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Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

Darling Props Of May. Supplier Showcase: China Blossom Hire

May 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

China Blossom Hire

So many Brides Up North who contact me via the blog are on the look out for creative styling details to make their big day stand out from the crowd (and I’d love to hear from you too).  So, to the rescue! 

One Brides Up North Featured Supplier who specialises in props and accessories of the quirky, vintage kind is the lovely Eliza and her team at China Blossom Hire, based in the North West.  Today she’s here to let you know how she can help to make your wedding day unique.  Let’s say hello…

… and once we have, make sure to stop by the China Blossom Hire website to see just what they can do. 

China Blossom Hire

Eliza says:  As with a lot of brides to be, I started planning my own vintage wedding and discovered that I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted at a reasonable price nearby and so started collecting pieces of china when I saw them. After many positive comments on our big day, I decided to make my own china available to brides, but then I saw a gap in the local market for prop hire as well and the business has bloomed from there.

China Blossom Hire

What can you supply and why is it special?

We believe that our large and unique range of china, along with our affordable packages, make us a great choice for any engaged couple. Whether it’s an intimate tea party for 20 or a larger gathering of 120 place settings, we will always endeavour to match any specific requirements such as all pastel trios or specific teapots on particular tables. If required, teaspoons, cake forks and table cloths can also be provided to add that extra vintage touch. We have a range of silverware which can be used to create unique centrepieces by itself or with other china pieces.

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Tell us about your prop hire service?

We believe that we have one of the best, if not the best, range of wedding props in the North West. The rise of themes such as Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Steampunk and Carnival require a large array of different props and we are confident that we can supply even the most quirky of vintage props should they be required.

We think our props have become so popular because we make and adapt a lot of our own vintage style items such as our vintage chalkboard bicycles and photo walls. We also have a novel approach of how we use props such as photo display suitcases and vintage dessert dressing tables with a personalised menu or message on the mirror for guests to read. From gramophones, picnic baskets and milk churns to giant lit letters, vintage style drink dispensers and vintage typing stations, we always find that couples are amazed by the sheer diversity of our stock.

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Where are you based and what areas do you cover?

We are currently based in Churchtown, Southport where we have a 1930’s summerhouse which we thought was a fitting environment in which to invite couples to discuss their plans (over tea and cake of course)!

We currently will travel to locations up to 150 miles from Southport or thereabouts, so this takes in Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, parts of North Wales, Staffordshire and West Yorkshire.

China Blossom Hire

China Blossom Hire

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

Our individual hire prices range from a matter of pence to £125 for our photo tent. However, due to such high demand, we have had to introduce a minimum hire charge of £50 for any order. We do have a variety of packages available for larger hires including china hire from £55 for 50 people and funfair games packages from £275. We believe it is crucial to have a range of price points so that our china and props are available to the majority of couples on any budget. A full list of our prices can be found on our website under the hire charge page, but also on each individual gallery photographs as our stock has expanded so rapidly that we were running out of space!

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Why should Brides Up North choose to work with China Blossom Hire?

Uniqueness – we pride ourselves on our unique and quirky hire items such as our vintage photo tent and candy tables using Victorian glass, suitcases and mini chalkboard heart labels. As well as our products, we believe that the attention to detail we provide is second to none. We often look at the overall theme that a couple is interested in during their free consultation and then link in any personal/family heirlooms which they may wish to use as it’s not about us, it’s all about their big day being special.

We also provide a unique service of personalising messages on our chalkboards or mirrors in a variety of styles. Our customer reviews on Facebook and our website prove that we promise and provide the highest level of service possible.

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Why do you think the trend for a vintage wedding endures?

We believe that the trend for all things ‘vintage’ has become so popular as a result of several factors. Obviously, television programmes such as Downton Abbey and The Great British Bake Off have played their part in romanticising past trends, but also, austerity has played it’s part with couples looking for a more reasonable and personal alternative.

Brides have in turn become keen to make their wedding fresh and chic, others want it to be more unique or organic. We don’t believe that this is a fad as ‘vintage’ has come to mean a whole variety of styles from Retro, English Country Garden to Art Deco and Rustic to name just a few. Even those who want a more modern approach are managing to merge in ‘vintage’ elements by having a black and white or chic Parisian theme. The current trend for colour and traditional entertainment has sparked a blossoming of all things ‘Carnival’ which is great for British weddings. 

So the trend continues…

China Blossom Hire

Who would be your dream client and why?

That’s easy, anyone from Downton Abbey! Like half the nation, I am hooked. Can you imagine a Downton bride next to one of vintage chalkboard bicycles or behind a photo wall? How fabulous!

Anything else that you’d like to share with our readers?

We are seeing an increasing number of brides and grooms requesting vintage fairground games and oversized lit items such as hearts and initials, so keep a lookout on our website for our latest prop trends and remember to email us if you have an idea as we love developing unique props for a couple’s unique day!

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or find out more?

If brides prefer a more relaxed approach, we can be contacted via Facebook at China Blossom, or by email at eliza@chinablossomhire.co.uk.

You can visit our website at www.chinablossomhire.co.uk.

We have both landline and mobile phone numbers accessible for clients on 01704 809191 and 07922038455 respectively. We would always suggest that couples visit our showroom and view any china and props before they commit themselves to anything. We are here to make planning a wedding an exciting and personal journey which leads up to to the incredible event that is their special day.

China Blossom Hire

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 supplied by China Blossom Hire

China Blossom Hire is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Style It Up! Supplier Showcase: Ruby’s Tea Party PLUS Special Offer For Wedding Blog Readers!

January 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Ruby's Tea Party

Brand new Brides Up North readers (well, hello there!) will soon find out that as well as bringing you a double daily dose of wedding inspiration and wedding gown eye candy, we also work hard to showcase the very best wedding industry suppliers in your region (see our Directory for the evidence, or browse back through our posts with the category "Featured Supplier").  Leaving you more time for shoe shopping and, er, going down the pub. 

Today we meet Brides Up North Featured Supplier Karen of Ruby’s Tea Party, a pretty styling outfit based in the North East.  Karen’s got a special New Year’s discount just for Brides Up North readers up her sleeve, and wants a challenge: to make your wedding day as perfect as possible.  I’ve know Karen for quite a while after meeting at one of my Brides Up North Tweet Ups back in 2012, and it’s time for you to meet her…

Karen is offering  a 10% discount on the hire catalogue for any new bookings confirmed by 28th February 2014. Please quote Brides Up North upon enquiry.

Ruby's Tea Party

When and why did Ruby’s Tea Party begin? 

I set up Ruby’s Tea Party in the summer of 2011 because I spotted an opportunity to help brides and grooms with their special day. I noticed the trend towards serving afternoon tea was growing in popularity and I already had a small collection of vintage pieces at home so all I had to do was start collecting more!

Tell us about yourself?

My first ever job was working in the restaurant of a local pub at weekends. I got a real buzz from making sure people were happier when they left than when they arrived and so I went on to study Hospitality Management specialising in events. I worked for top end restaurants owned by celebrity chefs and a 5* hotel to perfect my craft and just fell in love with all things wedding.

Ruby's Tea Party

What services does Ruby’s Tea Party offer?

Ruby’s Tea Party began as a vintage china hire company and has grown from there. My hire collection includes all the vintage china you could ever need to serve afternoon tea as well as cutlery and linens. Over time I’ve found my collection growing and now I offer various props and decor items to help create an overall look in a venue. I finally left the ‘day job’ earlier this year to focus on Ruby’s Tea Party and since then I’m able to more involved and offer a venue dressing service or work with couples on a full venue styling package.

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Time For Tea! Maggie Sottero For A Vintage Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Wedding In Harrogate – Gemma & Paddy

July 1st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Why not start the week off as we mean to go on?  One gorgeous Real Wedding after another? Yes please!

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For this afternoon’s celebration we are staying in North Yorkshire, as we join Brides Up North reader Gemma and her new husband Paddy for a vintage Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.  Trust me, it’s pretty (and not a Cheshire Cat or Alice band in sight…)!

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Gemma says:  Paddy proposed to me in July 2010. It was the morning of York Races and we were getting ready at home. I was undecided about what jewellery to wear and Paddy said “Why don’t you look in the drawer, you might find something in there”. Confused I opened my dressing table drawer and found a ring box… inside was an engagement ring. The whole day was wonderful; we celebrated with friends and drank champagne at the races. At the end of the day we watched some of the X-Factor finalists perform on stage and the song I always remember playing was “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol. It later became our first dance song.

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We tied the knot on 4th June 2012. It was the bank holiday weekend of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, so we decided to take advantage of the extra day off. We enjoyed the weekend before the big day and spent the Sunday dressing the venue.

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We had our ceremony and drinks reception at The Sun Pavilion in Harrogate, followed by our wedding reception at The White Hart Hotel.

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I really wanted a venue which had beautiful gardens where we could have our wedding photos taken. We looked at several different venues but none of them seemed right. I came across The Sun Pavilion on the internet and it just looked stunning. It had an amazing stained glass roof and a terrace outside which overlooked the idyllic Valley Gardens. It was perfect and we were excited to book our wedding reception there.

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For our reception, we chose The White Hart Hotel which was only a few minutes walk from the Valley Gardens. The hotel décor fit perfectly with our theme as they had recently refurbished and so we didn’t really have to do too much with the decorations.

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Our colour scheme was ivory with highlights of pale pinks, wisteria and lavender.

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My hair was done by my hairdresser and friend Gemma Peers. She also did my mum’s, nan’s and sister’s hair.  I had a make up trial at Bobby Brown and did my own make up on the wedding day.

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I chose “Cleo” a Maggie Sottero dress from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. Hayley and all the staff were fabulous and really helpful. The seamstress helped to customise my dress and make it unique to me, we re-positioned the corsages and added a sweetheart neckline. I loved it!

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My shoes were from Monsoon and as soon as I saw them I knew they were the ones. The pearl brooch on them was exactly the same as the hair comb I had bought from Etsy. It was fate.

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My necklace was another Etsy purchase and I loved the big statement rhinestone flowers.

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The bridesmaid dresses were Ronald Joyce, also from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I loved the wisteria colour as it was a gorgeous vintage colour.

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Paddy, our page boy and best men wore suits which were hired from Slaters in Leeds.

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The night before the wedding we all stayed at The White Hart Hotel. We didn’t have very far to travel to the ceremony venue, however we still wanted something to travel in style in.

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Paddy borrowed an Audi R8 from a friend for him and his best men to travel in. From my bedroom window I could hear the sound of the engine as they took a tour around Harrogate town centre.

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My wedding car was also borrowed from a friend. It was a beautiful MG Magnet and I loved it’s vintage look. I wanted a vintage car but something that was a bit different.

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We hired Sally from Priceless Weddings as our on the day coordinator. With us having two separate venues I wanted to have some continuity and ensure there was someone to keep the day flowing and be there to help guests. She also acted as toastmaster and was fantastic!

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All our wedding flowers were provided by a family friend and she did such a fantastic job. My bouquet had my favourite flowers in it – peonies, carnations, roses, anemones and lavender. It was finished off with some fabric from my dress.  The bridesmaids had rose wrist corsages.

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It was important for us to have children at our wedding as we wanted our son to be page boy. It was so lovely having our son there on such a big day, during the ceremony Jake stood with us holding our hands. When it came to the giving of rings, Jake took each ring and passed it to us, it was so sweet! He even sat with us whilst we signed the register…it was just perfect.

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We wanted our day to reflect us as a couple as much as possible.

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I studied fashion design at university so like to be creative and indulge in craft projects, so I knew we were going to make a lot of things ourselves for the wedding from designing our own wedding stationery, to doing our own centrepieces.

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We decided upon the theme "a vintage mad hatter’s tea party". I have a love for all things vintage and my husband has his own business supplying tea and coffee to trade. So it just seemed the perfect theme for us.

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Harriet from Weddings Vintage did a fabulous job with our wedding photos. Harriet had photographed a friends’ wedding and when I saw the photos I instantly knew I wanted her to photograph our day.

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I made all of our wedding stationery; save the dates, invitations, order the day, name tags… you name it. It was a labour of love, but I was really pleased with how it all turned out and it was unique to us.

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For our drinks reception we served pink fizz, and also had bottles of Fentimans with stripy paper straws and I made “drink me” tags which we hung around the bottle necks.

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We treated guests to ice-cream which was provided by Ripley’s who are based in The Valley Gardens.

We borrowed a vintage butcher’s bike and decorated it with bunting, and guests helped themselves to the ice-cream from the basket on the bike.

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We set up a table just for the kids at the wedding breakfast . Each received a goodie bag from us which had in it a disposable camera and an “I spy” list, a word search, colouring pencils and a handmade biscuit.  We also provided a hamper of vintage toys and games for the children to play with as the table centrepiece. 

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We spent weeks scouring charity shops and eBay for vintage pieces that fit perfectly with our theme. Each piece was lovingly chosen, and my nana and mum also gave me their tea sets to use which made it even more personal.

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Each table had a different centrepiece all designed to look like the mad hatter’s table. We had cake stands on stacked vintage books, vintage glass bottles and tea pots filled with flowers, tea cups and saucers stacked up with pearl strands cascading out, vintage keys and door knobs…

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Each guest had a pretty little vintage trio as their place setting. The name tags were vintage keys which we sprayed white and I made the name tags which were tied to the keys with ribbon. 

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Our wedding favours were tins of loose leaf tea, which were made for us by Jeeves and Jericho.  The tea blend was specially made just for us. 

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We found a violinist through the Leeds College of Music for our wedding ceremony. She played whilst guests were arriving, during our drinks reception and also played along with my entrance song which was “Turning Page” by Sleeping At Last.

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During the evening Paddy and one of his best men DJ’d. It was like the old days when they used to DJ together in clubs and bars and they had such a laugh doing it again. We also had a local band “The International Party Doctors” who were fantastic and really got the party going. They performed our first dance song for us, which they had to learn beforehand.

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My Dad also got up on stage and sang a song to me, which was a big surprise as my Dad is quite shy. It was very touching.

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We treated evening guests to cocktails and a sweetie buffet.

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We asked a friend who is a professional chef to make our wedding cake and then we decorated it ourselves.

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The big surprise for our guests was when we cut into the cake and it was rainbow coloured! I was really chuffed in the months following the wedding when it was announced the trend for wedding cakes in 2013 was rainbow cake!

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For our wedding breakfast, we served afternoon tea cake stands for dessert and had teapots filled with proper loose leaf tea.

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Since our wedding, I have started my own business hiring out all our vintage china and props.

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In the evening we provided our own photo booth for guests to enjoy! We collected our own props and our wedding photographer took the photos. It was definitely the best idea and everyone really got into the spirit.

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As I had done most of the wedding planning, Paddy had the task of booking the honeymoon. I did start to panic at one point as it was three  weeks until the wedding and still nothing was booked. I had my heart set on the Maldives or Bora Bora with a water villa, but Paddy had other ideas!

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A few days before the wedding he surprised me with tickets to Thailand. We spent a night in Bangkok at The Banyan Tree Hotel, before flying to the island of Koh Kood and the Soneva Kiri Resort. To get to the island we had to travel on a small plane and then get a speedboat. It was rainy season whilst we were there but we were actually really lucky and only had one day of rain. The honeymoon was better than I could have imagined and was the perfect way to round off the celebrations.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North is to try and be organised as much as possible so you can enjoy the last few days in the run up to the wedding.

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Congratulations Gemma & Paddy!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North – here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Weddings Vintage

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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She Who Wears The Crown: A Real Wedding In The North West – Steph & Jonny

October 10th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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I’ll be honest.  As a , I see a whole lorra of weddings.  Each and every wedding is beautiful – that’s for sure – but editorially speaking, it’s also nice to see variety.  It’s the spice of life after all.  That’s why I’m glad that Brides Up North’s USP is its regional focus and not the style of weddings that I feature.  I’m far to fickle for that. 

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One pretty style that I do see more than most is the popular theme of vintage tea cups and bunting.  Don’t get me wrong, I really do love fine china and pretty prints – but it needs to be done right – and on a blog that sees hundreds of gorgeous Real Weddings a year, with standout style.

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Today’s bride, the lovely Steph, shows us exactly how to carry off this beautiful and popular theme with panache.  With images by Martin Hambleton Photography, beautiful calligraphy place settings and fantastical florals, it’s hard to imagine a prettier wedding breakfast.  

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Stephanie says:  We got engaged in December 2010. Jonny arranged a luxury spa break at The Doubletree Hotel and Spa in Hoole, Chester. It was a lovely and very romantic way to get engaged.

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We were married on 25th August 2012, bank holiday weekend. A day that was due to be rainy and cold but actually was bright and warm for the photographs and most of the day.

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Our ceremony took place at St Oswald’s Church, Lower Peover, Cheshire and the reception venue was Peover Golf Club, Lower Peover, Cheshire.

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I sang in the church choir from the age of nine and was christened and confirmed in the church. I also attended the local primary school and we performed all our seasonal services in the church. It was just a large part of my life growing up. Singing in the choir at weddings throughout the years, gave me time to plan the perfect wedding and from the age of nine I knew that I would have a horse and carriage as transport, ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘I vow to thee my country’ as hymns and no children to spoil the service!  St Oswald’s is set in the most beautiful Cheshire countryside and I just knew it would be the perfect back drop for the wedding photos. We also live in the village of Lower Peover and I grew up in the next village, Plumley, so I wanted to get married somewhere that was home to us both.

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I worked at Peover Golf Club whilst at university and worked at many weddings there myself and always thought it was the most beautiful place. The function room is open and light with Bougainvillea in flower, growing up the oak beams; the perfect setting for my theme. The staff, some I have worked with and some I haven’t, are tirelessly helpful and will do anything to make sure that things are just right for you. The golf club is also very close to the church so the five mile limit for the horse and carriage journey was covered in the distance. The room is also cosy and seats 72 people for a wedding breakfast. This suited us well as we both have small families and might have ‘rattled around’ in a larger venue. We never looked at another venue as we both just knew we wanted to hold the wedding reception there.

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The theme was biggest part of the planning for us. We went for the vintage country look and purchased 71 mis-matched vintage tea- cups, saucers, side plates jugs and sugar bowls from markets, charity shops and antique shops. I absolutely loved collecting them and treasure them all still. We also had 26 metres of bunting made and hung it from the beams which looked beautiful. The flowers, the stationery and vintage suitcase I had relined in chintzy fabric and lace, complimented the theme so well and many guests commented that they had never seen a wedding venue look so beautiful.

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The colour scheme was pastel pinks, greens, blues, yellows, lilacs and florals. Just a very pretty mixture of colours that complemented each other.

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I chose an Alfred Sung dress from Puure Bridal in Lymm. The dress was in dark ivory and had one strap which was full of detail with white flowers and diamonds. It was fitted down to my hips and then flowed out to the floor. The fabric was gathered into ‘roses’ and had a large train on the back. I loved it! I wore it with a veil which was satin trimmed and had little crystals within it. I also wore an Ivory and Co head piece which was similar to the strap detail on the dress. My shoes were from Dune and were ivory with little diamonds on the front.

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The bridesmaids wore a pale sage green dress from Puure Bridal in Lymm. They were made by True Bride and were long, strapless and had some detail under the bust. All of the girls wore the same and the colour complemented the theme really well. They all looked very elegant.

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Country Flowers from Knutsford, Cheshire created beautiful bouquets for the bridesmaids and me.  I carried a country posy of white peonies, sweet avalanche roses, pink and cream spray roses, pink snap dragon, cream stock, pink limonium ellie and eucalyptus foliage.  The church and venue flowers looked meadow like and natural which is exactly what I wanted.

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Our favourite part of the day was the wedding ceremony at church. As I arrived up the aisle, Jonny said to me, ‘You look beautiful’ and I felt it. The vicar performed a lovely heartfelt ceremony and I couldn’t believe after watching all those weddings as a child and teenager in that church, it was finally my turn. Jonny was also overcome with emotion during the service and it all just felt so real and special, we wish we could do it all again!

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We hired a vintage typewriter and suitcase from Ems Originals. Guests used the typewriter to write messages on and the case was also complete with paper and pens for that purpose also. We also bought our own vintage suitcase, relined it and used it as the card box for guests.

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Urbis Scriptores from Comberbach, Northwich created the place names which were a real ice breaker across the tables. Each one had the guests name and meaning decorated with ribbon and little crystals. These were also our favours as they doubled up as a bookmark.

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We chose a three tier cake from Supa Dupa Cakes. One tier was lemon butter cream and sponge, one was chocolate butter cream and sponge and the other jam and butter cream. We had it decorated with iced bunting which looked like it was blowing in the wind. We decorated the top with flowers similar to those in the bouquets and used a pearl and lace ribbon to decorate the cake with.

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Olive Tree Catering who are based in Northwich and North Wales and who are also the recommended caterers for the Golf Club created a delicious wedding breakfast and barbeque in the evening which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

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We hired an ice cream bike from Lanza’s Ice Cream, Leek, Staffordshire which was a special addition to the wedding. As guests arrived from the church to the reception, they enjoyed farmhouse ice cream and I also provided sprinkles and marshmallows in little teacups for the guests to use.

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Martin Hambleton Photography was everything we wanted in a photographer. He was so professional and has created photographs that document the day in the way we dreamed of.

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We went to Portugal for our honeymoon and spent the week relaxing. We asked guests for a contribution to our honeymoon as their gift and despite having covered that, we even have enough to travel to New York at Christmas or in the Spring. We can’t wait for that, it will be like our second honeymoon.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure that you put the time and effort in to making the day what you have always dreamed it would be. It took a lot of time and money to source all those vintage tea cups but I am so glad I did it; it looked fantastic! Also, give time to choosing the right photographer who is going to capture your wedding the way you want to. This will be your big memory of the day to look back on in years to come and you want it to be the best most beautiful memory you have got.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Congratulations Steph & Jonny!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North!

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  – Images © 2012 Martin Hambleton Photography 

This not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Competition Time! WIN a Vintage Tea Service for 80 to use at your event with Cupcakes in the City

March 11th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Happy Friday!  Time for a treat I think…

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Cupcakes in the City

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Lesley from Cupcakes in the City is offering one lucky Brides Up North reader the chance to win free hire of their stunning 100% genuine vintage china tea trios and teaspoons for up to 80 guests for their wedding day.

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Cupcakes in the City

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Cupcakes in the City

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Cupcakes in the City

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Cupcakes in the City

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Cupcakes in the City 

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We all know that all things vintage are having somewhat of a moment, so why not beautify your wedding the authentic way?!

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All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is comment on this post telling Brides Up North why you would like to win using the big pink button below, and sign up for my free newsletter* in the box at top right.

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Winners will be drawn at random.  The competition will close at midnight on Friday 1st April 2011.

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Cupcakes in the City

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Thanks Cupcakes in the City!

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*All you will get is my free newsletter, no nasties.  See my terms and conditions and privacy policy.  I will NEVER sell your email address and Brides Up North HATES spam.

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This is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North Logo

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