Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

a grand day out. a personal & pretty wedding at the old grammar school – nadine & rob

January 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Elegant Wedding at The Old Grammar School (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

Today’s real wedding couple chose two historic venues brimming with character and charm for their big day celebrations, which took place in the North West of the country.

Following a ceremony in the church where the groom’s parents had married 34 years previous, the happy couple and their guests moved onto The Old Grammar School in Middleton, for the reception to get underway.

We love the simplicity & elegance of this wedding which also features pops of colour and personality to make it stand out from the crowd.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at The Old Grammar School (c) James Tracey Photography (1)

nadine said: We got engaged on my 30th birthday in November 2014. The engagement was a modern joint decision. Having known each other since our university years and lived together as a couple for five years we had spoken about marriage a number of times. As we were both approaching the 30-year-old milestone we decided it was the right time. Rob proposed in front of the Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona. We celebrated in the nearest bar with a jug of Sangria!

Neither of us wanted a long engagement. Spring would have been too soon, summer too popular, so we settled for autumn and set the date for 24th October 2015.

An Elegant Wedding at The Old Grammar School (c) James Tracey Photography (64)

We wanted a venue that would be exclusive to us and our party. We also knew we wanted a venue that resembled a barn and that would require very minimal decoration. We looked at a number of options and finally settled for a church wedding at St. John the Divine in Brooklands, Sale, where Rob’s parents had married 34 years before. The reception was held at The Old Grammar School in Middleton, which is a historic venue with all the character and charm that I was after. I fell in love with the place when I first saw it online and it was even more impressive when we first visited!

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love is in the air. ian stuart for a classic wedding in the north west – linzi and leigh

May 7th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (33)

This wedding has it all – glamour, sparkles, a pretty princess dress and even a helicopter.

Bride Linzi chose simple and elegant styling to create her classic dream wedding in various tones of romantic ivory at Davenport Green Hall, and my goodness didn’t it look gorgeous!

Between Linzi’s words and fabulous images by Ally M Photography you can really feel the love in this wedding, not only between the bride and groom but also their friends and family who clearly mean the world to them (this one made us teary).

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (6)

linzi says: We got engaged on 18th March 2010 on a trip to Venice. We’d travelled to Venice for the weekend as it was Leigh’s birthday. On the first evening we went out for dinner and on our way back to the river taxi we went through St Mark’s Square, that’s when Leigh bent down on one knee and popped the question. Of course my answer was yes. Venice is such a spectacular place and so romantic, it was just so perfect.

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (5)

We set the date for 8th August 2014. We chose August as it would still be warm but hopefully not too hot. The day itself started off with heavy rain but after the ceremony we had glorious sunshine throughout the rest of the day.

Our wedding venue was Davenport Green Hall. The first time we viewed this venue we knew this place was perfect for us as its set in its own grounds and meant that we had the entire estate to ourselves and our guests. The venue itself combined both old Tudor style with immaculate and modern décor inside which was perfect for our tastes. Better yet, the bridal suite was in the grounds and so was only a stone’s throw away when we had partied the night away.

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (7)

We did not have a certain theme but I wanted a wedding that suited our tastes as couple. With that in mind I kept the theme simple, classic, elegant and natural in all ivory tones. It began with our beautiful wedding invitations which were pure ivory with pearl and diamante fronting and pearlised envelopes right down to our exquisite wedding cake which we kept to all ivory tones too. I always knew that I wanted to keep to ivory as it creates a beautiful and romantic feel.

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (13)

My dress was by Ian Stuart. I had tried on about ten dresses before this one but as soon I put it on, I knew it was the one for me – I felt like a princess! I also knew that my daughters, Ella and Chloe would love the dress because of the heavy sparkle detail to it and the princess look. I purchased the dress from Bridal Italia in Bolton. I had quite a few fittings in the dress and each and every time, I was sorry to take it off.

My chief bridesmaid Vicki surprised me with my beautiful earrings on my hen do. I had said that as my dress was quite detailed, I needed a simple drop earing and they were so perfect, I couldn’t have made a better choice myself.

The night before my wedding, I had all the female members of my family and my friends around to my house to have a final pamper from my sister who is a beauty therapist. In the midst of hair dying and nail painting, my bridesmaids provided me with a box which contained my something old, new, borrowed and blue. The something old was a broche with a picture of my dad who passed away when I was younger and to which they then tied to my bouquet so he could walk down the aisle with me the following day. The something new was a new bottle of perfume which I loved so the scent would always remind me of our special day. The something borrowed was a simple diamond bracelet to wear with my dress as I didn’t want anything heavy and wanted the dress to do all the talking. The something blue was a blue garter which although they had measured my leg previously, still managed to continually fall down all day!

On the morning of my wedding, myself and my bridesmaids, along with my mother-in-law, all attended a local salon to have our hair done. Whilst there we had our makeup done by my lovely friend and makeup artist Natalie Marie. Ally, the photographer, even came to the salon so he could get some pics of us all getting prepared for the day.

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (17)

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (18)

Leigh wore three piece tails in grey with an ivory tie to match myself and our daughters. We decided against top hats as it was a warm day. These were rented from Groom at the Wedding House in Liverpool.

My four older bridesmaids wore grey dresses from Coast with diamante sparkle belts to match my theme and my wedding dress.

My two daughters Ella and Chloe wore ivory dresses. I didn’t like the thought of having a coloured sash put on their dresses so I had a band of three flowers sewn onto each dress to tie in with the theme of romance. They also had their hair delicately designed into crowns so they felt like little princesses too.

The groomsmen wore grey three piece suits with the same shade of grey as the girls’ Coast bridesmaid dresses. These were also from Groom at The Wedding House in Liverpool.

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (20)

On the wedding day I travelled to the venue in a Bentley, which was hired from AJ Limousines in Manchester, who we would recommend. My husband meanwhile travelled to the venue by helicopter which was amazing as all our guests stood outside to watch and all the bridesmaids watched from a bedroom window of venue. Although he was nearly an hour late due to nearly not being able to fly as there was heavy rain and a serious accident on the motorway on the way to the airport! Leigh is late for everything, so it was no surprise he was an hour late for his own wedding!

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (21)

Our photographer was Ally Hedeyati of Ally M Photography. We met Ally about ten months before our wedding and we instantly knew he was the one for us. We had our pre-wedding shoot in Southport with our children and the pictures he produced were just amazing and so natural! We knew we had made the right choice when it came to our wedding pictures. Ally is so friendly and professional and extremely funny which immediately puts you at ease. Neither I nor Leigh were particularly confident in front of the camera but Ally made sure that he got the best from us. I would definitely recommend Ally as his pictures tell a story and one thing from your wedding is that it all goes past so fast that you need the expertise of a great photographer who can capture these moments that you will never get back – Ally is definitely the person to do this.

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (31)

All my flowers were artificial. My bridal flowers were by Alison by Lasting Memories in Timperley who also dressed the venue. My bouquet was half flower and half broche as I wanted this to complement my detailed dress which sparkled. I asked Alison to place a diamante initial in each of my bridesmaids’ bouquets for individuality which such a nice touch.

I had seen quite a lot of Alison’s work so I knew that I would love the way she had set up the civil ceremony room and then the conversion into the wedding breakfast. It was just the romantic look I was trying to achieve with candles, flowers and glass everywhere. I would highly recommend Alison.

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (30)

For our favours we provided the men with mini Jaeger bottles and the woman mini bottles of wine.   We had quite a few children at our wedding and I made them each an individual bag which contained lots of things for keeping them entertained. The older children received perfume and jewellery. All the name tags were painstakingly hand made by me and my mother-in-law to add a personal touch.

We chose a three tier cake in the style of a bird cage. Each tier was a different flavour. The top was sponge, the middle tier was lemon and the bottom was chocolate. The cake was then surrounded by more than 30 mini cakes to match. We did re-design the cake to incorporate touches that we specifically wanted. For example I asked them to put ‘L&L’ on the front and also our daughters’ names were placed on tags which hung from it. The cake was from Occasion Cakes in Bolton.

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (35)

For entertainment we had a live six piece swing and jazz band called The Young Swing Things that we hired through Garston Entertainments who were very professional and got back to us quickly. Kayleigh, the main singer was phenomenal and everyone commented on how powerful and emotional her voice was. They sang our first dance which was Run by Leona Lewis as my husband and I had a little crush on her for some time and so she was the obvious choice when picking a first dance. My brother took over from my husband mid dance which was very emotional as my father had passed away.

We also had a photo booth which I must say, kept everyone in stitches and was a real highlight of the wedding – a definite must I would recommend. We hired a chocolate fountain too which went down well with the children at the party! I bought hundreds of sparklers and had personalised cards made with our names on and placed them in a huge basket. When it went dark, the guests gathered outside and created a kind of arch and whilst lit, Leigh and I walked through it – magical!

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (36)

We added a few special/personal touches to the day too which included a white tree in the corner of the room with a box of personalised cards so that our guests could write personal messages of luck and wishes to us and then hang on the tree. Our photographer Ally, also gave us a beautiful picture from our shoot and mounted it onto card. We placed this on an easel and our guests were given the opportunity to write their messages around the border.

To help keep guests feeling fresh both the male and female toilets contained a basket with deodorants, hairbrushes, tablets, plasters etc just in case they needed anything. My auntie also made a huge basket and filled with white diamond flip flops in various sizes for all the women when their feet began to hurt as they partied the night away.

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (43)

It’s difficult to choose one particular part of the day as my favourite as there were so many. If I was to choose, it would be walking down the aisle and saying my vows. I wasn’t nervous at all until I stood outside waiting to walk towards Leigh. As I approached him, I knew he was as nervous as I was. My daughters’ together read a really funny reading which had everyone in stitches during our ceremony and I eventually got to say “I do” to the most amazing man on earth. It was definitely the best part of our day.

Other special moments of the day included my brother giving me away and he wore his army uniform to do so with all his medals attached. I also made a speech which heavily referred to my aunt and uncle, Elaine and Trevor, as they have been my parents throughout my life and provided me with so much. My speech was dedicated to them and how I wished for a marriage as normal and loving as they have. I cried through my speech but I got to the end where I thanked my lovely new husband.

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (45)

We had decided not to go on honeymoon as we wanted to go back to Florida the following year however during our first dance my husband told me that we were going to Barcelona for five days the Sunday after our wedding. You can only imagine my excitement! Even my children knew this secret and had managed to keep it from me. Barcelona was a perfect place for honeymoon – very quaint and historic and gorgeous food. My husband is a massive Liverpool fan and whilst there we obviously couldn’t escape a visit to the New Camp.

a classic wedding in Cheshire (c) Ally M Photography (44)

If I was to give a tip to other Brides Up North, it would be to not scrimp on a photographer. I’m so happy that a great photographer was something that we had at our wedding so that we can always look back at the pictures and remember the little things and the things that made us laugh on our special day.

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silver lining. a highly entertaining wedding at west tower – sally & simon

March 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (66)

Having a good time was certainly high up on the priority list for today’s real wedding couple.

Sally and Simon planned their wedding date around securing the right entertainment for their big day in order to ensure the celebrations went with a bang.

Lots of singing, dancing, cocktails and a Jaeger train resulted in a fabulously fun wedding that went on into the small hours.

So it’s full steam ahead with today’s real wedding inspiration… cheers!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (9)

sally says: We got engaged on July 18th 2014. Simon took me and our dog Oscar for a walk up Rivington Pike, it’s all uphill and I nearly gave up half way up but he made me carry on. I’m so glad I did as when we reached the top he got down on one knee! He had a mini bottle of champagne with glass and a can of Stella in his back pack to celebrate! He chose there as we often visit and you can see the church where his dad is buried so it made it that little bit more special!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (11)

We tied the knot on 7th February 2015, the date kind of picked us! We didn’t want a long engagement and always wanted a winter wedding so decided early 2015. The only thing that was a must was having Howard Wing as our entertainment, so it was a case of checking Howard’s diary along with the venues (and Bolton Wanderers fixtures!). I loved having the wedding so soon after the engagement, it meant I didn’t dwell on decisions and everyone’s excitement levels were high all the time!

We were married at Holy Trinity Church, Horwich as Simon’s dad is there. We then went on the have our reception at West Tower, Ormskirk. Years before I met Simon my sister was planning her wedding and was given the brochure by a friend, from that day I said it was where I wanted to get married. We thought it would be out of budget but we were allowed to tailor a package that suit our budget. Neither of us had ever been but we booked straight after our first visit!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (15)

I wanted the theme of the wedding to be very simple and classic. I always wanted an all-white wedding and added a touch of silver to add a little sparkle!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (18)

I wore an Ellis dress, style 11330 from Bridal Italia in Bolton, who were amazing! I always wanted lace strapless mermaid design and must have tried every lace strapless dress made! I wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice but I felt a million dollars on the day and wouldn’t change it! The in-house seamstress made so many changes to the dress to get it exactly as I wanted, covering the tulle neckline with matching lace and creating a deeper sweetheart. I always wanted a bolero to cover up at church so they made me a matching one from scratch. It was exactly what I had pictured in my mind! A few days before the wedding I decide to have a cathedral length veil which Bridal Italia altered to add extra lace down the edges – it gave the wow factor!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (19)

Simon wore a navy three-piece suit from Next, my dress had polka dots within the tulle so he wore a spotty pocket square and a silver tie to match the bridesmaids!

The groomsmen wore matching two-piece suits to Simon but had polka dot navy ties. I had seven bridesmaids who all have their own styles and I wanted them all to love their dress and feel comfortable. So, I decided to go for a multiway dress where each girl could choose a style that suited them. They also had an optional lace bandeau. I encouraged them all to be different with hair, makeup and accessories so they felt amazing and they all did! The dresses were from Coralie Beatrix who sells on Esty.

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (21)

It took a team of people to get me and seven bridesmaids ready on the day! My hair was done by Paisley Gamble and make-up by Helen Cafferky, I cannot recommend both enough and will use them both again in the future.

We wanted to cut back on some expenses so decided my dad would drive me to church as he has a lovely car. I bought ribbons to put on and champagne for the journey to the venue. However! On the day just as I had put my dress on and was making my way downstairs my sister told me to look out the window, and there was a vintage silver car waiting! Her and my mum had surprised us, Simon didn’t know about it either until we left the church, he loved it!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (29)

Our photographer was Jonny Draper. He was recommended to us by Howard Wing and as soon as I saw his blog I knew I had to have him! I can’t recommend Jonny enough, he’s great fun and completely put us at ease, he understood exactly what I wanted and the pictures are fantastic!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (33)

My flowers were supplied by Sue Nunn, we were on the same page immediately! I carried a simple bouquet of white roses and I chose centrepieces in all white. She made the table arrangements propped on four test tube vases so views were not obstructed and we added lots of mini tea lights and vases all over the tables! To save a little I asked Sue to provide seven empty vases on the top table for my bridesmaid bouquets, they looked great and kept the flowers fresh to take home! I also hired petal table clothes and silver sequin runners from Gilded Linens for something a little different along with lace chair sashes from Princess4aday.

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (49)

As favours we decided to make a charity donation to two charities close to our hearts in remembrance of loved ones we have lost. I bought charity pins for the guests to take away with them.

I called in quite a few favours for the wedding, the cake being one! I left the whole cake design to one of my bridesmaids, Michelle, who had a friend at work that made individually designed cupcakes and a cutting cake. I didn’t see them until the day and they were a lovely surprise!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (43)

One of our planning highlights was the food and wine tasting. We sampled several dishes and settled on butternut squash soup, chicken with a creamy leek and mushroom sauce (yum) and profiteroles. West Tower allowed us to tweak recipes to get exactly what we wanted. We were given so many wines to choose from and Brian spent a lot of time with us tailoring a drinks package to suit. We had several compliments on the red wine we chose! We chose two different beers for the reception drinks, Moretti and Budvar and a Kir Royale for the ladies. The only thing I can recommend for any brides getting married at West Tower is don’t drive to the tasting! I have never seen so much wine and so many cocktails!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (50)

We had Mike Smith Sax Player to provide entertainment for reception drinks, this was a surprise given to me on my hen party from the girls! Later we had Howard Wing. Since we saw Howard for the first time at a friend’s wedding I said I would never get married without him! We wanted a huge party to celebrate our wedding and that’s certainly what Howard delivers. There aren’t enough words to describe how good he is and how many amazing memories I have from the day. He gets everyone involved and in the party spirit. We also booked a DJ – Dave Jones – through Howard Wing, he was amazing, I didn’t leave the dance floor all night!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (52)

We wanted to add special touches to our day to ensure our guests had the best time! One extra was the Jaeger train; we had 100 Jaeger bombs set up and had a race against each other. Simon won however he did slip and fall knocking a few over the bar! Luckily it was all caught on camera and on the short video Howard Wing made on the day! Another little special touch was to have our ‘last kiss’ before our first kiss. We really wanted to make our mums feel special on the day, so as a surprise they were invited up during the ceremony to give us our last kiss as single people before our first. We chose our mothers as they had given us our first ever kiss at birth. We also had Candles 2 Cherish make us two candles in memory of lost ones which we lit during the ceremony and are a great keep sake.

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (60)

We would definitely recommend West Tower to others. The venue and setting are stunning and the main reason we booked. Other than the fact the place is stunning, the food is incredible and the staff couldn’t do enough for us. Brian and Charlotte helped with all the planning and Lindsey made sure our day went without a hitch! Lindsey cares about every little detail which was great as I was very particular! After meeting Lindsey I had no worried about the day and felt completely relaxed to leave everything to her! The waiting staff and bar staff are also superb, extremely polite and accommodating, they even stayed up until we wanted to go to bed at 4.30am!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (70)

My favourite part of the day was standing in church next to Simon, all nerves disappeared and I couldn’t take the smile off my face! Closely followed by Howard Wing’s entertainment – epic!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (72)

We left a few days after the wedding for our honeymoon, we went to Jamaica and stayed at Secrets Wild Orchid. The hotel was amazing and it was great to just get away alone and really relax!

an entertaining wedding at West Tower by Jonny Draper Photography (76)

I would advise other Brides Up North not to cut corners on a photographer as after it’s all over you will want amazing memories to look back on! And…the little things really don’t matter!

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