Charlotte Balbier
Luxury Wedding Fairs

relaxed romance. maggie sottero for a pretty summer wedding at abbeywood gardens – genna & martin

October 13th, 2016 | Julia Braime


Today’s real wedding is bringing back thoughts warm summer days as bride and groom, Genna and Martin, enjoyed a beautiful outdoor July ceremony at their chosen venue of Abbeywood Gardens in Northwich.

An equally pretty reception followed at the venue, which was made complete with simple rustic styling and a rather dreamy four-tired cake.

We must also mention Genna’s gorgeous gown which has the most exquisite detailing – a Brides Up North dress crush for sure!

With images & video by Two Birds.


genna says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2014, while at home. It was late in the afternoon and I’d spent the day saying “no, he still hasn’t asked” to family and friends (we’d been together seven years at the time). So when we had to pop home for more chairs for Christmas dinner at my brother’s house, it was a total shock to turn around to find Martin down on one knee!

We set the date for 1st July 2016. We’ve always wanted a warm wedding and our preference would have been May, but we fell in love with our venue – Abbeywood Gardens, Delamere – and this was the next available date!


We stumbled across Abbeywood Gardens by accident on the way to another venue’s open day. We totally fell in love with the glass house, beautiful gardens and the outside space, but the real clincher was the staff. Matt, Lauren, Calum and all of the staff were so nice and friendly from the first visit all the way through to the day itself.


We wanted a relaxed wedding that suited the surroundings. It was quite rustic in appearance, but with a hint of Disney style ‘happily ever after’ to it, along with a few little bits of sparkle.

We chose a soft colour palette of mostly creams, golds and pale pinks. The gardens at the venue were so vibrant, that we wanted everything else to be quite neutral.


My dress was a beautiful Maggie Sottero design from Emily Eve, in Birmingham. I knew I didn’t want a typical ‘princess’ dress, and wanted something slightly more fitted, but maybe with a vintage feel. And that’s exactly what I got! It was the third dress of four dresses that I tried on, and after trying on all four, I couldn’t wait to put it back on again. I ordered my full length veil as a last minute addition at my first dress fitting, which was just four weeks before the big day.

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hessian & lace. maggie sottero for a rustic wedding in the north west – belinda & dan

October 11th, 2016 | Rachel Parry


Fans of relaxed rustic wedding styling prepare to take note, for the décor and details in this afternoon’s celebration are guaranteed to earn a place on your Pinterest board.

From hessian chair ties and cute bunting to natural log slices and twine-wrapped glass jars filled with wonderful wild blooms, Dan and Belinda’s big day has it all.

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.


belinda says: Dan proposed to me in front of Peel Tower on Holcombe Hill, on 15th March 2015. Dan knows that Holcombe Hill is my favourite place so knew it would have meaning for us to get engaged there. He asked my dad’s permission earlier in the day and then suggested we go for a Sunday evening walk. We got to the top of the hill and I started to take some photographs – when I turned around he was down on one knee with the ring in his hand. I cried for about 15 minutes before I remembered to actually say yes!

We set the date of the wedding for 1st April 2016. We had chosen this as our ‘official’ anniversary date of when we first got together (mainly so that Dan would never have an excuse to forget with it also being April Fool’s Day). The wedding fell on our fourth anniversary.


Our chosen venue was The Fisherman’s Retreat, in Shuttleworth, Lancashire. We wanted a venue where we would be able to see Holcombe Hill, and at The Fisherman’s you have the view of Holcombe Hill right from the spot you have the wedding ceremony so there was never really any other choices on the cards.


I’d describe the style of our wedding as rustic and natural! We just picked out things we liked the look of really – so lots of brown card, jars with twine, crates, log slices, wooden hearts, etc. This is just our taste in general so seemed the right thing to do!

We didn’t particularly have a colour scheme. We picked a heathery colour for the bridesmaid dresses and Dan’s tie and handkerchief (because I saw the colour on a Dessy swatch and it was the only one I liked) but apart from that we just had all different colours of wild flowers, and then the rustic details in between.


I wore a Maggie Sottero dress called Cassidy, which I got from The Bridal Lounge, in Accrington. I actually only chose it six weeks before the wedding as I had a total change of heart about the first dress I had chosen from another bridal shop. Lee at the Bridal Lounge turned everything round within the time frame and made sure I had the perfect dress on the day. I teamed my dress with a long veil and wore bright red heels as a surprise for Dan (had to get a little nod to Liverpool FC in somewhere as I had refused it on every other thing he’d suggested!)

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country elegance. maggie sottero for a pretty pastel wedding in yorkshire – julia & wayne

September 27th, 2016 | Julia Braime


This afternoon we’re delighted to be sharing the wedding of avid Brides Up North reader Julia, who vows to remain a follower of the blog, despite now being a Mrs (which is more than alright with us!).

Having waited patiently for a proposal from her beau, Julia was determined to stretch the wedding celebrations across more than just one day and so planned the big day bash for over the May bank holiday weekend.

Following a family tragedy the wedding was almost postponed, but brave Julia and her family decided that a happy day was what was needed, and included special and personal touches to mark their loss.

This wedding is filled of love and laughter as well as beautiful styling and lots of fizz. Big thanks to Julia for sharing this with us.

With images by Chiyo McMillan Photography.


julia says: Wayne and I had been together for ten years before he proposed. It was a running joke among our family and friends that he would never do it and all my hopes were beginning to fade. The proposal came following a stay at Slaley Hall in Hexham, to celebrate our ten year anniversary. Wayne suggested a walk before we set off home but I refused as it was raining and we had to get back for our dog, Lola. I wasn’t aware at the time, but he was then forced to drive the hour-long journey with the ring box shoved in the back pocket of his jeans. We arrived home and Wayne was very eager to take the dog for a walk – we did and after what seemed like miles he finally got down on one knee and proposed. We are away from each other so much as Wayne is in the army that our walks together are very precious, so it was the perfect time and setting. I, of course, said Yes!

We got married on Saturday 28th May 2016, however our celebrations lasted all weekend. We chose this date because it was the bank holiday weekend. We had a wedding rehearsal followed by pre-wedding drinks and nibbles on the Friday evening and hosted a post-wedding barbecue the day after. I had waited so long for this wedding that I had to stretch the celebrations out for as long as I could!


We did however almost postpone the wedding as my brother Alan died eight weeks before it was due to take place. He collapsed whilst running a half marathon on his 31st birthday. He was going to be an usher and master of ceremonies at our wedding. We considered putting the wedding back but in the end my parents persuaded us to go ahead and try to make it the happiest occasion possible, which we did.

We incorporated my brother into the day as much as we could. We celebrated him through a special prayer during the ceremony, mentioned him in the speeches and a toast, our favours were replaced with donations to the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, in his memory and we invited his old school friends to attend the reception. I also had a charm with his photograph on that was attached to my bouquet. This was given to me by a friend ahead of the wedding and it meant so much to me – I hardly put my bouquet down all day.


Our chosen venue was The Yorkshire Wedding Barn, in Gilling West, near Richmond, North Yorkshire.  We viewed just three venues in our search and after we had been to the barn we didn’t want to view anything else, it was perfect. Newly opened in 2014 by Amanda and Neville Bird, the venue has a newly converted modern barn with beams wrapped in fairy lights and offers a blank canvas for receptions. The barn is surrounded by holiday cottages, each with their own hot tub (plus a hot tub in a tree house in the bridal suite), and ‘glamping’ style shepherd’s huts, which can accommodate up to 30 guests. The venue is in a gorgeous setting and offers beautiful views of the Yorkshire countryside.

We wanted somewhere that we could have exclusively for the whole weekend which also had plenty of room for people to stay and the barn ticked all of the boxes. So many people came up to us at the wedding and said how beautiful the venue was and we were even lucky enough to have sunshine over the weekend too!


We didn’t have a theme for the wedding to begin with, but whilst designing our stationery with A La Memoire we came up with a ‘country elegance’ theme, which seemed a perfect fit. This consisted of rustic elements such as wooden log slice centrepieces, wine boxes filled with flowers and hessian bunting teamed with pearls and lace for an elegant edge.

Ultimately we just wanted our wedding to be relaxed, full of fun, alcohol and good food, and for everyone to have a good time. We had so many people tell us that it was the best wedding that they had been to, so I think we succeeded in that!

When it came to the colour scheme we were quite laid back but knew we wanted muted, pretty pastels. Pink was the most dominate colour, which we used across all of the stationery and the flowers, the best men and usher’s ties were pink and my bridesmaids wore a pale lilac.

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modern glamour. maggie sottero for a black tie wedding in newcastle – jaimie & gemma

August 19th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Modern Glamorous Wedding at Malmaison (c) Jamie Mcelderry (9)

Today we’re heading North East on the blog to relive chic city wedding down by the Quayside in Newcastle.

Keen for a wedding that reflected them as a family and the city that they love, Jaimie and Gemma planned a glamorous wedding at the Malmaison hotel, complete with a personal ceremony and black tie dress code.

With images by Jamie Mcelderry Wedding Photographer.

A Modern Glamorous Wedding at Malmaison (c) Jamie Mcelderry (1)

gemma says: Jaimie proposed on Christmas day 2014. In January 2014, I gave birth to triplet boys and it was a pretty tough year for us as a family. By Christmas time, it felt as if we could take on anything! Jaimie hid the ring in the tree. He sat me and my daughter down and presented it to us both. Words actually failed him, I was stunned and we relied on my daughter to piece it all together!

We set the date for Monday 20th June 2016. We wanted our wedding to feel relaxed and non-traditional, which is why we chose to have it on a Monday.

A Modern Glamorous Wedding at Malmaison (c) Jamie Mcelderry (16)

Our venue was the Malmaison hotel on Newcastle’s quayside. It was perfect for us as it isn’t used for many weddings, which allowed us to really tailor the day to what we wanted. The decor has a really cool, urban chic vibe to it, which suits our modern taste. To top it all off, it’s in an amazing location overlooking the river.

Our whole ceremony was written with personal touches about us as a couple, but also as a family. We included lighting a unity candle as part of the ceremony and chose songs to feature throughout, including Beyonce and Jessica Glynne. I walked down the aisle to a mix of Disclosure and Sam Smith Latch. All our music was uplifting rather than romantic.

A Modern Glamorous Wedding at Malmaison (c) Jamie Mcelderry (59)

The style of our wedding was modern and glamorous, but in a minimal and informal way. We wanted to share our day with only our closest family and friends and wanted to give them an insight into our family and what is particularly special to us. No frills, no formalities.

I wanted everything to be really crisp, fresh and clean, so just kept to a white colour scheme with a few black touches. The male wedding party wore black tie and my two bridesmaids wore black too.

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picture perfect. maggie sottero for a relaxed wedding in sheffield – kath & tim

August 2nd, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Maggie Sottero for a Relaxed Sheffield Wedding (c) Ruth Atkinson Photography (52)

Today’s real wedding has to be one of my very favourite of the year so far, not only because it features one gorgeous dress and some incredibly dreamy flowers, but also for the couple’s unique choice of venue.

Following a church ceremony, Kath and Tim held their reception at Abbeydale Picture House – a 1920s cinema in the cool Antiques Quarter area of Sheffield. Being from the city myself this is a venue that I love and so I’m thrilled to see it being given a new lease of life in the form of an alternative wedding venue.

Everything about this wedding is a true reflection of the bride and groom, which means it all comes together so effortlessly for a relaxed yet stylish occasion. Oh and if you’re wondering why the flowers in this wedding are so a-maz-ing Kath is a florist – and a very talented one at that!

With images by Ruth Atkinson Photography.

Maggie Sottero for a Relaxed Sheffield Wedding (c) Ruth Atkinson Photography (41)

kath says: We got engaged on 12th September 2015. Tim set up an amazing treasure hunt all around Sheffield by posting photos with clues on Instagram! I had to solve little riddles and puzzles that he had hidden at each stage that led me to significant places we had been to. The final clue led me to Burbage Edge in the Peak District where we had had some special picnics together and as I walked to the “spot”, Tim was there with his guitar! He sang me a song he had written and then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

We got married on Saturday 14th May 2016. We chose this date because I have my own floristry business and there were very few days left when we could actually get married as I was getting booked up with so many other brides’ weddings!

Maggie Sottero for a Relaxed Sheffield Wedding (c) Ruth Atkinson Photography (27)

We had our wedding service at St Thomas Philadelphia in Sheffield, where we attend. Our reception was held at the Abbeydale Picture House – a 1920s cinema – we used the whole of the auditorium for an afternoon tea reception.

We didn’t have a particular theme – we just did things that we liked. Therefore, our overall ‘theme’ ended up being similar to my flower shop – relaxed, vintage and homemade with lots of flowers, a few small trees at the front of the church and quirky details that we added to the day as we went along.

Being a florist I have come across most colour schemes for weddings, so it was very hard to pick! I’ve seen so many different colour combinations work so well. In the end, I went with what I loved and the colours that I always seemed to be drawn back to. I picked a really natural scheme for my own bouquet using just whites, greens with subtle pinks and then for the bridesmaids’ and venue flowers I used blush pinks and white with pops of peach.

Maggie Sottero for a Relaxed Sheffield Wedding (c) Ruth Atkinson Photography (24)

I wore the Juniper dress by Maggie Sottero, which my mum actually picked out for me on our first wedding dress trip! I knew instantly when I tried it on that it was the perfect dress for me. It was very elegant and quite simple with a vintage feel to it and lots of gorgeous beading and detail at the top. I wanted something that felt really comfortable and still felt like “me”, but was also really special!

Maggie Sottero for a Relaxed Sheffield Wedding (c) Ruth Atkinson Photography (17)

Tim wore a slim-fit navy blue three-piece suit that he bought from Moss Bros. He wore a dusky pink tie which complemented the colour scheme – we eventually found this from Next. He also wore his favourite smart brown shoes from River Island. The groomsmen all wore the same suit as Tim.

I wanted all of my bridesmaids to feel lovely and comfortable and so got them to pick their own dresses – we didn’t want it be really formal, so all the dresses were slightly different in style and colour.

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autumnal bliss. maggie sottero for a seasonal wedding in the north west – katie & damian

April 25th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Autumn Wedding at Alma Inn (c) Arusha's Images (44)

Today’s real wedding couple decided to let the season in which they tied the knot provide the inspiration for their styling and colour scheme.

The result is a rich & warming autumnal wedding complete with pretty rustic décor and striking seasonal blooms.

With images by Arusha Images Photography.

An Autumn Wedding at Alma Inn (c) Arusha's Images (35)

katie says: We got engaged at Christmas. Damian took me for a walk at somewhere we love locally called Wycoller, it is really beautiful with an old ruin and a little stream. It was such a surprise when he proposed. I was so excited! We actually chose to have our engagement shoot with our photographer Arusha at Wycoller too, and it was lovely to go back there.

We set the date for October 25th, because we love autumn and so we had a wedding full of autumnal gorgeousness!

An Autumn Wedding at Alma Inn (c) Arusha's Images (45)

We had a nuptial mass at Damian’s RC church, Sacred Heart Church, which was really important to him and his family, and was beautiful. Our reception was nearby, in the Lancashire countryside at one of our favourite places to eat, The Alma Inn in Laneshawbridge. It has a gorgeous view of Pendle Hill, and was such a perfect venue for our rustic autumn wedding, and the big open fires kept everyone warm.

The theme of the wedding was rustic, romantic and autumnal. The Alma itself already suited our theme down to a tee. I only added decorations as a personal choice. The log fires we asked to be lit on the day added to the personal and cosy feel of the venue. The pumpkins used as table centrepieces also proved to be a low cost, but effective way, to enhance our autumnal theme.

To suit the season we went with autumnal colours for the scheme, made up of oranges, browns and then some brighter whites. The bridesmaids wore black which really made their bouquets stand out.

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