Brides Up North

Mink Silk: A Real Wedding In The North West – Nadine & Paul

February 2nd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Mitton Hall Wedding by Mick Cookson Photography

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Did you see what I did there?

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Yesterday, I took a rare and cheeky day off from all things online – the wedding blog, Twitter, Facebook, emails, Instagram, Pinterest – you name it, I was unplugged from it, as I celebrated my birthday with my closest family.  I figured that with Baby Brides Up North on the way and a full Spring schedule of Brides Up North luxury bridal events about to begin (click here for dates, details and to register as one of our VIP brides to be) this might be my last opportunity for some me time for quite a while.

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So today I’m back, refreshed and recharged (or as much as you can be in your third trimester of pregnancy) and completely making up for our one day hiatus as I bring you Brides Up North reader Nadine and new hubby Paul’s stunning Real Wedding celebration, with images by Mick Cookson Photography.  Fabulous!

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Nadine says:  We got engaged on Tuesday 28th September 2010. The day started with a catamaran cruise to Ile aux Cerfs, which is a beautiful island fringed with white sandy beaches, palm trees and crystal clear blue lagoons, just off the coast of Mauritius. Once we’d returned to our hotel on Mauritius and changed for the evening, Paul mentioned that there was something special happening on the jetty and wanted to be nosey and take a look on our way to the restaurant for dinner. As we approached I could see a waiter on stand-by, the pergola at the end of the jetty was adorned with silks, and there was a table set for two. With the sun setting on the horizon of the Indian Ocean it looked a perfect setting for a romantic meal. As we got a little closer I whispered to Paul “Wouldn’t it be nice if that were for us!”. As we approached the waiter gestured to us and said our table was ready. Before I could apologise to the waiter and say he’d mistaken us for another couple Paul thanked the waiter, gently took my hand and escorted me to what proved to be the perfect setting for a proposal. Even at this stage I did not suspect what was to come, but shortly after we were seated and Paul bent down on one knee in front of me, the penny dropped and the moment took my breath away.

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We were married on Saturday 22nd December 2012 at Mitton Hall, near Whalley in the Ribble Valley. We planned for a Winter wedding.  It was on recommendation of my best friend Vicky. The second we walked through the door we knew it was everything we had been looking for.

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We didn’t have a theme as such but we wanted the venue to offer elegance and the atmosphere to be relaxed, informal and fun which reflected our personalities.  Our colours were very neutral. Our chair sashes were mink and the floral arrangements were creams and ivory with a hint of gold. Everything else followed suit.

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I travelled to the venue with my Dad who had come over from Jamaica to give me away. We were taken in a vintage Regent Tourer by Horgans Cars.

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My dress was purchased from Annie Laurie Bridal and although this was two hours from where I live the service they gave was worth every mile! After trying on around 12 dresses I fell in love with a Maggie Sottero  named Pasadena.

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Paul’s suit was a traditional charcoal wedding suit with tails, with an ivory waist coat and mink ruffled tie, which was coordinated with our daughter’s flower girl dress and the floral arrangements. This was hired from Groom in Warrington.

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We didn’t have any bridesmaids or grooms men, we just had our little girl as a flower girl although she fell asleep before the ceremony so didn’t get to walk up the aisle. She wore a lovely ivory dress with a satin mink belt and flower which I customised by adding a flower embellishment to the flower. We saw this dress as we were food shopping in Morrison’s! We weren’t even aware that they sold clothes but there we saw exactly what we had been looking for.

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I carried a bouquet which I made myself using satin flowers made out of satin ribbon, silk flowers and embellishments.  I had my heart set on having a bouquet that I could keep and researched different styles of bouquets. At some point I decided that I would try and make my own (something I had never done before) and after hours and hours sat making satin flowers I finished up with the most beautiful bouquet. I love being creative and can pretty much turn my hand to anything I set my mind to. I will now be framing my bouquet in a box frame which will take pride of place on our wall.

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I have since launched my own company, Handmade with a Heart, as a result of the many requests we have had from people for the special touches that we added to our wedding. 

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Flying The Knot provided our barn owl ring bearer!

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My favourite part of the day was when we were pronounced man and wife, which is when I spontaneously jumped up and down shouting “I’m married, I’m married” much to everyone’s amusement.

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Paul’s favourite part of the day was when we were walking down the aisle as man and wife when he had a few fist pump moments.

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We filled our guest boxes with personalised M&M’s which read “Nadine and Paul” on the ivory ones and “Married 22.12.12” on the cream ones and chose and wrapped 27 gifts that were given to all the children from Santa (a friend of ours who looks like the genuine article).

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Our floral decorations were by Passion Flowers in Clitheroe. 

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We struggled at first with the cake as Paul doesn’t like fruit cake, and prefers sponge, whereas I am the opposite. I really wanted my Gran to make our wedding cake as she makes the best fruit cake, but given Paul’s taste I decided to ask my Gran to make a sample cake as I knew that as soon as Paul tasted it he’d really like it! Sure enough, there was no going back once he tried it. I think it had something to do with the Jamaican white rum that she uses quite liberally to make it.

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My Gran made us four tiers which we then took to All Things Sugar in Warrington who decorated it beautifully for us. We wanted something simple but elegant.

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In the evening as well a DJ we had a chocolate fountain and casino tables from SJ Enterprises to keep the adults entertained and we had a bubble machine and candy buffet which kept the kiddies happy.

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Emma and Chris, who are friends of ours, lived in Austria for a few years and surprised us with a huge heart which was drawn on a cotton sheet along with our names and the date of our wedding. After we cut our cake, we were handed a pair of scissors each and the sheet was held up. Starting at the bottom of the heart we then had to cut it out but going in opposite directions and the first person to the top won!! We then stepped through the heart together and this symbolises stepping into a new life together as man and wife. It was such a lovely touch and was so nice as our guests cheered as we stepped through the heart.

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With it being over Christmas, and being lucky enough to have family travel over from Jamaica and LA, we decided to spend Christmas and New Year with family and delay our honeymoon. We are looking forward to flying into LA, which is where our daughter will spend time with her uncle, aunty and three cousins, whilst we go on to Tahitian island of Bora Bora. On our return to LA we intend to spend a few days together as a family in San Diego before returning home.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to plan everything quite early. That way you can enjoy all of the planning and the run-up to your big day, as oppose to things getting on top of you and stressing you out! Also spend time planning how you would like your special day to run in terms of timings and hand this to all parties involved i.e. MC, best man, maid of honour, photographer etc as that way everything will run its course without you having to worry. But most of all take time out as husband and wife throughout the day to take everything in and enjoy your day, as it goes so fast!

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Happy Wedding Day from The Sutcliffes!

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Congratulations Nadine & Paul!

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Contact me to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North.  Here’s how.

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  – Images © 2013 Mick Cookson Photography

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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A DIY Dream: A Real Wedding In Cheshire – Natasha & Kevin

January 29th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Kanashay Photography

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Another extremely beautiful Real Wedding celebration to get Tuesday off to a beautiful start? Ah, go on then.

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Natasha and Kevin’s home spun Cheshire wedding is full of perfect details, little surprises and gorgeous personal touches.  These childhood sweethearts certainly know how to throw a good party!  With beautiful images by Kanashay Photography, let’s join the love birds on their big day…

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Natasha says:  Kev and I are childhood sweethearts, together since our early teens. I was convinced that I would know when he was going to propose, especially after more than 10 years together, but somehow he still managed to surprise me.

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Kev proposed whilst we were on holiday in the South of France in the beautiful town of Carcassonne where he had booked us an amazing little villa to stay in. Kev often arranges lovely treats like this for us to do so I had absolutely no idea what was coming.  A few days into our holiday Kev suggested we went for a walk around a near by chateau. There wasn’t another person on the grounds that day, and I remember thinking what a beautiful and romantic place it was. We strolled around hand in hand, until we reached a picturesque stone staircase overlooking the entire grounds of the chateau, there Kev got down on one knee and with tears in his eyes asked if I would marry him, and after much squeaking, squealing and crying I of course said yes!

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We were married at Peover Golf Club, Cheshire, on Friday 19th October 2012.  The moment that we walked into Peover Golf Club we knew instantly that this was the venue for us. We had already put it on the short list after spying it on the internet, but it was even more beautiful in the flesh and exactly what we wanted. The timber frames, fairy lights and climbing plants give the venue that natural and rustic look we were after, suiting our personalities and taste down to the ground.

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I’m not sure there was a theme as such, we just knew that we wanted lots of natural and rustic elements and some DIY projects. We definitely didn’t want any fuss or bling!

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Our wedding invitations featured a hand painted autumnal tree and bird cage on brown recycled card, decorated with lace and twine. This look, along with my obsession with bunting, pretty much continued throughout the rest of the wedding process.

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We kept almost everything secret from the majority of our friends and family as I wanted them to have some surprises on the day.

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We opted for a sage green colour to fit in the the rustic and natural look. The bridesmaids wore this colour and sage green sashes were tied around we wooden chairs in the venue. We also added some splashes of dusty pink, creams and beige.

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On the day I travelled with my Mum, Dad and three bridesmaids on a fabulous Charabanc bus supplied by Horgans Cars. It wasn’t at all traditional but it was really important to me that we all travelled together and I’m so glad we did. We laughed all the way to the venue, it’s a memory I will always treasure.

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I got to try on so many wedding dresses in my search for the perfect dress, which I loved! However, I’m one of those girls that had already decided upon the kind of wedding dress I would wear years before. I knew exactly what it was supposed to look like and how it should fit , so I started to feel a little disheartened when with less than 6 months to go I still hadn’t found MY dress. Luckily a friend asked if I would model some bridal wear for a local shop, it was only through doing this that I got talking to the shop owner to whom I described my dream dress and as if my magic she thought she may have the dress for me. One week later my dream dress was ordered. Hooray! I choose a Mori Lee wedding dress by Madeline Gardner, which was supplied by the lovely ladies at Zyra Bridal Wear. They altered and changed the dress so it looked just the way I had hoped.

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I would suggest that any bride who knows what they want, to keep pursuing it. I was told by many bridal boutiques that the type of dress I was looking for would either be unsuitable for my frame or that they didn’t supply what I was looking for. Keep looking you WILL find your dress, and you WILL have that moment when you just know it was meant for you.

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Our bridesmaids wore sage green silk chiffon dresses from Coast, while the groomsmen wore light grey three piece lounge suits which were purchased from Hightown Menswear, Sandbach.

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I carried a bouquet of white hydrangeas and gypsophila, it looked just the way I wanted- simple and pretty.

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My cousin Sam played his acoustic guitar during the ceremony, which was just beautiful and so touching. We also choose two poems which were read by my bridesmaids and my sister in law Yvonne.

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There are just SO many favourite moments from the day…  the feeling I had as we said our vows and as we were pronounced man and wife was out of this world. Sneaking off for our little photo shoot and getting to spend some quiet time together, and Kev’s speech, it was just beautiful!

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Booking our photographer (Kanashay Photography) was seriously one of the best decisions we made. She was utterly fabulous throughout the day and I think the photographs speak for themselves!

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Our wedding was a real DIY project and we had just 9 months to do it in! We hand painted the tree design on each invitation for our day guests and made each brown paper package to hold their wedding favours.

I also panted a large canvas with a tree, on which our wedding guests were asked to add a green fingerprint to represent a leaf, and sign their name.

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We had a wish tree, that we attached handmade paper flowers, wooden hearts, pearls and buttons buttons to. Our guests then wrote us messages on luggage tags and attached them to the branches.

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We spent lots of time sorting through old pictures of friends and family to place in a specially made photo album entitled ‘a trip down memory lane’, for guests to enjoy.

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Kev’s mum very kindly sewed yards of beautiful bunting using material sourced from local charity shops, which was hung all over the venue.

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The flowers used to decorate the venue were collected from the local market and arranged the day before the wedding by myself and Kev’s mum. We displayed flowers and candles in various sized jam jars, which were decorated with lace and ribbon.

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My Mum did a wonderful job of making a basket full of pretty confetti cones for our guests to throw.

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A number of sweet jars, fir cones, acorns, tree bark and tins decorated with hessian, containing flowers were also dotted about the venue. I seemed to tie bows of twine to everything and made hundreds of birdcage labels, but it was all worth it in the end!  Dreamweavers Weddings were invaluable in helping us to create the look we wanted.

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We opted for a cheese celebration cake as we much prefer cheese to cake. It also fitted in nicely with the rustic feel of the wedding and went down really well with the guests who almost ate the entire thing!

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We used Olive Tree Catering for our wedding breakfast and evening selection. The food they serve is of such a high standard and completely delicious we simply HAD to have them on our big day.

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For the evening reception we booked the very talented Kurt Davies, who entertained us with two live sets performing songs we had chosen and a disco. The dance floor was NEVER empty!  We also had props available for guests to play about with which lead to some hilarious photos being taken.

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We honeymooned in Florence Italy, very soon after the wedding. It was a wonderful place to begin our married life.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North is that if you want lots of DIY elements at your wedding you need to start asap as it will definitely take longer than think. I would also recommend that you book an excellent photographer (like ours!) and get a video camera to capture the day, as once its all over it’s those are the things you will treasure most – along with your lovely new spouse!

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HEARTCongratulations Natasha & Kevin! HEART

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Would you like to see your big day featured on the wedding blog?  Here’s how

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  – Images © 2013 Kanashay Photography

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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Vintage Lilac & Lace – A Real Wedding In Cheshire – Victoria & David

September 13th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Thornton Manor Wedding by Martin Hambleton Photography

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High time for another beautiful Real Wedding on these swirly silver pages I think!  Today we are at Thornton Manor in Cheshire, celebrating the stunning wedding of Victoria and David.  Victoria has been absolutely fantastic with her recommendations and top tips for you lovely lot, so I think I’ll leave it up to her today!  With images by Martin Hambleton Photography.   

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Victoria says:  Dave romantically proposed on 16th December 2009 on holiday in Mexico under a waterfall in an underground cavern called Ik-Kil (this was the first stop on an amazing trip to the Mayan pyramids in Chichen Itza). We spent the rest of the holiday enjoying the new phase of our relationship and didn’t tell a soul at home until we got back.

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We were married on Friday 12th August 2011. We wanted a summer wedding and it ended up being a Friday as our chosen venue didn’t have any Saturdays in summer available 20 months in advance! We therefore chose August as this was perfect for Dave to take a number of weeks off work for the honeymoon and, with having a number of guests who work as school teachers, including one of the ushers, it had to be in the school holidays. We chose the 12th August as this was the date we became the owners of our current home, having previously rented a flat together for a number of years, so ‘the glorious 12th’ was a lucky date for us!

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We got married at St Georges United Reformed Church in the beautiful little village of Thornton Hough on the Wirral.

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St Georges quite literally came to the rescue when plans at our original church fell through just a month before our wedding! Having been our joint first choice of church (only put off by the distance from our home for the purposes of regular attendance), the switch actually worked out so much for the better in the end: In a short period, St Georges offered us so much more than we were ever previously offered over the period of a year, everything was in the one beautiful setting (with the reception being held just up the road at Thornton Manor) and, most importantly, we couldn’t have asked for a better marriage ceremony – so many guests commented on how personal and touching it was (which was quite an achievement in just four short weeks!) Indeed, from the word go, the Reverend John Oldershaw and Registrar David Stewart really shared our vision of the kind of marriage ceremony we wanted and for that we will always be grateful. Having taken us in at the last minute and made us so very welcome, St Georges will always be ‘our church’, which is just what we wanted following our wedding.

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The reception venue was the first element of the wedding we wanted to book as we knew it was a key one that would determine a lot of other elements. Over a period of about 8 months, we must have looked at most reception venues in the North West! We initially did an internet search and then visited those that looked like they were a good match for what we were looking for. We saw Thornton Manor at the first wedding fair we went to (and then every subsequent one after that). The pictures looked amazing and so we booked a tour and immediately fell in love with the place. We had always wanted a unique venue that had a good reputation, was easy for everyone to get to (so that everyone could attend), that was the right size for our numbers, offering 24hr exclusive use and picturesque grounds plus accommodation with overnight facilities (so we could extend the celebrations for as long as possible). Thornton Manor provided all that and more. Whilst top end in terms of price, we knew we would be able to trust them with our big day and it was definitely worth the money. The venue itself is so exceptionally grand and beautiful that we felt like film stars on the day and everyone commented on how perfect it was.

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I got ready on the morning of the wedding at Hilltop House.  Paul and Wendy really went out of their way to help make the night before and morning of our wedding so special; nothing seemed too much trouble for them and the bridal party all thoroughly enjoyed their stay. The morning of the wedding couldn’t have been more perfect – Hilltop House provided the most beautiful and serene setting for the bridal preparations; as captured on film. Exceptional value for money and highly recommended.

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We never really understood the need for a theme but I guess that ‘understated elegance’ was always the subconscious theme, whilst a vintage one also seemed to organically emerge what with the venue, car, outfits and flowers.  Our chosen colours were ivory, ‘vintage lilac’ and subtle blush pink. 

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I chose a very fitted, on the shoulder, vintage style Ritva Westenius ivory gown with a satin underlay and lace overlay that flowed into a gorgeous long train, subtly customised with delicate crystals and perfect for an hour-glass figure. The dress was purchased from the lovely Geraldine at the unique and fabulous Belles Bridal Boutique on Hope Street in Liverpool and customised by her talented seamstress Kathy. I would recommend Belles to any and every bride due to its beautiful and unique collection of dresses, quaintly styled studio and personal, unpressurised, professional and very genuine service. It was always that dress, no other in any of the many other shops even came close – it was the first one I saw in Belles on a manikin; it ticked all the boxes of what I was looking for and more and I was so glad to have found it there as Belles provided the fairytale bridal dress experience little girl’s dreams are made.

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Our one adult bridesmaid (and ‘oldest’ friend of the bride) wore a ‘victorian lilac’, floor-length, satin Alfred Angelo dress with lace-up back and a sweetheart neckline. We searched everywhere for just the right colour and style and finally found it in Pronuptia on Williamson Square in Liverpool who were able to do quite a quick turn-around. Our nieces (2 and 4yrs), as flower girls wore ivory satin dresses with a flower on the sash that tied in a bow at the back and had a subtle diamante detailed neckline with matching diamante studded ivory satin shoes; all from John Lewis.

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Sian made the trial and the wedding morning such a fun and relaxing experience. My hair and makeup perfectly enhanced my dress and I had so many compliments about both. My hair looked so natural that hardly anyone even realised that I had extensions in! I would recommend So Coco Rouge to anyone and have done so to brides and others alike. I love their concept of natural beautiful makeup in a quaint friendly environment – the experience is just as good as the finished product and I have become a regular customer.

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Accord Choir sang beautifully at our wedding ceremony; accompanying guests for each hymn. And, with the lace look being the ‘order of the day’ (particularly following the Royal Wedding), their outfits were even in sync with the bride’s and very much ‘on trend’.

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As we wanted a really personal memento of our day that guests could also keep, we chose Foto-fusion to produce our order of service, which featured a transparency of a photograph we took of one of the stain-glass windows in the church on the front and a poem and message of thanks on the back . Suzanne was really helpful and, with the change of church, ensured a quick turnaround on our beautiful finished product.

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We travelled i a gorgeous ivory Beauford Tourer (four seater) from Horgans Wedding Limousines that had a “Just Married sign” on the back and the number plate “We 2 R 1” when stationary. Poetically, it was the same company, car and number plates that Dave’s brother and sister-in-law had used on their wedding day 13 years prior. Having searched a number of car companies, Horgans were really professional and the cars were beautifully maintained. As we had booked the cars before changing the church, the chauffer commented that it was the shortest journey he had ever done as we quite literally drove round the corner from the guest house to the church and then up the road to the reception venue, going on a brief detour to allow the wedding party time to get there before us while we drank our champagne!

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Our photographer was Martin Hambleton Photography - Martin is simply a superb photographer and one we would recommend to anyone and everyone. I spent so long trawling through websites and wedding fairs to find the best photographer and that’s exactly what we got with Martin. Everyone who has seen the photographs (practically everyone we know, due to the helpful on-line gallery) has commented on how stunningly beautiful they are and how they perfectly encapsulate the happiness and romance of the day and, for us, the personalities of many of the guests. We are so delighted with all the photos (including the ones from the pre-wedding shoot) that making album selections has been nigh on impossible; taking us a whole year! Martin manages to put people who hate having their photo taken completely at ease as he’s such a genuinely lovely bloke; you get the best of both worlds as it’s like an enthusiastic friend taking the photographs but with all the creativeness and talent of a consummate professional.

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We used Marry Me Films as our videographer.  We really couldn’t have picked anyone better to film our special day; we can’t praise or recommend them highly enough. They were an absolute pleasure to work with and provided a professional and very personal service that was second to none from start to finish, culminating in the best possible portrayal of the best day of our lives; as appreciated by all our family and friends. Marry Me Films are a genuinely lovely, friendly couple who make an exceptionally experienced and enthusiastic team. Due to their impeccable attention to detail and unobtrusive manner, our stunning DVD provides the perfect way to relive our wonderful day and all its emotions. Each time we notice something different – something we’d forgotten or missed on the day itself.

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Cheryl at Pink Sherbet Designs produced the majority of our wedding stationery, matching the colour to the purple of the bridesmaid’s dress. The design was beautiful and perfectly complimented the theme of our day, whilst also giving us value for money. We had numerous compliments from guests about how gorgeous the stationary was. The table plan is still proudly displayed in our hall and will remain so as a lovely reminder of our special day.

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Barretts were more than just caterers; they were, as they market themselves, an events management company and a highly skilled one at that. Thanks to the wonderful, super helpful, organised and hard-working Michelle and her team, our day ran like clockwork. Nothing was left to chance as Michelle had guided us through all the decisions we needed to make in the run up to the wedding and had meticulously set plans into action. Family and friends all commented on how delicious the food was, how attentive and professional the staff were with the serving of the drinks, canapés and the wedding breakfast and how slick and seamless the whole reception was. Barretts professionalism made for a completely stress-free reception and we would highly recommended them.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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We tried to add our own special touches throughout the day.  At the reception, all the table names were of places of significance to us, like the place where we met and got engaged, our honeymoon destination, the street names of where we grew up as well as our first and current home etc. We also had photographs and name cards of friends and family no longer with us, or too ill to attend the wedding, dotted about the different rooms, along with lots of dried flower bouquets in the same colours as the real ones. In addition, one medium and one massive Jenga kept guests entertained in the gardens at the drinks reception and provided some great photo opportunities and video footage . At the ceremony, we were also honoured to have one of our friends sing while we signed the register. Our final special touches came in the form of surprises from our parents – a book of my early years presented by my Father in the speeches and a lucky wedding horseshoe charm for my charm bracelet given to me by Dave’s parents at the wedding breakfast.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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The fabulous and very creative Earth Flowers in Heswall provided all the flowers, including themy large, round, hand tied bouquet featuring vendella (cream) roses, sweet avalanche (blush pink) and memory lane (vintage lilac) roses, small purple freesia and freesia buds, wired cymbidium orchid heads (shared only with the groom’s button-hole), pale pink calla lilies (matching in with the groomsmen’s buttonholes), small white hydrangea (a flower in memory of the my grandparents) and tiny touches of silvery foliage. The theme of the bouquet was ‘an English country garden’ with a slight twist. The day after the wedding and before going on honeymoon, the bouquet was left on the grave of my paternal grandparents who were so greatly missed on the day. Having been to a couple of florists beforehand, Anne and Mark from Earth really ‘got’ my vision, helped hone my ideas with the use of their many photo albums and turn them into reality. The bouquets and displays they made for us were nothing short of stunning and, from start to finish, nothing was ever too much trouble for them.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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We chose six tier fruit cake with both round and square tiers, glass vases to add further height and sugared cymbidium orchids to match the flowers shared between the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s button-hole, despite actually settling on and ordering purple lilies to pick up the single adult bridesmaid’s colour!

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Nevertheless, our grand looking cake, ordered from Magical Cakes, perfectly fitted with our grand venue – the design was beautiful and perfectly complimented the theme of our day whilst also giving us value for money (as some of the tiers were fake!) Indeed, we had numerous compliments from guests about how lovely the cake both looked and tasted (it also kept really well and we still have some saved!)

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Martin Hambleton Photography   Martin Hambleton Photography

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Entertainment wise, we chose Marc Kenny, a combined singer/guitarist/DJ who held special significance to us as we used to see him in a particular bar from when we were first dating. Marc is exceptionally talented and great value for money with his combined skills and ability to cover all requests, either performing or DJing. He’s like a ‘one man band’; a very professional entertainer and a really nice guy to boot. Nearly all our guests commented on what a brilliant find he was. We couldn’t recommend him highly enough!

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Just over 24 hours after the end of the wedding (i.e. 4am following the ‘after-party’!) we jetted off to New York where we visited all of the major sites before heading to the luxurious and beautiful surroundings of Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort in Jamaica for some sun and well needed relaxation! Cirque-du-soleil, cocktails in the Waldorf-Astoria and snorkelling with turtles were just some of the highlights. We were so lucky to have the three-week honeymoon of our dreams (the third week courtesy of the hurricane in New York that prevented our booked flight-path on our intended return date) and for that we will always be grateful to all those who helped make that dream a reality through their contributions to our honeymoon gift-registry. Sandals was just fantastic – plush surroundings, diverse gourmet food, great entertainment and activities and really helpful when we were stranded, giving us one free night and an extended stay in the same up-graded honeymoon, beachfront concierge suite at a standard rate. We would definitely recommend Travel Counsellors honeymoon gift-registry for couples who have all they need for their home as it was such an easy way for guests to contribute to something really special for us.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Our absolute top tip for other Brides Up North would be – ask about any planned building work or potential issues at all of your venues (including your church!) before booking and make buying insurance one of your first priorities – it’s only cheap and well worth it. You always think you won’t need it and, hopefully, like us, you won’t but it’s always better to be safe than sorry and, as it’s a one-off payment there are no hefty premium increases (Thornton Manor actually recommended a good insurance company to us so it’s worth asking the advice of your venue as they may know the experience of couples who have made claims). Also, a lot of people think that insurance is only for things that go wrong on the day and whatever the compensation, it wouldn’t make up for that part of the day going wrong but it may be that the insurance could help rectify a problem before the big day. For example, we could possibly have claimed on the insurance for re-printing the invitations due to the change of church; we didn’t as we just sent out additional notelets and emails for speed and ease but, if that was something that really mattered to us, the option may have been there. We were also lucky that our wedding was on a Friday as changing the church on a Saturday in summer would have been pretty impossible so, whilst Friday’s are now often no cheaper than Saturdays (it wasn’t in our case anyway), we had much more choice available to us in terms of suppliers, could take our time with our selection and had more options when problems were encountered with the church… so, Fridays are well worth considering in general!

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Other tips would be:-

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· Capture your wedding on video and preferably hire a professional videographer or, better still, a company that uses two videographers, like Marry Me Films. That way you won’t miss a minute of your big day – each time you play it back you will see things you didn’t notice on the day itself or even the last time you watched it and it will help all those beautiful memories come flooding back. If you do hire professionals, make sure you are comfortable with them and their style as then you will enjoy, rather than resent, the time you spend with them on the day and will be happy with the finished product, as was the case with us.

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· If you are having young children at the ceremony, ask if their parents will sit with them at the back and take them out if they are unsettled; particularly if you are having the ceremony videoed as all noise will be picked up by the microphones.

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· Prepare well in advance, down to details like listing the specific photos you want (not just the usual family line ups) etc. Have a timetable for the day and appoint someone to ensure you stick to it, whilst building in a bit of flexibility (your reception’s wedding planner, master of ceremonies etc will probably do this). Make sure that at least key people know the timetable as well – my mum nearly missed our first dance as we hadn’t told anyone what time we were planning it for (sometimes it’s the simple, obvious little things you forget)!

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· Shop around for exactly what you want at the best possible price and always ask for a discount (10% would seem to be the average). The cost of all precious metals is going up so it is well worth purchasing your rings as early as possible (ours doubled in price over a twelve month period!).

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· If you trust a particular supplier, ask them what other suppliers they would recommend for other elements of your day. We found our bridal boutique and photographer through our videographers!

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· Enlist the help of others where you can – there is always more to do than you think! Before the wedding, assign specific jobs to people for them to carry out on the day (e.g. helping round up guests for the photos etc). Also ask people to remind you of or take charge of things of importance to you e.g. if you want an unofficial photograph or a dance with certain guests, ask them to find you for this on the day; you will forget in all the excitement as you get swept along with all the events of the day.

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· If you have any form of gift registry, ensure that you open it well before the wedding and close it a few days after the wedding to give guests enough time to contribute – quite a few will leave it to the day or even afterwards.

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· Ensure that you have a post-box for all cards at the reception as it is easy for these to get misplaced and some guests may enclose money, even if you have had a gift registry.

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· Set up a wedding email-address early on so that all your wedding correspondence (rsvps, emails from suppliers and so on) are all in the one place and therefore easier to keep track of and manage.

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· You may not be able to keep all of the people involved in your wedding happy all of the time but, if not, remember that it is your day – the two of you and, notwithstanding the happiness and contribution of other, it is your happiness on the day that is the most important.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Congratulations Victoria & David!

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Get in touch to see your Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 Martin Hambleton Photography

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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In An English Country Garden: A Real Wedding In The North West – Vikki & Rob

July 4th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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I’ve a treat for you to mark the middle of a busy week – a double header of Real Wedding gorgeousness!  Today’s first comes to us from the North West courtesy of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Adam Riley Photography and beautiful real bride Vikki.  And it’s an absolute stunner!

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One of my favourite bits about editing the Real Wedding features for Brides Up North (apart from the wedding dress lust) is seeing the raw emotion of a wedding day come across in the images.  This wedding doesn’t disappoint… and I reckon we’ve got a fellow Daddy’s girl on our hands here!  Nice to know that I’m not alone (*waves* hello Dad!). 

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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Vikki says:  We got engaged in November 2010 at Lumley Castle – I thought Rob had arranged a weekend away at a B&B near Durham but he had secretly booked a room at Lumley Castle, I had no idea what was going on until he got down on one knee!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography   

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We were married on 5th May 2012 at married Norcliffe Chapel, Styal and the reception was at Arley Hall, Northwich.  I grew up in Styal and my parents live five minutes from the Chapel, so it meant a lot to me to get married there. We chose Arley Hall for our reception because it’s a beautiful English country house, which is full of character and charm and the staff were so friendly and professional. It was exactly what we were looking for, and we fell in love with it straight away!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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Our theme was ‘English Country Garden’, sort of ‘bringing the outside in’, with an ivory and sky blue colour scheme. 

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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Steph Baker who has a salon in Wilmslow did all the bridesmaids and my nails on the Friday night and mine and my mums makeup on the day and Kate and Maria from David Anthony’s did all of our hair.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography    A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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We booked a vintage Beauford Tourer from Horgans Cars to travel to the Church and the Venue.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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My dress was from Lancashire Bridal Gallery in Tarleton and was an end of season Sophia Tolli design, so I got it for a great price! I felt that the dress complimented the venue perfectly!

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My bridesmaids were in Sky Blue Jasmine B2 dresses from Agape in Knutsford. As long as they were all in the same colour, I didn’t mind if they all wore different styles, but it turned out they all wanted the same dress!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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I was really emotional at the church, it was so amazing to have all our friends and family watch us get married, so I think that was my most favourite part of the day, but to be honest I loved it all!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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Janet from Croftland Nursery in Styal did the flowers in the church, the button holes and the bouquets. I gave her a vague description that I wanted ivory and blue ‘wild flowers’ tied together with string – I was overwhelmed with the final product, it was exactly what I had in my head!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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I made all my own table decorations and table plan from lots of twigs, jam jars, string and wild flowers picked from my Mum’s garden the day before.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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We also made Super Top Trump cards for all the guests as a bit of banter during the wedding breakfast!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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Amy James did the chair covers for the wedding breakfast and RW Bespoke did all the catering at Arley Hall.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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The very talented Leanne Holmes from ‘Bake Me I’m Yours’ made me a cake of cupcakes. She did four different designs which all followed our colour scheme and our ‘English Country Garden’ theme.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A string quartet from Thackeray Music set the tone for our Pimms reception at Arley Hall, and

David Lee was the DJ for the evening reception. He played an excellent mix of music, which kept the dance floor full all night!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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We had an amazing honeymoon which started with five days of relaxation in the Seychelles, followed by four days in Rwanda, trekking to see the mountain gorillas and finished with seven days on Safari in the Serengeti. 

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to just relax and enjoy the day, it goes by way too quickly!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall by Adam Riley Photography

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Congratulations Vikki & Rob!

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To see your Real Wedding featured on these pages just get in touch!

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– Images © 2012 Adam Riley Photography 

Adam Riley Photography 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[2]

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The Secret’s Out! Introducing: Fifth Floor Manchester

May 31st, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Afternoon all! Looking forward to the long weekend yet?  Yeah, me too! 

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I’ve got a whole host of jubilee celebration shoots lined up for you over the next few days, so keep on dropping by to join the flag waving here at Brides Up North.

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Getting things off to a fabulous start, a blog post that I have been so excited to share with you, as Brides Up North exclusively reveals the first images from the cool new Manchester wedding venue that the whole of Twitter is buzzing about:  Fifth Floor Manchester

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I’m thrilled to be working with the team at this different and exciting new venue, and although the location is not quite ready to be revealed until the official launch (more news soon!) all systems are go for a series of very special events this year, that I am proud to have been asked to support.  I shall be in attendance with my glass of Pimms, no problem about that!  

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Until then, here’s a first look behind the scenes with Brides Up North’s latest Featured Supplier

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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The team at Fifth Floor Manchester say: What a busy few months we’ve had and we haven’t even launched yet. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of a secret journey that will shortly be coming to a stop and finally revealed. It’s been so hard to keep our location under wraps and who the team members are but it’s all been worth it.

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Today we unveil one of our first inspiration shoots at our wedding venue, our website and much more. How exciting! We love our venue very much and only decided to take on this huge project because of its beauty and it’s space was going to waste. It’s unique characteristics don’t give in to corporate formality because of it’s age and place in history. It’s nothing like we’ve ever seen before and it takes our breath away every time we enter the room.

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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So how do we show these qualities to you without giving away our location? With the jubilee celebrations just around the corner, it seemed perfect. We stumbled upon an old Vogue “Royal Wedding” illustration and thought it was magical. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a photo-shoot based around the Queen’s wedding day!

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We know everyone loves a bit of vintage but we wanted something a little different. We didn’t want it to have a vintage theme: we wanted it to feel like you were actually back in 1947. No televisions, no coloured newspapers – just authenticity.

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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What a shock we got when we saw these glorious images! We had a wonderful team on the day of wedding suppliers. It was a long day and everyone was truly amazing!

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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So we want to say thank you to all the supplier’s we’ve worked with so far to make this possible, our followers on twitter for all your support and Julia at Brides Up North of course.

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Here, finally are our beautiful pictures of our new wedding venue at Fifth Floor Manchester.

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Watch this space for location info and more news shortly!

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Little Black Book

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Venue: Fifth Floor Manchester

Photography: Mick Cookson, Lorna Roberts Photography and Chris Mee as tagged

Caterer: Moss House Farm

Venue Dresser: Simply Bows Lancs

Stationary: Doodle Love

Florist: Red Floral Architecture 

Wool Accessories: Knitella

Make Up Artists: Bethany Jane Davies, Natalie Roberts Steel and Maria Santoro

Cakes and pom poms: Lily Bud Cupcakes 

Bridal Dress and Accessories: Charlotte Balbier and Amanda Wyatt 

Car: Horgans Cars

Guest dresses: Pop Boutique

Our wonderful models: Chris, Craig, Rachael, Joanne, Laura, Helen, Hayley, Miranda.

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  – Images © 2012 Mick Cookson, Lorna Roberts Photography and Chris Mee as tagged

Fifth Floor Manchester is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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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