It’s only Wednesday and already we’ve seen so much pretty on the blog this week. And we hope you’re prepared for even more of the good stuff as this morning we’re sharing the gorgeous big day of newlyweds, Liz and Andy.
Deciding on a relaxed and traditional wedding with a pretty pastel colour scheme, today’s bride and groom opted for a church ceremony followed by a hotel reception, complete with elegant décor.
Though subtle, the result is a stunning celebration with everything from the wedding party’s attire to the beautiful blooms and classic transport tying together perfectly!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.
liz says: We got engaged on 1st March 2014. I had been at home all day cleaning whilst Andy was out refereeing. I had put tea in the oven and had a shower, put my onesie on and was laid on the sofa watching Ant and Dec’s Saturday night takeaway. Andy came in the room, switched the TV off and passed me an empty egg box. In each hole was a little note and in the final one was a plastic egg with a ring in. He got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him.
We set the date for 23rd July 2016. We were looking for a date at the end of July as my sister had her GCSEs so we wanted them to be over in time and this date was also suitable for both the church and reception venue. It wasn’t until I told my mum the date that we realised that my grandparents had got married on the same date in 1955, exactly 61 years ago. It then seemed like fate that we should get married on that day.
Our ceremony was at St Mary’s Church in Partington. My parents had been married there in 1988 and it is where my grandad’s ashes are so it’s close to our hearts. Our reception was held at The Deanwater Hotel in Woodford, Cheshire. Andy used to work there and it suited our needs perfectly. We had a number of guests travelling from afar and there were enough rooms for people to stay the night before and the night of the wedding. We had a large number of guests and the hotel was big enough to cater for us all without it feeling too busy.
We decided to have a traditional wedding with a pastel colour scheme. We are quite a traditional couple and this style was simple but effective. We wanted the day to feel relaxed, nothing too ‘in your face’ and it worked perfectly. The pastels were lovely and soft and worked well as we had quite a lot of guests and didn’t want anything too bright in the reception venue which may look too much. Also, I have an English rose complexion and so the pastel colours tend to suit me really well.
When it came to my dress I picked a princess style design. I tried on more than 30 dresses, all different styles, and liked most of them. When I tried this dress on I cried, then my mum cried and I knew I wanted to get married wearing it. The dress was from Agape Bridal Boutique and the staff there were fantastic. They added a bit of sparkle for me and did the alterations in-house. I felt a million dollars when I tried it on and the morning of the wedding, I was speechless as to how beautiful it looked and felt.
Andy picked an unusual checked three-piece suit with tails (which was gorgeous) for him and the groomsmen. We then picked the cravats and waistcoats to match the bridesmaid dresses, which were a lovely pastel blue. As a surprise to the boys, I bought them all pastel blue socks to wear too! The suits were from Best Man in Great Moor, again, the staff there were brilliant.
I found the bridesmaid dresses online at Mix Bridal. I could choose the exact colour I wanted and they were beautiful dresses, they all looked absolutely stunning. I had a family friend make alterations so they would fit perfectly.
As our wedding transport we hired three cars from Signature Wedding Cars. My dad and I had a two-seater, my bridesmaids and mum went in a six-seater and Andy, his parents, brother and best man travelled in another six-seater. I chose a pastel blue ribbon to fit the theme. We also hired a traditional red London double decker bus for the guests to be taken to the church in and back. This was from Catch 22 Wedding Buses. Two of our ushers were in charge and made sure all the guests got on and no one was left behind. They also handed out cheeky shots to all of our guests on the way back to the wedding reception!
Our photographer was Lee Brown. He is the son of my mum’s very good friend and so I’ve seen his work before and know how good he is. We recommended him to our friends for their wedding last year too. He was brilliant, made us feel at ease, was professional and half the time we didn’t even realise he was there.
We also had a videographer, Alex Miller, to capture the day. He put the footage together with a backing track. It added another dimension to the day and his work was both professional and brilliant.
My bouquet was a mixture of flowers which included blue hydrangeas, soft pink roses, freesia, lizianthus and astilbe. They were stunning and brought the pastel theme together beautifully. We used Hayley’s Flower Studio to provide the bridal party arrangements and she was brilliant. She also used the left over fabric from the bridesmaid dresses to tie the bouquets.
Hayley designed and provided the flowers for our reception tables too. We had a mix of tall vases with arrangements in and wreaths around a glass candle holder.
We couldn’t decide what to name our tables, we wanted something unique and memorable and so it ended up being linked to where we used to live when we were younger. Andy and I both grew up on the same road but different ends with a field in the middle separating them. The road is Charlestown Road, I lived on West, and Andy lived on East. We thought this was a quirky fact and I wanted to play on this for the table names so I reshuffled the prologue of Romeo and Juliet and referred to East and West as opposed to Montague and Capulet and used this poem to create the table names. Each table had either East or West on the title, for example we had ‘West Side Story’, ‘East is East’, ‘West Bromwich Albion’ and ‘East Kilbride’. It was a fun talking point of the day and added a nice personal touch.
I designed all of the wedding stationery, which was then printed by a family friend. As a little extra my auntie and cousin made post boxes for our present and guestbook table which looked lovely.
As the wedding favours I made personalised wine glass charms for each of our guests – all 120 of them! They had blue and pearl beads and a charm with each guest’s initial. For the younger guests we got initial mugs, a bracelet and some little games. We also made a contribution to Cancer Research and every guest got either a red lips or moustache pin badge.
One element we were very relaxed about was the wedding cake. My mum’s friend Mandy made it for us. I gave her the colour scheme and sent a couple of ideas to her but just said she could do what she wanted. It was a lovely surprise on the day to see what she had created. My mum made the bottom tier of fruit cake for us. We had wanted to include our cats in the day but didn’t know how so we then asked if Mandy could make the bride and groom for the top of the cake into our cats. So our grey girl cat was holding flowers and was the bride, our male cat had a top hat and was the groom. This added a fun and personal touch.
When it came to deciding on the wedding breakfast we knew that we wanted something that everyone would like as we had a big guest list. In the end we went for melon and Parma ham to start, which worked really well as it was a very hot day and it was cold and refreshing. We then had chicken with a mushroom and white wine sauce with fresh vegetables and potatoes for main, then a chocolate torte with raspberry coulis for dessert. The food was gorgeous.
To provide our wedding entertainment we hired a band called The Smooth Criminals. We’d seen them at my uncle’s wedding a couple of weeks after we got engaged. They were amazing and we booked them as soon as we got our wedding date. On the day they were incredible – the dance floor was heaving and they kept the party going all night.
Earlier in the day we also had the female barbershop choir that Andy’s mum sings in to perform at the venue as guests were arriving, which worked really well. Andy’s mum surprised us by joining them as they sang Lean on Me, especially for us.
Family means a lot to both Andy and I and so it was important for us to add in special touches throughout the day that reflected this. As the wedding was 61 years to the day that my grandparents got married we collected photographs of both of our grandparents on their wedding days, and our own parents’ weddings too. We framed these pictures and put them on the cake table, along with the dates they got married.
Also, Andy’s grandad was the toastmaster at our reception venue for over 25 years but he retired a few years ago. We therefore thought it would be nice to ask Andy’s brother, Dave, to be our toastmaster so that he could take the ‘reins’ from his grandad and follow in his footsteps. He borrowed his grandad’s gavel, he was brilliant – he did us all proud!
Following our wedding we would absolutely recommend The Deanwater Hotel to other couples. The manager, Barry, provided an excellent and professional service. The staff are friendly and professional, nothing is too much to ask. The day went perfectly and we didn’t need to worry about a single thing.
Looking back I couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day as I loved it all so much. The emotion in the church, the drive back to the venue as husband and wife, when we arrived at the venue when we could walk round and say hello to everyone, sat at the meal seeing all of our friends and family enjoying themselves, the speeches, saying hello to our evening guests, dancing the night away with our loved ones.
After the wedding we went to Cheltenham for a three-day minimoon. It was relaxing and just what we needed after the busy few days, and weeks, we’d had. We are going on our proper honeymoon this month, we go to Dubai for two days and then on to Mauritius for ten days, we can’t wait!
The day goes so fast so my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every minute and take it all in. Also, try to spend a few moments throughout the day together, just the two of you.