Charlotte Balbier

dream venue: hilltop country house

August 25th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

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This afternoon on the blog we’re thrilled to introduce you to another of our dream venues, hilltop country house, situated in the heart of the Cheshire countryside.

As a family run business, Hilltop Country House aims to make each wedding as individual as the bride and groom themselves, while providing a stunning setting, first class service, exclusivity and to-die-for menus. What more could you want?

Here at Brides Up North we’re more than familiar with how fabulous this charming country house is as we stage our luxury wedding exhibitions in its romantic gardens twice a year (the next one is coming up on 13th September 2015, so put it in your dairies!)

But rather than us harp on, we thought we’d hand over to those who know Hilltop best to give more details on its wonderful wedding offering…

With images by Lee Brown Photography.

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Tell Brides Up North about Hilltop Country House, what is its history?

hilltop country house say: Hilltop, located in Prestbury, Cheshire, is a 17th century house set within 15 acres of its own land and surrounded by fields. It has been home to the Gardner family since 1985 and has been a wedding venue since 2008.

What facilities does it have? 

Hilltop is purely a wedding venue and offers private and exclusive use to our clients. The ground floor of the house is used for both ceremonies and drinks receptions and we have a large marquee and dance room for larger ceremonies, the wedding breakfast and the evening party. Our guests are free to wander throughout our spectacular gardens. The many different parts of the garden offer countless enchanting locations for wedding photography. In addition to the main formal garden, there is a parterre with a lovely gazebo, the herb garden and nooks and crannies galore!

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What types of weddings can Hilltop Country House cater for?

Civil ceremonies for up to 66 guests are offered in the house. We can accommodate up to 160 guests for a civil ceremony and wedding breakfast in the marquee, and up to 100 guests for an outside ceremony on the terrace overlooking our beautiful gardens.

What makes Hilltop Country House a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?

Hilltop is unique. There is no other venue in Cheshire that offers quite the same variety and choice. Our business is family run and the same team has been together since the very first wedding was held at Hilltop. Our attention to detail is exceptional and we offer an unlimited number of appointments to our brides and grooms as they make their way through the planning process.

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What sort of bride would be a Hilltop Country House bride?

A Hilltop bride is someone who wants to feel at home and very special on her wedding day. She is a girl who has the confidence in her own ideas and wants to work with our team to make her day completely personal to her and her groom. A standard package is certainly not for this type of bride!

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How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

We offer an outstanding service during the planning process. Our couples can visit as often as they wish and there is no limit to the number of appointments they may have during this period. We offer a food and wine tasting and we keep an eye on each couple’s progress and are always ready to remind them to attend to any outstanding matters – not only ones connected with the venue, but also in the wider sense, such as dresses, holidays etc.

We do all our own catering at Hilltop using locally sourced produce. We grow our own herbs and tons of mint for the mojitos! Our bar is run by Thirst Aid Limited. They are professional, knowledgeable and always ready to help and advise our couples. We have a list of recommended suppliers but we never take fees for any bookings they get through us. When we recommend someone, it is because we feel their excellent product or service will reach the same high standards as we expect of ourselves, and we feel that the lack of financial recompense emphasises our integrity.

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Can guests stay over at your venue? 

We have four ensuite bedrooms at Hilltop and there is a huge variety of accommodation within five to ten minutes of the venue. We supply our couples with a comprehensive information document that includes a list of accommodation.

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Tell us about your catering services? What makes them special? 

As previously mentioned, we do all our own catering at Hilltop using locally sourced produce. Our lamb is grazed on our own fields and all our meat is free-range and comes from within five miles of the venue. We grow our own herbs and source Cheshire vegetables and salads. We have no fixed menus at Hilltop and we are more than happy to prepare a meal or a style of cuisine that is not on our lists of starters, main courses and desserts. We can do hog roasts and barbecues, buffets and tapas. You name it and we can do it. We offer a food tasting free of charge.

Any really memorable weddings at the venue? 

That is the whole ethos at Hilltop – each of our weddings is memorable, particularly to each bride and groom, as their day will have been exactly as they wished and will have been created especially for them.

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Where can readers get more information/ contact the venue?

You can visit www.hilltopcountryhouse.co.uk, email hilltopcountryhouse@hotmail.co.uk, or ring 01625 829940, to speak to us direct.

Do you have any bridal events or open days coming up shortly that my readers should know about?

Brides Up North are the only company allowed to organise wedding fairs at Hilltop and our next fair is on Sunday 13th September 2016. As we feel that we are the best, so we like to work with the best.

Is there anything else that Brides Up North should know?

Yes, that we think you are brilliant!

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Real Wedding Recap 2012: Wish You Were Here! A Real Vintage Travel Christmas Wedding In The North West – Carlene & Adam

December 25th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Over the festive period I’ll be recapping some of my very favourite Real Weddings from the last 12 months on the wedding blog. It’s been a tough choice! In true Brides Up North style, each wedding featured on these pages is unique, beautiful and gorgeously personal. It’s been an exceptionally fabulous year! Enjoy…

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Carlene & Adam chose a vintage travel theme for their winter wedding in the North West, sent to me by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Phil Drinkwater Photography and North West Wedding Planner Caroline Hale of Pomp & Ceremony.

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Caroline of Pomp & Ceremony explains: Carlene and Adam were married at Thornton Manor on 18 December 2011 with a fabulous vintage travel theme. The wedding ceremony was held at 4pm in the dining room followed by a reception in the stunning music room.

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Prior to the ceremony, guests were welcomed to the main hall for mulled wine and mince pies.  The couple met working in Singapore, where they still live today, and wanted to incorporate their love of travel in the theme of the wedding. Carlene is originally from the Wirral where many of her family still live today so wanted to return for her big day. We (Pomp & Ceremony Planning) were on hand via email and Skype to make it happen on the UK side.

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The bride wore a stunning short dress  (The dress was designed by the bride and made by Renee L in Singapore). teamed with navy Louboutin shoes and the groom sported a bow tie as part of his ensemble. There were no bridesmaids. groomsmen wore stylish silk pocket handkerchiefs instead of button holes which fitted with the vintage theme. Carlene carried a rose bouquet provided by The Olive Tree florists.

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In place of reception flowers there were centrepieces of vintage cameras, postcards, stamps, statues, map hearts and stacks of vintage books tied up with ribbon. All items were sourced from charity shops, vintage shops and trusty Ebay and Etsy. There were also stacks of vintage suitcases dotted around the room, a large display map with vintage flag pins showing a selection of places the bride and groom had been, postcard garlands, travel posters and each table had its own passport menu. Navy paper poms were used for ceremony chair decorations.

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Boarding cards were used instead of a formal table plan and took guests to their destination, all tables were named after countries that Carlene and Adam have visited together. Once at the table luggage tags at the back of each chair directed the guests to their seat.

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The guest book was replaced with postcards from around the world deposited in a vintage vanity case.

Favours were pots of jam with ‘Spread the Love’ printed on and vintage style ribbon tied around the neck. There was also a sweetie table and kitsch kissing booth sign with a basket filled with mistletoe.

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The cake was provided by Jennifer O’Neill Cakes in Thornton Hough.  The cake was 3 tiers in French Vanilla  with Champagne, Strawberry and Buttercream, simple icing with piped dots simple ribbon and a vintage couple atop. There was also a sweetie table provided by Tamaryn’s Treasures fitting the vintage and navy theme, plus destination inspired cocktails served by Vibrant Bars. Anne Wilson Cordon Bleu catered the wedding with a seasonal winter warming menu.

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Entertainment was supplied by Big Entertainment with Wayne Allen doing a live Motown set followed by DJ Ian Haskell.

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HEARTCongratulations Carlene & Adam! HEART

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Photographer – Phil Drinkwater Photography

Assistant Photographer – Tim Johnson

Wedding Planner – Caroline Hale at Pomp & Ceremony

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Brides Up North – Images © 2012 Phil Drinkwater Photography

Phil Drinkwater Photography is a  Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Pretty Vintage: A Real Wedding In The North West – Nisha & Duncan

October 28th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Morning campers!  Let’s finish this week the way we mean to start the next: beautifully.  Today’s Real Wedding is an absolute licketty-split, with a cherry on top corker!

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With images by CG Weddings, I love how Nisha and Duncan’s choice of soft, sugary ice cream tones and hand made decorations prettify and personalise their stunning stately home venue.  With a ten year engagement, this couple had certainly had plenty of time to plan – and taking their time paid off. 

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Delicious! 

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Nisha says:  We got engaged in North Wales in June 2002 and were married on August 10th 2012 at Thornton Manor, Cheshire, which we chose for beautiful grand romantic setting.

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We went for a pretty vintage theme with pastel ice cream tones. 

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I chose a dress called Eden by Ian Stuart, accessories by Glitzy Secrets and carried a bouquet of sweet avalanche roses, Cezanne roses, apricot sweet avalanche roses and amnesia roses by Earth Flowers. There was lace entwined between the flowers.

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My bridesmaids wore pretty Grecian one shoulder pastel pink dresses and the groomsmen wore matching three piece suits from Moss Bros. 

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Our registrar is a close friend of Duncan’s family, which was lovely on the day and the service was really personal.

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We had a  four tier Victoria sponge cake from Marks and Spencer. We also had two lots of cupcakes – vanilla and strawberry both with edible glitter sprinkled on top! They were also from M&S

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I made all my favours, place settings, table plans and used bird cages and wired pastel roses. I also made my confetti cones, windmills and bunting to decorate the venue. 

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We had a close friend play the grand piano for our ceremony and another close friend did the evening as a DJ.

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I can’t pick a favourite part of the day, the whole thing felt like a fairy tale and went so fast. I suppose the few moments Duncan and I had together alone during the day were lovely. There was one point we ran off into the gardens to be alone after the ceremony and it was perfect.

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After the wedding we had a mini moon to Barcelona and are currently planning our honeymoon to Vietnam. 

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to take a step back and take it all in because when I was told it would go quickly by others, I didn’t believe it until the day was over. Now I look back and wish I could have slowed everything down!

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Congratulations Nisha & Duncan!

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Contact me to see your own Real Wedding featured here on Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 CG Weddings

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Castles & Pearls! A Real Wedding In The North West – Jennifer & Mike

September 30th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Peckforton Castle Wedding by Martin Hambleton Photography

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Jennifer and Mike’s Real Wedding at the stunning Peckforton Castle makes for the perfect Sunday brunch eye-candy.  Put your feet up and enjoy!

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With images by Martin Hambleton Photography

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Jennifer says:  We got engaged at home in Little Sutton on Christmas Eve 2010 and were married at Peckforton Castle on March 3rd 2012. 

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I always wanted to get married in a castle and nowhere else locally comes close to Peckforton – it was the obvious choice.

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Our colour choices were white, ivory and pink.

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I wore a Ronald Joyce (Ladonna) princess dress with a diamante and pearl encrusted bodice and tulle skirt from Bespoke Brides, Mollington, Chester and carried a large bouquet of ivory avalanche roses with small amount of diamanté in the centre of each rose from Black Cat Floral Design in Chester (who did all our flowers). 

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My bridesmaids wore blush Dessy bridesmaid dresses which were long to the floor, again by Bespoke Brides in Mollington, Chester. 

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My favourite part of the day was our civil ceremony and blessing in the chapel afterwards, it was so special.

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We arranged a collage of photos of us in a vintage frame next to our cards postbox and guest book.  Our chair covers and details were by Elegant Finishing Touches, Oswestry.

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We chose a four round tiers wedding cake in ivory icing with individual iced pearl detailing from
Jo’s Couture Cakes in Nantwich.  We had four flavours: traditional fruit/ lemon drizzle/ chocolate and Tia Maria fruit with chocolate.

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We placed photos of our parents on their wedding day in vintage frames next to wedding cake and later served a cake of cheese as a late evening snack in the Castle’s wine cellar after our evening reception.

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After the wedding breakfast we opted for a DJ and evening lighting by Hipswing Entertainments.  

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After the wedding we had a city break honeymoon in Hong Kong and then on to the Maldives to relax.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure you take a moment during the day to stop and take it all in together.

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HEARTCongratulations Jennifer & Mike! HEART

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Get in touch if you would like to see your Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 Martin Hambleton Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Vintage Wedding North West Dream Venue: The Bowdon Rooms

August 16th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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If you are looking for a North West wedding venue with an old school, true vintage feel, whilst retaining excellent facilities, great catering and a stunning level of customer service, then I think I might well have found it for you.

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The elegance of Brides Up North Featured Supplier and vintage wedding dream venue The Bowdon Rooms in Cheshire makes this a must visit on your venue checklist.

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Take a moment to run the video below to get a real feel for this lovely old place, and enjoy the music whilst you read on.  I wrote this entire post with the soundtrack on repeat, and am feeling very ready for a sherry brandy and a turn about the dance floor right now.   

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Pity it’s beans on toast in front of the telly for tea.  I can but dream. 

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Where is The Bowdon Rooms located?

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The Bowdon Rooms is in the leafy village of Bowdon, which is just one mile from Altrincham, South Manchester/North Cheshire. 

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Vintage wedding venue Cheshire:  The Bowdon Rooms

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Tell Brides Up North about your venue, what facilities does it have?

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The Bowdon Rooms is a beautiful vintage period building dating from 1905, and is suitable to hold balls and weddings in any style form the 1920’s to 1950’s. The main ballroom has a fully sprung maple dance floor and towering above you are two beautiful chandeliers.

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It really is a step back in time to an era of glamour and elegance. A main stage holds and 18 piece dance band, with a full PA and lighting system, the venue is fully licenced with high quality kitchens and award winning chefs on site.

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The main ballroom can seat 230 guests, and the more intimate lounge can seat 80 guests.  The Bowdon Rooms is fully licensed for civil ceremonies. 

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What makes The Bowdon Rooms a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?

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The Bowdon Rooms is an elegant building with beautiful period features, balustrades, a balcony, mezzanines and its chandeliers. Restored by its present owners it has been conducting weddings and parties for over 100 years. It is the current team that makes the venue so special, mature, talented and dedicated to making your day so special.

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Vintage wedding venue Cheshire:  The Bowdon Rooms

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How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

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Having worked in Bowdon for over 10 years the present team know to bring the best out of the building in a way that meets your exacting criteria. We only do one wedding at a time, so we are dedicated to making your day just as special as you deserve. We are experienced in planning, sourcing and delivering, we just will not let you down, and we know you will come to trust us.

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Vintage wedding venue Cheshire:  The Bowdon Rooms

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Can you recommend any accommodation for guests to stay over nearby?

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There are some great places to stay nearby to the venue.  Why not try the Mercure Altrincham Bowdon Hotel, the Cresta Court Hotel or the Marriott Hale Barns

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Vintage wedding venue Cheshire:  The Bowdon Rooms

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Tell us about your menus and wines?

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All of our menus are tailored to our brides’ individual requirements. You can sit down with the chefs and discuss exactly what will suit you and your guests, they have worked all over the world and we have accommodated every request ever thrown at us!

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From traditional, to international, from hog roasts to sumptuous buffets, we do them all. We have an extensive wine list, we can match your wines to your menus as well as working with you for some lovely welcome drinks, such as fizz, cocktails or fruit punch.

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Vintage wedding venue Cheshire:  The Bowdon Rooms

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Any really memorable weddings at the venue?

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We have memorable weddings every week of course, but one of our most entertaining was Debbie and Peter in May 2009. Debbie is a professional dancer so her and Peter had worked out a fantastic rock and roll dance for their 1950’s wedding, just beautiful. Also, some teachers present got everybody up for an impromptu lesson, it ended up like West Side story, but with girls versus guys.

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price/ any special packages available?

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To hire this beautiful ballroom is only £1,200, and our menus start from £30.00 per head.

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Vintage wedding venue Cheshire:  The Bowdon Rooms

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Where can we get more information/ contact the venue?

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Please visit www.thebowdonroms.co.uk or call Karen or Suzanne on 0161 926 8992

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The Bowdon Rooms is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post – please satisfy yourself that this supplier meets your individual requirements before placing your booking.

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  – Images © 2012 The Bowdon Rooms

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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