July 25th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
When Rebecca and James’ Christmas wedding dropped into our inbox we simply couldn’t believe our luck. In Rebecca we saw a kindred spirit: a girl hell-bent on gorgeousness, glamour, sequins and a festive berry lip. Plus, she tells a blummin’ good story, not just spilling all the pretty details (obvs) but also gets across a real sense of the laughter and love they shared with their guests on the day. All the goosebumps.
Our highlight? Well, that Ritva Westenius gown is a beauty – a slinky statement of a dress with a simple, timeless silhouette – and the gallery setting is something very special indeed – but if the Brides Up North team could direct you to just one detail it would be that makeup. An education in how to do bridal glamour right there. You’re very welcome.
With images by Shane Webber.
rebecca says: We got engaged in 2015 while on holiday in Singapore (this makes us sound very extravagant – it was a treat!) We were sitting drinking cocktails at the long bar in Raffles (as you do), munching away on the complimentary monkey nuts (as you do), when I looked down to see that one had a ring around it. Cue floods of tears from me for the next hour – the poor barmaid didn’t know what was going on. It was a complete surprise (although there may have been some, ahem, gentle encouragement from me in the months proceeding) and the happiest moment of my life (pre-wedding!)
Initially we looked at a September wedding, but struggled to match up availability of our venue and the registrar. I also had a niggling idea about a winter wedding that wouldn’t budge…after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing and wails of “But I thought we’d agreed September!” I think it was actually James who first said “well, what about Christmas?” And that was that. We had a hankering to do something just a little bit different and we both love the festive season, so it felt perfect.
We had both the ceremony and reception at the Manchester Art Gallery. We really wanted to get married in the city centre as it’s local to us, and we both love the paintings there. We looked at a couple of other venues but when we went to look round the Gallery, James (not normally the world’s most effusive about these kind of things) turned to me and said: “I actually feel a bit excited!” I could’ve hugged the woman showing us around! It’s a beautiful building inside and out and such a privilege to marry there.
We loved the idea of an elegant, glamorous theme with a touch of Gatsby. With the ceremony being later in the day at 4pm and the time of year, this theme worked really well. We considered a black-tie dress code for guests but James wasn’t sure. In the end our invites said: “It’s Christmas, it’s evening, so feel free to throw the glitter around and GO ALL-OUT GLAM’”. Sums it up, really!
So the colours? Hints of gold, sequins and dark jewel shades for the best men. And the ‘feel’? Glamorous, warm, festive. We wanted our guests to feel special and essentially have a fantastic pre-Christmas party!
I chose a simple but elegant dress by Ritva Westenius from Isaac Charles in Poynton. It was a sample on its own in the store and when I tried it on I loved how I felt in it. Because of our theme I really wanted something that felt glamorous and luxurious (…and a bit sexy, as I said to my slightly bemused mum) The store and staff at Isaac Charles were lovely and I’d definitely recommend them to any brides-to-be.
James, the best men and both our dads wore elegant white dress shirts, black trousers and velvet dinner jackets from Reiss. The boys wore black and James’ was a dark blue just to stand out a little. They all had contrasting silk scarves, pocket squares and bow ties. I absolutely loved it; they all looked so handsome. James was really keen for something a bit different but also a ‘non-traditional’ suit (that could be worn again for special occasions) and I think he nailed it.
The bridesmaids wore floor-length gold sequinned gowns from Jenny Packham at Debenhams. I had such a strong idea of what I wanted them in that we ended up getting their dresses before mine. Thankfully, they liked them! They both looked so beautiful. Amina at Stockport Wedding Services did a great job with alterations for us all.
July 12th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Think formalwear, macarons and peonies galore and you’ll get an idea of the timeless class factor of today’s real wedding.
Rachael and Dene were married at stunning historical venue The Monastery in Manchester, and planned a big day that complemented rather than clashed with their spectacular surroundings. Cue a neutral palette, gold accents, dinner jackets and a gown with a fabulous illusion back, all captured in wonderful artistic detail.
Over to Rachael to tell more about a wedding that was 11 years in the making…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, ER Photography.
rachael says: We got engaged in Barcelona in June 2016. We were at a beautiful beach restaurant relaxing on a lounge bed and drinking cocktails at the time!
We decided to get married on 22nd April 2017. This was purely down to the availability of our chosen venue – and we were committed to a spring wedding because we had to have peonies!
Our venue was The Monastery in Gorton, Manchester. It took our breath away on first viewing and we just fell in love with it. It’s stunning.
We didn’t have a theme as such; we just decided to go for classic colours and elegance. I wanted our wedding to suit the venue, and I also love neutral tones with gold accents. We therefore went with a lot of white, cream and gold for our flowers and décor.
I bought my dress from Proposals Bridalwear. I wanted something elegant but also a little something different, so I opted for an illusion back.
The gents’ suits were hires from John Francis Suit Hire, Harwood. Dene and his groomsmen wore blue dinner jackets. Dene had a paisley bow tie and his groomsmen wore black ties.
My bridesmaid wore a navy blue full-length dress from Monsoon.
For our wedding transport, we hired a Mercedes C Class from yourweddingchauffer.com, which took me from home to the venue.
July 3rd, 2017 | Julia Braime
We’re getting our usual blogging schedule back underway the only way we know how – in style! Ladies, have your pinning fingers at the ready for today’s real wedding is an absolute stunner!
Bride Elizabeth and groom Rob chose the contemporary King Street Townhouse for their city chic wedding that featured all-white blooms, sophisticated décor and just a touch of sparkle through the maids’ gorgeous dresses and a pair of glistening Jimmy Choos. I mean, need we say more?
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
elizabeth says: We got engaged during a holiday to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. We had stopped off in Paris enroute just to add to the romance. We were in a small village called Deshaies, sat relaxing beside the Caribbean Sea watching the sun slowly setting. It was a very romantic moment and the perfect opportunity for the proposal.
Our wedding was on 30th April. We chose this date purposely as Rob’s birthday falls on 22nd April and mine on 29th April – it gives us the perfect reason each year to go on holiday to celebrate our birthdays and anniversary.
We got married at King Street Townhouse in Manchester. We always wanted the chic city wedding and set to work finding the perfect venue – as soon as we walked into KSTH we both knew immediately that this was the place we would be married.
Our day was a city chic style wedding with lots of grey, white and silver – we really wanted something sophisticated and timeless. We kept the colour palette classic, clean and contemporary.
When it came to picking my dress, I was looking for something totally unique and something that would fit the city chic theme. I had already bought a wedding dress but something in the back of my mind said it wasn’t quite right. I continued searching and found a small boutique, as I walked in I saw the dress. I fell in love with it. I had to have it. Unfortunately, it was a designer sample and wasn’t for sale – I tried it on, it was so perfect. So much so that I refused to take it off until the boutique agreed to sell it to me!
On the day of the wedding, my hair and makeup was done by Ariana Rose, who was superb. She arrived just after 7am and stayed with us for almost six hours, a truly talented professional who not only listens but also offers advice where necessary. Outstanding!
My bridesmaids wore grey dresses with silver and white beading that were bought from Lindybop.
June 22nd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
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.
Brides Up North reader Becky and her beau Paul were keen to find a venue with a difference and so booked the uber cool Victoria Warehouse in Manchester as the back drop for their big day. This also happens to be the venue at which we will be staging our BigCityWedFest’17 event at on Sunday 3rd September, featuring the area’s most fabulous suppliers for an epic wedding fair with an urban festival style vibe. Watch this space for more details soon!
The warehouse’s raw and industrial features both contrasted and complemented Becky and Paul’s elegant theme of rose gold, blush and marble – perhaps three of our very favourite things! We are also totally besotted with Becky’s stunning Jesus Piero gown and pink mules, not to mention her luscious locks (those bangs!!)
However, it’s not just the appearance of this wedding that had us hooked, it’s the sentiment behind it too. Watching the video we just adore the friendly banter, kind words and love – in a similar style to the cake, this one shot an arrow right through our hearts!!
With images and video by Jon Bird Weddings
becky says: Paul and I had been together more than five years when he proposed. Due to all the weddings of friends and family we have attended over the past three or four years, we had never actually had a full week’s holiday just the two of us. So, at the end of June 2016 we decided to treat ourselves to a week in Cape Verde. We arrived on the Sunday and got settled in to our gorgeous hotel and found what would be become ‘our spot’ on the beach for the week. After our first full day of relaxing on the beach on Monday, the sun was starting to fade a little so Paul suggested a walk along the beach before we went back to the room. I thought this was uncharacteristically romantic for him – especially when he offered to carry the bags. We walked along the beach and chatted, it crossed my mind that he was going to push me in the sea for a joke at one point, little did I know he was walking slightly behind so that he could put the ring he had been hiding in his wallet into a box and get down on one knee. I let out a bit a squeal and then thought he was joking – I’d been waiting for this moment and it was just perfect. White sand, blue sea and my best friend.
We got married on 21st January 2017. We decided that we wanted to marry as soon as we could but without having to compromise on the kind of wedding we wanted. Seven months seemed like enough time to plan and pay for the wedding and January is always a bit of a downer – having the wedding to look forward to was a real lift. Although three weeks after Christmas and New Year isn’t the best time for wedding diets!
We got married at Victoria Warehouse Hotel & Events, which is a converted warehouse in the Trafford Park area of Manchester. We knew we didn’t want a church wedding as neither of us regularly visit one, so we had a look at the lists of approved wedding ceremony venues in Manchester and surrounding areas. Paul is Stockport born and bred and having moved to Manchester for university, I have now lived ‘up north’ for 50% of my life so it is officially home.
We worked out that we had been to about 15 weddings in the past three years, and we’d loved them all, but we wanted ours to be something different and for it to reflect our tastes. We really love industrial architecture and old buildings so Victoria Warehouse just felt perfect. It is a totally unique venue and had so much flexibility for us to put our own stamp on the day.
I love looking at anything wedding related and still do even though ours is done. With a venue like Victoria Warehouse, which is quite dark and moody, I thought a really clean, simple and elegant theme would work well. My mum came to visit when we got back from Cape Verde, to congratulate us on our engagement, and brought a box of gifts with her. The box was marble and rose gold and I instantly loved it – the theme was born! Simple, clean and chic.
We added some blush to the marble and rise gold too. The shops seemed to be full of those colours, which was so useful when buying decorations and accessories. I made or bought almost everything for the wedding from value shops and online so we could spend money on the big things, so picking a scheme that was on trend in terms of interiors made that really easy – the wedding could have been sponsored by Primark, Home Bargains, ASOS and eBay (shhh don’t tell anyone)!
I’m not the most body confident of people – I’m pretty short and very ‘curvy’ so I assumed finding a dress wasn’t going to be easy. I tried a few different shops and had become a bit fed up with nothing fitting and too much bling and fuss. I had in my mind visions of me with tousled hair with a floral crown and a long sleeved, floaty boho dress. ‘My’ dress however, could not have been more different!
One of my bridesmaids, Victoria, made me an appointment at Lulu Browns in Whalley, Lancashire, after a couple of her work friends had got their dresses from there. To begin with I thought it was a bit of a trek from South Manchester, but it was definitely worth it. The minute we stepped through the door Jenna, Jennie and rest of the lovely ladies that work there made me feel like the most special bride. Nothing was too much trouble, they had a stunning range of dresses and they were so patient with me. I was still going for this boho dream and it just wasn’t working with my shape. I had seen my dress and loved it but it just wasn’t what I had in mind. After a bit of persuasion, I gave it a try, well that was it. It was the one. I actually really liked myself in it and it suited my figure so much. What was funny was that I had seen it in a store almost two years previously when looking with my mum for her wedding and lusted after it – I never thought it would be the dress I would end up wearing.
Designed by Jesus Peiro, the Luciana gown had a wide waist band to catch me at my narrowest part and then a full skirt to balance out my top half. Boho was out – timeless elegance was in! Plus I got it from a store with the same surname that I would be changing – it felt like fate. My shoes were from Office.
Paul got me a leather biker jacket as my wedding gift. I’ve wanted one for ages and every time I put it on I think of him – I’ve embroidered our initial and wedding date on the inside!
Paul wears a suit every day for work and wore tails when he was best man for his friend so he wanted something a little different for the wedding. He is tall and slim so looks great in most things but he does like a slimmer fitting suit. We did a lot of online research and looked in a few stores and found the best range of more fashion forward and affordable suits was on ASOS. Two suits ordered and tried on and the winner was selected – so easy! The tweed style fabric and double breasted waistcoat of Paul’s suit and bow tie added a bit of a twist to his usual workwear.
As my gift to Paul on the day I got him a special pocket watch to wear. I also adopted him an otter! Did you know otters hold hands when they sleep in the water so that they don’t lose each other? So cute. We love otters!
May 23rd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Editor’s note: We were saddened to wake up this morning to the horrific news of the Manchester arena attack. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families on this dreadful day. We hope that our readers – no matter where you live – all draw your loved ones close for an extra kiss or hug this evening. Love always x
It’s always refreshing to see a bride and groom do things a little differently on their special day. And today’s couple, Alex and Pete, did exactly that.
Firstly, let’s talk about the dress. Forget your classic white, ivory, champagne or cream tones – instead, Alex plumped for a gorgeous bronze gown that perfectly complemented their navy and blush daytime colour scheme.
Gone too were the traditional favours and cake, instead our couple served up a scrumptious selection of desserts and a Mexican themed reception complete with a tasty buffet. But, as Alex reveals, there are a few nods to all things traditional, too – including a vintage convertible car which, we have to confess, has got us dreaming of driving off into the sunset with our veil blowing in the breeze…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, ER Photography.
alex says: We got engaged in December 2014 in Edinburgh. We went to a cosy whisky bar to escape the rain when Pete surprised me with a beautiful ring!
We got married on 6th August. The 7th was the day we met and sits right between our birthdays so this had always been a special weekend for us.
We tied the knot at St Mary’s Church in Davyhulme, only a two-minute walk from our house. The church is beautiful and we wanted to keep the ceremony as close to home as we could.
We chose a traditional ceremony with a Mexican fiesta theme for our reception. We didn’t want a typical ‘out of the box’ wedding and the theme suited us perfectly – our aim was for everyone to have a great time and celebrate with us. We were imagining a Mexican cantina on a hot summer’s night!
We had our reception at The Grill at 27 in Urmston. Martin and the team were more than accommodating and enthusiastic about letting us decorate the venue whichever way we wanted. The food was fab and the drink was flowing! We can’t thank them enough!
We decided on navy, bronze and blush colours for the daytime part of the wedding, and then bright colours for the evening. We wanted a classic colour scheme that could translate to the evening. The metallic and navy sat great alongside our Mexican theme, too.
May 5th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Sarah and Chris’ chic city wedding was held at the stunningly eclectic Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. They wanted a laidback day that was big on personal touches and low on formality and, by Jove, they got it.
Their photographs prompted a strange, hybrid emotion in the Brides Up North team. A smidgen of envy, a touch of nostalgia, and more than a little bit of excitement for long, hazy summer days and barbecue season on the horizon.
Ladies, please. Check out that classic hourglass dress, that gypsophila headband and those perfectly #bridesquad personalised sliders and tell us you don’t feel your heart tremble.
Images by Delicious Photography
sarah says: Our engagement was just brilliant. As we’d been together for 12 years, I thought it wouldn’t happen; Chris had planned a normal Christmas Day morning with lots of presents so that I wouldn’t suspect a thing. Later, we went for Christmas dinner with my family. We were all sitting there and he made an announcement in front of them all. It was a such special moment and totally not us. My granddad was poorly at the time so it was extra special and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
We were married on 14th October 2016, we were desperate to get married in the same year. Great John Street, our chosen venue, was booked up but we managed to get a cancellation.
We had our hearts set on Great John Street in Manchester city centre from the beginning. It’s a 5* eclectic hotel, with stunning décor that matches my style exactly. We had a simple brief: we wanted live music all day and no sit-down formal table plan. We ended up having a barbecue on the roof terrace and it was perfect for us.
Our theme was pretty relaxed. I had one décor specification and that was lots and lots of flowers and candles. We had a photo booth that our friends set up for a giggle and got our wish of live music all day long.
Colour-wise, I went for white. However, we also chose a dusky tan for the bridesmaid dresses and my dress also had a faint tan/pink coloured underlay.
I chose a very fitted dress with a classic hourglass shape from Adele Howarth-Winstanley Bride in Upper Mill. To me, the lace created a vintage feel about it and I was desperate to find a dress that had a hint of colour.
Chris wore French navy tails, from Best Man with a mustard waistcoat, navy polka dot tie, a handkerchief and a pocket watch.
The groomsmen’s suits were similar to Chris’, also from Best Man. The bridesmaids’ dresses were from ASOS and were long, dusky-coloured, high-neck pleated gowns.
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