Brides Up North

glamour amour. a classically beautiful wedding at colshaw hall – naomi & tom

January 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (35)

Brides Up North reader Naomi’s wedding to her new husband Tom was a super glamorous affair. From her bespoke headpiece to his classic black tie, everything about their big day has that classic twinkle.

Just what we need to pep up the spirits on a dull January Monday morning.  Bring on the sparkle..!

Images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (1)

Naomi says: We had booked a holiday along with my family to travel to Varadero in Cuba in August 2011. On the 4th August 2011 we hired a beautiful boat for a day of deep sea fishing in the Caribbean sea. I remember my family acting very strange and looking back I remember Tom was not being himself. He asked me to sit down and opened this box which somehow he had secretly bought with him and asked me to marry him. Best day ever!

We set our date for Friday 12th December 2014 back in October 2013. Tom and I had always loved the idea of a winter wedding, with the sound of open fires crackling, crisp frosty mornings and the ambience that time of year brings. We also wanted to tie our wedding in with our honeymoon in Thailand, where we are very lucky to have Tom’s relatives living in Chiang Mai.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (7)

We got married at Colshaw Hall, Cheshire. We looked at only a few of venues before we came across Colshaw Hall. When we arrived at the venue and met the team we knew it was the place for us, it was perfect. The team were so helpful and welcoming and above all the venue was absolutely beautiful. Nothing was ever too much for the David, Georgie and the team!

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (3)

As the wedding was planned for the winter we knew the ideas/themes of what we wanted from the beginning. The idea of the winter wonderland worked perfectly not only with the venue but with the time of year we had chosen. We both love candles and this was one thing we wanted lots of!

We went for a crisp white and a dove grey colour scheme for the wedding. Since I was a little girl I had always dreamed of a white wedding and Tom chose the grey which worked out to be the perfect match.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (10)

My dress was a fishtail Alexia Bridal design in ivory from J&J Designs in Newcastle Under-Lyme. I had tried on many types of styles from a range of designers but I was really struggling in finding the perfect dress for me.  It was only by chance we drove past this wonderful bridal shop to find my perfect dress was there! They had a designer weekend so were only stocking this designer.

The makeup and hair was done by Jodie A Smith. I met Jodie back in July for my trial and she knew what I wanted before even I did. I completed trusted her instinct for the day even with last minute idea’s I had thought of. She made me feel like a princess. I need Jodie on speed dial!

I had my hair pieces made by the very talented Ann McKavney at Eleventh Heaven. Ann was fantastic at helping me design not only my hair pieces by also the bridesmaids.

I carried a handtied bouquet of white avalanche roses with a crystal detail which was provided by Springbank Flowers.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (12)

Tom wore a dinner suit which we hired from L&J Formal Hire. Tom wanted something slightly different and as soon as we saw the evening suits he had made his mind up. He wanted to look different from his groomsmen so he chose to wear braces. The idea worked great with our theme and of course the venue. I think we both felt like we should have been on a red carpet!

The bridesmaids wore a Jordan Fashions dress which was a floor length dove grey dress with an ivory lace bodice. This was ordered directly at missesdressy.com. The company based in New York were fantastic in both the regular contact and ensuring the dresses arrived in the UK on time. The groomsmen wore the same dinner suit from L & J Formal Hire, the only difference was they didn’t have the braces.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (15)

The best part of the day for us was when we saw each other at the ceremony. Seeing everything come together and knowing we were going to become husband and wife was the best feeling in the world.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (23)

Our photographer was James Tracey. I first spoke to James towards the end of 2013 and after our first skype conversation I knew he was perfect for us. I felt like I already knew him. We finally met James in August 2014 for our Engagement shoot which was also at the venue. He made both myself and Tom feel so comfortable in front of the camera, and the pictures turned out amazing.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (28)

Springbank provided all the decorations and flowers for the day. For the wedding we had 42 guests so we wanted the room to have an intimate feel to it so we chose to have a u-shaped table. The top table had a water trough which was dressed with floating candles, petal heads and to the side’s candles, snow and white branches. The other tables were dressed with mirrored runners which were then dressed with a winter theme.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (29)

For our favours, we provided handmade soaps by Ceri at Oakwood Soaperie. We had both a girl’s soap which was Jasmine and boy’s soap which was tea tree. Ceri beautifully wrapped the soaps in line with our theme. The boys wrapped in a grey paper and the girls in pearlised ivory paper.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

Barretts Caterers provided the wonderful food for our wedding. We chose a spicy butternut squash soup for starters and breast of chicken in a brandy and shallot sauce for our mains. For our desserts we decided on something a little different as whenever me and Tom choose a dessert we always choose something different so we can share. We incorporated this into our wedding day. For girls we choose a sticky toffee pudding and for the boys a mixed fruit crumble.

We chose our cake from Marks and Spencer and Springbank dressed the cake and the cake table for us. We decided to go with a four tier cake consisting of fruit, lemon sponge and a jam sponge.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (42)

We decided to use The Word is Love to provide light up N & T Letters for our wedding. They looked amazing and provided us with some fantastic photographs. Ollie and Suzy helped us to decide where they would look best and have the best impact.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (46)

Wedding Stationery was provided by Louise at I Do Designs. Louise sent us a sample of her work which we fell in love with, and she was so helpful even up to a couple of days before the wedding in making last minute changes.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (51)

We chose Grant Niblett from Nocturnal Revolution to DJ for our evening. We met Grant before the day to discuss our music tastes and he made sure everything went to plan for us.

Our evening Sweetie Table was provided by Tess at Sweets and Feathers. Tess designed the cart to suit in with our colours and theme and everyone commented on how professional Tess and her team were on the evening. Tom and I will be looking at every opportunity to taste these lovely sweets again.

 

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (39)

I would completely recommend Colshaw Hall to any couple who are looking for a unique and beautiful wedding venue. The team are fantastic and when you meet them you feel like a friend and not just a number.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (54)

We spend three weeks in Thailand for our honeymoon. Starting off for 5 nights in Krabi in the south and working our way to Chiang Mai in the North. We are very lucky that Tom has much of his family in Thailand so we ensured they got to celebrate the wedding by having a blessing there. It was a fantastic day and a wonderful experience. Some of the activities in Thailand were once in a lifetime experience, and we are grateful to have made those memories as husband and wife.

a classically beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (61)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is when it comes to your special day, take a few moments away from your guests as husband and wife and take in everything that is going on around you. From family and friends having a fantastic time to looking at how all your hard work has paid off. The day goes by far too quickly.

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call it magic. a winter’s walk for an engagement in durham – dan & donna

January 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (3)

This afternoon we are in my home town of Durham as we meet loved up newly-weds Dan and Donna and share their wild and wintery engagement shoot.

wrap up warm

With images by Chris Parkinson.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (2)

dan says: The engagement took us both by surprise really, we were sharing a bottle of champagne in Durham, and all of a sudden I just asked Donna ‘Will you marry me?’. It was as much a surprise to me as her, I didn’t have a ring or anything. It was just the right moment, the perfect time. Magic.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (9)

We were actually classmates in primary school. But we went on to different secondary schools, and didn’t meet again until we were both 25, through Donna’s brother. I asked Donna out for a drink and we’ve been together ever since.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (16)

We just went to the local pub for our first date. It was love at first sight for me, but not sure about Donna! We just seemed to become best friends instantly.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (23)

Just being around Donna makes me happy, she makes me laugh a lot, in particular her dancing around the house.

I know this sounds soppy, but Donna never really annoys me, I annoy myself more.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (24)

Our biggest wish for married life is just to keep on being us.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (26)

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (28)

Obviously the best bit about Brides Up North that its local, and helps you find exactly what you need. We just find the whole website really easy to use and got some great ideas.  We were married at South Causey Inn on 22nd December 2014 and we’ll definitely be back to share our wedding photos on the blog.

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (31)

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (29)

An engagement shoot in Durham (c) Chris Parkinson (30)

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friday fabulous!

November 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Bubble by Kurt Geiger

“I used to be snow white, but I drifted” Mae West

Velvety, red, winter wedding shoe perfection. Right there.

Bubble, in red, £99 by KG Kurt Geiger

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the generation game. family friendly wedding day fun

November 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Source ruffledblog.com, Photo by Justin and Keary Weddings

Image via ruffledblog.com, by Justin and Keary Weddings

Across in our brilliant and busy Brides Up North Facebook group (are you a member yet? click here to join) a regular discussion thread concerns unique ideas for keeping little relatives (never mind the bigger guests!) entertained.

As much as it’s an enjoyable occasion a wedding can be a long day with little lulls here and there that need filling to avoid guest becoming bored and or restless. While a few disposable cameras and a recommended DJ once sufficed as adequate entertainment, many couples are now looking for more imaginative ideas to make their big day not only fun for their guests, but unique and memorable too.

This is easy during the summer, but in the winter months it can prove more of a challenge. So, to cut boredom off at the pass we’ve asked Brides Up North Sponsor Rich at Alive Network Entertainment Agency for some top tips for family-friendly wedding entertainment ideas that everyone can enjoy together, whatever the weather.

Over to the experts…

car park carnival

Set the mood right from the moment your guests arrive at your venue by creating a mini carnival in the car park. Let costumed ice-themed characters guide guests to the door, where Frozen-styled characters stand in the middle of illuminated ‘living’ tables to serve child-friendly cocktails in sugar-frosted glasses.

It Must Be Magic

it must be magic

If you enjoy TV street magicians like Troy and Dynamo, imagine the thrill of them performing at your wedding drinks reception, stunning guests with seemingly impossible tricks and illusions right before their very eyes. Look also at iPad magicians, who combine digital tablets and old school magic into a visually stunning and logic-defying show. What’s more, magicians are like Piped Pipers for kids; if you lose the little ones, they’ll have disappeared to watch that trick just one more time!

lookalike mc

Spice up the speeches with a celebrity lookalike who can also act as your master (or mistress) of ceremonies. Image the best man introduced by Marilyn Monroe, your Dad applauded by Prince Charles, or your bridesmaids and pageboys given their thank-you gifts by David Beckham – now that’ll really leave them speechless! For even better value, look for professional lookalikes who offer more than one character, such as John Clees or Prince Charles, or hire two to work together as a double act, such as Basil Fawlty and Manuel.

Lookalike MC

Silence is Golden

silence is golden

Let’s face it, wedding days should be filled with chatter, music and laughter, but sometimes a little peace and quiet goes a long way! Hear nothing but laughter when your professional mime artists entertain, combining the skill of classical mime with the much-loved antics of Mr Bean type characters, for a wonderful post-meal show everyone can enjoy  – and understand.

comedy musical acts

Unless your pre-teen relatives are buddy classical musicians, chances are a traditional string quartet is not going to hold their interest long. So, keep those little eyes glued to the antics of a comedy string quartet, that turns classical music into classic comedy at the twitch of a bow. Look for other comic style groups as well, such as Ukulele bands, Oompah bands, or strolling mariachi bands as seen in those savoury snack commercials.

Comedy Musical Acts

shadow art and sand art

We’ve all done it, held our hands in front of a torch to project the image of a cute bunny, but that’s about our limit. Professional shadow artists take it to a whole new level, creating an animated show of animals, scenes and even celebrities from just their hands and light source. Or hire a sand artist to create swirling pictures and scenes from just a trayful of sand in seconds. If requested in advance, some artists offer a chance to ‘have a go’, something the younger generation will particularly enjoy.

take your partners

Ditch the disco and get everyone up and dancing with a ceilidh band, regardless of age, agility or the complete absence of any dancing talent whatsoever. You caller teaches the steps, everyone does the dance, and then it’s on to the next, swapping dancing partners as you go, for guaranteed smiles all round.

I told you that these guys were the experts! For more winter wedding entertainment ideas, call the team at Alive Network on 0845 108 5500 or visit their website; they’ll be happy to help with free advice and even more suggestions!

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high street honey. Lipsy

October 20th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Black fishtail maxi dress

With the last of the summer stock swinging on sale rails, autumn winter collections are now being rolled out across shop floors. I’ve been checking out the occasion wear high street offerings for the cooler season ahead and once again I’ve been peeking my head around shop doors I’d usually sail right by. This time it’s Lipsy.

I’ve been lured into studying the store’s autumn/winter collection following a string of desirable celebrities putting their name to the brand, most notably ex-Corrie star Michelle Keegan and one of my absolute favourite style icons, Millie McIntosh of Made in Chelsea fame.

If it’s good enough for these super stylish and stunning ladies then surely it’s good enough for the rest of us, right? And that is why I deem it worthy of our high street honey accolade.

Royal blue floor-length gown with glitter detail

At Brides Up North’s recent season of Luxury Wedding Exhibitions I couldn’t help but notice the flurry of brides who will be tying the knot at Christmas time. And who can blame them? It’s a truly magical time of the year when everyone is in high spirits and it offers the perfect excuse for a comforting wedding breakfast (bangers and mash, anyone?).

But what does one wear to a winter wedding? Well Lipsy offers solutions not only for guests, but also potential bridesmaid and hen do outfits. From sexy strapless frocks to figure-hugging, floor-length gowns, Lipsy has lots of lovely attire to choose from.

Those opting for a short or strapless dress – such as the cream and black pencil dress or the floral print midi dress – may want to consider a faux fur jacket, of which many can currently be found on the high street, to complete their look in a classy and cosy way.

Maroon maxi dress

The full-length gowns are particularly striking and offer an opulent look for winter weddings and high-end hen dos. I really love the black dress with regal gold detailing as well as the maroon maxi with black cobweb panels The long royal blue gown with glitter embellished shoulder straps would make a gorgeous bridesmaid dress, complete with Christmas sparkle.

And finally, for those pre-wedding nights out, there are a couple of eye-catching jumpsuits within the autumn/winter collection that can be worn during the festive period and beyond.

Happy Lipsy shopping ladies!

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must be the music. mori lee for a ripley castle winter wedding – lindsay & ian

July 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime

mori lee for an indie wedding at ripley castle wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (17)

Lindsay and Ian’s big day at the iconic Ripley Castle in Yorkshire was sleek, chic, fun and fabulous… with a really big party at the end of it. Sounds exactly like our kind of wedding.

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

mori lee for an indie wedding at ripley castle wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (3)

Lindsay says: We got engaged at the top of a mountain during a snowboarding trip to Tignes, France on Ian’s 30th Birthday. Ian rode all morning with the ring in his pocket unaware his pocket zip had been open! Luckily it was still there when the time came to propose!

We got married on 22nd February 2014 at Ripley Castle in Harrogate. We wanted a winter wedding to tie in with honeymoon plans to head straight to Thailand after the wedding.

We’d looked at a number of venues prior to seeing Ripley Castle and none of them felt right. As soon as we looked around the Castle it was exactly what we were looking for and booked straight away.

mori lee for an indie wedding at ripley castle wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (9)

I wore a Mori Lee dress, and bought it from Platinum Bridal Boutique, Yeadon.

I never wear strapless dresses so I knew my dress would have sleeves of some description. Before I went dress shopping I saw my dress in a magazine and already knew it was the dress I wanted. I searched for shops who stocked Mori Lee and managed to find the dress I wanted and loved it as soon as I tried it on.

I’m not a massive flower fan so I wanted more greenery and a twig effect rather than roses. My bouquet was made by a florist called Elsie Russell in Shipley – they also made my mums bouquet when she got married.

My make up artist, Lauren Sally,  was also amazing and we all loved our make up on the trial and on the day of the wedding.

I had two bridesmaids who had floor length evening dresses from House of Fraser by Ariella.

Ian had a custom made three piece tweed suit made on Saville Row by JLSA MONO Design.

mori lee for an indie wedding at ripley castle wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (11)

We went for a bit of an indie style wedding as we both love music so this was heavily featured in our wedding plans. We also wanted to keep it a little vintage to keep in with the Castle theme. Our colour scheme was navy blue and green.

We handmade our seating plan which concentrated on our music theme of the wedding. Instead of table numbers we had our favourite bands as the table names and put the bands vinyl on each table.

Instead of a guest book we ordered a heart shaped jigsaw for guests to sign the pieces from www.notonthehighstreet.com

The centre pieces were floating candles and candelabras, and we had little navy blue and ivory chocolate love hearts as our favours. The bridal party all got tailored gift as an extra special thanks.

Neither of us are big sweet people so we went for the savoury option and had a five wheels of cheese cake. This was from Cheese and Chutney, Saltaire.

mori lee for an indie wedding at ripley castle wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (25)

We used James Tracey Photography. I would definitely recommend James to others. He was exactly what we were looking for as we didn’t want structured pictures for hours but more of a documentary style photographer and James is great at this. We’ve had lots of compliments on how good our pictures look. In addition to this as soon as we met him we knew we wouldn’t be a bossy photographer and had a personality which would get along with us and our guests during the day.

mori lee for an indie wedding at ripley castle wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (29)

We hired a band called ‘The Story’ who we booked through Warble Entertainment. They played a mixture of music but mainly indie. They had everyone up dancing all night, and their rendition of ‘Killing in the Name’ was a particular highlight!

The evening reception was probably the best part of the day. The band were amazing and it was great for the evening reception to turn into a massive party with everyone dancing all night.

mori lee for an indie wedding at ripley castle wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (40)

We went on our honeymoon two days after the wedding. To start with we flew to Bangkok for three nights, from there we stayed on the island of Koh Pha Ngan for three nights where we stayed in an amazing hotel with our own pool overlooking the sea. From there we stayed in Koh Samui for four nights and then to finish off we went to Singapore for a couple of nights.

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to have a spreadsheet! I had lots of spreadsheets and although everyone laughed at me and I had hours of jokes made about my organisation there wasn’t anything I didn’t know from looking at them!

I asked Ian to answer this question and his top tip to the groom was ‘just say yes’!

mori lee for an indie wedding at ripley castle wedding (c) James Tracey Photography (50)

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Real Wedding Summer Recap 2014: Cool Pink. A Real Wedding At Iscoyd Park, Shropshire – Katie & Guy

June 27th, 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.

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Katie and Guy’s Real Wedding is my kind of affair.  Classy, beautiful and elegant – with lots of pretty pale pinks, lace accents and seasonal touches.  This clever couple did things their own way, choosing to keep their stunning celebration simple and hassle free, letting their gorgeous venue and floral accents speak for themselves.  Beautifully done. 

With images by Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Katie says:  Guy proposed on the first day of our ski holiday in Zermatt in February 2013, and we were married on 21st December 2013 (I was not the most patient of brides)!

Jill Thorning-Jensen

We were married at St Mary’s Church in Whitewell, Shropshire followed by a reception at Iscoyd Park

We looked at a number of venues around Cheshire and Shropshire, but fell in love with Iscoyd.  The house and grounds are absolutely stunning – like no other venue we had seen. To add to that, Phil and the team at Iscoyd were so warm and friendly that we felt very comfortable that they would help make the day special.

Jill Thorning-Jensen

I stayed at Willington Lodge the night before the wedding, a gorgeous local B&B with delightful hosts.

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

As the wedding was so close to Christmas we had a few festive touches (Christmas trees outside the church, and reindeer table names).  The bridesmaids looked gorgeous in dark navy and the flowers were lilacy pinks with eucalyptus and dark navy berries to add a wintery feel.

I was determined that the wedding was going to be a stress-free event, so we purposefully kept any additions to a minimum. Instead we chose a beautiful venue (which needed no ‘extras’), with lots of lovely food and drink and a fantastic band who had everyone up and dancing.

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

I tried on lots of dresses at the gorgeous Love Bridal Boutique in Altrincham, and chose an Intuzuri dress which I wore with a cathedral veil.

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

The groom wore a Reiss suit and the groomsmen wore their own navy suits. All had knitted navy ties which matched the groom’s knitted navy bow tie.

The adult bridesmaids wore three quarter sleeve black tops with beautiful navy skirts designed and made by one of my bridesmaids and her exceptionally talented mum.  The little bridesmaids wore ivory dresses from John Lewis.

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Hair was by Louise Huxley (and her mum!) and makeup was by Melanie Poutney.  We were very lucky to find a group of amazing people to help with the wedding, all of whom were a pleasure to have around on the day.

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Selina Godsal did all the flowers for us.  My bouquet was blush pink and cream roses, eucalyptus, a thistle (to match Guy’s buttonhole) and catkins.

Jill Thorning-Jensen

We chose a vintage cream taxi from Manor Bridal Cars.  Not only was the taxi a great choice for the December weather, it also made my Mum smile – she had been very concerned that I hadn’t booked a car until the last minute and we would end up having to get a taxi to the church!

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

The whole day was fabulous, but I think one of the most special parts was being in church.  Seeing Guy waiting at the front looking so handsome was just lovely, and to be surrounded by all of our family and friends took my breath away.

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Our cake was made by Caroline Black. We had three separate tiers (fruit, chocolate and ginger) and all of it was eaten by the end of the night!  Other catering was by The Fine Dining Company

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

In the evening we had a band, The Badcats, who were fab and had everyone dancing.

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Jill Thorning-Jensen

For our honeymoon we spent three weeks touring around Australia, seeing as much as possible and enjoying the sunshine.

Jill Thorning-Jensen

For me, my top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t try to do too much. There is an awful lot to organise just concentrating on the basics, without adding in chocolate fountains and all the other extras. Being calm in the run up to the wedding meant that we could relax and enjoy every minute of the run up and the big day.

Jill Thorning-Jensen

Congratulations Katie & Guy!

Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Jill Thorning-Jensen

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Mr & Mrs Perfect. A Real Wedding In Manchester – Gemma & Nigel

February 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Stella Photography

Yes, that really is today’s bride and groom’s married name – Mr & Mrs Perfect.  Don’t you love it.  No pressure or anything..!  Anyway, it turns out that their gorgeous Real Wedding in Manchester was pretty much that – a chic and simple and prettily perfect winter city wedding. 

With images by Stella Photography.

Stella Photography

Gemma says:  Nigel asked me to marry him on 1st December 2012, on Llanmadoc beach in Wales, on a weekend away. It was a beautiful isolated beach on a lovely crisp winter’s day.

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

We were married on 23rd November 2013.  We had the ceremony at Manchester Town Hall, and the reception at The Place Apartment Hotel, a converted cotton warehouse in central Manchester. 

Stella Photography

We wanted everything to be indoors, firstly because it is Manchester, so it was more than likely to rain, and secondly because of the time of year. We had looked at country locations, but decided that as we had so many guests coming not only from over this country but also from abroad, the city centre would be best for travel from the airport, train or the motorway. Also, we live very close to the city centre, so going in to see our wedding coordinator at the venue, and meeting local suppliers was so much easier than if we had picked somewhere far away.  Manchester Town Hall is a stunning old building, with high stained glass windows so we felt it added to the occasion. The Place is beautifully restored, maintaining many original features such as red brick walls and steel columns. 

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Our theme was simplicity.  The venue for the reception made it seem urban chic and we also teamed this with a vintage feel with the flower displays – very natural, in small glass bottles and jars – and hand-tied favours with luggage tag labels.

The wedding was mainly white and ivory, however my husband had decided that he wanted to wear his kilt, in the family tradition, so I picked a dark forest green for the bridesmaids to match this. 

Stella Photography#

My dress was from The Staite Rooms in Huddersfield. It was a Maggie Sottero gown (Geneva), fitted to the waist and slightly over the hips, and had a long train. The top layer was a delicate lace with floral adornments, and a a band in light mocha under the bust, which made it look quite different to any I had seen before. I loved my long train!  The dress was strapless which I didn’t think I would like when trying on dresses, but it fit beautifully with a lace-up back.

My bridesmaids wore full length forest green chiffon dresses from Fairytale Occasions in Bury. The groomsmen wore kilts in a similar style to my husband, our fathers wore black suits to match the kilt jackets. These were all hired from Slaters.

I had a fantastic hair & makeup artist come to make up myself, my bridesmaids, my mother and mother-in-law at the hotel, Jodie Smith, also based in Manchester.

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

Stella Photography

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Joy To The World. A Backless Anoushka G Gown For A Real Wedding At Quarry Bank Mill – Clare & Lee-John

January 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Hayley Baxter Photography

Things are looking really rosy red this week on Brides Up North aren’t they?  First up, the sun baked celebration of Annie and Lee yesterday, and now a complete about turn with today’s stunning winter Real Wedding.  Shot by Hayley Baxter Photography, Clare and Lee-John’s big day had all the hallmarks of the perfect Christmas wedding – red berries, a feather cape, a dress to die for, Christmas pudding, a ruby red carriage and a partridge in a pear tree!

Hayley Baxter Photography

Clare says:  We got engaged on 16 August 2013, in North Wales and were married on 21 December 2013 at Norcliffe Chapel, Styal with our reception at Quarry Bank Mill. 

Hayley Baxter Photography

Hayley Baxter Photography

We visited the National Trust village and Mill in June 2013 and both absolutely loved the church and the imposing architecture of the Mill itself.  Mandi and her team at the Mill were so helpful and were happy to assist in any way possible.

Hayley Baxter Photography

Hayley Baxter Photography

Hayley Baxter Photography

We chose a Christmas theme, we sang carols in the church and had mulled wine and mince pies at the drinks reception instead of canapés.  We decorated the Mill ourselves with fairy lights, Christmas garlands and Christmas trees, including edible decorations and a gingerbread house.  The table centres were hurricane vases with candles, holly, ivy, cinnamon, pine – all natural flowers and seasonal.

The colours were dark green and red.  The green was chosen to incorporate the Bride’s Irish roots and the red for the groom’s Welsh roots.  The bridesmaids wore dark green and the groomsmen all wore red ties and hankies.  The bouquets were gorgeous red and green with grand prix roses for the bride and tulips for the bridesmaids and flower girls.

Hayley Baxter Photography

Hayley Baxter Photography

My dress was called Hazel by Anoushka G. I love it! I bought it from Lace Bridal in Hale who were so helpful. I am not a keen shopper and had given myself one day and two bridal shops to find my dream dress – I didn’t have to search for long… it was the first dress I tried on and it could not be matched! It was cut on the bias with mini capped embroidered sleeves with a cowl scoop at the back.

I had an oyster feather shrug to keep me warm too.  I wore my wellies into the church as the path down was muddy and I didn’t want to spoil my Jimmy Choos!

Flossy & Leigh made all the bridal party’s hair and make up look fabulous and I wore a bespoke hair piece designed by Ann McKaveney of Eleventh Heaven.

Hayley Baxter Photography

My two adult bridesmaids wore a dark green maxi dress from Coast and the three flower girls wore gorgeous white dressed from Debenhams.  They all had gorgeous fur shrugs for warmth and the two littlest flower girls wore White Uggs boots.

The groomsmen wore hired suits from Slaters in Manchester. They were dark grey tails with waistcoat and their own classic white shirts with bright red ties and hankies.

Hayley Baxter Photography

We hired a beautiful red and cream vintage car supplied by Love & Carriage.

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Glitterball. High Street Honey: New Look

December 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime

It’s been a while since we ran our last High Street Honey series here on Brides Up North (mainly since pulling the editorial together was an unhealthy online shopping enabler), but – especially as we approach the festive season – I think it’s high time that we reinstate this popular feature.  

I’ll be checking out all the most popular High Street retailers (and lesser known online finds too) and picking our favourite looks, so that you don’t have to.  No gorgeous gowns get past me!  Whether it’s bridesmaids dresses you need, a frock for your reception dinner or heading off on honeymoon, we’ll have it covered.

This week, I’ve been browsing the online aisles at fashion forward favourite New Look who contacted me recently to show off their sparkly sequin dresses, evening party dresses and prom dresses, with sartorial options for a wedding guest or glitzy bridesmaid (see this beautiful Real Wedding for inspiration) in mind.  And since it’s the festive season, these  wouldn’t go amiss at your Christmas do either.  See what I do for you!

High Street Honey New Look AW 2013

1  Gold Sequin 3/4 Sleeve Bodycon Dress £39.99

2  Navy Sequin Floral Bodycon Lace Dress £27.99

3   Belle Heart Black Sequin Side Panel Pleated Dress £22.99

4  Tokyo Doll Gold Strappy Sequin Contrast Cami Dress £27.99

5  Gold Sequin Sleeveless Bodycon Dress £24.99

6  AX Paris Navy Sequin Plunge Maxi Dress £60.00

7  Parisian Gold Floral Sequin Skater Dress £34.99

8  AX Paris Bronze Lace Midi Dress £35.00

Finding the perfect outfit to wear to a wedding can be a bit of a challenge. There are many factors to consider when choosing what frock (or trouser suit, or shorts suit, or separates!), from the location of the ceremony and the reception to the time of day and season in which the event will be held.

Even in winter, guests have more flexibility with a daytime wedding ands can wear shorter, above-the knee length dresses to create a more casual look.  Have some fun experimenting with vibrant colours and punchy patterns as much as possible. For the autumn/ winter season, haute hues on Pantone’s Fashion Colour Report include samba red, koi orange, vivacious magenta, acai purple, and Mykonos blue.  Patterns that are sure to pop this season range from dainty oriental butterflies and flower prints to fierce tribal and animal patterns. If you decide to wear brighter hues or eye-catching prints, be sure to pair them with neutral bags and shoes to balance out the look, and don’t forget a pretty shrug or jacket to keep of the chill. High Street Honey New Look AW 2013 (2) 

1  Red Metallic Ruched Side Bodycon Dress £24.99

2  AX Paris Black Floral Print Midi Dress £28.00

3  Tokyo Doll Burgundy Metallic Grid Shoulder Midi Dress £27.99

4  Burgundy Lace Cap Sleeve Midi Dress £22.99

5  AX Paris Red Crochet Neck Midi Dress £30.00

6  AX Paris Purple Crochet Waist Midi Dress £28.00

7  AX Paris Purple Raglan Bodycon Dress £22.00

8  Dark Red One Shoulder High Neck Aztec Dress £19.99

If the wedding is being held in the evening, skip the flirty frock in favour of something more sophisticated like a curve-hugging bodycon dress or midi dress in emerald green, gold or midnight blue.  You can amp up the wow factor with crocodile and snakeskin print clutches, bags and heels that incorporate the current colour blocking trend or (my favourite) plenty of sequins. 

Now, where’s my credit card…

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 New Look

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