February 2nd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
For today’s real wedding, we’re escaping to the serene and picture-perfect backdrop of the National Wildflower Centre for Hannah and Leon’s special day.
After seven years together, the couple said ‘I do’ at Runcorn Town Hall before celebrating with family and friends in the unconventional Wildflower Centre, set in the 35 acre Victorian Court Hey Park, for a wedding with a boho twist.
There are so many wonderful and heartfelt touches to this wedding – from the couple’s ‘posh’ picnic and specially crafted cocktails, to their handmade decorations and blessings in the pretty surroundings of a meadow.
With images by Hayley Blackledge Photography
hannah says: We got engaged on our first real Christmas living together. We had opened all our gifts and Leon said he had forgotten one, so he went to get it while I opened my last gift. I turned around and there he was on one knee. He did the traditional full name and full question – it was perfect. My last gift was a Westlife album of all “our songs” from when we first started going out as kids. On the back, he had written me a full proposal that I could keep forever.
We were married on 30th July 2016, exactly one week after our seven-year anniversary. Leon is a teacher so we wanted the wedding to take place while he was off school, which meant this date was perfect.
We had two separate venues for our wedding day. The first was Runcorn Town Hall for the ceremony, and the reception was hosted at the National Wildflower Centre in Liverpool. The first time we visited, we walked through the wildflowers, explored the park and sat by the pond with my parents and sister, and we fell in love with the place. I noticed a tiny poster offering venue hire for events and we never looked back once we were given the price. Our parents were married in Runcorn Town Hall so it held a lot of sentimental value for us. Plus, it’s very beautiful.
We didn’t aim to have a theme, but ended up with a laid-back posh picnic – quite a mix! We wanted to create a beautiful space and that meant the right decorations rather than one set theme or colour.
The colour theme grew over time and became much more relaxed the closer we got to the big day. We started with navy (Leon’s suit), white (my dress) and peach (bridesmaid dresses). Over time we added gold, greens, wood tones, pinks and other pastel colours in the same shade. It looked great!
When it came to my outfit, I didn’t want to look like the “classic bride” and wanted something a touch more vintage and boho. There was one store on Bold Street in Liverpool, Cherry Blossom Boutique, which I tried to call into at least three times. Every time I called over, I’d mistimed it. I managed to make it along one afternoon though and found my dress. I tried two dresses on and then there it was: my Gino Cerruti. The full-length gown had an illusion neckline, a waist synching band and low back, and was covered in hoops of clear beads. I paired my dress with chunky heeled T-bar New Look shoes and a handmade veil from my nan. I then swapped my heels for white flats for most of the day.
Leon wore a navy three-piece suit, with a waistcoat of a different texture from Next. He teamed this with a white shirt with handmade Marvel Spiderman cufflinks and socks, and a pink tie from Burton, with a pink pocket square. To complete his ensemble, he wore brown brogues from Tesco and a squirrel silver tiepin.
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October 29th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
No matter what the weather outside, Joy and Mike’s pretty yellow wedding is guaranteed to brighten up your day.
Keeping things local, Joy and Mike chose to tie the knot in their local church followed by a quaint village hall wedding reception complete with reams of bunting!
Overall the décor and styling choices make for a bright and beautiful big day!
With images by Jemma King Photography.
joy says: We got engaged 26th August 2013 near Bridlington in front of our six-month-old son. We had a day out together that was almost identical to our first date then just before home time Mike popped the question!
We got married 26th April 2014. We wanted to get married ASAP but also wanted a spring wedding. Thinking back I was probably nuts as it was my son’s first birthday and my 30th birthday all in that month! It was a very busy few weeks!
We got married at Skirlaugh church, East Ridings, which is in the village we have lived in for the last five years. We even used the village hall for our reception – so it was a proper local affair!
As we were doing everything ourselves at the venue, we kept the theme pretty rustic with a sense of village hall charm. We had a tea urn in the small room, bunting and pompoms all around but then somethings I wanted to keep pretty traditional, like candelabras – so the theme was quite loose really.
I love the colour yellow so much and had seen yellow and grey wedding before and had admired it. I knew we would use it at our wedding. I had a themed Pinterest board for about two years before we were even engaged!
I bought my dress from Elite in Hull. It was the only thing we didn’t scrimp on! It wasn’t one I wanted to try on but my bridesmaid made me and we both fell in love with it and cried! It came home with me the very same day!
I feel so bad saying this but Mike’s suit was a wool suit from H&M – my dress cost 20 times more than it! The groomsman wore same suit as Mike.
The church and hall were just round the corner from each other so for transport we borrowed our friend’s vintage MG called ‘Gatsby’ for our wedding car and Mike drove it out of the village for our photos in the countryside.
Jemma King (who is a superstar) was our photographer! We had met a few times before as our young boys are born within days of each other. Jemma is so professional but also just so easy to get on with and on a day as important as your wedding day it really made a difference that we were comfortable with her. I would recommend Jemma to anyone, her photos are beautiful snapshots of moments rather than stuffy staged shots.
My bouquet was from Daisy Chain, based in Skirlaugh. I was quite specific in the flowers I wanted and the colours and the florist there did exactly what I wanted.
I did the other flowers myself. As it was April I bought about 30 bunches of daffodils from Tesco! The only issue was timing it just right as they took a few days to open so I practised for a few weeks before making sure I went and bought then on the right day so they would be fully open for the Saturday of the wedding. The bridesmaids carried daffodils too, which I tied with lovely ribbon and pearl topped pins. I also made around 80 Pompoms for the venue and borrowed 100 meters of bunting from a friend. Lots of the decor was begged and borrowed or made!
My amazing friend and bridesmaid Bridie, made our wedding cake for us! Superstar! We had three different tiers: vanilla, chocolate and lemon.
For our wedding breakfast we had a hog roast and then a hot buffet on the evening. We didn’t want a formal sit down dinner. To drink – prosecco of course, my favourite!
We didn’t have a budget for entertainment so instead we had a Spotify playlist collaborated by our guests in the months leading up to the wedding. My friend lent us all the sound equipment. We also had a photo booth, which proved a great hit!
The village hall was fantastic and so we would definitely recommend it to other couples! A huge blank canvas of space but you have to be prepared to work hard to put it together.
My favourite part of the wedding was getting to spend the day with all my favourite people in the world – it was just amazing!
As we have a young son we just went for a few days to the Lake District on honeymoon following the wedding. We got upgraded to an amazing suite and it was bliss!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to try and enjoy the day itself! All the planning and work that goes into it, and then it goes in a blink of an eye!
April 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today on the wedding blog we’re heading to one of my favourite parts of the country to relive Mikki and Mark’s wonderful big day.
This stylish couple hired an entire venue in the Lake District for their intimate celebration that brimmed with elegance, class and romance.
I especially love that Mikki and Mark chose to have one big banqueting table for their wedding meal to make it more like a relaxed family affair than a formal occasion.
Oh, and can we all just take a minute to admire those fabulous flowers. Just lovely.
mikki says: We got engaged on 2nd October 2013 when we were on holiday in Menorca (which is our special place to relax). After a beautiful day lying on the beach having a picnic we went for a meal in a seafood restaurant at the top of a hill. We had the whole place to ourselves and Mark proposed in between courses. I couldn’t believe it, I was so overwhelmed. Obviously I said yes straight away.
We chose the 6th December for our wedding. I absolutely love winter and I thought it would be such a magical time for a wedding. I loved the thought of lots of candles and romantic lighting and what better time of year for that!
We got married at Broadoaks Country House in Windermere, Lake District. We love the lakes so much and it’s always a place we like to go. When we went to view the venue we knew straight away it was the one. It was perfect for the intimate wedding we were after. We hired the whole place which meant the whole wedding party could stay over.
We wanted the day to feel warm and welcoming. We didn’t have a theme as such but I wanted it to be romantic. The style was very romantic and our flowers were ivory and blush roses with gypsophila free flowing around the table surrounded by lots of candles. As we wanted an intimate setting we decided to have a banquet table so everyone was sat together.
Our colour scheme was navy, grey and blush. We picked it because it was quite a wintery combination and the blush just added a girly and warm touch.
My dress was from 7th Heaven Bridal in Congleton and the designer was Justin Alexander. It was a lovely lace mermaid gown that has a bateau neckline. It came with a detachable train with matching appliques which Helen from 7th Heaven turned into a veil for me.
Mark wore a navy three piece lounge which was from Marks & Spencer and the groomsmen wore navy suits too to tie in with him.
On the morning of the wedding I got ready at the Macdonald hotel in Windermere along with my bridesmaids. When it was time to go to the wedding venue my father-in-law drove me and my dad in his car. It was a nice touch to begin the day. My sister-in-law’s husband drove the bridesmaids.
Our photographers are very good friends of ours, Evie and Jamie Wroe from Chapter Photography. It was the obvious choice for us, their work is amazing and they make you feel so relaxed and comfortable.
My flowers were a mix of ivory and blush roses with gypsophila running through by Red Floral Architecture – again, an obvious choice for us as I love their work so much.
Red Floral Architecture also did out the whole wedding venue with flowers and decorations. We had a banquet table which was full of roses and gypsophila and lots of floating candles. It was such a stunning table, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Some of our friends call us M&M (Mark & Mikki) so we thought it would be funny to actually get personalised M&M chocolates for our favours. We also has a mini Laurent Perrier Champagne for everyone.
Caroline of Caroline’s Cake Company did our cake. We couldn’t decide which flavour to have as they all tasted so good. In the end we had three flavours: ginger, lemon and chocolate. We had lots of cupcakes and a traditional top tier.
As a little extra we had a sweet table go alongside the wedding cupcakes and instead of a guest book we had a signing frame. Next to these we had pictures of our parents from the day they got married.
In the evening we hired a DJ for our entertainment. We also wanted to add a little something different to the evening so we went with a cartoonist called Robin Grenville-Evans to draw all of our guests. This went down really well as everyone had something to remember the wedding by.
We would absolutely recommend our venue to anyone who wants a magical romantic feel to their wedding. It’s great for small wedding parties like ours as you can hire the whole place. It’s like having your own private house. I also would recommend all of our suppliers as they were all so, so helpful. My hair piece was custom made from Ann McKavney Eleventh Heaven, Love Gets Sweeter did our videography, Flossy and Leigh did our hair and makeup andSteve Lewis was our DJ.
The day was so perfect I don’t think I could actually pick one part that was my favourite. Obviously marrying my best friend was a pretty special part!
We haven’t had our main honeymoon yet, we are going to Dubai and the Maldives in May. We had a minimoon the day after the wedding. We went to Loch Lomond in Scotland for three nights. It was just a complete chill out, we went to the spa and ate lots of lovely food. It was a great time just to sit back and relax after all the planning. It is a special place to us as it’s the first place Mark ever took me when we were dating, so we thought it perfect to be the first place we go as a newly married couple.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be something that a lot of people told me to do – take a minute to look around at everything on the day and take it all in. It’s surprising what you don’t see because you’re on such a high! This really was a great tip. Also take time out, just five minutes or so with your husband, again to take it all in. The day really does go so fast, I didn’t want it to end!
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