May 15th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today on the blog we’re featuring the impossible elegance of Vicki and Richard’s wedding day at Eaves Hall in Clitheroe.
All of the details, from the fine surroundings of Eaves Hall to Vicki’s lace mermaid-cut gown, speak of classic sophistication. This super-stylish couple opted for a pop of cornflower blue in their otherwise neutral colour scheme and the most stunning bridal posy this side of the Pennines.
Their day was perfectly captured by their photographer, who certainly delivered on her promise of beautiful, relaxed and natural wedding photography.
Vicki tells us more…
With images by Emilie May Photography.
vicki says: We got engaged at Room restaurant in Manchester on New Year’s Eve 2013. Richard proposed at midnight; it came as a total surprise as, after almost six years together, I’d given up on him proposing!
Our wedding date was set for 12th August 2016. We wanted to get married in summer: because Richard is a teacher, we were restricted to certain times.
Our venue was Eaves Hall in West Bradford near Clitheroe. We had both the ceremony and the reception there. Richard’s parents had stayed at Eaves Hall several times when it was a guest house. They often talked about it and how lovely the house and grounds were. Richard suggested going to an open day at the end of January a little after we had gotten engaged. It was the first and only place we visited – we fell in love as we walked around the house. We went for lunch at the Waddington Arms to discuss it and then went straight back after to ask about dates. We didn’t regret a thing – there would be no point in seeing other places as we just knew that Eaves Hall was perfect for us.
We had a rustic theme with lace and burlap and little wooden hearts. It suited Eaves Hall and its decor perfectly. I handmade our invites – they were cream and natural card with burlap and lace around the top and with a wooden heart in the middle. This theme carried on with the menus, vases, table plan, place names and so on. We also scattered wooden hearts on each table. We wanted to keep the décor simple with lots of little touches, along with lovely flowers. Eaves Hall is such a lovely house with beautiful decoration; it speaks for itself and doesn’t need much adding to it.
Overall, the colour-scheme was lots of natural neutrals, but we also chose a strong blue for the bridesmaids. The men’s suits were navy blue – I personally think Richard looks very handsome in blue, and I’m not a fan of grey suits.
I chose a fitted lace mermaid-style dress with a low back and a jewelled waistband. I wanted to show off my curves – in the right places!
During the planning, I looked at lots of magazines including UNVEILED, attended a Brides Up North wedding fair and got inspiration from the blog to get plenty of wedding-related ideas, especially regarding my dress. I went to a few boutiques and salons and tried on lots of different shapes, which I would definitely recommend – you need to know that you’ve made the right choice! The dress I eventually chose was from Love & Cherish bridal shop in Ramsbottom. It’s around the corner from Richard’s parents and we often drive past it so I had to give it a try!
I also wore gold shoes with diamante jewels on the front which matched my belt and Swarovski jewellery.
March 7th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon on the blog we’re introducing you to another of our talented Brides Up North sponsors, the wonderful Daniel Murrientes.
A pro at capturing the emotions of the big day in a subtle yet striking manner, Daniel loves being able to frame key moments in time, delivering special memories to his clients that will last a lifetime.
Better yet, he’s offering new Brides Up North reader clients £100 off all 2016 dates, subject to availability, so if you like the look of what you see be sure to get in touch with Daniel quickly.
So let’s find out a little more about the guy behind the camera…
How did you first get into wedding photography?
daniel says: Like many wedding photographers, I kind of fell into this job. As a keen photographer, I followed many of the big photography blogs out there and eventually, I started to notice wedding photography. I’ve never been a fan of the traditional style of formal line ups etc. but the documentary side of the industry really provoked something inside me. It was an interview with Cliff Mautner, one of the best wedding photographers in the world, who inspired me to pursue wedding photography and since then, I’ve never looked back. I’m self-taught all the way and now I help train and teach others in photography. I personally think that is the best way – you can’t beat experience and hard work.
Why wedding photography specifically?
For me, it’s capturing those emotions that blend into the day without being noticed. So many of my clients have said that they didn’t even realise a moment had even taken place that I’ve caught on camera. This is what I aim to capture, as well as the obvious moments that they can look back on. I want them to remember how they felt at the time.
What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?
I could write so much about this, but in a nutshell – I get to be part of amazing weddings and wonderful people who have selected me to capture their special day. I love every moment, from the bridal preps, speeches, first dance and beyond. I challenge myself at every wedding and I never know what to expect.
How do you get couples to relax on the day?
I think my general persona and relaxed approach really helps. I’m not stressful person at all and I think that rubs off on people. For the ones who are particularly camera shy, I offer a pre-wedding shoot, which really helps. Couples often start the shoot feeling a bit self-conscience but by the end, they are relaxed and confident and don’t even care about the camera.
October 14th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Though I love living in the city I would have to say that similar to bride Emma, I’m a bit of a country girl at heart. I therefore love the chic country styling with elegant 1950s vintage touches that she and groom Tom picked for their big day.
The Cadillac car, old-fashioned bicycles and thoughtful décor help to set the scene as does Emma’s stunning Audrey Hepburn style dress, which she found in the fabulous One Fine Day bridal boutique that we know well ourselves.
For anyone planning a rustic or vintage style wedding, it’s time to grab a pen and paper and take note!
With images by Ollie Gyte Photography.
emma says: We got engaged in August 2014 in London. Tom took me for a lovely meal in Soho. Afterwards we took a stroll along the Thames and Tom proposed opposite the London Eye.
Our wedding date was 10th July, 2015. We chose this time of year simply because we wanted a summer wedding.
We got married at St Stephen’s Church in the village where we both grew up. We then had our reception at Homestead Farm, Ormskirk, and Lancashire. Tom and I are both very country people and the layout of the venue went really nicely with our chosen theme.
The styling of the wedding was centred on a vintage 1950s theme as we both like that era and also like the rustic look.
In terms of colours, we chose pastel nude pink for the bridesmaids’ dresses and light blue for the groomsmen as they were nice bright summer colours.
My dress was from a beautiful shop called One Fine Day, which is in Tarleton. Lindsay, who owns the shop helped me choose my dress and with her expertise we found the perfect dress to suit my figure. The designer of my dress was Sanyukta Shrestha. It was an organic silk long design, with an Audrey Hepburn look.
Tom wore a light blue three piece suit from Moss Brothers outlet store in Fleetwood, along with matching tan belt and brogues. The groomsmen wore the same suits as Tom.
My bridesmaids wore pastel nude pink dresses from ASOS, which were 50s style to go with our theme.
To transport us to the venue on the wedding day, we hired a 1950s Cadillac from Birkdale Classics in Southport.
Our photographer was called Ollie Gyte. We chose him as he’s a great guy and an exceptional photographer, which showed in the work he showed us prior to us booking him. He took care of all the photography aspects and delivered great photographs of our big day.
For my wedding flowers I had pink and ivory roses with a mixture of wild green flowers. My lovely friend Paula Popple provided the lovely bouquets of flowers.
When it came to décor Tom and I (with the help of a few friends) made a lot of the items ourselves such as comical wooden signs but we hired a company called Add A Little Sparkle, to decorate the tables, chairs and parts of the main room and the reception.
As favours we gave our guests a pack of locally produced ‘spud’ flavoured crisps, which we got from Fiddler’s Farm in Rufford.
We chose an ombre style wedding cake with three tiers of pastel pink icing. The two outer tiers were sponge and the middle tier was lemon sponge. Nikki from Lemon Tree Bakery made the cake for us, and it was delicious!
To match our theme we decided on an afternoon tea (served with Pimms) for our wedding meal, which was provided by a company called Yours Truly. In the evening we had a hog roast which was supplied by Homestead Farm.
For entertainment we had a young vocalist and guitarist who performed in the barn on arrival. He had a great raw talent and a lovely voice. At the reception we had a band called The Fable who were from London. They were a Mumford & Sons style band, which is why we chose them as we love their music.
After our wedding day we would strongly recommend Homestead Farm to other brides and grooms, as not only is the venue in a brilliant setting in our eyes but all of our guests agreed too. Margaret the owner is a great person who could not do enough for us.
Our favourite part of the day was being sat down having our afternoon tea whilst watching our closet family and friends enjoying themselves.
For our honeymoon we first travelled to New York to see our friends get married. We stayed in NYC for three days and then flew out to Florida and stayed in a villa for just over two weeks. We visited the Disney parks with our little boy Jack who (as well as us), loved every minute!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to try not to stress about the day itself and the days running up to the wedding as it all comes together in the end. Also, when all the hustle and bustle is going on during your day take a step back with your partner and take everything in as it all goes very quickly!
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October 7th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
When planning their big day, today’s couple initially decided on a 1940s theme inspired by their chosen transport – a vintage bus. However worried that she might get carried away with just one set theme, bride Jodi chose to keep the remainder of the wedding modern and simple with elegant pastel pops in the bridesmaids’ dresses, décor and flowers.
The result is a pretty and up-to-date big day with just a touch of vintage.
With images by Paul Swift Photography.
jodi says: We got engaged on the 2nd August 2013. We had gone for a few days away in Grasmere, Cumbria. After a fantastic day boating on Lake Coniston we went back to the guest house to get changed and go into Grasmere for something nice to eat and a few drinks. On the way back from the restaurant was a wishing well, which we stopped at for a while. Jack told me to throw a penny in and make a wish, I did. He did the same, he asked me what id wished for and I told him I wished we could be this happy forever. I asked him what he wished for, he said he wished for his dream to come true, and for me to be his wife, as he pulled a beautiful diamond engagement ring out of his pocket. I didn’t really quite understand what was going on until he actually asked me to marry him. It was the biggest shock of my life! I was so happy I cried for the rest of the holiday!
We decided to marry on the 1st August 2015 as we wanted two year’s planning and saving time, a summer wedding and the nearest date to our engagement date.
We got married at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in the village where we live. I have lived in Rishton all of my life, as have most of my family. My parents, grandparents and great grandparents married at the same church and ever since being a little girl I dreamed of walking down the aisle there.
We had the reception and evening celebrations at Astley Bank in Darwen, Lancashire. It’s absolutely beautiful and the food is amazing! A friend of mine had had her wedding there in 2008 and from that day I loved it. I’m from quite a big family and didn’t want a venue that a family wedding had been held at before, I also wanted somewhere not too close to home but a close enough distance for people to be able to travel to easily, so it was perfect. I took Jack to see it before we had even talked about it properly and on entering the grounds he pretty much made his mind up there and then that it was the place for us.
I thought I wanted a modern wedding until Jack came home from work saying someone he knew had hired a wedding bus. I’ll be honest, I thought it sounded awful! However, I had a look online and saw a bus that we had seen before during a charity walk, I loved it so much! It was a navy and cream 1947 Leyland double decker. I loved the idea that it could take everyone from the church to the venue. I then started to plan a theme around the bus, especially as I love the style of the 40s, but as I did more research I decided I didn’t want to be stuck to one particular style/era. I’m a little OCD with fine detail, if we had gone for a 40s theme literally everything would have had to have been 40s! So we decided that we would go for a modern wedding with a slight vintage twist, which is a good job as the bus I’d based my planning on was involved in an accident two days before the wedding!
We chose a colour scheme of pastel green with peach/coral and ivory. I wanted light, bright, fresh colours that I hadn’t seen at other weddings. I had seven bridesmaids and two flower girls. Choosing the bridesmaids colour was the hardest decision of them all and I wanted to be clear about that before planning anything else. My maids couldn’t be any different from each other with skin tone, hair colour etc. and although I knew I wanted a summery colour I needed something that suited all of them, it was a tough decision! And I’m not convinced they all loved it, but they looked incredible!
On the wedding day I wore the third wedding dress I had bought! The first was from eBay and was an absolute disaster! I hated it so much I cried when I unpacked it. The photos were beautiful but the real thing was such a disappointment!. The second I think I panic bought! The neckline was same as the bridesmaids’ dresses so I think that’s what made me get it. I loved it but then the more I looked at myself in it the more I realised that it really wasn’t me! By this time Lindsey at Anne Whittakers Bridal Wear in Accrington had got to know me a little and agreed it wasn’t right for me. I tried on what felt like a million other dresses but had kept looking at the gorgeous one on the model in the middle of the shop. I tried that on last. I loved it! So much so I nearly cried! It was a beautiful lace Ronald Joyce dress with a low button up back and gorgeous lace train. I’m not a girly girl at all! I don’t do bling or sparkle but it had just the right amount of detail around the middle to make it a beautiful dress without being too much. Lindsey swapped the dress no problem, I really can’t thank her enough! She and the seamstress Shareen were both amazing! My wedding makeup was done by Rebecca Brown and my hair stylist was Gemma Brown.
Jack wore a three piece grey suit from Amelia’s menswear in Clitheroe. By the time it came to choosing the suits I’d become a wedding geek! I’d noticed that most of the suits I had looked at hadn’t changed much over the last 20 years and I wanted something more traditional looking yet with a modern cut. Amelia’s was definitely the best choice, I had seen a photo on their website and knew straight away that it was perfect. The ties were a lovely floral print silk and they had them in the exact green I had chosen for the bridesmaids for the ushers and groomsmen, a peach for my dad that matched the flowers, and ivory to match my dress for the groom. Jack chose to wear a tailcoat as he wanted to be a little different from the rest of the men. The staff at Amelia’s need medals! They put up with the husbands fussing and flapping and his entourage of 11!
The bridesmaids wore pastel green dresses with frilled alter necks that flowed from under the bust to the floor. I chose dresses that would flatter all the different figure types they have, which was a good job as two became pregnant during the planning! I ordered the dresses to be made to measure from a company abroad. The groomsmen wore three piece suits from Amelia’s with standard length jackets and ties in green to match the bridesmaids. Jack’s twin boys wore the same but without the jackets, and their sleeves rolled up a little with Converse shoes to give a more casual look but still in keeping with the older men.
For the wedding transport we ended up having to have an alternative bus as the one I’d set my heart on had been damaged in an accident. Classic Buses sent us a vintage red double decker London bus after working hard to juggle their already full schedule. The driver was a lovely lady who made it even more special. We arrived at church on the bus and after the ceremony it brought our entire wedding party back to Astley Bank. Nobody had to worry about driving or parking or not being able to drink, it was definitely a great idea and everyone loved it!
We chose Paul Swift as our photographer, which was the easiest and quickest decision we made! I’ve known Paul and his wife Sarah since school days and have followed his photography blogs since he started out. Since the day we asked him he helped us to plan our big day and gave us so much advice and knowledge. Neither me nor jack are comfortable in front of the camera so he suggested a pre wedding shoot. This made such a massive difference to us! Paul made us very comfortable and we had such good fun and a real laugh. On the big day his presence was very calming, we both felt like we were in the best hands and he did so much more for us than just take photographs. Jack said he was really nervous when he arrived at church until Paul turned up and started organising everyone, we honestly can’t recommend him highly enough. A true professional! He was very calm and patient and the 800+ photos he took are all beautiful and the perfect reminder of our wedding day.
Rachel at Garlands Florist made my hand tied bouquet using coral miss piggy roses, white hydrangea schneeball, thistles, veronica and rosemary, tied with ivory lace ribbon. Rachel incorporated a bangle into my bouquet which belonged to my mum who passed away in 2008 aged just 49. I wanted to carry something of hers with me on my big day, this also became my something old. She also made the most adorable little gypsophila head dresses for the flower girls, too cute!
Rachel then used glassware I had collected as top table decorations with fresh flowers in keeping with those of my bouquet. I’ve worked in science since 1999 so I wanted to use some scientific glassware to incorporate my love of chemistry into our day. Wedding Creations of Oswaldtwistle dressed the venue with seat covers with peach and lace sashes, huge candelabras with hanging pearls and diamantes. There were also little vintage bottles, pots with flowers and hessian and scatterings of pearls, peach roses petals and diamantes on the tables. Our table names were the dates of our parents and grandparents weddings and each had a photograph from their wedding day. The guests loved this personal touch! The top table had our wedding date and a photo from our pre wedding shoot. I made these myself along with the place name cards and seating plan in the same style as I’d made the invitations and orders of service.
Our favours were bath salts for the ladies and heart shaped mints for the men in corked test tubes tied with brown twine for a ‘sciencey’ vintage feel.
Our cake was made by my sister-in-law Charlotte as a wedding present – it looked and tasted amazing. We has three tiers of ivory iced chocolate and vanilla sponge and a clever clear Perspex tier filled with vintage buttons and pearls to match our theme. It was decorated with a row of threaded buttons and topped with the flowers I had used to make the bridesmaids bouquets. So simple and so beautiful.
The wedding breakfast was absolutely fantastic! We chose from the set menu and tried to pick food that would suit everyone. Everything was cooked to perfection and all the guests complimented it.
To provide entertainment, we had the DJ who was hired by the hotel as part of our wedding package and we also hired a photo booth from Style My Event. This went down a treat with all of the guests!
As a special touch at the reception we had a beautiful handmade guest book made for us by one of my roller derby team mates Johannes. He made a hinged drop top guest book with ‘branch slices’ cut from recycled wood for guests to write their messages on. The design of it means that it can stand freely like a book displaying our messages or hang on the wall like a picture. We currently have it standing on the sideboard but plan to hang it on the wall in the future.
Following our wedding we would certainly recommend Astley Bank to others. The venue is beautiful, the staff are brilliant (so warm and caring), the food was outstanding and the grounds are incredible. I can’t fault a single thing, absolutely perfect!
Our favourite part of the day would have to be the church and ceremony, though we all loved it! The vicar Michael Woods and the vergers, especially Mrs Schaefer, were so caring and welcoming. The service was beautiful, flowers were gorgeous and everything went exactly to plan. My daughter Elisse did a reading by Dr Seuss, we had the church bells rung by a team of incredible bell ringers one of whom is a friend, another friend sings in the choir so she came along to provide some much needed tone! The street outside was lined with well-wishers. It was perfect, a real fairy tale wedding.
After the wedding we went on a Mediterranean cruise for our honeymoon. We started in Mallorca and visited places such as the south of France, Monaco, Italy, Corsica, Spain before returning to Mallorca. The highlight for us was travelling to Barcelona, such a beautiful city with so much culture, we will definitely be going back.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to plan, plan and plan some more! Research everything and be sure you know what you want! This is your big day!
September 15th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – we love pink and we love pretty. It’s no surprise then that we fell head over heels for Sally and Liam’s wedding when it landed in our inbox.
This wedding is pretty through and through, from Sally’s stunning fishtail gown to the maids’ sweet pink dresses and those beautiful blooms.
The men at this wedding are also looking fab in their modern blue suits which complement the pink theme perfectly.
With images by Daniel Murrientes Photography.
sally says: We’d been together for almost ten years when we got engaged. We planned a weekend trip to Barcelona in September 2013 after a friend told us we should go. It had been booked for over a month but it was only a week or so before we were due to depart that Liam decided to propose. Unknown to us there was a street festival in the city and the night after he proposed there was a huge firework display on the beach that just finished off the city break perfectly.
Our wedding date was 17th July 2015. We picked it in the hope we may get a sunny day so we could have an outdoor drinks reception. Luckily when the day came, although a little windy, the sun was shining.
We got married at St John’s Church, Hindley Green. This has been my mum’s local church for more than 20 years. When we got engaged we weren’t sure where to get married but then my mum said that she had always pictured that I would get married in St John’s Church – so we did.
The wedding breakfast and evening reception was then held at Stanley House and Spa, Mellor, Lancashire. They had everything covered and wedding coordinator there, Joy Parker, was a credit to the hotel. We had a sheet with a long list of questions prepared but we didn’t need to ask a single one – she answered everything. The venue is designed mainly for weddings and it shows. After viewing Stanley House our search came to a halt as it we knew it was the one.
We wanted the day to have a simple theme with a vintage/rustic feel and thought along the lines that less is more.
I’ve always loved pink so there was no other colour I was going to have on my wedding day. The bridesmaids wore pale pink dresses and the flowers were shades of pink, peach and creams. The groomsmen wore blue suits which contrasted great with the pink bridesmaid dresses.
When it came to the dress, I picked the 1551 style from Mikaella Bridal, a Canadian designer. I tried on a few dresses in different styles but as soon as I tried on this dress both my mum and I knew it the right one. I didn’t buy it straight away though. Me and mum went back again a few weeks later to try it on again and ensure it was definitely the one.
Liam wore a blue Lambretta suit which we purchased from Slaters in Bolton. His best man, ushers and the father of the groom all wore the same suit, teamed with a navy blue dickie bow.
Initially the bridesmaids had each picked their own style dress from a range with each style to be ordered in the same colour. Unfortunately when they arrived, two of the four bridesmaid dresses were missing. We were told replacements would take three weeks however, they took eight and when they did arrive they were in completely the wrong colour.
All four dresses had to be refunded and with just three weeks to go until the wedding, a last minute bridesmaid dress search began. After trying highstreets shops with no hope my mum and I headed out to bridal warehouses in Bolton, Stockport and Liverpool and eventually found four bridesmaid dresses in the right colour and all the correct sizes in Bolton. The staff at the wedding dress factory outlet in Bolton were amazing and so helpful. They went above and beyond to ensure we got sorted. Not only did the bridesmaids look stunning, but we ended up saving £100 per dress – every cloud!
Our wedding transport was provided by Satin Cars in Wigan. They were so professional and I loved the vintage wedding cars we picked. They transported the groom and ushers to the church prior to collecting myself, father, mum and bridesmaids.
Photographer Daniel Murrientes captured the day for us. We wanted a photographer that would catch the emotions throughout the day. My favourite photograph is the one of me, Liam and my dad at the aisle were I’m wiping away a tear (I was a blubbering wreck). This is photograph will now always take me back to that moment and how I was feeling.
Dan was also just an all-round great guy. Most of the time you didn’t even notice he was there. He seemed genuinely happy to be a part of the day and clearly enjoys his job. We loved having him there and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else!
On the day I carried a bouquet of roses in shades of pale pink, peach and cream. These were provided by Sara at Flowers with Passion. I chose Sara after meeting her at a wedding fair at Event City. We went to her show room not long after and she was so professional and did everything she could to ensure she understood our requirements and preferences. She had a large portfolio and has won lots of awards.
Her showroom was fab – she had a large book of cuttings of all different flowers, styles or colours that she looked through with us first of all in order to ensure she knew exactly what we wanted. She also had a number of flowers, vases etc. within our showroom and put together some mock centre pieces so we could have a taster of what they would look like on the day.
In addition to the centrepieces by Sara, we also had decorations provided by Creative Cover Hire. They provided us with full length white table cloths with ivory lace overlays, lime wash chivarli chairs and ceiling drapes with twinkle lights. Our name cards were luggage tags neatly tied to each chair, which were ordered from Etsy.
Normanddorothy provided our invitations and also the order of service. They are based in Manchester and were really helpful. Everything was perfect and they couldn’t have done anything more for us.
We did DIY favours. We ordered 100 small glass jars from eBay for just £35 and filled them with retro sweets. Some with white jazzies and some with dolly mixtures and covered them with different fabrics purchased from both eBay and Etsy and added twine, plus a thank you tag.
To save on costs our cake was from Marks & Spencer. We added some ‘just married’ bunting to the top tier, which we purchased from Etsy. We then placed the cake on an apple tier next to other cakes, sweets and treats. We had created a sweet table the night prior to the wedding which included popcorn, flying saucers, marshmallows, cakes and cookies.
We found our entertainment via the Function Central’s website. We chose the band Downtown Underground, who were fab! The band was led by Lil Vinny and they provided a mixture of motown funk and soul followed by a DJ set of pop music and indie classics. Our next to last song was my dad’s favourite song I’ve had the Time of My Life, with the final song by Oasis, Don’t Look Back in Anger.
We bought flip-flops for the evening as dancing shoes for guests whose heels might have started to rub to ensure there were no excuses for not being up on the dancefloor. For guests staying overnight we also provided a ‘hangover kit’, which we put in their room. We found these small personalised drawstring bags on eBay and filled them with sugary sweets, chewing gum, a vitamin c powder drink sachet and a sachet of coffee.
Looking back I have several favourite parts of the day: walking down the aisle to see Liam for the first time, the father of the bride and best man speeches (which were so thoughtful and funny) and the evening disco when the rest of our friends joined us and we could finally relax knowing everything had gone to plan and it had been a great day!
We headed straight on honeymoon after the wedding. We spent one night in Dublin, Ireland. We stayed at The Shelbourne Hotel and as it was our honeymoon were upgraded to a suite. Not only that, the taxi driver that we had flagged down at the airport to take us to the hotel, found out our married name was Murphy and agreed to take us back to the airport to catch our next flight the following day at no charge!
From Dublin we flew to San Francisco were we spent three nights – again, as honeymooners we were upgraded and it was a fab city to visit. We went to Alcatraz, saw the Golden Gate Bridge, and went to China Town, Fishermans Wharf, North Beach as well as a bike ride around San Francisco breweries!
After San Francisco it was time to relax and we flew to Mexico, Cancun were we spent ten nights. We were due to stay at the Moon Palace Hotel. However, due to the hotel being overbooked we were upgraded to Hotel Le Blanc a 5 Star hotel where we even had a butler during our stay. The hotel could not have been better. Here we visited the spa, went wine tasting and even swam with dolphins. Other than that we just enjoyed doing absolutely nothing for a few days!
When planning a wedding some things may not go to plan (just like our bridesmaid dresses) but my top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to let it stress you out. It will eventually become something you will laugh about and there is a solution to nearly any problem! Otherwise, just enjoy it – after all that planning it’s over in a few hours (although it feels like seconds).
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August 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This is another one if those weddings that’s so pretty we actually gasped when we first saw the images.
We adore Donna’s choice of a delicate lace Claire Pettibone dress, which complements her soft colour scheme of pale cornflower blue and antique pink to a tee.
Keeping things simple, Donna and Ric didn’t go OTT with their décor, instead opting for dreamy floral arrangements to bring the colour and leaving the rest of the detail to the venue. For us, this is pure perfection!
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
donna says: We got engaged in May 2014 on our hotel balcony in Montmartre, Paris. Ric was hoping to pop the question in Jardins du Luxembourg earlier in the day during a picnic, but as it was a sunny bank holiday Sunday in Paris, there were crowds and never quite the right moment! We celebrated on Monday with a gastro lunch on Bateaux Parisiens cruise on the Seine, which was fantastic.
We set the date for 18th July 2015, hoping for a sunny summer’s day and our chosen venue, Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire, only had two Saturday dates left in 2015.
We chose the venue as we wanted a civil ceremony, and also somewhere with history and where we could show our family in years to come. As a historic home with bags of character and a really welcoming team, we knew Samlesbury was for us. The Whittaker Room where we were married was the old family chapel of the family that used to live there, so felt so special and unique.
We didn’t want a clear theme as such. However, soon into planning our marriage, we tended to like vintage glamour, antique type styles. We also wanted to reflect the summer and a relaxed, elegant style. We also noticed a ‘scallop’ theme emerging in our choices – our stationery pattern, the lace in my dress and my jewellery.
Our colour scheme was pale cornflower blue (Dessy – Larkspur) and pale antique pink. We both love cornflower, and it fitted perfectly against the backdrop of Samlesbury’s black and white buildings and green lawns.
A wonderful friend of ours Nikki Graeme is director of The White Closet in West Didsbury, and it was top of my list for dress shopping! I did look at a number of different designs before making my choice. The new gown Estelle in Claire Pettibone’s Romantique collection just felt right as soon as I tried it on. I wanted something that was light and comfortable whilst also elegant with a touch of glamour. When I tried it on Sweet Disposition came on the radio and I found myself twirling around in the dressing room, so I knew it was the one!
My two bridesmaids Imogen and Jen wore knee length Dessy dresses in Larkspur and our flower girls wore ivory satin dresses with netted skirts with Dessy accessories to match the older bridesmaids.
Our hair and makeup artists was Nathan Hynes. We couldn’t recommend him enough, such a lovely friendly guy and really creative and talented with hair and makeup using Charlotte Tilbury products.
On the day of the wedding, my mum, two bridesmaids and I travelled in a silver Bentley Flying Spur from David Anthony Chauffeur Services in Manchester. They were wonderful and incredibly reliable and professional.
Hayley Baxter was our photographer and she was truly exceptional. From the moment we met Hayley on our pre-wedding shoot at Dunham Massey, we felt totally relaxed in her company, and really confident in her professionalism and technical skills.
On the big day Hayley arrived at our home whilst we were having hair and make-up done, she subtly starting capturing special moments, and felt like part of the day immediately. Hayley was so discreet, yet in these quiet moments was brilliantly capturing the details of the day. Hayley has a real knack of making sure the photographs progress swiftly, whilst being charming and friendly and put all our family and friends at ease. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.
I had a loose bouquet of summer flowers, including peonies and roses. I cried when I saw them, they were so beautiful! We also had a flower arch over the doorway at Samlesbury Hall which looked beautiful too. The Flower Lounge provided these as well as our floral decorations for the reception. We had silver candelabras with the same theme of peonies and roses on each of our top tables.
We used Amanda at Love Invited, who was wonderful, for all our stationery using her ‘Hollywood Glamour’ designs. She was thoroughly professional and the quality of her stationery was fantastic.
To continue our Parisian theme we gave our guests favours of colourful sweet Macaroons from Sam Joseph chocolatiers in Altrincham Market. They are a local supplier who we had seen at our local market and their macaroons were exquisite!
For our wedding cake, we decided to go for a simple iced sponge cake with three tiers of different flavours: orange and raspberry, blueberry and walnut, and lemon on top. This again was from a local supplier who we have tried and tested in the past from visits to The White Closet – The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon on Burton Road. We chose a ‘The Smiths’ cake topper from Not on the High Street for a bit of fun.
There was plenty of choice on the wedding breakfast menu from Samlesbury’s chef. At our tasting we loved the lamb, so this was an obvious choice for us. Starters and dessert were a bit more of a challenge, however we went for a summery Caprese salad with parma ham to start, and finished with our favourite – an unseasonal sticky toffee pudding!
Music was a really important element of the wedding to us and so we chose John Gilmore to play live Saxophone outside on the lawn during our canapés. We also chose songs during signing of the register and walking back down the aisle which were light hearted and set the mood of the day – happiness and celebrations.
Rick Cropper was our DJ for the evening entertainment. We met him back in September at Samlesbury Hall and were impressed by his friendly relaxed style. The dance floor was busy all night! We provided some fun kiddies packs for the little ones to keep them entertained too.
My favourite part of the day was saying our vows in front of family and friends and looking into Ric’s eyes – it was magical. For Ric it was (apparently) me walking down the aisle with my dad Peter! And the first dance, which was lots of fun and very improvised.
Following the wedding, we had a lovely relaxing minimoon in North Yorkshire, near Helmsley, in a little cottage. We are lucky enough to be visiting South Africa (Safari, Capetown and the Winelands) and Dubai next month for a longer break.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to remember that however challenging the planning might feel at times (when working long hours and decorating a new house, it can be tough) it will all be worth it the moment your day begins and all your hard work and vision pays off. You should relax and enjoy it – a few people commented that we both seemed very relaxed and involved in enjoying our day. That was absolutely the case and this was due to wonderful suppliers and time invested up front.
My other top tip would be to leave a couple of days before the wedding when you literally are all planned out and have time to relax. We finished all of the final details the weekend before so I had two days with my bridesmaids and my mum and had time to write cards, wrap presents and be pampered!
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