Charlotte Balbier

vintage elegance. eliza jane howell for a green and gold wedding at the villa – nicola & marc

June 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (46)

For me there’s one thing about today’s wedding that really stands out – that dress!

Bride Nicola chose a detailed, 1920s style dress by Eliza Jane Howell for her moment in the limelight, and boy did she work it! Nicola looks just stunning and her maids are also a pretty vision in their dresses, which reflect the soft green and gold colour scheme.

It has to be said that the men easily live up to the style stakes too in their handsome air force blue suits.

We love all the pretty vintage touches in this wonderful wedding, including Nicola’s bouquet and the button holes that she made herself. Also big love to Oscar the pug dog – what a cutie!

With images by Teresa C Photography.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (15)

nicola says: We got engaged on 26th November 2013 at Rivington Pike. Marc had asked permission from my dad and it took him two weeks to actually pluck up the courage to do it!  We have a gorgeous dog, Oscar, so we were trying out new places to take him on walks. Marc took the engagement ring with him several times but there were always too many people for him to do it. We then went to Rivington Pike and Marc was adamant that we were going to find this waterfall he had heard about – which we did! As Marc proposed four deer ran past! Marc and I have been together since we were 17 years old so it only took him ten years to propose!

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (18)

We set the date for 18th April 2015. We really wanted a Saturday, as quite a few of our friends are teachers so we needed a weekend date. The venue we wanted the reception to be at also only had two Saturdays free at that time. You definitely need to book in advance!

We got married in St John’s the Baptist Church. It was the church Marc’s parents were married in and where he was baptised. It is also local to us, just a five-minute drive. It’s a gorgeous church and we knew it would look great in the photos. We also had bell ringers, which was a perfect ending to the ceremony. Our reception was at The Villa Country House Hotel in Wrea Green, Preston.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (19)

I always wanted a vintage theme, similar to my sister’s wedding that had taken place two years earlier. For the colour scheme we chose sage/mint green and gold. The green went perfectly with the theme and also with the men’s suits, which were air force blue.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (22)

Again, I wanted a vintage theme dress. My two sisters and my mum all went wedding dress shopping with me and I tried on nearly every dress possible! When I finally found my dress I knew straight away. It was on display in Dan Kerr in Preston. I tried it on straight away and fell in love. I wanted a dress that I could feel comfortable in all day; one I could eat in, breathe in and dance in! The dress was Lauren from Eliza Jane Howell, which has an elegant, 1920s feel. Everyone has said that it was definitely a ‘Nicola’ dress!

The fantastic Kerry Baker did my wedding makeup, which I loved. A friend recommended Kerry and from the very beginning with communication via emails I knew Kerry was going to be great. Both at the trail and on the day she was professional, organised, skilled and fun! Kerry totally understood and perfected the ‘look’ I wanted. The morning of my wedding was very relaxed, which was mainly due to the organisational skills of Kerry and my hair stylist Duncan Fisher. I would highly recommend both.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (26)

Marc is a 6ft 4in guy who struggles to buy suits and we needed to get a suit to fit him and seven other men at a reasonable price. We got the suits from Slaters in Preston, the sales assistant there was fantastic!  Marc chose a charming air force blue three-piece suit. The colour went perfectly with the green ties and hanky. The groomsmen wore the same suits and shoes. They looked great!

I wanted the bridesmaids to have a dress that they could wear again after the wedding. Their dresses were from Oh My Love. They were gold in colour so I added the green with use of a green wrap and a green belt, which my sister made with the ribbon used to make the invites.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (30)

We hired a car from Broughton Cars as they provides the transport for my sister’s wedding. They were great.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (31)

Teresa Cunningham of Teresa C Photography did our wedding photos. When we got engaged I knew that the important things were the church, the venue and the photographer – and I knew I needed to get these sorted first. A friend recommended Teresa and I am so glad she did.  So talented, professional and I loved her work. I also absolutely fell in love with her story of how she became a photographer. I would definitely recommend Teresa to anyone. We also had a second shooter called Jodie who I only met on the day and she was great too. She had the pleasure of photographing the guys and she did a great job.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (32)

I made the bouquets and the buttonholes. I bought fake flowers and other details to go into the bouquet. I knew I wanted the flowers on display once the actual day was over. I loved making the bouquets and was very happy with the end result. I wanted the buttonholes to be slightly different so I made a quick design with what things I had left after the bouquets were made. I also made a small throwing bouquet, as I knew I couldn’t chuck my main one, as it would knock someone out!

Nita Patel of Petal Interiors provided all the fresh flowers for the church and the venue. I showed Nita my vision and then just left her to it. The results were fantastic. I used some of the table centrepieces from my sister’s wedding and added some vintage birdcages and candelabras.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (33)

I absolutely love sweets so I knew our favours were always going to be a jar of sweets. I had a bridesmaid night in where we made all the sweet jars. We named all the tables after retro sweets and each jar represented the table they were on. We also wanted to donate to Cancer Research, as this is something very close to our hearts.

My mum made our cake and we all enjoyed her practising (not that it helped with our waistlines though). When my mum showed us the cake she had made I was absolutely speechless, as it looked so professional. We had a personalised topper on it, which was me, Marc and our dog Oscar. It was from Angel in My Attic – the lady that made it asked for details of the bride, groom and clothing – the results were fantastic and the small details were great. This is a keepsake that will last forever.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (35)

Marc eats a lot so the food tasting was the one part of organising the wedding that Marc wanted to be involved in!  We went to The Villa where Greg fed us the choice of menu and wine. I wanted a chocolate dessert and Marc wanted sticky toffee pudding – Marc won and I’m so glad he did, as it was yummy! We had canapés when the guests arrived which everyone commented on being great. I was worried that Marc and the guests would starve as the wedding breakfast was going to be after the speeches but there was definitely plenty of food!

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (39)

I went to lots of wedding fairs to help me chose some entertainment for our big day! We really wanted something different and found these in the form of a caricaturist and a magician. Again, these went down really well with the guests. It was nice for the guests to have another keepsake from the wedding in the form of a caricature of themselves. I also asked my dad to make a vintage photo booth wall – something different to a normal photo booth. Dad didn’t let us down and made a wall with frames on where guests could take photos of themselves in the holes – all the guests loved this too.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (47)

Other extras on the day included a sweetie stall and a ‘cigar bar’ – an idea I’d seen in a wedding magazine and asked Marc if he would like one, which of course he did! All the male guests really enjoyed this.

We also had toiletry boxes in the toilets, flip-flops for sore feet and a ‘Wedding Survival Kit’. I made the survival kits and added things like earplugs and a salty snack to help with the hangover the next day!

Instead of having a guest book we had a wish tree, which Nita provided, and we gathered together photos, old and new, of family members on their wedding day. This was a lovely surprise to these family members.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (41)

We also wanted our dog to be involved in the day. He was at the dog sitters and I asked if they would bring him to the church once the service was over wearing his bow tie. It was great to have him involved in the photos.

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (53)

I always knew I wanted to get married at The Villa – my sister was married there and it was fantastic.  The organisers at the venue were great – they were always at the end of the phone or email. I’m a perfectionist and had perfected every detail up to the day of the wedding, and then I had to let go and let the venue do the rest! We took everything the day before the wedding and handed over to Michael Hails. He assured me that everything would be how I wish – and it was. They did an amazing job!  They kept the day running smoothly and were very attentive of me and Marc ensuring we had food and drink at all times.

One of my favourite parts of the day was seeing Marc at the altar. All the hard work and organisation had finally come together. When we were saying our vows Marc had a lucky money spider on his head – I couldn’t stop looking at it! I knew the bridesmaids had seen it too as I could hear them giggling! I removed the spider at the end and put it in some nearby flowers. We took this as a lucky sign!

A Green & Gold Wedding at The Villa (c) Teresa C Photography (59)

Marc’s brother and sister-in-law came over from America to join us on our wedding day so we enjoyed the week after our weddingwith them. The weather was fantastic and it was great to relax after the wedding. We are going on honeymoon to Gran Canaria in August.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to make some things for the wedding yourself if you can as it makes it more personal. I loved making everything myself from the invitations through to the bouquets. However I would also recommend that you do as much as you can in advance.

I would also recommend going back to the tradition of throwing the bouquet. I have been to quite a few recent weddings where this didn’t take place. I’m so glad we did it, as it was a highlight of my day seeing a friend practically push everyone out of the way to catch it!

Also, definitely get a make-up artist and hairdresser. The morning of the wedding was so relaxed as we didn’t need to worry about anything. The makeup artist and hairdresser told us where we had to be at what time. All I did in the morning was make brews and toast!

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spanish delight. blue skies & sunshine for a romantic destination wedding – rhonda & antony

June 17th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

If you’re currently craving a sunny holiday abroad today’s real wedding is going to make you want it all the more.

Antony and Rhonda left their Liverpool roots behind to wed in a gorgeous villa destination wedding in Cala de Mijas, Spain, surrounded by their nearest and dearest.

The pristine white villa against the flawless blue skies provided the perfect setting for the couple’s romantically themed wedding, with touches of white, silver and pale pink.

Spending a week abroad meant everyone was fully relaxed and ready to party (with great tans) when the big day arrived which made for a chilled out yet highly enjoyable wedding.

So pack your sunnies, flip-flops and swimwear as we jet off to southern Spain.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Jamie Penfold Photography.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

rhonda says: We were visting Puerto Banus for a weekend and while we were there Tony decided that we should go for a long walk then a nice meal. While we were walking along the harbour Tony noticed a lovely lighthouse that was on the other side of the harbour and suggested we go there. It was a really hot day and I was moaning all the way but once we got there it was lovely just sitting looking out to sea and there were a few people resting and enjoying the same view as us. Tony then said let’s ask that lady if she will take our picture so he went over and gave her our phone and then sat down next to me. Suddenly he went down on one knee asking me to marry him but all I could hear was the lady saying ‘Oh my God he’s proposing to her’, which made me laugh and poor Tony was still waiting for my answer – of course I said yes.

The people that were there all came over and congratulated us and we went over to the lady who took our picture whose name was Wendy to say thanks. As we started talking I noticed she was a Liverpool girl like me who had lived in Spain for years. She said if you get married here my good friend is a minster, then she told me her name and to my surprise I’d already emailed her before I went away for information on wedding venues abroad (how weird was that?) so after a good chat to Wendy we left, me with a big smile on my face and uncontrollable tears of joy. We went to the nearest bar to celebrate!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We met on the 23rd June 2007 and so wanted had originally wanted to marry on this date but most of our friends could not make that timing so we picked 14th June 2014 instead.

Our wedding took place in Cala de Mijas, Spain. We picked this location because we got engaged in the area and we chose Wendy’s best friend Lizzy as our minister. We looked at local wedding planners FiestaSol Weddings who were fantastic and found us a great venue in Mijas called the Hacienda San Jose and everything just fell into place and felt so right.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We didn’t have a theme really but with having our wedding at the Hacienda San Jose, which is such a beautiful place, we knew we wanted the day to have a really romantic feel to it. In terms of colours we had white, silver and pale pink with diamante touches – I wanted a little bit of bling for my romantic day.

When shopping for me dress I decided on an ivory laced mermaid dress which I found in Brides World, Liverpool. I felt the dress had a little bit of a Spanish look to it.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

The men’s suits where from Slaters in Liverpool. Tony wore a midnight blue three piece suit made to measure with white shirt and ivory tie to match my dress.

We had eight bridesmaids who wore pale pink long chiffon dresses with diamante straps and waist bands, which I bought off the internet. Our nine groomsmen meanwhile wore midnight blue three piece suits with white shirts and pink ties to match the bridesmaids, they looked really smart!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Jamie Penfold flew over from Newcastle to shoot our wedding. He was organised and well-rehearsed at what we wanted. He blended into the background and captured things so naturally and perfectly. We would absolutely recommend him to others – he’s fantastic!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

For my bouquet I had pink and white roses with little bit of gypsy grass, which were lovely. They were supplied by VG Florists Marbella.

My wedding planner Tara chapman from FiestaSol helped us with the decorations for our wedding villa and VG Florists did our beautiful centre pieces for the tables which were tall glass champagne vases turned upside down with pink and white large gypsy grass sprays with crystal tea lights hanging off them – they looked so colourful and pretty.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

As favours we gave all the ladies white fans, which were a God send as it was so hot that day. For the men we did a whisky and cigar bar which surprisingly the ladies liked too!

Our cake, made by the fantastic Fiona from Sweet Things, Gibraltar, was three tiers with a different flavour for each: chocolate vanilla, strawberry and fruit. The cake was ivory with a lace pattern on it and pink flowers on top. It tasted as good as it looked!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

For our wedding meal we had lots of lovely canapés to start which included serrano ham on crostini with tomato and a minty pesto, skewers of garlic prawns and crab and coriander tartlets. We then had a buffet menu of more delicious food including pepper sirloin steaks, swordfish steaks marinated with garlic and parsley and skewers of tiger prawns. Desserts were mini lemon tarts with fresh raspberries, raspberry sorbet with berries and chocolate love cake.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

To entertain our guests had a great DJ called Ian Preston, who really got the crowd going. I picked him out after seeing him on the internet and the good feedback from my wedding planner Tara. We also had a Spanish guitarist playing through our cocktail hour, a sweet table for the kids and a chill out area with big white cushions, lantern fairy lights, tree raps and chandeliers.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to others – it is an amazing place! A private estate that is warm and welcoming and has all the amenities you could ask for. This wasn’t just our wedding venue, it was our home for the week!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

As a bride I would have to say my favourite part of the day was seeing Tony as we didn’t get married until 5pm so I had a long wait and wanted him to see me in my dress. Likewise Tony’s favourite part was seeing me.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

For our honeymoon we decided to go back to Mijas where we got married. When we were there for our wedding we didn’t have much time to explore as guests were arriving each day and it was a very busy week so our honeymoon was just us two chilling out.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

My top tips to other Brides Up North would be try not to get too stressed, enjoy your day, take it all in as well as going around all your guests on the day and spend time with your new husband/wife – the day goes so quick!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Going abroad was perfect for us. We had a lovely week in the sun with our family and friends, great wedding pictures, great food and great memories!

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winter opulence. ian stuart for a romantic wedding in the lake district – emma & andy

June 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (34)

When planning their wedding, today’s couple say they very much wanted the occasion to revolve around the most important things in their lives – family, friends and love.

Taking just one look at the images below, it’s clear to see that they achieved their aim perfectly, making the day both loving and personable.

We adore Emma’s classic Ian Stuart gown and her maids’ pretty sparkling dresses, all of which tie beautifully with the elegant décor and dreamy hotel setting.

Regardless of what the weather is doing outside today, this wonderful winter wedding is guaranteed to make you feel all warm inside.

With images by Steven Taylor Photography and video by Silver Sixpence Films.

Andy and Emma from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

emma says: Andy proposed to me at home. It was the 20th October 2012 and I was getting ready to go out on one of our ‘date nights’. As I walked into a candle-lit living room with champagne filled glasses out on the table, my heart started racing. Andy got down on knee and then went on to tell me why he wanted to marry me before popping the question. As you can imagine, I was a blubbering wreck by the end, and of course I blurted out ‘yes’!

We booked our wedding for Saturday 31st January as we both wanted a romantic winter wedding and we thought it was the perfect time of year to hold it. Funnily enough, it was only afterwards that we realised it was exactly four years to the day that we actually met. It was obviously fate and we were meant to book that date.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (16)

We held our wedding at the stunning Merewood Country House Hotel in the Lake District. We both love the lakes and have spent a lot of time there so it seemed only natural – being one of the most romantic places in England, we knew it was the place for us to get married. We chose the Merewood as we really wanted our family and friends to feel like they were coming to somewhere homely, rather than a hotel, which was helped with us having exclusivity of the venue. As soon as you walk in it has such a cosy and warm feel to it with the open fires greeting you in the reception. It’s grand but still intimate at the same time.

I asked my two best friends and my sister to be bridesmaids and my beautiful little niece and they were all just amazing. I also asked four of my closest friends to walk down the aisle in front of me as sadly my beloved Dad passed away from cancer in September 2012. It was lovely to have all my closest girlfriends there with me right before I walked down as they have all been a great support to me over the years and it was definitely the right choice as I felt secure in the fact that if I did have a wobble, they were there. Luckily I walked in and saw everyone’s beaming faces and then I caught my future husband’s eye and he just gave me a reassuring look that he wasn’t far away – I just took a deep breath and I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked towards him.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (18)

We didn’t have a theme as such, but there were parts of the day that hinted at our styles and influences. For example my late Granddad, my Dad’s father, was a film buff and the manager of a cinema when it was all on film. I just loved to watch all of the old movies with him so Andy and I did our wedding invites like an old Hollywood cinema ticket (which our guests tore off and then sent back as an rsvp).

There is something so romantic about a winter wedding, so for my colour scheme I wanted to keep it very simple, classic and beautiful with elegance to it. I just adore whites, creams, greys and soft colours together, and it was fabulous that all the bridal party coordinated their outfits around that palette too. I wanted it to look magical, with a touch of glamour and sparkle!

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (27)

The dress I chose was an Ian Stuart couture gown from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden, Yorkshire. I knew I had found the one, as it not only exuded glamour with an edge to it, but it was also timeless and feminine. I found inspiration from Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress that she wore when she married JFK in 1953. I just adored the neckline and I found something similar with my gown which gave it that Hollywood Glamour feel to it and I just fell in love instantly.

Andy wore a slim fit dark blue three-piece suit that he bought from Slaters in Leeds with a white shirt and a white tie and he also wore Kurt Geiger tanned brogues. He had tried on Paul Smith, Hugo Boss and viewed many other suits, but Slater’s had a huge variety and the fits were perfect – not to mention the price!

For my beautiful bridesmaids I chose dresses from a website called Virgos Lounge. I loved that they were a bit different and very glamorous and with it being winter the soft light grey and the iridescent leaf shaped embellishment on the dresses looked stunning.

The best man, usher and the father of the groom all wore suits also bought from Slaters in Leeds. We went for something slightly different from Andy’s suit, so we picked out a very similar one for the men but in a dark grey with light blue/grey spotted white ties, which really complemented all the girls’ dresses. The boys also all wore Kurt Geiger tanned brogues.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (28)

When it came to the wedding photos we sought advice from our wedding co-ordinator and chose a local award-winning photographer known very well by the venue. Steven Taylor was superb from our first meeting to the end of our wedding day. He listened to our thoughts and did the most amazing job on the day with his son Josh and after receiving the proofs back recently, we understand why they are award-winning – they captured the whole day perfectly. We also had Silver Sixpence Films to capture the day on video for us.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (40)

On the day I carried a beautiful, opulent massed posy bouquet of ivory roses, lisianthus and gypsophila bound with ivory satin ribbon. They were provided by Kevin from Brackens of Bowness.

With us deciding on a romantic ivory and cream wedding, we opted to have tall vases for the reception centrepieces, filled with acorns with tall willow branches and hanging glass tea-light holders. On the other tables we had round shallow glass bowls filled with acorns and twisted ivory willow with a cluster of candles in the centre. Down the staircase we had willow and foliage wound down the banister with fairy lights intertwined. Kevin from Brackens of Bowness again supplied these stunning arrangements. He was amazing and listened to everything that I wanted to achieve. With Kevin’s talent and creativity he helped make the venue look like the fairy-tale wedding I had always dreamed of.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (37)

We didn’t do favours at the wedding breakfast. Instead we had personalised chocolate bars created for our family and friends who were staying at the hotel and placed them in their rooms for their arrival.

We opted for a four-course wedding breakfast. It took us a little while to decide on the menu as all of the food is so delicious and it is also locally sourced. In the evening, we had mini fish and chips served in traditional newspaper cones. It was all absolutely delicious!

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (39)

We both enjoy music, so it featured heavily throughout the day. The thinking was to have very much beautiful and relaxing music, building as the day went on so we had a string quartet to entertain people before and after the ceremony. Andy recorded a live DJ mix for the wedding breakfast containing music from our favourite films interlaced with famous quotes from cinema.

To get the evening started, Andy had also prepared some warm up before a fantastic rock band called Blue Star Tattoo from West Yorkshire performed on the night with classics by AC/DC, ZZ Top and The Who, through to more current hits by The Killers, Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys. We chose this band as a nod to my Dad Geoff (and Andy’s Dad John) who both love rock and roll.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (46)

In the library we displayed family photos of our nearest and dearest to give a homely feel and also in remembrance to special people who could not be there with us that weekend. With candles lit and love quotes added around the fireplaces, it added to the romantic and relaxing ambience of the venue.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (48)

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (47)

We used Purple Swan for the hire of our chair covers, which were white with crystal vintage brooches on ivory lace sashes and bows. The company were fabulous and made everything so easy and stress free by dressing the room the night before and they were so professional. I bought the lanterns and candles from the shop The Range in Leeds to add a touch of romance down the aisle as well.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (49)

We would most definitely recommend our venue to others. Everything about it is fabulous, from the views to the food, and the first class service. The venue has so much character, it still has many of the original features, which include magnificent fireplaces and gorgeous stained glass windows. We felt at home as soon as we walked in. No matter how many times you visit, when it’s time to go home, you just don’t want to leave.

My favourite part of the day was sitting down to eat the amazing food at the wedding breakfast next to my new husband and looking around at all of our favourite people in the world, all sat together and there just for us was simply the best feeling in the whole world.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (58)

We are planning to go on honeymoon to Santorini this summer to catch some sun and some amazing scenery, and as Andy is obsessed with sunsets (apparently they have some of the best in the world), we couldn’t think of anywhere more romantic to go.

My top tip to other Brides Up North is to make sure you enjoy the lead up to your wedding day, enjoy being engaged. The day itself goes so fast, I know it sounds cliché but it does so take time out with your new groom/bride for a few moments during the day and evening as you are both in demand and so busy. It’s lovely to have a few moments now and again to both look around and think – ‘This is our wedding day, how amazing is this?’

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j’adore. david tutera for a pastel blue wedding at thornton manor – emma & john

May 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (69)

Is there anywhere more romantic to pop the question than Paris? Ok, so I’m a little biased, as that’s where my other half got down on one knee, but another proposal in the French city of love is how today’s story begins.

After a dream engagement Emma and John bagged their dream venue Thornton Manor, for their big day and got the preparations underway.

They agreed they wanted the wedding to have a classic feel to suit the venue and we think you’ll agree that everything from Emma’s lace dress, to the maids’ pastel blue gowns and simple blooms say elegance.

Looking at the wedding snaps it’s easy to see why Emma and John had their hearts set on this venue – the reception room is nothing short of incredible!

With images by Matt Parry Photography.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (2)

emma says: We got engaged outside Montmartre cathedral in Paris at midnight on the 28th December 2012. John had planned to propose on New Year’s Eve but had the urge to do it on the first day we got to Paris. We had dinner in our favourite restaurant in Montmartre then John took me up the hill to ‘see the laser show on the Eiffel tower at midnight’.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (17)

We wanted a summer wedding, we knew you couldn’t guarantee good weather in England but thought we’d have the best chance in the summer months. The 28th August 2014 was available at our dream venue so we booked it.  We married one month after my 26th birthday and the weather was stunning.

We got married at Thornton Manor on the Wirral. We had looked at the venue on the internet but dismissed it as we felt we couldn’t afford it. On a Sunday we were going to a wedding fair but it was awful so we googled if there were any other fairs in the area and there was one at Thornton Manor.  When we got there we were welcomed by the owner, Phillip, and we were blown away and instantly knew we would do everything we could to get married there.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (21)

We wanted an authentic, classic feel for the wedding and knew we wanted elegance to match the house. We had top hats and 1950’s style bridesmaid dresses.

The main colour was pastel blue. It is my favourite colour and we felt it was perfect for a summer wedding. Our bridesmaids, groomsmen and page boy wore pastel blue. The stationery was ivory and pastel blue.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (25)

I chose an ivory David Tutera for Mon Cheri dress.  It was a sleeveless soft lace mermaid gown with lace straps with a scoop neckline. The dress had embroidered Swarovski crystals with a spun gold waist.

John wore a charcoal morning suit and grey top hat.  His outfit and the groomsmen’s outfits were from Slaters in Liverpool.

The bridesmaids wore a 1950’s pastel blue style dress from Dorothy Rose Bridal in Ellesmere Port. Everybody was blown away by the dresses and the fit was beautiful.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (40)

For our wedding transport we had a vintage Bentley in cream and black. It was hired from a company local to the venue.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (39)

Matt Parry was our photographer, without a doubt we would recommend him to anybody.  Matt made us so comfortable before the day with meetings via Skype to talk about ‘essential’ photos and talk to us about his style etc. On the day John met Matt at the venue a little earlier than expected, Matt was having a look at the venue to get some ideas for his shots. Matt then came and spent a lot of time with me and the girls getting ready before going back to the venue to get those ‘nervy’ shots of John.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (37)

Throughout the day Matt wasn’t in anybody’s way, John said he didn’t notice him at all during the speeches but when you see the photographs you wonder how! He was a great friend on the day and we were absolutely overwhelmed when we got our beautiful presentation box through the post with all our gorgeous shots.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (38)

My bouquet was made up of ivory roses with Chinese grass loops, arranged by Amore Flowers in Widnes.  The bridesmaids had ivory and pastel blue roses.

Amore also did our reception flowers, we would highly recommend them. We gave Joe the florist free reign to do as he pleased within our theme and he did a beautiful job!

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (49)

We gave out jams and chutneys as favours, which were made by a company called Posh Pickles based in Knutsford. With customized labels and ribbons to match our theme, Rob and Steph did a great job and their Jams and Chutneys are amazing!

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (46)

We had a four tier lace cake with roses and rose petals in the theme of pastel blue and ivory – the layers were lemon and carrot cake. A friend of mine, Coleen, did the cake – she was great!

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (52)

The venue had a caterer list that we had to choosefrom to provide our wedding breakfast – we chose Anne Wilson Corden Bleu. We had a pate starter, pork trio main and a trio of deserts – it was so nice!

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (70)

For entertainment we had a DJ in the evening and gave him an extensive playlist – basically every song for the evening! In our RSVP’s we asked our guests to give us a song that would get them on the dance floor.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (67)

We also booked a string quartet to play before/after the ceremony and during canapés after the ceremony. They played as I walked down the aisle and also the music John and I walked out of the room to – they were absolutely brilliant and so many people commented on them.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (68)

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to others purely because it’s magical. There is something about the music room that leaves you feeling calm and humble. The Manor House ball room is breath taking and given rain or shine any bride and groom will have the best time of their lives celebrating there.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (63)

One of our favourite parts of the day was when our photographer Matt took us off into an old green house to take some unusual shots of us. We loved this part of the day as we were able to spend time together and it was really fun trying not to smile or laugh at the camera. The pictures turned out to be amazing, just what we expected from Matt.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (58)
For our honeymoon we decided to go stay on the Palm in Dubai, the hotel was on the beach which was total paradise. We loved our stay and will definitely be returning in the future.

A pastel blue wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Matt Parry Photography (61)
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to remember the reasons why you are getting married. I think some brides/grooms can get carried away with making sure absolutely everything is perfect but just remember that you can’t please everyone no matter how much you will try. Remember your wedding day is your day and at the end of it all you’ll always have your best friend beside you so there’s nothing to worry about.

Also try not to spill red wine on your dress!

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made in manchester. a gypsophila inspired wedding in the city – emma & chris

May 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (25)

Sometimes it can be difficult for couples to choose a theme for their wedding and can end up over thinking it. But today’s bride Emma kept things simple by styling her wedding around her favourite flower, gypsophila.

The loved-up couple then picked one of their favourite building in Manchester to act as the backdrop to the celebrations, the city’s stunning town hall.

The combined result is a grand occasion that’s beautiful but without being too fussy. Emma we think we hit the nail on the head.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (9)

emma says: We got engaged in March 2013 on top of a mountain in the Lake District. Chris’ intention was that there’d be stunning views, but there was a blizzard with almost zero visibility. In the end we were just glad to make it down in one piece.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (7)

The date of our wedding was 25th October 2014. A summer wedding wasn’t important to us because our venue and plans dictated that almost all of our time would be indoors. We felt that more friends and family would find it easier to attend this time of you when summer holidays are over and people’s diaries are less full.

We picked Manchester Town Hall as our venue. It’s one of our favourite buildings and its location is convenient to guests from near and far. Those who live locally have many travel options with ample parking, and there are lots of accommodation options for those from further afield. The Great Hall where we had the reception is a spectacular space.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (23)

The colour scheme was based around my favourite flower which is gypsophila, so I kept everything very neutral. I opted for a very light gold colour for the bridesmaid’s dress and the male members of the bridal party as well as for some detailing at the reception. Gypsophila was chosen due to the simplicity of the flower and for its bright, clean, natural colours.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (30)

I went for a fitted, strapless lace detailed Diane Harbridge dress with a lace shrug from Cheadle Brides.

The groom, best man, bride’s father, groom’s father and ushers wore navy Prince Edward suits from Slaters with cream waistcoats and gold ruches.

My bridesmaid’s dress was from Agape in Altrincham and was a one-shoulder champagne colour long chiffon dress.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (33)

Lee Brown was our photographer – we highly recommend him. Our friends and family, including some amateur photography enthusiasts, have said they are the best wedding photos they’ve seen. We’re absolutely delighted with the results. Lee’s unobtrusive style meant that no-one felt interrupted by his presence and he did everything he could to make us feel at ease and relaxed throughout the course of our wedding day.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (34)

Blossom Flowers in Chorlton provided mine and my bridesmaid’s posies, the corsages, and button-holes. They also provided flowers for dressing the service room and the table centrepieces, top-table dressing, and chair covers for the reception.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (37)

Favours were vintage candy including pear-drops, aniseed twists, and lemon sherbets. There was also a candy-table with large jars of the same sweets and bags for guests to take candy home for their children.

I made my own cake, which was four tiers covered in ivory icing with white lace edible detailing topped with sugar craft roses. I had fruit, carrot and vanilla sponge.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (43)

To entertain our guests we hired Dave Jones disco to provide a DJ service and had live music from the Cover Cats. I corresponded with a few DJs and Dave gave me the most confidence in his ability to ensure stress-free and smooth-running whilst playing appropriate music. We looked at a number of bands on-line and loved the sound of the Cover Cats and that they had a female vocalist. They did a brilliant job.

Other suppliers that we used for our wedding day and would recommend are Ric Clements of Kegs & Co who supplied draught ale with draught serving system at a low price. Paul Hill of Uplighting Hire who provided good value for money was a pleasure to deal with.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (42)

We thoroughly enjoyed the entire day. As the bride and groom, we were very nervous until after the speeches so managed to relax as the day/evening went on.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (51)

We went to Bali on our honeymoon which is a superb destination -great weather, beautiful tropical beaches, interesting cultural attractions, wonderful hotels and villas and lovely people.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be pick a venue where the organiser or venue co-ordinator will be helpful, reliable, and ease the pressure on you.  Also delegate as much as possible, but only to people you can trust to do what you ask, when you ask.

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