August 20th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
When your parents have a garden as stunning as today’s real wedding bride Katy’s, what ya gonna do? Throw the most gorgeous country-themed wedding reception that is tailored perfectly to your tastes of course! After one or two nightmares during the planning stages – think putting your coffee on the roof of your car while you search for your keys and driving off with it still in situ and then multiply this by around a hundred! – Katy and Greg totally pulled off a dreamy wedding day to be proud of, with a little help from their family and friends.
We’re loving all the super pretty country garden style touches; from gorgeous seasonal blooms to the delicate pompoms and cute bunting suspended from the marquee ceiling. Katy and Greg went to town with the personalisation, too – including shot glasses as favours, beer mat save the dates and a customised cake topper – there’s no mistaking who the happy couple are!
And we can’t hand the floor over to Katy without a mention of her amazing Jenny Packham gown – so elegant and snapped up in a sample sale for a fraction of the price. Serious dress goals! Over to you, Katy…
With images by Suzy Wimbourne Photography.
katy says: We bought our first house last July in West Didsbury, and Greg proposed moments after we stepped through the door when we got the keys – I was caught completely off guard! The engagement ring was his grandma’s, which made it even more special.
We got married on 9th June 2018, at Chester Town Hall. I’d never been inside Chester Town Hall but knew it was a lovely historic building from the outside. When we saw the ceremony room, it had so much detail that we knew it was perfect for what we needed. We would highly recommend it. For such a beautiful building, it was surprisingly cheap to get married there. Our registrar, Honora Crisp, was also really lovely.
We had the reception in a marquee at my parents’ house in Manley, near Chester. My parents have a beautiful garden, but I’d never thought of having our wedding there until I bumped into someone I used to work with who told me she had just had her wedding in her parents’ garden, which gave me the idea. We knew from the start we wanted our wedding to be really relaxed and there were a few non-negotiables to make this happen, such as a free bar and sharing plates of food on the tables!
In terms of a theme, I guess I would describe the style as ‘country’. I did watercolour flowers and hand-drawn writing for the invitations and signage on the day. We have also been told that our wedding theme was ‘alcohol’ (!) as our save the dates were beer mats, we had a free bar, vodka bottles on the tables, and we all drank Greg’s sugar-free prosecco (he runs a sugar-free prosecco business on the side). I also used corks for the name holders and menu holders, and Mr & Mrs corks for the cake decoration!
For the colour scheme, pink and purple are my favourite colours, so I knew it was going to be one of those for my bridesmaids’ dresses. With the wedding being in June, we were going to have peonies as our flowers and I thought a dusty pink would look lovely with them. As navy complements pink really well and Greg tends to wear a lot of navy anyway, that was an easy decision for the suits! We had lots of other pastel colours, with blues, purples and yellows on our signage and decorations, such as the bunting.
For my dress, I’d done tonnes of research on Pinterest and narrowed down shops in the North West that would fit my budget. I was on a mission to get something lace and A-line. We live around the corner from The White Closet in West Didsbury, but I’d initially dismissed them as they were out of my price range. I saw a post on Facebook on the Friday night saying they’d had a cancellation for their sample sale that weekend and I managed to get that slot! As it was so last minute, my mum and bridesmaids couldn’t make it but fortunately my friend Claire was able to come along. I remember walking in and thinking none of the dresses would suit me. Claire took a dress of the rails that was quite sparkly that I’d normally dismiss but I tried one on and absolutely fell in love with it. I can’t believe I had that ‘dress moment’ when Claire and I both cried! I think I was in shock that it was the opposite of what I’d had in mind, but it made me feel amazing. The dress was Carrie (with ivory beads) by Jenny Packham and I managed to get it for a fraction of the price in the sample sale, so it was still within my budget!
June 26th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Get ready for an achingly cool real wedding as we welcome fabulous newlyweds Jane and Nathan to the blog. The super fashionable industrial interior of Holmes Mill in Clitheroe provided the swoon-worthy backdrop to their big day; with its bare plaster walls, metal columns and cinema-style fold-away seating, perfectly styled with simple, blowsy blooms of hydrangea and sweeping curves of festoon lights. There’s even a chic Louis Ghost chair to perch on while signing the register.
Jane is effortlessly beautiful in a Halfpenny London dress, a classic vintage-inspired gown with fine corded lace and delicate cap sleeves. The open back and dropped waist add a modern feel that is totally at home with the industrial vibes. She finishes her outfit with a stunning pair of towering Jimmy Choo sandals in delicate grey. The guys are equally cool in black tie, which looks great against the shimmering blue of the bridesmaid dresses.
Family is important, and so the couple’s adorable twins quite rightly take centre stage, and fabulous details from those closest them, such as the hand-drawn table names by Jane’s father, add wonderful personal elements to the celebrations too.
Diary Date: Love Nathan and Jane’s choice of venue? Then be sure to join us for our Urban Luxe Wedding Show at the stunning Holmes Mill on Sunday 23rd September, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY.
With images by Stuart Hornby Photography.
jane says: We got engaged in Palma in June 2016, after almost six years together. I’d given Nathan quite the hard time about proposing, so I don’t think he had much choice!
We got married on Saturday 26th May 2018. We wanted a bank holiday weekend so we could have a ‘wedding weekend’, extending the festivities to the Sunday.
We had our ceremony and reception at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe. I found the venue by chance on Instagram and loved the pictures, so took Nathan along to have a look. We both fell in love with the place, which was very quirky and different to anything we’d visited already. We wanted somewhere our friends wouldn’t have been to before and, as this was a new venue, it ticked that box. We would absolutely recommend the venue – all the staff were amazing and the day went without any issues.
Our colour scheme was mainly blue and white, which was purely to match the bridesmaids’ dresses, which I’d already fallen in love with.
For my dress, I chose a Halfpenny London design, which was bought from The White Closet in Didsbury. I was actually 12 weeks’ pregnant with twins at the time, so I wanted something that wasn’t too fitted so as to not put too much pressure on me after the birth. The dress was called Violet, which was extra special as this was my grandmother’s name.
Nathan chose a black-tie theme for the men, as he wanted something a bit different to the traditional blue suit. He bought his suit from Reiss.
My bridesmaids wore Ghost dresses in blue, which I loved as they could each wear one that was a slightly different design. I actually found these dresses before my own!
December 11th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s love-struck couple, Jess and Craig got engaged 4,000 metres up the Rocky Mountains, but wanted to come back down to earth with an elegant garden themed wedding. And it was the stunning Eleven Didsbury Park – a luxury villa hotel close to Manchester – that ended up being their venue of choice, providing the enviable backdrop to their celebrations.
Keeping things understated and natural, the newlyweds went for a subtle sage colour scheme complemented by some rather gorgeous florals, including amnesia roses, blue thistle, white veronica and eucalyptus gunnii, not to mention plenty of wood, hessian and candles for decoration.
Though sticking to a strict budget, our savvy couple pulled together lots of special touches and treats, including an indulgent cake table (yes, that’s a whole table of cakes!), and we for one are bowled over by their special day.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Nik Bryant Photography
jess says: Craig proposed at the very top of the Rocky Mountains, at 4,000m on Peak Eight of Breckenridge ski resort in March 2016. He pretended he wanted to take a photo of us and set up the GoPro, but in fact was filming. He got the whole proposal on film! It was a stunning sunny day, very windy and freezing cold, with the most incredible view. After proposing, Craig produced two small bottles of champagne and glasses, which he’d hidden in his backpack. He almost got frostbite in his fingers as a result of taking his gloves off to give me the ring and pour the champagne!
We got married on 30th July 2017. We wanted the wedding to be in the summer so that we could have a garden wedding or garden reception. We also chose a date that would mean that all of our close family and friends could be there.
We initially went to the open day at Didsbury House Hotel, and at the end of our visit they asked if we wanted to also see their sister venue Eleven Didsbury Park. We wandered down the road and when we saw the gardens, we completely fell in love with the idea of a garden wedding there.
We had planned to get married in the walled gardens of Eleven Didsbury Park Hotel, however in the end there’d been so much rain the week before that the ground was too soft. Instead we got married in the Blue Room of Didsbury House Hotel, which was pretty perfect and a beautiful back-up plan. We then had the reception back at Eleven Didsbury Park in the gardens there.
Neither of us are religious however I had a Jewish upbringing. We chose a Humanist ceremony as it allowed us to create a personal ceremony bespoke to us.
Our absolute best decision was using Hannah Wroe Gill as our Humanist Celebrant. It was the one thing we went well over budget on, but she created the most personal ceremony bespoke to us and which had all our guests in tears and talking about the ceremony afterwards.
We decided against having a strong theme. We felt that the venue itself had such great character and the gardens were beautiful in themselves. We planned a relaxed and understated garden wedding with personal touches and a natural feel.
We wanted the bridesmaids to look fantastic and feel comfortable in their dresses so we picked them out first before deciding on a colour scheme. With two brunettes and one redhead, sage green dresses from Little Mistress suited them best, so we went with that.
The guys then picked out the ties and pocket squares to match – they even took one of the dresses shopping with them to make sure they got it right – what absolute stars!
March 23rd, 2016 | Julia Braime
For those of you planning a vintage wedding, this morning’s bride Amy has lots of lovely inspiration to share.
Having set her heart on a vintage style dress and venue, Amy found exactly what she was looking for in Jenny Packham’s Damask gown and beautiful The Bowdon Rooms located in Altrincham, Cheshire.
From there an elegant colour scheme of blue followed (we just adore Amy’s blue shoes and nails) and she also incorporated a subtle music theme as a nod to one of her and Rob’s favourite pastimes.
For those that like the look and sound of The Bowdon Rooms, why not come along and see the stunning venue for yourself on Sunday 17th April during our Luxury Wedding Exhibition, which will feature the area’s top suppliers too!
With images by Let Love Flourish.
amy says: Our engagement story isn’t the most romantic. Rob had been thinking about proposing for a while but instead of picking the right moment and setting, he got down on one knee whilst we stumbled home drunkenly from a party in the early hours. He did propose again in the morning though, just to make sure I remembered!
We set the date for 28th August 2015. We chose to have the wedding on a Friday at the start of the Bank Holiday so we could carry on the celebrations into the long weekend.
We had our ceremony at Manchester Town Hall, which we always knew we wanted as we both love the architecture. We then chose The Bowdon Rooms for the reception as we wanted somewhere that would complement the town hall with a vintage feel.
Our theme for the wedding was vintage and music. Our relationship blossomed from our love of the same kind of bands and going to gigs so we thought this would be fitting. The colour scheme was pastel blue, mainly because it’s my favourite colour, but also as it works with the ‘something blue’ tradition in weddings.
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December 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
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.
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.
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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August 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This is another one if those weddings that’s so pretty we actually gasped when we first saw the images.
We adore Donna’s choice of a delicate lace Claire Pettibone dress, which complements her soft colour scheme of pale cornflower blue and antique pink to a tee.
Keeping things simple, Donna and Ric didn’t go OTT with their décor, instead opting for dreamy floral arrangements to bring the colour and leaving the rest of the detail to the venue. For us, this is pure perfection!
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
donna says: We got engaged in May 2014 on our hotel balcony in Montmartre, Paris. Ric was hoping to pop the question in Jardins du Luxembourg earlier in the day during a picnic, but as it was a sunny bank holiday Sunday in Paris, there were crowds and never quite the right moment! We celebrated on Monday with a gastro lunch on Bateaux Parisiens cruise on the Seine, which was fantastic.
We set the date for 18th July 2015, hoping for a sunny summer’s day and our chosen venue, Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire, only had two Saturday dates left in 2015.
We chose the venue as we wanted a civil ceremony, and also somewhere with history and where we could show our family in years to come. As a historic home with bags of character and a really welcoming team, we knew Samlesbury was for us. The Whittaker Room where we were married was the old family chapel of the family that used to live there, so felt so special and unique.
We didn’t want a clear theme as such. However, soon into planning our marriage, we tended to like vintage glamour, antique type styles. We also wanted to reflect the summer and a relaxed, elegant style. We also noticed a ‘scallop’ theme emerging in our choices – our stationery pattern, the lace in my dress and my jewellery.
Our colour scheme was pale cornflower blue (Dessy – Larkspur) and pale antique pink. We both love cornflower, and it fitted perfectly against the backdrop of Samlesbury’s black and white buildings and green lawns.
A wonderful friend of ours Nikki Graeme is director of The White Closet in West Didsbury, and it was top of my list for dress shopping! I did look at a number of different designs before making my choice. The new gown Estelle in Claire Pettibone’s Romantique collection just felt right as soon as I tried it on. I wanted something that was light and comfortable whilst also elegant with a touch of glamour. When I tried it on Sweet Disposition came on the radio and I found myself twirling around in the dressing room, so I knew it was the one!
My two bridesmaids Imogen and Jen wore knee length Dessy dresses in Larkspur and our flower girls wore ivory satin dresses with netted skirts with Dessy accessories to match the older bridesmaids.
Our hair and makeup artists was Nathan Hynes. We couldn’t recommend him enough, such a lovely friendly guy and really creative and talented with hair and makeup using Charlotte Tilbury products.
On the day of the wedding, my mum, two bridesmaids and I travelled in a silver Bentley Flying Spur from David Anthony Chauffeur Services in Manchester. They were wonderful and incredibly reliable and professional.
Hayley Baxter was our photographer and she was truly exceptional. From the moment we met Hayley on our pre-wedding shoot at Dunham Massey, we felt totally relaxed in her company, and really confident in her professionalism and technical skills.
On the big day Hayley arrived at our home whilst we were having hair and make-up done, she subtly starting capturing special moments, and felt like part of the day immediately. Hayley was so discreet, yet in these quiet moments was brilliantly capturing the details of the day. Hayley has a real knack of making sure the photographs progress swiftly, whilst being charming and friendly and put all our family and friends at ease. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.
I had a loose bouquet of summer flowers, including peonies and roses. I cried when I saw them, they were so beautiful! We also had a flower arch over the doorway at Samlesbury Hall which looked beautiful too. The Flower Lounge provided these as well as our floral decorations for the reception. We had silver candelabras with the same theme of peonies and roses on each of our top tables.
We used Amanda at Love Invited, who was wonderful, for all our stationery using her ‘Hollywood Glamour’ designs. She was thoroughly professional and the quality of her stationery was fantastic.
To continue our Parisian theme we gave our guests favours of colourful sweet Macaroons from Sam Joseph chocolatiers in Altrincham Market. They are a local supplier who we had seen at our local market and their macaroons were exquisite!
For our wedding cake, we decided to go for a simple iced sponge cake with three tiers of different flavours: orange and raspberry, blueberry and walnut, and lemon on top. This again was from a local supplier who we have tried and tested in the past from visits to The White Closet – The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon on Burton Road. We chose a ‘The Smiths’ cake topper from Not on the High Street for a bit of fun.
There was plenty of choice on the wedding breakfast menu from Samlesbury’s chef. At our tasting we loved the lamb, so this was an obvious choice for us. Starters and dessert were a bit more of a challenge, however we went for a summery Caprese salad with parma ham to start, and finished with our favourite – an unseasonal sticky toffee pudding!
Music was a really important element of the wedding to us and so we chose John Gilmore to play live Saxophone outside on the lawn during our canapés. We also chose songs during signing of the register and walking back down the aisle which were light hearted and set the mood of the day – happiness and celebrations.
Rick Cropper was our DJ for the evening entertainment. We met him back in September at Samlesbury Hall and were impressed by his friendly relaxed style. The dance floor was busy all night! We provided some fun kiddies packs for the little ones to keep them entertained too.
My favourite part of the day was saying our vows in front of family and friends and looking into Ric’s eyes – it was magical. For Ric it was (apparently) me walking down the aisle with my dad Peter! And the first dance, which was lots of fun and very improvised.
Following the wedding, we had a lovely relaxing minimoon in North Yorkshire, near Helmsley, in a little cottage. We are lucky enough to be visiting South Africa (Safari, Capetown and the Winelands) and Dubai next month for a longer break.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to remember that however challenging the planning might feel at times (when working long hours and decorating a new house, it can be tough) it will all be worth it the moment your day begins and all your hard work and vision pays off. You should relax and enjoy it – a few people commented that we both seemed very relaxed and involved in enjoying our day. That was absolutely the case and this was due to wonderful suppliers and time invested up front.
My other top tip would be to leave a couple of days before the wedding when you literally are all planned out and have time to relax. We finished all of the final details the weekend before so I had two days with my bridesmaids and my mum and had time to write cards, wrap presents and be pampered!
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