Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

eastertime frolics. a chic wedding at styal lodge, cheshire – liz & jon

November 29th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today, we bring you Liz and Jon’s special day, set in the beautiful National Trust village of Styal in Cheshire.

Pretty paper lanterns, candles and fairy lights create a charming backdrop to their nuptials, but for us, it’s the couple’s Great Wedding Bake Off that steals the show – with so much cake to tuck in to, what’s not to like?

As a lovely touch, Liz even enlisted the help of her Year One class and the couple made a donation to two charities close to their hearts.

So, sit back and relax as Liz shares all the dreamy highlights.

With images by Jonny Draper Photography

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liz says: We got engaged in April 2015, in New York. I had wanted to find an Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park that I had heard about and when we got there Jon insisted that I sit on one of the toadstools for a photo. As I turned around to refuse him, he was down on one knee! I was blown away – it was all caught on camera too as Jon had arranged for a photographer to capture the moment!

We got married on 25th March 2016. It was Good Friday and the perfect opportunity for us and our guests to enjoy a lovely long Bank Holiday weekend. As a teacher, I wanted to get married close to a holiday so we could have a honeymoon straight after the wedding.

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We tied the knot at Styal Lodge in Cheshire; it was the only venue we viewed. As soon as we arrived we knew it was the place for us, it was perfect – relaxed, spacious but still intimate.

Our invitations and table names featured a New York skyline but apart from that we kept everything quite simple with a relaxed but elegant feel, complete with lots of beautiful fairy lights everywhere.

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Our colour scheme leaned towards white, green and grey, from the bridesmaids’ dresses to the flowers.

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My dress was from Felicity Cooper Bridal in Knutsford. I knew it was the dress for me as soon as I saw it; something drew me to the dress even though it was everything I hadn’t set out to have! I loved the dress as soon as I put on; it felt like ‘me’ and was light and comfortable, too. Fiona, who designed my dress, couldn’t have been more wonderful and encouraged me to have the dress exactly as I wanted.

Jon wore a grey suit from Next and a tie from Reiss. My very talented mum made the four bridesmaid dresses, and for the best men and groomsmen we hired navy suits from L&J Formal Hire near Middlewich. Colin, who owns the company, couldn’t have been more friendly, helpful and accommodating.

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sunshine, showers & champagne. an elegant wedding in the north west – melissa & chris

October 31st, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s real wedding is brimming with timeless details to inspire all of those brides-to-be hankering after an elegant, traditional affair.

Melissa and Chris tied the knot at a beautiful local church with a family connection and held their reception at the stunning Deanwater Hotel in Wilmslow. And they didn’t let it rain on their parade – despite the inclement weather, we think these breath-taking photographs radiate pure joy.

So sit back and enjoy Melissa’s account of a day full of sunshine in spite of the showers…

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

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melissa says: We got engaged in January 2013. Chris didn’t want to be predictable and ask over Christmas; he wanted to catch me completely off guard. He proposed at home, one of our favourite places, on a very ordinary Saturday morning. He presented me with a photo book which contained memories of our holidays, adventures and fun times we‘d had over the ten years we’d been together and on the last page I read the all-important four words. The next thing I knew, Chris was down on one knee and holding out the most beautiful ring he had designed with the help of jeweller Simon Washbrook.

Our wedding date was 14th August 2015, exactly 12 years after we got together. My wedding ring also contained 14 diamonds to represent the date of our anniversary.

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The wedding ceremony was held at Christ Church, Woodford. It’s a meaningful place for us as my parents were married there 33 years ago and I was christened there. And the tradition will continue: my sister is planning her wedding there for December 2016, too!

The reception was held in the Gold Suite at the Deanwater Hotel in Wilmslow. The newly-refurbished suite was a perfect venue for us as we wanted a small wedding which was close by for friends and family.

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In terms of our wedding style, we went for a very traditional a gold, pearl and champagne colour scheme. I wanted something simple and elegant which would stand the test of time.

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front row: amanda wyatt 2016 collection, promises of love.

April 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

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Is there anything more exciting than sitting front row catwalk knowing that you’re among a select few to about to clap eyes on a designer’s brand new collection for the very first time? We think not.

We were therefore delighted, enthused and excited when an invitation to the launch of Amanda Wyatt’s 2016 Collection, cutely named promises of love, arrived here at Brides Up North HQ. Today we’re extending that invitation further by sharing the designs with you, our fabulous readers, here on the wedding blog.

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For those of you that aren’t familiar with Amanda and her gorgeous creations it’s time to come out from underneath that rock as Ms Wyatt is a pretty big deal, having been a leading name in British bridal for more than 20 years.

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Forward thinking Amanda is known for creating gowns that not only look amazing, but also that make her brides feel amazing thanks to their fabulous fit, quality fabrics and sensational detailing, so we were confident that the latest collection would be just as fabulous as those that have gone before.

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And we weren’t wrong – cue soft flowing chiffons, French and Italian laces, fine tulle and rich satins, adorned with frosted pearl beading and embellished details. This lady sure knows how to make us (and plenty of other pretty-loving ladies) go weak at the knees.

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As the lights dimmed the music kicked in and the models stepped out to flaunt Amanda’s fabulous frocks. From sleek slim-line designs and flattering A-line silhouettes to short 50s style dresses and perfect princess gowns, Promises Of Love had covered all bases meaning that there was quite literally ‘the one’ for everyone. And this lady is not only big on offering brides a wide range of looks, but also a wide range of sizes as not to exclude more curvaceous ladies from the wonderful Amanda Wyatt party.

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Further choice was provided with Amanda’s exciting colour palette which strayed beyond classic ivory hues with some gowns in soft gold, blush pinks and even powder blue.

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Standout favourites for us Brides Up North girls included the headline gown of the collection, Promise – a slim design featuring delicate lace and a pretty fluid skirt. In terms of fuller designs there were plenty to choose from, including regal satin gowns and romantic tulle offerings with varying levels of detail.

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In a nod to the princess of the moment, and no we’re not talking Kate Middleton, the collection features a design named Elsa (Frozen fans will get the reference). Available in ivory or powder blue, (just like the Disney sovereign herself) this gown is what fairytales are made of with its voluminous tulle layered skirt and angelic lace detail.

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Those planning a city centre or destination wedding may well be drawn to the cute shorter length gowns in the collection, such as Nia and Cupid, which certainly caught our eye on the catwalk.

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There was however one particular dress that got us wishing for an impromptu proposal (from quite literally anyone) just so that we could put it on – Chantilly. High fashion and hot, we mean hot, this sultry little number is a guaranteed head-turner with its plunging neckline, elegant lace top and slinky skirt. Pure perfection!

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Following the catwalk show, leading lady Amanda talked us through the collection dress by dress, explaining the inspiration behind the designs, which in a lot of cases included listening to brides’ feedback via stockists and giving them exactly what they asked for, showing that this talented lady has a real connection to her clients.

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Amanda also explained that the collection had been designed with matching accessories to complement each gown, with additions including soft tulle silk veils and delicate hair accessories.

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Finally we were given a taste of the beautiful bridesmaid gown styles that Amanda has added to her increasingly popular maids’ collection for 2015, meaning both you and your gals can be styled by Wyatt for your big day.

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And that, our friends, is one promise worth keeping.

Images by Jonny Draper Photography.

Amanda Wyatt 2016 Collection from Silk Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Enter the password mere to view this exclusive video. (Trust me, it’s worth a good look, and you might just spot us FROW!)

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pretty fresh. maggie sottero for a white wedding at the villa at wrea green – carla & richard

February 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (39)

Carla and Richard needed lots of space to accommodate their large guest list, but they didn’t have to compromise on the gorgeous details for their pretty wedding day near Preston.

A fresh & bright colour palette, beautiful blooms, a touch of twinkle and lots of surprises meant that Carla and Richard’s big day was one to remember.

With images by Samantha Broadley Photography.

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (4)

carla says: We got engaged in June 2013. We were going on holiday to Mexico for 2 weeks and it was 6am and we were at home getting ready to drive to the airport. Richard sent me a Snapchat message of a ring in a box. It literally flashed on my screen for 1 second. I didn’t say anything as I thought he was winding me up. I asked him to help me fasten my suitcase and when I looked up he was down on one knee with the ring in his hand and asked me to marry him! It was such a lovely surprise proposing before we went away!

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (2)

We got married at St.Peter’s Church, Quernmore, Nr. Lancaster on Friday 26th September 2014.

It is my family church, where I was christened, went to Sunday School and I went to the primary school next door. As soon as we got engaged I knew I had to get married in our family church. On the day, my emotions got the better of me and I cried the whole way down the aisle, it was such a special moment and a feeling I will never forget.

We were limited to venues, as we knew we had a large guest list and would need somewhere to accommodate 300 people. We visited The Villa at Wrea Green one Sunday morning without an appointment, the staff were so friendly and helpful from the first instance, and the function room and grounds were beautiful.

The Villa is the perfect venue for a wedding. The staff couldn’t do enough for us, not only on the day but also on the run up to the wedding and made our wedding feel very personal.

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (5)

I’m not a girly girl, so I didn’t want pink, lacy decorations. We opted for a crisp white theme with a little bit of sparkle and a touch of duck egg blue.

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (10)

I chose a Maggie Sottero A-line tulle dress from Butterfly Bridal in Lancaster. I tried lots of dresses on in numerous shops but kept going back to this particular dress. The 4th time I tried it on, I burst into tears and realised was the one. It was the complete opposite of what I had imagined I would choose, but I loved it and cried all the way home in the car, I was so happy!

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (11)

Richard wore a slim-fit 3-piece navy suit from Butterfly Bridal in Lancaster, with a tie and brown tan shoes. He didn’t want a traditional morning suit and opted for a modern suit which all of his groomsmen would be comfortable in.

The bridesmaid dresses chose Mori Lee dresses from The Bridal Collection in Lancaster. The style suited all the girls and was very flattering of all their figures, I wanted to make sure they would be comfortable in their dresses so they could enjoy the day.

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (47)

I carried a hand-tied posey of roses and calla lilies, in pale pinks, ivory and cream. The bridesmaids had a similar arrangement. These were supplied by The Flower Shop by Morgan at Garstang. They also provided the church flowers and flowers for the cake.

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (14)

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We hired 2 cars from Broughton Wedding Cars, a VW camper van for the bridesmaids and a Beauford Tourer as the bridal car.

However, Richard had booked a surprise helicopter to take us to the venue which he had only told his parents about. After the service, we drove off in our wedding car and stopped at his parent’s farm ‘for pictures’. As we pulled into the farm, I saw the helicopter in the field and couldn’t believe that he had arranged it for us. The flight was amazing as we flew over the church and along the coast to the venue. It was a surprise to all of our guests also, as we landed in the field outside The Villa!

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (25)

The table centres and chair covers were from Linda at Sophisticated Events in St.Annes. We chose a white tree with white LED lights for the table centres. My Mum handmade the table plan from an old mirror, made wooden hearts for name places, the menu cards, card box and table name holders. She spent hours sticking tiny embellishments on everything but it all looked fabulous in the end!  We used pictures of Richard and I at different ages for our table numbers to give a personal touch to each table.

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (28)

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (31)

We picked a simple white cake from Marks & Spencer, with 4 mixed tiers, and then decorated the ribbons ourselves to match the table plan.

Instead of wedding favours, we gave a donation of £150 to St. John’s Hospice in Lancaster, a place very close to our hearts as my Auntie was cared for there before she lost her battle with breast cancer a couple of years ago.

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We used Samantha Broadley Photography.

Sam was the perfect wedding photographer, she was so friendly from our initial meeting and we got on so well with her. Sam had photographed a couple of my friend’s wedding in the summer we got engaged and was one of the first things I booked. I love her style of photo’s as they are very natural and capture intimate moments. On the day, we left it in Sam’s hands as we knew she would do a fantastic job and felt very relaxed.

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Our videographer was Tom from Silk Wedding Films who did an unbelievable job of capturing our day on film. I originally didn’t want a videographer, but then I came across Tom’s website and instantly fell in love with his work. I cried at every film on his blog! I had a major Bridezilla moment and insisted that I had to have Tom film our day and I’m so glad I did as this is the best decision I made and our wedding film is epic!

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (44)

Our band was called Bobby and Jemima aka Charlese and Matt, who describe themselves as ‘energetic, funk filled soul’. The dance floor was full all night and everybody has commented on how great they were.

My mother-in-law arranged a White LED sparkly dance floor for the evening reception as a surprise for Richard and I. It really added that final wow to the function room.

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (38)

Apart from the surprise helicopter, my favourite part of the day was our photos we had taken at sunset. Our photographer found a farm lane and field with horses in behind the venue and took us out at sunset to capture some beautiful photographs. The colours in the pictures are unbelievable and I love how natural and happy we look. It was a perfect setting and something we hadn’t anticipated happening. If I could sum my wedding up in 3 words it would be ‘Husband, Helicopter and Horses’.

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (45)

We went to Dubai for 3 nights and Mauritius for 10 nights on Honeymoon. We had a hectic 3 days in Dubai, taking in all the sights, it is such a fascinating city and we would highly recommend it. We then relaxed for 10 days at ‘Paradise Cove’, where we were treat like kings in a beachside suite. While in Mauritius we went on a trip where we walked with lions in the wild. This was an amazing experience as we walked alongside the lions that were free to roam where they wished.

a white wedding at The Villa Wrea Green (c) Samantha Broadley Photography (49)

As my husband always says that I’m the most organised person he knows, my tip to other Brides Up North would be to get organised as soon as possible. I had a monthly planner indicating what I had to do on the lead up to the wedding. This really helped me to make sure everything was booked and paid for when it needed to be and also so I didn’t forget anything in the few weeks beforehand when everything seems to happen all at once.

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real wedding recap 2014. a fun & fabulous wedding at Heaton House Farm – helen & ryan

January 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime

Happy New Year! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.

Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.

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Starting a brand new year on a high by recapping one of our most fun and fabulous weddings from 2014 sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.

Check out those rocking bridesmaids. Girl power.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (15)

helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012.  The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!

We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014.  As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!

Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (26)

My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye.  As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come.  I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.

Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50’s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.

My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme.  My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (35)

Jonny Draper was our photographer.  The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job.  I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (39)

Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.

We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste.  We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.

As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags.  The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (62)

On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.

We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (65)

We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day.  There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (79)

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (94)

We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September.  I can’t wait!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (98)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key!  We were very organised which saved a lot of stress.  Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (61)

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let’s get fizzy! A colourful champagne poppin’ wedding at Colshaw Hall – miriam & richard

November 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (21)

Packing a zesty punch to end the week on a vibrant high, we welcome Miriam and Richard to the blog with their opulent, colourful and champagne fuelled Algerian inspired wedding.

Get ready to pop the fizz… this looks like my kind of celebration.

With images by Matt Horan.

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Miriam says: Richard proposed when we went away for the weekend to the lakes, it was actually my brother in law’s 30th Birthday which Rick kyboshed. We walked up to the room and the bed was laid out with flowers, it took me a while to comprehend what they said and the first thing that came out my mouth was “ I think we are in the wrong room!” anyway, on closer inspection the rose petals said “Will you marry me?” and I turned round  and Rick was on one knee. It was a surreal moment but I of course said yes and the champagne got opened.

We were married on Thursday 17th July 2014 at Colshaw Hall in Pever. We just fell in love with this place. It is a stately home and was just beautiful. The owner is also very down to earth which made us want to go with them even more.

It is just the most beautiful venue, gorgeous gardens and you felt you were a million miles away even though you weren’t.

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My dress was a Heritage gown, by Amanda Wyatt and Charlotte Balbier. I got it from Love Bridal Boutique and I just fell in love with it. Rick wore a tailored suit that he had especially made for him and my fabulous bridesmaids all wore dresses from Debenhams.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (14)

We had a Algerian theme as my dad is Algerian and also a fizz theme as I love Champagne, so all the tables were named after Champagnes. The colours were all middle eastern and the food followed this theme.

Our flowers were from Red Floral Architecture and were very blingy with diamante in them! We also had lanterns and candles.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (17)

Matt Horan was our photographer and we’d certainly recommend him! He was very natural and really caught the moment.

We had a videographer, Tom from Silk Wedding Films who was great, you didn’t even know he was there.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (20)

We used a wedding planner called Janice who really supported and helped us through the whole process.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (30)

We carried the Algerian theme into our wedding breakfast so served a mezze to start which included taboluh, merguez sasuage, humous, feta with harissa, flat breads, we then had lamb and couscous with roasted veg and a trio of desserts.

My dad picked all the wine which included red, white, fizz and champagne.

We gave Algerian sweets as favours and instead of a wedding cake we had lots of mini pavlovas, they were lovely!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (35)

We had a jazz band in the day called Gypsies of Bohemia and a band called The Rush in the evening – we all had a good dance!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (38)

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (41)

The whole  day was just amazing but it just went very quickly. We are both foodies so I would have to say the food part was lovely, even though Rick was too nervous to eat as he knew he was going to do his speech!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (45)

We went to France, Italy and Spain for our honeymoon.

In France we stayed in a Michelin starred chateaux for 4 nights, we then got the train to Italy for 4 nights where we visited Lake Maggorie and finally relaxed in a villa in the Andalusian mountains for a week.

It was great that we visited a few different places.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (49)

I am sure all brides say this but my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to ENJOY every second as it flies by!

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