Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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laidback glam. a chic wedding with a rustic twist at the saddleworth hotel – hannah & tom

November 11th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog we bring you a beautiful real wedding in the picturesque foothills of the Pennines.

After a three-year engagement, Hannah and Tom exchanged vows over the May bank holiday weekend, in the quaint setting of the village church in Ripponden.

Blending rustic charm with an elegant and contemporary décor – not to mention one of the most stunning balconied ballrooms we have ever seen – The Saddleworth Hotel provided the gorgeous backdrop to the couple’s memorable celebrations.

With handwritten notes to each and every guest, as well as a special donation to a charity close to their hearts – this was a wedding brimming with nostalgia and personal touches from start to finish.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

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hannah says: We got engaged three years ago. Tom arranged for us to go away for the weekend to one of our favourite hotels. He hired a beach hut and brought along a picnic with prosecco. He pulled out the ring which he’d had made for me and, obviously, I said yes. We then headed back to the hotel, where he’d arranged to meet my parents for a meal to celebrate.

We got married on Saturday 28th May 2016. I’m a teacher so we needed a date that fitted in with the school holidays, and with a good chance of nice weather! The bank holiday weekend fell in the middle of our spring bank holiday, so it was perfect.

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We tied the knot at St Bartholomew’s Church, in Ripponden. This is our village church and it was also the church I went to whilst growing up, so it was really special to get married there.

Our reception was at The Saddleworth Hotel in Delph. It was actually the first venue we looked at, and nothing else came close. We loved the mix of old and new – the ballroom is amazing and fitted really well with our vision for the day. The double height room really is special.  The venue and grounds are absolutely stunning and the team there is brilliant; nothing is too much trouble.

We chose The Saddleworth Hotel partly because of its glamorous setting and wanted to incorporate this theme within our wedding. We wanted our day to be classic and glam, but at the same time reflect us as a couple and be laidback enough for guests to really enjoy themselves. We wanted our guests to feel special, and spot those little touches that made the day about us as a couple and as individuals. So, not an easy job!

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We didn’t have a specific colour scheme, although the bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses and the flowers were blush pink and white. Everything else we picked because we loved it and it fitted our idea for the day.

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My dress was a chiffon and beaded Justin Alexander gown, which I bought from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I had an idea of what I wanted when I started looking for dresses, and this was absolutely not it! But when I tried the dress on, I swished around the room and felt like an amazing version of me! It wasn’t what I set out to get, but it was the perfect dress for our day.

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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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cool, calm & creative: introducing rebecca parsons photography

October 27th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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This afternoon we’re thrilled to be introducing North West based Rebecca Parsons Photography as a new Sponsor of Brides Up North.

Known for her calming influence, Rebecca blends effortlessly into the background of the proceedings, enabling her to capture “in the moment” images as the day unfolds.

The end result is a collection of beautiful images that tell the full story of a wedding, including the love, details, laughter and tears!

To explain more about her passion for documenting weddings, we’ll hand over the blog to the lady behind the lens.

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How long you have been in wedding photography for?

rebecca says: I have been in wedding photography for over five years now. Photography has always been a love of mine, and I decided to make the professional leap in 2011.

What is it about your job that you love?

I love the love! Seriously, can there be a happier occasion than two people who are madly in love promising to spend the rest of their lives together, surrounded by their families and friends. I am a hopeless romantic and genuinely feel honoured to play a part in so many beautiful weddings.

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

My photography is pretty simple – I tell the full story of your wedding day through your photographs, capturing the tiny details, the laughter and the tears. I blend into your wedding party so that everyone is relaxed in my presence, and I can photograph you and your guests enjoying every moment of your day. I also provide simple, no hidden costs digital packages so that you can do anything you like with your photographs.

What do your clients love about your approach, service and images?

One thing that all of my clients say is how relaxed they felt while I photographed their wedding. This is really important to me as my style is very much ‘in the moment’ and I believe that the best photographs are when people are swept up in each other and their surroundings. Apparently I’m also a very calming influence when things can get a bit tense towards the end of the bridal preparations and time is running away.

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