June 6th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
We do love a barn wedding here at Brides Up North, and Jamie and David’s gorgeous celebration at Healey Barn near Corbridge, Northumberland, is top of the (barn) pops.
This stylish couple are all about the natural; from the wisteria colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses to the hessian and lace details of their rustic theme, not to mention the intimate photographs taken under a fabulous woodland canopy.
But what we really love about this real wedding is how ‘natural’ is clearly far more than a one-day-only theme. From the silver Converse that Jamie slipped on under her Enzoani gown and the barbecue feast they opted for, it’s obvious that they wanted a laidback and honest feel to their ceremony and reception that really reflected them as a couple.
With images by Camilla Lucinda Photography.
jamie says: We got engaged on 20th April 2012, at Creswell Beach in Northumberland. We‘d been for a walk along the beach when David suddenly asked me to climb up the sand dunes. He got ahead of me and, when I eventually reached the top, he was already on one knee.
Our wedding date was 20th April 2017. We chose the date because it was the anniversary of our first date and, of course, our engagement date! Unsurprisingly, it had become quite a special date for us so we looked to get married then, too.
We had our ceremony and our reception at the gorgeous Healey Barn. When we first started looking at wedding venues we decided we wanted something different and that’s when we found Healey Barn online.
We didn’t really have a theme in mind when we were planning – we just saw little snippets of other people’s weddings on social media and fell in love with details such as hessian and lace bows for chairs and matching table runners. However, on the day everyone said they loved the vintage theme that had ended up running throughout.
Colour-wise, we decided we didn’t want anything too over the top so went for a rustic feel and quite natural, neutral shades in our colour scheme.
My dress was an Enzoani design from The Wedding Dress Company in Corbridge. Over the past couple of years I’ve lost quite a bit of weight, so I wanted something that not only showed off my figure but something I also felt comfortable in. From the moment I tried it on, I fell in love – I knew it was the one the moment I saw my reflection in the boutique mirror.
Our photographer on the day was Camilla Lucinda and we would definitely recommend her. We met with Camilla before the wedding and she was absolutely lovely. She put us at ease instantly, and gave us some ideas for our couple photos which echoed exactly what we’d said we wanted. We loved how she captured natural photos of everyone – we didn’t want to be posing for photos all day aside from a few family pictures.
May 19th, 2017 | Julia Braime
To round off a winning week of blog posts we have this heart-achingly beautiful styled shoot put together by a talented collaborative of suppliers in rural North Yorkshire.
With Brides Up North Sponsor and exceptionally creative stylist Louise Hughes of One Stylish Day, at the helm of the design for the shoot, the end result was only ever going to be a set of stunning images brimming with stylish inspo for your big day.
So ladies, prepare to spend the rest of your Friday afternoon lost in world of natural wedding beauty. Sorry, not sorry!
With images by Nicola Dixon Photography.
nicola says: I organised the shoot as part of my styled shoot workshops for amateur and pro photographers. I chose Camp Katur for the location because I love outdoor wedding venues, and really wanted to add this venue to my portfolio. The outdoor woodland ceremony at Camp Katur is really unique and was a really big pull for me. I knew Lucy MacNicoll, the florist and Louise the stylist, could create something really special in that area. And they did. Watching them at work was awe-inspiring. This styled shoot was probably my most memorable because of the team, that creative energy was present through-out the whole day, all the attendees of the workshop felt it too.
I think the shoot came to life fairly naturally, Louise and I threw around words like kinfolk, organic and wild and Louise put together a moodboard for Lucy and I.
There really was something magical in the air that day, I know I was on a natural high for days. When a group of creatives come together and bring a vision to life for a group of photographers to photograph and marvel at, hearing everyone’s ‘wows’ when they saw the styled areas made all the emails and planning worthwhile. So much so that we have planned a couple more styled shoots for 2017 as it really felt like a dream team.
louise says: Styling wise, I wanted to steer away from the ‘boho’ look, which this style of venue can naturally call for. Instead I wanted to go with a fresh approach to outdoor weddings and focus on slow living with an essence of stillness and calm.
The shoot focused on a deep respect for the surroundings with a vision that the tablescape design did not look out of place in any way, but blended with the backdrop effortlessly.
The intent was to create a design inspired by the Danish Hygge aesthetic, with elements that looked like they had been gathered and swept up from the surrounding forest floor but with pops of soft highlights and rich toned accents. A key focus was on highlighting the beauty of the outdoors, whatever the season.
January 18th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Sarah and Matt’s relaxed, family-focused wedding combines two of our favourite themes at Brides Up North: plenty of organic woodland elements with a gorgeous blush, gold, mocha and burgundy colour scheme.
However, as these photographs show, you don’t have to compromise on style to have the informal, child-friendly wedding of your dreams. Sarah’s Jenny Packham gown and breathtaking oversized bouquet are just two super-stylish details from this stunning day.
With images by Jess Yarwood.
sarah says: We got engaged on Christmas Day almost seven years before the wedding. We’d been together five years and I was pregnant with our eldest daughter. Matt proposed with a big flower ring (not the real ring!) in bed on Christmas morning.
We were married on 7th October 2016. There was no special reason behind the date – in fact, getting married in 2016 was only an idea at the start of the year. We went to a family party (my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary) in April 2016, and loved the family being together so much that we decided we should get married the same year. So, we had to crack on and find a venue/date! I knew I wanted it to be in autumn but as early as possible so that it might still be warm enough.
We got married at Trafford Hall near Chester. A couple of people had recommended it as they’d been to weddings there but we had never been. We went to a wedding fair there and fell in love with it. We didn’t look at any other venues – we just knew straight away that it was the right venue for us.
Because of the nature of the venue we decided on a loose nature/woodland/botanical theme for the wedding. I love trees and plants and flowers and wanted to incorporate some greenery into the day.
The main colour scheme was mocha and burgundy with dusky pink, gold and lots of green! Originally the bridesmaids dressed were dusky pink but we had a few issues with the dresses and ended up having to change everything mid-August!
I chose a Jenny Packham dress called Betty, which I bought from Lillya Grace Bridal Boutique in Nantwich. I actually bought another dress in Chester first and realised quickly that it wasn’t what I wanted; it wasn’t in keeping with the style of the rest of the wedding and I had to find something else instead. When I saw the Jenny Packham I knew straight away that this was the perfect dress for me. I wanted something that was natural and elegant and not too structured. A little bit vintage with some detail but not over the top. It was amazing – it fell perfectly and looked fabulous in the pictures.
Holly Lander did my makeup – she was fantastic and helped out with other things too – she even went to the bar to get a bottle of pre-wedding bubbly! Emily Banks did the hair for me and the bridesmaids and Amy Lofthouse did the flower girls’.
Matt and the groomsmen wore blue suits from Next. The groom wore a mocha tie while the groomsmen wore burgundy ties.
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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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June 18th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North HQ we make no secret of the fact that we love super glam weddings that sparkle and shine. However we’ve found of late that we’re becoming increasingly drawn to an emerging trend at the more relaxed end of the wedding spectrum.
We’re talking about pared back, elegant weddings featuring soft, muted colour palettes. Where once bolder was seen as better, we’re now starting to see weddings returning to a simpler, more stripped back look that creates an overall feel of natural romance.
Pretty pastel colour schemes have remained strong in the industry for the past few years but the muted trend sees shades such as mint green, blush pink and lilac, toned down a level or two. A more neutral colour palette of hues including dove grey, putty and stone, also sits well within the trend, giving couples plenty of choice.
So today we’ve picked out three of our favourite muted naturals to show you how it’s done. Let the inspiration flow…
Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Braedon Photography| image source| image source, photography by Jemma Keech Photography| image source| image source, photography by Jacque Lynn| image source| image source, photography by Grace Photography| image source| image source, photography by Joielala| image source
As tasty as it sounds, this colour palette is warm, elegant and inviting without being at all in your face. People’s opinion on the colour caramel will vary from a light brown to more of a golden tone so we say there’s no harm in picking a few varying shades for depth and interest. This will also save you the added stress of trying match up all wedding elements to just one hue.
So let’s start with styling the wedding party. As we’re seeing more brides step away from classic white and ivory for their dress, blush and caramel tones have become increasingly accepted in the world of weddings, with designers like Mori Lee and Mark Zunino showcasing such shades within their collections. If a bride would rather stick with tradition, it’s best to dress the bridesmaids in a caramel colour instead. Again there’s the choice of a pale brown or a slightly warmer tone so brides should think about their maids’ complexions and pick what will suit best, or alternatively mix and match for a combination.
Flowers tend to look most effective when kept to a neutral palette of soft creams and whites with just the odd caramel toned bloom, such as blousy roses, dotted throughout.
The caramel colour scheme also lends itself well to light textured materials with a ripple effect (like how the running liquid itself pools and puddles). So brides might like a dress featuring soft ruffles or loose pleats and shoes with corsage type detail also work well. In terms of décor, paper pom poms and flowing ribbons can help continue the textured feel.
Thinking outside the box, couples can deliver a muted caramel scheme in more ways than one, through both colour and sweet treats. So how about a salted caramel wedding cake, fudge favours or sweet caramel apple martinis drinks reception. Delicious!
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source, photography by Melissa Oholendt| image source| image source, photography by Hyer Images| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by AMBphoto| image source
Working our way onto another appetising palette, a pistachio scheme is both a modern and elegant choice within the muted trend. It’s simple and sophisticated appearance is less playful than previously popular mint green, but it is by no means boring.
Similarly to the caramel theme, couples can play on the flavour of pistachio as well as the hue, perhaps opting for a show stopping pistachio layer wedding cake or dainty pistachio macaroon favours.
In terms of flowers, décor and stationery it’s best to keep things clean and simple to achieve the desired level of elegance. So go for uncomplicated table settings with plain pistachio coloured crockery, glassware or linen and natural centrepieces.
Metallics such as gold and silver complement pale green colour schemes well, but to keep on track with the muted theme pick matt rather than glittery options.
Elegant, long, flowing and uncomplicated bridesmaid dress designs work best with the theme and thankfully pistachio is a flattering tone on most complexions so maids should be merry about the choice. Meanwhile the bride can incorporate the hue in her footwear and groomsmen can adopt it for their ties, pocket squares and socks.
putty in your hands
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Shipra Panosian| image source, photography by Annalie Young| image source| image source, photography by Jessica Lorren| image source, photography by Helen Russell Photography
Just like caramel, putty can be interpreted in several different ways. Though often seen as an off-white or pale grey, others feel it has more of a warm mushroom or pink hue running through it, so again we suggest working several colours of this nature into your muted palette.
This means brides might like to mix up their bridesmaid dress colours rather than putting all their leading ladies in just one shade. But it’s not just the maids that can switch things up, the groomsmen could opt for mix and match trouser, tie and blazer combinations in shades of grey, putty and mushroom for both a stylish and individual look.
For brides an ivory or pale cream dress tends to complement the warm putty tones best but they hints of muted tones can be added in their flower and footwear choices.
Finally, décor should be light and elegant so think pale paper lanterns, dainty flowers in clear vases, simple candle light and polished glass wear. In terms of the cake, pale ombre creations and those with subtle texture are perhaps the most popular to complete the desired look
June 15th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s couple had their heart set on their chosen wedding venue from the moment they viewed its website – and looking at the images below we can see why.
Meols Hall provided a wonderful rustic setting for Ben and Jen’s romantic big day with its exposed brick walls and large wooden beams tying in perfectly with the couple’s moss-green colour scheme.
To complete the desired look they added natural flower displays and a gorgeous naked wedding cake – rustic romance at its best!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
jen says: We got engaged in May 2012. It was a while back but we’ve never been a couple to rush things: we got together in 2004! Ben arranged a long weekend break to Paris for my 28th birthday. It was not the most original choice, but Ben was going for the double-bluff!
We had a wonderful time seeing the sights, but it wasn’t until the last day when Ben proposed. We went to Sacre Coeur on top of Montmatre (the telescope scene from Amelie, with a sweeping view of Paris). Despite us having been partners for more than seven years, Ben was shaking with nerves, and it ended up being a very emotional moment for both of us. He gave me a platted string ring that turned out to be impossible to put on! Ben knew that I would appreciate a say in the choice of ring so he was waiting until we could go ring shopping together.
We set the date for 28th March 2015. I’m a primary school teacher, so it coincided with the start of the Easter Holidays. We had a hearts set on the venue, and it was one of the very few dates left for 2015 that worked well for me.
Our chosen wedding venue was Meols Hall in Churchtown, Southport. Not far from Wigan, where my family live. We fell in love with it as soon as we saw their website. It is a wonderfully tasteful barn conversion that is more rustic than ostentatious. After we’d seen it, my parents went to visit it, and we were thrilled to hear that it was as beautiful in real life as it was in the website’s pictures.
We had a relatively informal feel to the day. We didn’t want things to be straight-laced and serious. It really helped us – we were as relaxed as we could have been throughout the day.
Our order of service matched the style of our invites. They were both designed by a close friend of ours and featured a collage of fonts and black and white photos of Ben and I. As we both now live in London we also had a London Underground theme on the day. We wanted to bring a bit of the south up north! Our table names were stations in London that have meaning to both of us. The table plan was presented with an old London Underground map. We wrote funny(ish) short blurbs of why we had chosen the stations on the flip side of the table signs, to help break the ice on the tables.
We went with a moss green colour scheme, to complement the rustic venue, but to also go well with my hair.
I wore a beautiful Justin Alexander dress which I bought from Angelica Bridal in London. It was simple, elegant and covered in lace. I absolutely loved it! I added a moss green belt with a lace applique to fit in with the theme which I’m really glad about because I think it made the dress come alive.
On the wedding day Samantha Marshall did my makeup. It was fantastic and made me look glamourous yet natural! I would highly recommend her. Meanwhile, one of my oldest friends, and now professional hair stylist, Nicola Farrell, made my hair look wonderful! She plaited gypsum into the back which fit beautifully with the tasteful flower arrangements at the venue.
Ben didn’t want to hire a morning suit because he wanted something he could be proud of wearing over and over again. He found a tailored-fit three piece dark grey suit from T M Lewin that fit like a glove. He wore a luxury wide-collared plain white dress shirt from M&S and a well-matching moss green tie from Debenhams. The grooms and my dad wore the same suits as Ben.
My bridesmaids wore a moss green dress from Monsoon. They were a bargain and looked amazing!
We hired a London cab to take us to the venue on the wedding day. We didn’t have any money left in the budget to hire a posh car, plus it fitted in with the London theme perfectly!
James Tracey was our wedding photographer. His ethos mirrored our intentions for the day perfectly. The photos on his website were of a very high quality, but what set him apart was the imaginative, playful and natural feel that they had. We couldn’t recommend him highly enough. He was unobtrusive and a lot of fun to be with throughout the wedding day, and we now have a gallery-worthy selection of photos of our special day to cherish for the rest of our lives.
I had a beautiful and simple bouquet of callow lily, white rose and gypsum. It was provided by a florist that Meols Hall deal exclusively with, called Mary Ambrose who provided flowers for the whole day.
Flowers were all white and mirrored the bouquet: callow lily, rose and gypsum. We were given a wonderful degree of choice for all aspects of the flower decorations, and Mary gave us exactly what we asked for. She was fantastic.
We didn’t give favours out on the day and instead are donating a sum to the National Brain Appeal. This was in appreciation of the work they and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery did for a close friend of ours, who sadly passed away two years ago after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
For our wedding cake, we chose a slightly asymmetric naked Victoria sponge. It was based on a photo we had seen on the internet and was baked by All About Cakes in Southport. They recreated it perfectly and it tasted delicious!
Carringtons Catering deal with Meols Hall exclusively, so we chose a hot buffet with them for our wedding meal. We also chose a vegan stew to cater for Ben and a few other vegetarians. Before the meal we had canapés, and being a Wiganer, we had to have pies and peas for the evening celebrations!
When it came to choosing entertainment, we listened to a lot of bands online before stumbling across Toni James. She sounded head and shoulders better than anything else we had heard, so chose her instantly. Although Toni provided us with the option of having a bigger band accompanying her, a pesky sound limiter at the venue meant that we couldn’t really have more than a four-piece. We were anxious about what sound they would be able to make, but they absolutely rocked! They normally play a lot of pop music, but Ben is a big fan of funk and soul. They had enough in their repertoire to make him very happy, and even learnt Erma Franklin’s Piece of My Heart for the evening.
In addition, a friend of mine, Zoe Baldwin, is an opera singer, and she very kindly agreed to sing three arias during the signing of the register. Our guests – and the registrars – all appeared spellbound! It made the ceremony very special indeed.
As extra entertainment, we had little fun activities after the ceremony. There was a Polaroid camera and some old-fashioned fair games, like hoopla and a sweet stall, all made possible by our wonderful friends who created and operated everything.
We would absolutely recommend our venue to other couples! It was a stunning back-drop, with the whole day based in the one location. There was enough space to make it suitable for all weather possibilities. Also, the staff at Meols Hall were friendly, relaxed and professional, and helped the day progress seamlessly.
It is hard to choose to favourite part of the day as we had a few; saying our vows which we wrote ourselves, listening to Zoe sing, and dancing the night away whilst eating a pie! Heaven!
For our honeymoon we went to Marrakech for five days. It was incredible. We stayed in a beautiful, scented and tranquil Riad just a few minutes’ walk of the main market. We took in the sights and sounds, bartered in the souks, ate like kings, pampered ourselves in one of the best spas the city had to offer and caught up on some much needed sleep! Although it flies by, no-one tells you how tiring your wedding day will be.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to relax and enjoy yourself. As our photographer said, you get to be a rock star for the day – make the most of it! Also, use your friends and their talents. It made it really special, personal and unique.
We are hugely grateful to everyone who helped make our wedding the magical day that it was. In particular, my parents who gave so much of themselves on the day and the months leading up to it.
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