Charlotte Balbier

as you like it. house of mooshki for a cool city centre wedding in Liverpool – rhia & stew

July 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (21)

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.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (1)

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.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (5)

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!

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (4)

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.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (10)

Stew wore a dark blue suit from Reiss as he wanted something he could wear again. He looked super-smart with his waistcoat and a brightly coloured Paul Smith tie.

My bridesmaid wore a purple dress and the best man wore a grey suit. The flower girls were kitted out in Monsoon dresses.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (13)

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!

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (14)

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!

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (17)

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.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (19)

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!

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (36)

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.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (39)

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.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (48)

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.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (51)

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.

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (52)

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!

A Pretty Wedding in Liverpool (c) Dan Hough Photography (55)

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.

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flower bomb. ian stuart for a winter celebration at crow hill – emily & mitchell

July 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (3)

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.

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (15)
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!

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (10)
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.

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (8)

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.

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (2)

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (38)
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!

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (5)

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!

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (39)

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.

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (12)
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!

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (20)

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.

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (24)

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.

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (23)

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.

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (29)

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.

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (45)
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.

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (30)

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.

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (33)
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.

A Glam Winter Wedding at Crow Hill (c) Tim Simpson Photography (44)
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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building on a blank canvas. a cute village hall wedding in the north west – vicki & colin

June 29th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (60)

Today’s real wedding couple show how a blank space can be transformed into an attractive setting for a personal big day.

After saying their ‘I dos’ at the local church, Colin, Vicki and their wedding party headed to Slaidburn Village Hall for a fabulous meal, emotional speeches and live entertainment.

To give it their own touch, the hall had been decorated with pretty bunting, table linen and chair covers, which complemented other village fete style touches, including their home made naked wedding cake, VW camper van and dainty floral decorations in lace bound jam jars.

With images by Mick Cookson Photography.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (7)

vicki says: We got engaged on the beach in Cornwall in April 2013 and set the wedding date for two years later on 4th April 2015, giving us time for all the planning.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (9)

Our ceremony was at St Andrew’s Church, Slaidburn, followed by a reception at Slaidburn Village Hall. We knew that we wanted a village hall wedding as it would allow us to do whatever we wanted – choose our own food, drinks etc. When we saw Slaidburn Village Hall we knew it was perfect for us – it was modern but still a blank canvas.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (3)

We wanted things to be quite neutral and didn’t want too much of a theme because then we could just add/change things when we saw something that we liked without being too restricted. Then towards the end, we just tied everything together.

We chose a neutral colour scheme but then added in pink as one of the main colours after choosing my sisters’ bridesmaid dresses, which were pale pink.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (15)

My dress was lace and satin design, with cap sleeves. I got it from Amelia Bridal in Clitheroe and they were amazing! My wedding makeup was done by Joanne at Hidden Beauty, Great Harwood. Joanne, was fantastic and made sure that everything was perfect.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (22)

My bridesmaids wore different dresses in pairs; two sets were from Coast and one set was from Monsoon. The groomsmen meanwhile hired blue suits from Moss Bros.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (36)

We used lots of great suppliers to help pull the wedding together including Classique Venue Dressing in Chorley, to dress the venue, and caterers from Country Kitchen Cafe, in Waddington, to provide the food. Tim, the café owner was fabulous and helped with every detail. My mum made our wedding cake which was a delicious naked sponge design.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (42)

For our transport on the day we used Coach House Limousines in Blackburn, who provided a gorgeous VW camper van for my bridesmaids. We also hired a lovely Daimler from McGowans Classic Car Hire in Bamber Bridge, Preston.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (45)

My bouquet was a lovely mix of roses and gypsophila, put together by Le Rainflorist in Blackburn.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (53)

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (63)

To keep guests entertained in the evening we hired a band calledThe Beat Collective. They were absolutely amazing and the dance floor was packed all night!

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (67)

All of the wedding was captured by our fabulous photographer Mick Cookson. The pictures are so amazing, it is going to be so hard choosing some for our album!

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (77)

It’s hard to pick a favourite part of the day as we loved all of it, though the ceremony and the meal stand out on our heads.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (89)

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (94)

Following the wedding we went on a mini moon for a couple of days to the Brecon Beacons in Wales. We will be jetting off to America in August for 18 nights for our main honeymoon.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (108)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to try and get everything organised a few days before then you can relax. Unfortunately, I ended up rushing around on the last day!

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a little bit of what we like. a personal wedding with vintage touches at crab manor – gemma & darren

June 25th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (21)

Having found their perfect wedding venue in Crab Manor, North Yorkshire, today’s couple decided against a set theme and instead added bits and pieces that they liked to the manor’s unusual décor or an individual big day.

Individuality continued throughout the wedding in the bride’s vintage-esque attire, the groom’s tweed getup and the beautiful floral bridesmaid dresses.

There are many elements of this big day that we absolutely love, though one in particular has to be Gemma’s wild bouquet – just stunning!

We think you will all agree, this one is a real beauty!

With images by Brides Up North featured supplier, Helen Russell Photography.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (3)

gemma says: We got engaged on 2nd December 2013. Darren took me for lunch at Browns in Newcastle. After our starters Darren started to fidget in his pocket then he pulled the ring out and proposed, I said yes immediately. I can remember thinking though I wished he had waited until after our meal as I couldn’t eat anything else as I was so excited to get back home and tell everyone!

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (7)

We set the date for 13th February 2015. We decided on that date as the 13th February is the anniversary of when we officially started dating.

Our chosen venue was Crab Manor in Thirsk, we fell in love with how cool and quirky the place was and also the uniqueness of the venue. We always knew a big stately house/hotel wasn’t for us and wanted somewhere everyone would feel comfortable on the big day.

We didn’t wanted to have a theme as such but I have a love for vintage clothing/items so that did play a part in the day, but ultimately we chose to buy whatever we liked. Similarly, we chose not to have a colour scheme as we didn’t want to be limited in what we could buy, we wanted free rein and hoped everything would come together in the end.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (10)

My dress was from Amore Brides in Sunderland. I always knew what kind of dress I didn’t want more than what I did want. I met June the owner and pulled out three dresses to try on, as soon as I put the first dress on I knew it was the one. It was the most beautiful lace backless Maggie Sottero dress and it was just me. I felt 100% comfortable so I bought it there and then. I still look at it now and I’m still in love with it.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (12)

Darren bought his suit from Leaf in Newcastle. He wanted a tweed suit and fell in love with the first one he saw. His tweed tie was bought online from a shop in Scotland to go with his Dolce and Gabbana shirt. His Jeffrey West shoes were a gift from me for his birthday the year before. Unfortunately Darren’s gran passed away before our wedding. With some of the money he was left he bought a gold pocket watch, so in a sense his gran could be with us on our special day.

The best men and my dad wore navy suits from Debenhams with tweed ties also from the same shop as Darren’s. All the guys had matching monster socks from Burton.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (6)

Our bridesmaids wore dresses from ASOS. They were for me the perfect dresses and I really liked them straight away. Isabelle my flower girl (niece) wore a beautiful dress from Monsoon with some glitter pumps from John Lewis.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (19)

Helen Russell was our photographer on the day. Helen has photographed a few friends’ weddings and I totally love her style and how she captures the perfect moments. I’m not a great fan of posed photos and I knew Helen’s images were mostly natural shots and this was ideal for us.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (16)

My flowers were a bit of a gamble as I didn’t really know what I was getting until the morning of the big day. My maid of honour, who flew back from Australia for the wedding, is good friends with Kirsty who co owns Darling and Green, we met up once last summer and I saw some of her work and knew she was the one who I wanted to do my flowers. I was quite laid back about what I wanted and Kirsty totally got my style and I knew she would deliver on the day.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (23)

We had a selection of different shaped and sized glass bottles filled with wild flowers for our table decorations from Darling and Green, along with glass bottles I filled with pearls, which we used for our table numbers. I bought a flowery storage box and some mini ‘Mr & Mrs’ bunting and made a box for our cards. The venue is full of bits and bobs so we didn’t need a lot of decorations.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (29)

Our wedding favours were retro mix ups in personalized brown paper bags, we put in all of our favourite sweets from our childhood. The children got goody bags full with activities such as colouring in books, puzzles, pens and also disposable cameras, which went down a treat.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (34)

We weren’t really fussed on having a wedding cake so we decided on cupcakes made by Lynn, a family friend. They were a huge success and tasted amazing!

We choose a menu that would please everyone; leek and potato soup, beef and vegetables then sticky toffee pudding followed by coffee and the famous Crab Manor chocolate truffles.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (40)

For entertainment, we hired a juke box from Crab Manor. As we only had a small wedding of 30 people we didn’t need anything else. Everyone loved dancing away to their favourite tunes. For decoration we also hired a love heart from Coco Luminaire with our names and date of the big day on.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (42)

If you are after something different to your normal wedding then choose Crab Manor as the venue is without doubt one of the best places we have stayed in. It offers something different and the staff are amazing, especially John, one of the wedding co-ordinators. The venue is cool and quirky and just has an amazing overall feel. We highly recommend!

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (52)

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (43)

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (41)

My favourite part of the day was the ceremony; being with everyone who we love and care for and being able to share our special day with them.

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (64)

For our honeymoon we went to Jamaica. We literally went to chill after a busy few months arranging the wedding. The surprises kept on coming though as on our second week we found out I was expecting our first child, due in October!

A Personal Wedding at Crab Manor (c) Helen Russell Photography (62)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – try to relax and enjoy the experience, as it’s very easy to turn into a bridezilla!

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oh i do like to be beside the seaside. sophia tolli for a traditional wedding in the north west – kate & colin

June 18th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (26)

Following a romantic proposal in Central Park, New York, today’s couple Kate and Colin set their hearts on a classic wedding by the sea. The Clifton Arms Hotel in Lancashire provided the perfect setting with views of the stunning seafront in Lytham.

To complete their vision, Kate and Colin called upon talented family and friends to help with the cake, flowers and décor, resulting in a very beautiful and personal big day.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Amanda Balmain.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (3)

kate says: Colin proposed three years ago during a trip to New York which was to celebrate his birthday. I had no idea he would propose as we had planned a full week of sightseeing. Colin says he carried my engagement ring everywhere during the five days whilst waiting for the perfect moment. Apparently he was planning to propose at the top of the Empire State building but he couldn’t make me stand still for long enough as it was freezing cold in November and I kept doing laps at the top to try and keep warm!

On the third day we decided to go for a walk around central park as this was our favourite place in the city. During this we passed a couple who had just got engaged and were asked to take pictures for them, little did I know Colin was gutted as he says he was about to propose before we bumped into them. Colin later proposed during a very romantic horse and carriage ride around Central Park, this was incredible and so special, it felt like we were in a Hollywood film. Best proposal ever!

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (6)

Our wedding day was on 11th October 2014. We chose October as we love autumn and all the different colours – it reminded us of walking around central park in New York.

We live very close to the sea which we love and wanted our venue to be by the seaside. We researched local venues and fell in love with the Clifton Arms Hotel, Lancashire. The hotel is situated overlooking the seafront in Lytham. The area has a classic seaside feel with lots of character, a very friendly atmosphere and picturesque coastline which we wanted to have as part of our wedding day.

Classic and traditional was the theme for the day. We wanted our wedding to be a stylish celebration with our all of our close family and friends. The Clifton Arms Hotel radiates a traditional elegance which we wanted to reflect with our wedding theme.

Our colour scheme for the wedding included dusky pinks, slate grey, ivory and silver. With our classic theme we wanted to keep the colour scheme natural.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (11)

Finding my dress is one of my favourite memories of planning our wedding. I wore a Sophia Tolli A-line gown called Jillian which had layers of misty tulle and lace. I chose my dress from Bridal Boutique in Bispham where I was able to try on many different styles. I went in thinking I would choose a fitted plain straight dress as I’m quite tall and I didn’t feel a big dress would suit me. As soon as I tried the Sophia Tolli gown on I knew it was the one. I loved the uncomplicated skirt and the chapel length train as well as the lace bodice, which I felt flattered my figure. I added a chapel length ivory veil also from Bridal Boutique and a sparkly hair clip from Debenhams.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (19)

Colin wore a Jeff Banks slate grey three-piece suit from Debenhams accompanied with an ivory tie to match my dress. He also wore a very smart pair of Jeff Banks shoes which he says were very comfy and helped him throw some great dance moves during the evening reception! Craig, who was our best man, also wore a three-piece Jeff Banks Suit from Debenhams and a grey tie to match.

We had six bridesmaids which were both our sisters Laura and Katy and my best friends Jenny, Hayley, Pippa and Aisling, who wore black floor length dresses by Mark Lesley from Bridal Boutique in Bispham. Our beautiful flower girl Harriet wore an ivory sparkly dress from Monsoon.

Ian and Paula of Allure Rococo in Poulton-le fylde, Lancashire, did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair on the day which we loved.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (20)

Amanda Balmain was our amazing photographer on our wedding day. A friend had attended a specialist photography course a few years ago with Amanda and she had followed some of her photography work online. When we mentioned to our friend that we were looking for a photographer she was able to recommend Amanda straight away. As soon as we met her we knew she was great. We organised an engagement shoot on a beach on the Wirral where she made us feel very relaxed and was able to get very natural, romantic shots.

Amanda managed to capture our wedding day in a very special way, we love our wedding pictures and we can’t stop looking at our wedding album! She is very talented and such a lovely person I have recommended her to all of my friends and family for their weddings.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (24)

My Aunty Lisa, who is an independent florist in Norfolk, created all of our flowers. The flowers were purchased from the wholesale Dutch Flower Auction. My bouquet included dusky pink amnesia roses, ivory roses, thistles, wax flowers, eucalyptus, gypsophila, snow berries, astible and some green foliage. Lisa did an amazing job – she took my imagination and made it happen.

My mum Helen and Aunty Lisa created our amazing centrepieces – we had tall candles in hurricane lamps surrounded by the same flowers which were in my bouquet. They also created the top table flower display which included roses, ivy and green foliage as well candles which looked fantastic.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (31)

The Wedding Place in Blackpool supplied our white chair covers and lace white sashes – they did a fantastic job and we would highly recommend them!

As a special touch, a family friend created a handmade post box with our names and wedding details on the front, which was used by our guests to post their cards into at the reception.

For favours we gave chocolate miniature hearts and wrapped sweets placed in silver drawstring bags.

Our three-tier wedding cake was a family creation. My Granddad, who is a baker, made the fruit cake. The cake was then decorated by my talented and creative Mum and Gran. It featured layers of Victoria sponge and fruit cake. My mum spent many hours incorporating wedding details such as the ivory colour scheme which matched my dress and handmade sugar crafted flowers which mirrored my bouquet.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (39)

Daniel Sings provided our musical entertainment. Daniel provided amazing live vocals, played acoustic and electric guitars and wonderful saxophone. He performed a huge range of songs which had everyone singing along during our wedding breakfast and did not stop all evening. He made our perfect day even better and all of our guests often comment on how brilliant he was.

For the children we provided colouring books and quizzes, which many mums and dads appreciated during the wedding breakfast.

We would highly recommend The Clifton Arms Hotel as a wedding venue to other couples – the food was fantastic and the staff were very helpful which made our day run very smoothly. The hotel is situated in a fantastic position overlooking Lytham Green and the coastline. After our ceremony we were able to walk outside and have our pictures taken on the green, there is also a little wooden jetty by a windmill very close to the hotel which our photographer used to get some stunning photographs. It is a very classy and traditional venue – we would not change a thing about it as it made our day very special!

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (25)

After our wedding ceremony we were able to go and have some private pictures taken by the sea, which was one of our favourite parts of the day. It was such a glorious sunny day, the water was very calm and it was silent on the wooden jetty. We were able to have a few minutes to reflect that we had just got married and before we walked the short distance back to the hotel for the evening reception – it was lovely to have a few moments to ourselves. We could hear our guests singing in the distance as Daniel performed on his guitar. We had the biggest smiles on our faces and we can both definitely say it was the most fantastic and best day of our lives.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (47)

For our honeymoon we spent ten days in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (49)

Our top tips for other Brides Up North would be to look for ways to incorporate family and friends into your day, this made ours extra special to us as we have a very close family around us. Also, be sure to steal a few minutes away together during the height of wedding celebration to talk, look at each other and take it all in. We would also advise other brides and grooms to book time with their photographer. Our pre-wedding shoot with our photographer was brilliant as we got to know each other and she then knew what we wanted and was able to give us good advice with shots and family group photos.

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