October 25th, 2018 | Julia Braime
The finest North West wedding industry talent will be descending upon The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham, for our annual Pop Up Festival Wedding Show at this unique & authentic vintage venue on SUNDAY 4th November 2018, 11am till 2pm, FREE ENTRY!
This brilliant, exclusive use venue is as fun as it is special, with it’s high ceilings, sparkling drapes, ornate fireplaces and perfectly sprung dance floor. Dancing shoes at the ready! If you are looking for a bespoke and private wedding venue with a little added pizazz, it’s your lucky day.
We’ve added the very best floral designers, bridal boutiques, stationers, venue stylists, photographers, cakes, diamonds (and more!) that the area has to offer – plus a festival styling twist and lots of rocking live music – to make sure that every detail of your big day is covered with individual style.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like a bit of a party…
bride to be?
We’re giving away up to 150 free Bride To Be media packs, filled with glossy magazines (including the brand new issue of UNVEILED Magazine) and treats from Brides Up North. As demand is high, to pick up your media pack all you need to do is register.
While stocks last only.
fancy exhibiting with us?
We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2018/19. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this year.
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.
Email Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
In the meantime, we’re handing over the blog to director of The Bowdon Rooms, Neil Hughes, to tell us more about this spectacular space.
Can you tell us about the style and history of the venue?
neil says: Our luxury wedding venue in Cheshire is a charming building that offers an abundance of authentic character and beautiful features. More than 110 years old, the property’s Edwardian decadence will offer you and your guests a superior environment.
Amid subtle yet exquisite details of art nouveau charm, you can relax and dine in our glorious ballroom, with its stunning chandeliers suspended from a 40-foot domed ceiling, against a backdrop of romantically-lit voiles.
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October 19th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Given the popularity of this priceless post we have allocated a quarterly yearly slot to round up the very best nuggets of advice from the real brides that have graced our pretty Brides Up North pages over the last few months.
For these are the ladies fully in the know of the beautiful, if not at times bumpy, wedding planning journey that you brides-to-be have ahead of you as you pull together all the elements of your dream day.
From budget and timeline tips to advice on the venue, theme and supplier choices, our certified newlyweds share where it’s worth investing your time, money and stress and when it’s time to just full on Frozen-style let it go!
Within their clued-up comments, we’re thrilled to hear how we at Brides Up North have helped to play a part in the planning of their gorgeous celebrations; from taking inspiration from our beautiful featured real weddings, to using our handy online directory to locate top local suppliers and also visiting our Luxury Wedding Shows that we host at wow-worthy venues across the north, directly linking couples and industry pros to take care of every wedding detail while providing an abundance of inspiration.
We hope you too will use and benefit from such fabulous resources as well as the priceless knowledge that our fully-fledged brides are about to impart as they complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…”
Click on the links to see each wedding in full.
samantha says: My top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to try to keep everyone happy; it is your day, so it’s the only time you can be truly selfish. We worried too much about everyone else throughout the whole process. Funnily enough, my best friend gave me the same advice! I would also say relax and don’t let the small things on the days leading up to it, and on the day, get to you. So many small things did not go exactly to plan for us, but it doesn’t dampen your mood on the day. The most important thing is having your friends and family around you – all the laughter, happy tears, dancing, eating good food and celebrating while they watch you marry your best friend. It is the most amazing day, no matter what.
linsey says: Don’t worry about the weather – you can’t control it so try not to waste time stressing about it. Think about how to keep the day interesting and enjoyable for your guests. For us, we knew that if we could see our family and friends enjoying themselves then this would make the day even more perfect! In the run up to the wedding, I also spent a lot of time looking at the real weddings section on Brides Up North – it was so helpful to get tips from other brides and to get a feel for the types of things that we wanted to incorporate into our wedding day.
stacey says: Don’t settle for anything less than you want. If there are suppliers you really want, get them booked in as soon as you can. We knew the suppliers we wanted to make our day special and each one made it perfect.
emma says: Definitely get a videographer! We were unsure for a long time but so pleased we did in the end. The guest messages definitely made us chuckle! Also, take time out to be on your own, just the two of you. We had a 25-minute journey between the ceremony and reception that meant we had some time alone before greeting all of our guests. Finally, when looking for suppliers, the online directory on Brides Up North was extremely helpful. I followed Brides up North on Instagram and took a lot of inspiration from the real weddings section too.
natalie says: Enjoy every minute of the planning. I never really understood why brides were stressed before the wedding. I really enjoyed the whole process. I particularly liked choosing the flowers and also liked creating all of the finishing touches.
zoe says: Think about what wedding you want. Don’t worry about what other people will think. I know that people thought we were ‘doing too much’ or ‘doing the wrong things’ because they couldn’t see the bigger picture but, in the end, everyone could see it all came together and was worth it. I like to be organised and have things written down, so make lots of lists, talk to lots of different suppliers and don’t rush into booking the first one you see. Just remember it’s all about you as a couple and it will come through in your day.
sophie says: Give yourself lots of time the few days before the wedding to get things sorted – there were lots of last-minute bits we were running around doing and I was pretty organised, so it’s always worth having the time as a contingency.
caroline says: Trust your suppliers. You’ll have chosen them for a reason, so let them do their thing! We also put them all in touch with each other, which meant they could chat to each other without us being the middle man – much quicker! My other tip is to do a full ‘run of show’ and contact sheet and give it to everyone who is part of your day. Then everyone is kept in the loop and you don’t get plagued with a million questions in the run-up to the big day.
lucie says: Choose a venue that suits you as a couple. I would say that picking and choosing the bits that actually matter to you is really important, and also helps you to prioritise and budget. At the end of the day, the most important part is the vows and making sure you’re in an environment that feels right to celebrate with your nearest and dearest. The rest of it is detail, and no amount of flowers or hours spent agonising over stationery colours will matter as much to you both on the day itself. Also, during the planning, we went to several Brides Up North wedding fairs at Denton Hall, which were a very handy way to catch up with all our suppliers and generally think about where we wanted to display things on our day. I visited the Brides Up North website too. I didn’t really do overwhelming amounts of research, but for me looking at real weddings on the blog was the best way to get inspiration or to think of extra details. It’s also a great way to track down tried and tested suppliers.
sarah says: Make sure you make time for yourself and invest in a photographer you trust to take great pictures and who you would want to hang out with for 12 hours! Also, make whatever decisions feel right for the two of you. Changing my dress with three months to go felt like a crazy thing to embark on, but it was the best decision I made – I felt a million dollars!
rachel says: Get the big things booked in as soon as possible; you are therefore more likely to get the suppliers you want before they get booked up and you have a good idea of how much everything is going to cost well in advance. We wouldn’t recommend a two-year engagement like we had but it was the time we needed to save up for everything we wanted; it was worth it, but it did get a little stressful thinking of the wedding for two whole years. Also, don’t worry about getting around all your guests on the day – just take everything in and enjoy the moment. The only thing we wish we’d had that we didn’t was a live band for the reception.
emma says: Throughout the wedding planning process, I visited Brides Up North to look for local suppliers and read the real weddings with a similar theme so I could get more ideas on what we wanted our wedding to look like. Myself and my maids of honours also visited a wedding fair in Leeds, held by Brides Up North, which we fully enjoyed, particularly sampling the cakes and prosecco on offer!
katy says: Get people to help you, don’t try to do everything yourself! People helped us with all sorts – the wedding playlist, teaching us to dance, making the cake – you name it! Not only does it take some of the stress away, but everyone feels a part of your wedding, which makes it even more special. We got a group of us together to make the decorations about six weeks before the wedding. It was a great way to power through making them all and we had a lovely day spending time together getting excited for the big day. Also, if you’re going on your honeymoon straight afterwards, make sure you have the first few days to just relax, recover and enjoy being newlyweds. We love packing loads into our trips, but boy did we need a few days to just veg out on the beach after it all. It’s more emotionally exhausting than you realise!
alex says: Enjoy every single part of the planning process. It’s a cliché but the day itself will go by in flash – it may not even go to plan (although we were lucky that ours did) – but the wedding process is so much more. Enjoy your engagement, searching for venues, meeting with suppliers, dress shopping, the hens and stags; it’s all part of it, so enjoy every second.
lucy says: Having a DIY wedding was much more challenging than we anticipated, mainly in terms of building an infrastructure around the effort and ensuring the costs for this don’t spiral. So, if you do something similar, make sure you talk through with your marquee/ tipi provider what they require in terms of electricity and water, and how they can support you in this area of your planning. There are so many things to think about, from how you can facilitate your caterer, and whether you need a generator, through to organising suitable toilets. Totem Tipi were amazing in helping us to understand all of this and without this level of advice we would have been struggling.
holly says: Do exactly what you want to do on your day – just because it doesn’t fit the ‘regular mould’ of a wedding day doesn’t make it any less special. Early in your planning, sit down together and work out what your top priorities are for your day and keep those as your focus.
emma says: Accept help from people. There were so many family and friends who helped with different aspects of our day. We couldn’t have done it without them and they made our day even more special. Also, there were also some aspects of our day that were a complete surprise to us. We hadn’t seen the wedding cake, we’d given Milly the florist free reign over the flowers and the decorations, and it was so lovely as the bride and groom to have some surprises waiting for us at the venue, rather than knowing every detail inside out.
rebecca says: The Brides Up North site gave us a great starting point when searching for suppliers. The main element we found useful though was definitely the Brides Up North wedding fairs; it’s important to meet your suppliers in person as the people you work with are often far more influential to your day than the products they offer.
ashleigh says: Start getting ready early on the day of the wedding! The only time I felt any stress or nerves was whilst getting ready in case I was late! My other top tip would be to take in every moment and make a mental note. I got told that so many times before the big day and now I think back and remember so many lovely details.
charlotte says: If you are planning a fairly large wedding and know you are going to have a lot going on, get a wedding planner. If you are as meticulous as me, having someone else also with an eye for detail takes a huge weight off your mind on the day. Our day definitely would not have run as smoothly if we didn’t have Helen Eriksen involved. We also found Brides Up North helpful when looking up local suppliers for our day.
October 17th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Weddings are both a time for reflection and a time to look to the future, and today’s featured couple Alison and Jason married both of these elements seamlessly on their big day. Creating a wedding day that represents them as a couple and their families, including some touching personal details to ensure those they had lost were represented, their celebrations are more than just tulle deep.
Alison is every inch a princess bride for her big day in an elegant gown featuring beaded lace throughout its fitted bodice and voluminous tulle skirt and a crystal-buttoned zipped closure. With her carefully planned bouquet of soft and delicate flowers, she pulls the fairytale look together perfectly.
Details-wise, we love the simple yet luxurious cake design with its flawless finish and soft colours to echo the floral creations decorating the venue. Behind each smooth exterior hides a delicious-sounding, surprisingly extravagant flavour. We did mention we have a weakness for cake?
The lighting is uber dreamy too with twinkling fairy lights, opulent chandeliers and soft candles illuminating the chic ceremony room with love and romance for the all-important “I dos”.
With images by John Francis Photography.
alison says: We got engaged in Dubai in October 2016 on the beach in front of the Burj Al Arab. Jason tricked me into thinking he wanted to take some photographs of the famous hotel, as the sun was just going down and the Burj Al Arab has interchanging lights on it, so off we went. Halfway onto the beach, I turned around and he was on one knee. It was a total surprise and Jason did well to keep any kind of surprise from me! A few days later we headed off to the Souk to have my engagement ring made. Wow, what an experience!
For the wedding day, I wanted a date that was memorable and flowed nicely. The venue had a cancellation of 18th August 2018, so it had to be: 18.08.18.
We looked at a few venues but, as soon as we viewed Eaves Hall in Clitheroe, Lancashire, we fell in love with it, so we instantly booked it for both the ceremony and reception. We chose Eaves Hall because it was exclusive and only we and our guests would be able to use the venue on our special day, not to mention it has the most stunning grounds and gardens, as well as the added bonus that all the girls could stay the night before the wedding in the lodge. We would certainly recommend the venue as it was simply perfect; the Hall is absolutely stunning, the staff were so attentive and couldn’t do enough for us, and it was a truly amazing day. To have the venue all to yourself for the day is just a dream.
Planning the wedding was a lonely journey from me at times as my mum passed away seven years ago and Jason’s mum suffered from dementia, meaning I didn’t have either mum there to help, but I did have my trusty best friend and maid of honour, Clare, to help along the way with decisions. We hadn’t had it easy during the run up to the wedding: my dad had been taken unwell and Jason’s mum and dad both suddenly passed away just nine months apart from each other but, as a token to their memory and my mum’s, I managed to get hold of a photograph from both their wedding days and had a personalised memorial candle made, which we lit after the ceremony.
We didn’t have a theme to the wedding but the colour scheme was inspired by a rose called Memory Lane, which I associate with my mum.
When it came to the dress, we went to Ava Rose Hamilton in Colne. OMG: this place is absolutely stunning! The minute you walk in, you are made to feel so at home and treated like a princess. I settled on an elegant lace and tulle A-line wedding dress in ivory from Essense of Australia. The dress had no name, which was very strange, so in memory of my mum I named it Susan and Ava Rose Hamilton stitched a guardian angel into the tulle as a memory to my mum.
Jason wore a three-piece suit, which was made to measure by Nigel Clare in Chorley. They also supplied his Eton shirt, belt and Loake shoes. I spent hours matching the ties to the girls’ dresses, with it being a unique colour, and eventually found the ties at TM Lewin on King Street in Manchester. The groomsmen’s suits were by Roy Robson and were also from Nigel Clare, who supplied the shirts, belts and shoes to match Jason’s.
October 16th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Today we’re sharing the beautiful wedding of Chelsea and Ian – a celebration of fairy tale proportions wholly inspired by the magic of stories such as Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.
Sealing their ‘happily ever after’ moment at Lancashire venue, Eaves Hall, Chelsea and Ian chose a delicate colour palette of dusky pinks and creams to suit their romantic theme and create a dreamy, whimsical vibe to their big day.
Details-wise, we love the hand-drawn illustrations depicting the stories Chelsea so loves to define each table, and the handmade biscuits as favours, each in a design straight out of a story book. Chelsea even created really thoughtful welcome bags for all the guests who stayed over, containing locally sourced treats and information about the area so they could make the most of their stay.
Of course, a fairy tale just wouldn’t be complete without a beautiful princess – and Chelsea is glowing and gorgeous in a dramatic Justin Alexander number with a cathedral-length train, illusion back and pretty beaded detailing around the neck and waistline.
With images by Madison Picture.
chelsea says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve in 2015. I still lived at home at the time. We were watching Christmas films in our festive PJs and sipping prosecco when Ian said he had an early Christmas present for me. He presented me with a little box that said “10 reasons why I love you” on the front. Inside there were ten cards each saying something different, such as “you’re beautiful”, “you make me smile”, etc. The last card said, “Will you marry me?” I looked up and he was down on one knee with the most beautiful engagement ring.
We got married on 29th May 2018. We wanted to get married in half term as I’m a teacher but it turns out that it didn’t matter in the end because I was on maternity leave having had a baby girl six months earlier.
Our venue was Eaves Hall, Clitheroe, and we had exclusive use over two days for both the ceremony and reception. We chose it for its wow factor; it was everything we wanted in a venue. Grand and rustic!
I wanted the theme to be based on stories and fairy tales: our own ‘happily ever after’. I love reading all things fairy tale and wanted a romantic theme. Colour-wise, we chose to go for a range of soft pinks (dusky, blush, etc.) and natural creams and whites. Dusky pink is my favourite colour and I wanted colours that would feel romantic and whimsical to go with our fairy tale theme. Plus, all my bridesmaids were blonde, so the colours suited them.
I chose a Sincerity dress from Justin Alexander, which was A-line shaped and made from satin with a cathedral train. It was the perfect combination of real bridal and whimsical, which is what I wanted. I felt like a bride when I put it on and fell in love with the dramatic train.
Ian wore a grey suit hired from Debenhams with a tweed waistcoat and tie. The groomsmen wore matching suits but with tweed bowties instead.
My bridesmaids’ dresses were bought online from Little Mistress. They were full-length in a floaty Grecian style and dusky/rose pink in colour. They had lace and beading around the middle and on the straps. The flower girls wore ivory knee-length dresses with a lace top.
We had our hair and makeup done by Manchester-based Jodie A Smith.
October 12th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Thornton Manor – an exquisite Grade II Elizabethan house in Cheshire – is today’s stunning backdrop to Charlotte and Jamie’s special day earlier this summer.
Looking to throw a big party for their guests – the venue ticked all the boxes for the couple, giving them the best of both worlds – the grandeur of the manor house and those more informal ‘let your hair down’ kinda feels from the lakeside marquee.
A blush colour palette worked flawlessly with the abundance of peonies, roses and hydrangeas, not to mention the life-sized tree!
Food and drink played a big part in their big day too – with steak, lobster mac n cheese, bacon sandwiches, candy floss and a prosecco tuk tuk van all making an appearance. As for the entertainment – they even had a wandering band that made their way around all the tables – an idea we think a fair few of you might want to steal! Feeling inspired? It’s time to hear more from Charlotte…
With images by Brett Harkness Photography.
charlotte says: We got engaged while we were on holiday in Barbados with our family. Jamie and I both have our birthdays one week apart, and these happened to fall whilst we were away. He told me we were going out for a meal the night before his birthday to celebrate, just the two of us. We went to The Cliff restaurant, which was as amazing as it sounds, right on the edge of the sea. He popped the question at the beginning of the meal…I think he was too nervous to wait until the end!! Of course, I said yes, and we spent the whole meal chatting about getting married – we hardly ate the food!
We got married on the 30th June 2017. We knew we wanted a summer wedding and I actually ended up picking the date based on the weather the previous few years! Unfortunately, we were not blessed with sun for the whole day, so my theory went out of the window!
We got married at all All Saints Church in Thornton Hough and hosted our wedding reception at Thornton Manor. Jamie and I both liked the idea of getting married in a large manor style house, however most importantly we wanted a space where we could throw a great party. Thornton Manor could accommodate a marquee on site too which made this possible!
Our colour scheme for the day was a range of blush colours – soft shades of pink, ivory and peach. We chose this as it fitted with our idea of a relaxed yet sophisticated summer’s day.
My dress was designed by Suzanne Neville. I had always loved this designer and liked that she could tailor any dress to your style. I actually went down to Suzanne’s shop in Knightsbridge where I had all my fittings and even met with her to decide on some of the final details. I ended up changing my dress four months before the wedding, which was slightly stressful, and it could not have been more different!
October 5th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Soughton Hall – a stunning Georgian country house on the border of North Wales and Cheshire – is today’s enchanting backdrop to Ashleigh and Rhys’ special day in early August.
Opting for a classic white theme accentuated by beautiful cleans lines and lots of shimmering glass, the wedding is a blueprint for a truly timeless décor and look. And, unconventionally, the bride even wanted her bridesmaids dressed in white, but eventually settled on an Instagram-worthy pastel pink shade instead. Equally divine!
Along with some utterly beautiful outdoor pics – there are plenty of other pretty touches and moments to pore over; from the bride’s gorgeous calla lily bouquet and confetti balloons to the stunning four-tiered cake and shortbread biscuit favours.
So, as we gear up for the weekend ahead – which for us, and you lovely brides-to-be that join us, will include spectacular Luxury Wedding Shows at Saltmarshe Hall, East Yorkshire, and Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire – we’ll leave you in Ashleigh’s capable hands as she talks though all her wonderful wedding day highlights – enjoy!
With images by Samantha Kay Photography.
ashleigh says: We got engaged while in Liverpool. Rhys pretended we were going to meet friends for the evening but took me for a surprise meal at our favourite restaurant, The Art School. The ring was hidden in the starter board which featured a number of small boxes containing different foods. I opened the box with the ring and the next thing I knew, he was down on one knee! Awkwardly, I had just taken a very fishy mouthful of the starter so was reluctant to kiss him after saying yes! We then continued with the seven-course tasting menu and then headed to Alma de Cuba to dance the night away with my brand-new rock!
We got married on 4th August 2018. It was one of the Saturday summer dates Soughton Hall had available for 2018, and we were adamant that the wedding needed to take place in the summer holidays as we’re both teachers. If I’m honest, I also liked the even numbers; 04/08/18 has a nice ring to it!
We were married at Caldy Church about 200 metres from my mum and dad’s house, where I got ready on the morning of the wedding.
We had the wedding breakfast and evening do at Soughton Hall down the road from Rhys’ mum and dad in North Wales. Rhys worked there when he was younger and we had walked past several times walking his dog and always said we’d love to get married there. We didn’t even bother to go and view any other venues – we knew that was the one.
In terms of the styling of the wedding, I wanted clean lines and modern simplicity so there was a lot of glass: vases and circular glass plates with flowers underneath on the table. I tend to take the reins when it comes to interior, fashion and design so Rhys was happy to let me run with ideas.
As for the colour scheme – this was white, white, white – you can’t go wrong! Also, its timeless nature was important to me.
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