Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

blossoming romance – a ‘north east’ garden party wedding in essex – hayley & gary

February 28th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty Garden Wedding (c) Kimberley Waterson (35)

Could there be anything more special than hosting your wedding reception in a friend’s garden? Today’s couple did exactly that – and we simply adore everything about their laid-back and very personal day.

Hayley and Gary exchanged their vows at the most picture-perfect, quaint church, before heading onto a close friend’s house to celebrate inside a beautiful marquee decorated with paper lanterns.

We think this might just be country chic at its very best.

Images by Kimberley Waterson Fine Art Photography 

A Pretty Garden Wedding (c) Kimberley Waterson (42)

hayley says: Gary proposed on 23 November 2014 in Grand Central Station, New York.

Firstly, Gary surprised me with the trip to New York. I knew I was travelling overseas, I just didn’t know where that was until we arrived at the airport. I even carried my engagement ring in my hand luggage without realising!

Little did I know until after the proposal that Gary had been having a nightmare with his three chosen locations for where to propose, due to TV film crews, swarms of seagulls, children throwing food, and busy crowds in unexpected areas. We eventually arrived at Grand Central Station in the afternoon where he made an amazing job of asking me to be his wife!

A Pretty Garden Wedding (c) Kimberley Waterson (11)

We got married two years later on Saturday 27 August 2016. We always knew we wanted to have the wedding on a bank holiday. In order to plan and save for the day properly we picked this month. We also hoped for sunshine with it being in the summer!

Although we are both originally from Co Durham in the North East, Gary’s work has taken him to the south. We decided to get married in the small local church in Lindsell, Essex. This is where Gary now works and lives. We then had the wedding reception in Gary’s employer and very close friend’s garden at his home.

Gary is a professional carer for individuals with spinal injuries. He works and lives with the man who he cares for. Martin, or Tiny as everyone knows him, is a very special person to both of us. His extended generosity to hold the wedding at his home is precedent for the loving and caring man he is. He is very much like a father figure to us both; so much so that he provided the Father of the Bride/Groom speech on the day – and did a fantastic job!

A Pretty Garden Wedding (c) Kimberley Waterson (46)

The main wish for our day was for everyone to be as relaxed as possible and to have fun. We therefore adopted a theme for our day of an informal garden party. Our chosen style was vintage country.

The main colours for the day were mint green, dusky pink and gold.  I always imagined these colours would work well together and we both agreed these complimented the vintage country style.

A Pretty Garden Wedding (c) Kimberley Waterson (65)

I wore a bridal gown named Elsa from designer Eliza Jane Howell, purchased from Kathryn S Trueman Bridal and Occasions in Morpeth. I initially did not have a preference for a style or shape of dress.  I wanted to find something I could move around and eat in – and something unique!

After trying on lots of dresses, I knew I wanted something with a higher neckline and coverage on my arms. This designer has such a 1920s vintage style and this particular dress was lightweight, with a soft sequin covering, small train, ¾ batwing sleeves and high neckline – perfect!  I knew it was the one when my mam cried when she saw me wearing it. I felt like a perfect bride!

My hair was styled by Smith and Co and makeup by House of Skin, both based in Dunmow, Essex.  Both were recommended to me, and were extremely friendly and professional.

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real wedding recap: enzoani for a wonderfully whimsical wedding in the north west – natalie & jamie

June 21st, 2016 | 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 4th July 2016 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

A Secret Garden Wedding (c) Stella Photography (69)

Wow! is the word that we would use to sum up today’s real wedding on the blog!

We love everything about Natalie & Jamie’s big day, built around a secret-fair-garden-type theme.

Natalie’s stunning dress, bouquet and super cute daisy chain headband make her look wonderfully whimsical and elegant and we could spend an age just looking at her, though there are lots of other gorgeous elements to take note of, including the maids’ cute dresses and incredible centre pieces.

Prepare to swoon…

With images by Stella Photography.

A Secret Garden Wedding (c) Stella Photography (67)

A Secret Garden Wedding (c) Stella Photography (39)

natalie says: We got engaged on a beautiful beach in Portugal. Jamie’s plan was to propose on a jet ski, but as I don’t like the sea, I refused to get on! His backup plan was to propose in one of the caves in the sea…again, I was awkward and refused to take part! Eventually, he gave in and proposed on the beach.

Our wedding was on 23rd May 2015, at The Great Hall at Mains in Lancashire. We chose the venue as its very local to us (literally round the corner from our house). As we were only having a small wedding, it was important that all our guests would be able to make it!

A Secret Garden Wedding (c) Stella Photography (31)

We wanted to choose a theme that suited our style and that wasn’t too serious. We’re not massive fans of traditional weddings so we wanted something a little bit different. In the end we chose a whimsical theme – like a secret fairy garden.

The colour scheme was mainly pale pink and apple green. I didn’t have a scheme in mind until we went shopping for bridesmaids dresses – the dresses we found were perfect for the theme so they determined the colour scheme!

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under the awnings. amanda wyatt for a beautiful tipi wedding under canvas

November 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Tipi Wedding (c) Davenport Photography (35)

Today’s couple are based in New Zealand but bride Rosie and her fiance Nick headed home (to her Grandparent’s back garden no less!) to say their “I Dos”. Keeping things super relaxed but seriously pretty, Rosie and Nick had their perfect English wedding (with lots of Kiwi touches) under canvas.

With images by Miki Photography.

A Pretty Tipi Wedding (c) Davenport Photography (42)

rosie says: Nick proposed on my 30th birthday (May 2014)! We were about to head out to meet my friends for drinks, when a tuk-tuk turned up on the driveway (we met taking part in an adventure rally, racing tuk tuks the length of Indonesia) and I just thought it was a cool birthday surprise. We were driven around my home town and out into the countryside, then we pulled up at a church in a tiny village called Alveston – the church that my parents were married at. We went for a walk around and Nick got down on one knee to propose. I don’t think I even looked at the ring (!) I just said yes and we hugged and cried for what seemed like hours. Then we got back in the tuk-tuk, he put on a song that he played to me on guitar when we first met, and we drove back to the bar where my friends and family were waiting for us. It was definitely the best birthday to date!

A Pretty Tipi Wedding (c) Davenport Photography (4)

We got married on 28th August 2015. Nick wanted to get married on a Friday and I wanted to get married on a significant date. We both wanted to have a summer wedding and choose a date close enough to the Rugby World Cup that any Kiwis coming over from NZ could catch the first games.

Our wedding day would have been my dad’s 60th Birthday (he passed away when I was 15) and so it was really special. And it fulfilled all of the criteria above!

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love blossoms. a pretty garden wedding at headlam hall – faye & mike

July 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (38)

Today’s wedding is centred around the bride’s family’s gardening and floristry background meaning there are lots of pretty blooms and botanical touches peppered throughout.

To follow their church ceremony, Faye and Mike chose Headlam Hall as their reception venue which boasts its own fabulous gardens, further adding to the theme.

In memory of Faye’s dad Keith, who sadly passed away the year before the wedding, there were lots of touching tributes, including special speeches and favours.

All in all a personal and blooming beautiful day!

With images by Tim Stewart Photography.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (3)

faye says: We got engaged on 24th December 2011. Mike told me that they were going out for the day because it was Christmas Eve but didn’t tell me where. Upon arrival at Whitworth Hall Hotel, in Spennymoor, Mike suggested that we feed the deer and then took me to a quiet place in the gardens where he got down on one knee and asked me for my hand in marriage.

We set the date for 9th August 2014. We chose the date because we are both teachers and we wanted a summer wedding so we could enjoy a longer honeymoon.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (13)

Our chosen venue was Headlam Hall Hotel, near Gainford. We chose the hotel because of its picturesque gardens, wonderful staff and phenomenal facilities. It also came highly recommended at wedding fayres.

The theme was growing and based around my family’s gardening background; our garden centre and floristry business. Our wedding quote was ‘let love blossom’. With this in mind we chose a green colour scheme.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (16)

I had my mum to give me away at the ceremony as my dad Keith, had sadly passed away the year before the wedding. The service was very personal and included a hymn dedicated to my dad.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (42)

I wore a fine laced fishtail dress which was trimmed with pearls and diamantes. My full length veil was then held in place by a matching side headdress of pearls and diamantes. The designer of the dress was Essense of Australia and I bought from Dobinsons of Darlington. Mrs Dobinson was extremely helpful throughout and offered good advice. I chose the dress due to the detail on the one shoulder strap, which I loved.

Mike wore a charcoal grey suit with a silver waist coat hired from Affleck and Moffat, Darlington. He also wore a slim green handmade cravat by Dobinsons of Darlington, which was made using the same material as the bridesmaid dresses. The groomsmen wore identical outfits to Mike, again hired from Affleck and Moffat in Darlington.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (31)

The pageboys had stylish green bow ties, grey shorts, grey braces, white shirts and cool white Converse high tops. Our youngest page boy was a baby and he wore a silk, white rompa suit with a green bow tie and white Converse high tops to match the elder two boys.

My bridesmaids had short silk, blue grass green dresses and carried green anthuriums, while our flower girl wore a full length ivory tulle dress with a green silk sash and a bow on the skirt. All dresses and accessories were purchased from Dobinsons of Darlington.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (37)

We travelled to the venue in a coffee and cream Brenchley car, hired from GW Holmes & Son, based in Bishop Auckland.

A Garden Wedding at Headlam Hall (c) Tim Stewart Photography (48)

We chose Tim Stewart, from Northallerton, as our wedding photographer. We would highly recommend Tim due to the extremely personalised service that he offers. Prior to the wedding we had various meetings and discussed key photos we would like and whereabouts. To our benefit, Tim was also married at Headlam so knew the venue extremely well.

We also hired a videographer, Paul Robinson of PER Productions, who produced a wonderful wedding DVD capturing our precious moments.

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pretty in the park. summer garden colours for a vintage wedding in yorkshire – emma & jonny

July 15th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (36)

With the help of her groom, today’s bride Emma pieced together a very pretty vintage wedding by combining handmade decorations, dainty china, cute bunting and beautiful country blooms.

In keeping with the theme, Emma also chose to wear a 1950s three-quarter length Justin Alexander dress, showing brides that hitching up the hemline can work particularly well for certain styled weddings.

As well as taking inspiration from all the pretty, be sure to look out for a special guest at the wedding too – Emma and Jonny’s cute dog Sadie, so cute!

With images by Olivia Brabbs Photography.

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (8)

emma says: Following a first date on a rainy day at a Duck Race held in Manchester in 2012, plastic ducks have always been a bit of a ‘thing’ for us. I had bought a black plastic duck as a reminder of the first date, and this ended up in our bathroom. In October 2012 Jonny took me away to a lovely little cottage in Somerset that had a hot tub – I had been warned to bring a cozzie, so in I dived! Next thing I know, Jonny is coming towards me with an up-turned duck. He hands it to me in the hot tub and said those magical words…and the rest is history!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (15)

Our wedding date was 21st June 2014 and our venue was Oakwell Hall Country Park in Birstall, West Yorkshire. We chose the venue for a number of reasons – firstly it is so pretty and picturesque. Secondly it is a blank canvas so we could pretty much do whatever we wanted in relation to decorations and the reception. Finally as it is in a country park it is dog friendly – we have a Jack Russell, called Sadie, who is very much a part of our family, so much so that she was involved in the pre-shoot and was present on the big day.

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (23)

Our wedding style evolved from a love of vintage! Like many couples, we spent the 18 months prior to the wedding sourcing vintage decorations/ china/ games – anything that we could use to make our wedding super special. Flower vases were hand decorated and bunting was handmade along with signs and confetti cones. Anything that we could make – we did!

We didn’t have a colour scheme as such and instead chose to stick loosely to summer garden flower colours. My maid of honour and bridesmaid wore different colours and then on the groom’s side the men wore different coloured shirts and ties. I wanted the colour ‘scheme’ to match our ‘theme’ so it was miss-matched coloured!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (27)

In keeping with the vintage 1950s feel, I had a desire for a three-quarter length dress – however it took trying on all styles for me to realise that I truly did want a short dress. Once I got my Justin Alexander dress from Elegance of Scholes on there was no going back – I twirled and twirled like a loon! Dress – found!

I really couldn’t see Jonny in top hat and tails so his suit was handmade by a local suit maker using Yorkshire grey cloth. Chris, the best man, also had a suit made to complement Jonny’s attire.

My maid of honour Janet wore a shift dress from House of Fraser, and my bridesmaid Cat wore a long purple dress from BHS. Both dresses suited both ladies and their comfort was paramount!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (32)

As we live locally to the venue, the day before the wedding was spent doing up the hall where the reception was to be held. This involved all hands on deck! We had people putting bunting up, making up cake stands and arranging tables. The juke box had arrived so music was playing and the hall was a hive of activity.

The night before the big day the wedding party went out for a curry to our local Indian. I said bye-bye to Jonny as he was spending his last night as a bachelor with his best man. My maid of honour and I went to mine and a bottle of fizz was opened (which I actually struggled to drink). The morning of wedding was actually really chilled. I remember sitting in the back yard with Jan in the sunshine! My hair was done by local hairdresser and my makeup was super natural and done by moi!

Jan and I were transported to the venue in a VW Camper, hired from a local company called VW Wedding Hire. The hitch we had was that the ordinal Camper that I had hired was having mechanical issues so they managed to source me a gorgeous cream VW Camper that was fantastic.

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (37)

Photography is really important to Jonny and I. This was the one area that we did struggle with. We wanted someone that really ‘got’ us. We wanted this person to really capture the finer details of our day. We came into contact with Olivia Brabbs at a wedding fair we attended (as stall holders). She very kindly took some shots of my stall and through this we realised that we had our woman! Our whole wedding was the polar opposite of a package, as I knew that I didn’t want a package photographer. For example, Olivia didn’t attend the morning of the wedding but met me at the venue instead, which was my choice. We knew what to expect as we had hired Olivia for the pre-shoot and my word the photos of our day were sublime. I truly would recommend her!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (39)

My bouquet was a gorgeous work of art – so colourful with seasonal blooms and my favourite yellow roses with quirky textured foliage. My bridesmaid and maid-of-honour both had smaller versions of my bouquet.

Floral decorations were up there on the ‘required’ list. In keeping with the relaxed feel of our wedding we went for ‘hand-picked country garden’ style flowers. The floral display was a mix of supermarket bought and flower shop arranged blooms and the mix worked really well! We chose a local florist David from The Flower Garden in Brighouse, to assist and he really did do us proud! The jam jars looked amazing – and people took these away at the end of the night as a little gift.

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (40)

To decorate the rest of the venue, Jonny and I collected all the china, deckchairs and decorations for months prior to our special day. Rather than sell our labour of love on, we decided to hire out items to other brides through our company called Vintage Wedding Daze. Our bunting has proved quite popular, so too have the deckchairs, handmade signs and suitcases. We love it when people love our style so much that they want to include it in their big day, and would welcome anyone to get in touch with us!

My mum is a freelance designer and so I allocated the task of designing me some seed packets. She filled them with wild flowers and they went on the tables for everyone as favours.

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (38)

Our wedding cake was a little different to the norm. I love body products, and there is a local company to us called Yorkshire Soap who do the most amazing bath products. Whilst mooching in their York store I came across their Soap Cakes and that was it, I was sold! We chose a four-tiered cake with scents that meant a lot to us. As bath ducks basically brought us together, I had to have some ducks on top, and came by a bride and groom duck, which worked perfectly! Everyone commented that the Soap Cake was an ingenious ideas and I still get comments to this day!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (44)

We knew that the typical sit-down meal wasn’t something we wanted for the wedding breakfast and we wanted to use all the vintage china that we had collected to its maximum, so we went with a vintage-style afternoon tea produced by Dish and Spoon in Manchester. When it was all set out it looked truly stunning, and oh-my-word were the cakes scrummy! The cake stands that Jonny handmade were chock-a-block full of goodies. We hired a couple of waiting-on staff to serve tea and coffee out of china tea pots. It was all so civilised! In the evening we had hog roast provided by The Porkery. I don’t think there was any left – that’s how good it was!

As our venue was in the middle of nowhere we had a bar brought in by a local pub. This was invaluable as it meant that we didn’t have to consider drink for the evening reception, or the any part of the day, for that matter!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (62)

To keep our guests entertained, we hired a jukebox from Betterdaze for the whole weekend and put on songs that meant a lot to us. We also asked close friends and family, who were involved with the wedding, for their favourite songs and included them with a dedication, which made it even more personal. For the evening entertainment we had a three part female harmony group called The Memphis Belles, whose style is 40s/ 50s which was in keeping with our whole wedding.

Outdoors we hired hay bales for seating and covered them with British woollen vintage blankets. We also had some vintage style garden games for extra entertainment.

I would have absolutely no doubts in recommending our venue to other couples. At one point me and Jonny even took Sadie on a little walk into the woods (in our wedding gear) the looks we got were priceless! Having the venue for the weekend was fantastic as it made the event more than just one day – it was a weekend event!

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (68)

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (70)

Following the wedding we had two honeymoons; a minimoon to Cumbria straight after the wedding and then a longer break in the summer when we toured Scotland, The Highlands and Outer Hebrides.

A Summer Garden Vintage Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (63)

I was so lucky that Jonny was as involved with the wedding prep as I was. I don’t think I could have done it on my own. So my top tip to other Brides Up North would be to divvy jobs out – don’t try to do it all yourself. Have people that you can rely on to help you out. For me it was the small things that got me stressed – but having such a reliable groom helped.

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beautiful blush. lusan mandongus for a wedding in cheshire – joanna & ryan

June 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (33)

I just love the setting of today’s real wedding, a gorgeous glass room at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens which boasts gorgeous views of the venue’s spectacular grounds.

Taking inspiration from Abbeywood, bride Joanna picked a pretty blush colour scheme and included lots of wild blooms in the wedding décor to help bring the outdoors, in.

And this is yet another wedding with an incredibly well dressed bridal party. Ryan and his fellow men look fabulous in their suits and kilts and we’re loving the bridesmaids’ specially designed pastel dresses. But without doubt it’s Joanna who steals the show in her gorgeous slim-line Lusan Mandongus gown and full-length veil.

With images by Jo Bradbury Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (1)

joanna says: We got engaged in October 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The holiday had been booked for ages. We always try to go away during the holidays as I’m a teacher and we both enjoy travelling. We chose the hotel together and discussed what we would do during our break. On our second day we hired bikes and cycled around the city visiting the sites. Just before we were about to go back to the hotel, Ryan decided that it would be a great idea to cycle through the park. We stopped outside the palace in the gardens where Ryan got down on one knee and proposed. After the proposal we enjoyed the rest of the holiday celebrating before returning home to share the good news with our family.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (3)

We set the date for 15th August 2014. We were very lucky to get this Friday in August as many weddings had been booked over a year in advance. I always knew I wanted a short engagement.  The thought of planning/talking about a wedding for two years was just not for me.

We got married at my church St Mary’s in Crewe and then celebrated the rest of the day at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens, Northwich. We knew from our first visit that Abbeywood was the venue for us. We have both worked in hotels when we were younger and didn’t want our wedding to feel like something on a conveyer belt which many hotels felt like to us. Abbeywood made us feel so special and nothing was too much trouble. It was beautiful, no fuss venue with lovely staff. The gardens were breath-taking and because the room was made entirely from glass, it felt like we were sitting outside in the gardens all day.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (4)

We didn’t really have a colour scheme, however the bridesmaid dresses, ties and the majority of the flowers were a subtle blush. Ryan was certain that he wanted a blue suit so we fitted the bridesmaid dresses around this and because the gardens were so bright and colourful we also chose colourful flowers as our centre pieces.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (9)

My dress was a Lusan Mandongus wedding dress. I chose this dress because it was simple and elegant but a little bit different. I loved the dress as soon as I put it on and even though I continued bridal shopping for many more weeks with my mum, I knew that I would not find anything that would suit me better. I was never a girl who had a vision for a dress so I tried on all shapes and styles but quickly came to realise that I wanted something lace and fitting. My shoes were from I Do Dresses in Crewe. They were the comfiest shoes and allowed me to keep dancing all night.

Ryan choose his suit from Platts Menswear and Formal Hire in Crewe. The staff were so knowledgeable and extremely helpful. The most important thing to Ryan was a suit that fitted him really well and that it was a bit different. The suit that he chose was a gorgeous French blue and tails because he knew that no other guests would wear a tails suit to the wedding. My Dad then chose a blue kilt and matched this with a French blue jacket. The suits that the groomsmen wore fitted all the men perfectly and they looked extremely smart all day. Ryan thinks that this suit was the nicest attire he has ever dressed in.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (17)

The bridesmaids’ dresses were designed and made by Mariee bridal shop in Nantwich. The shop specialises in bespoke bridal wear. After months of searching for bridesmaids dresses that complemented my dress and the groomsmen’s suits we decided to visit Kate at Mariee. I showed her a picture of my dress and the French blue suits that we had chosen and right anyway she picked the perfect colour of fabric (blush) and drew the most beautiful bridesmaid dress that myself, my mum and both of my sisters loved instantly. My sisters then asked Kate to add buttons down the back and a lace belt that matched the lace from my dress. The dresses were perfect and looked great on the day.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (14)

We hired our wedding transport from Horgans. The driver arrived in the morning and took myself and my dad to the church and then myself and Ryan to the venue after the mass. It was a nice time after the mass for me and Ryan to catch up and have a glass of champagne together before the reception.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (28)

Our photographer on the day was Jo Bradbury. She was the perfect choice for us because I knew that I needed someone that was going to fit around our day and not take over by making us spend hours having photographs taken. Jo was great, I barely knew she was there and the photographs are all stunning. She managed to capture so much of the day and stayed well until the evening getting some really fun shots of enjoying themselves on the dance floor.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (35)

My flowers were provided by local florist Julia Wynn. I told her about Abbeywood being a natural garden and that I wanted my flowers to reflect that. She came with lots of ideas and knew exactly what I wanted. She put together a very natural bouquet for myself and my bridesmaid that included a thistle because we are Scottish. Julia also sourced flower boxes and trees for the centre pieces for the tables.

Because I’m a teacher my invitations were designed by the children at my school. The head teacher at my school launched a competition to design the best invitation for my wedding. I had hundreds of entries all of them were great in their own way. We eventually chose one winner for the invitation but all the other pictures were way too cute not to use. I went to Delmar printers in Nantwich who kindly made the invitation and then scanned the other hundreds of pictures and shrunk them small enough to fit onto name cards. Every guest had their own personalised name cards with a picture designed by one of the children from my school. Each table number was written on a small blackboard with a top tip for marriage written by the children in my class. They were all really funny like: let your wife go shopping, don’t flip out if she spends £200; Buy waffles from Asda; make each other smile every day; and let your husband play on the iPad all day. They gave the guests lots to laugh at and talk about when they got to their table.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (43)

We only gave favours to the ladies at our wedding. Each was given a china tea cup and saucer.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (47)

My friend made our wedding cake. We spent an evening together searching the internet for ideas and she made one that was a mixture of a few ideas. The cake was perfect and all my guests kept telling me how delicious it was too. It had three tiers, blush flowers and lace icing.

The food at Abbeywood was delicious and many of our guests throughout the evening said it was the best wedding food they had ever had. We chose fishcakes for starters, chicken for main and chocolate brownie for dessert.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (39)

We knew that we wanted a band for our wedding because a band gets everyone up and dancing like nothing else. The band we chose was The Jim Jams. We had booked them before for a birthday party so we knew they were professional and really know how to show everyone a good time. They had everyone up dancing from start to end!

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (45)

Other suppliers we would recommend include Hair by Amanda Hendrie. Amanda specialises in wedding hair and put my hair up for my wedding. I had trials previous to the day so we both knew exactly what I wanted. She took into consideration the style of my dress and how I usually wore my hair so that I still looked like myself on my wedding day, which was really important to me. I also had a veil to consider for the day and a hair slide for the evening. My hair stayed up and perfect all day.

We also can’t speak highly enough about a company called Shoot it Yourself – this was the best wedding money that we spent. The cameras were dropped off at our house the day before. Ryan took one camera with the boys and I kept one camera with the girls. Our friends and family recorded parts of the morning, the wedding mass and parts of the day. The next day Shoot it Yourself collected the cameras and put together three chapters of our day.  The ‘best bits’ was a selection of clips from throughout the day with our music choices. The best bits were also put on their website so that all our friends and family could watch too. The other two chapters were of the complete ceremony and the speeches. Since the wedding day we have watched it so many times and it brings back some great memories. We also got to see everything that goes on in the background that we would have never seen otherwise.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (59)

Ryan’s favourite part of the day was between main course and dessert, he looked up and as the sun was piercing into the glasshouse everyone was enjoying themselves and he knew the hard parts were over and the party was about to start. My favourite part of the day was during our first dance, I was so worried that we would be left on the dance floor for the entire song alone, but as soon as the band invited people to the dance floor all our guest flooded on, desperate to get the party started!

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (62)

For our honeymoon we went to Italy, visiting Venice, Lake Garda and Milan. It was a great honeymoon. We enjoyed Lake Garda the most as it gave us time to relax, we didn’t realise just how exhausting getting married would be. The rest during our honeymoon was very much needed.

My top tips to other Brides Up North would be – book a live band, book the week before you get married off work as there is so much to pick up and do and where possible go with local businesses.  The amount of times you need to go and see suit suppliers, bridesmaid dresses, printers etc. staying local where possible saves you so much time and you get a more personal service from a small local business. Finally you don’t need to spend money on things you don’t need, all people tend to remember is the food, the company and the music.

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