Charlotte Balbier

love locks. lilac and lace for a stunning celebration at adlington hall – sarah & ross

March 26th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (66)

Avid Brides Up North reader Sarah’s wedding to her new husband Ross was a truly gorgeous affair. From her lace Victoria Jane dress (oh, how we love a gown with beautiful back detailing) to the stately setting and vintage transport, everything about the big day is stunning.

We also absolutely adore the theme for this fabulous North West wedding – love is the key.

So join us as we unlock and relive Sarah and Ross’ big day.

With images by James Tracey Photography and Daniel Lloyd Photography.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (2)

sarah says: We got engaged on 14th August 2013. This was the day before my birthday and Ross had surprised me with a night at Peckforton Castle in Tarporley. Whilst he was checking in, they told him there would be a tour of the hotel before dinner. I was more concerned about traipsing around in my heels but Ross managed to persuade me (as he had planned this it was a good job!) The guy showing us round took us all around the hotel, telling us the history which was great. In the grounds of the castle there is a chapel, as we walked in the whole place was filled with candles and looked beautiful. As I was looking around, Ross had gone down on one knee with a beautiful ring. I was so shocked and lost for words he had to ask me three times if it was a yes! We came out to a champagne reception and had the most amazing meal – it was perfect.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

We chose to get married on 15th February 2015. It gave us 18 months to plan which we thought would be about right. We looked at having it on Valentine’s Day but we though guests might want to be on their own that day. Also it means that Ross has to buy me a present for Valentine’s and our anniversary now instead of having a combined one!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (17)

We got married at Adlington Hall & Gardens. We looked at a few venues, as we were having a civil ceremony, we knew we didn’t just want to get married in any old hotel room and none we saw were quite right. We made an appointment to view Adlington Hall and as soon as we walked into The Great Hall we were absolutely blown away by how stunning it was, it was the one! We loved the fact the whole place was ours for the day and we were truly treated like royalty. We also loved the fact we had two different venues in one. The ceremony in The Great Hall and wedding breakfast at the Hunting Lodge. From the very first meeting we had, the whole team were amazing professionals. This gave us confidence that the day would go smoothly. It was perfect!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

We have two children Scarlett, aged eight, and Oscar, aged three, who were our flower girl and page boy at the wedding. Scarlett did a beautiful reading (A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton) at the ceremony which was very special and there were definitely a few tears shed by all. It was lovely to have them involved.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (23)

I came across the quote by Oliver Wendel Holmes – ‘love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness’ – and the whole ‘Love is the Key’ theme was born! I wanted something elegant and vintage that would reflect the history of the venue. Also very romantic with lots of candles, beautiful flowers and pearls.

We chose lilac and ivory as our colour scheme. Purple is my favourite colour and this fitted in nicely for the vintage elegance we were trying to achieve.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (25)

I knew I wanted a fitted, mermaid style lace dress but I wanted something at the back of the dress that made it different. As soon as I saw the Victoria Jane Ivy dress I knew that ticked all the boxes! I loved the pearl draping at the back and I thought it looked very elegant and vintage, which is exactly what I was looking for. I teamed this with a beautiful pearl headpiece which reflected the draping on the dress. I got this from a shop on Etsy called Gilded Shadows, it came over from the United States and was perfect. I also wore a crystal edged veil which was my ‘something borrowed’ as it was my wonderful sister Rebecca’s wedding veil she let me use. My diamante encrusted shoes came from Next and matched perfectly.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (34)

Ross wore a dark blue suit with grey waistcoat by Paul Costelloe. He teamed this with a grey and lilac tie which brought the whole outfit together. He looked very handsome!

My two sisters wore long lilac chiffon dresses with embellished necklines, which they teamed with a pale lilac feather cape from Coast. They also wore a pearl hair comb from Highland Angel which finished the whole outfit beautifully, they looked stunning!

The three (yes three!) best men and our fathers all wore two-piece navy blue suits from Austin Reed. They teamed this with a lilac tie. My son and three nephews as pageboys wore navy suits from BHS with lilac bow ties and lilac trainers – super cute! My daughter’s dress was by Pearce Fionda, I also got a vintage style diamante brooch to put on the waistband which mirrored my dress.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (38)

My father, my son and I arrived at the venue in a stunning 1930s Beauford. The rest of the bridal party arrived in a Daimler State Limousine.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

Our photographer was James Tracey. I had looked at loads of photographers on the internet and James’ images really stood out. We knew we didn’t want the cheesy poses and wanted natural, documentary style images that really told the story of our day. James did not disappoint at all. We met for a pre-wedding shoot which was fantastic as it really helped us to relax in front of the camera when wedding day nerves set in and gave us confidence that the images would be great on the day. The images we have are stunning and have really captured the best moments of the day. James really talked us through every stage but was so unobtrusive on the day, it was perfect. We were both blown away and would highly recommend him. So many of our guests have commented on how amazing the images are too!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (50)

I wanted an informal bouquet in lilac and ivory with foliage. I had seen the amnesia rose and knew I wanted them included as they are a beautiful lilac colour and look so vintage. I also included lavender in all the flowers as I love the smell and the colours and style matched perfectly with the day. I also got some vintage style pearl brooches which were put onto mine and my bridesmaids’ bouquets and really finished them off. The flowers were provided by The Wild Bunch in Macclesfield. They were absolutely fantastic and exceeded my expectations in how they translated my vision for the styling of the day.

The Wild Bunch also provided flowers for the decor. I wanted lots of candles and cluster vases with various flowers that tied in with my bouquet. We had this set up for the ceremony table and also the top table. We used some vases which my sister-in-law had used at her wedding last year which was a special touch. It was stunning and took my breath away when I first walked in. The smell of lavender was amazing. The tables had fish bowl centre pieces with matching flowers. I had sourced lots of mercury glass tea light holders as well as some gorgeous antique lilac coloured ones which had pearl details on. There were lots of holders in various shapes and sizes on every table and around the cake. It created such a romantic feel to the day. There were also scatters of table pearls which completed the look.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (55)

We gave our guests bottle openers shaped like a vintage key as favours. They seemed to like the practical gift! For the evening we made some hangover kits. I found some small muslin bags on Etsy and had them personalised and sent over from The States. I filled them with mints, plasters and Alka Seltzer and put them over a bottle of water. A lifesaver for those who were celebrating a bit too hard!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (57)

My amazing friend Nova made my cake despite being nearly eight months pregnant! It was a three-tier sponge cake of chocolate, lemon and vanilla – delicious! It was lilac and ivory and had lace effect icing on the top two tiers. There were ivory and amnesia roses, foliage and pearl droplets in between the bottom two tiers. I also had an amazing cake topper custom made from Better off Wed on Etsy which said Love is the Key.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (61)

Ross and I are massive foodies so this was a really important part of the day. We had a delicious selection of canapés after the ceremony with champagne and mulled wine, which was perfect for a winter wedding. For our wedding breakfast we wanted food that we love and decided on smoked salmon to start, fillet mignon, which was absolutely amazing and perfectly cooked, for main followed by profiteroles with chocolate rum sauce for the gents and raspberry creme brûlée with shortbread biscuit for the ladies with coffee and petit fours to finish. We had a choice of wine and champagne too. For the evening we had bacon, sausage and fish finger sandwiches. Just what was needed! The crepes just about finished us off but I managed to squeeze in a chocolate and Baileys one!

The food was unbelievable, all our guests couldn’t compliment it enough. We also used vintage champagne saucers for the toast. These had been tirelessly scoured for by Ross’ parents and sister Fran and had been used at her wedding last year. It was a lovely finishing touch and was extra special as they were hers.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (65)

We used the amazing pianist Guy Porteous, to play from the ceremony right through to the end of the wedding breakfast. He is fantastically talented and was a lovely extra special touch to have him there. In the evening we chose to have a DJ to get the party started. He is the resident DJ at Adlington Hall and did a great job getting everyone dancing with a variety of songs that catered for the varied age range.

In terms of special touches, I had seen the large light up letters people hire for weddings and thought they made such a great focal point. I hired our LOVE sign from Dressed to Impress at Blakemere and it added a real wow factor, perfect for photo poses! We also had a wish tree as an alternative guest book. I found some tags on eBay which guests wrote their ‘key to a happy marriage’ message on and hung them on the tree. This was decorated with fairy lights, crystals and some vintage keys borrowed from Ross’ parents. I spent ages making escort card tags for the guest seating plan. I attached small keys to each tag and hung them from a mirror on ribbons. The guests then took their own key tag to keep. It was something different and the guests loved it. We hired a crepe station as a surprise for our guests in the evening. Original Crepes were fantastic, they provided a huge choice of sweet and savoury crepes and they tasted delicious. It was something the guests weren’t expecting and everyone loved it!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (69)

I had a sign made for our son Oscar to carry down the aisle, it said: ‘Daddy here comes Mummy’. He’d been practicing holding it and walking so steadily and was so proud of himself when he got to the end! We also had framed photographs of both sets of parents on their wedding days, as they have both been married for over 40 years this was a good inspiration!

We hired a videographer as we wanted to capture the day and have a great memento of the action. We used Creative Videos, Barry was fantastic and as he had filmed my sister’s wedding previously, we knew the video would be fantastic.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (73)

We would absolutely recommend Adlington Hall! From the moment we walked in we were overwhelmed by how stunning it was. The food amazing, the staff so professional and accommodating. Everything was more than we hoped for, my dream wedding venue!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (76)

I think my favourite part of the day was when the doors opened to The Great Hall and I was ready to walk down the aisle. On my dad’s arm, looking at all the most important people in our lives all there just for us was totally overwhelming.

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (80)

We are going on a family honeymoon with our children in the summer. My next planning project now I have no wedding to plan!

a classic wedding at adlington hall (c) James Tracey Photography (79)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is to utilise the talents of your friends and family. My sisters Rebecca and Jessica did my makeup and hair and my talented friend Nova made our fabulous cake. It was extra special for them to play such an important role. Oh yes, and plenty of waterproof mascara!

From getting engaged Brides up North was my go to for inspiration. I have been an avid reader of the real life weddings and I’m so excited to now be one of them!

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graceful grandeur. sottero & midgley for a romantic wedding at allerton castle – angela & riccardo

March 17th, 2015 | Julia Braime

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (25)

Today we join Angela and Riccardo for a wedding celebration in a wonderfully grand setting, complete with elegant 1920s touches.

But it isn’t just the venue and décor that’s looking good. Angela makes for a sparkling and stunning bride in a slinky Sottero and Midgley gown embellished with Swarovski crystals and mirrored beads while her maids look incredibly pretty in flattering floor-length Coast designs.

The men don’t brush up half bad either as they work their dapper blue suits and mustard bow ties – cue some serious man posing!

With images by Andy Crozier of Insight Photography.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (41)

angela says: Riccardo proposed to me in Beijing on the Great Wall of China. We were on holiday just the two of us, the proposal was a great surprise. We had both always wanted to travel to China so we went and visited a few destinations including Beijing, Xian, Shanghai. When we returned we had an engagement party at Laazats in Hull. We chose to hold it on the anniversary of the date we first got together – February 15th. During the party we announced who we had chosen for our bridesmaids/best man and groomsmen. Keeping this information quiet for so long was very difficult. If anybody wanted to give a gift we asked for a donation to be made to the Macmillan charity due to recently losing a good friend to ovarian cancer at a young age.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (10)

Our wedding date was 26th July 2014 and was held at Allerton Castle. We’d always wanted a summer wedding.

Allerton Castle is the most beautiful and amazing location we’d ever seen. This was the first and the last place we visited – we instantly fell in love and never turned back. It has such character and amazing grounds. We also loved the fact that we could celebrate our complete wedding in one location. From staying over the night before in the nearby log cabins to the finishing touches and pre wedding drinks for the girls in the bridal suite and for the boys in the billiard room. We celebrated the civil ceremony within Allerton and had our wedding breakfast and reception within the castle too.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (3)

Our theme was focused around the 1920s. We felt the whole elegance of the era fitted in well with the setting for our wedding. Our colour palette was different shades of blues/purples/white and ivory.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (9)

I wore a floor-length Sottero and Midgley dress bought from a well-established bridal shop called Deborah Moore in Hessle, Hull. Deborah helped to ensure I found the perfect dress and even did all the alterations. The dress was called Lola. It was a slim A-line cut, with Swarovski crystals and mirrored beads. I also opted for the choice of adding the capped sleeves. The dress colour was diamond white and pewter. I had tried on many dresses before I found this one. When I put it on I knew it was the one. I kept my dress a secret from everyone – the only people who knew were my brother’s girlfriend and my mother.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (13)

Riccardo got his suit at a shop called Rees. He wore a three-piece dark blue suit with a white shirt. He wore a mustard bow tie with matching coloured socks and brown shoes. He also had a pocket. He got his suit tailored to a high level by a local source Gillian Long, who was previously a Saville Row seamstress and is now the owner of Cock of the Walk in Hull.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (27)

The bridesmaids wore floor-length purple/grey coloured dresses bought from Coast in House of Fraser, again in Hull. They all wore diamond studs which were a present from us. Following the wedding speeches as a surprise on the big day my bridesmaids read out a poem they had written together which went through the journey of me and Riccardo meeting until the present day. This was truly amazing and very emotional!

The boys (groomsmen/best man/father of the bride) all got their suits from Next. They wore two-piece blue suits with a white shirt, brown shoes, matching coloured bow tie and socks. They all also wore a pocket watch which were individually engraved with a personal message. These were again bought by us as a gift to the groomsmen. They were all lined up in the billiard room for when the boys arrived, which was a surprise to all!

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (6)

All the ushers, best man, groom, bridesmaids and bride arrived at the nearby cabins the day before the wedding. Both groups were separated once arriving – the boys had a barbecue and beers while the girls had nibbles and a pamper session. On the day of the wedding the men walked to the castle and the girls drove.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (19)

Our photographer was Andy Crozier of Insight Photography, based in Hull. Andy captured our whole day and even stayed beyond the time we’d arranged. He went above and beyond for us throughout the day, never too pushy but ensured we got exactly what we said we wanted. Andy was great with all of our guests, young and old, and made every single person there on the day felt special. Our images were truly amazing and we would highly recommend Insight to anyone.

I knew Andy personally from childhood, we both lived on the same street since I was the age of eight. Riccardo didn’t know Andy but soon felt at ease and felt comfortable following our initial meet up. We also did a pre-wedding photo shoot at Allerton Castle which we both felt was a great touch. Andy used our favourite image as a message board for guests to sign on the day.

We also had a videographer who helped capture the memories of our wonderful day. It was a lovely and very professional guy called Dan Cain.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (32)

Our flowers were provided by Twisted Willow and were done to such a high level. We had great customer service and felt automatically at ease that the flowers and decorations were to be done professionally. Again we would definitely recommend them. My bouquet consisted of mainly white and ivory colours with a touch of pastel shades. The flowers had a lovely lace ribbon which I then attached a blue brooch to (I used this as my something blue). The brooch was borrowed from a very special friend.

In terms of décor we had a candelabra at either side of us when we read our vows which were decorated with white and pastel coloured flowers draped with crystals. We had candles on either side of the staircase and the reception tables all had tall vases with balls of flowers draped in crystals and pearls. We also had scattered tea light candles around the room.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (31)

As favours we gave small bottles of sparkling rose wine to the ladies and white sparkling wine for the men. The wedding favours had a custom made ribbon around them in dark blue with gold text which said ‘Mr and Mrs Seaton’. Also attached to the ribbon was the person’s name tag and a cluster of vintage keys. Keys being the symbol of the key to a happy life/key to success and key to a happy future. The children had loom bands and sweets.

Our wedding cake was again from a locally sourced supplier. The lady who designed and made it was the sister of a long term friend of Riccardo’s, who was also one of our ushers. The cake maker owns a shop in Sutton, Hull, called Cake-licious. We followed our 1920s theme through with our cake design. The cake was a four-tier hexagonal shape with lots of geometric prints/designs. We had different flavours: lemon, chocolate and vanilla. All of our ushers put towards buying us our cake as a gift from them.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (29)

Brides Up North Featured Supplier Dine provided our food and drinks. For our drinks post ceremony we had bottled beers and Pimms. We made our own sweetie table display with lots of retro sweets.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (39)

Music during the day was provided by the events company Trio Vivo. During the wedding breakfast we also arranged a surprise. Using the events company we set up a staged performance pretending to have a very drunk guest and a waitress who then broke out into singing opera. These two were truly amazing and left many without a dry eye. To end our celebrations we then partied through into the evening at the castle with the music supplied by Chris Hilton’s Little Big Band. We were very impressed with all!

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (38)

Towards the end of the evening we also had a five-minute firework display (and sparklers), provided by Ferrensby Fireworks. We would recommend using this service along with other fab suppliers we used on the day including hair stylists and beauticians from Bows in Anlaby for the hair and make-up and a good friend of ours Rachel Peterson from Hull who had recently completed her wedding planner course. Rachel worked with us from the beginning right until the end and ensured we both felt at ease and kept us both in line and very organised with all the planning and finer details.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (43)

We would also most definitely recommend Allerton Castle to other couples. It’s an amazing location and I’m yet to see a more perfect location.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (45)

We couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day – we enjoyed it all! This may sound cheesy but we can genuinely describe it as the best day of our lives to date.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (49)

For our honeymoon we went to New York and Orlando, Florida. We spent one week each location. With some of the money guests gave we booked a limo trip around New York City by night which was an experience we would definitely recommend.

an elegant wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Insight Photography (50)

My top tip or other Brides Up North is enjoy every single minute of the day. People told us it would go quick and it sure did. Cherish every moment.

As an extra special touch on the wedding day we set up a message in a bottle for our guests to each put a message in for us. The plan is that we will smash it open on our first wedding anniversary (which we’re hoping to celebrate in Hawaii) and read all of the messages.

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keeping things cosy. a coast gown for a relaxed & intimate wedding in harome – sarah & andy

March 10th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (42)

A big  wedding just isn’t for everyone and so it’s lovely to see couples organising small, intimate celebrations with just their very nearest and dearest as an alternative. Andy and Sarah had just 30 guests at their wedding and though small, it was perfectly formed.

The setting was a cosy hotel in the lovely village of Harome (one of my very favourite places) which provided a warm and homely environment for them to tie the knot.

With images by James Tracey Photography.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (4)

sarah says: We got engaged in summer 2011. Andy had surprised me and bought me a new watch. We had plans to go out for a meal that evening and when I’d finished getting ready Andy handed me the box which had my watch in it but he had replaced the watch with my engagement ring. Total surprise, never expected it.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (11)

We decided to set the date for 25th October 2014 as it’s a nice time of the year. Sort of the end of autumn, beginning of winter and still chance of a nice sunny day (which we had) but dusk early evening.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (9)

Our chosen venue was The Pheasant Hotel in Harome, near Helmsley, North Yorkshire. We hadn’t decided on anywhere but had been to Malton for the day. I had Googled venues in the area and The Pheasant caught my eye. The moment we walked in we knew this was the venue. It was Christmas at the time too so it was very festive and cosy with all the Christmas decorations.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (28)

We didn’t have a special theme as it was only a very small wedding with a total of 30 guests so just a very intimate celebration with a small group of very close friends and family. There wasn’t a colour theme as such either. I had my sister as maid of honour and my two-year-old daughter as my flower girl. I kept Tilly natural in an ivory dress and my sister wore a black evening gown. My husband wore a dark grey suit from Next and his best man wore a navy suit.

I didn’t want a big dress as the wedding and venue were only small. What I picked was plain but classic – a cream strapless dress from Coast with a lace, off the shoulder bolero which buttoned up the back from a local bridal shop.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (13)

James Tracey was our photographer. He was recommend by a couple of old work colleagues who both spoke very highly of him. I spoke to James several times before the wedding and instantly felt at ease and had every confidence in him. James made me feel very comfortable on my wedding day and it was a pleasure to have him be a part of my special day. I would highly recommend him to friends and family.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (25)

I carried a bouquet of blue and white thistle, agapanthus, white avalanche roses, blue veronica, white bouvardia, eucalyptus. My bridesmaids carried the same but a smaller version. They were put together by Busy Liz’s Floral Design in Kirbymoorside. The same flowers were used for the décor and the room where we got married was candlelit.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (35)

As favours we had pink chocolate lips lollipops for the ladies and milk chocolate moustaches for the men from a company called Cocoa Loco. Our cake was made by a family friend at Cakehouse on the Lane. We had a cream coloured cutting cake with a diamante ‘Mr & Mrs’ topper and cream cupcakes.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (37)

I would absolutely recommend The Pheasant Hotel to others. This venue is just perfect for a wedding, so romantic. We’ll definitely be returning for our anniversary. It is perfect for small weddings like ours or for larger weddings you can have exclusivity of the hotel.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (51)

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (53)

I couldn’t possibly pick out a favourite part of the day – it was all perfect.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (55)

For our honeymoon we had a city break to Rome for four nights. Neither of us had ever visited Italy. What a way to end our wedding.

a relaxed and intimate wedding in Helmsley (c) James Tracey Photography (34)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is relax and don’t stress. Whatever hasn’t been planned/booked doesn’t matter. No one else will know but you. Stand back and just take it all in.

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urban delight. rich jewel hues for a stylish city centre wedding at the palace hotel, manchester – kate & chris

February 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (50)

I do love a stunning piece of architecture and clearly so too do today’s real wedding couple Kate and Chris, who picked Manchester’s beautiful Palace Hotel in which to tie the knot.

Its regal marble floors, wood panelling and domed ceiling provided a stunning backdrop for the couple’s vows and evening reception. During the day the new Mr and Mrs headed out onto the streets of Manchester with their photographer James Tracey, for some edgy urban shots which contrast beautifully with those taken inside The Palace.

In addition to a great location, highlights of Kate and Chris’s big day include an opulent colour scheme, delicious food and toe-tapping entertainment. Enjoy!

With images by James Tracey Photography.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (6)

kate says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2013. I had an idea Chris might propose but when I opened all my presents and there was no ring I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. However later in the day Chris surprised me by asking me to marry him and gave me a beautiful ring. As it was Christmas it was great being with family to help celebrate our engagement.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (9)

Our wedding date was 4th October 2014. We knew we wanted a local wedding but we weren’t too bothered about it being in the summer months as you can’t guarantee the British weather. Instead we decided on early October as it was just out of season but we though the weather wouldn’t be too wintery.

We got married at The Palace Hotel in Manchester city centre. We wanted our ceremony and reception all in one venue but wanted to find somewhere with character which is why we both loved The Palace Hotel. As soon as we walked into the hotel and saw the domed ceiling we both knew it was right for us. We also thought that the hotel would be a great backdrop for our photographs in case the weather was really bad and we couldn’t have any outside, but luckily on the day we were able to get a mixture of both.

I’d definitely recommend The Palace Hotel as a wedding venue. It’s a beautiful setting for a wedding and the layout works really well. We liked the fact that the ceremony room was separate to where we had our wedding breakfast and the bar area had plenty of space for all the guests. The wedding organisers were very helpful, and on the day the service and staff were great. We didn’t have to worry about anything which is what you want on your wedding day.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (10)

When looking for wedding inspiration I loved rich, jewel colours, which I thought would be perfect for an autumnal wedding rather than the more pastel shades that you often see in spring and summer.  We decided to go for two colours in the end, a deep purple and a teal colour. The teal bridesmaid dresses were the first things I bought and I thought matching the exact colour of the dresses might be difficult which is why we introduced the purple colour. I loved the fact we had two colours and that everything didn’t have to match.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (12)

I love sparkles and lace so my wedding dress was the perfect combination of both. The dress was by Ellis from the Blossom Collection. I bought it from Timeless Bride in Poynton. Janine, the owner, is lovely and made the whole experience really great. I saw the dress on the shop’s website and when I tried it on I knew it was the one! I loved the keyhole back design and little details such as the staggered button back and the floral gem waistband, which made it different to other dresses I tried on.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (13)

Chris chose his own suit and I didn’t see it until the morning of the wedding! He did a brilliant job. He wore a navy blue morning suit with a dove grey waistcoat and gold tie. He hired the suit from Swarbricks but bought his shirt and tie from Charles Tyrwhitt.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (15)

My four best friends who were my bridesmaids wore floor-length teal dresses from Coast. I actually got them in the January sales so they were a great bargain. The groomsmen wore the same navy blue morning suits and grey waistcoat as Chris. We also bought the shirts and ties for them but they wore purple ties rather than gold.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (25)

A soon as I booked the wedding I knew I wanted Donna Crompton at The Halo Rooms to do mine and my bridesmaids’ hair. She’s fantastic at up dos and is great for ideas and inspiration. Donna also put me in touch with Louise Elliott, a freelance makeup artist who did my makeup on the day. It was great being pampered on the morning of the wedding and not having to worry about anything.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (27)

I decided I didn’t want to spend a lot on transport to the venue so I travelled in a black cab to the hotel with my brother who gave me away. My bridesmaids followed behind in a separate taxi. Chris stayed at the Palace Hotel the night before the wedding so he had no excuses for being late!

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (28)

We used James Tracey Photography for our photos, who we booked after he photographed my brother’s wedding the previous year. We loved James’ style of photography; he’s really friendly but also very professional and talented. He captured our day perfectly and we are so pleased with the lasting memories of our wedding day. We ended up with a great mix of more traditional and contemporary photos, especially the ones he took around Manchester city centre. I’d absolutely recommend James.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (29)

Before the wedding, I had a craft day with my bridesmaids where we created our bouquets. I liked that with artificial flowers I could create exactly what I wanted and not be restricted by what was available in terms of types of flowers and colours. It was also a cheaper alternative to fresh flowers and I’m able to keep my bouquet forever.

The Palace Hotel was great and helped with setting up our room on the day of the wedding. I had in my mind how I wanted the room to look and they recreated it perfectly. I provided mirrors, tea lights and scatter crystals for the guests’ tables and the hotel provided the candelabra. For the top table we had floating candles in glass vases as well as my bridesmaid bouquets. We also used Divine Designs who provided white chair covers with a purple sash to finish the room off.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (34)

Our favours also doubled up as our name places. Each guest had their name printed on a traditional sweetshop paper bag which we filled with a few pick ‘n’ mix sweets. Keeping on the sweet theme, our wedding cake was a gift from Chris’ parents. It was made by Joanne Howson at Imagicakes. It was three tiers – chocolate, lemon and carrot cake in a ‘bling and rose’ design. It looked stunning but it also tasted delicious!

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (41)

We both love music and knew we wanted some sort of entertainment for our evening reception. In the end we booked the Live Lounge Duo who are Danny Lee and Gary Kirk. They played a great mix of songs that got everyone up on the dance floor straight away. As part of our package they also provided a DJ, which was great for keeping the party going until late.

We also had a photo booth set up for the evening reception, which was great fun. All the guests enjoyed getting dressed up with the props they provide. The photos are printed instantly which was perfect as the guests all went home with a memento from the wedding. We hired the booth for a couple of hours from Phil Burdge at Digi-booth.net.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (47)

It’s hard to say my favourite part of the day as I really did love every minute of it, it’s such a special feeling. I think we both enjoyed the evening reception when the party got started. It’s so nice to have all your friends and family together celebrating with you and having a good time.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (54)

We went on a two week road trip to Las Vegas and California as we wanted an action packed honeymoon. We spent five nights in Vegas and then flew to San Diego for a couple of nights. From there we drove up the Pacific highway stopping at various places such as LA and Santa Barbara before we reached San Francisco for the last part of our honeymoon. It was amazing!

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be decide on the things that matter the most to you both about your day and spend your wedding budget on these things. It’s easy to get carried away and stress over things that won’t even matter to you on the day. Most of all, remember to enjoy it and have fun!

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friday fabulous!

January 30th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Pearl Felicia Clutch by Coast

One for the pearly girlies.

Pearl Felicia Clutch by Coast, £55

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