Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

macarons & sequins. a festive wedding at west tower, lancashire – joanne & timothy

March 23rd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Festive Wedding at West Tower (c) Sarah Maria Photography (44)

Today’s real wedding takes place at Christmas time, but it’s anything but a traditional yuletide affair. Joanne and Timothy opted for a classy, neutral palette of ivory and green, with some Christmas sparkle in the shape of some rather stunning gold sequined bridesmaid dresses!

Spring might be approaching here at BUN HQ, but if you’re after a good dose of festive cheer – with some scrumptious macarons and bubbles thrown in for good measure – scroll down for all the fabulous details.

With images by Sarah Maria Photography.

A Festive Wedding at West Tower (c) Sarah Maria Photography (14)

A Festive Wedding at West Tower (c) Sarah Maria Photography (31)

joanne says: We got engaged during a trip to Paris in December 2015, which was an early Christmas present from Tim. We arrived at our hotel, Maison Souquet, late afternoon and decided to have a stroll around Paris. He took me to the Bir-Hakeim Bridge overlooking the Eiffel Tower and that’s where he popped the question. He even had a photographer ready to capture the moment. The photographer then took us to other beautiful locations for more engagement photographs. That night, Tim took me to dinner and to the ballet.

A Festive Wedding at West Tower (c) Sarah Maria Photography (39)

We got married a year later, on 21st December 2016. We are both big fans of Christmas and wanted a wintery, Christmas wedding. I really hoped it would snow! I am a primary school teacher so had to squeeze in the wedding and honeymoon during the school holidays.

We tied the knot at West Tower country manor in Aughton, which was our favourite venue. We viewed it first and nothing else compared. The venue is so pretty and in a perfect location for our family and friends. Inside, it has a neutral colour scheme, which means it wouldn’t clash with any colour I chose.

A Festive Wedding at West Tower (c) Sarah Maria Photography (49)

Our theme for the day centered on Christmas, but not in the traditional red and green sort of way! I love neutral colours and wanted the venue to be full of ivory flowers and greenery. West Tower already had gold Christmas decorations, so I decided to dress my bridesmaids in sequin gold to match.

A Festive Wedding at West Tower (c) Sarah Maria Photography (64)

I purchased a Rosa Clara wedding dress from the Knutsford Wedding Gallery, in Cheshire and teamed this with Sophia Webster shoes. I am only 5’ 2” and knew that I wouldn’t suit anything that hid my frame, so I chose a slim fitting and backless gown. I knew that Tim would love it, too!

On the wedding day, my makeup was done by the fantastic Elle Rogan, and my hair was styled by Walnut Salons, Halsall. They both came out to the venue the morning of the wedding.

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honest love: say hello to slice of pie photography

March 9th, 2017 | Julia Braime

Slice Of Pie (26)

This morning we’re getting snap-happy on the blog by catching up with our fabulous Sponsor and talented wedding photographers, Mark and Laura of Slice of Pie Photography.

Covering weddings throughout the North West and beyond, this dedicated duo considers it an honour to capture the most important day of a couple’s life and pride themselves on their “honest” images that stand the test of time.

As a special gift, Slice of Pie are offering Brides Up North readers who book them, a free guest book featuring their pre-wedding shoot photographs (worth £150), so be sure to mention this when enquiring with Mark and Laura. Now let’s hear more from them about their images and approach…

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Tell us a little about your background… 
slice of pie say: Having backgrounds in art and design and marketing meant that a creative career was a natural choice for both of us. After Mark’s time being behind the lens and directing photoshoots for advertising campaigns eight years ago, it seemed the right time for us to turn our love of photography into our own business in the wonderful world of weddings.

What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?

We love that each wedding is as unique as the couple themselves. We could do lots of weddings at one venue but no two would ever be the same. There is so much opportunity for couples to put their own stamp on their wedding day giving us the scope to produce new and unique images all the time, which keeps our work fresh and our creative juices flowing.

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And what is it about your job that you love?

Even after all the years of photographing weddings, we often say to each other in the midst of a drinks reception; “We’re at work!” We still pinch ourselves that we basically get to photograph parties where people are on top form having a great time, it’s also a huge honour to be such an important part of the best day of someone’s life!

How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

When people ask us this question we always tell them that we are great believers in honest images. Filters and overworked photographs will age quickly but a beautiful crisp image will stand the test of time. Many of our images are natural and contemporary in composition but at the same time we produce some more traditional yet relaxed images. We listen to what our couples want but guide them if they feel daunted by the whole prospect of being photographed. Having flexibility in style and taking the time to get to know our couples helps us to make sure they get what they want from their wedding photographs.

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What is the feedback like from your clients?

The feedback we get is phenomenal. We often joke to each other that we must be good but we never get complacent, every time we go to a wedding we look each other in the eye and say “this wedding must be a show album”, which we believe shows our passion for what we do. Most of our brides tell us that it felt like a friend was photographing their wedding and that they were able to relive the whole day, which is our main aim after all.

What is the top piece of advice you would give to camera shy couples?

The key to relaxing in front of the camera is to have fun and remember that you have picked a professional photographer whose job it is to make you look and feel relaxed and happy! Most couples aren’t used to being photographed, which is why each of our packages include a pre-wedding shoot. The last thing we want is to be the strangers with the big cameras on the wedding day. The pre-wedding shoot is so valuable in building a relationship between us before the wedding, which always shines through in the photographs. Having the opportunity to see the photos before the wedding also gives couples the confidence that they will look fabulous on their wedding day!

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Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out to you?

Loads as we are very lucky to have photographed so many great days. One of our favourite shots was taken in Manchester City Centre on King Street Zebra Crossing, Mark was lying in the middle of the road while Laura stopped a bus (it wasn’t going fast) the driver and passengers just smiled when they saw what we were doing. We have great memories, taking pictures across the lake at the beautiful Capesthorne Hall, in the garden at the fabulous Belle Epoque, a stunning 1920’s themed wedding at the Alderley Edge Hotel, bridesmaids andushers shots under the T-Rex at Manchester Museum, confetti canons exploding in Manchester Art Gallery followed by the procession of bridesmaids dancing down the aisle, the elegance of a French Chateau to a golf club in Mallorca. Oh, and we always remember an emotional groom standing at the end of the aisle waiting for his beautiful bride!

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tulle love. an engagement styled shoot in manchester

February 23rd, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Styled Engagement Shoot (c) Elina Rose Photography (25)

Ever reminiscent of those opening credits to Sex and the City, nothing quite makes a feminine fashion statement like a tulle skirt (or tutu in Sarah Jessica Parker’s case).

So, when we clapped eyes on this beautiful Manchester styled shoot, complete with dreamy grey tulle A-line skirt, we just knew that we had to share it on the wedding blog.

Directed and captured by American-based photographer, Elina Rose, the shoot, which features a real engaged couple, is aimed at inspiring brides and grooms to use the stunning spaces around them to create beautiful photographic memories that last a lifetime.

With images by Elina Rose Photography

A Styled Engagement Shoot (c) Elina Rose Photography (11)

elina says: I fell in love with England’s green parks and countryside as well as the historic beautiful buildings. I felt the combination of the two would help to create a romantic story for an engagement inspired shoot. The reason for doing the shoot was to show couples everywhere that you can utilize the places around you to create beautiful backdrops for your engagement, bridal, or wedding photos.

A Styled Engagement Shoot (c) Elina Rose Photography (40)

Our couple, being local, suggested this location based off my vision for the shoot. I wanted to incorporate gorgeous green fields and romantic sunlight as well as beautiful buildings. Heaton Park turned out to be the perfect place!

A Styled Engagement Shoot (c) Elina Rose Photography (38)

To complement the romantic feel of the session, we felt that the full tulle skirt was a perfect touch. As the outfits were quite neutral in terms of colour we wanted the gorgeous bouquet to give a pop of vibrancy. This was created by Manchester-based Venus Flowers, using blooms that would give a beautiful range of texture and colour.

For a subtle touch of sparkle, we added some stunning jewellery from Bellarissa Boutique, which completed our bride-to-be’s look perfectly.

A Styled Engagement Shoot (c) Elina Rose Photography (3)

The day of the shoot turned out perfect! While it rained most of the day, the moment we started the sun came out giving us beautiful light.

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honest love: introducing sarah boulton photography

February 23rd, 2017 | Julia Braime

Sarah Boulton Photography (13)

This morning we’re thrilled to be welcoming another fabulous wedding photographer to our growing list of talented Brides Up North Sponsors – it’s the lovely Sarah, of Sarah Boulton Photography.

Photographing weddings throughout the North West and beyond, Sarah describes her style of photography as “honest” capturing the magic of the day as it unfolds to compile a full story of a bride and groom’s big day.

As a special welcome gift to Brides Up North readers, Sarah is offering a fabulous 10% discount and an 8×8 album for all bookings made up until the end of May 2017. If you like what you see, just quote “Northern Soul” when enquiring.

So, let’s waste no time in handing over to the lady herself to tell us more about her passion for, and approach to, photographing weddings.

Slaugham Place Wedding West Sussex Creative wedding photography - sarah boulton photography

Can you tell us a little about your background? How long you have been in wedding photography for?

sarah says: I fell in love with photography when I was a bridesmaid for my sister about a decade ago. I only had a basic camera but I took pictures of everything, and from that day I was genuinely hooked. I upgraded my camera shortly after, trained, second shot for other photographers and soaked up everything that I could to do with photography. All different types of photography inspire me.

What was it that attracted you to wedding photography specifically?

As sad as it probably sounds, I suppose the little girl inside me who always wanted to find love. I always think that the outside world stops on your wedding day, you’re in a lovely bubble with your nearest and dearest. Everyone deserves that.

Liverpool Wedding at Bluecoat School - sarah boulton photography

And what is it about your job that you love?

It really is an honour to photograph the start of a marriage. When you listen to the promises to love and support each other through whatever life is going to throw your way, it genuinely gets me every time. It’s the feeling that you’re witnessing such a special part of someone’s life as they’re about to start a new chapter.

How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

I’d describe my imagery as honest. I love eyes-screwed-up, mouth-open-wide laughter, photo bombs, kids having an inevitable tantrum, confetti being picked out of the bride’s hair, tears, tissues and a bit of dancefloor mayhem. I just believe in everyday beautiful – if that’s even a phrase!

What is the feedback like from your clients? What do they love about your approach, service and images?

I think my couples are always surprised when they get their images – in a good way! I work as more of a quiet observer and I really want people to enjoy their day. So when couples receive their images and see things that they’ve missed or forgotten, it surprises them.

Small intimate cheshire wedding - Natural wedding photography - sarah boulton photography

How do you help couples to relax in front of the lens?

When I nab couples away for ten to twenty minutes, I tell them to take that time just to be together and have a breather. Your wedding day goes so quickly and it is lovely just to have that peaceful moment – whether for a short walk, sneaky kiss or shared drink – before going back to your guests. Sometimes I play a few daft games, which makes people relax and laugh, but most couples are that focussed on one another that they soon forget about the camera.

Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out to you?

Good question – and that’s quite hard to answer because people’s days stand out for different reasons. I second shot a wedding last year in France, which was so beautiful and rustic. The bride and groom were married outside, after the bridal party had spent their morning making the bouquets. It was a real family affair. During the wedding breakfast there was a regional power cut and took them over an hour to get the main course out. But it just didn’t phase the bride and groom, or any of the guests. Everyone was together and that was all that mattered.

I would personally love the opportunity to shoot a proposal and a surprise wedding, that would be amazing!

destination weddings in santa maria di castellabate, italy

If you could shoot a celebrity’s wedding who’s would it be and why?

There’s two that spring to mind. The first would be Helena Bonham Carter because I love how she is unashamedly herself. She doesn’t pretend to be anyone else and is comfortable in her own skin. The second is Miranda Hart. I’ve often been compared to her by my friends and she really makes me laugh so that would be a great day.

And where would be your dream location to shoot?

Absolute dream location for me would be Tuscany. One of my first photography holidays was there and we shot at a small abandoned chapel. It was breath-taking and so tranquil. I could imagine a wedding there with family, lots of food and twinkly lights as the sun goes down.

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winter warmer. berry hues for a winter wedding at heskin hall – anna & tom

February 22nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Romantic Winter Wedding at Heskin Hall (c) Marie Cooper Photography (30)

Today’s real wedding couple decided to harness the magic of the festive period by getting married a week before Christmas Eve.

There are so many beautiful details here if you’re planning a winter wedding – burgundy lips, faux fur stoles and a classic Christmas-inspired colour scheme of berry, evergreen and hints of gold. Plus, Heskin Hall’s open log fires, elegant chandeliers and Chesterfield sofas make the perfect cosy winter venue.

With photography by Marie Cooper Photography.

A Romantic Winter Wedding at Heskin Hall (c) Marie Cooper Photography (45)

anna says: We got engaged a year before our wedding while we were in Edinburgh for a few days away. Tom surprised me with a stay in one of my favourite places, The Witchery, on the Royal Mile. He proposed by the fire in our suite.

A Romantic Winter Wedding at Heskin Hall (c) Marie Cooper Photography (18)

We were married on Saturday 17th December 2016. We chose this date because my dream was to have a Christmas wedding and a week before Christmas Eve seemed the perfect date – all of the anticipation in the air!

The ceremony was at my parish church, St. George’s Church in Maghull, as we wanted a traditional Catholic ceremony. Our reception was at Heskin Hall in Chorley, as it’s a lovely Tudor house with log fires, Chesterfields, chandeliers and twinkling lights. We thought it was perfect for a Christmassy setting.

A Romantic Winter Wedding at Heskin Hall (c) Marie Cooper Photography (52)

We chose a Christmas theme for our wedding due to the time of year. We wanted it to be super-cosy and for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves.

Colour-wise, we chose berry shades, dark greens and gold to reflect traditional Christmas colours.

A Romantic Winter Wedding at Heskin Hall (c) Marie Cooper Photography (27)

I chose a long, flowing champagne-coloured dress. I thought that a warmer shade would suit the time of year more. It had a full skirt with a lace bodice, some subtle sparkles and lace sleeves. I chose a long veil to complement the dress.

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once in a lifetime moments: say hello to arusha’s images

February 16th, 2017 | Julia Braime

ArushasImagesPhotographyWeddingsBUN (27 of 41)

This afternoon on the blog we’re catching up with our fabulous Sponsor and talented wedding photographer, Arusha of Arusha’s Images Photography.

As a self-confessed romantic, North West based Arusha loves nothing more than photographing couples’ weddings in a relaxed yet enthusiastic manner, capturing the big day as it naturally unfolds.

Having built up another year of fabulous photography in 2016, she’s back on the blog today to tell us what it is that keeps her utterly hooked on weddings, and what she can offer to brides and grooms who are currently on the search for a friendly pro to document their big day.

Also, Arusha is kindly offering Brides Up North readers a complimentary signature frame, or framed image from their wedding day, should they book with her, so be sure to mention this when dropping the lovely lady a line.

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Tell us a little about your background…

arusha says: I have always loved photography, since being a child and playing in my dad’s dark room as he developed images. As soon as I picked up a camera I was in love, I studied photography, and as soon as I started photographing people I knew that was for me. I have been working in wedding photography and perfecting my style as a wedding photographer for nearly ten years now.

What attracted you to the wedding industry specifically? 

I am a romantic at heart, and I adore photographing real people, real moments and real emotions. Wedding days are just packed full to bursting with emotion, which is perfect for my natural style of photography. I also love seeing and photographing all of the gorgeousness of weddings. Working as a wedding photographer I get to constantly be creative in my photography, as all my couples and their weddings are personal and different.

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And what is it about your job that you love? 

As a romantic, I love having a job that allows me to photograph so much excitement, happiness and love, and involves me being constantly creative. Being a wedding photographer is a fabulous job, yes it is hard work, and long days, but it is totally all worth it when you perfectly capture those once in a lifetime moments on your couple’s wedding days. I love hearing from excited newly married couples when they see their wedding images for the first time, and are just so overjoyed with what I have created for them. That is just a really awesome feeling!

How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

I am primarily a documentary wedding photographer, so this means that the majority of my wedding photography is un-posed. I love to let your wedding day happen, allow you to be immersed in the excitement of it all, and photograph it all as it happens without getting in the way. I do not do a lot of posing. I do love creating unique and romantic images, and having a little play with my couples when it comes to your newly married images. Maybe we will go for a dance in the grounds of your venue, a walk through the streets outside, or to a little hideaway I have found close by beforehand. I love to make people laugh, and work hard to create really relaxed and beautiful photographs.

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What do brides and grooms love about your approach, service and images?

I love the feedback I get from couples. I find that they love how naturally beautiful my images are, and how relaxed and friendly my approach is on their wedding days. I often get feedback that my images are romantic, and that I have captured so many of the little moments. I always try to go the extra mile, helping out with advice during wedding planning, if my couples ask for it, and giving little extra surprises when I deliver their images.

How do you help camera-shy couples to relax in front of the lens?

After working as a wedding photographer for a number of years, I have experience of helping even the most anxious and camera-shy couples to relax in front of the lens. I always recommend a pre-wedding/engagement shoot to all my couples. This is a wonderful way for you to ‘have a go’ at being photographed professionally before your wedding day itself, and also allows couples to see that even with couple portraits I photograph in a really natural way. I like to start with getting you to walk together, talk to one another, make each other laugh, whilst I photograph in the background. I find that this approach soon helps everyone to relax and really flourish in front of the lens.

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What would you say was your career highlight of 2016?

There were lots of wonderful moments, I loved featuring in a whole range of wedding blogs and wedding magazines over the year. It’s always super exciting for my couples when their weddings are shared with the world.

But, I think that a more personal highlight was being able to photograph the wedding of an amazing couple, whose Lake District wedding was postponed after the bride was diagnosed with breast cancer. I often get to know my couples quite well in the build up to their wedding days, and following this bride’s battle with breast cancer, then hearing the best news that she had been given the all clear just weeks before their rearranged wedding day, and then being able to photograph her day knowing that she was now cancer free, was amazing. Emotions were definitely running high all day, and it felt extra important that I could capture all that celebration of life and love for them and their family and friends. Plus, it was a beautiful wedding!

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