Hey, it’s Tuesday and baby it’s cold outside.
Let’s have another warming winter wedding, shall we?
Amy and Adam’s twinkling celebration mixes classically elegant styling with a good dose of merry and bright for their Boxing Day big day. And as you know, at Brides Up North, we love a bit of sparkle…
With images by Andrew Keher Photography.
amy says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2013. The ring was on my pillow in the bedroom when I came in from my shift at the hospital. I pretended I hadn’t seen it so I could shower and change out of my uniform first and Adam played along! Adam had a speech prepared but didn’t get very far through it as he was so emotional. We opened the champagne and my parents and brother came round that evening for dinner and we told them the exciting news. Cue more champagne!
We got married on Boxing Day 2014. Christmas is a very important time of year for me and my family and we wanted to make it even more special by adding a wedding into the mix. It meant that the usual Boxing Day tradition of staying in pajamas all day had to be jettisoned but nobody seemed to mind.
We chose The Belle Epoque, Knutsford as our venue.
We wanted exclusive use of an intimate, romantic venue and the Belle Epoque was definitely the right fit. It’s lovely all year round, but particularly cosy in the winter with real fires and beautiful decorations. I have a love of all things French and the Art Nouveau feel to the venue made it even more perfect. It’s also got a great reputation for food – we’re big foodies so it was particularly important to give our guests the most delicious wedding breakfast.
We gave a nod to the 1920s, Great Gatsby style that you can particularly see in the shoes worn by Adam, the best man Andy and my dad, as well as in elements of my dress.
Since Adam and I have been together, he’s introduced me into the world of beer (I was very much a wine and cocktail girl before), especially Belgian beers which we tried plenty of in Bruges – Adam took me there for my 30th – so the tables were names of Belgian beers. Each one had an empty bottle of the beer in on the table with a candle in the middle and a coaster attached using ribbon we had made that said ‘Amy & Adam 26th December 2014’.
The venue comes already dressed – and beautifully so – so we didn’t want to do too much to it. We added in some candles, cream silk rose petals scattered up the aisle and silver snowflakes and crystal decorations.
My bridesmaid wore cobalt blue and our flower girl wore silver and cobalt blue – we wanted an accent colour to stand out.
The dress was one of the first I tried on, but not one I initially chose. Janine, the owner of Timeless Bride, suggested I try it on and it was perfect. It was the only dress that made my mum cry when she saw me and I felt beautiful and elegant in it straight away. I didn’t want white, the colour of the dress is champagne and I think this was more flattering for my complexion.
It is a strapless dress, but the dress came with a cape in the same lace that was on the dress. We had a halter neck strap made during alterations out of this. The strap was detachable and the plan was to take it off in the evening, but I loved it so I wore it all day. The seamstress also made a bustle on the dress so I could dance more easily in the evening.
We also added a diamante belt to the dress to accentuate my waist and add some more glamour.
Gemma Hallowell did my hair and make up.
Adam wore tails and a silver cravat from Freedmans in Stockport. He wore two toned shoes from Ebay which looked amazing.
My bridemaid’s dress was from Coast. My mum made the flower girl’s dress.
Our flowers were from The Flower Lounge, Didsbury.
Sian is a school friend of Adam’s and she was really helpful in the early stages of our wedding planning, suggesting a make-up artist for me, as well as helping us to find our photographer and venue, so when it came to the flowers it had to be The Flower Lounge.
I’ve ordered flowers previously from Sian and have always been really impressed. I had only a very vague idea of what I wanted: a structured bouquet with white flowers only, particularly roses, hand-tied with ribbons and pearls. We trusted Sian completely and she didn’t disappoint. I had a smaller bouquet made for my bridesmaid and button holes for the men.
The Flower Lounge won the region’s Wedding Florist of the Year 2014,
We used Andrew Keher.Photography.
I have already recommended Andrew and he is photographing my friend’s wedding in May!
Andy did our engagement shoot earlier in the year and got some stunning images of us, which are on our lounge wall. We were so impressed with them that we had a signature book made using only Andy’s images.
Andy went the extra mile throughout the process, driving to meet us at the venue when we had our menu tasting so he could weigh up best places for photos and get an idea what the venue was like. The ceremony room is candle-lit and very intimate and the whole venue is dimly lit, so it is known as being a difficult place to get excellent wedding photos – we were really touched that Andy came to see it beforehand and feel that this is partly why we got such fantastic shots on the day. He had agreed to stay until the first dance, but ended up staying much later, continuing to work hard to capture some beautiful moments.
Our wedding stationery (invitations, table plan, menus and name cards) came from Wedding Paraphernalia. A very personalised and excellent place which I’d highly recommend. As the tables were Belgian-beer themed, we sent the coasters for the beers to Jo at Wedding Paraphernalia and she put the table plan together for us.
My mum found little Christmas tree bauble table decorations and had ribbon made that said ‘Amy & Adam, 26th December 2014. These acted both as favours for people to hang on their tree in the years to come and as place cards. Wedding Paraphernalia made name cards for each person which we attached to the bauble with tiny silver pegs (my mum had to hand paint these silver as she couldn’t find silver ones!).The children had finger puppets which went down really well.
We used silver snowflakes and table crystals as well as tealights and tealight holders too. We had Mr and Mrs cushions on our chairs as well as a wooden Mr and Mrs sign on the top table. We also had little chocolates that had wedding quiz question on the wrapper in little silver gauze bags.
My mum took great pleasure finding all of the little extras and organising these for us, for which I’m really grateful as I don’t have a particularly good eye for the little details, nor the patience!
Before the tasting at the venue we had a good idea what we wanted, but were blown away by other options when we tasted them and changed the menu completely!
My dad makes the most amazing Christmas cake each year, so we asked him to make one for the wedding. He made it double the depth and it was delicious.
My Aunty Iris made a fantastic Victoria Sponge (my favourite cake) and a beautiful mocha cake which made up the other layers… although that’s not entirely true – the bottom tier of the cake was real, the top two were faux.
My mum decorated all of the tiers. We wanted all aspects of the wedding to be personal to us and were very lucky to have such generous and talented family members who offered to make the cake for us. The time and effort they put into it was incredible and we are truly grateful.
I lived in Quebec for a year, memories from which I hold dear – I wanted some music from there playing, so created playlist of songs for during the drinks reception.
Afterwards, we had an acoustic singer and a DJ.
We heard the singer, Danny Clarke, perform in a local pub and were really impressed with him so booked him pretty much there and then. He played a mixture of indie and well known classics which suited us perfectly. He played 2 x 45 minute sets during the evening.
Our DJ was Nick Campbell, a regular at the venue. He managed to find some pretty obscure songs requested on the night and he was very professional, making none of the typically cheesy wedding DJ announcements.
We bought my parents a present each to thank them for their generosity, time and patience in the run up and during the day – my dad wore his cufflinks proudly. We bought my mum and engagement ring charm for her charm bracelet.
For our own jewellery, we used The Ring Workshop, Oswestry. We had been into several high street shops and found them most unhelpful, focussing on the sale rather than finding wedding bands we liked and that sat well with my engagement ring. Mark at The Ring Workshop provided a personal service, talking us through available options and helped us decide on the most suitable rings.
We were really impressed with The Belle Epoque. It is the perfect venue if you want an intimate and romantic setting.
They did all they could to make the day run smoothly and be so memorable, including being flexible in amending running orders, menu options, and sourcing additional beers of our choice for behind the bar.
I was most looking forward to walking down the aisle with my Dad, to see Adam waiting for me and looking so happy, surrounding by our closest family and friends. This definitely lived up to expectations and we were all very emotional.
The icing on the cake, and something we couldn’t have planned if we tried, was that it began to snow whilst we were eating our meal! Under Andy’s direction, we braved the cold to get one of our favourite shots of the day. Apparently snow at a wedding is good luck too!
We went to Mexico for our honeymoon. The first week we stayed at Secrets Playa Mujeres in a beach front bungalow, and the second week at Excellence Playa Mujeres where we were upgraded to a two storey suite with plunge pool upstairs on the roof terrace. Both resorts were 5 star adults only all inclusive, service was impeccable throughout, pampering us and making sure we were well fed and topped up with cocktails. Our favourites were the iceburg (beer topped with frozen margarita), and the guava and tamarind margaritas.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to organise the big things early and don’t be afraid to relinquish control of the smaller things to family and friends. Decide which things are most important to you and then be willing to compromise on others.