September 2nd, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Ladies prepare to block out your diaries for the next month as we have news of a host of fabulous events set to take place at The Harrogate Wedding Lounge and The Bridal Collection, throughout September.
Located in the gorgeous Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate, the two beautiful boutiques feature stunning wedding dress collections from a number of the top British and International designers, making them a must-visit during a bride’s dream dress search.
Owned by the lovely Hayley Hoyle, a good friend and Sponsor of Brides Up North, visiting brides can be sure of top customer service and first-class styling advice in their pursuit for that one special dress.
Better still, over the next month ladies can save money on a dress, receive expert advice on their accessories and try on some very exclusive designs during a line-up of exciting boutique events, which include sample sales, accessory events and a Jenny Packham trunk show. We said to block out your dairies!
Here to fill us in on all the details is the lovely Hayley…
When will the sample sale events be taking place at The Harrogate Wedding Lounge and The Bridal Collection, and what can brides expect from them?
hayley says: Our upcoming sample sales will take place between Saturday 3rd September and Friday 9th September and will provide a fantastic opportunity for brides-to-be to find their dream gown at a discounted price.
At The Harrogate Wedding Lounge we have an amazing selection of dresses in the sample sale from designers such as Maggie Sottero, Sottero and Midgley, Justin Alexander, Justin Alexander Signature, Enzoani, Blue by Enzoani and Raimon Bundó. Gowns will start from as little as £400!
At the Bridal Collection we have some iconic British designers’ gowns heading into our sample sale such as Jenny Packham, Suzanne Neville, Caroline Castigliano, Sassi Holford and Ian Stuart as well as picks of some top international labels, such as Badgley Mischka and Claire Pettibone. We have some fantastic discounts and our sample gowns will be priced between £550 and £3,500.
All of the dresses going into our sale are sample gowns, this means that they have been tried on by brides-to-be. The condition of our sample dresses varies; some are new collection dresses that are in excellent condition and others have been well-loved and tried on. A selection of the sample sale dresses are discontinued gowns, however many dresses are going into the sale simply to make more room for the stunning new collections we have coming into the boutiques!
What sizes of dresses can brides expect to find at the sample sales and how much could the save on the cost of a dress?
We have lots of amazing discounts on our sample dresses. The discounts will start at 20% and go up to an incredible 70% off!
At The Harrogate Wedding Lounge our sample sizes are between an 8 and 16, while at The Bridal Collection our sample sizes are between an 8 and 14.
Please note that the majority of our dresses are between a size 10 and 14. If you have any enquires in regards to the sizes of our samples please don’t hesitate to get in contact.
Do you have any tips or advise to brides who wish to attend the sample sales?
Take a look on our website and social media pages to gain a good insight into what types of dresses you are likely to find at the sample sale. Study the designers that we stock and make notes of any particular styles or dresses that are standing out. We advise brides to have tried dresses on prior to attending a sale event and to have a clear understanding of what it is they are looking for in their dream dress. As the sale is a first come, first serve it is for brides who are ready to find their perfect dress at an amazing price. We advise that you bring along to your appointment the one person who you wish to be there when you make that big decision, whether this is mum, relative or your maid of honour. We wouldn’t want you to miss out on your dress or make a decision without them. It’s going to be a busy week and space may be limited so we do ask that you only bring up to three people to your appointment.
You will also be hosting exclusive accessory events at both boutiques, can you tell us when these will be taking place and what will be in store?
On Thursday 15th September we are holding an accessories evening at The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. We will have an extensive selection of accessories for you to admire ranging from headpieces and veils to that perfect pair of sparkly bridal shoes. Charlotte from Charlotte Mills bridal shoes will also be here to showcase her new collection to the boutique – an amazing opportunity for brides to choose their wedding shoes with the designer herself. Our bridal stylists will also be on hand throughout the event to assist you on styling your own individual look for the big day.
Our accessory evening at The Bridal Collection will take place on Wednesday 21st September. At The Bridal Collection we are extremely proud to stock the beautiful Emmy London Bridal Shoes. The attention to detail is amazing, with Swarovski crystals and pearls perfectly hand beaded onto soft suede. The designs range from classic and simple, to vintage and full on glitz and glamour, there is a piece for every bride.
When it comes to the all-important veil we work with the wonderful design team at Sassi Holford who bring us The Couture Veil. Couture Veil’s offer a wide variety of beautiful handmade veils. Soft and delicate vintage or English tulles, silks and a whole host of pretty edgings and scatters that perfectly complements your gown. We also have an extensive selection of beautiful hair pins, vines, tiaras and clips from Jenny Packham, Ivory & Co and Emmy, for that extra bit of sparkle.
Finally in September The Bridal Collection will be holding a Jenny Packham trunk show. Can you tell us a little about it?
The boutique will be holding the Jenny Packham trunk show on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th September, for brides to see the full 2017 collection before it arrives into boutiques. This two-day event will be a very exciting for brides-to-be who have long lusted over wearing a Jenny Packham gown as it will be one of the first opportunities to see the full 2017 collection straight off the international runways.
February 3rd, 2016 | Julia Braime
As the cold weather continues to bite, we’re bringing you a little piece of summer this afternoon in the form of Catriona and Pete’s oh-so-pretty wedding day.
Super-sweet and elegant from beginning to end, we love everything about this beautiful celebration. Highlights include Catriona’s stunning Jenny Packham gown, colourful blooms, dainty china and lots of cake!
With images by Tulip Photography.
catriona says: We got engaged on the 23rd January 2013, at Fountains Abbey. We always consider my 21st birthday to be the start of our relationship, the 23rd of January is Pete’s birthday so both birthdays are significant milestones for us. Prior to the proposal it had been snowing. When we arrived at Fountains Abbey and walked down into the ruins to find that we were the only people there. There is a ledge in one of the largest parts of the building and when we got to the top Pete got down on one knee, presented me with the most beautiful ring and asked me to marry him. I, of course, said yes! We enjoyed the rest of the day walking in the snow as a newly engaged couple and then went home to tell our families the exciting news.
We got married on the 19th July 2014. Pete particularly wanted a summer wedding and we have numerous teachers in our family so the start of the school summer holiday seemed like a natural fit. Pete also wanted to wait for the football World Cup to be over – to avoid any distracted guests! This gave us a year-and-a-half to plan the wedding, which I think is a reasonable time frame. A significant proportion of Pete’s family guests were traveling from Canada to join us and so the timing also allowed for an English summer holiday afterwards.
We got married at Saltmarshe Hall, which is near Howden, East Yorkshire. This is a lovely historic property, which has only recently become a wedding venue. We considered a few local venues and while they all offered different wedding packages, there were none that we felt fit with how we wanted our day to be. When we first went to Saltmarshe and met Kate, the owner, we felt really relaxed and she offered us a level of flexibility, which meant we could shape the entire day exactly as we wanted it to be, including bringing in our own catering and access to numerous rooms and their stunning gardens. We took our parents to look around and fortunately they shared our love of the venue as we had already made our minds up and booked it there and then.
July 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Where on earth to start with today’s real wedding, this one has it all!
Following a very romantic proposal (we like your style Mitchell) Emily and her beau decided on a glam winter wedding without a Santa in sight. Instead of a typical festive celebration colour scheme of red this pair went for a lavish palette of taupes, lilac, latte and gold, which looked stunning. To complete their setting vision for the big day they then enlisted the help of Red Floral Architecture to take care of the flowers and décor – and the result? Wow!
The high level of style is continued in Emily and Mitchell’s attire choices with the groom opting for a cool burgundy suit and bow tie and the bride falling for one of Ian Stuart’s most iconic dress designs to date – the fabulous Flower Bomb!
Prepare to take note ladies, there are lots of great special touches and tips in here too. Take it away Emily!
With images by Tim Simpson Photography.
emily says: Mitchell proposed on the 22nd of September 2013 in Filey, North Yorkshire. He asked me to meet him out on the boat house over the lake where we were staying. As I approached the boat house to my utter amazement Mitchell had arranged lots of lanterns and candles in and around the boat house and as I got nearer began to play Bruno Mars Marry You – the rest is history!
Our wedding date was 6th December 2014, which we chose as I have always wanted a winter wedding! There is something so glamorous and magical about winter and Christmas time! We 100% did not want a Christmas themed wedding but did want it near enough to Christmas that our guests would be feeling festive, magical and ready to party! We decided the first Saturday in December would be perfect.
Our wedding venue was Crow Hill in the beautiful unspoilt village of Marsden, Huddersfield. Both Mitchell and I fell in love with Crow Hill and couldn’t have found a better venue for the type of wedding we wanted to plan! We both have large close families with Mitchell’s family all living in London and so having somewhere to house all these guests the night before the wedding and the wedding night was vital for us! Crow Hill is a beautiful country house estate with accommodation for 32 guests across three beautiful properties! This enabled us to have all our close family, bridesmaids, best man etc. stay with us for two whole nights making it the ultimate wedding weekend! Serving a beautiful cosy supper on the Friday night around the open fire of the main property was just the perfect way to start our winter wedding weekend! Our guests could then flit between all properties making the whole thing so relaxed and with the definite ‘house party’ feel we wanted to achieve.
Crow Hill added with the amazing marquee provided a gorgeous, crisp, clean and glamorous space that was important to me when creating the feel for the reception. We didn’t want anything taking away from the decoration for the reception so a marquee was very important. The marquee at Crow Hill is huge with a chandelier gracing the draped ceiling, a built in modern and classy bar area all complete with bar tables, stools and a chic lounge area! Team the venue with beautiful scenery and amazing in-house chef it is just hands down the best venue for this type of wedding. We married in the equally fabulous St Bartholomew’s Church in Marsden village which also was incredibly important to Mitchell and I. A church as magnificent as St Bartholomew’s was just the icing on the cake when choosing this venue.
When it came to styling the wedding we had very definite ideas of what we wanted to achieve. We wanted a glamorous, glittering winter wedding without the ‘Christmassy’ theme. This included using tons of gold and champagne glitter, baroque style candle holders and tons of glamour. We wanted the style to feel really special but still tasteful with a magical, cosy and wintery feel. We decided having lots of twinkling candles, tons of textures and plenty of glitter was the way to achieve this. Our stylists Mat Hepplestone from Red Floral Architecture and Rebecca from Crow Hill where paramount in helping us achieve this!
The colour scheme for the wedding was always something I struggled with. Coming from an artistic background it was hard for me when people asked what is your colour scheme? And expected a one colour answer back! For us it was important to include various colours and tones and not just stick to one typical ‘wedding colour’. The colours included taupes, minks, dirty lilacs, creamy lattes and gold. We felt these colours helped us achieve the magical wintery feel without the usual red and green colours.
I wore an Ian Stuart dress for the wedding which was from the amazingly beautiful Bridal Collection in Harrogate. It was the Flower Bomb dress in Taupe with multi flowers and featured a sweetheart neckline encrusted in Swarovski crystals. The dress had a tight bodice with a dropped waist and then exploded into a skirt full of mixed tulle, flowers and silk with a large train. The dress was completed with a cathedral length waterfall veil and a grey/mink coloured cropped fur jacket. I first saw this amazing dress gracing the window of The Bridal Collection way before we were engaged! I instantly vowed that I would wear the dress for my wedding day and that one day I would get to go inside The Bridal Collection and experience the excitement and awe of all the blushing brides I could see inside. I kept my vow and the whole experience was so special. Trying on that dress for the first time years from when I first saw it was magical and I really did feel like a princess!
My hair and makeup artists on the day were the utterly amazing Flossy and Leigh. Head stylist Sam did me, my mum and bridesmaids’ hair and makeup for the wedding day. They then also touched my makeup up after photographs and before to ensure that I was looking my best. For the evening reception they then totally changed the style of mine, my mum’s and the bridesmaids’ hair and makeup. They are incredible and I couldn’t recommend them enough!
Mitchell wore an amazing suit bought from Next. It was an incredibly stylish, classy dinner suit in an aubergine/burgundy colour. It was then professionally tailored and finished off with a Thomas Pink shirt, matching bow tie and Ted Baker shoes. He wanted an old school Motown look with a modern twist.
The bridesmaids wore full length strapless lace gowns with rouched side and a glam split up the leg. These where bought online. They then wore faux fur stoles and gold glittering shoes! The little flower girls wore handmade tutu dresses made by myself which took inspiration from the Ian Stuart dress and were made from masses of soft tulle and adorned with sparkles and silk flowers! They carried small gold glitter handbags from Monsoon and finished with gold glitter tights and fur trimmed cardigans from Monsoon also.
The groomsmen meanwhile wore classic black dinner suits with aubergine/burgundy bow ties as did the page boys. These were all bought from Moss Bros.
For the big day we hired a glossy black Volkswagen camper van called Stanley, who stylishly transported the groom and groomsmen to the church and also the mother of the bride and the bridesmaids. We hired this beauty from Love Dub Campers, York – an amazing down to earth and friendly company. I travelled in a fabulously glam pale pink 1950s Cadillac hired from Cartwright Cars in Huddersfield, another amazing company! The car looked stunning against the crisp frost and really added to the glamour of the wedding. Both companies where especially fab as they even took guests back up to Crow Hill while we were having photographs, much to our guests’ delight!
Our photographers on the day were the amazing Tim Simpson Photography! We would hugely recommend these guys for their laid back, friendly and amazingly artistic style. They are just gorgeous lovely people who are so amazing at what they do! They are not invasive, they put you at instant ease, they mingle in with your guests capturing the true feel of the day and don’t waste time capturing boring structured traditional shots, instead putting their huge creative and artistic skills to perfect use and really getting those natural professional shots. We love Tim Simpson Photography and feel their connection and the team they have allows them to just cover absolutely everything that great wedding photography should.
My bouquet was designed to reflect the taupe shades of the Ian Stuart Flower Bomb bridal gown. The bouquet was a hand tied style made from masses of mink and taupe flowers including Quicksand, Sahara and Safi roses. The bouquet was accessorized with masses of pearls, crystals and diamantes to reflect the adornments on the bridal gown. Shards of tulle and birdcage veiling also featured throughout the design to reflect the skirt of the gown. The stem of the bouquet was finished with taupe material and finished with an amazing sparkling adornment. It was created and designed by Mat Hepplestone at Red Floral Architecture.
The styling in the marquee reception was also done by Mat at Red Floral Architecture and Rebecca at Crow Hill. The flower centrepieces were a mixture of designs including huge flower balls on ornate gold stands, huge blossom trees, beautiful boxed designs, tall cherub candle designs and a huge central piece which was suspended from the marquee chandelier and hung over the central table! Each design featured masses of roses in the chosen colours.
Each table was also adorned with hanging glass tea lights, hordes of flickering candles on a mixture of candle sticks and mercury glass holders, masses of flower petals and rose heads and each table had luxury linens draping in a mix of champagne and gold sequin cloths and designer bridal lace cloths. The chair covers matched these also with added satin fabric ties on some allowing us to achieve the mix of colours and textures that we really wanted. We also had huge light up letters saying ‘love’ and ‘dance’ provided by Typical Type. These added such drama and a wow factor to the marquee. We also had a light up monogram with our names projected onto the dance floor. Finally we had a tree for our table plan with hanging tags for our guests to find their tables and we had various ornate gold gilt frames around the reception encouraging people to Instagram/Facebook their wedding pictures using a hash tag unique to us.
We gave out favours to each of our day guests, these consisted of little mercury glass heart Christmas tree baubles. These were boxed in small lilac boxes and hand tied with a latte coloured ribbon and each finished with a pearl and diamanté embellishment, which were handmade and finished by Mitchell and myself.
We chose a six tier cake made and designed by Sarah Small at Choose Cake! Along with Sarah we designed and adapted the cake until it was perfect. It featured and ombré ruffle effect on the bottom tier, lace and brushed gold effects throughout the rest of the tiers including a monogrammed plaque with our initials. The final tier finished the cake off with cascading gold sequins and a large sugar paste flower arrangement to add to the overall theme of the wedding. The tiers included chocolate orange, white chocolate and red velvet flavours.
We had a reception welcome drink of hot winter Pimms for guests on arrival and a selection of gourmet canapés. Guests also had access to a hot chocolate bar with a winter lodge theme where they were served hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and various other toppings in takeaway cups monogrammed with our initials and wedding date. We also had a winter candy bar where guests could choose from traditional Scottish tablet hearts. Ferrero Rochers and eggnog lolly pops! The menu was created and provided by Tracy Keppie at Crow Hill who is amazing! The food is to die for and is honestly the best I’ve tasted! She is incredible!
We added quite a few special touches on the day including providing glittering flip flops for guests’ ‘dancing feet’ and a basket of blankets for guests to keep warm outside! We also had a DIY photo booth with a huge array of props for guests to create their own photo memories. At the end of the night each guest was handed a mini bottle of Baileys and a golden box of wedding cake to enjoy as a midnight taxi snack.
We also had makeup stand in the main house of Crow Hill for guests to go get their makeup ‘touched up’ which was provided by the fabulous Flossy and Leigh. Guests could get their eye makeup intensified, try a new lipstick and even have false lashes applied for a small cost. We also had toiletries in the toilets for guests to use to freshen up including deodorant, hair spray, dry shampoo, chewing gum, hair clips etc.
We would 100% recommend our venue to others! Crow Hill is an amazing venue with fabulous staff. They know exactly what they are doing and manage the whole day with a professionalism. The venue is perfect for the ‘house party’ style wedding weekend which is what we wanted. It’s a total gem of a venue that will totally wow your guests! It’s perfect!
Our favourite part of the day was standing at the alter and just taking in the sheer beauty of what was happening, it was a moment we will never forget. We felt so relaxed and serene at this point with an indescribable peace upon the both of us, so beautiful and our most treasured part of the day.
We went on our honeymoon on the Monday after the wedding to Vienna! I’m a complete Christmas lover and Vienna was so magical at that time of year! It was so romantic. We wrapped up in our warmest clothing and visited the amazing Christmas markets, sipping on sweet ameretto liquor punch, took a horse drawn carriage ride around the beautiful city, visited the glamorous hotel coffee houses and soaked up the festive atmosphere! We stayed in a suite at the famous Hotel Sacher and sampled the famous Sacher torte!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be marry as early in the day as you can! People always say the day goes by too fast and so I decided I wanted to get married as early as I could to ensure I actually had a wedding day rather than a wedding ‘late afternoon’.
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February 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Carla and Richard needed lots of space to accommodate their large guest list, but they didn’t have to compromise on the gorgeous details for their pretty wedding day near Preston.
A fresh & bright colour palette, beautiful blooms, a touch of twinkle and lots of surprises meant that Carla and Richard’s big day was one to remember.
With images by Samantha Broadley Photography.
carla says: We got engaged in June 2013. We were going on holiday to Mexico for 2 weeks and it was 6am and we were at home getting ready to drive to the airport. Richard sent me a Snapchat message of a ring in a box. It literally flashed on my screen for 1 second. I didn’t say anything as I thought he was winding me up. I asked him to help me fasten my suitcase and when I looked up he was down on one knee with the ring in his hand and asked me to marry him! It was such a lovely surprise proposing before we went away!
We got married at St.Peter’s Church, Quernmore, Nr. Lancaster on Friday 26th September 2014.
It is my family church, where I was christened, went to Sunday School and I went to the primary school next door. As soon as we got engaged I knew I had to get married in our family church. On the day, my emotions got the better of me and I cried the whole way down the aisle, it was such a special moment and a feeling I will never forget.
We were limited to venues, as we knew we had a large guest list and would need somewhere to accommodate 300 people. We visited The Villa at Wrea Green one Sunday morning without an appointment, the staff were so friendly and helpful from the first instance, and the function room and grounds were beautiful.
The Villa is the perfect venue for a wedding. The staff couldn’t do enough for us, not only on the day but also on the run up to the wedding and made our wedding feel very personal.
I’m not a girly girl, so I didn’t want pink, lacy decorations. We opted for a crisp white theme with a little bit of sparkle and a touch of duck egg blue.
I chose a Maggie Sottero A-line tulle dress from Butterfly Bridal in Lancaster. I tried lots of dresses on in numerous shops but kept going back to this particular dress. The 4th time I tried it on, I burst into tears and realised was the one. It was the complete opposite of what I had imagined I would choose, but I loved it and cried all the way home in the car, I was so happy!
Richard wore a slim-fit 3-piece navy suit from Butterfly Bridal in Lancaster, with a tie and brown tan shoes. He didn’t want a traditional morning suit and opted for a modern suit which all of his groomsmen would be comfortable in.
The bridesmaid dresses chose Mori Lee dresses from The Bridal Collection in Lancaster. The style suited all the girls and was very flattering of all their figures, I wanted to make sure they would be comfortable in their dresses so they could enjoy the day.
I carried a hand-tied posey of roses and calla lilies, in pale pinks, ivory and cream. The bridesmaids had a similar arrangement. These were supplied by The Flower Shop by Morgan at Garstang. They also provided the church flowers and flowers for the cake.
We hired 2 cars from Broughton Wedding Cars, a VW camper van for the bridesmaids and a Beauford Tourer as the bridal car.
However, Richard had booked a surprise helicopter to take us to the venue which he had only told his parents about. After the service, we drove off in our wedding car and stopped at his parent’s farm ‘for pictures’. As we pulled into the farm, I saw the helicopter in the field and couldn’t believe that he had arranged it for us. The flight was amazing as we flew over the church and along the coast to the venue. It was a surprise to all of our guests also, as we landed in the field outside The Villa!
The table centres and chair covers were from Linda at Sophisticated Events in St.Annes. We chose a white tree with white LED lights for the table centres. My Mum handmade the table plan from an old mirror, made wooden hearts for name places, the menu cards, card box and table name holders. She spent hours sticking tiny embellishments on everything but it all looked fabulous in the end! We used pictures of Richard and I at different ages for our table numbers to give a personal touch to each table.
We picked a simple white cake from Marks & Spencer, with 4 mixed tiers, and then decorated the ribbons ourselves to match the table plan.
Instead of wedding favours, we gave a donation of £150 to St. John’s Hospice in Lancaster, a place very close to our hearts as my Auntie was cared for there before she lost her battle with breast cancer a couple of years ago.
We used Samantha Broadley Photography.
Sam was the perfect wedding photographer, she was so friendly from our initial meeting and we got on so well with her. Sam had photographed a couple of my friend’s wedding in the summer we got engaged and was one of the first things I booked. I love her style of photo’s as they are very natural and capture intimate moments. On the day, we left it in Sam’s hands as we knew she would do a fantastic job and felt very relaxed.
Our videographer was Tom from Silk Wedding Films who did an unbelievable job of capturing our day on film. I originally didn’t want a videographer, but then I came across Tom’s website and instantly fell in love with his work. I cried at every film on his blog! I had a major Bridezilla moment and insisted that I had to have Tom film our day and I’m so glad I did as this is the best decision I made and our wedding film is epic!
Our band was called Bobby and Jemima aka Charlese and Matt, who describe themselves as ‘energetic, funk filled soul’. The dance floor was full all night and everybody has commented on how great they were.
My mother-in-law arranged a White LED sparkly dance floor for the evening reception as a surprise for Richard and I. It really added that final wow to the function room.
Apart from the surprise helicopter, my favourite part of the day was our photos we had taken at sunset. Our photographer found a farm lane and field with horses in behind the venue and took us out at sunset to capture some beautiful photographs. The colours in the pictures are unbelievable and I love how natural and happy we look. It was a perfect setting and something we hadn’t anticipated happening. If I could sum my wedding up in 3 words it would be ‘Husband, Helicopter and Horses’.
We went to Dubai for 3 nights and Mauritius for 10 nights on Honeymoon. We had a hectic 3 days in Dubai, taking in all the sights, it is such a fascinating city and we would highly recommend it. We then relaxed for 10 days at ‘Paradise Cove’, where we were treat like kings in a beachside suite. While in Mauritius we went on a trip where we walked with lions in the wild. This was an amazing experience as we walked alongside the lions that were free to roam where they wished.
As my husband always says that I’m the most organised person he knows, my tip to other Brides Up North would be to get organised as soon as possible. I had a monthly planner indicating what I had to do on the lead up to the wedding. This really helped me to make sure everything was booked and paid for when it needed to be and also so I didn’t forget anything in the few weeks beforehand when everything seems to happen all at once.
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August 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon wedding photographer Samantha Broadley finds herself on the other side of the lens, as she shares her bright and beautiful (destination) wedding in Manchester with Brides Up North.
With images by Victoria Franks Photography.
Samantha says: We were married on 26th July 2013. I’ve always wanted a summer wedding in the hope we might get some sunshine, and we did!
We tied the knot at Manchester Town Hall. Neither of us are from Manchester but it is where we met and where we have started our lives together, so Manchester will always have a special place in our hearts. As well as the exterior of the building the interior is beautiful and believe it or not, not a lot of people have been inside. None of our guests had a clue what it was like, so they were blown away with the grandeur of it all. The reception was at The Mere Golf Resort and Spa, just because it’s quite simply beautiful, and had all the facilities we wanted.
We didn’t have a specific theme, but a lot did revolve around Manchester. My invites and name cards for the tables all had Manchester skyline on them. Our table names were places we’d been together that were special, for example, Brooklyn Bridge as we walked across there for my 21st, Syndey ANZ Stadium as we watched Australia v New Zealand there (Ben’s a big rugby fan) and our top table was of course Manchester Town Hall.
Being a wedding photographer, I have seen lots of different colour themes and I wanted something different. I would have loved to get married abroad but our grandparents wouldn’t have been able to fly and it was important to us to have them there. I wanted to bring the brightness and boldness of a destination wedding to Manchester, so I chose shades of teal with coral and pink flowers.
I chose a Mori Lee dress from The Bridal Collection in Lancaster. I was torn between two dresses, both completely different. One had a lot of lace detail and was a fish tail, the other had more ruffles and had a sweet heart neckline. I decided to go for the ruffles as it reminded me of a Spanish flamenco dress, again bringing the abroad feel back in for me.
Ben wore a light grey three piece suit from Slaters in Manchester. We bought the suits instead of hiring them, after all he’s more likely to wear his suit again than I am to wear my dress.
The Bridesmaid dresses were from In Wedding Dress, I was very conscious of the price of the bridesmaids dresses as I had six attendants, so I spent a lot of time researching.
I’m not very good with flowers, knowing the names and what’s in season. I just found a few pictures of the sort of bouquet I liked, I showed the lovely florists my pictures and colour ideas at Lune Valley Home & Garden Florist and they came up with the rest. My trust in them was well placed my flowers were beautiful.
Decor wise, I bought paper lanterns which were hung in the trees outside in the garden at The Mere Golf Resort with fairy lights wrapped round the terrace. We dotted some vintage style tea light holders around the tables outside. We had table flowers included in our package and I just paid a bit extra to have a few more flowers added. The entertainment was more important to me rather than decorating the room.
For the ceremony and for the arrival drinks we booked a singer and guitarist called Rob Yates, I’ve seen him at a number of other weddings and I’ve always loved what he does.
We also had a singing waiter, Jamie Reeves. After being to so many weddings I know there can be a little lull after the desserts waiting for the speeches and this is when Jamie came in. He was a complete surprise to everyone especially as he’d been serving most of them earlier. Only Ben, my maid of honour and I knew about him, so to see everyone’s faces was so funny.
We knew what we wanted from the very beginning for our favours. Ben sadly lost his Dad when he was 11 to Cancer so instead of spending money on little presents for everyone we donated money to Cancer Research and we had the ribbon badges. It’s lovely looking back at the pictures as everyone’s wearing them so in a way it’s like Ben’s Dad was there.
Ben and I are known for having parties and making Vodka Jellies, so we couldn’t have the biggest party of our lives go without them. They were supposed to be welcome drinks for our evening guests but I don’t think they got a look in!
The transport was very important to me on the day and my dad let us use his pride and joy, his Mercedes SL convertible. I was praying for sunshine so we could have the roof down and it worked. My Dad drove me from The Mere Golf Resort where we got ready to the Town Hall, it was nice as we got time completely on our own. Then after the Ceremony Ben drove me back and my Dad had a ‘Just Married’ reg plate made for the photographs which was a nice surprise.
Being a photographer the photographs where at the top of my to do list so as soon as I had the venues booked the photographer was next, as I know how soon dates can go. I chose my friend Victoria Franks Photography. I was more than happy with the photographs. On the day she was amazing, it’s so important you get along with your photographer as you do spend a lot of time with them on the day, so it’s good to have someone you can feel relaxed and have a laugh with.
We loved all of it, but I thinkmy favourite moment was the first dance. When Ben proposed he also bought me tickets to see Coldplay at the Etihad in Manchester and it was amazing. We wanted to relive that experience for our first dance so chose ‘Paradise’. Everyone loved it and got involved, all the people you love on one dance first floor, perfect.
We went travelling in 2009 and one of the places we never got to was Malaysia so it was on the top of our list when it came to our honeymoon. As the weather over there isn’t great in July we went to Palma in Majorca for a mini moon for three nights the day after the wedding but I couldn’t wait for the main one. We went away for three weeks over Christmas and New Year. It was nice to have a break between the wedding and the real honeymoon, it meant it wasn’t all over straight away.
We started off in Kuala Lumpur for 3 nights, then over to Langkawi for 8 Days, Penang for Christmas, finishing it off in our favourite place for New Years Eve in Singapore. It was all amazing, if only every holiday could be like that.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make it as personal as you can, don’t get wrapped up in what a wedding ‘should be’ and do what you both want to do.
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January 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Yes I know. Last time I checked, Sandhurst Military Academy wasn’t in the North either. However, I still wanted to share this classy and beautiful Real Wedding with you this frosty Monday morning, because (as well as a wedding at this usually private establishment being really rather cool) Northern bride Hannah – despite getting married out of the area – still sourced most of her fabulous wedding day suppliers Up North. And isn’t showing what we can do what Brides Up North is all about?
With images by friend of the wedding blog Lissa Alexandra Photography, Hannah and Joel’s big day is a study in elegance. Be inspired.
Hannah says: We got engaged on 1st March 2012 whilst on holiday in South Africa (Joel had just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan). Joel proposed on a secluded beach when visiting the Cape of Good Hope.
We were married on 2nd March 2013 at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. We met just before Joel went off to Sandhurst, and we formed many good memories and friendships whilst he was there. As a result, wanted to share this otherwise inaccessible venue with friends and family.
My favourite colour is blue and our colour scheme it all took its lead from my engagement ring, which is a sapphire. As luck would have it, Joel’s uniform is also blue! The bridesmaids were in blue and our best-man and usher’s suits were blue, with a pale blue shirt and a mustard colour tie.
Our flowers were a fresh palette of greens and creams/whites using unusual flowers. Family wore mint green carnations.
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