December 6th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Most brides spend the morning of their wedding getting pampered and preened in preparation for their impending nuptials, but today’s featured bride spent her final ‘un-wed hours’ completing her 50th Park Run. Now that’s some fitness dedication!
Stepping out in a charity-shop-bought wedding gown to mark her special day and the milestone run, Laura was joined by fellow members of the Lymm Runners running club as she completed the 5km course at Victoria Park in Warrington, before heading to a nearby café in her home village of Lymn for a Bucks Fizz brunch.
But worry not readers, Laura and John’s ceremony was late afternoon, so the bride still had plenty of time for hair and beauty prep and slipping into her proper wedding gown.
Keen for a fun and memorable big day, today’s couple wanted a venue that could offer an intimate space for their personal ceremony as well as room for a real party, with The Bowdon Rooms in Altrincham, ticking all the boxes.
And here’s some advance warning… ready your new diaries for our next glittering Brides Up North wedding show at The Bowdon Rooms, Sunday 4th November 2018. More details on that later.
With images by Johanna Steward Photography.
laura says: We got engaged on 27th December 2016, in the Lake District during a few days away between Christmas and New Year. We had spent the day relaxing by the fire in the hotel after a lovely big breakfast, then we went for a ten-mile trail run around the lake and up to the waterfalls and finally having lovely meal in a quirky restaurant called The Jumble Room. John proposed in the middle of the road on our walk back to the hotel after our night out, it was completely unexpected, but I was thrilled to say yes.
We set the date for 2nd September 2017. It worked really well as all our friends and family were back from holidays with the kids as they were heading back to school that week, so everyone was able to make it – even one friend who flew from holiday, drove straight from the airport and just made it in time for the vows!
Our chosen venue was The Bowdon Rooms in Altrincham. We knew that we wanted a local venue which had a lovely atmosphere and we didn’t want it to feel like a hotel. Having looked at quite a few venues, including marquees and local wedding barns, The Bowdon Rooms felt like the right choice. We had been to friend’s wedding party there previously and had such a brilliant evening. The ballroom felt perfect and it even had a stage for a band.
Our ceremony, which was at 4.30pm, was held upstairs in The Bowdon Rooms and it was lovely. John and I wrote our own vows and my son walked me down the aisle before giving me away – he did a fantastic job. It felt really personal and a few people had tears in their eyes – I guess it was intimate even though we had 90 guests.
In terms of the colour scheme, I didn’t want the usual ‘wedding colours’ of pastels, creams and the like. I love bright vibrant colours, so chose purple, teal and emerald green. They are all colours that are found in peacock feathers, which I love, so we incorporated feathers into the wedding décor.
I initially considered not having a traditional wedding dress, but quickly decided that I did want to look like a ‘bride’. I visited a few wedding boutiques and had almost given up finding ‘the dress’ when we went to Puure in my home village of Lymm. I chose my gown because I loved the embellishment detailing, which I thought suited the vintage style of the venue. Angie and the girls in Puure are absolutely the best at helping to choose a dress that suits you and were so lovely right through the fitting process too.
To accessorise my gown, I wore some very special hand-painted shoes by a fantastic artist called Kat from Electric Heels. They are covered in images that mean something to my husband and I; the places we are from, places we have visited together, our hobbies etc. They are unique and I now have them displayed in my living room.
December 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We’re starting the week with a show-stopper of a real wedding – seriously, this is a beauty!
Though Victoria and Jay chose to keep the styling simple and had no set theme, the venue and decorative elements are pure luxury and class.
We adore the big blousy floral arrangements and bouquets, not to mention Victoria’s dress – wow! The back detail in particular has us all the heart eyes!
The grandest of reception rooms, a choice menu for the wedding breakfast and Molton Brown goodies as favours cements this as a big day we would have loved to have been on the guest list for.
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
victoria says: We got engaged on Easter Sunday. I had been away in the USA for two weeks with my family, and on the night I got back Jake wanted to take me out. We went for a meal and caught up on the past few weeks. Then, after the meal Jake produced an Easter egg and written on the egg were the words “will you marry me?” and he produced the ring. There were plenty of tears! Although we had been together since I was 16, it was still a surprise.
We set the date for 19th August 2017 as we wanted a summer wedding.
Our chosen venue was Thornton Manor, Cheshire. Jake had come across the venue through work about five years ago and we always said that when we got married we would take a look. It was always going to be the one, it is beautiful!
We didn’t have a set theme but we knew we wanted to keep things simple and elegant, so we chose ivory flowers, neutral colours and lots of candles. This also kept things light for summer and was in keeping with the classy feel of the venue.
When it came to my dress, I knew I wanted a slim fit design that was a little different. In the end I had to pick between my dress and classic strapless dress but chose mine because it was that bit different. I got it from The Confetti Box in Manchester. I had so many compliments on the day of people saying how unique it was.
I hired The Dollz for my bridal hair and makeup, who did a great job and my makeup lasted well into the night.
Jake’s and the groomsmen’s suit were from Whitfield & Ward, in Wilmslow.
We found the perfect bridesmaid dresses in One Fine Day Bridal, in Preston.
December 1st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
The weekend is upon us and we’re super excited as December 1st signals the beginning of the festive season (to us anyway!) so this weekend we have seasonal soirees, mulled wine drinking and tree decorating on the agenda. But before we hurry off to find our fairy lights and baubles, we’re sharing this classic barn wedding that’s brimming with all the charm!
Josie and Romin tied the knot at The Ashes Barns earlier this year, the perfect backdrop for their relaxed rustic themed wedding, complete with exposed stone walls, beams and bunting galore. Their stunning photographs capture precious moments from their special day, from their bridesmaids donning some rather fetching wellies, to the couple meandering through pretty pastures with friendly cattle in tow.
What perhaps makes these images extra special though is that they were taken by the groom’s brother, professional photographer John of JPR Shah Photography. At first unsure whether to capture this special family day himself or totally immerse himself in the celebrations, John tells us that he decided he could do both…
john says: When my little brother announced his engagement to Josie, I was genuinely thrilled, but I was also a bit torn – I really wanted to attend and be present without a lens for his big day, but I also really, really wanted to capture his wedding memories for him, which in itself, is a privilege. When I suggested it to them, they both had similar concerns – they didn’t want me ‘working’ during their celebrations, but they also said I was the only person they’d want to photograph their day. That settled it for me, I was going to shoot their day and the photography would be a wedding present from me! I really needn’t have worried! The photographer holds a very unique position on the wedding day – I witnessed everything from the best seat in the house, and spent more time with them than any other guest, and capturing their love on camera was such a joyous thing for me. Without sounding cheesy, it was a genuine honour and an absolute pleasure to shoot their day for them. I laughed, cried, danced, and even gave a speech, and after the first dance, I was partying away with a prosecco in my hand!
So, in John’s case, he could have the wedding cake, and eat it! Bride Josie tells us more about the day…
With images by JPR Shah Photography.
josie says: We went to Manchester for a few days to see The Lion King. In the evening, we got ready and went out for an amazing Italian meal before going to the show. We went back to the bar at our hotel – Rom disappeared and then came back and we went to our penthouse suite (we were upgraded as Rom had told the staff what he was planning to do). We went up to our room and as I opened the door there were candles all over the table, champagne and my favourite music playing. At this point I had no idea what was about to happen – I turned around and Rom took my hands (he was shaking like a leaf!). He got on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was so shocked I think it took me about five minutes to respond! I said yes, of course. We then went out and celebrated in the Hilton with some cocktails.
We got married on the 4th May 2017 – we brought our wedding forward from the September.
We got married at The Ashes Barns, Staffordshire – we had our wedding in the West Barn and the reception in the East Barn. We chose this venue as we really wanted a barn wedding to give us that rustic, relaxed feeling to our day. The Ashes team were absolutely fabulous when we looked round and we felt confident that we’d be able to have everything we wanted for our day.
Our theme was just a country, rustic feel with lots of flowers – including bridesmaids in wellies!
We initially wanted a sage colour theme to match the tones around the barns, however, as we had so many flowers it became more multi-coloured!
November 30th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
After a hugely busy but absolutely EPIC season of our autumn wedding fairs, we we’re in need of some serious downtime come mid-November. Not only to recover from organising and running more than 20 luxury shows across the north of the country in the latter part of the year, but also to come down from high of them being so well-received and attended by fabulous suppliers and lots of lovely brides-and-grooms-to-be. Big love to all!
And so, an invitation to Cheshire-based spa hotel Mottram Hall, couldn’t have come at a better time; this was one Blissed Out Bride visit we were well and truly going to benefit from.
Nestled amongst peaceful parkland, the stunning hotel is the perfect retreat for those craving a large dose of R&R. And it has something to tempt all – couples, guys and girls – with an 18-hole championship standard golf course, luxurious spa, champagne bar and AA Rosette restaurant all on site. So, you can eat, drink, be merry and sleep (which is exactly what we planned to do).
Arriving at lunchtime, our spa package began with a light lunch accompanied with a glass of fizz, setting the tone for the rest of our stay. Once fed and watered (or prosseco-ed!) we headed straight for the spa – like I say, this was one trip we were more than ready for!
A step, leap and stride in front of many ‘spa hotels’ Mottram Hall’s facilities are award-winning, having been bestowed a 5* Bubble Rating by the Good Spa Guide and named ‘Best Country Retreat Spa’ at the Good Spa Guide’s 2017 Regional Awards.
This comes as no surprise really, when in addition to the usual facilities one would expect to find at such a resort, Mottram also boasts the UK’s first Alfresco ThermoSpace. We were super keen to try out all the facilities for ourselves, even if it did mean venturing outside in our swimwear on a chilly November day!
After a quick dip and laze around the indoor swimming pool and hydropool, we wrapped up in our robes and headed outdoors to the ThermoSpace, which is said to incorporate traditional spa therapies with the great outdoors. And we must say, it’s a winning combination!
Experiencing both the Brechelbath and Stonebath, both designed to relax and raise the body’s temperature, we felt wonderfully calm, cocooned in the warmth while enjoying views of the idyllic gardens through floor-to-ceiling glazing.
Next, the outdoor hydrotherapy pool. Just as it was getting dark this was the perfect place for a good catch-up in the open air surrounded by bubbling water as we reflected on the amazing season of wedding fairs and discussed how to raise the bar even higher for our spring 2018 shows (the line-up for which, you can view here).
To complete our spa time, we indulged in a treatment. With the cooler weather playing havoc with my skin I opted for a personalised facial, while Julia was intrigued by the sound of the ESPA Signature Floatation Treatment.
I was led to a softly-lit treatment room where my lovely therapist explained the procedure, which including running a SkinVision lamp across my face to identify needs not visible to the naked eye so that she could tailor the facial to perfectly suit my requirements. Responding to areas of both oiliness and dehydration, she used balancing products that would address both, leaving me with soft, glowing skin.
Julia’s treatment meanwhile was carried out on a ‘floatation bed’ in one of the Alfresco ThermoSpace rooms. The personalised treatment began with a full body polish, followed by a body wrap and relaxing scalp massage. The water-type bed upped the relaxation and Julia admitted slipping into a light sleep during certain parts of the treatment, and emerged with radiant skin, from top to toe!
November 29th, 2017 | Julia Braime
If you follow us over on our busy Instagram feed, you’ll know that we’ve been in Southern Iceland as guests of the superb Hotel Ranga for the past few days, chasing the sun and spotting the Northern Lights. Full blog service resumes this evening and we’re bringing you a real wedding that’s as pretty as it is personal (and more on our trip later!).
Opting for a traditional church ceremony and a reception at the stunning Delamere Manor in Cheshire, Steph and Darren chose to keep the focus firmly on them as a couple, deciding against a set wedding theme and instead including meaningful personal touches along the way. One of our favourite being the CD favours – who doesn’t love a good compilation?
We’re also totally in love with Steph’s b-e-a-utiful big day look, the picture of elegance in her lace detailed dress, pink Jimmy Choos and gorgeous natural bridal makeup. We also have to give kudos to Darren, who looks super dapper in his navy suit, demonstrating that’s it’s not just the bride who can bring style to a wedding. Darren is doing it for the grooms!
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
steph says: We got engaged in Seville. It was part of a trip to Spain for my 30th birthday. The day started extremely gloomy and wet so we decided to head for a long lunch. We had bellies full of paella and enjoyed our favourite white wine; Marques de Riscal. We went back to the hotel to check into our room to discover our cases had been misplaced. Little did I know the ring was inside the case! After a couple of frantic conversations Darren had with reception our luggage came up to the room and Darren hid the ring box in his back pocket. During a walk of the city, we approached “The Fountain of Love” and began posing for pictures, then Darren got down on one knee – I was speechless!
Our wedding was on Saturday 2nd September 2017. We didn’t have a specific date in mind but the more we thought about it, September was a month we both loved.
We got married at St Bartholomew’s Church in Wilmslow, followed by a reception at Delamere Manor, Cuddington. The church is in my hometown and so this was non-negotiable. For the reception, we wanted a venue none of our friends had got married at and somewhere that screamed Darren and Steph. When we viewed Delamere Manor we fell in love and knew it was the place for us.
We didn’t have a set theme for the wedding, we just wanted a day that would reflect us.
Our colour scheme was silver, and pastel colours such as pink, lavender and baby blue.
I wore a Justin Alexander dress from Puure Bridal in Lymm. I also had a cathedral-length veil (my mum’s request). Puure was the last shop we went to and the place I got my dress. Angie there was so helpful from start to finish. She put me in something I wouldn’t dream of picking, but after a couple of tweaks it really was the perfect dress for the day. My shoes were Lucy from Jimmy Choo, and something I have worn again since.
Georgina Wild did the bridal party’s hair and Maxine Smith did makeup. Georgina is a good friend, and unbelievable hairdresser. She kept me cool, calm and collected during the morning and was versatile with both short and long hair for me, my sister and mum. Maxine was also a fantastic addition to the morning of the wedding – and a great, natural make-up artist.
November 23rd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Forever fans of a festival wedding (have you seen that our WEDFEST’18 tour dates are out?!), we’re thrilled to be sharing the wonderfully relaxed and joyful wedding of David and Alana on the blog today.
Falling in love with the beautiful gardens of Abbeywood Estate, Delamere, they decided to wed outdoors, making the most of the gorgeous surroundings and countryside views beyond.
Keen for an informal rather than traditional celebration, the proceedings were laidback but fun with a prosecco afternoon tea wedding breakfast, garden games, colourful leis for favours and live entertainment.
To remain within budget, David and Alana planned, sourced and styled much of the décor themselves resulting in both pretty and personal touches being peppered throughout their day.
With images by Anna Beth Photography.
alana says: We got engaged during a weekend trip to Venice in March 2016 to celebrate our ten-year anniversary. We went out for a meal in the evening and then for a walk. David had asked during the day where my favourite view was from and I had said the Ponte dell’Accademia over the grand canal. At around 10pm we arrived at this spot and took some photos while David looked around for someone who spoke English to take our photo (I thought this was odd as we had so many photos in that spot from that day). We eventually found a young couple who spoke English and the woman took one photo, David asked for her to take another and when I turned to look at him, he was down on one knee. I said “yes” of course and the woman captured the moment. Such a magical moment. Afterwards we went for champagne at Danieli. Perfect end to a perfect night!
We got married on Friday 1st September 2017. We wanted to get married late summer and this date seemed perfect!
Our wedding took place at Abbeywood Estate, Delamere. The ceremony took place within their gardens and reception took place in the Glasshouse. We chose this venue as it is a beautiful with amazing gardens and close to home. We could have the ceremony and the reception in one place and we could also have our dog with us to share our day. Having our ceremony outside allowed us to have a beautiful backdrop of the Cheshire hills and stunning gardens of Abbeywood.
We decided on a more relaxed style of wedding as it reflected our personalities more than a traditional style. We started off with a festival theme in mind but as time went on it turned into a festival/garden party with lots of music, games and a very relaxed atmosphere.
We didn’t have a colour scheme in mind. David hates everyone wearing the same colour so my bridesmaids wore nude dresses from ASOS, and the best men and ushers wore grey and blue. We wanted it to be bright so had blue, purple and pink bunting, and all our guests were given different coloured leis to wear for the reception.
My dress was an off-the-shoulder design. I tried on so many dresses in various boutiques however, I purchased my dress from Oxfam Bridal on the Wirral. From the moment I put this dress on it felt like my dress – I felt like a bride. The dress I bought was strapless and I bought a bolero (from eBay – still had tags on) to make it into the vision I had in my head since we got engaged.
David designed his own outfit and put it together from various different shops, including Next, ASOS and eBay. He wanted something he could keep. He wore blue trousers, blue and grey tweed waistcoat, a Thompson tartan tie, brown shoes and bright blue laces.
The best men and other groomsmen provided their own trousers and shoes and we provided blue braces from Primark and knitted blue and white polka dot bowties from eBay.
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