Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

vintage vibes. a relaxed, family-focused wedding at the great john street hotel – elisa & mick

January 31st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (48)

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.

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (4)

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.

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (58)

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.

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (31)

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.

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (47)

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.

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real wedding recap mori lee for a stylish wedding in manchester – chorcha & glen

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.

A Stylish Wedding in Manchester (c) Melissa Beattie Photography (46)

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.

A Stylish Wedding in Manchester (c) Melissa Beattie Photography (49)

A Stylish Wedding in Manchester (c) Melissa Beattie Photography (48)

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!

A Stylish Wedding in Manchester (c) Melissa Beattie Photography (39)

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!

A Stylish Wedding in Manchester (c) Melissa Beattie Photography (33)

A Stylish Wedding in Manchester (c) Melissa Beattie Photography (45)

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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city chic. a retro styled bridal shoot in manchester

August 31st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (12)

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.

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (55)

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.

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (7)

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.

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (48)

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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vintage navy. pronovias for a city wedding at great john street hotel – vicky & harry

August 1st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Navy Wedding at Great John Street Hotel (c) Zen Photographic (34)

We’re starting off your week with a trip to the stunning Great John Street Hotel in Manchester where today’s real wedding couple tied the knot.

To complement their chosen venue, Vicky and Harry decided on a vintage theme with an elegant navy and ivory colour scheme, which was reflected beautifully in their chosen attire and pretty blooms.

With images by Zen Photographic.

A Navy Wedding at Great John Street Hotel (c) Zen Photographic (23)

vicky says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2013. Harry spoke to my daughters first before he proposed. He drew my attention to a card that had been hand posted through our door and asked me what it was. I just thought it was a Christmas card from family or a friend. I opened it and turned round to see Harry down on one knee with the ring box and he proposed.

We set the date for 25th October 2015. As I work in a school we needed the weeding and honeymoon to be in the school holidays.

A Navy Wedding at Great John Street Hotel (c) Zen Photographic (37)

Our chosen venue was Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. We’d been for a night away there for Harry’s birthday. At this point we weren’t even engaged but I said it would be a great place for us to get married. We both love the hotel because it has a vintage edge and the attention to detail is just superb.

In keeping with the venue we decided on a vintage theme for the wedding with an ivory and navy blue colour scheme. I just wanted everything to be plain and simple, but with a vintage air about it.

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our love story: helen & dan

July 26th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Our Love Story Helen & Dan (c) Drew Findlay Photography (6)

We’re delighted to be sharing another love story here on the blog this afternoon, and this time we’re off to Manchester.

Teenage sweethearts Helen and Dan chose the city’s cool Northern Quarter as the backdrop for their engagement shoot, which features cool, urban buildings and impressive in-your-face street art.

Cool, quirky and individual – just what we like!

With images by Drew Findlay Photography.

Our Love Story Helen & Dan (c) Drew Findlay Photography (15)

helen says: We got engaged in 2014. Dan proposed to me in Vietnam on a cruise across Haylong Bay. It was a total surprise, I wasn’t expecting it at all!

We are getting married on 30th July at Lancaster Town Hall followed by a reception at Willow Barn at the Bay Horse Inn. It’s going to be a Harry Potter theme!

Our Love Story Helen & Dan (c) Drew Findlay Photography (8)

We met eight-and-a-half years ago when we were both 16. We played hockey for the same club and Dan told me that he’d like to go on a date with me. The rest is history! We had our first kiss when I was in my hockey kit and Dan was all dressed to go out, as I was home late from hockey. It was cute and awkward, which sort of sums us up!

We both knew that we were right for each other, even from a young age. We just get each other – it’s great!

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personal & unique. victoria kay for an intimate wedding at the belle epoque – stephanie & gary

June 9th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Intimate Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) James Tracey Photography (24)

The saying about quality and quantity could not be truer of the lovely real wedding that we are sharing with you on the blog today.

With a modest guest list of 38 day guests and 53 evening guests, Stephanie and Gary wanted their intimate wedding to be a reflection of them as a couple, whilst also being an enjoyable and memorable event for their guests.

Picking a unique venue and prioritising elements such as the photography, food and entertainment, whilst getting stuck into some DIY décor, meant that Stephanie and Gary could have the special day they had dreamt of, whilst remaining still within budget. Excellent work guys!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

An Intimate Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) James Tracey Photography (27)

stephanie says: We got engaged on the 28th May 2014. I had my suspicions that Gary was going to do it soon as he’d booked for us to go for afternoon tea at the Hilton in Manchester. We were in the process of buying our house and the Wednesday before when we were booked for afternoon tea, we’d had our final meeting with the bank to say the mortgage had been agreed. We went to the pub after to celebrate and then came home. I got my PJs on, put the bins out and put the washing on, just usual things to do on a Wednesday, and turned round to find Gary with two glasses of whiskey. He asked me to come with him into the front room and gave me a glass and then got down on one knee with a ring. It took me by surprise! I never wanted a huge spectacle of an engagement so what he did was perfect. He’d even been on his own to get the ring and got it spot on!

We were married on the 24th March 2016, the Thursday before the bank holiday weekend. We got together on the 27th March 2008 so knew we wanted a date around when we got together and we wanted a weekday wedding. The Thursday was a good choice because most people then had the bank holiday Friday off work to recover!

An Intimate Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

We got married at The Belle Epoque in Knutsford, Cheshire. It was the only venue that we went to look round and we knew straight away it was the one for us. We wanted somewhere that was unique, intimate and personal. From our first meeting there, all the staff were so incredibly helpful and we loved that it was a family business and not part of a large chain of hotels. We could pick and choose what we wanted for our day and we could stay there the night of the wedding and have breakfast with family the day after. The setup of the venue was ideal too; we loved that each part of the wedding was in a separate room and guests didn’t have to be shipped off somewhere whilst the room was re-organised and that people could sit away from the DJ during the evening do and chat. Generally, it’s an absolutely stunning venue!

An Intimate Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) James Tracey Photography (4)
Gary and I are self-confessed beer geeks, so beer had to feature heavily in our wedding. I also wanted to still keep it girly and vintage-y too so I guess the theme was ‘Beer and Birds’ Each table was named after one of our favourite breweries and we had a selection of their bottles as table decorations with fake roses in. The men’s buttonholes were made of beer bottle caps and I had beer bottle caps on my bouquet. All the stationery featured vintage birds and we had a birdcage table plan. I got the design from Dollface Design on Etsy. My mum was unsure when I told her my vision but everyone said how unique and ‘us’ is was.

I am quite girly so pink was the colour theme but very subtly! I didn’t make Gary wear anything pink. We just had pink roses in the table decorations and my bridesmaid wore pink. The buttonholes did have small pink rose buttons on, which my bridesmaid and I also had in our bouquets.

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