September 5th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There’s a definite sense of occasion at today’s real wedding between Freya and Daniel, as Daniel dons his RAF uniform and his colleagues unleash their ceremonial swords to welcome the groom to the town hall and add pomp to the procession once the couple are married. But it’s not just the chaps turning heads on the streets of Chester: as Freya passes the shoppers and bystanders on her way to meet Daniel, she is resplendent in her voluminous gold gown with its plunging neckline, delicate leaf design and the acres of skirt carried by her bridesmaid entourage.
There is possibly the most challenging table plan we’ve ever seen at this wedding, which surely caused guests a few giggles after a couple of glasses of ‘pimp your prosecco’ as they tried to crack the code of where they were to sit!
We love the floral theme, with a giant flower chandelier taking pride of place in the centre of the marquee, dripping with blooms and echoing the country vibe. The fact that guests could glamp on site is a huge tick for a rustic wedding and brings a real sense of fun to the occasion.
But perhaps the part we love the most about this wedding is the huge effort some of the guests made to put on a mini production of The Greatest Showman, spending months learning dance moves and surprising the bride and groom with a rendition in flashmob style. What fun to watch! Tell us more, Freya…
With images by Jess Yarwood.
freya says: We got engaged on a country walk in Dan’s home town of Sowerby Bridge. With a view overlooking the valley, Dan got down on one knee with his brother and partner there to capture the moment forever. It was a complete shock and I don’t think either of us managed to get any words out for a few moments! Dan got out the words “Will you marry me?” and with a “yes” from me and the ring on my finger, we were off to the pub for a celebratory drink!
We got married on 18th May 2018. Our ceremony was in Chester Town Hall. With Dan in uniform (he is a squadron leader in the RAF), we felt the Town Hall suited the occasion and I loved the idea of getting married in Chester town centre.
The reception venue was an easy choice, as my family runs the wedding venue Kings Acre, which is on the outskirts of Chester in the small village of Saughall. It is a beautiful, friendly and relaxed venue. We had the freedom to do so much, having a marquee to decorate and lots of outdoor space! The bar is so cute and there are plenty of amazing spots to have the perfect pictures. With a yurt village and camping, a lot of our guests stayed on site. We would wholeheartedly recommend Kings Acre to other couples. It is a wonderful place to get married: everything runs so smoothly, the venue is beautiful and it all leads to a relaxed day where everyone has fun. You can do so much with the space that you can really make it into the vision you dreamed of for your special day!
When it came to planning our wedding day, I totally checked out the Brides Up North website numerous times to get inspiration from real weddings and to find suppliers. I love looking at what everyone else does for getting great ideas that work. The theme took a while to develop but I got there after hours on Pinterest and then I found the bridesmaids’ dresses and it had to be green and gold for the colour scheme! I wanted loads of flowers – not just on the tables, as I wanted to have interesting floral pieces with bursts of colour.
My dress was by Morilee. I knew as soon as a tried it on that it was one, after nearly 70 dresses! I went big: the dress was huge and I went for a light gold colour, which matched the theme perfectly. I bought the dress from a small independent store in Gloucester called By Design. They were excellent. I felt like I was in safe hands and my dress fit perfectly on the day.
August 20th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
When your parents have a garden as stunning as today’s real wedding bride Katy’s, what ya gonna do? Throw the most gorgeous country-themed wedding reception that is tailored perfectly to your tastes of course! After one or two nightmares during the planning stages – think putting your coffee on the roof of your car while you search for your keys and driving off with it still in situ and then multiply this by around a hundred! – Katy and Greg totally pulled off a dreamy wedding day to be proud of, with a little help from their family and friends.
We’re loving all the super pretty country garden style touches; from gorgeous seasonal blooms to the delicate pompoms and cute bunting suspended from the marquee ceiling. Katy and Greg went to town with the personalisation, too – including shot glasses as favours, beer mat save the dates and a customised cake topper – there’s no mistaking who the happy couple are!
And we can’t hand the floor over to Katy without a mention of her amazing Jenny Packham gown – so elegant and snapped up in a sample sale for a fraction of the price. Serious dress goals! Over to you, Katy…
With images by Suzy Wimbourne Photography.
katy says: We bought our first house last July in West Didsbury, and Greg proposed moments after we stepped through the door when we got the keys – I was caught completely off guard! The engagement ring was his grandma’s, which made it even more special.
We got married on 9th June 2018, at Chester Town Hall. I’d never been inside Chester Town Hall but knew it was a lovely historic building from the outside. When we saw the ceremony room, it had so much detail that we knew it was perfect for what we needed. We would highly recommend it. For such a beautiful building, it was surprisingly cheap to get married there. Our registrar, Honora Crisp, was also really lovely.
We had the reception in a marquee at my parents’ house in Manley, near Chester. My parents have a beautiful garden, but I’d never thought of having our wedding there until I bumped into someone I used to work with who told me she had just had her wedding in her parents’ garden, which gave me the idea. We knew from the start we wanted our wedding to be really relaxed and there were a few non-negotiables to make this happen, such as a free bar and sharing plates of food on the tables!
In terms of a theme, I guess I would describe the style as ‘country’. I did watercolour flowers and hand-drawn writing for the invitations and signage on the day. We have also been told that our wedding theme was ‘alcohol’ (!) as our save the dates were beer mats, we had a free bar, vodka bottles on the tables, and we all drank Greg’s sugar-free prosecco (he runs a sugar-free prosecco business on the side). I also used corks for the name holders and menu holders, and Mr & Mrs corks for the cake decoration!
For the colour scheme, pink and purple are my favourite colours, so I knew it was going to be one of those for my bridesmaids’ dresses. With the wedding being in June, we were going to have peonies as our flowers and I thought a dusty pink would look lovely with them. As navy complements pink really well and Greg tends to wear a lot of navy anyway, that was an easy decision for the suits! We had lots of other pastel colours, with blues, purples and yellows on our signage and decorations, such as the bunting.
For my dress, I’d done tonnes of research on Pinterest and narrowed down shops in the North West that would fit my budget. I was on a mission to get something lace and A-line. We live around the corner from The White Closet in West Didsbury, but I’d initially dismissed them as they were out of my price range. I saw a post on Facebook on the Friday night saying they’d had a cancellation for their sample sale that weekend and I managed to get that slot! As it was so last minute, my mum and bridesmaids couldn’t make it but fortunately my friend Claire was able to come along. I remember walking in and thinking none of the dresses would suit me. Claire took a dress of the rails that was quite sparkly that I’d normally dismiss but I tried one on and absolutely fell in love with it. I can’t believe I had that ‘dress moment’ when Claire and I both cried! I think I was in shock that it was the opposite of what I’d had in mind, but it made me feel amazing. The dress was Carrie (with ivory beads) by Jenny Packham and I managed to get it for a fraction of the price in the sample sale, so it was still within my budget!
May 4th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Today’s talented featured couple, Kate and Anton, are in the entertainment biz, which means they had a host of wonderfully talented friends to call upon to add a bit of extra-special magic to their wedding in Chester.
From a friend touring in the stage production of The Wedding Singer, who performed Grow Old With You after the cutting of the cake, to a Disney Cruise Line vocalist belting out a beautiful rendition of At Last during the ceremony, Kate and Anton ensured their celebration was punctuated with meaningful moments created by their close friends.
And, keen not to deflate their guests hopes, they took to the dancefloor to put on a couple of impressive performances of their own. Lights, camera, action…
With images by About Today Photography.
kate says: Anton and I used to work together on the cruise ships; I was a singer and Anton was a dancer. During our contract in November 2016, my mum and stepdad were cruising with us around the Caribbean. We had planned to take them on our favourite excursion to Trafalgar Falls Waterfall on the island of Dominica, which I had completely fallen in love with during our previous contract. Little did I know, Anton had planned a distraction with my mum and, once there, he went off climbing the rocks whilst mum and I swam in a natural pool. I kept trying to get him to join us and thought it was odd that he wouldn’t jump in the water as he normally would. As mum and I got out of the water, he all of a sudden appeared from behind a rock and got down on one knee. The setting was stunning and I was so surprised they’d managed to keep it a secret!
Our wedding date was Thursday 24th August 2017. We chose to have a mid-week wedding during the summer knowing it was a bank holiday weekend. We wanted an outdoor, light feeling to our day, so the summer was the perfect time and we were super lucky with the weather. Also, having it on a Thursday luckily cut costs just a little bit.
When we were planning our wedding, we visited a Brides Up North wedding fair at Chester Grosvenor Hotel, which we really loved. It gave us a lot of ideas and it was great to meet the different suppliers. It was the first one we attended as a couple and I loved getting my ‘bride to be’ sticker!
When it came to the venue, we knew we wanted to stay in one place for the whole day and not have to worry about travel. We came across Pryors Hayes Golf Club in Chester; they were building a new event space and, when we saw the artist’s impressions, we instantly fell in love and knew it was our perfect venue. The venue gave us our dream outdoor ceremony under a pagoda surrounded by beautiful green foliage and the reception area was so beautiful and bright, with wooden beams and exposed brick walls. It was all so new that it really felt like ours. We would highly recommend the venue. Not only is it absolutely stunning but the manager, Richard, and his team did absolutely everything and more for us on the day. From start to finish, Richard was absolutely brilliant.
With regards to a theme, after seeing the venue we decided to keep things very simple and light, especially with it being during the summer. We didn’t want too much of a colour ‘pop’, so chose to go with dusky pinks and to keep the whole theme very homemade and rustic, hand-making most of the decorations, such as the signs and favours. Anton is Ukrainian, so we also incorporated this into our decoration choices and used Polaroid photographs of all the places we had travelled together as decoration and also table names.
January 19th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
We’ve definitely got that Friday feeling as we gear up for our first Luxury Wedding Fair of 2018 at the gorgeous Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire. If any of you North West couples still haven’t got this fabulous event in your diary, take note now – Sunday 21st January, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY, and you can pre-register to attend here.
But before we hop-foot it over there, we’re finishing off a fabulous week on the blog with a gorgeous real wedding that took place over in the North West…
It was love at first sight for today’s couple Ellis and Joe – but we’re talking about when they found their perfect venue rather than their first meeting (although we’re sure that was pretty magical, too!) Oddfellows of Chester brims with style, character and idiosyncratic charm and it’s crystal clear how this laidback couple knew that it would be perfect for their relaxed TV-and-film-inspired wedding.
Here at Brides Up North HQ we can’t get enough of that rich green and purple colour scheme – the perfect complement to Ellis’ flaming hair – and the contrast between grungy garage door shots and more whimsical, romantic portraits. We also love the photographer’s range of quirky shots, angles and close-ups, producing a creative and playful – yet still super-stylish – vibe.
Get ready for gorgeousness galore…
With images by Carla Blain Photography.
ellis says: We got engaged on 3rd March 2016, in Las Vegas. Joe took me to the rooftop bar of the Delano hotel, got down on one knee and proposed as we were having drinks overlooking the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip.
We got married on 25th March 2017. There was no particular reason behind the date, just that the venue we loved was available.
We got married at Oddfellows, Chester. As soon as we saw it we loved its relaxed vibe and the fact it was a little different to the average wedding venue, which suited us perfectly.
Our wedding had a film and TV theme. We thought long and hard about what felt most ‘us’ and our love of cinema trips and box sets sprung to mind. Our tables were named after fictional places from our favourite films and shows, we had our favourite childhood characters on top of the cake and various soundtracks playing throughout the day. I even walked down the aisle to a beautiful violin version of the Jurassic Park theme.
Sage green and purple were our main theme colours. I had chosen green as the main theme colour and then Joe found his suit which had a purple back. Since our wedding I’ve been told the colour theme went really well with my hair colouring, which is the exact reason I picked it!
I wore Faith by Diane Harbridge, which I found at her shop in Chester. It was an off-the-shoulder gown which I didn’t really want to try on, but my sister insisted and I’m so glad she did. I had a layer of sequin tulle added to the dress to give it some extra sparkle.
Jemma Stenning from VAIN in Chester, worked her magic with my hair for the day and also for my mum and bridesmaids. I highly recommend VAIN and Jemma – in fact, I won’t let anyone else near my hair. Mandy Rigby was my makeup artist for the day and Jennifer Hughes from The Doll House, Eastham did a fantastic job with the bridesmaids’ makeup.
December 19th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Great news for outdoorsy types: in just the blink of an eye (and the click of a mouse), today’s beauty of a real wedding is going to transport you to a woodland wedding wonderland. We just adore the bride’s unstructured Tatiana-style dress, accessorized effortlessly with undone hair and glorious flower crown, plus to-die-for details, including a rich rose and amethyst colour scheme and homemade herbal teabag favours. No wellies or waterproofs required, readers; just a thirst for some serious pretty!
Although Beth and Chris placed a lot of emphasis on authenticity and honesty, we think their simple backdrop (think fairy lights, bunting and blooms) combined with rustic embellishments (pinecones, conkers and heather) adds up to a whole lot of #wedspo. They got the relaxed, fuss-free celebration they’d dreamed of, but they certainly didn’t compromise on the gorgeousness.
With images by Jess Yarwood Photography.
beth says: We got engaged in April 2016, at the top of Moel Famau. It’s Chris’ favourite mountain to run up and he really wanted to show me the views as I’d never been to the top before. I just thought we were going on a walk and had no idea he would pop the question at the top. Chris was taking loads of photos of me as we climbed but I still didn’t clock on. In fact, I complained a lot of the way up about how much I needed to pee! When we reached the tower at the top, Chris got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes! We then enjoyed a flask of nettle tea looking out over the views.
Our wedding date was 15th September 2017. We wanted an autumn wedding as it’s our favourite season. The 15th just felt right, plus it was a Friday, and we love Fridays!
We got married at Trafford Hall in Chester. We fell in love with it when we had a look around – it was just so quiet and relaxed. We’re both very chilled out people so we wanted a venue that wasn’t too fancy and fitted with our chilled-out theme.
The Hall has chalet accommodation with grass growing on the roofs as well as little gardens, a woodland area and an impressive allotment! It was very us. We‘re very outdoorsy people and we love nature, so we decided to have our ceremony in the woodland, followed by our reception in Trafford Hall’s ballroom.
Unsurprisingly then, our theme was woodland and nature. We regularly go on little adventures exploring the UK, love camping and grow more veggies than we know what to do with on our little allotment. A nature-inspired wedding was therefore a must, and the woodland theme reflected our woodland ceremony. In terms of a colour palette, the wedding was dominated by purples and pinks, inspired by the heather that grows all over Moel Famau. I looked at a lot of blogs (including Brides Up North, of course!) and especially at weddings with nature/boho themes to get inspiration for our day.
My dress was from Needle & Thread. I must have looked at thousands of wedding dresses but none of them were very me; I wanted something floaty, ethereal and relaxed. When I stumbled across Needle & Thread ‘s website I fell in love with every single gown! When I saw my dress I just knew it was the one; I loved all of the embellishments and the floaty sleeves.
January 24th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
We love it when a wedding offers up something alternative and today’s couple certainly hosted a day to remember – complete with guests of the furry variety!
Ruth and Marc exchanged vows in the magnificent St Elphin’s Church in Warrington before hosting their wedding at Chester Zoo. Guests then enjoyed a private safari with the zookeepers, with other highlights including a trip on a London Routemaster bus, afternoon tea and a special performance from the choir that first brought the couple together.
Opting for a pretty pastel palette, this wedding combines classic touches with the unconventional. Here are all the dreamy details…
With images by Jack Knight.
ruth says: We got engaged on Monday 14 December 2015 on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We were on holiday in Disneyland at the time and had gone to Paris for the day. After soaking up the culture in the Louvre, visiting the Christmas markets and enjoying some lovely food, we went up the Tower that evening to enjoy the spectacular view of Paris at night. I can remember looking at Marc on the way up and thinking he looked really nervous – which was odd because he isn’t particularly scared of heights. As we were looking out at the beautiful twinkling lights I heard Marc saying my name behind me. I turned around and there he was on one knee! It was all very romantic!
We got married on Tuesday 30th August 2016. We wanted a date that was in the summer holidays as I am a teacher and so are lots of my friends.
We tied the knot at St Elphin’s Church in Warrington, which is a truly spectacular church. I lived just round the corner when I was growing up and used to love listening to the bells. I always hoped I’d get married there!
Our reception took place at Oakfield Manor at Chester Zoo. As soon as we began looking for a venue we knew this was the one for us – we didn’t even look anywhere else! There are so many reasons why we loved this venue: it is a beautiful building with beautiful surroundings, it was budget friendly and incredibly flexible, and it’s something a bit different. We loved that we were able to have a private safari once the zoo closed, and our guests loved it, too. And even better, all the money went back into the charity so we were helping the zoo’s conservation efforts too whilst having the most amazing day!
We didn’t have a them, but just put together a day which reflected us. I made a lot of things myself, and some friends and family made things for us too, so the whole wedding had a slightly handmade, rustic feel.
We chose pastels for our colour scheme because neither one of us wanted to choose one specific colour. I loved this choice because it gave me more freedom; provided everything was a pastel shade – it was ok! No stressing about finding things that matched an exact shade.
I chose a White Rose dress from Wife to Be in Warrington. The staff there are amazing and so lovely. I went along with my mum expecting to just have a look and try a few styles but ended up finding ‘the one’. It was just perfect for me. I knew I had to have it when my mum started crying, which then made me cry – the shop assistant gave us all a group hug as she got caught up in the emotion too! When I went for my first fitting, the dress fit absolutely perfectly – not a single alteration was needed. It was definitely MY dress!
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