Charlotte Balbier

coral & lace. a glam wedding with pops of peach on merseyside – emily & stephen

August 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (36)

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.

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (4)

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.

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (5)

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.

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (15)

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.

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (17)

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.

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (21)

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.

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (24)

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!

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (25)

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.

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (26)

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.

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (47)

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.

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (30)

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (38)

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.

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (41)

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.

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (44)

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.

A Glam Coral Wedding at The Thistle (c) Rachel Victoria Photography (34)

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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crafted with care. a pretty homemade wedding at priory cottages – jenny & james

August 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (51)

Today’s real wedding is yet another carefully crafted beauty with lots of pretty homemade and personal touches created by talented bride Jenny, along with the help of her equally talented family.

Priory Cottages in North Yorkshire provided the perfect backdrop for the rustic theme Jenny had in mind, which featured lots of beautiful blooms in sweet, sugary tones.

And it wasn’t just the décor that the bride got crafty with, as Jenny made her own hair flower accessory and gorgeous statement necklace to complete her modern big day look. Fabulous work girl!

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (3)

jenny says: We got engaged in Malta. James and I love our cheeky getaways. I had no idea that on this particular one he planned to propose, it was such a lovely surprise! The proposal was very ‘us’ – low key and nothing extravagant. It was our first full day there, we were having a great day exploring the town, lunch and drinks by the sea and we had headed back to our hotel to get ready for the evening and have a few drinks on the balcony. I remember laughing and joking and saying what a perfect start to the holiday it had been, next thing I know James had disappeared and when he returned he was down on one knee asking if I’d be his wifey – it was perfect!

We chose to get married on 13th June 2015 as it was exactly two years to the date we got engaged.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (2)

Our chosen venue was The Priory Cottages in North Yorkshire. Working in the wedding industry myself I read a lot of wedding blogs. This venue has always stood out to me as something special and it was the first place I mentioned to James when we got engaged. When we went to take a look around, I fell more in love with it and James had a cheeky little smile on his face. We both knew it was perfect and could see our special day taking place there.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (1)

We didn’t have a theme as such, but I have always wanted a ‘handmade’ wedding. I love making things and being creative so I literally saw it as a blank canvas that I could do all the things I love to. The result was quite a rustic-styled day.

We were not really strict on a colour scheme; it kind of just fell into place. I always wanted the boys to wear blue suits as I just think they look great. This helped me to decide on nude tones for the girls’ dresses then I pulled in my two favourite colours – coral and mint – and combined it with lots of peaches and whites.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (7)

My dress was literally the dress I always said I would never wear! So many of my friends said to me before I started looking to keep an open mind but I went to one bridal shop in particular because they stocked a gorgeous Mori Lee gown I had pinned as my dream dress for the past five or so years, even before we were engaged! I tried it on and whilst it was nice, it wasn’t wow. The lovely lady in the bridal shop made me try on ‘the dress’ just to see what it looked like. I wasn’t keen but I tried it on and it felt amazing! It made my mum cry so I knew it was the one!

To go with my dress, I scoured the internet and shops constantly to find the perfect hair flower. I couldn’t find one that I liked in the end so I thought why not make my own! I created it using some gorgeous silk flowers from Country Baskets, a hair slide and some small brooches to sit inside the flowers as the centre. I bound it with florist wire and ribbon. I also created a statement necklace by combining two necklaces from Marks & Spencer. I wore my outfit with some gold Kurt Geiger shoes.

My hairdresser’s partner specialises in wedding hair (they work at Fusion Hair Design) so he did mine and the girls’ hair. He did a fantastic job! My cousin Abi is a makeup artist so she did our makeup. Abi is so talented at what she does and I was so pleased with the finished look. The bridesmaids looked stunning and it lasted all day despite the hot weather.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (24)

We wanted to buy suits rather than hire. James wore a three piece from Slaters. It was a very fine puppytooth patterned blue suit. He wore with a tailored white shirt and a pale pink tie to match the bridesmaids. On his feet he wore some tan brogues which complemented the suit perfectly. The groomsmen wore the same suits and shoes as James but wore with a matching blue tie instead of pink.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (28)

The girls wore gorgeous pale pink dresses from Untold at House of Fraser. I wanted to get something they could wear again rather than a traditional bridesmaid dress. They were teamed with gold heels similar to mine from New Look.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (35)

Hayley Baxter was our photographer. When we initially began looking we were steering clear of the very formal styles as we both are not the biggest fan of being photographed and much prefer the more relaxed, creative style that Hayley produced.

We would 100% recommend Hayley. She has such a lovely personality – very warm and friendly. She instantly made us both feel at ease like we’d known her for years and she managed to produce the most amazing collection of natural photographs that we really never thought would be possible!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (38)

I had the bright idea of doing all the wedding flowers myself soon after we got engaged. I spent months and months researching and trying to figure out how it would work and eventually came across an amazing woman through a website called Flowers from the Farm. Gill runs her own flower farm not far from where we live so after a quick visit to see her and discuss, everything was confirmed and I was all set to pick up eight big buckets of freshly cut flowers two days before the wedding.

I really enjoyed making the bouquets and buttonholes. I used roses in peach and pink shades with white peonies and coral berries to add more colour. I finished them with some foliage and wrapped with jute string. For the buttonholes I used blues and green. The focal flower was nigella, which I absolutely love! I wrapped them with a small piece of hessian and they were secured with a heart pin.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (18)

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (8)

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (15)

For the table centrepieces my dad made us some amazing wooden log stands on two levels. I decorated and sprayed bottles with lace, hessian, ribbon and filled with flowers. Also I decorated jam jars as tea light holders and made hessian table circles for everything to sit on decorated with hearts punched from woodgrain card, Kraft card and an atlas. For the top table we had a hollowed out log filled with the left over flowers that my aunties helped with the day before – it looked amazing and was one of my favourite pieces from the day!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (39)

I have my own wedding stationery business, Only by Knight, so I created all the on-the-day stationery/invites etc. myself.

My dad wanted to bring a little bit of Liverpool to our Yorkshire wedding so we gave the gents a Liverpool ale as favours and the ladies got a bottle of fizz.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

We had the most amazing wedding cake. I’m lucky enough to have a very creative family; it must run in our blood! My cousin runs a small cake business, Betty and Junes Bakery. She is amazing, super talented and I knew straight away I wanted her to make our cake as her creativity is endless!

I’m not the biggest fan of traditional wedding cakes so straight away knew I’d want something a little different. I love the hand painted cake styles and to fit in with our rustic theme we decided we would like the tiers to resemble logs. That was literally the brief I gave to Katie and she really excelled! It was absolutely exquisite from the cute love heart to the handmade sugar flowers. Each tier of the cake was a different flavour; we had lemon drizzle with jam and butter cream, raspberry and white chocolate and a chocolate layer. It was finished up with some fresh flowers and a laser cut cake topper that I sourced from Etsy.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (47)

We used Taste Cuisine as our caterers. They are really are amazing at what they do. James is from Leeds and I am originally from Liverpool so for the canapés we had mini ‘pans’ of scouse and beef with Yorkshire puds along with a couple of others. For the wedding breakfast we had a Greek mezze platter, followed by lamb shank then a mix of two desserts (three layer chocolate torte and white chocolate cheesecake) as they were just too good to choose between!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (53)

Straight away we knew we wanted a band to provide entertainment. I stumbled across The One Step through Warble Entertainment and I was just drawn towards them. The lead singer Nick also did acoustic sets so we had him singing through the drinks reception and the wedding breakfast. Our friends and family absolutely loved him. They were great as a three piece too. Everyone was up dancing and having fun, and we especially enjoyed our rendition of Mr Brightside at the end to close the show!

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (17)

In terms of special touches, the table plan was one of my favourite pieces from the day! My dad made us the giant frame and I decorated with flower garlands. Each table was named after a place James and I had visited together. The board had an envelope for each guest with a postcard inside that I’d created of an image of James and I in that particular location. We asked our guests to write us a message on the reverse and pin it back to the table plan so it doubled up as our guest book. I am going to make it into a piece of wall art now so we have a constant interactive reminder of the day. My dad also made us the sign for outside the venue; I made stencils and spray-painted the wording onto it. I decorated with flower garlands again and it was a great touch to the exterior of the venue.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (58)

We would 100% recommend our venue to others. Serena first off is one incredible woman! She was always on hand to help with whatever we needed and she really helped us to pull everything together ready for the big day. The venue itself is absolutely stunning. The fact it has the cottages built around it made it such a memorable weekend, not only for us but for our bridal party as we all got to experience everything together.

Funnily enough the part of the wedding I was dreading the most was, the ceremony, turned out to be one of my favourite bits. I’m naturally quite a shy person so the thought of everyone looking at me whilst me and pops made our way up the aisle filled me with dread and I really thought I would be a blubbering mess. But I really did enjoy it and no tears were shed! That along with the speeches – which were just fantastic – and seeing all of our friends and family laughing, joking and having the best time together was really special.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (56)

For our honeymoon we decided to go to Central America. We both love to travel and James has been around the world. We went to Costa Rica and Panama. It was the most amazing experience. We saw and did so much in two and a half weeks and have memories that we can now cherish forever.

A Sweet Wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (60)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – be organised! We had two years between our engagement and big day. I bought a wedding planner book, created a budget spreadsheet but still life got in the way occasionally and it was quite stressful getting everything ready towards the end! Also get stuck in! Try to personalise your day as much as you can so it’s meaningful to you and your groom. I can’t tell you how great it feels to sit back on the day and look at everyone admiring all the hard work you’ve put in. It was a very proud moment! Finally, accept help! I can be a terrible control freak and like to do everything myself in my own way, sometimes you need to let go and accept that it’s just not possible! Besides you’ll find that a lot of your friends and family want to get involved and help. I would never have finished setting up on time without the help of my nearest and dearest the day before, they were all incredible!

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sail away. maggie sottero for a romantic wedding in the lakes – nic & chris

August 11th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (21)

The Lake District is without a doubt a popular destination for weddings, with lots of Brides Up North couples falling for its stunning surroundings and breath-taking views for their big day.

This afternoon’s wedding takes place at a venue in The Lakes that we know well – the gorgeous Laura Ashley Belsfield Hotel, which Julia had the pleasure of visiting earlier this year, which means we can easily see why Nic and Chris picked it for their wedding.

Dream venue taken care off, Nic used her creative skills to pull together the décor and styling for their small but perfectly formed wedding.

Highlights for us include Nic’s Maggie Sottero dress (that back detail is to die for) and the interlude during the day for the bride, groom and their guests to enjoy a traditional boat cruise around the lake. What a fab idea!

With images by Alexandra Holt Photography.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (6)

nic says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2014 at home in the morning after opening presents with our two children. Chris took our two-year-old son Noah, up stairs and they came down with Noah wearing a T-shirt that said had a marriage proposal printed on it. Chris sat down next to me with the ring. I’ll cherish the T-shirt forever and the photos of Noah wearing it with selection box chocolate all over his face. Only Chris and my parents knew so it was a lovely surprise. No one knew Chris could be so romantic!

We set the date for 12th June 2015 as we wanted to get married within the year and summer was the preferred time, and ideally before I returned back to work after maternity leave.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (14)

Our chosen venue was the Laura Ashley Belsfield Hotel, in Windermere. We looked at venues closer to home but they didn’t feel special and some also had set numbers which needed to be met, which put us off. We had a small wedding of just 21, including myself and Chris.

We decided on The Lakes and I spent a couple of days looking at possible venues on websites and blogs. We narrowed it down to three venues and went to see them. The Belsfield was the last one of the day and my heart was set on it as we pulled in to the car park. The location, views and setting were perfect. Georgina and Dea there made the planning and the day itself run seamlessly. We can’t thank them and their team enough.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (13)

I’m a creative and visual person as an art and textiles teacher, so Chris left all that side to me. I showed him things and asked for his opinion. Chris doesn’t like fuss so we had a very simple set of criteria when making any decisions.

We didn’t have a theme as such but lace was included on my dress, the invitations, favours and cake. We went for things we liked and didn’t over think things too much, which helped with our short timescale. I made the invitations, favours and some bunting with our initials on for the ceremony table.

Our colour scheme was ivory/white, grey and duck egg blue. I love duck egg blue and grey, and white was included after choosing how I wanted my bouquet.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (45)

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (16)

One of the things that was most important to me was to have a ‘proper’ wedding dress. I wanted to feel and look like a bride. I went shopping for my dress with my mum and daughter, Pippa, who was four and half months at the time. After looking in magazines I fell in love with the designer Maggie Sottero, and wrote a short list of dresses that I loved from their site and hunted down suppliers.

The dress I picked was called Carmen in ivory with pewter detail, which I got from Brides Gallery in Heskin. It wasn’t on my list as it was shown in a different colour on the site. It was everything I wanted in a dress. Lace and a full back were most important to me. I felt naked and on show in the strapless styles. I also didn’t want a big dress but the tulle overlay gave some volume and shape of a traditional wedding dress. My mum and I used to look at pictures of the dress daily on the run up to the day, and I still do now. I absolutely love it!

Christina Louise Rothwell did my makeup on the wedding day and Jessica Rothwell did my hair.

Before my trial I had only had my makeup done once before so I was really nervous but Christina was amazing. She listened to what I wanted as the finished look but also made suggestions to improve it. I was really happy after my trial and what she did on the day was perfect. Jessica was recommended to me by a friend and I now couldn’t recommend her enough. I changed my style between the trial and the wedding and Jess completely got what I wanted and I was so pleased with the final look.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (17)

We didn’t want traditional wedding suits, but obviously Chris wanted to look smart and special for our day. We went to Slaters in Manchester with the intention of a grey suit but left with a blue one. We went for a grey tie to match the colour scheme. It’s the first suit Chris has owned. His job as a joiner doesn’t call for one and he prefers to dress casually, unless forced into a shirt and trousers.

As we were only a small wedding of myself, Chris and our family we didn’t have the extra roles as you would at a traditional wedding. Instead Noah, our son was ‘best man’ and wore a little suit from Marks & Spencer. Our 11-year-old niece Erin was our flowergirl/bridesmaid and her lace dress was from John Lewis. Our daughter was also a little flower girl, dressed in a lace and tulle dress from Debenhams.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (24)

Photography was almost as important as the dress to me. Something I will treasure forever. We picked Alexandra Holt Photography to capture the day. Alex is a friend who I have known since college, I said long before getting engaged that if I was to get married she had to do our photos. She’s amazing. I love her style and ability to capture the main things you obviously want to remember as well as the small things you can easily forget. We had regular ‘work chats’, I gave her a list of photographs I really wanted but left the rest in her capable hands.

The results are amazing. I’m so proud of them, I’ve never been happy with pictures of myself before, until these. I can’t stop looking at them. Alex is so professional but not too formal. She was fantastic especially with the children. I will be forever thankful for her gorgeous work. As a friend she provided constant advice and support which helped keep me sane and make the planning so much easier.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (20)

On the day I carried a hand tied bouquet of peony, hydrangea, lisianthus and roses in pure white. I had a powder blue ribbon as my something blue. My niece had a smaller version and Chris, Noah and my dad had button holes. Made in Flowers supplied them. Katie was great, we discussed them over emails and phone calls and didn’t actually meet until the day itself.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (23)

The hotel made us some gorgeous macaroons as favours but I also made up my own.

As we had a few children at the wedding I included love heart sweets, some chocolate hearts and a Macmillan charity wrist band. I made a donation in memory of my auntie Gill who passed away October 2014 after illness. I was obsessed with weddings and princesses as a young child and for a birthday she made me a wedding dress. I lived in it. And tried to force everyone and anyone to play weddings with me. It upsets me that she never got to see me as a real bride but I wanted to include her in some way. The wristbands caused a few tears on the day but it was nice to have my auntie thought about at my wedding.

I found our supplier Charlotte at Sugar Ruffles in Windermere on a blog and after stalking her cakes on the internet I knew I didn’t need to look any further. We wanted a single layer cake with light grey lace detail and sugar flowers to match my bouquet. I really didn’t want to cut into it. It looked beautiful.

The cake itself was a frequent discussion. Chocolate lover Chris lost out to my vanilla bean sponge choice! We had it as dessert in the evening.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (27)

Good food was really important to us. Chris and I love food! But we’ve also been to weddings as guests where the food was disappointing and wanted to avoid this. One of the benefits of having a smaller wedding meant we could have a higher standard on the things we chose. Pimms and canapés were served after the ceremony on the terrace. We wanted a sit down meal for the wedding breakfast and Chris chose roast beef and Yorkshire pudding as the main and I chose mushroom and leek crumble for the vegetarians. We had tomato soup to start and a sticky toffee pudding for dessert.

In the evening we had sausage and chip barms, with the cake as dessert. The food was brilliant. Everyone enjoyed it.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (28)

After the wedding breakfast we went on an hour cruise on a traditional boat around the lake. We hoped to keep it as a surprise until the day but the weather forecast meant we had to warn people to bring a coat or possibly a waterproof, but the weather ended up being perfect. We got some great photos walking down to the lake and back up to the hotel as well as on the boat.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (49)

Following our wedding we would definitely recommend the hotel to other couples. The venue speaks for itself – it’s beautiful. The building was perfect and the setting can’t even be described. We were the only wedding that day at the hotel which was lovely and we were made to feel so special. The staff went above and beyond on the day and during the planning, nothing was too much trouble. And what girl doesn’t love a bit of Laura Ashley?

The ceremony was a favourite part of the day but I loved every part, from getting ready to having the photos taken of just us two. Having my hair and makeup done was a real treat, I felt the best I’ve ever felt. The boat trip in the early evening was lovely, the weather was perfect for it. The children are still talking about that bit now! I really enjoyed just being together with everyone. Having the people we love the most all together celebrating with us.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (25)

For our honeymoon we went to a very hot Disneyland Paris two weeks after our wedding with our two young children, Noah and Pippa. It was only short, three nights but we had a fantastic time. Not very romantic but wouldn’t have had it any other way.

An Intimate Wedding at The Laura Ashley Belfield Hotel (c) Alex Holt Photography (50)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is – be selfish. Choose what you two want. Don’t try and please anyone but yourselves. As long as you’re both happy that’s all that matters. Also don’t get caught up in the small things, even though you want a perfect day the days that follow the wedding are the important ones.

I get quite jealous of people planning now. I want to do it all again. The day flies by and seems a lifetime ago.

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hey, mr dj? maggie sottero for a festival wedding in liverpool – lucy & craig

July 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (26)

After a romantic, if not soggy, proposal in the heart of Disneyland Paris today’s music loving bride and groom decided to give their big day a festival wedding theme, complete with wristbands and live bands!

Keen that her wedding day also had a pretty edge to it, Lucy incorporated a few vintage touches into the styling and décor using sweet pastels in yellow, blue and pink.

We love all the elements of their big day and find that the festival theme and pretty colour scheme actually blend together really well.

So let’s head to the main stage so you can see all the wedding action for yourselves!

With images by David Walters Photography.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (30)

lucy says: We got engaged in front of Cinderella’s Castle in Disneyland Paris – not quite as romantic as it sounds as it was pouring, and I mean pouring, with rain and we were wearing Mickey rain ponchos!

Our wedding day was on 2nd May 2015. We chose this date as it fell on a bank holiday. We had a lot of family and friends travelling from all over the country and we thought this way people could make a full weekend of it.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (7)

Thistle Atlantic Tower in Liverpool was our wedding venue which we chose primarily because of the fabulous view. The hotel overlooks the River Mersey and has the most beautiful view of the famous Liver Building and the waterfront.

We incorporated a festival theme throughout our big day. We had ticket style invites, wristbands, tables named after famous stages and a band themed cake. I also tried to add a vintage twist to make it a bit more girly using pastel colours and birdcage and candelabra centre pieces.

Our colour scheme was pastel yellow, blue and pink, inspired by the vintage twist. I also decided early on that as my bridesmaids were all so unique and different from each other that it would be nice to dress them in varying colours.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (10)

My dress was Payton by Maggie Sottero which I got from Aristocrats of Chester. I chose this dress because it had the vintage feel I was after and beautiful detail. It was also unlike any wedding dress I had seen before and I think I surprised a lot of people with my choice!

On the wedding day my hair was done by Carol Ellis Thompson and I wore a hairband by Rocks For Frocks. I also had personalised wedding Converse for the evening reception, which I loved!

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (13)

Craig wore a three piece grey suit by ONESIX5IVE from Slaters. Craig doesn’t do tails and top hats, so the slim fit simple tailored suit was perfect for him.

Our groomsmen wore identical suits to Craig’s while our bridesmaids wore Mark Lesley dresses, also purchased from Aristocrats of Chester, in pastel yellow, blue and pink.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (15)

On the wedding day I travelled to the venue in a vintage VW campervan provided by Nick Connah from Connah’s Cars. Craig’s Mum and I also surprised Craig on the day with the same transport to take him to the venue.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (20)

David Walters was our photographer and we could not recommend him highly enough! Throughout the whole experience he was creative, supportive and fun. We had a pre-wedding shoot which enabled us to get to know him before the day which was really important. On the day itself he was energetic and made people feel at ease. His photography is documentary style, and has provided us with stunning photos and memories of our day.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (25)

I carried artificial silk flowers with pearl and diamanté decorations. I wanted flowers that I could keep forever.

Our wedding breakfast and reception decorations were provided by Karla Pritchard from Add A Little Sparkle. We had birdcage and candelabra centre pieces with yellow, pink and blue flowers. The flowers were also incorporated into the back of the chair covers, which looked stunning. My Mum and I made bunting for the ceremony table and top table which was a really nice personal touch.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (50)

We gave each of our guests a festival style wristband as favours when they arrived at the ceremony. At the wedding breakfast we also had ‘Team Lucy’ and ‘Team Craig’ pin badges on the tables.

Craig and I are very passionate about music and so we had a band themed cake. It consisted of three ‘drum’ tiers, with our favourite band and festival logos on the side. It was made by a family friend, Janet Hamer.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (31)

To keep guests entertained at the wedding and to tie in with our theme, we had the Ukulele Club Liverpool to perform after the ceremony and then in the evening we had an awesome band called Slinky, who literally kept the dance floor filled all night.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (35)

Following our wedding, we could not recommend our venue highly enough to other couples. Our day was stress-free and no request was a problem. The staff really made our day special, they were so helpful and fun. We had mentioned to the waitresses previously about our theme, and I said to them about wearing flowers in their hair. I couldn’t believe on the day that they all did, it was really lovely.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (38)

It’s hard to pick one part of the day over another as my favourite, but I’ve got to say our wedding band Slinky really rocked, and being on the dance floor with all my friends and family around me is something I will never forget.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (41)

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (48)

As we got engaged in Disney we decided to go to Orlando, Florida on our honeymoon. We spent ten days in Disney and four days in the Universal resort. It was the holiday of a lifetime for us, and the weather was unreal.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (49)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would simply be – don’t worry about tradition, do what makes you happy.

A Festival Themed Wedding in Liverpool (c) DW Photography (52)

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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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