October 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
When it came to this morning’s wedding couple’s venue search it was a case of there’s no place like home as they opted for a traditional church ceremony followed by a marquee reception in the garden of the bride’s mum and stepdad’s home.
Keen to make the occasion fun for their guests, Lisa and Tim put on garden games, live entertainment and an informal afternoon tea, all in keeping with their garden party themed relaxed wedding.
We very much enjoyed that Lisa switched things up a bit when it came to her and her maids’ attire by choosing a blush pink dress for herself and cute ivory dresses for her leading ladies.
With images by Jemma King Photography.
lisa says: We got engaged outside a restaurant after Tim had taken me for a meal to celebrate my 30th birthday in August 2014. He had wanted to propose inside, but it was tight space wise for getting down on one knee and he didn’t fancy being practically sat on the couple next to us knee! After a lovely evening he proposed outside overlooking a football pitch which was very fitting as football is Tim’s other love. He did however get a soaking wet knee as the grass was wet!
Our wedding date was 27th June 2015. It turned out on enquiring with the church that it was also the weekend of the village garden festival and so the church would be already decorated, which was a lovely and lucky coincidence.
We had our ceremony in our parish church, St Helens in Welton, East Yorkshire. The church and setting are beautiful and on attending some services we, and our two children, were made to feel very welcome. Our reception was held in a marquee (hired from All Occasions Marquees and Events in Hull) in the meadow at my mum and step dad’s home. They moved there the year previous and we instantly knew it was the perfect setting for us with a pair of old railway cottages stood in the garden and the countryside views – it was personal and unique. We are very lucky that we had this option and that my parents were so willing to open up their home and do so much work to prepare the garden and install a couple of toilets in their outbuildings and cottages so we had proper loo’s to use!
As we held our wedding in my parent’s garden we aimed for a relaxed garden party feel incorporating some vintage glamour. We opted for substantial canapés and afternoon tea with a hog roast in the evening. With having two children ourselves (aged 11 and two) and plenty of other children attending we wanted a vibe which allowed everyone to relax and enjoy themselves. We borrowed some giant garden games from the school my sister teaches at and set up a homemade photo booth with props, which the kids ended up using mainly as a dressing up box! We were also gifted some amazing children’s activity packs from my friend Joanne at Angelic Angels which kept the children entertained through the speeches and beyond.
Our colour scheme was based around my blush pink dress! We were not too precious over colours but once I had fallen in love with the dress I did subtly steer things in a more pink direction. I had also fallen completely in love with some rose gold sequin table cloths so between them and my dress I created our vintage blush scheme.
My dress was Stella York’s 5923 design in moscato. I actually spotted it as soon as I walked into the shop and only tried it on as I thought something so beautiful would look ridiculous on me…but it was too beautiful not to try on. The colour was so much more flattering on my skin tone than ivory and white, but it wasn’t until I returned to the shop to try that and another dress on again that I realised I couldn’t get it out of my head. I chose a full length veil in blush which made me feel like the bride I’d always imagined, and a hairband with sparkle and lace detailing which coordinated beautifully.
My shoes were from Red or Dead with a chunky heel for height and comfort.
I bought my dress, veil and hairband from Cheryl Chambers Bridal Boutique in Sutton, Hull. The ladies there are so helpful and provide a lovely relaxed atmosphere, and the shop is full of sparkly little treasures, I really enjoyed every visit.
Tim chose a grey tailcoat suit with matching waistcoat and a pink tie. They were hired from Slaters Menswear. Tim’s best man and ushers, along with both our step dads, wore the same as Tim, including our 11-year-old son. My dad wore his own kilt in our family tartan and our two-year-old was more relaxed but traditional in a buster suit from childrensalon.com and white T-bar shoes from Babyshoes.
The bridesmaids wore ivory lace dresses from BHS that were actually short wedding dresses but as I was wearing blush pink with ivory lace, their dresses coordinated lovely with mine.
As a little extra, I bought all the men pink socks with their role in the wedding printed on them and gave them as a surprise. We also gave the men cufflinks shaped into their initials as a thank you gift, and I gave my bridesmaids silver knot earrings as a thank you for helping us ‘tie the knot’.
We hired a beautiful Humber car from Marshalls Wedding Cars to take us to the church, it was only a five minute journey between where each of us were staying and the church so we used the same car which did four trips in total to get us all there. The car we used was actually Tim’s mum and step dad’s wedding car, which was a lovely touch. The owner of the cars has a huge collection and provided a great service, I would highly recommend brides contact him to go and view the cars.
To solve the issue of lack of parking space at my mum’s, our guests and us travelled from the church to reception in a vintage bus and coach hired from East Yorkshire Coaches. It was certainly a novelty and everyone travelling together kept a lovely social atmosphere. We travelled on the small coach with close family and the bridal party and it was really lovely to have that journey all together after the church.
Our photographer was Jemma King. She really understood our vision for the day and we felt very comfortable around her. The first time we met, our toddler had her on the floor playing! It was like having a friend there, but one who could get people organised! We had loads of compliments on the day of how good she was with people and are thrilled with our finished photos. I would, and already have, recommended her.
We didn’t have any fresh flowers on the day other than what was already in church for the garden festival. I made my own brooch and bead bouquet as it was something I had always wanted to try since I fell in love with one I saw online years before. The men had dried flower buttonholes which I won on eBay! And I bought dried flower bouquets to coordinate from daisyshop.co.uk for my two bridesmaids. That way we could buy everything in advance and they could be kept and displayed afterwards. Plus the dried flowers with lavender smelt amazing!
As décor for the reception we hired some stunning rose gold sequin table cloths from Belle Bijoux Events, and I decorated Hobbycraft white twig trees with paper flowers to create centrepieces that doubled up as a guest book. We left tags on each table for guests to leave us a message and hang on the trees. They looked great once they were filled with lovely messages from our family and friends.
Dragonfly Print made us some fabulous personalised signs for our photo booth, our homemade date jar, and a ‘rules of the dancefloor’ amongst others.
At my hen weekend all my hens set aside time to help me assemble and stick sparkles on my order of service booklet, wrap pens in ribbon and paint our Hobbycraft post box. It was a real team effort!
We displayed our table plan, which I handwrote onto card bunting, on a borrowed vintage step ladder and decorated it with jars and bottles filled with fake flowers bought from Hobbycraft and Dunelm. My mum filled wicker baskets full of essentials such as a mini sewing kit, paracetamol, baby wipes etc. and left one in each bathroom. She even bought bride and groom printed loo paper!
Our cake was a four tier Cath Kidston inspired creation. It was made by the lovely Cakes By Leni, in Hull. We chose a Baileys sponge, a chocolate Malteaser layer and a lemon sponge layer. The smallest top layer was a dummy cake. It was almost too beautiful to cut, but tasted yummy!
Tim’s brothers are both chefs and organised a catering team for us. We opted for substantial canapés such as mini fish and chips, followed by an afternoon tea type sandwiches and cakes during the speeches. We didn’t want people to have to wait around or spend a long time sat at a table, and wanted to create a relaxed, informal vibe. To continue this feel, we chose a hog roast for our evening food which was very popular! Tim’s parents provided champagne and a couple of glasses of wine per person, however there was more wine than we anticipated! Which nobody seemed too unhappy about. We also hired Escapade Bars who brought a fully stocked bar and we chose five cocktails that they could also offer throughout the night.
In terms of entertainment, my step dad sings in a barbershop quartet who kindly sang for us on arriving at the reception and whilst we disappeared for photographs. They even personalised one song with our names, which was a lovely surprise. For the evening do we hired The Mike Brown Band, who really got the party started and were absolutely fantastic. They did a split of live sets and DJ’ed in between. We didn’t think we would be able to afford a live band, however their prices were comparable to a decent DJ, but the atmosphere they created in our opinion was worth so much more.
Following our wedding I would certainly recommend that if couples can use a family home or garden for their big day that they consider it. It is lovely visiting my mum’s house and remembering our special day. It also creates something true to the couple and very unique.
My favourite part of the day was the church ceremony. We kept things very traditional in the church and I really enjoyed singing the hymns and all our music choices and reading choices really brought it together giving me goose bumps. I was so nervous walking in, but couldn’t stop smiling and even did a little cheer when we were pronounced as husband and wife.
With having two children, including one at school, we haven’t gone on an official honeymoon. Instead my dad gifted us a weekend in Centre Parcs with our boys the week after the wedding. We all enjoyed our mini family moon just relaxing and spending quality time all together in one of our favourite holiday destinations.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to remember that whatever happens in the run up to the day, it will all be ok. I had to have a tooth extracted two days beforehand, our first choice of vintage bus broke the day before our wedding amongst many other perceived disasters, but honestly on the day none of it mattered! It’s only one day, and it goes so quickly, just breathe and take it all in. I want to do it all again!
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September 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
We love pink, we adore peonies and we’ve always got room for cake – these are just a few reasons why we fell head over heels for this morning’s real wedding (as we’re sure you will too) when it landed in our inbox.
Bride Caitlin wanted an elegant shabby chic feel to her big day and so teamed cute homemade decorative items with her favourite pastel tones of lemon and dusky pink.
The result is just beautiful and it’s not just the setting that looks stunning, for the wedding party themselves are pushing the bar high in the style stakes. We love the maids’ girly full-length dresses, the guys’ smart suits and of course Caitlin’s gorgeous Mori Lee lace dress, complete with a pretty bespoke belt.
With images by the fabulous Helen Russell Photography.
caitlin says: We got engaged at home, in our cosy little bungalow! Matthew decided to wine and dine me with a Chinese box from the supermarket (good job I love things like that!) and surrounded by candles he got down on one knee and popped the question! Matthew is not the type to make a scene in front of people in a posh restaurant, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
We set the date for Friday 10th July 2015. We were hoping it would be a perfect sunny day and luckily enough, it was!
Wynyard Hall was our chosen venue. I just loved the stately home, picturesque feel it had. The terrace out of the back had amazing views of the lake and it just felt perfect. The first time I visited I was with my mam and she loved it just as much as I did (good job Matthew liked it too!)
The theme I had in mind was a vintage, rustic, shabby chic theme. I love all things like this and we decided to make/source as many of the decorations we could ourselves. We recycled glass jars for months on end and decorated everyone differently! I made all of the save the dates, invitations, order of services and loved every minute! Not only did this keep costs down, but it also made things feel extra special.
Our colour scheme was pale lemon and dusty pink. I loved these pastel colours as I thought they were summery but classy!
I was lucky enough to find my amazing Mori Lee dress in a lovely little family run boutique called Dobinsons of Darlington. It was a beautiful mermaid style with lace detail throughout. Initially the dress had straps and I thought it didn’t suit me, however with a few changes to make it a sweetheart neckline, it was perfect! A friend of mine made my wedding belt and I wore Kurt Geiger sandals to complete my look.
Matthew wore a Paul Costello charcoal grey suit with faint checks from Slaters in Newcastle. He wanted a three piece suit with a waistcoat and wore a dusty pink tie, pocket watch and tan Ted Baker shoes!
All six of our bridesmaids wore gorgeous, floaty, one-shouldered, pale lemon dresses from Coast and the groomsmen wore charcoal suits, also from Slaters in Newcastle, with pale lemon ties and hessian flower shaped button holes.
Helen Russell was our photographer. Helen was absolutely amazing, she was the best photographer we could have asked for and made everyone feel so comfortable on the day. We loved the natural photographs Helen takes and we would 100 per cent recommend her to anyone. We had our pre wedding shoot the month before which made us so relaxed and excited for the day and are over the moon with all of our photographs!
When it came to the flowers, I carried dusty pink peonies with pale lemon roses and the bridesmaids and flower girl carried the same in smaller bouquets.
We wanted to keep with the peony theme in the décor and so used the same flowers in jugs placed on pieces of wood for the centrepieces along with rustic jars and candles. We also had single peonies and carnations in jars along the aisle and on the fireplaces at Wynyard. My family helped so much with sourcing the jars and centrepieces and made the day extra special.
For the reception we also hired chiavari chairs from The Finishing Touch Company, which made the rooms look perfect!
As favours we gave small jam jars filled with pink alcohol for the adults and filled with sweeties for the children. Also a chocolate truffle heart for an extra treat!
Our guests were also treated to an amazing cake table, made by Bernadette from Dreamworld Cakes in Newcastle. Our wedding cake had four tiers, two being Belgian chocolate and the other two being white chocolate and raspberry, it was then decorated with rustic theme in mind with peonies and raffia. We also had Baileys chocolate and Victoria sponge mini cakes, lemon and passion fruit cupcakes, cake pops and strawberry and pistachio macaroons!
For the entertainment we decided to hire wedding pianists, Daniel Ackerley and Martin Dack, who played throughout the ceremony and right through the wedding breakfast. We also had Paul Lytton who was a fantastic magician and The Ultimate Wedding DJ for the disco. As an extra special touch we also hired large ‘C & M’ letters from Coco Luminaire and a vintage photo booth from Snaparazzi.
I would recommend all of ours suppliers and also our venue to other couples. Our wedding coordinator Emily made the day go as smooth as possible and I felt confident everything would go to plan! Wynyard made our rooms look amazing and all the staff were friendly and helpful. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue!
It’s difficult to pick a favourite part of the wedding as the whole day was amazing, but I think it would be walking in to the conservatory being announced as Mr & Mrs Summerbell ready to cut the cake and have our first dance!
For our honeymoon we went to El Dorado Casitas Royale in Riveria Maya, Mexico! This place was heaven and we were so lucky so spend our honeymoon in such luxury! The restaurants were all a la carte and on the beach front, it was so relaxing and we would definitely revisit on our anniversary – one day! We are now expecting our first baby. After unexpectedly finding out on our honeymoon, we are so shocked but so excited and can’t wait for the future!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to stress too much about all the tiny details leading up to the wedding, and for the groom I’d say try and help take some of this stress away from the bride! I was so worried about the room looking how I imagined however the staff at the venue were so good they made it look better than I ever could have. Brides and grooms should also try to take in as much of the day as possible as it goes so fast, enjoy every minute.
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September 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Though not set on a strict theme, today’s real wedding couple styled their day perfectly to create a reflection of them and the things that they like.
The pretty affair features playful pastel décor in blooms, bird cages and antique accessories to help set the scene. Add to this a chic VW camper van, a to-die-for Stephanie Allin gown and gorgeous lace mint bridesmaid dresses, and you’ve got one very swoon-worthy wedding indeed.
With images by Elouisa Georgiou Photography.
charlotte says: We got engaged in Paris. Kyle had booked the weekend away as a surprise and told me to pack a small case. He took me first to a hotel in Liverpool airport, and in the room he left two tickets to Paris and Disneyland on the bed for me to notice – I was so shocked! Our first day in Paris consisted of a 38 degree heatwave so we waited until it was dark to venture up the Eiffel Tower. During the lift ride, I could feel his hands shaking but he said it was his fear of heights! As we stood looking over Paris at night, I just remember he got out a ring box and asked me to be his wife still shaking. I will remember that moment forever.
Our wedding date was 9th August 2014. I’m a secondary school teacher and so having the holidays to enjoy our day was important – I really wanted a summer wedding too. Although the day before there was an awful storm and horrendous rainfall, by some miracle the weather was perfect – the marquee we hired from Ascot Marquees had all dried out and we were blessed with sunshine.
We only ever looked at one venue and that was Wood Lane in Sheffield; a grade two listed barn with lots of character and original rustic features as it was built in 1802. We knew we wanted the venue to be all ours and to be on the unique side – so a hotel wasn’t for us. We also loved the fact that Kyle’s mum had helped to dig the pond in the gardens years ago and Kyle went to school right next door.
As soon as I walked into the barn I fell in love with the natural stonework and wood beams and I knew this is where I wanted to marry Kyle. Being a blank canvas, we knew it would be hard work, but we had the freedom to create exactly the day we wanted.
We didn’t have a strict theme as we’re quite eclectic in our tastes: we love old, restored furniture, vintage styling and unique rustic touches and this is what I wanted the styling of our day to represent.
For the colour palette we mainly went for a mix of pastel colours: mint, pale pinks and blues, to fit in with the delicate colourings of the barn and the meadow-like gardens surrounding it.
As a student I worked part-time in River Island (which is actually where Kyle and I met) so fashion and clothes have always been a big part of my life. Having heard great things about The White Room in Sheffield I knew this was the kind of bridal boutique I needed to go to. I fell in love with Loren – a full lace Stephanie Allin dress – and Chloe, the owner, suggested I added lace bolero.
I also wore a vintage crystal headband by Debbie Carlisle. The band was wrapped in satin to match the colour of my hair too. I adore shoes, and so I decided on a pair of white satin peep toe Louboutins. The inside of the shoes are blue for your ‘something blue’, which I loved. My earring were from Swarovski to match a necklace my friends had bought me on my birthday and I also wore a diamond bracelet which Kyle had sneakily bought me and given to my bridesmaids so they could surprise me!
My and the girls’ hair was done by Jade from Identity in Rawmarsh, Rotherham. She knew exactly what I wanted and did an incredible job. I wanted my make-up to be subtle so I felt like me. I’d seen Laura Turner’s work on Facebook and she created a perfect natural vintage look for me.
Kyle didn’t want a traditional wedding suit, so he went for a slim line blue Lambretta suit and brown leather brogue shoes from Slaters. His best man Ryan, and his dad, John also wore the same suit with my uncle and cousin wearing a slightly darker version. They all wore the same ties from Primark – which had to be the biggest find of the wedding! And pocket squares from River Island. I also ordered Kyle, Ryan and John socks with their name and wedding title sewn on from eBay as a bit of fun. Kyle and Ryan also wore a tie pin, both belonging to their grandfather.
I found the bridesmaid dresses in BHS. I knew I wanted something a little different, and I wasn’t searching for a colour it was more about the style of the dress and making sure all the girls were comfortable and happy. We decided on full lace dresses in mint with a tie around the waist and matching mint peep toes satin shoes, again from BHS. The girls had so many compliments.
We wanted to introduce the wedding party to all the guests on arrival, so with a little help from the best man and my bridesmaid, we made a ‘wedding fan’ with introductions to everyone tied with mint ribbon and James, our usher, made sure everyone had one.
Kyle and I knew that the traditional wedding cars didn’t really fit with the vision of our day. We visited a wedding fair in Doncaster and found an amazing VW camper van from All Luvd Up. The VW had enough room from myself and the bridesmaids to arrive together and we could enjoy a bottle of Moet on the journey too! They also decorated the van with ribbons and gorgeous flowers. It was great to have all my bridesmaids around me to keep me calm!
We’d known our wedding photographer for about six years as we met at River Island when we were all students. After leaving University, Elouisa started her own business – Elouisa Georgiou Photography – and I’d followed her work on Facebook. We loved how she captured such natural photos and you felt like you really understood the emotions of each wedding day by the way she portrayed the guests and the bride and groom in the images. I’d been scouring through Pintrest, blogs and magazines to find inspiration and Elouisa just knew exactly what we wanted and that we didn’t want an album of all traditionally staged photos. Looking back at the photos, I can’t even remember noticing her taking them! She was brilliant at capturing all the precious memories but without even being noticeable – we would definitely recommend her.
We found our florist at a small wedding fayre at Wood Lane – Fantail Designer Florist. Sam understood immediately what I wanted and made some beautiful suggestions. In my bouquet I had memory lane roses tied in with gysophila, which my bridesmaids also had, and beautiful pastel accents. Sam wrapped the stems in vintage lace and finished with a silver broach which belonged to Kyle’s grandmother. When she delivered them on the morning of the wedding, I was overwhelmed – they were just perfect.
Sam also created the most stunning centrepieces using rustic birdcages I had bought from The Range. The flowers were sat in a bed of natural moss and they looked incredible. She mounted the birdcages on plates of natural tree trunk, which I bought from a local farm. We also had natural bark planters and ivory around the natural stone window behind where were said our vows.
As well as the flowers, we hired ‘love’ light-up letters for our evening reception. They looked amazing as it went dark.
For our table names I bought a collection of vintage records to represent all our favourite bands that we have seen together in the past eight years, and I made the table plan using half a birdcage from Hobby Craft and backing it on some vintage style paper from Paperchase.
I really wanted to create an English tea party feel to the wedding breakfast, so Kyle and I had been collecting vintage tea cups from charity shops and car boots and with some help from Kyle’s mum and then hiring some more from a lady on Gumtree we managed to make sure everyone had their tea in their own tea cup.
After the ceremony, I didn’t want to go just straight into the photos; I wanted people to relax and enjoy the day. As the gardens were so stunning, we bought a batch of hay bales from Wood Lane and added blankets so our guests could sit and enjoy drinks, mini cartons of popcorn and delicious scones and cakes made by my bridesmaid’s mum.
For the favours Kyle wanted to buy the men scratch cards which was really fun, and I chose shabby chic doves with twine for the women. Kyle’s mum brought back some handmade chocolates from France and put them in little boxes for everyone too. They were delicious!
Our amazing cake was made by Donna-Jane Cakes. She’s so talented. I saw her on Facebook and loved her designs. We had three tiers: chocolate, vanilla and one red velvet and they were all delicious. We’d already had the cake topper for over a year as we bought it in Disneyland Paris on our engagement weekend, so it meant a lot to us. Donna did a brilliant job of surrounded it with pastel flowers and an edible lace trim.
With the nature of our venue we had to hire outside catering and so I was recommended Hazel’s Catering by Wood Lane, and they were fantastic. We loved their presentation of the food; our starter was spicy tomato soup with fresh warm bread and they served it in little casserole pots on a slate. Our main was tarragon chicken and our dessert was their own recipe of a chocolate and fruit tart with raspberries and cream. Everyone commented on how nice it was.
I always knew the entertainment was going to be an important part of our day. We’d been going to gigs and festivals since we were young and we both loved indie bands such as the Arctic Monkeys and Oasis. I found our band – Hudson – on Function Central’s website. The guitarist had played with Sir Paul McCartney at the Liverpool Empire and my husband and his brother are huge Beatles fans so we knew they’d be perfect. They created such a cool, indie atmosphere like we had our very own gig with everyone dancing.
For our first dance I asked my very good friend Pete to sing Elton John’s Your Song. He’s an incredibly talented singer and sounds just like Elton John! The band played live whilst he sang and I think even they were taken back at how good it was. It was such a special moment.
One of the most special touches to the day, was the wedding arch made by Kyle’s dad. He did such a good job of recreating what we wanted and it meant a lot to us that he’d worked so hard on it as we said our vows stood underneath it.
As a bit of a unique touch, before the wedding I asked the married guests to send me a photo of their wedding day. We bought an old led window from a second hand shop and I painted it green and added ‘Love is all you need’ in scrabble tiles at the top. On each window pane we put one of the photos so our guests could share in the weddings of others. It was quite fun as the guests were trying to work out which wedding photo belonged to who!
I also put together a vintage style sweetie stand using an old desk from eBay, which Kyle’s dad restored, some vintage scales for £4 from a car boot, which Kyle’s mum restored, and old jars from charity shops and car boot sales.
We also had a photo booth from Dave Spink Photography. It was incredible fun. They created us a book or all the images and the guests wrote some sentimental but also hilarious messages in it! The guests could also keep a copy of the photos to take home too.
We would definitely recommend Wood Lane to a couple thinking of moving away from the traditional hotel wedding. Of course it’s hard work, but to have a venue which is a stunning and natural blank canvas where you’re able to create a wedding that represents who you are as a couple is relatively unheard of for many venues. You have the venue from the Friday to Sunday, so it takes so much stress away to have that time to style your wedding as you want it and to know that you’re the only people there is just amazing.
We’ve both always wanted to go to America, so we booked our own little American tour as our honeymoon. We stayed in New York for four days then we flew into Orlando and Kyle’s dream was to drive a Mustang so I hired a white convertible one as a present. He was in his element! We actually stayed in Clearwater in the Sandpearl Hotel overlooking the beach, but we did visit Universal and Kyle’s family in Orlando, who weren’t able to come over, so that special to include them too.
Weddings can easily become about everyone else. My top tip for other Brides Up North is that when you stand at the front of your venue saying your vows, or sit down for your meal or dance the night away, just make sure those moments are as you wanted them to be. Stay true to who you are as a couple as you won’t please everyone, but the day isn’t about everyone, it’s about just you and your partner.
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September 15th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – we love pink and we love pretty. It’s no surprise then that we fell head over heels for Sally and Liam’s wedding when it landed in our inbox.
This wedding is pretty through and through, from Sally’s stunning fishtail gown to the maids’ sweet pink dresses and those beautiful blooms.
The men at this wedding are also looking fab in their modern blue suits which complement the pink theme perfectly.
With images by Daniel Murrientes Photography.
sally says: We’d been together for almost ten years when we got engaged. We planned a weekend trip to Barcelona in September 2013 after a friend told us we should go. It had been booked for over a month but it was only a week or so before we were due to depart that Liam decided to propose. Unknown to us there was a street festival in the city and the night after he proposed there was a huge firework display on the beach that just finished off the city break perfectly.
Our wedding date was 17th July 2015. We picked it in the hope we may get a sunny day so we could have an outdoor drinks reception. Luckily when the day came, although a little windy, the sun was shining.
We got married at St John’s Church, Hindley Green. This has been my mum’s local church for more than 20 years. When we got engaged we weren’t sure where to get married but then my mum said that she had always pictured that I would get married in St John’s Church – so we did.
The wedding breakfast and evening reception was then held at Stanley House and Spa, Mellor, Lancashire. They had everything covered and wedding coordinator there, Joy Parker, was a credit to the hotel. We had a sheet with a long list of questions prepared but we didn’t need to ask a single one – she answered everything. The venue is designed mainly for weddings and it shows. After viewing Stanley House our search came to a halt as it we knew it was the one.
We wanted the day to have a simple theme with a vintage/rustic feel and thought along the lines that less is more.
I’ve always loved pink so there was no other colour I was going to have on my wedding day. The bridesmaids wore pale pink dresses and the flowers were shades of pink, peach and creams. The groomsmen wore blue suits which contrasted great with the pink bridesmaid dresses.
When it came to the dress, I picked the 1551 style from Mikaella Bridal, a Canadian designer. I tried on a few dresses in different styles but as soon as I tried on this dress both my mum and I knew it the right one. I didn’t buy it straight away though. Me and mum went back again a few weeks later to try it on again and ensure it was definitely the one.
Liam wore a blue Lambretta suit which we purchased from Slaters in Bolton. His best man, ushers and the father of the groom all wore the same suit, teamed with a navy blue dickie bow.
Initially the bridesmaids had each picked their own style dress from a range with each style to be ordered in the same colour. Unfortunately when they arrived, two of the four bridesmaid dresses were missing. We were told replacements would take three weeks however, they took eight and when they did arrive they were in completely the wrong colour.
All four dresses had to be refunded and with just three weeks to go until the wedding, a last minute bridesmaid dress search began. After trying highstreets shops with no hope my mum and I headed out to bridal warehouses in Bolton, Stockport and Liverpool and eventually found four bridesmaid dresses in the right colour and all the correct sizes in Bolton. The staff at the wedding dress factory outlet in Bolton were amazing and so helpful. They went above and beyond to ensure we got sorted. Not only did the bridesmaids look stunning, but we ended up saving £100 per dress – every cloud!
Our wedding transport was provided by Satin Cars in Wigan. They were so professional and I loved the vintage wedding cars we picked. They transported the groom and ushers to the church prior to collecting myself, father, mum and bridesmaids.
Photographer Daniel Murrientes captured the day for us. We wanted a photographer that would catch the emotions throughout the day. My favourite photograph is the one of me, Liam and my dad at the aisle were I’m wiping away a tear (I was a blubbering wreck). This is photograph will now always take me back to that moment and how I was feeling.
Dan was also just an all-round great guy. Most of the time you didn’t even notice he was there. He seemed genuinely happy to be a part of the day and clearly enjoys his job. We loved having him there and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else!
On the day I carried a bouquet of roses in shades of pale pink, peach and cream. These were provided by Sara at Flowers with Passion. I chose Sara after meeting her at a wedding fair at Event City. We went to her show room not long after and she was so professional and did everything she could to ensure she understood our requirements and preferences. She had a large portfolio and has won lots of awards.
Her showroom was fab – she had a large book of cuttings of all different flowers, styles or colours that she looked through with us first of all in order to ensure she knew exactly what we wanted. She also had a number of flowers, vases etc. within our showroom and put together some mock centre pieces so we could have a taster of what they would look like on the day.
In addition to the centrepieces by Sara, we also had decorations provided by Creative Cover Hire. They provided us with full length white table cloths with ivory lace overlays, lime wash chivarli chairs and ceiling drapes with twinkle lights. Our name cards were luggage tags neatly tied to each chair, which were ordered from Etsy.
Normanddorothy provided our invitations and also the order of service. They are based in Manchester and were really helpful. Everything was perfect and they couldn’t have done anything more for us.
We did DIY favours. We ordered 100 small glass jars from eBay for just £35 and filled them with retro sweets. Some with white jazzies and some with dolly mixtures and covered them with different fabrics purchased from both eBay and Etsy and added twine, plus a thank you tag.
To save on costs our cake was from Marks & Spencer. We added some ‘just married’ bunting to the top tier, which we purchased from Etsy. We then placed the cake on an apple tier next to other cakes, sweets and treats. We had created a sweet table the night prior to the wedding which included popcorn, flying saucers, marshmallows, cakes and cookies.
We found our entertainment via the Function Central’s website. We chose the band Downtown Underground, who were fab! The band was led by Lil Vinny and they provided a mixture of motown funk and soul followed by a DJ set of pop music and indie classics. Our next to last song was my dad’s favourite song I’ve had the Time of My Life, with the final song by Oasis, Don’t Look Back in Anger.
We bought flip-flops for the evening as dancing shoes for guests whose heels might have started to rub to ensure there were no excuses for not being up on the dancefloor. For guests staying overnight we also provided a ‘hangover kit’, which we put in their room. We found these small personalised drawstring bags on eBay and filled them with sugary sweets, chewing gum, a vitamin c powder drink sachet and a sachet of coffee.
Looking back I have several favourite parts of the day: walking down the aisle to see Liam for the first time, the father of the bride and best man speeches (which were so thoughtful and funny) and the evening disco when the rest of our friends joined us and we could finally relax knowing everything had gone to plan and it had been a great day!
We headed straight on honeymoon after the wedding. We spent one night in Dublin, Ireland. We stayed at The Shelbourne Hotel and as it was our honeymoon were upgraded to a suite. Not only that, the taxi driver that we had flagged down at the airport to take us to the hotel, found out our married name was Murphy and agreed to take us back to the airport to catch our next flight the following day at no charge!
From Dublin we flew to San Francisco were we spent three nights – again, as honeymooners we were upgraded and it was a fab city to visit. We went to Alcatraz, saw the Golden Gate Bridge, and went to China Town, Fishermans Wharf, North Beach as well as a bike ride around San Francisco breweries!
After San Francisco it was time to relax and we flew to Mexico, Cancun were we spent ten nights. We were due to stay at the Moon Palace Hotel. However, due to the hotel being overbooked we were upgraded to Hotel Le Blanc a 5 Star hotel where we even had a butler during our stay. The hotel could not have been better. Here we visited the spa, went wine tasting and even swam with dolphins. Other than that we just enjoyed doing absolutely nothing for a few days!
When planning a wedding some things may not go to plan (just like our bridesmaid dresses) but my top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to let it stress you out. It will eventually become something you will laugh about and there is a solution to nearly any problem! Otherwise, just enjoy it – after all that planning it’s over in a few hours (although it feels like seconds).
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August 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
We are loving bride Emily’s glamorous look in today’s real wedding. Her gorgeous slim fit, lace fishtail gown and long, tumbling, dark wavy locks remind us of recent celebrity bride Michelle Keegan, with both ladies looking stunning for their moment in the limelight.
The pretty continues throughout the Emily and Stephen’s glam wedding day in the summery colour scheme, chic décor and girly bridesmaid dresses. There’s also a rather pretty pooch involved in the proceedings too, the couple’s adorable pet dog Honey, who had her very own coral outfit made for the special occasion. Too cute!
With images by Rachel Victoria Photography.
stephen says: We got engaged on 13th March 2013. I had the ring for some time and told pretty much everybody I knew I was going to do it, but swore everyone to secrecy. On the day, I took Emily to her bedroom where I had laid out rose petals on the floor in the shape of a heart with some candles to set the mood, with me knelt in the curvature of said heart. After her initial surprise followed an up roar of nervous laughter before my beautiful wife finally came to and said yes.
emily says: We chose the 26th June 2015 as our wedding date because we always wanted a summer wedding. We also chose this date because it was on a Friday, which meant we could have the weekend to ourselves and reflect on what an amazing day we had. The date was also exclusive to us, so we didn’t have to share our special day.
We married at The Thistle in Haydock, Merseyside, which is a lovely hotel ten minutes away from Haydock Race Course. We chose this venue for a number of reasons as we wanted a marquee for our evening reception, but also a hotel so we could get ready there. Our main reason for picking it however, was because the hotel is dog friendly which meant we could have our most prized possession, Honey, with us on our big day and she could be a part of it too.
Our theme for the wedding was a vintage/ fairy tale as we incorporated things like bird cages with tea lights in them, and picture frames that our guest could leave messages. We wanted our wedding to be simple and classic, yet pretty.
Our colour scheme was coral as we saw it as a summery, bright colour that would stand out. With having seven different bridesmaids with different hair colours to each other and different skin tones, we also felt this colour was one that would complement them all equally.
I wore a fitted, lace fishtail dress with a sweetheart neckline and low back, with a simple belt with a classic bead embellishment in the centre. The dress, which was from Always and Forever Bridal Boutique in St. Helens, was perfect and meant so much to me as my nan bought it for me. I wore it with Christian Louboutin peep toe stiletto shoes and a handmade lace and blue garter made by Stephen’s mum, which made it even more personal! I also had a Tiffany & Co bracelet bought by Stephen, which I received as a gift before the wedding.
Stephen bought a three piece suit from Slaters in Liverpool, and wore Kurt Geiger shoes, with a coral cravat. To accessorise Stephen had a pair of groom cufflinks and a Michael Kors watch, which I bought for him as a wedding gift. The best man and groomsmen wore the same suit as Stephen, each with personalised cufflinks and a coral cravat, again from Slaters.
We had seven bridesmaids that wore a one shoulder, floor length dress with a cascade of flowers on the shoulder strap. These dresses were purchased from an online boutique. We had a flower girl who wore an ivory dress with coral details and a big coral bow, made by the mother of the groom. Our pet dog Honey, had dress made also by the mother of the groom, to match the bridesmaids, and had a bow made for her hair to match.
Our photographer was Rachel Butterworth of Rachel Victoria Photography, who did an amazing job on the day! I went to school with Rachel so automatically felt comfortable around her. I’d also been to events that Rachel had photographed before and the photos always looked perfect. Rachel even did an engagement photo shoot for us before the wedding, for us to get used to being in front of the camera. I was feeling quite nervous being photographed at first but instantly felt at ease with Rachel. We are so made up with our wedding photos they exceeded our expectations and we can’t stop looking at them!
The flowers carried by my bridesmaids and I were made by our manager in work who does floristry on the side, we loved the personal touches she gave to them and how they complemented our theme and the bridesmaids’ dresses.
To decorate the venue we had large martini glasses as our centre pieces with beautiful summer flower arrangements in done by Amore Flowers in Widnes, Cheshire. They were excellent and listened to exactly what we wanted.
Our reception room was dressed by Angela of Chicks on Wheels, based in Widnes, who covered the chairs with white chair covers finished with a coral bow. On our entrance table we had a wishing well for cards to be put in and a wishing tree for our guest to hang well wishes on. Angela also did our candy cart which went down very well with our guests who defiantly had a sweet tooth!
On the entrance table was also a wooden frame with small wooden hearts for our guests to sign and post into the frame so that we can keep it forever as a statement piece in our home. My mum bought this for us as a gift.
We had personalised mirrors as favours for the women from Not On The High Street, which read ‘thank you for sharing our special day with us, Emily and Stephen’. We placed the mirrors in mini birdcage favours boxes to tie into our theme. We had tuxedo tins with mints in for the men and a children’s wedding colouring pack for the little ones.
We chose a four tier wedding cake with different shades of coral and peach flowers cascading down the side. The flavours of each tier were different: fruit, chocolate, lemon and strawberry. It was made by Cakes by Kerry, based in Widnes, who delivered it to the venue on the day. Stephen’s nan and granddad kindly bought us the cake.
Entertainment was provided by The Thistle’s DJ, Ian Dutton, who was fab. He kept the guests on the dance floor with his eclectic mix of songs and guided us through the evening. At the reception, we also had a photo booth from Sunshine Events, with a selection of props, and we were given a copy of all the photos taken in the booth, presented to us in a book that we can keep.
The Thistle was an amazing – we cannot recommend it enough! The staff could not do enough for us, nothing was too much trouble. Our favourite part of the day would have to be the ceremony. We had been planning the wedding for two years and to finally be standing there saying ‘I do’ was the most amazing feeling.
For our honeymoon, we went to Crete in Greece and stayed in the Thompson Sensatori five star hotel. We had our own private pool on the balcony, so we could relax in peace after all the wedding stress. We picked Greece as this was the first destination we went on holiday together, so it has many sentimental memories to us.
Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the day and not worry about everyone else. You will only have one wedding day and it goes so quick so make to most of it!
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