Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

snowflakes & lilies. a winter wedding at peckforton castle – lorna & dave

October 21st, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today’s elegant real wedding was arranged in just six months and perfectly illustrates the beauty of tying the knot in the winter season.

The couple, Lorna and Dave, had been together for more than five years before getting engaged. Briefly contemplating a beach wedding in the Caribbean sunshine, the couple couldn’t resist the allure of staying close to home and celebrating their big day at the magnificent Peckforton Castle.

Dressed in an off-the-shoulder, fluted fishtail gown, Lorna was every bit the fairy-tale princess.

With images from Jonny Draper Photography.

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lorna says: We got engaged on 23rd May 2015, at Tre-Ysgawen Hall, Anglesey, Wales. At this point we had been together for more than five years, so I’d pretty much given up hope, but it turns out he was waiting for me to stop hinting so that it would come as a surprise. Dave had taken me away for the weekend and chosen Wales because of my Welsh roots. We enjoyed spa treatments on the Saturday and even joked in the Jacuzzi that Dave was rubbish at keeping secrets! Later that day, he got down on one knee in a lovely little meadow in the grounds of the hotel. I was so stunned he had to prompt me for a response as his knee was getting wet from the grass!

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We tied the knot on Thursday 17th December 2015. We both wanted a winter wedding and weren’t concerned about the weather. We love Christmas time, so thought we could make the most of the gorgeous festive decorations at our venue, Peckforton Castle in Cheshire. We also first met on 17th January so there was certain symmetry to the date.

We got married in the Great Hall at Peckforton. Dave wanted to either wed on a beach in the Caribbean or in a castle. As I’m red head and not a huge fan of sand – the decision was quickly made! We looked at a number of other locations in and around Cheshire, but Peckforton was by far the most magical and perfect venue.

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We both love to travel so our table names were places we had visited together and our table plan was a map of the world. We also had a vintage suitcase for our cards. For us, this signified that we had already been on many adventures, and that we are now embarking on another big adventure together into married life.

We tried to keep a personal touch throughout the wedding, with my sister designing our wedding invitations and other stationery, and my mum making the most fabulous snowflake wedding cake. Overall, we were going for an understated but elegant look.

Our colour scheme was dark purple. It’s a rich shade that stands out for a winter wedding and it also complemented the decor in the castle – and we both love the colour!

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fabulous florals. a pretty & personal homemade wedding in oldham – jennifer & warren

March 10th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Homemade Wedding in Oldham (c) Tim Simpson Photography (39)

Some may think that staging a big day at home makes the whole planning process that bit easier, but as this morning’s real wedding goes to show there’s a lot to consider and organise when hosting the celebrations in your own back garden.

Bride Jennifer and groom Warren, chose Jennifer’s parents’ garden as the perfect location for their wedding, enjoying an open-air humanist ceremony followed by a marquee reception.

Though thoroughly beautiful from beginning to end, the element that stands out to us most is all the fabulous florals, from the arch on the lawn to the suspended arrangements in the marquee and the beautiful 3D detailing on Jennifer’s dress – we’re in love!

With images by Tim Simpson Photography.

A Homemade Wedding in Oldham (c) Tim Simpson Photography (37)

jennifer says: We got engaged on 11th October 2013, at Rex Lookout, East Coast Australia, which is located approximately half way between Cairns and Port Douglas. We were embarking on a tour of the East Coast and had just collected our campervan from Cairns. On route to our first stop of Port Douglas we came across this amazing beauty spot and this is where Warren totally and utterly surprised me by asking me to marry him.

We set the date for 27th June 2015 as we wanted an outdoor ceremony and thought this time of year was our best chance for dry weather. We set a date pretty quickly as we had guests from Australia, Sweden and France and wanted to make sure that we gave people as much notice as possible.

A Homemade Wedding in Oldham (c) Tim Simpson Photography (28)

Due to us having a humanist ceremony it was necessary to also have a legal ceremony at our local registry office – we did this one week before the actual wedding day. It was an intimate affair with just family and two close friends. It was just lovely, a very simple ceremony and then a pub lunch which brought everyone together to mark the start of the official wedding week!

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sweet surprises. a mauve themed wedding with shabby chic touches at colshaw hall – helen & david

October 22nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (52)

Today’s real wedding comes with a spectacular surprise engagement that was so well thought out and executed that groom Dave deserves some sort of medal. I’ll let bride Helen explain all the details of the engagement and the wedding (which included another very sweet surprise) in her own words, but all I will say ladies is – prepare to be impressed!

With images by Suzy Wimbourne Photography.

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (7)

helen says: We got engaged in August 2014 at home. Unbeknown to me Dave had risen at 6am to create something he’d been planning for a while. When I woke up he wasn’t in bed but I noticed a little note on his pillow, which asked me to get dressed, go outside the bedroom door and to follow whatever I saw out there.

As I went outside the room I could see the beginning of a photo timeline. It started right outside the door and went off downstairs. Right at the start of the line was a red rose with a note saying ‘take me with you’. From the very first photo of us together, to our first time at Glastonbury and our first year anniversary, the photos went on and on. When I reached the TV in the lounge there was a little note saying ‘turn me and the DVD player on and press play’, which I did, only to find Dave on the television with his ukulele in hand. He’d recorded a little message and himself playing a song he’d written for me and then told me to carry on along the string line!

When the timeline finished, I was directed into the conservatory. Inside Dave had set up a table ready for breakfast with flowers, candles, pancakes and a fresh fruit smoothie. As Dave came back from the kitchen he looked a bit nervous and then proceeded to get down onto one knee and asked me to marry him!

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (12)

We set the date for 25th June 2015 as we’d always wanted a summer wedding when there was the best chance of it being sunny.

We got married at Colshaw Hall in Over Peover, near Knutsford. It’s such a beautiful venue in an equally beautiful setting. It’s in the middle of the countryside on a gorgeous estate. There’s also a wooden ‘mock chapel’ where we had the civil ceremony, which was exactly what we were looking for as we had decided that we didn’t want to get married in a church. It was great because you could hire both the hall itself and there were some cottages too where our closest family and friends could stay on site. They also served breakfast the next morning for everyone who stayed on site and it was delicious!

The theme of the wedding was shabby chic, natural, and I wanted to use hessian. The colour scheme I chose was purple/mauve.

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (10)

My dress was from a local shop in Poynton, called Timeless Bride.  It was simple and elegant. An A-line gown with a lace top, satin bow around the waist at the back and plain satin skirt. Buttons went all the way down the back of the dress. I also wore a single tier veil with a little bit of sparkle! I tried on all different styles of dress but in the end I always knew this shape would suit me best. I absolutely loved my dress!

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (22)

With it being a summer wedding Dave went for a light grey morning suit. We both wanted Dave to have tails but not a top hat and as it turned out the day was really hot and so this was good choice.

He wore an ivory cravat with the suit, all of which we hired from Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow. The groomsmen wore the same suit as Dave but had a mauve colour cravat.

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (38)

The bridesmaids wore a mauve coloured dress from a shop called YS Dress in Stockport. The dresses were simple and classic. They were floor length, strapless designs with a sweetheart neckline in a lovely floaty chiffon material. I wanted something that would suit all my bridesmaids and that they would be comfortable in.

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (49)

We chose Suzy Wimbourne Photography to capture our day. It was a joy to have Suzy and Alex there on the day and we would absolutely recommend them to everyone! Not only did they take fantastic photographs throughout the day but they are also two of the nicest people we’ve had the pleasure of meeting, it pretty much felt like having two more friends with us on our wedding day!

We’ve nicknamed them ‘photography ninjas’ as we knew they were always there, poised to capture our day but we never felt that they were imposing at all and they just blended in perfectly. We didn’t worry about the photographs at all throughout the day as we trusted them completely and knew that they would capture it in exactly the style we wanted – natural and bright, and their photos really do depict the whole feeling of happiness throughout the day.

Everyone who has seen our photographs has commented on how fantastic they are and we totally agree. We really couldn’t be happier with the photos they took on the day and also in our pre wedding photoshoot a few months prior to the wedding.

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (57)

My bridesmaids all carried a bundle of gypsophila. My bouquet was of similar size but contained memory lane roses, white lady spray roses, astrantia, dried lavender, ivory astilbe, ivory wax flower, a few clusters of gypsophila and a touch of grey stachys. The bouquets were all bound in hessian. Sian at The Didsbury Flower Lounge was the fantastic florist for our wedding. She was absolutely brilliant.

Floral decorations included a long, low arrangement on the registrar table, which was later moved to the top table for the reception. For our reception table centre pieces we had cylindrical glass vases with twigs inside, coming up through the design with delphiniums and gypsophila clusters sat within the twigs inside the vase and memory lane petals were in the base. Each vase had a loose collar of flowers to complement the bouquets. The bridesmaids’ gypsophila bouquets were also put into vases on the top table. The flowers in the wedding breakfast room looked absolutely fantastic, we were over the moon with how they turned out.

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (59)

For our favours we decided to make a donation to a local hospice, St. Ann’s. One of my bridesmaids lost her dad to cancer a few years ago and he spent some time at St. Ann’s in his last few weeks, and so we wanted to spend the money on something that was close to our hearts.

We were very lucky to have our cake made as a wedding gift by my sister’s fiancé’s mum. It was absolutely spot on! It had four tiers – two of which were Madeira cakes, one was lemon and the top tier was a fruit cake, which we wanted to use in line with the age old tradition and save it for either our 1st year anniversary or to celebrate the birth of our first child. The cake tiers alternated between a smooth, white finish and ones with scattered flowers on. On top of the cake we had two little fabric ‘bride and groom’ birds which I had made with my own hands.

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (67)

With having the wedding at Colshaw Hall we had to use their preferred caterer (Barretts Events Caterers), however, this was certainly not a bad thing as the food we had was quite simply the best wedding food we have ever had! We have to give a special mention of the service they provided too – it really was second to none.

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (68)

When it came to entertainment, we had The Didsbury String Quartet to play during the drinks reception and a live band called The Live Wires, for the evening. Dave was quite adamant about having a string quartet, partly due to the fact that he loves stringed instruments and partly because he was planning on a little surprise involving them. He’d always wanted to play a song with a string quartet so when he finally convinced me to hire the string quartet he went about writing a song and asking them to accompany him on it.

So after we’d had all our photos taken Dave got his ushers to gather everyone around where the string quartet were playing and then he appeared with his guitar. He started playing on his own and then the strings came in and it was amazing! I couldn’t believe it! When they finished, all of our guests went crazy.

Our evening band, The Live Wires, were fantastic too. They got everyone involved and played such an amazing set of songs that got everyone going! We danced until we were allowed to!

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (74)

Both Dave and I really wanted the day to be a memorable one for everyone (including ourselves) and so we each made the effort to do something special. I really wanted to put my own mark on the day and so really got stuck in and made quite a few little decorative bits and pieces, including decorative jam jars for the tables and walls outside, the table plan, little flags in buckets for the table numbers, luggage tags to save the ceremony chairs for the bride and groom’s family, and also the bride and groom birds for the cake.

We both also wanted to surprise everyone on the night and do a good first dance so we had a good few lessons with a dance teacher who choreographed a dance for us to my chosen song, Save the Last Dance by Michael Buble! It went down a storm and we were so pleased to get through it fairly unscathed.

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (77)

We would 100 per cent recommend Colshaw Hall to other couples. There were just so many things about the venue that we fell in love with. From the fantastic wooden ceremony hall called ‘The Stables’, to the walled garden and the accommodation in the main hall and in the cottages. From the moment we first went round to look at Colshaw Hall the staff were absolutely fantastic. The attention to detail, the willingness to get involved and all carried out with such friendly professionalism. Shelly oversaw our day and she was an absolute star.

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (82)

Dave and I loved the whole wedding day, but we’d have to say the happiest part of it was the ceremony. The suspense of seeing each other, feeling totally overwhelmed when we finally did and then making the promises to each other in front of everyone felt so amazing and, this might sound cheesy, but enlightening too. It was something we’ll never do or feel again.

We couldn’t have a hymn as the ceremony wasn’t taking place in a church so instead we had everyone sing a ‘congregational song’ – Frank Sinatra’s You Make Me Feel So Young. We’d printed the words out for everyone and downloaded the karaoke music track and everyone really got into it!

We also had my sister and a close friend sing a couple of songs whilst we were signing the register, as well as three readings by my grandma, Dave’s dad and my cousin.

A Pretty Country Wedding (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (83)

Straight after the wedding we had a minimoon down in Cornwall in St Ives. We were blessed with great weather, just as we were on the day of the wedding, and we had a lovely relaxing few days reminiscing about the wedding day wishing we could go back and do it all again! We are planning on going to Africa for a safari next year for our main honeymoon in the Serengeti in Tanzania. Then hopefully onto an island in the Indian Ocean to get some relaxation time in (cash depending!)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to relax on the day and just go with the flow. Don’t worry about the running of the day; you’ve got all the staff around to make sure it all goes to plan, so just enjoy it! Also, try and enjoy the food during the wedding breakfast! Dave and I didn’t eat much as we were so excited (and also because Dave was nervous about his speech), but afterwards we wish we’d savoured the gorgeous food more!

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urban delight. rich jewel hues for a stylish city centre wedding at the palace hotel, manchester – kate & chris

February 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (50)

I do love a stunning piece of architecture and clearly so too do today’s real wedding couple Kate and Chris, who picked Manchester’s beautiful Palace Hotel in which to tie the knot.

Its regal marble floors, wood panelling and domed ceiling provided a stunning backdrop for the couple’s vows and evening reception. During the day the new Mr and Mrs headed out onto the streets of Manchester with their photographer James Tracey, for some edgy urban shots which contrast beautifully with those taken inside The Palace.

In addition to a great location, highlights of Kate and Chris’s big day include an opulent colour scheme, delicious food and toe-tapping entertainment. Enjoy!

With images by James Tracey Photography.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (6)

kate says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2013. I had an idea Chris might propose but when I opened all my presents and there was no ring I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. However later in the day Chris surprised me by asking me to marry him and gave me a beautiful ring. As it was Christmas it was great being with family to help celebrate our engagement.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (9)

Our wedding date was 4th October 2014. We knew we wanted a local wedding but we weren’t too bothered about it being in the summer months as you can’t guarantee the British weather. Instead we decided on early October as it was just out of season but we though the weather wouldn’t be too wintery.

We got married at The Palace Hotel in Manchester city centre. We wanted our ceremony and reception all in one venue but wanted to find somewhere with character which is why we both loved The Palace Hotel. As soon as we walked into the hotel and saw the domed ceiling we both knew it was right for us. We also thought that the hotel would be a great backdrop for our photographs in case the weather was really bad and we couldn’t have any outside, but luckily on the day we were able to get a mixture of both.

I’d definitely recommend The Palace Hotel as a wedding venue. It’s a beautiful setting for a wedding and the layout works really well. We liked the fact that the ceremony room was separate to where we had our wedding breakfast and the bar area had plenty of space for all the guests. The wedding organisers were very helpful, and on the day the service and staff were great. We didn’t have to worry about anything which is what you want on your wedding day.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (10)

When looking for wedding inspiration I loved rich, jewel colours, which I thought would be perfect for an autumnal wedding rather than the more pastel shades that you often see in spring and summer.  We decided to go for two colours in the end, a deep purple and a teal colour. The teal bridesmaid dresses were the first things I bought and I thought matching the exact colour of the dresses might be difficult which is why we introduced the purple colour. I loved the fact we had two colours and that everything didn’t have to match.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (12)

I love sparkles and lace so my wedding dress was the perfect combination of both. The dress was by Ellis from the Blossom Collection. I bought it from Timeless Bride in Poynton. Janine, the owner, is lovely and made the whole experience really great. I saw the dress on the shop’s website and when I tried it on I knew it was the one! I loved the keyhole back design and little details such as the staggered button back and the floral gem waistband, which made it different to other dresses I tried on.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (13)

Chris chose his own suit and I didn’t see it until the morning of the wedding! He did a brilliant job. He wore a navy blue morning suit with a dove grey waistcoat and gold tie. He hired the suit from Swarbricks but bought his shirt and tie from Charles Tyrwhitt.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (15)

My four best friends who were my bridesmaids wore floor-length teal dresses from Coast. I actually got them in the January sales so they were a great bargain. The groomsmen wore the same navy blue morning suits and grey waistcoat as Chris. We also bought the shirts and ties for them but they wore purple ties rather than gold.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (25)

A soon as I booked the wedding I knew I wanted Donna Crompton at The Halo Rooms to do mine and my bridesmaids’ hair. She’s fantastic at up dos and is great for ideas and inspiration. Donna also put me in touch with Louise Elliott, a freelance makeup artist who did my makeup on the day. It was great being pampered on the morning of the wedding and not having to worry about anything.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (27)

I decided I didn’t want to spend a lot on transport to the venue so I travelled in a black cab to the hotel with my brother who gave me away. My bridesmaids followed behind in a separate taxi. Chris stayed at the Palace Hotel the night before the wedding so he had no excuses for being late!

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (28)

We used James Tracey Photography for our photos, who we booked after he photographed my brother’s wedding the previous year. We loved James’ style of photography; he’s really friendly but also very professional and talented. He captured our day perfectly and we are so pleased with the lasting memories of our wedding day. We ended up with a great mix of more traditional and contemporary photos, especially the ones he took around Manchester city centre. I’d absolutely recommend James.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (29)

Before the wedding, I had a craft day with my bridesmaids where we created our bouquets. I liked that with artificial flowers I could create exactly what I wanted and not be restricted by what was available in terms of types of flowers and colours. It was also a cheaper alternative to fresh flowers and I’m able to keep my bouquet forever.

The Palace Hotel was great and helped with setting up our room on the day of the wedding. I had in my mind how I wanted the room to look and they recreated it perfectly. I provided mirrors, tea lights and scatter crystals for the guests’ tables and the hotel provided the candelabra. For the top table we had floating candles in glass vases as well as my bridesmaid bouquets. We also used Divine Designs who provided white chair covers with a purple sash to finish the room off.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (34)

Our favours also doubled up as our name places. Each guest had their name printed on a traditional sweetshop paper bag which we filled with a few pick ‘n’ mix sweets. Keeping on the sweet theme, our wedding cake was a gift from Chris’ parents. It was made by Joanne Howson at Imagicakes. It was three tiers – chocolate, lemon and carrot cake in a ‘bling and rose’ design. It looked stunning but it also tasted delicious!

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (41)

We both love music and knew we wanted some sort of entertainment for our evening reception. In the end we booked the Live Lounge Duo who are Danny Lee and Gary Kirk. They played a great mix of songs that got everyone up on the dance floor straight away. As part of our package they also provided a DJ, which was great for keeping the party going until late.

We also had a photo booth set up for the evening reception, which was great fun. All the guests enjoyed getting dressed up with the props they provide. The photos are printed instantly which was perfect as the guests all went home with a memento from the wedding. We hired the booth for a couple of hours from Phil Burdge at Digi-booth.net.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (47)

It’s hard to say my favourite part of the day as I really did love every minute of it, it’s such a special feeling. I think we both enjoyed the evening reception when the party got started. It’s so nice to have all your friends and family together celebrating with you and having a good time.

a colourful wedding at The Palace Hotel in Manchester - Kate & Chris (54)

We went on a two week road trip to Las Vegas and California as we wanted an action packed honeymoon. We spent five nights in Vegas and then flew to San Diego for a couple of nights. From there we drove up the Pacific highway stopping at various places such as LA and Santa Barbara before we reached San Francisco for the last part of our honeymoon. It was amazing!

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be decide on the things that matter the most to you both about your day and spend your wedding budget on these things. It’s easy to get carried away and stress over things that won’t even matter to you on the day. Most of all, remember to enjoy it and have fun!

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twinkle twinkle. a warm winter wedding at the belle epoque – amy & adam

February 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (47)

Hey, it’s Tuesday and baby it’s cold outside.

Let’s have another warming winter wedding, shall we?

Amy and Adam’s twinkling celebration mixes classically elegant styling with a good dose of merry and bright for their Boxing Day big day. And as you know, at Brides Up North, we love a bit of sparkle

With images by Andrew Keher Photography.

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (1)

amy says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2013. The ring was on my pillow in the bedroom when I came in from my shift at the hospital. I pretended I hadn’t seen it so I could shower and change out of my uniform first and Adam played along! Adam had a speech prepared but didn’t get very far through it as he was so emotional. We opened the champagne and my parents and brother came round that evening for dinner and we told them the exciting news. Cue more champagne!

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (2)

We got married on Boxing Day 2014. Christmas is a very important time of year for me and my family and we wanted to make it even more special by adding a wedding into the mix. It meant that the usual Boxing Day tradition of staying in pajamas all day had to be jettisoned but nobody seemed to mind.

We chose The Belle Epoque, Knutsford as our venue.

We wanted exclusive use of an intimate, romantic venue and the Belle Epoque was definitely the right fit. It’s lovely all year round, but particularly cosy in the winter with real fires and beautiful decorations. I have a love of all things French and the Art Nouveau feel to the venue made it even more perfect. It’s also got a great reputation for food – we’re big foodies so it was particularly important to give our guests the most delicious wedding breakfast.

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (12)

We gave a nod to the 1920s, Great Gatsby style that you can particularly see in the shoes worn by Adam, the best man Andy and my dad, as well as in elements of my dress.

Since Adam and I have been together, he’s introduced me into the world of beer (I was very much a wine and cocktail girl before), especially Belgian beers which we tried plenty of in Bruges – Adam took me there for my 30th – so the tables were names of Belgian beers. Each one had an empty bottle of the beer in on the table with a candle in the middle and a coaster attached using ribbon we had made that said ‘Amy & Adam 26th December 2014’.

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (17)

The venue comes already dressed – and beautifully so – so we didn’t want to do too much to it. We added in some candles, cream silk rose petals scattered up the aisle and silver snowflakes and crystal decorations.

My bridesmaid wore cobalt blue and our flower girl wore silver and cobalt blue – we wanted an accent colour to stand out.

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (18)

I bought my dress from Timeless Bride, Poynton, a local bridal shop to where my parents live. It was made by Paloma Blanca.

The dress was one of the first I tried on, but not one I initially chose. Janine, the owner of Timeless Bride, suggested I try it on and it was perfect. It was the only dress that made my mum cry when she saw me and I felt beautiful and elegant in it straight away. I didn’t want white, the colour of the dress is champagne and I think this was more flattering for my complexion.

It is a strapless dress, but the dress came with a cape in the same lace that was on the dress. We had a halter neck strap made during alterations out of this. The strap was detachable and the plan was to take it off in the evening, but I loved it so I wore it all day. The seamstress also made a bustle on the dress so I could dance more easily in the evening.

We also added a diamante belt to the dress to accentuate my waist and add some more glamour.

Gemma Hallowell did my hair and make up.

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (28)

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (30)

Adam wore tails and a silver cravat from Freedmans in Stockport. He wore two toned shoes from Ebay which looked amazing.

My bridemaid’s dress was from Coast. My mum made the flower girl’s dress.

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (33)

Our flowers were from The Flower Lounge, Didsbury.

Sian is a school friend of Adam’s and she was really helpful in the early stages of our wedding planning, suggesting a make-up artist for me, as well as helping us to find our photographer and venue, so when it came to the flowers it had to be The Flower Lounge.

I’ve ordered flowers previously from Sian and have always been really impressed. I had only a very vague idea of what I wanted: a structured bouquet with white flowers only, particularly roses, hand-tied with ribbons and pearls. We trusted Sian completely and she didn’t disappoint. I had a smaller bouquet made for my bridesmaid and button holes for the men.

The Flower Lounge won the region’s Wedding Florist of the Year 2014,

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (35)

We used Andrew Keher.Photography.

I have already recommended Andrew and he is photographing my friend’s wedding in May!

Andy did our engagement shoot earlier in the year and got some stunning images of us, which are on our lounge wall. We were so impressed with them that we had a signature book made using only Andy’s images.

Andy went the extra mile throughout the process, driving to meet us at the venue when we had our menu tasting so he could weigh up best places for photos and get an idea what the venue was like. The ceremony room is candle-lit and very intimate and the whole venue is dimly lit, so it is known as being a difficult place to get excellent wedding photos – we were really touched that Andy came to see it beforehand and feel that this is partly why we got such fantastic shots on the day. He had agreed to stay until the first dance, but ended up staying much later, continuing to work hard to capture some beautiful moments.

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (40)

Our wedding stationery (invitations, table plan, menus and name cards) came from Wedding Paraphernalia. A very personalised and excellent place which I’d highly recommend. As the tables were Belgian-beer themed, we sent the coasters for the beers to Jo at Wedding Paraphernalia and she put the table plan together for us.

My mum found little Christmas tree bauble table decorations and had ribbon made that said ‘Amy & Adam, 26th December 2014. These acted both as favours for people to hang on their tree in the years to come and as place cards. Wedding Paraphernalia made name cards for each person which we attached to the bauble with tiny silver pegs (my mum had to hand paint these silver as she couldn’t find silver ones!).The children had finger puppets which went down really well.

We used silver snowflakes and table crystals as well as tealights and tealight holders too. We had Mr and Mrs cushions on our chairs as well as a wooden Mr and Mrs sign on the top table. We also had little chocolates that had wedding quiz question on the wrapper in little silver gauze bags.

My mum took great pleasure finding all of the little extras and organising these for us, for which I’m really grateful as I don’t have a particularly good eye for the little details, nor the patience!

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (42)

Before the tasting at the venue we had a good idea what we wanted, but were blown away by other options when we tasted them and changed the menu completely!

My dad makes the most amazing Christmas cake each year, so we asked him to make one for the wedding. He made it double the depth and it was delicious.

My Aunty Iris made a fantastic Victoria Sponge (my favourite cake) and a beautiful mocha cake which made up the other layers… although that’s not entirely true – the bottom tier of the cake was real, the top two were faux.

My mum decorated all of the tiers. We wanted all aspects of the wedding to be personal to us and were very lucky to have such generous and talented family members who offered to make the cake for us. The time and effort they put into it was incredible and we are truly grateful.

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (13)

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (7)

I lived in Quebec for a year, memories from which I hold dear – I wanted some music from there playing, so created playlist of songs for during the drinks reception.

Afterwards, we had an acoustic singer and a DJ.

We heard the singer, Danny Clarke, perform in a local pub and were really impressed with him so booked him pretty much there and then. He played a mixture of indie and well known classics which suited us perfectly. He played 2 x 45 minute sets during the evening.

Our DJ was Nick Campbell, a regular at the venue. He managed to find some pretty obscure songs requested on the night and he was very professional, making none of the typically cheesy wedding DJ announcements.

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (52)

We bought my parents a present each to thank them for their generosity, time and patience in the run up and during the day – my dad wore his cufflinks proudly. We bought my mum and engagement ring charm for her charm bracelet.

For our own jewellery, we used The Ring Workshop, Oswestry. We had been into several high street shops and found them most unhelpful, focussing on the sale rather than finding wedding bands we liked and that sat well with my engagement ring. Mark at The Ring Workshop provided a personal service, talking us through available options and helped us decide on the most suitable rings.

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (45)

We were really impressed with The Belle Epoque. It is the perfect venue if you want an intimate and romantic setting.

They did all they could to make the day run smoothly and be so memorable, including being flexible in amending running orders, menu options, and sourcing additional beers of our choice for behind the bar.

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (46)

I was most looking forward to walking down the aisle with my Dad, to see Adam waiting for me and looking so happy, surrounding by our closest family and friends. This definitely lived up to expectations and we were all very emotional.

The icing on the cake, and something we couldn’t have planned if we tried, was that it began to snow whilst we were eating our meal! Under Andy’s direction, we braved the cold to get one of our favourite shots of the day. Apparently snow at a wedding is good luck too!

a warm winter wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) Andy Keher (53)

We went to Mexico for our honeymoon.  The first week we stayed at Secrets Playa Mujeres in a beach front bungalow, and the second week at Excellence Playa Mujeres where we were upgraded to a two storey suite with plunge pool upstairs on the roof terrace. Both resorts were 5 star adults only all inclusive, service was impeccable throughout, pampering us and making sure we were well fed and topped up with cocktails. Our favourites were the iceburg (beer topped with frozen margarita), and the guava and tamarind margaritas.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to organise the big things early and don’t be afraid to relinquish control of the smaller things to family and friends. Decide which things are most important to you and then be willing to compromise on others.

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Real Wedding Recap Winter 2013: Pretty Vintage: Sparkly Choos For A Real Wedding At Styal Lodge – Ali & Will

December 26th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.

 

Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014,  but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013.  Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.

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Emma Boileau Photography

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I love every Real Wedding that is featured here on the wedding blog, but now and again a special celebration comes along that really knocks my socks off.  This, my friends, is one of those weddings.

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I don’t know if its the personalised photograph name places (how long must that have taken?), the pretty table decor, the bride’s beautiful twisty updo, those dancing Choos, or the fact that you can feel the happiness radiating out of the screen this morning, but Ali and Will’s big day at Styal Lodge in Cheshire really does it for me.  I hope you enjoy our recap.

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Images by Emma Boileau Photography.

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Ali says:  We got engaged in November 2011. Will took me to Sheffield for the weekend of our 9 year anniversary. We met whilst at University in Sheffield at the Leadmill. He proposed as close as he could get to the spot where we first met (unfortunately the club was closed that night)!

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We got married on the 11th May 2013 at Styal Lodge.  We had both the ceremony and reception at the lodge.  We looked at a few venues and as soon as we saw Styal Lodge, we fell in love with it. It is such an amazing venue and the family who run it are lovely.

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Emma Boileau Photography

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I wanted it to be pretty with a vintage feel.

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I did not really have a colour scheme until we got the bridesmaid dresses. They wore navy so we chose purples, blues and white.

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My dress was Nicole Anne from Timeless Bride in Poynton. I had an idea of what I wanted and as soon as I tried it on I knew it was ‘the one’. Michelle at Timeless Bride was fantastic and really helpful during the whole process. My hair clip was from Sash and Co . The shoes were from Jimmy Choo. I am really into shoes and I as soon as I saw them, I fell in love!

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My hair was done by Paisley Gamble at Macleod Bradley and make up by Gemma Hallowell. They were both fantastic and I could not recommend them more.

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Emma Boileau Photography

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Emma Boileau Photography

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My bridesmaids wore two different designs by Alfred Sung, Dessy. We got them from Alison Burgess Couture in Stockport. They all wore different coloured shoes including nude, pink and red. The flower girl wore a very cute dress from Monsoon. Will wore a blue three piece from Reiss and all the other men in the bridal party wore their own suits, blue ties and white rose corsages.

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Emma Boileau Photography

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We had a Humanist wedding and Hannah Wroe Gill was our celebrant. She was fantastic and so supportive. She put together a personal wedding script which really reflected us.

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Emma Boileau Photography

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Emma Boileau Photography

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The whole day was amazing but one of my favourite parts was the ceremony. I loved the readings and hearing a well wishing at the end from our friends and family was really special. We also loved the evening do when all the formalities were over and everyone had a great big party!

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Emma Boileau Photography

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I spent a long time researching wedding photographers and this was a really important part of the day for me. We really love the photos Emma has taken and she captured the whole day perfectly. She was amazing on the day and made us feel really relaxed. Emma went beyond our expectations and also stayed later into the night and got some funny photos of the evening do. These are some of our favourites from the day!

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Emma Boileau Photography

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Emma Boileau Photography

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My bouquet was made up of blue and purple dyed roses with cala lilies and white freesia. The bridesmaids carried lilac and ivory roses with lilac freesia and fresh foliage.

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Emma Boileau Photography

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Emma Boileau Photography

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Emma Boileau Photography

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We used Special Days for flowers and dressing the lodge. They did a brilliant job. I knew I wanted a rustic vintage feel to the flowers. Myself and the bridesmaids decorated old jam jars with lace and fabric which added a homemade touch to the day. Special days also sourced lots of different milk jugs, tea lights, vases and pieces of wood for the tables. Each table had its own feel. I was quite emotional when I saw the room for the first time; they had captured my vision for the day perfectly.

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Emma Boileau Photography

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Our caterers were Pink Pepper. As soon as booked them, we knew we were in for something special. Our guests are still talking about how delicious the meal was. I also love the vintage crockery they provide.

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Emma Boileau Photography

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Emma Boileau Photography

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We did put a lot of work into the little touches and I would recommend to brides and grooms to start early as we were finishing projects the day before which was quite stressful! One idea was we got photos of each guest for their place name at the table and Will’s dad made 100 wooden photo holders. It took some time but the guests loved them and it was well worth the effort! Another nice feature of the day was we got a Polaroid camera, some cardboard props and a board for guests to pin up photos and write messages on. It worked really well and we got some fun keepsakes from the wedding.

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Emma Boileau Photography

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For our wedding favours, we had shots of Sambuca. This was a great way of ending the meal and starting off the evening reception!

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Rather than one wedding cake, we decided to have a cake table. Our lovely friends and family all pitched in to make a great spread for the day including Guinness cake, fruit and chocolate cakes and banoffee and blueberry cupcakes.

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Emma Boileau Photography

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Emma Boileau Photography

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We had Bob the DJ for the evening reception. We did not want a clichéd wedding DJ and Bob came recommended by the lodge. He was great; played the songs we wanted and kept everyone dancing.

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Emma Boileau Photography

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We are off to Indonesia on our honeymoon in a few weeks.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to focus on what’s important and try not be too influenced by other people’s ideas. It can get quite overwhelming at times but go with what feels right for you. Also just enjoy the day as it does just so fast!

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Emma Boileau Photography

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Congratulations Ali & Will!

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If you’d like to see your own Real Wedding featured here on Brides Up North, here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Emma Boileau Photography

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