Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

pronovias perfection. blush & gold for an elegant wedding at oulton hall – abbie & darren

February 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Belle & Beau Photography (30)

Today we are welcoming Abbie and Darren back to the blog to share their big day with us, having previously shared their sweet engagement shoot on our pretty pages.

This wedding is a lesson in luxe styling – there’s a pair of Valentino Rockstuds softened by some perfect floral detailing, romantic calligraphy and plenty of gold and blush accents.

Quite frankly, Abbie and Darren’s big day at Leeds’ stunning venue Oulton Hall, gives us goosebumps.

Today’s mantra? Go gorgeous, or go home.

With images by Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Belle & Beau Photography (35)

abbie says: We got engaged in Santorini in June 2014; it was just perfect. Darren presented me with a gorgeous princess cut diamond ring, which was exactly what I wanted. Our engagement shoot was featured on Brides Up North last year.

Our wedding date was Saturday 30th July 2016. We chose this date because we wanted a summer weekend wedding, plus it means we get to celebrate our anniversary in summer – who wouldn’t want that? I’d always wanted a string quartet at our wedding and had pictured them playing outside while our guests enjoyed the summer weather and drinks. Amazingly, it was a beautiful summer day and the dream became the reality!

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Belle & Beau Photography (27)

We got married at Oulton Hall in Leeds. I’ve always loved this venue as it has the modern décor I adore while still having the charm of an older building. We also loved the courtyard which turned out to be perfect for the drinks reception.

The style of our wedding was elegant and romantic, with lots of floral patterning, blush and gold tones and lots of white. I love these colours and Darren let me run away with my ideas for the colour scheme!

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Belle & Beau Photography (20)

I choose a Pronovias gown called Duende from Bridal Rogue Gallery in Harrogate. After trying on probably around 20 dresses, I just knew this was the one. I hadn’t wanted tulle to start off with – in fact, I had my heart set on a lace fishtail gown. However, after lots and lots of trying on, I still couldn’t find one to fit the bill. My dress was the perfect mix of tulle and lace and I customised it to make it perfectly ‘me’ – it originally had feathers! I also wore a pair of Valentino nude rockstud heels – man, I love those shoes! I also wore a pair of diamond earrings that were gifted to me by Darren the morning of the wedding.

Darren wore a dark navy suit from French Connection with a navy bow tie. He wore a pair of brown Ted Baker shoes to complement the suit. I know I’m biased, but he looked so handsome!

Our bridesmaids wore fitted fishtail blush dresses from Coast. I wanted my bridal party to feel gorgeous and they got lots and lots of compliments on the day.

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Belle & Beau Photography (49)

The makeup artists for the bridal party was Frankie of Makeup by Frankie. I would recommend her wholeheartedly to any bride. My sister was so nervous about having her makeup done but Frankie put her completely at ease and my sister was delighted with the result. We also used a brilliant hairdresser, Bridget of Hair One located in Ossett. Again, I’d recommend Bridget to any bride-to-be.

Our groomsmen and both fathers wore navy suits from Slaters with navy ties – we wanted them to match but make sure that Darren stood out. It all ended up looking perfect.

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hearts & flowers: essense of australia for a fancy wedding at the grand hotel – lerina & joelif

July 12th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Glam Wedding at The Grand Hotel Tynnemouth (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (24)

This morning we’re heading to the North East to relive the stunning wedding day of Lerina and Joelif.

Having fallen head over heels for The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth, Brides Up North reader Lerina set about organising a fun and fancy wedding in just six months! Certainly no mean feat but she pulled it off perfectly with a big day full of smiles, tears and laughter, as well as lots of pretty hearts and flowers. Who run the world? Girls!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Paul Liddement Photography.

A Glam Wedding at The Grand Hotel Tynnemouth (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (20)

A Glam Wedding at The Grand Hotel Tynnemouth (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (40)

lerina says: We got engaged the day after my birthday last year. Joelif decided that we should have a wonder into Tynemouth, where we live, for some food. We went down to Riley’s Fish Shack which is on King Edwards’s beach. It was a lovely bright, crisp afternoon. We had a hot chocolate and fresh grilled lobster salad whilst we sat overlooking the beach. When we finished, we walked back up the stairs from the beach when Joelif suddenly stopped and got down on one knee and produced a red ring box. He opened it and there was the biggest diamond ring inside. My jaw almost hit the round. He asked if I would marry him and I instantly said yes. He put the ring on my finger then was quick to tell me it wasn’t a real diamond, he’d decided that we could go ring shopping together as he knows I’m fussy with jewellery. After that we went to one of our favourite bars and sat outside in the sun drinking champagne to celebrate. I then called my family to tell them the exciting news! Just over a month later we had our engagement party at a local bar/bistro called The Sandpiper. It was a fantastic night.

Our wedding date was 7th May 2016, exactly 15-and-a-half years to the exact date that we first got together.

A Glam Wedding at The Grand Hotel Tynnemouth (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (26)

We got married at The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth, which is just a five-minute drive from our house. The Grand was the last venue we looked at as we had been guests at a number of our friends’ wedding there and didn’t think it would feel special if we held our own wedding there. However on the day that we attended an open event there we instantly felt excited about it. The venue had been refurbished since we had last been. It was so much brighter and fresher and had new furniture in the bar area. The ceremony room looked stunning, so classy and exactly what we wanted. When we went up the grand stairs to the main room where the wedding breakfast takes place, it over looks Tynemouth Longsands beach and it just took our breath away. Instantly we knew that we had found our venue. We thought we would enquire about availability or late summer 2016, however the latest summer date was 7th May so we immediately went for it and paid the deposit. This gave us just six months to plan everything.

A Glam Wedding at The Grand Hotel Tynnemouth (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (18)

We wanted the style of the wedding to reflect the venue, which is grand, classy and romantic, but at the same time, we wanted the wedding to be fun and relaxed to match our personalities as a couple.

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winter wishes. justin alexander for a personal wedding at abbeywood estate – kate & chris

May 2nd, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Winter Wedding at Abbeywood Estate (c) James Tracey Photography (26)

There’s nothing that makes our day more than hearing how newlyweds used Brides Up North to help shape and style their wedding day.

As such, to celebrate Bank Holiday Monday (hope you’re enjoying the long weekend!) we’re sharing the big day of loyal reader Kate and her beau Chris, who tied the knot in a pretty and personal ceremony before partying hard with their 150 guests!

Along Kate’s planning journey we were thrilled to find out that Brides Up North had helped her to find local suppliers whilst also providing décor inspiration for her special day. Because ladies, that’s exactly what we are here for!

With images by our lovely Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

A Winter Wedding at Abbeywood Estate (c) James Tracey Photography (18)

kate says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve. I’m an only child but Chris is from a fairly big family and so for Christmas 2014 he suggested that our families spend it together.

Christmas Eve came around and we were preparing food and waiting for my family to arrive. Chris and I had to go out and collect the turkey and on the way back he suggested we go for a drink before everyone descended. We headed off for a drink and I had a sense that Chris was acting a little strangely. After a quick detour to de-turkey we went to the Queen and Castle in Kenilworth, a lovely pub overlooking Kenilworth Castle. Getting out of the car I checked his pockets for a ring box but there was none to be seen. He went to the bar to order, quickly ran to the car and then came back with my ‘Christmas Eve present’ in a big box. When I opened it, a ring was inside and he asked me to marry him, then the whole family was waiting back at his parents to celebrate!

A Winter Wedding at Abbeywood Estate (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

We decided to get married on 19th December. We didn’t want to worry about rain in the summer and that time of year when the air is crisp is my favourite; plus everyone would be high on Christmas cheer and finishing work for the year. It also happened to be Chris’ grandparent’s anniversary, so that made it all the more special.

We got married at my parent’s village church, All Saints Daresbury or the Lewis Carroll church as it’s known (where he was born and his father was pastor). Though we live in London now, I’ll always be a northerner and Cheshire holds many special memories so it was important that we get married there. David Felix, the vicar there was brilliant and really made the ceremony, he put everyone at ease.

We personalised our order of service with a little story about each of the wedding party so that everyone knew who was who. We also had our family friend organise a string quartet for us of him and his university friends; I walked down the aisle to Hoppipolla and then they learnt some others songs like Jesse Glynn, Rather Be for while we were signing the register. We had three of our friends read; one religious reading and the Edward Monkton’s ‘The Lovely Love Story’ as it is a little silly (like Chris!) and we wanted it to be light-hearted.

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understated elegance. sophia tolli for a vintage wedding at whitworth hall – paul & marie

October 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (34)

We just love the simplicity of today’s real wedding.

It’s not always about the most extravagant decor, the biggest cake or the most flamboyant flowers (though we do adore details) but simply about the love the bride and groom have for one another.

Paul and Marie’s big day was brimming with elegance but without being OTT thanks to a stunning choice of venue, attractive attire and a pretty colour palette.

We are also totally crushing on all the natural outdoor shots, especially the ones with the deer! Super classy!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Paul Liddement Wedding Stories.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (4)

paul says: I proposed to Marie on her birthday while we were staying in a cottage in the Lake District. I gave her a bunch of silly presents and a wax jacket that she really wanted and I’d put an envelope inside the pocket containing a card asking her to marry me. When she opened it the envelope fell out and she didn’t notice it so I had to grab the card quickly and hand it to her once she’d sat down again. She opened the card and I got on one knee.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (10)

Our wedding was on 20th June, 2015. We booked this date as it seemed far enough away at time of booking to be able to get everything done and we thought the weather should be ok at this time of year.

Both our ceremony and reception were held at Whitworth Hall, Spennymoor. We chose the venue for its location, grounds and layout. Also due to the feeling we got when we visited it.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (13)

We didn’t have a cast iron ‘theme’ but we were working from the vintage end of things, not in a way which restricted us, but that merely gave the appearance of wedding continuity. Examples of this could be seen in our table names and seating plan as they used the same text fonts and floral illustrations as on all of our other stationery, but to add a little personal touch we named the tables after locations from the Lord of the Ring books, which we love. We also went for a vintage mute colour scheme. So overall, vintage meets middle earth subtly.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (20)

Marie wore the Leigh dress designed by Sophia Tolli, which she bought from Elizabeth George in Middlesbrough. On the wedding day her hair was done by her sister Stacy and her makeup was done by her sister Dawn. Marie looked beautiful so I think it would be fair to say we would recommend her sisters.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (32)

I wore a conventionally cut grey suit with a white shirt and silver tie. These were hired from Troughear Suit Hire, Durham. The night before the wedding I had a hot towel shave at Guappo Hair Design in Shotton. It was fantastic and helped to relax me – I’d definitely recommend this to other grooms.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were all from Debenhams.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (33)

As a photographer myself, I was very picky as to who I would pick to capture our day. After some time researching, we chose Paul Liddement because of his style and the obvious quality of his work but mostly because of his approach and the fact that we felt comfortable with him.

On the wedding day Paul was relaxed, focused and very well prepared. He managed to take lots of photographs that we were completely unaware of and seemed very good at catching that moment when you are more yourself. He also fitted in with the guests and spent time getting them at ease with him. We were blown away by our wedding images when we received them. We had high expectations based on the quality of our engagement shoot but the wedding photos far exceeded our expectations and managed to put an extra shine on an already magical day.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (35)

Marie arrived at Whitworth Hall buy classic car, along with her maid of honour and bridesmaids who travelled in a separate car, both of which were hired form Classic Wedding Cars, Durham.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (40)

We designed and made all of the wedding stationery ourselves. A time consuming process as we wanted to get it just right and put a lot of thought into it, but it was the right thing to do as we ended up with exactly what we wanted and it made the wedding more personal. We are immensely proud of the results.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (46)

In terms of flowers, Marie and her bridesmaids had vintage style bouquets and we had corsages for the mothers, female grandparents and the guests who did readings. The groom, best man, ushers, fathers, grandfather and all the male partners of the bridal party then had matching button holes. All were supplied by Elvet Flowers, Durham.

For decoration, we had another small arrangement of flowers on the top table also supplied by Elvet Flowers, Durham. We also had a miniature handmade birdcage made from pages of a book, which was positioned in the middle of the top table. This was made by a friend of ours, Gillian.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (68)

All the other tables at the reception had a vintage bird cage on them, which were put together by Marie and her sister Dawn (although myself and my brother-in-law Jona did put one together each and I think these were the best!) We purchased the materials from a variety of sources including Country Baskets, Home Bargains and eBay.

We handmade all of our favours; historically accurate 13th Century medieval coins for the men and angel charms for the ladies.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (71)

Our wedding cake was a three tiered spice cake. It had a very subtle vintage rose colour icing, with a lace like pattern piped down one side (as if a doily had been draped down on side). There was also an arrangement of icing sugar flowers on the third tier. The cake was made locally by a lady called Vicky who makes them more as a hobby than a business.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (73)

As a special treat we also had a sweetie table, which we put together ourselves. The sweets were bought at B&M and Home Bargains, which is where we also got the giant martini/wine glasses and other glass bowls from that held the sweets.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (54)

To fill the lull period after the meal (while the venue staff rearranged the room for the evening do) we arranged for the medieval re-enactment group The Dawn of Chivalry, of which I’m a member, to put on a combat display for our guests in the venue’s grounds. We chose this as it was something a bit different & again made the wedding more personal to us. For the evening do we had the venue supplied disco, during which my brother-in-law managed to take on a guest DJ spot much to everyone’s (apart from the actual DJ’s) amusement.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (63)

Following our wedding we would definitely recommend Whitworth Hall to others. The venue was brilliant, they were very accommodating and great on the day! The venue has plenty of space for people to mill around and relax and it is possible to find a quiet corner if you need some space providing you are not either the bride or groom, in which case you won’t have time to catch your thoughts! It lends itself very well to weddings as the ceremony room is very tasteful and has plenty of scope for some lovely photo locations without ever having to go too far from your guests.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (77)

Looking back, my favourite part of the day was the moment I first saw my wife-to-be in her dress. I fell in love all over again and then couldn’t see anyone but her.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (79)

We have not yet been on our honeymoon yet as we are planning to go to New Zealand (see Lord of the Rings sneaking in again) and it is currently winter there.

A Natural Wedding in the North East (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (83)

Our top tip for other Brides (and grooms) Up North would be to set a realistic budget then be honest with yourself and really set an actually realistic budget. Look at what you can actually afford and what you really feel is absolutely important. This will help you strip away a lot of the gimmicky, frivolous I wants.

We paid for the majority of the wedding ourselves by saving up and doing over time at work, but we also had some very generous gifts from family members. All in all it’s a party, so look at it as such – people are there for you and not what is on the tables or festooned around the room.

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crafted with care. a pretty homemade wedding at priory cottages – jenny & james

August 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (51)

Today’s real wedding is yet another carefully crafted beauty with lots of pretty homemade and personal touches created by talented bride Jenny, along with the help of her equally talented family.

Priory Cottages in North Yorkshire provided the perfect backdrop for the rustic theme Jenny had in mind, which featured lots of beautiful blooms in sweet, sugary tones.

And it wasn’t just the décor that the bride got crafty with, as Jenny made her own hair flower accessory and gorgeous statement necklace to complete her modern big day look. Fabulous work girl!

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (3)

jenny says: We got engaged in Malta. James and I love our cheeky getaways. I had no idea that on this particular one he planned to propose, it was such a lovely surprise! The proposal was very ‘us’ – low key and nothing extravagant. It was our first full day there, we were having a great day exploring the town, lunch and drinks by the sea and we had headed back to our hotel to get ready for the evening and have a few drinks on the balcony. I remember laughing and joking and saying what a perfect start to the holiday it had been, next thing I know James had disappeared and when he returned he was down on one knee asking if I’d be his wifey – it was perfect!

We chose to get married on 13th June 2015 as it was exactly two years to the date we got engaged.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (2)

Our chosen venue was The Priory Cottages in North Yorkshire. Working in the wedding industry myself I read a lot of wedding blogs. This venue has always stood out to me as something special and it was the first place I mentioned to James when we got engaged. When we went to take a look around, I fell more in love with it and James had a cheeky little smile on his face. We both knew it was perfect and could see our special day taking place there.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (1)

We didn’t have a theme as such, but I have always wanted a ‘handmade’ wedding. I love making things and being creative so I literally saw it as a blank canvas that I could do all the things I love to. The result was quite a rustic-styled day.

We were not really strict on a colour scheme; it kind of just fell into place. I always wanted the boys to wear blue suits as I just think they look great. This helped me to decide on nude tones for the girls’ dresses then I pulled in my two favourite colours – coral and mint – and combined it with lots of peaches and whites.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (7)

My dress was literally the dress I always said I would never wear! So many of my friends said to me before I started looking to keep an open mind but I went to one bridal shop in particular because they stocked a gorgeous Mori Lee gown I had pinned as my dream dress for the past five or so years, even before we were engaged! I tried it on and whilst it was nice, it wasn’t wow. The lovely lady in the bridal shop made me try on ‘the dress’ just to see what it looked like. I wasn’t keen but I tried it on and it felt amazing! It made my mum cry so I knew it was the one!

To go with my dress, I scoured the internet and shops constantly to find the perfect hair flower. I couldn’t find one that I liked in the end so I thought why not make my own! I created it using some gorgeous silk flowers from Country Baskets, a hair slide and some small brooches to sit inside the flowers as the centre. I bound it with florist wire and ribbon. I also created a statement necklace by combining two necklaces from Marks & Spencer. I wore my outfit with some gold Kurt Geiger shoes.

My hairdresser’s partner specialises in wedding hair (they work at Fusion Hair Design) so he did mine and the girls’ hair. He did a fantastic job! My cousin Abi is a makeup artist so she did our makeup. Abi is so talented at what she does and I was so pleased with the finished look. The bridesmaids looked stunning and it lasted all day despite the hot weather.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (24)

We wanted to buy suits rather than hire. James wore a three piece from Slaters. It was a very fine puppytooth patterned blue suit. He wore with a tailored white shirt and a pale pink tie to match the bridesmaids. On his feet he wore some tan brogues which complemented the suit perfectly. The groomsmen wore the same suits and shoes as James but wore with a matching blue tie instead of pink.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (28)

The girls wore gorgeous pale pink dresses from Untold at House of Fraser. I wanted to get something they could wear again rather than a traditional bridesmaid dress. They were teamed with gold heels similar to mine from New Look.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (35)

Hayley Baxter was our photographer. When we initially began looking we were steering clear of the very formal styles as we both are not the biggest fan of being photographed and much prefer the more relaxed, creative style that Hayley produced.

We would 100% recommend Hayley. She has such a lovely personality – very warm and friendly. She instantly made us both feel at ease like we’d known her for years and she managed to produce the most amazing collection of natural photographs that we really never thought would be possible!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (38)

I had the bright idea of doing all the wedding flowers myself soon after we got engaged. I spent months and months researching and trying to figure out how it would work and eventually came across an amazing woman through a website called Flowers from the Farm. Gill runs her own flower farm not far from where we live so after a quick visit to see her and discuss, everything was confirmed and I was all set to pick up eight big buckets of freshly cut flowers two days before the wedding.

I really enjoyed making the bouquets and buttonholes. I used roses in peach and pink shades with white peonies and coral berries to add more colour. I finished them with some foliage and wrapped with jute string. For the buttonholes I used blues and green. The focal flower was nigella, which I absolutely love! I wrapped them with a small piece of hessian and they were secured with a heart pin.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (18)

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (8)

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (15)

For the table centrepieces my dad made us some amazing wooden log stands on two levels. I decorated and sprayed bottles with lace, hessian, ribbon and filled with flowers. Also I decorated jam jars as tea light holders and made hessian table circles for everything to sit on decorated with hearts punched from woodgrain card, Kraft card and an atlas. For the top table we had a hollowed out log filled with the left over flowers that my aunties helped with the day before – it looked amazing and was one of my favourite pieces from the day!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (39)

I have my own wedding stationery business, Only by Knight, so I created all the on-the-day stationery/invites etc. myself.

My dad wanted to bring a little bit of Liverpool to our Yorkshire wedding so we gave the gents a Liverpool ale as favours and the ladies got a bottle of fizz.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

We had the most amazing wedding cake. I’m lucky enough to have a very creative family; it must run in our blood! My cousin runs a small cake business, Betty and Junes Bakery. She is amazing, super talented and I knew straight away I wanted her to make our cake as her creativity is endless!

I’m not the biggest fan of traditional wedding cakes so straight away knew I’d want something a little different. I love the hand painted cake styles and to fit in with our rustic theme we decided we would like the tiers to resemble logs. That was literally the brief I gave to Katie and she really excelled! It was absolutely exquisite from the cute love heart to the handmade sugar flowers. Each tier of the cake was a different flavour; we had lemon drizzle with jam and butter cream, raspberry and white chocolate and a chocolate layer. It was finished up with some fresh flowers and a laser cut cake topper that I sourced from Etsy.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (47)

We used Taste Cuisine as our caterers. They are really are amazing at what they do. James is from Leeds and I am originally from Liverpool so for the canapés we had mini ‘pans’ of scouse and beef with Yorkshire puds along with a couple of others. For the wedding breakfast we had a Greek mezze platter, followed by lamb shank then a mix of two desserts (three layer chocolate torte and white chocolate cheesecake) as they were just too good to choose between!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (53)

Straight away we knew we wanted a band to provide entertainment. I stumbled across The One Step through Warble Entertainment and I was just drawn towards them. The lead singer Nick also did acoustic sets so we had him singing through the drinks reception and the wedding breakfast. Our friends and family absolutely loved him. They were great as a three piece too. Everyone was up dancing and having fun, and we especially enjoyed our rendition of Mr Brightside at the end to close the show!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (17)

In terms of special touches, the table plan was one of my favourite pieces from the day! My dad made us the giant frame and I decorated with flower garlands. Each table was named after a place James and I had visited together. The board had an envelope for each guest with a postcard inside that I’d created of an image of James and I in that particular location. We asked our guests to write us a message on the reverse and pin it back to the table plan so it doubled up as our guest book. I am going to make it into a piece of wall art now so we have a constant interactive reminder of the day. My dad also made us the sign for outside the venue; I made stencils and spray-painted the wording onto it. I decorated with flower garlands again and it was a great touch to the exterior of the venue.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (58)

We would 100% recommend our venue to others. Serena first off is one incredible woman! She was always on hand to help with whatever we needed and she really helped us to pull everything together ready for the big day. The venue itself is absolutely stunning. The fact it has the cottages built around it made it such a memorable weekend, not only for us but for our bridal party as we all got to experience everything together.

Funnily enough the part of the wedding I was dreading the most was, the ceremony, turned out to be one of my favourite bits. I’m naturally quite a shy person so the thought of everyone looking at me whilst me and pops made our way up the aisle filled me with dread and I really thought I would be a blubbering mess. But I really did enjoy it and no tears were shed! That along with the speeches – which were just fantastic – and seeing all of our friends and family laughing, joking and having the best time together was really special.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (56)

For our honeymoon we decided to go to Central America. We both love to travel and James has been around the world. We went to Costa Rica and Panama. It was the most amazing experience. We saw and did so much in two and a half weeks and have memories that we can now cherish forever.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (60)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – be organised! We had two years between our engagement and big day. I bought a wedding planner book, created a budget spreadsheet but still life got in the way occasionally and it was quite stressful getting everything ready towards the end! Also get stuck in! Try to personalise your day as much as you can so it’s meaningful to you and your groom. I can’t tell you how great it feels to sit back on the day and look at everyone admiring all the hard work you’ve put in. It was a very proud moment! Finally, accept help! I can be a terrible control freak and like to do everything myself in my own way, sometimes you need to let go and accept that it’s just not possible! Besides you’ll find that a lot of your friends and family want to get involved and help. I would never have finished setting up on time without the help of my nearest and dearest the day before, they were all incredible!

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undoubtedly delicious. a pistachio & lavender themed wedding at beeston manor – laura & stephen

July 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Foodie Wedding at Beeston Manor (c) H2 Photography (34)

Foodies Laura and Stephen incorporated their love of fine dining into every element of their wedding, from the romantic restaurant proposal, to menu and theming choices for the big day, and even planned some top nosh in swanky London town to kick start their honeymoon.

We just love the pretty pistachio and lavender colour scheme, which fits in with the theming beautifully, plus all those special homemade touches that were loving crafted by Laura, with the help of her leading ladies.

So pull up a chair, tuck in your napkin and feast your eyes on the delicious big day…

With images and video by H2 Photography.

laura says: We got engaged in April 2012. Stephen and I often save up and treat ourselves to meals at top restaurants as we really enjoy eating out and sampling fine cuisine. Due to our love of food, Stephen planned a whole holiday around eating. On the final night of our trip, we treated ourselves and booked a table at the 3 Michelin star restaurant called Akelare. We sat admiring the view of the Bay of Biscay whilst enjoying our 12 course tasting menu. The final dish arrived and to my surprise under the silver cloche there was a dazzling engagement ring. Stephen got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Without a doubt I said “yes” and the rest is history.

We set the date for 16th August 2014 as I’m a teacher and so wanted to book it in the summer holidays to allow time for me to complete my preparations.

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We married in our local village church and had a beautiful service with our close friends and family. When it came to finding the reception venue we visited many options, but instantly fell in love with Beeston Manor in Hoghton, Lancashire. We loved the venue due to its intimacy and homeliness. The owners were fabulous and extremely accommodating. Being situated within the countryside and close to where we live, it was a perfect venue for us.

The overall style was of our wedding was traditional English country garden. This theme fit perfectly with the venue.

Our colour theme was ‘pistachio and lavender’. I adore the scent of lavender so I grew my own within the garden. I then dried it out and this was used to decorate the church pews and the reception tables. I even got my florist to incorporate some within my bouquet. Stephen found an unusual pistachio coloured suit that he really liked and the added bonus was that we are both very fond of eating pistachios!

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I wanted a big dress that was covered in lace and had intricate detail. I was keen to find one that was fitting of a traditional wedding. I would only wear a dress of this splendour once so I wanted to make a statement. The best thing about my dress was that it had a bolero piece that I could detach. This transformed the look of the dress and made it extra special. I purchased the dress from The Bridal Lounge in Accrington.

Stephen hired his suits from Dan Kerr in Preston. He wore a pistachio coloured suit with a cream cravat and handkerchief. The groomsmen wore the same as the groom. The only difference was that Stephen had a different buttonhole.

The bridesmaids wore a lavender Grecian style dress. I ordered these from a website called, www.DIYdress.com. The quality of the dresses were amazing and I purchased all three of them at a reasonable price. Our little flower girl wore a beautiful dress from BHS.

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We hired a traditional car from a local supplier. We only lived around the corner from our church so the chauffer ran the bridesmaids up to the church first and then came back for me and my dad.

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We visited a few photographers before we found Chris at H2 photography. We were really interested in getting a good quality videographer to capture our special day. We first found H2 Photography online. We watched one of Chris’ cinematic films he had featured on his website and we just knew that the quality of his films were above any other we had seen. The bonus was that when we met Chris in person he was a really approachable, friendly guy. Both Stephen and I knew that that we wouldn’t be disappointed if we picked Chris to be our photographer/videographer. We were right to trust our instincts. He was great!

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To save money, I attended our church’s flower arranging classes. With the help of Hazel (the chief flower arranger at church) we created some fabulous floral creations. This was an enjoyable experience and the church looked beautiful due to our personal touch.

The bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, button holes and corsages were created by Eden florist in Chorley. Again, I couldn’t fault their service. They did any amazing job.

I designed and created all the table centre pieces myself. Each one was unique and quaint. I purchased a variety of discounted items from places such as The Range, B&M and Country Baskets wholesalers. I was also assisted by a brigade of close friends who helped me to decorate empty jam jars. This was a fun experience and my friends really enjoyed contributing to the wedding preparations. Each table had a bespoke, homemade feel to it. To complete the setting, Creative Covers in Preston, supplied our chair covers.

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As favours the male guests received a bag of pistachio nuts and a tag that read ‘Nuts about each other’. The female guests meanwhile received a bar of lavender soap and an envelope of seeds. The seed label read, ‘Plant these seeds and watch them bloom, just like the love of the bride and groom’. We bought our flower girl a beautiful Build a Bear which was dressed in a gorgeous wedding dress. She loved her present.

We decided to have a cake made of cheese. The cheese was supplied by Pat’s Cheeses on Chorley market. This was one of the highlights for our guests. The cake looked beautiful and tasted great too.

As a sweet option we also ordered a three-tier iced sponge cake from Marks & Spencer. We picked up some lace from the Chorley market and pinned it around each tier. I then ordered an extra button hole for my cake topper. A simple look, but it was extremely effective.

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We chose Alex Birtwell an acoustic vocalist to perform at our wedding. He is an excellent wedding entertainer. He was extremely versatile, professional and friendly. All our wedding guests commented on how good he was.

In addition to the traditional wedding guest book I created ‘messages in a bottle’. The guests inserted a ‘best wishes note’ into the following labelled bottles: 1 year, 5 year, 10 year and 25 years. On each anniversary we will smash the relevant bottle and read our wonderful messages.

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To collect images from our day we used a free app called Wedpics.com. This was an amazing free website where guests could login and upload their wedding snaps for us to view. This is a modern take on putting cameras on each table. We accumulated about 300 amateur extra weddings snaps, which was great.

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to others. This family run business can’t do enough for you. They made our day run smoothly and perfectly. A gorgeous venue, great staff and scrumptious food.

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After the wedding we started our honeymoon by nipping down to London on the train to visit Le Gavroche, which is the restaurant belonging to Michel Roux Jr. We then flew to Corsica and spent a whole week in a gorgeous, peaceful, secluded villa. It was bliss!

My top tips to other Brides Up North would be – get yourself a wedding planning booklet to keep yourself organised, delegate jobs as much as possible to friends and family and don’t be scared to DIY and add personal touches.

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