July 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime
This wedding is a very glam occasion indeed with an evening wear dress code and classic black, white and silver colour scheme.
We love the men’s choice of smart suits with braces and dicky bows as well as the bridesmaids’ elegant floor-length lace dresses. Stealing the show bride Holly completes the well-dressed wedding party in her gorgeous princess style gown with simple detailing.
Puling the whole classy affair together there are stunning arrangements and elegant décor by Red Floral Architecture and sparkling stationery by Love Invited.
With images by Martin Hambleton Photography.
holly says: We got engaged on 7th September 2011. Will had organised a meal at Piccalino’s in Manchester, which I thought was just a treat for me finishing a course I’d been doing. My mum and step-dad were there so everything seemed pretty much ordinary (barring the fact looking back Will had his best shirt on). Once we had sat at our table a beautiful bunch of red roses were given to me by the waiter and next thing Will was down on one knee in the middle of the restaurant showing me my gorgeous engagement ring. The whole restaurant, even the chefs were cheering. It was a very memorable moment.
We set our wedding date for 6th December 2014. I had always wanted a winter wedding, as I knew living in Manchester we could never depend on the weather being nice. I didn’t want it to be any closer to Christmas so the first weekend in December it was (which happened to be my 27th Birthday).
Our chosen venue was Colshaw Hall at Over Peover, Cheshire. We just fell in love with this venue the minute we stepped foot inside. There are no other venues like it in the area!
We didn’t really have a style/theme but I knew I wanted all my guests in evening wear so there had to be quite a chic and glamorous feel to the day. In terms of colour I like everything quite white and minimal so all the flowers were white and we had stunning Perspex accessories and lots of candles.
Overall the colour scheme was black, white and silver sparkle which I chose because I wanted everything to look clean and simple.
When it came to my dress, I chose a design that was the complete opposite to what I first thought I would chose. My dress was quite ‘princessy’ but not too over the top with an ivory satin, strapless bodice and quite a full skirt. Around the waist it had delicate silver detail. I found my dress in Maria Modes in Macclesfield. The ladies in there were so welcoming and helpful!
Will wore a suit from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow. He went for a black evening suit with a dickey bow and braces. Will didn’t want anything too traditional. The groomsmen also wore suits from Whitfield & Ward – the same as Will’s but without a waistcoat.
My six bridesmaids meanwhile wore long black lace dresses. They had a low V shaped dip at the back with a satin belt. I got them from Adeava in Macclesfield.
We were lucky enough to not to have to hire transport on the day, as Will’s dad owns a Classic Car Restoration Company in Denton called Ratcliffe Accident Repair Centre. So we both had beautiful Bentleys to use on the day.
Martin Hambleton Photography took our photographs. I chose Martin to be our photographer after seeing what a stunning job he did for a close friend of mine. Martin really helped with any questions or worries I had leading up to our wedding, he was always on the end of an email or phone. Will and I felt so at ease on our big day and Martin captured such beautiful photographs. We would recommend him to everyone.
We also hired a videographer called Unforgettable Memories who was recommend by Martin. We wanted to have a video of our day so that we wouldn’t miss out on the moments we wouldn’t be able to be a part of. Craig was great from Unforgettable Memories and we are so happy with the final video.
I carried a stunning bouquet of calla lilies that were created by Matt at Red Floral Architecture. Red Floral also provided beautiful arrangements of white roses, Perspex candelabras and lots of candles to decorate. I made our super sparkly silver table numbers.
Our wedding stationery was provided by Love Invited Ltd. Amanda there created the most beautiful stationery. I knew what I wanted so getting that printed just how I imagined was great.
I decided to not give favours to the adult guests. I wanted the evening to be fun so put silly moustaches, lips and hats on a stick props for each guest. I did give the children a little present each though to keep them entertained during the meal.
We didn’t want a traditional cake so went for a sweetie cake instead. I did want it to look like a wedding cake but then be able to be separated in the evening for everyone to enjoy. It was made by Gemma Kelly of Little Gem’s Sweetie Cakes.
Barrett’s Caterers provided the catering on the day and we chose a menu made up of our favourite foods.
As a special touch, Will and my family surprised me with a birthday cake at the beginning of the speeches. Everyone sang Happy Birthday, I have no idea how we will top my birthday celebrations to come!
For an extra but of fun in the evening we hired a photo booth from Hipswing Entertainments, which turned out to be a great idea. The photographs are great and Hipswing provided a great service.
I would recommend every company that was involved in making our day run so smoothly, including our venue. Georgina and the team that run it are all great and couldn’t have done more to make our day special. I loved every minute of it!
For our honeymoon we went to Mexico and stayed in a beautiful hotel called Excellence Playa Mujeres, somewhere we had never been before and it was just paradise. We had ten days to just relax together. We had dinner on the beach, danced all night at CoCo Bongos and found a new favourite cocktail – Banana Mamas.
My top tips to other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every moment of planning and try not to get into arguments about anything as everything always works out in the end. On the big day take everything in as much as you can and to sneak a few moments on your own with your partner. Finally, don’t wear your heels all day, it’s just not worth the pain the next day!
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June 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime
I just love the setting of today’s real wedding, a gorgeous glass room at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens which boasts gorgeous views of the venue’s spectacular grounds.
Taking inspiration from Abbeywood, bride Joanna picked a pretty blush colour scheme and included lots of wild blooms in the wedding décor to help bring the outdoors, in.
And this is yet another wedding with an incredibly well dressed bridal party. Ryan and his fellow men look fabulous in their suits and kilts and we’re loving the bridesmaids’ specially designed pastel dresses. But without doubt it’s Joanna who steals the show in her gorgeous slim-line Lusan Mandongus gown and full-length veil.
With images by Jo Bradbury Photography.
joanna says: We got engaged in October 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The holiday had been booked for ages. We always try to go away during the holidays as I’m a teacher and we both enjoy travelling. We chose the hotel together and discussed what we would do during our break. On our second day we hired bikes and cycled around the city visiting the sites. Just before we were about to go back to the hotel, Ryan decided that it would be a great idea to cycle through the park. We stopped outside the palace in the gardens where Ryan got down on one knee and proposed. After the proposal we enjoyed the rest of the holiday celebrating before returning home to share the good news with our family.
We set the date for 15th August 2014. We were very lucky to get this Friday in August as many weddings had been booked over a year in advance. I always knew I wanted a short engagement. The thought of planning/talking about a wedding for two years was just not for me.
We got married at my church St Mary’s in Crewe and then celebrated the rest of the day at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens, Northwich. We knew from our first visit that Abbeywood was the venue for us. We have both worked in hotels when we were younger and didn’t want our wedding to feel like something on a conveyer belt which many hotels felt like to us. Abbeywood made us feel so special and nothing was too much trouble. It was beautiful, no fuss venue with lovely staff. The gardens were breath-taking and because the room was made entirely from glass, it felt like we were sitting outside in the gardens all day.
We didn’t really have a colour scheme, however the bridesmaid dresses, ties and the majority of the flowers were a subtle blush. Ryan was certain that he wanted a blue suit so we fitted the bridesmaid dresses around this and because the gardens were so bright and colourful we also chose colourful flowers as our centre pieces.
My dress was a Lusan Mandongus wedding dress. I chose this dress because it was simple and elegant but a little bit different. I loved the dress as soon as I put it on and even though I continued bridal shopping for many more weeks with my mum, I knew that I would not find anything that would suit me better. I was never a girl who had a vision for a dress so I tried on all shapes and styles but quickly came to realise that I wanted something lace and fitting. My shoes were from I Do Dresses in Crewe. They were the comfiest shoes and allowed me to keep dancing all night.
Ryan choose his suit from Platts Menswear and Formal Hire in Crewe. The staff were so knowledgeable and extremely helpful. The most important thing to Ryan was a suit that fitted him really well and that it was a bit different. The suit that he chose was a gorgeous French blue and tails because he knew that no other guests would wear a tails suit to the wedding. My Dad then chose a blue kilt and matched this with a French blue jacket. The suits that the groomsmen wore fitted all the men perfectly and they looked extremely smart all day. Ryan thinks that this suit was the nicest attire he has ever dressed in.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were designed and made by Mariee bridal shop in Nantwich. The shop specialises in bespoke bridal wear. After months of searching for bridesmaids dresses that complemented my dress and the groomsmen’s suits we decided to visit Kate at Mariee. I showed her a picture of my dress and the French blue suits that we had chosen and right anyway she picked the perfect colour of fabric (blush) and drew the most beautiful bridesmaid dress that myself, my mum and both of my sisters loved instantly. My sisters then asked Kate to add buttons down the back and a lace belt that matched the lace from my dress. The dresses were perfect and looked great on the day.
We hired our wedding transport from Horgans. The driver arrived in the morning and took myself and my dad to the church and then myself and Ryan to the venue after the mass. It was a nice time after the mass for me and Ryan to catch up and have a glass of champagne together before the reception.
Our photographer on the day was Jo Bradbury. She was the perfect choice for us because I knew that I needed someone that was going to fit around our day and not take over by making us spend hours having photographs taken. Jo was great, I barely knew she was there and the photographs are all stunning. She managed to capture so much of the day and stayed well until the evening getting some really fun shots of enjoying themselves on the dance floor.
My flowers were provided by local florist Julia Wynn. I told her about Abbeywood being a natural garden and that I wanted my flowers to reflect that. She came with lots of ideas and knew exactly what I wanted. She put together a very natural bouquet for myself and my bridesmaid that included a thistle because we are Scottish. Julia also sourced flower boxes and trees for the centre pieces for the tables.
Because I’m a teacher my invitations were designed by the children at my school. The head teacher at my school launched a competition to design the best invitation for my wedding. I had hundreds of entries all of them were great in their own way. We eventually chose one winner for the invitation but all the other pictures were way too cute not to use. I went to Delmar printers in Nantwich who kindly made the invitation and then scanned the other hundreds of pictures and shrunk them small enough to fit onto name cards. Every guest had their own personalised name cards with a picture designed by one of the children from my school. Each table number was written on a small blackboard with a top tip for marriage written by the children in my class. They were all really funny like: let your wife go shopping, don’t flip out if she spends £200; Buy waffles from Asda; make each other smile every day; and let your husband play on the iPad all day. They gave the guests lots to laugh at and talk about when they got to their table.
We only gave favours to the ladies at our wedding. Each was given a china tea cup and saucer.
My friend made our wedding cake. We spent an evening together searching the internet for ideas and she made one that was a mixture of a few ideas. The cake was perfect and all my guests kept telling me how delicious it was too. It had three tiers, blush flowers and lace icing.
The food at Abbeywood was delicious and many of our guests throughout the evening said it was the best wedding food they had ever had. We chose fishcakes for starters, chicken for main and chocolate brownie for dessert.
We knew that we wanted a band for our wedding because a band gets everyone up and dancing like nothing else. The band we chose was The Jim Jams. We had booked them before for a birthday party so we knew they were professional and really know how to show everyone a good time. They had everyone up dancing from start to end!
Other suppliers we would recommend include Hair by Amanda Hendrie. Amanda specialises in wedding hair and put my hair up for my wedding. I had trials previous to the day so we both knew exactly what I wanted. She took into consideration the style of my dress and how I usually wore my hair so that I still looked like myself on my wedding day, which was really important to me. I also had a veil to consider for the day and a hair slide for the evening. My hair stayed up and perfect all day.
We also can’t speak highly enough about a company called Shoot it Yourself – this was the best wedding money that we spent. The cameras were dropped off at our house the day before. Ryan took one camera with the boys and I kept one camera with the girls. Our friends and family recorded parts of the morning, the wedding mass and parts of the day. The next day Shoot it Yourself collected the cameras and put together three chapters of our day. The ‘best bits’ was a selection of clips from throughout the day with our music choices. The best bits were also put on their website so that all our friends and family could watch too. The other two chapters were of the complete ceremony and the speeches. Since the wedding day we have watched it so many times and it brings back some great memories. We also got to see everything that goes on in the background that we would have never seen otherwise.
Ryan’s favourite part of the day was between main course and dessert, he looked up and as the sun was piercing into the glasshouse everyone was enjoying themselves and he knew the hard parts were over and the party was about to start. My favourite part of the day was during our first dance, I was so worried that we would be left on the dance floor for the entire song alone, but as soon as the band invited people to the dance floor all our guest flooded on, desperate to get the party started!
For our honeymoon we went to Italy, visiting Venice, Lake Garda and Milan. It was a great honeymoon. We enjoyed Lake Garda the most as it gave us time to relax, we didn’t realise just how exhausting getting married would be. The rest during our honeymoon was very much needed.
My top tips to other Brides Up North would be – book a live band, book the week before you get married off work as there is so much to pick up and do and where possible go with local businesses. The amount of times you need to go and see suit suppliers, bridesmaid dresses, printers etc. staying local where possible saves you so much time and you get a more personal service from a small local business. Finally you don’t need to spend money on things you don’t need, all people tend to remember is the food, the company and the music.
June 3rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North HQ, it’s just dawned on us that there’s only 6 months till Christmas! Since we haven’t really seen a sniff of summer yet, that still feels like a pretty long time away to us, but if you’re planning a winter wedding, we bet time is just racing by.
Today’s real wedding couple followed up their festive engagement with a vintage Christmas themed wedding at a luxury Cheshire hotel, so we hope their lovely celebration leaves you feeling inspired and looking ahead!
Keeping things classic yet classy Kylie and Graeme ditched a traditional red or white winter wedding colour scheme in favour of an elegant navy and pink theme, complete with hints of sparkle. Subtle Christmas touches were then blended with pretty vintage décor for a stylish setting.
We love Kylie’s lace fishtail dress (that was clearly meant to be) as well as the bridesmaids’ elegant bespoke dresses and the guys looked very handsome in their fitted suits too!
With images by Emma Hillier Photography.
kylie says: I was studying my first degree in Liverpool and Gray (Graeme) use to visit all the time. We had been together three years when he proposed. It was Christmas Eve and I returned to find tea lights and rose petals everywhere. I opened my gifts and in the last present was a box with a diamond in it. Gray then got down on one knee and proposed. Looking back I am so glad there was no massive ‘out in public’ proposal, the way Gray proposed was so intimate and perfect. Just us.
We decided to tie the knot on 23rd December 2014. Gray is a massive Christmas fan! We both are actually, particularly because between 2010 and 2014 I studied my second degree and I was away from our home a lot, and Christmas was the only time we really got to spend quality time together.
Our wedding was not only a celebration of our love but it was a way of remembering all our lovely Christmas times together and celebrating that I was finally home for good.
We got married at the Grosvenor Pulford in Cheshire. We absolutely adore this venue. On our first visit the wedding co-ordinator was really attentive and nothing was too much trouble, even with all our ideas! The venue also looks so lovely at Christmas time, the in-house decorations are stunning. The venue is big enough to invite everyone you want but small enough so you don’t feel lost in the venue. I loved that we were the only wedding that day too.
It was a vintage Christmas wedding. I wanted lots of subtle winter touches but without it feeling like your typical Christmas wedding. We also wanted a vintage feel, so we had birdcages decorating the venue and a vintage style wedding cake with lots of sparkle thrown in!
The colour scheme was navy and pink. The bridesmaids were in navy and there were subtle hints of pink dotted around. Navy looks fantastic during winter and I’m a sucker for pink!
My wedding dress was a lace fishtail dress – I adored it! I saw the dress on a wedding blog and I just loved it as soon as I saw it so I rang round lots of bridal shops in the area to see if they stocked this particular dress and none of them did. It looked like I was going to have to pay to have it shipped to a bridal shop to try it on, which I was reluctant to do in case I didn’t like it. Then a week later, one of the bridal shops I called had received the sample dress on error in my size, they were going to send it back that day to the designer so they said if I wanted to try it on I needed to come right away. I raced to the bridal shop and I was so glad I did, as soon as I tried it on I loved it!
Gray bought a suit from Reiss. He originally was going to wear a navy suit and grey tie like the groomsmen but we went into Reiss to get some suit inspiration and Gray took a liking to his suit straight away. So on the day Gray wore a grey suit and navy knitted tie and the groomsmen wore navy wool suits from Burton with grey ties from Topman.
I had the bridesmaid dresses designed and made by the fabulous fashion designer Klue by KellyAnn. I cannot tell you how much I love the bridesmaid dresses. I loved that each one was made to measure and my bridesmaids could tweak any aspect of the dress that they wanted to. Some of my bridesmaids had midi pencil dresses and one of my bridesmaids was able to a have a dress that she could spin around all day in at her hearts content!
Emma Hillier Photography was our chosen photographer. Emma is the most amazing photographer I have ever met. I may be biased but that’s not only because I have the most amazing wedding photographs but we have some amazing engagement shoot pictures and boudoir pictures too. Emma is such a lovely person, she puts me completely at ease and my wedding day would not have been the same if she wasn’t there. She was so calming on my wedding morning and my family loved her.
The first time I saw her pictures from another wedding Gray and I both knew she was going to be our wedding photographer. She captured the wedding day so perfectly and nothing was too much trouble for her or no idea was too wacky! We love you Emma!
Vivid Floral Design provided our flowers – this was a very important aspect to me. I explained to Mandy at Vivid Floral Design exactly what I wanted and she delivered my vision perfectly. I loved my bouquet with the added glitter and sparkle and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were exactly what I envisioned in my mind. I also picked the groom’s and groomsmen’s button holes and asked Mandy to add the twine to them last minute as a surprise to my future husband. He loved it!
Vivid floral design also supplied our table arrangements which were fantastic with the roses and dangling tea lights. Our table plan was created by Deannamic Designs.
As favours we gave our guests ‘Grylie’ (a combination of Graeme and Kylie) strawberry jam which was made by both of us over a weekend. It was something fun for us both to do together and our guests loved it with many since asking for a second batch!
We chose a three tier sponge wedding cake. Each tier was a different flavour: Victoria sponge, lemon and coconut. We didn’t want royal icing on the outside and asked for buttercream instead. It was amazing!
We had Rock Revolution as our evening band and one of the members of the band also played the piano during the wedding breakfast. The band were amazing and everyone said how much fun they had dancing away to them. They even got me and my bridesmaids up to help with the backing vocals of one song!
Special moments on the day included my brother walking me down the aisle as my dad is no longer with us, which was a really emotional moment for us both. Two of the bridesmaids also did readings, which were really touching. One was heartfelt and the other more humorous. It was nice to get a mixture of emotions during the ceremony and made the ceremony personal to us.
Other suppliers that we used on the day that we would recommend are Love Umbrellas who provided our umbrellas, The Glass Slipper Company where I got my shoes from, Crown and Glory which is where we got the bridesmaids’ hair pieces from and Nicola Joyce who did hair and makeup. Also, our invitations and stationary were done by Artwork by Angie. We had completely bespoke stationery made and the outcome was more than I expected. Angie is so amazing to work with!
My favourite parts of the day included getting ready with all my favourite girls. It was nice having that time with them. I also loved seeing Gray’s face as I walked down the aisle. It was just amazing having all our nearest and dearest under one roof and sharing the day with them.
Gray says the best part of the day for him was seeing me walking down the aisle, he says I looked absolutely stunning. Gray is usually quite a calm person, he didn’t get flustered about doing his speech or saying his vows in front of people but recalls the anticipation just before I arrived and the emotion he felt when he saw me… feelings he says he’s never felt before!
We went on a minimoon over New Year in Scotland. It was a secluded lodge with a hot tub called ‘the hideaway experience’ and was simply amazing. Each night we would be in the hot tub and we would chat and just admire the stars. We will be having a honeymoon this summer and plan to visit Halkidiki in Greece.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be do what makes you happy, listen to advice from friends and family but ultimately do what you want to do. Also, pick your battles; don’t waste energy getting stressed on the lead up to the big day. You want to look back on the build-up in a positive way.
Finally, don’t worry about people not turning up to the evening; people might not be able to attend even if they had the best intentions to. The friends and family that are there will still make sure you have an amazing day!
artwork by angie, burton, cheshire wedding, christmas wedding, crown and glory, deannamic designs, emma hillier photography, grosvenor pulford, klu by kelly ann, love umbrellas, nicola joyce, real wedding, reiss, rock revolution, the glass slipper company, topman, uk wedding blog, vivid floral design, winter wedding
June 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding starts with a romantic proposal in Barcelona which scores groom Gareth top marks with us girls here at Brides Up North HQ.
After saying ‘yes’ (and getting over the shock) Ghislaine and Gareth agreed to take their time to save up for their dream wedding rather than ploughing through the planning.
The result is a carefully constructed big day with filled with smiles, laughter, cake and a good measure of lace and burlap to fit their shabby chic theme. Just stunning!
With images by Adam Riley Photography.
ghislaine says: I hate surprises but the day before my 26th birthday (in 2012) Gareth surprised me with a four-day break to Barcelona – little did I know that he was also planning to propose on my birthday. Gareth popped the question down at the Port of Barcelona following an evening of fantastic tapas and sangria. I was completely unprepared and couldn’t hold back the tears, especially when he produced a beautiful diamond ring and I realised that he had also requested permission from my father in true romantic style before our trip.
Following our engagement we quickly realised that we would need a couple of years to save up for our wedding whilst still enjoying ourselves. As we got engaged in October we started to consider October dates. Neither of us had our hearts set on a summer wedding and when we realised the significant price difference between peak and off peak wedding packages we knew that October was the perfect month for us. We chose the 24th October 2014.
From the beginning we knew that we always wanted a small wedding, as neither of us particularly like being the centre of attention. We initially considered getting married abroad and very nearly booked a venue in Verona, Italy – however we both had specific members of our family and friends whom we wanted to be there and soon realised that getting married abroad was not an option for us.
We’re both originally from Wales but met each other and have lived together in Liverpool for a number of years so we started to look at venues in Cheshire (half way between our families and friends). We chose Inglewood Manor and everything about it was perfect. Kim Shute the wedding co-ordinator was dream to work with and we can’t recommend her highly enough. The manor itself is an Edwardian country house and has 29 bedrooms to enable friends and family to stay – exactly what we wanted for our intimate wedding. We ended up staying at Inglewood the night before and the night of our wedding with many of our friends and family helping us to extend our wedding celebrations by making a weekend of it.
Our theme (if any) was ‘shabby chic’ as this reflects our personalities and our home – we were keen to incorporate as many pieces of our personal belongings into our wedding day rather than buying new items.
One of our favourite colours is sage green so deciding on a colour scheme wasn’t too difficult. We were fairly traditional and didn’t disclose the colour scheme until our invitations were sent out but some of our friends had already guessed based on fact that many of the rooms in our home are decorated in varying shades of green.
Choosing my wedding dress was probably the only aspect I felt nervous about but I should never have worried as my dress was the second dress I tried on and I loved it instantly. My dress was a lace Justin Alexander gown with a bateau neckline and mermaid train. We customised the dress with a belt to add a bit of sparkle and I also wore a chapel length lace veil. I bought the dress from Brides of Liverpool but it was customised and adjusted by a fantastic seamstress called Janey G who is also based in Liverpool.
Gareth and the groomsmen wore classic tails. This was a surprise as Gareth originally thought he would wear a tailored suit but having tried on various options felt most comfortable in tails. Gareth looked super handsome on the day but our little pageboy Sam definitely stole the show in his miniature version.
I had eight bridesmaids in total, slightly ridiculous for a wedding of 72 people, but I couldn’t imagine getting ready or getting married without them all being there so it was a no brainer! The girls wore full-length dresses designed by Dessy in sage green and my little adorable flower-girl wore an ivory dress with matching sash.
The bridal party’s hair and makeup was looked after by a fantastic bridal hair and make-up artist called Nicola Joyce. I trusted her completely and she did not disappoint us; her calm manner, personality and style is a credit to her and I she was a pleasure to have around on the wedding morning.
Our photographer was the amazing Adam Riley. Gareth enjoys photography and we both knew that choosing the right photographer was one of the most important aspects of our day. Gareth spent many hours looking for photographers online and Adam’s photography caught our eye. We visited Adam a number of times before our wedding to discuss details and we found that we spent time chatting about our lives/holidays as if to a friend rather than a stranger. Both Gareth and I are rubbish at having our photos taken and both agreed that Adam’s true reportage style was exactly what we wanted.
Adam captured the story of our day perfectly and never once made us feel uncomfortable. We wanted to enjoy our day rather than spend hours having posed photos and Adam captured every moment without us even realising it. We can’t thank him enough and would recommend him every single time – he’s even offered to shoot our second wedding if we ever renew our vows!
I carried a hand-tied bouquet of pale pink Sweet Avalanche Roses with cerise pink mini Eden Spray Roses and Gypsophila, and the bridesmaids carried hand-tied bouquets of Gypsophila. I love Gypsophila and felt that the simple pink and white colours worked really well with sage green colour scheme. Our bouquets, button-holes and corsages were made by a fab florist called Mark at Gordale Garden Centre near to Inglewood Manor.
We bought and arranged the flowers for the venue/reception ourselves. In the run up to the wedding, Gareth and I collected every wine bottle and jam jar we could find and decorated them with twine, lace, pink ribbon and burlap to tie in with our shabby chic theme. Gareth is now a whizz with a glue gun!
We used loads of candles and tea lights to create a relaxed atmosphere and filled the jars with Gypsophila and Sweet Avalanche Roses that we bought from Liverpool Flower Market the day before the wedding. We also used an old-style suitcase (normally kept on top of our wardrobe at home housing my handbags) to display our table plan and we filled the base with gorgeous flowers.
We didn’t make personalised favours but instead set up a vintage sweet table with all of our favourite treats ranging from peanut M&M’s through to marshmallows and peardrops. Again we used an old-style suitcase for display purposes and collected numerous crystal dishes (thanks to Julia, Gareth’s mum) as I love cut glass.
We knew we didn’t want a traditional wedding cake and we found it very difficult to narrow down which flavours we would like (we both love cake). In the end we ended up having eight different cakes displayed in glass cloches. We made and decorated a number of cakes ourselves including a traditional fruit cake (which was generously fed with brandy for six months before the wedding) and we also bought a number of cakes from one of our favourites bakeries called Cuthbert’s Bakehouse in Liverpool – the cakes were delicious!
Our guests enjoyed a range of canapés in the afternoon including mini fish and chips and Welsh rarebit, followed by a beautiful three course evening meal. In the evening we didn’t have additional guests and so had a lighter buffet of bacon/sausage batches and wedges together with as much cake as people could manage.
Our music for the day was provided by a fabulous string quartet called The Dotted Crotchets. We first heard them play at The Trafford Centre in Manchester and we both knew they were exactly what we were looking for. They are the perfect mix of traditional and contemporary, playing many modern chart hits. I walked down the aisle to Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros and we left our ceremony to Friday I’m in Love by The Cure.
The Dotted Crotchets continued to play throughout the afternoon and entertained our guests with great hits from Journey, Coldplay, Rihanna and Take That. They even enthralled our two youngest guests with a rendition of the famous Frozen theme tune – we can’t thank them enough.
We also had a magician called Ian Knowles, who mingled with our guests throughout the afternoon. He is a work colleague of Gareth’s and his magic tricks are second to none – all of our guests loved him.
There were a few special touches on the day which included my sister presenting me with a story book of my life to date that she had created and my mum had framed various baby photos of myself and Gareth which were displayed in the reception areas of Inglewood Manor. It was very emotional for Gareth and I and was great talking points for all of our guests.
Unbeknown to us, my best friend Charlotte had also secretly organised and recorded a video containing clips of all of our guests singing lines to the Bruno Mars song Marry Me. This was played to us during the evening and honestly blew us away! We still can’t believe the time and effort involved by Charlotte and all off our guests for taking part – thank you.
Later on in the evening, my sister and brother-in-law led us outside to see ‘Just Married’ lanterns lined up along Inglewood’s terrace. This was a perfect touch and has since become one of our favourite photographs taken by Adam Riley.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day though. Walking down the aisle to see all of our lovely family and friends smiling back at me and Gareth looking completely over-whelmed was a breath-taking moment.
For our honeymoon we spent two weeks in paradise in the Maldives. We arrived to monsoon type rain that lasted a couple of days, but we didn’t let it spoil our excitement. The island really was pure paradise and we experienced some of the best food we have ever eaten, from fillet steak to fresh sea food. If we could go back tomorrow we’d both be jumping on the plane immediately!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – don’t let the weather worry you. Getting married in October we had planned for rain and I was prepared for a day indoors, however we had a beautiful day and we spent a good couple of hours outside in the afternoon with many guests commenting that it was actually too hot inside.
Things that worry you beforehand will not even be given a second thought on the day as you are far too busy enjoying yourself. If we could do it all again tomorrow…we most definitely would. Best day of our lives!
May 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Bride Emily experienced a nightmare situation when the boutique she had found her gown in went out of business. Determined to still secure her dream dress, Emily went straight to the designer whose team went above and beyond to make sure she got her wish – and we’re sure you will all agree she looked absolutely stunning!
Groom Rory then chose to reflect his family roots by donning traditional Scottish Highland dress for the occasion and the pretty maids completed the attractive line-up in their elegant lavender dresses.
An abundance of pretty blooms in bouquets, button holes and décor enhanced the already romantic setting of Iscoyd Park for one very dreamy day indeed.
With images by Jo Bradbury Photography.
emily says: Rory had planned a romantic trip to Ireland where he intended to propose at Giant’s Causeway. Unfortunately heavy snow over two consecutive weekends scuppered his plans. I was wondering why he was so insistent that we travel to Ireland in a blizzard. Having asked my parents’ permission I think he was becoming worried about the cat being let out of the bag so, during a snowy weekend in January, whilst I was busy defrosting the freezer, he called me into our living room where I found him down on one knee. I was completely shocked, it was so unexpected but absolutely perfect as it was.
We had originally planned to marry on the 2nd August, which would have been five years to the day that we had met, but when we eventually found our perfect venue the only date they had available was 24th May 2014. So although it was a little earlier than we had planned it was absolutely worth it to secure the venue.
We got married at Iscoyd Park in Shropshire. Apart from being the most beautiful Georgian house in a gorgeous setting, from the very start the staff were overwhelmingly wonderful and relaxed and remained so right through to the big day itself – absolutely nothing appeared to be too much trouble. I had become a bit of a bridezilla and was struggling to find a venue that ticked all our boxes. Iscoyd Park ticked the boxes and more, I really couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
We didn’t have a fixed theme as such we just wanted an elegant and happy day with lots of personal touches and I like to think we achieved that. In terms of colour, we tried to match one of the colours to Rory’s family tartan, which was a sort of dusty lavender.
After a fairly exhaustive search, I settled on a dress by Sassi Holford. Unfortunately the shop where I had ordered the dress from went out of business just before the wedding leaving me without a dress. Thankfully Sassi Holford were incredible and after a trip from Derbyshire to Taunton to be re-measured they made another dress from scratch. I really can’t thank the team at Sassi Holford enough for pulling out all the stops to make the dress for me at breakneck speed to ensure I had the dress of my dreams.
Rory’s family is Scottish so he opted to follow tradition and wear a kilt, which was hired from Greenwoods. The best man also wore a kilt hired from Greenwoods. Rory also had sgian-dubhs, worn as part of traditional Scottish Highland dress, made and personalised to go with the kilts.
Sourcing bridesmaid dresses in the right colour proved more challenging than I had originally thought but, thanks to family in the USA, we were able to obtain them from Donna Morgan via Nordstrom.
We booked Iscoyd Park for the whole weekend so my bridesmaids and I stayed in a beautiful cottage in the grounds the night before for a girly spa evening and Rory drove himself to Iscoyd the morning of the wedding.
In our view, the photography was probably one of the most important elements, it is really the only thing you are left with other than memories after the day itself and I really wanted to be able to look back and see all the little details and moments from our wedding. Our photographer was Jo Bradbury. She had photographed my mum’s wedding to my step father at which I had been a bridesmaid, so I knew from direct experience that the photographs would be beautiful. Rory and I aren’t always the most serious of people, and models we certainly are not, so I really wanted someone who would be able guide us. I could not recommend Jo highly enough. She was there from getting ready, where she was incredibly non-intrusive during the nervous moments but was able to capture some really lovely shots. She then stayed almost right until the end to get photos of some dodgy dancing. Very importantly she managed to make one of the rainiest days of the year (we even had to throw the confetti indoors) look like a classic late spring day.
I carried a bouquet of white peonies, roses, freesia with a lamb’s ear greenry. All the bouquets and buttonholes were provided by Selina Godsal, the mother-in-law of Phil who owns Iscoyd Park. She is the on-site florist which is so handy for tying in meetings with venue visits.
I wanted predominantly white flowers so we used peonies, roses, hydrangeas, gypsophila with a few coloured roses in the hanging vases behind the top table. We decided early on to do some of the flowers ourselves so my mum sourced an enormous van-load of flowers from her local flower stall in Manchester as well as the best part of a small lavender bush from friends. We arranged them in hundreds of vases sourced from Ikea. Selina then did some big displays for us in the ceremony room and a large ball display hanging from the centre of the marquee.
I wanted to do something a little different for the favours and as I had decided most of the flowers and table settings were to be white I added a little colour by planting succulents into small glasses which would double as a wedding favour and a name place setting. It’s quite nice really as I am still getting updates from our guests nearly a year on as to how their plant has grown.
I had seen a cake on Pinterest which I fell in love with and which fitted well into our dusty lavender theme. We couldn’t decide what flavour to have so went for different flavours in each tier. It was absolutely beautiful and tasted great too!
I was given free rein on the décor for the wedding but the food was definitely my husband’s domain. Iscoyd works closely with the Fine Dining Company – the food was incredible and not only tasted great but looked lovely too.
For entertainment, we had the Vittorio String Quartet play as our guests arrived and as I walked down the aisle through to the drinks reception. I’m not sure it was necessarily a wise decision as I managed to cry almost every time I heard them play in the run up to the wedding. Thankfully, I successfully held it together on the big day.
For the evening Iscoyd suggested a DJ for us which was really useful as we are not from the area so any recommendations were gratefully received. We spoke to Robert Maxfield who asked our likes and dislikes music wise and he really created a party atmosphere for our evening of dancing.
I took a lot of inspiration from Pinterest for the little details. We printed a little poem for the ladies bathroom complete with a basket of toiletries to try and refresh the guests before continuing the party. Another of my favourite details were the little packs of tissues on the seats for during the ceremony; ‘for happy tears’. I really wanted to personalise a lot of the wedding so we had various things made, from a wooden card box painted with our names and wedding date, to the arrows directing the guests to the venue.
Other suppliers we used that I would recommend include Sash and Co who supplied the belt to go with my wedding dress. This too was originally ordered from the bridal shop that went out of business so they also pulled out all the stops to remake the belt in time. Gemma Cosgrove was my make-up artist, who was another calming influence on the morning of the wedding, not forgetting my friend Emma who not only managed to do my hair but also four bridesmaids, two flower girls and a few aunts all in time for the ceremony! Jean Jackson Couture also deserves a mention for making my mum look amazing!
I actually don’t think I can ever recommend Iscoyd Park highly enough. Not only is it incredibly beautiful but the people there are great too, Jen the wedding planner and Phil the owner were always on hand for any questions I had and Jen particularly really put my mind at ease. They have the perfect set up from the onsite beauticians and florist to the luxurious accommodation and venue. They urge you to make Iscoyd your home for the duration of your stay which I have to say, during what can be such a stressful time, was a really welcome comfort.
The moment that stands out in my mind from the wedding day is hearing the string quartet start to play as I began to walk down the aisle and catching the eye of my soon to be husband – a moment which Jo managed to capture perfectly. My mum’s speech was also incredibly touching, not sure there was a dry eye in the house, including a couple of Rory’s friends from the Army. Other than that I genuinely loved everything from getting ready with all the girls to the amazing best man speech to endless dancing and finally being able to call Rory my husband.
We went on a mini moon to a lovely boutique hotel in Norfolk booked through Mr and Mrs Smith. Later in the year we then went to stay in Tuscany in the most magnificent villa called Villa Fontelunga. Neither of us had ever been to Italy before and it is without doubt one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Phillip and Paulo the owners of Fontelunga were so welcoming and although we were offsite in our own villa they were always at the end of the phone to make dinner reservations for us or recommend places to visit. They hold weekly dinners for all the guests where everyone can get together to eat, drink and have lots of laughs overlooking the gorgeous rolling hills of Tuscany! We absolutely cannot wait to plan our return trip!
My top tip for other Brides Up North to help with the planning would be – Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest (you can follow Brides Up North’s boards on Pinterest here). It became my wedding planning bible, from colour schemes to flowers, to personalised details, I found it a really useful tool to create a mood board for the wedding.
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