Brides Up North

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.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (4)

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.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (6)

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.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (7)

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!

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (8)

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.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (12)

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

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (15)

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.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (17)

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.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (21)

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.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (24)

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!

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (26)

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.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (32)

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!

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (36)

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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summer lovin’. a wedding in manchester – samantha & ben

August 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a summer wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Victoria Franks Photography  (14)

This afternoon wedding photographer Samantha Broadley finds herself on the other side of the lens, as she shares her bright and beautiful (destination) wedding in Manchester with Brides Up North.

With images by Victoria Franks Photography.

a summer wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Victoria Franks Photography  (5)

Samantha says: We were married on 26th July 2013. I’ve always wanted a summer wedding in the hope we might get some sunshine, and we did!

We tied the knot at Manchester Town Hall. Neither of us are from Manchester but it is where we met and where we have started our lives together, so Manchester will always have a special place in our hearts. As well as the exterior of the building the interior is beautiful and believe it or not, not a lot of people have been inside.  None of our guests had a clue what it was like, so they were blown away with the grandeur of it all. The reception was at The Mere Golf Resort and Spa, just because it’s quite simply beautiful, and had all the facilities we wanted.

We didn’t have a specific theme, but a lot did revolve around Manchester. My invites and name cards for the tables all had Manchester skyline on them.  Our table names were places we’d been together that were special, for example, Brooklyn Bridge as we walked across there for my 21st, Syndey ANZ Stadium as we watched Australia v New Zealand there (Ben’s a big rugby fan) and our top table was of course  Manchester Town Hall.

a summer wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Victoria Franks Photography  (12)

a summer wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Victoria Franks Photography  (20)

Being a wedding photographer, I have seen lots of different colour themes and I wanted something different. I would have loved to get married abroad but our grandparents wouldn’t have been able to fly and it was important to us to have them there. I wanted to bring the brightness and boldness of a destination wedding to Manchester, so I chose shades of teal with coral and pink flowers.

I chose a Mori Lee dress from The Bridal Collection in Lancaster. I was torn between two dresses, both completely different.  One had a lot of lace detail and was a fish tail, the other had more ruffles and had a sweet heart neckline. I decided to go for the ruffles as it reminded me of a Spanish flamenco dress, again bringing the abroad feel back in for me.

Ben wore a light grey three piece suit from Slaters in Manchester. We bought the suits instead of hiring them, after all he’s more likely to wear his suit again than I am to wear my dress.

The Bridesmaid dresses were from In Wedding Dress, I was very conscious of the price of the bridesmaids dresses as I had six attendants, so I spent a lot of time researching.

a summer wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Victoria Franks Photography  (19)

I’m not very good with flowers, knowing the names and what’s in season. I just found a few pictures of the sort of bouquet I liked, I showed the lovely florists my pictures and colour ideas at Lune Valley Home & Garden Florist and they came up with the rest. My trust in them was well placed my flowers were beautiful.

Decor wise, I bought paper lanterns which were hung in the trees outside in the garden at The Mere Golf Resort with fairy lights wrapped round the terrace. We dotted some vintage style tea light holders around the tables outside. We had table flowers included in our package and I just paid a bit extra to have a few more flowers added. The entertainment was more important to me rather than decorating the room.

For the ceremony and for the arrival drinks we booked a singer and guitarist called Rob Yates, I’ve seen him at a number of other weddings and I’ve always loved what he does.

We also had a singing waiter, Jamie Reeves. After being to so many weddings I know there can be a little lull after the desserts waiting for the speeches and this is when Jamie came in.  He was a complete surprise to everyone especially as he’d been serving most of them earlier. Only Ben, my maid of honour and I knew about him, so to see everyone’s faces was so funny.

We knew what we wanted from the very beginning for our favours. Ben sadly lost his Dad when he was 11 to Cancer so instead of spending money on little presents for everyone we donated money to Cancer Research and we had the ribbon badges. It’s lovely looking back at the pictures as everyone’s wearing them so in a way it’s like Ben’s Dad was there.

Ben and I are known for having parties and making Vodka Jellies, so we couldn’t have the biggest party of our lives go without them. They were supposed to be welcome drinks for our evening guests but I don’t think they got a look in!

a summer wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Victoria Franks Photography  (25)

The transport was very important to me on the day and my dad let us use his pride and joy, his Mercedes SL convertible. I was praying for sunshine so we could have the roof down and it worked. My Dad drove me from The Mere Golf Resort where we got ready to the Town Hall, it was nice as we got time completely on our own. Then after the Ceremony Ben drove me back and my Dad had a ‘Just Married’ reg plate made for the photographs which was a nice surprise.

Being a photographer the photographs where at the top of my to do list so as soon as I had the venues booked the photographer was next, as I know how soon dates can go. I chose my friend Victoria Franks Photography. I was more than happy with the photographs. On the day she was amazing, it’s so important you get along with your photographer as you do spend a lot of time with them on the day, so it’s good to have someone you can feel relaxed and have a laugh with.

a summer wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Victoria Franks Photography  (23)

We loved all of it, but I thinkmy favourite moment was the first dance.  When Ben proposed he also bought me tickets to see Coldplay at the Etihad in Manchester and  it was amazing. We wanted to relive that experience for our first dance so chose ‘Paradise’.  Everyone loved it and got involved, all the people you love on one dance first floor, perfect.

a summer wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Victoria Franks Photography  (37)

We went travelling in 2009 and one of the places we never got to was Malaysia so it was on the top of our list when it came to our honeymoon. As the weather over there isn’t great in July we went to Palma in Majorca for a mini moon for three nights the day after the wedding but  I couldn’t wait for the main one.  We went away for three weeks over Christmas and New Year. It was nice to have a break between the wedding and the real honeymoon, it meant it wasn’t all over straight away.

We started off in Kuala Lumpur for 3 nights, then over to Langkawi for 8 Days, Penang for Christmas, finishing it off in our favourite place for New Years Eve in Singapore. It was all amazing, if only every holiday could be like that.

a summer wedding at Manchester Town Hall (c) Victoria Franks Photography  (47)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make it as personal as you can, don’t get wrapped up in what a wedding ‘should be’ and do what you both want to do.

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Real Wedding Recap Summer 2014: In Deep. A Real Wedding At Victoria Baths, Manchester – Laura & Nathan

June 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, 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 7th July 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  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.

James Tracey Photography

Back in February when I blogged an interview with our wonderful Featured Supplier and ex copper, James Tracey Photography, I led the piece with an image of a beaming bride at a colourful altar and over on Facebook lots of you fell in love with her.  Later that week I featured Laura and Nathan’s fabulously cool and quirky swimming pool wedding (yes, I’ve never seen one of those before either!) in all it’s glory. 

This still has to be one of my favourites to date.

With images by James Tracey Photography. 

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

Laura says:  We got engaged in October 2013 in Saint-Cirq Lapopie (in the South of France). We were on our holiday with our six month old baby boy and Nathan got a sudden urge to ask me to marry him. It was a beautiful spot by the river. It wasn’t planned so he found a twig and tied it in a knot around my wedding finger.

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

We have been together for 18 years (we met at school when we were 16!) and finally tied the knot on 27th May 2013 at Victoria Baths, Manchester. 

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

Victoria Baths is part of the restoration project. It was opened in 1906 as a swimming baths and Turkish baths.  The restoration of the building begin in 1995. It is a beautiful old building with ornate stain glass windows. One day they hope to restore the swimming pools themselves and open it up again to the public.

We actually got married in the old male swimming pool in the deep end!

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

We wanted to get married somewhere that was a little different and allowed us to do what we wanted.  Victoria Baths allows you to hire out the entire building and you are able to bring your own caterers, music and decorations in.

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

We wanted the day to be very relaxed with a feel of a street party. No formalities so everyone could relax and have fun!  We chose a colour scheme of pale pink and green.

The bridesmaids wore pink dresses and the groom, best man and ushers wore pink ties.  The tiles of the swimming baths are green so we hung pink and green paper pom poms from the ceiling along with bunting.

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

I wanted something every simple for my wedding dress. I visited Jane Bourvis in London after a friend recommended her. Jane owns a small shop in Notting Hill and as soon as you walk in you are greeted with antique lace hanging from the ceiling. Jane told me she had just restored some lace the night before. She dressed me in a pale cream slip and placed the lace petticoat over the top. It was stunning and a one off. I bought it within half an hour of walking into the shop. I just felt special. There was a story behind it too as an elderly lady in Scotland had found her mothers veil in the loft and that was what Jane used to create the dress – old Scottish lace.

James Tracey Photography

The bridesmaids each wore a lace dress which I bought from a beach side shop in Cape Town. I just saw them and knew they would match the dress and that each of the bridesmaids would like the style.

Nathan wore a tailored suit from A Suit That Fits. The best man and ushers wore their own suits with a pink tie.

James Tracey Photography

My friend has a beautiful old beetle called Gracie. He came to the hotel to pick me up (complete with a flat cap) and drove me to the baths.

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

It was a family affair!  My cousin is a register so he married us and my other cousin works at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) so he arrange for four different bands to play:  a string quartet to walk down the aisle to, an acoustic guitar whist we drank fizz, a two piece acoustic band and a 9 piece disco band.  Amazing!

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

I carried a simple vintage style bouquet made by Manchester Flower Company.

James Tracey Photography #

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

I especially enjoyed the vows and turning around to see everybody we loved.

James Tracey Photography #

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

After the ceremony we arranged for a tour guide to show people around the building as it’s so historic with lots of amazing stories behind it.

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

10 of my closest friends and family made cakes for the deserts. There were some amazing cakes ranging from carrot cake, lemon drizzle and early great tea muffins. Everyone just helped themselves.

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

We had 45 children at the wedding so we had to provide entertainment. We hired two nanny’s to look after the babies and provided lots of toys. We hired a bouncy castle to go in the female pool and we created a cinema with a big screen and lots of popcorn and bean bags so the kids to watch a film. It was nice as the adults could have a rest and enjoy the fizz.

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

At the end of the day we planned a big surprise for everyone. We didn’t know how well it would go down. We hired 150 headsets and held a silent disco in the main hall. At first everyone didn’t quite know what to make of it. By the end of the night everyone was dancing their hearts out. We had three different channels with different types of music. There was some crazy dancing going on.

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography

We went to the Lake District for a few days after the wedding and found cosy pubs to relax in.  Bliss!

James Tracey Photography

I kept sneaking away for a few minutes every now and again – either with Nathan or own my own to just catch my breath and smile. So my top tip for other Brides Up North would be that it’s nice to stop for a few minutes and reflect on things throughout the day itself.

James Tracey Photography

Congratulations Laura & Nathan!

Would you like to see your own Real Wedding on these pages?  Here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 James Tracey Photography

James Tracey Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Vibrance & Joy. Fabulous Photographers: Dotmoxee Photography PLUS Discount For Wedding Blog Readers

February 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime

 Dotmoxee Photography

Whilst there’s nothing I like better than getting stuck into blogging a full Real Wedding feature for an individual couple (and you can see that we have covered quite a few – ok, hundreds – of those over the years), but recently I’ve enjoyed putting together our Fabulous Photographer features too.

Each supplier showcase gives an insight into the photographer’s work and personality, but also opens the door on lots of gorgeous wedding days that we might not otherwise share. 

It seems a Dotmoxee Photography bride and groom can expect a wedding day full of wide smiles, vibrant colour, special touches, quirky details, and most of all – an amazing set of images at the end of it all.

So let’s meet Emilie & John-Paul, the duo who together make up Dotmoxee Photography, our newest Brides Up North Featured Supplier. 

 Dotmoxee Photography

How did you get into wedding photography?

After both studying photography at university, we were introduced through mutual friends one Christmas Eve four years ago in our local pub. The conversation instantly took off as we began sharing our interests and love for photography and film.

After a few meet ups and many ideas later, we began planning our photography business partnership. It wasn’t until we were asked to photograph a friend’s wedding that we caught the wedding bug and haven’t looked back since.

 Dotmoxee Photography

 Dotmoxee Photography

 Dotmoxee Photography

Why wedding photography specifically?

Although we both come from very different photographic backgrounds (fashion, music and advertising) we were both heavily involved with documentary and street photography. Weddings offer a perfect environment for us to tell a story and we love the unpredictability each moment has. Also the fact that each wedding is so different, it’s a new challenge for us to approach with a fresh pair of eyes.

Dotmoxee Photography

What is your favourite thing about being wedding photographers?

The fact that we have constant excitement where it’ll take us, and all the incredible places we get to photograph. Also meeting our couples, who are all amazing and unique in their own way. We love hearing about their plans and being part of the journey and excitement – a journey that leaves them with our photographs. That’s pretty special in our book.

Dotmoxee Photography

Dotmoxee Photography

Dotmoxee Photography

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Mr & Mrs Perfect. A Real Wedding In Manchester – Gemma & Nigel

February 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Stella Photography

Yes, that really is today’s bride and groom’s married name – Mr & Mrs Perfect.  Don’t you love it.  No pressure or anything..!  Anyway, it turns out that their gorgeous Real Wedding in Manchester was pretty much that – a chic and simple and prettily perfect winter city wedding. 

With images by Stella Photography.

Stella Photography

Gemma says:  Nigel asked me to marry him on 1st December 2012, on Llanmadoc beach in Wales, on a weekend away. It was a beautiful isolated beach on a lovely crisp winter’s day.

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

We were married on 23rd November 2013.  We had the ceremony at Manchester Town Hall, and the reception at The Place Apartment Hotel, a converted cotton warehouse in central Manchester. 

Stella Photography

We wanted everything to be indoors, firstly because it is Manchester, so it was more than likely to rain, and secondly because of the time of year. We had looked at country locations, but decided that as we had so many guests coming not only from over this country but also from abroad, the city centre would be best for travel from the airport, train or the motorway. Also, we live very close to the city centre, so going in to see our wedding coordinator at the venue, and meeting local suppliers was so much easier than if we had picked somewhere far away.  Manchester Town Hall is a stunning old building, with high stained glass windows so we felt it added to the occasion. The Place is beautifully restored, maintaining many original features such as red brick walls and steel columns. 

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Our theme was simplicity.  The venue for the reception made it seem urban chic and we also teamed this with a vintage feel with the flower displays – very natural, in small glass bottles and jars – and hand-tied favours with luggage tag labels.

The wedding was mainly white and ivory, however my husband had decided that he wanted to wear his kilt, in the family tradition, so I picked a dark forest green for the bridesmaids to match this. 

Stella Photography#

My dress was from The Staite Rooms in Huddersfield. It was a Maggie Sottero gown (Geneva), fitted to the waist and slightly over the hips, and had a long train. The top layer was a delicate lace with floral adornments, and a a band in light mocha under the bust, which made it look quite different to any I had seen before. I loved my long train!  The dress was strapless which I didn’t think I would like when trying on dresses, but it fit beautifully with a lace-up back.

My bridesmaids wore full length forest green chiffon dresses from Fairytale Occasions in Bury. The groomsmen wore kilts in a similar style to my husband, our fathers wore black suits to match the kilt jackets. These were all hired from Slaters.

I had a fantastic hair & makeup artist come to make up myself, my bridesmaids, my mother and mother-in-law at the hotel, Jodie Smith, also based in Manchester.

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

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Real Wedding Recap Winter 2013: Low Key Lovely. Pronovias For A Real Wedding In Manchester –Nichola & Neil

December 27th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.

 

Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013.  Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.

 

 Adam Riley Photography

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What Nichola and Neil’s Real Wedding lacks in fiddly detail, it makes up for class.  I love their low key yet expertly styled celebration in the North’s capital of cool.  This is how it’s done, people.

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With images by Adam Riley Photography and video by Unforgettable Memories.

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 Adam Riley Photography

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Nichola says:  We got engaged in August 2010 in Sicily. We had taken a trip to Mount Etna to watch the sunset. We watched the sunset together and then Neil asked me to marry him producing the most gorgeous pearl and diamond ring

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 Adam Riley Photography

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 Adam Riley Photography

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We had a Catholic ceremony at St.Mary’s Church, Levensulme (our local church) followed by a reception at the Radisson Edwardian in Manchester City Centre on 6th April 2013.

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Having both grown up in Manchester we wanted a wedding that really reflected our love of the city. Neil is an architect so the venue was really important to us. We had quite a large wedding as we are both from big Irish families and have big groups of friends we have grown up with so finding a venue we loved that was big enough was a struggle.

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When we walked into the Radisson at a wedding fair we knew it was perfect. It was the right size and it had character to it that other venues just didn’t have.  I work in customer service and being a 5 star hotel knew that we would get first class service which was the top of my priority list.

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We had two key themes for the day, pearls and lace from a decoration point of view but also Manchester and Music.

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The Radisson was once a music venue (The Lesser Free Trade Hall) and Neil loves music so we created invitations that looked like gig tickets, our table gift was a CD of music from artists that had played at the Free Trade Hall and the table names were all artist that had played at the venue.

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I wanted to keep the decorations as low key as possible as I really wanted to do these myself. I collected glass jars for months with the help of family and friends and we filled them with pearls and candles and covered them in lace. I bought hessian to make runners for the table and for around some of the jars too. We really wanted everything to feel personal and ‘us’ so the invites, table plans, place names and order of service were all designed and created by us.

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We kept everything quite neutral. My dress was ivory and the bridesmaids’ dresses matched too. The stationary was all created using brown card to match the hemp.

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I choose a Pronovias dress from the Bridal Path in Althrincham. I must have gone to nearly 10 shops and always fell in love with a dress in each one but never committed to buying them.

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When I tried this dress on I knew it was the one, the lace was amazing and I really wanted lace in the dress. I loved the detail on the straps and waistline and adored the way the skirt fell.

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The bridesmaids wore gorgeous lace dresses in the same colour as mine so they were very classic and they looked amazing next to my dress. I bought the dresses from Marks and Spencer as we didn’t want to spend huge amounts of money on ‘typical’ bridesmaids dresses that had no character.

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The men’s suits were from Groom in Wilmslow. We didn’t want a traditional tails/morning suit as when we looked at these the fabric was stiff and stuffy. We had wanted Navy all along as Neil has a lovely navy suit at home and the colour looks great on him. We had been to a lot of places looking at suits but the minute we walked in groom we saw the perfect suit. The material was lovely, clearly great quality, and the accessories were perfect for the colour scheme.

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We used Knutsford Bloom for the flowers. I wanted to bring in some spring colours in the flowers as everything else was so neutral and Bridget was brilliant helping us pick and the flowers were amazing on the day.

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I carried a medium hand tied bouquet with gorgeous yellows, pinks and blue to bring some colour to the day and tie in the suits.  The bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet.

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The special touches for us were the personal side of things, making all the stationery and decorations. Picking all the church readings, prayers and hymns ourselves meant we picked things that really meant something to us as a couple and not just standard wedding words

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My favourite part of the day was getting to say I do and finally marry Neil (after nearly 10 years together) with all our friends and family there to watch.

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We didn’t want to spend too much money on transport for ourselves on the day so we only booked one vintage cream car that could take the wedding party ahead of my Dad and Me. Then after the ceremony Neil and I took the car while the guests travelled in two vintage double decker buses to the hotel. Our photographer jumped on the buses to take some pictures of all the guests and really captured the atmosphere of the day.

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Our photographer was Adam Riley a reportage style photographer. We both agreed we didn’t want anything too posed on the day (apart from the family shots for the mums!) and photography was really important to us. Adam was an amazing choice and we were so happy with what he created for us. He captured the day in a way we could not have imagined and everyone has said how unique and fantastic the pictures are. The hard part now comes in picking which ones to put in the album!

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We wanted some time for just me and Neil to walk around some of the important places in Manchester that held a place in our hearts to have some pictures captured, Adam was so on board with this idea and had met Neil in the week before the wedding to walk around to the different spots and work out a plan for the day.

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We had decided not to have a video on the day due to budget but Neil’s mum planned a surprise for us and got the details of a videographer, Craig at Unforgettable Memories Films. She told Neil about the surprise and he met with Craig ahead of the wedding to talk everything through. When Craig turned up at the house the morning of the wedding it was such a shock and I couldn’t have been happier.

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For the cake we used Richard’s Cakes. My father, sister and myself all have a gluten free diet so we needed someone who could cater to this. We had decided to have individual cakes as dessert also so wanted something that looked like a dessert. The cakes were beautiful and so tasty.

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Having a big Irish crowd and also lots of friends who love to party at the wedding meant that the entertainment was really important to us. We choose a local DJ, Andy Murphy, and a local Irish band, The Last Drop.

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We know Andy well and he was fantastic, he came round to the house in the run up to the wedding to talk through how things would run on the night. Andy really knows how to pick songs to keep the crowd happy. We were struggling with a first dance choice as Neil is so into his music but not big on dancing! We settled on The Stone Roses – This Is The One. It went down a storm.

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The band were great and worked brilliantly with Andy to make sure everything ran smoothly and the dance floor was always busy.

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We went to America for three weeks on our honeymoon. We really wanted the trip of a lifetime. We started in Vegas and travelled to the west coast from Yosemite down to San Diego stopping at lots of places on the way.  It was the most amazing three weeks we could have had.

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My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to make the day personal to you. It will help you have the day you want and its great when everyone you love has a good time because of what you plan.

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Make sure you take some time for the two of you, its hard but you will love having sometime taking it all in. We had that when we went of for pictures and I am so glad we did as the day flew by so quick.

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Congratulations Nichola & Neil!

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Want to see your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Here’s how!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Adam Riley Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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All About Us. A Bespoke Gown For A Real Wedding At The Bowdon Rooms, Cheshire – Hayley & Damian

August 14th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Jonny Back Photography

I adore everything about today’s wedding.  The venue, which I happen to know rather well (The Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition reprises at The Bowdon Rooms on Sunday 3rd November – have YOU pre-registered yet?), the relaxed ethos, the bespoke gown, the blue velvet bridesmaids, and most of all, the spirit of the bride herself. 

I’ve never met Hayley, but I have a feeling that I’d like her a lot.  Take it away my dear…

With images by Jonny Back.

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A Cracking Pair! A Real Engagement In Manchester – Ashley & Matthew

July 30th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Cassandra Lane Photography

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I’m over in Cheshire this evening to help my friends and wedding industry colleagues Emma and Jonny Draper of Love Bridal Boutique celebrate their first year in business.  Hasn’t that flown by?  I first met the lovely couple at my last Brides Up North Tweet up North West back in June 2012 at the stunning Belle Époque in Knutsford, so it seems rather apt that that’s where today’s lovebirds – Ashley and Matthew – plan to tie the knot.

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With a beautiful set of images by their photographer Cassandra Lane, let’s meet them and hear their love story. 

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Ashley says:  We got engaged on1st June 2012, Matt made my favourite meal at home and proposed in a candle lit living room, which was perfect for me as I don’t like a big fuss and large crowds would have intimidated me.  We are getting married at The Belle Époque, in Knutsford, Cheshire in August 2013. 

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We met at the most romantic of places… the office. We caught each other’s gaze over the staplers and filing cabinets. It was the archetypal Hollywood moment.

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We went on a few many ‘first’ dates, I know that seems odd but as there was no label on the evening, each one held the same nervous and excited butterflies. But there are a few places that hold special memories for us, one in particular; at 5:30am in the morning after a night of dancing in a Manchester pub that will always bring a smile to our faces.

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I knew that he was the one for me when we were sat on a hillside at a festival called Green Man. We were sharing a box of mashed potato and told each other at that moment that we loved one another.

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Matthew is hilarious and a fantastic listener, he is so adventurous and incredibly friendly. He just makes me comfortable to be me and is very loving. 

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Matthew says:  Ashley is the most beautiful, caring and wonderful person I have ever met, that and she has a cracking pair of baps!

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In married life we wish for lots of adventures, love and happiness. Oh and some matching “Mr and Mrs” dressing gowns.

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The engagement shoot was pretty fun and we would like to say that we have made a new friend along the path, which is what it is all about really!  it was wonderful to do it in the library. We both like culture and history and we felt this was reflected in the location. Cassandra our photographer made us feel very relaxed and we learned some interesting facts about the place itself!

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Congratulations Ashley & Matthew!

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Would you like to share your engagement news or love story with Brides Up North? Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Cassandra Lane

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Black & White & Red All Over: A Delectably Dark City Wedding At Malmaison Manchester: Laura & Simon

May 13th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Andy Wardle Photography

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It was their way or the highway for Laura and Simon’s simple yet gorgeously gothic Real Wedding in Manchester city centre, with beautiful results.  With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Andy Wardle Photography this black and white and red all over wedding (organised in just four weeks!) is a little monochrome masterpiece. 

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Laura says: Simon asked me to marry him on my birthday at a little pub in Rowley near Matlock which is special to us and we tied the knot on 30th of August 2012.  The ceremony was at Manchester Town Hall and our reception was at Malmaison Manchester. 

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We didn’t want to get married in a church as neither of us are religious but we did want a bit of gothic grandeur so the Town Hall was the perfect place. We also spend a lot of time in Manchester so it was nice to have our wedding venue as somewhere we pass on a regular basis. We chose Malmaison for the reception because we love the bold style of the decor. We also wanted somewhere we could go back to on our anniversary – oh! and they had to make good non-alcoholic cocktails which was essential as I was five months pregnant!

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We wanted laid back and intimate, city centre chic with an edge which Andy has captured beautifully in his photos. Neither of us wanted a big production, so we kept it simple and did everything ourselves. We built everything around us as a couple – the venues, the music, the guest list, the decorations – if it didn’t mean something to us it wasn’t part of our wedding.

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I bought my dress online from a bridal shop in Kent, I wanted a Grecian style dress and I fell in love with the simplicity of this one.  Simon wore a Ted Baker suit.  We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen as we wanted to keep things informal. 

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My bouquet was really simple red and white roses with beargrass and green foliage . 

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Andy Wardle Photography was our only supplier – it was important that we got a set of photographs that told the story of our day, with a style that we loved – Andy was the perfect choice.

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We tried to do as much as possible ourselves because we wanted our wedding day to reflect us – we even dressed the rooms the night before the wedding ourselves.

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Our special touch was to select and mix our own music – music is important to both of us so we spent a lot of time getting it just perfect.

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We had three playlists – one for the ceremony, one for the meal and one for the party. We made the mixes from songs that meant something to us, it meant we had the perfect atmosphere and gave the guests something to laugh at when the more embarrassing selections got played.

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We had a Daisy and Donald wedding cake, made by Simon’s brother in law. I didn’t see it until the day and I was so happy, he did such an amazing job. 

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The whole day was really special – it is really difficult to pick one highlight. We had some time to walk around Manchester’s Northern Quarter with our photographer to get some shots of just us – that was fun and we got some great photos. 

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After the wedding we honeymooned in Paris and Disneyland Paris. 

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We organised and had our wedding within four weeks of setting the date and got everything we wanted. We worked really hard and everything fell into place. The best thing about doing it this way was that there was no post wedding ‘come down’ as I think some people get, we were so happy to have pulled off our perfect day in such a short space of time!

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Congratulations Laura & Simon!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North – here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Andy Wardle Photography

Andy Wardle Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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