Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

coming home. a cosmopolitan wedding at the hope street hotel – anna & phil

November 6th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Lisa Howard Photography (58)

We’re beginning the week by heading to one of our favourite cities, Liverpool, for a stylish, contemporary wedding brimming with urban elegance.

Anna and Phil said “I do” in June of this year at the exquisite Hope Street Hotel – a chic, dog-friendly venue. And yes, the latter means that there’s a very special four-legged guest to look out for in the photos…

Plumping for a ‘Liverpool Love’ theme, the couple decided to keep things pared back in the venue itself – allowing the hotel’s stunning city location to take centre stage, with breathtaking views from their private terrace. And of course, no Liverpudlian themed wedding would be complete without an appearance from a Superlambanana!

With images by Lisa Howard Photography.

A Pretty City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Lisa Howard Photography (42)

anna says: We got engaged on my birthday, 8th April, in 2016. Phil was insistent that we went out for lunch to The Punchbowl pub, which is where we went on our first date. I was feeling pretty delicate after going out with my friends the night before, but Phil was desperate to go there. We sat on the same seats as on our first date and Phil passed me a birthday present which turned out to be an engagement ring, I was so shocked I couldn’t believe it!

A Pretty City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Lisa Howard Photography (63)

We tied the knot on 8th June 2017. We wanted to get married in June and decided to get married on a Thursday as the venue we wanted did mid-week package offers.

We had our ceremony and reception at the Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool. We both live in Sheffield but are originally from Liverpool so decided that it would be nice to get married there. We looked at loads of venues online and then went to a wedding fair at the Hope Street Hotel. As soon as we walked in, we fell in love with it. The views from the Fifth were amazing and the staff were lovely, so we booked it straight away. After we had booked the venue, we saw online that it was a dog friendly hotel so decided to ask if we could have our little dog Martha at the wedding and they loved the idea.

A Pretty City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Lisa Howard Photography (48)

We decided on a Liverpool Love theme, since we were coming back to Liverpool and it fitted our venue perfectly.

We went for nude pink, navy and silver colour scheme. We knew we wanted navy and silver but the nude pink was decided once the bridesmaids had picked a dress that they all liked.

A Pretty City Wedding in Liverpool (c) Lisa Howard Photography (77)

I didn’t really have any idea what sort of dress I wanted, apart from that I didn’t want strapless. I got my dress from Natalie Ann Brides in Huyton, Liverpool. The staff were all so helpful and made me feel relaxed as soon as we walked in. I didn’t pick my dress – it was actually the lady in the shop who suggested I try it on and I fell in love with it straight away. I paired the dress with Rachel Simpson shoes.

One of my bridesmaids, Estelle Greenhalgh is a makeup artist so she did my hair and makeup along with the other bridesmaids’ and my mum’s, and it looked amazing!

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come rain or shine. a fun and fabulous wedding in liverpool – jody & liam

October 10th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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While I love viewing all the real weddings that are submitted to the blog there are certain ones that I fall for so much they have me genuinely wishing that I’d been present to toast the bride and groom.

And today’s wedding is one of them – I love everything about it! The cool and stylish city locations, the pretty colour palette and décor, not to mention that delicious looking naked wedding cake. But a slice of sponge aside, the main thing that makes me want to be a part of the action is the expressions of happiness and enjoyment on everybody’s faces.

It turns out that even the rain couldn’t dampen Jody and Liam’s wedding day spirits!

With images by Lisa Howard Photography.

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jody says: Liam popped the question on 16th May 2015, at Delamere Forest. It totally took me by surprise! In hindsight, how awkward he was acting that day, now all makes sense. After our walk in the forest we went home and celebrated with a lovely bottle of champagne and then shared the news with our beloved family. A total whirlwind of a day!

Our wedding date was the 19th June 2016. There wasn’t a particular reason for this date but funnily enough it ended up falling on a significant date, as it was Father’s Day! We didn’t realise this until a few months before the weddings, when we started sending out wedding invitations.

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We got married at Hope Street Hotel, in Liverpool. It was perfect. The place is stunning! We knew we wanted to get married in the centre of the city. We had met each other just a few doors away from the hotel ten years before we got married. It just seemed like it was right for us.

Hope Street Hotel has an amazing room called The Fifth, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows from which you can see the whole of Liverpool. It’s also right in the centre of our two beautiful cathedrals. An amazing location. What more could we have asked for?

Our reception was then at the popular Oh Me Oh My, also in the city centre.

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There was no set theme or particular style to our wedding. I just knew I wanted to have lots of bunting, flowers and fun things to do. It all just worked itself out naturally.

We decided on a pastel colour scheme for the decorations and bridesmaid dresses. Our ceremony venue was very clean, white and neutral so we wanted to ease some colour into the reception venue whilst making sure that it wasn’t too overpowering. The wildflowers we picked for our centrepieces and bouquets popped beautifully against the pastel colours we used around the room, bringing a lovely boost of colour and greenery to the wedding and reception venues.

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I chose to wear a beautiful 50’s style wedding dress. It was midi length with three-quarter-length lace sleeves. It had a sweetheart bandeau neckline, empire line belt and a lot of lace detail going on. The dress was perfect for my style and, most of all, it made me feel comfortable. I bought it from an amazing bridal boutique in Ormskirk called Trudy Smith. As soon as I found it, I knew it was definitely the one. Trudy at the boutique was amazing! She was able to get my dress to fit me perfectly. I couldn’t have found anywhere better to buy my wedding dress, and I know that I would never have found anything else which suited my style and personality as much as my chosen dress did.

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Chic In The City: A Real Wedding In The North West – Lauren & David

October 8th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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There’s nothing I love more than to feature the Real Wedding of a couple whose engagement story I have shared here on Brides Up North.  We first met Lauren and David way back in October 2011 and now they return to our swirly silver pages to share their special day with us.  With images by Scarlett Weddings

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Lauren says: We got engaged just over 18 months ago on 19th December 2010 in Formby Pinewoods. David had planned a trip up to the Lake District to propose near Coniston water as our grandfathers built the jetty together years ago. However, the night before we were due to travel there was extremely heavy snowfall so David decided to take me to Formby Pinewoods instead for a walk. He proposed in the Pinewoods and it was beautiful with the ground and trees covered in snow – a Winter wonderland!

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We were married on Saturday 1st September 2012 at St Andrews Church, Maghull with the reception at London Carriage Works and Hope Street Hotel afterwards.

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We had checked out many of the more traditional venues in Merseyside but none of them were hitting the mark – they just didn’t feel like they were our style.  I discovered that Hope Street Hotel had started offering weddings following a recent extension and I immediately knew it was perfect for us. It was clean and modern but with warmth and friendliness. It felt different to everywhere we had looked at previously, and more importantly we knew that this venue would offer excellent food!

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As the size of our party was over 100 guests, we were unable to fit everyone into the dedicated event space on The Fifth, so instead we asked the Directors for permission to have exclusive hire of The London Carriage Works for the day.

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We used The Fifth for reception drinks and it certainly did have that ‘wow’ factor with amazing views over Liverpool towards the river. As it was a sunny day for our wedding it meant we could use the terrace up there too which was just fantastic.

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The evening reception was held in The Residents Lounge, the basement lounge at Hope Street Hotel that offered a beautiful Steinway grand piano that our pianist was able to use.

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I loved the fact that this venue offered three spaces that were different to each other that our guests could move to during the day that kept people energised.

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We love our home city, so it was fitting for us to have our venue in the centre of Liverpool. We followed a fair few wedding traditions, but we tried to keep everything as simple and as modern as possible.

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Quality and helping our guests to feel relaxed was really important to us, so we focused on ensuring we had excellent food, flowing drinks and transport for all guests between the church and venue.

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We kept things simple with wedding party wearing black to ensure the look was clean and sharp.

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To ensure that there was some contrast on the photographs I added small accents of pale pink and grey on my flowers, balloons and favours.  I found Pinterest to be a really helpful tool to store all of my ideas.

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I chose Silaba by Pronovias as my wedding dress. I only tried on four dresses and as soon as I put Silaba on I knew it was ‘the one’! It is a lace, fishtail gown with some embellishment underneath the bust line. I finished the look with a full-length silk tulle veil and Atara I earrings from Jenny Packham. All gifts from my lovely mum, Gill.

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It worked perfectly with the venue too, as the train could be hooked up for the evening turning the dress into a really sleek evening gown that was light and really easy to dance in!

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I purchased my dress from Eternity Bridal in Warrington and I would not hesitate in recommending them to anybody in the North West looking for beautiful gowns and excellent, friendly service. Zoe and Carl, the owners of the store, were on hand to offer lots of help and advice throughout the process and Anne, the seamstress, was so calming in the weeks ahead of the wedding offering top tips and guidance.

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My bridesmaid, Catherine looked beautiful in a black maxi dress from Coast. It really showed off her beautiful figure and the draping on the back was really elegant.

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Our ushers and Best Men looked really dapper in suits bought from Moss Bros. We knew early on that we wanted plain black suits for our wedding party but couldn’t find plain black lounge suits to hire in a quality fabric so we ended up buying them for everyone. The guys at Moss Bros Liverpool were really great in getting us a good deal on the suits but also coordinating all 11 men for fittings! It cost more than hiring but it was worth seeing our brothers, dads and best men looking so sharp! The suits were finished off with ties from M&S and pocket squares from TM Lewin.

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As David wears a suit everyday, we wanted to treat him to something a little more special, so he wore a black suit from Hugo Boss, white shirt from Gieves and Hawkes, black and grey tie from Hugo Boss and finished with Mulberry cufflinks – a wedding gift from me.

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Hartley’s in Aughton provided beautiful flowers using a mix of roses, hydrangeas, freesias and orchids all finished with looped grass with pearls threaded onto them.

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Our wedding cars were provided by Paddy at PJ Chauffeurs and we hired a bus to take our guests from the Church to the venue through Napier Point. The coach driver even took our guests on the ‘scenic route’ giving them a tour of Liverpool landmarks on the way to the venue!

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Cardlab, a traditional letterpress printer, made our wedding stationary. When I ordered samples from Kate at Cardlab, I was so impressed by the quality and finish that I ordered immediately. I ordered Save the Dates and Invitations in a simple ivory card, black copy and black ribbons and they really set the scene for the day. I had so many people complementing the style and quality of the invites and it helped get us really excited for the big day so we went on to order the place settings from Cardlab too.

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I stumbled over The Custom Cupcake Company a couple of weeks before the wedding and I’m so pleased that I did. The cupcakes were truly excellent, and the service was amazing! This was all while Kelly, the owner and cupcake maker extraordinaire, was preparing for her own wedding that very same weekend!

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Our families both have really strong links to the Liverpool Docks, with two grandads serving in the Royal Navy, one in the Merchant navy and another working in the docks themselves, so we decided to name our tables after the docks they worked in, or sailed out of. It was also a really nice tribute to my two grandads who have sadly passed away.

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We chose different favours for ladies and gents. For the girls, I created a CD made of songs that mean something to me and my close friends and family – the song me and my oldest girlfriends dance to after one drink too many, the song that reminds me of me and my brothers growing up and even a secret bonus track of our first dance song, Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles! I made the CD inserts myself and gave a short description of why the song is important to me. From what I’ve heard, my guests are still playing the ‘Wedding CD’ weeks later – they love it.

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For the boys, we placed an accumulator bet for each guest with predicted scores for the Premier League football matches that were scheduled for that day. A £1 bet could have resulted in a £30k win for some guests – sadly, none of our guests won a bean, but it was certainly a talking point and helped to bring people together on the tables.

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I bought plain CD cases and pillow boxes for the favours, wrapped a length of pink or grey twine around them and stamped with a bespoke wedding stamp that I had made. They looked like mini parcels for each guest!

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The excellent Afrika Fuentes provided two fantastic sets on the piano at our evening reception. All of our guests loved her perfect mix of old and new numbers and she certainly got the party going! Paul Maguire at Wedding Jam kept everybody on their feet until 2am with a fantastic mix of musical genres that reflected mine and David’s eclectic musical style

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We went to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico for a week after the wedding and booked through Kuoni. It was lovely to spend some time together after the wedding, as he weeks leading up to the ceremony were so busy; plus, it certainly made up for the poor British Summer this year!

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I have a few top tips for other Brides Up North! Get as many people involved as possible! Your friends and family will no doubt be as excited as you are for your wedding day and will want to be part of it, plus they can take some of the strain as everything starts to get busy in the weeks leading up to the wedding. It’s true that it’s your day, but it’s also about bringing two families together.

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Secondly, pick a fabulous photographer. Lisa and Emma at Scarlett Weddings were fantastic throughout the whole process. After returning from honeymoon, they popped over for a cup of tea and showed us a slideshow of the images taken on the day. I knew that they would do a good job, but they captured our day perfect and totally exceeded my expectations.

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And finally, make sure you actually spend time with your groom. It’s easy to get lost in the chaos of the day!

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HEARTCongratulations Lauren & David! HEART

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Contact me to see your own Real Wedding or engagement story featured on Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 Scarlett Weddings

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