Brides Up North

full bloom! supplier showcase: red floral architecture

September 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (20)

This afternoon I’m very proud to welcome the fabulous Mat Hepplestone of Red Floral Architecture to the Brides Up North stage. I’m very privileged to be working with Mat on a special project this week and am ready to be lost in the scent and sensation of his amazing blossom masterpieces.  A true architect, this man makes cathedrals and castles from roses and peonies, and we love him here at Brides Up North HQ.

With images by Mick Cookson Photography, or otherwise provided by Red Floral.

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (3)

Mat says: My interest in the industry started from a very early age when my family moved house and the new next door neighbours had a local florist shop. I was asked to help out over busy periods and at weekends. At the age of fourteen I ran my own dried flower business from the cellar of the house, going doing dried flower parties in the evenings and selling my wares to the school teachers.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (18)

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (5)

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (5)

Where do you get your inspiration for flower design?

I am very much inspired by fashion. Looking at the season’s catwalk trends leads to the colour choices I produce for the annual season. The American luxury style is what appeals to me and I research the trends across the world to keep the Red Floral style innovative and at the forefront of design.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (9)

Describe some of the most recent weddings you have been working on?

Red Floral are lucky enough to house a team of designers who can create an eclectic mix of designs suitable for any venue. Recently we created traditional grandeur at The Monastery in Manchester and a life-size enchanted forest over in Liverpool. The more outrageous the request the more of a buzz we get here at Red.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (3)

What advice can you give to a bride when working with a florist?

Be aware that your wedding florist is the person who is solely responsible for creating the desired look for your wedding and stamping the luxury throughout the day. Make sure you select a florist who can communicate your vision, likes and dislikes. Red Floral wants to make your wedding absolutely breath taking so you need to relax and put your trust in your vendors. Brides often book the florist last which is a mistake because you need to get an idea of what everything costs and your budget. It’s good to look at your florist’s portfolio and tons of pictures to help what you’d like your floral design to look like. Also pick a florist with a massive portfolio of weddings as they’re more likely to help you.

Facebook and Pinterest are great tools for gathering together your dreams but please make sure when you go to your florist that the work they show you is actually created by their own fair hands and not just whipped off the internet. Believe me I have seen and heard the horror stories first hand. The common problem at the moment is that many of the ‘floral designers’ out there have little experience within the industry and with the ‘trend’ for messy vintage style arrangements created in jam jars it is very easy for someone to label themselves a florist.

Make sure you know the background of your chosen designer, someone who knows the technical stuff and is savvy enough to know what they are talking about and offer expert advice and alternatives.

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (9)

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (8)

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (7)

What about the timescales for wedding planning and arranging?

Flowers are ordered from all over the world, from South America, Holland and beyond. We need the plan for the wedding to be finalised at least four weeks ahead of the wedding in order to satisfy the wedding demands. What goes on behind the scenes in the world of floral design is crazy in delivering your product on the day.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (10)

Any secret tips?

Brides are often scared off by the more expensive flowers like phaleonopsis orchids and peonies. These flowers albeit more expensive are striking in minimal numbers and are guaranteed to scream luxury at any wedding regardless of volume.

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (12)

And what about some advice on picking colours?

So you have set the colour scheme for your wedding, let’s say for example you have chosen purple and ivory. That is a starting point, but please don’t think that everything has to be the exact colours. There is nothing worse than walking into a venue and it looking like an advert for Silk Cut cigarettes. Speak to your florist about tones and contrasts, introducing paler of darker shades from the same palette will give the wedding flowers impact and interest and stop the whole look becoming predictable, tired and dated. A bride’s bouquet created in strong colours will always become the dominant factor in a photograph, so if you want your dress to shine and be the centre of attention, then work the bouquet so it enhances the colours of the bridal gown.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (19)

Can you give us a brief outline of flower seasons?

Certain blooms such as roses and carnations are inexpensive flowers and are available all year around. Other flowers may fluctuate in price depending on the season. Daffodils and tulips are available in the spring-time and are a great way of creating some amazing springtime looks. If you have your heart set on peonies then be looking at May or June for your wedding date. I do have brides who set the date in these months especially to have peonies as the focal flower.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (6)

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (8)

What about the timescales for wedding planning and arranging?

Flowers are ordered from all over the world, from South America, Holland and beyond. We need the plan for the wedding to be finalised at least four weeks ahead of the wedding in order to satisfy the wedding demands. What goes on behind the scenes in the world of floral design is crazy in delivering your product on the day.

Can you tell us about your favourite season?

The summer season is the season that really does it for me in the flower world because I am a huge fan of blousy fragrant blooms. Summer time is the perfect opportunity to get creative with some exquisite English blooms and the sunshine brings out masses of flowers. The vibrancy of dahlias, the aroma of sweet peas and of course the beauty and colour range delphiniums and peonies make for some show stopping designs. With so many flower choices, Red Floral can create lavish wedding displays that are so sought after. Blush pink flowers, lilacs and lavenders with hints of nude and peach are available widely and produce stunning loose ethereal designs…

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (17)

 How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or find out more?

Visit our website at www.redfloral.co.uk  

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Real Wedding Recap Summer 2014. Puppy Love! A Real Wedding At Mitton Hall – Keri & Tom

July 2nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, 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 7th July 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  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.

Mick Cookson Photography

I adore Keri and Tom’s beautiful wedding day.  Every detail, from Keri’s gorgeous dress (that waist!) to their navy and lavender colour scheme, to the fact that their puppy Marvin came along too – in a bowtie no less – is gorgeous.  Packed with personal touches, fun surprises and lots and lots of pretty, I hope you love it as much as I do.

With images by Mick Cookson Photography.

Mick Cookson Photography

Keri says:  We got engaged on Christmas Day 2012. The ring was in my Christmas stocking that was hanging on the fireplace.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

We were married on 03.03.14 at Mitton Hall in Clitheroe.  It was my Nan’s birthday so the date was very special to the family.

Mick Cookson Photography

We walked in to the entrance lobby and were in awe of how incredible it looked. The whole place and staff were so inviting and after a tour around and chat with Victoria the wedding planner we knew it was the venue for us. We knew it was as soon as we walked in.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Wedding Make-up and Hair  was by Flossy and Leigh and my wedding hair pieces by Eleventh Heaven.

Mick Cookson Photography

I chose a Stewart Parvin Dress called ‘Luck be a Lady’ from Aphrodite in Knutsford. It was a dress that I didn’t even plan on trying on. Terry who owned the shop said I should try it and as soon as I put it on I knew it was the one! I tried it on with a lace bolero and a beautiful band around my waist and it became even more perfect! Tom wore a suit from Gieves & Hawkes and shirt from TM Lewin.

Mick Cookson Photography

Our bridesmaids wore navy dresses from Coast and the best men wore navy suits from Next. Tom, his Best Men, the ushers, our fathers and my Grandad wore the same Midnight Blue tie.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Our wedding had a couple of themes! Our wedding was quite rustic; hand decorated jars with twine, lace and hessian filled with lavender, gypsy grass, potpourri and tea lights decorated the tables resting on hessian runners and chopped circular wood. Lavender was a key part of this theme as it was my Nan’s favourite scent. We also incorporated America into our wedding as we met at a Camp in Pennsylvania,New York in 2010. We even made our America theme rustic with old postcards, a map as our table plan and faded American flags on our American sweet table!

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

We had a memory table with framed pictures of close family members who couldn’t be with us on our wedding day. Next to the table, on a blackboard we wrote ‘Because someone we love is in heaven, there is a little bit of heaven here today’. We also made a donation box where all the money donated went to Alzheimer’s Research UK. If you wanted to donate you could take a jar from the table home with you.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

We honestly can’t decide on a favourite part; we wouldn’t change one thing about our day. Everything that we planned, all our family and friends around us, everyone enjoying themselves made our day truly special to us

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Charlene at Love Gets Sweeter made our wedding film.  I don’t understand why some people don’t think the video is important! I felt as happy as I did on the wedding day watching our film back.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

We chose La Boheme for our wedding cake as we have always enjoyed her cakes and treats. The gluten free cake has always been my favourite. As we both love cakes so much we decided to have a cake table; we had one two tiered cake Victoria sponge cake (one tier was gluten free), surrounded by lavender meringues, salted caramel macaroons, mini Victoria sponge cakes, cookies and cake pops.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

We also had little surprises for each other; Tom got a friend to play ‘Hey Ho’ for us as we walked into the reception room, I sang ‘Hey Ho’ for him and the guests later on (with the same friend playing guitar…great minds)! Tom created a rap to the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ about meeting me and my family within his speech. My sister-in-law and brothers kindly made beer bottle labels titled ‘Scruffy Puppy’ that also had a picture of our dog Marvin on it to surprise Tom when I gave him his favourite ‘Honey Blonde’ Beer. I also made up a flash mob dance to a songs my sister in law had edited together. The flash mob was taught to all my hens (including my mum, mother in law and mums best friend!) and we surprised everyone with the dance. To finish the dance we all turned around with masks of Toms face on and danced to his favourite song ‘Bump and Grind’!!

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

DJ Ben was included in our package at Mitton Hall. Ben was incredible; he had the dance floor full all night.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

For our honeymoon, we went on a wildlife tour in Borneo; it was incredible. We went on a private tour and travelled around so we got to see lots of wildlife. We also tried scuba diving, went across canopy walkways, paddled in waterfalls, stayed in the rainforest. At the end of the adventure we stayed in for a few nights in a hotel where we got to relax and chill.

Mick Cookson Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to space everything out and start getting tasks done early. We made a lot of our decorations and we started ticking ‘To Do’s’ of our list months before the big day so there was no stress closer to the wedding. We had finished everything we needed to do three weeks before the day which meant there was no stress and we really got to enjoy the build up.

We also think its important not to be afraid to ask for help; a lot of people will be willing to help as they will want your day to be perfect for you. We cant thank our family and my friend Julie (one of my bridesmaids who came over from Australia) enough. We had evenings together of decorating jars, making the table runners and the table plan, etc. It was so lovely to have them all involved and getting to spend time with family.

Mick Cookson Photography

Congratulations Keri & Tom!

Would you like to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Mick Cookson Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Check Mate. A Fishtail Gown For A Real Marquee Wedding At Silverholme Manor – Sarah & Paul

June 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Mick Cookson Photography

This afternoon we join Sarah & Paul for their sun-drenched, monochrome, marquee celebration in the Lake District.  The happy couple kept proceedings classy and sharp before tearing up the dance floor!

With images by Mick Cookson Photography.

Mick Cookson Photography

Sarah says: We got engaged in August 2013 at The Waterhead Hotel, Coniston.  Paul took me away for the weekend as a surprise (as I had spoken about how beautiful the Lake District is).  He proposed to me on a small pier over Lake Coniston.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

We were married on 17th May 2014.  We chose May as it always seems to be nice weather that month! We chose Silverholme Manor or the Graythwaite Estate as they allow you to do whatever you like and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous!

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Our theme was music – a passion that Paul & I share! We chose a classy, simple black and white colour scheme.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

I chose a fishtail, ivory lace wedding dress from The Wedding Factory Outlet in Bolton. I fell in love with the shape of the gown and it’s open back.

Paul and the groomsmen wore light grey suits from Slaters and the bridesmaids wore black 50’s style dresses from Lindybop.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

I carried a bouquet of Picasso cala lilies from Deborah’s Florist, and our table decorations were vintage birdcages with floral designs inside them.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson was our photographer.  I would definitely recommend him as he takes beautiful, amazing pictures and I didn’t notice him all day.  He made feel completely at ease.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

For me, seeing Paul’s face as I walked down the aisle was my favourite part.  It made me feel complete and full to burst of love.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Our wedding cake was a three tier sponge, decorated with a cascade of roses and lilies from Sugar Ruffles in Barrow-In-Furness. 

Mick Cookson Photography

For our wedding breakfast we used Karen Rhodes Catering.  The food was all locally sourced and of very high quality. 

Mick Cookson Photography

James Fletcher Marquee Hire provided our marquee, they were so professional during the lead up to the wedding and when setting up.  The black and white dance floor was a must have!

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

After the wedding they went to St Lucia for a week and stayed at Ansi Chastenet.  It was complete paradise!  We lounged on the beach all week. 

Mick Cookson Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to worry too much about your plans, it will all work out on the day!

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Congratulations Sarah and Paul!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North? Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Mick Cookson Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Cafe Au Lait. Justin Alexander Signature For A Real Wedding In Windermere – Rebecca & Aidy

September 19th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Mick Cookson Photography

This morning we’re in Windermere as we join Rebecca and Aidy for their Real Wedding celebration.  When budgeting Rebecca was careful to spend money on the things that mattered most to her – which meant a beautiful setting, amazing food and one supremely gorgeous wedding gown…

With images by Mick Cookson Photography.

Mick Cookson Photography

Rebecca says: Aidy proposed in April 2012 at the church we were to be married, Jesus Church in Troutbeck, whilst sitting on the churchyard bench.  We were married on 13th July 2013 with the reception at Merewood Country House Hotel, Windermere. 

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Although we’re not from the Cumbria area we wanted somewhere different so a friend recommended the Lake District, as her sister had got married there. After looking round a recommended hotel that didn’t end up suiting our needs, by chance we found its sister hotel – Merewood Country House. As soon as we walked in I knew this was the place! It felt cosy and intimate, beautifully furnished, and I especially loved the 1940’s feel of the bar! The hotel would be exclusive to us on the day and with the stunning views it was perfect!

If you ever see the church for real it’s obvious why we chose it:  located in an idyllic setting, a beautiful valley, and very picturesque, the church was very bright and cosy inside and known as the ‘gem’ of the community!

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

I wore an Antique Gold Justin Alexander Signature 9690 with a full length cream veil (no tiers) from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I know all brides love their dress but I have to say this is an absolutely stunning piece! The amount of genuine wows I got from my guests: you know the difference between polite compliments and “wow!” This dress is a must see in the flesh!

My hair was by Kirby Blythe in North Lincolnshire, Kirby herself made the trip to prepare and do our hair.

Helen Dixon one of the salon owners at Time For You in North Lincolnshire and a friend of mine did our make up.

Mick Cookson Photography

My bridesmaid dresses (60s style) were from an on-line shop Courtesan Boutique in West Sussex and the groomsmen wore electric blue tailor-Made suits from King & Allen in Wilmslow. 

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

I carried a bouquet a ivory calla lilies with ivy foliage by Brackens of Bowness in Windermere. 

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

It’s really hard to say what the best bit was, as this is a one-off experience the whole day becomes one of, if not the favourite day of your life! My husband however, said his best part of the day was seeing me walk down the aisle, and for him to say that is unexpected so I must have made a good impression!

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

I tried to match the cake to my dress… three round tiers in mushroom/beige coloured icing decorated with white lace.

Mick Cookson Photography

I didn’t want any ‘special touches’ like a lot of brides do, preferring to spend more on the quality of food, drink, outfits and so on…

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Aidy’s friend was our wedding singer and then a DJ played afterwards.

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

After the wedding we jetted off on holiday to St Lucia. 

Mick Cookson Photography

Mick Cookson Photography

My top tip for Brides Up North would be to have your wedding exactly how you want it despite any pressures from family and friends; they will love everything once they see it all come together!

Another tip would be to make a weekend of it if you can; we arrived on the Thursday and really got to appreciate the build up to the wedding, spending time with friends and family as they arrived over the three days. We were able to witness the hotel preparations, go out for a meal on the Thursday evening, and on the Friday eat on the hotel veranda with most of our guests.

Mick Cookson Photography

Congratulations Rebecca & Aidy!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Mick Cookson Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Mink Silk: A Real Wedding In The North West – Nadine & Paul

February 2nd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Mitton Hall Wedding by Mick Cookson Photography

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Did you see what I did there?

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Yesterday, I took a rare and cheeky day off from all things online – the wedding blog, Twitter, Facebook, emails, Instagram, Pinterest – you name it, I was unplugged from it, as I celebrated my birthday with my closest family.  I figured that with Baby Brides Up North on the way and a full Spring schedule of Brides Up North luxury bridal events about to begin (click here for dates, details and to register as one of our VIP brides to be) this might be my last opportunity for some me time for quite a while.

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So today I’m back, refreshed and recharged (or as much as you can be in your third trimester of pregnancy) and completely making up for our one day hiatus as I bring you Brides Up North reader Nadine and new hubby Paul’s stunning Real Wedding celebration, with images by Mick Cookson Photography.  Fabulous!

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Nadine says:  We got engaged on Tuesday 28th September 2010. The day started with a catamaran cruise to Ile aux Cerfs, which is a beautiful island fringed with white sandy beaches, palm trees and crystal clear blue lagoons, just off the coast of Mauritius. Once we’d returned to our hotel on Mauritius and changed for the evening, Paul mentioned that there was something special happening on the jetty and wanted to be nosey and take a look on our way to the restaurant for dinner. As we approached I could see a waiter on stand-by, the pergola at the end of the jetty was adorned with silks, and there was a table set for two. With the sun setting on the horizon of the Indian Ocean it looked a perfect setting for a romantic meal. As we got a little closer I whispered to Paul “Wouldn’t it be nice if that were for us!”. As we approached the waiter gestured to us and said our table was ready. Before I could apologise to the waiter and say he’d mistaken us for another couple Paul thanked the waiter, gently took my hand and escorted me to what proved to be the perfect setting for a proposal. Even at this stage I did not suspect what was to come, but shortly after we were seated and Paul bent down on one knee in front of me, the penny dropped and the moment took my breath away.

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We were married on Saturday 22nd December 2012 at Mitton Hall, near Whalley in the Ribble Valley. We planned for a Winter wedding.  It was on recommendation of my best friend Vicky. The second we walked through the door we knew it was everything we had been looking for.

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We didn’t have a theme as such but we wanted the venue to offer elegance and the atmosphere to be relaxed, informal and fun which reflected our personalities.  Our colours were very neutral. Our chair sashes were mink and the floral arrangements were creams and ivory with a hint of gold. Everything else followed suit.

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I travelled to the venue with my Dad who had come over from Jamaica to give me away. We were taken in a vintage Regent Tourer by Horgans Cars.

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My dress was purchased from Annie Laurie Bridal and although this was two hours from where I live the service they gave was worth every mile! After trying on around 12 dresses I fell in love with a Maggie Sottero  named Pasadena.

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Paul’s suit was a traditional charcoal wedding suit with tails, with an ivory waist coat and mink ruffled tie, which was coordinated with our daughter’s flower girl dress and the floral arrangements. This was hired from Groom in Warrington.

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We didn’t have any bridesmaids or grooms men, we just had our little girl as a flower girl although she fell asleep before the ceremony so didn’t get to walk up the aisle. She wore a lovely ivory dress with a satin mink belt and flower which I customised by adding a flower embellishment to the flower. We saw this dress as we were food shopping in Morrison’s! We weren’t even aware that they sold clothes but there we saw exactly what we had been looking for.

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I carried a bouquet which I made myself using satin flowers made out of satin ribbon, silk flowers and embellishments.  I had my heart set on having a bouquet that I could keep and researched different styles of bouquets. At some point I decided that I would try and make my own (something I had never done before) and after hours and hours sat making satin flowers I finished up with the most beautiful bouquet. I love being creative and can pretty much turn my hand to anything I set my mind to. I will now be framing my bouquet in a box frame which will take pride of place on our wall.

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I have since launched my own company, Handmade with a Heart, as a result of the many requests we have had from people for the special touches that we added to our wedding. 

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Flying The Knot provided our barn owl ring bearer!

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My favourite part of the day was when we were pronounced man and wife, which is when I spontaneously jumped up and down shouting “I’m married, I’m married” much to everyone’s amusement.

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Paul’s favourite part of the day was when we were walking down the aisle as man and wife when he had a few fist pump moments.

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We filled our guest boxes with personalised M&M’s which read “Nadine and Paul” on the ivory ones and “Married 22.12.12” on the cream ones and chose and wrapped 27 gifts that were given to all the children from Santa (a friend of ours who looks like the genuine article).

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Our floral decorations were by Passion Flowers in Clitheroe. 

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We struggled at first with the cake as Paul doesn’t like fruit cake, and prefers sponge, whereas I am the opposite. I really wanted my Gran to make our wedding cake as she makes the best fruit cake, but given Paul’s taste I decided to ask my Gran to make a sample cake as I knew that as soon as Paul tasted it he’d really like it! Sure enough, there was no going back once he tried it. I think it had something to do with the Jamaican white rum that she uses quite liberally to make it.

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My Gran made us four tiers which we then took to All Things Sugar in Warrington who decorated it beautifully for us. We wanted something simple but elegant.

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In the evening as well a DJ we had a chocolate fountain and casino tables from SJ Enterprises to keep the adults entertained and we had a bubble machine and candy buffet which kept the kiddies happy.

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Emma and Chris, who are friends of ours, lived in Austria for a few years and surprised us with a huge heart which was drawn on a cotton sheet along with our names and the date of our wedding. After we cut our cake, we were handed a pair of scissors each and the sheet was held up. Starting at the bottom of the heart we then had to cut it out but going in opposite directions and the first person to the top won!! We then stepped through the heart together and this symbolises stepping into a new life together as man and wife. It was such a lovely touch and was so nice as our guests cheered as we stepped through the heart.

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With it being over Christmas, and being lucky enough to have family travel over from Jamaica and LA, we decided to spend Christmas and New Year with family and delay our honeymoon. We are looking forward to flying into LA, which is where our daughter will spend time with her uncle, aunty and three cousins, whilst we go on to Tahitian island of Bora Bora. On our return to LA we intend to spend a few days together as a family in San Diego before returning home.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to plan everything quite early. That way you can enjoy all of the planning and the run-up to your big day, as oppose to things getting on top of you and stressing you out! Also spend time planning how you would like your special day to run in terms of timings and hand this to all parties involved i.e. MC, best man, maid of honour, photographer etc as that way everything will run its course without you having to worry. But most of all take time out as husband and wife throughout the day to take everything in and enjoy your day, as it goes so fast!

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Happy Wedding Day from The Sutcliffes!

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Congratulations Nadine & Paul!

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Contact me to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North.  Here’s how.

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  – Images © 2013 Mick Cookson 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

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Real Wedding Recap 2012: Very Bonnie In Scotland! A Real Wedding At Loch Lomond – Alina & Michael

December 31st, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Over the festive period I’ll be recapping some of my very favourite Real Weddings from the last 12 months on the wedding blog. It’s been a tough choice! In true Brides Up North style, each wedding featured on these pages is unique, beautiful and gorgeously personal. It’s been an exceptionally fabulous year! Enjoy…

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A Wedding at Ross Priory by Mick Cookson Photography

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What better way to see the New Year in that with a proper Scottish celebration?  Hogmany, here we come…

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As a , trust me, I see a lot of gorgeous wedding dresses on a daily basis.  Consequently, I adore my job.  The downside?  It’s sometimes difficult not to have “dress regret” and wish that I had chosen a particular new style or other for my own wedding, but generally I stay true to my own taste whilst admiring other girl’s choices.  However, today’s Real Wedding sent to me by Mick Cookson Photography and real bride Alina made that particularly difficult for me, as I am simply in love with Alina’s wedding dress.  Hook, line and sinker. 

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For a girl who didn’t want a wedding gown at all, she has absolutely nailed it!  And, come to mention it,  the rest of her beautiful wedding to Michael at Ross Priory near Loch Lomond…

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Alina says:  We got engaged on New Years Eve (2011) at my parents’ house. I was in the shower after a long day at work getting ready to have a nice meal with my family. I was feeling full of cold so felt a bit sorry for myself. Michael was in the bathroom too, keeping me company. We were chatting about our day when he said he had a surprise for me. When I leaned out of the shower curtain he was down on one knee. As I wear glasses I thought he was joking and told him to bugger off. I quickly realised he wasn’t joking and jumped out of the shower into his arms whilst giving out a yelp. I ran downstairs to my parents in a towel and shower cap where they were waiting for us with Champagne at the ready. They knew weeks in advance it was coming. Michael knows I’m not a huge romantic and I would have hated a big gesture so the proposal was simply perfect for me as it was completely hilarious and very us.

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We got married on 20th April 2012 at a little church in Scotland called Kilmarnock Church near Loch Lomond. The reception was held at a place called Ross Priory on the banks of Loch Lomond.  Michael always wanted to get married in Scotland due to the beautiful scenery up there. We also liked the idea of a small wedding and making a trip out of the whole thing. Michael’s mum went for lunch at Ross Priory and showed some us some photographs of the place, I instantly asked if they do weddings there…the rest is history!

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Our theme for the day was England meets Ukraine (I’m originally from the Ukraine and moved to England as a child for my father’s job) Our cake toppers were a Queen’s guard and a girl in traditional Ukrainian outfit and our invitations and order of service also had a logo of the Ukrainian and English flags. We also served vodka at the tables as well as wine and Champagne

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Originally I didn’t want to wear a white/ivory dress as I’m not a girly girl and all I wanted to do was elope to Las Vegas but with gentle persuasion from my Mum I decided to get my dress made. I had trouble finding what I wanted as I don’t like frills, flowers, diamantes or anything too girly. So when I saw a pic of my dress I knew it was the one.  It was ivory and a sweet heart shape cut that was fitted to my hips and then slightly went out at the bottom with a small train. I then had a lace top that went over the top of it. The dress turned out to be perfect and had a great vintage look to it. I forgot about Vegas instantly. I also had a second dress for the evening which was exactly the same but only went down to my knee so I could dance the night away!

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I carried a bouquet of dark purple double headed lizianthus with purple hydrangea, ocean song rose and purple freesias. 

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My three bridesmaids wore lovely grey greek style dresses from Phase Eight with purple pashminas and the guys wore suits by Moss Hire.

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The Church service was my favourite part of the day as it was quite emotional and our vows really rang true to me and Michael and to what we have been planning for a long time. 

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We chose three tier lemon sponge cake, round with purple ribbons and few ivory roses. 

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In the evening we had a DJ and we sent him a playlist which was mainly 80’s music as Michael and I love it very much!

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After the wedding we honeymooned in Marbella, Spain. 

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t stress as you’ll miss out on the really great things that are happening around you. Both me and Michael were very calm and the whole day was absolutely magical and we can remember every detail. 

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Congratulations Alina & Michael

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Newlywed?  Get in touch to see your Real Wedding featured on the wedding blog.

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  – Images © 2012 Mick Cookson 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

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Bunting In Abundance! A Real Wedding In York – Clare & Russell

October 8th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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York Wedding by Mick Cookson Photography

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I’m in recovery following an absolutely fantastic day at the Brides Up North Wedding Exclusive at The Mansion yesterday – I am pleased to announce yet another record attendance at this boutique Leeds venue and an event packed with gorgeous exhibits and beautiful brides and their families.  I’m already looking forward to the next one! 

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Staying in Yorkshire this morning, let’s kick off another week of wedding blog fabulous with Clare and Russell’s lovely Real Wedding in York, with images by Mick Cookson Photography

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Clare says:  Russell and I got engaged at the London Waldorf Hotel on 31st December 2011 and we married on 21st September 2012 at the Treasurers House in York City Centre. 

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We wanted somewhere unique, old and exclusive to us on the day. The Treasurers House ticked all those boxes with a bonus of a backdrop of York Minster and wonderful York.  We went for an English Country Garden/Vintage Style – with an emphasis on birdcages. 

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I wore a fitted fishtail lace dress with a birdcage veil and vintage shoes.  My Best Women wore the same one shoulder floor length gown with sequinned sash. One in black and one in gold.

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I carried a bouquet of avalanche roses with purple flowers in-between from Sally May Flowers in York.  The brief was for them to look like they had been gathered from the garden and roughly tied. 

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We walked from our centre hotel across the park to the Treasurers House and then from our day venue to the night venue through the streets of York. 

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The ceremony was my favourite part of the day.  It was short but sweet, the music was perfect and there was lots of love in the room. 

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We used a vintage suitcase for collecting cards and luggage tags for table and place names. There was bunting in abundance and jam jars tied with gingham ribbon and filled with white and pink sugar hearts for favours. Birdcages and fairy lights were also dotted around the venue. 

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Russ’ sister baked the cupcake cake with a cake topper. Two love birds sat on top!

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We chose to have Michael Mulholland in the day playing our favourite indie tunes and an indie band in the evening.

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Russ and I did a joint speech which went down really well and the best women as well as the best man did speeches.

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After the wedding we had a mini-moon in Fuerteventura and plan to go somewhere more exotic in the new year. 

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure you do what you want to do. Don’t get swayed into pleasing everyone else. Russ and I spent lots of time together during the day and took time out on our own to take it all in.

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HEARTCongratulations Clare & Russell! HEART

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North, we would love to hear from you!

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  – Images © 2012 Mick Cookson 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

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Lovely Lace & Hay Bales! A Real Wedding In The Lake District – Lauren & Stephen

August 31st, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Lake District Wedding by Mick Cookson Photography

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To me, this farm marquee wedding sent to me by Mick Cookson Photography and real bride Lauren, is just perfect – love, laughs, decorations to die for, beautiful blooms, the perfect wedding and totally rockin’ something blue glitter heels. 

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I hope it makes your ritual Friday morning cuppa and bacon sarnie all the more pleasurable!

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Lake District Wedding by Mick Cookson Photography   Lace wedding dress by Mick Cookson Photography

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Lauren says:  We got engaged on the 22nd January 2012 in Glasgow, under the fairy lights at the Royal Exchange Square. It was very sweet and we went ring shopping the next day in the famous jewellery arcade. That itself was an amazing experience!

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We were married on 11 August 2012 in the little village where I grew up, Grayrigg, which is near Kendal in Cumbria. We then had the reception in a marquee on mum and dad’s farm, which is literally a field away from the Church.

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Grayrigg church was where I was christened and confirmed, where I had attended throughout primary school and a part of the village & community that I had grown up in. We wouldn’t have got married anywhere else! Having a marquee reception just meant we could have the relaxed feel we wanted, have an input into every aspect of the day and keep an eye on costs more easily.

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We didn’t have a theme as such. We both just wanted the day to feel relaxed and easy. Neither of us really stand on ceremony so we didn’t want any pomp but we still wanted the day to be special. I guess a certain “rustic-ness” tied everything together.

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Our bridesmaids dresses were a sweet pea purple. The flowers that we had were all different shades of pink and purple, as were the decorations in the marquee. We tried to keep everything else relatively neutral or rustic.

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My dress was an Enzoani by Benjamin Roberts lace gown which we bought from Marrime in Kendal. The girls in the shop were so lovely and as soon as I tried the dress on I loved it. It was very “me” but I still felt special.

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We bought our bridesmaids dresses online from China. They were from a company called Dressilyme. I did have a bit of bother with them but they had exactly the colour that I wanted and I’m glad I persevered with them. I let the girls choose their own dresses. They decided on a length together and I said I would like a chiffon fabric and we went from there. I just wanted them to feel comfortable in what they were wearing. We hired Steven and the boys’ suits from Greenwoods.

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My friends’ dad kindly acted as chauffeur and drove myself and the bridesmaids to church in his Discovery. One of Steven’s best men arranged for a Mercedes to take Steven to church.

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I carried a gorgeous bouquet made by Gillian Rowlinson. It contained sweet peas and hydrangeas (and some others I don’t know the name of!). She also made the bouquets for the girls, the boys buttonholes and an adorable wand for our little flowergirl.

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There are too many special moments to choose a favourite! Coming out of the church with Steven to our guard of honour from the Young Farmers and half the village being there to watch, all of the speeches were brilliant, and the first dance wasn’t nearly half as scary as I was thinking it would be!

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We are so lucky that we have a very talented and skilled group of friends and family! Steven’s nan and her friend did the flowers for the Church and the reception. My wonderful nan made and decorated our lovely cake (and a couple of surprise ones too!). Steven’s brother is an electrician and he and his boss hung and lit all our lanterns. I, together with help from bridesmaids, Mum and Steven made all the stationery, the favours, the pom poms, the moustache straws and the table centrepieces.

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We have a fabulous group of friends who came and helped us put the tent up and the put the flooring down, fluff pom poms, hang lights and fill jam jars with candles – we’re very lucky! We hired the marquee from a local agricultural society and the caterer, Alison Thompson, is again someone we know locally. Her food was so lovely and just what we wanted! We had individual roasts of lamb, and a nominated carver at each table, which acted as bit of an ice breaker.

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! I particularly liked the favours. The boys had sheep dip whiskey and the girls had brown cow cocktail. Steven is a sheep farmer and my mum and dad keep Ayrshire cows (they are brown and white). I think the brown cow cocktail was a little less potent than the whiskey!

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In the evening, we had a band, called the Jeps, who were fantastic and then a DJ.

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We haven’t been on our honeymoon yet, we are taking the opportunity to go somewhere we have both always wanted to and are heading off to New Zealand in November. That time of year was better weather wise over there. Steven also has less commitments on the farm then and it means we get to prolong our celebrations just a bit longer!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to let people help and enjoy the planning, don’t stress about it!

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This might sound odd but I think a lot of the moments I will always cherish happened before the wedding – days out with my nan and mum shopping for my dress and outfits, sat in the back garden with the girls and lots of cider on a sunny bank holiday making invites, Steven practically falling in the river as we tried to get bark to make our centrepieces and bribing an army of pom pom fluffers with pizza a couple of nights before the wedding. All priceless and all made our whole day all the more special to us.

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Congratulations Lauren & Stephen!

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Are you newly wed?  Contact me to see your Real Wedding on the blog. 

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  – Images © 2012 Mick Cookson 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

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Love Bumps! A Real Engagement In The North West – Emmylou & Paul

July 21st, 2012 | Julia Braime

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This morning’s blog post was written on the East Coast Friday night train home from London Kings Cross.  Blogging in rush hour is hard enough, but I am feeling absolutely cream crackered (yet fabulous, naturally!) after a day in the studio shooting a feature for Fabulous Magazine.  I tweeted a few behind the scenes pictures throughout the day yesterday (do you follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook yet?) but you will have to wait until the feature hits the newsstands in August to see more.

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It was an amazing day full of girl talk, gossip, posing, playing dress up, glamming up and wolfing down the studio’s buffet lunch.  The Fabulous team are a brilliant lot of ladies, and it was fun catching up with my friend Chloe from The White Room Sheffield too.  After all the fun that I’ve been having behind the scenes, I thought it was only right that I share something lovely with you this morning too. 

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Today we chat to Brides Up North reader and bride to be Emmylou of LilyBud Cupcakes, who will tie the knot with her man in 2013, after welcoming their second baby.  With images by Mick Cookson Photography, it’s hard to imagine how this little family could get even more perfect.  You know that I’m a sucker for a love story!

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Have a wonderful Saturday Brides Up North!  Who’s saying  “I do” today?  Good luck ladies! 

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Emmylou says: We met when I was working in hospitality management and Paul was a customer. He caught my eye in his smart suits and with his charm and I would look forward to seeing him walk in the building on a lunch meeting or after work.
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We’d been dating for a few weeks and he asked me to his friend’s wedding in Harrogate as his +1.  It was there that I realised I really liked him… nothing to do with the free bar.
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So we became a couple and shortly after, found out that we were having a baby. Paul was wonderful, looked after me and asked me to move in with him.  We have a beautiful little 4 year old girl named Lily Blossom. Paul is a wonderful dad and Lily is such a daddy’s girl.
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I hadn’t given much thought to getting married, I’ve been really busy with Lily Bud Cupcakes, other projects and Lily is still at home with me part time.
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However, when we found out we were expecting our second child, I knew it was time to start thinking about getting married. Especially as Lily has my surname and we didn’t want our little family to have different names. We were so happy but unfortunately, at Christmas, we lost our dream and I couldn’t think about getting married and put the thought aside.
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Just four months later, we found out we were expecting again and everything seemed brighter again. I picked my ring and showed Paul. He thought it was a little unconventional but I insisted it was the ring I wanted.

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We dropped Lily off with my mum and finally went shopping. I was ecstatic but he wouldn’t let me proudly wear it as we walked through Manchester. We surprised me with a beautiful meal at Jamie’s Restaurant and to celebrate, I had a very small glass of Prosecco. It was a lovely day and he finally asked me to marry him when we arrived home and he placed my new beautiful engagement ring on my finger. I said ‘Yes’ of course!
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Our baby is due in January so I’m going to plan the wedding over my maternity leave when I’m not busy baking and planning other couple’s weddings and cakes. I’m looking forward to this and I have already worked with some amazing wedding suppliers. I can’t wait to include them all in my wedding.
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Congratulations Emmylou & Paul!

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  – Images © 2012 Mick Cookson 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

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The Secret’s Out! Introducing: Fifth Floor Manchester

May 31st, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Afternoon all! Looking forward to the long weekend yet?  Yeah, me too! 

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I’ve got a whole host of jubilee celebration shoots lined up for you over the next few days, so keep on dropping by to join the flag waving here at Brides Up North.

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Getting things off to a fabulous start, a blog post that I have been so excited to share with you, as Brides Up North exclusively reveals the first images from the cool new Manchester wedding venue that the whole of Twitter is buzzing about:  Fifth Floor Manchester

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I’m thrilled to be working with the team at this different and exciting new venue, and although the location is not quite ready to be revealed until the official launch (more news soon!) all systems are go for a series of very special events this year, that I am proud to have been asked to support.  I shall be in attendance with my glass of Pimms, no problem about that!  

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Until then, here’s a first look behind the scenes with Brides Up North’s latest Featured Supplier

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The team at Fifth Floor Manchester say: What a busy few months we’ve had and we haven’t even launched yet. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of a secret journey that will shortly be coming to a stop and finally revealed. It’s been so hard to keep our location under wraps and who the team members are but it’s all been worth it.

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Today we unveil one of our first inspiration shoots at our wedding venue, our website and much more. How exciting! We love our venue very much and only decided to take on this huge project because of its beauty and it’s space was going to waste. It’s unique characteristics don’t give in to corporate formality because of it’s age and place in history. It’s nothing like we’ve ever seen before and it takes our breath away every time we enter the room.

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Lorna Roberts

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So how do we show these qualities to you without giving away our location? With the jubilee celebrations just around the corner, it seemed perfect. We stumbled upon an old Vogue “Royal Wedding” illustration and thought it was magical. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a photo-shoot based around the Queen’s wedding day!

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We know everyone loves a bit of vintage but we wanted something a little different. We didn’t want it to have a vintage theme: we wanted it to feel like you were actually back in 1947. No televisions, no coloured newspapers – just authenticity.

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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What a shock we got when we saw these glorious images! We had a wonderful team on the day of wedding suppliers. It was a long day and everyone was truly amazing!

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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So we want to say thank you to all the supplier’s we’ve worked with so far to make this possible, our followers on twitter for all your support and Julia at Brides Up North of course.

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Mick Cookson

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Here, finally are our beautiful pictures of our new wedding venue at Fifth Floor Manchester.

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Fifth Floor Manchester by Chris Mee

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Watch this space for location info and more news shortly!

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Little Black Book

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Venue: Fifth Floor Manchester

Photography: Mick Cookson, Lorna Roberts Photography and Chris Mee as tagged

Caterer: Moss House Farm

Venue Dresser: Simply Bows Lancs

Stationary: Doodle Love

Florist: Red Floral Architecture 

Wool Accessories: Knitella

Make Up Artists: Bethany Jane Davies, Natalie Roberts Steel and Maria Santoro

Cakes and pom poms: Lily Bud Cupcakes 

Bridal Dress and Accessories: Charlotte Balbier and Amanda Wyatt 

Car: Horgans Cars

Guest dresses: Pop Boutique

Our wonderful models: Chris, Craig, Rachael, Joanne, Laura, Helen, Hayley, Miranda.

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  – Images © 2012 Mick Cookson, Lorna Roberts Photography and Chris Mee as tagged

Fifth Floor Manchester is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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