Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

wreaths & roses. lusan mandongus for a pretty christmas wedding in cheshire – rachel & james

December 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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With just a matter of days to go until it’s fizz, presents and turkey all the way, we’re getting into the spirit of things with this gorgeous Christmas wedding.

Rachel and James opted for a traditional church ceremony, made personal with input from family and friends, followed by a gorgeous rustic reception at Owen House Wedding Barn.

We love the subtle seasonal touches such as berries, wreathes and fairy lights, plus the bridesmaids’ sparkling dresses, which give just a nod to the (most wonderful) time of the year!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

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rachel says: We got engaged in Mozambique on New Year ’s Eve in 2014, just before midnight. At that time we were living and working in Malawi as volunteers and were taking a Christmas break. We had arrived in the beautiful coastal town of Vilanculos that evening and had a lovely dinner on the beach before going to see the New Year in with fireworks on the beach front.

We returned from travelling in late July 2015, and had our date set within a few weeks. We decided on 29th December 2015, as we both love that time of year and knew a lot of our friends and family would be home and able to attend.

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The wedding ceremony was held in St Chads Catholic Church, in Cheadle, as this is my home parish church and the church my family have always attended. We have a lot of connections with the church and were able to include friends and family throughout the service to give the wedding a more personal touch. We also used the adjoining church hall for tea, coffee, canapés and prosecco after the service which was provided by a local coffee shop (Rustic Coffee Co) and childhood friend.

The wedding reception was held at Owen House Wedding Barn, in Mobberley. The venue was perfect in every way and everything we both wanted. We had looked through hundreds of venues online and as soon as we walked in, I knew it was the right place.

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We didn’t pick any particular theme for the wedding. We just wanted a relaxed atmosphere with as little fuss as possible so everyone could enjoy themselves.

We didn’t really pick a colour scheme either, but everything came together really well. I had picked the bridesmaids dresses first as I had fallen in love with them at first sight and fitted everything around them. They were perfect for Christmas and matched in the boy’s ties and the flowers.

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Wedding dress shopping was a little rushed as I only had five months to pick and order the dress. I looked in three local boutiques and chose a dress by Lusan Mandongus. I wanted a simple but elegant dress and wanted it to be comfortable and to be able to dance all night.

James chose the suits from Next and we had them tailored to fit each individual groomsman. They were a lovely colour and suited everyone really well. James’ tie was from Liberty and somehow linked all the colours of the wedding together.

The best man, groomsmen and fathers all wore three-piece suits from Next.

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beautiful blush. lusan mandongus for a wedding in cheshire – joanna & ryan

June 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (33)

I just love the setting of today’s real wedding, a gorgeous glass room at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens which boasts gorgeous views of the venue’s spectacular grounds.

Taking inspiration from Abbeywood, bride Joanna picked a pretty blush colour scheme and included lots of wild blooms in the wedding décor to help bring the outdoors, in.

And this is yet another wedding with an incredibly well dressed bridal party. Ryan and his fellow men look fabulous in their suits and kilts and we’re loving the bridesmaids’ specially designed pastel dresses. But without doubt it’s Joanna who steals the show in her gorgeous slim-line Lusan Mandongus gown and full-length veil.

With images by Jo Bradbury Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (1)

joanna says: We got engaged in October 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The holiday had been booked for ages. We always try to go away during the holidays as I’m a teacher and we both enjoy travelling. We chose the hotel together and discussed what we would do during our break. On our second day we hired bikes and cycled around the city visiting the sites. Just before we were about to go back to the hotel, Ryan decided that it would be a great idea to cycle through the park. We stopped outside the palace in the gardens where Ryan got down on one knee and proposed. After the proposal we enjoyed the rest of the holiday celebrating before returning home to share the good news with our family.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (3)

We set the date for 15th August 2014. We were very lucky to get this Friday in August as many weddings had been booked over a year in advance. I always knew I wanted a short engagement.  The thought of planning/talking about a wedding for two years was just not for me.

We got married at my church St Mary’s in Crewe and then celebrated the rest of the day at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens, Northwich. We knew from our first visit that Abbeywood was the venue for us. We have both worked in hotels when we were younger and didn’t want our wedding to feel like something on a conveyer belt which many hotels felt like to us. Abbeywood made us feel so special and nothing was too much trouble. It was beautiful, no fuss venue with lovely staff. The gardens were breath-taking and because the room was made entirely from glass, it felt like we were sitting outside in the gardens all day.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (4)

We didn’t really have a colour scheme, however the bridesmaid dresses, ties and the majority of the flowers were a subtle blush. Ryan was certain that he wanted a blue suit so we fitted the bridesmaid dresses around this and because the gardens were so bright and colourful we also chose colourful flowers as our centre pieces.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (9)

My dress was a Lusan Mandongus wedding dress. I chose this dress because it was simple and elegant but a little bit different. I loved the dress as soon as I put it on and even though I continued bridal shopping for many more weeks with my mum, I knew that I would not find anything that would suit me better. I was never a girl who had a vision for a dress so I tried on all shapes and styles but quickly came to realise that I wanted something lace and fitting. My shoes were from I Do Dresses in Crewe. They were the comfiest shoes and allowed me to keep dancing all night.

Ryan choose his suit from Platts Menswear and Formal Hire in Crewe. The staff were so knowledgeable and extremely helpful. The most important thing to Ryan was a suit that fitted him really well and that it was a bit different. The suit that he chose was a gorgeous French blue and tails because he knew that no other guests would wear a tails suit to the wedding. My Dad then chose a blue kilt and matched this with a French blue jacket. The suits that the groomsmen wore fitted all the men perfectly and they looked extremely smart all day. Ryan thinks that this suit was the nicest attire he has ever dressed in.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (17)

The bridesmaids’ dresses were designed and made by Mariee bridal shop in Nantwich. The shop specialises in bespoke bridal wear. After months of searching for bridesmaids dresses that complemented my dress and the groomsmen’s suits we decided to visit Kate at Mariee. I showed her a picture of my dress and the French blue suits that we had chosen and right anyway she picked the perfect colour of fabric (blush) and drew the most beautiful bridesmaid dress that myself, my mum and both of my sisters loved instantly. My sisters then asked Kate to add buttons down the back and a lace belt that matched the lace from my dress. The dresses were perfect and looked great on the day.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (14)

We hired our wedding transport from Horgans. The driver arrived in the morning and took myself and my dad to the church and then myself and Ryan to the venue after the mass. It was a nice time after the mass for me and Ryan to catch up and have a glass of champagne together before the reception.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (28)

Our photographer on the day was Jo Bradbury. She was the perfect choice for us because I knew that I needed someone that was going to fit around our day and not take over by making us spend hours having photographs taken. Jo was great, I barely knew she was there and the photographs are all stunning. She managed to capture so much of the day and stayed well until the evening getting some really fun shots of enjoying themselves on the dance floor.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (35)

My flowers were provided by local florist Julia Wynn. I told her about Abbeywood being a natural garden and that I wanted my flowers to reflect that. She came with lots of ideas and knew exactly what I wanted. She put together a very natural bouquet for myself and my bridesmaid that included a thistle because we are Scottish. Julia also sourced flower boxes and trees for the centre pieces for the tables.

Because I’m a teacher my invitations were designed by the children at my school. The head teacher at my school launched a competition to design the best invitation for my wedding. I had hundreds of entries all of them were great in their own way. We eventually chose one winner for the invitation but all the other pictures were way too cute not to use. I went to Delmar printers in Nantwich who kindly made the invitation and then scanned the other hundreds of pictures and shrunk them small enough to fit onto name cards. Every guest had their own personalised name cards with a picture designed by one of the children from my school. Each table number was written on a small blackboard with a top tip for marriage written by the children in my class. They were all really funny like: let your wife go shopping, don’t flip out if she spends £200; Buy waffles from Asda; make each other smile every day; and let your husband play on the iPad all day. They gave the guests lots to laugh at and talk about when they got to their table.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (43)

We only gave favours to the ladies at our wedding. Each was given a china tea cup and saucer.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (47)

My friend made our wedding cake. We spent an evening together searching the internet for ideas and she made one that was a mixture of a few ideas. The cake was perfect and all my guests kept telling me how delicious it was too. It had three tiers, blush flowers and lace icing.

The food at Abbeywood was delicious and many of our guests throughout the evening said it was the best wedding food they had ever had. We chose fishcakes for starters, chicken for main and chocolate brownie for dessert.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (39)

We knew that we wanted a band for our wedding because a band gets everyone up and dancing like nothing else. The band we chose was The Jim Jams. We had booked them before for a birthday party so we knew they were professional and really know how to show everyone a good time. They had everyone up dancing from start to end!

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (45)

Other suppliers we would recommend include Hair by Amanda Hendrie. Amanda specialises in wedding hair and put my hair up for my wedding. I had trials previous to the day so we both knew exactly what I wanted. She took into consideration the style of my dress and how I usually wore my hair so that I still looked like myself on my wedding day, which was really important to me. I also had a veil to consider for the day and a hair slide for the evening. My hair stayed up and perfect all day.

We also can’t speak highly enough about a company called Shoot it Yourself – this was the best wedding money that we spent. The cameras were dropped off at our house the day before. Ryan took one camera with the boys and I kept one camera with the girls. Our friends and family recorded parts of the morning, the wedding mass and parts of the day. The next day Shoot it Yourself collected the cameras and put together three chapters of our day.  The ‘best bits’ was a selection of clips from throughout the day with our music choices. The best bits were also put on their website so that all our friends and family could watch too. The other two chapters were of the complete ceremony and the speeches. Since the wedding day we have watched it so many times and it brings back some great memories. We also got to see everything that goes on in the background that we would have never seen otherwise.

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (59)

Ryan’s favourite part of the day was between main course and dessert, he looked up and as the sun was piercing into the glasshouse everyone was enjoying themselves and he knew the hard parts were over and the party was about to start. My favourite part of the day was during our first dance, I was so worried that we would be left on the dance floor for the entire song alone, but as soon as the band invited people to the dance floor all our guest flooded on, desperate to get the party started!

A Pretty Wedding at Abbeywood Estate and Gardens (c) Joanna Bradbury Photography (62)

For our honeymoon we went to Italy, visiting Venice, Lake Garda and Milan. It was a great honeymoon. We enjoyed Lake Garda the most as it gave us time to relax, we didn’t realise just how exhausting getting married would be. The rest during our honeymoon was very much needed.

My top tips to other Brides Up North would be – book a live band, book the week before you get married off work as there is so much to pick up and do and where possible go with local businesses.  The amount of times you need to go and see suit suppliers, bridesmaid dresses, printers etc. staying local where possible saves you so much time and you get a more personal service from a small local business. Finally you don’t need to spend money on things you don’t need, all people tend to remember is the food, the company and the music.

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sparkling blush. lusan mandongus for a classic wedding in sheffield – Amy & Joel

February 10th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (46)

Amy and Joel wanted their wedding to be a true celebration of their love and their feelings for each other certainly shone brightly during their big day in Sheffield.

As well as love their wedding was full of laughter, happiness and simple yet stunning styling. All in all the couple achieved their goals for a relaxed celebration full of romance as documented here.

With images by Ever Thine Photography.

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (55)

amy says: We got engaged in September 2012, in Sheffield where we live. I had been in Manchester for a family birthday and drove back on a Saturday, unintentionally hitting the road to Sheffield on the same day that thousands of University first years were moving into their halls. So I had a nightmare journey and was back to Sheffield a couple of hours after Joel had planned for us to go for a walk together, in a terrible stressed mood. When I saw him I said “Please cheer me up” and he replied “I think I can do that”.

He took me on a walk to a meadow where we had also ended up on one of our first dates. It was a beautiful sunny day and nobody was around. We had a lovely picnic that Joel had packed, but before we ate anything he got down on one knee! Then when I said yes (through happy sobs) he uncorked the bubbly he’d hidden in a cool-bag. Joel had also arranged a surprise engagement party with our friends in Sheffield that evening, and a celebratory lunch with my family the following day! He really did himself proud – and he definitely cheered me up!

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (12)

We got married the following August 9th. I had always wanted to get married in summer and Joel was training to be a doctor so only had a few weeks in August where he would be on holiday and available for wedding/honeymooning. So with various other things going on that month, the 9th it was.

We got married in Sheffield in a church, which was important to us and our families. Straight after the ceremony we had a mini afternoon tea reception at the church, which people appreciated as it kept them fed and watered. Our reception venue was Whitley Hall – a great 16th century mansion with loads of character. We loved the fact that it had beautiful grounds so we could spend lots of time outside, but it also had a few different rooms inside with cosy armchairs and soft lighting. It’s a lovely venue and we really enjoyed our day there.

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (17)

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (19)

We didn’t choose a particular theme – style-wise I knew I wanted everything to be quite classic and soft, romantic. But we really wanted the day to be about love and our marriage. We had lots of quotes/poems around love and we had a lot of touches that were personal to us. I spent a lot of time hand-making things in intense wedding craft sessions with my wonderful helpful family! Luckily my sister Katy is trained in graphic design so she was able to really personalise our wedding and help give us unique special touches – she designed our ‘logo’, wedding invitations and all our other design and print.

The colours we chose was a really soft palette of ivory, champagne, creams, blush and gold/sparkling details because I’m a bit of a magpie.

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (21)

My dress was a lace design by Lusan Mandongus that I bought from Amy Louise Bridal in Nantwich, Cheshire. I loved a sort of flowing mermaid shape with a train, soft and romantic but figure-flattering at the same time. I was pretty sure I wanted lace and straps before I tried on dresses, but hadn’t found the dress I had imagined after trying on about 50 in a few different shops. I was actually going to Amy Louise to try on a different dress for the second time when the lovely consultant Kirsten pulled out the dress, saying that it had just come into the shop and she’d thought of me… I tried it on and felt lovely in it, my mum and sisters loved it, and I could completely imagine walking up the aisle to Joel in it. I felt great in the dress in the day – I love the soft lace straps, the hint of sparkle and the gorgeous deep back with covered buttons going down it. I was sad to take it off! I also loved my sparkly shoes, I felt like they were my little secret ‘princess’ touch!

Joel wore a suit from River Island, which was kind of a bright/French navy, with a champagne coloured tie. I went with him when he picked the suit and had tears when he came out trying it on – he looked so good and I felt so lucky! I thought he looked so gorgeous on our wedding day.

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (24)

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (25)

The bridesmaids wore dresses that I found in an online shop Goddiva – I wanted blush ones, and I loved the flowing Grecian style of these with a little bit of sparkly detail on the shoulder. They were a really good deal too. The groomsmen wore the same suit as Joel, with blue ties (except Joel’s brother Josh the best man wore a champagne one like Joel), and the detail that Josh provided which was socks to match the champagne colour of our ties.

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (28)

A dream of mine since I was a young teenager has been to own a classic VW campervan. My parents surprised me on the day of the wedding by booking a cream campervan that we all went to the church in. Joel and I also travelled to the reception in it – it was so much fun and so thoughtful of my parents.

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (31)

Our wedding was shot by Lucy Aspray of Ever Thine Photography. She was so relaxed but professional, and because Lucy loves weddings herself she appreciates and captures the details you put effort into. We were really lucky in that the lovely folk at Ever Thine were dear friends of ours before we even got engaged, so we were so happy to be able to have them do our photos. However I would definitely recommend them to others even if we hadn’t know them – I think that Lucy’s style is to really put you at ease and have fun with you, but she’s also really unobtrusive with lots of natural shots and has the instinct for catching moments at the perfect time – which is really important on your wedding day when you don’t want to feel awkward and like you’re being bossed around by a photographer, but do want plenty of beautiful pics.

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (41)

I carried a bouquet of ivory/cream flowers with trailing flowers and vines to look flowing and romantic like my dress and the general vibe I was going for. Anna at Swallows & Damsons in Sheffield did the bouquet – she is an absolute sweetheart and really helpful and knowledgeable, her style is beautifully modern and natural.

We didn’t go mad on flowers at the wedding reception, but put stems of blush roses and cream hydrangeas (which Swallows & Damsons provided us with) in lots of antique vases and glassware that my mum and I foraged for in Sheffield’s Antiques Quarter. I customised tea light holders with gold glitter, and we put candles in these and in some antique glass candlesticks on the tables in with other cut glass pieces – the effect was quite classic, vintage and a little bit glam, and the light really bounced off all that cut glass making it sparkle.

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (40)

The main favour I did also doubled up as a place name – I bulk bought wine glasses, ‘glitterised’ the bases and wrote people’s names on them in a calligraphy style font. We also did wedding CDs with music from the ceremony, first dance, father daughter dance and other love songs we like. My sister made paper cases for these with the logo she’d designed. Lastly we had a sweetie bar in the evening for people to help themselves!

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (43)

Rather than a proper cake we cut a cheesecake. We were having cheesecake for dessert anyway (it’s both mine and Joel’s favourite) and we asked Whitley Hall to dress a big cheesecake up for us a bit, which they did. The food was delicious, my favourite thing being little canapés that we had when everyone arrived at the reception venue. A lot of brides say they couldn’t eat anything on their wedding day but I ate loads!

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (47)

For our entertainment we had a string duet during the day, Citron Pressè – I honestly partly chose them because I liked their name!! I really liked their laid-back music; it added a lovely special feeling.

In the evening we had an in-house DJ who was just what we needed – he played all our requests and the dance floor was packed for hours!

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (56)

We added lots of special touches to the day. I put quotes about love from favourite books, poems etc in picture frames and scattered them around the place. I also handmade our guestbook – every page had different creative ways for people to leave us a message. It took me hours to do the different pages and stick loads of photos of Joel and I throughout but people loved it and it’s a keepsake we’ll treasure. We also had lawn games and I bought some floral picnic blankets and spread them on the lawn for people to sit on. My mum found this amazing old golden empty picture frame on eBay, and we used that during the day as a prop for people to take pictures in! We had a competition at dinner where tables which was fun and got people talking to each other.

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (54)

I loved the whole day, just the fact that we got married and spent an amazing day with each other and everyone we loved, but a few particular moments stand out.

The best man’s speech was hands down the best I have ever heard. We laughed hysterically (mainly at Joel) and we cried. People still talk about it.

I surprised my Dad with a father-daughter dance to a song that he used to sing to me when I was tiny. It was lovely, he was so touched and everybody had a little weep

Seeing Joel’s face when he turned around as I walked up the aisle. Favourite memory of my whole life probably.

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (3)

We went to Crete for our honeymoon and were so blessed that some family friends paid for us to go all-inclusive at a lovely resort – I’m ashamed to say it was less a cultural trip soaking in Crete’s history and more a trip where we soaked up the sun and cocktails and just chilled to the max.

a poetic real wedding at Whitley Hall (c) Ever Thine Photography (4)

Everyone always says it’s your day and make sure you do exactly what you want without bowing to pressure from other people but my advice to other wedding couples would be it is your day, but it’s also your other half’s so plan a day you both will love. Also it’s a day about the two of you – your love and the fact you’re committing to each other in marriage, which is an amazing beautiful thing. Even though ultimately decisions are up to you, if your family and friends are everything to you take them into account and treat them to a time they will enjoy, especially if they have travelled far to be there for your special day or assisted in the wedding somehow.

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love and lace. lusan mandongus for a wonderful winter wedding in the peak district – stephi & matt

February 3rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (36)

What’s not to love about today’s wedding?

Matt and Stephi’s celebration oozes opulence and style, from the bride’s stunning lace dress and regal faux fur wrap, to the classic Austin York car and those sensational blooms. However, this couple didn’t get caught up in the planning process enough to lose sight of the reason they were tying the knot – simply because of the love they have for one another.

So wrap up warm as we join the Matt and Stephi in reliving their romantic winter wedding.

With images by Ruth Atkinson

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (10)

stephi says: We got engaged on 1st August 2014. I was in Keswick helping at the Keswick Convention and Matt came to pick me up at the end of the three weeks. It was a really rainy miserable day but he eventually persuaded me to go for a walk up to the hill where we first started going out three years previously. We got there and he got out a picnic blanket and then gave me a box of letters that he’d written over the last three years that he’d saved for when he proposed. I read through them all and then he got down on one knee and popped the question! Then after a little picnic, we made our way back down the hill to the car and Matt tripped and fell headfirst and slid on his front down the entire muddy hill. It was a very hilarious addition to the proposal story!

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (12)

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (13)

We set the date for 3rd January 2015. We knew that we didn’t want a long engagement and to drag it out. So we started at 12 months and moved forward until we got to a date that worked.

We got married at Christ Church in Fulwood, Sheffield. Matt and I are part of the church family there and so there wasn’t really any question about getting married anywhere else. We chose Firth Court as our reception venue. I’d been to a wedding there before and thought it was beautiful and we thought it was a massive bonus that it is on a main road, just in case the weather decided to turn nasty! We would definitely recommend this venue to other couples. The team there was professional in every way and delivered a great service, plus the building is stunning inside and out.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (14)

Matt and I very much wanted our faith in Jesus to be the centre of the day. Yes it is ‘our big day’, but we both believe that all good things come from our Father in Heaven so we wanted to reflect that in each part of the day – particularly the service. Everyone said how much of a joyful celebration the service was, of our love for each other and of God’s love for us all.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (16)

We wanted a very simple and elegant wedding in terms of style. I didn’t want the day to be about the theme or the décor etc but about the fact that we were getting married. I chose a pale blue for my bridesmaids and pretty much everything else was very neutral – lots of whites and ivory and pale blues.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (19)

When it came to my dress I tried on a lot of dresses! And my problem was that I liked them all. I ended up choosing a long sleeved, lace dress by Lusan Mandongus from Lulu-Mae Bridal in Sheffield. It wasn’t what I had thought I wanted but after I left the shop I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I went back and tried it on a second time and fell in love. I ended up having a seamstress disaster two weeks before the wedding (just before Christmas) but a brilliant lady, Penny Beal came to my rescue and was incredible. I also had a faux fur wrap from Monsoon, which was perfect to keep me warm out in the Peak District. Julia Smith did my makeup and she did incredible work on my stressed out skin – I felt amazing all day.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (20)

Matt wore a Classic tailcoat suit with traditional striped trousers, hired from Moss Bros. He had a patterned ivory waistcoat and plain ivory cravat.

My bridesmaids wore floor-length pale blue dresses that I got online. I loved the way the neckline and lace at the top matched my dress. They also had scarves to keep warm when we were outside – I got them from Primark! The groomsmen wore the same as Matt. They also all had scrabble letter cufflinks with their initials. We also had two flower girls, who wore beautiful dresses from Monsoon, and three page boys. As part of their outfits they wore red converse to match with the bridesmaids scarves.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (26)

We travelled in a 1937 Austin York. We hired it from Legends Wedding Services and loved having such a beautiful classic car in the photos – although it was freezing!

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (27)

Ruth Atkinson was our photographer. She has done a lot of our friends’ weddings and it was the first thing we knew we wanted when we got engaged. She takes absolutely beautiful photos and we hardly noticed her at all on the day. We received our photos from her within a week of being back from honeymoon and couldn’t have asked for anything more from her.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (42)

I carried a natural looking bouquet of white roses, gypsophila, silver brunia, grey eucalyptus and muscari. It was absolutely beautiful and went brilliantly with my bridesmaids’ small posies of gypsophila. Katherine at Petalis in Sheffield was really helpful in giving her experience and ideas whilst still listening to what I wanted. Petalis also did our reception flowers. We had candelabras as centrepieces on each of the tables. Some of them were dressed with gypsophila and some were left plain. It looked like a fairytale! We also had lots of candles in jars dotted all over the place.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (23)

We gave out charity favours for three of our favourite charities – NSPCC, Cancer Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society. I wrote a little poem explaining why we had done it and attached the pin badges to the card.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (44)

As I’m gluten intolerant cake isn’t a very easy thing to get right, and Matt and I both have an unhealthy love affair with cheese so we decided to have a cheese cake. It was absolutely incredible and we still have cheese left now! It also killed two birds with one stone as we just had accompaniments and served it up as the evening buffet.

The catering at Firth Court was out of this world. Several people said it was best wedding food they’d ever had – the gravy was so good I could’ve drank it. We had Wensleydale cheese and leek tart with grain mustard dressing for starter, then for main we had roast loin of Moss Valley pork with a dry rub of sage, garlic and thyme, spiced apple compote, cider gravy, seasonal vegetables and potatoes. For dessert we had dark chocolate fondant with white chocolate ice cream and raspberry coulis.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (52)

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (53)

Matt and I are both musicians so we knew we wanted a really good live band for our evening reception. Our first choice was always Function Fever and they didn’t let us down! They had everyone on the dance floor and everyone said how great the band was.

A couple of special touches included us sending out ‘mad lib’ RSVP cards. These were a lot of fun and we loved reading through everyone’s replies. A friend of ours also organised a special guestbook for us. She drew a tree and guests did their fingerprint leaves on it, and we also had little guest cards for people to fill in and leave little messages.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (48)

My favourite part was definitely the service. Just after we got married, turning around and seeing everyone there was a really special moment. But most of all hearing everyone singing their hearts out in worship was so beautiful.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (49)

For our honeymoon we went to H10 Hotel Rubicon in Lanzarote. It was lush. We had such a relaxed week, enjoying the sun and some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. The spa was great place to go on the cloudy days and it was the perfect place to relax after all the madness leading up to the wedding.

a neutral and elegant wedding in Sheffield (c) Ruth Atkinson (54)

In the run up to the wedding, regularly remind yourself why you are doing this. It’s not about the favours or the place cards but about two people wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. My motto (especially when I couldn’t get in my dress two weeks before my wedding) was: ‘As long as we get married, the day is a success. Everything else is just a good story’.

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Designer Preview. White Gallery 2014.

April 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Lusan Mandongus by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Wrapping up last week’s fashion marathon as I recapped the catwalks I’d seen at White Gallery London, I thought I’d ease you into an equally fabulous (but perhaps not quite so manic from my POV) week with one last bit of eye candy… for now. 

The Designer Preview catwalk showcases a selection of gowns from twelve big name designers and due to it’s eclectic and diverse collection is always a favourite of mine. 

My take on this season is that it’s all about shape and detail – whether high fashion or big romance – as the bridal catwalks echo haute couture with high low hemlines, interesting backs, bold use of pattern, embellishment, fit and flare and florals, florals, florals.  Colours are pale and interesting – a watercolour wash of pale pink, blues and greys. 

I loved every second.  And here’s my pick of the bunch…

Lusan Mandongus by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Lusan Mandongus

A wonderful white-out that sang with style and luxury. The collection by Lusan Mandongus is vintage inspired with rich yet subtle details, incorporating different stunning features focusing on elements such as higher necklines, sleeves and peplum waist detail. 

Yolan Cris by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Yolan Cris

The Barcelona based label totally rocked it with their style setting detailed designs and rich handcrafted applications.  Daring, stylish and different. 

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Charlotte Balbier 

A Charlotte Balbier bride is a free spirit who expresses her personality and individuality through her Balbier designed gown.  My favourite? Iscoyd Park, the collection’s title gown that Charlotte designed for her own evening reception. 

Anna Romysh Haute Couture by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Anna Romysh Haute Couture

Daring,different and sometimes (very seriously) barely there, these gowns raised a few eyebrows (and iPhones!) but I salute the risk taking label for putting a high fashion stamp on their collection. Avant garde meets ultimate fashion. 

Naomi Neoh by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Naomi Neoh 

For the romantics.  Naomi Neoh’s stunning skirts were dipped in a swish of pink for the prettiest wedding day look.  And you know I love pink!  The designer has taken inspiration from the glamour and romance of vintage Hollywood and her gowns are crafted from only the finest silks and French lace. 

Timeless Couture by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Timeless Couture

Just what it says on the tin: timeless, couture.  Encapsulating elegance and glamour, with a dramatic and contemporary twist.

Terry Fox by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Terry Fox 

Boho and beautiful as ever, this truly romantic collection for 2015 encapsulates mystical creatures of the sea and the ancient call of the Siren song.  Magical.

Sadoni by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Sadoni

The Nordic signature of Sadoni expresses pure simplicity and understated luxury through their flowy, feminine silk dresses. 

Ivory & Co by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Ivory & Co

Sometimes better known for their twinkling bridal accessories and tiaras, Ivory & Co also specialises in stunning silk designer wedding dresses.  I’m in love with the subtle, swishy, silky glamour of the gown above.  One to add to your dress hunt for sure. 

Brides Desire By Wendy Sullivan & Jack Sullivan Bridal

Brides Desire By Wendy Sullivan & Jack Sullivan Bridal

A unique collection from Australia’s leading designer, a new and updated take on vintage bridal style. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Christopher Dadey for Designer Preview 2014 at White Gallery

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Wahoo! We’re Off To White Gallery London 2014.

April 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Anna Dello Russo For H&M

Image: Fashion Gone Rouge

So that’s another fabulous Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition done and dusted!  The already beautiful Nostell Priory looked the prettiest I’ve seen it yet yesterday at our fifth event of the spring season. Big, big love to all our amazing exhibitors (a truly superb selection) and gorgeous brides and grooms who supported our event.  We salute you… and hope you left feeling inspired by the talent on show and super duper excited about your big day! Hooray!

If you’ve not popped in to see us at one of our beautiful events yet – or if you have and would like to do it all over again – there’s still plenty of time this season!  Pop one of these stunners in your diary

Its a quick turnaound at Brides Up North HQ today – no rest for the wicked (I must be pretty damn wicked!) – as we were up at the crack of dawn and are already on the East Coast Mainline down to the smoke, to catch up with the fun that’s already started at White Gallery London

Recognised as one of the leading international designer bridal trade shows, White Gallery London is set to present the finest in bridal design at its sold-out forthcoming fifth edition.  Press passes in hand, Ellie and I will be joining the trade at this hunting ground for the best in British and international bridal design, previewing the gowns and the gorgeous that will be landing in a bridal boutique near you next season.

It’s one of my very favourite events of the whole year, and I can’t wait to (do a bit of schmoozing and) see what my favourite bridal designers have lined up for us in 2015.  I’m hoping for structural extravagance, sexy silhouettes and even bolder use of colour in bridal wear.  Let’s wait and see…

Over 70 leading designers will preview their new bridal wear and accessories collections at the event including Alan Hannah, Amanda Wakeley Sposa, Anna Romysh Haute Couture, Annasul Y, Augusta Jones, Benjamin Adams London, Blue Bridalwear, Brides Desire by Wendy Sullivan, Cabotine Novia by Gema Nicolas, Caroline Atelier, Caroline Castigliano, Charlotte Balbier, Charlotte Mills, Christos Costarellos, Cocoe Voci, The Couture Veil, Cymbeline, Eliza Jane Howell, Emma Hunt, Emma Tindley, Encore, Franc Sarabia, Freya Rose, Gemy Maalouf Bridal, Hadas Cohen, Halo & Co, Harriet Wilde, HT Headwear, I Love Gorgeous, Ian Stuart, Ivory & Co Bridal, Ivory & Co Tiaras, Jack Sullivan Bridal, Jenny Packham, Jesus Peiro, Johanna Hehir, Karen Willis Holmes, KatyaKatya Shehurina, Lark Bridal, Linea Raffaelli, Lou Lou, Lusan Mandongus, Lyn Ashworth by Sarah Barrett, Maddy by Madeline Isaac-James, Madeline Isaac-James, Accessories by Madeline Isaac-James, Malis Henderson, Mia Mia, Miguel Suay, Miranda Templeton, Mooshki Boutique, Naomi Neoh, Nicki MacFarlane, Nicola Anne, Nicola Harvey Couture, Nilah & Company, Nordic Gems, Novia D’Art, Nymphi, Ozlem Suer, Parthenis, Patricia Avendano, Polly Edwards, Qiana Bridal, Rachel Simpson, Raimon Bundo, Sadoni, Sassi Holford, Sasso, Shelle Belle Couture, So Sassi, Stephanie Allin Couture, Stephanie James Couture, Stephen Yearick, Terry Fox, Timeless Couture,  Victorio & Lucchino, Watters Brides, White Ivy, YSA Makino, Yolan Cris and Zaeem Jamal. 

Then we’ll come back to tell you all about it!

We’ve seats lined up at some of the iconic catwalk shows including Ian Stuart, Madeline Isaac-James and Suzanne Neville, plus drop in appointments with our pick of the bunch.  We’re also looking forward to catching up with our friends and supporters from bespoke bridal label House Of Mookshi – based in the North East – at this their debut show.  Specialising in custom designed wedding dresses and bridal gowns from vintage inspired through to gothic, those girls have always got something fabulous up their sleeve.  

After all that, we’ll be ready for a drink (or three) and will be hitting the hard stuff with our industry colleagues at Kensington Roof Gardens for a cocktail party sponsored by Perfect Wedding Magazine and in association with the Retail Bridalwear Association.  I’ve a free pass for the evening as the hubby’s on babysitting duty back Up North, so make mine a Mojito please!

See you on the other side.  There’ll be lots of catching up to do…

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2014 Anna Dello Russo for H&M via Fashion Gone Rouge

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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