August 11th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon we join Sarah & Paul for their sun-drenched, monochrome, marquee celebration in the Lake District. The happy couple kept proceedings classy and sharp before tearing up the dance floor!
With images by Mick Cookson Photography.
Sarah says: We got engaged in August 2013 at The Waterhead Hotel, Coniston. Paul took me away for the weekend as a surprise (as I had spoken about how beautiful the Lake District is). He proposed to me on a small pier over Lake Coniston.
We were married on 17th May 2014. We chose May as it always seems to be nice weather that month! We chose Silverholme Manor or the Graythwaite Estate as they allow you to do whatever you like and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous!
Our theme was music – a passion that Paul & I share! We chose a classy, simple black and white colour scheme.
I chose a fishtail, ivory lace wedding dress from The Wedding Factory Outlet in Bolton. I fell in love with the shape of the gown and it’s open back.
I carried a bouquet of Picasso cala lilies from Deborah’s Florist, and our table decorations were vintage birdcages with floral designs inside them.
Mick Cookson was our photographer. I would definitely recommend him as he takes beautiful, amazing pictures and I didn’t notice him all day. He made feel completely at ease.
For me, seeing Paul’s face as I walked down the aisle was my favourite part. It made me feel complete and full to burst of love.
Our wedding cake was a three tier sponge, decorated with a cascade of roses and lilies from Sugar Ruffles in Barrow-In-Furness.
For our wedding breakfast we used Karen Rhodes Catering. The food was all locally sourced and of very high quality.
James Fletcher Marquee Hire provided our marquee, they were so professional during the lead up to the wedding and when setting up. The black and white dance floor was a must have!
After the wedding they went to St Lucia for a week and stayed at Ansi Chastenet. It was complete paradise! We lounged on the beach all week.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to worry too much about your plans, it will all work out on the day!
Congratulations Sarah and Paul!
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