Charlotte Balbier

real wedding recap summer 2017: a sophisticated wedding at west tower, ormskirk – jenn & mark

June 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (82)

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Today we’re poring over Jenn and Mark’s exquisite wedding at the magnificent West Tower manor house in Lancashire.

Wearing the most stunning Mori Lee mermaid style gown, the beautiful bride carried a gorgeous bouquet of peonies and roses for a quintessential summer bridal look.

With a five-tier artificial cake – every inch the picture-perfect creation – the couple also laid on a special cocktail hour for their guests, complete with the breezy sounds of a live saxophonist.

With images by Ian MacMichael Photography

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (83)

jenn says: We got engaged in London on 15th November 2014. We were celebrating Mark’s birthday, staying in our favourite hotel – The Grange St Paul’s. We were out sightseeing all day and when we got back in the early evening, there were roses and champagne in our room. Mark asked if they were for his birthday, I said no, then turned around and he was on one knee.

We got married on 11th June 2016. There wasn’t a specific reason why we chose this date, other than that we knew we wanted to get married on a Saturday at the beginning of summer.

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (92)

We tied the knot in All Saints Church in Childwall, which is Mark’s family church and is stunning. This was followed by a reception at West Tower. I had always dreamed of getting married at West Tower; it was the first venue we viewed and we both knew straight away that it was perfect for us. The grounds are gorgeous and the staff are unbelievable, too.

Our colour scheme was white. We wanted everything neutral so that our photographs wouldn’t look dated in the years to come.

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (101)

I chose a lace mermaid style Mori Lee dress – I tried on more than 50 dresses before I found ‘the one’. It was from a gorgeous shop called Natalie Ann Brides. As soon as I started to try on different gowns, I knew I would find my perfect dress there. I was petrified I wouldn’t find one that I loved and was really nervous, but they really put me at ease. I didn’t actually choose my dress – Natalie said she had found the perfect dress for me and, it turns out, it was exactly what I’d been looking for!

Mark wore a three-piece black dinner suit with bow tie from William Hunt in York. He has seen a photo of the suit on Pinterest which we couldn’t find anywhere, but he eventually tracked the shop down. They had one in London and another in Harrogate. He dealt with Gavin who was brilliant and nothing was too much trouble.

The bridesmaid dresses wore floor-length nude dresses from AX Paris. The groomsmen wore two-piece black dinner suits from Next with ties from Debenhams.

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (107)

Peaches and Cream did the bridal party’s hair and makeup. I loved the trials in the buildup and it was such a fun atmosphere in the shop on the day. They don’t come out to your house, which I quite liked as there were ten of us so it could have got a bit manic! All the girls looked stunning.

Our wedding transport was a vintage car from The Wedding Rooms, Formby.

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real wedding recap summer 2017: vera wang for an intimate spring wedding at weston hall, staffordshire – laura & ryan

June 20th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

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It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Dressed in a gorgeous Vera Wang mermaid style gown, Laura looked every inch the beautiful bride. And with a dreamy palette of rose, blush pink and champagne combined with a dazzling sprinkle of gold – this, we think, is a wedding exuding all things classically chic and romantic.

With images by Fairclough Photography.

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laura says: For his proposal, Ryan booked us a night away at Weston Hall in Stafford, as he knew how much I loved it there. When we checked into our lovely room I was hanging out of the window admiring the view of the terrace (dreaming of one day getting married there) then when I turned around he was on one knee with a huge grin on his face holding the most perfect ring! At first I thought he was joking but soon enough realised what he was actually asking. After all the crying, I remembered I to say yes!

The morning after the night before we went down for breakfast and I asked to see the Wedding planner at Weston Hall – there’s no time like the present, right?

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We knew we wanted a spring wedding so didn’t hesitate to book for the 27th May 2016, this was the Friday before the bank holiday and knew it was the perfect date! May is one of my favourite months, too, I just love spring and know there can be some beautiful sunny days in the month of May.

We got married at the prettiest church just down the road from Weston Hall, called St Andrews. Whenever we had drove past we always admired how quaint it looked. With all the beautiful blossom trees lining the church path, it seemed too perfect having the wedding ceremony there then afterwards celebrating at Weston Hall.

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We didn’t have a theme as such, all I knew was that I wanted it to look timeless and Weston Hall gave me the perfect backdrop to do so.

I chose a romantic colour palette consisting of rose, blush pink, nudes, champagne and lots of gold for a bit of glamour! I had these colours in mind from the beginning so when I found the bridesmaid dresses it all followed from there.

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I tried on what felt like hundreds of wedding dresses, realising that the mermaid style was what I really wanted. I had always loved the Vera Wang Gemma dress and had it at the back on my mind, so I decided to go for it as I was only going to get married once – and I am pleased that I did! When I tried it on, nothing compared; I just knew that dress was made for me. I felt a million dollars! I teamed it with some stunning bespoke accessories from Joan Brown Vintage in Leek, Staffordshire, and some amazing Jimmy Choo’s to finish it all off!

Ryan wore a really nice navy blue three-piece fitted suit from Next’s Signature collection with a skinny navy blue tie, tan brogues and belt. He looked very dapper! The groomsmen wore the same Signature suits from Next as Ryan.

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real wedding recap summer 2017: pronovias for a contemporary wedding in lake como – emma & glen

June 19th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Prepare for take-off as we’re leaving the north of the UK behind today and jetting off to Lake Como in Italy to relive the utterly gorgeous big day of Cheshire-couple, Emma and Glen.

Everything about this wedding says style, class and romance; from the insanely beautiful location to the wedding party’s stunning attire and the lavish speed-boat transport.

It’s all be captured perfectly by Ally M Photography, and we have to say that Emma and Glen work the camera like pure pros!

With images by Ally M Photography

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emma says: We got engaged during a surprise trip to Venice in October 2015, and the proposal was as romantic as it gets. Glen got down on one knee on a gondola boat in Venice through the inner canals of the city with a photographer, videographer and finished with a pre-arranged candlelight dinner and my favourite white roses.

We specifically selected the 26th July 2016, to get married as it’s an extra special day for the family. It was my mum’s birthday and we wanted to include her in the day as much as we could. Unfortunately, she passed away five years ago, but we know she was there in spirit on the day.

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After the proposal, we fell in love with Italy and so chose a venue on the beautiful Lake Como to hold the wedding at. Our venue, Relais Villa Vittoria, was an Italian villa on the edge of the lake overlooking the mountains. We hired the whole villa and had close friends and family stay there with us for four days. The weather was so beautiful on the day!

We wanted a modern, contemporary wedding. We kept the wedding classy with a James Bond twist – Glen arrived by speed boat but would have chosen to sky dive if he could have! At 11pm a yacht picked the wedding party up and we partied on the lake until the early hours.

Our colour scheme was made up of natural whites, light blues and silvers. I love white roses and as Glen included them in his proposal to me, they have an extra special meaning and so had to be included in the wedding.

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For my wedding dress, I wanted something that resembled a glamourous evening gown but that wasn’t too heavy with it being so hot. I still wanted something that was magical though so I made sure it had a long train. I chose an off white, Pronovias 2017 collection dress.

Glen meanwhile, had his suit made by a company called Signature Bespoke, whose suits are handmade in Italy.

My lovely bridesmaids wore dresses from Coast.

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Ally M Photography was our chosen photographer for the wedding. Ally and his fiancée Lucy, were just brilliant and captured the perfect moments!

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summer shutdown & top tips from real brides up north

June 16th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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Rachel Joyce Photography.

Here at Brides Up North HQ our features schedule is fully charged, so that we never knowingly miss an opportunity to bring you beautiful wedding inspiration twice a day, every weekday (and sometimes bonus blog posts at the weekends too).  The only exception to this rule is our bi-annual break, to re-charge, re-assess and re-focus our efforts to keep bringing you the most precious wedding pretty from our corner of the internet.

We’ll be taking our leave for the next fortnight, leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule that will make sure that you still get your daily dose of #weddinggoals, recapping some of our favourite real weddings of the 2017 so far. Check back daily for the most beautiful, unique and inspiring celebrations, and if you’re a Brides Up North bride, to see if your day was one of our top picks!

We’ll be back soon with a shiny new features edit; to announce some exciting finishing touches to our upcoming autumn events schedule; finish off what looks set to be the super glossiest issue of our print baby, Unveiled magazine, to date and oooh… maybe, just maybe, a whole new look for Brides Up North!

Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017, and in the meantime, you can contact us here.

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Fossca Photography.

But we wouldn’t just stick the out-of-office on and leave it at that. At this halfway point through the year (yes, we can barely believe it too), we’re looking to our fabulous featured brides from the first half of 2017 to share what they consider to be the best pieces of advice with those of you soon to be walking down the aisle.

After all, these ladies have been there, done it and got the ring, so can offer words of wisdom on everything from dress shopping, suppliers and venues to emotional advice and tips on how to remain composed (Bridezillarma can strike at any moment!).

So ladies, grab a notebook and pen as these clued-up brides complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…

love, the team x

Click on the links to see each wedding in full. 

Chloe & Tom

Maggie Sottero for a relaxed countryside wedding at High House Farm Brewery, Northumberland – Chloe & Tom

Chloe says: Think about what you want and try not to get sucked into the ‘wedding must-haves’. Lots of people asked why we weren’t ‘having this’ or ‘doing that’, but we stuck with what we wanted our wedding to be and we were so glad we did! Also, use Pinterest to collect lots of ideas, but don’t feel too disheartened when you can’t use them all.

Niamh & Pete

Oh My Gorgeous! Pronovias for a chic city centre wedding – Niamh & Pete

Niamh says: Remember that making a wedding your own doesn’t have to cost the world. Small touches are often what people remember. Some of the nicest touches we had cost next to nothing.

Sarah & Matt

Botanical Beauty. Jenny Packham for a natural wedding at Trafford Hall – Sarah & Matt

Sarah says: Visit your venue lots and take photos; I found the hardest thing was dressing the venue. Also, buy what you can and do some yourself; it’s very satisfying seeing it all on the big day and knowing you did it.

Katie & David

French fancy. Jewel tones and jam jars for a creative wedding at Le Petit Chateau – Katie & David

Katie says: Firstly, find your bridesmaid dresses early! We planned and delivered our wedding in nine months flat and the fact that I wanted different dresses and colours but couldn’t get them on the high street as I had hoped made it more complicated. Next, stick to your guns/gut. I’m not saying be a birdezilla but be really clear about what you want, this is too special and over too fast to not be the way you want it. Also, make lists of the photos that you want and try to ensure that they are taken, and perhaps have the day videoed. I didn’t think I was bothered about that but then there’s so much you just don’t remember when you look back on it because it is such a blur or emotion and adrenaline. Finally, chill and enjoy it.

Rachel & Josh

Rose gold rapture. An Ellis dress for a pretty wedding at Ness Botanic Gardens – Rachel & Josh

Rachel says: If you want to save some cash and do some DIY décor, have a crafts party with friends – things can be done so much quicker in groups and it’s lovely to involve your mates!

Rowena & Edward

Roses & lace. Pronovias for a relaxed wedding at Soughton Hall – Rowena & Edward

Rowena says: Make sure you find the time in the day to spend a few moments together – it would be very easy to barely talk to each other after your vows! We had a ‘sweetheart table’ instead of a traditional top table, which meant we got to spend some time just the two of us during the wedding breakfast, and could watch and take in all our family and friends enjoying themselves!

Samantha & Mark

Pretty pink perfection. Stella York for a romantic wedding at Newton Hall – Samantha & Mark

Samantha says: Enjoy the planning and preparation leading up to your special day, it all becomes part of your fond memories of your wedding. I am a very organised person and began planning almost immediately after setting a date. I really enjoyed the planning stages of the wedding but my husband knows that I am very indecisive. He suggested that once I had made a decision, I was not to change it, and not to look for an alternative. And that is exactly what I did. I have no regrets.

Charlotte & Tom

Magic in the Air. Diane Legrand and all-white blooms for an elegant fairy-tale wedding at Peckforton Castle – Charlotte & Tom

Charlotte says: Don’t be scared to go a bit crazy and have everything you want. You will (hopefully) only get married once. It will be one of the most important days of your life and you shouldn’t hold back. A little bit of extra saving and making small sacrifices is totally worth it so that you can have no regrets. Also, don’t get too stressed out about anything. Take each stage in your stride and treat each bit of the planning like a mini-experience in itself – oh and, make sure you enjoy the free champagne everywhere you go!

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true blue. house of mooshki for a diy wedding in the north east – emma & rob

June 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A DIY Wedding at As You Like It (c) Daz Mack (27)

The name of the venue chosen by today’s real wedding couple set the tone for their entire approach to their big day.

Falling in love with the relaxed and eclectic feel of As You Like It in Jesmond, Emma and Rob planned a DIY wedding their way, with attire, décor and entertainment to reflect their individual taste and style.

We must give a big shout out to petit bride Emma who totally rocks her bespoke House of Mooshki gown and glittering heels. Groom Rob also deserves style credit for his pale blue three-piece and on-trend dicky bow.

With images by Daz Mack Photography

A DIY Wedding at As You Like It (c) Daz Mack (12)

emma says: Rob proposed in Albert Park, Middlesbrough, in July 2013. We had won a romantic photoshoot in a charity raffle, and Rob and our photographer Daz had secretly planned the proposal, so everything was captured on camera. It was a complete shock and there were a fair few happy tears!

We set the date for 21st October 2016. It was also my grandad’s birthday that day, who was unable to attend, so we all raised a glass to him.

A DIY Wedding at As You Like It (c) Daz Mack (23)

We had both the ceremony and reception at As You Like It, in Jesmond. We were very open minded when it came to searching for a venue, we had no idea what to expect, but when we walked into AYLI we fell in love. The place was so eclectic, interesting and quirky, but beautiful and versatile too. We were also impressed by the amazing cocktail menu, lovely food, and helpful staff.

We didn’t really have a theme as such, but as a lot of things were DIY we were able to make sure it felt very personal and warm. Many guests had travelled a long way to be there, and we wanted them to feel welcome, relaxed and basically just able to have a really good time.

A DIY Wedding at As You Like It (c) Daz Mack (25)

The wedding featured a lot of blue and gold tones, including in the bridal party’s clothing and accessories. Our colour scheme wasn’t very strict otherwise, as the venue itself is so full of decoration, anything suits!

My wedding dress was by House of Mooshki – a bespoke version of the Claire dress. I was willing to try on anything when it came to dress shopping, I never had that ‘dream’ image in my head. But at 5ft nothing, I found it hard at first to find something that I felt good in. (The best man actually made a joke in his speech about finding somewhere that does kids sizes). The service and quality of a bespoke dress from House of Mooshki was well worth the money. As soon as I found out about them I knew that’s where I’d find my dress.

A DIY Wedding at As You Like It (c) Daz Mack (16)

Rob wore a light dusty blue three-piece suit from Topman, with a navy blue bowtie and pocket square. He had tried on several wedding outfits in other places, but the colour and fit of the Topman one was exactly what he was looking for, so kept going back to it!

The bridesmaids all wore midnight blue infinity dresses from The Dainty Yard on Etsy, and styled them individually.

The groomsmen wore navy blue Moss Bros suits, with accessories matching the groom’s.

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pompoms & pineapples. la sposa for a festival themed wedding at natural retreats – michelle & james

June 12th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Festival Wedding at Natural Retreats (c) Masha Unworth (33)

Regular readers of the blog will know that Brides Up North fully endorse festival weddings, so much so that we now dedicate several of our wedding fairs to this style of celebration with our epic WEDFEST tour that travelled the north of the country in May.

Fresh on the other side of those uber cool events, we were thrilled to receive the wonderful big day of Michelle and James who demonstrate how it’s done with their fun and fabulous big day in the Yorkshire Dales.

To achieve the colourful and carefree vibe for their festival style wedding, Michelle, James and an army of friends and family descended on their chosen venue with streamers, pompoms and plant chandeliers, transforming its blank canvas into something pretty awesome!

Cue a big, brave, DIY-flavour wedding with bold flamingo and pineapple motifs, tattoos and glitter, a gin bar and mezze-style food.

All of this styled out against the rolling hills of the Dales, plus a timeless La Sposa dress. We spoil you, we really do…

With images by Masha Unwerth

A Festival Wedding at Natural Retreats (c) Masha Unworth (21)

michelle says: We got engaged at home 20th April 2016. James bought a huge bunch of tulips, my favourite flower, and left a trail of petals through the house leading to more tulips spread around the living room. I found him down on one knee with a lovely sapphire engagement ring.

We had two weddings (I know, greedy) – the first was a legal ceremony on the 20th of April, exactly one year to the day we got engaged. This was a smaller affair with a registrar and just our immediate family.

Our second wedding on the 22nd of April with 120 of our nearest and dearest friends and family. It was conducted by two of our closest friends, who wrote the ceremony without our assistance, so there were a couple of surprises!

A Festival Wedding at Natural Retreats (c) Masha Unworth (38)

We got hitched at Natural Retreats in the Yorkshire Dales, and had both our ceremony and reception there. It’s a beautiful site with accommodation for nearly 100 guests. We were able to have a whole weekend of parties and got to spend quality time with everyone instead of feeling rushed. The venue was a blank canvas which we transformed with a small army of volunteers who hung, draped and stuck – they basically built an amazing wedding for us!

We chose a few very loose themes: gin, pineapples and flamingos. We also chose to create three rooms, each with a distinct ‘feel’.

A Festival Wedding at Natural Retreats (c) Masha Unworth (45)

The main ceremony/dance space and bar were as colourful and fun as we could make them with a bit of a festival vibe. We added a photo booth, a glitter and tattoo station and built our own bars from pallets which looked fantastic. James’ friend Pencil Girl created our wedding stationery and we had the design printed into temporary tattoos.

In the dining room we wanted a very clean and classy look with lots of plants instead of flowers. We created our own hanging foliage ‘chandeliers’, built and planted the table centrepieces ourselves and each table was assigned a gin bottle instead of table numbers.

A Festival Wedding at Natural Retreats (c) Masha Unworth (26)

I chose a La Sposa wedding dress from a boutique in Manchester. I decided it was the one for me because of the beautiful detail in the bodice and the plain but flowing skirt and train. The A-line cut suited my shape and I loved wearing it all day!

James did a lot of research into what he wanted to wear and chose to have a suit made by Beggars Run in East London, which he absolutely loved. He accessorised with Ted Baker shoes and socks, a vintage pocket watch (a gift from me) and Tatty Devine cufflinks.

The chief bridesmaid, my best friend Laura, chose a dress from Coast. It had a navy blue top with a turquoise skirt and floral detailing. The dress wasn’t a traditional bridesmaid’s dress but it went perfectly with the relaxed feel of the day. We also had two flower girls who both wore ivory dresses with a navy waist band from Etsy.

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