July 23rd, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There’s a very arty feel to today’s real wedding between Louise and Lee; from the editorial style images captured by the photographer, to the clever details produced by the bride.
As a fashion designer, Louise’s creative talents came into play throughout the planning – and yes, she did design her own wedding dress, which certainly lived up to the guests’ high expectations. We adore the statement leaf detailing and Louise’s careful consideration on exactly where the lace should be placed. Her attention to detail results in a gown that is both majestic and unique.
Further personal touches can be found in Louise’s fantastic handmade decorations, including the inventive table plan crafted from an old door displaying wonderful sketches by the bride and dressed with lush eucalyptus, as well as the table names, also beautiful sketches that represent important elements of Lee and Louise’s life together, such as the lovely drawing of their dog, Salvador Dali.
The cake, also designed by Louise, is wonderfully dramatic with silver leaf and a cascade of silver and green foliage down one side of its elegant three tiers. It would appear that this bride’s talents know no bounds!
With images by Tim Simpson Photography.
louise says: We got engaged in Paris in September 2015. Lee took me to Paris to finish off our annual holiday to the South of France. Since I had previously worked in Paris at a fashion designer’s atelier, I had always wanted to show Lee why I loved the place so much. We stopped for a sit down in the Louvre’s Tuileries gardens. I was checking my map and Lee was waiting until we had complete privacy before he slipped down on one knee and presented the most perfect diamond ring to me. We then quenched our thirst drinking pink champagne in the stunning Renaissance hotel!
We got married on Friday 13th October 2017. We have been asked “Why!?” many times. Our answer? “Why not!?” To us, every other day of the year except Christmas, birthdays and New Year have no significance. Friday 13th has impact, controversial connotations and raises eyebrows regularly. Sounds perfect for us. As one of my gifts to Lee on our wedding day, I had tattooed the number 13 on my finger. I revealed this to him at the altar in church! He thought I had drawn it on with eyeliner until my bridesmaid corrected him after the confetti throwing! He now has a matching tattoo.
We had our ceremony at St George’s United Reformed Church, Thornton Hough. It’s beautiful and ornate with wonderful curved ceilings, stained glass windows and calved patterns into the brickwork and is just 40 seconds from Thornton Manor, where we had our reception. The night before the wedding, my bridesmaids and I stayed in the Gate House at the manor. We got ready there and then I put my dress on over in the manor in the stunning Lady Lever Bedroom. Lee stayed in another of the manor’s many cottages in its grounds with his three best men
We chose Thornton Manor after scouring the north west for our ideal venue, marking every manor, castle and abbey within one-and-a-half-hours of our home (Lee made this distance rule to reduce the enormity of the mission). We spent many weekends visiting and analysing them. When we finally came across Thornton Manor, it ticked every box we had. Our guests stayed in the whole of the manor and the surrounding cottages and, inside, the manor was impeccable with original features, fabulous, grand rooms and gardens. It was faultless, and the décor and details were extremely tasteful and regal.
We would absolutely recommend the venue to other brides and grooms. There are so many rooms to use at different stages of the day; from a cosy lounge to the grand ballroom where we held the reception, to a long lobby room that looks out onto the gardens, to a music room. Everywhere you look the décor is fabulous. There’s even the Queen’s Bedroom and Queen Mother’s Bedroom, where royalty used to stay when they regularly visited Thornton Manor. Lee’s mum stayed in the Queen Mother’s Bedroom, which was special! The staff were very professional and I even had someone assigned to me throughout the day; he was literally on hand to help me whenever, wherever. He even stood at the side of the dance floor and would hold my drink! I felt like royalty myself and this treatment was never expected!
December 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We’re starting the week with a show-stopper of a real wedding – seriously, this is a beauty!
Though Victoria and Jay chose to keep the styling simple and had no set theme, the venue and decorative elements are pure luxury and class.
We adore the big blousy floral arrangements and bouquets, not to mention Victoria’s dress – wow! The back detail in particular has us all the heart eyes!
The grandest of reception rooms, a choice menu for the wedding breakfast and Molton Brown goodies as favours cements this as a big day we would have loved to have been on the guest list for.
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
victoria says: We got engaged on Easter Sunday. I had been away in the USA for two weeks with my family, and on the night I got back Jake wanted to take me out. We went for a meal and caught up on the past few weeks. Then, after the meal Jake produced an Easter egg and written on the egg were the words “will you marry me?” and he produced the ring. There were plenty of tears! Although we had been together since I was 16, it was still a surprise.
We set the date for 19th August 2017 as we wanted a summer wedding.
Our chosen venue was Thornton Manor, Cheshire. Jake had come across the venue through work about five years ago and we always said that when we got married we would take a look. It was always going to be the one, it is beautiful!
We didn’t have a set theme but we knew we wanted to keep things simple and elegant, so we chose ivory flowers, neutral colours and lots of candles. This also kept things light for summer and was in keeping with the classy feel of the venue.
When it came to my dress, I knew I wanted a slim fit design that was a little different. In the end I had to pick between my dress and classic strapless dress but chose mine because it was that bit different. I got it from The Confetti Box in Manchester. I had so many compliments on the day of people saying how unique it was.
I hired The Dollz for my bridal hair and makeup, who did a great job and my makeup lasted well into the night.
Jake’s and the groomsmen’s suit were from Whitfield & Ward, in Wilmslow.
We found the perfect bridesmaid dresses in One Fine Day Bridal, in Preston.
May 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Is there anywhere more romantic to pop the question than Paris? Ok, so I’m a little biased, as that’s where my other half got down on one knee, but another proposal in the French city of love is how today’s story begins.
After a dream engagement Emma and John bagged their dream venue Thornton Manor, for their big day and got the preparations underway.
They agreed they wanted the wedding to have a classic feel to suit the venue and we think you’ll agree that everything from Emma’s lace dress, to the maids’ pastel blue gowns and simple blooms say elegance.
Looking at the wedding snaps it’s easy to see why Emma and John had their hearts set on this venue – the reception room is nothing short of incredible!
With images by Matt Parry Photography.
emma says: We got engaged outside Montmartre cathedral in Paris at midnight on the 28th December 2012. John had planned to propose on New Year’s Eve but had the urge to do it on the first day we got to Paris. We had dinner in our favourite restaurant in Montmartre then John took me up the hill to ‘see the laser show on the Eiffel tower at midnight’.
We wanted a summer wedding, we knew you couldn’t guarantee good weather in England but thought we’d have the best chance in the summer months. The 28th August 2014 was available at our dream venue so we booked it. We married one month after my 26th birthday and the weather was stunning.
We got married at Thornton Manor on the Wirral. We had looked at the venue on the internet but dismissed it as we felt we couldn’t afford it. On a Sunday we were going to a wedding fair but it was awful so we googled if there were any other fairs in the area and there was one at Thornton Manor. When we got there we were welcomed by the owner, Phillip, and we were blown away and instantly knew we would do everything we could to get married there.
We wanted an authentic, classic feel for the wedding and knew we wanted elegance to match the house. We had top hats and 1950’s style bridesmaid dresses.
The main colour was pastel blue. It is my favourite colour and we felt it was perfect for a summer wedding. Our bridesmaids, groomsmen and page boy wore pastel blue. The stationery was ivory and pastel blue.
I chose an ivory David Tutera for Mon Cheri dress. It was a sleeveless soft lace mermaid gown with lace straps with a scoop neckline. The dress had embroidered Swarovski crystals with a spun gold waist.
John wore a charcoal morning suit and grey top hat. His outfit and the groomsmen’s outfits were from Slaters in Liverpool.
The bridesmaids wore a 1950’s pastel blue style dress from Dorothy Rose Bridal in Ellesmere Port. Everybody was blown away by the dresses and the fit was beautiful.
For our wedding transport we had a vintage Bentley in cream and black. It was hired from a company local to the venue.
Matt Parry was our photographer, without a doubt we would recommend him to anybody. Matt made us so comfortable before the day with meetings via Skype to talk about ‘essential’ photos and talk to us about his style etc. On the day John met Matt at the venue a little earlier than expected, Matt was having a look at the venue to get some ideas for his shots. Matt then came and spent a lot of time with me and the girls getting ready before going back to the venue to get those ‘nervy’ shots of John.
Throughout the day Matt wasn’t in anybody’s way, John said he didn’t notice him at all during the speeches but when you see the photographs you wonder how! He was a great friend on the day and we were absolutely overwhelmed when we got our beautiful presentation box through the post with all our gorgeous shots.
My bouquet was made up of ivory roses with Chinese grass loops, arranged by Amore Flowers in Widnes. The bridesmaids had ivory and pastel blue roses.
Amore also did our reception flowers, we would highly recommend them. We gave Joe the florist free reign to do as he pleased within our theme and he did a beautiful job!
We gave out jams and chutneys as favours, which were made by a company called Posh Pickles based in Knutsford. With customized labels and ribbons to match our theme, Rob and Steph did a great job and their Jams and Chutneys are amazing!
We had a four tier lace cake with roses and rose petals in the theme of pastel blue and ivory – the layers were lemon and carrot cake. A friend of mine, Coleen, did the cake – she was great!
The venue had a caterer list that we had to choosefrom to provide our wedding breakfast – we chose Anne Wilson Corden Bleu. We had a pate starter, pork trio main and a trio of deserts – it was so nice!
For entertainment we had a DJ in the evening and gave him an extensive playlist – basically every song for the evening! In our RSVP’s we asked our guests to give us a song that would get them on the dance floor.
We also booked a string quartet to play before/after the ceremony and during canapés after the ceremony. They played as I walked down the aisle and also the music John and I walked out of the room to – they were absolutely brilliant and so many people commented on them.
We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to others purely because it’s magical. There is something about the music room that leaves you feeling calm and humble. The Manor House ball room is breath taking and given rain or shine any bride and groom will have the best time of their lives celebrating there.
One of our favourite parts of the day was when our photographer Matt took us off into an old green house to take some unusual shots of us. We loved this part of the day as we were able to spend time together and it was really fun trying not to smile or laugh at the camera. The pictures turned out to be amazing, just what we expected from Matt.
For our honeymoon we decided to go stay on the Palm in Dubai, the hotel was on the beach which was total paradise. We loved our stay and will definitely be returning in the future.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to remember the reasons why you are getting married. I think some brides/grooms can get carried away with making sure absolutely everything is perfect but just remember that you can’t please everyone no matter how much you will try. Remember your wedding day is your day and at the end of it all you’ll always have your best friend beside you so there’s nothing to worry about.
Also try not to spill red wine on your dress!
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.
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.
With images by ER Photography.
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.
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!
I chose a plain but elegant champagne/oyster dress with a long cathedral veil from Blush Bridal.
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.
ER Photography were our photographers. They were fantastic – beautiful pictures, lots of coordination on the day and part of the party!
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.
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.
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!
We had a photobooth which people stuck into a book and left us their best wishes and messages.
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!
We took a week’s mini moon in Barbados but plan to go to South America in September for 3.5 weeks.
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.
July 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, 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 7th July 2014, 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.
I’ve been in the wedding blog game for almost four years now, penning two fab features a day and of those features at least three Real Weddings a week. I might have said this once or twice before, but sometimes a celebration comes along that really knocks my socks off.
I’m a sucker for a bit of tradition, a dash of sparkle, an abundance of blush pink roses and full on glam.
Pooja and Krishna’s wedding ticks all those boxes, and has to be one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen. And in my line of work, that’s really saying something.
Have a lovely Friday Brides Up North, and be very inspired!
Images by Lawson Photography.
Pooja says: We went to Dubai last year in January for a short break and got engaged there. I had no idea he was going to ask me to marry him! Suffice to say he went down on one knee to pop the question and it came as such a shock that he had to ask me again!
We got married at the beautiful Thornton Manor on the Wirral on 22nd February 2014. As it was a winter wedding we wanted somewhere grand, classic and all exclusively to ourselves for the big day. The Manor was perfect for our theme, our ceremonies & our guests. With the ceremonies being traditional, colourful and intimate the Manor’s vintage feel and lavish décor provided an exquisite backdrop to the day.
For us it was all about remembering our loved ones that couldn’t be with us, glamour, and collaborating two cultures into a memorable day.
If I had to describe a theme for our wedding, I would describe it as Indian vintage. The Indian outfits for the Hindu ceremony were very regal and we were inspired by the Mughal era (1570 to 1857). The grooms procession, the shehnai music, a live sitar player (classical Indian instrument), a rich evening dinner and the Vedic wedding ceremony itself were all very in line with tradition and with the Indian vintage theme . To add to this the wedding was in a grand manor which was built in the early 1900’s.
Our colour scheme was white and blush pink. Our mandap (a 4 pillar structure where the Indian ceremony takes place) was white and was decorated with beautiful blush pink roses. The cake, the top table, the brides bouquet, the groomsman’s button holes and in the civil ceremony room all had the white and blush pink theme incorporated into them. We also had a white carpet that was laid out leading to the mandap with rose petals scattered on it for the bridal entrance.
All our beautiful flowers were by Wedding Flowers Cheshire by Ian Lloyd.
We had created an order of service which provided an overview of each step of the Vedic Hindu ceremony in English so all our guests could follow the ceremony.
For the day ceremony, the bridesmaids wore anarkali salwar suits in light cream, each had the same style of embroidery but in different colours. Anarkali dresses owe their name to Anarkali, a famous courtesan in the court of a great Mughal emperor.
The best men wore traditional Indian Kurta’s which were in light gold with dark brown embroidery. The Kurta’s were complimented with deep red duppattas (scarfs).
I wore a traditional Indian lehenga choli which was inspired by the Mughal era. The outfit was bought from Kalki in Mumbai, India. It was embellished in heavy red, gold and cream hand work. I wore Mughal inspired Kunda jewellery to compliment the look.
For the civil ceremony I wore an Archana Kochhar creation bought in Mumbai, India. It was exclusively designed for me. It was in ivory and embellished in Swarovski crystal details. My shoes were by Benjamin Adams and my jewellery was Persian inspired.
I carried a shower bouquet of blush pink roses with white orchids.
Krishna wore a beautiful Manish Malhotra outfit from his collection bought in Mumbai, India. The traditional Indian wedding outfit is called sherwani and was embellished in beautiful hand work detail.
With such a mixed crowd we needed to choose our music very carefully. We therefore decided to go with a DJ who could provide a wide range of music. We hired DJ Fritz who was highly recommended and wasn’t your traditional wedding DJ. He provided an excellent DJ set along with production and lighting for the wedding. The equipment he had was more akin to a club and he was mixing music which is exactly what we wanted. In addition to his set we had a Dhol player playing tracks such as Happy by Pharrell Williams which made for an eclectic sound.
For our champagne reception we had a very talented sitar player – Stephen Callaghan aka Yaman who travelled from Glasgow, Scotland. Yaman studied the art of playing the Sitar in Banaras, India. The Sitar is a classical Indian instrument. He played classical Indian raga’s as well as covering songs of artists such as the Beatles, Nirvana and Oasis.
We gave pashmina shawls to all the female guests as wedding favours which we personally picked and placed in a glossy white bag, finished with a thank you tag tied with a pink bow.
We wanted to remember our loved ones who are no longer with us throughout the day; we had pictures of our loved ones around the Manor, we lit a candle in remembrance prior to the commencement of the vows, we raised a toast to them during the speeches and our first dance song was an Elton John classic, Your Song, which was my father’s favourite song.
Our wedding cake was in the style of a mandap. Half of the cake was chocolate and the other half was Victorian sponge in strawberry flavour, provided by Slattery.
My favourite part of the day was the first dance! I was dreading it as I didn’t like idea of everyone watching me. To avoid this I had asked all close friends and family to join us after a minute of us dancing. It all went beautifully to plan – in the end I really enjoyed the whole moment so much!
We always wanted to go on safari, hence the first part of our honeymoon was spent in Kenya, on safari in the Maasai Mara.
Then we went to Zanzibar, where we stayed at the Hideaway of Nungwi Resort, which is an incredible beach resort. Amazing people, pristine white sand, crystal clear water & a great experience. Our final stop was Dubai before we came back to reality! It was perfect!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to have a toast master for the wedding. Bob was absolutely brilliant and made sure our day went to plan and as we wanted.
In addition, have a meeting with all key suppliers at the venue together a month before the big day. We found it useful given that we had two ceremonies, it was great for all the suppliers to meet and go through all the finer details so everyone was singing from the same hymn sheet on the big day. It really helped our day go smoothly and to plan. I’m not sure the Manor has ever seen such planning!
Congratulations Pooja & Krishna!
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May 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m putting this feature together in my PJs (oh the glamour!) on Sunday night after a great weekend in Cheshire hosting our – absolutely gorgeous – luxury and vintage wedding exhibition for the first time at Hilltop Country House. Rain couldn’t stop play (and I woke rather worryingly to the torrential type on Sunday morning) on what was a properly lovely day of fabulous people, superb talents and beautiful brides in an especially stunning setting. So up my street!
There’s been so many lovely comments on Twitter and Facebook from our visiting brides and exhibitors and it’s lovely to put my feet up and reflect on a job well done. Today, and the whole season so far in fact, has been epic. Thank you all for your kind words and feedback.
I’m feeling a little sad as our spring season is now drawing to a close – to be back with a bang in September! – but we’ll be closing the season in style with not one but two supremely pretty events to finish off with next Sunday 18th May. For the first time ever, we’re splitting the team and doubling up with two amazing bridal exhibitions in one day… I think the phrase Super Sunday might actually have been invented for this… read all about what’s in store for you at The Alnwick Garden here or Middleton Lodge here.
Bring. It. On.
Anyway, I’m here in the office after hours, getting ahead so I can take a day off with my baby girl tomorrow, and recharge for a week of loveliness here online too. Things just keep getting prettier and prettier around these parts, and our brand new look isn’t far off either… #getsetsparkle.
This afternoon though, we’re in the Wirral for the fun and fabulous Real Wedding of Brides Up North reader Rachel and her new husband Alex. This is a day packed with colour, love and laughter. My very favourite type.
With images by Martisan Photography.
Rachel says: We got engaged in the Palais De La Mediterrannee hotel in Nice on May 16th 2012. Alex surprised me for my birthday.
We were married on Friday 16th August 2013 at St Mary’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool and then had the reception in the Lakeside Marquee at Thornton Manor, Wirral. It is a beautiful, private location set on a lake where we knew our guests would be able to relax and just enjoy themselves. We wanted our reception to be in one big open area so that everyone would mingle and have fun together.
Our colour scheme was different shades of pink and orange. It was a real summer wedding.
I had a rose and orchid bouquet. My Nana and Mum’s favourite flower is the orchid and mine is the rose. I wanted my bouquet to have a little of each of the three of us in it.
Our photographer was Martisan Photography and he was fantastic!
We had a swing band called Dominic Halpin and the HoneyB’s. They never fail to get the party started! They are amazing!
Our invitations and table décor were by Hattie Boo Designs which is run by a super talented lady, Emma Bryan.
As a special touch, we had photographs of our four sets of grandparents and both sets of parents on their wedding day to remember their weddings and successful marriages. They have all fulfilled their vows.
We wanted the wedding to mirror us as a couple. It was very romantic and classic. On our first Valentine’s Day Alex bought me a book called ‘Love Monkey’ by Edward Monkton. We named our top table after that, with a quote from the book that represented us. The rest of the tables were named after a famous writer or scholar with a famous quote they had once said about love.
We used Terry Tangs in Liverpool for our wedding cake. It was a four tier cake with a different flavour for each tier.
I loved every second but I think my favourite part of the day has to be our first dance. I wasn’t looking forward to it as I was nervous but it was something I will never forget nor experience again. In our wedding venue the dance floor and ‘party room’ was hidden behind a curtain and so the guests had no idea. When the curtain was raised and we were behind it you could see how surprised and excited everybody was for us.
For our honeymoon we went to Australia for just over three weeks. We started in Melbourne and then went to Sydney. We then drove to Byron Bay and Brisbane and spent the last week on Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy it! Enjoy every second from the planning, to the build-up, to the day itself! It is easy to get stressed about trivial things when you are planning a wedding and worrying that something will not go to plan. If you really are marrying the love of your life you will have the best day ever and it will be perfect no matter what.
Congratulations Rachel & Alex!
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