February 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime
I’m really excited to be reprising my role as “Official Blogger” for The North West Wedding Fair this spring.
This isn’t just a sponsored “I’m really excited” either, I genuinely love this gig. Whilst our own 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 and I 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?
And, 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 spring 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 year. And I like having fun.
The North West Wedding Fair is taking place at EventCity, Manchester on 6th – 8th March 2015. Visit the website for more details. Brides Up North can save 1/3 off gold and standard tickets by entering exclusive discount code MK82 at checkout.
And guess what?! I’ve got a handful of FREE passes for two 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 1st March 2015. Bonus! Be there…
^^^And yes, that is me nervously introducing the showreel above! (dies) ^^^
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 in 2014, and I‘m happy to report that it was the start of a beautiful friendship.
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 180 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, Vintage Village, Live Entertainment Stage, Inspired Bakes Showcase, free Tasting Sessions and so much more.
Treat yourself and visit the Fair in style, GOLD tickets include a reserved priority seat at the popular Catwalk Shows and a glass of bubbly from the Champagne Bar.
I can’t wait.
Visit their website for more details. Remember – Brides Up North can save 1/3 off gold and standard ticket prices by entering exclusive discount code MK82 at checkout, or we’ll see you for those free tickets at our Hilltop Country House event!
Standard Adult tickets £15 each (£10 with 1/3 off). Standard GOLD tickets £30 each (£20 with 1/3 off). Booking fees apply. These offers close at midnight on 5th March 2015.
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.
Alexia Designs, barretts caterers, brides up north featured supplier, cheshire wedding, classic wedding, colshaw hall, eleventh heaven, glam wedding, hollywood wedding, i do designs, j and j designs, james tracey photography, jodie a smith makeup, jordan fashions, l and j formal hire, marks and spencer, north west wedding, oakwood soaperie, springbank flowers, sweets and feathers, the word is love, uk wedding blog, winter wedding
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.
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