Charlotte Balbier

retro romantics. a glamorous vintage wedding at the belle epoque – zoe & chris

April 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (30)

Today’s bride Zoe was aiming for ‘1940s film starlet’ for her vintage wedding day look. After seeing these photographs, we’re sure you’ll agree that she smashed it. With her tea-length dress, birdcage veil and amazing Ingrid Bergman-esque ‘do’, she looks every inch the glamourous bride.

Retro vibes permeate every aspect of this gorgeous wedding, from the live music to the rich colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the stunning floral arrangements. Full marks, guys!

Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re also touched by Zoe’s advice to brides-to-be: look into your partner’s eyes and not the registrar’s (!), and get thee to a Brides Up North wedding fair. Who are we to disagree?!

With photography by Kate McCarthy Photography

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (34)

zoe says: We got engaged in Venice at 5.30am on a bridge in Canaregio on 7th May 2016. We’d always wanted to have a two-week holiday in Italy with a week in Venice then a week in Tuscany. We arrived on the Friday and got a water taxi (a complete treat, but obviously Chris knew he was going to propose on holiday whereas I had no clue!)

We love seeing a city wake up, so got up early on the Monday to go and walk round the beautiful streets. We started to cross the bridge right by our apartment and Chris caught my hand, stopped me and said, “Do you love it here?” I replied “Yes, of course” and he then got down on one knee – at which point I started grinning madly! And then he said “Great – in that case, would you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?” and produced the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring! At this point I wanted to shout “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!” quite loudly but remembered no one else was awake. Instead, we skipped (literally) down the street grinning our heads off!

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (21)

Our wedding was planned for 10th February 2017. We wanted to get married quickly but still have some time to plan. We were extremely flexible and so chose our location and then saw what they could offer us – they had this particular Friday free and so we booked it!

Our venue was The Belle Epoque in Knutsford. We had quite a tick list – we wanted somewhere unusual and quirky, with a dancefloor and room for a band but also somewhere with a separate room so that people could sit down and talk. Chris doesn’t dance and so wanted to be able to go around and speak to everyone. I visited it with my mum and, walking in, I was immediately excited; it has a lovely feel, is full of art deco art and pieces, it has a huge welcoming fireplace and the bar is straight in front as you walk in. I spied a room off this entrance with tables and chairs in, so immediately thought that was a tick. We then went upstairs to the dining area which was set up for a wedding – I actually gasped! They had twisted willow and flowers and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling and huge tall vases of flowers, vibrant, rich, opulent colours and gorgeous iris-patterned wallpaper. I was a little bit teary and knew this was the place.

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (31)

Our theme was a bit vintage and Peaky Blinders, I suppose. I love vintage dresses and wanted to look like a 1940s film star. We didn’t have a colour-scheme as such, but we chose deep reds, purples and pinks for the bridesmaids and flowers. I wanted the bridesmaids to choose their own dress and style but with a vintage theme. I wanted them to be able to wear them again and really enjoy choosing their own dresses!

For my dress, I knew I wanted something in a vintage style from the 40s/50s and tea-length. I started to look on Pinterest and came across a dress that I loved, so went onto the designer’s website and found a local stockist. I went to Puure in Lymm and Angie, the owner, saw me. I tried the dress I’d seen on and liked it but she insisted I try on more – and I was happy to oblige! After another one, she bought a dress out that I looked at and my heart started to beat faster even though it was full-length and had no sleeves! She fastened me up and explained it could be made-to-measure, adjusted to tea length and have three-quarter sleeves fitted. I looked at myself and felt fantastic. My mum grinned and I had a little tear! That was it. It was ivory satin – so rich and so many sumptuous folds of gorgeous material! It had a little belt with a sparkly diamante square buckle, a fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a net top with tiny sparkles on. I had so many lovely compliments. Angie and her team and Sonya, the seamstress were absolutely incredible and made me feel like a 1940s film star on my day!

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (39)

I wanted my hair setting in a vintage style and so booked the amazing Ewa Baberska, hair and makeup artist, to finish the look. Suzie Taylor was my makeup artist and she was great. I wanted a very natural look as I don’t wear much and she did exactly that, yet made me look fab.

For my headpiece I also wanted something vintage and had met Kaye Hannabuss of Kaye Hannabus Textiles at a networking meeting. We got chatting and I asked her if she would be able to make me something. She made me a fabulous vintage-inspired headpiece with a birdcage veil, a smartie base and a bow. For the evening, she made me a gorgeous hair slide with beads and pearls and diamante. Kaye works with Harris Tweed and so Chris was interested in talking to her about his and Holly’s waistcoats.

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dream venue: carden park

April 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Carden Park (9)

Here at Brides Up North HQ we’re always super keen to learn more about the fabulous wedding venues available in this half of the country, so that we can spread the word to you, our lovely readers.

While some we follow with interest online, others we’re fortunate to visit in person, allowing us to view and experience their wonderful facilities and hospitality first hand. Our most recent travels saw us heading west, to the impressive Carden Park Hotel, where we were invited for a glorious one-night getaway.

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Nested in 1,000 acres of Cheshire countryside, the sizable estate boasts an award-winning hotel, AA Rosette restaurant, championship golf courses, adventure activities and spa. Its spacious function suites and grounds mean it’s also a popular wedding venue, offering a varied choice of settings and packages for a couple’s special day.

Upon arriving for our stay, we were given a tour of the facilities and celebration spaces by the hotel’s friendly wedding planner, Maddie, where the full scope of Carden Park’s offering came to light. Not only can this hotel cater for the big day itself, but it’s an ideal retreat for pre-wedding pampering, a girly or action-packed hen do and a relaxing minimoon.

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In terms of accommodation, the hotel offers a wide choice of options; from twin, double and family rooms, up to its spacious luxury suites, with special upgrade extras including a fully stocked complimentary minibar, chocolates, sparkling wine and ESPA toiletries.

Wedding wise, Carden can cater for all sizes and offers the choice of its elegant and contemporary Carden Suite, rustic-style Shooting Suite and open-air Wedding Pavilion, through its ‘Eternity’ and ‘Fairytale’ packages.

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Elsewhere in the hotel there is much more to be explored. We began our break with an afternoon tea in the comfortable lounge area before taking the energy levels up a notch with some of the fun outdoor activities available on site. From laser clay shooting, archery and mountain biking to an aerial zip-wiring course, Carden is a playground for all ages.

We were treated to an off-roading 4×4 experience with JEEP enthusiast and instructor Terry, who navigated us through the surrounding woodland, giving us a tour of the expansive estate whilst sliding around the challenging course. Next up, with the help of instructor Ryan, we tried our hand (and feet) at segwaying, which is a little trickier than it looks, but heaps of fun.

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Back at the hotel it was time to wind things down again, and so after a quick shower and change, we settled in the bar with a bottle of sauvignon, ahead of our three-course meal in Redmond’s Restaurant. Changing its menu regularly to suit the season and fresh produce available, we were spoiled for choice when it came to making our starter, main and dessert selections but went with the staff recommendations (they certainly know their stuff!) A salmon-starter, chicken-main and panna-cotta-dessert later, it was evident that the standard of food was equal to the level of service – first class!

We retired for the evening feeling immensely satisfied and settled into our king-size beds for a peaceful night’s sleep.

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brides up north bespoke: our denton hall luxury bridal show

March 22nd, 2017 | Julia Braime

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We’ve got a rare weekend off next Sunday as we put our feet up and celebrate Mother’s Day (note to the husband and littles: I expect to be waited on!) but we’re already looking ahead to one Super Sunday of Brides Up North events to make up for it on Sunday 2nd April 2017! For the Yorkshire ladies amongst us, we have one very special date for the diary: a Brides Up North Luxury Bridal Show at Denton Hall, Ilkley, 11am till 3pm, FREE entry. 

An Elegant Wedding at Denton Hall (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (7)

As your very own exclusive-use country house for the weekend, the team at Denton Hall pride themselves on meeting your needs with a personal touch. Denton Hall blends its rich history with a bespoke, flexible modern-day service – including a Michelin-starred fine dining experience courtesy of award winning Box Tree Events – to ensure that your special day is as successful, enjoyable and memorable as possible.

A week on Sunday, we’ve enlisted the help of 30+ luxury wedding exhibitors who plan to fill it’s stately rooms with wedding inspiration to help make your day even more perfect.

An Elegant Wedding at Denton Hall (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (31)

The Hall is set in the heart of 2,500 acres of colourful, secluded, landscaped grounds and the exquisite interior of the Hall itself complements these beautiful surroundings. Featuring two magnificent reception rooms full of stately grandeur, with smaller, more intimate areas including an oak-panelled library and a charming period dining room you are truly Lord and Lady of the Manor at Denton.

Watch out for the Hall’s many charming features including a spiral staircase, hand-crafted genuine vintage Mouseman oak furniture, Adam style fireplaces and ceilings and crystal chandeliers. There are also 24 newly-refurbished bedrooms and two luxury suites – including an elegant bridal suite.

Come and see it all for yourselves…

An Elegant Wedding at Denton Hall (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (11)

bride to be?

To pre-register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack (stuffed with treats and glossy mags, including the brand new issue of UNVEILED Magazine), simply follow the link below. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack upon entry to the Luxury Bridal Show. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE 

An Elegant Wedding at Denton Hall (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (29)

wedding industry professional?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2017. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions.

Click here to view the full schedule.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Email Julia at contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk for details.

Images by Neil Jackson Photographic as featured on Brides Up North – click here to Sarah & Chris’s whole day in full.

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this sunday! you’re invited to a luxury bridal show at ripley castle

March 17th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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We’re so excited to host another brand new event in our Brides Up North Luxury Bridal Show portfolio. This Sunday 19th March 2017, 11am till 3pm, FREE ENTRY, we’ll be opening the doors to the sensational Ripley Castle near Harrogate for a bespoke and beautiful wedding fair, featuring a truly handpicked selection of the area’s most talented suppliers.  The Castle will also be dressed and ready for a wedding celebration, with the teams from Ripley and caterers Dine on hand to inspire and advise your perfect day. An Elegant Wedding at Ripley Castle (c) JPR Shah Photography (20)

Ripley Castle and Gardens, situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, is a historic attraction in a beautiful location, making for a picture perfect wedding day.

Few venues can match the Ripley Castle team’s years of experience, professionalism and ability to turn visions into reality when it comes to organising your wedding. Ripley Castle offers a range of excellent packages as a base from which you can plan your special day with the help of their experienced and dedicated wedding coordinators, who are on hand at all times.

Now working with events specialists Dine to offer marquee weddings by the lakeside, Ripley offers every possibility for your dream celebration.

An Elegant Wedding at Ripley Castle (c) JPR Shah Photography (74)

Come and see this spectacular venue, meet the Ripley wedding planners, be amazed by our floral displays, sample our cake creations, see our pretty paper, try a vintage motor for size, hear some of the best live music in the County, play dress up with gorgeous gowns and accessories and tick off all those last essential details.

Even if you’ve already booked your wedding venue, come along to meet and seek inspiration from the region’s very finest wedding industry suppliers.  We’ve got every last thing covered!

bride to be?

We’re giving away up to 150 free Bride To Be media packs, filled with glossy magazines and little treats from Brides Up North.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP media pack all you need to do is register using the form below. While stocks last.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW

fancy exhibiting with us?

Email us at contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk to register your interest in any of our events for 2017. Places are limited and subject to availability.

An Elegant Wedding at Ripley Castle (c) JPR Shah Photography (64)

Images from Olga & Chris’s real wedding by JPH Shah Photography – see the full celebration by clicking here.

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spring chic: a luxury wedding exclusive at lartington hall

March 15th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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The lovely wedding fairies at Lartington Hall have teamed up with Brides Up North to bring you a Spring Chic Luxury Wedding Fair at the heart-stoppingly beautiful exclusive use venue on Sunday 2nd April 2017, 11am till 3pm, and it’s FREE ENTRY.

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Expect stunning styling, perfect interiors, all the details from fine art florals to bridal fashion, cakes, photographers, stationers, live music and more.  The whole of the Hall, including it’s beautiful Chapel, bedroom suites and gardens will be open to explore and enjoy.  If you haven’t found your venue yet (or even if you have and just fancy some serious wedding inspiration) then we would love to see you there.  Register now!

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Lartington Hall has quickly become one of the most sought after country house wedding destinations in the North of England. Having been lovingly restored, the Grade II listed building set amongst 78 acres of romantic parkland is now equally stunning on the outside as within; housing an opulent collection of ceremony and reception rooms, luxurious, boutique style accommodation and its very own private chapel.

The quality of the restoration and attention to detail is nothing short of spectacular; from reclaimed venetian marble floors and regency antiques, to Nina Campbell furnishings and state-of-the-art Bose sound systems, the old and new have been blended together seamlessly.

For weddings, the impressive country house, which combines the glamour of The Great Gatsby with the grandeur of Downton Abbey, becomes couples’ very own rural retreat for their special day, with exclusive use of the entire building for just them and their chosen guests. Helping to bring the perfect package together, a wedding specialist, stylist and, of course, a butler, will be on hand to assist brides and grooms with their every wish.

Find out more about the venue at www.lartingtonhall.co.uk.

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bride to be?

To pre-register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack (full of treats and glossy mags including the brand new issue of UNVEILED Magazine), simply follow the link below. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack upon entry to Lartington Hall. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE 

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fancy exhibiting with us?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2017. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this year.

Click here to view the schedule.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Email Julia at contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk for details.

Images by Sean Elliott Photography, Lee Scullion and Belle & Beau Photography.

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food and flowers. a night at the mansion with dine

March 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Food and Flowers at The Mansion (12)

We’re fortunate to host our Luxury Wedding Shows at some of the north’s finest wedding venues, including The Mansion in Leeds – a truly gorgeous stately home set within Roundhay Park.

Not only is this venue beautiful on both the inside and out, but it also boasts first class catering and wedding planning services provided by hospitality and event experts Dine.

Ahead of our spring wedding fair at The Mansion this Sunday (which we are SUPER excited about!), the Dine team invited us to experience the incredible food and service that they deliver to wedding couples at the venue during a Dine Ambassadors’ Dinner.

With images by 123 Photography.

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Joined by fellow wedding professionals, we were told to expect an evening of “food & flowers” – two of our very favourite things – and so we were highly intrigued as to what lay in store.

Much to our delight, the event began with a floral crown making workshop, hosted by wedding floristry specialist Twisted Willow. Owner director (and all-round flower wizard) Joanna Cairns demonstrated creative uses for the armfuls of flowers, berries and foliage that span across the tables in The Mansion’s Garden Room Café, before we were let loose on the roaming piles of roses, ranunculus and hydrangeas.

Each of the ladies present, including ourselves, fully embraced the challenge by carefully wiring the stunning blooms to create some really bold and beautiful designs. To brides-to-be out there toying with the option of a flower crown for their big day, we simply say, do it! Nothing feels quite as pretty (or strangely, as empowering) as a beautiful ring of florals to top off your attire!

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After a sea of selfies to show off our horticultural creations, it was onto the ‘food’ element of the evening, and boy we’re we in for a treat! Bucking the new year trend of abstinence, the canapes and three-course meal followed a theme of indulgence with chocolate cleverly incorporated into every course.

A treat for all the senses, each stage of the meal was beautifully presented and the aromas were nothing short of divine, not to mention the taste!

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After canapes of venison tartare on chocolate spätzle discs; ham hock and smoked Wensleydale croquette with apple gel, and Caprini goats cheese cones with tomato and dill concase and fig and balsamic caviar, we took our seats at beautifully dressed tables in The Mansion’s Colonnades Room for the main event.

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Each course was served with paired wines, supplied by Hoults wine merchants, to educate and excite our taste buds further. To start, we served crab and saffron risotto, pan fried scallops and tempura soft shell crab, followed by a main course of fallow deer with spiced Umbrain lentils, choucroute, smoked kale and chocolate jus. And as if we weren’t already in food heaven, the best was yet to come – dessert! As part of an ‘indulgence’ menu we were particularly looking forward to the sweet course, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Dark chocolate and rosemary tart with fennel ice-cream, orange sherbet and baked white chocolate – pure pudding perfection!

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The whole evening was a true treat that showcased The Mansion’s stunning rooms, whilst inviting us to learn a new skill and sample the incredible cuisine created by Dine’s awarding-winning chefs. Foodies and fans of fine interiors alike will fall head over heels for this wonderful venue as we do time and time again!

So, if all that’s left you with an appetite to find out more about The Mansion, be sure to join us this Sunday, 11am to 3pm, when we will be filling the rooms of this stunning boutique-style venue with handpicked wedding suppliers to help you build your dream big day. The event is FREE ENTRY and we have 150 free Bride To Be VIP media packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North, to give away to those that register for the event first. Just click here to do so.

Food and Flowers at The Mansion (17)

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