Charlotte Balbier

pastel perfection. a vintage wedding at hyde bank farm – emma & james

May 26th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (26)

Today’s bride Emma decided to keep her vision chic and simple by opting for an elegant vintage wedding theme with pretty pastel touches, and the results certainly don’t disappoint. Everything ties in perfectly from Emma’s lace detailed princess dress to her dreamy blush bouquet and the wonderfully quaint venue.

It’s not just about the aesthetics though – the bar shots in the evening suggest an excellent time was had by all at the reception too with the newlyweds celebrating becoming Mr and Mrs with a shot (or two, or three)!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lee Brown Photography.

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (4)

emma says: We got engaged in December 2011. James picked me up from work but pretended to split up with me (not the most romantic proposal) by saying ‘I don’t want you to be my girlfriend anymore’ a few times as I was in shock, and then followed this up with ‘I want you to be my wife’ and held out my ring.

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (7)

Our wedding date was 30th August 2014 as even though we were engaged for a good few years we didn’t decide to set a date until April 2014 and wanted to do it as quick as possible and still in the summer.

We got married at Hyde Bank Farm in Romiley, Stockport. I’d had my eye on this venue for a while so it was great to finally secure the venue for our big day.

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (6)

The chosen theme was vintage with pretty pastel colours.

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (8)

I chose a lace princess dress with short sleeves and see-through lace that covered the chest area. This was the dress that first stood out to me as I knew what type I wanted and the others I tried on were just not right. I bought it from a shop in Bolton called Because I love You.

James wore a grey suit from Slaters and the groomsmen wore similar suits, also from Slaters. My lovely bridesmaids meanwhile wore a pale pink dresses from Coast.

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (20)

To transport us on the day we hired a Mercedes from work as I work for Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, which is a car leasing company.

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (24)

Our photographer was Lee Brown who I would most definitely recommend. Our photos are perfect, he did a fabulous job.

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (30)

To match with the chosen colour scheme I carried a pastel bouquet designed by Carla at The Classy Room Company. I used very similar flowers to my bouquet for the whole day, including for the bridesmaids’ bouquets and the tables decorations.

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (37)

I also had flowers in vintage style birdcages for my centre pieces and our favours were Ferrero Rochers, which we placed in vintage paper birdcages with a ribbon on. As well as providing the flowers, Carla from The Classy Room Company dressed our reception room for us too.

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (50)

For our wedding cake my Grandma bought a plain triple cake from Marks & Spencer and decorated it herself, exactly how I wanted it. It was a lovely personal touch. We continued the sweet treats with a candy cart in the evening and also hired a DJ to keep our guest entertained. The DJ even put on a few games for us.

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (51)

I would most definitely recommend our wedding venue to other couples. Although small it’s a really lovely setting and we enjoyed our wedding day from beginning to end.

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (56)

For our honeymoon we went to Meloneras in Gran Canaria. We chose Gran Canaria as we wanted somewhere warm still but not too much of a long flight as we only wanted to go away for a week as our children were staying with their Nana and Granddad.

A Vintage Pastels Wedding at Hyde Bank Farm (c) Lee Brown Photography (53)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to enjoy your day and make the most of it as it goes too fast. Don’t worry over the little things and what might go wrong, it will be what it will be and nobody notices the minor things that don’t go to plan anyway.

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over the pond. a picture perfect wedding at capesthorne hall – amy & christopher

May 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (40)

Today’s oh so smooth American groom Christopher pulled an absolute blinder when he organised a surprise proposal in the bride’s hometown surrounded by those dearest to her. Smoother still, Christopher agreed for the wedding to take place in the UK so his wife-to-be Amy could wed at her dream venue, Capesthorne Hall in Macclesfield. Nice work Christopher, we like your style.

To complete her perfect day Amy added pretty touches in pale pink and ivory and then left the grand venue to do the rest of the talking for itself.

After their UK celebrations the couple later flew back over the pond to enjoy a New Year’s Eve reception in Chicago with Christopher’s family, giving them two bites at the wedding cherry!

With images by Melissa Beattie.

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (7)

amy says: We currently live in Florida together but while we were visiting England, Christopher managed to pull off the ultimate surprise! He contacted all of my closest family and friends and arranged for everyone to get together for the proposal. My younger cousin owned a little tea shop in the hills of my hometown, Glossop, Derbyshire and so he thought it would be the perfect spot for us. As I walked in I saw my two best friends of 20 years sitting down and I still had no idea what was going on. I turned around to tell Chris what a coincidence it was that they were both there at the same time as us, and when I turned around he was on one knee with all of my family behind him. He made a speech but I couldn’t tell you a word of it today, I was in such shock and excitement. The best part, Christopher knew I had always wanted a photographer around for a proposal and he organized with my best friend, who happens to be a photographer, to bring her camera! I’m so happy we got pictures of the exact moment he proposed.

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (4)

We set the date for October 11th. We were actually planning to have the wedding in The States up until six months before so we actually chose the date based on availability

Our chosen venue was Capesthorne Hall in Macclesfield. We picked this venue due to how grand and beautiful it is. We were just blown away with the house itself as well as the gardens and knew there would be plenty of places for some amazing photographs. We loved the history of the house and the land and when my mum and dad went to visit the location for us we found out that the current Lady of the house is American, and so we thought it was meant to be as Christopher is from The States and finding a manor home with American roots isn’t something you find every day!

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (3)

We had a light pink and ivory colour scheme. I like very simple colours and think that the light pink always looks very classy and pretty.

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (6)

I wore a trumpet style dress with lace applique detailing and (my favourite part) buttons all the way down the back. It was from a little boutique in Florida and I just fell in love with it the second I put it on and knew it was the dress (the buttons sold me). I wanted something very classy that matched the setting of the house and I felt like it fitted in perfectly.

As we were getting married in a beautiful 300-year-old manor home, Christopher wore a traditional suit that was hired from Debenhams. The groomsmen also wore the same traditional suit as Christopher.

My bridesmaids wore long strapless chiffon dresses from the same boutique I purchased my dress.

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (18)

Melissa Beattie was our photographer. I had been following her posts on weddings she had been photographing and always adored her work. I absolutely loved her style of pictures and when we knew were getting married in England she had to be our photographer. I would definitely recommend her.

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (22)

I’m not a big flower person so I knew I didn’t want a lot for flowers. I had was a simple bouquet of light pink and white roses with baby’s breath and a little greenery from Sandra’s Flower Shop in Glossop.

The house and rooms were so beautifully set up as they were that decorations weren’t really needed. For the wedding breakfast we just had simple flowers for the centrepieces with white and pink roses. For place settings and name cards, my wonderful cousin hand painted little wooden hearts with our guests’ names. She also hand painted our seating chart on a chalk board.

For the night reception, we were in a marquee attached to the house and we used lace to decorate mason jars, added a little sand and candles and placed several on each table. One special decoration was by the cake table, where we had pictures in rustic frames of both of our parents on their wedding days.

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (23)

We wanted to bring a little bit of America with us to England and so for favours we had personalised Hershey’s Kisses. The hand painted hearts by Handmade by Sadie Fay were also part of the favour.

We chose a three tier chocolate cake with cascading soft icing roses from Marks & Spencer.

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (37)

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (44)

Planning a wedding from overseas meant trusting my mum and dad with the menu picking, and they did a fantastic job. For the wedding breakfast we had roasted butternut squash soup with handmade artisan bread followed by chicken stuffed with mozzarella with a smoked tomato sauce, or pasta tubs with ricotta and tomato sauce, and dessert was chocolate fudge cake. For the evening reception we had smoked sausage and bacon sandwiches and roasted bell peppers with hummus and balsamic glaze. We also hired a DJ for the evening reception to keep our guests entertained.

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (41)

A special touch during the wedding breakfast that I loved was announcing ‘Happy Birthday’ to my great, great aunt who was turning 90. It was a complete surprise to her and she loved it.

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (45)

There is no doubt in my mind that I would recommend our venue to other couples! I wish I could go back next month and do it all over again just for the venue. The staff are amazing and go beyond helpful. The house is beautiful and I really do think it makes the absolute perfect wedding venue. The grounds and every room are all perfect. I recommend it a thousand times over.

It’s difficult to pick a favourite part of the day. It went by quicker than I ever imagined but every part was just amazing. We had the best day. If I had to pick, my favourite part was simply being home in England with everyone and getting to celebrate how I had always wished in a venue I had dreamed of. All of my family was there and my three best friends that I’ve been friends with for 22 years were all in my wedding party. All thanks to my husband who let me have our wedding in my home country.

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (48)

We actually haven’t been on our honeymoon yet! We had to fly back to Florida and finish planning our reception in Chicago two months later on New Year’s Eve for Christopher’s side of the family.

a stunning wedding at Capesthorne Hall (c) Melissa Beattie (49)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is to enjoy literally every single second of the day. Time goes quicker on your wedding day than any other day I swear and before you know it, it’s all over. Soak up every second you possibly can. Also, get ready early enough so you have at least an hour before the ceremony to just relax and enjoy yourself with your bridesmaids and take some pictures, this way you’re not starting the day in a rush.

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laughter & tears. an emotional wedding at newton hall – jordana & jay

May 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (43)

I love it when the images from a wedding really reflect the way people were feeling on the big day. Today’s real wedding captured by Kyle, of Kyle Hassall Photography, provides a perfect example.

Here we see everyone from the bride and groom to the maids and guests shedding a tear of happiness as emotions run high. Thankfully the tears are broken up with lots of laughter & smiles, suggesting that all involved had a fabulous time.

I think the memories of this gorgeous day will last a lifetime, not only for Jordana and Jay, but also for their guests who were clearly moved by this wonderful occasion.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (13)

jordana says: We got engaged 18th August 2013. We went for a long walk in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, on a sunny day. Jay had his hand in his pocket holding the ring the whole time which I was completely unaware of as I was too busy chatting away. He finally managed to shut me up by getting down one knee and popping the question in the middle of a corn field with beautiful views of the Yorkshire countryside. There were no tears, just laughter. We then sat on a picnic blanket swigging warm champagne from the bottle which Jay had managed to sneak in the car boot (he forgot the glasses).

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (17)

Our wedding date was June 4th 2014. There was no reason for that particular date. It was a Wednesday so the cost of the venue was a lot cheaper with it being mid-week and we hoped that the people we wanted there would understand and wouldn’t mind taking the time off work. Luckily it worked out.

We got married at Newton Hall in Northumberland. I saw a picture of the venue in a newspaper article and showed Jay, we thought we might as well check it out as it would be a nice day out at least (we live in Leeds). It was the first venue we went to, but as soon as we stepped through the front doors we loved it. We loved the décor, it had a relaxed feel to it and the staff made us feel completely welcome with their infamous northern charm. We really felt it was perfect, and after having a wander down to the beach nearby we were sold!

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (1)

We were determined not to have a ‘theme’. We didn’t want to limit ourselves by having a particular colour or theme to have to consider constantly. However after the wedding, our close friend (who was determined we must have a theme) said it was ‘shabby chic boutique’ so I guess that’s the closest description we have.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (3)

Again, we didn’t have a particular colour in mind, we chose a lot of metallic and glass pieces for the tables and venue decoration but then used a lot of pastel colours in other areas, such as the pom poms, bridesmaid dresses and flowers.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (2)

I chose a princess style dress which was the complete opposite to what I thought I would go for. There’s a lot of pressure finding a wedding dress which is ‘the one’ – I never really got that feeling but I’m so indecisive that I’m not sure I ever would. I ended up purchasing my dress from Boutique Bridal in Leeds, the shop was the third shop I had looked in and was a lot more informal, which I like. I changed a couple of aspects to the dress and I loved wearing it on the day. My shoes were from Dune.

Jay wore a dinner suit from Kooples, shirt from TM Lewin and Paul Smith shoes.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (22)

The bridesmaids wore Grecian style dresses from Debenhams and the groomsmen wore their own navy suits with shirts from TM Lewin. Jay changed all the buttons on his and the groomsmen’s shirts to black, to give the look of a dress shirt and to work alongside their black bow ties. They also wore matching socks.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (24)

I stayed in the bridal suite of Newton Hall so didn’t have far to walk. We hired a big house nearby and stayed with friends and family for the week of the wedding so Jay stayed there the night before the wedding and drove our car to the venue.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (30)

Our photographer was Kyle Hassall and we would definitely recommend him. Kyle was lovely to have around on the day and captured it perfectly. As part of the package Kyle offered, we had an engagement shoot which was great in helping us get to know him and feel a bit more at ease on the day. We didn’t want to spend a great deal of time away from the wedding party having pictures taken of just Jay and I – Kyle completely understood and managed to get a perfect range of pictures which reflected the feel of the day.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (35)

I carried a bouquet of various roses and peonies. We purchased the flowers from a wholesaler and after reading a few blogs and watching videos on YouTube, we made the flowers arrangements ourselves.

To decorate we used a range of roses, peonies, carnations and gypsophila for the venue which we purchased from the wholesaler. We did the flowers with help from family, friends and our lovely wedding planner Jayne from Newton Hall.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (9)

We made CDs as wedding favours with songs which are special to Jay and I from over the years and which would be played on our wedding day.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (37)

We chose a three tier cake from Marks & Spencer which was chocolate sponge with white chocolate cigarette coating. It was amazing and we were still eating it when we got back from our honeymoon.

We wanted a relaxed feel to our day so in terms of food we opted for canapés, which included a mini cottage pie in honour of my dad (it’s his signature dish), followed by a barbecue as the main meal, white chocolate cheesecake for dessert and fish and chips on the evening. All the food went down a treat with all of our guests. Drinks wise we provided prosecco and beer on arrival, red and white wine for the meal and tea and coffee refreshments after dinner.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (4)

Getting the music right was such an important aspect of our day for us. We asked all of our guests to rsvp and include song requests, and an old friend of ours who used to DJ agreed to pre-mix the music which worked perfectly. Every song had a memory to match it which felt so personal and the dance floor was never empty.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (45)

Along the way we added our own special touches to the day. We made our own wedding invitations together and included a folded ‘fortune teller’ which revealed the details of the day. For table numbers we dug out pictures of Jay and I when we were aged 1, 2, 3 etc. and we gathered pictures of all the guests which formed their place settings. Our friends and family helped us decorate the venue the day before, including making confetti cones with poems attached, our wedding arch and lace chair ties.

A last minute addition was the lighting of candles during our ceremony. Our mothers each lit a candle from which Jay and I lit a further candle to represent the coming together of two families to form a new one.

During the reception we had black and white romantic movies projected onto a big screen, we stole the idea from a lovely restaurant we dined in a few years back. We hired ‘J&J’ movie style lights to create a focus point to where you would usually find the DJ. We held a balloon release when the evening guests arrived; the guests released white balloons whereas we released two red hearts – of course Jay’s got stuck in the tree, which added a bit of extra entertainment.

Our J&J letters came from Coco Luminaire, and our balloons were supplied by Party Atmosphere. Both suppliers were flexible and friendly to deal with.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (34)

We would defiantly recommend our wedding venue to others. We love Newton Hall as a venue, the stylish mix of old and new, the location, the luxury accommodation and the food was delicious, but the staff truly made our day what it was. The day ran like clockwork, all the while keeping it personal rather than regimented. We are aware of how popular the venue is, however, we were made to feel so special and that it really was ‘our day’. Any request was met by the endearing response ‘ne bother’ and they could not do enough for us. Our wedding planners on the day, in particular, Jayne and James, left us with extremely fond memories and we will always be thankful.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (32)

I’d say my favourite part of the day was sitting on the top table during dinner, looking at all of our loved ones together enjoying dinner and letting it sink in that we were now man and wife.

After the wedding we had a few more days with our friends and family exploring Northumberland, including a boat trip to the Farn Island, and then we spent a week in Hvar, Croatia for our honeymoon. The Croatians were welcoming and witty. We enjoyed incredible food everywhere we ate and the town was extremely romantic with lots of little bars and ice cream parlours down cobbled streets. The only drama we had was when we braved taking a small motor boat out for the day to a nearby island and Jay managed to step on a sea urchin. However, after a quick stop at the doctor’s we were on our way and ready to enjoy another cocktail.

a pretty wedding at Newton Hall (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (50)

We tried really hard not to get wrapped up in other people’s expectations and also to absorb and enjoy the whole process. So my top tip to other Brides Up North would be don’t spend all your time anticipating the big day and miss out on enjoying the preparation of it.

Another little tip we were given, and which we would also be keen to pass on, is consciously take a ‘time out’ together as bride and groom on the day. For us this was when all of our wedding guests were being seated for dinner. Otherwise the day can fly by so fast and you forget to take it all in.

Our only regret is not getting video footage of the day – pictures are a great documentation, but there are elements, such as the speeches, that we would have loved to relive more.

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art felt. a colourful wedding celebration at manchester’s media city – rachael & zariah

April 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (41)

Today’s couple prove how a vibrant setting can actually help your big day stand out all the more. Rachael and Zariah combined their love for the arts, entertainment and all things bright to produce a colourful wedding that dazzled, in more ways than one.

I particularly love how happy and natural everyone involved in this special day looks, all captured by On Love and Photography – fabulous pics guys!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (10)

rachael says: We got engaged on that Olympic Super Saturday 4th August 2012 during a holiday in Paris. Before we went away, some of our friends speculated ‘ooh maybe he plans to propose in Paris!’ which I laughed off. After visiting a variety of stereotypically romantic settings (with limitless opportunities for proposal) – The Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur, banks of the Seine etc. he hadn’t popped the question and so I wrote it off. Therefore it certainly came as a surprise as we got back to our hotel room on the last night and Zariah tells me he wants to spend the rest of his life with me and produces a beautiful aquamarine engagement ring! I cried for a long time; half in shock, half in happiness and woke up the next day with a puffy but very happy face!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (7)

We were originally going to get married in February 2014. However, when I found out I was pregnant in December 2012, we decided to postpone the wedding so that we could solely focus on getting used to being new parents, without having to plan an imminent wedding too! Thankfully, the venue were so accommodating and happily rearranged it for 28th February 2015.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (4)

We had our wedding ceremony in our local church, St Paul’s in Sale town centre. The church is down the road from our house so it’s lovely to have that reminder of our wedding every time we walk past. After looking around various different venues for the reception, from stately homes to pubs, we knew from the moment we walked into The Compass Room at The Lowry Theatre that this was the place for us. We loved the urban architecture around, the room is really unique with floor to ceiling views of Media City. We are both also jobbing actors, so the fact our reception was in a theatre was another bonus and made it feel special to us.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (19)

The thought of planning a wedding has always filled me with dread, let alone the thought of a ‘theme’. That said, as we began to realise how much thought had to be put into each aspect of the day – there had to be some sort of common thread. We wanted the wedding to be bright, fun and personal, with a bit of sparkle.

Our colour scheme was predominantly blue with a lot of brights! My engagement ring is aquamarine, we both like blue so that was our base for the bridesmaid dresses and suits. After trawling through Pinterest I was drawn to all the brightly coloured flowers so we really went for a bit of everything.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (21)

After visiting several bridal shops in and around Manchester whilst carting Isaac around in his pram, the dress hunt was beginning to lose its sparkle. I was trying on too many and being indecisive. I had realised that the slightly 1950s style princess dress suited my figure the most but I struggled to find ‘the one’. One Saturday in July, on a visit back to my home town of St Helens with my step sister Julia we visited Always & Forever Bridal Boutique. The women in the shop were really down to earth, honest and didn’t beat around the bush, which is just what I needed. It was also the first shop I’d been into where I liked several of the dresses and most were in the Mori Lee range. It was here I found my Madison dress. It was just what I wanted, I loved the romantic tulle, full skirt, simple, but with a bit of sparkle in the belt.

It took a few more months for me to decide on the accessories. I bought some lovely 1950s style Rachel Simpson shoes online. Jewellery wise I wore a locket that my Grandad gave to my Nan on their first date which had their pictures in. I didn’t think I wanted a veil but in the end, I think the plain tulle veil complemented the church ceremony. Rosie Binns from Ethos Hair in Chorlton did my bridal hair and the bridesmaids’ hair on the day.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (23)

Zariah’s wore a blinking gorgeous electric blue FCUK suit from Moss Bros and Icon tanned brogues from Schuh. I thought he scrubbed up very well!

The groomsmen wore the same as Zariah. Isaac (our son) who was our page boy wore a suit from Mamas and Papas with blue Converse trainers. My bridesmaids wore sapphire blue Dessy dresses we ordered through J’Adore Bridal Boutique in Altrincham. My flower girl (Leah, my niece) wore a very pretty, simple white dress from Next, along with a cardigan with a butterfly clasp and we bought her a heart shaped locket, similar to mine.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (27)

We hired a beautiful Royal Windsor wedding car from Century Wedding Cars, St Helens, as our transport. We liked the 1950s theme and the company is owned by an old school friend’s mum and dad. It was nice to give them business as a grown up bride-to-be, rather than giving them grief as a teenage tearaway!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (28)

Our photographers were the brilliant and lovely Giulia and Ben from On Love and Photography. They had photographed our friends’ wedding the previous summer and we fell in love with their pictures. It was a no brainer that we wanted to use them too. Not only amazing photographers, they are such a friendly couple too. We both felt really comfortable around them and loved their observational style shots. They are also quite adventurous in their photography, egging us on for the more unusual pictures! We would highly recommend them.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (29)

Fletcher and Foley of Sale provided our flowers. My bouquet was made up of orange ranunculus, red parrot tulips, blue muscari, mixed anemones and hellebores and catkins for a touch of spring!

The florist arranged jam jar pew ends at the church made up of brightly coloured ranunculus, daffodils and blue musacri which really gave a hint of spring. Two of our friends then kindly transported the pew end flowers to the wedding venue and arranged them in a row on the top table. We used vases from my sister’s wedding for centre pieces and kept it simple with floating candles and peachy/pink delphinium orchids floating on top. The bridesmaids and I made the table plans, name cards and signage for the venue. The room itself had the wow factor so we didn’t need to go mad on decorations. Special Day Events, who we would recommend, provided organza bows for our chairs. Emma was really quick in her email correspondence and sent me an array of different coloured samples in the post to choose from.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (33)

Instead of a wedding guestbook, my friend made us a wedding post box with the idea that guests wrote their bits of advice and messages on a postcard, posted it in the box then took a selfie on our camera which we will print out and put next to their message in the guest book.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (36)

Being big cake lovers, it was only fitting that we had cupcakes as wedding favours. We also had a vase full of sparklers which we lit on the balcony overlooking Media City later on in the evening. The idea was for us to walk through a ‘bridge’ of sparklers – by this point the guests were quite drunk though and I was convinced my dress was going to go up in flames!

As our main cake we bought an M&S three-tiered cake with a mixture of fruit and sponge. Simple and tasty!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (38)

As Zariah’s family are a Jamaican heritage we wanted to incorporate some Caribbean flavours into our wedding meal and so the sweet potato and red pepper soup was a nod to this culture, whilst the Yorkshire pudding and beef canapés a nod to mine! We had chicken with mozzarella and sundried tomato as our main followed by a coconut Manchester Tart with banana ice cream, which was a big hit!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (44)

We love music and wanted guests to be in the mood for a party from the start so we hired Taylor and the Mason, two female guitarists to play during the drinks reception in the Quays Bar. Their voices are amazing and they are both gorgeous, funny and northern. We also hired a magician called Dan Tiernan whom Zariah and I have worked with at the Youth Theatre we teach. He was great and kept the guests and kids entertained during the meal.

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (46)

For the evening reception we hired a DJ – Nick Campbell who was recommended to us. He came to our house before the wedding to discuss our tastes in music and was really friendly and chilled. Zariah had written out a long list of requests for the evening which Nick was happy to use. Nick gaged the audience perfectly, the dance floor was never empty – we even ended up doing a Conga to a reggae song around the room. Our first dance was to Our Day Will Come the Amy Winehouse version. We didn’t want anything too smoochy or slow, yet this song meant a lot to us as after being together for seven years and having a baby together, it felt about time we had our first dance!

an arty wedding at Media City (c) On Love Photography (50)

It was really special that my Grandad walked me down the aisle in church. My mum and I lived with him and my Nan until I was four so we’ve always been close. It also seemed fitting that if my Grandad ‘gave me away’, then my step Dad, Graham, who’s been in my life for over 20 years should do the father of the bride speech in the evening. It was lovely that they both got to have special roles.

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Being a bit of a feminist, I think a lot of our guests (including Zariah) expected me to do a speech along with the traditional male speakers. Whilst it was something I considered, after the pressure of months of wedding planning, the thought of adding this extra pressure wasn’t appealing. Then I came across four young lively buskers on Facebook that I had another idea. I asked Bolton Brass – a four piece brass band, to perform at our wedding as a surprise after the speeches. After watching them online, I just loved their energy (they do dance routines with trumpets) and hearing modern pop songs performed by a brass band just captivated me. The band burst through the doors playing Can’t Take My Eyes of You after the final toast and then leapt into No Place I’d Rather Be, The Final Countdown and a couple more songs. It really geared the guests up for the evening do and was my way of making a speech. They were amazing!

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As we had a few children at the wedding I made goody bags for the kids table; play dough, colouring books, bubbles and disposable cameras.

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We loved our wedding venue. The staff were so friendly and accommodating throughout and for those looking for an urban city wedding, The Lowry is perfect. The Compass Room is big and has the wow factor with great views of famous landmarks and endless opportunities for photos. We liked the fact we had our drinks reception in the Quays Bar downstairs, it really made use of the different sections of the venue. We also managed to have some photos taken in one of the theatres! It really was a unique venue and reflected both our love for Manchester and the arts.

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It’s hard to define a favourite part of the day, we enjoyed it all from getting ready in the morning to doing the Conga in the evening! The vows in church were a really special moment when we both had to hold back the tears. We also really enjoyed hearing the readings we had picked for the church – one was from Isaac’s favourite bedtime book called ‘Me’ by Emma Dodd. It was lovely to have our son with us on our wedding day and fitting that we could include a reading that meant something to all of us. One really unique part of the day was when we arrived at venue and our photographers ushered us to a bridge next to The Lowry for photos whilst hundreds of Man United fans headed to the match. It was moment on our own away from the guests, yet surrounded by lots of friendly strangers from Zariah’s team (Zariah would like to add: we won 2-0 so it was a great day overall). We also had fun later on when we took to the balcony of The Lowry for group pictures with our friends. It was really cold and windy so after a few drinks, we all jumped up and down and started chanting silly songs to keep warm. It just confirmed how lucky we are to have such wonderful friends!

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Following the wedding we had a two-night minimoon at The Brimstone, Langdale in The Lake District. After a hectic 18 months of bringing up a baby and wedding planning, we just wanted total relaxation on our own. We are also having a week away to Crete in the summer as our honeymoon and taking Isaac with us.

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Our top tip to other Brides Up North is – plan well in advance, especially if you’re doing a lot of the stationery yourself. We took for granted how long the little bits would take us. We would also recommend investing in good photographers like On Love and Photography. The photos are the memories you keep for life after your day is over. We decided what mattered to us the most and the least, and stuck to that in terms of budget. Have fun on the day! The little things really won’t matter much. It’s about you two and having your loved ones around you what makes the wedding, not the chair covers (even though they did look lovely).

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all together now. justin alexander for an intimate wedding in the lakes – mikki & mark

April 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime

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Today on the wedding blog we’re heading to one of my favourite parts of the country to relive Mikki and Mark’s wonderful big day.

This stylish couple hired an entire venue in the Lake District for their intimate celebration that brimmed with elegance, class and romance.

I especially love that Mikki and Mark chose to have one big banqueting table for their wedding meal to make it more like a relaxed family affair than a formal occasion.

Oh, and can we all just take a minute to admire those fabulous flowers. Just lovely.

With images from Chapter Photography and videography by Love Gets Sweeter.

Mikki and Marks Wedding Highlights from Love Gets Sweeter on Vimeo.

mikki says: We got engaged on 2nd October 2013 when we were on holiday in Menorca (which is our special place to relax). After a beautiful day lying on the beach having a picnic we went for a meal in a seafood restaurant at the top of a hill. We had the whole place to ourselves and Mark proposed in between courses. I couldn’t believe it, I was so overwhelmed. Obviously I said yes straight away.

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We chose the 6th December for our wedding. I absolutely love winter and I thought it would be such a magical time for a wedding. I loved the thought of lots of candles and romantic lighting and what better time of year for that!

We got married at Broadoaks Country House in Windermere, Lake District. We love the lakes so much and it’s always a place we like to go. When we went to view the venue we knew straight away it was the one. It was perfect for the intimate wedding we were after. We hired the whole place which meant the whole wedding party could stay over.

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We wanted the day to feel warm and welcoming. We didn’t have a theme as such but I wanted it to be romantic. The style was very romantic and our flowers were ivory and blush roses with gypsophila free flowing around the table surrounded by lots of candles. As we wanted an intimate setting we decided to have a banquet table so everyone was sat together.

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Our colour scheme was navy, grey and blush. We picked it because it was quite a wintery combination and the blush just added a girly and warm touch.

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My dress was from 7th Heaven Bridal in Congleton and the designer was Justin Alexander. It was a lovely lace mermaid gown that has a bateau neckline. It came with a detachable train with matching appliques which Helen from 7th Heaven turned into a veil for me.

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Mark wore a navy three piece lounge which was from Marks & Spencer and the groomsmen wore navy suits too to tie in with him.

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Our bridesmaids wore navy dresses with navy lace which were from Warehouse and our flower girl’s dress was from Tesco.

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On the morning of the wedding I got ready at the Macdonald hotel in Windermere along with my bridesmaids. When it was time to go to the wedding venue my father-in-law drove me and my dad in his car. It was a nice touch to begin the day. My sister-in-law’s husband drove the bridesmaids.

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Our photographers are very good friends of ours, Evie and Jamie Wroe from Chapter Photography. It was the obvious choice for us, their work is amazing and they make you feel so relaxed and comfortable.

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My flowers were a mix of ivory and blush roses with gypsophila running through by Red Floral Architecture – again, an obvious choice for us as I love their work so much.

Red Floral Architecture also did out the whole wedding venue with flowers and decorations. We had a banquet table which was full of roses and gypsophila and lots of floating candles. It was such a stunning table, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.

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Some of our friends call us M&M (Mark & Mikki) so we thought it would be funny to actually get personalised M&M chocolates for our favours. We also has a mini Laurent Perrier Champagne for everyone.

Caroline of Caroline’s Cake Company did our cake. We couldn’t decide which flavour to have as they all tasted so good. In the end we had three flavours: ginger, lemon and chocolate. We had lots of cupcakes and a traditional top tier.

As a little extra we had a sweet table go alongside the wedding cupcakes and instead of a guest book we had a signing frame. Next to these we had pictures of our parents from the day they got married.

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In the evening we hired a DJ for our entertainment. We also wanted to add a little something different to the evening so we went with a cartoonist called Robin Grenville-Evans to draw all of our guests. This went down really well as everyone had something to remember the wedding by.

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We would absolutely recommend our venue to anyone who wants a magical romantic feel to their wedding. It’s great for small wedding parties like ours as you can hire the whole place. It’s like having your own private house. I also would recommend all of our suppliers as they were all so, so helpful. My hair piece was custom made from Ann McKavney Eleventh Heaven, Love Gets Sweeter did our videography, Flossy and Leigh did our hair and makeup andSteve Lewis was our DJ.

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The day was so perfect I don’t think I could actually pick one part that was my favourite. Obviously marrying my best friend was a pretty special part!

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We haven’t had our main honeymoon yet, we are going to Dubai and the Maldives in May. We had a minimoon the day after the wedding. We went to Loch Lomond in Scotland for three nights. It was just a complete chill out, we went to the spa and ate lots of lovely food. It was a great time just to sit back and relax after all the planning. It is a special place to us as it’s the first place Mark ever took me when we were dating, so we thought it perfect to be the first place we go as a newly married couple.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be something that a lot of people told me to do – take a minute to look around at everything on the day and take it all in. It’s surprising what you don’t see because you’re on such a high! This really was a great tip. Also take time out, just five minutes or so with your husband, again to take it all in. The day really does go so fast, I didn’t want it to end!

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