March 6th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
February 24th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
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
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.
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!
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.
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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February 23rd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
January 31st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding is brimming with gorgeousness. Elisa and Mick didn’t worry about a theme and put all of their energy instead into planning a big day that was light on formality but big on love, laidback vibes and, err, Minions. Yes, that’s right – Minions.
Bride Elisa also gets the award for one of the most beautiful statements about weddings on this blog ever: “I thought I’d cry on my wedding day, but I smiled all day long.” Sob. Get the tissues at the ready, readers…
With images by Toni Darcy.
elisa says: We got engaged on 4th April 2015 in the Lake District. We spent a long weekend staying at the luxury Lake House hotel. After a private spa trail in the afternoon, Mick proposed in traditional romantic style on a rowing boat on the lake. I’m not a huge fan of boats but it was very romantic regardless!
We got married on Saturday 12th September. We chose the date around the availability of the venue and because we wanted to get married quite quickly. My mum was very ill, and passed away a few months after the wedding.
We got married at the Great John Street Hotel. We chose it because we wanted something a little different, we love the centre of Manchester and we thought the terrace would be fantastic if we managed to get a sunny day – which, amazingly, we did! Overall, we liked the chilled out atmosphere of the hotel, the décor, the fact our family and friends could stay at the hotel, and the fact that we could make the day our own.
I remember being quite scared by the ‘so what’s your theme?’ question. We really wanted our wedding to be relaxed and fun, particularly because so many children were attending, so we threw in the odd Minion along with floral dresses for the bridesmaids!
We didn’t have a particular colour scheme – a decision made because of the relaxed feel we wanted to create. I wanted the bridesmaid dresses to be a bit different and not just one colour, so picked out a beautiful floral fabric and had them made.
With my own dress, I chose the first one that the lady in the shop suggested I try on. No other dress could live up to it, even though I tried more on. I remember feeling shocked at how amazing I felt I looked in a wedding dress – she clearly knew how her to do her job well! I loved the fact that it wasn’t ‘big’, I loved the beautiful lace and the small train which had a slightly vintage feel to it.
The bridal shop I visited was Blush in Uppermill, Saddleworth where we live; it was important to me that we supported our local businesses even though we’d chosen the centre of Manchester for the venue.
December 27th, 2016 | Julia Braime
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Today’s real wedding is nothing short of stunning and we’re struggling to peel ourselves away from it – be warned, you too may face the same problem.
In a wedding that celebrates both love and the city of Manchester, we are bowled over by all elements: from the natural blooms and cute honeybee touches to the stunning attire and décor. Oh, and that cake – seriously, that cake #toobeautiful
With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.
chorcha says: We got engaged while celebrating my birthday with friends at an urban picnic in Downtown Dubai. Quite a few of those who were there were in on it – so we have some wonderful video footage of the moment. Our engagement was typically us – in front of our dearest friends (who have become like family as we are ex-pats) and loud!
Our wedding took place on 3rd April. Spring and Easter time in England is typically bright and crisp. We figured if we picked a date around this time we would be safe from the grey Manchester skies – and boy, were we lucky!
Manchester Town Hall was our chosen ceremony venue. Glen and I met in Manchester 12 years ago, and then met again in Dubai three years ago. We are both originally from Manchester and both moved to Dubai for work (not at the same time). Living away from such a great city really does strengthen your appreciation and love for the place. Whenever we get time for a holiday, all we want to do is go back home to Manchester! Don’t get me wrong, Dubai is great – but it doesn’t beat cobbles, rain, gravy with your chippy and that wonderful Manc spirit!
The city’s town hall is such a beautiful building – a real icon of Manchester. It was a simple decision for us, why pay a fortune for a country manor when this gorgeous piece of the city’s heritage is everything you need and more!
Our reception was held at Mr Cooper’s House & Garden at The Midland Hotel. The restaurant is by Michelin star chef, Simon Rogan, therefore the food was absolutely outstanding! The venue itself being in Manchester’s oldest hotel is steeped in heritage with gorgeous original features and that typical Manchester quirkiness. Both venues are only a one-minute walk from each other, which meant our guests could walk between the two!
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August 31st, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Today on the blog we have a little something for you urban brides out there.
In response to brides-to-be commenting that while there is plenty of inspiration for couples marrying in the countryside but there isn’t so much for those planning city centre celebrations, Lancaster-based wedding photographer Arusha set about creating a retro styled bridal shoot set against bold Manchester backgrounds.
The result is a strong collection of edgy images that show a wedding in a built-up area can be just as striking as those in rolling countryside, with brick, graffiti and even metal shutters providing standout photo opportunities.
To explain more about the looks created and areas visited, we’ll hand over the blog to the lady who captured all the action…
With images by Arusha’s Images Photography.
arusha says: I spent many years living and working in Manchester, and the city was the inspiration for this shoot. I love the old backstreets there, the mix of modern apartments, and old alleyways. I think that the bright statement graffiti of the Northern Quarter brings so much life to the city. By contrast I also wanted to include a more modern background, and Salford Quays and The Lowry are perfect for that, with all the glass, metal and clean lines.
Working as part of a two-man team with hair stylist and makeup artist Hannah Wells, of Beau Tink Studio, my aim for the shoot was to inspire my urban brides to get creative, and to show some different bridal looks and locations in the city.
I photograph a whole range of weddings, and in that process I have found that city and retro brides-to-be have often commented that they feel there is a stronger focus on more countryside and boho style weddings when they are looking for inspiration for their day. I love a bohemian country wedding, but I also love bold city weddings, with the strong urban backgrounds that cities provide. I also wanted to show that a little bit of retro and grunge can be stunning on a wedding day.
I coordinated the styling, choosing to buy as brightly coloured flowers as I could for the bouquet, and tied them with a simple ribbon, which we were able to add rainbow streamer ribbons to as the shoot went on.
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