piece fitted suit from Next’s Signature collection with a skinny navy blue tie, tan brogues and belt. He looked very dapper! The groomsmen wore the same Signature suits from Next as Ryan.

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whole lotta history. an elegant wedding at quarry bank mill – laura & richard

June 9th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

An Elegant Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Kate Gosney (39)

History runs deep for today’s newlyweds, Laura and Richard, who tied the knot earlier this spring. The couple met at Hampton Court Palace, where their romance and shared passion for books and the past, flourished over time.

So, it comes as no surprise that the pair looked to the National Trust when searching for their perfect wedding venue – instantly falling in love with the charming Quarry Bank, a working mill that dates back to the 1780s.

We think you’re going to be swept away by the personal touches to their big day, including their cute wooden peg cake toppers and second-hand-library-come-favours, which we think is an inspired idea!

With images by Kate Gosney Photography

An Elegant Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Kate Gosney (8)

laura says: We got engaged on 7th April 2016. It’s a tradition between us to have an Easter egg hunt each year, but we hadn’t managed one last Easter. I woke up to a cryptic text message leading me on a treasure hunt around our flat, and just presumed it was a belated egg hunt. When the final clue led to a ring rather than a Lindt bunny, my immediate reaction was one of complete bewilderment, followed by shock. It actually took me over a minute to say yes, during which time Richard worried that he’d seriously misjudged the direction of our five-year relationship. Eventually I calmed down and we proceeded to have a wonderful day, ending with a wonderful dinner up the Oxo Tower, overlooking the Thames.

We got married on 8th April 2017, a year and a day after getting engaged. We both really like spring and it suited both of our work schedules. The other option had been the 1st April, but we worried people might think it was just a joke and not bother turning up!

An Elegant Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Kate Gosney (36)

We got married at St John’s Church Lindow, near Wilmslow, which is the church my mum attends. The vicar has known me for 20 years, which made the service particularly special and personal. He even managed to find a picture of me aged eight to project onto a big screen, much to my embarrassment (and everyone else’s amusement).

The reception was held at Quarry Bank Mill, a few miles away in Styal. We’re both history geeks, so National Trust properties were an obvious place to start looking for a reception venue. Quarry was the first venue we visited and we fell in love with it. The gardens are beautiful, the building is majestic, and the sheer size of the two function rooms was really appealing. On top of that, it wasn’t too expensive.

An Elegant Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Kate Gosney (5)

We didn’t have a particular theme in mind, but as we started planning, it became clear that we wanted the day to have an informal, playful feel, through which we could show our personalities and things we enjoy together.

My engagement ring is a sapphire and by pure coincidence – Richard is a massive QPR fan, so blue was always going to feature in the colour scheme, and we liked the idea of a classic navy with fresh spring greens and pinks to brighten it up. We tried not to be too pedantic about getting the exact matches for colours, which gave us a bit more freedom and we were really pleased with the overall effect.

An Elegant Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Kate Gosney (6)

My amazing Justin Alexander dress was from 7th Heaven Bridal in Congleton, who were extremely helpful and patient. My mum had seen it on the shop’s website and had already decided it would be the dress for me before I had even tried it on. As is often the way with mums, she was absolutely right, and the dress was perfect. The amazing intricacy of the beading and pearl details gave it a timeless, vintage feel and it was totally unique. I didn’t know much about what sort of dress I would go for, but I knew I wanted an interesting back, so fell in love with the beaded butterfly effect and the rouleau buttons. My Charlotte Mills shoes lent a playful touch, with their cobalt blue heart and a sixpence in the sole.

My bridal make-up was courtesy of Beautiful of Wilmslow, and Lindsay had been working on my eyebrows for nine months leading up to the big day. She really understood what I was after and used Airbase make-up to give a really natural, but long lasting look. Vicky Kari did a gorgeous job with the bridesmaids’ hair, and styling the mother of the bride. After a bit of indecision, I felt that because my dress was so detailed, it would be good to keep things simple, so Vicky dried my hair straight and sleek with lots of volume.

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forever friends. a pretty & personal wedding in cheshire – charlotte & andy

June 7th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Wedding In Cheshire (c) Daniel Murrientes Photography (44)

When today’s bride Charlotte got in touch with us we were totally in awe of her strength, caring nature and beautiful big day. For in the run up to her wedding, Charlotte lost her best friend and maid of honour, Dawn Shepherd, to cancer. Determined to celebrate her beautiful friend’s life, Charlotte, worked alongside Dawn’s two young sons to incorporate fitting tributes to their mum into the wedding day.

Such special touches included a balloon release, personal poem reading and a donation to Cancer Research. Following the loss of best friend, Charlotte is also helping to raise funds to support Dawn’s two brave sons in the future. Further details of Dawn’s story and how to make a donation to the Dawn Shepherd Foundation can be found here.

As well as the friendship between Charlotte and Dawn, the big day, of course, also celebrated the love and friendship between Charlotte and Andy who incorporated a subtle Disney theme into the proceedings in a nod to their romantic Disney World engagement. And the two are set to return to the Magic Kingdom for their happily ever after honeymoon too! Charlotte tells us more…

With images by Daniel Murrientes Photography.

A Pretty Wedding In Cheshire (c) Daniel Murrientes Photography (2)

charlotte says: We were on holiday in Florida with our children (identical girls aged three and our little boy 15 months), when Andy proposed. We went for four weeks and it happened on a Sunday at the start of our third week at Magic Kingdom. Andy asked if we wanted to have a photo in front of the castle so I said yes, and then as I was sorting the children out he got down on one knee and a photographer captured it all. It was my perfect proposal.

A Pretty Wedding In Cheshire (c) Daniel Murrientes Photography (31)

We got married on 9th April 2017. Both being teachers we wanted it to be in a school holiday and April seemed perfect for us and fitted with everyone else.

Our ceremony was held at St Mary’s Church in Cheadle, and was followed by a reception at the Alderley Edge Hotel.

A Pretty Wedding In Cheshire (c) Daniel Murrientes Photography (33)

In the November in the run up to the wedding, my maid of honour/best friend and mother to my godsons sadly passed away after a 90 day battle of cancer. As such, myself and my godsons planned how she could be remembered throughout the wedding day so it was like she was there. The florist still made her bouquet, which I took to her grave the morning of the wedding. Everyone wore a purple bow and we let of purple balloons. ‘Dawn’s Poem’ written by Donna Broxton was read in the church service and we set her a place at the reception.

A Pretty Wedding In Cheshire (c) Daniel Murrientes Photography (64)

As pink is my favourite colour I picked it for the bridesmaid dresses, flowers and my bridal accessories including a pink feather bolero and Rachel Simpson bag and shoes.

We also incorporated a subtle Disney theme into the wedding as a nod to our Disney World engagement.

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lilac love. roses & thistles for a personal wedding at adlington hall – katie & simon

June 2nd, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Personal Wedding at Adlington Hall (c) Katie Siddell Photography (27)

A perfect combination of pretty and personal, today’s real wedding features a romantic colour palette combined with individual touches for a day that’s a true reflection of the bride and groom.

There are subtle references to Katie and Simon’s roots, interests and hobbies through their flower, cake and décor choices, showing others how to incorporate special touches into their special day.

The highlight of this wedding for us though has to be Katie’s beautiful high-neck wedding dress – she was ahead of Pippa Middleton on that trend!

With images by Katie Sidell Photography.

A Personal Wedding at Adlington Hall (c) Katie Siddell Photography (16)

katie says: We got engaged on the 26th August 2014, in Rome at a beautiful square with a fountain called Piazza Novana. We had planned to go out for an evening meal and a few drinks that evening. After our meal we walked to Piazza Novana. When we arrived at the square Simon asked me to go and have a look for a nice place to drink. Unbeknown to me he was trying to ask someone to take a video of him proposing. Unfortunately they didn’t understand English so that plan failed. When I came back Simon got down on one knee (right in front of the big water fountain) and showed me the beautiful ring. He then asked me to marry him. I was so overwhelmed as I really wasn’t expecting it. I remember crying with happiness and of course said yes. It was so romantic.

A Personal Wedding at Adlington Hall (c) Katie Siddell Photography (24)

We set the date for 25th June 2016. We definitely wanted a summer wedding so wanted the weather to be nice but not too hot. On record June tended to be the nicest month. We were fortunate to get the weather because it had rained in the morning as I was walking into the church but when we came out it was glorious.

Our ceremony was held at St Michael and All Angels Church in Bramhall. I have lived in Bramhall all my life and I’m very fond of this church. We chose Adlington Hall for the reception. The venue blew us both away. It is beautiful and we liked the fact it is an exclusive venue where we would be the only party there. The staff who worked there were so lovely and really made us feel special. We never looked back.

A Personal Wedding at Adlington Hall (c) Katie Siddell Photography (31)

Our wedding had a rustic theme overall, which went particularly well with Adlington Hall and the beautiful high beams in its hunting lodge. There were a few subthemes too, which brought some personal elements to the day. As I was born in Scotland and Simon in England, so the men’s buttonholes included thistles and roses, and we also had thistles and roses within the bouquets. We had a park theme for the table plan. We chose ten parks throughout the world we had both been to, such as Central Park in New York and Villa Borghese Park in Rome. As we both represent our counties in tennis (Simon for Derbyshire and myself for Cheshire) we had Wimbledon themed cupcakes for our wedding cake. We also met each other through tennis and have known each other since we were about ten-year-old as we competed in the same tennis tournaments.

The colour scheme was lilac. This has always been my favourite colour and as a little girl I always dreamt of lilac flowers for my wedding. For our invitations, Michelle from Smileyhiley used rustic hearts and purple lace to help set the scene for the theming of the wedding.

A Personal Wedding at Adlington Hall (c) Katie Siddell Photography (20)

I chose a Ronald Joyce wedding dress from Isaac Charles in Poynton. It was a drop waist design with a high neck because I felt these type of dresses were the most flattering for my figure. The wedding dress was made from very delicate lace, which I always wanted. It had pretty diamonds scattered throughout the dress and a shoulder/elbow length veil.

I actually thought I would go for something very simple with not much detail, when in fact the dress I chose was the complete opposite. When I put the dress on I knew it was the one straight away and never wanted to take it off. It was so beautiful and elegant and like nothing I had ever seen before.

On the day of the wedding, makeup artist Chloe Alexandra did my makeup and stylist Lisa Marshall did my hair.

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all that glitters. rose gold for a glamorous winter wedding at mere court hotel – maxine & alex

June 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (64)

Err, bride Maxine from today’s real wedding, can we be your friend please? Check out these photographs from her wedding to the lovely Alex and try to deny that this wedding belle was seriously good to her #bridesquad girls: not only are they wearing the most beautiful floral dressing gowns in their preparation pics, but she chose floor-length, rose gold sequinned gowns for them for the ceremony. I mean, I’d be literally skipping down the aisle!

Maxine herself wows effortlessly in her slinky lace number, which moved smoothly from the hotel ceremony to the couple’s gorgeous outdoor photoshoot and from day to night. And what a night it was from the look of things – love lights, laughter and leapfrogs. What all good weddings are made of!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lee Brown Photography

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (44)

maxine says: Alex proposed to me in Cairns. He had been in Australia with work for six months and I had gone to visit him. He popped the question just after we‘d been scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. It was perfect!

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (50)

We got married on 18th February 2017. We wanted to get married fairly quickly; a long engagement wasn’t for us. We knew we couldn’t rely on the weather and liked the idea of a winter wedding.

We got married at Mere Court Hotel, Cheshire, and had both the ceremony and reception there. I viewed it while Alex was in Australia. I knew as soon as I looked at I that it was what we both wanted.  It had a country house feel with lots of rooms for our guests to stay in, an intimate ceremony room with a lot of character and an amazing conservatory for the reception.

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (82)

For our theme, we went with a winter glamour/Gatsby-type feel. I knew I didn’t want red and knew I wanted the bridesmaids in rose gold sequin maxi dresses and so the ideas just stemmed from there. I love how rose gold, bronze and ivory work together – the bridesmaids looked amazing in their dresses!

A Rose Gold Winter Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (107)

I bought my dress at a bridal shop owned by my friend Holly, Dream Dress Bridal. I‘d tried a few dresses on at wedding fairs for Holly and had an idea of the style I liked. I loved the one I eventually chose, particularly its detailed back. I knew I didn’t want a veil but a tiara; it went perfectly with the dress.

Alex wore a blue Signature suit from Next with a waistcoat and taupe tie. The colour looked amazing on Alex and thankfully went with the theme! The groomsmen also wore blue suits from Next.

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