December 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Initially setting out with no set wedding theme, the inspiration for today’s featured celebration was triggered by the couple’s choice of venue. Reminding Aimee and Simon of a swanky speakeasy, the stunning art nouveau style of The Belle Époque in Cheshire, provided all the bridal inspo this pair could need for their special day.
In preparation for the party to come, the bride and groom named each table after a gin or whisky cocktail, placing their guests’ names into corks to create place settings, and also treated everyone to a shot of elderflower gin, sloe gin or whisky.
It wasn’t all about the tipples though – there are plenty of wonderful details and throwbacks to look out for, including a kitsch VW campervan and old vinyl – a quirky guestbook idea if ever we saw one. As for the chalkboard style cake – this is simply divine! We’ll pass the blog over to Aimee now though to talk us through all the fabulous day…
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Slice of Pie Photography.
aimee says: We got engaged in Venice, in September 2014. Simon later told me that he had planned to propose at Christmas but brought it forward when we booked Venice. We had been out to dinner that night when Simon suggested heading back to the hotel early. I was initially reluctant, as I wanted to soak up as much as Venice as I could but was easily persuaded when he said there would be cake, prosecco and a bubble bath! Whilst relaxing in the bath (feeling totally spoilt at this point!) he gave me his iPod and asked me to listen to a song he had recorded. I’d heard him play guitar many times before but had never heard him sing. He had written the most beautiful song about our relationship. The last line was ‘so Aimee will you be my wife?’ At this point Simon had made his way back into the bathroom and was down on one knee. He had even been to my parents’ house and collected the ring box that my grandma’s engagement ring was in because he knew how much I cherished her. It was perfect and to say I was surprised was an understatement – I had absolutely no idea!
We tied the knot on Sunday 7th August 2016. We’d both decided early on that we’d like to get married in the summer and that date was available.
The ceremony took place at St Mary the Virgin Church in Leigh, which is our local church. Simon’s mum used to ring the bells there when she was a young girl.
We chose The Belle Époque as the venue for the reception. We both wanted something a little different from your traditional wedding venue. Within seconds of visiting The Belle Époque we gave each other a look and we knew it was the right choice for us.
Initially we didn’t set out to have a theme and just wanted our wedding to be filled with things that we both liked. However, we were inspired by the art nouveau style of The Belle Époque and how it reminded us of an old speakeasy so we definitely styled a lot of our wedding around this.
We didn’t set a specific colour scheme. We just wanted soft colours that complemented each other. In the end it was a mixture of blues, greys, pinks and purples. We actually had lots of compliments afterwards about how well everything matched!
September 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Hold onto your hats, guys and get ready for a slice of complete and utter gorgeousness: Jenna and Ollie’s big day at the stunningly quirky Bellle Epoque in Knutsford has everything you need to get through to the weekend. There are flowers galore, a sublime earthy palette of woodland green and rich amethyst and the most beautiful lace dress courtesy of Louise Selbey – the sweetest combination of classic and edgy cool. All the superlatives and all the italics.
As if I couldn’t be more envious, Jenna and Ollie met in a LIBRARY (be still my beating heart) and love to travel, travel, travel, so there’s no surprise that books, maps and beautiful calligraphy feature heavily. If you’re a details gal, you’re in for a treat.
The couple say they fell in love with Knutsford’s charm and The Belle Epoque’s character as soon as they walked in, and sampling their sumptuous menu sealed the deal. We can totally see what they mean – these natural shots from Ginger and Lime Photography of the couple hiding in doorways, the bride posing in her sunnies and the party spilling out onto the street have got our hearts pumping, too.
With images by: Ginger and Lime Photography.
jenna says: Ollie and I got engaged on Boxing Day in December 2015 outside my Mum’s house in Selsey, West Sussex. He’d planned to pop the question down by the beach after a walk, but I’d insisted on going the shorter way back though the village. It was perfect anyway!
We got married on July 8th 2017. We knew we wanted a summer wedding as we really wanted some outside space and I’m much more of a fair weather person!
We had our ceremony and reception at The Belle Epoque. We fell in love with Knutsford, the building’s character and its outside terrace. Food was a big part of it, too: The Belle Epoque’s menu was right up our street, plus it offered the flexibility that we wanted.
In terms of a theme, books and travel featured heavily in our wedding. Books because Ollie and I met in the library, and travel because for three years we were back and forth most weekends between Chester and Surrey. We also have some amazing memories from our holidays and liked the idea of featuring those.
Our colours were green and purple because they complimented The Belle Epoque’s quirky interior and it allowed us to work with the foliage and flowers that we liked best.
My wedding dress was by Louise Selby based in Kew. One of my best friends from school, Sophie Heaven, is a talented embroiderer who made us a really special hand-embroidered ‘Cards’ sign for our card basket. She’d previously worked with Louise and told me about her sample sale. I was astonished that my Mum and I actually agreed on my choice! It was such a gorgeous mix of classic and modern, is made from the most beautiful lace and I just felt super comfortable in it.
The groomsmen wore matching blue trousers and blue waistcoats from Moss Bros. My bridesmaids wore amazing twist and wrap dresses from Isabella Bridal. We can’t recommend them enough: they’re so comfortable and flattering, great quality and they come in one size which was perfect as my bridesmaids were travelling from all over including, err, Indonesia!
April 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s bride Zoe was aiming for ‘1940s film starlet’ for her vintage wedding day look. After seeing these photographs, we’re sure you’ll agree that she smashed it. With her tea-length dress, birdcage veil and amazing Ingrid Bergman-esque ‘do’, she looks every inch the glamourous bride.
Retro vibes permeate every aspect of this gorgeous wedding, from the live music to the rich colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the stunning floral arrangements. Full marks, guys!
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re also touched by Zoe’s advice to brides-to-be: look into your partner’s eyes and not the registrar’s (!), and get thee to a Brides Up North wedding fair. Who are we to disagree?!
With photography by Kate McCarthy Photography
zoe says: We got engaged in Venice at 5.30am on a bridge in Canaregio on 7th May 2016. We’d always wanted to have a two-week holiday in Italy with a week in Venice then a week in Tuscany. We arrived on the Friday and got a water taxi (a complete treat, but obviously Chris knew he was going to propose on holiday whereas I had no clue!)
We love seeing a city wake up, so got up early on the Monday to go and walk round the beautiful streets. We started to cross the bridge right by our apartment and Chris caught my hand, stopped me and said, “Do you love it here?” I replied “Yes, of course” and he then got down on one knee – at which point I started grinning madly! And then he said “Great – in that case, would you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?” and produced the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring! At this point I wanted to shout “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!” quite loudly but remembered no one else was awake. Instead, we skipped (literally) down the street grinning our heads off!
Our wedding was planned for 10th February 2017. We wanted to get married quickly but still have some time to plan. We were extremely flexible and so chose our location and then saw what they could offer us – they had this particular Friday free and so we booked it!
Our venue was The Belle Epoque in Knutsford. We had quite a tick list – we wanted somewhere unusual and quirky, with a dancefloor and room for a band but also somewhere with a separate room so that people could sit down and talk. Chris doesn’t dance and so wanted to be able to go around and speak to everyone. I visited it with my mum and, walking in, I was immediately excited; it has a lovely feel, is full of art deco art and pieces, it has a huge welcoming fireplace and the bar is straight in front as you walk in. I spied a room off this entrance with tables and chairs in, so immediately thought that was a tick. We then went upstairs to the dining area which was set up for a wedding – I actually gasped! They had twisted willow and flowers and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling and huge tall vases of flowers, vibrant, rich, opulent colours and gorgeous iris-patterned wallpaper. I was a little bit teary and knew this was the place.
Our theme was a bit vintage and Peaky Blinders, I suppose. I love vintage dresses and wanted to look like a 1940s film star. We didn’t have a colour-scheme as such, but we chose deep reds, purples and pinks for the bridesmaids and flowers. I wanted the bridesmaids to choose their own dress and style but with a vintage theme. I wanted them to be able to wear them again and really enjoy choosing their own dresses!
For my dress, I knew I wanted something in a vintage style from the 40s/50s and tea-length. I started to look on Pinterest and came across a dress that I loved, so went onto the designer’s website and found a local stockist. I went to Puure in Lymm and Angie, the owner, saw me. I tried the dress I’d seen on and liked it but she insisted I try on more – and I was happy to oblige! After another one, she bought a dress out that I looked at and my heart started to beat faster even though it was full-length and had no sleeves! She fastened me up and explained it could be made-to-measure, adjusted to tea length and have three-quarter sleeves fitted. I looked at myself and felt fantastic. My mum grinned and I had a little tear! That was it. It was ivory satin – so rich and so many sumptuous folds of gorgeous material! It had a little belt with a sparkly diamante square buckle, a fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a net top with tiny sparkles on. I had so many lovely compliments. Angie and her team and Sonya, the seamstress were absolutely incredible and made me feel like a 1940s film star on my day!
I wanted my hair setting in a vintage style and so booked the amazing Ewa Baberska, hair and makeup artist, to finish the look. Suzie Taylor was my makeup artist and she was great. I wanted a very natural look as I don’t wear much and she did exactly that, yet made me look fab.
For my headpiece I also wanted something vintage and had met Kaye Hannabuss of Kaye Hannabus Textiles at a networking meeting. We got chatting and I asked her if she would be able to make me something. She made me a fabulous vintage-inspired headpiece with a birdcage veil, a smartie base and a bow. For the evening, she made me a gorgeous hair slide with beads and pearls and diamante. Kaye works with Harris Tweed and so Chris was interested in talking to her about his and Holly’s waistcoats.
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November 4th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
This afternoon we’re sharing with you a magical 1920s inspired wedding set against the stunning art nouveau backdrop of The Belle Epoque, in Knutsford, Cheshire, where will be hosting one of our fabulous Luxury Wedding Fairs THIS Sunday. So ladies, if you like what you see, be sure to register for the free-entry event now and join us for what is set to be a really inspiring day with some of the area’s finest wedding suppliers.
The Belle Epoque certainly captured the hearts of today’s couple, Hayley and Tim, who chose to tie the knot at the gorgeous boutique hotel on their nine-year anniversary.
Dressed in an elegant Mark Lesley long-sleeved gown, Hayley’s vintage look perfectly complemented the venue’s plush art deco setting, and set the tone for their special day.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
hayley says: We got engaged last year whilst celebrating my birthday at a beautiful hotel in the Lakes. Unbeknown to me, Tim had asked my mum and dad for their blessing and bought me a gorgeous ring. We walked for hours, taking in the scenery and then chilled in our hot tub on a private terrace overlooking Lake Windermere and drank champagne. When it was time to get ready for dinner, I went inside the room to get ready. I noticed Tim had gone back out onto the terrace. The curtains were drawn so I couldn’t see outside. When I pulled them back I saw he’d lit candles everywhere and scattered roses around the little box with the ring inside. He got down on one knee and I burst out laughing with shock (poor Tim!). I made him sweat for a few minutes before saying yes.
We got married on 18th June 2016. Given my well-known tendency for bargain hunting, I called the venue and asked for the best summer date they could offer at the best price and this was the date they offered. Very unromantic… until Tim pointed out it would be our nine-year anniversary! He initially thought I’d picked the date for that reason, until I confessed it was just a sweet coincidence!
We knew we wanted an informal venue, all under one roof – we were certain of that. The location was the tricky part. Initially we looked abroad, as we both love the sunshine and a more relaxed setting. But with two small children and a large family, we eventually decided to stay in the UK. Top of our UK list was a vineyard in Cornwall. Cornwall has a special place in our hearts, as does wine. But the place itself was a bit of a ‘work in progress’ as far as venues go. It had lots of potential but wasn’t quite there yet. We were really glad we made the effort to go down and see it though, rather than just judge it from the online photos (top tip to any future brides!).
November 1st, 2016 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon’s real wedding took place at the stunning Belle Epoque boutique hotel in the gorgeous town of Knutsford, Cheshire, where we just so happen to be holding one of our fabulous Luxury Wedding Fairs THIS SUNDAY. So ladies, if you like what you see register here to attend the event, which will feature some of the area’s very finest wedding suppliers whilst showcasing the unique venue! We’ll be open 11am to 3pm and it’s free entry for all, so be sure to bring along the groom, maids and parents too!
We love that today’s bride and groom styled the venue with pretty rustic details and delicate blush blooms, perfectly demonstrating how The Belle Epoque’s spectacular spaces work beautifully with a variety of different themes and colour schemes.
Now, on with the pretty…
With images by Kate Williams Photography.
kate says: We got engaged in August 2014. We were on a road trip through California. We had just climbed to the top of a waterfall in Yosemite and that’s where Dan popped the question!
Our wedding date was 6th August 2016. Dan is a teacher so we wanted it during the summer holidays, we were also hoping for a warm day, and luckily we had great weather!
We had a church ceremony in Warrington, followed by a reception at The Belle Epoque, in Knutsford. We chose The Belle Epoque as we loved all the décor and it has a beautiful terrace to sit out on. The hotel is also yours for the day, we liked that it was private.
We went with a rustic theme for the wedding. We made our invitations using Kraft card and carried this theme through in terms of the table plan and favours etc. We also had logs on the tables, which were underneath crates made by my dad that were holding flowers.
The colour scheme was blush pink and creams, with the groomsmen in navy blue. I had seen lots of flowers I really liked in blush pink and thought it was the perfect colour for the time of year.
November 1st, 2016 | Julia Braime
We’re concluding our sparkling autumn 2016 run of Brides Up North events with two sensational shows this weekend #excitedmuch?! We’ve already told our North East readers about our exclusive showcase at Lartington Hall (click here) but North West ladies, we’re finishing our season in style your way too! Brides Up North is on tour this Sunday 6th November 2016, 11am till 3pm, FREE ENTRY with one aim only: to bring a whole lot of beautiful to our bride to be readers, and send you home excited and inspired, VIP Media Pack in hand.
This chocolate-box-perfect, foodie gem of a wedding venue, The Belle Epoque in the heart of beautiful Knutsford is the perfect destination for your intimate wedding day. We’ve filled its stunning spaces with over 20 of the area’s finest exhibitors, and we’re set for a day to perfect all the details! Register now.
bride to be?
To pre-register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack (full of treats and glossy mags), simply follow the link below. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack upon entry to Lartington Hall. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.
In today’s feature, we speak to our beautiful host venue to find out more about their unique wedding day offering and stellar service. But hey, come along and find out for yourself this Sunday…
Where is The Belle Époque located?
We are located in the heart of the stunning market town of Knutsford, Cheshire with lots of parking and accommodation surrounding us.
Tell Brides Up North about your beautiful venue?
The Belle Époque is a family owned business and has been in the Mooney family for the last 43 years. We are a unique intimate venue with the personal touch.
From the warmest of welcomes in an incredibly dramatic bar – think Italian glass mosaic floor, original copper Art Nouveau fireplaces, sumptuous red leather upholstery or in the warmer months our incredible Mediterranean roof garden – hosting a wedding or special event has never been more stylish and relaxing than at The Belle Époque. In addition, we have seven beautiful hotel rooms and stunning civil ceremony rooms. We are fully licensed for civil ceremonies including our outdoor area.
What makes The Belle Époque a special wedding venue?
The Belle Époque is the perfect location for your stylish and individual wedding day. The ceremony room is the most romantic setting, with the option to have the room candle lit. The beautiful dining rooms come ready dressed with stunning table centre pieces, or you may choose to dress the venue in your own style.
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