Ladies, picture the nightmare scene – you’ve had your heart set on a particular wedding gown for years only to find that the designer as stopped producing it by the time it comes to planning your big day. Then imagine the delight when the designer offers to have a one-off of the dress especially made for you. Too good to be true, right? That’s what we thought, but for today’s real bride this was the reality when top British bridalwear designer Suzanne Neville had a discontinued design specially made for her.
So let’s get straight into Laura and Jonathon’s big day to see that super-special dress in action…
With images by Toni Darcy Photography.
laura says: We got engaged after ten years of being together in October 2015. Jonathan took me to Paris for a surprise weekend, I didn’t know where I was going until I got to the gate at Manchester Airport! Even after finding out we were going to Paris I had no idea he would propose, we had been together so long and I had always talked about getting engaged that I sort of resigned myself to the fact we might not get married for another ten years! On the second night in Paris after a lovely meal we walked over the bridge of the river Seine, stopped to take a selfie with the Eiffel Tower lit up behind us and there Jonathan got down on one knee! I later found out that he had the ring in his pocket all day whilst we were busy sightseeing, waiting for the perfect opportunity to pop the question!
We decided that we weren’t going to wait for years to get married, I had always known what type of wedding I wanted and we both agreed to get it moving for spring 2016. We looked at only one venue, we both wanted a marquee wedding reception and so The Inn at Whitewell, Clitheroe, was just perfect, we didn’t want to look anywhere else. The reason for the date was simply because we wanted to get married in the spring and the only Saturday available was 21st May, so that was booked and was to be the date of our big day!
We have both visited The Inn at Whitewell many times, it has beautiful surroundings and is just a gorgeous setting. We really wanted a marquee reception and to get married in church. The Inn is coupled with St Michaels Church, Whitewell, and just happens to be right next door to the venue. Perfect!
We didn’t have a set colour scheme as such, I had pale pink and soft golds in my invites, cake and decor in the venue, but chose navy blue for the men and girls in the wedding party.
I used to work in a bridal shop many years ago and I always had one dress that I loved – it was Aster by Suzanne Neville. Obviously I never tried on the dress in five years of working there, but always knew it was my style, my taste and one day would be my dress. When I started looking for my dress I was aware I needed to try a few other styles on but I knew I had to try Aster. I found the nearest Suzanne Neville stockist to me which was Emma Hartley Bridalwear in Colne. I spoke to them and asked if they could get hold of an Aster sample for me to try. It obviously proved difficult because it was a good few years old and Suzanne Neville didn’t even have a sample anymore. Anyway, after Emma speaking to Suzanne Neville about my dream dress she agreed that she would make me a one-off Aster dress. It was specially made at Suzanne Neville in Kensington and I absolutely loved it! Best decision ever made!
We hired suits for Jonathon and the groomsmen from Swarbricks Formal Hire, Heaton Park. They all wore three-piece matching navy suits. The ushers wore a navy tie and a navy and ivory spot hanky, while Jonathon wore an ivory tie and ivory hanky.
I had seven bridesmaids who wore long navy, strapless, chiffon dresses. I also had a ‘bridesman’. He also wore a navy three-piece suit with navy tie and spot hanky same as the ushers.
My niece Viola was our flower girl and wore an ivory top and navy ballerina style skirt.
Our day was captured by Toni Darcy and we would absolutely recommend her to other couples! She was fab, so laid back and took lots of natural/action shots! We couldn’t have asked any more of her.
For my bouquet, I carried champagne vandella roses, provided by Alternative Arrangements in Ramsbottom.
The wedding reception centrepieces were provided by Alternative Arrangements too and were a mix of simple candelabras and twig trees with hanging glass tea lights and roses. The tables were alternated with one or the other.
For the favours we filled glass jars with pink and gold sweets and finished them with a pale pink ribbon around the neck of the jar.
We chose a three-tier wedding cake, made by my friend, which had a pale pink tier with piped roses, a middle tier in plain pale gold and a third tier in pale pink piped roses the same as the top. We also had some silk roses made for the top of the cake, which we could keep afterwards.
To provide our evening wedding entertainment, we had a DJ and sax player from SIX15 Events. We had previously seen them play in all the top clubs in Manchester and loved what they do! We wanted a big party at night and that’s certainly what we got! The dance floor was packed all night, everyone loved it!
As we had an L&J logo design made by my brother for our invites, we decided to also hire light-up ‘L&J’ letters for the side of the dancefloor from Rock That Letter.
After our wedding, we would definitely recommend our choice of venue to other brides and grooms. The venue itself is so different, its set in beautiful surroundings and the staff just make everything else. Andrea the wedding planner had everything run so smoothly from start to finish, the day couldn’t have gone any better and it looked wonderful. It was exactly how we imagined it to be.
Looking back we have a couple of moments from the day that really stand out. The church obviously meant so much. We said our vows in front of all our family and friends so that was really special, being husband and wife officially was the best part but we also loved the big party at night, having everyone we know and love there was just fab! We loved every minute of it!
We hadn’t booked our honeymoon before the wedding but we knew we wanted to go to America, we just hadn’t quite narrowed it down. We booked it the week or so after the wedding as we were quite laid back about it. We picked Florida, having both been before as teenagers we wanted to go again. We didn’t want to spend all our time around a pool or a beach so this was the perfect pick for us. We did all the big parks, sunbathing and the best bit for me – shopping!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to take it all in your stride and be as laid back as possible. It’s easy to get stressed but I honestly think being calm and stress-free helps you enjoy it all that bit more, you take everything in and just enjoy it more.