Charlotte Balbier

vintage pinks. art couture for an elegant wedding at ashfield house – liz & nick

July 11th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (83)

Time to district you from those Monday blues with this gorgeous North West wedding.

Keen to make her day an elegant affair, bride Liz chose a timeless colour scheme of vintage pinks to complement the venue, which was decorated with beautiful and natural blooms.

In particular we love Liz’s luxurious satin A-line dress, as well as her bridesmaid and flower girl dresses too – they all look stunning!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Stephen McGowan Wedding Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (46)

liz says: Nick proposed during a party that he and my family had organised as a surprise for my 30th birthday. During the night Nick surprised me again with a trip to Iceland (somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit), before asking if I would be his wife in front of everyone – not like him at all!

We set the date for 24th March 2016, which led into the Easter weekend and would give us about a year to plan.

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (54)

Ashfield House in Standish, Wigan, was our chosen setting. It was the venue of the first wedding fair I went to with my mum and sister. I loved it and nothing compared after that. I took Nick and we decided it was the place for us.

We didn’t have a theme as such, we just wanted everything to be elegant and the venue style helped with this. We then chose a complementary colour scheme of vintage pinks which the flowers and other accessories were styled from.

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (91)

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (114)

I chose a champagne, satin, A-line dress by Art Couture, which I bought from Bride in Childwall. I didn’t think I would go for a half/half style dress but after trying this on I fell in love.

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typically us. raffia and roses for a moving wedding at sandon hall – nicola & matt

June 17th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Emotive & Beautiful Wedding at Sandon Hall (c) Fairclough Photography (68)

We just love all the little personal touches and surprises that today’s bride and groom incorporated into their big day.

From undercover entertainment to secret menu choices, Nicola and Matt planned a wedding day to reflect them as a couple whilst also keeping their guests on their toes.

If, like us, you are captivated by their stunning wedding images which capture the emotion of the day so perfectly, we have some excellent news for you. The photographers behind the images, the fabulous Katie and James from Fairclough Photography, are offering our readers an amazing £200 off their full day wedding package for those that book before 30th June 2016. Just quote ‘BUN16’, when enquiring or booking.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Fairclough Photography.

An Emotive & Beautiful Wedding at Sandon Hall (c) Fairclough Photography (40)

nicola says: We got engaged on 26th July 2014. We decided to book a short break in Summerbridge, North Yorkshire, as we’d been there not long after we first got together in 2010. We stayed at the exact same place – Springwood Lodges – in a totally secluded area, surrounded by nature, in a lovely log cabin, which was perfect for a romantic break away from the hustle and bustle! We were enjoying some bubbles in the hot tub when Matt announced he needed to get a top up from inside. When he returned and had settled back into the water, he reached over the side of the hot tub, but instead of turning back round with a glass in his hand, he had a ring box! He’d picked out the most perfect ring I could imagine and after 20 or so “Oh My Gods”, I said yes!

We set the date for 22nd August 2015 as we wanted to go for a Saturday in the summer to make it as easy as possible for all family to attend – and give us the best chance of sunshine!

An Emotive & Beautiful Wedding at Sandon Hall (c) Fairclough Photography (34)

Sandon Hall in Stafford, was our chosen venue for the wedding. Not only is the building stunning, but we had access to the grounds for the day, which are breath-taking! Our families are pretty much all based within 30 minutes of the venue, which is lovely and rural. Funnily enough what clinched the venue for us was a ‘sign’ from nature. When we got engaged in Summerbridge we spent a lot of time relaxing outside on the decking and saw a Jay bird for the first time in the wild – we saw our second one when we were just turning the corner on the long driveway up to the hall the first time we went to view the hall!

An Emotive & Beautiful Wedding at Sandon Hall (c) Fairclough Photography (53)

We didn’t have a theme as such for the wedding, we just wanted to be ourselves more than anything – still look like us in the pictures, have music we enjoyed and food we loved. The venue is so incredible it didn’t need a great deal of styling so I opted for a neutral colour scheme of pale pinks, champagne and gold for a classic look, a little bunting here and there and lots of natural textures, such as wood and raffia.

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natural & emotive: introducing andy hirst photography

May 30th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Andy Hirst Photography (27)

This afternoon on the blog we’re thrilled to be giving a big Brides Up North welcome to our new Sponsor, Andy Hirst Photography.

This talented Lancashire-based photographer has been described as a “ninja” by his bride and groom clients in the past due to his ability to get up close the action for natural and emotive shots, but without being noticed by those around him. Now that’s skill.

Keen to strike up a good relationship with his couples, Andy is also incredibly dedicated to his work and goes above and beyond to create the perfect story of every big day that he covers.

And as if that’s not enough to tick boxes, Andy is offering Brides Up North readers a fabulous 10% discount on his photography packages for bookings made in 2016. So what are you waiting for, read on to find out more about Andy and view his fabulous work…

Andy Hirst Photography (10)

Tell us a little about your background. How long have you been in wedding photography for?

andy says: I started in TV in 2004 as a camera operator and moved onto freelancing for a few years and started to work with some wedding cinematographers around 2007, which is where the wedding bug started to catch. In 2008 I married the lovely Clare after being together since the age of 16 – cue the awww! At this point I started to see the importance of a wedding photographer who could be discreet but still capture all the events of the day; the cogs turned and here I am!

What was it that attracted you to wedding photography specifically?

I have always loved photography and every wedding I do reminds me of my own in some way. I just love being married so it’s a great combination.

Andy Hirst Photography (31)

And what is it about your job that you love?

Meeting the couples and seeing how excited they are, not only about what they are going to do, but about photography. For me it’s all about the photographer/couple relationship that gets the best images.

How would you describe your style of wedding photography? What makes you stand out from others?

I suppose the word is documentary, although I’m not someone who likes to label things.  I have been called a “ninja” by wedding guests. My style is heavily influenced by street photography, where the aim is take pictures of people without them knowing and being close to them. I have gotten very good at this over the last few years and gotten some great images as a result. What makes me stand out is that I can do all this whilst going largely unnoticed. “It’s your wedding, not my photoshoot” is my motto.

Andy Hirst Photography (32)
What is the feedback like from your clients? What do they love about your service?

Clients always refer to how hard I work on the day, I like to start early and finish late. They also love how their enjoyment and experience is what I put first and foremost. And then when they get their images, they love the story I have created for them.

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heavenly history: a vintage wedding styled shoot at chetham’s, manchester

May 4th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Bridal Shoot at Chethams (C) Stephen McGowan Photography (41)

If you’re currently on the venue hunt for a setting that has both beauty and character, this afternoon’s blog post could just signal the end of your search. As the styled shoot that we’re sharing today opens up the doors to one of the oldest buildings in Manchester’s centre, which also happens to be one of the newest venues to join the city’s splendid wedding offering.

Dating back to 1421, Chetham’s is a unique setting that boasts beautiful old sandstone walls and magical medieval features. Keen to show off its potential to brides and grooms-to-be, wedding photographer Stephen McGowan got together with a group of fellow North West suppliers to help inspire couples who are currently on the venue search.

The result is a wonderful set of images with gorgeous blooms, styling and lighting, which showcases both the building and the team’s skills beautifully. To tell us how it all came together, we’ll hand over the blogging reins to photographer Stephen…

With images by our lovely Brides Up North Sponsor Stephen McGowan Photography.

A Bridal Shoot at Chethams (C) Stephen McGowan Photography (25)

stephen says: Chetham’s is a new and exciting venue available to brides and grooms looking to get married in a gorgeous medieval Manchester city centre setting.

Our overall aim was to complement the medieval ambiance and architecture of this unique wedding venue and so I chose to photograph using natural light inside the main hall as I absolutely loved how the light fell on the models’ faces through the large gothic windows in the Baronial Hall.

A Bridal Shoot at Chethams (C) Stephen McGowan Photography (48)

In terms of styling we wanted to keep things simple and fresh with undertones of 1920s and 30s bridal styling. The models were therefore dressed in stunning Charlotte Balbier gowns supplied by 7th Heaven Bridalwear. We picked designs that we felt worked well with the historic setting and stuck to fresh, natural makeup looks created by makeup artist Emma Culbert, that didn’t detract from the dresses or surroundings. Hairdresser Jessica Shelley then styled the models’ hair to complement our 1920s theme.

A Bridal Shoot at Chethams (C) Stephen McGowan Photography (46)

Verdure Floral Design were brilliant and let us have a choice of three bouquets, along with floral headpiece and table centrepiece, to use in the shoot. We wanted the floral colours to subtly complement our look but not to overpower and Verdure Floral Design fully understood the brief and pulled this off perfectly.

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party on. madeline gardner for a fun-filled wedding at crewe hall – emily & david

April 27th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Fun-filled Wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Lee Brown Photography (269)

What we love most about today’s real wedding is the expressions of happiness, excitement and joy on the faces of the bride and groom – and their (200 plus!) guests.

A wedding day, of course, involves some very serious commitments, but we think it should also be a fun occasion filled with laughter, love and emotions, which Emily and David’s big day certainly was.

From their traditional ceremony and breakfast to their ‘party style’ evening reception, it’s clear to see that everyone is having an amazing time! Throw in the fabulous styling, attire and venue and you’ve got one pretty perfect wedding!

With images by brilliant Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

A Fun-filled Wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Lee Brown Photography (145)

emily says: We got engaged on 19th April 2014, in New York City. David had arranged a private experience for us in our hotel’s rooftop bar that overlooked Times Square. To keep the surprise, David had told me that we had won this in a Facebook competition, but of course it was all a set up!

Our wedding was on Sunday 29th November 2015. As we had a Jewish wedding, this impacted the days of the week that were open to us and explains why we chose a Sunday. We decided on a winter wedding because David’s profession means that he is particularly busy with work in the summer months and also because we felt that our venue looked that little bit more magical in the winter.

A Fun-filled Wedding at Crewe Hall (c) Lee Brown Photography (272)

We got married at Crewe Hall. We chose the venue because it was perfect for us. We loved that it had the traditional ‘Downton Abbey’ part of the building but also had a modern wing to the hotel. This meant that we were able to have a picturesque wedding ceremony and breakfast in the older parts of the hotel and then move to the modern part for the reception.

We had a reform Jewish wedding. This meant that we had tisch and bedeken ceremonies before the wedding ceremony. Our wedding ceremony was officiated by a Rabbi and took place under a Chuppah. We also took part in some traditional Israeli dancing in the evening.

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don’t stop the party. ronald joyce for a fun filled wedding at abbey house hotel – steph & paul

March 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Fun Filled Wedding at Abbey House Hotel (c) Fairclough Photography (14)

Top of the agenda for this morning’s wedding was ‘fun’ – taking just one look at the images below it’s clear to see that the bride and groom accomplished their aim. From the morning preparations to the ceremony and reception Steph and Paul, and their guests, just can’t stop smiling!

So let’s put on our dancing shoes and go join the party!

With images by Fairclough Photography.

A Fun Filled Wedding at Abbey House Hotel (c) Fairclough Photography (19)

steph says: We got engaged during a concert at the O2 Academy in Liverpool. We were watching our favourite band Scouting for Girls, who we have seen live many times and their songs and performances have given us such special memories from the moment we met. Our song is Heartbeat and as the band started to perform our song, Paul turned to me and produced a dazzling ring and asked me to marry him. In all the excitement I forgot to answer, I was in a daze.  Eventually and after some prompting, I said yes!

We set the date for 16th August 2015, hoping for a sunny day – and it was!

A Fun Filled Wedding at Abbey House Hotel (c) Fairclough Photography (15)

Our venue was Abbey House Hotel, Barrow-in-Furness and it was sort of fate how we came to pick it. We initially met John from Abbey House at a wedding fayre in Bolton and were taken back by the stunning imagery he was displaying.  Paul thought he recognised it and sure enough it was actually a hotel in the town Paul was born and raised in. We then entered a competition to win an overnight stay at Abbey House – and we won. When we booked our night’s stay we were keeping an open mind about the venue, but from the minute we pulled up we fell in love with the place. It ticked every box!

We didn’t have a wedding theme as such, we just wanted the day to be really fun. I picked coral for the colour scheme as it’s my favourite colour though it turned out to be the most awkward and challenging colour to match anything to.

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