April 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding is all about the magic of Disney – the enchanting Beauty and the Beast to be more precise.
Our couple, Sarah and Stevie, decided on a nod or three to their favourite family movie, with the film’s much-coveted teapot, clock and candlestick all making an appearance on their special day. Combine this with a few unconventional twists – such as serving popcorn and swapping a traditional wedding breakfast for a rooftop barbecue – and we think this is an informal take on wedded bliss at its best.
With images by Claire Basiuk.
sarah says: We got engaged on 15th September 2015, while in Tenerife. We were on the second night of a family holiday, staying in a lovely hotel at the top a hill. Stevie was calling our daughter Sophia over to the terrace to have a picture taken against the sunset. Sophia, however, was more interested in going dancing, so was reluctant. I eventually talked her over where Stevie then picked her up, got down on one knee and asked to marry me. My reaction was “are you being serious?” – anyone that knows us will know why; we had been together nearly 11 years, already had a beautiful two-year-old little girl and marriage had never been on the table. I’d even been discussing how I would never get married on a hen do only two days before! My answer was, of course, yes and I will never forget that beaming smile on Sophia’s face, it was as if she knew what it all meant. The evening was then spent dancing!
Our wedding date was 18th September 2016. I loved the idea of having a September wedding (maybe as my mum and dad got married then) and 18 is actually my lucky number so this worked out perfectly. We weren’t bothered about whether we did it one or two years after we got engaged but looking back now, it was lovely that it was almost a year to the day.
We wanted a venue that could accommodate both the ceremony and reception and chose Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. We had always wanted a venue that had something a bit different and had loved the idea of a barn style venue. I realised though that my main concern was guests being able to easily get to the venue, and barn style venues don’t really offer that.
We were looking for a relaxed and informal feel to our wedding day and Great John Street offered this. It was different to any other wedding venue we had visited, and we just loved the quirkiness, the décor, all the separate areas that guests could relax in and, of course, the roof terrace with city centre views.
From the outset, we both agreed that we wanted to do our wedding a little differently, as neither of us like being the centre of attention. For us, it was all about celebrating with our friends and family, so we exchanged our vows later in the day, and decided not to have a formal wedding breakfast with speeches. Instead we opted for a barbecue on the rooftop where the guests could choose what food they ate and where they sat. This allowed us to mix with everybody. There was no pressure on Stevie, my dad or the best man to give a speech, this was entirely their choice, and they did this in the early evening with everyone on the roof terrace.
I wanted to be a bit creative with the decoration aspect of the wedding, as opposed to having just a colour scheme. We have a love for Disney and chose a Beauty and the Beast theme. This is my favourite Disney movie; it was the first film song Sophia sang and danced to and it has become Stevie’s favourite, too. We also thought that Tale as Old as Time had quite a good meaning for us, having been together so long. We realised this could easily become cheesy but I wanted to incorporate classy and elegant details from the film. A lot of the decorations and flowers featured those classic Beauty and the Beast colours of blue, gold and red.
March 20th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s couple had a January wedding, although you wouldn’t guess it from the pictures. These photos positively glow with sepia-toned sunlight, and the navy, peach and dusky purple of the colour scheme as well as the champagne tones of Carly’s dress create even more warmth.
Add some woodland details in the decor, roaring open fires and a magical Nordic honeymoon and you’ve got the perfect recipe to beat the winter blues.
With photography by Charlotte Boothman of Lottie Designs.
carly says: We got engaged on the 23rd April, 2016. Phil had booked us a night away in Wales, near Lake Vyrnwy. We went for a walk in the hills above the lake just before lunchtime and sat down at a gorgeous spot where the trees open up and you can see all of the lake. Not knowing that Phil was getting ready to propose (and feeling rather nervous), I decided that this was a good time for lunch, so he had to wait for me to finish a sandwich and a grab bag of crisps before he could ask me to marry him!
We got married on Friday 20th January 2017. Neither of us were really bothered about a spring or summer wedding, and we knew that you can never really guarantee the weather at any time of the year. So when we decided that we wanted to get married at Mitton Hall, we took the first date that they offered us! The gamble paid off, as the weather was amazing.
We got married at Mitton Hall in the Ribble Valley. We both love the Ribble Valley, so it was the first place that we wanted to look for a wedding venue. We’d only heard amazing things about Mitton Hall, and as soon as we walked in we knew it was perfect for us. We loved how each room was different. The main room was very open and light, which we knew we’d need with it being winter. However, the bar areas were really cosy with big fires.
We didn’t really have a theme for the wedding to begin with, but with it being a winter wedding I wanted to try to mix some rustic, woodland type décor with some gold/champagne pieces to add a touch of glamour and warmth. Everything else just fell into place from there.
Colour-wise, we wanted something quite subtle and laid back. We mixed dusky purples, ivory, dove grey and champagne tones, with navy and the odd bit of peach here and there.
My dress was called Erin by Ronald Joyce and I bought it from Bridalwear by Emma Louise in Bolton. I had tried on quite a few dresses before going to Emma Louise, but none of them felt 100% right. I’d always thought that I would have chosen a relaxed, bohemian style dress, but when I saw ‘the one’ I just loved all of the lace detail and the embellishment. It was also the first champagne coloured dress that I’d tried on and I loved it! It warmed my skin up the minute that I put it on.
I also wore earrings from Liberty in Love, which Phil bought for me as a wedding gift. He knew that I wanted to wear pearl earrings on the day, and he was so lucky with the pair that he picked because they went with my dress perfectly.
February 15th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Given that we’re super excited about our Brides Up North ‘Pop-up Wedfest’ at The Bowdon Rooms in Altrincham next Sunday 26th February, we thought it best to showcase how fabulous the venue is with a real wedding that made use of its versatile function space.
Craving a relaxed yet fun big day, bride and groom Hayley and Tim chose The Bowdon Rooms as the ideal venue for their evening reception following a low-key ceremony at Altrincham Town Hall.
Keen to stray away from tradition, the couple threw the ‘wedding rule book’ out of the window and made the day all about what suited them – from posh frocks, suits and Jimmy Choos to an informal afternoon tea, signature cocktails and one big evening party.
So ladies, if you like what you see be sure to come view The Bowdon Rooms for yourselves at our event between 11am and 3pm on Sunday 26th February, by registering here (Hayley and Tim did!)
With images by Stuart Hornby Photography
hayley says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2015 at our local Italian restaurant Coco’s in Altrincham. It was totally unexpected as after us both being married before, we had pretty much ruled it out. Tim chose my favourite day of the year to propose and I was truly stunned! One of our daughter’s Amelia was with us on the evening and she screamed louder than I did!
We chose Friday 28th October 2016 for the wedding. I’m a little impatient and didn’t want to wait too long!
We got married at Altrincham Town Hall, which was beautiful, followed by pictures in Altrincham Market House, and afternoon tea and cocktails at the Sugar Junction in Altrincham. We for our evening reception by many more guests and partied the night away at the nearby Bowdon Rooms. We were very keen to have a low-key wedding, (despite going full out on the Justin Alexander gown and Jimmy Choo shoes of course!) and our day was truly perfect in every way.
With us both having been married before we very much wanted to shy away from tradition, so apart from posh frocks and a lovely suit, everything was kept very informal, hence the stand-up afternoon tea and cocktails! We did add just a touch of vintage styling.
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February 9th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding will really get you in the party mood, with bagpipes, live music, caricatures, Irish dancing, magic and more!
Lindsey and Rory had the perfect countryside church wedding and celebrated afterwards with a rustic-themed do at Heaton House Farm.
You have been warned, though: further reading may result in foot-tapping, seat-dancing and a sudden urge for a glass of stout. Maybe best to leave this one until you’re out of the office…
With images by Jonny Draper
lindsey says: We got engaged in Dublin at Clontarf Castle on 16th May 2014. The beginning of that week Rory asked me to get the Friday off work as he fancied going away for the weekend – then he surprised me and told me that we were going to Dublin. I assumed we would be staying in the centre of Dublin where we have stayed before; however, we carried on and arrived at Clontarf Castle. I still didn’t have an inclination! During the afternoon, Rory suggested we have a few drinks in the bar before getting ready to head out for our meal later on. I remember just wanting to relax but little did I know that Rory had arranged for the room to be made up with rose petals scattered round the room and a dress he had bought for me laid out on the bed, along with champagne and chocolates. As we left the room Rory said he ‘forgot his wallet’ but that was just so he could get the ring from his bag and leave it in the bathroom bin ready for the proposal! After a few drinks we came upstairs and I was surprised at the room all beautifully decorated…I turned around and there he was on one knee! It was perfect in every way and I was glad it was just the two of us sharing the special moment together.
We got married on Friday 11th September 2015. We originally wanted Saturday 12th September, as that was the anniversary of the day we met, but it wasn’t available. Looking back, we made the right decision as the weather was perfect whereas on the Saturday it was chucking it down!
We got married at Gawsworth Church, St James The Great near Macclesfield, and our reception was held at Heaton House Farm. I’d always wanted a church wedding and the church is set in the beautiful countryside – the perfect scene for a wedding. Heaton House Farm is only 20 minutes away from the church and we couldn’t have asked for a better venue for our reception.
Both Rory and I love all things rustic and so a rustic wedding theme was an easy decision. I went for a purple/pink colour for my three bridesmaids and Rory and his groomsmen wore blue suits. Once they were both chosen it was easier to think about a colour scheme for flowers and decorations. Purple was the main colour throughout, however we incorporated other colours that would complement this and even it all out.
I didn’t shop around much for wedding dresses as I found a designer that I loved so it was just a case of looking for bridal shops which stocked her dresses. I ended up going to Amelia’s Bridal Boutique in Clitheroe, Lancashire, where I found my Morilee dress designed by Madeline Gardner. Her collections were just what I was looking for – elegant, feminine and stylish – and my chosen dress was just gorgeous. It was a white, trumpet style gown with a sweetheart neckline with beading and gems to the top of my neck. I also wore a long veil decorated with a few gems so that it would catch the light and complement my dress.
As I’d had such a good experience at Amelia’s Bridal, we decided to get Rory’s suit from there too. It was blue with a white shirt, a blue tweed tie, a grey tweed waistcoat with blue and brown checks on it and brown shoes.
January 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Luisa and Peter pulled off the impressive feat of a winter wedding without a can of snow spray or a gilded pine cone in sight. Instead, their big day at Colshaw Hall in Cheshire, was led by an organic woodland theme, full of warm earthy tones and plenty of grown-up black-tie glamour.
The food and the playlist were particular focal points for this Manchester music-loving pair, and the following day saw the festivities extended with an aprés-ski extravaganza. So get comfortable, perhaps with a glass of Malbec or a mulled wine – go on, Luisa would definitely approve!
With images by Jonny Draper Photography
luisa says: Peter and I got engaged in Barbados. One night we went down for dinner and, instead of heading for our usual table in the restaurant, we were led down a path lined with candles that took us to a private beach and a table for two. When we sat down and opened the menus, I saw all of my favourite foods and champagne. Then a steel band appeared playing Elvis Presley’s I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You. When I looked around, Peter was down on one knee; it was a truly magical moment. He made a beautiful speech and, of course, I said yes. We spent the rest of the week celebrating and relaxing; it was just so perfect!
We chose to get married on 19th December 2015 because it was the closest Saturday to the Winter Solstice – a date important to me and my mum. We wanted a winter wedding as we felt that there were lots more options to explore in terms of the decorations and the vibe that we could create.
For the venue, we chose Colshaw Hall in Cheshire. We wanted to make sure that the event was totally private and this was the huge bonus of Colshaw: the venue and all of its grounds are hired exclusively so we wouldn’t be sharing our special day with anyone else. Secondly, as Peter’s family are based in Suffolk, we wanted to make sure that there was accommodation onsite to ensure that the wedding weekend was as easy as possible for those travelling. Having looked at quite a few venues in the area, Colshaw’s accommodation was, we felt, the most beautiful. Each room has its own stunning theme and beautiful view over the grounds. Colshaw’s Peel Suite also offered a beautiful blank canvas; no wedding looks the same there. We had hired the main house for the drinks and canapés straight after the service and this offered a unique, cosy, Christmas drinks party atmosphere.
Theme-wise, we wanted to create a natural and organic winter forest. Peter and I love walking our dog Digby up on the Edge and we wanted to recreate that same earthy, woodland environment. I wanted my wedding to be just that little bit ‘out there’, and having the trees as the centrepiece certainly achieved that goal. As our wedding was the weekend before Christmas, I think people expected us to go down the more conventional festive route and it was truly lovely seeing their reactions to the chapel and the main room. We’d focused on lots of earthy tones, such as dark greens and ambers, making sure that everything was lit by candles to create warmth.
I had chosen quite a traditional and simple gown designed by Stewart Parvin with the lace detail as a nod to my Italian heritage. My dress was bought and styled by the incredible ladies at LOVE Bridal in Cheshire. They helped accessorise my gown with a Stewart Parvin veil, lace jacket and honey-toned belt which contemporised it perfectly. My shoes were Hangisis by Manolo Blahnik; I just loved their quirkiness. In the evening, I removed the lace jacket and added a thin sparkly belt to liven it up for the dancing. I visited several bridal stores and LOVE Bridal’s service surpassed all the London boutiques. From the beautiful little cakes they serve to the ‘grand reveal’, the wonderful Emma and Clare have it covered.
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August 4th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
This morning we’re sharing a beautiful winter wedding on our pretty pages, perfect for those of you planning your big day for the colder months of the year.
Super stylish and personal, Sarah and Jamie’s November wedding features stunning attire, gorgeous handmade décor and details, plus out-of-this-world flowers. Let’s get straight into it…
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2014. I love Christmas now as much as when I was little and we were excited about heading back to my family’s to celebrate. On top of this Jamie’s birthday is Christmas day so it’s always a fun time of year for us. Prior to heading back to Southport for Christmas Jamie suggested a walk around Sefton Park, in Liverpool, which is just down the road from where we live. We spend lots of time in the park either on winter walks, picnicking or barbequing with friends, so it’s a place that is close to our hearts.
It was a gorgeous wintery morning and as we got to our favourite spot in the park Jamie stopped and pulled out the engagement ring. The ring was a vintage ring that had been Jamie’s gran’s engagement ring. She had passed it down to Jamie for him to give to his future wife. Needless to say it was an emotional moment and before Jamie could even get his words out I started to cry! It came as such a surprise! Once I could speak again I obviously said yes! I love vintage things so the ring was perfect. We then travelled home and surprised my family with the news (although Jamie is rubbish at keeping a secret so some of them already knew he was going to ask) and subsequently spent the rest of the festive period drinking champagne and celebrating with friends and family!
We got married on the 27th November 2015. We knew we didn’t want a long engagement and liked the idea of a winter wedding so when the venue had this date available we snapped it up!
We got married at St Nicholas Church in Codsall, Staffordshire. It was important to both of us to have a church wedding. Our reception was at Pendrell Hall in Codsall Wood, which is a beautiful country house, exclusive use wedding venue. It was actually the only venue that we looked at. We knew we wanted somewhere exclusive, somewhere that had accommodation for our closest friends and family and somewhere that fitted in with our style. Once we saw Pendrell Hall it ticked all the boxes! We fell in love with the big reception room and all the old style features so booked it there and then.
We didn’t really have a theme as such but my individual style and the venue nodded towards vintage. We wanted the day to be relaxed and personal to us with a real sense of family.
I didn’t really think we had a colour scheme as such either, but on reflection I would say it was ‘wintery’ to reflect the time of year. We went for dark and rich coloured bridesmaid dresses and suits and chose wintery Marsala themed flowers to fit in with the season.
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