Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

roses are red. a romantic wedding in manchester – rebecca & jonathan

June 3rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Romantic Wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (47)

Where do we start with today’s real wedding? Bride and groom Rebecca and Jonathan worked together on all aspects of their big day to make it as personal and ‘local’ as possible; an aim that was most certainly achieved.

We love all the little details – from the sweet stationery, to the homemade favours and ice cream dessert, not to mention the wedding party’s sophisticated get-up. Looking good guys!

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

A Romantic Wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (7)

rebecca says: We got engaged in my mum’s kitchen on our four year anniversary. To put it into context, we were saving for our first house so we both moved back in with our parents to save money for a mortgage. As a result we thought we’d just have a meal in for our anniversary but it ended up being much more than just a meal.

Jon got the jewellery store, which was Geralds based in Knutsford, to wrap the ring up in a big box with a box of chocolates so that I wouldn’t suspect anything, which worked! I even shook the box trying to guess what it was. After washing up Jon said it was time for presents so I opened up the big box to find a box of chocolates and a small jewellery box, which I thought were earrings. I was so surprised that I couldn’t stop laughing, all whilst Jon was on one knee waiting for a response. I obviously said yes and we cracked open some champagne whilst I called all our friends and family to tell them the good news. It was the perfect proposal as it was a complete surprise, and just proved how well Jon knew me.

A Romantic Wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (11)

We set the date for 5th September 2015 because we bought our house in 2013 so we needed plenty of time to save for the wedding. I also love the number 5 and wanted it to be in September as the weather is usually good (which it was).

We got married at St Vincent de Paul Church in Altrincham, where I had my first holy communion and my confirmation so it is filled with lots of happy memories. As a couple we go there every year on Christmas Eve so it was great to get the opportunity to marry there. Our reception was held at Manchester Town Hall.

A Romantic Wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (25) - Copy

We didn’t really have a theme but we are both very Manchester proud and wanted our wedding to be really personal so we picked everything for the wedding together that we love. The two wedding buses chosen to take guests from the church to the reception, used to do routes in Kent and a route in Yorkshire where our parents are from. The cocktails on arrival were ‘his’ and ‘hers’ made from Bermudian rum that my dad and his wife brought over for us as I was born in Bermuda and my dad currently lives there. We also gave miniature versions of the rum as a keepsake to our guests. All of the food at the wedding was locally sourced including the dessert, which was provided by a local ice cream maker.

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moroccan magic. maggie sottero for a colourful diy wedding in the north west – jen & marc

January 11th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Moroccan Themed Wedding in the North West (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (85)

Though the temperatures outdoors are dropping, we have something guaranteed to warm up your day – the Moroccan themed wedding of Jen and Marc. Taking inspiration from her travels in North Africa, bride Jen chose vibrant colours and authentic décor, such as ornate metal lanterns, to style their big day.

We love the warm rich tones that feature and also have a huge soft spot for Jen’s Maggie Sottero gown and gorgeous bouquet!

Though Jen says she felt the pressure when planning her big day, we think she did a sterling job!

With images by Kyle Hassall Photography.

A Moroccan Themed Wedding in the North West (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (31)

jen says: Marc proposed when we were on holiday in Barbados. It was completely unexpected!

We got married on 15th August because Marc’s dad offered us the use of his beautiful garden for a marquee wedding and so it had to be a summer date to accommodate UK weather! I didn’t want to spend too long planning the wedding and felt I could turn it around within eight months.

A Moroccan Themed Wedding in the North West (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (49)

Our ceremony was at Chester Town Hall. We chose it because it was close to Marc’s dad’s house where our reception would be reception.

The wedding had a very loose North Africa/Morocco theme. I really wanted to incorporate such influences into our traditional English country wedding as I lived in the Middle East and North Africa for a time and still travel there. The colour scheme was slightly out of control as I’m a big fan of bright colours! I wanted all the flowers and décor to be warm and bright. So orange appeared to be the dominant colour but it was more of an evolution than a conscious choice.

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country loving. meadow blooms for a rustic wedding in the north west – hannah & claire

August 19th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (37)

Today’s couple Hannah and Claire, got engaged in the stunning surroundings of The Lake District and so decided to bring a bit of the great outdoors to their big day.

Deciding on a subtle rustic theme, the ladies used natural blooms and woodland décor to style their pretty wedding at the National Trust’s Quarry Bank Mill.

Along the way the two brides also added in a few of their favourite things, including serving up ice cream from a cute van named Hyacinth for dessert – what a delicious idea. Make mine a salted caramel cone please!

With images by Photography by Kathryn.

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (12)

hannah says: We got engaged in July 2014. Claire took me on a very romantic weekend to the Lake District as we love hiking. She booked a very fancy hotel, which I thought was unusual as we often camp! We went for a good walk up to Grizedale Tarn and when we reached it Claire set out the most amazing afternoon tea – complete with a china cake stand which she had carefully carried up the hill! She had even made scones and a Victoria sponge cake herself – her first experience of baking! She knew I would appreciate it all. Once she had laid everything out she brought out a custom designed ring and proposed. It was a perfect engagement!

We got married on Saturday 30th May 2015. We knew that we wanted to get married in summer and late May/early June is our favourite time of year. Thankfully the venue had one Saturday left so we snapped it up!

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (2)

We had our ceremony at Sale Town Hall which we chose because it was local to us and is a beautiful building. The reception was at Quarry Bank Mill – an eighteenth-century cotton mill now a National Trust property in South Manchester, set in beautiful gardens. We always knew that we wanted a venue with lots of outdoor space so we could get outdoor photographs, and QBM is somewhere we have visited together many times. We also liked the history of the mill and preferred its industrial, working class origins over the upper class country houses that are often chosen for weddings.

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (8)

We were drawn to rustic and natural themes as they reflect our interests – nature and the outdoors. In addition, we included elements of things that we really like, such as ice cream and buttons.

We didn’t specifically choose a wedding colour scheme but we both love the colour purple so it featured in the invitations and the venue decor.

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (34)

I have never wanted an ostentatious wedding dress and knew that I was looking for a simple style that I would feel comfortable with. I chose a knee-length cream dress from Monsoon with lace and a high, curved neckline that complemented my figure.

Claire also wore a dress from Monsoon – we went shopping together, tried on a dress each, and as soon as we stood in front of a mirror together we knew we were wearing the perfect dresses! They complemented each other perfectly – Claire’s was also knee-length, but a whiter shade, and had some beaded embellishments around the neckline. Hers was from the bridal collection but mine was not even advertised as a wedding dress.

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (13)

As our transport, we hired an amazing vintage car from Broadoak of Manchester which carried us to the registry office and then on to the reception. It was a Beauford 1930s convertible with a burgundy hood – such a handsome car! The car journey was one of the most exciting parts of the day as everyone turned and smiled when they saw the car passing by.

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (18)

Our photographer was Kathryn Widdowson of Photography by Kathryn, who I would definitely recommend. She was full of energy all day and willingly hiked through the gardens of Quarry Bank Mill so we could have photographs outside the glass house and on the bridge. It was also her birthday but she still happily spent the day with us! She met us six weeks before the wedding for a practise shoot which was very beneficial as we all got to know each other before the wedding and she understood exactly what we wanted.

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (24)

We both carried a bouquet of flowers made by Fletcher and Foley. We specifically wanted very natural bouquets with the sorts of flowers you might find in an English meadow, and they provided exactly that.

We did a lot of decoration for the venue ourselves with help from friends and family: we had bunting in the function rooms borrowed from a friend who made miles of it for her wedding – something borrowed! For the table centres we hired wood from Rustic Wedding Settings and on it we placed the table name and three jars of flowers. We collected and decorated the jars with ribbons and lace ourselves with help from my mum and made the flower arrangements ourselves. We also included a sticker on some of the jars which we ordered from Wedding in a Teacup, which said ‘Let the Love Grow’ and had our names and the date of the wedding.

Our table names were all pairs of things we liked, such as Flowers and Fossils, Tea and Cake, Mountains and Meadows, and the names of our cats Dolly and Diamond. Around the edge of the room we placed large frames which were lined with hessian and had string placed across. On the string we pegged photographs – one board had photographs of us both when we were babies and children. There was also a display of photographs of me eating cake and a display of Claire eating ice cream as these are things we particularly love.

We ordered a larger planter from Wedding in a Teacup which was also personalised with our names and the date of the wedding and used this to collect cards and presents. Now the wedding is over we can use it in the garden and be reminded of our special day!

Additionally, we provided our own vintage china teacups and saucers for the tea and coffee served after the meal and we also made our own confetti out of dried lavender and flower petals and stuffed it into tiny gift bags.

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (26)

We put a lot of thought into our favours and really enjoyed making them. For the adults, we bought little Kraft card boxes from Wedding in a Teacup and in them we put two artisan chocolates from a local chocolate shop. Attached to each box with purple string was the name of the guest on a small luggage label printed in purple text to match our wedding invitations. We also stamped each box with an ice cream stamp in purple ink which also matched our invitations. In addition, each guest was given an envelope full of forget-me-not seeds and on the front was a sticker with our names and the date of the wedding. There were a couple of children who attended the meal who were given a box of Lego each, and two babies who were given a baby book each.

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (25)

For our cake, we chose a delicious, three-tiered chocolate design from Marks & Spencer decorated with strawberries. Fully recommended – everyone raved about it and it looked amazing.

We liked the hearty simplicity of the wedding menus at Quarry Bank Mill – for starters we had a blue cheese bread pudding, followed by a delicious roast lamb served with a potato rosti and lots of veg.

Dessert, however, was a special surprise kept from everyone. Rather than order one of the desserts from the menu, we hired a vintage ice cream van called Hyacinth and took everyone downstairs for ice cream Claire particularly loves ice cream so it was great to be able to express ourselves through our wedding choices. The flavours were delicious – salted caramel, strawberry and clotted cream, mango sorbet, champagne sorbet and old fashioned vanilla – and several guests went back for seconds.

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (46)

Claire surprised me by booking a cello duo, The Cellists to play during the drinks on the lawn and the wedding breakfast. They played classical pieces contemporary songs and even film soundtracks and added a lovely touch of elegance to the afternoon.

To feed our evening guests we ordered a cake of cheese from Churchmouse Cheeses, which was delicious. It was delivered so carefully and came complete with decorations of figs, rosemary and fruit, and a couple of brie hearts.

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (30)

A colleague of mine was our DJ which was handy. We arranged a very special first dance too. Claire and I are both keen line-dancers and we met at a line dancing club. We always knew that we wanted to have a line dancing first dance so I choreographed a routine to ‘our song’, which was Forever in Blue Jeans by Neil Diamond. It was quite a challenge to fit in choreography and rehearsals in the busy run up to the day, but I am so glad we went through with it! No one else knew about it and the guests loved it. Thankfully we didn’t make any mistakes either! Once we’d finished our first dance we launched straight into another line dance, this time it was River Deep, Mountain High. This is a popular line dance in our club so we asked a few of our friends to join in with the dance in stages, rather like a flash mob. Again, no one knew this was going to happen and I think everyone was rather impressed!

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (29)

Claire and I decided not to have any speeches from other people – my father wasn’t in attendance and we didn’t have a best man or maid of honour to speak on our behalf. We decided to write a speech each. This seemed like a good idea six months before the wedding but it was very nerve-wracking to write a speech knowing that all our friends and family would be watching. We were definitely terrified at the thought of it, but they both went smoothly. Claire even wrote me a humorous rhyming poem about our relationship together so far which made everyone giggle.

We would absolutely recommend our venue to others. It is a beautiful venue with a very special history and the staff members were completely dedicated all day to our event so everything operated seamlessly without our noticing. It’s good to know that the money we’ve paid will go into preserving the mill for future generations. Plus we can go back and visit in future and relive the memories!

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (39)

Claire’s favourite parts of the day were having ice cream from the awesome ice cream van, and getting a ride on the buggy from the car park to the gardens. My favourite part of the day was the ceremony – we walked down the aisle together holding hands which I felt was symbolic of our partnership together, and we chose Elton John’s Can You Feel the Love Tonight as our entrance song.

Following the wedding we had a minimoon to Barcelona which was just the relaxing break we needed after a busy few months. We ate tapas, drank sangria and soaked up the sunshine. In September we are planning a more lavish honeymoon to Italy so we can explore the Amalfi coast and eat ice cream!

A Rustic Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Photography By Kathryn (33)

Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be plan, plan, plan! We had a very detailed timeline and to-do list to keep us on track. Give yourself lots of time for each task, especially if you are making things yourself, as they often take longer than you think. Involving other people is fun for them and makes life easier for you too – we couldn’t have managed without our best friends and my mum helping us make decorations, and they loved being part of the team.

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art felt. a colourful wedding celebration at manchester’s media city – rachael & zariah

April 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (41)

Today’s couple prove how a vibrant setting can actually help your big day stand out all the more. Rachael and Zariah combined their love for the arts, entertainment and all things bright to produce a colourful wedding that dazzled, in more ways than one.

I particularly love how happy and natural everyone involved in this special day looks, all captured by On Love and Photography – fabulous pics guys!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (10)

rachael says: We got engaged on that Olympic Super Saturday 4th August 2012 during a holiday in Paris. Before we went away, some of our friends speculated ‘ooh maybe he plans to propose in Paris!’ which I laughed off. After visiting a variety of stereotypically romantic settings (with limitless opportunities for proposal) – The Eiffel Tower, SacréCœur, banks of the Seine etc. he hadn’t popped the question and so I wrote it off. Therefore it certainly came as a surprise as we got back to our hotel room on the last night and Zariah tells me he wants to spend the rest of his life with me and produces a beautiful aquamarine engagement ring! I cried for a long time; half in shock, half in happiness and woke up the next day with a puffy but very happy face!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (7)

We were originally going to get married in February 2014. However, when I found out I was pregnant in December 2012, we decided to postpone the wedding so that we could solely focus on getting used to being new parents, without having to plan an imminent wedding too! Thankfully, the venue were so accommodating and happily rearranged it for 28th February 2015.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (4)

We had our wedding ceremony in our local church, St Paul’s in Sale town centre. The church is down the road from our house so it’s lovely to have that reminder of our wedding every time we walk past. After looking around various different venues for the reception, from stately homes to pubs, we knew from the moment we walked into The Compass Room at The Lowry Theatre that this was the place for us. We loved the urban architecture around, the room is really unique with floor to ceiling views of Media City. We are both also jobbing actors, so the fact our reception was in a theatre was another bonus and made it feel special to us.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (19)

The thought of planning a wedding has always filled me with dread, let alone the thought of a ‘theme’. That said, as we began to realise how much thought had to be put into each aspect of the day – there had to be some sort of common thread. We wanted the wedding to be bright, fun and personal, with a bit of sparkle.

Our colour scheme was predominantly blue with a lot of brights! My engagement ring is aquamarine, we both like blue so that was our base for the bridesmaid dresses and suits. After trawling through Pinterest I was drawn to all the brightly coloured flowers so we really went for a bit of everything.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (21)

After visiting several bridal shops in and around Manchester whilst carting Isaac around in his pram, the dress hunt was beginning to lose its sparkle. I was trying on too many and being indecisive. I had realised that the slightly 1950s style princess dress suited my figure the most but I struggled to find ‘the one’. One Saturday in July, on a visit back to my home town of St Helens with my step sister Julia we visited Always & Forever Bridal Boutique. The women in the shop were really down to earth, honest and didn’t beat around the bush, which is just what I needed. It was also the first shop I’d been into where I liked several of the dresses and most were in the Mori Lee range. It was here I found my Madison dress. It was just what I wanted, I loved the romantic tulle, full skirt, simple, but with a bit of sparkle in the belt.

It took a few more months for me to decide on the accessories. I bought some lovely 1950s style Rachel Simpson shoes online. Jewellery wise I wore a locket that my Grandad gave to my Nan on their first date which had their pictures in. I didn’t think I wanted a veil but in the end, I think the plain tulle veil complemented the church ceremony. Rosie Binns from Ethos Hair in Chorlton did my bridal hair and the bridesmaids’ hair on the day.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (23)

Zariah’s wore a blinking gorgeous electric blue FCUK suit from Moss Bros and Icon tanned brogues from Schuh. I thought he scrubbed up very well!

The groomsmen wore the same as Zariah. Isaac (our son) who was our page boy wore a suit from Mamas and Papas with blue Converse trainers. My bridesmaids wore sapphire blue Dessy dresses we ordered through J’Adore Bridal Boutique in Altrincham. My flower girl (Leah, my niece) wore a very pretty, simple white dress from Next, along with a cardigan with a butterfly clasp and we bought her a heart shaped locket, similar to mine.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (27)

We hired a beautiful Royal Windsor wedding car from Century Wedding Cars, St Helens, as our transport. We liked the 1950s theme and the company is owned by an old school friend’s mum and dad. It was nice to give them business as a grown up bride-to-be, rather than giving them grief as a teenage tearaway!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (28)

Our photographers were the brilliant and lovely Giulia and Ben from On Love and Photography. They had photographed our friends’ wedding the previous summer and we fell in love with their pictures. It was a no brainer that we wanted to use them too. Not only amazing photographers, they are such a friendly couple too. We both felt really comfortable around them and loved their observational style shots. They are also quite adventurous in their photography, egging us on for the more unusual pictures! We would highly recommend them.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (29)

Fletcher and Foley of Sale provided our flowers. My bouquet was made up of orange ranunculus, red parrot tulips, blue muscari, mixed anemones and hellebores and catkins for a touch of spring!

The florist arranged jam jar pew ends at the church made up of brightly coloured ranunculus, daffodils and blue musacri which really gave a hint of spring. Two of our friends then kindly transported the pew end flowers to the wedding venue and arranged them in a row on the top table. We used vases from my sister’s wedding for centre pieces and kept it simple with floating candles and peachy/pink delphinium orchids floating on top. The bridesmaids and I made the table plans, name cards and signage for the venue. The room itself had the wow factor so we didn’t need to go mad on decorations. Special Day Events, who we would recommend, provided organza bows for our chairs. Emma was really quick in her email correspondence and sent me an array of different coloured samples in the post to choose from.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (33)

Instead of a wedding guestbook, my friend made us a wedding post box with the idea that guests wrote their bits of advice and messages on a postcard, posted it in the box then took a selfie on our camera which we will print out and put next to their message in the guest book.

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Being big cake lovers, it was only fitting that we had cupcakes as wedding favours. We also had a vase full of sparklers which we lit on the balcony overlooking Media City later on in the evening. The idea was for us to walk through a ‘bridge’ of sparklers – by this point the guests were quite drunk though and I was convinced my dress was going to go up in flames!

As our main cake we bought an M&S three-tiered cake with a mixture of fruit and sponge. Simple and tasty!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (38)

As Zariah’s family are a Jamaican heritage we wanted to incorporate some Caribbean flavours into our wedding meal and so the sweet potato and red pepper soup was a nod to this culture, whilst the Yorkshire pudding and beef canapés a nod to mine! We had chicken with mozzarella and sundried tomato as our main followed by a coconut Manchester Tart with banana ice cream, which was a big hit!

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We love music and wanted guests to be in the mood for a party from the start so we hired Taylor and the Mason, two female guitarists to play during the drinks reception in the Quays Bar. Their voices are amazing and they are both gorgeous, funny and northern. We also hired a magician called Dan Tiernan whom Zariah and I have worked with at the Youth Theatre we teach. He was great and kept the guests and kids entertained during the meal.

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For the evening reception we hired a DJ – Nick Campbell who was recommended to us. He came to our house before the wedding to discuss our tastes in music and was really friendly and chilled. Zariah had written out a long list of requests for the evening which Nick was happy to use. Nick gaged the audience perfectly, the dance floor was never empty – we even ended up doing a Conga to a reggae song around the room. Our first dance was to Our Day Will Come the Amy Winehouse version. We didn’t want anything too smoochy or slow, yet this song meant a lot to us as after being together for seven years and having a baby together, it felt about time we had our first dance!

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It was really special that my Grandad walked me down the aisle in church. My mum and I lived with him and my Nan until I was four so we’ve always been close. It also seemed fitting that if my Grandad ‘gave me away’, then my step Dad, Graham, who’s been in my life for over 20 years should do the father of the bride speech in the evening. It was lovely that they both got to have special roles.

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Being a bit of a feminist, I think a lot of our guests (including Zariah) expected me to do a speech along with the traditional male speakers. Whilst it was something I considered, after the pressure of months of wedding planning, the thought of adding this extra pressure wasn’t appealing. Then I came across four young lively buskers on Facebook that I had another idea. I asked Bolton Brass – a four piece brass band, to perform at our wedding as a surprise after the speeches. After watching them online, I just loved their energy (they do dance routines with trumpets) and hearing modern pop songs performed by a brass band just captivated me. The band burst through the doors playing Can’t Take My Eyes of You after the final toast and then leapt into No Place I’d Rather Be, The Final Countdown and a couple more songs. It really geared the guests up for the evening do and was my way of making a speech. They were amazing!

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As we had a few children at the wedding I made goody bags for the kids table; play dough, colouring books, bubbles and disposable cameras.

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We loved our wedding venue. The staff were so friendly and accommodating throughout and for those looking for an urban city wedding, The Lowry is perfect. The Compass Room is big and has the wow factor with great views of famous landmarks and endless opportunities for photos. We liked the fact we had our drinks reception in the Quays Bar downstairs, it really made use of the different sections of the venue. We also managed to have some photos taken in one of the theatres! It really was a unique venue and reflected both our love for Manchester and the arts.

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It’s hard to define a favourite part of the day, we enjoyed it all from getting ready in the morning to doing the Conga in the evening! The vows in church were a really special moment when we both had to hold back the tears. We also really enjoyed hearing the readings we had picked for the church – one was from Isaac’s favourite bedtime book called ‘Me’ by Emma Dodd. It was lovely to have our son with us on our wedding day and fitting that we could include a reading that meant something to all of us. One really unique part of the day was when we arrived at venue and our photographers ushered us to a bridge next to The Lowry for photos whilst hundreds of Man United fans headed to the match. It was moment on our own away from the guests, yet surrounded by lots of friendly strangers from Zariah’s team (Zariah would like to add: we won 2-0 so it was a great day overall). We also had fun later on when we took to the balcony of The Lowry for group pictures with our friends. It was really cold and windy so after a few drinks, we all jumped up and down and started chanting silly songs to keep warm. It just confirmed how lucky we are to have such wonderful friends!

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Following the wedding we had a two-night minimoon at The Brimstone, Langdale in The Lake District. After a hectic 18 months of bringing up a baby and wedding planning, we just wanted total relaxation on our own. We are also having a week away to Crete in the summer as our honeymoon and taking Isaac with us.

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Our top tip to other Brides Up North is – plan well in advance, especially if you’re doing a lot of the stationery yourself. We took for granted how long the little bits would take us. We would also recommend investing in good photographers like On Love and Photography. The photos are the memories you keep for life after your day is over. We decided what mattered to us the most and the least, and stuck to that in terms of budget. Have fun on the day! The little things really won’t matter much. It’s about you two and having your loved ones around you what makes the wedding, not the chair covers (even though they did look lovely).

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pretty eclectic. a marquee wedding at Chirk Castle – gemma & david

October 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (34)

I do love autumn.  Crisp skies, moody mists, golden leaves, better telly.

This is a special season and a special week, in fact, for my family as my husband and I celebrate four happy years of marriage together, and our second anniversary with our little daughter in tow.

If you tie the knot yourself this week, let me tell you, it’s a great one for it – and I hope you are as happy in your future lives as we are.

For the rest of you, let’s kick off another week of wedding inspiration with this pretty marquee castle wedding, sent to Brides Up North by our fabulous Sponsor Andrea of Fabulous Day wedding planning, and real bride Gemma.

String out the bunting…

With images by SMH Photography.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (8)

Gemma says: We got engaged on a weekend away in Cardiff.  We saw the perfect ring and knew the time was right.

We set the date for 25 July 2014.  We are both teachers and knew we wanted to marry at the start of the summer holidays.  The venue is lovely on a sunny day and we wanted to maximise our chances of plenty of sun.

We were married at Chirk Castle.  It is one of our favourite places to visit.  We have always found it very romantic and loved the idea of being able to have the ceremony in the Hawk House.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (16)

We decided on a pretty eclectic theme.  There were lots of flowers and pastel colours but we wanted it to feel relaxed and have an informal, thrown together feel. We didn’t have just one main colour.  Lots of floral patterns and colours were important to us so that is what we were aiming for.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (21)

I chose a Maggie Sottero gown.  It was a long dress in light gold with beading.  It had straps and was corseted at the back.  I didn’t want a white dress and after searching for a year found one that I thought was perfect.  I used Aristocrats Of Chester.

David wore a grey Cameron Ross morning suit.  The morning suit seemed to go better with the informal style of the day.

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We used SMH Photography.  They were great and we would highly recommend the services of Sandra and Steve.  They were very professional and worked really hard all day.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (37)

Our flowers were from Fletcher and Foley.  We had a variety of fragrant herb and flowers to link the the garden theme. We had jugs of flowers on the tables that matched the bouquet and buttonholes.

The favours were homemade whiskey marmalade for the men and strawberry jam for the ladies.  David’s parents made them and we bought personalised labels from notonthe highstreet.com.

We choose a ‘Naked Cake’ after seeing something similar in a newspaper.  We had three tiers each filled with cream and decorated with fresh flowers and fruit.  Our colleague, Nerys, has made the cakes for lots of the teachers at our school and did a great job on a very hot day!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (40)

Andrea at Fabulous Day was our wedding planner and we couldn’t have done it without her. We want her to come and live with us now!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (25)

We used Ice Cream Dub ice cream for desserts, including mojito and strawberry champagne flavours. The van looked great.

In the evening we had a curry station served outside as the weather was so great. Rupert Frazer Worden was our fantastic caterer. At the bar we had Wrexham Lager on tap as David’s grandad worked for the company. It was great to have it there.

We also loved the DIY photo booth provided by our marquee company. The guests had loads of fun playing around.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (43)

We used Lucy of Memento Stationary and were very pleased with the results. We’ve even used Lucy for our thank you cards.

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (47)

We loved the setting for our wedding and would have chosen it a thousand times over. The place was already special to us and now it’s a special part of our lives. My family members from South Wales loved it so much they’ve been back to visit.

I was apprehensive about the ceremony as I’m a very emotional person but it was just perfect! Very natural and laid back, just as we wanted it!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (48)

I really wanted to go to the Maldives and it was just perfect. We booked through Kuoni and had 10 days in the Maldives and three days in Dubai. It was the perfect end to the whole experience. A perfect setting and great service at a wonderful resort. We want to go back now!

a pretty eclectic wedding at Chirk Castle (c) SMH Photography (54)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to hire Andrea, she had so many unique and money saving tips and contacts. Our day would have been completely different without her. Thank you Andrea!

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Blue Sky Dreaming! A Real Marquee Wedding In Cheshire – Rebecca & Stephen

August 28th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Cheshire Wedding by Neil Redfern

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I promised you a whole day of Real Wedding pretty, and that’s exactly what you are going to get.

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I’m rounding things off in style this afternoon with a beautiful marquee wedding in Cheshire, sent to me by the wonderful Andrea of Brides Up North Featured Supplier and wedding planning wonder Fabulous Day, Neil Redfern Photography and real bride Rebecca.

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Now wasn’t this the sort of weather we were meant to have for the bank holiday?  Let’s hope Rebecca and Stephen’s gorgeous big day spreads some sunshine this Tuesday afternoon!

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Rebecca says:  We got engaged in May 2011 in Mexico, Mayan Riviera. Stephen took me for a walk one evening after dinner to the beach where there was nobody but us, he sat me down on a beach bed and asked me to marry him under the stars.

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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We were married on 30th June 2012 at my parents’ home in Tarporley, Cheshire. We had a marquee on their meadow for the reception and the ceremony took place in the main garden.

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We couldn’t think of a more intimate place to get married than my family home. My parents have the space and it was a dream of mine to get married there so we made it happen. Every time I visit now it reminds me of my wedding day.

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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it was a typically English country garden wedding with vintage crockery, afternoon tea style wedding breakfast, old school garden games, sweet peas and lavender everywhere, using a colour palette of lavender and spring green. 

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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I found my dress in Agape in Knutsford, it was a Watters & Watters Dress. It was the first shop I visited, and I had a completely different style in mind than the dress I choose. The second I put it on I just knew I loved it and that my initial ideas had been all wrong.

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It was vintage lace bodice with a sweetheart neckline and then it went out at the waist with layers of organza and lace detail.

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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My bridesmaids wore a beautiful strapless knee length dress in Midori green, made by Watters & Watters (again from Agape in Knutsford) and the groomsmen hired their mid grey tails from Moss Bros, they wore lavender coloured ties to go with the colour scheme.

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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I carried a beautiful bouquet of mostly English flowers and wild grasses including a vintage rose. My bridesmaids had a smaller version of the same bouquet by Fletcher & Foley. 

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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I loved every single second but I think the ceremony was my favourite part of the day; it was so personal, we had written our own vows so they mean so much to us. Plus we said our vows to each other on my parents lawn in front of our closest friends and family, it was the best moment of my entire life!

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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We had a string quartet (Strelitza) who played for three hours before and after the ceremony while the guests drank champagne and ate canapés on the lawn. Then in the evening we had a DJ playing mostly 90’s classics.

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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To add a personal touch we gave our guests gifts of handmade favours (Jam and honey), made by the mother of the bride and mother of the groom and laid out vintage garden games  like quoits, croquet and boules. 

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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My brother Richard made my cake, it was better than I ever could have imagined. It was three tiers of carrot cake (my favourite) with a cream cheese frosting. It was devoured in the evening with nothing left by all the guests.

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Posh Frocks and Wellies provided the marquee and the lighting, dance floor and DJ were by HipswingStables Cuisine were our caterers, with vintage china hire from Vintage Teas

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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If you are planning a marquee wedding at home then I would really recommend a wedding planner, there is so much more to do and organise than a venue wedding.  I do not know what we would have done without our wedding planner Andrea (Fabulous Day) , she made the day what it was… perfect! In fact I would hire her for any type of wedding, she removed all of the stress and let us enjoy the run up and the day.

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern    Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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In the afternoon we were in for a huge treat – an aerobatics display, organised by father of the groom, a total surprise to us but thoroughly enjoyed by all guests and surrounding neighbours of Tarporley who have been talking about it ever since!

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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After the wedding we went to Bangkok and then Koh Samui in Thailand, where we stayed at the Six Senses resort. Absolute paradise!

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to remember that you are marrying the love of your life and nothing else matters.  If little things go wrong no one even notices, relax and enjoy because it goes by in a flash.

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Becky & Stephen's wedding by Neil Redfern

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Congratulations Rebecca & Stephen!

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If you would like to see your own Real Wedding on the pages of Brides Up North just get in touch!

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  – Images © 2012 Neil Redfern Photography

Fabulous Day is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

 

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