Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

Simply Stunning. Lace & Tulle For A Modern Real Wedding At Statham Lodge, Cheshire – Sarah & Gavin

March 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Amanda Balmain

Welcome to another week Brides Up North!  Any “I do”s over the weekend?

This was Team Brides Up North’s first weekend off in quite a long while, and I spent it catching up on sleep, enjoying some quality family time and sampling a few real ales at our village beer festival.  Although I still prefer a chilled Sauvignon Blanc, there’s definitely a place in my life for a pint of pale ale, a pork pie and peas and rocking out to a questionable The Killers tribute act with my one year old on my hip of a Saturday afternoon!

However you spent yours, I hope it was glorious.

Talking of great occasions, let’s get things kicked off around here with a trip to Cheshire to celebrate the nuptials of Sarah & Gavin, who wanted a pretty yet modern feel for their big day.  Here at wedding blog HQ we are loving Sarah’s gown – which proves that lace and tulle can look contemporary as well as vintage.  Just lovely.  

With images by Amanda Balmain.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Sarah says:  We got engaged on my birthday in January 2012 in Barcelona, where Gav had taken me for a birthday weekend away, and we were married don 26th October 2013 at Statham Lodge Country House Hotel in Lymm, Cheshire. 

Amanda Balmain

We wanted a venue where we could hold the whole day and night without doing any travelling and where we and our guests could stay overnight. We looked at lots of places but Statham Lodge was our favourite from the start. The building and grounds were beautiful and we liked that there were different rooms for each part of the day and evening so we felt like we had plenty of space. It has lots of character but as it’s family run it felt quite intimate and not too grand, and the staff were so friendly and couldn’t do enough for us – they really made a difference to the day. We also got an amazing out of season package which included the food, drink, DJ… there wasn’t much we actually had to worry about!

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

I love lace so that was a thread which ran throughout everything, but I didn’t want to go down the vintage route so tried to keep it quite sleek, modern and laid back.  Our colours were deep purple and grey. We really didn’t want ‘Cadbury’s purple’ which is a popular shade for weddings, so trying to find everything in the right shade was a challenge! It’s the one thing I was really particular about!

Amanda Balmain

I chose a Blue by Enzoani dress which I bought from Dreamcatcher Bridal in Kirkham, Preston, and wore it with an amazing belt from Sash & Co. I loved the heavy lace top which was very fitted down to my hips, then the lace faded into a gorgeous tulle skirt which made me feel so special but not too over the top. The belt and lace trim veil I wore were both stunning and were the perfect finishing touches.

Amanda Balmain

Gav and the groomsmen wore light grey three piece suits from Slaters, Liverpool, with deep purple ties and Gav wore a pale grey tie to set him apart from the others. They all looked so smart and the tie, rather than a cravat, made them look and feel much more laid back which is exactly what we wanted.

My three bridesmaids wore purple chiffon maxi dresses from H&M which were a real bargain and the colour was spot on! My lovely designer friend Amy Saville altered them to fit perfectly, adding an extra layer for length and adding the lace cap sleeves and V insert at the back which tied them in with the lace theme. They all looked so beautiful!

Our one year old nephew, Jack, was a page boy and wore the cutest grey suit from Next, while our one year old nieces, Josephine and Chloe, wore ivory dresses from Ted Baker at Debenhams.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

As we had the ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception in the same place we didn’t need to travel anywhere. I arrived at the venue with my Mum and Dad which was nice as we got to spend some time alone in the car on the way, and everyone met us there to get ready and start the day at Statham Lodge!

Amanda Balmain

I carried a small teardrop bouquet made up of ivory mini orchids and freesias and a couple of deep purple flowers to match the colour theme.  My bridesmaids carried small posies of ivory freesias and the Mum’s and groomsmen all had orchid button holes.  Our flowers were by 2lips Florists in Stockton Heath. 

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

The music during the ceremony made it really special for us, as we chose the string versions of some of our favourite songs. I walked down the aisle to the strings version of U2’s “With Or Without You” and it still makes me a bit teary when I hear it now!

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain was our photographer and is a genius at capturing those little moments and the general feeling of the day.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

We tried to keep the day as small and personal as possible, so I made a lot myself, including the invitations, centre pieces, place names and favours. I made use of lots of small online retailers to source my many materials!  The favours which were wine glass charms with each person’s initial as a charm.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

My favourite part of our wedding was the speeches, I loved seeing everyone together, having a good time and enjoying the day. My Dad had been nervous about his speech since the minute we got engaged but I was so proud of him, and of Gav and his best man and brother, Jon, who all got the balance of emotional and funny just right! Gav says his favourite part was when I walked down the aisle, which is very sweet of him and despite concentrating so hard on not crying was also one of my favourite bits.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

The casino by Fun Casino Royale before the evening ceremony was a lot of fun and kept that day to evening part really upbeat, and at night we just wanted everyone to dance so had Dave Buck as a DJ, who came as part of the Statham Lodge package and was brilliant!

Amanda Balmain

Our honeymoon really was our trip of a lifetime, we went to San Francisco, Las Vegas, LA and finished with a week of all inclusive luxury in Mexico. It was really important to us to not get carried away and overspend on the wedding so we could go all out on our honeymoon and do a trip that we’ve always wanted to do, and the best decision we made was booking the honeymoon for January so we really stretched out the whole wedding experience and there were no January blues for us!

Amanda Balmain

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be: honestly, don’t stress! Do what you want to do and don’t worry too much about all the little details. People are there to see you get married and as long as you’re having the best time, so will they.

Amanda Balmain

Congratulations Sarah & Gavin!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Amanda Balmain

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New Year’s Newlyweds! A Real Wedding In The North West – Sarah & Nick

April 20th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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What better way to end the week than another gorgeous Real Wedding, this time from the North West and sent to me by photographer Martin Hambleton and real bride Sarah.  Sarah and Nick actually chose a similar colour scheme to that I picked for my own wedding, so I was always going to love the classic elegance of their wedding styling – topped off with a stunning venue to boot!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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Over to Sarah:  Nick asked me to marry him in July 2009 in Paris and we were married on New Year’s Eve – 31st December 2011 at Arley Hall in Cheshire

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We chose the venue because it’s a beautiful place, but what sold it to us was how friendly the staff were. They had us feel at home immediately. Everyone did a fantastic job of looking after us from the first show round right the way through to the day of the wedding.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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We opted for a classic colour scheme of ivory and charcoal grey. My dress was an Essence dress from Chester Bridal Gallery. Very plain, but perfect!

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My six bridesmaids wore long strapless dresses from Monsoon. They were a bargain in the January sale last year and then we just paid to get them altered for a perfect fit.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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I was already at the venue so we didn’t have wedding cars, but we did have a wedding bus to transport our guests from a nearby hotel though!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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I carried a hand-tied bouquet of ivory flowers – spray roses, narcissi, hyacinths, freesias and veronica with variegated ivy, eucalyptus and asparagus fern foliage by 2Lips Florists in Stockton Heath.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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RW Bespoke did our catering. They are the preferred supplier of the venue and were equally brilliant. We’ve had so many great comments about the food! 

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We opted for a traditional fruit cake made by my Auntie.  Instead of favours we had a sweetie table at the evening reception with personalised labels and traditional stripped bags in our wedding colours.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography   A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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We had a harpist, Nerys Hewitt who played during the ceremony and reception and then a brilliant band called The Indie Killers in the evening.  We had a confetti machine at midnight! At the strike of 12 o’clock a shower of silver and ivory paper flakes fell from the ceiling!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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Obviously the ceremony and the actual getting married part was great, but the surprise appearance of all Nick’s friends dressed in Top Gun flight suits coming on to the dance floor to serenade me with Take My Breath Away after our first dance is a moment I will never forget.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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We honeymooned in Sri Lanka and The Maldives. We had an incredible time, just what we needed after the busyness of the wedding.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get organised! Keep a wedding file to store all correspondence and ideas and write all key dates on a wall chart – dress fittings, supplier meetings, payments dates etc.  You’ll be glad that you did! 

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Congratulations Sarah & Nick!

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Newly wed?  Contact Brides Up North to share your Real Wedding memories!

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  – Images © 2012 Martin Hambleton Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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