January 24th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
This morning’s real wedding takes place at Saltmarshe Hall in Yorkshire, a stunning venue at which we host our Luxury Wedding Shows, so if you like what you see, pencil in Sunday 9th April to view this beautiful building for yourselves during our next event.
But for now, let’s enjoy reliving the gorgeous big day of Mark and Nicola, which featured a pretty pink, lavender and antique cream colour scheme, elegant shabby chic touches and incredibly dreamy floral arrangements.
With images by Claire Louise Photography
nicola says: Mark proposed to me at our favourite restaurant, Winteringham Fields, when I was eight months pregnant. It’s a fine dining restaurant, where he organised a private room and we stayed in a suite. The ring came out under a cloche during a nine-course tasting menu, which was amazing food. Mark got on one knee and proposed, I said yes but the kitchen staff who were watching on a CCTV camera were unsure whether I had, and dare not come back in the room, which was quite funny.
We married on the 24th June 2016. We chose the date as it we wanted to marry early summer and hoped for some nice weather, which we got!
Our venue was an amazing privately-owned stately Georgian home called Saltmarshe Hall in East Yorkshire. It is quite a new venue; the family have just finished renovating it and actually live there during the week. We chose the venue as the grounds and house were amazing and we literally fell in love with it and didn’t look anywhere else.
We were married by a registrar but then the vicar from our local village, who is a family friend, gave us a religious blessing in the gardens after we formally married, which was nice.
We didn’t have a specific theme for the wedding, we just went for a classic and traditional style with our own personal touches. Our colour scheme was soft shades of pink/lavender and antique cream.
My wedding dress was from It’s Bliss Bridal & Prom Wear in Doncaster. The design was a classic style with corset bodice, organza skirt with pearl and crystal detailing, which I wore with a full-length veil.
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November 17th, 2015 | Julia Braime
We love the bravery of today’s groom who popped the question to his now wife during a flight to the Dominican Republic. You’d have to be sure of a ‘yes’ wouldn’t you? Otherwise you’d be in for a rather awkward flight and holiday!
Anyhoo, ring firmly on finger, Laura and Adam decided on a shabby chic wedding with pretty pastels and a cute afternoon tea.
Executed to perfection everything fits in perfectly with the theme and setting, from the beautiful bouquets to Laura’s gorgeous mermaid style dress.
With images by Brides Up North fave, Stephen McGowan Wedding Photography.
laura says: We got engaged on 8th April 2014, when we were on a flight to Dominican Republic. Adam asked the pilot to call me to the front of the plane, Adam then got down on one knee and proposed. All flight he was acting rather nervous and taking advantage of the free drinks – now it all makes sense, he was trying to calm his nerves. When I said yes, the whole plane cheered! It was such an amazing proposal.
Our wedding date was 12th September 2015. We always knew we wanted August or September for a lovely summer wedding and so when we found our perfect venue, the dates worked out well as it was the only available Saturday left.
We were married in Willington Hall in Tarporley, Cheshire. To be honest, it was Adam who found this hidden gem, much to my dismay! It was exactly what we were after, beautiful location, perfect intimate size and amazing staff. The views around for the photographs were perfect and it simply is a beautiful venue. After looking at so many ‘corporate’ venues, it was nice to find a place that remembered us by name, rather than a wedding date!
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September 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Whether the sun is shining outside your window today or not, this real wedding is guaranteed to brighten up your day.
Lucy and Ryan decided on a relaxed family inspired wedding at the gorgeous Hirst Priory adding simple shabby chic and rustic touches along the way. To inject just a touch of colour into the theme, Lucy carefully selected hues to reflect her flower choices, resulting in pretty yellow and blue hints in styling and attire.
It’s clearly all executed to perfection as there are so many beautiful elements to this wedding. In particular we love the maids’ cute dresses, the happy sunflowers and Lucy’s gorgeous gown.
With images by Kevin Ladden Photography.
lucy says: We got engaged on 21st December 2013 and set the wedding date for 3rd July 2015 as we knew we wanted a summer wedding.
Our chosen venue was Hirst Priory in Crowle, Scunthorpe. We searched everywhere for a perfect venue, somewhere me and my husband both could picture ourselves getting married with all our family and friends around us. We fell in love with Hirst Priory as soon as we saw the venue. It is a beautiful building with its quirks and great atmosphere – it was totally different to anything we had seen.
We went with a rustic, family inspired relaxed wedding. We love shabby chic but didn’t want to overdo it so where possible we kept the theme as natural and homemade as we could.
We didn’t have a strict colour scheme as we didn’t want everything to match. We liked the vintage shabby chic feel to things so we picked the yellow from my sunflowers and blue from Ryan’s suit and flowed those colour between neutral shades.
I wore a ball gown style wedding dress which was sand in colour with beautiful bow waist detail and ivory pearls. I fell in love with my dress the moment I saw it – the colour and style was something I’d never seen before. I really surprised myself and our guests with my choice of dress, which I purchased from Bridal Oasis in Goole.
Ryan wore a bright blue three piece suit from Burtons with a handmade yellow bow tie and pocket square from Hattie’s Attic. The groomsmen’s suits were also from Burtons.
My bridesmaids wore a Chi Chi London maxi dresses in a pale hue.
As I stayed at the venue the night before the wedding I didn’t require any transport, but Ryan arrived in a fire engine from the local village, which he first joined the service in.
We asked Ryan’s stepdad Kevin Ladden, if he would take our wedding photographs as we knew that knowing our photographer would make us feel more at ease in front of the camera. We have seen other weddings he has shot and we liked the relaxed not overly posed style, which suited us best.
He also took us for a pre-wedding shoot which went great and made the wedding photography so much more relaxed. I know we are biased but the photos speak for themselves. We’re sure anybody would be happy to have him as their wedding photographer.
My bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were made up of sunflowers, daisies and gypsophila, created by a local florist in our home town.
Blush Venue Décor decorated Hirst Priory beautifully for us, better than we could have imagined and they were so helpful.
Jam jars adorned with lace and twine, which were provided by Angels Boutique in Epworth, were used for decoration with fairy lights and a selection of gypsophila placed inside them. Lots of candles and ivory from the grounds were also used.
Our centre pieces were made using wedding pictures of our closet family members and the wedding year was used as our table numbers, starting from 1928!
As our favours we served Pimms inside mason jars and let the guests take the glasses home with them – they loved this idea!
Our wedding cake was a three tiered naked cake decorated with flowers and fruit to fit in with the rustic feel of the day.
For our wedding breakfast, we had afternoon tea complete with vintage china and a selection of sandwiches, mini beef and horseradish Yorkshire puddings, hot and cold quiches and pastries. This was followed by mini deserts. The vintage afternoon tea looked so beautiful and was different to what is normally served up at weddings. In the evening we had a ‘Yorkshire Table’ which consisted of a large selection of cheeses, pickles, fresh meats and savouries.
To keep our guests entertained, we had a local folk band preform during the evening called Ramble Gamble. We felt we wanted a band that expressed us as a couple and the general feel of the wedding. We also had a range of garden games in the priory grounds, which went down really well with our guests, particularly the giant Jenga!
We would certainly recommend our wedding venue to others. It’s a beautiful place, with stunning grounds and venue owners are always there to help.
Highlights of the wedding day for us, were the ceremony, the band and the afternoon tea.
We went to Lake Garda on honeymoon last month. It’s a place we’ve both always wanted to visit.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to spend as much time with your partner as possible because the day goes far too quickly.
August 10th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s story starts off with a proposal by the bride! That’s right, brave Christina seized a leap year as the perfect opportunity to pop the question to her partner Ross after five happy years together.
Upon receiving a ‘yes’, Christina quickly got to work planning her dream day in The Lake District which featured two of her favourite things; birds and shabby chic wedding styling.
The result is an, oh so pretty big day, complete with elegant colour theme, stunning lace dress and a cute barn owl ring bearer. This one certainly sweeps us off our feet!
With images by Paul Swift Photography.
christina says: Ross is in the RAF and he had been posted near Cambridge in 2010, I’d decided to continue living with my parents in the north. After being together for more than five years in 2012 and having a long distance relationship, I decided it was time for us to get married. I found a venue that was perfect for us and in leap year tradition, I proposed to Ross.
Our wedding date was 13th July 2013. We always wanted a summer wedding and I had always dreamed of being married in the sunshine, outdoors and surrounded by nature.
We were married at the Broadoaks Country Hotel and initially booked the venue because of its location in Windermere, bridging the gaps between my husband’s family in Cumbria and my own family coming from Yorkshire and Lancashire. As the wedding planning began we realised there were many other qualities to the hotel which made us feel like it was made for us. The hotel itself is in a quiet area above Windermere, surrounded by trees and a babbling brook, which enabled our Labradors to be part of our wedding day too (they were a big part of the day and even wore their own doggy tuxedos).
Our ceremony took place in the pergola on the helipad surrounded by nature in 30 degree heat, everything I wanted. We paid for our guests to stay from Friday to Sunday. Friday night was Mexican night followed by drinks and dancing. Saturday morning was a full Cumbrian breakfast followed by clay pigeon shooting and cream tea and cakes for the bridal party.
I was 15 minutes late to my own wedding and got a telling off by the registrar but as I explained to her, trying to get a tiered dress and corset on in 30 degree heat is a very sticky job. It took ten minutes in an ice cold shower and then all three of my bridesmaids to help pull up and arrange my under skirts!
We had a shabby chic, bird theme, complete with lots of bird cages, salt and pepper bird favours, china tea sets and a sweetie table. I have always loved birds and rather than having my wedding look like I was an avid ‘twitcher’, the shabby chic look made it elegant and was definitely more me.
To complement the theme, our colour scheme was baby pinks, cream, turquoise and peach – pastel summer colours.
I wore Jessie by Augusta Jones with the Mantilla veil. An all lace, sweetheart neckline, slim dress. The pictures of the dress on the website do not do it justice. It wasn’t until I put it on that I knew this was the dress I wanted to wear for me and for my husband. I found a waist belt on Etsy decorated with crystals and pearls that I added to the dress. I had never felt more beautiful than I did on my wedding day and when I saw the look on my husband’s face as I walked down aisle, I knew it was the perfect choice.
Harriet Dickens of JGs, Northallerton, did my hair and makeup on the wedding day and then at the last minute managed to do almost everyone else’s makeup and hair too! She was amazing and made sure I’d started my beauty prep the week before sending me reminders of what I need to do when and how hot it was going to be so I would remember I was wearing a strapless dress and didn’t want any strap marks!
Ross wore the Help for Heroes kilt from Cameron Ross and so did the groomsmen. Being in the RAF, he chose this tartan so that a percentage of the hire price would go to the Help for Heroes charity.
All our bridesmaid and flower girl dresses were pink and were purchased from lightinthebox.com.
Paul Swift was our photographer on the wedding day. To those currently planning a wedding I would say if you’re going to pay for a professional photographer don’t skimp on the research. Look at what they have done before and remember that just because you’ve met them it doesn’t mean that you’re obliged to choose them. Go with your instinct and any photographer that cannot cater for your needs or that tries to pressurise you to choose them for your big day probably isn’t right for you.
Paul was the best and even catered for the doggies and just proves that if you’re passionate about what you do for your work it will always show in the end result. My photos are amazing and truly show the fun and excitement of the day. Everyone loves them and I have photographs that will forever be a reminder of my amazing day.
My flower bouquets and arrangements were all done by Valerie Ann’s Florist in Windermere. I wanted flowers and herbs that were highly scented so that I would have those scents as a memory of the day. I chose rosemary, lavender, dianthus, peonies, roses and carnations, wrapped in a ribbon with my late nana’s St. Christopher medallion attached (my something borrowed/blue). My bridesmaids had three large peonies and my three flowers girls had mini rose spheres.
I used birdcages, old tea sets, cake stands, loads of candles, hanging hearts, bunting, wreaths and cream rococo frames as décor.
For my sweetie table I had my favourite jelly belly beans with recipe cards. I had raided old charity shops for glass Bon Bon dishes, bowls and vases. I had my own pink striped paper sweetie bags with mini scoops and filled every container with as many different sweets as I could find.
As favours we gave out mini porcelain salt and pepper birds and chocolate hearts. For our gluten free guests we had macaroons.
I chose a white chocolate cake from Robineaus in Darlington. It was a three tiered cake with white chocolate roses. The top was a traditional fruit cake, the middle was lemon sponge (my favourite) and the bottom was dark chocolate cake.
The evening entertainment was a disco, put on by friends of ours.
As a special touch to our big day (and in keeping with the bird theme), we had an owl ring bearer called Olly the Barn Owl. It was an amazing experience and everyone got to hold him and have pictures.
Our guests also enjoyed clay pigeon shooting, croquet and golf on the lawn and paddling in the little brook in the grounds.
We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to others, it’s a magical, beautiful place perfect if you want a quiet family/friend orientated wedding. You book out the whole hotel so that you have every room and you don’t have anyone disturbing your celebrations for the whole weekend. The bridal suite is divine and the hotel is spacious enough so that if you want a break from it all there are plenty of hidden places you can regroup in. Every room has a different decoration theme, decorated to the highest standard with four poster beds and full amenities. During your planning stages the staff are there on hand and offer discounted rates if you are living further afield and need to stay over whilst arranging other services.
My favourite part of the wedding day has to be walking down the aisle with my dad and then as he handed me over to my husband he could barely whisper and then suddenly got his act together and stated to my husband ‘she’s yours now’.
We haven’t been on our honeymoon just yet but we have some exotic plans for when we do.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy it! Everyone told me it would be over in a flash- they were right! Enjoy every minute don’t worry about anyone else. The whole day is just for you two, don’t ponder whether everyone is enjoying themselves, they are there to watch you, laugh and cry your way through the day so cherish every minute and do exactly what you want to do when you want to do it! Also, become a delegation queen, you don’t have to do everything as people will be more than happy to do some things for you.
I’m forever grateful to all my guests as everyone did a little something either in preparation for or on the big day! I love my husband so much for giving me everything that I wanted.
July 28th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Yes you read right, for today’s wedding we’re heading to Chester Zoo to relive Sam and Dan’s gorgeous big day.
Despite how it might sound there were no ‘I dos’ in the lion den or drinks reception in the elephant enclosure, for Chester Zoo has a stunning manor house in its grounds, which is available for ceremonies and receptions.
Not only is this wedding incredibly beautiful, thanks to Sam’s love of all things shabby chic, but it also looks incredibly fun, with guests smiling, laughing and generally having a fab time in the somewhat unusual setting.
But enough from us, we’ll let you see the wild and wonderful day for yourselves.
With images by Yana Photography.
sam says: We got engaged in January 2012, while we were in Madrid. Dan had the proposal planned for a while and I didn’t have a clue. I knew we were going to Madrid but thought it was just for a bit of sightseeing. Dan was trying to pop the question down a cute little street but I was too busy looking around so instead he asked me once we got back to the apartment, after a lovely meal out.
We decided to set the wedding date for 16th May 2015 as we thought it would be a good time of year weather wise.
We got married at Chester Zoo, in the Oakfield Manor House. Dan come across the zoo as a wedding venue on the internet and as we didn’t want a traditional wedding, we thought it would be perfect for us. Which it was. We live quite close to Chester so it was an ok distance to travel for us and our guests.
The theme and colour scheme for the wedding was ‘pastel shabby chic’. I love everything and anything vintage so the styling was always going to be along these lines and pastel colours work really well for a shabby chic wedding.
My dress was from First Lady Bridal in Wrexham. It was the second dress I tried on and fell in love with it straight away, it made me feel amazing. I always knew what kind of dress I wanted and it was just perfect. The dress was full length ivory, fitted, fishtail style, with a huge train. It was full lace with pretty beading detail. My veil, with full lace trim, was the best bargain of wedding – an eBay bargain! My shoes were a light pink/salmon colour from Kurt Geiger.
Dan wore a navy fitted suit from Matalan, waistcoat from Next, shoes from Zara and a navy and white floral printed tie that really worked with the theme, which was from Primark. All the groomsmen were in matching suits, again from Matalan.
I only had one bridesmaid, my 13-year-old sister. She wore a light blue maxi dress, with multi-coloured floral print all over, from ASOS. She had pastel pink shoes and belt to match.
My mum arranged the transport for me as a gift. I had a Jaguar to travel in, which was hired from RB Wedding Cars, Wrexham.
Our photographer was Yana Photography, who we would definitely recommend. Yana was really friendly and helpful with family and friends, and the pictures look amazing!
Flowers were provided by Vivid Floral Design in Wrexham. My bouquet was made up of beautiful pinks, blues, pastel coloured peonies, roses, gypsophila, gerbera among other flowers. I went for a meadow look. My bridesmaid’s bouquet was a mini version of mine, we both had lace and hessian wrapped around to carry on the theme.
All venue decorations were either made by myself, friends or family. I had a very DIY approach to the wedding which fitted the shabby chic theme really well. Decoration wise I had hessian table runners, and chair bows, ditsy print napkins, engraved wooden table numbers made by a friend, bunting made by myself and a friend, jam jars dotted with hessian and lace trim filled with flowers, tea cups and jugs filled with flowers and our name places were little flags with different floral/ ditsy print, which were made by a friend.
Our favours were Tunnocks Tea cakes. They worked well with theme and looked really cute.
We didn’t have a traditional wedding cake to cut, but instead a dessert table for guests to help themselves. My friend (Button Bakes) is amazing at baking so I asked if she would make a lovely selection of cakes: classic Victoria sponge, chocolate cake with raspberries and lemon cupcakes.
To provide the evening entertainment, we hired a DJ called Steve Lewis Entertainments, from Chester. My friends, family and I absolutely love dancing so I wanted someone who was going to play amazing music all night for us to not stop dancing. And that’s exactly what happened – lots of dance offs!
For extra entertainment we had a sweet stall for guests and a dress up corner, which was lots of fun.
As a special touch on the day my brother played the guitar for when I walked down the aisle and after the ceremony. Also, our wedding rings were specially made using my mum and dad’s wedding rings. My dad passed away before I was born, so this was something my mum suggested. A really lovely idea and they mean so much to us.
We would absolutely recommend our wedding venue to other couples. The staff were amazing on day, everything went perfect. The venue is absolutely stunning inside and the guests have the zoo to keep themselves busy. No bored guests at all.
It’s so hard to pick a favourite part of the day but I would have to say the ceremony itself was amazing, a lot more emotional than I thought. I also loved the first dance, it was perfect – I felt so happy and in love. We keep playing the song in the car all the time, as I want to relive that moment over and over again.
Following the wedding we had a short minimoon – a five day break in a log cabin in Keldy Forest, Yorkshire, which included a hot tub, prosecco and lots of food. We just wanted to completely chill out. We took our dog with us too, our little family getaway. Perfection.
My top tips to other Brides Up North would be to look around for bargains and do as much DIY as possible, it adds an extra touch and nobody else will have anything like it. But the main thing is, do what you both want. It’s your day so make it perfect for the both of you! It will be the best day ever so take it all in, as it will be over before you know it. I was crying at the end of our night because I didn’t want the night to end and our guests to leave.
Our day was made perfect thanks to the amazing help we had from family and friends. All my girls chipped in and paid for us to stay in the Double Tree Hilton Chester for the wedding night and they had the room decorated for when we arrived. My two best friends made a video of how Dan and I got together, which we loved – it was so funny. My mum, sister, nan and family members did a surprise routine to Beyoncé for me. They’d been meeting up for months in secret and doing rehearsals – this was the best wedding gift ever! Finally, I had my grandad and step dad give me away.
June 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding starts with a romantic proposal in Barcelona which scores groom Gareth top marks with us girls here at Brides Up North HQ.
After saying ‘yes’ (and getting over the shock) Ghislaine and Gareth agreed to take their time to save up for their dream wedding rather than ploughing through the planning.
The result is a carefully constructed big day with filled with smiles, laughter, cake and a good measure of lace and burlap to fit their shabby chic theme. Just stunning!
With images by Adam Riley Photography.
ghislaine says: I hate surprises but the day before my 26th birthday (in 2012) Gareth surprised me with a four-day break to Barcelona – little did I know that he was also planning to propose on my birthday. Gareth popped the question down at the Port of Barcelona following an evening of fantastic tapas and sangria. I was completely unprepared and couldn’t hold back the tears, especially when he produced a beautiful diamond ring and I realised that he had also requested permission from my father in true romantic style before our trip.
Following our engagement we quickly realised that we would need a couple of years to save up for our wedding whilst still enjoying ourselves. As we got engaged in October we started to consider October dates. Neither of us had our hearts set on a summer wedding and when we realised the significant price difference between peak and off peak wedding packages we knew that October was the perfect month for us. We chose the 24th October 2014.
From the beginning we knew that we always wanted a small wedding, as neither of us particularly like being the centre of attention. We initially considered getting married abroad and very nearly booked a venue in Verona, Italy – however we both had specific members of our family and friends whom we wanted to be there and soon realised that getting married abroad was not an option for us.
We’re both originally from Wales but met each other and have lived together in Liverpool for a number of years so we started to look at venues in Cheshire (half way between our families and friends). We chose Inglewood Manor and everything about it was perfect. Kim Shute the wedding co-ordinator was dream to work with and we can’t recommend her highly enough. The manor itself is an Edwardian country house and has 29 bedrooms to enable friends and family to stay – exactly what we wanted for our intimate wedding. We ended up staying at Inglewood the night before and the night of our wedding with many of our friends and family helping us to extend our wedding celebrations by making a weekend of it.
Our theme (if any) was ‘shabby chic’ as this reflects our personalities and our home – we were keen to incorporate as many pieces of our personal belongings into our wedding day rather than buying new items.
One of our favourite colours is sage green so deciding on a colour scheme wasn’t too difficult. We were fairly traditional and didn’t disclose the colour scheme until our invitations were sent out but some of our friends had already guessed based on fact that many of the rooms in our home are decorated in varying shades of green.
Choosing my wedding dress was probably the only aspect I felt nervous about but I should never have worried as my dress was the second dress I tried on and I loved it instantly. My dress was a lace Justin Alexander gown with a bateau neckline and mermaid train. We customised the dress with a belt to add a bit of sparkle and I also wore a chapel length lace veil. I bought the dress from Brides of Liverpool but it was customised and adjusted by a fantastic seamstress called Janey G who is also based in Liverpool.
Gareth and the groomsmen wore classic tails. This was a surprise as Gareth originally thought he would wear a tailored suit but having tried on various options felt most comfortable in tails. Gareth looked super handsome on the day but our little pageboy Sam definitely stole the show in his miniature version.
I had eight bridesmaids in total, slightly ridiculous for a wedding of 72 people, but I couldn’t imagine getting ready or getting married without them all being there so it was a no brainer! The girls wore full-length dresses designed by Dessy in sage green and my little adorable flower-girl wore an ivory dress with matching sash.
The bridal party’s hair and makeup was looked after by a fantastic bridal hair and make-up artist called Nicola Joyce. I trusted her completely and she did not disappoint us; her calm manner, personality and style is a credit to her and I she was a pleasure to have around on the wedding morning.
Our photographer was the amazing Adam Riley. Gareth enjoys photography and we both knew that choosing the right photographer was one of the most important aspects of our day. Gareth spent many hours looking for photographers online and Adam’s photography caught our eye. We visited Adam a number of times before our wedding to discuss details and we found that we spent time chatting about our lives/holidays as if to a friend rather than a stranger. Both Gareth and I are rubbish at having our photos taken and both agreed that Adam’s true reportage style was exactly what we wanted.
Adam captured the story of our day perfectly and never once made us feel uncomfortable. We wanted to enjoy our day rather than spend hours having posed photos and Adam captured every moment without us even realising it. We can’t thank him enough and would recommend him every single time – he’s even offered to shoot our second wedding if we ever renew our vows!
I carried a hand-tied bouquet of pale pink Sweet Avalanche Roses with cerise pink mini Eden Spray Roses and Gypsophila, and the bridesmaids carried hand-tied bouquets of Gypsophila. I love Gypsophila and felt that the simple pink and white colours worked really well with sage green colour scheme. Our bouquets, button-holes and corsages were made by a fab florist called Mark at Gordale Garden Centre near to Inglewood Manor.
We bought and arranged the flowers for the venue/reception ourselves. In the run up to the wedding, Gareth and I collected every wine bottle and jam jar we could find and decorated them with twine, lace, pink ribbon and burlap to tie in with our shabby chic theme. Gareth is now a whizz with a glue gun!
We used loads of candles and tea lights to create a relaxed atmosphere and filled the jars with Gypsophila and Sweet Avalanche Roses that we bought from Liverpool Flower Market the day before the wedding. We also used an old-style suitcase (normally kept on top of our wardrobe at home housing my handbags) to display our table plan and we filled the base with gorgeous flowers.
We didn’t make personalised favours but instead set up a vintage sweet table with all of our favourite treats ranging from peanut M&M’s through to marshmallows and peardrops. Again we used an old-style suitcase for display purposes and collected numerous crystal dishes (thanks to Julia, Gareth’s mum) as I love cut glass.
We knew we didn’t want a traditional wedding cake and we found it very difficult to narrow down which flavours we would like (we both love cake). In the end we ended up having eight different cakes displayed in glass cloches. We made and decorated a number of cakes ourselves including a traditional fruit cake (which was generously fed with brandy for six months before the wedding) and we also bought a number of cakes from one of our favourites bakeries called Cuthbert’s Bakehouse in Liverpool – the cakes were delicious!
Our guests enjoyed a range of canapés in the afternoon including mini fish and chips and Welsh rarebit, followed by a beautiful three course evening meal. In the evening we didn’t have additional guests and so had a lighter buffet of bacon/sausage batches and wedges together with as much cake as people could manage.
Our music for the day was provided by a fabulous string quartet called The Dotted Crotchets. We first heard them play at The Trafford Centre in Manchester and we both knew they were exactly what we were looking for. They are the perfect mix of traditional and contemporary, playing many modern chart hits. I walked down the aisle to Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros and we left our ceremony to Friday I’m in Love by The Cure.
The Dotted Crotchets continued to play throughout the afternoon and entertained our guests with great hits from Journey, Coldplay, Rihanna and Take That. They even enthralled our two youngest guests with a rendition of the famous Frozen theme tune – we can’t thank them enough.
We also had a magician called Ian Knowles, who mingled with our guests throughout the afternoon. He is a work colleague of Gareth’s and his magic tricks are second to none – all of our guests loved him.
There were a few special touches on the day which included my sister presenting me with a story book of my life to date that she had created and my mum had framed various baby photos of myself and Gareth which were displayed in the reception areas of Inglewood Manor. It was very emotional for Gareth and I and was great talking points for all of our guests.
Unbeknown to us, my best friend Charlotte had also secretly organised and recorded a video containing clips of all of our guests singing lines to the Bruno Mars song Marry Me. This was played to us during the evening and honestly blew us away! We still can’t believe the time and effort involved by Charlotte and all off our guests for taking part – thank you.
Later on in the evening, my sister and brother-in-law led us outside to see ‘Just Married’ lanterns lined up along Inglewood’s terrace. This was a perfect touch and has since become one of our favourite photographs taken by Adam Riley.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day though. Walking down the aisle to see all of our lovely family and friends smiling back at me and Gareth looking completely over-whelmed was a breath-taking moment.
For our honeymoon we spent two weeks in paradise in the Maldives. We arrived to monsoon type rain that lasted a couple of days, but we didn’t let it spoil our excitement. The island really was pure paradise and we experienced some of the best food we have ever eaten, from fillet steak to fresh sea food. If we could go back tomorrow we’d both be jumping on the plane immediately!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – don’t let the weather worry you. Getting married in October we had planned for rain and I was prepared for a day indoors, however we had a beautiful day and we spent a good couple of hours outside in the afternoon with many guests commenting that it was actually too hot inside.
Things that worry you beforehand will not even be given a second thought on the day as you are far too busy enjoying yourself. If we could do it all again tomorrow…we most definitely would. Best day of our lives!
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