I love the simple elegance of today’s real wedding set within the grandeur of Eaves Hall in the North West.
The fabulous venue won over bride-to-be Melissa in seconds, and looking at the images below it’s easy to see why. Keen to keep things fresh and classy, Melissa worked with talented suppliers to accomplish her vision with pale pretty blooms, ornate candelabras and twinkling fairy lights.
In addition to the setting, the couple themselves looked stunning with Melissa opting for a gorgeous fishtail gown while her hubby-to-be (and his merry men) donned kilts for the occasion. We do hope it wasn’t a blustery day!
With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Karli Harrison Photography.
melissa says: We got engaged in York, in April 2013. We had been out for a lovely meal and when we got back to our hotel Stuart got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I wasn’t totally surprised as Stuart knows how fussy I am, so had asked me to pick out a ring a couple of weeks before!
We got married on 13th September 2014. The reason for picking this particular date was that we had originally planned to get married in 2015, so when we started looking at venues they were quite booked up for 2014 dates. I went to go and look at Eaves Hall in Clitheroe and completely fell in love with it, and they had a date in September free so with a little persuasion I convinced Stuart to bring the date forward.
I had been browsing venues online but hadn’t come across anywhere with the ‘wow’ factor. Eaves Hall was the first venue we looked at and it ticked every box, it was slightly further away from home than we had planned but everything else more than compensated for it. The venue is absolutely beautiful. I would highly recommend it.
We didn’t go for a theme as such, I just wanted everything to be fresh and classy. Stuart is Scottish so he wanted the groomsmen to wear kilts but other than that we just went with what we liked. The venue is a theme within itself so we just added in extra touches to make it personal to ourselves.
I chose sage green for the bridesmaids dresses but didn’t choose to use this colour scheme throughout the wedding. For everything I chose to use ivory with pearl accents.
I chose a fishtail dress by Enzoani from Dreamcatcher Designer Bridal Wear in Kirkham. I had tried on a dress that was a lot fuller but didn’t feel comfortable in it. As I am quite tall I chose the more fitted dress that puffed out at the bottom, which still made it feel like a ‘wedding dress’ but was more flattering to my shape. My veil had a scalloped lace edge and I also wore a diamanté belt to enhance the shape of the dress.
As I mentioned, Stuart is originally from Scotland so it was important to him to have the men in kilts. At first I was dubious but when I saw them on the day they all looked fab. We chose to hire the kilts from Slaters menswear. Stuart chose to wear a black shirt with an ivory tie so that he was different to the groomsmen that wore black kilts with white shirts and sage ties.
My bridesmaids wore Grecian style dresses in sage green, also from Dreamcatcher. It was purely by chance that all the dresses were set out in each style but only shown in certain colours. My bridesmaid Natalie pulled this particular one off the rail and the style and colour was perfect – that pretty much set the tone for the style of the rest of the wedding. I then picked nude shoes and diamante drop earrings. My hair was done by Becky at Kre8 Hair and Beauty, and makeup by Olivia Naylor. They are both perfectionists and made everyone look gorgeous.
Karli Harrison was the photographer we chose. I had researched quite a few before we decided on Karli. A friend of my mum had used her for her daughter’s wedding and she highly recommended her. We looked at her pictures and knew straight away that Karli’s style was perfect for our big day.
We also used Abbey Videos to video the whole day. I’m so glad we captured the day on film as there is so much that you miss and don’t take in.
I carried a bouquet of hydrangeas, white roses, lily of the valley and various other white flowers. These were supplied by Jane at Flower Design in Blackpool, who I also can’t recommend highly enough. I originally wanted a bouquet with just white roses but when Jane made me up a sample and said she thought I would prefer this – she wasn’t wrong. She also recommended perfume and moisturiser to compliment the scent of the flowers.
We used the same flowers in my bouquet but a smaller version for the bridesmaids and flower girl. My bouquet and the bridesmaids also doubled up as top table flower display whilst we had our wedding breakfast. It looked so different yet classy which I was really impressed with. Jane also provided two trees either side of the main entrance with white roses entwined into them and candelabras for the table displays which were decorated with the same flowers used in my bouquet. Jane picked up on the Scottish heritage and incorporated thistle in the button holes for Stuart’s side of the family and the groomsmen. She also took into account what people were wearing and designed them individual button holes which I thought was a really nice touch.
I was particularly anxious about the venue being dressed enough and so used Add a Little Sparkle to help with this. I explained to them the theme I liked and they showed me pictures of previous weddings they had done at Eaves Hall that were similar to my theme. I chose the fairy light curtain and they also provided chair covers, swag for the top table and lanterns down the aisle. Between the team at Flower Design and ‘Mr and Mrs Sparkle’ every last detail was accounted for, down to a rose petals arranged in a heart shape at the end of the aisle.
We provided a free bar for all the guests, day and night, so we decided that we weren’t going to do anything too extravagant for the favours as we were sure our guests would be more than happy with the drinks flowing! So as a little touch we got everybody a scratch card. I got some beautiful cards made that just simply said ‘good luck’ on the front then inside a little message to say ‘thank you for sharing our day love Mr and Mrs Naismith’. For the children I got some personalised colouring books to keep them entertained, which I got off eBay. They came in various colours and designs, the one I picked matched our theme perfectly.
A lady that I work with makes the most delicious chocolate cakes, she really is wasted working in an office! So when it came to the cake I knew it was going to have to be one of Lesley’s cakes. We had four tiers, the bottom was chocolate and then alternated between that and lemon. She decorate it perfectly for us, it was a shame we had to cut it!
The thing I liked about the food at Eaves Hall was that you could give your guests a choice of meals. We went to a tasting event in the April before the wedding which was really good. They set out the room as it would be when you have your wedding breakfast and they brought out one of each meal for your group to try, I was stuffed when we left! It was also good to mingle with other people that were getting married there to swap ideas and experiences. After much deliberation (because it was all so good) we opted for either Cajun salmon starter or chicken and pancetta Caesar salad, then the choice of either roast chicken or roast lamb, then for dessert lemon tart or chocolate torte. Everything was delicious and well received!
Choosing the entertainment was a really big thing for me as I felt like it could make or break the day. I actually booked a couple of people then changed my mind. After hearing a local singer called James Edgar performing, I knew I had to have him at the wedding. He sings with just a guitar and puts his own twist on modern and classic hits, which he performed during the ceremony and wedding breakfast. In between the ceremony and wedding breakfast, the Northern String Quartet played whilst the guests had drinks and canapés. We were so lucky with the weather, so they were able to play outside. For me I think that was one of the highlights of the day,
Then for the evening reception we had the Ian Hooper Band. They were absolutely brilliant! Everybody was dancing the night away. To get everyone in the swing of things they came into the bar with their guitars and got the guests stood on their chairs singing and dancing. They even finished the night off with a Queen sing-song round the grand piano which everyone absolutely loved. We also had a photo booth for the guests which was good fun and we got all the pictures on a memory stick, which was hilarious to look at the next day.
I can’t take credit for this as it was my mum’s idea but we had fire eaters to greet the evening guests. Everyone said how different the idea was and we also got some really good pictures of it!
I would definitely recommend our venue, not just for how it looks, but for the whole experience. Hayley oversaw the day and she made us both feel so at ease, nothing was too much trouble for her.
It’s hard to pick an exact favourite part of the day as I loved every minute of it – I have different favourite parts for different reasons! But everyone singing round the piano was such fun and everyone was talking about it for weeks after.
We went for a short break to Mallorca the week after the wedding. It was lovely to just chill after a year of planning! We said we were going to go on a proper honeymoon this year but we are expecting a baby in May so have decided to go to New York in December and treat that as our honeymoon.
A top tip to other Brides Up North is don’t stress about the small details too much! I spent so much time worrying about various things that I didn’t really need to worry about as everything falls into place on the day, but my main tip would be to get the day filmed.