December 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This morning we join Hannah and Arul for a wedding celebration that was a true celebration of their different cultures. This couple mixed morris dancers and high tea alongside goat curries and Indian dress, without batting an eyelid. And you know what?
It just fits.
The result? A fresh and fabulous day, with meaningful touches, an heirloom wedding dress and a whole lot of love.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sarah Beth Photography.
hannah says: We got engaged on my birthday (28th February 2013). We were on holiday in the North Yorkshire Moors and we went to The Lion Inn pub in the middle of nowhere (my granddad’s ashes are spread there) it’s a pub loved by all the family and we went every Christmas.
We went on a walk along the moors and we walked for miles (turned out Arul was looking for the perfect spot where all the classical elements: earth, wind, water and fire were present).
We sat down for a tea break Arul said he had another present for me. Out came the ring! It was perfect: we were alone with beautiful views and it was the best walk back to the pub where we had lunch by the roaring fire next to the piano.
We were married on 26th August 2014 at Bilton Church. We chose this as at midnight it would have been my Granddad’s birthday (27th August). Therefore he would still be part of the day. The wedding was in the village where I grew up and the church that my grandparents were married at, and the reception was at The Haven Arms, Hedon.
Our wedding saw the joining of two different cultures – English and Srilankan. The wedding was celebrated in both cultures over Day and Night. We did vintage high tea for the day celebration. I chose to wear my grandma’s dress and we collected tea cups, side plates and tea pots all year, the venue provided the bunting and Morris Dancers entertained the guests.
The night theme was Indian with lots of coloured lighting, Indian food, Indian music and the guest in Indian clothes (sarees for women and kurta’s for men). This reflected Arul’s country of birth Sri Lanka with his mum and brother travelling from Sri Lanka for the wedding.
I wore my grandma’s wedding dress. She offered to buy my wedding dress and I asked to look at hers.It was important to me to make my grandma a big part of the wedding as she has been a huge part of my life.
I got my two adult bridesmaids sage green dresses from House of Fraser and my flower girl’s dress was made especially for her.
Arul wore dark grey tails with a sage green cravat to match the bridesmaids.
I carried sweet peas which all the family grew, these where the flowers my granddad grew on his allotment so it was important to include them. I also had roses (Aruls mum’s favourite) and peonies. The flowers and arrangements were by Evergreen Garden Centre in Bilton.
My friend Francesca picked Arul up in her Audi and I had a vintage car by Alternative Wedding Cars.
We had the flowers clustered on the pew ends and wrapped in lace to match my dress and had love heart shaped bird cages hanging outside the church.
The Haven Arms were so accommodating. We went to two tasting sessions and the chef sourced special ingredients for the evening curries based on Arul’s feedback. They also sourced all the bunting, chair covers, lighting and led lighting to match our theme. The owners even dresses up in Indian clothes on the night!
This place is brilliant for people wanting a themed wedding as they are so adaptive.
My auntie Di made our fruit cake. She makes all our family cakes and gave us this as our wedding gift. My bridesmaid Sarah made all the cupcakes and we bought a cake stand from Ebay to display them both.
During the day we were entertained by the Makara Morris Dancers. They were fantastic and invited us to practice with them prior to the wedding and let us choose all their dances on the day. They kept the guests busy while we were having pictures and filled a gap between food and speeches (getting everyone to join in) which everyone said was brilliant.
As a special touch for later in the evening, my friends and I spent a year learning an Indian dance in order to surprise Arul and the guests.
We went on a Log House Holidays honeymoon in the Cotswolds. We were in a log cabin on a lake with our own hot tub and rowing boat!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make your wedding a reflection of who you are, it’s a lot of hard work but totally worth it.
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December 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Just how adorable is today’s beautiful bride? Jennifer and Andrew’s pretty wedding in the Lakes is full of wide smiles, cute touches and some rather chic styling.
With images by Jenny Winstone Photography.
jennifer says: Andrew proposed to me on a Tuesday evening, 19th March 2013. I’d just got home after a post-work gym session and the house was covered in candles. Andrew had music playing, my favourite meal on the table and wine… then he got down on one knee. It was all incredibly romantic and a complete surprise.
We chose 30th August 2014 for the wedding day. We wanted a summer wedding.
We got married in our home town of Barrow-in-Furness. The ceremony took place in Andrew’s family church St Marys at 3.30pm. We wanted a late wedding to give the day a more relaxed feel. Rather than a traditional sit down meal we opted for a party vibe for the wedding reception that took place at The Crofters.
Our wedding had a rustic vintage style. I spent hours looking on Pinterest for wedding ideas and I loved all the vintage decorations. After a wedding planning meeting with my mum she was off collecting all sorts of trinkets and vintage items.
The colours we used were ivory, lace, champagne and blush. I fell in love with the bridesmaid dresses and worked from there in regards to colour scheme.
I wore a simple but elegant Charlie Brear gown from The White Closet, Didsbury. This was the first dress I tried on and I loved it, but I thought I had to try on a million other dresses just to make sure it was ‘the one’. I should have trusted my instinct because I went back for the first dress I tried on and I’m so glad I did. My shoes were by Freya Rose – Mio.
Andrew wore a suit from Mister Mister, Barrow in Furness.
The bridesmaids and two flower girls wore dresses which were concessions via the BHS website.
I picked a hand tie bouquet with a very loose garden feel to it, made up of blush colours, roses, alstromeria, veronica peonies and gysophila to tie in with my bridesmaid dresses. The design was tied with vintage lace from Posh Flowers, Barrow in Furness.
For our photography we chose the talented Jenny Winstone, I would highly recommend her. She captured the moments beautifully. Jenny made me feel relaxed throughout the day, all my bridesmaids and family loved her too. Jenny built such a good rapport straight away.
My mum and sister helped massively with decoration for the wedding reception. We used a mixture of professionally arranged flowers, flowers from a friend’s garden and some foraged wild flowers and greenery – we really wanted to give a rustic vintage feel. My sister made the bridesmaids bouquets using gyposphilia. My mum covered the walls with old family wedding photographs. Many friends and family members were roped in to help with paper pom-poms and bunting. We wanted to do as much ourselves as possible.
We had a wedding cake made by Andrew’s sister and we had professional decorative cupcakes, in keeping with the vintage theme on the tables supplied by Christene Dacre.
We had vintage sweets for the guests to take home. Guests were also given ice cream tokens for the ice cream cart we had hired.
My friend Amy sang our first song, while her husband Jay played the guitar.
My husband is in a band so we hired a small marquee in the garden and his band played. It was great to see all of our family and friends dancing together, having fun. It was a last minute addition to the wedding, and stressful finding a marquee, but it was totally worth it in the end.
My dad also got on stage with the bridesmaids to sing us a special song, which was hilarious!
For me the favourite part of the day was the morning, the build up and excitement. I was surrounded by all of my best friends and I was so excited to walk down the aisle and see Andrew. It was the happiest day of my life.
For our honeymoon we spent 4 weeks in America. We flew in to San Francisco, hired a car to drive to Los Angeles, carried on to Las Vegas and ended the honeymoon by flying to New York. It was amazing. We really took full advantage of our newlywed status and got spoilt rotten. The whole trip was like a dream.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t fret about anything, none of it matters on the day.
December 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Let’s get this week’s gorgeous wedding schedule kicked off with this absolute beauty, sent to me by newlyweds Lindsay & Chris and their fabulous photographer Anna Louise Crossley.
This afternoon we’re back at Taitlands (check out this lovely wedding that we featured only last week), and I can see why the venue’s brides and grooms fall in love with this place.
Ey up, lets head to the Dales, for a vintagey wedding full of pretty – not least the stunning bride herself!
lindsay says: We got engaged on a cruise in Alaska on 17 August 2013. We were in our room getting ready for the first formal night, which was our second night on the cruise. Chris was in his tuxedo and I was in a long black dress. Chris asked me to come out on the balcony for a minute but as I had no idea he was going to propose I refused saying it was too cold and windy and I had just done my hair! He got down on one knee in the room and asked me to marry him.
We wanted somewhere in the country that was relaxed yet stylish. It had to be somewhere where we could hold the wedding, the reception and the evening party. It wasn’t easy but we found the perfect place, Taitlands, near Settle in the Yorkshire Dales. Chris and I just fell in love with it and knew it was the place for us to get married. We tied the knot on 18th October 2014.
We wanted our wedding to be relaxed, rustic and romantic, with a touch of vintage thrown in. My mum has been a huge fan of vintage for a long time, so had some brilliant ideas up her sleeve. We also decided to make as much as possible ourselves. My mum did an amazing job making the bunting, cake, bouquets, confetti and the list goes on!
Our colour scheme evolved as we went along. In the end it was a mixture of navy, dusky pink, white and burgundy.
Both my mum and I had been looking at dresses independently. When we got together we realised that we had been looking at the same dresses. I wanted a fitted mermaid lace dress with straps. The first dress I tried on was from Wedding Belles Of Otley, it reduced my mum to tears… twice! I tried other dresses on in different shops but I knew I would go back to the first dress. It was by Nicola Anne and called Dolce. I loved my dress!
Chris had a tailor-made suit from Kristopher’s on Kirkstall Road in Leeds. The material he decided on was navy with a black fleck. His suit was perfectly made and had nice little touches such as a label stitched to the inside of his jacket with our names and wedding date.
Chris said he wanted to wear a pocket watch with his suit, so he borrowed his granddad’s watch and my mum lent him a silver fob chain that had belonged to her great uncle.
My bridesmaids dresses came from Coast.
My chief bridesmaid Helen, had a full length navy dress with a beaded belt and a plunging back. Jenny, Angela and Joanna had knee length floaty navy dresses to accommodate Jo’s baby bump! Imogen, my little niece and flower girl wore a dress came from Accessorize. It was dusky pink with little flowers and she had some pink sparkly shoes which she loved to bits and a hair band to match her dress.
Both dads and the two best men bought blue suits from Slaters in Leeds. They teamed them up with white shirts, burgundy paisley ties and tan shoes.
Because our wedding was relaxed and DIY, we decided to do the flowers ourselves.
My mum and my uncle Tony went down to the wholesale market in Huddersfield and came back with a car full of flowers. I had some beautiful dusky pink vintage roses called Memory Lane in my bouquet, together with blue veronica. My bridesmaids has a mixture of pink roses, white and pink spray roses and purple limonium. Imogen carried a little bucket full of petals from the hydrangeas in mum’s garden.
My mum was in her element decorating the venue! She made the cones for the ends of the chairs and we filled them with gypsophelia. She had collected vintage glass vases and jars wrapped with string, we just filled them all with a selection of flowers and they looked amazing. We also had tea lights in lace covered jars in vintage saucers. My mum’s trusty sewing machine came out of retirement and she made 100 metres of bunting. If you want a wedding planner, you should book my mum!
We spent the Friday before the wedding decorating the Coach House and the marquee and had lots of help from family and friends. Karen (my new mum in law) brought her mum’s vintage sewing machine which we gave pride of place to. We wanted the wedding to have special memories for us so tried to include as much as we could that was personal. Imogen also wore her great- great grandmas pearl necklace. I wore a comb made from the tiara that mum had worn when she was married. My mum’s lovely and very clever friend, Jill, made it up for me and it looked amazing!
Instead of favours we had a sweet table. It was a real favourite and everyone loved it. After all, what’s not to like about a table full of sweets!
Our photographer was Anna Louise Crossley.
Anna lives in Leeds like us and we met up for a chat and booked her straight away. She has a lovely relaxed style and we knew she was just right for us. I would recommend her to anyone, her photos are amazing!
Taitlands provided all the food and it was delicious. We chose Roast Beef for our wedding meal. Each table had their own joint of beef, so one person on each table had to put on an apron and carve for everyone. It was a lot of fun and something that was certainly different. We provided a selection of wine for each table and some fizz for the toasts. We also had sausage sandwiches for supper and they went down a treat!
Since I was a little girl my grandma’s chocolate cake has been my absolute favourite. Two mammoth baking sessions later and my grandma, (who is 92) and my mum had made 9 cakes for a 3 tiered naked chocolate cake.
The chef at Taitlands assembled the cake and decorated it beautifully with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
Chris is a big fan of Superman, so I asked Karen to try and find a blonde bride and a Superman groom for the toppers and she did!
My Uncle Jon has played guitar in a band for years. He played Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy for me to walk into the ceremony. You could hear a pin drop! Then at the party his band were amazing. They played a mix of classic songs that made sure everyone was on their feet. My mum had very sneakily arranged for my school friend, Kay and Chris’s brother Stevie to join the band with their ukuleles. It was the most amazing surprise and brought the house down. When the band had a break, we had a playlist of requests from the RSVPs. Even after the party had ended, a few of us were sat singing… we just didn’t want the party to end!
I loved it all from start to finish. I can’t pinpoint an exact favourite moment!
We went to New York for 8 nights and then the Bahamas for 6 nights. New York was absolutely amazing, it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. Chris organised the honeymoon and didn’t let me know what he had planned in New York. He did an amazing job, we went to a Nicks game (go Nicks!), we went to see Lion King on Broadway and went on a cruise around the Hudson River that went right up to the Statue of Liberty. As well as going on a rowing boat in Central Park, up the Empire State Building and many more! The Bahamas was red hot and we had an amazing room with our balcony overlooking the beach.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get everyone involved and make lots of lists!
November 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m putting my feet up (or running around after my 19 month old) today after closing our Brides Up North season of luxury wedding exhibitions with a busy and very, very beautiful event in Altrincham yesterday. Massive thanks to everyone who supported us during this – our very best yet – season, whether as some of our talented suppliers or fabulous visiting brides and grooms. I’m so proud of each and every event that we’ve hosted this autumn, and hope that we brought the pages of this wedding blog alive for you.
First things first though, I’m having a day off, and leaving you in the hands of Brides Up North Sponsor James Jebson Photography, and his gorgeous girls, Carla and Sarah, who designed their vintage inspired wedding day their own way. Be inspired!
Carla says: We got engaged in June 2013 in Lytham, the place of our first date, and were married on 31st August 2014 at The Villa, Wrea Green.
We opted for a dusky pink, ivory and grey colour scheme. We chose a vintage travel theme with an English country garden look for the flowers. We sourced vintage black and white postcard for places we had traveled together and used them as our centrepieces, writing the postcards out to our guests, explaining why that place is special to us.
We both wore dresses. We did not discuss what style we were going to wear, we just agreed on ivory as the colour. Sarah wore a vintage lace style dress with buttoned back from Lottie’s Bridal Boutique. I wore a simpler dress with straps and a v neckline, with buttoned back and pearl detail, from The Dressing Room, Winmarleigh.
We both carried bouquets by Flower Design, which were the same yet opposites of each other. One had more pinks and the other had more ivory colours. They included English roses, hydrangea, gypsophila, carnations (these were the flowers that my Dad used to buy my Mum), foliage and rosemary as this is a flower associated with lost loved ones.
I also had a locket attached to my bouquet, which Sarah had bought me, with a picture of my Dad inside. It was so nice to have that with me as my Mum walked me down the aisle. These little touches made it feel as though he was close to us throughout the day.
The moment we walked in to the ceremony we both felt was so special. We each made our own entrance to the same song, ‘How Long Will I Love You’, by Ellie Goulding. We both agreed it was extremely emotional and hard to keep the tears back! We also wrote our own vows, which made the entire ceremony even more special and personal. The whole day was incredible, the first dance, the speeches, seeing all our guests… too many amazing moments to mention!
We hired ‘Barney’ a VW camper van through Little Limos. We wanted all our bridal party to travel to the venue on the day, so we had 4 trips, the ushers and page boys traveling first. After the ceremony they gave us a personalised bottle of champagne with our names and date of our wedding to enjoy on our first anniversary, which was a lovely touch.
We opted for a four tier cake, each tier a different flavoured sponge. We designed each tier differently, including indented hearts, vintage lace and edible lace. We also had iced hearts made and dusted with the pink to match our colour scheme. We kept the top tier for ourselves for the following day!
We did a lot of things homemade, including our favours which were leather luggage tags with a personalised travel quote inside.
We included a memory table and decided to have an extra button hole placed here in memory of my Dad.
We chose to use James Jebson Photography. James is such a genuine and charismatic guy who will capture all the moments you don’t get to see in the day. He worked tirelessly from the moment he arrived to last thing at night. He is extremely talented and captured our day perfectly. The quality of his photos was incredible and he has made memories we will look back on for years to come.
James met up with us on a number of occasions before the big day which helped us all get to know one another. He helped us a lot with our timings and used his expertise to help us plan out our day. By the wedding day, it felt like James had become a friend not just a service and it certainly made us feel relaxed which I feel contributed towards our wonderful images. On the day he was always there if we needed him, whether it be photography related or anything else to do with our day. He played such a huge role and we can’t thank him enough!
We selected our DJ as having a full dance floor was so important to us! Our DJ allowed us to specifically request the genre of music we thought our guests would enjoy the most.
We also thought a photo booth (we used The Mighty Boof!) would be lots of fun for our guests and it brought everyone together as the evening went on. The photo book we received the following day was fantastic, with everyone’s photos and messages! We have recieved so many compliments since the wedding on how much our friends and family enjoyed the booth! A great little extra to your evening.
We also decided to have a sparkler send off towards the end of the night as we thought this would be an amazing photo opportunity. We provided sparklers for all our guests and our photographer orchestrated and captured the moment perfectly.
For our honeymoon we spent 3 weeks in America and Mexico, visiting Florida, Cancun and Las Vegas.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to start planning early. Take the time to make homemade things. Not only will it save you money but the sense of satisfaction is definitely worth the hard work!
Don’t have any regrets… you only do this day once so do everything the way you want to. We went slightly over budget but were so pleased with the results in the day it was certainyg worth spending that little bit extra.
Finally, it is YOUR day. People will try to influence you but make sure you stay true to yourselves and what YOU and your partner want.
October 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon I’m handing over this little corner of the internets to Brides Up North Sponsor Rachael of The Social Butterfly, to tell you all about a rather lovely little date for your diaries: White Memoirs.
Rachael says:White Memoirs will be making its Autumn debut at new venue, Halle St Peters, Ancoats on Sunday 26th October, 11am – 3pm.
Tickets: £3.50 per person available in advance by clicking here
Brides Up North also has ten complimentary pairs of tickets to give away. The first 10 brides to contact Brides Up North quoting White Memoirs will take the bounty!
Nestled in the heart of Manchester’s industrial quarter, Halle St Peters, a Grade 2 listed deconsecrated church was lovingly rescued, restored and reopened by the Halle orchestra in April 2013. Working alongside amazing event design house, Pocketful of Dreams and Brown Sugar Blooms we will be enhancing the building’s natural beauty and creatively curating a stunning botanical themed backdrop to house thirty of the North’s crème de la crème creatives.
Purveyors of the innovative, imaginative and inspirational, White Memoirs this year will for the very first time showcase a botanical banquet displaying different table designs perfectly put together by Pocketful of Dreams. Visitors will have the opportunity to make reservations in advance and sample scrumptious sugary delights home-baked by Tea with Tom whilst washing down the crumbs with samples from cocktail mixologist The Drink’s Enthusiast’s ‘garden gin bar’!
There will be live music and entertainment throughout the day provided by Twisted Tubes, a 10-piece contemporary jazz group putting their own personal spin on all your favourite pop-songs! Dancing shoes are a must!
Independent bridal designer Erica Stacey and vintage-inspired bridal boutique, The Case of the Curious Bride will be showing their stunning collective of wedding gowns during two exclusive catwalk shows and will be offering special discount for orders places on the day.
DIY brides can look forward to taking part in a series of complimentary wedding workshops in which there will be opportunities create and take home bridal accessories and gifts.
Newcomers for October include the intricate work of mixed-media artist, Emily Notman who will be launching her unusual bridal accessories range at the event. Up-cycled jewellery brand, Retold Jewellery will also be revealing their first jewel collection crafted from original vintage pieces fused with modern materials.
Returning to White Memoirs, we look forward to once again working with bridal headwear and accessories designer Silver Sixpence in her Shoe who will be showcasing a handful of never-seen-before designs at the event. Paper perfect stationery company, To & From will also be returning with their new collection of ‘wedding storybooks’, creating beautiful memoirs of each couples unique story. Once again, the glamorous, Miss Bethany James Davies of The Vintage Beauty Parlour will be creating a pop-up salon and curating hair and make-up demos as well as free trials throughout the day.
The first 50 brides to register and purchase an advance ticket for White Memoirs will have be given a special goody bag on arrival, complimentary glass of fizz and free copy of our White Memoirs mini magazine.
Those details again – tickets: £3.50 per person available in advance by clicking here
Brides Up North also has ten complimentary pairs of tickets to give away. The first 10 brides to contact Brides Up North quoting White Memoirs will take the bounty!
July 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Let’s keep the Real Wedding pretty coming this morning with this stunning and stylish celebration at Arley Hall & Gardens. Jenna & Martin opted for a modern and muted colour scheme for their beautiful big day, dotted with gorgeous vintage inspired details.
As soon as I saw her choice of heels, I knew that today’s bride and I would be sartorially compatible. Jenna, I like your style.
With images by Lisa Howard Photography.
Jenna says: We got engaged in Stratford Upon Avon on 24th March 2012. Martin had arranged a weekend away for us and luckily it turned out to be one of the hottest weekends of the year! He proposed whilst we were sitting on the banks of the River Avon with a bottle of bubbly! It was perfect!
Our wedding day was 23rd May 2014. We got married at Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire.
We had actually been out looking at another venue which we were really disappointed with, when we drove past a signpost for Arley. We had seen it online but thought it looked way over our budget to even consider it an option. However, we decided to go and have a nosey. We didn’t have an appointment booked at Arley but the staff were so accommodating and the venue was so perfect! It was just what we wanted with the two aspects of the stately home and the rustic barn for the evening reception.
Styling wise, it just seemed to work out in the end that everything was a little bit vintage with a modern edge. We opted for a colour scheme of grey and white – we wanted to keep everything quite neutral as the rooms in the venue already have so many colours in them anyway; we didn’t want it to look too busy. Plus grey is my favourite colour!
I wore a lace mermaid style dress by Mori Lee from Always & Forever Bridal Boutique, St Helens. I had gone into the shop with the mind set that I definitely didn’t want a lace dress! However that soon changed. I also didn’t want a lace up corset style back and seeing as my dress had both I was reluctant to try it on, however after much persuasion I did and I loved it (but I did end up having the seamstress swap the lace ups for a zip)!
I carried a posy of white peonies from the floristry department of St Helens College.
I was really close to my nan who died a few years ago so really wanted to try and incorporate my memories of her into the wedding. I had a locket with a picture of her in it wrapped around my bouquet and a large photograph of her from my mum’s wedding with a candle burning.
Martin wore a dark blue slim fit three piece suit from TM Lewin, Liverpool. His shirt was white with accents of blue from Hugo Boss. His shoes were brown brogues from Bertie in Steve Madden, Manchester.
June 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break to redesign, review and recharge, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 7th July 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
Back in February when I blogged an interview with our wonderful Featured Supplier and ex copper, James Tracey Photography, I led the piece with an image of a beaming bride at a colourful altar and over on Facebook lots of you fell in love with her. Later that week I featured Laura and Nathan’s fabulously cool and quirky swimming pool wedding (yes, I’ve never seen one of those before either!) in all it’s glory.
This still has to be one of my favourites to date.
With images by James Tracey Photography.
Laura says: We got engaged in October 2013 in Saint-Cirq Lapopie (in the South of France). We were on our holiday with our six month old baby boy and Nathan got a sudden urge to ask me to marry him. It was a beautiful spot by the river. It wasn’t planned so he found a twig and tied it in a knot around my wedding finger.
We have been together for 18 years (we met at school when we were 16!) and finally tied the knot on 27th May 2013 at Victoria Baths, Manchester.
Victoria Baths is part of the restoration project. It was opened in 1906 as a swimming baths and Turkish baths. The restoration of the building begin in 1995. It is a beautiful old building with ornate stain glass windows. One day they hope to restore the swimming pools themselves and open it up again to the public.
We actually got married in the old male swimming pool in the deep end!
We wanted to get married somewhere that was a little different and allowed us to do what we wanted. Victoria Baths allows you to hire out the entire building and you are able to bring your own caterers, music and decorations in.
We wanted the day to be very relaxed with a feel of a street party. No formalities so everyone could relax and have fun! We chose a colour scheme of pale pink and green.
The bridesmaids wore pink dresses and the groom, best man and ushers wore pink ties. The tiles of the swimming baths are green so we hung pink and green paper pom poms from the ceiling along with bunting.
I wanted something every simple for my wedding dress. I visited Jane Bourvis in London after a friend recommended her. Jane owns a small shop in Notting Hill and as soon as you walk in you are greeted with antique lace hanging from the ceiling. Jane told me she had just restored some lace the night before. She dressed me in a pale cream slip and placed the lace petticoat over the top. It was stunning and a one off. I bought it within half an hour of walking into the shop. I just felt special. There was a story behind it too as an elderly lady in Scotland had found her mothers veil in the loft and that was what Jane used to create the dress – old Scottish lace.
The bridesmaids each wore a lace dress which I bought from a beach side shop in Cape Town. I just saw them and knew they would match the dress and that each of the bridesmaids would like the style.
Nathan wore a tailored suit from A Suit That Fits. The best man and ushers wore their own suits with a pink tie.
My friend has a beautiful old beetle called Gracie. He came to the hotel to pick me up (complete with a flat cap) and drove me to the baths.
It was a family affair! My cousin is a register so he married us and my other cousin works at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) so he arrange for four different bands to play: a string quartet to walk down the aisle to, an acoustic guitar whist we drank fizz, a two piece acoustic band and a 9 piece disco band. Amazing!
I carried a simple vintage style bouquet made by Manchester Flower Company.
I especially enjoyed the vows and turning around to see everybody we loved.
After the ceremony we arranged for a tour guide to show people around the building as it’s so historic with lots of amazing stories behind it.
10 of my closest friends and family made cakes for the deserts. There were some amazing cakes ranging from carrot cake, lemon drizzle and early great tea muffins. Everyone just helped themselves.
We had 45 children at the wedding so we had to provide entertainment. We hired two nanny’s to look after the babies and provided lots of toys. We hired a bouncy castle to go in the female pool and we created a cinema with a big screen and lots of popcorn and bean bags so the kids to watch a film. It was nice as the adults could have a rest and enjoy the fizz.
At the end of the day we planned a big surprise for everyone. We didn’t know how well it would go down. We hired 150 headsets and held a silent disco in the main hall. At first everyone didn’t quite know what to make of it. By the end of the night everyone was dancing their hearts out. We had three different channels with different types of music. There was some crazy dancing going on.
We went to the Lake District for a few days after the wedding and found cosy pubs to relax in. Bliss!
I kept sneaking away for a few minutes every now and again – either with Nathan or own my own to just catch my breath and smile. So my top tip for other Brides Up North would be that it’s nice to stop for a few minutes and reflect on things throughout the day itself.
Congratulations Laura & Nathan!
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June 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon we’re invited for a summer high tea with Brides Up North reader Carrie and her husband Paul, as we celebrate their Real Wedding in Chester. Carrie combined authentic vintage pieces with delicate decorative touches to create a pretty and personal celebration.
Carrie says: We had a long engagement – we got engaged four years prior to the wedding – and were married on 4th August 2013 at The Doubletree Hilton in Chester.
We opted for a vintage theme with lots of greys, creams and pinks, and used the venue’s beautiful brick barn which suited our styling perfectly.
I chose a column lace dress with a fishtail. It was an authentic vintage dress altered dramatically at Melanie James Bridal in Chorlton.
I carried a bouquet of hydrangeas by Acacia of Chester.
My makeup artist was Laura Wisinger, with hair by Rebecca Rigby.
May 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
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!
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or find out more?
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.
April 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
We’re so excited for our return to The Bowdon Rooms this coming Sunday 27th April 2014 for our third Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at this stunning venue. You can’t beat a sunny April day in Altrincham (here’s hoping!) and a unique and authentic vintage wedding venue packed full of lovely local suppliers and wedding pretty. Seriously, you need to see our stellar exhibitor line up!
Is the date in your diary? You can pre-register here. Go, go, go!
If you’ve picked up one of our leaflets in the area (it’s been blanketed!) or received one of our subscriber emails about the event, you’ll recognise our lovely bride & groom from today’s Real Wedding. Ellie and David’s wedding day shows off exactly what can be made of this stunning venue and their celebration, full of love, music, excitement, humour and delectable vintage details, is an absolute corker!
I rarely re-blog content on these pages (I prefer to keep things fresh, y’know?) but I wanted to revisit their big day ahead of the weekend’s festivities because, well, you’ll see.
Enjoy! And see you on Sunday…
With images by Foley Photography.
Ellie says: This was not an ordinary proposal. it being leap year and all!
David took me to Paris in February 2012 and everyone thought he would propose. On our return (no proposal had been made) which was Valentine’s Day I suggested we stay in London overnight, although we will just stay in a Travel lodge as we had just come back from Paris. Little did David know that I had booked a 5 star hotel called ‘The Corinthia’ off Whitehall for us to stay in all as part of my master plan proposal. I had already contact the hotel and told them my plan and they provided an upgrade and other goodies!
David was overwhelmed by the hotel and thought it was a lovely thing to do on Valentine’s day. We went to our room and unpacked, then I pulled out his valentine’s present – a shirt from Zara. I then gave a him a little package and said these are to wear with it.
Inside were silver heart shaped cufflinks my sister had made and engraved on were the words ‘David will you’ on one and ‘Marry me?’ on the other. Now David being David couldn’t read them properly and didn’t have his glasses on, he thought one said David and the other Ellie – a bit cheesy he thought, then he said “This shirt doesn’t have cufflink holes” so I said “Put your glasses on and read them”!
He did and was overwhelmed and said yes! He wore the cufflinks on our wedding day. The hotel then brought a bottle of Champagne and a congratulations cake to the room. We can’t wait to go back next year for our anniversary!
We were married on Saturday 25th May 2013 at The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham, Cheshire. We loved the space inside and the sprung wooden floor for dancing, it was a great Edwardian building that had so much character and history, plus Karen and the team were so open to all the ideas I had that we didn’t want to get married anywhere else!
The theme was very vintage! With homemade bunting, we had bought all our own vintage mismatched china for cups, saucers and side plates, plus sugar bowls and milk jugs. We also scoured car boots and charity shops for tea pots as these were our centre pieces with flowers in them.
The wedding colour scheme only came about after we had chosen the bridesmaids’ dresses and we chose blue floral for my sister who was matron of honour and pink floral for the other seven bridesmaids. So the colour scheme ended up being blue and pink.
I tried on so many dresses and always had in my mind I would like a short one and I did. I went for a strapless ballerina length 1950′s dress. It was by the designer Enzoani in the Blue range. I bought it from The Wedding Shop in Alderley Edge and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. The customer service was fantastic and everyone was so helpful!
My bridesmaid dresses (all eight of them) were from Vivien of Holloway as were the petticoats. Everyone had a white petticoat underneath apart from my sister who had pink, which went perfectly with her blue dress.
We didn’t really use many suppliers as we did a lot ourselves, but our food was supplied by Herb and Spice and our photography by Foley Photography, Scott captured the day perfectly! Our wedding video was by www.wedding-productions.com and it was fantastic!
I had two bouquets. One was a brooch bouquet that i made myself, comprising of all different brooches i had collected over the years which meant something to me, I loved making this and I look at it every day on my dressing table.
We made all the bouquets and centre pieces ourselves and just bought them from a wholesaler, this was so cost effective and as I had made a brooch bouquet i didn’t think I would want a flower one, but as my family and David’s cousin Lesley were making the bridesmaids, I thought it might be nice for photos to have one. Luckily we had some flowers left over and made mine out of all the bits leftover. It was beautiful, my sister made mine and did an amazing job!
I think my favourite part of the day was seeing David at the end of the aisle when I started dancing down, as he was so overwhelmed and happy I knew he was the one for me!
I travelled in an open top Beetle called Suzi provided by Little Limos. They were fantastic and it was so lovely to drive through my Village with everyone waving. My Dad loved the car and it went perfectly with our day!
To make the day more personal, I made and sewed pink floral and blue floral napkins for everyone. We also used the same material to make over 60 metres of bunting which decorated the room.
Our table names were David’s favourite Coronation Street characters, the head table being Steve McDonald!
Our favours were white chocolate coconut covered truffles that u had made for everyone and came in a floral handkerchief for the ladies and white handkerchief for the men. I love using handkerchiefs and wanted to bring it back.
We had an American styled buffet with burgers and chicken wings and hotdogs! It was delicious.
David and I are not big fans of traditional wedding cakes so we asked my Mum to make us a three tiered Rice Krispie cake. this was my favourite treat as a child and it meant so much that my mum had made it, plus it didn’t cost the earth!
We also asked our guests to make and bring a cake as part of the desert. This proved a great idea and I couldn’t believe how many gorgeous cakes there were. There was definitely plenty of food for everyone!
Being a Drama Teacher, entertainment was high on my list of priorities. We had several pieces of entertainment during the service, provided by my students from school. Two girls Samantha Jabangwe and Nicole Hodson sang a song each and then also wrote and played a song they had written especially for me.
I also provided some entertainment at the start of the service by having by bridesmaids dancing down the aisle followed by me dancing down with my Dad to a song I had pre-recorded for David, I changed to words to ‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars to ‘Hey David I think I Want To Marry You’. This was all a complete to surprise for everyone including David. I also sang and played the Ukulele for David during my speech.
The main Entertainment was provided by a band a found at a vintage wedding fair in Liverpool called ‘Vintage Blossom’. They were amazing, no one stopped dancing whilst they were playing and they also happened to be local to Manchester.
We are going to America for three weeks at the end of July, starting in New York for a few days, then flying over to San Francisco for a few days then picking up a car and driving down the coast stopping off at Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara – where we stay in a horse ranch – Santa Monica, San Diego, Palm Springs and finally Vegas!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try and do as much of the wedding prep together as you can as we had so much fun making the bunting and searching car boots and also not to get too drunk, then you can remember the best day of your lives!
Congratulations Ellie & David!
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