Brides Up North

Love Heart Red: A Real Wedding In The North West – Kirsty & Dean

February 5th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Jonny Draper Photography

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If ^^^ that pretty parade of love heart heels ^^^ rang some loud “this is one wedding I have to see” (wedding) bells, then just wait until you see the rest of Kirsty and Dean’s stunning big day.  With images by Jonny Draper Photography, and some enthusiastic recommendations from today’s real bride, this wedding is a whole lot of lovely!

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Kirsty says:  We got engaged back in 2004! It’s been a LONG engagement…No ‘tear-jerker’ story I’m afraid, albeit very special to us. Dean proposed to me at home.  We were married on Saturday 1st December 2012 at Egerton House Hotel, Bolton, Lancashire. 

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The venue was one of the most important things for us. We had a few venues in mind at the outset but Egerton House was always a firm favourite of mine. It’s round the corner from where we live but Its got that Country House feel, the grounds are idyllic and there are lots of big comfy sofa’s and log fires. It’s like getting married at home but on a much bigger scale!

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Adele and the team at Egerton House are great and I had every confidence that they’d make sure everything was just perfect for us, and they did.

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Our theme was rustic, romantic, and red hearts (…because who doesn’t fall in love with Vivienne Westwood heels)! We chose a colour palette of bordeaux red, ivory and silver (very Christmassy)!

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When I set out on the ‘dress-hunt’ I knew exactly what I wanted. I just had to find it! One of the first girly outings to find my wedding dress was a shop in Ramsbottom, simply because there was a Chocolate Café around the corner, you have to start somewhere! I didn’t find what I was looking for but it did lead me in the right direction. The bridal shop had a sister shop in Rawtenstall and so I decided to pay Gypsophila a visit.

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Having walked into the shop and rummaged through the small selection of dresses they had I immediately spotted THE ONE! I knew straight away this would be the dress I’d pick, it was perfect. I wanted something that had Audrey Hepburn written all over it – very simple yet elegant that was very WOW.  It was silk dupion, had a high-scooped neckline, slim at the waist with the most fantastic crystal encrusted belt and then a full skirt.

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A quick swish test and I’d made up my mind, which was justified by the tears that followed from Mum and Nan.

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The bridesmaids wore bordeaux 50’s style cocktail dresses by Lou Lou, which had the same neckline as my dress teamed with the most gorgeous Vivienne Westwood shoes.

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I purchased the bridesmaids’ dresses from Just Gorgeous Bridal Boutique in Crawshawbooth, which I have to say is the best bridal shop ever!  As soon as I arrived at Just Gorgeous I just knew I’d find the bridesmaids dresses here, the owners (mum and daughter) Judith and Emily were so so nice, I think I’d of bought anything just to keep in touch with them!  Those girls became a highlight of my wedding planning times – the shop is every-girls dream, decked with lots of pink and twinkle and it’s superbly located right above a scrumptious cupcake bakery! There was always a bottomless teapot and tea is served in the funkiest pink china cup and saucers! 

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The groomsmen wore dark grey pinstripe tails from Slaters. Teamed with ivory waistcoats and bordeaux cravats and hankies. Dean wore an ivory cravat and hankie to match me. 

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We used Flossy & Leigh Hair & Make Up.  What can I say about these girls – fairy godmothers with extra twinkle dust. They managed to keep me calm all morning whilst working their magic to turn us into goddesses. We all decided to go for fairly natural makeup; I wanted an Audrey Hepburn-esque up do, whilst the Bridesmaids chose their own 50’s style hair.

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Phoebe pulled each and every one of our styles off perfectly! The girls arrived for 7am to set us all in rollers for breakfast, lots of make-up, girly chats and a few glasses of bubbly later and we were ready to step out on to the red carpet. Oh, they also have super-cool make-up chairs and an illuminated mirror – it’s like being a celeb for the day!

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One of my favourite parts of the day has to be also one of the most nervous and scary parts! It was waiting outside the ceremony room, all the Bridesmaids giggling waiting to go in whilst I concentrated on breathing!! I remember hearing the opening line of the entrance song and thinking ‘this is it’. Walking into the room and seeing Dean waiting at the bottom of the isle for me. I remember thinking; this is the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with…

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My bouquet was a natural look using akito and grand prix roses, bouvardia, lisianthus, ranunculus, ilex, ivy, freesia, eucalyptus and rosemary finished with a lace ribbon and a snowflake.

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Sara of Flowers With Passion was an excellent find! I’m sure every Bride has a vision for how they want their flowers and the venue décor to look, but it’s difficult to find a florist who shares that vision. I wanted my bouquet to have that ‘thrown together look’ (Sara will kill me for saying that!) – I wanted reds, cream and greens and plenty of different textures. Sara also decorated our cream birdcage table centres with ilex berries, ivy and candles and carried the look throughout the venue. 

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For me the flowers were one of my favourite things.  I’ll always remember Dean and I were called to view the room set up for the wedding breakfast before the guests were called through and I hadn’t quite prepared myself for how lovely it looked – I just burst into tears! Happy ones of course…

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We used Jennifer Sawdon a pianist and singer for the ceremony and the drinks reception. As we were having a civil ceremony we were always adamant that we wanted live music to create the same atmosphere at the ceremony that you get when you’re in Church. I had a real ‘thing’ about not wanting to walk down the aisle to a CD!

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I came across Jenny online and upon hearing her rendition of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars I knew we just had to book her. It wasn’t a song I would have associated with a wedding but the way she sings it is magical – Its not often a song gives you goose bumps!

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The only problem was, I couldn’t get through the full song without crying… I had to organise many a girls nights in and we’d play Jenny’s song on loop until we couldn’t cry anymore just so that I was prepared on the day!

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We decided on a cupcake tower: 180 sponge cupcakes in silver foil cases, topped with lashings of chocolate buttercream and finished with either two red glittery hearts or a silver glistening snowflake. We had a fruitcake on top and a caricature cake topper complete with Disney ears!

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The uber talented Jonny Draper was our photographer – I came across Jonny online somehow (I’m sure at one point I was stalking every wedding supplier known to man. Jonny’s images are amazing. I remember scrolling through his site thinking that when the wedding is over, all that’s left other than the amazing memories are the photographs and if I had an album full of these pictures I’d be one super happy lady!

Jonny somehow seems to capture every emotion of the day without taking you away from your guests, which is exactly what we wanted.

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A wedding video wasn’t something we’d really thought about. Until we came across Silk Wedding Videos and then it was all we thought about. I’d spend many evenings with a coffee and a tissue searching through Tom’s blog and I’d always end up blubbing over a couple I knew nothing about!

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We have recently received our wedding video and it really is amazing. It’s surprising how many things you see on your video that you didn’t take notice of on the day. Watching all of our guests waiting for me to arrive and listening to the entrance song gave me the same excited/ nervous feeling all over again. Although I have to admit it is really strange seeing yourself on screen – I’m sure my nose isn’t really that pointy!

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I would definitely recommend a wedding video and I can’t recommend Tom enough! On top of the fact that he’s so talented he is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet…roll on every single anniversary so we can sit together in front of the TV and re-live the best day of our lives.

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For our favours we used small black and white funky images of all the guests (courtesy of Facebook) and we clipped them to each wine glass with mini heart topped pegs. Its funny watching the wedding video and seeing the look on everyone’s faces when they arrive at their table. It’s also nice that I’ve seen them in wallets and purses since! We just thought it was a nice little ice-breaker…

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Unfortunately we lost two very special people during our wedding planning times. Both of Dean’s Nans passed away. We decided to provide British Lung Foundation charity pin badges as favours. We placed these in little brown envelopes that were sealed with a heart (sourced from Etsy) alongside a little poem.

It was quite special to look around the room and see everybody wearing their badges.

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For the children we bought brown paper bags (again from Etsy) personalised with their names and filled with Haribo ‘heart’ sweets, bubbles, wax crayons and a card with a ‘Bride & Groom’ on the front (which will be nice to look back on in a few years time). 

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In the ladies toilets I’d created a collage of photographs that were taken at the Hen Do… Including one of me with James Nesbitt!  We’d also put together a little ‘SOS’ kit in the ladies. It was a little heart shaped basket filled with hairspray, deodorant, hand wipes, comb, hand cream and hair pins which I’d carefully packed into little red envelopes with the words ‘When it’s flat, pin it back’ on the front!

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I came across The Coolers at a colleagues wedding, nothing fills the dance floor like a live band. It was actually the first wedding I’d been to that had a live band. Those guys really are the best. The Coolers also played our first dance, which was really special. We’re already looking for an excuse to book them again!

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We’d always wanted to visit Disney World and so that’s what we did for our honeymoon! Two weeks in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We then drove to Miami and stayed overnight in South Beach before boarding a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship, which went to the Bahamas. We then had a couple more nights in Miami before coming home so we drove the length of the Florida Keys and visited the Everglades.

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Since we enjoyed a long engagement, I have a few tips for other Brides Up North!

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Make decisions and move on:  We had 2 years to plan our wedding day which is great and gives you plenty of time to search through fantastic blogs like Brides Up North for tips and ideas. However sometimes having too much time means that you ‘park’ ideas in scrapbooks or in lists. The last 3-4 months really did fly by for us and I left lots of things until last minute. We were in Boots at 5pm the day before the wedding printing out all of the photo place cards – even though we knew we were doing these from the outset!

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Make a timeline: This was a tip passed on to me and I’m so glad I took the advice. Sounds a little ‘bridezilla-ish’ I know, but there’s so much going on during the day and so many people to organise. There will be things on the timeline that some people don’t need to know or even care about but it just helps if everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet!.

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Lots of information will be stored in your head right the way through the planning stages, I’m sure at times there were things I hadn’t even told Dean about… It’s nice to get everything down on paper and hand out copies to the bridal party and other suppliers.

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You’ll not be able to plan right down to the exact minute of the day but a rough guide helps things to run smoothly. This way everybody knows what to expect and you won’t spend the day thinking about it at all.

Of course you have to banish all sights of the timeline on the day… it’s s not cool if your running around with a sheet of paper panicking because the drinks reception is running 10 minutes late!

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Hen/Stag Weekend’s abroad: Gone are the days of ‘hen nights’… a weekend in Ibiza seemed a little extravagant at first but it was a much needed rest with my favourite girlies, it was a fantastic holiday and certainly one to remember. Waking up in the sun and having cocktails around the pool…lovely! Dean went off to Germany for his Stag-do to race around the Nurburgring track.

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Congratulations Kirsy & Dean!

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Get in touch to share your own Real Wedding on these swirly silver pages.  Here’s how

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  – Images © 2013 Jonny Draper Photography

This is 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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It’s Only Natural! A Real Wedding In North Yorkshire – Gill & Will

October 1st, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Vivid Impact Photography

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Getting the week off to a fabulous start, Gill and Will’s Real Wedding in North Yorkshire is an absolute feast for inspiration seekers – with a traditional ceremony, beautiful florals, a Papakata reception, plenty of homemade details and a bucket loads of flair.

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With amazing images by Vivid Impact Photography, get your Pinterest at the ready!

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Gill says:  We got engaged in Verona – Will got down on one knee down by the river. It was 4 July 2011 – ironically independence day!

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We were married on 1 September 2012.  Our ceremony was held in St Michael and All Angels Church in Barningham and our reception was at Natural Retreats, Richmond.

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I grew up in Newsham which is the next village along from Barningham so that was my local church and it was important for us to be married there as it holds a lot of memories.

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We chose Natural Retreats for the reception as we wanted somewhere where our guests would be able to stay for the weekend and we loved the ‘natural’ environment with the stunning views to have our teepee reception. We really love trees and there are loads at Natural Retreats so it seemed like to perfect choice of venue. It also meant that we could arrange all aspects of the venue ourselves, rather than someone doing this for us – this made it really personal.

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We were quite keen that we didn’t want to have a ‘theme’ for the wedding. We didn’t have one specific style; we just wanted to have a mix of traditional and modern. We wanted the overall look to be natural, stylish, fun and sharp, rather than homemade / ‘shabby chic’ style which isn’t really our taste (even though we made a lot of things ourselves)!

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My dress was a bespoke dress made by Andrea Bambridge in York. I knew I wanted sleeves of some description and lace and I couldn’t have been happier with the end result – it was the perfect dress for me.

I wore more conservative cream peep toes for the Church ceremony and then changed into my Vivienne Westwood heels (jelly shoes) for the rest of the day – they have a huge pink heart on the front and are Strawberry scented!! I also wore a simple veil with tear drop crystals on the edge. My hair piece was a headband from Glitzy Secrets which complemented the more natural elements of the wedding.

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We chose classic navy suits for the men and Will wore a navy tie, whereas the other groomsmen wore grey ties. Will wore a tie clip engraved with his initials.

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The Bridesmaids wore Oyster coloured dresses from Coast – I loved the bow at the top. They also wore coast necklaces to complement the dresses and cream pashminas.

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The Groomsmen had navy suits and grey ties and we got individual tie clips for each of the men, engraved with their initials.

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We used my parents’ cars – Dad and I travelled to Church in their Range Rover vogue (my Uncle Carl drove us) and me and Will later went from Church to the reception in this too, complete with a very welcome glass of bubbly and traditional cans on the back.  The bridesmaids also travelled in a Range Rover.

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For both of us the favourite part of the day was definitely the ceremony. We thought we would be too nervous/emotional to enjoy it but we really enjoyed the sincerity of the service and no nerves in sight!

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I carried a loose bouquet of British Scabius, Thistles, Gyp and Asparagus Fern.  Hutton Flowers florists in Northallerton sourced the flowers but we did the flower arrangements ourselves. One of my bridesmaids and I made the bouquets (not something either of us had ever tried before) and the night before the wedding me and my parents assembled the flowers for Church – we couldn’t find the lights in church so found ourselves trying to arrange them by torchlight the night before the wedding. Luckily we didn’t want any formal flower arrangements – we also had Olive Trees and Wisteria Trees in Church from Ravensworth Nurseries. 

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We added lots of special touches to the day.  Our welcome drinks were cans of ready mixed drinks with stripy straws – gin and pink grapefruit, Pimms and San Pellegrino.

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Each table had a mini Olive Tree on itand people could leave us a message on a paper leaf and hang it on the tree. We really like Olive Trees; they symbolise peace.

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Our table names were star constellations.

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Our favours were a sparkler and a face mask for each guest – these proved to be so much fun throughout the day and night. We wanted something that people could have fun with on the day rather than something that people would feel they had to keep / take home.

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I gave my bridesmaids Links of London ‘Team GB’ bracelets on the day, as a gift, as my previous initials were GB and my new initials are GB

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We used CWC Malings – Clive Wilkinson Catering – we can’t recommend these guys highly enough – absolutely amazing food and the service from the team of staff was second to none – very friendly and completely professional.

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Rhys from Vivid Impact Photography was fantastic to deal with throughout the whole process – he was so enthusiastic from day one and totally ‘got’ all of our ideas. The end result is that we have an amazing set of photographs that we couldn’t be happier with..they really capture the essence of the day.

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We had the open fire in the tents to create a cosy atmosphere – along with the candles on each table, this worked really well in terms of adding soft lighting.

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As a surprise for Will, I arranged a fireworks display – no one else knew about it apart from my parents and Michael at Natural Retreats.

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My mum made my cake for me and it was perfect – the top tier was fruit (which we have saved rather than using it on the day), the middle tier was lemon cake and the bottom tier was plain sponge. It was simply decorated with lace, flowers, hearts and a bride and groom on top of course!

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Val Jones played the Organ for us in Church during the signing of the register and for the hymns, we hired a String Trio for the arrival drinks and canapés part of the day and we hired the most brilliant band from York Undercovered – they were cool and professional and there was a packed dancefloor all night!

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The day after the wedding, we invited family and friends to our lodge for coffee on the veranda so that we could have a catch up about the day before. We then went straight to The Midland in Morecambe for one night. We then went to a ‘pod’ hotel in Birmingham for one night and flew to Santorini in Greece early the next day – bliss.

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When we got home, we had a few days here before we had to go back to work so we had some days out including a theme park and also had a quick last minute trip away to the Lake District.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure you try not to lose track of time in the morning and leave plenty of time to get your dress on and relax before heading off to the ceremony. Also just relax and enjoy the whole day.

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HEARTCongratulations Gill & Will! HEART

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on the blog!

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  – Images © 2012 Vivid Impact Photography

This is 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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Sugar For My Honey! A Real Wedding – Mairead & Adam

December 10th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Yippee!  Its Saturday! I’m in Manchester today celebrating with the girls on my friend Rachel’s hen party.  Rach lives in Dubai and gets married a week tomorrow, so we are making the most of her last days of freedom.  Whilst I sip my champers through a dubiously shaped straw (yes, we are that immature), I thought I would leave you with a Real Wedding in our weekend hotspot – an altogether more classy affair that looks like it was rollicking good fun too!

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Submitted by friend of the wedding blog, Nicola Thompson Photography, Mairead & Adam’s wedding day is a master class in simple, classy wedding pretty.  Be inspired. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Nicola Thompson Photography

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Over to Mairead:  Adam proposed at home in October 2010. He had chosen a ring but it didn’t fit. We tried to get it changed that day but it took 3 weeks to get one in the correct size. We made the decision not to tell anyone (except our parents) until we had the engagement ring.  We were married on 19th August 2011 at Manchester Town Hall. The reception was at The Castlefield Rooms in the Castlefields area of Manchester.

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We wanted a city centre location so that our guests could and have a few drinks without worrying about driving home or expensive taxi rides.

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We had been on a tour of the town hall a year earlier and really loved the building. We chose The Castlefield Rooms for its location; inner city but in a conservation area. We also liked the fact that we could use three different spaces for different phases of the wedding. The drinks reception was held in the sun on the large balcony. The room for the wedding breakfast was a very modern and bright space and the evening reception was a bit more private and had a large dance floor space. There is also a great outdoor space, which is hard to come by in the city.

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My Mum bought my dress for me from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. It was a Maggie Sottero dress, slim A-line lace with a ribbon waist. I didn’t have a clue what type of dress I wanted and was dreading trying them on but once I got into the shop one dress jumped out at me. It was the first dress I tried on and I knew immediately it was the one I wanted.

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My bridesmaids wore 50’s style circle dresses, made in green satin by honeypieboutique.com, and Adam and his best man wore matching ties.

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It’s hard to pick a favourite part of the day but we both loved the ceremony.

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We chose our readings carefully as we wanted them to be meaningful. “I Knew That I Had Been Touched By Love” was read by our friend Rachel, Adam’s mum read an extract from Captain Correlli’s Mandolin about what love is, and my Mum read “An Apache Blessing”.

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My flowers were supplied by Sian Wild from The Flower Lounge in West Didsbury. She was brilliant as I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted and she spent some time talking through different ideas with me. Eventually I decided on a mixture of different textures in shades of pink.

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Wedding favours were supplied by Friars of Keswick. They allowed us to choose specific chocolate favours for each guest; chocolate footballs, cars, ladybirds, even chocolate boobs!  Dessert was delicious ice-cream supplied by The Rainbow Treats Trike.

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Adam’s mum made our cake. It was a traditional fruitcake, square, green ribbon trim and the florist made a posy of flowers to sit on the top. 

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Adam was resolute from the very beginning that he wanted his friend’s band to play at the wedding reception. They’re definitely not a typical wedding band but their list of modern and classic rock suited us and our guests. The dance floor was full all night.

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We honeymooned in Kefalonia, Greece. We set up an online gift list through buyourhoneymoon.com. Our guests bought us gifts for the honeymoon such as a meal out, souvenirs, a boat trip, cocktails, beach towels…

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to stress too much about details, if you and your husband relax and enjoy yourself so will all your guests. We were clear from the very start that we wanted everyone to have fun at the wedding and formalities and traditions didn’t matter too much. One thing that is definitely worth splashing out on is a good photographer (our choice was Nicola Thompson Photography). We are delighted with our photos and they will bring back happy memories for years to come.

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Congratulations Mairead & Adam

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  – Images © 2011 Nicola Thompson Photography

This is 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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