Charlotte Balbier

whole lotta history. an elegant wedding at quarry bank mill – laura & richard

June 9th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

An Elegant Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Kate Gosney (39)

History runs deep for today’s newlyweds, Laura and Richard, who tied the knot earlier this spring. The couple met at Hampton Court Palace, where their romance and shared passion for books and the past, flourished over time.

So, it comes as no surprise that the pair looked to the National Trust when searching for their perfect wedding venue – instantly falling in love with the charming Quarry Bank, a working mill that dates back to the 1780s.

We think you’re going to be swept away by the personal touches to their big day, including their cute wooden peg cake toppers and second-hand-library-come-favours, which we think is an inspired idea!

With images by Kate Gosney Photography

An Elegant Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Kate Gosney (8)

laura says: We got engaged on 7th April 2016. It’s a tradition between us to have an Easter egg hunt each year, but we hadn’t managed one last Easter. I woke up to a cryptic text message leading me on a treasure hunt around our flat, and just presumed it was a belated egg hunt. When the final clue led to a ring rather than a Lindt bunny, my immediate reaction was one of complete bewilderment, followed by shock. It actually took me over a minute to say yes, during which time Richard worried that he’d seriously misjudged the direction of our five-year relationship. Eventually I calmed down and we proceeded to have a wonderful day, ending with a wonderful dinner up the Oxo Tower, overlooking the Thames.

We got married on 8th April 2017, a year and a day after getting engaged. We both really like spring and it suited both of our work schedules. The other option had been the 1st April, but we worried people might think it was just a joke and not bother turning up!

An Elegant Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Kate Gosney (36)

We got married at St John’s Church Lindow, near Wilmslow, which is the church my mum attends. The vicar has known me for 20 years, which made the service particularly special and personal. He even managed to find a picture of me aged eight to project onto a big screen, much to my embarrassment (and everyone else’s amusement).

The reception was held at Quarry Bank Mill, a few miles away in Styal. We’re both history geeks, so National Trust properties were an obvious place to start looking for a reception venue. Quarry was the first venue we visited and we fell in love with it. The gardens are beautiful, the building is majestic, and the sheer size of the two function rooms was really appealing. On top of that, it wasn’t too expensive.

An Elegant Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Kate Gosney (5)

We didn’t have a particular theme in mind, but as we started planning, it became clear that we wanted the day to have an informal, playful feel, through which we could show our personalities and things we enjoy together.

My engagement ring is a sapphire and by pure coincidence – Richard is a massive QPR fan, so blue was always going to feature in the colour scheme, and we liked the idea of a classic navy with fresh spring greens and pinks to brighten it up. We tried not to be too pedantic about getting the exact matches for colours, which gave us a bit more freedom and we were really pleased with the overall effect.

An Elegant Wedding at Quarry Bank Mill (c) Kate Gosney (6)

My amazing Justin Alexander dress was from 7th Heaven Bridal in Congleton, who were extremely helpful and patient. My mum had seen it on the shop’s website and had already decided it would be the dress for me before I had even tried it on. As is often the way with mums, she was absolutely right, and the dress was perfect. The amazing intricacy of the beading and pearl details gave it a timeless, vintage feel and it was totally unique. I didn’t know much about what sort of dress I would go for, but I knew I wanted an interesting back, so fell in love with the beaded butterfly effect and the rouleau buttons. My Charlotte Mills shoes lent a playful touch, with their cobalt blue heart and a sixpence in the sole.

My bridal make-up was courtesy of Beautiful of Wilmslow, and Lindsay had been working on my eyebrows for nine months leading up to the big day. She really understood what I was after and used Airbase make-up to give a really natural, but long lasting look. Vicky Kari did a gorgeous job with the bridesmaids’ hair, and styling the mother of the bride. After a bit of indecision, I felt that because my dress was so detailed, it would be good to keep things simple, so Vicky dried my hair straight and sleek with lots of volume.

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down to the woods. a romantic rural wedding at priory cottages – kayleigh & paul

April 4th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Lumiere Photography (34)

Today’s Bonfire Night wedding is full to the brim with woodland gorgeousness. Kayleigh and Paul opted for a rural wedding venue, daisies and natural grasses in the bridal bouquet and a dramatic ivy arch as the focal point for their ceremony. The result? Fan-flipping-tastic.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also some cool retro styling, sparklers a-go-go and the most glorious confetti shots. Look no further: this is autumn wedding inspo at its best.

With photography by Lumiere Photographic.

A Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Lumiere Photography (28)

kayleigh says: We got engaged in 2015 after 12 years of being together (we‘re high school sweethearts!) Paul took me down to a log cabin in the Cotswolds where we’d stayed before. While I unpacked the bags, he hung up fairy lights on the terrace and lit candles. The sun was setting and it was so beautiful when I walked out and saw it all.

A Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Lumiere Photography (4)

We got married on Bonfire Night 2016. We didn’t want a summer wedding because we both prefer the cold and the colours associated with this time of year. It was also the perfect excuse to have hot dogs and chilli at night and celebrate with fireworks and sparklers!

We got married at Priory Cottages near Wetherby, Yorkshire. We loved this venue because it was kind of an ‘all-in-one’. We got married in the beautiful barn, moved into the marquee for our reception and our guests could stay overnight in the cottages. The drive up to the barn was beautiful and the surrounding fields were a gorgeous backdrop for our pictures.

A Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Lumiere Photography (27)

Our theme was autumn, using warm dark colours and earthy tones throughout. We used a lot of hessian, wood and fairy lights to create an almost woodland theme. As lovers of vintage and retro styling, we also used some old suitcases and house blankets for the inevitable chill.

Our colour scheme was dark blue and forest green. We had the bridesmaids in blue and the groomsmen too with hints of green in their ties, shoes and scarves.

A Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Lumiere Photography (41)

I chose a Justin Alexander dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. It was strapless which I didn’t initially like, but the staff added a gorgeous attached lace top and it had a V-shaped back which gave it an extra special touch, too.

Getting ready, we used Luxe Beauty Lounge in Yeadon for our makeup. Emily was fantastic and made all the girls feel confident. Courtney Wilson from Hair by Courtney is my usual hairdresser and was absolutely brilliant.

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downton decadence. an english country garden wedding at carlton towers – natasha & matthew

March 17th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Garden Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (53)

Today’s real wedding couple might have got engaged amidst the bright lights of NYC, but chose a very different theme for their summer wedding: an English country garden x Downton Abbey inspired celebration. In fact, bride Natasha admits that her guiding mantra during planning was WWLMD? (What Would Lady Mary Do?)

Looking at these gorgeous blooms, floral confetti and the Gothic-style setting of their stunning Yorkshire venue, it’s a mantra that served them well. On with the pretty!

With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Laura Calderwood.

A Garden Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (31)

natasha says: Matt proposed on Christmas Day in Central Park in New York. We’d spent Christmas morning exploring Times Square and decided to go for a walk. We were watching the skaters on the ice rink when he got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Of course I said (or, should I say, screamed) “Yes”!

A Garden Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (49)

Our wedding date was 6th August 2016. We originally tried booking the ever-popular Bank Holiday weekend but this date was taken, so we went for the 6th. It probably sounds strange but I had a strange feeling then that we’d have really good weather that day. Luckily, I was right! The sun shone all day and it rained like crazy on the August bank holiday. It was a blessing in disguise that date was taken!

We got married at Carlton Towers in Yorkshire. I had actually provisionally booked another venue and decided on a whim to go visit Carlton Towers because my uncle recommended it. I completely fell in love with the Gothic-style turrets and opulent Venetian Drawing Room and knew it was the place for us. I’m so glad I took a chance on it!

A Garden Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (36)

The theme was ‘Downton Abbey’. I wanted something romantic and classic with a feel of English country garden to it. If I ever had to make a decision during the planning process, I’d ask myself, ‘Would Lady Mary like this?’ If the answer was yes, then I’d go with it!

We chose a blush palette with petal pinks and ivory as the main colours. We wanted something fresh and pretty that had a summer wedding feel.

A Garden Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (32)

I wore a Justin Alexander mermaid-style gown in ‘Sand and Silver’ from the Harrogate Wedding Lounge. It was actually the second dress I tried on and as soon as I stood in front of the mirror I knew it was the one. The mermaid-style complemented my curvy figure (and, most importantly, nipped me in all of the right places) and the detailing made it stand out from the others. I also absolutely loved the colour. It was much warmer than a traditional ivory, which complemented my slightly olive skin tone.

Matt and the groomsmen wore royal blue suits from Charles Tyrwhitt. The blush pink ties/pocket squares were from Swagger and Swoon.

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posh frocks & cocktails. justin alexander for a relaxed wedding at the bowdon rooms – hayley & tim

February 15th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Relaxed Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Stuart Hornby Photography (37)

Given that we’re super excited about our Brides Up North ‘Pop-up Wedfest’ at The Bowdon Rooms in Altrincham next Sunday 26th February, we thought it best to showcase how fabulous the venue is with a real wedding that made use of its versatile function space.

Craving a relaxed yet fun big day, bride and groom Hayley and Tim chose The Bowdon Rooms as the ideal venue for their evening reception following a low-key ceremony at Altrincham Town Hall.

Keen to stray away from tradition, the couple threw the ‘wedding rule book’ out of the window and made the day all about what suited them – from posh frocks, suits and Jimmy Choos to an informal afternoon tea, signature cocktails and one big evening party.

So ladies, if you like what you see be sure to come view The Bowdon Rooms for yourselves at our event between 11am and 3pm on Sunday 26th February, by registering here (Hayley and Tim did!)

With images by Stuart Hornby Photography

A Relaxed Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Stuart Hornby Photography (26)

hayley says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2015 at our local Italian restaurant Coco’s in Altrincham. It was totally unexpected as after us both being married before, we had pretty much ruled it out. Tim chose my favourite day of the year to propose and I was truly stunned! One of our daughter’s Amelia was with us on the evening and she screamed louder than I did!

We chose Friday 28th October 2016 for the wedding. I’m a little impatient and didn’t want to wait too long!

A Relaxed Wedding at The Bowdon Rooms (c) Stuart Hornby Photography (29)

We got married at Altrincham Town Hall, which was beautiful, followed by pictures in Altrincham Market House, and afternoon tea and cocktails at the Sugar Junction in Altrincham. We for our evening reception by many more guests and partied the night away at the nearby Bowdon Rooms. We were very keen to have a low-key wedding, (despite going full out on the Justin Alexander gown and Jimmy Choo shoes of course!) and our day was truly perfect in every way.

With us both having been married before we very much wanted to shy away from tradition, so apart from posh frocks and a lovely suit, everything was kept very informal, hence the stand-up afternoon tea and cocktails! We did add just a touch of vintage styling.

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blooming romance. justin alexander for an elegant wedding at swancar farm – lucy & scott

February 1st, 2017 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding at Swancar Farm (c) Lucy & Scott (31)

Today’s real wedding is the type that we would quite like to have been a guest at, for everyone pictured looks to be having the best time ever.

Marrying at Swancar Farm in Nottinghamshire, Lucy and Scott planned a romantic big day, complete with an elegant blush, grey and silver colour scheme, and carefully chosen blooms and décor.

From the ‘I dos’ to the dance moves, emotions run high with love, laughter and joy etched on the faces of the stunning bride, groom and their guests.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Miki Photography

An Elegant Wedding at Swancar Farm (c) Lucy & Scott (18)

lucy says: We got engaged in Paris. Scott had booked to take me for a surprise weekend away for my birthday. We were walking along the River Seine and he told me to have a look at the boats – when I turned back round, he was holding a ring box and asked me to marry him.

Our wedding date was 1st July 2016. We knew we wanted a Friday in July or August and this was the only one the venue had left, so we snapped it up!

An Elegant Wedding at Swancar Farm (c) Lucy & Scott (40)

We got married at Swancar Farm, in Trowell, Nottinghamshire. We went to see four venues altogether and we chose this Swancar because we both loved it and could totally imagine ourselves getting married there. It’s such a beautiful venue.

We had a romantic, elegant and floral theme. We just wanted it to look wow, and it certainly exceeded all expectations.

Our colour scheme was blush, grey and silver. I chose it because I love those colours and thought they fit well with the theme.

An Elegant Wedding at Swancar Farm (c) Lucy & Scott (28)

I chose a Justin Alexander dress from La Belle Boutique, after trying on quite a few designs. I wanted a strapless, fishtail dress that was simple but still glam. I chose my dress because out of all the designs I tried on, it was the only one I could imagine I could get married in and that Scott would like too.

Scott had a suit made by Timothy James Henderson. It was a bespoke three-piece grey suit. He wore it with a white shirt and blush tie and pocket square.

The bridesmaids wore long, blush dresses with lace and bead detail and the flower girls wore ivory dresses, with blush flower detailing, and little rose gold shoes.

An Elegant Wedding at Swancar Farm (c) Lucy & Scott (44)

Our photographer was Ash Davenport of Miki Photography. We would 100% recommend him, as he did a fantastic job and we’re so pleased with the photos! He blended into the day so well and we hardly knew he was there.

We also had our day filmed by a videographer called Lara Elliott, who was brilliant! She was lovely and our wedding highlights video was better than we ever imagined.

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real wedding recap: justin alexander for a colourful wedding in the north west – molly & luke

December 28th, 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 Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) Stella Photography (5)

It might be cold outside but today’s real wedding is bound to make you feel lovely and summery.

Bride and groom Molly and Luke, decided to let their rustic venue do the majority of the talking when it came to creating the right setting for their big day. They did however inject some fabulous pops of colour into the day in the form of seasonal blooms and vibrant paper pompoms. Simple, yet incredible effective.

There’s lots we love about this wedding, including Molly’s gorgeous pale blush dress, the super cheery décor and stunning naked-style cake.

With images by Stella Photography.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) Stella Photography (48)

molly says: We got engaged on 23rd November at home. I turned around to find Luke down on one knee with beautiful ring that he’d designed himself! He totally took me surprise. I had been away with the girls a week before and it turned out that while I was there Luke had been up to visit my parents and ask my dad for permission. This meant so much to me!

We set the date for 4th September, which was perfect for the late summer we had imagined.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) Stella Photography (72)

Our chosen venue was The Tithe Barn at Browsholme Hall in Clitheroe. We wanted somewhere unique with rustic and relaxed feel to it. The barn was perfect! It was the first venue we visited and we fell in love with it straight away. Rebecca and her team there were wonderful.

We didn’t want to introduce a wedding theme as such because the barn already has its own style. We just wanted to create a fun and relaxed atmosphere and to let the beauty of the barn shine though.  Luke loves superheroes so we did make sure that there were some sneaky super hero references dotted throughout the day, which included Lego superheroes in the buttonholes and superhero table names.

We chose a mixed pallet of colours for the day as we wanted pops of colour everywhere. We drew inspiration from the paper we chose for the invitations – it included muted tones of blush, orange, yellow, green and blue.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) Stella Photography (108)

In keeping with the scheme I chose a pale blush pink gown which was Sincerity by Justin Alexander. It was A-line with a sweetheart neckline and I added a beautiful capped sleeve jacket over the top to make it unique to me. I bought it from Lulu Brown’s in Whalley- such a beautiful boutique! Kate and Jennie there were absolutely wonderful! I also wore Betty shoes by Charlotte Mills.

On the day of the wedding Nina Rochford MUA took care of my makeup and Claire from P&J Palmer in Whalley, styled my hair. I’d recommend both these ladies to other brides.

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