Charlotte Balbier

lake side. sophia tolli for an intimate wedding at the samling – mia & pete

August 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (49)

The guest list for today’s wedding at The Samling doesn’t even reach double figures as Mia and Pete decided on a small and intimate wedding featuring spectacular views and first class food surrounded by just their very nearest and dearest.

Showing that size doesn’t mean everything, the day is brimming with class, elegance and smiles as all involved enjoy the relaxed and magical atmosphere by the side of Lake Windermere.

With images by James Tracey Photography.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (1)

mia says: We got engaged in January 2014 in the Lake District. Pete surprised me with a weekend away to Aphrodite’s near Bowness to celebrate our third year anniversary. We had just finished relaxing in the hot tub with a glass of champagne and I went into the bathroom to get changed. I came back out to Pete down on one knee holding out a ring! It was a complete surprise and I kept asking him over and over again whether he was being serious! In the end he said “So what do you think, then?” and of course, I said “yes”.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (2)

Our wedding was 20th June 2015. We chose that date as we wanted a summer wedding, the day before the longest day of the year being ideal. It also gave us enough time to save up for it!

We chose The Samling in the Lake District as our venue. We knew we wanted to get married in the Lake District as it was where we had spent our first weekend together as a couple and it was also where Pete proposed so the location had a lot of meaning. The Lake District also has absolutely stunning scenery making it a perfect setting for a wedding. As we were having a very small intimate wedding (just eight people including ourselves!) we wanted a venue that would complement this which The Samling did, given the exclusivity of the venue. We were also attracted to the Samling for its Michelin star menu, Pete and I being very much into our food. We went to visit The Samling and knew straight away it was where we wanted our wedding – it was the first and last place we visited when looking for a venue. After seeing the panoramic views of Lake Windermere, we knew we were making the right choice!

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

We didn’t have a theme for our wedding but wanted an intimate, understated affair which was very special at the same time. The venue where we had the wedding matched our styles and tastes exactly in that it is not stuffy and overly fussy but had luxurious and special features to it. The style of wedding we had allowed us to think of different ideas as went along while planning the wedding.
While we had a very small wedding, we’re also having a party later in the year to celebrate with all our friends and family.

We didn’t have a colour scheme as such but chose a lot of white and yellow as they both complement each other and are lovely, summery colours.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (12)

My dress was a gown by Sophia Tolli purchased from The Bridal Path in Altrincham. It was a fitted lace dress which was ivory and champagne coloured. It had a plunging v neckline and crystal beading scattered across the dress. It also had a sheer back bodice with crystal buttons cascading down the back and a long train. I felt the dress was very elegant and classic. I knew it was the right dress for me as soon as I tried it on!

On the wedding day I wore my dress with peep toe silver shoes by Jimmy Choo. I chose these shoes as they really fitted the style of my dress and I can wear them again.  On my head I wore a Swarovski crystal encrusted head piece by Halo & Co, purchased from Liberty in LoveRebecca Forshaw, a hair and makeup artist based in the North West, did my hair and makeup on the day. She did a fantastic job and I never imagined I could look so glamourous!

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (14)

Pete wore a blue-grey, light woollen three piece suit. The cloth came from Scabal, and was ordered and tailored by Richard Smith Bespoke in Manchester city centre, who also provided the tie and pocket square. The pale blue, super slim-fitting stretch shirt came from Thomas Pink in Manchester, and the brown shoes were from Jeffrey West, also in Manchester.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (21)

For my flowers, I had a beautiful but simple shower bouquet made up of white orchids, with green foliage which was provided by Kerry at The Floristry in Kendal. Kerry also provided all our flowers for the day. We had had a mixture of white orchids, yellow flowers and green foliage to decorate the wedding reception. We had a large vase of flowers in the centre of the dinner table with smaller vases of flowers at the side of this. Kerry was fantastic and created everything we asked for.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (34)

Our wedding cake was a two tiered fruit cake with white icing which was decorated with pink flowers. It was from Marks & Spencer.

For the wedding breakfast we had a Michelin star taster menu created by Ian Swainson, head chef at the Samling. It was an absolutely unbelievable gastronomic experience! We had a wine pairing with each course as recommended by their sommelier.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (38)

We chose Maxine Molin, a harpist, to play during the ceremony and our champagne reception due to her excellent reputation. Also the harp sounds beautiful and fitted in with the understated and relaxed theme of our wedding.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (41)

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue. Not only was it spectacular and exclusive, the service we were provided with was second to none. All the staff ensured our whole day went seamlessly and they made us feel very relaxed. They were very open to what we required and went out of their way to provide it.

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (50)

It really was the best day of my life so it’s difficult to pick a favourite part of the day! I would say one of the highlights however was relaxing in the outdoor hot tub in the evening after our meal overlooking the whole of Lake Windermere!

A Breath-taking Wedding in The Lakes (c) James Tracey Photography (54)

We aren’t going on honeymoon until October. We are going to South Africa and then on to Mauritius and we cannot wait! We’re spending a few nights in Cape Town, then on to the wine regions for plenty of wine tasting! We’re then ending the trip in Mauritius which will be completely relaxing.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be don’t be scared of breaking with tradition. We had traditional but many untraditional elements to our wedding, for example, I walked into the wedding ceremony to the harpist playing Metallica! Tradition and convention also advocate a large, lavish wedding. Although these events can be fantastic, if an intimate event suits you then you should go for it as it is so personal and rewarding. Whatever you choose, make the most of all the attention being lavished on you for one day!

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oh i do like to be beside the seaside. sophia tolli for a traditional wedding in the north west – kate & colin

June 18th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (26)

Following a romantic proposal in Central Park, New York, today’s couple Kate and Colin set their hearts on a classic wedding by the sea. The Clifton Arms Hotel in Lancashire provided the perfect setting with views of the stunning seafront in Lytham.

To complete their vision, Kate and Colin called upon talented family and friends to help with the cake, flowers and décor, resulting in a very beautiful and personal big day.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Amanda Balmain.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (3)

kate says: Colin proposed three years ago during a trip to New York which was to celebrate his birthday. I had no idea he would propose as we had planned a full week of sightseeing. Colin says he carried my engagement ring everywhere during the five days whilst waiting for the perfect moment. Apparently he was planning to propose at the top of the Empire State building but he couldn’t make me stand still for long enough as it was freezing cold in November and I kept doing laps at the top to try and keep warm!

On the third day we decided to go for a walk around central park as this was our favourite place in the city. During this we passed a couple who had just got engaged and were asked to take pictures for them, little did I know Colin was gutted as he says he was about to propose before we bumped into them. Colin later proposed during a very romantic horse and carriage ride around Central Park, this was incredible and so special, it felt like we were in a Hollywood film. Best proposal ever!

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (6)

Our wedding day was on 11th October 2014. We chose October as we love autumn and all the different colours – it reminded us of walking around central park in New York.

We live very close to the sea which we love and wanted our venue to be by the seaside. We researched local venues and fell in love with the Clifton Arms Hotel, Lancashire. The hotel is situated overlooking the seafront in Lytham. The area has a classic seaside feel with lots of character, a very friendly atmosphere and picturesque coastline which we wanted to have as part of our wedding day.

Classic and traditional was the theme for the day. We wanted our wedding to be a stylish celebration with our all of our close family and friends. The Clifton Arms Hotel radiates a traditional elegance which we wanted to reflect with our wedding theme.

Our colour scheme for the wedding included dusky pinks, slate grey, ivory and silver. With our classic theme we wanted to keep the colour scheme natural.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (11)

Finding my dress is one of my favourite memories of planning our wedding. I wore a Sophia Tolli A-line gown called Jillian which had layers of misty tulle and lace. I chose my dress from Bridal Boutique in Bispham where I was able to try on many different styles. I went in thinking I would choose a fitted plain straight dress as I’m quite tall and I didn’t feel a big dress would suit me. As soon as I tried the Sophia Tolli gown on I knew it was the one. I loved the uncomplicated skirt and the chapel length train as well as the lace bodice, which I felt flattered my figure. I added a chapel length ivory veil also from Bridal Boutique and a sparkly hair clip from Debenhams.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (19)

Colin wore a Jeff Banks slate grey three-piece suit from Debenhams accompanied with an ivory tie to match my dress. He also wore a very smart pair of Jeff Banks shoes which he says were very comfy and helped him throw some great dance moves during the evening reception! Craig, who was our best man, also wore a three-piece Jeff Banks Suit from Debenhams and a grey tie to match.

We had six bridesmaids which were both our sisters Laura and Katy and my best friends Jenny, Hayley, Pippa and Aisling, who wore black floor length dresses by Mark Lesley from Bridal Boutique in Bispham. Our beautiful flower girl Harriet wore an ivory sparkly dress from Monsoon.

Ian and Paula of Allure Rococo in Poulton-le fylde, Lancashire, did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair on the day which we loved.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (20)

Amanda Balmain was our amazing photographer on our wedding day. A friend had attended a specialist photography course a few years ago with Amanda and she had followed some of her photography work online. When we mentioned to our friend that we were looking for a photographer she was able to recommend Amanda straight away. As soon as we met her we knew she was great. We organised an engagement shoot on a beach on the Wirral where she made us feel very relaxed and was able to get very natural, romantic shots.

Amanda managed to capture our wedding day in a very special way, we love our wedding pictures and we can’t stop looking at our wedding album! She is very talented and such a lovely person I have recommended her to all of my friends and family for their weddings.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (24)

My Aunty Lisa, who is an independent florist in Norfolk, created all of our flowers. The flowers were purchased from the wholesale Dutch Flower Auction. My bouquet included dusky pink amnesia roses, ivory roses, thistles, wax flowers, eucalyptus, gypsophila, snow berries, astible and some green foliage. Lisa did an amazing job – she took my imagination and made it happen.

My mum Helen and Aunty Lisa created our amazing centrepieces – we had tall candles in hurricane lamps surrounded by the same flowers which were in my bouquet. They also created the top table flower display which included roses, ivy and green foliage as well candles which looked fantastic.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (31)

The Wedding Place in Blackpool supplied our white chair covers and lace white sashes – they did a fantastic job and we would highly recommend them!

As a special touch, a family friend created a handmade post box with our names and wedding details on the front, which was used by our guests to post their cards into at the reception.

For favours we gave chocolate miniature hearts and wrapped sweets placed in silver drawstring bags.

Our three-tier wedding cake was a family creation. My Granddad, who is a baker, made the fruit cake. The cake was then decorated by my talented and creative Mum and Gran. It featured layers of Victoria sponge and fruit cake. My mum spent many hours incorporating wedding details such as the ivory colour scheme which matched my dress and handmade sugar crafted flowers which mirrored my bouquet.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (39)

Daniel Sings provided our musical entertainment. Daniel provided amazing live vocals, played acoustic and electric guitars and wonderful saxophone. He performed a huge range of songs which had everyone singing along during our wedding breakfast and did not stop all evening. He made our perfect day even better and all of our guests often comment on how brilliant he was.

For the children we provided colouring books and quizzes, which many mums and dads appreciated during the wedding breakfast.

We would highly recommend The Clifton Arms Hotel as a wedding venue to other couples – the food was fantastic and the staff were very helpful which made our day run very smoothly. The hotel is situated in a fantastic position overlooking Lytham Green and the coastline. After our ceremony we were able to walk outside and have our pictures taken on the green, there is also a little wooden jetty by a windmill very close to the hotel which our photographer used to get some stunning photographs. It is a very classy and traditional venue – we would not change a thing about it as it made our day very special!

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (25)

After our wedding ceremony we were able to go and have some private pictures taken by the sea, which was one of our favourite parts of the day. It was such a glorious sunny day, the water was very calm and it was silent on the wooden jetty. We were able to have a few minutes to reflect that we had just got married and before we walked the short distance back to the hotel for the evening reception – it was lovely to have a few moments to ourselves. We could hear our guests singing in the distance as Daniel performed on his guitar. We had the biggest smiles on our faces and we can both definitely say it was the most fantastic and best day of our lives.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (47)

For our honeymoon we spent ten days in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Seaside Wedding in Lytham (c) Amanda Balmain (49)

Our top tips for other Brides Up North would be to look for ways to incorporate family and friends into your day, this made ours extra special to us as we have a very close family around us. Also, be sure to steal a few minutes away together during the height of wedding celebration to talk, look at each other and take it all in. We would also advise other brides and grooms to book time with their photographer. Our pre-wedding shoot with our photographer was brilliant as we got to know each other and she then knew what we wanted and was able to give us good advice with shots and family group photos.

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cheers to that! a pretty, rustic wedding at Wold Top Brewery – hannah & jaxon

November 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (35)

Hannah and Jaxon’s wedding day was filled with soft colours, pretty details and homemade touches… and better yet, the beer supply was never going to run dry!  Turns out that you can organise a piss up wedding at a brewery…

I’ll raise a glass to Hannah and Jaxon for their super pretty, stylish, fun filled big day!

With images by Neil Jackson Photographic.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (9)

Hannah says: We got engaged on Friday 30th August 2013 in a beautiful village of Brompton on the outskirts of Scarborough, the place where I grew up as a child. It was a gorgeous day and we went for a little walk and a picnic. My husband had bought a blanket made by his Mum and a bag full of food and a bottle of bubbly. We laid this out in front of Brompton Church (where I’ve always wanted to get married…we didn’t end up getting married there-oops!), very picturesque. Just as I was getting ready to tuck into the lovely food Jaxon got down on one knee and asked me to do him the pleasure and be his wife. I said yes.

We were married on 2nd August 2014. We wanted a summer wedding and fortunately our dream venue had a cancellation on this day so it was meant to be. We got married at Hackness Church followed by a reception at Wold Top Brewery. Wold Top Brewery was everything I wanted it to be, beautiful, different, in the middle of nowhere, country style and who doesn’t want to get married in a brewery!

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (7)

The theme for our wedding was rustic and country. The colour palette was neutral and dusty pink. I love neutral colours, we used lots of hessian, baby breath, creams and pinks.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (18)

I fell in love with my dress the moment I put it on. It was a Sophia Tolli dress from the wonderful wedding dress shop The Wedding Room in Scarborough. The most lovely and friendly staff.

Jaxon hired his traditional morning suit from Greenwoods.

The beautiful bridesmaids’ dresses were made by my wonderful Mum. The pattern was a Vogue pattern and we bought the material from the Sewing Centre in Scarborough. All 4 dresses were a slightly different shade of dusty pink. They all wore matching nude heels from Next.

My gorgeous flower girl wore a matching dusty pink flowery dress from Monsoon Children. My page boy wore linen trousers, linen waistcoat and a cotton shirt also from Monsoon Children.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (20)

My flowers were provided from my friend’s mother who is a retired florist. My flowers mainly consisted of Dutch Roses and Gyp (baby’s breath), they were beautiful.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (25)

Neil Jackson was our photographer.

I would recommend Neil to absolutely everyone, I already have. I believe some of my friends have booked him for their wedding. Neil did everything we asked him to and more. You can see from his photos how amazing and talented he is.

Previous to our wedding we did an engagement shoot which I would recommend to everyone. It gave Neil the chance to get to know us slightly better and it gave Jaxon and I the change to feel comfortable in front of a camera… I loved it!

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (26)

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (27)

For the wedding reception I made all the decorations, along with my wonderful little helpers. We decorated jars and tins and put them everywhere, jars filled with tea lights and cans filled with baby breath. The centre of the tables had slices of tree trunks, jars and a wine bottle wrapped in a hessian bag filled with baby breath. Dotted around the marquee we had huge pots with branches in wrapped in fairy lights.

I love that all the decoration, table plan, invitations, menus and so on were all homemade; it made the day feel so special and unique.

We gave out jars of homemade raspberry jam and bottles of our personalised Wold Top beer…Top Tite Tipple.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (31)

We used Florida Marquees to hire the marquee from which comes with tables, chairs, lights, dance floor etc. They’re a great company, very helpful.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (37)

We had a sit down three course meal catered for by our very close friends Nabs Nosh. The wines were provided through Wold Top brewery with a mixture of white and red on each table.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (43)

My favourite cake is Victoria sponge cake, so that’s what we had. A huge 4 tier Victoria sponge cake filled with berries and cream and laced with more berries and baby breath. The cake was made my talented sister-in-law Camilla.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (45)

For the evening we hired a Vintage Ice Cream Bike from Casino Knights with a choice of our ice creams in. This was a hit with our guests, they absolutely loved it. It was perfect on a lovely summers evening in the courtyard at Wold Top Brewery.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (48)

We hired a band called Grand Theft Audio and my brother was the amazing drummer. They played for the entire evening and were fantastic. They played requests on demand and guests never left the dance floor. The band was revealed in the evening in the entertainments marquee with the dance floor and starlit ceiling.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (52)

I would 100% recommend Wold Top Brewery. The events coordinator is hugely helpful and there is plenty of time to set everything up before the day, and even better…the guests can camp on the evening! A lot of our guests camped and it was great.

I loved the whole day, everything about it, everything ran smoothly and just how we wanted it. We loved becoming husband and wife and sharing it with our family and friends. Everywhere we looked on our special day was full of smiling faces and people that we loved, an amazing feeling.

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (57)

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (60)

We went on a mini-moon to Cornwall for 5 days the day after our wedding which was fab. The honeymoon will come one day!

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (62)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy the build up to the wedding, the creativity, the panics and the laughter and when the day comes just enjoy every second, nothing else matters when the day finally arrives. Enjoy being the centre of attention and remember it’s your day, nobody else’s, it’s your day to have everything how you want it, it’s your day to be selfish!

a rustic country wedding at Wold Top Brewery (c) Neil Jackson Photographic (66)

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Under The Sky. Sophia Tolli For A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Nicola & Mike

September 3rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

Pixies In The Cellar

This afternoon’s Real Wedding – with images by Pixies In The Cellar – is cool and classy and conducted under a blustery Yorkshire sky.  An outdoor ceremony is always special, but with our British summertime, it’s also downright brave.  Luckily Nicola and Mike’s gamble paid off, as the sun shone for their stunning celebration at The Saddleworth Hotel

Pixies In The Cellar

Nicola says:  We got engaged in The Maldives in June 2011 and were married on Saturday 3rd August 2013 at The Saddleworth Hotel.  It’s an amazing setting and the venue has great staff – overall, truly everything we wanted in a wedding venue!

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

We didn’t really have a colour scheme – everything was kept neutral with white, grey and black. The only hint of colour was pale, blush pink roses dotted amongst the cream in the bouquets.

Pixies In The Cellar

My dress was a Sophia Tolli design, a little vintage with delicate straps and beautiful back detail. It was purchased from Society Brides in Liverpool.

Pixies In The Cellar

My bridesmaids wore slate grey shift dresses from Bride to Be by Hannah Lois  and I added an ivory coloured sash to these to match their shoes and bags. The groomsmen wore slate grey suits from Swarbricks with dark grey cravats and waistcoats to tie in with the sash on the bridesmaid’s dresses.

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

I stayed at the venue the night before and Michael was picked up by the owner of The Saddleworth Hotel in a vintage Rolls Royce convertible.

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

The ceremony was gorgeous – the best part of the day for both of us. It was so lovely and really did feel personal to us.

Pixies In The Cellar

As a surprise, I wrote a personal reading to Michael telling the story of us in the form of a poem. I’d gone through the process of ‘choosing one’ with him so he didn’t have a clue until one of my bridesmaids started reading it. It made the ceremony so personal and there was barely a dry eye in the house.

To add to this, turns out he’d done the same and wrote me a poem as part of his speech – a truly in sync couple.

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Our beautiful flowers were by Kelly Louise.  I carried a hand tied bouquet of white, cream and pale pink roses and this was echoed in our centrepieces. 

Pixies In The Cellar

We chose a very simple three tier, white iced cake from Slattery’s. The only detail was a small grey ribbon and row of pearls placed around the bottom of each tier to tie in with our overall details and theme.

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

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Pixies In The Cellar

We had a band called Under The Covers perform during the evening reception.

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

The honeymoon was planned all as a surprise by Michael – literally until we arrived at the airport. He planned the whole thing and didn’t tell a single person.  We went to New York then on to Maroma Beach, Mexico

Pixies In The Cellar

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to enjoy every second and make sure you spend as much of it as possible with one another – it truly is the most magical day you could wish for, make sure you share it together

Pixies In The Cellar

Congratulations Nicola & Mike!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on the blog?  Here’s how

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Pixies In The Cellar

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Little Blue Boxes… A Real Wedding In The North West – Louise & Andy

February 3rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Every girl knows what a little blue box tied up with a white satin bow means, right?!  Brides Up North reader Louise got the full Tiffany’s treatment when fiancé Andy proposed on a Christmas trip to New York, and decided to carry the theme through into their pretty wintery wedding day.  With images by Vickerstaff Photography

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Louise says:  We got engaged on the 4th December 2011 in New York’s Central Park. We were on a carriage ride through the park and Andy surprised me by asking me to marry him just as we’d passed the iconic ‘Friends’ fountain!

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We said “I Do" on 8th December 2012 – almost a year to the day we got engaged – at our local church just a few minutes’ walk from our house. We held our reception at Rowton Hall Hotel, Chester.  As our wedding was in December we wanted a venue that would be warm and cosy inside if the weather was terrible outside.  Rowton Hall had both – a beautiful interior with gorgeous decorations and Christmas trees, but also lovely grounds. Tony, the manager, was really helpful and welcoming, so it was an easy decision.

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Our theme was Winter in New York. Obviously New York is a special place for us and Christmas has always been my favourite time of year so we tried to combine them both.  I love sparkling winter scenes so we went for a combination of sky blue, white and silver.

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Getting ready in the morning was a special time, as all my nerves seemed to disappear as soon as I was surrounded by my parents, bridesmaid and little flower girls. I really enjoyed seeing everyone get ready and I just remember my best friend and I giggling and laughing as she was clambering under my dress trying to find my feet so I could put my shoes on!

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My dress was Sophia Tolli’s ‘Francesca.’ I knew I wanted a traditional style wedding dress and after trying on several that felt very ‘samey’, Francesca really stood out due to the beautiful straps and detailing on the dress. It initially had a bustle at the back which I didn’t really want, so I had this taken down. I was left with a quite a long train which I was a bit nervous about at first as didn’t want to look too overdone. However, I soon settled down as if you can’t wear something ‘wow’ on your wedding day when can you?! I also chose a mid-length veil and an Ivory and co headdress called ‘Moonlight’. These were all supplied by Society Brides in Liverpool.

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My four adult bridesmaids wore dresses by Alexia Designs, style 2034 in turquoise. These were supplied by Always and Forever Bridal in St Helens, Merseyside. They had silver sparkly shoes and wore a snowflake hair clip by Starstruck Designs. The two flower girls wore dresses from John Lewis. The groomsmen wore morning suits from Moss Bros.

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We had two traditional classic cars for us and the bridesmaids from Caremore Cars in St Helens, Merseyside.

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I carried a bouquet of white roses from Cocoa Flower in Chester. Andy is from Yorkshire so we wanted the white rose to be our main wedding flower.

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I loved our ceremony.  It felt a very calm and peaceful part of the day and all that was important was us and the vows. It was lovely to hear my nephew and our good friend reading our chosen pieces – it was all very special.

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My Gran had passed away earlier that year so I dedicated a page to her in the Order of Service I made, which showed just what an important part of the day she would have been (and still was).

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Vickerstaff Photography provided us with photographic memories we can keep for the rest of our lives.

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In keeping with the theme, my chief bridesmaid and I made blue Tiffany boxes and filled them with American sweets such as Hersheys Kisses. Andy’s sister made us the most amazing New York themed table plan, and my sister made the cravats and fur wraps.  I was addicted to notonthehighstreet.com for lots of the little touches.

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We went to Barbados for our honeymoon – a bit of a change from our Winter theme!  We had an amazing time and came home a few days before Christmas.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to keep taking a step back. I got caught up in worrying about my dress for a while – “is the train too long – what will people think?” I stepped back and realised that with this particular decision, the only opinion that mattered was my own.  Just enjoy the occasion and the preparation and have confidence in the reason you chose things in the first place – it was because you loved it and that’s what matters.

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Congratulations Louise & Andy!

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Get in touch (and here’s how) to see your own Real Wedding featured on these pages.  I’d love to hear from you!

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  – Images © 2013 Vickerstaff Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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