July 13th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Our fabulous Friday real wedding between Lauren and Nick begins with a rather novel proposal – a one carrot gold proposal, if you will (yes, we did say carrot!). It sets the tone for a cool and quirky wedding at the stylish Holmes Mill, Lancashire, where industrial meets luxury.
We love Lauren’s original 1950s below-the-knee dress in blush pink with its flirty skirt, lace detail and wide sash nipping in at the waist. It suits Lauren down to the ground as she conveys an air of vintage charm and her wonderful lively personality, shines through in all the images. She completes her individual attire with a pair of sparkly, striped shoes topped with pink and blue ruffles. And groom Nick too has a strong sense of style – we more than approve of his slim tan tie and the two-tone brogues.
This carefree couple look comfortable throughout resulting to a relaxed and fun day filled with entertaining interludes; from calling up some of the guests to take on carving duties (complete with chef’s hats) to competitive ice-cream-eating and one seriously happening ceilidh. So, join us as we two-step this way to hear more about their truly awesome celebrations.
With images by Sarah Glynn Photography.
lauren says: We got engaged on Christmas morning 2015. We grow a lot of our own food in our garden, and whilst preparing dinner we went outside to pick some carrots. Nick kept suggesting a specific one, but I didn’t think it looked any good. He eventually convinced me to pick it and there was a piece of string attached to the carrot. At the end of the string was a bag; in the bag was an engagement ring! It was his maternal grandmother’s ring and it still had the original receipt from 1910!
We got married on Saturday 9th June 2018 at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe. We were driving our daughter to a music gig in a library in Lancaster and talking about weddings; Nick mentioned he’d seen “somewhere pretty cool” on a website, so I checked it out and called three days later. The venue and everyone involved there were totally unbelievable! Everyone at Holmes Mill went above and beyond to ensure we had the most perfect day. They accommodated everything and took any stress away from us – even when I asked that someone bring Nick eight ice creams throughout the day. (We once attended a wedding where the groom managed to eat six ice creams. Nick later described him as an “absolute hero” and so I wanted Nick to be a hero at his own wedding!) Communication and organisation was second to none and we were thrilled with everything about the day.
We didn’t have a specific theme – just that we wanted the wedding to be very ‘us’. That meant having lots of wine, good music, lots of friends and the odd cycling reference here and there. I guess the wedding colour scheme was dictated by my dress really. With the dress being pale pink, it felt right that flowers, etc. should be muted and very ‘earthy’.
When it came to my dress, Nick actually bought it for me. I’m a real lover of everything vintage and second hand and it’s a genuine 50s dress. I had seen the dress on Susan Hayward’s Facebook page and loved it. On Christmas day it arrived wrapped up. I mentioned on the day that I had seen the dress and imagined it as my wedding dress, he agreed and it sat in the wardrobe until this year. Thank goodness it still fitted! Nick has always been great at choosing clothes for me; I‘m very lucky.
My hair was done by Rachel Wigle at Watermelon Studio in Liverpool. She’s an amazing hairdresser and a fantastic friend; she was invited to the wedding and insisted I wasn’t to do my own hair for my own wedding! It was perfect.
My makeup was done by my wonderful sister Emma Parker. She’d just completed her Level 2 in beauty and so I was really keen for her to do my makeup. We had a few trials and she knew exactly what I wanted. Again, it was perfect.
July 10th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
As the backdrop and setting to your big day, deciding on the venue can be one of the trickiest hurdles to overcome during the planning process. Couples are often keen to find somewhere that suits their taste, style and personalities – though the absolute cherry on the cake has to be if the venue is new to the wedding scene, meaning that none of their guests will have attended an event there before.
As such it’s a super exciting part of our jobs when we can reveal a freshly launched venue as one of our latest Sponsors – just as we’re doing in this post today. And it’s one for those of you looking to marry in the North West – introducing the fabulous Tilstone House, a stunning stately home located just outside of Tarporley, in the heart of the Cheshire countryside.
This exclusive wedding and event venue officially opened its doors to brides and grooms in the spring with a spectacular party giving guests a flavour of what the luxurious period property has to offer and showcasing its stunning range of ceremony and reception spaces.
For those that weren’t able to make the launch, we’re catching up with the lady who knows Tilstone House inside-out, its wedding and events planner, Charlotte Elise Dodd, who’s giving us the lowdown on this sensational venue whilst filling us on that fabulous party too!
With images by Natural Selection Design.
You launched Tilstone House in style with a party titled ‘The Art of the Spectacular’ – how did the evening go?
charlotte says: We’ve been eagerly anticipating the official launch event for a long time and so it was fantastic to see all the hard work and planning pay off.
The launch saw more than 100 guests attend Tilstone House for a theatrical spectacle, involving live actors and a firework display. Actors and performers from Yet Another Carnival, a Storyhouse Theatre associated company, were stationed in various rooms in the venue, each assuming a different role at a fictional 1920s wedding. From the bride and groom sharing a romantic first dance, to Old Etonian baronet and original owner, Sir Gilbert Greenall, returning from a shooting trip, guests were left enchanted by the characters’ anecdotes and mischievous activities.
And what other treats did guests enjoy to during the event?
Canapes were provided by Northern Fields, one of the venue’s official catering partners. Trailblazers in ground-breaking gastronomy, Northern Fields is renowned for its innovative and experimental food offering, and guests were treated to a host of options, including cured salmon and celeriac and tuna tartare with wild garlic and peas.
Live music was performed by international events party band, Under the Covers. With a set-list covering everything from classics to modern hits, guests enjoyed an evening of top quality entertainment from one of the most sought-after function bands in the North West.
The evening culminated with a firework display by Big Wedding Fireworks, who specialise in spellbinding, musically choreographed displays for weddings and events.
All in all, the launch party gave guests an idea of what’s to come at Tilstone House – and now we can’t wait to get started.
For those that weren’t able to make the launch party, please could you describe the look and feel of Tilstone House?
Tilstone House is a luxury wedding venue. It has a Victorian style exterior and many traditional features within, such as fireplaces, staircases, flooring and the tall ceilings, have all been maintained but we have undergone a recent refurbishment to make it more current and contemporary without it being too modern, so it lends itself to all styles of weddings.
And what do you know about its history?
The House was built in 1888 by Lord and Lady Daresbury – it was originally used as a hunting and shooting lodge and was sold and lived in by many different families over the years until the current owner decided it would be a fantastic and beautiful wedding venue.’
Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas?
Tilstone House has many different ceremony options – our beautiful lawns and pergola are licensed for civil ceremonies for more than 100 guests; we have a small indoor ceremony room for up to 40 guests, and also a larger conservatory ceremony room for up to 100 guests. We have a large function room has been recently renovated and can seat around 100 guests comfortably for the wedding breakfast and then extra guests in the evening.
We offer exclusive use of the House, so all rooms can be used by guests, no-one lives in the property so no areas are out of bounds. Couples could have an intimate gin bar in one of our drawing rooms and a whisky bar in another if they wish. We have a lovely library room for guests to enjoy as well if they would prefer to be away from the action of the wedding and would like some time to themselves.
What makes Tilstone House a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?
The exclusive use aspect is really important for us at Tilstone House and myself and my team deliver a personal and bespoke service to our couples leading up to, and on the day of, the wedding.
Brides and grooms will be able to utilise the house and the grounds in any way they fancy – there are no rules as to where you can and can’t go for pictures, there are no rooms that are blocked off. The second the exclusive use starts, couples can rest assured that the only people in that house will be their suppliers, guests, the caterers and my team.
There is nothing that we can’t do for our clients – we will be working the morning of the wedding to dress the venue, put everything out and meet with the suppliers as they arrive to set up – so couples and their guests will not need to lift a finger.
I truly believe Tilstone House is going to become the best venue in the North West – the services, care and wedding couples will receive at Tilstone House will be second to none and nothing will be too much trouble for us. There are no limits as to when we can have meetings; we can meet daytime, evening, weekends – as many times as the bride and groom would like leading up to their wedding, again, a bespoke service that not all venues offer.
What sort of bride would be a Tilstone House bride?
A bride who wants their wedding to be the absolute perfect day where they don’t need to do everything themselves – we can take care of everything. Also, a bride who likes the option to utilise so many different spaces and styles for their wedding day, including outdoor and indoor options.
How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?
Charlotte Elise Weddings and Events will be managing all weddings exclusively at Tilstone House – we won ‘North-West Wedding Planner of the Year’ in the 2017 Wedding Industry Awards. We know how to run a wedding, how to plan a wedding and have worked at so many different venues so couples really are getting very experienced planners.
We will supply couples who book their wedding at Tilstone House with a personalised ‘supplier recommendation’ list, which will be tailored based on the conversations we’ve had regarding the style of the wedding.
Charlotte Elise Weddings and Events are also offering their Full Planning Wedding Package at a discounted rate for Tilstone House clients, so brides and grooms can relax knowing a professional is taking care of everything and that their day will run extremely smoothly.
July 10th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Natalie Hamilton, a documentary style wedding, portrait and events photographer, was the creative brains behind the fabulous bridal shoot that’s gracing our pages today. But brides-to-be, step aside, it’s a shoot with a difference – as this one’s all about the bridesmaids!
Showcasing a handpicked selection of stunning, demure gowns, beautifully paired with delicate posies and oh so pretty floral headpieces – the shoot most definitely shines a spotlight on your #girlsquad and the best way to bring out the unique looks and personalities of your besties.
We just love the styling too – pared back yet classic – featuring oversized balloons, a prosecco van and rose gold love letters. And the backdrop – none other than the stunning Saltmarshe Hall in East Yorkshire, where we hold two of our famous Luxury Wedding Shows a year – the next one being on Sunday 7th October 2018. Trust us when we say this is a to-die-for-venue, with its sweeping staircase, grandiose décor and enchanting gardens.
So, pinning fingers at the ready ladies, as we dish up today’s dose of glam bridal inspo with plenty of shimmer!
With images by Natalie Hamilton. Models: Sophie Anderson, Charlotte Partridge, Charlotte Black.
natalie says: The shoot came about as a means of bringing all the small local suppliers together to showcase what we do and create beautiful images we can all use and benefit from.
The shoot was bridesmaid focused to bring inspiration to local brides who may be struggling to find those perfect dresses. Each model wore dresses of the same colour with different necklines complemented by different hairstyles and similar makeup. We did this to show that you don’t necessarily need to have bridesmaids all the same and that each of your bridesmaids can be different based on what they would prefer, to suit their body shape or to reflect their personality.
We chose Saltmarshe Hall, an exclusive venue in Howden, as the backdrop to the shoot, simply for its beauty. Inside, the venue is sophisticated and elegant which went perfectly with our beaded and sparkly bridesmaid gowns. The grounds have extensive manicured lawns too, which were ideal for showing off our balloons.
The styling was minimal in this shoot as we wanted to keep the focus on the models. Flowers were supplied by Lisa’s Florist, who wanted to keep it simple with daisies and hydrangeas with gypsophila and a full arrangement of calla lilies, peonies and statement bear grass. With some of the dresses being mismatched, we thought brides could also take a mismatched approach to the bridesmaids’ flowers and have some with headdresses and some with posies.
We had 3ft round balloons supplied by Imagination Creation complete with ombre tassels and available in a variety of colours, to suit any theme. Each tassel is intricately handmade. We also decided to add some love letters in rose gold. The Fizz Machine – a baby blue and white quirky little VW replica prosecco van – also popped by to add a quirky element to some of the shots.
June 25th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
The swoon-worthy wedding of Rachel and Chris brings both style and elegance together in a beautiful ‘modern botanicals’ theme. Lush eucalyptus and succulents are lit with tasteful copper lanterns on the tables and spill from the bride’s luxurious, scent-filled bouquet.
Choosing a scheme of grey and copper, Rachel cleverly weaves her delicate, modern colour scheme throughout the whole day, with no detail left to chance; from the copper writing on the confetti cones and order of service at the church, to the Mr and Mrs cake topper and charming marble place names, on which the guests’ names were painstakingly written in copper calligraphy by Rachel and her mum. Grey is a sophisticated choice for the bridesmaids’ dresses, and tones beautifully with the elegant surroundings and pale colourway of the venue.
The bride is stunning in a Blue by Enzoani gown, which brings old Hollywood glam together with modern elegance in a halterneck dress of lace and tulle, with a daring keyhole back. Hiring a classic car to travel from the church to the reception only added to the glamour, while also giving Rachel and Chris some time together to celebrate exchanging their vows. Tell us more, Rachel…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd-Clarke Photography.
rachel says: Chris proposed in a gorgeous restaurant called Kat and Theo in New York, in August 2016. As I went to pick up my drink, Chris slid the ring box on to the table – lots of crying and “Oh my Gods” happened before I realised I hadn’t actually said yes! We then celebrated with cocktails in the square of the Rockefeller Centre.
We got married on 7th April 2018. I wanted all of my family from Canada to be able to join us and Easter is the best time for them to fly here. Plus, I’m a teacher so it meant we could have a week beforehand to prepare and a week after to relax. Spring is also our favourite time of the year.
The ceremony was at St Michael and All Angels Church in Middleton Tyas, and the reception was at nearby Middleton Lodge. My parents live close by and we had been to the Coach House at Middleton Lodge several times before and absolutely loved it. The fact that they have a cellar bar that opens until 2am was also a big selling point! The church is really cute, up a country road and surrounded by fields.
I would absolutely recommend the venue to other engaged couples. My bridesmaids, mum and I stayed at the farmhouse on the estate the night before the wedding, which was perfect. The farmhouse itself is absolutely gorgeous and we enjoyed a meal together for my final night as a ‘miss’. On the morning of the wedding, we were then all together in the living room while we had our hair and makeup done.
Middleton Lodge itself was amazing. Our wedding co-ordinator (Chloe) was so attentive and reassuring – I am quite a control freak, which I think she soon realised so she kept me up to date with everything that was going on and made sure it all looked how I had imagined. She was brilliant and made sure the day ran perfectly. I also loved having lots of people stay at the lodge with us and then we all enjoyed a delicious breakfast the next day.
For the theme, we wanted quite a modern, botanical style and not so much a ‘traditional’ wedding style. I wanted lots of succulents, eucalyptus, etc. to be the main style of flower. We went for a grey and copper colour scheme, with lots of greenery in the flowers.
June 7th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s bride and groom clocked up quite a few air miles when it came to their big day, deciding to tie the knot at the stunning Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, travelling all the way from their home in Kuala Lumpur. Needless to say, planning their wedding from Malaysia proved quite a challenge, but luckily for the couple, they brought on board some fabulous suppliers to make the process a cinch!
Madelaine and Jack – both teachers – settled on a date just before Christmas and brought those festive feels to life with the most beautiful nude, blush and crimson palette. And just wait until you see the bouquets, which also feature these oh so pretty shades.
The industrial vibe to the venue really added to their winter celebration, too, think twinkly fair lights, exposed walls and stone floors. Throw in a cake table, mulled wine, sparklers and live music – and you’ve got the perfect mix for a fine festive soiree!
And if you’re craving a cool urban wedding of your own, we’ll be returning to the totally awesome Victoria Warehouse on Sunday 16th September to host our BigCityWedFest’18 wedding show, that’s not to be missed! For now, here’s the lovely Madelaine to tell us more about her perfect day…
With images by Dan Hough.
madelaine says: We got engaged at home in our flat in Kuala Lumpur on a normal Friday evening after work. It turns out that Jack was planning on proposing during our holiday a couple of weeks later, but panicked the minute he picked the ring up from the shop, so proposed that evening! In his words, “it was like having a live grenade in his pocket!”.
We got married on Friday 22nd December. We knew that we wanted to get married during our Christmas holidays – we’re both teachers living abroad but would be back for the school holidays. I also thought that if we had the big day before Christmas I could still tuck into a huge Christmas dinner!
We had both the ceremony and the reception at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. We knew that we wanted an industrial setting for our big day and fell in love with the brickwork and high ceilings the minute we saw it on the internet. It was great to see how other couples had set the warehouse up with fairy lights and candles too – we thought it would be perfect for the time of year!
We are both from Sheffield originally, but couldn’t find the right venue there. However, Jack lived in Manchester for a few years, we both love the city and it is a great distance from Sheffield so it was a brilliant place to tie the knot!
There was no real theme for the wedding, we just wanted an industrial style with some nods to Christmas, with candles, fairy lights and mulled wine.
We chose nudes, blush and some crimson as our wedding colours. I just loved this combination and the crimson, again, gave a nice nod to the time of year.
I wore an Essense of Australia crepe dress that I found at Emily Bridal in Sheffield. I absolutely loved the fitted style and the low back. In fact, it was the first and only bridal shop that I visited and I found the perfect dress within about 20 minutes! The team at Emily Bridal were great and helped me to figure out which style would suit me best and feel right on the day.
June 5th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
The most common comment from our featured couples on the blog has to be how quickly the wedding day whips by. As such we’re huge advocates of spreading such special celebrations across more than just the one day – after all, how often to you get to be the centre of attention surrounded by all your nearest and dearest? May as well milk it, right?!
One venue that is fully experienced in extended celebrations is our fantastic Sponsor, Hornington Manor, which offers wedding weekends as standard, with parties arriving on the Friday and staying put until the Sunday, or even the Monday, if they so wish.
With exclusive use of the whole venue, situated in a rural location in North Yorkshire, couples and their guests can make the most of their nuptials, arriving the day before the ceremony to prepare, pamper and break the ice, before enjoying a truly memorable and personal big day followed by relaxation and reminiscing with their friends and family on the day or two that follow.
As we host our Luxury Wedding Shows at this venue twice a year (the next one being on 1st November) we know first hand just how gorgeous the Manor is, with wonderful accommodation and fabulous celebration spaces indoor and out, plus an A-star team that really do go above and beyond for their couples. And with that, we will now hand over the blog to the Hornington team to inspire and inform you on what shape a weekend wedding at this stunning venue can take…
Thomas Thomas Photography
Can you give us a brief overview of weekend wedding packages at Hornington Manor?
hornington manor team say: Our weekend weddings run from Friday to Sunday or Monday, and our wedding parties have exclusive use of the whole venue for the entirety of their stay. Our wedding couples move in on Friday morning and begin setting up in the wedding barn for their celebration. Our prices include the exclusive use of the whole Manor: 19 bedrooms, four kitchens, living/communal areas, the Manor grounds, the Wedding Barn (including all tables and chairs for the ceremony and the reception) and the Gallery. The standard package is for two nights (vacate Sunday am) however our couples can choose to extend their stay by a further night on a per room basis, securing the whole venue until the Monday morning.
Why do you think the weekend weddings are so popular with couples and why would you encourage couples to extend their celebrations across more than just one day?
We pride ourselves on creating a relaxed and homely environment for our couples and their loved ones to truly make the most of the special occasion. Planning a wedding can be so incredibly stressful that having the weekend to prepare and enjoy it removes a lot of pressure. It is so rare that all of your favourite people are in the same place at the same time and having the Manor for the whole weekend really does make the most of this. The communal areas encourage guests to spend their time together, rather than being stuck in their rooms. Our couples love the fact they can set up the wedding barn through the day on Friday, and then relax with their family and friends in the evening before the wedding. Once the celebrations come to an end on Saturday, the wedding party can continue into the early hours in the Manor. On Sunday, the whole wedding party are together for breakfast and can enjoy each other’s company and reminisce on the big day.
What areas of Hornington Manor can couples and their guests make use of during the weekend?
Hornington couples have absolute exclusive use of the whole Manor for their entirety of their stay, meaning the space is completely theirs to use however and whenever they wish. Guests can enjoy the Gallery as a games room or host a pub quiz on Friday night. They can all enjoy breakfast together in the dining areas within the Manor on Saturday Morning. They can play games on Sunday with a barbecue on the front lawn, and not have to worry about packing a single thing away from the Wedding Barn until Monday morning.
Can you give us some suggestions on what types of activities couples and their guests have planned for the Friday daytime and evening upon arriving at the venue – any tips on ice breakers?
For the ladies, Friday night is pamper night. Our bridal parties often get have a spray tan and get their nails done, whilst getting excited for the big day! They could create a home spa and truly indulge and relax after all the planning and preparation. Our groomsmen love to have a few games of pool and relax with a beer (We can pop a hand pull in the Manor for a proper pint too!). We can turn the Gallery into a games room complete with darts, table tennis and indoor badminton for the whole group to enjoy. Our couples often host a big quiz for all their guests to get to know each other, or they could create a home cinema in the Gallery to relax and unwind. In the past, our couples have hosted pre-wedding parties with food vans in the courtyard or a Hog Roast under the Lych gate – the options are endless!
The wedding ceremony would take place on the Saturday; can you give us an idea of the schedule of a wedding day at Hornington Manor?
We are licenced for civil ceremonies at a number of locations across the site and the most popular time for the ceremony is around 1pm. We will be here on Saturday morning to get any suppliers settled in and make sure all the final touches are complete. We oversee the ceremony to ensure all runs smoothly and members of our team prepare the reception drinks for when the ceremony is complete. Civil ceremonies usually last around half-an-hour, with another half-an-hour or so for the confetti shots and group photos. If our couple is having a church ceremony, we will be there to wave them off and will be ready and waiting with reception drinks when they return. Our couples usually allow for one-and-a-half to two hours for their guests to enjoy reception drinks and for their photographer to get all the shots of the newlyweds. Once the wedding party moves into the Wedding Barn, they enjoy speeches and their wedding breakfast for two to three hours, before the evening do begins! Timings for the day are totally decided by the couple and we will always accommodate our couples wishes with regards to the running of their day.
After the main celebrations, what types of activities do couples tend to plan for the Sunday?
Sunday is always a day for relaxing and enjoying time together. In the colder months, guests can cosy up in the Manor House in front of an open fire and have a wonderful Sunday roast cooked up for them by any of our fantastic recommended caterers. They could take a trip to York or have a wander into Bolton Percy and visit the fantastic pub! In the warmer months, guests spill out on to the front lawn and enjoy games, music and a barbecue cooked on the patio areas. Hornington Manor is a home from home and we really do encourage our guests to make the most of the space and the family time on the Sunday.
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