Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

vintage vibes. a relaxed, family-focused wedding at the great john street hotel – elisa & mick

January 31st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (48)

Today’s real wedding is brimming with gorgeousness. Elisa and Mick didn’t worry about a theme and put all of their energy instead into planning a big day that was light on formality but big on love, laidback vibes and, err, Minions. Yes, that’s right – Minions.

Bride Elisa also gets the award for one of the most beautiful statements about weddings on this blog ever: “I thought I’d cry on my wedding day, but I smiled all day long.” Sob. Get the tissues at the ready, readers…

With images by Toni Darcy.

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (4)

elisa says: We got engaged on 4th April 2015 in the Lake District. We spent a long weekend staying at the luxury Lake House hotel. After a private spa trail in the afternoon, Mick proposed in traditional romantic style on a rowing boat on the lake. I’m not a huge fan of boats but it was very romantic regardless!

We got married on Saturday 12th September. We chose the date around the availability of the venue and because we wanted to get married quite quickly. My mum was very ill, and passed away a few months after the wedding.

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (58)

We got married at the Great John Street Hotel. We chose it because we wanted something a little different, we love the centre of Manchester and we thought the terrace would be fantastic if we managed to get a sunny day – which, amazingly, we did! Overall, we liked the chilled out atmosphere of the hotel, the décor, the fact our family and friends could stay at the hotel, and the fact that we could make the day our own.

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (31)

I remember being quite scared by the ‘so what’s your theme?’ question. We really wanted our wedding to be relaxed and fun, particularly because so many children were attending, so we threw in the odd Minion along with floral dresses for the bridesmaids!

We didn’t have a particular colour scheme – a decision made because of the relaxed feel we wanted to create. I wanted the bridesmaid dresses to be a bit different and not just one colour, so picked out a beautiful floral fabric and had them made.

A Vintage Wedding at The Great John Street Hotel (c) Toni Darcy (47)

With my own dress, I chose the first one that the lady in the shop suggested I try on. No other dress could live up to it, even though I tried more on. I remember feeling shocked at how amazing I felt I looked in a wedding dress – she clearly knew how her to do her job well! I loved the fact that it wasn’t ‘big’, I loved the beautiful lace and the small train which had a slightly vintage feel to it.

The bridal shop I visited was Blush in Uppermill, Saddleworth where we live; it was important to me that we supported our local businesses even though we’d chosen the centre of Manchester for the venue.

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love & laughter. mori lee for a blush pink wedding at ashfield house – debbie & darran

November 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Today’s wedding is a stunning example of how a wedding can be both lavish and relaxed.

Working around an elegant blush pink and dove grey colour scheme, Debbie and Darran went all out with the wedding styling choosing striking floral decorations and an abundance of candles to enhance their already stunning venue.

The wedding party looked extra glam too, with the bridesmaids in shimmering grey dresses and Debbie in a stunning fish-tail style gown.

Keen not to overdo the formalities though, the bride and groom opted for relaxed bowl-food style dining, lots of sweet treats and enjoyable live entertainment. A winning combination we say!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

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debbie says: Our love story began on 25th February 2012. Darran and I had known each other for over ten years, our youngest children went through school together. We had both become single and Darran took the opportunity to ask me to go for a drink with him. Little did I know that 1,527 days later he would become my husband.

We officially got engaged on Sunday 22nd February 2015, Darran got down on one knee on the Sunday morning not long after we had woken up, and he was wearing just his undies! So romantic.  The following day we had a surprise 40th lunch to attend. After we left the lunch I suggested we take a drive over to Ashfield House, unbeknown to him I had secretly popped in their six months previously to pick up a brochure. We rocked up unannounced on the off chance that we could get a proper look around. Fortunately for us Katie Street was more than accommodating. From the moment I walked through Ashfield’s front door I knew that this was where I wanted to get married.

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To get the ball rolling we made an appointment for the following Saturday to visit Prestons of Bolton to pick out my engagement ring. We had an amazing experience at Preston’s of Bolton, being served with Veuve Clicquot champagne whilst we looked at various diamonds. I had pretty much made up my mind beforehand that I would like a pear cut solitaire, as Darran had bought me pear cut earrings a few years previously.

We set the date of the wedding for Sunday 1st May 2016. We knew that by picking a bank holiday weekend that it would give our travelling guests the opportunity to make a full weekend of it.

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Ashfield House was such a perfect venue for the wedding. The building, in our opinion, is stunning with so much character and history. We loved the bright airy feel to the recently revamped Langtree Suite, which is where our ceremony took place.

The grounds at Ashfield House are simply stunning too. Unfortunately for us the weather was wet and temperamental, and although we did manage to get outside to get some fantastic shots, the fact that there are so many places inside for your photographer to shoot some cool original shots is a massive bonus. We also loved the fact that Ashfield House is an exclusive wedding venue Monday to Saturday. On a Sunday they do serve Sunday lunch. This didn’t cause us any problems though as we knew that the lunchtime guests would have left by the time our ceremony took place.

The icing on the cake was that Ashfield House has 15 ensuite rooms with a handful of suites that are competitively priced. This meant that our travelling guests had the beauty of staying over at the wedding venue too.

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real wedding recap winter 2014. one pretty party! a chic & cheerful wedding at Thornton Manor – jessica & craig

December 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.

Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (1)

I’m firmly of the opinion that your wedding day should be the very best party that you’ve ever been to.

It looks like Jessica and Craig took the same view when they said ‘I do’ at the gorgeous Thornton Manor on The Wirral earlier this year. Gorgeous outfits, good food, vibrant flowers and plenty of fun and games left their guests in the mood for a very beautiful all night party.

Alka-Seltzer anyone?

With images by ER Photography.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (4)

jessica says: We got engaged in Rome, Italy. After a romantic candlelit dinner we caught a taxi to the Trevi Fountain. We found a quiet spot to the side in an alcove and he got to one knee. This was after a day walking around the Vatican.

We were married on 23rd May 2014 at Thornton Manor – the beautiful setting & extensive grounds coupled with the exquisite manor house made it an easy decision.  It’s spectacular venue with so much history.

 

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (21)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (18)

We chose careful colour palettes throughout the day using white and cream for purity and innocence during the Ceremony, and then the Wedding Breakfast & my bouquet were extremely colourful to reflect our personalities!

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (10)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (20)

I chose a plain but elegant champagne/oyster dress with a long cathedral veil from Blush Bridal.

Craig wore a purple kilt from MacKenzie Menswear in Glasgow and my bridesmaids were in floor length purple gowns by Mori Lee, also from Blush Bridal.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (13)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (12)

Flower Design created the most beautiful of bouquets, button holes and displays throughout the venue, using orchids and other vibrant flowers. Flower Design worked with my ideas really well and produced the most splendid arrangements.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (31)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (30)

ER Photography were our photographers. They were fantastic – beautiful pictures, lots of coordination on the day and part of the party!

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (15)

Chapman Holmes were our caters and were fantastic! Craig’s favourite food is steak, so decided that we really wanted the menu to reflect what we love to eat. We decided on Goats Cheese with Pesto Credot, Roast Sirloin of Steak with Dauphenois Potatoes and our cake as dessert.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (24)

Our pretty wedding cake was by The Frostery in Uppermill. It was Lemon Drizzle and we served it as our dessert with Raspberry Coulis. We had a cheesecake for the evening so the evening guests could enjoy an alternative wedding cake.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (36)

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (38)

We had David Buckingham, a guitarist from the ceremony through to the end of the meal. My father has always played the guitar and when we came across him at a wedding fair he was playing the very piece that my father used to play to me as a child.

Soul Apostle were the band providing lots of fun and great music. Tom was our DJ and listened to our tastes and played us the best music which meant I danced all night!

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (35)

We had a photobooth which people stuck into a book and left us their best wishes and messages.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (39)

We hired the lakeside marquee for the evening reception so we could have a big party and part of the marquee is a nightclub so we could create the party atmosphere. My favourite part of the day was dancing all night!

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (49)

We took a week’s mini moon in Barbados but plan to go to South America in September for 3.5 weeks.

a romantic wedding at Thornton Manor (c) Elbowroom Photography (50)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure you take time out on the day to spend together and have a moment of reflection.

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On Ice. A Glamorous Real Wedding In Saddleworth – Katie & Stuart

April 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Pixies In The Cellar

I don’t want to jinx things, but this weekend I began to get a sniff that summer might finally be on it’s way.  The sun shone all day on our Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition at The Bowdon Rooms yesterday and all our beautiful brides and grooms arrived with a spring in their step and a smile on their faces.  I know I say this every time (guilty as charged!) but yesterday’s event really was something very special.  I was so proud of the great mix of exhibitors and some of the wonderful comments on the day, by email and on Facebook from visiting brides really do make all the hard work worthwhile.  If you missed us, we’ll be back in Cheshire in a short two week’s time for our inaugural event at Hilltop Country House.  Don’t miss that one!  Click here to pre-register. 

Meanwhile, all this sunshine has made me twitchy to share a very special Real Wedding that’s been waiting in my features box for a while, one that’s cool as ice and very glam indeed.  Now that things feel warmer offline, I’m brave enough to sprinkle a little frost on these pretty pages.

Just don’t get cross if it snows next week or something, right?

Images by Pixies In The Cellar.

Pixies In The Cellar 

Katie says: Stuart asked me to marry him on 21st December 2011 at The Grand Hyatt Muscat Hotel, Oman and we were married on Friday 20th December 2013 at The Saddleworth Hotel, Saddleworth.

Pixies In The Cellar

I really wanted an outdoor wedding and the hotel had this facility, it was on our doorstep and has beautiful surroundings. The hotel style also fitted in perfectly with our theme, which was classic styling and winter wonderland. 

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

I chose a Suzanne Neville Dress called ’Lady’ from The Bridal Boutique in Guisley. I wanted something classic that would not date. I am not very girly either. The dress was made to measure and it was amazing!

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

My bridesmaids wore a graphite lace and organza gown, by Noir Lazaro (JLM Couture) which I got from Pomfret Bridal Gowns, Pontefract. The groomsmen wore a smart plain grey suit with a grey cashmere scarf from Denis Hope in Rochdale.

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

I travelled to the ceremony in a Rolls Royce Phantom with my Pops. 

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

The ceremony was my favourite part of the day, it was fun and very emotional! And I got to marry my man!

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

We used Hangover Kits for the wedding Favours and created an order of the day with fun facts about how we met etc. to personalise proceedings. 

Pixies In The Cellar

As Stuart’s dad passed away three years ago we wanted to include him in some way. His Dad was the best F1 Stockcar driver of all time – Stuart Smith 391 – so our stationer Amanda at Love Invited (a Brides Up North Featured Supplier no less!) helped us to do this.

Our table names were all named after the championships Stuart’s dad had won which included a picture from that championship as a watermark. As my husband is also an F1 Stockcar World Champion we had lots of Stockcar friends there who thought it was a really nice touch! It was great how Amanda helped us to incorporate this and she was our very favourite supplier overall. 

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

For our wedding cake, we had four tiers of Victoria sponge, lemon, chocolate and fruit. I had tasted a few cakes but Suzanne’s cakes at The Frostery were by far the best! So helpful too!

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

We used a string quartet for our ceremony and for canapés and cocktails then had a band for the evening and a DJ.  Later in the evening, we opted out of a buffet and had bacon and cheese butties served to keep the party in full swing

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

The best advice we were given was for me and my husband to step back & take 5 minutes to watch everyone enjoying our big day! We did and so glad we did! So that would be my top tip for other Brides Up North. 

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Congratulations Katie & Stuart!

Would you like to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Pixies In The Cellar

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