January 19th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
We’ve definitely got that Friday feeling as we gear up for our first Luxury Wedding Fair of 2018 at the gorgeous Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire. If any of you North West couples still haven’t got this fabulous event in your diary, take note now – Sunday 21st January, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY, and you can pre-register to attend here.
But before we hop-foot it over there, we’re finishing off a fabulous week on the blog with a gorgeous real wedding that took place over in the North West…
It was love at first sight for today’s couple Ellis and Joe – but we’re talking about when they found their perfect venue rather than their first meeting (although we’re sure that was pretty magical, too!) Oddfellows of Chester brims with style, character and idiosyncratic charm and it’s crystal clear how this laidback couple knew that it would be perfect for their relaxed TV-and-film-inspired wedding.
Here at Brides Up North HQ we can’t get enough of that rich green and purple colour scheme – the perfect complement to Ellis’ flaming hair – and the contrast between grungy garage door shots and more whimsical, romantic portraits. We also love the photographer’s range of quirky shots, angles and close-ups, producing a creative and playful – yet still super-stylish – vibe.
Get ready for gorgeousness galore…
With images by Carla Blain Photography.
ellis says: We got engaged on 3rd March 2016, in Las Vegas. Joe took me to the rooftop bar of the Delano hotel, got down on one knee and proposed as we were having drinks overlooking the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip.
We got married on 25th March 2017. There was no particular reason behind the date, just that the venue we loved was available.
We got married at Oddfellows, Chester. As soon as we saw it we loved its relaxed vibe and the fact it was a little different to the average wedding venue, which suited us perfectly.
Our wedding had a film and TV theme. We thought long and hard about what felt most ‘us’ and our love of cinema trips and box sets sprung to mind. Our tables were named after fictional places from our favourite films and shows, we had our favourite childhood characters on top of the cake and various soundtracks playing throughout the day. I even walked down the aisle to a beautiful violin version of the Jurassic Park theme.
Sage green and purple were our main theme colours. I had chosen green as the main theme colour and then Joe found his suit which had a purple back. Since our wedding I’ve been told the colour theme went really well with my hair colouring, which is the exact reason I picked it!
I wore Faith by Diane Harbridge, which I found at her shop in Chester. It was an off-the-shoulder gown which I didn’t really want to try on, but my sister insisted and I’m so glad she did. I had a layer of sequin tulle added to the dress to give it some extra sparkle.
Jemma Stenning from VAIN in Chester, worked her magic with my hair for the day and also for my mum and bridesmaids. I highly recommend VAIN and Jemma – in fact, I won’t let anyone else near my hair. Mandy Rigby was my makeup artist for the day and Jennifer Hughes from The Doll House, Eastham did a fantastic job with the bridesmaids’ makeup.
January 17th, 2018 | Julia Braime
When asked to pick their favourite part of their wedding day, our featured brides on the blog often pick the ceremony (as one would expect), closely followed by the morning of the wedding. For this is precious time that they spend getting ready for their big day with the most important ladies in their lives.
We personally adore looking at professional images taken at this stage in the day, when the prosecco, laughter and tears, are often in full flow. One lady who is in full agreement on this being a super-special stage of the day is Brides Up North Sponsor and Yorkshire-based photographer Jenny Maden.
We’ve therefore invited Jenny to take over the blog this morning, to tell us all about the fabulous images that can be captured during the bridal prep – from the reactions and relationships to the all-important details – so these elements of the wedding can be relived when the big day has been and gone.
With images by Jenny Maden Photography.
Why do you think the bridal prep is such an important part of the wedding day to capture?
jenny says: My main objective when photographing a wedding, is to ultimately ‘tell the story’ of the wedding day through pictures. For me, missing the bridal preparations would omit the first chapter in the story, as the bride gets ready for the ceremony with her closets family and friends. It captures the excitement of the imminent ceremony. It’s a really lovely time and a privilege to capture.
What is it you enjoy most about being present for this part of the day?
It’s great to spend some time with the bride and her crew, before the wedding day gets into full swing. There’s usually a lot of laughing, a lot of tea and prosecco drinking and some fab hair and makeup tips flying around.
Image-wise, what elements do you tend to photograph during this time?
A typical set of bridal prep images would include bridal ‘detail’ shots, such as the dress, shoes, jewellery. But I also document the morning unfolding, from hair and makeup, the giving and receiving of gifts, the bride getting into her dress and the reactions of her family and closest friends. But above all, what I really aim to capture is the ’vibe’ of the morning, so that the morning can be re-lived, through photos, after the wedding day is over.
Is the bridal prep included as standard as part of your packages and, if so, how much of the prep to you tend to capture?
Yes, bridal prep is included in my wedding package. I typically arrive at around the same time as the hair and makeup artists.
Can you do groom prep as well, either yourself or with a second shooter?
It’s not a common request, as I usually meet the groom and groomsmen at the ceremony venue, in advance of the ceremony. But yes, if a couple wanted groom prep coverage too, this can certainly be arranged (the travelling distance between the bride and groom on the morning, would generally dictate whether I would need a second shooter).
What is the feedback like from your brides about images you have taken of the bridal prep, what do they love about the images?
Brides are always surprised at quite how much I have captured of the morning! My coverage at this point in the day is very much ‘fly on the wall’; I just let things unfold around me, but capture them in a discreet yet artistic way. Furthermore, while a wedding day is predominately focused on the bride and groom, the bride’s relationships with her parents and close friends really comes through in the images taken during the bridal preparations.
January 16th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Ahead of our first Luxury Wedding Fair of the spring season at the stunning Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire this Sunday, we’re sharing the wedding story of Rachel and Omar who chose this fine venue as the setting for their special day.
Exchanging their vows in the Hall’s impressive grounds beneath the lake-side gazebo, Rachel and Omar’s ceremony was 100% picture perfect.
The proceedings gave a tasteful nod to Disney (something we suspect their guests may have seen coming after a proposal by the Alice in Wonderland statue in New York’s Central Park!), and the couple further styled their day with a statement navy and coral colour scheme.
Other special touches to look out for include games on the lawn – something that should be a prerequisite for any garden wedding, we think, and a lovely string quartet to set the laidback ambience.
If you’re on the venue hunt in the North West, be sure to join us at this spectacular venue on Sunday 21st January, for our Brides Up North Bespoke Luxury Wedding Fair, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY. We will be joined by top suppliers from the area as well as the venue’s super helpful team. Pre-register to attend here.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Slice of Pie Photography.
rachel says: We were on a romantic city break to New York in February 2015, when Omar surprised me and proposed by the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park, in the snow.
We tied the knot on 30th July 2016. We chose that date as we wanted an outdoor wedding and summer is our favourite season.
The venue – Capesthorne Hall in Macclesfield – was stunning and a great location for our friends and family. It had everything we wanted – outdoor facilities, a stately home and a contemporary feel for the evening reception.
We didn’t have a full theme for the wedding, but we chose certain aspects to show our favourite things and personalities. For example, I walked down the aisle to a Disney arrangement (arranged by my very talented best friend) and our tables were Disney couples instead of numbers. My cousin very kindly painted small canvasses with the couples on.
We decided on a navy and coral colour scheme – we felt it was appropriate for the season, with the six bridesmaids in three different shades of coral and the male members of the bridal party wearing three-piece navy suits.
I chose a lace-up tulle fishtail gown with a strapless sweetheart neckline and pewter lace appliqués, beginning on the body and continuing down the front of the dress and the train. The dress was from The Confetti Box in Eccles. It was just what I wanted; very grand for the venue and something I’d never really seen before.
Omar wore a navy morning tails suit with a grey soft tartan waistcoat, pocket watch and matching tie and pocket square in navy with small white polka dot. This was from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.
January 15th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
A wedding that lasts a whole weekend has to be every bride’s dream, as anyone who’s ever been married will tell you that the big day goes by in a flash.
Today’s featured couple, Neil and Sarah, who held their wedding at Brides Up North Sponsor venue Hornington Manor, squeezed every minute they could into their nuptials, hiring the venue exclusively for a full weekend and bookending their wedding day with relaxed barbecues for their family and friends.
An unusual but inspired detail of their big day was to have a juke box in the evening instead of a band, so everyone could plug in their favourite tunes and create their own DJ set.
We love the barn setting, with its hanging chandeliers, and the bunting that Sarah’s mum took a whole year to make – now that’s dedication! If you too adore the country charm of this stunning venue then be sure to join us on Thursday 19th April, when we will be hosting an Pop Up Evening Wedding Festival Fair at Hornington Manor, with a collection of fabulous local suppliers and the venue’s amazing team!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Richard Perry Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged in 2016. Neil had bought a ring in the August but had been thinking about how to pop the question for a few months. He decided to propose when we were on holiday in Edinburgh, in September. We stayed in a small town called Linlithgow, for a few days where there is a castle by a loch, which would have been a lovely setting. He had planned the proposal to be there and we went after dinner one night – but it was really dark. We went into Edinburgh for the latter part of the week, by which point Neil was running out of chances. One night I had a dream that Neil proposed while in Edinburgh, so he thought I knew! It got to our last night: we had dinner in town and walked back through the Princes Street gardens. He took me to a quiet part away from other people and got down on one knee. I was so surprised that I started laughing and crying at the same time. So much so that he had to prompt me for an answer!
We got married on 22nd July 2017. I liked the idea of a summer wedding but wasn’t set on an exact date. When we booked the beautiful Hornington Manor near Tadcaster, they didn’t have many dates left, so we just picked one before they got booked up! The venue is an old manor house, which has all the original bedrooms and kitchens, and large front lawns, and they’ve refurbished the barn into a reception area. It was perfect – so relaxed and homely. You can hire the whole place for the weekend, which is an extra bonus. We would definitely recommend the venue: it’s so beautiful and the barn was just perfect for our style of wedding. Having it for the whole weekend meant we could invite all our family down, have barbecues on the Friday and Sunday and have a good catch up with people we hadn’t seen for a while. Joanne, Simon and all the team are so helpful and go above and beyond to make the weekend perfect.
We didn’t choose a particular theme. With the venue being quite ‘country’ and relaxed, we just aimed for the whole wedding to be easy going. We both like the colour blue, so were happy to incorporate that where we could. The wedding party was dressed in blue and all the stationery, made by Megan at Pretty Neat Studios in Harrogate, was done on navy blue card. She laser-printed our invitations, menus and thank you cards. We gave her an idea of what style we wanted, which she based the design on. They were beautifully made and unique. We would highly recommend looking her up!
I got my dress from Scarlet Poppy in Pudsey, Leeds. The staff there are so helpful and not pushy. I knew I wanted a slim-fitting dress, as I have a small figure. It was a sweetheart gown in ivory, with the underskirt a sand colour. It had lace detail and the straps could be either straight or criss-crossed. I loved it and it was so comfortable to wear all day.
Neil wore a suit hired from Harrogate Suit Hire. It was a navy, slim-fitting tailcoat, with a tweed waistcoat. He wore tan brown shoes. The groomsmen wore the same as Neil.
The bridesmaids wore pale blue maxi dresses, which had an oriental print along the bottom. They suited the venue style really well and the girls looked really nice.
January 11th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
After a dreamy proposal in the romantic city of Venice, Rachael and Tom had set the bar high for a beautiful and memorable wedding day to follow. Choosing the gorgeous Saltmarshe Hall as their reception venue, a Grade II listed 19th Century house on the banks of the River Ouse in East Yorkshire, with a whopping 17 acres of garden, they certainly ticked the ‘dream setting’ box. If you too love the look of this stunning venue then be sure to mark Sunday 15th April in your diary as we will be staging one of our Luxury Wedding Fairs at the Hall on that day, giving you an opportunity to see all it has to offer first hand!
But back to today’s wedding! We love Rachael and Tom’s idea of choosing sharing platters for the wedding breakfast– what a great way to break the ice and get guests talking. With all that delicious food to work off – and music a passion of the groom’s – Tom handpicked a live band for the evening, ensuring the guests danced their way into the early hours.
Rachael and Tom may have had a tinge of the wedding blues after their honeymoon, but they definitely created some wonderful memories to send those gloomy thoughts packing!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Photography.
rachael says: We got engaged in Venice on 27th August 2015. On our last night, we went for a ride on a Gondola and then to St Mark’s Square. We watched the sun set over Venice from the top of the Campanile and then walked back to our hotel. On the way, we stopped on a footbridge over one of the canals and Tom got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Although we’d been together for seven years, it was still a big surprise and we couldn’t wait to get home and tell our families.
Our wedding was on 28th July 2017. Being a teacher, I wanted to get married in the summer holidays, so that we could go on our honeymoon straight after the wedding and not have to rush back to work straight away. My sister, Katherine, flew back from San Francisco where she lives and works for the big day too.
We had our wedding ceremony at Laxton Church and our reception at Saltmarshe Hall, near Howden. We looked at a few venues and nothing had blown us away but, on driving up the beautiful driveway to Saltmarshe Hall and seeing the grounds surrounding it, we knew we had found somewhere special. The house is beautiful, with a wonderful staircase and different rooms offering space for guests to relax, drink and dance. We knew we didn’t want a huge wedding and Saltmarshe could accommodate 70 guests in the Morning Room. We also loved the exclusivity that Saltmarshe offered; for our day, it would be ours. Having been recently extended with additional bedrooms, plenty of family could stay for the two nights. The team was fantastic – friendly and professional – and I knew our wedding was in safe hands with them.
Our colour scheme was shades of purple/lilac. I didn’t have a colour scheme in mind initially but when looking for bridesmaids’ dresses and thinking about flowers it all came together. April at BlueBird Wedding Stationery, did a wonderful job with our invitations and order of service, which tied in with the colour scheme too.
My dress was from Jacquelines Bridal of Beverley. I’d been to a couple of shops but hadn’t found anything quite right and was waiting for my ‘this is the one’ moment. I knew I wanted something A-line but nothing too big. My bridesmaids had travelled up for the weekend to help me, along with my sister. As soon as I put my dress on, they all said it was the one and it just felt different to the others. I loved the layers of lace and the detail but had to do a return trip with my mum just to get her approval before I took the plunge. The seamstress at Jacquelines did a great job making sure the dress fitted perfectly and they even arranged for it to be cleaned after the big day.
Victoria Farr and her assistant did my hair and that of my three bridesmaids and mum. She did a practice session a few months before to make sure we knew exactly what I wanted and how it would look. She was so friendly and a great person to have around when we were getting ready and I would definitely recommend her.
January 10th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Today’s real wedding delivers plenty of inspo when it comes to adding personal touches. How delightful is the personalised handkerchief for the bride’s father, with its tear-jerking message? And the cricket bat sporting a ‘play temporarily paused’ message, which made us smile. Then there’s the personalised chef’s hats for guests to wear while carving the meat at each table – great photograph opportunity!
The elegance levels are high in this beautiful big day too, with a flurry of gorgeous florals, classic wedding transport and an A-line gown fit for a princess!
Sally and Jack ended their celebrations with a party to be remembered, putting on a nightclub-style evening do in a tipi, complete with a live band and real fire. Let’s get in on the action…
With images by Shane Webber Photography.
sally says: We got engaged on 27th October 2015. Jack took me on a surprise half-term holiday to Paris; he proposed on the first night and, after a few days in Paris, we flew to London to my favourite restaurant (La Trompette in Chiswick) to celebrate.
We got married on Saturday 27th May 2017, a bank holiday weekend followed by a two-week half-term. We were hoping for the good weather we usually get in May/June.
Our ceremony was held at Holy Trinity Church in Hoghton, Lancashire, and we chose Hoghton Tower as our reception venue for its incredible driveway, stunning views and old English traditions. It was in the perfect location – between both our families in Preston and Darwen – and we would definitely recommend it. It’s historic, located in a beautiful setting and is the perfect fairy-tale wedding venue.
We wanted a traditional wedding that was personal to us so, for the colour scheme, we chose cornflower blue. Both sets of our parents also had a blue colour scheme at their weddings and we just liked the colour!
I wore the Ronald Joyce Robyn dress, bought from Wedding Belles in Blackburn. Susan and her team there are excellent. The dress was A-line with a high neck. It was the one I kept going back to after endless amounts of dress shopping!
Jack wore a three-piece grey custom tweed suit from Remus Uomo (a friend’s company based in Belfast) and the groomsmen wore grey suits from Moss Bros and custom waistcoats from Remus Uomo to match Jack’s.
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