June 13th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s exquisite wedding has pretty autumnal feels by the bucket load. From conkers, pinecones and mini pumpkins to a vibrant red and green colour scheme – Jodie and Daniel’s special day last October was utterly on point when it came to those fabulous seasonal touches.
Knowsley Hall, a private walled estate in Merseyside, provided the backdrop to their wedding, brimming in opulence with stunning grounds to match. The floral arrangements chosen by the couple beautifully enhanced this space, with rosemary, eucalyptus and berries all beautifully offset by lanterns, vases and twinkling lights.
As always, it’s the personal touches that really tug at the heart strings though and there’s plenty to inspire you today, with nods to the bride’s miniature dachshund, loved ones remembered in Jodie’s bouquet and even cartoon versions of the couple made out of plastic! So, if you’re contemplating an autumnal wedding date – we think this one might just sway your decision.
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
jodie says: For our anniversary we usually book a nice hotel and restaurant, but for our third anniversary Daniel told me he had booked somewhere special and wanted the location to be a surprise. In July 2016 he drove us to the stunning Augill Castle in Kirkby Stephen. We had a gorgeous suite to ourselves and when it came to the evening meal we were taken to a private dining room which had been set out with candelabra’s and roses. After the meal – and as the sun was setting – we took a walk in the grounds. We were in the gardens at the front of the castle when Daniel turned around, bent down on one knee and proposed! After the initial surprise of him taking my glass of wine off me in order to hold my hands, I then repeated ‘Oh my God!’ possibly a hundred times and, of course, said yes!
We got married on 7th October 2017. We both love deep rich autumnal colours so chose this season to make the most of them, the weather is also still quite mild in October. Plus, with it being a Saturday and having family and friends coming from all over the world, we knew it’d be easier for people to attend.
We visited a number of venues but when we walked through the doors at Knowsley Hall we knew this was the one. The venue is breathtakingly beautiful inside and has so many spectacular features, from the opulent ceremony room/ballroom and dining room to the wonderful views of the gardens and the luxurious bedrooms – it’s all just wonderfully stunning. The staff made us feel so welcome and we couldn’t wait to invite along our family and friends to share the experience with us.
We’re not one for ‘themes’ however we knew we wanted it to be seasonal, natural and elegant. As much as the day was about us, we wanted to provide an experience for people that they would remember. We wanted very natural greens and autumnal colours throughout the day to reflect the time of year and also because the colours match my hair! So we opted for a deep red as our main accent colour and incorporated it into all the groomsmen, grooms-woman, bridesmaids and brides-man outfits, stationery and flowers.
I chose a beautifully simple Pronovias dress called Bena which was very flattering and added a diamante belt for a little sparkle and a cathedral veil, also with diamante detail. I purchased them from Swarbricks Bridal Shop in Middleton.
I originally thought I wanted something lacy and sparkly with a fishtail but when trying these styles on, they didn’t feel special at all. I felt a little disappointed, so Louise at Swarbricks asked me to keep an open mind and try on something different. She picked out the Pronovias for me which I wouldn’t have given a second look at on the hanger and asked me to trust her, she wasn’t wrong because as soon as I put it on I knew it was the one for me.
June 7th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s bride and groom clocked up quite a few air miles when it came to their big day, deciding to tie the knot at the stunning Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, travelling all the way from their home in Kuala Lumpur. Needless to say, planning their wedding from Malaysia proved quite a challenge, but luckily for the couple, they brought on board some fabulous suppliers to make the process a cinch!
Madelaine and Jack – both teachers – settled on a date just before Christmas and brought those festive feels to life with the most beautiful nude, blush and crimson palette. And just wait until you see the bouquets, which also feature these oh so pretty shades.
The industrial vibe to the venue really added to their winter celebration, too, think twinkly fair lights, exposed walls and stone floors. Throw in a cake table, mulled wine, sparklers and live music – and you’ve got the perfect mix for a fine festive soiree!
And if you’re craving a cool urban wedding of your own, we’ll be returning to the totally awesome Victoria Warehouse on Sunday 16th September to host our BigCityWedFest’18 wedding show, that’s not to be missed! For now, here’s the lovely Madelaine to tell us more about her perfect day…
With images by Dan Hough.
madelaine says: We got engaged at home in our flat in Kuala Lumpur on a normal Friday evening after work. It turns out that Jack was planning on proposing during our holiday a couple of weeks later, but panicked the minute he picked the ring up from the shop, so proposed that evening! In his words, “it was like having a live grenade in his pocket!”.
We got married on Friday 22nd December. We knew that we wanted to get married during our Christmas holidays – we’re both teachers living abroad but would be back for the school holidays. I also thought that if we had the big day before Christmas I could still tuck into a huge Christmas dinner!
We had both the ceremony and the reception at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. We knew that we wanted an industrial setting for our big day and fell in love with the brickwork and high ceilings the minute we saw it on the internet. It was great to see how other couples had set the warehouse up with fairy lights and candles too – we thought it would be perfect for the time of year!
We are both from Sheffield originally, but couldn’t find the right venue there. However, Jack lived in Manchester for a few years, we both love the city and it is a great distance from Sheffield so it was a brilliant place to tie the knot!
There was no real theme for the wedding, we just wanted an industrial style with some nods to Christmas, with candles, fairy lights and mulled wine.
We chose nudes, blush and some crimson as our wedding colours. I just loved this combination and the crimson, again, gave a nice nod to the time of year.
I wore an Essense of Australia crepe dress that I found at Emily Bridal in Sheffield. I absolutely loved the fitted style and the low back. In fact, it was the first and only bridal shop that I visited and I found the perfect dress within about 20 minutes! The team at Emily Bridal were great and helped me to figure out which style would suit me best and feel right on the day.
May 30th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th June 2018 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
We may be called ‘Brides’ Up North but it’s fair to say this blog has its fair share of inspiration for the grooms as well – particularly when it comes to romantic proposals! Naomi’s description of Jonathan’s is vivid and the way he takes the pen and writes his proposal on the back of Naomi’s hand has an air of spontaneity that is super lovely. Add champagne in the rain for cinematic value (not to mention a trip to iconic Tiffany) and that’s one memorable way to kick-start married life together.
Naomi and Jonathan chose a cool, rustic location for their wedding celebrations and dressed it up with glorious flower arrangements and atmospheric candlelight.
We’re also going all starry-eyed over Naomi’s beautiful long-sleeved Suzanne Neville dress and that stunning bouquet. Then, just when we thought we couldn’t fall any deeper in love with this big day, the couple go along and cradle a couple of cute golden puppies for some super sweet images *heart literally melts*!
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
naomi says: Jonathan and I got engaged in the beautiful gardens of Versailles, Paris on 25th September 2016. Jonathan had organised for us to stay at Hotel Regina, which is the most gorgeous hotel. The morning after our first night, I was told by Jonathan that I had an hour to get ready before a taxi was due to collect us. When I asked where we were going, Jonathan told me it was a surprise and not to ask any more questions. The taxi took us to the Palace of Versailles – my favourite place!
It was a lovely sunny morning as we strolled around the grounds before finding ourselves in one of the more intimate gardens; it was a small, round garden with a stunning water fountain in the centre. There was nobody around, so Jonathan suggested we take a seat and relax for a moment. As we sat, I decided to take my map and pen out to mark which gardens we had covered. At this point, Jonathan took the pen from me and started to write on the back of my hand, covering it up as he did so; when he had finished, I turned my hand to see what he had written. As I read the words “Will you marry me?”, Jonathan got down on one knee and asked if I would do him the honour of marrying him. I think the words I used were “Oh my God! Yes!” As he stood up to kiss me, the heavens opened. I have never seen rain like it! I was crying with happiness but laughing at the rain and how soaked we were getting. It was a surreal moment.
As we reached shelter from the rain, Jonathan pulled out of his rucksack a bottle of champagne and some croissants. “Where is the ring?!” I asked. Jonathan explained he wanted the ring to be exactly what I wanted and that our next stop was Tiffany. We finished our croissants and jumped back into a taxi and headed to the Champs-Elysées. There I chose my perfect ring after having the most incredible experience at Tiffany. From there, we went for an early dinner before heading to the very cool Hotel Costes to celebrate with lots of cocktails!
We got married on 29th September 2017. We really wanted to get married as close to a year from the date that we got engaged but decided to go with that date as it was at the weekend, which we thought would work better all round.
We had both our ceremony and reception at Owen House Barn in Mobberley, Cheshire. We completely fell in love with the venue from the moment we drove up the drive. We knew immediately it was the one, so we didn’t feel the need to look at any other wedding venues. It’s located down a lovely country lane in Mobberley and is situated on a real working farm. The barn is full of quirky rustic charm, yet it has a relaxed feel about it. It is stunning.
For ideas and inspiration, I went on the Brides Up North website so many times and have read so many of the real weddings, which were all so beautiful. For our wedding, we didn’t have a specific theme; however, we did try and keep everything quite simple, a little romantic and within keeping of the style of the barn.
The colour scheme for our wedding was determined by my choice of flowers, which was something I chose quite early on. The colours were a dusky pink/lilac colour, a grey/green colour and brown from the Kraft paper and twine, which doesn’t sound great but it all looked beautiful and tied together perfectly.
For my dress, I wore a Fiorella bridal gown and veil by British designer Suzanne Neville with Swarovski-covered Gina (Cinderella) shoes. The dress was so elegant yet striking in a beautiful and timeless way. It featured a gorgeous corseted bodice and full organza skirt, Queen Anne neckline and long lace sleeves, and a covered lace back with exquisite button back detail. Owen House Barn has an amazing ‘Beauty Shed’ for the bridal party to get ready in; it was so much fun getting ready there on the day of the wedding!
Jonathan wore a Polo Ralph Lauren navy blazer with gold button detail and navy polka-dot silk satin tie, paired with a white shirt and pocket square and black trousers. On his feet he wore classic Saint Laurent monk strap shoes in tan suede to add a little edge.
May 9th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Christmas is such a lovely time for a wedding – the world is wearing its finery, from the streets dripping with twinkly fairy lights to the gigantic smiles on the faces of people in the mood to celebrate. You’re onto a winner for a fun celebration before you even start!
Today’s real wedding couple Rachel and Charles wed among the mistletoe at the impressive Courthouse in Knutsford, Cheshire, with its dramatically high ceilings and fabulous character.
Rachel wore a stunning Maggie Sottero creation with a gold sequined top and frothy skirt – just perfect for a festive celebration and simply beautiful against a backdrop of giant, sparkling Christmas trees. We love the fact that Rachel and Charles’s one-year-old daughter wore a dress that echoed the style of her mother’s – adorable. With entertainment to suit all ages – including a mini Casino and a caricaturist – and little Christmas trees adorning every table, Rachel and Charles went all out to ensure their guests had a fun-filled, festive day.
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
rachel says: We got engaged on holiday in Dubai. I asked Charles to get our daughter ready for the pool while I got my sun cream on; when I got out of the bathroom, our baby daughter was in a vest and written on the vest was “Mummy, will you marry daddy?” It was perfect!
Our wedding date was Saturday 23rd December 2017. We really wanted it to be a Saturday as most people are free and with it being Christmas time we thought it would be perfect to get all our family and friends together for a festive celebration too! We created a Christmassy look for the reception with Christmas tree centrepieces and a few dancing Santa hats for the kids.
We got married at the fabulous Courthouse in Knutsford. It’s such a beautiful building with a lot of character. It’s a great size for a wedding and we had the reception and ceremony in the same place for convenience, so we didn’t have to travel to venues as some of our guests had already travelled far to get to us. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue. The team are fantastic and pulled out all the stops for us. The day ran like clockwork due to Kate the coordinator and the Ice Entertainment team. Thanks to them all, we made the most amazing memories.
I wore a dress by Maggie Sottero, which I bought from Bliss Bridal in Bolton. It was my friend who showed me a picture of the dress and I instantly fell in love with it. It was completely different to any dress I had seen before and the gold sequined top was perfect for a Christmas wedding! My bridesmaids wore custom-made dresses from the fabulous Rixo.
Charles and his groomsmen wore suits from Marks & Spencer. Charles had quite a few groomsmen who all live in different places, so Marks was easily accessible to them all to get the suit that fitted them well. They also came in slim fit, tailored and regular fit, so we knew they would look good on all of them.
May 3rd, 2018 | Rachel Parry
What are the necessary requirements for chilled out girly trip? For us it has to be comforting and stylish surroundings, delicious food, one or two glasses (ok, bottles) of wine and, of course, access to some pampering facilities. We were therefore delighted to be invited for an overnight stay at our fabulous Sponsor venue, the stunning Titanic Hotel Liverpool, last month, which offers all this – and a whole lot more!
Given it’s uber cool location at Stanley Docks, the gorgeous boutique style hotel offers a tranquil haven away from the immediate buzz of Liverpool’s city centre but is just a few minutes’ cab ride away should you want to mix some city, culture and bar hopping into your escape.
Perfect for a pre-wedding getaway, perhaps to shop for the last minute big day bits with your other half, or an indulgent girls-only get away with your mum, sister or bezzie – or get all in tow for a sophisticated hen do – the Titanic houses a contemporary bar, restaurant and accommodation all under one roof, plus its Maya Blue Wellbeing, complete with fitness, pool and treatment areas. Oh, and did we mention they do weddings? But more on that later.
For now, let’s fill you in on our experience of this dreamy hotel. Arriving mid-morning we checked in and took a seat in the impressive Rum Bar lounge, with original exposed brick and large steel pillars mixed in with modern décor and soft furnishings giving a New York loft apartment vibe, which is echoed through all areas of the hotel. As a nod to its rum warehouse heritage and location on the docks, the spirit is the tipple of choice at the Titanic, though at 11am we felt it a little too early to start on the alcohol, and so settled in with a large latte as we took in the surroundings before being given a full tour and rundown of the hotel’s facilities.
In the midst of a hectic but truly epic wedding fair season (don’t forget it’s our annual WEDSTOCK’18 Wedding Show in Harrogate this Sunday, 6th May) we decided to make our trip one of relaxation, enjoying some much-needed magazine time and a visit to the Maya Blue Wellbeing. As mentioned, those visiting could easily venture into the city centre during their stay, where there are shops, museums, tourist attractions, bars, cafes and restaurants galore.
We broke up our day with lunch in the bar area before checking out our spectacular accommodation. Boasting 153 rooms in total, the options range from classic double rooms to superior and presidential suites. All are light, airy and spacious, with rich furnishings and luxurious bathrooms.
March 28th, 2018 | Julia Braime
If you dream of a wedding album filled with beautiful, natural shots, interspersed by some utterly gorgeous couple portrait images, then we know just the photographer for you – our wonderful Sponsor James Tracey Photography.
Based in the North West but covering big days all over the UK and overseas, James has shot more than 200 weddings over the past five years, developing a signature style for candid shots that are relaxed yet emotive. Blending into the background, James prides himself on his discreet and laidback approach that makes all those around him feel at ease.
Always keen to capture the magic between the newlyweds too, James will steal away the couple just for a short while to ensure he gets some stunning portrait shots that are easily worthy of wall-hanging-space.
Eager to hear more about his fabulous service, we’ve invited James to the blog today to share some of his favourite big day images while updating us on his wonderful wedding offering – which is soon to include videography – you heard it here first!
With images by James Tracey Photography.
When did you first start photographing weddings and what was it that attracted you to the industry?
james says: I’ve always loved photography and I’d been to loads of my friends’ weddings and I’d really enjoyed shooting the day as a guest. I guess as I enjoyed it and people seemed to like the images I’d taken, I started to think about photographing weddings more and more, until finally I took the plunge and started shooting in 2012. For me, working on one of the happiest days of a couple’s life, at nice venues, taking photos seemed pretty appealing to me, so a couple of months after my own wedding I shot my first professional wedding. My first wedding was one that was featured on Don’t Tell the Bride, so there was no gentle introduction to weddings, it was full on but I learnt a lot and haven’t looked back since – I’ve now shot more than 200 weddings!
How would you describe your style of photography and the approach you take to capturing a big day?
I’d describe my style as 90% natural, documentary photography with 10% of lightly directed couple photos. My aim is to blend in, let the couple and their guests enjoy the wedding day and make sure I capture what’s going on as it happens. Of course, I want to capture some beautiful couple photos, so I do spend 20 minutes making sure we capture the couple looking amazing, but the majority of the day my job is to capture the day as it happened. I hate the idea that I interfere and set up moments, I much prefer to let the day happen and find the best moments to shoot as they happen.
What is it that you love most about your job?
I love the creativity and flexibility of shooting weddings. I get to visit amazing venues, with happy people and spend the day photographing what goes on. In reality, it isn’t really a job, it’s far too nice to be a job! I’ve also been able to travel, shooting weddings all over Europe and even as far as New York. No one ever took me to New York for work in my old jobs!
In your opinion what are the most important things for a couple to consider when deciding which photographer to book for their wedding?
For me it is the style of photography they want. Couples need to think about what type of photos they want on their day. Do they want lots of set up posed shots or do they want natural moments? Are they after moody and atmospheric images or punchy, party shots. Are group shots important? Once they work out what matters to them, then search and get recommendations. Don’t just book a photographer because they’ve worked at a venue before or because they shot your friend’s wedding, look at their work, chat to them. Most photographers are more than happy to talk about their style and how they work. It’s great to get along with the photographer but ultimately you want to get the best photos of your day in the style you love. There are amazing photographers who all shoot in different styles, so do a bit of thinking about what you want then find someone who shoots in that way. Almost every couple I ever meet tells me that they just want natural photos and that they’re not into posed or group photos, so from the off I know they want what I offer. Don’t book a photographer then demand they shoot a different style, it’ll just result in disappointment.
What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
That’s a tough question. I guess it’s my style of shooting, whilst not unique (as there are plenty of brilliant documentary style photographers out there) I guess what I shoot clicks with some couples and they love the natural moments and the story that the images tell. I’m always looking for that moment, something people will look at and remember happening and remember feeling at the time.
What is the feedback like from your couples?
I’m lucky to receive some fantastic feedback from my couples. I’m told I am friendly, easy to get along with and that on the wedding day I tend to blend in. I guess they like my laid-back approach and simple, natural style of wedding photography. I’ve entered the Wedding Industry Awards for the last five years and each year the feedback from the couples comes back to me and it always mentions how they didn’t know I was there for most of the day and that they love their photos. My couples seem pretty happy, and that works for me!
Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day to capture?
Other than snaffling the sweets from the sweetie table (I’d like to say I am joking but I have a shocking sweet tooth) I love shooting any emotional moment. If a groom cries, the father-of-the-bride seeing his daughter for the first time, or when grandparents hug the couple – I love all of those moments. These are the shots that people will look back on over the years that will take them back to that moment in time and remind them how they felt.
What area do you cover and is there somewhere in particular that you would love to shoot a wedding that you’ve not yet had the opportunity to do?
I work all over the north and have travelled to Wales, Scotland, the Midlands and I’ve even been brave enough to shoot a few weddings in London! I always enjoy shooting in Manchester and Liverpool city centre and around the many stunning venues in Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire. I’d love to shoot a wedding in Italy on Lake Como, or in Positano on the Amalfi Coast (where I went on honeymoon) and as clichéd as it is, Iceland has always massively appealed to me (I’m a huge Sigur Ros fan so I like to think I was into Iceland long before it became fashionable to want to shoot there!)
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