Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

dream venue: sefton park palm house, liverpool

December 12th, 2017 | Julia Braime

Sefton Park Palm House (3)

We’re all feeling the cold this week as temperatures plummeted from nippy to flippin’ freezing levels following the weekend’s snowfall. In a bid to warm things back up, we’re brining you details of a truly unique wedding venue in the north west that has tropical vibes all year round!

Introducing Sefton Park Palm House, a breath-takingly beautiful Victorian glass house that’s home to the Liverpool Botanical Collection and that provides a spectacular celebration space like no other!

Surrounded by award-winning parkland, iconic monuments and unusual plants, the stunning building can host weddings of up to 400 standing guests and 220 seated guests within its incredible glazed structure.

Not only can couples marrying here be sure of a quirky and individual setting, but following a partnership with hospitality specialists Dine, brides and grooms saying, “I do” to Sefton will also receive exquisite catering and faultless event management as standard.

Planning more than 200 weddings each year, the Dine team are well qualified to make big day dreams at Sefton Park come true, and are here today to tell us what makes this rare venue such a winning choice for a couple’s special day…

Where is Sefton Park Palm House located?

dine say: Sefton Park Palm House is located in the magnificent 235-acre historic Sefton Park, in south Liverpool. The Grade I park is a Green Flag and Green Heritage awarded site with beautiful features and monuments. The park’s bandstand, popular since the Victorian era, is said to be the inspiration for The Beatles’ song Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Can you tell us a little about the history of the venue?

Sefton Park Palm House was designed and built by MacKenzie and Moncur of Edinburgh. Henry Yates Thompson, a Liverpool millionaire, gifted £10,000 to the city to fund the construction. The Palm House was opened in 1896.

During the Liverpool Blitz of May 1941, a bomb fell nearby and shattered the glass. It was reglazed in 1950 at a cost of £6,163. However, after a period of decline it was closed in the 1980s due to safety concerns.

In 1992 a public fundraising campaign raised more than £35,000, which led directly to the repair and reopening of the Palm House in 1993. It was fully restored at a cost of £3.5 million with Heritage Lottery and European funding and fully reopened in September 2001.

Sefton Park Palm House (1)

How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?

Sefton Park Palm House is an octagonal, Grade II listed, three-tier dome conservatory designed in the tradition of Joseph Paxton’s glass houses. The conservatory currently houses one of the oldest horticultural collections in Britain, originally containing more than 4,000 different plants.

The eight corners of the Palm House are marked by statues by the French sculptor Léon-Joseph Chavalliaud. These statues include explorers Captain Cook, Christopher Columbus, navigators Gerardus Mercator and Henry the Navigator, botanists and explorers Charles Darwin, Carl Linnaeus and John Parkinson and landscape architect Andre le Notre.

The Palm House is a luxurious, historically significant venue that makes any event feel special and unique. The combination of the glass and the horticultural collection means that even on a day where the weather isn’t quite perfect, you’ll feel as though you’re in a tropical oasis.

It’s also worth remembering that booking your wedding at the Palm House will contribute towards its preservation for future generations.

Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas and how many guests the venue can cater for? 

Sefton Park Palm House is licensed for civil ceremonies, civil partnerships and renewal of vows. The Palm House can host a maximum of 400 guests when standing, while 220 guests can be seated for dinner.

The Palm House is a Victorian glass house and is one large building so both the ceremony and reception take place in the same beautiful space.

What makes Sefton Park Palm House a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

The beautiful setting in the 235-acre Sefton Park, combined with the octagonal, tiered conservatory and the significant collection of plants makes this venue truly unique. It is unlike any grand country house or modern venue, and once inside you and your guests will feel as though you are in a world of your own.

The historic significance of Sefton Park Palm House and the chance to preserve it for future generations when used for events makes this a venue one on its own.

Sefton Park Palm House (2)

What sort of bride would be a Sefton Park bride?

Sefton Park Palm House offers a beautiful setting for year-round weddings and often appeals to brides looking for something different and completely unique. The venue is, of course, happy to welcome couples from all over the UK looking for that extra special venue with the ‘wow’ factor.

How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

Our experienced events team will expertly guide you through the planning process to turn your vision into reality. They can advise what will work within the venue and make creative suggestions.

We draw on our expertise of planning more than 200 weddings each year, and combined with the extensive experience of the Sefton Park Palm House events team, we are well qualified to make the planning process as easy as possible and your big day beyond imagination.

Can you tell us about the accommodation at the venue or is there accommodation nearby the venue that you could recommend?

Both The Sefton Park Hotel and the Hallmark are located within Sefton Park so you can enjoy a short walk through beautiful parkland to your wedding venue.

Sefton Park Palm House is also a ten-minute drive from Liverpool city centre, which boasts a fabulous selection of hotels on the waterfront and in the town. Such a convenient location means you and your guests will be spoilt for choice.

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your day your way: picking confetti to suit your venue

December 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

ShropshirePetals.com Golding Photography Laura and Will (credit - goldingphotography.co.uk)

Golding Photography

With couples now making their own wedding rules not all big day traditions live on, but it seems the confetti shot is one ritual that stands the test of time.

Not only is it fun, but it also marks the beginning of a couple’s married life journey together – and on the day signals to guests that the party is about to get underway.

In order to ace that perfect confetti-throwing moment there are several elements that should be taken into account – predominately; the colour scheme, the setting and the presentation of the confetti. Here to offer their expert advice on the subject is our fabulous Sponsor, natural petal confetti supplier, Shropshire Petals

shropshire petals say: In today’s world there are many different venues in which you can get married, from elegant stately homes to tipis in a rolling open field; so here we offer different confetti colour and displaying options to suit a variety of big day settings…

(Oh and p.s. Brides Up North readers can get 10% off Shropshire Petals orders over £50, just visit the website, where you can also find further confetti inspiration.)

Shropshire Petals - Wand Images

castle weddings

The venue: When you mention a castle wedding, you imagine grand staircases, huge chandeliers and large banqueting tables. In reality, whether your castle is large, small, grand or pretty simple, how you style it can change how it looks. Castles tend to have a lot of original features and décor, so when it comes to choosing your confetti, opt for simple, soft colours to ensure they don’t clash with those already featuring at your venue.

The confetti: Choose soft pinks and ivory or if you want to include a touch of brightness, adding yellow or orange petals will work wonderfully when you have your confetti moment.

Displaying your confetti: Add your own little fairy-tale touch by choosing Personalised Confetti Cones in the ‘Fairytale’ design to display your confetti.

Tip: If your venue has a lot of colour, make use of it by choosing some confetti to match and scatter it on your tables for the perfect way of tying in your venue décor to your wedding styling.

ShropshirePetals.com Petal Pouch with Summer Nights £2.55 each

outdoor weddings

The venue: Getting married outside is a huge trend that will continue for years to come. Whether you get married in an enchanted woodland or a large open field, choose confetti that will stand out when thrown over you.

The confetti: For locations that are darker such as woodlands, choose a confetti mix that is light to ensure it doesn’t blend into the background when your photographer captures guests throwing it. For more open locations, a darker or brighter confetti mix such as ‘Kaleidoscope’ will look spectacular.

Displaying your confetti: You can never tell what the weather will do on the day, so choose to display your confetti in vessels that are covered, such as our Confetti Pops, so that your confetti is contained in the great outdoors.

Tip: If the weather isn’t as you expected, keep your confetti dry and covered to ensure it doesn’t clump together, or blow away, before your confetti moment.

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style sheet: modern festivities

December 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

b34ecb65747c2234f73c7ac97776ffd5

image source

With sight of this month’s festivities on the horizon our thoughts have turned to those planning a Christmas or New Year wedding. But more specifically, to couples who desire the party atmosphere and glamour of this most wonderful time of the year, though not the obvious wedding themes that can come with it.

As such we’ve thrown aside the seen-it-all-before-red, blinding-silver and gaudy-gold and brought together a more contemporary, clean-cut and sophisticated selection of fitting themes for this magical period.

So, in preparation for the weekend ahead, drop a little Baileys in your morning coffee and enjoy soaking up this sublime seasonal inspo…

glitter & gilded

Glitter & Gilded

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Marion Heurteboust Photography| image source| image source, photography by Danielle Nowak| image source| image source| image source

The theme: A sophisticated take on the ‘usual’ party-season golden wedding.

The details: While we love a bit of glitter, you can have too much of a good thing in our book and so this look is all about understated glamour. Keep the gold tones light rather than yellow/orange and even lean toward blush/rose tones for an element of girly elegance. Table décor should be more sparse and well-thought out with uniformed rows of mercury and metallic candle holders and simple, dainty floral arrangements on pressed linen. Add just a sprinkling of glitter accents and mix with matt and gloss metallics to continue the class. Greenery features can also help to keep the look grounded, fresh and clean. Sprayed flowers are a step-too-far for this theme so instead look to include beautiful caramel shades in the bouquet and add a little gold by binding with a trailing ribbon.

The dress code: A full-gold dress could have you looking more Disney princess than Meghan Markle princess, so we suggest keeping things refined with an ivory gown, complete with delicate gold detailing in beading, lace or embroidery. The accessories are one area that you can afford to turn up the glittering aspects, though perhaps just blow out on one bold item, such as the shoes, and keep other add-ons simpler. Your leading ladies on the other hand could be in top-to-toe sparkling cocktail style gowns, suiting the time of year perfectly and adding black-tie-esque glamour to the proceedings.

white out

White Out

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Mike Cassimatis| image source| image source, photography by Blaine Siesser| image source| image source| image source, photography by Aden Priest| image source| image source

The theme: A traditional white wedding given a modern and luxurious twist.

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setting & style: a wedding dress to suit your venue

December 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Photo credit Olegs Samsonovs Photography

Olegs Samsonovs Photography

A feature for those of you on the dream dress hunt today, as we welcome our lovely guest writer, Carrie Marsden of media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine, to the blog to discuss picking the right wedding dress, to suit not only your style but also that of your chosen venue…

carrie says: Be it urban, rustic, boutique, historic or coastal, your venue sets the tone for your special day, and so it helps to make sure that your dress style is in-line with the setting for all over harmony.

As wedding planning goes, what’s the first thing we brides-to-be think of mere moments after saying yes to that certain special someone? “What dress am I going to wear?” (if you’re anything like us, in fact, you’ve had an idea of ‘the one’ even before The (other) One popped the question). But consider: with many spectacular wedding venues now taking bookings of upwards of two years in advance of the big day, increasingly, securing the venue is becoming a couple’s number one on the ‘to do’ list. Many brides assume their choice of dress will set the tone for the entire day. But if the venue has been chosen first, where does that leave the dress?

It might seem obvious. The venue and the bride’s dress ought to be in perfect harmony; one complementing and completing the other, a beautiful simpatico symphony (much like the bride and groom themselves, in fact!). And in many cases, an overall theme will draw together and incorporate both. But occasionally, dresses and venues will clash -having been present at a beach-themed wedding in a tipi with the bride tightly bound in a heavily structured fishnet-effect gown, I can assure you, ‘twas truly a confusing affair.

So, here’s our guide to making sweet, sweet music and harmonising two of your most important big-day elements: your venue and your dress…

boho bride

Boho Bride

Cherry Williams | Lilian West

Rustic weddings are playful, outdoors-y affairs, full of a kaleidoscope of colour and with the emphasis on a celebration of the beauty of nature. The details and decor don’t typically include anything too structured or deliberately ‘matching’ so mirror this more relaxed and carefree attitude in your dress of choice. More bohemian styles with lose, tousled hair work well here, as do soft frills and flowing tulle.

urban-chic

Urban Chic

Clockwise from top left: Modeca | Rita Colson | White Rose Bridal | Elbeth Gillis

Love the idea of marrying in iconic style? If you’re joining the glitterati and marrying in a sophisticated city setting, reflect this slick, polished and uber-cool vibe in your dress. Think subtle sparkle, a seriously structured silhouette and even a sharp trouser suit. For an ultra-glam effect in a town setting, opt for monochrome and ask you guests to wear black tie.

boutique hotel

Boutique Hotel

Clockwise from top left: Special Day | Peppermint Love Photography | Eliza Jane Howell | The White Garden Collection

The great thing about a boutique hotel venue is that they tend to be unique, curiously quirky and inimitable in their own sense of style. This gives you free license to choose a gown that best reflects the venue’s holistic ‘feel’. Tea-length dresses work well here in the summer time, or, if the venue calls for it, chose a vintage-inspired or even ‘indie’ dress to suit the individual surroundings.

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wish you were here: marvellous minimoon ideas

November 9th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

Ronnie Rose Photography 2

Ronnie Rose Photography

As temperatures continue to dip, we think it’s only right to dispel any forthcoming winter blues with a holiday-related post.

A fairly recent phenomenon, the not-so-humble minimoon fills the gap for lots of couples between a big blowout honeymoon at a later date and the need for some serious downtime after the wedding planning whirlwind. Maybe you’re leaving the Caribbean until after the stormy season has passed, or you’re putting off that trip to Iceland until you’ve got a decent chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Or perhaps after following Rachel’s recent advice and splashing your cash on the dress of your dreams, you’ve simply got some pennies to save. Either way, a minimoon can be the perfect way to chill and indulge a little if money or time is short.

So, to help inspire where you can go for a little romance, rest and relaxation after the big day, here’s our round-up of top minimoon ideas…

spa o’clock

Titanic Spa

Titanic Spa

There’s little more indulgent than a spa, and in the UK you’ll have plenty of luxury day or spa hotels to choose from. Many spas have specific minimoon packages, meaning you’ll get a great deal too. Also, you’ll have flexibility – a couple of nights with ‘basic’ access to the sauna, steam room and swim facilities is a great way to unwind, or you can treat yourselves with a bespoke Mr and Mrs. Just gown up, lay back and float away…

beside the seaside

Stan Seaton Photography

Stan Seaton Photography

The seaside is synonymous with holidays, and so where better to head for your minimoon than the UK coast? Reluctant grownups can release their inner big kid at the beach, heading for the arcades and the candyfloss stands, running wild on the sand or paddling in the balmy (OK, perhaps ‘icy’ is more realistic, but bear with me) waters. Long romantic walks, plenty of opportunities to write your new married names in the sand – plus, what tastes better than real fish and chips with lashings of salt and vinegar out of a paper, especially after a pre-wedding healthy eating campaign? I rest my case.

camptastic

Sarah Maria Photography

Sarah Maria Photography

We actually did this – three days after getting hitched, a ‘proper’ minimoon in Northumberland coming up and a big honeymoon in India on the horizon in winter, we headed to the local campsite for a post-wedding night away. And I can recommend it on the following basis: camping creates the instant sense of an uber-romantic adventure. There’s just the two of you alone with only the elements and a starry sky for company – plus, you know, the convenience of an electric hook-up and local pub. There’s also the opportunity to test the strength of your newly-forged marriage by putting a tent up together. If you can survive that one, readers, you’re onto a winner.

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wedding planning made fun: banish those pre-wedding woes

November 7th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

Peace wedding photography 8

Image by Peace Wedding Photography

It may well be the best day of your life, but the days spent willing the budget column of a spreadsheet to add up and the hours spent fashioning super-fiddly origami cranes? Not so much. There’s no getting away from it – a wedding means big ol’ Life Admin at every turn, and it can get pretty…well, tedious.

I distinctly remember the winter before our wedding as a rough one – we were literally snowed in for a week. Snow-bound, I was suddenly confronted by all of the wedding admin I’d been avoiding and there was nowhere to hide. Two days later and the living room resembled Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms – a table plan of military proportions and precision was in place, as well as an epic photographer’s itinerary and 180 washi-taped place cards that Pinterest would be proud of. It sounds drastic, but that snowfall saved our wedding. But if there isn’t a storm on the horizon and you’ve got piles of stuff to sort? Well, here are some ideas that might just save your bacon.

friends that craft together

Pic by Carly Bevan Photography

Image by Carly Bevan

Are you DIYing it? For most brides-to-be, there’s an element of DIY, whether it’s outsourcing the cake to a family friend, fashioning a few flower arrangements or going the whole hog with rustic orders of service and homemade favours. A word to the wise: don’t be afraid to call in a few favours, ladies, and get your friends together to help. I mean, by all means, make it worth their wine – oops, I mean while – by supplying some drinks and snacks and perhaps a favourite DVD or six. It’s the perfect opportunity to a girly catch-up at a time when ordinarily you’d be super busy with all of your preparations, and keeps your closest pals in step with what’s going on. I did a craft session as part of my hen do – it was in a bar, as you do, so plenty of, err, refreshments were available, lots of fun was had and we made a stack of bunting for the reception venue. Winners all round.

food glorious food

Wynn Davies Photography

Image by Wynn Davies Photography

Food choices can often be a big stress associated with wedding planning. How will Cousin Johnny – who’s never eaten anything green in his life – cope with the vegetable medley? Will Aunty Margaret turn her nose up at the haddock entree? How do you please everyone? Well, the short answer is that you can’t. Better to choose what you want (within reason-ish) and be done with it – and have as wonderful a time choosing that meal as you possibly can. Arrange a tasting session with your venue and indulge, people – we at Brides Up North insist.

Peace Wedding Photography

Image by Peace Wedding Photography

line them up

Pic by Babb Photo

Image by Babb Photo

There’s also the liquid refreshment to consider, and an evening spent wine or cocktail tasting can be a wonderful way to unwind after all the stress of planning – just you and your other half, or you could invite a few friends to thank them for all of their crafty efforts – see my first suggestion. You could find the perfect wine to accompany your meal, as well as the perfect cocktail to serve your guests on arrival. Or perhaps you could try several just to make sure and then go with prosecco as originally planned, anyway…you’ve got to be certain, right?!

shop ‘til you drop

Peace Wedding Photography 7

Image by Peace Wedding Photography

Beyond the realms of your laptop, there are other ways to source suppliers; whether it be snuggling up on the sofa with a pile of glossy wedding mags (including UNVEILED, of course) or venturing out to a wedding fair. Here at Brides Up North we organise and run more than 40 Luxury Wedding Fairs across the north of the country (you can see what we have coming up for Spring 2018 here) and so we know just how fabulous these events. Held at venues from fine country houses, to urban warehouses and rustic barns, there is something for all, and as well as viewing some spectacular settings, you will also get the chance to meet local suppliers face to face, be inspired by their creations, products and services and perhaps sample a few cakes, sweet carts and pop-up fizz and street food stands along the way, providing an enjoyable and productive day out.

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