Unfortunately it’s not often that we get to meet the brides that we feature on the blog, but today’s leading lady is an exception.
We met gorgeous bride Charlie at the launch of Amanda Wyatt’s 2017 dress collection earlier this year and totally fell in love with the sound of her rustic Tuscan wedding when she told us the details. Better still, her chosen gown was by Brides Up North sponsor and friend, the fabulous Charlotte Balbier, and so we knew Charlie would look absolutely stunning on her big day.
And we weren’t wrong – serious #bridegoals, right ladies? We adore Charlie’s stunning Everley gown and her pretty forehead band accessory. The styling of the venue was also exceptionally well executed, so top marks to Charlie!
Any North West brides-to-be might also be interested to learn that Charlie has just set up her own personal training company, so if you’re looking to tone up a little for the big day be sure to look up TaylorFit.
Now, on with the pretty…
With images by Suzy Wimbourne Photography.
charlie says: We got engaged The Drunken Duck pub in Ambleside in the Lake District. Patrick contacted my boss and booked the Friday off work for me, then surprised me with a spa day, followed by an intimate dinner at the pub where he proposed in front of everyone (which I didn’t expect as he usually doesn’t do PDAs!)
We set the date for Friday 6th May 2016.We wanted a spring wedding and a wise man once told us the first weekend in May is always good weather! Also, marrying on the Friday meant we would be able to set up at the venue the day before the wedding.
Our chosen venue was Owen House Wedding Barn in Mobberley, Cheshire. We immediately fell in love with the relaxed, rustic, cool vibe of the place. The space is very versatile, we loved the fact we could have our civil service in the cute ceremony room and then hold the reception straight after without having to transport the guests anywhere. There is also a lovely garden where we were lucky enough to have our drinks reception as the weather was sunny – not to mention the house prosecco truck!
Our theme was Tuscany. We toyed with the idea of getting married in Tuscany as we have been on holiday there and loved it, but in the end we felt it was too much to ask our guests to finance the trip abroad. So we brought Tuscany to Mobberley! There were lemon and lime centre pieces, fresh rosemary and basil displays and a map of Tuscany as the table plan. Olive trees flanked the entrance and later acted as a room divide.
We selected a colour scheme of neutral creams and golds. Patrick wanted to wear a tweed suit and so the groomsmen had beige chinos and light brown tweed waistcoats with a gold silk back and the bridesmaids/flower girls were in cream and gold, wearing dresses from Coast and Monsoon. These colours complemented the touch of limes/lemons in the Tuscan decor and also the rustic venue of the wedding barn.
My wedding dress was the Everley gown by Charlotte Balbier. I loved the simplicity and sophistication of the ivory silk and the lace/pearl detail around the bust. The back of the dress was the wow factor for me though; a delicate lace tulle tattoo back – a little bit sexy, but still classy! With my dress I wore gold gemmed shoes, which complemented the gold colours in the bridal party.
To complete my look, hairdresser Keely from Angeliques salon in Wilmslow, came my house on the morning of the wedding. Keely made me feel so relaxed at a time when I was naturally anxious and she chatted away to me like a friend whilst cleverly making my frizzy and unruly hair look soft and romantic, to match the look of the dress and complement the relaxed venue.
As mentioned, Patrick wanted to wear tweed for the wedding and so had a tweed suit jacket and matching waistcoat from Walker Slater with beige chinos from Spoke London. This was teamed with a soft green tie with gold flecks from Marks & Spencer and brown suede shoes from Tommy Hilfiger.
On the day of the wedding I travelled in a silver Rolls Royce while the groomsmen and bridesmaids travelled in a Mercedes mini bus.
Suzy Wimbourne was our photographer and we would give her the highest recommendation possible! Suzy and Alex (who shot with her) have the balance of being professional yet relaxed down to a fine art! They are incredibly talented, their pictures capture the fun of the day and have so much personality! By far the most impressive of all our suppliers.
For the wedding flowers we had white roses with olive branch stems and rosemary, which were supplied by Flourish in Manchester.
To decorate the venue we had four centre pieces, which were put together by Flourish: glass jugs full of lemons and limes topped with white flowers. And then, four centre pieces put together by me: lemons and limes in white Ikea vases. We decorated the rest of the venue ourselves with the help of my mum.
As favours we gave packets of wild seeds saying “Sew in Love” on them, which were tucked into pockets in the table linen as part of the place setting. The seeds could be planted to attract butterflies and bees to our guests’ gardens. There was also one large bottle of Limoncello on each table, which was homemade as a gift from our friend Hannah Gibson, and continued the Tuscan theme.
For our wedding breakfast we had Italian food to match the Tuscan theme: hummus, olives and flatbreads instead of canapes, then starter of carpaccio of beef with rocket and parmesan salad. Main was chicken stuffed with feta, wrapped in Parma ham served with a Mediterranean vegetable stack and crushed new potatoes. To finish we had a trio of deserts: chocolate brownie, lemon posset and raspberry and vanilla cheesecake). The food was supplied by Vanilla in All Seasons, who are amazing! Of course we had Italian wines too: Pinot Grigio white, Multipulcianno red and a prosecco drinks reception.
We decided not to have a traditional wedding cake. Instead, to save money, we bought large multipacks of cupcakes from Tesco and Sainsbury’s and displayed them on a cool wooden cupcake tiered stand that belonged to the venue. The cupcakes tasted good and satisfied the munchies later on after all the dancing!
In terms of entertainment, we hired harpist Calum MacLeod, for the drinks reception and then had a live seven-piece band called The Essentials, for the evening reception. A live band with a sax player was an essential non-negotiable request of mine, and The Essentials did not disappoint. The dance floor was packed form start to finish and chants of “one more song” still rings in my ears now! As a special surprise during the reception my dad played guitar to the first dance, which was Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton (such a rock star dad!)
After our wedding day we would definitely recommend Owen House to other couples. The pre-wedding co-ordinator service by Rachel and Vanessa was great. They contact suppliers for you to confirm everything and Rachel helps the day run smoothly, like clockwork in fact, and is very professional and goes the extra mile.
Looking back it’s so hard to choose a favourite part of the day. We really enjoyed the ceremony as it was relaxed, with everyone laughing and clapping. Walking up the aisle seeing all our friends and family smiling as I walked towards my future husband was also a very memorable moment. We both loved the buzz of being called through to dinner as man and wife too, and the whole room on their feet clapping and cheering. And, of course, the dancing – so much dancing!
Following the wedding we went on a minimoon to the Lake District where we stayed in an apartment with a hot tub. We go on our main honeymoon to South Africa in October. We did this because I’ve has just set up a new business as a personal trainer and didn’t want to be away for too long. However we would really recommend this to other couples as we were so tired after the wedding that it was great to just chill for a few days without facing a long haul flight/journey and the pressure of travel etc.
As well as the tip about the postponing the main honeymoon, my other top tip for Brides Up North would be to book Suzy Wimborne to take your photos! She’s amazing!