Pinecones, foliage, tiny baubles, a traditional Christmas dinner and a pop of silver hues – today’s wedding is brimming in cool winter vibes, but in the most stylish and understated of ways.
Tying the knot at exquisite Manchester city centre venue, King Street Tonwhouse, Clare and George wanted to do things a little differently, and ditching the typically sought-after summer’s wedding for a winter’s date was just one of the ways they put a big Christmassy and very personal stamp on their big day.
We just love the wintery combo of wreaths, candles and seasonal chocolates, not to mention an impressive four-tiered cake adorned with cascading snowflakes. And then there’s Clare’s fabulously pretty beaded, mermaid style dress – vintage chic at its best. Here’s the bride to give us all the deets…
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography
Clare says: George and I had booked to go to Barcelona for my 30th birthday. I love meticulously planning any trip, so only had the day that we arrived without anything in place, to allow for any delays or issues when we got there. As we landed, George told me that he had booked a restaurant for lunch, which caused me major panic as I hadn’t had time to peruse the menu in detail beforehand! It was such a lovely setting, on Mount Tibidabo, overlooking the whole of the city. After we had eaten, George got down on one knee and popped the question! Of course, I said yes!
We got married on 15th December and chose a winter wedding as lots of our friends and family have been married in the summer so wanted to do something different.
We had our whole wedding, ceremony and reception, at King Street Townhouse in Manchester city centre. As I’m originally from Newcastle, it was important that our wedding was close to transport links and good accommodation, as we had guests travelling from all over the country. This was the only venue that we viewed for our wedding as we had been to a party there the year before; we knew we loved it back then. It definitely suited our taste – classic with some modern and unique twists and all of the staff there were incredible, especially Natalie our wedding coordinator, who made everything run smoothly from start to finish.
We knew we wanted a winter theme, without making the venue look like Santa’s grotto! We chose silvers, greys and whites, which complemented the venue perfectly.
Before I went dress shopping with my mam, I thought I had a clear idea in my head of what I would wear. The first boutique I visited in Newcastle, Y.A.P Bridal Boutique, which has the most beautiful story behind it, was so gorgeous; from the girls who worked there, to the smell and the atmosphere, it was dreamy. I met Heather and explained my ideas but before long, with her expert assistance, I knew that look did not suit me. I tried on the most amazing Rosa Clara Lewis gown, which had a beaded top and soft, mermaid skirt, and fell in love immediately. After visiting a few more boutiques and trying on around 15 dresses, nothing compared, and I went back to buy Lewis. I knew I didn’t want a veil so opted for a vintage style hair comb, which I wore with Hollywood waves. I wore shoes from Dune.
Kirsty Stewart and Lisa Ray from House of Finesse, Altrincham, had the task of glamming up me, my mam and my bridesmaids – I felt a million dollars! I wish I had them on hand every day.
My bridesmaids wore the same style dress in different shades of grey and silver from Brides Dream in Newcastle. It was important to have a style which suited all four girls and was able to be worn by my 13-year-old cousin, as well as my sister and friends.
George’s uncle owns a Maserati so he drove me and my dad from our house in Sale. I think I’m the only bride who has been ready early for her wedding, we spent almost an hour driving up and down the M60 to fill in the time!
Our photographer was Kate McCarthy and we cannot recommend her enough. We stumbled across her on Instagram by searching for people who had photographed our venue. She was so much more than a photographer and made everyone feel so at ease. She captured some great shots which truly show how much of an amazing day it was.
Our flowers were provided by Helen Taylor at Taylor Made Blooms. We went for winter flowers with foliage and pinecones from my auntie’s garden.
We provided the room decorations ourselves. For centrepieces, we bought winter wreaths with candles and for the top table, we had a pre-lit garland, all from Marks and Spencer.
We also have some very talented family members and friends so George’s sister, Holly, created our invitations with signage for the venue to match, while my friend, Rachael Lucy, who owns Loved By Lucy lettering service, made our name place cards, which were sat in tiny bauble holders and also our table plan, which were named after Santa’s reindeers.
For favours, as it was Christmas, we provided a selection of seasonal chocolates because who doesn’t love chocolate?
My auntie also made our four-tiered cake which was decorated with cascading fondant snowflakes. I almost cried when I saw it! Everyone commented on how tasty it was and then we used the bottom tier as the family Christmas cake.
We love food so it was important for this to be a big part of the day. We served prosecco and canapés during the drinks reception, followed by ham hock terrine, a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and then a trio of Christmas desserts. Later on, we had mini kebabs, fish and chips, pizza and peri peri chicken to soak up all the alcohol!
We chose The Black Jacks as our wedding band who also provided a DJ service. This suited both of our tastes in music and they even played, Children Of The Night for all the Geordie guests!
One of my best friends and bridesmaids, Kelly, wrote us a poem and read it during the ceremony which was so touching and filled the room with so much emotion.
We would 100% recommend King Street Townhouse to any couples looking for a city centre venue. The views from the terrace are stunning and even in December it made a gorgeous backdrop for our photos. From the moment we began to plan our wedding, Natalie was always available to answer my one thousand questions and make sure everything was just as we wanted it. When guests’ feet were hurting during the night-time, they provided spa slippers so that everyone could carry on dancing!
My favourite part of the day was having all of our friends and family all together. It’s the one time in your life that this will happen and we are so grateful to everyone who travelled for our day.
We are just about to go on our honeymoon to New York and Florida. Straight after the wedding we spent a few days in Harrogate and then had Christmas with our families, so it has been nice to still have something to look forward to.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is: don’t get caught up in the small stuff. Nice food, plenty to drink and a good atmosphere is what made our day, and this is what people will remember. And also, take time to be with your parents and soak up everything that is going on around you, as it really will be the best day of your life!
I was a big fan of Instagram when planning the wedding and found all my inspiration and suppliers on here, including the Brides Up North account. I loved seeing other brides and weddings and taking ideas to make them suit our style and venue.