Charlotte Balbier

woodland wonderment. stewart parvin for a luxurious winter wedding at colshaw hall – luisa & peter

November 9th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s real wedding is just perfect for the snow flurries that we are seeing up and down the country today.  We hope you are all safe and cosy with a steaming cup of something chocolately on your desk or on your knee!

Luisa and Peter pulled off the impressive feat of a Christmas wedding without a can of snow spray or a gilded pine cone in sight. Instead, their big day at Colshaw Hall in Cheshire, was led by an organic woodland theme, full of warm earthy tones and plenty of grown-up black-tie glamour.

The food and the playlist were particular focal points for this Manchester music-loving pair, and the following day saw the festivities extended with an aprés-ski extravaganza. So get comfortable, perhaps with a glass of Malbec or a mulled wine – go on, Luisa would definitely approve!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography

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luisa says: Peter and I got engaged in Barbados. One night we went down for dinner and, instead of heading for our usual table in the restaurant, we were led down a path lined with candles that took us to a private beach and a table for two. When we sat down and opened the menus, I saw all of my favourite foods and champagne. Then a steel band appeared playing Elvis Presley’s I Cant Help Falling In Love With You. When I looked around, Peter was down on one knee; it was a truly magical moment. He made a beautiful speech and, of course, I said yes. We spent the rest of the week celebrating and relaxing; it was just so perfect!

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We chose to get married on 19th December 2015 because it was the closest Saturday to the Winter Solstice – a date important to me and my mum. We wanted a winter wedding as we felt that there were lots more options to explore in terms of the decorations and the vibe that we could create.

For the venue, we chose Colshaw Hall in Cheshire. We wanted to make sure that the event was totally private and this was the huge bonus of Colshaw: the venue and all of its grounds are hired exclusively so we wouldn’t be sharing our special day with anyone else. Secondly, as Peter’s family are based in Suffolk, we wanted to make sure that there was accommodation onsite to ensure that the wedding weekend was as easy as possible for those travelling. Having looked at quite a few venues in the area, Colshaw’s accommodation was, we felt, the most beautiful. Each room has its own stunning theme and beautiful view over the grounds. Colshaw’s Peel Suite also offered a beautiful blank canvas; no wedding looks the same there. We had hired the main house for the drinks and canapés straight after the service and this offered a unique, cosy, Christmas drinks party atmosphere.

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Theme-wise, we wanted to create a natural and organic winter forest. Peter and I love walking our dog Digby up on the Edge and we wanted to recreate that same earthy, woodland environment. I wanted my wedding to be just that little bit ‘out there’, and having the trees as the centrepiece certainly achieved that goal. As our wedding was the weekend before Christmas, I think people expected us to go down the more conventional festive route and it was truly lovely seeing their reactions to the chapel and the main room. We’d focused on lots of earthy tones, such as dark greens and ambers, making sure that everything was lit by candles to create warmth.

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I had chosen quite a traditional and simple gown designed by Stewart Parvin with the lace detail as a nod to my Italian heritage. My dress was bought and styled by the incredible ladies at LOVE Bridal in Cheshire. They helped accessorise my gown with a Stewart Parvin veil, lace jacket and honey-toned belt which contemporised it perfectly. My shoes were Hangisis by Manolo Blahnik; I just loved their quirkiness. In the evening, I removed the lace jacket and added a thin sparkly belt to liven it up for the dancing. I visited several bridal stores and LOVE Bridal’s service surpassed all the London boutiques. From the beautiful little cakes they serve to the ‘grand reveal’, the wonderful Emma and Clare have it covered.

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gatsby glamour. mark lesley for a vintage wedding at the belle epoque – hayley & tim

November 4th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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This afternoon we’re sharing with you a magical 1920s inspired wedding set against the stunning art nouveau backdrop of The Belle Epoque, in Knutsford, Cheshire, where will be hosting one of our fabulous Luxury Wedding Fairs THIS Sunday. So ladies, if you like what you see, be sure to register for the free-entry event now and join us for what is set to be a really inspiring day with some of the area’s finest wedding suppliers.

The Belle Epoque certainly captured the hearts of today’s couple, Hayley and Tim, who chose to tie the knot at the gorgeous boutique hotel on their nine-year anniversary.

Dressed in an elegant Mark Lesley long-sleeved gown, Hayley’s vintage look perfectly complemented the venue’s plush art deco setting, and set the tone for their special day.

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

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hayley says: We got engaged last year whilst celebrating my birthday at a beautiful hotel in the Lakes. Unbeknown to me, Tim had asked my mum and dad for their blessing and bought me a gorgeous ring. We walked for hours, taking in the scenery and then chilled in our hot tub on a private terrace overlooking Lake Windermere and drank champagne. When it was time to get ready for dinner, I went inside the room to get ready. I noticed Tim had gone back out onto the terrace. The curtains were drawn so I couldn’t see outside. When I pulled them back I saw he’d lit candles everywhere and scattered roses around the little box with the ring inside. He got down on one knee and I burst out laughing with shock (poor Tim!). I made him sweat for a few minutes before saying yes.

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We got married on 18th June 2016. Given my well-known tendency for bargain hunting, I called the venue and asked for the best summer date they could offer at the best price and this was the date they offered. Very unromantic… until Tim pointed out it would be our nine-year anniversary! He initially thought I’d picked the date for that reason, until I confessed it was just a sweet coincidence!

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We knew we wanted an informal venue, all under one roof – we were certain of that. The location was the tricky part. Initially we looked abroad, as we both love the sunshine and a more relaxed setting. But with two small children and a large family, we eventually decided to stay in the UK. Top of our UK list was a vineyard in Cornwall. Cornwall has a special place in our hearts, as does wine. But the place itself was a bit of a ‘work in progress’ as far as venues go. It had lots of potential but wasn’t quite there yet. We were really glad we made the effort to go down and see it though, rather than just judge it from the online photos (top tip to any future brides!).

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sophisticated simplicity. a timeless cheshire wedding at hilltop country house – rosie & chris

November 2nd, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today we’re bringing you Rosie and Chris’ country house wedding in Prestbury (at one of our sensational Brides Up North event venues, Hilltop Country House, no less!). And boy, is it packed full of pretty with a bouquet to die for and gorgeous mismatched bridesmaid dresses.

As Rosie quite rightly says, sometimes less is more, and this classy couple avoided fussy details in favour of timeless simplicity. The result, we think you’ll agree, is simply stunning.

If you love rustic romanticism, this one’s for you!

Photographs by Matthew Horan Photography.

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rosie says: Chris proposed to me on my 31st birthday in a beautiful part of mid Wales. He’d booked a surprise stay in a lovely guesthouse and popped the question on a walk in the hills.

Our wedding date was 8th April 2016. We chose this date as we both love the springtime, plus we wanted to avoid the disappointment of rain if we had a summer wedding. We knew we’d inevitably get some April showers so it lowered the pressure!

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We got married at the beautiful Hilltop Country House in Prestbury very close to where we live. We’d fallen in love with the area and moved out to ‘the sticks’ together a few years ago. We felt the venue was perfect for a sunny or rainy day, so it ticked our boxes!

Our wedding had a rustic, romantic feel to it. We were both quite nervous about the big day and thought this would be a nice, relaxed theme – and that would perhaps help us to relax! After scouring Pinterest for ‘research purposes’, I thought it would make a really versatile theme, and one which would work well for our venue.

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My bridesmaids wore different coloured dresses from Coast; one was a sage green colour and the other was dusky pink, both with lace detailing. They complemented each other beautifully and provided the colour palette for the flowers. In fact, they bought the whole thing together beautifully, but avoided everything being too ‘matchy’.

For my dress, I surprised myself and went for a more traditional gown in lace. I just loved it straight away. It had little cap sleeves and a sweetheart neckline.

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roses & lace. pronovias for a timeless wedding at arley hall – charlotte & ross

October 25th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Charlotte and Ross (who was a great teenage friend of mine *waves!*) decided to go with a classic and traditional big day, complete with a church ceremony, black tie suits and a gorgeous lace gown (we approve Mr W!).

Roses were the flower of the day in elegant tones of cream and pink, which made up super pretty bouquets and adorned the pew ends and cake.

The result is an utterly gorgeous celebration that will certainly stand the test of time.

With images by Katie Sidell Photography.

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charlotte says: We got engaged in Central Park in New York. Ross proposed while we ice skating. I was so shocked but over the moon! We set the date of the wedding for 21st May 2016. We had our ceremony at the beautiful Great Budworth Church. Alec there was a fantastic vicar and made the ceremony so special! We then had our reception at Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire.
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We went with a traditional look for the wedding with Ross wearing black tie and my dress was lace, which I wore with a cathedral style veil. I loved the look of the black and the ivory outfits together. Our flowers were all pastel colours and we love roses so they were the main flower.

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Ross’s suit was a tailored Moss Bros black tie suit with matching black waistcoat and tie. The groomsmen wore tailored Ted Baker black tie suits.

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snowflakes & lilies. a winter wedding at peckforton castle – lorna & dave

October 21st, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today’s elegant real wedding was arranged in just six months and perfectly illustrates the beauty of tying the knot in the winter season.

The couple, Lorna and Dave, had been together for more than five years before getting engaged. Briefly contemplating a beach wedding in the Caribbean sunshine, the couple couldn’t resist the allure of staying close to home and celebrating their big day at the magnificent Peckforton Castle.

Dressed in an off-the-shoulder, fluted fishtail gown, Lorna was every bit the fairy-tale princess.

With images from Jonny Draper Photography.

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lorna says: We got engaged on 23rd May 2015, at Tre-Ysgawen Hall, Anglesey, Wales. At this point we had been together for more than five years, so I’d pretty much given up hope, but it turns out he was waiting for me to stop hinting so that it would come as a surprise. Dave had taken me away for the weekend and chosen Wales because of my Welsh roots. We enjoyed spa treatments on the Saturday and even joked in the Jacuzzi that Dave was rubbish at keeping secrets! Later that day, he got down on one knee in a lovely little meadow in the grounds of the hotel. I was so stunned he had to prompt me for a response as his knee was getting wet from the grass!

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We tied the knot on Thursday 17th December 2015. We both wanted a winter wedding and weren’t concerned about the weather. We love Christmas time, so thought we could make the most of the gorgeous festive decorations at our venue, Peckforton Castle in Cheshire. We also first met on 17th January so there was certain symmetry to the date.

We got married in the Great Hall at Peckforton. Dave wanted to either wed on a beach in the Caribbean or in a castle. As I’m red head and not a huge fan of sand – the decision was quickly made! We looked at a number of other locations in and around Cheshire, but Peckforton was by far the most magical and perfect venue.

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We both love to travel so our table names were places we had visited together and our table plan was a map of the world. We also had a vintage suitcase for our cards. For us, this signified that we had already been on many adventures, and that we are now embarking on another big adventure together into married life.

We tried to keep a personal touch throughout the wedding, with my sister designing our wedding invitations and other stationery, and my mum making the most fabulous snowflake wedding cake. Overall, we were going for an understated but elegant look.

Our colour scheme was dark purple. It’s a rich shade that stands out for a winter wedding and it also complemented the decor in the castle – and we both love the colour!

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doing things differently. a laid back & personal wedding in chester – milli & kris

September 27th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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We’re not quite sure where to start with this morning’s real wedding in Chester as there are so many fabulous elements to discuss!

I guess what we love most about Milli and Kris’s big day is that they did things 100% their way rather than sticking to the ‘wedding rule book’.

After marrying at quirky boutique hotel Oddfellows, the bride and groom took their guests off around Chester for drinks, ice creams and photos, before returning to the hotel for their wedding breakfast and reception.

The setting, styling and attire all get top marks from us, and in particular Milli, whose hair, makeup, bouquet and dress we absolutely love!

With images by Jess Yarwood Photography.

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milli says: We got engaged in July 2015. It was my day off and I had been for a facial that morning, I picked Kris up from work mid-afternoon. Myself being completely oblivious, Kris thought he was acting very shifty as he had been trying to Skype call my dad at work to ask for my hand in marriage. It was a nice day so when Kris suggested a picnic in the park and I agreed. The Grosvenor Park is a gorgeous space in the centre of Chester and happens to be around the corner from our house. Just as I had wanted it, in a moment that was just ours, Kris asked me to marry him. The shock meant I was far from demure but I of course said yes!

Our wedding was on 23rd July 2016. We had always known we wanted to get married fairly soon after getting engaged and with me wanting a spring/summer wedding, we randomly picked July. We booked the wedding exactly a year to the date.

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Our chosen venue was Oddfellows in Chester. I had always wanted a wedding that wasn’t too traditional. Our initial thinking was that we wanted something outdoorsy and to get married in the Roman Gardens in Chester. Then, whilst we were trying to get in touch with someone from the council to find out if this was possible, we walked past Oddfellows. I had seen that it was on the list of registered wedding venues and suggested we take a look. We loved its quirky style straight away and I knew that was where we wanted our wedding. We met and first lived together in Chester so we were very particular in that we wanted the wedding local in the place where it all started.

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We didn’t have a full wedding theme where everything revolved around it but we styled the day on the 1920’s/ Great Gatsby era. I always wanted to look back out our wedding pictures and it look classic and timeless.

We wasn’t keen on having a bright colour scheme and had always thought I would have black bridesmaid dresses. However, with us having a summer wedding and Kris being very set on having a blue tux, I searched Pinterest for some ideas and decided on blush pink, even though I hate pink! Everything else was white and then we had mixed metal accessories.

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