Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017
Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

honest love: say hello to slice of pie photography

March 9th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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This morning we’re getting snap-happy on the blog by catching up with our fabulous Sponsor and talented wedding photographers, Mark and Laura of Slice of Pie Photography.

Covering weddings throughout the North West and beyond, this dedicated duo considers it an honour to capture the most important day of a couple’s life and pride themselves on their “honest” images that stand the test of time.

As a special gift, Slice of Pie are offering Brides Up North readers who book them, a free guest book featuring their pre-wedding shoot photographs (worth £150), so be sure to mention this when enquiring with Mark and Laura. Now let’s hear more from them about their images and approach…

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Tell us a little about your background… 
slice of pie say: Having backgrounds in art and design and marketing meant that a creative career was a natural choice for both of us. After Mark’s time being behind the lens and directing photoshoots for advertising campaigns eight years ago, it seemed the right time for us to turn our love of photography into our own business in the wonderful world of weddings.

What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?

We love that each wedding is as unique as the couple themselves. We could do lots of weddings at one venue but no two would ever be the same. There is so much opportunity for couples to put their own stamp on their wedding day giving us the scope to produce new and unique images all the time, which keeps our work fresh and our creative juices flowing.

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And what is it about your job that you love?

Even after all the years of photographing weddings, we often say to each other in the midst of a drinks reception; “We’re at work!” We still pinch ourselves that we basically get to photograph parties where people are on top form having a great time, it’s also a huge honour to be such an important part of the best day of someone’s life!

How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

When people ask us this question we always tell them that we are great believers in honest images. Filters and overworked photographs will age quickly but a beautiful crisp image will stand the test of time. Many of our images are natural and contemporary in composition but at the same time we produce some more traditional yet relaxed images. We listen to what our couples want but guide them if they feel daunted by the whole prospect of being photographed. Having flexibility in style and taking the time to get to know our couples helps us to make sure they get what they want from their wedding photographs.

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What is the feedback like from your clients?

The feedback we get is phenomenal. We often joke to each other that we must be good but we never get complacent, every time we go to a wedding we look each other in the eye and say “this wedding must be a show album”, which we believe shows our passion for what we do. Most of our brides tell us that it felt like a friend was photographing their wedding and that they were able to relive the whole day, which is our main aim after all.

What is the top piece of advice you would give to camera shy couples?

The key to relaxing in front of the camera is to have fun and remember that you have picked a professional photographer whose job it is to make you look and feel relaxed and happy! Most couples aren’t used to being photographed, which is why each of our packages include a pre-wedding shoot. The last thing we want is to be the strangers with the big cameras on the wedding day. The pre-wedding shoot is so valuable in building a relationship between us before the wedding, which always shines through in the photographs. Having the opportunity to see the photos before the wedding also gives couples the confidence that they will look fabulous on their wedding day!

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Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out to you?

Loads as we are very lucky to have photographed so many great days. One of our favourite shots was taken in Manchester City Centre on King Street Zebra Crossing, Mark was lying in the middle of the road while Laura stopped a bus (it wasn’t going fast) the driver and passengers just smiled when they saw what we were doing. We have great memories, taking pictures across the lake at the beautiful Capesthorne Hall, in the garden at the fabulous Belle Epoque, a stunning 1920’s themed wedding at the Alderley Edge Hotel, bridesmaids andushers shots under the T-Rex at Manchester Museum, confetti canons exploding in Manchester Art Gallery followed by the procession of bridesmaids dancing down the aisle, the elegance of a French Chateau to a golf club in Mallorca. Oh, and we always remember an emotional groom standing at the end of the aisle waiting for his beautiful bride!

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laidback glam. a chic wedding with a rustic twist at the saddleworth hotel – hannah & tom

November 11th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog we bring you a beautiful real wedding in the picturesque foothills of the Pennines.

After a three-year engagement, Hannah and Tom exchanged vows over the May bank holiday weekend, in the quaint setting of the village church in Ripponden.

Blending rustic charm with an elegant and contemporary décor – not to mention one of the most stunning balconied ballrooms we have ever seen – The Saddleworth Hotel provided the gorgeous backdrop to the couple’s memorable celebrations.

With handwritten notes to each and every guest, as well as a special donation to a charity close to their hearts – this was a wedding brimming with nostalgia and personal touches from start to finish.

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

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hannah says: We got engaged three years ago. Tom arranged for us to go away for the weekend to one of our favourite hotels. He hired a beach hut and brought along a picnic with prosecco. He pulled out the ring which he’d had made for me and, obviously, I said yes. We then headed back to the hotel, where he’d arranged to meet my parents for a meal to celebrate.

We got married on Saturday 28th May 2016. I’m a teacher so we needed a date that fitted in with the school holidays, and with a good chance of nice weather! The bank holiday weekend fell in the middle of our spring bank holiday, so it was perfect.

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We tied the knot at St Bartholomew’s Church, in Ripponden. This is our village church and it was also the church I went to whilst growing up, so it was really special to get married there.

Our reception was at The Saddleworth Hotel in Delph. It was actually the first venue we looked at, and nothing else came close. We loved the mix of old and new – the ballroom is amazing and fitted really well with our vision for the day. The double height room really is special.  The venue and grounds are absolutely stunning and the team there is brilliant; nothing is too much trouble.

We chose The Saddleworth Hotel partly because of its glamorous setting and wanted to incorporate this theme within our wedding. We wanted our day to be classic and glam, but at the same time reflect us as a couple and be laidback enough for guests to really enjoy themselves. We wanted our guests to feel special, and spot those little touches that made the day about us as a couple and as individuals. So, not an easy job!

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We didn’t have a specific colour scheme, although the bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses and the flowers were blush pink and white. Everything else we picked because we loved it and it fitted our idea for the day.

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My dress was a chiffon and beaded Justin Alexander gown, which I bought from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I had an idea of what I wanted when I started looking for dresses, and this was absolutely not it! But when I tried the dress on, I swished around the room and felt like an amazing version of me! It wasn’t what I set out to get, but it was the perfect dress for our day.

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vintage navy. pronovias for a city wedding at great john street hotel – vicky & harry

August 1st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Navy Wedding at Great John Street Hotel (c) Zen Photographic (34)

We’re starting off your week with a trip to the stunning Great John Street Hotel in Manchester where today’s real wedding couple tied the knot.

To complement their chosen venue, Vicky and Harry decided on a vintage theme with an elegant navy and ivory colour scheme, which was reflected beautifully in their chosen attire and pretty blooms.

With images by Zen Photographic.

A Navy Wedding at Great John Street Hotel (c) Zen Photographic (23)

vicky says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2013. Harry spoke to my daughters first before he proposed. He drew my attention to a card that had been hand posted through our door and asked me what it was. I just thought it was a Christmas card from family or a friend. I opened it and turned round to see Harry down on one knee with the ring box and he proposed.

We set the date for 25th October 2015. As I work in a school we needed the weeding and honeymoon to be in the school holidays.

A Navy Wedding at Great John Street Hotel (c) Zen Photographic (37)

Our chosen venue was Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. We’d been for a night away there for Harry’s birthday. At this point we weren’t even engaged but I said it would be a great place for us to get married. We both love the hotel because it has a vintage edge and the attention to detail is just superb.

In keeping with the venue we decided on a vintage theme for the wedding with an ivory and navy blue colour scheme. I just wanted everything to be plain and simple, but with a vintage air about it.

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city lights. roses & gypsophila for a neutrals based wedding in manchester – caroline & matthew

May 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding in Manchester (c) Zen Photographic (26)

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.

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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!

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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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heavenly history: a vintage wedding styled shoot at chetham’s, manchester

May 4th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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If you’re currently on the venue hunt for a setting that has both beauty and character, this afternoon’s blog post could just signal the end of your search. As the styled shoot that we’re sharing today opens up the doors to one of the oldest buildings in Manchester’s centre, which also happens to be one of the newest venues to join the city’s splendid wedding offering.

Dating back to 1421, Chetham’s is a unique setting that boasts beautiful old sandstone walls and magical medieval features. Keen to show off its potential to brides and grooms-to-be, wedding photographer Stephen McGowan got together with a group of fellow North West suppliers to help inspire couples who are currently on the venue search.

The result is a wonderful set of images with gorgeous blooms, styling and lighting, which showcases both the building and the team’s skills beautifully. To tell us how it all came together, we’ll hand over the blogging reins to photographer Stephen…

With images by our lovely Brides Up North Sponsor Stephen McGowan Photography.

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stephen says: Chetham’s is a new and exciting venue available to brides and grooms looking to get married in a gorgeous medieval Manchester city centre setting.

Our overall aim was to complement the medieval ambiance and architecture of this unique wedding venue and so I chose to photograph using natural light inside the main hall as I absolutely loved how the light fell on the models’ faces through the large gothic windows in the Baronial Hall.

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In terms of styling we wanted to keep things simple and fresh with undertones of 1920s and 30s bridal styling. The models were therefore dressed in stunning Charlotte Balbier gowns supplied by 7th Heaven Bridalwear. We picked designs that we felt worked well with the historic setting and stuck to fresh, natural makeup looks created by makeup artist Emma Culbert, that didn’t detract from the dresses or surroundings. Hairdresser Jessica Shelley then styled the models’ hair to complement our 1920s theme.

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Verdure Floral Design were brilliant and let us have a choice of three bouquets, along with floral headpiece and table centrepiece, to use in the shoot. We wanted the floral colours to subtly complement our look but not to overpower and Verdure Floral Design fully understood the brief and pulled this off perfectly.

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made in manchester. a gypsophila inspired wedding in the city – emma & chris

May 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (25)

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.

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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.

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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.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (23)

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.

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I went for a fitted, strapless lace detailed Diane Harbridge dress with a lace shrug from Cheadle Brides.

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.

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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.

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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.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (37)

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.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (43)

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.

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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.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (51)

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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