Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017
Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

you are gold. a magical bonfire night wedding at santo’s higham farm – bekki & thomas

April 5th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Pretty Bonfire Night Wedding (c) Sally Eaves (21)

This wonderful Bonfire Night wedding (our second of the week, what are the chances?!) gives us all the fuzzy feels – think hearty food, toffee apples, sparklers and a striking orange colour scheme.

Brave bride Bekki got hands-on with her rustic theme, creating delicate paper roses and assembling glass jars, logs slices, candles and greenery, with a little help from friends and family.

With so much gorgeousness it seems wrong to highlight one feature – but please, do me a favour and check out that plait. So. Many. Hair. Goals. You can thank us later.

With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves.

A Pretty Bonfire Night Wedding (c) Sally Eaves (30)

bekki says: It was difficult for Thomas to organise a proposal without me getting suspicious as we’d recently had our first son, Robbie, and I didn’t ever want to leave him. So instead of organising something big, I came downstairs from putting Robbie to bed to find the room lit with candles and a big bunch of flowers. Thomas pulled me into his arms and asked me if I would marry him. The best part is, before he popped the question the only thought that ran through my head was, “Whatever this is, it better be worth him lighting my display candles!”

We were married on Saturday 5th November 2016. We only ever considered an autumn or winter wedding and we thought it would be nice to have it as close to the anniversary of us becoming a couple as we could. It just happened that the closest weekend our venue could manage was Bonfire Night. It’s one of our favourite nights of the year; we love fireworks and the atmosphere so it pretty much made up our mind!

A Pretty Bonfire Night Wedding (c) Sally Eaves (19)

We had both our ceremony and reception at Santo’s Higham Farm, Derbyshire. It was the first ever hotel we’d stayed at together. We found the room online at the last minute for my 18th and as soon as we got there we both said it would make an amazing wedding venue. And so we returned some years later for a consultation and they couldn’t do enough for us.

We wanted a rustic, autumnal feel to our wedding to match the season and so we combined natural wood, logs and ivy with hints of sparkle and glitter to tie in with Bonfire Night and the fireworks. I got crafty and aimed to make as much as I could myself, with the help of friends and family. Thank goodness for Pinterest!

Orange and grey were our chosen colours. Think autumn leaves. They tied in perfectly with the date. We also knew very few couples choose orange as a wedding colour scheme and we liked how uncommon it was.

A Pretty Bonfire Night Wedding (c) Sally Eaves (31)

When I first went dress shopping I was adamant I wasn’t going to have a sweetheart neckline or a big dress but otherwise I had no real idea what I wanted. After trying on close to 50 dresses in various shops I visited a fourth shop – a spur of the moment trip to The Bridal Suite. I tried on every dress I liked but none of them were ‘the dress’ so the consultant picked one instead. I instantly screwed my nose up at it but agreed to try it on. I came out of the changing room to see my maid of honour crying! They added the veil and I knew it was the one – sweetheart neckline and all! Finally!

The ladies who helped pamper me for my wedding day were incredible, too. I had my nails done at DLR Beauty and Nails at the 3D Clinic in Pinxton and Paige White worked her magic on my makeup.

Laura from Shillitto’s Hair put up with the worst as she had to deal with me changing my mind on how I wanted mine and the bridesmaids’ hair the day before the wedding without the opportunity for another trial. Despite this, she did an amazing job on us all and we received compliments all round.

A Pretty Bonfire Night Wedding (c) Sally Eaves (42)

We wanted to incorporate tweed into Tom’s wedding outfit so teamed a tweed waistcoat with a sharkskin blue suit from Moss, finished off with light tan brogues and an orange tie.

Our bridesmaids wore Little Mistress grey maxi dresses with an embellished top while the groomsmen wore the same suit as Tom but with the matching waistcoat rather than tweed.

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personality & passion: introducing stella photography

March 23rd, 2017 | Julia Braime

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If you’re looking for wedding photography that’s beautifully emotive and bubbling with energy, then you’re going to be as excited as us about this afternoon’s post, as we’re introducing the fabulous Stella Photography as a brand-new Brides Up North Sponsor.

Brimming with enthusiasm, the duo behind the cameras are Zuzi and Seb, who strike the perfect balance between creating relaxed and fun vibes to capture a couple at their very best on their big day.

Based in the North West, but always eager to travel, the Stella team pride themselves on delivering images that rock! So, if you like what you see, be sure to read on for more details on this talented twosome.

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Tell us a little about the Stella Photography team? 

stella photography say: Our story started more than eight years ago when we (Zuzi and Seb) finished our fine art photography degrees full of passion and ideas. Seb went on to do a masters in photography at LCC in London whilst the business was gradually growing. We are the super creative, energetic social butterflies, buzzing with charisma and fun. Seb’s wife of ten years, Clare, keeps the business running from behind the scenes and keeps our feet firmly on the ground! Zuzi is like family and is godmother to Seb and Clare’s three children. Seb also has a career as a photographic artist with regular solo shows internationally and various publications. He gives talks and workshops in Universities all over the EU. We have more photographers living the dream with us now as the business has developed so much and they bring their new creative ideas and personalities.

What attracted you to wedding photography specifically? 

We are all hopeless romantics. Quite simply, getting married, one love for life, the unity and strength of family and sharing the same name, drew us naturally to wedding photography and finding our niche of vibrant and fun loving brides and grooms. Keeping it real for us.

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And what is it about your job that you love? 

We just love working with all our couples and their families and being a part of the most special day of their lives. The hanging out with them all over again when their siblings or friends tie the knot. Then seeing all the new baby arrivals! We also love the creative opportunities to explore each unique couple’s loving vibes and chemistry on film and constantly push ourselves to try new, fresh and creative ideas.

How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

We are really relaxed with bit of quirkiness and fun. We love to blend in, making our couples feel as supported and comfortable as possible and keeping their guests entertained!

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What is the feedback like from your clients?

We have the best clients ever and the feedback we get is genuinely heart-warming. They love that we are there for them in every capacity on their day, to make it run as smoothly as possible in a fun and relaxed way. They are overcome by their images, which totally rock!

How do you help couples to relax in front of the lens?

We understand that some couples are camera shy but, to be honest, after meeting with our couples at the fayres or for a coffee, they book us as they feel at ease with our natural, fun approach and relaxed vibe. They know that we are all about them on the day and trust that we will get the most beautiful images for them. Spending more time together at a pre-wedding shoot can be invaluable to camera shy couples as they love their pictures so much they become even more excited about their big day.

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Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out?

Every wedding we shoot is super special to us as each one is so unique, we love the variety of rural and urban locations as they all present different challenges and ways of working creatively.

Where would be your dream location to shoot?

A desert wedding like Arizona, Vegas… bring it on please… oh the light!

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honest love: say hello to slice of pie photography

March 9th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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This morning we’re getting snap-happy on the blog by catching up with our fabulous Sponsor and talented wedding photographers, Mark and Laura of Slice of Pie Photography.

Covering weddings throughout the North West and beyond, this dedicated duo considers it an honour to capture the most important day of a couple’s life and pride themselves on their “honest” images that stand the test of time.

As a special gift, Slice of Pie are offering Brides Up North readers who book them, a free guest book featuring their pre-wedding shoot photographs (worth £150), so be sure to mention this when enquiring with Mark and Laura. Now let’s hear more from them about their images and approach…

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Tell us a little about your background… 
slice of pie say: Having backgrounds in art and design and marketing meant that a creative career was a natural choice for both of us. After Mark’s time being behind the lens and directing photoshoots for advertising campaigns eight years ago, it seemed the right time for us to turn our love of photography into our own business in the wonderful world of weddings.

What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?

We love that each wedding is as unique as the couple themselves. We could do lots of weddings at one venue but no two would ever be the same. There is so much opportunity for couples to put their own stamp on their wedding day giving us the scope to produce new and unique images all the time, which keeps our work fresh and our creative juices flowing.

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And what is it about your job that you love?

Even after all the years of photographing weddings, we often say to each other in the midst of a drinks reception; “We’re at work!” We still pinch ourselves that we basically get to photograph parties where people are on top form having a great time, it’s also a huge honour to be such an important part of the best day of someone’s life!

How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

When people ask us this question we always tell them that we are great believers in honest images. Filters and overworked photographs will age quickly but a beautiful crisp image will stand the test of time. Many of our images are natural and contemporary in composition but at the same time we produce some more traditional yet relaxed images. We listen to what our couples want but guide them if they feel daunted by the whole prospect of being photographed. Having flexibility in style and taking the time to get to know our couples helps us to make sure they get what they want from their wedding photographs.

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What is the feedback like from your clients?

The feedback we get is phenomenal. We often joke to each other that we must be good but we never get complacent, every time we go to a wedding we look each other in the eye and say “this wedding must be a show album”, which we believe shows our passion for what we do. Most of our brides tell us that it felt like a friend was photographing their wedding and that they were able to relive the whole day, which is our main aim after all.

What is the top piece of advice you would give to camera shy couples?

The key to relaxing in front of the camera is to have fun and remember that you have picked a professional photographer whose job it is to make you look and feel relaxed and happy! Most couples aren’t used to being photographed, which is why each of our packages include a pre-wedding shoot. The last thing we want is to be the strangers with the big cameras on the wedding day. The pre-wedding shoot is so valuable in building a relationship between us before the wedding, which always shines through in the photographs. Having the opportunity to see the photos before the wedding also gives couples the confidence that they will look fabulous on their wedding day!

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Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out to you?

Loads as we are very lucky to have photographed so many great days. One of our favourite shots was taken in Manchester City Centre on King Street Zebra Crossing, Mark was lying in the middle of the road while Laura stopped a bus (it wasn’t going fast) the driver and passengers just smiled when they saw what we were doing. We have great memories, taking pictures across the lake at the beautiful Capesthorne Hall, in the garden at the fabulous Belle Epoque, a stunning 1920’s themed wedding at the Alderley Edge Hotel, bridesmaids andushers shots under the T-Rex at Manchester Museum, confetti canons exploding in Manchester Art Gallery followed by the procession of bridesmaids dancing down the aisle, the elegance of a French Chateau to a golf club in Mallorca. Oh, and we always remember an emotional groom standing at the end of the aisle waiting for his beautiful bride!

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once in a lifetime moments: say hello to arusha’s images

February 16th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon on the blog we’re catching up with our fabulous Sponsor and talented wedding photographer, Arusha of Arusha’s Images Photography.

As a self-confessed romantic, North West based Arusha loves nothing more than photographing couples’ weddings in a relaxed yet enthusiastic manner, capturing the big day as it naturally unfolds.

Having built up another year of fabulous photography in 2016, she’s back on the blog today to tell us what it is that keeps her utterly hooked on weddings, and what she can offer to brides and grooms who are currently on the search for a friendly pro to document their big day.

Also, Arusha is kindly offering Brides Up North readers a complimentary signature frame, or framed image from their wedding day, should they book with her, so be sure to mention this when dropping the lovely lady a line.

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Tell us a little about your background…

arusha says: I have always loved photography, since being a child and playing in my dad’s dark room as he developed images. As soon as I picked up a camera I was in love, I studied photography, and as soon as I started photographing people I knew that was for me. I have been working in wedding photography and perfecting my style as a wedding photographer for nearly ten years now.

What attracted you to the wedding industry specifically? 

I am a romantic at heart, and I adore photographing real people, real moments and real emotions. Wedding days are just packed full to bursting with emotion, which is perfect for my natural style of photography. I also love seeing and photographing all of the gorgeousness of weddings. Working as a wedding photographer I get to constantly be creative in my photography, as all my couples and their weddings are personal and different.

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And what is it about your job that you love? 

As a romantic, I love having a job that allows me to photograph so much excitement, happiness and love, and involves me being constantly creative. Being a wedding photographer is a fabulous job, yes it is hard work, and long days, but it is totally all worth it when you perfectly capture those once in a lifetime moments on your couple’s wedding days. I love hearing from excited newly married couples when they see their wedding images for the first time, and are just so overjoyed with what I have created for them. That is just a really awesome feeling!

How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

I am primarily a documentary wedding photographer, so this means that the majority of my wedding photography is un-posed. I love to let your wedding day happen, allow you to be immersed in the excitement of it all, and photograph it all as it happens without getting in the way. I do not do a lot of posing. I do love creating unique and romantic images, and having a little play with my couples when it comes to your newly married images. Maybe we will go for a dance in the grounds of your venue, a walk through the streets outside, or to a little hideaway I have found close by beforehand. I love to make people laugh, and work hard to create really relaxed and beautiful photographs.

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What do brides and grooms love about your approach, service and images?

I love the feedback I get from couples. I find that they love how naturally beautiful my images are, and how relaxed and friendly my approach is on their wedding days. I often get feedback that my images are romantic, and that I have captured so many of the little moments. I always try to go the extra mile, helping out with advice during wedding planning, if my couples ask for it, and giving little extra surprises when I deliver their images.

How do you help camera-shy couples to relax in front of the lens?

After working as a wedding photographer for a number of years, I have experience of helping even the most anxious and camera-shy couples to relax in front of the lens. I always recommend a pre-wedding/engagement shoot to all my couples. This is a wonderful way for you to ‘have a go’ at being photographed professionally before your wedding day itself, and also allows couples to see that even with couple portraits I photograph in a really natural way. I like to start with getting you to walk together, talk to one another, make each other laugh, whilst I photograph in the background. I find that this approach soon helps everyone to relax and really flourish in front of the lens.

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What would you say was your career highlight of 2016?

There were lots of wonderful moments, I loved featuring in a whole range of wedding blogs and wedding magazines over the year. It’s always super exciting for my couples when their weddings are shared with the world.

But, I think that a more personal highlight was being able to photograph the wedding of an amazing couple, whose Lake District wedding was postponed after the bride was diagnosed with breast cancer. I often get to know my couples quite well in the build up to their wedding days, and following this bride’s battle with breast cancer, then hearing the best news that she had been given the all clear just weeks before their rearranged wedding day, and then being able to photograph her day knowing that she was now cancer free, was amazing. Emotions were definitely running high all day, and it felt extra important that I could capture all that celebration of life and love for them and their family and friends. Plus, it was a beautiful wedding!

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everything’s rosy. pronovias for a relaxed wedding at soughton hall – rowena & edward

February 1st, 2017 | Julia Braime

A Blush Wedding at Soughton Hall (c) ER Photography (38)

This afternoon we’re heading to north Wales border to relive the beautiful big day of Edward and Rowena.

Keen on a wedding that was personal and relaxed, the bride and groom injected elements of their love story into the décor, theming and wedding menu, topping it all off with a gorgeous navy and blush pink colour scheme.

Highlights for us include Rowena’s stunning Pronovias gown, the pretty blooms and naked cake, plus some very special guests – the couple’s two pet whippets, Betsi and Milly.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor ER Photography.

A Blush Wedding at Soughton Hall (c) ER Photography (23)

rowena says: We got engaged whilst on our annual ‘hound holiday’ (holiday with the dogs). We went to Cornwall, and on West Portholland beach on 23rd June 2016 (the day after my 30th birthday) Ed popped the question. The beach was empty, it was just us two and our two dogs. It took me completely by surprise!

We quickly set the date for October 9th 2016. We had booked a holiday to Mauritius back in the January, flying on 10th October. Within about 15 minutes of the proposal we discussed how soon we’d like to get married – and decided as we had been together 11-and-a-half-years there was no need to hang around So, we decided to make Mauritius the honeymoon and it just so happened we found a venue we loved with availability the day before.

A Blush Wedding at Soughton Hall (c) ER Photography (41)

We got married at Soughton Hall, near Mold in Flintshire. It’s within a couple of miles of our house. I had pretty much decided it was ‘the one’ before getting out the car! The house is beautiful, and many of the rooms have recently been renovated. We knew the long drive bordered by trees would look beautiful in October as the leaves were changing. It’s a boutique venue, and we felt it perfect for a private and relaxed day. The team are really friendly and nothing is too much trouble.

We didn’t have a theme for the wedding as such, but we wanted things relaxed and personal to us.

Due to the time of year I didn’t feel that pale shades would work for the colour scheme – so we chose navy as a base, as it is flattering on our fair skin! With this we added soft blush pink and also some other shades of blue in the flowers.

A Blush Wedding at Soughton Hall (c) ER Photography (52)

I found my wedding dress within less than a week of the engagement. I was meeting a friend for lunch and we decided to go and try a few dresses on. We only went to one shop, Brides of Chester, and they couldn’t have been more welcoming and helpful. I didn’t have much idea on shape but knew I wanted something lace and ideally not strapless. The dress was the fifth and final dress I tried on – Pleasant by Pronovias. I chose it because I loved the lace, the neckline, and the gorgeous long train – after all, when else do you get to have a train?

Ed wore a navy lounge suit with pale pink scrunch tie from Groom in Chester, complemented by Hugo Boss tan leather belt and tan monk shoes from Dune. The best man and usher wore navy lounge suits and pale pink ties, also from Groom.

My bridesmaid wore a navy Monsoon dress, and a beaded navy ribbon sash from eBay.

A Blush Wedding at Soughton Hall (c) ER Photography (49)

Our photographers were Jo and Jon from ER Photography. They were amazing! From our very first conversation with them we really clicked and knew we would be able to relax with them. On the day of the wedding they were fab, guests commented on how lovely they both were and how relaxed they felt being photographed – and we felt the same. We couldn’t have asked any more of them – and the results of their efforts are way beyond our expectations! They are both so creative and talented.

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summer flair. a stylish wedding at hillbark hotel, cheshire – alexandra & adrian

December 7th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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This evening on the blog, we’re sharing with you Alexandra and Adrian’s picturesque summer wedding.

Celebrating with friends and family at the luxury five-star Hillbark Hotel in the Wirral, the couple opted for a pared back, elegant look with a cornflower blue colour scheme, which was beautifully offset by floral arrangements of lilies, hydrangeas and roses with pale blue delphiniums.

With images by Jonny Draper Photography

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alexandra says: We got engaged on 7th June 2015, at our apartment in Spain. It was our six-year anniversary and we were having champagne on the terrace when Adrian surprised me with a photo book of our time together. On the last page it said he had a question to ask and then he got down on one knee; it was perfect!

We got married on 25th June 2016. We wanted a summer wedding roughly a year after our engagement. We looked at when our church and venue were both available and 25th it was!

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We tied the knot at St Joseph’s Church in Crosby. I’m from Crosby and this is the church I went to when I was younger.

We hosted our reception at the Hillbark Hotel in the Wirral. When we viewed the venue, we fell in love with it, plus we didn’t know anyone who had already been married there, which was important to us.

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We didn’t have a specific theme, instead we wanted a classic, fresh look and our florist and wedding coordinators were fantastic at achieving this.

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For our colour scheme, we chose cornflower blue. As we were having a summer wedding we wanted a light, summery colour and it was our favourite next to my white dress and the groomsmen’s blue suits.

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