October 12th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Thornton Manor – an exquisite Grade II Elizabethan house in Cheshire – is today’s stunning backdrop to Charlotte and Jamie’s special day earlier this summer.
Looking to throw a big party for their guests – the venue ticked all the boxes for the couple, giving them the best of both worlds – the grandeur of the manor house and those more informal ‘let your hair down’ kinda feels from the lakeside marquee.
A blush colour palette worked flawlessly with the abundance of peonies, roses and hydrangeas, not to mention the life-sized tree!
Food and drink played a big part in their big day too – with steak, lobster mac n cheese, bacon sandwiches, candy floss and a prosecco tuk tuk van all making an appearance. As for the entertainment – they even had a wandering band that made their way around all the tables – an idea we think a fair few of you might want to steal! Feeling inspired? It’s time to hear more from Charlotte…
With images by Brett Harkness Photography.
charlotte says: We got engaged while we were on holiday in Barbados with our family. Jamie and I both have our birthdays one week apart, and these happened to fall whilst we were away. He told me we were going out for a meal the night before his birthday to celebrate, just the two of us. We went to The Cliff restaurant, which was as amazing as it sounds, right on the edge of the sea. He popped the question at the beginning of the meal…I think he was too nervous to wait until the end!! Of course, I said yes, and we spent the whole meal chatting about getting married – we hardly ate the food!
We got married on the 30th June 2017. We knew we wanted a summer wedding and I actually ended up picking the date based on the weather the previous few years! Unfortunately, we were not blessed with sun for the whole day, so my theory went out of the window!
We got married at all All Saints Church in Thornton Hough and hosted our wedding reception at Thornton Manor. Jamie and I both liked the idea of getting married in a large manor style house, however most importantly we wanted a space where we could throw a great party. Thornton Manor could accommodate a marquee on site too which made this possible!
Our colour scheme for the day was a range of blush colours – soft shades of pink, ivory and peach. We chose this as it fitted with our idea of a relaxed yet sophisticated summer’s day.
My dress was designed by Suzanne Neville. I had always loved this designer and liked that she could tailor any dress to your style. I actually went down to Suzanne’s shop in Knightsbridge where I had all my fittings and even met with her to decide on some of the final details. I ended up changing my dress four months before the wedding, which was slightly stressful, and it could not have been more different!
July 23rd, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There’s a very arty feel to today’s real wedding between Louise and Lee; from the editorial style images captured by the photographer, to the clever details produced by the bride.
As a fashion designer, Louise’s creative talents came into play throughout the planning – and yes, she did design her own wedding dress, which certainly lived up to the guests’ high expectations. We adore the statement leaf detailing and Louise’s careful consideration on exactly where the lace should be placed. Her attention to detail results in a gown that is both majestic and unique.
Further personal touches can be found in Louise’s fantastic handmade decorations, including the inventive table plan crafted from an old door displaying wonderful sketches by the bride and dressed with lush eucalyptus, as well as the table names, also beautiful sketches that represent important elements of Lee and Louise’s life together, such as the lovely drawing of their dog, Salvador Dali.
The cake, also designed by Louise, is wonderfully dramatic with silver leaf and a cascade of silver and green foliage down one side of its elegant three tiers. It would appear that this bride’s talents know no bounds!
With images by Tim Simpson Photography.
louise says: We got engaged in Paris in September 2015. Lee took me to Paris to finish off our annual holiday to the South of France. Since I had previously worked in Paris at a fashion designer’s atelier, I had always wanted to show Lee why I loved the place so much. We stopped for a sit down in the Louvre’s Tuileries gardens. I was checking my map and Lee was waiting until we had complete privacy before he slipped down on one knee and presented the most perfect diamond ring to me. We then quenched our thirst drinking pink champagne in the stunning Renaissance hotel!
We got married on Friday 13th October 2017. We have been asked “Why!?” many times. Our answer? “Why not!?” To us, every other day of the year except Christmas, birthdays and New Year have no significance. Friday 13th has impact, controversial connotations and raises eyebrows regularly. Sounds perfect for us. As one of my gifts to Lee on our wedding day, I had tattooed the number 13 on my finger. I revealed this to him at the altar in church! He thought I had drawn it on with eyeliner until my bridesmaid corrected him after the confetti throwing! He now has a matching tattoo.
We had our ceremony at St George’s United Reformed Church, Thornton Hough. It’s beautiful and ornate with wonderful curved ceilings, stained glass windows and calved patterns into the brickwork and is just 40 seconds from Thornton Manor, where we had our reception. The night before the wedding, my bridesmaids and I stayed in the Gate House at the manor. We got ready there and then I put my dress on over in the manor in the stunning Lady Lever Bedroom. Lee stayed in another of the manor’s many cottages in its grounds with his three best men
We chose Thornton Manor after scouring the north west for our ideal venue, marking every manor, castle and abbey within one-and-a-half-hours of our home (Lee made this distance rule to reduce the enormity of the mission). We spent many weekends visiting and analysing them. When we finally came across Thornton Manor, it ticked every box we had. Our guests stayed in the whole of the manor and the surrounding cottages and, inside, the manor was impeccable with original features, fabulous, grand rooms and gardens. It was faultless, and the décor and details were extremely tasteful and regal.
We would absolutely recommend the venue to other brides and grooms. There are so many rooms to use at different stages of the day; from a cosy lounge to the grand ballroom where we held the reception, to a long lobby room that looks out onto the gardens, to a music room. Everywhere you look the décor is fabulous. There’s even the Queen’s Bedroom and Queen Mother’s Bedroom, where royalty used to stay when they regularly visited Thornton Manor. Lee’s mum stayed in the Queen Mother’s Bedroom, which was special! The staff were very professional and I even had someone assigned to me throughout the day; he was literally on hand to help me whenever, wherever. He even stood at the side of the dance floor and would hold my drink! I felt like royalty myself and this treatment was never expected!
December 18th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Baby it’s cold outside, but we have a stunning real wedding that’s guaranteed to warm up your Monday morning.
Featuring an abundance of blooms – from striking bouquets and centrepieces, to blossom trees, a floral wall and iced flowers on the cake – Jeff and Zarah’s big day was nothing short of beautiful.
The stunning Hillbark Hotel in the Wirral provided the perfect setting for their elegant big day, with the ceremony taking place in the spectacular Grand Hall and the reception in the venue’s large star-lit marquee.
Drawing on her experiences as a guest at the weddings of friends and family, Zarah picked out her favourite features and mixed in a few of her big day wishes too, resulting in an entertaining and enjoyable day for all.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
zarah says: We got engaged in Cuba on the 22nd May 2016. Jeff organised a lovely meal. We got picked up from our hotel in a 1957 Chevrolet car, which was amazing. When we got back to the hotel after our meal, Jeff insisted he wanted to walk on the beach and smoke a cigar – as you do in Cuba! I was a bit hesitant at first as a few drops of rain appeared. None the less we walked down to the beach and Jeff smoked his cigar. After a short stroll down the beach, I wanted to go back into the hotel as few more drops of rain appeared. As we walked back along the beach Jeff said, “wait I have something to ask you”. He then went down on his knee, as he proposed lightening appeared in the background and he asked for my hand in marriage. I was quite shocked and said “ok”, feeling the happiest lady in the world. Jeff then chuckled and told me when he asked my dad, he said the same thing!
We got married on Friday 25th August 2017. We choose that date as it was the bank holiday weekend and we thought it would be a nice long weekend for our friends and family.
We got married in the Wirral at a hotel called Hillbark Hotel and Spa. We choose this venue as it is a beautiful Tudor style hotel and had an amazing great hall where we could get married. There are only 16 rooms at the hotel which meant we had the whole place to ourselves on our wedding day. The details at the hotel are amazing and it has lovely features, such as a large chandelier, fire place and hidden rooms. We also heard good reviews about how amazing their food is. It was also the perfect place where we could get married in the Great Hall and have our wedding breakfast meal in the star lit marquee.
We didn’t really have a theme or style, but I wanted it to be stylish yet classy with a bit of everything. I have been to a lot of weddings and over the years and I have liked parts of different friends and family weddings and I wanted to incorporate this into my own wedding. Things like the blossom trees, larger flower centre pieces and flower background wall.
I chose lemon, white and dashes of hot pink for the colour scheme as lemon and pink are my favourite colours – I like bright and exotic colours having a Mauritian background.
Dress-wise, I wanted a princess style design, which incorporated lace – I also wanted it to be off the shoulder with short sleeves. I went to a few bridal stores until I found the dress at Ava Rose Hamilton in Colne. They had a selection of amazing and beautiful dresses. They didn’t quite have the dress I had in mind but then they showed me a beautiful lace top which I could add onto of my dress, which just finished my dress off perfectly, along with a long cathedral veil with small diamantes. The service at Ava Rose Hamilton was amazing and I would definitely recommend anyone to go to this shop, if they are looking for a stylish wedding dress.
Jeff wore a bespoke suit from Signature Bespoke in Liverpool. He chose a navy-blue tuxedo style suit with a large velvet bow tie and velvet lapels on his suit jacket.
June 29th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, 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 4th July 2016 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some 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.
Today’s real wedding is pretty and sweet and features lots of pops of our favourite colour, pink! It’s no wonder then that we loved it as soon as we set eyes on it!
Having dreamt of her big day since being read fairytales as a little girl, bride Laura decided on a ‘once upon on time’ romantic theme for her big day, complete with loved-up pink colour scheme. We adore all the bright and charming elements that make the wedding stand off the page; from the stunning outdoor garden setting to the bridesmaids’ pastel dresses and the dreamy blooms. A fine fairytale indeed!
With images by Emma Hillier Photography.
laura says: We got engaged in March 2014, Richard had organised a surprise trip for my birthday to the Lake District. It was raining that day so we took cover in the hotel that Richard had booked my favourite afternoon tea at. Once the rain slowly started to go off he suggested we take a walk around the hotel’s beautiful grounds. As we were walking all of a sudden the sun came out and he got down on one knee in the wet grass and asked me to marry him! I was completely overjoyed and through some very happy tears, I said yes!
We were keen to get married as quickly as we could but realised that we needed time to plan and save so we decided we would get married the following year. We wanted a Saturday wedding in one of the summer months, we checked dates with our venue and the registrar and we were able to book our wedding on Saturday 22nd August 2015.
Richard didn’t really want to get married in a church and although we have been to many beautiful weddings in hotels it didn’t really fit in with what we wanted. I’d heard Ness Gardens in The Wirral, held weddings outside so a week after we got engaged we went to see the venue. We both instantly fell in love with it – it was everything I could have ever dreamed of and more. The gardens are so beautiful and getting married outside felt really magical. We never went to look at any other venues as we just knew this was where we were supposed to get married.
Ever since I was a little girl and my mum read me stories of fairytales, this is what I’d dreamed my wedding would be, my very own fairytale with my own happily ever after. So I chose a romantic theme for mine and Richard’s big day. For my table names I chose my favourite romance films and then from each film I used a quote about love. I also had signs made with love quotes on and hired some amazing light up love letters from Rock That Letter.
I used Pinterest a lot for inspiration and a pink colour scheme just stood out for me – it’s one of my favourite colours and added to my romantic theme. Once the room was dressed it looked even more beautiful than I had imagined.
October 12th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Several elements of today’s real wedding instantly stood out to me when first viewing Hollie and Martin’s wedding photos.
Firstly, the venue. It’s certainly got the wow factor and makes it easy to understand why Hollie and Martin didn’t continue their venue search beyond this impressive building! Second – the elegant colour scheme. Hollie almost went for just peach and cream but then decided to throw blue (her favourite colour) into the mix and the soft, powdery hue works perfectly. Third – the smiles on everyone’s faces. This was clearly an enjoyable wedding and featured lots of entertainment to keep guests happy. Finally, the cake. I can’t believe this was created just the night before the wedding – move over Mary Berry, I think there’s a new star baker in town!
With images by Jess Yarwood Photography.
hollie says: We got engaged in Liverpool on the Big Wheel at the Albert Dock. We were enjoying the view looking out the windows and on the third time around. Once the wheel stopped at the top I turned around and Martin was down on one knee with a lovely engagement ring.
We set the date for 9th July 2015. Our chosen venue was Thornton Manor in Thornton Hough, Wirral. It was the one and only venue we viewed and as soon as we were inside we were overwhelmed and knew this was the place we wanted.
We had a shabby chic, vintage style theme with a few other details, like our table names that followed a Beatles theme.
Our colour scheme was cream, peach and powder blue. I really liked the colours and how they looked together. I was set on the peach and cream but also torn as blue is my favourite colour, so decided to incorporate that too.
Martin wore a traditional suit with tails in a charcoal grey and champagne tie and pocket square. The groomsmen wore the same suit but with a powder blue tie and pocket square.
Our photographer was Jess Yarwood. I would definitely recommend her, our photographs are perfect and we just loved her style and the way she edits her photographs.
For the wedding flowers we had peonies, cream and blue hydrangeas, cream roses and freesia. Claire from Frodsham Flowers did an amazing job with all the flowers.
To decorate we had candelabras with floral arrangements. There were also willow branches in tall vases with hanging glass baubles with orchids and peonies inside and square glass vases with flowers in, which were placed on mirrors. To finish, the tables were scattered with pearls and crystals. My mum has her own wedding styling and decoration business, Angels Weddings & Events, and so she designed and did everything.
As favours we gave Baileys to the women and Courvoisier to the men, with chocolates and sweets for children.
Our wedding cake was tall six tier design with cream icing. Our cake maker let us down the night before the wedding so my mum had to make our cake for us the night before and the florist decorated it with fresh flowers.
Barretts Caterers provided the catering – they were brilliant their food is just amazing. They also helped run the day and ensured it went smoothly so we got a lot more for our money with their brilliant service.
Drinks wise we had Gallo rose, various red and white wine, prosecco and bottles of beer. Gallo is my favourite rose wine and we really enjoy prosecco. Beer was a good option for the men too.
As an extra treat for guests, we had Isabelle’s Ices, an old fashioned ice cream cart and bicycle, which went down a storm and entertained the children for five minutes.
Further entertainment on the day included a string quartet, which is something we really wanted. Hearing them play as we walked down the aisle and once we were married was just amazing. We also had a solo singer James Michael, who was on the Xfactor a few years ago, to perform and he was brilliant. To mingle amongst our guests, we had a caricaturist and Marshall Magic, the most amazing magician! Matt Tolley of Cheshire Wedding DJs provided the evening disco.
We would definitely recommend Thornton Manor to other brides and grooms. It is the most beautiful venue with so much land and beautiful views. It has so much character and the staff were so friendly and helpful.
We can’t choose a favourite part of the day as we enjoyed every moment, but seeing each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle with my dad was a really lovely moment and once we were married we were so relaxed and could enjoy the day without the nerves.
Due to work commitments we have yet to go on honeymoon but we are planning to go to Italy next year.
My top tip to other Brides Up North is to stay calm and don’t worry on the day. So much effort, time, money and stress goes into it on the lead up to the big day that you should just enjoy every moment. Even if the smallest thing goes wrong, let it go, as it will be the most perfect day to you both regardless.
May 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Is there anywhere more romantic to pop the question than Paris? Ok, so I’m a little biased, as that’s where my other half got down on one knee, but another proposal in the French city of love is how today’s story begins.
After a dream engagement Emma and John bagged their dream venue Thornton Manor, for their big day and got the preparations underway.
They agreed they wanted the wedding to have a classic feel to suit the venue and we think you’ll agree that everything from Emma’s lace dress, to the maids’ pastel blue gowns and simple blooms say elegance.
Looking at the wedding snaps it’s easy to see why Emma and John had their hearts set on this venue – the reception room is nothing short of incredible!
With images by Matt Parry Photography.
emma says: We got engaged outside Montmartre cathedral in Paris at midnight on the 28th December 2012. John had planned to propose on New Year’s Eve but had the urge to do it on the first day we got to Paris. We had dinner in our favourite restaurant in Montmartre then John took me up the hill to ‘see the laser show on the Eiffel tower at midnight’.
We wanted a summer wedding, we knew you couldn’t guarantee good weather in England but thought we’d have the best chance in the summer months. The 28th August 2014 was available at our dream venue so we booked it. We married one month after my 26th birthday and the weather was stunning.
We got married at Thornton Manor on the Wirral. We had looked at the venue on the internet but dismissed it as we felt we couldn’t afford it. On a Sunday we were going to a wedding fair but it was awful so we googled if there were any other fairs in the area and there was one at Thornton Manor. When we got there we were welcomed by the owner, Phillip, and we were blown away and instantly knew we would do everything we could to get married there.
We wanted an authentic, classic feel for the wedding and knew we wanted elegance to match the house. We had top hats and 1950’s style bridesmaid dresses.
The main colour was pastel blue. It is my favourite colour and we felt it was perfect for a summer wedding. Our bridesmaids, groomsmen and page boy wore pastel blue. The stationery was ivory and pastel blue.
I chose an ivory David Tutera for Mon Cheri dress. It was a sleeveless soft lace mermaid gown with lace straps with a scoop neckline. The dress had embroidered Swarovski crystals with a spun gold waist.
John wore a charcoal morning suit and grey top hat. His outfit and the groomsmen’s outfits were from Slaters in Liverpool.
The bridesmaids wore a 1950’s pastel blue style dress from Dorothy Rose Bridal in Ellesmere Port. Everybody was blown away by the dresses and the fit was beautiful.
For our wedding transport we had a vintage Bentley in cream and black. It was hired from a company local to the venue.
Matt Parry was our photographer, without a doubt we would recommend him to anybody. Matt made us so comfortable before the day with meetings via Skype to talk about ‘essential’ photos and talk to us about his style etc. On the day John met Matt at the venue a little earlier than expected, Matt was having a look at the venue to get some ideas for his shots. Matt then came and spent a lot of time with me and the girls getting ready before going back to the venue to get those ‘nervy’ shots of John.
Throughout the day Matt wasn’t in anybody’s way, John said he didn’t notice him at all during the speeches but when you see the photographs you wonder how! He was a great friend on the day and we were absolutely overwhelmed when we got our beautiful presentation box through the post with all our gorgeous shots.
My bouquet was made up of ivory roses with Chinese grass loops, arranged by Amore Flowers in Widnes. The bridesmaids had ivory and pastel blue roses.
Amore also did our reception flowers, we would highly recommend them. We gave Joe the florist free reign to do as he pleased within our theme and he did a beautiful job!
We gave out jams and chutneys as favours, which were made by a company called Posh Pickles based in Knutsford. With customized labels and ribbons to match our theme, Rob and Steph did a great job and their Jams and Chutneys are amazing!
We had a four tier lace cake with roses and rose petals in the theme of pastel blue and ivory – the layers were lemon and carrot cake. A friend of mine, Coleen, did the cake – she was great!
The venue had a caterer list that we had to choosefrom to provide our wedding breakfast – we chose Anne Wilson Corden Bleu. We had a pate starter, pork trio main and a trio of deserts – it was so nice!
For entertainment we had a DJ in the evening and gave him an extensive playlist – basically every song for the evening! In our RSVP’s we asked our guests to give us a song that would get them on the dance floor.
We also booked a string quartet to play before/after the ceremony and during canapés after the ceremony. They played as I walked down the aisle and also the music John and I walked out of the room to – they were absolutely brilliant and so many people commented on them.
We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to others purely because it’s magical. There is something about the music room that leaves you feeling calm and humble. The Manor House ball room is breath taking and given rain or shine any bride and groom will have the best time of their lives celebrating there.
One of our favourite parts of the day was when our photographer Matt took us off into an old green house to take some unusual shots of us. We loved this part of the day as we were able to spend time together and it was really fun trying not to smile or laugh at the camera. The pictures turned out to be amazing, just what we expected from Matt.
For our honeymoon we decided to go stay on the Palm in Dubai, the hotel was on the beach which was total paradise. We loved our stay and will definitely be returning in the future.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to remember the reasons why you are getting married. I think some brides/grooms can get carried away with making sure absolutely everything is perfect but just remember that you can’t please everyone no matter how much you will try. Remember your wedding day is your day and at the end of it all you’ll always have your best friend beside you so there’s nothing to worry about.
Also try not to spill red wine on your dress!
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