December 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Alex & Nick’s glam & gorgeous country garden themed wedding has it all – beautiful blooms, a fab frock and plenty of fudge!
Groom Nick also knows what side his bread’s buttered on, sending his best man bearing a pair of Jimmy Choo skyscrapers to his bride to be on the morning of the wedding. Alex, you’ve trained him well.
With images by Niki Mills Photography.
Alex says:We got engaged at home on our five year anniversary and were married on 19th September 2014. We chose the date due to it being seven years to the day we met. Were not the romantic type so this made our day extra special.
We got married at St Peters Church in Darwen because it is where I was christened and due to it having links with St Pauls, where Nicks Grandparents, Aunty and Parents were married.
We chose The Inn at Whitewell as our reception venue as I remember going to a wedding when I was younger and thinking to myself ‘If I ever get married I want it to be here!’. Nick also loved the character of the place and we agreed it was ‘us’.
I picked a ‘Garden’ theme as my wedding dress had the most intricate floral lace and embellishment on it and I wanted everything to relate to the dress on the day. My husband calls me a magpie as I love anything sparkly so the day needed to be glam too.
The colour scheme chose me. I love the vintage feel with golds, blush, nudes, creams, greys and pinks and made sure they all had a part to play somewhere. I also added a little fresh green to break it up and give the theme a little dimension! Everything that featured in the day was there because I liked it not because it matched.
All wedding dresses are beautiful and its hard finding ‘the one’. After searching when we first got engaged I found a beautiful Blue by Enzoani dress in Lulu Browns (Whalley) that was fresh and young with one shoulder. It was so completely different to what I thought it would want but so beautiful too. We didn’t start planning properly until December 2013, and when I went to look for dresses again I walked in Bellisima (Holcombe Brook, Bury) and there it was there waiting for me.
Joanne Tudda MUA did my make up on the day, she is recently qualified and was valuable to the ladies of the wedding party on the morning of the wedding.
Nick very clothes conscious and wanted a mod suit and to arrive on a Vespa, but after a discussion on how our Dads would look in this type of suit and a successful fitting at Amelia’s Bridal (Clitheroe) he decided on light grey tails, skinny trousers, a floral tie and brown brogues – and looked ever so classic and handsome.
Bridesmaids dresses are lovely but I didn’t want them to look the same as everyone else, I chose metallic evening gowns from Phase Eight and had them custom fit for every girl.
The flower girl dresses were chosen by Nick by accident in Monsoon, the vintage frocks had the exact same colour sash as the bridesmaids and floral lace. They were perfect for my girls who were 8, 4 and 3.
I arrived in a classic black Mercedes, I love the vintage cars but as the venue is 40 minutes away we decided to spend the majority of the transport budget on a double decker bus for the night guests. Apparently it was quite a ride on the county roads home!
Our photographer was Niki Mills from Niki Mills Photography. After watching her DVD and crying at how beautifully she had captured other couples special days I booked her. From that moment on she went above and beyond, from a really fun engagement shoot (which really helped our confidence under the lense) to rounding everyone up on the day to ensure she got all the shots we wanted. When starting the wedding planning process my dad said to me ‘Make sure you spend good money on the photographer, you’ll never get that day back’. And he was right, Niki captured our day in a way that really tells our story, in exactly the relaxed fun style we wanted. I am so glad I didn’t have a videographer as Nikki achieved what they would have done with just her talent.
I remember seeing a Naked Cake for the first time and thinking ‘Wow, I wonder who can make me one of those?’. I enlisted the help of my godmothers daughter Victoria who does cake baking as a hobby but who is extremely good. She goes by the name of ‘Victoria Sponge’. She took the task on board and did not disappoint with the cake being a huge hit!
I envisioned the flowers to be as though they had been collected from a country garden with a vintage rose as the centrepiece. Sue’s Bluebells worked extremely hard at ensuring this vision was perfect over many cups of tea.
My bouquet was made by a good friend Danielle who made her own brooch bouquet a few years ago. I collected all the individual brooches and pieces of jewellery and she magically put it all together with added extras – such as my grandma & granddad being with me all day in a locket.
The decorations were all finds by my mum and me from Home Sense, The Range, charity shops, car boot sales, the wine loving next door neighbours and by painstakingly soaking jars in the washing up bowl to the annoyance of Nick. He would come home and say ‘Why are there so many watering cans in this house?!’ or ‘Surely you have enough jars now?!’.
Sue’s Bluebells put together all the centrepieces and Nicola at Bride’s Little Helper set up the marquee and created my unique crate and gold frame table plan.
I also envisioned a very romantic feel as it went dark in the marquee so with the help of Nicola put candles in everything. It really made a spectacle as the day room was so fresh and at night it changed into candlelight. I asked for the braziers to be lit outside and some guests sat outside with drinks round the fires.
Bride’s Little Helper is a wonderful little business, Nicola and Mark did so much for me in the run up to the wedding, from the beautiful stationary, the room, the transport and emotional support battling out ideas.
Nick and I are foodies and we love fudge. I ordered in a huge amount of the stuff from a gorgeous shop in the Peak District (where we go camping) and gave out Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate fudge to the delight of the guests. They were then given in little plant pots to go with the theme.
For the day guests we had a vintage ice cream trike, provided by Laura at Love My Trike which went down a treat with the guests, but for the evening entertainment we simply had a DJ. Nick has a brother and together they are all the entertainment any wedding needs. Nick being a huge lover of music (he went to Ibiza for his Stag weekend) talked me into the idea of an ‘Ibiza Hour’ which I ok’d as he hadn’t asked for much. It was all the entertainment we needed and had the guests up dancing all night long.
We added lots of special touches to the day, Nick and I no longer have any grandparents and we wanted them to be a part of our day, my dad and I spent an afternoon shabbing up an old pair of ladders and Nicola at brides little helper made the most gorgeous remembrance jars with their names in, which lit up at night.
We also love to go camping so every table was named under a place that we have visited in our tent, this went down a treat with our guests as many of them have been on these trips with us!
I really hate the pain of high heels so I painted an old magazine rack silver and made sure the girl guests had flip flops so there was no excuse not to dance!
I have many favourite moments, but sitting at the top table with my new husband surrounded by our closest friends and family who were there for us that day meant so much.
We honeymooned in Sri Lanka for a week and then onto the Maldives for ten nights. Nick is an action lover so in Sri Lanka we went white water rafting and on safari and snorkelled and scuba dived in the Maldives, together with a lot of sunbathing! A special surprise was the honeymoon being a gift to us from my mum and dad – we found out at the top table!
People say the best advice is to take a step back and take it all in. However, I would say to other Brides Up North– ground yourself in the morning, tell yourself that this is really happening and try to get into the moment. You spend months and months planning the most perfect day and on the day feel as though you are watching through a dream.
October 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Earlier this week I introduced you to lovely Brides Up North Sponsor Rachel Joyce Photography, and couldn’t resist sharing a few sneak peek pics from Saoirse and William’s cute and quirky nuptials.
Today I’m back with the beautiful rose gold and ribbons celebration in all it’s gorgeous glory.
Brides Up North, if you’re wondering how you can work both pretty and original styling elements into your big day, here’s an absolute masterclass.
With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.
Saoirse says: Though we had discussed getting married, we had not made it public or official. So the proposal either occurred on Chinese New Year when I demanded of William: ‘Are you going to propose yet? I can’t spend every day waking up thinking is this the day I get engaged?’ or two days later, when we got engaged ‘officially’ in a coffee shop in London. The decision to look for a ring was mutual but after trying on a few and then almost deciding on one, we went to a coffee shop to decide. Then William said “Do you like that ring? Shall we buy it? Will you marry me?” I cried and we went to buy the ring.
We were married on 14th September 2014. Our ceremony was in the Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington. We didn’t want to get married in a church, or in an ‘all-in-one’ venue so we researched venues with wedding licences. The room was small, but it fitted our guest number perfectly.
Also, we were looking for somewhere where our money might do some good – Haworth Art Gallery is open to the public and I remember going when I was younger. Barley Village Hall was also a childhood destination of mine and is run and maintained by volunteers.
If there was a theme, it was ‘colour’. Everything was bright and that was intentional. It’s the north in September. We had no control over the weather but we wanted the day to be bright in any way it could.
In addition, a few of the motifs were ‘words & music’ due to my love of poetry and William’s of music. It was very DIY but it wasn’t intentionally meant to look that way, just that the day had our mark on it.
My wedding dress was from Vintage Lane Boutique in Bolton. I wanted a 50s/60s style dress with sleeves and luckily this was the first dress I tried on. I was only looking for ‘style’ but having tried it on and her friend, who is not a squealer, squealing, she was torn. One cream tea later, I went back to buy it.
It was perfect; a simple 1960s dress. Lace, long-sleeved but with a chiffon train.
My now mother-in-law made me a beautiful lace knit shawl in pale blue and my pink flat pointy shoes were from Russell & Bromley.
My hat was yellow, my flowers had multi-coloured ribbons and there were balloons! I chose a hat as a love them and it would be the only chance I really had to get one designed for me. The sister of a good friend is a miliner and I went and tried on a variety of styles. The one I chose was ‘the wild card’. Mary Franck – the miliner – then helped me changed the colour and shape. I love my hat and Mary was fabulous.
Our bridesmaids and groomsmen wore what they liked. We didn’t want matching outfits for anyone. Three ‘non-bridesmaids’ wore Miss Piggy rose wrist corsages, as did the mother-in-laws, whilst the men wore Miss Piggy buttonholes.
My bouquet was simply amnesia roses with rosemary from Garlands Florist in Oswaldtwistle. Rachel at Garlands listened carefully to my design and produced exactly what I had in my head, choosing a lovely mixture of colour and texture for the various lengthed ribbons.
I arrived at the Gallery in a Morris Minor Traveller named Buttercup from Regent Classics. We both travelled from the venue to the reception in the same car.
We used Rachel from Rachel Joyce Photography. As you can see her photos are incredible. Everyone we have shown them to have remarked on how good they look. We heartily recommend her to anyone and everyone in the Lancashire area. And she is the only person who can make William smile in a posed shot!
For the reception, we had a variety of balloons from Party Glitz in Padiham. Other than that, we did all the decorations ourselves, from flowers in teacups, to bunting in the hall, and streamers, doileys, coloured table cloths and flowers from supermarkets. The flowers were in glass vases we had been collecting all year. The teacups were my grandmother’s wedding set.
In fitting with the ‘Words & Music’ theme, we gave everyone a pencil with the words ‘In Good Hands’ on them (this was the title of our first reading at the service) and a 7” record, supplied by William’s father who buys and sells records.
We had a three tiered cake, each with a different filling; one red velvet, one lemon and one Victoria sponge. It was made by a friend of William’s mother’s.
The food was supplied by Cabin Catering in Barley. Paula was brilliant in doing everything we asked for and providing a tasting session for us a few months before.
William’s mother and father kindly supplied the wine which they bought in France. The white was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the Champagne was Paul Goerg and the red has all been drunk so we can’t remember what that was!
We had an additional poetry blessing before the meal, with five more poems. Also, as we allowed our friends to brng their children, we gave them each crayons, colouring books and the older ones got finger puppets of the bride and groom, kindly knitted by William’s mother.
One set was stolen by a friend of the bride as she loved them so much!
We would definitely recommend Barley Village Hall. The couple who run it (John and Audrey) not only gave us free run of the place all of the day before and until lunchtime the day after, they also helped us set up.
In the evening, we hired a PA system and then Djed ourselves. It ended up that one friend did most of the music from his iPod.
William: My favourite part of the day was when Saoirse and I were first at the front of the wedding room in Haworth. We were holding hands and smiling to each other. It was wonderful to think that the decision we had made to be with each other was about to be made in front of all our family and friends.
Saoirse: My best bit was walking down the aisle. I had already met Will and said hello to most people so I was relaxed and thoroughly excited. I was so full of joy that I was to marry Will and these glorious people I loved were in one place that I got the biggest fit of giggles! I couldn’t keep my joy in!
For our honeymoon we stayed in a cottage in Staithes in North Yorkshire. We spent the time pottering about in the village, walking on the beach and taking drives to Whitby and Scarborough. We are planning a grander honeymoon to Texas next year when we have a bit more money.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to put your own stamp on the day. As much as you think all wedding have to be the same or it is easier to let someone do the majority of the organising, putting the effort in will make your day even more special. We had a lot of people say how inventive our day was, but all we did was take control of the arrangements and not do anything that we didn’t want to do. It caused quite a bit of stress (and a few tears) but knowing now how the day turned out, we would go through it all again.
Think how you want your wedding to feel and work on that. We made a list of what we wanted it to feel like (fun, easy, small) and a list of everything we didn’t want and stuck to it.
Whilst hard at times, our day was so special. I won’t ever stop smiling when I think about it. It was truly, truly glorious.
April 2nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s off to Ormskirk, Lancs this evening as we join Caroline and Stuart to share in their gorgeous Real Wedding. Caroline chose to style her day with an abundance of floral displays – to blooming beautiful effect!
With images by Stephen Rooney at Natural Touch Photography.
Caroline says: We got engaged in Cyprus in July 2012 and were married on 11th October 2013 at West Tower Country House Hotel, Ormskirk.
We had looked at about thirteen venues across the North West but we couldn’t decide on any. There was something not right about all of them for us, but then we visited West Tower and it was absolutely perfect. Beautiful setting, friendly staff, incredibly organised – it just felt right.
I stayed at Formby Hall the night before with my family and bridesmaids and my chief drove us over to the West Tower in the morning where we got ready.
I carried a hand tied bouquet of whites and creams, the majority of which were roses. We used Flowerstyle by Laurie who is in Formby – an absolutely amazing florist.
As a special treat for our guests we used Ice Cream Dub who provided our chosen ice cream and sorbet and served them from their vintage VW camper van.
Steven Rooney of Natural Touch Photography was our choice of photographer. He was very easy going and professional.
Red Events Creative provided the chair covers and sashes and Flowerstyle By Laurie our beautiful centrepieces. Our table plan was our favourite places we had travelled to together rather than numbers.
Our cake was the “Vintage Fairy-tale” design from Waitrose – just beautiful.
We used Steve Mitchell Wedding DJ in the evening. He really was excellent. Our free bar also helped too get the party going!
I loved every bit of the day! I really enjoyed getting ready with bridesmaids in the morning, I loved the actual ceremony which surprised us both, the speeches were fantastic and I finished off the day dancing with my new husband and then my Dad! Just seeing everyone having a blast was amazing!
After the wedding we went to Australia for an epic honeymoon for five and a half weeks, stopping in Dubai on the way home.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that flowers make such an impact. Shop around for the best but always barter!
Congratulations Caroline & Stuart!
This is not a sponsored post
February 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Girl’s Best Friend
We LIKE sparkle around these parts, whether glinting from a newly adorned ring finger, the sheen of sequins on tulle or a dusting of Swarovski across a kitten heel. It’s all good. That said, we were always going to love the bespoke designs of Harriet of Amoretto Wedding then, weren’t we?
Not content with dazzling your guests on the day, Harriet’s beautiful designs give them a little taste of what’s in store, whether that’s elegant sparkle (our favourite), lashings of lace and pearls or laid back rustic romance.
I LOVE. Just check our her pretty website to see why.
Harriet is kindly offering a 10% discount for any couples ordering their stationery in 2014. Just quote Brides Up North when booking.
Images by Lake Creative Studio.
What’s the story behind Amoretto Wedding?
Amoretto has been running for two years now. As a trained Graphic Designer with a love of packaging and ‘hands on’ creativity the idea to start my own wedding stationery business came to me when planning my own wedding. Like so many others before me that, ‘I could do this’ moment suddenly hit me and it all went from there!
Who is an Amoretto Wedding bride?
An Amoretto bride is someone who will appreciate quality design, products and service. Over the last two years I have provided stationery to a wide range of ages and budgets but the common factor is their appreciation of the care and attention to detail spent on each and every client, from the moment pen goes to paper until their beautifully wrapped parcel arrives at the door.
Where are you based? Do you work by appointment or online?
I am based in Lancaster, Lancashire but have clients from all over the Country. I meet with around 80% of my clients but offer a fully bespoke service as standard to clients who approach and order via e mail or telephone as well.
Snowflake Save The Date
Are all your designs completely bespoke then?
I offer a bespoke service as standard at no additional cost. Couples are welcome to either choose an existing design, making any necessary alterations or benefit from my design experience creating something new and unique.
Lace & Peal Pocket
What products are available in each design?
All designs have matching items as follows;
Save the Date, Day Invitation, Evening Invitation, RSVP and information card.
Order of Service, Order of the Day, Place Name, Menu, Personalised Menu, Table Plan, Guest Book.
Favour Box, Memory Box, Thank you Card.
Lace & Pearl
What stationery designs do you think will be popular for next season?
I am seeing a huge demand for my Lace and Pearl designs, but this timeless fabric will never go out of fashion for weddings. The Shabby Chic, Great Gatsby and Rustic Country Garden looks will all remain popular in 2014 with a breakthrough trend for bright colourful florals.
What would be your top five tips for Brides Up North when choosing their wedding stationery?
Take a good look around on blogs, in magazines, and at wedding fairs for designs and ideas.
If you are struggling to choose a style, arrange a consultation with a local designer who offers this service for free to chat through ideas. They should be happy to listen to your thoughts and make suggestions that will suit your needs and requirements. There are so many angles to how the stationery contributes to the process, it’s not just about the invitations. I love hearing about my clients ‘on the day’ plans and making sure my wedding day items are going to suit their venue, flowers, table arrangements and vision for the whole day.
Don’t get too caught up in trends and what you think you should have, go with what represents you as a couple and your Big Day.
Never order anything without seeing a sample, online images can be deceiving, you need to feel and see the quality in your hands before committing to an order.
Always ask for proofs and a sample and make sure you get a second pair of eyes to check them over. The last thing you want is all your invitations with the wrong name, date or address on them.
Does all the stationery have to match?
Not necessarily, a recent client of mine has chosen one of my Lace & Pearl designs for her Invitations as it matches the delicate lace on her dress. Her vision for the wedding day however is much more Shabby Chic and Country Garden so we are introducing kraft card colours, luggage tag styling and dressing props such as a set of vintage step ladders as the table plan backdrop. Two different styles but yet ones that will tie the whole wedding story together perfectly.
Which of your ranges would you recommend for a Bride on a budget or if money was no object?
Serendipity at £3.00 is a simple but luxurious design, double mounted on 700gram board this design can be done to incorporate any colour scheme. The modern typography is very popular with many couples and seems to appeal particularly to the Grooms!
Boxed Cupid at £7.50 is the ultimate in romantic luxury. The ivory paper heart is the centre piece of this stunning invitation, all encased in a mulberry paper wrap and organza bow then presented in box with delicate guest name tag.
What are your prices like?
My day time Invitations range from £3.00 right up to £8.50 for designs that comes boxed and incorporate many elements.
Can you offer a special discount to Brides Up North readers?
Yes! I would be delighted to offer a 10% discount for any couples ordering their stationery in 2014.
How long do you take to turn around an order?
As standard I say four weeks, this includes design, proofing, samples and production. Turn around can be faster than that depending on my schedule.
How can I get in touch to discuss my requirements or place an order?
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August 19th, 2013 | Julia Braime
This morning on the blog we are showing off – one amazing elite wedding venue and the work of some really rather fabulous Northern suppliers. Because, well, if you’ve got it (and hell yes, we’ve got it up North!) why not flaunt it?
Early one sunny Monday morning in Spring, one of the most exclusive wedding venues in the UK quietly opened it’s doors for a secret bridal photo-shoot to celebrate 15 years of Jean Jackson Couture. The shoot was to be an artistic collaboration between one of the North West’s finest dress designers and a small collection of highly sought-after and award-winning wedding suppliers, including the lovely Phoebe of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Flossy & Leigh Make Up Artist Company. And what beautiful results…
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