Charlotte Balbier
Luxury Wedding Fairs

pastels & petals. a beautifully traditional wedding in the north west – liz & andy

September 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Pretty and Traditional Wedding in the North West (c) Lee Brown Photography (64)

It’s only Wednesday and already we’ve seen so much pretty on the blog this week. And we hope you’re prepared for even more of the good stuff as this morning we’re sharing the gorgeous big day of newlyweds, Liz and Andy.

Deciding on a relaxed and traditional wedding with a pretty pastel colour scheme, today’s bride and groom opted for a church ceremony followed by a hotel reception, complete with elegant décor.

Though subtle, the result is a stunning celebration with everything from the wedding party’s attire to the beautiful blooms and classic transport tying together perfectly!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

A Pretty and Traditional Wedding in the North West (c) Lee Brown Photography (8)

liz says: We got engaged on 1st March 2014. I had been at home all day cleaning whilst Andy was out refereeing. I had put tea in the oven and had a shower, put my onesie on and was laid on the sofa watching Ant and Dec’s Saturday night takeaway. Andy came in the room, switched the TV off and passed me an empty egg box. In each hole was a little note and in the final one was a plastic egg with a ring in. He got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him.

We set the date for 23rd July 2016. We were looking for a date at the end of July as my sister had her GCSEs so we wanted them to be over in time and this date was also suitable for both the church and reception venue. It wasn’t until I told my mum the date that we realised that my grandparents had got married on the same date in 1955, exactly 61 years ago. It then seemed like fate that we should get married on that day.

A Pretty and Traditional Wedding in the North West (c) Lee Brown Photography (9)

Our ceremony was at St Mary’s Church in Partington. My parents had been married there in 1988 and it is where my grandad’s ashes are so it’s close to our hearts. Our reception was held at The Deanwater Hotel in Woodford, Cheshire. Andy used to work there and it suited our needs perfectly. We had a number of guests travelling from afar and there were enough rooms for people to stay the night before and the night of the wedding. We had a large number of guests and the hotel was big enough to cater for us all without it feeling too busy.

We decided to have a traditional wedding with a pastel colour scheme. We are quite a traditional couple and this style was simple but effective. We wanted the day to feel relaxed, nothing too ‘in your face’ and it worked perfectly. The pastels were lovely and soft and worked well as we had quite a lot of guests and didn’t want anything too bright in the reception venue which may look too much. Also, I have an English rose complexion and so the pastel colours tend to suit me really well.

A Pretty and Traditional Wedding in the North West (c) Lee Brown Photography (47)

When it came to my dress I picked a princess style design. I tried on more than 30 dresses, all different styles, and liked most of them. When I tried this dress on I cried, then my mum cried and I knew I wanted to get married wearing it. The dress was from Agape Bridal Boutique and the staff there were fantastic. They added a bit of sparkle for me and did the alterations in-house. I felt a million dollars when I tried it on and the morning of the wedding, I was speechless as to how beautiful it looked and felt.

Andy picked an unusual checked three-piece suit with tails (which was gorgeous) for him and the groomsmen. We then picked the cravats and waistcoats to match the bridesmaid dresses, which were a lovely pastel blue. As a surprise to the boys, I bought them all pastel blue socks to wear too! The suits were from Best Man in Great Moor, again, the staff there were brilliant.

I found the bridesmaid dresses online at Mix Bridal. I could choose the exact colour I wanted and they were beautiful dresses, they all looked absolutely stunning. I had a family friend make alterations so they would fit perfectly.

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city chic. a retro styled bridal shoot in manchester

August 31st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (12)

Today on the blog we have a little something for you urban brides out there.

In response to brides-to-be commenting that while there is plenty of inspiration for couples marrying in the countryside but there isn’t so much for those planning city centre celebrations, Lancaster-based wedding photographer Arusha set about creating a retro styled bridal shoot set against bold Manchester backgrounds.

The result is a strong collection of edgy images that show a wedding in a built-up area can be just as striking as those in rolling countryside, with brick, graffiti and even metal shutters providing standout photo opportunities.

To explain more about the looks created and areas visited, we’ll hand over the blog to the lady who captured all the action…

With images by Arusha’s Images Photography.

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (55)

arusha says: I spent many years living and working in Manchester, and the city was the inspiration for this shoot. I love the old backstreets there, the mix of modern apartments, and old alleyways. I think that the bright statement graffiti of the Northern Quarter brings so much life to the city. By contrast I also wanted to include a more modern background, and Salford Quays and The Lowry are perfect for that, with all the glass, metal and clean lines.

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (7)

Working as part of a two-man team with hair stylist and makeup artist Hannah Wells, of Beau Tink Studio, my aim for the shoot was to inspire my urban brides to get creative, and to show some different bridal looks and locations in the city.

I photograph a whole range of weddings, and in that process I have found that city and retro brides-to-be have often commented that they feel there is a stronger focus on more countryside and boho style weddings when they are looking for inspiration for their day. I love a bohemian country wedding, but I also love bold city weddings, with the strong urban backgrounds that cities provide. I also wanted to show that a little bit of retro and grunge can be stunning on a wedding day.

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (48)

I coordinated the styling, choosing to buy as brightly coloured flowers as I could for the bouquet, and tied them with a simple ribbon, which we were able to add rainbow streamer ribbons to as the shoot went on.

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framing moments: sier photography

August 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime

North Yorkshire Wedding

This afternoon we’re thrilled to be introducing another talented wedding photography company to our list of fabulous list of Sponsors – say hello to Sier Photography.

Set up by Sheffield-based husband and wife team Matthew and Deborah, Sier Photography offers the services of two skilful photographers with more than a decade’s experience of shooting weddings.

Capturing the day as it unfolds, the dynamic duo aim to blend into the background, framing beautiful moments as they happen while also working to a couple’s brief to ensure they achieve exactly what the bride and groom want for their big day images.

For those of you that like what you see, Sier Photography is offering a free pre-wedding photoshoot to our readers who book them for their wedding, simply quote “Brides Up North”. Just be sure to hurry though as these guys are in demand!

To explain a little more about their wedding day image style and approach we’ll hand over the blog to the main man himself, Matthew.

North Yorkshire Wedding

Tell us a little about your background…

matthew says: We have been photographing weddings for a little over ten years. Our first was as a favour to a colleague of Deborah’s who wanted a few images of her day. As well as being our first, it is also our smallest to date with a total of eight guests, including us!

What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?

We love weddings and being there to capture the emotions of the day for everyone involved gives you such a buzz. It was the thought of helping create memories for our clients that appealed to us.

North Yorkshire Wedding

And what is it about your job that you love?

I think we both like the happiness of the day, seeing people at their best and most lively. It is a wonderful privilege to be part of one of the biggest days in a couples lives (up to then at least) and so nice to be able to capture it for them.

How would you describe your style of wedding photography and what makes you stand out from others?

Our style of wedding photography is to be as hands-off as possible. We love to capture the day as it unfolds around us, using the features of the venue and lighting to give our clients the best images possible. We try to work in a relaxed and informal way, to blend in with guests. This doesn’t mean that we won’t take any formal shots or grouped posed photographs though. We always say it is your day, your way and we are there to work for you.

North Yorkshire Wedding
What do your clients love about your approach, service and images?

The feedback from our clients has always been highly positive and they are always really surprised just how hard we work for them on their wedding day!

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zoom in: picking the right wedding photographer for you

August 10th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

ZT Photography (2)

ZT Photography

We often mention on the blog how much of an important role a photographer plays in a wedding; not only on the big day itself, but also in the years that follow, with their images serving as life-long memories of the special event.

As such it’s super important that you like the style of the images that your chosen photographer produces, but with so many differing types of photography to choose, making a decision can be somewhat overwhelming.

To demonstrate the different outcome a wedding album can have depending on who is behind the lens, a talented group of North West based photographers got together at the stunning Ashfield House in Wigan, to shoot the exact same subjects in the very same location.

The results, which we’re sharing with you on the blog today, are all stunning but all rather different and, as intended, perfectly highlight the importance of couples choosing the right style and personality of photographer to suit both them and their wedding.

So prepare to be impressed and amazed as we hand over the blog to Katie Street, the owner of Ashfield House who came up with the clever concept for the collaborative shoot, plus the photographers who took part: Neil Redfern, David Stubbs, Andy Wardle, ZT Photography, and our very own Brides Up North Sponsor, the lovely Jonny Draper.

Andy Wardle Photography (9)

Andy Wardle 

katie says: The way couples pick a photographer was something I’d been thinking about for a long time before suggesting this shoot. Each time I heard “she’s a friend of a friend” or “my cousin used him and he was good” I got more and more frustrated knowing these couples could be missing out on picking a photographer that was more suited to their style. As an exclusive wedding venue, we work with a number of trusted photographers to capture the romance, emotion and fun of each wedding day, each with a totally different approach to their work. I wanted to give the photographers the same day, same backdrop, same couple but capture each photographer’s individual creativity and the difference in each set of images for all to see.

Jonny Draper Photography (10)

 Jonny Draper

At Ashfield House, we don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to weddings and encourage our couples to be as individual and inventive as possible. We know that the best weddings at Ashfield play to the strengths of couples’ personalities, quirks and their passions. Photography is very similar. I’ve taken a keen interest in photography myself as an art form over the years, and am continually astounded by the quality and individuality of each photographer’s work who steps through the doors at Ashfield. My team and I stare in awe at the array of photographic work shared with us, and have often commented about the striking difference between styles and end results – even though the setting is the same. I wanted to show that picking a ‘good’ photographer isn’t enough, you need one that’s good for you.

D Stubbs Photography (9)

David Stubbs

Choosing suppliers who share your vision is absolutely key to an amazing wedding and, alongside your memories, photographs are the only thing you have left, so choose wisely! The photographers that took part were equally pleased with the final results as I was…

Neil Redfern Photography (9)

Neil Redfern

neil redfern says: Seeing everyone else’s different approaches and the way in which we each interacted with the couple was great. What I loved was that although we were all taking shots in the same location we each saw different things and that just illustrates how unique one photographer is to the next. I don’t think there was ever a time when we each wanted to take a shot the same as somebody else had.

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emotive & natural: introducing kristian leven photography

July 28th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Kristian Leven Photography (32)

The build up to a wedding, and the actual day itself, is one of the most important times of your life, which is why we’re so passionate about our readers hiring a talented wedding photographer to document the special day in all its detail.

To assist couples in their search we always recommend that they take a look at our ever-expanding ‘Suppliers We Love’ directory on the blog, which features some of the very best wedding photographers in the country. And this afternoon we’re delighted to be adding another pro to the list as we introduce our fabulous new Sponsor Kristian Leven Photography.

Self-confessed ‘softie’ Kristian prides himself on producing the story of the day in the form of natural and emotive pictures, including moments that the bride and groom might not have ever known about– meaning they don’t miss a thing.

We’ll now hand over the blog to the man man himself so that he can tell us more about the job he loves while showing off some of his seriously stunning photography…

Kristian Leven Photography (6)

Tell us a little about your background and how you got into wedding photography…

kristian says: Before getting into weddings I primarily shot travel and street photography, and then, one day six years ago, I took my camera to a friend’s wedding and the rest is history.

What was it that attracted you to wedding photography specifically? 

The chance to document the day in a very natural way. Plus all the emotion – I’m a massive softie at heart!

Kristian Leven Photography (31)
And what is it about your job that you love? 

Capturing those moments that might have been forgotten about or never known about in the first place. This is really what drives me on a wedding day, looking to fill in the blanks of the ‘story’, and the pay-off when couples get to see those moments they may have missed is tremendous.

Kristian Leven Photography (39)
How would you describe your style of wedding photography and what is it that makes you stand out from others?

Emotive and natural, and putting my heart and soul into capturing those unique moments in an artistic way.

What is the feedback like from your clients? What do they love about your approach, service and images?

Thankfully really good! It feels a bit weird bigging myself up, so I’ll quote a recent comment left by my recent clients Laura and Clive: “Everyone who has seen the photos so far have commented on how incredibly talented you are and have congratulated us on finding such an amazing photographer. Having seen your work before we booked you we had total faith, but you far surpassed anything we hoped for. We so miss the day but your photos are an incredible reminder of it. The greatest gift we could ever receive.”

Kristian Leven Photography (10)
What is the top piece of advice you would give to camera shy couples?

To know that it’s completely normal to initially feel a bit awkward – it’s not every day you have a guy you don’t really know taking pictures of you in your dressing gown! But after that first hour you’ll forget about me – you have much more important things to think about. And once the day begins proper, you’ll be so caught up in the emotion and joy of the day that I’ll completely drift into the background.

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vintage pinks. art couture for an elegant wedding at ashfield house – liz & nick

July 11th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (83)

Time to district you from those Monday blues with this gorgeous North West wedding.

Keen to make her day an elegant affair, bride Liz chose a timeless colour scheme of vintage pinks to complement the venue, which was decorated with beautiful and natural blooms.

In particular we love Liz’s luxurious satin A-line dress, as well as her bridesmaid and flower girl dresses too – they all look stunning!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Stephen McGowan Wedding Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (46)

liz says: Nick proposed during a party that he and my family had organised as a surprise for my 30th birthday. During the night Nick surprised me again with a trip to Iceland (somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit), before asking if I would be his wife in front of everyone – not like him at all!

We set the date for 24th March 2016, which led into the Easter weekend and would give us about a year to plan.

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (54)

Ashfield House in Standish, Wigan, was our chosen setting. It was the venue of the first wedding fair I went to with my mum and sister. I loved it and nothing compared after that. I took Nick and we decided it was the place for us.

We didn’t have a theme as such, we just wanted everything to be elegant and the venue style helped with this. We then chose a complementary colour scheme of vintage pinks which the flowers and other accessories were styled from.

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (91)

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (114)

I chose a champagne, satin, A-line dress by Art Couture, which I bought from Bride in Childwall. I didn’t think I would go for a half/half style dress but after trying this on I fell in love.

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