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lemon & lace. florals galore for an elegant wedding in the north west – zarah & jeff

December 18th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding On The Wirral (c) James Tracey Photography (34)

Baby it’s cold outside, but we have a stunning real wedding that’s guaranteed to warm up your Monday morning.

Featuring an abundance of blooms – from striking bouquets and centrepieces, to blossom trees, a floral wall and iced flowers on the cake – Jeff and Zarah’s big day was nothing short of beautiful.

The stunning Hillbark Hotel in the Wirral provided the perfect setting for their elegant big day, with the ceremony taking place in the spectacular Grand Hall and the reception in the venue’s large star-lit marquee.

Drawing on her experiences as a guest at the weddings of friends and family, Zarah picked out her favourite features and mixed in a few of her big day wishes too, resulting in an entertaining and enjoyable day for all.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

An Elegant Wedding On The Wirral (c) James Tracey Photography (9)

zarah says: We got engaged in Cuba on the 22nd May 2016. Jeff organised a lovely meal. We got picked up from our hotel in a 1957 Chevrolet car, which was amazing. When we got back to the hotel after our meal, Jeff insisted he wanted to walk on the beach and smoke a cigar – as you do in Cuba! I was a bit hesitant at first as a few drops of rain appeared. None the less we walked down to the beach and Jeff smoked his cigar. After a short stroll down the beach, I wanted to go back into the hotel as few more drops of rain appeared. As we walked back along the beach Jeff said, “wait I have something to ask you”. He then went down on his knee, as he proposed lightening appeared in the background and he asked for my hand in marriage. I was quite shocked and said “ok”, feeling the happiest lady in the world. Jeff then chuckled and told me when he asked my dad, he said the same thing!

An Elegant Wedding On The Wirral (c) James Tracey Photography (2)

We got married on Friday 25th August 2017. We choose that date as it was the bank holiday weekend and we thought it would be a nice long weekend for our friends and family.

We got married in the Wirral at a hotel called Hillbark Hotel and Spa. We choose this venue as it is a beautiful Tudor style hotel and had an amazing great hall where we could get married. There are only 16 rooms at the hotel which meant we had the whole place to ourselves on our wedding day. The details at the hotel are amazing and it has lovely features, such as a large chandelier, fire place and hidden rooms. We also heard good reviews about how amazing their food is. It was also the perfect place where we could get married in the Great Hall and have our wedding breakfast meal in the star lit marquee.

An Elegant Wedding On The Wirral (c) James Tracey Photography (30)

We didn’t really have a theme or style, but I wanted it to be stylish yet classy with a bit of everything. I have been to a lot of weddings and over the years and I have liked parts of different friends and family weddings and I wanted to incorporate this into my own wedding. Things like the blossom trees, larger flower centre pieces and flower background wall.

I chose lemon, white and dashes of hot pink for the colour scheme as lemon and pink are my favourite colours – I like bright and exotic colours having a Mauritian background.

An Elegant Wedding On The Wirral (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

Dress-wise, I wanted a princess style design, which incorporated lace – I also wanted it to be off the shoulder with short sleeves. I went to a few bridal stores until I found the dress at Ava Rose Hamilton in Colne. They had a selection of amazing and beautiful dresses. They didn’t quite have the dress I had in mind but then they showed me a beautiful lace top which I could add onto of my dress, which just finished my dress off perfectly, along with a long cathedral veil with small diamantes. The service at Ava Rose Hamilton was amazing and I would definitely recommend anyone to go to this shop, if they are looking for a stylish wedding dress.

Jeff wore a bespoke suit from Signature Bespoke in Liverpool. He chose a navy-blue tuxedo style suit with a large velvet bow tie and velvet lapels on his suit jacket.

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personal & unique. victoria kay for an intimate wedding at the belle epoque – stephanie & gary

June 9th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Intimate Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) James Tracey Photography (24)

The saying about quality and quantity could not be truer of the lovely real wedding that we are sharing with you on the blog today.

With a modest guest list of 38 day guests and 53 evening guests, Stephanie and Gary wanted their intimate wedding to be a reflection of them as a couple, whilst also being an enjoyable and memorable event for their guests.

Picking a unique venue and prioritising elements such as the photography, food and entertainment, whilst getting stuck into some DIY décor, meant that Stephanie and Gary could have the special day they had dreamt of, whilst remaining still within budget. Excellent work guys!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

An Intimate Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) James Tracey Photography (27)

stephanie says: We got engaged on the 28th May 2014. I had my suspicions that Gary was going to do it soon as he’d booked for us to go for afternoon tea at the Hilton in Manchester. We were in the process of buying our house and the Wednesday before when we were booked for afternoon tea, we’d had our final meeting with the bank to say the mortgage had been agreed. We went to the pub after to celebrate and then came home. I got my PJs on, put the bins out and put the washing on, just usual things to do on a Wednesday, and turned round to find Gary with two glasses of whiskey. He asked me to come with him into the front room and gave me a glass and then got down on one knee with a ring. It took me by surprise! I never wanted a huge spectacle of an engagement so what he did was perfect. He’d even been on his own to get the ring and got it spot on!

We were married on the 24th March 2016, the Thursday before the bank holiday weekend. We got together on the 27th March 2008 so knew we wanted a date around when we got together and we wanted a weekday wedding. The Thursday was a good choice because most people then had the bank holiday Friday off work to recover!

An Intimate Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

We got married at The Belle Epoque in Knutsford, Cheshire. It was the only venue that we went to look round and we knew straight away it was the one for us. We wanted somewhere that was unique, intimate and personal. From our first meeting there, all the staff were so incredibly helpful and we loved that it was a family business and not part of a large chain of hotels. We could pick and choose what we wanted for our day and we could stay there the night of the wedding and have breakfast with family the day after. The setup of the venue was ideal too; we loved that each part of the wedding was in a separate room and guests didn’t have to be shipped off somewhere whilst the room was re-organised and that people could sit away from the DJ during the evening do and chat. Generally, it’s an absolutely stunning venue!

An Intimate Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) James Tracey Photography (4)
Gary and I are self-confessed beer geeks, so beer had to feature heavily in our wedding. I also wanted to still keep it girly and vintage-y too so I guess the theme was ‘Beer and Birds’ Each table was named after one of our favourite breweries and we had a selection of their bottles as table decorations with fake roses in. The men’s buttonholes were made of beer bottle caps and I had beer bottle caps on my bouquet. All the stationery featured vintage birds and we had a birdcage table plan. I got the design from Dollface Design on Etsy. My mum was unsure when I told her my vision but everyone said how unique and ‘us’ is was.

I am quite girly so pink was the colour theme but very subtly! I didn’t make Gary wear anything pink. We just had pink roses in the table decorations and my bridesmaid wore pink. The buttonholes did have small pink rose buttons on, which my bridesmaid and I also had in our bouquets.

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winter wishes. justin alexander for a personal wedding at abbeywood estate – kate & chris

May 2nd, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Winter Wedding at Abbeywood Estate (c) James Tracey Photography (26)

There’s nothing that makes our day more than hearing how newlyweds used Brides Up North to help shape and style their wedding day.

As such, to celebrate Bank Holiday Monday (hope you’re enjoying the long weekend!) we’re sharing the big day of loyal reader Kate and her beau Chris, who tied the knot in a pretty and personal ceremony before partying hard with their 150 guests!

Along Kate’s planning journey we were thrilled to find out that Brides Up North had helped her to find local suppliers whilst also providing décor inspiration for her special day. Because ladies, that’s exactly what we are here for!

With images by our lovely Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

A Winter Wedding at Abbeywood Estate (c) James Tracey Photography (18)

kate says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve. I’m an only child but Chris is from a fairly big family and so for Christmas 2014 he suggested that our families spend it together.

Christmas Eve came around and we were preparing food and waiting for my family to arrive. Chris and I had to go out and collect the turkey and on the way back he suggested we go for a drink before everyone descended. We headed off for a drink and I had a sense that Chris was acting a little strangely. After a quick detour to de-turkey we went to the Queen and Castle in Kenilworth, a lovely pub overlooking Kenilworth Castle. Getting out of the car I checked his pockets for a ring box but there was none to be seen. He went to the bar to order, quickly ran to the car and then came back with my ‘Christmas Eve present’ in a big box. When I opened it, a ring was inside and he asked me to marry him, then the whole family was waiting back at his parents to celebrate!

A Winter Wedding at Abbeywood Estate (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

We decided to get married on 19th December. We didn’t want to worry about rain in the summer and that time of year when the air is crisp is my favourite; plus everyone would be high on Christmas cheer and finishing work for the year. It also happened to be Chris’ grandparent’s anniversary, so that made it all the more special.

We got married at my parent’s village church, All Saints Daresbury or the Lewis Carroll church as it’s known (where he was born and his father was pastor). Though we live in London now, I’ll always be a northerner and Cheshire holds many special memories so it was important that we get married there. David Felix, the vicar there was brilliant and really made the ceremony, he put everyone at ease.

We personalised our order of service with a little story about each of the wedding party so that everyone knew who was who. We also had our family friend organise a string quartet for us of him and his university friends; I walked down the aisle to Hoppipolla and then they learnt some others songs like Jesse Glynn, Rather Be for while we were signing the register. We had three of our friends read; one religious reading and the Edward Monkton’s ‘The Lovely Love Story’ as it is a little silly (like Chris!) and we wanted it to be light-hearted.

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