Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

a posh picnic. a boho wedding at the national wildflower centre in liverpool – hannah & leon

February 2nd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Boho Wedding in Liverpool (c) Hannah Blackledge Photography (27)

For today’s real wedding, we’re escaping to the serene and picture-perfect backdrop of the National Wildflower Centre for Hannah and Leon’s special day.

After seven years together, the couple said ‘I do’ at Runcorn Town Hall before celebrating with family and friends in the unconventional Wildflower Centre, set in the 35 acre Victorian Court Hey Park, for a wedding with a boho twist.

There are so many wonderful and heartfelt touches to this wedding – from the couple’s ‘posh’ picnic and specially crafted cocktails, to their handmade decorations and blessings in the pretty surroundings of a meadow.

With images by Hayley Blackledge Photography

A Boho Wedding in Liverpool (c) Hannah Blackledge Photography (2)

hannah says: We got engaged on our first real Christmas living together. We had opened all our gifts and Leon said he had forgotten one, so he went to get it while I opened my last gift. I turned around and there he was on one knee. He did the traditional full name and full question – it was perfect. My last gift was a Westlife album of all “our songs” from when we first started going out as kids. On the back, he had written me a full proposal that I could keep forever.

We were married on 30th July 2016, exactly one week after our seven-year anniversary. Leon is a teacher so we wanted the wedding to take place while he was off school, which meant this date was perfect.

A Boho Wedding in Liverpool (c) Hannah Blackledge Photography (8)

We had two separate venues for our wedding day. The first was Runcorn Town Hall for the ceremony, and the reception was hosted at the National Wildflower Centre in Liverpool. The first time we visited, we walked through the wildflowers, explored the park and sat by the pond with my parents and sister, and we fell in love with the place. I noticed a tiny poster offering venue hire for events and we never looked back once we were given the price. Our parents were married in Runcorn Town Hall so it held a lot of sentimental value for us. Plus, it’s very beautiful.

A Boho Wedding in Liverpool (c) Hannah Blackledge Photography (36)

We didn’t aim to have a theme, but ended up with a laid-back posh picnic – quite a mix! We wanted to create a beautiful space and that meant the right decorations rather than one set theme or colour.

The colour theme grew over time and became much more relaxed the closer we got to the big day. We started with navy (Leon’s suit), white (my dress) and peach (bridesmaid dresses). Over time we added gold, greens, wood tones, pinks and other pastel colours in the same shade. It looked great!

A Boho Wedding in Liverpool (c) Hannah Blackledge Photography (52)

When it came to my outfit, I didn’t want to look like the “classic bride” and wanted something a touch more vintage and boho. There was one store on Bold Street in Liverpool, Cherry Blossom Boutique, which I tried to call into at least three times. Every time I called over, I’d mistimed it. I managed to make it along one afternoon though and found my dress. I tried two dresses on and then there it was: my Gino Cerruti. The full-length gown had an illusion neckline, a waist synching band and low back, and was covered in hoops of clear beads. I paired my dress with chunky heeled T-bar New Look shoes and a handmade veil from my nan. I then swapped my heels for white flats for most of the day.

Leon wore a navy three-piece suit, with a waistcoat of a different texture from Next. He teamed this with a white shirt with handmade Marvel Spiderman cufflinks and socks, and a pink tie from Burton, with a pink pocket square. To complete his ensemble, he wore brown brogues from Tesco and a squirrel silver tiepin.

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timeless romance. a grey & cream themed wedding at newton hall – charlotte & michael

January 23rd, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Timeless Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Melissa Beattie Photography (34)

It might be Monday morning but we have something super-pretty to brighten up your day, as we head to Northumberland to relive the beautiful wedding of Charlotte and Michael.

Taking place at the stunning Newton Hall, bride Charlotte was set on a relaxed and romantic big day that would stand the test of time – and looking at the images we’d say she certainly achieved her goal.

Stand out elements for us include Charlotte’s gorgeous mermaid style dress, the delicate blooms and the idyllic seaside setting #swoon!

With images by Melissa Beattie

A Timeless Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Melissa Beattie Photography (8)

Charlotte says: We got engaged while were on holiday in Spetses (a tiny and remote Greek island). We had hired a quadbike for a couple of days to explore and Michael suggested we take a picnic up to a remote viewpoint in order to watch the sunset over the sea. As the sun was setting Michael popped the question with a ring-shaped rock he’d found on the beach that day.

We set the date for 5th September 2016, rather unconventionally a Monday! We didn’t want a long engagement (little over a year) and so were limited by the availability of the venue we had fallen in love with. Getting married on a Monday also meant we could save on the venue hire and splurge on the food and drink for our guests.

A Timeless Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Melissa Beattie Photography (22)

Our chosen venue was Newton Hall, in rural Northumberland. It was the only venue we viewed but knew it was the one. It’s a beautiful Georgian country mansion within a few minutes’ walk of some of the most unspoilt and beautiful beaches in the UK. As Newton Hall only does weddings, we had the whole place to ourselves all day. As our guests were travelling from all over the country, we decided to make a weekend of it and have a pre-nuptial barbecue on the beach the evening before the big day. It meant we got to spend more time with everyone as well as making our wedding celebrations last that bit longer!

A Timeless Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Melissa Beattie Photography (31)

We didn’t particularly theme the wedding, it just a timeless and romantic English wedding with vintage touches. We wanted something relaxed but classy and fun.

Our colour scheme was grey and cream was with muted pastel shade flowers with silvery grey greenery.

A Timeless Wedding at Newton Hall (c) Melissa Beattie Photography (4)

I chose my wedding dress from Lisa Bilotti, a small, independent bridal boutique in Bedford (my home town). My friends had told me that all brides go to the bridal shop with an idea in mind and end up with something entirely different. I didn’t, I knew exactly what I wanted and that’s (luckily!) what suited my shape – a full lace vintage style mermaid number which I loved from the moment I tried it on. It actually looked like a pair of old lace curtains on the hanger so I very nearly dismissed it but Lisa listened to my description of my perfect dress and urged me to give it a try – I’m so glad I did!

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winter romance. suzanne neville for an elegant wedding at middleton lodge – kerry & stuart

January 16th, 2017 | Julia Braime

An Elegant Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Andy Gaines (33)

Though Christmas has been and gone it’s still very much winter outdoors and so to start the week in style we’re sharing the seasonal wedding of Stuart and Kerry. Taking place in late December, their big day celebrations include subtle hints to the season and a stunning white, midnight blue and metallic colour scheme.

We adore the atmospheric candle light décor, elegant floral displays and sparkling cake, not to mention Kerry’s gorgeous Suzanne Neville dress – pure perfection!

With images by Andy Gaines.

An Elegant Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Andy Gaines (8)

kerry says: We got engaged on October 5th 2013, in the mirror garden at the Palace of Versaille, Paris. The lake there had fountains in that played to classical music. Stuart said we have the fountains on one side and a statue of Venus on the other, then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

We set the date for 28th December 2014. We decided we wanted a small, intimate wedding and Christmas time seemed ideal for this.

An Elegant Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Andy Gaines (27)

Our chosen venue was Middleton Lodge in North Yorkshire. It ticked all of our boxes and meant that we could get married on site and get ready in our rooms. It is a beautiful home and has a really cool cellar bar to party in. It also wasn’t too far for relatives and friends to travel. I also love the area having spent a lot of time at my auntie and uncle’s house nearby.

The venue had also recently opened up a restaurant called The Coach House and guest rooms in the grounds. This meant we could have people stay there as well as the house. We chose to have dinner at The Coach House the night before the wedding with our family and friends; they gave us the private dining room and the food was fabulous. It was also a good celebration for my dad’s birthday on the 27th.

An Elegant Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Andy Gaines (16)

I gave up on a theme for the wedding quite early and decided I wanted it to be elegant, informal but timeless. So I stuck with a colour theme of white, silver and golds for the flowers, cake and decorations. The bridesmaids wore midnight blue, which suited them all and again, I hoped it would look elegant and wouldn’t make us all cringe in 20 years when we look back on photos!

Stuart also requested that all of the males who attended that had medals, wear them. Stuart’s always had an interest in them after learning about the medals his grandfather was awarded in WWII; he also has his own from serving as a police officer. Stuart asked his nephew to wear miniatures of his late grandpa’s medals, which made him really proud as his grandpa was very important to him.

An Elegant Wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Andy Gaines (31)

When it came choosing my dress, I selected a simple, fitted gown from Suzanne Neville called Memoire, which was from the Vintage Rose 2014 collection. It was ivory with pearls scattered across the top front and back. Suzanne fitted a corset for me so that I didn’t have to worry about finding the right underwear! I had seen it in on the website before I went for my appointment. I had a fine silk cathedral veil with tiny pearls embroidered on. Despite trying many on before, I just knew I would find my dress at Suzanne’s showroom. She was lovely, as were all of her staff.

To accompany my dress, I had gold Jimmy Choos and wore pearl earrings from DanniJo.

Cat Johnson, from Harrogate, did my make-up as well as my mama’s and all of the bridesmaids. She did a brilliant job and my godmother’s daughter used her for her wedding last year.

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play that sax. a sophisticated wedding at west tower, ormskirk – jenn & mark

January 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (82)

Today we’re poring over Jenn and Mark’s exquisite wedding at the magnificent West Tower manor house in Lancashire.

Wearing the most stunning Mori Lee mermaid style gown, the beautiful bride carried a gorgeous bouquet of peonies and roses for a quintessential summer bridal look.

With a five-tier artificial cake – every inch the picture-perfect creation – the couple also laid on a special cocktail hour for their guests, complete with the breezy sounds of a live saxophonist.

With images by Ian MacMichael Photography

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (83)

jenn says: We got engaged in London on 15th November 2014. We were celebrating Mark’s birthday, staying in our favourite hotel – The Grange St Paul’s. We were out sightseeing all day and when we got back in the early evening, there were roses and champagne in our room. Mark asked if they were for his birthday, I said no, then turned around and he was on one knee.

We got married on 11th June 2016. There wasn’t a specific reason why we chose this date, other than that we knew we wanted to get married on a Saturday at the beginning of summer.

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (92)

We tied the knot in All Saints Church in Childwall, which is Mark’s family church and is stunning. This was followed by a reception at West Tower. I had always dreamed of getting married at West Tower; it was the first venue we viewed and we both knew straight away that it was perfect for us. The grounds are gorgeous and the staff are unbelievable, too.

Our colour scheme was white. We wanted everything neutral so that our photographs wouldn’t look dated in the years to come.

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (101)

I chose a lace mermaid style Mori Lee dress – I tried on more than 50 dresses before I found ‘the one’. It was from a gorgeous shop called Natalie Ann Brides. As soon as I started to try on different gowns, I knew I would find my perfect dress there. I was petrified I wouldn’t find one that I loved and was really nervous, but they really put me at ease. I didn’t actually choose my dress – Natalie said she had found the perfect dress for me and, it turns out, it was exactly what I’d been looking for!

Mark wore a three-piece black dinner suit with bow tie from William Hunt in York. He has seen a photo of the suit on Pinterest which we couldn’t find anywhere, but he eventually tracked the shop down. They had one in London and another in Harrogate. He dealt with Gavin who was brilliant and nothing was too much trouble.

The bridesmaid dresses wore floor-length nude dresses from AX Paris. The groomsmen wore two-piece black dinner suits from Next with ties from Debenhams.

A Sophisticated Wedding at West Tower (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (107)

Peaches and Cream did the bridal party’s hair and makeup. I loved the trials in the buildup and it was such a fun atmosphere in the shop on the day. They don’t come out to your house, which I quite liked as there were ten of us so it could have got a bit manic! All the girls looked stunning.

Our wedding transport was a vintage car from The Wedding Rooms, Formby.

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real wedding recap: pronovias for an elegant wedding at grays court, york – katie & andrew

January 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

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If timeless elegance is your thing, prepare to fall head over heels as we share the beautiful big day of Katie and Andrew on the blog today.

Picking the stunning Grays Court hotel in York, as the impressive backdrop to their wedding, Katie and Andrew married in a romantic outdoor ceremony, complete with a petal and lantern-lined aisle.

Concentrating on the details, the champagne, blush and gold styling and florals are nothing short of sensational, and we adore the wedding party’s gorgeous attire too! Top marks all round!

With images by Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography.

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katie says: Andrew proposed in Mijas, Spain, in June 2015 on a family holiday. He had planned to propose during the first few days but my best friend also got engaged at the same time when we were away, which was amazing, but as a result, Andrew said he felt he had to wait a few more days so he could have his turn of getting down on one knee!

Knowing we always wanted to choose the engagement ring together and having been planning for a long time, he proposed with a Pandora engagement charm, getting down on one knee in the botanical gardens in Mijas in the hills overlooking the Spanish coast – it was beautiful! Andrew had asked my mum for my hand in marriage the day before so everyone knew about it except me. I didn’t have a clue!

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We set the date for Saturday 14th May 2016. Our venue had an outside ceremony area within stunning gardens, so it was vital that we had a spring or summer date. This was the only date left in May and it was extra special as I turned 30 in the same week.

Our chosen venue was Grays Court hotel, in York. It is an elegant, luxury, boutique 11th Century house with outstanding features, long gallery and breath-taking gardens. York walls overlook the venue and we found Grays by chance ourselves in 2010 when walking the walls and witnessed a beautiful wedding there in the gardens. York was one of our first city breaks together and we go every year so it is a special place for us. We didn’t entertain anywhere else when choosing the venue.

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We had always wanted black tie tuxedos and elegance as the style of the wedding, and so we planned a classic, romantic, intimate, English wedding with lots of style and detail.

For the colour palette, we had lots of white, champagne, blush and gold tones, with fantastic details. It was the colour scheme we naturally gravitated to and complemented our venue.

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When dress shopping, I chose to visit Eternity Bridal Wear in Cheshire, as it was a local stockist of Pronovias, which was the designer I wanted to try the most. It was the only shop we went to and about five dresses in, we found ‘the one’. I always knew I would end up in a fitted dress with back detailing however this was more embellished with beading and a tulle train and I totally fell in love with it. Karl, Zoe and Ann at Eternity are amazing and Zoe knew which would be the dress for me when she asked my mum and nan to close their eyes as I came out of the dressing room. The store is beautiful too. I wanted something that felt like me, something I felt comfortable and beautiful in with lots of detailing but something I could also dance in.

Accessories-wise, I chose a Joyce Jackson two tier cathedral length veil embellished with Swarovski crystals, it glittered in the sun! My crystal embellished bridal shoes where from Badgley Mischka shipped from America, I wanted something different and sparkly. I also wore a Tiffany & Co bracelet, which was a wedding gift from Andrew.

On the morning of the wedding my bridal party’s hair was styled by Emily Hawkes, who went above and beyond and even helped me get into my shoes and dress.

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real wedding recap: ronald joyce for a romantic wedding at ashton memorial – melissa & craig

January 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

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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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