December 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime
With just a matter of days to go until it’s fizz, presents and turkey all the way, we’re getting into the spirit of things with this gorgeous Christmas wedding.
Rachel and James opted for a traditional church ceremony, made personal with input from family and friends, followed by a gorgeous rustic reception at Owen House Wedding Barn.
We love the subtle seasonal touches such as berries, wreathes and fairy lights, plus the bridesmaids’ sparkling dresses, which give just a nod to the (most wonderful) time of the year!
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
rachel says: We got engaged in Mozambique on New Year ’s Eve in 2014, just before midnight. At that time we were living and working in Malawi as volunteers and were taking a Christmas break. We had arrived in the beautiful coastal town of Vilanculos that evening and had a lovely dinner on the beach before going to see the New Year in with fireworks on the beach front.
We returned from travelling in late July 2015, and had our date set within a few weeks. We decided on 29th December 2015, as we both love that time of year and knew a lot of our friends and family would be home and able to attend.
The wedding ceremony was held in St Chads Catholic Church, in Cheadle, as this is my home parish church and the church my family have always attended. We have a lot of connections with the church and were able to include friends and family throughout the service to give the wedding a more personal touch. We also used the adjoining church hall for tea, coffee, canapés and prosecco after the service which was provided by a local coffee shop (Rustic Coffee Co) and childhood friend.
The wedding reception was held at Owen House Wedding Barn, in Mobberley. The venue was perfect in every way and everything we both wanted. We had looked through hundreds of venues online and as soon as we walked in, I knew it was the right place.
We didn’t pick any particular theme for the wedding. We just wanted a relaxed atmosphere with as little fuss as possible so everyone could enjoy themselves.
We didn’t really pick a colour scheme either, but everything came together really well. I had picked the bridesmaids dresses first as I had fallen in love with them at first sight and fitted everything around them. They were perfect for Christmas and matched in the boy’s ties and the flowers.
Wedding dress shopping was a little rushed as I only had five months to pick and order the dress. I looked in three local boutiques and chose a dress by Lusan Mandongus. I wanted a simple but elegant dress and wanted it to be comfortable and to be able to dance all night.
James chose the suits from Next and we had them tailored to fit each individual groomsman. They were a lovely colour and suited everyone really well. James’ tie was from Liberty and somehow linked all the colours of the wedding together.
The best man, groomsmen and fathers all wore three-piece suits from Next.
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July 6th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Unfortunately it’s not often that we get to meet the brides that we feature on the blog, but today’s leading lady is an exception.
We met gorgeous bride Charlie at the launch of Amanda Wyatt’s 2017 dress collection earlier this year and totally fell in love with the sound of her rustic Tuscan wedding when she told us the details. Better still, her chosen gown was by Brides Up North sponsor and friend, the fabulous Charlotte Balbier, and so we knew Charlie would look absolutely stunning on her big day.
And we weren’t wrong – serious #bridegoals, right ladies? We adore Charlie’s stunning Everley gown and her pretty forehead band accessory. The styling of the venue was also exceptionally well executed, so top marks to Charlie!
Any North West brides-to-be might also be interested to learn that Charlie has just set up her own personal training company, so if you’re looking to tone up a little for the big day be sure to look up TaylorFit.
Now, on with the pretty…
With images by Suzy Wimbourne Photography.
charlie says: We got engaged The Drunken Duck pub in Ambleside in the Lake District. Patrick contacted my boss and booked the Friday off work for me, then surprised me with a spa day, followed by an intimate dinner at the pub where he proposed in front of everyone (which I didn’t expect as he usually doesn’t do PDAs!)
We set the date for Friday 6th May 2016.We wanted a spring wedding and a wise man once told us the first weekend in May is always good weather! Also, marrying on the Friday meant we would be able to set up at the venue the day before the wedding.
Our chosen venue was Owen House Wedding Barn in Mobberley, Cheshire. We immediately fell in love with the relaxed, rustic, cool vibe of the place. The space is very versatile, we loved the fact we could have our civil service in the cute ceremony room and then hold the reception straight after without having to transport the guests anywhere. There is also a lovely garden where we were lucky enough to have our drinks reception as the weather was sunny – not to mention the house prosecco truck!
Our theme was Tuscany. We toyed with the idea of getting married in Tuscany as we have been on holiday there and loved it, but in the end we felt it was too much to ask our guests to finance the trip abroad. So we brought Tuscany to Mobberley! There were lemon and lime centre pieces, fresh rosemary and basil displays and a map of Tuscany as the table plan. Olive trees flanked the entrance and later acted as a room divide.
We selected a colour scheme of neutral creams and golds. Patrick wanted to wear a tweed suit and so the groomsmen had beige chinos and light brown tweed waistcoats with a gold silk back and the bridesmaids/flower girls were in cream and gold, wearing dresses from Coast and Monsoon. These colours complemented the touch of limes/lemons in the Tuscan decor and also the rustic venue of the wedding barn.
March 31st, 2016 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon’s real wedding is a true fairy tale romance, with the bride and groom basing their celebrations on the well-known love story of Cinderella, which initially brought them together.
We love that bride Jessica Jayne embraced being a princess for the day by wearing a stunning ball gown style dress, travelling by horse and cart and celebrating in a grand hall along with her new hubby!
Judging on the images below, these two are destined to live happily ever after…
With images by ER Photography.
jessica jayne says: We got engaged on 15th November 2014. Andrew had apparently decided that he would ask my father’s permission before asking me and I don’t know whether he said something that made him think he already asked me, but as soon as I saw my dad he said congratulations and spilled the beans!
I was over the moon! We had planned to spend the day Christmas shopping so on our way out Andrew had placed a scroll on the passenger seat of his car, he told me to read it out loud and as I got to the end (through tears) Andrew was there on one knee to ask me to marry him. We cancelled Christmas shopping and celebrated the whole day, and as they say, the rest is history. It just goes to show that even if not everything goes to plan it can still be romantic and maybe even more memorable!
Our wedding was on 10th October 2015. We both love autumn with all the beautiful colours and my brother had got married in October 2014, which gave the month more meaning. As it turned out our wedding day was a beautifully sunny, it seems that October nowadays is an Indian summer!
We got married at Our Lady and the Apostles RC church, in Shaw Heath, Stockport. It was very special to me and my parents as they had got married there 31 years ago. My dad was so emotional before we walked down the very same aisle he had walked my mother down, we both had tears in our eyes and had to catch our breath when the organist started to play the wedding march. Andrew and I both wanted a traditional church ceremony and because it was so personal it made it extra special.
For the reception we chose Capesthorne Hall. We both fell in love with the venue at first sight, the entrance to the grounds alone is just magnificent. It is a truly stunning venue!
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February 18th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Those of you still on the hunt for the perfect wedding venue to fit your big day visions might just want to sit up and pay extra attention to this morning’s post. For we’re sharing a beautiful styled shoot which takes place at the incredible Chetham’s Library – one of Manchester’s oldest buildings, which has recently opened up its doors to brides and grooms.
Keen to make full use of the fascinating 13th Century building, managers at the library have teamed up with Cheshire bespoke catering company Vanilla in Allseasons, to deliver atmospheric weddings for parties of up to 80 guests, all year round.
To mark the collaboration whilst also giving brides and grooms a taste of what a Chetham’s Library wedding could look like, the medieval venue and Allseasons caterers teamed up with further talented suppliers in the North West to create this enchanting styled shoot.
Here with all the details is Adam Evanson, Hospitality Director at Vanilla in Allseasons.
With images by Chelsea Shoesmith Photography.
adam says: We were really keen to do a styled shoot to celebrate the new partnership between Chetham’s Library and us here at Vanilla in Allseasons, who supply fine dining food and premium service for events across the region.
The collaboration means the fabulous library, which dates back to 1421, will now be able host weddings in a truly unique setting in the heart of Manchester, all year round.
The shoot took place in a number of different rooms as the venue can cater for weddings of various sizes; from small and intimate weddings of up to 20 guests in the Reading Room, to larger celebrations of up to 80 guests in the Baronial Hall.
With the history of the building and sheer character round every corner, we wanted to create a quintessential English wedding theme with classic, sophisticated décor to sit alongside it.
December 7th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today we’re giving you a second helping of gorgeous real wedding inspiration in the form of Gemma and Richard’s big day at Upper House.
Taking inspiration from an expert in prettiness, Cath Kidston, Gemma got busy sourcing lots of sweet, vintage buys online to help set the scene before roping in groom Richard to assist with some handmade décor.
The result is a wedding day that’s beautiful, colourful & fun, just as the bride desired!
With images by Lissa Alexandra Photography.
gemma says: We got engaged on 22nd Dec 2013, whilst on a ski holiday in France. After a spectacular gondola ride across to the glacier in La Plagne, Rich suggested we ski away from the crowds to take some photos. We stopped and Rich took off his skis. After rummaging in his coat, he handed me a half bottle of champagne. He continued to rummage. Next appeared two small plastic pots, which transformed into champagne flutes. He got down on one knee and said “Gemma, will you marry me?” and I replied “I absolutely will!” Cue a random Frenchman that took our photo!
We set the date for 18th July 2015. We wanted a summer wedding and we needed to save up – so summer 2015 was an easy choice.
Our wedding took place at Upper House in Hayfield, Derbyshire. We knew from the start that we wanted a venue that was in the Peak District. Rich and I relocated from St. Albans a couple of years ago to live in the Peaks, so we really wanted to show our southern friends why we had moved north!
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October 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Sian and Stu’s outdoor wedding is full of individuality, meaningful touches, casually cool couture and fun. A bride who carries a textbook bouquet and plans a laboratory style bar for her guests is absolutely my kind of geek.
With images by Chelsea Shoesmith.
Sian says: We got engaged just before Christmas 2012 back where I grew up in Anglesey, and we were married on 23rd August 2014. We were lucky enough to be able to choose the summer bank holiday, with the intention of our families, who would be travelling, to be able to enjoy the long weekend.
We had the wedding ceremony at Heaton House Farm, and the reception in a nearby field owned by Fairborough’s Farm. We love the beautiful scenery in the Peak District and the Staffordshire Dales. We were very keen on having the Tipis for the reception, and centered our search on finding venues with outdoor spaces with great views, which we found in spades in Rushton Spencer. The Tipis were provided by Peak Tipis.
I was keen on keeping the decor and styling quite rustic and natural in order to keep in line with the look and feel of the Tipis. We also wanted to feature a bit of science and chemistry, as both of our careers are chemistry based. It was a fun little juxtaposition with all of the natural elements.
I picked the colour scheme – neutrals with blue accents – to inject a bit more colour into the decor of the Tipi without looking at odds with the the colour of the canvas.
I fell in love with infinity dresses while looking for a bridesmaid dress that would suit all three of my very different bridesmaids. I found Coralie Beatrix on Etsy who also makes bridal infinity dresses and loved the idea of being able to wear the dress in different ways as the day went on, and being able to choose complementing shades for my bridesmaids. My own dress was actually custom made for me by my mum, Linda, which is amazing to have something so personal.
For the boys, we chose Edinburgh Woollen Mill waistcoats, BHS trousers, Burton shirts and stag head lapel pins from River Island. We wanted something more relaxed and casual than the traditional suits, whist still looking put together.
My bouquet was made out of pages of an old chemistry textbook, glued together rather messily by me and my mum in the dead of night a few days before the wedding. I loved being able to make as much as I could for the wedding, but I did superglue my fingers together on several occasions on this particular project!
We met with a few photographers and found Chelsea Shoesmith who has worked at the venue may times before, which gave us a lot of confidence. Of the photographers we met, she had the perfect balance of professionalism and friendliness, and throughout the planning process and the wedding day put us at ease and got the best out of us. She was totally on board and enthusiastic about doing a ‘First Look’ photo shoot too. This allowed Stu and I to see each other just before the ceremony and calm our (his) nerves and get some portrait shots in, leaving us with more time after the ceremony to get the group shots done and get back to the day. I’d recommend this to any couple who aren’t fussed about only seeing each other coming down the aisle for the first time; we aren’t traditional in that sense. I’d recommend Chelsea to anyone, and already have!
Glass jars were collected for me by various people and we decorated them ourselves using various techniques, including authentic Trearddur Bay sand collected by my niece in the summer. I found so many amazing ideas on Pinterest but had to reign myself in and only use a few to keep things looking cohesive! The bunting and cutlery sleeves were made by Stu’s mum Lynn and were some of people’s favourite features (a lot went missing)! We have kept some bunting and plan on putting it up in our first nursery as a little reminder of the day.
The first concrete decision I made about the wedding was that instead of giving our guests favours, I wanted to make a donation to Cancer Research UK. Like all families, we have lost and won battles with cancer and I know that all of our guests would appreciate the gesture.
My sister Rachel’s chocolate orange cake has long been one of my favourites, and asking her to bake our wedding cake was a total no-brainer. We had four layers: chocolate orange, carrot cake, lemon drizzle and vanilla sponge. We also have an amazing log cake board cut and engraved by my uncle. I’m going to have to start baking in order to use it again!
We had a barbecue consisting of lamb, ribs and sausages, salads and breads supplied by Vanilla in All Seasons. I think the best testimony we can give was that one of my friends had to be sent back to the table as he was up for second helpings within minutes before everyone had even been fed! In the end I think there were some people going back for thirds… fourths… fifths…
We supplied the drinks ourselves, with a master plan of having a chemistry lab/bar set up. In the end it wasn’t as grand as we first set out, as it turns out some of the lab glassware was extremely fragile! We also had mini-kegs of beer from Stewart’s donated from our friends Charlotte and Jamie after being a big hit at their own Tipi wedding.
For the ceremony music we had string and instrumental versions of a couple of our favourite songs by Incubus and The Cure. I think there were only a few people who noticed!
We also asked our friends’ band to play, and they ended up doing an acoustic set with a few of their own songs and a few covers that they knew we’d like, then played a carefully selected playlist in the evening. It was tough to put together as there were people with very different music tastes, but I think we managed to pull it off pretty well. We actually shared the wedding playlist with our friends afterwards, too.
During the day we had a few outdoor toys, bubble machines etc for the kids (and big kids) to play with, which they loved.
I would recommend this venue to any couple, especially those who just doesn’t get excited by the ‘standard’ weddings they see, and want to shape their own day.
I realised the time half an hour before I knew we were supposed to finish and pack up, and I was desperate for it not to end; for it to carry on with us all singing and dancing. There were little details that hadn’t gone exactly to plan or that I hadn’t thought of, and I knew that none of them mattered at all because I’d just had so much fun all day with all the people that I love most around me, and I could see how much fun everyone else was having, too.
With the money generously gifted to us by our guests, we went on a last minute all-inclusive holiday to Cyprus, where we both got to put our feet up and plan absolutely nothing after the stress on planning the wedding!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that I’ve been assured that it’s normal to feel like you haven’t spent enough time with each guest – although I certainly tried!
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