May 9th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Christmas is such a lovely time for a wedding – the world is wearing its finery, from the streets dripping with twinkly fairy lights to the gigantic smiles on the faces of people in the mood to celebrate. You’re onto a winner for a fun celebration before you even start!
Today’s real wedding couple Rachel and Charles wed among the mistletoe at the impressive Courthouse in Knutsford, Cheshire, with its dramatically high ceilings and fabulous character.
Rachel wore a stunning Maggie Sottero creation with a gold sequined top and frothy skirt – just perfect for a festive celebration and simply beautiful against a backdrop of giant, sparkling Christmas trees. We love the fact that Rachel and Charles’s one-year-old daughter wore a dress that echoed the style of her mother’s – adorable. With entertainment to suit all ages – including a mini Casino and a caricaturist – and little Christmas trees adorning every table, Rachel and Charles went all out to ensure their guests had a fun-filled, festive day.
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
rachel says: We got engaged on holiday in Dubai. I asked Charles to get our daughter ready for the pool while I got my sun cream on; when I got out of the bathroom, our baby daughter was in a vest and written on the vest was “Mummy, will you marry daddy?” It was perfect!
Our wedding date was Saturday 23rd December 2017. We really wanted it to be a Saturday as most people are free and with it being Christmas time we thought it would be perfect to get all our family and friends together for a festive celebration too! We created a Christmassy look for the reception with Christmas tree centrepieces and a few dancing Santa hats for the kids.
We got married at the fabulous Courthouse in Knutsford. It’s such a beautiful building with a lot of character. It’s a great size for a wedding and we had the reception and ceremony in the same place for convenience, so we didn’t have to travel to venues as some of our guests had already travelled far to get to us. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue. The team are fantastic and pulled out all the stops for us. The day ran like clockwork due to Kate the coordinator and the Ice Entertainment team. Thanks to them all, we made the most amazing memories.
I wore a dress by Maggie Sottero, which I bought from Bliss Bridal in Bolton. It was my friend who showed me a picture of the dress and I instantly fell in love with it. It was completely different to any dress I had seen before and the gold sequined top was perfect for a Christmas wedding! My bridesmaids wore custom-made dresses from the fabulous Rixo.
Charles and his groomsmen wore suits from Marks & Spencer. Charles had quite a few groomsmen who all live in different places, so Marks was easily accessible to them all to get the suit that fitted them well. They also came in slim fit, tailored and regular fit, so we knew they would look good on all of them.
September 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Hold onto your hats, guys and get ready for a slice of complete and utter gorgeousness: Jenna and Ollie’s big day at the stunningly quirky Bellle Epoque in Knutsford has everything you need to get through to the weekend. There are flowers galore, a sublime earthy palette of woodland green and rich amethyst and the most beautiful lace dress courtesy of Louise Selbey – the sweetest combination of classic and edgy cool. All the superlatives and all the italics.
As if I couldn’t be more envious, Jenna and Ollie met in a LIBRARY (be still my beating heart) and love to travel, travel, travel, so there’s no surprise that books, maps and beautiful calligraphy feature heavily. If you’re a details gal, you’re in for a treat.
The couple say they fell in love with Knutsford’s charm and The Belle Epoque’s character as soon as they walked in, and sampling their sumptuous menu sealed the deal. We can totally see what they mean – these natural shots from Ginger and Lime Photography of the couple hiding in doorways, the bride posing in her sunnies and the party spilling out onto the street have got our hearts pumping, too.
With images by: Ginger and Lime Photography.
jenna says: Ollie and I got engaged on Boxing Day in December 2015 outside my Mum’s house in Selsey, West Sussex. He’d planned to pop the question down by the beach after a walk, but I’d insisted on going the shorter way back though the village. It was perfect anyway!
We got married on July 8th 2017. We knew we wanted a summer wedding as we really wanted some outside space and I’m much more of a fair weather person!
We had our ceremony and reception at The Belle Epoque. We fell in love with Knutsford, the building’s character and its outside terrace. Food was a big part of it, too: The Belle Epoque’s menu was right up our street, plus it offered the flexibility that we wanted.
In terms of a theme, books and travel featured heavily in our wedding. Books because Ollie and I met in the library, and travel because for three years we were back and forth most weekends between Chester and Surrey. We also have some amazing memories from our holidays and liked the idea of featuring those.
Our colours were green and purple because they complimented The Belle Epoque’s quirky interior and it allowed us to work with the foliage and flowers that we liked best.
My wedding dress was by Louise Selby based in Kew. One of my best friends from school, Sophie Heaven, is a talented embroiderer who made us a really special hand-embroidered ‘Cards’ sign for our card basket. She’d previously worked with Louise and told me about her sample sale. I was astonished that my Mum and I actually agreed on my choice! It was such a gorgeous mix of classic and modern, is made from the most beautiful lace and I just felt super comfortable in it.
The groomsmen wore matching blue trousers and blue waistcoats from Moss Bros. My bridesmaids wore amazing twist and wrap dresses from Isabella Bridal. We can’t recommend them enough: they’re so comfortable and flattering, great quality and they come in one size which was perfect as my bridesmaids were travelling from all over including, err, Indonesia!
April 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s bride Zoe was aiming for ‘1940s film starlet’ for her vintage wedding day look. After seeing these photographs, we’re sure you’ll agree that she smashed it. With her tea-length dress, birdcage veil and amazing Ingrid Bergman-esque ‘do’, she looks every inch the glamourous bride.
Retro vibes permeate every aspect of this gorgeous wedding, from the live music to the rich colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the stunning floral arrangements. Full marks, guys!
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re also touched by Zoe’s advice to brides-to-be: look into your partner’s eyes and not the registrar’s (!), and get thee to a Brides Up North wedding fair. Who are we to disagree?!
With photography by Kate McCarthy Photography
zoe says: We got engaged in Venice at 5.30am on a bridge in Canaregio on 7th May 2016. We’d always wanted to have a two-week holiday in Italy with a week in Venice then a week in Tuscany. We arrived on the Friday and got a water taxi (a complete treat, but obviously Chris knew he was going to propose on holiday whereas I had no clue!)
We love seeing a city wake up, so got up early on the Monday to go and walk round the beautiful streets. We started to cross the bridge right by our apartment and Chris caught my hand, stopped me and said, “Do you love it here?” I replied “Yes, of course” and he then got down on one knee – at which point I started grinning madly! And then he said “Great – in that case, would you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?” and produced the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring! At this point I wanted to shout “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!” quite loudly but remembered no one else was awake. Instead, we skipped (literally) down the street grinning our heads off!
Our wedding was planned for 10th February 2017. We wanted to get married quickly but still have some time to plan. We were extremely flexible and so chose our location and then saw what they could offer us – they had this particular Friday free and so we booked it!
Our venue was The Belle Epoque in Knutsford. We had quite a tick list – we wanted somewhere unusual and quirky, with a dancefloor and room for a band but also somewhere with a separate room so that people could sit down and talk. Chris doesn’t dance and so wanted to be able to go around and speak to everyone. I visited it with my mum and, walking in, I was immediately excited; it has a lovely feel, is full of art deco art and pieces, it has a huge welcoming fireplace and the bar is straight in front as you walk in. I spied a room off this entrance with tables and chairs in, so immediately thought that was a tick. We then went upstairs to the dining area which was set up for a wedding – I actually gasped! They had twisted willow and flowers and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling and huge tall vases of flowers, vibrant, rich, opulent colours and gorgeous iris-patterned wallpaper. I was a little bit teary and knew this was the place.
Our theme was a bit vintage and Peaky Blinders, I suppose. I love vintage dresses and wanted to look like a 1940s film star. We didn’t have a colour-scheme as such, but we chose deep reds, purples and pinks for the bridesmaids and flowers. I wanted the bridesmaids to choose their own dress and style but with a vintage theme. I wanted them to be able to wear them again and really enjoy choosing their own dresses!
For my dress, I knew I wanted something in a vintage style from the 40s/50s and tea-length. I started to look on Pinterest and came across a dress that I loved, so went onto the designer’s website and found a local stockist. I went to Puure in Lymm and Angie, the owner, saw me. I tried the dress I’d seen on and liked it but she insisted I try on more – and I was happy to oblige! After another one, she bought a dress out that I looked at and my heart started to beat faster even though it was full-length and had no sleeves! She fastened me up and explained it could be made-to-measure, adjusted to tea length and have three-quarter sleeves fitted. I looked at myself and felt fantastic. My mum grinned and I had a little tear! That was it. It was ivory satin – so rich and so many sumptuous folds of gorgeous material! It had a little belt with a sparkly diamante square buckle, a fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a net top with tiny sparkles on. I had so many lovely compliments. Angie and her team and Sonya, the seamstress were absolutely incredible and made me feel like a 1940s film star on my day!
I wanted my hair setting in a vintage style and so booked the amazing Ewa Baberska, hair and makeup artist, to finish the look. Suzie Taylor was my makeup artist and she was great. I wanted a very natural look as I don’t wear much and she did exactly that, yet made me look fab.
For my headpiece I also wanted something vintage and had met Kaye Hannabuss of Kaye Hannabus Textiles at a networking meeting. We got chatting and I asked her if she would be able to make me something. She made me a fabulous vintage-inspired headpiece with a birdcage veil, a smartie base and a bow. For the evening, she made me a gorgeous hair slide with beads and pearls and diamante. Kaye works with Harris Tweed and so Chris was interested in talking to her about his and Holly’s waistcoats.
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November 4th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
This afternoon we’re sharing with you a magical 1920s inspired wedding set against the stunning art nouveau backdrop of The Belle Epoque, in Knutsford, Cheshire, where will be hosting one of our fabulous Luxury Wedding Fairs THIS Sunday. So ladies, if you like what you see, be sure to register for the free-entry event now and join us for what is set to be a really inspiring day with some of the area’s finest wedding suppliers.
The Belle Epoque certainly captured the hearts of today’s couple, Hayley and Tim, who chose to tie the knot at the gorgeous boutique hotel on their nine-year anniversary.
Dressed in an elegant Mark Lesley long-sleeved gown, Hayley’s vintage look perfectly complemented the venue’s plush art deco setting, and set the tone for their special day.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
hayley says: We got engaged last year whilst celebrating my birthday at a beautiful hotel in the Lakes. Unbeknown to me, Tim had asked my mum and dad for their blessing and bought me a gorgeous ring. We walked for hours, taking in the scenery and then chilled in our hot tub on a private terrace overlooking Lake Windermere and drank champagne. When it was time to get ready for dinner, I went inside the room to get ready. I noticed Tim had gone back out onto the terrace. The curtains were drawn so I couldn’t see outside. When I pulled them back I saw he’d lit candles everywhere and scattered roses around the little box with the ring inside. He got down on one knee and I burst out laughing with shock (poor Tim!). I made him sweat for a few minutes before saying yes.
We got married on 18th June 2016. Given my well-known tendency for bargain hunting, I called the venue and asked for the best summer date they could offer at the best price and this was the date they offered. Very unromantic… until Tim pointed out it would be our nine-year anniversary! He initially thought I’d picked the date for that reason, until I confessed it was just a sweet coincidence!
We knew we wanted an informal venue, all under one roof – we were certain of that. The location was the tricky part. Initially we looked abroad, as we both love the sunshine and a more relaxed setting. But with two small children and a large family, we eventually decided to stay in the UK. Top of our UK list was a vineyard in Cornwall. Cornwall has a special place in our hearts, as does wine. But the place itself was a bit of a ‘work in progress’ as far as venues go. It had lots of potential but wasn’t quite there yet. We were really glad we made the effort to go down and see it though, rather than just judge it from the online photos (top tip to any future brides!).
November 1st, 2016 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon’s real wedding took place at the stunning Belle Epoque boutique hotel in the gorgeous town of Knutsford, Cheshire, where we just so happen to be holding one of our fabulous Luxury Wedding Fairs THIS SUNDAY. So ladies, if you like what you see register here to attend the event, which will feature some of the area’s very finest wedding suppliers whilst showcasing the unique venue! We’ll be open 11am to 3pm and it’s free entry for all, so be sure to bring along the groom, maids and parents too!
We love that today’s bride and groom styled the venue with pretty rustic details and delicate blush blooms, perfectly demonstrating how The Belle Epoque’s spectacular spaces work beautifully with a variety of different themes and colour schemes.
Now, on with the pretty…
With images by Kate Williams Photography.
kate says: We got engaged in August 2014. We were on a road trip through California. We had just climbed to the top of a waterfall in Yosemite and that’s where Dan popped the question!
Our wedding date was 6th August 2016. Dan is a teacher so we wanted it during the summer holidays, we were also hoping for a warm day, and luckily we had great weather!
We had a church ceremony in Warrington, followed by a reception at The Belle Epoque, in Knutsford. We chose The Belle Epoque as we loved all the décor and it has a beautiful terrace to sit out on. The hotel is also yours for the day, we liked that it was private.
We went with a rustic theme for the wedding. We made our invitations using Kraft card and carried this theme through in terms of the table plan and favours etc. We also had logs on the tables, which were underneath crates made by my dad that were holding flowers.
The colour scheme was blush pink and creams, with the groomsmen in navy blue. I had seen lots of flowers I really liked in blush pink and thought it was the perfect colour for the time of year.
June 9th, 2016 | Julia Braime
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.
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!
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!
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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