Brides Up North

glamour amour. a classically beautiful wedding at colshaw hall – naomi & tom

January 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (35)

Brides Up North reader Naomi’s wedding to her new husband Tom was a super glamorous affair. From her bespoke headpiece to his classic black tie, everything about their big day has that classic twinkle.

Just what we need to pep up the spirits on a dull January Monday morning.  Bring on the sparkle..!

Images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (1)

Naomi says: We had booked a holiday along with my family to travel to Varadero in Cuba in August 2011. On the 4th August 2011 we hired a beautiful boat for a day of deep sea fishing in the Caribbean sea. I remember my family acting very strange and looking back I remember Tom was not being himself. He asked me to sit down and opened this box which somehow he had secretly bought with him and asked me to marry him. Best day ever!

We set our date for Friday 12th December 2014 back in October 2013. Tom and I had always loved the idea of a winter wedding, with the sound of open fires crackling, crisp frosty mornings and the ambience that time of year brings. We also wanted to tie our wedding in with our honeymoon in Thailand, where we are very lucky to have Tom’s relatives living in Chiang Mai.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (7)

We got married at Colshaw Hall, Cheshire. We looked at only a few of venues before we came across Colshaw Hall. When we arrived at the venue and met the team we knew it was the place for us, it was perfect. The team were so helpful and welcoming and above all the venue was absolutely beautiful. Nothing was ever too much for the David, Georgie and the team!

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (3)

As the wedding was planned for the winter we knew the ideas/themes of what we wanted from the beginning. The idea of the winter wonderland worked perfectly not only with the venue but with the time of year we had chosen. We both love candles and this was one thing we wanted lots of!

We went for a crisp white and a dove grey colour scheme for the wedding. Since I was a little girl I had always dreamed of a white wedding and Tom chose the grey which worked out to be the perfect match.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

My dress was a fishtail Alexia Bridal design in ivory from J&J Designs in Newcastle Under-Lyme. I had tried on many types of styles from a range of designers but I was really struggling in finding the perfect dress for me.  It was only by chance we drove past this wonderful bridal shop to find my perfect dress was there! They had a designer weekend so were only stocking this designer.

The makeup and hair was done by Jodie A Smith. I met Jodie back in July for my trial and she knew what I wanted before even I did. I completed trusted her instinct for the day even with last minute idea’s I had thought of. She made me feel like a princess. I need Jodie on speed dial!

I had my hair pieces made by the very talented Ann McKavney at Eleventh Heaven. Ann was fantastic at helping me design not only my hair pieces by also the bridesmaids.

I carried a handtied bouquet of white avalanche roses with a crystal detail which was provided by Springbank Flowers.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (12)

Tom wore a dinner suit which we hired from L&J Formal Hire. Tom wanted something slightly different and as soon as we saw the evening suits he had made his mind up. He wanted to look different from his groomsmen so he chose to wear braces. The idea worked great with our theme and of course the venue. I think we both felt like we should have been on a red carpet!

The bridesmaids wore a Jordan Fashions dress which was a floor length dove grey dress with an ivory lace bodice. This was ordered directly at missesdressy.com. The company based in New York were fantastic in both the regular contact and ensuring the dresses arrived in the UK on time. The groomsmen wore the same dinner suit from L & J Formal Hire, the only difference was they didn’t have the braces.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (15)

The best part of the day for us was when we saw each other at the ceremony. Seeing everything come together and knowing we were going to become husband and wife was the best feeling in the world.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (23)

Our photographer was James Tracey. I first spoke to James towards the end of 2013 and after our first skype conversation I knew he was perfect for us. I felt like I already knew him. We finally met James in August 2014 for our Engagement shoot which was also at the venue. He made both myself and Tom feel so comfortable in front of the camera, and the pictures turned out amazing.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (28)

Springbank provided all the decorations and flowers for the day. For the wedding we had 42 guests so we wanted the room to have an intimate feel to it so we chose to have a u-shaped table. The top table had a water trough which was dressed with floating candles, petal heads and to the side’s candles, snow and white branches. The other tables were dressed with mirrored runners which were then dressed with a winter theme.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (29)

For our favours, we provided handmade soaps by Ceri at Oakwood Soaperie. We had both a girl’s soap which was Jasmine and boy’s soap which was tea tree. Ceri beautifully wrapped the soaps in line with our theme. The boys wrapped in a grey paper and the girls in pearlised ivory paper.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

Barretts Caterers provided the wonderful food for our wedding. We chose a spicy butternut squash soup for starters and breast of chicken in a brandy and shallot sauce for our mains. For our desserts we decided on something a little different as whenever me and Tom choose a dessert we always choose something different so we can share. We incorporated this into our wedding day. For girls we choose a sticky toffee pudding and for the boys a mixed fruit crumble.

We chose our cake from Marks and Spencer and Springbank dressed the cake and the cake table for us. We decided to go with a four tier cake consisting of fruit, lemon sponge and a jam sponge.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (42)

We decided to use The Word is Love to provide light up N & T Letters for our wedding. They looked amazing and provided us with some fantastic photographs. Ollie and Suzy helped us to decide where they would look best and have the best impact.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

Wedding Stationery was provided by Louise at I Do Designs. Louise sent us a sample of her work which we fell in love with, and she was so helpful even up to a couple of days before the wedding in making last minute changes.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (51)

We chose Grant Niblett from Nocturnal Revolution to DJ for our evening. We met Grant before the day to discuss our music tastes and he made sure everything went to plan for us.

Our evening Sweetie Table was provided by Tess at Sweets and Feathers. Tess designed the cart to suit in with our colours and theme and everyone commented on how professional Tess and her team were on the evening. Tom and I will be looking at every opportunity to taste these lovely sweets again.

 

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (39)

I would completely recommend Colshaw Hall to any couple who are looking for a unique and beautiful wedding venue. The team are fantastic and when you meet them you feel like a friend and not just a number.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (54)

We spend three weeks in Thailand for our honeymoon. Starting off for 5 nights in Krabi in the south and working our way to Chiang Mai in the North. We are very lucky that Tom has much of his family in Thailand so we ensured they got to celebrate the wedding by having a blessing there. It was a fantastic day and a wonderful experience. Some of the activities in Thailand were once in a lifetime experience, and we are grateful to have made those memories as husband and wife.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (61)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is when it comes to your special day, take a few moments away from your guests as husband and wife and take in everything that is going on around you. From family and friends having a fantastic time to looking at how all your hard work has paid off. The day goes by far too quickly.

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reader, i married him. a literary wedding in north wales – diane and aeddan

January 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (81)

Like many people who write for a living, I’m also an avid reader, so I absolutely adore that Diane and Aeddan chose a literary theme for their beautiful Real Wedding in North Wales.

Their lovely wedding day was filled with pretty touches, personal details and themed surprises for their guests, but on a day filled with words, it’s really only three little ones that matter the most…

Diane and Aeddan seem to have the i love yous sorted.

Images by Daffodil Waves Photography.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (30)

dianne says: We got engaged in May 2013.  As a history teacher I love all things historic, so Aeddan surprised me with a weekend away for my birthday which included a visit to Harlech Castle where he proposed with a custom made necklace as he knew I wanted to pick my own ring.  We then spent the weekend at a beautiful country hotel.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (44)

We got married on 12th September 2014 at Nant Gwrtheryn, which is a restored quarrying village on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales.  Its primary function is as a Welsh language centre but it also does functions.  We chose this venue because we wanted somewhere we could put our own mark upon.  We also loved the idea of having a wedding that lasted all weekend with everything including the chapel and the guest accommodation (in restored quarrymen’s cottages) all in one place.  Also, Aeddan is a Welsh speaker and I am English so we were able to have a bilingual wedding that brought our two cultures together.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (53)

Our theme was words, so we had our tables named after books that we both love and our place names were made from scrabble pieces.  As a favour each guest was given a personalised Penguin book cover postcard.  There were lots of other literary touches throughout the day.

We picked this theme because we both like reading and the theme evolved with the planning and took on a life of its own.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (63)

Our colour scheme was mint green and navy blue.  Navy blue was decided upon because I had two bridesmen who needed to be in different coloured suits to the groomsmen and mint green worked well with navy blue.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (67)

I had a lace Justin Alexander dress from Bridal Path in Liverpool.  I wanted a dress that I felt like the best version of myself in but that wasn’t too heavy so I could forget I was wearing it on the day.  As soon as I put my dress on I felt comfortable.  I knew I wanted lace from the start so it was an easy decision.  Although I knew something was missing, three weeks before I realised my dress needed a belt, luckily the staff at Bridal Path were happy to let me hire one.

My flowers were pastel coloured roses and gypsophilia. I wanted a vintage look to my bouquet which Carol from Acacia Flowers on Anglesey delivered.

Nina Wren did the hair and make up on the day and was fantastic.  She made all the ladies look amazing and was very professional.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (76)

Aeddan had a suit made from Moss Bros Bespoke, he tried on many suits but was never happy with the fit, so we decided to have one made for him.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (77)

Our bridesmaid wore a 1950s style dress from Vivien of Holloway and the bridesmen wore navy blue suits hired from Slaters.

The groomsmen also had suits hired from Slaters but these were in grey to match the groom.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (89)

Our photographer was Nicola from Daffodil Waves who exceeded our expectations.  I would wholeheartedly recommend her.  On the lead up to the day she was professional and her level of communication was amazing.  I honestly felt like her only bride.  On the day she was wonderful, it felt like having a friend there not a photographer.  As for the photographs, we were blown away by how amazing she made everything look.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (93)

The centre pieces for the reception were provided by Acacia Flowers and matched my bouquet, we then stacked the centrepieces on piles off vintage books.  We did much of the decoration ourselves including over 100 metres of bunting that we made. We really wanted to capture our personalities in the decoration which included a vintage ladder that Aeddan painted, a homemade scrabble board table plan and place names made from scrabble pieces.  There was also some Welsh décor.

Our chairs were hired from Chair Covers of Anglesey who went above and beyond by decorating the chapel for us on the morning of the wedding.

We gave out various favours including: CDs with music on from the day (for the men), Penguin book themed thank you notebooks (for the women), a personalised penguin book postcard for each guest and activity packs and games for the children.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (3)

We had a four tier cake from Benjamin Lee on Anglesey which included chocolate and baileys, chocolate and vanilla and strawberry.

We also had a sweet table, gave female guests flip flops in the evening and had garden games for the children.  We had two guest books, a vintage typewriter to fit in with our theme and giant colouring in where guests could colour a character and leave us their advice for a happy marriage, this now has pride of place in our hallway.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (5)

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (1)

We had a harpist in the ceremony who was a family friend who also played at Aeddan’s parents’ wedding.

In the evening we had a soul band called The Soul Boys, Aeddan was adamant he wanted a live band from the start and the Soul Boys kept our guests dancing all night.  The band were followed by a DJ who was under strict instructions not to play any cheesy music, we even had an hour of indie music.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (10)

I would recommend the venue without hesitation, it is absolutely unique.  To have everything on one sight and views out to sea over the Llyn Peninsula was amazing.  The service both in the lead up and on the day was professional and attentive.  Nothing was too much trouble.  Being able to book the venue for the weekend was an added bonus.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (11)

Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony.  We had a Catholic ceremony which was conducted by a friend the family.  He tailored the ceremony to suit our different beliefs and backgrounds.  We were able to design a bilingual ceremony that all our guests loved.  A particular highlight was our readings an Apache blessing translated in Welsh and A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton.

The bilingual elements of our day made it very special and personal to us, I even learnt some Welsh to surprise Aeddan with in my speech.

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (7)

Our honeymoon was spent in The Maldives where we enjoyed ten days relaxing on the Island of Kuramathi, Aeddan did manage to fit in some diving however!

a literary wedding in North Wales (c) Daffodil Waves Photography (15)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that all those details are worth it and your guests will notice all your hard work.  We had a vision and a spreadsheet and never compromised on it.

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sublime. a stylish, intimate wedding at northcote manor – lizzy & james

January 7th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (42)

When I try to find the words to introduce this wedding, I’m stalled.

Because, oh my god that dress.

That dress. 

Ok, so the romantic blousy roses, the chic venue, the super cool milk float ride home and the sparkly Choos are all something else, but kudos to you Lizzy, I think we have a contender for my favourite gown of all time.  Those blush ruffles blow my mind.

With beautiful, atmospheric images from Brides Up North Sponsor, Fairclough Photography, I think I better let Lizzie do the talking…

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (1)

lizzie says: We got engaged on 2nd April 2012 on my 29th Birthday. We went out for a meal at the Michelin starred Sharrow Bay in the Lake District, then went for a short walk when James proposed by the lake.

Our wedding date was 2nd August 2014.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (7)

We got married at St Anne’s Church, Woodplumpton which is a beautiful old church near my family home. Our reception was at Northcote Manor in Langho. The food was and is out of this world.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (16)

The theme for our wedding was ‘intimate and romantic’. We picked this because we were busy planning on building our first home at the time so we wanted an smaller wedding and a romantic style matched my dress perfectly.

Our wedding colour scheme was blush pink, ivory and gold to match my wedding dress.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (21)

I wore a Maggie Sottero blush pink fishtail wedding dress from Marrime in Kendal with Jimmy Choo Abel shoes and a Jimmy Choo bag.

I added a long chapel length blush pink veil covered with Swarovski crystals and a garter made by Keli Thompson.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (11)

James wore a white shirt, bow tie and navy blue trousers from Hugo Boss, grey shoes from Reiss and a pink jacket from Zara.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (14)

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (23)

My two bridesmaids wore ivory Evadine maxi dresses from Coast and the best man and usher wore a white shirt, stone blazer, navy trousers and grey loafers all from Zara.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (24)

We travelled to the church and the venue in a stunning ivory vintage Rolls Royce from Leacars. We travelled from the church to my parent’s home in my great granddad’s 200 year old milk float!

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (29)

My bouquet was blush pink and ivory roses provided from Ashton Flower Shop, a local florist.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (33)

Our photographer was Fairclough Photography from Lytham.

Well what can I say…we met these two in a pub for a chat and fell love with their passion, ideas, creativity and individual style. Plus there’s two of them so they managed to perfectly capture every special moment and detail of our wedding day. Since our wedding several of our family and friends have booked them but we had them first!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (36)

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (38)

After the church, we had champagne waiting for everyone at the Wheatsheaf Pub opposite the church.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (43)

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (46)

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (48)

We carried the roses from my bouquet on into our reception decor. Each larger table at the reception had a sphere of blush pink and ivory roses to match my bouquet, and each sat on top of a tall clear vase. Hurricane candles were also used for decoration on the tables.

The favours were blush pink macaroons.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (50)

The cake was a three tier confection: the bottom tier chocolate, middle tier vanilla and the top tier fruit. It was blush pink and ivory and decorated with three large edible roses. It was from Ava Rose Cakes in Lytham.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (52)

For our evening entertainment, we had our friend’s band, Sold To The Sky. We are good friends with one of the members of the band.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (54)

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (56)

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (57)

For our honeymoon we went to Kuredu Resort in the Maldives. Complete relaxation – wining and dining on the beach and swimming with sharks! Luckily we got upgraded on the Emirates flight on the way home. A perfect ending!

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (58)

Our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to come up with a theme based around your own individual style.

a stylish wedding at Northcote Manor (c) Fairclough Photography (60)

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real wedding recap 2014. a fun & fabulous wedding at Heaton House Farm – helen & ryan

January 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime

Happy New Year! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, 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 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  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 for 2014.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (85)

Starting a brand new year on a high by recapping one of our most fun and fabulous weddings from 2014 sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.

Check out those rocking bridesmaids. Girl power.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (15)

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.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (26)

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.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (35)

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.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (39)

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.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (62)

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!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (65)

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.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (79)

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (94)

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!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (98)

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.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (61)

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real wedding recap winter 2014. one pretty party! a chic & cheerful wedding at Thornton Manor – jessica & craig

December 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, 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 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  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 for 2014.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (1)

I’m firmly of the opinion that your wedding day should be the very best party that you’ve ever been to.

It looks like Jessica and Craig took the same view when they said ‘I do’ at the gorgeous Thornton Manor on The Wirral earlier this year. Gorgeous outfits, good food, vibrant flowers and plenty of fun and games left their guests in the mood for a very beautiful all night party.

Alka-Seltzer anyone?

With images by Elbowroom Photography.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (4)

jessica says: We got engaged in Rome, Italy. After a romantic candlelit dinner we caught a taxi to the Trevi Fountain. We found a quiet spot to the side in an alcove and he got to one knee. This was after a day walking around the Vatican.

We were married on 23rd May 2014 at Thornton Manor – the beautiful setting & extensive grounds coupled with the exquisite manor house made it an easy decision.  It’s spectacular venue with so much history.

 

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (21)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (18)

We chose careful colour palettes throughout the day using white and cream for purity and innocence during the Ceremony, and then the Wedding Breakfast & my bouquet were extremely colourful to reflect our personalities!

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (10)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (20)

I chose a plain but elegant champagne/oyster dress with a long cathedral veil from Blush Bridal.

Craig wore a purple kilt from MacKenzie Menswear in Glasgow and my bridesmaids were in floor length purple gowns by Mori Lee, also from Blush Bridal.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (13)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (12)

Flower Design created the most beautiful of bouquets, button holes and displays throughout the venue, using orchids and other vibrant flowers. Flower Design worked with my ideas really well and produced the most splendid arrangements.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (31)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (30)

Elbowroom Photography were our photographers. They were fantastic – beautiful pictures, lots of coordination on the day and part of the party!

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (15)

Chapman Holmes were our caters and were fantastic! Craig’s favourite food is steak, so decided that we really wanted the menu to reflect what we love to eat. We decided on Goats Cheese with Pesto Credot, Roast Sirloin of Steak with Dauphenois Potatoes and our cake as dessert.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (24)

Our pretty wedding cake was by The Frostery in Uppermill. It was Lemon Drizzle and we served it as our dessert with Raspberry Coulis. We had a cheesecake for the evening so the evening guests could enjoy an alternative wedding cake.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (36)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (38)

We had David Buckingham, a guitarist from the ceremony through to the end of the meal. My father has always played the guitar and when we came across him at a wedding fair he was playing the very piece that my father used to play to me as a child.

Soul Apostle were the band providing lots of fun and great music. Tom was our DJ and listened to our tastes and played us the best music which meant I danced all night!

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (35)

We had a photobooth which people stuck into a book and left us their best wishes and messages.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (39)

We hired the lakeside marquee for the evening reception so we could have a big party and part of the marquee is a nightclub so we could create the party atmosphere. My favourite part of the day was dancing all night!

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (49)

We took a week’s mini moon in Barbados but plan to go to South America in September for 3.5 weeks.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (50)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure you take time out on the day to spend together and have a moment of reflection.

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real wedding recap winter 2014. glorious. a cool and colourful real wedding in lancaster – stephanie & mark

December 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, 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 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  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 for 2014.

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

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

On the menu: all things bright and beautiful, a very beautiful bride, a dapper groom, some super cool styling and an abundance of pretty blooms.

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

With images by James Jebson Photography.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our photographer was James Jebson Photography.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our stationery was by Ditto Press, Dalston.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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big love. a retro styled shoot at The Midland, Morecambe

December 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (39)

Unless you just got engaged, like, yesterday (and hey, if you did, congratulations – you are in the right place!) then you might have caught onto the trend for spelling out your love in lights. One supplier who has that service nailed over in the North West is the lovely Megan of Typical Type, who shares this pretty, retro styled shoot with us here on the wedding blog today.

big love people. big love.

With images by Tiree Dawson Photography.

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (46)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (36)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (32)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (43)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (37)

megan says: The premise behind the shoot was the idea that, as suppliers, we are starting to see women styling their hen do’s along the same lines as their weddings.  We have also noticed that hen do’s are no longer all about wild nights out, women are choosing quality time with their girlfriends and family.  We feel this is really reflected in Tiree’s photographs.

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (42)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (45)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (29)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (28)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (27)

We decided to use The Midland Hotel, Morecambe, which is an iconic 1930′s hotel as we knew it has lots of amazing areas for us to photograph in. However, instead of sticking with the glamorous 1930′s we decided on more of a fun and flirty 1950′s influenced theme.

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (25)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (19)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (20)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (23)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (18)

We asked the best suppliers around to come on board and they did.  We invited a stunning mother and daughter combo to model, who along with beautiful Hannah, really made the photos come alive.  And so, one hair dresser, one make up artist, three models, one bridal shop, a florist, an ice-cream tricycle and a macaroon supplier later what had initally started life as a mini shoot had blossomed into something a bit more special!

And the rest, they say, is history.

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (10)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (13)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (8)

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (7)

We hope Brides Up North love our work – as you will see, we are all proud Northern Birds!

big love. A styled wedding shoot at The Midland Morecambe (c)  Tiree Dawson Photography (35)

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i Choo! a glamorous country garden wedding in Lancashire – alex & nick

December 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (22)

Alex & Nick’s glam & gorgeous country garden themed wedding has it all – beautiful blooms, a fab frock and plenty of fudge!

Groom Nick also knows what side his bread’s buttered on, sending his best man bearing a pair of Jimmy Choo skyscrapers to his bride to be on the morning of the wedding. Alex, you’ve trained him well.

With images by Niki Mills Photography.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (2)

Alex says:We got engaged at home on our five year anniversary and were married on 19th September 2014. We chose the date due to it being seven years to the day we met. Were not the romantic type so this made our day extra special.

We got married at St Peters Church in Darwen because it is where I was christened and due to it having links with St Pauls, where Nicks Grandparents, Aunty and Parents were married.

We chose The Inn at Whitewell as our reception venue as I remember going to a wedding when I was younger and thinking to myself ‘If I ever get married I want it to be here!’. Nick also loved the character of the place and we agreed it was ‘us’.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (1)

I picked a ‘Garden’ theme as my wedding dress had the most intricate floral lace and embellishment on it and I wanted everything to relate to the dress on the day. My husband calls me a magpie as I love anything sparkly so the day needed to be glam too.

The colour scheme chose me. I love the vintage feel with golds, blush, nudes, creams, greys and pinks and made sure they all had a part to play somewhere. I also added a little fresh green to break it up and give the theme a little dimension! Everything that featured in the day was there because I liked it not because it matched.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (4)

All wedding dresses are beautiful and its hard finding ‘the one’. After searching when we first got engaged I found a beautiful Blue by Enzoani dress in Lulu Browns (Whalley) that was fresh and young with one shoulder. It was so completely different to what I thought it would want but so beautiful too. We didn’t start planning properly until December 2013, and when I went to look for dresses again I walked in Bellisima (Holcombe Brook, Bury) and there it was there waiting for me.

Joanne Tudda MUA did my make up on the day, she is recently qualified and was valuable to the ladies of the wedding party on the morning of the wedding.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (9)

Nick very clothes conscious and wanted a mod suit and to arrive on a Vespa, but after a discussion on how our Dads would look in this type of suit and a successful fitting at Amelia’s Bridal (Clitheroe) he decided on light grey tails, skinny trousers, a floral tie and brown brogues – and looked ever so classic and handsome.

Bridesmaids dresses are lovely but I didn’t want them to look the same as everyone else, I chose metallic evening gowns from Phase Eight and had them custom fit for every girl.

The flower girl dresses were chosen by Nick by accident in Monsoon, the vintage frocks had the exact same colour sash as the bridesmaids and floral lace. They were perfect for my girls who were 8, 4 and 3.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (12)

I arrived in a classic black Mercedes, I love the vintage cars but as the venue is 40 minutes away we decided to spend the majority of the transport budget on a double decker bus for the night guests. Apparently it was quite a ride on the county roads home!

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (16)

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (18)

Our photographer was Niki Mills from Niki Mills Photography. After watching her DVD and crying at how beautifully she had captured other couples special days I booked her. From that moment on she went above and beyond, from a really fun engagement shoot (which really helped our confidence under the lense) to rounding everyone up on the day to ensure she got all the shots we wanted. When starting the wedding planning process my dad said to me ‘Make sure you spend good money on the photographer, you’ll never get that day back’. And he was right, Niki captured our day in a way that really tells our story, in exactly the relaxed fun style we wanted. I am so glad I didn’t have a videographer as Nikki achieved what they would have done with just her talent.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (21)

I remember seeing a Naked Cake for the first time and thinking ‘Wow, I wonder who can make me one of those?’. I enlisted the help of my godmothers daughter Victoria who does cake baking as a hobby but who is extremely good. She goes by the name of ‘Victoria Sponge’. She took the task on board and did not disappoint with the cake being a huge hit!

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (31)

I envisioned the flowers to be as though they had been collected from a country garden with a vintage rose as the centrepiece. Sue’s Bluebells worked extremely hard at ensuring this vision was perfect over many cups of tea.

My bouquet was made by a good friend Danielle who made her own brooch bouquet a few years ago. I collected all the individual brooches and pieces of jewellery and she magically put it all together with added extras – such as my grandma & granddad being with me all day in a locket.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (38)

The decorations were all finds by my mum and me from Home Sense, The Range, charity shops, car boot sales, the wine loving next door neighbours and by painstakingly soaking jars in the washing up bowl to the annoyance of Nick. He would come home and say ‘Why are there so many watering cans in this house?!’ or ‘Surely you have enough jars now?!’.

Sue’s Bluebells put together all the centrepieces and Nicola at Bride’s Little Helper set up the marquee and created my unique crate and gold frame table plan.

I also envisioned a very romantic feel as it went dark in the marquee so with the help of Nicola put candles in everything.  It really made a spectacle as the day room was so fresh and at night it changed into candlelight. I asked for the braziers to be lit outside and some guests sat outside with drinks round the fires.

Bride’s Little Helper is a wonderful little business, Nicola and Mark did so much for me in the run up to the wedding, from the beautiful stationary, the room, the transport and emotional support battling out ideas.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (40)

Nick and I are foodies and we love fudge. I ordered in a huge amount of the stuff from a gorgeous shop in the Peak District (where we go camping) and gave out Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate fudge to the delight of the guests. They were then given in little plant pots to go with the theme.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (45)

For the day guests we had a vintage ice cream trike, provided by Laura at Love My Trike which went down a treat with the guests, but for the evening entertainment we simply had a DJ. Nick has a brother and together they are all the entertainment any wedding needs. Nick being a huge lover of music (he went to Ibiza for his Stag weekend) talked me into the idea of an ‘Ibiza Hour’ which I ok’d as he hadn’t asked for much. It was all the entertainment we needed and had the guests up dancing all night long.

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (52)

We added lots of special touches to the day, Nick and I no longer have any grandparents and we wanted them to be a part of our day, my dad and I spent an afternoon shabbing up an old pair of ladders and Nicola at brides little helper made the most gorgeous remembrance jars with their names in, which lit up at night.

We also love to go camping so every table was named under a place that we have visited in our tent, this went down a treat with our guests as many of them have been on these trips with us!

I really hate the pain of high heels so I painted an old magazine rack silver and made sure the girl guests had flip flops so there was no excuse not to dance!

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (48)

I have many favourite moments, but sitting at the top table with my new husband surrounded by our closest friends and family who were there for us that day meant so much.

We honeymooned in Sri Lanka for a week and then onto the Maldives for ten nights. Nick is an action lover so in Sri Lanka we went white water rafting and on safari and snorkelled and scuba dived in the Maldives, together with a lot of sunbathing! A special surprise was the honeymoon being a gift to us from my mum and dad – we found out at the top table!

a garden wedding at The Inn At Whitewell (c) Niki Mills Photography (55)

People say the best advice is to take a step back and take it all in. However, I would say to other Brides Up North– ground yourself in the morning, tell yourself that this is really happening and try to get into the moment. You spend months and months planning the most perfect day and on the day feel as though you are watching through a dream.

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lost in love. a styled bridal shoot in Manchester

December 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (55)

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… this bloomin’ beautiful styled bridal shoot in the heart of Manchester City Centre, that’s what.

Iconic backdrops, sexy styling and seriously stunning gowns.  What’s not to adore about this beautiful collection of images, styled by Vicky of Isla Jean Bridal Boutique and with images by Claire Penn Photography.

Let’s get lost in love…

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (9)

vicky says: The concept for the shoot was created whilst driving along Deansgate in Manchester at the height of rush hour.  Imagine being in such love with your other half that you are unaware of the people around you.

I decided that the new gowns from Belle and Bunty would be perfect dresses to fit in with my vision and I ended up running out of daylight time to fit all the planned gowns in!

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (15)

I decided to get in touch with a good friend, the amazing Claire Penn and asking whether she would like to be involved. She said yes straight away! From that point I started my mood board on the priceless Pinterest gathering images showing couples posing and being ‘connected’. This was mainly so I had some visual reference to show the models which would help to guide them.

After choosing the most gorgeous models, Erin and Tom (Nemesis Manchester) the date and destination was set.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (17)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (18)

The day ran really smoothly and the models, as you will see from the images just completely understood what we were trying to achieve and whilst only meeting hours earlier, really made it look like they had known each other for years and, best of all looked like they were utterly in love!

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (19)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (22)

As a Northern girl, I absolutely wanted to capture some of the most iconic landmarks in the city and we got to shoot in Piccadilly Train Station, Deansgate, The Great Northern Courtyard, the infamous Market Street and Liverpool Street.  I love the rawness  and honesty of both Market and Liverpool Street. As we were just about to call it a day in the train station, we were lucky to have a train just pulling in so managed to have the final images with lots of commuters passing us by. Needless to say we all finished on a massive high!

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (27)

The hair and make up was done by the lovely Sophie of Make Up by Sophie Battersby who specialises in all make up and hair but really excels in the vintage era look.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (34)

The photography by Claire Penn, captured my vision perfectly, using natural light and femininity Claire has managed to put my vision in images. Claire and I have worked together now on a couple of occasions and I have got to say I am so thankful to Claire as she has just understood me from day one.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (39)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (42)

The dresses!

I had a list of dresses I wanted to show but actually in real time, got to use four.   There are only so many hours in a day!

The dresses used were from the most lovely designers Belle and Bunty and the wonderful Lucille from Eliza Jane Howell. Each dress has movement and details, whether it be the detail of the beads or the sheer simplicity of beautiful silks each has its own magic. I wanted to show the movement of the gowns and how bringing style and the unexpected shapes of a gown really can make the most beautiful wedding gown.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (48)

The gorgeous wedding heels were by Charlotte Mills Bridal and flowers by Bloomin’ Lovely.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (52)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (61)

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’tis the season – a christmassy wedding at Crewe Hall – rebecca & callum

November 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (23)

I don’t think I can resist it any longer.  So let’s bring on some christmas cheer!  Grab yourself a (first?) mince pie of the season, make mine a gingerbread latte and let’s get this festive season started with a little help from a lady who loves herself a little seasonal styling.

Rebecca and Callum’s big day was festive and fabulous, designed to leave their Antipodean relatives in no doubt that us Brits know how to celebrate.

With sleigh bells on top!

Images by Chapter Photography.

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (35)

rebecca says: Callum and I met in Australia in 2009 and I moved over to live in Melbourne for 18 months. My parents came to visit in April 2011 and Callum asked my dad’s permission when out at a beer factory together. Dad kept it quiet from everyone and we all thought we were just going to Melbourne Zoo so that they could feed some Kangaroos. Turns out I was going to meet the Giant Tortoise! My favourite animal. Dad had Mum filming and there was a photographer present. Callum got down on one knee in front of a massive crowd and presented me with the cutest little box. We had professional photos with the tortoise and went off to celebrate with everyone. Mum was crying!

We got married on 30th November 2013. We chose this date because we wanted to tie it in with Callum turning 30 and so that all his Australian family could celebrate with us and make a big weekend of celebrations!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (1)

We got married at my church in my home village of Thelwall and the Reverend was fantastic! He had asked me if I wanted serious, religious or funny and I said ‘Just be yourself’. He was amazing – everyone was laughing along with him.

We went on to Crewe Hall which was just stunning. We chose this venue as it was the only one that made my Dad smile when he walked inside. Plus the original Crewe Hall was built before Australia was founded! Australians love a bit of history and it was important for me to show them a spectacular venue.

The staff at Crewe Hall are passionate about what they do and giving you the best day. The drive way is full of trees and when you see Crewe Hall for the first time it takes your breath away. Inside the wood carvings and the stair case made it the closest thing to being at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (7)

We chose to have a Christmas theme because most of our Australian guests were returning home around the 15th December. So we wanted them to experience a real English Christmas time. We had a few complaints in the run up to the wedding about the cold and there being nothing to see so I wanted to prove them wrong that actually it’s the best time of year to visit.

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (9)

I wanted a fish tail dress and couldn’t find one anywhere that I liked. I wanted something unusual as I’m a size 14/16. If you can’t on your wedding day when can you? When I was shopping with my Auntie in Melbourne we saw a little dress covered in feathers, she wanted me to try it on and it was about $5,000. So when I got home I decided I wanted white Christmas feathers to trail behind me as I walked. So my mum Janet got going and we made it together. It had 14 rows of feathers at just under 21 metres and a lace jacket.

Phoebe, my make up artist at Flossy & Leigh was so amazing and didn’t let anybody stress and I love her to bits!

Callum wore the Scottish National Tartan and looked amazing! He hired it from Groom in Warrington and it came with the shoes and accessories. Jennie his mum, was so desperate for him to wear it. We told her he was wearing the traditional morning suit and she was so disappointed. She didn’t know until the groomsmen parted at the door to reveal Callum in full Scots regalia. It was caught on our wedding video the moment and it was brilliant she screamed and cried and hugged. A memory that will last a lifetime.

My bridesmaids wore a dark green so we decided to go with red as the contrasting colour. My teacher always told me ‘red & green should never be seen, except at Christmas time’. So I followed his advice.

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (38)

Callum is a bit of a geek so I gave him his own Robin cloak and t-shirt to go under his shirt. Obviously I am Batman and he’s my Robin!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (12)

We hired a vintage red bus from Warrington Borough Transport which took the guests staying at Crewe Hall the night before and all the bridal party back to Thelwall.

My dad Anthony, hired a beautiful cream Rolls Royce. The Rolls reminded me of the Beatles and I knew Callum’s dad David would love it! Again it was all really about impressing the Australians with our Englishness!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (14)

We had an amazing photographer called Evie who works with her husband at Chapter Photography. Not only was she brilliant at family wrangling (as Callum’s dad calls it) she had become a really good friend and we keep in contact still. She had come from Ireland and nearly didn’t make it getting stuck out at sea for 12 hours before docking! I had no idea as she didn’t want to worry me. So even with no sleep she was amazing!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (20)

All my flowers were silk as I didn’t want any real ones. My flowers were put together at Bents Garden Centre. My bridesmaids’ bouquets and boutonnieres all came from KateSaidYes who sells the most amazing silk real touch flowers on her Etsy store. I couldn’t recommend her enough.

The wedding reception was decorated by Precious Things and it looked stunning. We provided our own hearts which we had collected from little shops and boutiques. They used holly & Ivy to tie them all together and placed it on top of the tartan swags. Crewe Hall also had their own trees up and decorated the main entrance which was lovely.

We had a little presents for all our guests with their names on a tag. This was a favour as well as a place setting.

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (47)

We had a fruit and Madeira cake that was baked and decorated by myself and my Mum. Each tier was covered in cut out snowflakes and reindeers and in-between we added pearls. The top tier had Kangaroos and Koalas and we wrote the words ‘Callum & Becca’ on one tier and ‘You are the Robin to my Batman’ on the other. We topped the cake with two little robins we bought at Bents Garden Centre.

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (46)

For our entertainment we decided to use the in house DJ and she was brilliant! She kept everyone up dancing all night! Earlier on we had arrived to a bagpiper who played Flower of Scotland and Waltzing Matilda when Callum got off the bus. Everyone thought he was fantastic.

On leaving the church we dedicated a song to Callum.  He had no idea what it was until it started playing. It was the original theme tune to Neighbours! Everyone in the church started laughing and singing along. Some of the Australians didn’t know what it was!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (26)

Reel Weddings provided us with the most magical wedding video. I said it was my own personal Love Actually. Everyone who has seen it has cried and laughed and the music choices were perfect. They edited the day together perfectly that we had our own little movie. We will forever have those memories on DVD and I would hire Reel Weddings again and again. Aaron is so funny and I loved spending time with him and our photographer who made the time fly.

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (50)

We decided not to go on honeymoon but spend time with the Australians instead. In February we are going to Vegas for our real honeymoon and we are going to see Britney Spears!

a christmassy real wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Chapter Photography (29)

Everything was perfect for us and the Australians loved all the little touches that were for them. My family and friends partied the night away and by 10pm I had my slippers on under my dress!

My top tip for other Brides Up North is that if you want to see all the bits that went by whilst you were being photographed or hitching you dress up to go to the toilet – a videographer is a fantastic thing to have. I love being able to watch all my family and friends enjoying themselves. It was the best present we got and it was from Callum’s parents.

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