Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

understated elegance. jenny packham for an elegant wedding at oulton hall

December 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Sarah Mason Photography (41)

It might be Monday, but it’s the last Monday before Christmas which makes it bearable, right? And to ease you into these last few working days before the festive break we have something truly beautiful to share with you – the wedding of Lauren and Lee.

Now this is a couple with impeccable taste who know that you don’t have to go OTT to make a statement. The understated beauty of this wedding is what makes it so special and easy on the eye.

From the chic colour scheme and soft blousy blooms, to the elegant décor and that swoon-worthy Jenny Packham gown (complete with Nana Choos), guys – you nailed it!

With images by Sarah Mason Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Sarah Mason Photography (35)

lauren says: We got engaged after being together for six years in November 2013. We’d recently moved into our first house together and so Lee proposed at home in our front room, out of the blue after I got home from work one night. I work in retail management, so hours around Christmas time are long and stressful, coming home from work to a proposal at 11pm was definitely a welcome surprise although I was entirely lost for words!

We got married on Sunday 30th August 2015, which was the Bank Holiday weekend. We wanted people to have a little longer to enjoy the celebrations, and be able to travel to the venue and relax the day before. My parents wedding anniversary is on the 31st, and they were celebrating their 30th anniversary this year so it felt like a way to share to celebrations while everyone was together.

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Sarah Mason Photography (32)

We got married at Oulton Hall in Leeds. We live just outside of Manchester now, but met in Leeds which is where Lee is originally from and where I went to university. We looked around a lot of venues, across the North West and Yorkshire, and found a lot of places only ticked a couple of boxes. One of my bridesmaids suggested Oulton Hall, as she’d looked at it before deciding to get married abroad instead. We fell in love with how it was so grand but in an understated way, and felt really warm. The décor of the Repton Room was something nowhere else had and fitted in with a lot of ideas I’d already had about the wedding. We also liked the idea that the reception is held in another part of the hotel, at The Claret Jug in the golf clubhouse. It was nice to have a change of scenery and have a different ambience for the evening reception.

Another reason we chose a venue in Leeds was because Lee’s dad sadly passed away in 2005 and is buried at the cemetery around the corner from Oulton Hall. It was nice to think although he couldn’t be there, he wasn’t too far away.

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golden touch. stella york for a classic wedding at west tower country house hotel – victoria & neil

July 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (40)

Here at Brides Up North we do enjoy it when brides push the boundaries with their dress choices. Falling for something a little different, today’s bride Victoria chose a stunning soft golden gown instead of a traditional ivory or white design – and we’re sure you’ll all agree, she looks gorgeous!

The rest of the wedding party keep the style bar high with maids in pretty pale gowns with lace detailing and the groomsmen in smart navy suits with polka dot tie and pocket square.

From the beautiful blooms to the elegant cake the entire day comes together perfectly for the classic and sophisticated wedding that Victoria had dreamt of.

With images by Cahill Photography.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (1)

victoria says: We got engaged in London over August bank holiday weekend in 2013. We had booked a weekend away and were staying at the Royal Horseguards Hotel.  We always try to go to a Michelin starred restaurant when we go away so Neil had booked a meal at a surprise location. On our way out we had a walk through Whitehall Gardens just in front of our hotel. It was such a pretty little garden with a really old tree in the centre which we had seen through our hotel window. We stopped by it and Neil said something along the lines of ‘I don’t want to embarrass you but….’ Then got down on one knee and pulled out a little blue Tiffany & Co bag from his suit pocket and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked and in a complete daze, I really wasn’t expecting it. Of course I said “yes”.  We celebrated our engagement at Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (11)

Our wedding day was 3rd April 2015. We had no specific date in mind to get married, we had talked about a bank holiday weekend during the early stages of planning and it just so happened our chosen venue – West Tower Country House Hotel in Aughton, Lancashire – had Good Friday available.

I had my heart set on West Tower from the first time I saw it.  A friend of a friend was a bridesmaid at West Tower a few years ago and upon seeing the pictures I fell in love with it! We did a little bit of research online and narrowed our choices down to a handful we wanted to view in person. West Tower for us just blew the rest out of the water, it was everything I had ever dreamed of and more.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (3)

We didn’t really have a specific theme for our wedding day, we just want it to have a classic and sophisticated look to the day to fit in with the venue.

Our colour scheme was vintage/soft pinks, cream and gold. I wanted to have soft colours for a spring wedding and I had always liked the idea of vintage pinks and the colours worked perfectly with the venue.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (14)

My dress was from designer Stella York. I bought from Bridalwear by Emma Louise in Bolton. I had seen the dress at a wedding fair at the Emirates Stadium displayed by a bridal wear shop based in Chester and I fell in love with it. I did some research into North West stockists of Stella York dresses and Bridalwear by Emma Louise was the only one. I contacted the store and from day one Emma was so helpful. She didn’t stock this particular dress but ordered in a sample for me to try on. I fell in love as soon as I put it on, it was so different to anything I had tried on previously. The colour, the lace, the detail, everything was perfect!  It had to be ‘the one’.

Neil wore a dark navy blue three piece suit from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow with a polka dot tie and pocket square. He also wore a bow waistcoat with a pocket watch to make him stand out from the other groomsmen who had classic four button waistcoats with the same time and pocket square.

My bridesmaids wore dresses from Debenhams, flower girls from Next and our page boy wore a Marks & Spencer suit with a polka dot bow tie to fit in with the men.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (21)

Our photographer was Martin Cahill of Cahill Photography. We would most definitely recommend Martin to other couples as he was great from start to finish. The pictures say it all, we are so amazed by them and they will bring us happy memories for the rest of our lives.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (24)

The majority of our flowers were silk with a few fresh ones here and there. Neil’s mum did all our arrangements throughout the venue and our bouquets. My flowers were hand tied, long stemmed cream silk roses bound with lace.

The chair covers, aisle runner, lanterns, pillars and swagging throughout the venue were provided by Add A Little Sparkle.

All our stationary, from invites to table names were handmade by me. I also handmade all of the pearl and crystal napkin rings for the wedding breakfast which doubled up as name cards.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (27)

We gave our guest favours of Charbonnel et Walker milk chocolate truffles which came in a white boxes edged in gold, which tied in perfectly with our theme. We had lots of ideas for favours but in the end went with simple and classic.

Our cake was made by Taylormade Cakes by Tracy. We chose a five tier cake made up of fruit, lemon drizzle, chocolate fudge and carrot. We wanted a quite a large cake to make an impact in the room. It was a classic five tier design with some of the tiers edged in edible lace and decorated with handmade flowers which Tracy had replicated from the silk flowers used in our arrangements.  We didn’t see the finished cake until the day. It was so perfect and just what we had imagined, I didn’t want to cut it. I would highly recommend Tracy to anyone.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (28)

For our wedding breakfast we had a starter of smoked chicken Caesar salad with herb croutes and bacon crisps followed by mains of Lancashire blade of beef slow cooked in a beer jus with wholegrain mustard mash, roasted shallots, button mushrooms, carrots, swede and bundles of green beans. To finish we had sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and ice cream (our favourite pudding). In the evening we had a hog roast.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (30)

As entertainment we hired a string quartet called The Dotted Crotchets to play for our guests’ arrival, my entrance, signing the register and for our drinks reception. The Dotted Crotchets were our choice, we first heard them play at the Trafford Centre and we fell in love with the idea. We hadn’t been to a wedding with a quartet before and thought it was a nice touch and a little different to anything we’ve experienced as guests at a wedding. We had full control over the song choices which enabled us to pick songs that meant something to us.

We hired Robin, the MD of Dancefloor Couture, as our DJ for our evening reception. He had played at a number of our friends’ weddings in previous years and was absolutely amazing. We knew we had to have him and didn’t want anyone else. He certainly didn’t disappoint!

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (33)

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (35)

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to other couples. The staff made us feel comfortable from the first day we visited West Tower, they could not have been more helpful from start to finish. They made our vision of what we wanted our wedding day to be into a reality. It was so much more than we dreamed of. I could not fault them on anything they have a fabulous team and would highly recommend them as a wedding venue.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (42)

I enjoyed every single minute of our wedding day, it was such an amazing day and one I will never forget. For me there were a couple of standout points; the moment my bridesmaid and my dad saw me in my dress for the very first time. I had concealed everything about my dress from everyone other than my mum until I was dressed on the day. It was such an overwhelming feeling to see their faces when they finally saw it. It was definitely tears all round moment. Another special moment was when I saw Neil waiting for me at the end of the aisle and taking our vows.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (44)

For our honeymoon we went to Hong Kong for four nights then onto Koh Samui, Thailand, for six months and then Singapore for six nights. We wanted to have a long holiday as we normally only do short breaks away, so it was nice to enjoy almost three weeks away from everything together as a newly married couple.

Neil spent a few years as a child in Singapore and time as a teenager in Hong Kong as his dad worked away in these countries, so he was excited to go back and see what it was like now and also to show me where he lived and the things he experienced as a child. We chose Koh Samui as our ultimate luxury destination for rest and relaxation in the middle of our two city stays. We had our private villa with our own pool. It was paradise.

A Classic Wedding at West Tower Country House Hotel (c) Cahill Photography (49)

My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every minute and try to take in as much as possible as the day just flies by so quickly. Also, take five minutes together to discuss the day so far.

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Supplier Showcase: An Update From The Dotted Crotchets On A Very Busy Year Of Beautiful Live Wedding Music

August 30th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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String quartet for weddings by Dotmoxee Photographers

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Take it from me, these guys are good.  Very good.  After hearing them play their mix of classical and contemporary arrangements I snapped them up to play at my inaugural Brides Up North Tweet Up networking event in Yorkshire and they went down an absolute storm.  I am also thrilled that they will be joining the fun this Sunday at the first Brides Up North Wedding Exclusive of the season at Nostell Priory (I promise I’ll shut up about it soon, I’m just so excited. Total mentionitis or what?!). 

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Anyway, it’s lovely to welcome Ruth and the rest of the band back to to blog this afternoon as they celebrate the launch of their new website (take a look!) and a very successful year.  I just love it when a plan comes together. 

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Ruth says: It’s been a busy year for The Dotted Crotchets. Amazing, but busy. We’ve dressed up in costume for a Venetian Ball, helped raise money for charity, performed for many beautiful weddings across the North West and beyond, and had a special booking to perform for the Queen. Yes you heard me right, we played for Her Majesty the Queen at Manchester Town Hall during her Jubilee visit to Manchester. Still waiting on the Royal String Quartet appointment though…

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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We are now bigger and better than ever with a brand new website featuring beautiful photographs by the super talented Dotmoxee Photographers and we’ve even started our own blog (www.thedottedcrotchets.blogspot.co.uk) so that everyone can keep up to date with what we get up to.

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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After a session at the Manchester Recording School new recordings have been added to the website and our repertoire list is bursting with new arrangements including Sweet Child of Mine, Bohemian Rhapsody, Someone Like You and Back in Black. We have also started a Bollywood string quartet, Rajah Strings, and have performed for several Asian weddings including one where the bride and groom arrived by helicopter! See what I mean? We’ve been busy!

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UK Wedding Blog

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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If you’ve always dreamed of having a string quartet perform during your big day then have a look at our website and get in touch to find out about our prices and availability. If you’ve never thought about having a string quartet and don’t really fancy having classical music then have a look at our repertoire list and see if our large selection of pop songs and chart hits can change your mind. Remember we can also arrange any of your favourite songs that we don’t already have so you can make the music choices as personal and unique as you like.

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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Nostell Priory Wedding Fair.

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We are very excited to be joining Julia from Brides Up North for another year as a Featured Supplier on the blog and are looking forward to exhibiting with her at Nostell Priory on the 2nd September. It would be great to meet lots of new couples so we hope to see you there!

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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  – Images © 2012 Dotmoxee Photographers

The Dotted Crotchets are a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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#BUNtweetup Yorkshire… A Video Blog!

October 8th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Are you having a fabulous Saturday Brides Up North?!  Have you managed to pull your man away from all the sport that seems to be on our TV screens today or are you getting stuck in with him?

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I’ve been dying to share this little video blog with you ever since Steven from Forever Film sent me over then final edit.  I think Steven has managed to capture the feel of the Brides Up North Tweet Up Yorkshire so perfectly – lots of friendly people, clinking drinks, great music, treats galore, fun and laughter. 

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I hate seeing myself on film, but with Steven’s help, I think I just about pull it off! I hope that you enjoy it!

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Let’s do it all over again soon Yorkshire!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Yorkshire Tweet Up With Wedding Ideas Magazine

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So, obviously in the excitement of the moment, Idid miss out a few thank yous – doh! (what can I say, I had had a LOT of help – and had consumed a couple of glasses of wine by this time!).  So, once again, here is the full roll call of all the amazing wedding industry suppliers who helped me to pull off a fabulous evening:

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Dine Services at The Mansion (stunning venue with attentive, slick and professional service); the beautiful, organised, calming and outright fab Katie from Perfect Days Vintage; the gorgeous and very very cool Jo from Vintage Twee; lovely lovely Lynne from Stems Design – an exceptionally talented and enthusiastic florist who decided that an orchid centrepiece just wasn’t good enough – we needed a tree (!); creative cake lady Skye from The Whimsical Cake Company (who made some teeny tiny white rose cupcakes and some very moreish pink cake pops); the fabulous girls at Fancie who branded my scrumptious Brides Up North cakes to the max; the amazing Andy Garfitt and Matt Tordoff of Greyeye Photography who constantly have me in stitches (book them now!); the super cool dreambooth – have a go, you’ll love it!; an amazing string quartet The Dotted Crotchets who rock pop songs better than Katy Perry herself; the super fun Sean Elliott Photography with his chalk board of one liners; Andrea from the online treasure trove And All Things Nice; Sheree at Cute Maps for, well, making the maps cute; fantastic sport Forever Film on cameras (Spielberg better watch out for this Steven) and the super talented Helen at What A Do Weddings who designed my kick ass goody bags. 

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To see all the official photographs from the night click here.

To see all the delicious styling details from the night click here.

To see all the dreambooth images from the night, click here.

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The Tweet Ups (held in Yorkshire, the North East and the North West) were COMPLETELY SOLD OUT last time.  To PRE-REGISTER for the next set of Tweet Ups in 2012, please contact me.

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  – Video blog © 2011 Forever Film

Forever Film is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Music Maestros! Supplier Showcase: The Dotted Crotchets

September 29th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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If you are in the market for wedding music that keeps everyone from you teenage cousin to you great aunt tapping along, look no further.  Classical, with a contemporary twist, I absolutely adore this wedding band, and am so excited to be blogging this supplier showcase today. 

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They played my Brides Up North Tweet Up Yorkshire with aplomb, and now they are back to tell you all about themselves.  This afternoon I chat to the fabulous foursome that is The Dotted Crotchets

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Dotted Crotchets

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What is your background?  How did The Dotted Crotchets meet?

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We all met while studying at the RNCM in Manchester and have been performing with each other for over 5 years in various groups. After performing with other quartets at weddings and events we noticed that the songs which went down the best were the pop songs and so we decided to form The Dotted Crotchets and focus on playing popular chart hits that wouldn’t usually be associated with a string quartet.

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We also like to dress to suit the occasion. Although string quartets traditionally wear dinner jackets with bow ties or all black, we also provide a very popular option of less formal attire, with colourful dresses for the ladies and suits for the men, if that is more in keeping with the style of your wedding or event.

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Are you all classically trained?

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We have all graduated with a BMus degree having spent 4 years studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. While we are classically trained we also enjoy performing other styles of music including jazz and pop.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Dotted Crotchets

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What instruments do you play?

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The string quartet is made up of four instruments; two violins, a viola and a cello, however we can also provide a string trio which doesn’t have a second violin. Other group formations are also possible, for example we have just been booked as a string trio plus piano, so do get in touch if you are interested in having different instruments.

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Click through to hear this talented lot in action…

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