Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

stylish stationery: project pretty

September 19th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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As the first glimpse guests receive of a wedding, the stationery is certainly an important element to consider. Not only does the save the date and invite set the scene for the style of the celebration to come, but they’re also informative in telling guests the when, where and what details.

The on the day stationery that follows is important too, again helping to reflect the theme and colour scheme of the day but also directing guests through the service and reception.

It therefore makes sense to take time when choosing your stationery to ensure the design and wording are exactly as you wish.

To help give some helpful pointers on where to look for inspiration and the key elements to take into account, we’re chatting to our fabulous Sponsor and talented stationers Kerry and Becky of Project Pretty.

With beautiful florals, bold botanical prints, romantic watercolours and sophisticated monochrome designs making up part of their collection, this talented duo really do offer something for all. And if you like what you see, now’s the time to act as the lovely Kerry and Becky are offering Brides Up North readers a fabulous 20% discount until the end of November 2017. To take advantage of this offer, simply enter BUN20 at checkout on the Project Pretty website.

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When picking invitations and stationery, what elements of the wedding would you advise couples to think about?

project pretty say: The first place to start, would be to think about what kind of wedding you want to have. Is it going to be a casual and relaxed affair, modern or traditional? From here, take inspiration from your chosen venue and the florals you intend to decorate your venue with. For example, if you are opting for a traditional church wedding, followed by formal reception, we would recommend a traditional but luxurious style wedding invitation, perhaps with a special print finish, such as gold foil. Finally, adding personal touches from your lives together will tie everything in beautifully.

In your opinion, is it imperative that the invites match the rest of the wedding stationery?

It’s not imperative that the invitations match the rest of the wedding stationery, but we would recommend that all ‘on the day’ stationery matches so everything is consistent for guests on the day.

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A lot of couples stress over the wording of the invite, can you offer any pointers?

Deciding on your wedding invitation wording can be challenging. There are two main factors when writing the invite. Who is hosting the wedding, and what kind of wedding day are you planning. Is it going to be traditional/formal or relaxed and casual? We have some helpful examples on our website to make the tricky task a little easier.

Beyond the invites what other stationery would you advise couples to consider?

A table plan and place cards are a must if you are having a sit-down meal, otherwise the room will descend into chaos once the guests make their way into the dining room! One of the other important pieces of stationery are thankyou cards, so you can thank your guests for their presence and gifts on your wedding day.

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In your opinion, how does stationery play a special role in a wedding?

Stationery is such an important part of a wedding. From the initial save the date, or invitation, guests can gauge what the wedding will be like and it certainly builds the excitement for the big day. There’s nothing better than receiving a beautifully designed and high-quality invitation through the post – the quality and attention to detail of the stationery says a lot about what the guests can expect from the big day. On the day, stationery is everywhere, with table plans and place cards guiding guests where to sit, menus to let your guests know what food they’ll be enjoying and even where the flip flops are for those tired feet. The little details can make a big difference.

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What are the current trends in wedding stationery and can you predict any hot new stationery trends to look out for in the coming year?

Foiled wedding stationery has been very popular this year, along with watercolour washes and florals mixed with modern calligraphy. We’re predicting that foil will continue to be popular along with marbling, monochrome and dark rich and moody colours.

Are there any designs proving particularly popular in your collection at the moment?

Our Kate and Romance wedding invitations are our most popular designs, but we’re also starting to see a lot of interest in our watercolour floral Juliette design, which was launched earlier this year.

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one pretty party. caroline castigliano for a navy & copper wedding at middleton lodge – laura & andrew

December 8th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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Today’s real wedding comes courtesy of Brides Up North reader Laura, and oh boy, is it a good one!

From the choice of venue through to the stylish colour scheme, fabulous blooms and Laura’s incredible dress, we adore everything about this wedding, which was planned in just four months. Yep, you read right, four months!

We’re also thrilled to see lots of our fabulous Sponsor suppliers contributing to this gorgeous celebration (if you’re on the hunt for talented professionals to make your day perfect, be sure to take a look at our ‘Suppliers We Love’ online directory).

Laura and Andrew wanted a relaxed and informal big day with a rockin’ party atmosphere, and by the looks of things, that’s exactly what they got!

With images by York Place Studios.

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laura says: We got engaged at home, in September 2015. It was a total surprise – we have been together for ten years, after meeting at Uni. We’d recently moved into our new home and Andrew got up early to do some painting, when I got up he’d written “will you marry me” on the wall!

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We booked the wedding for 12th March 2016, as we fell in love with our venue – Middleton Lodge in North Yorkshire – as soon as we saw it and they had an opening for this date. It meant that we had just four months from viewing the venue to the wedding day!

Middleton Lodge had everything we were looking for – character yet it still felt relaxed. We wanted the wedding to be a whole weekend party without people having to worry about taxis and getting home. At Middleton Lodge everyone could stay and the house was exclusively ours for the weekend. We also immediately loved the cellar bar as it was totally different from the house and knew we’d completely change the dynamic of the day when we went down there in the evening.

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We didn’t have a wedding theme as such, things were just relaxed and informal, though we wanted it to have a real party atmosphere.

Our colour scheme was navy and copper. We loved the colours as we’d seen them a lot in home interiors but we’d not seen them being used for weddings.

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My wedding dress was a 50’s inspired Caroline Castigliano dress, called Hepburn, from The Bridal Collection in Harrogate. It had a very full skirt but other than that was very plain and simple. The dress was the one thing I didn’t want to compromise on if we’re going to organise the whole wedding in four months so I chose this before we committed to the venue and date. My shoes were Jimmy Choos.

On the day of the wedding my hair was styled by Bows Hair, and my makeup was done by Anna Mason of Cordelia & Co – both were great and I’d definitely recommend them.

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wedding stationery with style: project pretty

October 21st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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Happy Fri-yay – the weekend is in sight! But before we head off to The Wedding Blog Awards in swanky London town tonight (did we mention that we’ve been nominated for three awards – Best Regional Blog, Best Blogging Team and Best Social Media… does this mean we get to drink three times as much bubbly!?) we’re revisiting our fabulous Sponsor Project Pretty, for an exclusive first look at their gorgeous new stationery collection.

Not matter what theme or colour scheme you’re opting for, chances are that Project Pretty will have a design that’s right up your street, with the latest designs featuring beautiful, bold florals and botanical prints as well as sugary sweet typography.

So while we go and get all dolled up, we’ll leave you in the safe and talented hands of the duo behind Project Pretty, Kerry and Becky…

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How many designs make up the new collection?

project pretty say: We have four fabulous new designs, which we are excited to introduce. They are called Alice, Charlie, Harlow and Louisa.

Is there a particular theme to the collection and where did the inspiration from the new designs come from?

Our new collection is based around botanicals/florals and bold typographical lead design. We have recently moved to a lovely new studio in the Cheshire countryside, and our new surroundings have influenced our latest creations.

What colour palettes feature in the new collection?

Our designs are available in a wide range of colours (with exception of our watercolour Harlow design). Our new Charlie collection, for example, is available in a whopping 2,556 colour combinations!

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What type of bride do you think the new collection will appeal to?

We hope the new collection has something for everyone; from the classic and traditional bride, to the modern and quirky.

Are the new designs available in stationery bundle options as well as individual save the dates, invites, menu cards etc?

Each design is available as a full suite, so we can style your wedding from start to finish. From Save the date, through to your ‘on the day’ stationery, and finally thank you cards.

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stationery with a difference: project pretty

November 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

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If you’re the type of person (like us), that loves pretty paper goods so much so that you can spend an age picking out a new note book or selecting a greetings card, then you’re going to love this afternoon’s post. For today we’re formally introducing new Brides Up North featured supplier and stationery sensations, Kerry and Becky of Project Pretty, to the blog.

As their company name suggests, these ladies are experts when it comes to creating swoon-worthy stationery; from elegant florals to punchy typographically led designs – there really is something for all.

This afternoon we’ll be finding out a little more about the dynamic duo behind Project Pretty and what they have to offer you lovely brides-to-be. And if that’s not enough, they’re also giving us an exclusive first look at their brand new collections that they’re launching today AND offering our readers a rather fabulous discount:

Brides Up North can get 10% off orders over £50 by using the code BUN10 at the checkout

Take it away ladies!

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How did you first get into the wedding industry?

project pretty say: We are both degree qualified graphic designers and met whilst working for a local design agency. Whilst discussing wedding details for our own weddings we agreed that at the time, there wasn’t much choice when it came to wedding stationery. With coming from a graphic design/print background, we both wanted something a bit more exciting and this inspired us to start our own business. In 2011 we launched Project Pretty to cater for couples looking for something a little different.

Tell us about the products you offer to wedding couples…

We are a wedding stationery and paper goods company that offers wedding stationery from save the dates and invitations, through to ‘on the day’ stationery, such as table plans, menu cards, sweet buffet labels etc. and finally ‘after the day’ thank you cards.

What is your favourite thing about your job and what do you love about the wedding industry?

Kerry says: I love working with couples on what will most likely be, the first impression their wedding guests have of their day. Creating the invitations or save the date cards for our couples is usually the first time they see all the details down on paper – it’s an exciting time and I love to be a part of it.

Becky says: I find it really satisfying helping couples through, what let’s face it, can be a very stressful part of planning a wedding. After all it is the first thing guests see and there can be a lot of pressure to get things just right, especially from parents and other family members! So, I love it when we get such positive feedback from customers – it really makes all the long hours worth it.

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How can stationery enhance a wedding?

Stationery is such an important part of a wedding. From the initial save the date, or invitation, guests can gauge what the wedding will be like and it certainly builds the excitement for the big day with guests discussing potential themes or colours. Even the quality and attention to detail of the stationery says a lot about what they can expect from the day.

On the wedding day itself, stationery is everywhere, with table plans guiding guests where to sit, what food they’ll be enjoying and even where the flip flops are, for those with tired feet, so it’s definitely worth investing the time in getting all these things just right. Paper should never be underestimated!

Where do you suggest couples to take inspiration from for their stationery?

We advise couples that their wedding stationery should be a reflection of their personalities and relationship.  For example, take inspiration from the places you have travelled to as a couple, the concerts you’ve been to, the restaurants you’ve eaten in – have fun with it, especially with the ‘on the day’ stationery. It’s also a good idea to consider what flowers you will be having on the table so that the colours used in your ‘on the day’ stationery complement the floral displays. Pinterest is a great resource for discovering what styles you like with regards to typography, paper and print.

Do you have a signature style?

We both have quite distinctive styles which enables us to offer a wide choice of designs. Kerry’s designs are typographically led, whereas Becky’s designs tend to be floral and whimsical.

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Tell us about the new collections that you have just launched today…

Romance – Our new Romance collection features a soft watercolour background with grey calligraphy fonts. Finished with Kraft envelopes and optional finishing touches such as the belly band and lace, this collection is super pretty and feminine!

Betty – Betty is a bold floral design featuring a bright gouache painted floral image on a black and white polka dot background. If you are looking for a pretty invitations with an edge, these could be the ones for you. Teamed with black envelopes and optional envelope liners, these invitations will really make a statement.

Geometric – Our new geometric design is available in 71 colour options, including elegant duck egg blue, and features modern typography and diamond geometric lines.

Kate – This simple black and white design features a relaxed handwritten style font on a white or black background. Team with black lined envelopes for understated cool.

Hydrangea – Our Hydrangea collection is available in pink or blue with optional belly bands. With rounded corners and a handpainted watercolour design, these invitations are soft and pretty. Available with white, grey or Kraft envelopes. If you are looking for a rustic design, we recommend opting for Kraft envelopes.

How can you help couples to personalise their stationery? Do you offer a bespoke service?

All of our designs are customisable, so couples can alter the text to suit and most designs are available in a wide range of colours. When ordering on our website, you can add all the personalisation details and select your colour/layout preference upon ordering. We also offer a custom design service for couples that cannot find what they are looking for, and would prefer to have a design created just for them.

On first contact we will request a brief based on the couple’s ideas and wedding theme. It is a good idea to create a Pinterest board of ideas, inspiration images and colours so that we can gain a greater understanding of what you are looking for. We will also need to know how many of each item you require – for example, 50 wedding invitations plus matching RSVP cards and information cards.

When we have all the information we need we will put together a quotation outlining the costs for the design development and the final printed items. Once the quotation has been approved a 50% non-refundable deposit is required prior to any design work being undertaken. Following payment we will then produce a mood board of ideas for review so that we can narrow down a design that you are happy with – this will include font ideas, layout styles and illustrations.

Once we have your feedback on the mood boards, we will request the text for the invitations/designs and will then produce the artwork based on your comments and preferences. Full colour PDF proofs will be sent via email within ten working days for review.

Once the design has been approved we will request the remainder of the fee and once received will send the artwork to print. You will then receive your wedding stationery, beautifully packaged and within seven working days.

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What styles of your stationery are proving popular with couples at the moment?

Our Eva collection has proven to be very popular this year. The design is classic in style but with a contemporary edge. Designs such as this are timeless and will always be popular. In addition to this, floral designs with calligraphy-style typography are also proving popular. However, our Bella design is consistently popular with its dark background and pretty star design. It is perfect for winter weddings, but we have also found it to be popular all year round.

Do you have any particular favourite designs within your collection?

Kerry says: My favourite design is our Frankie collection. I love the mix of vintage style fonts and paper stocks.

Becky says: I love the Millie design. It’s so classy with an understated Art Deco theme and looks fab on the textured paper stock we offer.

Which celebrity wedding would you most like to design wedding stationery for?

Kerry says: I would have like to have designed stationery for the wedding of Fearne Cotton and Jesse Wood. I love everything about Fearne’s style and think that as a couple, they would have had fun with the invitations and stationery.

Becky: It would’ve been great to have designed stationery for George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin’s wedding. She is so elegant with great style, she’s incredibly accomplished in her work, plus she bagged Hollywood’s most iconic bachelor – what’s not to love?!

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Tell us a little about your wedding days and what type of stationery you had…

Kerry says: I married my husband Matt in 2012 at Iscoyd Park near Whitchurch. We opted for a grey and yellow colour theme, with soft pastel flowers. I created all the wedding stationery myself which now makes up part of our Carnival collection. Instead of standard place cards, we pinned names badges to Kraft luggage tags, finished with baker’s twine, which was a great talking point for our guests.

Becky says: I married my husband Gareth in 2011, after a very long wait I might add, at Soughton Hall in Northop, North Wales. We had a fantastic day and night at the venue and I actually designed all my own stationery in a very classic style. I wanted it to tie-in with the beautifully historic venue so I used script fonts for a romantic feel along with a classic serif font in a very simple format. I had letterpress invitations and rsvp cards on a textured thick board, so the impressions were really deep and luxurious. I was absolutely thrilled – they turned out even better than I expected! However, my budget didn’t allow for all items to be printed this way, so all the other pieces, such as menus, place cards etc. were all printed digitally but using the same style. The design can now be found on our website under the name ‘Olivia’.

What sets you apart from other stationery companies?

We believe that beautiful typography and carefully considered colours combined with great customer service and the ability to visualise our customers’ ideas sets us apart from others. All of our collections are available to order on our website, making it easy for our customers to order online at their own convenience, however, we are always on hand to answer any questions and offer any help and guidance.

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Can you give us an idea on price?

Our prices range from £1.10 per place card, to £120 for an A1 table plan. Our price per invitation or save the date card varies dependant on how many you order, for example if you order 20 save the date cards these would be £1.80 each compared to an order of 100 at £1.60 each.

Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

Absolutely! Readers of Brides Up North can get 10% off orders over £50 by using the code BUN10 at the checkout.

How can Brides Up North get in touch with you and see more examples of your work?

Visit our website www.projectpretty.co.uk to view our collections and/or email us at studio@projectpretty.co.uk if you have any questions, or would like to discuss a custom design. We are also on Instagram – follow us @projectpretty1 for behind the scenes pics and a first peek at new collections.

 

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the italian lakes. a colourful wedding in windermere – julia & alex

September 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (37)

A little later than planned (we’ve been in recovery from another very busy weekend of wonderful wedding inspiration!), but worth waiting for, we bring you the super gorgeous wedding of Brides Up North reader Julia and her brand new husband Alex.  Inspired by the colours and tones of their one time Italian home, this beautiful, colourful wedding is an absolute feast for the senses.

Prepare for a Pinterest frenzy.

With beautiful images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

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julia says: We were living in Italy at the time we got engaged. Disguising a trip home as ‘lads university reunion’ Alex assembled the ‘Ring Squad’ – made up of his parents, brother and very lovely cousin to help choose a ring for me. The jewellers were Michael Levin of Nottingham who specialise in antique pieces, which I’d long before fallen for on a shopping trip to the city.

Living in Milan at the time, Alex had planned a trip down to Rome for my birthday – unbeknownst to me he was ducking into the toilet on the train trying to call my dad at every opportunity to ask him for permission to marry me! On our second night in Rome, Alex asked me to come out onto our balcony that was picked intentionally with its towering view of the Eternal City, as we were getting ready to go out. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife and pulled out the most beautifully sparkly ring I have ever seen. We both burst into tears. I said ‘yes’ of course and celebrated by heading out for a really romantic dinner. We were in such a bubble, it was incredible. We delayed telling our friends and family until the next day (we let our parents know), so that we could truly live in the moment that we’d created.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (6)

We knew we wanted to get married in the summer, and I was under strict instructions from Alex to avoid the football season due to our football mad families. We set our hearts on 6th June 2015 – which is actually D-Day! One week after the conclusion of the Premiership season!

We’ve had many romantic weeks and even a few New Year’s Eves in Windermere up in the Lake District over our 6 year relationship. It’s also somewhere we used to go as kids with our families before we met – weirdly enough! We both decided on the Lakes pretty early in the planning – we’re both from the North (me from Liverpool and Alex from Bradford) so we wanted somewhere meaningful but a middle ground. We saw a few venues in the area before we came across the Merewood Country House Hotel. It had the stunning views of Windermere we wanted, plus it was such a historic mansion (once the home of the Earl of Lonsdale) with beautiful interiors. Once we met Lorna (the fierce Scottish manager!) we knew it was meant to be. She went out of her way to make things happen for us and it was like coming home every time we came to visit the venue. Once we tasted the food that was it, we signed on the dotted line.

I am Catholic and it was really important to me to get married in a church. We tied the knot at Sacred Heart Catholic church in Coniston perched above the lake. It was a very Cumbrian looking slate church with gorgeous stained glass windows. Father Bob was really good at making the service enjoyable for people who weren’t religious; we had so many moving comments from guests about the ceremony and it was really inclusive.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

Our wedding day was inspired by a weekend we had in Cinque Terre when we were still living in Italy. It was a year to the day until we got married and we walked between the stunning Italian towns on the coast. They’re five fishing towns in Liguria made up of warm copper colours, with yellow and pinks, with lots of luscious plants and the sea close by. It was a very romantic weekend and I was really inspired by the tones. My flowers by Jane Thompson at Flower Design, reflected these colours and included many Italian foliage. Our wines and some of the menu also had a subtle Italian theme. I even propped my mood board for Jane in the hallway of the Merewood on the day.

Our colour scheme was coral and greens – I wanted to remind us of the stunning Mediterranean colours and vibrancy of Cinque Terre – even though we were celebrating with guests in the English Lakes, it really worked with the beauty of another special place for Alex and I.

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For my wedding gown, I knew I wanted something fitted, but elegant. I tried on a few ballgowns and they really didn’t suit my curvy figure, so I narrowed my search down to sweetheart neckline with a trumpet style fit and flare gown. I went to about 5 shops with my mum and bridesmaids and left empty handed, sadly. A few weeks later, on a whim my mum and I went to Society Brides  in Liverpool city centre and they had just received Sophia Tolli’s dreamy lace Brienne and they persuaded me to try it on. It was meant to be, it was the one for me.

My veil was a two-tiered veil from Richard Designs. I wanted the drama of a chapel length veil for our church wedding but also the blusher over my face, which I could flick back and wear all day. My headpiece was from Glitzy Secrets and the flowers worked really well with the lace of my dress. My shoes and earrings were from Jenny Packham at Debenhams. The shoes were so comfortable; I danced in them all night long.

My signature scent was the spicy and oriental Calincantus by the ancient apothecary Santa Maria Novella in Florence. I wear it on special occasions now, Alex loves it too. I also wore a vintage pearl bracelet from the gorgeous antique jewellers in Nottingham which is where all our rings are from.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (22)

Alex is into his style so he knew early on that he wanted a tailored three-piece suit in navy blue. I found Michelsberg Tailors in Leeds’ Victoria Arcade on a wedding blog, and the process began. He even had a shirt tailored with his initials ‘AB’ on the cuffs. Why should the brides have all the fun?!

I bought him some solid silver cufflinks in the shape of white roses (the symbol of Yorkshire for my Yorkshire groom) from an amazing lady on Etsy called Sarah-Jane Egan based in Caerphilly. He wore black Loake’s dress shoes and a pistachio green tie from Reiss.

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My three bridesmaids wore coral convertible dresses which were actually from New Look. They all wore them differently to suit their figures and they were all floor length versions. I loved how they looked with their bouquets and they swished around the dance floor in them all night. Their shoes were strappy light gold sandals from Dune and I bought them rose gold tear-drop earrings to wear on the day.

The groomsmen wore navy blue two-piece suits from Charles Trywhitt in Leeds with silk green ties with leaves on them.

Our two flower girls – one was my niece, Catherine and the other was Alex’s cousin’s little girl, Sophie – wore pretty ivory dresses and shoes from John Lewis. I made their headbands with flowers from H&M and a very interesting few hours with a glue gun in my parents’ kitchen.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (29)

The day was wonderful because the start was so chilled. In the morning myself, my mum and my three bridesmaids donned our floral robes and sipped prosecco. Lorna set up a table in the bridal suite for me and the bridesmaids to have breakfast which was lovely. It was great to start the day so relaxed and looked after. We had so much fun with utterly adorable Katie Tweedale our hairdresser for the day, and the fabulous Bridget Foster on make-up who were loving our 1990s playlist and our Liverpudlian humour!

But our (joint!) real favourite part of the day was turning around to our guests in the church as we were about to walk down the aisle to see their faces when our brother in law Richard began to play us out to ‘Match of the Day’ on his piano! No one expected it and both families are huge football fans so we got a great reaction – even some high 5s as we made our way out of the church! That was such a proud and fun moment for both of us – we literally floated out of the church.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (36)

Our guests had come from far and wide – even as far as the USA and Italy so we wanted everyone to relax. We hired a Routemaster bus from Classic Buses to collect everyone at the Merewood and take the guests to and from the church. I sourced a vintage ticket clipper for my bus geek of an Uncle Brian who was able to clip pretend tickets for everyone getting on the bus with the help of his granddaughter. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more!

I travelled to the church with my parents and my 4-year-old niece in a 1937 Rolls Royce which was fabulous and owned by the lovely Tony Henderson at Lakeland Wedding Cars. I felt no nerves travelling to the church and the scenery was really gorgeous. Alex and I then travelled back in the car to the Merewood and sipped a few glasses of bubbles in the back. We got a lot of waves and cheers from the mountain climbers and walkers en route.

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Our photographer was James Tracey. He’d shot a wedding of a friend a few years back in Manchester’s Victoria Baths and I loved his style. He captured all the emotions of a wedding day and we booked him very early on in the process. Our pre-shoot in April was really fun with James, even though it was blowing a gale in Manchester, he still made us laugh and we loved the photos. On our wedding day, James brought along the lovely Daniel Lloyd Photography who assisted on the day. The two of them were really good at getting in there and getting on with things and letting us get back to our guests. We really appreciated that. I’d recommend both of them, we love the vibrancy and realness of our photographs.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (67)

My flowers were my favourite things about the day (after marrying the love of my life, of course!) We chose Jane Thompson at Flower Design early on – she’s based in Blackpool and made time for us on our flying visits back from Italy. Jane totally got what we wanted from our wedding day. In our pre-meet a few weeks before the meeting she made prototypes of my bouquet and the table settings. It was a wrench to give my prototype bouquet back!

My bouquet included coral & bowl of cream peonies, viburnum opulus, fresh lily of the valley, apricot hyacinths, olive foliage, juliet & patience roses from David Austin, white hydrangeas, sperengerii, eucalyptus, umbrella fern, sweet peas and lovely fragrant rosemary. The peonies changed throughout the day and opened up, I really loved how they looked and the scent was to die for.

All the groomsmen’s’ boutonnieres were totally different. Alex commented that his white peony looked like a scoop of gelato (ice-cream)!

In the church we had posies to match the flowers in the bouquets, tied in little jars at the pew-ends. These were then transported to the Merewood and dotted around the reception.

The Merewood’s dining tables were decorated with the gorgeous crystal cake plinths topped with relaxed designs featuring a stunning combination of roses, peonies, hydrangeas, gloriosa rothschild and sweet peas and foliage with Italian Olive foliage, with real peaches and apricots scattered about. Jane used the same flowers on the top table in a range of different glass vases and vessels, they were so pretty in the afternoon sunlght. We chose low flower displays so our guests could enjoy the Lakeland countryside from the Merewood’s huge windows.

We took lots of our flowers to our minimoon hotel which was close by and scattered them around our suite. They lasted until the end of the minimoon!

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (52)

We used the very patient Kerry from Project Pretty in Chester for our Save the Dates and invitations, the green backgrounds and coral flowers hinted at our colour scheme. Kerry also made the menus for each table which we stood up on old Prosecco corks we collected in Italy. Kerry was really easy to work with, even after our many amends on countless proofs!

I also designed the order of services for the church and my mum got these printed out in Liverpool. I collected family wedding photographs from both sets of parents of their own weddings and the weddings of their parents and they took pride of place in the hall way of the Merewood next to Alex’s Roman head which he has had since he was about 15! I also covered the J & A with special paper and glue to sit alongside these bits in the hallway of the Merewood to make it more personal.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (56)

The gold calligraphy table numbers were handmade in Texas by Tina at Better Off Wed. I loved how they looked against the flowers. We also hired gold Cheltenham chairs from Lancashire Event Hire, they tied in with the gold tones throughout the day.

I made the table plan from scratch and printed the table cards myself. I found the frame in a charity shop and painted it and bought the lace to string the tables onto it from a craft shop. The table plan sat on a really ornate gold easel from Megan at Typical Type. I loved how it turned out! We also hired a huge light up heart from Megan at Typical Type, this was really fun later on on the dancefloor and we got some great group shots after hours with it!

I also made the confetti out of coloured tissue paper and the confetti cones out of doilies which everyone used outside the church. We went bright on colour because you never know how the weather will be in the Lakes. I was really happy with the colours!

My bridesmaid Kate made the card sign which we hung on a vintage wicker picnic basket and bunting out of gorgeously pretty floral material, it looked so lovely on the day. I also bought tasseling for the sweet table and pom poms from Decopoms on Etsy which were dotted around the bar area.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (53)

Instead of favours we had a sweet table which my bridesmaid Claire organised the sweets for. She has a massive sweet tooth! We hired the jars and containers from local wedding stylist Amy Brunton at Sure to Surprise You and Amy styled the dresser with lace and pearls. I bought some peachy tasseling from Etsy to go along the sweet table.

Alex is a Yorkshire boy and one of our first dates was in Betty’s York on August 1st 2009. We decided early on that the cake would be from Betty’s, choosing between them was the hard part. In the end we went for three-tiered cake with two layers of their famous fondant fancies and the top layer was iced Swiss Sacher chocolate and apricot cake. It came with the most stunning solid silver cake stand and knife which were nearly 100 years old.

Lorna saved us two cakes and we ate these the next day in our suite with some champagne at the Gilpin and wallowed in the love.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (55)

We chose The Twentysomethings after researching and finding them online. They’re a covers band with great vocals and a trumpeter and saxophonist so they played all sorts from Prince to Daft Punk and Shaka Khan. It was really easy to work with Daniel and the band to get the set list right. Everyone danced all night, it was wonderful to see everyone letting their hair down and partying with us.

Music played a big part in our day. We had a close family friend, Richard, who is a super talented pianist play the music in the church. I entered to a really special song for both of us, the Cinematic Orchestra’s ‘To Build A Home’, and we left the church on a high with ‘Match of the Day’. It was amazing to have him play for us during these special moments.

Our first dance was to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ – they’re one of our favourite bands and we learned a fun 2 minute routine with Emma-Joy at All Steps who visited our house to teach us. Our guests loved it and it really set the tone for the night – the second song was ‘You Can Call Me Al’ for Alex! Everyone went crazy for that!

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (61)

I would whole-heartedly recommend the Merewood, it’s intimate enough to feel like home but grand enough to really make the day special. Lorna and her team quite frankly know their weddings so if something really won’t work they’ll tell you and suggest an alternative. That’s really helpful during wedding planning. They looked after every single guest and worked so hard to make everything run smoothly. Planning a wedding from aboard can be tough, but Lorna and the team at the Merewood were great over email and kept us updated on things.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (71)

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (76)

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (80)

We spent 3 romantic days at the Gilpin Lodge near Windermere in a garden suite with our private hot-tube, next to a very interested family of llamas. It was lovely to be surrounded by Jane’s flowers and to read our cards and open our gifts. We enjoyed lots of great food and some lovely spa treatments, as well as a cruise on Windermere.

Our proper honeymoon or maximoon is in October this year and we are going to India for three weeks. We’ll visit India’s spiritual centre in Rishikesh (the home of yoga), the have a few days in Delhi, then head to Agra and the Taj Mahal, then we’ll go on safari in Ranthambore and hopefully see some tigers, followed by a few nights in Jaipur (the Pink City) and Udaipur to the stunning lake. We both love India food and adventure.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) James Tracey Photography (87)

Make time for each other throughout the day were you take in everything that is going on around you. It goes in the blink of an eye, so it’s important to have a few parts of the day alone to appreciate what you have achieved and what it means now for both of you. The amazingness has just begun, really.

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