Charlotte Balbier
Luxury Wedding Fairs

doing things differently. a laid back & personal wedding in chester – milli & kris

September 27th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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We’re not quite sure where to start with this morning’s real wedding in Chester as there are so many fabulous elements to discuss!

I guess what we love most about Milli and Kris’s big day is that they did things 100% their way rather than sticking to the ‘wedding rule book’.

After marrying at quirky boutique hotel Oddfellows, the bride and groom took their guests off around Chester for drinks, ice creams and photos, before returning to the hotel for their wedding breakfast and reception.

The setting, styling and attire all get top marks from us, and in particular Milli, whose hair, makeup, bouquet and dress we absolutely love!

With images by Jess Yarwood Photography.

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milli says: We got engaged in July 2015. It was my day off and I had been for a facial that morning, I picked Kris up from work mid-afternoon. Myself being completely oblivious, Kris thought he was acting very shifty as he had been trying to Skype call my dad at work to ask for my hand in marriage. It was a nice day so when Kris suggested a picnic in the park and I agreed. The Grosvenor Park is a gorgeous space in the centre of Chester and happens to be around the corner from our house. Just as I had wanted it, in a moment that was just ours, Kris asked me to marry him. The shock meant I was far from demure but I of course said yes!

Our wedding was on 23rd July 2016. We had always known we wanted to get married fairly soon after getting engaged and with me wanting a spring/summer wedding, we randomly picked July. We booked the wedding exactly a year to the date.

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Our chosen venue was Oddfellows in Chester. I had always wanted a wedding that wasn’t too traditional. Our initial thinking was that we wanted something outdoorsy and to get married in the Roman Gardens in Chester. Then, whilst we were trying to get in touch with someone from the council to find out if this was possible, we walked past Oddfellows. I had seen that it was on the list of registered wedding venues and suggested we take a look. We loved its quirky style straight away and I knew that was where we wanted our wedding. We met and first lived together in Chester so we were very particular in that we wanted the wedding local in the place where it all started.

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We didn’t have a full wedding theme where everything revolved around it but we styled the day on the 1920’s/ Great Gatsby era. I always wanted to look back out our wedding pictures and it look classic and timeless.

We wasn’t keen on having a bright colour scheme and had always thought I would have black bridesmaid dresses. However, with us having a summer wedding and Kris being very set on having a blue tux, I searched Pinterest for some ideas and decided on blush pink, even though I hate pink! Everything else was white and then we had mixed metal accessories.

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orange is the new ivory. a fun-filled wedding at quarry bank mill – zoe & chris

September 23rd, 2016 | Julia Braime

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There are smiles galore in today’s real wedding which took place in the beautiful village of Styal in Cheshire.

Falling head-over-heels for the quaint yet industrial feel of the area, Zoe and Chris set about planning their dream country village wedding, complete with chapel ceremony and mill reception.

Giving a nod to the venue’s history, sewing machines and bobbins formed part of the charming décor that was finished off with wonderful wildflower arrangements in glass bottles and jars.

From beginning to end this day looks to be full of love and laughter, with the entertainment including live music, face painting and photo booth fun!

With images by Natural Touch Photography.

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zoe says: The decision to get married came about after Chris and I had been on a few walks and cycles around Styal village, Cheshire, and had commented on what a lovely place it would be to get married. Upon deciding on which venues we would hold the wedding at, we made contact with the relevant people to find that they only had a limited number of dates available, and so after a quick discussion, we booked it! A couple of months later Chris presented me with an engagement ring while I was in bed having a lay in on my day off. It was just before we went out for a walk to watch the solar eclipse!

We set the date for 23rd April 2016, as it was one of the few spring dates that the venue had left. We knew that we wanted to be outdoors a lot, and would walk across the village and the fields from the chapel to the reception venue on the wedding day. We also hoped to have our welcome drinks outdoors in the lovely gardens and so we needed a day with at least a chance of being dry and warm!

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Our ceremony was at Norcliffe Chapel, followed by a reception at Quarry Bank Mill. We chose this location because it’s such a beautiful setting that we’ve grown quite attached to with living nearby.

We wanted to celebrate the setting of the mill and the workers village vibe, and so we kept an industrial theme in mind throughout the wedding planning. This made it quite easy to find inspirational images, although we already had so much in mind after walking around the area and inside the mill a few times.

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Our colour scheme was orange and navy. Orange is my favourite colour and though I initially thought it might be a bit too much for a wedding, we felt the navy was a nice contrast and stopped the orange from being too garish.

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charming cherry blossom. charlotte balbier for a summer wedding at hurlston hall – jennifer & adam

September 5th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (39)

Today we’re packing in an extra punch of pretty with a second real wedding for to feast your eyes on.

For anyone planning a classic wedding that will truly stand the test of time, Jennifer and Adam’s big day is a perfect example of how it’s done; starting with a traditional church ceremony and ending with a lively reception at an elegant venue.

The dusky pink colour scheme works perfectly for the time of year and we just love the delicate touches of cherry blossom dotted throughout.

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (52)

jennifer says: We got engaged in September 2014, while we were away on holiday in Antalya, Turkey. The hotel was amazing and there was a gorgeous private beach. We went for a stroll on the second night and Adam brought his camera. He wanted to get a picture of the both of us so I sat in one of the sun huts. He set the camera up on a timer and once ready he ran over and got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife – just in time for the camera to capture the moment! I loved that he didn’t just ask me to marry him – he specifically asked me to become his wife, which was really special to me.

We picked 28th May 2016, as the date for the wedding. It was a bank holiday weekend and we wanted to give everyone an extra day to recover – we are party animals after all!

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (79)

We got married at the lovely St Michael’s Church in Aughton. If you went there yourself, you’d know why. The people there are amazing too. Our reception was at Hurlston Hall, in Ormskirk. We were over the moon with the venue. The views from the function room are breath-taking as it overlooks the golf course, plus it has an outside balcony so everyone could be in the sun.

We didn’t intend on having a theme but it kind of brought itself together – pink cherry blossom ran through pretty much everything, giving the wedding a slight oriental vibe. As such the colour scheme was of course, pink!

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (25)

My dress was a Charlotte Balbier design – Iscoyd Park – the one that Charlotte herself chose to get married in! Although I did get it made an extra metre longer as I wanted a huge train. It wasn’t what I thought I’d go for at all. When I tried it on it was like Cinderella finding that shoe; it is a truly beautiful dress and Charlotte is an amazing designer. I got the veil to match too, which was a last minute decision! I’m so glad I did though. I got my outfit from Belle’s Bridal Boutique in Liverpool, a really cute bridal shop and the girls there are lovely.

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in full bloom. stewart parvin for a spring wedding at statham lodge – laura & mike

August 30th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Spring Wedding at Statham Lodge (c) Jonny Draper Photography (62)

Spring has official sprung in today’s real wedding, which features beautiful blooms in abundance!

Centring the styling of their wedding round their favourite season, Laura and Mike went to town on sensational spring arrangements with their centrepieces among the most impressive we have ever seen!

We love the fresh, pretty colour scheme that brings the whole look together and have to mention Laura’s gorgeous long-sleeved lace detailed dress – just stunning!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

A Spring Wedding at Statham Lodge (c) Jonny Draper Photography (108)

laura says: We got engaged at the summit of Win Hill in the Peak District on my birthday, October 13th 2014. Mike had planned a romantic walk and picnic, but the weather turned and it became a battle against the autumn elements. Despite this, we had the most beautiful views into Ladybower and Hope. Mike produced a diamond ring after the picnic, but lost his composure and forgot to actually ask me ‘the question’…or even get down on one knee. After a few minutes of awkward suspense, Mike managed to ask me and I said yes.

When we first met, we discovered our mutual love for the outdoors. We would always plan days together out walking, cycling or running. Spring is our favourite time of year when the days get longer and we start to plan our summer days out. So for us, it was always going to be a spring wedding. We chose the spring bank holiday weekend to allow our guests a much-needed day off before heading back to work after the wedding.

A Spring Wedding at Statham Lodge (c) Jonny Draper Photography (94)

A Spring Wedding at Statham Lodge (c) Jonny Draper Photography (93)

We made a big move together over the Pennines from Leeds to Manchester for work and family reasons in 2014. We decided to live in Lymm for its easy access to open countryside, canal paths and woodland. We fell in love with the area and plan to lay down our roots and start a family here so it seemed right to marry in the area too. We had our ceremony at St Peter’s, our local church in Oughtrington, which sit sits rather majestically on the Cheshire skyline in Lymm. We always wanted a church wedding, as we believe it adds real meaning to our vows and to our marriage as a whole.

For the reception we chose Statham Lodge, a large Georgian country house near Lymm. We chose it following a meeting with their wedding coordinator, Andy Ball. He impressed us with his professionalism and warmness and we immediately entrusted him with our big day with no reservations.

A Spring Wedding at Statham Lodge (c) Jonny Draper Photography (71)

Our theme was simplistic, in that the majority of the work was done by the beautiful spring scenery and weather on the day. Our flowers, decorations and outfits were chosen to complement the theme of the spring outdoors.

We chose a sky blue and lemon colour scheme with the aim of recreating a scene of daffodils, tulips and daises on a crisp sunny blue sky.

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our adventure. spring pastels for a disney wedding at aston hall – natalie & james

August 24th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Disney Inspired Wedding (c) Ellie Grace Photography (27)

Today’s real wedding has to be one of the cutest to have appeared on the blog.

Bride and groom Natalie and James centred their big day celebrations on the adventures that they’ve shared together so far, taking inspiration from the adorable Disney Pixar film Up (one of our very favourites) along the way.

The result is a loved-up, honest and personal wedding featuring touching homemade décor, beautiful blooms and some rather sweet flower girls.

With images by Ellie Grace Photography.

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natalie says: James proposed to me at home once I’d returned for work. It was my first job since having our daughter Martha. He made me my own ‘Book of Spoilers’, Doctor Who style with memories from our time together and the ring was in the back within a hollowed out heart. It was just lovely.

We set the date for 18th March 2016 as we both wanted a spring wedding because it’s our favourite time of year. It was also two years (nearly) to the day that James proposed. Having an out-of-season wedding reduced our costs and helped us to keep within our budget too.

Disney Inspired Wedding (c) Ellie Grace Photography (17)

Our chosen venue was Aston Hall Hotel in Aston, Rotherham. We fell in love with it instantly. It’s a beautiful venue with gorgeous grounds with an excellent twist of traditional glamour and modern class – plus it was super handy for guests to travel to and stay at.

We chose our theme from the Disney Pixar film Up. People often tell us that we are like Carl and Ellie. We then took the theme a little further by adding adventure aspects, including a world map table plan and tables named after places we’d been.

Disney Inspired Wedding (c) Ellie Grace Photography (32)

Our colour scheme was spring pastels. We wanted to carry through the season with wild flower type colouring and so we went with hydrangea blues and lilac purples.

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zoom in: picking the right wedding photographer for you

August 10th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

ZT Photography (2)

ZT Photography

We often mention on the blog how much of an important role a photographer plays in a wedding; not only on the big day itself, but also in the years that follow, with their images serving as life-long memories of the special event.

As such it’s super important that you like the style of the images that your chosen photographer produces, but with so many differing types of photography to choose, making a decision can be somewhat overwhelming.

To demonstrate the different outcome a wedding album can have depending on who is behind the lens, a talented group of North West based photographers got together at the stunning Ashfield House in Wigan, to shoot the exact same subjects in the very same location.

The results, which we’re sharing with you on the blog today, are all stunning but all rather different and, as intended, perfectly highlight the importance of couples choosing the right style and personality of photographer to suit both them and their wedding.

So prepare to be impressed and amazed as we hand over the blog to Katie Street, the owner of Ashfield House who came up with the clever concept for the collaborative shoot, plus the photographers who took part: Neil Redfern, David Stubbs, Andy Wardle, ZT Photography, and our very own Brides Up North Sponsor, the lovely Jonny Draper.

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Andy Wardle 

katie says: The way couples pick a photographer was something I’d been thinking about for a long time before suggesting this shoot. Each time I heard “she’s a friend of a friend” or “my cousin used him and he was good” I got more and more frustrated knowing these couples could be missing out on picking a photographer that was more suited to their style. As an exclusive wedding venue, we work with a number of trusted photographers to capture the romance, emotion and fun of each wedding day, each with a totally different approach to their work. I wanted to give the photographers the same day, same backdrop, same couple but capture each photographer’s individual creativity and the difference in each set of images for all to see.

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 Jonny Draper

At Ashfield House, we don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to weddings and encourage our couples to be as individual and inventive as possible. We know that the best weddings at Ashfield play to the strengths of couples’ personalities, quirks and their passions. Photography is very similar. I’ve taken a keen interest in photography myself as an art form over the years, and am continually astounded by the quality and individuality of each photographer’s work who steps through the doors at Ashfield. My team and I stare in awe at the array of photographic work shared with us, and have often commented about the striking difference between styles and end results – even though the setting is the same. I wanted to show that picking a ‘good’ photographer isn’t enough, you need one that’s good for you.

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David Stubbs

Choosing suppliers who share your vision is absolutely key to an amazing wedding and, alongside your memories, photographs are the only thing you have left, so choose wisely! The photographers that took part were equally pleased with the final results as I was…

Neil Redfern Photography (9)

Neil Redfern

neil redfern says: Seeing everyone else’s different approaches and the way in which we each interacted with the couple was great. What I loved was that although we were all taking shots in the same location we each saw different things and that just illustrates how unique one photographer is to the next. I don’t think there was ever a time when we each wanted to take a shot the same as somebody else had.

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