Charlotte Balbier

real wedding recap summer 2017: a sophisticated wedding at west tower, ormskirk – jenn & mark

June 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

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

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 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

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.

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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romance & roses. a pink & black theme for a glamorous lake district wedding – robyn & matt

May 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (33)

Today’s gorgeous bride Robyn admits she likes things on the formal side, and so she and groom Matt opted for tails, cravats, roses and full-on strapless princess-fit bridal glamour.

But this couple were true to themselves and made fun a big part of their big day, too – there was a game of Mr & Mrs, magic, a singing waiter and much more.

Formality and fun, glamour and games – what more could you ask for on a Wednesday morning?

With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Sally Eaves.

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (19)

robyn says: We got engaged just the two of us at our home in the Lake District – oh, and the dog and the fairy lights from the Christmas tree in the background! It was very low-key and just what I wanted.

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (37)

We were married on September 29th 2016 – the day before my 30th birthday. We had our ceremony and celebration under one roof at the Swan Hotel, Newby Bridge. It’s right at the base of Lake Windermere so really beautiful and picturesque but also not too big. It felt intimate as well as very grand, if that makes sense.

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (6)

For the theme, we didn’t go for anything too prescriptive. I’m quite laidback and I didn’t want anything too fussy with centrepieces and decorations. The venue is beautiful enough without needing to add anything else.

Colour-wise, we went for black and pale pink. I like things to be a little more formal and I love black and white, but the touch of pink made it feel more romantic rather than a corporate do.

A Glamorous Wedding in the Lake District (c) Sally Eaves (49)

I wore a strapless buttermilk/ivory satin princess-fit gown with some beading around the waist from a wedding shop in Cheshire that has now unfortunately closed. I chose to have a small backward bolero, too. This meant I could have the illusion of a neckline with a keyhole back during the day but it transformed into a strapless gown for a second look in the evening.

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a winter’s tale. maggie sottero for a contemporary wedding in derbyshire – danni & rich

April 18th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Contemporary Winter Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Ragdoll Photography (36)

We’re easing you back into the four day week by featuring the beautiful big day of Danni and Rich, who tied the knot last November after more than six years together.

They exchanged vows in their parish church in Melbourne, Derbyshire, and then celebrated at one of their favourite local venues, Amalfi White – a stunning restaurant and cocktail bar complete with a contemporary ballroom.

We just love the couple’s special touches throughout the day, which included a nod to their love of books, and also lots of glorious sweet treats in the form of a dessert table.

Wih images from Ragdoll Photography

A Contemporary Winter Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Ragdoll Photography (31)

danni says: Rich had a ring, ready to propose for a while, so when we booked a last-minute trip to Rome in June 2015, he decided to pop the question, which was incredible! We’ve been together for over six years (four-and-a-half when he proposed) so we’ve always talked about it, but it still took me by complete surprise. I’d always said please, please do not propose in front of anyone, so he tried a few times in various super romantic locations but every time he was about to get down on one knee (unbeknown to me) a crowd of people would come along. In the end, he proposed in our hotel room at the end of a perfect evening. I was in my pyjamas but immediately after saying yes got dressed and we went out for champagne.

A Contemporary Winter Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Ragdoll Photography (32)

We got married on 25th November 2016, which has always been a special time of the year for us. Our first date was on 22nd November 2010 and Rich’s mum’s birthday, who sadly passed away ten years ago, would have been on 27th November. So, this date was a way to honour Rich’s ,um.

We tied the knot in Melbourne, Derbyshire, which is the village we live in. We got married at Melbourne Parish Church. Angela, the vicar, is amazing (she was extremely patient with me when I sobbed my way through our vows) and we were so glad that it was her who married us.

A Contemporary Winter Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Ragdoll Photography (44)

Our reception was at The Ballroom at Amalfi White. It’s where we celebrated buying our first home and is literally our local as it’s along the road. We wanted a very relaxed day full of lovely food and drinks and our favourite people so it felt perfect to be somewhere we loved and where we would feel comfortable.

A Contemporary Winter Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Ragdoll Photography (35)

We didn’t have a particular theme. Overall, we just wanted it to be relaxed with great lighting so that it felt atmospheric and romantic. The combination of chandeliers on dimmers, light-up ‘love’ letters and candles as table centre pieces looked beautiful together.

We knew we wanted to entwine our love of books into the day and do this in a subtle way. Our table names were Minas Tirith, Hogwarts and The Shire (Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter references) and we had quotes from F Scott Fitzgerald (our new surname is Fitzgerald) dotted around.

We’re also Christmas fanatics, so Amalfi White put the Christmas decorations up and we had some of our favourite Christmas songs on our playlist in the evening.

There was no particular colour scheme. I don’t like anything to be ‘matchy matchy’ so all of the bridesmaids wore different dresses in complementing shades and we kept decorations soft and neutral. We used burgundy ribbons in the flowers and burgundy ties and pocket squares to give a bit of depth and winter warmth to the neutral colour palette.

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tale as old as time. lillian west for a wedding at the great john street hotel – sarah & stevie

April 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

Today’s real wedding is all about the magic of Disney – the enchanting Beauty and the Beast to be more precise.

Our couple, Sarah and Stevie, decided on a nod or three to their favourite family movie, with the film’s much-coveted teapot, clock and candlestick all making an appearance on their special day. Combine this with a few unconventional twists – such as serving popcorn and swapping a traditional wedding breakfast for a rooftop barbecue – and we think this is an informal take on wedded bliss at its best.

With images by Claire Basiuk.

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

sarah says: We got engaged on 15th September 2015, while in Tenerife. We were on the second night of a family holiday, staying in a lovely hotel at the top a hill. Stevie was calling our daughter Sophia over to the terrace to have a picture taken against the sunset. Sophia, however, was more interested in going dancing, so was reluctant. I eventually talked her over where Stevie then picked her up, got down on one knee and asked to marry me. My reaction was “are you being serious?” – anyone that knows us will know why; we had been together nearly 11 years, already had a beautiful two-year-old little girl and marriage had never been on the table. I’d even been discussing how I would never get married on a hen do only two days before! My answer was, of course, yes and I will never forget that beaming smile on Sophia’s face, it was as if she knew what it all meant. The evening was then spent dancing!

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

Our wedding date was 18th September 2016. I loved the idea of having a September wedding (maybe as my mum and dad got married then) and 18 is actually my lucky number so this worked out perfectly. We weren’t bothered about whether we did it one or two years after we got engaged but looking back now, it was lovely that it was almost a year to the day.

We wanted a venue that could accommodate both the ceremony and reception and chose Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. We had always wanted a venue that had something a bit different and had loved the idea of a barn style venue. I realised though that my main concern was guests being able to easily get to the venue, and barn style venues don’t really offer that.

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

We were looking for a relaxed and informal feel to our wedding day and Great John Street offered this. It was different to any other wedding venue we had visited, and we just loved the quirkiness, the décor, all the separate areas that guests could relax in and, of course, the roof terrace with city centre views.

From the outset, we both agreed that we wanted to do our wedding a little differently, as neither of us like being the centre of attention. For us, it was all about celebrating with our friends and family, so we exchanged our vows later in the day, and decided not to have a formal wedding breakfast with speeches. Instead we opted for a barbecue on the rooftop where the guests could choose what food they ate and where they sat. This allowed us to mix with everybody. There was no pressure on Stevie, my dad or the best man to give a speech, this was entirely their choice, and they did this in the early evening with everyone on the roof terrace.

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

I wanted to be a bit creative with the decoration aspect of the wedding, as opposed to having just a colour scheme. We have a love for Disney and chose a Beauty and the Beast theme. This is my favourite Disney movie; it was the first film song Sophia sang and danced to and it has become Stevie’s favourite, too. We also thought that Tale as Old as Time had quite a good meaning for us, having been together so long. We realised this could easily become cheesy but I wanted to incorporate classy and elegant details from the film. A lot of the decorations and flowers featured those classic Beauty and the Beast colours of blue, gold and red.

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down to the woods. a romantic rural wedding at priory cottages – kayleigh & paul

April 4th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Lumiere Photography (34)

Today’s Bonfire Night wedding is full to the brim with woodland gorgeousness. Kayleigh and Paul opted for a rural wedding venue, daisies and natural grasses in the bridal bouquet and a dramatic ivy arch as the focal point for their ceremony. The result? Fan-flipping-tastic.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also some cool retro styling, sparklers a-go-go and the most glorious confetti shots. Look no further: this is autumn wedding inspo at its best.

With photography by Lumiere Photographic.

A Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Lumiere Photography (28)

kayleigh says: We got engaged in 2015 after 12 years of being together (we‘re high school sweethearts!) Paul took me down to a log cabin in the Cotswolds where we’d stayed before. While I unpacked the bags, he hung up fairy lights on the terrace and lit candles. The sun was setting and it was so beautiful when I walked out and saw it all.

A Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Lumiere Photography (4)

We got married on Bonfire Night 2016. We didn’t want a summer wedding because we both prefer the cold and the colours associated with this time of year. It was also the perfect excuse to have hot dogs and chilli at night and celebrate with fireworks and sparklers!

We got married at Priory Cottages near Wetherby, Yorkshire. We loved this venue because it was kind of an ‘all-in-one’. We got married in the beautiful barn, moved into the marquee for our reception and our guests could stay overnight in the cottages. The drive up to the barn was beautiful and the surrounding fields were a gorgeous backdrop for our pictures.

A Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Lumiere Photography (27)

Our theme was autumn, using warm dark colours and earthy tones throughout. We used a lot of hessian, wood and fairy lights to create an almost woodland theme. As lovers of vintage and retro styling, we also used some old suitcases and house blankets for the inevitable chill.

Our colour scheme was dark blue and forest green. We had the bridesmaids in blue and the groomsmen too with hints of green in their ties, shoes and scarves.

A Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Lumiere Photography (41)

I chose a Justin Alexander dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. It was strapless which I didn’t initially like, but the staff added a gorgeous attached lace top and it had a V-shaped back which gave it an extra special touch, too.

Getting ready, we used Luxe Beauty Lounge in Yeadon for our makeup. Emily was fantastic and made all the girls feel confident. Courtney Wilson from Hair by Courtney is my usual hairdresser and was absolutely brilliant.

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true chemistry. a fairy-tale wedding in durham city – michelle & anthony

April 3rd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Fairy Tale Wedding In Durham (c) Teardrop Photography (37)

Today, we’re escaping to beautiful Durham City for a vintage inspired wedding that celebrates all those wonderful bridal traditions we often find ourselves daydreaming about.

The couple – Michelle and Anthony – created a special day brimming with understated elegance – we’re talking an ivory and sage green palette, 1920s cars, beautifully decorated candelabras and exquisite floral arrangements. Just look at the bride’s pretty gown and we promise you’ll be swept away by their captivating fairy-tale theme.

With images by Teardrop Photography

A Fairy Tale Wedding In Durham (c) Teardrop Photography (26)

michelle says: After five years together, we got engaged on 15th July 2015, in Santa Ponsa, Spain. We went for a posh meal at a cliff-side restaurant followed by a stroll along the beach. The sun was just beginning to set and I remember thinking to myself how romantic it was – we stopped to admire the view and when I turned around Anthony was down on one knee asking me to marry him…and, of course, I said yes! Anthony had picked the most beautiful engagement ring with the help from the staff at ROX Newcastle.

Our special day was Saturday 27th August 2016. We wanted a summer wedding and it fell perfectly on the Bank Holiday weekend. We were very fortunate with the weather as the sun kept shining all day long!

We were married at St. Patrick’s RC Church, Langley Moor. I had always dreamt of being married in church and this church has a special meaning to Anthony as he went to the neighbouring catholic school. The church was breathtakingly beautiful without the need for accessories and decoration.

A Fairy Tale Wedding In Durham (c) Teardrop Photography (51)

Our wedding breakfast through to evening reception was at St. Mary’s College in the heart of Durham city. This venue is primarily used for Durham University students and we had to seek permission to hold our wedding at this prestigious building with its ornate great hall and lavish landscaped grounds. My grandad was a Professor of Chemistry at the University and his ongoing involvement enabled us to be granted approval.

Our wedding day embraced fairy-tale romantic elegance, which included many bridal traditions. Anthony and I had the wedding rehearsal a few days before the big day then did not see each other until my dad walked me down the aisle on our magical day to the traditional Bridal March played by our organist. I incorporated the “something old, something new…” tradition as I wore my mam’s blue garter (which she wore on her wedding day 27 years ago) along with wearing a matching earring and necklace set which I borrowed from my mother-in-law. We also greeted each and every guest by doing a “line up” which gave our reception a personal feel and took the time to welcome and thank all our loved ones for sharing our special day with us. Another tradition I embraced was that my cousin Emma, who was also one of my bridesmaids, wore my engagement ring until after our ceremony – and not forgetting Anthony carrying me over the threshold of our new home the following day!

A Fairy Tale Wedding In Durham (c) Teardrop Photography (28)

Our wedding colour scheme was a mixture of sage green with ivory, we opted for very natural colours which matched perfectly with the foliage and flowers we used to decorate most of the venue.

A Fairy Tale Wedding In Durham (c) Teardrop Photography (29)

When I first started looking at wedding dresses, I had a completely different style of what I would like in mind. I originally wanted lots of lace with sleeves – completely different to the wedding dress I chose in the end! As soon as I tried on my fairy-tale princess style gown, with my full-length veil and tiara, I fell in love with it and knew instantly it was ‘the one’. This was then confirmed as I walked out of the fitting room and my mum and mother-in-law were in tears! It was such an emotional experience and I think all brides will agree this is one of the most special moments of the whole wedding process.

I got my wedding dress from Alice Elizabeth, a local boutique bridal shop in Coxhoe. The owner and dress maker Heather, and bridal consultant, Anne-Marie were truly amazing from the moment I walked through the door to find my dress, even to the moment I was just about to walk down the aisle! Heather surprised me and was waiting outside the church on my special day to give me a good luck hug and ensured my dress and veil was looking incredible! I was blown away by this touching moment! I couldn’t recommend Alice Elizabeth enough – they transformed my dream dress into a reality and I will be forever grateful to them both.

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