Charlotte Balbier

the roaring 20s. enzoani for a pretty wedding in chester – rachel & mike

July 22nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

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With a clear eye for design, today’s bride Rachel, used her creative skills to put the all-important finishing touches to her wedding inspired by the roaring 1920s.

Her stunning Enzoani dress, with amazing back detail, helped to set the theme which Rachel then built upon by designing her own signage and stationery using silent movie and art deco influences.

A soft colour scheme of cornflower blue and yellow complements the men’s grey suits and helps to tie all elements together resulting in a well styled big day.

With images by Ragdoll Photography.

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rachel says: We got engaged on 13th June 2014 at Queen’s Bridge in Chester. Mike had booked a night in Chester for our anniversary (the date we officially got together) and I had no idea he had a ring with him. He carried it around all day inside his phone case (I wondered why he looked uneasy when I borrowed his phone to take pictures) waiting for the perfect moment to propose. It eventually happened after dinner, we went for a stroll over the bridge. Mike had said that he’d been looking for the perfect moment, but nothing had felt right, then suddenly we were on that bridge, it was just us, the sun was going down and it was as if someone had just gone “there you go, this is the time and place”.

We decided to set the wedding date for 11th June 2015 – five years to the day from when we first met at the Isle of Wight Festival.

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The ceremony was at St Mary’s Church, Halkyn, North Wales, which is my parents’ local church in the village where I grew up, and the reception at The Doubletree Hilton Hotel, Chester. We’ve stayed at the hotel a couple of times on special occasions and love it, but what sold it to us was the Abbey Suite – we’d been looking at converted barns for our reception and this had both the lovely modern hotel with the converted stables attached, plus beautiful grounds.

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The theme was subtly based on 1920s. I love this era; the fashions, the crazy dancing, art deco styling etc. I think it oozes class and elegance. Luckily my favourite wedding dress was very 20s too so it followed on from there. From the 20s came the ‘silent movie’ idea – we used it in the design of our invitations and placemats/place settings and then carried it through in the chalkboard style table numbers and bunting.

Our colour scheme was cornflower blue and yellow. We wanted a summery, cheerful theme and it looked amazing against the blue sky and sunshine. Mike supports Everton too, which made it an easy choice for us both.

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My dress was an Enzoani number. I didn’t want anything big or OTT and this particular dress struck me as simple and elegant with a touch of glamour and sparkle. It is 1920s inspired which suited our theme well. I chose it for those reasons but also because it struck me as so different from all of the dresses I’d seen. I bought it from Cheshire Rose Bridal, Chester. My shoes were by Rachel Simpson, my necklace, bracelet and earrings from Debenhams and my headpiece was also from Cheshire Rose Bridal.

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Mike wore a light grey three piece suit from Reiss with a cornflower blue tie. He chose to buy a good suit over hiring tails as neither of us are huge fans of tails and he now has a very special suit to keep. Along with his suit he wore shoes by Jeffery West and a tie pin from The Little Homebird on Etsty, which was a gift from me. It was personalised with the coordinates of Queen’s Bridge where Mike proposed.

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Our adult bridesmaids wore a light blue Biba maxi dress from House of Fraser and the flower girl had an ivory dress with blue ribbon from a local occasion wear shop. The groomsmen all had a three piece suit from Next and blue ties.

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We used Grosvenor Classic Cars to transport us on the day of the wedding. Mike and I travelled in a blue and silver Beauford and the bridesmaids in a Daimler.

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Rosie of Ragdoll photography was our photographer and she was brilliant, we would definitely recommend her! She put everyone at ease on the day with her fun, down to earth nature which resulted in a fun, relaxed series of photographs. She captured us and our family and friends and the essence of the day beautifully. I would recommend Rosie to anyone who wants a natural, relaxed, fun feel to their wedding album. We couldn’t have wished for better.  We also used Gray Weddings to film our big day. They were also amazing and so discreet you wouldn’t have known they were there. I can’t wait to see the video when it arrives to find out what we missed! They were so accommodating and flexible in our pre wedding meeting and on the day itself.

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Fresh of Chester provided our flowers. The beautiful natural bouquets for the bridesmaids and I were made up of lovely blooms in yellow, blue and white.

The reception flowers by Fresh of Chester were placed in vintage vases, provided by Pollyanna Vintage who also provided vintage books and pearls for centre pieces and on the card table, along with a vintage suitcase for cards and a large picture frame with easel for the seating plan. Other knickknacks such as old cameras and photo frames I borrowed or bought from vintage and charity shops and my mum provided lots of candles! I’m a graphic designer and so made my own 1920s inspired signs for the guest book/photo booth instructions, cocktail menu, cake quote and ladies toilets perfume quote. I also designed our invites and save the dates, plus some unique placemats/place settings inspired by silent movie frames, through my company Racoon Graphic Design.

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As favours we gave sweets from the past provided by Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe in personalised sweet bags.

Cake Chester provided our lovely wedding cake. It was a simple 1920s design, inspired by a combination of cakes I found in my search for the perfect cake! I made a feather brooch which they kindly added onto the front for me. The bottom tier was fruit cake and the top tier was Madeira sponge.

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As entertainment we had a 1920s jazz band called 52 Skidoo who were great! They played upbeat jazz for a couple of hours and then the resident DJ played until 1am. He played all our favourite songs and finished with Hey Jude, which is really special to us as we met at The IOW Festival where Paul McCartney was the headline act. At the end we all linked arms in a big circle singing ‘Nah-nah-nah-nah…’ it was epic!

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One special touch of the day was our first dance. Dancing is really dear to me so I wanted to really go for it! We learnt the Argentine Tango and danced it to Coldplay’s, Magic. The song starts with a 1920s introduction so I started with a Charleston as Mike stood and looked perplexed (intentional). We loved it.

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We would definitely recommend The Doubletree as a venue to other couples, it’s an amazing setting. It has the best of both worlds – a lovely modern hotel and the gorgeous Abbey Suite (converted stables), perfect for photographs. The grounds are also beautiful. The staff on the day were brilliant, in particular the toast master. He couldn’t do enough for us. The venue was perfect for – smart and sophisticated but relaxed and not over the top.

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I couldn’t possibly choose one moment from the wedding as my favourite but there are some moments in my head that stand out: coming down the stairs to my dad who was waiting to see me in my dress for the first time and travelling in the car with him to the church. The ceremony, we both surprisingly enjoyed that part more than we expected to. We didn’t feel nervous, just elated and excited and the vicar put everyone at ease and cracked a couple of jokes! And the speeches, they were all brilliant, funny and heartfelt in their own way.

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We haven’t booked a honeymoon yet but we are hoping to go to New Zealand sometime in January next year with a stop off on the way.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be don’t try to include everything you want on your wedding day. I had so many ideas, some I wasn’t able to make happen but they really didn’t matter on the day. Simplicity and personality are key. Think about who you are as a couple and how you would like your wedding to be remembered. Our guests all said what a ‘fun’ and ‘happy’ day it was and in hindsight we wouldn’t want it any other way. And, enjoy the day for what it is, a celebration of marriage with all of your favourite people.

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Wednesday Wedding Inspiration – Delicately Deco

February 6th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Art Deco & Navy Wedding Inspiration

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1. Bouquet 2. Jewelled Tulle Cuff 3. Asymmetric Gown 4. Beatrice Lace Dress 5. Gold & Navy Floral Cake 6. Bridesmaid Bouquet 7. ‘Ginger’ Gold Heels 8. Table Setting 9. Sapphire Ring 10. Sequinned Aisle

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Sequin confetti anyone?  I thought that might get you thinking.  Our regular guest blogger Katy of What Katy Did Next has classy sparkle covered. 

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Katy says:  This week Bride to be Sophie asked me for a little inspiration with accessories and flowers for her big day. With navy bridesmaids, a vintage 20s/30s feel and a love of peony roses I set about creating something super stylish for this bride with a nod to the Art Deco period of design.

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Navy is such a stylish colour and it can mix well with basically anything. For a modern vibe mix it with nude, blush pinks, mustard yellow or a nautical red. I chose a palette of navy, ivory and glittering metallics to really spread the vintage theme. If your bridesmaids are in a simple gown you can have a lot of fun – have them in matching headwear, heels, sashes or cuffs (or all)!  As a gift for your maids, get them matching clutch bags to carry all their wedding essentials – some brides are even opting for their maids to carry a pretty clutch down the aisle in place of a bouquet. In the board I have picked a simple hydrangea pomander to let the detail of the lace dress do all the talking.

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Sophie mentioned that she loved peonies so why not have a full bouquet of peony blooms wrapped at the stems in the colour of your bridesmaids’ gowns – and for a glitzy vintage touch a brooch or embellished ribbon? The bouquet I chose features Peonies paired with slightly cheaper flowers perfect for any budget – hydrangea, cabbage roses, berries and foliage. These pale flowers look amazing as centrepieces on a navy table setting too. If your table is pale use metallic vases, blue glass or candelabra with navy candles to reflect your colour palette.

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My favourite part of the board? Bottom right – Sequins scattered down the aisle! A lovely spangly touch for the magpie in all of us. If your venue isn’t suited to this – hand sequins out as confetti for your guests or add them to your table decor? They’re sure to make some amazing images as well as filling your day with magic!

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Remember: the plan is to share a new inspiration board in this time slot every other week, either compiled by myself, regular guest blogger Katy or YOU: get in touch with your own ideas and inspiration boards! We’ll be discussing our inspirations behind the images too so it’s simply going to be a whole load of lovely.

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If you are a little less arty but in need of inspiration and still want to play along, we will also be taking requests for colour schemes and themes and making bespoke boards for my readers. Please contact me to suggest a theme or colour scheme.

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Click here to see previous Wednesday Wedding Inspiration Mood Boards

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as credited, supplied by What Katy Did Next

This is not a sponsored post

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Deco Does It Better! An Art Deco Bridal Inspiration Shoot

March 30th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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McAvoy Weddings:  Art Deco Wedding Inspiration

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If you are looking for a classic and vintage yet cool and clean style for your wedding, then you’d do worse than adopting Art Deco influences into your theme. 

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The Art Deco era flourished during the 1920s and 1930s and is seeing a resurgence in popularity in fashion, film (looking forward to The Great Gatsby anyone?) and yes, bridal styling.  It’s one of my favourite eras for style influences as it’s elegant yet modern, plus a drop waist is so very flattering.

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Today’s absolutely stunning location shoot was sent to me by Jan of Erica Stacey Bridalwear, with images from a pair of fabulous North West wedding photographers, Jenny and Keith of McAvoy Weddings (they shot all the images of the Brides Up North Tweet Up North West don’t you know), and I’ve been desperate to share it with you lovely lot.

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Happy Friday – enjoy today’s visual treats along with a bacon sarnie and an extra sugar in your tea!

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Jan tells us about the shoot and it’s inspirations: We originally met Jenny & Keith McAvoy at the Tatton Wedding Show in January 2012. When Jenny contacted us to say she had secured the beautiful Art Deco The Midland Hotel at Morecambe for a shoot, we jumped at the chance to showcase our gowns.

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We approached Adi Thomas at Verdure, who was also really excited to be involved in the project. The gorgeous hair and make up artist Hayley Stott Makeup did her magic and also modelled for the shoot as well.

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We all arrived at the fabulous venue on Monday. The weather was beautiful and it really was a perfect day to be beside the seaside. We were able to get lots of shots inside the stunning venue and also plenty of shots on the beach itself.

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The theme of the shoot was ‘Art Deco’ . The Venue obviously fit the bill perfectly as do many of the dresses in our debut Ready to Wear Collection for 2012. Adi Thomas of Verdure embraced the Art Deco brief and created a gorgeous 1920’s inspired shower bouquet with lots of trailing asparagus fern. He decorated a delicate lace fan with beautiful pale pink orchids and filled ‘cosmopolitan’ glasses with pretty roses. Beautiful floral hair pieces and a crystal candelabra completed the look.

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Jenny & Keith have achieved some wonderful shots and we are delighted with the results. The images are a real inspiration for any brides wanting to create an Art Deco inspired look for their big day.

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Erica Stacey Bridalwear was launched at the very end of 2011. It is the partnership of Erica Stacey and Terry Keane. Both have a vast experience in the clothing industry. Erica is a trained pattern cutter and designer whilst Terry has over 30 years experience in pattern creation, pattern grading and has worked as an advisor to global clothing manufacturing companies.Both have a love of the history of fashion and are passionate about keeping the Clothing Manufacturing Industry in the UK, alive. Erica Stacey creates couture gowns for weddings, parties, proms. We also cater for Mother of the bride and bridesmaids.

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Erica says: In January 2012 we launched our first Ready to Wear Collection under the Erica Stacey label. The collection comprises 7 dresses. All of which are unique so we hope there is something to suit everyone. The inspiration for the collection was The Hollywood Age of Glamour, the Art Deco movement and also fashions from the 1930’s & 40’s.  We are very proud of the fact that all our dresses are handmade in Manchester, England – (Yes… you heard right Mary Portas!) We use only quality silks and lovingly finish our gowns with laces and unusual trims.

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Little Black Book

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Dresses: Erica Stacey Bridalwear

Images: McAvoy Photography

Hair, makeup and modelling: Hayley Stott Makeup

Floristry: Adit Thomas at Verdure

Venue: The Midland Hotel at Morecambe (English Lakes Group)

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  – Images © 2012 McAvoy Weddings

McAvoy Weddings is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

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

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