September 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Welcome to the week Brides Up North! Let’s start this one super prettily, as we join Leanne and Tom for their rustically styled wedding day, full of beautiful blooms and soft pastels. Very easy on the eye.
With images by Arusha’s Images.
Leanne says: Tom proposed on the 26th April 2013. We went for a walk on the beach in Morecambe. My 6 year old daughter took her metal detector & her & Tom were hunting for treasure when ‘surprisingly’ they stumbled across a message in a bottle which my daughter read out to me. It said “Leanne, I love you, will you marry me?”. When I turned around to look at Tom and he was on one knee with the most beautiful ring!
Our wedding date was Sunday 29th June 2014. We chose that date as it was one day before I turned 30!
We chose the beautiful Beeston Manor in Hoghton. The location was ideal for both sides of our family to travel to. It was a family run business & we loved the story of its history, being transformed from an old run down ruin of a barn into a stunning wedding venue, by its owners John Bickerstaffe & his father. The grounds & gardens were amazing & each room had a lovely intimate feel to it. It was a blank canvas which I loved as I am quite fussy with decor & a lot of places we looked at had pictures on the walls or carpets that clashed with the wallpaper. We loved all the stone & the wooden beams. It was perfect!
I would not hesitate to recommend Beeston Manor to other couples. It is the most beautiful venue and the staff are fantastic. They will work with you to ensure you have a wedding that is exactly how you want it.
The style of the wedding was quite rustic; hessian bows, bunting, jam jars, etc. We chose this as it worked well with the style of venue & all looked so pretty. The colour scheme was brought out mainly with the flowers. I chose ivory for my dress & also for my flower girls then pastel shades of pink, lilac, lemon, green & ivory for all the flowers & the cupcakes.
I chose an Essense of Australia gown from Butterfly Bridal in Lancaster. It was ivory, strapless, with a sweetheart neckline, drop waist and full skirt. The bodice was lace with a full tulle skirt with lace detail between each layer. It was stunning! I chose that dress because it was completely different to anything I had originally wanted & it made me feel like a princess. It was classy and glamorous & after trying on hundreds of different dresses that was the one that I kept thinking about & going back to!
My hand tied bouquet was provided by Abi’s Arrangements in Bare, Morecambe. She used a mix of flowers including spray roses, phlox, lisianthus, peonies, & gypsophila.
Tom wore a tailor made brown tweed suit by Victor Valentine. It was pretty unique.
We didn’t have groomsmen, or big bridesmaids. But the flower girls wore ivory dresses that had a full net skirt with scattered Swarovski crystals and big flowers attached, from BHS. They also had flower crowns by Abi’s Arrangements
Our photographer was Arusha Jenks from Arusha’s Images Photography. She was fantastic & we couldn’t recommend her enough! She arrived early so she could look around the venue and the grounds & find the best spots for our posed photos. She took photos throughout the day and captured all the special moments without intruding or getting in the way. She was so lovely & knew exactly what to do to get the best from us & get smiles from all the children! She has produced beautiful photos that we will treasure for the rest of our lives!
All the flowers for the wedding reception were provided by Abi’s Arrangements. Other decorations included decorated jam jars, hessian place mats and top table runner, bunting, place names cards & seating plan. All these little details were made by my mother in law, Shirley. She worked tirelessly to recreate all my ideas & she did a wonderful job! The chair covers & bows were provided by Dalton’s Catering of Morecambe.
We had favours on the tables for our guests. These were shortbread biscuits with an iced heart design, they were wrapped in brown paper & tied with string & a “with love T & L” gift tag. These were also provided by Dalton’s Catering of Morecambe.
We decided to have a BBQ instead of a sit down 3 course meal. We both wanted something informal and it worked so well. We had homemade burgers, sausages & BBQ chicken with floured buns, salad, jacket potatoes and garlic bread. We had so many compliments about the food. It was delicious! In the evening, cones of chips were given out to our guests with all the condiments on the table. It was a great idea & perfect when you’ve had a few beers!
For our wedding cake, we chose vanilla, lemon & white chocolate cupcakes, decorated with iced flowers in pastel colours. They were yummy! These were also provided by Dalton’s Catering of Morecambe.
During the day we had a guy called Brendan McMahon, who sang and played guitar. I had found him busking in Manchester city centre a couple of months before the wedding, and just asked him there and then if he would play. He was fantastic! I knew I wanted the whole day to just feel really laid back and relaxed and he created the atmosphere perfectly!
Later in the evening we had a band called Sold to the Sky. They are very well known locally & were my first choice! They played a mixture of songs from ACDC to Rhianna and had everyone up dancing all night!
We also had a photobooth from The Party Project, which kept everyone laughing. It was a great idea & everyone loved.
I arranged a surprise for Tom. He was in the army for 7 years and was also in the pipe band: The Pipes & Drums 1st Battalion Scots Guards, as a base drummer. It was a huge part of his life which he loved and the other band members are some of his best friends so it seemed fitting to have them play on our wedding day. Along with a highland dancer from the regiment. Tom was so happy! It was the best present I could have given him, and he even got to play his old drum again with the band on our special day! Everyone danced along too!
My favourite part of the day was the look on my husband’s face, firstly when he saw me walking down the aisle towards him then later when he saw the Pipes and Drums play. Priceless memories. Also waiting to walk down the aisle seeing how excited my daughters & my other flower girls were. They all looked so beautiful.
We went on a cruise for our honeymoon. Starting in Barcelona, then moving to Cannes, Genoa, Rome, Montenegro, Croatia & ending in Venice! We had a week of child free, complete relaxation! Lounging by the pool. Afternoon siestas in the hammocks that looked out onto the beautiful views. Hot tubs, massages, great on-board entertainment! The ship was stunning. The food was amazing. I think we came home at least a stone heavier than when we left! It was so romantic. The perfect start to married life!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to invite the people that mean the most to you, even if others may be offended. It’s your special day, surround yourself with all the special people in your life! Think outside the box, most hotels have wedding packages, but it doesn’t mean other options aren’t available! It’s your day, do it the way you want it!! Enjoy every single moment because it really does go so fast!
August 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime
On Sunday 29th June Brides Up North Featured Supplier LOVE Bridal Boutique hosted an amazing launch event at Styal Lodge in Cheshire for their new ‘LOVE Bridesmaids’ offering in conjunction with London based bridesmaid designer Maids to Measure.
The first large scale bridal event purely for bridesmaids in the North West, the day celebrated the launch of LOVE Bridesmaids/Maids to Measure ‘Pop-up’ Events… days that you’ll be wanting to put in your diary for you and your favourite ladies.
Images by Jonny Draper Photography.
Let’s hear from LOVE Bridesmaids’ founder Emma about how it all went and how you can get in on the pretty…
Emma says: I’m pleased to report that the event was a resounding success, we had so many fabulous comments from brides and of course bridesmaids on the day about the event itself plus of course the range of dress styles and colours to choose from, and how they stand apart from a lot of bridesmaid dresses currently on the market. They really loved being able to come to an event like this and being able to share it with their maids too!
The event looked amazing, who was involved?
When we first decided to be a Maids to Measure stockiest we knew we had to make a big splash and launch it properly with a fabulous event in true LOVE style! We looked no further than Styal Lodge, a venue popular not only with us, but with a lot of our brides who have chosen it for their big day too! The wonderful Higham family at Styal Lodge were just as excited as we were when we first spoke with them about it and helped to make the event a huge success with their wonderful hospitality.
The brains behind the amazing Maids to Measure brand, sisters Sinclair and India, helped us to host the event, giving styling advice to our guests on the day, not to mention styling our models and helping backstage with the dressing for the catwalk.
A whole host of our wedding friends helped to make it a great day too including Gemma Hallowell, make-up artist, and Paisley Gamble, hair stylist, who worked their magic on our models back stage and created some stunning looks. Sian at The Flower Lounge blew us away with her dressing of the catwalk and flower styling around the venue – lots of brides were eyeing this up as a great way to dress their aisle for their big day! Hipswing provided the fabulous glitzy backdrop for our catwalk, Francesca from the Cheshire Cat Cake Company made the most amazing macarons which were given out in our goody bags. A LOVE event would never be the same without LOVE letters from The Word Is Love, and these letters lit up the entranceway to the Lodge. Our guests were kept entertained by singer Kirsty Rogers who sang throughout the day – brides loved her so much that they booked her for their big day! Sam Fitton magician went down a storm too and also the fab photobooth from Forever Photobooths who captured some hilarious moments with our guests!
Not to mention our gorgeous models, Ailsa, Jill, Natalie, Izzy, Lizzie and Sarah who showed off the dresses beautifully and looking so stunning! Thanks so much to Ailsa (of Ailsa Baker Dance) for choreographing our show too.
Our very own Jonny Draper Photography was on hand with his camera to capture the day’s events, culminating in an exciting photoshoot at the end of the day, and some hilarious Austin Powers inspiration during our catwalk show… this had to be seen to be believed!
So, when will you officially start your LOVE Bridesmaids/Maids to Measure ‘Pop-up’ Events at the boutique?
We have actually already had our first fully booked event in August which went brilliantly and resulted in lots of brides and their maids choosing dresses! We will be holding the events monthly on a Sunday; our next one will be on September 14th and this is fully booked already but we are still taking bookings for October onwards. Our next dates include Sunday 12th October, Sunday 9th November and Sunday 7th December. 2015 event dates to be released very soon.
How can brides find out more and potentially book an appointment?
For more information and to book in for one of our events please contact
or call 0161 941 6446.
August 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Sometimes a bank holiday weekend comes around exactly when you need it.
Even when you love your job as much as I do, sometimes you can still have one of those weeks. Computer issues (no good for a blogger let me tell you), having to put the heating back on, wifi troubles (kill me now) building work, boring admin, deadlines, husbands (!) and just too much to do, means I’m frazzled and frustrated.
So I decided to shift the schedule round a little and end the week on a high with this fun and fabulous wedding sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.
Pour me a massive glass of wine. It’s the weekend, Brides Up North!
And yes, I will be having Monday off!
(see you on the other side)
Helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012. The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!
We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014. As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!
Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.
My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye. As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come. I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.
Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50′s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.
My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme. My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.
Jonny Draper was our photographer. The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job. I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.
Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.
We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste. We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.
As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags. The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.
On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.
We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!
We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day. There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.
We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September. I can’t wait!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key! We were very organised which saved a lot of stress. Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.
August 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Cheshire, I love you.
I’m so very excited to be launching an extremely beautiful season of Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions for autumn 2014 in just over three weeks time. As soon as I feel a nip in the air (and it’s definitely been fresher this week) I start dreaming about cashmere, new boots and getting butterflies in my tummy in anticipation of our inspirational bridal season!
You can see our full schedule of nine dates and venues by clicking here, but starting exactly as we mean to go on – gorgeously – we’ll be at one of our very favourite venues, the sensational Hilltop Country House on Sunday 14th September 2014. Hooray!
Hilltop Country House
Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition
Flash Lane, Prestbury, Cheshire, SK10 4ED
Sunday 14th September 2014
12pm till 4pm
If you missed our last beautiful show at this pretty and unique venue (or if you loved it so much that you want to do it all over again!) get this date in your diaries, pronto.
Hilltop’s just a little bit a lot special. A stunning, exclusive use, family home with seriously gorgeous gardens, a pristine permanent marquee, rooms on site and a civil license, book nothing till you’ve seen it!
Add 30 of the region’s very best wedding supplier stars and we’ve a recipe for another crazy beautiful day. Are you in?
bride to be?
As well as all that inspiration – completely FREE – we are also giving away up to 150 FREE Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, on the day discounts, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our amazing sponsors (including. Just because we love you. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below. While stocks last only.
To register for for speedy entry and a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be goody bag fill in your details below. Only the bride need register for larger groups.
You can also email email@example.com if you do not wish to use the contact form. Welcome packs are limited and subject to availability. We operate a first come, first served policy.
wedding industry professional?
We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2014. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this autumn.
Click here to view the full schedule.
Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Since their inception in spring 2012, all exhibitions have been sell outs on exhibitor space with a record attendance for every venue. Consequently, we expect demand for our autumn season to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.
Email Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org today.
August 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This stunning country venue is fabulous all year round – I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – marquee weddings (done right, and Hilltop do them right) don’t just have to be for summer days, and it can be especially magical to be under (warm) canvas in the winter months. This gorgeous celebration, packed with early spring hues, proves my point perfectly.
Be inspired… and will we see you on 14th September?
With images by Happily Ever Captured.
Gemma says: We went for a romantic stay in Ludlow,Shropshire – well as romantic as it could be with our then 1 year old with us! – we climbed to the top of Ludlow Castle Tower and Mark pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him!
We wanted to get married pretty quickly and decided on March 2014, our dream venue had one date available so it was meant to be: 14th March 2014. We chose Hilltop Country House in Prestbury. We chose to get married here as it was just such a pretty, understated, not pretentious at all house and we thought it reflected us perfectly.
I chose ivory and blush pink as our colour palette as I wanted to keep it really feminine. My bouquet was a beautiful array of roses, peonies, stocks and sweet peas all in blush pink and ivory, provided by Gracie Janes of Blakemere Craft Centre.
My wedding dress was from Essense of Australia from a local bridal boutique Bethany Hannah Bridal in Stockton HeatIh where we live. I was fairly open to ideas but did have my heart set on a fishtail style dress but something still quite classic. I didn’t like my dress on the hanger but the sales assistant suggested it and from the second I put it on I knew it was the one. They were so helpful and knew exactly what I wanted from my dress.
Mark had a beautiful tailor made suit from Kings and Allen in Wilmslow, he had it personalised with our wedding date embroidered on the inside pocket and it was lined with Everton Blue satin as he is an avid supporter!
I wanted my bridesmaids to feel special on our wedding day so after I selected the colour scheme we chose the dresses together. Each maid had a different dress which reflected their personalities! Most of them were from Lipsy with some from designers at Debenhams. The Best Man wore a navy suit from Next.
Our photographer was Georgia from Happily Ever Captured. We had met her at Manor Park in Halifax and she had taken some beautiful photographs of our daughter and niece and nephew. Once we got engaged we knew we wanted her straight away! We get so many compliments on our photographs and our photographer was so lovely and down to earth, she will be our photographer for life whenever we need photos!
We got married outside and were incredibly lucky with the weather! My brother is a fantastic guitar player and he played Canon in D on the acoustic guitar as my father walked me through the gardens.
My favourite part was straight after the ceremony once my nerves had gone and we were actually married! Everyone was having prosecco in the sunshine and it was just perfect, exactly what we wanted!
We had blush pink ranunculus as the centre pieces and some hyacinths on the top table, provided by the florist as above. We also made an arrangement ourselves in a special ring shaped vase which we bought the weekend we got engaged in Ludlow. I was lucky that I have a clever sister in law who handmade my invitations and even made bunting for the whole marquee and top table!
As we got married on Cheltenham Gold Cup day and Mark normally attends, as an alternative to favours we decided to place a bet for each guest on a horse and we showed the race on a projector! We had pretty hair clips for the little girls and “love is in the air” paper aeroplanes for the little boys.
Our cake was designed by myself and made by the wonderful CakeyDoodle. It was three tiers, fruit, sponge then chocolate, covered in flowers and white chocolate fingers!
We would hugely recommend our wedding venue. It was absolutely magical and more than we ever could have dreamed. It is a family run business and Martin and Clare are so welcoming and helpful, I sent many a panick stricken 5am e-mail to Clare and she always managed to curb my worries! I will always hold them close to my heart.
We used Hipswing Entertainments to provide a fun photobooth which went down a treat in the evening! They were totally hassle free and did everything for us.
We had Chapelford Films to video the day and they did a wonderful job of capturing the feel of the day.
As we have a little girl we had teo honeymoons, lucky us!
The week after our nuptials Mark and I jetted off to New York City for three days to spend some quality time together! It was so lovely strolling around Central Park as newlyweds! Then in June we went to a resort in Sardinia for two weeks with our daughter Lola which was tiring but lovely and we made lots of friends!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to be organised and give yourself targets of when things need to be done by! I got myself a brilliant wedding planner with a timeline so I could see clearly how much time was left! It really helped as I did not know where to start, it breaks it down into sections so you can gather suppliers, insert photos or quotes and even write your guest list with addresses and check when you have sent stationery out like save the dates, invitations and thank yous.
August 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Weddings are all about the people in them and at them, no matter the budget, theme or styling. Amy and Carl wanted an understated celebration surrounded by their nearest and dearest and with a little help from their families, that was exactly what they got.
Fuss free and fabulous.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Fairclough Photography.
Amy says: We first got together in 2009, then split up for a little while. We both went out to the same village pub for New Years Eve 2011 and got back together. When we went out together back to the same village pub for New Year a year later he proposed. We all went outside to do the countdown and he got down on one knee. While everyone else was holding hands and singing we were getting engaged!
We were married on July 14th 2014. We had our ceremony at Patrington Church, also known as the Queen of Holderness. Its our village parish and we have both grown up around it. I sang in the choir there for a short time as a child, and my primary school is a Church of England school so harvest festivals and nativities were held there through growing up, and now our son goes to the same primary school. Friends and family have their christenings and weddings there often which made it even more special for us.
We had our reception at The Gardener’s Country Inn, we wanted some where family friendly where everyone could relax, have fun and enjoy themselves. Gardeners have a lovely little play area where children can go so with having 11 children at our wedding reception it was perfect.
Over the course of planning the wedding our style choices varied so much, the only thing we knew we wanted for sure was a simple, natural and understated look. I’m not an overly fussy person and don’t like anything too over the top.
We opted for a colour scheme of sage green and lemon, with daises. We used large tins covered with hessian, filled with flowers and finished off with lace for the centerpieces. We picked up a couple of hessian buntings, one saying Mr&Mrs for our archway, and one saying “just married” for the top table.
My friend Kathy and her husband and daughter spent hours making and hand cutting and painting various sizes of sugar daisies to scatter on the tables which just helped tie everything in together and the children loved them. They also hand painted and filled miniature glass jars with sparkly confetti and decorated them with daisies. We had to have bubbles on the tables too of course!
Everything was family orientated, planning the wedding made our two families come together and everyone did anything they could to make our day special.
Usually wedding dress shopping is the first thing on a bride to be to do list, but I left my dress shopping a little bit last minute and it ended up being a bit of a panic. When I first went I was a bit overwhelmed by it all (mostly having to get undressed in front of a stranger). My original idea for a wedding dress was for a bohemian style wedding dress, simple and flowy, but after trying on the style it just wasn’t for me.
I went to Samantha’s in Hull and there was my dress. I fell in love with it instantly and although it was out of my budget I had to have it! It was a princess cut gown with an ivory lace illusion neckline with pearl detail and finished off with a silver crystal and pearl waist band. With the wedding only 12 weeks away it had to be put a fast track for delivery and manic dress fittings the week before the wedding but the ladies in the store were really helpful and did their best for me and I was so happy with my dress.
Carl wore a grey Prince Edward cut suit, hired from Greenwoods with an ivory rouche and brogues. It was the only part of the wedding planning I had no say in, but he chose well and looked very handsome.
The bridesmaids wore sage green floor length Coast dresses.
Carl’s Aunty Toni volunteered to do our flowers for us, she is very artistic and creative and we were really happy with the end result. We wanted simple, country style flowers and we had a silk daisy assortment. My bouquet was slightly different holding some yellow and white roses too.
Our friends came up with the idea for our cake and made it for us. Instead of having a tiered cake they made a large daisy. The centre of the daisy was a fruit cake, and the petals around the daisy were alternating chocolate and lemon sponge. They made us a Mr and Mrs Bumble Bee to sit in the center, the Mr had a little top hat and the Mrs had a little veil and bouquet.
We had a singer join us for the ceremony and the reception, she sang as I walked down the aisle and again as we walked back up the aisle together as husband and wife. She then travelled to the reception venue where she played throughout the rest of the daytime, up until the DJ started at 7pm for the party.
We have planned our honeymoon to Fuerteventura during the school holidays so our 5 year old son can come with us. A holiday wouldn’t be the same without him.
The best advice we can give to other Brides Up North is that no matter what your budget, your photographer is one of the most important parts of your wedding day. Do your research, look at their web page see if you like their style of photography. meet with them and make sure you hire someone you can trust and get along with. If you don’t like your wedding photos you can’t have a re-run.
July 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Welcome to Monday, Brides Up North! I’m here to make it all the prettier with this cute and stylish celebration sent to me by real bride Hayley, her new husband Matt and their photographer, Cassandra Lane.
Crafty designer Hayley worked hard to add unique decorative touches to their 1920s inspired Village Hall wedding day, with fabulous results.
Hayley says: We got engaged a little after midnight New Year 2012-2013 in our own home in Nantwich. We had had a nice quiet new year in together and Matt shocked me by saying he had a late Christmas, early birthday present for me. He disappeared upstairs and came back with a box, got down on one knee and proposed! He had bought a cheap costume jewellery ring as he couldn’t choose a real one for me. We picked my real ring together on my 30th birthday (one to remember!) on 3rd January in York where we were visiting for my birthday. It was the best birthday ever!
We got married on April 5th 2014 as it was just a few days over three years since we moved into our first place together. We also didn’t want a very long engagement and actually fifteen months was the perfect time to enjoy being engaged and get organised.
We got married in the local church in town (Nantwich, Cheshire) which is beautiful, and our reception was at a local nearby village hall (Wrenbury Village Hall). We weren’t keen on the very formal, grand hotel reception family wedding affairs we had been to in the last few years and wanted somewhere we could decorate ourselves, do our own thing.
Our theme was handmade, vintage 1920’s art deco style, and lavender. The main colours were lavender purple and vintage gold. The colours just came with the theme really but I love purple and the gold fitted the vintage theme.
We hired a cream Morris Minor (Matt is obsessed!) from Mirabelle Classic Cars.
My bridesmaids travelled in a vintage Rover from the 1930s which belongs to a friend of Matts. He drove it for us as our wedding present.
My dress was Sincerity Bridal 3730. I did a bit of research online before going to any boutiques and fell in love almost instantly! When I tried it on at Brides of Liverpool in Liverpool (my home city) I knew it was the one. No other dress I tried on subsequently lived up to it so the deposit was paid!
I love the dress because it’s quite vintage looking with a modern twist. Very classic looking. It made me feel really elegant. I knew I wanted lace, and the neckline was perfect because I didn’t want bare shoulders. The train was gorgeous and the dress also fitted in perfect with my idea for a 1920s style headband.
I chose gold glittery heels from Kurt Geiger. My flapper style headband was handmade by mum using a 1930s vintage brooch which was a gift from Matt.
My younger sister Charlotte was my matron of honour. She wore a knee length handmade silk dress made by my mum in a lavender colour. My two flower girls (our nieces Phoebe and Eve) wore handmade pale gold silk dresses made by myself and mum. They carried handmade Suffolk puff pomanders.
Matt wore a Prince Edward suit in dark brown from Formally Yours online. He had a pale gold waistcoat and cravat. My dad, his dad and his two brothers (best men) all wore the same. The style of his suit really complemented the vintage style of my dress.
Matt and all the men also wore buttonholes which I made to complement my bouquet.
I made my own bouquet using cream silk, artificial flowers, and vintage brooches (which I sourced on eBay and charity shops/car boot sales). My sisters bouquet was very similar with one key brooch in the centre. I’m a designer, and therefore very creative so was obsessed with doing a lot for my wedding myself. I also wanted to keep my bouquet so a keepsake bouquet was perfect.
Cassandra Lane was our photographer, she was amazing. She made us feel comfortable every time we met (our initial meeting and engagement shoot). On the day she was chilled out, friendly and very well organised. We all squeezed into my tiny terraced house! I fell in love with Cass’s vintage relaxed style from her blog and website when searching for a wedding photographer. I just knew she was what we were after. I’d definitely recommend Cass!
July 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
A whole lot of heart and soul went into the planning of Aimee and Graham’s wedding day, with the bride to be firmly at the head of operations. Known for her girly ways and pretty styling efforts, this Brides Up North reader certainly wasn’t going to disappoint on the biggest day of her life.
The result? A personal and pretty celebration with lots of delectable DIY details. If you like really pretty things, you’re going to be very inspired. Pinterest fingers at the ready.
With images by Weddings By Luke
Aimee says: We got engaged in London at Christmas time. We were at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, which I had been so excited to visit as I absolutely love all things Christmassy! We were at the ice rink which looked so pretty all lit up with fairy lights at night when Graham pulled out the most perfect ring and proposed to me! Afterwards we headed straight to Harvey Nichols champagne bar for a glass of celebratory bubbles.
Our wedding was on 26th April 2014. There was no real special reason behind the particular date other than when we visited Beeston Manor for the first time we absolutely fell in love with it and they were fast running out of Saturday availability! We always wanted a spring wedding so the last Saturday they had left until later in the year was perfect for us. We got in pencilled in there and then.
We got married at All Saints Church on Hesketh Bank. It meant such a lot to us both to get married there as we both grew up visiting that church, all our family weddings and christenings happen there so I really couldn’t imagine it being anywhere else. Ever since I was a little girl imagining my wedding, I always dreamt of it being there. It was so lovely that Reverend Bill knew us and our family to make the service personal and really special. To top it off, it’s a gorgeous little church too!
The theme for our wedding was a vintage style English country garden look with a slight rustic twist, but I am a girly girl so it was kept very pretty with lots of lace everywhere. We chose this style as it is very “me” and really reflected my personality and of the style of our home. Graham always says that it is my job to make everything pretty so he was more than happy to go along with it and helped out with picking everything.
Our wedding colours were ivory, blush pink and mint. We chose these as we felt ivory and pink colours always make for a pretty and classic wedding, I am a bit obsessed with mint at the moment so adding that in just added some extra interest.
I wore an A-line tulle skirted dress from Blue by Enzoani which I bought from Emma Hartley Bridal in Colne. It featured lace appliqués and beading detail on the skirt and the bodice was a ruche waist with lace overlaid with beaded flowers. I tried on 67 dresses trying to find “the one” but I loved this dress as it was so pretty and romantic, with so much beautiful detail, I felt like a princess when I tried it on.
I knew I wanted a full skirted dress but also wanted a covered top so we had it customised with a tulle top with lace appliqués which matched the skirt to create an illusion neckline and V shape back.
In my hair I wore the Autumn headband from Liberty in Love with tulle and silk flowers and beads. I had a two tier waterfall veil with tiny diamantes to catch the light, again from Emma Hartley Bridal.
Our bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses from Coast with petal detail on the bust, they were perfect for the romantic and floral look we were going for and looked beautiful on the girls. We were very fortunate about the fit of the dresses as mid way through planning after we had bought the dresses, two of my bridesmaids found out they were pregnant and luckily the dresses were a perfect shape for a growing baby bump, they looked lovely on the day! We had two flower girls who wore dresses very similar to the bridesmaids but in white and had little cardigans featuring the same petal detail to tie everything together.
The groomsmen wore matching suits to Graham and our page boy had a mini version with a tailcoat, waistcoat and bow tie and which we paired with Converse which looked adorable
Michelle Sisson did my makeup and my bridesmaid’s hair and makeup, she did a fantastic job and we all felt amazing after she had worked her magic, she was so lovely to have around on the wedding morning and made sure we look perfect before we left for church. My friend Emma Shaw Hair did my bridal hair and was again fantastic at achieving a gorgeous do which was exactly as I wanted.
Graham wore a grey three piece slim fit suit, with a blush pink tie and hankie. It is not really his style to wear a full tail coat suit so this was perfect, it created a relaxed but smart look which really suited him and I think he looked really handsome. We hired the suits from Winstanleys at Oswaldtwistle.
My mum and I travelled to church in a vintage Bentley in cream and the bridesmaids followed in a matching Daimler then n the way to the reception me and Graham were in the Bentley and the flower girls had a turn in the “posh car” which they loved! We hired the cars from a local company called Classic Wedding Cars and Jimmy the driver had us laughing the whole journey which helped with nerves!
I carried an amazing white and pink bouquet of peonies and hydrangeas which are my absolute favourite flowers. They were so gorgeous and fluffy; I didn’t want to put them down all day! They were hand tied with matching ribbon and lace, I pinned my best friend’s Grandma’s heart shape brooch onto them as my something old and borrowed. Our flowers were all from Libbi at Flowers by Strawberry Fields and she did such an amazing job, they were better than I ever imagined. As soon as I met Libbi it was clear we had very similar taste and we knew we could completely trust her to make everything super beautiful.
July 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Let’s keep the Real Wedding pretty coming this morning with this stunning and stylish celebration at Arley Hall & Gardens. Jenna & Martin opted for a modern and muted colour scheme for their beautiful big day, dotted with gorgeous vintage inspired details.
As soon as I saw her choice of heels, I knew that today’s bride and I would be sartorially compatible. Jenna, I like your style.
With images by Lisa Howard Photography.
Jenna says: We got engaged in Stratford Upon Avon on 24th March 2012. Martin had arranged a weekend away for us and luckily it turned out to be one of the hottest weekends of the year! He proposed whilst we were sitting on the banks of the River Avon with a bottle of bubbly! It was perfect!
Our wedding day was 23rd May 2014. We got married at Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire.
We had actually been out looking at another venue which we were really disappointed with, when we drove past a signpost for Arley. We had seen it online but thought it looked way over our budget to even consider it an option. However, we decided to go and have a nosey. We didn’t have an appointment booked at Arley but the staff were so accommodating and the venue was so perfect! It was just what we wanted with the two aspects of the stately home and the rustic barn for the evening reception.
Styling wise, it just seemed to work out in the end that everything was a little bit vintage with a modern edge. We opted for a colour scheme of grey and white – we wanted to keep everything quite neutral as the rooms in the venue already have so many colours in them anyway; we didn’t want it to look too busy. Plus grey is my favourite colour!
I wore a lace mermaid style dress by Mori Lee from Always & Forever Bridal Boutique, St Helens. I had gone into the shop with the mind set that I definitely didn’t want a lace dress! However that soon changed. I also didn’t want a lace up corset style back and seeing as my dress had both I was reluctant to try it on, however after much persuasion I did and I loved it (but I did end up having the seamstress swap the lace ups for a zip)!
I carried a posy of white peonies from the floristry department of St Helens College.
I was really close to my nan who died a few years ago so really wanted to try and incorporate my memories of her into the wedding. I had a locket with a picture of her in it wrapped around my bouquet and a large photograph of her from my mum’s wedding with a candle burning.
Martin wore a dark blue slim fit three piece suit from TM Lewin, Liverpool. His shirt was white with accents of blue from Hugo Boss. His shoes were brown brogues from Bertie in Steve Madden, Manchester.
July 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Our summer break’s over and it’s back in the saddle here at Brides Up North HQ. In fact, we never actually stopped – at all! – using our editorial down time to complete work on our brand new website (which debuts on these pages very, very soon now – it’s been emotional!), put together a really inspirational and exciting new features schedule and work hard on some lovely new events to add to our autumn schedule. I can’t wait to share the fruits of our labour with you, but for now it’s time to do what we do best here at Brides Up North: enjoy some stupendous Real Wedding pretty.
Kicking off the week and keeping things simple (but lovely) with Lizzie & Ben’s sweet and intimate Real Wedding in North Wales, it feels great to be back.
With images by Gill Jones Photography.
Lizzie says: We got engaged in our new home on the day we completed on the purchase – 30 April 2013. We’ve been together for years but we’d been through some pretty difficult times as Ben had been seriously ill with anorexia. We’d moved a couple of times during his illness but our last rented houses had all ended up being “tainted” by him being ill and grumpy. We picked up the keys and went to look around our empty new house. We were stood looking out of the window of our bedroom talking about making a fresh start, and then Ben said that we should do it properly. I turned around and he was holding out a ring box. He’d spent ages telling me that he wasn’t fussed about us getting married, so I didn’t believe him – in fact my response was “are you serious?” which isn’t really what you’re supposed to say!
We were married on 10 May 2014 – no significance to the date, simply that we wanted a spring wedding and it was the first weekend that our chosen venue, registrar and photographer were all free.
We chose The Outbuildings on Anglesey, North Wales. Although we live in Norwich now, we’re both originally from North Wales and our families still live there. It was really important to us that my granddad (who’s 91, and too frail to travel) would be able to come, so we knew it would be a Welsh wedding.
We made a shortlist of possible venues where we could have both the wedding and the reception. We looked at a hotel first, but it didn’t feel “us”. By contrast, The Outbuildings is such a beautiful, less formal venue and the staff made us feel really at home. We were so confident it was for us that we cancelled all our other appointments and booked it!
On the day they were great – everything was managed brilliantly, the staff were attentive without being obtrusive, and the food was amazing. They had even pre-ordered in a special gin for the bar on our request.
We wanted a relaxed day with all our close friends and family, good food and drink, and great photos to look back on. The venue is a converted barn so we picked flower styles and decorations that tied in with this.
As we were getting married in North Wales, we thought it would be nice to have slate colours, hence the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses and flowers. I decided to introduce a dusky pink to lift the colours and tie them together after I saw a lovely bouquet in similar colours in a florist’s catalogue.
My dress was “Danbury D” by Blue by Enzoani. I knew I wanted a tea length dress all along – I tried on longer ones but I felt a bit silly in them, like I was dressing up. I knew as soon as I saw mine that it was the one – it was such fun, and made me smile every time I put it on. My brilliant dressmaker Kate added the straps for me using some tulle and extra lace I ordered with the dress.
My shoes were by Pink by Paradox and were really comfy – I’m known for my shoe addiction and the tea length dress was perfect to show them off.
My hair was by Julia Nicholls and make up by Rhiannon Pritchard. I’d highly recommend both – they’re totally very professional and both experts in their areas, but also nice people to spend the morning of your wedding day with. To be honest I’m useless with hair and make up so what they managed to produce from my vague ideas of what I wanted to look like, was really impressive!
Ben wore a grey three piece bespoke suit from Austin Reed – he’s very tall with very long limbs so struggles to buy any clothes off the peg. I made Ben’s tie, and he wore odd socks because he always does – he hates it when everything matches!
Ben’s cufflinks were actually mine – Ben’s brother Christy used to be a silversmith and he made them for me a while ago, to wear when I have to look smart at work.
I and one of my bridesmaids made the bridesmaids’ dresses based on a Vogue dress pattern which I adapted. I wanted a classic Audrey Hepburn look, and I also wanted them to have a dress that wasn’t so obviously “bridesmaidy” that they would never wear it again. The fabric was James Hare dupion silk in a beautiful slatey blue-grey, we used petticoats to make the skirts fuller and finished off the look with lace and ribbon sashes I found on Etsy. Their shoes were a Debenhams bargain.
Christy, as best man, wore a three piece suit which he found in a London charity shop, and blue brogues. I made his tie and he made his cufflinks.
All our flowers were by Helen at Bluebells in Llanfairpwll. When I made my booking it was actually with a different florist, but Helen took over the business and I’m so glad she did.
She suggested putting together a Pinterest board to show her the type of flowers and arrangements we like, and she knew the venue so was able to suggest what would look good on the tables. We used different sized jam jars filled with a range of country flowers – stocks, gyp, roses, sea holly – and guests took individual jars home with them at the end of the night.
I wanted a tidier, vintage look for the bouquets, and all five buttonholes were slightly different, but all the flowers worked together.