Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

perfect prep: capturing the morning of the wedding

January 17th, 2018 | Julia Braime

Bridal Prep (c) Jenny Maden Photography (11)

When asked to pick their favourite part of their wedding day, our featured brides on the blog often pick the ceremony (as one would expect), closely followed by the morning of the wedding. For this is precious time that they spend getting ready for their big day with the most important ladies in their lives.

We personally adore looking at professional images taken at this stage in the day, when the prosecco, laughter and tears, are often in full flow. One lady who is in full agreement on this being a super-special stage of the day is Brides Up North Sponsor and Yorkshire-based photographer Jenny Maden.

We’ve therefore invited Jenny to take over the blog this morning, to tell us all about the fabulous images that can be captured during the bridal prep – from the reactions and relationships to the all-important details – so these elements of the wedding can be relived when the big day has been and gone.

With images by Jenny Maden Photography.

Bridal Prep (c) Jenny Maden Photography (2)

Why do you think the bridal prep is such an important part of the wedding day to capture?

jenny says: My main objective when photographing a wedding, is to ultimately ‘tell the story’ of the wedding day through pictures. For me, missing the bridal preparations would omit the first chapter in the story, as the bride gets ready for the ceremony with her closets family and friends. It captures the excitement of the imminent ceremony. It’s a really lovely time and a privilege to capture.

What is it you enjoy most about being present for this part of the day?

It’s great to spend some time with the bride and her crew, before the wedding day gets into full swing. There’s usually a lot of laughing, a lot of tea and prosecco drinking and some fab hair and makeup tips flying around.

Bridal Prep (c) Jenny Maden Photography (36)

Image-wise, what elements do you tend to photograph during this time?

A typical set of bridal prep images would include bridal ‘detail’ shots, such as the dress, shoes, jewellery. But I also document the morning unfolding, from hair and makeup, the giving and receiving of gifts, the bride getting into her dress and the reactions of her family and closest friends. But above all, what I really aim to capture is the ’vibe’ of the morning, so that the morning can be re-lived, through photos, after the wedding day is over.

Is the bridal prep included as standard as part of your packages and, if so, how much of the prep to you tend to capture?

Yes, bridal prep is included in my wedding package. I typically arrive at around the same time as the hair and makeup artists.

Bridal Prep (c) Jenny Maden Photography (4)

Can you do groom prep as well, either yourself or with a second shooter?

It’s not a common request, as I usually meet the groom and groomsmen at the ceremony venue, in advance of the ceremony. But yes, if a couple wanted groom prep coverage too, this can certainly be arranged (the travelling distance between the bride and groom on the morning, would generally dictate whether I would need a second shooter).

Bridal Prep (c) Jenny Maden Photography (44)

What is the feedback like from your brides about images you have taken of the bridal prep, what do they love about the images?

Brides are always surprised at quite how much I have captured of the morning! My coverage at this point in the day is very much ‘fly on the wall’; I just let things unfold around me, but capture them in a discreet yet artistic way. Furthermore, while a wedding day is predominately focused on the bride and groom, the bride’s relationships with her parents and close friends really comes through in the images taken during the bridal preparations.

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happily ever after. a garden wedding at capesthorne hall, cheshire – rachel & omar

January 16th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Garden Wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Slice Of Pie (42)

Ahead of our first Luxury Wedding Fair of the spring season at the stunning Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire this Sunday, we’re sharing the wedding story of Rachel and Omar who chose this fine venue as the setting for their special day.

Exchanging their vows in the Hall’s impressive grounds beneath the lake-side gazebo, Rachel and Omar’s ceremony was 100% picture perfect.

The proceedings gave a tasteful nod to Disney (something we suspect their guests may have seen coming after a proposal by the Alice in Wonderland statue in New York’s Central Park!), and the couple further styled their day with a statement navy and coral colour scheme.

Other special touches to look out for include games on the lawn – something that should be a prerequisite for any garden wedding, we think, and a lovely string quartet to set the laidback ambience.

If you’re on the venue hunt in the North West, be sure to join us at this spectacular venue on Sunday 21st January, for our Brides Up North Bespoke Luxury Wedding Fair, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY. We will be joined by top suppliers from the area as well as the venue’s super helpful team. Pre-register to attend here.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Slice of Pie Photography.

A Garden Wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Slice Of Pie (48)

rachel says: We were on a romantic city break to New York in February 2015, when Omar surprised me and proposed by the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park, in the snow.

We tied the knot on 30th July 2016. We chose that date as we wanted an outdoor wedding and summer is our favourite season.

A Garden Wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Slice Of Pie (24)

The venue – Capesthorne Hall in Macclesfield – was stunning and a great location for our friends and family. It had everything we wanted – outdoor facilities, a stately home and a contemporary feel for the evening reception.

A Garden Wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Slice Of Pie (26)

We didn’t have a full theme for the wedding, but we chose certain aspects to show our favourite things and personalities. For example, I walked down the aisle to a Disney arrangement (arranged by my very talented best friend) and our tables were Disney couples instead of numbers. My cousin very kindly painted small canvasses with the couples on.

We decided on a navy and coral colour scheme – we felt it was appropriate for the season, with the six bridesmaids in three different shades of coral and the male members of the bridal party wearing three-piece navy suits.

A Garden Wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Slice Of Pie (50)

I chose a lace-up tulle fishtail gown with a strapless sweetheart neckline and pewter lace appliqués, beginning on the body and continuing down the front of the dress and the train. The dress was from The Confetti Box in Eccles. It was just what I wanted; very grand for the venue and something I’d never really seen before.

Omar wore a navy morning tails suit with a grey soft tartan waistcoat, pocket watch and matching tie and pocket square in navy with small white polka dot. This was from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.

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everlasting love: a wonderful wedding weekend at hornington manor – sarah & neil

January 15th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Pretty Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Richard Perry Photography (28)

A wedding that lasts a whole weekend has to be every bride’s dream, as anyone who’s ever been married will tell you that the big day goes by in a flash.

Today’s featured couple, Neil and Sarah, who held their wedding at Brides Up North Sponsor venue Hornington Manor, squeezed every minute they could into their nuptials, hiring the venue exclusively for a full weekend and bookending their wedding day with relaxed barbecues for their family and friends.

An unusual but inspired detail of their big day was to have a juke box in the evening instead of a band, so everyone could plug in their favourite tunes and create their own DJ set.

We love the barn setting, with its hanging chandeliers, and the bunting that Sarah’s mum took a whole year to make – now that’s dedication! If you too adore the country charm of this stunning venue then be sure to join us on Thursday 19th April, when we will be hosting an Pop Up Evening Wedding Festival Fair at Hornington Manor, with a collection of fabulous local suppliers and the venue’s amazing team!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Richard Perry Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Richard Perry Photography (31)

sarah says: We got engaged in 2016. Neil had bought a ring in the August but had been thinking about how to pop the question for a few months. He decided to propose when we were on holiday in Edinburgh, in September. We stayed in a small town called Linlithgow, for a few days where there is a castle by a loch, which would have been a lovely setting. He had planned the proposal to be there and we went after dinner one night – but it was really dark. We went into Edinburgh for the latter part of the week, by which point Neil was running out of chances. One night I had a dream that Neil proposed while in Edinburgh, so he thought I knew! It got to our last night: we had dinner in town and walked back through the Princes Street gardens. He took me to a quiet part away from other people and got down on one knee. I was so surprised that I started laughing and crying at the same time. So much so that he had to prompt me for an answer!

A Pretty Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Richard Perry Photography (17)

We got married on 22nd July 2017. I liked the idea of a summer wedding but wasn’t set on an exact date. When we booked the beautiful Hornington Manor near Tadcaster, they didn’t have many dates left, so we just picked one before they got booked up! The venue is an old manor house, which has all the original bedrooms and kitchens, and large front lawns, and they’ve refurbished the barn into a reception area. It was perfect – so relaxed and homely. You can hire the whole place for the weekend, which is an extra bonus. We would definitely recommend the venue: it’s so beautiful and the barn was just perfect for our style of wedding. Having it for the whole weekend meant we could invite all our family down, have barbecues on the Friday and Sunday and have a good catch up with people we hadn’t seen for a while. Joanne, Simon and all the team are so helpful and go above and beyond to make the weekend perfect.

We didn’t choose a particular theme. With the venue being quite ‘country’ and relaxed, we just aimed for the whole wedding to be easy going. We both like the colour blue, so were happy to incorporate that where we could. The wedding party was dressed in blue and all the stationery, made by Megan at Pretty Neat Studios in Harrogate, was done on navy blue card. She laser-printed our invitations, menus and thank you cards. We gave her an idea of what style we wanted, which she based the design on. They were beautifully made and unique. We would highly recommend looking her up!

A Pretty Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Richard Perry Photography (30)

I got my dress from Scarlet Poppy in Pudsey, Leeds. The staff there are so helpful and not pushy. I knew I wanted a slim-fitting dress, as I have a small figure. It was a sweetheart gown in ivory, with the underskirt a sand colour. It had lace detail and the straps could be either straight or criss-crossed. I loved it and it was so comfortable to wear all day.

A Pretty Wedding at Hornington Manor (c) Richard Perry Photography (35)

Neil wore a suit hired from Harrogate Suit Hire. It was a navy, slim-fitting tailcoat, with a tweed waistcoat. He wore tan brown shoes. The groomsmen wore the same as Neil.

The bridesmaids wore pale blue maxi dresses, which had an oriental print along the bottom. They suited the venue style really well and the girls looked really nice.

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country luxe: a seasonally glamorous styled shoot at castle farm barn

January 12th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

Country Luxe at Castle Farm Barn (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (17)

You’d be forgiven for thinking an entire garden had gone into the creation of today’s styled shoot. The frothy floral creations bursting with abundant rich greenery brought together by our wonderful Sponsor Leafy Couture, plus the most wonderful sweet treats gracing the dessert table (and the cute little tomatillos on the place settings), are enough to turn our eyes heart-shaped!

The shoot was orchestrated by florist extraordinaire Sarah of Leafy Couture, who runs flower classes, including DIY wedding flower classes for beginners and hen party flower crown tutorials – great options for our crafty brides-to-be out there!

It’s fair to say we are totally blown away by this shoot as there is so much beauty to feast your eyes on and gorgeous inspiration to take note of. As such, we’ll hand over the blog to the lovely Sarah, so she can fill us in on the all-important details…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Laura Calderwood Photography.

Country Luxe at Castle Farm Barn (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (28)

sarah says: Castle Farm Barn in Knaresborough, is a beautiful space in a gorgeous setting; the perfect blank canvas. The inspiration for our styled shoot was the fact we really wanted to show how to make the tables stand out and add interest to a barn space. We wanted to portray a luxury feel while keeping a country vibe, using textured foliage and seasonal-inspired tones. Small details were added, such as autumn fruits and velvet ribbons, to complement the linen and tableware. Bridal P.A. styled the shoot, assisted by L27 Weddings.

Country Luxe at Castle Farm Barn (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (60)

In the bouquet, we used beautiful seasonal flowers, including antirrhinums, avalanche roses, eryngium, eucalyptus parvifolia, wax flower, succulents, astilbe and prunus. In the frame, we used succulents, wax flower, eryngium, tuberose, astilbe, moss and ranunculus. The buttonholes comprised an avalanche rose, euc parvi, wax flower and succulent, while the wrist cuff showcased a succulent, wax flower and viburnum tinus. We were assisted in the floristry by The Mindful Florist, Inspirations 288 and Sandra’s Flower Studio.

Country Luxe at Castle Farm Barn (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (46)

For the styling, we used gold icon vases, antique gold candelabras and floral hoops to make use of the roof space within the barn. Extra details were added with votives, candlelight and fresh petals, all creating an opulent feel.

Country Luxe at Castle Farm Barn (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (12)

Our models, Phoebe and Eve, wore amazing wedding dresses designed and supplied by Charlotte Balbier and bridesmaid dresses by ASOS. The wedding gowns had an elegant, timeless look with a touch of 1940’s/50’s Hollywood glamour. The makeup by Smink Make-up Artistry (who also styled the hair) was natural with an understated feel, yet achieved a glamorous look with berried tones.

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love lilac. a romantic summer wedding at saltmarshe hall – rachael & tom

January 11th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Romantic Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (27)

After a dreamy proposal in the romantic city of Venice, Rachael and Tom had set the bar high for a beautiful and memorable wedding day to follow. Choosing the gorgeous Saltmarshe Hall as their reception venue, a Grade II listed 19th Century house on the banks of the River Ouse in East Yorkshire, with a whopping 17 acres of garden, they certainly ticked the ‘dream setting’ box. If you too love the look of this stunning venue then be sure to mark Sunday 15th April in your diary as we will be staging one of our Luxury Wedding Fairs at the Hall on that day, giving you an opportunity to see all it has to offer first hand!

But back to today’s wedding! We love Rachael and Tom’s idea of choosing sharing platters for the wedding breakfast– what a great way to break the ice and get guests talking. With all that delicious food to work off – and music a passion of the groom’s – Tom handpicked a live band for the evening, ensuring the guests danced their way into the early hours.

Rachael and Tom may have had a tinge of the wedding blues after their honeymoon, but they definitely created some wonderful memories to send those gloomy thoughts packing!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Photography.

A Romantic Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (48)

rachael says: We got engaged in Venice on 27th August 2015. On our last night, we went for a ride on a Gondola and then to St Mark’s Square. We watched the sun set over Venice from the top of the Campanile and then walked back to our hotel. On the way, we stopped on a footbridge over one of the canals and Tom got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Although we’d been together for seven years, it was still a big surprise and we couldn’t wait to get home and tell our families.

A Romantic Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (32)

Our wedding was on 28th July 2017. Being a teacher, I wanted to get married in the summer holidays, so that we could go on our honeymoon straight after the wedding and not have to rush back to work straight away. My sister, Katherine, flew back from San Francisco where she lives and works for the big day too.

We had our wedding ceremony at Laxton Church and our reception at Saltmarshe Hall, near Howden. We looked at a few venues and nothing had blown us away but, on driving up the beautiful driveway to Saltmarshe Hall and seeing the grounds surrounding it, we knew we had found somewhere special. The house is beautiful, with a wonderful staircase and different rooms offering space for guests to relax, drink and dance. We knew we didn’t want a huge wedding and Saltmarshe could accommodate 70 guests in the Morning Room. We also loved the exclusivity that Saltmarshe offered; for our day, it would be ours. Having been recently extended with additional bedrooms, plenty of family could stay for the two nights. The team was fantastic – friendly and professional – and I knew our wedding was in safe hands with them.

A Romantic Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (26)

Our colour scheme was shades of purple/lilac. I didn’t have a colour scheme in mind initially but when looking for bridesmaids’ dresses and thinking about flowers it all came together. April at BlueBird Wedding Stationery, did a wonderful job with our invitations and order of service, which tied in with the colour scheme too.

A Romantic Wedding at Saltmarshe Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (71)

My dress was from Jacquelines Bridal of Beverley. I’d been to a couple of shops but hadn’t found anything quite right and was waiting for my ‘this is the one’ moment.  I knew I wanted something A-line but nothing too big. My bridesmaids had travelled up for the weekend to help me, along with my sister. As soon as I put my dress on, they all said it was the one and it just felt different to the others. I loved the layers of lace and the detail but had to do a return trip with my mum just to get her approval before I took the plunge. The seamstress at Jacquelines did a great job making sure the dress fitted perfectly and they even arranged for it to be cleaned after the big day.

Victoria Farr and her assistant did my hair and that of my three bridesmaids and mum. She did a practice session a few months before to make sure we knew exactly what I wanted and how it would look. She was so friendly and a great person to have around when we were getting ready and I would definitely recommend her.

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we heart mcr. ronald joyce for a sophisticated wedding at king street townhouse – jessica & joe

January 9th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

A Cool City Wedding in Manchester (c) James Tracey Photography (41)

Hands up who loves a chic city centre wedding? Everyone? Well, prepare yourself for a treat because today we’re spoiling you with a real urban beauty. As soon as we clapped eyes on the photos of Jess and Joe’s big day – two very proud Mancunians – we fell in love with this gorgeous celebration of their love and their city.

The grand architecture, rich decor and stunning rooftop views of The King Street Townhouse provided the perfect venue for this Manchester-mad pair and the soundtrack to the day was dominated by North West musical greats like The Stone Roses and The Smiths. Even the cake was a nod to this glorious city, with a modern hexagonal honeycomb-inspired design and, of course, some iconic Manchester bees.

Need one more reason to read on? No problem, here it is: bardot neckline dress eye candy! You’re welcome.

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

A Cool City Wedding in Manchester (c) James Tracey Photography (16)

jessica says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2015, at my mum and dad’s house. Joe decided to propose on my favourite day of the year with all of my relatives gathered at my family home.

Our wedding date was 5th August 2017. We wanted a summer wedding as I’m a teacher and it gave us time to go on honeymoon after the wedding.

A Cool City Wedding in Manchester (c) James Tracey Photography (20)

We were married at St. Ann’s Church followed by the reception at King Street Town House in Manchester. We were both born in Manchester and raised in Greater Manchester, and so we wanted a city centre wedding. We dated mainly in the city and it’s a place close to both our hearts for many reasons.

We were so lucky that my uncle, Canon Chris Ford, joined the Reverend in performing the marriage ceremony. Chris was present on the altar of my aunts’ weddings and was also present at my mum and dad’s wedding as a lay reader.

A Cool City Wedding in Manchester (c) James Tracey Photography (52)

We didn’t have a theme but wanted the day to be a celebration of Manchester, from the Manchester bees running through the stationery (by Emmy Designs) to bees on the wedding cake and Manchester tart served for dessert. The devastation of the Manchester bombing, which happened so close to the wedding, made the celebration of the City and the iconic image of the bee even more poignant. The Manchester skyline looks stunning from the top floor of The King Street Town House, so we really felt we had the perfect venue for us.

Colour-wise, we went for greys, pale blushes and blues. They matched the venue’s style and were complementary colours which we both liked.

A Cool City Wedding in Manchester (c) James Tracey Photography (22)

My dress was Amanda by Ronald Joyce bought from Blush. It was the first dress I saw when browsing on the internet and was confirmed as ‘the one’ when I tried it on. The shape suited my figure and I liked the classic style and cut.

Flossy and Leigh styled hair and did makeup for me, my bridesmaids and my mum. I would strongly recommend them: they were great fun, professional and incredible at what they do. They made us feel a million dollars and took into account everyone’s different styles yet incorporated them into the theme and feel of the wedding.

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