Crewe Hall’s 10 must-have wedding photos

Photos create lasting memories of a wedding for the happy couple, as they capture unique moments that can bring the emotions and feelings of the day flooding back even years later.
Whilst posed family photos are still on the list of things to capture, they’ve been overtaken by a number of must-have Instagram-inspired photos, as brides aim to inspire others with their creative ideas.
Crewe Hall’s expert Wedding Executive, Andrew Foster, compiled a list of the 10 must-have pictures based on his experience of the many weddings at Crewe Hall each year. He also shared his top tips to help brides and grooms prepare their wedding photo checklist in advance, ensuring they don’t miss a single moment.

Getting ready

Getting ready is a special part of the big day to look back on as it reminds couples of the intimate and personal time spent with their closest friends and family before the arrival of any guests.
And, as bridal parties opt for matching dressing gowns and accessories in true Pinterest style, the moment now makes for really beautiful photo opportunities of the coordinated wedding party.
We always advise couples to ask their photographers to arrive early, to capture those behind-the-scenes moments of joy and laughter like these matching bridesmaids shared.


Photo credit: Neil Jackson

The gown

There’s no doubt that the wedding dress is the star of the show on the big day and we’re seeing plenty of show-stopping photos of bridal gowns before the wedding, so the bride can remember what it was like seeing it for the first time.
One of the more traditional photos is of the dress hung from a wardrobe door, mirror or window but, for something more creative, we’ve seen closer shots of the detail on a particular element of the dress, such as a lace neckline.
Another quirky photo trend is to capture the dress surrounded by nature or against a floral backdrop.


Photo credit: Nick Pumphrey

The shoes

Shoes are becoming a key item of the bridal attire and focus for wedding photography.
We’re seeing brides get creative with shoes, wearing converse, wellies or customised shoes hidden under the dress. We’ve even had brides with messages or prints on the sole of their shoe to communicate a romantic or funny message.


Photo credit: Chiyo McMillan

First look

There are so many ‘first looks’ to capture, from the moment the father of the bride sees his daughter in her dress for the first time, to when guests see the bridesmaids walking down the aisle.
Couples should ensure their photographer is prepared and ideally positioned to capture each of these special moments throughout the day. They also need to know who the key people are, so that they can move around accordingly to get the best photos.
One particular trend for first look photos is incorporating different relationships and emotions, such as a father giving his daughter away and a groom seeing his wife-to-be.


Photo credit: Aden Priest


A gentle flutter of confetti has always been a key photo, but Instagram and Pinterest have taken the iconic shot to the next level, with flurries of confetti used to create a full-on action shot or close up.
Speak with your wedding venue in advance to find out the best spots for confetti photos and, for full effect, leave a bag of confetti on each seat to ensure the guests have it to hand on the day.


Photo credit: Nick Pumphrey

Wedding stationery

Stationery shots are an increasingly important element of the wedding photography and a great way of showing off a chosen style or theme.
We’ve seen wedding stationery, such as menus, guest name cards and favours, carefully positioned side by side on table place settings in the popular ‘unpackaging’ style made famous on Instagram, YouTube and with bloggers.


Photo credit: Neil Jackson

Perfect kiss

Possibly the most emotional photo of them all – the kiss.
We’ve seen this done in so many romantic ways, both inside and outside of our venues. Some of the most creative shots have been outside in the rain with the bride and groom under an umbrella or with fireworks as a striking backdrop. These types of shots are best achieved away from all the guests in a private area in the grounds of the venue.
We’re seeing more and more brides and grooms taking advantage of the scenery on offer in the grounds of their venue.


Photo credit: Chiyo McMillan

The cake

We’re increasingly seeing shots of the cake on its own, such as on top of a wooden table for a rustic wedding theme.
For those opting for an unusual choice of cake, such as a cheese masterpiece, naked cake or stack of pancakes, they should consider a quirky choice of angle or close-up shot to capture it in all its glory.


Bridal portrait

For many brides, the wedding is the culmination of months of prep, so they want to know they’ll have plenty of pictures of them in their gown to look back to.
Plus, a posed shot worthy of a fashion magazine can make brides feel extra-special as a model for the day.
If the dress has a train or a puddle, the best way to achieve this photo is from behind with the back of the dress perfectly laid out to capture any embellishments and lace detail.
Shots like this are typically taken earlier on in the day, but it’s essential for brides to speak with their wedding venue about the best time, particularly if they’re hoping to incorporate sunsets or particular areas of the venue into the background.


Photo credit: Neil Jackson

First dance

Perhaps one of the most memorable aspects of the wedding, the first dance is something all couples should include in their wedding photo checklist.
The photographer should have a good view of the couple during this time, to photograph the twists and turns as they move across the dance floor. We think photos taken from above, offer a particularly magical look.


Photo credit: Aden Priest
Have you taken any creative wedding photos? Enter them into Crewe Hall’s Wedding Photo Awards, a search for Cheshire’s best wedding photos on and QHotels’ Instagram page (@QHotelsGroup). For more information, visit:

Wedding Jewellery traditions – an inspirational guide.

Wedding Jewellery traditions – an inspirational guide.



Traditionally a gift given as a symbol of perfection, purity and innocence, in ancient Greek mythology it was believed that pearls would bestow marital bliss. These days it’s as much about accessorizing as anything else, however it’s a nice custom and these are often given by the groom or the father of the bride before her special day. A simple row of pearls or a pair of pearl stud earrings are very classic and timeless options.

Bridesmaids Jewellery

This much-loved tradition is as much about the special bond of friendships between the bride and her bridesmaids as it is the gift of giving. Every bride wants to look fabulous with her bridesmaids on the day and what better way than with a glamourous piece of jewellery ‘twinkling’ in the wedding photographs. It’s also a precious memory of their help and support on your big day and something they will always treasure. Dependent upon budgets and themes, the choice is endless but a pendant or bracelet is often the popular choice, which could tie in with the bride’s theme of wedding or even the colour scheme.

Best men Jewellery – Cufflinks


Cufflinks are customary given to the best man or ushers as gifts, as a thank you for their help on the day. These can sometimes be replaced with other gifts such as hipflasks, keyrings, etc. A nice touch if you are choosing gifts is to personalise them with engraving or give a gift themed to your wedding. The bride may give her groom a pair of cufflinks on the morning of the wedding day, a nice memento between the two of you and a gift he can still wear even after the weding. Why not have them engraved with your wedding date – then there is no excuse to forget your wedding anniversary in the future!

Wedding Rings

furrer jacot1

An ancient tradition dating as far back as ancient Egypt and in western culture, Greek and Roman times, symbolising a circle of eternity and perpetual love. the custom of exchanging rings however derived from the customs of Europe in the middle ages and traditionally wedding rings were always made of a precious metal, usually 22ct gold, however these days the choice of metals and styles is much wider and the process of choosing wedding rings is much more exciting for couples. The influence of personality and styles is often a major deciding factor, particularly in a unique bespoke designed piece.

The old saying: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”


An old wedding rhyme and tradition that you can have some fun with!
It goes without saying that these words are open to your imagination and interpretation but for example the ‘something old’ could be a great grandmothers piece of jewellery passed down through the family and the ‘something new’ could be the bride treating herself to something special for the day or she may receive a gift of jewellery from the groom or her family on the morning of the special day. ‘Something borrowed’ could be a bracelet or pair of earrings borrowed from your mum or mother in-law. Maybe something worn on their wedding day. ‘Something blue’ this could be a piece of jewellery with a blue stone such as a Sapphire, Aquamarine or Topaz. Depending upon the dress and your look on the day will determine how visible you want it to be. If all else fails, you could just wear a blue garter!

Henry D Johnstone Jewellers
59 Park Lane
SK12 1RD

T:01625 872470

Lucky in Love – The 21 World Wedding Traditions To Bring You Good Fortune

Lucky in Love – The 21 World Wedding Traditions To Bring You Good Fortune

New research from 888Poker finds some of the wedding rituals you might not know, from animal gifts to stealing shoes – and finds nearly half of UK residents wore a lucky charm to their wedding.

Everyone loves a wedding. Spirits are high, drinks are flowing, the best man is shaving the groom, the mother-in-law is throwing ducks at the bride…

Weddings are different for every culture around the world. And now a new infographic from 888Poker lets you see a collection of the most interesting and most colourful – though it’s up to you whether you want to include them in your own special day.

A Different Type of Wedding Bell

Some of the rituals might be more familiar – like throwing the bouquet or breaking a glass – but others won’t be. While nearly 75% of UK unmarried couples wouldn’t get married without the (Western) traditional collection of things old, new, borrowed, and blue, would they be willing to borrow an old tradition like:

  • Running away? – in Venezuela, it’s good luck for the newly-married couple to attempt to escape undetected during the reception.
  • Baumstamm Sägen? – in Germany, the couple work together with a two-handed saw to cut a log, representing the first obstacle the couple must jointly overcome.
  • Joota Chupai? – in India, when the groom enters the temple, he has to take off his shoes. The eldest unmarried girls from the bride’s family then steal them, and there ensues a friendly struggle between the families over them. Usually it ends in the shoes being ransomed back to the poor groom.
  • Bell breaking? – in Guatemala, the groom’s mother breaks a specially-made ceramic bell filled with grains, as a symbol of prosperity. Not to be confused with Irish bells, where you’re only meant to ring it!
  • Wedding ducks? – a Korean tradition in which caved wooden ducks or geese are thrown to the bridge by her mother-in-law. Mandarin ducks mate for life, representing the marriage, and whether the bride catches it or not supposedly affects the gender of her first child.

The piece is accompanied by a survey of the UK’s own beliefs on weddings – which found results like:

  • Over 70% of men believe it’s bad luck to see their bride in her wedding dress before the big day.
  • 10% of those who cohabit would stray from tradition and have the bride make a speech on the day as well as the groom, best man, and bride’s father.
  • Over 25% believe in some form of lucky wedding ritual.
  • Nearly 12% of women say that they would be prepared to propose to their (hopefully) future husbands, breaking with the one-sided tradition.

Whether you’re looking for a bit of extra luck at your wedding, or have some unusual traditions of your own, have a look at some of the other rituals and traditions from around the world in the infographic here.

Crewe Hall launches Wedding Photo Awards 2017


Crewe Hall has launched its annual search for South Cheshire’s best wedding photos, as the QHotels Wedding Photo Awards opens for entries on Facebook and Instagram.

After receiving over 2,500 entries and votes in the first Wedding Photo Awards last year, Crewe Hall is now calling for entries to the 2017 competition, which will celebrate the memorable moments captured at weddings, from the funny to the romantic.
Anyone in the UK can submit a photo – whether an experienced photographer or a guest at a wedding – by posting it on QHotels’ Facebook or Instagram page using the hashtag #WeddingPhotoAwards, along with the name of the category they wish to enter.
The winner of each category will receive a one-night QHotels break for two with dinner.

The 2017 Wedding Photo Award categories are:

  • Best ‘first look’ photo
  • Funniest wedding photo
  • Best ‘perfect kiss’ photo
  • Best ‘first dance’ photo
  • Best ‘themed wedding’ photo

Entries will close on 3rd July when QHotels’ expert wedding panel will announce the shortlist for each category, before going to a public vote on social media to decide the winner.
Andrew Jamieson, General Manager at Crewe Hall, launched the awards, saying: “We received some fantastic entries from the people of South Cheshire into last year’s competition, from stunning black and white photography, to comically-staged group photographs and photo-bombed selfies.”
“We’re expecting to see even more creative shots entered into the 2017 awards, as brides and grooms-to-be take their inspiration from social media channels, such as Instagram and Pinterest. We can’t wait to see more wonderful and unique photos!”

Crewe Hall

For more information about Crewe Hall’s Wedding Photo Awards and how to enter, please visit:, or @QHotelsgroup on Instagram.

Precious Things Event Styling


Bridal bouquets are a tricky thing to decide on as they can make or break a bridal outfit. You don’t want to take anything away from THE dress (or suit), however you do want to make enough of a fuss to draw the eye towards your attire and compliment it in a way that guarantees your wedding guests will swoon for months to come!

When Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton in 1964 (image above) she went all out on her bridal outfit flowers. They weren’t just in her sweet, yet colourful canary yellow bouquet (which complemented her gorgeous yellow coat) they were also cascaded through her hair like a pretty daisy garden on a beautiful day in Spring. That lady knows how to get noticed!

At Precious Things HQ in Poynton, Cheshire, the making of bridal bouquets is a very frequent occurrence however, not one is ever called ‘regular’. Head Florist and owner of Precious Things Event Styling, Jacklyn Muldoon (seen above with her husband Steven in 2014), says “the bridal bouquet is the best and first presentation of the flowers of the day. Whether they are petite, very structured and colourful, or large, loose and trailing, we treat them like they are the main event”.

Increasingly, bridal bouquets are incorporating more and more foliage. So they don’t have to be full of mega-expensive roses that will leave no budget for your bridal party flowers. Foliage like eucalyptus leaves or berries, asparagus fern and even the quite weighty but very striking succulent plants are common choices for bouquets in recent years.

As illustrated in the images above, using the flowers to add a pop of colour (dark or light) can really enhance the bridalwear. And it’s not just the brides who can get in on this, colourful buttonholes will make any groom’s crushed velvet jacket or plain grey morning suit come alive.

In conclusion, do your research when it comes to your bridal bouquet and bridal party flowers…look at different styles you might not have thought of before (Pinterest is great for this) and remember, there are no strict rules…just make it yours’.


Post by: Precious Things Event Styling 01625 433555

The Confetti Box Bridal Centre

Special promotion weekend 17th – 18th – 19th March

20% off all new orders taken on the new designer gowns for the 2017/2018 season it’s very exciting, it’s all things Disney.

Celebrating our favourite Disney movie, come and….

“Be our guest, be our guest”

Unlock the princess within, when booking your exquisite gown at The Confetti Box Bridal Centre.

(Terms and conditions apply)

Come along to one of Best Bridal stores in the North West. Winners of national awards and regional awards. This Family run business is second to none. Holding all the top designers to date…. Maggie Sottero, Ronald Joyce, Mori Lee and many more.

The Confetti Box is housed over four floors with a fantastic choice for the bride and groom. The private viewing rooms are beautiful, tasteful and decorated to the highest standard, which reflects the professionalism of the Confetti Box Team who take care of their brides from the initial consultation through to the big day.

All fittings are done in house by a team of amazing ladies. The gown is hand pressed and then hand finished the week before the wedding. Every detail is covered ensuring a smooth delivery and pick up for the bride.

Wedding’s abroad

These are now increasingly popular and The Confetti Box can hand press and professionally pack your gown in a specially designed forever box with reinforced sides to go on the plane as hand luggage.

Once the wedding has taken place The Confetti Box has a dry cleaning service in place so they can clean, press and hand finish the dress in time for your party here at home.

                     “The brides first and only stop should be”………

                   The Confetti Box Bridal Centre established 30yrs

                                For all your Bridal requirements.

The Confetti Box

19 Church Street, Eccles, Manchester M30 0DF

Telephone: 0161 788 8210


A Three Day Wedding!

Upper House Wedding Venue from Upper House on Vimeo.

Upper House is a beautiful setting for a wonderful weekend of wedding celebrations. Previously a Hunting Lodge, the House boasts former residents such as the Knights Templar and Agatha Christie’s family.


Upper House believe that one day of celebrations is not enough to make the most of this wonderful venue. The venue offers full weekend events for you and your guests to create unforgettable memories in a truly stunning setting.


The House has accommodation for 28 resident guests, for a three day retreat with your close family and friends. The beautiful venue is located in the heart of Britain, nestled within the mountain side and surrounded by the breath taking views of Kinder Scout, in the Peak District National Park.


These magnificent surroundings provide a tranquil setting for your day, with plentiful scenic backdrops for prefect wedding photo opportunities.


Upper House hosts twelve exclusive events per year. Each and every Bride and Groom receives a bespoke service from the venue owners Nicola and Georgia. From the moment you book the venue, your Upper House wedding journey starts. Nicola and Georgia are onsite to meet to you though out the weeks months leading up to your day, meaning you can meet your suppliers and show your friends and family around before the celebrations start!


Upper House pride themselves in offering a truly bespoke wedding offering to each and every Bride and Groom. You will enjoy your dedicated in house event specialist, to help create a truly personal day for you and your guests. Our brides can choose where they wish to marry, dine and party! We offer the option of two award winning caterers that serve tailor made menus to suit the occasion and event. Working closely with what the guests wish to be served throughout the day.


Upper House is the prefect setting for a truly memorable wedding. Enjoy a full and vibrant weekend of festivities with your closest friends and family and really make the most of the outstanding venue.
01663 742229


English Wedding Ceromony Upper House Great Hall weddings with accomadation exclusive wedding venue Upper House Hayfield Wedding Venue





The history of weddings is very interesting

Wedding party history plays a big part in the roles of the #bride’s attendants and groomsmen in modern day weddings. In most cases, the #bridal party doesn’t realize that this custom was initiated with the #groomsmen and not the bride’s attendants.

Keep reading for more interesting facts!

Bride’s Knights or Groomsmen?

The bridal party began with an Anglo-Saxon tradition. In this tradition, friends of the #groom were given the role of guardians or body guards of the bride. It was their duty to make certain that the bride made it safely to the #wedding and later the groom’s home. She should arrive at both places with her dowry and herself intact. This is where the term bride’s knights originated. It evolved into bridesmen and later into groomsmen.

In some cases, the groom actually kidnapped the bride with the aid of his friends. If the bride’s family was opposed to the wedding, the groom’s friends would form an army to fend off the angry mob while the groom made a getaway with the bride in his arms.

Bridesmaids or Brideswomen

The #matron of honor was once referred to as a senior maid. It was the senior maid’s responsibility to attend the bride for several days before the wedding. The senior maid was also by the bride’s side on her wedding day, ensuring that she looked as beautiful as possible. Other attendants, referred to as bridesmaids or brideswomen, had several duties. They might assist the bride in the decoration of the wedding and they typically helped her dress for the ceremony.

In many cases, both #bridesmaids and groomsmen dressed very similar to the bridal couple. It was believed that this would confuse any evil spirits or even jealous suitors who might attend the wedding with the intent of doing harm to the bride or groom. This tradition continues today in a more modern form. Bridesmaids are typically chosen because of their close friendship and bonds of loyalty to the bride.

Best Man or Banished Friend?

Did you know that the best man used to stand beside the bride at the altar? Legend has it that the best man was placed there to continue his protection over the bride throughout the ceremony. Unfortunately, some of the best men took their roles a little too seriously, causing jealousy among the grooms. Thus, the best man was banished from the bride’s side and has forever after remained on the groom’s side.

Wedding Party History and Children

Groomsmen and bridesmaids aren’t the only members of the wedding party. Wedding party history also includes #children. The #flower girl tradition began during the #Victorian era. The role of a flower girl was to entertain the wedding guests. The sight of a tiny girl carrying flowers with the wedding party helped create a more relaxed and pleasant celebration.

Young #boys also had specific roles in wedding party history. Their role was to hold the bride’s train, and they typically dressed as #pages with velvet jackets and short pants. They also carried the wedding rings, this continues as a tradition today.

For more interesting facts go to :-

Wedding history

Wedding history undressed

YSD Media – Why do wedding video’s cost what they do?

How does that old saying go?  You get what you pay for? This is true when investing in anything, but if you want something that will last forever, especially when it involves one of the most important days of your life, then its best to make sure you’re getting the best for your buck. If cost is the first and only factor when it comes to choosing your wedding videographer, there are many companies out there who can do a job for you. Whether you’ll be happy with the final product is another story.

When thinking about your wedding, it’s worth considering what the risk might be when it comes to your video?  You’re going to spend so much money on creating the perfect day, so why not capture it in the same way – perfectly!

“But wedding video’s, it’s just a guy with a camera right?  One days work, surely my budget of £700 will be enough?”

Firstly, a wedding video is never a days work.  It’s much easier to explain this in person, however I’ll try my best below 😀

Talk me through why I should invest in my wedding video…

1, After you get in touch about us potentially filming your wedding, we arrange a meeting either via Skype / FaceTime or face to face at our base in Marple where we can show you some examples of our work.  We can talk through your day, find out what you want out of your video, we talk ideas, have a chat and get to know each other.  This can sometimes be up to 3 years before you’re big day, yes we’re that busy!

2, Prior to your big day we like to meet up again a couple of weeks before.  We talk about who’s important to capture, whats happening during the day, is there any entertainment, and we chat through pretty much everything that’s happening during your wedding.  We want to stay one step ahead, and we don’t want to mither you on the day.  Everyone will tell you that the day will go so fast, we want you to enjoy your day with your guests, so if we can talk through everything at our second meeting it really helps us produce an amazing video without pestering you on the big day!

3, The day of your wedding you have 2 friendly and experienced camera operators, who will work tirelessly to capture your wedding and make the most amazing video for you!  We include mileage within 35 miles of Manchester and travel time.  We can even be flexible if you’re wedding runs over a little. Our camera men are there to capture the day exactly how you experience it and will always go the extra mile to ensure that.

4, Post Production: Each one of our edits takes time.  You will get 2 films from us, the first is your feature film which can be anything from 30 minutes right through to 2 hours depending on what happened during your day.  We include the full ceremony and speeches, and your entire film is edited in a creative way that means you’ll be able to watch your film over and over again without ever getting bored!   Before we send out any of our films, we sort out the sound levels and grade the shots and add any effects that work with your film

You also get a 2-5 minute amazing highlights film of your day.  For us to edit both of these films it takes a minimum of 3 days, not to mention the day ingesting your footage into our edit suite in full HD and backing up your footage!  So that’s roughly 4 days per wedding film.


5, We send out the first draft of your wedding film to make sure our clients are 100% happy with the film that we have produced.  We’re happy to make any small changes that may not work, maybe we shot too much of a fringe guest or you don’t like a song, either way, we fix it for you.  When we export your main HD film that can also take a day in itself.


6, When we deliver your film, you get it on a personalised USB as an MP4 file, using the ExFAT format which is universal through most modern TV & DVD players.


So all in all each wedding video is a week of work for us here at YSD Media.


All of the above isn’t to mention the 10k+ of equipment that we have invested in to film our weddings.


Our prices are inclusive of VAT, and much of the money we take from weddings goes to staff costs, insurance, marketing, new equipment, fuel etc…


For more of our wedding films, follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter, links below!

YSD Media – How we do what we do

There are many options out there when choosing a wedding videographer, a lot of companies charging many different prices.  A bride recently asked me what our style is, and what makes YSD Media stand out from other companies.  This is something I hadn’t really considered before, what does make us different?

What I say to every new client is we can never predict exactly what your wedding video will look like.  Every one of our videos is a blank canvas, unique to your day.  We have shot 50s themed weddings cut to fast swing music, we have really emotional weddings cut much slower and atmospheric, we’ve shot some weddings where the day is one big party and some that are all about relaxing and chilling out.

Whatever your day, whatever style your wedding is going to be, that is how we compose your video.

Another question I am asked a lot is how long is my video going to be?  Again, that all depends on your big day but we shoot and edit our full length film in a documentary style.  We include the full ceremony & speeches, any banter from the morning prep and sometimes we record you opening a gift and card from your soon to be husband or wife – making sure to catch those tears!

The morning prep, reception drinks, opening shots of your venue, our special ‘creative photo shoot’ and the party after the first dance is all cut to music of your choice.

One thing that we pride ourselves on is being as discreet as possible when filming your special day. We go out of our way to make sure you and your guests hardly notice us on the day.  Obviously it’s inevitable you’ll notice us at some point but we will always do our best to stay in the background and let your day unfold naturally.

There are 2 things that we’ll need from you on the day, and the best thing is, it’s nothing we can’t do when your having the portrait time with your photographer. Our ‘Creative photo shoot’ is what you see on our videos where we have moving cinematic shots of our brides and grooms walking around their wedding venue. Your photographer will be taking pictures at the same time and we only need 5/10 minutes of your day to create these amazing shots. We love movement in our videos, it creates an exciting buzz throughout our wedding films and really shows off our couples and their venues.

There’s so much more I could talk about with our films but this is only my first blog and I have to save some content for the next one and keep you coming back for more!

For more of our wedding films, follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter, links below!

UTC’s Guide to hosting a band at your Evening Reception

So – you’ve booked your perfect wedding venue.  You’ve arranged the ceremony, sorted dresses, suits, transport, cakes, food and the all-important booze. To cap it all off you’ve booked your favourite band to really make the party go off with a bang! You’re all set for a party to end all parties….or are you??

For most people not involved in the live music industry, the booking and hosting of a performance can be a daunting process. Here are UTC’s 5 top tips to making sure your evening band will be able to perform without a hitch, giving you the best party they possibly can!


  • Always put venue and band in contact



Remember that, as you are the paying client, the band work for you. This is also true of the venue. However, on the night the band and the venue will have to work together seamlessly to put on your wedding! It is always wise to ensure the person in charge of the band speaks to the venue co-ordinator in advance of the wedding. This should eliminate any issues on the evening and ensure any problem areas in the band’s contract (for which you will be ultimately responsible) are raised and highlighted before the event.



  • Check the venue out thoroughly before you sign the band contract



Hopefully your venue should have plenty of experience hosting bands. They should have made you aware of any previous successes or failures, including rules and regulations for your band when you booked with them. They may also have various production elements or practical solutions that will be very useful for the band on the evening. The key things to check are:


  • Is there enough time in your itinerary for a band to setup? Most decent bands 4 piece and above, will require at least an hour to set up and then some time to soundcheck. There is a lot more to putting on a good band than meets the eye. Ensure this is compatible with your wedding schedule.








  • Are there any noise limiting devices at the venue? These have become more commonplace in the last few years due to a need for bespoke noise pollution regulations to be imposed on individual venues. Reasons for having them can range from complaining neighbours to polluting an area of conservation. This is the biggest single element that can hamper a band’s performance on the night – always check and ask your band if this will be any problem for them before you book. Most bands will perform at a dB level between 95-105. A lot of limiters will be around the 90dB or lower mark and will cut off all electrics to the room – including lights – if they are breached. Booking a 12-piece rock and roll band that can make as much noise as an alarm clock will be a complete waste of your money and will ruin your evening!


  • Do the venue have any production elements that could be used to take the performance to the next level? A lot of venues will have staging that can be used free of charge, or for a nominal fee. There may also be some lights installed or readily booked that will enhance the experience for your guests. Staging and Lighting does not often come as standard with bands, but can really add a wow-factor. Using what the venue already has can be a great way of making the band look at home in the space.


  • Does the venue have a microphone for your speeches? It is a question we almost always get asked: “Can we borrow your microphone for the speeches?” Speech-based sound systems are designed very differently to dance floor sound systems, which is probably what your band will bring. Don’t forget to make sure you think about this in advance…its these small details that you don’t want to be worrying about on the day.



  • Do the acoustics match your act? This is a really difficult question for a non-technically trained ear. A lot of wedding venues are large castles, halls or even cathedrals. If you think of traditional acts seen in churches and halls, you will think of choirs or symphony orchestras. This is because the natural reverberations of the space will enhance these styles of performance. You may find that a lively band will struggle to be heard properly in these venues without correct acoustic treatment, and – trust me, here – no performer wants to hear “turn the vocals up!” without being able to do anything about it!!



  • Arrange a separate ‘greenroom’ for your band



Make sure you arrange your performers somewhere to relax when they are not performing. Whilst they are there to enjoy and be a huge part of your evening – they are ultimately working and, if they are worth their salt, will want somewhere to be when they are not performing. The caterers have their kitchen. The venue staff will have their back-corridors and offices. Leave your band out in the cold and risk a more stressed second set!



  • Design an appropriate performance Itinerary



What happens around the band and when you put them on is some of the most important planning. The keys to making an evening entertainment programme that will work rely on a few key elements:

  • Make sure you space things out time-wise so that the evening feels full.
  • It is always better to work backwards from your curfew when planning. It is far easier to have spare time after your wedding breakfast when the sun is still out than at the end of the night when people are in the mood to dance!
  • Never arrange food and the band to be at the same time.



  • Make sure you think about keeping the music going when the band are not performing



Most bands will either offer you a DJ as part of their package, or at the very least be more than happy to facilitate the playing of iPods or spotify through their sound system. This is crucial to the event…nothing kills a party’s momentum like not following up a smashing band performance. What you are aiming for is a full and fun evening; leave no moment quiet!

OK – so we hope you have found this information useful in planning your evening reception. Ultimately, any band who have good experience within the wedding industry should be completely equipped to deal with all of these issues. It is often the case, however, that band swill rely on you having read their terms and conditions. Do not leave this to chance – this is your big day, you only get one shot and only the best will be good enough.

Manchester’s music renaissance?

Here at UTC Events, nestled in a corner of Manchester, our perspective on the musical landscape in these parts is a privileged one.

This great Northern city has a long-standing reputation of producing some of the most successful music artists in the history of popular music; from Joy Division to James, and from The Stone Roses to The Smiths, many names that pervade the history of popular music owe their success to roots in this rainy corner in the North of England.

Except… Well, whilst nobody wants to admit it around these parts, for a long time after the 80’s and 90’s hey days, Manchester didn’t have nearly the level of success in music that it once enjoyed.

Laurels have been rested on ever since Oasis were at the height of their pomp in the late ‘90s. There’s no clear indication as to why this was the case, but it was clear that in the early 2000s, many musicians that I collaborated or crossed paths with, were leaving for London to find their fortunes. Many of them succeeded, but for me there will always be a hint of sadness that they didn’t continue to ply their trade here in Cottonopolis; Manchester music has always had a very definite signature sound and a cult-like pride in its following.

In the last few years however, Manchester music has shown signs of a significant renaissance. Some great acts have started emerging, such as Delphic, Everything Everything and The Courteeners – not to mention a host of genuinely brilliant unsigned talent.

So why the sudden upturn in good musical output? There’s some conjecture surrounding this one, but in my opinion one of the reasons lies in the success of a couple of the educational institutions in the city.

Salford University isn’t exactly new to the game when it comes to producing good musicians, but of late there have been vast swathes of them. Most of them have stuck together since graduating, forming rolling communities of working musical contractors in the southern suburbs of the city, whereas a few have gone onto even bigger success, working for touring bands or creating success for themselves. Everything Everything is one such case in point.

More recently, The Royal Northern College of Music, known more prevalently as a classical conservatoire, has, under the tutelage of Andy Stott, quietly been putting itself on the map as one of the go-to places to study popular music. Over the last five years, Andy has managed to deliver a varied and well-planned degree course, delivered by some of the best tutors in the business. This inspires what are already hugely talented students to deliver at an exceptional level, so much so that the college now attracts the top talent from all over the world. As such, the quality of the musicians graduating from the RNCM is truly as good as it gets anywhere. What’s more, the students graduate having been instilled with excellent professional skills outside of their musical craft. In short, they make a very strong case for employment in companies such as UTC Events, which is why, since we became affiliate partners in 2013, UTC has hired more than fifty RNCM students or graduates.

From our clients’ point of view, this only means good things. The fact that we employ these young, hungry, driven and talented musicians means that we are able to supply exceptionally high-quality acts on a consistent basis, all the while giving these musicians exposure and useful experience out on the circuit – not to mention the paid work! It really is a win: win situation.

In amongst the crowd, the odd diamond inevitably surfaces.  A number of these musicians do get picked up by labels and touring acts; only recently two of our performers joined The Shires touring band and I was pleasantly surprised to see them performing on The Graham Norton Show on BBC1.

Nothing gives UTC Events, or I’m sure Manchester’s once-again burgeoning musical community, more pride.
Adam Birkett 19/02/16

Wedding Entertainment

You’re getting married, you’ve chosen all the things your friends aren’t going to remember, or really care about – flowers, shiny place settings with painstakingly handwritten name tags, cannons firing from the ramparts of the Disney inspired princess castle you’ve hired for the day – OK cannons are pretty cool. Anyway, you’ve done all that and got to the end of the colour-coded, spreadsheet break down of the big day, when you realize you haven’t thought about the one thing that makes a great day.




Think back to some of your best nights out, university pub-crawls, holidaying with friends, house parties – there was always a soundtrack, always an anthem. I’d bet there is a song you could listen to now and you’d be instantly transported there, reliving the moment, the emotion coursing through your veins!


With this in mind, it is surprising that the entertainment on the biggest day of a couple’s lives is consistently the last thing that they think about. In fact, I can pin point exactly when it is. It’s right about the time that your total budget gets maxed out.


You’ll find yourself at this juncture with little option than to go for one of the following things.


DJ Kev/Dave/Des playing all those tunes you love (he loves), from behind his disco bird hide – flashing boxes and laser lights wowing the crowd. All the while he’s talking over ALL OF THE SONGS in a local carnival gypsy patois. Refrains of “Ooooh ladies and gents, you’ll love this one, it certainly made me a believer – it’s ‘I’m a Believer’”




No thanks KevDaveDes.


Alternatively, you could hire your mate Johnny’s band. I mean, they play down at the Old Crown every Saturday night and that guy at the bar with his dog never leaves when they start cranking out “The Boys Are Back in Town”. They even said they’d do it for £200 and a bar tab. They do it for the love of the music so they’ll be sound.


Oh wait; they’re late, the PA isn’t powerful enough and the singer sounds like an old man shouting through a bin bag. They’ve well and truly taken advantage of that bar tab too…


What I’m getting at is you’ll have made an error. Proper function bands are proper. They do hundreds of weddings a year. They turn up on time, ready to play, with top quality gear. Good ones will develop the entertainment on the night with you in advance. They’ll provide guidance backed up by years of experience that will ensure that you and your guests have the time of their lives.


I mean, a good party is a simple equation: Booze. Food. Music. Your guests are there to celebrate, not huddle in a corner like an awkward high school disco. The naughty kids constantly sneaking out for a smoke and the dance floor surrounded by girls who want to dance and guys too cool to get involved. A good band will make everyone dance, sing along and feel like the night is climaxing in a frenzy of sweat and smiles. Parties are better with a band. Life is better with a band.


Most of what I’ve said can be taken with a pinch of salt. I mean, back there I hinted at a Thin Lizzy song being rubbish. That’s obviously not true. Thin Lizzy are boss. The point is this:


When you leave out entertainment, or try to sort something last minute, or don’t budget for a band that will do it properly – you’ll find the probability of having the night of your life slipping through your fingers.


So when you are franticly poring tired eyes over the mind-numbingly boring shades of lilac that your doilies can be bought in, think about what really matters at a good doo:


A band that will put on a night filled with music that will all at once take you back, stamp you in the present and be a part of your future memories for years to come.


Now that is boss.

County brides EShoot Blog November

Hi I’m Julie a Wedding Photographer based in Edenfield Lancashire. My blog today will hopefully enlighten you regards E-shoots and Pre wedding photo shoots. Happy Reading

What are they?

E-shoots, Pre Shoots, Engagement shoots or Love shoots all different names for the same thing, a loving photo-shoot of you both before your big day.

Why have one?

Well they are good for so many reasons. Firstly most people are a little camera shy, so your shoot will help banish all those camera fears. It’s also a great opportunity for my couples and I to bond, getting to know each other a little better before the big day.

It’s also brilliant opportunity to just have some fun photos in your casual gear. Lots of couples use them for their Save the Dates or the invites. Lots of couples have a few photos in small frames at their wedding on the gift table, which is always lovely to see!


Top 5 Photo Fears…


Some people love their smile and others are afraid to show their teeth or hate their features when smiling. Well you will see that with a smile the whole face lights up. Eyes glow and you look much more natural.

How to Stand

Get tips on standing to get the most flattering effect for your shape. Of course I will be guiding you on the big day but it also helps to see them I advance so can feel completely at ease with your poses on the day

Best Side

Not all, but some of us have a preferred side. So this shoot gives you a chance to find out which is yours. Maybe you already know but would like the chance to play around each side and make you mind up.


I LOVE it when my couples have a good laugh on their photos!. Again like the smiling some people have a hang up with laughing on photos, but this is when you at your most natural. I always do a mixture of shots so you get all expressions, but go on have a laugh you will love it too. Will tell you all my best jokes !!:))


Your posture is important and really helps you look slimmer and more attractive. Again it something that I remind couples of on the big day, but having a practice during your photo shoot you will be an expert.

Can we bring our children or dogs?

Yes you can! If you already have children and you would like them to get involved please feel free to bring them along. Lots of my couples babies are their pets, so have taken may a doggie for walk during a shoot.

Where do we have the Photoshoot?

We can use your venue if I have never photographed there before which is a great way planning locations for the big day. Another option is a local location that has a special meaning for you or there are a few great countryside spots that I know well close to my home in Edenfield that always photograph well no matter what time of year.


Hopefully now you are excited about booking your Eshoot!!, go on book one you will be so glad you did.

Wedding photography by Jules Fortune

About Me
I fell in love with photography back when I just fourteen. I was picked to part of a small photography class by my art teacher. My Dad bought me a SLR camera for my fifteenth birthday and I’ve been hooked ever since. After qualifying at Newcastle College of Arts I worked as a freelance photographer in Manchester for  several years. I discovered wedding photography ten years ago. One of the best things about my job is meeting so many lovely couples from all different  backgrounds. It’s always a real pleasure to part of such a special day.
My Style
My approach throughout the day is unobtrusive and relaxed but always approachable and fun. Documenting your story as it unfolds in my natural creative style. My down to earth personality allows me to mingle with your guests getting the best candid shots without forced smiles. No one really likes having their photo  taken, so rest assured i will get great shots of you both with a little touch of direction. but it’s simply a matter of making you smile and letting your personalities shine through.
How do we book you?
You can get in touch either via e-mail or phone. If i are free for your date then it’s nice to meet up for a informal chat. You’re welcome to come and see me at my  home in Edenfield. Alternatively you can book me straight away over the phone to secure the date and we can meet closer to your big day.
How far do you travel?
I photograph weddings in and around the North West of England. I charge 75per mile outside of a 30 mile radius of my home address. Extra fees also apply when travelling out of the 30 mile radius at busier times of the year. Please ask for a personal quote if your wedding is further afield.
How long is a full day coverage?
A full day coverage is based on a 10 hour coverage. Example 11am until 9pm. If you have an early ceremony you may need to add a little extra coverage for bridal prep. You might want extra time in the evening.. if so just ask and I can give you a quote.
How much is the deposit?
Yes, when you decide that you would like to book me, there is some paperwork, both for myself and your wedding folder; you know you have one! The paperwork covers details such as planning a timeline of your day, so i can make time for your photography in the early stages. Your booking is then secured with a £100 non refundable deposit.
What’s an E-Shoot?
It’s an fun photo shoot where we can to meet up at your venue or location and take some informal lifestyle shots. It’s also a great time to catch up together and a real ice breaker, as most couples book so far in advance. You can have your shoot a few months before you day or as soon as you book if
you want your images for something special. Lots of my couples use the images for their invites; save the date and signature frames. These shoots are taken at a beautiful countryside location that I love, one of the 2 vintage railways stations in Rossendale or at your venue £150.
When is the balance paid?
The balance is paid around one month before your big day. Around this time I will be in touch to check all the final arrangements, formal images list. If I haven’t already photographed at your venue, and its local I have normally been to have peek around by now too. This way I can get a good idea of the location, and have some great spots in mind for photography. It’s also good to have a rainy day back up plan to hand too, as we do live in England after all.
Are you insured?. What equipment do you use?
I hold full public liability and professional indemnity insurance. I use D800 & D700 Nikon cameras and mixture of fixed, zoom and wide angle lens. I always carry an extra kit including spare cameras and batteries to ensure that your big day goes without any hitches. My top of the range equipment enables us to shoot with natural light where ever possible, giving stunning atmosphere to your images.
Do you take group shots?
Yes I do, with my aim to keep shots as natural and simple as possible, taking around 30 minutes maximum to complete your family/friend formal shots. Then another 10 -15 minutes with you guys for your photography together in and around your venue depending on the size of your venue. Ideally having around 60 minutes (minimum) after your ceremony until your meal is perfect (more if you have travel from a church to a reception venue). This gives you time for relaxed photography and time to relax with guests. Your ushers and bridesmaids can be a great help at this point in gathering family members and friends.
Can we upgrade our package to add on an album and albums for our parents?
You can upgrade your package if you wish, with an album this can be done either before or after your wedding day. We can also arrange for parent albums, framed prints or canvases.
Our family and friends would like to help us pay for our wedding photography, can you arrange that?
Yes, no problem. I can arrange ‘gift vouchers’ if you wish to add your wedding photography to your wedding list. This can really help you with the cost of any extras, such as an album. I can also arrange for gift vouchers if you wish to purchase them for your special guests, such as mums, bridesmaids, ushers. Your guests can then select to buy any prints or guest albums via your personal wedding gallery.
When will my photos be ready to view?
Around four to five weeks after your wedding I will have all your images edited and ready to view via your private on line gallery. Your Digital negatives are presented on our stylish USB stick. Depending on my work diary sometimes they may be on your doormat on your return from honeymoon. All the work is completed by myself and not shipped out to an independent editor to save time. Editing your photography and designing your album is a big part of completing our service. If you want to share your photos via social media we can arrange for a low resolution set too. We would like to add on an album, how does that work?
Some photographers may suggest that they will choose the images for your album. Personal I think it’s your wedding, your album and therefore your
choices. So you choose your favourite images, and I can help you tell a great story. You then view a proof design layout copy and make any changes you wish once completed. Once you are 100% happy we will send it to be printed and then its shipped straight to your home address once completed. If I’ve not answered your questions please get in touch…

A Three Day Wedding!

Upper House is a beautiful setting for a wonderful weekend of wedding celebrations. Previously a Hunting Lodge, the House boasts former residents such as the Knights Templar and Agatha Christie’s family.


Upper House believe that one day of celebrations is not enough to make the most of this wonderful venue. The venue offers full weekend events for you and your guests to create unforgettable memories in a truly stunning setting.


The House has accommodation for 28 resident guests, for a three day retreat with your close family and friends. The beautiful venue is located in the heart of Britain, nestled within the mountain side and surrounded by the breath taking views of Kinder Scout, in the Peak District National Park.


These magnificent surroundings provide a tranquil setting for your day, with plentiful scenic backdrops for prefect wedding photo opportunities.


Upper House hosts twelve exclusive events per year. Each and every Bride and Groom receives a bespoke service from the venue owners Nicola and Georgia. From the moment you book the venue, your Upper House wedding journey starts. Nicola and Georgia are onsite to meet to you though out the weeks months leading up to your day, meaning you can meet your suppliers and show your friends and family around before the celebrations start!


Upper House pride themselves in offering a truly bespoke wedding offering to each and every Bride and Groom. You will enjoy your dedicated in house event specialist, to help create a truly personal day for you and your guests. Our brides can choose where they wish to marry, dine and party! We offer the option of two award winning caterers that serve tailor made menus to suit the occasion and event. Working closely with what the guests wish to be served throughout the day.


Upper House is the prefect setting for a truly memorable wedding. Enjoy a full and vibrant weekend of festivities with your closest friends and family and really make the most of the outstanding venue.




Telephone: 01663 742229

Qube at Queen Charlotte’s Ball 2016

A Fairytale Evening Styled by Award Winning Qube Events & Productions

This September Qube Events & Productions were asked yet again to be the official stylists for the 2016 Queen Charlotte’s Ball. The ball featured London Season’s debutantes at the prestigious event, rich in over two hundred years of history and one of the most elite occasions in the English social calendar.










Debbie worked with the wonderful organisers, Chairman Jennie Hallam-Peel and Executive Director Lukas Kroulik* at the stunning London Season to create beautiful enchanted scenery for the introduction of the Debutantes in couture gowns created specially by Berketex Bride.

Qube’s styling for the night included ivory and pink 9ft tall impressive magnolia and blossom trees on the dining tables and a stunning awe-inspiring floral arc framing the cake perfectly as the centrepiece for the event. The chairs were also dressed within the ornate One Whitehall venue with delicate silk pink sashes and matching napkins.










Debbie commented on her experience at The Queen Charlotte’s Ball: “It was a wonderful honour to be invited to style the 236th Queen Charlotte’s Ball. It’s amazing to be recognised for all our hard work over the years. Myself and my husband also had the pleasure of being invited as guests where we got to wine and dine with various celebrities and Royals. It really was a prestigious event and the dress code was white tie and tiara; it meant that I had the opportunity to dress up for the night, a lovely change to my branded Qube polo shirt! I wore a magnificent headpiece by Ivory and Co. to fit perfectly with the lavish event, and a diamante clutch bag by designer Charlotte Mills. Thanks to Liberty in Love for their excellent customer service, getting me all kitted out for the ball!”










Chairman of The London Season, Jennie Hallam-Peel commented on Qube’s styling services for the eminent event: “I almost burst into tears (joyful ones!) when I first saw the room with your magnificent décor – it was simply amazing and we have never ever had so many comments from guests on the evening, who were simply blown away! Over the last five years we have had some amazing memories – but your décor this year has to be the most memorable of all.”

Debbie also commented: “The whole evening was a unique and amazing experience that I will cherish and I’m so grateful to everyone involved who made it a huge success. There were some beautiful moments that I managed to capture on my phone, such as the debutantes waltzing with their fathers. I felt like Cinderella for the night, changing from my Qube uniform to become a princess at the ball, only our Qube van ride home at midnight didn’t change back into a pumpkin and the driver wasn’t a mouse!”










Hire Qube Events Styling Services for your Event. The highly talented award-winning team at Qube Events can provide styling services for any occasion, from weddings to Balls, birthdays to barmitzvah’s; nothing is impossible for us to create. Contact a member of the team online to discuss styling services and event planning, or call us direct on 0845 463 4008 for more information. You can also arrange to visit our specialist event showroom in Manchester to discuss your ideas and individual requirements.











This is a guest post by Qube Events & Productions

*Creative Direction by Lukas Kroulik   Photos courtesy of Lukas Kroulik

Black Diamond Wedding Ring














See The World’s First Black Diamond Wedding Ring at Henry D Johnstone Jewellers in Alderley Edge.

As a specialist in the field of Wedding and Engagement rings we are always searching for something new and ground breaking to show our brides and grooms and here we have it – The world’s first solid black diamond ring!

What are BLACK DIAMOND rings made of? – Each ring is made of millions of diamond crystals pressed together in a matrix.

How are they made? – New technology now creates a ring that is formed from millions of diamond crystals all pressed together under an incredible pressure (1 million psi) and extreme temperatures (over 1500°c), The colour is black because there are literally millions of diamond crystals all pressed together in non-symmetrical orientation, meaning light will not pass through as it would with just one crystal.

What designs / styles are available? – Available in a choice of a matte or polished finish, these rings can also be inset with a white or coloured diamond or even inlaid with precious metals such as Gold, Platinum or Palladium and for something more personal, there is a choice of laser engraved designs on the outside of the ring or why not have your own design commissioned.

Why BLACK DIAMOND? – There is nothing quite like DIAMOND IN BLACK, it is harder than tungsten and ceramic, more enduring than Titanium and will outlast all precious metals. Traditional materials scratch and mark easily even in the mildest of working conditions; these rings cannot be scratched, except by another Diamond. Diamond in Black is forever.

We are delighted to invite you to our Wedding Ring Exhibition at:

 Henry D Johnstone Jewellers in Alderley Edge

From Monday 3rd to Sunday 23rd October 2016

In addition to The Diamond in Black rings, we currently have a special collection of over 300 rings from Furrer Jacot of Switzerland to view instore and our Specialist advisors will be on hand to discuss any ideas you might have; whether its creating a BESPOKE piece or helping you choose from our wide and varied collections. We will also be offering a select range of sample rings with special reductions during this period only.

As part of our ‘special wedding fair promotion’ there will be a special promotional discount* on any order(s) placed during this period making us extremely competitive against our high street and online rivals. To take advantage of this exclusive offer, a small deposit would be required on any order(s) placed, with the balance due only at the time of collection. Ask instore for further details.

If you would like to attend, we recommend you book an appointment so that we can reserve time just for you and therefore avoiding any unnecessary waiting.

This is a guest post by Henry D Johnstone Jewellers

T: 01625 583565   E:

Open – Monday to Saturday 9.30am – 5.00pm

Sunday 11.00am – 4.00pm 

51a London Road, Alderley Edge, Cheshire, SK9 7DY.

Wedding Registry










Most couples will consider setting up a wedding registry for their gifts, but it can be hard to decide what to include, especially if you already have a home together. It is acceptable these days to ask for gift vouchers or contributions towards your honeymoon, but it is also nice to have some gifts to unwrap that you will use for years to come and which will remind you of your wedding guests.

There are different ways to set up a gift registry and you don’t have to be tied to just one big department store as there are online options that allow you to compile a list from different brands and retailers and even include charitable donation options.

If you are looking for items to include in your registry, it might be a good chance to choose something a little more luxurious than usual; high thread count linens, good quality cookware that you can use for years, or plush Egyptian cotton towels. If you have been hankering after a designer juice maker, food mixer or decorative item it gives your guests something that they can purchase as a group or a family, rather than having several smaller items. If you have some things on the registry that do not get selected by your guests you will sometimes be offered a discount by the retailer so that you can complete your list, so don’t be worried about including some big ticket items as well as smaller gifts. The company that set up the registry will be able to give you ideas about unusual gifts as well as all of the information on delivery times, insurances and return policies, so make sure you ask questions about the process so that it is as easy as possible for your guests.

Once you have set up your registry, don’t forget to look at the options for thank you cards to be sent after the wedding, you need to make sure you know who gave what gift so you can send an online thank you message or a personal note; so keep your guest addresses list somewhere safe when you have arranged your invitations!

Walking Up The Aisle










Walking up the aisle will probably be one of the most cherished memories from your wedding day, whether you get married in a church or at another venue, indoors or out. It marks the passage from being single to being part of a married couple so it is nice to make this part of the day particularly memorable by decorating the aisle in some way.

Floral arrangements have long been a staple aisle decoration but there are lots more things that you can use including columns, lamps, shells, petals, decorated arches and greenery.

There is also a trend for specially designed aisle runners, particularly where the venue might have very plain floors or the scattering of fresh petals is not allowed in case of damage to carpets where they get trodden in. Use a specially made bespoke runner with your initials or the date of your wedding on a background colour that matches your theme, or look at having a decorative arch placed at one end of the aisle, a lovely backdrop for photos after you have signed the register.

If you are having a wedding outdoors fresh petals at the sides of the aisle or even the full length of it can look stunning, or alternatively for a beach wedding choose a striped runner and edge the aisle with shells, palm leaves or driftwood. You could also consider placing petals in the shape of hearts or scrolls for the length of the aisle or having stepping stones placed at intervals.

Jules Fortune Photography










Julie Fortune is a creative wedding photographer based in Lancashire and has been featured in some of the UK’s most popular wedding magazines and blogs. Julie has a wealth of experience after professionally photographing over two hundred weddings in the last eight years, in addition to her freelance career which she developed after falling in love with photography in her teens. Julie was proud to be nominated as one of the ‘Top 5 Female Photographers’ by her past clients and delights in meeting with couples and discussing what they want from their wedding photography. We caught up with Julie to get the low down on one of her favourite wedding venues.




















“Living in Edenfield I regularly have weddings in both Manchester and Lancashire as I’m based on the border of both counties. I have the pleasure of photographing the urban lofty Manchester venues and also some beautiful venues in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Lancashire countryside. One of my favourites is the awesome Browsholme Hall & Tithe Barn. It’s especially fabulous when you have a great couple like Laura & Rob. Not only are they amazeballs to photograph, because they are both like ‘movie star material’, they are both so lovely too. In fact all their family and friends were just fantastic, adding up to a great day and a wonderful set of photos. The sun shone all day making for some lovely lighting and great hazy evening photography.

I am back at the barn next week for Nastasha & Paul’s big day with Wayne Farrow providing the fun & entertainment and Roland videoing the whole affair”












Fabulous Wedding Menu










It is not easy to create the perfect wedding menu, so make sure you get some expert advice. Crewe Hall gives brides and grooms their top tips for creating a fabulous wedding menu.


“Choosing the right menu for your big day can be as important as choosing the right dress. So, following the UK launch of reality TV programme ‘Say Yes to the Dress’, which puts a spotlight on brides choosing their wedding dresses; Mat Lloyd, Executive Head Chef at Crewe Hall, gives his hints and tips for creating the perfect wedding breakfast and saying “Yes to the Chef”!

On your wedding day, the only thing you want to see going back into the kitchen is empty plates, so you need to be confident that your menu choices will keep your guests happy.

Here’s my advice for working with your wedding venue’s chef to make those important culinary choices for the big day, to put your mind at ease and serve up a treat…

Meet your chef

Start by meeting your chef. By meeting the person responsible for designing and preparing your meal, you can explain your ideas for the wedding breakfast and get valuable advice for making the most of your budget and catering for a large party.

It’s also really important for chefs to see the big picture, to understand what else is going on at the wedding and how the meal fits into your special day.

I get heavily involved in helping couples make their food and drink choices, by attending regular wedding tasting evenings at our hotel. It’s great to be able to talk with couples face-to-face about their plans for the day and to make menu recommendations. That way I can ensure couples are completely happy with their choices.

Be creative

When it comes to choosing your menu, there are plenty of ways to add creative flair. Some couples include their theme in the wedding breakfast to add something extra to the meal.

I’ve seen a wedding where the menu was designed around the couple’s hobby, scuba diving. It was no surprise that the couple chose to have a fish course, but they even opted for a fish-shaped lemon tart dessert! Although scuba diving was a fairly unusual theme, it went down a storm with guests.

Adding extra courses can also work really well. We’ve seen seven-course tasting menus and multiple small tapas dishes, to break up the meal and add more of an intimate feel to the day.

If you’re unsure of how to add some creativity to your meal, don’t be afraid to ask your chef for some guidance and tips.











Keep it simple

Remember who you’re catering for, whatever your choice of cuisine. There may be young children, vegetarians or people with other special dietary requirements attending your wedding, and fancy menu choices may not tick all the boxes.

Also, finger food or food with fiery spices might not be the first choice for every guest, so you need to ensure there is an alternative, simpler option for those with different tastes.

If you’re catering for a lot of guests, ensure your meal is practical and can be served on a large scale.  Again, your chef will be able to help here. I always try to include a chicken or beef dish in any sample menus, as we know they are fairly safe options and preferred by a lot of wedding guests.

Let your drinks bring your menu to life

Choosing the right drinks to accompany your meal can help bring your menu to life and add the wow factor.

Work with your venue’s wedding coordinators to decide what wines, cocktails and spirits go with each of your courses. It’s important to bring out the right flavours to complement your meal choices, such as red wine with lamb or beef, or strawberries in Champagne to make your dessert even sweeter.

To really get creative you can infuse botanicals in gin or vodka, like lemon and orange or cucumber and mint, to really bring out the aromas and flavours of your meal.

Or you can personalise your drinks. One of our weddings had two bespoke cocktails named after the bride and groom. This was a great way of personalising the menu and creating a memorable wedding breakfast.











Experiment with evening buffets

After a long day of celebrating, guests look forward to soaking up the Champagne with a hearty feast. And we’re seeing more and more couples choosing alternatives to the typical evening buffet that would have been expected many years ago.

I’ve seen everything from steak and ale pie with chips, to curries and sushi. As long as it fits with your wedding style and theme, you can experiment with foods that you both really love and will keep guests going. Bacon sandwiches and hog roasts are great crowd pleasers and will help guests fill up and re-energise.

Whatever menu choices you make, ensure your chef is involved in the decision-making process and can offer advice and tips. After all, the wedding breakfast will play a big part in your special day so it’s important to give it as much care and attention as other aspects of the wedding…including the dress!

This is a guest post by Crewe Hall

Images by Lesley Meredith Photography

Wedding Feet







Wedding feet are more important than you might think. It is not all about gorgeous shoes for the bride; you will both be on your feet most of the day so make sure you are comfortable, no one wants to see you grimacing on the photos because your tootsies are playing up!

If you are going to have a pedicure, plan the appointment well before the wedding; your skin will be lovely and soft, but more prone to blisters if your wedding shoes aren’t really comfortable. Wear your shoes around the house for a little while each day in the run up to the wedding to minimise the chance of this happening; this goes for the guys as well, especially if he lives in trainers or work boots a lot of the time. Make sure the soles of new shoes aren’t too slippery, you can take the shine off quite easily with a file or a bit of sandpaper so neither of you comes a cropper on the dance floor; no one wants to start their married life with a twisted ankle or worse!

“Put your best foot forward” is a phrase you might hear in the run up to the wedding and brides were traditionally carried over the threshold of the house the couple would live in when entering for the first time after the wedding. This was said to be in case she tripped which was thought to be bad luck, but no-one seems to have thought about what happens if the person doing the carrying trips over!

Another foot related thing to consider when wedding planning is the carbon footprint of the event. If green credentials are important to you, then you can take steps (!) to minimise it by using local suppliers where possible, recycling, reusing or hiring items instead of buying new and arranging to plant some trees afterwards to offset the CO2 emissions from production or transport – perhaps have a couple of tree planting options on your wedding list, and make that eco-friendly too.

So there you have it, wedding feet covered and as the Russian proverb says “your feet are crooked and your hair is good for nothing” said the pig to the horse (No, we aren’t sure what it means either, but beware of criticising your partner seems to be the gist!)

Coloured Wedding Dresses








Coloured wedding dresses were a common sight before Queen Victoria opted to wear a white dress when she got married and changed popular thinking for years to come. If you want to have a white wedding dress, don’t be persuaded from your choice, but it is best to visit bridal boutiques with an open mind as you might find a more subtle shade such as blush, oyster or ivory works better with your particular skin tone and colouring.










If you are looking for something completely different you might consider a floral wedding dress, a bold colour or one that has coloured details such as underskirts, sashes or beading. You could even have a dress dyed to a particular shade or handmade in a range of coloured fabrics for a truly unique look. Those brides who favour a period look could choose a strong colour or period style to fit in with the scheme. If you aren’t brave enough for a bright colour consider a lovely blush shade or sugar pink, or one of the Pantone colours of the year, rose quartz.









If white is the only colour for you there are plenty of ways to add a pop of colour in to the scheme through your accessories or floral arrangements. Chances are that your partner may not be wearing white so there are opportunities for a subtle contrast with a pale grey suit or a more noticeable contrast with a navy suit. If your partner will also be wearing a wedding gown consider having dresses that are similar in style; this can look beautiful in photographs as the dresses will mirror each other. Choose the wedding dress that makes you feel fantastic and look amazing and you can add in a rainbow of coloured bridesmaid’s dresses to complement the look perfectly.

Luxury Wedding


What does a luxury wedding mean to you? Does it conjure up an opulent setting, lots of sparkle, fantastic menus or vintage Champagne? If you have very busy lives a wedding planner or co-ordinator might seem like a luxury, but it could be money well spent, saving you time and money as they source things for you and make use of their extensive contacts.

If you don’t like the vintage look or don’t want to be making things for the wedding perhaps you have something more luxurious in mind, but this style need not always come with a hefty price tag. White linens are cheaper than coloured linens with some companies and they always look smart, especially when teamed with sparkling white flatware and gleaming glassware. You can also add a touch of silver or gold as accents in napkin rings, place card holders, charger plates or candelabras to create a stunning scheme.

DubaiMake your wedding a day to really remember by choosing your suppliers carefully; high quality wedding professionals who are experts in their field can help you create something unique and give you peace of mind that everything will run smoothly on the day.

It takes time to save up for a wedding, whatever look you want to create, and what is a luxury to some couples may be seen as an essential to others so talk about your priorities with your partner so you can budget for the things that are the most important to you. It might be that creating bespoke wedding rings is at the top of your list as you will be wearing them every day of your lives, not just when you get married, or perhaps a once in a lifetime honeymoon is important because you hope to start a family soon and might not have the chance to travel far for a few years.

gold high heelsBe realistic with your budget and don’t be tempted to put all of your spare cash in to the wedding fund, you still want to be able to live and have the odd little treat or night out without worrying about whether you should have put that money away or getting stressed and having a row about it. Discuss the budget with your partner and work towards saving the total amount that you think you are going to need, including the stuff that you don’t directly benefit from such as transport or accommodation for guests or the all-important wedding insurance just for peace of mind.

Put it on the Wedding List

“Put it on the wedding list” is probably a phrase you have heard more than once if you are planning your special day and we love a good list at County Brides!

A list is a great way to start planning your wedding and we don’t just mean when it’s time to draw up the gift list, the guest list or the music for the wedding. Start with your dream wedding list for anything and everything you would like to have, making one list each and then compare your ideas and see what (if anything!) you both have written down. This is a good indicator of whether you are on the same page with what you want out of the day and also what you think it might cost or are prepared to spend. If you have very different ideas it’s best to start talking about your expectations early, rather than risk your partner ruling out something that you have set your heart on when you look at the budget. Most couples will have to make a concession somewhere along the line and if it is you doing the compromising remember that you are earning brownie points in your partner’s eyes and that the wedding will be just one day in your relationship.

forest wedding

Whittle the lists down to your Top Ten for all the big elements like the venue and do lots of research; whether it is a castle, a yacht or a cosy country house hotel it is good to get this decision sorted out early as you might find that your dream venue is booked up further ahead than you think. This will then give you a timescale to work with for booking other suppliers such as the photographer who again may be taking bookings two or three years in advance. Try and be flexible on the day of the week if you can and you could get a better deal and make it easier for guests who might struggle to get a Saturday off.

Here are a few of our Top Tens to get you started; will anything make it on to your list?

Top Ten wedding dress designers

Ronald Joyce

Maggie Sottero


Vera Wang


Amanda Wakeley

Stuart Parvin

Nicole Spose

Gemy Maalouf

Sophia Tolli


Top Ten fabulous wedding cars

Jaguar E-Type

Beauford Tourer

Rolls Royce Phantom

1927 Vintage Rolls Royce Tourer

Badsworth Landaulette



Cadillac Fleetwood

VW Camper van

1970 Oldsmobile Delta


Top Ten sweet treats


Wedding cake (of course!)

Cake pops

Candy carts

Ice cream and waffle stations

Biscuit towers

French Crepes

Freshly made popcorn

Dessert shots

Pastel macarons


Doughnuts and candy floss (yes we know that is thirteen things, but if you can’t indulge at a wedding when can you?!)

UTC’s Guide to Live Music

UTC Logo BlackYou want live music at your wedding and have booked your perfect wedding venue. You’ve arranged the ceremony, sorted dresses, suits, transport, cakes, food and the all-important booze. To cap it all off you’ve booked your favourite band to really make the party go off with a bang! You’re all set for a party to end all parties….or are you??

For most people not involved in the live music industry, the booking and hosting of a performance can be a daunting process. Here are UTC’s 5 top tips to making sure your evening band will be able to perform without a hitch, giving you the best party they possibly can!

1. Always put venue and band in contact

Remember you are the paying client so the band work for you. This is also true of the venue. However, on the night the band and the venue will have to work together seamlessly to put on your wedding entertainment! It is always wise to ensure the person in charge of the band speaks to the venue co-ordinator in advance of the wedding. This should eliminate any issues on the evening and ensure any problem areas in the band’s contract (for which you will be ultimately responsible) are raised and highlighted before the event.

2. Check the venue out thoroughly before you sign the band contract

Hopefully your venue should have plenty of experience hosting bands and live music. They should have made you aware of any previous successes or failures, including rules and regulations for your band when you booked with them. They may also have various production elements or practical solutions that will be very useful for the band on the evening. The key things to check are:

Is there enough time in your itinerary for a band to setup? Most decent bands 4 piece and above, will require at least an hour to set up and then some time to soundcheck. There is a lot more to putting on a good band than meets the eye. Ensure this is compatible with your wedding schedule.

UTC band


Are there any noise limiting devices at the venue? These have become more commonplace in the last few years due to a need for bespoke noise pollution regulations to be imposed on individual venues. Reasons for having them can range from complaining neighbours to polluting an area of conservation. This is the biggest single element that can hamper a band’s performance on the night – always check and ask your band if this will be any UTC noise limiterproblem for them before you book. Most bands will perform at a dB level between 95-105. A lot of limiters will be around the 90dB or lower mark and will cut off all electrics to the room – including lights – if they are breached. Booking a 12-piece rock and roll band that can’t make as much noise as an alarm clock will be a complete waste of your money and will ruin your evening!


UTC stage


Do the venue have any production elements that could be used to take the performance to the next level? A lot of venues will have staging that can be used free of charge, or for a nominal fee. There may also be some lights installed or readily booked that will enhance the experience for your guests. Staging and Lighting does not often come as standard with bands, but can really add a wow-factor. Using what the venue already has can be a great way of making the band look at home in the space.



UTC Does the venue have a microphone for your speeches? It is a question we almost always get asked: “Can we borrow your microphone for the speeches?” Speech-based sound systems are designed very differently to dance floor sound systems, which is probably what your band will bring. Don’t forget to make sure you think about this in advance…it’s these small details that you don’t want to be worrying about on the day.



UTC acoustics 5Do the acoustics match your act? This is a really difficult question for a non-technically trained ear. A lot of wedding venues are large halls, castles, or even cathedrals. If you think of traditional acts seen in churches and halls, you will think of choirs or symphony orchestras. This is because the natural reverberations of the space will enhance these styles of performance. You may find that a lively band will struggle to be heard properly in these venues without correct acoustic treatment, and – trust me, here – no performer wants to hear “turn the vocals up!” without being able to do anything about it!!


3. Arrange a separate ‘greenroom’ for your band

Make sure you arrange your performers somewhere to relax when they are not performing. Whilst they are there to enjoy and be a huge part of your evening – they are ultimately working and, if they are worth their salt, will want somewhere to be when they are not performing. The caterers have their kitchen. The venue staff will have their back-corridors and offices. Leave your band out in the cold and risk a more stressed second set!

4. Design an appropriate performance Itinerary

What happens around the live music and when the band perform is the most important part of the planning. To make an evening entertainment programme work you should consider a few key elements:

  • Make sure you space things out time-wise so that the evening feels full.
  • It is always better to work backwards from your curfew when planning. It is far easier to have spare time after your wedding breakfast when the sun is still out than at the end of the night when people are in the mood to dance!
  • Never arrange catering and live music to be happening at the same time.

5. Make sure you think about keeping the music going when the band are not performing

Most bands will either offer you a DJ as part of their package, or at the very least be more than happy to facilitate the playing of iPods or Spotify through their sound system. This is crucial to the event…nothing kills a party’s momentum like not following up a smashing band performance. What you are aiming for is a full and fun evening; leave no moment quiet!

OK – so we hope you have found this information useful in planning the live music for your evening reception. Ultimately, any band who have good experience within the wedding industry should be completely equipped to deal with all of these issues. It is often the case, however, that bands will rely on you having read their terms and conditions. Do not leave this to chance – this is your big day, you only get one shot and only the best will be good enough.

This is a guest post by Adam Birkett from UTC Events  Tel 0161 413 0530

Edith & Winston Bridalwear

The Isla Gladstone in Liverpool opened its doors to allow Edith & Winston Bridalwear and a team of wonderful wedding suppliers inside, and the outcome was a beautiful Plus Size photoshoot staring Georgina Horne, model and blogger – Fuller Figure Fuller Bust.

Georgina is modelling the new collection of gowns available at Edith & Winston Bridalwear by Callista and Victoria Jane by Ronald Joyce.

Isla Gladstone Conservatory bandstand

This delightful setting was an ideal location to showcase just a few of the designs available from the Edith & Winston boutique located in Knutsford, Cheshire. Winners of the 2015 Plus Size Award for ‘Best Bridal Range’, we will use our expertise to assist you in selecting the dress of your dreams. We have invested in a beautifully crafted collection of designs that you can try on in relaxing surroundings and offer appointments so that every bride has our undivided attention at this very special time. We pride ourselves on fantastic customer service at our family-run business and the experience of each member of our team means that you can take inspiration and choose your gown with confidence. We would be delighted to show you our wonderful collection and help you to select the gown that not only looks fabulous, but that you will feel fabulous wearing.

The Isla Gladsone Conservatory


Edith & Winston Bridalwear

Edith & Winston Bridalwear









Edith & Winston Bridalwear

Edith & Winston Bridalwear









Edith & Winston Bridalwear

Edith & Winston Bridalwear










This is a guest post on behalf of Edith & Winston Bridalwear  01565 228080

Photography by Stephen McGowan

Flowers by The White Orchid Floral Boutique

Light Up Letters by Love Lights The Way

Make Up & Hair by Flossy & Leigh

Bridal Gown Details

Bridal gown details are what will make your perfect dress stand out from the crowd, whether it is a plunging back with lace insert, layers of delicate fringing or tiny sparkling beads, a glamorous strapless style in exquisite heavy silk, a fitted bodice with a sheer layered or frilled skirt, or one of the new floral bridal gown styles seen by several designers this season.

Have an idea of the sort of dress you might like to wear and do some research on designers and different styles; perhaps put together an online mood board with different dresses as and when you see something you like. It can be quite daunting to visit a bridal boutique, but you don’t need an appointment if you just want to browse or take a quick look at what they stock. Once you are ready to try some styles and start to narrow down your choice in a boutique that you like, it is definitely advisable to make an appointment, avoiding a Saturday if you can, so that there are assistants available who have the time to help and advise you on your choice without attending to other customers at the same time.

ruffled bridal gown

Keep an open mind! You might have your heart set on something only to try it on and decide that it doesn’t really suit you after all, or there are little details that you hadn’t noticed that you are not keen on. Of course you will be disappointed, but don’t worry; the perfect bridal gown for you is out there somewhere. This is where the assistants and owners of the bridal boutiques really come in to their own; they have seen thousands of gowns and hundreds of brides in just the same position as you and will be delighted to find the dress that just makes you gasp when you see yourself in the mirror, and will be able to give an unbiased opinion as well as advice on possible alterations. Take a trusted friend or family member with you at this stage for a second opinion, not necessarily your mum who will probably get a tear in her eye at the first dress you try and the twenty first!

Cheshire Bridal Wear – Jewellery!

Cheshire Bridal Wear

At Cheshire Bridal Wear we are constantly seeking to keep our Brides up to date with the latest styles and emerging trends in bridal wear, as well as the ever changing face of the retail bridal industry. We have a very close business partnership with Jeweller – Henry D Johnstone, in Alderley Edge and Poynton, and so it’s no surprise that selling retail jewellery had to be our next step in the evolution of Cheshire Bridal Wear!

We are now able to offer our brides a stunning range of Jewellery to complement their Bridal gown or Bridesmaids dresses on their wedding day in our Altrincham Bridal Showroom with brands such as Carat* London, Annie Haak and (from October 2016) Vixi Designs.

Carat* London– simple and elegant pieces of jewellery that combine the timeless glamour of a bygone era with a little modern day wear-ability. Jewels that are chosen rather than invested, admired rather than shown off and worn rather than hidden in a safe. Whilst Carat agree that nothing sparkles quite like a natural Diamond, they are certain that there is no better alternative than a Carat Gem.

bridal jewellery from Cheshire Bridal Wear

Famous in the world of celebrity, featured in fashion editorials and official jewellery partner to the BAFTA TV Awards, Carat is not only in tune with the latest trends but has a unique style that will simply embellish or complete your look on your special day and that you will enjoy wearing for many years to come.

bridal jewellery from Cheshire Bridal Wear

Each piece, set in Silver or 9ct gold ranges in style from elegant classic stud or drop earrings and matching pendants in a variety of stone shapes, to more contemporary pieces such as the millennium stacking bracelets. If you’re thinking of making more of a statement on the day, why not consider a coloured gem piece in emerald green, blue sapphire, light pink or canary yellow.


Annie Haak- Much of the inspiration for Annie Haak Jewellery comes from the Magical island of Bali, where designer Annie spends much of the year. Her influences are gathered from many aspects of Bali life; the local flora and fauna, and the colours and patterns found in the local markets and villages.

Bridal jewellery from Cheshire Bridal Wear

Created in Sterling silver and gold plated silver, the delicate and bold pieces each carry a special meaning or mantra to the wearer, representing Luck, Love, Protection, Strength and Wellbeing. With a bohemian influence in its style, this range of jewellery is perfect for weddings in so many ways! Particularly suited to the bride who wants a vintage inspired wedding, there is a choice of bracelet options and colourways, making them the ideal gift for Bridesmaids too – perfect as a symbol of your friendship and the close bond between the bride and her bridesmaids on the wedding day.

Bridal jewellery from Cheshire Bridal Wear

As a special promotional offer and introduction to our bridal store, we are delighted to offer our brides a preferential rate of 15% off our Jewellery ranges – quote CBB1 instore to receive this offer, (valid until 1st Jan 2017).

T: 0161 927 9393   E:

This is a guest post on behalf of Cheshire Bridal Wear.

Bespoke Details for Your Wedding

Bespoke details for your wedding mean that you will have a unique day even if you choose a classic theme for your wedding and hold it at a popular venue. There are some common elements to most weddings such as the wedding cake, rings and flowers but you will want to have something that is personal to you to make your day that little bit extra special.

sixties wedding dress

It is easy to add bespoke details to your wedding and it need not cost you a fortune. Having decorative details added to your wedding gown or making alterations to the style makes it bespoke, as will wearing something vintage; a handmade suit with distinctive lining, or button detail is also a bespoke item; your wedding rings can be hand made to your own particular design for not much more than a ready-made style and bridal headwear such as tiaras are often handmade which makes each of them a one-of-a-kind, unique piece.

Of course if you are able to really push the boat out for your wedding a combination of unusual location, locally sourced ingredients for your menu, your favourite cocktails, unfamiliar blooms in the floral arrangements, your own words included in the wedding vows and some eclectic musical choices can all add up to a quirky, unexpected and totally bespoke wedding day for you both.

Wow your guests from the word go with an unusual ‘save the date’. As these are not the actual invitations you can afford to go bold and choose something unusual from rustic wooden hearts with the details of the wedding, billboard style announcement cards perhaps including a quirky photo of you both or the story of how you met, single use cameras with a polaroid of the two of you and information on the back (especially useful if you are only having a short engagement, as the camera won’t be mislaid before the wedding comes around!), or perhaps an elaborate papercut card of your chosen venue or your honeymoon destination, particularly if it has a well-known landmark like the Eiffel Tower or something immediately associated with that place like a Gondola.

Your wedding day is something that you will remember for the rest of your lives, so make the little details count and have a fabulous day!

Charlotte Balbier at Cambric Gowns

Cambric Gowns are delighted to add the latest Charlotte Balbier collection to their portfolio of beautiful bridal gowns. The 2017 ‘Untamed Love’ Collection is different to other Charlotte Balbier designs and has been over twelve months in its creation. The Untamed Love Collection is about celebrating individuality according to Charlotte, who has taken her inspiration from her brides themselves as they are the most important thing to her brand. The collection has evolved taking account of feedback from brides and the connection that Charlotte has to them as individuals; the styles and shapes they are really attracted to and the gowns that speak to them personally whether they are looking for a glamorous gown or one that is the epitome of Boho Chic. Charlotte travels to shows all over the country and loves to meet her brides in person and chat with her clients; she says that the Untamed Love Collection embraces her inner hippy and her opulent side!

Charlotte Balbier Untamed Love Collection

The gowns themselves encompass a range of styles, fabrics and beautiful details to produce a unique collection of ethereal pieces, playful florals and classical romantic gowns.

The Agatha, Carmel and Bayley are beautiful fitted strapless gowns while the new Aphrodite gown is a beautiful halter neck with delicate lace detailing. Paige is simply stunning with a beautiful lace on skin back detailing and fishtail back.  The Posy gown is a stunning floral separate and the Rosemary gown is a beautiful one shouldered design with floral cut out details on the back. The Sofia and Rosalie gowns pay attention to a bride’s neckline and shoulders with beautiful lace and silver beaded detailing. The whole collection takes into consideration all shapes and sizes and gives brides a lovely choice of silhouettes to choose from.

Untamed Love Collection

The quality of the fabrics chosen for the Untamed Love Collection is second to none, with lots of tulle, silks, French lace, and rich Mikado fabrics. There are also specially designed fabrics exclusive to Charlotte Balbier such as the chiffon material which is only available via this brand. The Untamed Love Collection includes two floral gowns in a palette of soft sorbet shades of lilac, apricot, plum, pinks and muted greens making them truly show-stopping gowns.

Untamed Love Collection

There are beautiful colour palettes to choose from and alongside the traditional ivory hues are antique golds, silver pewters, apricot tones and of course Charlotte’s favourite blush and rose pink shades.  Any bride wanting to make a statement at her wedding would wow her guests by wearing a gown from the Untamed Love Collection.

Charlotte only designs gowns that she really loves and would find it impossible to choose a single design for her favourite, but she has been delighted with the response to the beautiful gowns in her latest collection. “I would happily recommend the Agatha gown for a classic bridal look, with its lovely strapless detailing. Created in classic, heavy silk the bodice twists into a lovely finish to add a modern look to this simple, classic design. The Luna gown is a stunningly beautiful lace dress with a deep plunge neckline and has proved to be an extremely popular style, but for the bride who wants to make a statement she would have to go for the Bloom gown or the signature Untamed Love gown.  These floral gowns would certainly be dresses to remember and would add the wow factor to any wedding with their wonderful, feminine style which could be beautifully accessorised with a floral crown detail for a full on Boho look.”

Visit Cambric Gowns to view pieces from the collection and choose the perfect gown for your wedding day.

This is a guest post by Petrina Blomeley for Cambric Gowns Tel 01352 753010

Happy 10th Birthday Glacial Art!

Our friends at Glacial Art have just celebrated their tenth year in business; a decade of producing fantastic ice sculptures and doing what they love every day. They gave us an update on what they have been up to lately and how they have grown since their humble beginnings in 2006….

Glacial Art ice sculptureLots of couples may have seen the fabulous ice sculptures created by Glacial Art at wedding fayres and events across the country, but fans will have also spotted their work in the incredible hit show Game of Thrones. HBO asked the team to create a striking piece of set for their Oathbreakers episode. “We crafted a huge “ice henge” with an ice altar – the perfect place for the Night King to take his victim. It was a real rush seeing our work on TV! A year later they contacted us again asking us to create something new for the promotion of the Season 4 Box Set. We took on the challenge of making the Iron Throne out of ice, and positioned it in Covent Garden where visitors could take a seat on it (don’t worry, there was a cushion put down!)”

Glacial Art have also contributed ice sculptures to both York’s Ice Trail and Durham’s Fire and Ice Festival, with over sixty ice sculptures made for York alone – and you can read all about it on their blog. They take regular commissions for sculptures and ice luges for weddings, have provided some classy decorations for the Grand National and also made a striking piece for the County Brides North West Wedding Awards which took place in June.

Poppy ice sculpture

They certainly like to keep busy, creating pieces for high profile brands like Adidas, Bench, MTV and Rolex as well as winning the European Ice Sculpting Championships, and having drinks with Quentin Tarantino!

See more of the Glacial Art team’s favourite projects in their Top Ten Countdown and let them know what your favourite piece is using #glacialversary

This is a guest post by Glacial Art tel 0151 521 5070

Wedding Speech Ideas

As Crewe Hall searches for the UK’s best wedding speech in its 2016 Wedding Speech Awards, the hotel’s expert Wedding Executive, Andrew Foster, takes a look at this year’s biggest speech trends and how to use them to your advantage.

Taking inspiration from last year’s Wedding Speech Awards entries, and his experience working closely with speech givers in Cheshire, Andrew gives his top tips for nailing your speech, particularly if you want to feature music or video.

Beverley, Rachael & David Foster Photography at Crewe Hall

Video speeches

What can you do?

One of this year’s biggest trends is incorporating video clips into speeches, or making the whole speech a video itself.

One option is to create a video montage, using a collection of photos, images and written messages for a new take on the ‘wedding PowerPoint’. You could use short clips of existing video footage, from either the bride or groom’s childhood videos or memorable moments the couple have shared for a trip down memory lane.

Alternatively, you could create a video which replaces the speech entirely. Take a look at one of last year’s Wedding Speech Award entries, where the best men used a video to tell the (fictional) story of waking up in a different country, with just eight hours to get home for the wedding.

Who it suits best

This is a great one for creative speech-givers.  It works particularly well if the bride and groom have documented their time together; think the couple that shower Facebook with holiday snaps! “Video speeches” are becoming a favourite amongst nervous speech givers, taking the pressure off being in the spotlight.

Our top tips

  • Speak with other members of the wedding party to find out what videos or photos might already be available
  • Ask yourself how you want your speech to be remembered. Do you want your speech to result in laughter, tears of joy, a blushing bride or groom, or perhaps all three? This will determine what kind of video will work best
  • Get in touch with the venue to find out where you’ll be presenting and what kind of facilities you’ll be working with. It’s no good relying on an on-site projector if you’re giving a speech outside! A full range of equipment can be organised with our hotel, please speak to your Wedding Co-ordinator.
  • Know the timeframe. Most wedding guests would agree that 10-15 minutes is a good length of time to keep your audience engaged, so creating a video is a great way to ensure you stick to the time limit

Frank Henshall Photography

Musical speeches

What can you do?

Since McBusted’s Tom Fletcher’s famous wedding speech, wedding songs have become immensely popular. It was also a song that won QHotels’ 2015 Wedding Speech Awards, a speech that went down a storm with the judges.

If you’re looking to turn your speech into a song, it’s a case of either re-writing the lyrics to an existing song, or if you’re extra creative, writing your very own song, personalised for the couple.

If you’re not much of a singer but play a musical instrument or know guests that do, you could even create a band for your speech and ask others to join in as an extra surprise.

If you’re looking to do something really memorable, this is a great way to go.

Who it suits best

If you have a natural musical talent then that’s fantastic, but the most important part of a musical speech is confidence! If you’re happy singing or playing an instrument in front of an audience – this one’s for you. Some people even find it easier than speaking.

Our top tips

  • Get some inspiration from videos that are already out there – just to see how they format the song and how they perform
  • Practice makes perfect! Practice in the car on your commute, or when you get the house to yourself – whenever you get a chance
  • Give your song a personal twist. Obviously you don’t want to copy another song word for word – make it really personal and meaningful, or just plain funny

Crewe Hall

Using props

What can you do?

Props can range from photographs to personal memorabilia and childhood possessions.

You might have an idea of a specific prop you want to use, but some people prefer to plan and write their speech beforehand and then think about the kind of props that they can use to bring the words to life.

Who it suits best

We have seen a huge increase in the use of props during speeches, especially from the best man. So if you’re looking to get the room in hysterics, this one’s for you. With the right props, it’s also great for sentimental speeches, to bring a sense of nostalgia to the occasion.

Props are also particularly helpful if you’re a nervous speaker – working as a distraction to take the spotlight off you for a moment.  Plus if you know you’re likely to fidget, it’s a great way to keep your hands busy!

Our top tips

  • Ask other members of the wedding party or family members if they have any memorabilia you could use in the speech
  • Think about how you will introduce each prop and what you can say about them, so the speech flows and you’re not lost for words
  • You could involve other people in your speech, by giving props to guests to introduce as you speak

The most important thing is to pick a speech format that works not only for the wedding party, but for you, the speaker. So we hope our guidance and tips can provide a good start to picking the right one for you!

This year, QHotels and the panel of judges at Crewe Hall will put together a shortlist of entries, and the public will then be invited to vote for their winner from the shortlisted speeches. Prizes include breaks at a choice of QHotels as well as golf and spa treats.

Any speech given at a wedding reception can be submitted, provided the speech is on a video that has been uploaded to the internet and is publicly available. Nominations can come from the speech-givers themselves, another wedding guest or even professional videographers.

This is a guest post by Crewe Hall  tel 0845 034 5777

Guys and Weddings

What does the modern guy want from his wedding these days? Apart from someone to share the day with of course! He might be fulfilling the dream of finding Ms or Mr Right, want a great excuse for catching up with all his mates from Uni at a weekend stag do, be longing to have a family or just be feeling all sappy and romantic having proposed in a moment of madness after a few tequilas!

Gone are the days when it was always all about the bride, there may not even be a bride at some weddings so the partnership of the people getting married should be the focus, not the big white dress. Everyone wants to have someone to share their life with and for most couples that means that they will probably think about getting married at some point. Weddings are big business so it pays to do your research and one of the best places to start is at a wedding fayre.

County Brides arrange lots of fayres and our magazine is one of the most widely read so you can get all sorts of information from our exhibitors and wedding features to begin to choose the elements that are the most important to you. Do you want to have a silver topped cane and a top hat, full highland dress, a beautifully tailored suit or will you just be happy that your partner turns up? Some guys are complete foodies and will want to taste test every menu going so they know that whatever happens on the big day the weak feeling in the knees won’t be due to an empty stomach! If they have been on a pre-wedding health kick it might be a lovely indulgence for both parties to be eating exactly what they like on their wedding day, whether that is fish and chips, a mouth-watering hog roast, an exquisite five course wedding breakfast or a delicious wedding cake.

Romance is still well and truly alive in the 21st century, with couples using all manner of technology to propose and share their wedding plans; whether they have met through friends, online, on a blind date or somewhere more unusual. Couples are arranging their weddings in unique locations, writing their own vows and not getting stressed about the guest list. If you are a guy getting married soon what is your ‘must have’ item for the big day?

Edith & Winston Bridalwear

Edith and Winston

Edith & Winston are delighted to announce NEW arrivals in to their boutique!

Plus Size brides have even more choice at Edith & Winston Bridalwear this summer with the arrival of a new designer, and new styles by one of the leading specialists in bridal wear for brides sized 16+. Brides visiting our boutique can now try on the newest designs by Plus Size designer Callista as well as our new designer Sweetheart.

Edith & Winston Plus Size Brides 3 Edith & Winston Plus Size Brides 2


Earlier in the year we decided it was time to bring a new designer into our Edith & Winston boutique. We were blown away by the quality and sizes available from bridal designer Sweetheart, making them the perfect choice. Their gowns are available up to a size 34 and our first two gowns have arrived in sizes 22 and 24. Both are made from soft tulle; one with delicate appliques. These two ball gowns are perfect for a bride who is looking for a romantic wedding dress.

 Edith & Winston Sweetheart Gown 1Edith & Winston Sweetheart Gown 2


This year, Callista have designed a beautiful collection of gowns, and excitingly they have introduced a new size to their collection, and are now available from a size 14. This expansion now means their range of beautiful gowns is available to brides from a size 14 through to a size 30.

Callista have been creating gowns specifically for the fuller figured bride for many years, each constructed to accommodate the needs of the fuller figure in terms of style, support and perfect fit. This new collection features soft chiffon fabrics, lace, pearls and crystals. More gowns will be arriving in our boutique over the next few months.

To find out when, follow our Instagram account:

To see our latest styles and bridal collections email:

or call: 01565 228080.

This is a guest post by Edith & Winston Bridalwear

Honeymoon Destinations

You might be looking at combined wedding and honeymoon destinations, and while we are very lucky here in Cheshire and the North West to have some of the UK’s finest wedding venues you might want something further afield that you can make in to a once in a life time trip and then have a celebration party with family and friends when you get back home. Here are some ideas…..

A wedding at Niagara Falls on board a ship against the backdrop of the Falls which are illuminated in stunning colour each evening. Say your vows on board an elegant ship and take in the romantic atmosphere of one of the most beautiful natural features on earth; you can also opt to have an extended cruise and a firework display as part of your package. Other options near Niagara Falls are a wedding in the picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake town which overlooks Lake Ontario, or the Little Log Cabin which is a delightfully intimate private wedding venue, set in beautiful woodland, just a short way from the Falls themselves.

Niagara Falls

For a true taste of Paradise you have to consider the Seychelles as one of the most fabulous honeymoon destinations. The main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue are stunning, with white sandy beaches, tranquil ocean views and tropical greenery. Whether you are looking for somewhere completely private and secluded or somewhere with a stunning panoramic view there are some beautiful places on these islands for you to say your vows under fantastic blue skies.

tropical beach

For a taste of a completely different lifestyle and culture a wedding in Japan offers such a range of experiences it is difficult to know where to start. This fascinating country has so much to see from imperial temples, shrines and gardens to neon skyscrapers and more pop culture than you can shake a stick at. It is a complex business to get legally married in Japan, so if you have your heart set on this your first port of call should be to the Japanese Embassy to make sure that you fulfil all of the regulations. The documentation required also varies in the different municipal areas of Japan so you will need to get expert advice before making any plans. It may be easier to have a register office service in the UK and then opt for a Shinto ceremony in Japan which is usually held in a beautiful shrine. It is acceptable to wear traditional kimonos for the ceremony, but check the hire cost carefully as it can be quite expensive. If you choose to honeymoon in Japan you can visit stunning national parks, ride on the bullet train, ski on some of the finest slopes in the world and see wildlife that is found nowhere else. Stay near Hakuba and visit the snow monkeys keeping warm in the hot springs or the town of Obuse famous for its connection to the artist Hokusai.

snow monkey

Wedding Attendants

Wedding attendants is the catch-all term for ushers, best men, matrons of honour, bridesmaids, flower girls and page boys. For something less formal, bridesmaids are sometimes referred to as ‘the girls’ ‘my girls’ or ‘gal pals’ particularly in the US. This term ‘girls’ is used whether the bridesmaids are in their twenties or their fifties! There are lots of other words and customs associated with weddings that have fallen out of popular use, and we love the word ‘bridallers’ which is another term for wedding guests. You could even change that to ‘bridaleers’ something altogether more elaborate; a sort of cross between a guest and a musketeer. If you are having a period themed wedding you could invite your family and friends to join your ‘band of bridaleers’ and add a touch of theatre to the proceedings.

small bouquetRevive another old wedding custom and ask your florist to make up a ‘tossing bouquet’ for you. Bridal bouquets can be quite heavy and expensive, especially with the current trend to incorporate pearls or crystal decorations, so you may not want to injure your wedding guests when it is thrown, or damage it if you want to have it preserved. A tossing bouquet is like a smaller ‘stunt version’ of your actual bouquet, made up with the same colours and blooms, but on a much smaller scale and without any heavy decorations; it would also make a lovely keepsake for the person who catches it if you have it made up in lightweight faux flowers.

woodland bridesmaidOur favourite term though (which we would love to see making a comeback) has to be ‘paranymph’ which comes from ancient Greece. It is a gender neutral term that was used for someone who escorted the bridegroom when he went to bring his bride home, or a bridesmaid who escorted the bride to the bridegroom. It also refers to someone who is a friend, ally or spokesman and sounds like just the sort of person, male or female, who you would want by your side on your wedding day. Quite aside from all of this, imagine a wedding in a woodland with lots of greenery and flowers and a whole row of forest paranymphs waiting to greet you – amazing!

The Perfect Wedding Guest

What makes the perfect wedding guest? You have spent time putting together the guest list, planning the seating arrangements, taking account of what you need to provide for your guests, and thinking about how they are going to enjoy themselves, but what if one of them behaves less than perfectly on your big day?

Most of us have seen cute kids playing up to the photographer at a wedding, but what if they are throwing a tantrum or even trying to have a food fight? Some couples make a decision to have an ‘adults only’ wedding and make this clear on the invitations, but as they may well have children themselves it is not always an option, and no one wants to offend their guests before they have even sent the RSVP by implying that their children might not be welcome. Far better to include them but plan to have a quiet area where they can go if they are getting over excited, don’t have a candy buffet which can lead to squabbles, and organise some sort of child friendly entertainment as they are less likely to misbehave if they are kept busy and feel like they are part of things. A photo booth with props is popular, or a selfie station with a big photo frame and a little goody bag with colouring sheets, pencils or a puzzle will give them something to do while the speeches are going on.

Sometimes it is the adult guests who are the issue, with hung over ushers, rowdy friends from Uni or indiscreet relatives telling tales out of school. If you think that any of these might be an issue plan what you will do together to deal with it or delegate someone well ahead of time who can keep an eye on any tricky situations. Families are made up of all sorts of people and if they have been invited then you must like them enough to have them with you on your special day. Most people won’t want to upset the newlyweds and if something happens that wasn’t planned you will have plenty to talk about when you are on your honeymoon and chances are it will all be sorted out by the time you get back – so just relax and enjoy yourselves!

A New Wedding Theme

cactus at nightLook at interiors magazines for ideas on a new wedding theme, as well as going to wedding fayres and checking out bridal and fashion magazines. Trends in home wares and fashion are closely linked and the tropical theme has been everywhere over the last few months, with pineapples, banana leaf designs and flamingos all making an appearance in pastel shades as well as the bright colours associated with the tropical look. If you want something that is on trend but a bit more neutral, what about a prairie theme? You can use the popular wedding signs in a bleached wood with white writing to decorate the venue, signpost to your outdoor ceremony, dress the bride and groom’s chairs with ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’, or simply as guest favours in a small size with the couple’s names and the wedding date on one side and just ‘thank you’ on the reverse .

horse drawn buggyDisplay dried flowers, petals and seed heads in tin pails with scoops and allow guests to fill a drawstring bag for a lovely scented favour to take home with them or to use as natural confetti if the venue allows. Pile up little hay bales or mini straw bundles on each table along with gingham napkins, scrim, hessian or linen placemats, plain white crockery, cutlery in mason jars at the buffet table and perhaps the odd cactus shaped vase or two and your prairie theme will start to come together. Calico drapes over the back of each chair are a lovely touch, and a nice contrast to the gilt style of chairs used at lots of wedding receptions. If you are having your wedding in a barn setting or hiring a marquee or tipi, it will be easy to accessorise to a prairie theme as there will already be wooden beams and natural fabrics for your backdrop.

You could even go all out and hire a covered wagon or horse drawn buggy to park outside your venue and use for photos!

Buggy photo courtesy of

Beautiful Wedding Stationery

engagement ringChoosing your wedding stationery is a lovely moment in your planning process. You will be sending save the date cards and invitations to all of your closest family and friends, thinking about writing their place cards and deciding who they will sit with at your reception. You might want to have something that reflects your personalities, enclosing a photo of the two of you, your engagement ring or the place that you will be going on honeymoon. If you are having a specific colour theme or motif for your wedding it is nice to be able to incorporate this in to your invitations. Include a sprig of heather or a tartan bow for a wedding in Scotland, shamrocks or harps for a wedding in Ireland, shell motifs or beautiful sea creatures if you will be getting married abroad or simply something that is special to the two of you; a musical reference, quote from a book or film, holiday landmark or just your favourite colour. beach theme wedding cakeYou can also link your wedding stationery theme or colour to your cake design, venue dressing, favours and floral arrangements.

Talk over your ideas with the person who will produce your stationery and they will be able to tell you about the different shapes, styles, colours and finishes that they offer, as well as bespoke details like foil accents, decorative edges or embellishments. Your ‘save the dates’ will go out 12 to 6 months before the wedding and the invitations 6 to 8 weeks before, although this is not a hard and fast rule. Just make sure that you factor in how long the invitations will take to be produced, plus extra time if you will be writing them and addressing the envelopes yourselves, as these things always take longer than you think. If you are writing the guests names, rather than having them printed on, remember to order enough to allow for a couple of mistakes – no one wants to get an invitation with someone else’s name crossed out!

Ring image courtesy of

Cake image courtesy of

Choosing a Venue Dresser

How your venue is decorated by your venue dresser can make all the difference to the atmosphere and the look that you want to create. Lots of venues will have recommended suppliers that they work with who know the venue well and are able to get the best out of it. They will have the insider knowledge of how the light falls in the room, what sorts of features will fit in, time required to set everything up and/or turn the room around for the evening and how different styles will come together in the space. If your venue does not have a recommended supplier here are our top tips and questions to ask when choosing a venue dresser yourselves.

top table

  1. Visit wedding fayres / shows. Venue dressers will often be attending and can show you examples of rooms they have decorated, they usually have some of their best feature items and props decorating their own space at the fayre so you can see the exact sizes.
  2. Chat to the venue dressers and make an appointment to meet with them as lots will have design showrooms or displays set up elsewhere with a lot more things that they can bring to a wedding fayre, so you can see if their style fits in with the design you have in mind. See if they are easy to talk to, it will be much easier to ask for changes to a design if you have a rapport with the venue dresser.
  3. Ask if they offer a range of services such as lighting, co-ordinated linens, chair coverings, bows and sashes, drapes or starlit backdrops, props, table centres, floral arrangements and so on. Can they source an item for you if they do not have exactly what you are looking for?
  4. Are they insured?
  5. If they have they worked with your venue before ask to see some photos of what they used to dress the space.
  6. Are they very well established?
  7. Do they have referral letters, testimonials or thank you cards on display?
  8. Have they been featured in any wedding publications?
  9. Visit their websites to look at more ideas and see if they have something that sets them apart from other venue dressers.
  10. Follow them on social media before making a booking as they will often post details of offers, events they are attending, competitions, or special packages.
  11. What are the terms of the booking and cancellation policies, particularly if you are ordering additional services or items that you want to see first.
  12. Do they have up to date safety certificates, particularly if they are setting any lighting features up for you.

Photo Opportunity

pre wedding shootA pre-wedding shoot is a great photo opportunity, a way to get some great images for your guest book, a chance to try out some new looks, an excuse to visit a favourite place, and perhaps most importantly, gives you time to get to know your photographer before the wedding day.

Lots of people will see the formal wedding photos from the day, but adding in a pre-wedding shoot and even a ‘trash the dress’ shoot as well really gives people the chance to see you as a couple, relaxed and having fun being together. There are lots of reasons to go with an engagement/pre-wedding shoot; here are some of our favourites…..

You get to know your photographer.

We would always advise choosing a photographer that you feel you have connected with, someone who gets the look that you want and understands if either of you are camera shy or if you want to be able to have elaborately styled images. It is important that you have someone you can talk to and feel relaxed with as they will be playing a big part on your wedding day and the more relaxed you feel with them around the better your photos will be.

Experiment with different styles

engagement shootThere is still a place for the family group shot at a wedding, but there are lots of styles out there and you can see what works best for you by looking at yourselves in the shots as well as seeing a photographer’s portfolio of work. You can also try out different styles of clothing, hair, make-up and poses to see what works best for you; this can help you get some great shots on the day itself.

Be creative

Ask your photographer to choose a setting or go to somewhere that is meaningful for you, a beach, woodland, city landmark or wherever and see what you can come up with. Stride across a zebra crossing in the style of a famous album cover, or dress in clothing from your favourite era, anything goes; the aim is to have fun and be more relaxed with your photographer.

engagement shootUse the shots to set the scene

You can us the shots to make up pages in a guest album for people to sign on the wedding day, or put a funny one in with your invitations to give people a clue to the theme of your wedding. They can also be used as part of a slide show at the wedding or be sent to guests as ‘before’ and ‘after’ with your thank you cards.

So get creative, talk to your photographer, and make the most of this photo opportunity!

Vale Royal Abbey

Vale Royal Abbey

At Vale Royal Abbey, we are extremely proud to present a magnificent and romantic wedding venue which is steeped in history and exudes romance. The exquisite splendour of Vale Royal Abbey alongside our friendly and professional service provides the required mix of formality, relaxation and enjoyment for your perfect day.

The Great House is an imposing sight when viewed on arrival and the modern facilities in this beautifully restored building provide a unique venue and one that radiates grandeur.

From the Great House Courtyard you will be equally captivated by the stunning surroundings with many a photographic opportunity throughout the adjoining grounds.

Great Hall - Vale Royal Abbey

The ‘Great Hall’ seats up to 150 guests for a wedding breakfast and is our largest room.  This stunning hall is a sight to behold with high vaulted ceilings, large wooden beams, ornate fireplaces and coats of arms, and looks magnificent when dressed for an occasion.

The ‘Library’ compliments The Great Hall and is the perfect setting for reception drinks and canapés on the arrival of your wedding party. For the evening reception, the Library also provides the perfect setting for your evening’s entertainment.   The Library is also licensed for civil ceremonies seating up to 120 guests and is also ideal for more intimate wedding breakfasts, seating up to 50.

Vale Royal Abbey - Ceremony

The ‘Lounge’ has its own individual bar and is the ideal reception area. This majestic room overlooks the stunning backdrop of the 18-hole golf course and beautiful Cheshire countryside.

With a wealth of expertise and experience in the wedding industry, here at Vale Royal Abbey, we know that no two weddings are ever the same.  Every bride and groom to be has their own idea and vision of their perfect day and we want to help create that.

The Great Hall - Vale Royal AbbeyWith this in mind, we have put together not only a “Build your Own” package but some “All Inclusive” options too.   We are very flexible and our dedicated Wedding Co-ordinator will work closely with you to give you the wedding of your dreams – if we can do it, we will!

Please take time to visit our website and read through our wedding options.  We aim to make the package details as uncomplicated as possible and ‘Future Bride and Groom Friendly’!  If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us; we will be delighted to answer any queries you may have.

This is a guest post on behalf of Vale Royal Abbey

Wedding Co-ordinator Debbie Howard 01606 301291

Choosing Your Wedding Rings

In a world of ever increasing choices and options available on most products these days, choosing wedding rings can be no exception, with a choice not only of metals to consider but widths, profiles, styles, finishes, diamond settings or even a combination of most of the above! Here’s our guide to helping you decide!




HENRY D JOHNSTONE - BLACK DIAMOND WEDDING RINGSChoose your Metal –  In the Brides case this is often decided by the engagement ring as it should be made from the same metal. The Groom may prefer to either compliment or contrast the Brides choice, Materials available are Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Titanium, or even a combination of metals.   White metals and rose gold are very popular at the moment, chosen by both the bride and groom alike.

Choose your band profile –  There are various options, these can be anything from the D -Shape, classic court shaped band through to a flatter shaped court band. The key thing for the Bride to bear in mind is how the band sits with the engagement ring as if it doesn’t sit flush it may need to be tailored to fit, using our bespoke service.


Select the width of the band –  Aesthetically you usually know which width looks more pleasing to your eye and compliments your hand. Depending on the hand and the style of engagement ring, this can determine the suitable width. 2mm – 4mm is most popular with Brides at the moment with most Grooms opting for a 4mm-6mm band.

Choose your detail – This can often be the hardest element to choose, as there are so many styles out there! For Diamond set rings, then consider taking inspiration from your engagement ring, as this usually means that both rings complement each other perfectly. Popular options are channel, grain or claw settings. For the groom this could be a choice of finishes on the surface of the ring, such as matt and polished or a combination of diamond cut grooves/ textures on the band, even a simple diamond setting. carbon fibre or titanium are popular current trends too.


Consider a bespoke service tailored around your needs – If you like certain elements of one ring and the style of another ring you’ve seen but are looking for something a little more unique then choose a bespoke service. Our specialists will discuss your ideas with you and after this consultation will take the inspiration and transform it into a series of designs or even a wax model, to create something uniquely yours.

Add a finishing touch with personalised engraving – we can engrave a truly memorable message inside each wedding band, with a choice of hand or machine engraving at our disposal. The message should be something personal to you both, often both of your names and the wedding date (useful as a reminder for the groom on your first anniversary!)  Or even a unique phrase that is special to you both, the choice is yours.

This is a guest post by Henry D Johnstone Jewellers

For more information Call us on 01625 583565 (Alderley Edge) or 01625 872470 (Poynton)

The Nation’s Best Wedding Speech

The search is on to find the nation’s best wedding speech, as Crewe Hall in Crewe launches the 2016 Wedding Speech Awards.

Crewe Hall and QHotels’ Wedding Speech Awards, now in its second year, will recognise the best speeches given at weddings, whether emotional, sentimental or just plain hilarious.

Over the next two months, Crewe Hall is calling for speech-givers and wedding guests in Crewe to enter the awards by posting a video of the speech they think truly stands out on QHotels’ Facebook page, using the hashtag #WeddingSpeech.

This year, the QHotels panel of judges will put together a shortlist of entries, and the public will then be invited to vote for their winner from the shortlisted speeches. Prizes include breaks at a choice of QHotels as well as golf and spa treats.

Crewe Hall

Last year’s winner, Chris Hall from Yorkshire, won the ‘best speech’ award with his best man speech, which took the form of a heart-warming and hilarious song. Commenting on his win, Chris said: “There’s a lot of pressure on the best man to get the laughs and I was really struggling writing a funny, original speech.  Then I heard McFly’s Tom Fletcher’s wedding song and suddenly thought, I could do something like that!

“I knew that it went down well on the day but never expected it to win a prize, I was so over the moon when I found out!”

Mart Louwerse General Manager at Crewe Hall, said: “We received so many fantastic entries into last year’s awards, with a range of memorable weddings speeches shared by the nation.

“Last year music was used in speeches, like Chris’, but in the 2016 entries we expect to see video production, as well as other creative ways to wow wedding parties.”

Entries can be submitted by the speech-givers themselves or a wedding guest, and must be available on a public video platform.

Beverley, Rachael & David Foster Photography

The launch of the Wedding Speech Awards follows the success of the QHotels’ Wedding Photo Awards, which took place earlier this year, and received over 100 entries and 1000 votes.

This year’s Wedding Speech Awards will be open to entries until 31st August 2016. For more information and terms & conditions, visit

You look Good on the Dancefloor

One thing you can always be sure of at any wedding is the kids strutting their stuff on the dancefloor.

Just before the first dance there will be an invasion of the dancefloor by very small people doing their ‘thing’

A lot of this ‘thing’ consists mainly of running around in circles and lots of spinning on the spot, while the adults look on in silent envy that they can’t ‘free up’ like when they were little.

you look good on the dancefloor01

It really shows how self conscious we become as adults, and usually how much alcohol needs to be consumed before the average adult can let themselves go and get down on it.

For a 5 year old just a couple of fizzy sweets and they are looking good on the dancefloor.

you look good on the dancefloor02

As a documentary wedding photographer it’s always fun to observe and catch some funny photographs of kids being kids and going wild to old family faves such as ‘Dancing Queen’ by Abba or ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees.

It’s funny to think when these kids grow up and are standing on the sidelines watching the next generation of kids running free on the dancefloor, they will be listening to the same classic cheesy music!

you look good on the dancefloor04

If you like the idea of having your wedding day captured naturally and without any interference from your photographer, I would love to hear from you.

This is a guest post by dW Photography

David Walters is a documentary wedding photographer at dW Photography.

A View From The Other Side!

A view from the other side might sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but we work with loads of fabulous businesses at County Brides and we meet lots of engaged couples so it is great to bring you a post from a couple who we work with about their own wedding day and pass on our congratulations!

Our Big Day

“As life returns to normal after our own big day, it has given us the opportunity to reflect on not only the greatest day of our lives, but also the importance of all those who contribute to a wedding and what we want to offer other couples through our business.

It is very true that the day goes by in a flash regardless of the length of the planning process, whether it is 10 years or 2 months. It can seem overwhelming when you start to consider all the elements but there are a few things that have become apparent through our own experiences which I hope will help people create the day they have always dreamed of.

Our Wedding Cake1) Do Your Homework– We are hugely fortunate to regularly liaise and work with a selection of extremely knowledgeable professionals who have masses of industry experience but for those who don’t have that luxury, it is vital that you research your suppliers. There is a huge difference between price and value and that applies whether it is high or low. If it is your cake, make sure you arrange a tasting session – we didn’t have that issue as Laura obviously made her own wedding cake! If it is venue dressing make sure you see the quality of the covers / sashes. If it is a photographer, make sure you not only like their style but that you get along with them as you will spend a great deal of time with them.

2) Prioritise What’s Important To You – No matter how you and try to do it or what end of the scale you are, arranging a wedding is expensive. When we first started to plan our big day, we priced up everything we could think of, including me arriving in a Ferrari and Laura in a Vera Wang dress. After seeing a total of £76,000 we quickly realised it wasn’t going to happen! We prioritised what was important to us. For some it may be the dress, for others it’s having the cake as a focal point. Very few couples have the luxury of an endless budget.

Table Set Up3) Visit Wedding Fairs – There is no better opportunity to gather ideas and talk to people who have a wealth of experience than at a wedding fair. All businesses will be happy to offer their expertise whether it is directly linked to their particular field or not. The internet is a fantastic resource and an essential aspect of any business’ marketing but, in my opinion, there is no substitute for human interaction and chatting face to face with the people who will be involved in the biggest day of your life.

4) Take Time For Each Other – Everyone will tell you that the day goes by in a flash and that is an understatement. From being awake with excitement at 6am to being sat with a few remaining guests in the bar at 3am the next day, I have no idea where it all went. I am very grateful for a piece of advice given by several people. At various points in the day, we took the time to take each other to one side and spend five minutes together. The memories you make on the biggest day of your life should be shared ones.

Table Plan


The wonder of weddings is that no two are the same. It is important that your wedding is a reflection of you both. Planning should be exciting. It will be stressful at times and there may be problems along the way but try and enjoy it. Several things went wrong on the day itself for us, but in hindsight only me and Laura knew or noticed. In fact, I didn’t even notice one of them until Laura told me!

Most importantly – enjoy every moment of the whole thing because it will be over before you know it!”


This is a guest post by Gaz & Laura Edwards from

Vogue Venue Styling –

and Bun & Dusted –

Choosing a Gift List

wedding signResearch into the wedding gift list has shown that guests like to be guided on their gift for the happy couple, so the benefits of having a dedicated gift list are clear.

Your guests can be sure that you will love whatever they choose and you won’t get any duplicate gifts; they can choose according to their budget if you have a range of price points on your list; it enables you to have contributions to something that you might never be able to afford, or to raise money for a charity that is close to your heart.

Look for a gift list that offers you different options that can be combined in to your perfect list, perhaps one that sources items for the gift list from multiple retailers and brands or a big high street name that you know and trust who you can register your gift list with. Think about what sorts of gifts you would like to receive and whether you need honeymoon vouchers or cash to be included in your options. Give guests plenty of choice so that they feel they have chosen something personal or quite indulgent. Ensure that you send out information about your gift list well ahead of time so that people can consider what they want to get. If you choose not to have a formal gift list you could include a short verse with the invitations to let guests known whether vouchers, cash, charitable donations are what you prefer, or whether you would just like then to be part of your special day with no expectation of  a present. Guidance on colours that you like could be useful for guests who might not know your personal tastes as well as a range of price points and information on how their gift will be delivered so they know you have received it.

Make sure that you have organised Thank You’s for all your guests, regardless of whether they have given you a gift or not, and perhaps include a note about their particular gift or a photo from the honeymoon if they have given vouchers. Courtesy costs nothing and everyone will be delighted to hear about your start to married life.

Summer Wedding

If you are looking for a fabulous theme for a summer wedding there is lots of inspiration out there wherever you look. Your holiday or childhood photos could be a starting point, or the clothes or music that you love; even your hobbies and interests can be the start of choosing your wedding theme. Tropical motifs such as fruit, parrots, palms and flamingos are popular at the moment and could add a real splash of colour to table decorations at the venue or for guests’ favours. Start with a motif that you love and then incorporate it into invitations, décor, place settings and floral arrangements. Carnival colours may not be to everyone’s taste and for a completely different look choose a summer wedding romance theme using lots of floaty layers, soft ivory, cream and neutral shades for the décor, small fresh flowers such or single blooms in miniature vases, paper ball decorations or a ribbon draped wall near the gift or cake display table look beautiful and understated. Of course you may want to make a bold statement instead using sparkling crystals, glitter, ostrich feather decorations and gold accents, or a red and silver colour theme for an opulent look.

The Wedding Cake House, Kennebunk Maine

Some themes will come to mind as soon as you see the features at your chosen venue, whether it has a sweeping drive, beautiful staircase, modern glass features, landscaped grounds or rustic details; so you can choose to have something that fits in with the atmosphere of the setting or something completely unexpected such as a folksy rustic theme in a boutique hotel or glamorous vintage details in a beautiful castle setting. A summer wedding will generally have good weather meaning that you can extend the theme to the outdoor space as well as the indoor, giving you different entertainment and catering options, so think about all of the things that you would like to enjoy on your wedding day and use those factors when choosing the perfect venue. As always, try and set a budget for the elements most important to you and your partner, whether that is the photographs, the venue, the wedding car or the food and then work out what else you can afford. You will wear the wedding rings for a long time so it makes sense to choose the designs that you really love and spend your budget on the things that will make your wedding day one that you will always remember.

venue dressing Isla Gladstone

A Wedding in Eden

Look no further as the myth becomes reality, entering your own personal
paradise at Signature Livings, Eden, the difference being that nothing here
is forbidden.

The journey towards your everlasting love begins at Eden where your wedding
party guests are elevated as close to the heavens as humanly possible.
Nestled atop the luxury Shankly Hotel, your guests are secluded within a
city centre rooftop garden, complete with sprawling terraces and
unrestricted 360 degree views of Liverpool’s iconic city skyline.

Eden Garden








Your day in paradise will be skilfully composed by our talented wedding
co-ordinators, no task is too big for their abilities in making this your
perfect day to remember. A flawless venue and superb staff service is only
enhanced by the stunning citywide back drop, where the furthest reaches of
your imagination could not conceive a more idyllic start to a lifetime of

The splendour of the garden terrace and cascading views are matched in
harmony with the interior of Eden’s roof top venue. An elegant combination
of the whimsy, grace and opulence that Signature Living is renowned for. The
elaborate reception area is surrounded by floor to ceiling glass walls that
envelope your guests with panoramic views equal to those visible from the
garden terrace. Your guests are able to appreciate those expansive scenes
from dawn until dusk, making your wedding day a treasured experience that
will last in their memories as well as your own.

Eden Wedding








Lastly, making the whole experience the most unforgettable of your life, is
your overnight accommodation in The Bridal Suite located within The Shankly
Hotel. Embark upon your first night as a married couple, with Signature
Living providing you a haven in which to celebrate your new marriage. Our
Bridal Suite is grandly adorned with hand carved furniture that has become
synonomous with the decadence of Signature Living accommodations. A unique
hanging chandelier illuminates the suite in an other-worldly glow and floats
elegantly suspended above an expansive luxury clad bed. Also boasting a vast
mosaic Jacuzzi bath and wet room ensuite, and all completed with those
glorious city centre views across Liverpool, a perfect complement to the
most romantic night of your life.

We have the best of what Liverpool has to offer in terms of location,
facilities, staff service, and accommodation all under one roof, make sure
your wedding day is one that others dream of, at Signature Living’s Eden.​

This is a guest post by Signature Living’s Eden   Tel 0151 236 0166

Lisa Hall Weddings & Events Supervisor Tel 07557 352963

The Best Boutonnieres

buttonholeBoutonnieres or buttonholes are the decorative flowers pinned to the groom’s lapel and will usually be in the colour theme that matches other arrangements or the bride’s bouquet. Alternatives are to give the groomsmen and bridesmaids similar flowers and the bride and groom something different. While a simple freesia and fern may smell lovely, there are all kinds of alternatives and some grooms may prefer to just roseshave a coloured waistcoat and handkerchief in their top pocket rather than any flowers.

If flowers are going to be used then try and make the boutonnieres as interesting as possible, with the addition of small succulents, vivid ribbons, seed heads, feathers and more sculptural elements which are all able to be utilised in this scale of arrangement. Three pastel roses tied with grey sweet william flowerssatin ribbon looks understated and sophisticated, while shapes such as the ball-like craspedia are a fun touch and would work nicely with a balloon wedding motif. Heathers, acorns, teasels, wired elements, leaves, corks and even bottle tops can all add interest to the boutonnieres, and as there are only a few required they are easily something that could be put together by the couple ahead of the day, particularly

origami flowerwhen using dried flowers rather than fresh blooms. Handmade origami or paper flowers with rustic hessian leaves tied with waxed string can look great for a relaxed wedding and can add a personal touch if they are made from pages of the couple’s favourite books or a printed poem. If fresh flowers are preferred, make sure to speak with your florist well in advance in case anything needs to be specially ordered or a seasonal alternative sourced. You should also leave time to see a finished example of any floral arrangements to make sure that you are happy with the design and the amount of flowers you will get.

Beautiful Bridesmaids

Most brides will want to have at least one bridesmaid with them on their wedding day. Bridesmaids, flower girls, matron of honour, gal pals; whatever you want to call them they can be an invaluable support for this very special day. It is lovely for little girls to have the chance to be bridesmaids, and it is an experience that they will probably always remember, but it is also a way to show your appreciation to your closest friends, by making them an important part of your day.

wedding partyChoose your bridesmaids carefully and ensure that you explain their duties and your expectations, just in case it all seems a bit much. Some friends who you may be close to would be horrified at being in such a high profile role, so have a chat with any prospective bridesmaids before making your final choice, and don’t forget to take account of your budget. If you are planning to foot the bill for everything and expect to have the final say on the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses then make this clear, and equally you should let them know if they are expected to pay for their own dress or accessories, so there are no misunderstandings!

There are beautiful cards and little gifts to help you ask the question and most people will be delighted to be considered for the role. It is usual to purchase small gifts for the bridesmaids and flower girls so factor in this cost when you are choosing how many to have, as it can quickly get expensive with dresses, shoes, accessories, flowers and so on for each one. If you are having family members and friends who have not met each other, ensure that they can get to know each other in the run up to the wedding so they feel relaxed on the day, and you will have one less thing to worry about!

Gorgeous Groom

Lots of weddings have a gorgeous groom at centre stage, and they want to look their very best on their wedding day. There is more choice than ever before for the gorgeous groom in your life, so start to think about how he wants to look as well as planning your perfect wedding gown, fabulous flowers and delicious wedding cake.

Morning dress is not for everyone, so think of the other choices that are out there; with fabulous fabrics, meticulous tailoring and stunning linings he could have a truly bespoke outfit that he can wear again and again.

Even leaving aside the more considered purchase of a bespoke design, there are lots of options to look smart, on trend, classic or relaxed, as well as comfortable which is the most important thing. Just like some brides, some grooms will have body confidence issues whether it is flat feet, a pot belly or unruly hair and he will want to look his best on the big day so start weeding out those outfits that he just does not feel right about.

If you are the groom, don’t get swept away from the decision process, if you would never wear a tweed waistcoat or a flat cap ordinarily then why start on your wedding day, no matter how relaxed or rustic the theme is? There are still ways that you can complement your partner’s style without compromising your own, and you must like some of the same things or you would not be getting married to them, so don’t be afraid to have your say!

It is a myth that men don’t have much interest in fashion or shopping, they are as capable of drooling over a new outfit as anyone else, so talk to your groomsmen and see what ideas they have, check out the menswear in wedding magazines and fashion magazines, then impress your partner with your suggestions for how you will be the most gorgeous groom anyone has seen in a long while!

Cherish Bridal Films

Cherish Bridal logo

We love to be able to answer brides’ questions here at Cherish Bridal; our advice and information can really help when choosing the perfect gown. We have now made an informative film for brides to give them even more help and ideas, collaborating with Paul Kyte from Paul Kyte Photography after being recommended by Cathryn Kerwin Rawlinson, another Award Winning professional and friend of ours – we are so glad we were introduced!

After lots of phone calls, emails, messages and a preliminary meeting we arranged a date to complete the filming! It was a new thing for us and a bit nerve wracking, but Paul had lots of great advice. Our model, Jessica Winstanley, is also one of our brides making the film very customer friendly and personal; she was an absolute star with her acting experience, just perfect for the role.


We aimed to give brides advice on choosing their gown, what to expect at the boutique and answer questions about when they should start looking to try and buy. With over 15 years of experience in the business and voted Best Bridal Shop and Business of the Year in the County Brides North West Wedding Awards for 2015, you know that it’s advice well worth listening to.

We are extremely pleased with the resulting film and hope it will encourage brides to interact with us by asking questions that we can answer in future films and we would love to have your feedback on this.  If you have any questions we would love to hear from you and perhaps we could answer through future films.

If you would like to see both Cathryn’s film and ours click on the links below, we would love your comments and perhaps we could make a film just perfect for you!!

We really hope that you enjoy these films and don’t forget if you have any wedding related questions that we can answer or suggestions for wedding suppliers that you would like to see featured on the Cherish Bridal website please send us an email or

With sincere thanks Paul & Jess for helping make this film possible and to Cathryn for her recommendation.!Wedding-dress-advice-from-Cherish-Bridal/c19dt/5723812b0cf269c350f399e5!Bridal-makeup-tips-from-wwwmadeupbycathryncouk/c19dt/56ce21ed0cf2836ff5d76807!Bridal-makeup-tips-from-wwwmadeupbycathryncouk/c19dt/56ce27380cf29064e5f0a03e

Wedding Photography & Photo-films by Paul Kyte Photography, visit: 

photo credits

Daniell Outram

Choosing Wedding Transport

Choosing wedding transport is an important part of planning your wedding day so we have taken some advice from Grosvenor Classic Cars on choosing the right vehicles for your requirements.

Grosvenor Classic Cars


Traditionally the bride arrives at the wedding marriage ceremony with her father, or the person chosen to give her away. The mother of the bride travels separately in a car with the bridesmaids to arrive about ten minutes before the bride.
The groom should arrive at the place of marriage well ahead of the bridesmaids together with his best man and the groom’s party including the ushers.
Following the marriage ceremony the bride and her new husband travel together in the bride’s car to the reception venue.

Wedding transport is a very important part of the wedding day; it is the last journey a daughter will make with her father as a single person and her first journey as a married woman with her new husband.

Look for a well-established wedding car provider with a range of vehicles for weddings which can accommodate the members of your party. Consider the practicalities of the cars; for example if the bride will be wearing a large skirted dress it will require a spacious area at the rear seats to avoid being creased or damaged.

Open top cars are fine for photographs, but when travelling the wind and backdraft can destroy an elaborate hairstyle; check with the car provider how long it will take for the driver to lower the hood and re-erect it as often this can take half an hour.


Vintage and classic cars are very popular among brides who have chosen a traditional Church wedding.
Vintage cars are generally considered to be cars made between 1919 and 1930 whereas classic cars were made in the 1940’s to the 1970’s.
It must be appreciated that some vintage cars can only travel at speeds of around 35mph, so you will need to take this into account if the distances to be travelled are considerable. Older vehicles need to be very well maintained and can have a risk of breakdown.
Some wedding cars available are specifically made to meet the needs of wedding car companies such as the Beauford which is a 1930’s style car with Ford Cortina engine and running gear.

Grosvenor Beauford


Generally wedding cars are provided for a period of about four hours or whatever you have agreed with the provider; most will not make multiple trips with the bridal car prior to the marriage to ensure that the car is spotless for the bride.

Time should be allowed for photographs with the car(s) at various stages through the hire period within the price quoted by the car provider.
It is not normal for the bridal car to be used as transport to the airport at the end of the evening reception. Companies can make a separate agreement to provide a private hire licenced car for this.


Viewing is essential for you to check the condition of the cars offered but it is also your chance to sit in each car to confirm that the space available is sufficient for your dress. This is your chance to ask questions about wedding transport and draw from the experience of the supplier.


Reputable wedding car providers will have a high standard of dress code such as a grey suit, white shirt with plain tie, black shoes, chauffeurs cap and black leather gloves.
In the case of vintage cars the chauffeurs may wear authentic tunics and long boots.


Ribbons should always be supplied and fitted by the car provider. We consider that ivory coloured ribbons and bows are most suited to our cars but can provide a colour of your choice.
Flowers in the form of silk bouquets are normally provided in the rear windows of the cars.

This is a guest post by Grosvenor Classic Cars 0800 999 5151

14k Gold Wedding Invitations by Adorn!

Vanessa WilliamsIn the summer of 2015 – Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty star Vanessa Williams was wed to NY accountant Jim Skrip. Vanessa and her partner met whilst cruising down the Nile in Egypt, and wanted their wedding cards to reflect their unique love story.

Their ceremony and celebration was a beautiful and luxurious Egyptian themed event fit for a King and Queen. A UK based design company, Adorn Wedding Invitations, was given the job of designing and manufacturing an invitation that would rival a piece of art.

For months, the Adorn design team worked tirelessly to create a design that truly reflected Vanessa and Jim’s incomparable romance and their special theme.

Magical Designs fit for an Egyptian Goddess

The Adorn team was intent on taking advantage of this opportunity to produce the most extraordinary and impressive invitation suite to date. No detail was too minute with every single element receiving the full attention of the design team; as a result the whole design studio drew on every component of the couples’ history and wedding plans to compile their inspiration.

This thorough attention to detail allowed Adorn to gain a strong vision of colours and textures that would work perfectly for Vanessa’s wedding. They also ended up collaborating with Vanessa’s wedding planner on colours and decorative elements for the actual celebration. From laser cut golden cupcake holders, to lavish table cloths and napkins, Adorn worked together with Vanessa and Jim to create an overall design aesthetic for the wedding. This was then beautifully translated through to their invitation design creating an overall cohesion.

adorn wedding invitations

The actual concept for the design was hugely influenced by one of Vanessa’s Carmen Marc Valvo gowns.  Adorn took some of the intricate detailing featured on the gown, and transcended that onto the invitation.

Bringing the Invitations to Life

Inspired by the Egyptian landscape where the couple first fell in love, Adorn utilized the golden sandy plains and delicate splashes of colourful flora along the Nile bank as inspiration for their colour theme, finally settling on sparkly metallic gold and rich vibrant Marsala.

To create this vivid tone of Marsala – the design team mixed multiple inks and shades using Adorn’s vintage printing machinery that is exclusive to their design studio.

The gold foiling that was used for the invitation shimmered and sparkled exactly like the gold decor in the other wedding elements, giving guests a small preview of the opulence of the wedding ceremony itself.

An intricate and delicate laser cutting technique brought details from Vanessa’s gown into the invitations with the first stage being a hand drawn design, rarely found in creative design processes today. Once a small section was drawn it was scanned in to a computer program to be duplicated exactly, meaning that Adorn were then able to laser cut the exact design detailing onto every one of the invitations.

adorn wedding invitations

However, the most exciting detail that was featured in the design was undoubtedly the 14k golden lotus flower individually applied to each invitation. During the inspiration and design process Adorn discovered that Jim had designed a one-of-a-kind ring with a lotus leaf engraved onto the inside. It was explained that the very complex symbol represents spiritual awakening and divine beauty, a perfect tribute to the couple’s newly blossomed relationship.

Results – A Piece of Art to rival Historic Egyptian Creations

Adorn Design StudiosThe final design for Vanessa and Jim’s invitation was the result of months of cooperation and thoroughly researched inspiration. All of the hard work and attention to detail resulted in an exemplary product and the couple absolutely falling in love with the finished article; so much so that Adorn later discussed the idea of recreating it in a cheaper, more versatile option, soon to be available to the public.

Working with Vanessa  

VW-Wedding-Invites_20160505T015153.815514Z“No decorative element could have overshadowed the stunning Egyptian goddess that was Vanessa Williams on her wedding day. With sleek straight hair, blue smoky eyes and glamorous golden accessories, Vanessa was able to stun all of her guests (and now husband) with her sheer beauty.

The couple’s elegant Egyptian theme was effortlessly evident in all elements of their wedding, which couldn’t have reflected their fateful meeting any more perfectly.

We were just delighted to be involved with such a star, and share our vision for creating invitations to match such a magical event.”  Remarked the design team at Adorn Wedding Invitations.

This is a guest post by Adorn Wedding Invitations +44 20 3286 5588

Goodbye to our Blogging Newlyweds!

Goodbye to our Blogging Newlyweds, Rebecca and James who have been sharing their plans with us and were married in March at Wrenbury Hall. From the proposal story to their honeymoon in stunning Thailand we have gained an insight in to how it all came together for their special day. In this, their last post, Rebecca shares some reflections since the wedding and some tips for other couples embarking on their own adventure…

IMG_7187[1]“After the wedding, I had a few days to reflect back on the whole experience and I wanted to share some tips/advice in the hope that it may be helpful to some of you.

1 – Spend some time together sharing your experiences and stories of the day of the wedding and the wedding itself. I loved hearing about how James’ morning went and seeing some of the photos he had taken in the morning.

2 – Don’t forget to budget and arrange for your wedding dress to be cleaned! I’ll hold my hands up and admit that this isn’t something I had arranged before the wedding but luckily, Terrington Burchett were really helpful in advising me the best way to go about having my dress and veil cleaned and preserved and fitted me in quickly.
Ladies, this is something that you definitely need to consider whether you’re selling your dress or not… I’ve heard a few horror stories about dresses turning mouldy very quickly!

3 – Slow down.  We were so lucky to have received our photographs and video within a couple of weeks of the wedding. However, we chose to spend time enjoying these ourselves and with friends and family before sharing them on any social media sites.

4- Think about paying it forward. We took some of our centrepieces to the local St Luke’s Hospice the day after the wedding, in the hope that our flowers could bring some happiness to others too.
We’ve also shared some other aspects of our wedding styling and décor with family and friends.

5 – Carve out some time together. Everyone gives engaged couples this advice and I can see why! It can be hard to find time to sit down and talk about the day or just take it all in as things can be so busy during your wedding day.
Luckily, James and I had agreed to find moments to sneak away and find a quiet corner throughout the day. This included some time alone straight after the ceremony and being taken for a little drive together before the meal.

6 – Accept that something might not go to plan. I completely forgot that we were putting flowers in the Bridesmaid’s hair so that didn’t happen, and I forgot to give my parent’s their wedding presents (which were all to be used during the day!).
I had already prepared myself that something might not go to plan and so I wasn’t stressed out when I remembered these things and was just grateful it wasn’t anything more serious!

It has been an honour to share our planning and wedding experiences with you all and I hope some of it has been useful.
Thank you for reading!

Mr and Mrs Kinnear

North West Wedding Awards Finalists 2016


We are delighted to announce the Finalists across the twenty five categories eligible for this year’s North West Wedding Awards. The Gala Evening where the Awards will be presented takes place at The Imperial War Museum in Manchester on June 15th. Brides and Grooms across the North West have been voting for their favourite suppliers in recognition of the excellent products and customer service that they have received from businesses within the wedding industry who have helped them to create their perfect day. There will also be a special County Brides’ Award and an Award for the New Business of the Year for which there are five finalists

  • Jade Maguire Photography
  • Poppins Parties & Events
  • The Bridal Suite
  • Vogue Venue Styling
  • Wedding World Photography

Tickets for the event are priced at £60 per person and the evening promises to be a glamorous and exciting affair. This Black Tie Gala evening includes a drinks reception, a fabulous three course meal, music and entertainment as well as the Awards presentations; and is also a chance to raise some money for County Brides’ nominated charity of the year.

Finalists in alphabetical order from across all categories are as follows:

30 James Street

Abbey House Hotel

All About Marquees

Askham Hall

As You Wish

Attire Menswear

Beau Bridal Hair

B E Events and Occasions

Belle Epoque

Best Western Smokies Park Hotel

Big Chief Tipis

Bob Williams Words


Boutique Brides of Crosby


Bramhalls Amusements

Bride By Swarbricks

Candystripe Productions

Carol Annes Florist

Carrie Jackson Photography

Castle Green Hotel

Cathryn Kerwin Rawlinson

Cherish Bridal

Corrs Cakes

Crewe Hall

Dancefloor Couture DFC

Designed By Natalie

Devlin Designs

Dream Dress Bridal

Duncan Fisher Hair Designer

Edith & Winston Bridalwear

Elegant Cake Designs

Elegant Steps

Envision Images

Eustace Flowers

Ferraris Country House

Foam Wedding Flowers by Joanne

Freeze Frame Productions

Harry Jon Hair & Makeup

Hattie Boo Designs

Helen Williams Photography

Henry D Johnstone

Hipping Hall


Holiday Inn Liverpool

Horgans Wedding Cars

I Do Venue Dressing

Isla Gladstone Conservatory

Jacqui O Fairytale Flowers

Jade Maguire Photography

James Wray Wedding Films

Jo’s Couture Cakes

John Norcott

Jukebox Function Band

Kay Nelson Gowns

Kie Gifts & Events

Knights of Disco

Knowsley Hall

Kreative Hairdressing

L & J Formal Hire

L & M Events

Laurel Weddings

Let’s Make Something Beautiful

Lillya Grace Bridal

Love Lights The Way

Malvern Wedding Cars

Mere Court Hotel

Merewood Country House Hotel

Mr & Mrs W


Ordsall Hall

Perfect Days Weddings & Events

Polka Pops

Poppins Parties & Events

Regal Wedding Cars

Regent Classics

Retro Booths

Rojers Jewellery

Rollers Wedding Cars

Roses & Hearts Boutique

Rowton Hall & Spa

She Devil

Shuffs Separates

Silken Stories

Sister Sister Bouquets

South Cheshire Marquees

Statham Lodge

Stefans Jewellers

Steve Hillman Photography


Tanya Lloyd Photography

The Bridal Suite

The Crystal Shoe Company

The Live Piano Experience

The Place Aparthotel

The Quilts Party Band

Tiffanys Wardrobe

Vanilla Nova Cakes

Venus Venues and Events

Vogue Venue Styling

Wayne Farrow

Wedding World Photography

West Tower Exclusive Wedding Venue

Words To Glow

Wrenbury Hall

YCM Wedding & Events

YSD Media

Honeymoon in St Barth’s

St Barth's Linda BettsGlossy magazines have been all about St Barth’s for quite some time. Over the last 50 years this tiny island has become a jewel of the Caribbean. Why has this place become home away from home for the Hollywood royalty, the pop princesses and the sultans of Silicon Valley and why is it so perfect for your honeymoon? It offers such a balance of beautiful nature, super nice hotels and fun stuff to do that you will not want to leave.

Romantic retreat

St Barths palms Linda BettsTake advantage of island’s remote location, exclusivity and find yourself a place in one of the romantic hotels on the island. The combination of beautiful mountains and turquoise blue waters make a picturesque backdrop for your honeymoon. Where to stay then? Check out the some of the most famous hotels in St Barth’s: Le Guanahani or Le Sereno.

Rent a convertible Mini Cooper and do a romantic trip around the island. On the way, stop at Nikki beach and have a stroll there, dip in the beautiful turquoise water and get a rum cocktail from a nearby bar. Check out St. Jean with an array of beach bars, colourful boutiques and clubs.

Go to the mountains and find a spot either in nature or try Café Santa Fe and watch the sunset.

St Barts view Linda Betts

Treasure Hunt

St Barth’s is a French island and you can feel the style and nonchalance all around you. You will fall in love with it. Cafés serve beautifully arranged macaroons with your glass of iced coffee. For a touch of Saint Tropez, dress up in the evening, nip down to the coastal town of Gustavia to shop for designer outfits and accessories before you head over to one of the amazing French restaurants for dinner in the yacht club. For casual dining check out La Creperie. Take advantage of evening temperatures and take a walk around the marina.

St Barths marina Linda Betts


Charter a wooden sailing yacht for the day and do a trip around nearby uninhabited islands.

Get a ferry to nearby island of Anguilla which has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Check out neighbouring island of St Maarten and don’t miss Maho beach where you can see planes taking off and landing right above your head from the airport with the craziest runways in the world. Experience the jet blast like nowhere else.

St Barths yachts Linda Betts


Did you know?

  • St Barth’s is a short version of the official name Saint-Barthélemy
  • No house in St Barth’s has a house number, they each have a name
  • Before the beginning of the 70’s St Barth’s had no electricity and hardly any tourists
  • This island is only approximately 9 square miles in size
  • Island is so safe that even the police department is closed over  lunch time and most of the weekends
  • Even though the island is the size of a pin, there are four spoken languages: French, St Barth Creole, English and Patois.
  • The island has 22 white sand beaches.


Originally settled by the French, this lovely island was once traded to the Kingdom of Sweden giving it a unique blend of both cultures.

How to get there

From Europe: Two carriers fly to nearby island of St Maarten: KLM and French airlines. From USA, fly Delta or American Airlines. All major airlines fly once daily. From St Maarten you can catch a regular small plane flight to St Barth’s. If you are scared of flying in small planes, there is a back-up option: a regular ferry service.

St Barths postcards Linda Betts

When to go?

The best time to go is in May and June. The weather is perfect!

Avoid September, October and November.


St Barth’s is definitely not a budget honeymoon destination. But it gives you taste of perfect. Start saving up!

This is a guest post by Linda Betts, Cheshire wedding and fashion photographer


Our Blogging Newlyweds!

Our Blogging Newlyweds, Rebecca and James, are bidding us farewell soon(although we may catch up with them around their 1st anniversary to see how things have settled down) but before they go they are sharing a few pics of their honeymoon in Thailand and a final blog with some tips for other engaged couples about what they have learned over the months of their engagement and some reflections since their wedding. It has been a great insight in to what modern brides and grooms want from their wedding day and we hope to be following another couple’s story soon.

blogging newlyweds“We were lucky enough to be flying out to our dream honeymoon 3 days after the wedding, which meant that we had enough time to frantically pack and organise our currency.

We had used a wedding honeymoon gift list which meant that many of our wonderful guests had paid for different aspects of the honeymoon (such as the airport lounges, Tuk Tuk rides, meals out and sightseeing excursions).

We really loved this idea as it felt like our guests were part of the honeymoon and we hoped that our guests enjoyed knowing specifically what their contributions had gone towards instead of it just being money given to us and never seen again.

IMG_8223[1]Thailand is somewhere we had always hoped to visit as we both love Thai food and culture – and it certainly didn’t disappoint!!

Bangkok was as busy and colourful as we had heard and our lovely tour guide – Miss Pookie – was so helpful in showing us round all the temples and markets.

From Bangkok, we flew to Phuket and had an overnight stay in a lovely resort on the beach. We took a ‘party tuk tuk’ to Bangla Walking Road (quite an experience!!) and enjoyed a night out together. Everyone in Thailand seems so friendly and welcoming, and they all loved the fact that we were on our honeymoon – which was nice!


The next stop was the Elephant Hills retreat in the Jungle. We stayed in a luxury tent and spent our time here being kayaked down the river, washing, feeding and stroking the elephants and trekking through the jungle for a cooking demonstration.
The whole experience was so humbling and breathtaking; I have never experienced anything like it.

The final destination was the beautiful province of Trang on the South of Thailand. We stayed in a luxury hotel right on the beach and just hit the ‘pause button’ on reality.
During this part of the honeymoon we snorkelled in the Andaman Sea, swam through the Emerald Cave, visited the night markets and had a private dinner on the beach (definitely a highlight!).

We had such an incredible honeymoon and were surprisingly sad to return to the real world after such a wonderful journey into our married lives together.”


Callista at Edith & Winston

Edith & Winston Bridalwear are excited to bring to Cheshire the newest collection by Callista.

Callista are Edith & Winston’s specialist bridal designer who caters for the plus size and curvy bride.

Edith & Winston Melbourne

Edith & Winston Santorini











The new collections that we have seen by Callista have become so popular with our brides, and each year we find more and more designs that we love.

Callista specialise in wedding dresses for brides sized 16–30, and they have mastered designing for the plus size bride.

The Callista collection offers an elegant selection of exclusive plus size wedding dresses. With corset lace-up backs and boning in all the right places, a plus size bride can feel safe and secure wearing a modern style wedding gown. Every dress in their collection is designed to offer the fuller figured bride style, comfort and the perfect fit on her special day.

Edith & Winston Aruba (1)

Edith & Winston Tahiti (1)











During our first year, we were surprised by just how popular our first collection by Callista was with our brides. This year, we have taken more samples than ever before, so that you can see a larger range of designs. Some of our favourite highlights from last year were our Callista Trunk Show weekends, so we are extremely pleased to announce that we will be holding our first Trunk Show of the year in June. Places are limited, and we have already taken appointment bookings.

Edith & Winston Seychelles 2 (1)

Edith & Winston Seychelles (1)











The Trunk Show is taking place on Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June.

If you would like to see the new collection for the first time, as well as take advantage of exclusive discounts, please book an appointment with Edith & Winston Bridalwear. These beautiful gowns will be with us for only one weekend, so don’t miss out on seeing the collection!

Visit our specialist boutique based in the picturesque town of Knutsford, Cheshire.

Our family run boutique is an experienced plus size specialist and winners of the 2015 Plus Size Award for the best bridal range. During our Callista Bridal designer weekend you will have a personal one-to-one consultation with Rebecca and her team.

We can’t wait to show you this wonderful collection!
To make an appointment please email
or call 01565 228
This is a guest post by Edith & Winston Bridalwear

Barn Weddings

trolley owen house barnBarn weddings are ideal for couples who love the outdoors life and want something a bit different to a standard function room. There is usually lots of space for entertainment and dancing and a light and airy feel due to the high roof and large doors that can be opened to let the sunshine in. Younger guests will love the atmosphere as it can be made less formal with hay bale seating draped with sheepskins, rustic and unusual accessories, lots of natural textures and even the chance to see an animal or two!

White linen always looks smart whatever the setting, but the vintage style of mismatched flatware, wildflower arrangements, branches, paper decorations and natural materials also works really well at a barn wedding. There may be opportunities for different sorts of photos around the setting and outbuildings, or in natural areas such as landscaped gardens, lakes, hedgerows and meadows.

Working Farm Wedding

Barn weddings seem to have an element of fun that can be missing at a more formal event as the setting naturally lends itself to marquees, tents and tipis as well as outdoor games and different menu choices such as hog roasts, barbecues, ice cream vans and pizza ovens. Dress codes can be less formal if desired without looking out of place, but it has been known to have the stunning wedding gowns and tailored suits accessorized with willies and making a practical statement as well as a glamorous one!

Check how easy the access is when arranging a barn wedding in case you may need specialist transport for your guests in the case of bad weather and see if there is accommodation on site or nearby that can be booked if the barn is in a particularly remote or isolated location. There are barns up and down the country that cater for weddings – check out a couple of our favourites in Cheshire, Owen House Wedding Barn and Sandhole Oak Barn

The Wedding Recessional (Walking Back Down The Aisle)


One of the most emotional and important moments during the wedding day is the Wedding Recessional. This is the official name for when the bride & groom walk back down the aisle as husband & wife!

It is a very challenging part of the day to capture well.

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Like most wedding traditions it is older than history itself and that is why as a documentary wedding photographer I shoot candidly and with no direction to the bride & groom. So I won’t stop you half way down the aisle and ask you to smile! I want you to remember moments like this as they happened.

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An image with a natural look is infinitely preferable to a contrived and directed shot. It has a real memory attached to it, whereas the staged shot is just a false intrusion on your precious day.

It’s great to watch the bride & groom waltz back down the aisle in a daze of happiness (and maybe relief!) with all eyes on them wishing them all the best.

I am hoping to get a special moment at this time, maybe if the bride & groom look at each other and laugh or smile or if a guest or family member hugs them.

It is moments like this that I am trying to capture for the couple during the wedding day as it will be these moments that they will treasure in the coming years as they look through their album.

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As a documentary wedding photographer I am always on the look out for these moments – the glances, hugs, special touches. I really love it when something unexpected happens.

A wedding I attended couple of years back, the bride & groom decided to have their child christened after the wedding ceremony.  So as they started walking back down the aisle, the little girl must have become overwhelmed and started crying, you can see her dad’s bemused face.

I was ready with my camera and captured the moment.

I’m pretty sure the family will have a giggle when they look at that image in the future!

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These images are some of my favourite shots from this special part of the day. I hope you like them too.

If you want your wedding day photographed naturally with no direction or interference from your photographer please visit me at my website:

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This is a guest post by dw Photography Tel 07886794180

NEW Bridesmaid Dresses – Twist and Wrap!

The hottest Bridesmaid dress style to hit our Bridal Boutique for this year 2016/2017 is the one and only: ETHAN & ELIZA TWIST & WRAP DRESS

Our Brides and her maids love these versatile long dresses that are so easy to wear, and a great alternative to the traditional Bridesmaid Dresses. We have had lots of extremely positive comments back from our brides and maids since we have had them in store here at The Bridal Lounge Cheshire.

Lightweight and easy to wear, the dresses are made from a very luxurious, expensive fabric which does not crease!

The dresses suit all shapes and sizes with over twenty flattering ways to twist and wrap, and little alteration needed other than perhaps a sharp pair of scissors to shorten the hem. The beauty of these dresses is that maids can wear them again for holidays or evening wear. What more does a girl need!

Ethan & Eliza twist and wrap

One Dress – One Size – Over 15 colour ways – Over 22 ways to wrap it

Lots of different ways to wear it!

Includes matching bandeau & carrying pouch – Machine washable!

This is a guest post by The Bridal Lounge Cheshire 0161 483 2222

Wedding Make-Up Top Tips

I love to photograph weddings; it is great to see the bride looking and feeling fabulous and everyone enjoying themselves, knowing that they will love how they look in the photos. Are you planning your wedding and want to make sure your skin looks stunning on the day? Then let’s get some coffee and talk beauty; Bridal Beauty. I sat down with amazing make-up artist  Vicky King and we talked about her tips for wedding make-up and have put together a list of the top things to concentrate on.

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Vicky says “Plan your trial session about 4-8 weeks before your wedding and allow at least an hour for your make –up on the day. If you plan well, you will have plenty of time to enjoy your make up session rather than rush. If you are thinking about a fake tan, do a first trial a few weeks before the wedding to see if you like the look. Wear a white T-shirt for the make-up trial. The white colour will mimic your wedding dress and will give you the best idea how it is going to look when you put on the dress of your dreams.”

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What about trying a new look for the wedding day?

“Remember that bridal make-up needs a bit of colour in order to contrast with the white dress so don’t be scared to go for a bit more make-up than you would normally do. Bring along some ideas and photographs but always remember that the stunning make-up that a celebrity had on the front cover may not suit your skin tone, hair colour etc. and don’t go overboard. You want to look like the best version of yourself but try to still be yourself”

Linda Betts bridal styling 1

What about the correct products to apply?

“Well concealer should be applied after foundation, not before, for one thing. Why? It is thicker and unlike foundation that evens out skin tone, concealer offers much more coverage. Use corrector and concealer to brighten your eyes.”

Linda Betts bridal styling 3

And application technique, is this important?

“This is the real benefit of using the services of professional make-up artist as they are skilled in bringing out your best features and will use quality products that will look gorgeous all day, even if you do shed some happy tears during the day. Your wedding make-up should accentuate your most beautiful features like beautiful natural looking skin, fantastic long lashes or neat brows.”

Linda Betts bridal styling 2

Any final tips for looking fabulous?

“Have your make-up done in natural light, overhead lighting is the least flattering so avoid it for your make-up session- both the trial and the wedding day- and find a corner with natural light if possible. Get some blotting papers and keep them with you or give them to your chief bridesmaid so they will be on hand, then you can keep your T zone matt and avoid shine for the flash photographs”

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So, to give you a better idea, we have teamed up with model Ella Kehoe and have done a photo shoot to illustrate a wedding make-up look for you.

This is a guest post by Linda Betts

Photographer: Linda Betts

MUA: Vicky King

Model: Ella Kehoe

Wedding Videos by YSD

Not all wedding videos are created equal so we got the low down from Stefan, Creative Director at YSD Media, for his first post telling us how they do what they do….

“There are many options out there when choosing a wedding videographer; a lot of companies charging many different prices.  A bride recently asked me what our style is, and what makes YSD Media stand out from other companies.  This is something I hadn’t really considered before; what does make us different?

ysd location videoWhat I say to every new client is we can never predict exactly what your wedding video will look like.  Every one of our videos is a blank canvas, unique to your day.  We have shot 50’s themed weddings cut to fast swing music, we have really emotional weddings cut much slower and made really atmospheric, we’ve shot some weddings where the day is one big party and some that are all about relaxing and chilling out.

Whatever your day, whatever style your wedding is going to be, that is how we compose your video.

YSD drone videoAnother question I am asked a lot is how long is my video going to be?  Again, that all depends on your big day but we shoot and edit our full length film in a documentary style.  We include the full ceremony & speeches, any banter from the morning prep and sometimes we record you opening a gift and card from your soon to be husband or wife – making sure to catch those tears!

The morning prep, reception drinks, opening shots of your venue, our special ‘creative photo shoot’ and the party after the first dance is all cut to the music of your choice.

One thing that we pride ourselves on is being as discreet as possible when filming your special day. We go out of our way to make sure you and your guests hardly notice us at work.  Obviously it’s inevitable you’ll notice us at some point, but we will always do our best to stay in the background and let your day unfold naturally.

YSDMedia shootThere are two things that we’ll need from you on the day, and the best thing is it’s nothing we can’t do when you’re having the portrait time with your photographer. Our ‘Creative Photo Shoot’ is what you see on our videos where we have moving cinematic shots of our brides and grooms walking around their wedding venue. Your photographer will be taking pictures at the same time and we only need 5/10 minutes of your day to create these amazing shots. We love movement in our videos; it creates an exciting buzz throughout our wedding films and really shows off our couples and their venues.

There’s so much more I could talk about with our films but this is only my first blog and I have to save some content for the next one and keep you coming back for more!”

For more of our wedding films, follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter, links below!

Wedding Planner by Linda Betts

wedding morning Linda Betts

Not all couples choose to use a Wedding Planner to help them, but it is handy to have a guide to refer to for what to do when in the run up to the wedding and how much time you need to allow to get everything ready for your special day. With this in mind top Cheshire photographer Linda Betts has put together this fantastic three page wedding planner for you to download, print off and refer to throughout your planning process.

Running from a year before the wedding right up to the day itself, with information about budget, ‘save the date’ cards, choosing your dress, getting the marriage license, organising a gift registry, selecting wedding rings, finalising invitations, booking essential services and even putting a plan in place for a rainy day – everything you need to know and more!

Linda is a talented photographer based in Cheshire, but happy to work throughout the UK to bring her contemporary and fresh style to events, resulting in photographs that look chic and effortless.

This post by Linda enables you to download her wedding planner to give you a time line to work to when getting ready for your big day. Download the whole planner by clicking below


This is a guest post by Linda Betts photography

Tel 07881 387641

House of Mooshki Showcase

One You – One Day – One Dress

Cheshire Bridal Wear are priviliged to be a Premier Stockist of the stunning collection that is House of Mooshki Bridal Gowns.

Based in London and the North East of London, they are highly specialised in vintage inspired wedding dresses. With a wealth of bridal experience and a passion for creating a new designs.

Whatever your requirements may be, House of Mooshki are here to help you realise your vision. Some brides take inspiration from their collection then personalise them to make them truly unique to themselves.

House of MooshkiHouse of Mooshki are very proud to offer a fabulous turnaround time on a gown. Sometimes a bride may choose a last minute wedding or have to change their wedding date. A dress can be created in a couple of months in certain circumstances. Whenever the wedding, every bride receives the same level of service and quality.

Each and every gown comes with a built in corset/bra, this enables the bride to feel the very best she can. The support and structure are key to creating the whole look simply perfectly.

The range of colours will suit any brides dreams, from traditional white and ivory, blush pink, champagne, buttermilk and apricot, accompanied by the option of coloured belts; every skin tone is catered for.

Specialising in cutie pie short tea and calf lengths through to elegant ball gowns; with the option of redesigning a shorter gown into a long gown, every dress is designed with pride.

On the most important days of a bride’s life, you should feel amazing; House of Mooshki aim to create that perfect vision, trouble free and with ease.

House of Mooshki


We are very happy and excited, that following our previous Designer Weekend, we will be holding another one on 8th, 9th and 10th April. Showcasing even more of these stunning gowns, with extended opening hours and discounts available on the day, this is a perfect time for you to find your dream dress. Our previous weekend was an outstanding success, so don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity. Our experienced, friendly assistants will be here to guide you through.

Affordable – Elegant – Timeless

This is a guest post by Cheshire Bridal Wear

Tel 0161 927 9393

Our Blogging Bride’s Perfect Wedding Dress

We have been following the story of Rebecca and James as they prepared to get married this month, and we are delighted that Rebecca let us in on choosing her dress, just before the big day came around. We are delighted to give them our Congratulations, after they became man and wife on the 19th March, and now we can share this blog and a couple of shots of the happy couple and the dress without any danger of spoilers!! over to Rebecca….

“I had watched countless episodes of ‘Say yes to the dress’ prior to even getting engaged, so I thought I knew exactly how things would go when I went wedding dress shopping.

In reality, things can be vary between retailers quite dramatically and I don’t think anything can quite prepare you for the first time you try on a wedding dress!

Dress hunting is so much fun but can also be quite stressful given the pressure placed on us brides to find THE ONE so please choose your entourage carefully; too many people and opinions could be confusing but you also want people who will give you honest feedback (kindly!).

The first time I went to try on dresses I had my Mother, future Mother-in-law, one of my future sister-in-laws and my maid of honour. This was great for the first time as they helped me to choose a style and material that suited me. For the final few shops when I was ‘seriously looking’, I mostly went with my Mum and one other person.



I had a slight idea of what I wanted – I personally didn’t want satin and have always had a love of all things vintage and lace so I knew this was where I’d start; however lace is quite fashionable at the moment so I wanted to try and find something a little unusual and I think that’s what I’ve ultimately got with the David Tutera ‘Patmore’ wedding dress. Although it is lace, it is a ballgown full skirt where the bodice and skirt almost appear to be separate and has a beautiful chapel length train.

I tried on quite a few dresses and there were 2 or 3 that could have been ‘the one’ (and in fact I did order one but changed my mind the next day!!).

My dress has come from Cherish Bridal in Northwich and I can’t sing Tracy’s praises enough. I explained all about my wedding and the kind of thing I was hoping to find, the bits of my figure I wanted to showcase/hide and pictures of dresses I’d seen in magazines that I liked. Tracy got straight to work pulling dresses that fitted the brief perfectly and took the time to get to know me and my plans…. I left the appointment feeling like a bride for the first time!

I have always wanted a cathedral length veil and Tracy helped me to pick the perfect full mantilla Joyce Jackson Monmouth veil. We have Maltese heritage in my family so I think of this mantilla lace as a small nod to them.

Tracy has posted some fabulous guest blogs here on the County Brides website, with loads of helpful information on so I won’t repeat what has already been said but my top tips are:

Try not to put pressure on yourself to find your perfect wedding dress straight away.

Try on everything and anything that takes your fancy. I tried on every silhouette going and was surprised at what I did and didn’t like.

When you do find your dress, please remember it is COMPLETELY NORMAL to have wobbles and worries before you see your dress again.. I had to wait nearly 12 months before I tried mine on for fittings so it can be a long time.

Trust your bridal consultant, they are professionals and sometimes, the curveball dress they pick out can be the nicest one you try!

Most of all, pick something that makes you feel good and enjoy it!”


Plan your Cheshire Wedding in Four Months!


UK brides spend on average fourteen months planning their big day, but is it possible to plan a whirl wind wedding from engagement to ‘I do’ in just four months ?

Our Wedding Coordinators at Crewe Hall say “Yes, absolutely!” but you will need a clear plan, and here’s how:

Hall of Pillars (2)Four months to go:

  • Set a date and secure your venue including booking your registrar or church
  • Agree your guest list and confirm provisional numbers with your venue
  • Confirm that your venue is holding rooms for overnight guests
  • Send out “Save the Dates” to guests – with details on the overnight room booking process
  • Recruit your bridesmaids
  • Get your long list of preferred suppliers together
  • Dress shopping!

Three months to go

  • Order invitations
  • Order rings
  • Meet with and confirm your main suppliers from photographer to florist
  • Meet with your caterer to taste food and plan the menu
  • Book wedding cars
  • Order cake or agree who’ll be making it for you if a generous friend offers
  • Check your passport doesn’t need renewing. If it does – get the process started this month.

Long Gallery

Two months to go

  • Book your honeymoon
  • Book appointments for a manicure and pedicure for the day before the wedding and a hair and makeup stylist for the big day
  • Send out your invitations
  • Buy bridesmaid dresses, groom, best man and usher suits or tuxes.
  • Register for gifts.
  • Meet with the registrar to plan the ceremony.
  • Confirm final guest numbers with your venue and settle your account.


Four weeks to go

  • Create a music list for your band
  • Contact guests who haven’t responded to your invitation
  • Create your table plan
  • Hold hen & stag celebrations

Three weeks to go

  • Have your dress fitting

Two weeks to go

  • Pick up rings

One week to go

Great Library 

Crewe Hall offers some amazing late availability packages to suit all numbers and requirements. Our specialised Wedding Coordinators are on hand to help plan all those small details to ensure your day is perfect.

Crewe Hall, Weston Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 6UZ

01270 253 333

Tropical Wedding

For a bit of fun, what about a tropical wedding theme? We are sometimes low on sunshine in the UK but you can get a really tropical theme for your wedding (without it feeling like an 18-30 holiday!) by clever use of colours and accessories. Choose turquoise shades for your table linens and contrast with sunset ombre toned chair sashes or have each table in a different tone from sunshine yellow through to deep orange. Use flower leis for decorations, table centres or to present to each guest as they move along the receiving line if you are having one, as they are traditionally given as a sign of affection. Paper leis are inexpensive, but real flower ones made traditionally from carnations, pua kika blossoms, jasmine  or orchids could be a luxurious touch just for the newlyweds.

pexels-photoColourful cocktails could be served at the reception, with the obligatory paper umbrellas or consider hiring a cocktail bar and mixologist for something a little more sophisticated; sure to be a talking point with your guests. Decorate the venue with hired tropical palm trees real or artificial, ferns or giant yuccas to create a real atmosphere and package guest favours in half coconut shells for a little touch of kitsch. Floral arrangements could easily be displayed in hollowed pineapples for a natural look, or use striking tropical stems such as heliconias, strelezias or orchids for a real statement display and a beautiful backdrop for your photographs.

Tropical island names, fruits, plants, fish or birds can be used for the table names with place settings to coordinate using small models, shells, leaves or bright coloured feathers with guests’ names on. If you are having a tropical honeymoon you could also consider using names of the places that you will be visiting or land marks from the island setting.

Spring Wedding

If you are planning a Spring wedding you will be excited when all of the new plants and flowers start to make an appearance in March and April. Daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths and many other bulbs will be flowering and adding a touch of much needed colour to flower beds and borders in gardens.  It means that you will have a lovely backdrop for your wedding photographs if you get a fine, bright spring day and can have some shots taken outside at the venue.

Stanley park, Liverpool courtesy of the Isla Gladstone Conservatory

Keep this in mind when you are looking at possible spring wedding  venues and try to plan where you would like some photos to be taken. Perhaps there is a beautiful tree that will be starting to blossom when you get to the date of the wedding, or another striking outside Bandstand at the Isla Gladstone Conservatoryfeature such as a pergola, archway, trellis, water feature or lake, walled garden or bandstand. If there is not a lot of landscaping at the venue as far as flower beds are concerned you could still have some lovely woodland photos taken against a backdrop of greenery, topiary or shrubs. Ask what facilities you would have if it is not possible to be outside due to the weather as there may be architectural features indoors that you could use such as lovely staircases, decorative windows or striking fireplaces.

There should be more daylight hours at a spring wedding as the days get longer, allowing you to travel a little distance from the venue to take photos before it gets dark, so see what other locations are nearby that you could make use of that have colours or features that would make a nice image. If your photographer knows the venue ask them what they have included at a spring wedding as they may have some appropriate props that you could make use of too.

Keep a beautiful wrap close to hand in case it is bright day but not a warm one and you can pop it on in between shots so you don’t get chilly. Have a bright and beautiful Spring wedding!

Bridal photograph courtesy of Matthew Rycraft Photography

Photograph courtesy of the Isla Gladstone Conservatory

Fairy Lighting Hire in Cheshire

Here at Hipswing Entertainments our Fairy Lighting Hire is growing more and more popular; we can provide our beautiful fairy lights, also known as pea lighting, across many venues in Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester and the North West.

Fairy lights at Sandhole Oak BarnThis picture was taken by Richard Milnes Photography at the fantastic Sandhole Oak Barn, where we regularly provide our fairy lights, draping and paper lanterns. Depending on your budget and style our lighting can be adapted accordingly to suit you and your wedding or event! We also work with pea lighting at Owen House Wedding Barn, draping the lights across the ceiling to create a fabulous twinkling atmosphere for you and your guest to enjoy. Many venues across Cheshire can be enhanced using Hipswing’s fairy lighting, they also look great with marquee weddings inside and out, and they are completely safe to use as they are LED lights meaning they shine cool. Pea lighting can enrich many venues from function rooms to village halls, changing the feel of the room completely from sparse to sparkly in minutes; we often supply fairy lights to Congleton Town Hall draping them across the entire ceiling creating a canvas of fairy lights.

Hipswing’s pea lighting can also be used outdoors to light up paths or decorate courtyards and outdoor areas. You can also combine our fairy lights with paper lanterns, festoon lighting, draping and uplighting to create something that little bit extra special; at Hipswing we know how to light your wedding up with style and sparkle.

If we have given you inspiration to decorate your wedding with fairy lights, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us by either calling us on 0330 122 4321 or emailing using

This is a guest post by Hipswing

Wedding Gift for the Groom

It is a nice tradition for the bride to get a wedding gift for the groom but she might want something a little more unusual than cufflinks or a leather wallet. A good starting point is to think about what your partner is really interested in and then see if there are any personalised options for you to make something really special. Cufflinks are a lovely sentimental gift as a memento of your wedding day, but how many men actually wear them these days, other than on special occasions or when they may be called on to attend an event wearing black tie? It is good to have something that your partner can use more often which is why lots of brides opt for a beautiful wristwatch as a wedding gift for the groom. They can often be engraved on the back with a date or personal message and most men will wear a watch every day so they will be able to really enjoy it and not just keep it for best. If your partner doesn’t wear a watch or already has quite a collection, look for something a little different such as one where the workings can be seen, a pocket watch design or the latest in high tech smart watches depending on his personal tastes. Another good wedding gift for the groom is something that ties in to his leisure interests rather than a briefcase or pen that he will associate with work, or a wallet which is just a necessity and perhaps not what most men would regard as a treat!

file000405691641Whether you opt for a first edition of his favourite book, a top of the range golf club, a Wisden from the year he was born or the year you first met, a flight in a vintage plane, a fabulous new camera, the guitar he has always promised himself or a bonsai tree; he will know that you have been listening when he talks about his interests and have taken the time to select something special, showing that you value him and want to nurture your relationship as time goes on

Floral Details for your Wedding

file291245095870Floral details and arrangements are a part of most couple’s wedding plans, from the bridal bouquet, buttonholes, aisle decorations, table centres, wedding party corsages and venue dressing to car decoration, bridal headpieces and statement arrangements. A good florist will be able to advise on the sorts of blooms available for the time of year, help you to choose colours that coordinate and offer you a choice of fabulous ways to arrange the blooms to show them to their best advantage. Floristry and floral art can make a real impact on the wedding day and the floral details whether it be the scale of the arrangements, the colour combinations, the fragrance or the striking design are things that guests will notice and comment on.

Modern couples want more than just a traditional bouquet and table decoration; they want to have something that helps to make their day unique and are looking to incorporate grasses, leaves, twisted willow, seasonal elements like holly or pinecones, and more file4521277050681unusual flowers in to their schemes. Bouquets can incorporate crystals, mini brooches, buttons, paper elements, feathers, pearls, ribbons, berry stems, ferns and much more, though possibly not all at once! Look at the floral details of different flower species and how they can reflect your colour theme. If you are going for a sophisticated monochrome theme you could have the bouquet tied with silver ribbon or with a black and white striped grosgrain and have a simple single flower bouquet of white anemones with their striking black centres. A beautiful heart motif theme could be echoed with the shape of the flowers chosen as in the illustration for this post which is a flower called Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra/ Lamprocapnos spectabilis). If you have an unusual colour scheme faux flowers are a very convincing alternative to fresh flowers and come in a wide variety of colours, they also have the benefit of being long lasting meaning that the table centres can be distributed among family and friends after the wedding and you will be able to keep your wedding bouquet without having to have it pressed or preserved.

Cherish Bridal on Choosing Your Wedding Gown


Listen to your heart when choosing your wedding gown; I’ve been in the industry over 14 years now and there is a scenario which happens time and time again which I’d like share. It is an emotive subject and just recently I have had two brides in this situation, hence this blog post for you!

Bringing family or friends with you to an appointment where you hope to choose your perfect gown can make or break your choice for your special day and affect your whole experience. There, I’ve said it and I know that it is a sensitive issue but from our point of view as experienced bridal retailers it can be distressing to see brides whose appointments don’t go the way they imagined.

I have said to many of my brides to be (both in the changing room and out of it!) that it is their choice as it is their day, but lots of brides also want their choice to be validated by a family member or friend. I can understand that, but can also guarantee that NOT 100% of your family or guests will like your choice of wedding gown; we all have different tastes and it wouldn’t do if we all liked the same things would it? It is difficult to strike a balance between pleasing people who are important to you and having the gown you want, even with our expert help it sometimes can’t be done, so why miss out on the gown YOU love?

I know that mums, family members and friends want the bride to look stunning and feel fabulous in her dress, and of course they should be truthful, but they should also think about how they voice their opinion, choosing their words carefully and taking their cue from the bride herself, asking her how she feels about the gown, rather than telling her what they may think about it! She will appreciate that her family and friends care about her choice and are happy to share in her journey to finding ‘the one’. It is different for every bride, some are very emotional, but not everyone will cry; it doesn’t mean that the dress isn’t right for them, it is a personal experience and there is no right or wrong way to feel.

Listen to your heart, not your mother!

A good wedding-dress retailer will zone in on what a bride wants, not her mother or aunt or anyone else. I’ve had brides in tears many times because someone has dismissed a dress she likes, and as shop owner or assistant we can’t intervene beyond whispering support in the bride’s ear and reminding them that it is their special day and how they feel about a particular wedding gown is the most important thing. Add in to the mix a busy, small or crowded boutique and it is stressful enough without a critical aunt for company! I can recommend shopping alone for the first appointment as you will have the assistant’s undivided attention and they can find out what you really like, and you won’t have to listen to any criticism when having a bit of fun trying a wedding gown in a style that your mother may not approve of!

If you do bring along an entourage, make sure they’re there to support you and can be positive as well as truthful; they have to remember that it is your choice and not theirs at the end of the day. It is great to have a second opinion from someone you trust but my best piece of advice to give at an appointment is “You will get many opinions, including mine, but YOURS is the one that counts the most”


This is a guest post by Tracy Hollinshead, Proprietor, Cherish Bridal   Tel 01606 351900


The Cheshire Wedding Company – Special Event!

Readers may remember our previous blog about Clare and her family and we are delighted to be able to give you an update. Clare has recently returned to work for a cou

DSC_0142 (1)

ple of days per week although she is still spending a lot of time at hospital with her son Adam who will shortly be starting chemotherapy treatment. There has been great support from others in the wedding industry and after a surprise visit to the shop by Amanda Wyatt, we are delighted to tell you that there is a very special Bridesmaids Event happening at The Cheshire Wedding Company on Thursday March 3rd from 5.30 to 8pm with Amanda herself! It will be an exclusive one-off event and Amanda will be bringing a selection of her beautiful bridesmaids’ d

resses as well as offering her expertise and advice. No need to book an appointment, just pop in and meet the lovely Amanda and some of our new team at the shop. Hope to see you the


this is a guest post for The Cheshire Wedding Company Tel 0161 442 5364


The Hideaway at Windermere

The Hideaway at WindermereLove is in the Lake District air this February, and this year we’re very excited at the prospect of a Leap Year on Monday 29th – the one day in four years where a woman can traditionally propose to her partner!

This tradition is thought to date back to the 5th century in Ireland after St Bridget complained to St Patrick that women were waiting too long for their suitors to propose and is still carried out and celebrated 16 centuries later. Of course, in this day and age, couples are welcome to propose to each other whatever gender they may be, on whatever day of the year they wish – but we think there’s something very special about this old Celtic celebration of love and partnership.

We want to inspire you to pop the question this Leap Year 2016! The Lake District is the perfect place to propose with stunning scenery, lakeside views, beautiful hotels and a variety of locations from castles, woods and gardens to picturesque villages. You will be in good company with the fifty percent of single women who would definitely consider popping the question and might even have Royal approval as it was Queen Margaret who supposedly changed the law in 1288 allowing unmarried women to propose and male suitors to be fined for refusal. There might not be much truth to this theory though as scholars have been unable to find a record of the law, but it is as good a reason as any!

If you have been convinced, be sure to get in touch with Lisa and Richard, the couple who run The Hideaway at Windermere, and let them know about your love story.They offer beautiful packages for betrothed couples and newlyweds at their boutique hotel in the heart of the Lake District and would be delighted to welcome you.

This is a guest post on behalf of The Hideaway at Windermere tel 01539 443 070 

Our Blogging Bride and Groom

This is the second post from Rebecca, our blogging bride, about choosing the suppliers that will make their wedding day perfect. Rebecca and James will be getting married at Wrenbury Hall on 19th March, just a few short weeks away!

Rebecca and James

“We have several musicians playing at the wedding (we’re trying to keep this under wraps though, so I can’t say too much at this stage but will let you all know more after the big day) and again they were all either recommended by the venue or by friends and family.

Many of our other suppliers were chosen after meeting them at various wedding fayres. The ones we chose were not necessarily giving us a service at the lowest price but were the people who listened to us, made us laugh and wanted to know about us and our wedding. We would strongly recommend meeting your suppliers in person before booking anything. There were a few that we considered who looked amazing on paper but when we met with them were just not people we could see ourselves working with or trusting our big day to.

These people will play a big part on your wedding day so make sure you try to get to know them as well… you’re probably going to be spending a lot of time communicating with them in the run up to the wedding :)

I don’t want to jinx anything, but I honestly feel like we have been so lucky with the suppliers we are working with and I cannot wait for the day to arrive!!


  • Don’t be afraid to share your ideas and be clear about what you want. I printed off pictures to help explain the kinds of things I liked (and didn’t like) and gave these to suppliers to help them understand what I was looking for.
  • Equally, I think it’s important to allow your suppliers to do their thing. They are experts and you chose them for a reason, so try not to stifle their creativity.
  • My top question to ask all suppliers was ‘what is the back-up plan if you are unable to make it on the wedding day?’ This helped to put my mind at ease instead of worrying about ‘what ifs’.
  • Be clear about your budget from the start. We found that most suppliers were able to accommodate our budgets if we shared these from the beginning.
  • Go with your gut….as I said above, we have chosen people we got on with and are happy to share our special day with.

The Stanneylands Hotel


The Stanneylands hotel in Wilmslow will now be repositioned as a boutique country house hotel after a refurbishment programme and employee training is completed. The change has come about following the announcement that Mark Boler and Gary Corbett are the new owners of this delightful country house, after searching for the last twelve months for a suitable property to grow The Mere brand and develop their portfolio.

The Stanneylands previous owners, Prima Hotels, went in to administration in May 2015 resulting in the sale of three of their other properties as well, and allowing Mark and Gary to purchase Stanneylands.

“The strategic acquisition of this hotel will allow us to transfer the high quality operational and customer experience that The Mere is renowned for to The Stanneylands as well, and we have plans to improve both the hotel and its services which we hope will delight existing guests as well as attract new customers. The Stanneylands product and reputation in the area is a perfect fit for us and will allow us to grow the operation of The Mere brand” commented Corbett. “We’re delighted to be the new owners of a hotel that has an amazing history and reputation locally and we are really excited about the planned investment, getting to know the team and restoring the hotel to its former glory with a touch of The Mere magic” added Mark.

Both James Burgess and Howard Gillibrand from Royal Bank of Scotland commended the purchase, adding that they were delighted to have supported the multi million pound acquisition which would build on the reputation of The Stanneylands and reward it’s loyal clientele with an expert development, utilising the experience and expertise of the The Mere Group, and offering long term opportunities as well as expanding The Mere portfolio. “We wish them all the very best with this new acquisition”

The 4 star Stanneylands country house hotel is located in tranquil countryside in Cheshire and is only 10 minutes from Manchester Airport. The hotel offers 55 bedrooms including deluxe suites and executive accommodation and guests can also enjoy fine dining in the 2AA Rosette Restaurant and contemporary Calico Café Bar.

This is a guest post by The Stanneylands tel 01625 525225

21 Special Things

There will be lots of special things that you remember from your wedding day; things that you will treasure forever, long after the confetti has blown away and the cake has been eaten; things that will bring a smile to your face whether you keep them on display or you find them in the back of a drawer one day; little reminders of loved ones, and of course the memories themselves. It is lovely to have reminders of such a wonderful time in your life, when you celebrate your relationship with your partner and loved ones, whether it is a small intimate affair or an enormous gathering of the extended families. We have come up with a list of twenty one special things that could be lasting reminders of your day – what will you treasure most?

Your partner

Marriage Certificate

white-rings-decoration-macroWedding Rings

Video footage

Some presents

Favours & mementos

Your name

Cards and Telegrams

Special Memories

Your dress (usually in the loft or the back of the wardrobe)


Pressed flowers



Guest Book

Your new signature

Official documents (Passport, driving licence, etc)

Wedding anniversaries

nVrkxtmMusic (especially your first dance)

Special dates from your diary

and of course LOVE


Turntable image courtesy of

Last Minute Wedding Preparations

LSW 238Is Your Wedding Only 1 Week Away? You need to get prepared now for a few last minute checks so that the big day (and the day after!) runs smoothly……

First – Make a ‘Last Minute’ List to work from

This will probably be your final list, but one of the most vital. It should include all of the details of your final touches and other arrangements so that nothing gets overlooked and if you start it the week before your wedding rather than the day before then you are less likely to miss anything off it. List all of the things that need to be passed on to the wedding coordinator such as table favours, scatter decorations for the tables, special guest favours, postboxes, or surprise items. Once all the items have been handed over give the list to your maid of honour or other trusted person and delegate them to collecting all of the things for you after the wedding. This is much easier than having everybody involved as you will be collecting stuff from people for weeks after otherwise!

Pack a kit for the morning after!

You don’t want to start married life with a hangover so make sure there is a nice fruit drink and some paracetamol to hand just in case – even if you don’t need them the best man or bridesmaids might! Whatever you usually need after a big night out, whether it’s your favourite makeup remover, eye drops, rehydrating drink or breakfast bar, get it all together in a bag and it will make the start to the day after much easier and you will feel happy and refreshed.

Look after your dress!

Your wedding dress will be one of your most important memories of your special day and you might want to keep it in pristine condition as a family heirloom. If you have hired your gown you will know what the arrangements are for returning it or having it collected, and may have paid insurance for damage or an element for having the dress dry cleaned. It can be helpful to have a nominated person to take care of this for you too, so make sure they know where the dress bag is and where they are taking it back to. If you have bought your dress consider booking it in to the dry cleaners soon after the wedding – just in case!

Abbey House Hotel & Gardens

Book your transport!

Whether it is straight to the airport the day after, or just back home with all the presents after the reception make sure you have your transport arranged, whether it is a taxi, a friend or a family member, so that you are not waiting around at the venue or getting stressed about missing your flight, that isn’t a good start to anyone’s first day of marriage!

Have your thank you cards ready!

Not just for your gifts which you can send a bit later on, but for the people who have kept you sane throughout the planning stages. Whether it is the florist who has gone out of their way to make sure you have the perfect bouquet, the baker who has put your dream cake together or the make-up artist who helped you to look and feel fabulous. These people have made your day possible so a little thank you will be greatly appreciated!

This is a guest post by Allannah Buckley from Abbey House Hotel & Gardens

Tel 01229 841181

Shabby Chic Wedding

We hear a lot about vintage style, boho or shabby chic weddings, but where do you start if you want to put one of these looks together? The trick is to think of things that are not too perfect, or that have a slightly rustic, hand finished or aged look to them. This can be extended to your chosen colour scheme as well or take inspiration from some of the new seasons colours from Pantone which include delightful shades of blue, pink and green; perfect for these looks. A touch of gilt or faded gold can really enhance these looks if you don’t want it to look too ‘homespun’ and carefully chosen accessories can really make the look work without costing the earth. Think of calico chair banners with the names of the newlyweds on them, paper garlands trimmed with motifs, small flowers or brown luggage labels for guests to sign; ornate wooden picture frames with the table seating plans in, painted in different pastel shades or trimmed with antique lace. wedding signGlass mason jars for small candles (check with your venue if there are restrictions and use realistic fake candles instead), these can also be filled with little treats as guest favours, used for the table numbers, to decorate the ends of rows of seats at the ceremony or planted up as decorative features at the venue. Paper balloons and lanterns, vintage or mismatched crockery and glassware, pretty cake stands, ribbons and wooden details can all help you to create a personal look that combines a number of different elements so don’t feel that everything has to match or be overly styled; these looks are all about a relaxed feel for you and your guests to enjoy. Use magazines and the internet for inspiration and create a scrapbook of the details that you like, then research some wedding companies for a bit of expert advice or see what you could do yourselves to make it extra special.

Guest List Planning


The guest list can be one of the most stressful aspects of the wedding planning, but it needn’t be if you go through our list of handy questions to ask yourself about which people to invite; it doesn’t have to be everyone you have ever met!



It might sound obvious, but have you met them? Lots of couples are introduced to people for the first time at their wedding – shocking! It can be tricky to keep the guest list pared down, but distant relatives, business associates and your parents’ friends from work don’t necessarily have to be invited, no matter how many lovely stories they have heard about your plans

When did you last see them? If you haven’t clapped eyes on them in over a year or kept in touch with them by phone or social media regularly, then you probably shouldn’t invite them.

Do you know what is going on in their life right now? You should be surrounded by guests who are interested in your relationship and your life and you should be interested in theirs. Your guests will be people who know who you are today and will probably be around in five years time, not people you last saw five years ago.

Were you at their wedding? Tricky for family weddings you might have attended, but for friends that you have since lost touch with you don’t have to reciprocate if you haven’t stayed close. It can be a reason to get in touch with an invitation though, if you really want that person back in your life.

For friends from work sometimes it is only the fact that you spend your working life together that you have in common, so ask yourself whether you would still be in touch if you weren’t working together. Some colleagues will stay in your life long term, regardless of work situations, but don’t feel you have to invite the whole office!

If you spend holidays, birthdays and special occasions with the particular family member or person then they obviously mean a lot to you. These people should definitely be on your guest list. End of story.

Are you inviting the extended family? If there are several cousins and you are close to a couple of them you should still probably invite them all; you don’t have to spend too much time with people you don’t get along so well with, but it is better to avoid a family fallout!

Can you be yourself around this person? A wedding is a very personal occasion; it is lovely to have people celebrating with you, but do you want your boss recounting the evening party shenanigans back in the office?

Is this person a positive influence in my life? Don’t automatically dismiss people who are sometimes a bit down or negative about life, no one wants a miserable guest, but your invitation could be a very positive and welcome thing for that person, it shows them that you care and want them to be part of your special day and might be just the push they need to enjoy life a bit more.

Would you keep in touch if you moved away? Or visit if you were in town? We think this is a pretty good test of whether the friendship merits an invitation; most of us have a friend or two who we can pick up with where we left off whether that was two weeks ago or six months.

Would you change the wedding date if this person couldn’t attend? If this answer is “yes”, then it’s a no-brainer! This person is really important to you and having them at your wedding means the world to you both!

We hope that drawing up your guest list doesn’t become too stressful!! , but remember the golden rule that it’s YOUR day and those who matter most to you should be there, and if that doesn’t include so and so from up the road that mum/dad has been friends with for years – stick to your guns!!

This is a guest post by Cherish Bridal

Tel 01606 351900

Boothtique Wedding Fun!

Boothtique wedding bouncy castle

We take your wedding fun seriously and having worked in the wedding industry for some time now we know how important all the little details are, this is why we have brought to the market our fantastic white bouncy castle.

Measuring 15 x 18ft, introducing our gorgeous castle into your wedding can create the most amazing photos, it will entertain the little kids (and the big ones!)  and really pump some more fun into one of the most important days of your life.

Boothtique White bouncy castle

Boothtique girl on bouncy castle








We have seen the wedding industry grow over the last few years and although there is still a whole lot of tradition still around, some of the focus has moved to creating a fun and happy atmosphere, and why not?! 

Presented with a choice of flag bunting or floral garland on the entrance arch, the castle comes with a shower shelter, just in case and a vintage suitcase arrangement which guests can use to keep their shoes in. The castle comes with an attendant who is on hand to ensure your hire runs smoothly.

It’s not often you get all of your family and friends in one place at one time, so give them a day to remember.

Boothtique kids on castle

If you have a few children attending your wedding, what could be more perfect than seeing their beaming little faces light up at the sight of a bouncy castle to entertain them while the Mums & Dads get to catch up with old friends, it’s all the fun without compromising on taste!

boothtique_bouncy castle couple


This is a guest post by Nicola from Boothtique Events

Contact Boothtique Events to find out more about our White Bouncy Castle or what other services we can offer at or speak to Nicola on 07837 866646

Sophisticated Ladies – Mother of the Bride

DU 137 RTSophisticated Ladies is the sister company to Swan Brides Boutique and is also based in the beautiful surroundings at 9 Park Street, Congleton, Cheshire.

By providing a personal service we will help the mother of the bride or groom to achieve that perfect look for this very special of days.  Most mums find it difficult to make a start in looking for the right outfit for them; after all it isn’t something they do every day of the week.  It takes time and shouldn’t be rushed, however once you find your perfect outfit then you are half way there.  Our advice is to start looking as soon as possible to give you plenty of time to select the correct outfit.

We pride ourselves in being able to give an honest opinion, to find the correct style for you and to make the experience a pleasant one.

DU 125 RTWe are pleased to announce that for the Spring/Summer 2016 season we are extending our range to include ‘Dressed Up’ by Veromia.  The styles within this range provide a fabulous selection of outfits for the fuller, more curvaceous figure and in our opinion give an elegance for the fuller figured of us which is sometimes difficult to find. This range is new in store for January 2016.

We also stock designers Linea Raffaelli, Amanda Wyatt and Veromia Dress Code, who supply more than just an outfit for the mother of the bride; they are an expression of style, originality and quality.

DU 131 RTTo compliment an outfit purchased from Sophisticated Ladies we provide a service whereby mums can have a bespoke headpiece made whether it be hat, hatinator or fascinator to match any outfit.

Why not take a look at our website or pop in for a browse, although we do recommend you book an appointment, please ring us on 01260 272250.


This is a guest post by Sophisticated Ladies at Swan Brides Boutique

9 Park Street, Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 1EY

Vanilla in Allseasons at Chetham’s Library

We are delighted to announce we’ve partnered up with the historic Chetham’s Library in Manchester. To celebrate, we brought together a number of our favourite suppliers for a styled photoshoot on site to showcase just how incredible this venue really is.

vanilla in Allseasons photoshootDesigner Charlotte Balbier provided the stunning Iscoyd Park dress – ivory in colour, it perfectly complements the elegant surroundings. Rebecca Anderton styled the model’s hair and makeup, with soft, warm tones and a vintage inspired up do, which was in keeping with the simplicity and sophistication of the venue.

A collection of wild flower bouquets and table centres adorned the room, provided by premium table designers Special Days, with top quality crockery and glassware from Wythenshawe based supplier, Whitehouse.

Despite the cold weather, the shoot went smoothly, taking full advantage of both the variety of locations and the pool of creative talent that worked together to produce some beautiful images to really showcase the venue in its entirety. It’s fair to say our model Katie did a sterling job braving the elements – her smile never wavered despite the arctic temperatures. Katie, we salute you!

We’ll be hosting an open day on Sunday 21st February for couples to come and have a look around the venue and see for themselves how unique this location is. It will start at 10.30am and run until 4pm, where guests will be offered a drink and a tour of this one of a kind wedding venue.

Vanilla in Allseasons photoshoot

Vanilla in Allseasons photoshoot









Our Suppliers

Vanilla in Allseasons (caterers) –

Chetham’s Library (venue) –

Charlotte Balbier (dress) –

Special Days (table design & flowers) –

Whitehouse (crockery & glasses) –

Rebecca Anderton (hair and make up) –

Chelsea Shoesmith (photography) –

This is a guest post by Vanilla in Allseasons

Tel 01625 421 685

Wedding Cake Trends for 2016

heatons cakesAlthough every cake we design is unique; like fashion, cake trends come & go.  We have scoured the magazines, blogs and professional groups to bring together the top four trends that forward-thinking brides are considering this year.

Rustic – all things vintage have given way to a more relaxed look.  Hessian is very popular.  This trend incorporates buttercream cakes which can give a very relaxed look to your cake, as well as tasting delicious.  This trend includes the popular naked & semi-naked cakes, but rather than fruit they are being dressed with flowers & hessian.

2015-09-11 17.13.49Dress/fashion inspired – we love this trend. It means we can have fun incorporating textures such as lace, ruffles, pleats & sequins into cake design.  The cake could reflect your dress, or any other fashion.  Think ruffles, brooches, feathers & all manner of exciting textures.

Focal flower – we first saw this trend emerging with vintage birdcage cakes and have seen it increasing in popularity.  It is a fantastic way to add a beautiful floral touch to your cake, without blowing your budget.  It is very modern & can work with the other trends, by adding gold to the tips of the petals, or lace to the cake.

Metallic – what bride doesn’t like a little glamour? Bringing gold, silver or bronze into your cake is a very classy way of taking a simple cake and ‘dressing it up’ for your special day. These metallic shades complement Pantone’s colours of 2016, Rose Quartz & Serenity

Our service  We are a home based business which means you are assured of the most personal service.  You will deal with me, Emma, at every step. The first step is to book a free tasting & design consultation at my home studio.  We can then design a beautiful centrepiece for your special day.  At this point we also discuss your budget & any special requirements, such as allergies.  It will be me that designs your cake with you, bakes & decorates it, then delivers it to your venue and sets it up.

heatons cakes floral



heatons cakes lace

ruffle sequin cake


Price & size guide   Our average 3 tier cake is approximately £300.  This will be for sponge to serve around 70 guests.

This is a guest post by Emma from Heatons Cakes  Tel 07775 715217

10 Reasons for a Christmas Wedding

Christmas might seem like a distant memory now, but a Christmas wedding can be planned years in advance, so you might be looking to 2016, 2017 or even further before you tie the knot and it is a lovely time of year for a wedding.

David Walters from dW Photography gives us his take on this special season….

“Christmas is a special time of the year, and I love photographing a Christmas wedding.

Mix that in with some mulled wine, candles and fairy lights (and don’t forget the Christmas tree!) and you have the recipe for a very special day.

Here are my top 10 reasons for having a Christmas wedding.

1.It Might Snow.

It’s a long shot but the heavens might just open with some fluffy beautiful snow. The photos will look amazing and you get the chance to accessorize with some cool wellies.


With summer being the most popular time to get married, you have a better chance of booking the suppliers you really love, like the venue, without waiting forever with the rest of the crowd.

3.Ready made theme

Most venues and churches are already decorated which means you can put more into the honeymoon fund… If you do decide to buy your own you will find lots of beautiful glittery things usually at a discount at the right time of year.

4.Time Off

Everyone, including yourselves, already have time off so even if you choose a weekday it’s not going to be an issue.  Since you are already on annual leave this means more holiday days throughout the rest of the year!


Winter’s early evenings and dark nights means only one thing, lights, lights, lights! A beautiful open fire, twinkling fairy lights and flickering candles; does it get any more romantic?

6.Everyone loves Christmas!

Nearly everybody loves Christmas and they are already fired up with festive cheer, so mixed in with the special atmosphere of your wedding it’s fun times two!

7.The photos look amazing

With Christmas lights, decorations and all manner of glitteriness in the background your photos will have an added wow factor.


8.Delicious Food & Drink

Time to greet your guests with mulled wine, hot chocolate and maybe spiced cider? There is a lot of amazing comforting food which only comes out at Christmas time.

9.Christmas songs

You have heard them a thousand times before but just think of the fun to be had spinning on the dance floor to Mariah Carey’s  ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ or ‘Fairytale of New York’…..


As well as  having all of your past memories of Christmas adding to your nostalgia and total Christmas mania, you will now have one of the best days of your life as a Christmas memory………”


This is a  guest post written by dW Photography who specialise in natural documentary wedding photography and can be found at

or tel 07886794180.

Engagement Rings

file7171273536699Engagement rings come in all sorts of guises from the jokey jelly ring from a children’s sweetie bag, to the strip of plaster, ring pull from a can or of course the more usual diamond solitaire. Whatever ring you have in mind when you pop the question you will need to think about what it is going to cost for the ring that you expect your partner to have for the rest of their life.

There used to be a common assumption that you need to put aside at least three months’ salary to get anything that was worthwhile, but who can afford to do that these days? Let alone be prepared to wait until they had saved that amount before announcing their intentions, let’s face it, it could take years! The good news is that a beautiful conflict-free diamond ring might cost less than you think as jewellers compete to bring stunning designs at prices that couples can afford, offering interest free credit along with their professional advice.

Couples don’t want to start their married life heavily in debt so a more realistic budget of around a month’s salary for the engagement ring seems to be the norm these days, unless you have a family heirloom that you can use instead like prince William did. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a diamond that takes centre stage either if you like another stone better; aquamarine, sapphire, emerald, ruby, tanzanite or topaz would all make stunning engagement rings. It was the prestigious diamond company De Beers that made diamonds seem like the ultimate in rare gemstones through their marketing of the stone from the 1880’s onwards, particularly when they came up with ‘a diamond is forever’ as a tagline in the 1940’s. There is no denying the sheer beauty of a diamond, but feel free to consider other options for what is one of the most important purchases you will probably ever make. Speak to a specialist jeweller about your ideas for a design and let them make you something truly unique, bringing your ideas to life and giving you something that you will absolutely love from the moment you slip it on to your finger.

Ntertain Your Guests!

untitled-31Entertain your guests with Ntertain, who can provide everything you need; meet the team at our wedding fayres or come and see them at an Ntertain Showcase – John Norcott tells us more….

When planning your wedding the list of options to be considered can often seem endless. From venue, to dress, table decorations to cakes, food to be tasted, invites to be sent and honeymoon to be booked. When putting together your list of priorities it is often useful to write a couple of lists from the point of view of other people that you feel should be considered. What may be most important to you as the couple getting married, may not be the top of the priority list for your parents and the priorities of an evening guest may be different to those of guests attending the whole day.

It is safe to say that every couple embarking on wedding planning want to achieve the very best wedding they can without over stretching their budget. Guests attending a wedding want to enjoy good food and great entertainment and oftentimes parents just want to make sure their son or daughter have a fabulous day.

11157367_891591370884082_7291240576327750683_oFrom the point of view of a guest, we think entertainment should be high on the priority list. Unless you are very close friends with the couple getting married, it is unlikely that you will know all the other guests. To ensure an enjoyable and entertaining day / evening it is important to make sure guests don’t get bored and left to their own devices for too long.

If you’re looking for award-winning entertainment solutions for your wedding day, and want to create lifelong memories for both you & your guests, Ntertain Events provide showcases full of entertainers and suppliers from across the North West for you to see, hear and meet in person before you have even decided to book, making the chore of finding the right band or singer a thing of the past.

showcase square1Come along to the latest Ntertain Showcase at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday 29th January opening from 7pm, and try your wedding entertainment BEFORE you buy. Combining the likes of a variety show and a wedding fayre, it’s an innovative way to get a taste of everything you need to create the perfect event under one roof, and enjoy a drink at the bar whilst doing so. See award-winning bands, singers and musicians perform just for you and browse quality event & wedding suppliers including venue dressers, photographers, photo-booth hire, magicians and much more.

Plus, you can pick up a free copy of the latest County Brides magazine, packed full of essential bride & groom advice, venue recommendations, budgeting, and much more to help you create your dream wedding.

Entertainers & suppliers confirmed for the AJ Bell Stadium showcase are:

  • Souled as Seen
  • Talented fingerstyle guitarist – Francis Caudwell
  • Award-winning Singer, Compere & DJ – John Norcott
  • Sharp and witty comedian – Chris Boyle
  • Mystifying magician – Derek Gustard
  • Silver Service Singing Waiters
  • Entertainment Act of the Year 2015 – The Live Piano Experience
  • Hipswing Events
  • iCatching Events
  • Phoenix Smooth Sax
  • The Photobooth Team (The Party Project)
  • County Brides Wedding Magazine
  • Hartshead Productions
  • Forever Living with Jo

To book your tickets for this exciting event, visit and to find out more information about Ntertain Showcases click here.

Find Ntertain on Facebook:

Follow Ntertain on Twitter: @NtertainUK

For questions and queries, please send us your messages to and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

This is a guest post written by Ntertain Events Tel 0330 400 4414 or 07951 529421

Wedding Favours

macaronsAlmost every couple will be planning to have wedding favours of some description, but what is right for you and your partner? Everyone likes to receive a gift, no matter how small, so don’t think that you have to blow the budget to put a smile on your guests’ faces. Look at some of the main types of wedding favours and decide what will fit in with your plans. Charitable favours are popular, particularly when couples are already living together and don’t need anything in the way of more traditional wedding gifts such as crockery, glasses, electrical goods and so on. It is easy to set up charitable wedding favours as it is an option that lots of charities make available as a way of giving them support and they usually have details on their website of how to put it all in place so that it easy for guests to do if they wish.

toy car and mapYou might want to consider just something that your guest can enjoy on the day such as little bubble blowing bottles or mini crackers to pull at the table, or alternatively something they can keep afterwards, such as personalised glasses filled with sweets, little trinkets that are useful and have the date of the wedding on such as matchbooks, coasters or shot glasses, or foodie type favours like small macarons, personalised cupcakes with the wedding date iced on them, mini wine bottles with wedding labels, or small chocolate bars with personalised wrappers. Mini cacti, seeds to plant, jars of cupcakehoney, candles, toy cars, little bottles, decorated bags of pick’n’mix sweets, and CD’s of the wedding music soundtrack are all popular as wedding favours.

Choose something that people will automatically associate with the two of you, so if you are sport mad, love pink, are avid gamers or gardeners or music fans, always travelling or trying new recipes there will be wedding favours that are perfect for you!

A Winter Wedding

AHPN2015 - 21At Abbey House recently we were looking forward to the wedding of Lisa Farnworth and Paul Whittaker who booked a Winter Wonderland Wedding with just three and half months to go! We spoke to them about their best tips for a winter wedding and how they got everything done on time and we are delighted to share their tips with you.

Firstly we wanted to find out why they chose the winter season….

Lisa : I LOVE winter, especially Christmas time with all the twinkly lights, decorations and family around; we might even get SNOW! Aside from all that though, winter wedding packages can be much more cost effective, there can be more late availability (which suited us!) and we didn’t need to book the venue twelve months or more in advance. We chose to book some special elements as well to enhance the Winter Wonderland feel and the most


exciting thing for me was definitely THE REINDEER!! I loved the surprise on our guests’ faces, especially the younger ones, when they saw a real life Rudolph and I think they will remember it for years. We also had mulled cider for our reception drinks and it gave a really festive feel”

Lisa and Paul have children and they wanted to get married within a few months so we asked what they would advise for any other couples planning their wedding to take place in less than six months.

Lisa : I would say be flexible, but stay true to what you want, it is your day after all. Certain flowers may not be available in the winter, but if you take the time to research a really fabulous florist, you can still have something spectacular for your wedding. Think about the time of day you get married; it is better to do it earlier in the day for a winter wedding so you can get all your important photos taken before the light starts to fade. Speak to people who have already got married, it sound obvious, but it can be invaluable for recommendations like the hair dresser, make-up artist or someone to make you a fantastic cake. There is nothing like a personal recommendation as it will save you time browsing magazines or the internet, and we found it was best to meet the people face to face about what we wanted.”

AHPN2015 - 24Abbey House Hotel & Gardens has won the award for Best Wedding Venue in Cumbria five times and we are very proud of this achievement, but we wanted to know what it was that particularly appealed to Lisa and Paul.

Lisa : It has the wow factor! The approach up the drive to Abbey House is breath-taking and the illuminated fountain and beautiful wreaths look spectacular in winter – not to mention the reindeer! It is a magical venue with beautiful décor and the little details of the bespoke package make you feel like your winter wedding is something reserved for just the lucky few!”

Lastly we asked what Lisa and Paul thought were the most important things to include in a winter wedding, aside from the happy couple of course!


  • LOTS of sparkle
  • Flexibility on what you can have in winter time, especially for fresh flowers, seasonal ingredients and so on – do lots of research
  • Choose the time of day for the ceremony carefully so that you can fit in everything you want to do while it is still light
  • Look at whether your venue has accommodation for guests just in case the weather is unpredictable on the day. It might be good to be able to book rooms overnight rather than make a hazardous journey, and you might even be able to have breakfast with some of your guests in the morning!
  • Speak to friends and family about their recommendations, they can give you contact details and then you can meet people face to face; we found that this saved us time and was the best way to get to know our suppliers and explain what we wanted.

This is a guest post by Allannah Buckley from Abbey House Hotel & Gardens who interviewed Lisa and Paul about their winter wedding.

Tel 01229 841181

The Magic of Airbrush Makeup

CKR makeup blog 1

As an award winning Bridal Makeup Artist covering the North West of England and North Wales, I am trained in Airbrush Makeup application.  I also work for a well known Airbrush Makeup brand, on a freelance basis, teaching to college students who are studying makeup and beauty.

Why do  I offer  Airbrush Make-up? It was designed for HD TV and is required because the skin needs to look perfect in front of the high definition cameras, and the makeup finish needs to be able to withstand hours of filming and hot lights.

However, the make-up is also excellent for bridal use, and the reason for this is because it is long wearing and requires no touch ups, so a bride can be assured that it will last from the moment I apply it, right through the day to the end of the partying at the night time celebrations.  It is waterproof, so it will withstand the tears from the day and if it’s a hot day it will still stay perfect even if the bride perspires.

So; with it being able to withstand all that the day throws at it and still stay perfect, it also looks amazing on camera and it can be customised to offer whatever coverage the bride requires, so if the bride wants a fuller coverage and strong contour or she wants natural and almost a tinted moisturiser type of cover, then it can be done all depending on how I layer it.

It’s camera friendly and does not cause flash back from the Photographers flash.  Many foundations contain SPF and this product and the Photographers flash do not mix well, so when you see a bride with a whiter face than her body, this is because the makeup professional has not taken this into consideration; what might look great to the naked eye does not always look that wonderful on the wedding photos. Airbase does not cause this issue.

CKR makeup blog 2It is amazing for Brides-to-Be with any skin issues, because it covers any redness, acne scarring and rosacea like nothing else because it is so super fine and covers in a seamless veil; so if you were to look closely you would think it was perfect skin and not cakey makeup that people tend to use on skin issues.  The photo of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ is my lovely sister Jayne who suffers from Rosacea and in her teens had acne, so her skin is very red and shows small pimples without make-up, but with the airbase you can not even tell she has it and the photo of the ‘after’ is not filtered or altered in any way.

CKR makeup blog 3Airbase Makeup also covers tattoos. As tattoos are very trendy and very current, many of my brides have come to me with a tattoo that they love, however on the day they want it covering for whatever issue, the most common being Grandparents who would not approve.

So, from reading this blog you can now see why I offer this service to my brides and why it really is the best choice for many of them. However, there are skin types I do not recommend it for and in my kit I have many other excellent base choices.

This is a Guest post written By Cathryn Kerwin tel 07590 979877

Our Blogging Bride and Groom

Rebecca, James and Mabel

It is now less than three months until our blogging bride and groom, Rebecca and James, tie the knot at Wrenbury Hall. It has been lovely to follow their story and to meet them both at a wedding fayre last year. They have been putting everything in place for the big day and have let us in on who their key suppliers are in the first of two posts in the run up to the big day. Over to Rebecca…..

“We had NO idea where to start with our suppliers… there’s just so much choice and so many different styles that I think it can feel quite overwhelming.

We knew early on that we wanted to use as many local Cheshire businesses as possible; we wanted to support our local suppliers and so tried to book the majority of our suppliers from Cheshire or at least the North West. We chose some of our key suppliers based on our venue’s recommendations (and packages) ..I kind of think that it’s good to go with a supplier who knows your venue as they will know the best way to make the most of it. Plus, of course, they’re not spending time getting to know your venue and running around on the day because they’ve done it before!

I work as a mental health practitioner, so my job involves talking to people and trying to get to know them, therefore I took the view that I needed to be able to talk to and connect with any suppliers we would be working with (after all, this is a big deal right?!)

We chose our photographer, Richard Milnes Photography, after meeting him at an open day at Wrenbury Hall (big tip – go to the open days at your venue so that you can meet all of the suppliers they recommend and ask to look at the work they have done at your venue).
After chatting to Richard and looking through his photos we knew we would love to have him taking our photographs; Richard took the time to listen to what we wanted, answered all our questions, came up with some suggestions for some unique shots and really put us at ease (plus his photographs are amazing!)

Our florist is Emma Fawcett-Eustace who, again, we met at an open day at Wrenbury and instantly connected with. Emma is incredibly creative and understood exactly what I was looking for without me even knowing it myself at first!! We’ve met several times to discuss our flowers and I am so incredibly excited to see the ideas come to life.

Our cake maker is Paula from Crème de la Crème cakes and again, we chose her after meeting her face to face at an open day (and eating lots of samples of her cakes!).
During our consultation, Paula really wanted to know all about the wedding and all about our ideas and she sketched us several designs based on our ideas. I can’t wait for everyone to see the cake – it’s going to be fab!!

wrenbury photo

Our venue dresser (Urban Heritage) and sound/lighting/dancefloor provider (Hipswing) are also recommended by the venue which has taken some of the weight off my mind in that I know they are familiar with the venue and how to make the most of the space.

Another place to look for suppliers is through websites and magazines such as County Brides and also on wedding planning forums (there’s loads out there) where you can get recommendations. This is how we found Woodyatt Warner and I can see why they came recommended!

I am keeping some details secret until after the big day so there won’t be any sneak preview of my outfit (sorry James!) or pictures on the blog until after the wedding and we are keeping quiet about our transport choice although I will say that we chose to go with Horgans who were fantastic to deal with, especially Tony who is lovely and very professional. “

List of suppliers (that I can share with you at this stage)

Photographer – Richard Milnes

Florist – Emma Fawcett-Eustace

Menswear – Groom, Chester

Venue Dresser – Urban Heritage

Venue Stylist – Woodyatt Warner

Entertainment supplies – Hipswing

Hair – So Glamorous

Makeup – Absolutely Flawless

Transport – Horgans

Cake – Crème de la Crème cakes

We will catch up with Rebecca next month with the final details of the wedding plans and her Top Tips to help other couples choose their wedding suppliers.

The Cheshire Wedding Company

We just had to share this with our readers, a great opportunity for any bride and supporting a very worthy cause. We wish Clare and her family all the very best.


logo“The Cheshire Wedding Company SALE”

Up to 70% off ex-display Designer Wedding dresses from Eliza Jane Howell, Romantica, Alexia & Pure Bridal. Sale for two weeks only – must end 23rd January 2016.

For every dress sold in the January sale we will donate £10 to The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital* to support their fabulous work with sick children.

We’re sending this to brides – past, present and future – so for those ladies who are recently married or already have their perfect dress please forward this on to family and friends!

When they’re gone they’re gone!

*As many of you will be aware, Clare, founder and director of the Cheshire Wedding Company, has been off work for some weeks now due to her son being very poorly in hospital after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. He is now receiving treatment and we’re pleased to report that he was able to spend a few days at home over the Christmas period which was a great boost for him and the whole family. We’re still very much open for business and are delighted that Clare will be back in the shop on a part-time basis from 7th January – ready for the start of our January Sale!!

Unique Bouquets and Chair Covers

IMG_2336 (1)May we be the first to say congratulations on your engagement!

If you’re after something unique for your wedding day, then take a look at our website.We can supply and fit your chair covers and sashes, and our price includes set up and collection.


Take a look at our website to see why our chair covers are so unique.

We are a company that can supply everything you need, which means you only have one supplier to help make your day that extra special.

IMG_2333We have some special offers on at the moment, which include a 10% discount. So not only can we supply everything you need, but we also will give you money off too!

For the 2016 wedding season we have some new designs which you can check out at the Eithad wedding fayre on the 24th January 2016; we will be on the ground floor.

Our new designs include some bride & bridesmaids bouquets and centre pieces.

IMG_2334If you would like to see some pictures of our work and also have a look what some of our past brides and grooms thought about what we did for them, then take a look at our testimonials and the gallery pages on our website.

Here are just some of the services we can provide :-

  • Our very unique chair covers.
  • Artificial and fresh bride and bridesmaid bouquets
  • Candy cart – supplied with everything you need and your choice of sweets.
  • Starlight backdrop, Top table & cake table.
  • A choice of postboxes
  • Dj or karaoke

If there is something particular that you require and not seen it on our website or facebook page then get in touch with us and if we don’t supply it, we will source it for you.

Check out our website for more special offers or follow us on twitter and find us on Facebook

This is a Guest post written by Julie from Unique Bouquets & Chair Covers

Tel 0161 948 3123 or 07528 631518

Nominated for a North West Wedding Supplier Award 2014.

& North West Wedding Supplier Finalist for 2015.

Nominated for North West Wedding Supplier Award 2016

& Great Northern Wedding Awards 2016

Gorgeous Winter Wedding

Are you planning a gorgeous winter wedding? Well then, it is time to get inspired and turn it in to a magical event. Here are some tips for the best winter wedding.

Blog Linda Betts 1

A winter wedding can be gorgeous and budget friendly too. Take full advantage of the festive decorations arranged by your venue and add some personal touches to it. Use miniature Christmas trees, candy canes, white poinsettias or fairy lights as your table decorations. Use pinecones as holders for little cards with your guests names on them. Greet your guests with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Use seasonal fruits and spices for your cocktails and instead of getting tropical flowers for your wedding bouquet, use local seasonal flowers that look equally as stunning. Swap champagne for mulled wine. Not only is all this budget friendly but your guests will love it. Unlike in summer, your guests won’t be able to mingle outside for too long so bear that in mind when planning and prepare lots of cosy blankets so everyone stays warm.

Choosing Colours

Silver and golden look rich and classy. They look gorgeous combined with earthy tones and natural materials.  For more effect use them with a contrasting colour like blue or green. Decorate a tree and encourage your guests to write little notes on it. Use a traditional tree or put a bit of modern twist on it with willow boughs or painted branches.

blog Linda Betts 2

Gold and red is a great winter combo as well. Winter evenings come early, so  make the light shine through crystals to create a dreamy atmosphere.

blog Linda Betts 3

Winter Photography

A winter wedding can turn out stunning on photographs, but there are few things to bear in mind to make the pictures perfect. Plan your wedding ceremony early so you have enough time to take pictures of the bridal party during daylight. Keep warm between the shots with a fake fur  jacket and plan the day so your guests don’t have to stay outside too long. Choose a well lit venue for inside photographs.

Light up your day

A winter wedding and early nights call for beautiful warm lights to brighten your day. Candles in sparkly holders, golden details, crystal chandeliers, torches and lanterns. Get strands of small warm coloured lights and hang them around. Combined with beautiful and rich colours, warm blankets, and a roaring log fire, you and your guests will feel super cosy. Now it’s time to wait for snow to arrive!

blog Linda Betts 4

Wedding Dress

Lots of wedding dresses are strapless or sleeveless designs, but if you are planning winter wedding with an outdoors bridal shoot, stock up on a cosy wrap or a white fake fur jacket.

Planning a wedding can be super fun and creative and in the case of a winter wedding, especially so. Let’s make your winter wedding one to remember!

This is a guest post written by Linda Betts, Cheshire wedding and fashion photographer

Tel 07881 387641

Swan Brides Boutique

Swan Brides Logo CMYKHappy New Year! Did you get a surprise proposal over the festive season? If so, you may be already thinking about the dress you will wear on your wedding day, or perhaps your mum is panicking over what she will wear! Choosing a wedding dress is one of the most exciting moments for any bride, but sometimes it is difficult to know where to start. One of the best ways to ensure that you look and feel fabulous on your wedding day is to visit a bridal boutique where their expert consultants are on hand to advise and assist you. If this sounds like a daunting prospect, it needn’t be when you visit Swan Brides Boutique in Congleton. Vicky and her team offer a warm and friendly welcome if you wish to browse their collections, and work on an appointment basis to ensure that you have all the time you need to select your perfect wedding gown. Established over five years ago, Vicky moved Swan Brides to new premises in 2013 and provides an individual service in comfortable surroundings, so that you can feel relaxed when making your choice from their extensive bridal collections.

“We are a small team of experts at Swan Brides, dedicated to excellent customer service and presenting a wide variety of options for Brides, Bridesmaids and Mothers of the Bride or Groom. Our bridal designs are exquisite and we also stock the exclusive Twobirds dresses for bridesmaids, with an extensive colour range and styling options. Our Mother of the Bride designer collections offer excellent choice in sophisticated and elegant styles whether you are looking for something youthful, chic, classic or a style to flatter a fuller figure. We pride ourselves on giving our customers excellent service from the moment they step through the door to collection of their perfect gown, and look forward to welcoming you to Swan Brides Boutique

Contact Vicky and her team on 01260 272250

or visit the Swan Brides Boutique

9 Park Street, Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 1EY

Colour Themes

Wedding BReakfast Tiffany BlueDo you have a colour theme for your wedding? It might sound a bit matchy-matchy but it is a good way to tie all of the elements of the day together, unless you are going for a more quirky and eclectic look. Colour themes can have an impact on how we feel about a space and can make a dramatic difference when dressing a venue. Bright bold colours can be used to great effect to create a dramatic backdrop to an event, while muted pastels, shades of cream and silver can lend an ethereal fairy tale feel to a setting. Look at the features of your venue and see what sort of colour themes might be a good contrast or accentuate what is the room. If your ceremony room looks out over gardens you can bring the outdoors indoors by B&W Wedding Breakfastchoosing natural colours, shades of green or something that picks out the colours of shrubs or flowers outside. Consider using similar flowers inside the venue, at the end of rows of seats, as table centres or simply to dress the room.

Gilt banqueting chairs are a popular choice for weddings as they always look smart, can be hired easily and come in a choice of finishes, but lots of couples opt for chair covers in a plain ivory or white and sashes of some description which can be styled in a number of different ways depending on how they are HERVE PHOTO white and pink decortied. Each table could have different sashes to blend with the colour theme or be tied in a different way as an aid to the seating plan, a whole table with blue sashes is easier to pick out than a place card or a stand with a table number, particularly if you are having a large wedding and need to seat lots of guests.

Different colours can give a different look in the same space, so choose your colour theme with this in mind and you should be able to create the perfect setting for your special day.

Photographs used by courtesy of The Isla Gladstone Conservatory

contact tel no 0151 263 0363

Cherish Bridal Spring 2016 Wedding Gowns

69113-0115_jacket-mainNew wedding gown trends are being explored by many designers for their Spring 2016 collections, when we will see designs which have a focus on creating exquisite layers and adding more dimension to gowns in styles that will appeal to classic, romantic and modern brides alike – you will love them!

We will still be seeing floral lace and intricate beaded applique work, but constructed to really stand out as a three dimensional embellishment. Sheer skirts, full-on illusion bodices and overlays will also feature, playing on much loved silhouettes and creating the illusion of different shapes.

Brides looking for something more daring than a traditional wedding gown will find some seriously sexy looks amongst the new designs with beautifully sensual fabrics in some of the design collections.

PLYMOUTH-OPULENCE-HIRES-2016-460x651Classic vintage tailoring will still be in evidence and designers such as Veni Infantino from Ronald Joyce have introduced stunning silk mikado in to their elegant creations. Unmistakeably feminine, Veni Infantino make beautiful wedding gowns with a refined simplicity using precious and researched fabrics so that the bride looks unique, stunning and sophisticated.

Coloured gowns will be much sought after in 2016 with colours such as pink, blush, champagne, gold silver and blue being created in a myriad of exceptional fabrics. Opulence Bridal have created beautiful gowns with coloured floral embroidered details and stunning pink tulles, a must have for any bride looking for something different.

Designers will also be playing with soft details to create extra movement and fluidity in their designs, with feathers to accentuate hemlines and waists, and wave details with swirling patterns taking the place of heavier brocade fabrics and floral designs. Look out for tiered skirts which are making a comeback with layers of flowing tulle, silk and organza used for gorgeous gowns in many of the 2016 new wedding gown collections.

This is a guest post by Cherish Bridal tel 01606 351900

A Country Wedding

Hayley_Tom_web_17If you want to have a country wedding and love the great outdoors, a wedding on a farm might be your ideal choice. Owen House Wedding Barn is set on a working farm in the Cheshire countryside and is run by the family who have owned the livestock farm for over twenty years. This bespoke wedding venue offers a unique experience in the delightful Barn which was converted in 2013. It retains its rustic features and brings a charming quirkiness to the civil ceremonies that are held there. Vanessa Daniel-Morgan will coordinate your whole country wedding day, assisted by other members of the Daniel family, and delights in giving couples something unique for their Hayley_Tom_web_55wedding. Rustic does not have to mean rough and ready and the Barn is a lovely setting for a wedding ceremony with unusual spaces for photographs to be taken (with or without the livestock!) Vanessa can advise on her preferred suppliers for elements of your wedding day, and catering specialists who can source delicious local produce for your wedding breakfast. Dance the night away in the Barn and even take the opportunity to stay at the farm B&B at the end of the evening rather than travel home straight away. Vanessa has shared one Hayley_Tom_web_20couple’s Wedding Barn experience with us here and it looks like everyone had a great day! Photographers Helen plus David take up the story…
“Hayley and Tom managed to bring together all of their loved ones with short notice to share their special day because in a few weeks’ time they were due to move to Dubai. The only way they could go together was to be married, so it happened and they did it in true style. Owen House Wedding Barn is full of quirks and echoed Hayley and Tom’s relaxed personalities, this was the first civil ceremony that had been held at this Cheshire wedding venue and it went really smoothly. It also has one of our favourite shots as one of the bridesmaids takes a tumble to the amusement of the bride while the groom carries on chatting regardless!”



Owen House Wedding Barn 07732 183030

All images by Helen plus David

Alison Burgess Couture

7306-1Alison Burgess Couture is excited to announce a new bridesmaids range. The bridesmaid’s dresses can be ordered in over 50 colours! The dresses are available to order from the 2nd January 2016 & we’re offering amazing discounts as an introductory offer! Call us to make an appointment to make sure you don’t miss out on our January sale – 0161 355 7530

At the moment WE are loving bridesmaid’s dresses with straps, they’re perfect for all ages and sizes. Dusky pink, lilac & natural tones are gorgeous for a spring wedding, looking bright & fresh!

The bridesmaid’s dresses take around 8 weeks to arrive in store and all of our bridesmaid’s dresses are to order in perfect time for your 2016 / 2017 wedding!

Moving onto our stunning bridal collection we are excited to show you our new dresses that are due in store for 2016 from our favourite designer…. Stella York!

It is all about the BACK of the gowns for next season and we are in love with the unique styles they have to offer with sheer detail and incredible trains.

We also have new colours available to order in bridal. Champagne has been around for a while and we now have… Almond, Café & Sable shades which suit all different skin and hair tones and of course with over 200 bridesmaids dresses in store we can match the colour of your maids to you!















This is a guest post by Alison Burgess Couture telephone 0161 355 7530

Scarlett’s Kisses

SEI-e1435078394821-555x555Welcome to our latest blog from Scarlett’s Kisses, the experts in stylish stationery for your wedding. Stationery is an important part of any wedding arrangements, giving your guests vital information about the day, as well as making a beautiful style statement with the design that you choose. There are some factors that you need to consider before placing an order for stationery so we will hand you over to the experts at Scarlett’s Kisses for all you need to know.

Most good stationers can work to tight timescales; however this may incur an additional cost, so try to leave plenty of time for completion of your order.

You will need to provide your stationer with accurate information. If this is not given, either the invitation will not arrive or you could upset your guest by spelling their name incorrectly. You will need to provide:

  • Names of all your guests
    • Check the correct spelling of names e.g. Sara or Sarah; Smith or Smythe
    • As a title, do they use the traditional Mr. Mrs. and Miss or maybe Ms. Or even Dr.
  • Addresses of all your guests for the envelopes.
    • You need full address and postcode
  • Who is on your guest list? This can be a very stressful process. Most of your guests are obvious. However, do you need to speak to others such as your parents to see if there is some distant (to you but not to them) relation that needs an invitation. What if there is family fallout somewhere; who gets invited? The only advice we can give is that it is your wedding, make sure you are as happy as you can be with your guest list. Also:
    • Who is a day guest, coming all day including the wedding breakfast
    • Who is an evening guest
    • Who from your evening list will be made an day guest if someone on your original day guest list cannot make it
  • Full details of locations & times for your wedding, wedding breakfast and evening reception
  • Time the event finishes
  • Who is hosting the wedding?
    • Is it both sets of parents or just the bride’s
    • What if one or both sets of parents are divorced and with new partners
    • Other such as children of the bride and groom
  • RSVP date, so that you can let the event know what numbers you are expecting
  • For an Order of Service, all the information about hymns, readings etc. from your vicar/ priest.

Check all of these details thoroughly. Ask as many people as is practical to proof read your sample before you okay it. Once you have given the go ahead to your stationer, any mistakes will have to be rectified at your cost.

Approximate timings:

  • Save the date cards
    • About six to eight months before the wedding or earlier if your wedding is in peak holiday season.
    • Save the dates are especially important for overseas weddings and 12 months before is not uncommon. These don’t have to match your invites.
  • Invitations
    • About 12 weeks before the wedding. If you’re having a wedding overseas, send out your invites even earlier.
    • Hold back on the evening invitation for a week and see who of your day guests are not available in case you need to send a day invitation to guests originally on your evening list
  • RSVP’s
    • Make the deadline no more than three or four weeks after guests receive the invitations. The more time you give guests to reply, the more likely they are to forget. You’ll need time to put together the table seating arrangements and the table plan. Don’t be disappointed that someone will pull out of the wedding at last minute; just ensure that your plans are flexible to take this into account.

Deciding on how many invitations you will need, taking in to account that you don’t need a separate invitation for every guest.

  • Cohabiting couples get one invitation.
  • Families get one invitation i.e. “The Smith Family,” but all their names should be on the invitation.
  • Children who don’t live at home or anyone over 18, as a guide, who does live at home should get their own invitation.

This is a guest post written by Scarlett’s Kisses

telephone 07816 871125

Heavenly Honeymoon

We have been following the plans of our blogging bride and groom, Rebecca and James, who are due to tie the knot in March 2016. Here Rebecca tells us how they chose their honeymoon destination, and we have to say it sounds completely fabulous!

“Choosing our honeymoon was a big deal for us. We had talked about what kind of honeymoon we wanted and both agreed that we wanted to ‘go all out’ (budget permitting of course!)

Rebecca and James on holiday in Nice

We have always talked about going to Thailand as we both love the food and the culture, but we didn’t want to limit our options and jump on the first idea we had so we decided to do some research first.
We both agreed we’d like part of the honeymoon to involve a beach, but that it might be nice to do a multi-centre holiday so that we could also visit a city/do something exciting before settling down on the beach.

We visited a few high street travel agents before we came across Gretchen at

Gretchen and I spoke on the phone for half an hour all about the kinds of things James and I enjoy doing together, the most important aspects of the honeymoon (relaxation, luxury and good food!) and of course budget.
(One thing I hadn’t thought about was the time of year – it never occurred to me that we may not be able to fly to certain places or that the weather might be dreadful in Spring…so bear that in mind when you’re planning to go away)

Gretchen went off to do all the leg work and came back with several ideas for us such as St Lucia, the Maldives, Dubai and Thailand.
We fell in love with the ideas for Thailand – we managed to fit in so much and could mix the city experience, cultural aspects and relaxing beach elements all together.

In my experience, using a honeymoon specialist travel broker has worked so well for us; Gretchen has done all the hard work and was able to use her knowledge to give us suggestions for things that we would never have even thought of.

I can honestly say we are both incredibly excited for our trip to Thailand which includes Bangkok, Phuket, glamping in an Elephant sanctuary in the jungle and finally relaxing on a secluded beach in the south of Thailand.

My top tips for honeymoon planning would be to talk to friends and family about their experiences, do your research by speaking to professionals who can advise on different places/activities and to make sure that you are doing something you both want to do; this is your first holiday as a married couple so it should represent the kind of people you are and be symbolic of all the fun times you have to come.

Most importantly of all – enjoy!!!”

Bridal Accessories

pexels red-bouquet-roses-bridal-mediumThere are lots of ways to accessorise for your wedding day, from bespoke designer detailing on your gown, to veils, tiaras, hair vines, jewellery, shoes, bags and much more. For the bride who loves to shop it is a golden opportunity to invest in some accessories and pieces that she will get joy from for many years to come, not just on her wedding day. A beautiful beaded clutch bag can easily be carried by your bridesmaid during the day and gives you somewhere to stash a couple of tissues, a lipstick and any other small essential items. Every time you use it after the wedding you will be reminded of your wedding day, especially if you tuck a little keepsake inside such as a piece of confetti, your place cards or a favourite photo from the wedding. Glamorous shoes are a must for any bride and you can definitely get your wear out of them by choosing a design from a company such as Elegant Steps who provide a dyeing service after the event, so you can invest in something really stylish, knowing that you will be able to wear them again. Wedding jewellery is not just confined to the rings that you choose and so many brides love the timeless elegance of pearls for wedding jewellery, as they suit all hairstyle-decoration-hair-weddingage groups and they go with everything. A classic pair of diamond stud earrings is also a good investment for your jewellery box, as you will wear them for years to come. Decorative buttons from your bouquet can be re used once the blooms have faded, and you may be able to put some decorative elements from the venue to use in your home, especially if they are things that you have made yourselves.

You may not wear a wedding veil again, but a carefully chosen piece of headwear can easily be used again in the party season or on a special date with your partner. Hair combs, vines and slides are particularly useful in this respect, although there is nothing to stop you wearing your tiara again for every Christmas dinner if the mood takes you!

The Isla Gladstone Conservatory

Bandstand and Isla

The Isla Gladstone Conservatory is a unique venue located amidst the picture perfect rose gardens and lakes of the historic Stanley Park. Serene, warm and inviting during the day the Conservatory is transformed at night so you can dance the night away under the stars. It is completely climate controlled throughout and there is ample secure parking on site.

bandstand ceremony 2If you choose to say your ‘I do’ with us then the magnificent Conservatory is itself licensed for wedding ceremonies for up to 250 and adjacent to the Conservatory is a fairy tale band stand which is the only outdoor urban licensed area for wedding ceremonies in the city and is a perfect backdrop for your wedding pictures.

When you hire the Conservatory we will provide a stocked bar, chairs, tables, table linen, cutlery, crockery, glassware and service staff for your event. We can also help you with chair covers, DJs, bands, dance floors and other decorative items to suit your own unique requirements.

We work with suppliers who are some of the most highly regarded and reliable within their area of expertise and will help you achieve the look and feel of your celebration with ease and confidence.

bandstand fireworksEvery wedding and bride and groom are different so we put a bespoke quote together for you based on your specifications and so you have complete control of how and where your budget is being spent.

No two celebrations are the same and we aim to fulfil your every request for the most special day of your life. Be assured that you will have a dedicated and professional team every step of the way to help you with any questions, queries as well as support and advice.

We look forward to meeting you and making your dream wedding a reality!

This is a Guest post by The Isla Gladstone Conservatory

tel 0151 263 0363

Honeymoons and Minimoons

pexel palmtree-35mm-coqueiroTraditionally the newlyweds would leave their evening reception having got changed in their suite and then been straight off to their honeymoon destination, whether that was Bognor or Bermuda. Couples are doing things differently now as they want to stay to enjoy the whole evening with their guests and not feel like they are missing all the late night antics! As couples are more comfortable requesting cash gifts or vouchers towards a honeymoon it makes sense that they are only able to book this and arrange the payment once the wedding is over and they know exactly what they have to spend. It also gives them time to prepare, get their passports in order with the correct names, check the weather for the time that they will be on their honeymoon (especially important to avoid monsoons or hurricanes which can coincide with our UK summer season). It is also an opportunity to make sure that the couple have had any relevant injections or course of medication needed before visiting a particular location. Around three quarters of newlyweds are delaying their honeymoon until a month after the wedding and sometimes even longer as this gives them a chance to get everything in place, catch their breath after the wedding and still have something to look forward to. Destination weddings which take place abroad combine the wedding ceremony and honeymoon, saving on the cost as everything takes place at one location. Couples can then opt to have a celebration for family and friends sea-nature-coast-rockwhen they return if they wish and extend that holiday feeling for a little longer. As many engaged couples are also saving to get a place together it makes sense to delay the honeymoon if it means that they are able to spread the cost. Another alternative is to have a Minimoon where the couple have a few days away in the UK straight after the wedding, which is a nice break after what can sometimes be a stressful, if enjoyable, time. Popular minimoon destinations are cosy country houses and spa hotels, where there is a relaxing atmosphere in which to wind down and spend some quality time together before returning to work and the everyday life. We have suggested some wonderful honeymoon and minimoon destinations below for you to consider.

Cyprus, South Africa, Thailand, Australia, Maldives, USA, Iceland, Italy, Scotland, Cornwall, The Gower Peninsula, Southern Ireland, The Lake District, Isle of Wight.

Stylish and Seasonal Venue Dressing

Holly CentrepieceIt’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Whether Christmas brings out your inner child or the thought of present shopping fills you with dread, the 25th December is on its way!

Lots of couples pray for glorious sunshine and cloudless skies on their wedding day, but there are just as many dreaming of a winter wonderland and a venue filled with beautiful seasonal colours.

As a venue dresser, the festive season offers a fresh opportunity to get creative and be inspired by the ever changing flora and weather, probably more so than any other season. The possibilities are plentiful and spectacular whether it be festive themed chair covers, glistening snowflakes hanging from wintery wishing trees or icy blues setting the mood.

Winter Wedding


The vibrant greens & reds will lift the inevitably gloomy weather outside whilst a cool pale décor will compliment the brilliant white or warming ivory of a wedding dress. Of course, it’s important to ensure your guests aren’t feeling the cold and a warm LED backdrop will create a romantic glow and cosy atmosphere.

The winter theme runs seamlessly throughout the day with mulled wine and hot chocolate (especially with a dash of rum) offering welcome refreshment, stark landscapes creating dramatic photograph opportunities and for a bit more fun, a selection of Christmas number 1’s will be sure to fill the dance floor into the evening.

The Christmas period focuses on spending time with family, friends and loved ones. A wedding offers the ideal opportunity to do just that so if you haven’t considered a winter wedding, just remember the fun and cheer that Christmas can bring to all. We cannot escape the cold days and darkening evenings but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be celebrated. After all, you can always jet off somewhere much warmer for the Honeymoon and thaw your toes out.

Winter Tree








In a few weeks time, we will be transforming a beautiful venue into a bright festive playground with twinkling backdrop, miniature Christmas tree table centres, fake snow and even boxes wrapped as presents. The cake is snowflake themed and the place settings are held in little sleighs. All we need is a DJ dressed as an elf and it will be like Santa’s grotto! Keep an eye on our website and Facebook for the pictures.


This is a guest post written by Laura and Gaz at Vogue Venue Styling

Tel: 01457 860 777

Mob: 07725 512 720 (Laura)

Mob: 07824 448 654 (Gaz)


Wedding Gown Inspiration

Available from Alison Burgess Couture

When you are looking for wedding gown inspiration, look at how the celebrities do it and plan accordingly. Think about someone who you admire and see if their signature look could work for you. If you like classic, elegant style check out pictures of Grace Kelly’s wedding. Her fabulous taffeta and vintage lace dress has a timeless look and the Duchess of Cambridge had a similar style of dress in the sweetheart neckline and full length lace sleeves, but a different shape to the lower part of the gown, showing that elegance never dates even though their weddings were fifty five years apart.

Amal Clooney, Reese Witherspoon and Catherine Zeta-Jones all opted for classic elegant styles , with off the shoulder design, blush satin and sash, beautiful silhouettes and lace overlay; any of these elements could be incorporated in to your own design or used for wedding gown inspiration when trying to choose which gowns to try on.

If you want a more relaxed feel check out the beautiful flowing dress worn by Kate Moss at her wedding; with beautiful beaded detailing and feather applique at the hem it kept her boho credentials intact, but the layers of sheer fabric might not be for the faint hearted so consider whether the detailing could work on a slightly heavier fabric.

If you want to have something that is fun, but more demure, check out Jess Ennis’s dress with its pleated wrap style bodice and full skirt packed with lots of frill detail. For full on up to the minute styling look no further than Gwen Stefani’s wedding dress; even though her wedding to Gavin Rossdale was in 2002 and the couple reportedly split this year, the ombre style of the white and pink gown still looks right up to date and definitely makes a statement.

North West Wedding Awards Finalists 2015

We are delighted to announce the Finalists for this year’s awards, ahead of the gala presentation evening which will be hosted by County Brides on the 17th June at St George’s Hall in Liverpool.

The North West Wedding Awards are now in their fifth year and promote excellence within the wedding industry, across a wide range of categories, with the winners in each category announced on the night and presented with their award. There will also be the Business Awards presentations for The Employee of the Year, Business of the Year and Newcomer to the Industry. Guests will enjoy a five course meal and entertainment in addition to the awards ceremony and will be able to dance the night away afterwards.

This year County Brides will be supporting the RNLI as their chosen charity. The Royal National Lifeboat Institute saves lives at sea, providing a 24 hour lifeboat search and rescue service around the UK.

Tickets for the event are on sale via our website or by calling 01942 206 446, and we look forward to seeing you on the night.


Categories and Finalists 2015 in alphabetical order

Accessories – Elegant Steps, Ma Belle Mademoiselle, Millinery by Susie K, Mister Maker from Hindley
Bridal – Cherish Bridal, Cheshire Bridal Wear, Dream Dress Bridal, The Bridal Lounge Cheshire, Wedding Belles Bridal Studio
Cakes – Bloomsbury Cakes, Corr’s Cakes, Polka Pops, Sugar Couture Ltd, The Lemon Tree Bakery
Catering & Bar Services – Americano’s Event Catering, Chapman Holmes Catering , Lou’s Buffets, Pink Pepper Catering Ltd, Sue-le- Bonne, Vanilla in Allseasons
Entertainment Act – Jennie Sawdon, John Norcott, Knights of Disco, Rock Revolution, The Live Piano Experience
Entertainment Agency – Absolute DJ’s Ltd, Dancefloor Couture, Hipswing, Ntertain, Pier Fun Casino
Entertainment (non-musical) – B E Events and Occasions, Bisque and Beyond, Boothique, Gemma Wroe, Steve Mitchell Wedding DJ
Floristry – Black Eyed Susie, Carol Annes Florist, Fantasy Weddings, Foam Flowers by Joanne, Posh Flowers
Hair & Beauty – Cathryn Kerwin Rawlinson, Hair for a Wedding, L’Hairport by Duncan Fisher, Michelle Sisson, So Coco Rouge
Health & Well Being – Church Lane Dental, Edward Wills Dentistry, Polished and Pampered, Revitalaser
Jewellery – Henry D Johnstone, Jayne Rosario Jewellery, Stefan’s, Victoria Highfield Jewellers
Menswear – Blush Brides and Grooms, Groom Hire Warrington, L&J Formal Hire, Swarbricks
Occasion Wear – Aubergine, Florentyna Dawn, Maria Morris Couture, Shuffs Separates
Photography – Alan Harding Photography, Carpe Diem, Icon Studio, Look at Me Photography, Mark Francis Photography
Stationery – Blossom Grove, I Do Designs, Let’s Make Something Beautiful, Paper Willow, T For Two Bespoke Wedding Stationery
Transport – Caremore Cars, Horgans Wedding Cars, Italian Job Mini Hire, Premier League Chauffeuring
Venue Cheshire – Best Western Plus Pinewood on Wilmslow, Colshaw Hall, Mere Court Hotel, Statham Lodge, The Lord Binning
Venue Cumbria – Cranleigh Boutique, Inn on the Lake, Old England Hotel &Spa, The Abbey House Hotel
Venue Lancashire – Browsholme Hall, Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel, The Great Hall at Mains, West Tower Exclusive Venue
Venue Manchester – Best Western Smokies Park, Crowne Plaza Manchester, The Place Hotel, Worsley Court House
Venue Merseyside – Formby Hall, Isla Gladstone Conservatory, Knowsley Hall, Rum Warehouse Titanic Hotel, The Venue Royal Liver Building
Venue Enhancing – Bowlicious, Bow So Sweet, Lasting Memories by Alison, Perfect Weddings, Qube Events and Productions, SC Sweet Occasions
Videography – Authentic Wedding Films, Chapelford Films, CPD Film, Perfect Day Productions, Safe Harbour Productions
Wedding Co-ordinators & Planners – A Glass Slipper Event, As You Wish, Grand Design Weddings and Events, Ladybelle Weddings, Simply Shindigs

A New Idea in Gift List Registry

It is usual for a Gift List to be a part of a couples’ wedding planning, whether they already have a home together or not. A Gift List can be registered at lots of high street stores and online shops, but couples looking for a different experience might want to consider, an open-platform registry that promises choice for its customers and a wonderful experience for their guests, based around the concept of Gratitude when celebrating one of life’s milestones.
Millions of thoughtful gifts are exchanged every year, from the unexpected bunch of flowers to the ideal christening gift or wedding present. Thoughtful helps to create an individual and personalised registry, where all of the details are in one place, the gift list can easily be a mixture of traditional gifts, honeymoon vouchers, experiences and charitable donations, with the added advantage of guests being able to use any currency and choose form any store or online retailer. Each Registry is completely private, with users setting up a password so that only their guests can have access, and a personal cover photo for the Registry can also be uploaded.
Thankful can also be used for other events such as new babies or special birthdays and as it is providing a service, rather than selling items, it gives freedom to choose form any preferred retailer. Thankful also has inspiration for customers setting up a gift list registry and even a useful tool to manage the Thank You notes after the event. Customers can opt for a free trial to see how it all works before making a commitment and Thankful also work to heighten awareness of the global issue of early marriage which for some girls in the developing world can mean the loss of their childhood and an end to their education as they bring up a family.
For more information visit

image courtesy of Marja Flick-Buijs

How to keep your Wedding Dress stain free

There is a question we at Cherish Bridal hear time and time again from brides, when they are having alterations done or collecting their gown from us – how can I keep my dress stain free??
Wearing white or ivory is hard to do in normal circumstances but on your wedding day it’s more difficult to keep that white or ivory outfit stain-free. After you have booked your gown, had a fitting, and had your alterations done to your beautiful gown , it’s important to protect your dress on the day of your wedding so that you don’t have to walk down the aisle with a Prosecco stain or foot print mark on the hem of your dress!!
Here are four easy tips to keep your dress looking pristine, all day and night.

1. Choose what you eat wisely.
Your wedding day is the day when you should say no to eating messy food! It is only for one day and if you know you are accident prone, why risk it!!
Avoid foods like tomato ketchup, dips, guacamole, mayonnaise and soup, and stay with foods that don’t drip or fall apart easily. Eating finger foods that you can easily put in your mouth without it going everywhere else is your best bet; you will have a napkin at hand to wipe your fingers. Try to avoid dark drinks such as cola (or red wine!) before you get to the church or venue, in case of an accidental spill — if you do have to have a drink then use a straw to stop you sipping and dripping down the front of your wedding gown!


2. Wear a large napkin or an adult size bib!
Cover yourself with a towel or handfuls of colour free paper towels when you’re eating or getting your makeup touched up. If there was ever a time to wrap yourself up in cotton wool, now would be it!

3. Be aware of where you are posing for photos.
When you’re having your photographs taken throughout the day and night with your guests, watch out for those guests who are clumsy and look like they might spill their drink all over the place and on you!! If the grass may be wet or muddy at the venue ask if they have a spare rug you can stand on and arrange this before your big day just in case, so your shoes don’t sink into the ground and your hem does not get grass stained and dirty. Be on your guard for smokers with lit cigarettes if you are outside with your guests. Ask people to put down their drinks, their food, and even their dirty napkins before having a picture with you. Avoid the chocolate fountain area at all costs!! If you do have children attending make sure they are aware not to touch you with dirty fingers from the buffet table!! This will help you make it to the end of your wedding day without a gown that looks like it has been paintballed!!

4. Have a collection of stain removers on hand.
Have a whole bag organised with different products in it. It will come in handy to treat stains immediately if anything should occur to potentially ruin your dress on your wedding day. Make sure you know what product is for what stain and that you have someone to help you and keep you calm or you could make the stain worse if you do need to try and remove one.
Being prepared doesn’t mean you are taking things too seriously and being precious about your gown, after all you have paid a lot of money for it so you will obviously want to protect it and it will give you peace of mind, should anything happen. You cannot prevent accidents occurring however, and once you have had your main photographs of the day with family and friends why not just let your hair down and enjoy your dress for the rest of the night? Dresses can be dry cleaned, so party hard and don’t worry, the day flies by quickly, so make the most of wearing your beautiful wedding gown.


Guest post written by Tracy Hollinshead at Cherish Bridal.
Tel: 01606 351 900

Wedding Planning Do’s and Don’ts


Rings by Christopher Evans Jewellers

Rings by Christopher Evans Jewellers

Hooray! You’re getting married! Now the fun of planning your wedding can begin, but where to start? Some couples feel daunted by the whole process, but by bearing some tips in mind from the outset you can create your perfect wedding day without getting too stressed to enjoy it.

Think of the timescale, if you want to get married quite quickly you will need to get key suppliers in place straight away and they need to know when and where the wedding will take place, so decide on a date, ensuring that you give notice to your local register office, which for most marriages or civil partnerships is at least 28 full days’ notice. Then choose a venue, ensuring that it is approved by the Local Authority, most will have a list of approved venues on their website.

Set a realistic budget based on what you want to include in your day, and ensure that you plan carefully if you still need to save up before the wedding. Two years can seem like a long time to save, but it goes by quickly and you don’t want to have the stress of a balance to pay and no money to cover it, so a separate ‘wedding account’ might be a good idea, then if you have anything left over you can use it towards a holiday, something for your home or just a little newlyweds treat.

If you don’t know exactly what you want start to do some research with friends and family or on the internet, so you have an idea of what is available and then arrange to visit a wedding show and talk to some of the companies that you might like to book. It is a good way to see lots of different things at one time, and can even mean a discount if you are able to confirm a booking there and then, so make sure you have decided on the when and where.

Keep a checklist so that nothing gets forgotten about and delegate tasks where you can; don’t feel you have to do everything yourselves or make all the decisions in one go, it is more important to make the right choices than rush in to something you aren’t quite sure about. Some things such as your wedding rings may be a considerable investment, and you will be wearing them for years so make sure they are right for you.

Consider taking out wedding insurance, especially if you are having a large wedding, it may not be as romantic as choosing wedding rings or a honeymoon, but it does give peace of mind for what could be one of the largest amounts of money you will ever spend.

It is YOUR day, so make it fun and memorable, include some of the things that you like best, whether that is the clothes, the food or the music choices, and share the day with people you love and you can’t go far wrong – Congratulations!

The Cheshire Wedding Company

Wedding this summer? Still have no dress? Worried you can’t afford a Designer Dress? Think you are going to have to go to a discount warehouse with last season’s stock – stop!
Many Bridal Boutiques offer mid-season sales and time them for the Spring for those Brides who have booked their wedding that year.

At the Cheshire Wedding Company we have carefully selected some of our sample dresses for our Spring Sale. As a business who prides itself on customer recommendations, we find that it is crucial to keep our stock new and fresh, so that brides coming back with their friends who are now engaged will be seeing new dresses in store. This means that our sample sales have good quality and current styles for around half the price.

To make room for new stock, we have over 20 different styles, colours and sizes available and the dresses will be cleaned and steamed ready for your big day.
Our seamstresses are on hand for alterations to create the perfect fit. So don’t look online or shop at a warehouse – come and get The Cheshire Wedding Company treatment and have a look in store!

112 Heaton Moor Road, Heaton Moor, Stockport, SK4 4PA

Telephone 0161 442 5364


Looking for a Unique Wedding?

Together Forever

Together Forever

Every couple wants to have a unique wedding day, but there are some things that can be included at any wedding and the day is no less special for that.

There should always be at least two people who love each other, and if you are lucky there will be many more than this present at your wedding.

Good company, good food, and some music are all desirable, along with smiling faces and lots of laughter.

A relaxed atmosphere is a must have, and a sense of humour definitely helps to deal with any glitches.

It’s fine to have a few nerves present on the day, but these will soon be gone once the register is signed.

Good wishes and happy vibes from guests are essentials and something that everyone will be happy to give you as a wedding gift.

A mix of age groups is nice to have at any wedding, some guests talking about their own wedding and others that they have been to over the years, others who could be hoping to meet their future partner.


The eagle eyed guest may also be able to spot one or more of the following during the day….

Men checking their phones for the football scores
Nervous guests trying to see if they are in the same outfit as someone else
Fabulous hats and fascinators in all sorts of colours
Ladies with impossibly high heels quietly sinking into the grass during the photos
Cheeky flirting between guests
Long lost relatives catching up
Teary bridesmaids
Children on the dance floor first
Teens bargaining for their first “proper” drink
‘Nana’ and ‘Dad’ dancing
The bride in bare feet
New babies being passed around for a cuddle
The newlyweds holding hands and smiling, laughing at their own shared jokes, and looking like they are having their best day ever
(Actually, you won’t need to be eagle eyed to spot the last one, that’s probably been going on all day!)


[image courtesy of Gavin Spencer]

The Benefits of Visiting a Wedding Show

St George's Hall interior

St George’s Hall interior

Wedding fayres, shows and exhibitions have been around a long time and remain one of the best ways to see what the wedding industry has to offer, new products that you may never have thought of, services that would be ideal for your wedding day and lots of new trends, designs and ideas for every aspect of your wedding day. There are lots of companies all in one place so it cuts down the travelling time and gives you the chance to compare services.


With so many choices, how do you get the best out of your visit to a wedding show and stay sane during the process?

1. Make a list and be confident about your choices – if you already have your perfect dress there is no point in looking at all of the others, and then feeling that it is not so perfect after all, that will make for a miserable outing. List what you have already sorted out, put down three things that you would like to tick off the list still to do, and work out your budget in case you see a “must have” or a “can’t resist” at the show.

2. Have a pen and paper in case you need to jot any ideas down, although most exhibitors at the show will have flyers and business cards to hand out with their details on, it is useful to be able to keep a note of ideas that you might want to discuss before making any decisions, and you may have another fayre to go to before you make a booking.

3. Have something to eat before you set off, most shows will be at venues where there is a bistro or café, but they will get very busy over lunch time, so that can be a good time to speak with suppliers for a bit longer if you have questions about their service, and you won’t feel faint by the time you take a break – cake samples won’t keep you going!

4. Go with someone whose opinion you trust, they will be able to steer you away from any wild impulse purchases and could help to deflect any overzealous exhibitors wanting to know when your big day is or wanting your details for their marketing lists. Most exhibitors will be genuinely interested in your plans though, weddings are how they make their living and they will be keen to show you what they can offer, so be polite even if you are not interested.

5. Wear comfortable shoes and take your wedding shoes with you if you will be trying dresses on, make sure you have suitable underwear on and have some idea of the overall look that you want, full skirted, column style, long train, strapless and so on, so that you can narrow down the choices straight away and don’t feel overwhelmed.

6. Enjoy yourself! It is great to be able to chat with people who live and breathe weddings, they will be a great source of information and advice and have lots of experience, it might be your first wedding, but it probably won’t be theirs so they will be glad to help you. Pick up all the magazines, leaflets and freebies, watch the fashion shows, enter the competitions, have a glass of champagne and look forward to your perfect wedding day!

Get some fantastic ideas and inspiration at the County Brides St George’s Hall Wedding Show on 3rd and 4th October 2015, a two day show at a stunning venue with some of the best wedding suppliers from across the North West.

Becoming Engaged

rgbstock photo michael lorenzoWhen a couple decide they want to get married, they will usually be engaged for a period of time first. It is still traditional for the person who makes the proposal to seek permission from their intended’s father before they ask the question, and they should be fairly certain of the answer before they get to this point. An engagement is seen as a promise of marriage by older generations, but it is not unusual for people to have a couple of broken engagements behind them before they walk up the aisle. The timing of the engagement is a personal thing and we still hear of whirlwind romances even in this cynical age. Elaborate proposals have become a trend, with people seeking more unusual settings or scenarios for them to pop the question, from flash mobs, to surprise trips, messages written on beaches or spelled out in flowers, an engagement ring hidden in a glass of champagne or a video proposal including the couple’s children.
It can be a daunting prospect to make a lifelong commitment, and some couples seem to get engaged and then come to a halt; but planning the perfect day can be a really special time in their relationship, making decisions and reaching compromises, choosing the things that symbolise their partnership and making the statement that they are together by sharing their day with those closest to them.
There is no age restriction in the UK for becoming engaged, but coupes cannot marry without their parents’ consent until they are 18 in England, or 16 in Scotland, which is why Gretna Green just over the Scottish border became so popular with young couples who eloped. The majority of newly engaged women will choose to wear an engagement ring and with the increase in civil partnerships and their conversion to marriage status there is also the opportunity to purchase so called “men-gagement” rings. These are usually band rings set with one or more diamonds, rather than solitaire styles, and can later double up with a matching slim wedding band or moved to the right hand, leaving room for a wider wedding band on the left hand.
Whether you are engaged for two weeks or two years, it is a very special time for you both to enjoy, taking the time to plan your perfect day and going on to hopefully enjoy a long and happy marriage.


[image courtesy of Michael Lorenzo]

The Stylish Groom

Stylish groom

Stylish groom

A lot of pre-wedding conversation seems to be about the bride’s gown and accessories and sometimes the groom can be overlooked. If the bride is choosing the dress of her dreams there is no reason why the groom shouldn’t have a say in what he will wear on one of the most important days of his life. The groom generally wants something comfortable that he can feel confident in, but it still may mean a little bit of suffering for a guy who would never voluntarily wear a suit, if he has to have something formal. Your lovely bride obviously likes the way you look or she wouldn’t be getting married to you, and as she may think that all eyes are on her perhaps she will not be too stressed out about what you are wearing.
Stylish grooms can easily choose something that works for their personality as there are so many different styles in menswear, and far more choice in accessories than ever before. It is no longer just a question of a formal suit or a morning suit, so start by thinking of what type of wedding you are planning to have and go from there. A formal wedding at a grand venue makes you instantly think of the classic morning suit with pinstriped trousers, waistcoat and tails, but there are variations on this and you can include or omit the top hat, depending on how you feel, and it is an easy way to colour co-ordinate, just choose the waistcoat, cummerbund or cravat to match the colour scheme, or choose toning shades for the groomsmen and page boys.
If you are having a beach wedding, an informal wedding or something with a particular theme, you can match your style accordingly, no-one will wonder why you don’t want to be in a top hat on a beach in the Seychelles, but if that is what you want to do, just go for it! Equally if you are having a themed wedding or are into the vintage look, sixties mod clothes, rock and roll or sports luxe you don’t have to compromise, just start looking around early on for things you like and start to build up your own unique outfit.

Here are some key areas to get you started, but we don’t suggest that you try to have everything on the list, that would be beyond eclectic!

Outerwear to suit the time of year or theme – formal suiting, linen suit, parka, morning suit, highland dress, drape jacket, casual suit, leather jacket, Crombie, a frock coat like Ross Poldark, or britches if you are going for the Mister Darcy look

Comfortable shirt that ties in with the outfit – formal, dress, linen, button down Oxford, cutaway collar, wingtip collar, frilled front, pirate style, band T-shirt, turtle neck – there is loads of choice here

Shoes that tie in with the look, and if you are getting new ones remember to break them in if necessary before the big day, even though they are unlikely to be heels they can still be uncomfortable. Choose from dress shoes, Chelsea boots, brogues, Converse, wingtips, riding boots, spats, cowboy boots, ghillie shoes, crepe soled shoes, winkle pickers, desert boots or even wellies if you are having an outdoorsy day

The accessories are the finishing touches to your outfit and there is a lot of scope for you here as well, not just whether to have a tie or cravat. Braces, belts with fancy buckles, bowties, top hat, flat cap, porkpie hat, trilby, fedora, Stetson, pocket watch, cufflinks, tie pins, boutonniere, sporran, argyle socks…..the list is endless, so get choosing.

Using Local Wedding Suppliers

County Brides Magazine

County Brides Magazine

Couples can make savings just by using local wedding suppliers, and as more couples are committed to modern values as well as the latest trends, the best place to start sourcing things is the local high street. There has been much talk of the struggle that lots of high street shops are facing, but that does not mean that there aren’t some real gems to be found in your area. Smaller shops may have a more limited range, but they can order something for you and may know of other small businesses who can work with you to create a unique wedding.

Supporting local businesses is good for the local culture and economy and is kinder to the environment as it can reduce the number of ‘wedding miles’ covered when looking for items, saving you time to do other things. Companies that are local or smaller will have worked hard to establish themselves in the market and the locality and will want to give a good service so that you will be pleased to recommend them to others, which keeps everyone happy. Your wedding suppliers may well have worked together before on other events which can make the day run more smoothly for you, and if their shops or design studios are nearby it will be easier to pop in and discuss any changes or make decisions during the design process.

County Brides magazine covers the whole of the North West and has all of the information that you need gathered in one place. Information and contact details for lots of local companies, offers, competitions, hints & tips and our fabulous real life weddings so you can see how other couples set about creating their perfect day.

Pick up our magazine at one of the fayres that we organise, look out for the NEW launch copy at our 6th September event at The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City Football Club, or come along to our brand new two day event at the fantastic venue of St George’s Hall in Liverpool on 3rd and 4th October.  Happy Wedding Planning !

Choosing your Wedding Rings

Rings by Christopher Evans Jewellery

Rings by Christopher Evans Jewellery

Platinum is the most popular choice for wedding rings and engagement rings due to its hardness, rarity and naturally white sheen that will never fade or change colour; however, all of this beauty comes at a price and Palladium is a more affordable choice that will give you the same look. Palladium comes from the same family of metals, but it is harder and less easily scratched, it has the same natural whiteness to the metal but is much lighter in weight than platinum. It is sometimes added to white gold to enhance the whiteness of the finish which is achieved by rhodium plating, but which may fade over its lifetime, requiring the ring to be re-plated to keep the shine. If your wedding ring will have diamonds in it Palladium also offers a more secure setting than gold.

If you choose a traditional gold ring, the colour and hardness of white gold and yellow gold rings will differ, depending on what carat you choose. It is also advisable to have the same carat for the wedding and engagement rings for the bride as a softer 18 carat gold will be worn down over time by a harder 9 carat gold ring worn next to it. This is a very gradual process though, so it may not be too much of a concern for you unless the edge of your ring has a detailed design or fine millegrain beading which could eventually be worn away.

Titanium wedding rings have also grown in popularity, particularly for the groom’s wedding ring. Titanium is extremely strong, hence its use in the aerospace industry, but it is lightweight in comparison to platinum or tungsten and is also hypo-allergenic, great for anyone who may suffer allergic reactions with other metals. Titanium can be anodised to change the colour of the metal which could be an option for those who do not want too bright a finish on the ring.

Ask questions when choosing your wedding rings, think about your lifestyle and how likely it is for the ring to get scratched or damaged. Think about particular design motifs that you would like to incorporate if you are having the rings specially made, and whether you want anything to be engraved on them. Don’t settle for anything less than a ring that you have fallen in love with; you will be wearing it for a long time and it should make you feel happy every time you look at it.

Advice on a Gift List

mGBT3nMFor those couples who already have a home together before they get married a gift list reduces the risk of an unwanted or duplicated gift, or they may prefer to ask for vouchers or money towards a big purchase for their home, but if they have only just moved in together the couple might need everything from a tin opener to a duvet so registering a gift list can be an ideal way to make sure that they will get a range of useful presents. Sending out a gift list with the wedding invitations could be problematic and the bride and groom would need to keep on top of who has given them which gift so that the correct thank you cards could be sent after the wedding. It is an easier option to register a wedding list with a specialist company or department store so that all the details are taken care of. When placing their list, the bride and groom need to be confident that their guests will be guided through their choices by professional staff, whether their budget is ten pounds or a hundred. National companies will be able to send the chosen gifts anywhere and are most likely to have a tracking facility, should something not arrive. If the couple choose an online gift registry they should ensure that it is easy to use and has flexibility to choose from a range of gifts at different price points. Check what the exchange or refund policy is in case a guest does manage to go off track and make a more creative choice, perhaps from the right store, but not from the list. This should ensure that the couple don’t start their married life with lots of things that will just gather dust or will end up on auction sites after the wedding. Stores may offer reward schemes or incentives to couples to encourage them to place their list, as it is a very competitive market, so it pays to shop around before making the final decision.


[image courtesy of Michaela Kobyakov]

Gifts for the Groom

Weddings seem to focus a lot on the Bride and the Groom gets a little forgotten about, even though it is just as big a day for him. Brides seem to be showered with gifts from the moment that they slip on their engagement ring so it is lovely if they put some thought in to a gift that they can give their fiancé on their wedding day, apart from the boudoir photo shoot pictures of course! Think about how you met, the things that you have shared together and how he likes to spend his free time and go from there. If he is the bookish type you could try and track down a first edition or a particularly nice copy of a favourite book, or one that is signed by the author. If he has a taste for speed, arrange a day driving a classic car or visiting a racing car circuit. The man into music might love that guitar that he has had his eye on but can’t justify buying himself, framed song lyrics, or perhaps two tickets for a gig would be right up his street. There are lots of options for keepsakes too from personalised jewellery and cufflinks to smaller items like a mug he can use every day; you know him best so use your imagination and look for something unusual that will have significance for him, or perhaps relating to a joke that you share. There are companies that can make up bespoke posters and prints with place names that are important to you or that are connected with retro TV shows and movies, so perhaps these would add to a collection that he has. If the man in your life is a foodie there are lots of choices from gin tasting and cheese making to curry night subscriptions, and you won’t even have to find a place to keep these gifts!


[image courtesy of Michal Zacharzewski / RGBstock]

Hen Party Trends

The Hen Party may only date back to the 1960’s, but it is now seen as an essential part of the pre wedding preparations. While stag parties date back many hundreds of years, in different forms, it has taken a while for the concept of a hen party to catch up. Getting together with friends is a great opportunity to take some time out from the wedding stress and relax. The hen and stag parties now take place a few weeks before the wedding date, and it seems that a groom waking up in another country or handcuffed to a lamp post on his wedding morning are long gone.

There are lots of activities that can be enjoyed at hen parties, and these can be as low key or as lavish as you wish, from a quiet drink or lunch party to an all weekend extravaganza. It is usually arranged and hosted by a close female friend, family member or chief bridesmaid and they should have a good idea of what the bride will enjoy. Cocktail mixology has been popular in recent years as well as tea parties, knicker making workshops, cupcake baking classes, spa days and other activities. In some cultures brides will have intricate henna mehndi patterns painted on their hands and feet before the wedding and as this takes time to apply, the female guests will have plenty of time to give out any tips for pre wedding nerves or dealing with married life. A hen party can also help in bringing guests together who may not know each other well, which can make for a more relaxing atmosphere on the wedding day as there will be more familiar faces and a shared experience to talk about.

A guest book idea can be incorporated in to the hen party, with guests writing their good wishes on small tokens or bunting flags, signing a canvas or having photos taken with the bride, giving her a lasting memento of the day. The hen party is no longer looked at savouring the last days of freedom before married life, but as a chance to make some memories with close friends in the run up to one of the most special days of your life.

A Fascination with Hats

We have always been fascinated with hats; even when they have dropped out of fashion favour, we still admire those individuals who seem to be able to carry off any style and make hat wearing part of their everyday look. Of course a wedding is an ideal opportunity to join the hat wearers for a day, but with so much choice, where do you start?

Think about the style of the wedding first. If you know that it is going to be a very formal affair, then you should definitely consider a hat as opposed to a fascinator or you may feel underdressed. It pays to try on a variety of styles and shapes before choosing as some will suit your face shape better than others, but this is not something you can guess at, so always try before you buy. You can opt to hire a hat if you don’t think you will wear it again, but if you are the mother of the bride it might be something that you want to keep to remind you of a wonderful day when you looked and felt fabulous.

Bespoke hats make a statement and are sometimes real investment pieces, but you will have something unique that you can treasure for years, and this can be a good choice if you are wearing an unusual colour and want something to match. Don’t worry if matching an outfit is not your style, it is perfectly acceptable to wear an outfit of one colour and a hat of a different colour, or wear shades of colours for your outfit, shoes, handbag and headwear. The important thing is that the overall look works and you feel comfortable, otherwise you will be self-conscious and won’t look relaxed in the photographs.

If you are a creative type, consider making your own hat or fascinator. One of the most popular materials to use is sinamay, a coarse open weave material, which is similar to straw, but can be easier to work with. You could pick up a pre-owned hat quite cheaply and make it over, or start from scratch, depending on your skill level. Ready-made round bases are available, as are a wide variety of feathers, tulle, netting, lace and jewelled decorations, so you could make something really different to the other guests and at a fraction of the cost. There are lots of online tutorials to help you get started, and perhaps you could try it out as a hen night activity, but have a back-up plan in case the end results look a bit wonky, especially if you are also having a couple of glasses of wine!

Grosvenor Classic Cars

Grosvenor Classic Cars "Isobel"

Grosvenor Classic Cars “Isobel”

Grosvenor Classic Cars take pride in adding a touch of elegance to your wedding day. Their beautiful fleet of cars are the epitome in exquisite, luxury motor vehicles and their impeccably trained team of Chauffeurs will transport you in style to your destination.

Grosvenor Classic Cars are pleased to announce an addition to their Vintage Style car selection,

Isobel” our beautiful Cream Edwardian Style Bridal Car is now available to hire. The Exterior of this beautiful vehicle is Cream, and is complimented with highly polished brass fittings. The Interior has beautiful deep buttoned leather upholstery, for complete comfort and excellent leg room. “Isobel” is a very glamorous car which turns heads wherever she goes due to her elegant design.

We are also pleased to offer “Cars for Grooms”, all guaranteed to make a statement

Grosvenor Classic Cars Range Rover

Range Rover

Our range includes striking vehicles such as:-

Range Rover Overfinch Autobiography

Mercedes G-Wagon

Panther De-Ville

London Taxi in Old English Cream with Burgundy Convertible Roof.

Grosvenor Classic Cars also offer an excellent selection of pristine Classic Wedding Cars which can be seen on our website, or why not simply arrange a no obligation viewing at a time to suit you.

Grosvenor Classic Cars Panther De-Ville

Panther De-Ville

Grosvenor Classic Cars Mercedes G Wagon

Mercedes G Wagon


Grosvenor Classic Cars London Taxi

Cream London Taxi





NEW Autumn Fayre

A fabulous new Wedding Fayre, hosted by County Brides, will take place at the Etihad Stadium, the home of Manchester City Football Club.

This fayre has been staged each January and due to the overwhelming popularity of the event at this venue, the January 2015 fayre was the busiest yet with 400 brides coming along to enjoy the event. The 2016 date (January 10th or 17th) will be confirmed as soon as we have details of the football fixtures list.

With over 70 wedding specialists on 3 floors, two brilliant catwalk shows with stunning bridal dresses, mother of the bride & bridegroom outfits and not forgetting the formal suit hire for the groom, live entertainment on stage to keep everyone happy, and all of the industry experts on hand to offer advice on planning your big day – what more could you ask for?

County Brides are delighted to announce that they are not just doing it all again in January 2016, but also on the 6th September 2015, yes a NEW autumn date for this popular fayre!

Admission is just £3 and if you are a bride you can pre book tickets on our website  Come along and see everything on offer, ask questions and get expert help with sourcing products and services for your wedding day. Get a launch copy of the NEW County Brides magazine full of local suppliers, offers, competitions and lots of ideas and information, along with beautifully photographed real life weddings.

If you are an exhibitor, why not enquire with us to see how you could promote your wedding related business – – 01942 206446. Take a look at the video and see how busy the fayre is and be a part of the event by booking your own stand and reaching hundreds of brides.

In addition to the fayre itself, this will also be the launch of the NEXT edition of the NEW County Brides magazine – Issue 8 hot off the press.

Have a look at the video kindly supplied by Creative Weddings based in Buxton.


A Bride’s Bouquet

A bride's bouquet

Bouquet designed by Red Floral Architecture. Photography by Jeff Langhorne.

A bride’s bouquet is one of the most special things that she will choose. The colour combination, choice of blooms, and materials mean that every bride’s bouquet looks unique and a really shows off her own style. Large flowers look impressive, but they can be heavy if they have thick stems, so using fewer of them could be the answer. Some flowers such as lilies will have pollen that can stain, so ensure that the stamens are removed by the florist to avoid any falling pollen ruining your gown. Look for seasonal flowers where possible as they will be fresher and longer lasting and ask your florist about the suitability of different blooms if you want to have your bouquet preserved or dried after the wedding. High quality faux silk flowers look really convincing and will last for years after the event, so if you simply must have orchids out of season, or tropical frangipani flowers, this could be an option.

A bride’s bouquet can also be embellished with more than just greenery, with silver twigs, jewelled decorations, brooches, vintage buttons, lace and wire elements all contributing to a highly decorative, structured or stylised look. Silk flowers also come in a myriad of shades so may be easier to match to a colour theme if you don’t want to have something contrasting. You might also consider making up your own bouquet with foam, silk or wooden flowers; matching the shades to the bridesmaids dresses and the grooms waistcoat or tie. Female guests could be given one of the flowers from the bouquet as a corsage and male guests another as a buttonhole, with bridesmaids or flower girls carrying a scaled down version of the bride’s bouquet.

Whether you choose roses or Sweet William, orange blossom or gerberas; if you love your bouquet then it will be just perfect.

Wonderful Wedding Venues

St George's Hall, Liverpool

St George’s Hall, Liverpool

Wonderful wedding venues are plentiful in the UK, with everything from castles to manor houses, art deco hotels to listed buildings, lofty barn conversions to small country houses and everything in between. You may like to choose a particular setting that has significance for you as a couple, perhaps it is a location where you spent a few heady days together at the start of your relationship, or perhaps it has a family connection from years ago – there is a lot of choice so how do you start to narrow down your search?




  1. First of all, this is a day when you can have the perfect setting as a backdrop so if you want to be beside the sea, in a forest, in a stately home with a four poster bridal suite, or in a simple room with all of the people you love, the most wonderful wedding venue is out there for you somewhere, so draw up a list of ideas
  2. Have you set a firm date for the wedding or can you be flexible? this may help you to secure the wedding venue of your choice if you are not tied to a particular day. Your guests may not be free on a weekday, but you should be able to give them plenty of notice to make arrangements, and as lots of people work weekends as well, Saturday is not an automatic choice
  3. Do you know how many guests you will have? Try to have an accurate figure in mind as this may affect which rooms you book at the venue
  4. What is your budget for the wedding venue? Think about the total amount that you have allocated and look carefully to see what is included in any wedding package offered, then you can work out what other services you will need to pay for
  5. Will you have exclusive use of the venue, or is there likely to be another wedding on the same day?
  6. If you will need accommodation for guests is there a preferential rate offered and how soon do any room bookings need to be confirmed?
  7. Does the wedding venue fit in with your chosen theme? It can look a bit odd if you have an elaborate dress at a simple venue, and vice versa, so make sure you think about where you will take photographs at the venue and how they will look, if you have lots of guests to invite this may dictate your final choice of venue as you will need space to accommodate large group shots
  8. How helpful were the staff at the venue when you looked around? Having reliable people around on the day will make all the difference to how smoothly things run, so ask if they have any testimonials from other couples

A Beautifully Dressed Venue

Beautifully dressed room

Beautifully dressed room

A beautifully dressed venue can give your wedding a real wow factor and there are lots of accessories available to help you to design your perfect look. The venue that you choose is a big decision as you will be spending quite a lot of the wedding day there, particularly if you are having a civil ceremony where the whole day is based at one location.

When you are choosing the venue, do not be put off by less than perfect walls or a structural pillar that you need to work around, as there are solutions. A simple scheme will show off the architectural details of the room and if you choose to work with a specialist venue dresser they will be able to show you a wealth of ideas and in lots of cases will be able to hire pieces that you would not be able to easily source yourself. Do not restrict yourself to just thinking about chair covers and sashes, although these can transform a room on their own; you can have a draped ceiling, starlit backdrop cloths, bay trees, balloon arches, ornate feather decorations and a range of specialist lighting to create the perfect atmosphere. Speak to the wedding co-ordinator at your venue and ask how long it takes to turn the room around between the wedding breakfast and the evening reception and whether there are any decorative elements that are included in the wedding package.

Silver and white scheme

Silver and white scheme

If you are adding decoration to the reception room for the evening you may need to store some items in a side room, so ask whether they can accommodate this and ensure that your venue dresser will have easy access for the set up. You will be shown in to the room ahead of your guests to check that everything is ready, so try to have a little checklist to hand, so that you can make sure nothing has been overlooked. It would be a shame to pay for a particular feature that gets forgotten about in the set up. A beautifully dressed room can make all the difference to your guests’ enjoyment and comfort, and of course to your evening photographs, so make sure that you budget for any particular elements that you would like to include in your ideal room scheme.

A Unique Wedding Day

A romantic castle wedding

A romantic castle wedding

The first thing to remember is that it is a unique wedding day for you and your partner, so feel free to be as original as you like and have things that really mean something to you; hopefully you will only get married once so you may as well enjoy it!

Once you are engaged and in the planning stages, do lots of research, there is no need to compromise on your personal style just because you are getting married, so if vintage, rockabilly, steampunk, gothic, mod, northern soul or high fashion is your ‘look’ you can still have a fabulous and unique wedding day. There are new and unusual venues being licensed for marriage ceremonies, from stately homes and castles to art galleries and even caves. You can easily link accessories to the particular theme, and there are lots of talented tailors and seamstresses who can make you a bespoke outfit if you wish.

Use the internet and set up a mood board or online scrapbook to keep all of your ideas in one place. It will be easy to show a wedding planner, if you have one, exactly what you are trying to create. If you see something on holiday that you would like to have at your wedding, make a note of where and when you saw it and

Vintage VW Camper Wedding Transport

Vintage VW Camper Wedding Transport

take a photo, this avoids conversations along the lines of “Where did we see that frock coat/fabulous hat/vintage car place?” and so on. It can also make it easier to follow up later when you might want to enquire about prices or availability for your chosen date.

Think about your venue especially if you want to have exclusive use or need accommodation nearby for the wedding party or guests. You might need to look at a few similar venues to get exactly what you want. Choose a transport option that really conveys your style, whether that is a double decker bus, horse drawn carriage, gleaming Cadillac, vintage camper van or anything in between. It will be a great wedding photo to look at in years to come and will be a fantastic memory from your day.

A Checklist for Choosing Wedding Stationery

Lace detail wedding invitation

Lace detail wedding invitation

Wedding stationery is essential, after all one of the lovely things when planning your wedding is putting together your guest list so you want to be able to send your nearest and dearest a stylish invitation. There is so much emphasis placed on the larger elements such as venue, cars and gowns that this essential item can be overlooked.

There are some things to think about at the planning stage which will save disappointment later and allow you time to concentrate on the other things that you need to do. Give your guests as much notice as you can, especially if you are having your wedding on a weekday – they may need to book time off work or make childcare, travel or accommodation arrangements before confirming. Giving your guests information about the venue can be really useful, even if you just include a website address or telephone number; it shows that you are being thoughtful.

Follow this checklist for handy tips on the wedding stationery you might need

Save the Date Notes: These should be sent well in advance, as soon as you confirm your venue and date, when you begin to plan your guest list. By sending a ‘Save the Date’ note, your potential guests can plan ahead and make their arrangements to enable them to attend.

Wedding Invitations: Once your venue, ceremony and reception are booked, you can get ready to send invitations to all those people who are on your guest list. Try to order invitations that are consistent with your theme or colour scheme; although not essential, it will help in setting the tone for your wedding and many retailers will allow you to personalise your invitations to achieve your ideal design from different colours, fonts and decorations.

Pink damask wedding invitation

Pink damask wedding invitation

Reply Cards: It is a good idea to include reply cards so that guests can easily get in touch to confirm their attendance or let you know otherwise. You need to know quite early on what your confirmed numbers are so that ceremony arrangements, venue set up and catering bookings can be made. You can also start to put together a table plan and make seating arrangements.

Venue Location Map: Providing your guests with up-to-date directions to the ceremony and venue can be a great benefit, particularly if using a hotel chain or a common church name. A map and sat nav reference should be included with the invitation so that all of the information is in one place, ensuring that everyone is seated and ready before the bride’s arrival.

Menu: Letting your guests know what food will be served on the day will allow them time to make any special dietary arrangements if necessary. Vegetarian options need to be ordered in advance and any guest with allergies or intolerances will need to be identified and catered for. This will avoid disappointment from guests on the day and reduce the risk of waiting times. Caterers can also be given a table plan showing which guests will be having a different option.

Place Cards: These are ideal for guests and caterers alike. They will assist guests in getting to know each other and can be taken as a keepsake of the day. Tie them in to your theme or colour scheme and they will enhance the table décor as well as being useful. A large seating plan at the entrance to the dining room can also be made up to match. You could have different colours on each table and match them to the tablecloths or chair sashes.

Thank You cards: After your wedding you may think that there is nothing left to organise, but a well-timed ‘thank you’ note is usually very much appreciated by those who have contributed to your big day, either by simply being there or purchasing a gift.

Eco Friendly Green Wedding

the Dragonflies green wedding

the Dragonflies green wedding

You might be thinking of having an eco friendly ‘green’ wedding as we are now expected to be conscious of our environmental impact as consumers, recycling more than ever and relearning old skills such as baking and sewing to generate less waste. A wedding can be seen as quite wasteful if a lot of money is spent on items that will only be used once. Hiring is a good way to keep costs within budget, as well as having less impact on the environment. Careful planning is key to ensure that you explore avenues for borrowing or hiring items, and being careful to keep an eye on the numbers of confirmed guests means less food wasted by over catering.

You can achieve stylish and eco-friendly wedding by keeping things simple. Choose seasonal blooms for your bouquet and any floral arrangements and ensure that they have not been flown in from abroad if possible. The floral arrangements can be moved from church to venue rather than having multiple displays, saving you money, and they can be sited with your Guest Book, gift table or wedding cake to decorate the reception venue. If you are having large displays of fresh flowers, consider giving them to a local nursing or residential home afterwards, the residents will probably be delighted and they can have the pleasure of the blooms while you are away on your honeymoon. You could also consider having potted plants or small trees for decoration, asking one of the guests to plant them out for you while you are away.

Try to source a caterer who uses organic produce and local ingredients, supporting local businesses and getting the best flavour for your chosen menu. A good caterer will be able to source sustainably caught fish and organically raised meat and should be willing to talk you through their choice of suppliers. Going organic is sometimes more expensive, but you will save by choosing things that are in season and being careful about how many portions you order.

It is common to hire the Groom’s outfit, but it is becoming more common to hire the Bride’s gown as well. This makes more sense than buying something that may never come out of the wardrobe again. On the other hand if you are not having a morning suit and top hat, you may want to invest in a good quality suit that you will wear again, or a dress and shoes that can be altered or dyed after the wedding to enable you to enjoy wearing them for other occasions. Weigh up all the pros and cons and work out the cost per wear including alterations costs and dry cleaning bills to help you come to a decision.

Wedding favours are often discarded if they are not edible so think carefully about your choices, it might be better to choose something a little more expensive if it means that it can be kept or used again by guests and not thrown away. It needs to be light enough for them to take home at the end of the day, not fragile so it can be put into a coat pocket or handbag, small enough to be found a space at home and a lovely memento of the day. Small Perspex blocks with your names and the date of the wedding on are sure to be kept, along with place cards (recycled of course), small pails filled with truffles, engraved tags or shot glasses and decorated pebbles – there are plenty of imaginative options.

Check with your venue if they have a policy about confetti, as some do not allow it and it would be a wasted purchase for your guests, and you can then advise them accordingly. If you are having photographs taken outside consider some wild bird seed as an alternative, harking back to the days when grain or small nuts were used as they represented fertility. There will be no wasted paper being blown around and this may also be suitable for a church wedding where paper confetti is not allowed, so double check with the vicar or priest about what can be used.

Recycled paper or card should be used for the wedding invitations and there are some high quality products available these days, printed with vegetable inks and using less harmful chemicals in the process. You might prefer to go completely digital for the invitations and send out e-invites instead with the option of an attachment that can be printed out as a keepsake of the day should guests wish to do so, but make sure that you keep on top of emailed RSVP’s as well as reply cards. Setting up a website for photo sharing is a good way to involve guests, give them a list of shots that you would like them to take and have them all uploaded in one place rather than having multiple copies printed.

Have a fabulous, glamorous and green wedding day!

[image courtesy of Tim Hill]

Shrigley Hall Fabulous Wedding Venue

The Tilden Suite Shrigley Hall

The Tilden Suite Shrigley Hall

An impressive 19th Century country mansion set in 262 acres of private land with its own 18-hole championship golf course. Shrigley Hall Hotel sits high above the estate on the edge of the Peak District National Park and has exceptional views, providing the perfect backdrop for truly stunning photographs. In addition to the breathtaking scenery and beautiful grounds surrounding the hotel, the interior continues to impress with its original features, one being the ornate domed ceiling which frames the main staircase. For a wedding reception, we have two very different suites for you to consider; the William Turner is a traditional, manor style banqueting room with gold chandeliers lining the ceiling and French doors running the length of one wall. Alternatively, our Tilden Suite is located in the converted monastery which adjoins the main house. On a practical level this area benefits from its own private entrance, whilst the feature stone alcoves and high leaded windows cannot fail to impress all of your guests.

The hotel is hosting a Wedding Open Afternoon on Sunday 19th April 2015, from 12noon to 3pm. This is the perfect opportunity for you to discover the venue. The magnificent Tilden Suite will be dressed for a wedding breakfast, and the William Turner, Woodford and Brabazon Suites will be available for you to view. Sparkling wine and canapés will be served throughout the afternoon, and the wedding coordinators will be on hand to answer any questions about arranging your perfect day. For more information please contact Becca Gregory (Wedding Coordinator) on 01625 575757 or




The William Turner Suite Shrigley Hall

The William Turner Suite Shrigley Hall

Shrigley Hall Exterior

Shrigley Hall Exterior






Gorgeous Bridal Lingerie



A gorgeous wedding dress obviously deserves gorgeous lingerie!

Established in 1986, with over 28 years’ experience and certified Lingerie Stylists, Bare Necessities will ensure you look radiant on your big day! Call and see us at either our Marple or Knutsford shop for free fitting and expert advice on finding the perfect lingerie for your big day! 

Whether you’re an A or J cup we have a wide variety of bridal lingerie to choose from and various coordinating shape wear options too. We also have nightwear, including silk, perfect for your wedding night, and not forgetting head turning swimwear for the honeymoon!

Visit our webshop where we are currently offering Free UK Delivery for a limited period only!

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Wedding Cake Ideas

Ornate tiered wedding cake

Ornate tiered wedding cake

When most people imagine a wedding cake they envisage the traditional white iced cake, stacked in tiers with a little bride and groom on the top, but there are lots of different options to make sure that you have something different and unique for your special day.

Think about what you really like; it is no good having a heavily fruited cake if the bride or groom doesn’t like it, you want to be able to enjoy a piece of your own cake after all! Consider having a fruit layer and a sponge layer to accommodate both tastes, having differently shaped and decorated tiers, or look at having something completely different. Lots of companies are realising that their products can be translated in to ‘cake’ style designs, from different cheeses to stacked pork pies; cupcakes, biscuits, cake pops and macarons have all been used successfully, stacked on stands to replicate the tiered look of a traditional cake. You could also opt to give your guests a chocolate fountain, ice cream parlour, candy buffet, childhood favourites like crispy cakes and tray bakes, profiterole towers, or cake shots where different desserts are served in small shot glasses from stacked trays and guests can have a choice of flavours. It means that there could be less waste as most of this will be eaten on the day, as opposed to the cake being cut into pieces for guests to take away with them – it usually ends up with the bride’s mother taking away the leftover portions to be given out to anyone who comes to the house over the coming weeks! Wedding cakes can also be tied in to the theme of the wedding, so if you bonded over a film, TV show or sport you could incorporate this into the design. Your cake is sure to be photographed by guests so why not make it a talking point too?

Preserving your Wedding Cake

Heatons CakesYou might consider keeping the top tier of your wedding cake and using it at the christening of your first child, as is traditional in some cultures, but how do you ensure that it does not deteriorate over time?

The best way to preserve a fruit wedding cake tier is to keep it sealed and air tight either in an air tight tin or in the freezer. Remove any loose decorations or ribbon and place the wedding cake in the freezer until the icing is frozen, remove the cake and cover with cling film and two layers of foil, finishing with another layer of tightly wrapped cling film to keep out as much air as possible and avoid any ‘freezer burn’ on the cake. You can also do this by wrapping the cake in grease proof paper first and then wrapping it tightly with cling film or in food grade polythene bags. If you then put the cake back in the freezer it can be kept edible for twelve months or more. The icing will deteriorate and may become discoloured after about a year, but it can be removed and the cake re-iced after thawing when the times comes to use it for another family occasion.

A sponge tier cannot be as easily preserved as it has a shorter initial shelf life, typically two weeks or even less if it has a fresh cream decoration or filling. A sponge tier can be frozen for only a few months, so if you want to keep some of your wedding cake for longer, you will need to use the fruit tier. Alcohol can also help to preserve a fruit cake, keeping it moist and adding a rich depth of flavour as time passes. Make holes in the cake with a skewer and spoon in a couple of teaspoons of sherry or brandy each week for a month, before wrapping tightly and keeping in an air tight tin away from heat, light and other strong flavours, and it should easily last for several months. If you do not wish to use alcohol, contact a reputable cake company who may be able to give you some advice or recommend an alternative and you should be able to preserve a tier of your cake successfully to use however you wish.

see also our blog on displaying your wedding cake

Summer Bridesmaid Dresses

Pastel Bridesmaid Dresses

Pastel Bridesmaid Dresses

Whether you are paying for the bridesmaids dresses or they are paying for their own, they might want to have something that they can wear again, and there are lots of options for a co-ordinated look that also takes account of their different styles, sizes and heights. Bridesmaids dresses can be as formal or informal as you wish so have a little get together in advance and let them know about the sort of look that you would like to have and see what ideas you come up with.

The heavier fabrics of winter dresses can also be used in spring and summer, but in shorter styles or less fitted designs and floral designs are lovely for a summer wedding with some very high quality floral gowns available. If your gown is highly detailed or lace covered you might want to have simple dresses for the bridesmaids to provide contrast, or use designs that have an element of the dress in them, such as layers, frills, strapless styles, or similar fabrics; you can always add more detail with shoes, bags, posies and so on. Make sure you have chosen your own dress first, it is your day after all, and then you can look for dresses that can be worn in a variety of ways to match in with your gown and suit the different bridesmaids.

Summer Bridesmaid Dresses

Bridesmaid dresses in summer shades

Bridesmaid dresses usually take their inspiration from the colours found in mainstream fashion with cool soft shades and neutrals being right on trend for 2015, rather than the brighter shades that have been gaining in popularity, but if your favourite colour is purple, burgundy or emerald green, don’t let fashion dictate what you choose. Colour blocking is a dramatic look for summer, when the sunshine really helps to bring the colour out, so each bridesmaid could go head to toe in a different colour to make a really striking picture, without drawing too much attention from the bride of course!

You can choose to match the bridesmaid’s dresses to the flower girls outfits, perhaps matching each with a different pastel shade, yellow and lemon, lilac and lavender, peach and coral, turquoise and teal and so on; these colours are also easy to incorporate in to the bride’s bouquet and the other floral details. You need to work to having their final fitting three to four weeks before the wedding if the dresses are being made, to allow time for any alterations, so get the colour charts out, look at some fabrics, make a mood board and start choosing the perfect dresses.

Displaying your Wedding Cake

Bride and Groom cutting the cake

Bride and Groom cutting the cake

The decoration of your wedding cake table is a personal choice. Lots of couples choose a traditional white cloth and cutting knife, but you can be as elaborate as you wish as lots of guests will want to take a photo of the cake, as well as the moment when it is cut. Co-ordinate the cake table to your colour theme by having iced or floral decoration on the cake itself, choosing a coloured cloth instead of white, scattering petals or confetti, or adding floral details to the cake table. A cake stand will elevate it, which may be a better option for a smaller cake as a tall multi-layered one could be a little unstable, but your wedding cake should be professionally stacked so don’t worry about this too much; your cake maker will have done this lots of times.

Ask at your venue if there is a choice of stand available, usually gold or silver, and more importantly ask them to ensure that it is clean and sparkling on the day. If you want to have the wedding cake raised up, but don’t want to see the metal stand, it can be covered with a serving cloth which drapes down onto the table, giving a lovely ruffle effect. Floral arrangements are popular for the wedding cake table, so speak to your florist or look online for some ideas, but make sure that the arrangements do not detract too much from the cake itself. You could also tie the floral theme in to the decorations on your gift table, which is set up for guests to leave their cards and gifts all in one place. If you don’t want to have the traditional cake knife, ask at your venue as some will be able to provide a decorative sword for the ‘cutting of the cake’ moment. Whatever you decide, remember that the wedding cake table can be an important and memorable feature of the reception and your guests will be taking photos of it so you will want it to look fabulous.

see also our post on preserving your wedding cake

St Patrick’s Day Proposals

If you are lucky enough to get a proposal on St Patrick’s Day you might want to have something of an Irish theme to your wedding day. A good starting point would be to have green as the colour theme as there are so many shades, it will be easy to find one that you and your partner agree on! There are traditional elements that you can choose such as horseshoes trimmed with green ribbon, greenery to decorate the church or venue, bells, harps or shamrocks as motifs or even a traditional Irish Claddagh style wedding ring symbolising Love, Friendship and Loyalty.

Irish music such as a Ceilidh band would be great for the reception or perhaps a harpist playing whilst the register is signed as the harp was the national symbol associated with Ireland.

Look for unusual green stems for the bride’s bouquet or include Bells of Ireland which is not strictly a flower but is a very decorative plant with green trumpet shaped heads with white centres or flowers on some varieties which look like the clappers of the bell, hence the name.

For the wedding veil or head-dress brides could have a garland of wildflowers, traditionally including lavender, or have green gemstones on the tiara or veil. If the bride has a braided section in her hair this also symbolises power and luck. The main thing to remember is that she should not put on her veil or head-dress herself as this is thought to be very unlucky.

Traditional Irish verses or toasts could be made as part of the speeches, such as the following little verse “May you always have walls for the wind, and a roof for the rain, and drinks beside the fire. Laughter to cheer you and those you love near you, and all that your heart may desire!”

or this “For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way. Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day”

Couples could also consider putting Irish linen, Waterford crystal, a china bell or tall flute shaped glasses on their wedding list as these are considered to be lucky, memorable or long lasting – the same things that couples are seeking from their married life. Whatever you decide to have on your special day, choose the things that are most meaningful for you both and have fun planning your perfect wedding.

Avoid Mistakes when Planning Your Wedding

adele oldfield-sykes 1

Bride and Groom

Brides and Grooms always make a few mistakes when planning their wedding, so to make sure your day runs a little easier we got some tips from Tracy Hollinshead, proprietor of Cherish Bridal, to make up a little list of reminders of what not to do so you can avoid the mistakes and planning pitfalls!

You Don’t Put Yourself or the Groom First!

Before you go mad pinning on Pinterest, buying bridal magazines or bookmarking blogs, take your time to think about the type of celebration you and the groom want. Do you envision a black tie evening theme, or a more casual relaxed daytime party? Make a list of your priorities; what is most important to you? Are you a foodie or is music your thing? This kind of pre-planning will make both selecting a venue and setting a budget much easier.

You Don’t think about Your Guests

Your friends and family might have travelled some distance and at much expense to be with you at your wedding, so make sure they are happy and comfortable. Provide transport to and from the ceremony and reception, and make sure their hotel rooms supplies basics like drinks and snacks. If your wedding is a weekend-long affair make sure there is enough to do to keep your guests busy so they don’t get bored.

jemma tierney 6

Bride preparing for her wedding

You Buy Your Wedding Gown Before Choosing your Venue

Before booking your bridal appointments, make sure you know the theme of wedding you’re planning and where it will take place. Yes, you can wear whatever you want, but if you purchase a low-key gown and you end up booking somewhere more lavish you may wish you went bigger and bolder with your dress for the venue you’ve chosen.

You become a crash dieter.

Instead of dramatically reducing calories and abstaining from whole food groups the month before your wedding, think about a healthier eating plan six months before the big day so you slowly arrive at your ideal weight. You may want to look at an exercise plan with a Personal Trainer leading up to the big day, they can advise you on a healthy eating plan alongside your fitness programme so you don’t starve yourself silly!!

There’s a Time Gap between the Ceremony and Reception

If your ceremony and reception are at different venues, make sure you can reduce the in-between time, which may leave guests getting bored. If a large time gap is unavoidable, make sure they are entertained or have the option of being entertained by setting up a hospitality lounge, with drinks and snacks, at the hotel where they will be staying.


Bride and her Bridesmaids

You Don’t do your Floral Research

Read up on flower costs, before you select your arrangements. The peonies you love may be costly if you are getting married when they are not in season, and lilacs, gardenias, lily of the valley and freesias may start to die or wilt in the hot summer sun. Don’t put strong smelling flowers like lilies on the table since they can overpower the food. If you must have heavily scented blooms, include them in your bouquet.

You and your Groom Forget to feed yourself.

Too many brides and grooms forget to feed themselves on the wedding day. It’s important to pre-arrange more than just nibbles for you and the bridal party — especially if you aren’t getting ready for your wedding in your own home. You’ll need something to eat so you’re not feeling light-headed or faint during the ceremony.

You Don’t think about small Hidden Costs

From last-minute seamstress charges to cash tips for deliveries, most brides total up hundreds in extra fees the week before the wedding. While it’s logical that some surprise charges will crop up, spend some time creating a list of possible “week of wedding” bills so you have extra funds ready for these eventualities.


Newlyweds relaxing

You Don’t provide a meal for Your Suppliers

The last thing you want on your wedding day is a low-energy DJ or an exhausted photographer. Plan to provide a meal for those who will be working during the reception. This includes your wedding planner if you have one, photographer, videographer, and DJ or band, plus their assistants. Allow for the cost of their meals in your budget and consider it part of their fee.

LASTLY…You don’t spend time with your new husband/wife!

Make sure to find a bit of ‘you time’ on the day just for you and the groom. Many couples are so engrossed in making sure their guests are happy and greeting family etc. that they forget to enjoy being together on the most important day of their lives. Ask your photographer to plan some time for those special photos where you and your partner can have some more intimate shots, so you can be alone. Don’t worry if you are gone for an hour or so, your guests will understand you need a break to refresh and be ready for the rest of the wedding day and evening reception.



Wedding Dress Colour – How to choose

Choose your wedding dress colour wisely – white remains the most popular across all styles, but it may not be flattering for your skin tone or hair colour. Just moving a shade or two away from bright white could make all the difference to how flattering the dress is on you. There is such a wide range of fabric available that what is described as ivory in one range or design could look quite different to another dress which is also described as ivory. Specialist bridal stores are invaluable as you can try on a range of gowns in natural light and choose the wedding dress colour that is the most flattering for you whether that is white, ivory, pearl or oyster. They will also be able to show you styles that you might not have considered at first and this could lead to you finding your perfect dress. Think about your accessories when choosing the colour, will you be able to have a veil that matches exactly, will you need to have shoes dyed to the same shade? How will the dress look with your grooms suit colour?

If you are not having a traditional white dress because it is not your usual style, there are vintage companies who can supply something different from tea dresses to full skirted gowns with underskirts, or unusual colour combinations- a monochrome dress with bright underskirts can look stunning. Dress designers and seamstresses can also make a bespoke design for you, where the only limit is your imagination, so if your usual day to day style is eclectic you could have the dress altered easily and keep wearing it after the wedding.

You could also bear the following rhyme in mind to help you, although there does not seem to be a rhyme for ivory!

Married in White, you have chosen right,

Married in Grey, you will go far away,

Married in Black, you will wish yourself back,

Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead,

Married in Green, ashamed to be seen,

Married in Blue, you will always be true,

Married in Pearl, you will live in a whirl,

Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow,

Married in Brown, you will live in the town,

Married in Pink, you spirit will sink.

When to have Entertainment at Your Wedding

Many people, while planning their wedding, do not seem to realise that live entertainment can fit almost anywhere in your wedding, and not just during the party at the end of the night.

You’ll be surprised, however, at the opportunities to make your wedding day more magical by adding that live element within your day. Here at Ntertain, our expertise is on wonderful, high quality entertainment, and here’s some advice on how you can expand your day to make it as great as it can be.

For Your Ceremony

With the ceremony being the start of your day and obviously the most intimate; a gentle, warming atmosphere would be as standard. To amplify this for guests entering your wedding, waiting for the bride to walk down the aisle and signing the register, you could consider the following types of musical acts to perform in the background at each pivotal point of your ceremony:


  • Harpist
  • Pianist
  • Saxophone
  • Organist
  • Singer
  • String Quartet


string quartet

String Quartet


For your drinks reception

Once your ceremony has finished, rather than have your photographs taken with only the hubbub of your guests as the background noise, why not consider looking at small item of entertainment or music during the transition?

How about a Casino table to test your luck? A magician could even help to enlighten adults and children alike, a beautiful harmony from string quartet or simply have some relaxing piano music. These are just a few ideas for seamless entertainment during your special day.

close up magic

Close up magic

For your wedding breakfast

The wedding breakfast is perfect for featuring entertainment whilst you and your guests are seated after the wedding ceremony and drinks, as it not only keeps everyone happy, but it essentially warms everyone up for what is yet to come, the evening reception.

Try a light hearted approach and have a professional singer to perform and serenade you and your guests, or why not even try the Scandinavian Kiss of the Bride/Groom; where whenever the bride leaves the room the female guests approach the groom and give him a kiss and vice versa!


casino table

Fun Casino table

 For your evening reception

The final part of your wedding day is the evening reception, or after party if you like! This is where Ntertain can well and truly recommend the ideal acts and performers for this section of your big night.

All types of entertainment can be used for your evening reception, and if you decide one piece of entertainment didn’t fit in another area of your wedding but can fit here, then go for it! Casino tables, magicians and string quartets can all make the evening reception even more special; and having a live band or singer adds even more to the party!

So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to your entertainment for your wedding. Ntertain are here to help you along the way with planning your wedding entertainment. If you want to see more for yourself we have entertainment wedding showcases throughout the year, so visit our website at for more details.

Wedding Superstitions

There are lots of  wedding superstitions and some have more basis than others, so you might want to take account of some of them when planning your big day. The day of the week and time of year are things that are decided quite quickly and you may wish to pay heed to the following rhyme when deciding (or not, as the case may be with Saturday still being the most popular day)

“Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday best of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday for no luck at all.”

Spring and summer are the most popular seasons to get married in, although almost any month can have a rainy day if you are getting married in the UK, so this rhyme is as good a way as any to decide on the time of year!
Christopher Evans Jewellery“Married when the year is new, he’ll be loving, kind & true,

When February birds do mate, you may wed nor dread your fate,

If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you’ll know,

Marry in April when you can, joy for maiden and for man,

Marry in the month of May, and you’ll surely rue the day,

Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you’ll go,

Those who in July do wed, must labour for their daily bread,

Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see,

Marry in September’s shrine, your living will be rich and fine,

If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry,

If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember,

When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last.”

In the Chinese culture weddings take place at half past the hour so that the couples married life begins on the upswing, which is thought to be luckier, so even the time of day should be taken in to account. Brides should beware of trying on the whole of their outfit before the wedding day or signing their married name as both these actions are thought to bring bad luck, as is seeing the groom before the service or the groom going back in to the house once he has left for the wedding.

It is a good omen to be kissed by a chimney sweep on your wedding day and they can be hired for the occasion now that they are a less commonplace sight, and it is also lucky to see a black cat, toad or a rainbow on the morning of a wedding. Those in a more rural setting should beware of hearing a cock crow after dawn or seeing a pig, hare or lizard as these are all thought to be bad omens. Beware of dropping the wedding ring at the service, make sure the bride leaves the house by the front door and steps out right foot first, is carried over the threshold of the marital home so she does not trip, and avoids peonies in her bouquet as they symbolise shame in the Victorian language of flowers.

Considering the minefield of superstitions that surround weddings in all kinds of cultures perhaps it is better to choose your life partner wisely, take your wedding vows seriously, and trust to the power of love rather than luck for a long and happy marriage.

Choosing a Caterer for your Wedding Day

Monochrome seating plan and menu

Monochrome seating plan and menu

Choosing the right caterer is important as part of the experience of your wedding day is the food that you will share with your guests. When booking a caterer for your wedding it pays to do some preparation beforehand and there are key questions that you should ask to make sure that everything goes to plan. They should be happy to answer any questions and help you to design your ideal menu so have a list of your favourite dishes handy and make sure you let them know if there are any ingredients you don’t like – the last thing you want at your wedding breakfast is something served up with a hated vegetable or sauce!

Check if any of your guests are vegetarian, vegan, diabetic or have any other special dietary requirements; a good caterer should be able to accommodate any special requests

If you prefer to have organic produce or meat ask where the company sources its ingredients, ask if they support local businesses if that is important to you

Some caterers will offer quite a fixed range as they purchase in bulk or mass produce their range so it can be problematic if you need to make changes to your menu; how flexible are they?

Check if there is any protection against price increases after you have confirmed your menu and paid the deposit – you may be booking months and months ahead of your wedding date so you want to ensure that your chosen dishes can still be made even if the ingredients have increased in price or become difficult to source

Ask questions about the types of foods that the company offer, so that you can design a menu around your particular tastes. Perhaps you would like them to re-create a special dish for you and your partner for the wedding breakfast, or a taster menu for guests connected to your honeymoon destination

Ask to arrange a tasting session from some of their most popular menus so that you can see the quality of the food and service – this will also give you a little preview of your wedding day if you opt for those dishes for your event, so that is another little thing to look forward to.

Wedding Traditions

CupidsTreasure Jardin D'amour_5

Decorative Bridal Hair Garland

When people hear the word wedding some things will automatically spring to mind; marrying in white, something old something new, being carried over the threshold, you may now kiss the bride, throwing the bouquet, wedding veils, horseshoes and garters to mention just a few, but have you ever stopped to wonder where the wedding traditions started or why we do certain things on a wedding day?

A white wedding dress is still the first choice for many brides, but it is a relatively new tradition as it was only when Queen Victoria broke with the tradition of coloured dresses and wore a white dress at her wedding in 1840, that the idea became popular. Prior to this, royal brides had worn silver dresses and most people wore smart ordinary clothes, rather than the highly decorated gowns that we have become familiar with.

A white gown became a symbol of purity and once the Edwardian era was underway dresses became more elaborate, but the styles became simpler again with the outbreak of WWI. When Coco Chanel designed a knee length white dress in 1920, designed to be worn with a long veil, the idea of a white wedding dress became firmly established.

The verse “Something old, something new…” also dates from the Victorian era, with the ‘old’ item traditionally being the garter of a happily married woman who passed her good fortune on to the bride with it; ‘new’ was an item that would symbolise the start of a bright future for the couple; ‘borrowed’ would usually be an item from the bride’s family such as a piece of jewellery; and ‘blue’ could be anything from a ribbon in the bride’s hair or sewn in to her dress, to a blue flower in the bouquet or attached to the gown. The colour blue is commonly associated with fidelity which would be a desirable quality in a bride and most couples still try to incorporate these items into their day, along with a sixpence in the bride’s shoe to bring prosperity to the marriage.

The wedding veil dates from Roman times, although this was commonly a yellow colour rather than white, and would be an integral part of the bride’s outfit to disguise her from evil spirits who might be jealous of her happiness and wish to do her harm. The Romans also believed that a circlet or wreath worn on the head would protect the wearer from harm.

The bridal bouquet is thrown as a way of spreading the bride’s good fortune as whoever catches it is said to be the next to marry. It is thought to have started as a distraction for guests in medieval Europe who would try and rip off a piece of the wedding dress as a good luck charm. The dress was usually not worn again, but as the gowns became more expensive brides wanted to stop this from happening and it became more common to throw a garter or decorated ribbon. Nowadays some brides will throw the bouquet to a guest who is already engaged to avoid embarrassing other female guests, and others have done away with this tradition entirely, instead giving a bloom from the bouquet to each female guest, and thus avoiding any unsightly stampede.

Speak to family members when planning your wedding and see if there are any stories about family traditions or heirloom items that you can incorporate in to your wedding day.

Wedding Day Entertainment

Entertainment for your wedding day is so important; it helps to create memories of the day for yourselves and your guests, it provides a talking point for people who may not know each other, and it helps to create a great atmosphere so that you can relax and know that everyone is enjoying themselves. There are lots of other things to think about when planning your wedding so break the entertainment planning in to five time zones to make things easier.

You will need to consider any or all of the following times, and don’t just restrict yourself to music.



Classical Musicians

1. Music before, during and after the ceremony (Guests will arrive before you walk up the aisle so make sure you have something going on, otherwise the atmosphere will be like sitting in a doctors surgery) Choose three or four pieces of music, hymns or songs for the ceremony and signing of the register, in addition to the processional music that you will walk up the aisle to. Photos can take a bit of time so a longer classical piece could work well. You will also need to choose the recessional music that will play as you walk back down the aisle with your partner.




2. There are lots of entertainment choices for the drinks reception, from musicians to magicians and even large games to help break the ice and give guests something to talk about. The wedding breakfast is usually accompanied by light background music with a vocalist, musicians or cd music, but nothing too loud as guests will be chatting and getting to know each other.3. The room turn around can take anything from 30 – 90 minutes with the DJ or band setting up, and also evening guests will be arriving, so some light, fun entertainment will keep your guests happy – casino tables, photo booths, a caricaturist or even a magician at this point would be good for starters. If there are some younger guests ask the venue to set up another area / room for the children, as it will seem like a long day to them, perhaps with a T.V. and a DVD to watch or some games like connect 4, crayons (not felt tips) and colouring books, or jigsaws to do. This will make the children feel special, but will keep them from getting bored and could also be used while the speeches are going on. Ensure that the space will be supervised by an appropriate adult at all times, or consider a specialist children’s entertainer or crèche service so that you can relax.

4. Before the buffet you want to have something more lively, not just background music, so once the room as been turned around ask your Toastmaster or the Ushers to announce everyone back into the room, then ask your DJ / Band to announce you for the first dance.

5. After the buffet has been served it is a good idea to have a second dance, but ask everyone to the dance floor first before the song plays, as this will ensure the party really gets started with a FULL dance floor – now it is time to let your hair down, relax and enjoy yourselves.

Pier Fun Casinos Roulette W Tower

Fun Casino Roulette Entertainment

night time entertainment

Night time entertainment


Band and DJ example times

A) DJ – Band 45 min set – buffet – DJ – Band 45 min set – DJ to finish the night

B) DJ – Buffet – DJ – band 60-90 min set – DJ to finish the night


For ideas of timings for the big day see our Church Wedding Timings blog

or Civil Ceremony Timings blog

Civil Ceremony Timings for the Big Day

Oak barn wedding venue

Oak barn wedding venue

If you and your partner are having a Civil Ceremony, which may not last as long as a church wedding, there are still timings to consider in order to ensure that the day runs smoothly. If the photographer takes too much time or the speeches are really long it can play havoc with the running order, so tell the relevant people how much time they have and give a timings list to the ushers or a couple of key guests so they can help keep things on track. Civil ceremonies take place at registry offices, venues that are approved by the local council such as hotels or stately homes, or a religious premises where the organisation has given permission and the premises has been approved by the local authority. This means that you can have the civil ceremony and the wedding breakfast at the same place rather than travelling between different venues, so it is one less thing to be worried about.

Here is an idea of a possible running order for your big day if you are having a Civil Ceremony. (If you are having a Church Ceremony see our other blog at )

11.30 guests start to arrive

12-12.15 ceremony starts

20-40 minute ceremony depending on the details of the service. A civil ceremony can include readings, songs or music, but must not have any religious element. You must exchange some formal wording if you’re getting married and you can discuss any other wording you want in the ceremony with the person conducting the wedding.You don’t need to exchange vows for a civil partnership, but you can do so if you wish. All of this will affect the length of time that the ceremony takes so it might be a good idea to have a rehearsal of everything just to be on the safe side.

1.00 drinks reception and photos. Allow a couple of hours for this and ensure that you give a list of shots that you want to the photographer in advance. Your ushers or key guests can also help to get people together for the photographs if they have a list too.

3-3.30 receiving line

3.35 Newlyweds to be announced into the room

3.36 – 5.00 wedding breakfast

5.05 cutting of the cake (optional timing)

5.10 speeches (45 minutes is average)

5.55 leave room and meet evening guests –this allows time for the room to be turned around and for the evening entertainment to be set up. If you or your guests are booked in to the hotel this also allows time to freshen up or change before the evening guests begin to arrive

6.55 guests return to room

7.05 cut cake (optional)

7.15 first dance


9-9.30 buffet to be announced

9.45-10.15 buffet is served

Second dance (try and get as many people on the dance floor first then start the dance, this will get the party going straight away)


12-1.00 carriages

Alison Burgess Couture

6026_main_zoomWe are a family run business, open since 2006, specialising in bridal and bridesmaids dresses..

For Brides – Our gorgeous designer bridal gowns start from £499 – £1399.

For Bridesmaids -We stock the award winning Dessy!! The dresses start from £135 – £250 and they’re available to order in ALL colours and are gorgeous designs and wonderful quality.

When looking for your dream dress keep an open mind, try lots of styles on to find something that really suits you and bring your Mum, sister, best friend, Dad OR whoever’s opinion YOU value and trust!!! Come along and talk to us whether you’re getting married this year, next year or next week – we’re here to help and hopefully make your dreams come true…

***SPECIAL EVENT*** 11th-12th April we will be holding a Stella York Designer Day in store with lots of beautiful gowns and some very special offers on the day…. So take a look at

Don’t forget to come and see us at Event City Wedding Fair 6-8th March when we are offering 10% off any bridal gowns bought over the weekend.

Alison Burgess x


Church Wedding Timings for the Big Day

When planning your church wedding ceremony it will be a lot less stressful if you consider all of the timings for the day well in advance, it is still fine for the bride to be fashionably late, but if the photographer takes too much time or the speeches are really long it can play havoc with the running order, so tell the relevant people how much time they have and give a timings list to the ushers so they can help keep things on track. Make sure that you work out how much time it will take to travel between venues in case the church is some distance from where you will have the reception. If you have a small wedding at a rural church you may only need to walk over to the church hall, but if you are getting from a city centre church to a large hotel on a Saturday afternoon that will take considerably longer. Ask the vicar or priest how long the actual church wedding ceremony will take, factoring in the music, hymns or readings that you choose and then you will know what timings you need to work from at the venue for drinks reception, photographs and the seating time for the wedding breakfast. It might take a while to work out all of the timings, but if it makes the day run smoothly it will be worth it. Ensure that ushers know what they need to do as they will be able to get guests together for the relevant photographs, as well as seating guests at the ceremony and setting up the receiving line. The services of a Wedding Planner or a Toastmaster on the day can also be invaluable as you won’t be able to run around after people yourselves.

Here is an idea of a possible running order for your big day if you are having a Church Wedding (If you are having a Civil Ceremony see our other blog at )

Church Wedding

11.30 guests start to arrive

12-12.15 ceremony starts (depending upon how late the bride is)

45-60 min service (Depending on what type of service you have)

1.15 allow an hour for photos at the Church (Give a list of shots you want to the photographer and ushers beforehand and also ask the ushers to help get people together before the next photo)

2.15 travel to venue, you can time this journey in advance as you will probably visit the Church and venue a few times before the wedding day

2.45 arrive at your venue

3.00 drinks reception and more photos (Give a separate list for the reception photos to the photographer and ushers)

4-4.30 receiving line (To speed things up announce the guests to go into the room first)

4.35 bride and bridegroom to be announced into the room

4.36 – 6.00 wedding breakfast

6.05 cutting of the cake (optional timing)

6.10 speeches (45 minutes is average)

6.55 leave room and meet evening guests – allowing the room to be turned around and the entertainment to be setup

7.55 guests return to room

8.05 cutting of the cake (optional timing)

8.15 The Bride and Groom’s first dance


9-9.30 buffet to be announced

9.45-10.15 buffet is served

Second dance (try and get as many people on the dance floor first then start the dance, this will get the party going straight away)


12-1.00 carriages

Bridal Gown Design Details

Cherish Bridal Northwich

Halter detailed bridal gown

If you are not buying a dress off the peg and are looking for something handmade there are all sorts of details to consider. A light fabric may be more suited to the warmer months and will be easier to alter if you want to be able to wear it again. Some fabric will take dye better than others if this is something that you want to be able to do to the dress afterwards. Of course you may want to just wear the dress once and then keep it forever, and there are specialist companies who will provide a service that will cleans your dress and then return it to you in custom storage to protect the fabric and keep it looking as stunning as the day that you wore it.
The beauty of a bespoke design is that you can have exactly the silhouette and fabric that you want, and can incorporate vintage fabrics or jewellery in to the final design. You can be as traditional or as avant-garde in your tastes as you wish – someone out there is just waiting to create your dream bridal gown for you. Lots of designs start with a corset of some sort to give the dress structure and help it to sit correctly on your body, no matter what your shape or size, and a custom design means that you will be able to wear the dress comfortably all day. Choose from fantastic silks, satins, organza, chiffon and tulle, or mix your fabrics and textures if you want to have something quite eclectic.

There are lots of colour choices from the traditional stark white, through to eggshell, oyster, pastel and deep shades, that can all be used for your dream gown, so the only limit is your imagination – and that’s before you start to think of the details such as beading, lace, trains and veils! So take a few moments in all of the wedding planning to daydream and come up with your perfect dress for the perfect day.

Handmade and Vintage Wedding Ideas

Full skirted fifties gown

Full skirted fifties gown

The Vintage trend is continuing in 2015 as couples look for a chic homespun feel to their vintage wedding. Recent films have seen some famous people in tweeds, braces, tea dresses, pearls, baker boy style caps, and waistcoats, and some of these can be carried through to the theme for the wedding. There has also been a focus on handmade items in recent years, whether this is in the world of interiors, fashion or food, and many people are re discovering some old skills such as baking and sewing, which can come in handy when planning a wedding.

A mix of old, new and handmade can create a very personal feel, and if couples use the skills of family and friends it is a good way to help people feel involved in the big day as well as creating a unique look on a budget. Floral arrangements can be costly, but the bride might choose to use a florist to make a fabulous bouquet which can be preserved after the wedding, and have a friend take care of the flowers for the venue. These can be much simpler to arrange using vintage style or mismatched bud vases, or tiny milk bottles in matching wire crates for a quirky table decoration.

An old fashioned seaside or picnic theme can be set up easily using ticking stripe place settings, driftwood decorations, tiny tin buckets at each place setting, painted signs for the table planner and numbers, and bunting decorations.

Traditional tiered wedding cakes can sometimes look out of place at a vintage wedding, but by working with your cake maker you can come up with a personal design that fits in with everything. Individual cup cakes are a popular option and can be displayed on footed cake stands, along with pastel coloured macarons or iced biscuits.

Vintage wedding means different things to different people, from an old fashioned fifties underskirt detail to classic cars, so there is plenty of scope for something different. It will be lovely to see what your guests thought of the theme so have an old fashioned photo album for guests to sign, with some pictures of the bride and groom from childhood to their engagement photo already put in, using old style photo corners, and some blank pages for guests to write their messages. This makes a really personal keepsake and the couple can add in some wedding photos and baby pictures as the years go by.

Visiting a Wedding Fayre

Fun casinos for weddings

Fun casinos for weddings

A wedding fayre is a great place to start when planning a wedding. It can take over 250 hours to plan the perfect day, so start by getting the advice of the experts on what to look for and where to start.

It is fine for couples who know exactly what they want as they just have to find it and draw up the guest list, but for other couples they may not know what they want until they see it, particularly if it is more unusual, a casino, photo booth or ice cream cart for example. This is where fayres can be invaluable. It is a chance to see the floral arrangements, smell the scent of a freshly tied bouquet, taste different cake samples, try on dresses and suits and get advice before making the important decisions on spending. It is good to be able to choose a supplier that is local to you, in case you need to see them about something or they are ordering a particular item for you, as it saves time on phone calls and travelling about as well as worrying about things not arriving on time, as you will be able to collect things easily.

Wedding fayres will have a range of companies offering products and services and able to answer questions and give guidance on different options and it is lovely to be able to speak to people who will be as excited by your wedding arrangements as you are!

Make a list of what you are looking for before coming to a wedding fayre, and take account of any particular items that you would like to commission so that they are unique to you, such as jewellery designs, bridal designs or venue dressing ideas. Make sure you know what your budget is for different items and have a list of questions to hand so that you don’t overlook the details.

Enjoy the fashion shows, competitions, magazines and free gifts that are available at many fayres, and start to really look forward to your special day!

Brides Who Don’t Like to Wear Make-Up

A natural make-up look

A natural make-up look

Brides who don’t wear make-up, but don’t want to look pale and washed out on their wedding photographs, often ask what can they do with their skin and make-up so they don’t look too different and still feel like themselves. We asked Catherine Bobby, a professional make-up artist for her advice on how to achieve a natural, beautiful look for your wedding day.

“The first thing to consider is adding a little colour to your skin by using a false tan. An all over spray tan comes in different shades to suit any skin tone from light to dark. Have a practice appointment before your wedding day to check you are happy with the results and if you like it, book the same person who did the practice to do your spray tan for your wedding day. If you would prefer to do it yourself try a product called “make believe” which you put on the night before and the next day you have a lovely natural tan.

With or without a false tan, I recommend a light foundation to even out your skin tone, you could try a cream foundation such as Benefit “Some kind-a Gorgeous” or Daniel Sandler “ Invisible Radiance” or my favourite, id bare minerals foundation. To enhance your features add a wash of colour to brows, eyes, lips, apples of cheeks and use black mascara.

You will look different with make-up on, so if you are unsure, experiment with products to find out what you like or speak to a make-up artist for unbiased advice. Think of make-up as protection for your skin and as enhancement for your features.

You don’t need to be caked in make-up but adding colour, evening out your skin tone and emphasizing your features will make you look picture perfect.”

Catherine Bobby, Makeup Artist

Spring Wedding Planning

Cottage garden flowers

Cottage garden flowers

It is mid February now, some green buds are beginning to appear and there are daffodils in the flower shops – spring is on its way! A spring wedding is popular because of its association with the start of new life and a chance to cast off the winter blues and look forward to sunnier times. Green is a popular colour theme for spring weddings and a delicate bouquet with snowdrops, hyacinth, narcissus or spring tulips will bring a touch of colour to the scheme. There will be more choice of blooms as the season progresses which may be important to the eco conscious bride who may not want to have flowers that have been flown hundreds of miles before reaching the UK.

Spring bridal gowns often have an ethereal quality about them with romantic lace details, tulle overlay and delicate embroidery, a real contrast to heavily detailed and beaded gowns which may be more suitable for a wedding in cooler months. Brighter weather may also encourage different transport options such as open topped cars or carriages, or even a funky camper van for a real holiday feel. Venue dressing could have the air of a spring fete with pussy willow decorations, bunting, paper pompoms hanging up or a chalkboard seating plan and jam jar cocktails for guests.

Catering options for warmer weather can vary from wonderful salads and fresh fruit to a barbecue or hog roast which can be cooked outside, making the most of the fresh spring air but still having a hot meal. If is to be a late spring or summer wedding couple could consider an ice cream option for dessert, hiring a specialist ice cream company who will provide lots of interesting flavours and toppings, quite often served from a delightful vintage ice cream van or cart.

Wedding fayres and magazines are a great source of inspiration when wedding planning, with their wealth of products on show and information on lots of different suppliers, so whatever season you choose to get married there are experts who can help you realise your design dreams.

Crewe Hall Wedding Fayre

Crewe Hall

Crewe Hall

Our event at Crewe Hall takes place on Sunday 22nd February, the first time we have included this venue in our spring calendar of fayres. It is a magnificent venue where we will host over sixty of the North West’s finest suppliers to showcase their products and services and to offer advice and inspiration to couples. The fantastic catwalk shows take place at 1pm and 3pm and are an opportunity to look at some of the finest bridal designs, grooms attire and outfits for the wedding party. It is wonderful to see how certain dresses will move and how the details in the grooms outfit can be tied in to the look that the couple want to create, whether that is traditional, contemporary, design led or eclectic.

The venue itself is a Grade I listed Jacobean mansion set in the beautiful Cheshire countryside and has a wealth of history as well as all of the modern facilities that guests would expect to find. Crewe Hall staff will be on hand at the event to show couples around this fabulous venue and give them information about the wedding packages that they can offer. County Brides have also arranged a Wedding Ceremony rehearsal which takes place in the Carved Parlour at 2pm. This is a fantastic way to see how a real life wedding looks at this venue as it is staged with two models in full wedding attire and conducted by a licensed Registrar from the district giving it an authentic feel. Couples will have the opportunity to speak to the specialists and arrange the perfect package for themselves and their guests.

Every engaged couple will receive a complimentary Goody Bag and a copy of County Brides magazine packed with competitions, hints & tips, real life weddings and information on the region’s wedding specialists.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Now that we have had Valentine’s Day there will have been proposals in the air for some lucky couples. Once the engagement is announced the fun of planning the wedding can start, so whether you have been engaged for two minutes, two months or two years a wedding fayre is the place to look for the inspiration and the perfect products to make your day unique.

There is more choice in the wedding industry than ever before so start by setting a total budget and then look at what is really important for you and your partner. If the groom has his heart set on arriving in a classic car and the bride wants a wedding in a castle they may find that there are other things that they can do without and still have their dream wedding day.

A bespoke wedding is still an option for some couples, but when this can run to expenditure of thousands of pounds lots of engaged couples are taking a DIY approach, making things themselves or calling in favours from talented friends and family. It is possible to stick to a budget and not feel like you have done things on the cheap or have had to compromise – it is all about getting the balance right. Visiting wedding fayres is a good way to see what sort of products and services are available, speak to the specialist companies, get a feel for prices and perhaps find that must have item that you can snap up with a special show discount in to the bargain!

County Brides organise lots of wedding fayres in the North West where couples can speak to their local wedding companies and find the key elements that make up a perfect wedding. With five more fayres still to come in the spring season and some new venues in the autumn, including a two day event at St George’s Hall in Liverpool in October, visit a County Brides wedding fayre and pick up a free copy of their fantastic magazine to set you well on your way to a wonderful wedding.

Wedding Fayre at the Etihad stadium

The County Brides Wedding Fayre at The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City Football Club took place on 11th January 2015 with a higher number of visitors than ever before. It is the fourth year for the event at this venue and the organisers have been delighted with the response.

Set in the heart of the city, The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City Football Club has easy access and free parking, making it an ideal venue for the fayre. Set over three floors the fayre was able to accommodate 73 exhibitors this year, drawing brides to the show surprisingly early for the 11.30 opening. County Brides always try to have a wide range of exhibitors at the fayre so that couples can find just what they are looking for when planning their wedding, and this year was no exception with lots of choice from transport, jewellery, wedding cakes, photography, floristry, venues and gift list services, along with more unusual services such as casino hire and a photo booth. The essential bridal, menswear and occasion wear suppliers were also in attendance, with their ranges showcased on the runway throughout the day. The popular runway shows were well attended with not a spare seat to be found and County Brides would like to thank Fairytale Brides, Shuff Separates and Groom for providing their designs for the catwalk. There was also stage entertainment from the talented John Norcott and music for the catwalk was by Lee Knight – Knights of Disco. Special thanks also go to Bob Williams, toastmaster, for introducing the shows.

“The fayre was bustling with engaged couples or, brides with her family and friends. The wine bar was serving glasses of fizz up in the 1894 suite, where couples and families could be seen relaxing and making a day of it.”


It was fantastic to start the spring season with such a busy wedding fayre and County Brides were delighted with the attendance of 400 brides in four and half hours and they would like to extend their thanks for the support of all of the exhibitors in making the day such a success.

Plans are already underway for the event next year, with the date to be approved once we have confirmation of the football fixture list in the summer. We are currently holding two dates, the 10th and 17th January 2016 and can already confirm that a third of our exhibitors have already rebooked and confirmed their attendance for next year.

Exhibitor stands will go on open sale week commencing 16 February 2015. Contact for further details.


Elegant Steps help brides to step out in style with Wedding Shoe Customisation Guide

Every bride wants to stand out on their big day. And it’s the small details that can set one wedding apart from the rest. For example, one of the easiest ways to make your wedding completely unique is with a pair of fully customised wedding shoes.

Often overlooked, the wedding shoe can be as distinctive as the dress – sometimes more so –
and can allow a more playful outlet for brides to really express their personality and
create something that will be treasured for the rest of their shoes customisation 2

When it comes to fancy bridal footwear, no other shoes will be able to tell the story of you and your wedding quite like a pair designed by you. That’s why Elegant Steps has put together a handy Wedding Shoe Customisation Guide, to help brides-to-be create a completely individual pair of shoes for their special day.

Whether it’s a subtle adaptation such as a shoe clip or a special message on the sole, or something more flamboyant such as precious gems or a complete colour change, the guide will help you make sure your wedding shoes are much more than a talking point.

The Wedding Shoe Customisation Guide explains the many different ways a bride can customise their shoes, including:

  • Shoe clips
  • Dyeing
  • Crystals
  • Combinations
  • Personalisation

You can also read about the whole process of shoe customisation, from how long it takes to create your special shoe to how different lighting conditions can affect its colouring. And for added inspiration, there are also a few stories from other brides who have had personalised shoes made for them, and why they treasure them so much.

We definitely suggest giving the guide a read if you’d like to learn more about the possibilities there are when it comes to customising wedding shoes.


Bridal Accessories and Couture Alterations by CupidsTreasure

See our new collection for 2015. Visit our website to see the new stunning range of headdresses,
veils, combs, belts and jackets. Also check out our discount offers upto 50% off a selection of
headdresses for a limited period until the end of February
. You can also qualify for a 
further 10% discount offer
 across our whole range including altering your wedding dress until
February 28th when you make an appointment at our studio in Stockport and quote ref CupidFeb28

Call us now on 07712 454246

Follow us on facebook at and on twitter at

CupidsTreasure Jardin D'amour_5


The Cheshire Wedding House on TV!



If anyone was watching Channel 4 on 6th January

The wedding housethey would have seen The Cheshire Wedding House on ‘Weighing up the enemy’.

The Cheshire Wedding House comprises of three businesses – The Cheshire Wedding Company, Orchard Designs and Heatons Cakes. It was wonderful to see shots that showcased each of these businesses!

It seems such a long time ago since they came to film in the shop, but it was a real eye opener to ‘behind the scenes’!

Many of you will be aware that we moved into these fantastic premises in October and had a wonderful Opening Night where Louis from the Bake Off lent his support and came to cut the ribbon for us! That night was amazing and we had so many people come through the door to see what we had done.

But before that night we had a brilliant team of builders, electricians, plumbers, painters and decorators changing the building from abandoned offices into a beautiful Bridal Boutique! It was through one of these decorators that Channel 4 heard about our fantastic premises and asked if they could use it as a back drop for filming a bride who was determined to lose weight before the big day – of course we said yes!

Well, it was a very interesting Saturday, trying to find places for the multitude of equipment, making hundreds of cuppas and darting ‘out of shot’ all day. (Alison and I were delighted to have the business on show but definitely did not want to see ourselves on the telly!) But we managed and our wonderful customers were very understanding and I think enjoyed the experience too! We even got to have a photo with Dr Christian himself – who was very kind and did not mention anything about my embarrassing body!

So, what have I learnt from this experience? Well, always answer your phone, even if it rings just as you are closing up! And when someone asks if they can do a film shoot in your premises – always say yes!

Wedding fayre, St Georges Hall

County Brides is delighted to announce their new wedding show at St George’s Hall in Liverpool. The show will take place on the 3rd and 4th October 2015 and will be the biggest event in the County Brides portfolio. Established for over seven years in the industry, attending in excess of 190 wedding fayres each year in addition to their own events, and producing one of the most popular wedding magazines in the UK, County Brides will reach an even bigger audience with this premier location show.
St George’s Hall has hosted large wedding shows for over ten years and it is a unique venue at which to stage the first County Brides wedding show.
One of the best examples of neo classical architecture in the world, St George’s Hall has a wealth of history to explore and the setting of the Great Hall, where the wedding show will take place, is a space like no other. The show will host some of the best wedding suppliers, offering essential products and services, giving advice and encouraging engaged couples to choose the elements that will make their day truly unique. There will be three Runway shows taking place each day, showcasing the finest bridal wear, occasion wear and grooms attire, providing an opportunity to see the latest bridal trends and colour themes.
The show is open from 10am to 4.30 pm each day with tickets priced at £7.00 (no charge for children aged 15 and under)available online at

Every engaged couple will receive a free copy of the County Brides magazine on admission and can also collect a free Goody Bag at the show.

A Toastmaster for your wedding day?

derek timmins Jones toastmasterEngaging a quality toastmaster is like having a guardian angel on your side, he or she will take charge of your event. I am sure you will agree this is a very bold statement, this is our day – this is about the Bride and Bridegroom you may say, and quite rightly too. Ensuring the day is indeed all about the Bride & Bridegroom and their families is the absolute minimum requirement of a good toastmaster, please let me explain:
A qualified toastmaster will have attended many weddings over many years, acquiring a broad spectrum of experience all of which he will look to apply as standard to “your very special day”. How do we do this, I can only talk about how I personally develop things with my Brides & Bridegrooms and of course the families, other toastmasters may do it differently but I can assure you the end result will be the same.

You will have already decided on the very important issues such as Church or Civil wedding, the venue for the wedding breakfast, bridesmaids/best men etc…now is the time to engage the services of a toastmaster. This is how I would proceed: some 6-8 weeks before the wedding I would meet with the Bride and Bridegroom along with the family. We would then cover all the required aspects of the day, any special little nuances that the bride may wish to have in place, in particularly we would decide upon a timescale. I would then take all this information and put together what I call my “schedule of events” this is a comprehensive record of who is doing what, where and when, incorporating all the various aspects of the toastmasters duties. This document would then be fine-tuned right up to the day if required, and once this has been fully agreed, this is exactly how the wedding reception/wedding breakfast will proceed.

What are these “Duties”?
Having established a positive working relationship with all parties the toastmaster will take full responsibility for the running of the day. Arriving some two hours before any guests in order to ensure all aspects of the agreed requirements are in place, reception drinks, flowers, catering are all prepared and on time, room settings are exactly as the Bride wished them to be, (this of course also applies if the first event of the day is a Civil wedding).

Receiving Guests:
The toastmaster is on duty to receive your guests, to receive the Bride & Bridegroom and the families, guiding guests to reception drinks and ensuring if required, the canapés are prepared and ready to serve.
Wedding Breakfast:
At the given time your toastmaster will “gavel” three times to signal his announcement to all that the wedding breakfast room is prepared and ready to receive guests, he will then usher the guests into the room with a white gloved hand gesture that only toastmasters can achieve. If a receiving line is requested the toastmaster will organise and lead guests in via the agreed line up. We are now ready to announce the Bride & Bridegroom into the room; toastmaster will check that the music/song is prepared; once again the trusty gavel is used to acquire the attention of the guests and toastmaster announces the entrance of the Bride & Bridegroom – Ladies and Gentlemen please stand to receive your Bride & Bridegroom… Mr & Mrs… and then guides them to their rightful place on the “top table.” If grace is required toastmaster will ask guests to remain standing and “pray silence for grace” again if required, toastmaster will supply and offer grace. Having previously checked with the Chef that dinner is prepared toastmaster will wish guests a very pleasant meal.
This very traditional part of the wedding process would normally take place after the dessert course, toastmaster will have prepared the speakers for this very special moment and would have offered advice if required on how to deliver the “perfect” speech.  Once again the trusty gavel comes into play and the toastmaster will announce the speech makers in turn, this would usually be as follows:
1. Father of the Bride
2. Bridegroom
3. Best Man
If gifts and flowers are to be presented during speeches the toastmaster would ensure they are on hand, prepared and ready to hand to the speech makers as required.
Cake Cutting:
A very traditional part of the proceedings, Toastmaster would announce the cake cutting by requesting the Bride & Bridegroom to join him by the cake, allowing photographers to take the “professional” shots, toastmaster would advise the couple to display their newly acquired wedding rings on the cake cutting knife and then proceed to promote a countdown from five to zero… the cake is then cut to great applause, toastmaster would then request if required, a rousing three cheers for the lovely couple. This would then signal the end of the wedding breakfast, toastmaster would request the Bride & Bridegroom to lead their guests out of the room and “usually” into the bar to await the call for the evening reception. It is at this point that the “duties” of your toastmaster would also end and he/she would thank the Bride & Bridegroom wish them “all the very best” and retire gracefully. A toastmaster can of course perform “extra duties” at the evening reception if required; this may incur some small additional cost. Your toastmaster will also be very pleased to assist your photographer when it comes to those all-important family group shots.
And some people think all we
do is “make announcements”.

Words by Derek Timmins -Jones

Tel: 01706 345201




Lots of brides I’m sure will have the image in their heads of that ultimate dream winter white wedding day with frosty trees and snow covered venues. I have had the pleasure of meeting and providing gowns for many winter brides,I myself was married a week before Christmas on the 18th December 1993, no snow unfortunately but plenty of frost , a little winter sun and a real bite to the air! More and more brides are looking towards winter time for their weddings, not just in the hope of that amazing winter photo or the whole wonderland feeling, but because when all is said and done it’s a great way to save money!

You’ll Need to Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario
As a winter bride, you have to know the answer to the biggest question: what will you do if there’s heavy snow on your wedding day and no guests can get there?

One idea is to ask the “what if” questions while searching for your suppliers. Cherish bridalMake sure to ask your — venue, photographer, videographer, DJ — what would happen if we were forced to cancel due to unexpected bad weather. Some suppliers may allow you to reschedule for another date at no additional cost, assuming he or she was available on the new date.Its always worth asking. Of course, getting everyone together again on a different date isn’t always possible. If you’re wary, its a great idea to think about taking out wedding insurance. Most policies will protect you against losing your deposit money due to a weather-related cancellation, meaning that you can then book new suppliers if needed.

Embrace the Season
Don’t let the fact you are getting married in winter dictate your wedding style. You don’t have to have a winter wonderland theme or use burgundy,green, gold or darker colours just because you are getting married in a cold-weather month? Pale blues and silvers,whites and lilacs can look just as effective during winter! Snowflakes, frosted branches, and icy blue lighting can all add that wintery drama to your day! You can also embrace the season by serving heart warming cocktails and beverages, hot chocolate, snowballs and have real fires lit at your venue to add that comforting glow and give your guests a place to warm up after a few photos outside. Its important to check with your guests when they will be available to attend your wedding if the date is booked around Christmas day or new year, they could have already made plans, a save the date card in advance is a fantastic idea.
One of my all time favourite Winter weddings that I had the pleasure of providing a gown for was Amy & Carl’s wedding day, they were married on 18th December 2010. It will always stay in my mind as a fairytale white wedding. Amy and Carl invited me to watch the ceremony. The day was a perfect winter scene, the ground was covered in snow and everywhere was gleaming white…it gave me goosebumps, I’m sure Amy & Carl and the rest of their wedding party were feeling the same.
The Bride wore a 1920’s style soft satin Victoria Jane gown called ‘Chanel’ & the bridesmaids wore cranberry coloured dresses , the contrast against the snow was perfect! I was so proud to be a little part of their day, their photos were amazing.There are a few gorgeous photos attached to share with you! It made it even more special that they shared the same wedding date as myself and my husband, it brought back lots of lovely memories of my day as I watched them say their vows.
I think that the winter months don’t get given the credit they deserve to be chosen as a wedding date,after all who says that when you get married in summer you will have glorious sunshine? The weather is the only thing you cannot book in advance….so give winter a chance when thinking about your date.!!
We would love to help you choose your gown if you haven’t already found ‘the one’ …you can find us on and book your appointment online via our book now service –
Have an amazing wedding day if you have a winter white wedding, please share your photos with us ,we would love to see how special your day was!
Enjoy the images!

Shrigley Hall hotel – special wedding offer


Shrigley Hall hotel – special wedding offerShrigley Hall Hotel

£3,300 for 40 adult guests to include:

–      Bucks fizz drinks reception

–      Three course wedding breakfast

–      Half bottle of house wine per guest

–      A sparkling wine toast drink

–      Evening buffet of sausage & bacon sandwiches

–      Honeymoon suite

–      Bridal party flowers

–      Chair covers

–      Table centrepieces

–      Top table & cake table dressing


Additional day guests £58.00 per person

Additional evening guests £5.95 per person

Available for selected dates in 2015. Terms & Conditions apply.

Please contact our Weddings department on 01625 575757 for more information.


Carlton Ensemble’s the String Quartet with a difference–a Flute !

classical or light-our blend is right

Quite simply-we create an easy-listening sound for classical & modern songs &  are here to play what you want-on your great day.

We’ve an unrivalled repertoire of classical & light music AND we colour co-ordinate with your wedding theme .

Tips for choosing your musicians

Take recommendations.

Don’t just go by price.

Cakes & flowers cost a fortune-& musicians are not objects but  real people well worth the extra .

Meet your  chosen group beforehand .

Hear then if possible beforehand.

Ensure they’re   interested in you as well as the work you’re offering.

Heed their advice but ensure they’ll do what YOU want  .

If you expecting over 95 guests & your chosen group doesn’t suggest mics, think again-NO string group can be heard over a large crowd.

Place musicians where they can be seen as well as heard–they’re  not a CD , they’re real people &  you’re paying for their services  !

Check out their attire for the day.

Make sure someone in the group has experience of weddings–it’s your biggest day so experience counts.
Musical Choices

Even if you want mainly modern songs , still add a few classical tunes for variety.

Even if you want mainly classical music, still add a few lighter tunes for variety.

Make sure your modern songs work OK on classical instruments–some tunes really don’t.

Popular wedding ceremony tunes arranged for strings–& in our case the flute as well !
1000 Years – Christina Perri, Marry You – Bruno Mars,One Day Like This – Elbow,Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol, I Giorni – Einaudi, The Greatest Day -Take That, Rule the World – Take That, Make You Feel My Love – Adele-written by Bob Dylan.
As well as classical favourites
Canon in D – Pachelbel, Wedding March – Wagner( Here comes the Bride), Wedding March – Mendelssohn, Air on a  String – Bach, Queen of Sheba – Handel, Hornpipe from Water Music – Handel, Marriage of Figaro – Mozart

Carlton Ensemble  call FAY anytime 0161 428 4765



Book your tickets to The National Wedding Show and Save £££s

The National Wedding Show



With inspiration, help and advice from over 300 wedding specialists, thousands of dresses from all the leading designers and a show-stopping Wedding Catwalk, The National  Wedding Show running from 7-8 February at Manchester Central, is the ultimate day out for planning the perfect wedding!






The show has a unique selection of top wedding specialists and suppliers, enabling you to source the products you need for your special day, all under one roof!

To book tickets for just £15 (saving £5 off the door rate) click here and quote COUNTY15. Alternatively call the booking hotline on 0844 874 0486

• Find the dress of your dreams – Head to the Bridal, Boutique and Designer Areas which together house the largest collection of wedding dresses under one roof

• Discover the latest trends at The Wedding Catwalk with shows taking place four times per day – you’ll find all the inspiration you need to plan your wedding day look. ore

• Get inspiration and advice at the Wedding Theatre with Top 10 Tips on hair, make-up and how to choose the right dress for your figure.

• Enjoy the show in style with a VIP Ticket which includes £35 worth of goodies including: A Beauty Box full of cosmetics, reserved seating at the Wedding Catwalk, a class of bubbly on arrival, a copy of the stunning ‘Be a Beautiful Bride’ book and fast track entry to the show Click here to book your VIP tickets.

To plan your day and find out more visit:

* offer ends 1/3/15 transaction fee applies, must be booked in advance, saving is off standard admission tickets only.

Potential pitfalls when wedding gown shopping……Cherish Bridal

We talk to brides here at Cherish Bridal, Northwich frequently about their experiences when gown shopping….here are a few tips to help make that process a little easier for you ladies..
1. Don’t dress shop before setting the date and finding your venue.
We know you’re very excited , newly engaged and want to start looking as soon as possible but having a wedding date to work towards is most important when we are consulting with you.
Whenever a bride comes in and you don’t have the date and the venue set, we really don’t know where to start because we don’t know what your time frame is, and it really is all about the time frame. The venue is important for us to know as you may wish your gown to tie in with the setting of the venue or theme you have chosen for your day.We can then advise you on gowns which would look perfect in your venue. Many gown designers take four to eight months to produce a gown, alterations need to be factored into this time too so if you’re not sure what timeline you’re working with, the bridal consultants might not know what dresses to show you.Gowns are also discontinued at differing times of the year so the potential to see a gown that might go off sale is higher if the style is already a few seasons old.

2. Don’t Bring Too Many People to your consultation.
More people equals more opinions and most of the time you’re not always going to agree so it’s really important that YOU choose only those whose opinions you really value. You can’t please all the people all the time,so please yourself !!. What matters is how you feel in the dress, do you feel special? do you feel like a bride should feel? Go for it if YOU love it!

3. Don’t Forget to Factor Gown Alterations Into Your costings.
To keep expectations in check, be sure to set a budget that includes alteration costs. Alterations could be over £100 and if there are any changes that need to be made to the dress, and your bridesmaids gowns , those all have costs involved and really can significantly add to your budget.

4. Don’t discount ‘ Fashionable for the time ‘ Dresses
Sometimes brides say, ‘I really love this dress, but I know it’s kind of fashionable right now so I think I should wear something a bit more timeless, what am I going to say about this picture in 15 years? What we suggest is , You’re not getting married 15 years from now, you’re getting married in the next 6-18 months! It’s not about whether or not your dress is timeless or not, it’s about your special day, and that whole day should be preserved as that moment in time.

5. Don’t Get Photo Happy .
We understand brides want to take photos of their dress because family members or friends can’t make it to the consultation. We always try discourage them from taking photos, mainly because most of the photos today are taken with phones and often times the way the dress photographs, isn’t the way it really looks . So the person that’s receiving the photo on the other end is seeing something completely different than what the bride is seeing, and she may not get the answer that she secretly wants, and could be upset. Also, emailed pictures of the dress can be accidentally posted, or shared with people that weren’t supposed to see it, When it’s absolutely necessary, we suggest to either Facetime or Skype in real time, because you can actually speak to relatives or friends, those images aren’t going to be saved. Its great to have live chat, it makes your friends and relatives who can’t make it feel part of the process!Cherish Bridal Northwich
6.Don’t fall in love with the ‘ idea’of your dress.
Fall in love with how the dress looks on you,not how it looks in your mind. You may book your appointment with a certain shape or specific designer in mind, only to try it on and have it be anything but flattering. So even though your heart may be set on it,we always say to keep an open mind. Try on a few different gowns, try dresses your consultant suggests, they know what will suit you. So many times we see brides who leave with a dress that they would never have tried on.

7. Move , move,move!
Of course dresses look great when your standing on a pedestal and sucking it in, brides don’t realize that to sit in the gown is very important so don’t leave sitting down in it until you try to put on your shoes an hour before the wedding!
We always ask our brides to sit, or do whatever you need to do to make sure you are nothing but comfortable on your wedding day. Brides forget they will be in this dress for at least eight hours. Grimacing on the day because you are uncomfortable is not a good look!

8.Saying yes to the dress does not always come with tears.
We have all heard that story, finding THE ONE has everybody in tears. Many brides reactions are, ” Looks good.” No tears. No tissues. Nothing. Its not that you don’t love the dress. It’s just that some brides are probably not a very emotional person to begin with. Relatives may not show any feelings either, it doesn’t mean the gown isn’t for you. Brides who don’t cry, sometimes question their dress choice every day leading up to the wedding. what they don’t realize is that the reaction was completely normal, because it was their personality . So just know that however you react to your ultimate dress its okay — tears or not. Not everyone is reduced to tears….go with your heart.

9. Gown overload…..
Try not to book too many appointments in one day. Give yourself time between each one to digest what you have tried on, you won’t remember things like how you felt, how you looked and the detail on the dress, it will be one great big blur! Take your time, savor the journey, enjoy and open your mind. We always try an average of 6-8 gowns in one consultation , choosing differing styles,fabrics and colours to see what suits you best. We are well known for choosing gowns that suit your body shape so don’t be scared to ask our opinion – we tell the truth…always!

Don’t keep gowns on your ‘like’ list unless they really are contenders to try on again, it just adds to your confusion.

We hope these little gems of info help you on your journey to find your dream gown…..happy searching ladies and congratulations!
from all at Cheshire Bridal Northwich

The Cheshire Wedding House

The one stop shop to take the stress out of planning your wedding…..

After one year of trading The Cheshire Wedding Company is teaming up with Orchard Designs and Heatons cakes. These well established local businesses will now allow Heaton Moor to have a one stop shop for all your wedding day requirements
Alison and Clare are very pleased to have moved to The Heatons and are excited to be joined by Paula from Orchard Designs – a very accomplished and creative event dresser and florist and Emma from Heatons Cakes who specialises in exquisite wedding cakes and bakes for all special occasions. They have decided to call the old bank which is a beautiful three storey building, full of character,
The boutique holds The Cheshire Wedding Company‘s selection of beautiful bridal gowns by Alexia Designs, Pure Bridal, Romantica of Devon, Eliza Jane Howell and Silhouette. Together with a wide range of bridesmaid dresses by Alexia, Romantica of Devon and Pure Bridal. There is sure to be something to suit every bride. They have doubled the size of their premises which allows them to give customers a larger choice of products, late night opening and private fitting/viewing rooms and an in-house seamstress who can add those little touches to your gown to make it truly special to you.
Alison and Clare want their brides to enjoy whole experience whilst choosing the gown of their dreams. This fits in with their ethos that every bride should feel wonderful and special on their wedding day. Starting with the first browsing session right through to the collection of their gown ready to wear on the big day. Clare says “Although we recognise that buying a wedding dress is a big investment, the key element to us choosing a gown for our showroom, is that they are beautiful dresses at affordable prices”. The bridal range starts from as little as £300 – £2500.
Alison states ”Here at the Cheshire Wedding Company the emphasis has always been on offering quality, style and real choice. We have an exhaustive range of contemporary and classic gowns in all shapes and sizes. We are already gaining a remarkable reputation as somewhere relaxed, friendly and professional where every bride feels special”.
Buying a Wedding Dress from The Cheshire Wedding Company begins with a warm welcome and staff ready listen to each bride’s individual needs. Alison believes ‘To find the right dress it is important that personal choice, body shape and personality is taken into account. As well as finding the perfect dress to fit the venue!’
‘To allow you to spread the payments we can arrange for personal payment plans at no extra cost. All costs include storage of your dresses and steaming ready for the big day!’ adds Clare.

Things to remember when searching for ‘the one’:

  • Be true to yourself
  • Get the right dress to suit your personality
  • Bear in mind your venue when choosing the style
  • Chooses a couple of dresses to try on, plus a wildcard!
  • Remember – the only people who need to love it are you and your groom

This is your first step to creating memorable moments for your special day – enjoy it

Orchard Designs was founded by Paula 10 years ago. Paula has always had a creative streak, so it was only natural that she found herself immersed in an industry that allowed her to express her creativity!

Supplying everything from the bridal flowers to venue decoration, Orchard Designs offer a complete service for all your floral and decorative requirements.

Her relaxed friendly style, along with 30 years’ experience, will help to guide you through choosing your wedding flowers and venue decoration, styling your wedding to reflect your theme and personality. Keeping abreast of all the latest styles and fashions, Orchard Designs range of items for hire increases all the time.

Moving into a new phase for the business, Paula is delighted to be working alongside Clare and Alison of The Cheshire Wedding Company and Emma from Heatons Cakes and is looking forward to working on all the exciting plans they all have to make The Cheshire Wedding House a wonderful, relaxing and friendly place full of inspiration for couples to commence planning their perfect day.

When visiting The Cheshire Wedding House you will be able to wander around the showroom at your leisure, gathering inspiration for your special day. Relax over a cup of coffee, have a look through magazines and portfolios of previous weddings.

Paula and her team know that every small detail matters and with their keen eye for detail, you can be reassured of a quality, friendly and professional service.

Heatons cakes have been producing fabulous wedding and special occassion cakes in The Heatons for the past five years with astounding success. Emma practiced for years on friends and family before taking formal qualifications in the art of cake decorating at college.  All of her cakes are home baked and hand decorated.

Your Wedding Cake experience will begin with a relaxed consultation when Emma will guide you through the process of choosing and designing your bespoke cake.  She listens carefully to your desires in terms of style.  She can use her extensive experience to advise on size, flavour combinations etc.  And of course, you get to sample cake! Cake tastings will be accompanied by a selection of teas, coffee or a glass of bubbles. Emma will then bring your ideas to life in a beautiful centre piece for your guests to share on your special day.

Along with her wedding cake service Emma creates lots of other celebration cakes, teaches cake decoration and you can book her for your Cupcake Experience party (great for Hen-dos).

Whatever your wedding needs come and experience friendly and welcoming experience which will be tailored made to every brides individual wishes. At the Cheshire Wedding House Alison, Clare, Emma and Paula will endeavour to help your wedding day journey be one to remember and will always go the extra mile to help every bride enjoy her dream wedding day.

Keep a look out for the girls’ regular updates on their blogs on County Brides Website.

The Cheshire Wedding House
112 Heaton Moor Road
Heaton Moor

Tel: 0161 443 4132








Church Lane Dental, Smiles matter

We are a family run dental clinic in a prime location with access to Liverpool, Manchester, Warrington & Chester. Our friendly dental clinic is run by husband-and-wife Drs Geoff and Louise Askins. Our highly-trained staffs include associate dentist Dr Matthew Morris, two dental therapists, implantologist Dr Liam McGrath, a business development manager Mrs Julie Lewis, highly trained nurses and a Managing Director Mrs Catherine Turner. Our team will spend the time to make you feel relaxed and at ease throughout your visit as we are a practice where smiles matter.
We provide a wide range of high quality cosmetic dental treatment with excellent care for all our clients.
Our clinic offer treatments including:
Smile makeovers – Can transform your smile and self-confidence. They are one of the most popular procedures in dentistry right now. We can restore, reshape and replace your teeth, whiten and straighten them giving you that perfect smile for your perfect day.
Dental Implants – are an increasingly popular alternative to dentures and bridges, giving a permanent, natural-looking and firm solution to gaps left by missing teeth. Secure and comfortable, they can last a lifetime with the correct care. And you can look forward to a life changing decision that turns your frown upside down.
Teeth whitening – Is a very easy way to make you appear younger, help improve your smile and boost your confidence with minimal time and effort.
6 month smile – We offer an excellent type of orthodontic treatment to straighten, align and reposition your teeth, giving you the smile you’ve always wanted within 6 months.

Church lane dental

I’m 110% happy with my new teeth! I never thought it was possible to have such a perfect smile. The comments I’ve had have been amazing – it’s done my confidence the world of good!’
Aileen Carine
I’ve never been a huge fan of dentists – mainly because when I was growing up I had some shoddy work done, and my smile was nothing to smile about! The amazing team at Church Lane Dental Practice has completely changed my life. I regularly travel up from London to have any dental work done, as service is fantastic and the team is extremely friendly and professional. Church Lane gave me my smile back. Highly recommended!
Thomas Wilkinson
If you would like to book in for your free no obligation consultation can you please contact Julie on 01942 726 494 or via twitter @ChurchLnDental or facebook



All about the wedding dress

Years ago when I first started working in the bridal industry, I met a lovely customer called Leianne Carter who visted the shop I was manager for in our local town of Northwich. She was getting married in the Bahamas and wanted something comfortable, light and that was easy to travel….during the consultation I showed Leianne a few styles that were floaty and lightweight but she settled on one that looked truly stunning I was pleased as punch that she loved the bodice and skirt from Veromia I recommended she try on! The wedding took place in the Bahamas on 6th May 2004. Leianne looked really beautiful as the photos I have added to this story show!


The National Wedding Show Press Event 2014

The National Wedding Show Press Event Autumn 2014


The National Wedding Show hosted its seasonal press preview at The Lansdowne Club this week. Providing a glimpse of what’s to come at The National Wedding Show for autumn 2014, exhibitors showcased their best sellers and latest collections of dresses, accessories, groomswear, stationery, cakes and more.

HF Couture by Juliet Lemon (5)As press gathered to discover what’s hot this season, they enjoyed mouth-watering canapés courtesy of The Lansdowne Club, accompanied by a refreshing glass of Freixenet.

Revealing the latest trends in bridalwear, Finiks London, Emma Louise Bridal and Iselin Designs presented their latest collections of exquisite bridal gowns, while Gullarn showcased their sensational occasionwear.

For the perfect finishing touches to any wedding day outfit, press perused glamourous accessories by Donna Crain, By Harriet and HF Couture together with fancy footwear from Adrienne Shoes.

Aurus presented their sparkling collection of wedding rings, while London Tailor Jon Kruger was on hand to reveal the latest trends in groomswear as he displayed some of his key pieces for the season.

For reception inspiration, florists and stationers worked together to demonstrate some of the seasons most popular wedding themes.Donna Crain by Juliet Lemon (8)

Amie Bone created a breath-taking Masquerade inspired table, with a centrepiece featuring a striking blue peacock nestled in a spectacular array of beautiful blooms. With eye-catching attention to detail, the look was complete with colourful tablewear, a shimmering gold table cloth and coordinating stationery from Ivy Ellen.

Encapsulating the Formal Elegance theme, florists PinkyMiki created a stunning centrepiece of wonderful white flowers accompanied by chic black and white stationery from With Love Wedding Stationery, the perfect look for those planning a traditional white wedding.

Capturing the essence of Rustic Romance, Florenza Floral created a beautiful arrangement of red and blush coloured roses, complemented by hand painted stationery from Tuppence Collective, which combines vintage florals with modern invitation design.

Providing sweet treats for the press to enjoy, Le Papillon Patisserie displayed their collection of luxury wedding cakes, including the iconic Macaroon Tower and Croquembouche and The Whitty Cake Company displayed a colourful array of traditional tiered cakes.

Bspoak (formerly The Wedding Tree) showcased some of their most popular products including the Personalised Oak Champagne & Wine Bottle Gift Box as well as launching their new Zebrano Drop Top Guest Book while Confetti provided inspiration for gifts, favours and more.

Photographer Juliet Lemon captured the evening on camera, while press could capture and take away their own memors of the night with fun photos from Jessops’ photobooth.

With the success and excitement of this season’s event, The National Wedding Show autumn 2014 is set to be the best yet.

Florenza by Juliet LemonThe National Wedding Show will take place at London Earls Court from 26-28 September, Birmingham NEC from 3-5 October and Manchester Central from 11-12October.


For more information visit The National Wedding Show website

Facebook –
Twitter – @nationalwedding / #TNWS
Instagram – thenationalweddingshow

Ten Reasons Not To Miss The UK’s Biggest Wedding Show This Autumn

The National Wedding Show is set to celebrate its best season yet as it returns to London, Birmingham and Manchester this autumn. Here are the top 10 highlights which make the UK’s biggest wedding show an essential day out for brides and grooms across the country.

1)      Try, buy, book and hire everything for your big day – under one roof!

Whether you’re recently engaged or your big day is just around the corner, The National Wedding Show is the ultimate destination for wedding planning perfection! You can do everything from trying on dresses, shoes and accessories and buying your big day beauty essentials to booking your perfect honeymoon and hiring your venue, all in a day’s work!

2)      Meet the experts

Meet over 300 experts specialising in everything from beautiful bridalwear and suave menswear to magical photography and exciting entertainment. Your favourite high-street brands will be on hand to help with everything from creating your gift list to choosing the perfect wedding rings. Names to look out for include Essie, Beaverbrooks, John Lewis, Sandals, Turquoise Holidays, House of Fraser, Thomas Cook, Thorntons, Debenhams and Young’s Hire.

3)      Discover your Dress

Head to the Bridal, Boutique and Designer Areas, which together house the largest number of dresses under one roof. Browse the collections from the nation’s finest designers, retailers and boutiques and try on more dresses than you ever imagined, in spacious changing rooms with no appointments necessary.

4)      Unmissable Feature Areas

Immerse yourself in inspiration heaven at the show’s unmissable feature areas which include the breath-taking Catwalk Show, Big Day Top 10 Tips at the Wedding Theatre, the Designer Flower Market, Vintage Area and Champagne Bar.

5)      The Catwalk Show

The breath-taking Catwalk Show brings the latest wedding themes and bridal trends to life on the runway, showcasing collections from the nation’s hottest designers, retailers and boutiques. This season’s Catwalk Show will feature names including Ivory & Co, Alan Hannah, Justin Alexander, Zaaem Jamal, Eliza Jane Howell, Qiana Bridal, Suzanne Neville and many more.

6)      The Top 10 at the Wedding Theatre

The Top 10 sessions return to the Wedding Theatre this season to provide you with invaluable advice on hair, beauty, styling and planning. Created by seasoned wedding show and TV producer Jane Galpin and featuring the show’s host experts, each session will reveal 10 essential tips and tricks in a live and interactive countdown.

7)      Fabulous finishing touches…

Discover all the fabulous finishing touches for your reception from mouth-watering cakes to striking stationery. Whether you’re dreaming of a traditional fairytale wedding or planning your very own winter wonderland, there are stylish solutions for all themes and colour schemes. Head to the Designer Flower Market where you can discover a stunning spectrum of colours and beautiful blooms from the nation’s finest florists.

8)      Dazzling Décor

If you need help transforming your venue in to a spectacular backdrop for your big day, seek inspiration from The National Wedding Show’s host of wedding planners and stylists. Discover everything from dazzling lighting to stylish tableware and signage to create your perfect setting.

9)      Relax and Unwind

Round off an exciting day in the Vintage Tea Room, where you can relax and unwind with a traditional cream tea, or head to The Champagne Bar and toast to future happiness with a glass of bubbly.

10)   Enjoy the show in star style

Bag yourself VIP tickets. This exclusive experience includes fast track entrance, reserved seating at the Catwalk Show, unlimited access to the stylish VIP Lounge, a complimentary glass of bubbly and a goody bag full of beauty products to pamper yourself in the build up to your big day.

Discover all this and more at the UK’s biggest wedding show this autumn. The National Wedding Show will take place at London Earls Court on 26th-28th September, Birmingham NEC on 3rd-5th October and Manchester Central on 11th -12th October.

To book your tickets in advance and save £3 off the door price*, visit or call the ticket hotline on 0844 874 0486

*Advance ticket prices revert to the on the door price of £18 at midnight the day before opening.

Autumn 2014 Diary Dates –

  • London Earls Court – 26th-28th September / Birmingham NEC – 3rd-5th October
  • Manchester Central – 11th -12th October

For more information visit The National Wedding Show website

Facebook –
Twitter – @nationalwedding / #TNWS
Instagram – thenationalweddingshow

County Brides magazine launch

The 6th edition of the County Brides magazine is packed full of information, real life wedding stories, advice, competitions, discount vouchers and of course LOCAL suppliers from the North West region.

The launch was held at the prestigious multi award winning West Tower, Aughton, Lancashire. Over 140 guests attended the event.
The night was a huge success, with lots of the County Brides clients picking up the new Count Brides magazine, It was a fantastic opportunity to network and catch up with all the new ideas and offers that they can offer future brides & bridegrooms for their big day.


The Wedding of Gary & Lyndsay Burnett

They say that things happen for a reason and after meeting Gary on holiday in Spain, I really believe this to be the case.  I was on holiday with my mum and a friend, while Gary was with his friends.  It was a holiday romance that lasted and over time, we grew close.



Vanilla in allseasonsCreating Memories that Last & Relationships that Endure

Are you looking for a catering service for a wedding or special event?

Whether you want a formal or more casual feel, our expert team create innovative menus and event solutions that reflect your taste, style and personality. Events tailored to your desire, executed with finesse.

See for yourself why we have been voted Cheshire’s Best Catering Company!
Tel: 01625 421685

Pictures by Jonny Draper Photography

7 Fab Liverpool Themed Wedding Ideas

Getting married in Liverpool? For a lot of people, Liverpool is more than somewhere they live. It’s so iconic in our culture, from the Beatles to football, Liverpool is known across the globe. If you call this city home, or maybe just hold fond memories there, then it’s a great idea to include nods to the city in your wedding!


1. The Beatles

Of course, the Beatles had to be at the top of this list! The music Liverpool is most famous for. There’s lots of ways you can incorporate John, Paul, George and Ringo into your special day. They have plenty of romantic songs you could choose as your first dance or as your party music later in the night. You could even get a nice mellow or instrumental version of one of their hits to walk up the aisle to.

2. Curate a local playlist

The Beatles aren’t the only band Liverpool has ever produced. A great option to show your love for your favourite city is by creating a Liverpool playlist for your wedding reception. You’ve got some great bands to choose from. Get a little alternative with Echo & the Bunnymen, or old school with Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Maybe you love The Zutons or you’re ready to rock out to metal music with Carcass. Whatever your music tastes you’ll definitely find it in Liverpool.


3. Serve the best booze around

Well this one is a no brainer. Getting married in Liverpool? You obviously need some Liverpool booze right? The Ginsmiths of Liverpool are a particularly great choice. They’ve got a fantastic range of gins including Valencian Orange and even Marshmallow. Your guests are sure to love a Liverpudlian tipple. 


4. Iconic landmarks

The Liverpool skyline is such an iconic one, why not include it in some of your decor? You could have it on your invites or place cards. It’s easy to include this design without it being too in your face or gimmicky. If you’re going for a very subtle theme then this is a great option for you. Even if its just outlines of the Albert Dock or the cathedrals – it can really make an invite pop.


5. Set the tone with your venue

There are so many great places to choose from in Liverpool.  From the stunning The Isla Gladstone Conservatory to the traditional Knowsley Hall, you’re sure to find the perfect venue. If you want to go as Liverpudlian as possible (and you’re having a smallish wedding) you could even rent out the Cavern Club! What could be a better place for a die hard Beatles fan to celebrate their nuptials? 

Photo Credit: About Today Photography


6. Eat local

Liverpool has some great traditional foods to choose from. If you want to really stick with the theme you could serve a bowl of Scouse stew in the evening as a snack between all the dancing or even opt for wet nelly as your dessert. You also don’t have to do something that big to include local food in your wedding. You could just use something small and simple like everton mints as your wedding favours. Whatever you decide using locally sourced produce is always a lovely way to include your favourite place in your wedding. 


7. Team colours

If you’re both into your football, why not add a tribute to one of the city’s iconic clubs? You can be as subtle or out there as you like with this one, depending on how great your love for your team is!


So there you have it, everything you need to know to throw a Liverpool themed wedding party! Why not choose something small on this list if you’re not keen on a themed wedding? Then your guests still feel included in the local area and you’ll give them great memories of your favourite city! On the other hand, those of you that live and breathe Liverpool, feel free to go mad and use every idea on this list, just make sure to send us pictures on our social media channels after!


The cover image for this blog was by About Today Photography.

Guest Blog: Love Lace Bridal, Our Top Tips for Your Wedding Day

Your wedding day has finally arrived!

You’ve planned your special day to perfection and your wedding day has finally arrived! It’s time to enjoy and celebrate with family and friends. Weddings are meant to be one of the most wonderful, memorable, romantic and exciting days in your life, so relax and enjoy every moment.

Be prepared that the day will also be tiring and emotional, your face will ache with smiling and there may be the odd little hiccup along the way. Don’t stress out or get upset about these minor details; focus on the big picture and remind yourself that it’s not the end of the world! Remember that all your loved ones are there to help you and celebrate with you. So, start the day with a little time for yourself and prepare for the day ahead.


Start the day

Hopefully, you have manged to get a good nights sleep! You wake feeling excited and nervous, before you know it there will be people coming and going and you can start to feel a little overwhelmed.

Start your day with a little pamper time to help you relax and prepare yourself for the day ahead; take a relaxing bath, you could even light some candles and play some relaxing music.

Wear a bath robe or something comfortable that will easily slip of and not spoil your beautiful hair and makeup when it comes time to put on your gorgeous gown. It is also advisable not to wear a bra to avoid strap marks.

You may be full of nerves and not feel like eating but make sure you have a good breakfast to give you energy for the day ahead.

Enjoy the things you’ve planned

Many people will have already told you that your wedding day with pass by in a flash. With all the excitement it is easy to forget to take in all you have planned.

Before the drinks reception, take a few minutes to yourselves in the room the wedding breakfast will be held. Take in the décor and all the things you have planned and paid for. During the drinks reception make sure you get to sample the drinks and canapes yourself!

Try to take a few moments every so often to take time to enjoy as many of the things you’ve spent all those weeks, months and even years planning.


Take time for yourselves

Try to factor in some time for just the two of you:

  • Stop somewhere between the church and reception
  • Have a moment of down time between photos 
  • Take a quick stroll after the wedding breakfast

Remember this special day is about the two of you.


Enjoy it!

Most important of all, make sure you enjoy the day! Eat, drink, dance and celebrate with family and friends. You have worked so incredibly hard to make this a day to remember, so enjoy what you have accomplished!


Selected photographs from Photography by Dave Thompson

Visit Love Lace Bridal Boutique here.

20 Song Ideas for Walking Up the Aisle

Wedding aisle song

Choosing the music you walk up the aisle to might seem like a small decision but it’s actually a really important one. The music you play sets the tone for your ceremony (and more often than not the music is what starts getting everyone emotional!). So you want to get it right. Something upbeat enough that you can walk down the aisle without blubbering and ruining your makeup, but meaningful enough to play during one of the biggest moments of your life. We’re going to give you our top 20 songs you can use to walk up the aisle to. Use these as inspiration or feel free to take one straight from our list.

Wedding aisle song


How to choose the perfect song to walk up the aisle to

It’s a small decision, so why is it so tricky? For some, it’s an easy decision if you and your partner’s song is super romantic. However, even if you’re lucky enough to have a romantic song rather than a funny one, you might want to save that for your first dance and pick something else romantic for walking up the aisle. The main thing to keep in mind when choosing a song is to make sure you pick something personal, something you both love. If you’re a big nerd then pick a song from your favourite fantasy epic. If you both really love rock and metal then find a song in that genre that can work. It’s your wedding so pick something you love, don’t just follow everyone else!


20 Best songs to walk down the aisle to

So here it is, our list of the best songs for walking up the aisle. You can use any from this list but keep in mind there are lots of versions of every song. So if you like a song but not sure it works then see if you can find a violin or piano cover! You can also have an instrumental band at your wedding, that way they can help you create the perfect music.


John Legend – All of me

A very popular song to walk down the aisle to, and with good reason. It’s super romantic and a really nice pace.


James Arthur – Say you won’t let go

Just listen to the lyrics of ‘Say you won’t let go’ and you’ll understand why it’s on this list.


Christina Perri – A thousand years

Just listening to this song at home can make you want to cry! Definitely, a good choice if you want everyone in the audience to get emotional. Just don’t forget the tissues!


Ed Sheeran – Perfect

He’s a global star so he must have got something right! Perfect is a lovely song to use, but be warned if you use this one you might tear up every time you hear it on the radio.


Ellie Goulding – How long will I love you

Ellie Goulding has such a beautiful voice and the perfect tone for serenading you down the aisle.


Elvis Presley – Can’t help falling in love

An oldie but a goodie. You can’t beat a bit of Elvis, especially with this romantic song. Not that keen on the style? Why not use the lyrics and melody just make it instrumental? Or you can always find a modern cover.


Moulin Rouge – Come what may

Are you a fan of musicals? There are so many romantic musical theatre songs to choose from. This one from the film Moulin Rouge is a great version. 


Elton John – Your song

Your song is up there as one of the most romantic songs ever. Now you’ve got three versions to choose from! The original Elton John, the cover in Moulin Rouge or the version from the film Rocketman.


Bruno Mars – Just the way you are

Another popular song for walking down the aisle. Beautiful lyrics accompanied by an amazing melody.


One direction – Little things

If you and your partner love a bit of a boyband then this one is perfect! Go for this One direction song and tell your partner all the little things you love about them.


Avicci (violin cover) – Wake me up

Now ‘wake me up’ might not seem like a particularly romantic song but check out some of the instrumental covers. The violin version is particularly beautiful.


Emeli Sande – Where I sleep

Emeli Sande has an incredible voice and this song is very romantic. Have a listen and see if this one fits the style of your wedding party.


Shania Twain – You’re still the one

‘You’ll still the one’ is a representation of the journey your relationship has been on. If it’s been a long or difficult journey then this song is perfect for you.


Damien Rice – The Blower’s Daughter

That beautiful chorus ‘can’t take my eyes of you, I can’t take my eyes off you’… is enough to make anyone shed a few tears!


All American Rejects – When the world comes down

If you’re a little alternative or rock deep down then this is a nice option. It’s got an alternative feel whilst still being a good choice for the aisle. 


Celtic song – She moves through the fair

A traditional song which is often used in weddings. Head over to YouTube and check out how amazing this melody is.


Vance Joy – Take your time

Romantic, chilled and beautiful. This one ticks all the right boxes!


Norah Jones – Come away with me

If you’re a big fan of Norah Jones then this is the song for you. Her tone and style in this song are just mesmerising.


Jason Mraz – I’m yours

We’ve all heard this one on the radio. Sweet and simple, it’s a lovely song choice.


Frank Sinatra -Moon river

Another great option if you want to go for a classic. The version from ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, is also very well known and works well if you’re a fan of the film.


There you have it! We hope you like our list. Feel free to send us your ideas on our social media and get in touch if you’ve used any of these in your wedding ceremony.


It’s been 10 years since our story at Askham Hall as a wedding venue began!

Askham Hall is part of a collection of three privately owned family run, multi award winning and unique places to eat, drink and sleep in and around the picturesque village of Askham, a secluded part of the Lake District. The other properties are two sister pubs, the George and Dragon in nearby Clifton, and the recently acquired Queen’s Head in Askham.

Built in the 14th century, in 2013 Askham Hall was converted into a low key yet elegant restaurant with rooms set in this welcoming and historic building. The George and Dragon, purchased by the family in 2008, is a country estate pub. The Queen’s Head is the latest additional and is a village inn with a difference just a five minute walk from the Hall. Both offer hearty, healthy food made with produce from the family estate as well as a great local pint or a surprisingly good glass of wine, and are the perfect resting place after an invigorating day out.

Today this trio are part of a family owned ‘living estate’ with a sustainable food philosophy, steeped in history and deeply rooted in the Cumbrian landscape. Curated by brother and sister team Charles Lowther and Marie-Louisa Raeburn, we offer guests a warm family welcome in a traditional and tranquil rural setting.

For over seven centuries the ‘mother ship’ Askham Hall has been home to many prominent local families, who have lived, loved and cared for it. Including the current owners themselves, who grew up in the hall.

In 2009, the owners held an incredible family wedding, the first seeds were sown, and the rest is history!

Now a ‘home from home’ for visitors looking to escape the rigours of modern life.

An intimate, luxurious place to relax and stay with a restaurant, party spaces, beautiful gardens and access to a ‘Health Barn’. Charming original features compliment modern furnishings. The antithesis of a traditional country house hotel, and specialising in delicious produce from the family Estate. 

Stay with us and we’ll share our knowledge, our landscape, our produce and heritage with you.

Askham Hall is the perfect place for a wedding, with plenty of options to suit different requirements. We make each couple’s special day as unique as you are. Our venue is majestic yet tranquil. A grade I listed hideaway and the former home of the Earls’ of Lonsdale, offering unpretentious luxury. We will provide a warm welcome in a historic, rural setting.

We have 20 bedrooms, a restaurant, grade II listed gardens, wedding barn, medieval hall and outdoor pavilion and a cafe. Luxurious, intimate, unpretentious, up-to-date and full of charm. We can offer somewhere really unique, together with outstanding personal service.

There are two stunning churches within half a mile, furthermore we are licensed for civil ceremonies throughout. We can provide a really special setting, luxurious accommodation, exquisite food and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

Askham Hall is ideally suited for exclusive use if required. We offer a fully bespoke wedding service including menus and drinks and only allow one or two weddings per week, so that couples are able to decorate the venue as they wish and turn it into their dream party venue. We also welcome same sex and LGBT weddings. Most of all we offer outstanding service throughout, from the point of enquiry until after the wedding.

Askham Hall really is the most magical place to say ‘I do’!


Special offers:

Contact Details

Askham Hall,  Askham, Penrith, Cumbria. CA10 2PF

01931 712350

Twitter: @AskhamHall




7 Simple ideas for your Manchester wedding

For a true Mancunian, the city is always in their heart. So why not include it in your wedding? Whether you live in Manchester, are from Manchester or just getting married there it’s always fun to include nods to the city in your decor.

Manchester isn’t just any city, for the people who call it home Manchester is a unique community. It doesn’t matter how crazy or different your style is or how out there your beliefs are, you can find your tribe in Manchester. So from dramatic city skylines to cute bumble bee designs, find out how you can include your favourite city in your wedding. 


1. Manchester save the date cards

When you’re sending out those save the date cards, why not give your guests a hint of what’s to come? You can decorate your cards with cute bumblebees or the Manchester Eye. If you’re a bookworm at heart why not have a silhouette of the John Rylands Library? For weddings which are sure to be an awesome party why not go for Hacienda themed save the dates? Let your guests know what they’re in for!

Image courtesy of Think Good Get Hitched, shop here.

2. Location themed seating chart

Table names are a great way of giving a nod to a theme without your theme feeling overdone. If you prefer the subtle touch you could include Manchester places in your seating chart. Name tables according to areas like Didsbury, Salford Keys or the Northern Quarter. This way you can give a nod to Manchester and all the locals at your wedding are sure to love it. 

Image courtesy of ShookNorth via Etsy, find the print here.


3. Bee wedding favours

There are lots of directions you can take this particular idea in. Bees are such a cute motif for wedding favours. They double as a nice design and as a memorable souvenir for your guests. You could opt for little jars of honey, bee keyrings or bee cookies. Or if you really want to help the bees why not give every guest a small packet of wildflower seeds they can plant for the bees in their garden? You can have them printed with a bee design and your wedding date!

Image courtesy of My Rainbow Studio via Etsy, shop here.

4. Manchester skyline invites

We have such an amazing skyline here in Manchester so why not use it? You can create gorgeous invitations using the Manchester skyline. All your guests who are from Manchester will love it and the guests coming from farther afield will have a great souvenir!


5. Manchester playlist

We have some amazing music and musicians in Manchester. You could even get a local band to play at your wedding. If you go for the DJ route make sure to ask for some of the classics like Oasis and Take That.

Why not make your wedding playlist one of your favours too? You can create a playlist and share it will all of your guests after the wedding through Spotify or Youtube. That way your guests are sure to think of you every time they play it.

Image courtesy of The Blank Record Store, shop here.


6. Street art decor

Citizens of Manchester are lucky to have some really incredible street art and graffiti. If this is your style you could include it in your decor. Art posters on the walls or graffiti designs on your invites are perfect. Graffiti and street art really not your thing? There are so many amazing artists in Manchester, why not purchase a few prints to decorate your venue? Or even better talk to a local artist and showcase their work at your wedding! That way you can help a local business and decorate your wedding at the same time. 


7. Make a meal of it

Themes can be tricky to use right. You want just enough to feel the right vibe and not too much so that your entire wedding is about the theme. Food can be adapted to your theme without being in people’s faces too much.

Why not go local for your wedding breakfast? There are so many amazing food producers around Manchester it would almost be a shame not to use them! You could go to G Wienholts bakery out in Alderly Edge to get some of the best sweet treats around or choose real Cheshire ice cream to go with your dessert. 


There you have it! Our top list of ways to bring Manchester into your special day. We hope you have fun using these ideas. If you loved any of these ones or have more of your own please get in touch on our social media channels. We’d love to hear from you. 

Be sure to check out our Wedding Fayres all taking place in and around Manchester from 8th September. Find them all here.

Planning on Writing Your Own Vows? Here are our Top Tips

wedding vows

For some people, creative writing comes easily, so writing vows should be easy right? Actually, even for the people who are good at writing, your own vows can be a difficult task.

For everyone else writing anything can be pretty scary! Plus you’ve got to read it out in public. Not easy. Maybe you’re the one who suggested writing your own vows, or maybe it’s something your partner wanted and fills you with dread.

Not to worry, we’re here to give you all the advice you need before you sit down and write the perfect heartfelt vows for your wedding ceremony.

wedding vows

Why write your own wedding vows?

This is a very personal decision for many couples. You might decide you want to keep it simple and stick to the traditional vows. However, it’s also nice for both partners to really personalise the wedding ceremony.

Your own vows are a way to celebrate the reasons you love your partner, whilst allowing you to incorporate what’s important to you. There’s definitely a balance to be found, romantic but not fake. As long as your vows come from the heart they won’t be trite. You want people to get an insight into why you love your partner, at the same time as letting your partner know why you want to marry them. 


10 Top tips to writing your own vows

Well here you are, our best tips for writing your own wedding vows. Remember, don’t panic! Calmly read through this guide and use it as a step-by-step plan to writing your own wedding vows. 


1. Get started early

This one should be a no-brainer, but we’re putting it in at the start just in case! Don’t, we repeat, don’t leave your vows until the last minute. If you want to feel stressed and write something clearly rushed then that’s the way to go about it. Yes, you might be better at improv than reading from a sheet, but your vows will be more polished if you have plenty of time to practice what you’re going to say.


2. Have a discussion with your partner first

You’re not writing vows in isolation. Your partner is also in the same boat. If you don’t discuss the scope of your vows, you may find one of you has written half a novel and the other something shorter than the weekly shopping list.

Agree on the approximate length and the tone you’re going for. You might both want to go for funny vows or make them really sentimental. Whatever you decide you definitely should talk to your partner first. 


3. Come back to your drafts

There’s a writing process you can follow. First, start with a rough list of what you want to include. Then come back to the list and turn it into paragraphs. Then leave your first draft for a few days. When you come back to it you’ll have fresh eyes and you’ll be more critical. Don’t be afraid to have multiple drafts or versions to pick between.


4. Get real

You need to be heartfelt, or what’s the point in writing your own vows? Think about why you want to marry your partner, what you love about them. Sitting with the lads or your bridesmaids and spit-balling ideas is great, but make sure you take time to sit alone with your thoughts before you write your vows.


5. Make realistic promises

One of the key elements of your vows is promising things. You can take this however you want, you could promise to always be faithful but you can also promise not to hog the covers! Ideally, you want a mixture of genuine promises and maybe some more frivolous ones. You’re both going to be looking back on this for a long time, so make sure all your promises are realistic and ones you can keep.


6. Reassure your partner

Everyone get’s pre-wedding jitters, it’s normal. One of the best things after experiencing those moments is when you’re up at the alter and your partner says everything you needed to hear. Reassure them that you’re going to be there for them through anything.


7. Think about your timing

Ok, so we don’t want a six-volume novel series, do we? Think about your guests a little at this point. You should be able to get everything you need to across without taking hours. The best way to do this is by keeping any anecdotes short and prioritising what you want to say.

Most vows only take around one minute of time to say. Of course, this is something to discuss with your partner. If you’re desperate for longer vows at least make sure they’re going to do the same!


8. Don’t be afraid to use humour

Weddings are an incredibly emotional experience. They can also come with a lot of nervous energy. So a great thing to include in your vows is a little bit of humour. You need to be careful though, don’t tell inappropriate stories about your partner in the middle of your wedding! Aim for gentle humour to make your partner and your guests laugh.


9. Be specific with your anecdotes

Specific anecdotes and compliments are always nice to receive. Your partner may not know the exact moment you fell for them, or that cute noise they make when they sleep that makes you love them more. Think about something small you love about them and use this time to shine a light on it to make them feel special.


10. Read them to a friend

The final step once you’ve written your vows is getting some feedback. We suggest picking one friend you trust and reading your vows to them. They can give you feedback and it’s also a chance for you to practice reading in front of someone. Plus if you just choose one friend everyone else gets to hear them for the first time on the day.


That’s it! We hope you’ve enjoyed our tips for writing your vows and let us know how you get on! Get in touch with us on our social media links below so we can hear about your own wedding vow experiences.

The North West Wedding Awards 2019

On Wednesday 12th June, County Brides & Events hosted the 9th annual North West Wedding Awards at The Mere Resort & Spa. With over 340 guests in attendance for this black Tie awards evening where County Brides also raised £6,503.50 so far for their chosen charity, Destination Florida Children’s Charity.

Brides, bridegrooms and customers from across the region had voted for the best suppliers in the wedding industry. Over 7,500 votes were counted, more than 458 companies were nominated, and 32 winners picked up their well-deserved crystal awards on the night. Guests also raised money for the for the charity by participating in a fun Heads & Tails game, a raffle and an exciting auction.

Managing Director Duane Thornborough introduced the evening and commented “Thanking all the guests, suppliers and sponsor support, 2018 was a good year for weddings, 2019 has been a mixed year for companies. Tonight, we are raising money for the Destination Florida Children’s Charity, our chosen charity this year and hope to raise enough to send 3 children away for a holiday of a lifetime.

We are here to celebrate the achievements of companies within our industry, so remember you are ALL winners for getting this far and should display your Finalist’s & Winners badges with pride and thank your customers for their support.”

Guests were encouraged to network throughout the evening, and to get involved on social media, posting photos, video’s and comments about the event.

It was an amazing evening and County Brides would like to thank all of the companies who helped to put the evening together, donated their time and prizes, and sponsored the event which has helped County Brides to raise more than £41,000 for various charities over the last seven years, through the annual Awards, a charity calendar, donations and sponsorships.

County Brides publish an annual wedding magazine which is distributed to over 220 wedding fayres and shows across the region as well as organising their own wedding fayres throughout the year. The North West Wedding Awards has become one of the biggest annual events within the industry.

Main Sponsor

County Brides & Events Limited – Wedding Magazine & Events

List of Sponsors & Suppliers

PA / Lighting – Hipswing 

Band – Breaker Live

Award trophies – Carrs Jewellers

Casino Tables – Pier Fun Casino

Drinks Reception – The Mere Resort

Dinner Entertainment – Sing Along Waters

Reception Entertainment – Babalola Jnr

DJ Jon Holling & Large Letters – Ice Entertainment UK 

Photo Mirror – Envision Images 

Photography – Faye Amanda Photography

Videography – Polaris Videography

Venue Enhancement – Flossie’s Weddings

Confetti Canon – All Star Disco 

Flowers – Jacqui O 

Ice Sculpture – Glacial Art 

Table Plan – N Digital 

Stationery – Jelly Press 




Best Accessory – Save the Date by Lily

Best Cake – Jo’s Couture Cakes

Best Florist Joint Winners –Efflorescence floral Architecture and  Barlow Bespoke Flowers