Real Weddings

REAL WEDDING RECAP 2020: Pronovias for a Blush Wedding at Colshaw Hall – Francesca & Darren

Sarah Symonds

As the editorial team take a short summer break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 31st August 2020 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings shared during the first half of 2020.

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Today’s couple, Francesa and Darren, have emphasised the impact of a gorgeous historical venue in October, but still kept things light and summery with the soft tones and all white blooms.

Welcome to Colshaw Hall and the wedding of Francesca and Darren, where modern geometric and metallic trends juxtapose perfectly with the traditional vibes of the venue and classic floral arrangements. Think soft tones and pink hues, but with a bold gold accent knocking it out of the park.

Or should that be Central Park? We’ve spotted the New York themed seating plan and table names, a nod to their romantic proposal at the top of the Empire State Building. Nicely done, Darren! Read on as both he and his lovely bride, Francesca, who looks positively radiant, beaming with joy in her elegant lace Pronovias gown, start their happy ever after.

With photography by UNVEILED Network Member, Kate McCarthy Photography


Francesca says: We got engaged on the 8th of June 2018, in New York. It was my 30th birthday and we had planned to go to the top of the Rockefeller building to watch the Empire State light up at night. Darren proposed as we were watching the lights.


We got married on the 26th of October 2019. We don’t have a reason for choosing this date but we knew we wanted to get married in 2019 and this date gave us enough time to plan everything.

We got married at Colshaw Hall and had both the ceremony and reception there. We chose this venue because, in our opinion, it was the best venue we’d seen. The house, the grounds, it’s all amazing. The whole team made us feel really welcome and they were so happy to help, nothing was too much for them. We also knew that if the weather was bad on the day, we would be able to get some great photos inside the house as every room is fabulous.


We didn’t have a colour scheme or particular theme but we knew we wanted soft tones. We started thinking we wanted greys but when we started searching, it wasn’t really our taste. As it turned out we’ve used a lot of pinks, golds and white.


Pronovias was the designer of my dress and I purchased it from the Bridal Path in Altrincham. I chose it because when I tried it on, I felt like I was a bride, the style flattered my shape and I felt comfortable in it. It was totally the opposite of what I thought I would go for.


Darren wore a black suit and a grey waistcoat with a black dicky bow. It was all purchased from Next. The groomsmen all wore the same as Darren.


The bridesmaids wore dresses from ASOS. They were sequinned at the top and then dusky pink for the bottom. The dress came in a number of different styles so I let the bridesmaids decide which style they each felt happiest wearing. The flower girl’s dresses were dusky pink as well, with flower detailing across the waist and they were from Next.


Hair was done by Lucy Quaye who works for Terrence and Paul in Knutsford and makeup was done by Tasha McCall who owns Face Makeup Studio in Manchester.


We finished off getting ready at Colshaw so I actually drove myself and one of the bridesmaids.


Our photographer was Kate McCarthy. I would highly recommend her, she was brilliant. She made us both feel so calm and comfortable, it really feels like she’s one of your friends taking photos, which is exactly what we wanted.

Kate captured the most amazing natural shots of everyone. She knew exactly the right times to pull us away for shots and everything was done so professionally.


I carried white ranunculus with soft ruscus, eucalyptus and white gyp to fill. Flowers were provided by Country Flowers in Over Peover, Knutsford.

For the reception we had a tall lily vase in a dome design of soft ruscus and eucalyptus, and white gyp with white chrysanthemum blooms, white hydrangea and avalanche roses. Country flowers helped us with the design.

We had extra fairy lights behind the top table and “Mr & Mrs Strand” in lights provided by The Word Is Love. We added a sweet cart provided by Colshaw Hall in the reception room as we had seen a few at other weddings and they always went down well. We really didn’t have to add too much because the venue is so amazing.


We didn’t give out individual favours but we had mini bags of chocolates on each place setting.


Zara Cakes in Manchester made the cake. We had a sponge cake with jam and buttercream, and icing over the top with a gold design.


We had leek and potato soup with sourdough croutons to start. Main was breast of chicken, shallot and brandy cream sauce, thyme roasted potatoes, leeks, carrots and green beans. Then, for dessert, we had apple and blackberry crumble tart, honey custard and blackberry compote. We wanted homely foods and, when we tasted this combination, we both loved it. It also wasn’t too heavy so we knew everyone would enjoy it.


We had a DJ from DFC in the evening. They started at 8pm, after the cake cutting. During the ceremony we chose the music we wanted to play and Colshaw set it up for us.

Thanks to

The venue itself is amazing and the service provided by the whole team is brilliant. Everything is done to the highest standard and so professional.

Best bit

I obviously loved the whole day but I really enjoyed the reception. I got to talk to all the guests, see everyone and have a drink with my friends.


We went to Italy for our honeymoon. We started in Venice and then travelled to Rome. The weather in Venice was horrible and it rained most days but we made the most of it! We still enjoyed a gondola ride and ate amazing food, and then in Rome we visited the Vatican and all the tourist sites.


I’d give the same advice everyone gave to me: enjoy every minute and don’t get stressed. The day goes so fast and what will be, will be. Just enjoy it. I also had a look at some of the real weddings on the Brides Up North site, which I found helpful to get ideas during the planning process.

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