Charlotte Balbier

pretty personal. mori lee for a homemade wedding at newton hall – shona & lee

September 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (35)

Today’s real wedding has lots of lovely inspiration for crafty brides-to-be that are planning to hand make a lot of elements for their big day.

Having decided on a relaxed and pretty rose pink theme, bride Shona worked her magic on everything from the flowers and stationery, to the décor, and the results are nothing short of stunning.

So we’ll leave you to take note..

With images by Sue Pell and video by Top Table Films.

Shona & Lee | Newton Hall from Top Table Films on Vimeo.

shona says: We got engaged at home in our front room on 10th December 2013, having already argued about the fact we were putting the tree up two days early. Little did I know Lee had more to think about than just putting up the decorations.

One of Lee’s family traditions is to close your eyes and make a wish when the lights of the tree are turned on. I was sat patiently with our Labrador Boulmer, waiting for the big light turn on when Lee told me to keep my eyes closed for a second longer. When I was allowed to open them he was down on one knee with a huge plastic flashing ring in front of me. Lee knows how picky I am so thankfully let me chose my own ring, which I had designed by a good friend of mine at a local jeweller. And in case you are wondering the wish I made (and had made every day up until that point) was that Lee would ask me to marry him!

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (1)

We got married on 30th March 2015 at the amazing Newton Hall in Northumberland. I had already been to two of their open days with both of our mothers for a look around and I absolutely fell in love with the place. Years before we got engaged Lee had told me that we could only get married if I found a venue that could allow us to have a relaxed wedding, next to the beach or countryside and involving our dog – I actually think I couldn’t have found a better venue. I love the quirky styling and the fact that we could make the day exactly what we wanted.

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (14)

By the power of Pinterest I had about a million themes/styles in my head to begin with and I did find it difficult to stop pinning and start planning! I knew the day needed to be informal to suit our personalities and I wanted to create many of the decorations myself. So I suppose you can say we had a relaxed homemade theme with lots of pretty details. I decorated lots of jam jars and glass bottles, painted some old books and folded some of them to create beautiful centrepieces. Lee cut me lots of wood slices which were perfect for adding some rustic detailing. We had lots of fairly lights and tea light candles to soften the look.

As the wedding was in March I wanted to look at some lovely pastel spring colours. I ordered some fabric swatches online of colours I liked and literally bought everything and anything that matched them so I could see it in a bigger form. I sat with my bridesmaids and went through greens, blues, corals, pinks until we found a light rose colour we all loved. It is such a romantic colour and suited the time of year perfectly.

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (21)

As with most brides I had an idea of the type of dress I wanted and then went for the exact opposite! I only tried on about six or seven dresses and ended up finding mine by pure chance when visiting L’Amour Bridal Boutique in South Shields. The staff were really nice and helpful and helped narrow down my search very quickly. My mum began flicking through a Mori Lee catalogue and spotted ‘the one’ – Mori Lee Blu style 5108. By chance the store had it in stock, it was stunning and very figure hugging! We narrowed it down to a final two but when I came away all I could think about was the Mori Lee. In the end I didn’t actually buy it from L’Amour as my uncle picked the dress up in America for me – however the girls in the store were fantastic and I would definitely recommend them.

I had wanted Lee and the boys to wear grey as I thought it would match the rose colour theme well but he argued for navy and I’m very pleased he did too! Lee wore a tailored suit from Marks & Spencer and the boys were in a very similar one from Matalan. All in all I’d say they looked very smart, and it went perfectly with the rose of the bridesmaids.

The girls dresses I actually just picked up from the high street, I went on my own in my lunch hour and spotted them out the corner of my eye. They were exactly what I wanted and suited all the girls really well. I was worried the short length would mean they were a bit chilly so I matched it with a gorgeous grey cashmere pashmina and told them to brave the cold if they could!

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (24)

On the wedding day, Irene Roozbayani did mine and my bridesmaids’ makeup, which looked perfect all day, Our hair was by Paula at Northburn Hair.

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (40)

Lee and I, along with six of our close friends, spent the night before the wedding at Newton Hall. We went for the last supper at The Joiners Arms and then had some drinks and treats back in our room. It made it so much easier being at the hall on the day! Waking up the morning of the wedding next to Lee was so exciting and much more special than being apart I think.

Lee got dressed at the cottage his family had hired down the road and made his grand entrance to Newton Hall on his beloved Mountain Bike with Boulmer trotting along by his side.

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (28)

Our photographer was a very dear friend of mine Sue Pell. I actually work with Sue and she had long since retired from wedding photography when I met her. However before we met she photographed my cousin’s wedding six years ago which I was unable to attend. In my place I sent a life sized cardboard cut-out of myself and Sue could not believe it when we worked out the connection. She thought it was a sign and agreed to do our wedding photography as a gift to us! She is amazing, and we had a great connection on the day. I would recommend her to everyone although I’m not sure they would be able to persuade her back out of retirement now!

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (33)

I knew from the start I wanted a lovely romantic bouquet which wasn’t too formed or structured. I love a challenge so I decided to do my own flowers! I ordered a mixture of Avalanche, Memory Lane and Amnesia roses as the colours matched the theme perfectly, then to add some texture and scent we included Freesia, Gypsophila and some gorgeous Silver Brunia. My auntie has been involved in the flowers for all of our family weddings over the years and was amazing at helping me tie them all up and get them looking just perfect. Because we had ordered the flowers from a wholesaler we had so many left over that the glass jam jars and bottles I had ready for decoration were filled with the same flowers as my bouquet.

I was concerned that favours wouldn’t work well as we didn’t have a table plan, however I did want the guests to have a little memento of the day. I packed up some wildflower seeds and let our guests take a pack from a basked we placed on the bar.

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (41)

To save some money we decided to make our cake stand a little more special and buy our favourite Costco cakes! This way we got a little bit of variety and weren’t concerned if they didn’t get eaten. Lee cut some wooden discs as cake stands and we decorated the table with fairy lights and wicker hearts.

To continue with our relaxed wedding day theme we invited guests to meet us on the beach on the morning of the wedding. We had a lovely walk with all the dogs and our family and friends and then retreated to The Joiners Arms for a good old pub lunch. As our ceremony was later in the day we simply had a hot food buffet later in the evening once or night time guests had arrived. We decided on a Thai curry with sticky rice and some really good side dishes.

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (39)

I was set on my chosen entertainment from the start. We booked the band Hip Operation as I had seen them several times before and they never fail to put on a performance. The mixture of music they perform was fantastic and they had everyone up dancing. They really get involved with the guests and even came out to join us on the dance floor a few times.

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (43)

Five weeks before we got married we attended Lee’s sister’s wedding where she had booked a surprise caricaturist. He was so fantastic that Lee and I decided there and then that we wanted him too. Mike Giblin is such a fantastic artist and really mixed well with our guests.

As per Lee’s wedding day stipulations our Labrador Boulmer had to be by our sides all day and he really did make the day fantastic. Also, I think that so much of the wedding being handmade, from the stationery to the décor, really added to the day and made it so much more personal. It was a labour of love for me and I poured my heart and soul in to everything.

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (36)

During my decoration research I spent a lot of time watching people’s wedding videos from Newton Hall but one really stuck with me. It was by Top Table Films and I realised we should have a video done. I called Jon and explained our unconventional dog walk and pub lunch and he was really enthusiastic. The final five minute preview video absolutely took my breath away. I love having it to look back on and it is by far the one thing I will recommend to every bride. We also got a full length DVD featuring all the speeches and the full ceremony, which I adore.

We would definitely recommend Newton Hall as it lets you be as unique or as traditional as you want. The styling of the venue means to really don’t have to add a lot to it to make it look special and the team that work there all wonderful. Jane was the manager on duty for the day and her organisation skills were fantastic. We had also specially requested John Parker to be our Master of Ceremony as he spent a lot of time talking to us at an open day and really put my mind at ease about doing things different.

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (49)

Other than the ceremony I have to say my favourite part was getting ready with the girls. I don’t have any siblings and my best friends are like sisters to me. There was such a buzz in the bridal suite while we were getting ready and I didn’t want it to end. Lee’s speech was also a very special moment. It was really good, he made sure everyone was mentioned and thanked but also told some very special stories about the two of us. It was so sweet and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.

To avoid the school holidays we waited a few weeks after the wedding for the main honeymoon and so as a surprise for Lee I booked us a minimoon at Singdean B&B in Keilder. We later went on an all-inclusive honeymoon in Playa Del Carman in Mexico. It was two weeks of pure relaxation and indulgence.

A Crafty Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Sue Pell (45)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to never settle for something you don’t want. There is always a way around it and if it doesn’t tick the right box for you then don’t do it. Also do not stress over the guest list! Talk to your partner and if you both aren’t completely happy then change it. When it comes down to it the only people that have to be there are you two!

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keeping it classic. ronald joyce for a pretty wedding at west tower – victoria & christian

September 3rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (54)

This afternoon on the blog we have another wedding that stands out, not for having an unusual theme or vibrant colour scheme, but due to its simplicity.

After finding a dream venue in the West Tower, bride Victoria set to work adding elegant touches for the classic wedding she’d always dreamed of.

We love Victoria’s stunning Ronald Joyce gown, her maids’ lovely latte coloured dresses, the chic looking cake and all the pretty peonies. Just perfect!

With images by Teresa C Photography.

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (1)

victoria says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2012, three months after having our little boy so Christian asked me when he had got in from work as he was working that Christmas Day. Not very romantic but it was nice.

We picked the date the 30th May 2015 for the wedding because ever since we have been together the weather has always been nice around that time of year.

We got married at West Tower, Ormskirk. I was told about the venue by my florist, who I have known for more than 15 years. We went and took a look around and fell I love with it that much it made me cry. It was just what we were looking for, it had character but was modern at the same so was perfect for us.

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (18)

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (16)

I wanted an elegant theme just because it looks so lovely and classy. I think I went for this theme once we had found our venue and I had found my dress as it made me feel elegant so everything just fell into place.

I went with a latte type of colour scheme as again I thought it looked elegant and classy. I just knew I didn’t want bright colours.

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (22)

I chose a dress I didn’t think I would have as it had a high neckline and I always thought I would go for a strapless. It also had a lot of Swarovski crystals, which again I didn’t think of having initially. When I tried it on I was very surprised as it made stand up straight and made me feel so elegant – I just loved it. I did keep looking for a while but I just kept going back to the first one so that’s how I knew it was ‘the one’.

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (68)

My dress was by Ronald Joyce and my full length vail was by Joyce Jackson, both bought from Romantica in Wigan. My headdress was by Richard Designs and that was from a friend’s bridal shop, Bride 2 Be, in Leigh. My shoes where Jenny Packham from Debenhams and all jewellery was from Debenhams too.

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (26)

My husband, the best man and ushers all wore Moss London slim fitted suits with bid like waistcoats, which we thought really set them off. Their shoes were from Aldo and Topman and shirts from TM Lewin. Sue at The Wow Factor (who is amazing) made our son Harry’s full suit, the men’s ties and pocket ties and the bridesmaid dresses.

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (39)

For transport on the wedding day we hired a Daimler car from Grace Wedding Cars in Ashton Wigan, which was lovely.

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (44)

Our photographer was Teresa C Photography, who had already done photos for us in the past which we love so we didn’t hesitate at all in asking her would she do our wedding and the outcome was amazing. She is a very talented photographer and we would highly recommend her, as we always do.

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (12)
Our cake was made by Jane at Coco Cakes. I wanted a simple cake with pearls and a faded colour effect. We also wanted it to be all different flavours, as it was going to be our evening desert after our barbecue. We went for Victoria sponge, carrot, chocolate and then lemon drizzle, plus more chocolate in 50 cupcakes. It was all delicious. She is amazing at cake making and I’ve always got my cakes made by her. It was a three-day proses to make the cake, which was well worth it – she is a perfectionist!

Stacey Whitaker from Perfect Daze, in Wigan, created all the flower arrangements, including those carried by me and my bridesmaids. I wanted all flowers for table arrangements to be mainly hydrangeas and peonies so left Stacey to work her magic. She is an amazing florist and would highly recommend her and her team.

As favours we gave soaps to the ladies and scratch cards to the men.

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (20)
The entertainment for the evening was a band called Kings of the Dance Floor, who we found on the intern. They were an indie type of band and really got the place rocking! They were excellent all night and the dance floor was packed from beginning to end, which I guess you get with a very good band.

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (10)

Special touches on the day included my one of my best friends Olie, giving me away as my mum and dad have both passed away. I also had an old picture of my parents displayed on the day. The best man David did an amazing job of his speech and everybody has been talking about it since. He managed to get everyone clicking their fingers to the Adams Family!

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (59)

We would highly recommend West Tower to other couples, as they couldn’t do enough for us and the whole day ran smoothly. It was an amazing day, and one we will never forget!

A Romantic Wedding at The West Tower (c) Teresa C Photography (69)

We have yet to go on honeymoon. We are planning that for next year as we have just done the two of the most stressful things in life – buying a house and getting married.

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chic-onomics. augusta Jones for an elegant wedding at lartington hall – jessica & chris

September 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

If you were too busy playing out this Bank Holiday to catch up on all  things Brides Up North, make sure you click here to catch up on yesterday’s news… the new season and Unveiled Magazine, Issue #04 has landed! No rest for us wicked ones though, we’re getting busy with the pretty right away today… today’s bride and groom don’t like things too over the top and so decided to keep their big day simple and elegant, with both modern and traditional touches.

Following a church ceremony Jessica, Chris and their guests carried on the proceedings at the stunning Lartington Hall, which (having visited ourselves) we can say is a splendid choice of venue.

We love how chic this wedding is. With pretty pastel blooms, classic wedding transport and a dreamy satin wedding gown (in which Jessica looks gorgeous) it might be simple, but it sure is stylish!

With images by Joe Stenson.

jessica says: Chris attempted to propose on two different occasions. The first time was a surprise trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights but unfortunately there was an issue with the ring he had chosen so he didn’t have one and choose not to propose (but we did get to see the lights!).

The second was a surprise weekend to Paris but it was the week in 2014 when we had terrible storms and we got stuck in Dover for nine hours as the port was closed so we ended up missing the restaurant booking and arrived at 1am! Again he chose not to propose.

Third time lucky was an impromptu picnic in the New Forrest (we live in Surrey although I’m from County Durham) with our little dog Frank. Chris was acting very strangely, pacing up and down and eventually got down on one knee and popped the question. It couldn’t have been more perfect – beautiful scenery, wellies on and dog by our side!

We set the date for 25th April 2015. We originally wanted a winter wedding but as Chris proposed in March, I was worried there wasn’t enough time to organise a wedding for that winter. I love spring so this was our next option.

We got married at St. Romald’s Church, Romaldkirk, Teesdale, but we had our wedding weekend, including the reception at Lartington Hall.

My family have connections to the area and St. Romald’s is a beautiful church. We also fell in love with Lartington Hall and the two are only a few miles apart so it worked really well when transporting our guests. We chose Lartington Hall because it was exactly what we had dreamed of for a reception venue. It has all the English countryside charm of a stately home, but is stylish and elegant with a modern twist but doesn’t lose its fabulous history and appeal. John and the team at Lartington Hall are also just fantastic and put us at ease that we had chosen the right venue on our first meeting.

Simple elegance was our theme. We aren’t a fussy couple, we don’t really like lots of bling or making a big statement so we wanted the day to reflect our personalities. It was all about having a traditional, English country wedding with everyone we love around us having a relaxed day and loads of fun.

I’d always wanted my bridesmaids to wear navy dresses, however when we decided on a spring wedding we were worried they might look a little wintery. Rather than change the colour of their dresses, we decided to lighten the colour palette by having beautiful spring flowers in shades of light pinks, purples and blues. The stationary, cake and groomsmen’s accessories all followed the lighter spring colour theme.

A Chic Wedding at Lartington Hall (c) Joe Stenson (1)

I wanted a simple, classic and elegant dress. After trying on loads, I finally found my one at Ellie Sanderson Bridal Boutique in Beaconsfield. My dress was Anna by Augusta Jones. It is a structured ball gown with a sweetheart neckline, waist defining sash, and a full skirt, made in cream coloured Satin de Chine. I chose an organza overlay skirt also by Augusta Jones which I wore for the church service with a satin edge cathedral veil. For the evening I changed my sash and wore an Austrian crystal sash called Virginia from Ivory & Co. to give me a different look. My shoes were by Emmy London and were customised with mother of pearl T-bar.

Chris and all of the groomsmen wore traditional navy tails from Moss Bros. Chris wore an ivory waistcoat and cravat, while the groomsmen wore silver waistcoats and Creswell pink cravats. Our nephews (aged seven and ten) had top hats to match their suits.

The bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses in ‘midnight’ which we purchased from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. They matched these with silver sandals and were each given a silver bracelet to wear on the day.

On the wedding day Sally Ward from La Belle Vous, did hair and makeup for me and my three bridesmaids. She did a fantastic job and was lovely to have around on what could have been a very stressful morning! Everyone looked gorgeous but most importantly felt really good after she had worked her magic.

We hired traditional cars from Brooklands Wedding Cars in Durham, to transport all of the wedding party. My mum and I travelled in a 1930s Beauford convertible in navy and cream. The bridesmaids travelled in a 1920s Regent Landaulette in navy and cream, and the groom and family travelled in a cream Daimler State Limousine.

As we met in Nottingham and moved to the south and with Chris’ family being from Hampshire, the vast majority of our guests had to travel to our wedding. Because of this we wanted to put on a coach transfer from the hotels they were staying to the wedding and back again. We organised this through Enterprise Travel, based in Darlington.

When it came to booking a photographer, we contacted Joe Stenson who was based in Leeds and he travelled to meet us for an initial chat. We instantly knew we had picked the right photographer. He is hugely talented with a very laidback approach and was an absolute pleasure to have as part of our big day. We can’t stop looking at our photos – they are just fantastic and really capture what a happy, fun day it was. We would highly recommend Joe, and his colleague George, who also photographed our day.

Kirsty and Katy from Darling & Green, created all of our flower arrangements for church and venue and our bouquets and button holes, Hydrangea were our main theme for the flowers and these were arranged along with a selection of ranunculus, tulips, astrantia, allium sphaerocephalon and hellebores, following our spring colour palette of light dusky pink, soft shades of pink and purple with touches of very light blue and soft foliage.

Darling & Green arranged all of the venue flowers as well in the same theme as above. We had hurricane vases with candles and flowers and tall goblet vases with flowers on alternate tables. We also had mantelpiece arrangements of flowers and candles in the main ball room as well as vintage bottles containing hydrangea heads dotted around the different rooms of Lartington Hall. At the church we had the archway into the church decorated with willow and our chosen flowers, pew ends of hydrangeas and pedestal arrangements containing flowers and candles.

Jill Ellis who owns Hope You Can Make It, in Middlesbrough, designed all of our stationary in shades of the pinks and purples of the hydrangeas so the theme was continued through to the table plan, table names, menus and place settings.

We created a table plan using an antique picture frame, antique keys and old luggage tags. Guests were invited to ‘find the key to their seat’ from the keys hung on the table plan and on each individuals key was the name of their table. We also purchased a drop top guest book where guests could write messages on wooden hearts and post them in the top of an oak frame to create a keepsake of the day.

A Chic Wedding at Lartington Hall (c) Joe Stenson (9)

On our recent trip to Paris we fell in love with traditional Parisian macaroons and so decided to give these as favours to our guests. Chris Burnett at Burnetts 4 Cakes, created traditional macaroons in blush pink and each guest had two macaroons presented in a gift bag at their place setting.

Chris also created our cake. We wanted a simple, elegant, statement cake with oversized tiers and squared edges. Chris took our ideas and created a stunning cake. Each tier was a different flavour: fruit, carrot, chocolate orange and red velvet. The tiers were very plain with ivory icing, except for the bottom tier which was covered in intricate blush pink iced frills. My only regret was I didn’t get any! But we have saved the fruit tier so there is still hope!

Following canapés served during the drinks reception, we had a wedding breakfast of Smoked Salmon to start, Roast Beef and Yorkshire puddings for mains and Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert. In the evening we had hog roast sandwiches served on the dance floor in large baskets – not to interrupt proceedings!

To provide entertainment during the church service we booked Dr Robin Harrison, who is a fantastically talented organ player, and his choir The Bobby Dazzlers. They performed while we were signing the register and were very popular among the guests. We then hired Purple Supper Band for the entertainment back at Lartington Hall and they played jazz piano during our drinks reception, followed by two very lively sets by the band and the DJ finished the night off. The dance floor was full from start to finish!

To make the wedding all the more special, we invited our immediate wedding party to stay with us for the weekend at Lartington Hall, which has 12 beautiful bedrooms. We had a lovely rehearsal dinner on the Friday prior to the wedding and the Saturday preparations were very relaxed as everyone was in the same place.

We would absolutely recommend Lartintgon Hall to all. It is a truly stunning venue, but also the team are so friendly and accommodating – nothing is too much trouble. They make the weekend an extremely relaxing one so the wedding couple can concentrate on enjoying their special day. We could not have asked for more from them.

The wedding service was obviously very special to us, but I think our favourite part of the day was walking into the ball room at Lartington Hall to greet our guests for dinner and seeing everyone together for us – we also got a huge cheer which was fantastic!

Neither I nor Chris had been to Asia or the Far East so we wanted to visit this part of the world for our honeymoon. We chose Vietnam with a one-night stopover in Singapore on the way home. We were away for three weeks and had a fabulous time visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Halong Bay with a ten day stay on a private cove at the fabulous Six Senses Resort Nimh Van Bay. The best things we did were a Vietnamese cookery course, conducted in a tropical garden and a private dining experience in a cave for my birthday. Singapore was a fabulous end to the trip as it was a total contrast to the cities of Vietnam with its modern infrastructure, sky scraper buildings and super clean streets.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – lists, lists and more lists! I make lists in my sleep so this was the way I organised myself during the planning stages. On the day itself, I would say make sure everything is done by the day before so you can really relax and enjoy every little second of the day – it is over so fast. Also, take a step back and observe just for a few seconds at different stages of the day. It is such a blur when it’s all over you will be pleased you took mental pictures of everything that is going on around you.

I can honestly say it was the best day of our lives!

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perfect pastels. claire pettibone for a relaxed & elegant wedding at samlesbury hall – donna & ric

August 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (34)

This is another one if those weddings that’s so pretty we actually gasped when we first saw the images.

We adore Donna’s choice of a delicate lace Claire Pettibone dress, which complements her soft colour scheme of pale cornflower blue and antique pink to a tee.

Keeping things simple, Donna and Ric didn’t go OTT with their décor, instead opting for dreamy floral arrangements to bring the colour and leaving the rest of the detail to the venue. For us, this is pure perfection!

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (6)

donna says: We got engaged in May 2014 on our hotel balcony in Montmartre, Paris. Ric was hoping to pop the question in Jardins du Luxembourg earlier in the day during a picnic, but as it was a sunny bank holiday Sunday in Paris, there were crowds and never quite the right moment! We celebrated on Monday with a gastro lunch on Bateaux Parisiens cruise on the Seine, which was fantastic.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (2)

We set the date for 18th July 2015, hoping for a sunny summer’s day and our chosen venue, Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire, only had two Saturday dates left in 2015.

We chose the venue as we wanted a civil ceremony, and also somewhere with history and where we could show our family in years to come. As a historic home with bags of character and a really welcoming team, we knew Samlesbury was for us. The Whittaker Room where we were married was the old family chapel of the family that used to live there, so felt so special and unique.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

We didn’t want a clear theme as such. However, soon into planning our marriage, we tended to like vintage glamour, antique type styles. We also wanted to reflect the summer and a relaxed, elegant style. We also noticed a ‘scallop’ theme emerging in our choices – our stationery pattern, the lace in my dress and my jewellery.

Our colour scheme was pale cornflower blue (Dessy – Larkspur) and pale antique pink. We both love cornflower, and it fitted perfectly against the backdrop of Samlesbury’s black and white buildings and green lawns.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (12)

A wonderful friend of ours Nikki Graeme is director of The White Closet in West Didsbury, and it was top of my list for dress shopping! I did look at a number of different designs before making my choice. The new gown Estelle in Claire Pettibone’s Romantique collection just felt right as soon as I tried it on. I wanted something that was light and comfortable whilst also elegant with a touch of glamour. When I tried it on Sweet Disposition came on the radio and I found myself twirling around in the dressing room, so I knew it was the one!

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (15)

Ric and the ushers wore ties and pocket squares from Dessy and hired navy three piece suits from Youngs at Debenhams.

My two bridesmaids Imogen and Jen wore knee length Dessy dresses in Larkspur and our flower girls wore ivory satin dresses with netted skirts with Dessy accessories to match the older bridesmaids.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (20)

Our hair and makeup artists was Nathan Hynes. We couldn’t recommend him enough, such a lovely friendly guy and really creative and talented with hair and makeup using Charlotte Tilbury products.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (22)

On the day of the wedding, my mum, two bridesmaids and I travelled in a silver Bentley Flying Spur from David Anthony Chauffeur Services in Manchester. They were wonderful and incredibly reliable and professional.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (23)

Hayley Baxter was our photographer and she was truly exceptional. From the moment we met Hayley on our pre-wedding shoot at Dunham Massey, we felt totally relaxed in her company, and really confident in her professionalism and technical skills.

On the big day Hayley arrived at our home whilst we were having hair and make-up done, she subtly starting capturing special moments, and felt like part of the day immediately. Hayley was so discreet, yet in these quiet moments was brilliantly capturing the details of the day. Hayley has a real knack of making sure the photographs progress swiftly, whilst being charming and friendly and put all our family and friends at ease. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (26)

I had a loose bouquet of summer flowers, including peonies and roses. I cried when I saw them, they were so beautiful! We also had a flower arch over the doorway at Samlesbury Hall which looked beautiful too. The Flower Lounge provided these as well as our floral decorations for the reception. We had silver candelabras with the same theme of peonies and roses on each of our top tables.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (28)

We used Amanda at Love Invited, who was wonderful, for all our stationery using her ‘Hollywood Glamour’ designs. She was thoroughly professional and the quality of her stationery was fantastic.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (30)

To continue our Parisian theme we gave our guests favours of colourful sweet Macaroons from Sam Joseph chocolatiers in Altrincham Market. They are a local supplier who we had seen at our local market and their macaroons were exquisite!

For our wedding cake, we decided to go for a simple iced sponge cake with three tiers of different flavours: orange and raspberry, blueberry and walnut, and lemon on top. This again was from a local supplier who we have tried and tested in the past from visits to The White Closet – The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon on Burton Road. We chose a ‘The Smiths’ cake topper from Not on the High Street for a bit of fun.

There was plenty of choice on the wedding breakfast menu from Samlesbury’s chef. At our tasting we loved the lamb, so this was an obvious choice for us. Starters and dessert were a bit more of a challenge, however we went for a summery Caprese salad with parma ham to start, and finished with our favourite – an unseasonal sticky toffee pudding!

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (31)

Music was a really important element of the wedding to us and so we chose John Gilmore to play live Saxophone outside on the lawn during our canapés. We also chose songs during signing of the register and walking back down the aisle which were light hearted and set the mood of the day – happiness and celebrations.

Rick Cropper was our DJ for the evening entertainment. We met him back in September at Samlesbury Hall and were impressed by his friendly relaxed style. The dance floor was busy all night! We provided some fun kiddies packs for the little ones to keep them entertained too.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (32)

My favourite part of the day was saying our vows in front of family and friends and looking into Ric’s eyes – it was magical. For Ric it was (apparently) me walking down the aisle with my dad Peter! And the first dance, which was lots of fun and very improvised.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (39)

Following the wedding, we had a lovely relaxing minimoon in North Yorkshire, near Helmsley, in a little cottage. We are lucky enough to be visiting South Africa (Safari, Capetown and the Winelands) and Dubai next month for a longer break.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (45)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to remember that however challenging the planning might feel at times (when working long hours and decorating a new house, it can be tough) it will all be worth it the moment your day begins and all your hard work and vision pays off. You should relax and enjoy it – a few people commented that we both seemed very relaxed and involved in enjoying our day. That was absolutely the case and this was due to wonderful suppliers and time invested up front.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (48)

My other top tip would be to leave a couple of days before the wedding when you literally are all planned out and have time to relax. We finished all of the final details the weekend before so I had two days with my bridesmaids and my mum and had time to write cards, wrap presents and be pampered!

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pure perfection. a classic wedding with pale pink touches at beeston manor – gillian & ashley

August 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Real Wedding at Beeston Manor (c)  Arushas Images Photography (53)

Here at Brides Up North we love to see couples’ cool and quirky wedding ideas play out in their imaginative themes, but we also feel you just can’t beat a simple & classic big day.

Bride Gillian was set on having the latter for her wedding to Ashley, which took place at the lovely Beeston Manor in Preston, a venue the couple were set on from day one.

With elegance in abundance, everything about this wedding fits in with Gillian’s wishes for pretty and romantic, from her beautiful slim fit dress, to the simple styling and the bridesmaids’ dreamy pastel gowns.

With images by Arusha Images Photography.

A Pretty Real Wedding at Beeston Manor (c)  Arushas Images Photography (14)

gillian says: We got engaged in Egypt. We were completing our PADI diving course whilst on holiday and Ashley decided our first open water dive was the best time to propose. He popped out a ring on the bottom of the red sea. I was in total shock! The whole dive crew were in on it and everyone cheered when we got back to the boat. It was all very thoughtful and romantic!

A Pretty Real Wedding at Beeston Manor (c)  Arushas Images Photography (9)

Our wedding date was 6th June 2015. We had our hearts set on Beeston Manor in Preston, as our venue and so waited two years for a Saturday in spring! We had viewed the venue back in in May 2013 and instantly loved it, both of us knew that was where we wanted to get married.

We didn’t have a theme as such, I just wanted a pretty, romantic and classic wedding. Our colour scheme was pink, ivory and pearls. It was a perfect, simple and pretty wedding.

A Pretty Real Wedding at Beeston Manor (c)  Arushas Images Photography (16)

I chose a dress from Dreamcatcher in Kirkham. I actually bought a strapless dress and had a bespoke jacket made to go out the top. I chose a fairly simple lace dress – I wanted something stylish and classic, but not over the top. I felt the final dress was very me! On the wedding day Be Beautiful did my hair. They were amazing and put up with my fussing.

Ashley wore a blue three piece suit from Ted Baker and the groomsmen all wore navy suits from Next.

Our bridesmaids’ pale pink dresses were all from ASOS.

A Pretty Real Wedding at Beeston Manor (c)  Arushas Images Photography (39)

Ashley and I bought our wedding rings from George Banks Jewellers. We decided this was an area to splash out on since we will wear them every day for the rest of our lives!

A Pretty Real Wedding at Beeston Manor (c)  Arushas Images Photography (40)

Arusha Images Photography photographed our wedding day. We would totally recommend her to other brides and grooms. Her photographs are very romantic and utterly beautiful. They are exactly what we wanted as a memory of our day!

A Pretty Real Wedding at Beeston Manor (c)  Arushas Images Photography (47)

Rachel at Sweet Peas Florist did all our wedding flowers, including my huge bouquet of beautiful blooms. I went to her with ideas and let her get creative with the final pieces. I was so impressed. She is extremely talented!

We use Add a Little Sparkle to decorate Beeston Manor to suit our chosen theming and colours. Using this company totally made our venue. Everything looked stunning!

A Pretty Real Wedding at Beeston Manor (c)  Arushas Images Photography (50)

As favours gave out sparklers to our guests and at 10pm everyone got together for a photo. The idea was more successful than the reality!

We had a three course sit down meal as our wedding breakfast. It was delicious! The wine was provided by Beeston and perfectly complemented the menu. For our wedding cake we had a three tiered simple floral design, which was from Simply Cupcakes.

A Pretty Real Wedding at Beeston Manor (c)  Arushas Images Photography (67)

To provide entertainment at the reception, we hired a three piece jazz band fronted by Willy Fluss. I can’t recommend them enough!

A Pretty Real Wedding at Beeston Manor (c)  Arushas Images Photography (61)

Following our wedding, we would certainly recommend Beeston Manor to other couples. The venue is so beautiful and everyone there was so lovely to us and our guests! We had the perfect day.

A Pretty Real Wedding at Beeston Manor (c)  Arushas Images Photography (63)

Looking back we would say the reception was our favourite part of the day – we loved that everyone could let their hair down and dance!

A Pretty Real Wedding at Beeston Manor (c)  Arushas Images Photography (68)

After the wedding we went on honeymoon to Miami. We have a nine-month-old so we decided this was a good place for a family trip. We are due to go to Thailand in January for our official honeymoon and can’t wait!

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to check in with your other half regularly throughout the day! Everyone wants to speak to you on your wedding day and before you know it you find it’s been ages since you last checked in with each other. We found it best to greet and thank all our guests together so then we could enjoy the rest of the evening on the dance floor!

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