June 3rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Where do we start with today’s real wedding? Bride and groom Rebecca and Jonathan worked together on all aspects of their big day to make it as personal and ‘local’ as possible; an aim that was most certainly achieved.
We love all the little details – from the sweet stationery, to the homemade favours and ice cream dessert, not to mention the wedding party’s sophisticated get-up. Looking good guys!
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
rebecca says: We got engaged in my mum’s kitchen on our four year anniversary. To put it into context, we were saving for our first house so we both moved back in with our parents to save money for a mortgage. As a result we thought we’d just have a meal in for our anniversary but it ended up being much more than just a meal.
Jon got the jewellery store, which was Geralds based in Knutsford, to wrap the ring up in a big box with a box of chocolates so that I wouldn’t suspect anything, which worked! I even shook the box trying to guess what it was. After washing up Jon said it was time for presents so I opened up the big box to find a box of chocolates and a small jewellery box, which I thought were earrings. I was so surprised that I couldn’t stop laughing, all whilst Jon was on one knee waiting for a response. I obviously said yes and we cracked open some champagne whilst I called all our friends and family to tell them the good news. It was the perfect proposal as it was a complete surprise, and just proved how well Jon knew me.
We set the date for 5th September 2015 because we bought our house in 2013 so we needed plenty of time to save for the wedding. I also love the number 5 and wanted it to be in September as the weather is usually good (which it was).
We got married at St Vincent de Paul Church in Altrincham, where I had my first holy communion and my confirmation so it is filled with lots of happy memories. As a couple we go there every year on Christmas Eve so it was great to get the opportunity to marry there. Our reception was held at Manchester Town Hall.
We didn’t really have a theme but we are both very Manchester proud and wanted our wedding to be really personal so we picked everything for the wedding together that we love. The two wedding buses chosen to take guests from the church to the reception, used to do routes in Kent and a route in Yorkshire where our parents are from. The cocktails on arrival were ‘his’ and ‘hers’ made from Bermudian rum that my dad and his wife brought over for us as I was born in Bermuda and my dad currently lives there. We also gave miniature versions of the rum as a keepsake to our guests. All of the food at the wedding was locally sourced including the dessert, which was provided by a local ice cream maker.
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May 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon’s real wedding is all about simplicity, elegance and class!
Taking place in Manchester, Caroline and Matthew chose the city’s stunning town hall for their ceremony followed by a reception at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel.
Keen to stick to a simple and neutral palette, Caroline chose beautiful white and green flowers and mink bridesmaid dresses to complement her stunning ball-gown style dress, which made her look every inch a princess!
With images by our talented Brides Up North Sponsor Zen Photographic.
caroline says: We got engaged while on holiday in Mexico. One evening, just before it went dark, we were walking along the beach to dinner, it was a beautiful evening and there was no one around. Matthew asked me to move a large palm tree branch out of the way to take a picture. I moved it to reveal the words ‘marry me?’ written in sand on top of a large leaf, I turned around to find Matthew on one knee with the ring in his hand. When we returned back to the hotel our room had been filled with rose petals, champagne and chocolates. It was perfect!
We got married on 8th August 2015 at Manchester Town Hall. The building is so beautiful we fell in love with it as soon as we went inside. We lived together for the first time in the city centre so it felt like a special place to get married. The wedding breakfast and reception were held at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel just a stone’s throw away from the town hall. We loved the look and feel of the hotel and the history of all the musicians who had performed there when it was the Free Trade Hall.
We didn’t have a theme as such, we wanted to keep in style with the elegance of the Halle Suite at the Radisson so chose white flowers and lots of candles. Our colour scheme was a mink colour for the bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s cravats. We wanted everything to be neutral.
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March 23rd, 2016 | Julia Braime
For those of you planning a vintage wedding, this morning’s bride Amy has lots of lovely inspiration to share.
Having set her heart on a vintage style dress and venue, Amy found exactly what she was looking for in Jenny Packham’s Damask gown and beautiful The Bowdon Rooms located in Altrincham, Cheshire.
From there an elegant colour scheme of blue followed (we just adore Amy’s blue shoes and nails) and she also incorporated a subtle music theme as a nod to one of her and Rob’s favourite pastimes.
For those that like the look and sound of The Bowdon Rooms, why not come along and see the stunning venue for yourself on Sunday 17th April during our Luxury Wedding Exhibition, which will feature the area’s top suppliers too!
With images by Let Love Flourish.
amy says: Our engagement story isn’t the most romantic. Rob had been thinking about proposing for a while but instead of picking the right moment and setting, he got down on one knee whilst we stumbled home drunkenly from a party in the early hours. He did propose again in the morning though, just to make sure I remembered!
We set the date for 28th August 2015. We chose to have the wedding on a Friday at the start of the Bank Holiday so we could carry on the celebrations into the long weekend.
We had our ceremony at Manchester Town Hall, which we always knew we wanted as we both love the architecture. We then chose The Bowdon Rooms for the reception as we wanted somewhere that would complement the town hall with a vintage feel.
Our theme for the wedding was vintage and music. Our relationship blossomed from our love of the same kind of bands and going to gigs so we thought this would be fitting. The colour scheme was pastel blue, mainly because it’s my favourite colour, but also as it works with the ‘something blue’ tradition in weddings.
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September 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding couple enjoyed a rather public engagement on board the Orient Express sister train. Agreeing to the proposal, Lisa and beau Richard then went full steam into planning their city centre Manchester wedding.
Picking the iconic town hall in which to say their ‘I dos’, the bride, groom and their guests then enjoyed a relaxed reception with lots of pretty blue and white touches before the evening party got underway.
Controversially (but cool we say), Lisa chose to wear a pair of sparkling Nike high top wedges underneath her princess gown to ensure she could comfortably dance the night away!
With images by Jules Fortune Photography.
lisa says: We got engaged on the Orient Express sister train. Richard had booked the Valentine’s meal on board the train, which took us on a round trip from Manchester to Wigan. He got down on one knee and ripped off his shirt to reveal a t-shirt with him on it with his thumbs up and the words ‘Marry Me’ on it. When I said yes, the carriage cheered and a brass band played Congratulations.
We set the date for 27th July 2015, hoping for sunny weather, which is exactly what we got.
We didn’t have a theme as such but we knew that after the town hall we would want to relax and party with our friends and family.
The colour scheme was baby blue and white. There was no particular reason for this choice other than that it would work well with the colour we chose for the bridesmaid dresses.
My dress was very much the princess, fairy tale look. I just wanted to be a princess for the day. I chose it from a bridal show at Manchester Central.
Richard wore a navy blue suit from Moss Bros. The best men also wore navy blue suits, but they were purchased on their own.
My lovely bridesmaids looked elegant in long blue dresses which we found in Debenhams.
Jules Fortune was our photographer and we would definitely recommend her. She did us proud with our pictures and made us feel so relaxed on our special day. The photographs were exactly how we hoped.
To fit in with the colour scheme mine and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were all made up of cream roses and blue thistles. To create a striking centrepiece at the venue we used white roses, blue thistles and allium flowers which were hung upside down from the ceiling. All the flowers were provided by Karen at Leon Van-Berkel in Warrington.
Other décor included two large tigers made from polystyrene from Tony at 3dsetco in the entrance at the reception venue and a poly picture frame with ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ written at the bottom from Ian Axon at Poly Logo. Sue at Hire Requirements provided the tables and chairs and Celebration Chaircovers styled up the venue in terms of chair covers and sashes.
As favours we gave jam jars and put a personal message inside for each of our guests, along with a few sweets.
Jay Tailor at Vintage Cupcake Tower created our wonderful cutting cake and cupcakes, which again fitted in with the blue and white colour scheme.
To keep our guests entertained we hired a band called Twisted. We had seen them at the Parklife Festival and we just knew that they would get everybody on the dance floor – and they did!
For our honeymoon, we jetted off to Barcelona. It was the first time we had been and it was brilliant! Everything is in one place – the city, the beach and so many amazing restaurants.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to wear trainers if your dress is big a cover them. I did this and I was so comfortable all day, plus I get to wear them again, rather than having a white/cream pair of shoes stuck in the wardrobe. Richard’s tip to other grooms would be not to get too drunk and to enjoy every minute of the day!
May 25th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Often when tying the knot a couple will return back to their family roots for the big day, but today’s couple saw their wedding as an opportunity to showcase the city they now call home to their family and friends.
We love that this stylish city centre celebration takes place in a number of different locations, providing contrasting backdrops to David and Emma’s big day. Following the ceremony at Manchester’s grand Town Hall the wedding party moved onto a canal side bar before heading to the contemporary Castlefield Rooms for the evening reception. And of course they travelled in style, aboard a vintage bus.
This sounds like our kind of wedding!
With images by our talented Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
emma says: We got engaged in York in November 2013. York is a great city and a special place for us. It is where we went on one of our first dates and many days out and weekends away since. I was a total surprised when David decided to propose before a gorgeous meal in a lovely hotel. Spreading the news was tricky though as the idyllic setting meant no phone signal!
We chose the 21st of March 2015 for our wedding day. We didn’t want to jump in before my sister who was getting married in November, didn’t want a winter wedding and also couldn’t wait to get married! So we decided on the very first day of spring. It turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day, beautiful sunshine, no wind or rain and nice and warm. Many guests commented that Manchester was supposed to be rainy and made our top table name of ‘Rainy Wedding’ slightly ironic.
Neither of us are from Manchester, I’m from the Ribble Valley and David is from Newcastle, but Manchester is where we have decided to make our home together and we wanted to showcase the city to our family and friends on our wedding day.
We married at the spectacular Manchester Town Hall. We knew we were having a civil ceremony and didn’t want any old hotel room. We only viewed the Town Hall for our ceremony, when we walked inside we were bowled over by the grandeur and atmosphere and decided straight away it was our perfect venue! We contrasted the grandeur of the Town Hall with a more relaxed, contemporary and modern feel for our reception at Dukes 92 and the Castlefield Rooms. A great area to showcase Manchester with the canals and barges, especially when we were lucky enough to have the sun shining as it was!
I wouldn’t go so far as to say we had a theme, but we certainly tried to embrace Manchester. I walked down the aisle to a string trio playing One Day Like This by Elbow and David wore a little Bee lapel pin, hidden next to his buttonhole – the worker bee being the symbol of Manchester and it features in the elaborate mosaic floors of the Town Hall, representing the work ethic of the people of Manchester particularly during the industrial revolution.
We also incorporated family heritage by having roses that represented England and thistles representing Scotland within our flowers. Our table names were paintings by either artists we liked or of paintings we liked, they either had a meaning behind them or story attached to them.
Our colour scheme was navy, pale pink, pale silvers and ivory. By choosing thistles early on we thought we would continue the dark blue theme, however we offset this with pale pinks to soften it and to ensure everything didn’t look too nautical. The two offset each other perfectly and the flowers tied everything together with the variety of colours, textures and varieties.
I chose a gorgeous A-line dress with touches of sparkle from The Bridal Path in Altrincham. I didn’t have a dress in mind and promptly tried on ever shape dress to help narrow it down. I ended up finding four dresses at The Bridal Path that I loved and the difficulty then was not finding my perfect dress but choosing which my perfect dress was! I felt fantastic on the day!
David wore a three piece slim fitted navy suit. After looking everywhere he found exactly what we were looking from in Next. This looked really smart. It was worn with a crisp white, double-cuff shirt with Hugo Boss cufflinks and pale pink slim tie and silver tie pin and a light pink pocket square. The tie and pocket square came from Swagger&Swoon.co.uk. I gave David a silver pocket watch and chain engraved with a personal message as a gift which was worn on the wedding day and looked great with his waistcoat
The groomsmen all wore the same matching slim fit three piece suit, tie and pocket square as the groom but without the extras. The boys looked great. The bridesmaids meanwhile wore gorgeous long dark blue dresses from Debut at Debenhams.
For transport we hired a bus from The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company. This was a gorgeous vintage black and ivory bus which they had decorated with white ribbons. A plaque inside the bus stated where the bus was made, which coincidentally was not far from where I grew up in Blackburn. The bus took me, my parents, and bridesmaids from the Marriott Victoria and Albert to the ceremony and then the guests from the Town Hall to the reception at Dukes 92 and The Castlefield Rooms. It was a sunny day and the wedding bus outside the Town Hall really drew a crowd.
Photographer James Tracey was there to capture our day. James was amazing, not just on the day but from our first meeting. He is a pleasure to be around and such a nice guy. If you are spending all day with someone this is a massive bonus. On top of this he is a great photographer too. He totally understood what we wanted and provided us with great pictures which also embraced the urban backdrop of Manchester city centre. We couldn’t recommend him highly enough!
Our flowers were provided by Frog Flowers. We had a consultation with David at his studio and went through our colour scheme and feel for the day, we were set on roses and thistles and agreed that we would also like varied flowers with lots of textures. The Frog team didn’t let us down, the bouquets, button holes and table centres were not only beautiful, and even better than we had imagined, but also smelled fantastic (not something we had considered).
Frog Flowers provided all our flowers at our wedding and we managed to re-use the flowers from our ceremony as the top table centrepiece by taking it on the bus with us. Other small decorations came from our home, hurricane lanterns with pillar candles, candle sticks and wooden letters. Castlefield provided a gorgeous white letter box!
We gave everyone a little jar of sweets as favours. We personalised the jar lids with labels, decorated them with ribbon and a homemade ‘Love is Sweet’ tag, which included a thank you message on the back. We chose some of our favourites sweets to fill them with.
Elaine of Elaine’s Creative Cakes in Urmston, Manchester, made our cake. We wanted the cake to be fairly minimal with sharp clean modern lines, surprisingly this is achieved using the less modern and more traditional royal icing. We designed a four tier cake with Elaine, alternating fruit cake and sponge. Both tasted absolutely gorgeous and Elaine even surprised us with our own personal boxed cake, which was left on the top table and was a lovely surprise on the day.
We thoroughly enjoyed the menu tasting at Albert’s Shed prior to the wedding and I think anything we chose would have gone down well! Our dessert was a selection of tarts and a cheese board served to the table for guests to share. This is a fantastic option that Castlefield offer, providing an alternative for those without a sweet tooth whilst allowing everyone on the table to dig in.
Mixing old with new and traditional with contemporary, we asked a string trio from Endymion to play modern songs on strings at the Town Hall as guests were arriving, during the ceremony and at our drinks reception. These guys are fantastically talented, I only wish I heard more (a downside of arriving last).
For the evening we hired a DJ from Jonny Ross Music, who was recommended by Castlefield. The DJ was superb and had everyone dancing all night, he really knew how to judge the crowd and the music was fantastic!
As a special touch on the big day we had a signature perfume and aftershave, which is now our ‘wedding scent’. The sense of smell is a great way of evoking memories and we have decided we will wear this on special occasions like anniversaries as a nice reminder of our special day!
Other businesses that contributed to our wedding day was Erica and Edwards Jewellers in Manchester who made my ring. They were super patient and offered a really personal service. Also Sian Gorton did mine and the other girls’ hair and make-up on the day, it was no mean feat getting us all ready in the morning single handed! She was totally calm and good company during the wedding prep. It sounds clichéd but we all felt like a million dollars!
We would 100 per cent recommend our venues to others. As far as the city centre of Manchester is concerned there is nowhere else we would consider. The Town Hall requires no hard sell. Once you walk in you are literally blown away. It is a fascinating and historical building that will stand forever as a reminder of our day. The Castlefield Rooms is contemporary and modern and is an idyllic city centre location – they are incredibly professional and experienced at organising and running weddings. The day ran like absolute clockwork and was completely stress free as we knew everything was taken care of and in hand. On top of that the food is fantastic!
It is so hard to choose a favourite part of the day, however, one particular funny moment was during the vows. Many will know one of the statements that has to be made is; ‘I know not any reason why I ____ may not be lawfully married to ____’. We knew it was coming, but as a Geordie when David said ‘wye aye’ the ripple of laughter was fab!
Straight after our wedding we took ourselves off to a log cabin Keldy Forest. It was perfect – zero phone signal and the wildlife and nature were fascinating, with deer walking beside the cabin morning and night. We spent the days in our personal hot tub and evening in front of the log fire. It was a perfect chilled week after what was a busy weekend! Our main honeymoon is in June; we are off to Dubai and Mauritius and can’t wait!
Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be to do exactly what you want to do, choose what is special to both you and the groom. Our day was exactly as we imagined and couldn’t have been more perfect for us. Another tip would be to make sure you surround yourself with suppliers and people that you get on with, that you can rely on and that you trust, this makes the planning and the day much more stress free and a lot more fun!
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May 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Sometimes it can be difficult for couples to choose a theme for their wedding and can end up over thinking it. But today’s bride Emma kept things simple by styling her wedding around her favourite flower, gypsophila.
The loved-up couple then picked one of their favourite building in Manchester to act as the backdrop to the celebrations, the city’s stunning town hall.
The combined result is a grand occasion that’s beautiful but without being too fussy. Emma we think we hit the nail on the head.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.
emma says: We got engaged in March 2013 on top of a mountain in the Lake District. Chris’ intention was that there’d be stunning views, but there was a blizzard with almost zero visibility. In the end we were just glad to make it down in one piece.
The date of our wedding was 25th October 2014. A summer wedding wasn’t important to us because our venue and plans dictated that almost all of our time would be indoors. We felt that more friends and family would find it easier to attend this time of you when summer holidays are over and people’s diaries are less full.
We picked Manchester Town Hall as our venue. It’s one of our favourite buildings and its location is convenient to guests from near and far. Those who live locally have many travel options with ample parking, and there are lots of accommodation options for those from further afield. The Great Hall where we had the reception is a spectacular space.
The colour scheme was based around my favourite flower which is gypsophila, so I kept everything very neutral. I opted for a very light gold colour for the bridesmaid’s dress and the male members of the bridal party as well as for some detailing at the reception. Gypsophila was chosen due to the simplicity of the flower and for its bright, clean, natural colours.
The groom, best man, bride’s father, groom’s father and ushers wore navy Prince Edward suits from Slaters with cream waistcoats and gold ruches.
My bridesmaid’s dress was from Agape in Altrincham and was a one-shoulder champagne colour long chiffon dress.
Lee Brown was our photographer – we highly recommend him. Our friends and family, including some amateur photography enthusiasts, have said they are the best wedding photos they’ve seen. We’re absolutely delighted with the results. Lee’s unobtrusive style meant that no-one felt interrupted by his presence and he did everything he could to make us feel at ease and relaxed throughout the course of our wedding day.
Blossom Flowers in Chorlton provided mine and my bridesmaid’s posies, the corsages, and button-holes. They also provided flowers for dressing the service room and the table centrepieces, top-table dressing, and chair covers for the reception.
Favours were vintage candy including pear-drops, aniseed twists, and lemon sherbets. There was also a candy-table with large jars of the same sweets and bags for guests to take candy home for their children.
I made my own cake, which was four tiers covered in ivory icing with white lace edible detailing topped with sugar craft roses. I had fruit, carrot and vanilla sponge.
To entertain our guests we hired Dave Jones disco to provide a DJ service and had live music from the Cover Cats. I corresponded with a few DJs and Dave gave me the most confidence in his ability to ensure stress-free and smooth-running whilst playing appropriate music. We looked at a number of bands on-line and loved the sound of the Cover Cats and that they had a female vocalist. They did a brilliant job.
Other suppliers that we used for our wedding day and would recommend are Ric Clements of Kegs & Co who supplied draught ale with draught serving system at a low price. Paul Hill of Uplighting Hire who provided good value for money was a pleasure to deal with.
We thoroughly enjoyed the entire day. As the bride and groom, we were very nervous until after the speeches so managed to relax as the day/evening went on.
We went to Bali on our honeymoon which is a superb destination -great weather, beautiful tropical beaches, interesting cultural attractions, wonderful hotels and villas and lovely people.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be pick a venue where the organiser or venue co-ordinator will be helpful, reliable, and ease the pressure on you. Also delegate as much as possible, but only to people you can trust to do what you ask, when you ask.
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