December 7th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
This evening on the blog, we’re sharing with you Alexandra and Adrian’s picturesque summer wedding.
Celebrating with friends and family at the luxury five-star Hillbark Hotel in the Wirral, the couple opted for a pared back, elegant look with a cornflower blue colour scheme, which was beautifully offset by floral arrangements of lilies, hydrangeas and roses with pale blue delphiniums.
With images by Jonny Draper Photography
alexandra says: We got engaged on 7th June 2015, at our apartment in Spain. It was our six-year anniversary and we were having champagne on the terrace when Adrian surprised me with a photo book of our time together. On the last page it said he had a question to ask and then he got down on one knee; it was perfect!
We got married on 25th June 2016. We wanted a summer wedding roughly a year after our engagement. We looked at when our church and venue were both available and 25th it was!
We tied the knot at St Joseph’s Church in Crosby. I’m from Crosby and this is the church I went to when I was younger.
We hosted our reception at the Hillbark Hotel in the Wirral. When we viewed the venue, we fell in love with it, plus we didn’t know anyone who had already been married there, which was important to us.
We didn’t have a specific theme, instead we wanted a classic, fresh look and our florist and wedding coordinators were fantastic at achieving this.
For our colour scheme, we chose cornflower blue. As we were having a summer wedding we wanted a light, summery colour and it was our favourite next to my white dress and the groomsmen’s blue suits.
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October 19th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
The Isle of Anglesey on the Menai Strait provides the stunning and dramatic backdrop to the beautiful real wedding that we’re sharing with you on the blog today.
After a 12-month engagement, Vicky and Richard tied the knot on Easter Sunday in the picturesque Grade II-listed Chateau Rhianfa in North Wales.
Complete with striking turrets, exquisite grounds and stunning views of Snowdonia, we can see why the couple fell in love with this enchanting venue.
Newly sprung daffodils and white roses added a springtime-inspired splash of colour to the wedding, and as a lovely nod to Easter, guests were even treated to a little chocolate.
With images by Andrew Keher Photography.
vicky says: We got engaged on 7th March 2015. Richard took me away for a surprise weekend and proposed to me at Conwy on the north coast of Wales, overlooking the water. Shortly after his proposal, he took me to The Quay Hotel & Spa, where he had pre-booked lots of pampering treatments!
We got married the following year on 27th March 2016. There was limited availability at our chosen wedding venue, Chateau Rhianfa in Anglesey, North Wales. The Easter weekend was free though, so we chose Easter Sunday as our wedding day.
While on holiday in North Wales the previous summer, we called into Chateau Rhianfa on our way home and fell in love with it straight away. It was actually a venue Richard had considered for the proposal, too!
We had a non-religious civil ceremony at Chateau Rhianfa and chose a yellow and grey colour scheme. Yellow to symbolise spring and Easter, with the grey complementing this beautifully.
We had an Easter theme, too. For our wedding favours we filled jars with mini eggs and attached a Welsh love spoon pewter keyring. As for the flowers, we chose yellow daffodils – a traditional Welsh flower which also ties in with Easter and spring – and white roses, as we are both from Yorkshire, which were supplied by Acacia Flowers in North Wales.
My wedding dress was a fairly simple design by Justin Alexander, purchased from The Bridal Path in Childwall, Liverpool. It had decorative diamanté detailing around the waistline, across my chest and the top of my back. Richard, meanwhile, wore a three-piece charcoal grey suit from Ted Baker.
March 16th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Beg, steal and borrow is the main advise from this afternoon’s bride who achieved her dream wedding without breaking the bank.
Having found their perfect wedding venue in the form of The Bowdon Rooms in Cheshire, today’s real wedding couple Justine and Darren, set about planning a classy wedding with Art Deco influences, spending the budget on what they felt were the most important elements and then making, blagging and bartering what remained.
Here at Brides Up North HQ we’re more than familiar with just how fabulous this unique wedding venue is as we stage our luxury wedding exhibitions in its stylish surroundings twice a year (the next one is coming up on 17th April 2016, so put it in your dairies!) Excellent choice Justine and Darren!
With images by ER Photography.
justine says: Darren proposed to me in Barcelona. We had booked the trip for his birthday and knowing our finances inside out I knew there was no way he had an engagement ring. We arrived late to our hotel and were given a beautiful suite with a balcony but it was past midnight and we couldn’t get any alcoholic drinks as we just planned to have a little drink on our veranda. We trekked the darkened street and I used my broken Spanish to ask for crisps and a bottle of rose in a kebab shop. Having conquered the quest for booze – we went back to the balcony where I sat munching cheesy puffs, Darren disappeared into the room saying he was going to hang his clothes up (he’s never done that before). Then he appeared around the curtain holding a beautiful carved wooden ring box and said “I’ve got something you can wear if you like, but you’ll have to wear it for a long time” he then knelt in a puddle and asked me to marry him revealing my dream ring – a bright sapphire flanked by two diamonds which he had designed and made for me. I was in absolute shock that he had managed to hide it all – and of course I said yes.
On wedding was on 5th April 2015. We picked Easter Sunday as we felt the majority of our friends and family would be able to make it and enjoy the festivities over a bank holiday weekend. We were willing to gamble the weather and it paid off with glorious sunshine following a week of hail and snow!
The Bowdon Rooms, in Cheshire, was our chosen venue. The moment we walked in to The Bowdon Rooms, I knew it was for us. Our co-ordinator and every single member of staff made us feel like a priority. They worked with us on whatever budget I proposed, whatever idea I was exploring with the most genuine enthusiasm. The building is a 1930s music hall with glorious ballroom and jazz club upstairs, it has an unpretentious elegance and wow factor whilst remaining individual and suited us completely. I wouldn’t change my venue for all the tea in china and know how lucky I was to have the staff around me as wonderful as they are there.
November 25th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
When looking through the images from today’s real wedding there are some things that are instantly clear to see: the couple have fabulous taste going on with the venue and vintage wedding décor, they also have style – just look at their attire – but above all they have a wonderful connection, with their heartfelt smiles, tears and kisses all captured beautifully on camera.
Quite simply, a perfect partnership!
With images by S6 Photography.
kathryn says: We got engaged whilst on holiday in New York. It was a complete surprise and George had even gone to great lengths to make sure I didn’t suspect a thing!
We set the date for 22nd July 2015, 11 months after we got engaged. Our chosen venue was Wentworth Castle Gardens in Barnsley, Yorkshire. We saw pictures of its beautiful conservatory and the long barn online and decided to visit. Upon doing so we instantly fell in love with it and knew it was the place where we wanted to become husband and wife.
August 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime
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.
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”.
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!
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.
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 Love. Rebecca 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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May 25th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Often when tying the knot a couple will return back to their family roots for the big day, but today’s couple saw their wedding as an opportunity to showcase the city they now call home to their family and friends.
We love that this stylish city centre celebration takes place in a number of different locations, providing contrasting backdrops to David and Emma’s big day. Following the ceremony at Manchester’s grand Town Hall the wedding party moved onto a canal side bar before heading to the contemporary Castlefield Rooms for the evening reception. And of course they travelled in style, aboard a vintage bus.
This sounds like our kind of wedding!
With images by our talented Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
emma says: We got engaged in York in November 2013. York is a great city and a special place for us. It is where we went on one of our first dates and many days out and weekends away since. I was a total surprised when David decided to propose before a gorgeous meal in a lovely hotel. Spreading the news was tricky though as the idyllic setting meant no phone signal!
We chose the 21st of March 2015 for our wedding day. We didn’t want to jump in before my sister who was getting married in November, didn’t want a winter wedding and also couldn’t wait to get married! So we decided on the very first day of spring. It turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day, beautiful sunshine, no wind or rain and nice and warm. Many guests commented that Manchester was supposed to be rainy and made our top table name of ‘Rainy Wedding’ slightly ironic.
Neither of us are from Manchester, I’m from the Ribble Valley and David is from Newcastle, but Manchester is where we have decided to make our home together and we wanted to showcase the city to our family and friends on our wedding day.
We married at the spectacular Manchester Town Hall. We knew we were having a civil ceremony and didn’t want any old hotel room. We only viewed the Town Hall for our ceremony, when we walked inside we were bowled over by the grandeur and atmosphere and decided straight away it was our perfect venue! We contrasted the grandeur of the Town Hall with a more relaxed, contemporary and modern feel for our reception at Dukes 92 and the Castlefield Rooms. A great area to showcase Manchester with the canals and barges, especially when we were lucky enough to have the sun shining as it was!
I wouldn’t go so far as to say we had a theme, but we certainly tried to embrace Manchester. I walked down the aisle to a string trio playing One Day Like This by Elbow and David wore a little Bee lapel pin, hidden next to his buttonhole – the worker bee being the symbol of Manchester and it features in the elaborate mosaic floors of the Town Hall, representing the work ethic of the people of Manchester particularly during the industrial revolution.
We also incorporated family heritage by having roses that represented England and thistles representing Scotland within our flowers. Our table names were paintings by either artists we liked or of paintings we liked, they either had a meaning behind them or story attached to them.
Our colour scheme was navy, pale pink, pale silvers and ivory. By choosing thistles early on we thought we would continue the dark blue theme, however we offset this with pale pinks to soften it and to ensure everything didn’t look too nautical. The two offset each other perfectly and the flowers tied everything together with the variety of colours, textures and varieties.
I chose a gorgeous A-line dress with touches of sparkle from The Bridal Path in Altrincham. I didn’t have a dress in mind and promptly tried on ever shape dress to help narrow it down. I ended up finding four dresses at The Bridal Path that I loved and the difficulty then was not finding my perfect dress but choosing which my perfect dress was! I felt fantastic on the day!
David wore a three piece slim fitted navy suit. After looking everywhere he found exactly what we were looking from in Next. This looked really smart. It was worn with a crisp white, double-cuff shirt with Hugo Boss cufflinks and pale pink slim tie and silver tie pin and a light pink pocket square. The tie and pocket square came from Swagger&Swoon.co.uk. I gave David a silver pocket watch and chain engraved with a personal message as a gift which was worn on the wedding day and looked great with his waistcoat
The groomsmen all wore the same matching slim fit three piece suit, tie and pocket square as the groom but without the extras. The boys looked great. The bridesmaids meanwhile wore gorgeous long dark blue dresses from Debut at Debenhams.
For transport we hired a bus from The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company. This was a gorgeous vintage black and ivory bus which they had decorated with white ribbons. A plaque inside the bus stated where the bus was made, which coincidentally was not far from where I grew up in Blackburn. The bus took me, my parents, and bridesmaids from the Marriott Victoria and Albert to the ceremony and then the guests from the Town Hall to the reception at Dukes 92 and The Castlefield Rooms. It was a sunny day and the wedding bus outside the Town Hall really drew a crowd.
Photographer James Tracey was there to capture our day. James was amazing, not just on the day but from our first meeting. He is a pleasure to be around and such a nice guy. If you are spending all day with someone this is a massive bonus. On top of this he is a great photographer too. He totally understood what we wanted and provided us with great pictures which also embraced the urban backdrop of Manchester city centre. We couldn’t recommend him highly enough!
Our flowers were provided by Frog Flowers. We had a consultation with David at his studio and went through our colour scheme and feel for the day, we were set on roses and thistles and agreed that we would also like varied flowers with lots of textures. The Frog team didn’t let us down, the bouquets, button holes and table centres were not only beautiful, and even better than we had imagined, but also smelled fantastic (not something we had considered).
Frog Flowers provided all our flowers at our wedding and we managed to re-use the flowers from our ceremony as the top table centrepiece by taking it on the bus with us. Other small decorations came from our home, hurricane lanterns with pillar candles, candle sticks and wooden letters. Castlefield provided a gorgeous white letter box!
We gave everyone a little jar of sweets as favours. We personalised the jar lids with labels, decorated them with ribbon and a homemade ‘Love is Sweet’ tag, which included a thank you message on the back. We chose some of our favourites sweets to fill them with.
Elaine of Elaine’s Creative Cakes in Urmston, Manchester, made our cake. We wanted the cake to be fairly minimal with sharp clean modern lines, surprisingly this is achieved using the less modern and more traditional royal icing. We designed a four tier cake with Elaine, alternating fruit cake and sponge. Both tasted absolutely gorgeous and Elaine even surprised us with our own personal boxed cake, which was left on the top table and was a lovely surprise on the day.
We thoroughly enjoyed the menu tasting at Albert’s Shed prior to the wedding and I think anything we chose would have gone down well! Our dessert was a selection of tarts and a cheese board served to the table for guests to share. This is a fantastic option that Castlefield offer, providing an alternative for those without a sweet tooth whilst allowing everyone on the table to dig in.
Mixing old with new and traditional with contemporary, we asked a string trio from Endymion to play modern songs on strings at the Town Hall as guests were arriving, during the ceremony and at our drinks reception. These guys are fantastically talented, I only wish I heard more (a downside of arriving last).
For the evening we hired a DJ from Jonny Ross Music, who was recommended by Castlefield. The DJ was superb and had everyone dancing all night, he really knew how to judge the crowd and the music was fantastic!
As a special touch on the big day we had a signature perfume and aftershave, which is now our ‘wedding scent’. The sense of smell is a great way of evoking memories and we have decided we will wear this on special occasions like anniversaries as a nice reminder of our special day!
Other businesses that contributed to our wedding day was Erica and Edwards Jewellers in Manchester who made my ring. They were super patient and offered a really personal service. Also Sian Gorton did mine and the other girls’ hair and make-up on the day, it was no mean feat getting us all ready in the morning single handed! She was totally calm and good company during the wedding prep. It sounds clichéd but we all felt like a million dollars!
We would 100 per cent recommend our venues to others. As far as the city centre of Manchester is concerned there is nowhere else we would consider. The Town Hall requires no hard sell. Once you walk in you are literally blown away. It is a fascinating and historical building that will stand forever as a reminder of our day. The Castlefield Rooms is contemporary and modern and is an idyllic city centre location – they are incredibly professional and experienced at organising and running weddings. The day ran like absolute clockwork and was completely stress free as we knew everything was taken care of and in hand. On top of that the food is fantastic!
It is so hard to choose a favourite part of the day, however, one particular funny moment was during the vows. Many will know one of the statements that has to be made is; ‘I know not any reason why I ____ may not be lawfully married to ____’. We knew it was coming, but as a Geordie when David said ‘wye aye’ the ripple of laughter was fab!
Straight after our wedding we took ourselves off to a log cabin Keldy Forest. It was perfect – zero phone signal and the wildlife and nature were fascinating, with deer walking beside the cabin morning and night. We spent the days in our personal hot tub and evening in front of the log fire. It was a perfect chilled week after what was a busy weekend! Our main honeymoon is in June; we are off to Dubai and Mauritius and can’t wait!
Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be to do exactly what you want to do, choose what is special to both you and the groom. Our day was exactly as we imagined and couldn’t have been more perfect for us. Another tip would be to make sure you surround yourself with suppliers and people that you get on with, that you can rely on and that you trust, this makes the planning and the day much more stress free and a lot more fun!
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