Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

fifty shades of green. maggie sottero for a modern wedding at the lowry – lorna & chris

September 5th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

An Emerald Wedding at The Lowry (c) Mike Plunkett (44)

Don’t get us wrong – we love lace, blush and sherbet shades as much as the next wedding blog, but if you’re not a lover of pastel colours and vintage vibes? Well, apparently the online wedding world can be a bit of a lonely place, or so today’s real wedding bride Lorna tells us.

Thankfully, the Brides Up North team was there, donning our sequinned superhero capes and championing weddings of all sizes, budgets, trends and types to inspire Lorna-the-Pastel-Phobic-Bride. Fast forward to April 2017 and the perfectly modern emerald-themed wedding of Lorna and her beau Chris unfolded at Salford Quays in Manchester, and fast forward again to September 2017 and Mike Plunkett’s fabulous photography once again graces our pages to stimulate the imaginations of yet more brides. It’s like one of those diagrams of the water cycle you had to draw in Year 8 Geography, or the Circle of Life (the Ciiiiiircle of Liiiiiiife….) that Elton John told us about in The Lion King…

Ahem. Anyway. Back to the Brides Up North mission statement: to showcase statement northern wedding styling at its very best. Lorna and Chris’ big day does that and so much more, giving us a reception venue that looks like “a really glam Jurassic Park”, some split pants on the dancefloor and dessert before dinner – because if you can’t do it on your wedding day, when can you?

Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it, Tuesday.

With images by Mike Plunkett.

An Emerald Wedding at The Lowry (c) Mike Plunkett (43)

lorna says: Chris proposed to me on the morning of his 28th Birthday. We were in bed recovering from his party the night before when he said he had a present for me. He turned to his bedside table and when he turned back he was holding an emerald ring! He asked me to marry him…and I asked him if he was taking the…! When I realised he was serious, I accepted with lots of kisses and happy tears. It was perfect, just the two of us and our dog, Bear.

An Emerald Wedding at The Lowry (c) Mike Plunkett (40)

We were married on 29th April 2017. We wanted a spring wedding, but also needed time to save pennies to pay for it all! So our engagement lasted just over 2 years, marrying a month after Chris’ 30th birthday. We also loved that it was a bank holiday weekend, giving everyone an extra day to recover before heading back to work.

We had the ceremony and reception at the Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays. The ceremony was held in the Pier 8 room, which was a new park built in 2015/2016. We were originally going to use the Hexagon Room, but we fell in love with the Pier 8 room before the big day. It was simple and modern, with lots of light.

The reception was held in the Compass Room, which just blew us away; it was the main reason we chose the venue. It’s a large circular self-contained room, with almost 360 degree views of the Quays. It also has its own balcony, smokers’ area, bar and bathrooms.

As my dad has a ‘dodgy knee’ due to severe arthritis, he struggles to walk long distances and uses a mobility scooter to get around anywhere larger than a house. The Lowry set-up is perfect for people with disabilities as everything is so close together and they were so accommodating of my dad’s scooter – which got a few outings from tipsy friends and family later on once he was settled at a table!

An Emerald Wedding at The Lowry (c) Mike Plunkett (48)

We didn’t really have a theme as such, but we knew we wanted dark greens as our wedding colours. Green is my favourite colour, and my engagement ring was a pale emerald.

We also knew we wanted nods to our favourite things, so Lego for our cake topper and Disney music during the drinks reception – we’ve been to The Magic Kingdom twice in three years! We wanted film and TV themes from our favourites: I walked down the aisle to Kissing You from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet, our recessional music was the Jurassic Park theme and we had a selection of John Williams’ work as we signed the register. Our guest book was the “Be Our Guest” book from Illustries. Our placecard holders were origami cranes, which I folded over the space of about a month (I didn’t start early enough!) to represent Chris’ love of animals.

As we’re fond of a drink, our tables were all named after our favourite tipples: Sailor Jerry Rum, Grey Goose Vodka and Aperol Liquor. The table plan was an (empty) bottle of each of the spirits with a label around the neck for the names, and our friend Mark illustrated the bottles for each table so people had to match the bottle on the table plan to the drawing on the table.

An Emerald Wedding at The Lowry (c) Mike Plunkett (26)

While planning the wedding, I found it hard to find inspiration for non-pastel/vintage themed weddings. Brides up North was an absolute godsend in that it showcased a wide range of weddings. The internet became my best friend!

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a world of imagination: a contemporary wedding styled shoot in the north east

August 7th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (15)

Creativity lies at the heart of today’s captivating bridal shoot, showcasing what it really means to take a blank canvas of a venue and make it your own on your contemporary wedding day.

Led by wedding planner Faye Darcy of Faye Darcy Events, the shoot takes place at arts and cultural space, the Thought Foundation, located in Gateshead – and as Faye and her team of suppliers beautifully demonstrate – the possibilities are endless!

Gorgeous props (look out for the peacock chair and mirror ball heart), atmospheric pendant lighting, colourful balloons and copper decorations set the scene, offering up a kitsch-come-industrial edge to the styling.

We’ll now hand the blog over to Faye to tell us more about this alluring backdrop and all the fabulous details behind her stunning concept for the shoot. Enjoy!

With images from Gavin Forster Photography.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (17)

faye says: The Thought Foundation is fairly new venue – a creative space and a blank canvas with core values of being a community interest space. I was so excited when I first heard that this venue was in the process of being renovated. I just love open spaces that allow me to use my creativity to its greatest potential and which enable couples to choose a style that truly reflects them and their personalities, rather than being restricted by a venue’s décor.

From the first time I entered the venue my face lit up and my mind went into overdrive imagining all of the possibilities. The husband and wife team behind Thought Foundation held their own wedding celebrations in the venue last year and decided they would love couples to be able to share and create happy memories in their space too, the way they did with their loved ones. I was so inspired by their story, values and aspirations for the space that I immediately knew I would love to work alongside the venue.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (5)

The main reason for the shoot was to showcase the venue as a wedding space, and not just for workshops and art exhibitions, and to be creative with an alternative wedding style, stepping away from tradition to showcase my own and other local suppliers’ fabulous work.

Being a creative myself, I can walk in to an empty room and get excited, imagining ways in which it can be styled. For some couples searching for their perfect venue, this may not be the case. Often, they can’t see the potential unless it is furnished already or set up for a wedding. I wanted to create something fun and colourful to contrast against the white brick walls and encourage couples to use their imagination rather than sticking to the ‘norms’ of wedding styling.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (7)

I gain a lot of my inspiration from current interior trends. I love to travel and pull together elements from different places and cultures too. Having previously worked in the Australian wedding industry, I still draw most of my inspiration from there and the creatives I worked alongside from the beginning of my wedding planner career. I love their laid-back style and their current wedding and interior trends; there’s always something so much fresher and creative than the likes of standard chair covers and sashes, although these still work great for traditional styles.

Trends I was seeing over there two years ago are slowly appearing here in the UK and it’s great to finally see a shift in the industry. Couples are becoming much more creative and going with themes that reflect them and their personalities.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (3)

I went for a relaxed bridal style with a gorgeous floor length, blush tulle skirt, coupled with an ivory sequin crop top which suited the style of our model Phoebe beautifully, both of which were high street brands. We have been seeing more and more two-piece bridal sets over the past couple of years; they are so versatile and allow brides to choose something that’s slightly more modern and relaxed rather than a traditional gown.

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sugar rush. a contemporary wedding at de vere cranage estate, cheshire – hannah & anthony

May 26th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Contemporary Wedding in Cheshire (c) James Andrew Photography (49)

Today’s wedding in Cheshire is perfect for brides and grooms who have a penchant for all things sweet – we’re talking dolly mixtures for favours, a scrumptious chocolate orange, lemon drizzle and white chocolate and raspberry cake and, to round it all off, an ice cream cart. Sugary treats aside, there are plenty of other delectable details to swoon over, too.

Our couple, Hannah and Anthony, exchanged vows at De Verve Cranage Estate – a stunning Grade II listed country house in rural Cheshire. As you might expect from such an impressive venue, there are photo opportunities galore within its magnificent grounds.

Pair this backdrop with their romantic dusky pink and ivory colour scheme, complemented by dreamy candles and pastel bouquets, and you’ve got one super pretty wedding day!

With images by James Andrew Photography.

A Contemporary Wedding in Cheshire (c) James Andrew Photography (46)

hannah says: We got engaged on Good Friday 2015, at 30 James Street, Home of the Titanic’. After a stressful time at work, Anthony surprised me with a night away at this beautiful Titanic themed hotel in Liverpool as I love the film and the love story between Jack and Rose; I’m a complete hopeless romantic! He had booked us a couple’s massage and we enjoyed some time in the spa. Afternoon tea followed and we then watched a wedding happen in the hotel, with me all googly eyed wishing it was me! We finally made our way back to our room where a bottle of Prosecco was waiting for us, and a hot tub to enjoy it in!

Anthony conveniently ‘forgot’ the Prosecco so hopped out to get it. He returned, and demanded I get out of the hot tub as he needed to talk to me – the next five minutes were a complete blur, with him ending up on one knee and me in floods of tears (of joy I should add!). He presented me with a beautiful diamond and the rest, as they say, is history!

A Contemporary Wedding in Cheshire (c) James Andrew Photography (32)

We got married on 26th August 2016. The date didn’t really hold any significance and we never actually planned on getting married during the summer months, but we fell lucky with the venue and everything just seemed to fall into place! This date now holds a special place in our hearts and means we always get to enjoy the bank holiday weekend!

We got married at De Vere Cranage Estate in Cheshire. On our one-year anniversary we stayed over here to celebrate. Ten years later we got married at the same place; it seemed fitting.

There was no particular theme, I wanted it to be romantic with lots of candles and lace, and we complemented this with a dusky pink and ivory colour scheme.

A Contemporary Wedding in Cheshire (c) James Andrew Photography (50)

Ever since I was a little girl, I’d dreamt of being a princess for the day, but when I finally got the chance to get my dream dress, I ended up choosing something that was completely different to what I thought I’d like! I went for a strapless fishtail style dress with beading detail from Blue by Enzoani. I fell completely in love with it when I tried it on at the bridal boutique, Puure Bridal in Lymm, Cheshire.

Anthony wore a Ted Baker suit with tails and an ivory cravat and handkerchief. He got his suit – and the ushers, best man and fathers of the bride and groom’s suits – from Moss Bros.

I purchased my bridesmaids’ dresses from ASOS. They were dusky pink multi-way dresses, so each bridesmaid could wear theirs differently to suit their shape. We also had a little flower girl and page boy who wore mini versions of the big suits and dresses.

A Contemporary Wedding in Cheshire (c) James Andrew Photography (64)

Our photographer was James Andrew. We found James via a recommendation due to our original photographer cancelling on us two weeks before the wedding (yes, I did have a mini melt down!). Luckily, James was free on our date and we met before the big day to have a chat and do some engagement shots. He made us feel so at ease and comfortable in front of the camera, at times we forgot he was even there. James has a real love of the outdoors, which really suited us so we captured some beautiful shots amongst the trees!

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Real Wedding Recap Summer 2014: Fairy White! A Real Wedding At Wychwood Park – Laura & Mark

July 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.

Usual service will recommence on Monday 7th July 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.

Amanda Balmain

We’re wrapping up our Real Wedding Recap for Summer 2014 (full blog service returns on Monday – hurrah!) with this bright, beautiful and box fresh North West spring wedding, sent to me by bride and groom Laura and Mark and friend of the blog, photographer Amanda Balmain.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Laura says: We got engaged on 2nd June 2012. We were having a house warming party (at our house in Gateshead) and Mark had already planned that this was the night he was going to pop the question and told all of our friends, it was only me who had no idea! He got down on one knee in the middle of the living room with all of our friends around us and then we headed out into Newcastle upon Tyne for some engagement celebrations.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

We were married on 12th April 2014, with the ceremony at St. Peter’s Church, Elworth, and our reception at Wychwood Park, Weston. The church has been my local church since I was born and I had always dreamed of getting married there with the blossom trees which line the path to the door out in bloom (which they were)!

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

We opted for a colour scheme of stormy grey, yellow and white.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain (12)

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

My dress was from New Beginnings bridal shop in Whitley Bay and was Sincerity style 3730.

The bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses in stormy chiffon. We went for the same style for two of the bridesmaids and a different style for my sister who was Maid of Honour.

Mark had a dark grey suit with black trim that he chose from Burton which he wore with a yellow tie and pocket square. The groomsmen wore the same suit as Mark and ties and pocket squares in the same shade as the bridesmaid dresses.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Tina Haworth from Beau Hair did my hair and the bridesmaids and my Mum went to Strands salon in Cheshire to have their hair done.  Emma Williams did all of our make-up – bride, three bridesmaids and mother of the bride.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

I had a beautiful bouquet with white and yellow flowers which included freesias, roses, craspedia, wax flower and lisianthus.

I had attached to my bouquet my late grandpa’s signet ring which was my something old and something borrowed and the heart charm from a necklace Mark gave to me for our first anniversary that I wear everyday.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Our wonderful photographer was Amanda Balmain. Amanda has captured our wedding day beautifully and spent the whole day with us which ensured that she didn’t miss a thing!

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Our Panther de Ville car was hired from Grosvenor Classic Cars and was fantastic. We loved being driven around in such an elegant and striking car.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Saying our vows was an incredibly special moment and I also loved the evening reception dancing all night on a packed dance floor.

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

We got a three tier square cake from Marks and Spencer with assorted tiers – fruit, sponge and chocolate.

We also bought a personalised cake topper from Funky Laser but unfortunately no one got to see it as Mark broke it on the morning of the wedding!

Amanda Balmain

All of our flowers and the decoration at the reception were from Faerie Godmothers. They were fantastic and even came to the church after the ceremony to transport our pedestal arrangement to Wychwood Park.

The lovely ceiling drapes complete with fairy lights in the room at Wychwood Park were from a company called Making Moments.

Amanda Balmain

We gave all of our guests badge favours from Parkinsons UK which is very close to our hearts.

I also gave Mark a top hat and cane as one of his wedding presents from me as he had always wanted one. The only rule was that he couldn’t wear them until the reception!

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

Our DJ from Hipswing Entertainments was part of the wedding package from Wychwood Park and he was fantastic. He really captured the mood of our guests and the dancefloor was full all night!

Amanda Balmain

Amanda Balmain

We went on a mini moon straight after the wedding to Sherwood Forest where we stayed in a lodge cabin complete with it’s own hot tub and are hoping to go somewhere further afield in the summer holidays.

Amanda Balmain

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t worry about your dress, this is the one day you get to wear it so enjoy it. Don’t stress on the day, you are marrying the person you love and it will be fantastic no matter what. We loved every single second and wish we could relive it all again.

Amanda Balmain

Congratulations Laura & Mark!

If you’d like to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North, here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Amanda Balmain

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