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 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016.
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.
Today we’re recapping the wedding of teenage sweethearts Mike and Cara, who have been together since the tender age of sixteen.
While we love to see couples going all out with an imaginative themed wedding, we also feel there’s nothing better than a celebration that is simple and elegant in its appearance, as is the case today. Bride Cara decided to steer clear of gimmicks and plan a classic and romantic big day, complete with a chic muted colour scheme and picturesque venue.
For us the stand out part of the wedding has to be Cara’s choice of attire – her Maggie Sottero fitted dress and floor-length veil are nothing short of sensational!
With images by our sensational Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
cara says: Mike proposed to me while we were staying at a boutique hotel in Manchester, The Great John Street Hotel – it was just before we were going to Australia for a year to live. In the evening we had a meal at a restaurant with Australasian cuisine and then went onto a couple of champagne bars. While we were out Mike had arranged for the hotel staff to go into our room and fill it with rose petals and candles. When we returned I went into the room and turned around to find Mike on one knee.
We set the date for 15th October 2015. I wanted an autumn wedding, as I love the oranges and reds on the trees at that time of year, and the grounds at our venue were amazing, so I wanted to make the most of them.
Our chosen venue was Eaves Hall, in Ribble Valley. We fell in love with the venue as soon as we went to visit it. It was elegant without all of the ‘old’ soft furnishings that you can tend to get with manor houses. We also loved the fact that it was completely exclusive and that the venue had 30 rooms for our guests to stay in. The good thing about the venue is that there are plenty of different rooms so people could do what they wanted. Some of the guests were dancing, whilst others were having a nice wine by the fire, with it being a mild evening some of our guests were outside and some in the bar / lounge and snooker room. It just made for a really relaxed environment where people could enjoy the day and evening.
I wanted the wedding to be simple, elegant and romantic. The venue is grand enough to keep the decorations to a minimum. I wanted our wedding to stand the test of time and so tended to stay away from gimmicks.
We had a colour scheme made up of neutral tones. Our invites and place settings were white with black writing – very simple. However my bouquet and the other flowers did feature pinks, purples and blues, which added a pop of colour. We wanted the day to be relaxed and romantic so we didn’t over face with too many colours / bits and pieces. For centre pieces we opted for elegant candelabras.
I chose a Maggie Sottero fishtail dress that was from The Bridal Lounge of Accrington. My bridal tailor, Sandra Errington from SE Alterations, was so good and made the dress fit like a glove. I have to give credit to the bridal shop assistants too as they were the ones who selected my dress for me. I originally wanted a slim design however throughout my appointment they guided me to my perfect dress.
I added a bolero for the day, which again was from the Bridal Lounge of Accrington. I also had a floor length veil, which added to the dress. I kept my hair simple so as not to detract from the dress.
Mike and his best man wore racing green suits from Debenhams. We wanted a relaxed look so opted against tails.
I only had my sister Kerryanne as bridesmaid, again to keep the wedding simple. She picked a very pale pink dress that was from Susan Craig Bridal Wear.
My niece Payton was a flower girl and we got her dress from Monsoon, while my nephew Ethan was page boy. His suit was from Debenhams.
We stayed over at the lodge at Eaves Hall, just at the bottom of the drive, the night before the wedding and then went up to the main house to get ready in the morning. Mike got ready at the main house as well (in a separate room). It was so easy staying over the night before, as I didn’t have the stress of getting to the venue on my wedding day.
James Tracey was our photographer and we would highly recommend him to other couples. He was amazing and the photos he took are unbelievable. He put everyone at ease and took some really great photos that truly captured the day and emotions.
Our flowers were from Flowers with Passion and included Quicksand, Sweet Avalanche and Vendella roses, gyp, viburnum, rice flower and rosemary. My sister had the same style bouquet as me, just a little smaller.
Flowers with Passion also provided the floral decorations at the venue. On the top table we had bottles of flowers rested on square mirror plates. The flowers were the same as the flowers in my bouquet. The bottles were trimmed with lace for a romantic feel and we also had rose petals scattered on the table. For the centrepieces on the tables we had candelabras, supplied by Eaves Hall, and rose petals scattered on the tables.
As favours we gave each of our guests a scratch card, though no one won big!
As I’m not a massive sweet lover and we’d already organised a dessert as part of our wedding breakfast, we opted for a wedding cake made of cheese from The Churchmouse. The company was amazing, they came later on in the day to set up and decorated the cheese cake with seasonal fruit, seeds, crackers and chutney. The cake was made up of different cheeses that Mike and I selected.
We chose the foods for our wedding breakfast after attending a tasting at Eaves Hall. It was very difficult to pick as all the food was delicious. Mike and I both chose a starter, main and dessert each and then chose the vegetarian options. We just wanted everyone to love the wedding breakfast, which they did.
We had wine to match the food that we also picked at the tasting. For the drinks reception we had champagne and strawberries and bottles of Peroni. We also had a cocktail menu with drinks named by Mike and me. The cocktails on offer were: Morrison Martini, Cara’s Cosmopolitan and Mike’s Mojito.
We had a hog roast for the evening food, with salads and dips. This was positioned just outside the front entrance and made a great alterative for the evening food.
Entertainment wise my piano teacher Wayne Gorner played the piano during the day. It was lovely having someone who I knew play the music as I walked up the aisle and throughout the day. In the evening we went for the Eaves Hall recommended DJ at Dancefloor Couture.
Following our wedding we would recommend Eaves Hall to others brides and grooms. The venue is breath-taking, the service impeccable and the food unbelievable! Everyone who attended was blown away by the whole day and commented on how professional the staff were. The venue also provides the perfect back drop for wedding photos.
Looking back I’d say my favourite part of the day was walking up the aisle. It is a feeling that I have never had before and I wish I could do it again. It was lovely that everyone who we loved was in one room and Mike’s face was so cute at the top of the aisle. I love the photos that James has taken, he has truly captured how proud my dad was.
Another favourite part of my day was at the end of the wedding celebrations when everyone had gone to bed, as it was a mild evening Mike and I got a blanket, bottle of champagne and cheese and sat on our balcony and had an hour to ourselves before bed where we reflected on the day and was able to soak up what had happened.
For our honeymoon we went to New York, Orlando and Miami. We have never been to New York and was definitely on our ‘to do list’ – it was amazing! We spent five days in NY then flew over to Orlando where we spent six days at the theme parks and then we drove down to Miami for three days.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – don’t get stressed over the small things, they don’t matter in the end. As long as the food is good and there are plenty of drinks everyone is happy. Also, Mike and I stuck together all day and greeted and spoke to people as a couple rather than on our own. This meant we spent all of our wedding day together, something I’d encourage other couples to do.