Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

botanical beauty. jenny packham for a natural wedding at trafford hall – sarah & matt

January 18th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Natural Wedding at Trafford Hall (c) Jess Yarwood (55)

Sarah and Matt’s relaxed, family-focused wedding combines two of our favourite themes at Brides Up North: plenty of organic woodland elements with a gorgeous blush, gold, mocha and burgundy colour scheme.

However, as these photographs show, you don’t have to compromise on style to have the informal, child-friendly wedding of your dreams. Sarah’s Jenny Packham gown and breathtaking oversized bouquet are just two super-stylish details from this stunning day.

With images by Jess Yarwood.

A Natural Wedding at Trafford Hall (c) Jess Yarwood (28)

sarah says: We got engaged on Christmas Day almost seven years before the wedding. We’d been together five years and I was pregnant with our eldest daughter. Matt proposed with a big flower ring (not the real ring!) in bed on Christmas morning.

We were married on 7th October 2016. There was no special reason behind the date – in fact, getting married in 2016 was only an idea at the start of the year. We went to a family party (my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary) in April 2016, and loved the family being together so much that we decided we should get married the same year. So, we had to crack on and find a venue/date! I knew I wanted it to be in autumn but as early as possible so that it might still be warm enough.

A Natural Wedding at Trafford Hall (c) Jess Yarwood (85)

We got married at Trafford Hall near Chester. A couple of people had recommended it as they’d been to weddings there but we had never been. We went to a wedding fair there and fell in love with it. We didn’t look at any other venues – we just knew straight away that it was the right venue for us.

Because of the nature of the venue we decided on a loose nature/woodland/botanical theme for the wedding. I love trees and plants and flowers and wanted to incorporate some greenery into the day.

The main colour scheme was mocha and burgundy with dusky pink, gold and lots of green! Originally the bridesmaids dressed were dusky pink but we had a few issues with the dresses and ended up having to change everything mid-August!

A Natural Wedding at Trafford Hall (c) Jess Yarwood (42)

I chose a Jenny Packham dress called Betty, which I bought from Lillya Grace Bridal Boutique in Nantwich. I actually bought another dress in Chester first and realised quickly that it wasn’t what I wanted; it wasn’t in keeping with the style of the rest of the wedding and I had to find something else instead. When I saw the Jenny Packham I knew straight away that this was the perfect dress for me. I wanted something that was natural and elegant and not too structured. A little bit vintage with some detail but not over the top. It was amazing – it fell perfectly and looked fabulous in the pictures.

Holly Lander did my makeup – she was fantastic and helped out with other things too – she even went to the bar to get a bottle of pre-wedding bubbly! Emily Banks did the hair for me and the bridesmaids and Amy Lofthouse did the flower girls’.

A Natural Wedding at Trafford Hall (c) Jess Yarwood (76)

Matt and the groomsmen wore blue suits from Next. The groom wore a mocha tie while the groomsmen wore burgundy ties.

My bridesmaids wore full-length, mocha Veromia dresses from Wedding Belles in Frodsham. The flower girls wore ivory dresses from John Rocha and gold sandals and Converse.

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real wedding recap: pronovias for an elegant wedding at grays court, york – katie & andrew

January 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, 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 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

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.

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If timeless elegance is your thing, prepare to fall head over heels as we share the beautiful big day of Katie and Andrew on the blog today.

Picking the stunning Grays Court hotel in York, as the impressive backdrop to their wedding, Katie and Andrew married in a romantic outdoor ceremony, complete with a petal and lantern-lined aisle.

Concentrating on the details, the champagne, blush and gold styling and florals are nothing short of sensational, and we adore the wedding party’s gorgeous attire too! Top marks all round!

With images by Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography.

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katie says: Andrew proposed in Mijas, Spain, in June 2015 on a family holiday. He had planned to propose during the first few days but my best friend also got engaged at the same time when we were away, which was amazing, but as a result, Andrew said he felt he had to wait a few more days so he could have his turn of getting down on one knee!

Knowing we always wanted to choose the engagement ring together and having been planning for a long time, he proposed with a Pandora engagement charm, getting down on one knee in the botanical gardens in Mijas in the hills overlooking the Spanish coast – it was beautiful! Andrew had asked my mum for my hand in marriage the day before so everyone knew about it except me. I didn’t have a clue!

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We set the date for Saturday 14th May 2016. Our venue had an outside ceremony area within stunning gardens, so it was vital that we had a spring or summer date. This was the only date left in May and it was extra special as I turned 30 in the same week.

Our chosen venue was Grays Court hotel, in York. It is an elegant, luxury, boutique 11th Century house with outstanding features, long gallery and breath-taking gardens. York walls overlook the venue and we found Grays by chance ourselves in 2010 when walking the walls and witnessed a beautiful wedding there in the gardens. York was one of our first city breaks together and we go every year so it is a special place for us. We didn’t entertain anywhere else when choosing the venue.

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We had always wanted black tie tuxedos and elegance as the style of the wedding, and so we planned a classic, romantic, intimate, English wedding with lots of style and detail.

For the colour palette, we had lots of white, champagne, blush and gold tones, with fantastic details. It was the colour scheme we naturally gravitated to and complemented our venue.

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When dress shopping, I chose to visit Eternity Bridal Wear in Cheshire, as it was a local stockist of Pronovias, which was the designer I wanted to try the most. It was the only shop we went to and about five dresses in, we found ‘the one’. I always knew I would end up in a fitted dress with back detailing however this was more embellished with beading and a tulle train and I totally fell in love with it. Karl, Zoe and Ann at Eternity are amazing and Zoe knew which would be the dress for me when she asked my mum and nan to close their eyes as I came out of the dressing room. The store is beautiful too. I wanted something that felt like me, something I felt comfortable and beautiful in with lots of detailing but something I could also dance in.

Accessories-wise, I chose a Joyce Jackson two tier cathedral length veil embellished with Swarovski crystals, it glittered in the sun! My crystal embellished bridal shoes where from Badgley Mischka shipped from America, I wanted something different and sparkly. I also wore a Tiffany & Co bracelet, which was a wedding gift from Andrew.

On the morning of the wedding my bridal party’s hair was styled by Emily Hawkes, who went above and beyond and even helped me get into my shoes and dress.

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wreaths & roses. lusan mandongus for a pretty christmas wedding in cheshire – rachel & james

December 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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With just a matter of days to go until it’s fizz, presents and turkey all the way, we’re getting into the spirit of things with this gorgeous Christmas wedding.

Rachel and James opted for a traditional church ceremony, made personal with input from family and friends, followed by a gorgeous rustic reception at Owen House Wedding Barn.

We love the subtle seasonal touches such as berries, wreathes and fairy lights, plus the bridesmaids’ sparkling dresses, which give just a nod to the (most wonderful) time of the year!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

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rachel says: We got engaged in Mozambique on New Year ’s Eve in 2014, just before midnight. At that time we were living and working in Malawi as volunteers and were taking a Christmas break. We had arrived in the beautiful coastal town of Vilanculos that evening and had a lovely dinner on the beach before going to see the New Year in with fireworks on the beach front.

We returned from travelling in late July 2015, and had our date set within a few weeks. We decided on 29th December 2015, as we both love that time of year and knew a lot of our friends and family would be home and able to attend.

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The wedding ceremony was held in St Chads Catholic Church, in Cheadle, as this is my home parish church and the church my family have always attended. We have a lot of connections with the church and were able to include friends and family throughout the service to give the wedding a more personal touch. We also used the adjoining church hall for tea, coffee, canapés and prosecco after the service which was provided by a local coffee shop (Rustic Coffee Co) and childhood friend.

The wedding reception was held at Owen House Wedding Barn, in Mobberley. The venue was perfect in every way and everything we both wanted. We had looked through hundreds of venues online and as soon as we walked in, I knew it was the right place.

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We didn’t pick any particular theme for the wedding. We just wanted a relaxed atmosphere with as little fuss as possible so everyone could enjoy themselves.

We didn’t really pick a colour scheme either, but everything came together really well. I had picked the bridesmaids dresses first as I had fallen in love with them at first sight and fitted everything around them. They were perfect for Christmas and matched in the boy’s ties and the flowers.

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Wedding dress shopping was a little rushed as I only had five months to pick and order the dress. I looked in three local boutiques and chose a dress by Lusan Mandongus. I wanted a simple but elegant dress and wanted it to be comfortable and to be able to dance all night.

James chose the suits from Next and we had them tailored to fit each individual groomsman. They were a lovely colour and suited everyone really well. James’ tie was from Liberty and somehow linked all the colours of the wedding together.

The best man, groomsmen and fathers all wore three-piece suits from Next.

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disney magic & tipis. pronovias for a summer wedding at capheaton hall – caitlin & mark

December 12th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Following a picture-perfect proposal in New York city, today’s couple Caitlin and Mark tied the knot at the Grade I listed Capheaton Hall in Northumberland. This is a truly stunning venue, complete with parkland and landscaped gardens, and as you will see, the couple really made the most of this backdrop in their beautiful wedding photography.

With a nod to Caitlin’s birthplace of South Africa, their special day brought together fantastical outdoor tipis, toasted marshmallows, a hearty barbecue and the perfect cake topper for fans of Disney – but we’ll let the couple tell you all the wonderful details…

With images by JPRShah Photography.

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mark says: We got engaged in New York, in Central Park in a section called Shakespeare’s Garden. Caitlin surprised me with tickets to New York for Valentine’s Day in 2014. I knew there and then that Caitlin was the girl I wanted to marry. We ended up missing Valentine’s Day due to delayed flights. Caitlin was so sad but I kept telling her it would get better. On 15th February I took her to Central Park. I felt nervous but excited at the same time.

caitlin says: It was snowing so much that day! We had been walking around Central Park for a while and I couldn’t understand what he was looking for! We got to Shakespeare’s Garden and the view was beautiful! Mark pulled me close and started saying all these lovely things to me. I had turned to look at the view and when I looked back at Mark, he was down on one knee asking me to marry him! My first response was, “are you serious?” as I couldn’t believe it! Of course, I said “yes”, but I think I had him second guessing for a moment!

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We got married on 16th July 2016. We knew we wanted to get married in July as Mark’s birthday is in June and mine is in August, plus it was easier for our family members due to their jobs.

We tied the knot at Capheaton Hall – a romantic venue that’s full of history and culture. A lot of people have never heard of Capheaton Hall so that made it stand out, too. The venue only takes a handful of wedding bookings each year so we felt very lucky to secure a date with them. It’s very secluded and has beautiful views, which was perfect as we hosted our ceremony outside.

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Our wedding style was a combination of romantic, elegant, African and Disney. Mark and I both wanted a very elegant wedding, however we wanted to add our own touches too. I was born in South Africa so I really wanted a part of home with me on the day so we hired two giant tipis for the night time reception and a South African company provided the food. I don’t think Disney needs an explanation – everybody loves Disney!

The colour scheme was blush. I just fell in love with the colour while looking for bridesmaid dresses. It’s a very romantic colour and it was very ‘in’ this season.

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My mum bought my dress from Mia Sposa Bridal in Newcastle city centre. I had originally chosen a fitted mermaid style dress, however after trying on about a million dresses (we’ve all done it) I fell in love with the stunning Pronovias Dagen gown. It was a tulle princess dress with lace appliqués, a draped tulle bodice, sweetheart neckline and a grosgrain belt with gemstone embroidery appliqué in the centre. It was the perfect Disney fairytale dress.

My bridal makeup was done by Jenny Daglish. She was the only makeup artist to actually listen to what I wanted and understand my skin type.

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city chic. a retro styled bridal shoot in manchester

August 31st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (12)

Today on the blog we have a little something for you urban brides out there.

In response to brides-to-be commenting that while there is plenty of inspiration for couples marrying in the countryside but there isn’t so much for those planning city centre celebrations, Lancaster-based wedding photographer Arusha set about creating a retro styled bridal shoot set against bold Manchester backgrounds.

The result is a strong collection of edgy images that show a wedding in a built-up area can be just as striking as those in rolling countryside, with brick, graffiti and even metal shutters providing standout photo opportunities.

To explain more about the looks created and areas visited, we’ll hand over the blog to the lady who captured all the action…

With images by Arusha’s Images Photography.

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arusha says: I spent many years living and working in Manchester, and the city was the inspiration for this shoot. I love the old backstreets there, the mix of modern apartments, and old alleyways. I think that the bright statement graffiti of the Northern Quarter brings so much life to the city. By contrast I also wanted to include a more modern background, and Salford Quays and The Lowry are perfect for that, with all the glass, metal and clean lines.

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (7)

Working as part of a two-man team with hair stylist and makeup artist Hannah Wells, of Beau Tink Studio, my aim for the shoot was to inspire my urban brides to get creative, and to show some different bridal looks and locations in the city.

I photograph a whole range of weddings, and in that process I have found that city and retro brides-to-be have often commented that they feel there is a stronger focus on more countryside and boho style weddings when they are looking for inspiration for their day. I love a bohemian country wedding, but I also love bold city weddings, with the strong urban backgrounds that cities provide. I also wanted to show that a little bit of retro and grunge can be stunning on a wedding day.

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (48)

I coordinated the styling, choosing to buy as brightly coloured flowers as I could for the bouquet, and tied them with a simple ribbon, which we were able to add rainbow streamer ribbons to as the shoot went on.

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let the music play. jenny packham for a vintage wedding at the bowdon rooms – amy & rob

March 23rd, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Let Love Flourish (33)

For those of you planning a vintage wedding, this morning’s bride Amy has lots of lovely inspiration to share.

Having set her heart on a vintage style dress and venue, Amy found exactly what she was looking for in Jenny Packham’s Damask gown and beautiful The Bowdon Rooms located in Altrincham, Cheshire.

From there an elegant colour scheme of blue followed (we just adore Amy’s blue shoes and nails) and she also incorporated a subtle music theme as a nod to one of her and Rob’s favourite pastimes.

For those that like the look and sound of The Bowdon Rooms, why not come along and see the stunning venue for yourself on Sunday 17th April during our Luxury Wedding Exhibition, which will feature the area’s top suppliers too!

With images by Let Love Flourish.

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Let Love Flourish (52)

amy says: Our engagement story isn’t the most romantic. Rob had been thinking about proposing for a while but instead of picking the right moment and setting, he got down on one knee whilst we stumbled home drunkenly from a party in the early hours. He did propose again in the morning though, just to make sure I remembered!

We set the date for 28th August 2015. We chose to have the wedding on a Friday at the start of the Bank Holiday so we could carry on the celebrations into the long weekend.

A Vintage Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Let Love Flourish (37)

We had our ceremony at Manchester Town Hall, which we always knew we wanted as we both love the architecture. We then chose The Bowdon Rooms for the reception as we wanted somewhere that would complement the town hall with a vintage feel.

Our theme for the wedding was vintage and music. Our relationship blossomed from our love of the same kind of bands and going to gigs so we thought this would be fitting. The colour scheme was pastel blue, mainly because it’s my favourite colour, but also as it works with the ‘something blue’ tradition in weddings.

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