Charlotte Balbier

all i want is you. maggie sottero for a small and intimate wedding at hipping hall – laura & peter

November 16th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Laura and Peter’s intimate wedding at Hipping Hall was full of luxurious details: a Maggie Sottero Ettia gown, Jimmy Choo heels and home-grown seasonal blooms that packed a real punch – just take a look at those peonies!

This pair of foodies also created a menu to die for, agonising over canape and course choices until they were sure their perfect day could boast the perfect wedding breakfast.

Laura is full of praise for photographer Rachel Joyce and it’s easy to see why: these photographs sparkle with joy, love and summer sun.

With images by Rachel Joyce Photography.

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laura says: Peter proposed on Boxing Day 2013, when we were in Australia visiting Peter’s brother, his wife and children. Peter was insistent that just the two of us head out on Boxing Day. However, Peter’s plan of proposing to me amongst the vineyards at Moet & Chandon didn’t work out so all day he was on edge and wanting to stop at every lookout or place of interest on our trip. Finally, after driving up mountains and through forests, he found a perfect spot at Sugarloaf Reservoir in Christmas Hills, Victoria. I wasn’t expecting it and we both cried!

We arranged our wedding for Saturday 30th July 2016.  We chose the date because we wanted a summer wedding and for Peter’s family from Australia to be there.

We decided on Hipping Hall in Kirkby Lonsdale for our venue. We visited the hall in 2015 and loved that it was so small and intimate. Plus, there was snow and it looked so pretty. We couldn’t wait to see it in summer. Being foodies, we also loved that our guests would be well looked after and enjoy amazing food and wine.

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There was no particular colour scheme to the wedding; we just wanted bright and fun colours. The venue was impressive enough without having to dress it too much. We did however, theme a lot of the wedding around the lyrics to our first dance song, All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar, as they’re so lovely.

I wore a Maggie Sottero dress called Ettia. I adored it from the first time I tried it on. I’d always wanted quite a straight dress and thought that the vintage style of this particular gown was just stunning, especially the pearl and crystal embellishment. I bought it from Aristocrats in Chester, who were fabulous. Dress shopping was unexpectedly easy. Aristocrats was the first shop I visited. I tried about ten dresses on and they were all lace apart from the Ettia, which I eventually went for. To this day I’ve no idea how I even ended up trying it on – it was nothing like the others I was trying. My mum and two friends all cried (so did I!) so I knew it was ‘the one’.  I bought Jimmy Choo shoes as a treat and on the wedding day Peter left a matching Jimmy Choo clutch bag in my room.

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Peter wanted a less formal feel for his outfit and I’ve always known he doesn’t enjoy wearing a tie for work. So we asked ourselves why would he wear one for the wedding? He looked so handsome and smart in his Hugo Boss suit with crisp white shirt and no tie. His accessories also added a touch of style with his Oliver Sweeney shoes and handmade pocket square from Ylleanna, Biella in Italy, matching lapel pin and socks.

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As we had such a small wedding (only 41 people), we decided that we didn’t want formal bridesmaids and groomsmen and wanted to make it a family day instead. I therefore had Peter’s three nieces as my bridesmaids. They looked stunning in pink floral dresses. Pete’s nephew kept the rings safe and presented them to us in the ceremony.

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diary date: felicity cooper designer day at the little pearl bridal boutique

November 15th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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There’s nothing better than seeing two of our fabulous Sponsors join forces to bring brides super special events – and that’s exactly what will be happening on Saturday 26th November, when The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in Pickering, North Yorkshire, will be hosting a Felicity Cooper Bridal designer day.

The fabulous event will not only include an exclusive preview of the gorgeous Felicity Cooper Natural Soul 2017 collection, but those who order a gown on the day will also receive a 10% discount. Oh and there will be cake and fizz too!

Tempted? We thought so! Here’s the lovely Diana, owner of The Little Pearl, with all the details.

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Tell us a little about what brides-to-be can expect from the designer day…

diana says: The event will include an exclusive preview of the Felicity Cooper Natural Soul 2017 collection, along with a few new pieces that have yet to be seen! We will have 10% off any gown order placed on the day, plus we will be surrounded by fizz, cakes and a goody bag for every bride who comes along.

What are the benefits of the event?

Brides to be will get an exclusive preview of the full Felicity Cooper 2017 collection, plus a one to one styling appointment with the designer herself! This is a total treat for any bride-to-be, where they can chat about creating their dream bridal look.

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How many appointments will be available on the designer day and how long will the appointments last?

Appointments last for one-hour-and-a-half, with appointments from 9am to 6pm.

Tell us a little about the Felicity Cooper collection…

Creative Director, Fiona Cooper, has sourced the most beautiful free-flowing fabrics, delicate laces and exquisite beadwork, taking inspiration for the Natural Soul Collection from the desires of real brides to look and feel absolutely stunning on their big day. The 2017 collection consists of 18 new pieces and appeals to every bride, from the modern and quirky, to the elegant, vintage and bohemian. The beautiful cuts and fabrics offer a stunning selection for the cool, fashionable and confident bride.

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Any particular favourites or stand out pieces within the collection for you personally? 

I love a full skirted gown, so the amazing Bravely has certainly stolen my heart. For more of a soft, boho look, I just adore the open back detail on Matilda too.

What sizes are Felicity Cooper designs available in?

All of the gowns can be ordered in sizes from a 2 to a 24.

What is the price range of the Felicity Cooper dresses that you stock?

The price of the collection ranges from £1,350 to £1,900.

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What are you looking forward to most about the designer day event?

I love welcoming our very talented designers to the boutique and giving brides that special one-to-one styling opportunity. Who wouldn’t love to meet their own gown designer and create their dream bridal look together?

Do you have any advice for brides-to-be attending the designer day?

I would recommend coming to the designer day having already tried on some gown styles so that you have an idea of what you are looking for. This will help to get the most out of your appointment, so that you can really get into the detail of your whole bridal look.

How do ladies go about booking an appointment for the events?

They can email me at diana@thelittlepearlbridalboutique.co.uk, call the boutique on 01751 798080, or send me a message via our Facebook page.

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bright & beautiful. a sparkling wedding in manchester – zaynah & saaqib

November 15th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today’s real wedding blends tradition with lots of sparkle, and saw bride, Zaynah, finally wear the wedding dress of her dreams.

With an exuberant red, pink and gold colour scheme, complemented by beautiful bouquets and a plush backdrop to the day’s proceedings, this is everything we could wish for from a traditional Indian/Pakistani themed wedding.

With photos by Annie-Rose Photos.

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zaynah says: We got engaged the traditional Indian/Pakistani way on 25th October 2015, which included the two families meeting and getting to know each other.

We got married the following year, on 3rd September 2016. There was no specific reason for picking this date but afterwards we discovered that it was the first day of Dhul-Hijjah 1437, according to the Islamic calendar, which marks the first of Hajj, a special pilgrimage performed by Muslims.

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We held our wedding at Manzil Restaurant and Banuqeting Hall, in Manchester. We picked this venue because we had attended many weddings there previously and they all went really well. When we met with the staff, they were very helpful.

My theme revolved around my mother’s wedding dress. Since I was a child, I would look at pictures of my mum’s wedding dress and wish I could wear it, so when it was finally my turn to get married, I asked my mum if I could wear her dress. For that reason, I decided on the traditional Indian/Pakistani theme.

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For the colour scheme, I chose red and gold, again influenced by my wedding dress, with pink too as it complemented both colours.

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captain’s table. justin alexander for an urban wedding at the merseyside maritime museum – beth & will

November 14th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog, we’re all at sea as we head to Liverpool for our latest real wedding.

Engaged for just over a year, Beth and beau Will – who is in the Navy – tied the knot at Bridge Chapel in Garston. Despite their best attempts to avoid an obvious naval theme, the couple were won over by the Maritime Museum and its picture-perfect views of the city’s skyline, and ended up hosting their celebrations in this iconic landmark, complete with a swing and jazz band.

With some of the couple’s guests contributing to their special day – we’re talking a handmade wedding cake and specially written music for them to walk down the aisle to – this is a wedding brimming with unforgettable and sentimental touches.

With images by Ian MacMichael Photography.

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Beth says: Will and I got engaged in May 2015 in Sefton Park in Liverpool. Will is from Liverpool and loved taking me to visit where he grew up. I quickly fell in love with the place and Sefton Park was one of my favourite spots.

Will is in the Navy, and whilst abroad in Gibraltar he was window shopping and found my engagement ring. As he didn’t have a permanent space to leave his belongings, he hid it in one of his bags in my house, waiting for the opportunity to ask.

We visited his family one sunny day in May and had lounged around all morning so decided to go for a long walk. After settling down by the lake and reading together in Sefton Park, he pulled a big black box out of his rucksack and it was filled with sentimental items that told the story of our relationship, like a wooden postcard I carved for him one Valentine’s Day when he was away on a ship, and the train tickets from when he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was touched that he had kept all of these things and the next thing I knew, Will told me to close my eyes. When I opened them, there he was with the ring. He had to ask twice as I was so surprised I didn’t answer the first time!

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We were married on Saturday 6th August 2016. I didn’t want a long engagement but I have family who were living abroad at the time that we both wanted there. It also meant that Will could give plenty of notice to his boss so that he could request leave.

We were married at Bridge Chapel in Garston – the church that Will and his family have attended since Will was small. We are both committed Christians and wanted God to be a big focus of our day. The service was beautiful.

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We held our reception at Merseyside Maritime Museum. I’m a bit of a self-confessed hipster, so I love anything red brick and museum related. Will had asked that we avoided a naval theme, but when we stepped inside the venue and saw the gorgeous Liverpool skyline out of the window, we simply couldn’t resist!

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love & laughter. mori lee for a blush pink wedding at ashfield house – debbie & darran

November 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Today’s wedding is a stunning example of how a wedding can be both lavish and relaxed.

Working around an elegant blush pink and dove grey colour scheme, Debbie and Darran went all out with the wedding styling choosing striking floral decorations and an abundance of candles to enhance their already stunning venue.

The wedding party looked extra glam too, with the bridesmaids in shimmering grey dresses and Debbie in a stunning fish-tail style gown.

Keen not to overdo the formalities though, the bride and groom opted for relaxed bowl-food style dining, lots of sweet treats and enjoyable live entertainment. A winning combination we say!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

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debbie says: Our love story began on 25th February 2012. Darran and I had known each other for over ten years, our youngest children went through school together. We had both become single and Darran took the opportunity to ask me to go for a drink with him. Little did I know that 1,527 days later he would become my husband.

We officially got engaged on Sunday 22nd February 2015, Darran got down on one knee on the Sunday morning not long after we had woken up, and he was wearing just his undies! So romantic.  The following day we had a surprise 40th lunch to attend. After we left the lunch I suggested we take a drive over to Ashfield House, unbeknown to him I had secretly popped in their six months previously to pick up a brochure. We rocked up unannounced on the off chance that we could get a proper look around. Fortunately for us Katie Street was more than accommodating. From the moment I walked through Ashfield’s front door I knew that this was where I wanted to get married.

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To get the ball rolling we made an appointment for the following Saturday to visit Prestons of Bolton to pick out my engagement ring. We had an amazing experience at Preston’s of Bolton, being served with Veuve Clicquot champagne whilst we looked at various diamonds. I had pretty much made up my mind beforehand that I would like a pear cut solitaire, as Darran had bought me pear cut earrings a few years previously.

We set the date of the wedding for Sunday 1st May 2016. We knew that by picking a bank holiday weekend that it would give our travelling guests the opportunity to make a full weekend of it.

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Ashfield House was such a perfect venue for the wedding. The building, in our opinion, is stunning with so much character and history. We loved the bright airy feel to the recently revamped Langtree Suite, which is where our ceremony took place.

The grounds at Ashfield House are simply stunning too. Unfortunately for us the weather was wet and temperamental, and although we did manage to get outside to get some fantastic shots, the fact that there are so many places inside for your photographer to shoot some cool original shots is a massive bonus. We also loved the fact that Ashfield House is an exclusive wedding venue Monday to Saturday. On a Sunday they do serve Sunday lunch. This didn’t cause us any problems though as we knew that the lunchtime guests would have left by the time our ceremony took place.

The icing on the cake was that Ashfield House has 15 ensuite rooms with a handful of suites that are competitively priced. This meant that our travelling guests had the beauty of staying over at the wedding venue too.

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laidback glam. a chic wedding with a rustic twist at the saddleworth hotel – hannah & tom

November 11th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog we bring you a beautiful real wedding in the picturesque foothills of the Pennines.

After a three-year engagement, Hannah and Tom exchanged vows over the May bank holiday weekend, in the quaint setting of the village church in Ripponden.

Blending rustic charm with an elegant and contemporary décor – not to mention one of the most stunning balconied ballrooms we have ever seen – The Saddleworth Hotel provided the gorgeous backdrop to the couple’s memorable celebrations.

With handwritten notes to each and every guest, as well as a special donation to a charity close to their hearts – this was a wedding brimming with nostalgia and personal touches from start to finish.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

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hannah says: We got engaged three years ago. Tom arranged for us to go away for the weekend to one of our favourite hotels. He hired a beach hut and brought along a picnic with prosecco. He pulled out the ring which he’d had made for me and, obviously, I said yes. We then headed back to the hotel, where he’d arranged to meet my parents for a meal to celebrate.

We got married on Saturday 28th May 2016. I’m a teacher so we needed a date that fitted in with the school holidays, and with a good chance of nice weather! The bank holiday weekend fell in the middle of our spring bank holiday, so it was perfect.

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We tied the knot at St Bartholomew’s Church, in Ripponden. This is our village church and it was also the church I went to whilst growing up, so it was really special to get married there.

Our reception was at The Saddleworth Hotel in Delph. It was actually the first venue we looked at, and nothing else came close. We loved the mix of old and new – the ballroom is amazing and fitted really well with our vision for the day. The double height room really is special.  The venue and grounds are absolutely stunning and the team there is brilliant; nothing is too much trouble.

We chose The Saddleworth Hotel partly because of its glamorous setting and wanted to incorporate this theme within our wedding. We wanted our day to be classic and glam, but at the same time reflect us as a couple and be laidback enough for guests to really enjoy themselves. We wanted our guests to feel special, and spot those little touches that made the day about us as a couple and as individuals. So, not an easy job!

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We didn’t have a specific colour scheme, although the bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses and the flowers were blush pink and white. Everything else we picked because we loved it and it fitted our idea for the day.

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My dress was a chiffon and beaded Justin Alexander gown, which I bought from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I had an idea of what I wanted when I started looking for dresses, and this was absolutely not it! But when I tried the dress on, I swished around the room and felt like an amazing version of me! It wasn’t what I set out to get, but it was the perfect dress for our day.

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