Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

real wedding recap: pronovias for a secret garden wedding in cheshire – katherine & phil

December 30th, 2016 | 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.

A Secret Garden Wedding in Cheshire (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (58)

Today’s wedding is nothing short of gorgeous and included a fair few surprises for the guests.

After a traditional church ceremony, the wedding party headed to bride Katherine’s parents’ house for a marquee ‘Secret Garden’ reception, held in the back garden. The blooms and décor that make up the setting are incredible and we think that bride Katherine looks absolutely stunning in her silk Pronovias gown.

The video that comes with this wedding is nothing like we’ve ever seen before and reflects the light-hearted and fun-loving atmosphere of the day perfectly. If you do one thing today, watch this! Next time, please can we join in?

With images by Jess Yarwood Photography and video by Lightspeed Film Co

A Secret Garden Wedding in Cheshire (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (48)

katherine says: We were in Meribel in France skiing with the family when we got engaged. The proposal started with a fantastic meal in our chalet, followed by a surprise firework display where Phil went down on one knee in the snow holding a giant LED flashing rocket reading “Will you marry me?”

We set the date for 28th May 2016, which was the Bank Holiday weekend. We got married at St John’s the Evangelist Church and then had the reception at my parents’ house in Kingsley, Cheshire, where I grew up. It has been a wish of mine most of my life.

Grease Wedding Video – Katherine & Philip – May 28th 2016 from Lightspeed Film Co. on Vimeo.

The theme was secret garden and cherry blossom. We had a secret garden filled with real flowers and a running waterfall made by my dad and brother. There was even a special gate that lead us to the evening celebrations that was kept a complete secret from Phil and I. To fit in with the theme we had a colour scheme of cherry blossom pink and grey.

A Secret Garden Wedding in Cheshire (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (52)

I chose a classic dress by Pronovias, which I purchased from Eternity Bridalwear. It was a simple, off-the-shoulder design made from Mikado silk. It was the neckline that I fell in love with and I always knew I wanted a long train. I never thought it would be that big though! My wedding day makeup was done by Lucinka Hodnett.

Phil wore a navy suit with a grey tweed waistcoat from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow. All the groomsmen wore the same suits as Phil from and the bridesmaids wore pink dresses by the brand Mascara.

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doing things differently. a laid back & personal wedding in chester – milli & kris

September 27th, 2016 | Rachel Parry


We’re not quite sure where to start with this morning’s real wedding in Chester as there are so many fabulous elements to discuss!

I guess what we love most about Milli and Kris’s big day is that they did things 100% their way rather than sticking to the ‘wedding rule book’.

After marrying at quirky boutique hotel Oddfellows, the bride and groom took their guests off around Chester for drinks, ice creams and photos, before returning to the hotel for their wedding breakfast and reception.

The setting, styling and attire all get top marks from us, and in particular Milli, whose hair, makeup, bouquet and dress we absolutely love!

With images by Jess Yarwood Photography.


milli says: We got engaged in July 2015. It was my day off and I had been for a facial that morning, I picked Kris up from work mid-afternoon. Myself being completely oblivious, Kris thought he was acting very shifty as he had been trying to Skype call my dad at work to ask for my hand in marriage. It was a nice day so when Kris suggested a picnic in the park and I agreed. The Grosvenor Park is a gorgeous space in the centre of Chester and happens to be around the corner from our house. Just as I had wanted it, in a moment that was just ours, Kris asked me to marry him. The shock meant I was far from demure but I of course said yes!

Our wedding was on 23rd July 2016. We had always known we wanted to get married fairly soon after getting engaged and with me wanting a spring/summer wedding, we randomly picked July. We booked the wedding exactly a year to the date.


Our chosen venue was Oddfellows in Chester. I had always wanted a wedding that wasn’t too traditional. Our initial thinking was that we wanted something outdoorsy and to get married in the Roman Gardens in Chester. Then, whilst we were trying to get in touch with someone from the council to find out if this was possible, we walked past Oddfellows. I had seen that it was on the list of registered wedding venues and suggested we take a look. We loved its quirky style straight away and I knew that was where we wanted our wedding. We met and first lived together in Chester so we were very particular in that we wanted the wedding local in the place where it all started.


We didn’t have a full wedding theme where everything revolved around it but we styled the day on the 1920’s/ Great Gatsby era. I always wanted to look back out our wedding pictures and it look classic and timeless.

We wasn’t keen on having a bright colour scheme and had always thought I would have black bridesmaid dresses. However, with us having a summer wedding and Kris being very set on having a blue tux, I searched Pinterest for some ideas and decided on blush pink, even though I hate pink! Everything else was white and then we had mixed metal accessories.

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sweet sunshine. beads & boots for a rustic wedding at manley mere – fern & mark

September 14th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (35)

Today’s real wedding is filled with sunshine, not only in the form of lots of happy faces, but also lots of lovely sunflowers.

Lining the aisle, adorning the tables and sitting proud in Fern’s bouquet, the vibrant blooms add plenty of colour and character to the big day.

Further rustic wedding touches in the décor and cake help to bring the whole theme beautifully, and we’re pleased to see that Fern was prepared for the venue’s outdoor elements in her handmade cowboy boots!

With images by Jess Yarwood Photography.

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (2)

fern says: We have been together for six years and in that time been blessed with three beautiful little girls.  We never planned on getting married, we wanted to save the expense of a big wedding and so I changed my surname to match that of the children and Mark as were a family in everything but name. However, I remained a Miss. Often I was mistakenly called Mrs and this time it was in front of Mark and I always explained why I changed my name to the person who made the mistake. He asked me if it bothered me that people got it wrong and I said sometimes. He said I should change it to Mrs then but I said I couldn’t without being married – then he said let’s get married and I said yes! That was a year before our big day.

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (20)

Our wedding date was six years to the day since our first date at Chester Races, it was 1st August 2015.

We got married at Manley Mere. It’s a quirky venue that we felt suited the relaxed and informal tone to our day. Plus we hadn’t been to any other weddings there so our day wasn’t competing against something else we’d experienced.

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (29)

We had a rustic and sunflower theme on the day. Mark and I come from a country/farming background and appreciate the simple things in life. We sent out sunflower seeds in the invites so guests could grow flowers to bring to the day and add colour. I wanted to hand make as much as possible to add to the individuality of the day.

For the colour scheme, we put navy with the yellow of the sunflowers and added hints of orange to give a bright and summery feel. The venue is quite outdoor and we brought the sunshine feel inside where we could.

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (32)

My dress was from Wife to Be in Warrington. It had lots of beading over the shoulders and down the back that reminded me of cobwebs! It added to my rustic theme but the pearl beading was so pretty it kept it ‘fancy’ and feeling bridal. I teamed it with cowboy boots as a quirky touch, which were handmade in Spain.

Mark wore a sand coloured Next suit which we bought in the sales keeping the costs down. His yellow tie was from a tie shop in Chester and took ages to find in the right shade. The best men wore matching suits to Mark and navy ties to complement the girls.

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (39)

My adult bridesmaid wore a navy maxi dress from Coast (which made us chuckle when Sally Webster from Coronation Street was spotted wearing it at an awards ceremony weeks before the wedding). The little girls wore navy party dresses from Marks & Spencer, which we customised with yellow ribbon.

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (43)

Mark travelled in a Bentley that his sons arranged as a surprise. I was already at the venue so no fancy motor for me!

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (46)

We chose Jess Yarwood to capture our day. She was simply amazing and would recommend her to anyone. She is full of enthusiasm and creativity, capturing the essence of the day. The guests have gushed over the photos and commented how unobtrusive she was, yet so warm and friendly.

We also had a video done on the day by Unique Videos, which we are waiting to arrive.

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (44)

S&J Flowers in Weaverham, Cheshire, did my bouquet, which was perfect and just as I described.

We did the entire venue dressing ourselves. My family and a team of my girlfriends worked so hard at making decorations such as the decorated vases and painted signs. The majority of the sunflowers were artificial as the ones we planted hadn’t flowered in time!

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (12)

We gave out ‘little bags of love’ with items that told the story of us as favours. They included things like a magnet for the attraction, a scratch card for the gamble, a flower as our love grows.

My best friend Liz Clarke, made our cake. We went for a simple design and she added decorated pine cones to represent me, Mark and our three little girls.

For the wedding breakfast we chose a buffet, which was best to help our day stay informal and feed the huge amount of children who attended. We have lasagne, breads, salads, fish goujons, wedges and nibbles followed by profiteroles and trifles.

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (4)

Mark and I love to gamble be it horse racing or bingo! So our entertainment was casino tables hired from ML Events, which everyone could play. We also had a magician called Danny Jewell, working the crowds who was amazing! In the evening we had a DJ.

As a special touch on the day, we gave our dads their own personalised glass to use; my dad an engraved wine glass and Mark’s dad an engraved whiskey tumbler. We gave our mums and my nanna a personalised engraved vase which contained paper flowers hand made by Danielle Oultram from Little Bird Flowers. They were a lasting memento of the day but also decorated our tables.

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (6)

We would definitely recommend our venue, particularly to those who want a blank canvass to dress in any colour or style. The stunning scenery outdoors provides stunning backdrops for photos too.

My favourite part of the day was walking over the bridge towards to summer house and seeing all the guests and Mark for the first time. Mark’s favourite part was the confetti as he was too nervous during the ceremony but that was when he first relaxed.

A Sunshine Wedding at Manley Mere (c) Jess Yarwood Photography (49)

For our honeymoon, we went to Rhodes and had a week in the 5* Princess Andriana. It was very hot reaching 36 degrees. It wasn’t our usual holiday as we are very active but was a lovely change to simply relax and laze for a week – child free!

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to get married earlier in the day and get a late bar! The day goes so quickly after the ceremony that I would do anything I could to extend it, even by a few hours. We made the day our own and didn’t follow tradition unless we wanted to, a bit like our regular lives really!

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