Charlotte Balbier

summer lovin’. a bright and beautiful papakata wedding – andrea & richard

March 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (27)

There is so much pretty in this opening wedding of the week that it’s difficult to know where to look first.

Richard and Andrea’s aim for their big day was to create an ‘end of summer party’ feel, and boy did they hit the nail on the head.

This laidback outdoor wedding has it all – hugely swoon-worthy décor, beautiful bright blooms, live entertainment and even a double decker bus bar!

I strongly suggest grabbing a large notebook for this one ladies, it’s quite literally bursting with inspiration!

With images by Carly Bevan Photography.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (11)

andrea says: We’d already been together for almost ten years and knew one day we’d get married there was no huge romantic proposal more a decision to buy a ring and set a date which we did in April 2013.

We decided to have an end of summer wedding on 13th September 2014 in the hope we would have a lovely warm September day and to give us about 18 months to plan from setting the date.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (15)

We had our ceremony at our local town hall as neither of us are religious we didn’t want a church wedding and the town hall is a beautiful building which exits onto a large park. We then went on to have our reception in a Sperry Tent from Papakata at White Cottage in Hornsea, which is normally a caravan and camping field but we had exclusive use for the weekend. We knew from the beginning we wanted a laid back, less formal wedding day and we loved the flexibility a marquee would give us. We were originally having teepees then when Papakata introduced the Sperry Tents – we loved the lighter inside and high ceilings and so swapped!

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (16)

We wanted the day and planning to be as laid back as possible so opted for an end of summer party feel with an outdoor fire, double decker chill out bus bar, bouncy castle and a chill out area with candy buffet and photo booth inside.

We went for mixed light summer shades of blue, lemon, a mid pink, lilac and green to add some colour as we had a plain cream backdrop and so most of the colour was introduced through the flowers.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (18)

My dress was from Monsoon. I hadn’t set out particularly to get a high street dress I more stumbled across it whilst browsing bridesmaid dresses and decided it was perfect for the laid back day we were planning. I made my own veil (with lots of help from my now mother-in-law) which seemed like a good idea at the time and I did love the finished item but as all the lace was hand sewn on and very intricate – it must have taken in excess of 30 hours! My shoes were from Irregular Choice.

Richard wore a navy blue three piece suit from Thomas Nash at Debenhams and tan shoes from Rockport.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (20)

After a full day shopping with the adult bridesmaids they chose their dresses from BHS. They’re all quite different shapes but the dress suited them all and we also got the matching shoes. Whilst getting the bridesmaid dresses I spotted some lovely navy suits for the groomsmen too so we ended up buying their suits from BHS. The little bridesmaids wore Debenhams dresses and the little boys’ chinos, shirts and waistcoats also came from Debenhams.

My and the bridesmaids’ hair was done by Kate Hickman Freelance Hairdresser. Kate was fantastic and my hair stayed in place all day and night and having a hairdresser visit us at home took away all the chaos in getting ready.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (28)

We hired a VW camper van from I do VW Weddings although sadly it was Craig’s last wedding with his campervan due to other commitments.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (5)

Our photographer was Carly Bevan. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Carly she was recommended to us and from the minute we met her we knew she was perfect for photographing our day. Carly’s photography style was exactly what we were looking for as we didn’t want too many styled shots and more of a story of the day as it happened. The package Carly provides is perfect – we wanted the full day from getting ready to the first dance, and the engagement shoot we had was more of a bonus as it’s not something we would normally have decided to have. However Carly was absolutely right to include it as it prepares you more for having your photographs taken on the day. Carly is so friendly and made everyone and the children so relaxed we were delighted when we got the photographs back, we absolutely love them.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (3)

I had a bouquet by Bohemia Floral Design in Hornsea it was exactly how I imagined with a mix of beautiful colourful flowers. As my mum died a few years before the wedding I had a picture of her tied into my bouquet so in some small way she could be there on our special day. I also had a flower hair comb as did the adult bridesmaids, the children had flower crowns, which they loved!

Richard’s mum grew the plants for the table centre pieces which were in terracotta pots that we painted cream. We then had some jam jars of flowers dotted around the cake table and chill out area arranged by Bohemia Floral Design and with having such a lovely high ceiling we had decided that we would love flowers to be hanging from the ceiling down the centre of the marquee. Abi from Bohemia didn’t disappoint with six hanging hoops of flowers, which all looked stunning.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (46)

We made mini bottles of Limoncello for the guests’ favours as we felt it went well with the theme of the day and they were easy to make in advance of the last minute chaos.

We had a three tiered cake with a garden theme round the edges with each tier a different flavour. This was made by Jacqui at A Little Slice of Cake Heaven. We then had a cake topper made by Poppy’s Cake Toppers which we have to keep forever.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (50)

We decided to have a hog roast plated with salads and rather than having a starter we decided on mixed mini cakes followed by a huge cheeseboard. The catering was all done by Hot Trotters from Fitling, East Yorkshire. We had Pimms on arrival with bottles of Rioja and Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc on the tables and Prosecco for the toast drink from Majestic Wine Warehouse.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (43)

We booked our evening band Helter Skelter immediately as we’d seen them before and loved their music – they had everyone dancing all evening. We also decided we wanted some live music during the day as we both love live music it was one of the more important details for us. We decided on Rock My Reception and they were brilliant. They played while guests entered the ceremony, the arrival music and departure music and then played at the reception until after the meal even playing Postman Pat for one of our younger guests. Both bands were excellent on the day and the run up.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (49)

As I own a wedding details shop, And All Things Nice, lots of our special touches were items we stock including the activity books for the children, the various hessian buntings, including the cards one was suspended from an old suitcase to make a wedding post box and the Candy Buffet one, which we used on our own dresser to display the sweets on. I also, with the help of my amazing friends and our relatives, made the napkin rings, table runners, flowered hearts for the chair backs, bunting from my grandma’s old doilies and 1,000 paper cranes for the backdrop in the photo booth that we created.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (55)

We used Double Decker Bar for our bar which was a hit with the guests and provided extra chill out seating outside of the marquee. The bouncy castle was from Bouncing Bonanza Bouncy Castle Hire and they also got us our straw bales which we used for outdoor seating. The bouncy castle was well worth the money as the children bounced on it nonstop before the meal.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (59)

We would definitely recommend White Cottage to other wedding couples. The field is perfectly cut and flat so there was no marshy areas and it was huge, plenty of space for camping guests and lots of parking, there was even space for the coach we used to transport guests from the ceremony to pull in and turn around. Sharon who runs the venue was also really helpful on the run up to the day. We would also recommend Papakata, their attention to detail and organisation really were excellent we had full confidence in them right through the planning process. They also had an amazing choice in furnishings for the Sperry Tents.

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (67)

Two special parts of the day stand out in my mind. After the ceremony we had some photographs on the way to the reception. That short 20 to 30 minutes that we spent away from everyone was really relaxing. Then afterwards when we walked into the reception and everyone was outside with the band playing away and drinks flowing and the sun shining and we could finally celebrate with all our friends and family exactly how we pictured it was amazing.

We decided that due to the hands on nature of having a marquee wedding we wanted to be somewhere relaxing without a long flight for our honeymoon and so chose a week at the 5* Epic Sana Spa Hotel in Praia da Falésia, Portugal. We had a lovely relaxing time with a honeymoon upgrade to a Deluxe Studio apartment. We booked the honeymoon through Su Dillon at Travel Counsellors which removed all the stress of planning it as Su organised private transfers and all the details so we just turned up and relaxed!

a bright and beautiful Papakata wedding (c) Carly Bevan Photography (62)

My tops tips to other Brides Up North would be try to think at the beginning what parts of the day are most important to you so you can allocate your budget accordingly. We both love live music and that made our day for us, a great photographer too as you spend your full day with them and the photographs last long after the day. Also ask friends or family for help with any items you’re making as early as possible, we had some amazing help but we should have asked a bit earlier!

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friday fabulous!

March 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

River Island White Embellished Box Clutch

blingin’ beautiful.

White Embellished Box Clutch Bag by River Island, Limited Edition, £35

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the big debate: your hen party. weekend long extravaganza or one night wonder?

March 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Found on brit.co, photography Paige Winn Photos

image source, photography by Paige Winn Photos

This morning, our big debate is one for the hens.  We’re wondering whether your hen party will be a stretched out celebration or a one day affair?  Grab a coffee (or hey, if you’re on Rachel’s side, why not make it a cocktail?), it’s time to open the floor…

Found on showmeyourmumu.com

image source

rachel says: make it a weekend

I know, I know – it’s too much time away from home, it will be expensive, people will struggle to get time off work, but it will also be one heck of a good time! In my eyes if you can stretch a birthday across a few days why can’t the same be done with a hen do? After all, you only live once!

If the trip is planned in advance and well thought out so your gals have plenty of forewarning about what’s coming they will have time to save and make necessary arrangements work and family wise meaning weekend-long celebrations aren’t out of reach for all.

Indulging in a full hen weekend away not only gives you quality time with the leading ladies in your life, but it also gives you lots of time to really explore your chosen location and to let down your hair after all that stressful wedding planning – girl you earned it!

Agreed a weekend hen do is undoubtedly going to cost more than a one-night knees-up but hens can choose to make it a budget or blowout affair. For example, great value hen party packages are available with accommodation, activities, and in some cases, food and drink, all in. There are also some fab cheap breaks abroad which can work out cheaper than remaining in the UK and will give you and your girlies the opportunity to catch a tan before the big day. Meanwhile for those sticking to home turf there are some gorgeous rural retreats and city centre apartments available for groups to hire and take their own food and drink along to save money. If you take up the rural option you can also make your activities cheap too – think chilled out walks (to the pub), sunbathing (if the weather is kind), DIY pamper sessions and afternoon tea.

If push to comes shove and some girls are governed by work, family or budget restrictions it might be that they can just join you for part of the celebrations (if you aren’t travelling too far from home that is). Having different people arriving at different times can also help freshen up the group and mix people together more gradually.

When all said and done, just like your wedding should be what you want, so should your hen do and if that means a weekend away your gals need to get packing!

Found on yesbabydaily.com

image source

julia says: one night only

I have three little words for you: Three. Day. Hangover.

That’s what my last weekend long hen do did to me (and all the other ones before that). Girls, in the days of Deliciously Ella and Reformer Pilates, it’s just not the done thing to be sweating vodka on a Tuesday morning.

Ok, I get it. Your hen weekend is your last big hurrah with your girls (and if he’ll believe that, he’ll believe anything), an excuse for a bit of R&R (or G&T) in a fabulously glam city location or a chance to get away from wedding planning for three glorious lost days. But, I’m here to argue the side for less is more – a side I’m not usually sitting on – and like everything I do, I’ll sure as hell give it my best shot.

These days, I’m a bit of a convert to the mind-set that if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing really, really well. Why even try to keep the excitement going over a three day session? Why not concentrate all your spa bliss, glam-up enthusiasm, cocktail quaffing stamina and dance floor energy into one perfect 24 hours that you’ll remember forever as a brilliant burst of fabulousness.

No awkward, used all the conversation up yesterday, pauses. No splitting of the group. No hungover activity drop outs. No latecomers turning up on day two and wondering why the rest of you are all feeling a little flat.

Just a perfect day of all your best girls (or guys) together, doing something fun, and doing it with fully committed gusto.

It’ll be cooler, cheaper (something your hens will all be secretly pleased about) – and you’ll have saved yourself 24 hours of “down time” to recover before diving headlong back into the wedding planning, er, work, on Monday morning.

Think about it. And spend the saved night’s accommodation on a knock out, one night only ensemble.

That’s chicomics for you.

Have fun!

Found on blondeepisodes.com

image source

what you said on facebook:

Kerri: “Blow out in Amsterdam with my closest friends and then going to have a meal in the UK so that everyone can come.”

Sophie: “I think the key is to keep it flexible so as many people as possible can join in as much or as little as their budget and family commitments will allow.”

Allison: “I’m having a meal & cocktails on the Saturday night then spa day on the Sunday. Staying at home though, just less expense for everyone & everyone has a choice if they want to come to meal or spa or both.”

Rachel: “Blow out in Barcelona, day out in York and work friend drinks… so I’d say I’m blowing out!”

Found on kitesista.com

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a wedding alphabet. m is for mum

March 26th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Found on greylikesweddings.com, photography by by Pasha Belman Photography

image via greylikesweddings.com, photography by by Pasha Belman Photography

For most girls that get engaged there is often one person even more excited the news than they are – their mum. Enter the mother of the bride

While you might think you have been dreaming about the big day forever, your mum has had the occasion firmly placed in her future diary since you were a little girl – and now it’s actually happening!

But after the whoops and cheers have died down some mothers of the bride, and sometimes of the groom, can be known to get a little carried away and overbearing when it comes to planning the ‘perfect day’.

On top of the stress organising a wedding can bring, the last thing you want is a family feud so it’s important to know how to handle over-enthusiastic mums that take off down this route. Brides Up North, I’m here to help.

Found on queenslandbrides.blogspot.com.au

image via queenslandbrides.blogspot.com.au

be clear from the start

Though I’m yet to have a ring on my finger I have to say me and my mum talk about my fictional wedding all the time, but then I constantly change my mind on what I think I’ll have (I blame the day job).

Whether your mum is in the know or not, once you and your partner have made some key decisions about the type of wedding you want, arrange to meet up or speak to your mum over the phone about your plans to gage her thoughts/approval. Be sure to give reasons on your decisions and emphasise that you came to these conclusions with your groom so that she can tell you’ve really thought about these elements and that it’s what you both want as a couple.

Whether she fully agrees or not she will appreciate you keeping her informed on the decisions and for seeking her opinion. Be sure to keep the updates coming throughout the planning process to ensure she doesn’t feel out of touch or surplus to your requirements.

meddling mums

If you and your mum have different ideas about what will make the perfect day your mum could come to meddle in your plans in an attempt to get her own way.

Try to figure out early on what elements of the wedding you think will be particularly important to your mum to avoid her trying to change your plans later down the line. This might be who should be included on the guest list, the location in which you should tie the knot or what type of food you should be serving up.

Take on board her thoughts and if you can compromise in these areas to avoid your mum looking like she’s sucking on a lemon at the top table come your big day.

Found on bridalguide.com, photography by Lorraine Daley Wedding Photography

image via bridalguide.com, photography by Lorraine Daley Wedding Photography

play on her strengths

Having a mum that wants to get involved in the wedding can work to your advantage, especially if they have a great skill set.

Think of your mum’s talents and try to give her jobs that will let her shine. So if she gives Mary Berry a run for her money in the kitchen ask her to make your wedding cake, if she knows of more flowers than Alan Titchmarsh take her along to the florists or if she’s more of a Kirstie Allsopp give her some crafty tasks to take ownership of, like making decorations or stationery.

Not only will she enjoy the challenge but she will also feel touched that you’ve given her a special role in the proceedings.

Found on blog.theknot.com, photography by Rob Greer Photography

image via blog.theknot.com, photography by Rob Greer Photography

set mum-sized boundaries

While you have taken the time to listen to the areas that are important to your mum and to include her, don’t be afraid to let her know the areas that are important to you and the groom, elements that you are not prepared to change your mind on.

Of course approach the conversation with care but gently let her know where you draw the line in negotiating.

Found on stylemepretty.com, photography by Katelyn James Photography

image via stylemepretty.com, photography by Katelyn James Photography

mums that overstep the mark

Having set the boundaries if your mum chooses to hop, skip and triple jump over them, pull her up on it to avoid heartbreak and fallouts.

Speak to her and try to figure out why she’s feeling the need to try to overrule your wishes. It could be that your parents are paying for the majority of the wedding and therefore she feels she has the right to call the shots. In such circumstances try to explain that while you are grateful for their kind contribution and want them to have a say and feel included, the wedding is a huge milestone in your relationship and should therefore be a reflection of you as a couple and what you want.

Alternatively it could be that your mother didn’t get much say in her own wedding and therefore she is either mimicking her mum by taking on the chief planning role or trying to create the wedding she really wanted through your big day. Again take the time to talk to your mum about this – listen to her feelings and share your own. Remind her how it felt to have someone else calling the shots and try to make her see that organising parts together is a much more enjoyable and fair way to go about things.

Found on blog.theknot.com, photography by Leo Timoshuk Photography

image via blog.theknot.com, photography by Leo Timoshuk Photography

dealing with the mother-in-law

Some mothers can find it difficult to let go of their sons and such feelings can manifest themselves in reactions to your wedding plans.

Just like with your own mum be sure to let your mother-in-law know your plans early on so she feels included and continue with regular updates. Also as a wedding is ultimately the joining of two families, invite your mother-in-law to join you and your mum when arranging some parts of the wedding, such as choosing the flowers or shopping for decorations. This will also help you to bond as a family.

If however your mother-in-law gets a little out of hand, ask your partner to have a gentle word with her and to explain that you have made your decisions as a couple to avoid her taking up issue with you alone.

Found on stylemepretty.com, photography by Caroline Maxcy Photography

image via stylemepretty.com, photography by Caroline Maxcy Photography

have fun

Most importantly – have fun with it. This is a great time of your life for mother/daughter bonding and while the planning path might not run entirely smooth, it’s a perfect opportunity to spend quality time together and to create some fabulous memories.

A mum’s input can be particularly helpful in areas that the groom just can’t get enthused about, such as chair covers and sashes, so there are plenty of different areas in which to get those most important to you involved.

Planning with your mum is also a great excuse for numerous shopping trips and glasses of fizz, just don’t mention it to the men that will be left at home!

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love locks. lilac and lace for a stunning celebration at adlington hall – sarah & ross

March 26th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (66)

Avid Brides Up North reader Sarah’s wedding to her new husband Ross was a truly gorgeous affair. From her lace Victoria Jane dress (oh, how we love a gown with beautiful back detailing) to the stately setting and vintage transport, everything about the big day is stunning.

We also absolutely adore the theme for this fabulous North West wedding – love is the key.

So join us as we unlock and relive Sarah and Ross’ big day.

With images by James Tracey Photography and Daniel Lloyd Photography.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (2)

sarah says: We got engaged on 14th August 2013. This was the day before my birthday and Ross had surprised me with a night at Peckforton Castle in Tarporley. Whilst he was checking in, they told him there would be a tour of the hotel before dinner. I was more concerned about traipsing around in my heels but Ross managed to persuade me (as he had planned this it was a good job!) The guy showing us round took us all around the hotel, telling us the history which was great. In the grounds of the castle there is a chapel, as we walked in the whole place was filled with candles and looked beautiful. As I was looking around, Ross had gone down on one knee with a beautiful ring. I was so shocked and lost for words he had to ask me three times if it was a yes! We came out to a champagne reception and had the most amazing meal – it was perfect.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

We chose to get married on 15th February 2015. It gave us 18 months to plan which we thought would be about right. We looked at having it on Valentine’s Day but we though guests might want to be on their own that day. Also it means that Ross has to buy me a present for Valentine’s and our anniversary now instead of having a combined one!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (17)

We got married at Adlington Hall & Gardens. We looked at a few venues, as we were having a civil ceremony, we knew we didn’t just want to get married in any old hotel room and none we saw were quite right. We made an appointment to view Adlington Hall and as soon as we walked into The Great Hall we were absolutely blown away by how stunning it was, it was the one! We loved the fact the whole place was ours for the day and we were truly treated like royalty. We also loved the fact we had two different venues in one. The ceremony in The Great Hall and wedding breakfast at the Hunting Lodge. From the very first meeting we had, the whole team were amazing professionals. This gave us confidence that the day would go smoothly. It was perfect!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

We have two children Scarlett, aged eight, and Oscar, aged three, who were our flower girl and page boy at the wedding. Scarlett did a beautiful reading (A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton) at the ceremony which was very special and there were definitely a few tears shed by all. It was lovely to have them involved.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (23)

I came across the quote by Oliver Wendel Holmes – ‘love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness’ – and the whole ‘Love is the Key’ theme was born! I wanted something elegant and vintage that would reflect the history of the venue. Also very romantic with lots of candles, beautiful flowers and pearls.

We chose lilac and ivory as our colour scheme. Purple is my favourite colour and this fitted in nicely for the vintage elegance we were trying to achieve.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (25)

I knew I wanted a fitted, mermaid style lace dress but I wanted something at the back of the dress that made it different. As soon as I saw the Victoria Jane Ivy dress I knew that ticked all the boxes! I loved the pearl draping at the back and I thought it looked very elegant and vintage, which is exactly what I was looking for. I teamed this with a beautiful pearl headpiece which reflected the draping on the dress. I got this from a shop on Etsy called Gilded Shadows, it came over from the United States and was perfect. I also wore a crystal edged veil which was my ‘something borrowed’ as it was my wonderful sister Rebecca’s wedding veil she let me use. My diamante encrusted shoes came from Next and matched perfectly.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (34)

Ross wore a dark blue suit with grey waistcoat by Paul Costelloe. He teamed this with a grey and lilac tie which brought the whole outfit together. He looked very handsome!

My two sisters wore long lilac chiffon dresses with embellished necklines, which they teamed with a pale lilac feather cape from Coast. They also wore a pearl hair comb from Highland Angel which finished the whole outfit beautifully, they looked stunning!

The three (yes three!) best men and our fathers all wore two-piece navy blue suits from Austin Reed. They teamed this with a lilac tie. My son and three nephews as pageboys wore navy suits from BHS with lilac bow ties and lilac trainers – super cute! My daughter’s dress was by Pearce Fionda, I also got a vintage style diamante brooch to put on the waistband which mirrored my dress.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (38)

My father, my son and I arrived at the venue in a stunning 1930s Beauford. The rest of the bridal party arrived in a Daimler State Limousine.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

Our photographer was James Tracey. I had looked at loads of photographers on the internet and James’ images really stood out. We knew we didn’t want the cheesy poses and wanted natural, documentary style images that really told the story of our day. James did not disappoint at all. We met for a pre-wedding shoot which was fantastic as it really helped us to relax in front of the camera when wedding day nerves set in and gave us confidence that the images would be great on the day. The images we have are stunning and have really captured the best moments of the day. James really talked us through every stage but was so unobtrusive on the day, it was perfect. We were both blown away and would highly recommend him. So many of our guests have commented on how amazing the images are too!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (50)

I wanted an informal bouquet in lilac and ivory with foliage. I had seen the amnesia rose and knew I wanted them included as they are a beautiful lilac colour and look so vintage. I also included lavender in all the flowers as I love the smell and the colours and style matched perfectly with the day. I also got some vintage style pearl brooches which were put onto mine and my bridesmaids’ bouquets and really finished them off. The flowers were provided by The Wild Bunch in Macclesfield. They were absolutely fantastic and exceeded my expectations in how they translated my vision for the styling of the day.

The Wild Bunch also provided flowers for the decor. I wanted lots of candles and cluster vases with various flowers that tied in with my bouquet. We had this set up for the ceremony table and also the top table. We used some vases which my sister-in-law had used at her wedding last year which was a special touch. It was stunning and took my breath away when I first walked in. The smell of lavender was amazing. The tables had fish bowl centre pieces with matching flowers. I had sourced lots of mercury glass tea light holders as well as some gorgeous antique lilac coloured ones which had pearl details on. There were lots of holders in various shapes and sizes on every table and around the cake. It created such a romantic feel to the day. There were also scatters of table pearls which completed the look.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (55)

We gave our guests bottle openers shaped like a vintage key as favours. They seemed to like the practical gift! For the evening we made some hangover kits. I found some small muslin bags on Etsy and had them personalised and sent over from The States. I filled them with mints, plasters and Alka Seltzer and put them over a bottle of water. A lifesaver for those who were celebrating a bit too hard!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (57)

My amazing friend Nova made my cake despite being nearly eight months pregnant! It was a three-tier sponge cake of chocolate, lemon and vanilla – delicious! It was lilac and ivory and had lace effect icing on the top two tiers. There were ivory and amnesia roses, foliage and pearl droplets in between the bottom two tiers. I also had an amazing cake topper custom made from Better off Wed on Etsy which said Love is the Key.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (61)

Ross and I are massive foodies so this was a really important part of the day. We had a delicious selection of canapés after the ceremony with champagne and mulled wine, which was perfect for a winter wedding. For our wedding breakfast we wanted food that we love and decided on smoked salmon to start, fillet mignon, which was absolutely amazing and perfectly cooked, for main followed by profiteroles with chocolate rum sauce for the gents and raspberry creme brûlée with shortbread biscuit for the ladies with coffee and petit fours to finish. We had a choice of wine and champagne too. For the evening we had bacon, sausage and fish finger sandwiches. Just what was needed! The crepes just about finished us off but I managed to squeeze in a chocolate and Baileys one!

The food was unbelievable, all our guests couldn’t compliment it enough. We also used vintage champagne saucers for the toast. These had been tirelessly scoured for by Ross’ parents and sister Fran and had been used at her wedding last year. It was a lovely finishing touch and was extra special as they were hers.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (65)

We used the amazing pianist Guy Porteous, to play from the ceremony right through to the end of the wedding breakfast. He is fantastically talented and was a lovely extra special touch to have him there. In the evening we chose to have a DJ to get the party started. He is the resident DJ at Adlington Hall and did a great job getting everyone dancing with a variety of songs that catered for the varied age range.

In terms of special touches, I had seen the large light up letters people hire for weddings and thought they made such a great focal point. I hired our LOVE sign from Dressed to Impress at Blakemere and it added a real wow factor, perfect for photo poses! We also had a wish tree as an alternative guest book. I found some tags on eBay which guests wrote their ‘key to a happy marriage’ message on and hung them on the tree. This was decorated with fairy lights, crystals and some vintage keys borrowed from Ross’ parents. I spent ages making escort card tags for the guest seating plan. I attached small keys to each tag and hung them from a mirror on ribbons. The guests then took their own key tag to keep. It was something different and the guests loved it. We hired a crepe station as a surprise for our guests in the evening. Original Crepes were fantastic, they provided a huge choice of sweet and savoury crepes and they tasted delicious. It was something the guests weren’t expecting and everyone loved it!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (69)

I had a sign made for our son Oscar to carry down the aisle, it said: ‘Daddy here comes Mummy’. He’d been practicing holding it and walking so steadily and was so proud of himself when he got to the end! We also had framed photographs of both sets of parents on their wedding days, as they have both been married for over 40 years this was a good inspiration!

We hired a videographer as we wanted to capture the day and have a great memento of the action. We used Creative Videos, Barry was fantastic and as he had filmed my sister’s wedding previously, we knew the video would be fantastic.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (73)

We would absolutely recommend Adlington Hall! From the moment we walked in we were overwhelmed by how stunning it was. The food amazing, the staff so professional and accommodating. Everything was more than we hoped for, my dream wedding venue!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (76)

I think my favourite part of the day was when the doors opened to The Great Hall and I was ready to walk down the aisle. On my dad’s arm, looking at all the most important people in our lives all there just for us was totally overwhelming.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (80)

We are going on a family honeymoon with our children in the summer. My next planning project now I have no wedding to plan!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (79)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is to utilise the talents of your friends and family. My sisters Rebecca and Jessica did my makeup and hair and my talented friend Nova made our fabulous cake. It was extra special for them to play such an important role. Oh yes, and plenty of waterproof mascara!

From getting engaged Brides up North was my go to for inspiration. I have been an avid reader of the real life weddings and I’m so excited to now be one of them!

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