The spring weather might not have quite sprung outdoors, but this morning’s beautiful real wedding is guaranteed to brighten up your day.
Choosing to keep things simple, Brendan and Sophie opted for a varying blue colour palette then added pops of vibrancy in lovely blooms and attractive centrepieces.
All in all a very pretty and sunny celebration indeed!
With images by Mike Plunkett Photography.
sophie says: Brendan proposed to me when we were in a seafood restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand. We were travelling around South East Asia in October 2011 before heading to Australia to work for a year. It was the night before my birthday and we had been staying in hostels for six weeks but this night we decided to stay at the Hilton in Bangkok. We went out for tea and he said he wanted to give me my birthday present that night. It was a gift bag with a dress in it and at the bottom of the bag was a ring. We had been together seven years at this point but it was still a big surprise.
We got married in our hometown of Southport at Holy Trinity Church and then went onto Old Links Golf Club for the reception. We liked the idea of a traditional wedding and the church is so beautiful inside. We went to see lots of venues in Southport for the reception but we loved Old Links Golf Club straight away. The staff were lovely, it had a really relaxed atmosphere, which is what we were looking for, and the outdoor area was so pretty.
We didn’t have a particular theme as such, we just liked the idea of a traditional wedding but relaxed at the same time. We wanted everyone to mix together which is why we didn’t have a head table, instead we had round tables throughout the room so everyone could interact.
Our colour scheme was cornflower blue and navy blue. We thought these were nice, classic colours and I wanted something quite subtle as I knew I wanted bright flowers that would stand out against the other details.
I got my dress from Brides Room of Birkdale. The shop is run by a family friend and she really helped me find my perfect dress, which was completely different to what I had in mind. I originally wanted something quite vintage, simple and knee-length. I ended up with quite the opposite though. What I had in mind just didn’t look right on me. I then tried on this big fairy-tale dress, which I never would have picked on the hanger, and it was perfect. I loved it straight away. The dress was by Mori Lee.
My bridesmaids looked beautiful in long, cornflower blue, chiffon style dresses. These were also from the Brides Room of Birkdale. The service there is absolutely great and all dresses were tailored to fit each bridesmaid perfectly.
On the day of the wedding the bridal party all travelled in black taxi cabs. I’d seen photos on the internet of people using them and thought it was a great idea. We just used a local taxi firm and I gave them the wedding ribbon which they attached to the front of the cars. The drivers also dressed smart for the occasion.
Mike Plunkett was our wedding photographer and he was perfect! He’s based in Manchester but it was no problem for him to come to Southport. I found his website when I searched for photographers in the North West. Like most people, we were trying to stick to a budget and most photographers were coming out at quite an expense. Mike’s prices were really reasonable and I loved his style of photography from the website. Communication was great from the start and on the day he was so discreet but really captured every detail and moment. Everyone admires our album and says how beautiful the photos are. I would definitely recommend Mike to others, and already have done. My friends that get married this September have Mike booked.
With us marrying during the summer I wanted bright flowers for my bridal bouquet and I also wanted a bouquet that would stand out and would look great on photos. I used a florist based in Southport called David Beckham-Doyle. He was great and put together a gorgeous bouquet for me using all the ideas I sent him.
All my flowers at the venue and chair decorations were also from David Beckham-Doyle. He had blue organza to match the colour scheme which we used for the chairs. For the tables we carried on with the bright theme and used bright flowers as the centrepieces. For the place settings I used letter stamps and did them all myself, using people’s nicknames, which everyone said was a nice informal touch.
We also had a light up ‘love’ sign on the dancefloor which was provided by a company called China Blossom Hire, who are also based in Southport.
Our favours were two little heart biscuits. One biscuit said ‘Brendan & Sophie’ and the other had the wedding date on. We wrapped them in cellophane and tied ribbon around them. They were lovely and were made by one of my bridesmaids.
Instead of a traditional wedding cake we had different style cupcakes and then one big cake on the top of the tower for us to cut. The cupcake flavours ranged from millionaire’s shortbread to blueberry and were absolutely delicious. The cake looked great as well and everyone admired it. The cake(s) was made by one of my bridesmaids who now runs The Williams Bakery.
We decided for the meal that we didn’t want the typical three courses. We liked the idea of a buffet instead. Janette from Old Links suggested that we could put dishes in the middle of each table for people to help themselves, which worked out perfectly. We had bread, olives, dips, salads and oils to start, and the mains there was ham, a spicy chicken dish, chips and roasted vegetables. For the dessert everyone had a cupcake each and then there was a cheese board put on each table. The food was amazing and everyone loved it. Everyone commented on what a great idea it was to help themselves to different dishes rather than being restricted to one thing. For the evening we had, sausage and bacon barms and also brie on toast, which was simple but went down really well.
We hadn’t chosen any entertainment as such for the wedding, we just put together a playlist for the meal and then we had a DJ booked for the evening. When we arrived at the venue though, we found out that my parents had booked us a Cuban band to play while we had the meal. We have been to Cuba together before and they knew we loved that style of music. They played throughout the meal and it was perfect background music.
Following our wedding, I would definitely recommend Old Links Golf Club to other couples, especially for a summer wedding as the outdoor area is perfect. The staff were lovely and nothing was too much trouble. They let us decorate the room how we wanted to and the food and drinks were great. It was perfect.
It’s had to pick a favourite part of the day as it was all so perfect. Getting ready with all my beautiful bridesmaids was definitely a highlight but I think after the dinner when the evening party was about to start, photos had all been taken and we just started to relax, it really dawned on me how happy I was to have everyone I love in the same place celebrating our special day. Everyone was having such a great time and it made me feel so happy.
We didn’t go on our honeymoon until a month after the wedding and it wasn’t a traditional honeymoon as our 19-month-old daughter was with us. It didn’t feel right going away without her though, we would have missed her too much so our honeymoon was a week in Majorca in an all-inclusive resort. It wouldn’t have been our usual choice but the three of us were together and it was our first proper holiday as a family so we enjoyed every minute of it. Especially as we weren’t on our wedding diets anymore and we could eat all we wanted!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – don’t let the planning of the wedding become too stressful. No matter what your budget is you can plan a great day and the two of you being together is the most important thing. Also, enjoy every minute of the day. I know it is such a cliché thing to say but it really is scary how quickly it passes you by.