May 5th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Sarah and Chris’ chic city wedding was held at the stunningly eclectic Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. They wanted a laidback day that was big on personal touches and low on formality and, by Jove, they got it.
Their photographs prompted a strange, hybrid emotion in the Brides Up North team. A smidgen of envy, a touch of nostalgia, and more than a little bit of excitement for long, hazy summer days and barbecue season on the horizon.
Ladies, please. Check out that classic hourglass dress, that gypsophila headband and those perfectly #bridesquad personalised sliders and tell us you don’t feel your heart tremble.
Images by Delicious Photography
sarah says: Our engagement was just brilliant. As we’d been together for 12 years, I thought it wouldn’t happen; Chris had planned a normal Christmas Day morning with lots of presents so that I wouldn’t suspect a thing. Later, we went for Christmas dinner with my family. We were all sitting there and he made an announcement in front of them all. It was a such special moment and totally not us. My granddad was poorly at the time so it was extra special and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
We were married on 14th October 2016, we were desperate to get married in the same year. Great John Street, our chosen venue, was booked up but we managed to get a cancellation.
We had our hearts set on Great John Street in Manchester city centre from the beginning. It’s a 5* eclectic hotel, with stunning décor that matches my style exactly. We had a simple brief: we wanted live music all day and no sit-down formal table plan. We ended up having a barbecue on the roof terrace and it was perfect for us.
Our theme was pretty relaxed. I had one décor specification and that was lots and lots of flowers and candles. We had a photo booth that our friends set up for a giggle and got our wish of live music all day long.
Colour-wise, I went for white. However, we also chose a dusky tan for the bridesmaid dresses and my dress also had a faint tan/pink coloured underlay.
I chose a very fitted dress with a classic hourglass shape from Adele Howarth-Winstanley Bride in Upper Mill. To me, the lace created a vintage feel about it and I was desperate to find a dress that had a hint of colour.
Chris wore French navy tails, from Best Man with a mustard waistcoat, navy polka dot tie, a handkerchief and a pocket watch.
The groomsmen’s suits were similar to Chris’, also from Best Man. The bridesmaids’ dresses were from ASOS and were long, dusky-coloured, high-neck pleated gowns.
May 4th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding showcases a simple rustic theme paired with the dreamiest of neutral palettes.
Our bride and groom, Gill and Chris, hosted their big day at the exquisite Grade II listed Rivington Hall Barn in Bolton – think traditional Saxon beams, gorgeous fairy lighting and sprawling open grounds.
With friends and family travelling from far-flung destinations such as America and New Zealand, and others rallying round to provide help on the day itself (a special mention goes to the mother-of-the-bride) this wedding reminds us that when it comes to saying “I do” – it’s all about the people you share that special moment with.
With images by Ally M Photography
gill says: We got engaged in June 2015. We had been together for seven years and both wanted to seal our commitment and love for each other properly, in the eyes of god and all our families. We are both very fortunate to have our parents, who we very much wanted to be there with us on our special day.
We got married on Friday 19th August 2016. We chose this date as it was during the summer holidays. Both Chris and I have our birthdays on the 19th of the month too and have just moved into house number 19, so, it seems 19 is our lucky number!
Our ceremony took place at Horwich Parish Trinity Church, which is where I was baptised and confirmed. My mum tells me I went to the church at ten days old! It is also the nearest church to all our families and just two miles from our reception venue.
We then had our wedding breakfast and celebrations at Rivington Hall Barn, which is the best place to have a wedding. We both went to Rivington High School and have grown up in and around this area. Rivington Hall Barn is run by the loveliest family who were so kind, helpful and went above and beyond to make our day extra special.
We chose a rustic and natural theme, as the reception venue is a Grade II listed barn. Nothing too fancy or over the top, and sympathetic to the surroundings.
We opted for soft colours – peaches and creams – complemented by hessian to give a subtle but rustic touches.
I wore a beautiful Ivory & Co silk dress with a stunning lace bodice and cream satin waistband. I chose it for its simplicity, elegance and how it instantly felt when I tried it on! I purchased it from Bridalwear by Emma Louise in Bolton. An amazing local dressmaker, Margaret at Something Special Bridal Shop in Horwich, altered it nearer to the time and it fitted perfectly. My very clever and talented mum also added over 100 satin buttons all the way down the back of the dress and train to give it that extra special finish. I had a hand finished matching lace bolero, which I chose to keep on as it complemented the dress immensely.
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April 21st, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Where to start with today’s real wedding? Put simply – we love it all!
Brides Up North reader Becky and her beau Paul were keen to find a venue with a difference and so booked the uber cool Victoria Warehouse in Manchester as the back drop for their big day. This also happens to be the venue at which we will be staging our BigCityWedFest’17 event at on Sunday 3rd September, featuring the area’s most fabulous suppliers for an epic wedding fair with an urban festival style vibe. Watch this space for more details soon!
The warehouse’s raw and industrial features both contrasted and complemented Becky and Paul’s elegant theme of rose gold, blush and marble – perhaps three of our very favourite things! We are also totally besotted with Becky’s stunning Jesus Piero gown and pink mules, not to mention her luscious locks (those bangs!!)
However, it’s not just the appearance of this wedding that had us hooked, it’s the sentiment behind it too. Watching the video we just adore the friendly banter, kind words and love – in a similar style to the cake, this one shot an arrow right through our hearts!!
With images and video by Jon Bird Weddings
becky says: Paul and I had been together more than five years when he proposed. Due to all the weddings of friends and family we have attended over the past three or four years, we had never actually had a full week’s holiday just the two of us. So, at the end of June 2016 we decided to treat ourselves to a week in Cape Verde. We arrived on the Sunday and got settled in to our gorgeous hotel and found what would be become ‘our spot’ on the beach for the week. After our first full day of relaxing on the beach on Monday, the sun was starting to fade a little so Paul suggested a walk along the beach before we went back to the room. I thought this was uncharacteristically romantic for him – especially when he offered to carry the bags. We walked along the beach and chatted, it crossed my mind that he was going to push me in the sea for a joke at one point, little did I know he was walking slightly behind so that he could put the ring he had been hiding in his wallet into a box and get down on one knee. I let out a bit a squeal and then thought he was joking – I’d been waiting for this moment and it was just perfect. White sand, blue sea and my best friend.
We got married on 21st January 2017. We decided that we wanted to marry as soon as we could but without having to compromise on the kind of wedding we wanted. Seven months seemed like enough time to plan and pay for the wedding and January is always a bit of a downer – having the wedding to look forward to was a real lift. Although three weeks after Christmas and New Year isn’t the best time for wedding diets!
We got married at Victoria Warehouse Hotel & Events, which is a converted warehouse in the Trafford Park area of Manchester. We knew we didn’t want a church wedding as neither of us regularly visit one, so we had a look at the lists of approved wedding ceremony venues in Manchester and surrounding areas. Paul is Stockport born and bred and having moved to Manchester for university, I have now lived ‘up north’ for 50% of my life so it is officially home.
We worked out that we had been to about 15 weddings in the past three years, and we’d loved them all, but we wanted ours to be something different and for it to reflect our tastes. We really love industrial architecture and old buildings so Victoria Warehouse just felt perfect. It is a totally unique venue and had so much flexibility for us to put our own stamp on the day.
I love looking at anything wedding related and still do even though ours is done. With a venue like Victoria Warehouse, which is quite dark and moody, I thought a really clean, simple and elegant theme would work well. My mum came to visit when we got back from Cape Verde, to congratulate us on our engagement, and brought a box of gifts with her. The box was marble and rose gold and I instantly loved it – the theme was born! Simple, clean and chic.
We added some blush to the marble and rise gold too. The shops seemed to be full of those colours, which was so useful when buying decorations and accessories. I made or bought almost everything for the wedding from value shops and online so we could spend money on the big things, so picking a scheme that was on trend in terms of interiors made that really easy – the wedding could have been sponsored by Primark, Home Bargains, ASOS and eBay (shhh don’t tell anyone)!
I’m not the most body confident of people – I’m pretty short and very ‘curvy’ so I assumed finding a dress wasn’t going to be easy. I tried a few different shops and had become a bit fed up with nothing fitting and too much bling and fuss. I had in my mind visions of me with tousled hair with a floral crown and a long sleeved, floaty boho dress. ‘My’ dress however, could not have been more different!
One of my bridesmaids, Victoria, made me an appointment at Lulu Browns in Whalley, Lancashire, after a couple of her work friends had got their dresses from there. To begin with I thought it was a bit of a trek from South Manchester, but it was definitely worth it. The minute we stepped through the door Jenna, Jennie and rest of the lovely ladies that work there made me feel like the most special bride. Nothing was too much trouble, they had a stunning range of dresses and they were so patient with me. I was still going for this boho dream and it just wasn’t working with my shape. I had seen my dress and loved it but it just wasn’t what I had in mind. After a bit of persuasion, I gave it a try, well that was it. It was the one. I actually really liked myself in it and it suited my figure so much. What was funny was that I had seen it in a store almost two years previously when looking with my mum for her wedding and lusted after it – I never thought it would be the dress I would end up wearing.
Designed by Jesus Peiro, the Luciana gown had a wide waist band to catch me at my narrowest part and then a full skirt to balance out my top half. Boho was out – timeless elegance was in! Plus I got it from a store with the same surname that I would be changing – it felt like fate. My shoes were from Office.
Paul got me a leather biker jacket as my wedding gift. I’ve wanted one for ages and every time I put it on I think of him – I’ve embroidered our initial and wedding date on the inside!
Paul wears a suit every day for work and wore tails when he was best man for his friend so he wanted something a little different for the wedding. He is tall and slim so looks great in most things but he does like a slimmer fitting suit. We did a lot of online research and looked in a few stores and found the best range of more fashion forward and affordable suits was on ASOS. Two suits ordered and tried on and the winner was selected – so easy! The tweed style fabric and double breasted waistcoat of Paul’s suit and bow tie added a bit of a twist to his usual workwear.
As my gift to Paul on the day I got him a special pocket watch to wear. I also adopted him an otter! Did you know otters hold hands when they sleep in the water so that they don’t lose each other? So cute. We love otters!
April 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re huge advocates of choosing a wedding photographer that’s right for you and your big day. But in order to get perfect results, it’s not just about picking your favourite style of photography, but also someone who has the professional experience, skills and equipment to capture your day without fault. After all, you only get one shot.
As the cost of a wedding can easily stack up, we appreciate the temptation to take up a ‘mates rate’ offer from your relative or friend that has a flashy camera, but an ‘all the gear and no idea’ approach is a sure recipe for disappointment.
In a bid to demonstrate the difference between images taken by a professional versus a have-a-go snapper with a DSLR camera, our Sponsor and award-winning photographer Jonny Draper, teamed up with some of the team at Lancashire wedding venue Ashfield House, and a number of other North West suppliers, to showcase how the results of each vary.
Lighting, focus and composition are just a few of the issues to look out for, but it’s certainly easy to spot the difference between the pro and amateur pics.
Here to explain more about the concept and results of the comparison shoot is Ashfield House co-owner and wedding coordinator, Katie Street.
katie says: With the average UK wedding costing £26,989* it’s no surprise that couples are faced with tough cost-saving decisions when their budgets creep up and up. It’s heartbreaking however, to hear from couples who are disappointed with their photographs after the wedding because they chose the slash their photography budget. That friend with a decent DSLR camera may have the best of intentions but will the results be good enough?
With the help of our friend and award-winning wedding photographer Jonny Draper, we decided to conduct our own side-by-side, like-for-like wedding photography experiment.
Jonny, armed with his high-end equipment and years of experience was pitched against Karen, our assistant general manager, complete with her ‘decent’ DSLR camera, and our makeup artist Kerry Baker was on hand to snap away with her camera phone too.
Your friends and family, or the hobbyist, will have incredible intentions yet, if they haven’t got the equipment or the technical expertise and continued learning, then there really is no comparison. Most of the work in photographing a wedding is before and after, hours of painstaking editing, which our average enthusiast doesn’t have the ability to get right.
Years ago, taking the actual photographs was the easy part. The processing in the dark room and time spent with chemicals could go on for days. Photography was reserved for those elite professionals who had invested in their cameras, lenses, lights and film, plus the need for a dedicated dark room. It was big business! Every high street had a celebrated photography studio and you needed to book weeks in advance to arrange your sitting for family portraits, and months in advance to secure your wedding day photography.
This day and age, you can teach yourself the necessary skills from the comfort of your own laptop, and, if you have the money, invest in the world’s best kit. But – as these images show – that doesn’t replace the skill, expertise and experience of a dedicated wedding photographer.
April 20th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding took place at Owen House Wedding Barn, a stunning family-run barn venue in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. A relaxed vibe was the number one priority for bride Carly and husband-to-be Wayne’s big day, and Owen House delivered with a low-key, rustic setting and a highly-personalised experience.
Add in some woodland details, lots of hessian and a jaw-dropping undone wildflower bouquet, and what you get is one of the most gorgeous easy-going weddings we’ve ever seen here at Brides Up North HQ.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Stella Photography.
carly says: Wayne proposed on our first Christmas Day in our new home. He started the proposal 12 days earlier with the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas. I received a dozen white roses and then another present each day leading up to Christmas. On Christmas morning, Wayne had told me to get ready as we were going to our parents’ early on. In fact, he just wanted us both to be dressed when the camera he’d hidden captured the moment he got down on one knee! I couldn’t believe it; I kept saying “Are you being serious or are you joking?!” Obviously, I said yes!
We were married on the 10th December 2016. This was one of only a few dates that our venue had available and it felt perfect as it was Wayne’s nana’s and stepfather’s birthday and was also very close to the date we first met.
We were married at Owen House Wedding Barn. The ceremony took place in their ceremony room and our wedding reception then took place in the barn next door. As soon as we walked in, we fell in love with it! We’d originally planned on getting married abroad but wanted to check out a venue or two in the UK before booking. This was the first and only venue we visited. We knew as soon as we left that first viewing that we wanted to take our family back with us the next day with a view to booking our wedding day. The style of Owen House is rustic and out of the ordinary; it matched our style perfectly.
In fact, we loved our venue so much that we didn’t want to overpower it with any sort of flamboyant decoration. We’re both very relaxed people and we wanted our wedding day to be the same, so we chose a rustic theme in keeping with the venue.
Our colour scheme was mainly based around flowers. We used lots of hessian and wild pink and purple flowers. Our bridesmaid dresses matched the flowers and the groomsmen’s ties also matched. We wanted our colours and theme to be quite simple, so lots of natural woods, hessian and tea lights. We used tree logs as centrepieces for our tables and for our cake stand, again in keeping with the rustic nature of our venue.
After visiting a few wedding boutiques and not having much luck, a friend recommended a bridal shop in an old mill in Mottram where they sell one-off sizes and designs. I was lucky enough to try on only a handful of dresses before I found the one! It was a sweetheart/mermaid-style lace dress. I loved it on account of how it pulled me in at the waist and how I felt taller in it. Originally my mum was going to make my gown, but having tried this one on we decided to just do some ‘tweaks’. My mum made a lace style bolero to go over the top and added buttons down the back, which made it unique.
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April 19th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Spring might have finally sprung (can you feel it?!) but this morning we’re stepping into the romantic backdrop of Eaves Hall in Lancashire, for today’s sublime winter wedding.
Deciding on a timeless white and silver colour scheme complemented by plenty of twinkling fairy lights and a pared back setting, Sally and Chris’s wedding is the epitome of elegance and class. Add in some rather pretty gypsophila flowers, a hint of glitter and some delicious cupcakes and we think you’ll be swept away by Sally’s recount of their special day.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves Weddings.
sally says: We got engaged in 2015, while in New York for Christmas. On the evening of Christmas Day, Chris took me to the Rockefeller tree and proposed there – it was the best trip of our lives.
We got married a year later, on Christmas Eve. Christmas is a special time for us, with it being the time we got together and also when we got engaged, so we thought, why not? We couldn’t think of anything better than being with all of our friends and family for Christmas.
We got married at Eaves Hall, Lancashire. We instantly fell in love with it when we visited. It is so unique and beautiful, and it makes the perfect Christmas venue.
We chose a winter white and silver theme, complemented by lots of Christmassy fairy lights.
I purchased my dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Barrowford (now moved to Colne). I instantly fell in love with the gown because of the fabric. I wanted lace and I could have a lace top to go over it. I took this off for the night do, so it looked like two different dresses.
The bridal party stayed at the Eaves Hall lodge the night before the wedding while Chris hired a Range Rover from one of his friends to arrive at the venue in.
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