November 11th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s bride and groom made their big day all about feeling relaxed and having fun. Though not wanting a church ceremony, Helen and Michael didn’t want to miss out on having their ceremony in a grand and historic building and so booked Chester Town Hall in which to say their ‘I dos’.
The party then got underway at their tipi reception complete with afternoon tea, barbecue, ice cream and a live band – what summer days and nights are made of!
With images by Marky Kirk Photography.
helen says: We got engaged on a trip to The USA and Canada in summer 2013. We were in a Canadian Canoe in the middle of Lightning Lake in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia when Mike got down on two knees (to stop the boat from rocking!).
We chose 25th July 2015 so we could have plenty of time to plan the wedding and have fun doing it. Also, this happened to be the first weekend of the summer holidays. We got married at the Chester Town Hall as we wanted a non-religious ceremony but somewhere with a more traditional feel.
We also wanted a nice relaxed feel for the wedding without losing the historic grandeur usually offered by a church wedding, so the town hall fitted the formal side of the ceremony. Afternoon tea with a South African themed barbecue and ice cream in a tepee in a field followed, which provided the relaxed environment we wanted for the wedding breakfast and evening celebrations too.
October 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
We are used to seeing lots of gorgeous styled shoots that are predominantly about the dress, but this afternoon we’ve got a wonderful collection of images for you that focus on bridal hair and makeup in the first instance instead.
Particularly helpful for those of you that are currently trying to figure out what look to go for on your big day, this stunning shoot, organised by freelance makeup artist Ariana Rose of A Rose Make Up, puts two differing styles in the spotlight – classic & modern – giving brides-to-be inspiration for both.
To explain more about the shoot, and how the looks it features were created, we’ll let Ariana take hold of the blogging reins.
Images by Phillip James Photography.
ariana says: The inspiration for the shoot was simply to do a modern day bride verses as classic bride. I find that although a lot of brides are asking for classic looks with flawless, natural makeup and hairstyle, there is an ever increasing amount of brides nowadays asking for more dramatic looks, such as a smoky eye with slight contouring and more on trend hairstyles. I also find that when I do consultations with clients, a lot of brides will pull up ideas they’ve seen in showbiz magazines and on celebrities’ Instagram accounts.
I wanted to do a shoot to show that both looks are equally beautiful and can make an impact in their own ways. The venue was chosen for this reason too. The Mere in Knutsford is very classic yet contemporary too. Unfortunately we were restricted in how much of the stunning outdoor grounds of the venue we could use on the day due to rain (there is a beautiful lake and greenery) but I feel we still got the images we wanted. The location is just beautiful and I love the feel of the place – it really is perfect for a wedding!
For Abbi (our redhead model), I wanted to go for quite a classic bridal style. I created a look that would not only complement her complexion and hair colour, but also give her the wow factor all brides want. I always prepare the skin with elixir spray and then prep with a base cream that will ensure makeup lasts all day. To complement Abbi’s features and gorgeous skin, I used quite earthy and natural tones on the eyes and finished by applying natural hair false lashes to emphases the makeup. I use natural hair false lashes as I find they blend in a lot better. My signature style with bridal makeup is to really focus on the skin, so I used a medium buildable coverage foundation which blends in fabulously but looks so natural. I used a cream highlighter on Abbi’s cheeks to accentuate her cheekbones and finished with a pop of blush. I lined her lips with a warm toned lip liner then filled in with a gloss.
For Georgia (our blonde model), I went for a more modern take on bridal makeup. As mentioned, I find brides are now asking for a smokier look on the eyes which was something that they kept away from previously. I started by prepping Georgia’s skin in the same way as Abbi’s. I then filled in her brows with an eyeshadow and angle brush to keep it natural but defined. I again used warm earthy tones to complete her soft smoky eyes and lined with a gel based liner. I used slightly longer false lashes but again kept them natural hair as it’s essential they blend in and accentuate the eye as opposed to taking over. I contoured Georgia’s cheeks slightly and highlighted to finish. I lined her lips with pink lip liner and filled in with lipstick. I always use liner on the lips, no matter what the colour, as it gives definition and a clean finish.
The hairstyles, created by Star Salon, were kept in line with the looks we were going for on both models. Abbi started off with glossy waves and then we switched to an up do with finger waves which looked both stunning and timeless. With Georgia we were a little more creative and modern with our hairstyle choices, starting with a backcombed up do and moving onto a tousled curly up do.
Dresses for the shoot were kindly loaned by Brides World Liverpool.
October 22nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding comes with a spectacular surprise engagement that was so well thought out and executed that groom Dave deserves some sort of medal. I’ll let bride Helen explain all the details of the engagement and the wedding (which included another very sweet surprise) in her own words, but all I will say ladies is – prepare to be impressed!
With images by Suzy Wimbourne Photography.
helen says: We got engaged in August 2014 at home. Unbeknown to me Dave had risen at 6am to create something he’d been planning for a while. When I woke up he wasn’t in bed but I noticed a little note on his pillow, which asked me to get dressed, go outside the bedroom door and to follow whatever I saw out there.
As I went outside the room I could see the beginning of a photo timeline. It started right outside the door and went off downstairs. Right at the start of the line was a red rose with a note saying ‘take me with you’. From the very first photo of us together, to our first time at Glastonbury and our first year anniversary, the photos went on and on. When I reached the TV in the lounge there was a little note saying ‘turn me and the DVD player on and press play’, which I did, only to find Dave on the television with his ukulele in hand. He’d recorded a little message and himself playing a song he’d written for me and then told me to carry on along the string line!
When the timeline finished, I was directed into the conservatory. Inside Dave had set up a table ready for breakfast with flowers, candles, pancakes and a fresh fruit smoothie. As Dave came back from the kitchen he looked a bit nervous and then proceeded to get down onto one knee and asked me to marry him!
We set the date for 25th June 2015 as we’d always wanted a summer wedding when there was the best chance of it being sunny.
We got married at Colshaw Hall in Over Peover, near Knutsford. It’s such a beautiful venue in an equally beautiful setting. It’s in the middle of the countryside on a gorgeous estate. There’s also a wooden ‘mock chapel’ where we had the civil ceremony, which was exactly what we were looking for as we had decided that we didn’t want to get married in a church. It was great because you could hire both the hall itself and there were some cottages too where our closest family and friends could stay on site. They also served breakfast the next morning for everyone who stayed on site and it was delicious!
The theme of the wedding was shabby chic, natural, and I wanted to use hessian. The colour scheme I chose was purple/mauve.
My dress was from a local shop in Poynton, called Timeless Bride. It was simple and elegant. An A-line gown with a lace top, satin bow around the waist at the back and plain satin skirt. Buttons went all the way down the back of the dress. I also wore a single tier veil with a little bit of sparkle! I tried on all different styles of dress but in the end I always knew this shape would suit me best. I absolutely loved my dress!
With it being a summer wedding Dave went for a light grey morning suit. We both wanted Dave to have tails but not a top hat and as it turned out the day was really hot and so this was good choice.
He wore an ivory cravat with the suit, all of which we hired from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow. The groomsmen wore the same suit as Dave but had a mauve colour cravat.
The bridesmaids wore a mauve coloured dress from a shop called YS Dress in Stockport. The dresses were simple and classic. They were floor length, strapless designs with a sweetheart neckline in a lovely floaty chiffon material. I wanted something that would suit all my bridesmaids and that they would be comfortable in.
We chose Suzy Wimbourne Photography to capture our day. It was a joy to have Suzy and Alex there on the day and we would absolutely recommend them to everyone! Not only did they take fantastic photographs throughout the day but they are also two of the nicest people we’ve had the pleasure of meeting, it pretty much felt like having two more friends with us on our wedding day!
We’ve nicknamed them ‘photography ninjas’ as we knew they were always there, poised to capture our day but we never felt that they were imposing at all and they just blended in perfectly. We didn’t worry about the photographs at all throughout the day as we trusted them completely and knew that they would capture it in exactly the style we wanted – natural and bright, and their photos really do depict the whole feeling of happiness throughout the day.
Everyone who has seen our photographs has commented on how fantastic they are and we totally agree. We really couldn’t be happier with the photos they took on the day and also in our pre wedding photoshoot a few months prior to the wedding.
My bridesmaids all carried a bundle of gypsophila. My bouquet was of similar size but contained memory lane roses, white lady spray roses, astrantia, dried lavender, ivory astilbe, ivory wax flower, a few clusters of gypsophila and a touch of grey stachys. The bouquets were all bound in hessian. Sian at The Didsbury Flower Lounge was the fantastic florist for our wedding. She was absolutely brilliant.
Floral decorations included a long, low arrangement on the registrar table, which was later moved to the top table for the reception. For our reception table centre pieces we had cylindrical glass vases with twigs inside, coming up through the design with delphiniums and gypsophila clusters sat within the twigs inside the vase and memory lane petals were in the base. Each vase had a loose collar of flowers to complement the bouquets. The bridesmaids’ gypsophila bouquets were also put into vases on the top table. The flowers in the wedding breakfast room looked absolutely fantastic, we were over the moon with how they turned out.
For our favours we decided to make a donation to a local hospice, St. Ann’s. One of my bridesmaids lost her dad to cancer a few years ago and he spent some time at St. Ann’s in his last few weeks, and so we wanted to spend the money on something that was close to our hearts.
We were very lucky to have our cake made as a wedding gift by my sister’s fiancé’s mum. It was absolutely spot on! It had four tiers – two of which were Madeira cakes, one was lemon and the top tier was a fruit cake, which we wanted to use in line with the age old tradition and save it for either our 1st year anniversary or to celebrate the birth of our first child. The cake tiers alternated between a smooth, white finish and ones with scattered flowers on. On top of the cake we had two little fabric ‘bride and groom’ birds which I had made with my own hands.
With having the wedding at Colshaw Hall we had to use their preferred caterer (Barretts Events Caterers), however, this was certainly not a bad thing as the food we had was quite simply the best wedding food we have ever had! We have to give a special mention of the service they provided too – it really was second to none.
When it came to entertainment, we had The Didsbury String Quartet to play during the drinks reception and a live band called The Live Wires, for the evening. Dave was quite adamant about having a string quartet, partly due to the fact that he loves stringed instruments and partly because he was planning on a little surprise involving them. He’d always wanted to play a song with a string quartet so when he finally convinced me to hire the string quartet he went about writing a song and asking them to accompany him on it.
So after we’d had all our photos taken Dave got his ushers to gather everyone around where the string quartet were playing and then he appeared with his guitar. He started playing on his own and then the strings came in and it was amazing! I couldn’t believe it! When they finished, all of our guests went crazy.
Our evening band, The Live Wires, were fantastic too. They got everyone involved and played such an amazing set of songs that got everyone going! We danced until we were allowed to!
Both Dave and I really wanted the day to be a memorable one for everyone (including ourselves) and so we each made the effort to do something special. I really wanted to put my own mark on the day and so really got stuck in and made quite a few little decorative bits and pieces, including decorative jam jars for the tables and walls outside, the table plan, little flags in buckets for the table numbers, luggage tags to save the ceremony chairs for the bride and groom’s family, and also the bride and groom birds for the cake.
We both also wanted to surprise everyone on the night and do a good first dance so we had a good few lessons with a dance teacher who choreographed a dance for us to my chosen song, Save the Last Dance by Michael Buble! It went down a storm and we were so pleased to get through it fairly unscathed.
We would 100 per cent recommend Colshaw Hall to other couples. There were just so many things about the venue that we fell in love with. From the fantastic wooden ceremony hall called ‘The Stables’, to the walled garden and the accommodation in the main hall and in the cottages. From the moment we first went round to look at Colshaw Hall the staff were absolutely fantastic. The attention to detail, the willingness to get involved and all carried out with such friendly professionalism. Shelly oversaw our day and she was an absolute star.
Dave and I loved the whole wedding day, but we’d have to say the happiest part of it was the ceremony. The suspense of seeing each other, feeling totally overwhelmed when we finally did and then making the promises to each other in front of everyone felt so amazing and, this might sound cheesy, but enlightening too. It was something we’ll never do or feel again.
We couldn’t have a hymn as the ceremony wasn’t taking place in a church so instead we had everyone sing a ‘congregational song’ – Frank Sinatra’s You Make Me Feel So Young. We’d printed the words out for everyone and downloaded the karaoke music track and everyone really got into it!
We also had my sister and a close friend sing a couple of songs whilst we were signing the register, as well as three readings by my grandma, Dave’s dad and my cousin.
Straight after the wedding we had a minimoon down in Cornwall in St Ives. We were blessed with great weather, just as we were on the day of the wedding, and we had a lovely relaxing few days reminiscing about the wedding day wishing we could go back and do it all again! We are planning on going to Africa for a safari next year for our main honeymoon in the Serengeti in Tanzania. Then hopefully onto an island in the Indian Ocean to get some relaxation time in (cash depending!)
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to relax on the day and just go with the flow. Don’t worry about the running of the day; you’ve got all the staff around to make sure it all goes to plan, so just enjoy it! Also, try and enjoy the food during the wedding breakfast! Dave and I didn’t eat much as we were so excited (and also because Dave was nervous about his speech), but afterwards we wish we’d savoured the gorgeous food more!
October 14th, 2015 | Julia Braime
The rustic wedding inspiration continues on the blog this afternoon with Laura and Sean’s well styled big day.
Choosing The Ashes country barn as setting for their celebrations, Laura came up with a sweet & sugary pastel colour palette to complement the chosen country vintage wedding theme. This worked a treat as all elements of the wedding came together perfectly, from the main party’s stunning attire to the elegant décor and beautiful blooms!
With images by Kate Scott Photography.
laura says: We got engaged during a three week trip to Thailand in December 2013. Sean managed to get the ring through customs, a 13 hour flight, and a tuk tuk ride around the city, without me seeing it in his bag! The evening we arrived, Sean dropped down onto one knee (after romantically kicking a table out of the way!) and proposed on our balcony overlooking the river while a band was playing Christmas songs below! It was perfect – and I cried!
We got married on 15th May 2015. We chose this date as we preferred the thought of a fresh spring wedding, and were also willing to wait 18 months for our perfect venue.
While we were still in Thailand we decided that we wanted a relaxed wedding in a rustic setting. The Ashes country barn, in Endon popped up several times in our search and looked stunning. We fell in love with it instantly and although we looked around a few other venues in the area, they didn’t come close to The Ashes.
The Catholic church we chose for the ceremony was St John the Baptist Church in Alton, in a stunning setting overlooking Alton Forest and Alton Castle.
Our chosen ‘theme’ was mostly rustic, vintage with pastel colours. This just seemed to suit our personalities and it all came together that way, rather than being a planned theme. From the start of the planning we were certain that we wanted a relaxed atmosphere, which also sits well with a rustic setting.
For the colour scheme I had imagined pale pinks but knew that Sean wouldn’t wear pink in his tie or suit! I also loved the idea of having four different coloured bridesmaid dresses so I ended up choosing a pastel palette of blue, green, yellow and pink.
After many trips to various dress shops with my patient mum and bridesmaids, I went for a mix of a classic but princess style dress. It was covered in fine lace and was fitted satin on top but with a massive skirt and train! I loved so many dresses that I had tried on, and almost bought three different styles before I found ‘the one’! The Wedding Dress Shop in Wimbledon was amazing and the team there tailored my dress to exactly what I wanted – I added straps, with a keyhole back, for the church, which I then removed for the rest of the day. I also added a lace up back rather than buttons, as well as a sparkly belt and headband for a bit of glamour! I almost didn’t wear a veil but on my last fitting I tried one on and it really finished the look and made me feel like a bride. On the day my hair was done by Caro Millington and Fiona Brunt did my makeup.
Sean wore a blue with fine white pin stripe traditional morning suit. The groomsmen all wore the same as him.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were from In One Clothing. They were multiway dresses so my gorgeous bridesmaids could choose how to wear them. We also went for four different colours. I kept this a surprise from all the guests and Sean (which was so tricky but worth it) so it was a real ‘wow’ on the day.
We chose classic vintage cars for our transport; a Beauford for myself and my dad on the way to the church, and Sean and I after the ceremony, and a seven-seater Imperial Laudette for the bridesmaids and my mum. These we hired from A Perfect Day Wedding Cars.
As we live in London we wanted to bring a touch of the city to our country wedding and organised a London Routemaster bus to take all our guests from the hotel to the church and then from the church to the venue. Although it struggled up the hills and down the windy roads it looked great outside the barn venue!
Kate Scott was our photographer. We found her through The Ashes website recommendations. We met her when we were booking her parents guesthouse for Sean’s family and got on instantly. Kate’s style of natural, romantic photography was exactly what we were looking for and we weren’t disappointed! She didn’t spend hours making us stand or pose for photos which is what we’d been warned of by friends, so it never felt like we were missing out on our wedding.
We also hired a videographer pair from Adorable Moments. We haven’t watched this back yet as we are waiting for our first anniversary, however the highlights are stunning, and are such a great way to remember the day.
Blossoms florist in Leek did our flowers for the day. I wasn’t sure what I wanted and showed Lucy the florist, a million pictures and somehow she and my mum (with her amazing knowledge of flowers) came up with exactly what we wanted and they fitted in with the rest of the wedding perfectly! I loved the bouquets for myself and the bridesmaids, filled with subtle ivory peonies, ivory freesia, pale pink sweet avalanche roses, pink lisianthus, tanacetum daisies, eucalyptus greenery handtied in a natural, country garden style. She also added a few sparkly brooches in mine to make it stand out.
Lucy filled birdcages we’d sourced with flowers matching the bouquets, for the table centrepieces and decorated the church with delicate pew ends and bay trees with trailing ivory ribbon bows, displayed outside the entrance of the church.
Further décor included painted reused crates to display the order of the day, and wine bottles to show the table plan and table names. We had rustic bunting inside and outside the barn, rustic jugs for the bouquets, and jars wrapped with lace.
We also had an alternative guestbook – we always forget to sign the guest book at weddings, or write the same old thing. So we had a wooden frame made and the bridesmaids took little wooden hearts around to each table for the guests to sign or write a little note on, which were then put into the frame for us to remember!
Instead of favours we made madlib cards for the wedding guests to fill out. We weren’t sure how these would go down and if people would forget about them, but they were a great hit and we laughed a lot reading the stories and ‘advice’ the next day!
My family has a massive sweet tooth, so a showstopper cake was must! Francesca at The Cheshire Cat Cake Company didn’t disappoint with a stunning cake; four tier high, draped with lace and flowers in the colours of the bridesmaid dresses.
For the wedding breakfast we started with fun canapés including Staffordshire oatcakes, finger sausages and sweet scones, which all disappeared pretty quickly. We then served prosecco and beer during the drinks reception – the option of having beer was a bit hit with the men!
For the main wedding breakfast we had a ‘host a roast’ where we chose a carver for each table by handing out funny aprons and chef hats. This was great fun and really included our guests in the day. We would definitely recommend this to anyone getting married.
To provide the entertainment we had a band called One Eye On The Wedding Cake, booked through Warble Entertainment. We loved them instantly and watched their videos on YouTube. They learnt our first dance song and kept the dance floor full all night! They played a mix of music which suited all our guests.
We would definitely recommend The Ashes to other couples following our wedding. Paula was our wedding coordinator and kept everything on track, however all the staff were amazing and were so quick to respond to my many questions by email!
My favourite part of the wedding was dancing all night! All the important stuff was done, all our hard work had paid off, and there was nothing left to do but dance with my friends and family…and my husband, of course! Sean’s favourite part was finishing his speech and enjoying a whiskey with his best man!
Following the wedding we spent two nights in a little cottage near to The Ashes (Middle Cottage). This was perfect and allowed us time to relax and enjoy reminiscing about the wedding before jetting off! Our honeymoon was a road trip up the west coast on America, starting in Las Vegas. We then hired a convertible Mustang to drive to Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Big Sur National Park, and San Francisco. We then finished our honeymoon off with a few nights in Miami.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to think about how to include your guests in the day – the madlib cards and funny aprons worked well for us! We tried not to get too worried about tradition and changed things where they suited us, for example we had a round top table as we wanted a fun atmosphere and for everyone to be talking together.
October 12th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Several elements of today’s real wedding instantly stood out to me when first viewing Hollie and Martin’s wedding photos.
Firstly, the venue. It’s certainly got the wow factor and makes it easy to understand why Hollie and Martin didn’t continue their venue search beyond this impressive building! Second – the elegant colour scheme. Hollie almost went for just peach and cream but then decided to throw blue (her favourite colour) into the mix and the soft, powdery hue works perfectly. Third – the smiles on everyone’s faces. This was clearly an enjoyable wedding and featured lots of entertainment to keep guests happy. Finally, the cake. I can’t believe this was created just the night before the wedding – move over Mary Berry, I think there’s a new star baker in town!
With images by Jess Yarwood Photography.
hollie says: We got engaged in Liverpool on the Big Wheel at the Albert Dock. We were enjoying the view looking out the windows and on the third time around. Once the wheel stopped at the top I turned around and Martin was down on one knee with a lovely engagement ring.
We set the date for 9th July 2015. Our chosen venue was Thornton Manor in Thornton Hough, Wirral. It was the one and only venue we viewed and as soon as we were inside we were overwhelmed and knew this was the place we wanted.
We had a shabby chic, vintage style theme with a few other details, like our table names that followed a Beatles theme.
Our colour scheme was cream, peach and powder blue. I really liked the colours and how they looked together. I was set on the peach and cream but also torn as blue is my favourite colour, so decided to incorporate that too.
Martin wore a traditional suit with tails in a charcoal grey and champagne tie and pocket square. The groomsmen wore the same suit but with a powder blue tie and pocket square.
Our photographer was Jess Yarwood. I would definitely recommend her, our photographs are perfect and we just loved her style and the way she edits her photographs.
For the wedding flowers we had peonies, cream and blue hydrangeas, cream roses and freesia. Claire from Frodsham Flowers did an amazing job with all the flowers.
To decorate we had candelabras with floral arrangements. There were also willow branches in tall vases with hanging glass baubles with orchids and peonies inside and square glass vases with flowers in, which were placed on mirrors. To finish, the tables were scattered with pearls and crystals. My mum has her own wedding styling and decoration business, Angels Weddings & Events, and so she designed and did everything.
As favours we gave Baileys to the women and Courvoisier to the men, with chocolates and sweets for children.
Our wedding cake was tall six tier design with cream icing. Our cake maker let us down the night before the wedding so my mum had to make our cake for us the night before and the florist decorated it with fresh flowers.
Barretts Caterers provided the catering – they were brilliant their food is just amazing. They also helped run the day and ensured it went smoothly so we got a lot more for our money with their brilliant service.
Drinks wise we had Gallo rose, various red and white wine, prosecco and bottles of beer. Gallo is my favourite rose wine and we really enjoy prosecco. Beer was a good option for the men too.
As an extra treat for guests, we had Isabelle’s Ices, an old fashioned ice cream cart and bicycle, which went down a storm and entertained the children for five minutes.
Further entertainment on the day included a string quartet, which is something we really wanted. Hearing them play as we walked down the aisle and once we were married was just amazing. We also had a solo singer James Michael, who was on the Xfactor a few years ago, to perform and he was brilliant. To mingle amongst our guests, we had a caricaturist and Marshall Magic, the most amazing magician! Matt Tolley of Cheshire Wedding DJs provided the evening disco.
We would definitely recommend Thornton Manor to other brides and grooms. It is the most beautiful venue with so much land and beautiful views. It has so much character and the staff were so friendly and helpful.
We can’t choose a favourite part of the day as we enjoyed every moment, but seeing each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle with my dad was a really lovely moment and once we were married we were so relaxed and could enjoy the day without the nerves.
Due to work commitments we have yet to go on honeymoon but we are planning to go to Italy next year.
My top tip to other Brides Up North is to stay calm and don’t worry on the day. So much effort, time, money and stress goes into it on the lead up to the big day that you should just enjoy every moment. Even if the smallest thing goes wrong, let it go, as it will be the most perfect day to you both regardless.
October 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
For this afternoon’s real wedding we are heading North West to the beautiful Lake District to relive Emma and Ryan’s big day.
You’re all in for a treat, as there’s lots of fabulous elements to admire in this wedding, in addition to the breath-taking views! We love Emma’s gorgeous Maggie Sottero dress as well as her chosen colour palette of elegant blush pink and grey which is reflected beautifully in the numerous flower arrangements and décor.
Our favourite bit however has to be the boat ride for the bride, groom and their guests part way through the day. We’d quite like to be aboard that boat ourselves, sipping on prosecco and taking in the surroundings. Just stunning!
With images by Bethany Sunners Photography.
emma says: We got engaged at home after an evening out at a wedding reception, where it was just the two of us. Ryan had something planned a couple of weeks before this but I ruined it when I picked up some shifts at work.
We were married on 8th August 2015. We chose the date because it was mid-summer and right in the middle of some special family events.
We got married in our local parish church, St Mungo’s in Dearham, Cumbria. My parents, and grandparents got married there so it is a special place. It’s a beautiful little church. Our reception was at the Lodore Falls Hotel at the bottom of Borrowdale Valley. We chose this venue as the scenery is out of this world, it’s on the edge of a beautiful lake in the middle of the Lake District. Perfect for a summer wedding.
We didn’t have a theme as such, we just wanted a summer wedding with a relaxed feel to it. The words ‘all you need is love’ was also a big feature.
Our colour scheme was grey and blush colours, with a bit of silver sparkle. I chose these colours as grey is my absolute favourite colour. It makes the blush colours really stand out and looks really pretty.
My dress was a Maggie Sottero from I Do Bridal, Cockermouth. It was an ivory slim A-line design with a delicate sweetheart neckline, with gorgeous beaded lace across it. It had a corset back with a short train. I first saw the dress online and immediately knew it was the one for me. It was the first dress I tried on, I felt so elegant in it. It was also called Emma. Fate! My veil and headband was by Linzi Jay. My shoes were Vivienne Westwood, I seen them in the window of a Vivienne Westwood store. They were ivory with a big red heart on the front. Really quirky, I loved them and had to have them for our wedding. I also had a vintage sapphire ring, which my nan gave me before the wedding as my something blue, which meant the world.
Ryan had a two piece slim-fit grey suit from Debenhams. He wore it with a slim fit white shirt, silver grey slim tie and pocket square from ASOS, grey braces and tan brogues. We just wanted a relaxed look. The groomsmen all wore the same.
My bridesmaids’ outfits were grey bandeau midi length dresses from ASOS and silver sparkly barely there sandals from Next. They all looked stunning. My little flower girl had an ivory lace beaded dress from John Lewis and ivory lace shoes from Monsoon. Our pageboys had grey waist coat and trousers from Next and white Converse.
Mine and my bridesmaids’ hair and makeup was done at my parents’ house the morning of the wedding. Jazz Hair Studio and Elegant Touch both of Maryport, did an amazing job. We all felt a million dollars!
Our chosen wedding transport was a 1964 VW splitscreen camper van and a 1973 Cabrio VW Beetle in white, from Lake District Vintage Wedding Cars. My dad and I travelled in the Beetle with the roof down to the church, it was a gorgeous summer’s day. My mum and bridesmaids travelled in the camper van. Following the ceremony, my new husband and I then travelled to our reception in the Beetle and we enjoyed a complimentary bottle of fizz. Paul who owns the company is fantastic, very professional.
Bethany Sunners, was our photographer. She was amazing from the very start. Constantly keeping in touch right up until the wedding day. She met us in person to discuss ideas and listened to exactly what we wanted. On the actual day, Bethany arrived early at my parents’ house to take pictures of my bridal party whilst getting ready, she was so discreet. She built up a brilliant rapport with our vicar, meaning she was able to get the best shots at the front of church. She also put all our family and friends at ease. Bethany literally captured every moment of our special day with the most perfect natural shots. We would most definitely recommend her.
We also had our wedding captured on film by Lake District Weddings Videos.
For my flowers, I had a beautiful hand tied bouquet of white hydrangea, white and ivory roses and spray roses with a little eucalyptus (to add to my obsession with the colour grey). My bridesmaids had hand tied bouquets of peach, blush and ivory roses and spray roses. My flower girl had a little flower crown of spray roses and gypsophila. Ryan had an ivory rose button hole and the groomsmen and page boys had blush rose button holes. The bouquets and button holes were provided by the Floral Boutique, Cockermouth. We got a fantastic service from them, Elizabeth was extremely helpful.
My auntie Karen, who I must say is amazing with flowers, made all our arrangements for the church and reception. In total she made five window arrangements for church, one arrangement for the alter, 20 pew ends, an arrangement for the milk churn we had outside the church gates, a flower arch for outside the church, ten hand tied bouquets for the table centre pieces, two top table arrangements and two cake table arrangements (I know what you’re thinking, wow!)
She used a combination of white hydrangea, peach, blush and white roses and spray roses, white and pink lyzianthus, gypsophila and eucalyptus were used. The Wholesaler Dutch Flower Auction is where we purchased the flowers and we would recommend them for DIY wedding flowers, they deliver all over and the flowers lasted ages. My auntie did the most fantastic job with the flowers, she got so many well deserved compliments. They were stunning – evidently she’s now got a part time job at the Floral Boutique shop.
Our venue decorations included some bunting, handmade signs and DIY table decorations. Chair covers and bows were provided by Finishing Touches. We also had giant light up ‘love’ letters provided by a close friend at Love in Lights.
For the ladies favours, my auntie Helen made homemade strawberry jam. For the men my Grandad made home brewed Sloe Gin in miniature bottles. Both went down extremely well and just added a bit more of a personal touch. A friend also made gingerbread brides and grooms for the children.
A local cake maker Jules Huck (The Cake Fairy) made a fantastic cake for us. Our guests were amazed by it and it tasted even better then it looked. My uncle Graeme, a chef made us the most brilliant cheese wedding cake too. It had every single cheese you could think of on it, he even personalised the covers of some cheeses with our picture and date of our wedding on. I made a fruit wedding cake just for the toasts, during the speeches.
After the wedding breakfast before our evening reception got underway, we all went out on a launch boat around Derwent Water for an hour’s cruise. We all just sat back, relaxed and had a glass of prosecco or two whilst taking in the breath-taking views of the Lake District. Keswick Launch Company provided the launch, they even let my sister who was also my maid of honour drive.
For the evening entertainment we hired The Heist, a cover band from the North East. They sing songs from the 1960s up to current hits. They delivered a great set, had the dance floor full all night. Genuine, nice guys. We also had a sweet cart as an extra treat for our guests which was provided by Love in Lights.
Following our wedding we would definitely recommend Lodore Falls as a wedding venue to other brides and grooms. The staff were fantastic, nothing was too much trouble for them. There is so much choice with their packages and the food was delicious. The actual location speaks for its self, simply stunning!
We couldn’t pick a favourite part of the da as we loved all of it. From the lead up to the wedding, making all the personal little touches, getting pampered in the morning, putting on the most beautiful dress, the actual ceremony, watching all our favourite people have an amazing time. It really was the best day of our lives.
We are going on honeymoon in November to Las Vegas then flying on to Cancun, Mexico. We intend on doing lots of touristy things in Vegas and having a chill out on a beach in Mexico. We delayed the honeymoon as we didn’t want everything to be over at once.
My top tip to other Brides Up North is – sit back and have a moment to yourselves to take it all in because the day is over before you know it. Also enjoy yourselves, don’t worry about others it’s your special day!
asos, bethany sunners photography, debenhams, floral boutique, i do bridal, jazz hair studio, john lewis, keswick launch company, lake district vintage wedding cars, lake district wedding, lake district wedding videos, linzi jay, lodore falls hotel, love in lights. finishing touches, maggie sottero, monsoon, next, north west wedding, real wedding, the heist, uk wedding blog, vivienne westwood
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