January 31st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding is brimming with gorgeousness. Elisa and Mick didn’t worry about a theme and put all of their energy instead into planning a big day that was light on formality but big on love, laidback vibes and, err, Minions. Yes, that’s right – Minions.
Bride Elisa also gets the award for one of the most beautiful statements about weddings on this blog ever: “I thought I’d cry on my wedding day, but I smiled all day long.” Sob. Get the tissues at the ready, readers…
With images by Toni Darcy.
elisa says: We got engaged on 4th April 2015 in the Lake District. We spent a long weekend staying at the luxury Lake House hotel. After a private spa trail in the afternoon, Mick proposed in traditional romantic style on a rowing boat on the lake. I’m not a huge fan of boats but it was very romantic regardless!
We got married on Saturday 12th September. We chose the date around the availability of the venue and because we wanted to get married quite quickly. My mum was very ill, and passed away a few months after the wedding.
We got married at the Great John Street Hotel. We chose it because we wanted something a little different, we love the centre of Manchester and we thought the terrace would be fantastic if we managed to get a sunny day – which, amazingly, we did! Overall, we liked the chilled out atmosphere of the hotel, the décor, the fact our family and friends could stay at the hotel, and the fact that we could make the day our own.
I remember being quite scared by the ‘so what’s your theme?’ question. We really wanted our wedding to be relaxed and fun, particularly because so many children were attending, so we threw in the odd Minion along with floral dresses for the bridesmaids!
We didn’t have a particular colour scheme – a decision made because of the relaxed feel we wanted to create. I wanted the bridesmaid dresses to be a bit different and not just one colour, so picked out a beautiful floral fabric and had them made.
With my own dress, I chose the first one that the lady in the shop suggested I try on. No other dress could live up to it, even though I tried more on. I remember feeling shocked at how amazing I felt I looked in a wedding dress – she clearly knew how her to do her job well! I loved the fact that it wasn’t ‘big’, I loved the beautiful lace and the small train which had a slightly vintage feel to it.
The bridal shop I visited was Blush in Uppermill, Saddleworth where we live; it was important to me that we supported our local businesses even though we’d chosen the centre of Manchester for the venue.
December 15th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Readers, you’re in for a treat. Today’s real wedding is packed with pretty details, from the bride’s stunning Suzanne Neville lace creation to a gorgeous textured bouquet bursting with the best of British colour.
Champagne flowed all day long at this stylish celebration, and the combination of an exquisite menu and live music guaranteed a day to remember for the lovely Lizzy and Toby.
With images by Toni Darcy.
lizzy says: We got engaged on 22nd November 2013 at Split Apple Rock, South Island, New Zealand. We‘d planned a three week trip across New Zealand and this particular place was one of the reasons we went. Before we left, Toby had spoken with my parents to ask them if he could propose and, of course, they said ‘yes!’
We‘d gone to the beach a few days before but I got caught in a wave, so Toby didn’t think it would be best to propose then. So the morning of leaving Split Apple Rock, two weeks into the trip, we went to the beach for the last time with a cup of tea each, sat on the rock together and he asked me to marry him. I was completely shocked and I think he had to ask me twice before I said yes, even though that was my answer on the first asking.
We knew we just didn’t want our wedding day to be one day. Our married friends say the day goes by so quickly, plus I wanted to be married before I was 30, so August bank holiday weekend seemed the perfect weekend to plan for.
We married on Saturday 29th August, allowing us to plan activities for the Friday and Sunday. We married at Saint Peter’s Church in Prestbury, Cheshire, and our celebrations continued at Colshaw Hall. I know that normally the bride marries close to her home, but we decided to be slightly different and marry close to where Toby had grown up. Picturesque surroundings and church were part of the decision but I also wanted my Mum to be able to enjoy the experience and be waited on, rather than having to rush around on the morning of the wedding.
We didn’t really have a particular theme, apart from eat, drink and be merry.
After attending our friends’ weddings, we pinched all the ideas that we really loved and recreated them so that they became our own. Good food, good champagne and good music always lead to lots of fun!
Onto the outfits. My bridesmaids wore soft plum and the groomsmen all wore navy with grey waistcoats. Claret and blue are my favourite colours – Toby reckons it’s because I’m a Burnley girl through and through, but I just think these colours look stunning together!
December 9th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Ladies, picture the nightmare scene – you’ve had your heart set on a particular wedding gown for years only to find that the designer as stopped producing it by the time it comes to planning your big day. Then imagine the delight when the designer offers to have a one-off of the dress especially made for you. Too good to be true, right? That’s what we thought, but for today’s real bride this was the reality when top British bridalwear designer Suzanne Neville had a discontinued design specially made for her.
So let’s get straight into Laura and Jonathon’s big day to see that super-special dress in action…
With images by Toni Darcy Photography.
laura says: We got engaged after ten years of being together in October 2015. Jonathan took me to Paris for a surprise weekend, I didn’t know where I was going until I got to the gate at Manchester Airport! Even after finding out we were going to Paris I had no idea he would propose, we had been together so long and I had always talked about getting engaged that I sort of resigned myself to the fact we might not get married for another ten years! On the second night in Paris after a lovely meal we walked over the bridge of the river Seine, stopped to take a selfie with the Eiffel Tower lit up behind us and there Jonathan got down on one knee! I later found out that he had the ring in his pocket all day whilst we were busy sightseeing, waiting for the perfect opportunity to pop the question!
We decided that we weren’t going to wait for years to get married, I had always known what type of wedding I wanted and we both agreed to get it moving for spring 2016. We looked at only one venue, we both wanted a marquee wedding reception and so The Inn at Whitewell, Clitheroe, was just perfect, we didn’t want to look anywhere else. The reason for the date was simply because we wanted to get married in the spring and the only Saturday available was 21st May, so that was booked and was to be the date of our big day!
We have both visited The Inn at Whitewell many times, it has beautiful surroundings and is just a gorgeous setting. We really wanted a marquee reception and to get married in church. The Inn is coupled with St Michaels Church, Whitewell, and just happens to be right next door to the venue. Perfect!
We didn’t have a set colour scheme as such, I had pale pink and soft golds in my invites, cake and decor in the venue, but chose navy blue for the men and girls in the wedding party.
June 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime
It’s difficult to know where to start with today’s wedding as it features so many perfectly pretty touches!
To achieve their vision of a vintage wedding, Lisa and Ben used tea pots, cup and saucers along with dainty ornaments to decorate their chosen venue. And though you are likely to have seen some of the decorations in your Nan’s house, the result is anything but fuddy-duddy. When combined with lace, flowers and ribbon in the gorgeous colour palette of muted greens, pinks and purples everything comes together perfectly for a beautiful and romantic setting.
We could go on forever picking out elements of this well-styled wedding that we love (that bouquet!) but instead we will let you see the gorgeous for yourselves!
With images by Toni Darcy.
lisa says: We got engaged on the 15th November 2014 at home. Ben surprised me when I got home from work – he’d filled our apartment with candles to set the scene.
Our wedding date was the 6th December 2014. We really wanted a winter wedding but not too close to Christmas so the 6th seemed perfect.
We got married at The Shireburn Arms in Clitheroe. We chose the venue as it has a really cosy feel and amazing views of the countryside. We love the food there too!
Our wedding had a vintage feel in terms of the table and room decorations. It’s a style that I love and it fitted perfectly with The Shireburn Arms. In terms of colour, we went for muted tones of sage green, dusky pinks and purples. I really like these understated colours and it all worked well together with the flowers and dresses.
I bought my dress from Dan Kerr in Preston. It was Leonela by Pronovias made of tulle and lace. My bridesmaids meanwhile wore sage green floor length dresses from Debut at Debenhams with mink coloured faux fur shrugs from Monsoon.
Myself and my bridesmaids had our makeup done by Laila Miller – she is so talented and we were all over the moon with our makeup. We all had a trial with Laila previously and she listened to exactly what I wanted, which was a natural look. Samantha Collins (who is brilliant) did our hair for the wedding. The bridesmaids all had their hair in different styles but all incorporated a plait for consistency. Sam created gorgeous hair styles and we were all very happy.
Ben wore a Ted Baker suit called Tails of the Unexpected, which we hired from Moss Bros in Preston. The best man and dads wore the same suit as Ben and the groomsmen wore Lingfield suits, also hired from Moss Bros.
Our photographer was the fabulous Toni Darcy – we couldn’t recommend her enough. From day one she made myself and Ben feel totally comfortable. On the day she helped calm my nerves and it was like having a friend there taking our pictures. Toni is fab, she manages to capture all the special moments and her photography is absolutely beautiful. We couldn’t have asked for a better photographer.
My bouquet and the flowers consisted of a mixture of different coloured vintage roses, thistles and berries. The buttonholes were tied with twine and the bouquets with hessian and lace. The flowers were amazing and went with the dresses so well. They were provided by Passion Florists in Clitheroe.
We had flowers at the ceremony table with church candles provided by Passion. Our tables were decorated by Beautifully Vintage and were a mixture of brass birdcages, tree trunks, lots of vintage ornaments, jam jars, teapots and candles. When I walked into the room it left me speechless as it was exactly as I had pictured it to be. Beautifully Vintage also provided gorgeous china tea cups, saucers and plates.
As favours we gave the women small vintage glass animals and the men superhero Lego key rings.
We had a cheese cake from Dewlay which was really yummy (I’m cheese mad). We also had a fruit cake that Ben’s Auntie Heather kindly made for us which was equally lovely.
To decide on our wedding breakfast we had a menu tasting at the Shireburn but found it incredibly hard to pick as it was all delicious. As such we decided to have a menu choice for our guests.
To provide entertainment on the day, we hired a violinist called Elliott Moore and he set the perfect atmosphere for the ceremony. It was one of my favourite parts of the day hearing him play before I walked down the aisle. He plays beautifully and I would recommend him for any wedding. Then, for the evening reception, we hired a sweet cart from The Wedding Box Lancashireand it looked great. We also hired a photo booth from Dave Spink Photography, which was great fun.
We would most definitely recommend The Shireburn Arms to any couple getting married. It’s a gorgeous venue with stunning views. The staff are so lovely and helpful, they made the day extra special for us.
My favourite part of the day was saying our wedding vows surrounded by our family and friends. My brother Ian and Ben’s brother Mark both did readings in the ceremony which were brilliant and the speeches by Ben’s brother Tom, my Dad and Ben were also great.
For our honeymoon we went to Florida to the theme parks for a few fun filled days, then we went to Antigua for a week to chill out and sunbathe. We ended our honeymoon in New York for shopping and sightseeing. We had a fantastic time!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be try to keep calm even when the wedding is getting closer. Make sure you are as organised as you can be as it helps to take the pressure off. I found when choosing things for the wedding to just go with my gut instinct and it worked out just how I wanted, don’t over think everything. Finally enjoy the day and try to take in every moment because it goes so quickly.
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