Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

real wedding recap 2017: laidback vibes for a summer wedding at abbeywood estate – laura & dean

January 1st, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

A Summer Wedding at Abbeywood Estate (c) Mike Plunkett Photography (41)

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 8th January 2018 (we’re hoping we’ll be over the hangover by then, right?) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from last 6 months. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Happy New Year!  Today we’re recapping on a summer wedding filled to the brim with gorgeousness. It starts with the bride and that bespoke dress, which she twirled to full effect until the early hours. She didn’t stop there, though: her lucky #bridesquad girls were treated to matching morning gowns and the prettiest ASOS floral-print frocks you can imagine. And there’s still more – pastel paper lanterns, a glittering headpiece, an adorable flower girl or two, petals strewn along the aisle…the pretty knows no bounds!

The Glasshouse at Abbeywood Estate was the perfect backdrop to their relaxed celebration, with the windows bringing the outdoors in and the early summer flowers complementing the beauty of their big day.

With images by Mike Plunkett Photography.

A Summer Wedding at Abbeywood Estate (c) Mike Plunkett Photography (53)

laura says: We got engaged five years ago when Dean booked a meal at my favourite restaurant, San Carlo, in Manchester. As a surprise, he’d invited some friends and my parents to the meal. It wasn’t until he got up to thank everyone for coming that I realised what he was doing and he got down on one knee to propose! He had asked for my dad’s permission beforehand but my mum and sister had no idea and were totally shocked. Needless to say, there were a few tears!

A Summer Wedding at Abbeywood Estate (c) Mike Plunkett Photography (51)

We married on 3rd June 2016. In all honesty, we chose a Friday as it was slightly cheaper and we chose June because we hoped for some sun – and we weren’t disappointed!

Our venue was Abbeywood Estate in Delamere. A few years ago, when we first got engaged, we went to a wedding fair at Abbeywood and it was such a simple but beautiful family-run venue that it stayed in our minds. Although we looked at several venues, we kept coming back to Abbeywood. We decided that the Glasshouse would be the perfect place for our ceremony and the gardens would be a great place for our guests to enjoy the day.

A Summer Wedding at Abbeywood Estate (c) Mike Plunkett Photography (64)

The whole style of the wedding was centred around the bridesmaids’ dresses – pastel florals with a laidback feel. This worked really well with the venue and with the weather: it was the hottest day of 2016!

I’m not a huge fan of wedding dresses and, being quite small, I found that any that I liked just drowned me. So when one of my friends mentioned that her friend had decided to go freelance as a wedding dress designer/maker, I jumped at the opportunity. Nina was absolutely fantastic and understood what I wanted from day one. My brief was ‘simple but elegant with a floaty skirt’ and that’s exactly what she did for me. It was great having such a personalised service and bespoke dress and I’d recommend Nina to anyone thinking about having a dress made.

A Summer Wedding at Abbeywood Estate (c) Mike Plunkett Photography (6)

I wanted a headpiece as I knew that I wanted my hair down. I managed to source a bargain Halo & Co sample headpiece. My shoes were Charlotte Mills and so comfy. At first, I didn’t want to spend much on a pair of shoes I would wear for one day but the more I looked, the more I realised that only those shoes would do. I’m going to be wearing them again in August when I’m bridesmaid for my friend – expense justified!

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belle of the ball. teal & coral for a fairy-tale wedding in the north west – amy & jamie

December 7th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Fairytale Wedding in Manchester (c) Robbie Venn Photography (45)

This afternoon’s gorgeous real wedding features a striking teal and coral colour palette, a truly exotic bouquet and some jaw-dropping stained-glass windows.

Amy and Jamie’s Saddleworth and Ashton-based big day also boasts some stunningly candid speech photographs and a top-drawer mother-of-the-bride outfit – full marks, mum, for co-ordinating perfectly with the colour scheme – the Brides Up North team salutes you!

What turns our head most though has to be Amy’s Disney inspired dress based on the ballgown of one of our very favourite princesses, the beautiful Belle.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Venn Photography.

A Fairytale Wedding in Manchester (c) Robbie Venn Photography (23)

amy says: We got engaged on 2nd October 2016, while we were on holiday in Puerto Pollensa, Majorca. We’d been out for an evening meal and were walking back to the apartment when Jamie said he’d seen something down on the beach, I followed him down to the sea, he got down on one knee and proposed with a gorgeous ring.

We chose 30th September for our wedding day; originally, we’d wanted 7th October, but the church was unavailable on that day.

A Fairytale Wedding in Manchester (c) Robbie Venn Photography (49)

We chose Friezland Church for the ceremony. I’d driven past it many times and thought it was a beautiful church in a stunning location. The reception was at The Village Hotel; it was a great location with easy access for all of our guests. They offered a great food and drinks package with loads of extras.

In terms of a colour scheme, we chose teal as the main colour. We found that teal dresses suited all of our bridesmaids beautifully. We also opted for a coral colour for the flowers to complement the teal.

A Fairytale Wedding in Manchester (c) Robbie Venn Photography (24)

I wore an Alfred Angelo Disney inspired dress based on Belle’s dress from Beauty and the Beast. I‘d seen the Disney inspired collection and thought the dresses were amazing. I went to Once Upon a Bride and knew as soon as I put it on that it was the one.  My shoes were custom-made Beauty and the Beast Converse hi-tops made by Becci Boo’s Custom Shoes.

Jamie wore a dark grey suit, a chequered grey waistcoat, a white shirt, teal tie and a top hat from Perfect Fit. The groomsmen wore the same as Jamie.

The bridesmaids wore floor-length, teal, halterneck dresses by Alfred Angelo and our flower girl wore a sparkly white dress with a teal sash. All of the bridesmaids wore coral Converse.

A Fairytale Wedding in Manchester (c) Robbie Venn Photography (21)

Transport-wise, we hired two retro Volkswagen Campers and two Volkswagen Beetles to take myself, the bridesmaids and my mum to the church from Funcampers in Stalybridge. As a surprise for Jamie and the groomsmen, I hired two Range Rovers, but ended up with a Jaguar XJ as one crashed the day before!

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and for our next trick: introducing wedding magician danny jewell

December 6th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Stephen McGowen photography

Stephen McGowan

A DJ and live music are the types of entertainment that instantly spring to mind for brides and grooms to consider when planning their wedding, but there are further acts that can be incorporated into the day to make it all the more memorable.

Magicians being one such offering – and we’re not talking seen-it-all-before pulling a rabbit out of a hat style tricks, but mesmerising magic that will leave guests impressed, stunned and enthralled.

We know just the man who can help wow you and your guests with his amazing skills – talented north-west based magician, and Brides Up North Sponsor, Danny Jewell.

Having been practising magician for more than 12 years, Danny has developed a fabulous range of close-up magic that works particularly well as an ice-breaker among guests and keeps all ages entertained during the ‘slower’ points of the day, such as during photos and the switch over from the wedding breakfast to evening reception.

Jess Yarwood Photography

Jess Yarwood Photography

When did you first start performing magic and how did you get into it?

danny says: I started performing magic at the age of 13 (I’m now 25!). I saw a magician on holiday in Dominican Republic blow up a balloon, pop it and a live dove appeared on stage! It was the first time I’d seen live magic, so I decided to buy a Marvin’s Magic Set with some pocket money I had saved from my holiday spends. I practised every magic trick for hours then ended up doing my first family show that night. I then found myself a mentor and I started learning all the techniques used with cards and coins.

I ended up performing in Salou, Spain at the prestigious House of Illusion magic dinner theatre show entertaining more than 200 guests per evening six nights a week. All the hard work was worth it in preparation for all the lovely bride and grooms I’ve met over the years. Evidently, I learnt a lot more about the performance side of magic and being a top-class entertainer specialising in wedding entertainment.

Is there a certain type of magic that you specialise in?

I predominantly specialise in close-up magic around Manchester, Cheshire and the North West, performing at weddings to guests of all ages using cards, coins, ropes and other everyday objects. In my opinion, performing high quality magic with plenty of audience participation for adults and children is important because the bride and groom are purchasing a package that they can trust for their wedding day. I have the ability and experience to accommodate the magic to the situation of the event too. For example, performing around tables or mix and mingle magic for guests in groups of two to ten people, who have a drink and are relaxing in the bar area of your chosen venue.

Every single routine I utilise has been tried and tested at more than 150 weddings, so you can be sure to receive the very best in wedding entertainment for your special day!

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For what points of the day do wedding couples tend to book you and what type of magic do you perform at these times?

Drinks Reception – shortly after your ceremony finishes, you will be having photos taken with your photographer so your guests will need entertaining until you sit down for the wedding breakfast. This is the perfect time for me to break the ice for all your guests by performing interactive close-up magic for approximately five to ten minutes per group of two to ten people. Most of the magic I do can be done in the spectator’s hands and I always work my hardest to ensure everyone is involved during the wedding performance.

Wedding Breakfast – the show usually continues from the drinks reception around tables in between the courses of the meal. The magic doesn’t interfere with service and I perform a varied routine which adds a lot to the atmosphere of your special day. I have the experience to work the tables in a professional manner ensuring guests have a fantastic day!

Changeover Section – this is probably my favourite place to perform at a wedding because everyone has eaten, the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed and guests are up for high quality entertainment before your evening party starts. I’d perform magic for people in the bar area and around tables.

Jess Yarwood Photography (1)

Jess Yarwood Photography

In your opinion, why is a magician a good choice of entertainment for a wedding?

Every bride and groom want their wedding to be unique, memorable and to stand out from the rest! A magician is the perfect way to do this because magic is an interactive personal form of entertainment suitable for adults and children. People presume magicians are cheesy however, this is definitely not the case! The right magician with plenty of experience will entertain guests with magic, laughter and plenty of applause throughout the drinks reception, around tables or during the changeover section at your wedding.

Magic has also been revitalised from shows such as Britain’s Got Talent. Therefore, the public understand that a good magician stands out from the rest and is definitely something to squeeze into the plans for your wedding day.

What makes you different from other magicians?

Most magicians are remembered by an audience from one particular trick they did, such as walking on water or bending a coin in the spectator’s hands. The main difference with me is the fact that I have an extensive repertoire whereby every magic trick I do flows in a routine and I have the ability to change my act if people start following me around. This is important on a professional level and develops from a lot of experience performing at many types of events.

Amanda Boileau photography (1)

Amanda Boileau

What do you enjoy most about performing, and particularly at weddings?

I’ve always had a passion for acting and a strong interest in performing arts. I think magic combines both of these together and enables me to express myself as a performer. I love meeting new people and putting a smile on their faces and after all, there’s not one person I’ve met that doesn’t want to be entertained! Magic enables people to remember a special moment in their lives that they can talk about for years to their friends and family and that means a lot to me.

I love performing at weddings because each wedding is different. Brides and grooms always put their own spin on their wedding and it’s fantastic to see so many people come together and celebrate the wedding of their loved ones. Everyone has a smile on their face and wants to be entertained which makes everyone more approachable and encourages a much better performance.

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our love story: laura & daniel

November 23rd, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson

An Outdoorsy Engagement Shoot (c) Jessica Stott Photography (14)

We love getting a sneak peak of our future brides and grooms before they tie the knot – seeing them looking so happy in their engagement photographs makes us really look forward to the occasion of their wedding, when we get to pour over yet more delicious images as they begin their married life together.

Today’s gorgeous couple, Laura and Daniel, visited the windswept Thurstaston Common on the Wirral Peninsula for their engagement shoot, where they strolled hand in hand through the rich colours of the heathland and romance was definitely the order of the day. Over to you, Laura…

With images by Jessica Stott Photography.

An Outdoorsy Engagement Shoot (c) Jessica Stott Photography (30)

laura says: Daniel and I met in January 2013 when I started my teaching career. I was covering a maternity post at the school Daniel worked at, also as a teacher. For our first date, we went to a lovely tapas bar in Liverpool called Schmooze.

An Outdoorsy Engagement Shoot (c) Jessica Stott Photography (4)

We got engaged at The Red Fox in Thornton Hough on 16th July 2017. It was a complete surprise! My whole family and best friends knew, as Daniel had asked my dad’s permission on Father’s Day.

An Outdoorsy Engagement Shoot (c) Jessica Stott Photography (6)

I knew Daniel was the one after our first holiday to Milan; it was so amazing and then we started saving for our beautiful house and, with all the excitement, I knew!

An Outdoorsy Engagement Shoot (c) Jessica Stott Photography (18)

We decided to have an engagement shoot because Jess, who shot it, will be taking our wedding photos, so it was a great opportunity to be photographed and see what her pictures of us will be like (they are fantastic!)

The shoot took place at Thurstaston Common, which we chose for the lovely views of the Wirral looking out across to Wales. We loved the session and are going to frame some of the photographs. It has made us so excited for the wedding and to see our wedding photos already!

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gangster glamour. a peaky blinders inspired styled shoot at arley hall & gardens

November 16th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Peaky Blinders Styled Weddimg Shoot (c) Amy Faith Photography (56)

For this afternoon’s post we’re remining at the same venue as our featured real wedding – the stunning Arley Hall & Gardens in Cheshire, which is famed for more than just its glorious big day offering.

Having formed the backdrop to many a television programme and film set, you’re probably more familiar with this fine country house than you realise; especially if, (like us) you’re a Peaky Blinders super-fan. The BBC 2 hit series, which returned to our screens for its fourth series this week, used the grand Hall as the home of main character Tommy Shelby, who also happened to marry his now late-wife Grace at the premises.

In a nod to this link, fellow Peaky Blinders fan, Rebecca Jenkinson of Pretty Creative, came up with the concept of a gorgeous 1920/30s casual glamour shoot at Arley Hall, which she styled to perfection with the help of a talented team of North West suppliers.

And, just like the programme, the end images are nothing thought of gripping! We can’t get enough of the grand backdrops, splendid table setting and stylish attire, not to mention that bouquet!

One of the main reasons we’re so addicted to Peaky (other than a rather HUGE crush on lead actor Cillian Murphy) is the amazing outfits that are generally opulent yet understated for the females and incredibly dapper and sharp for the males – who would have thought a bearded guy wearing a baker boy’s cap could make us go so weak at the knees!

So, ladies, it’s time to embrace you’re inner Polly or Ada as stylist Rebecca takes over the blog to explain how she and the team achieved this deliciously decadent look…

With images by Amy Faith Photography.

Models, Rob Hunter and Stacey Taylor.

A Peaky Blinders Styled Weddimg Shoot (c) Amy Faith Photography (44)

[jennaopne]rebecca says: Our inspiration for the shoot was casual 1920/30s glamour, with a bit of edge, influenced by the bad boy done good story of the cult TV series Peaky Blinders. We shot in late September as autumn was just starting to drift into the landscape.

A Peaky Blinders Styled Weddimg Shoot (c) Amy Faith Photography (24)

The shoot was captured by Amy Faith Photography, who I love working with. She’s so good at conveying authenticity, beauty and edginess in her images. If you are looking for a wedding photographer, you really need to look at Amy’s beautiful work.

A Peaky Blinders Styled Weddimg Shoot (c) Amy Faith Photography (17)

Our venue for the shoot, Arley Hall and Gardens, is a gorgeous Cheshire wedding venue, totally steeped in history and home to lots of different TV and film sets, including Peaky Blinders. I’m a huge fan of the TV series, so when the chance to do a shoot at Arley Hall came along, I knew it had to be our inspiration. With our own peaky blinder bad boy groom and his stunning bride.

In the last series, Arley Hall was the stately home of the main character Tommy Shelby, played by the gorgeous Cillian Murphy. It depicts a time where he’s made his ill-gotten fortune on the betting circuits at the horses (and general dodgy dealings!) and it’s where he marries Grace.

A Peaky Blinders Styled Weddimg Shoot (c) Amy Faith Photography (49)

Although Peaky Blinders is really quite dark at times, there is an incredible love story within, kind of against the odds. It’s that feel we were looking to create, with a nod to the era, beautiful imagery, bridal inspiration and to capture the romance of the two main characters, Tommy and Grace.

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from arley hall with love: bond girl glamour for an opulent north west wedding – arlene & simon

November 16th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson

An Opulent Wedding at Arley Hall (c) Cris Matthews (25)

Yes, we have a dress crush. Today’s bride Arlene wanted to look like a Bond girl on her big day and we reckon she absolutely nailed it in a gorgeous, backless Rosa Clará number with a graceful silhouette and divine vintage detailing on the shoulders and down the back. We also have garden envy, because the grounds at today’s venue, Arley Hall, would give any National Trust property a run for its money: deep borders bursting with colour and texture are juxtaposed with crisp topiary and rich red brickwork. The photographs offer up a visual feast.

In a colour scheme of navy and dusky pink, Arlene and Simon went for an elegant, regal feel with a touch of femininity to complement the glorious Elizabethan-style Victorian country house. With its opulent interiors, who could fail to feel a little bit Bond-esque?

With images by Cris Matthews Photography.

An Opulent Wedding at Arley Hall (c) Cris Matthews (6)

arlene says: Simon proposed to me at home on August bank holiday in 2015, after more than six years together with bubbles, Bob Marley playing and a display of photographs of us on our fabulous holidays. We then went to Gaucho in Manchester for steak dinner and he had organised a surprise party with our close friends at Epernay. The next day I was whisked off to Moddershall Oaks for an overnight spa break.

An Opulent Wedding at Arley Hall (c) Cris Matthews (20)

We got married on Saturday 29th July 2017. We wanted a summer day and a weekend, as we have a lot of teacher friends. My dad flew over from Panama to walk me down the aisle and the date also worked well for my 11-year-old stepsister and her school holidays in Panama.

Our chosen venue was Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire. We had our ceremony in the drawing room, the wedding breakfast in the gallery and the reception at Olympia Barn on site. I visited the venue one afternoon with some friends, as it’s open to visitors. I fell in love instantly – butterflies! Simon loved it as much as I did. Arlene driving up Arley Road to marry at Arley Hall – it was meant to be!

We also liked the venue as it was local and had a good mix of rooms to use and stunning gardens. Plus, I liked the idea of having a more informal area for the evening guests to party.

An Opulent Wedding at Arley Hall (c) Cris Matthews (29)

I wanted a fairly simple, elegant, classy style for the day. The venue is so opulent that I didn’t want to take away from/spoil its beauty. We would definitely recommend the venue: as well as it being utterly gorgeous, the staff were professional and friendly and we felt reassured the day would run smoothly.

An Opulent Wedding at Arley Hall (c) Cris Matthews (34)

My gown was from Knutsford Wedding Gallery. I am quite particular with my style and wanted a unique dress. After searching bridal websites and magazines, I decided I liked Rosa Clará gowns and booked an appointment as I knew they were stocked there. I was very keen on a backless, slinky dress. My spec was I wanted to look and feel like a Bond girl! When I tried it on first I knew it was the one, but that didn’t stop me from trying on 29 more dresses. Milking the moment!

My hair and makeup artist was Make-up By Sophie, based in Oldham. She followed my Bond girl spec –my bridesmaids and I felt very glam.

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