Charlotte Balbier

our love story: sarah & dave

May 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A City Engagement in Leeds (c) Jenny Maden Photography (16)

Sometimes things are just meant to be – and judging by how today’s couple got together we’d say it was written in the stars for these two.

Taking place in the urban surroundings of Leeds city centre, husband and wife-to-be Dave and Sarah, wanted their pre-wedding shoot, which they are sharing with us today, to be cool, edgy and fun. Given all the giggles, smiles and laughter, it looks like their photographer Jenny, nailed the brief.

With images by Jenny Maden Photography.

A City Engagement in Leeds (c) Jenny Maden Photography (12)

sarah says: Dave proposed while we were in Ibiza at a beautiful restaurant called Sa Capella, which we return to each year! It was a complete surprise to me, and very emotional, as I’d always said after losing my dad I couldn’t do it without him walking me down the aisle.

We plan to marry on my dad’s birthday this year at Leeds Town Hall and will then move onto The Liquorist for the reception. We don’t want lots of fuss – just a cool event to round together everyone we love and who has had a positive impact on our time together.

A City Engagement in Leeds (c) Jenny Maden Photography (11)

We first met 16 years ago in a club that neither of us have ever been back to! I was with the girls, hitting the dancefloor – and that’s where I met Dave. We laughed and chatted most of the night – my first words to him were “Ooo you’re a mover”! We never kissed or exchanged numbers. However, after that night he had a work placement in Leeds (the only time he’s ever worked in Leeds city centre) and he walked past Toni & Guy where I worked at the time, hoping to catch me. He saw me through the window, laughing with a client and sent me a calla lily with a note asking to see me again.

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city lights. roses & gypsophila for a neutrals based wedding in manchester – caroline & matthew

May 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding in Manchester (c) Zen Photographic (26)

This afternoon’s real wedding is all about simplicity, elegance and class!

Taking place in Manchester, Caroline and Matthew chose the city’s stunning town hall for their ceremony followed by a reception at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel.

Keen to stick to a simple and neutral palette, Caroline chose beautiful white and green flowers and mink bridesmaid dresses to complement her stunning ball-gown style dress, which made her look every inch a princess!

With images by our talented Brides Up North Sponsor Zen Photographic.

An Elegant Wedding in Manchester (c) Zen Photographic (13)

caroline says: We got engaged while on holiday in Mexico. One evening, just before it went dark, we were walking along the beach to dinner, it was a beautiful evening and there was no one around. Matthew asked me to move a large palm tree branch out of the way to take a picture. I moved it to reveal the words ‘marry me?’ written in sand on top of a large leaf, I turned around to find Matthew on one knee with the ring in his hand. When we returned back to the hotel our room had been filled with rose petals, champagne and chocolates. It was perfect!

An Elegant Wedding in Manchester (c) Zen Photographic (27)

We got married on 8th August 2015 at Manchester Town Hall. The building is so beautiful we fell in love with it as soon as we went inside. We lived together for the first time in the city centre so it felt like a special place to get married. The wedding breakfast and reception were held at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel just a stone’s throw away from the town hall. We loved the look and feel of the hotel and the history of all the musicians who had performed there when it was the Free Trade Hall.

We didn’t have a theme as such, we wanted to keep in style with the elegance of the Halle Suite at the Radisson so chose white flowers and lots of candles. Our colour scheme was a mink colour for the bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s cravats. We wanted everything to be neutral.

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city slick. maggie sottero for an eclectic wedding in salford – leanne & ashley

February 29th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Eclectic Wedding In Salford (c) Clara Cooper Photography (33)

It’s Monday morning and we’re ready and raring to bring you yet another week of fabulous inspiration here on the blog, kicking off with this gorgeous autumnal wedding at Salford Quays, in Manchester.

Having found their perfect venue in the form of On the 7th, an exclusive members club featuring modern décor and vintage touches, Leanne and Ashley decided to follow suit in their simple styling by mixing the old with the new.

They also decided to incorporate beautiful tones of rich purples and gorgeous berry hues as a nod to the season, which makes an elegant alternative to the traditional red and orange tones, usually picked for autumn weddings.

We just love the opulent blooms, Leanne’s sparkling princess gown and the men’s checked shirt and bow tie combos – looking good guys!

With images by Clara Cooper Photography and second shooter Paul Williams.

An Eclectic Wedding In Salford (c) Clara Cooper Photography (22)

leanne says: We got engaged at Grill on the Alley, our favourite restaurant in Manchester on 14th July 2013. It was where we had our first date and as we celebrated three years since the day we got together Ash asked me to marry him.

We had agreed to exchange gifts so I’d got him the aftershave he’d ran out of but he said that the gift he had ordered me was late. It was a Sunday and he was sure it would arrive on the Monday. I thought nothing of it and we had a great day in the sunshine at Media City sitting on the deck chairs they have there in the sun. Later on we went for our meal and Ash had ordered champagne to the table for when we arrived and his explanation was that three years was a big deal.

After we ate our meal Ash decided to tell me that he had something to tell me….he’d been lying to me. I wasn’t sure what to expect but after what felt like a lifetime he explained he had my present with him and that he hadn’t ordered something. He asked me to close my eyes and when I opened them Ash was down on one knee presenting me with the ring. I asked him whether he was joking and then cried for what felt like a long time until Ash finally told me I hadn’t answered him.

An Eclectic Wedding In Salford (c) Clara Cooper Photography (27)

Our wedding day was 19th September 2015. We got married at On the 7th, which is a member’s bar that’s part of the Eclectic Hotel Group. It’s on Media City in Salford. When I visited the venue it was perfect; modern in décor with some vintage touches. I loved the old style armchairs and the black and white tiled floor in the pantry. Ash and I love going out for food and drink in Manchester and On the 7th is exactly the type of place we would go to for a date night.

When it came to styling the wedding, we tried to mix the old – candelabra’s, book cases, hessian table runners and chair ties – with the new – modern furniture, minimal flowers, our outfits etc.

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full steam ahead. a blue & white city wedding in the heart of manchester – lisa & richard

September 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Manchester Town Hall Wedding by Julie Fortune Photography (56)

Today’s real wedding couple enjoyed a rather public engagement on board the Orient Express sister train. Agreeing to the proposal, Lisa and beau Richard then went full steam into planning their city centre Manchester wedding.

Picking the iconic town hall in which to say their ‘I dos’, the bride, groom and their guests then enjoyed a relaxed reception with lots of pretty blue and white touches before the evening party got underway.

Controversially (but cool we say), Lisa chose to wear a pair of sparkling Nike high top wedges underneath her princess gown to ensure she could comfortably dance the night away!

With images by Jules Fortune Photography.

A Manchester Town Hall Wedding by Julie Fortune Photography (11)

lisa says: We got engaged on the Orient Express sister train. Richard had booked the Valentine’s meal on board the train, which took us on a round trip from Manchester to Wigan. He got down on one knee and ripped off his shirt to reveal a t-shirt with him on it with his thumbs up and the words ‘Marry Me’ on it. When I said yes, the carriage cheered and a brass band played Congratulations.

A Manchester Town Hall Wedding by Julie Fortune Photography (6)

We set the date for 27th July 2015, hoping for sunny weather, which is exactly what we got.

Our chosen venue was Manchester Town Hall was the ceremony, simply because it is such a beautiful building. The reception meanwhile was at 256 Wilmslow Road.

A Manchester Town Hall Wedding by Julie Fortune Photography (1)

We didn’t have a theme as such but we knew that after the town hall we would want to relax and party with our friends and family.

The colour scheme was baby blue and white. There was no particular reason for this choice other than that it would work well with the colour we chose for the bridesmaid dresses.

A Manchester Town Hall Wedding by Julie Fortune Photography (17)

My dress was very much the princess, fairy tale look. I just wanted to be a princess for the day. I chose it from a bridal show at Manchester Central.

Richard wore a navy blue suit from Moss Bros. The best men also wore navy blue suits, but they were purchased on their own.

My lovely bridesmaids looked elegant in long blue dresses which we found in Debenhams.

A Manchester Town Hall Wedding by Julie Fortune Photography (20)

Jules Fortune was our photographer and we would definitely recommend her. She did us proud with our pictures and made us feel so relaxed on our special day. The photographs were exactly how we hoped.

A Manchester Town Hall Wedding by Julie Fortune Photography (30)

To fit in with the colour scheme mine and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were all made up of cream roses and blue thistles. To create a striking centrepiece at the venue we used white roses, blue thistles and allium flowers which were hung upside down from the ceiling. All the flowers were provided by Karen at Leon Van-Berkel in Warrington.A Manchester Town Hall Wedding by Julie Fortune Photography (27)

Other décor included two large tigers made from polystyrene from Tony at 3dsetco in the entrance at the reception venue and a poly picture frame with ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ written at the bottom from Ian Axon at Poly Logo. Sue at Hire Requirements provided the tables and chairs and Celebration Chaircovers styled up the venue in terms of chair covers and sashes.

As favours we gave jam jars and put a personal message inside for each of our guests, along with a few sweets.

Jay Tailor at Vintage Cupcake Tower created our wonderful cutting cake and cupcakes, which again fitted in with the blue and white colour scheme.

A Manchester Town Hall Wedding by Julie Fortune Photography (42)

To keep our guests entertained we hired a band called Twisted. We had seen them at the Parklife Festival and we just knew that they would get everybody on the dance floor – and they did!

A Manchester Town Hall Wedding by Julie Fortune Photography (62)

For our honeymoon, we jetted off to Barcelona. It was the first time we had been and it was brilliant! Everything is in one place – the city, the beach and so many amazing restaurants.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to wear trainers if your dress is big a cover them. I did this and I was so comfortable all day, plus I get to wear them again, rather than having a white/cream pair of shoes stuck in the wardrobe. Richard’s tip to other grooms would be not to get too drunk and to enjoy every minute of the day!

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as you like it. house of mooshki for a cool city centre wedding in Liverpool – rhia & stew

July 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (21)

Though straying from tradition, we’ve often mentioned on the blog how short wedding dresses can be the perfect option for certain types of weddings, including those that take place in the city centre. A hitched-up hemline means it’s easier for brides tying the knot in an urban location to get around as they move between venues either on foot, or in this case by cab, without the need to manoeuvre an awkward meringue.

For her pretty Liverpool wedding, bride Rhia chose a stunning tea length dress from House of Mooshki, which also served as her ‘something blue’. Meanwhile to bring the rest of their big day together Rhia and Stew simply chose bits and pieces they liked while keeping in mind their purple and turquoise colour scheme.

The result is an incredibly well styled wedding, from the gorgeous attire to the fabulous blooms and that beautifully decorated cheese cake. Excellent work guys!

With images by Dan Hough Photography.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (1)

rhia says: We got engaged in 2013 on my birthday, 31st January. Stew proposed just before we were heading out for a special birthday meal, just the two of us. He gave me a card he had made himself – it said ‘marry me’ on the front, and my engagement ring was fastened inside with a ribbon.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (5)

Our wedding was on 15th February 2015. We wanted a winter wedding and liked the fact that the date would be easy to remember: 15.02.15.

We got married at St. George’s Hall in Liverpool as we wanted somewhere in the city centre. Once we had seen its beautiful Concert Room, we knew that was the venue for us. Our reception was held at Oh Me Oh My, also in the city centre.

There was no wedding theme as such, we just picked things we liked and wanted things to be colourful and fun. The colour scheme was easy to decide on – purple and turquoise – my favourite colours!

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (4)

I chose a tea length dress in duck egg blue, with an ivory overlay. It was from House of Mooshki. When I got engaged I couldn’t picture myself in a traditional dress and didn’t want anything too over-the-top. I found my dress online, but didn’t think I would end up getting it. But once I had tried it on – I knew I had to have it.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (10)

Stew wore a dark blue suit from Reiss as he wanted something he could wear again. He looked super-smart with his waistcoat and a brightly coloured Paul Smith tie.

My bridesmaid wore a purple dress and the best man wore a grey suit. The flower girls were kitted out in Monsoon dresses.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (13)

We decided we didn’t need special transport and instead took taxis around Liverpool. It was kind of cool arriving at my wedding in a black cab!

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (14)

Dan Hough was our photographer and he was amazing. He was very friendly – lots of our guests commented on that. He made sure we got some fabulous shots but fitted in around us. He was very patient as we were caught up with everything going on and long photo sessions were not a priority, but somehow Dan still managed to really capture the whole day perfectly. We would definitely recommend him – he was fab!

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (17)

My flowers were purple. They were created by Blossom and Dill. I left it quite late to sort out and being the day after Valentine’s lots of florists were charging hefty fees. Sophie from Blossom and Dill did an amazing job – my flowers were absolutely beautiful and loads of people complemented them.

Sophie also created jam jar arrangements of flowers to decorate our tables – perfect for the pretty and relaxed look we were going for. We had lots of candles and rainbow-coloured bunting to brighten everything up.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (19)

Stew made all our wedding stationary, which had a quirky look to it – almost like a child’s party invitation with googly eyes. I loved them!

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (36)

We didn’t really have favours, though we did screen print origami paper with our names and the wedding date. Guests were given instructions to make paper cranes (quite tricky origami) we made a few examples to help people along.

We decided to have a cheese cake from Liverpool Cheese Company. We didn’t fancy more sweet stuff after dessert and the cheese went down a storm with our homemade chutneys.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (39)

For the wedding breakfast we decided on a relaxed sharing menu – one of Oh Me Oh My’s specialities. We had a mezze starter, and then sharing bowls of stew for the main, followed up by a trio of desserts.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (48)

To keep guests entertained, we hired a band recommended by Oh Me Oh My called New Power Soul Club. We had seen them setting up and doing sound checks at one of our meetings there. They were brilliant and had all our guests up dancing.

We decided to make a weekend of our celebration, inviting family and friends to join us for dinner and drinks the day before the wedding. We were really glad we did this as it was brilliant to catch up with everyone, and once we had left our house the day before, that was the end of feeling stressed and the start of having fun.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (51)

We would definitely recommend Oh Me Oh My to other wedding couples. It looked fantastic, and the staff looked after every last little thing all day, ensuring everything went smoothly. To top it off, we were able to go up on the roof and enjoy fab views, as well as sneaking in another photo opportunity.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (52)

I couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day – I loved all of it! In fact the whole weekend was amazing!

Following the wedding we had a few days in the Lake District and Scotland, staying in some lovely hotels. We are booked to go to Brazil on our main honeymoon this summer and can’t wait!

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (55)

My top tips to other Brides Up North would be to prioritise the bits that are most important to you and just do what you want to – don’t feel tied down by other people’s expectations. We just wanted a big party with our friends and family and we loved everything about our day.

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made in manchester. a gypsophila inspired wedding in the city – emma & chris

May 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (25)

Sometimes it can be difficult for couples to choose a theme for their wedding and can end up over thinking it. But today’s bride Emma kept things simple by styling her wedding around her favourite flower, gypsophila.

The loved-up couple then picked one of their favourite building in Manchester to act as the backdrop to the celebrations, the city’s stunning town hall.

The combined result is a grand occasion that’s beautiful but without being too fussy. Emma we think we hit the nail on the head.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (9)

emma says: We got engaged in March 2013 on top of a mountain in the Lake District. Chris’ intention was that there’d be stunning views, but there was a blizzard with almost zero visibility. In the end we were just glad to make it down in one piece.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (7)

The date of our wedding was 25th October 2014. A summer wedding wasn’t important to us because our venue and plans dictated that almost all of our time would be indoors. We felt that more friends and family would find it easier to attend this time of you when summer holidays are over and people’s diaries are less full.

We picked Manchester Town Hall as our venue. It’s one of our favourite buildings and its location is convenient to guests from near and far. Those who live locally have many travel options with ample parking, and there are lots of accommodation options for those from further afield. The Great Hall where we had the reception is a spectacular space.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (23)

The colour scheme was based around my favourite flower which is gypsophila, so I kept everything very neutral. I opted for a very light gold colour for the bridesmaid’s dress and the male members of the bridal party as well as for some detailing at the reception. Gypsophila was chosen due to the simplicity of the flower and for its bright, clean, natural colours.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (30)

I went for a fitted, strapless lace detailed Diane Harbridge dress with a lace shrug from Cheadle Brides.

The groom, best man, bride’s father, groom’s father and ushers wore navy Prince Edward suits from Slaters with cream waistcoats and gold ruches.

My bridesmaid’s dress was from Agape in Altrincham and was a one-shoulder champagne colour long chiffon dress.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (33)

Lee Brown was our photographer – we highly recommend him. Our friends and family, including some amateur photography enthusiasts, have said they are the best wedding photos they’ve seen. We’re absolutely delighted with the results. Lee’s unobtrusive style meant that no-one felt interrupted by his presence and he did everything he could to make us feel at ease and relaxed throughout the course of our wedding day.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (34)

Blossom Flowers in Chorlton provided mine and my bridesmaid’s posies, the corsages, and button-holes. They also provided flowers for dressing the service room and the table centrepieces, top-table dressing, and chair covers for the reception.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (37)

Favours were vintage candy including pear-drops, aniseed twists, and lemon sherbets. There was also a candy-table with large jars of the same sweets and bags for guests to take candy home for their children.

I made my own cake, which was four tiers covered in ivory icing with white lace edible detailing topped with sugar craft roses. I had fruit, carrot and vanilla sponge.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (43)

To entertain our guests we hired Dave Jones disco to provide a DJ service and had live music from the Cover Cats. I corresponded with a few DJs and Dave gave me the most confidence in his ability to ensure stress-free and smooth-running whilst playing appropriate music. We looked at a number of bands on-line and loved the sound of the Cover Cats and that they had a female vocalist. They did a brilliant job.

Other suppliers that we used for our wedding day and would recommend are Ric Clements of Kegs & Co who supplied draught ale with draught serving system at a low price. Paul Hill of Uplighting Hire who provided good value for money was a pleasure to deal with.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (42)

We thoroughly enjoyed the entire day. As the bride and groom, we were very nervous until after the speeches so managed to relax as the day/evening went on.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (51)

We went to Bali on our honeymoon which is a superb destination -great weather, beautiful tropical beaches, interesting cultural attractions, wonderful hotels and villas and lovely people.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be pick a venue where the organiser or venue co-ordinator will be helpful, reliable, and ease the pressure on you.  Also delegate as much as possible, but only to people you can trust to do what you ask, when you ask.

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