Charlotte Balbier
Luxury Wedding Fairs

simple elegance. maggie sottero for a neutral wedding at eaves hall – cara & mike

January 27th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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

We’re getting your Wednesday off to a stylish start by sharing 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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pure pretty. mikaella bridal for an elegant wedding at stanley house & spa – sally & liam

September 15th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (46)

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – we love pink and we love pretty. It’s no surprise then that we fell head over heels for Sally and Liam’s wedding when it landed in our inbox.

This wedding is pretty through and through, from Sally’s stunning fishtail gown to the maids’ sweet pink dresses and those beautiful blooms.

The men at this wedding are also looking fab in their modern blue suits which complement the pink theme perfectly.

With images by Daniel Murrientes Photography.

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (25)

sally says: We’d been together for almost ten years when we got engaged. We planned a weekend trip to Barcelona in September 2013 after a friend told us we should go. It had been booked for over a month but it was only a week or so before we were due to depart that Liam decided to propose. Unknown to us there was a street festival in the city and the night after he proposed there was a huge firework display on the beach that just finished off the city break perfectly.

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (10)

Our wedding date was 17th July 2015. We picked it in the hope we may get a sunny day so we could have an outdoor drinks reception. Luckily when the day came, although a little windy, the sun was shining.

We got married at St John’s Church, Hindley Green. This has been my mum’s local church for more than 20 years. When we got engaged we weren’t sure where to get married but then my mum said that she had always pictured that I would get married in St John’s Church – so we did.

The wedding breakfast and evening reception was then held at Stanley House and Spa, Mellor, Lancashire. They had everything covered and wedding coordinator there, Joy Parker, was a credit to the hotel. We had a sheet with a long list of questions prepared but we didn’t need to ask a single one – she answered everything. The venue is designed mainly for weddings and it shows. After viewing Stanley House our search came to a halt as it we knew it was the one.

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (28)

We wanted the day to have a simple theme with a vintage/rustic feel and thought along the lines that less is more.

I’ve always loved pink so there was no other colour I was going to have on my wedding day. The bridesmaids wore pale pink dresses and the flowers were shades of pink, peach and creams. The groomsmen wore blue suits which contrasted great with the pink bridesmaid dresses.

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (32)

When it came to the dress, I picked the 1551 style from Mikaella Bridal, a Canadian designer. I tried on a few dresses in different styles but as soon as I tried on this dress both my mum and I knew it the right one. I didn’t buy it straight away though. Me and mum went back again a few weeks later to try it on again and ensure it was definitely the one.

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (33)

Liam wore a blue Lambretta suit which we purchased from Slaters in Bolton. His best man, ushers and the father of the groom all wore the same suit, teamed with a navy blue dickie bow.

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (37)

Initially the bridesmaids had each picked their own style dress from a range with each style to be ordered in the same colour. Unfortunately when they arrived, two of the four bridesmaid dresses were missing. We were told replacements would take three weeks however, they took eight and when they did arrive they were in completely the wrong colour.

All four dresses had to be refunded and with just three weeks to go until the wedding, a last minute bridesmaid dress search began. After trying highstreets shops with no hope my mum and I headed out to bridal warehouses in Bolton, Stockport and Liverpool and eventually found four bridesmaid dresses in the right colour and all the correct sizes in Bolton. The staff at the wedding dress factory outlet in Bolton were amazing and so helpful. They went above and beyond to ensure we got sorted. Not only did the bridesmaids look stunning, but we ended up saving £100 per dress – every cloud!

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (40)

Our wedding transport was provided by Satin Cars in Wigan. They were so professional and I loved the vintage wedding cars we picked. They transported the groom and ushers to the church prior to collecting myself, father, mum and bridesmaids.

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (44)

Photographer Daniel Murrientes captured the day for us. We wanted a photographer that would catch the emotions throughout the day. My favourite photograph is the one of me, Liam and my dad at the aisle were I’m wiping away a tear (I was a blubbering wreck). This is photograph will now always take me back to that moment and how I was feeling.

Dan was also just an all-round great guy. Most of the time you didn’t even notice he was there. He seemed genuinely happy to be a part of the day and clearly enjoys his job. We loved having him there and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else!

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (49)

On the day I carried a bouquet of roses in shades of pale pink, peach and cream. These were provided by Sara at Flowers with Passion. I chose Sara after meeting her at a wedding fair at Event City. We went to her show room not long after and she was so professional and did everything she could to ensure she understood our requirements and preferences. She had a large portfolio and has won lots of awards.

Her showroom was fab – she had a large book of cuttings of all different flowers, styles or colours that she looked through with us first of all in order to ensure she knew exactly what we wanted. She also had a number of flowers, vases etc. within our showroom and put together some mock centre pieces so we could have a taster of what they would look like on the day.

In addition to the centrepieces by Sara, we also had decorations provided by Creative Cover Hire. They provided us with full length white table cloths with ivory lace overlays, lime wash chivarli chairs and ceiling drapes with twinkle lights. Our name cards were luggage tags neatly tied to each chair, which were ordered from Etsy.

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (47)

Normanddorothy provided our invitations and also the order of service. They are based in Manchester and were really helpful. Everything was perfect and they couldn’t have done anything more for us.

We did DIY favours. We ordered 100 small glass jars from eBay for just £35 and filled them with retro sweets. Some with white jazzies and some with dolly mixtures and covered them with different fabrics purchased from both eBay and Etsy and added twine, plus a thank you tag.

To save on costs our cake was from Marks & Spencer. We added some ‘just married’ bunting to the top tier, which we purchased from Etsy. We then placed the cake on an apple tier next to other cakes, sweets and treats. We had created a sweet table the night prior to the wedding which included popcorn, flying saucers, marshmallows, cakes and cookies.

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (63)

We found our entertainment via the Function Central’s website. We chose the band Downtown Underground, who were fab! The band was led by Lil Vinny and they provided a mixture of motown funk and soul followed by a DJ set of pop music and indie classics. Our next to last song was my dad’s favourite song I’ve had the Time of My Life, with the final song by Oasis, Don’t Look Back in Anger.

We bought flip-flops for the evening as dancing shoes for guests whose heels might have started to rub to ensure there were no excuses for not being up on the dancefloor. For guests staying overnight we also provided a ‘hangover kit’, which we put in their room. We found these small personalised drawstring bags on eBay and filled them with sugary sweets, chewing gum, a vitamin c powder drink sachet and a sachet of coffee.

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (66)

Looking back I have several favourite parts of the day: walking down the aisle to see Liam for the first time, the father of the bride and best man speeches (which were so thoughtful and funny) and the evening disco when the rest of our friends joined us and we could finally relax knowing everything had gone to plan and it had been a great day!

We headed straight on honeymoon after the wedding. We spent one night in Dublin, Ireland. We stayed at The Shelbourne Hotel and as it was our honeymoon were upgraded to a suite. Not only that, the taxi driver that we had flagged down at the airport to take us to the hotel, found out our married name was Murphy and agreed to take us back to the airport to catch our next flight the following day at no charge!

From Dublin we flew to San Francisco were we spent three nights – again, as honeymooners we were upgraded and it was a fab city to visit. We went to Alcatraz, saw the Golden Gate Bridge, and went to China Town, Fishermans Wharf, North Beach as well as a bike ride around San Francisco breweries!

After San Francisco it was time to relax and we flew to Mexico, Cancun were we spent ten nights. We were due to stay at the Moon Palace Hotel. However, due to the hotel being overbooked we were upgraded to Hotel Le Blanc a 5 Star hotel where we even had a butler during our stay. The hotel could not have been better. Here we visited the spa, went wine tasting and even swam with dolphins. Other than that we just enjoyed doing absolutely nothing for a few days!

A pretty pink wedding by Daniel Murrientes Photography (70)

When planning a wedding some things may not go to plan (just like our bridesmaid dresses) but my top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to let it stress you out. It will eventually become something you will laugh about and there is a solution to nearly any problem! Otherwise, just enjoy it – after all that planning it’s over in a few hours (although it feels like seconds).

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Love Heart Red: A Real Wedding In The North West – Kirsty & Dean

February 5th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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If ^^^ that pretty parade of love heart heels ^^^ rang some loud “this is one wedding I have to see” (wedding) bells, then just wait until you see the rest of Kirsty and Dean’s stunning big day.  With images by Jonny Draper Photography, and some enthusiastic recommendations from today’s real bride, this wedding is a whole lot of lovely!

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Kirsty says:  We got engaged back in 2004! It’s been a LONG engagement…No ‘tear-jerker’ story I’m afraid, albeit very special to us. Dean proposed to me at home.  We were married on Saturday 1st December 2012 at Egerton House Hotel, Bolton, Lancashire. 

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The venue was one of the most important things for us. We had a few venues in mind at the outset but Egerton House was always a firm favourite of mine. It’s round the corner from where we live but Its got that Country House feel, the grounds are idyllic and there are lots of big comfy sofa’s and log fires. It’s like getting married at home but on a much bigger scale!

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Adele and the team at Egerton House are great and I had every confidence that they’d make sure everything was just perfect for us, and they did.

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Our theme was rustic, romantic, and red hearts (…because who doesn’t fall in love with Vivienne Westwood heels)! We chose a colour palette of bordeaux red, ivory and silver (very Christmassy)!

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When I set out on the ‘dress-hunt’ I knew exactly what I wanted. I just had to find it! One of the first girly outings to find my wedding dress was a shop in Ramsbottom, simply because there was a Chocolate Café around the corner, you have to start somewhere! I didn’t find what I was looking for but it did lead me in the right direction. The bridal shop had a sister shop in Rawtenstall and so I decided to pay Gypsophila a visit.

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Having walked into the shop and rummaged through the small selection of dresses they had I immediately spotted THE ONE! I knew straight away this would be the dress I’d pick, it was perfect. I wanted something that had Audrey Hepburn written all over it – very simple yet elegant that was very WOW.  It was silk dupion, had a high-scooped neckline, slim at the waist with the most fantastic crystal encrusted belt and then a full skirt.

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A quick swish test and I’d made up my mind, which was justified by the tears that followed from Mum and Nan.

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The bridesmaids wore bordeaux 50’s style cocktail dresses by Lou Lou, which had the same neckline as my dress teamed with the most gorgeous Vivienne Westwood shoes.

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I purchased the bridesmaids’ dresses from Just Gorgeous Bridal Boutique in Crawshawbooth, which I have to say is the best bridal shop ever!  As soon as I arrived at Just Gorgeous I just knew I’d find the bridesmaids dresses here, the owners (mum and daughter) Judith and Emily were so so nice, I think I’d of bought anything just to keep in touch with them!  Those girls became a highlight of my wedding planning times – the shop is every-girls dream, decked with lots of pink and twinkle and it’s superbly located right above a scrumptious cupcake bakery! There was always a bottomless teapot and tea is served in the funkiest pink china cup and saucers! 

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The groomsmen wore dark grey pinstripe tails from Slaters. Teamed with ivory waistcoats and bordeaux cravats and hankies. Dean wore an ivory cravat and hankie to match me. 

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We used Flossy & Leigh Hair & Make Up.  What can I say about these girls – fairy godmothers with extra twinkle dust. They managed to keep me calm all morning whilst working their magic to turn us into goddesses. We all decided to go for fairly natural makeup; I wanted an Audrey Hepburn-esque up do, whilst the Bridesmaids chose their own 50’s style hair.

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Phoebe pulled each and every one of our styles off perfectly! The girls arrived for 7am to set us all in rollers for breakfast, lots of make-up, girly chats and a few glasses of bubbly later and we were ready to step out on to the red carpet. Oh, they also have super-cool make-up chairs and an illuminated mirror – it’s like being a celeb for the day!

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One of my favourite parts of the day has to be also one of the most nervous and scary parts! It was waiting outside the ceremony room, all the Bridesmaids giggling waiting to go in whilst I concentrated on breathing!! I remember hearing the opening line of the entrance song and thinking ‘this is it’. Walking into the room and seeing Dean waiting at the bottom of the isle for me. I remember thinking; this is the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with…

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My bouquet was a natural look using akito and grand prix roses, bouvardia, lisianthus, ranunculus, ilex, ivy, freesia, eucalyptus and rosemary finished with a lace ribbon and a snowflake.

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Sara of Flowers With Passion was an excellent find! I’m sure every Bride has a vision for how they want their flowers and the venue décor to look, but it’s difficult to find a florist who shares that vision. I wanted my bouquet to have that ‘thrown together look’ (Sara will kill me for saying that!) – I wanted reds, cream and greens and plenty of different textures. Sara also decorated our cream birdcage table centres with ilex berries, ivy and candles and carried the look throughout the venue. 

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For me the flowers were one of my favourite things.  I’ll always remember Dean and I were called to view the room set up for the wedding breakfast before the guests were called through and I hadn’t quite prepared myself for how lovely it looked – I just burst into tears! Happy ones of course…

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We used Jennifer Sawdon a pianist and singer for the ceremony and the drinks reception. As we were having a civil ceremony we were always adamant that we wanted live music to create the same atmosphere at the ceremony that you get when you’re in Church. I had a real ‘thing’ about not wanting to walk down the aisle to a CD!

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I came across Jenny online and upon hearing her rendition of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars I knew we just had to book her. It wasn’t a song I would have associated with a wedding but the way she sings it is magical – Its not often a song gives you goose bumps!

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The only problem was, I couldn’t get through the full song without crying… I had to organise many a girls nights in and we’d play Jenny’s song on loop until we couldn’t cry anymore just so that I was prepared on the day!

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We decided on a cupcake tower: 180 sponge cupcakes in silver foil cases, topped with lashings of chocolate buttercream and finished with either two red glittery hearts or a silver glistening snowflake. We had a fruitcake on top and a caricature cake topper complete with Disney ears!

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The uber talented Jonny Draper was our photographer – I came across Jonny online somehow (I’m sure at one point I was stalking every wedding supplier known to man. Jonny’s images are amazing. I remember scrolling through his site thinking that when the wedding is over, all that’s left other than the amazing memories are the photographs and if I had an album full of these pictures I’d be one super happy lady!

Jonny somehow seems to capture every emotion of the day without taking you away from your guests, which is exactly what we wanted.

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A wedding video wasn’t something we’d really thought about. Until we came across Silk Wedding Videos and then it was all we thought about. I’d spend many evenings with a coffee and a tissue searching through Tom’s blog and I’d always end up blubbing over a couple I knew nothing about!

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We have recently received our wedding video and it really is amazing. It’s surprising how many things you see on your video that you didn’t take notice of on the day. Watching all of our guests waiting for me to arrive and listening to the entrance song gave me the same excited/ nervous feeling all over again. Although I have to admit it is really strange seeing yourself on screen – I’m sure my nose isn’t really that pointy!

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I would definitely recommend a wedding video and I can’t recommend Tom enough! On top of the fact that he’s so talented he is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet…roll on every single anniversary so we can sit together in front of the TV and re-live the best day of our lives.

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For our favours we used small black and white funky images of all the guests (courtesy of Facebook) and we clipped them to each wine glass with mini heart topped pegs. Its funny watching the wedding video and seeing the look on everyone’s faces when they arrive at their table. It’s also nice that I’ve seen them in wallets and purses since! We just thought it was a nice little ice-breaker…

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Unfortunately we lost two very special people during our wedding planning times. Both of Dean’s Nans passed away. We decided to provide British Lung Foundation charity pin badges as favours. We placed these in little brown envelopes that were sealed with a heart (sourced from Etsy) alongside a little poem.

It was quite special to look around the room and see everybody wearing their badges.

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For the children we bought brown paper bags (again from Etsy) personalised with their names and filled with Haribo ‘heart’ sweets, bubbles, wax crayons and a card with a ‘Bride & Groom’ on the front (which will be nice to look back on in a few years time). 

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In the ladies toilets I’d created a collage of photographs that were taken at the Hen Do… Including one of me with James Nesbitt!  We’d also put together a little ‘SOS’ kit in the ladies. It was a little heart shaped basket filled with hairspray, deodorant, hand wipes, comb, hand cream and hair pins which I’d carefully packed into little red envelopes with the words ‘When it’s flat, pin it back’ on the front!

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I came across The Coolers at a colleagues wedding, nothing fills the dance floor like a live band. It was actually the first wedding I’d been to that had a live band. Those guys really are the best. The Coolers also played our first dance, which was really special. We’re already looking for an excuse to book them again!

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We’d always wanted to visit Disney World and so that’s what we did for our honeymoon! Two weeks in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We then drove to Miami and stayed overnight in South Beach before boarding a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship, which went to the Bahamas. We then had a couple more nights in Miami before coming home so we drove the length of the Florida Keys and visited the Everglades.

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Since we enjoyed a long engagement, I have a few tips for other Brides Up North!

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Make decisions and move on:  We had 2 years to plan our wedding day which is great and gives you plenty of time to search through fantastic blogs like Brides Up North for tips and ideas. However sometimes having too much time means that you ‘park’ ideas in scrapbooks or in lists. The last 3-4 months really did fly by for us and I left lots of things until last minute. We were in Boots at 5pm the day before the wedding printing out all of the photo place cards – even though we knew we were doing these from the outset!

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Make a timeline: This was a tip passed on to me and I’m so glad I took the advice. Sounds a little ‘bridezilla-ish’ I know, but there’s so much going on during the day and so many people to organise. There will be things on the timeline that some people don’t need to know or even care about but it just helps if everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet!.

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Lots of information will be stored in your head right the way through the planning stages, I’m sure at times there were things I hadn’t even told Dean about… It’s nice to get everything down on paper and hand out copies to the bridal party and other suppliers.

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You’ll not be able to plan right down to the exact minute of the day but a rough guide helps things to run smoothly. This way everybody knows what to expect and you won’t spend the day thinking about it at all.

Of course you have to banish all sights of the timeline on the day… it’s s not cool if your running around with a sheet of paper panicking because the drinks reception is running 10 minutes late!

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Hen/Stag Weekend’s abroad: Gone are the days of ‘hen nights’… a weekend in Ibiza seemed a little extravagant at first but it was a much needed rest with my favourite girlies, it was a fantastic holiday and certainly one to remember. Waking up in the sun and having cocktails around the pool…lovely! Dean went off to Germany for his Stag-do to race around the Nurburgring track.

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Congratulations Kirsy & Dean!

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Get in touch to share your own Real Wedding on these swirly silver pages.  Here’s how

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  – Images © 2013 Jonny Draper Photography

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