Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

daisy do: lillian west for a city wedding in manchester – sarah & roy

June 20th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A City Wedding in Manchester (c) Priti Shikotra (33)

The daisy motif that runs through today’s real wedding between Sarah and Roy was a chance decision, inspired solely by a hand-drawing of intertwined daisies. From there, Sarah and Roy chose to run with the classic white wedding and weave yellow elements into the design, from the cake with its charming daisy decoration to the flowers, a delicate and frothy bouquet bursting with marguerite daisies. Hints of gypsophila add a romantic, traditional edge and are perfectly in keeping with the white wedding theme.

Choosing an intimate gathering for the ceremony and wedding breakfast meant Sarah and Roy could go to town with their choices, serving good-quality wines and offering several choices for the meal, which was eaten around one large table for a personal feel.

Sarah wears a glorious Lillian West A-line gown with a floaty chiffon skirt and an illusion V-neckline in delicate lace applique, the style of dress contrasting beautifully with the industrial and rather quirky venue.

Beautiful bride Sarah also chose a signature scent for the wedding – lime and bay – using candles to emit the fragrance. This is a lovely idea as, every time Sarah and Roy light a candle of that scent – or catch the aroma on the air when they’re out and about – they’ll be instantly transported back to their wedding day. Tell us more, Sarah …

With images by Priti Shikotra Wedding Photography.

A City Wedding in Manchester (c) Priti Shikotra (16)

sarah says: We got engaged on a weekend in Prague. Roy spent all weekend trying to engineer the perfect moment. He remembers, “I had visions of taking a carriage ride around the city, with blankets on our knees, and popping the question with flutters of snow falling. Sarah wouldn’t take a carriage ride though because she felt it was too expensive. In the end, we were in a club and she said, ‘You know, people have been saying you’ve brought me away to ask me to get married’ and the game was up – I went down on one knee”.

A City Wedding in Manchester (c) Priti Shikotra (14)

We got married on 30th March 2018, which was Good Friday. It was the last of the cheapest winter dates in all honesty. It also gave everyone a full weekend to relax and recover afterwards. Roy also thought he was being clever and wouldn’t forget future anniversaries, until it was pointed out to him that Good Friday is on a different day each year.

We got married and had our reception at Great John Street Hotel, Manchester. It seemed the perfect size for what we wanted: ideal for the small gathering of immediate family for the wedding itself but large enough to easily accommodate the party of friends and family we invited for the evening. The rooftop garden and ‘playground’ is a great space that, even with the hit and miss weather we get in Manchester, allows for being outside in comfort and warmth should you want to.

A City Wedding in Manchester (c) Priti Shikotra (35)

We would definitely recommend the venue to other couples; there’s a really nice feel to Great John Street and rooftop in particular is a great setting. The staff were polite and attentive and the team looking after wedding bookings was great at working with us to understand our needs and budgets. Throughout the day, they were efficient and discreet, and everything followed the plans we had provided them with.

A City Wedding in Manchester (c) Priti Shikotra (27)

When it came to a theme, we wanted a very simple, small wedding and everything pretty much stemmed from an invitation I initially found with two hand-drawn, intertwined daisies. The simplicity of rustic, handmade decorations appealed to us, but we didn’t necessarily set a theme.

We didn’t have a colour scheme in mind but it naturally followed with the daisy theme that a classic ‘white’ wedding was perfect, with a hint of yellow in the flowers for a touch of colour. The bridesmaid dress was chosen to complement the wearer’s complexion. The guests wore shades of blue, ranging from cobalt to navy, which was neither co-ordinated nor intentional and it amazes us to this day how that happened.

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gatsby glamour. mark lesley for a vintage wedding at the belle epoque – hayley & tim

November 4th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth


This afternoon we’re sharing with you a magical 1920s inspired wedding set against the stunning art nouveau backdrop of The Belle Epoque, in Knutsford, Cheshire, where will be hosting one of our fabulous Luxury Wedding Fairs THIS Sunday. So ladies, if you like what you see, be sure to register for the free-entry event now and join us for what is set to be a really inspiring day with some of the area’s finest wedding suppliers.

The Belle Epoque certainly captured the hearts of today’s couple, Hayley and Tim, who chose to tie the knot at the gorgeous boutique hotel on their nine-year anniversary.

Dressed in an elegant Mark Lesley long-sleeved gown, Hayley’s vintage look perfectly complemented the venue’s plush art deco setting, and set the tone for their special day.

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


hayley says: We got engaged last year whilst celebrating my birthday at a beautiful hotel in the Lakes. Unbeknown to me, Tim had asked my mum and dad for their blessing and bought me a gorgeous ring. We walked for hours, taking in the scenery and then chilled in our hot tub on a private terrace overlooking Lake Windermere and drank champagne. When it was time to get ready for dinner, I went inside the room to get ready. I noticed Tim had gone back out onto the terrace. The curtains were drawn so I couldn’t see outside. When I pulled them back I saw he’d lit candles everywhere and scattered roses around the little box with the ring inside. He got down on one knee and I burst out laughing with shock (poor Tim!). I made him sweat for a few minutes before saying yes.



We got married on 18th June 2016. Given my well-known tendency for bargain hunting, I called the venue and asked for the best summer date they could offer at the best price and this was the date they offered. Very unromantic… until Tim pointed out it would be our nine-year anniversary! He initially thought I’d picked the date for that reason, until I confessed it was just a sweet coincidence!


We knew we wanted an informal venue, all under one roof – we were certain of that. The location was the tricky part. Initially we looked abroad, as we both love the sunshine and a more relaxed setting. But with two small children and a large family, we eventually decided to stay in the UK. Top of our UK list was a vineyard in Cornwall. Cornwall has a special place in our hearts, as does wine. But the place itself was a bit of a ‘work in progress’ as far as venues go. It had lots of potential but wasn’t quite there yet. We were really glad we made the effort to go down and see it though, rather than just judge it from the online photos (top tip to any future brides!).

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roses & tweed. sophia tolli for a sophisticated wedding at crewe hall – laura & luke

September 5th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Sarah Horton Photography (41)

Monday might have come around too quickly once again, but fear not as we have a stunning real wedding to distract you from the working week ahead.

After falling head over heels in love with the beautiful Crewe Hall in Cheshire, Laura and Luke found picking their venue a doddle. Taking inspiration from its grandeur and class, the two then planned a sophisticated celebration full of pretty pink and purple summer blooms with fabulously fine attire for the wedding party.

With images by Sarah Horton Photography and assistant photographer Hannah Wilson.

An Elegant Wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Sarah Horton Photography (25)

An Elegant Wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Sarah Horton Photography (19)

laura says: We got engaged on my birthday at one of our favourite restaurants, The Swan with Two Necks in Blackbrook, Staffordshire. We’d been away travelling for nearly four months to Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. It turned out that Luke had taken the ring with him but never found the right moment – plus I think everyone was expecting it back home so he didn’t given in!  We got home in March and he proposed in May – which nobody was expecting so it was a complete surprise which made it even more special. Luke was however given some grief about visiting many amazing places while we were away and missing his opportunity.

We set the date for Saturday 25th June 2016, as we wanted a summer wedding.

An Elegant Wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Sarah Horton Photography (29)

Our chosen venue was Crewe Hall in Cheshire. We got married in the library and had the wedding breakfast in the long gallery. We both loved Crewe Hall form the moment we saw it!  We’d been to weddings there before and knew it was the place for us.

We didn’t have a specific theme but we wanted it to be classy and sophisticated to reflect the venue. Our colour scheme was subtle pinks, lilacs and purples.

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pastel pretty. justin alexander for a romantic wedding at lumley castle – sarah & richy

May 9th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Romantic Wedding at Lumley Castle (c) RGM Photo (42)

This morning on the blog we are heading to the North East to relive the big day of Sarah and Richy.

We are obsessed with all things pastel and so adore Sarah’s soft and sugary choice of colour scheme which features in the gorgeous blooms, bridesmaid dresses and cake. All so delicate and delightful!

With images by RGMphoto.

A Romantic Wedding at Lumley Castle (c) RGM Photo (33)

sarah says: Richy proposed on a holiday in Mexico 2014. The holiday started off a little sour due to me losing my case as it didn’t arrive off the flight, but all was made better by Richy proposing on our first night. He did it during a card trick – the big reveal being an engagement ring placed on the balcony of our room. I was thrilled.

Our wedding date was 6th February 2016. We were hoping for a nice crisp, cold day with blue skies but ended up with drizzle, not that it put a dampener on our day. We got married at Immaculate Heart of Mary church, Sunderland, and had our wedding reception at Lumley Castle.

A Romantic Wedding at Lumley Castle (c) RGM Photo (27)

When it came to styling the wedding we wanted a delicate pastel theme with pastel pinks, pastel greens, ivory and blue.

My dress was Justin Alexander from Just Perfect in Shotton Colliery. I had searched the internet and the dress I eventually chose was the first dress I ever tried on. I fell in love with it. It was ivory with a light gold material underneath which made the ivory lace really stand out. The jewel and diamanté detailing on the V-shape back was beautiful and everyone was very complimentary about my dress. The ladies in Just Perfect were so helpful, it made dress buying such an easy experience.

Makeup artist Kimmy Cattin did my wedding makeup and Jane from Teased did my hair.

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hey, mr dj? maggie sottero for a festival wedding in liverpool – lucy & craig

July 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (26)

After a romantic, if not soggy, proposal in the heart of Disneyland Paris today’s music loving bride and groom decided to give their big day a festival wedding theme, complete with wristbands and live bands!

Keen that her wedding day also had a pretty edge to it, Lucy incorporated a few vintage touches into the styling and décor using sweet pastels in yellow, blue and pink.

We love all the elements of their big day and find that the festival theme and pretty colour scheme actually blend together really well.

So let’s head to the main stage so you can see all the wedding action for yourselves!

With images by David Walters Photography.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (30)

lucy says: We got engaged in front of Cinderella’s Castle in Disneyland Paris – not quite as romantic as it sounds as it was pouring, and I mean pouring, with rain and we were wearing Mickey rain ponchos!

Our wedding day was on 2nd May 2015. We chose this date as it fell on a bank holiday. We had a lot of family and friends travelling from all over the country and we thought this way people could make a full weekend of it.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (7)

Thistle Atlantic Tower in Liverpool was our wedding venue which we chose primarily because of the fabulous view. The hotel overlooks the River Mersey and has the most beautiful view of the famous Liver Building and the waterfront.

We incorporated a festival theme throughout our big day. We had ticket style invites, wristbands, tables named after famous stages and a band themed cake. I also tried to add a vintage twist to make it a bit more girly using pastel colours and birdcage and candelabra centre pieces.

Our colour scheme was pastel yellow, blue and pink, inspired by the vintage twist. I also decided early on that as my bridesmaids were all so unique and different from each other that it would be nice to dress them in varying colours.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (10)

My dress was Payton by Maggie Sottero which I got from Aristocrats of Chester. I chose this dress because it had the vintage feel I was after and beautiful detail. It was also unlike any wedding dress I had seen before and I think I surprised a lot of people with my choice!

On the wedding day my hair was done by Carol Ellis Thompson and I wore a hairband by Rocks For Frocks. I also had personalised wedding Converse for the evening reception, which I loved!

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (13)

Craig wore a three piece grey suit by ONESIX5IVE from Slaters. Craig doesn’t do tails and top hats, so the slim fit simple tailored suit was perfect for him.

Our groomsmen wore identical suits to Craig’s while our bridesmaids wore Mark Lesley dresses, also purchased from Aristocrats of Chester, in pastel yellow, blue and pink.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (15)

On the wedding day I travelled to the venue in a vintage VW campervan provided by Nick Connah from Connah’s Cars. Craig’s Mum and I also surprised Craig on the day with the same transport to take him to the venue.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (20)

David Walters was our photographer and we could not recommend him highly enough! Throughout the whole experience he was creative, supportive and fun. We had a pre-wedding shoot which enabled us to get to know him before the day which was really important. On the day itself he was energetic and made people feel at ease. His photography is documentary style, and has provided us with stunning photos and memories of our day.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (25)

I carried artificial silk flowers with pearl and diamanté decorations. I wanted flowers that I could keep forever.

Our wedding breakfast and reception decorations were provided by Karla Pritchard from Add A Little Sparkle. We had birdcage and candelabra centre pieces with yellow, pink and blue flowers. The flowers were also incorporated into the back of the chair covers, which looked stunning. My Mum and I made bunting for the ceremony table and top table which was a really nice personal touch.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (50)

We gave each of our guests a festival style wristband as favours when they arrived at the ceremony. At the wedding breakfast we also had ‘Team Lucy’ and ‘Team Craig’ pin badges on the tables.

Craig and I are very passionate about music and so we had a band themed cake. It consisted of three ‘drum’ tiers, with our favourite band and festival logos on the side. It was made by a family friend, Janet Hamer.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (31)

To keep guests entertained at the wedding and to tie in with our theme, we had the Ukulele Club Liverpool to perform after the ceremony and then in the evening we had an awesome band called Slinky, who literally kept the dance floor filled all night.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (35)

Following our wedding, we could not recommend our venue highly enough to other couples. Our day was stress-free and no request was a problem. The staff really made our day special, they were so helpful and fun. We had mentioned to the waitresses previously about our theme, and I said to them about wearing flowers in their hair. I couldn’t believe on the day that they all did, it was really lovely.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (38)

It’s hard to pick one part of the day over another as my favourite, but I’ve got to say our wedding band Slinky really rocked, and being on the dance floor with all my friends and family around me is something I will never forget.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (41)

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (48)

As we got engaged in Disney we decided to go to Orlando, Florida on our honeymoon. We spent ten days in Disney and four days in the Universal resort. It was the holiday of a lifetime for us, and the weather was unreal.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (49)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would simply be – don’t worry about tradition, do what makes you happy.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (52)

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best dressed. supplier showcase: elegance of scholes

April 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Elegance Of Scholes (1)

Well, Brides Up North, last weekend’s events at Dine’s Allerton Castle and The Alnwick Garden were just magical! What an EPIC end to another amazing season of Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions… stellar turnouts and I swear our exhibitors just get more talented and creative! Thanks to everyone – brides, grooms, our suppliers and our stunning venues – for their support and brilliance. We love you.

One fabulous supplier who we all got to know a little better this season was the lovely Cat of Brides Up North Sponsor boutique, elegance of scholes.  Today, she opens the doors of her beautiful bridal shop for us to take a closer peek.

Oh and FYI: we’re already planning an autumn season of events to knock your socks off..! Stay tuned.

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When did Elegance Of Scholes open and what is your background?

cat says: Elegance opened around six years ago, but I bought it last August after deciding to embark on a bit of a lifestyle change! Prior to owning Elegance I was a full-time Corporate Event Manager, and I also had my own Wedding Venue Décor business. Both of these have set me up well with a lot of the skills needed to run my own business, and having worked in the wedding industry for a number of years I understand how brides feel and what they go through… and it’s lovely to be able to help them out with such a huge, special and important part of the journey!

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Which wedding gown designers do you stock?

We stock Justin Alexander, Ellis Bridal and Mark Lesley. All three labels complement each other really well and we have a great selection of silhouettes and fabrics to suit all tastes.

What bridal accessories labels do you stock?

We stock tiaras and veils by Richard Designs, veils by Nieve Couture and Joyce Jackson, and tiaras/ jewellery by Blossom. We update our selection of bridal accessories on a regular basis so it’s worth keeping an eye out until we have your perfect piece! We also have a small selection of shoes by Rainbow, and are looking to expand this collection in the near future.

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What makes you different?

We are a luxury boutique with an extremely high level of service. People are always taken by surprise by the size of the boutique once they enter (we get a lot of ‘wow!’ comments!), and we have two spacious private fitting rooms at the rear of the boutique so guests can relax and enjoy their experience in comfort and privacy. We also have an in-house seamstress so all alterations are carried out on the premises, meaning the dress stays with us until your big day.

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Where are you located?

We are located in a small village called Scholes, which is close to Cleckheaton. Exit the M62 at J26 (Chain Barr roundabout), and we’re a couple of miles from there.

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

Our gowns range from about £900-£1800, although we do also have a sale room for brides on a slightly lower budget.

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Do Brides Up North need an appointment?

We do tend to run on an appointment basis, purely so that we can guarantee the bride our undivided attention. Our first bridal appointments tend to be around an hour long, and we would always start with an initial chat about a bride’s ideas/wedding/preferred dress styles. From there we let the bride (and any accompanying people!) browse the dresses and pull out those they want to try on. The appointment then evolves as we eliminate certain dresses from the running/ narrow the selection down to THE dress. Quite often we add in our own opinion of dresses that girls might like to try… with surprising results! It’s amazing how many girls come in with an idea of their perfect dress, and leave with something completely different!

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What is your current favourite gown that you stock and why?

I have two current favourites (although it was pretty hard limiting myself to just two!)– Justin Alexander 8762 for the perfect princess ball-gown, and Ellis 11368, which is an absolutely stunning dress with lace sleeves and an amazing keyhole back… on the right figure it’s a definite show-stopper!

Is there a particular style of dress that is popular with your brides at the moment? What trends do you see being popular this year?

Lace continues to be popular, with the fitted mermaid-style being a particular favourite. We’re also seeing a move towards much more brides wanting sleeves or straps over strapless gowns, and the ‘feature back’ is also becoming more and more popular. As we were told when buying our new collections – “the back is the new front”… and it appears to be true!

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How does Elegance Of Scholes provide a superior experience to other wedding dress boutiques?

We pride ourselves on our relaxed and friendly service, and certainly are not pushy sales-people. Our priority first and foremost is making girls feel comfortable and happy in their search for their dress. There’s nothing nicer than the look on a girl’s face when they look in the mirror and see themselves as a ‘Bride’ for the first time, and it’s a privilege to us that we get to be the ones to put that look on their faces! We feel that we are definitely doing something right, as the majority of our appointments come from recommendations from past brides who have had the ‘Elegance Experience’ – and the comments, reviews and photos we receive after the big day are testament to this, and lovely for us to receive!

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Do you stock bridesmaid dresses?

Yes – we stock Kelsey Rose and Mark Lesley bridesmaid dresses, as well as flower girl’s dresses. Soft tulle seems to be the fabric of choice in bridesmaids this season (a lot of the new Kelsey Rose collection comes in this fabric), although chiffon is still (and I believe will remain) a very popular option. We continue to see dusky pink and pastels as key colour choices, but we have ensured we have a wide range of colours in stock to suit as many people as possible. Our bridesmaid dresses range in price from approx. £180-£280, and our flower girl dresses (from ages 6 months to 9/10 years) are approx. £69.

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Who would be an Elegance bride?

Elegance brides tend to be people that want to enjoy their experience in a relaxed and friendly setting, and who appreciate the quality behind a true designer gown such as the ones we stock. The purchase of a bridal gown doesn’t stop with just that one transaction, and with alterations and so on, we can see a bride many times in the run-up to her wedding. For this reason, we pride ourselves on the relationships we build with our brides and its always a proud moment when we see them for their final fitting right before their wedding, knowing that we’ve done everything in our power to make their dress perfect for them.

Whilst not wanting to limit ourselves to a particular ‘type’ of bride, our dresses do fall into a certain price bracket so when someone comes in with a £300-£500 budget, the only way we would be able to help out is by directing them to the dresses in our sale room (which are also stunning, but are often discontinued dresses, or ex-samples that we need to sell in order to make way for new collections).

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Are you married? 

I’m not yet married… but engaged and getting married on June 4th 2016! Everyone is always surprised to hear that I’m the owner of a Bridal Boutique and have never tried on a wedding dress in my life. Before being engaged I didn’t want to jinx it until it was my turn, and now that I am engaged I keep putting it off! Having fitted dresses to so many different people however, I have an idea of the style that will suit my figure so will be limiting myself slightly in that regard (although I can’t say what that style is, in case my fiancé reads this interview!) – and I change my mind every couple of days on my favourite dresses as I see girls trying on the different samples, so who knows which will be my final choice?!

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you?

Our website is, you can like us on Facebook, email Cat and the team at or call us on 01274 876659.

Is there anything else that Brides Up North should know?

As well as stocking our beautiful designer gowns, our in-house seamstress (another Cat!) designs and makes bespoke bridal gowns… so if you’re struggling to find that perfect dress but have an idea of what you’re looking for, Cat will be able to make it for you. We also offer a dry-clean and box service, so you can keep your gown for years to come and re-live those memories as often as you like!

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