December 18th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Baby it’s cold outside, but we have a stunning real wedding that’s guaranteed to warm up your Monday morning.
Featuring an abundance of blooms – from striking bouquets and centrepieces, to blossom trees, a floral wall and iced flowers on the cake – Jeff and Zarah’s big day was nothing short of beautiful.
The stunning Hillbark Hotel in the Wirral provided the perfect setting for their elegant big day, with the ceremony taking place in the spectacular Grand Hall and the reception in the venue’s large star-lit marquee.
Drawing on her experiences as a guest at the weddings of friends and family, Zarah picked out her favourite features and mixed in a few of her big day wishes too, resulting in an entertaining and enjoyable day for all.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
zarah says: We got engaged in Cuba on the 22nd May 2016. Jeff organised a lovely meal. We got picked up from our hotel in a 1957 Chevrolet car, which was amazing. When we got back to the hotel after our meal, Jeff insisted he wanted to walk on the beach and smoke a cigar – as you do in Cuba! I was a bit hesitant at first as a few drops of rain appeared. None the less we walked down to the beach and Jeff smoked his cigar. After a short stroll down the beach, I wanted to go back into the hotel as few more drops of rain appeared. As we walked back along the beach Jeff said, “wait I have something to ask you”. He then went down on his knee, as he proposed lightening appeared in the background and he asked for my hand in marriage. I was quite shocked and said “ok”, feeling the happiest lady in the world. Jeff then chuckled and told me when he asked my dad, he said the same thing!
We got married on Friday 25th August 2017. We choose that date as it was the bank holiday weekend and we thought it would be a nice long weekend for our friends and family.
We got married in the Wirral at a hotel called Hillbark Hotel and Spa. We choose this venue as it is a beautiful Tudor style hotel and had an amazing great hall where we could get married. There are only 16 rooms at the hotel which meant we had the whole place to ourselves on our wedding day. The details at the hotel are amazing and it has lovely features, such as a large chandelier, fire place and hidden rooms. We also heard good reviews about how amazing their food is. It was also the perfect place where we could get married in the Great Hall and have our wedding breakfast meal in the star lit marquee.
We didn’t really have a theme or style, but I wanted it to be stylish yet classy with a bit of everything. I have been to a lot of weddings and over the years and I have liked parts of different friends and family weddings and I wanted to incorporate this into my own wedding. Things like the blossom trees, larger flower centre pieces and flower background wall.
I chose lemon, white and dashes of hot pink for the colour scheme as lemon and pink are my favourite colours – I like bright and exotic colours having a Mauritian background.
Dress-wise, I wanted a princess style design, which incorporated lace – I also wanted it to be off the shoulder with short sleeves. I went to a few bridal stores until I found the dress at Ava Rose Hamilton in Colne. They had a selection of amazing and beautiful dresses. They didn’t quite have the dress I had in mind but then they showed me a beautiful lace top which I could add onto of my dress, which just finished my dress off perfectly, along with a long cathedral veil with small diamantes. The service at Ava Rose Hamilton was amazing and I would definitely recommend anyone to go to this shop, if they are looking for a stylish wedding dress.
Jeff wore a bespoke suit from Signature Bespoke in Liverpool. He chose a navy-blue tuxedo style suit with a large velvet bow tie and velvet lapels on his suit jacket.
December 15th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Though we didn’t need anymore reason to get the mulled wine heating on the hob and the Baileys chilling in the fridge, Friday has arrived signaling the ok for a little indulgence. As such we’re treating your eyes to this true beauty of a real wedding, which took place in the beautiful city of York.
Lisa and Steve chose the stunning Grays Court, for their big day celebrations – a stunning, historic building which dates back to the 11th century. As luck would have it, the sun shone brightly on their wedding day and they unexpectedly ended up saying their vows in the venue’s garden, surrounded by candelabras, plinths, candles and flowers – a dreamy outdoors ceremony if ever we saw one! What we love most about the venue though, is that it looks like a secret hideaway – you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the midst of a serene countryside setting as opposed to the heart of a city.
From the inspired grey colour scheme and Lindt chocolate favours, to the string quartet and elegant red velvet cake – there are lots of wonderful details to pore over. Our highlight though has to be the photos captured after dark, with fairy lights and dark shadows at play for some truly romantic shots!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Richard Perry Photography.
lisa says: We got engaged on my birthday, 10th April 2016. I love history and one of my favourite places is Hever Castle in Kent; Anne Boleyn’s childhood home. Steve surprised me with a trip to Hever. We stayed at the castle and while in the gardens, he proposed on one knee with a ring! He arranged for champagne on ice in our room for our return. It was perfect.
Our wedding date was 14th October, and we chose Grays Court in York as our venue. We love York and go whenever we can. I love Grays Court because it dates back to the 11th century, it’s beautiful with the gardens backing onto York wall and boasts views of the Minster. We’ve stayed there a few times and I knew that’s where I wanted to get married.
Our colour scheme was grey which matched the venue, as well as being my favourite colour. I didn’t have a theme in mind but realised along the way I’d chosen grey for quite a lot of things!
I chose an Ian Stuart gown. I loved his style straight away and found a bridal shop which stocked his gowns. The dress is called Angelica. It originally had a high neck and was sleeveless with a low back, but Ian Stuart made the dress strapless at my request.
Steve wore a light grey suit from Spencer’s in Liverpool. Meanwhile, our bridesmaids wore Dessy and the colour choice was stormy.
I didn’t need transport on the wedding day as I stayed at the venue the night before. Steve stayed at The Grand and walked through York with his friends to Grays.
December 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s couple, Lauren and Andrew, wanted timeless over trendy for their special day, and so tails, armfuls of roses and a traditional hearty Yorkshire menu were the order of the day.
Light-up letters, live music and a talented DJ ensured their reception went with a bang, as well as an alternative guest book in the form of some fun photobooth action.
Of all the gorgeous details you’ll see below, however, there’s one that really stands out: Lauren’s gown. In our humble opinion, her stunning Ronald Joyce creation steals the show – the lace overlay, sequin detailing and that beaded string back is Choirs-Of-Angels-Singing-Halleluiah levels of stunningness – just take a look for yourselves…
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Photography.
lauren says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2015, and chose Saturday 2nd September 2017 as our wedding date. We liked the fact that we would get the end of summer/early autumn colours outside but also hoped for a warm, sunny day (which we got!) It was also important to give my sister and husband enough time to fly in from New Zealand for the wedding.
We were married at the Immaculate Conception Church in Sicklinghall. It’s a catholic church which was important to Andrew, but had the attractive setting that I’d always imagined getting married in.
The reception was at The Bridge Hotel & Spa Wetherby. It was the first place we looked round after researching some places that took our fancy. It was an instant hit and nothing we saw afterwards compared to the overall package they were offering. It had a spacious function room and lovely grounds but still had a ‘country inn’ feel to the bar and restaurant, which we loved.
Colour-wise, we went for coral. We felt it matched with the time of year and the coloured roses we wanted for the bouquets.
Andrew wore a silk slate grey suit with tails and a white waistcoat from Bridal Apparel, Leeds. We wanted a more traditional look compared to a normal suit and felt it was important for a once-in-a-lifetime day. He matched it with a coral cravat and handkerchief.
Our bridesmaids wore coral Morilee dresses from Platinum Brides, and the groomsmen wore the same as Andrew but with grey waistcoat.
December 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Initially setting out with no set wedding theme, the inspiration for today’s featured celebration was triggered by the couple’s choice of venue. Reminding Aimee and Simon of a swanky speakeasy, the stunning art nouveau style of The Belle Époque in Cheshire, provided all the bridal inspo this pair could need for their special day.
In preparation for the party to come, the bride and groom named each table after a gin or whisky cocktail, placing their guests’ names into corks to create place settings, and also treated everyone to a shot of elderflower gin, sloe gin or whisky.
It wasn’t all about the tipples though – there are plenty of wonderful details and throwbacks to look out for, including a kitsch VW campervan and old vinyl – a quirky guestbook idea if ever we saw one. As for the chalkboard style cake – this is simply divine! We’ll pass the blog over to Aimee now though to talk us through all the fabulous day…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Slice of Pie Photography.
aimee says: We got engaged in Venice, in September 2014. Simon later told me that he had planned to propose at Christmas but brought it forward when we booked Venice. We had been out to dinner that night when Simon suggested heading back to the hotel early. I was initially reluctant, as I wanted to soak up as much as Venice as I could but was easily persuaded when he said there would be cake, prosecco and a bubble bath! Whilst relaxing in the bath (feeling totally spoilt at this point!) he gave me his iPod and asked me to listen to a song he had recorded. I’d heard him play guitar many times before but had never heard him sing. He had written the most beautiful song about our relationship. The last line was ‘so Aimee will you be my wife?’ At this point Simon had made his way back into the bathroom and was down on one knee. He had even been to my parents’ house and collected the ring box that my grandma’s engagement ring was in because he knew how much I cherished her. It was perfect and to say I was surprised was an understatement – I had absolutely no idea!
We tied the knot on Sunday 7th August 2016. We’d both decided early on that we’d like to get married in the summer and that date was available.
The ceremony took place at St Mary the Virgin Church in Leigh, which is our local church. Simon’s mum used to ring the bells there when she was a young girl.
We chose The Belle Époque as the venue for the reception. We both wanted something a little different from your traditional wedding venue. Within seconds of visiting The Belle Époque we gave each other a look and we knew it was the right choice for us.
Initially we didn’t set out to have a theme and just wanted our wedding to be filled with things that we both liked. However, we were inspired by the art nouveau style of The Belle Époque and how it reminded us of an old speakeasy so we definitely styled a lot of our wedding around this.
We didn’t set a specific colour scheme. We just wanted soft colours that complemented each other. In the end it was a mixture of blues, greys, pinks and purples. We actually had lots of compliments afterwards about how well everything matched!
December 11th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s love-struck couple, Jess and Craig got engaged 4,000 metres up the Rocky Mountains, but wanted to come back down to earth with an elegant garden themed wedding. And it was the stunning Eleven Didsbury Park – a luxury villa hotel close to Manchester – that ended up being their venue of choice, providing the enviable backdrop to their celebrations.
Keeping things understated and natural, the newlyweds went for a subtle sage colour scheme complemented by some rather gorgeous florals, including amnesia roses, blue thistle, white veronica and eucalyptus gunnii, not to mention plenty of wood, hessian and candles for decoration.
Though sticking to a strict budget, our savvy couple pulled together lots of special touches and treats, including an indulgent cake table (yes, that’s a whole table of cakes!), and we for one are bowled over by their special day.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Nik Bryant Photography
jess says: Craig proposed at the very top of the Rocky Mountains, at 4,000m on Peak Eight of Breckenridge ski resort in March 2016. He pretended he wanted to take a photo of us and set up the GoPro, but in fact was filming. He got the whole proposal on film! It was a stunning sunny day, very windy and freezing cold, with the most incredible view. After proposing, Craig produced two small bottles of champagne and glasses, which he’d hidden in his backpack. He almost got frostbite in his fingers as a result of taking his gloves off to give me the ring and pour the champagne!
We got married on 30th July 2017. We wanted the wedding to be in the summer so that we could have a garden wedding or garden reception. We also chose a date that would mean that all of our close family and friends could be there.
We initially went to the open day at Didsbury House Hotel, and at the end of our visit they asked if we wanted to also see their sister venue Eleven Didsbury Park. We wandered down the road and when we saw the gardens, we completely fell in love with the idea of a garden wedding there.
We had planned to get married in the walled gardens of Eleven Didsbury Park Hotel, however in the end there’d been so much rain the week before that the ground was too soft. Instead we got married in the Blue Room of Didsbury House Hotel, which was pretty perfect and a beautiful back-up plan. We then had the reception back at Eleven Didsbury Park in the gardens there.
Neither of us are religious however I had a Jewish upbringing. We chose a Humanist ceremony as it allowed us to create a personal ceremony bespoke to us.
Our absolute best decision was using Hannah Wroe Gill as our Humanist Celebrant. It was the one thing we went well over budget on, but she created the most personal ceremony bespoke to us and which had all our guests in tears and talking about the ceremony afterwards.
We decided against having a strong theme. We felt that the venue itself had such great character and the gardens were beautiful in themselves. We planned a relaxed and understated garden wedding with personal touches and a natural feel.
We wanted the bridesmaids to look fantastic and feel comfortable in their dresses so we picked them out first before deciding on a colour scheme. With two brunettes and one redhead, sage green dresses from Little Mistress suited them best, so we went with that.
The guys then picked out the ties and pocket squares to match – they even took one of the dresses shopping with them to make sure they got it right – what absolute stars!
December 7th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
This afternoon’s gorgeous real wedding features a striking teal and coral colour palette, a truly exotic bouquet and some jaw-dropping stained-glass windows.
Amy and Jamie’s Saddleworth and Ashton-based big day also boasts some stunningly candid speech photographs and a top-drawer mother-of-the-bride outfit – full marks, mum, for co-ordinating perfectly with the colour scheme – the Brides Up North team salutes you!
What turns our head most though has to be Amy’s Disney inspired dress based on the ballgown of one of our very favourite princesses, the beautiful Belle.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Venn Photography.
amy says: We got engaged on 2nd October 2016, while we were on holiday in Puerto Pollensa, Majorca. We’d been out for an evening meal and were walking back to the apartment when Jamie said he’d seen something down on the beach, I followed him down to the sea, he got down on one knee and proposed with a gorgeous ring.
We chose 30th September for our wedding day; originally, we’d wanted 7th October, but the church was unavailable on that day.
We chose Friezland Church for the ceremony. I’d driven past it many times and thought it was a beautiful church in a stunning location. The reception was at The Village Hotel; it was a great location with easy access for all of our guests. They offered a great food and drinks package with loads of extras.
In terms of a colour scheme, we chose teal as the main colour. We found that teal dresses suited all of our bridesmaids beautifully. We also opted for a coral colour for the flowers to complement the teal.
I wore an Alfred Angelo Disney inspired dress based on Belle’s dress from Beauty and the Beast. I‘d seen the Disney inspired collection and thought the dresses were amazing. I went to Once Upon a Bride and knew as soon as I put it on that it was the one. My shoes were custom-made Beauty and the Beast Converse hi-tops made by Becci Boo’s Custom Shoes.
Jamie wore a dark grey suit, a chequered grey waistcoat, a white shirt, teal tie and a top hat from Perfect Fit. The groomsmen wore the same as Jamie.
The bridesmaids wore floor-length, teal, halterneck dresses by Alfred Angelo and our flower girl wore a sparkly white dress with a teal sash. All of the bridesmaids wore coral Converse.
Transport-wise, we hired two retro Volkswagen Campers and two Volkswagen Beetles to take myself, the bridesmaids and my mum to the church from Funcampers in Stalybridge. As a surprise for Jamie and the groomsmen, I hired two Range Rovers, but ended up with a Jaguar XJ as one crashed the day before!
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