December 6th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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
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!
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
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.
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.
November 23rd, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
November 16th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
November 16th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
October 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
“Life’s too short” is a phrase and thought responsible for bringing on, or speeding up, many a plan, whether it be booking that holiday of a lifetime, taking the plunge on a new business venture or simply agreeing to a spontaneous night out. For today’s featured couple however, it was that very thought that led to them getting hitched, after Kevin was taken seriously ill in hospital.
Fighting back strong, Kevin spent the next 18 months recovering while Amanda got the big day plans underway and together they achieved their goal of becoming Mr and Mrs, surrounded by family and friends at a stylish venue in the North West.
Working to a budget, creative Amanda kept costs down by doing her own wedding flowers and centrepieces, which looked gorgeous in shades of pink with pretty pearl detailing. We also love Amanda’s Bardot neckline dress, which has the perfect balance of fashion and fairytale.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Robbie Venn Photography.
amanda says: We began planning our wedding after Kevin suffered three cardiac arrests in November 2015 – he was given 5% chance of survival. We realised life is too short so decided to get married. It was more a case of me actually saying: “I think after this I’ll marry you”, and it snowballed from there.
We set the date for 20th May 2017. We didn’t want to wait too long but it also gave Kevin enough time in his recovery.
Our chosen venue was On The 7th, The Landings at Media City, Salford. After looking at several venues we realised we didn’t want the usual white covered chairs style of venue. On The 7th is a modern venue, with stylish décor – we didn’t need to do anything to decorate it. The staff were also amazing, from the wedding coordinator to the master of ceremonies.
I didn’t have a colour in mind for the wedding initially but then I saw a bridesmaid dress style I liked, which was navy, so settled on a navy and pink colour scheme.
I wore a ball gown style dress with a sweetheart bodice, which was from Wed2Be, Bolton. I didn’t know what style would suit me at all, so went with Kevin’s mum try different styles on. Being a larger-chested girl, I had in my mind totally ruled out anything without straps. I tried several dresses on and the last one was the one I ended up choosing – the one with no straps! It felt amazing, I couldn’t believe how it made me feel, and how it didn’t make me look busty, surprisingly.
Kevin wore a navy blue suit from Next with a matching waistcoat and pink tie, pink button hole, and black shoes. The groomsmen’s suits were all from Next too.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Chi Chi London, which were also navy blue, 50’s sort of style. I didn’t want to go for a usual bridesmaid dress. Luckily the dresses suited all bridesmaids. The flowergirl’s dress was from Monsoon.
The bridal party arrived at the venue in a white campervan, from Posh Pampa Campa. I didn’t take in to account how old campervans were at the time of booking! It cut out at each set of traffic lights on the way to the venue, which made the journey all the more memorable. Kevin’s twin brother booked a limousine from bookerlimo.com, which was a surprise to Kevin.
October 10th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Our lovely featured bride Sarah achieved her dream of a marquee wedding at home on her family’s farm complete with beautiful rustic touches and a fairy tale horse-drawn carriage.
Inspired by farming home life and pretty Pinterest pics, Sarah and her team of helpers, decorated the plain marquee with beautiful blooms, bunting, log slices, milk churns and creamery jugs to make her vision a reality.
The entertainment was on form too with a live band, DJ, ice cream van and white bouncy castle no less.
So, join us as we head down to the farm for this fun and fabulous big day…
Images by David Millington Wedding Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged on Christmas day evening. We had already opened presents but Jonny said I had missed one hidden in the Christmas tree. I think at this point Jonny had run off into the next room, when he reappeared he had tears in his eyes. I think he popped the question, but I may have already said “yes” by that point!
Our wedding date was 17th June 2017. We had our ceremony at the beautiful St Michael’s Church in Cockerham. We chose the church because it’s just five minutes from my family’s farm and a marquee wedding reception was my dream.
I decided to go for a farming theme – living on the farm gave me lots of ideas. I opted for plain flooring, a pallet fronted bar, and made metre after metre of hessian flag bunting whilst I was on maternity leave. I collected creamery jugs, borrowed milk churns from my mother-in-law and the log slice table centres were sourced and cut by my brother. Straw bales for decoration and seats were from another local farmer. We browsed charity shops and collected jars to decorate. I found Pinterest really helpful for ideas.
I was advised not to get too hooked on a particularly colour scheme and so chose to keep everything quite neutral. My bridesmaids’ dresses were not the same colour as the groomsmen’s cravats, we just had pinks, lilacs and creams, which fitted perfectly.
Finding my dress was a bit of a challenge. I’d looked around some local wedding shops but nothing wowed me. We then went to Amelia’s Bridal at Clitheroe, the whole shop and team are amazing. The girls really know how to make you feel individual and special. It’s really relaxed, but the boutique is stunning! I knew as soon as I found my dress it was the one.
Jonny wore a grey suit with an ivory waistcoat, which we hired.
The bridesmaid dresses were sourced online (massive risk I know, but it paid off!). The only thing that was altered was the length, my girls said they fitted well and they all looked beautiful!
Elegant Carriages supplied our wedding transport – a stunning new Landau Carriage pulled by two grey horses, Stella and Rose. It really did feel like a fairy tale, it’s an experience we will never forget.
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