Charlotte Balbier

all i want is you. maggie sottero for a small and intimate wedding at hipping hall – laura & peter

November 16th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Laura and Peter’s intimate wedding at Hipping Hall was full of luxurious details: a Maggie Sottero Ettia gown, Jimmy Choo heels and home-grown seasonal blooms that packed a real punch – just take a look at those peonies!

This pair of foodies also created a menu to die for, agonising over canape and course choices until they were sure their perfect day could boast the perfect wedding breakfast.

Laura is full of praise for photographer Rachel Joyce and it’s easy to see why: these photographs sparkle with joy, love and summer sun.

With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.

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laura says: Peter proposed on Boxing Day 2013, when we were in Australia visiting Peter’s brother, his wife and children. Peter was insistent that just the two of us head out on Boxing Day. However, Peter’s plan of proposing to me amongst the vineyards at Moet & Chandon didn’t work out so all day he was on edge and wanting to stop at every lookout or place of interest on our trip. Finally, after driving up mountains and through forests, he found a perfect spot at Sugarloaf Reservoir in Christmas Hills, Victoria. I wasn’t expecting it and we both cried!

We arranged our wedding for Saturday 30th July 2016.  We chose the date because we wanted a summer wedding and for Peter’s family from Australia to be there.

We decided on Hipping Hall in Kirkby Lonsdale for our venue. We visited the hall in 2015 and loved that it was so small and intimate. Plus, there was snow and it looked so pretty. We couldn’t wait to see it in summer. Being foodies, we also loved that our guests would be well looked after and enjoy amazing food and wine.

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There was no particular colour scheme to the wedding; we just wanted bright and fun colours. The venue was impressive enough without having to dress it too much. We did however, theme a lot of the wedding around the lyrics to our first dance song, All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar, as they’re so lovely.

I wore a Maggie Sottero dress called Ettia. I adored it from the first time I tried it on. I’d always wanted quite a straight dress and thought that the vintage style of this particular gown was just stunning, especially the pearl and crystal embellishment. I bought it from Aristocrats in Chester, who were fabulous. Dress shopping was unexpectedly easy. Aristocrats was the first shop I visited. I tried about ten dresses on and they were all lace apart from the Ettia, which I eventually went for. To this day I’ve no idea how I even ended up trying it on – it was nothing like the others I was trying. My mum and two friends all cried (so did I!) so I knew it was ‘the one’.  I bought Jimmy Choo shoes as a treat and on the wedding day Peter left a matching Jimmy Choo clutch bag in my room.

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Peter wanted a less formal feel for his outfit and I’ve always known he doesn’t enjoy wearing a tie for work. So we asked ourselves why would he wear one for the wedding? He looked so handsome and smart in his Hugo Boss suit with crisp white shirt and no tie. His accessories also added a touch of style with his Oliver Sweeney shoes and handmade pocket square from Ylleanna, Biella in Italy, matching lapel pin and socks.

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As we had such a small wedding (only 41 people), we decided that we didn’t want formal bridesmaids and groomsmen and wanted to make it a family day instead. I therefore had Peter’s three nieces as my bridesmaids. They looked stunning in pink floral dresses. Pete’s nephew kept the rings safe and presented them to us in the ceremony.

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bright & beautiful. a sparkling wedding in manchester – zaynah & saaqib

November 15th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today’s real wedding blends tradition with lots of sparkle, and saw bride, Zaynah, finally wear the wedding dress of her dreams.

With an exuberant red, pink and gold colour scheme, complemented by beautiful bouquets and a plush backdrop to the day’s proceedings, this is everything we could wish for from a traditional Indian/Pakistani themed wedding.

With photos by Annie-Rose Photos.

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zaynah says: We got engaged the traditional Indian/Pakistani way on 25th October 2015, which included the two families meeting and getting to know each other.

We got married the following year, on 3rd September 2016. There was no specific reason for picking this date but afterwards we discovered that it was the first day of Dhul-Hijjah 1437, according to the Islamic calendar, which marks the first of Hajj, a special pilgrimage performed by Muslims.

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We held our wedding at Manzil Restaurant and Banuqeting Hall, in Manchester. We picked this venue because we had attended many weddings there previously and they all went really well. When we met with the staff, they were very helpful.

My theme revolved around my mother’s wedding dress. Since I was a child, I would look at pictures of my mum’s wedding dress and wish I could wear it, so when it was finally my turn to get married, I asked my mum if I could wear her dress. For that reason, I decided on the traditional Indian/Pakistani theme.

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For the colour scheme, I chose red and gold, again influenced by my wedding dress, with pink too as it complemented both colours.

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captain’s table. justin alexander for an urban wedding at the merseyside maritime museum – beth & will

November 14th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog, we’re all at sea as we head to Liverpool for our latest real wedding.

Engaged for just over a year, Beth and beau Will – who is in the Navy – tied the knot at Bridge Chapel in Garston. Despite their best attempts to avoid an obvious naval theme, the couple were won over by the Maritime Museum and its picture-perfect views of the city’s skyline, and ended up hosting their celebrations in this iconic landmark, complete with a swing and jazz band.

With some of the couple’s guests contributing to their special day – we’re talking a handmade wedding cake and specially written music for them to walk down the aisle to – this is a wedding brimming with unforgettable and sentimental touches.

With images by Ian MacMichael Photography.

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Beth says: Will and I got engaged in May 2015 in Sefton Park in Liverpool. Will is from Liverpool and loved taking me to visit where he grew up. I quickly fell in love with the place and Sefton Park was one of my favourite spots.

Will is in the Navy, and whilst abroad in Gibraltar he was window shopping and found my engagement ring. As he didn’t have a permanent space to leave his belongings, he hid it in one of his bags in my house, waiting for the opportunity to ask.

We visited his family one sunny day in May and had lounged around all morning so decided to go for a long walk. After settling down by the lake and reading together in Sefton Park, he pulled a big black box out of his rucksack and it was filled with sentimental items that told the story of our relationship, like a wooden postcard I carved for him one Valentine’s Day when he was away on a ship, and the train tickets from when he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was touched that he had kept all of these things and the next thing I knew, Will told me to close my eyes. When I opened them, there he was with the ring. He had to ask twice as I was so surprised I didn’t answer the first time!

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We were married on Saturday 6th August 2016. I didn’t want a long engagement but I have family who were living abroad at the time that we both wanted there. It also meant that Will could give plenty of notice to his boss so that he could request leave.

We were married at Bridge Chapel in Garston – the church that Will and his family have attended since Will was small. We are both committed Christians and wanted God to be a big focus of our day. The service was beautiful.

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We held our reception at Merseyside Maritime Museum. I’m a bit of a self-confessed hipster, so I love anything red brick and museum related. Will had asked that we avoided a naval theme, but when we stepped inside the venue and saw the gorgeous Liverpool skyline out of the window, we simply couldn’t resist!

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laidback glam. a chic wedding with a rustic twist at the saddleworth hotel – hannah & tom

November 11th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog we bring you a beautiful real wedding in the picturesque foothills of the Pennines.

After a three-year engagement, Hannah and Tom exchanged vows over the May bank holiday weekend, in the quaint setting of the village church in Ripponden.

Blending rustic charm with an elegant and contemporary décor – not to mention one of the most stunning balconied ballrooms we have ever seen – The Saddleworth Hotel provided the gorgeous backdrop to the couple’s memorable celebrations.

With handwritten notes to each and every guest, as well as a special donation to a charity close to their hearts – this was a wedding brimming with nostalgia and personal touches from start to finish.

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

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hannah says: We got engaged three years ago. Tom arranged for us to go away for the weekend to one of our favourite hotels. He hired a beach hut and brought along a picnic with prosecco. He pulled out the ring which he’d had made for me and, obviously, I said yes. We then headed back to the hotel, where he’d arranged to meet my parents for a meal to celebrate.

We got married on Saturday 28th May 2016. I’m a teacher so we needed a date that fitted in with the school holidays, and with a good chance of nice weather! The bank holiday weekend fell in the middle of our spring bank holiday, so it was perfect.

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We tied the knot at St Bartholomew’s Church, in Ripponden. This is our village church and it was also the church I went to whilst growing up, so it was really special to get married there.

Our reception was at The Saddleworth Hotel in Delph. It was actually the first venue we looked at, and nothing else came close. We loved the mix of old and new – the ballroom is amazing and fitted really well with our vision for the day. The double height room really is special.  The venue and grounds are absolutely stunning and the team there is brilliant; nothing is too much trouble.

We chose The Saddleworth Hotel partly because of its glamorous setting and wanted to incorporate this theme within our wedding. We wanted our day to be classic and glam, but at the same time reflect us as a couple and be laidback enough for guests to really enjoy themselves. We wanted our guests to feel special, and spot those little touches that made the day about us as a couple and as individuals. So, not an easy job!

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We didn’t have a specific colour scheme, although the bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses and the flowers were blush pink and white. Everything else we picked because we loved it and it fitted our idea for the day.

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My dress was a chiffon and beaded Justin Alexander gown, which I bought from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I had an idea of what I wanted when I started looking for dresses, and this was absolutely not it! But when I tried the dress on, I swished around the room and felt like an amazing version of me! It wasn’t what I set out to get, but it was the perfect dress for our day.

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feel good factor. house of mooshki for a seaside themed wedding at northorpe hall – lene & jimmy

November 10th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Lene and Jimmy’s big day at Northorpe Hall in Kirklees, was packed full of fun and personality, with thousands of origami flowers, space hoppers and an ice-cream van.

Lene rocked a pink tea-length dress and songs from old-time numbers to Blink 182, were provided by the bridal party’s talented friends.

But the feel-good factor goes beyond the pretty details, for Northorpe Hall was set up to support a children’s mental health charity, and so through their wedding Lene and Jimmy made a significant contribution to a very good cause.

So sit back for Lene’s uplifting account of a big day with big hearts, you’re going to love it…

Photography by Amber Marie Photography.

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lene says: We got engaged three years ago whilst on holiday in Clearwater, Florida. We were enjoying the sunset whilst hanging out on the beach, and Jimmy put his arm round me and muttered “So, err, you fancy getting married then?” We’re not ones for big, romantic gestures, but it did feel a bit like he was trying to sell me a dodgy watch or something. That being said, it really was the perfect, most awkward, Jimmy-esque proposal.

We got married on the 30th July. With us having a seaside theme, me having a tea-length dress, and us being in a potentially chilly venue (barns aren’t known for their warmth and insulation), we knew we’d need it to be during the summer months.

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From the outset, I knew I wanted a barn venue decked out in fairy lights; and we wanted it to be at a mid-way point for our families (James’ family are based in Doncaster, and mine in Clitheroe). When we found Northorpe Hall in Mirfield, it ticked all the boxes. And better still, it’s owned by a charity, so prices are very reasonable and you know that the money you spend is going towards a good cause.

We had a bit of a DIY seaside theme. A lot of our favourite memories are based around beaches so it was something that just slowly came together.

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We didn’t have much of a colour scheme. We’d originally thought about having a light blue, but as my dress was pink we worried it might end up looking like a baby shower! As the bouquets were made from paper, we’d originally thought they should be white, but they looked really plain and a bit tacky – so we decided that each bridesmaid would have a different colour. That kind of threw any colour scheme out the window.

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woodland wonderment. stewart parvin for a luxurious winter wedding at colshaw hall – luisa & peter

November 9th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s real wedding is just perfect for the snow flurries that we are seeing up and down the country today.  We hope you are all safe and cosy with a steaming cup of something chocolately on your desk or on your knee!

Luisa and Peter pulled off the impressive feat of a Christmas wedding without a can of snow spray or a gilded pine cone in sight. Instead, their big day at Colshaw Hall in Cheshire, was led by an organic woodland theme, full of warm earthy tones and plenty of grown-up black-tie glamour.

The food and the playlist were particular focal points for this Manchester music-loving pair, and the following day saw the festivities extended with an aprés-ski extravaganza. So get comfortable, perhaps with a glass of Malbec or a mulled wine – go on, Luisa would definitely approve!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography

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luisa says: Peter and I got engaged in Barbados. One night we went down for dinner and, instead of heading for our usual table in the restaurant, we were led down a path lined with candles that took us to a private beach and a table for two. When we sat down and opened the menus, I saw all of my favourite foods and champagne. Then a steel band appeared playing Elvis Presley’s I Cant Help Falling In Love With You. When I looked around, Peter was down on one knee; it was a truly magical moment. He made a beautiful speech and, of course, I said yes. We spent the rest of the week celebrating and relaxing; it was just so perfect!

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We chose to get married on 19th December 2015 because it was the closest Saturday to the Winter Solstice – a date important to me and my mum. We wanted a winter wedding as we felt that there were lots more options to explore in terms of the decorations and the vibe that we could create.

For the venue, we chose Colshaw Hall in Cheshire. We wanted to make sure that the event was totally private and this was the huge bonus of Colshaw: the venue and all of its grounds are hired exclusively so we wouldn’t be sharing our special day with anyone else. Secondly, as Peter’s family are based in Suffolk, we wanted to make sure that there was accommodation onsite to ensure that the wedding weekend was as easy as possible for those travelling. Having looked at quite a few venues in the area, Colshaw’s accommodation was, we felt, the most beautiful. Each room has its own stunning theme and beautiful view over the grounds. Colshaw’s Peel Suite also offered a beautiful blank canvas; no wedding looks the same there. We had hired the main house for the drinks and canapés straight after the service and this offered a unique, cosy, Christmas drinks party atmosphere.

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Theme-wise, we wanted to create a natural and organic winter forest. Peter and I love walking our dog Digby up on the Edge and we wanted to recreate that same earthy, woodland environment. I wanted my wedding to be just that little bit ‘out there’, and having the trees as the centrepiece certainly achieved that goal. As our wedding was the weekend before Christmas, I think people expected us to go down the more conventional festive route and it was truly lovely seeing their reactions to the chapel and the main room. We’d focused on lots of earthy tones, such as dark greens and ambers, making sure that everything was lit by candles to create warmth.

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I had chosen quite a traditional and simple gown designed by Stewart Parvin with the lace detail as a nod to my Italian heritage. My dress was bought and styled by the incredible ladies at LOVE Bridal in Cheshire. They helped accessorise my gown with a Stewart Parvin veil, lace jacket and honey-toned belt which contemporised it perfectly. My shoes were Hangisis by Manolo Blahnik; I just loved their quirkiness. In the evening, I removed the lace jacket and added a thin sparkly belt to liven it up for the dancing. I visited several bridal stores and LOVE Bridal’s service surpassed all the London boutiques. From the beautiful little cakes they serve to the ‘grand reveal’, the wonderful Emma and Clare have it covered.

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