April 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s bride Zoe was aiming for ‘1940s film starlet’ for her vintage wedding day look. After seeing these photographs, we’re sure you’ll agree that she smashed it. With her tea-length dress, birdcage veil and amazing Ingrid Bergman-esque ‘do’, she looks every inch the glamourous bride.
Retro vibes permeate every aspect of this gorgeous wedding, from the live music to the rich colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the stunning floral arrangements. Full marks, guys!
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re also touched by Zoe’s advice to brides-to-be: look into your partner’s eyes and not the registrar’s (!), and get thee to a Brides Up North wedding fair. Who are we to disagree?!
With photography by Kate McCarthy Photography
zoe says: We got engaged in Venice at 5.30am on a bridge in Canaregio on 7th May 2016. We’d always wanted to have a two-week holiday in Italy with a week in Venice then a week in Tuscany. We arrived on the Friday and got a water taxi (a complete treat, but obviously Chris knew he was going to propose on holiday whereas I had no clue!)
We love seeing a city wake up, so got up early on the Monday to go and walk round the beautiful streets. We started to cross the bridge right by our apartment and Chris caught my hand, stopped me and said, “Do you love it here?” I replied “Yes, of course” and he then got down on one knee – at which point I started grinning madly! And then he said “Great – in that case, would you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?” and produced the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring! At this point I wanted to shout “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!” quite loudly but remembered no one else was awake. Instead, we skipped (literally) down the street grinning our heads off!
Our wedding was planned for 10th February 2017. We wanted to get married quickly but still have some time to plan. We were extremely flexible and so chose our location and then saw what they could offer us – they had this particular Friday free and so we booked it!
Our venue was The Belle Epoque in Knutsford. We had quite a tick list – we wanted somewhere unusual and quirky, with a dancefloor and room for a band but also somewhere with a separate room so that people could sit down and talk. Chris doesn’t dance and so wanted to be able to go around and speak to everyone. I visited it with my mum and, walking in, I was immediately excited; it has a lovely feel, is full of art deco art and pieces, it has a huge welcoming fireplace and the bar is straight in front as you walk in. I spied a room off this entrance with tables and chairs in, so immediately thought that was a tick. We then went upstairs to the dining area which was set up for a wedding – I actually gasped! They had twisted willow and flowers and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling and huge tall vases of flowers, vibrant, rich, opulent colours and gorgeous iris-patterned wallpaper. I was a little bit teary and knew this was the place.
Our theme was a bit vintage and Peaky Blinders, I suppose. I love vintage dresses and wanted to look like a 1940s film star. We didn’t have a colour-scheme as such, but we chose deep reds, purples and pinks for the bridesmaids and flowers. I wanted the bridesmaids to choose their own dress and style but with a vintage theme. I wanted them to be able to wear them again and really enjoy choosing their own dresses!
For my dress, I knew I wanted something in a vintage style from the 40s/50s and tea-length. I started to look on Pinterest and came across a dress that I loved, so went onto the designer’s website and found a local stockist. I went to Puure in Lymm and Angie, the owner, saw me. I tried the dress I’d seen on and liked it but she insisted I try on more – and I was happy to oblige! After another one, she bought a dress out that I looked at and my heart started to beat faster even though it was full-length and had no sleeves! She fastened me up and explained it could be made-to-measure, adjusted to tea length and have three-quarter sleeves fitted. I looked at myself and felt fantastic. My mum grinned and I had a little tear! That was it. It was ivory satin – so rich and so many sumptuous folds of gorgeous material! It had a little belt with a sparkly diamante square buckle, a fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a net top with tiny sparkles on. I had so many lovely compliments. Angie and her team and Sonya, the seamstress were absolutely incredible and made me feel like a 1940s film star on my day!
I wanted my hair setting in a vintage style and so booked the amazing Ewa Baberska, hair and makeup artist, to finish the look. Suzie Taylor was my makeup artist and she was great. I wanted a very natural look as I don’t wear much and she did exactly that, yet made me look fab.
For my headpiece I also wanted something vintage and had met Kaye Hannabuss of Kaye Hannabus Textiles at a networking meeting. We got chatting and I asked her if she would be able to make me something. She made me a fabulous vintage-inspired headpiece with a birdcage veil, a smartie base and a bow. For the evening, she made me a gorgeous hair slide with beads and pearls and diamante. Kaye works with Harris Tweed and so Chris was interested in talking to her about his and Holly’s waistcoats.
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November 21st, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding made everyone here at Brides Up North go weak at the knees. First, there was the romantic New York proposal story. Then we got a glimpse of the stunning blush, gold and ivory detailing. And then we saw the photographs of Louise’s backless fishtail Berta Bridal gown.
So. Insanely. Beautiful.
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
louise says: Glen and I got engaged in New York in December 2013. We’d just enjoyed a horse and cart ride around Central Park before we were due to go for a meal at the Rockerfeller Centre. After the horse and cart ride had finished Glen got down on one knee and proposed. I think it’s safe to say that neither of us will forget that day!
Our wedding date was Sunday 29th May 2016. We chose the date as it was the bank holiday weekend and May is usually a really sunny month – and fortunately for us, it was!
Our venue was Styal Lodge in Cheshire. We chose our venue as it was local, but it’s also one of the most beautiful venues in Cheshire. Lucky us!
There was no theme to the wedding as such, but we did choose to name our tables after our favourite Manchester United and Liverpool players. Glen is from Liverpool and I’m from Manchester and it added a fun touch to the day.
We chose blush, ivory and gold for our colour scheme. We thought it looked simple, but beautiful and elegant.
My wedding dress was the real star of the show. It was by designer Berta Bridal and purchased from The Wedding Club in Knightsbridge, London. It was a backless, fishtail style with lace detail. It was truly exquisite. It even sparkled in the sunlight!
Glen wore a navy blue and black tuxedo with black velvet bow tie from Moss Bros.
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November 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime
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.
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.
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.
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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July 5th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Those talented North West wedding suppliers have been busy once again creating a gorgeous styled shoot to help inspire your big day choices; covering everything from the dress to the décor.
This styled shoot was primarily put together to help showcase a stunning new venue to the county of Cheshire, The Holford Estate. Set within 130 acres of beautiful countryside, the venue’s newly refurbished Holford Barn made the perfect backdrop for the suppliers to showcase their skills, products and services.
Inspired by the features and materials of the barn, stylist Rebecca Jenkinson of Pretty Little Trio Vintage Hire & Styling, worked with fellow artistic suppliers to create a relaxed yet glamourous big day look, which both complemented and enhanced the shoot setting.
To explain more about how the various looks that were created, we’ll let Rebecca do the talking…
With images by Mr & Mrs W.
rebecca says: The shoot was a collaboration of North West wedding suppliers at a beautiful and unique new venue in Cheshire, The Holford Estate. The venue is a stunning barn conversion, surrounded by stable blocks and beautiful grounds. It’s quite opulent, rather than rustic in style, and so we took that as our steer for the shoot and aimed for relaxed, elegant glamour.
There is a stunning copper staircase that cascades into the barn itself and little copper gold mice in the old brickwork of the barn, so we wanted to work with the lovely metallics and the warm colours in the brickwork around us.
There is also beautiful black and white timber framed building in the grounds, and formal gardens, which gave us the idea for black and white florals and foliage, stationery, mojitos and, of course, the friendly black and white horse in the stables.
June 9th, 2016 | Julia Braime
The saying about quality and quantity could not be truer of the lovely real wedding that we are sharing with you on the blog today.
With a modest guest list of 38 day guests and 53 evening guests, Stephanie and Gary wanted their intimate wedding to be a reflection of them as a couple, whilst also being an enjoyable and memorable event for their guests.
Picking a unique venue and prioritising elements such as the photography, food and entertainment, whilst getting stuck into some DIY décor, meant that Stephanie and Gary could have the special day they had dreamt of, whilst remaining still within budget. Excellent work guys!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
stephanie says: We got engaged on the 28th May 2014. I had my suspicions that Gary was going to do it soon as he’d booked for us to go for afternoon tea at the Hilton in Manchester. We were in the process of buying our house and the Wednesday before when we were booked for afternoon tea, we’d had our final meeting with the bank to say the mortgage had been agreed. We went to the pub after to celebrate and then came home. I got my PJs on, put the bins out and put the washing on, just usual things to do on a Wednesday, and turned round to find Gary with two glasses of whiskey. He asked me to come with him into the front room and gave me a glass and then got down on one knee with a ring. It took me by surprise! I never wanted a huge spectacle of an engagement so what he did was perfect. He’d even been on his own to get the ring and got it spot on!
We were married on the 24th March 2016, the Thursday before the bank holiday weekend. We got together on the 27th March 2008 so knew we wanted a date around when we got together and we wanted a weekday wedding. The Thursday was a good choice because most people then had the bank holiday Friday off work to recover!
We got married at The Belle Epoque in Knutsford, Cheshire. It was the only venue that we went to look round and we knew straight away it was the one for us. We wanted somewhere that was unique, intimate and personal. From our first meeting there, all the staff were so incredibly helpful and we loved that it was a family business and not part of a large chain of hotels. We could pick and choose what we wanted for our day and we could stay there the night of the wedding and have breakfast with family the day after. The setup of the venue was ideal too; we loved that each part of the wedding was in a separate room and guests didn’t have to be shipped off somewhere whilst the room was re-organised and that people could sit away from the DJ during the evening do and chat. Generally, it’s an absolutely stunning venue!
Gary and I are self-confessed beer geeks, so beer had to feature heavily in our wedding. I also wanted to still keep it girly and vintage-y too so I guess the theme was ‘Beer and Birds’ Each table was named after one of our favourite breweries and we had a selection of their bottles as table decorations with fake roses in. The men’s buttonholes were made of beer bottle caps and I had beer bottle caps on my bouquet. All the stationery featured vintage birds and we had a birdcage table plan. I got the design from Dollface Design on Etsy. My mum was unsure when I told her my vision but everyone said how unique and ‘us’ is was.
I am quite girly so pink was the colour theme but very subtly! I didn’t make Gary wear anything pink. We just had pink roses in the table decorations and my bridesmaid wore pink. The buttonholes did have small pink rose buttons on, which my bridesmaid and I also had in our bouquets.
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April 12th, 2016 | Julia Braime
We’ve got a real treat for you brides-to-be out there who love to bend the rules and challenge the norm!
This stunning free-spirited styled shoot, put together by a group of talented North West wedding suppliers, shows how ladies can stand out from the crowd with their big day look while remaining bridal and bang on trend.
Shot at Hope Mill Theatre – a listed warehouse in Manchester that’s been lovingly renovated into a theatre, wedding and event space – this captivating shoot has style, edge and class!
There are so many highlights for us; from the gorgeous gowns and separates, to the oversized floral crowns and the cool industrial setting – we love it all!
To fill you in on all the details we’re handing over the blog to the lovely Kellianne, who caught all the action on camera…
With images by Kellianne Photographer. Model Beth Rothwell at Industry Models Manchester.
kellianne says: This fantastic collaboration came about as we all wanted to create some great, fresh bridal photos that were beautiful, but not traditional. We were inspired by natural, bohemian photography with a bit of an edge and we felt that all the elements came together to create this.
Hope Mill Theatre was the fantastic location for the photo shoot. I loved the rustic feel of the mill with its exposed brick, wooden beams and natural light spilling through the windows, combined with its urban, industrial feel. Where possible I photographed our model Beth with natural light and wanted the photos to have a dreamy, natural feel but with a modern twist.
In terms of styling, the dresses used in the shoot were by Anna Campbell, Daughters of Simone and Houghton, exclusively available from and supplied by Jean Jackson Couture. The inspiration for the choice of dresses was gowns for the fashion forward bride with a love of 70’s vintage – free spirited brides not afraid of breaking rules. The amazing flowers that complemented the look were supplied by Frog Floral Artistry.
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