Charlotte Balbier

love & laughter. mori lee for a blush pink wedding at ashfield house – debbie & darran

November 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Today’s wedding is a stunning example of how a wedding can be both lavish and relaxed.

Working around an elegant blush pink and dove grey colour scheme, Debbie and Darran went all out with the wedding styling choosing striking floral decorations and an abundance of candles to enhance their already stunning venue.

The wedding party looked extra glam too, with the bridesmaids in shimmering grey dresses and Debbie in a stunning fish-tail style gown.

Keen not to overdo the formalities though, the bride and groom opted for relaxed bowl-food style dining, lots of sweet treats and enjoyable live entertainment. A winning combination we say!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

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debbie says: Our love story began on 25th February 2012. Darran and I had known each other for over ten years, our youngest children went through school together. We had both become single and Darran took the opportunity to ask me to go for a drink with him. Little did I know that 1,527 days later he would become my husband.

We officially got engaged on Sunday 22nd February 2015, Darran got down on one knee on the Sunday morning not long after we had woken up, and he was wearing just his undies! So romantic.  The following day we had a surprise 40th lunch to attend. After we left the lunch I suggested we take a drive over to Ashfield House, unbeknown to him I had secretly popped in their six months previously to pick up a brochure. We rocked up unannounced on the off chance that we could get a proper look around. Fortunately for us Katie Street was more than accommodating. From the moment I walked through Ashfield’s front door I knew that this was where I wanted to get married.

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To get the ball rolling we made an appointment for the following Saturday to visit Prestons of Bolton to pick out my engagement ring. We had an amazing experience at Preston’s of Bolton, being served with Veuve Clicquot champagne whilst we looked at various diamonds. I had pretty much made up my mind beforehand that I would like a pear cut solitaire, as Darran had bought me pear cut earrings a few years previously.

We set the date of the wedding for Sunday 1st May 2016. We knew that by picking a bank holiday weekend that it would give our travelling guests the opportunity to make a full weekend of it.

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Ashfield House was such a perfect venue for the wedding. The building, in our opinion, is stunning with so much character and history. We loved the bright airy feel to the recently revamped Langtree Suite, which is where our ceremony took place.

The grounds at Ashfield House are simply stunning too. Unfortunately for us the weather was wet and temperamental, and although we did manage to get outside to get some fantastic shots, the fact that there are so many places inside for your photographer to shoot some cool original shots is a massive bonus. We also loved the fact that Ashfield House is an exclusive wedding venue Monday to Saturday. On a Sunday they do serve Sunday lunch. This didn’t cause us any problems though as we knew that the lunchtime guests would have left by the time our ceremony took place.

The icing on the cake was that Ashfield House has 15 ensuite rooms with a handful of suites that are competitively priced. This meant that our travelling guests had the beauty of staying over at the wedding venue too.

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laidback glam. a chic wedding with a rustic twist at the saddleworth hotel – hannah & tom

November 11th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog we bring you a beautiful real wedding in the picturesque foothills of the Pennines.

After a three-year engagement, Hannah and Tom exchanged vows over the May bank holiday weekend, in the quaint setting of the village church in Ripponden.

Blending rustic charm with an elegant and contemporary décor – not to mention one of the most stunning balconied ballrooms we have ever seen – The Saddleworth Hotel provided the gorgeous backdrop to the couple’s memorable celebrations.

With handwritten notes to each and every guest, as well as a special donation to a charity close to their hearts – this was a wedding brimming with nostalgia and personal touches from start to finish.

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

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hannah says: We got engaged three years ago. Tom arranged for us to go away for the weekend to one of our favourite hotels. He hired a beach hut and brought along a picnic with prosecco. He pulled out the ring which he’d had made for me and, obviously, I said yes. We then headed back to the hotel, where he’d arranged to meet my parents for a meal to celebrate.

We got married on Saturday 28th May 2016. I’m a teacher so we needed a date that fitted in with the school holidays, and with a good chance of nice weather! The bank holiday weekend fell in the middle of our spring bank holiday, so it was perfect.

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We tied the knot at St Bartholomew’s Church, in Ripponden. This is our village church and it was also the church I went to whilst growing up, so it was really special to get married there.

Our reception was at The Saddleworth Hotel in Delph. It was actually the first venue we looked at, and nothing else came close. We loved the mix of old and new – the ballroom is amazing and fitted really well with our vision for the day. The double height room really is special.  The venue and grounds are absolutely stunning and the team there is brilliant; nothing is too much trouble.

We chose The Saddleworth Hotel partly because of its glamorous setting and wanted to incorporate this theme within our wedding. We wanted our day to be classic and glam, but at the same time reflect us as a couple and be laidback enough for guests to really enjoy themselves. We wanted our guests to feel special, and spot those little touches that made the day about us as a couple and as individuals. So, not an easy job!

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We didn’t have a specific colour scheme, although the bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses and the flowers were blush pink and white. Everything else we picked because we loved it and it fitted our idea for the day.

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My dress was a chiffon and beaded Justin Alexander gown, which I bought from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I had an idea of what I wanted when I started looking for dresses, and this was absolutely not it! But when I tried the dress on, I swished around the room and felt like an amazing version of me! It wasn’t what I set out to get, but it was the perfect dress for our day.

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sophisticated simplicity. a timeless cheshire wedding at hilltop country house – rosie & chris

November 2nd, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today we’re bringing you Rosie and Chris’ country house wedding in Prestbury (at one of our sensational Brides Up North event venues, Hilltop Country House, no less!). And boy, is it packed full of pretty with a bouquet to die for and gorgeous mismatched bridesmaid dresses.

As Rosie quite rightly says, sometimes less is more, and this classy couple avoided fussy details in favour of timeless simplicity. The result, we think you’ll agree, is simply stunning.

If you love rustic romanticism, this one’s for you!

Photographs by Matthew Horan Photography.

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rosie says: Chris proposed to me on my 31st birthday in a beautiful part of mid Wales. He’d booked a surprise stay in a lovely guesthouse and popped the question on a walk in the hills.

Our wedding date was 8th April 2016. We chose this date as we both love the springtime, plus we wanted to avoid the disappointment of rain if we had a summer wedding. We knew we’d inevitably get some April showers so it lowered the pressure!

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We got married at the beautiful Hilltop Country House in Prestbury very close to where we live. We’d fallen in love with the area and moved out to ‘the sticks’ together a few years ago. We felt the venue was perfect for a sunny or rainy day, so it ticked our boxes!

Our wedding had a rustic, romantic feel to it. We were both quite nervous about the big day and thought this would be a nice, relaxed theme – and that would perhaps help us to relax! After scouring Pinterest for ‘research purposes’, I thought it would make a really versatile theme, and one which would work well for our venue.

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My bridesmaids wore different coloured dresses from Coast; one was a sage green colour and the other was dusky pink, both with lace detailing. They complemented each other beautifully and provided the colour palette for the flowers. In fact, they bought the whole thing together beautifully, but avoided everything being too ‘matchy’.

For my dress, I surprised myself and went for a more traditional gown in lace. I just loved it straight away. It had little cap sleeves and a sweetheart neckline.

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roses & lace. martina liana for a luxurious wedding at lartington hall – stefanie & jason

November 1st, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Brace yourself for some incredible beauty and blooms, as today’s real wedding is among the prettiest that we have ever seen!

The elegant wedding of Stefanie and Jason took place at the incredibly stunning, exclusive-use venue that is Lartington Hall, a beautiful country manor in the Teesdale countryside, where we just so happen to be holding a Winter Chic Luxury Wedding Fair THIS SUNDAY. So if you fancy seeing this splendid venue in all its glory then register here to attend the free entry event, which will feature all the details, including fine art florals, bridal fashion, cakes, photographers, stationers and live music, whilst also showcasing whole of the Hall, including it’s beautiful chapel, bedroom suites and gardens!

As you can see from Stefanie and Jason’s wedding, beautifully captured by photographer Helen Russell, this is a first class venue for a first class big day!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Helen Russell Photography.

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stefanie says: We got engaged on 8th May 2015, which was exactly six years to the day since we met. Jason had booked a surprise trip away to New York, and I only found out where we were going once we arrived at the airport. It was such an emotional moment when I found out!

On the second afternoon there Jason had booked me a surprise massage in the hotel spa. When I returned to the room he was nowhere to be seen! He had left me a note saying I had to be ready for 7pm as a driver would be waiting for me at the hotel reception. The driver took me to a mystery location which turned out to be a private rooftop overlooking Manhattan. Jason was there waiting for me with a bouquet of red roses and his hand behind his back! He then got down on one knee! We celebrated with a bottle of champagne on the rooftop, before heading to a lovely little restaurant nestled underneath Brooklyn Bridge with a view of Manhattan, to continue the celebrations. It really was like fairy tale!

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We got married on 8th October 2016. We chose this date as the venue we had fallen in love with – Lartington Hall – was fully booked up for every Saturday until this date!

Lartington Hall is a beautiful country manor in the Teesdale countryside. We got a good feeling as soon as we drove up to the venue, along the long gravel track through a field of curious sheep! We instantly fell in love when we saw how stunning all the rooms were, it certainly had the wow factor we were looking for. We also loved that the venue offered exclusive use of the hall and gardens for the weekend. Knowing it was just our friends and family there certainly gave it a more intimate feel.

We didn’t have a theme as such however we wanted to create a stylish and luxurious feel that tied in with the style of the venue.

The colour scheme was pale grey/blue with lots of whites/creams and a hint of blush. We also incorporated a lot of gold as Lartington Hall has lots of gold detailing throughout the venue. For example we added gold beaded charger plates from The Whole Sch-bang, to complement the gold chairs and the gold mirrors/candelabras in the dining room where we had our wedding breakfast.

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My wedding dress was a Moroccan silk and lace fitted gown by Martina Liana from Ava Rose Hamilton, in Silsden. The top half of the dress was made from guipure lace, with illusion sleeves and an illusion back. There were buttons right the way down the back of the dress from the top to the bottom of the skirt. I visited a few wedding dress shops first but nowhere seemed to have the style of dress I was after. I then spent hours searching the internet trying to find this style of dress, but struggled to find one that had all the aspects I envisioned! When I finally came across this Martina Liana gown, it was the only dress I got shivers over, I knew it was the one before I even tried it on! Ava Rose Hamilton ordered a sample dress into store for me to try and it was everything I imagined. Terri (the seamstress) did an incredible job at making sure the dress fitted perfectly – it fitted like a glove!

On the morning of the wedding, Lisa Cameron did the hair for the bridal party and Heather-Francesca did our makeup. We would highly recommend both, they were brilliant to have around on the morning and a calming presence as I was extremely nervous the whole morning.

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Jason and his groomsmen wore navy blue suits from Marks & Spencer. Jason originally wanted to go for a designer suit, however with five groomsmen it was getting rather pricey! In the end we came across a really good quality suit in M&S. Jason also wore a Thomas Pink shirt, a navy spotted tie and a grey waistcoat. He completed his look with Ted Baker shoes, Mulberry cufflinks and a Mulberry tie clip.

The groomsmen wore grey bowties and pocket squares from Mrs Bowtie and dark brown shoes from ASOS.

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natural glamour. ronald joyce for a romantic wedding at ashton memorial – melissa & craig

October 26th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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We love that today’s real wedding has been influenced by two different styles – wild nature and glamour – that when brought together, complement each other perfectly!

Everything about Melissa and Craig’s big day is utterly gorgeous; from the choice of ceremony venue, styling and elegant colour scheme, to the bridal party’s stunning attire.

Though there is a lot of beauty to be admired, standout details for us include Melissa’s handmade headpiece, the blousy bouquets and both the bride and groom’s fancy footwear!

With images by Pixies in the Cellar.

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melissa says: We got engaged during the trip of a lifetime. I’d quit my job, Craig had taken a sabbatical and we travelled around the world together for five months, it was our dream and we decided it was now or never! We trekked the Inca Trail, travelled Australia by bus, walked the Great Wall of China and learnt to scuba dive in Thailand. At every great landmark we visited Craig made me pose with a sign with a single letter on and took a photo. He’s always full of kooky ideas and told me it was for a surprise collage when we got back. So I held aloft a ‘V’ at Machu Picchu, an ‘E’ at the Sydney Opera House, an ‘M’ in Halong Bay and so on!

On the final night of our trip we went all out and booked the Lebua hotel in Bangkok (The Hangover 2 film hotel!) As we got ready for a special meal Craig went out to ask what time the rooftop bar opened, then the bellboy rang the door with a big envelope. Inside were all the photos of me with the letters and a note – they were numbered and I had to re-arrange them, if I understood then I was to go and find him. I re-ordered them and it spelled out “Veux tu m’epouser?” – will you marry me in French! I had lived in Paris for several years and this was also so I wouldn’t have guessed throughout the trip if it were spelt in English! As a typical woman I rushed to finish half my hair and get on my shoes… then there was a knock at the door, Craig on one knee! Too nervous and impatient waiting for me, he proposed right there & I very happily said “Oui!” We had a wonderful night celebrating in the rooftop bar.

We set the wedding date for Saturday 23rd July 2016. We chose this date, as it would mark seven years since our first date.

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Being some of the last people in our friendship group to marry, we were determined to find a different venue, where none of our friends had been married before us. Although we had loved the idea of a destination wedding it just wasn’t practical family wise so we had to find somewhere that wowed us closer to home. As Craig is rather tall we wanted somewhere with grandeur but not really a church – when we visited Ashton Memorial it all fell into place. It immediately appealed to me – it was a beautiful domed building, all light and windows, surrounded by nature and spectacular views. We also loved the fact Lord Ashton had built it as a tribute to his wife.

We then had to find somewhere for our reception. After a lot of searching we found Forrest Hills, a relatively new multi-purpose venue, which had hosted some lovely weddings. Upon visiting we loved the wild natural beauty and secluded location. Also, the option of an open-side marquee next to the lake combined our dream of an open air wedding and the practicality for British weather, just in case.

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Our theme was ‘wild natural glamour’ – a bit of a running joke with our florist. We had two sides to our wedding – one side the cottage like reception venue, the cascading flowers intertwined with driftwood and our marquee with open sides to allow the real ‘outdoor’ feeling we wanted. On the other side we loved the glamorous elements – an ice sculpture, popping a giant gold bottle of champagne instead of cutting the cake, Craig in a tuxedo and a beautiful cream Rolls Royce as transport. We loved the mix of the two to fit our personalities.

We decided early on to have a duck egg blue colour scheme with accents of gold. It felt like it matched the theme of the day – wild natural surroundings and dramatic venues, with some glamour!

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As I own my own occasion wear brand, people kept asking if I was going to design my own wedding dress – but I couldn’t face the visualisation required and the extra stress! Luckily when I came across the Ronald Joyce Erin gown on Pinterest, it was beautifully styled on a bride and I had to try it. I always wanted a fitted fishtail gown with a beautiful back and this dress was just that, the crystal beads draped at the back and the low sheer lace detail ticked all my boxes. The experience at Emma Louise Bridal was friendly and personal, I didn’t feel pressured into anything and they gave honest opinions. My mum and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole dress shopping experience (all 20 or so shops!), it will always be a time I’ll treasure, just the two of us.

Accessories wise I knew I wanted a long dramatic veil – but with the detail on the dress it had to be quite simple. I chose a two-layer chapel length veil in soft ivory tulle, from The Wedding Veil Shop. I loved the way it fell over my shoulders and was sheer enough to see the back detail on the dress.

One of the main accessories for my look was the headpiece – I had lusted over some beautiful freshwater pearl styles but my budget didn’t quite stretch. Not one to be deterred I took two lengths of pearl and crystal flowers I sourced online and intertwined them to make the full dramatic headpiece I desired, able to wrap around the front and back. With my masses of hair I knew it wouldn’t overpower my look.

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snowflakes & lilies. a winter wedding at peckforton castle – lorna & dave

October 21st, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today’s elegant real wedding was arranged in just six months and perfectly illustrates the beauty of tying the knot in the winter season.

The couple, Lorna and Dave, had been together for more than five years before getting engaged. Briefly contemplating a beach wedding in the Caribbean sunshine, the couple couldn’t resist the allure of staying close to home and celebrating their big day at the magnificent Peckforton Castle.

Dressed in an off-the-shoulder, fluted fishtail gown, Lorna was every bit the fairy-tale princess.

With images from Jonny Draper Photography.

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lorna says: We got engaged on 23rd May 2015, at Tre-Ysgawen Hall, Anglesey, Wales. At this point we had been together for more than five years, so I’d pretty much given up hope, but it turns out he was waiting for me to stop hinting so that it would come as a surprise. Dave had taken me away for the weekend and chosen Wales because of my Welsh roots. We enjoyed spa treatments on the Saturday and even joked in the Jacuzzi that Dave was rubbish at keeping secrets! Later that day, he got down on one knee in a lovely little meadow in the grounds of the hotel. I was so stunned he had to prompt me for a response as his knee was getting wet from the grass!

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We tied the knot on Thursday 17th December 2015. We both wanted a winter wedding and weren’t concerned about the weather. We love Christmas time, so thought we could make the most of the gorgeous festive decorations at our venue, Peckforton Castle in Cheshire. We also first met on 17th January so there was certain symmetry to the date.

We got married in the Great Hall at Peckforton. Dave wanted to either wed on a beach in the Caribbean or in a castle. As I’m red head and not a huge fan of sand – the decision was quickly made! We looked at a number of other locations in and around Cheshire, but Peckforton was by far the most magical and perfect venue.

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We both love to travel so our table names were places we had visited together and our table plan was a map of the world. We also had a vintage suitcase for our cards. For us, this signified that we had already been on many adventures, and that we are now embarking on another big adventure together into married life.

We tried to keep a personal touch throughout the wedding, with my sister designing our wedding invitations and other stationery, and my mum making the most fabulous snowflake wedding cake. Overall, we were going for an understated but elegant look.

Our colour scheme was dark purple. It’s a rich shade that stands out for a winter wedding and it also complemented the decor in the castle – and we both love the colour!

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