December 12th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
We’re getting your Tuesday off to fine start with this styled shoot which features ones of the dreamiest colour palettes for the time of year. Rich berry and golden tones turn up the heat at the opulent Soughton Hall, a Georgian country house in North Wales that once was a bishop’s palace.
Award-winning make-up artist Cathryn Kerwin-Rawlinson engineered the shoot, having witnessed a dramatic change in the interior style of the venue since it changed ownership in the last couple of years. Here she shares her story behind the shoot and introduces us to the talented suppliers who assisted her in achieving her vision…
With images by Teresa C Photography.
cathryn says: I regularly work and exhibit at Soughton Hall, which is close to Chester in the North Wales countryside. I love the details outside the property and the décor inside and wanted to create a rich and romantic look to complement the high-end venue.
As a wedding venue, it is my personal favourite and I thought it was a great place to do an autumn/winter styled shoot, so I spoke to friends and contacts in the industry to see if they were interested in a collaboration. Everyone I asked was interested in the shoot and venue and wanted to take part. The theme we chose was romantic styling with rich berry and autumnal tones.
The interior décor of the main room at Soughton is navy blue and gold, so we wanted to pick up on the colours of the room but use rich colours to complement. We opted for a colour scheme of gold, navy, deep reds and burgundy. A Pinterest board was created and everyone knew that the look and feel for the shoot was opulence and richness.
For the table decorations, Vikki Sweeney from Sapphire Bespoke Events went for very rich golds and jewel colours, while the flowers by Carol Anne’s were a mix of deep reds, again taking inspiration from the Pinterest board we all created before the shoot. Lindsey Devlin of Devlin Designs created invitations and table cards, again picking up on the chosen colour scheme.
In the summer, I did a wedding for a bride who wore an Essense of Australia gown from Bellissima Brides and I rated it my top dress for 2017. And so, when Carol Ellis-Thompson, our hair stylist, contacted Bellissima to see if they would like to take part, we asked them to bring some of their Essence gowns along. Our model, Gaby, suited these gowns perfectly and they fitted her like a glove!
August 18th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding is the perfect fairy tale, complete with a princess style wedding dress, sweet colour scheme and horse and carriage.
Ladies in pursuit of a happy ever after wedding day, prepare to start pinning…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.
moira says: We got engaged in June 2015 on our first evening of our holiday to Cuba. We had a private meal on a veranda overlooking the beach and Ste got down on one knee. I was not expecting it at all so I was wondering what he was doing on the floor but when I realised he’d given me a ring, I was speechless. I was actually speechless all night which is not like me, he’d completely caught me by surprise! We had a bottle of champagne and told the families the following day.
Our wedding date was Saturday 25th June 2016. Ste had contacted Nunsmere Hall, where he knew I wanted to hold my wedding, before he proposed and had asked if they would contact us if any Saturdays in June became available. Nunsmere contacted Ste with our date and said they would reserve it for us. When Ste proposed he also gave me the date and said if I was happy to have it we could confirm as soon as we got home, which we did.
Our ceremony took place at Church Christ the King in Bromborough, Wirral. This is my family church where I was baptised so I was set on getting married here. The florist, organist, soloist, registrars and the Priest were all wonderful and made our ceremony so special. We then had our reception at Nunsmere Hall, Northwich. We decided on Nunsmere as I had always loved it, I took Ste for his birthday and he fell in love with it too. We felt an instant connection with Nunsmere and we loved the fact that the lake surrounded it. When we had a look around the bedrooms we loved that they were all different designs, all charming and comfortable. The marquee and grounds are phenomenal and we were completely smitten with the venue, especially when they moved the marquee to the lakeside. We did not consider anywhere else than here.
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November 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime
We just adore the styling of today’s real wedding; bright, classy and elegant!
Building on their chosen theme of rustic romance, Sarah and Daniel used beautiful blooms and log centre pieces to help set the scene before adding pretty vintage touches in dainty china and luxurious lace for an air of elegance.
The couple’s beautiful burnt orange and sage green colour scheme then pulled everything together perfectly, providing subtle pops of colour.
With images by Jessica O’Shaughnessy Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged on Halloween 2010! We were both in university at the time, and I was living about an hour away from Dan. He was visiting me for the weekend and after we got home from a night out with friends, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. We both knew it would be a long engagement, and it was some of the best years of our lives as we moved in together and started saving and planning for our big day.
We got married Saturday 29th August 2015. There was no special meaning behind the date, we just wanted a summer wedding and the bank holiday weekend was perfect to give guests an extra day to recover!
We got married at Trafford Hall, on the outskirts of Chester. We looked at so many venues at the beginning, and they all seemed very similar and nothing stood out for us. We then stumbled across Trafford Hall, not a lot of people had heard of it and that made it more appealing to us. When we went to visit, we fell in love with it. The building itself is so grand and elegant, with so many period features it doesn’t need much dressing for an occasion! The grounds were breath-taking; acres of woodland and gorgeous sunken gardens, it was the perfect backdrop for a wedding. As a whole, it was everything we were looking for!
May 14th, 2015 | Julia Braime
A girl after our own heart, today’s real bride Sarah is huge fan of the colour pink and so styled her big day using a dreamy dusky palette.
Add to this elegant vintage décor, reams of dainty lace and an abundance of beautiful roses and you’ve got one very pretty wedding day indeed.
Fellow pink patrons, you’re going to love this!
With images by Pixsmiths Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged on 4th May 2013. Stuart asked me to marry him on a stunning local beach in place called Caldy. He then took me away to a beautiful spa hotel in Cheshire called Carden Park for the weekend.
We set the date for 4th September 2014. This was the date of my great gran’s wedding who was also called Sarah. This was only a coincidence but four and nine are special numbers to us. We live at number nine and got engaged on 4th May.
Our ceremony was at St John’s the Divine Church and Nunsmere Hall was our chosen venue for the reception. We got married in a church as we always wanted a traditional wedding with god’s blessing and this was our local church. Nunsmere Hall in Cheshire was chosen due to its tranquil and magical setting. We fell in love with it as soon as we stepped foot inside. The place had so much character and warmth.
The theme we chose was a vintage style, as we both loved the look. It was very close to both our families. We could connect to old furniture, glassware and our interests. The colour scheme was dusky pink as I have always been a ‘pink’ girl and the colour fitted in perfectly with the vintage theme.
I found my dress in a cute little store called Bellissima Brides in Brimstage, Wirral. It was made from soft delicate lace with tiny sparkles to catch the light. The dress had a sweetheart neckline, see-through romantic A-line overlay and stunning lace fringe. My Papa’s wish before he passed away was to buy my dress. Unfortunately he did not see it but my dress means so much to me now!
I chose a mid-single tier veil which had a matching lace and a sparkle fringe. In my hair I wore a vintage silver slide. My hair was styled by Hair Dolls and was more than I could have dreamt, with beautiful curls pinned like a waterfall with a few loose ones hanging to accentuate the back.
I chose my Elegant Steps shoes with my mother in-law. I went for comfort and also a little lace and sparkle on the toes!
My make-up, done by Catherine Bobby, was natural and flawless with the use of my own deep rose lipstick and lip liner, which meant I could top up throughout the day!
Stuart wore traditional tails in a mid-grey colour, ivory waistcoat and an ivory cravat chosen from Moss Bros.
My three bridesmaids wore pale dusky rose coloured dresses from Dessy, which matched sweet avalanche roses.
To match the groom the groomsmen and page boy also wore traditional tails in a mid-grey colour with ivory waistcoats and dusky rose cravats. These were also hired from Moss Bros.
A very close family friend who is like an uncle to Stuart was honoured when we asked him to be our wedding day chauffeur. He picked me up from my parents’ house and took me to the church and then drove both Stuart and I to Nunsmere Hall in his Mercedes Benz
Pixsmiths Creative Photography, who we would most definitely recommend, took our wedding photos. They were brilliant throughout the whole day and to have two photographers capturing the whole day allowed every aspect to be caught on camera. The pictures are perfect and their hard work is very much appreciated.
Carys West was our florist and she did a wonderful job. I carried a bouquet with a picture of my Papa on a tag tied to it. The bouquet mainly consisted of vintage roses in cream, ivory and dusky pink with pale sweet avalanche and Amnesia dusky roses.
We decorate the reception venue we had 12 centre pieces of tall vases with a ball of flowers on top of each, which consisted of the same flowers in my bouquet. These were again supplied by Carys West.
We also had lace decorated jam jars and silver vintage tea light holders and scattered heart shaped vintage floral pattern confetti on each table. Each name place card was attached to the guests’ favours – a miniature jam jar decorated with lace. Inside was a Wigan delicacy called an ‘Uncle Joe Mint Ball’ (Stuart is from Wigan).
Family friends of ours, Jessica and Sophie, made our cake. We chose a three tier round cake with ivory icing with the bottom tier (fruit cake) with an ivory ribbon, themiddle tier (also fruit cake) had a lace edible pattern and the top tier was Victoria sponge. We had a waterfall of roses down the cake in two tones of dusky rose colours.
To keep our guests entertained we had a live band called JC & The Two-Steps which is a talented local band from the Wirral. The ‘party’ was something that was always important to us and we both love live music and got these guys through a recommendation from Stuart’s work colleague. We also had a DIY photo booth which created some hilarious memories.
To make the day our own we added a few special touches such as providing our guests with tissues for ‘tears of joy’ at the church and handmade confetti from dried petals. Also instead of guests signing a book we got a wooden giant ‘&’ sign cut for people to sign on both sides.
Our table numbers were ‘dates’ that were special to us and we had a ‘family ladder’ decorated with lace which had photographs of both Stuart’s Grandma and my Papa on who both passed away in the lead up to the wedding so they could overlook the day.
In memory of Papa and Grandma we also had two candles lit at the front of the church. I carried a picture of Papa tied to my bouquet as I’d always wanted my Dad and my Papa to walk me down the aisle right from being a little girl.
We are proud that we did most things ourselves. All the stationery was designed by my younger brother. He designed the invites, table names, table plan, save the dates and order of service, keeping to the same vintage theme.
We would definitely recommend Nunsmere Hall to other couples. It’s a beautiful and breath-taking venue with its secretive garden by day and ‘Aladdin’s cave’ by night. Perfect, secluded venue in Cheshire.
We loved the entire day but for me my favourite bits were the morning preparations with my best friends and Mum, then walking down the aisle looking at Stuart and saying my vows! Also dancing the night away at the evening party!
Stuart’s favourite parts were sharing it all with the special people in our lives, having a special moment for more photos down at the jetty at dusk and having great live entertainment in the evening.
For our honeymoon we went to Kenya on a magical safari and then onto the Seychelles for pure beauty and relaxation. In Kenya on a safari we could hear elephants eating around our tent and hippos scratching at night. We watched lion cubs playing and saw giraffes walking past our tent – amazing! In Seychelles we flew through the mountains on a zip wire, stroked giant tortoises and snorkelled with tropical fish as well as walking on the most photographed beech in the world!
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be the groom involved in all that you can! The memories start from the preparation. I’d also say get part of the day filmed – we had friends and family that took footage over the day, which is great looking back at! Most importantly, enjoy it all and go with the flow!
September 5th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Today we head North West for the fresh, funky and absolutely delightful wedding of Michelle and Marc, sent to me by Peter of Pixies In The Cellar. My favourite wedding photographs are always those where the newlyweds’ personalities shine through and whilst beautiful, aren’t too formal or taking themselves too seriously. I don’t expect all of you to co-ordinate a flash mob first dance (yes, Michelle and Marc did!) but relax, be yourselves and you’ll create the most stunning memories.
Michelle says: Marc proposed on 25th August 2012 in the picturesque coastal town of St.Ives in Cornwall whilst we were on holiday there together. It was at a little chapel over looking the sea. It was a perfect night with the sunset in the background and the breath-taking view from the church. We both love Cornwall and having spent many holidays there it holds very special memories for us both.
We said “I do” on Friday 12th July 2013 which just happened to be the hottest day we had so far this year!
The marriage ceremony was held at St.Oswald’s Church, Lower Peover, Knutsford, Cheshire. To appreciate why we chose this church you only have to walk up the cobbled path in the idyllic village and see the beautiful building. The original church dates back to 1269 and the tower was added to the building in 1739, it is a Grade 1 listed building with stunning features inside and out.
We chose Peover Golf Club in Knutsford for our wedding reception, after seeing the wonderful and truly unique clubhouse built in solid oak we knew we had found the perfect place! It is set in the middle of mature woodland with views overlooking the picturesque golf course. It has the relaxed atmosphere and intimate feel we wanted for our venue. Alan and Ben at Peover Golf Club put us at ease straight away and were very welcoming, they assisted us throughout the wedding planning process and were very supportive of our ideas. We did not feel restricted in any way and we were allowed to create our dream wedding day at the venue.
Our theme was vintage country chic with a modern twist! We wanted the men to wear tweed and bow ties and wild summer flowers to compliment the look. We did not want anything too formal.
We based colour theme around our flowers…using blues, purples and whites mainly. We prefer to mix colours rather than stick to one rigid colour theme. The bridesmaids wore corn flower blue chiffon and this picked out the blue floral print on the men’s bow ties.
I wore a simple but elegant 50’s inspired ankle length dress with lace gloves to give a vintage feel,the gloves were the ones I wore on my first holy communion as a child (something old)! After visiting lots of bridal boutiques trying to find the right style of dress I came across a wonderful shop called Bellissima, in Cheshire. The service was excellent and the wonderful ladies who run the shop make you feel like nothing is too much trouble. A very stress free and enjoyable experience. Cannot thank them enough!
I had my shoes specially made by Freya Rose in London and customised them with mother of pearl heels and lace bows.
Having six adult female bridesmaids, one two year old flower girl, a man of honour, three best men, one six year old ring bearer and three ushers was quite a challenge! The flower girl dress was from ‘Mi Mariposa’ online boutique at www.notonthehighstreet.com
The men’s bow ties were from Ben Sherman and the bridesmaid dresses were from Warehouse. The men’s waistcoats and trousers, groom’s suit and ring bearers outfit were all from Next. Marc also wore a made to measure shirt by Frank Rostron in Manchester and cufflinks by Mulberry.
Our amazing photographers were Peter & Sara from Pixies in the Cellar. Marc had known Peter for many years and had always been impressed by his previous photography work. Despite it being over 30 degrees Peter and Sara worked hard all day to ensure we had a varied range of group, couple and natural shots of our day. We have had so many comments about our pictures saying ‘they are the best wedding photographs they have ever seen’ and we couldn’t be happier with the final images.
We are lucky enough to know a very talented florist. David Jayet-Laraffe at FROG Flowers, Northern Quarter, Manchester.
The bouquets were natural round posies combined with mainly purple and blue flowers: lavender, roses, echinops, stocks, cornflowers, seasonal flowers and hints of ivory, lemon and green flowers mixed with eucalyptus, rosemary, grass… like the stems have just been hand-picked! The stems were tied with ivory lace and pearly pins for bride and blue chiffon and pearly pins for bridesmaids.
The groom had a buttonhole with purple and blue wild flowers, galax leaves with a pearly pin (like a little natural bundle of wild flowers)
We also had individual button holes for all our immediate wedding party.
The bridal party travelled in 1930’s vintage cars- a seven seater Imperial Landaulette and a six seater Regent Tourer. The cars were hired from Horgan Cars based in Cheshire. Both cars were able to have the top down which was great driving around in the sunshine!
The groom & groomsmen travelled in a friends brand new seven seater Land Rover Discovery.
Most of the decorations and finishing touches were handmade. Marc made large wooden letters of or initials for the fireplace and a wooden signpost for outside the venue. We handmade all the invitations, table names, table plan and order of service booklets. We made little vintage keys and luggage tags for name places for our guests to keep. We also placed photographs on the fireplace of our grandparents (who are no longer with us) on their wedding days. Our best friend and artist Thomas Wolski commissioned a unique piece of art work for us that we got all our guests to put their thumb prints on instead of a guest book.
My uncle spent months making a fantastic white Victorian style post box to put wedding cards & gifts in.
We found a lovely local company in Stockport,Cheshire called Ella Bella Cakes. Rachel who runs the business not only makes the most delicious cakes we have ever tasted but her attention to detail and customer service was faultless. We opted for a tower of cupcakes with a small top cake. We made the cake topper and bunting ourselves for a personal touch.
We found a Cheshire based band called ‘Live Wires’ who played popular covers from all decades of music. They were a great group of guys who really got the party started and tailored the music to our taste. They had a professional booking service through Alive Network who we would definitely recommend.
It is difficult to chose a favourite part of the day as we both loved every minute if it. We enjoyed seeing the surprised look on our guests faces when we pretended to do a slow first dance and broke into a flash mob dance routine with our bridesmaids and groomsmen!
After the wedding we went island hopping in the Seychelles in August for 16 days. Whilst on Mahe island we were lucky enough to spend a week at a private boutique villa called Petit Amour Villa. A truly luxury and relaxing honeymoon!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try and include personal touches and don’t feel like you have to go traditional. Make sure you are organised and plan your day well so that you don’t have to worry about anything on the last few days running up to your wedding day. Most importantly just relax and ENJOY it!
Congratulations Michelle & Marc!
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