Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

friday fabulous: zara

November 3rd, 2017 | Julia Braime

PomPom

These powder puff pink pom pom earrings ear artworks (!) are almost to cute to bear.

We said almost.

Long Pom Pom Earrings, £12.99, Zara

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glitz & glamour. a sophisticated new year’s eve wedding at the faversham, leeds – toni & james

December 5th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

www.joestenson.co.uk

After tying the knot across the pond in Las Vegas, Toni and James decided that it was time to celebrate with family and friends back in the UK. And, boy, did they do it in style.

Their big day was all about the party vibes, combining their wedding not only with New Year’s Eve celebrations, but James’ birthday too.

Their plush black, white and gold theme was an inspired choice, complete with a nod, or three, to their new life in America. And as Toni reveals, the couple really did turn a few bridal traditions right on their head.

With images by Joe Stenson

www.joestenson.co.uk

toni says: After two years together James moved to San Diego in California. When he was offered a permanent job, we had to decide whether to leave our family and friends and start a new life together in the US, and that meant taking the plunge and getting married quicker than anticipated. So we did! It all happened within the space of three months; engagement, and a wedding in Vegas with just three friends.

James proposed when I was visiting him in Huntington Beach, Orange County, on 18th February 2013. We hired a little boat to cruise around Balboa Island in Newport Beach and then returned to Huntington Beach to watch the sunset. He encouraged me to go for a walk on the beach and we ended up sitting on the Number 1 Lifeguard Tower Stand. My 30th birthday was only a couple of weeks away and so he started telling me that he wanted to get me something I would love, keep and wear all the time. And then he held out my ring!

T

Our original wedding was on 5th April 2013 in Las Vegas,  but that’s not how I imagined my wedding would be. So two years on we started planning a wedding celebration that we could share with our family and friends in the UK.

We wanted the emphasis to be on throwing an amazing party, and that’s why we chose New Year’s Eve, 2015. Not only did we think that NYE would add an extra element of excitement for our guests, but it’s also James’ birthday! I also liked the thought of having a winter wedding, which meant we weren’t relying on the weather.

www.joestenson.co.uk

It was tricky finding a venue in Leeds that would be available on NYE, serve past midnight and hold 150 guests. After researching several venues, I had a dream that featured The Faversham, Leeds – I woke up and knew it would be the perfect venue. The great thing about The Faversham is that it’s not only a beautiful building set in the grounds of Leeds University, but you have exclusive use of the venue too.

We wanted our wedding to be unique, with quirky touches that were personal to us. We wanted a glam yet simple style with a party vibe. The theme was centered on NYE/time, with an element of USA v UK.

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sunshine & smiles. pronovias for a fun filled wedding at knipe hall, cumbria – alexandra & andrew

November 30th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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We are totally head over heels for this morning’s gorgeous real wedding which features a super-stylish wedding party, pretty pastel colour scheme and lots of outdoor fun and frolics.

Highlights? There are many! Though for us the delicate décor, on-trend attire and super cute four-legged guest are among our very favourite bits!

With images by Daz Mack.

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alexandra says: We got engaged whilst we were staying at some vineyards in Yorkshire with friends for my 30th birthday in June 2014. Unbeknown to me, the day before we went Andrew had “Alex will you marry me?” Tattooed on his chest. We went out for dinner and drinks in Holmfirth then to a Billy Bragg gig. After an amazing evening, we got back to our apartment and much to my utter shock and disbelief Andrew revealed his new chest art to me! I said yes and we celebrated with a bottle of champagne with the rest of the bunch that we were away with!

Our wedding day was exactly two years after the weekend that we got engaged, so 18th June 2016, the day before my 32nd birthday.

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We got married at Knipe Hall in Cumbria, where we are from. We wanted a rustic blank canvas venue and this fit the bill! It’s an old farm that has been converted into luxury holiday cottages and has a barn and old dairy and huge outdoor space to host your wedding. This meant that whole wedding party could stay over making it a full weekend celebration and we could do as we wanted with the venue.

We didn’t really have a specific wedding theme as such, we just wanted it to be relaxed and fun! I guess it had a bit of a rustic country wedding feel to it. Our colour scheme was pastels and metallic. I was just drawn to those colours from day one and I love a bit of gold/sequins/glitter – just a touch though.

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My dress was by Pronovias bought from Olivia James Bridal in Egremont. When I first got engaged I saw a similar Rosa Clara dress in a wedding mag, which I loved – it reminded me of the wedding dress Audrey Hepburn wears in Roman Holiday. This dress was only in one shop in the UK so I travelled all the way down to London to try it on. It was lovely but wasn’t quite right so I walked away. I then decided I wanted a more boho 70s style gown so proceeded to try on around 30 more dresses; some vintage, some high street, designer, bridal couture, you name it but discovered I didn’t really suit a lot of the lace and nothing felt special enough. I was starting to lose faith and decided I just don’t like wedding dresses then I came across this dress online and found out it was in a shop not far from home and like I said, very similar to the first dress I liked. As soon as I tried it on it felt right. Still very much a wedding dress with the full skirt and long train but no added bling or lace; plain but beautiful details like the low scoop back and simple bows at the waist. It was such a relief to find the one!

My hairdresser for the wedding was Sarah Redding from Halo in Carlisle, and she was amazing, working relentlessly to get us all ready in time. A very talented lady. I own my own beauty salon in Carlisle called Rock and Fairy so I did everyone’s beauty treatments a couple of nights before the wedding and did my own makeup on the day using Mac products.

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Andrew wore a fitted black suit and white shirt with little gold buttons, all bought from Zara. He accessorised his outfit with gold braces and bow tie from Etsy and black patent loafers by Grenson.

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roses & romance. mori lee for a vintage style wedding at newton hall – holly & ben

September 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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We all know that while you can plan a wedding down to the finest detail there are some elements of the day that are entirely out of your control, most notably the weather.

Today’s real wedding couple are a shining example of how to not let the unpredictable British weather dampen your big day celebrations.

Despite the downpours outdoors, the bride, groom and their guests got on with enjoying themselves inside the beautiful Newton Hall, rather getting hung up on the fact that the sun hadn’t made an appearance.

The wedding was beautifully styled, as were the wedding party, and we’re super impressed with the stunning portrait images captured by their photographer considering that he was confined to just the indoors. Excellent work Ally!

With images by Ally M Photography.

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holly says: We got engaged at Claridge’s in London in November 2014. Ben had planned to propose in Dubai a few months after this date, however we had cancelled the trip as I found out I was expecting our daughter Mia! Ben can luckily rely on me to order a dessert whenever we go out. He had the staff write ‘Holly, will you marry me?’ on the plate. At first I was annoyed that precious dessert space was taken up with writing, then I realised what it said. I forgave him and said yes!

We got married on the 17th June 2016. As all couples who decide to marry in Britain do, we played Russian Roulette with the weather and just hoped we would win with a June wedding (we lost…badly!).

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We got married at Newton Hall, Northumberland. It had everything we could possibly have wanted. It’s surrounded in beautiful British countryside and it also sits near the stunning coastline they have there. We were searching for “different and quirky wedding venues” and Newton Hall popped up. The pictures were stunning so we booked a visit. I didn’t dare believe it would be the one given it was the first we’d viewed, but I immediately fell in love with it as we pulled up the driveway. I love how they’ve kept the traditional feel of the house whilst also adding so much fun to it. Every room is just gorgeous. We’re also one of the last of our friends to get married so it was nice to find somewhere we could have our wedding where we hadn’t been before. It just meant it felt more special to us.

Ben gave me full reign over the theming of the wedding (this made us both very happy) and I always go for girly/pretty! I wanted it to be vintage and beautiful so it could blend with our fabulous venue.

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With two little girls, our whole life is already in pink so I just naturally went for subtle and dusky shades if pinks and purples for the colour scheme.

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ruffles & roses. pretty pastels for a relaxed garden party wedding in liverpool – cecilia & philip

August 29th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Garden Party Wedding in Liverpool (c) Tim Simpson Photography  (18)

We’re getting Monday off to a very pretty start here on the blog by heading North West to relive the gorgeous wedding of Cecilia and Philip.

Deciding on a chilled-out garden party wedding theme to complement their chosen venue, Cecilia and Philip styled their day with lots of flourishing florals and paper pompoms in sugary pastel tones.

As well as the setting, we love Cecilia’s choice of voluminous ruffle wedding gown, topped off with a cute pink flower crown. B-e-a-u-tiful!

With images by Tim Simpson Photography.

A Garden Party Wedding in Liverpool (c) Tim Simpson Photography  (33)

cecilia says: We’ve been together for almost ten years so it was about time we got engaged. It happened whilst we were watching the sunset on a summer’s evening after dinner at Bon Ton overlooking over the lagoon on a holiday in Langkawi.

Once engaged we set the wedding date for 31st May 2015. We thought the end of spring/beginning of summer would be a lovely time of year to marry and it’s also a great time for lots of blossoming flowers.

A Garden Party Wedding in Liverpool (c) Tim Simpson Photography  (27)

When deciding where the wedding should take place Liverpool sprang to our minds as it was the city in which we first met. Grade II* listed Sefton Park Palm House was our venue of choice. We loved the crisp white architecture of the glass house and surrounding beauty of greenery. Also the aromas from the glass house flower as soon as you walk into the venue. We had both our ceremony and reception there.

For the wedding theme we agreed on a relaxed garden party vibe with lots of floral décor. The colour scheme meanwhile was light shades of pinks, with splashes of blue and lime green. I thought that these would be easy on the eye but also pop out well against the white linen tables whilst blending in well with the floral green house.

A Garden Party Wedding in Liverpool (c) Tim Simpson Photography  (44)

I had two wedding day outfits: my white wedding gown and then a little red dress for the tea ceremony. It is the Chinese tradition to wear red on the special day with the lucky meaning. My wedding gown was a princess bell shape with long train, which after trying various styles of gowns, is the shape that suited me most. The ‘dome’ was formed by multi layers of lightweight fabrics so even though the train was quite long, wasn’t that heavy to stop me from moving freely. I ordered by wedding dress from an online shop on Taobao (China’s equivalent of eBay), which was custom made to fit my size. The red dress I wore was from another shop on Taobao which turned out to be a bit of a headache – I later wished that I had ordered it from the same shop as where I got my wedding dress from. If brides do fancy getting a nice outfit from Taobao, my advice would be to make sure they find those with an excellent reputation, and ideally with high street store. Oh and allow plenty of time for ordering and delivery.

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sweet & simple. pronovias for a pink and white themed wedding in the capital – laura & andy

September 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (48)

For this afternoon’s real wedding we are crossing the north/south border in order to share with you original Sheffield girl Laura’s big day.

She and beau Andy met in the capital and so for them it seemed only right to invite their guests from both the north & south to join them in the place they call home.

After saying their ‘I dos’ in the beautiful Islington Town Hall, the happy couple and their guests travelled on board a red double decker to a modern restaurant for the party to continue.

Highlights include Laura’s stunning Pronovias gown, pretty blush pink touches and a very cute ring bearer!

With images by Georgina Martin.

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (32)

laura says: We got engaged the Christmas after our son Reuben had been born. It was on Boxing Day morning at my parents’ house, Reuben was just two-months-old. Andy asked me to marry him and it made everything perfect!

We had quite a long engagement as weren’t really financially in a position to get married when Andy asked so we waited until we were, and Reuben was a little older to be part of the experience – then we got planning. We decided on May 2nd for our wedding date, the start of spring/summer time so hoping for some sunshine and it was a bank holiday weekend.

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (33)

Although I am from Sheffield I have lived in London 13 years, it’s where Andy and I met and where we dated. We had always said we wanted to get married at Islington Town Hall one day, I used to live in the area and we’d often walk past and say how lovely it was and that one day that would be us!

We had originally wanted to have the reception in a pub in East London where we had our second date but for various reasons this didn’t work out. Chiswell Street Dining Rooms was the only other place we looked at and instantly thought it fitted in perfectly with what we wanted, a relaxed day with our closest friends and family with good food, drink and a great party!

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (35)

We didn’t really have a theme as such, Chiswell Street had a really lovely elegant feel to it that didn’t need a lot of dressing so I stuck to white flowers in simple pots from Ikea and lots of chalkboards for the seating plan, and signs around the venue that I bought as prints on eBay and mounted myself. I also bought chalkboards and easels for the table numbers and mini chalk heart pegs that went on everyone’s wine glass as their seating position.

I kept the colour scheme simple, opting for white flowers and blush pink for the bridesmaids so I added a few blush peonies to my bouquet too.

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (39)

I had always said I wanted a silk/chiffon wedding dress, something floaty and maybe a little boho but my actual dress was much more fitted than I thought – a beautiful Pronovias dress, chiffon with lace and a low v front and back. I put it on and zipped it straight up, the perfect fit and so comfy! It was the first one I tried on. Though I tried lots, something kept taking me back to that one, everyone loved it and the shop were selling their sample so it was even under budget, it seemed like a sign. I bought it there and then.

As it had come in under budget I splashed out on a beautiful pearl and diamante head piece from Gillian Million who had been highly recommended to me, she made it to order and it went perfectly with my dress, she even custom made me a matching cuff. The only other jewellery I wore on the day was my mum’s silver and emerald ring, as my something old.

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (40)

Andy wore a blue three piece suit from SuitSupply in London, with brown brogues from Ben Sherman and a Zara tie, which matched the best man and ushers. I bought him a Lanvin silver tie pin as his wedding present too which finished his look off perfectly!

The bridesmaids wore gorgeous Ted Baker blush pink maxi dresses, which had lace that complemented my dress perfectly. I managed to find flower girl dresses in almost the identical shade from Autograph at M&S, they also wore M&S cardigans and shoes and tights from Debenhams.

The best man and users all wore blue suits from Moss Bros, their own white shirts and the same blue Zara tie as Andy. Our son Reuben, wore a navy waistcoat and trouser set from Next with a white shirt, bow tie from Ted Baker and his favourite Converse!

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (38)

As a special touch to the wedding day, Reuben carried the rings on a beautiful personalised ring cushion that I bought from MissSDesigns on Etsy. We really wanted him to feel part of the day and he even brought them up to the registrar, we were so proud of him and all walked down the aisle together at the end of the ceremony.

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (42)

My wedding car was a black London cab, our friend Gary was a cab driver and kindly offered to be our chauffer for the day. The boys also borrowed a friend’s Bentley to arrive in London in style and we hired a Routemaster bus from London Retro Bus Hire to take the guests from the town hall to the reception.

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (46)

Our photographer was Georgina Martin. She is Sheffield based and I came across her through my sister during her wedding planning, we instantly loved her work and booked her for our day. As she was in Sheffield and we were in Essex we didn’t meet that much before the day but she fitted in perfectly and made us all feel relaxed. Andy wanted someone to be around while the boys were preparing in the morning too so Georgina brought an assistant Charlie and both girls were great, they captured our day perfectly.

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (50)

The wedding bouquets were gypsophila and my bouquet also had some pink peonies in to tie in the girls’ dresses. They were from a local florist in Hornchurch called Emma’s Ivy.

Pinterest was my best friend in wedding planning, I created a board of all my ideas and went about sourcing them! To decorate we used gypsophila again at the venue in simple Ikea pots tied with a Mr & Mrs ribbon. We also hired some amazing light up letters in our initials from Vowed and Amazed, which everyone loved!

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (54)

Other details included white bunting bought from eBay, along with the chalkboard signs and I sourced some lovely banners for the sweet and cake table and a personalised one for the fireplace in the reception from Celebrating Together on Etsy. I also bought some giant balloons in our colours with beautiful tassel tails from Bubblegum Balloons, these were a last minute purchase that I’d been holding out to see if we could afford at the end but I’m so glad we did as they make amazing photo opportunities.

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (52)

We didn’t have favours as such but the chalkboard heart pegs on everyone’s glasses were theirs to take away and quite a few guests took to wearing them as name badges throughout the day!

We wanted to keep the cake simple along with the rest of the theme. I came across an image on Pinterest and then went about finding someone who could make it for us. I found Millie-Ann at Ever After Wedding Cakes on a wedding blog, she’d done a beautiful modern cake for another London wedding so I got in touch. We met in a shopping centre and she brought me some delicious cupcakes to sample and I was sold! We went with three tiers, the top two lemon with lemon curd and the bottom chocolate, I also added in some red velvet cupcakes, which were amazing!

We had prosecco and summer berry cocktails as arrival drinks on the day. For the food we went for a pear and stilton salad and a choice of Chiswell Streets’ signature fish pie or an Irish stew and dumpling for the main and miniature Amalfi lemon tarts and vanilla cheesecake with cherry jam for those that had room for dessert. The food really was amazing. In the evening the waiters brought round bacon sandwiches and fish and chip cones, and cut up the cake to soak up the alcohol!

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (53)

In terms of entertainment, we wanted to create a party to resemble your best night out with your friends with all the songs we knew would keep the dancefloor going all night so we were recommended Love 2 Groove DJ’s by a friend and we cannot fault them. They started with some Motown classics, we had Al Green Lets Stay Together as our first dance, which was a very special moment, and everyone was singing the words and joined us on the dancefloor halfway through. By the end of the night the dancefloor was packed with guests dancing to old school house music until midnight. We had lots of compliments on what a great party it was.

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (58)

For our guest book I bought a Fuji Film Instax Mini Polaroid camera and made a frame to hang the photos in with pegs and twine, I bought a few props by Ginger Ray and everyone had fun taking silly pictures and leaving us notes. The pictures are a great memory of the day, especially the ones as the night went on!

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (20)

We would definitely recommend Chiswell Street Dining Rooms to other wedding couples. Nicole our event planner was amazing and couldn’t do enough for us, she made the whole day come together exactly as we had planned. It was everything we’d wished for.

We’d also recommend Feel Good Invites who supplied our invitations. This was actually the same company my sister used and she recommended him to us. The quality was very good as was the service, we were really pleased with the finished product.

My favourite part of the day was the actual ceremony, you put so much time into planning the reception it sometimes slips your mind about the actual ‘getting married’ part. The whole thing was so special, walking down the aisle with my dad, seeing my husband-to-be waiting for me and our amazing son being such a big boy and handing over the rings. I felt so happy and proud at the end of it when we all walked down the aisle together, a truly unforgettable moment!

A North South Wedding at Islington Town Hall (c) Georgina Martin (28)

For our honeymoon we went to the Amalfi Coast in Italy; four nights in a beautiful boutique hotel in Sorrento and three nights in a spa hotel on an idyllic island called Ischia. It was the perfect finish. We went without our son and it gave us time to relax as husband and wife and look back and reflect on what an amazing day we had. My parents and sister kindly took our son away too so he didn’t miss out!

It sounds like a complete cliché, but a wedding day really is the fastest day of your life so my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to take time to take it all in and enjoy every minute!

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