Charlotte Balbier

written in the stars. a relaxed & fun wedding in the lake district – sharon & chris

October 6th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Boho Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (115)

If today’s real bride would have got things her way, she and beau Chris would have eloped to marry but we’re sure glad that Sharon was swayed by a larger-scale celebration in the Lake District – as we get to share all the pretty details of their big day with you today!

Surrounded by their family and friends, Sharon and Chris combined a pretty pastel colour scheme with a fun theme that gave nods to both of their passions (films and cats, need we say more!)

We love the relaxed vibes as guests have fun in the sun, entertained by garden games and live music. Other standouts for us include the super-cool choice of wedding transport and Sharon’s beautiful Nottingham lace dress and flower-crown combo for boho bride perfection!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke.

A Pretty Boho Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (8)

sharon says: We got engaged on our fifth anniversary, on August bank holiday weekend in Dolgellau, Snowdonia.

We had spent the day wandering around Portmeirion, which is a little fantasy village perched on a cliff, filled dreamy Italianate architecture and with lovely views over the bay. It’s a beautiful but surreal place, which is why it was chosen as the setting for the 1960s TV show The Prisoner. Later that night we went out for dinner and Chris insisted on driving. He is a keen photographer and so he decided we would drive out somewhere after dinner so he could take photos of the stars.

I had been trying to talk him out of it all night as it was actually very cloudy and there was not a star in the sky, but he was insistent. We drove out for about half an hour, trying to get the best vantage point at the top of the hill, and eventually Chris pulled over into a layby and got his tripod out. I was in the car, playing on my phone and wondering how long he was going to be as I really needed to pee, when he came back to the car and asked me to take a look at his photos. I looked at the screen on his camera and he had taken a beautiful photo… of the clouds. “Aw hon… it’s a bit cloudy, isn’t it?” I said. “Yeah,” he sighed, disheartened. Then suddenly he pulled out a box. “Anyway, I have a present for you… I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind marrying me?”

It turned out he had been hoping to get a shot of the stars on the night we got engaged. I think I had previously said that my worst nightmare would be to get engaged in a public place with loads of people around. He’d decided to find the most isolated and private place he could find; under the moon, with just the stars over us and no one else around.

In the box was a ring with an amethyst stone (my birthstone). He had been trying for about two years to figure out my ring size, but as I don’t normally wear rings he’d failed at every turn. He had tried getting friends to ask if I knew my ring size (I don’t) and had tried measuring my finger with a piece of string as I slept – all with no luck. Rather than guess, he decided to let me pick out the kind of ring wanted and get his friend, a jewellery designer in Birmingham, to make it just for me.

A Pretty Boho Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (117)

We got married on 17th June, 2017. I really wanted to get married in the summer as I desperately wanted some sunshine on the day and we didn’t want to wait until 2018. Unfortunately, this left us with less than ten months to plan a wedding in the Lake District in peak season, so the date was very much down to whether we could get the venue and the registrar. We also renovated and moved into our house this year, so it was a busy time for us.

I spent about two months trying to convince Chris to elope to Iceland or Vegas. I hate being the centre of attention and the stress and expense of a big wedding felt like a terrible way to start married life. Somehow Chris talked me round – he said we deserved to have a day with all our friends and family making fuss of us.

Having been convinced to go the whole hog, we agreed to get married to in the Lake District, where I grew up. We got married at Belmount Hall, between Ambleside and Hawkshead. The building is part of Beatrix Potter’s estate, but the main reason we chose it was for the incredible setting with views of Esthwaite Water and Gummers How in the distance. As soon as we stepped out of the car we were blown away by the surroundings. Belmount was the blank canvas we were looking for; small enough that we could have the whole site to ourselves but with vast and beautiful grounds in which to enjoy the sunshine (I was adamant that there would be sunshine).

A Pretty Boho Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (113)

Once we had the venue, we knew it was going to be a ‘Pinterest wedding’; rustic and a bit bohemian with lots of little touches that would make people say, “That is so Chris and Sharon”. We’re both big film fans and cat lovers (Chris is a film and TV lecturer and I’m a bit of a crazy cat lady), so our tables were named after feline film puns. The Big Meowski, The Great Catsby, Furris Bueller’s Day Off, etc. An extremely talented young artist called Amy Lewis took our silly ideas and transformed them into some adorable cartoons for each table and I designed the table plan myself.

I don’t like matchy matchy colour schemes so I went for a pastel rainbow of dusty pink, light blue, dove grey and soft peach.

A Pretty Boho Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (109)

As a big girl with big boobs, wedding dress shopping was a nightmare experience and I hated every minute. I had been dreaming of a 1920s-style beaded dress, in the style of Jenny Packham or Eliza Jane Howell, but whenever I managed to track one down the samples were all size 10 or 12.

I had almost given up hope when I walked past Kula Tsurdiu’s studio in Nottingham. Kula is a Greek designer, but her base is in the historic lace market of Nottingham, where she sources a lot of her materials. I made an appointment with Kula’s manager Laura Summerson and she was one of the few people to really listen to what I wanted. She didn’t try to force me into a stiff, ruffled, strapless A-line monstrosity, like almost every other store I tried. The dress I eventually settled on was all-over Nottingham lace with a natural waist, long sleeves with tiny sparkly sequins sewn into the fabric. Knowing that the dress would be made to my exact measurements was a relief and Laura managed to make the whole process as stress-free as it could be.

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i dos & pastel hues. laidback vibes for a summer wedding at abbeywood estate – laura & dean

August 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

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

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.

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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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pastel fantastical. a spring wedding at colshaw hall, cheshire – kate & danny

July 18th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Spring Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Ragdoll Photography (39)

Today on Brides Up North, we’re reminiscing with newlyweds Kate and Danny, who tied the knot earlier this spring at the stunning Colshaw Hall in Cheshire – a private 300-acre estate.

With a penchant for all things Easter, the couple treated their guests to an egg-stra (sorry, had to be done!) spectacular day filled with chocolate eggs, cute bunnies and beautiful daffodils. Their dog Maddie even had a special role to play.

With not just two, three or even four but six bridesmaids and a flower girl – all coordinated in rainbow-bright pastel shades – and the bride herself dressed in an elegant vintage style gown, get ready for a cute springtime wedding.

With images by Ragdoll Photography

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kate says: We got engaged on 13th December 2015, at the top of the big hill on Barlaston Downs Banks when taking our little dog Maddie on a Sunday walk. It was also our seven-year anniversary!

Our wedding took place on 12th April 2017 – we picked this date because we wanted a springtime, Easter wedding. We got married at Colshaw Hall in Knutsford, Cheshire – we fell in love with the venue from day one. It has amazing grounds and both the ceremony room and reception room were beautiful boasting natural colours. The accommodation was amazing too – 36 guests from our close family and the bridal party stayed there the night before as well as on the big day itself.

A Spring Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Ragdoll Photography (36)

We picked our theme based on my love for Easter. As a little girl, it was always an exciting time in my house, with all the bunnies, chicks and beautiful colours. My family would always get together at this time too.

We chose a pastel palette for our colour scheme, consisting of mint, purple, lemon and lilac – all of my favourite colours! They worked perfectly with our Easter theme.

A Spring Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Ragdoll Photography (46)

I brought my dress from Bridal Couture By Josephine in Cheadle. After trying on about 50 dresses, I decided A-line was my kind of dress and the most flattering style. I love lace, so really wanted this fabric, as well as sleeves to cover my arms. When I tried the dress on, it was just perfect!

A Spring Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Ragdoll Photography (41)

Danny wore a navy blue slim-fit suit, with a grey and blue check waistcoat with brown shoes, purchased from Maria Modes in Macclesfield. The groomsmen wore matching navy suits with ties made from the same material as the bridesmaid dresses.

Speaking of which – I had seven bridesmaids and one flower girl – two wore lilac, with two in lemon, two in mint and another in pink. The dresses were bought from DIY Dress which is such an amazing website. A special mention should also go to dressmaker Victoria Anthony who altered my bridesmaids’ dresses and made all the ties.

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understated charm. a pared back wedding at the mill hotel – beci & paul

January 31st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today’s newlyweds, Beci and Paul, tied the knot in summer 2016, exchanging their vows in the magnificent Keele University Chapel.

Their celebrations took place in the nearby Mill Hotel in Stone, a former working mill that dates back to 1795 and offers heritage and charm in abundance.

We love the fact that the couple opted for simplicity throughout their special day, with a beautiful pastel wedding colour scheme; a yellow, red and white bouquet for the bride; and – a personal highlight – cupcakes for a cake!

With images by Ragdoll Photography

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beci says: We got engaged in Stone, by St Michael’s Church, on 12th July 2015. I had been nagging Paul for months to propose! That morning, I knew he had been ring shopping with my mum and quizzed him about it when he returned home. He said that he and my mum had disagreed about what ring I would like and therefore they didn’t get one. It turns out they had bought a ring after all and he proposed a few hours later!

We got married on 23rd July. Paul is a teacher and my mum is too, so the 23rd July was a week after his term finished and the day after my mum’s, so it meant we had the whole holiday break as newlyweds before getting back to ‘real life’.

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We tied the knot at the Keele University Chapel. This is where I currently study and both my sister and mum studied there, too. I will also be doing my Masters there next year, so it’s a place that’s central to our lives. Plus, we love the look of the building and how majestic it is!

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We wanted to keep things simple, as we are a very laid-back couple, so we didn’t really have a theme as such, but would describe our wedding style as a touch of vintage.

We chose pastel colours, mainly blue, as our colour scheme. We settled on blue in the end because that was the colour that best suited my maid of honour and so having bought her dress, it made sense to have the colour scheme to match.

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When it came to finding my dress, I felt like I had tried on every dress in every shop for miles! However, I soon found a style that fitted my shape best. I eventually decided on the first dress I tried on from Elle Louise Bridal in Newcastle-Under-Lyme.

Paul’s mum bought his suit in the Netherlands, as this is where he lived before getting married.

We had my maid of honour’s dress made to fit from Fairytales by Sherry, which is in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. The rest of the bridesmaids and groomsmen all wore their own suits and dresses to match our colour, as we wanted them to feel fully comfortable in what they were wearing.

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sunshine & smiles. pronovias for a fun filled wedding at knipe hall, cumbria – alexandra & andrew

November 30th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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We are totally head over heels for this morning’s gorgeous real wedding which features a super-stylish wedding party, pretty pastel colour scheme and lots of outdoor fun and frolics.

Highlights? There are many! Though for us the delicate décor, on-trend attire and super cute four-legged guest are among our very favourite bits!

With images by Darren Mack Photography

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alexandra says: We got engaged whilst we were staying at some vineyards in Yorkshire with friends for my 30th birthday in June 2014. Unbeknown to me, the day before we went Andrew had “Alex will you marry me?” Tattooed on his chest. We went out for dinner and drinks in Holmfirth then to a Billy Bragg gig. After an amazing evening, we got back to our apartment and much to my utter shock and disbelief Andrew revealed his new chest art to me! I said yes and we celebrated with a bottle of champagne with the rest of the bunch that we were away with!

Our wedding day was exactly two years after the weekend that we got engaged, so 18th June 2016, the day before my 32nd birthday.

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We got married at Knipe Hall in Cumbria, where we are from. We wanted a rustic blank canvas venue and this fit the bill! It’s an old farm that has been converted into luxury holiday cottages and has a barn and old dairy and huge outdoor space to host your wedding. This meant that whole wedding party could stay over making it a full weekend celebration and we could do as we wanted with the venue.

We didn’t really have a specific wedding theme as such, we just wanted it to be relaxed and fun! I guess it had a bit of a rustic country wedding feel to it. Our colour scheme was pastels and metallic. I was just drawn to those colours from day one and I love a bit of gold/sequins/glitter – just a touch though.

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My dress was by Pronovias bought from Olivia James Bridal in Egremont. When I first got engaged I saw a similar Rosa Clara dress in a wedding mag, which I loved – it reminded me of the wedding dress Audrey Hepburn wears in Roman Holiday. This dress was only in one shop in the UK so I travelled all the way down to London to try it on. It was lovely but wasn’t quite right so I walked away. I then decided I wanted a more boho 70s style gown so proceeded to try on around 30 more dresses; some vintage, some high street, designer, bridal couture, you name it but discovered I didn’t really suit a lot of the lace and nothing felt special enough. I was starting to lose faith and decided I just don’t like wedding dresses then I came across this dress online and found out it was in a shop not far from home and like I said, very similar to the first dress I liked. As soon as I tried it on it felt right. Still very much a wedding dress with the full skirt and long train but no added bling or lace; plain but beautiful details like the low scoop back and simple bows at the waist. It was such a relief to find the one!

My hairdresser for the wedding was Sarah Redding from Halo in Carlisle, and she was amazing, working relentlessly to get us all ready in time. A very talented lady. I own my own beauty salon in Carlisle called Rock and Fairy so I did everyone’s beauty treatments a couple of nights before the wedding and did my own makeup on the day using Mac products.

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Andrew wore a fitted black suit and white shirt with little gold buttons, all bought from Zara. He accessorised his outfit with gold braces and bow tie from Etsy and black patent loafers by Grenson.

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sweet on you. a gingerbread themed wedding in chester – lucy & neil

November 25th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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Today’s real wedding is a light-hearted and loved-up celebration featuring an elegant colour scheme, a gingerbread-topped cake and the sweetest little flower girl we ever did see!

With images by Sarah Horton Photography

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lucy says: We got engaged on 25th March 2015, while at Center Parcs in Whinfell. Our daughter Ruby was playing and one of her toys was the box that had the ring in. I asked what the box was and then Neil popped the question.

We set the date for 29th May 2016, as I’d always wanted to get married in May.

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Our chosen venue was The Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa in Chester. We had seen a few venues but fell in love with this one the moment we saw it. We loved the gardens and the general feel of the hotel. We wanted to get married where everyone could stay over and truly relax.

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The wedding theme was gingerbreads! I have a Gingerbread Man teddy from Shrek, which I love, and Neil is ginger, so it seemed fitting to have this as our theme. The invitations had gingerbreads on them as did the table plan, and we even had a gingerbread bride and groom on top of the cake.

Our colour scheme was silver/grey. Mainly picked from the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses and it worked really well with the suits and venue style.

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