March 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Top of the agenda for this morning’s wedding was ‘fun’ – taking just one look at the images below it’s clear to see that the bride and groom accomplished their aim. From the morning preparations to the ceremony and reception Steph and Paul, and their guests, just can’t stop smiling!
So let’s put on our dancing shoes and go join the party!
With images by Fairclough Photography.
steph says: We got engaged during a concert at the O2 Academy in Liverpool. We were watching our favourite band Scouting for Girls, who we have seen live many times and their songs and performances have given us such special memories from the moment we met. Our song is Heartbeat and as the band started to perform our song, Paul turned to me and produced a dazzling ring and asked me to marry him. In all the excitement I forgot to answer, I was in a daze. Eventually and after some prompting, I said yes!
We set the date for 16th August 2015, hoping for a sunny day – and it was!
Our venue was Abbey House Hotel, Barrow-in-Furness and it was sort of fate how we came to pick it. We initially met John from Abbey House at a wedding fayre in Bolton and were taken back by the stunning imagery he was displaying. Paul thought he recognised it and sure enough it was actually a hotel in the town Paul was born and raised in. We then entered a competition to win an overnight stay at Abbey House – and we won. When we booked our night’s stay we were keeping an open mind about the venue, but from the minute we pulled up we fell in love with the place. It ticked every box!
We didn’t have a wedding theme as such, we just wanted the day to be really fun. I picked coral for the colour scheme as it’s my favourite colour though it turned out to be the most awkward and challenging colour to match anything to.
March 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Having a good time was certainly high up on the priority list for today’s real wedding couple.
Sally and Simon planned their wedding date around securing the right entertainment for their big day in order to ensure the celebrations went with a bang.
Lots of singing, dancing, cocktails and a Jaeger train resulted in a fabulously fun wedding that went on into the small hours.
So it’s full steam ahead with today’s real wedding inspiration… cheers!
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
sally says: We got engaged on July 18th 2014. Simon took me and our dog Oscar for a walk up Rivington Pike, it’s all uphill and I nearly gave up half way up but he made me carry on. I’m so glad I did as when we reached the top he got down on one knee! He had a mini bottle of champagne with glass and a can of Stella in his back pack to celebrate! He chose there as we often visit and you can see the church where his dad is buried so it made it that little bit more special!
We tied the knot on 7th February 2015, the date kind of picked us! We didn’t want a long engagement and always wanted a winter wedding so decided early 2015. The only thing that was a must was having Howard Wing as our entertainment, so it was a case of checking Howard’s diary along with the venues (and Bolton Wanderers fixtures!). I loved having the wedding so soon after the engagement, it meant I didn’t dwell on decisions and everyone’s excitement levels were high all the time!
We were married at Holy Trinity Church, Horwich as Simon’s dad is there. We then went on the have our reception at West Tower, Ormskirk. Years before I met Simon my sister was planning her wedding and was given the brochure by a friend, from that day I said it was where I wanted to get married. We thought it would be out of budget but we were allowed to tailor a package that suit our budget. Neither of us had ever been but we booked straight after our first visit!
I wanted the theme of the wedding to be very simple and classic. I always wanted an all-white wedding and added a touch of silver to add a little sparkle!
I wore an Ellis dress, style 11330 from Bridal Italia in Bolton, who were amazing! I always wanted lace strapless mermaid design and must have tried every lace strapless dress made! I wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice but I felt a million dollars on the day and wouldn’t change it! The in-house seamstress made so many changes to the dress to get it exactly as I wanted, covering the tulle neckline with matching lace and creating a deeper sweetheart. I always wanted a bolero to cover up at church so they made me a matching one from scratch. It was exactly what I had pictured in my mind! A few days before the wedding I decide to have a cathedral length veil which Bridal Italia altered to add extra lace down the edges – it gave the wow factor!
Simon wore a navy three-piece suit from Next, my dress had polka dots within the tulle so he wore a spotty pocket square and a silver tie to match the bridesmaids!
The groomsmen wore matching two-piece suits to Simon but had polka dot navy ties. I had seven bridesmaids who all have their own styles and I wanted them all to love their dress and feel comfortable. So, I decided to go for a multiway dress where each girl could choose a style that suited them. They also had an optional lace bandeau. I encouraged them all to be different with hair, makeup and accessories so they felt amazing and they all did! The dresses were from Coralie Beatrix who sells on Esty.
It took a team of people to get me and seven bridesmaids ready on the day! My hair was done by Paisley Gamble and make-up by Helen Cafferky, I cannot recommend both enough and will use them both again in the future.
We wanted to cut back on some expenses so decided my dad would drive me to church as he has a lovely car. I bought ribbons to put on and champagne for the journey to the venue. However! On the day just as I had put my dress on and was making my way downstairs my sister told me to look out the window, and there was a vintage silver car waiting! Her and my mum had surprised us, Simon didn’t know about it either until we left the church, he loved it!
Our photographer was Jonny Draper. He was recommended to us by Howard Wing and as soon as I saw his blog I knew I had to have him! I can’t recommend Jonny enough, he’s great fun and completely put us at ease, he understood exactly what I wanted and the pictures are fantastic!
My flowers were supplied by Sue Nunn, we were on the same page immediately! I carried a simple bouquet of white roses and I chose centrepieces in all white. She made the table arrangements propped on four test tube vases so views were not obstructed and we added lots of mini tea lights and vases all over the tables! To save a little I asked Sue to provide seven empty vases on the top table for my bridesmaid bouquets, they looked great and kept the flowers fresh to take home! I also hired petal table clothes and silver sequin runners from Gilded Linens for something a little different along with lace chair sashes from Princess4aday.
As favours we decided to make a charity donation to two charities close to our hearts in remembrance of loved ones we have lost. I bought charity pins for the guests to take away with them.
I called in quite a few favours for the wedding, the cake being one! I left the whole cake design to one of my bridesmaids, Michelle, who had a friend at work that made individually designed cupcakes and a cutting cake. I didn’t see them until the day and they were a lovely surprise!
One of our planning highlights was the food and wine tasting. We sampled several dishes and settled on butternut squash soup, chicken with a creamy leek and mushroom sauce (yum) and profiteroles. West Tower allowed us to tweak recipes to get exactly what we wanted. We were given so many wines to choose from and Brian spent a lot of time with us tailoring a drinks package to suit. We had several compliments on the red wine we chose! We chose two different beers for the reception drinks, Moretti and Budvar and a Kir Royale for the ladies. The only thing I can recommend for any brides getting married at West Tower is don’t drive to the tasting! I have never seen so much wine and so many cocktails!
We had Mike Smith Sax Player to provide entertainment for reception drinks, this was a surprise given to me on my hen party from the girls! Later we had Howard Wing. Since we saw Howard for the first time at a friend’s wedding I said I would never get married without him! We wanted a huge party to celebrate our wedding and that’s certainly what Howard delivers. There aren’t enough words to describe how good he is and how many amazing memories I have from the day. He gets everyone involved and in the party spirit. We also booked a DJ – Dave Jones – through Howard Wing, he was amazing, I didn’t leave the dance floor all night!
We wanted to add special touches to our day to ensure our guests had the best time! One extra was the Jaeger train; we had 100 Jaeger bombs set up and had a race against each other. Simon won however he did slip and fall knocking a few over the bar! Luckily it was all caught on camera and on the short video Howard Wing made on the day! Another little special touch was to have our ‘last kiss’ before our first kiss. We really wanted to make our mums feel special on the day, so as a surprise they were invited up during the ceremony to give us our last kiss as single people before our first. We chose our mothers as they had given us our first ever kiss at birth. We also had Candles 2 Cherish make us two candles in memory of lost ones which we lit during the ceremony and are a great keep sake.
We would definitely recommend West Tower to others. The venue and setting are stunning and the main reason we booked. Other than the fact the place is stunning, the food is incredible and the staff couldn’t do enough for us. Brian and Charlotte helped with all the planning and Lindsey made sure our day went without a hitch! Lindsey cares about every little detail which was great as I was very particular! After meeting Lindsey I had no worried about the day and felt completely relaxed to leave everything to her! The waiting staff and bar staff are also superb, extremely polite and accommodating, they even stayed up until we wanted to go to bed at 4.30am!
My favourite part of the day was standing in church next to Simon, all nerves disappeared and I couldn’t take the smile off my face! Closely followed by Howard Wing’s entertainment – epic!
We left a few days after the wedding for our honeymoon, we went to Jamaica and stayed at Secrets Wild Orchid. The hotel was amazing and it was great to just get away alone and really relax!
I would advise other Brides Up North not to cut corners on a photographer as after it’s all over you will want amazing memories to look back on! And…the little things really don’t matter!
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January 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Priory Cottages near to my adopted home town of Wetherby in North Yorkshire is one of my favourite local venues, and I always get a warm welcome from their team when I pop in to pay a visit. I’m used to seeing the venue dressed for spring and summer celebrations (not least the fabulous wedding of one of my best girls, Charlotte – you can see her big day here), but it’s lovely to see how special and sparkly this place looks on a late autumn day.
Jude and Colin’s wedding brought all the brightest colours of nature inside for a stylish, cosy and heart warming day, filled with fun. My absolute favourite kind of celebration that there can be.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, and all round lovely lady, Helen Russell Photography.
jude says: We got engaged on 25th August 2013. Col had originally planned on doing it on my birthday earlier in the month but the ring wasn’t ready, so plan B was when we were visiting my best friend in Derby. Little did I know but they were all in on it. He proposed in Matlock in a cable car on our way up to the Heights of Abraham. Our friends Manda, Chris and their little boy Vinnie were there too so we got some great pictures of the proposal. I had just found out that I was pregnant so the champagne picnic was enjoyed by everyone else!
We were married on Friday 7th November 2014. We both love the autumn and the vibrant colours associated with the season are beautiful. We were hoping for a crisp cold sunny day! We got the rain instead!
We tied the knot at All Saints church in Wighill. It was small and cosy but beautiful. We attended the church in the year prior to the wedding and all the locals were so friendly. The reception was at The Priory Barn and Cottages, Nr Wetherby. We fell in love with The Priory as soon as we visited it. The barn has been restored and the old architecture of some of the buildings is beautiful. Serena the owner was fabulous from start to finish, we immediately knew that she would be on hand to help, which she was. We wanted a venue that was different, we had been to nine weddings in the past 14 months and didn’t want to marry somewhere our friends had done so.
We chose an autumnal/rustic style. I’m an outdoorsy girl and love nature and a natural feel to things. The table centre pieces were slices of logs we had gathered with skeleton leaves and Chinese lanterns. We used mini pumpkins were as table numbers. We had kilner jars with candles standing on upturned logs dotted around the venue and some old driftwood was used. We used a lot of hessian and lace and candlelight.
Our colour palette was purples and oranges – gorgeous vibrant autumnal colours that complement each other
My dress was from the Bridal Rogue Gallery in York. It was a Pronovias dress, ‘Leonde’, a tulle mermaid style made from Chantilly and Guipure lace. It had crystal, pearl and gemstone embroidery below the bust. I fell in love with the dress immediately. I wanted something classic and vintage and loved the lace and open back. I wore it with a borrowed vintage fur and Diane Hassall lace shoes. My mum bought me some beautiful diamond earrings which I hope my daughter Ava may wear one day.
I used Lisa Jones Hair and Makeup. Lisa is fantastic at what she does, I’ve had my hair and makeup done several times by her and it always looks immaculate. She is fun to be around and after a long sleepless night with a teething 10 month old she worked miracles!
Col wore a navy blue three piece suit from Ted Baker. He bought a pocket watch which finished the suit off beautifully.
We wanted something different from a traditional wedding car so opted for a 1967 ivory VW campervan called “Summer”. This was hired from The Yorkshire Wedding Car Company.
Helen Russell was our photographer. We would definitely recommend her. I was introduced to her at a friend’s wedding and immediately warmed to her, she has an amazing ability to make you feel at ease in front of the camera. We loved her vintage style, she has a great passion for her job and you really get the feeling that she wants to give you the best images she can. She managed to capture the romantic yet fun mood of our day. We had a pre wedding shoot with her and took our daughter Ava and Col’s son Elliott along… she was great with the children.
Wendy at Paperwhite Flowers provided our flowers. She is such a professional and so passionate about her job. She knew exactly what I wanted and goes above and beyond. My bouquet was a wild hand tie with lace and a decorative vintage key. It had creamy white vendella roses and superbubbles, spray roses and buds, large dolcetto roses, purple and plum foliage, orange rosehip, fountain grass, purple lisianthus, rosemary, astrontia million stars, birch and willow twig and was wrapped in fine green ivy.
Paperwhite provided all the flowers, dressed the top table and provided a large pumpkin filled with beautiful flowers and asparagus grass. I wanted a messy looking arrangement rather than something too structured. It was perfect.
They provided two beautiful pew ends with wild flowers for the church which we used at the barn afterwards and chrome lanterns which we used in the church then back in the courtyard and barn.They also dressed upturned logs with kilner jars and candles wrapped with ivy trails and Chinese lanterns and placed them around the barn.
AV Matrix dressed the barn in fairy lights. This was done before we even got there on the Thursday to get ready.
We had lots of purple and cream paper lanterns to hang from the marquee roof, Col and my bridesmaids Manda and Sarah spent most of the afternoon hanging them!
My mum made 120 hanging love hearts to hang on the backs of all the chairs. Our guests took these home and it’s so lovely to see them hanging in our friends’ homes. She also dressed our chairs in hessian and lace, they looked so pretty.
We had Cancer Research pin badges as favours as this is a charity close to our hearts. The men had blue ones and the ladies had the Elizabeth Stuart silver leaf pins.
Taste Cuisine provided the food and we went for a real ‘winter warming’ menu for the wedding breakfast. At the evening reception we had a hog roast served with cheese and homemade pickles and chutneys from my parents.
A very close friend of mine, Ronni made our cake. We had fruit cake (to compliment the cheeses at the evening reception) and chocolate cake. It was decorated with sugar blackberries, maple and oak leaves and wrapped in a fine hessian.
We lit a memory candle at the church which we took back to The Priory and had on a table with photos of our grandparents and those that are sadly longer with us.
I had some daisies incorporated into the flowers and my bouquet in memory of my Auntie Daisy who died of leukemia.
We used Dave Spink Videography, the girls who worked at the wedding were very friendly and professional, I didn’t even know they were around at times, we can’t wait to see the finished DVD.
Without the help of my parents the day that we had wouldn’t have been possible. They have spent so much time making things and helped to get the venue ready and looking as beautiful as it did.
Howard Wing was our wedding singer- what a legend and absolute gent with an amazing voice and talent to entertain! I came across him on a wedding blog and after speaking with him immediately knew we had to book him. We certainly weren’t disappointed, he had the whole place bouncing before the starters had even finished… I’ve never been at a wedding where people are singing and dancing on the chairs before dinner ends! Brilliant! So many people said ‘best wedding we’ve ever been too!’
We had dance floor rules and flip flops for the ladies, these went down very well…the following morning we found several pairs of shoes left in the marquee!
It’s hard to choose a favourite part of the day. I was so happy that my dad walked me down the aisle as only a week previously he had suffered a heart attack and we were unsure whether he would be able to make the wedding. I bought my dad a hanky and had it embroidered and gave it to him before we left for the church. It said ‘I may have found my prince but you will always be king, thank you for walking with me today’.
Col’s face when I walked down the aisle was priceless, he looked so emotional.
My favourite part of the reception most definitely has to be when Howard had us all doing the Love Train around the marquee before we had even had dessert, even the waitresses got dragged into it… it was fantastic fun.
We chose to go to New York for our honeymoon, having a 10 month old going away for two weeks just wasn’t an option, but thanks to grandparents and aunties and uncles we were lucky enough to have 5 nights away.
We have both always wanted to go, so it was the perfect choice. We loved it. We managed to do almost everything we wanted. We would love to go back one day and check out all the lovely restaurants, bars and of course do some shopping!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that the day goes so quickly so take some time together, and take a step back (easier said than done) and watch your guests having fun.
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September 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime
A glittering press party at Media City, Manchester this Wednesday night saw the launch of The Circle – a brand new concept in creativity, training and connectivity for wedding and lifestyle businesses.
I’m so proud to stand along my industry friends (who also just happen to be the very best entrepreneurs in the business), Charlotte Balbier, Jonny Draper and Howard Wing, as we launch our new concept.
Finally… I’m allowed to talk about it! (It’s been killing me).
Just so you know who you are dealing with here, Charlotte Balbier is one of the UK’s leading bridal gown designers; Jonny Draper is an award winning photographer and boutique owner; Howard Wing is the most in-demand wedding entertainer in the UK and I’m the Editor In Chief of one rather lovely wedding blog… all four of us have won numerous coveted awards and are recognised for excellence and experience in our specialisms within the industry. (*blush*)
Over the years (and over the odd cocktail or ten!) we’ve discussed the need for a club or collective – an inspiring and exciting space, comprising a combination of special events, practical training and online membership – where wedding industry suppliers can meet to exchange insider ideas, secrets and knowledge with the aim of boosting business and raising standards, profiles, contacts and turnover.
The Circle. Founded 10th September 2014.
Following Wednesday’s big reveal (an exciting and nail biting evening explaining the scope of our plans to assembled press luminaries like editors from Brides Magazine, Perfect Wedding Magazine… and other industry big wigs – official photos and lots of thank yous coming soon!) The Circle are now proud to announce our exclusive inaugural event, strictly limited to just 100 initial The Circle members.
Attendees should forget anything they ever knew about training days and get ready to transform or refresh the way in which they do business.
The first ever full day event is suitable for experienced industry professionals and start-ups alike and sessions packed full of insider tips and strategy will tackle topics such as brand evolution, blogging, social media wizardry, killer sales, effective networking and management, before ending the day with a VIP After Show Party. More in-depth info about the event, The Circle’s founders and pricing info can be found over at our brand spanking new website, just live:
Inspiration is guaranteed, and surprises come as standard.
As an attendee at the February event, delegates will automatically become a year-long member of The Circle’s essential online support networks, gaining exclusive access to an immediate, priceless forum in a private space to share ideas, make referrals, win business, solve problems and generate goodwill.
When you’re in The Circle, you’re one of us.
We’d love to see wedding businesses old and new, fresh and familiar faces at our first event, strictly limited to just 100 places. Since the website went live yesterday our inbox has been pinging with booking confirmations, so we’d urge you to move quickly to avoid disappointment.
This is going to get epic, and quickly…
the 100 club
Tuesday 10th February 2015
Styal Lodge, Cheshire
9:30am till 5pm
Then After Show Party
One day to transform your wedding business.
Inspire. Apply. Connect. Elevate
Book now at www.theweddingcircle.co.uk
Images by Hayley Baxter Photography
Film by Silk Wedding Films
September 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This evening sees the launch of a project I’ve been working extremely hard on behind the scenes for the majority of this year.
Those of you who have been regular readers and supporters of Brides Up North for the past four years will know that I believe wholeheartedly in the value of carrying on the online conversation in real life. This goes for both brides to be during our busy Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition season and members of our fantastic regional wedding industry.
Those wedding suppliers who have already used our annual Brides Up North “tweet ups” and networking parties to come together to share a few cocktails, ideas, business cards and recommendations will know just how beneficial events like these can be to business.
Well, we’ve decided to take things a bit further than that.
You know we don’t like to sit still here at Brides Up North HQ, and this year I’ve joined forces with an amazing team of industry leaders to bring industry connectivity and creativity to the next level.
This evening, I’ll be standing (in my sequins!) alongside the fellow directors of this exciting new vehicle – Charlotte Balbier, award winning wedding dress designer; Jonny Draper, award winning photographer and boutique owner and Howard Wing, award winning entertainer – to reveal our pet project to a select group of industry friends, sponsors and press, including the biggest bridal titles on the newsstands.
I’ve never been very good at keeping secrets, and can’t wait to reveal all on these pages.
One thing that’s guaranteed? You’ll ALL be invited.
More very soon.
Images by Hayley Baxter Photography
April 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Following the fashion frenzy of the last week (dahlings!), I think it’s about time we got back to basics here at Brides Up North. It’s what we do best – Real Weddings from real Brides Up North and their talented local suppliers. Real, regional and really, really gorgeous. I jolly well hope you’re thinking local for your big day!
This afternoon’s wedding was sent to us by real bride Kirsty and Brides Up North Featured Supplier James Jebson and has all the elements of the best of big days – tons of sparkle, big blooms and lots of laughs.
Kirsty says: We got engaged in October 2012 at Mottram Hall and were married on 14th December 2013 at St Anne’s Church in Woodplumpton by our fabulous village vicar Revd. Brian Whitley, followed by a reception at Beeston Manor in Houghton.
We chose our venue as it just felt very ‘us’. With its countryside setting and manor house feel, Beeston Manor is beautiful. Furthermore the venue was completely private and meant we just shared our day with our family & our guests.
I chose a Mori Lee wedding dress with lace and diamante detail from Dan Kerr Brides. It was a really sparkly dress and I loved it from the moment I put it on. All my jewellery, accessories and my shoes were from Lottie’s Bridal Boutique in Lytham.
Our bridesmaids wore gold dresses by Ronald Joyce, again from Dan Kerr Brides. Wayne and the ushers all wore grey suits, ivory waistcoats and ties to match the girls’ dresses from Moss Bros, and the Mother of the Bride and page boys were dressed by Lottie’s Bridal Boutique – along with the bridesmaids’ fur shrugs.
We travelled in a Range Rovers on the day all dressed by our florist Margaret Mason with ivory ribbons – they looked fantastic.
My bouquet was made of mini Calla Lilies and had diamonds amongst the flowers. It was simply stunning
James Jebson, our photographer, was simply sensational on our wedding day. His attention to detail, his professionalism, & his incredibly infectious personality, accompanied with his awesome photography put him in another league. In the words of my new husband James is ”simply a different kind of gravy” and his photography service was extra special from start to finish.
We were over the moon with our wedding pictures as they capture the best day of our lives from every angle. James didn’t miss a thing and even caught images of moments we had missed! We have the most wonderful memories of our wedding and I cannot stress how important a good photographer is. When your wedding is over your photos are the one thing you have left and I cannot thank James enough for our amazing images. He is simply fabulous!
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