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marsala magic: a cosy winter wedding at the oak tree of peover – natalie & paul

July 31st, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Winter Wedding in the North West (c) Nik Bryant Photography (65)

Love Island is over (and we’ve already got #TeamJani withdrawal, we’re loyal like that). What’s a good wedding blogger to do?

Bring on the winter weddings.

It’s hard to imagine winter ever existed as we roast our way through this incredible heatwave, but today’s real wedding is here to remind us how magical winter nuptials can be; with roaring open fires, candlelight and inviting colour schemes, just like Natalie and Paul’s celebrations. They chose marsala as a key colour for their wedding, which evokes feelings of warmth and cosiness on the coolest of days and is dramatic and festive on the photographs.

To continue the cosy theme, the couple decorated the wedding breakfast with fairy lights draped from the ceiling and placed giant love letters behind the top table, which looks wonderfully effective as the daylight begins to fade. For an autumn or winter wedding the lighting is so important – balancing your light levels using plenty of different, gentle light sources enables your photographer to get some fantastic, atmospheric shots and really capture the ambience you’ve worked so hard to create.

Natalie and Paul share a love of travel, so the map of the world they used as a table plan is a great idea to bring their personalities to the fore. They also dotted photographs on little easels throughout the wedding breakfast of their adventures, which is a lovely, personal touch. We also love the photo opportunity at night, when all the guests line up and wave sparklers for the couple to walk through – another magical use of light!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Nik Bryant Photography.

A Winter Wedding in the North West (c) Nik Bryant Photography (20)

natalie says: Paul and I got engaged while we were on holiday in America on 25th May 2016. We were in Austin, Texas, and, after eating our bodyweight in delicious barbecue meat in Franklin’s BBQ, we climbed to the top of Mount Bonnell, which overlooks Austin city and the Colorado River. There’s a superstition that says couples who hold hands the whole way to the top without letting go will be together forever, so we decided to give it a go (harder than it sounds in the humid Texas heat!). When we got to the top, we found a secluded spot overlooking the river to cool down and Paul got down on one knee and popped the question. The ring was so beautiful that I couldn’t believe he’d chosen it all by himself!

A Winter Wedding in the North West (c) Nik Bryant Photography (1)

Our wedding date was 18th November 2017. We really wanted it to be cosy and intimate, so we thought a winter wedding would be perfect, but this date also left us enough time for a longer honeymoon before Christmas!

We had our ceremony at St Cross Church in Knutsford. The church was really pretty and, as soon as we went in, we felt really welcomed by everyone, so we were so happy to be able to get married there! Our wedding reception was at the Oak Tree of Peover in Knutsford, Cheshire. We loved the venue as soon as we saw it! It was so cosy and rustic and was beautifully decorated. We couldn’t recommend the Oak Tree of Peover enough, particularly for a winter wedding with its lovely fire, fairy lights and ivy. It was the kind of venue that looked amazing without adding anything, but there was plenty of space to add personal touches if you wanted.

A Winter Wedding in the North West (c) Nik Bryant Photography (39)

On the day of the wedding, we travelled between the church to the reception venue in a car hired from Broadoak Cars. We weren’t sure about hiring a car as both venues were so close but it meant we got some good quality time together to take a breath after the ceremony, and the driver was great at helping me get my dress into the car!

A Winter Wedding in the North West (c) Nik Bryant Photography (37)

Our colour scheme was marsala and dusty pink, with olive and gold. We wanted the darker red as a nice contrast to my white dress and it felt perfect for a winter wedding, whilst the softer pink and olive helped to keep it warm and cosy.

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sophisticated sparkle: morilee for an intimate wedding at styal lodge – rachel & paul

July 25th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Sophisticated Wedding at Styal Lodge (c) Lee Brown Photography (61)

The bride and groom of today’s real wedding chose a ‘classy not trashy’ theme for their big day and we’re sure you’ll agree they surpassed their goal, with an elegant colour scheme of pink, grey and silver, and just the right amount of sparkle.

Their chosen Cheshire venue is dressed to the nines – the swags draped from the ceiling complete with fairy lights all pulled together by a disco-ball chandelier looks very effective in the cosy lodge setting, especially by nightfall. We also love Rachel’s choice of centrepieces, not only because the martini glasses overflowing with gypsophila and lush blooms look super pretty, but because the beauty of tall centrepieces is they give great impact when guests enter a room, but when they come to sit at the table the display is above their eye line, and so they can easily chat to everyone across the table without obstruction.

And bride Rachel has lots more fabulous tips too; from choosing edible wedding favours and arranging joint planning meetings with your florist and stylist, to attending open days at your chosen venue and booking your desired suppliers ASAP – ladies, you may well want to take note!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

A Sophisticated Wedding at Styal Lodge (c) Lee Brown Photography (71)

rachel says: We got engaged at home. I got back from the gym and Paul said he wanted to go out for something to eat that evening. As we are both rubbish at making simple decisions, he said he wanted me to come up with three choices of where we could go whilst I was in the shower so, when I got out of the shower (with a towel wrapped around my hair and my pink dressing gown on), Paul was shouting my name from downstairs. As I hadn’t thought of three choices, I cheekily just ignored him and pretended I couldn’t hear him but, by the third shout, I thought I had better answer him so when I did, he shouted “Come down here, our song is on!” I thought that was quite sweet, so I went downstairs in my towel and dressing gown and, when I walked into the room, our song was playing, the room was full of candles and Paul was down on one knee. When he asked me, I was speechless (that doesn’t happen a lot). Then I asked if he was joking and then I finally said yes!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Styal Lodge (c) Lee Brown Photography (49)

We got married on Friday 4th May 2018 at Styal Lodge, Cheshire. There wasn’t really a particular reason for the date, other than the weather is usually OK in May and it was the start of the bank holiday weekend.

We would definitely recommend Styal Lodge to other couples, especially those looking for small, exclusive venues. We wanted a small venue as we only had 75 day guests and we felt it was more personal to us. The gardens are lovely and, on the day during the drinks reception, the bride, groom, photographer and videographer get driven to a nearby lake in the grounds for photos. The venue is also easy to find and very accessible as it isn’t far from Manchester Airport, so there are good transport links. Another really nice touch is that each year they hold an event called Bridesmaids’ Brunch, where the bride can take up to three of her bridesmaids to the venue and they have suppliers there to chat to, live music and it is also dressed, which can be good for inspiration. Food and drink are provided and it’s just a really nice atmosphere, as it’s only available to brides who have booked their weddings. They usually have two or three open days each year too, which is helpful to go and see the venue dressed and speak to different suppliers.

Our theme was classy, not trashy and our colour scheme was light pink, grey, silver and a touch of sparkle!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Styal Lodge (c) Lee Brown Photography (58)

For my dress, I chose a princess gown with a love heart neckline. The designer is Morilee and I purchased it from Blush Boutique in Uppermill. I chose it as it was the kind of dress I thought I would want as long as the style suited me – and luckily it did. It also had the right amount of sparkle and I loved the tulle skirt. I had looked on the internet at different dresses I liked before going shopping and saved the designers and style names in my phone. When I went into the shop and picked dresses out to try on, I purposefully didn’t look at what the designers were or the price as I just wanted to try on a mixture. Then, when I tried my dress on for the first time and loved it, I looked at the list in my phone of dresses I had made a note of and this one was the first on the list!

A Sophisticated Wedding at Styal Lodge (c) Lee Brown Photography (8)

Paul wore a grey suit, with a silver waistcoat and a pink cravat, all from Moss Bros. The groomsmen all wore the same suit and waistcoat as Paul, but they had pink ties instead of a cravat.

The bridesmaid dresses were all from Dorothy Perkins and the flower girl dresses were from John Rocha at Debenhams. I also had a ‘bridesman’ who wore the same suit as Paul and the groomsmen but he had a dicky bow instead of a tie or cravat.

Lux did all of our hair and makeup and we were all so happy with it.

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personal & unique. victoria kay for an intimate wedding at the belle epoque – stephanie & gary

June 9th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Intimate Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) James Tracey Photography (24)

The saying about quality and quantity could not be truer of the lovely real wedding that we are sharing with you on the blog today.

With a modest guest list of 38 day guests and 53 evening guests, Stephanie and Gary wanted their intimate wedding to be a reflection of them as a couple, whilst also being an enjoyable and memorable event for their guests.

Picking a unique venue and prioritising elements such as the photography, food and entertainment, whilst getting stuck into some DIY décor, meant that Stephanie and Gary could have the special day they had dreamt of, whilst remaining still within budget. Excellent work guys!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

An Intimate Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) James Tracey Photography (27)

stephanie says: We got engaged on the 28th May 2014. I had my suspicions that Gary was going to do it soon as he’d booked for us to go for afternoon tea at the Hilton in Manchester. We were in the process of buying our house and the Wednesday before when we were booked for afternoon tea, we’d had our final meeting with the bank to say the mortgage had been agreed. We went to the pub after to celebrate and then came home. I got my PJs on, put the bins out and put the washing on, just usual things to do on a Wednesday, and turned round to find Gary with two glasses of whiskey. He asked me to come with him into the front room and gave me a glass and then got down on one knee with a ring. It took me by surprise! I never wanted a huge spectacle of an engagement so what he did was perfect. He’d even been on his own to get the ring and got it spot on!

We were married on the 24th March 2016, the Thursday before the bank holiday weekend. We got together on the 27th March 2008 so knew we wanted a date around when we got together and we wanted a weekday wedding. The Thursday was a good choice because most people then had the bank holiday Friday off work to recover!

An Intimate Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

We got married at The Belle Epoque in Knutsford, Cheshire. It was the only venue that we went to look round and we knew straight away it was the one for us. We wanted somewhere that was unique, intimate and personal. From our first meeting there, all the staff were so incredibly helpful and we loved that it was a family business and not part of a large chain of hotels. We could pick and choose what we wanted for our day and we could stay there the night of the wedding and have breakfast with family the day after. The setup of the venue was ideal too; we loved that each part of the wedding was in a separate room and guests didn’t have to be shipped off somewhere whilst the room was re-organised and that people could sit away from the DJ during the evening do and chat. Generally, it’s an absolutely stunning venue!

An Intimate Wedding at The Belle Epoque (c) James Tracey Photography (4)
Gary and I are self-confessed beer geeks, so beer had to feature heavily in our wedding. I also wanted to still keep it girly and vintage-y too so I guess the theme was ‘Beer and Birds’ Each table was named after one of our favourite breweries and we had a selection of their bottles as table decorations with fake roses in. The men’s buttonholes were made of beer bottle caps and I had beer bottle caps on my bouquet. All the stationery featured vintage birds and we had a birdcage table plan. I got the design from Dollface Design on Etsy. My mum was unsure when I told her my vision but everyone said how unique and ‘us’ is was.

I am quite girly so pink was the colour theme but very subtly! I didn’t make Gary wear anything pink. We just had pink roses in the table decorations and my bridesmaid wore pink. The buttonholes did have small pink rose buttons on, which my bridesmaid and I also had in our bouquets.

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Enter The Master: Jonny Draper Photography Training Presents The Masterclass

April 3rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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Now as well as you lovely brides to be, and you others who just love beautiful weddings, and you others who are hoping he might put a ring on it soon (YES! Hello you – I was one of you, and he will!) I know that there are a lot of wedding industry types who visit these pretty pages, and this feature is for them.  Particularly those of them who like to carry a camera about…

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Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jonny Draper Photography (click here to read an interview with him and to see more of his stunning work) is offering just 8 exclusive places on his latest two day “Masterclass” in photographing weddings & the business of wedding photography in association with Heaton House Farm & Love Bridal Boutique on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th April 2013.  

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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Due to an overwhelming response to the original Masterclass in March (which was planned to be a one off) this second two day Masterclass has been arranged.  Jonny (The Wedding Industry Awards North West Wedding Photographer of the Year) is will be hosting the Masterclass and shooting experience at one of the UK’s top wedding venues, Heaton House Farm in Cheshire.  

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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Day One

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Jonny will guide you through a full wedding day, from bridal preparations through until the first dance and you will get the opportunity to photograph a ‘bride and groom’ throughout the course of the day.

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You will be entitled to use the images on your blog, website, Facebook and Twitter – this is an amazing opportunity to shoot at one of the UK’s most popular bespoke wedding venues under the direction of one of the country’s most talked about wedding photographers.

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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Day Two

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Jonny will spend the first part of the morning demonstrating how he edits his photographs.  Using images that he will have taken on day one alongside you, he will show you how he runs his workflow, ensuring he maintains a time-efficient, yet bespoke process so that each and every wedding is unique.

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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“The Business” of weddings and wedding photography is the Masterclass’ overall theme

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How best to generate & convert enquiries?  How to establish and build relationships with venues, bridal shops, wedding planners and other photographers?  What part can social media contribute to your business?

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Do have a look at these two blog posts from two of last week’s attendees to show the kind of thing you will have the opportunity to photograph and to actually hear things from the attendee’s point of view: Ayesha Rahman Photography & Amanda Balmain Photography. 

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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Sarah Heath, Heaton House Farm’s Marketing and Business Development Coordinator and co-owner, will speak from the venue’s perspective

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What does a venue look for in suppliers when deciding to add people to their recommended list?

What can you do as a wedding photographer to establish and develop relationships with wedding venues?

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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Attendees will also hear from Emma Draper, owner of Cheshire’s most exclusive bridal experience, LOVE Bridal Boutique

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Often, a bridal boutique is the very first place brides-to-be get in touch with. Emma will explain why it is crucial for wedding photographers to have a great relationship with bridal boutiques and how they can generate regular enquiries through these relationships.

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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Over the course of the two days, Jonny will be demonstrating how he creates his signature images, where he finds his inspiration for each wedding shoot, how he forms his relationships with his clients and how he continues to grow his business through networking, referrals, social media, word of mouth and through a whole host of other marketing techniques.  There will be time on each day for Q&A sessions and Jonny promises that no question will go unanswered.

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The two day Masterclass has been designed for wedding photographers who are ready to take their business to the next level.  Whether they’re just starting out in weddings or are keen to push their business further than they have before, Jonny Draper’s infectious enthusiasm, passion and commitment to all things wedding, will leave them chomping at the bit and desperate for their next wedding to come round so they can put into practice everything they have learned!

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This is the final Masterclass planned for 2013 and places are strictly limited to 8 attendees.  This will ensure that each and every person gets individual attention across both days.

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Jonny Draper Photography Training

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What previous attendees have said:

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“The 2 Day Masterclass in Photography was outstanding. I couldn’t have imagined it being any better. It was a penny spent for a pound of value in return. There were so many pieces of advice that I will take with me that will save me 100’s of hours and 1000’s of pounds. For that, I will be eternally grateful” (Martin Cahill Photography)

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“I completely appreciate and value how honest and open you were and thank you for sharing how you do things in the way you did. Years of googling would never have given me what just those 2 days gave me, so thank you!” (Ayesha Rahman Photography)

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“I loved the off camera flash part of the day – which I will be doing on my next wedding :)On some courses I have attended before, this simple operation was met with loads of equations and formulas which you simplified to a tee. You put things over so the average Joe Bloggs like me can understand and use efficiently”  (Gary Skerratt Photography)

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“The business day was awesome! Even down to the location and the technology used was brilliant, with Sarah & Emma allowing an awesome insight that just is very rare to be given” (James Jebson Photography)

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“When we used the off-camera flash, it got me thinking differently at that stage. I know I was really keen on learning about this before I came along but I have to say it surpassed my expectations completely and you made it seem really easy. Your style was straight-forward, no-nonsense and avoided techy jargon which is when I switch off so well done! I loved all the lighting stuff and it was great that we all got to have a go too” (Ayesha Rahman Photography)

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“Wonderful experience. Just what I needed before my first big wedding, I came away excited, inspired and raring to go. Jonny was extremely generous with his knowledge and experience and I don’t think you can overlook the value of meeting like minded photographers and suppliers” (Amanda Balmain Photography)

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The Masterclass will take place on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th April, 2013 and places are available on a first come, first served basis, so drop Jonny an email (info@jonnydraper.co.uk) for further information and to book your spot on this not to be missed wedding photography experience!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Jonny Draper Photography

Jonny Draper Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

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

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