Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

dream venue: sefton park palm house, liverpool

December 12th, 2017 | Julia Braime

Sefton Park Palm House (3)

We’re all feeling the cold this week as temperatures plummeted from nippy to flippin’ freezing levels following the weekend’s snowfall. In a bid to warm things back up, we’re brining you details of a truly unique wedding venue in the north west that has tropical vibes all year round!

Introducing Sefton Park Palm House, a breath-takingly beautiful Victorian glass house that’s home to the Liverpool Botanical Collection and that provides a spectacular celebration space like no other!

Surrounded by award-winning parkland, iconic monuments and unusual plants, the stunning building can host weddings of up to 400 standing guests and 220 seated guests within its incredible glazed structure.

Not only can couples marrying here be sure of a quirky and individual setting, but following a partnership with hospitality specialists Dine, brides and grooms saying, “I do” to Sefton will also receive exquisite catering and faultless event management as standard.

Planning more than 200 weddings each year, the Dine team are well qualified to make big day dreams at Sefton Park come true, and are here today to tell us what makes this rare venue such a winning choice for a couple’s special day…

Where is Sefton Park Palm House located?

dine say: Sefton Park Palm House is located in the magnificent 235-acre historic Sefton Park, in south Liverpool. The Grade I park is a Green Flag and Green Heritage awarded site with beautiful features and monuments. The park’s bandstand, popular since the Victorian era, is said to be the inspiration for The Beatles’ song Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Can you tell us a little about the history of the venue?

Sefton Park Palm House was designed and built by MacKenzie and Moncur of Edinburgh. Henry Yates Thompson, a Liverpool millionaire, gifted £10,000 to the city to fund the construction. The Palm House was opened in 1896.

During the Liverpool Blitz of May 1941, a bomb fell nearby and shattered the glass. It was reglazed in 1950 at a cost of £6,163. However, after a period of decline it was closed in the 1980s due to safety concerns.

In 1992 a public fundraising campaign raised more than £35,000, which led directly to the repair and reopening of the Palm House in 1993. It was fully restored at a cost of £3.5 million with Heritage Lottery and European funding and fully reopened in September 2001.

Sefton Park Palm House (1)

How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?

Sefton Park Palm House is an octagonal, Grade II listed, three-tier dome conservatory designed in the tradition of Joseph Paxton’s glass houses. The conservatory currently houses one of the oldest horticultural collections in Britain, originally containing more than 4,000 different plants.

The eight corners of the Palm House are marked by statues by the French sculptor Léon-Joseph Chavalliaud. These statues include explorers Captain Cook, Christopher Columbus, navigators Gerardus Mercator and Henry the Navigator, botanists and explorers Charles Darwin, Carl Linnaeus and John Parkinson and landscape architect Andre le Notre.

The Palm House is a luxurious, historically significant venue that makes any event feel special and unique. The combination of the glass and the horticultural collection means that even on a day where the weather isn’t quite perfect, you’ll feel as though you’re in a tropical oasis.

It’s also worth remembering that booking your wedding at the Palm House will contribute towards its preservation for future generations.

Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas and how many guests the venue can cater for? 

Sefton Park Palm House is licensed for civil ceremonies, civil partnerships and renewal of vows. The Palm House can host a maximum of 400 guests when standing, while 220 guests can be seated for dinner.

The Palm House is a Victorian glass house and is one large building so both the ceremony and reception take place in the same beautiful space.

What makes Sefton Park Palm House a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

The beautiful setting in the 235-acre Sefton Park, combined with the octagonal, tiered conservatory and the significant collection of plants makes this venue truly unique. It is unlike any grand country house or modern venue, and once inside you and your guests will feel as though you are in a world of your own.

The historic significance of Sefton Park Palm House and the chance to preserve it for future generations when used for events makes this a venue one on its own.

Sefton Park Palm House (2)

What sort of bride would be a Sefton Park bride?

Sefton Park Palm House offers a beautiful setting for year-round weddings and often appeals to brides looking for something different and completely unique. The venue is, of course, happy to welcome couples from all over the UK looking for that extra special venue with the ‘wow’ factor.

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

Our experienced events team will expertly guide you through the planning process to turn your vision into reality. They can advise what will work within the venue and make creative suggestions.

We draw on our expertise of planning more than 200 weddings each year, and combined with the extensive experience of the Sefton Park Palm House events team, we are well qualified to make the planning process as easy as possible and your big day beyond imagination.

Can you tell us about the accommodation at the venue or is there accommodation nearby the venue that you could recommend?

Both The Sefton Park Hotel and the Hallmark are located within Sefton Park so you can enjoy a short walk through beautiful parkland to your wedding venue.

Sefton Park Palm House is also a ten-minute drive from Liverpool city centre, which boasts a fabulous selection of hotels on the waterfront and in the town. Such a convenient location means you and your guests will be spoilt for choice.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

new venue alert: tilstone house

August 22nd, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Tilstone House (11)

One of the biggest tasks of wedding planning has to be the venue search – finding that one perfect place that will set the scene for your big day celebrations. As such, we love to hear about new venues that are set to open their doors to brides and grooms, extending the already fabulous offering that we have here in the North.

Today we’re sharing details of a brand new wedding venue to the North West  the beautiful Tilstone House, located just outside of Tarporley, Cheshire.

A stunning stately home in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, this splendid setting is available exclusively to couples and boasts a stunning range of ceremony and reception spaces, both inside and out.

In addition to use of the wonderful House, couples marrying at Tilstone will also receive exceptional service and assistance planning their big day courtesy of Charlotte Elise Weddings and Events, who will be managing all weddings at the venue.

Better still, as a special introductory offer, the venue’s team are offering the first ten couples who book Tilstone House, 10% off their venue fees. So, if you like what you see ladies, act fast, and you could increase your dress and accessory budget with the money you save. Jimmy Choos anyone?

Tilstone House (9)

Can you tell us a little about the history of Tilstone House?

charlotte says: The House was built in 1888 by Lord and Lady Daresbury – it was originally used as a hunting and shooting lodge and was sold and lived in by many different families over the years until the current owner decided it would be a fantastic and beautiful wedding venue.

How would you describe the look and feel of the venue

Tilstone House is a luxury wedding venue. It has a Victorian style exterior and many traditional features within, such as fireplaces, staircases, flooring and the tall ceilings, have all been maintained but we have undergone a recent refurbishment to make it more current and contemporary without it being too modern, so it lends itself to all styles of weddings.

Tilstone House (5)

Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas?

Tilstone House has many different ceremony options – our beautiful lawns and pergola are licensed for civil ceremonies for over 100 guests; we have a small indoor ceremony room for up to 40 guests, and also a larger conservatory ceremony room for up to 100 guests. We have a large function room has been recently renovated and can seat around 100 guests comfortably for the wedding breakfast and then extra guests in the evening.

We offer exclusive use of the house so all rooms can be used by guests, no-one lives in the property so no areas are out of bounds. Couples could have an intimate gin bar in one of our drawing rooms and a whisky bar in another if they wish. We have a lovely library room for guests to enjoy as well if they would prefer to be away from the action of the wedding and would like some time to themselves.

What makes Tilstone House a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

The exclusive use aspect is really important for us at Tilstone House and myself and my team deliver a personal and bespoke service to our couples leading up to, and on the day of, the wedding.

Brides and grooms will be able to utilise the house and the grounds in any way they fancy – there are no rules as to where you can and can’t go for pictures, there are no rooms that are blocked off. The second the exclusive use starts, couples can rest assured that the only people in that house will be their suppliers, guests, the caterers and my team.

There is nothing that we can’t do for our clients – we will be working the morning of the wedding to dress the venue, put everything out and meet with the suppliers as they arrive to set up – so couples and their guests will not need to lift a finger.

I truly believe Tilstone House is going to become the best venue in the North West – the services, care and wedding couples will receive at Tilstone House will be second to none and nothing will be too much trouble for us. There are no limits as to when we can have meetings; we can meet daytime, evening, weekends – as many times as the bride and groom would like leading up to their wedding, again, a bespoke service that not all venues offer.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

retro romantics. a glamorous vintage wedding at the belle epoque – zoe & chris

April 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (30)

Today’s bride Zoe was aiming for ‘1940s film starlet’ for her vintage wedding day look. After seeing these photographs, we’re sure you’ll agree that she smashed it. With her tea-length dress, birdcage veil and amazing Ingrid Bergman-esque ‘do’, she looks every inch the glamourous bride.

Retro vibes permeate every aspect of this gorgeous wedding, from the live music to the rich colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the stunning floral arrangements. Full marks, guys!

Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re also touched by Zoe’s advice to brides-to-be: look into your partner’s eyes and not the registrar’s (!), and get thee to a Brides Up North wedding fair. Who are we to disagree?!

With photography by Kate McCarthy Photography

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (34)

zoe says: We got engaged in Venice at 5.30am on a bridge in Canaregio on 7th May 2016. We’d always wanted to have a two-week holiday in Italy with a week in Venice then a week in Tuscany. We arrived on the Friday and got a water taxi (a complete treat, but obviously Chris knew he was going to propose on holiday whereas I had no clue!)

We love seeing a city wake up, so got up early on the Monday to go and walk round the beautiful streets. We started to cross the bridge right by our apartment and Chris caught my hand, stopped me and said, “Do you love it here?” I replied “Yes, of course” and he then got down on one knee – at which point I started grinning madly! And then he said “Great – in that case, would you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?” and produced the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring! At this point I wanted to shout “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!” quite loudly but remembered no one else was awake. Instead, we skipped (literally) down the street grinning our heads off!

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (21)

Our wedding was planned for 10th February 2017. We wanted to get married quickly but still have some time to plan. We were extremely flexible and so chose our location and then saw what they could offer us – they had this particular Friday free and so we booked it!

Our venue was The Belle Epoque in Knutsford. We had quite a tick list – we wanted somewhere unusual and quirky, with a dancefloor and room for a band but also somewhere with a separate room so that people could sit down and talk. Chris doesn’t dance and so wanted to be able to go around and speak to everyone. I visited it with my mum and, walking in, I was immediately excited; it has a lovely feel, is full of art deco art and pieces, it has a huge welcoming fireplace and the bar is straight in front as you walk in. I spied a room off this entrance with tables and chairs in, so immediately thought that was a tick. We then went upstairs to the dining area which was set up for a wedding – I actually gasped! They had twisted willow and flowers and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling and huge tall vases of flowers, vibrant, rich, opulent colours and gorgeous iris-patterned wallpaper. I was a little bit teary and knew this was the place.

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (31)

Our theme was a bit vintage and Peaky Blinders, I suppose. I love vintage dresses and wanted to look like a 1940s film star. We didn’t have a colour-scheme as such, but we chose deep reds, purples and pinks for the bridesmaids and flowers. I wanted the bridesmaids to choose their own dress and style but with a vintage theme. I wanted them to be able to wear them again and really enjoy choosing their own dresses!

For my dress, I knew I wanted something in a vintage style from the 40s/50s and tea-length. I started to look on Pinterest and came across a dress that I loved, so went onto the designer’s website and found a local stockist. I went to Puure in Lymm and Angie, the owner, saw me. I tried the dress I’d seen on and liked it but she insisted I try on more – and I was happy to oblige! After another one, she bought a dress out that I looked at and my heart started to beat faster even though it was full-length and had no sleeves! She fastened me up and explained it could be made-to-measure, adjusted to tea length and have three-quarter sleeves fitted. I looked at myself and felt fantastic. My mum grinned and I had a little tear! That was it. It was ivory satin – so rich and so many sumptuous folds of gorgeous material! It had a little belt with a sparkly diamante square buckle, a fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a net top with tiny sparkles on. I had so many lovely compliments. Angie and her team and Sonya, the seamstress were absolutely incredible and made me feel like a 1940s film star on my day!

A Vintage Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (39)

I wanted my hair setting in a vintage style and so booked the amazing Ewa Baberska, hair and makeup artist, to finish the look. Suzie Taylor was my makeup artist and she was great. I wanted a very natural look as I don’t wear much and she did exactly that, yet made me look fab.

For my headpiece I also wanted something vintage and had met Kaye Hannabuss of Kaye Hannabus Textiles at a networking meeting. We got chatting and I asked her if she would be able to make me something. She made me a fabulous vintage-inspired headpiece with a birdcage veil, a smartie base and a bow. For the evening, she made me a gorgeous hair slide with beads and pearls and diamante. Kaye works with Harris Tweed and so Chris was interested in talking to her about his and Holly’s waistcoats.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

dream venue: the chester grosvenor

September 29th, 2016 | Julia Braime

the-chester-grosvenor-12

This morning’s post will be of great interest to those of you that have recently had a ring put on it as we’re sharing the details of another of our wonderful dream venues.

Today it’s the turn of the rather stunning and rather splendid Chester Grosvenor that offers history, elegance and style, plus excellent customer service and exceptional food and drink.

To tell us more about the 5 star Cheshire hotel’s wedding offering we’ll hand over the blog to those behind the luxurious venue…

the-chester-grosvenor-14

Where is The Chester Grosvenor located?

The Chester Grosvenor team say: Steeped in history and dating back to the 18th century, The Chester Grosvenor sits elegantly next to the landmark Eastgate Clock in the heart of Chester, where the pillared entrance and black and white timbered exterior provide the perfect backdrop for a fairy-tale wedding. The award-winning hotel combines breath-taking architecture with contemporary yet traditional interiors.

Tell us a little about the venue, what is its history?

The Grade II listed building was built between 1863 and 1865 and is owned by the Duke of Westminster. The upper façade of the building is distinctive half-timbered black-and-white, in the Tudor revival style that is typical of Chester architecture. The hotel celebrated its landmark 150th anniversary in 2015 and its Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor restaurant has held a Michelin Star since 1990 – a phenomenal feat.

the-chester-grosvenor-45

What facilities does it have?

The Chester Grosvenor offers 68 beautiful bedrooms and 12 sumptuous suites, each full of character and charm. Guests and visitors have the choice of two restaurants, the elegant Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor and the buzzy La Brasserie, as well as the luxuriously comfortable Arkle Bar and Lounge, a wonderfully tranquil spa centre offering a range of treatments, as well as a variety of function rooms for meetings and private events.

Tell us about weddings at The Chester Grosvenor?

The Chester Grosvenor is a wonderful venue for a wedding reception, with an experienced and dedicated team who will look after you before, during and long after your big day – the team love to welcome back couples who have celebrated their wedding at the hotel!

The luxurious 5-star hotel offers everything from a civil ceremony to a wedding breakfast or evening banquet, ranging from just two to 250 guests. The hotel has a variety of suites that can be adapted to suit your requirements, whether that is a formal sit-down dinner or buffet. Your wedding day menu will be exclusively created by Michelin star chef Simon Radley – something that no other hotels in the North West offer. His food world renowned – delicious, beautifully presented and can be designed to your specific taste. Simon and his team use fresh, local and seasonal ingredients to create gastronomical delights. To complement your menu our cellar, one of the most extensive in England with more than 1,000 bins, offers a selection of wines suitable for all palates.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

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.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

dream venue: hilltop country house

August 25th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

HT6

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.

HT4

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!

HT3

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.

HT2

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!

HT1

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.

HT5

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.

HT9

HT8

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.

HT7

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!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone