North West Wedding

real wedding recap: ronald joyce for a fairytale wedding at ness gardens – laura & richard

29th June 2016 | Rachel Hirst

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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.

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (49)

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.

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (20)

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.

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (22)

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.

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (3)

I got my wedding dress by Ronald Joyce from Opulence in West Kirby. They have such a huge selection of dresses, just going in to the shop was exciting. I didn’t really consider a fitted dress so I tried on most other styles, and although I liked them all, I hadn’t found the dress. The lady in the shop then got me to try on a fitted fishtail dress and as I came out of the dressing room my mum began to cry and a knew it was the one. The detail on the dress started at the top and went all the way down to the bottom and the back of the dress was one of the things I loved most. I think it made it more special that I really hadn’t considered a fitted dress but thanks to the lady in the shop it was everything I could have hoped for, I felt so special in it.

One of my favourite suppliers I used was Nicola Joyce for hair and makeup, I don’t think I have ever felt so special thanks to how she did my hair and makeup on the wedding day. I would highly recommend her, she is so good at what she does! My mum and bridesmaids were also very pleased with their hair and makeup.

For my nails I had the very talented Sharon Shermon from Nail Elegance. She created the perfect wedding nails for me, my mum and bridesmaids – I can’t recommend her enough either!

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (5)

We hired Richard’s suit from Moss Bros. We wanted a charcoal grey suit with tails and once he tried it on I filled up and said this is the one. I could just imagine walking towards him on our wedding day, he looked so handsome. I know it can be traditional for the groom to wear an ivory cravat to match the bride but I wanted him to stand out as the groomsmen were having a light pink cravat so we decided he would wear a dusky pink cravat and I’m really pleased he did as it really stands out on our photographs.

I had one adult and one junior bridesmaid, I found it quite hard to find a dress that was suitable for them both to wear. In the end I got two different dresses, but in the same blush pink colour, from BHS and they both looked really beautiful.

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (14)

A really good friend very kindly offered to drive us to the venue on the day of the wedding. He even decorated his car with pink ribbons to match the colour scheme, which added a special touch.

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (19)

Emma Hillier was our photographer. I did a lot of research into photographers but Emma’s work just stood out from everyone else’s and I knew she was the only photographer for us. It’s amazing how she captures a moment that can speak a thousand words. Her photographs tell the story of our wedding and by looking at them I can relive the whole day. Her images are so natural and bright and she captures love and happiness like no one else I’ve seen. On top of this she is also a really nice, friendly and fun person and all our guests loved her at our wedding – I can’t recommend her enough.

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (21)

When it came to the wedding flowers, I had a mixture of shades of pink roses for my bouquet which look amazing on my photographs, which were supplied by Blue Orchid. I also had a memory charm with a picture of my nan made for my bouquet by Save The Date – By Lily.

I wanted to make my own table decorations, mainly to keep costs down as I felt there was more important things I wanted to spend our budget on. I bought false pink hydrangeas and pink vases and used these as my table decorations with matching pink candle holders. I had a “Mr and Mrs” sign made, along with a sign with my new surname by Mike’s Fine Designs. He also made my love quote signs, pictures frames and our ring box. We bought pink and lace bunting for the ceiling.

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (29)

For our favours I made up organza bags with mints in for after guests had eaten, with a card attached saying “L&R Mint To Be”.

A family friend made our lovely wedding cake. We had four tiers: fruit cake, chocolate cake and two sponge tiers. I also had a cake topper made out of clay.

Richard and I are big fans of afternoon tea, so it made sense to eat our favourite food as our main meal on our wedding day. It went down a treat and everyone said how much they loved it. For our wine we wanted to have pink sparkling wine to match our colour scheme. We tried numerous bottles of wine before we found one we loved, though when we did it turned out that it had sold and we were devastated. My older brother kindly (without me knowing) messaged the CEO of ASDA to ask did they have any more in stock as he needed it for my wedding. The CEO arranged to have the bottles of wine we needed collected from other stores around the county and then had it delivered to my local ASDA. I couldn’t thank him enough, it was one if the nicest wines we tried and came in a beautiful pink bottle.

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (33)

One of the best decisions we made for our wedding was that we had a singer called Natalie Collins, who sang as I walked down the aisle. Her voice is just incredible and to walk down the aisle to live music was just magical. Natalie also sang after the ceremony and during afternoon tea. All our guests commented on how amazing her voice was and she really added something special to our day. For the evening we had a DJ who had the dance floor full all night.

We also hired a star lit dance floor and light up love letters, in the evening – these looked amazing with their twinkling lights.

For our first dance we had Ella Henderson’s song Yours and as the song was about to finish Richard had mixed the original song with the dance version so that we could get everyone up on the dance floor and it worked – everyone got up and celebrated our first dance with us, it was such a nice feeling.

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (47)

I would really recommend our venue to other brides and grooms searching for a perfect wedding setting. Not only is Ness Gardens one of the most beautiful places you can get married but the staff were lovely and really looked after us, nothing was too much trouble. They were all so kind and we can’t thank them enough for everything they did to make our day special.

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (59)

My favourite part of the wedding day was seeing Richard get emotional as I walked down the aisle towards him. He had said on the lead up to the wedding that there was no way he would get emotional so seeing this was really touching and special. The vows were also a favourite part, they were emotional and exciting all at once. If I could bottle the feeling up of the whole day I would have, there is no other day like it and I have never been so happy.

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (54)

We went to New York on our honeymoon – it was the place we’d always dreamed of going and we had the most amazing time. Even though it was a busy sightseeing holiday, we also spent romantic days walking around Central Park and going on a horse and cart ride. One highlight in particular was when Richard got to call me his wife to someone for the first time as he asked a fireman “Could my wife have a photo with you?”

A Fairytale Wedding at Ness Gardens (c) Emma Hillier Photography (57)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be try to get every finished and finalised at least a few weeks before the wedding so you can enjoy the buildup. Also, the best piece of advice someone gave me was to take a few moments during your wedding day with your husband to stop and look around – you’ve spent so long planning and dreaming about this day, take in as much of it as you can.

the big picture

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