April 11th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Grown-up glamour was the dress code for Victoria and Paul’s Manchester city wedding, so expect to be wowed by the bride’s custom-made Suzanne Neville gown – not to mention the sterling black tie effort from their stylish guests.
Their glamorous details – the bottomless gin bar, the nine-piece swing band – are impressive enough on their own, but when you consider that this couple’s original venue cancelled their wedding a mere five months before the big day, you really start to appreciate the scale of this determined duo’s accomplishment. Married life should be a doddle in comparison!
Our favourite picks? The fact that they walked back up the aisle to I Predict a Riot and that infamous red sofa pic – the very same spot where our editor in chief Julia, has sat for a live national broadcast all things weddings – no biggie!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Slice of Pie Photography.
victoria says: The proposal happened in a local restaurant we’ve visited for the last few years. We decided to spend Christmas Day there in 2015, and Paul had told all the staff about his plans. He ordered champagne and got down on one knee before lunch – of course, I said yes!
However, before this starts to sound terribly romantic, full disclosure: Paul’s brother was annoyed because he was starving and had to wait for his lunch because we were busy ringing our family – and then our six-month-old daughter promptly threw up all over my dress! Gotta love kids for bringing you back down to earth with a bump!
Our wedding date was 4th August 2017 – we met in August and love that time of year so that’s why we chose it.
Our venue was a private members’ club in Media City called On The 7th. We’d booked another venue in Manchester city centre, but we had a phone call in March to say they were closing down and our wedding was cancelled – total nightmare! Within 24 hours, though, I’d found our new venue and rearranged all of our suppliers. I knew about On The 7th as I used to be a member there and it’s such a cool, versatile place.
Theme-wise, we just wanted glamour! We love dressing up and make any excuse to do so. Our guests did not disappoint! Our colour scheme was black and white with silver accents; we like simple, monochrome palettes.
I had a custom-made Suzanne Neville gown designed and fitted by Suzanne and paired it with crystal-encrusted, ostrich feather Kurt Geigers. Suzanne travelled up from London to her Wilmslow studio for my fittings. She’s a real idol of mine, so I was thrilled she agreed to do it!
Paul wore a black three-piece tuxedo with black velvet bowtie and the groomsmen wore black Swarovski crystal bow ties – they were from M&S!
We had nine flower girls all in black and two bridesmaids also in black floor-length gowns.
March 9th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s military groom Kyle proposed to the gorgeous Sophie before he was posted to the US for three years and the couple organised their wedding in less than three months. Respect, guys.
Nothing in today’s pictures, however, betrays the fact that they were up against the clock. This seriously chic city wedding scores countless cool points, from Sophie’s edgy ASOS bridal dress, those Oriental-style violet silk shoes and stunning urban backdrops.
This wedding gives us all the feels. Who knew that being photographed in front of a lift could look so – well – completely and utterly perfect?
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Rebecca Parsons Photography
sophie says: Kyle popped the question over an Indian takeaway in our new home. Kyle’s in the Royal Navy so he’s often away but is mainly home at weekends. We’d recently bought our first home together and moved in October 2016. Shortly afterwards, Kyle broke the news that he’d received his new drafting and would be going away to America for three years in January 2017. Then, casually while eating our takeaway, he said, “Sooo, will you marry me?”
Our wedding date was Saturday 7th January 2017. We were married at On The 7th at Manchester Media City. We weren’t looking for a traditional church wedding venue and, both being from Manchester, loved the idea of having a Manchester backdrop for our photos. As soon as we arrived at the venue we knew this was the one. It suited our quirky characters and we loved the laidback feel. It’s a fantastic place and didn’t need much decoration. We did, however, hire some lights spelling out “love” from Love Lights The Way.
The groom and groomsmen all wore navy suits with burgundy accessories and tan shoes. The colour theme was minimal with the flowers being mainly white with a hint of light blue fuchsia and blue thistle.
My dress was a cream, crochet-style lace dress from ASOS bridal. It was down to the ankle, with a shorter underdress and a slit up the back. It had a high neck with small capped sleeves. I wore statement blue floral shoes, which were my favourite part of the outfit – I received so many compliments on them!
Kyle wore a navy Ted Baker suit with a slight check detail and matching waistcoat. He had a paisley patterned pocket square with a burgundy tie and a pocket watch. The groomsmen also wore Ted Baker in navy.
asos, ASOS bridal, brides up north sponsor, city wedding, love lights the way, marks and spencer, media city wedding, rare beauty, real wedding, rebecca parsons photography, salford quays wedding, tallulah blooms, ted baker, wedding dj services, wedding photographer, wedding photographer manchester, wedding photography
April 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s couple prove how a vibrant setting can actually help your big day stand out all the more. Rachael and Zariah combined their love for the arts, entertainment and all things bright to produce a colourful wedding that dazzled, in more ways than one.
I particularly love how happy and natural everyone involved in this special day looks, all captured by On Love and Photography – fabulous pics guys!
rachael says: We got engaged on that Olympic Super Saturday 4th August 2012 during a holiday in Paris. Before we went away, some of our friends speculated ‘ooh maybe he plans to propose in Paris!’ which I laughed off. After visiting a variety of stereotypically romantic settings (with limitless opportunities for proposal) – The Eiffel Tower, Sacré–Cœur, banks of the Seine etc. he hadn’t popped the question and so I wrote it off. Therefore it certainly came as a surprise as we got back to our hotel room on the last night and Zariah tells me he wants to spend the rest of his life with me and produces a beautiful aquamarine engagement ring! I cried for a long time; half in shock, half in happiness and woke up the next day with a puffy but very happy face!
We were originally going to get married in February 2014. However, when I found out I was pregnant in December 2012, we decided to postpone the wedding so that we could solely focus on getting used to being new parents, without having to plan an imminent wedding too! Thankfully, the venue were so accommodating and happily rearranged it for 28th February 2015.
We had our wedding ceremony in our local church, St Paul’s in Sale town centre. The church is down the road from our house so it’s lovely to have that reminder of our wedding every time we walk past. After looking around various different venues for the reception, from stately homes to pubs, we knew from the moment we walked into The Compass Room at The Lowry Theatre that this was the place for us. We loved the urban architecture around, the room is really unique with floor to ceiling views of Media City. We are both also jobbing actors, so the fact our reception was in a theatre was another bonus and made it feel special to us.
The thought of planning a wedding has always filled me with dread, let alone the thought of a ‘theme’. That said, as we began to realise how much thought had to be put into each aspect of the day – there had to be some sort of common thread. We wanted the wedding to be bright, fun and personal, with a bit of sparkle.
Our colour scheme was predominantly blue with a lot of brights! My engagement ring is aquamarine, we both like blue so that was our base for the bridesmaid dresses and suits. After trawling through Pinterest I was drawn to all the brightly coloured flowers so we really went for a bit of everything.
After visiting several bridal shops in and around Manchester whilst carting Isaac around in his pram, the dress hunt was beginning to lose its sparkle. I was trying on too many and being indecisive. I had realised that the slightly 1950s style princess dress suited my figure the most but I struggled to find ‘the one’. One Saturday in July, on a visit back to my home town of St Helens with my step sister Julia we visited Always & Forever Bridal Boutique. The women in the shop were really down to earth, honest and didn’t beat around the bush, which is just what I needed. It was also the first shop I’d been into where I liked several of the dresses and most were in the Mori Lee range. It was here I found my Madison dress. It was just what I wanted, I loved the romantic tulle, full skirt, simple, but with a bit of sparkle in the belt.
It took a few more months for me to decide on the accessories. I bought some lovely 1950s style Rachel Simpson shoes online. Jewellery wise I wore a locket that my Grandad gave to my Nan on their first date which had their pictures in. I didn’t think I wanted a veil but in the end, I think the plain tulle veil complemented the church ceremony. Rosie Binns from Ethos Hair in Chorlton did my bridal hair and the bridesmaids’ hair on the day.
The groomsmen wore the same as Zariah. Isaac (our son) who was our page boy wore a suit from Mamas and Papas with blue Converse trainers. My bridesmaids wore sapphire blue Dessy dresses we ordered through J’Adore Bridal Boutique in Altrincham. My flower girl (Leah, my niece) wore a very pretty, simple white dress from Next, along with a cardigan with a butterfly clasp and we bought her a heart shaped locket, similar to mine.
We hired a beautiful Royal Windsor wedding car from Century Wedding Cars, St Helens, as our transport. We liked the 1950s theme and the company is owned by an old school friend’s mum and dad. It was nice to give them business as a grown up bride-to-be, rather than giving them grief as a teenage tearaway!
Our photographers were the brilliant and lovely Giulia and Ben from On Love and Photography. They had photographed our friends’ wedding the previous summer and we fell in love with their pictures. It was a no brainer that we wanted to use them too. Not only amazing photographers, they are such a friendly couple too. We both felt really comfortable around them and loved their observational style shots. They are also quite adventurous in their photography, egging us on for the more unusual pictures! We would highly recommend them.
Fletcher and Foley of Sale provided our flowers. My bouquet was made up of orange ranunculus, red parrot tulips, blue muscari, mixed anemones and hellebores and catkins for a touch of spring!
The florist arranged jam jar pew ends at the church made up of brightly coloured ranunculus, daffodils and blue musacri which really gave a hint of spring. Two of our friends then kindly transported the pew end flowers to the wedding venue and arranged them in a row on the top table. We used vases from my sister’s wedding for centre pieces and kept it simple with floating candles and peachy/pink delphinium orchids floating on top. The bridesmaids and I made the table plans, name cards and signage for the venue. The room itself had the wow factor so we didn’t need to go mad on decorations. Special Day Events, who we would recommend, provided organza bows for our chairs. Emma was really quick in her email correspondence and sent me an array of different coloured samples in the post to choose from.
Instead of a wedding guestbook, my friend made us a wedding post box with the idea that guests wrote their bits of advice and messages on a postcard, posted it in the box then took a selfie on our camera which we will print out and put next to their message in the guest book.
Being big cake lovers, it was only fitting that we had cupcakes as wedding favours. We also had a vase full of sparklers which we lit on the balcony overlooking Media City later on in the evening. The idea was for us to walk through a ‘bridge’ of sparklers – by this point the guests were quite drunk though and I was convinced my dress was going to go up in flames!
As our main cake we bought an M&S three-tiered cake with a mixture of fruit and sponge. Simple and tasty!
As Zariah’s family are a Jamaican heritage we wanted to incorporate some Caribbean flavours into our wedding meal and so the sweet potato and red pepper soup was a nod to this culture, whilst the Yorkshire pudding and beef canapés a nod to mine! We had chicken with mozzarella and sundried tomato as our main followed by a coconut Manchester Tart with banana ice cream, which was a big hit!
We love music and wanted guests to be in the mood for a party from the start so we hired Taylor and the Mason, two female guitarists to play during the drinks reception in the Quays Bar. Their voices are amazing and they are both gorgeous, funny and northern. We also hired a magician called Dan Tiernan whom Zariah and I have worked with at the Youth Theatre we teach. He was great and kept the guests and kids entertained during the meal.
For the evening reception we hired a DJ – Nick Campbell who was recommended to us. He came to our house before the wedding to discuss our tastes in music and was really friendly and chilled. Zariah had written out a long list of requests for the evening which Nick was happy to use. Nick gaged the audience perfectly, the dance floor was never empty – we even ended up doing a Conga to a reggae song around the room. Our first dance was to Our Day Will Come the Amy Winehouse version. We didn’t want anything too smoochy or slow, yet this song meant a lot to us as after being together for seven years and having a baby together, it felt about time we had our first dance!
It was really special that my Grandad walked me down the aisle in church. My mum and I lived with him and my Nan until I was four so we’ve always been close. It also seemed fitting that if my Grandad ‘gave me away’, then my step Dad, Graham, who’s been in my life for over 20 years should do the father of the bride speech in the evening. It was lovely that they both got to have special roles.
Being a bit of a feminist, I think a lot of our guests (including Zariah) expected me to do a speech along with the traditional male speakers. Whilst it was something I considered, after the pressure of months of wedding planning, the thought of adding this extra pressure wasn’t appealing. Then I came across four young lively buskers on Facebook that I had another idea. I asked Bolton Brass – a four piece brass band, to perform at our wedding as a surprise after the speeches. After watching them online, I just loved their energy (they do dance routines with trumpets) and hearing modern pop songs performed by a brass band just captivated me. The band burst through the doors playing Can’t Take My Eyes of You after the final toast and then leapt into No Place I’d Rather Be, The Final Countdown and a couple more songs. It really geared the guests up for the evening do and was my way of making a speech. They were amazing!
As we had a few children at the wedding I made goody bags for the kids table; play dough, colouring books, bubbles and disposable cameras.
We loved our wedding venue. The staff were so friendly and accommodating throughout and for those looking for an urban city wedding, The Lowry is perfect. The Compass Room is big and has the wow factor with great views of famous landmarks and endless opportunities for photos. We liked the fact we had our drinks reception in the Quays Bar downstairs, it really made use of the different sections of the venue. We also managed to have some photos taken in one of the theatres! It really was a unique venue and reflected both our love for Manchester and the arts.
It’s hard to define a favourite part of the day, we enjoyed it all from getting ready in the morning to doing the Conga in the evening! The vows in church were a really special moment when we both had to hold back the tears. We also really enjoyed hearing the readings we had picked for the church – one was from Isaac’s favourite bedtime book called ‘Me’ by Emma Dodd. It was lovely to have our son with us on our wedding day and fitting that we could include a reading that meant something to all of us. One really unique part of the day was when we arrived at venue and our photographers ushered us to a bridge next to The Lowry for photos whilst hundreds of Man United fans headed to the match. It was moment on our own away from the guests, yet surrounded by lots of friendly strangers from Zariah’s team (Zariah would like to add: we won 2-0 so it was a great day overall). We also had fun later on when we took to the balcony of The Lowry for group pictures with our friends. It was really cold and windy so after a few drinks, we all jumped up and down and started chanting silly songs to keep warm. It just confirmed how lucky we are to have such wonderful friends!
Following the wedding we had a two-night minimoon at The Brimstone, Langdale in The Lake District. After a hectic 18 months of bringing up a baby and wedding planning, we just wanted total relaxation on our own. We are also having a week away to Crete in the summer as our honeymoon and taking Isaac with us.
Our top tip to other Brides Up North is – plan well in advance, especially if you’re doing a lot of the stationery yourself. We took for granted how long the little bits would take us. We would also recommend investing in good photographers like On Love and Photography. The photos are the memories you keep for life after your day is over. We decided what mattered to us the most and the least, and stuck to that in terms of budget. Have fun on the day! The little things really won’t matter much. It’s about you two and having your loved ones around you what makes the wedding, not the chair covers (even though they did look lovely).
always and forever bridal boutique, arty wedding, bolton brass, century wedding cars, colourful wedding, dessy, ethos hair, fletcher and foley, jadore bridal boutique, mamas and papas, manchester wedding, marks and spencer, media city, media city wedding, moss bros, next, nick campbell, on love photography, rachel simpson, schuh, st pauls, taylor and the mason, the lowry theatre, uk wedding blog
We strive to represent the very best in our industry, but Brides Up North cannot be held liable for the products/ services of our sponsors. Any bookings are made at your own risk. Terms & Conditions.
All images © Brides Up North/ original author. Images should not be reproduced without written permission. Terms & Conditions.