October 17th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Weddings are both a time for reflection and a time to look to the future, and today’s featured couple Alison and Jason married both of these elements seamlessly on their big day. Creating a wedding day that represents them as a couple and their families, including some touching personal details to ensure those they had lost were represented, their celebrations are more than just tulle deep.
Alison is every inch a princess bride for her big day in an elegant gown featuring beaded lace throughout its fitted bodice and voluminous tulle skirt and a crystal-buttoned zipped closure. With her carefully planned bouquet of soft and delicate flowers, she pulls the fairytale look together perfectly.
Details-wise, we love the simple yet luxurious cake design with its flawless finish and soft colours to echo the floral creations decorating the venue. Behind each smooth exterior hides a delicious-sounding, surprisingly extravagant flavour. We did mention we have a weakness for cake?
The lighting is uber dreamy too with twinkling fairy lights, opulent chandeliers and soft candles illuminating the chic ceremony room with love and romance for the all-important “I dos”.
With images by John Francis Photography.
alison says: We got engaged in Dubai in October 2016 on the beach in front of the Burj Al Arab. Jason tricked me into thinking he wanted to take some photographs of the famous hotel, as the sun was just going down and the Burj Al Arab has interchanging lights on it, so off we went. Halfway onto the beach, I turned around and he was on one knee. It was a total surprise and Jason did well to keep any kind of surprise from me! A few days later we headed off to the Souk to have my engagement ring made. Wow, what an experience!
For the wedding day, I wanted a date that was memorable and flowed nicely. The venue had a cancellation of 18th August 2018, so it had to be: 18.08.18.
We looked at a few venues but, as soon as we viewed Eaves Hall in Clitheroe, Lancashire, we fell in love with it, so we instantly booked it for both the ceremony and reception. We chose Eaves Hall because it was exclusive and only we and our guests would be able to use the venue on our special day, not to mention it has the most stunning grounds and gardens, as well as the added bonus that all the girls could stay the night before the wedding in the lodge. We would certainly recommend the venue as it was simply perfect; the Hall is absolutely stunning, the staff were so attentive and couldn’t do enough for us, and it was a truly amazing day. To have the venue all to yourself for the day is just a dream.
Planning the wedding was a lonely journey from me at times as my mum passed away seven years ago and Jason’s mum suffered from dementia, meaning I didn’t have either mum there to help, but I did have my trusty best friend and maid of honour, Clare, to help along the way with decisions. We hadn’t had it easy during the run up to the wedding: my dad had been taken unwell and Jason’s mum and dad both suddenly passed away just nine months apart from each other but, as a token to their memory and my mum’s, I managed to get hold of a photograph from both their wedding days and had a personalised memorial candle made, which we lit after the ceremony.
We didn’t have a theme to the wedding but the colour scheme was inspired by a rose called Memory Lane, which I associate with my mum.
When it came to the dress, we went to Ava Rose Hamilton in Colne. OMG: this place is absolutely stunning! The minute you walk in, you are made to feel so at home and treated like a princess. I settled on an elegant lace and tulle A-line wedding dress in ivory from Essense of Australia. The dress had no name, which was very strange, so in memory of my mum I named it Susan and Ava Rose Hamilton stitched a guardian angel into the tulle as a memory to my mum.
Jason wore a three-piece suit, which was made to measure by Nigel Clare in Chorley. They also supplied his Eton shirt, belt and Loake shoes. I spent hours matching the ties to the girls’ dresses, with it being a unique colour, and eventually found the ties at TM Lewin on King Street in Manchester. The groomsmen’s suits were by Roy Robson and were also from Nigel Clare, who supplied the shirts, belts and shoes to match Jason’s.
October 16th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Today we’re sharing the beautiful wedding of Chelsea and Ian – a celebration of fairy tale proportions wholly inspired by the magic of stories such as Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.
Sealing their ‘happily ever after’ moment at Lancashire venue, Eaves Hall, Chelsea and Ian chose a delicate colour palette of dusky pinks and creams to suit their romantic theme and create a dreamy, whimsical vibe to their big day.
Details-wise, we love the hand-drawn illustrations depicting the stories Chelsea so loves to define each table, and the handmade biscuits as favours, each in a design straight out of a story book. Chelsea even created really thoughtful welcome bags for all the guests who stayed over, containing locally sourced treats and information about the area so they could make the most of their stay.
Of course, a fairy tale just wouldn’t be complete without a beautiful princess – and Chelsea is glowing and gorgeous in a dramatic Justin Alexander number with a cathedral-length train, illusion back and pretty beaded detailing around the neck and waistline.
With images by Madison Picture.
chelsea says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve in 2015. I still lived at home at the time. We were watching Christmas films in our festive PJs and sipping prosecco when Ian said he had an early Christmas present for me. He presented me with a little box that said “10 reasons why I love you” on the front. Inside there were ten cards each saying something different, such as “you’re beautiful”, “you make me smile”, etc. The last card said, “Will you marry me?” I looked up and he was down on one knee with the most beautiful engagement ring.
We got married on 29th May 2018. We wanted to get married in half term as I’m a teacher but it turns out that it didn’t matter in the end because I was on maternity leave having had a baby girl six months earlier.
Our venue was Eaves Hall, Clitheroe, and we had exclusive use over two days for both the ceremony and reception. We chose it for its wow factor; it was everything we wanted in a venue. Grand and rustic!
I wanted the theme to be based on stories and fairy tales: our own ‘happily ever after’. I love reading all things fairy tale and wanted a romantic theme. Colour-wise, we chose to go for a range of soft pinks (dusky, blush, etc.) and natural creams and whites. Dusky pink is my favourite colour and I wanted colours that would feel romantic and whimsical to go with our fairy tale theme. Plus, all my bridesmaids were blonde, so the colours suited them.
I chose a Sincerity dress from Justin Alexander, which was A-line shaped and made from satin with a cathedral train. It was the perfect combination of real bridal and whimsical, which is what I wanted. I felt like a bride when I put it on and fell in love with the dramatic train.
Ian wore a grey suit hired from Debenhams with a tweed waistcoat and tie. The groomsmen wore matching suits but with tweed bowties instead.
My bridesmaids’ dresses were bought online from Little Mistress. They were full-length in a floaty Grecian style and dusky/rose pink in colour. They had lace and beading around the middle and on the straps. The flower girls wore ivory knee-length dresses with a lace top.
We had our hair and makeup done by Manchester-based Jodie A Smith.
October 12th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Thornton Manor – an exquisite Grade II Elizabethan house in Cheshire – is today’s stunning backdrop to Charlotte and Jamie’s special day earlier this summer.
Looking to throw a big party for their guests – the venue ticked all the boxes for the couple, giving them the best of both worlds – the grandeur of the manor house and those more informal ‘let your hair down’ kinda feels from the lakeside marquee.
A blush colour palette worked flawlessly with the abundance of peonies, roses and hydrangeas, not to mention the life-sized tree!
Food and drink played a big part in their big day too – with steak, lobster mac n cheese, bacon sandwiches, candy floss and a prosecco tuk tuk van all making an appearance. As for the entertainment – they even had a wandering band that made their way around all the tables – an idea we think a fair few of you might want to steal! Feeling inspired? It’s time to hear more from Charlotte…
With images by Brett Harkness Photography.
charlotte says: We got engaged while we were on holiday in Barbados with our family. Jamie and I both have our birthdays one week apart, and these happened to fall whilst we were away. He told me we were going out for a meal the night before his birthday to celebrate, just the two of us. We went to The Cliff restaurant, which was as amazing as it sounds, right on the edge of the sea. He popped the question at the beginning of the meal…I think he was too nervous to wait until the end!! Of course, I said yes, and we spent the whole meal chatting about getting married – we hardly ate the food!
We got married on the 30th June 2017. We knew we wanted a summer wedding and I actually ended up picking the date based on the weather the previous few years! Unfortunately, we were not blessed with sun for the whole day, so my theory went out of the window!
We got married at all All Saints Church in Thornton Hough and hosted our wedding reception at Thornton Manor. Jamie and I both liked the idea of getting married in a large manor style house, however most importantly we wanted a space where we could throw a great party. Thornton Manor could accommodate a marquee on site too which made this possible!
Our colour scheme for the day was a range of blush colours – soft shades of pink, ivory and peach. We chose this as it fitted with our idea of a relaxed yet sophisticated summer’s day.
My dress was designed by Suzanne Neville. I had always loved this designer and liked that she could tailor any dress to your style. I actually went down to Suzanne’s shop in Knightsbridge where I had all my fittings and even met with her to decide on some of the final details. I ended up changing my dress four months before the wedding, which was slightly stressful, and it could not have been more different!
October 1st, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
After the wonderful summer we’ve had, it’s becoming a recurring theme to show you gorgeous cerulean skies and baking hot sunshine as par for the course in our real wedding features. Today’s wedding showcase is no exception, taking place on one of the hottest days of the year – more south of France than north of the UK! Despite the challenging heat, the bride, Rachael, looks radiant in her Amanda Wyatt gown, with its French Chantilly lace bodice, soft tulle A-line skirt and classic lace-up back, accessorised with a gorgeous red lip. Being an historian who especially loves the Georgian period, it’s no surprise she’s chosen a pair of heels with a Georgian sense of style to complete her look. We also love the white feather fan she uses to keep herself cool during the day – a good tip for any summer brides-to-be.
The theme of Rachael and Luke’s big day was travel and they did a sterling job of reflecting this in their choice of decorations. The world map table plan is particularly charming, and they’ve added little details throughout, like the globe that accompanies the rather regal-looking cake during the wedding breakfast.
It’s not always easy to dress a marquee as the all-white appearance can add a cool tone, but Rachael and Luke added a curtain of fairy lights behind the top table to warm up the scene and some on-trend love lights to add depth to the room. With beautiful white blooms and greenery aplenty, the effect is elegant and classic.
With images by Madison Picture.
rachael says: We got engaged while in Iceland. I had planned a trip there to celebrate Luke’s 30th birthday. Being a geographer, it was a place he had always wanted to go, and I was pleased with myself that I could make it happen. Therefore, being proposed to on the trip was the last thing I expected. On the third day of our trip, we spent the day visiting geysers, hot springs and lava fields. On our way back to the hotel, Luke suggested we visit one last waterfall. I was pretty exhausted, but Luke was insistent. The waterfall, Skógafoss, was breath-taking. Luke set up his camera on the tripod and suggested we jump in front of the waterfall in order to catch it on camera. I didn’t realise he was actually filming and, after we both jumped, he got down on one knee. Hilariously, it didn’t quite go to plan and Luke fell backwards almost into a running stream. As I tried to pull him up, he would not get off his knee. Being a joker, I thought he was pulling a prank, until I saw the ring. He asked me to marry him and, after saying yes, the rest was a bit of a blur. It was the best feeling ever. On our return leg of the journey, he had created a CD full of my favourite songs and those that meant so much to us both. We drove back feeling on top of the world.
We chose 27th July 2018 as our wedding date. Originally, I wanted to go for 27/7/2017. Being the seventh child of two parents who were also the seventh child in their family, the number is very lucky for me! However, living in Dubai, we felt it would be too soon to plan the wedding, so settled for 27/7/18.
We had our ceremony at St Mary’s Church, Whitewell. It was important to us both that we were married in a church and St Mary’s is beautiful. We met the most wonderful people every time we attended mass. Rev Veronica Green and Carolyn Wort did everything in their power to help us to get married there, despite us living in the UAE. Over the two years of planning, we built up a lovely friendship with them both and Veronica gave the most beautiful service. She helped to make me feel calm on the day and not only gave a beautiful sermon but also gave us such fantastic advice on the importance of marriage and the foundations of a successful partnership.
We had our reception at Iscoyd Park in Whitchurch, Shropshire. Being an historian, I always knew I wanted to get married at a Georgian wedding venue and Iscoyd was the 18th century venue I was looking for. Photographs really do not do the place justice. Arriving at Iscoyd for a viewing, I was almost in tears at the beauty of the venue. Not only did it have the charm of an 18th century building but the renovation by the Godsal family was breath-taking. Every room in the house was perfectly designed to reflect the history of Iscoyd whilst bringing it into the 21st century. The attention to detail was unreal and each aspect of the house was unique. We knew instantly we would want to have more than one night at Iscoyd, so we decided to book two so that our families could enjoy a little break away whilst getting to know each other fully the night before.
One of the most important reasons we also decided on Iscoyd Park was due to the staff. We were given such a warm welcome from Philip Godsal and, despite it being his family home, he was clear to us from the start that he wanted us to feel like Iscoyd Park was our home for those couple of days that we would be staying there. Every person we came into contact with at Iscoyd was fantastic. They were incredibly warm and welcoming and made us feel as though nothing was too much trouble for them. We would absolutely recommend Iscoyd Park to other brides and grooms. We both felt so sad when the experience came to an end and we had to leave Iscoyd and their wonderful staff. We hope to visit again in the future and envy those who have their wedding still to come.
In terms of a theme, we decided to go for a simple and classic style; as the venue itself is so stunning, we didn’t really need to make many additions and we didn’t want to detract from the beauty of the place. We opted for a travel theme as this is something that is important to both our lives. Each table was named after a place we had been together, and we used old-fashioned travel posters on each table to show this. I also filled the room with a variety of beautiful quotes written on the theme of love.
For the colour scheme, we decided to go for light blue/grey with simple white flowers throughout. I wanted something fresh and classic and something that would fit with the venue we had chosen.
September 19th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding is something of a showstopper; we hardly know where to begin as there are so many Insta-worthy moments and details to pore over.
Our featured couple Laura and Ash tied the knot at the astoundingly beautiful Peckforton Castle in Cheshire in May. And we love what they done with the venue – think blossom trees, floating candles, a whimsical floral arch and a candlelit aisle lined with ivory petals. The stuff of fairy-tale dreams. And that’s before we even mention their moreish food and drink line-up of a chocolate truffle brownie cake, elderflower cocktails and a hog roast!
Music played an instrumental (ahem) role in the couple’s big day. Not only did the bride and groom surprise their guests with a performance of two of their own songs, but Laura’s uncle performed a violin solo during their ceremony too, and they also had a string quartet later in the day. And, we have to confess, Laura’s wedding gift to her hubby-to-be – a guitar – is one of the most memorable and thoughtful we’ve ever seen!
With images by Sansom Photography.
laura says: We got engaged on our third anniversary of dating – Valentine’s Day 2017. We had a spontaneous date in the Peak District village of Castleton in the Hope Valley, not far from Sheffield. We had just finished dinner in a charming little restaurant called 1530. Over coffee, our first and favourite pastime, Ash inconspicuously reached into his pocket, to offer me a ‘sweet’ he’d picked up earlier that day – but instead he presented the ring, brightly sparkling in the humble glow of the empty room! It was a complete shock to me, I was instantly brought to tears. The sweetest, softest words were spoken as he moved to one knee beside me, where he received my resounding “yes”. The kind waitstaff re-entered the room in delight and took our photo.
Our wedding date was Saturday 19th May 2018. Although we liked the idea of an autumn wedding, spring 2018 was far enough to plan and ensure a large amount of family and friends from abroad would able to attend and sooner than waiting until autumn 2018. Within three weeks of our engagement, we confirmed our date with the registrar and venue. Ten months later, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their wedding date as the 19th of May, also! We were delighted to share the day (and the beautiful weather).
We initially thought of getting married in London where I spent my childhood in Chiswick, but due to my elderly grandparents living in Cheshire now, we wanted to find an option closer and easier for them to enjoy. Through a casual Google search, Ash came across the incredible Peckforton Castle in Tarporley, Cheshire. From our first glimpse in pictures, we were blown away by the beauty of the castle and grounds. It included stunning countryside surroundings, historic Grade I listed buildings and the perfect backdrop for our dream come true. We went to an open house conveniently that next week and wanted to look no further.
The venue is licensed for civil ceremonies only, which we chose to follow with a Christian blessing and arranged for my uncle to be our celebrant, rather than a local reverend, as this was more personal and meaningful for us. My uncle is also a first violinist for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and performed a violin solo to a song we chose called Vapor by husband and wife duo, Gungor, during a candle memorial to honour those no longer with us. We included readings by family members: excerpts from The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis and 1 Corinthians 13 before an inspiring closing and prayer.
While we didn’t have a set theme, our style was a gilded floral romance. We chose a palette of ivory, blush and nude against lush foliage of eucalyptus and olive leaves.
Blush and gold were our feature colours as they complemented our florals delicately without distracting from the castle décor. These worked well for spring and kept the mood light and romantic.
I chose a dress by MillaNova, which I purchased from Elements of Serenity Boutique, Swindon. I had originally seen the dress on Pinterest but had no details on who the designer was. After two visits to other boutiques and countless evenings scrolling through my dress inspo board, I hunted down the details and found that only one boutique in the country carried this line! I visited EOS as soon as possible with my aunty who lives in Cheshire and my iPad as we facetimed my mum who lives in the States. We knew that this was the one! I had tried on so many chic, fitted dresses that looked and felt lovely but hadn’t spoken to me the way this MillaNova dress did – I wasn’t initially looking for a ball gown, but this made me feel so beautiful and most like myself. It was a wonderful experience without the hype or pressure you see on TV. The boutique didn’t rush me or over-influence, they were excellent from start to finish.
September 5th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There’s a definite sense of occasion at today’s real wedding between Freya and Daniel, as Daniel dons his RAF uniform and his colleagues unleash their ceremonial swords to welcome the groom to the town hall and add pomp to the procession once the couple are married. But it’s not just the chaps turning heads on the streets of Chester: as Freya passes the shoppers and bystanders on her way to meet Daniel, she is resplendent in her voluminous gold gown with its plunging neckline, delicate leaf design and the acres of skirt carried by her bridesmaid entourage.
There is possibly the most challenging table plan we’ve ever seen at this wedding, which surely caused guests a few giggles after a couple of glasses of ‘pimp your prosecco’ as they tried to crack the code of where they were to sit!
We love the floral theme, with a giant flower chandelier taking pride of place in the centre of the marquee, dripping with blooms and echoing the country vibe. The fact that guests could glamp on site is a huge tick for a rustic wedding and brings a real sense of fun to the occasion.
But perhaps the part we love the most about this wedding is the huge effort some of the guests made to put on a mini production of The Greatest Showman, spending months learning dance moves and surprising the bride and groom with a rendition in flashmob style. What fun to watch! Tell us more, Freya…
With images by Jess Yarwood.
freya says: We got engaged on a country walk in Dan’s home town of Sowerby Bridge. With a view overlooking the valley, Dan got down on one knee with his brother and partner there to capture the moment forever. It was a complete shock and I don’t think either of us managed to get any words out for a few moments! Dan got out the words “Will you marry me?” and with a “yes” from me and the ring on my finger, we were off to the pub for a celebratory drink!
We got married on 18th May 2018. Our ceremony was in Chester Town Hall. With Dan in uniform (he is a squadron leader in the RAF), we felt the Town Hall suited the occasion and I loved the idea of getting married in Chester town centre.
The reception venue was an easy choice, as my family runs the wedding venue Kings Acre, which is on the outskirts of Chester in the small village of Saughall. It is a beautiful, friendly and relaxed venue. We had the freedom to do so much, having a marquee to decorate and lots of outdoor space! The bar is so cute and there are plenty of amazing spots to have the perfect pictures. With a yurt village and camping, a lot of our guests stayed on site. We would wholeheartedly recommend Kings Acre to other couples. It is a wonderful place to get married: everything runs so smoothly, the venue is beautiful and it all leads to a relaxed day where everyone has fun. You can do so much with the space that you can really make it into the vision you dreamed of for your special day!
When it came to planning our wedding day, I totally checked out the Brides Up North website numerous times to get inspiration from real weddings and to find suppliers. I love looking at what everyone else does for getting great ideas that work. The theme took a while to develop but I got there after hours on Pinterest and then I found the bridesmaids’ dresses and it had to be green and gold for the colour scheme! I wanted loads of flowers – not just on the tables, as I wanted to have interesting floral pieces with bursts of colour.
My dress was by Morilee. I knew as soon as a tried it on that it was one, after nearly 70 dresses! I went big: the dress was huge and I went for a light gold colour, which matched the theme perfectly. I bought the dress from a small independent store in Gloucester called By Design. They were excellent. I felt like I was in safe hands and my dress fit perfectly on the day.
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