Charlotte Balbier

romance & roses. a pink & black theme for a glamorous lake district wedding – robyn & matt

May 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (33)

Today’s gorgeous bride Robyn admits she likes things on the formal side, and so she and groom Matt opted for tails, cravats, roses and full-on strapless princess-fit bridal glamour.

But this couple were true to themselves and made fun a big part of their big day, too – there was a game of Mr & Mrs, magic, a singing waiter and much more.

Formality and fun, glamour and games – what more could you ask for on a Wednesday morning?

With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Sally Eaves.

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (19)

robyn says: We got engaged just the two of us at our home in the Lake District – oh, and the dog and the fairy lights from the Christmas tree in the background! It was very low-key and just what I wanted.

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (37)

We were married on September 29th 2016 – the day before my 30th birthday. We had our ceremony and celebration under one roof at the Swan Hotel, Newby Bridge. It’s right at the base of Lake Windermere so really beautiful and picturesque but also not too big. It felt intimate as well as very grand, if that makes sense.

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (6)

For the theme, we didn’t go for anything too prescriptive. I’m quite laidback and I didn’t want anything too fussy with centrepieces and decorations. The venue is beautiful enough without needing to add anything else.

Colour-wise, we went for black and pale pink. I like things to be a little more formal and I love black and white, but the touch of pink made it feel more romantic rather than a corporate do.

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (49)

I wore a strapless buttermilk/ivory satin princess-fit gown with some beading around the waist from a wedding shop in Cheshire that has now unfortunately closed. I chose to have a small backward bolero, too. This meant I could have the illusion of a neckline with a keyhole back during the day but it transformed into a strapless gown for a second look in the evening.

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real wedding recap: maggie sottero for a neutral wedding at eaves hall – cara & mike

January 2nd, 2017 | Julia Braime

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, 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 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

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.

An Elegant Wedding at Eaves Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

Today we’re recapping the wedding of teenage sweethearts Mike and Cara, who have been together since the tender age of sixteen.

While we love to see couples going all out with an imaginative themed wedding, we also feel there’s nothing better than a celebration that is simple and elegant in its appearance, as is the case today. Bride Cara decided to steer clear of gimmicks and plan a classic and romantic big day, complete with a chic muted colour scheme and picturesque venue.

For us the stand out part of the wedding has to be Cara’s choice of attire – her Maggie Sottero fitted dress and floor-length veil are nothing short of sensational!

With images by our sensational Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Eaves Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (16)

cara says: Mike proposed to me while we were staying at a boutique hotel in Manchester, The Great John Street Hotel – it was just before we were going to Australia for a year to live. In the evening we had a meal at a restaurant with Australasian cuisine and then went onto a couple of champagne bars. While we were out Mike had arranged for the hotel staff to go into our room and fill it with rose petals and candles. When we returned I went into the room and turned around to find Mike on one knee.

We set the date for 15th October 2015. I wanted an autumn wedding, as I love the oranges and reds on the trees at that time of year, and the grounds at our venue were amazing, so I wanted to make the most of them.

An Elegant Wedding at Eaves Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (40)

Our chosen venue was Eaves Hall, in Ribble Valley. We fell in love with the venue as soon as we went to visit it. It was elegant without all of the ‘old’ soft furnishings that you can tend to get with manor houses. We also loved the fact that it was completely exclusive and that the venue had 30 rooms for our guests to stay in. The good thing about the venue is that there are plenty of different rooms so people could do what they wanted. Some of the guests were dancing, whilst others were having a nice wine by the fire, with it being a mild evening some of our guests were outside and some in the bar / lounge and snooker room. It just made for a really relaxed environment where people could enjoy the day and evening.

I wanted the wedding to be simple, elegant and romantic. The venue is grand enough to keep the decorations to a minimum. I wanted our wedding to stand the test of time and so tended to stay away from gimmicks.

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vintage bling. la sposa for a wedding at browsholme hall – ashleigh & shaun

January 5th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Vintage Bling Wedding at Browsholme Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar (8)

Today’s second helping of real wedding inspiration sees two different themes brought together – vintage and bling!

In keeping with the barn setting of their big day, Ashleigh and Shaun chose to incorporate pretty vintage touches and natural blooms into their décor before adding a little sprinkling of bling. After all, what’s a wedding without some added sparkle?

With images by Pixies in the Cellar.

A Vintage Bling Wedding at Browsholme Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar (3)

ashleigh says: Shaun proposed to me when we got the keys to our first house, in 2011. He did it in the living room of our new home.We set the date for 15th August 2015, as we wanted a summer wedding and it was around the date we first staring seeing each other.

Our chosen venue was Browsholme Hall. We wanted something different and quirky, but with a modern twist – it ticked all the boxes

A Vintage Bling Wedding at Browsholme Hall (c) Pixies In The Cellar (15)

For our theme we tried to fit in with the style of the barn but also have some bling; we called it ‘vintage bling’. Other elements included bare wooden chairs with bows and brooches on but no covers. Our guest book and table plan were also wooden. We had flock drapes but with fairy lights, and the cake was flock too, but with a bit of bling.

To fit alongside the theme we picked a purple colour scheme. We both like the colour and it went perfectly with the venue too.

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golden touch. stella york for a classic wedding at west tower country house hotel – victoria & neil

July 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (40)

Here at Brides Up North we do enjoy it when brides push the boundaries with their dress choices. Falling for something a little different, today’s bride Victoria chose a stunning soft golden gown instead of a traditional ivory or white design – and we’re sure you’ll all agree, she looks gorgeous!

The rest of the wedding party keep the style bar high with maids in pretty pale gowns with lace detailing and the groomsmen in smart navy suits with polka dot tie and pocket square.

From the beautiful blooms to the elegant cake the entire day comes together perfectly for the classic and sophisticated wedding that Victoria had dreamt of.

With images by Cahill Photography.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (1)

victoria says: We got engaged in London over August bank holiday weekend in 2013. We had booked a weekend away and were staying at the Royal Horseguards Hotel.  We always try to go to a Michelin starred restaurant when we go away so Neil had booked a meal at a surprise location. On our way out we had a walk through Whitehall Gardens just in front of our hotel. It was such a pretty little garden with a really old tree in the centre which we had seen through our hotel window. We stopped by it and Neil said something along the lines of ‘I don’t want to embarrass you but….’ Then got down on one knee and pulled out a little blue Tiffany & Co bag from his suit pocket and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked and in a complete daze, I really wasn’t expecting it. Of course I said “yes”.  We celebrated our engagement at Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (11)

Our wedding day was 3rd April 2015. We had no specific date in mind to get married, we had talked about a bank holiday weekend during the early stages of planning and it just so happened our chosen venue – West Tower Country House Hotel in Aughton, Lancashire – had Good Friday available.

I had my heart set on West Tower from the first time I saw it.  A friend of a friend was a bridesmaid at West Tower a few years ago and upon seeing the pictures I fell in love with it! We did a little bit of research online and narrowed our choices down to a handful we wanted to view in person. West Tower for us just blew the rest out of the water, it was everything I had ever dreamed of and more.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (3)

We didn’t really have a specific theme for our wedding day, we just want it to have a classic and sophisticated look to the day to fit in with the venue.

Our colour scheme was vintage/soft pinks, cream and gold. I wanted to have soft colours for a spring wedding and I had always liked the idea of vintage pinks and the colours worked perfectly with the venue.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (14)

My dress was from designer Stella York. I bought from Bridalwear by Emma Louise in Bolton. I had seen the dress at a wedding fair at the Emirates Stadium displayed by a bridal wear shop based in Chester and I fell in love with it. I did some research into North West stockists of Stella York dresses and Bridalwear by Emma Louise was the only one. I contacted the store and from day one Emma was so helpful. She didn’t stock this particular dress but ordered in a sample for me to try on. I fell in love as soon as I put it on, it was so different to anything I had tried on previously. The colour, the lace, the detail, everything was perfect!  It had to be ‘the one’.

Neil wore a dark navy blue three piece suit from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow with a polka dot tie and pocket square. He also wore a bow waistcoat with a pocket watch to make him stand out from the other groomsmen who had classic four button waistcoats with the same time and pocket square.

My bridesmaids wore dresses from Debenhams, flower girls from Next and our page boy wore a Marks & Spencer suit with a polka dot bow tie to fit in with the men.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (21)

Our photographer was Martin Cahill of Cahill Photography. We would most definitely recommend Martin to other couples as he was great from start to finish. The pictures say it all, we are so amazed by them and they will bring us happy memories for the rest of our lives.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (24)

The majority of our flowers were silk with a few fresh ones here and there. Neil’s mum did all our arrangements throughout the venue and our bouquets. My flowers were hand tied, long stemmed cream silk roses bound with lace.

The chair covers, aisle runner, lanterns, pillars and swagging throughout the venue were provided by Add A Little Sparkle.

All our stationary, from invites to table names were handmade by me. I also handmade all of the pearl and crystal napkin rings for the wedding breakfast which doubled up as name cards.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (27)

We gave our guest favours of Charbonnel et Walker milk chocolate truffles which came in a white boxes edged in gold, which tied in perfectly with our theme. We had lots of ideas for favours but in the end went with simple and classic.

Our cake was made by Taylormade Cakes by Tracy. We chose a five tier cake made up of fruit, lemon drizzle, chocolate fudge and carrot. We wanted a quite a large cake to make an impact in the room. It was a classic five tier design with some of the tiers edged in edible lace and decorated with handmade flowers which Tracy had replicated from the silk flowers used in our arrangements.  We didn’t see the finished cake until the day. It was so perfect and just what we had imagined, I didn’t want to cut it. I would highly recommend Tracy to anyone.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (28)

For our wedding breakfast we had a starter of smoked chicken Caesar salad with herb croutes and bacon crisps followed by mains of Lancashire blade of beef slow cooked in a beer jus with wholegrain mustard mash, roasted shallots, button mushrooms, carrots, swede and bundles of green beans. To finish we had sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and ice cream (our favourite pudding). In the evening we had a hog roast.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (30)

As entertainment we hired a string quartet called The Dotted Crotchets to play for our guests’ arrival, my entrance, signing the register and for our drinks reception. The Dotted Crotchets were our choice, we first heard them play at the Trafford Centre and we fell in love with the idea. We hadn’t been to a wedding with a quartet before and thought it was a nice touch and a little different to anything we’ve experienced as guests at a wedding. We had full control over the song choices which enabled us to pick songs that meant something to us.

We hired Robin, the MD of Dancefloor Couture, as our DJ for our evening reception. He had played at a number of our friends’ weddings in previous years and was absolutely amazing. We knew we had to have him and didn’t want anyone else. He certainly didn’t disappoint!

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (33)

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (35)

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to other couples. The staff made us feel comfortable from the first day we visited West Tower, they could not have been more helpful from start to finish. They made our vision of what we wanted our wedding day to be into a reality. It was so much more than we dreamed of. I could not fault them on anything they have a fabulous team and would highly recommend them as a wedding venue.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (42)

I enjoyed every single minute of our wedding day, it was such an amazing day and one I will never forget. For me there were a couple of standout points; the moment my bridesmaid and my dad saw me in my dress for the very first time. I had concealed everything about my dress from everyone other than my mum until I was dressed on the day. It was such an overwhelming feeling to see their faces when they finally saw it. It was definitely tears all round moment. Another special moment was when I saw Neil waiting for me at the end of the aisle and taking our vows.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (44)

For our honeymoon we went to Hong Kong for four nights then onto Koh Samui, Thailand, for six months and then Singapore for six nights. We wanted to have a long holiday as we normally only do short breaks away, so it was nice to enjoy almost three weeks away from everything together as a newly married couple.

Neil spent a few years as a child in Singapore and time as a teenager in Hong Kong as his dad worked away in these countries, so he was excited to go back and see what it was like now and also to show me where he lived and the things he experienced as a child. We chose Koh Samui as our ultimate luxury destination for rest and relaxation in the middle of our two city stays. We had our private villa with our own pool. It was paradise.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (49)

My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every minute and try to take in as much as possible as the day just flies by so quickly. Also, take five minutes together to discuss the day so far.

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