May 15th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today on the blog we’re featuring the impossible elegance of Vicki and Richard’s wedding day at Eaves Hall in Clitheroe.
All of the details, from the fine surroundings of Eaves Hall to Vicki’s lace mermaid-cut gown, speak of classic sophistication. This super-stylish couple opted for a pop of cornflower blue in their otherwise neutral colour scheme and the most stunning bridal posy this side of the Pennines.
Their day was perfectly captured by their photographer, who certainly delivered on her promise of beautiful, relaxed and natural wedding photography.
Vicki tells us more…
With images by Emilie May Photography.
vicki says: We got engaged at Room restaurant in Manchester on New Year’s Eve 2013. Richard proposed at midnight; it came as a total surprise as, after almost six years together, I’d given up on him proposing!
Our wedding date was set for 12th August 2016. We wanted to get married in summer: because Richard is a teacher, we were restricted to certain times.
Our venue was Eaves Hall in West Bradford near Clitheroe. We had both the ceremony and the reception there. Richard’s parents had stayed at Eaves Hall several times when it was a guest house. They often talked about it and how lovely the house and grounds were. Richard suggested going to an open day at the end of January a little after we had gotten engaged. It was the first and only place we visited – we fell in love as we walked around the house. We went for lunch at the Waddington Arms to discuss it and then went straight back after to ask about dates. We didn’t regret a thing – there would be no point in seeing other places as we just knew that Eaves Hall was perfect for us.
We had a rustic theme with lace and burlap and little wooden hearts. It suited Eaves Hall and its decor perfectly. I handmade our invites – they were cream and natural card with burlap and lace around the top and with a wooden heart in the middle. This theme carried on with the menus, vases, table plan, place names and so on. We also scattered wooden hearts on each table. We wanted to keep the décor simple with lots of little touches, along with lovely flowers. Eaves Hall is such a lovely house with beautiful decoration; it speaks for itself and doesn’t need much adding to it.
Overall, the colour-scheme was lots of natural neutrals, but we also chose a strong blue for the bridesmaids. The men’s suits were navy blue – I personally think Richard looks very handsome in blue, and I’m not a fan of grey suits.
I chose a fitted lace mermaid-style dress with a low back and a jewelled waistband. I wanted to show off my curves – in the right places!
During the planning, I looked at lots of magazines including UNVEILED, attended a Brides Up North wedding fair and got inspiration from the blog to get plenty of wedding-related ideas, especially regarding my dress. I went to a few boutiques and salons and tried on lots of different shapes, which I would definitely recommend – you need to know that you’ve made the right choice! The dress I eventually chose was from Love & Cherish bridal shop in Ramsbottom. It’s around the corner from Richard’s parents and we often drive past it so I had to give it a try!
I also wore gold shoes with diamante jewels on the front which matched my belt and Swarovski jewellery.
May 4th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding showcases a simple rustic theme paired with the dreamiest of neutral palettes.
Our bride and groom, Gill and Chris, hosted their big day at the exquisite Grade II listed Rivington Hall Barn in Bolton – think traditional Saxon beams, gorgeous fairy lighting and sprawling open grounds.
With friends and family travelling from far-flung destinations such as America and New Zealand, and others rallying round to provide help on the day itself (a special mention goes to the mother-of-the-bride) this wedding reminds us that when it comes to saying “I do” – it’s all about the people you share that special moment with.
With images by Ally M Photography
gill says: We got engaged in June 2015. We had been together for seven years and both wanted to seal our commitment and love for each other properly, in the eyes of god and all our families. We are both very fortunate to have our parents, who we very much wanted to be there with us on our special day.
We got married on Friday 19th August 2016. We chose this date as it was during the summer holidays. Both Chris and I have our birthdays on the 19th of the month too and have just moved into house number 19, so, it seems 19 is our lucky number!
Our ceremony took place at Horwich Parish Trinity Church, which is where I was baptised and confirmed. My mum tells me I went to the church at ten days old! It is also the nearest church to all our families and just two miles from our reception venue.
We then had our wedding breakfast and celebrations at Rivington Hall Barn, which is the best place to have a wedding. We both went to Rivington High School and have grown up in and around this area. Rivington Hall Barn is run by the loveliest family who were so kind, helpful and went above and beyond to make our day extra special.
We chose a rustic and natural theme, as the reception venue is a Grade II listed barn. Nothing too fancy or over the top, and sympathetic to the surroundings.
We opted for soft colours – peaches and creams – complemented by hessian to give a subtle but rustic touches.
I wore a beautiful Ivory & Co silk dress with a stunning lace bodice and cream satin waistband. I chose it for its simplicity, elegance and how it instantly felt when I tried it on! I purchased it from Bridalwear by Emma Louise in Bolton. An amazing local dressmaker, Margaret at Something Special Bridal Shop in Horwich, altered it nearer to the time and it fitted perfectly. My very clever and talented mum also added over 100 satin buttons all the way down the back of the dress and train to give it that extra special finish. I had a hand finished matching lace bolero, which I chose to keep on as it complemented the dress immensely.
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April 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re huge advocates of choosing a wedding photographer that’s right for you and your big day. But in order to get perfect results, it’s not just about picking your favourite style of photography, but also someone who has the professional experience, skills and equipment to capture your day without fault. After all, you only get one shot.
As the cost of a wedding can easily stack up, we appreciate the temptation to take up a ‘mates rate’ offer from your relative or friend that has a flashy camera, but an ‘all the gear and no idea’ approach is a sure recipe for disappointment.
In a bid to demonstrate the difference between images taken by a professional versus a have-a-go snapper with a DSLR camera, our Sponsor and award-winning photographer Jonny Draper, teamed up with some of the team at Lancashire wedding venue Ashfield House, and a number of other North West suppliers, to showcase how the results of each vary.
Lighting, focus and composition are just a few of the issues to look out for, but it’s certainly easy to spot the difference between the pro and amateur pics.
Here to explain more about the concept and results of the comparison shoot is Ashfield House co-owner and wedding coordinator, Katie Street.
katie says: With the average UK wedding costing £26,989* it’s no surprise that couples are faced with tough cost-saving decisions when their budgets creep up and up. It’s heartbreaking however, to hear from couples who are disappointed with their photographs after the wedding because they chose the slash their photography budget. That friend with a decent DSLR camera may have the best of intentions but will the results be good enough?
With the help of our friend and award-winning wedding photographer Jonny Draper, we decided to conduct our own side-by-side, like-for-like wedding photography experiment.
Jonny, armed with his high-end equipment and years of experience was pitched against Karen, our assistant general manager, complete with her ‘decent’ DSLR camera, and our makeup artist Kerry Baker was on hand to snap away with her camera phone too.
Your friends and family, or the hobbyist, will have incredible intentions yet, if they haven’t got the equipment or the technical expertise and continued learning, then there really is no comparison. Most of the work in photographing a wedding is before and after, hours of painstaking editing, which our average enthusiast doesn’t have the ability to get right.
Years ago, taking the actual photographs was the easy part. The processing in the dark room and time spent with chemicals could go on for days. Photography was reserved for those elite professionals who had invested in their cameras, lenses, lights and film, plus the need for a dedicated dark room. It was big business! Every high street had a celebrated photography studio and you needed to book weeks in advance to arrange your sitting for family portraits, and months in advance to secure your wedding day photography.
This day and age, you can teach yourself the necessary skills from the comfort of your own laptop, and, if you have the money, invest in the world’s best kit. But – as these images show – that doesn’t replace the skill, expertise and experience of a dedicated wedding photographer.
April 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s bride Zoe was aiming for ‘1940s film starlet’ for her vintage wedding day look. After seeing these photographs, we’re sure you’ll agree that she smashed it. With her tea-length dress, birdcage veil and amazing Ingrid Bergman-esque ‘do’, she looks every inch the glamourous bride.
Retro vibes permeate every aspect of this gorgeous wedding, from the live music to the rich colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the stunning floral arrangements. Full marks, guys!
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re also touched by Zoe’s advice to brides-to-be: look into your partner’s eyes and not the registrar’s (!), and get thee to a Brides Up North wedding fair. Who are we to disagree?!
With photography by Kate McCarthy Photography
zoe says: We got engaged in Venice at 5.30am on a bridge in Canaregio on 7th May 2016. We’d always wanted to have a two-week holiday in Italy with a week in Venice then a week in Tuscany. We arrived on the Friday and got a water taxi (a complete treat, but obviously Chris knew he was going to propose on holiday whereas I had no clue!)
We love seeing a city wake up, so got up early on the Monday to go and walk round the beautiful streets. We started to cross the bridge right by our apartment and Chris caught my hand, stopped me and said, “Do you love it here?” I replied “Yes, of course” and he then got down on one knee – at which point I started grinning madly! And then he said “Great – in that case, would you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?” and produced the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring! At this point I wanted to shout “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!” quite loudly but remembered no one else was awake. Instead, we skipped (literally) down the street grinning our heads off!
Our wedding was planned for 10th February 2017. We wanted to get married quickly but still have some time to plan. We were extremely flexible and so chose our location and then saw what they could offer us – they had this particular Friday free and so we booked it!
Our venue was The Belle Epoque in Knutsford. We had quite a tick list – we wanted somewhere unusual and quirky, with a dancefloor and room for a band but also somewhere with a separate room so that people could sit down and talk. Chris doesn’t dance and so wanted to be able to go around and speak to everyone. I visited it with my mum and, walking in, I was immediately excited; it has a lovely feel, is full of art deco art and pieces, it has a huge welcoming fireplace and the bar is straight in front as you walk in. I spied a room off this entrance with tables and chairs in, so immediately thought that was a tick. We then went upstairs to the dining area which was set up for a wedding – I actually gasped! They had twisted willow and flowers and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling and huge tall vases of flowers, vibrant, rich, opulent colours and gorgeous iris-patterned wallpaper. I was a little bit teary and knew this was the place.
Our theme was a bit vintage and Peaky Blinders, I suppose. I love vintage dresses and wanted to look like a 1940s film star. We didn’t have a colour-scheme as such, but we chose deep reds, purples and pinks for the bridesmaids and flowers. I wanted the bridesmaids to choose their own dress and style but with a vintage theme. I wanted them to be able to wear them again and really enjoy choosing their own dresses!
For my dress, I knew I wanted something in a vintage style from the 40s/50s and tea-length. I started to look on Pinterest and came across a dress that I loved, so went onto the designer’s website and found a local stockist. I went to Puure in Lymm and Angie, the owner, saw me. I tried the dress I’d seen on and liked it but she insisted I try on more – and I was happy to oblige! After another one, she bought a dress out that I looked at and my heart started to beat faster even though it was full-length and had no sleeves! She fastened me up and explained it could be made-to-measure, adjusted to tea length and have three-quarter sleeves fitted. I looked at myself and felt fantastic. My mum grinned and I had a little tear! That was it. It was ivory satin – so rich and so many sumptuous folds of gorgeous material! It had a little belt with a sparkly diamante square buckle, a fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a net top with tiny sparkles on. I had so many lovely compliments. Angie and her team and Sonya, the seamstress were absolutely incredible and made me feel like a 1940s film star on my day!
I wanted my hair setting in a vintage style and so booked the amazing Ewa Baberska, hair and makeup artist, to finish the look. Suzie Taylor was my makeup artist and she was great. I wanted a very natural look as I don’t wear much and she did exactly that, yet made me look fab.
For my headpiece I also wanted something vintage and had met Kaye Hannabuss of Kaye Hannabus Textiles at a networking meeting. We got chatting and I asked her if she would be able to make me something. She made me a fabulous vintage-inspired headpiece with a birdcage veil, a smartie base and a bow. For the evening, she made me a gorgeous hair slide with beads and pearls and diamante. Kaye works with Harris Tweed and so Chris was interested in talking to her about his and Holly’s waistcoats.
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April 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North HQ we’re always super keen to learn more about the fabulous wedding venues available in this half of the country, so that we can spread the word to you, our lovely readers.
While some we follow with interest online, others we’re fortunate to visit in person, allowing us to view and experience their wonderful facilities and hospitality first hand. Our most recent travels saw us heading west, to the impressive Carden Park Hotel, where we were invited for a glorious one-night getaway.
Nested in 1,000 acres of Cheshire countryside, the sizable estate boasts an award-winning hotel, AA Rosette restaurant, championship golf courses, adventure activities and spa. Its spacious function suites and grounds mean it’s also a popular wedding venue, offering a varied choice of settings and packages for a couple’s special day.
Upon arriving for our stay, we were given a tour of the facilities and celebration spaces by the hotel’s friendly wedding planner, Maddie, where the full scope of Carden Park’s offering came to light. Not only can this hotel cater for the big day itself, but it’s an ideal retreat for pre-wedding pampering, a girly or action-packed hen do and a relaxing minimoon.
In terms of accommodation, the hotel offers a wide choice of options; from twin, double and family rooms, up to its spacious luxury suites, with special upgrade extras including a fully stocked complimentary minibar, chocolates, sparkling wine and ESPA toiletries.
Wedding wise, Carden can cater for all sizes and offers the choice of its elegant and contemporary Carden Suite, rustic-style Shooting Suite and open-air Wedding Pavilion, through its ‘Eternity’ and ‘Fairytale’ packages.
Elsewhere in the hotel there is much more to be explored. We began our break with an afternoon tea in the comfortable lounge area before taking the energy levels up a notch with some of the fun outdoor activities available on site. From laser clay shooting, archery and mountain biking to an aerial zip-wiring course, Carden is a playground for all ages.
We were treated to an off-roading 4×4 experience with JEEP enthusiast and instructor Terry, who navigated us through the surrounding woodland, giving us a tour of the expansive estate whilst sliding around the challenging course. Next up, with the help of instructor Ryan, we tried our hand (and feet) at segwaying, which is a little trickier than it looks, but heaps of fun.
Back at the hotel it was time to wind things down again, and so after a quick shower and change, we settled in the bar with a bottle of sauvignon, ahead of our three-course meal in Redmond’s Restaurant. Changing its menu regularly to suit the season and fresh produce available, we were spoiled for choice when it came to making our starter, main and dessert selections but went with the staff recommendations (they certainly know their stuff!) A salmon-starter, chicken-main and panna-cotta-dessert later, it was evident that the standard of food was equal to the level of service – first class!
We retired for the evening feeling immensely satisfied and settled into our king-size beds for a peaceful night’s sleep.
March 27th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Clitheroe venue Eaves Hall was the perfect choice for today’s discerning couple, offering them exclusive use of its magnificent Georgian mansion and the stunning Ribble Valley as a backdrop to their big day.
Everything about this wedding speaks of elegance, from the all-cream blooms to the classy navy and gold colour palette. The bride wows in her backless lace Serenity dress and her vision of candelabras, greenery and lights is a lesson in chic venue-dressing.
However, there are also lots of light-hearted touches, from cake-pop penguins holding hockey sticks to pay homage to the groom’s hobby, to Little Mermaid shoe laces for Ariel fan Kerry.
With images by Gemma McAuley Photography
kerry says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2013 at home; it was just perfect. Christmas is such a special time of year for us both and it was our daughter’s first, which made it even more wonderful. Wesley said he wanted to give me an early Christmas present and I was adamant I wanted to keep them all a surprise. However, he pulled out a ring box and asked me to marry him with our little girl there. It simply couldn’t have been more perfect. We celebrated with the family that night and toasted the future together.
Our wedding date was Saturday 13th February 2016. We didn’t plan to get married on Valentine’s weekend. We saw the venue, loved it, visited again on a wedding open day and they had the date available so we booked it.
We were married at Eaves Hall in Clitheroe. Both the ceremony and the reception were held there. Wesley and I first saw it online and we both loved it immediately. I knew it was where I wanted but also knew it was booked up well in advance. We went to view it in May 2015 and the amazing wedding coordinators mentioned that they had a date free and so we secured it with a deposit there and then. We also hired the lodge the night before so all the bridal party could stay together and we celebrated together as we prepared for our big day.
Our wedding colour scheme was navy, cream and gold. We wanted a simple colour scheme as it was a winter wedding and we didn’t want anything too fussy.
I chose a Sincerity fitted, backless lace dress from Lulu Browns Bridal Boutique in Whalley. It was the first dress I saw online and, even though I’d visited a few bridal boutiques and tried on lots of different styles, I hadn’t found one that came close. When I visited Lulu Browns I saw it hanging up and I knew that it was the one. Then I tried it and it was perfect!
My wedding shoes were decorated by one of my friends. Anyone who knows me knows my favourite thing in the world is The Little Mermaid and my friend put crystals all over my wedding converse and added Little Mermaid laces. It was such a lovely surprise and I hope she knows how much I loved the gesture!
Wesley had also given my bridesmaids a present for me on the morning of the wedding. It was a Pandora charm locket that said ‘to my beautiful wife, forever and always’.
My wedding make up was just stunning and the make-up artists were from Mystique Nails and Beauty in Oswaldtwistle. I would recommend them to any bride planning a wedding as they were experienced, professional and did exactly what I wanted.
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