Charlotte Balbier

i take thee manchester. a stylish & personal city wedding – emma & david

May 25th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (50)

Often when tying the knot a couple will return back to their family roots for the big day, but today’s couple saw their wedding as an opportunity to showcase the city they now call home to their family and friends.

We love that this stylish city centre celebration takes place in a number of different locations, providing contrasting backdrops to David and Emma’s big day. Following the ceremony at Manchester’s grand Town Hall the wedding party moved onto a canal side bar before heading to the contemporary Castlefield Rooms for the evening reception. And of course they travelled in style, aboard a vintage bus.

This sounds like our kind of wedding!

With images by our talented Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (13)

emma says: We got engaged in York in November 2013. York is a great city and a special place for us. It is where we went on one of our first dates and many days out and weekends away since. I was a total surprised when David decided to propose before a gorgeous meal in a lovely hotel. Spreading the news was tricky though as the idyllic setting meant no phone signal!

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

We chose the 21st of March 2015 for our wedding day. We didn’t want to jump in before my sister who was getting married in November, didn’t want a winter wedding and also couldn’t wait to get married! So we decided on the very first day of spring. It turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day, beautiful sunshine, no wind or rain and nice and warm. Many guests commented that Manchester was supposed to be rainy and made our top table name of ‘Rainy Wedding’ slightly ironic.

Neither of us are from Manchester, I’m from the Ribble Valley and David is from Newcastle, but Manchester is where we have decided to make our home together and we wanted to showcase the city to our family and friends on our wedding day.

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (18)

We married at the spectacular Manchester Town Hall. We knew we were having a civil ceremony and didn’t want any old hotel room. We only viewed the Town Hall for our ceremony, when we walked inside we were bowled over by the grandeur and atmosphere and decided straight away it was our perfect venue! We contrasted the grandeur of the Town Hall with a more relaxed, contemporary and modern feel for our reception at Dukes 92 and the Castlefield Rooms. A great area to showcase Manchester with the canals and barges, especially when we were lucky enough to have the sun shining as it was!

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (24)

I wouldn’t go so far as to say we had a theme, but we certainly tried to embrace Manchester. I walked down the aisle to a string trio playing One Day Like This by Elbow and David wore a little Bee lapel pin, hidden next to his buttonhole – the worker bee being the symbol of Manchester and it features in the elaborate mosaic floors of the Town Hall, representing the work ethic of the people of Manchester particularly during the industrial revolution.

We also incorporated family heritage by having roses that represented England and thistles representing Scotland within our flowers. Our table names were paintings by either artists we liked or of paintings we liked, they either had a meaning behind them or story attached to them.

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (27)

Our colour scheme was navy, pale pink, pale silvers and ivory. By choosing thistles early on we thought we would continue the dark blue theme, however we offset this with pale pinks to soften it and to ensure everything didn’t look too nautical. The two offset each other perfectly and the flowers tied everything together with the variety of colours, textures and varieties.

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (28)

I chose a gorgeous A-line dress with touches of sparkle from The Bridal Path in Altrincham. I didn’t have a dress in mind and promptly tried on ever shape dress to help narrow it down. I ended up finding four dresses at The Bridal Path that I loved and the difficulty then was not finding my perfect dress but choosing which my perfect dress was! I felt fantastic on the day!

David wore a three piece slim fitted navy suit. After looking everywhere he found exactly what we were looking from in Next. This looked really smart. It was worn with a crisp white, double-cuff shirt with Hugo Boss cufflinks and pale pink slim tie and silver tie pin and a light pink pocket square. The tie and pocket square came from Swagger&Swoon.co.uk. I gave David a silver pocket watch and chain engraved with a personal message as a gift which was worn on the wedding day and looked great with his waistcoat

The groomsmen all wore the same matching slim fit three piece suit, tie and pocket square as the groom but without the extras. The boys looked great. The bridesmaids meanwhile wore gorgeous long dark blue dresses from Debut at Debenhams.

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

For transport we hired a bus from The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company. This was a gorgeous vintage black and ivory bus which they had decorated with white ribbons. A plaque inside the bus stated where the bus was made, which coincidentally was not far from where I grew up in Blackburn. The bus took me, my parents, and bridesmaids from the Marriott Victoria and Albert to the ceremony and then the guests from the Town Hall to the reception at Dukes 92 and The Castlefield Rooms. It was a sunny day and the wedding bus outside the Town Hall really drew a crowd.

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (34)

Photographer James Tracey was there to capture our day. James was amazing, not just on the day but from our first meeting. He is a pleasure to be around and such a nice guy. If you are spending all day with someone this is a massive bonus. On top of this he is a great photographer too. He totally understood what we wanted and provided us with great pictures which also embraced the urban backdrop of Manchester city centre. We couldn’t recommend him highly enough!

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (35)

Our flowers were provided by Frog Flowers. We had a consultation with David at his studio and went through our colour scheme and feel for the day, we were set on roses and thistles and agreed that we would also like varied flowers with lots of textures. The Frog team didn’t let us down, the bouquets, button holes and table centres were not only beautiful, and even better than we had imagined, but also smelled fantastic (not something we had considered).

Frog Flowers provided all our flowers at our wedding and we managed to re-use the flowers from our ceremony as the top table centrepiece by taking it on the bus with us. Other small decorations came from our home, hurricane lanterns with pillar candles, candle sticks and wooden letters. Castlefield provided a gorgeous white letter box!

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (41)

We gave everyone a little jar of sweets as favours. We personalised the jar lids with labels, decorated them with ribbon and a homemade ‘Love is Sweet’ tag, which included a thank you message on the back. We chose some of our favourites sweets to fill them with.

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (45)

Elaine of Elaine’s Creative Cakes in Urmston, Manchester, made our cake. We wanted the cake to be fairly minimal with sharp clean modern lines, surprisingly this is achieved using the less modern and more traditional royal icing. We designed a four tier cake with Elaine, alternating fruit cake and sponge. Both tasted absolutely gorgeous and Elaine even surprised us with our own personal boxed cake, which was left on the top table and was a lovely surprise on the day.

We thoroughly enjoyed the menu tasting at Albert’s Shed prior to the wedding and I think anything we chose would have gone down well! Our dessert was a selection of tarts and a cheese board served to the table for guests to share. This is a fantastic option that Castlefield offer, providing an alternative for those without a sweet tooth whilst allowing everyone on the table to dig in.

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (49)

Mixing old with new and traditional with contemporary, we asked a string trio from Endymion to play modern songs on strings at the Town Hall as guests were arriving, during the ceremony and at our drinks reception. These guys are fantastically talented, I only wish I heard more (a downside of arriving last).

For the evening we hired a DJ from Jonny Ross Music, who was recommended by Castlefield. The DJ was superb and had everyone dancing all night, he really knew how to judge the crowd and the music was fantastic!

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (57)

As a special touch on the big day we had a signature perfume and aftershave, which is now our ‘wedding scent’. The sense of smell is a great way of evoking memories and we have decided we will wear this on special occasions like anniversaries as a nice reminder of our special day!

Other businesses that contributed to our wedding day was Erica and Edwards Jewellers in Manchester who made my ring. They were super patient and offered a really personal service. Also Sian Gorton did mine and the other girls’ hair and make-up on the day, it was no mean feat getting us all ready in the morning single handed! She was totally calm and good company during the wedding prep. It sounds clichéd but we all felt like a million dollars!

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (59)

We would 100 per cent recommend our venues to others. As far as the city centre of Manchester is concerned there is nowhere else we would consider. The Town Hall requires no hard sell. Once you walk in you are literally blown away. It is a fascinating and historical building that will stand forever as a reminder of our day. The Castlefield Rooms is contemporary and modern and is an idyllic city centre location – they are incredibly professional and experienced at organising and running weddings. The day ran like absolute clockwork and was completely stress free as we knew everything was taken care of and in hand. On top of that the food is fantastic!

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (53)

It is so hard to choose a favourite part of the day, however, one particular funny moment was during the vows. Many will know one of the statements that has to be made is; ‘I know not any reason why I ____ may not be lawfully married to ____’. We knew it was coming, but as a Geordie when David said ‘wye aye’ the ripple of laughter was fab!

a stylish wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (62)

Straight after our wedding we took ourselves off to a log cabin Keldy Forest. It was perfect – zero phone signal and the wildlife and nature were fascinating, with deer walking beside the cabin morning and night. We spent the days in our personal hot tub and evening in front of the log fire. It was a perfect chilled week after what was a busy weekend! Our main honeymoon is in June; we are off to Dubai and Mauritius and can’t wait!

Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be to do exactly what you want to do, choose what is special to both you and the groom. Our day was exactly as we imagined and couldn’t have been more perfect for us. Another tip would be to make sure you surround yourself with suppliers and people that you get on with, that you can rely on and that you trust, this makes the planning and the day much more stress free and a lot more fun!

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sunshine. a colourful wedding at the crab & lobster, north yorkshire – stacey & andrew

May 5th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

Today’s bride and groom knew that they couldn’t guarantee sunshine at their October wedding and so instead of relying on the weather to provide some rays, the clever couple created their own in the form of bright bridesmaid dresses, vibrant flowers and sunny decorations.

Their chosen venue was the Crab & Lobster in Thirsk, an incredibly quirky hotel and restaurant which Stacey and Andrew agree suited them perfectly. And so while they let the venue speak for itself, they brought their own style to the day with their fabulous attire – Stacey in her cute vintage style dress and Andrew in his handsome grey and navy get-up. Their leading lads and ladies didn’t scrub up half bad either!

And Stacey scored extra bride brownie points by getting Andrew a puppy as a wedding day gift – ladies, take note!

With images by Shutter Go..Click Photography.

As the World Falls Down

stacey says: We got engaged in Paris in March 2013. Andrew surprised me with a trip to Paris and we stayed in the most gorgeous hotel ‘Secret de Paris’ where all the rooms are themed on different Paris landmarks. On the first night we ate at a great restaurant called Bones and then at midnight we visited the Louvre museum where Andrew proposed, after which a French couple cycled past and shouted congratulations! It was amazing apart from my ring being so big it wouldn’t even fit my thumb so I couldn’t wear it for the rest of the trip (or for another month after whilst it got remade).

The Wild Bunch

We got married on 19th October 2014 which was 11 years since our first date. Our wedding was at the Crab & Lobster in Thirsk, Yorkshire – we loved the venue and the food is amazing. We didn’t fancy a traditional white wedding and I think the decor and atmosphere was just perfect for us.

Baby Don't Leave

There wasn’t a specific theme we just wanted to be relaxed, not too formal and good fun. We wanted things we liked too, not just things you should have at a wedding.

In terms of colour we had a really colourful wedding. The main colour which ran through everything, from the stationary to the bridesmaids and flowers was yellow. I really love yellow and have a yellow diamond in my engagement ring so wanted to emphasise this. Also with the wedding being in October the chances of sun was slim so I knew that I would always have sunshine with my lovely bridesmaids.

I love navy blue too so the boys went with that and then we had a bit of everything in the flowers. Crab Manor is full of colourful pieces of decor so it suited it really nicely.

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (43)

I had a tea length dress that I got from Bride & Co in my home town of Hull, the girls there we’re lovely and the whole experience at Bride & Co was fab. I knew I wanted a short dress, I don’t know why but I always did. I tried other styles but this was the one. It had a little jacket, which I wore through the day then I whipped it off for the evening and it was party time!

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

Andrew wore a mix and match grey and navy outfit with trousers and jacket from Reiss, a waistcoat from Ted Baker and shoes from Paul Smith. The bridesmaids wore amazing yellow shift dresses we bought from ASOS, it was good fun doing bridesmaid shopping – we did one day out and one massive online order all from the high street. They picked their own shoes and went for blue pointy courts. They all looked great and got loads of compliments.

The men matched Andrew apart from the waistcoat, he bought them both shoes as their thank you gifts so they were different too.

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (26)

We stayed at Crab Manor the evening before the wedding so it made it much easier, no transport required! It also gave us a chance to start the celebrations earlier with a lunch with guests and get final preparations done, whilst having a few glasses of bubbly and enjoying the hot tub too!

In Light

Our photographer was Ryan at Shutter Go..Click Photography. I found it really hard to find a photographer but absolutely loved Ryan’s style as soon as I saw some of his work. He was really friendly and good fun from the start and just got our style. I’d definitely recommend Ryan and have already passed on his details to others.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

My bridesmaids and I carried mixed hand tied bouquets that were made for us by my friend and her mum who used to be florists. The most unusual thing in the bouquet was artichokes, some open flowers and some closed, they were really striking. The button holes were made by Stacey and Barbara too, I can remember getting to the ceremony and seeing Andrew’s button hole for the first time, it was lovely and it made one of my favourite photos too.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

The venue is already jam packed with all sorts of vintage finds from a diver to old fashioned beer pumps so we didn’t need to go mad with table designs.I opted to do the table décor myself including flowers which was fun – many hours spent on Pinterest!

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

My mum and mother-in-law made it their mission to collect old bottles and vases and I ended up with such an eclectic mix, I then went for single or double stems dotted along the tables and central points, cake table, post box etc. I chose my flowers by picking some key pieces from my bouquet including Miss Piggy roses, yellow craspedia and Scottish thistles and I got them from Dave in Leeds market. It was great I popped in two weeks before, ordered what I wanted and collected them the morning before the wedding, we even picked more on the day just in case!

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (11)

Whilst the boys were in the hot tub my room was a hive of activity the evening before the wedding cutting stems, adding water to vases and grouping items together for tables, making sure everything was just right. I couldn’t have done it without my bridesmaids; Amy, Ellie and Rose and my lovely friends Kate and Steph. We also decorated the aisle with massive crepe paper flowers that we had made in advance, they went a bit floppy but still added a lovely pop of colour.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

For favours we went for a little box with two chocolates each – I never even ate mine! We got our mums lovely bouquets, our dads got tie clips that they could wear on the day and our niece and nephew got some glow stick wands to help them bust moves on the dance floor. My bridesmaids got little goody bags which included some gorgeous personalised bracelets which were hand made by my lovely mother-in-law Liz. Since then she’s set up an Etsy shop as everyone loved them.

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (75)

Cake was an interactive part of our wedding, we invited our guests to join in ‘The Great Wedding Bake Off’ and ended up with about 15 cakes. It looked amazing! Me and my friends found old plate sets and pink glasses in a charity shop and the cake stands were superglued together the night the before and luckily made it through the day.

For the big cake cutting event we doubled up cake with evening food by having a three tiered cake of cheese and a giant Wilson’s pork pie. It went down a treat and there wasn’t even a crumb left.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

Our ceremony was at 12 noon and wedding breakfast was at 4pm so we needed nibbles, rather than canapés. We organised a leg of parma ham and some n’duja, a spreadable spicy salami – by the time we were back from wedding duties there was nothing left!

For our wedding breakfast we had some absolutely gorgeous food, one of the reasons we picked Crab and Lobster. Starters were smoked roast salmon or a goat’s cheese tart, which came with mustard ice cream – we’d tried this before in the restaurant and knew we had to have it. For main it was lamb shank or halibut with a crab and coriander crust and a gorgeous saffron and lobster bisque – mmm! Desert was a simple fruit crumble and everyone had to leave room for cake!

We had Prosecco throughout the day for toasts, I much prefer it to champagne. In the evening Andrew and I had our own special bottles of fizz behind the bar called Nyetimber which is an English wine and will be our special occasion wine forever.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

For entertainment we thought more about the day than the evening as we had a good few hours in between the ceremony and wedding breakfast. We hired a magician called Chris Kendal who was magic! Chris kept our guests entertained and blew my mind, that was Andrew’s decision and it was a great part of the day. We also made use of the grounds and had a mini golf competition, I even had a go in my dress. It kept everyone busy and apart from one small injury everyone enjoyed themselves.

I'll Be Head Over Heels

In the evening we opted for a juke box rather than a DJ it added another element of interaction for our guests and it just looked really cool.

Crab Manor has a secret beer tap that we had found the day before our wedding so we let our guests know where they can grab a sneaky beer. We also had a photo booth in the evening and got our wedding guests to write messages alongside their pictures. I love looking back at it, it’s funny because you can tell the booze was flowing on some of them. We had a bubbles and sparklers instead of confetti to make more interesting photos.

We would most definitely recommend the Crab and Lobster to other wedding couples. Brilliant location, lovely staff, the perfect backdrop to a wedding.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

Andrew’s favourite part of the day (on top of getting married) was when during a jukebox disc change our friend Aaron walked into a silent dancefloor and belted out the first line of We’ve Lost That Loving Feeling from Top Gun. It was perfect timing and had everyone in hysterics. Our joint worst part of the day was our first dance, it was so cringe worthy! We chose Ray LaMontagne – You Are the Best Thing. However a few hours later was our second first dance and that was one of my favourite parts, everyone singing along to Take That, Never Forget.

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (18)

We went to Gaya Island in Borneo for two weeks for our honeymoon. It was an idyllic island where you could do as much or as little as you wanted. I think our grand plans of activities melted away when the warm sun hit our bodies though and we just enjoyed the relaxation of it all. We did a bit of kayaking and a few jungle hikes, we saw orangutans and ate loads of amazing food. It was the perfect place for a honeymoon and if we ever travelled to Borneo again we would have to go back.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – enjoy it all, don’t sweat the small stuff, no one will notice and if you get stuck just ask, ask anyone, everyone loves a wedding and will feel happy to be able to get involved.

I got Andrew a puppy for his wedding gift and it was a complete surprise so that was an exciting part of the day too. We collected Ralph the day we got back from honeymoon and he has been a brilliant addition to married life!

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fit for a princess. a romantic vintage style wedding at newton hall – amy & mark

May 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (21)

Today’s groom Mark certainly made Amy feel like a princess when he popped the question in front of Cinderella’s Castle in the heart of Disneyland – is there anywhere more magical?

Having put a ring on it, the pair began organising their vintage themed wedding at the stunning Newton Hall. They’d originally planned to wed indoors but at the last minute switched to an outdoor wedding owing to a rather unusual burst of warm British weather. Hurrah!

And the rays kept coming after the big day when Amy and Mark jetted off to the sunny state of California for their honeymoon. Having travelled this area of the US myself I totally understand the couple’s desire to return for more fun in the sun!

With images by Lee Scullion.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (1)

amy says: We got engaged on 12th May 2013 in front of the Cinderella Castle in the Disney Magic Kingdom, Florida. We had been enjoying a lazy Sunday at the Magic Kingdom after a couple of days in Miami. Mark was slowing up near the end of the day as we walked past the wishing well next to the Cinderella Castle. We carried on walking along round the front of the castle and then Mark shouted me back, saying he has something to give me. I shouted “I hope it is some sparkly Minnie Mouse ears”. To my surprise I was presented with a diamond ring and Mark asked me to marry him.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (6)

Our wedding day was on 29th September 2014. We wanted an after summer wedding with the chance of having nice weather and this date fitted perfectly with the time we wanted.

Our chosen venue was Newton Hall, Newton by Sea. We instantly fell in love with the building and all of the gardens. The quirky interior and rooms just felt right and knew it was the place to get married.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (4)

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (5)

Vintage was the style of wedding we went for, choosing decorations and flowers that would fit in with this. It was just something that appealed to myself and mark while discussing and organising the day. In terms of colour we kept the scheme quite neutral.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (7)

My dress was from Mia Sposa Bridal. It was Justin Alexander’s 8641. I fell in love with it when I tried it on. I knew it was the dress.

Mark wore a brown speckled suit which was from ASOS with a fitted white shirt, brown bow tie, braces, navy and camouflage Ask The Missus shoes, handmade bird skull cufflinks from California and a handmade deer head flower pin from also from California.

The bridesmaids wore dresses from Debenhams, they were a vintage rose pink in colour. The younger bridesmaids wore full length and the older ones wore a shorter length dress.

The groomsmen wore matching brown speckled trousers with white shirts and skinny ties and vintage brown brogues, all from ASOS.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (8)

Lee Scullion was our photographer and we would highly recommend him. He made us feel totally relaxed and went about his business. He was great fun and felt more of a guest at our day than a photographer doing their job. The photos we have are amazing and we could not have asked for more from Lee. He is special.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (11)

I carried a large vintage style bouquet which was made up vintage coloured roses.The bridesmaids all carried smaller versions of my vintage bouquet which were provided by The Finishing Touch Company.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (12)

To decorate we had a selection of roses in various shades to give a vintage feel. These were displayed in bottles and jars on the tables and hanging jars on the chairs with lace bows. We had centrepieces made of books, jars, bottles and roses.

The top table had a hessian runner and flowers displayed along the front of table in jars and milk bottles. The Finishing Touch Company provided and set up the decoration and flowers.A ‘true love’ banner was also displayed which was given to us by Poptastic as a gift for us to use on the day.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (13)

I had brought vintage suitcases to be used for the cards and gifts to be deposited in. I also created my own seating plan display using a vintage case, twine, pegs and pearls.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (17)

The favours for the younger guests were jars of sweets with vintage cloth and twine as decoration. These were all made by me.The older guests received a jar of chutney which was handmade by The Master Cakesmith. These also had been decorated with vintage cloth and twine.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (19)

We chose a single tier cake which was vanilla cream and jam. It was finished with butter cream and decorated with twine, hessian and mini ‘Mr & Mrs’ bunting.We also had individual cupcakes for every guest, the fillings were cookies and cream, millionaire shortbread, salted caramel and vanilla strawberry. Again these were provided by The Master Cakesmith.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (20)

After the ceremony the ladies were provided with a strawberry and ginger mojito, the men were provided with a beer from a local brewery. Non-drinkers were provided with a mocktail.Canapés of Thai fish cakes, cheese frittatas with tomato chutney and smoked chicken and mustard tarts, were also served.

For the main meal we had a hot fork buffet which we chose as it gave the wedding a more relaxed feel with guests being up and about mingling with each other, rather than the usual ‘sit at table and don’t move till it is over’ type affair.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (25)

We hired a DJ through AMV Live Music for the evening entertainment so that a good variation of music would be played and enjoyed by all during the reception.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (34)

The most special thing about our wedding day was the weather – it was bright sunshine and red hot. At the last minute we decided on an outdoor wedding which made the day. It was lovely to be outside.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (36)

Other special touches that we added to the day ourselves was a popcorn machine, large sweet table selection in glass jars on handmade wooden boxes from reclaimed wood. Surprise gifts for the bridesmaids and the best man were also special and we gave them some careful thought. The Wild Bunch supplied the bouquets which were given to the mothers and grans of the wedding party.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (40)

We also supplied our own prop box and Polaroid cameras for guests to use on the evening.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (42)

We would definitely recommend Newton Hall to other couples. The venue is spectacular and the staff are fantastic, they will do anything you ask of them through the day and into the evening. John the MC is a fantastic man who really made the day great and flow. Everything about Newton Hall as a venue is just amazing. When we first visited the venue it was pouring with rain and the place still looked spectacular, it will be a great choice of venue no matter what time of year.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (44)

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite part of the day, the whole day was special. Getting to spend it with all of our family and closest friends in a fantastic venue with gorgeous weather was great.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (46)

For our honeymoon we travelled to Las Vegas for three nights and then toured California by road. We visited San Diego, Hollywood, Marina Del Ray, Venice, Santa Monica, Valencia, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Cambria, San Francisco, Oakland and then made our way back to Las Vegas for three more nights before flying home.

It was a trip of a lifetime and we saw some unbelievable sights while making our way between destinations, from the street performers in the Gaslamp District to the elephant seals just outside of Cambria. There was just so much to see and do and we felt as if we did not even scratched the surface. We would love to return in future and see more of what California has offer.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (50)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – try to take a minute, relax and take it all in as it goes so fast.

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made in manchester. a gypsophila inspired wedding in the city – emma & chris

May 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (25)

Sometimes it can be difficult for couples to choose a theme for their wedding and can end up over thinking it. But today’s bride Emma kept things simple by styling her wedding around her favourite flower, gypsophila.

The loved-up couple then picked one of their favourite building in Manchester to act as the backdrop to the celebrations, the city’s stunning town hall.

The combined result is a grand occasion that’s beautiful but without being too fussy. Emma we think we hit the nail on the head.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (9)

emma says: We got engaged in March 2013 on top of a mountain in the Lake District. Chris’ intention was that there’d be stunning views, but there was a blizzard with almost zero visibility. In the end we were just glad to make it down in one piece.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (7)

The date of our wedding was 25th October 2014. A summer wedding wasn’t important to us because our venue and plans dictated that almost all of our time would be indoors. We felt that more friends and family would find it easier to attend this time of you when summer holidays are over and people’s diaries are less full.

We picked Manchester Town Hall as our venue. It’s one of our favourite buildings and its location is convenient to guests from near and far. Those who live locally have many travel options with ample parking, and there are lots of accommodation options for those from further afield. The Great Hall where we had the reception is a spectacular space.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (23)

The colour scheme was based around my favourite flower which is gypsophila, so I kept everything very neutral. I opted for a very light gold colour for the bridesmaid’s dress and the male members of the bridal party as well as for some detailing at the reception. Gypsophila was chosen due to the simplicity of the flower and for its bright, clean, natural colours.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (30)

I went for a fitted, strapless lace detailed Diane Harbridge dress with a lace shrug from Cheadle Brides.

The groom, best man, bride’s father, groom’s father and ushers wore navy Prince Edward suits from Slaters with cream waistcoats and gold ruches.

My bridesmaid’s dress was from Agape in Altrincham and was a one-shoulder champagne colour long chiffon dress.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (33)

Lee Brown was our photographer – we highly recommend him. Our friends and family, including some amateur photography enthusiasts, have said they are the best wedding photos they’ve seen. We’re absolutely delighted with the results. Lee’s unobtrusive style meant that no-one felt interrupted by his presence and he did everything he could to make us feel at ease and relaxed throughout the course of our wedding day.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (34)

Blossom Flowers in Chorlton provided mine and my bridesmaid’s posies, the corsages, and button-holes. They also provided flowers for dressing the service room and the table centrepieces, top-table dressing, and chair covers for the reception.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (37)

Favours were vintage candy including pear-drops, aniseed twists, and lemon sherbets. There was also a candy-table with large jars of the same sweets and bags for guests to take candy home for their children.

I made my own cake, which was four tiers covered in ivory icing with white lace edible detailing topped with sugar craft roses. I had fruit, carrot and vanilla sponge.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (43)

To entertain our guests we hired Dave Jones disco to provide a DJ service and had live music from the Cover Cats. I corresponded with a few DJs and Dave gave me the most confidence in his ability to ensure stress-free and smooth-running whilst playing appropriate music. We looked at a number of bands on-line and loved the sound of the Cover Cats and that they had a female vocalist. They did a brilliant job.

Other suppliers that we used for our wedding day and would recommend are Ric Clements of Kegs & Co who supplied draught ale with draught serving system at a low price. Paul Hill of Uplighting Hire who provided good value for money was a pleasure to deal with.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (42)

We thoroughly enjoyed the entire day. As the bride and groom, we were very nervous until after the speeches so managed to relax as the day/evening went on.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (51)

We went to Bali on our honeymoon which is a superb destination -great weather, beautiful tropical beaches, interesting cultural attractions, wonderful hotels and villas and lovely people.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be pick a venue where the organiser or venue co-ordinator will be helpful, reliable, and ease the pressure on you.  Also delegate as much as possible, but only to people you can trust to do what you ask, when you ask.

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from venice with love. a romantic destination wedding in the city of bridges – kim & jack

April 15th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (52)

When planning a wedding many couples to and fro about what time of the year to set the date for due to the unpredicatable British weather, knowing that even if they do pick the height of summer, rain is still likely.

To avoid this conundrum some brides and grooms pack their bags and head overseas to warmer climes for their big day – usually choosing a location that doesn’t only guarantee sunshine, but also that’s special to them.

This is true of today’s wedding couple Jack and Kim who wanted to continue their love affair with the Italian culture by saying their ‘I dos’ in the beautiful city of Venice.

Clearly we’re partial to weddings hosted in the north of the UK, but looking at these fabulous photos we can forgive Jack and Kim for jetting off abroad. Just stunning!

With images by Lee Brown Photography.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (74)

kim says: We got engaged on 30th September 2012. Jack created a fake story of us going to London to visit his friend for her birthday however when we got there and arrived at a five star hotel I realised this might not be true. Later that evening after going to watch The Taming of the Shrew at the globe theatre, Jack got down on one knee on the banks of the Thames. However his plans were nearly ruined by thousands of women doing a charity run for Cancer Research right on the spot where he planned to pop the question.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (78)

We set the date for 23rd May 2014. We chose May as we had decided to get married abroad and felt the weather would be perfect at that time of year, it was also bank holiday weekend which was more convenient for our guests. Jack’s mum later pointed out that our date contained the numbers 1,2,3,4,5 which is apparently lucky in numerology.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (72)

After visiting Venice a couple of times for holidays during our relationship, it was a definite and obvious choice for us. We love the Italian culture that focuses on family, love and food. Venice is a beautiful, romantic destination surrounded by history, we love the idea that Venice will not be around forever making it such a unique and fascinating city.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (76)

We have a big passion for our home city Manchester particularly in love with the music, football and sense of humour of the city. We wanted to bring a piece of Manchester to Venice by our music choices and colour themes. So we got married to Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart and had our first dance to Noel Gallagher If I had a Gun.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (64)

Our bridesmaids were dressed in blue reflecting our love of Manchester City but we also felt it was a colour that would look good in the sun and the reflections of the water in Venice. The groom, best men and family members wore blue ties matching the bridesmaids’ colours.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (58)

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (56)

I chose a fitted fishtail lace dress from Cheadle Bride in Stockport. This was the dress I always pictured myself wearing and felt the vintage look would suit the historical atmosphere of Venice.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (61)

Jack wore a bluey/grey three piece skinny fit suit from Next – he wanted to feel comfortable and relaxed in a smart suit.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (55)

We had four bridesmaids and two flower girls. Our bridesmaids wore navy blue twist and wrap dresses from BHS which could be worn in many different styles to suit the shape of each bridesmaid. Our two flower girls wore white dresses, again from BHS, which contained petals in the skirt underlay and a ribbon around the waist which matched the colour of the bridesmaid dresses. The groomsmen all wore matching suits to Jack.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (50)

I travelled to the venue with my dad, bridesmaids and flower girls in a vintage speed boat which moored right outside the wedding venue.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (47)

Lee Brown was our wedding photographer and we would highly recommend him. We felt nervous about using wedding photographers abroad as we felt it may be difficult to communicate exactly what style we wanted. We met with Lee several times before our wedding and Lee showed such interest and enthusiasm in being our photographer from getting details of the wedding party and what shots we wanted to even route planning our day. Lee arrived in Venice early to work out the best locations for pictures and managed to make us feel relaxed and comfortable with a pre wedding shoot. Lee managed to capture all the shots we wanted and much, much more!

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (45)

We carried sun flowers provided by our wedding planner in Venice. The sunflowers looked bright and beautiful complementing the blues of the bridesmaid dresses.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (41)

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (33)

We held our wedding reception in a beautiful restaurant which didn’t needed much decorating. We used lots of candles, rose petals and traditional Italian sweet decorations.

For wedding favours we gave our sun flower seeds in a vintage brown packet with the slogan ‘all things grow with love’. We felt our guests planting the sunflowers in their gardens would be a perfect reminder every year of what a beautiful day it was.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (37)

We chose not to have a traditional wedding cake in Venice as the restaurant provided so many different pastries and desserts. However, we celebrated our wedding in the UK with friends and family who couldn’t join us in Venice a few weeks after we returned. At this reception we had a lace style cake matching my wedding dress with a blue ribbon and our initials on it which was baked by our good friend and one of our bridesmaids, Chloe Prescott.

We went with traditional Italian food and Venetian specialities for the wedding meal, which meant numerous delicious courses.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (30)

Following our wedding ceremony we walked with our guests through the streets of Venice and boarded a private boat where we had an hour-long tour of the lagoons of Venice with champagne cocktails. In the evening we created our own entertainment with music and dancing!

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (29)

We saw a lot of Venice on our wedding day walking through the streets, visiting St Mark’s square and the bridge of sighs. This was a nice surprise for our guests who had just arrived and got to do a bit of sightseeing on the day. It also meant we attracted a lot of attention with people constantly stopping us to congratulate us and take pictures. It made our day extra special feeling like we were celebrities.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (17)

We used a wedding planner from Europe Wedding called Lucia Masserini who was amazing in organising all the details of our day and putting up with our endless questions!

I would recommend our destination to any couple wanting a unique experience. It was amazing to be in a beautiful place with all our friends and family and enjoy that experience with them.

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (5)

My favourite part of the day was coming off the boat and being surrounded by a group of Japanese tourists taking our picture and wishing us good luck. It was something that wouldn’t of happened if we had of got married in the UK and it was amazing that so many people were happy for us. It was a unique experience which our guests still talk, and laugh about!

a sunny wedding in Venice (c) Lee Brown Photography (1)

We left Venice the day after our wedding setting sail on a cruise ship for a week. We returned to Venice for one day after the cruise before returning home which was a very surreal and somewhat sad experience that it was all over and our friends and family had gone home.

Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every minute of the day and take time to spend a few moments away from the crowds with your partner to soak up the atmosphere and occasion.

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