December 6th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Most brides spend the morning of their wedding getting pampered and preened in preparation for their impending nuptials, but today’s featured bride spent her final ‘un-wed hours’ completing her 50th Park Run. Now that’s some fitness dedication!
Stepping out in a charity-shop-bought wedding gown to mark her special day and the milestone run, Laura was joined by fellow members of the Lymm Runners running club as she completed the 5km course at Victoria Park in Warrington, before heading to a nearby café in her home village of Lymn for a Bucks Fizz brunch.
But worry not readers, Laura and John’s ceremony was late afternoon, so the bride still had plenty of time for hair and beauty prep and slipping into her proper wedding gown.
Keen for a fun and memorable big day, today’s couple wanted a venue that could offer an intimate space for their personal ceremony as well as room for a real party, with The Bowdon Rooms in Altrincham, ticking all the boxes.
And here’s some advance warning… ready your new diaries for our next glittering Brides Up North wedding show at The Bowdon Rooms, Sunday 4th November 2018. More details on that later.
With images by Johanna Steward Photography.
laura says: We got engaged on 27th December 2016, in the Lake District during a few days away between Christmas and New Year. We had spent the day relaxing by the fire in the hotel after a lovely big breakfast, then we went for a ten-mile trail run around the lake and up to the waterfalls and finally having lovely meal in a quirky restaurant called The Jumble Room. John proposed in the middle of the road on our walk back to the hotel after our night out, it was completely unexpected, but I was thrilled to say yes.
We set the date for 2nd September 2017. It worked really well as all our friends and family were back from holidays with the kids as they were heading back to school that week, so everyone was able to make it – even one friend who flew from holiday, drove straight from the airport and just made it in time for the vows!
Our chosen venue was The Bowdon Rooms in Altrincham. We knew that we wanted a local venue which had a lovely atmosphere and we didn’t want it to feel like a hotel. Having looked at quite a few venues, including marquees and local wedding barns, The Bowdon Rooms felt like the right choice. We had been to friend’s wedding party there previously and had such a brilliant evening. The ballroom felt perfect and it even had a stage for a band.
Our ceremony, which was at 4.30pm, was held upstairs in The Bowdon Rooms and it was lovely. John and I wrote our own vows and my son walked me down the aisle before giving me away – he did a fantastic job. It felt really personal and a few people had tears in their eyes – I guess it was intimate even though we had 90 guests.
In terms of the colour scheme, I didn’t want the usual ‘wedding colours’ of pastels, creams and the like. I love bright vibrant colours, so chose purple, teal and emerald green. They are all colours that are found in peacock feathers, which I love, so we incorporated feathers into the wedding décor.
I initially considered not having a traditional wedding dress, but quickly decided that I did want to look like a ‘bride’. I visited a few wedding boutiques and had almost given up finding ‘the dress’ when we went to Puure in my home village of Lymm. I chose my gown because I loved the embellishment detailing, which I thought suited the vintage style of the venue. Angie and the girls in Puure are absolutely the best at helping to choose a dress that suits you and were so lovely right through the fitting process too.
To accessorise my gown, I wore some very special hand-painted shoes by a fantastic artist called Kat from Electric Heels. They are covered in images that mean something to my husband and I; the places we are from, places we have visited together, our hobbies etc. They are unique and I now have them displayed in my living room.
December 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We’re starting the week with a show-stopper of a real wedding – seriously, this is a beauty!
Though Victoria and Jay chose to keep the styling simple and had no set theme, the venue and decorative elements are pure luxury and class.
We adore the big blousy floral arrangements and bouquets, not to mention Victoria’s dress – wow! The back detail in particular has us all the heart eyes!
The grandest of reception rooms, a choice menu for the wedding breakfast and Molton Brown goodies as favours cements this as a big day we would have loved to have been on the guest list for.
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
victoria says: We got engaged on Easter Sunday. I had been away in the USA for two weeks with my family, and on the night I got back Jake wanted to take me out. We went for a meal and caught up on the past few weeks. Then, after the meal Jake produced an Easter egg and written on the egg were the words “will you marry me?” and he produced the ring. There were plenty of tears! Although we had been together since I was 16, it was still a surprise.
We set the date for 19th August 2017 as we wanted a summer wedding.
Our chosen venue was Thornton Manor, Cheshire. Jake had come across the venue through work about five years ago and we always said that when we got married we would take a look. It was always going to be the one, it is beautiful!
We didn’t have a set theme but we knew we wanted to keep things simple and elegant, so we chose ivory flowers, neutral colours and lots of candles. This also kept things light for summer and was in keeping with the classy feel of the venue.
When it came to my dress, I knew I wanted a slim fit design that was a little different. In the end I had to pick between my dress and classic strapless dress but chose mine because it was that bit different. I got it from The Confetti Box in Manchester. I had so many compliments on the day of people saying how unique it was.
I hired The Dollz for my bridal hair and makeup, who did a great job and my makeup lasted well into the night.
Jake’s and the groomsmen’s suit were from Whitfield & Ward, in Wilmslow.
We found the perfect bridesmaid dresses in One Fine Day Bridal, in Preston.
November 29th, 2017 | Julia Braime
If you follow us over on our busy Instagram feed, you’ll know that we’ve been in Southern Iceland as guests of the superb Hotel Ranga for the past few days, chasing the sun and spotting the Northern Lights. Full blog service resumes this evening and we’re bringing you a real wedding that’s as pretty as it is personal (and more on our trip later!).
Opting for a traditional church ceremony and a reception at the stunning Delamere Manor in Cheshire, Steph and Darren chose to keep the focus firmly on them as a couple, deciding against a set wedding theme and instead including meaningful personal touches along the way. One of our favourite being the CD favours – who doesn’t love a good compilation?
We’re also totally in love with Steph’s b-e-a-utiful big day look, the picture of elegance in her lace detailed dress, pink Jimmy Choos and gorgeous natural bridal makeup. We also have to give kudos to Darren, who looks super dapper in his navy suit, demonstrating that’s it’s not just the bride who can bring style to a wedding. Darren is doing it for the grooms!
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
steph says: We got engaged in Seville. It was part of a trip to Spain for my 30th birthday. The day started extremely gloomy and wet so we decided to head for a long lunch. We had bellies full of paella and enjoyed our favourite white wine; Marques de Riscal. We went back to the hotel to check into our room to discover our cases had been misplaced. Little did I know the ring was inside the case! After a couple of frantic conversations Darren had with reception our luggage came up to the room and Darren hid the ring box in his back pocket. During a walk of the city, we approached “The Fountain of Love” and began posing for pictures, then Darren got down on one knee – I was speechless!
Our wedding was on Saturday 2nd September 2017. We didn’t have a specific date in mind but the more we thought about it, September was a month we both loved.
We got married at St Bartholomew’s Church in Wilmslow, followed by a reception at Delamere Manor, Cuddington. The church is in my hometown and so this was non-negotiable. For the reception, we wanted a venue none of our friends had got married at and somewhere that screamed Darren and Steph. When we viewed Delamere Manor we fell in love and knew it was the place for us.
We didn’t have a set theme for the wedding, we just wanted a day that would reflect us.
Our colour scheme was silver, and pastel colours such as pink, lavender and baby blue.
I wore a Justin Alexander dress from Puure Bridal in Lymm. I also had a cathedral-length veil (my mum’s request). Puure was the last shop we went to and the place I got my dress. Angie there was so helpful from start to finish. She put me in something I wouldn’t dream of picking, but after a couple of tweaks it really was the perfect dress for the day. My shoes were Lucy from Jimmy Choo, and something I have worn again since.
Georgina Wild did the bridal party’s hair and Maxine Smith did makeup. Georgina is a good friend, and unbelievable hairdresser. She kept me cool, calm and collected during the morning and was versatile with both short and long hair for me, my sister and mum. Maxine was also a fantastic addition to the morning of the wedding – and a great, natural make-up artist.
November 22nd, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
Downton Abbey may no longer keep us warm on a Sunday night, but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped daydreaming about slipping into one of Lady Mary’s elegant gowns and gliding down the wide staircase to be greeted at the bottom by an eligible suitor and served an endless feast of delectable delights from silver platters. So, when we read the brief for a ‘High Society & Countryside Pursuits’ styled shoot, we had no trouble at all finding ourselves right there in the moment
Coordinated by accessory designer Heidi Reid of Glorious Tiaras, who won The Wedding Industry Awards Best Bridal Accessory Designer in the North West award in 2016 and 2017, and who supplied the hair accessories for the shoot, enjoy a little escapism as we take you back to the turn of the 20th century and to one of the most beautiful, privately owned country homes in Cheshire.
With images by Zapimage.
heidi says: Our working title for this shoot was ‘High Society & Countryside Pursuits’ luxe bridal inspiration. The history of the shoot’s venue, Adlington Hall, as a hunting lodge frequented by the region’s landed gentry inspired us to plan a shoot that had all the luxe elements you would imagine finding at a society dinner at Adlington Hall at the turn of the 20th century. I wanted the styling to reflect the historic location and picked suppliers I felt had the vision and creativity to understand the brief and the skill to bring that vision to life.
I’ve lived just ten minutes away from Adlington Hall for 20 years and, until recently, had never visited. My first trip to the country house and its gardens blew me away! I couldn’t believe that this hidden gem wasn’t as well-known as other Cheshire stately homes, with its intriguing history (Handel is rumoured to have stayed here and played the 17th century organ in the main hall), its beautiful formal and wild gardens, unique features such as an imposing mythological mural that takes up a full wall, huge marble fireplaces and a panelled ceiling featuring the Coats of Arms of other prominent Cheshire families. I knew that Adlington Hall was licensed for weddings and started to speak to other local wedding suppliers who I knew could use their talents and enthusiasm to develop a styled wedding shoot with me.
Our aim for this shoot was to showcase Adlington Hall and Hunting Lodge as a unique venue with a rich heritage, whilst offering inspiration to couples wanting to embrace their love of the countryside and the outdoors in a more luxurious, less bohemian way. The rich décor of the interior of Adlington Hall inspired our colour palette of coppers, berries and deep fern-like greens, and featured in everything from the bespoke wedding stationery by Nina Thomas Studio and the Kaye Hannabuss-designed Harris Tweed waistcoat and bow tie, to the bridal make-up by Gemma of Dollface Makeup Studio, the floral arrangements by The Flower House, and our elegant three-tiered wedding cake from For Goodness Cake. Love Lights the Way supplied the beautiful blossom lights.
We wanted to use elements that gave a nod to a turn of the 20th century, Agatha Christie-esque gathering of Cheshire’s landed gentry. To achieve this, we used coloured Edwardian glassware and vintage gold-plated cutlery supplied and styled by Maud and Mabel’s, a show-stopping copper candelabra festooned with a floral arrangement of pheasant feathers, fragrant roses, berry-toned hellebores and plum-coloured peonies to create the feel of a society gathering designed to impress. The feathers, the tweed, gundogs Fern and Elisa, and Secret, the beautiful Welsh Cob, were a must for our high society & countryside pursuits theme, and we absolutely loved involving these adorable animals in our shoot. We couldn’t quite believe what patient, willing models they were! Special thanks must go to Kim Wardle-Payler for bringing her horse and Labrador along for the day.
Working with Helen of 7th Heaven Bridal we chose a luxe Charmeuse silk Justin Alexander gown, with flutter sleeves and a low back that we felt epitomised understated period glamour. Makeup artist Gemma worked to our palette of berries and coppers, opting for a strong lip colour to complement warm copper tones on the bride’s eyes. The hair was styled by Amy at Hushlounge with a deep side parting and elegant waves to give the look of understated glamour a lá 1940’s movie stars, like Ava Gardner.
November 16th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
Yes, we have a dress crush. Today’s bride Arlene wanted to look like a Bond girl on her big day and we reckon she absolutely nailed it in a gorgeous, backless Rosa Clará number with a graceful silhouette and divine vintage detailing on the shoulders and down the back. We also have garden envy, because the grounds at today’s venue, Arley Hall, would give any National Trust property a run for its money: deep borders bursting with colour and texture are juxtaposed with crisp topiary and rich red brickwork. The photographs offer up a visual feast.
In a colour scheme of navy and dusky pink, Arlene and Simon went for an elegant, regal feel with a touch of femininity to complement the glorious Elizabethan-style Victorian country house. With its opulent interiors, who could fail to feel a little bit Bond-esque?
With images by Cris Matthews Photography.
arlene says: Simon proposed to me at home on August bank holiday in 2015, after more than six years together with bubbles, Bob Marley playing and a display of photographs of us on our fabulous holidays. We then went to Gaucho in Manchester for steak dinner and he had organised a surprise party with our close friends at Epernay. The next day I was whisked off to Moddershall Oaks for an overnight spa break.
We got married on Saturday 29th July 2017. We wanted a summer day and a weekend, as we have a lot of teacher friends. My dad flew over from Panama to walk me down the aisle and the date also worked well for my 11-year-old stepsister and her school holidays in Panama.
Our chosen venue was Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire. We had our ceremony in the drawing room, the wedding breakfast in the gallery and the reception at Olympia Barn on site. I visited the venue one afternoon with some friends, as it’s open to visitors. I fell in love instantly – butterflies! Simon loved it as much as I did. Arlene driving up Arley Road to marry at Arley Hall – it was meant to be!
We also liked the venue as it was local and had a good mix of rooms to use and stunning gardens. Plus, I liked the idea of having a more informal area for the evening guests to party.
I wanted a fairly simple, elegant, classy style for the day. The venue is so opulent that I didn’t want to take away from/spoil its beauty. We would definitely recommend the venue: as well as it being utterly gorgeous, the staff were professional and friendly and we felt reassured the day would run smoothly.
My gown was from Knutsford Wedding Gallery. I am quite particular with my style and wanted a unique dress. After searching bridal websites and magazines, I decided I liked Rosa Clará gowns and booked an appointment as I knew they were stocked there. I was very keen on a backless, slinky dress. My spec was I wanted to look and feel like a Bond girl! When I tried it on first I knew it was the one, but that didn’t stop me from trying on 29 more dresses. Milking the moment!
My hair and makeup artist was Make-up By Sophie, based in Oldham. She followed my Bond girl spec –my bridesmaids and I felt very glam.
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!
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