January 16th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Ahead of our first Luxury Wedding Fair of the spring season at the stunning Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire this Sunday, we’re sharing the wedding story of Rachel and Omar who chose this fine venue as the setting for their special day.
Exchanging their vows in the Hall’s impressive grounds beneath the lake-side gazebo, Rachel and Omar’s ceremony was 100% picture perfect.
The proceedings gave a tasteful nod to Disney (something we suspect their guests may have seen coming after a proposal by the Alice in Wonderland statue in New York’s Central Park!), and the couple further styled their day with a statement navy and coral colour scheme.
Other special touches to look out for include games on the lawn – something that should be a prerequisite for any garden wedding, we think, and a lovely string quartet to set the laidback ambience.
If you’re on the venue hunt in the North West, be sure to join us at this spectacular venue on Sunday 21st January, for our Brides Up North Bespoke Luxury Wedding Fair, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY. We will be joined by top suppliers from the area as well as the venue’s super helpful team. Pre-register to attend here.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Slice of Pie Photography.
rachel says: We were on a romantic city break to New York in February 2015, when Omar surprised me and proposed by the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park, in the snow.
We tied the knot on 30th July 2016. We chose that date as we wanted an outdoor wedding and summer is our favourite season.
The venue – Capesthorne Hall in Macclesfield – was stunning and a great location for our friends and family. It had everything we wanted – outdoor facilities, a stately home and a contemporary feel for the evening reception.
We didn’t have a full theme for the wedding, but we chose certain aspects to show our favourite things and personalities. For example, I walked down the aisle to a Disney arrangement (arranged by my very talented best friend) and our tables were Disney couples instead of numbers. My cousin very kindly painted small canvasses with the couples on.
We decided on a navy and coral colour scheme – we felt it was appropriate for the season, with the six bridesmaids in three different shades of coral and the male members of the bridal party wearing three-piece navy suits.
I chose a lace-up tulle fishtail gown with a strapless sweetheart neckline and pewter lace appliqués, beginning on the body and continuing down the front of the dress and the train. The dress was from The Confetti Box in Eccles. It was just what I wanted; very grand for the venue and something I’d never really seen before.
Omar wore a navy morning tails suit with a grey soft tartan waistcoat, pocket watch and matching tie and pocket square in navy with small white polka dot. This was from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.
January 10th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Here at Brides Up North we pride ourselves on keeping you, our wonderful readers, informed on all the latest developments, trends and announcements in the wedding industry, and in particular, the fabulous offering of venues and suppliers in the North of the country.
We’re therefore delighted to be introducing you to another spectacular venue located in the top half of the UK that has just recently opened its doors to brides and grooms, providing a brand-new celebration setting that hasn’t been seen before.
Located in Malton, near York, Howsham Hall is a Grade I Jacobean stately home, which has been transformed into one of the most impressive wedding venues we’ve had the pleasure of visiting, with the most incredible interiors that have to be seen to be believed!
Adding to its already fabulous portfolio of venues, award-winning hospitality specialists Dine will provide couples marrying at Howsham with a full event management service and first-class catering to complete their dream day.
Can you tell us a little about the history of Howsham Hall?
dine say: The Grade I listed Howsham Hall lies to the north east of York in a quiet, secluded valley. Originally part of a large traditional estate stretching to 11,000 acres and having been a family home for 350 years. Howsham Hall has been transformed into a luxurious North Yorkshire countryside retreat, located 14 miles from York.
How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?
A beautiful blend of heritage and modern luxe. Far from the traditional, tired country house – this Jacobean treasure has been restored to an exceptionally high standard. Accentuating stunning original features with a splash of modern interior design, creating a truly stunning space for private hire.
Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas and how many guests the venue can cater for?
There are five formal reception rooms – 250 guests can be accommodated in a marquee in the grounds or 160 for a seated meal in the house. Each room is unique and in particular, the Great Hall and Drawing Room lend themselves beautifully to wedding ceremonies and celebrations.
What makes Howsham Hall a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?
The stunning building has never been used for weddings before, so you won’t be copying any of your friends or family with your venue choice. Those marrying at Howsham are also given exclusive use of the venue, so couples and their guests can enjoy total privacy during your stay at the Hall.
What sort of bride would be a Howsham Hall bride?
A bride who wants something totally unique, with a little luxury and grandeur. For a blushing bride that wants total privacy on her day with the most incredible food and service to match the breath-taking setting.
How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?
We will make sure that the finer details are taken care of; your dedicated event manager will run through your requirements and will work with you to create your perfect day – they will be there with you on the day to make sure everything is delivered and exceeds expectations. Our team understand that every wedding is unique and will ensure that your day is truly special.
November 15th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We’ve been out on the road again all in the name of research to share with you our experiences of the North’s finest hotels, getaway retreats and spas, providing inspiration for pre- and post-wedding relaxation, and sometimes also a setting for the big day itself!
Cue our recent visit to Matfen Hall – a stunning stately home set in 300 acres of lush parkland in the Northumbrian countryside. The award-winning Hall houses fabulous function spaces, accommodation and spa and leisure facilities, making it an option for sophisticated hen dos, romantic getaways, such as a minimoon, plus a dream wedding venue too.
All images by Sean Elliott Photography.
Ahead of a super-exciting wedding refurbishment at Matfen, we were invited to view the current celebration spaces and to see what’s in store to take this already gorgeous venue to the next level. And my word, are couples saying ‘I do’ to Matfen in for a treat! Keen not to give away too much at this stage, we will be following up with a Dream Venue post soon that will detail the stylish refurbish plans in more depth.
Furthermore, on Sunday 4th March 2018, we will be holding a Luxury Wedding Fair at Matfen to reveal the results of the quarter-of-a-million-pound-refurbishment programme first-hand – so be sure to mark the date in your diaries!
But for today’s post, we return to our visit. During our blissful overnight stay, we experienced Matfen’s warm and welcoming hospitality, making use of its leisure facilities, restaurant and accommodation.
We began as any busy business ladies should, with a trip to the spa! Hotel guests can enjoy access to such facilities or there are a number of full and half-day ‘Escape’ packages to choose from, comprising different treatments, food and drink, so ladies (and gents) can pick which best suits their needs and wishes.
There is a 16-metre swimming pool and spa pool, plus thermal suites including an aromatherapy room, steam room, sauna, ice cold bucket shower, monsoon shower and ice fountain. We worked our way round, prioritising the warmer options, to relax and revive weary muscles, before indulging in a little chill time around the pool.
Matfen’s treatment choices cover off facial, body and massage therapies for men and women, as well as ‘Finishing Touch’ treatments such as nails, waxing and tinting.
Feeling in need of a radiance boost part-way through our autumn season of wedding fairs, we both opted for the Skin Specific Facial. Having been led to quiet, candle-lit treatment rooms, our knowledgeable therapists took time to enquire about our skin concerns before tailoring our facials to help combat such issues using heavenly Elemis products. We both emerged with hydrated, glowing complexions and super-soft skin (if only we could indulge one of these treatments every week!).
Leaving the spa feeling super-relaxed, it was time to freshen up (and wake-up!) before dinner. We were staying in one of Matfen’s stunning Principal Rooms in the original part of the Hall, that was spacious, comfortable and boasted gorgeous views of the garden.
October 16th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We’re now nearing the end of our autumn season of Luxury Wedding Fairs across the north of the country (though five still remain, check them out here!) and we have to hand it to the suppliers that have exhibited with us – they rock!
Keen to introduce brides-to-be the very best talent in the north, we always encourage our exhibitors to pull out all the stops on their stands to showcase their talents and inspire visiting couples – it’s amazing what’s possible through hard work, skills and creativity!
We were therefore thrilled to hear that a group of suppliers at our debut Stock Farm wedding fair in September, had seized the opportunity to style up a shoot onsite at this fabulous Cheshire venue, which really made the most of their incredible efforts.
Prepare for some crazily cool dresses, a to-die-for ceremony backdrop and delectable details as we let Emmylou Kelly, owner of Manchester-based photography and styling company Chiascuro, take over the blog to tell how she and the team achieved these truly stunning images
Diary Date: Our next Pop Up Wedding Festival Fair at Stock Farm takes place on Sunday 8th April 2018! We’ll see you there then!
With images by Chiascuro.
emmylou says: As Stock Farm is a brand-new wedding venue, the team involved in the shoot were all eager to work in partnership with the venue on future weddings.
The Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Fair presented an ideal opportunity to arrange a styled shoot (at the end of the event as the day was so busy!) as we would all be in the same place at the same time and so could collaborate on a joint project.
When arranging such shoots, I like to ask suppliers to showcase their best pieces or to bring/create something that is true to their company and their own style which allows the shoot to look versatile, whilst still flowing as a collective.
The shoot was based around the dresses supplied by Wilderness Bride and Ghost Orchid Bride, which were a mix of ultra-stylish and discreetly modern designs. Our model, Stephanie, who is also owner of Wilderness Bride, had a cool rock vibe going on, so we went with this look for the styling. We then mixed things up a little with leather jackets and veils to give the look an alternative vibe.
Having the beautiful and stylish flowers from Sassflower to work with made it easy to create a look that will be the envy of 2018 and 2019 brides. I tried to envision what Stock Farm’s future brides would choose for the wedding. A little bit of country rock chic?
The venue is situated next to a wheat field which couples are able to use for photos. Even though the field had been harvested, I knew it would be a beautiful backdrop to photos and would show off the venue’s beautiful farming landscapes and surroundings. The backdrop also complemented Sassflowers’ stunning ceremony backdrop.
The ceremony arch was dressed with pampas grass, nude Sahara roses, white gladioli, vanda orchids, chrysanthemums, acacia and eucalyptus spray as well as spray roses. The bouquet complemented the backdrop and was made up of vanda orchids, quick sand carnations, astrantia, grasses, spray roses, scabiosa and black seedheads.
Overall the shoot went really well and we were delighted with the results! It had been raining on and off all day but the Cheshire sun came out for us at 4pm and gave us that beautiful golden light that I love so much. We utilised various spots around the farm as the wedding fair was still taking place so we were able to showcase different looks, themes and styles as the venue offers so much will appeal to so many different types of brides.
With big thanks to Brides Up North for bringing us all together!
September 8th, 2017 | Julia Braime
We just keep those can’t miss diary dates coming! This one is for our Yorkshire readers, and if you are on a venue hunt (or just want to network with the area’s most lovely suppliers) then this one is for you.
On Sunday 17th September 2017 we are hosting a luxury wedding fair spanning the beautiful house, gardens and brand new Orangery at beautiful Newby Hall. We’ve added 25 of the area’s most fabulous wedding industry suppliers to create a perfect day of wedding planning!
Planned as a luxury immersive experience to let you truly see why Newby Hall and it’s surroundings are so special, you’ll start in the stunning Hall where you’ll meet the first of our wedding experts and then make your way across the torch lined lawn and through the manicured hedges to discover our “Secret Garden” collection of suppliers, waiting for you in Newby’s stunning glasshouse and marquee. Watch out for our beautifully dressed ceremony and wedding decor inspiration areas as you go!
We’ve said it before, but our events really are something else! Would you like to join us?
The event runs 11am till 3pm on Sunday 17th September and – as usual – is on us! The event is completely free of charge for you and your guests. That’ll be us spoiling you again then.
We’re giving away up to 150 free Bride To Be media packs at the event, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag – and for FREE ENTRY – all you need to do is pre-register using the form for your venue of choice (you can register for more than one) found by clicking below. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.
September 6th, 2017 | Julia Braime
If you’re currently on the hunt for a venue with individual features, charm and class, plus that’s totally private and a space you can truly make your own – then you’re in luck! For today we are catching up with our fabulous Sponsor venue, the stunning Bowdon Rooms.
Located in the leafy idyll of Bowdon, near Altrincham, Cheshire, this really is a rare gem of a venue, complete with high ceilings, sparkling drapes and ornate fireplaces and features. Furthermore, (for you party lovers out there) it boasts a sprung dancefloor and stage large enough for an 18-piece swing band, so dancing shoes are a must!
Impressed? Us too! And that’s why we regularly visit The Bowdon Rooms to stage one of our Luxury Wedding Fairs, inviting couples to come and see this beauty for themselves. Our next event at the venue – a Mini Pop-Up Wedding Festival – will take place on Sunday 5th November, 11am to 3pm, and its FREE ENTRY, so there really is no excuse to miss out! We’ll be joined there by the areas crème de la crème of wedding suppliers to help bring all your big day plans together.
To whet your appetite in the meantime, we’re handing over the blog to director of The Bowdon Rooms Neil Hughes, to tell us more about this spectacular space.
Can you tell us about the style and history of The Bowdon Rooms?
neil says: Our luxury wedding venue in Cheshire is a charming building that offers an abundance of authentic character and beautiful features. More than 110 years old, the property’s Edwardian decadence will offer you and your guests a superior environment.
Amid subtle yet exquisite details of art nouveau charm, you can relax and dine in our glorious ballroom, with its stunning chandeliers suspended from a 40-foot domed ceiling, against a backdrop of romantically-lit voiles.
What types of couples does the venue appeal too?
The Bowdon Rooms is definitely suited to couples who would like an authentic vintage venue, that is what we are. We have over 100 years of unspoilt architecture and features. And because we also host live music, we attract couples who wish to party, with fantastic live bands playing on our stage at most functions. We have a full sound and light system, in house engineers and event managers you can trust. Plus, a late licence until 1am.
Can you tell us about its reception rooms?
The ballroom – Our beautiful spacious ballroom seats up to 230 guests and offers a stage large enough for an 18-piece swing band. With a fully-integrated lighting system and an experienced team to help create your ideal theme, we have everything to inspire and deliver – all under one roof. It is a period ballroom with chandeliers and has a fully-sprung maple dance floor to really get the party in full swing.
The lounge – Our other reception room is located on the first floor and offers a more intimate environment. An air-conditioned jazz lounge at the top of the building. It accommodates up to 90 guests and is perfect for wedding reception drinks or civil ceremonies. It can either be set as a 1940’s speakeasy, or a modern voile lit lounge.
What would you say are the unique and special features of The Bowdon Rooms?
We were built in 1905, so we do really have an abundance of period features; from sprung dance floor to fireplaces, to those hard to describe nooks and crannies – but they all ooze charm. We have two huge chandeliers that tower above the ballroom adding a touch of elegance.
How can couples really make the space their own?
We love having couples help design their own special day, so just ask about anything at all. Couples can choose their own colour scheme as we can completely dress the room in their fabric of choice, and they can also work on table decorations, favours, table layouts – in fact nearly every aspect of the wedding. We also have plenty of couples who provide their own band.
Tell us about the food and drink options available at the venue…
We do all of the catering with our team of award-winning chefs. They have worked around the world and provide every type of food; from an informal Mediterranean risotto to a formal four-course meal. If couples want to go away from standard menus and personalise their choices, that’s fine, they can come in, meet with chefs and have a menu tasting.
How do the venue’s staff assist couples in planning their big day?
Every bride and groom are assigned their own wedding event manager. Karen has worked here for more than ten years, and Suzanne for more than six, so couples can rest assured that our team has a huge amount of experience.
What is the feedback like from couples who have married at The Bowdon Rooms?
Most couples love our flexibility; we are not a hotel with fixed packages. So, clients can really get involved, helping with table design, centre pieces and venue set-up. Quite often we have a team of ushers and bridesmaids in helping out, it makes for a very relaxing wedding party.
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