Charlotte Balbier

bronzed beauty. phase eight for a summer wedding in manchester – alex & pete

May 23rd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

Editor’s note: We were saddened to wake up this morning to the horrific news of the Manchester arena attack.  Our thoughts are with the victims and their families on this dreadful day.  We hope that our readers – no matter where you live – all draw your loved ones close for an extra kiss or hug this evening. Love always x 

A Summer Wedding in Manchester (c) ER Photography (24)

It’s always refreshing to see a bride and groom do things a little differently on their special day. And today’s couple, Alex and Pete, did exactly that.

Firstly, let’s talk about the dress. Forget your classic white, ivory, champagne or cream tones – instead, Alex plumped for a gorgeous bronze gown that perfectly complemented their navy and blush daytime colour scheme.

Gone too were the traditional favours and cake, instead our couple served up a scrumptious selection of desserts and a Mexican themed reception complete with a tasty buffet. But, as Alex reveals, there are a few nods to all things traditional, too – including a vintage convertible car which, we have to confess, has got us dreaming of driving off into the sunset with our veil blowing in the breeze…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, ER Photography.

A Summer Wedding in Manchester (c) ER Photography (1)

alex says: We got engaged in December 2014 in Edinburgh. We went to a cosy whisky bar to escape the rain when Pete surprised me with a beautiful ring!

A Summer Wedding in Manchester (c) ER Photography (42)

We got married on 6th August. The 7th was the day we met and sits right between our birthdays so this had always been a special weekend for us.

We tied the knot at St Mary’s Church in Davyhulme, only a two-minute walk from our house. The church is beautiful and we wanted to keep the ceremony as close to home as we could.

A Summer Wedding in Manchester (c) ER Photography (32)

We chose a traditional ceremony with a Mexican fiesta theme for our reception. We didn’t want a typical ‘out of the box’ wedding and the theme suited us perfectly – our aim was for everyone to have a great time and celebrate with us. We were imagining a Mexican cantina on a hot summer’s night!

We had our reception at The Grill at 27 in Urmston. Martin and the team were more than accommodating and enthusiastic about letting us decorate the venue whichever way we wanted. The food was fab and the drink was flowing! We can’t thank them enough!

A Summer Wedding in Manchester (c) ER Photography (27)

We decided on navy, bronze and blush colours for the daytime part of the wedding, and then bright colours for the evening. We wanted a classic colour scheme that could translate to the evening. The metallic and navy sat great alongside our Mexican theme, too.

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love on top. all-white styling for a chic wedding at great john street, manchester – sarah & chris

May 5th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Chic Wedding at Great John Street Hotel Manchester (c) Delicious Photography (45)

Sarah and Chris’ chic city wedding was held at the stunningly eclectic Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. They wanted a laidback day that was big on personal touches and low on formality and, by Jove, they got it.

Their photographs prompted a strange, hybrid emotion in the Brides Up North team. A smidgen of envy, a touch of nostalgia, and more than a little bit of excitement for long, hazy summer days and barbecue season on the horizon.

Ladies, please. Check out that classic hourglass dress, that gypsophila headband and those perfectly #bridesquad personalised sliders and tell us you don’t feel your heart tremble.

Images by Delicious Photography

A Chic Wedding at Great John Street Hotel Manchester (c) Delicious Photography (2)

sarah says: Our engagement was just brilliant. As we’d been together for 12 years, I thought it wouldn’t happen; Chris had planned a normal Christmas Day morning with lots of presents so that I wouldn’t suspect a thing. Later, we went for Christmas dinner with my family. We were all sitting there and he made an announcement in front of them all. It was a such special moment and totally not us. My granddad was poorly at the time so it was extra special and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

We were married on 14th October 2016, we were desperate to get married in the same year. Great John Street, our chosen venue, was booked up but we managed to get a cancellation.

A Chic Wedding at Great John Street Hotel Manchester (c) Delicious Photography (37)

We had our hearts set on Great John Street in Manchester city centre from the beginning. It’s a 5* eclectic hotel, with stunning décor that matches my style exactly. We had a simple brief: we wanted live music all day and no sit-down formal table plan. We ended up having a barbecue on the roof terrace and it was perfect for us.

Our theme was pretty relaxed. I had one décor specification and that was lots and lots of flowers and candles. We had a photo booth that our friends set up for a giggle and got our wish of live music all day long.

Colour-wise, I went for white. However, we also chose a dusky tan for the bridesmaid dresses and my dress also had a faint tan/pink coloured underlay.

A Chic Wedding at Great John Street Hotel Manchester (c) Delicious Photography (26)

I chose a very fitted dress with a classic hourglass shape from Adele Howarth-Winstanley Bride in Upper Mill. To me, the lace created a vintage feel about it and I was desperate to find a dress that had a hint of colour.

A Chic Wedding at Great John Street Hotel Manchester (c) Delicious Photography (52)

Chris wore French navy tails, from Best Man with a mustard waistcoat, navy polka dot tie, a handkerchief and a pocket watch.

The groomsmen’s suits were similar to Chris’, also from Best Man. The bridesmaids’ dresses were from ASOS and were long, dusky-coloured, high-neck pleated gowns.

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tale as old as time. lillian west for a wedding at the great john street hotel – sarah & stevie

April 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

Today’s real wedding is all about the magic of Disney – the enchanting Beauty and the Beast to be more precise.

Our couple, Sarah and Stevie, decided on a nod or three to their favourite family movie, with the film’s much-coveted teapot, clock and candlestick all making an appearance on their special day. Combine this with a few unconventional twists – such as serving popcorn and swapping a traditional wedding breakfast for a rooftop barbecue – and we think this is an informal take on wedded bliss at its best.

With images by Claire Basiuk.

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

sarah says: We got engaged on 15th September 2015, while in Tenerife. We were on the second night of a family holiday, staying in a lovely hotel at the top a hill. Stevie was calling our daughter Sophia over to the terrace to have a picture taken against the sunset. Sophia, however, was more interested in going dancing, so was reluctant. I eventually talked her over where Stevie then picked her up, got down on one knee and asked to marry me. My reaction was “are you being serious?” – anyone that knows us will know why; we had been together nearly 11 years, already had a beautiful two-year-old little girl and marriage had never been on the table. I’d even been discussing how I would never get married on a hen do only two days before! My answer was, of course, yes and I will never forget that beaming smile on Sophia’s face, it was as if she knew what it all meant. The evening was then spent dancing!

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

Our wedding date was 18th September 2016. I loved the idea of having a September wedding (maybe as my mum and dad got married then) and 18 is actually my lucky number so this worked out perfectly. We weren’t bothered about whether we did it one or two years after we got engaged but looking back now, it was lovely that it was almost a year to the day.

We wanted a venue that could accommodate both the ceremony and reception and chose Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. We had always wanted a venue that had something a bit different and had loved the idea of a barn style venue. I realised though that my main concern was guests being able to easily get to the venue, and barn style venues don’t really offer that.

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

We were looking for a relaxed and informal feel to our wedding day and Great John Street offered this. It was different to any other wedding venue we had visited, and we just loved the quirkiness, the décor, all the separate areas that guests could relax in and, of course, the roof terrace with city centre views.

From the outset, we both agreed that we wanted to do our wedding a little differently, as neither of us like being the centre of attention. For us, it was all about celebrating with our friends and family, so we exchanged our vows later in the day, and decided not to have a formal wedding breakfast with speeches. Instead we opted for a barbecue on the rooftop where the guests could choose what food they ate and where they sat. This allowed us to mix with everybody. There was no pressure on Stevie, my dad or the best man to give a speech, this was entirely their choice, and they did this in the early evening with everyone on the roof terrace.

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

I wanted to be a bit creative with the decoration aspect of the wedding, as opposed to having just a colour scheme. We have a love for Disney and chose a Beauty and the Beast theme. This is my favourite Disney movie; it was the first film song Sophia sang and danced to and it has become Stevie’s favourite, too. We also thought that Tale as Old as Time had quite a good meaning for us, having been together so long. We realised this could easily become cheesy but I wanted to incorporate classy and elegant details from the film. A lot of the decorations and flowers featured those classic Beauty and the Beast colours of blue, gold and red.

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fifty shades. a chic urban wedding at the great john street hotel – jess & rob

March 6th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

An Urban Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Mark Newton Weddings (38)

Today’s real wedding saw Jess and Rob pull off the mean feat of a Valentine’s Day wedding without the cheese. Instead of succumbing to Love Hearts and an all-out pink colour scheme, the bride opted for a tea-length polka-dot dress and timeless, elegant shades of silvery blue and dove grey.

Ready for a chic urban wedding that shines with love? We are.

With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Mark Newton Weddings.

An Urban Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Mark Newton Weddings (20)

jess says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2015 after around eight years together. I didn’t think it was going to happen as Rob had given me all my gifts in the morning and he waited until midnight to propose. It happened at home, which was lovely as I didn’t really want a big fuss.

Our wedding date was 14th February 2016 – Valentine’s Day! We didn’t really choose the date as such; it needed to be in half term as I’m a teacher, and we preferred a Sunday. So it just happened to be Valentine’s Day!

An Urban Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Mark Newton Weddings (5)

We got married at Great John Street Hotel in Manchester city centre. Rob and I knew we wanted something different and quite urban, so I decided to go along to the wedding open evening. I never imagined that we could afford such a beautiful venue but the packages that they offer there are very good value for money.

The venue itself is just stunning! We got married up on the rooftop, which is gorgeous. It’s such a modern and elegant hotel, it really suited us perfectly.

An Urban Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Mark Newton Weddings (34)

There was no set theme for the wedding but we constantly reminded ourselves that this was our day. It’s very easy to get caught up in what other people want but we tried to make our decisions for us. Also, we wanted a less traditional day so we tried to make our choices as unique and individual as possible.

Although it was Valentine’s Day, we wanted to avoid the obvious reds and pinks so we decided on greys and blues. I didn’t want everything to match perfectly so I just picked any variation of blue or grey that I liked. We also wanted hints of blue to incorporate our love of our football team – Leicester City!

An Urban Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Mark Newton Weddings (15)

My wedding dress also followed the ‘non-traditional’ direction we were taking; I always knew I didn’t want a full-length dress. A shorter dress always felt more ‘me’ and I wanted to feel like myself. My beautiful dress was made to measure by a wonderful shop in Nottingham called Frock. Esther who runs the shop was amazing throughout the whole process and the dress was nothing less than perfect. For any bride wanting a tea length dress, Frock is a must!

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magic in the air. diane legrand for an elegant fairy-tale wedding at peckforton castle – charlotte & tom

February 24th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Luxury Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c)Agam Riley Photography (41)

Today’s bride and groom visited Peckforton Castle and fell hard for the venue’s vintage, other-worldly charm – so much so that they introduced a subtle fairy-tale theme as they planned their wedding. Everything from the ornate script of their stationery, to the blossom trees lining the aisle, is a nod to the romance of a perfect storybook.

Charlotte looked every inch the perfect princess bride in her Diane Legrand gown and blue Manolo Blahniks, and she’s a girl after our own hearts – her advice to brides-to-be touring venues and bridal boutiques is, “Enjoy all of the free champagne”. We totally agree.

With photography by Adam Riley Photography

A Luxury Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c)Agam Riley Photography (21)

charlotte says: We got engaged on 18th June 2015 on a quiet beach in Portugal exactly nine years after we officially became a couple. Tom had set up his camera to record the whole proposal but told me that he wanted get some nice shots of us together using the self-timer on the camera. I had no idea that he would propose and instantly burst into tears (after saying yes, of course)!

We originally wanted the wedding to take place on 18th June 2016 (exactly one year after the proposal and ten years of being together) – however, when we found our dream venue they had no availability for that date. We tried to get it as close as we could and chose 7th July 2016.

A Luxury Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c)Agam Riley Photography (33)

We got married at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire. It was the first venue we looked at and before we had even walked into the main grounds I was in tears – so were our mums! It just felt so magical and enchanting. When we walked into the Great Hall there were even more tears and we all knew that was the place where we wanted to make our promises to each other. We made a provisional booking there and then!

A Luxury Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c)Agam Riley Photography (40)

When we first started planning our day we didn’t have a theme in mind. We were getting married in a castle and thought vaguely about having a subtle fairy-tale theme. It wasn’t until we started thinking about our stationery and flowers that we really started to entertain the idea. Our invites were in the style of a vintage fairy-tale book complete with a drawing of the castle and a poem that we wrote ourselves which wouldn’t be out of place in a Dr Seuss book. Instead of table numbers we chose to write chapters of a book with each table having a chapter number and a short story of our relationship at that time. We called our top table ‘The Next Chapter…’

Colour-wise, we wanted to keep everything neutral and all our flowers were white with green accents. The bridesmaid’s dresses were a very soft pink and the boys’ morning suits were navy which provided a nice contrast.

A Luxury Wedding at Peckforton Castle (c)Agam Riley Photography (44)

My dress was by German designer Diane Legrand and purchased at Society Brides in Liverpool. When I originally set out to find the perfect dress I thought I wanted a simple fishtail – how wrong I was. After trying on a few dresses in this style I wasn’t really feeling like a ‘bride’ and decided to try on a princess style gown. I instantly fell in love with the style and quickly narrowed down my specifications: namely, lace bodice, detailing at the waist and a huge train! I then decided to go for a long double layer veil with lace detailing. I then finished my look with blue Manolo Blanhik shoes: my ‘something blue’.

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tulle love. an engagement styled shoot in manchester

February 23rd, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Styled Engagement Shoot (c) Elina Rose Photography (25)

Ever reminiscent of those opening credits to Sex and the City, nothing quite makes a feminine fashion statement like a tulle skirt (or tutu in Sarah Jessica Parker’s case).

So, when we clapped eyes on this beautiful Manchester styled shoot, complete with dreamy grey tulle A-line skirt, we just knew that we had to share it on the wedding blog.

Directed and captured by American-based photographer, Elina Rose, the shoot, which features a real engaged couple, is aimed at inspiring brides and grooms to use the stunning spaces around them to create beautiful photographic memories that last a lifetime.

With images by Elina Rose Photography

A Styled Engagement Shoot (c) Elina Rose Photography (11)

elina says: I fell in love with England’s green parks and countryside as well as the historic beautiful buildings. I felt the combination of the two would help to create a romantic story for an engagement inspired shoot. The reason for doing the shoot was to show couples everywhere that you can utilize the places around you to create beautiful backdrops for your engagement, bridal, or wedding photos.

A Styled Engagement Shoot (c) Elina Rose Photography (40)

Our couple, being local, suggested this location based off my vision for the shoot. I wanted to incorporate gorgeous green fields and romantic sunlight as well as beautiful buildings. Heaton Park turned out to be the perfect place!

A Styled Engagement Shoot (c) Elina Rose Photography (38)

To complement the romantic feel of the session, we felt that the full tulle skirt was a perfect touch. As the outfits were quite neutral in terms of colour we wanted the gorgeous bouquet to give a pop of vibrancy. This was created by Manchester-based Venus Flowers, using blooms that would give a beautiful range of texture and colour.

For a subtle touch of sparkle, we added some stunning jewellery from Bellarissa Boutique, which completed our bride-to-be’s look perfectly.

A Styled Engagement Shoot (c) Elina Rose Photography (3)

The day of the shoot turned out perfect! While it rained most of the day, the moment we started the sun came out giving us beautiful light.

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