September 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
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.
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.
We set the date for 27th July 2015, hoping for sunny weather, which is exactly what we got.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
July 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
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.
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.
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!
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.
My bridesmaid wore a purple dress and the best man wore a grey suit. The flower girls were kitted out in Monsoon dresses.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
May 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January 7th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
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 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.
Billie by 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 by Stephanie Allin
Olivia by Stephanie Allin
Eternal by 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 by Jenny Packham
Rio by Jenny Packham
Noa by Jenny Packham
February 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 5th, 2013 | Julia Braime
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.
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!
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.
The wedding had an English rose, vintage, romantic feel with a lilac colour base.
I carried a big bouquet of Peony, Sweet Pea, Hydrangea, Stocks and freesia – I wanted the wild flower look.
We kept it simple at the venue and used lots of candles and low lighting to create a romantic setting.
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.
Our cutting cake was Victoria Sponge and we also had cupcakes in Cherry Bakewell, Lemon Meringue & Chocolate.
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!
After the wedding we honeymooned at Loch Long in Scotland. We rented a cottage overlooking the Loch.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax & enjoy the day as it goes too quickly!
Congratulations Lucy & Darren!
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