November 14th, 2017 | Julia Braime
As Lewis Carol fans ourselves here at Brides Up North HQ, we quickly fell head over heels (and down the rabbit hole) when viewing images from Roxanne and Shane’s beautiful big day, inspired by the author’s most notable novel.
Brining in lots of “eat me” and “drink me” elements, plus Wonderland style décor and a beautifully on-theme cake, we’d say the couple did an excellent job of incorporating nods to Alice, while still making their celebrations both romantic and personal.
The fine backdrop of Iscoyd Park, elegant attire and pretty blooms complete the fairy tale feel and have us grinning Cheshire-cat style.
With images by Elsie Love Photography.
roxanne says: We got engaged on the beach in Cuba. It was the second night of our first holiday together.
We got married on 22nd October 2016. We picked this date as it meant we would have the same anniversary as Shane’s parents.
Our chosen venue was Iscoyd Park in Wrexham, North Wales. It meant a lot to Shane as this is the area where he had grown up and, so he always wanted to marry in the area too. We had 80 guests for the day and 130 for the night. We chose Iscoyd Park as we both fell in love with the beautiful Georgian house and its exclusivity. It also had 5-star reviews.
Inspiration for the theme was taken from Lewis Carol’s Through the Looking Glass – I’ve loved Lewis Carol since I was little, and Alice in Wonderland is my happy place!
We picked green for the colour scheme as it’s my favourite colour and we felt that it was complement the theme too.
I ordered my wedding dress online – it was the closest I could find to the style I liked.
My bridesmaids wore green floor-length dresses, which I also found online.
Shane and the groomsmen wore dark blue suits from Groom in Chester.
April 10th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on the blog, we’re sharing a beautiful winter wedding at Iscoyd Park – a captivating Georgian country house in Shropshire.
Celebrating in the venue’s pretty marquee, the couple, Emma and Andrew, dressed this space with the most beautiful blossom trees draped with low hanging lights, creating the dreamiest of backdrops. Throw in some beautiful bouquets, Lindt chocolates, confetti on the dance floor and a string quartet – and you’ve got the makings of a truly classic wedding day.
With photos by Charlotte Giddings Photography.
emma says: We got engaged on Christmas Day in 2014. After our three children had opened their Christmas presents, Andrew got down on one knee and popped the question. I immediately said yes!
We both wanted a winter wedding and decided to tie the knot on 24th February 2017 at Iscoyd Park. We thought it was such a beautiful venue with wonderful, friendly staff and it’s even been awarded wedding venue of the year!
For our colour scheme, we chose pink, which is such a pretty shade! We love the work of Mat Heppleston from Red Floral Architecture and to coincide with the colour palette, opted for blossom trees in the marquee, which looked stunning
My dressmaker ruined my original wedding dress, as she made some very bad alterations. As a result, two weeks before the wedding I had no dress. But, in hindsight, I am so glad this happened because the dress I then chose to replace it was perfect and I felt like a princess! It was a three-quarter-length design called Eva from Wed2b in Wrexham.
Andrew hired a blue suit from Peter Posh in Shrewsbury, and teamed this with tan coloured shoes. The groomsmen and pageboy – our son –hired their suits from Peter Posh, too.
June 8th, 2016 | Julia Braime
If you’re looking for inspiration for a fun city centre celebration then you might want to take note of today’s real wedding, which took place in Liverpool.
Opting for a church ceremony and restaurant reception, Zoë and Shaun’s big day had both traditional and modern influences. There are so many elements to it that we love, including the city bus tour, pastel colour scheme, personal stationery, live entertainment and Zoë’s stunning Charlote Balbier gown!
All in all a very enjoyable and relaxed big day!
With images by Ruth Atkinson Photography.
zoe says: We got engaged a couple of weeks before Christmas in 2013, when we hosted a party for our friends. Once it was suggested that we did Secret Santa at the party, Shaun’s plan came together. It was engineered so that my present was last and after opening up a notebook with a message leading to a ring in the back, I looked up and Shaun was on one knee!
Our wedding was on Friday 25 March 2016, which was Good Friday. We chose the date as we were looking for a time in spring when everyone could come together so the long weekend seemed like the perfect time. We didn’t want to get married in summer as we were worried the British weather might not be up to scratch.
We chose the church because, aside from being completely beautiful, the Minister was very open-minded about our ceremony and allowed us to have the relaxed service that we wanted, with secular readings and our own choir. The church also had beautiful cloisters and library where we were able to hold a drinks reception after the ceremony. We chose Oh Me Oh My for the reception as it is a stunning former bank serving amazing food and with a roof terrace that has the best view of the Liver Building you can possibly get.
We didn’t have a theme as such; we tended to pick elements we liked and everything fell into place. We ended up hand-making lots of elements, such as signs, table decorations, favours, all of the stationery and one thousand paper cranes. We didn’t necessarily set out to make so much ourselves but since Shaun is a designer, it made good sense.
We chose a fresh a spring colour palate, mostly pastel yellow and grey with a splash of blue and white. However we weren’t too strict with this so we could incorporate other accent colours where we wanted to.
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May 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Bride Emily experienced a nightmare situation when the boutique she had found her gown in went out of business. Determined to still secure her dream dress, Emily went straight to the designer whose team went above and beyond to make sure she got her wish – and we’re sure you will all agree she looked absolutely stunning!
Groom Rory then chose to reflect his family roots by donning traditional Scottish Highland dress for the occasion and the pretty maids completed the attractive line-up in their elegant lavender dresses.
An abundance of pretty blooms in bouquets, button holes and décor enhanced the already romantic setting of Iscoyd Park for one very dreamy day indeed.
With images by Jo Bradbury Photography.
emily says: Rory had planned a romantic trip to Ireland where he intended to propose at Giant’s Causeway. Unfortunately heavy snow over two consecutive weekends scuppered his plans. I was wondering why he was so insistent that we travel to Ireland in a blizzard. Having asked my parents’ permission I think he was becoming worried about the cat being let out of the bag so, during a snowy weekend in January, whilst I was busy defrosting the freezer, he called me into our living room where I found him down on one knee. I was completely shocked, it was so unexpected but absolutely perfect as it was.
We had originally planned to marry on the 2nd August, which would have been five years to the day that we had met, but when we eventually found our perfect venue the only date they had available was 24th May 2014. So although it was a little earlier than we had planned it was absolutely worth it to secure the venue.
We got married at Iscoyd Park in Shropshire. Apart from being the most beautiful Georgian house in a gorgeous setting, from the very start the staff were overwhelmingly wonderful and relaxed and remained so right through to the big day itself – absolutely nothing appeared to be too much trouble. I had become a bit of a bridezilla and was struggling to find a venue that ticked all our boxes. Iscoyd Park ticked the boxes and more, I really couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
We didn’t have a fixed theme as such we just wanted an elegant and happy day with lots of personal touches and I like to think we achieved that. In terms of colour, we tried to match one of the colours to Rory’s family tartan, which was a sort of dusty lavender.
After a fairly exhaustive search, I settled on a dress by Sassi Holford. Unfortunately the shop where I had ordered the dress from went out of business just before the wedding leaving me without a dress. Thankfully Sassi Holford were incredible and after a trip from Derbyshire to Taunton to be re-measured they made another dress from scratch. I really can’t thank the team at Sassi Holford enough for pulling out all the stops to make the dress for me at breakneck speed to ensure I had the dress of my dreams.
Rory’s family is Scottish so he opted to follow tradition and wear a kilt, which was hired from Greenwoods. The best man also wore a kilt hired from Greenwoods. Rory also had sgian-dubhs, worn as part of traditional Scottish Highland dress, made and personalised to go with the kilts.
Sourcing bridesmaid dresses in the right colour proved more challenging than I had originally thought but, thanks to family in the USA, we were able to obtain them from Donna Morgan via Nordstrom.
We booked Iscoyd Park for the whole weekend so my bridesmaids and I stayed in a beautiful cottage in the grounds the night before for a girly spa evening and Rory drove himself to Iscoyd the morning of the wedding.
In our view, the photography was probably one of the most important elements, it is really the only thing you are left with other than memories after the day itself and I really wanted to be able to look back and see all the little details and moments from our wedding. Our photographer was Jo Bradbury. She had photographed my mum’s wedding to my step father at which I had been a bridesmaid, so I knew from direct experience that the photographs would be beautiful. Rory and I aren’t always the most serious of people, and models we certainly are not, so I really wanted someone who would be able guide us. I could not recommend Jo highly enough. She was there from getting ready, where she was incredibly non-intrusive during the nervous moments but was able to capture some really lovely shots. She then stayed almost right until the end to get photos of some dodgy dancing. Very importantly she managed to make one of the rainiest days of the year (we even had to throw the confetti indoors) look like a classic late spring day.
I carried a bouquet of white peonies, roses, freesia with a lamb’s ear greenry. All the bouquets and buttonholes were provided by Selina Godsal, the mother-in-law of Phil who owns Iscoyd Park. She is the on-site florist which is so handy for tying in meetings with venue visits.
I wanted predominantly white flowers so we used peonies, roses, hydrangeas, gypsophila with a few coloured roses in the hanging vases behind the top table. We decided early on to do some of the flowers ourselves so my mum sourced an enormous van-load of flowers from her local flower stall in Manchester as well as the best part of a small lavender bush from friends. We arranged them in hundreds of vases sourced from Ikea. Selina then did some big displays for us in the ceremony room and a large ball display hanging from the centre of the marquee.
I wanted to do something a little different for the favours and as I had decided most of the flowers and table settings were to be white I added a little colour by planting succulents into small glasses which would double as a wedding favour and a name place setting. It’s quite nice really as I am still getting updates from our guests nearly a year on as to how their plant has grown.
I had seen a cake on Pinterest which I fell in love with and which fitted well into our dusty lavender theme. We couldn’t decide what flavour to have so went for different flavours in each tier. It was absolutely beautiful and tasted great too!
I was given free rein on the décor for the wedding but the food was definitely my husband’s domain. Iscoyd works closely with the Fine Dining Company – the food was incredible and not only tasted great but looked lovely too.
For entertainment, we had the Vittorio String Quartet play as our guests arrived and as I walked down the aisle through to the drinks reception. I’m not sure it was necessarily a wise decision as I managed to cry almost every time I heard them play in the run up to the wedding. Thankfully, I successfully held it together on the big day.
For the evening Iscoyd suggested a DJ for us which was really useful as we are not from the area so any recommendations were gratefully received. We spoke to Robert Maxfield who asked our likes and dislikes music wise and he really created a party atmosphere for our evening of dancing.
I took a lot of inspiration from Pinterest for the little details. We printed a little poem for the ladies bathroom complete with a basket of toiletries to try and refresh the guests before continuing the party. Another of my favourite details were the little packs of tissues on the seats for during the ceremony; ‘for happy tears’. I really wanted to personalise a lot of the wedding so we had various things made, from a wooden card box painted with our names and wedding date, to the arrows directing the guests to the venue.
Other suppliers we used that I would recommend include Sash and Co who supplied the belt to go with my wedding dress. This too was originally ordered from the bridal shop that went out of business so they also pulled out all the stops to remake the belt in time. Gemma Cosgrove was my make-up artist, who was another calming influence on the morning of the wedding, not forgetting my friend Emma who not only managed to do my hair but also four bridesmaids, two flower girls and a few aunts all in time for the ceremony! Jean Jackson Couture also deserves a mention for making my mum look amazing!
I actually don’t think I can ever recommend Iscoyd Park highly enough. Not only is it incredibly beautiful but the people there are great too, Jen the wedding planner and Phil the owner were always on hand for any questions I had and Jen particularly really put my mind at ease. They have the perfect set up from the onsite beauticians and florist to the luxurious accommodation and venue. They urge you to make Iscoyd your home for the duration of your stay which I have to say, during what can be such a stressful time, was a really welcome comfort.
The moment that stands out in my mind from the wedding day is hearing the string quartet start to play as I began to walk down the aisle and catching the eye of my soon to be husband – a moment which Jo managed to capture perfectly. My mum’s speech was also incredibly touching, not sure there was a dry eye in the house, including a couple of Rory’s friends from the Army. Other than that I genuinely loved everything from getting ready with all the girls to the amazing best man speech to endless dancing and finally being able to call Rory my husband.
We went on a mini moon to a lovely boutique hotel in Norfolk booked through Mr and Mrs Smith. Later in the year we then went to stay in Tuscany in the most magnificent villa called Villa Fontelunga. Neither of us had ever been to Italy before and it is without doubt one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Phillip and Paulo the owners of Fontelunga were so welcoming and although we were offsite in our own villa they were always at the end of the phone to make dinner reservations for us or recommend places to visit. They hold weekly dinners for all the guests where everyone can get together to eat, drink and have lots of laughs overlooking the gorgeous rolling hills of Tuscany! We absolutely cannot wait to plan our return trip!
My top tip for other Brides Up North to help with the planning would be – Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest (you can follow Brides Up North’s boards on Pinterest here). It became my wedding planning bible, from colour schemes to flowers, to personalised details, I found it a really useful tool to create a mood board for the wedding.
August 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime
We recently featured Ms Balbier’s new Iscoyd Park bridal collection for 2015 on these very pages, and today I’m proud to hear all about the inspirations behind my wonderful friend’s beautiful designs. So Brides Up North, will you be a Balbier bride? You lucky, lucky things.
Click here to view the extended collection.
Charlotte says: A Charlotte Balbier bride is confident and daring in both her wedding dress style and every day fashion choices. My brides certainly have their own sense of individuality. Whether you’re a relaxed boho bride whose bouquet choice is wild hand picked rural flowers or a city fashion forward bride who keeps it minimalist and chic. Some brides like a theme and some like to keep it eclectic, it’s a personal style and choice and both are gorgeous.
What were your inspirations for this collection?
The Iscoyd Park Collection is very close to my heart as I designed the collection based on my wedding day to Teddy. My wedding day took place at a venue called Iscoyd Park in North Wales last December. ‘The Iscoyd Park’ collection is made up of over twenty new gorgeous gowns in an array of styles to suit the modern day bride, their wedding and style. The new collection includes two dresses I actually wore on the big day called ‘The Charlotte’ and ‘Iscoyd Park.’ I am flattered we’ve had such a positive response to brides wearing the same dress as I did on my big day! The ‘Iscoyd Park’ collection was designed with love, close to my dear heart.
What shapes, fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the collection and why?
The Charlotte Balbier collection has always been fashion inspired. Gowns that are forward thinking for the new generation bride. My signature style and look is using soft French laces. Charlotte Balbier is utterly feminine in charm and grace. My gowns are inherently traditional but with that added extra twist of fashion for a modern gown, bride and wedding day. The collection presents classical elegance and timeless gowns that never go out of fashion in array of styles, silhouettes, fabrics and a soft gold, pink and ivory colour pallette.
What sizes are your gowns available in?
Our sizing is from 0 to any size. Brides can choose the sizing they need and our stockist’s usually amend the dresses to fit the bride to perfection.
What does 2014/ 2015 hold for your label? What are you excited about?
Charlotte Balbier has been around for more than 10 years now and we’ve built a great brand. I am now embarking on a new chapter and looking forward to another 10 years, staying at the forefront of British bridal and looking to also take the Balbier brand International. Last year I won the Wedding Ideas Magazine’s Bridal Designer Awards and I’ve just been nominated for Perfect Wedding’s Best Bridal Designer. Winning Awards is a great achievement and honour to be recognized in the industry. Brides who’d love Charlotte Balbier to win can vote here.
What are your “best things” in life?
I am a very lucky lady because the best things in life surround me all the time! I’m constantly surrounded by lovely Charlotte Balbier bridal dresses and of course everything else in the bridal industry. I love shoes especially Jimmy Choo’s, Aruna Seth and Freya Rose. I love Clarins facials and enjoy one once a month religiously! I love my dog Buster and my dear husband Teddy!
Where can Brides Up North find out more about your label?
June 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 7th July 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
Katie and Guy’s Real Wedding is my kind of affair. Classy, beautiful and elegant – with lots of pretty pale pinks, lace accents and seasonal touches. This clever couple did things their own way, choosing to keep their stunning celebration simple and hassle free, letting their gorgeous venue and floral accents speak for themselves. Beautifully done.
With images by Jill Thorning-Jensen.
Katie says: Guy proposed on the first day of our ski holiday in Zermatt in February 2013, and we were married on 21st December 2013 (I was not the most patient of brides)!
We were married at St Mary’s Church in Whitewell, Shropshire followed by a reception at Iscoyd Park.
We looked at a number of venues around Cheshire and Shropshire, but fell in love with Iscoyd. The house and grounds are absolutely stunning – like no other venue we had seen. To add to that, Phil and the team at Iscoyd were so warm and friendly that we felt very comfortable that they would help make the day special.
I stayed at Willington Lodge the night before the wedding, a gorgeous local B&B with delightful hosts.
As the wedding was so close to Christmas we had a few festive touches (Christmas trees outside the church, and reindeer table names). The bridesmaids looked gorgeous in dark navy and the flowers were lilacy pinks with eucalyptus and dark navy berries to add a wintery feel.
I was determined that the wedding was going to be a stress-free event, so we purposefully kept any additions to a minimum. Instead we chose a beautiful venue (which needed no ‘extras’), with lots of lovely food and drink and a fantastic band who had everyone up and dancing.
The groom wore a Reiss suit and the groomsmen wore their own navy suits. All had knitted navy ties which matched the groom’s knitted navy bow tie.
The adult bridesmaids wore three quarter sleeve black tops with beautiful navy skirts designed and made by one of my bridesmaids and her exceptionally talented mum. The little bridesmaids wore ivory dresses from John Lewis.
Hair was by Louise Huxley (and her mum!) and makeup was by Melanie Poutney. We were very lucky to find a group of amazing people to help with the wedding, all of whom were a pleasure to have around on the day.
Selina Godsal did all the flowers for us. My bouquet was blush pink and cream roses, eucalyptus, a thistle (to match Guy’s buttonhole) and catkins.
We chose a vintage cream taxi from Manor Bridal Cars. Not only was the taxi a great choice for the December weather, it also made my Mum smile – she had been very concerned that I hadn’t booked a car until the last minute and we would end up having to get a taxi to the church!
The whole day was fabulous, but I think one of the most special parts was being in church. Seeing Guy waiting at the front looking so handsome was just lovely, and to be surrounded by all of our family and friends took my breath away.
In the evening we had a band, The Badcats, who were fab and had everyone dancing.
For our honeymoon we spent three weeks touring around Australia, seeing as much as possible and enjoying the sunshine.
For me, my top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t try to do too much. There is an awful lot to organise just concentrating on the basics, without adding in chocolate fountains and all the other extras. Being calm in the run up to the wedding meant that we could relax and enjoy every minute of the run up and the big day.
Congratulations Katie & Guy!
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