Charlotte Balbier

art felt. a colourful wedding celebration at manchester’s media city – rachael & zariah

April 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (41)

Today’s couple prove how a vibrant setting can actually help your big day stand out all the more. Rachael and Zariah combined their love for the arts, entertainment and all things bright to produce a colourful wedding that dazzled, in more ways than one.

I particularly love how happy and natural everyone involved in this special day looks, all captured by On Love and Photography – fabulous pics guys!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (10)

rachael says: We got engaged on that Olympic Super Saturday 4th August 2012 during a holiday in Paris. Before we went away, some of our friends speculated ‘ooh maybe he plans to propose in Paris!’ which I laughed off. After visiting a variety of stereotypically romantic settings (with limitless opportunities for proposal) – The Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur, banks of the Seine etc. he hadn’t popped the question and so I wrote it off. Therefore it certainly came as a surprise as we got back to our hotel room on the last night and Zariah tells me he wants to spend the rest of his life with me and produces a beautiful aquamarine engagement ring! I cried for a long time; half in shock, half in happiness and woke up the next day with a puffy but very happy face!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (7)

We were originally going to get married in February 2014. However, when I found out I was pregnant in December 2012, we decided to postpone the wedding so that we could solely focus on getting used to being new parents, without having to plan an imminent wedding too! Thankfully, the venue were so accommodating and happily rearranged it for 28th February 2015.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (4)

We had our wedding ceremony in our local church, St Paul’s in Sale town centre. The church is down the road from our house so it’s lovely to have that reminder of our wedding every time we walk past. After looking around various different venues for the reception, from stately homes to pubs, we knew from the moment we walked into The Compass Room at The Lowry Theatre that this was the place for us. We loved the urban architecture around, the room is really unique with floor to ceiling views of Media City. We are both also jobbing actors, so the fact our reception was in a theatre was another bonus and made it feel special to us.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (19)

The thought of planning a wedding has always filled me with dread, let alone the thought of a ‘theme’. That said, as we began to realise how much thought had to be put into each aspect of the day – there had to be some sort of common thread. We wanted the wedding to be bright, fun and personal, with a bit of sparkle.

Our colour scheme was predominantly blue with a lot of brights! My engagement ring is aquamarine, we both like blue so that was our base for the bridesmaid dresses and suits. After trawling through Pinterest I was drawn to all the brightly coloured flowers so we really went for a bit of everything.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (21)

After visiting several bridal shops in and around Manchester whilst carting Isaac around in his pram, the dress hunt was beginning to lose its sparkle. I was trying on too many and being indecisive. I had realised that the slightly 1950s style princess dress suited my figure the most but I struggled to find ‘the one’. One Saturday in July, on a visit back to my home town of St Helens with my step sister Julia we visited Always & Forever Bridal Boutique. The women in the shop were really down to earth, honest and didn’t beat around the bush, which is just what I needed. It was also the first shop I’d been into where I liked several of the dresses and most were in the Mori Lee range. It was here I found my Madison dress. It was just what I wanted, I loved the romantic tulle, full skirt, simple, but with a bit of sparkle in the belt.

It took a few more months for me to decide on the accessories. I bought some lovely 1950s style Rachel Simpson shoes online. Jewellery wise I wore a locket that my Grandad gave to my Nan on their first date which had their pictures in. I didn’t think I wanted a veil but in the end, I think the plain tulle veil complemented the church ceremony. Rosie Binns from Ethos Hair in Chorlton did my bridal hair and the bridesmaids’ hair on the day.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (23)

Zariah’s wore a blinking gorgeous electric blue FCUK suit from Moss Bros and Icon tanned brogues from Schuh. I thought he scrubbed up very well!

The groomsmen wore the same as Zariah. Isaac (our son) who was our page boy wore a suit from Mamas and Papas with blue Converse trainers. My bridesmaids wore sapphire blue Dessy dresses we ordered through J’Adore Bridal Boutique in Altrincham. My flower girl (Leah, my niece) wore a very pretty, simple white dress from Next, along with a cardigan with a butterfly clasp and we bought her a heart shaped locket, similar to mine.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (27)

We hired a beautiful Royal Windsor wedding car from Century Wedding Cars, St Helens, as our transport. We liked the 1950s theme and the company is owned by an old school friend’s mum and dad. It was nice to give them business as a grown up bride-to-be, rather than giving them grief as a teenage tearaway!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (28)

Our photographers were the brilliant and lovely Giulia and Ben from On Love and Photography. They had photographed our friends’ wedding the previous summer and we fell in love with their pictures. It was a no brainer that we wanted to use them too. Not only amazing photographers, they are such a friendly couple too. We both felt really comfortable around them and loved their observational style shots. They are also quite adventurous in their photography, egging us on for the more unusual pictures! We would highly recommend them.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (29)

Fletcher and Foley of Sale provided our flowers. My bouquet was made up of orange ranunculus, red parrot tulips, blue muscari, mixed anemones and hellebores and catkins for a touch of spring!

The florist arranged jam jar pew ends at the church made up of brightly coloured ranunculus, daffodils and blue musacri which really gave a hint of spring. Two of our friends then kindly transported the pew end flowers to the wedding venue and arranged them in a row on the top table. We used vases from my sister’s wedding for centre pieces and kept it simple with floating candles and peachy/pink delphinium orchids floating on top. The bridesmaids and I made the table plans, name cards and signage for the venue. The room itself had the wow factor so we didn’t need to go mad on decorations. Special Day Events, who we would recommend, provided organza bows for our chairs. Emma was really quick in her email correspondence and sent me an array of different coloured samples in the post to choose from.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (33)

Instead of a wedding guestbook, my friend made us a wedding post box with the idea that guests wrote their bits of advice and messages on a postcard, posted it in the box then took a selfie on our camera which we will print out and put next to their message in the guest book.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (36)

Being big cake lovers, it was only fitting that we had cupcakes as wedding favours. We also had a vase full of sparklers which we lit on the balcony overlooking Media City later on in the evening. The idea was for us to walk through a ‘bridge’ of sparklers – by this point the guests were quite drunk though and I was convinced my dress was going to go up in flames!

As our main cake we bought an M&S three-tiered cake with a mixture of fruit and sponge. Simple and tasty!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (38)

As Zariah’s family are a Jamaican heritage we wanted to incorporate some Caribbean flavours into our wedding meal and so the sweet potato and red pepper soup was a nod to this culture, whilst the Yorkshire pudding and beef canapés a nod to mine! We had chicken with mozzarella and sundried tomato as our main followed by a coconut Manchester Tart with banana ice cream, which was a big hit!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (44)

We love music and wanted guests to be in the mood for a party from the start so we hired Taylor and the Mason, two female guitarists to play during the drinks reception in the Quays Bar. Their voices are amazing and they are both gorgeous, funny and northern. We also hired a magician called Dan Tiernan whom Zariah and I have worked with at the Youth Theatre we teach. He was great and kept the guests and kids entertained during the meal.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (46)

For the evening reception we hired a DJ – Nick Campbell who was recommended to us. He came to our house before the wedding to discuss our tastes in music and was really friendly and chilled. Zariah had written out a long list of requests for the evening which Nick was happy to use. Nick gaged the audience perfectly, the dance floor was never empty – we even ended up doing a Conga to a reggae song around the room. Our first dance was to Our Day Will Come the Amy Winehouse version. We didn’t want anything too smoochy or slow, yet this song meant a lot to us as after being together for seven years and having a baby together, it felt about time we had our first dance!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (50)

It was really special that my Grandad walked me down the aisle in church. My mum and I lived with him and my Nan until I was four so we’ve always been close. It also seemed fitting that if my Grandad ‘gave me away’, then my step Dad, Graham, who’s been in my life for over 20 years should do the father of the bride speech in the evening. It was lovely that they both got to have special roles.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (55)

Being a bit of a feminist, I think a lot of our guests (including Zariah) expected me to do a speech along with the traditional male speakers. Whilst it was something I considered, after the pressure of months of wedding planning, the thought of adding this extra pressure wasn’t appealing. Then I came across four young lively buskers on Facebook that I had another idea. I asked Bolton Brass – a four piece brass band, to perform at our wedding as a surprise after the speeches. After watching them online, I just loved their energy (they do dance routines with trumpets) and hearing modern pop songs performed by a brass band just captivated me. The band burst through the doors playing Can’t Take My Eyes of You after the final toast and then leapt into No Place I’d Rather Be, The Final Countdown and a couple more songs. It really geared the guests up for the evening do and was my way of making a speech. They were amazing!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (52)

As we had a few children at the wedding I made goody bags for the kids table; play dough, colouring books, bubbles and disposable cameras.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (60)

We loved our wedding venue. The staff were so friendly and accommodating throughout and for those looking for an urban city wedding, The Lowry is perfect. The Compass Room is big and has the wow factor with great views of famous landmarks and endless opportunities for photos. We liked the fact we had our drinks reception in the Quays Bar downstairs, it really made use of the different sections of the venue. We also managed to have some photos taken in one of the theatres! It really was a unique venue and reflected both our love for Manchester and the arts.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (71)

It’s hard to define a favourite part of the day, we enjoyed it all from getting ready in the morning to doing the Conga in the evening! The vows in church were a really special moment when we both had to hold back the tears. We also really enjoyed hearing the readings we had picked for the church – one was from Isaac’s favourite bedtime book called ‘Me’ by Emma Dodd. It was lovely to have our son with us on our wedding day and fitting that we could include a reading that meant something to all of us. One really unique part of the day was when we arrived at venue and our photographers ushered us to a bridge next to The Lowry for photos whilst hundreds of Man United fans headed to the match. It was moment on our own away from the guests, yet surrounded by lots of friendly strangers from Zariah’s team (Zariah would like to add: we won 2-0 so it was a great day overall). We also had fun later on when we took to the balcony of The Lowry for group pictures with our friends. It was really cold and windy so after a few drinks, we all jumped up and down and started chanting silly songs to keep warm. It just confirmed how lucky we are to have such wonderful friends!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (78)

Following the wedding we had a two-night minimoon at The Brimstone, Langdale in The Lake District. After a hectic 18 months of bringing up a baby and wedding planning, we just wanted total relaxation on our own. We are also having a week away to Crete in the summer as our honeymoon and taking Isaac with us.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (84)

Our top tip to other Brides Up North is – plan well in advance, especially if you’re doing a lot of the stationery yourself. We took for granted how long the little bits would take us. We would also recommend investing in good photographers like On Love and Photography. The photos are the memories you keep for life after your day is over. We decided what mattered to us the most and the least, and stuck to that in terms of budget. Have fun on the day! The little things really won’t matter much. It’s about you two and having your loved ones around you what makes the wedding, not the chair covers (even though they did look lovely).

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vintage lace and sequins. an art nouveau inspired spring styled shoot

March 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (68)

We love local, and we love stylish weddings – so as well as promoting our own luxury bridal events via these pretty pages we also like to tell our readers about certain selected special events – like the massive North West Wedding Fair this weekend – or this rather lovely little event, The Exquisite Secret Vintage Wedding Fair, hosted by our friend and Brides Up North Exhibitor, Rebecca Jenkinson of Pretty Little Trio Vintage (Rebecca will be showing you what she can do at our Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at The Bowdon Rooms, later this month).

To celebrate the announcement of the secret location of the show, released later today, these beautiful images were curated by Rebecca and were captured by exhibitor Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography. We’re thrilled that they chose Brides Up North to show them off.

Be inspired!

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (6)

rebecca says: The inspiration for our shoot was a modern interpretation of one of my favourite vintage styles, Art Nouveau, with a hint of the twenties too. I wanted to showcase our beautiful secret venue and took inspiration from the surroundings and weaved in pretty spring oranges, a hint of teal blue, deep greens and of course a beautiful dash of gold sequins and vintage elements.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (61)

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (32)  Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (31)

For the shoot we wanted to produce images that could be easily interpreted as inspiration for real wedding days rather than anything too aspirational so the general brief we took was everything was to be beautiful but achievable.

When planning the shoot, in the same way as many brides planning their wedding ideas, I found Pinterest a huge help in pulling thoughts together. I selected ideas for colours, dresses, hairstyles, makeup, props, stationery, cakes and lots of other details and then shared the board with the team ahead of the day so we could all add our skills to bringing the vision together.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (65)

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (66)

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (21)

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (11)

The lovely images were captured by Lucy Greenhill Photography with second shooting by Emma Hillier Photography, both creative, great fun and lovely people to work with.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (62)

Our bride Charlotte was dressed by Fiona of The Wedding Boutique Cheshire, all the stunning designs are from the Felicity Cooper Collection and are exclusively designed and crafted by Fiona in her boutique where she takes inspiration from vintage styles and materials. She is going to be debuting her latest collection at London Bridal Fashion Week in May, I’m so excited for her.

Charlotte’s pretty hair and make up are by the amazingly skilled Sophie, part of the fabulous Manchester based Bethany Jane Davies - Vintage Beauty Parlour.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (50)

The stunning flowers are by the super talented Heather at Living Colour Floral Design, there is literally no vintage style this girl can’t master for you whilst giving it a contemporary feel too.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (46)

All the beautiful stationery, so perfectly vintage, is created by Emma at Hattie Boo Designs. It has a real vintage heritage being based on wedding stationery found in an old wooden box from the wedding of Emma’s Nanna’s Husband’s first marriage in the 1920’s!

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (63)

The beautiful swirly icing art nouveau inspired white and gold tiered cake was created by Manchester based Beth at Cakes by Beth. She is a total genius and can turn her hand to any idea you might have and they taste phenomenal too!

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (19)

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (49)

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (2)

I supplied all the vintage china, suitcases, books and other props through my vintage hire company with the look completed with dazzling table cloths from lovely Helen at Pudding Bridge, who hires nationwide.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (34)

The team involved in the shoot are just some of our wonderful exhibitors, I’d definitely recommend any one planning their day with a vintage flavour to come along on the 8th March to enjoy the event and meet our lovely exhibitors.

The Exquisite Secret Vintage Wedding Fair returns to Manchester city centre for its second year this Sunday the 8th March 2015. It is a vintage wedding fair with a bit of a difference, as the exact location is a total secret until just days 5 before when the secret venue is unveiled. (That’s today!)

Tickets are £2.50 in advance (£5.00 on the door) and £10.00 for group tickets.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (3)

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urban delight. rich jewel hues for a stylish city centre wedding at the palace hotel, manchester – kate & chris

February 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (50)

I do love a stunning piece of architecture and clearly so too do today’s real wedding couple Kate and Chris, who picked Manchester’s beautiful Palace Hotel in which to tie the knot.

Its regal marble floors, wood panelling and domed ceiling provided a stunning backdrop for the couple’s vows and evening reception. During the day the new Mr and Mrs headed out onto the streets of Manchester with their photographer James Tracey, for some edgy urban shots which contrast beautifully with those taken inside The Palace.

In addition to a great location, highlights of Kate and Chris’s big day include an opulent colour scheme, delicious food and toe-tapping entertainment. Enjoy!

With images by James Tracey Photography.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (6)

kate says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2013. I had an idea Chris might propose but when I opened all my presents and there was no ring I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. However later in the day Chris surprised me by asking me to marry him and gave me a beautiful ring. As it was Christmas it was great being with family to help celebrate our engagement.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (9)

Our wedding date was 4th October 2014. We knew we wanted a local wedding but we weren’t too bothered about it being in the summer months as you can’t guarantee the British weather. Instead we decided on early October as it was just out of season but we though the weather wouldn’t be too wintery.

We got married at The Palace Hotel in Manchester city centre. We wanted our ceremony and reception all in one venue but wanted to find somewhere with character which is why we both loved The Palace Hotel. As soon as we walked into the hotel and saw the domed ceiling we both knew it was right for us. We also thought that the hotel would be a great backdrop for our photographs in case the weather was really bad and we couldn’t have any outside, but luckily on the day we were able to get a mixture of both.

I’d definitely recommend The Palace Hotel as a wedding venue. It’s a beautiful setting for a wedding and the layout works really well. We liked the fact that the ceremony room was separate to where we had our wedding breakfast and the bar area had plenty of space for all the guests. The wedding organisers were very helpful, and on the day the service and staff were great. We didn’t have to worry about anything which is what you want on your wedding day.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (10)

When looking for wedding inspiration I loved rich, jewel colours, which I thought would be perfect for an autumnal wedding rather than the more pastel shades that you often see in spring and summer.  We decided to go for two colours in the end, a deep purple and a teal colour. The teal bridesmaid dresses were the first things I bought and I thought matching the exact colour of the dresses might be difficult which is why we introduced the purple colour. I loved the fact we had two colours and that everything didn’t have to match.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (12)

I love sparkles and lace so my wedding dress was the perfect combination of both. The dress was by Ellis from the Blossom Collection. I bought it from Timeless Bride in Poynton. Janine, the owner, is lovely and made the whole experience really great. I saw the dress on the shop’s website and when I tried it on I knew it was the one! I loved the keyhole back design and little details such as the staggered button back and the floral gem waistband, which made it different to other dresses I tried on.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (13)

Chris chose his own suit and I didn’t see it until the morning of the wedding! He did a brilliant job. He wore a navy blue morning suit with a dove grey waistcoat and gold tie. He hired the suit from Swarbricks but bought his shirt and tie from Charles Tyrwhitt.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (15)

My four best friends who were my bridesmaids wore floor-length teal dresses from Coast. I actually got them in the January sales so they were a great bargain. The groomsmen wore the same navy blue morning suits and grey waistcoat as Chris. We also bought the shirts and ties for them but they wore purple ties rather than gold.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (25)

A soon as I booked the wedding I knew I wanted Donna Crompton at The Halo Rooms to do mine and my bridesmaids’ hair. She’s fantastic at up dos and is great for ideas and inspiration. Donna also put me in touch with Louise Elliott, a freelance makeup artist who did my makeup on the day. It was great being pampered on the morning of the wedding and not having to worry about anything.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (27)

I decided I didn’t want to spend a lot on transport to the venue so I travelled in a black cab to the hotel with my brother who gave me away. My bridesmaids followed behind in a separate taxi. Chris stayed at the Palace Hotel the night before the wedding so he had no excuses for being late!

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (28)

We used James Tracey Photography for our photos, who we booked after he photographed my brother’s wedding the previous year. We loved James’ style of photography; he’s really friendly but also very professional and talented. He captured our day perfectly and we are so pleased with the lasting memories of our wedding day. We ended up with a great mix of more traditional and contemporary photos, especially the ones he took around Manchester city centre. I’d absolutely recommend James.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (29)

Before the wedding, I had a craft day with my bridesmaids where we created our bouquets. I liked that with artificial flowers I could create exactly what I wanted and not be restricted by what was available in terms of types of flowers and colours. It was also a cheaper alternative to fresh flowers and I’m able to keep my bouquet forever.

The Palace Hotel was great and helped with setting up our room on the day of the wedding. I had in my mind how I wanted the room to look and they recreated it perfectly. I provided mirrors, tea lights and scatter crystals for the guests’ tables and the hotel provided the candelabra. For the top table we had floating candles in glass vases as well as my bridesmaid bouquets. We also used Divine Designs who provided white chair covers with a purple sash to finish the room off.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (34)

Our favours also doubled up as our name places. Each guest had their name printed on a traditional sweetshop paper bag which we filled with a few pick ‘n’ mix sweets. Keeping on the sweet theme, our wedding cake was a gift from Chris’ parents. It was made by Joanne Howson at Imagicakes. It was three tiers – chocolate, lemon and carrot cake in a ‘bling and rose’ design. It looked stunning but it also tasted delicious!

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (41)

We both love music and knew we wanted some sort of entertainment for our evening reception. In the end we booked the Live Lounge Duo who are Danny Lee and Gary Kirk. They played a great mix of songs that got everyone up on the dance floor straight away. As part of our package they also provided a DJ, which was great for keeping the party going until late.

We also had a photo booth set up for the evening reception, which was great fun. All the guests enjoyed getting dressed up with the props they provide. The photos are printed instantly which was perfect as the guests all went home with a memento from the wedding. We hired the booth for a couple of hours from Phil Burdge at Digi-booth.net.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (47)

It’s hard to say my favourite part of the day as I really did love every minute of it, it’s such a special feeling. I think we both enjoyed the evening reception when the party got started. It’s so nice to have all your friends and family together celebrating with you and having a good time.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (54)

We went on a two week road trip to Las Vegas and California as we wanted an action packed honeymoon. We spent five nights in Vegas and then flew to San Diego for a couple of nights. From there we drove up the Pacific highway stopping at various places such as LA and Santa Barbara before we reached San Francisco for the last part of our honeymoon. It was amazing!

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be decide on the things that matter the most to you both about your day and spend your wedding budget on these things. It’s easy to get carried away and stress over things that won’t even matter to you on the day. Most of all, remember to enjoy it and have fun!

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lost in love. a styled bridal shoot in Manchester

December 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (55)

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… this bloomin’ beautiful styled bridal shoot in the heart of Manchester City Centre, that’s what.

Iconic backdrops, sexy styling and seriously stunning gowns.  What’s not to adore about this beautiful collection of images, styled by Vicky of Isla Jean Bridal Boutique and with images by Claire Penn Photography.

Let’s get lost in love…

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (9)

vicky says: The concept for the shoot was created whilst driving along Deansgate in Manchester at the height of rush hour.  Imagine being in such love with your other half that you are unaware of the people around you.

I decided that the new gowns from Belle and Bunty would be perfect dresses to fit in with my vision and I ended up running out of daylight time to fit all the planned gowns in!

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (15)

I decided to get in touch with a good friend, the amazing Claire Penn and asking whether she would like to be involved. She said yes straight away! From that point I started my mood board on the priceless Pinterest gathering images showing couples posing and being ‘connected’. This was mainly so I had some visual reference to show the models which would help to guide them.

After choosing the most gorgeous models, Erin and Tom (Nemesis Manchester) the date and destination was set.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (17)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (18)

The day ran really smoothly and the models, as you will see from the images just completely understood what we were trying to achieve and whilst only meeting hours earlier, really made it look like they had known each other for years and, best of all looked like they were utterly in love!

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (19)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (22)

As a Northern girl, I absolutely wanted to capture some of the most iconic landmarks in the city and we got to shoot in Piccadilly Train Station, Deansgate, The Great Northern Courtyard, the infamous Market Street and Liverpool Street.  I love the rawness  and honesty of both Market and Liverpool Street. As we were just about to call it a day in the train station, we were lucky to have a train just pulling in so managed to have the final images with lots of commuters passing us by. Needless to say we all finished on a massive high!

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (27)

The hair and make up was done by the lovely Sophie of Make Up by Sophie Battersby who specialises in all make up and hair but really excels in the vintage era look.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (34)

The photography by Claire Penn, captured my vision perfectly, using natural light and femininity Claire has managed to put my vision in images. Claire and I have worked together now on a couple of occasions and I have got to say I am so thankful to Claire as she has just understood me from day one.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (39)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (42)

The dresses!

I had a list of dresses I wanted to show but actually in real time, got to use four.   There are only so many hours in a day!

The dresses used were from the most lovely designers Belle and Bunty and the wonderful Lucille from Eliza Jane Howell. Each dress has movement and details, whether it be the detail of the beads or the sheer simplicity of beautiful silks each has its own magic. I wanted to show the movement of the gowns and how bringing style and the unexpected shapes of a gown really can make the most beautiful wedding gown.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (48)

The gorgeous wedding heels were by Charlotte Mills Bridal and flowers by Bloomin’ Lovely.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (52)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (61)

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silver screen. jenny packham for a 1920s inspired cinema wedding in Manchester – melanie & chris

September 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (25)

Let’s get the week of to a really fabulous start with this old Hollywood inspired – and super cool – cinema wedding in Manchester, sent to me by Brides Up North Sponsor Andrea of Fabulous Day wedding planning, and real bride Melanie.

Popcorn at the ready.  Roll film.

With images by Miki Photography.

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Melanie says: We got engaged in Wembley Stadium. We had spent the day at Wembley waiting to see my favourite artist Bruce Springsteen. When he played an acoustic version of Thunder Road to finish the set, Chris got down on one knee in the middle of the crowd and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!

We were married on 7th June 2014. With a World Cup year and Glastonbury tickets booked we were limited to which dates we could pick, we would hate to miss an important football match! The 7th June was sports and festival free! Our engagement was just under one year which was the timeframe we wanted.

We chose Cornerhouse Cinema on Oxford Road in Manchester. We wanted somewhere that we had been before and had a connection with. We’re not church people and we felt that the town hall was a right of passage for Mancunians – which neither of us are! So when we realised the Cornerhouse was licensed to do weddings, it was an easy decision to make. We go there regularly and it’s somewhere we enjoy spending time.

The cinema venue seemed to naturally lend itself to influence the theme for the day which was 1920s Hollywood glamour.

Tying in with the theme, we tried to keep the colours classic with deep navy, burgundy and rosewater (bridesmaid dresses) the main colours. The groom and the best men were in navy and our flowers were a mix of nude, rosewater and burgundy.

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My dress was ‘Eden’ by Jenny Packham which I bought from The White Closet in Didsbury.

Anyone who knows me will not that I’m not the girliest girl or someone who would be naturally drawn to a floor-length dress. I always thought I was too short to wear one. Originally I was looking for a tea-length dress. So I tried on many beautiful dresses but nothing seemed to click. Then the lady at The White Closet suggested ‘Eden’, immediately I said it wouldn’t suit me but she encouraged me to try it ‘even just to rule it out’, when I put it on I couldn’t believe how it looked and I knew straight away that this was the dress for such a special occasion.

Chris wore a tailor made suit which was made in Italy but measured and designed at Doherty Evans & Stott in Manchester. It wasn’t cheap but their service was perfect, not too stuffy but very informative in terms of etiquettes. Chris learned some valuable life lessons!

The bridesmaids wore floor length twobirds dresses in Rosewater, ordered through The White Closet and the groomsmen wore navy blue suits from Austin Reed.

I carried an orchid bouquet, provided by a great little florist in the Northern Quarter called Frog Flowers.

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I was chauffeured to the venue in a classic Jaguar. It was beautiful, really classy and fitted with our theme really nicely. It was provided by Platinum Wedding Cars who were great, particularly the driver who held the brolly at the photo shoot with aplomb!

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Mick from Miki Photography was our photographer on the day and I would 100% recommend him to anyone. He was upbeat, organised and a total pro on the day, as well as being a great guy and easy to get along with.

Mick made us feel comfortable and relaxed and played a big part in bringing a relaxed atmosphere to the wedding.

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We packaged up traditional cinema sweets to give out to the guests: popcorn for some and pick and mix for others.

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We had a beer brewed for the occasion – a light, citrus IPA (my favourite) from local Manchester brewery Blackjack Beers.

We had a four-course menu of asparagus with pancetta, sea bass, steak and then chocolate brownie. The first two courses were paired with a white Gavi and the latter were paired with a red Nero D’avola. During the meal tasting we tried several wines and we felt like these were the best options to suit all tastes.

We wanted a four course menu to extend the length of the meal to really appreciate and enjoy it. We followed the meal with a special selection of Whisky, Port and Sherry chosen by my father.

We had a red velvet two-tiered cake with coconut buttercream icing piped in a floral pattern. The cake was made by Bakeorama (Charlotte) who provides the cakes for Home Sweet Home in the Northern Quarter.

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My favourite part of the day was the drinks reception we had at the Cornerhouse immediately after the ceremony, and it was just a great chance to go and soak up everyone’s excitement and share that feeling with all our close friends and family.

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We used props and uplighters from i Catching based in Hyde. The props were really cool, and they were really helpful and easy to deal with so would definitely recommend them as well.

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In the evening, we had a photo booth with fancy-dress accessories which provided good fun for everyone.

We also had a local band, The Coolers, play two fantastic sets. Our good friend Roger Hughes works in the music industry organising session bands and wedding bands so we left the music in his more than capable hands, he even played keyboard on the night!

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We were getting a lot of help from my Dad and Step-mum in organising the wedding, and since they were living abroad at the time they decided to get some help with a wedding planner, Andrea from Fabulous Day. At first we weren’t sure we needed it, but by the end of the day we knew the day wouldn’t have been the same without her. Absolutely everything was taken care of and we were all able to relax and totally enjoy the day. 100% recommend her services to anyone.

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We went to Croatia two days after the wedding. We spent the first four nights in a private villa on Vis Island in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. It was lovely and peaceful where we could just relax in the aftermath of the wedding. We then had three nights in Split, just as the World Cup started, so we were able to catch some games on the big screens!

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Everybody advised us to soak up every moment of the day and try to take it all in because it goes by in a flash. This was brilliant advice and I think we both tried to do it and really enjoy every minute of the day. There were some nerves at times, but we didn’t let it get the better of us and we just had enjoyed the day.

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