Charlotte Balbier

sunshine, showers & champagne. an elegant wedding in the north west – melissa & chris

October 31st, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s real wedding is brimming with timeless details to inspire all of those brides-to-be hankering after an elegant, traditional affair.

Melissa and Chris tied the knot at a beautiful local church with a family connection and held their reception at the stunning Deanwater Hotel in Wilmslow. And they didn’t let it rain on their parade – despite the inclement weather, we think these breath-taking photographs radiate pure joy.

So sit back and enjoy Melissa’s account of a day full of sunshine in spite of the showers…

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

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melissa says: We got engaged in January 2013. Chris didn’t want to be predictable and ask over Christmas; he wanted to catch me completely off guard. He proposed at home, one of our favourite places, on a very ordinary Saturday morning. He presented me with a photo book which contained memories of our holidays, adventures and fun times we‘d had over the ten years we’d been together and on the last page I read the all-important four words. The next thing I knew, Chris was down on one knee and holding out the most beautiful ring he had designed with the help of jeweller Simon Washbrook.

Our wedding date was 14th August 2015, exactly 12 years after we got together. My wedding ring also contained 14 diamonds to represent the date of our anniversary.

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The wedding ceremony was held at Christ Church, Woodford. It’s a meaningful place for us as my parents were married there 33 years ago and I was christened there. And the tradition will continue: my sister is planning her wedding there for December 2016, too!

The reception was held in the Gold Suite at the Deanwater Hotel in Wilmslow. The newly-refurbished suite was a perfect venue for us as we wanted a small wedding which was close by for friends and family.

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In terms of our wedding style, we went for a very traditional a gold, pearl and champagne colour scheme. I wanted something simple and elegant which would stand the test of time.

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roses & lace. pronovias for a timeless wedding at arley hall – charlotte & ross

October 25th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Charlotte and Ross (who was a great teenage friend of mine *waves!*) decided to go with a classic and traditional big day, complete with a church ceremony, black tie suits and a gorgeous lace gown (we approve Mr W!).

Roses were the flower of the day in elegant tones of cream and pink, which made up super pretty bouquets and adorned the pew ends and cake.

The result is an utterly gorgeous celebration that will certainly stand the test of time.

With images by Katie Sidell Photography.

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charlotte says: We got engaged in Central Park in New York. Ross proposed while we ice skating. I was so shocked but over the moon! We set the date of the wedding for 21st May 2016. We had our ceremony at the beautiful Great Budworth Church. Alec there was a fantastic vicar and made the ceremony so special! We then had our reception at Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire.
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We went with a traditional look for the wedding with Ross wearing black tie and my dress was lace, which I wore with a cathedral style veil. I loved the look of the black and the ivory outfits together. Our flowers were all pastel colours and we love roses so they were the main flower.

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Ross’s suit was a tailored Moss Bros black tie suit with matching black waistcoat and tie. The groomsmen wore tailored Ted Baker black tie suits.

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snowflakes & lilies. a winter wedding at peckforton castle – lorna & dave

October 21st, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today’s elegant real wedding was arranged in just six months and perfectly illustrates the beauty of tying the knot in the winter season.

The couple, Lorna and Dave, had been together for more than five years before getting engaged. Briefly contemplating a beach wedding in the Caribbean sunshine, the couple couldn’t resist the allure of staying close to home and celebrating their big day at the magnificent Peckforton Castle.

Dressed in an off-the-shoulder, fluted fishtail gown, Lorna was every bit the fairy-tale princess.

With images from Jonny Draper Photography.

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lorna says: We got engaged on 23rd May 2015, at Tre-Ysgawen Hall, Anglesey, Wales. At this point we had been together for more than five years, so I’d pretty much given up hope, but it turns out he was waiting for me to stop hinting so that it would come as a surprise. Dave had taken me away for the weekend and chosen Wales because of my Welsh roots. We enjoyed spa treatments on the Saturday and even joked in the Jacuzzi that Dave was rubbish at keeping secrets! Later that day, he got down on one knee in a lovely little meadow in the grounds of the hotel. I was so stunned he had to prompt me for a response as his knee was getting wet from the grass!

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We tied the knot on Thursday 17th December 2015. We both wanted a winter wedding and weren’t concerned about the weather. We love Christmas time, so thought we could make the most of the gorgeous festive decorations at our venue, Peckforton Castle in Cheshire. We also first met on 17th January so there was certain symmetry to the date.

We got married in the Great Hall at Peckforton. Dave wanted to either wed on a beach in the Caribbean or in a castle. As I’m red head and not a huge fan of sand – the decision was quickly made! We looked at a number of other locations in and around Cheshire, but Peckforton was by far the most magical and perfect venue.

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We both love to travel so our table names were places we had visited together and our table plan was a map of the world. We also had a vintage suitcase for our cards. For us, this signified that we had already been on many adventures, and that we are now embarking on another big adventure together into married life.

We tried to keep a personal touch throughout the wedding, with my sister designing our wedding invitations and other stationery, and my mum making the most fabulous snowflake wedding cake. Overall, we were going for an understated but elegant look.

Our colour scheme was dark purple. It’s a rich shade that stands out for a winter wedding and it also complemented the decor in the castle – and we both love the colour!

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hydrangeas & sparkles for a personal summer wedding in sheffield – faith & pete

October 11th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Instead of focusing all their plans around one set theme, today’s real wedding couple decided to go with their preferences and gut feelings when it came to both their big day setting and suppliers.

Proud to show off their home city of Sheffield, Faith and Pete chose to use local businesses where possible to help bring their pretty Yorkshire wedding to life.

With inspiration taken from everything from their favourite flowers to their favourite food, Faith and Pete’s wedding is without doubt a true reflection of them as both individuals and as a couple.

With images by Kindred Photography.

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faith says: We got engaged on the 8th July 2014 at Monsal Head. Pete said he wanted to take us somewhere with a nice view and had seen Monsal Head listed on a website recommending beauty spots. We went early and there was no one else around. I was eight months pregnant at the time and wasn’t expecting the proposal at all because we had recently been on several romantic mini breaks where Pete had ample opportunities to ask but nothing had happened. It turns out he just hadn’t chosen the ring; he found the perfect one though with a little help from his friend Stevie at Beaverbrooks in Meadowhall.

Pete had packed a picnic and some fizzy wine (non-alcoholic of course) which he got out of the car. I was going to start setting it up but before I had a chance he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him – it was an amazing moment and couldn’t have been more perfect. We ate the picnic and called our friends and family to tell them the news. My hands were so swollen from the pregnancy I couldn’t get the ring on so Pete drove us to Castleton where we chose a temporary Blue John ring to wear in the meantime. It was very special to return to Monsal Head the following year with our son Alfred and have an engagement/family shoot with our wedding photographer.

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Our wedding date was the 18th June 2016. We chose June because it is when all our favourite flowers are in season, also because I always remember a friend telling me it is statistically least likely to rain, I’m not sure if that is true but it stuck in my mind.

We got married at Staindrop Lodge, in Sheffield. We knew we wanted to get married in a venue where we could have both the ceremony and reception. We hadn’t been to Staindrop before but saw it online and thought we would have a look. Both of us loved it straight away. We loved how clean and light it was, we liked the idea of having the reception in the restaurant, which is on two levels and a little more interesting that just a room, we loved the modern feel with art deco touches and all the artwork throughout the venue. We also loved Rachel who is the wedding planner there, she is the most organised and in-control person you could ever meet, I tend to be a bit of a control freak but I had no doubt she would do a fantastic job. They were so flexible and really embraced all the ideas we had. They also saved all the hotel rooms for us which meant most of our friends and family could stay over after the wedding.

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We didn’t have a wedding theme as such, we just wanted day to be about us; to feature everything we loved and be a really fun celebration with our closest friends and family. The styling was simple with just a touch of sparkle. We were also keen to show our love of Sheffield by using lots of local or small wedding suppliers.

For our colour scheme we took inspiration from the crocuses, which always look so lovely and cheerful at the start of spring. We had shades of purple for the bridesmaid dresses and my bouquet, bright yellow ties and pale yellow table runners, ivory for my dress, the bridesmaid’s bouquets and the centrepieces, and gold sparkles for the place names and numbers.

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perfect to a tea. a pretty pastel wedding at barnsdale hall hotel – sarah & chris

October 5th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Now’s the time to stick the kettle on for that morning brew as we share the beautiful big day of Sarah and Chris, which had a subtle tea theme to it.

Though now living in Cheshire, today’s couple went back to their roots in Leicester for a pretty pastel church wedding followed by an elegant hotel reception.

We adore the colour scheme as well as the incredible blooms, particularly the spectacular flower arch and Sarah’s dreamy bouquet! And not forgetting those charming teapot touches too!

With images by Love Luella Photography, assisted by Alix Ferguson Photography.

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sarah says: Chris’s proposal came as a complete surprise to me. It happened following a mini break that I’d been on over the Christmas period with some girlfriends from work as we’d to work through Christmas.

On the flight home the girls were acting very strange giving me makeup to put on, I assumed it was because I looked rough! Once we had landed and arrived at passport control the security spent a while checking my passport and talking on the radio which made me panic (turns out they all knew about the proposal). As we eventually walked through the girls went ahead of me and I could hear music playing – it was mine and Chris’s song (Drops of Jupiter by Train, which became our first dance song). There was an iPad set up with my nickname “Embo” on it and a bunch of flowers, but the penny still hadn’t dropped. I picked up the iPad and there was a video of all my friends and family from home/work/ abroad saying “just say yes” to which I started crying. At the end it said to turn around and then Chris came through the crowd in a suit and proposed. It was quite sweet. When we got home we were surprised by all our family at our house to congratulate us, followed by a meal out.  For a guy who can’t plan his day without my help, he did good!

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Although we now live in Chester we are both originally from Leicester and so we chose to get married back home in my local church, Manton St Mary’s, and held the reception at the Barnsdale Hall Hotel, Oakam. The views from the Barnsdale Hall Hotel were the biggest selling point.

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We decided on a tea theme for the wedding because I’m well-known from my love for tea. I wanted the day to be quite a traditional English wedding and so this seemed to suit well.

We chose to have mixed pastels colour scheme because I couldn’t pick just one colour – the three I chose in the end went together well. I don’t like the uniformed look and thought this seemed more fun!

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I got my wedding dress from Dresses2ImpressU in Leicester. I fell in love with it straight away although it looked quite different when I purchased it because I added a longer train and lace bottom to make this personal. It was elegant and also comfortable.

In terms of accessories I wore shoes from Elegant Steps, which are designed to be comfortable for the whole day and can also be dyed to match the colour of your dress, which was an added perk. In the evening both Chris and I wore Converse! For my jewellery I wore my mum’s ‘something borrowed’ and kept it minimal, simple pearl drop earrings and a pearl bracelet. To complete my look I had a couple of white flowers in my hair.

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country elegance. maggie sottero for a pretty pastel wedding in yorkshire – julia & wayne

September 27th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon we’re delighted to be sharing the wedding of avid Brides Up North reader Julia, who vows to remain a follower of the blog, despite now being a Mrs (which is more than alright with us!).

Having waited patiently for a proposal from her beau, Julia was determined to stretch the wedding celebrations across more than just one day and so planned the big day bash for over the May bank holiday weekend.

Following a family tragedy the wedding was almost postponed, but brave Julia and her family decided that a happy day was what was needed, and included special and personal touches to mark their loss.

This wedding is filled of love and laughter as well as beautiful styling and lots of fizz. Big thanks to Julia for sharing this with us.

With images by Chiyo McMillan Photography.

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julia says: Wayne and I had been together for ten years before he proposed. It was a running joke among our family and friends that he would never do it and all my hopes were beginning to fade. The proposal came following a stay at Slaley Hall in Hexham, to celebrate our ten year anniversary. Wayne suggested a walk before we set off home but I refused as it was raining and we had to get back for our dog, Lola. I wasn’t aware at the time, but he was then forced to drive the hour-long journey with the ring box shoved in the back pocket of his jeans. We arrived home and Wayne was very eager to take the dog for a walk – we did and after what seemed like miles he finally got down on one knee and proposed. We are away from each other so much as Wayne is in the army that our walks together are very precious, so it was the perfect time and setting. I, of course, said Yes!

We got married on Saturday 28th May 2016, however our celebrations lasted all weekend. We chose this date because it was the bank holiday weekend. We had a wedding rehearsal followed by pre-wedding drinks and nibbles on the Friday evening and hosted a post-wedding barbecue the day after. I had waited so long for this wedding that I had to stretch the celebrations out for as long as I could!

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We did however almost postpone the wedding as my brother Alan died eight weeks before it was due to take place. He collapsed whilst running a half marathon on his 31st birthday. He was going to be an usher and master of ceremonies at our wedding. We considered putting the wedding back but in the end my parents persuaded us to go ahead and try to make it the happiest occasion possible, which we did.

We incorporated my brother into the day as much as we could. We celebrated him through a special prayer during the ceremony, mentioned him in the speeches and a toast, our favours were replaced with donations to the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, in his memory and we invited his old school friends to attend the reception. I also had a charm with his photograph on that was attached to my bouquet. This was given to me by a friend ahead of the wedding and it meant so much to me – I hardly put my bouquet down all day.

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Our chosen venue was The Yorkshire Wedding Barn, in Gilling West, near Richmond, North Yorkshire.  We viewed just three venues in our search and after we had been to the barn we didn’t want to view anything else, it was perfect. Newly opened in 2014 by Amanda and Neville Bird, the venue has a newly converted modern barn with beams wrapped in fairy lights and offers a blank canvas for receptions. The barn is surrounded by holiday cottages, each with their own hot tub (plus a hot tub in a tree house in the bridal suite), and ‘glamping’ style shepherd’s huts, which can accommodate up to 30 guests. The venue is in a gorgeous setting and offers beautiful views of the Yorkshire countryside.

We wanted somewhere that we could have exclusively for the whole weekend which also had plenty of room for people to stay and the barn ticked all of the boxes. So many people came up to us at the wedding and said how beautiful the venue was and we were even lucky enough to have sunshine over the weekend too!

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We didn’t have a theme for the wedding to begin with, but whilst designing our stationery with A La Memoire we came up with a ‘country elegance’ theme, which seemed a perfect fit. This consisted of rustic elements such as wooden log slice centrepieces, wine boxes filled with flowers and hessian bunting teamed with pearls and lace for an elegant edge.

Ultimately we just wanted our wedding to be relaxed, full of fun, alcohol and good food, and for everyone to have a good time. We had so many people tell us that it was the best wedding that they had been to, so I think we succeeded in that!

When it came to the colour scheme we were quite laid back but knew we wanted muted, pretty pastels. Pink was the most dominate colour, which we used across all of the stationery and the flowers, the best men and usher’s ties were pink and my bridesmaids wore a pale lilac.

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