Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

Like Vintage? You’ll LOVE This. The Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition At The Bowdon Rooms, Cheshire

April 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Well, that’s come around quickly!  Once Easter weekend’s out of the way, it’s time for the chocolate eggs and fluffy chicks to make way for something even better! In just over a week’s time, the finest North West vintage wedding industry talent will be descending upon The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham, for our third Luxury and Vintage Wedding Exhibition at this unique and authentic vintage venue.  

The Bowdon Rooms Spring 2014

The Bowdon Rooms Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition

The Firs, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 2TQ

Sunday 27th April 2014

12pm till 4pm

FREE ENTRY

This brilliant, exclusive use venue is as fun as it is special, with it’s high ceilings, sparkling drapes, ornate fireplaces and perfectly sprung dance floor.  Dancing shoes at the ready!  If you are looking for a bespoke and private wedding venue with a little added period pizazz, it’s your lucky day. 

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

We had such a fantastic time at our Brides Up North spring and autumn events back in 2013 – these images were snapped at both by Martin Hambleton Photography – and can’t wait to do it all again, with a host of great suppliers ready to make your big day into the stuff of your dreams.

Like everything vintage, these events just get better and better with age.  It’s going to be even fabulous this time around. You need to be there. 

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Foley Photography

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Foley Photography

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

The venue’s helpful team will be on hand to answer your queries and take bookings (form an orderly queue please!) and I’ll be there to talk wedding pretty till I’m hoarse.  I genuinely love this venue and am really excited to see my gorgeous readers there.  Please do seek me out and say hello, I adore hearing about your plans. 

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Foley Photography

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

As well as all that inspiration – completely FREE – we are also giving away up to 200 FREE Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, on the day discounts, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our amazing sponsors.  Just because we love you.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.  While stocks last only. 

To register for for speedy entry and a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be goody bag fill in your details below, marking “BOWDON ROOMS in the subject line and quoting “VIP”.   Only the bride need register for larger groups.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

You can also email contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk if you do not wish to use the contact form. Welcome packs are limited and subject to availability.  We operate a first come, first served policy. 

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Martin Hambleton Photography at The Bowdon Rooms Wedding Fair

Click here to see Ellie & David’s wedding in full.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Brides Up North/ Foley Photography/ Martin Hambleton Photography as tagged

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Posted in BUN Wedding Exhibition, North West Fair, North West Wedding, Vintage Wedding, Wedding Venues | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Lunch With Caroline: A Castigliano Designer Day At Lace Bridal

December 20th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Life as a is actually a little different than I expected to be.  High level event planning, a busy blog and feature writing schedule, looking after sponsors and exhibitors and all that lovely admin that comes with running a business on a daily basis is time consuming stuff.  Rather than floating around on a cloud of tulle attending long lunches with fabulous people (yes, I did think self employment might be a bit like that) a lot of my days are spent putting in 12 hour shifts in a messy office, albeit a messy office overflowing with pretty wedding bits.  It’s not a tough life, granted, but it’s a busy one.   

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Once in a while though, a day comes along that is exactly what I thought a full time life as a professional wedding blogger would be (clouds of tulle, long lunches and all), and then all that hard work is so worth it. 

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Step forward the lovely Katie and Lesley of Lace Bridal, Ailish at Keep Calm & Marry On, fabulous photographers Katy Lunsford and Martin Hambleton, Craig at Unforgettable Memories, assorted bridal press, one Caroline Castigliano (wedding dress designer to the stars) and celebrity chef Simon Rimmer.

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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I was very privileged to be the only wedding blogger invited to the launch of the Caroline Castigliano 2013 collection at the gorgeous Lace Bridal in Hale, Cheshire, followed by a private lunch with just the designer, the Lace Team and the talented Simon Rimmer at his beautiful eatery Earle – handily right next door!

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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An afternoon of to-die-for dresses was followed by a gorgeous gossip over a fantastic three course spread.  Trust me, if the Lace ladies look after their brides as well as they looked after me – and I very much suspect that they do – then you are in very good hands indeed. 

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Here are just a few images and a special film from the day, to give you a sneak peek at Caroline’s beautiful new collection.  Watch out for light and airy full skirts, perfect detailing, delicate lace and the softest flashes of colour.  What we gossiped about over lunch?  I’ll take that to the grave!  

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Katie, owner at Lace Bridal told me: “We are thrilled to launch the Caroline Castigliano 2013 collection to our brides. They are the most luxurious and incredibly well made gowns – any bride that wears a Castigliano dress is in for a special treat!”

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Caroline said: “I am delighted that my collection will be available to brides in the North West at Lace Bridal.  My aim is to always make a woman look more beautiful on her wedding day than she ever has done before. I believe in excellent structure to ensure great silhouettes, draped in the softest fabric to create the allure of understated feminine glamour.”

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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The Caroline Castigliano name is synonymous with understated chic and contemporary designer style.

Castigliano’s signature is a silhouette which is unquestionably feminine and effortlessly elegant. Her unique ability to cut and construct garments enables her to create a gown that is confident and sexy, yet exudes a deep sense of style.

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Everything about a Castigliano gown is unique – from the exquisite choice of fabric, to the foundation of the gown, which is created using unique corsetry and undergarments techniques.  Each gown is meticulously handcrafted in the UK for a flawless result and the collections are offered bespoke or made to measure.

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Caroline’s vision is to ensure that when you walk down the aisle in a Caroline Castigliano wedding dress you will feel the most confident you have ever felt in your life.  You will gain this confidence by knowing that you look incredible from every angle. With every step, you will sense the power of the gown; the beauty of its movements; its amazing cut; its total simplicity and undeniable elegance.
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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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Lace Bridal, based on Ashley Road in Hale, Cheshire, is a luxury, high-end boutique. This year they celebrate 15 years in business, catering for brides in Cheshire and Manchester, across the rest of the UK and internationally.  Business partners and wedding experts, Katie and Lesley, have almost 30 years’ collective experience in the wedding industry. 

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A Lace bride is sassy, smart and confident and will not compromise on quality. The boutique is a bride’s dream – calm and chic, full to the brim with carefully selected award-winning designer bridal gowns. With expert advice and guidance from Katie and Lesley, it makes for the perfect wedding experience.

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Caroline Castigliano at Lace Bridal by Katy Lunsford Photography

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To make an appointment at Lace Bridal boutique please call Katie or Lesley on 0161 941 7374. For more information please visit www.lacebridal.co.uk.

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– Images © 2012 Katy Lunsford Photography, Video by Unforgettable Memories

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Events, UK Wedding Blog, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | 3 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

She Who Wears The Crown: A Real Wedding In The North West – Steph & Jonny

October 10th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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I’ll be honest.  As a , I see a whole lorra of weddings.  Each and every wedding is beautiful – that’s for sure – but editorially speaking, it’s also nice to see variety.  It’s the spice of life after all.  That’s why I’m glad that Brides Up North’s USP is its regional focus and not the style of weddings that I feature.  I’m far to fickle for that. 

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One pretty style that I do see more than most is the popular theme of vintage tea cups and bunting.  Don’t get me wrong, I really do love fine china and pretty prints – but it needs to be done right – and on a blog that sees hundreds of gorgeous Real Weddings a year, with standout style.

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Today’s bride, the lovely Steph, shows us exactly how to carry off this beautiful and popular theme with panache.  With images by Martin Hambleton Photography, beautiful calligraphy place settings and fantastical florals, it’s hard to imagine a prettier wedding breakfast.  

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I’ll have two sugars please! 

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Stephanie says:  We got engaged in December 2010. Jonny arranged a luxury spa break at The Doubletree Hotel and Spa in Hoole, Chester. It was a lovely and very romantic way to get engaged.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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We were married on 25th August 2012, bank holiday weekend. A day that was due to be rainy and cold but actually was bright and warm for the photographs and most of the day.

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Our ceremony took place at St Oswald’s Church, Lower Peover, Cheshire and the reception venue was Peover Golf Club, Lower Peover, Cheshire.

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I sang in the church choir from the age of nine and was christened and confirmed in the church. I also attended the local primary school and we performed all our seasonal services in the church. It was just a large part of my life growing up. Singing in the choir at weddings throughout the years, gave me time to plan the perfect wedding and from the age of nine I knew that I would have a horse and carriage as transport, ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘I vow to thee my country’ as hymns and no children to spoil the service!  St Oswald’s is set in the most beautiful Cheshire countryside and I just knew it would be the perfect back drop for the wedding photos. We also live in the village of Lower Peover and I grew up in the next village, Plumley, so I wanted to get married somewhere that was home to us both.

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I worked at Peover Golf Club whilst at university and worked at many weddings there myself and always thought it was the most beautiful place. The function room is open and light with Bougainvillea in flower, growing up the oak beams; the perfect setting for my theme. The staff, some I have worked with and some I haven’t, are tirelessly helpful and will do anything to make sure that things are just right for you. The golf club is also very close to the church so the five mile limit for the horse and carriage journey was covered in the distance. The room is also cosy and seats 72 people for a wedding breakfast. This suited us well as we both have small families and might have ‘rattled around’ in a larger venue. We never looked at another venue as we both just knew we wanted to hold the wedding reception there.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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The theme was biggest part of the planning for us. We went for the vintage country look and purchased 71 mis-matched vintage tea- cups, saucers, side plates jugs and sugar bowls from markets, charity shops and antique shops. I absolutely loved collecting them and treasure them all still. We also had 26 metres of bunting made and hung it from the beams which looked beautiful. The flowers, the stationery and vintage suitcase I had relined in chintzy fabric and lace, complimented the theme so well and many guests commented that they had never seen a wedding venue look so beautiful.

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The colour scheme was pastel pinks, greens, blues, yellows, lilacs and florals. Just a very pretty mixture of colours that complemented each other.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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I chose an Alfred Sung dress from Puure Bridal in Lymm. The dress was in dark ivory and had one strap which was full of detail with white flowers and diamonds. It was fitted down to my hips and then flowed out to the floor. The fabric was gathered into ‘roses’ and had a large train on the back. I loved it! I wore it with a veil which was satin trimmed and had little crystals within it. I also wore an Ivory and Co head piece which was similar to the strap detail on the dress. My shoes were from Dune and were ivory with little diamonds on the front.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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The bridesmaids wore a pale sage green dress from Puure Bridal in Lymm. They were made by True Bride and were long, strapless and had some detail under the bust. All of the girls wore the same and the colour complemented the theme really well. They all looked very elegant.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Country Flowers from Knutsford, Cheshire created beautiful bouquets for the bridesmaids and me.  I carried a country posy of white peonies, sweet avalanche roses, pink and cream spray roses, pink snap dragon, cream stock, pink limonium ellie and eucalyptus foliage.  The church and venue flowers looked meadow like and natural which is exactly what I wanted.

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Our favourite part of the day was the wedding ceremony at church. As I arrived up the aisle, Jonny said to me, ‘You look beautiful’ and I felt it. The vicar performed a lovely heartfelt ceremony and I couldn’t believe after watching all those weddings as a child and teenager in that church, it was finally my turn. Jonny was also overcome with emotion during the service and it all just felt so real and special, we wish we could do it all again!

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography   Martin Hambleton Photography

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We hired a vintage typewriter and suitcase from Ems Originals. Guests used the typewriter to write messages on and the case was also complete with paper and pens for that purpose also. We also bought our own vintage suitcase, relined it and used it as the card box for guests.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Urbis Scriptores from Comberbach, Northwich created the place names which were a real ice breaker across the tables. Each one had the guests name and meaning decorated with ribbon and little crystals. These were also our favours as they doubled up as a bookmark.

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Martin Hambleton Photography   Stephanie-and-Jonothan-at-Peover-Golf-Club-411

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We chose a three tier cake from Supa Dupa Cakes. One tier was lemon butter cream and sponge, one was chocolate butter cream and sponge and the other jam and butter cream. We had it decorated with iced bunting which looked like it was blowing in the wind. We decorated the top with flowers similar to those in the bouquets and used a pearl and lace ribbon to decorate the cake with.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography   Martin Hambleton Photography

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Olive Tree Catering who are based in Northwich and North Wales and who are also the recommended caterers for the Golf Club created a delicious wedding breakfast and barbeque in the evening which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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We hired an ice cream bike from Lanza’s Ice Cream, Leek, Staffordshire which was a special addition to the wedding. As guests arrived from the church to the reception, they enjoyed farmhouse ice cream and I also provided sprinkles and marshmallows in little teacups for the guests to use.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography was everything we wanted in a photographer. He was so professional and has created photographs that document the day in the way we dreamed of.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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We went to Portugal for our honeymoon and spent the week relaxing. We asked guests for a contribution to our honeymoon as their gift and despite having covered that, we even have enough to travel to New York at Christmas or in the Spring. We can’t wait for that, it will be like our second honeymoon.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure that you put the time and effort in to making the day what you have always dreamed it would be. It took a lot of time and money to source all those vintage tea cups but I am so glad I did it; it looked fantastic! Also, give time to choosing the right photographer who is going to capture your wedding the way you want to. This will be your big memory of the day to look back on in years to come and you want it to be the best most beautiful memory you have got.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Congratulations Steph & Jonny!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North!

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  – Images © 2012 Martin Hambleton Photography 

This not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in North West Wedding, Real Weddings, Vintage Wedding | Filed Under | 4 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Castles & Pearls! A Real Wedding In The North West – Jennifer & Mike

September 30th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Peckforton Castle Wedding by Martin Hambleton Photography

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Jennifer and Mike’s Real Wedding at the stunning Peckforton Castle makes for the perfect Sunday brunch eye-candy.  Put your feet up and enjoy!

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With images by Martin Hambleton Photography

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Wedding In The North West By Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Jennifer says:  We got engaged at home in Little Sutton on Christmas Eve 2010 and were married at Peckforton Castle on March 3rd 2012. 

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Martin Hambleton Photography   Martin Hambleton Photography

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I always wanted to get married in a castle and nowhere else locally comes close to Peckforton – it was the obvious choice.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Our colour choices were white, ivory and pink.

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I wore a Ronald Joyce (Ladonna) princess dress with a diamante and pearl encrusted bodice and tulle skirt from Bespoke Brides, Mollington, Chester and carried a large bouquet of ivory avalanche roses with small amount of diamanté in the centre of each rose from Black Cat Floral Design in Chester (who did all our flowers). 

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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My bridesmaids wore blush Dessy bridesmaid dresses which were long to the floor, again by Bespoke Brides in Mollington, Chester. 

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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My favourite part of the day was our civil ceremony and blessing in the chapel afterwards, it was so special.

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We arranged a collage of photos of us in a vintage frame next to our cards postbox and guest book.  Our chair covers and details were by Elegant Finishing Touches, Oswestry.

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We chose a four round tiers wedding cake in ivory icing with individual iced pearl detailing from
Jo’s Couture Cakes in Nantwich.  We had four flavours: traditional fruit/ lemon drizzle/ chocolate and Tia Maria fruit with chocolate.

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We placed photos of our parents on their wedding day in vintage frames next to wedding cake and later served a cake of cheese as a late evening snack in the Castle’s wine cellar after our evening reception.

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After the wedding breakfast we opted for a DJ and evening lighting by Hipswing Entertainments.  

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After the wedding we had a city break honeymoon in Hong Kong and then on to the Maldives to relax.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure you take a moment during the day to stop and take it all in together.

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HEARTCongratulations Jennifer & Mike! HEART

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Get in touch if you would like to see your Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 Martin Hambleton Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in North West Wedding, Real Weddings | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Vintage Lilac & Lace – A Real Wedding In Cheshire – Victoria & David

September 13th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Thornton Manor Wedding by Martin Hambleton Photography

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High time for another beautiful Real Wedding on these swirly silver pages I think!  Today we are at Thornton Manor in Cheshire, celebrating the stunning wedding of Victoria and David.  Victoria has been absolutely fantastic with her recommendations and top tips for you lovely lot, so I think I’ll leave it up to her today!  With images by Martin Hambleton Photography.   

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Victoria says:  Dave romantically proposed on 16th December 2009 on holiday in Mexico under a waterfall in an underground cavern called Ik-Kil (this was the first stop on an amazing trip to the Mayan pyramids in Chichen Itza). We spent the rest of the holiday enjoying the new phase of our relationship and didn’t tell a soul at home until we got back.

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We were married on Friday 12th August 2011. We wanted a summer wedding and it ended up being a Friday as our chosen venue didn’t have any Saturdays in summer available 20 months in advance! We therefore chose August as this was perfect for Dave to take a number of weeks off work for the honeymoon and, with having a number of guests who work as school teachers, including one of the ushers, it had to be in the school holidays. We chose the 12th August as this was the date we became the owners of our current home, having previously rented a flat together for a number of years, so ‘the glorious 12th’ was a lucky date for us!

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Cheshire Wedding by Martin Hambleton Photography

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We got married at St Georges United Reformed Church in the beautiful little village of Thornton Hough on the Wirral.

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St Georges quite literally came to the rescue when plans at our original church fell through just a month before our wedding! Having been our joint first choice of church (only put off by the distance from our home for the purposes of regular attendance), the switch actually worked out so much for the better in the end: In a short period, St Georges offered us so much more than we were ever previously offered over the period of a year, everything was in the one beautiful setting (with the reception being held just up the road at Thornton Manor) and, most importantly, we couldn’t have asked for a better marriage ceremony – so many guests commented on how personal and touching it was (which was quite an achievement in just four short weeks!) Indeed, from the word go, the Reverend John Oldershaw and Registrar David Stewart really shared our vision of the kind of marriage ceremony we wanted and for that we will always be grateful. Having taken us in at the last minute and made us so very welcome, St Georges will always be ‘our church’, which is just what we wanted following our wedding.

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Martin Hambleton Photography   Martin Hambleton Photography

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The reception venue was the first element of the wedding we wanted to book as we knew it was a key one that would determine a lot of other elements. Over a period of about 8 months, we must have looked at most reception venues in the North West! We initially did an internet search and then visited those that looked like they were a good match for what we were looking for. We saw Thornton Manor at the first wedding fair we went to (and then every subsequent one after that). The pictures looked amazing and so we booked a tour and immediately fell in love with the place. We had always wanted a unique venue that had a good reputation, was easy for everyone to get to (so that everyone could attend), that was the right size for our numbers, offering 24hr exclusive use and picturesque grounds plus accommodation with overnight facilities (so we could extend the celebrations for as long as possible). Thornton Manor provided all that and more. Whilst top end in terms of price, we knew we would be able to trust them with our big day and it was definitely worth the money. The venue itself is so exceptionally grand and beautiful that we felt like film stars on the day and everyone commented on how perfect it was.

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I got ready on the morning of the wedding at Hilltop House.  Paul and Wendy really went out of their way to help make the night before and morning of our wedding so special; nothing seemed too much trouble for them and the bridal party all thoroughly enjoyed their stay. The morning of the wedding couldn’t have been more perfect – Hilltop House provided the most beautiful and serene setting for the bridal preparations; as captured on film. Exceptional value for money and highly recommended.

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We never really understood the need for a theme but I guess that ‘understated elegance’ was always the subconscious theme, whilst a vintage one also seemed to organically emerge what with the venue, car, outfits and flowers.  Our chosen colours were ivory, ‘vintage lilac’ and subtle blush pink. 

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I chose a very fitted, on the shoulder, vintage style Ritva Westenius ivory gown with a satin underlay and lace overlay that flowed into a gorgeous long train, subtly customised with delicate crystals and perfect for an hour-glass figure. The dress was purchased from the lovely Geraldine at the unique and fabulous Belles Bridal Boutique on Hope Street in Liverpool and customised by her talented seamstress Kathy. I would recommend Belles to any and every bride due to its beautiful and unique collection of dresses, quaintly styled studio and personal, unpressurised, professional and very genuine service. It was always that dress, no other in any of the many other shops even came close – it was the first one I saw in Belles on a manikin; it ticked all the boxes of what I was looking for and more and I was so glad to have found it there as Belles provided the fairytale bridal dress experience little girl’s dreams are made.

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Our one adult bridesmaid (and ‘oldest’ friend of the bride) wore a ‘victorian lilac’, floor-length, satin Alfred Angelo dress with lace-up back and a sweetheart neckline. We searched everywhere for just the right colour and style and finally found it in Pronuptia on Williamson Square in Liverpool who were able to do quite a quick turn-around. Our nieces (2 and 4yrs), as flower girls wore ivory satin dresses with a flower on the sash that tied in a bow at the back and had a subtle diamante detailed neckline with matching diamante studded ivory satin shoes; all from John Lewis.

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Sian made the trial and the wedding morning such a fun and relaxing experience. My hair and makeup perfectly enhanced my dress and I had so many compliments about both. My hair looked so natural that hardly anyone even realised that I had extensions in! I would recommend So Coco Rouge to anyone and have done so to brides and others alike. I love their concept of natural beautiful makeup in a quaint friendly environment – the experience is just as good as the finished product and I have become a regular customer.

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Accord Choir sang beautifully at our wedding ceremony; accompanying guests for each hymn. And, with the lace look being the ‘order of the day’ (particularly following the Royal Wedding), their outfits were even in sync with the bride’s and very much ‘on trend’.

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As we wanted a really personal memento of our day that guests could also keep, we chose Foto-fusion to produce our order of service, which featured a transparency of a photograph we took of one of the stain-glass windows in the church on the front and a poem and message of thanks on the back . Suzanne was really helpful and, with the change of church, ensured a quick turnaround on our beautiful finished product.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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We travelled i a gorgeous ivory Beauford Tourer (four seater) from Horgans Wedding Limousines that had a “Just Married sign” on the back and the number plate “We 2 R 1” when stationary. Poetically, it was the same company, car and number plates that Dave’s brother and sister-in-law had used on their wedding day 13 years prior. Having searched a number of car companies, Horgans were really professional and the cars were beautifully maintained. As we had booked the cars before changing the church, the chauffer commented that it was the shortest journey he had ever done as we quite literally drove round the corner from the guest house to the church and then up the road to the reception venue, going on a brief detour to allow the wedding party time to get there before us while we drank our champagne!

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Our photographer was Martin Hambleton Photography - Martin is simply a superb photographer and one we would recommend to anyone and everyone. I spent so long trawling through websites and wedding fairs to find the best photographer and that’s exactly what we got with Martin. Everyone who has seen the photographs (practically everyone we know, due to the helpful on-line gallery) has commented on how stunningly beautiful they are and how they perfectly encapsulate the happiness and romance of the day and, for us, the personalities of many of the guests. We are so delighted with all the photos (including the ones from the pre-wedding shoot) that making album selections has been nigh on impossible; taking us a whole year! Martin manages to put people who hate having their photo taken completely at ease as he’s such a genuinely lovely bloke; you get the best of both worlds as it’s like an enthusiastic friend taking the photographs but with all the creativeness and talent of a consummate professional.

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Martin Hambleton Photography   Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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We used Marry Me Films as our videographer.  We really couldn’t have picked anyone better to film our special day; we can’t praise or recommend them highly enough. They were an absolute pleasure to work with and provided a professional and very personal service that was second to none from start to finish, culminating in the best possible portrayal of the best day of our lives; as appreciated by all our family and friends. Marry Me Films are a genuinely lovely, friendly couple who make an exceptionally experienced and enthusiastic team. Due to their impeccable attention to detail and unobtrusive manner, our stunning DVD provides the perfect way to relive our wonderful day and all its emotions. Each time we notice something different – something we’d forgotten or missed on the day itself.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Cheryl at Pink Sherbet Designs produced the majority of our wedding stationery, matching the colour to the purple of the bridesmaid’s dress. The design was beautiful and perfectly complimented the theme of our day, whilst also giving us value for money. We had numerous compliments from guests about how gorgeous the stationary was. The table plan is still proudly displayed in our hall and will remain so as a lovely reminder of our special day.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Barretts were more than just caterers; they were, as they market themselves, an events management company and a highly skilled one at that. Thanks to the wonderful, super helpful, organised and hard-working Michelle and her team, our day ran like clockwork. Nothing was left to chance as Michelle had guided us through all the decisions we needed to make in the run up to the wedding and had meticulously set plans into action. Family and friends all commented on how delicious the food was, how attentive and professional the staff were with the serving of the drinks, canapés and the wedding breakfast and how slick and seamless the whole reception was. Barretts professionalism made for a completely stress-free reception and we would highly recommended them.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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We tried to add our own special touches throughout the day.  At the reception, all the table names were of places of significance to us, like the place where we met and got engaged, our honeymoon destination, the street names of where we grew up as well as our first and current home etc. We also had photographs and name cards of friends and family no longer with us, or too ill to attend the wedding, dotted about the different rooms, along with lots of dried flower bouquets in the same colours as the real ones. In addition, one medium and one massive Jenga kept guests entertained in the gardens at the drinks reception and provided some great photo opportunities and video footage . At the ceremony, we were also honoured to have one of our friends sing while we signed the register. Our final special touches came in the form of surprises from our parents – a book of my early years presented by my Father in the speeches and a lucky wedding horseshoe charm for my charm bracelet given to me by Dave’s parents at the wedding breakfast.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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The fabulous and very creative Earth Flowers in Heswall provided all the flowers, including themy large, round, hand tied bouquet featuring vendella (cream) roses, sweet avalanche (blush pink) and memory lane (vintage lilac) roses, small purple freesia and freesia buds, wired cymbidium orchid heads (shared only with the groom’s button-hole), pale pink calla lilies (matching in with the groomsmen’s buttonholes), small white hydrangea (a flower in memory of the my grandparents) and tiny touches of silvery foliage. The theme of the bouquet was ‘an English country garden’ with a slight twist. The day after the wedding and before going on honeymoon, the bouquet was left on the grave of my paternal grandparents who were so greatly missed on the day. Having been to a couple of florists beforehand, Anne and Mark from Earth really ‘got’ my vision, helped hone my ideas with the use of their many photo albums and turn them into reality. The bouquets and displays they made for us were nothing short of stunning and, from start to finish, nothing was ever too much trouble for them.

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We chose six tier fruit cake with both round and square tiers, glass vases to add further height and sugared cymbidium orchids to match the flowers shared between the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s button-hole, despite actually settling on and ordering purple lilies to pick up the single adult bridesmaid’s colour!

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Nevertheless, our grand looking cake, ordered from Magical Cakes, perfectly fitted with our grand venue – the design was beautiful and perfectly complimented the theme of our day whilst also giving us value for money (as some of the tiers were fake!) Indeed, we had numerous compliments from guests about how lovely the cake both looked and tasted (it also kept really well and we still have some saved!)

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Martin Hambleton Photography   Martin Hambleton Photography

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Entertainment wise, we chose Marc Kenny, a combined singer/guitarist/DJ who held special significance to us as we used to see him in a particular bar from when we were first dating. Marc is exceptionally talented and great value for money with his combined skills and ability to cover all requests, either performing or DJing. He’s like a ‘one man band’; a very professional entertainer and a really nice guy to boot. Nearly all our guests commented on what a brilliant find he was. We couldn’t recommend him highly enough!

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Just over 24 hours after the end of the wedding (i.e. 4am following the ‘after-party’!) we jetted off to New York where we visited all of the major sites before heading to the luxurious and beautiful surroundings of Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort in Jamaica for some sun and well needed relaxation! Cirque-du-soleil, cocktails in the Waldorf-Astoria and snorkelling with turtles were just some of the highlights. We were so lucky to have the three-week honeymoon of our dreams (the third week courtesy of the hurricane in New York that prevented our booked flight-path on our intended return date) and for that we will always be grateful to all those who helped make that dream a reality through their contributions to our honeymoon gift-registry. Sandals was just fantastic – plush surroundings, diverse gourmet food, great entertainment and activities and really helpful when we were stranded, giving us one free night and an extended stay in the same up-graded honeymoon, beachfront concierge suite at a standard rate. We would definitely recommend Travel Counsellors honeymoon gift-registry for couples who have all they need for their home as it was such an easy way for guests to contribute to something really special for us.

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Our absolute top tip for other Brides Up North would be – ask about any planned building work or potential issues at all of your venues (including your church!) before booking and make buying insurance one of your first priorities – it’s only cheap and well worth it. You always think you won’t need it and, hopefully, like us, you won’t but it’s always better to be safe than sorry and, as it’s a one-off payment there are no hefty premium increases (Thornton Manor actually recommended a good insurance company to us so it’s worth asking the advice of your venue as they may know the experience of couples who have made claims). Also, a lot of people think that insurance is only for things that go wrong on the day and whatever the compensation, it wouldn’t make up for that part of the day going wrong but it may be that the insurance could help rectify a problem before the big day. For example, we could possibly have claimed on the insurance for re-printing the invitations due to the change of church; we didn’t as we just sent out additional notelets and emails for speed and ease but, if that was something that really mattered to us, the option may have been there. We were also lucky that our wedding was on a Friday as changing the church on a Saturday in summer would have been pretty impossible so, whilst Friday’s are now often no cheaper than Saturdays (it wasn’t in our case anyway), we had much more choice available to us in terms of suppliers, could take our time with our selection and had more options when problems were encountered with the church… so, Fridays are well worth considering in general!

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Other tips would be:-

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· Capture your wedding on video and preferably hire a professional videographer or, better still, a company that uses two videographers, like Marry Me Films. That way you won’t miss a minute of your big day – each time you play it back you will see things you didn’t notice on the day itself or even the last time you watched it and it will help all those beautiful memories come flooding back. If you do hire professionals, make sure you are comfortable with them and their style as then you will enjoy, rather than resent, the time you spend with them on the day and will be happy with the finished product, as was the case with us.

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· If you are having young children at the ceremony, ask if their parents will sit with them at the back and take them out if they are unsettled; particularly if you are having the ceremony videoed as all noise will be picked up by the microphones.

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· Prepare well in advance, down to details like listing the specific photos you want (not just the usual family line ups) etc. Have a timetable for the day and appoint someone to ensure you stick to it, whilst building in a bit of flexibility (your reception’s wedding planner, master of ceremonies etc will probably do this). Make sure that at least key people know the timetable as well – my mum nearly missed our first dance as we hadn’t told anyone what time we were planning it for (sometimes it’s the simple, obvious little things you forget)!

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· Shop around for exactly what you want at the best possible price and always ask for a discount (10% would seem to be the average). The cost of all precious metals is going up so it is well worth purchasing your rings as early as possible (ours doubled in price over a twelve month period!).

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· If you trust a particular supplier, ask them what other suppliers they would recommend for other elements of your day. We found our bridal boutique and photographer through our videographers!

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· Enlist the help of others where you can – there is always more to do than you think! Before the wedding, assign specific jobs to people for them to carry out on the day (e.g. helping round up guests for the photos etc). Also ask people to remind you of or take charge of things of importance to you e.g. if you want an unofficial photograph or a dance with certain guests, ask them to find you for this on the day; you will forget in all the excitement as you get swept along with all the events of the day.

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· If you have any form of gift registry, ensure that you open it well before the wedding and close it a few days after the wedding to give guests enough time to contribute – quite a few will leave it to the day or even afterwards.

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· Ensure that you have a post-box for all cards at the reception as it is easy for these to get misplaced and some guests may enclose money, even if you have had a gift registry.

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· Set up a wedding email-address early on so that all your wedding correspondence (rsvps, emails from suppliers and so on) are all in the one place and therefore easier to keep track of and manage.

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· You may not be able to keep all of the people involved in your wedding happy all of the time but, if not, remember that it is your day – the two of you and, notwithstanding the happiness and contribution of other, it is your happiness on the day that is the most important.

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Congratulations Victoria & David!

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Get in touch to see your Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 Martin Hambleton Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in North West Wedding, Real Weddings | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

*Waves* From The Sofa: In Recovery Following The Brides Up North Tweet Ups!

June 22nd, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Good afternoon! 

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India Hobson Weddings for Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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I’ve been in recovery this morning after two days ON TOUR (I like that, it makes me feel a little bit Stacee Jaxx) for the Brides Up North Tweet Up wedding industry networking events. 

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Tom Cruise is Stacee Jaxx for W Magazine June 2012

See the likeness? Ok, maybe not.

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I say “networking events”, when what I really mean is huge, beautiful parties with all my industry friends.  I have had the very, very best time over the last two days, seeing all my hard work organising something bigger and better than last time – like you do! – come to fruition. 

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A massive thank you to all who gave up their own time to help to create something really special, including:  Simply Bows & Chair Covers, Laurel Weddings, All Wrapped Up Events, The Cheshire Cat Cake Company, Lilybud Cupcakes, Fonix Music, Martin Hambleton Photography, The Belle Epoque, Dine, Leafy Couture, India Hobson Weddings, Forever Film, The Whimsical Cake Company, Buttercream Cupcakes, Glen Roughead, Icing & Lace and Wedding Ideas Magazine

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India Hobson Weddings for Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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You actually rock.  For real. 

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India Hobson Weddings for Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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But with a manic schedule, lots of chatting to lots of people, lots of time up ladders, lots of time lugging enormous boxes, props and flowers, lots of miles clocked up and lots and lots of standing up in ridiculously high heels, comes an absolute energy fail.  Arriving home after last night’s event – and a drive back across the Pennines at 3am – stone cold sober and (despite all the beautiful canapés that I inhaled) completely starving, I felt totally wiped out.  But it was totally worth it.

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India Hobson Weddings for Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Flash forward and after an unheard of before morning off – whoop whoop! – with a huge lie in, a mountain of hot buttered toast, a bubble bath and a blow dry I feel restored and ready to go.  So I’ll be back bright and early tomorrow to round of a week of gorgeous here on the wedding blog (I haven’t left you hanging have I?!) with a gorgeous Real Wedding from Georgina Harrison Photography – watch out for it. 

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India Hobson Weddings for Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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All the Tweet Up photographs, a little film and a full round up coming soon.  And boy, do I have some pretty lined up for you next week.  Watch this space. 

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India Hobson Weddings for Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Don’t ask.

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  – Images © 2012 India Hobson Weddings and W Magazine

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in BUN Tweet Ups, Events, UK Wedding Blog | Filed Under | 4 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Behind The Blog: Guest Speaking With Caroline Castigliano At A Wedding Vendors Networking Party In The North West

May 29th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Wedding Vendors Event With Caroline Castigliano by Martin Hambleton

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I was recently thrilled to be invited along as guest speaker at North West bridal boutique Lace Bridal’s wedding industry networking event with Caroline Castigliano at Vale Royal Abbey in Cheshire.  I was more than a little nervous at the prospect of addressing the assembled great and good of the North West wedding industry on the importance of social networking for business today, but I needn’t have worried – these professionals are a welcoming bunch.

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Here is a sneak peek behind the scenes at the event, with images by Martin Hambleton Photography and a little video from Unforgettable Memories

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Remember, if you are a North West wedding industry supplier, that the Brides Up North North West Tweet Up is approaching fast, at Belle Epoque, Knutsford on Thursday 21st June from 7pm.  Places are filling fast so email me at julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk for an invitation if you would like to come along. 

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Wedding Vendors Event With Caroline Castigliano by Martin Hambleton

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Wedding Vendors Event With Caroline Castigliano by Martin Hambleton

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Wedding Vendors Event With Caroline Castigliano by Martin Hambleton

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Wedding Vendors Event With Caroline Castigliano by Martin Hambleton   Wedding Vendors Event With Caroline Castigliano by Martin Hambleton

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 Wedding Vendors Event With Caroline Castigliano by Martin Hambleton   Wedding Vendors Event With Caroline Castigliano by Martin Hambleton

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Wedding Vendors Event With Caroline Castigliano by Martin Hambleton

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Wedding Vendors Event With Caroline Castigliano by Martin Hambleton

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Wedding Vendors Event With Caroline Castigliano by Martin Hambleton

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Many thanks to the lovely ladies at Lace Bridal for having me!

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  – Images © 2012 Martin Hambleton Photography 

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Events, North West Wedding, UK Wedding Blog | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Taking To The Stage!

April 20th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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I am one very excited this afternoon!

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I am so very honoured to have been asked to be guest speaker at Lace Bridal’s North West Wedding Vendors Party next Thursday evening at Vale Royal Abbey in Cheshire.  This event is a BIT of a big deal, with over 150 of the North West wedding industry’s finest coming along to mix and mingle – including a visit from two ladies who create dream wedding dresses to die for – Charlotte Balbier and Caroline Castigliano.

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It would be safe to say I’m also more than a little nervous about standing up in front of such a large group of assembled talents, but hopefully the heckling and Jimmy Choo throwing will be kept to a minimum!

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On second thoughts, throw all the Choos you like!  Pairs in a size 7 if possible.

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Now.  What to WEAR?!

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Lace Bridal

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If you are a North West wedding industry vendor who would like to come along, please email Katie at Lace Bridal: lacebridal98@gmail.com

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In the meantime, I have the pleasure of sharing with you a special bridal shoot – shot by the photographer responsible for this morning’s gorgeous Real WeddingMartin Hambledon Photography, with gown supplied by Lace Bridal at this stunning venue.

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And you might just recognise our beautiful model today… yes, that’s Sarah Jayne Dunn AKA Mandy offa Hollyoaks! My student days are coming flooding back right now.  Sarah will also be there next Thursday to say hello too.  Isn’t she gorgeous?!

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  – Images © 2012 Martin Hambleton Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Events, UK Wedding Blog, Wedding Blogger | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

New Year’s Newlyweds! A Real Wedding In The North West – Sarah & Nick

April 20th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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What better way to end the week than another gorgeous Real Wedding, this time from the North West and sent to me by photographer Martin Hambleton and real bride Sarah.  Sarah and Nick actually chose a similar colour scheme to that I picked for my own wedding, so I was always going to love the classic elegance of their wedding styling – topped off with a stunning venue to boot!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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Over to Sarah:  Nick asked me to marry him in July 2009 in Paris and we were married on New Year’s Eve – 31st December 2011 at Arley Hall in Cheshire

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We chose the venue because it’s a beautiful place, but what sold it to us was how friendly the staff were. They had us feel at home immediately. Everyone did a fantastic job of looking after us from the first show round right the way through to the day of the wedding.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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We opted for a classic colour scheme of ivory and charcoal grey. My dress was an Essence dress from Chester Bridal Gallery. Very plain, but perfect!

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My six bridesmaids wore long strapless dresses from Monsoon. They were a bargain in the January sale last year and then we just paid to get them altered for a perfect fit.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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I was already at the venue so we didn’t have wedding cars, but we did have a wedding bus to transport our guests from a nearby hotel though!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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I carried a hand-tied bouquet of ivory flowers – spray roses, narcissi, hyacinths, freesias and veronica with variegated ivy, eucalyptus and asparagus fern foliage by 2Lips Florists in Stockton Heath.

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RW Bespoke did our catering. They are the preferred supplier of the venue and were equally brilliant. We’ve had so many great comments about the food! 

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We opted for a traditional fruit cake made by my Auntie.  Instead of favours we had a sweetie table at the evening reception with personalised labels and traditional stripped bags in our wedding colours.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography   A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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We had a harpist, Nerys Hewitt who played during the ceremony and reception and then a brilliant band called The Indie Killers in the evening.  We had a confetti machine at midnight! At the strike of 12 o’clock a shower of silver and ivory paper flakes fell from the ceiling!

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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Obviously the ceremony and the actual getting married part was great, but the surprise appearance of all Nick’s friends dressed in Top Gun flight suits coming on to the dance floor to serenade me with Take My Breath Away after our first dance is a moment I will never forget.

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A Real Wedding At Arley Hall - Martin Hambleton Photography

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We honeymooned in Sri Lanka and The Maldives. We had an incredible time, just what we needed after the busyness of the wedding.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get organised! Keep a wedding file to store all correspondence and ideas and write all key dates on a wall chart – dress fittings, supplier meetings, payments dates etc.  You’ll be glad that you did! 

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Congratulations Sarah & Nick!

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Newly wed?  Contact Brides Up North to share your Real Wedding memories!

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  – Images © 2012 Martin Hambleton Photography

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