Charlotte Balbier

summer shutdown & top tips from real brides up north

June 16th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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Rachel Joyce Photography.

Here at Brides Up North HQ our features schedule is fully charged, so that we never knowingly miss an opportunity to bring you beautiful wedding inspiration twice a day, every weekday (and sometimes bonus blog posts at the weekends too).  The only exception to this rule is our bi-annual break, to re-charge, re-assess and re-focus our efforts to keep bringing you the most precious wedding pretty from our corner of the internet.

We’ll be taking our leave for the next fortnight, leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule that will make sure that you still get your daily dose of #weddinggoals, recapping some of our favourite real weddings of the 2017 so far. Check back daily for the most beautiful, unique and inspiring celebrations, and if you’re a Brides Up North bride, to see if your day was one of our top picks!

We’ll be back soon with a shiny new features edit; to announce some exciting finishing touches to our upcoming autumn events schedule; finish off what looks set to be the super glossiest issue of our print baby, Unveiled magazine, to date and oooh… maybe, just maybe, a whole new look for Brides Up North!

Usual service will recommence on Monday 3rd July 2017, and in the meantime, you can contact us here.

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Fossca Photography.

But we wouldn’t just stick the out-of-office on and leave it at that. At this halfway point through the year (yes, we can barely believe it too), we’re looking to our fabulous featured brides from the first half of 2017 to share what they consider to be the best pieces of advice with those of you soon to be walking down the aisle.

After all, these ladies have been there, done it and got the ring, so can offer words of wisdom on everything from dress shopping, suppliers and venues to emotional advice and tips on how to remain composed (Bridezillarma can strike at any moment!).

So ladies, grab a notebook and pen as these clued-up brides complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…

love, the team x

Click on the links to see each wedding in full. 

Chloe & Tom

Maggie Sottero for a relaxed countryside wedding at High House Farm Brewery, Northumberland – Chloe & Tom

Chloe says: Think about what you want and try not to get sucked into the ‘wedding must-haves’. Lots of people asked why we weren’t ‘having this’ or ‘doing that’, but we stuck with what we wanted our wedding to be and we were so glad we did! Also, use Pinterest to collect lots of ideas, but don’t feel too disheartened when you can’t use them all.

Niamh & Pete

Oh My Gorgeous! Pronovias for a chic city centre wedding – Niamh & Pete

Niamh says: Remember that making a wedding your own doesn’t have to cost the world. Small touches are often what people remember. Some of the nicest touches we had cost next to nothing.

Sarah & Matt

Botanical Beauty. Jenny Packham for a natural wedding at Trafford Hall – Sarah & Matt

Sarah says: Visit your venue lots and take photos; I found the hardest thing was dressing the venue. Also, buy what you can and do some yourself; it’s very satisfying seeing it all on the big day and knowing you did it.

Katie & David

French fancy. Jewel tones and jam jars for a creative wedding at Le Petit Chateau – Katie & David

Katie says: Firstly, find your bridesmaid dresses early! We planned and delivered our wedding in nine months flat and the fact that I wanted different dresses and colours but couldn’t get them on the high street as I had hoped made it more complicated. Next, stick to your guns/gut. I’m not saying be a birdezilla but be really clear about what you want, this is too special and over too fast to not be the way you want it. Also, make lists of the photos that you want and try to ensure that they are taken, and perhaps have the day videoed. I didn’t think I was bothered about that but then there’s so much you just don’t remember when you look back on it because it is such a blur or emotion and adrenaline. Finally, chill and enjoy it.

Rachel & Josh

Rose gold rapture. An Ellis dress for a pretty wedding at Ness Botanic Gardens – Rachel & Josh

Rachel says: If you want to save some cash and do some DIY décor, have a crafts party with friends – things can be done so much quicker in groups and it’s lovely to involve your mates!

Rowena & Edward

Roses & lace. Pronovias for a relaxed wedding at Soughton Hall – Rowena & Edward

Rowena says: Make sure you find the time in the day to spend a few moments together – it would be very easy to barely talk to each other after your vows! We had a ‘sweetheart table’ instead of a traditional top table, which meant we got to spend some time just the two of us during the wedding breakfast, and could watch and take in all our family and friends enjoying themselves!

Samantha & Mark

Pretty pink perfection. Stella York for a romantic wedding at Newton Hall – Samantha & Mark

Samantha says: Enjoy the planning and preparation leading up to your special day, it all becomes part of your fond memories of your wedding. I am a very organised person and began planning almost immediately after setting a date. I really enjoyed the planning stages of the wedding but my husband knows that I am very indecisive. He suggested that once I had made a decision, I was not to change it, and not to look for an alternative. And that is exactly what I did. I have no regrets.

Charlotte & Tom

Magic in the Air. Diane Legrand and all-white blooms for an elegant fairy-tale wedding at Peckforton Castle – Charlotte & Tom

Charlotte says: Don’t be scared to go a bit crazy and have everything you want. You will (hopefully) only get married once. It will be one of the most important days of your life and you shouldn’t hold back. A little bit of extra saving and making small sacrifices is totally worth it so that you can have no regrets. Also, don’t get too stressed out about anything. Take each stage in your stride and treat each bit of the planning like a mini-experience in itself – oh and, make sure you enjoy the free champagne everywhere you go!

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walking on sunshine: top tips for a summer wedding with events specialists dine

June 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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Shutter Go Click Photography

Though couples marry all the year through, summer remains peak wedding season with brides and grooms pinning their hopes on warm and dry weather for their special day.

And as we’re just on the cusp of official British summer beginning, we thought what better way to see in the new season (and hopefully the sunshine) than with some top tips for those of you planning summer celebrations.

Today’s words of wisdom come courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor, award winning hospitality and event management company Dine. Established in 1998, Yorkshire-based Dine caters for more 200 weddings a year as well as offering exclusive private dining. Through its stunning portfolio of venues, the team provide event services for organisations ranging from English Heritage and the National Trust to the owners of some of the UK’s most notable private houses, providing a varied choice of beautiful big day settings.

For this afternoon’s post, we’re welcoming Dine’s managing director, Matt Jones, to the blog to share some of his pro pointers on planning a wedding in the season of blue skies and sunshine…

Marquee

Natasha Cadman Photography

venue & suppliers

Matt says: If a summer wedding is something you have been dreaming of, Yorkshire is the perfect county in which to realise your dreams. With Dine’s impressive portfolio of stunning venues, from historic castles and magical gardens to spectacular deer parks and unique marquees, if planned properly a summer wedding can be truly breath-taking.

Make sure to start booking both venues and suppliers months, or sometimes years, in advance – a longer engagement is more sensible for a summer wedding. While it can be helpful to have several venues and suppliers in mind, if you plan ahead more options will be available. Flexibility is important for a successful summer wedding, but that still doesn’t mean that you should settle for options that won’t make you happy. Hiring an experienced event planner like Dine ensures that your most cherished dreams can become your reality on the day.

A marquee can make a stunning backdrop to your celebrations and offer the ultimate flexibility. They can accommodate as many or as few guests as you choose and are available in a vast range of styles – from tipis and vintage army tents to on trend sailcloth.  If you don’t have enough room in your garden, Dine offers a number of stunning sites which make the most of Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside. Choose from panoramic views at Bolton Abbey, lakeside settings at historic Ripley Castle and the Gothic-style Carlton Towers, or the quintessentially English Dalton Hall walled garden.

A well-chosen indoor venue can be equally impressive however – providing picturesque views over gardens through large picture windows and respite from whatever the weather might throw at you.

Dine’s flagship venue The Mansion is perfect for any bride-to-be looking for the best of both worlds. Set in Roundhay Park, Leeds, one of the largest urban parks in Europe, the Greek Palladian style building offers several ceremony and reception rooms of varying sizes all with large windows overlooking the park and modern, luxurious décor.

Other exciting Dine venues include the magnificent Wentworth Woodhouse with a façade longer than Buckingham Palace, the chic city venue New Craven Hall and the glorious 18th century Palladian mansion Nostell Priory set in enchanting gardens.

Canapés can be a fantastic way to incorporate small elements of food into your wedding breakfast

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While you can have a fantastic wedding breakfast in any season of the year, there’s so much more variety during the summer months. The sheer choice makes choosing (and tasting) your menu a lot of fun. With such an extensive range of choice available, it is reassuring to choose a specialist caterer and events manager such as Dine which can recommend what will work best and help you narrow down your menu choices.

The warmer summer months are the perfect opportunity to incorporate light and spicy foods from around the world. Canapés can be a fantastic way of incorporating small elements of international cuisine into your wedding breakfast without intimidating your more traditional guests. A ‘shot’ of Teriyaki beef, giant tiger prawns, and wild mushroom and truffle arancini are only a small selection of global ingredients available in summer.

The great weather also means that more informal, outdoor dining experiences are perfect for a wedding with a twist. Dine can offer a wide range of interesting and relaxed dining options including carnival themes, barbecues, picnic hampers, bowl and street food that take advantage of the fantastic weather and produce that is available. A more casual wedding breakfast can be a unique experience and a great conversation starter.

Dine can also cater for you if you’re concerned about veering too far from the traditional wedding food route. Traditional British food, such as mini sausage and mash, mini roast dinners and lobster ‘n’ chips, ensure that some time-honoured seasonal Yorkshire produce is incorporated into your wedding breakfast.

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seasonal inspiration: dine’s top tips for a spring wedding

March 27th, 2017 | Julia Braime

Marquees make a spectacular backdrop to wedding celebrations, and with the right planning can be a perfect venue whatever the weather

After the clock change at the weekend, we’ve officially sprung into spring, meaning lighter nights, warmer weather and the approach to peak wedding season are all on the way!

To mark the arrival of the new season, we’re bringing a glorious helping of inspiration to those of you planning springtime weddings, courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor, award winning hospitality and event management company Dine.

Established in 1998, Yorkshire-based Dine caters for more 200 weddings a year as well as offering exclusive private dining. Through its stunning portfolio of venues, the team provide event services for organisations ranging from English Heritage and the National Trust to the owners of some of the UK’s most notable private houses, providing a varied choice of beautiful big day settings.

For this afternoon’s post, we’re welcoming Dine’s managing director, Matt Jones, to the blog to share some of his helpful pointers on planning a wedding in the season of new beginnings…

The Mansion, Roundhay Park, offers the perfect combination of historic setting with modern, luxurious décor for a variety of spring themes

venue and suppliers

Matt says: With Yorkshire offering some of the finest countryside in Britain, make the most of the warmer, longer days by choosing a spectacular setting for your big day. Dine boasts an impressive portfolio of stunning venues to suit every taste – whether you favour a magnificent deer park, picturesque walled gardens, or breath-taking views over historical ruins.

While beautiful indoor locations can be appealing for a spring wedding owing to the chance of April Showers, marquees can provide a fantastic compromise. Although popular for the quintessentially British summer wedding, with the right planning, flooring and heating, a reception under canvas can be a perfect venue whatever the time of year. You can even choose a marquee with sides that can be removed or with windows to enable you to make the most of the weather and the view.

Many of Dine’s stunning venues provide fantastic lakeside settings with outstanding outlooks across Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside. Gothic-style Carlton Towers and Ripley Castle’s Lakeside settings provide panoramic views – across an island which is home to majestic swans and a glorious, rolling deer park respectively. Alternatively, Bolton Abbey nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, provides a secluded and private setting with exclusive access to the River Wharfe and views of the Augustinian Priory. Belvoir Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland offers a magnificent setting for a marquee wedding while Dalton Hall’s walled garden is quintessentially English and perfect for a more formal spring theme.

Marquees make a spectacular backdrop to wedding celebrations, and offer the ultimate in flexibility, even allowing you the ultimate luxury of getting married at home. Such a wedding can create a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, while the individual location enables couples to buck the trend of a traditional spring wedding and create their own traditions in their unique family setting.

With marquees able to accommodate as many or as few guests as you choose, a huge garden is not necessary. Marquees are also available in an array of sizes and styles, from tipis and vintage army tents, to sailcloth and traditional, enabling you to match a style to your spring wedding theme.

Spring vegetables add bright colours and fresh flavours to any dish

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No matter the season, it’s always a fantastic idea for your wedding breakfast to reflect the seasonality of your day, in terms of both the dishes and presentation. With 18 years’ experience as a hospitality and catering specialist, Dine can provide innovation and skill when creating food for your spring wedding. Experienced and imaginative event managers and chefs, combined with seasonal ingredients always promise to deliver your perfect spring menu.

Edible flowers available in spring on both savoury and sweet courses are an innovative and impressive use of unique ingredients to make your dishes look gorgeous.  Nasturtiums, French Marigolds and Cornflowers all make colourful additions to your dishes and provide a seasonal touch. Yet if you’d prefer greenery to the bright colours of seasonal flowers, adding fresh herbs to dishes, especially desserts for a unique touch is another great way to add spring colour to your food. Chocolate and rosemary are a match made in heaven so why not add dark chocolate and rosemary tart with a fennel ice-cream and orange sherbet to your wedding breakfast for bright colours and fresh flavours.

Incorporating seasonal vegetables such as asparagus, sugar snap peas, baby carrots and new potatoes provides fresh flavours and crunchy textures. Dine can provide innovative starters, main courses and desserts which combine spectacular presentation and fantastic flavours.

From asparagus velouté with a soft poached quail’s egg and crème fraîche, to fillet of halibut marinated in lemon confit and thyme with vegetables Provençale, gazpacho dressing and buttered anya new potatoes, Dine can create dishes which will remind your guests of spring no matter your venue or the weather.

Menu tasting well ahead of your big day is vital to ensure seasonality and the combination of your chosen ingredients are a perfect match. This also allows you to discuss the menu with your Dine event manager and any adjustments you would like to make.

The grand staircase of The Mansion, Roundhay Park is a perfect setting for a contemporary spring theme

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Wherever you choose to get married, a spring wedding should reflect on the rejuvenation and expectation of the season with soft hues and delicate textures. Pastel pink, lavender and green can be incorporated through dresses, suits, bouquets and food to bring the season inside.

Building a Pinterest ‘mood board’ will help you focus on the spring styles you like, and look carefully at brochures and social media to see what has been done previously at your wedding venue. Working with your venue, whether it be a marquee which provides a blank canvas for you to dress. or somewhere pre-prepared, is important to see how your theme can be incorporated and what might not be as easy to achieve.

According to the Pantone Colour Institute, the colour of 2017 is ‘greenery’ and this certainly reflects the seasonality of spring with images of new growth and new life.

With simple greenery bouquets also becoming increasingly popular, this can be a great backdrop to other colour choices for decorations and favours. The contrast between bright vivid green and delicate pastel colours will create a fresh and vibrant palette, evoking sensations of spring even if the weather isn’t as glorious as you would like, or you are having an indoor wedding.

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wedding planning like a pro: dine’s dos and don’ts

February 28th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

The Mansion (5)

Following a surge of engagements over Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s, we’ve been welcoming lots of lovely new brides-to-be to our pretty pages. If you’re one of them you may well be looking to steam straight into the wedding planning process, though feel a little overwhelmed with all the different elements to consider.

What areas should you tackle first, where should you invest the majority of your time and effort, and what should you look for in suppliers? Here to assist with some of the questions is our fabulous Sponsor, award-winning catering and events specialist Dine.

Catering for more than 200 weddings each year, the Dine team has drawn on its vast experience of hospitality and event management, whilst also taking into account comments from some of its happy newlywed couples, to share its top ‘do and don’t’ tips to planning the perfect wedding.

We will be hosting one of our Luxury Bridal Show with the Dine team at its flagship venue The Mansion at Roundhay Park in Leeds, on Sunday 12th March, 11am till 3pm, free entry where you can gain further pointers and advice while meeting some of the area’s finest wedding suppliers. You can pre-register for the free-entry event here.

Now, on with those tips…

Images supplied by Dine/ Joel Skingle Photography

The Mansion (2)

make sure you do

Give yourself plenty of time to plan and appreciate every part of the process. As the actual day goes by so quickly make sure that the anticipation and build up is also something you will remember with fondness.

Think carefully about the expense and research all aspects to ensure that your budget isn’t overstretched. You may well end up spending more than you originally planned. Wedding planners like ourselves can be a great asset when it comes to budget planning, as we have lots of experience and can advise where savings can be made and where it is worth splashing out.

Book the main aspects of the wedding such as venue, photographer and the registrar first as these often get booked up the quickest. Once these have been sorted it’s much easier to plan the rest of your wedding around them. For example, if your wedding is going to be in a stately home you may decide to theme the day accordingly.

To avoid disappointment, sit down with your photographer prior to the wedding to ensure they are fully aware of what you want to achieve and the photographs you’d like to be taken.

Communicate with each other and family, friends and suppliers. It is important that both the bride and groom with the plans for the day and communication is the best way to make sure this happens.

Remember that you have your partner to rely on. Even if everything feels like it is getting out of hand, the relationship between you and your partner means more than anything and should come before any wedding planning.

Make sure you involve all of your guests on the day as it is important everyone has fun. Think of the different age groups that will be present and plan elements, such as food and entertainment, accordingly.

Enjoy the day! It goes by in a flash so make sure to take it all in and take time out with your partner. Having an events caterer such as Dine means that you can spend more time with each other, as they will be checking everything runs smoothly, leaving you to simply relax and enjoy.

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but don’t

Leave planning to the last minute. Foresight saves you money, hassle and stress and no stress means you enjoy planning the big day far more.

Book suppliers that you don’t trust or whose work you haven’t looked at otherwise there’s a very high chance you’ll be unhappy with the results. Responsible suppliers also mean that on the day you can relax as you know they will be doing a great job.

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style & substance: box tree events

November 28th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

THE COPYRIGHT OF THIS IMAGE IS HELD BY RICHARD MORAN. THEY ARE INTENDED AS SAMPLES OF WORK AND SHOULD NEVER BE RE- PRODUCED IN ANY MANNER (VISUAL REFERENCE ONLY)

Last week on the blog we were thrilled to share with you the fabulous wedding day of Michelle Hudson, events manager top catering company and Brides Up North Sponsor, Box Tree Events. Today we’re delighted to welcome her back to the blog to update us on Box Tree Events’ fabulous offering to wedding couples, whilst also giving us details of an exciting new venture.

So guys, if you’re looking to impress your guests with Michelin quality food and services, and indulge in some truly delicious culinary delights, then it’s time to pay attention. Over to you Michelle…

Images provided by Box Tree Events, by Steve Moran/ Bruce Rollinson.

White chocolate parfait, summer fruits. Box Tree, Ilkley. 26 July 2013. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Can you give us a little introduction to Box Tree Events?

michelle says: We have been in the restaurant and catering industry for some 30 years; the Box Tree Restaurant has independently held a Michelin star for 15 of those years. We provided a wedding for one of our clients who felt they had never had the quality of service or food at a wedding before. This motivated us to explore this avenue and we decided that we wanted to bring Michelin quality and excellence of food service to the wedding industry and provide our clients with an exceptionally memorable occasion.

Which wedding venues is Box Tree Events the in-house caterer at?

We provide wedding catering at a variety of stunning venues around Yorkshire, including Denton Hall, Broughton Hall and Harewood House, to name a few! We also cater for smaller intimate celebrations in the beautiful Box Tree Restaurant itself.

THE COPYRIGHT OF THIS IMAGE IS HELD BY RICHARD MORAN. THEY ARE INTENDED AS SAMPLES OF WORK AND SHOULD NEVER BE RE- PRODUCED IN ANY MANNER (VISUAL REFERENCE ONLY)

Tell us about your outside catering service?

We can cater for larger marquee weddings as well as outside events and parties nation-wide. We have catered from many unusual structures, such as garages, utility rooms and barns, we can adapt to pretty much any surroundings!

What types of dining do you offer?

We offer a wide range of dining options, from canape receptions and formal fine dining meals, to hot and cold buffets, barbeques and afternoon teas.

What sets Box Tree Events apart from other catering companies?

We work very closely alongside the Box Tree Restaurant when training staff, creating menus and planning weddings. This enables us to deliver Michelin quality food and service at each of our weddings.

We are not just caterers we have evolved to offer the whole package, we can assist with all aspects of the day: invites, transport, accommodation, table centres, flowers, venue dressing, name cards, favors, toast master and entertainment.

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lady of the lakes. pronovias for a gold & cream themed wedding at the lingholm estate – michelle & adam

November 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Today’s real wedding on the blog is pretty damn special in that the bride is an industry friend and Brides Up North Sponsor, the wonderful Michelle of Box Tree Events and the Bridal PA.

An expert in both catering and event management, some might think that Michelle would have it easy planning her own big day, but having seen so many weddings from week to week she was looking for something that bit different.

Cue a stunning lakeside wedding at the beautiful Lingholm Estate near Keswick, with a church ceremony, followed by marquee (top class) wedding breakfast and a stately home evening party. Impressed? Us too!

We must say Michelle and her beau Adam pulled off a truly elegant wedding to perfection with Michelle looking nothing short of stunning in her swoon-worthy Pronovias gown.

So let’s hand over the blog to the leading lady herself to tell us more about her dream day…

With images by Wynn Davies Photography.

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michelle says: We got engaged on the 14th December 2014. We went on a weekend away with some friends on the Isle of Arran where Adam spent a lot of his childhood with his grandparents. On the very last day we went for a walk on the beach in the pouring rain and he proposed; after nine years of being together it was a big shock. I remember a lady walking past with her dog, saying “Isn’t it a miserable day” and I was ecstatic! He knew I loved all things vintage and had bought the ring six months beforehand in Whitby. The ring dates back to 1909.

We set the date for 3rd September 2016, as Adam’s birthday is on the 9th of September and he always has great weather. However, on the 3rd, it didn’t stop raining – all day!

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Being a wedding planner and events caterer I have been to a lot of wedding venues so it was very difficult to find somewhere that I hadn’t worked at, or that was a bit different. Adam actually chose the venue after working up in the Lake District. The venue is owned by friends and has only been a wedding venue for a very short time. It is truly breath-taking; it is called The Lingholm Estate, where Beatrix Potter wrote many of her books. It’s situated on Derwentwater, not far from Keswick.

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We didn’t really have a wedding theme as such. The sail cloth marquee that we hired from Paul at Shades, had transparent sides all the way around and so I wanted the view to be the focal point. The later part of the evening was up in the house, where we just lit all the fire places with hundreds of candles, contrasting with the old panelled wood, it looked lovely.

Our colour scheme was gold and cream, with blush tones brought in by the bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen’s ties.

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Choosing a dress when I see them every week turned out to be hard. I wanted something less weddingy! My only conditions were no lace or sparkles, I wanted something elegant and super plain. I chose two dresses from Pronovias that they were able to combine. I had a capped sleeve, fitted, slightly fish tailed dress with a low back and buttons to the floor with a detachable bustle which made the most beautiful train. I didn’t want to take it off! I bought the dress from Eternity Bridal in Warrington.

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Adam wore a Hugo Boss black suit, shoes, socks and shirt. All the gents had personal cufflinks made by Chimo Holdings, my father’s silver company in Sheffield. All the cufflinks were personalised with my nana’s hallmark.

The groomsmen wore suits by Moss Bros and the bridesmaid dresses were from ASOS.

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For our wedding transport, we used my father’s car, which used to belong to my uncle, who has sadly passed away. The bridesmaids’ car was Adam’s BMW, which I had bought a personalised number plate for as a little pressie.

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