Charlotte Balbier

sweets for my sweet. afternoon tea for an pretty wedding at the ashes – bethan & jacob

April 7th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Corneli Fleur Photography (52)

We’re committed to upping your daily dose of pretty here at Brides Up North (I know, I know, it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it!) and this morning’s offering is no different.

Prepare thyself for Bethan and Jacob’s afternoon tea extravaganza of gorgeousness. After Jacob proposed at an ice cream farm (is there a more perfect engagement location out there? Methinks not) this super-sweet couple opted for a relaxed big day at The Ashes in Leek. There were wildflowers everywhere, jams and chutneys, floral prints, origami, sweetie jars and a surprise rendition of Summer Lovin’ from Grease.

In fact, today’s real wedding is so sweet that these photos from Corneli Fleur may well leave you on a sugar high. Enjoy…

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Corneli Fleur Photography (37)

bethan says: We got engaged at Snugbury’s Ice Cream Farm in Cheshire. Back when we were 17 and had been best friends for a number of years, we went on a friend-date to Snugburys, got some ice cream and walked through the fields nearby. It was here that we realised we had feelings for each other, so Jacob brought me back to the same spot to propose. We had a picnic underneath a tree he climbed that day and he put the ring box in a muffin tray. I turned around and he was on one knee holding out the tray with the ring box in it. He smiled and said “I was wondering if you’d like to be Mrs Taylor”. Our engagement wasn’t necessarily one of those super-glamorous stories you read about in bridal magazines; it was awkward and fumbly and neither of us really knew what to do afterwards (except run away from the rain that was fast approaching), but it was us and I wouldn’t change it.

We got married on 30th July. We fell in love with our venue as soon as we saw it, so had to find an available date. One of my bridesmaids was also getting married that summer, so that restricted us too. We could have gone slightly earlier in July but it was really important for us to be able to have children there.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Corneli Fleur Photography (70)

The ceremony happened at our church in Crewe, West Street Christian Fellowship. We didn’t even really discuss that as it was kind of a given. As Christians, it was important to us to get married in church, and West Street is our home where our church family are based. It wouldn’t have felt right doing it anywhere else.

The reception venue was The Ashes in Leek. We knew we wanted a barn and completely fell in love with The Ashes as soon as we saw it. The venue itself is amazing and the grounds are beautiful. Jane was the staff member who showed us round and she was so nice and not at all funny about us being 21 at the time (some people had been!) She got to be with us on the day too, which was lovely.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Corneli Fleur Photography (55)

We didn’t really have a theme, although my dress and Jacob’s suit had a kind of accidental 1920s vibe about them. We didn’t have a colour-scheme either – neither of us were really fans of the whole colour scheme ‘thing’ so we went with vintage-y shades (no reds or strong colours).

My dress was kind of 1920s in style, a mix of satin/silk and silk chiffon with some sparkly details. I didn’t give myself a massive dress budget – only £500 – so I didn’t go to any boutique shops for fear of falling in love with a dress way over budget. I went to a wedding dress outlet with my mum, sister and mother-in-law-to-be and was in a bit of a state when we arrived. I was so scared of not liking anything that I just couldn’t look. My mother-in-law asked me to pick out any dresses that had something I liked (sleeves, shape etc) and just try them on, even if it was just to rule out certain styles.

I picked my dress because I loved that the straps were made of gemstones. When I tried it on I honestly felt amazing – like a 1920s movie star, or a passenger on the Titanic. I knew I was a young bride and wanted something that was individual; something I hadn’t seen before. It had to be my ‘Titantic’ dress.

A Pretty Wedding at The Ashes (c) Corneli Fleur Photography (13)

Jacob wore a suit from Next, with a shirt and bow tie from Topman. His brown shoes were from Next as well. We went together to choose his suit and he loved the vibrant blue of the one he chose, the contrasting lapels and the 1920s vibe.

Jacob had six official ushers who all wore matching suits from Burton; they were like navy versions of Jacob’s blue suit, and also had darker lapels. Our dads also wore the same suits. Jacob’s little brother (six at the time) wore a similar suit but a mini version, obviously!

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lilac & lilies. a super stylish wedding at the leeds club – rachel & tom

October 28th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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When we first set eyes on today’s real wedding we were totally blown away by the bride’s cool and individual style, perfectly showcasing how to make your big day attire your own.

Wearing an insanely beautiful lilac, bias-cut silk dress, Rachel exudes Hollywood glamour by the bucket load, completing her look with a sparking birdcage veil headpiece and shower style bouquet. We love!

As the couple’s stylish choice of venue didn’t have a marriage license, Rachel and Tom made things legal with a ceremony at Leeds Town Hall a few days previous, and yes, they looked flippin’ gorgeous for that bit too!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Mark Newton Photography.

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rachel says: We got engaged on 29th February 2012, at the Bier Keller in Leeds. We’d randomly gone there for a drink after. After a discussion about wedding and such things, I decided to ask Tom to marry me, we had been together for five years after all. He said yes and we both got quite emotional. I was lucky enough to inherit my grandmother’s engagement ring so we didn’t have to buy one.

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We had our legal ceremony at Leeds Town Hall on 18th May 2015, as unfortunately the venue we wanted to have our wedding at didn’t have a licence to marry us there. We then had a blessing at The Leeds Club on 29th May, as part of our wedding celebrations. I always remember walking past the venue as a child and seeing the business men in the wing back chairs and being really fascinated as to what was inside.

We chose lilac and sage green for the wedding scheme, as we wanted colours that would complement the venue and that also matched my dress.

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I was lucky enough to have two wedding dresses as we had the two ceremonies. For the town hall I wore head to toe Vivienne Westwood. For the blessing, I was fortunate enough to have a bespoke dress from the amazing Glory Days, in York. My dress was based on 1940’s Hollywood glamour and the dresses worn by Joan Crawford. It was lilac bias cut silk, with an open back and fishtail train. It was the best dress ever.

Tom wore a suit from River Island for the town hall and then a three-piece 60’s style, royal blue suit from Topman for the blessing.

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Both my bridesmaids have very different styles, so I asked them to wear their favourite dresses. Jules made her own 1940’s style cocktail dress and Suzanne wore a floor-length maxi dress from Seraphina.

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home for christmas. a twinkling winter wedding in the north west – kylie & graeme

June 3rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Christmas Wedding with Vintage Touches (c) Emma Hillier Photography (43)

Here at Brides Up North HQ, it’s just dawned on us that there’s only 6 months till Christmas!  Since we haven’t really seen a sniff of summer yet, that still feels like a pretty long time away to us, but if you’re planning a winter wedding, we bet time is just racing by.

Today’s real wedding couple followed up their festive engagement with a vintage Christmas themed wedding at a luxury Cheshire hotel, so we hope their lovely celebration leaves you feeling inspired and looking ahead!

Keeping things classic yet classy Kylie and Graeme ditched a traditional red or white winter wedding colour scheme in favour of an elegant navy and pink theme, complete with hints of sparkle. Subtle Christmas touches were then blended with pretty vintage décor for a stylish setting.

We love Kylie’s lace fishtail dress (that was clearly meant to be) as well as the bridesmaids’ elegant bespoke dresses and the guys looked very handsome in their fitted suits too!

With images by Emma Hillier Photography.

A Christmas Wedding with Vintage Touches (c) Emma Hillier Photography (1)

kylie says: I was studying my first degree in Liverpool and Gray (Graeme) use to visit all the time. We had been together three years when he proposed. It was Christmas Eve and I returned to find tea lights and rose petals everywhere. I opened my gifts and in the last present was a box with a diamond in it. Gray then got down on one knee and proposed. Looking back I am so glad there was no massive ‘out in public’ proposal, the way Gray proposed was so intimate and perfect. Just us.

We decided to tie the knot on 23rd December 2014. Gray is a massive Christmas fan! We both are actually, particularly because between 2010 and 2014 I studied my second degree and I was away from our home a lot, and Christmas was the only time we really got to spend quality time together.

A Christmas Wedding with Vintage Touches (c) Emma Hillier Photography (2)

Our wedding was not only a celebration of our love but it was a way of remembering all our lovely Christmas times together and celebrating that I was finally home for good.

We got married at the Grosvenor Pulford in Cheshire. We absolutely adore this venue. On our first visit the wedding co-ordinator was really attentive and nothing was too much trouble, even with all our ideas! The venue also looks so lovely at Christmas time, the in-house decorations are stunning. The venue is big enough to invite everyone you want but small enough so you don’t feel lost in the venue.  I loved that we were the only wedding that day too.

A Christmas Wedding with Vintage Touches (c) Emma Hillier Photography (4)

It was a vintage Christmas wedding. I wanted lots of subtle winter touches but without it feeling like your typical Christmas wedding. We also wanted a vintage feel, so we had birdcages decorating the venue and a vintage style wedding cake with lots of sparkle thrown in!

The colour scheme was navy and pink. The bridesmaids were in navy and there were subtle hints of pink dotted around. Navy looks fantastic during winter and I’m a sucker for pink!

A Christmas Wedding with Vintage Touches (c) Emma Hillier Photography (8)

My wedding dress was a lace fishtail dress – I adored it! I saw the dress on a wedding blog and I just loved it as soon as I saw it so I rang round lots of bridal shops in the area to see if they stocked this particular dress and none of them did. It looked like I was going to have to pay to have it shipped to a bridal shop to try it on, which I was reluctant to do in case I didn’t like it. Then a week later, one of the bridal shops I called had received the sample dress on error in my size, they were going to send it back that day to the designer so they said if I wanted to try it on I needed to come right away. I raced to the bridal shop and I was so glad I did, as soon as I tried it on I loved it!

Gray bought a suit from Reiss. He originally was going to wear a navy suit and grey tie like the groomsmen but we went into Reiss to get some suit inspiration and Gray took a liking to his suit straight away. So on the day Gray wore a grey suit and navy knitted tie and the groomsmen wore navy wool suits from Burton with grey ties from Topman.

I had the bridesmaid dresses designed and made by the fabulous fashion designer Klue by KellyAnn. I cannot tell you how much I love the bridesmaid dresses. I loved that each one was made to measure and my bridesmaids could tweak any aspect of the dress that they wanted to. Some of my bridesmaids had midi pencil dresses and one of my bridesmaids was able to a have a dress that she could spin around all day in at her hearts content!

A Christmas Wedding with Vintage Touches (c) Emma Hillier Photography (11)

Emma Hillier Photography was our chosen photographer. Emma is the most amazing photographer I have ever met. I may be biased but that’s not only because I have the most amazing wedding photographs but we have some amazing engagement shoot pictures and boudoir pictures too. Emma is such a lovely person, she puts me completely at ease and my wedding day would not have been the same if she wasn’t there. She was so calming on my wedding morning and my family loved her.

The first time I saw her pictures from another wedding Gray and I both knew she was going to be our wedding photographer. She captured the wedding day so perfectly and nothing was too much trouble for her or no idea was too wacky! We love you Emma!

A Christmas Wedding with Vintage Touches (c) Emma Hillier Photography (16)

Vivid Floral Design provided our flowers – this was a very important aspect to me. I explained to Mandy at Vivid Floral Design exactly what I wanted and she delivered my vision perfectly. I loved my bouquet with the added glitter and sparkle and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were exactly what I envisioned in my mind. I also picked the groom’s and groomsmen’s button holes and asked Mandy to add the twine to them last minute as a surprise to my future husband.  He loved it!

Vivid floral design also supplied our table arrangements which were fantastic with the roses and dangling tea lights. Our table plan was created by Deannamic Designs.

As favours we gave our guests ‘Grylie’ (a combination of Graeme and Kylie) strawberry jam which was made by both of us over a weekend. It was something fun for us both to do together and our guests loved it with many since asking for a second batch!

We chose a three tier sponge wedding cake. Each tier was a different flavour: Victoria sponge, lemon and coconut. We didn’t want royal icing on the outside and asked for buttercream instead. It was amazing!

A Christmas Wedding with Vintage Touches (c) Emma Hillier Photography (20)

We had Rock Revolution as our evening band and one of the members of the band also played the piano during the wedding breakfast. The band were amazing and everyone said how much fun they had dancing away to them. They even got me and my bridesmaids up to help with the backing vocals of one song!

Special moments on the day included my brother walking me down the aisle as my dad is no longer with us, which was a really emotional moment for us both. Two of the bridesmaids also did readings, which were really touching.  One was heartfelt and the other more humorous. It was nice to get a mixture of emotions during the ceremony and made the ceremony personal to us.

A Christmas Wedding with Vintage Touches (c) Emma Hillier Photography (25)

Other suppliers that we used on the day that we would recommend are Love Umbrellas who provided our umbrellas, The Glass Slipper Company where I got my shoes from, Crown and Glory which is where we got the bridesmaids’ hair pieces from and Nicola Joyce who did hair and makeup. Also, our invitations and stationary were done by Artwork by Angie. We had completely bespoke stationery made and the outcome was more than I expected. Angie is so amazing to work with!

A Christmas Wedding with Vintage Touches (c) Emma Hillier Photography (50)

My favourite parts of the day included getting ready with all my favourite girls. It was nice having that time with them. I also loved seeing Gray’s face as I walked down the aisle. It was just amazing having all our nearest and dearest under one roof and sharing the day with them.

Gray says the best part of the day for him was seeing me walking down the aisle, he says I looked absolutely stunning. Gray is usually quite a calm person, he didn’t get flustered about doing his speech or saying his vows in front of people but recalls the anticipation just before I arrived and the emotion he felt when he saw me… feelings he says he’s never felt before!

A Christmas Wedding with Vintage Touches (c) Emma Hillier Photography (44)

We went on a minimoon over New Year in Scotland. It was a secluded lodge with a hot tub called ‘the hideaway experience’ and was simply amazing. Each night we would be in the hot tub and we would chat and just admire the stars. We will be having a honeymoon this summer and plan to visit Halkidiki in Greece.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be do what makes you happy, listen to advice from friends and family but ultimately do what you want to do. Also, pick your battles; don’t waste energy getting stressed on the lead up to the big day. You want to look back on the build-up in a positive way.

Finally, don’t worry about people not turning up to the evening; people might not be able to attend even if they had the best intentions to. The friends and family that are there will still make sure you have an amazing day!

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