Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

hessian & lace: justin alexander for an emotional lakeside wedding – laura & tom

November 8th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson

A Vintage Style Wedding at The Coniston Hotel (c) Bethany Clarke (21)

The moment a father glimpses his baby girl in her wedding dress about to embark on the biggest day of her life is particularly special – perhaps it’s only at this moment that he realises his girl is a baby no longer. For Laura, today’s featured bride, this split-second was one of her most favourite moments of the day. Tears a-plenty. Forget the details and dress, sometimes it’s these freeze-framed flashes in time that produce the strongest memories to remind us what’s really important. Love is all you need, after all.

OK, so of course we’re not really going to forget the dress or details. What do you take us for? We can’t get enough of those special touches that make your weddings all about you, and Laura and Tom certainly didn’t disappoint with their endless metres of handmade hessian bunting – some featuring photographs of friends and family, homebrewed gin to tickle the guests’ taste buds, romantic quotes to inspire the guests during dinner, and a roulette table for those who like to take a gamble – and where else would you be invited to ‘pimp your prosecco’? Don’t mind if I do!

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

A Vintage Style Wedding at The Coniston Hotel (c) Bethany Clarke (39)

laura says: The day we got engaged, Tom and I were moving into our new home. I was making Tom do the obligatory selfie outside the sold sign and, next thing I knew, he was down on one knee outside our dream home with the most perfect engagement ring asking me to marry him. Once I said “yes”, there were builders clapping and cheering from the other side of the estate!

A Vintage Style Wedding at The Coniston Hotel (c) Bethany Clarke (66)

Our wedding date was 21st July 2017. We always wanted to get married in the summer in the hope the weather would be good. A friend of a friend raved about their wedding at The Coniston Hotel, in Skipton, and, when we compared it to three other venues, we both loved how “us” The Coniston was; it felt so relaxed and romantic and we loved how the wedding area felt very private from the rest of the hotel. The views over the lake are incredible, so we knew (whatever the weather!) that wedding pictures by the lake would be amazing.

The Coniston was everything we wanted in a venue; everything we asked Sophie and Sharon, the wedding co-ordinators, to do was never too much trouble; they really seemed to understand what type of wedding we wanted. Everything went perfectly on the day and that was largely down to Sophie co-ordinating every aspect. We were never without a drink in our hands and all our guests felt so very well looked after. We couldn’t recommend The Coniston enough.

A Vintage Style Wedding at The Coniston Hotel (c) Bethany Clarke (51)

We didn’t have a specific theme for the day – more of a vintage style. We love the look of lace and hessian together – we’d used these materials for our save the date and wedding invitations – and we included some pastel peach colours to complement the look. We also had an inordinate amount of hessian bunting! Tom’s mum is extremely crafty and wonderful at bringing ideas to life; she made a very impressive 180m of bunting: 120m of it were incorporated into the ceiling drapes in the wedding breakfast room and the rest were dotted around the venue with lovely hand-painted lettering. We also had quite a lot of wood involved, with wooden slices for the table decorations and wooden stands for scented candles throughout the venue.

A Vintage Style Wedding at The Coniston Hotel (c) Bethany Clarke (24)

For my dress, I visited Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden, and instantly knew I wanted to get my dress from there; it’s so beautiful inside the shop and all the girls working there are great. I tried on a Justin Alexander dress that I just knew was perfect: Bardot-style with beautiful beading, nipped in at the waist with a very floaty skirt and long train. It sounds really clichêd but I knew when I tried it on it was the dress I wanted to marry Tom in.

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te amo. amanda wyatt for a beautiful white wedding in spain – elizabeth & john

October 18th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Amanda Wyatt For A White Wedding In Spain (c) Lee Brown Photography (39)

Though we’ve had some unseasonably mild days of late, we have to say that our summer holidays are but a distant memory at this point in the year. We’re therefore delighted to be spending this morning basking in the details of Elizabeth and John’s gorgeous Spanish wedding.

Leaving their Cheshire home behind, this sun-loving couple jetted off to Arroyo de la Miel, for a fairy-tale castle style ceremony followed by an open-air golf course reception.

In a nod to the setting, Elizabeth and John’s big day featured an abundance of white blooms, tapas, paellas and, of course, sangria!

So, sit back, relax and bring on the sunshine! Just be warned, viewing this post may result in an irresistible urge to book your next European excursion…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lee Brown Photography.

Amanda Wyatt For A White Wedding In Spain (c) Lee Brown Photography (27)

elizabeth says: John proposed while we were on a cruise for his parents 60th birthdays after first getting Paul (my dad) drunk and asking for his permission (he was more than happy for John to take me off his hands!) John’s family were all in on the surprise, concealing the ring and putting petals and champagne in our room. It was a big surprise – so much so that John had to push me into the room to stop me from talking!

Amanda Wyatt For A White Wedding In Spain (c) Lee Brown Photography (59)

We set the date for Saturday 29th July 2017, with the wedding taking place in Spain. I’ve been visiting Benalmadena for summer holidays since I was a baby and John and I have enjoyed several family holidays together in Spain over the years too.

Our ceremony was held at Castillo de Colomares in Arroyo de la Miel Pueblo. We chose this location after talking with Liz Wilkinson, the celebrant who married us. She mentioned the venue and we fell in love with it instantly. All our family and friends said it was like a fairy-tale castle so it seemed the perfect setting.

Our reception was held at the nearby Torrequebrada Golf Club. My dad often plays golf here and had friends who are marshals at the club. The golf club is gorgeous and it seemed the perfect summer venue to have the reception.

Amanda Wyatt For A White Wedding In Spain (c) Lee Brown Photography (1)

We wanted the wedding to be typically Spanish so we had white flowers everywhere, our tables were named after our favourite restaurants and bars in Arroyo de la Miel. We had tapas as our starters for our wedding breakfast, three different paellas for a main course, and Spanish omelette, serrano ham and Manchego cheese for our evening snack. Our welcome drinks were San Miguel beer and sangria.

The wedding theme colours were white and blue. Our bridesmaid dresses were pastel blue and the groom and groomsmen outfits were navy and white. All decorations at the venue were white, including the chair covers and flowers.

Amanda Wyatt For A White Wedding In Spain (c) Lee Brown Photography (29)

The wedding dress I chose was called Snowdrop by designer Amanda Wyatt. I bought my dress from a shop near home, called The Cheshire Wedding House. The lady in the shop suggested this particular dress, I loved it! It held me in all the right places and I actually felt like a beautiful bride.

John decided he didn’t want to go down the traditional three-piece suit option, he knew how hot it gets in Spain in July and decided on a smart short combination. He picked smart Tommy Hilfiger navy shorts for himself, his best man and all his groomsmen. John then ordered seven made-to-measure shirts from a website called iTailor. John was able to pick exactly what style and colour he wanted for the shirts. John and his best man wore matching brogue loafers from John’s favourite shoe shop, Goodwin Smith.

My bridesmaids wore pastel blue Grecian style bridesmaid dresses from YS Dress in Stockport. They also wore matching earrings and necklaces, which were gifts from John and me.

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exclusively yours. an elegant wedding at colshaw hall – dawn & jayson

October 5th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

An Elegant Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Lee Brown Photography (61)

This morning on the blog, we’re heading to the enchanting Colshaw Hall in Cheshire for Dawn and Jayson’s special day, which took place in August of this year.

Following a surprise engagement, the couple fell in love with this exquisite venue – and we can see why. Adorning the backdrop with a pretty palette of purple, lime green and pink, together with beautiful candles and petals – Colshaw Hall was every bit the romantic backdrop that the couple hoped it would be.

From a special reading from their daughter to a balloon release and a rather unique speech from the bridesmaids – they had every detail covered, and then some. We should also mention that we have a serious dose of cake envy – just look at their elegant four-tiered masterpiece.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Lee Brown Photography (62)

dawn says: We got engaged in October 2015, in The Restaurant Bar and Grill in Liverpool. It was a complete surprise to me. Generally, I can sense when there is something going on, but this was a random night out, planned at the last minute – or so I thought. Strangely enough, we were looking at an auction site on the train there and this really ugly ring with a marquise diamond popped up and I said that it wasn’t very nice, little did I know that Jayson had a marquise diamond in his pocket! Afterwards Jayson said I really didn’t make it easy for him. We had a lovely meal and Jayson said, “you know I love you” and I said, “yes of course”, then he responded with “here goes” and got on two knees (not one) and pulled out my nana’s ring box. He then asked me to marry him. I was so overwhelmed and surprised. I loved the simplicity of his proposal, and said yes immediately. Jayson had been to the jewellery quarter in Birmingham and picked the diamond and the setting, designing the ring himself, I was completely blown away.

An Elegant Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Lee Brown Photography (66)

Our wedding date – 6th August 2017 – chose us, once we had found the venue. We knew that we would prefer August as we wanted to make sure that our children could be part of our special day. Colshaw Hall didn’t have any Saturdays available so we decided on a Sunday instead.

We had both our ceremony and reception at Colshaw Hall, as the venue has its own chapel called The Stables. We had looked at so many other venues, and even considered going abroad, however we kept coming back to Colshaw Hall, so we made an appointment to view it. We were shown around by the owner, David Irlam, and his passion and attention to detail sold it to us. Colshaw Hall is absolutely beautiful and completely unique to anything else we had seen. A venue that is exclusively yours for the day; you actually feel like it’s your home.

An Elegant Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Lee Brown Photography (64)

We discussed themes for quite some time, and originally we were going to have a Mediterranean theme, but as time passed, we decided to just go with vibrant colours and places in the world we would like to see over our life time together.

My favourite colour is purple, however we didn’t want to have typical wedding flowers so we opted for a colour scheme made up of purple, pink, lime greens and white.

Pinterest was an amazing help to build a picture of the wedding we wanted before I visited Qube Events and Productions in Bury. Qube provided our venue dressing and flowers, and surpassed all of my expectations.

An Elegant Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Lee Brown Photography (81)

I knew almost straight away what type of dress I wanted: Spanish looking, fitted, lace with detail and a full bottom with a dramatic train.

I visited a number of bridal shops and found nothing unique at all. So I did more research and found Ava Rose Hamilton in Colne. The boutiques that they have looked beautiful and they had a number of designers that I had never seen before so decided to book an appointment. I was welcomed by Kay and she instinctively knew what I wanted and pulled out a number of dresses. As soon as I saw the Enzoani dress I knew it was everything I wanted, and when I tried it on, I knew it was the one.

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castle & culture. a beautifully personal wedding at allerton castle – kimberley & simon

September 27th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Colourful Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) York Place Studios (68)

Where to start with today’s beautiful real wedding? There’s a magnificent, grand venue, two dress changes for the bride, some fabulous floral and amazing entertainment!

All bride Kimberley’s childhood dreams can true when she and beau Simon stumbled upon Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire, which provided the perfect fairy tale backdrop to their fine celebrations.

It was also important to Kimberley that her Chinese roots and traditions were incorporated into the wedding, and so the day featured ‘door games’, a tea ceremony and a lion dance! Here to explain exactly what this consisted of is the beautiful bride herself. Take it away Kimberley…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor York Place Studios.

A Colourful Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) York Place Studios (59)

kimberley says: We got engaged on 9th May 2015. My girlfriends took me out for the afternoon to celebrate my birthday which was a few days earlier. One of them feigned sick and we were close to my place so they asked if we could go there to lie down for a bit. As soon as I opened the door I could tell something was up because it was super tidy and there were tea lights everywhere. I walked into the living room and Simon took my hand and sat me down then asked me to watch a video. It turned out to be a video that he had put together of me, telling our story from the beginning up to our engagement. The first night we met, instead of talking to me he took loads of pictures of me. Since then it’s been a running joke that he’s my personal photographer which is why he put the video of me together, basically me doing all kinds of silly things and it was his way of showing how I looked in his eyes. Towards the end of the video, he added in clips from rom-coms with cheesy lines and ending with Forrest Gump where Forrest proposes to Jenny. Then Simon proposed to me and I noticed that the girls had been filming in the background the whole time!

Simon then said he had another surprise and led us out of the flat. We went to a pub and as we walked in I saw our friends and family there, some who travelled down to London from Harrogate and Manchester! Simon told me he’d also organised a surprise engagement party for that evening. We went to the Candlenight Club all dressed up, Great Gatsby style. It was a fantastic day and I had the best time!

A Colourful Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) York Place Studios (43)

Our wedding took place on 25th June 2016, at Allerton Castle, near Harrogate. Since I was a little girl, I’d always gone on about getting married in a castle. When we started looking for venues, we looked at places close to Harrogate so that Simon’s family could attend and found Allerton Castle. I loved the beautiful main hall and ballroom – it was the perfect setting for our wedding. I also loved the grand staircase and chandeliers; it meant that I hardly needed to decorate the venue because it was already so decadent and suited us perfectly, especially as I’m known for being over the top.

There wasn’t really a theme to the day as such, we just wanted to be able to incorporate both our cultures into the wedding.

A Colourful Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) York Place Studios (31)

The day started with the door games, which is a Chinese tradition where the groom and groomsmen come to the bride’s house (in our case a rented holiday property for the weekend) to pick up the bride. The boys are met by the bridesmaids who put them through a series of challenges to see if the groom is worthy of the bride. This tradition is a symbol of the love of the bride’s family and their unwillingness for their daughter to leave. The door games end with the bridesmaids bartering for an “entrance fee” of red envelopes. The amount of money inside the envelopes is also symbolic and will often be a combination of three, eight, nine because in Chinese, three sounds like life, eight sounds like wealth and nine denotes the idea of longevity and being together forever.

Once I’d been ‘picked up’, we travelled to Allerton Castle to get ready. I then got changed in the bridal suite, which is a beautiful room that I wish was my bedroom all the time!

A Colourful Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) York Place Studios (74)

We had the civil ceremony and then the blessing, which incorporated the spiritual element that we wanted as part of our day without having a church wedding. I then got changed again into my Chinese traditional dress, and my husband put on his Chinese gilet and got wrapped up in a nice big red bow!

We got to walk down the staircase again where the front of the hall had been set up with a bench for the tea ceremony. This is where we kneel in front of our elders in order of seniority, one (or a couple) at a time and offer them tea. Traditionally, after each elder takes a sip, they hand the couple lucky red envelopes, which usually contain money or jewellery. For Cantonese weddings, a common gift is a pair of gold bangles called ‘dragon and phoenix bangles’. For the bride; the dragon and the phoenix being regarded as the perfect couple of “Yang” and “Yin” in Feng Shui that represent love, harmony and marital bliss.

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babes in the wood. charlotte balbier for a relaxed woodland wedding in yorkshire – ceri & liam

September 18th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (88)

We’re kicking off the week with a truly cool and individual big day that had a relaxed rustic and boho vibe.

Taking place at an exclusive location in Mulgrave Woods, Whitby, today’s couple Ceri and Liam, tied the knot in the ruins of a castle before moving onto a marquee at Liam’s parents’ house for a chilled reception, complete with views over the whimsical woodland and coastline beyond.

We’re totally crushing on Ceri’s gorgeous lace dress by Brides Up North Sponsor, the fabulous Charlotte Balbier, not to mention those uber-cool bell, bead and pearl anklets.

Keeping the style bar up high, we also adore the bridesmaids’ pastel dresses and flower crowns, as well as the men’s brace and bow tie combos! This party are on point!

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

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (113)

ceri says: Liam had originally planned to propose during a surprise trip to Edinburgh but didn’t find the right time so ended up asking me once we got home to Durham. He popped the question on a bridge over the river during the Lumiere light festival.

We set the date for 24th June 2017, as it was close to the solstice so we’d have lots of daylight.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (82)

We got married at the Old Castle in Mulgrave Woods, Whitby. These are some old ruins deep in the woods, we wrote to Lord Normanby who owns the land and who Liam’s dad has worked for, for 40 years to ask his permission for us to hold our ceremony there. Our guests had to walk through the woods to reach it though some were taken via Land Rover. For the reception, we had a marquee in a field overlooking the woods and sea at Liam’s parents’ house, which is a gatehouse to the woods in a village called Dunsley.

As our ceremony at Mulgrave Woods wasn’t the legal one (we went to the register office another day) we asked Liam’s close friend Tristan to conduct the ceremony. He did such a fantastic job and it made it even more personal and relaxed.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (83)

Our rings were mad by my friend Geri of Smuggler’s Treasure. It meant a lot to us that they were made locally and by a friend, they are a hammered texture with an engraved heart inside. Geri also made me some anklets, which had brass beads, bells and fresh water pearls on as I had bare feet on the day.

A Woodland Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (40)

The theme of the wedding was very relaxed we didn’t have a colour scheme but we incorporated the woods into the styling with real trees in the marquee, log cuttings and lots of wild flowers. I’m a photographer so we had lots of vintage cameras around too.

There was lots of green throughout the wedding due to the amounts of foliage – we made living chandeliers using old bike wheels, greenery and fairy lights and hung them in the marquee.

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fab florals. a pretty pink wedding at beeston manor, preston – laura & mark

September 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Nik Bryant Photography (8)

If there’s one element of a wedding that we adore, it’s flowers! From the bouquet and button holes, through to the aisle and venue décor, we love to see how couples use petals to pretty-up their big day.

Deciding on a whimsical floral theme for their celebrations, today’s bride and groom Laura and Mark, certainly didn’t hold back on the blooms. Beautiful peonies, gypsophila, roses, daises and green foliage featured in their stunning arrangements and centrepieces, plus there were blossom trees, a petal-lined aisle, flower wall backdrop and even floral love letters. Now that’s a whole lot of petal pretty!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Nik Bryant Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Nik Bryant Photography (4)

laura says: Mark and I got engaged at home on 28th February 2016. It was Mark’s 30th birthday and we had a family gathering at our home. We had a lovely evening and after everyone had left and we had done the cleaning up Mark proposed.

We got married on 26th May 2017, which turned out to be a super-hot day! The date had no significance to us before our wedding, however we had both said that ideally, we would like to get married in May as we both love springtime.

A Pretty Wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Nik Bryant Photography (39)

Our ceremony and reception took place at Beeston Manor in Hoghton, Preston. We trawled online looking at venues and visited about six. However, when we went to Beeston Manor we both knew that this is the venue we had been looking for. The venue itself felt personal. It didn’t feel like some of the larger, more intimidating venues we had been to see. We both felt comfortable and relaxed there, which was the sort of vibe we wanted for our wedding. The staff were so friendly and welcoming and we really got that family business feel for the place. They are clearly passionate about weddings and want to make the day special for couples who get married at Beeston Manor.

A Pretty Wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Nik Bryant Photography (13)

We didn’t set out with a specific theme for the wedding but fell into a whimsical, floral theme.

Our colour scheme was pinks and silver. I started looking at bridesmaid dresses and realised that all the dresses I liked were pink and silver, and so our colour theme was born.

A Pretty Wedding at Beeston Manor (c) Nik Bryant Photography (49)

I picked a ‘princess’ style dress. It was by Kenneth Winston from Lulu Browns Bridal Wear. It was beautiful. I loved it. Lulu Browns made the wedding dress shopping experience stress-free. I had seen the dress at a wedding fair and knew it was the dress for me! I tried it on and I felt fantastic in it, it was exactly how I wanted to look and feel on my wedding day.

I teamed my dress with a veil and a pearl and diamante headband, pink ombre Romy Jimmy Choos, pearl and diamante earrings and my great grandmother’s necklace.

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