Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

retro romantics. a glamorous vintage wedding at the belle epoque – zoe & chris

April 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (30)

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

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (34)

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!

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (21)

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.

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (31)

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!

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (39)

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.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

once upon a time. a story book themed wedding at hyde bank farm – jessica & rob

August 25th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Story Book Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (72)

Today’s wedding is brimming with beautiful inspiration, so be sure to have your Pinterest boards at the ready ladies.

Tying the knot at a rural barn setting in Cheshire, bookworm bride Jessica decided to theme the wedding around her favourite childhood stories, with nods to everyone from Peter Rabbit and Toad of Toad Hall, to the beautiful Snow White.

Looking every inch a princess herself, we adore Jessica’s stunning duchess satin gown as well as the bridesmaids’ vintage dresses and the groomsmen’s dapper suits!

Another stand out element for us has to be Jessica’s dreamy bouquet made by her talented mum – who just so happens to be a florist, and a fabulous one at that!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

A Story Book Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (9)

jessica says: Rob proposed on Christmas Day 2013. Christmas is my favourite time of the year but I didn’t see the proposal coming. We had talked about getting married for years but finances had been tight as we were renovating our home.

I woke up at about 4.30am, which is normal for me on Christmas Day. We spent some time opening our stockings in bed before moving on to the Christmas tree in the living room. Rob opened his presents from me first and then it was my turn.

I unwrapped my first gift which was a poem from Rob asking me to be his wife. Rob was filming me and I read it out loud but couldn’t read it in full. My legs went to jelly but I thought he was winding me up. I started to cry and he handed me another present. I unwrapped a ring box and inside there was a note saying ‘Find Me, I’m hanging on the tree’.  I couldn’t contain my emotion at this point. I tried to stand up but my leg were shaking too much! Eventually I found the ring on the tree. The ring was beautiful. I was ecstatic. We celebrated with a bacon butty and a glass of champagne.  All this at 5am!

A Story Book Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (27)

We set the date for 7th May 2016. We chose May hoping for good weather and we got it! It was warm, but not too hot, and it stayed dry for the majority of the day.  We chose the 7th as number seven is a lucky number for the family and we were automatically drawn to it.

We got married at Hyde Bank Farm in Romiley, Cheshire. It was the only venue we looked at and we booked it straight away. Rob’s dad used to work there as a teenager back when it was a dairy farm. He actually used to work in barn where the ceremony was held. The farm is still run by the same family he used to work for.  The venue is perfect for an intimate ceremony but because it has two floors and outdoor space, it can hold up to 100 guests in the evening.

A Story Book Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (81)

Our theme was classic children’s books. Each table was named after a classic tale: Wind in the Willows, The Railway Children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. This was chosen because since a very early age I have been a bit of a bookworm. These were my favourite stories as a child. My mum has always compared me to Snow White with dark hair, fair skin and cherry red lips.

We went for a vintage look when it came to picking the colour scheme for the outfits and flowers. The bridesmaids wore vintage style dresses in powder blue and Rob, the dads and groomsmen wore navy. The flowers were vintage/rustic, in keeping with the venue, using predominately blue and lilac flowers.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

a grand day out. a personal & pretty wedding at the old grammar school – nadine & rob

January 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Elegant Wedding at The Old Grammar School (c) James Tracey Photography (47)

Today’s real wedding couple chose two historic venues brimming with character and charm for their big day celebrations, which took place in the North West of the country.

Following a ceremony in the church where the groom’s parents had married 34 years previous, the happy couple and their guests moved onto The Old Grammar School in Middleton, for the reception to get underway.

We love the simplicity & elegance of this wedding which also features pops of colour and personality to make it stand out from the crowd.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at The Old Grammar School (c) James Tracey Photography (1)

nadine said: We got engaged on my 30th birthday in November 2014. The engagement was a modern joint decision. Having known each other since our university years and lived together as a couple for five years we had spoken about marriage a number of times. As we were both approaching the 30-year-old milestone we decided it was the right time. Rob proposed in front of the Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona. We celebrated in the nearest bar with a jug of Sangria!

Neither of us wanted a long engagement. Spring would have been too soon, summer too popular, so we settled for autumn and set the date for 24th October 2015.

An Elegant Wedding at The Old Grammar School (c) James Tracey Photography (64)

We wanted a venue that would be exclusive to us and our party. We also knew we wanted a venue that resembled a barn and that would require very minimal decoration. We looked at a number of options and finally settled for a church wedding at St. John the Divine in Brooklands, Sale, where Rob’s parents had married 34 years before. The reception was held at The Old Grammar School in Middleton, which is a historic venue with all the character and charm that I was after. I fell in love with the place when I first saw it online and it was even more impressive when we first visited!

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

vintage love. a cath kidston inspired wedding in the peak district – gemma & richard

December 7th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Colourful Wedding In The Peak District (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography (137)

Today we’re giving you a second helping of gorgeous real wedding inspiration in the form of Gemma and Richard’s big day at Upper House.

Taking inspiration from an expert in prettiness, Cath Kidston, Gemma got busy sourcing lots of sweet, vintage buys online to help set the scene before roping in groom Richard to assist with some handmade décor.

The result is a wedding day that’s beautiful, colourful & fun, just as the bride desired!

With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography.

A Colourful Wedding In The Peak District (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography (108)

gemma says: We got engaged on 22nd Dec 2013, whilst on a ski holiday in France. After a spectacular gondola ride across to the glacier in La Plagne, Rich suggested we ski away from the crowds to take some photos. We stopped and Rich took off his skis. After rummaging in his coat, he handed me a half bottle of champagne. He continued to rummage. Next appeared two small plastic pots, which transformed into champagne flutes. He got down on one knee and said “Gemma, will you marry me?” and I replied “I absolutely will!” Cue a random Frenchman that took our photo!

We set the date for 18th July 2015. We wanted a summer wedding and we needed to save up – so summer 2015 was an easy choice.

A Colourful Wedding In The Peak District (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography (92)

Our wedding took place at Upper House in Hayfield, Derbyshire. We knew from the start that we wanted a venue that was in the Peak District. Rich and I relocated from St. Albans a couple of years ago to live in the Peaks, so we really wanted to show our southern friends why we had moved north!

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone