September 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Hold onto your hats, guys and get ready for a slice of complete and utter gorgeousness: Jenna and Ollie’s big day at the stunningly quirky Bellle Epoque in Knutsford has everything you need to get through to the weekend. There are flowers galore, a sublime earthy palette of woodland green and rich amethyst and the most beautiful lace dress courtesy of Louise Selbey – the sweetest combination of classic and edgy cool. All the superlatives and all the italics.
As if I couldn’t be more envious, Jenna and Ollie met in a LIBRARY (be still my beating heart) and love to travel, travel, travel, so there’s no surprise that books, maps and beautiful calligraphy feature heavily. If you’re a details gal, you’re in for a treat.
The couple say they fell in love with Knutsford’s charm and The Belle Epoque’s character as soon as they walked in, and sampling their sumptuous menu sealed the deal. We can totally see what they mean – these natural shots from Ginger and Lime Photography of the couple hiding in doorways, the bride posing in her sunnies and the party spilling out onto the street have got our hearts pumping, too.
With images by: Ginger and Lime Photography.
jenna says: Ollie and I got engaged on Boxing Day in December 2015 outside my Mum’s house in Selsey, West Sussex. He’d planned to pop the question down by the beach after a walk, but I’d insisted on going the shorter way back though the village. It was perfect anyway!
We got married on July 8th 2017. We knew we wanted a summer wedding as we really wanted some outside space and I’m much more of a fair weather person!
We had our ceremony and reception at The Belle Epoque. We fell in love with Knutsford, the building’s character and its outside terrace. Food was a big part of it, too: The Belle Epoque’s menu was right up our street, plus it offered the flexibility that we wanted.
In terms of a theme, books and travel featured heavily in our wedding. Books because Ollie and I met in the library, and travel because for three years we were back and forth most weekends between Chester and Surrey. We also have some amazing memories from our holidays and liked the idea of featuring those.
Our colours were green and purple because they complimented The Belle Epoque’s quirky interior and it allowed us to work with the foliage and flowers that we liked best.
My wedding dress was by Louise Selby based in Kew. One of my best friends from school, Sophie Heaven, is a talented embroiderer who made us a really special hand-embroidered ‘Cards’ sign for our card basket. She’d previously worked with Louise and told me about her sample sale. I was astonished that my Mum and I actually agreed on my choice! It was such a gorgeous mix of classic and modern, is made from the most beautiful lace and I just felt super comfortable in it.
The groomsmen wore matching blue trousers and blue waistcoats from Moss Bros. My bridesmaids wore amazing twist and wrap dresses from Isabella Bridal. We can’t recommend them enough: they’re so comfortable and flattering, great quality and they come in one size which was perfect as my bridesmaids were travelling from all over including, err, Indonesia!
August 23rd, 2017 | Julia Braime
As far as group efforts go, today’s real wedding is going to take some serious beating. Amazingly, with the help of their incredible family and friends, Hettie & Tabz, planned and pulled off a wedding for 450 guests! That’s right 4-5-0!
Marrying at Hettie’s home church, everyone packed in to see this super-popular couple tie the knot before moving onto an activity centre and marquees in Burrs County Park, for a fun reception with cool festival wedding vibes.
With everyone keen to offer their services, skills and talents, family and friends helped to take care of everything from the attire, transport, food and cake, right through to the evening entertainment. Now that’s how you call in a favour – or two, or three….
With images by Paul & Nanda
hettie says: We got engaged exactly eight months after we got together. I went on a treasure hunt type adventure with my mum to various places that were special to Tabz and I (including our first date location) where different friends were situated with the next clue. The final clue led us to a church building where many of my friends and family were. They were lined up outside and around the corridors that I followed until I reached the top of the staircase to see Tabz stood at the bottom. As I approached him, he got on one knee and asked me to marry him! I obviously said yes (why wouldn’t I? He’s wonderful!) and a band consisting of our friends began to play ‘our song’ (For Once In My Life) and we partied the night away with our friends and family. It was brilliant!
We set the date for 27th May 2017. Logic told us that a Bank Holiday before half-term school holidays would be easier for us and others, especially family who live further afield.
Our ceremony was at Life Church Lancashire in Burnley, which is my home church. The building is incredible, I have many great memories there, and I couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. Also, with more than 450 people attending, it was the only church building big enough anyway!
The reception was at Burrs Country Park, in Bury. We used the Activity Centre and field to create a summer festival as there was plenty of space to do so. The venue was very different to traditional weddings, which meant we did everything ourselves, with much help from great friends and family.
Our theme was ‘Be a blessing’. Those who attended our wedding have been such a blessing to us individually and as a couple that we wanted to bless them as much as we could throughout the day. We also wanted this to reflect our faith and encourage others to bless one another too.
Our base colours were black, white and grey, with pops of yellow, light pink, bright pink, orange and green. We wanted our colours to reflect our personalities and the fun, festival party.
I struggled with the idea of going dress shopping and having a stranger help you decide such an important outfit (whilst you’re practically naked!). A friend suggested that I looked at the wedding dress that one of my bridesmaids, Sue, wore. She looked gorgeous and it seemed like the kind of dress that could suit me. I tried it on and loved it! Sue gave me the dress to do whatever I wanted with (I told you people are such a blessing to us) and it was an honour to wear the wedding dress of such an amazing lady.
August 15th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
This celebration feels a bit like a fairytale: a wonderful extended stay at an ancient 14th century farmstead, photographs featuring chandeliers and roof beams, fur throws and flowers galore – and, of course, a picture-perfect princess in a bespoke gown.
Details really mattered for this discerning bride, and what beautiful details they were: a colour palette that echoed the springtime cherry blossom, flowers everywhere, a menu planned to perfection, a fun caravan photobooth and raspberry gin – mmm!
And as well as having a keen eye for elegant decor, Clare is a wise sage on the subject of wedding planning. She advises brides-to-be to make no apologies – “If it’s important to you, that’s all that matters.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!
Over to Clare to tell us more…
With photography by Hayley Baxter Photography
clare says: We got engaged during a surprise weekend away for Valentine’s Day in 2016 to Loch Lomond. After the long drive, Nick suggested that we go for a walk and find a pub for some lunch. As we were walking along the edge of the loch, Nick kept stopping to look at the view and trying to get me close to the water’s edge – but I was more concerned about the mud, utterly clueless as to what he was trying to do! Nick got down on one knee – I was so surprised! Of course, I said yes!
We booked our wedding for 29th April 2017 – it was the Bank Holiday weekend, so ideal with the extra day off work for our guests.
We got married at St John the Evangelist Church in Charlesworth, Derbyshire. I grew up in Charlesworth and my mum still lives in the village, so it was a perfect choice.
Our reception was at Upper House in Hayfield, about ten minutes away from Charlesworth. We fell in love with the venue the moment we first went to see it – the views over Kinder are incredible and the building itself is beautiful and full of history. The great thing about Upper House was that we had it for the whole weekend, so arrived on the Friday morning and left on the Monday morning – all our family and wedding party stayed with us for the three nights and it was so special to spend the whole weekend with family and friends in such a stunning location.
We didn’t have a theme as such; as the venue is so beautiful, it didn’t really need it. However, flowers played a large part, from our wedding stationery to the décor in the marquee.
We went for a spring colour palette of blush pinks, sage greens and golds. We chose it because I love cherry blossom and it was in bloom at that time of year.
I had a bespoke wedding dress. I didn’t initially set out thinking that I wanted to have my dress made for me – I was so excited about going to different shops to find ‘the one’. I made an appointment at Mariée Bridal Boutique in Nantwich, without even considering the bespoke service they offer, but then after trying a few things on the conversation started moving towards creating a design just for me. Kate drew up a sketch and I was sold! The whole process of having a dress created is wonderful: you see it evolve at each appointment and can tweak things right up to the last minute. Kate also made my mum’s outfit and my flower girl’s dress, and they both looked beautiful.
August 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
This afternoon we’re featuring 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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
August 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Katie and Josh’s special day had us gooey from the word go. Their colour choices – rich raspberries, sumptuous burgundies, deep earthy browns and rose gold accents – light up the lens and have us longing for autumn’s open fires (and maybe a glass of red…you know, just to be sociable).
And while Katie and Josh were looking to their future together, they also made sure they didn’t forget the past. The bride’s bouquet was fastened together with her late grandfather’s tie and family photographs and a memorial plaque were dotted around the reception venue. Stylish, poignant, perfect.
So, settle in for a good ‘un; the rustic details from this joyous day are to-die-for, not to mention the bride’s strapless, full-skirted number.
With images by Jessica Lang Photography.
katie says: We got engaged at the Manchester Christmas Markets on 5th December 2015. We were there for the day with some close friends and decided to get a drink in the main chalet. Later, we asked a man if he could take a picture of us with the giant illuminated Santa behind us. He took the picture – but then Josh asked him for another and, at that moment, got down on one knee and proposed in front of all our friends and everyone in the chalet! I was completely gobsmacked and couldn’t say yes quickly enough! Everyone cheered and clapped and we celebrated the rest of the day in Manchester.
Our wedding was booked for 3rd November 2016. We chose the date as we wanted an autumn wedding but we couldn’t afford weekend prices.
We had our ceremony and reception at Browsholme Hall and Tithe Barn, in Clitheroe. It was unlike anything we had seen in the area: very rustic, the scenery was stunning and it was everything we wanted.
We went with a kind of rustic autumn feel. We wanted the day to feel relaxed and not too formal.
We chose a deep raspberry/burgundy colour for the bridesmaids and dark brown for the groomsmen and woman. We chose these colours as we felt that they’d look great with the natural autumnal colours from the scenery and fit in well with the season.
I chose a fitted, strapless, drop-waist bridal gown. It was an ivory colour with ruching around the body and beading for detail. The skirt was rather full and had some appliques for detailing. I wore a plain, simple ivory veil with matching flowers from my bouquet in my hair. I also wore some vintage looking sparkly earrings and champagne heels.
June 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
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 3rd July 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
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.
Today we’re poring over Jenn and Mark’s exquisite wedding at the magnificent West Tower manor house in Lancashire.
Wearing the most stunning Mori Lee mermaid style gown, the beautiful bride carried a gorgeous bouquet of peonies and roses for a quintessential summer bridal look.
With a five-tier artificial cake – every inch the picture-perfect creation – the couple also laid on a special cocktail hour for their guests, complete with the breezy sounds of a live saxophonist.
With images by Ian MacMichael Photography
jenn says: We got engaged in London on 15th November 2014. We were celebrating Mark’s birthday, staying in our favourite hotel – The Grange St Paul’s. We were out sightseeing all day and when we got back in the early evening, there were roses and champagne in our room. Mark asked if they were for his birthday, I said no, then turned around and he was on one knee.
We got married on 11th June 2016. There wasn’t a specific reason why we chose this date, other than that we knew we wanted to get married on a Saturday at the beginning of summer.
We tied the knot in All Saints Church in Childwall, which is Mark’s family church and is stunning. This was followed by a reception at West Tower. I had always dreamed of getting married at West Tower; it was the first venue we viewed and we both knew straight away that it was perfect for us. The grounds are gorgeous and the staff are unbelievable, too.
Our colour scheme was white. We wanted everything neutral so that our photographs wouldn’t look dated in the years to come.
I chose a lace mermaid style Mori Lee dress – I tried on more than 50 dresses before I found ‘the one’. It was from a gorgeous shop called Natalie Ann Brides. As soon as I started to try on different gowns, I knew I would find my perfect dress there. I was petrified I wouldn’t find one that I loved and was really nervous, but they really put me at ease. I didn’t actually choose my dress – Natalie said she had found the perfect dress for me and, it turns out, it was exactly what I’d been looking for!
Mark wore a three-piece black dinner suit with bow tie from William Hunt in York. He has seen a photo of the suit on Pinterest which we couldn’t find anywhere, but he eventually tracked the shop down. They had one in London and another in Harrogate. He dealt with Gavin who was brilliant and nothing was too much trouble.
Peaches and Cream did the bridal party’s hair and makeup. I loved the trials in the buildup and it was such a fun atmosphere in the shop on the day. They don’t come out to your house, which I quite liked as there were ten of us so it could have got a bit manic! All the girls looked stunning.
Our wedding transport was a vintage car from The Wedding Rooms, Formby.
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