As the editorial team take a short summer 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 31st August 2020 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings shared during the first half of 2020.
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.
It’s not often you see the words industrial and rustic in the same sentence – yet for Emma and Michael’s wedding at Owen House Wedding Barn, that’s exactly what was on the agenda.
Keen to create a subtly stylish reception that reflected their love of all things minimalist, this pair chose the barn venue for its blank canvas decor, meaning they could style it up as much as they wanted. In this instance, a lick of understated interior chic was the order of the day; think acrylic signs, foliage garlands and neon signs.
Of course, the fact the bride (who stunned in her silky Jesus Peiro wedding dress) runs her own wedding stationery and signage business helped, of course – be sure to check out Bobbin&Beau on Instagram to get a glimpse of more of her gorgeous designs. And her DIY extended beyond the stationery; Emma also created her own wedding flower arrangements, stretching all the way from her bouquet to the foliage runners that adorned the tables.
Read on to find out more about this couple’s sundrenched wedding day – and keep your eyes peeled for the most gorgeous hay bale portrait shots.
With photography by Ginger Beard Weddings
Emma says: We’ve never been particularly into PDAs or having the spotlight on us so Mike knew that when he proposed, it would be just the two of us and take place somewhere that was special to us.
Mike works shifts as a fireman so he planned it for a Sunday morning when he came home from work and knew I would still be asleep. He made out that he was bringing me breakfast in bed so he came upstairs with the breakfast tray in-hand with a single metal cloche on it. Underneath was the ring – I still joke with him that I never actually got my breakfast!
It was so spontaneous and personal! After a lot of tears and wondering whether I was actually still dreaming I obviously said yes. He told me he had been planning it for months but had been searching high and low for the perfect ring that would incorporate my love of Art Deco design! After months of scouring the country, he finally found ‘the one’ in a lovely jewellers in Knutsford. It’s a vintage 1920s ring and as soon as the jeweller showed it to him, he knew it was the one!
I honestly couldn’t believe it was mine when he gave it to me. I would never have found something so perfect myself! The Art Deco theme continued as Mike told me he had booked us into The Midland Hotel in Manchester that night, which was somewhere I had always wanted to go to. We had spa treatments, afternoon tea and the most beautiful dinner at San Carlo, which is where we had previously celebrated our first anniversary. The whole day felt absolutely surreal and as cliched as it may sound, it was like being in a dream.
We got married on March 30th 2019. I had always wanted to get married in either spring or autumn because I love the colours of those seasons. I’d like to say there was a deep and meaningful reason behind that specific date but the boring reality behind it is our venue was a lot cheaper that weekend than one in April or September!
Our ceremony was at our local church, St. Matthew’s in Haslington. My parents and grandparents had both married there and my sister and I were christened there, so it holds a lot of special memories.
The reception was at Owen House Wedding Barn in Mobberley. We knew as soon as we started planning that we loved barn-style weddings but we wanted somewhere that was a bit more blank canvas and not filled with wheelbarrows!
Owen House had the ‘less is more’ look we were after but still retained all the industrial charm and cosy laidback vibes we wanted. We knew as soon as we spoke to Dan the owner that they understood exactly what we were going for and would be able to offer us all the flexibility we needed to bring our ideas to life.
The team at the venue was incredibly professional and took care of absolutely everything so we knew we didn’t need to worry about anything getting overlooked or forgotten. They are so experienced in what they do and everything runs so smoothly with them; you know you’re in safe hands and you feel like your big day is just as important to them as it is to you. The attention to detail they offer is second to none and all our guests commented on what an incredible venue it was. I’m so pleased we chose it for our big day!
We didn’t really have a theme as such. We wanted to make the day as personal as possible so I suppose the theme was ‘us’!
As I mentioned before, I love Art Deco design so I decided to subtly incorporate this into our invitations by using a simple geometric design in gold foil stamping. We also used traditional printing techniques such as letterpress to reflect this idea too – although I’m sure it was only us that made that connection!
We are both very much into a minimal aesthetic and don’t like fuss. We were keen to make sure any decorative elements would be stunning in their simplicity rather than blowing the budget on huge floral displays or elaborate centrepieces. Although it was a barn wedding, we definitely weren’t going for a rustic look – we wanted to combine the industrial features with modern yet simplistic elements like eucalyptus garlands, acrylic signage and neon signs. If I had to put a name to it, I think I’d call it more ‘industrial glam’ than rustic.
We didn’t have a colour scheme as we wanted everything to look very natural and organic rather than engineered. We used a lot of foliage and the limited flowers we did have were mostly white, so it was all very neutral.
I wore a Jesus Peiro dress from The White Closet in Didsbury. I knew when I started trying on dresses that I was drawn to the simpler dresses, where the silhouette or fabric was the feature rather than beading or embroidered details.
I loved the Jesus Peiro dresses as soon as I tried them because they fit so beautifully and they were showstopping without being too fussy. The one I chose was in ivory taffeta ‘Mikado’, with a very full underskirt for added drama and delicate criss-cross straps at the back.
I had always wanted a dress with a massive statement bow though so I found a wonderful seamstress who was able to create one from images I had seen online. It was oversized and asymmetric so it offered a really modern yet playful element to the dress… I was so chuffed with it!
Mike and the groomsmen wore navy suits from Whitfield & Ward. Mike had some really specific ideas about what he wanted and Whitfield & Ward was brilliant because they had so many options that he could try on there and then.
He opted for a tweed waistcoat and paired it with a burgundy tie with a pheasant pattern on it and a paisley patterned pocket square… It was very English country gentleman!
The groomsmen’s suits were also from Whitfield & Ward. They wore the same navy suits but had navy waistcoats and a tweed tie to match Mike’s waistcoat.
I had two bridesmaids: my sister Helen and my best friend Hannah. They wore the same Dessy dress from 7th Heaven Bridal in Congleton. It was a one-shoulder dress in a blueish grey colour with a subtle side split on the skirt.
As with my dress, I didn’t want anything too fussy (which they were very happy about!) so it was very elegantly understated but looked stunning on both of them!
We didn’t have any flower girls but we had three page boys: my two nephews and Hannah’s little boy, all of them were under the age of two! They each wore trousers, shirt, waistcoat and a bow tie from Marks & Spencer and we dressed them up with some cute braces for the evening reception.
Sophie Bruno was my make-up artist… she was awesome!
We used Classic Wedding Cars Cheshire. We hired a beautiful vintage Mk 2 Jaguar in ivory. Chris, the owner and chauffeur, is a lovely guy – incredibly professional and friendly. I can’t recommend him enough.
Our photographer was Ginger Beard Weddings.
We had a trailer included as part of our photography package so Nick from Crystal Logic did all of the filming. We would definitely recommend him.
I created all of the bouquets and floral arrangements myself. My bouquet was made up largely of greenery, including different types of eucalyptus and olive branches, and I also incorporated some white floral elements such as ranunculus, astilbe, anemones, broom, veronica caya and dried globe thistles. I purchased all of the flowers and foliage from an online wholesaler called Triangle Nursery and a few bits from a local florist.
I created long eucalyptus and ruscus garlands for the tables and intertwined them with tealights in cut glass whiskey tumblers.
I designed individual menus for each guest and attached their name tag to the top with a gold eyelet. We also printed out the story behind each item on the menu and why we had selected it to make it really personal to us.
The entrance to the reception venue was decorated with glass lanterns and more whiskey tumblers with tea lights and we hung metal memo boards above them to display family polaroid photos.
I created all of the wedding signage myself, which included a hand-painted plywood A-frame as a welcome board, a hand-painted wooden seating plan that we displayed on an easel, a hand-painted itinerary sign that was hung from a metal rail and displayed with neon initials underneath, and a large acrylic sign which we hung behind the top table and decorated with a ruscus garland.
I also hand-lettered individual acrylic signs for the table names and guestbook. The venue already had some festoon lights but we added an installation of vintage bulb droplets above the top table to add to the cosy ambience.
We created a DIY photobooth using a copper archway decorated with greenery and a hand-lettered acrylic sign with our names and wedding date on and left a Polaroid camera with the guestbook so guests could stick their photo next to their message.
We wanted to make sure our guests felt really looked after so we put out flip-flops for the ladies to get rid of their heels for dancing and stocked the bathrooms with perfume and toiletries for them to use. The kids all had their own cotton bags with hand-painted names, which included games and activities for during the wedding breakfast. We included floral crowns for all the little girls to wear which they absolutely loved and still like to dress up in now!
We used Hipswing for the additional lighting at the reception venue. They were great because the booking process was so simple and they looked after everything with the venue, which removed a lot of stress for us!
We gave charity pins as favours. The charities we chose were The Alzheimer’s Society and Prostate Cancer UK.
My brother-in-law’s sister is a cake maker and decorator so she very kindly provided the cake; her business is called The Fab Patisserie. It was a three-tiered cake with lemon, coconut and banana layers. It was a semi-naked cake using cream cheese frosting and we decorated it with the same greenery as my bouquet.
We used Vanilla In All Seasons for the catering and they were amazing!
We had some very specific ideas about what we wanted for the food from the word go as we wanted it to be completely personal to us and reflect all the things we like the most. We chose bellinis and beers as our welcome drinks as neither of us are particularly keen on wine or Champagne; we also had troughs full of different beers, ginger beer and pink lemonade for the guests to help themselves to during the meal.
We chose a Mediterranean sharing platter for the starter as that is our go-to kind of food whenever we go out to eat, as it means we can try a little bit of everything! We had pie and mash for the main meal. This was a reference to our very first date when I ordered a massive pie which Mike was very jealous of but – due to nerves and a poor choice of outfit – I couldn’t finish it and Mike felt like it was too early-on to swoop in and finish it off! Ever since, he’s wanted to finish that pie off!
We decided to forego a traditional sit-down dessert as we would very rarely eat dessert ourselves. However, we love to go out for coffee so instead we hired a little Piaggio Ape van from The Little Espresso Co., which pitched up outside and served every kind of coffee and hot chocolate under the sun. We also enjoyed the most amazing cannolis, provided by The Little Orange Co. They even made babyccinos for the little guests!
We created treat bags filled with our favourite snacks (chocolate pretzels and popcorn) for the guests to help themselves to when they arrived at the venue.
We hired a band called The Cassettes for the evening reception and they were incredible! We had a Prince song for our first dance – obviously this was a very tall order but the lead singer, Bjorn, absolutely nailed it and the dancefloor was full all night!
Bjorn also did an acoustic set during the day whilst the guests arrived, which created such a chilled-out vibe in the sunshine.
The day was such a whirlwind of excitement and happiness, so it’s difficult to pinpoint one moment. One really special memory I know I’ll never forget is the overwhelming emotion of standing at the end of the aisle with my lovely dad, seeing Mike waiting at the other end and hearing the music beginning to play… I still get goosebumps when I hear that song!
We went to Bali and we absolutely loved it! We chose to travel around a little so we went to Seminyak for four nights, Ubud for five nights and Sanur for the last four nights. Each place was so different to one another so we really felt like we got a taste of the real Bali and it offered a great mix of sightseeing, relaxing and culture.
There is an incredible food scene out there and the locals are incredibly friendly and accommodating so it ticked all our boxes and we can’t wait to go back!
Try not to get so caught up in the stress of planning the wedding that you lose sight of the bigger picture! It’s really easy to let fear and panic dictate your decisions so there were certain things that I panic-booked because I was scared that if I left it too late, everything would be booked up. In hindsight, however, I may have made different choices.
Make a list of what are the most important elements to you both and put your energy into getting those right and everything else will just fall into place. Everyone will tell you that the day goes so fast… They’re right. Make sure you take a bit of time out to soak it all up and enjoy everything you’ve been planning for months!