August 19th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s couple Hannah and Claire, got engaged in the stunning surroundings of The Lake District and so decided to bring a bit of the great outdoors to their big day.
Deciding on a subtle rustic theme, the ladies used natural blooms and woodland décor to style their pretty wedding at the National Trust’s Quarry Bank Mill.
Along the way the two brides also added in a few of their favourite things, including serving up ice cream from a cute van named Hyacinth for dessert – what a delicious idea. Make mine a salted caramel cone please!
With images by Photography by Kathryn.
hannah says: We got engaged in July 2014. Claire took me on a very romantic weekend to the Lake District as we love hiking. She booked a very fancy hotel, which I thought was unusual as we often camp! We went for a good walk up to Grizedale Tarn and when we reached it Claire set out the most amazing afternoon tea – complete with a china cake stand which she had carefully carried up the hill! She had even made scones and a Victoria sponge cake herself – her first experience of baking! She knew I would appreciate it all. Once she had laid everything out she brought out a custom designed ring and proposed. It was a perfect engagement!
We got married on Saturday 30th May 2015. We knew that we wanted to get married in summer and late May/early June is our favourite time of year. Thankfully the venue had one Saturday left so we snapped it up!
We had our ceremony at Sale Town Hall which we chose because it was local to us and is a beautiful building. The reception was at Quarry Bank Mill – an eighteenth-century cotton mill now a National Trust property in South Manchester, set in beautiful gardens. We always knew that we wanted a venue with lots of outdoor space so we could get outdoor photographs, and QBM is somewhere we have visited together many times. We also liked the history of the mill and preferred its industrial, working class origins over the upper class country houses that are often chosen for weddings.
We were drawn to rustic and natural themes as they reflect our interests – nature and the outdoors. In addition, we included elements of things that we really like, such as ice cream and buttons.
We didn’t specifically choose a wedding colour scheme but we both love the colour purple so it featured in the invitations and the venue decor.
I have never wanted an ostentatious wedding dress and knew that I was looking for a simple style that I would feel comfortable with. I chose a knee-length cream dress from Monsoon with lace and a high, curved neckline that complemented my figure.
Claire also wore a dress from Monsoon – we went shopping together, tried on a dress each, and as soon as we stood in front of a mirror together we knew we were wearing the perfect dresses! They complemented each other perfectly – Claire’s was also knee-length, but a whiter shade, and had some beaded embellishments around the neckline. Hers was from the bridal collection but mine was not even advertised as a wedding dress.
As our transport, we hired an amazing vintage car from Broadoak of Manchester which carried us to the registry office and then on to the reception. It was a Beauford 1930s convertible with a burgundy hood – such a handsome car! The car journey was one of the most exciting parts of the day as everyone turned and smiled when they saw the car passing by.
Our photographer was Kathryn Widdowson of Photography by Kathryn, who I would definitely recommend. She was full of energy all day and willingly hiked through the gardens of Quarry Bank Mill so we could have photographs outside the glass house and on the bridge. It was also her birthday but she still happily spent the day with us! She met us six weeks before the wedding for a practise shoot which was very beneficial as we all got to know each other before the wedding and she understood exactly what we wanted.
We both carried a bouquet of flowers made by Fletcher and Foley. We specifically wanted very natural bouquets with the sorts of flowers you might find in an English meadow, and they provided exactly that.
We did a lot of decoration for the venue ourselves with help from friends and family: we had bunting in the function rooms borrowed from a friend who made miles of it for her wedding – something borrowed! For the table centres we hired wood from Rustic Wedding Settings and on it we placed the table name and three jars of flowers. We collected and decorated the jars with ribbons and lace ourselves with help from my mum and made the flower arrangements ourselves. We also included a sticker on some of the jars which we ordered from Wedding in a Teacup, which said ‘Let the Love Grow’ and had our names and the date of the wedding.
Our table names were all pairs of things we liked, such as Flowers and Fossils, Tea and Cake, Mountains and Meadows, and the names of our cats Dolly and Diamond. Around the edge of the room we placed large frames which were lined with hessian and had string placed across. On the string we pegged photographs – one board had photographs of us both when we were babies and children. There was also a display of photographs of me eating cake and a display of Claire eating ice cream as these are things we particularly love.
We ordered a larger planter from Wedding in a Teacup which was also personalised with our names and the date of the wedding and used this to collect cards and presents. Now the wedding is over we can use it in the garden and be reminded of our special day!
Additionally, we provided our own vintage china teacups and saucers for the tea and coffee served after the meal and we also made our own confetti out of dried lavender and flower petals and stuffed it into tiny gift bags.
We put a lot of thought into our favours and really enjoyed making them. For the adults, we bought little Kraft card boxes from Wedding in a Teacup and in them we put two artisan chocolates from a local chocolate shop. Attached to each box with purple string was the name of the guest on a small luggage label printed in purple text to match our wedding invitations. We also stamped each box with an ice cream stamp in purple ink which also matched our invitations. In addition, each guest was given an envelope full of forget-me-not seeds and on the front was a sticker with our names and the date of the wedding. There were a couple of children who attended the meal who were given a box of Lego each, and two babies who were given a baby book each.
For our cake, we chose a delicious, three-tiered chocolate design from Marks & Spencer decorated with strawberries. Fully recommended – everyone raved about it and it looked amazing.
We liked the hearty simplicity of the wedding menus at Quarry Bank Mill – for starters we had a blue cheese bread pudding, followed by a delicious roast lamb served with a potato rosti and lots of veg.
Dessert, however, was a special surprise kept from everyone. Rather than order one of the desserts from the menu, we hired a vintage ice cream van called Hyacinth and took everyone downstairs for ice cream Claire particularly loves ice cream so it was great to be able to express ourselves through our wedding choices. The flavours were delicious – salted caramel, strawberry and clotted cream, mango sorbet, champagne sorbet and old fashioned vanilla – and several guests went back for seconds.
Claire surprised me by booking a cello duo, The Cellists to play during the drinks on the lawn and the wedding breakfast. They played classical pieces contemporary songs and even film soundtracks and added a lovely touch of elegance to the afternoon.
To feed our evening guests we ordered a cake of cheese from Churchmouse Cheeses, which was delicious. It was delivered so carefully and came complete with decorations of figs, rosemary and fruit, and a couple of brie hearts.
A colleague of mine was our DJ which was handy. We arranged a very special first dance too. Claire and I are both keen line-dancers and we met at a line dancing club. We always knew that we wanted to have a line dancing first dance so I choreographed a routine to ‘our song’, which was Forever in Blue Jeans by Neil Diamond. It was quite a challenge to fit in choreography and rehearsals in the busy run up to the day, but I am so glad we went through with it! No one else knew about it and the guests loved it. Thankfully we didn’t make any mistakes either! Once we’d finished our first dance we launched straight into another line dance, this time it was River Deep, Mountain High. This is a popular line dance in our club so we asked a few of our friends to join in with the dance in stages, rather like a flash mob. Again, no one knew this was going to happen and I think everyone was rather impressed!
Claire and I decided not to have any speeches from other people – my father wasn’t in attendance and we didn’t have a best man or maid of honour to speak on our behalf. We decided to write a speech each. This seemed like a good idea six months before the wedding but it was very nerve-wracking to write a speech knowing that all our friends and family would be watching. We were definitely terrified at the thought of it, but they both went smoothly. Claire even wrote me a humorous rhyming poem about our relationship together so far which made everyone giggle.
We would absolutely recommend our venue to others. It is a beautiful venue with a very special history and the staff members were completely dedicated all day to our event so everything operated seamlessly without our noticing. It’s good to know that the money we’ve paid will go into preserving the mill for future generations. Plus we can go back and visit in future and relive the memories!
Claire’s favourite parts of the day were having ice cream from the awesome ice cream van, and getting a ride on the buggy from the car park to the gardens. My favourite part of the day was the ceremony – we walked down the aisle together holding hands which I felt was symbolic of our partnership together, and we chose Elton John’s Can You Feel the Love Tonight as our entrance song.
Following the wedding we had a minimoon to Barcelona which was just the relaxing break we needed after a busy few months. We ate tapas, drank sangria and soaked up the sunshine. In September we are planning a more lavish honeymoon to Italy so we can explore the Amalfi coast and eat ice cream!
Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be plan, plan, plan! We had a very detailed timeline and to-do list to keep us on track. Give yourself lots of time for each task, especially if you are making things yourself, as they often take longer than you think. Involving other people is fun for them and makes life easier for you too – we couldn’t have managed without our best friends and my mum helping us make decorations, and they loved being part of the team.
August 17th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Wow, where to start with today’s village hall wedding? It’s absolutely gorgeous, from the bride’s bargain wedding dress to the pretty afternoon tea reception, and all that’s in-between!
As they were footing the bill for the wedding themselves, Claire and Matt where careful to stick to their budget, looking for areas in which they could make savings but without cutting corners, whilst also calling in favours from family and friends along the way.
Their vintage vision came together perfectly and provides so much inspiration for couples wanting to follow in similar themed footsteps. So let’s take a closer look at the pretty…
With images by Andrew Keher Photography.
claire says: We got engaged on my 30th birthday in November 2013 while in Belfast. I was born in Northern Ireland and my family still live there so Matt wanted to take me home to get engaged. Matt managed to plan the whole thing and keep it a secret – I had no idea! Throughout the day we arrived Matt was secretly recording little videos and pictures and sent them to an email account he set up for me. He later told me he had the ring with him all day but couldn’t find the right moment to ask the big question. He decided to ask me on my birthday so when I woke up he showed me the email account and got me to read all the messages he’d sent through. When I got to the final one he was down on one knee and before I knew it had asked me to marry him. We were both in tears at this point – it was perfect! Plus he chose ‘the ring’ I’d seen – a vintage 1920s engagement ring that was in a local jewellers, Mr Allan’s. Every time we went past we would look at it but then one day I noticed it had been sold – I was sad until I realised he’d saved up and bought it for me!
We set the date for 6th June 2015. We’d been together for nine years on the 4th June 2015 so this was the closest date we could get to that.
We got married at our church, St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Church in Ashton-in-Makerfield. We both went to the high school there and some of Matt’s relatives are buried in the church grounds so it has a special connection for us. It’s a beautiful church – the photos from Andy really show off the church at its best. We chose Dunham Massey Village Hall for our reception as we love the area and the nearby National Trust Park. We also loved that it gave us the freedom to do what we wanted with the space. The price was so reasonable it was perfect for us as we were paying for the whole wedding ourselves.
We went with a vintage theme but it wasn’t really a conscious thing – we just love everything vintage! We were really keen on having afternoon tea which lends itself to the vintage theme really well.
We didn’t really have a set colour scheme. The colour came from the flowers – when we met Clare from The Flower Farm we decided on seasonal flowers with pinks, purples and blues to add some colour to the venue.
I was set on a dress in a vintage style. I knew I wanted lace and tried on a few styles before I found ‘the one’! I tried Ali by Augusta Jones in a local bridal shop and knew instantly it was the one but it was way out of my budget – £2,000! I tried to find something similar on the high street but couldn’t get this dress out of my mind. In the end I found it for sale for £600 on eBay and arranged with the seller to go and try it on. I would recommend that anyone buying second hand does the same and be 100% sure you’re happy with it before you hand over any money.
To go with the dress, I wanted some shoes that were special so I knew I’d find something from Rachel Simpson. The Gardenia style in powder blue were just what I wanted and were so comfortable to wear – I kept them on all day. I kept my accessories really simple with a pair of drop pearl earrings from Marks & Spencer and my engagement ring.
Matt was keen to wear something a little different and special for the big day. After a ‘few’ shopping trips he eventually found his suit in Reiss – the Claymore. After that nothing compared so it had to be that one. He paired this with a slim fit shirt from TM Lewin, navy bow tie from Red Herring, navy braces from Next and tan brogues from Autograph at Marks & Spencer. Matt’s best man wore a navy suit and shirt from Next.
We booked a vintage double decker bus from Belle Vue Coaches in Stockport as our transport. I travelled with my bridesmaids and mum to the church in the bus and then we travelled down to the venue after the wedding. Alan the bus driver was a legend – he managed to navigate the small country roads to get us all there in one piece.
Andrew Keher was our photographer and I would 100% recommend him! Andy was amazing on the day and was fab throughout the whole process of booking and our engagement shoot. Andy does natural really well, we didn’t want to have lots of group shots but wanted to remember those little moments throughout the day. That’s what Andy does so well and after the wedding he posted little sneak peeks to Facebook which kept us going until we received our wooden box in the post. He puts so much thought into what he does and really cares about the whole experience for the couples he works with. Just amazing – money well spent!
On the wedding day I carried a bouquet of wild flowers from The Flower Farm. It was beautiful, smelled amazing and Clare put some peonies in there too, which are my favourite flowers!
To decorate, we bought three buckets of wild flowers from Clare. We had jam jars on the tables so this allowed us to create a rustic feel to the arrangements. Clare also made the bridesmaids bouquets, some flower hair clips and all of the buttonholes. We also bought 100 stems of gypsophila, which we suspended from the ceiling.
Our venue dresser Harri Bradburn came up with some lovely ideas for the venue which included a little area for our guests where they could take a picture using an Instax camera or write us a message using the typewriter. On the tables she put some advice cards for our guests to give us advice for a happy marriage. There were some interesting ones! Harri spent so much time on the little details that really made the difference on the day.
The room just looked stunning! We had lots of bunting, lace panels with fairy lights and lots of jam jars! Our friends were very generous and we borrowed some beautiful pieces to use in the venue. My friend Kath loaned us the tea trolley that the cake sat on and the stepladders that were adorned with flowers on the stage. At my hen do my friends gave me some little trinkets that we used to dress the venue on the day. My bridesmaids both had some keepsakes made for us so we used those as well. It was lovely to include those little personal touches.
For our wedding cake we wanted Victoria sponge (as we both love it) and we were really keen on having tiered naked cake. We met with Annalise from One Sweet Day who immediately understood what we wanted. It was even better that I expected and the bunting was a gorgeous finishing touch. It was delicious too!
We knew early on that we wanted afternoon tea for our wedding meal – we’ve become a bit obsessed! My friend Wendy (from work) and Anne were the perfect choice as this is their forte! They also provided all of the vintage china that our guests used. We met with them a few times to decide what we were going to have – the lemon drizzle cake is their speciality and went down a treat on the day! We also love pizza so early in the planning process we found a few companies that have pizza vans. We knew we had to have one so we contacted Honest Crust who were so lovely and provided us with the best pizza’s we’ve had. The salads were also delicious and went down well. We bought the wine from Majestic Wines and went with a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Blush. Matt was in charge of beer and contacted Dunham Massey Brewery to order a keg of their Summer Meadow ale and cider for our guests. This went down really well especially with the men attending!
At the reception Matt and I decided to have a sweetheart table. We were so happy we did this as it gave us some time to ourselves to catch up after the wedding. Everyone says your wedding day goes so fast but I think this helped us to have a moment for just us.
In terms of entertainment, Matt’s mum arranged for the Haydock Male Voice Choir to sing at the church. We chose a few songs for them to sing: Embraceable You, Cwm Rhondda and a few others – everyone was in tears as it was so emotional and sounded amazing.
For the reception we had an outdoor seating area with some hay bales and outdoor games and we booked a DJ, Paul Leffler, on recommendation from one of our friends. We gave him a list of songs we love and he managed to fit them all in and get everyone up dancing. Our first dance was When I Fall in Love by Nat King Cole – we loved that it is a classic and suited us as a couple.
Others fab suppliers we used on the day included Nicola at Johnson Hairdressing Group in Wigan, who did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair and our makeup was done by the fantastic Mika Johnson. We hired our folding wooden chairs from The Chairman Company, who were very reasonably priced and provided easy delivery to the venue. Our wedding rings were from Mr Allan, the same jewellers that Matt bought my engagement ring from. Matt had his grandad’s ring re-sized and I had a white gold band specially made to fit the round shape of my ring. Our confetti was from Shropshire Petals – we went with the Vintage Daydream mix, which I think this summed up the day perfectly!
We would recommend our wedding venue to other couples that want control over what they do on their big day. The location is in the lovely village of Dunham Massey and has some outdoor space that can be used as well. Andrew, the caretaker is so helpful and lives next door so was on hand if we needed any help. I was amazed when we were looking at venues how much money couples are charged for various things (corkage, cake cutting etc.) so if you want to save some money this is a really good way to do it.
Meeting Matt at the top of the altar was my favourite moment of the day – it was all worth it at that point. I was close to tears all the way up the aisle but managed to keep it together. Matt said his favourite moment was when we were outside on the hay bales with all of our friends.
We haven’t been on our honeymoon yet but we’re planning on going to Italy at the end of September. We want to go to Florence, Rome and then spend some time on the Amalfi Coast. We’re really looking to it – with all the saving for the wedding we’ve not been away for years! We did manage to get a few nights away after the wedding to chill out. We stayed at The Drawing Room in Powys.
Everyone says this but my top tip to other Brides Up North is to do what makes you happy as a couple – it’s your day. It was a little easier for us to do this as we paid for the wedding so we didn’t feel obliged but I think there are ways to get what you want while keeping everyone else happy. And make sure you have some time to just you on the day.
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August 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Leanne and Rob brought the outdoors in for their elegant, woodland wedding at the lovely Eaves Hall in Clitheroe. With sensational images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Fairclough Photography, this outdoorsy couple’s big day is naturally stunning. We love.
With images by Fairclough Photography.
leanne says: We got engaged in June 2014. We started dating in my first week at University (Rob is a year older) and seven years later got engaged! Rob had booked a private island called Tanera Mor in the Summer Islands off the coast of Scotland where we stayed in a lovely little cottage right on the beach. Four days into the holiday, we got in our sea kayak and started kayaking to another uninhabited island with a beautiful white sand beach for a picnic. We kayaked passed a colony of seals that played around the kayak for half an hour – it was amazing! Then, as we came ashore on the island, I started tucking into the sandwiches and turned around to see Rob down on one knee in the sand! It was a perfect day.
We were married on 9th May 2015 at Eaves Hall, near Clitheroe, Lancashire. The minute we saw Eaves Hall, we were blown away and knew we had to get married there. It’s such a spectacular building and beautifully decorated inside – intimate yet still quite grand. The snooker room and bowls lawn were a massive plus for Rob! Also, we really liked the idea of having our guests stay at the venue so that no-one had to go home early and we could all have breakfast together the next day.
We went for an elegant woodland theme. We had lots of silver birch wood, trailing ivy and gypsophila to decorate the venue. We had a cake topper specially made which was a doe and stag in silhouette, and our table plan was a birdcage draped in ivy. We both love nature and being outdoors so it seemed like a natural theme to pick! We also tried to make sure we picked eco-friendly suppliers where possible (even our invitations were printed on recycled elephant dung paper!)
To keep with the natural woodland theme, we kept the colours simple – ivory, forest green and bronze.
I chose the Parker dress by David Tutera (from Bethany Hannah Bridal Studio in Stockton Heath). It was the first dress I tried on and I fell in love with it instantly. Although I tried many on after that, none of them matched up as I had set my heart on that dress and I had to go back for it. It’s like a fairytale dress – quite traditional with intricate beading, romantic lace and a long train. I wore a plain cathedral length veil with it.
We hired Miss Jessica Makeup as our makeup artist for the bride and bridesmaids and we couldn’t recommend her highly enough! She made us all look beautiful and was a really calming influence during the hectic morning when we were all getting ready!
Rob wore his Munroe tartan kilt – it’s the family tartan and he’s had it since he was 18!
The groomsmen wore Blackwatch tartan – some had never worn kilts before but they all loved it! The pageboy wore a miniature version of the kilt!
The bridesmaids wore a full length, blush-coloured dress from ASOS, detailed with beading on the sleeves. One of my bridesmaids was pregnant so some clever alterations had to be done. The flower girl wore the Estella dress from Monsoon and a beautiful gypsophila flower coronet.
We hired the Faircloughs – a husband and wife team who were just perfect! Firstly, there are two of them, so we got pictures from every angle! But more than that, they were brilliant on the day and everything was really relaxed and natural (no standing around for ages trying to get group shots!) The pictures turned out beautifully – they captured the whole feel of the day so well. We’d highly recommend them.
The 9th May was the second anniversary of the death of my granddad. After the marriage ceremony, we all went outside and released some red balloons in his memory. It was really nice to have all the family together to remember him and include him in the day.
The flowers were provided by Passion Flower in Clitheroe. Debra was amazing at helping us narrow down our ideas and pick flowers that complimented our theme. We wanted lots of forest green leaves to surround ivory roses and ranunculus, as well as lots of gypsophila. The top table decorations included roses, church candles and trailing ivy.
Debra from Passion Flower lent us her huge collection of vintage glassware for the tables which we filled with gypsophila. It looked really romantic but not too formal. We also borrowed Eaves Hall’s gorgeous silver candelabras for the tables. Rob’s mum made place cards for everyone using small rounds of wood with the bark still on. It looked lovely.
We’re not fans of traditional, heavy fruit cake so we went for a really light, zingy lemon and lime sponge with lime cream in the middle and soft, buttercream icing on the outside. We got the cake from Mrs Spendlove’s Cakes in Bashall Barn and it was delicious.
We had a ceilidh using a local band (The Riot Band) and a fantastic caller (Sid Calderbank) to call out the dances. It was one of the highlights of the wedding. Everyone got up to dance, even if no-one knew the moves! After people had worn themselves out with the ceilidh, we had a DJ who played all our favourites songs.
Rob’s family are Scottish, whereas mine are English. Just before the ceilidh, Rob’s family presented me with my own Munroe tartan sash and broach to wear over my wedding dress – it was a really sweet and touching moment!
Eaves Hall is such a special place. The Hall and the gardens are breathtaking – it’s like stepping back in time. Everything is decorated impeccably and the Hall is really atmospheric. The food was wonderful and all our guests said that their accommodation was lovely. The bridal suite (with the whirlpool bath and huge balcony!) was especially stunning. The staff were so helpful and made everything really easy for us.
We can’t narrow it down to just one favourite part – we know it’s cheesy but there were so many little special moments. We wrote our own vows and saying those words to each other was really special. Walking down the aisle hand-in-hand after we’d said ‘I do’ with all our family and friends clapping and cheering was a euphoric moment! The speeches were amazing, the first dance (Cornerstone by The Arctic Monkeys), the ceilidh…everything!
For our honeymoon we went to the beautiful islands of Grenada and Carriacou in the Caribbean. We’re quite outdoorsy, so we spent most of our time in the sea, swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and dolphin watching.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to remember to enjoy every moment, especially on the day because it goes so fast, and not get caught up worrying about the little things that don’t really matter.
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July 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Though straying from tradition, we’ve often mentioned on the blog how short wedding dresses can be the perfect option for certain types of weddings, including those that take place in the city centre. A hitched-up hemline means it’s easier for brides tying the knot in an urban location to get around as they move between venues either on foot, or in this case by cab, without the need to manoeuvre an awkward meringue.
For her pretty Liverpool wedding, bride Rhia chose a stunning tea length dress from House of Mooshki, which also served as her ‘something blue’. Meanwhile to bring the rest of their big day together Rhia and Stew simply chose bits and pieces they liked while keeping in mind their purple and turquoise colour scheme.
The result is an incredibly well styled wedding, from the gorgeous attire to the fabulous blooms and that beautifully decorated cheese cake. Excellent work guys!
With images by Dan Hough Photography.
rhia says: We got engaged in 2013 on my birthday, 31st January. Stew proposed just before we were heading out for a special birthday meal, just the two of us. He gave me a card he had made himself – it said ‘marry me’ on the front, and my engagement ring was fastened inside with a ribbon.
Our wedding was on 15th February 2015. We wanted a winter wedding and liked the fact that the date would be easy to remember: 15.02.15.
We got married at St. George’s Hall in Liverpool as we wanted somewhere in the city centre. Once we had seen its beautiful Concert Room, we knew that was the venue for us. Our reception was held at Oh Me Oh My, also in the city centre.
There was no wedding theme as such, we just picked things we liked and wanted things to be colourful and fun. The colour scheme was easy to decide on – purple and turquoise – my favourite colours!
I chose a tea length dress in duck egg blue, with an ivory overlay. It was from House of Mooshki. When I got engaged I couldn’t picture myself in a traditional dress and didn’t want anything too over-the-top. I found my dress online, but didn’t think I would end up getting it. But once I had tried it on – I knew I had to have it.
My bridesmaid wore a purple dress and the best man wore a grey suit. The flower girls were kitted out in Monsoon dresses.
We decided we didn’t need special transport and instead took taxis around Liverpool. It was kind of cool arriving at my wedding in a black cab!
Dan Hough was our photographer and he was amazing. He was very friendly – lots of our guests commented on that. He made sure we got some fabulous shots but fitted in around us. He was very patient as we were caught up with everything going on and long photo sessions were not a priority, but somehow Dan still managed to really capture the whole day perfectly. We would definitely recommend him – he was fab!
My flowers were purple. They were created by Blossom and Dill. I left it quite late to sort out and being the day after Valentine’s lots of florists were charging hefty fees. Sophie from Blossom and Dill did an amazing job – my flowers were absolutely beautiful and loads of people complemented them.
Sophie also created jam jar arrangements of flowers to decorate our tables – perfect for the pretty and relaxed look we were going for. We had lots of candles and rainbow-coloured bunting to brighten everything up.
Stew made all our wedding stationary, which had a quirky look to it – almost like a child’s party invitation with googly eyes. I loved them!
We didn’t really have favours, though we did screen print origami paper with our names and the wedding date. Guests were given instructions to make paper cranes (quite tricky origami) we made a few examples to help people along.
We decided to have a cheese cake from Liverpool Cheese Company. We didn’t fancy more sweet stuff after dessert and the cheese went down a storm with our homemade chutneys.
For the wedding breakfast we decided on a relaxed sharing menu – one of Oh Me Oh My’s specialities. We had a mezze starter, and then sharing bowls of stew for the main, followed up by a trio of desserts.
To keep guests entertained, we hired a band recommended by Oh Me Oh My called New Power Soul Club. We had seen them setting up and doing sound checks at one of our meetings there. They were brilliant and had all our guests up dancing.
We decided to make a weekend of our celebration, inviting family and friends to join us for dinner and drinks the day before the wedding. We were really glad we did this as it was brilliant to catch up with everyone, and once we had left our house the day before, that was the end of feeling stressed and the start of having fun.
We would definitely recommend Oh Me Oh My to other wedding couples. It looked fantastic, and the staff looked after every last little thing all day, ensuring everything went smoothly. To top it off, we were able to go up on the roof and enjoy fab views, as well as sneaking in another photo opportunity.
I couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day – I loved all of it! In fact the whole weekend was amazing!
Following the wedding we had a few days in the Lake District and Scotland, staying in some lovely hotels. We are booked to go to Brazil on our main honeymoon this summer and can’t wait!
My top tips to other Brides Up North would be to prioritise the bits that are most important to you and just do what you want to – don’t feel tied down by other people’s expectations. We just wanted a big party with our friends and family and we loved everything about our day.
July 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Where on earth to start with today’s real wedding, this one has it all!
Following a very romantic proposal (we like your style Mitchell) Emily and her beau decided on a glam winter wedding without a Santa in sight. Instead of a typical festive celebration colour scheme of red this pair went for a lavish palette of taupes, lilac, latte and gold, which looked stunning. To complete their setting vision for the big day they then enlisted the help of Red Floral Architecture to take care of the flowers and décor – and the result? Wow!
The high level of style is continued in Emily and Mitchell’s attire choices with the groom opting for a cool burgundy suit and bow tie and the bride falling for one of Ian Stuart’s most iconic dress designs to date – the fabulous Flower Bomb!
Prepare to take note ladies, there are lots of great special touches and tips in here too. Take it away Emily!
With images by Tim Simpson Photography.
emily says: Mitchell proposed on the 22nd of September 2013 in Filey, North Yorkshire. He asked me to meet him out on the boat house over the lake where we were staying. As I approached the boat house to my utter amazement Mitchell had arranged lots of lanterns and candles in and around the boat house and as I got nearer began to play Bruno Mars Marry You – the rest is history!
Our wedding date was 6th December 2014, which we chose as I have always wanted a winter wedding! There is something so glamorous and magical about winter and Christmas time! We 100% did not want a Christmas themed wedding but did want it near enough to Christmas that our guests would be feeling festive, magical and ready to party! We decided the first Saturday in December would be perfect.
Our wedding venue was Crow Hill in the beautiful unspoilt village of Marsden, Huddersfield. Both Mitchell and I fell in love with Crow Hill and couldn’t have found a better venue for the type of wedding we wanted to plan! We both have large close families with Mitchell’s family all living in London and so having somewhere to house all these guests the night before the wedding and the wedding night was vital for us! Crow Hill is a beautiful country house estate with accommodation for 32 guests across three beautiful properties! This enabled us to have all our close family, bridesmaids, best man etc. stay with us for two whole nights making it the ultimate wedding weekend! Serving a beautiful cosy supper on the Friday night around the open fire of the main property was just the perfect way to start our winter wedding weekend! Our guests could then flit between all properties making the whole thing so relaxed and with the definite ‘house party’ feel we wanted to achieve.
Crow Hill added with the amazing marquee provided a gorgeous, crisp, clean and glamorous space that was important to me when creating the feel for the reception. We didn’t want anything taking away from the decoration for the reception so a marquee was very important. The marquee at Crow Hill is huge with a chandelier gracing the draped ceiling, a built in modern and classy bar area all complete with bar tables, stools and a chic lounge area! Team the venue with beautiful scenery and amazing in-house chef it is just hands down the best venue for this type of wedding. We married in the equally fabulous St Bartholomew’s Church in Marsden village which also was incredibly important to Mitchell and I. A church as magnificent as St Bartholomew’s was just the icing on the cake when choosing this venue.
When it came to styling the wedding we had very definite ideas of what we wanted to achieve. We wanted a glamorous, glittering winter wedding without the ‘Christmassy’ theme. This included using tons of gold and champagne glitter, baroque style candle holders and tons of glamour. We wanted the style to feel really special but still tasteful with a magical, cosy and wintery feel. We decided having lots of twinkling candles, tons of textures and plenty of glitter was the way to achieve this. Our stylists Mat Hepplestone from Red Floral Architecture and Rebecca from Crow Hill where paramount in helping us achieve this!
The colour scheme for the wedding was always something I struggled with. Coming from an artistic background it was hard for me when people asked what is your colour scheme? And expected a one colour answer back! For us it was important to include various colours and tones and not just stick to one typical ‘wedding colour’. The colours included taupes, minks, dirty lilacs, creamy lattes and gold. We felt these colours helped us achieve the magical wintery feel without the usual red and green colours.
I wore an Ian Stuart dress for the wedding which was from the amazingly beautiful Bridal Collection in Harrogate. It was the Flower Bomb dress in Taupe with multi flowers and featured a sweetheart neckline encrusted in Swarovski crystals. The dress had a tight bodice with a dropped waist and then exploded into a skirt full of mixed tulle, flowers and silk with a large train. The dress was completed with a cathedral length waterfall veil and a grey/mink coloured cropped fur jacket. I first saw this amazing dress gracing the window of The Bridal Collection way before we were engaged! I instantly vowed that I would wear the dress for my wedding day and that one day I would get to go inside The Bridal Collection and experience the excitement and awe of all the blushing brides I could see inside. I kept my vow and the whole experience was so special. Trying on that dress for the first time years from when I first saw it was magical and I really did feel like a princess!
My hair and makeup artists on the day were the utterly amazing Flossy and Leigh. Head stylist Sam did me, my mum and bridesmaids’ hair and makeup for the wedding day. They then also touched my makeup up after photographs and before to ensure that I was looking my best. For the evening reception they then totally changed the style of mine, my mum’s and the bridesmaids’ hair and makeup. They are incredible and I couldn’t recommend them enough!
Mitchell wore an amazing suit bought from Next. It was an incredibly stylish, classy dinner suit in an aubergine/burgundy colour. It was then professionally tailored and finished off with a Thomas Pink shirt, matching bow tie and Ted Baker shoes. He wanted an old school Motown look with a modern twist.
The bridesmaids wore full length strapless lace gowns with rouched side and a glam split up the leg. These where bought online. They then wore faux fur stoles and gold glittering shoes! The little flower girls wore handmade tutu dresses made by myself which took inspiration from the Ian Stuart dress and were made from masses of soft tulle and adorned with sparkles and silk flowers! They carried small gold glitter handbags from Monsoon and finished with gold glitter tights and fur trimmed cardigans from Monsoon also.
The groomsmen meanwhile wore classic black dinner suits with aubergine/burgundy bow ties as did the page boys. These were all bought from Moss Bros.
For the big day we hired a glossy black Volkswagen camper van called Stanley, who stylishly transported the groom and groomsmen to the church and also the mother of the bride and the bridesmaids. We hired this beauty from Love Dub Campers, York – an amazing down to earth and friendly company. I travelled in a fabulously glam pale pink 1950s Cadillac hired from Cartwright Cars in Huddersfield, another amazing company! The car looked stunning against the crisp frost and really added to the glamour of the wedding. Both companies where especially fab as they even took guests back up to Crow Hill while we were having photographs, much to our guests’ delight!
Our photographers on the day were the amazing Tim Simpson Photography! We would hugely recommend these guys for their laid back, friendly and amazingly artistic style. They are just gorgeous lovely people who are so amazing at what they do! They are not invasive, they put you at instant ease, they mingle in with your guests capturing the true feel of the day and don’t waste time capturing boring structured traditional shots, instead putting their huge creative and artistic skills to perfect use and really getting those natural professional shots. We love Tim Simpson Photography and feel their connection and the team they have allows them to just cover absolutely everything that great wedding photography should.
My bouquet was designed to reflect the taupe shades of the Ian Stuart Flower Bomb bridal gown. The bouquet was a hand tied style made from masses of mink and taupe flowers including Quicksand, Sahara and Safi roses. The bouquet was accessorized with masses of pearls, crystals and diamantes to reflect the adornments on the bridal gown. Shards of tulle and birdcage veiling also featured throughout the design to reflect the skirt of the gown. The stem of the bouquet was finished with taupe material and finished with an amazing sparkling adornment. It was created and designed by Mat Hepplestone at Red Floral Architecture.
The styling in the marquee reception was also done by Mat at Red Floral Architecture and Rebecca at Crow Hill. The flower centrepieces were a mixture of designs including huge flower balls on ornate gold stands, huge blossom trees, beautiful boxed designs, tall cherub candle designs and a huge central piece which was suspended from the marquee chandelier and hung over the central table! Each design featured masses of roses in the chosen colours.
Each table was also adorned with hanging glass tea lights, hordes of flickering candles on a mixture of candle sticks and mercury glass holders, masses of flower petals and rose heads and each table had luxury linens draping in a mix of champagne and gold sequin cloths and designer bridal lace cloths. The chair covers matched these also with added satin fabric ties on some allowing us to achieve the mix of colours and textures that we really wanted. We also had huge light up letters saying ‘love’ and ‘dance’ provided by Typical Type. These added such drama and a wow factor to the marquee. We also had a light up monogram with our names projected onto the dance floor. Finally we had a tree for our table plan with hanging tags for our guests to find their tables and we had various ornate gold gilt frames around the reception encouraging people to Instagram/Facebook their wedding pictures using a hash tag unique to us.
We gave out favours to each of our day guests, these consisted of little mercury glass heart Christmas tree baubles. These were boxed in small lilac boxes and hand tied with a latte coloured ribbon and each finished with a pearl and diamanté embellishment, which were handmade and finished by Mitchell and myself.
We chose a six tier cake made and designed by Sarah Small at Choose Cake! Along with Sarah we designed and adapted the cake until it was perfect. It featured and ombré ruffle effect on the bottom tier, lace and brushed gold effects throughout the rest of the tiers including a monogrammed plaque with our initials. The final tier finished the cake off with cascading gold sequins and a large sugar paste flower arrangement to add to the overall theme of the wedding. The tiers included chocolate orange, white chocolate and red velvet flavours.
We had a reception welcome drink of hot winter Pimms for guests on arrival and a selection of gourmet canapés. Guests also had access to a hot chocolate bar with a winter lodge theme where they were served hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and various other toppings in takeaway cups monogrammed with our initials and wedding date. We also had a winter candy bar where guests could choose from traditional Scottish tablet hearts. Ferrero Rochers and eggnog lolly pops! The menu was created and provided by Tracy Keppie at Crow Hill who is amazing! The food is to die for and is honestly the best I’ve tasted! She is incredible!
We added quite a few special touches on the day including providing glittering flip flops for guests’ ‘dancing feet’ and a basket of blankets for guests to keep warm outside! We also had a DIY photo booth with a huge array of props for guests to create their own photo memories. At the end of the night each guest was handed a mini bottle of Baileys and a golden box of wedding cake to enjoy as a midnight taxi snack.
We also had makeup stand in the main house of Crow Hill for guests to go get their makeup ‘touched up’ which was provided by the fabulous Flossy and Leigh. Guests could get their eye makeup intensified, try a new lipstick and even have false lashes applied for a small cost. We also had toiletries in the toilets for guests to use to freshen up including deodorant, hair spray, dry shampoo, chewing gum, hair clips etc.
We would 100% recommend our venue to others! Crow Hill is an amazing venue with fabulous staff. They know exactly what they are doing and manage the whole day with a professionalism. The venue is perfect for the ‘house party’ style wedding weekend which is what we wanted. It’s a total gem of a venue that will totally wow your guests! It’s perfect!
Our favourite part of the day was standing at the alter and just taking in the sheer beauty of what was happening, it was a moment we will never forget. We felt so relaxed and serene at this point with an indescribable peace upon the both of us, so beautiful and our most treasured part of the day.
We went on our honeymoon on the Monday after the wedding to Vienna! I’m a complete Christmas lover and Vienna was so magical at that time of year! It was so romantic. We wrapped up in our warmest clothing and visited the amazing Christmas markets, sipping on sweet ameretto liquor punch, took a horse drawn carriage ride around the beautiful city, visited the glamorous hotel coffee houses and soaked up the festive atmosphere! We stayed in a suite at the famous Hotel Sacher and sampled the famous Sacher torte!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be marry as early in the day as you can! People always say the day goes by too fast and so I decided I wanted to get married as early as I could to ensure I actually had a wedding day rather than a wedding ‘late afternoon’.
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