Brides Up North

lookbook: city sleek.

January 7th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Mae & detachable skirt - Stephanie Allin

Mae by Stephanie Allin

We were recently Highly Commended in the Wedding Blog Awards 2014′s “Best City Wedding Blog” category, and chic cosmopolitan styling is one of our favourite trends for wedding day fashion, like, ever.  goodbye meringues! A stylish city ceremony gives brides-to-be the opportunity to rock sleek attire that varies from the wedding norm.

Moving around busy urban areas and climbing staircases of grand city halls and hotels calls for a slim line, fluid number that isn’t going to slow you down or trip you up. And we’re not just talking dresses; a city centre do pushes the style boundaries wide open, inviting fashion forward brides to consider a two-piece skirt and top design, or even an all in jumpsuit, Solange Knowles style.

Those preferring to stick to tradition with a dress can always hitch up their hemline to free their feet ready for stepping out through bustling streets.

Pia - Monique Lhuillier

Pia by Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier has some particularly striking options for city brides, including stylish mini-length dresses and sophisticated two-piece designs.

Billie is a particular favourite of mine, not that I would be brave enough to work its cut-away silhouette. But for those that are, its gorgeous crisscross crop top and elegant illusion pencil skirt scream high fashion. Meanwhile, for those planning a more vintage affair, the pretty embroidered Charlotte top and ballerina skirt cover a little more flesh and are still easy to get around in.

Lhuillier’s short-length dresses are also incredibly swoon-worthy options, particularly the Pia and simple yet striking Zelda designs.

Pia - Monique Lhuillier

Billie by Monique Lhuillier

Zelda - Monique Lhuillier

Zelda by Monique Lhuillier

The princess of prettiness, Stephanie Allin boasts several slim line dresses within her collections that would most definitely stand out in a city scene.

Chicago, Eternal, Ingrid and Olivia are all stunning examples of city simplicity at its best, but for those wanting a more structured design there is the Ashlea or even Mae, which has a detachable skirt, to give brides two equally wonderful looks.

The pièce de résistance has to be Allin’s Garbo jumpsuit as she dares to go where few other designers would. The fabulous sweet-heart neckline and wide-leg design also has an optional lace shrug for that extra piece of prettiness and cover-up where required.

Chicago  - Stephanie Allin

Chicago by Stephanie Allin

Olivia  - Stephanie Allin

Olivia by Stephanie Allin

Eternal  - Stephanie Allin

Eternal by Stephanie Allin

Garbo  - Stephanie Allin

Garbo by Stephanie Allin

Finally, I’d encourage city brides to consider the svetle, sleek lines of Suzanne Neville’s Novello Collection (click here to see a preview on Brides Up North), the fab and flirty frocks in Charlotte Balbier’s Iscoyd Park Collection (click here) or some of Sassi Holford’s cute designs as big day contenders.

For city brides wanting to bring a bit of bling to their big day, well, you can’t go wrong with a beaded Jenny Packham number, can you?

Simone - Jenny Packham

Simone by Jenny Packham

Rio-Jenny-Packham

Rio by Jenny Packham

Noa-Jenny-Packham

Noa by Jenny Packham

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Mr & Mrs Perfect. A Real Wedding In Manchester – Gemma & Nigel

February 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Stella Photography

Yes, that really is today’s bride and groom’s married name – Mr & Mrs Perfect.  Don’t you love it.  No pressure or anything..!  Anyway, it turns out that their gorgeous Real Wedding in Manchester was pretty much that – a chic and simple and prettily perfect winter city wedding. 

With images by Stella Photography.

Stella Photography

Gemma says:  Nigel asked me to marry him on 1st December 2012, on Llanmadoc beach in Wales, on a weekend away. It was a beautiful isolated beach on a lovely crisp winter’s day.

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

We were married on 23rd November 2013.  We had the ceremony at Manchester Town Hall, and the reception at The Place Apartment Hotel, a converted cotton warehouse in central Manchester. 

Stella Photography

We wanted everything to be indoors, firstly because it is Manchester, so it was more than likely to rain, and secondly because of the time of year. We had looked at country locations, but decided that as we had so many guests coming not only from over this country but also from abroad, the city centre would be best for travel from the airport, train or the motorway. Also, we live very close to the city centre, so going in to see our wedding coordinator at the venue, and meeting local suppliers was so much easier than if we had picked somewhere far away.  Manchester Town Hall is a stunning old building, with high stained glass windows so we felt it added to the occasion. The Place is beautifully restored, maintaining many original features such as red brick walls and steel columns. 

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Our theme was simplicity.  The venue for the reception made it seem urban chic and we also teamed this with a vintage feel with the flower displays – very natural, in small glass bottles and jars – and hand-tied favours with luggage tag labels.

The wedding was mainly white and ivory, however my husband had decided that he wanted to wear his kilt, in the family tradition, so I picked a dark forest green for the bridesmaids to match this. 

Stella Photography#

My dress was from The Staite Rooms in Huddersfield. It was a Maggie Sottero gown (Geneva), fitted to the waist and slightly over the hips, and had a long train. The top layer was a delicate lace with floral adornments, and a a band in light mocha under the bust, which made it look quite different to any I had seen before. I loved my long train!  The dress was strapless which I didn’t think I would like when trying on dresses, but it fit beautifully with a lace-up back.

My bridesmaids wore full length forest green chiffon dresses from Fairytale Occasions in Bury. The groomsmen wore kilts in a similar style to my husband, our fathers wore black suits to match the kilt jackets. These were all hired from Slaters.

I had a fantastic hair & makeup artist come to make up myself, my bridesmaids, my mother and mother-in-law at the hotel, Jodie Smith, also based in Manchester.

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

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Country Rose, City Chic. A Leap Year Proposal & Last Minute Plans For A Pretty Real Wedding In Leeds – Lucy & Darren

November 5th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Lissa Alexandra Photography

This afternoon we are fusing country wedding pretty with city glamour as we join Lucy and Darren for their gorgeous Leeds City Centre Real Wedding.  After a major setback (read on) which derailed Lucy’s original plans, this beautiful bride came back fighting to create a celebration that was even better than she’d imagined.

With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lucy says:  We got engaged on 29th February 2012 – it was the leap year so I took the opportunity to propose to him!

I proposed at home, he came home from work to a candlelit bath, the table was set with candles, I had prepared a three course home cooked meal – I bought his wedding ring, put it in his desert bowl & popped the question!

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

We got married on 29th June 2013 at Leeds Town Hall then the Malmaison Hotel

We originally booked Anthony’s Piazza Restaurant in the Corn Exchange, but on Friday 21st June (one week before the wedding) they sent me an email to say they were closing the business & could no longer do our ‘event’! So, in a mad panic a very distressed bride to be went in to the Malmaison Hotel in Leeds who said very calmly not to panic and they would sort everything out for me! They took a copy of the menu that Anthony’s were going to produce for us and copied it. They upgraded me to the Suite and the staff were so helpful, I didn’t feel like my wedding collapsed the week before. The wedding ended up being 100% better than what was originally booked. 

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

The wedding had an English rose, vintage, romantic feel with a lilac colour base.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

My tea length dress was by Sottero & Midgley at The Bridal Boutique in Guiseley.  The guys wore indigo blue three piece suits from M&S with lilac ties. 

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

I carried a big bouquet of Peony, Sweet Pea, Hydrangea, Stocks and freesia – I wanted the wild flower look.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

We kept it simple at the venue and used lots of candles and low lighting to create a romantic setting.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

We bought everyone a Lotto ticket for a favour, held in a brown card holder with a Good Luck verse, tied with brown string and dotted vintage disposable cameras around the tables for our guests to take some snaps.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Our cutting cake was Victoria Sponge and we also had cupcakes in Cherry Bakewell, Lemon Meringue & Chocolate.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

My favourite part of the day was seeing all the evening guests arrive & dancing to the band, twirling to the music in my wedding dress!

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

After the wedding we honeymooned at Loch Long in Scotland.  We rented a cottage overlooking the Loch. 

Lissa Alexandra Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax & enjoy the day as it goes too quickly!

Lissa Alexandra Photography

 

Congratulations Lucy & Darren!

Fancy sharing your own Real Wedding with Brides Up North?  Here’s how.  We’d love to hear from you.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Lissa Alexandra Photography 

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Love Is All You Need! A Flirty Frock For A Real Wedding At Liverpool’s Hard Day’s Night Hotel – Angela & Christopher

June 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Karen Julia

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It seems like the blog’s gone all musical all of a sudden!  Last week I featured a beautiful celebration (click here to catch up if you missed it) inspired by the music of Bob Dylan, and today we join Angela and Christopher in Liverpool for their big day with more than a hint of influence from the City’s fab four.

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With swishy skirts, a quirky and colourful venue and a seriously wow wedding cake this fun filled Real Wedding with images by Karen Julia certainly hits all the right notes.

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Ok.  Enough of the terrible musical puns, let’s take it away… a one, two, three…

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Angela says:  Chris asked me to marry him on Christmas day in 2011.  He wrapped up four gifts – something old (a vintage brooch) something new (a handbag) something borrowed (his favourite book) and something blue (Armani perfume), then got down on one knee with my beautiful ring!

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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We tied the knot on 27th April 2013 at The Hard Day’s Night Hotel in Liverpool (the Beatles themed hotel).  We had stayed there on my 30th birthday and loved it, and wanted a quirky venue that our guests would remember. 

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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We opted for a colour scheme of midnight blue and ivory as the venue is very colourful.  I chose a tea length Justin Alexander dress  and a birdcage headpiece from Cheshire Brides in Frodsham.  The service at the boutique was excellent and they really went above and beyond. 

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Karen Julia

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I carried a bouquet of ivory roses, freesias and carnations with diamante sparkle by Dovedale Florist in Mossley Hill, Liverpool. 

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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My bridesmaids wore long midnight blue gowns by Ebony Rose and Chris and his groomsmen wore gorgeous dark blue suits from Groom in Warrington. 

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Karen Julia

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My favourite part of the day was walking into the “Two Of Us” suite for the ceremony and seeing Chris trying desperately not to cry. 

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Michelle Halewood Hair & Beauty did my make up and hair.  She was fabulous and made me feel really glamorous.

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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We chose hand made favours in the shape of hearts with our guests’ names and the date of the wedding on them, from Alayna Ellis Ceramics.

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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We chose a six tier “All You Need Is Love” wedding cake by Arty Cakes in Ruthin, North Wales.  We had lots of comments about our cake that included lots of details that were all very personal to us. 

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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We set up a “diary room” in the evening with www.diaryroom.com for guests to leave us messages. 

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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We chose Karen Julia as our photographer, she was amazing and we would recommend her highly. 

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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Karen Julia

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In the evening our band, The Warning Tones, kept the dance floor full all night.  They even learned our first dance, which was “Gravity” by Embrace. 

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Karen Julia

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We still haven’t been on our honeymoon!  We are going to book something special once all the excitement has calmed down. 

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Karen Julia

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what you want to do!  Everyone will have their opinions but at the end of the day it’s your wedding!

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Karen Julia

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Congratulations Angela & Christopher!

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Fancy seeing your own big day on the wedding blog?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Karen Julia

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Bobby Dazzler: A Chic Manchester Real Wedding Inspired By The Music Of Bob Dylan – Faye & Mark

June 6th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Sam Clayton Photography

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The Real Wedding gorgeous just keeps coming today.  I figured one chic celebration deserves another, so this afternoon we join Faye and Mark for their stunning Manchester city centre wedding with delectable detailing and melodic undertones running throughout.

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Sent to me by the couple and Hayley at Weddings Vintage, featuring some of my very favourite North West suppliers and with images by Sam Clayton Photography, this one is really rather lovely…

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Be inspired!

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Faye says:  Mark & I met in 1999 whilst working in a restaurant in Manchester called Simply Heathcotes. Our story is a lengthy one characterised by a couple of break ups, chance meetings at festivals and reunions initiated by my regular winning of competitions on our favourite radio station 6music! Manchester & music were always going to feature in our wedding day.

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Mark planned a very secret (and typically extravagant!) proposal which involved for unexpected days off work for me, a surprise trip to Rome and a Bob Dylan concert in November 2011. Mark proposed on the morning of the concert before a trip to the Vatican. It was a trip to remember and frankly, quite a lot to take in! Mark had commissioned a sapphire engagement ring from RA Designer Jewellery at Manchester Arts and Crafts Centre which was beautiful and a perfect fit.

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Sam Clayton Photography

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We got married on 27th December 2012. 

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I am very much a Manchester girl with Mark & I enjoying living in the City Centre since 2006. We were only ever going to have a Manchester City Centre Wedding!

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We chose to get married at St Ann’s Church. St Ann’s is a church we visit often and my mum & I have become particularly fond of it over the years. It was 300 years old in 2012 and for the occasion, it had some restorative building work. It has never looked so lovely.

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It offered the traditional service Mark was looking for with a City Centre location and a lovely Rector, Nigel Ashworth who made us feel very welcome and delivered a very personal address on the wedding day. You would never guess it was in Manchester from looking at the pictures. It looks distinctly Roman which was very apt!

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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We held the reception at the Great John Street Hotel. Living in Manchester City Centre, and specifically Castlefield we have spent a lot of time there with friends and close family. We both knew that it was where we wanted to hold the reception straight away.

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We wanted an intimate, easy and laidback occasion and the Great John Street suited this perfectly whilst offering a “home from home” feel due to it being somewhere we had spent so much time at!

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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It was really important for us to reflect our relationship in the day itself.

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The constant thread through our relationship over the last 14 years has been our love of music and specifically, Bob Dylan. Once we decided on that everything started to fall into place –we were able to use some of our most loved lyrics in the invitation and reflect some of our favourite songs & albums in the day.

Thankfully we found Hayley from Weddings Vintage who was able to bring it all to life! We loved working on this with her. She was absolutely brilliant and made everything so easy.

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We were also able to put our photographs from our pre-wedding shoot to good use to achieve what we have always wanted – our own albums!

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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I wore a Cymbeline dress called Farandole which I bought from The Wedding Shop in Alderley Edge.

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I have to admit that I found dress shopping quite stressful. I was so relieved when I found a dress that I could actually see myself wearing and being comfortable in. It was really important for me to feel like myself and to look like me, albeit a more glamorous version!

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My headpiece was by Hermione Harbutt. I contacted her after seeing her work in a Bridal magazine. I absolutely loved it! It was perfect and suited my hairstyle really well.

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My shoes were Tilly by Rachel Simpson. They allowed me just enough of a heel to be the same height as Mark and were super comfy – both very important considerations!

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My mum Joyce & bridesmaid, Angela were both an amazing support to me. I will always treasure the memories of our “post dress shopping” coffees! Nobody tells you this but the time you get to spend with your loved ones in the build-up to your wedding really is special.

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One of my favourite pictures is of Angela and my mum laughing over dinner on the day. Angela has definitely become Daughter No.2 in the past year! The time together in the run up also brings with it lots of opportunities for tears; I think we must have got all the emotion out there early! We still congratulate each other on how we held it together on the morning of the wedding.

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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We chose a True Bride bridesmaid dress from Blush Bridal in Whitehaven. Rachael & Susan were so helpful and they have a really beautiful shop. Angela looked amazing!

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Mark & his Best Man Alex chose suits by Kenneth Cole from House of Fraser with shirts by Duchamp and silk ties by Canali. They both looked really sharp and handsome.

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton was our photographer. We are so pleased with the pictures which capture the day perfectly. Sam immediately “got” us and she was lovely to work with. She made everyone at ease. She is so likeable and everyone warmed to her. Sam was introduced to us by the photographer we had originally booked but who had cancelled. It was fate and meant to be; Sam was brilliant!

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Manchester looks amazing in the photographs.

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This means so much as we have recently relocated to Cambridge – it’s lovely to look back on our home town looking so great. We can’t wait to put them up in our new house.

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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We chose to travel in a Morris Minor called Daisy on the day. Mark’s first car was a Morris Minor and his dad has always owned classic cars. It was the natural choice!

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Geraldine and Ken from Regent Classics were a joy and pleasure to work with and Daisy was lovely. Mark & I loved our journey from church to Great John Street Hotel with Ken through the busy streets of Manchester!

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Mark & I met Pete Churchman when he was playing at a restaurant in the Northern Quarter in Manchester. We knew that his style would suit the day and Pete (with a little help from Mark!) did a great job of getting everyone on the dance floor later in the evening.

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sian at The Flower Lounge in Didsbury did a fantastic job and was able to bring our (very vague!) ideas to life. We both wanted something informal and simple. Sian suggested anemones, gypsophila and ivory freesia and everything came together beautifully with some relaxed decoration at the hotel and simple candles at St Ann’s.

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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There are so many favourite parts to the day… walking down the aisle hand in hand with my mum, seeing Mark for the first time, the lovely service, Nigel’s kind words and the boys’ speeches.

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I think I’ll always remember the moments Mark & I had together though; the chat over a whisky sour on the balcony, our carousel ride (great idea Sam!), the glass of fizz on the journey to the hotel. It was slowly dawning on us that we were married and we both felt very happy.

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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After the wedding we returned to Rome for New Year’s Eve before going to the Maldives. It was an unreal holiday. Truly amazing!

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax and enjoy it!  Plan your day around you, your relationship and what means the most to both of you. You can’t go wrong.

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Congratulations Faye & Mark!

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Would you like to see your beautiful big day on these pages?  Here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Sam Clayton Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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