Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

vintage vibes. a relaxed, family-focused wedding at the great john street hotel – elisa & mick

January 31st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (48)

Today’s real wedding is brimming with gorgeousness. Elisa and Mick didn’t worry about a theme and put all of their energy instead into planning a big day that was light on formality but big on love, laidback vibes and, err, Minions. Yes, that’s right – Minions.

Bride Elisa also gets the award for one of the most beautiful statements about weddings on this blog ever: “I thought I’d cry on my wedding day, but I smiled all day long.” Sob. Get the tissues at the ready, readers…

With images by Toni Darcy.

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (4)

elisa says: We got engaged on 4th April 2015 in the Lake District. We spent a long weekend staying at the luxury Lake House hotel. After a private spa trail in the afternoon, Mick proposed in traditional romantic style on a rowing boat on the lake. I’m not a huge fan of boats but it was very romantic regardless!

We got married on Saturday 12th September. We chose the date around the availability of the venue and because we wanted to get married quite quickly. My mum was very ill, and passed away a few months after the wedding.

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (58)

We got married at the Great John Street Hotel. We chose it because we wanted something a little different, we love the centre of Manchester and we thought the terrace would be fantastic if we managed to get a sunny day – which, amazingly, we did! Overall, we liked the chilled out atmosphere of the hotel, the décor, the fact our family and friends could stay at the hotel, and the fact that we could make the day our own.

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (31)

I remember being quite scared by the ‘so what’s your theme?’ question. We really wanted our wedding to be relaxed and fun, particularly because so many children were attending, so we threw in the odd Minion along with floral dresses for the bridesmaids!

We didn’t have a particular colour scheme – a decision made because of the relaxed feel we wanted to create. I wanted the bridesmaid dresses to be a bit different and not just one colour, so picked out a beautiful floral fabric and had them made.

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (47)

With my own dress, I chose the first one that the lady in the shop suggested I try on. No other dress could live up to it, even though I tried more on. I remember feeling shocked at how amazing I felt I looked in a wedding dress – she clearly knew how her to do her job well! I loved the fact that it wasn’t ‘big’, I loved the beautiful lace and the small train which had a slightly vintage feel to it.

The bridal shop I visited was Blush in Uppermill, Saddleworth where we live; it was important to me that we supported our local businesses even though we’d chosen the centre of Manchester for the venue.

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oh my gorgeous. pronovias for a chic city wedding in liverpool – niamh & pete

January 17th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Chic City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Starwinkle Photography (36)

Today’s real wedding bride, Niamh, says that her only theme for her and Pete’s city centre wedding in Liverpool was “things we like”.

All we can say here at Bride Up North is that it’s a theme that really works. Led by instinct, Niamh opted for a hint of 1920s decadence with her beaded bridesmaid dresses and a timeless clean-cut Pronovias gown with statement red lips.

Liverpool is a significant place for this gorgeous couple, and their photographs make it clear why – see how many stunning views, famous landmarks and cheeky references to this fabulous city you can spot.

With images by Starwinkle Photography.

A Chic City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Starwinkle Photography (32)

niamh says: We got engaged in July 2013 in London. I‘d just turned 27 and Pete and I returned to London (where we used to live) for a night out with friends to celebrate. The following morning we set off for a day out in the glorious sunshine. We put together an amazing picnic and headed up to Primrose Hill, just the two of us. True to form, I fell asleep in the sunshine on the hill, and when I awoke we had to hotfoot it to Piccadilly for dinner – Pete had booked a table at Sketch, a fave restaurant, as a birthday treat.

En route, he suggested we take a detour to Green Park; another old haunt from our London days.  It was a really warm evening and the park was beginning to empty out – there were just a few people left catching the last rays.  We walked together under the trees; it was really beautiful, no one else around, and the light dappled through the trees. The next bit is all a blur…

Pete is one of the sweetest boys you will ever meet, not one for big ostentatious gestures. He’s incredibly thoughtful and charmingly clumsy and cries at X Factor.  As he walked along he began to tell me how much he loved me – he dropped down onto two knees, asked me to marry him, fumbled with his backpack and then produced the most beautiful antique sapphire and diamond ring.

It was so surreal, I couldn’t believe what was happening. All I remember was dropping to the floor with him, both of us on two knees and saying “are you you really doing this?”, and both of us teary-eyed kneeling in the grass. Then Pete said, “you haven’t said yes or no,” and I shouted “yes!”

It was perfect.  I had absolutely no idea and the element of surprise was the best thing.  It was so simple, no big fancy holiday, just a summer day out with my favourite person.

A Chic City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Starwinkle Photography (33)

We were married on Saturday 25th April 2015.  We ‘d always talked about having a spring wedding. We decided to get married in Liverpool where we met at Uni in 2006, as it’s a city that means a lot to both of us and our families. So that was it – we went back to where it all began.

We both lived on Catharine Street at Uni in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter.  Although we wanted a fun, different, quirky personalised wedding, it was also important to us to have all of our family and friends there and to say our vows in church.  There’s a small church on Catharine St, St Phillip Neri. We explained to the priest that we loved Liverpool and it was where we’d met and he agreed to marry us!

A Chic City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Starwinkle Photography (23)

My mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer two months after we got engaged so in the months leading up to the wedding there were ups and downs. Thankfully, she was there on the day and was in great spirits.  For so many reasons, our wedding was just the most incredible celebration of life, love and happiness. She made it her goal to be there and she was, she was well and it was brilliant. Some of mine and many others’ lasting memories of her will be her having the time of her life at our wedding.

We chose Oh Me Oh My as the venue for the reception. From the moment we stepped foot inside we fell in love with it.  The stunning high ceilings, natural light, quirky vintage furniture, fairy-lit balcony, incredible roof garden and beautiful views of Liverpool’s iconic Liver Building: it was just perfect. Cafe by day and events/exhibition venue by evening/weekend.  Then we met Katie, who was so warm and friendly and her enthusiasm and passion for the venue was palpable. She listened to our ideas and suggested amazing ones of her own and made us feel as if anything was possible.

A Chic City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Starwinkle Photography (30)

Our only theme was ‘things we like’. We both really like old things and bright colours, so there was a bit of that! We decorated the venue with brightly coloured pom poms and tassle garlands.  I made a polaroid timeline with pictures of me and Pete which were punctuated by coloured paper doilies.

We hired a candyfloss and popcorn stand as the canapes with reception drinks. We also had pick and mix and personalised football accumulators bets as the favours.

We didn’t really have an ‘official’ colour scheme, either.  The bridesmaids wore silvery grey, the boys wore navy and then venue was filled with bright coloured and gold paper decorations fairy and candle light. The reception venue was a big blank space, with high ceilings and beautiful natural light and carefully picked quirky pieces.  We decided to embrace this and add more of our own.

We filled a glass cabinet with our parents and grandparents’ wedding photos. We decorated the balcony as a ‘games area’, including Subbuteo, a game called ‘Pucket’ and DIY photo booth. I made bunting out of Trivial pursuit cards to mark out the games area as Pete is a massive trivia/useless information fan!

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autumn amour. maggie sottero for a chic urban wedding in leeds – rachel & robin

December 2nd, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s chic city real wedding simply exudes elegance. There’s a stunning Maggie Sottero dress, a gorgeous autumnal colour palette and an organic, woodland theme.

There was also plenty of personality to this stylish wedding too, with nods to the groom’s love of owls, Cockney rhyming slang table names and a real ale special brew called ‘Old Legover’!

With images by Olivia Brabbs Photography

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rachel says: Robin’s proposal centred around an owl theme. He has a particular passion for owls – since he was a child he collected all things owl. It has turned into a running joke that owls are literally taking over our house, so it was no surprise that they featured quite heavily in Robin’s proposal. Robin went to great lengths to set out an owl-themed treasure hunt, which went on for a few weeks (!) and, led by a number of clues, I found Robin under the ‘Owl of Justice’ – a carved owl that can be found at the back of the Civic Hall in Leeds, where Robin proposed and we later got married.

Our wedding date was the 9th September 2016. We both love autumn and wanted a natural earthy wedding. The weather also always seems to be lovely in Leeds in September, so we were lucky to secure the date when we did.

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We got married in the Banqueting Hall in the Civic Hall in Leeds city centre. We chose the venue for obvious reasons (hello gold owls!) but we were both so stunned at how beautiful the hall is once you get inside. We even decided to have a drinks reception after the ceremony to make the most of our time there. We really wanted to have our reception somewhere close to where we got married and settled on the Devonshire Hall in Headingley, to have our party; an amazingly grand hall of residence, which forms part of the University of Leeds. We loved the blank canvas of the dining hall and the design of the building is so lovely with the cloisters and outside space. We both got a great feel from the place when we visited so it was an easy decision.

In terms of theme, we’re big lovers of the great outdoors and our vision was for a woodland/autumnal/natural style of wedding. If we’d been brave enough (and my mum had allowed us!) we’d have had our reception in the woods, so this was a good compromise.

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Our colour scheme was navy and gold and, fitting with the autumnal theme, the groomsmen wore navy suits with a variety of dark gold and burnt orange accessories. My sister is a personal stylist so she helped choose the bridesmaid dresses, and navy is a gorgeous universal colour that looks great on everyone. I’m also a big fan of a bit of sparkle so gold shoes were a must!

If I’m honest, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to the wedding dress shopping – I had no idea what I wanted and felt a bit nervous about it all. When I walked into the first bridal shop (the wonderful Bridal Boutique in Baildon) I knew that the first dress that I saw would be the one I’d wear. I tried on all sorts of different styles anyway – and was surprised by how much I loved the huge princess dresses! But I settled for the first dress: Vidonia by Maggie Sottero. Such gorgeous detailing and I felt so comfortable in it, I knew it had to be the one. I cancelled my next booking!

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Robin and the groomsmen wore three-piece navy Ted Baker suits, which we hired from Moss Bros. We got the bowties and ties, made from knitted English silk, from the website Swagger & Swoon.

The bridesmaids wore A-line navy dresses from Coast and they each chose their own gold shoes. As a thank you for being my best women, I got them all engraved bangles made by the fab Libby Jubb Jewellery. They had a little birdy charm on them which matched the turtle doves I wore in my hair. Hannah De Ath and Annabel Bailey also did a fantastic job with hair and make-up and made my mum, bridesmaids and me feel like a million dollars.

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diary date: the biscuit factory wedding open day

November 18th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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If you’re searching for a cool city wedding venue that offers a blank canvas with character, exceptional service and amazing food, then we might just be able to help. For our fabulous Sponsor,  The Biscuit Factory, is opening its doors to brides and grooms-to-be this month for its bi-annual wedding open day.

Located in the heart of Newcastle’s cultural quarter, the unique gallery, which has been shortlisted for “Best City Venue” in this year’s UK Wedding Awards, will be hosting its open day on Saturday 26th November, between 12pm and 4pm.

Images by Sean Elliott Photography.

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The event is an opportunity to see the gallery’s dedicated events space, The Biscuit Room, laid out for a ceremony and reception.

Throughout the afternoon, The Biscuit Factory’s events team will be on hand to talk to guests, one-to-one, about the venue’s unique portfolio of services, The Wedding Collection. Guests can also enjoy a selection of handpicked canapés as a little taster of the in-house catering, accompanied by a complimentary glass of fizz.

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Speaking about the event, Tom Gostling, events manager at The Biscuit Factory comments as follows.

tom says: We’re holding our open day on a weekend for the very first time and hope that this new format will enable even more couples to come along and see our beautiful venue first-hand. We love meeting with couples face-to-face, to discuss how we can help make their dream wedding become a reality.

Located within the Ouseburn valley, The Biscuit Factory is housed within a former Victorian warehouse, providing weddings with an inspiring, culturally-infused backdrop that’s characterised by contemporary art collections, wooden beams and original brickwork. Its purpose-built Biscuit Room is one of the largest in the city, accommodating up to 150 guests for a ceremony and 250 seated guests for a meal and party.

For more information about the wedding open day, visit The Biscuit Factory events website at www.biscuitfactoryevents.com/our-news. To book your free space, RSVP to events@thebiscuitfactory.com

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lilac & lilies. a super stylish wedding at the leeds club – rachel & tom

October 28th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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When we first set eyes on today’s real wedding we were totally blown away by the bride’s cool and individual style, perfectly showcasing how to make your big day attire your own.

Wearing an insanely beautiful lilac, bias-cut silk dress, Rachel exudes Hollywood glamour by the bucket load, completing her look with a sparking birdcage veil headpiece and shower style bouquet. We love!

As the couple’s stylish choice of venue didn’t have a marriage license, Rachel and Tom made things legal with a ceremony at Leeds Town Hall a few days previous, and yes, they looked flippin’ gorgeous for that bit too!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Mark Newton Photography.

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rachel says: We got engaged on 29th February 2012, at the Bier Keller in Leeds. We’d randomly gone there for a drink after. After a discussion about wedding and such things, I decided to ask Tom to marry me, we had been together for five years after all. He said yes and we both got quite emotional. I was lucky enough to inherit my grandmother’s engagement ring so we didn’t have to buy one.

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We had our legal ceremony at Leeds Town Hall on 18th May 2015, as unfortunately the venue we wanted to have our wedding at didn’t have a licence to marry us there. We then had a blessing at The Leeds Club on 29th May, as part of our wedding celebrations. I always remember walking past the venue as a child and seeing the business men in the wing back chairs and being really fascinated as to what was inside.

We chose lilac and sage green for the wedding scheme, as we wanted colours that would complement the venue and that also matched my dress.

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I was lucky enough to have two wedding dresses as we had the two ceremonies. For the town hall I wore head to toe Vivienne Westwood. For the blessing, I was fortunate enough to have a bespoke dress from the amazing Glory Days, in York. My dress was based on 1940’s Hollywood glamour and the dresses worn by Joan Crawford. It was lilac bias cut silk, with an open back and fishtail train. It was the best dress ever.

Tom wore a suit from River Island for the town hall and then a three-piece 60’s style, royal blue suit from Topman for the blessing.

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Both my bridesmaids have very different styles, so I asked them to wear their favourite dresses. Jules made her own 1940’s style cocktail dress and Suzanne wore a floor-length maxi dress from Seraphina.

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gorgeous grandeur. pops of copper for a wedding at left bank leeds – courtney & vicky

September 1st, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (25)

There are several elements to today’s real wedding that evoke the word “wow”.

The fabulously planned surprise proposal for one (excellent work Courtney), not to mention the a-maz-ing reception venue, and then the fact that the couple managed to get one of their favourite bands to travel all the way from California to play at their wedding. Impressed? Us too!

Now let’s start by hearing that proposal story…

With images by Yolande De Vries Photography.

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (52)

courtney says: I proposed to Vicky at Cottage Road Cinema in Leeds on 4th May 2014. Cottage Rd Cinema was one of the places we went to on our first dates and is only a two minute walk from our house.

On the day of the proposal Vicky had planned to meet a group of friends in Headingley for lunch and a few drinks as a belated birthday celebration. I had suggested the two of us go to a student short film festival at Cottage Road Cinema before lunch and told her I had pre booked tickets. When we got to the cinema we were given a glass of prosecco each (we were told it was complimentary with ticket as part of the student film festival). When we got in the previews were already on and we stumbled to a few seats in the back.

When the first “short film” came on it was set to the song Skinnybones by Sea of Bees, which always reminds us of when we first got together. So instantly Vicky knew I was up to something but had no idea it was more than just a film. Part way through the very short film (it was probably only about 20 seconds of footage) text appeared that said, Victoria Hayhurst I adore you. Let’s be together forever? I then pulled out the ring I had designed as a cork popped from a bottle of bubbly, the lights went up and all our friends jumped up and yelled surprise! Vicky burst into tears, when she saw everyone and then again when she saw the ring and realised what was going on. We all had more prosecco, chatted and then walked to the restaurant we were all booked into for lunch and had a lovely day.

Exactly a year later Vicky surprised me on a walk through the woods by giving me my engagement ring at a spot that means a lot to us.

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (68)

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (77)

We got married on 27th June 2015, at Leeds Town Hall because I love the building and Leeds is where we met. The reception was held at Left Bank Leeds which is an amazing Grade II* listed former church building near to where Vicky lived as a student and where I rented when I first moved to Leeds. Before we found the venue I had wanted a grand but dilapidated building, with prosecco and exquisite canapés being served and a jazz band playing. Left Bank Leeds wasn’t dilapidated but still had the sense of grandeur I desired.

Our colour scheme was black, white, grey and navy with accents of copper. I chose these because they’re my favourite colours (I don’t really do colour!). I didn’t set a dress code but asked that everyone wore black, white, grey or navy. Everyone looks good in those colours and copper was a colour of the moment and added a bit of contrast for an extra pop.

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (100)

In terms of my wedding attire, I made my own skirt and drafted the pattern myself. It was a full length, high waited skirt with wide waste band, concealed back zip and side pockets (for my phone) in a French navy silk from Joel & Son Fabrics in London. I chose the fabric with my best friends Vicky, Franny and Alexa. I wore the skirt with a customised white sleeveless top that I bought at Cos when I was in Berlin with Franny and Alexa.

Vicky wore French navy wide legged trousers from Crombie and a white asymmetrical sleeveless top by Vivienne Westwood.

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