Charlotte Balbier

sweet on you. a valentine’s wedding in the north west – rachel & ian

July 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (33)

Today’s wedding couple encountered every bride and groom’s worst nightmare when their chosen reception venue went into administration just months before their big day.

Keeping their cool Rachel and Ian found an alternative venue in The White Heart at Lydgate. Though they had to switch their date from early April to Valentine’s weekend, the determined duo decided to stick with their pretty pastel springtime colour palette and were pleased to say it worked seamlessly. Add in some cute vintage touches and fabulous florals and you’ve got one very sweet big day!

With images by Katie Sidell Photography.

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (2)

rachel says: We got engaged whilst on a relaxing weekend away at the seaside in Bridlington in July 2013. We went for a walk to the beach at Flamborough Head where Ian had planned to propose. However when we arrived it was rather busy and a young family and then a man with a metal detector spoilt the moment for Ian so he chickened out! We later went for a walk along the cliff tops and whilst sat on a bench overlooking the sea Ian got down on one knee!

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (7)

We should have been getting married on the 4th April 2015 but after the wedding reception went into administration we were left to find a new venue just before Christmas! The White Hart Inn at Lydgate came to our rescue and we got married on the 15th February 2015 – it was to be a valentine’s wedding weekend!

We got married at St Paul’s Methodist Church in Shaw, which is the church I have attended along with my family all my life. It was really important to me to get married there because it’s a place where I have grown up!  Ian doesn’t go to church so it took me a few years to persuade him! Our reception at the White Hart was absolutely perfect and we couldn’t recommend this venue enough.  It is surrounded by picturesque landscape and amazing scenery.

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (11)

Having got engaged at the seaside in Bridlington, we came across a shop called Behind the Times (one of our favourite shops) which recycles materials to produce vintage products which soon became our theme. We purchased our save the dates and wedding invitations along with lots of other bits from there.

After deciding on a spring wedding we went for a neutral colour scheme with a variety of pastel shades.

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (19)

My dress was from a bridal shop called Amelia’s Bridal Boutique in Clitheroe. We visit Clitheroe quite a lot and my Mum always said that when my sister or I got engaged we would go there to look for dresses. So that’s where I went. My dress was the very first one I tried on, and I just knew it was the one. The dress had a high lace neck and a stunning low V back which led into buttoned detailing down to the satin train. It also had a beautiful detailed waist band and pockets, which was a real quirky selling point for me!

Ian wore a slim fit navy blue suit with matching waist coast and tie with a fresh white shirt.  The suits were from Next.  His shoes were black brogues, also from Next.

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (24)

I looked for months at bridesmaid dresses and couldn’t make my mind up! In the end my sister, who was my maid of honour, ordered them online and surprised me one night with all my bridesmaids wearing them!  The dresses were a simple, long, high-necked, maxi dress from BHS in a champagne colour. The dresses had a lovely detailed waist band which tied into my waist band. The groomsmen meanwhile all wore matching suits, shirts and tie to the groom.

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (26)

We travelled in my Grandfather’s vintage Mercedes. My Grandad was thrilled when we asked him if we could use his car and if he would be our chauffeur for the day. Him and my Grandma went all out and dressed the car in bows and put flowers on the parcel self – they loved it! It was perfect!

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (27)

Our photographer was Katie Sidell. She is absolutely brilliant and we can’t recommend her enough! Her pictures are so beautiful and natural. She managed to capture every precious moment of our special day from start to finish. The best part about Katie is that you don’t really notice she is there!! It was exciting to see the photographs as there were so many pictures that we hadn’t realised she had taken on the day. Aside from the photographs she is a really lovely person who made me, and particularly Ian, feel at ease with the camera and we do hope she will be free for a christening one day!

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (30)

I carried a mixed bouquet of roses, carnations, lisianthus and gypsy, all in pale colours. The bridesmaids had something similar but on a smaller scale. The flowers where from a family friend called Nina Forbes, she is brilliant and knew exactly what I wanted!

Nina made the flower arrangements for the reception which stood on the top of some tall vases. The vases were then situated on round mirror plates that were dressed with chrome tea-light candle holders. We also dressed the room using four big flower arrangements from the church. Some of the ladies at church, including my two Grandma’s, made these arrangements up the day before and they were beautiful!

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (34)

I have a very sweet tooth so as favours we filled jam-jars full of our favourite sweets!  We then dressed the top of the jars in some vintage flower material and tied brown luggage labels around them with the guest’s name on. These then doubled up as place names.

A family friend Elaine Day made our cake. We had one layer Victoria sponge, another chocolate and another lemon drizzle. It was gorgeous.

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (38)

For entertainment we used the resident DJ at the White Hart who was brilliant. He played a range of music had had everyone on the dance floor all night! Later he was on his way to a local club with four of the guests in a taxi at closing time!

We asked our guests to give us their favourite three songs to be played on our wedding day. We then used these songs to create a playlist for the wedding breakfast and a playlist for the DJ at night. This added a special touch to the day and night as people’s choices were played throughout the wedding letting them enjoy their favourite songs while we were enjoying our special day. In the evening it was also fun to name and shame some of the guests who had put some embarrassing choices on their top three – the DJ made sure they were pointed out and brought on the dance floor to our amusement!

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (41)

The White Hart Inn is amazing and we would definitely recommend the venue to others! The service we received in the build up to the wedding and on the day was brilliant. It was like they couldn’t do enough for us! They were in regular contact and had even thought of things we hadn’t to make our day run smoothly. Having an attentive manager on hand at all times throughout the day was reassuring to us both that if there were any issues they were sorted out straight away. Both of us have and will continue to praise the venue, location, food and the experience we had to all our friend and people we know.

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (60)

Our whole day was perfect from start to finish.  We wish we could do it all over again! Ian particularly enjoyed seeing his best men (his uncle and his youngest brother) stand up for their speeches. Both were so nervous before the day (a few gin and tonics were drank before the speeches) but they both stood up and spoke in front of around 130 people. They did an amazing job with funny and embarrassing stories but Ian couldn’t have been more proud.

A pretty pastel wedding at The White Hart Inn (c) Katie Sidell Photography (57)

For our honeymoon we spent a week in Paris straight after the wedding and it was perfect. It was so romantic! We visited all the sites and spent our nights in swanky restaurants and bars. It was just a shame we had to come home as the reality hit that it was all over and we had to go back to work!

My top tips for other Brides Up North is to not stress about the planning and organising before the wedding. No matter what happens it will be absolutely perfect! Also, let your guests come to you!  Don’t stand at the door welcoming guests and then saying goodbye to guests. It’s your special day and your guests will know to find you on the dance floor!

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building on a blank canvas. a cute village hall wedding in the north west – vicki & colin

June 29th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (60)

Today’s real wedding couple show how a blank space can be transformed into an attractive setting for a personal big day.

After saying their ‘I dos’ at the local church, Colin, Vicki and their wedding party headed to Slaidburn Village Hall for a fabulous meal, emotional speeches and live entertainment.

To give it their own touch, the hall had been decorated with pretty bunting, table linen and chair covers, which complemented other village fete style touches, including their home made naked wedding cake, VW camper van and dainty floral decorations in lace bound jam jars.

With images by Mick Cookson Photography.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (7)

vicki says: We got engaged on the beach in Cornwall in April 2013 and set the wedding date for two years later on 4th April 2015, giving us time for all the planning.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (9)

Our ceremony was at St Andrew’s Church, Slaidburn, followed by a reception at Slaidburn Village Hall. We knew that we wanted a village hall wedding as it would allow us to do whatever we wanted – choose our own food, drinks etc. When we saw Slaidburn Village Hall we knew it was perfect for us – it was modern but still a blank canvas.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (3)

We wanted things to be quite neutral and didn’t want too much of a theme because then we could just add/change things when we saw something that we liked without being too restricted. Then towards the end, we just tied everything together.

We chose a neutral colour scheme but then added in pink as one of the main colours after choosing my sisters’ bridesmaid dresses, which were pale pink.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (15)

My dress was lace and satin design, with cap sleeves. I got it from Amelia Bridal in Clitheroe and they were amazing! My wedding makeup was done by Joanne at Hidden Beauty, Great Harwood. Joanne, was fantastic and made sure that everything was perfect.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (22)

My bridesmaids wore different dresses in pairs; two sets were from Coast and one set was from Monsoon. The groomsmen meanwhile hired blue suits from Moss Bros.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (36)

We used lots of great suppliers to help pull the wedding together including Classique Venue Dressing in Chorley, to dress the venue, and caterers from Country Kitchen Cafe, in Waddington, to provide the food. Tim, the café owner was fabulous and helped with every detail. My mum made our wedding cake which was a delicious naked sponge design.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (42)

For our transport on the day we used Coach House Limousines in Blackburn, who provided a gorgeous VW camper van for my bridesmaids. We also hired a lovely Daimler from McGowans Classic Car Hire in Bamber Bridge, Preston.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (45)

My bouquet was a lovely mix of roses and gypsophila, put together by Le Rainflorist in Blackburn.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (53)

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (63)

To keep guests entertained in the evening we hired a band calledThe Beat Collective. They were absolutely amazing and the dance floor was packed all night!

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (67)

All of the wedding was captured by our fabulous photographer Mick Cookson. The pictures are so amazing, it is going to be so hard choosing some for our album!

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (77)

It’s hard to pick a favourite part of the day as we loved all of it, though the ceremony and the meal stand out on our heads.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (89)

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (94)

Following the wedding we went on a mini moon for a couple of days to the Brecon Beacons in Wales. We will be jetting off to America in August for 18 nights for our main honeymoon.

A Village Hall Wedding in Slaidburn (c) Mick Cookson Photography (108)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to try and get everything organised a few days before then you can relax. Unfortunately, I ended up rushing around on the last day!

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great gatsby glamour. a 1920’s themed wedding in the north west – rosalind & michael

June 24th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (39)

Today’s bride took inspiration from iconic film The Great Gatsby when it came to styling her wedding day – and boy did she hit the nail on the head!

Rosalind pieced together her vintage vision bit by bit, incorporating a beaded wedding dress, fringe detailed bridesmaid gowns, posh transport and a feather-topped cake along the way for a fabulous 1920’s style big day.

Ladies, prepare to be dazzled!

With images by Stanbury Photography.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (5)

rosalind says: Michael proposed to me on Christmas Eve 2012. It was perfect, we were at home with our little boy Jacob when Mike told me there was a present hanging on the Christmas tree. When I looked closer there was a small black box amongst the baubles and when I turned round he was on one knee.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (9)

We were married in front of all our family andfriends at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Haigh on 11th April 2015. This is my family parish so it was very special for us to be married in this church and by Fr Kevin.

We chose Ashfield House for our reception venue as it has such lovely features and grounds. The distance from the church to the venue was perfect. When we arranged our first appointment all the staff were so friendly and helpful we knew this was the venue for us. Throughout the whole experience the staff were brilliant, none of our requests were too much trouble, plus the food was delicious too!

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (10)

Our theme was 1920’s, I love everything about this era from the hair and makeup to the clothes and styling. When I showed Mike some the ideas I had found on Pinterest he agreed that this was the theme for us.

In terms of the colour scheme, our bridesmaids were dressed in a light pink/peach colour and the flowers were a range of pink, peach, lilac and a hint of cream. We introduced silver into the stationery too.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (12)

For my wedding dress I chose Lauren by Eliza Jane Howell. It’s a 1920’s vintage inspired beaded dress with silver detail. I purchased it from Knutsford Wedding Gallery, Joy and the ladies were so friendly and welcoming. As soon as I tried the dress on I knew it was the one for me. I chose a replica of Daisy’s headpiece from The Great Gatsby and my veil was cathedral length with crystal embellishment around the edge by Amanda Wyatt. This was also from Knutsford Wedding Gallery. I chose all my jewellery from Swarovski.

I love makeup and hair so this was a very important factor for me. I found The Vintage Beauty Parlour online and booked a trial soon after. Anna listened to what I wanted and made me feel amazing. They are so professional and know vintage styles like no one else.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (16)

Mike hired his suit from Whitfield and Ward in Wilmslow. They were brilliant, after seeing them at a wedding fayre we decided to book an appointment. Craig asked what we wanted and when we told him our theme he dressed Mike in his suit. It was just how we had imagined him look. Craig and Nicola are very friendly and we would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for lovely suits with great service.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (17)

My bridesmaids dresses were made by my mum who is brilliant at sewing and their headpieces were bracelets that we adapted from Debenhams. The ushers were all in similar suits to Michael, also hired from Whitfield and Ward.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (19)

We chose the two brilliant ladies behind That Special Day Stationery to design and make our stationery. We discussed ideas and they made sample designs for us to look at. They made the most perfect save the dates, invites, order of service, place cards and table plan. They were brilliant and we cannot recommend them highly enough.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (24)

Our florists, Margaret and Janet from The Gilded Lily, were also amazing! Flowers were so important to me and I had a lot of ideas. I knew on our first appointment that The Gilded Lily was the florist for us. We have had so much fun planning the flowers with them. They listened to our ideas and created the most beautiful arrangements. We purchased our own crystal candelabra’s and Margaret came up with different ideas for them. The top table arrangement had all my favourite flowers in, such as pale pink peonies, hydrangeas and roses including, Norma Jean and Rosalind. My bouquet was made up of roses as well a pink peonies and stems of wheat to give a wild effect. Brides looking for a brilliant florist with lots of great ideas should visit The Gilded Lily!

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (29)

David and Jane of Stanbury Photography were our photographers. They photographed my sister’s wedding three years prior to ours so they were the only choice for us. They are so talented at what they do that we had complete confidence in them to photograph our wedding day. They capture moments that you can’t even remember happening and the attention to detail is second to none. They were with us from getting ready in the morning to our first dance and we hardly knew they were there. We are blown away by how good the pictures are and we cannot recommend David and Jane highly enough.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (32)

For our transport we used a company called Classic Wedding Cars. Jim there has an amazing collection of cars, we chose a black and ivory 1920’s style Bramwith and an ivory vintage Rolls Royce. Jim was so professional and friendly on the day and the cars were immaculate too.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (35)

I have a very talented aunty who made our dream wedding cake as our wedding present. Vi incorporated the silhouette design from our stationery to add to one of the tiers and we bought some feathers to add a 1920’s feel to the top tier. We loved everything about it and everyone commented how delicious it was. We can’t thank her enough.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (38)

My best friend and bridesmaid Kirsty is a graphic designer and so we asked her to design cards as favours for our male guests which entitled them to a drink on us at the bar. We hired a barrel of cask ale from Problem Child Brewery in Parbold for the bar. They allowed us to rename the beer ‘Prymul’ which incorporated both our surnames; Pryle and Mulligan. Kirsty then designed a crest to put on the hand pull which incorporated the silhouettes and various shapes from our invites.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (11)

My dad died suddenly three years prior to our wedding and I really wanted to make him a part of our special day so I gave our florist Margaret a small picture of him in a frame to include in my bouquet. I also borrowed a cameo that my dad had bought for my mum and asked her to pin it to the stem of the flowers.

We had pictures of dad and Mike’s aunty who had died the week before our wedding in church with a lit candle. The next day we distributed the wedding flowers on family graves in the cemetery.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (41)

To entertain our guests we had the Brixi Singers choir singing various hymns in church throughout the service and we asked them to sing I Will Follow Him from the film Sister Act when we were leaving church. They were great and performed beautifully on the day.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (54)

It was the Grand National on the day of our wedding so we used the same cards designed by Kirsty to give all our guests the name of a horse running in the race. The race was played over the radio and the three winners were given a small prize announced during the speeches.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (52)

We enjoyed the whole day, but my favourite part has to be walking down the aisle and seeing Michael and all our family and friends.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (51)

We haven’t managed to go away on honeymoon yet as we were back at work soon after the wedding but will be looking to go somewhere in summer, which gives us something to look forward to.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (62)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t get too stressed when planning, think of what’s important to you and book that first and then you can add extras. Also, have confidence in your suppliers as they really are brilliant at what they do!

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vintage elegance. eliza jane howell for a green and gold wedding at the villa – nicola & marc

June 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (46)

For me there’s one thing about today’s wedding that really stands out – that dress!

Bride Nicola chose a detailed, 1920s style dress by Eliza Jane Howell for her moment in the limelight, and boy did she work it! Nicola looks just stunning and her maids are also a pretty vision in their dresses, which reflect the soft green and gold colour scheme.

It has to be said that the men easily live up to the style stakes too in their handsome air force blue suits.

We love all the pretty vintage touches in this wonderful wedding, including Nicola’s bouquet and the button holes that she made herself. Also big love to Oscar the pug dog – what a cutie!

With images by Teresa C Photography.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (15)

nicola says: We got engaged on 26th November 2013 at Rivington Pike. Marc had asked permission from my dad and it took him two weeks to actually pluck up the courage to do it!  We have a gorgeous dog, Oscar, so we were trying out new places to take him on walks. Marc took the engagement ring with him several times but there were always too many people for him to do it. We then went to Rivington Pike and Marc was adamant that we were going to find this waterfall he had heard about – which we did! As Marc proposed four deer ran past! Marc and I have been together since we were 17 years old so it only took him ten years to propose!

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (18)

We set the date for 18th April 2015. We really wanted a Saturday, as quite a few of our friends are teachers so we needed a weekend date. The venue we wanted the reception to be at also only had two Saturdays free at that time. You definitely need to book in advance!

We got married in St John’s the Baptist Church. It was the church Marc’s parents were married in and where he was baptised. It is also local to us, just a five-minute drive. It’s a gorgeous church and we knew it would look great in the photos. We also had bell ringers, which was a perfect ending to the ceremony. Our reception was at The Villa Country House Hotel in Wrea Green, Preston.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (19)

I always wanted a vintage theme, similar to my sister’s wedding that had taken place two years earlier. For the colour scheme we chose sage/mint green and gold. The green went perfectly with the theme and also with the men’s suits, which were air force blue.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (22)

Again, I wanted a vintage theme dress. My two sisters and my mum all went wedding dress shopping with me and I tried on nearly every dress possible! When I finally found my dress I knew straight away. It was on display in Dan Kerr in Preston. I tried it on straight away and fell in love. I wanted a dress that I could feel comfortable in all day; one I could eat in, breathe in and dance in! The dress was Lauren from Eliza Jane Howell, which has an elegant, 1920s feel. Everyone has said that it was definitely a ‘Nicola’ dress!

The fantastic Kerry Baker did my wedding makeup, which I loved. A friend recommended Kerry and from the very beginning with communication via emails I knew Kerry was going to be great. Both at the trail and on the day she was professional, organised, skilled and fun! Kerry totally understood and perfected the ‘look’ I wanted. The morning of my wedding was very relaxed, which was mainly due to the organisational skills of Kerry and my hair stylist Duncan Fisher. I would highly recommend both.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (26)

Marc is a 6ft 4in guy who struggles to buy suits and we needed to get a suit to fit him and seven other men at a reasonable price. We got the suits from Slaters in Preston, the sales assistant there was fantastic!  Marc chose a charming air force blue three-piece suit. The colour went perfectly with the green ties and hanky. The groomsmen wore the same suits and shoes. They looked great!

I wanted the bridesmaids to have a dress that they could wear again after the wedding. Their dresses were from Oh My Love. They were gold in colour so I added the green with use of a green wrap and a green belt, which my sister made with the ribbon used to make the invites.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (30)

We hired a car from Broughton Cars as they provides the transport for my sister’s wedding. They were great.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (31)

Teresa Cunningham of Teresa C Photography did our wedding photos. When we got engaged I knew that the important things were the church, the venue and the photographer – and I knew I needed to get these sorted first. A friend recommended Teresa and I am so glad she did.  So talented, professional and I loved her work. I also absolutely fell in love with her story of how she became a photographer. I would definitely recommend Teresa to anyone. We also had a second shooter called Jodie who I only met on the day and she was great too. She had the pleasure of photographing the guys and she did a great job.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (32)

I made the bouquets and the buttonholes. I bought fake flowers and other details to go into the bouquet. I knew I wanted the flowers on display once the actual day was over. I loved making the bouquets and was very happy with the end result. I wanted the buttonholes to be slightly different so I made a quick design with what things I had left after the bouquets were made. I also made a small throwing bouquet, as I knew I couldn’t chuck my main one, as it would knock someone out!

Nita Patel of Petal Interiors provided all the fresh flowers for the church and the venue. I showed Nita my vision and then just left her to it. The results were fantastic. I used some of the table centrepieces from my sister’s wedding and added some vintage birdcages and candelabras.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (33)

I absolutely love sweets so I knew our favours were always going to be a jar of sweets. I had a bridesmaid night in where we made all the sweet jars. We named all the tables after retro sweets and each jar represented the table they were on. We also wanted to donate to Cancer Research, as this is something very close to our hearts.

My mum made our cake and we all enjoyed her practising (not that it helped with our waistlines though). When my mum showed us the cake she had made I was absolutely speechless, as it looked so professional. We had a personalised topper on it, which was me, Marc and our dog Oscar. It was from Angel in My Attic – the lady that made it asked for details of the bride, groom and clothing – the results were fantastic and the small details were great. This is a keepsake that will last forever.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (35)

Marc eats a lot so the food tasting was the one part of organising the wedding that Marc wanted to be involved in!  We went to The Villa where Greg fed us the choice of menu and wine. I wanted a chocolate dessert and Marc wanted sticky toffee pudding – Marc won and I’m so glad he did, as it was yummy! We had canapés when the guests arrived which everyone commented on being great. I was worried that Marc and the guests would starve as the wedding breakfast was going to be after the speeches but there was definitely plenty of food!

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (39)

I went to lots of wedding fairs to help me chose some entertainment for our big day! We really wanted something different and found these in the form of a caricaturist and a magician. Again, these went down really well with the guests. It was nice for the guests to have another keepsake from the wedding in the form of a caricature of themselves. I also asked my dad to make a vintage photo booth wall – something different to a normal photo booth. Dad didn’t let us down and made a wall with frames on where guests could take photos of themselves in the holes – all the guests loved this too.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (47)

Other extras on the day included a sweetie stall and a ‘cigar bar’ – an idea I’d seen in a wedding magazine and asked Marc if he would like one, which of course he did! All the male guests really enjoyed this.

We also had toiletry boxes in the toilets, flip-flops for sore feet and a ‘Wedding Survival Kit’. I made the survival kits and added things like earplugs and a salty snack to help with the hangover the next day!

Instead of having a guest book we had a wish tree, which Nita provided, and we gathered together photos, old and new, of family members on their wedding day. This was a lovely surprise to these family members.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (41)

We also wanted our dog to be involved in the day. He was at the dog sitters and I asked if they would bring him to the church once the service was over wearing his bow tie. It was great to have him involved in the photos.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (53)

I always knew I wanted to get married at The Villa – my sister was married there and it was fantastic.  The organisers at the venue were great – they were always at the end of the phone or email. I’m a perfectionist and had perfected every detail up to the day of the wedding, and then I had to let go and let the venue do the rest! We took everything the day before the wedding and handed over to Michael Hails. He assured me that everything would be how I wish – and it was. They did an amazing job!  They kept the day running smoothly and were very attentive of me and Marc ensuring we had food and drink at all times.

One of my favourite parts of the day was seeing Marc at the altar. All the hard work and organisation had finally come together. When we were saying our vows Marc had a lucky money spider on his head – I couldn’t stop looking at it! I knew the bridesmaids had seen it too as I could hear them giggling! I removed the spider at the end and put it in some nearby flowers. We took this as a lucky sign!

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (59)

Marc’s brother and sister-in-law came over from America to join us on our wedding day so we enjoyed the week after our weddingwith them. The weather was fantastic and it was great to relax after the wedding. We are going on honeymoon to Gran Canaria in August.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to make some things for the wedding yourself if you can as it makes it more personal. I loved making everything myself from the invitations through to the bouquets. However I would also recommend that you do as much as you can in advance.

I would also recommend going back to the tradition of throwing the bouquet. I have been to quite a few recent weddings where this didn’t take place. I’m so glad we did it, as it was a highlight of my day seeing a friend practically push everyone out of the way to catch it!

Also, definitely get a make-up artist and hairdresser. The morning of the wedding was so relaxed as we didn’t need to worry about anything. The makeup artist and hairdresser told us where we had to be at what time. All I did in the morning was make brews and toast!

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oh i do like to be beside the seaside. sophia tolli for a traditional wedding in the north west – kate & colin

June 18th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (26)

Following a romantic proposal in Central Park, New York, today’s couple Kate and Colin set their hearts on a classic wedding by the sea. The Clifton Arms Hotel in Lancashire provided the perfect setting with views of the stunning seafront in Lytham.

To complete their vision, Kate and Colin called upon talented family and friends to help with the cake, flowers and décor, resulting in a very beautiful and personal big day.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Amanda Balmain.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (3)

kate says: Colin proposed three years ago during a trip to New York which was to celebrate his birthday. I had no idea he would propose as we had planned a full week of sightseeing. Colin says he carried my engagement ring everywhere during the five days whilst waiting for the perfect moment. Apparently he was planning to propose at the top of the Empire State building but he couldn’t make me stand still for long enough as it was freezing cold in November and I kept doing laps at the top to try and keep warm!

On the third day we decided to go for a walk around central park as this was our favourite place in the city. During this we passed a couple who had just got engaged and were asked to take pictures for them, little did I know Colin was gutted as he says he was about to propose before we bumped into them. Colin later proposed during a very romantic horse and carriage ride around Central Park, this was incredible and so special, it felt like we were in a Hollywood film. Best proposal ever!

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (6)

Our wedding day was on 11th October 2014. We chose October as we love autumn and all the different colours – it reminded us of walking around central park in New York.

We live very close to the sea which we love and wanted our venue to be by the seaside. We researched local venues and fell in love with the Clifton Arms Hotel, Lancashire. The hotel is situated overlooking the seafront in Lytham. The area has a classic seaside feel with lots of character, a very friendly atmosphere and picturesque coastline which we wanted to have as part of our wedding day.

Classic and traditional was the theme for the day. We wanted our wedding to be a stylish celebration with our all of our close family and friends. The Clifton Arms Hotel radiates a traditional elegance which we wanted to reflect with our wedding theme.

Our colour scheme for the wedding included dusky pinks, slate grey, ivory and silver. With our classic theme we wanted to keep the colour scheme natural.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (11)

Finding my dress is one of my favourite memories of planning our wedding. I wore a Sophia Tolli A-line gown called Jillian which had layers of misty tulle and lace. I chose my dress from Bridal Boutique in Bispham where I was able to try on many different styles. I went in thinking I would choose a fitted plain straight dress as I’m quite tall and I didn’t feel a big dress would suit me. As soon as I tried the Sophia Tolli gown on I knew it was the one. I loved the uncomplicated skirt and the chapel length train as well as the lace bodice, which I felt flattered my figure. I added a chapel length ivory veil also from Bridal Boutique and a sparkly hair clip from Debenhams.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (19)

Colin wore a Jeff Banks slate grey three-piece suit from Debenhams accompanied with an ivory tie to match my dress. He also wore a very smart pair of Jeff Banks shoes which he says were very comfy and helped him throw some great dance moves during the evening reception! Craig, who was our best man, also wore a three-piece Jeff Banks Suit from Debenhams and a grey tie to match.

We had six bridesmaids which were both our sisters Laura and Katy and my best friends Jenny, Hayley, Pippa and Aisling, who wore black floor length dresses by Mark Lesley from Bridal Boutique in Bispham. Our beautiful flower girl Harriet wore an ivory sparkly dress from Monsoon.

Ian and Paula of Allure Rococo in Poulton-le fylde, Lancashire, did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair on the day which we loved.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (20)

Amanda Balmain was our amazing photographer on our wedding day. A friend had attended a specialist photography course a few years ago with Amanda and she had followed some of her photography work online. When we mentioned to our friend that we were looking for a photographer she was able to recommend Amanda straight away. As soon as we met her we knew she was great. We organised an engagement shoot on a beach on the Wirral where she made us feel very relaxed and was able to get very natural, romantic shots.

Amanda managed to capture our wedding day in a very special way, we love our wedding pictures and we can’t stop looking at our wedding album! She is very talented and such a lovely person I have recommended her to all of my friends and family for their weddings.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (24)

My Aunty Lisa, who is an independent florist in Norfolk, created all of our flowers. The flowers were purchased from the wholesale Dutch Flower Auction. My bouquet included dusky pink amnesia roses, ivory roses, thistles, wax flowers, eucalyptus, gypsophila, snow berries, astible and some green foliage. Lisa did an amazing job – she took my imagination and made it happen.

My mum Helen and Aunty Lisa created our amazing centrepieces – we had tall candles in hurricane lamps surrounded by the same flowers which were in my bouquet. They also created the top table flower display which included roses, ivy and green foliage as well candles which looked fantastic.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (31)

The Wedding Place in Blackpool supplied our white chair covers and lace white sashes – they did a fantastic job and we would highly recommend them!

As a special touch, a family friend created a handmade post box with our names and wedding details on the front, which was used by our guests to post their cards into at the reception.

For favours we gave chocolate miniature hearts and wrapped sweets placed in silver drawstring bags.

Our three-tier wedding cake was a family creation. My Granddad, who is a baker, made the fruit cake. The cake was then decorated by my talented and creative Mum and Gran. It featured layers of Victoria sponge and fruit cake. My mum spent many hours incorporating wedding details such as the ivory colour scheme which matched my dress and handmade sugar crafted flowers which mirrored my bouquet.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (39)

Daniel Sings provided our musical entertainment. Daniel provided amazing live vocals, played acoustic and electric guitars and wonderful saxophone. He performed a huge range of songs which had everyone singing along during our wedding breakfast and did not stop all evening. He made our perfect day even better and all of our guests often comment on how brilliant he was.

For the children we provided colouring books and quizzes, which many mums and dads appreciated during the wedding breakfast.

We would highly recommend The Clifton Arms Hotel as a wedding venue to other couples – the food was fantastic and the staff were very helpful which made our day run very smoothly. The hotel is situated in a fantastic position overlooking Lytham Green and the coastline. After our ceremony we were able to walk outside and have our pictures taken on the green, there is also a little wooden jetty by a windmill very close to the hotel which our photographer used to get some stunning photographs. It is a very classy and traditional venue – we would not change a thing about it as it made our day very special!

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (25)

After our wedding ceremony we were able to go and have some private pictures taken by the sea, which was one of our favourite parts of the day. It was such a glorious sunny day, the water was very calm and it was silent on the wooden jetty. We were able to have a few minutes to reflect that we had just got married and before we walked the short distance back to the hotel for the evening reception – it was lovely to have a few moments to ourselves. We could hear our guests singing in the distance as Daniel performed on his guitar. We had the biggest smiles on our faces and we can both definitely say it was the most fantastic and best day of our lives.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (47)

For our honeymoon we spent ten days in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (49)

Our top tips for other Brides Up North would be to look for ways to incorporate family and friends into your day, this made ours extra special to us as we have a very close family around us. Also, be sure to steal a few minutes away together during the height of wedding celebration to talk, look at each other and take it all in. We would also advise other brides and grooms to book time with their photographer. Our pre-wedding shoot with our photographer was brilliant as we got to know each other and she then knew what we wanted and was able to give us good advice with shots and family group photos.

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