January 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Brides Up North reader Naomi’s wedding to her new husband Tom was a super glamorous affair. From her bespoke headpiece to his classic black tie, everything about their big day has that classic twinkle.
Just what we need to pep up the spirits on a dull January Monday morning. Bring on the sparkle..!
Images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
Naomi says: We had booked a holiday along with my family to travel to Varadero in Cuba in August 2011. On the 4th August 2011 we hired a beautiful boat for a day of deep sea fishing in the Caribbean sea. I remember my family acting very strange and looking back I remember Tom was not being himself. He asked me to sit down and opened this box which somehow he had secretly bought with him and asked me to marry him. Best day ever!
We set our date for Friday 12th December 2014 back in October 2013. Tom and I had always loved the idea of a winter wedding, with the sound of open fires crackling, crisp frosty mornings and the ambience that time of year brings. We also wanted to tie our wedding in with our honeymoon in Thailand, where we are very lucky to have Tom’s relatives living in Chiang Mai.
We got married at Colshaw Hall, Cheshire. We looked at only a few of venues before we came across Colshaw Hall. When we arrived at the venue and met the team we knew it was the place for us, it was perfect. The team were so helpful and welcoming and above all the venue was absolutely beautiful. Nothing was ever too much for the David, Georgie and the team!
As the wedding was planned for the winter we knew the ideas/themes of what we wanted from the beginning. The idea of the winter wonderland worked perfectly not only with the venue but with the time of year we had chosen. We both love candles and this was one thing we wanted lots of!
We went for a crisp white and a dove grey colour scheme for the wedding. Since I was a little girl I had always dreamed of a white wedding and Tom chose the grey which worked out to be the perfect match.
My dress was a fishtail Alexia Bridal design in ivory from J&J Designs in Newcastle Under-Lyme. I had tried on many types of styles from a range of designers but I was really struggling in finding the perfect dress for me. It was only by chance we drove past this wonderful bridal shop to find my perfect dress was there! They had a designer weekend so were only stocking this designer.
The makeup and hair was done by Jodie A Smith. I met Jodie back in July for my trial and she knew what I wanted before even I did. I completed trusted her instinct for the day even with last minute idea’s I had thought of. She made me feel like a princess. I need Jodie on speed dial!
I had my hair pieces made by the very talented Ann McKavney at Eleventh Heaven. Ann was fantastic at helping me design not only my hair pieces by also the bridesmaids.
I carried a handtied bouquet of white avalanche roses with a crystal detail which was provided by Springbank Flowers.
Tom wore a dinner suit which we hired from L&J Formal Hire. Tom wanted something slightly different and as soon as we saw the evening suits he had made his mind up. He wanted to look different from his groomsmen so he chose to wear braces. The idea worked great with our theme and of course the venue. I think we both felt like we should have been on a red carpet!
The bridesmaids wore a Jordan Fashions dress which was a floor length dove grey dress with an ivory lace bodice. This was ordered directly at missesdressy.com. The company based in New York were fantastic in both the regular contact and ensuring the dresses arrived in the UK on time. The groomsmen wore the same dinner suit from L & J Formal Hire, the only difference was they didn’t have the braces.
The best part of the day for us was when we saw each other at the ceremony. Seeing everything come together and knowing we were going to become husband and wife was the best feeling in the world.
Our photographer was James Tracey. I first spoke to James towards the end of 2013 and after our first skype conversation I knew he was perfect for us. I felt like I already knew him. We finally met James in August 2014 for our Engagement shoot which was also at the venue. He made both myself and Tom feel so comfortable in front of the camera, and the pictures turned out amazing.
Springbank provided all the decorations and flowers for the day. For the wedding we had 42 guests so we wanted the room to have an intimate feel to it so we chose to have a u-shaped table. The top table had a water trough which was dressed with floating candles, petal heads and to the side’s candles, snow and white branches. The other tables were dressed with mirrored runners which were then dressed with a winter theme.
For our favours, we provided handmade soaps by Ceri at Oakwood Soaperie. We had both a girl’s soap which was Jasmine and boy’s soap which was tea tree. Ceri beautifully wrapped the soaps in line with our theme. The boys wrapped in a grey paper and the girls in pearlised ivory paper.
Barretts Caterers provided the wonderful food for our wedding. We chose a spicy butternut squash soup for starters and breast of chicken in a brandy and shallot sauce for our mains. For our desserts we decided on something a little different as whenever me and Tom choose a dessert we always choose something different so we can share. We incorporated this into our wedding day. For girls we choose a sticky toffee pudding and for the boys a mixed fruit crumble.
We chose our cake from Marks and Spencer and Springbank dressed the cake and the cake table for us. We decided to go with a four tier cake consisting of fruit, lemon sponge and a jam sponge.
We decided to use The Word is Love to provide light up N & T Letters for our wedding. They looked amazing and provided us with some fantastic photographs. Ollie and Suzy helped us to decide where they would look best and have the best impact.
Wedding Stationery was provided by Louise at I Do Designs. Louise sent us a sample of her work which we fell in love with, and she was so helpful even up to a couple of days before the wedding in making last minute changes.
We chose Grant Niblett from Nocturnal Revolution to DJ for our evening. We met Grant before the day to discuss our music tastes and he made sure everything went to plan for us.
Our evening Sweetie Table was provided by Tess at Sweets and Feathers. Tess designed the cart to suit in with our colours and theme and everyone commented on how professional Tess and her team were on the evening. Tom and I will be looking at every opportunity to taste these lovely sweets again.
I would completely recommend Colshaw Hall to any couple who are looking for a unique and beautiful wedding venue. The team are fantastic and when you meet them you feel like a friend and not just a number.
We spend three weeks in Thailand for our honeymoon. Starting off for 5 nights in Krabi in the south and working our way to Chiang Mai in the North. We are very lucky that Tom has much of his family in Thailand so we ensured they got to celebrate the wedding by having a blessing there. It was a fantastic day and a wonderful experience. Some of the activities in Thailand were once in a lifetime experience, and we are grateful to have made those memories as husband and wife.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is when it comes to your special day, take a few moments away from your guests as husband and wife and take in everything that is going on around you. From family and friends having a fantastic time to looking at how all your hard work has paid off. The day goes by far too quickly.
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January 7th, 2015 | Julia Braime
When I try to find the words to introduce this wedding, I’m stalled.
Because, oh my god that dress.
Ok, so the romantic blousy roses, the chic venue, the super cool milk float ride home and the sparkly Choos are all something else, but kudos to you Lizzy, I think we have a contender for my favourite gown of all time. Those blush ruffles blow my mind.
With beautiful, atmospheric images from Brides Up North Sponsor, Fairclough Photography, I think I better let Lizzie do the talking…
lizzie says: We got engaged on 2nd April 2012 on my 29th Birthday. We went out for a meal at the Michelin starred Sharrow Bay in the Lake District, then went for a short walk when James proposed by the lake.
Our wedding date was 2nd August 2014.
We got married at St Anne’s Church, Woodplumpton which is a beautiful old church near my family home. Our reception was at Northcote Manor in Langho. The food was and is out of this world.
The theme for our wedding was ‘intimate and romantic’. We picked this because we were busy planning on building our first home at the time so we wanted an smaller wedding and a romantic style matched my dress perfectly.
Our wedding colour scheme was blush pink, ivory and gold to match my wedding dress.
I added a long chapel length blush pink veil covered with Swarovski crystals and a garter made by Keli Thompson.
We travelled to the church and the venue in a stunning ivory vintage Rolls Royce from Leacars. We travelled from the church to my parent’s home in my great granddad’s 200 year old milk float!
My bouquet was blush pink and ivory roses provided from Ashton Flower Shop, a local florist.
Our photographer was Fairclough Photography from Lytham.
Well what can I say…we met these two in a pub for a chat and fell love with their passion, ideas, creativity and individual style. Plus there’s two of them so they managed to perfectly capture every special moment and detail of our wedding day. Since our wedding several of our family and friends have booked them but we had them first!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
After the church, we had champagne waiting for everyone at the Wheatsheaf Pub opposite the church.
We carried the roses from my bouquet on into our reception decor. Each larger table at the reception had a sphere of blush pink and ivory roses to match my bouquet, and each sat on top of a tall clear vase. Hurricane candles were also used for decoration on the tables.
The favours were blush pink macaroons.
The cake was a three tier confection: the bottom tier chocolate, middle tier vanilla and the top tier fruit. It was blush pink and ivory and decorated with three large edible roses. It was from Ava Rose Cakes in Lytham.
For our evening entertainment, we had our friend’s band, Sold To The Sky. We are good friends with one of the members of the band.
For our honeymoon we went to Kuredu Resort in the Maldives. Complete relaxation – wining and dining on the beach and swimming with sharks! Luckily we got upgraded on the Emirates flight on the way home. A perfect ending!
Our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to come up with a theme based around your own individual style.
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December 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Unless you just got engaged, like, yesterday (and hey, if you did, congratulations – you are in the right place!) then you might have caught onto the trend for spelling out your love in lights. One supplier who has that service nailed over in the North West is the lovely Megan of Typical Type, who shares this pretty, retro styled shoot with us here on the wedding blog today.
big love people. big love.
With images by Tiree Dawson Photography.
megan says: The premise behind the shoot was the idea that, as suppliers, we are starting to see women styling their hen do’s along the same lines as their weddings. We have also noticed that hen do’s are no longer all about wild nights out, women are choosing quality time with their girlfriends and family. We feel this is really reflected in Tiree’s photographs.
We decided to use The Midland Hotel, Morecambe, which is an iconic 1930′s hotel as we knew it has lots of amazing areas for us to photograph in. However, instead of sticking with the glamorous 1930′s we decided on more of a fun and flirty 1950′s influenced theme.
We asked the best suppliers around to come on board and they did. We invited a stunning mother and daughter combo to model, who along with beautiful Hannah, really made the photos come alive. And so, one hair dresser, one make up artist, three models, one bridal shop, a florist, an ice-cream tricycle and a macaroon supplier later what had initally started life as a mini shoot had blossomed into something a bit more special!
And the rest, they say, is history.
We hope Brides Up North love our work – as you will see, we are all proud Northern Birds!
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December 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Alex & Nick’s glam & gorgeous country garden themed wedding has it all – beautiful blooms, a fab frock and plenty of fudge!
Groom Nick also knows what side his bread’s buttered on, sending his best man bearing a pair of Jimmy Choo skyscrapers to his bride to be on the morning of the wedding. Alex, you’ve trained him well.
With images by Niki Mills Photography.
Alex says:We got engaged at home on our five year anniversary and were married on 19th September 2014. We chose the date due to it being seven years to the day we met. Were not the romantic type so this made our day extra special.
We got married at St Peters Church in Darwen because it is where I was christened and due to it having links with St Pauls, where Nicks Grandparents, Aunty and Parents were married.
We chose The Inn at Whitewell as our reception venue as I remember going to a wedding when I was younger and thinking to myself ‘If I ever get married I want it to be here!’. Nick also loved the character of the place and we agreed it was ‘us’.
I picked a ‘Garden’ theme as my wedding dress had the most intricate floral lace and embellishment on it and I wanted everything to relate to the dress on the day. My husband calls me a magpie as I love anything sparkly so the day needed to be glam too.
The colour scheme chose me. I love the vintage feel with golds, blush, nudes, creams, greys and pinks and made sure they all had a part to play somewhere. I also added a little fresh green to break it up and give the theme a little dimension! Everything that featured in the day was there because I liked it not because it matched.
All wedding dresses are beautiful and its hard finding ‘the one’. After searching when we first got engaged I found a beautiful Blue by Enzoani dress in Lulu Browns (Whalley) that was fresh and young with one shoulder. It was so completely different to what I thought it would want but so beautiful too. We didn’t start planning properly until December 2013, and when I went to look for dresses again I walked in Bellisima (Holcombe Brook, Bury) and there it was there waiting for me.
Joanne Tudda MUA did my make up on the day, she is recently qualified and was valuable to the ladies of the wedding party on the morning of the wedding.
Nick very clothes conscious and wanted a mod suit and to arrive on a Vespa, but after a discussion on how our Dads would look in this type of suit and a successful fitting at Amelia’s Bridal (Clitheroe) he decided on light grey tails, skinny trousers, a floral tie and brown brogues – and looked ever so classic and handsome.
Bridesmaids dresses are lovely but I didn’t want them to look the same as everyone else, I chose metallic evening gowns from Phase Eight and had them custom fit for every girl.
The flower girl dresses were chosen by Nick by accident in Monsoon, the vintage frocks had the exact same colour sash as the bridesmaids and floral lace. They were perfect for my girls who were 8, 4 and 3.
I arrived in a classic black Mercedes, I love the vintage cars but as the venue is 40 minutes away we decided to spend the majority of the transport budget on a double decker bus for the night guests. Apparently it was quite a ride on the county roads home!
Our photographer was Niki Mills from Niki Mills Photography. After watching her DVD and crying at how beautifully she had captured other couples special days I booked her. From that moment on she went above and beyond, from a really fun engagement shoot (which really helped our confidence under the lense) to rounding everyone up on the day to ensure she got all the shots we wanted. When starting the wedding planning process my dad said to me ‘Make sure you spend good money on the photographer, you’ll never get that day back’. And he was right, Niki captured our day in a way that really tells our story, in exactly the relaxed fun style we wanted. I am so glad I didn’t have a videographer as Nikki achieved what they would have done with just her talent.
I remember seeing a Naked Cake for the first time and thinking ‘Wow, I wonder who can make me one of those?’. I enlisted the help of my godmothers daughter Victoria who does cake baking as a hobby but who is extremely good. She goes by the name of ‘Victoria Sponge’. She took the task on board and did not disappoint with the cake being a huge hit!
I envisioned the flowers to be as though they had been collected from a country garden with a vintage rose as the centrepiece. Sue’s Bluebells worked extremely hard at ensuring this vision was perfect over many cups of tea.
My bouquet was made by a good friend Danielle who made her own brooch bouquet a few years ago. I collected all the individual brooches and pieces of jewellery and she magically put it all together with added extras – such as my grandma & granddad being with me all day in a locket.
The decorations were all finds by my mum and me from Home Sense, The Range, charity shops, car boot sales, the wine loving next door neighbours and by painstakingly soaking jars in the washing up bowl to the annoyance of Nick. He would come home and say ‘Why are there so many watering cans in this house?!’ or ‘Surely you have enough jars now?!’.
Sue’s Bluebells put together all the centrepieces and Nicola at Bride’s Little Helper set up the marquee and created my unique crate and gold frame table plan.
I also envisioned a very romantic feel as it went dark in the marquee so with the help of Nicola put candles in everything. It really made a spectacle as the day room was so fresh and at night it changed into candlelight. I asked for the braziers to be lit outside and some guests sat outside with drinks round the fires.
Bride’s Little Helper is a wonderful little business, Nicola and Mark did so much for me in the run up to the wedding, from the beautiful stationary, the room, the transport and emotional support battling out ideas.
Nick and I are foodies and we love fudge. I ordered in a huge amount of the stuff from a gorgeous shop in the Peak District (where we go camping) and gave out Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate fudge to the delight of the guests. They were then given in little plant pots to go with the theme.
For the day guests we had a vintage ice cream trike, provided by Laura at Love My Trike which went down a treat with the guests, but for the evening entertainment we simply had a DJ. Nick has a brother and together they are all the entertainment any wedding needs. Nick being a huge lover of music (he went to Ibiza for his Stag weekend) talked me into the idea of an ‘Ibiza Hour’ which I ok’d as he hadn’t asked for much. It was all the entertainment we needed and had the guests up dancing all night long.
We added lots of special touches to the day, Nick and I no longer have any grandparents and we wanted them to be a part of our day, my dad and I spent an afternoon shabbing up an old pair of ladders and Nicola at brides little helper made the most gorgeous remembrance jars with their names in, which lit up at night.
We also love to go camping so every table was named under a place that we have visited in our tent, this went down a treat with our guests as many of them have been on these trips with us!
I really hate the pain of high heels so I painted an old magazine rack silver and made sure the girl guests had flip flops so there was no excuse not to dance!
I have many favourite moments, but sitting at the top table with my new husband surrounded by our closest friends and family who were there for us that day meant so much.
We honeymooned in Sri Lanka for a week and then onto the Maldives for ten nights. Nick is an action lover so in Sri Lanka we went white water rafting and on safari and snorkelled and scuba dived in the Maldives, together with a lot of sunbathing! A special surprise was the honeymoon being a gift to us from my mum and dad – we found out at the top table!
People say the best advice is to take a step back and take it all in. However, I would say to other Brides Up North– ground yourself in the morning, tell yourself that this is really happening and try to get into the moment. You spend months and months planning the most perfect day and on the day feel as though you are watching through a dream.
November 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m putting my feet up (or running around after my 19 month old) today after closing our Brides Up North season of luxury wedding exhibitions with a busy and very, very beautiful event in Altrincham yesterday. Massive thanks to everyone who supported us during this – our very best yet – season, whether as some of our talented suppliers or fabulous visiting brides and grooms. I’m so proud of each and every event that we’ve hosted this autumn, and hope that we brought the pages of this wedding blog alive for you.
First things first though, I’m having a day off, and leaving you in the hands of Brides Up North Sponsor James Jebson Photography, and his gorgeous girls, Carla and Sarah, who designed their vintage inspired wedding day their own way. Be inspired!
Carla says: We got engaged in June 2013 in Lytham, the place of our first date, and were married on 31st August 2014 at The Villa, Wrea Green.
We opted for a dusky pink, ivory and grey colour scheme. We chose a vintage travel theme with an English country garden look for the flowers. We sourced vintage black and white postcard for places we had traveled together and used them as our centrepieces, writing the postcards out to our guests, explaining why that place is special to us.
We both wore dresses. We did not discuss what style we were going to wear, we just agreed on ivory as the colour. Sarah wore a vintage lace style dress with buttoned back from Lottie’s Bridal Boutique. I wore a simpler dress with straps and a v neckline, with buttoned back and pearl detail, from The Dressing Room, Winmarleigh.
We both carried bouquets by Flower Design, which were the same yet opposites of each other. One had more pinks and the other had more ivory colours. They included English roses, hydrangea, gypsophila, carnations (these were the flowers that my Dad used to buy my Mum), foliage and rosemary as this is a flower associated with lost loved ones.
I also had a locket attached to my bouquet, which Sarah had bought me, with a picture of my Dad inside. It was so nice to have that with me as my Mum walked me down the aisle. These little touches made it feel as though he was close to us throughout the day.
The moment we walked in to the ceremony we both felt was so special. We each made our own entrance to the same song, ‘How Long Will I Love You’, by Ellie Goulding. We both agreed it was extremely emotional and hard to keep the tears back! We also wrote our own vows, which made the entire ceremony even more special and personal. The whole day was incredible, the first dance, the speeches, seeing all our guests… too many amazing moments to mention!
We hired ‘Barney’ a VW camper van through Little Limos. We wanted all our bridal party to travel to the venue on the day, so we had 4 trips, the ushers and page boys traveling first. After the ceremony they gave us a personalised bottle of champagne with our names and date of our wedding to enjoy on our first anniversary, which was a lovely touch.
We opted for a four tier cake, each tier a different flavoured sponge. We designed each tier differently, including indented hearts, vintage lace and edible lace. We also had iced hearts made and dusted with the pink to match our colour scheme. We kept the top tier for ourselves for the following day!
We did a lot of things homemade, including our favours which were leather luggage tags with a personalised travel quote inside.
We included a memory table and decided to have an extra button hole placed here in memory of my Dad.
We chose to use James Jebson Photography. James is such a genuine and charismatic guy who will capture all the moments you don’t get to see in the day. He worked tirelessly from the moment he arrived to last thing at night. He is extremely talented and captured our day perfectly. The quality of his photos was incredible and he has made memories we will look back on for years to come.
James met up with us on a number of occasions before the big day which helped us all get to know one another. He helped us a lot with our timings and used his expertise to help us plan out our day. By the wedding day, it felt like James had become a friend not just a service and it certainly made us feel relaxed which I feel contributed towards our wonderful images. On the day he was always there if we needed him, whether it be photography related or anything else to do with our day. He played such a huge role and we can’t thank him enough!
We selected our DJ as having a full dance floor was so important to us! Our DJ allowed us to specifically request the genre of music we thought our guests would enjoy the most.
We also thought a photo booth (we used The Mighty Boof!) would be lots of fun for our guests and it brought everyone together as the evening went on. The photo book we received the following day was fantastic, with everyone’s photos and messages! We have recieved so many compliments since the wedding on how much our friends and family enjoyed the booth! A great little extra to your evening.
We also decided to have a sparkler send off towards the end of the night as we thought this would be an amazing photo opportunity. We provided sparklers for all our guests and our photographer orchestrated and captured the moment perfectly.
For our honeymoon we spent 3 weeks in America and Mexico, visiting Florida, Cancun and Las Vegas.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to start planning early. Take the time to make homemade things. Not only will it save you money but the sense of satisfaction is definitely worth the hard work!
Don’t have any regrets… you only do this day once so do everything the way you want to. We went slightly over budget but were so pleased with the results in the day it was certainyg worth spending that little bit extra.
Finally, it is YOUR day. People will try to influence you but make sure you stay true to yourselves and what YOU and your partner want.
October 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Sian and Stu’s outdoor wedding is full of individuality, meaningful touches, casually cool couture and fun. A bride who carries a textbook bouquet and plans a laboratory style bar for her guests is absolutely my kind of geek.
With images by Chelsea Shoesmith.
Sian says: We got engaged just before Christmas 2012 back where I grew up in Anglesey, and we were married on 23rd August 2014. We were lucky enough to be able to choose the summer bank holiday, with the intention of our families, who would be travelling, to be able to enjoy the long weekend.
We had the wedding ceremony at Heaton House Farm, and the reception in a nearby field owned by Fairborough’s Farm. We love the beautiful scenery in the Peak District and the Staffordshire Dales. We were very keen on having the Tipis for the reception, and centered our search on finding venues with outdoor spaces with great views, which we found in spades in Rushton Spencer. The Tipis were provided by Peak Tipis.
I was keen on keeping the decor and styling quite rustic and natural in order to keep in line with the look and feel of the Tipis. We also wanted to feature a bit of science and chemistry, as both of our careers are chemistry based. It was a fun little juxtaposition with all of the natural elements.
I picked the colour scheme – neutrals with blue accents – to inject a bit more colour into the decor of the Tipi without looking at odds with the the colour of the canvas.
I fell in love with infinity dresses while looking for a bridesmaid dress that would suit all three of my very different bridesmaids. I found Coralie Beatrix on Etsy who also makes bridal infinity dresses and loved the idea of being able to wear the dress in different ways as the day went on, and being able to choose complementing shades for my bridesmaids. My own dress was actually custom made for me by my mum, Linda, which is amazing to have something so personal.
For the boys, we chose Edinburgh Woollen Mill waistcoats, BHS trousers, Burton shirts and stag head lapel pins from River Island. We wanted something more relaxed and casual than the traditional suits, whist still looking put together.
My bouquet was made out of pages of an old chemistry textbook, glued together rather messily by me and my mum in the dead of night a few days before the wedding. I loved being able to make as much as I could for the wedding, but I did superglue my fingers together on several occasions on this particular project!
We met with a few photographers and found Chelsea Shoesmith who has worked at the venue may times before, which gave us a lot of confidence. Of the photographers we met, she had the perfect balance of professionalism and friendliness, and throughout the planning process and the wedding day put us at ease and got the best out of us. She was totally on board and enthusiastic about doing a ‘First Look’ photo shoot too. This allowed Stu and I to see each other just before the ceremony and calm our (his) nerves and get some portrait shots in, leaving us with more time after the ceremony to get the group shots done and get back to the day. I’d recommend this to any couple who aren’t fussed about only seeing each other coming down the aisle for the first time; we aren’t traditional in that sense. I’d recommend Chelsea to anyone, and already have!
Glass jars were collected for me by various people and we decorated them ourselves using various techniques, including authentic Trearddur Bay sand collected by my niece in the summer. I found so many amazing ideas on Pinterest but had to reign myself in and only use a few to keep things looking cohesive! The bunting and cutlery sleeves were made by Stu’s mum Lynn and were some of people’s favourite features (a lot went missing)! We have kept some bunting and plan on putting it up in our first nursery as a little reminder of the day.
The first concrete decision I made about the wedding was that instead of giving our guests favours, I wanted to make a donation to Cancer Research UK. Like all families, we have lost and won battles with cancer and I know that all of our guests would appreciate the gesture.
My sister Rachel’s chocolate orange cake has long been one of my favourites, and asking her to bake our wedding cake was a total no-brainer. We had four layers: chocolate orange, carrot cake, lemon drizzle and vanilla sponge. We also have an amazing log cake board cut and engraved by my uncle. I’m going to have to start baking in order to use it again!
We had a barbecue consisting of lamb, ribs and sausages, salads and breads supplied by Vanilla in All Seasons. I think the best testimony we can give was that one of my friends had to be sent back to the table as he was up for second helpings within minutes before everyone had even been fed! In the end I think there were some people going back for thirds… fourths… fifths…
We supplied the drinks ourselves, with a master plan of having a chemistry lab/bar set up. In the end it wasn’t as grand as we first set out, as it turns out some of the lab glassware was extremely fragile! We also had mini-kegs of beer from Stewart’s donated from our friends Charlotte and Jamie after being a big hit at their own Tipi wedding.
For the ceremony music we had string and instrumental versions of a couple of our favourite songs by Incubus and The Cure. I think there were only a few people who noticed!
We also asked our friends’ band to play, and they ended up doing an acoustic set with a few of their own songs and a few covers that they knew we’d like, then played a carefully selected playlist in the evening. It was tough to put together as there were people with very different music tastes, but I think we managed to pull it off pretty well. We actually shared the wedding playlist with our friends afterwards, too.
During the day we had a few outdoor toys, bubble machines etc for the kids (and big kids) to play with, which they loved.
I would recommend this venue to any couple, especially those who just doesn’t get excited by the ‘standard’ weddings they see, and want to shape their own day.
I realised the time half an hour before I knew we were supposed to finish and pack up, and I was desperate for it not to end; for it to carry on with us all singing and dancing. There were little details that hadn’t gone exactly to plan or that I hadn’t thought of, and I knew that none of them mattered at all because I’d just had so much fun all day with all the people that I love most around me, and I could see how much fun everyone else was having, too.
With the money generously gifted to us by our guests, we went on a last minute all-inclusive holiday to Cyprus, where we both got to put our feet up and plan absolutely nothing after the stress on planning the wedding!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that I’ve been assured that it’s normal to feel like you haven’t spent enough time with each guest – although I certainly tried!
October 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I do love autumn. Crisp skies, moody mists, golden leaves, better telly.
This is a special season and a special week, in fact, for my family as my husband and I celebrate four happy years of marriage together, and our second anniversary with our little daughter in tow.
If you tie the knot yourself this week, let me tell you, it’s a great one for it – and I hope you are as happy in your future lives as we are.
For the rest of you, let’s kick off another week of wedding inspiration with this pretty marquee castle wedding, sent to Brides Up North by our fabulous Sponsor Andrea of Fabulous Day wedding planning, and real bride Gemma.
String out the bunting…
With images by SMH Photography.
Gemma says: We got engaged on a weekend away in Cardiff. We saw the perfect ring and knew the time was right.
We set the date for 25 July 2014. We are both teachers and knew we wanted to marry at the start of the summer holidays. The venue is lovely on a sunny day and we wanted to maximise our chances of plenty of sun.
We were married at Chirk Castle. It is one of our favourite places to visit. We have always found it very romantic and loved the idea of being able to have the ceremony in the Hawk House.
We decided on a pretty eclectic theme. There were lots of flowers and pastel colours but we wanted it to feel relaxed and have an informal, thrown together feel. We didn’t have just one main colour. Lots of floral patterns and colours were important to us so that is what we were aiming for.
I chose a Maggie Sottero gown. It was a long dress in light gold with beading. It had straps and was corseted at the back. I didn’t want a white dress and after searching for a year found one that I thought was perfect. I used Aristocrats Of Chester.
David wore a grey Cameron Ross morning suit. The morning suit seemed to go better with the informal style of the day.
We used SMH Photography. They were great and we would highly recommend the services of Sandra and Steve. They were very professional and worked really hard all day.
Our flowers were from Fletcher and Foley. We had a variety of fragrant herb and flowers to link the the garden theme. We had jugs of flowers on the tables that matched the bouquet and buttonholes.
The favours were homemade whiskey marmalade for the men and strawberry jam for the ladies. David’s parents made them and we bought personalised labels from notonthe highstreet.com.
We choose a ‘Naked Cake’ after seeing something similar in a newspaper. We had three tiers each filled with cream and decorated with fresh flowers and fruit. Our colleague, Nerys, has made the cakes for lots of the teachers at our school and did a great job on a very hot day!
Andrea at Fabulous Day was our wedding planner and we couldn’t have done it without her. We want her to come and live with us now!
We used Ice Cream Dub ice cream for desserts, including mojito and strawberry champagne flavours. The van looked great.
In the evening we had a curry station served outside as the weather was so great. Rupert Frazer Worden was our fantastic caterer. At the bar we had Wrexham Lager on tap as David’s grandad worked for the company. It was great to have it there.
We also loved the DIY photo booth provided by our marquee company. The guests had loads of fun playing around.
We used Lucy of Memento Stationary and were very pleased with the results. We’ve even used Lucy for our thank you cards.
We loved the setting for our wedding and would have chosen it a thousand times over. The place was already special to us and now it’s a special part of our lives. My family members from South Wales loved it so much they’ve been back to visit.
I was apprehensive about the ceremony as I’m a very emotional person but it was just perfect! Very natural and laid back, just as we wanted it!
I really wanted to go to the Maldives and it was just perfect. We booked through Kuoni and had 10 days in the Maldives and three days in Dubai. It was the perfect end to the whole experience. A perfect setting and great service at a wonderful resort. We want to go back now!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to hire Andrea, she had so many unique and money saving tips and contacts. Our day would have been completely different without her. Thank you Andrea!
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September 2nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
The North West Wedding Fair is taking place at EventCity, Manchester on 26th to 28th September 2014.
Visit www.theweddingfairs.com for more details. Brides Up North can save 1/3 off usual show prices by entering exclusive discount code NW58 at checkout.
I’ve also got a handful of FREE passes for two people up my sleeves, and I’ll be giving those golden tickets away to the first 150 brides through the door at our own Luxury Wedding Exhibition at Hilltop Country House on Sunday 14th September 2014. Bonus! Be there…
If you’re a regular around these pages, you’ll recall that last spring (doesn’t it seem like absolutely ages ago now?) I was approached by Mercury Events, the organisers of the ma-hoo-sive North West Wedding Fair, and invited act as their ‘Official Blogger’. Quite the compliment!
^^^And yes, that is me nervously introducing the showreel above! (dies) ^^^
Now, you know that we run our own Luxury Wedding Exhibitions here at Brides Up North – including two very special events in the North West this autumn – so at first I wasn’t sure… partner with the competition? Hmm.
But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Whilst our events are bespoke, exclusive (and perfectly formed… are they in your diaries yet !?), The North West Wedding Fair is the largest premium show for brides from the North West. Visitors love that every one of their Exhibitors and Partners are dedicated to serving the North West region. Isn’t that what Brides Up North encourages: thinking local?
Also, whilst I can’t wait to see as many as possible of you at our own events this season, I wouldn’t want my North West readers to miss out on the biggest juggernaut of a bridal event to come your way this autumn either. There’s plenty of room in the diary for us both and what better way to get my brand in front of thousands more Brides Up North and fuel this Northern Revolution even further?
Plus, it was loads of fun last time. And I like having fun.
Our position as one of the top wedding blogs in the UK – and the only one specifically for Northern Brides – is extremely valuable, so alliances like this one need to be right for us. It is Mercury Events’ excellent reputation in the market that gave me the confidence to join up with The North West Wedding Fair, and I‘m happy to report that it was the start of a beautiful friendship.
I’m back this autumn, reprising my Official Blogger role.
As well as hosting my own features over on the show’s official blog, I’ll also be on site on the Friday evening at the event, tweeting, facebooking and instagramming like mad (from a front row seat on their designer catwalk no less), trying to meet as many of you lovely brides to be as possible and also putting my judging hat on to award the “best in show” exhibitor prize.
Joining me this autumn will be 150 of the most trusted suppliers from Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and Liverpool. The best boutiques in the North West will be on hand to help you find the best type and fit of dress for you and your whole wedding party.
Ideas for every aspect of your wedding will be on tap all weekend, with stunning Catwalk Shows, The Essential Bridalwear Collection, Favours & Finishing Touches Marketplace, Live Entertainment Stage, Inspired Bakes Showcase, free Tasting Sessions and so much more.
I can’t wait.
Visit www.theweddingfairs.com for more details. Remember – Brides Up North can save 1/3 off usual show prices by entering exclusive discount code NW58 at checkout, or we’ll see you for those free tickets at our Hilltop Country House event!
June 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Suddenly find yourself with a gaggle of glamorous gals to dress? A host of different sizes and styles? Hope they go easy on you on the hen do? Thought so. Time to win some serious brownie points then…
You need LOVE Bridesmaids in your life.
Brides Up North favourites LOVE Bridal Boutique will be officially launching LOVE Bridesmaids at a fabulous catwalk event on Sunday 29th June at Styal Lodge in Cheshire, to give brides and their maids a first hand experience of LOVE and Maids To Measure.
Tell Brides Up North about your launch event?
Emma says: The gorgeous team from Maids To Measure will be on hand on the day to offer brides and their maids advice on the perfect style for them, with a catwalk show to show off their gowns. We will also have a hair and make-up station on offer to give styling inspiration with Paisley Gamble hair stylist and Gemma Hallowell make-up artist. Shoe designer Charlotte Mills will be there with her brand new collection, plus bridesmaid underwear from Pompadour Lingerie and lots of other little surprises too! It promises to be a fabulous event!
Why have you decided to stock bridesmaid dresses?
Ever since we opened the boutique back in 2012 we have toyed with the idea of stocking bridesmaid dresses, but kept coming back to the fact that our brides are the focus of everything we do and we didn’t want to take away from that. We are dedicated to creating a very special exclusive, private and intimate atmosphere when a bride comes into the boutique ensuring that she will have the boutique to herself for the duration of her appointment. For this reason it was a challenge for us to find a way to offer bridesmaid dresses and maintain the experience that brides love us for and are telling all their friends about. But at the same we wanted to offer those very same brides who have been asking (telling!) us for the past 2 years… ‘If only LOVE did bridesmaid dresses…’
Why did you choose to stock Maids To Measure?
I first made contact with Sinclair at Maids To Measure when we first opened LOVE to say how much I loved their dresses as I had already sent quite a few of my brides their way, as their style fit so beautifully with our bridal dress collection and whilst we weren’t then in a position to stock their gowns, we would continue to be a huge advocate of theirs by recommending them to our brides. Well, lots of emails and chats followed, including a few chance encounters at award ceremonies particularly at the You & Your Wedding Awards where we both won our respective categories of Best New Bridal Retailer and Best Bridesmaids Retailer!!
When we received our invitation to preview their latest collection this year I then contacted Sinclair to say we finally might have a way to stock their beautiful dresses so just wanted to chat it through with them and see the new collection! So we went, we saw and we are now currently the only North-West stockist of this stunning collection.
What price are we looking at?
Maids to Measure dress prices start at £265 and this price excludes any alteration fees required.
How will Maids To Measure work at LOVE?
Due to the set up of the boutique and the fact that only one appointment will ever take place at one time, we will be setting up a pop up Maids to Measure boutique one Sunday every month for LOVE Bridesmaids, to give brides and their maids the opportunity to try and buy dresses from the Maids to Measure collection on this day only. A list of recommended seamstresses will be provided in order for maids to book appointments with them directly at their convenience.
From placing an order for a Maids to Measure gown the standard delivery time will be around 12 weeks. Rush orders are available at an additional cost.
For more information about LOVE Bridesmaids and to register for their exciting upcoming event please email email@example.com or call 0161 941 6446.
May 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Apparently today’s beautiful bride Karen described herself as being “addicted” to Brides Up North in the run up to her wedding, so I do hope that I do her gorgeous big day justice on these pretty pages!
With images by Adam Riley Photography, Karen and Tom’s celebration is relaxed, personal and oh, so very stylish. Karen? This love-in is mutual.
Karen says: We got engaged on 14th April 2012 at Chatsworth House in Derbsyhire. We had visited there on an early date so it always had special memories for us both.
We were married on 14th September 2013 Hoghton Tower near Preston.
We both loved the venue as soon as we saw it. It had everything we wanted for both the service and wedding breakfast and allowed flexibility both in the suppliers we could use and how we organised the day. We loved how it was exclusively ours for not only the entire day but from the Friday afternoon before and it didn’t feel too corporate. It was so different to other places we had seen and the venue and location were just stunning.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were quite a bold colour we thought it would work best for everything else to be quite muted to avoid clashes. We wanted everything to be relaxed rather than stick to a strict scheme – although we did match the Groom’s tie to the bridesmaid’s dresses which was about the only planned scheme.
I wore Dentelle by Jenny Packham which was from The White Room in Sheffield. I knew I wanted something relaxed and comfortable although I was surprised at how much I liked the more "formal" dresses. In the end, I just felt more like "me" in Dentelle and loved the detail at the back and the beautiful skirt. Chloe at the White Room was fantastic and I couldn’t recommend the boutique enough.
I travelled to the venue in a Bentley and Tom to got to travel in a friend’s Peugeot which was perhaps slightly unfair!
Our photographer was Adam Riley Photography – who was amazing. We loved his reportage style of photography which meant we could really enjoy the day.
The ceremony was really special but I loved the drinks reception as well afterwards. Seeing our friends and family who mean so much to us all together having a great time and being so genuinely happy for both of us was really wonderful. It was exactly how I hoped the day would be.
We had a string quartet for the ceremony and drinks reception. A Manchester band, The Fraudsters played in the evening. They are friends of Tom and played an amazing set which packed out the dance floor all night.
We are also big Game of Thrones fans so we asked the quartet to play the theme tune at appropriate points – it was very funny to see the guests’ faces recognise the song.
Flower Design in Blackpool supplied our flowers. We gave Jane a very broad idea of colours and ideas of bouquets I liked from previous weddings and the rest was down to her. She understood both of us and what worked well in the venue. Jane really nailed the flowers on the day and we couldn’t have been happier with them.
A friend of the family who used to own a patisserie in Lytham made our cake. We went for three tiers of lemon, chocolate and a traditional fruit cake.
It was a close family member’s 60th Birthday and Wedding Anniversary on the day itself, so we arranged for a separate birthday cake during the meal. It was such a nice moment and was really well received from both family and friends alike.
We used tried and tested suppliers from the North West who we knew we could trust. Food is a real passion of both of ours so Rowleys did the catering and we devised our own menu with their help – we still have friends talk about how good the food was!
As our wedding favours we made our own sloe gin. It was great fun foraging for the sloes in Chorlton and we enjoyed a few tasting sessions in the run up to the day! We left shot glasses on the table for the guests to enjoy the drink at the start of the wedding breakfast.
For our honeymoon we had two weeks in South Africa in Cape Town, the Winelands and safari in Kruger followed by a week in Mauritius.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning together, relax and have a wonderful time. Trust your suppliers – they have done this far more often than you have (hopefully) and will know how to make the day run as smooth as you’d envisaged.
Congratulations Karen & Tom!
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