November 16th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
For this afternoon’s post we’re remining at the same venue as our featured real wedding – the stunning Arley Hall & Gardens in Cheshire, which is famed for more than just its glorious big day offering.
Having formed the backdrop to many a television programme and film set, you’re probably more familiar with this fine country house than you realise; especially if, (like us) you’re a Peaky Blinders super-fan. The BBC 2 hit series, which returned to our screens for its fourth series this week, used the grand Hall as the home of main character Tommy Shelby, who also happened to marry his now late-wife Grace at the premises.
In a nod to this link, fellow Peaky Blinders fan, Rebecca Jenkinson of Pretty Creative, came up with the concept of a gorgeous 1920/30s casual glamour shoot at Arley Hall, which she styled to perfection with the help of a talented team of North West suppliers.
And, just like the programme, the end images are nothing thought of gripping! We can’t get enough of the grand backdrops, splendid table setting and stylish attire, not to mention that bouquet!
One of the main reasons we’re so addicted to Peaky (other than a rather HUGE crush on lead actor Cillian Murphy) is the amazing outfits that are generally opulent yet understated for the females and incredibly dapper and sharp for the males – who would have thought a bearded guy wearing a baker boy’s cap could make us go so weak at the knees!
So, ladies, it’s time to embrace you’re inner Polly or Ada as stylist Rebecca takes over the blog to explain how she and the team achieved this deliciously decadent look…
With images by Amy Faith Photography.
Models, Rob Hunter and Stacey Taylor.
[jennaopne]rebecca says: Our inspiration for the shoot was casual 1920/30s glamour, with a bit of edge, influenced by the bad boy done good story of the cult TV series Peaky Blinders. We shot in late September as autumn was just starting to drift into the landscape.
The shoot was captured by Amy Faith Photography, who I love working with. She’s so good at conveying authenticity, beauty and edginess in her images. If you are looking for a wedding photographer, you really need to look at Amy’s beautiful work.
Our venue for the shoot, Arley Hall and Gardens, is a gorgeous Cheshire wedding venue, totally steeped in history and home to lots of different TV and film sets, including Peaky Blinders. I’m a huge fan of the TV series, so when the chance to do a shoot at Arley Hall came along, I knew it had to be our inspiration. With our own peaky blinder bad boy groom and his stunning bride.
In the last series, Arley Hall was the stately home of the main character Tommy Shelby, played by the gorgeous Cillian Murphy. It depicts a time where he’s made his ill-gotten fortune on the betting circuits at the horses (and general dodgy dealings!) and it’s where he marries Grace.
Although Peaky Blinders is really quite dark at times, there is an incredible love story within, kind of against the odds. It’s that feel we were looking to create, with a nod to the era, beautiful imagery, bridal inspiration and to capture the romance of the two main characters, Tommy and Grace.
November 16th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
Yes, we have a dress crush. Today’s bride Arlene wanted to look like a Bond girl on her big day and we reckon she absolutely nailed it in a gorgeous, backless Rosa Clará number with a graceful silhouette and divine vintage detailing on the shoulders and down the back. We also have garden envy, because the grounds at today’s venue, Arley Hall, would give any National Trust property a run for its money: deep borders bursting with colour and texture are juxtaposed with crisp topiary and rich red brickwork. The photographs offer up a visual feast.
In a colour scheme of navy and dusky pink, Arlene and Simon went for an elegant, regal feel with a touch of femininity to complement the glorious Elizabethan-style Victorian country house. With its opulent interiors, who could fail to feel a little bit Bond-esque?
With images by Cris Matthews Photography.
arlene says: Simon proposed to me at home on August bank holiday in 2015, after more than six years together with bubbles, Bob Marley playing and a display of photographs of us on our fabulous holidays. We then went to Gaucho in Manchester for steak dinner and he had organised a surprise party with our close friends at Epernay. The next day I was whisked off to Moddershall Oaks for an overnight spa break.
We got married on Saturday 29th July 2017. We wanted a summer day and a weekend, as we have a lot of teacher friends. My dad flew over from Panama to walk me down the aisle and the date also worked well for my 11-year-old stepsister and her school holidays in Panama.
Our chosen venue was Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire. We had our ceremony in the drawing room, the wedding breakfast in the gallery and the reception at Olympia Barn on site. I visited the venue one afternoon with some friends, as it’s open to visitors. I fell in love instantly – butterflies! Simon loved it as much as I did. Arlene driving up Arley Road to marry at Arley Hall – it was meant to be!
We also liked the venue as it was local and had a good mix of rooms to use and stunning gardens. Plus, I liked the idea of having a more informal area for the evening guests to party.
I wanted a fairly simple, elegant, classy style for the day. The venue is so opulent that I didn’t want to take away from/spoil its beauty. We would definitely recommend the venue: as well as it being utterly gorgeous, the staff were professional and friendly and we felt reassured the day would run smoothly.
My gown was from Knutsford Wedding Gallery. I am quite particular with my style and wanted a unique dress. After searching bridal websites and magazines, I decided I liked Rosa Clará gowns and booked an appointment as I knew they were stocked there. I was very keen on a backless, slinky dress. My spec was I wanted to look and feel like a Bond girl! When I tried it on first I knew it was the one, but that didn’t stop me from trying on 29 more dresses. Milking the moment!
My hair and makeup artist was Make-up By Sophie, based in Oldham. She followed my Bond girl spec –my bridesmaids and I felt very glam.
October 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
“Life’s too short” is a phrase and thought responsible for bringing on, or speeding up, many a plan, whether it be booking that holiday of a lifetime, taking the plunge on a new business venture or simply agreeing to a spontaneous night out. For today’s featured couple however, it was that very thought that led to them getting hitched, after Kevin was taken seriously ill in hospital.
Fighting back strong, Kevin spent the next 18 months recovering while Amanda got the big day plans underway and together they achieved their goal of becoming Mr and Mrs, surrounded by family and friends at a stylish venue in the North West.
Working to a budget, creative Amanda kept costs down by doing her own wedding flowers and centrepieces, which looked gorgeous in shades of pink with pretty pearl detailing. We also love Amanda’s Bardot neckline dress, which has the perfect balance of fashion and fairytale.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Robbie Venn Photography.
amanda says: We began planning our wedding after Kevin suffered three cardiac arrests in November 2015 – he was given 5% chance of survival. We realised life is too short so decided to get married. It was more a case of me actually saying: “I think after this I’ll marry you”, and it snowballed from there.
We set the date for 20th May 2017. We didn’t want to wait too long but it also gave Kevin enough time in his recovery.
Our chosen venue was On The 7th, The Landings at Media City, Salford. After looking at several venues we realised we didn’t want the usual white covered chairs style of venue. On The 7th is a modern venue, with stylish décor – we didn’t need to do anything to decorate it. The staff were also amazing, from the wedding coordinator to the master of ceremonies.
I didn’t have a colour in mind for the wedding initially but then I saw a bridesmaid dress style I liked, which was navy, so settled on a navy and pink colour scheme.
I wore a ball gown style dress with a sweetheart bodice, which was from Wed2Be, Bolton. I didn’t know what style would suit me at all, so went with Kevin’s mum try different styles on. Being a larger-chested girl, I had in my mind totally ruled out anything without straps. I tried several dresses on and the last one was the one I ended up choosing – the one with no straps! It felt amazing, I couldn’t believe how it made me feel, and how it didn’t make me look busty, surprisingly.
Kevin wore a navy blue suit from Next with a matching waistcoat and pink tie, pink button hole, and black shoes. The groomsmen’s suits were all from Next too.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Chi Chi London, which were also navy blue, 50’s sort of style. I didn’t want to go for a usual bridesmaid dress. Luckily the dresses suited all bridesmaids. The flowergirl’s dress was from Monsoon.
The bridal party arrived at the venue in a white campervan, from Posh Pampa Campa. I didn’t take in to account how old campervans were at the time of booking! It cut out at each set of traffic lights on the way to the venue, which made the journey all the more memorable. Kevin’s twin brother booked a limousine from bookerlimo.com, which was a surprise to Kevin.
October 10th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Our lovely featured bride Sarah achieved her dream of a marquee wedding at home on her family’s farm complete with beautiful rustic touches and a fairy tale horse-drawn carriage.
Inspired by farming home life and pretty Pinterest pics, Sarah and her team of helpers, decorated the plain marquee with beautiful blooms, bunting, log slices, milk churns and creamery jugs to make her vision a reality.
The entertainment was on form too with a live band, DJ, ice cream van and white bouncy castle no less.
So, join us as we head down to the farm for this fun and fabulous big day…
Images by David Millington Wedding Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged on Christmas day evening. We had already opened presents but Jonny said I had missed one hidden in the Christmas tree. I think at this point Jonny had run off into the next room, when he reappeared he had tears in his eyes. I think he popped the question, but I may have already said “yes” by that point!
Our wedding date was 17th June 2017. We had our ceremony at the beautiful St Michael’s Church in Cockerham. We chose the church because it’s just five minutes from my family’s farm and a marquee wedding reception was my dream.
I decided to go for a farming theme – living on the farm gave me lots of ideas. I opted for plain flooring, a pallet fronted bar, and made metre after metre of hessian flag bunting whilst I was on maternity leave. I collected creamery jugs, borrowed milk churns from my mother-in-law and the log slice table centres were sourced and cut by my brother. Straw bales for decoration and seats were from another local farmer. We browsed charity shops and collected jars to decorate. I found Pinterest really helpful for ideas.
I was advised not to get too hooked on a particularly colour scheme and so chose to keep everything quite neutral. My bridesmaids’ dresses were not the same colour as the groomsmen’s cravats, we just had pinks, lilacs and creams, which fitted perfectly.
Finding my dress was a bit of a challenge. I’d looked around some local wedding shops but nothing wowed me. We then went to Amelia’s Bridal at Clitheroe, the whole shop and team are amazing. The girls really know how to make you feel individual and special. It’s really relaxed, but the boutique is stunning! I knew as soon as I found my dress it was the one.
Jonny wore a grey suit with an ivory waistcoat, which we hired.
The bridesmaid dresses were sourced online (massive risk I know, but it paid off!). The only thing that was altered was the length, my girls said they fitted well and they all looked beautiful!
Elegant Carriages supplied our wedding transport – a stunning new Landau Carriage pulled by two grey horses, Stella and Rose. It really did feel like a fairy tale, it’s an experience we will never forget.
October 2nd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Bright and beautiful are two words that could easily be used to sum up today’s super-lovely real wedding.
Rather than simply picking her favourite colours and flowers to style the day, bride Emma put personal reasons behind her choices, picking yellow and sunflowers in memory of her late-grandad, and blue and forget-me-nots as a nod to her grandma, who wasn’t able to attend the wedding due to being in a nursing home.
These gorgeous blooms and hues added to the happy and joyful vibes of Emma and Simon’s rural style wedding, which also featured delicious food, fun transport and one rocking party.
With images by Pixies in the Cellar.
emma says: We had been together 12 years when we got engaged. We were in South Africa for an old friend of Simon’s wedding and decided to take a trip to Zimbabwe. It was at Victoria Falls on a day trip that he got down on one knee. I honestly couldn’t believe it and had the ring on so quickly I forgot to say yes. We celebrated that night by going to a traditional Zimbabwean barbecue.
Our wedding was on the 8th July 2017. We got married at St Helen’s Church in Waddington, and had our reception at Browsholme Hall and Tithe Barn in Clitheroe, Lancashire. We had wanted a Yorkshire wedding, which is where we had met and gone to uni, but couldn’t find anything with the rustic feel that we were after. The minute we walked into the barn at Browsholme we fell in love, it was perfect. It was close to where I had grown up and spent time in the Trough of Bowland, my dad had also played cricket in Waddington close to the church.
We wanted a simple and rustic for our theme; lots of wood slices, lace, hessian, nothing too fancy. The venue didn’t need anything fancy as the beautiful stone spoke volumes.
The colour scheme went back to my childhood, we had yellow as a main colour. I lost my grandad when I was 21 and he had been a huge part of my life we always used to grow sunflowers and see how tall we were next to them, we used to pick sweet peas and daisies also. My grandma unfortunately has dementia and is a nursing home so we had forget-me-nots included in the wedding also. These were built around the navy suits for the boys and navy dresses for the bridesmaids. We facetimed my grandma in her nursing home from church and apparently when I said “hi” to her there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
I thought I wanted a vintage lace dress for the day but once I started trying dresses on it was clear that I wanted something a bit simpler. I had lost quite a bit of weight prior to the dress fitting and once I tried the dress on I knew it was the one, I felt like a bride. I got my dress from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge, who were fantastic from start to finish.
Simon wore a suit from TM Lewin, he wanted to be different from the groomsmen and have something he could keep. The suit was navy and had a faint lighter blue check through it, he had brown shoes from River Island and tie and pocket square in sunflower gold to tie in with the colour scheme of the flowers.
September 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Hold onto your hats, guys and get ready for a slice of complete and utter gorgeousness: Jenna and Ollie’s big day at the stunningly quirky Bellle Epoque in Knutsford has everything you need to get through to the weekend. There are flowers galore, a sublime earthy palette of woodland green and rich amethyst and the most beautiful lace dress courtesy of Louise Selbey – the sweetest combination of classic and edgy cool. All the superlatives and all the italics.
As if I couldn’t be more envious, Jenna and Ollie met in a LIBRARY (be still my beating heart) and love to travel, travel, travel, so there’s no surprise that books, maps and beautiful calligraphy feature heavily. If you’re a details gal, you’re in for a treat.
The couple say they fell in love with Knutsford’s charm and The Belle Epoque’s character as soon as they walked in, and sampling their sumptuous menu sealed the deal. We can totally see what they mean – these natural shots from Ginger and Lime Photography of the couple hiding in doorways, the bride posing in her sunnies and the party spilling out onto the street have got our hearts pumping, too.
With images by: Ginger and Lime Photography.
jenna says: Ollie and I got engaged on Boxing Day in December 2015 outside my Mum’s house in Selsey, West Sussex. He’d planned to pop the question down by the beach after a walk, but I’d insisted on going the shorter way back though the village. It was perfect anyway!
We got married on July 8th 2017. We knew we wanted a summer wedding as we really wanted some outside space and I’m much more of a fair weather person!
We had our ceremony and reception at The Belle Epoque. We fell in love with Knutsford, the building’s character and its outside terrace. Food was a big part of it, too: The Belle Epoque’s menu was right up our street, plus it offered the flexibility that we wanted.
In terms of a theme, books and travel featured heavily in our wedding. Books because Ollie and I met in the library, and travel because for three years we were back and forth most weekends between Chester and Surrey. We also have some amazing memories from our holidays and liked the idea of featuring those.
Our colours were green and purple because they complimented The Belle Epoque’s quirky interior and it allowed us to work with the foliage and flowers that we liked best.
My wedding dress was by Louise Selby based in Kew. One of my best friends from school, Sophie Heaven, is a talented embroiderer who made us a really special hand-embroidered ‘Cards’ sign for our card basket. She’d previously worked with Louise and told me about her sample sale. I was astonished that my Mum and I actually agreed on my choice! It was such a gorgeous mix of classic and modern, is made from the most beautiful lace and I just felt super comfortable in it.
The groomsmen wore matching blue trousers and blue waistcoats from Moss Bros. My bridesmaids wore amazing twist and wrap dresses from Isabella Bridal. We can’t recommend them enough: they’re so comfortable and flattering, great quality and they come in one size which was perfect as my bridesmaids were travelling from all over including, err, Indonesia!
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