July 2nd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
If you’re in love with the idea of tying the knot in a rustic barn, then today’s real wedding will be giving you all kinds of butterflies. Say hello to newlyweds Emma and Marc, who tied the knot during the Easter break at the sublime Owen House in Cheshire.
Floating candles, fairy lights and lanterns all help to set the romantic ambience, complemented by fabulous arrangements of pink, cream and green flowers that really embody the au naturale setting. It’s enchanting beyond words and everything we could hope from a classic barn wedding.
There are plenty of other fabulous highlights to look out for, too, including a prosecco cart, heart shaped fudge pieces as favours and – breaking with convention – the bride ditching heels for a pair of Converse! We think you’re going to be Pinterest-happy with this one, ladies!
With images by Sarah Beth Photo.
emma says: After being together for seven years, Marc decided to pop the question while we were on holiday in New York. We had enjoyed a short walk around Central Park with friends in the morning and then, whilst walking near a bridge, Marc asked to take a selfie with me. Looking in his bag for the ring, he then passed me the ring box to which I asked “what is this?” and he went down on one knee and popped the question.
We did not have a set date in mind but knew we wanted either a spring or summer wedding. I’m a teacher so with Easter being a two-week holiday, this was the ideal time for us.
After visiting a number of venues and knowing that we wanted a barn wedding, Owen House was the perfect choice. When visiting the venue for the first time, it was not dressed and was rather plain, but even from this we could see the potential it had, and we fell in love with it. The ceremony room is ideal, with fairy lights along one side of the room and rustic benches, windows and doors. It was the perfect barn venue for us.
We thought we knew what we wanted, but this changed over the course of planning the wedding. When we finally made a decision, we went for a rustic but modern theme. The rustic being the barn and some of the decorations and the modern being the dresses and the rose gold theme that ran throughout the favours and décor.
From trying on a range of bridesmaid dresses from dusty pink to creams, it seemed apparent that our colour scheme was going to be natural. My maids of honour and bridesmaids were originally going to wear dusty pink, but after visiting Dotty Bridal, and trying on their multi-way dresses in a sample colour mink, the girls and myself fell in love with the colour and decided to go with this shade. In addition to this, when I met with the florist, she had some flowers displayed in her house called ‘quick sand’. This was my favourite colour and I fell in love with it and it worked perfectly with the theme and the other pinks, whites and greens used throughout the day.
When visiting Dotty Bridal, I just knew this was where I would buy my dress from. My mum and my maids of honour came with me for each session to try on the different dresses and as soon as I walked out with my dress on, they burst into tears and I knew then that was the dress for me. The whole dress experience was fantastic. The alterations were also done at Dotty Bridal by a local seamstress, who made it fit perfectly to my shape.
I have never worn heels in my life (being so tall), so I wasn’t going to start on my wedding day and risk falling down the aisle! I decided to wear a pair of Converse from Schuh which were super comfy all day!
June 27th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Up there as one of couples’ main concerns when planning a wedding is “what if guests become bored?”. As your nearest and dearest there to witness you make a life-long declaration of love to one another this is highly unlikely as they will just be thrilled to be a part of your big day. But in a somewhat Bride Wars mindset, there’s always the desire to top any wedding you’ve been to before with your own, and hope that it creates memories that guests harp back to long after the celebrations have been and gone.
As such it’s important to get your entertainment in order – which elements of the day require music to keep the vibe high and what other live acts could you incorporate into your day to make it all the more special?
Being our true helpful selves, we’ve called upon our rocking Sponsor, entertainment agency Alive Network, to talk us through all options for the wedding day, from the ceremony to the evening par-tay! Better still, for those of you in the North West, the Alive Network team have pinpointed some of their very favourite Lancashire-based acts that can deliver that added wow-factor to your proceedings. Over to the experts…
It’s the biggest moment of your day. So, it’s no wonder couples aren’t waiting for their evening band to get goosebumps. More of you than ever are choosing live ceremony music to make things super special from the start. #itsoktocry
Prelude: As your guests gather – and the nerves kick in – how about a little musical calm? Your prelude is usually 30 minutes of live music, and a great way to warm things up for your big entrance.
Processional: Your musician can play your special ceremony music as you take to the aisle for your processional, which is usually one song. Top tip: Go through the version with your artist (see if they can send you a recording of them playing it) and time your walk during rehearsal so that you hit your favourite bit of the song at the right time!
Signing of the registers: This is usually two to three songs. Depending on your style of ceremony, this could take a bit of time, so live music is a great way to keep the excitement up for your guests and make the moment even more special.
Recessional: Your joyful, hand-in-hand jaunt back down the aisle as a couple! Choose something upbeat that reflects the crazy-happy moment.
Harpist – Bella Rose creates a sound that’s ethereal, subtle and pretty.
String quartet – Lancashire String Quartet perform elegant, classical versions of chart tracks, which is perfect for a modern-classic feel at your ceremony.
Classical singer – Rousing and captivating, Gemma La Voce performs your choice of operatic arias, show tunes, and modern classics.
Acoustic singer-guitarist – A guitarist is by far the most popular choice for chilled ceremonies. James T or John Gough both perform beautiful, unplugged music to underscore one of the most emotional parts of your big day.
Live taster. See Lancashire String Quartet perform A Thousand Years here.
June 26th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Get ready for an achingly cool real wedding as we welcome fabulous newlyweds Jane and Nathan to the blog. The super fashionable industrial interior of Holmes Mill in Clitheroe provided the swoon-worthy backdrop to their big day; with its bare plaster walls, metal columns and cinema-style fold-away seating, perfectly styled with simple, blowsy blooms of hydrangea and sweeping curves of festoon lights. There’s even a chic Louis Ghost chair to perch on while signing the register.
Jane is effortlessly beautiful in a Halfpenny London dress, a classic vintage-inspired gown with fine corded lace and delicate cap sleeves. The open back and dropped waist add a modern feel that is totally at home with the industrial vibes. She finishes her outfit with a stunning pair of towering Jimmy Choo sandals in delicate grey. The guys are equally cool in black tie, which looks great against the shimmering blue of the bridesmaid dresses.
Family is important, and so the couple’s adorable twins quite rightly take centre stage, and fabulous details from those closest them, such as the hand-drawn table names by Jane’s father, add wonderful personal elements to the celebrations too.
Diary Date: Love Nathan and Jane’s choice of venue? Then be sure to join us for our Urban Luxe Wedding Show at the stunning Holmes Mill on Sunday 23rd September, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY.
With images by Stuart Hornby Photography.
jane says: We got engaged in Palma in June 2016, after almost six years together. I’d given Nathan quite the hard time about proposing, so I don’t think he had much choice!
We got married on Saturday 26th May 2018. We wanted a bank holiday weekend so we could have a ‘wedding weekend’, extending the festivities to the Sunday.
We had our ceremony and reception at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe. I found the venue by chance on Instagram and loved the pictures, so took Nathan along to have a look. We both fell in love with the place, which was very quirky and different to anything we’d visited already. We wanted somewhere our friends wouldn’t have been to before and, as this was a new venue, it ticked that box. We would absolutely recommend the venue – all the staff were amazing and the day went without any issues.
Our colour scheme was mainly blue and white, which was purely to match the bridesmaids’ dresses, which I’d already fallen in love with.
For my dress, I chose a Halfpenny London design, which was bought from The White Closet in Didsbury. I was actually 12 weeks’ pregnant with twins at the time, so I wanted something that wasn’t too fitted so as to not put too much pressure on me after the birth. The dress was called Violet, which was extra special as this was my grandmother’s name.
Nathan chose a black-tie theme for the men, as he wanted something a bit different to the traditional blue suit. He bought his suit from Reiss.
My bridesmaids wore Ghost dresses in blue, which I loved as they could each wear one that was a slightly different design. I actually found these dresses before my own!
June 20th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
The daisy motif that runs through today’s real wedding between Sarah and Roy was a chance decision, inspired solely by a hand-drawing of intertwined daisies. From there, Sarah and Roy chose to run with the classic white wedding and weave yellow elements into the design, from the cake with its charming daisy decoration to the flowers, a delicate and frothy bouquet bursting with marguerite daisies. Hints of gypsophila add a romantic, traditional edge and are perfectly in keeping with the white wedding theme.
Choosing an intimate gathering for the ceremony and wedding breakfast meant Sarah and Roy could go to town with their choices, serving good-quality wines and offering several choices for the meal, which was eaten around one large table for a personal feel.
Sarah wears a glorious Lillian West A-line gown with a floaty chiffon skirt and an illusion V-neckline in delicate lace applique, the style of dress contrasting beautifully with the industrial and rather quirky venue.
Beautiful bride Sarah also chose a signature scent for the wedding – lime and bay – using candles to emit the fragrance. This is a lovely idea as, every time Sarah and Roy light a candle of that scent – or catch the aroma on the air when they’re out and about – they’ll be instantly transported back to their wedding day. Tell us more, Sarah …
With images by Priti Shikotra Wedding Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged on a weekend in Prague. Roy spent all weekend trying to engineer the perfect moment. He remembers, “I had visions of taking a carriage ride around the city, with blankets on our knees, and popping the question with flutters of snow falling. Sarah wouldn’t take a carriage ride though because she felt it was too expensive. In the end, we were in a club and she said, ‘You know, people have been saying you’ve brought me away to ask me to get married’ and the game was up – I went down on one knee”.
We got married on 30th March 2018, which was Good Friday. It was the last of the cheapest winter dates in all honesty. It also gave everyone a full weekend to relax and recover afterwards. Roy also thought he was being clever and wouldn’t forget future anniversaries, until it was pointed out to him that Good Friday is on a different day each year.
We got married and had our reception at Great John Street Hotel, Manchester. It seemed the perfect size for what we wanted: ideal for the small gathering of immediate family for the wedding itself but large enough to easily accommodate the party of friends and family we invited for the evening. The rooftop garden and ‘playground’ is a great space that, even with the hit and miss weather we get in Manchester, allows for being outside in comfort and warmth should you want to.
We would definitely recommend the venue to other couples; there’s a really nice feel to Great John Street and rooftop in particular is a great setting. The staff were polite and attentive and the team looking after wedding bookings was great at working with us to understand our needs and budgets. Throughout the day, they were efficient and discreet, and everything followed the plans we had provided them with.
When it came to a theme, we wanted a very simple, small wedding and everything pretty much stemmed from an invitation I initially found with two hand-drawn, intertwined daisies. The simplicity of rustic, handmade decorations appealed to us, but we didn’t necessarily set a theme.
We didn’t have a colour scheme in mind but it naturally followed with the daisy theme that a classic ‘white’ wedding was perfect, with a hint of yellow in the flowers for a touch of colour. The bridesmaid dress was chosen to complement the wearer’s complexion. The guests wore shades of blue, ranging from cobalt to navy, which was neither co-ordinated nor intentional and it amazes us to this day how that happened.
June 14th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
We love to see a bride and groom take a style that represents who they are and really run with it – like today’s real wedding couple Erin and Joel. In love with the 1950s, the post-war rock and roll era and a time of great social change, Erin and Joel went to town with their black and white polka dot and red theme. The bridesmaids in their polka dot dresses are accessorised with striking red pillbox hats and gloves, while Erin wears a bold red lip to add oomph to her classic vintage, detailed wedding gown and Joel sports a side parting hairstyle reminiscent of the era.
The bold colour scheme is carried throughout the whole day and bangs a buck at the wedding reception, where vibrant red rose centrepieces proudly sport black feathers to echo the popular feather-adorned hats of the time. With photographs on the tables of icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Erin and Joel made sure they used every opportunity to bring the 50s’ vibe to their big day. Guests were even treated to a CD compilation of 50s’ hits, so they could carry the rock and roll essence home with them at the end of the night.
With images by Ian MacMichael.
erin says: We got engaged on 29th May 2014. Joel got down on one knee at Haydock Races and proposed in front of my family. We were all dressed up and it was a lovely way to start the day.
We got married on 19th January 2018. It was the same date my parents got married in 1985, so they were 33 years married on our day.
We held our ceremony at St Margaret Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in my local and amazing parish. Our reception took place at the Isla Gladstone Conservatory, Liverpool – such a beautiful location. The venue was a blank space and we just fell in love with it as soon as we saw it. We loved the exclusivity and the coordinators were amazing throughout the whole process. The food was stunning; we got amazing feedback from guests. All the staff were friendly and helpful – nothing was too much trouble.
Our theme was 1950s for the whole day. We both adore this decade – we love the colours and the music, etc. For our colour scheme, we went for black and white polka dot with red, which fitted the 1950s theme perfectly. I love the bold colours.
My dress was a lace, fitted mermaid dress with sleeves. I also wore a two-tier, cathedral-length veil and a replica of Princess Diana’s tiara. I love the classic vintage bridal look. My hair was styled by Beauty Box Aesthetics – they are amazing girls. Two of my close friends – Jess Hardy and Ashlee Platt – did our make-up.
June 13th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s exquisite wedding has pretty autumnal feels by the bucket load. From conkers, pinecones and mini pumpkins to a vibrant red and green colour scheme – Jodie and Daniel’s special day last October was utterly on point when it came to those fabulous seasonal touches.
Knowsley Hall, a private walled estate in Merseyside, provided the backdrop to their wedding, brimming in opulence with stunning grounds to match. The floral arrangements chosen by the couple beautifully enhanced this space, with rosemary, eucalyptus and berries all beautifully offset by lanterns, vases and twinkling lights.
As always, it’s the personal touches that really tug at the heart strings though and there’s plenty to inspire you today, with nods to the bride’s miniature dachshund, loved ones remembered in Jodie’s bouquet and even cartoon versions of the couple made out of plastic! So, if you’re contemplating an autumnal wedding date – we think this one might just sway your decision.
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
jodie says: For our anniversary we usually book a nice hotel and restaurant, but for our third anniversary Daniel told me he had booked somewhere special and wanted the location to be a surprise. In July 2016 he drove us to the stunning Augill Castle in Kirkby Stephen. We had a gorgeous suite to ourselves and when it came to the evening meal we were taken to a private dining room which had been set out with candelabra’s and roses. After the meal – and as the sun was setting – we took a walk in the grounds. We were in the gardens at the front of the castle when Daniel turned around, bent down on one knee and proposed! After the initial surprise of him taking my glass of wine off me in order to hold my hands, I then repeated ‘Oh my God!’ possibly a hundred times and, of course, said yes!
We got married on 7th October 2017. We both love deep rich autumnal colours so chose this season to make the most of them, the weather is also still quite mild in October. Plus, with it being a Saturday and having family and friends coming from all over the world, we knew it’d be easier for people to attend.
We visited a number of venues but when we walked through the doors at Knowsley Hall we knew this was the one. The venue is breathtakingly beautiful inside and has so many spectacular features, from the opulent ceremony room/ballroom and dining room to the wonderful views of the gardens and the luxurious bedrooms – it’s all just wonderfully stunning. The staff made us feel so welcome and we couldn’t wait to invite along our family and friends to share the experience with us.
We’re not one for ‘themes’ however we knew we wanted it to be seasonal, natural and elegant. As much as the day was about us, we wanted to provide an experience for people that they would remember. We wanted very natural greens and autumnal colours throughout the day to reflect the time of year and also because the colours match my hair! So we opted for a deep red as our main accent colour and incorporated it into all the groomsmen, grooms-woman, bridesmaids and brides-man outfits, stationery and flowers.
I chose a beautifully simple Pronovias dress called Bena which was very flattering and added a diamante belt for a little sparkle and a cathedral veil, also with diamante detail. I purchased them from Swarbricks Bridal Shop in Middleton.
I originally thought I wanted something lacy and sparkly with a fishtail but when trying these styles on, they didn’t feel special at all. I felt a little disappointed, so Louise at Swarbricks asked me to keep an open mind and try on something different. She picked out the Pronovias for me which I wouldn’t have given a second look at on the hanger and asked me to trust her, she wasn’t wrong because as soon as I put it on I knew it was the one for me.
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