January 30th, 2015 | Julia Braime
One for the pearly girlies.
January 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Precious Heiress Necklace
Girls, it’s time to dazzle ‘em.
While us ladies love jewellery it’s surprising just how many brides-to-be are guilty of leaving their accessories to the last minute. These are the items that will complete the dream look and help to enhance elements of the dress so it’s certainly worth investing some time in. For those that don’t have a sentimental ‘something borrowed’ to wear, costume jewellery can work equally well.
Pearls Of Treasure Bracelet
Glitzy Secrets is one supplier that offers incredibly pretty and reasonably priced pieces that are sure to turn heads.
I own a pair of GS earrings myself which I’m always receiving compliments on – a lovely pair of sparkling studs that were buried in the bottom of the bursting goody bags we received when we were recently Highly Commended in the Wedding Blog Awards 2014′s “Best City Wedding Blog” category.
Precious Heiress Earrings
The Vintage Heirloom and Hollywood Starlet collections include 1940s inspired necklaces, twinkling bracelets and antique-looking chandelier earrings that won’t break the bank. The majority of the opulent accessories remain well below the £50 mark, freeing up more money for brides to splurge on the all important dress and heels!
When deciding on the right pieces of jewellery to accompany their dream dress, brides should remember that less is more. So although it’s tempting to become somewhat of a magpie when faced with things that glisten and sparkle, decide which accessories you want to do the talking. Pick just one or two pieces, whether it be a statement necklace or decorative dropped earrings and matching bracelet and think about which accessories will work best with your chosen hairstyle and the neckline of your dress.
Divine Deco Earrings
For those not keen on necklaces, a piece of arm candy can be an effective way to add a little extra sparkle to your attire. Glitzy Secrets’ Bejewelled Vintage Cuff is one of my favourites and could easily be worn for another occasion beyond the big day.
If it’s lavish earrings you desire, the 1940s inspired Precious Heiress Earrings and the oh elegant Pearls of Deco Earrings are sure to tick boxes.
Meanwhile for those wanting studs, there are stunning designs, such as the Eternally Timeless Earrings and the Vintage Bow Earrings, which can be matched with accompanying necklaces if a bride’s chosen dress style allows for jewellery along the neckline and the dazzling duo won’t look too OTT.
For a standalone necklace, the Precious Heiress design with regal drop detailing will take some beating – pure glitzy perfection.
Delicate Pearl Necklace
January 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we really care about the fabulous industry suppliers who support the growth of our brand and business, both online and off. I love nothing more than to hear the stories of their own success and development and how they helped our readers to achieve their dream days. This afternoon I’m proud to welcome Jessica of mother and daughter dress designer duo Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride back to the wedding blog as they recap a great first year in the business.
jessica says: We could not have asked for a more exciting or successful 2014, our first year in business. We have been overwhelmed by the interest in the services we offer and all of the lovely comments and feedback we have had from each and every one of our clients. Both my Mum and I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with such lovely ladies and to have been a part of every one of their special days.
Our main wedding of the season, for this Cheshire August celebration we were commissioned to design and create the bride’s gown, bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride.
They were such a fantastic group of people to work with and the bride, Zoe knew exactly what she wanted for her bridal party from our first consultation. Being a stylist she had dreamt up exactly the gowns she wanted us to create for her, starting with her own gown. It was so exciting to work with someone that fully embraced the opportunity of having a truly bespoke and unique gown tailored to them personally.
She had specified all silks for her gown, we knew she wanted a very subtle blush peach colour and a very full tulle skirt. After a lot of sourcing for the perfect fabrics we began work on her gown – firstly, making a toile for her to see the overall shape and style before we began work on her silks for her final gown.
The design evolved throughout the bespoke process and the run up to her wedding, with every one of her weekly fittings was a dream and it was so rewarding to see how delighted she was and how incredible she felt in that dress.
Likewise, her look for her three bridesmaids was equally well thought out – the girls were to be in a contrasting white, playing with traditional norms but also ensuring their look was elegant and classic. Each bridesmaid wore a white duchess cowl drop back dress with fishtail skirt.
The bride’s Mum also knew exactly the silhouette that flattered her shape and with this we went for a 60′s inspired, fitted bodice with full circular skirt – such an elegant and feminine Mother of the Bride dress with a powder blue silk underneath with embroidered lace overlay.
Dressing all of these ladies on the day was the icing on the cake for us! Seeing months of hand work and fittings all come together in one morning was fantastic. We keep in touch with Zoe, having made further bespoke evening dresses for her since her wedding and plan to work together throughout 2015- this Bride has certainly caught the bespoke bug!
Images by Flawless Photography.
Kelly’s bridesmaids were our first set of Bridesmaids for 2014 – with her wedding in June it was a fantastic one to kick off the wedding season for us.
Kelly first came to us in January with a specific look in mind for her bridesmaids. The brief given to us was ‘suede, rose, vintage colouring’ with a very relaxed feel for her maids. She had 5 adult bridesmaids and was certain she wanted all of the girls to feel totally comfortable in each of their dresses and so we tailored them all individually – altering sleeves, straps, adding boning to some of their bodices, to ensure each girl was totally comfortable and feeling gorgeous and confident in their gowns.
The finishing touches and attention to detail that Kelly gave to her wedding day were so well thought out and can truly be seen in her beautiful photographs. The lace used for the bridesmaids’ dresses was added to each of their bouquets and matched the lace in the chair decorations. It was a pleasure working with Kelly and her bridesmaids and would like to thank her photographer for the beautiful images.
Image above by Phunk D Photography
Melanie was our first bride of the season, having come to see us in February to commission her bridal gown. We knew her main desire as a bride was to look classic and elegant in a gown that reflected her personal style rather than being too typically ‘bridal’. With this in mind, we used a range of silk fabrics from duchess to chiffon to create a contemporary design that was simple in look but executed with a perfect finish.
Mel looked fantastic and it was such an honour to dress her on the morning of her wedding.
When Catherine first approached us in 2013, before we had officially launched our bespoke bridal business, it was a real privilege that she had put her faith in us (before seeing any of our work!) to commission her own bridal gown and her sister’s bridesmaid dress.
We spoke about design and fabrics and agreed to meet again in Jan 2014 once we had launched and get the ball rolling.
Catherine was pregnant with her first baby throughout her initial consultations and she had a clear idea what her requirements were for her wedding dress. With this we came up with a design together based on silhouettes that would suit and detailing that Catherine liked: a lace bodice and scalloped edge neckline. At the toile stage for Catherine we perfected the fit of her gown, added boning to her bodice for support and began work on her final fabrics.
Likewise, for her bridesmaid and sister, Elizabeth, we designed a form fitting fishtail silhouette gown with an off the shoulder detailed bodice. The pair looked stunning on the day and it was such a pleasure working with them both.
Image above supplied by Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride.
Our final bridesmaid of the season was Lou, her sister Clare was getting married in a beautiful Woolton wedding in October and the bride had already bought her dress which was a 50,s inspired knee length, full skirt silhouette and so the pair needed to co-ordinate well.
The brief given to us was ‘midnight blue’ and so we used a mix of silky satin and chiffon to create a beautiful feminine dress for Louise to wear. She paired her dress with bespoke underskirt for a dramatic shape, killer heels and a drop dead gorgeous white feather bolero ! Thank you to the sister duo for letting us be a part of their special day.
Image above by Ant Klausen Photography
mother of the bride
Mother of the Bride Josie wore an all silk sage, lemon and champagne coloured dress with pleated waist detail and matching sage jacket. Josie said she felt a million dollars in this dress and with this design we made a fully boned ‘foundation’ that was secured within the dress which gave her added support and structure.
the year ahead…
2015 is set to be a huge year for us, we have begun to expand our studio as we can’t fit all of our gowns in our existing one and we are already super excited about showing off our beautiful brides and their gowns with you all.
January 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Can we all just pause for a moment please and admire today’s bride’s beautiful wedding style? From her bejewelled headband to her full length veil and beaded gown, this lady looks like she’s straight off the catwalk.
And her boy doesn’t scrub up badly either, does he?
Carly and Louis’s super stylish, yet relaxed tipi celebration was full of fun, blousy blue blooms, twinkling fairy lights and special little touches. Just lovely.
With images by GS Studio.
carly says: We were on a snowboarding holiday in Sauze D’oulx, Italy for New Year’s 2013/2014. Half way down a gorgeous tree lined slope, snow coming down on New Year’s Day, Louis stopped me saying he needed a rest, when we stopped, he flipped over onto both knees (still strapped in) and pulled the little box out his pocket.
We set the date for 6th September 2014, we chose it hoping it would be a good day for the weather, it was so nerve wracking getting married in a tipi, it could have gone one way or another!
We got married in a tipi supplied by the fantastic Unique Tent Company in my parents’ garden. It had always been a dream of mine ever since they bought the place, they weren’t quite as excited as I was when I came to them with the idea, but they came round in the end and it couldn’t have been more perfect. It was a real labour of love getting the garden ready.
We had a very natural, garden theme, it just fit with the fact we got married at home, very relaxed. Charlotte from The Finishing Touch Company and Helen at Bels Flowers really pulled the whole place together, it was an absolute wonderland.
We chose to go with blues and greys for our colour palette, the stone in my engagement ring is a star sapphire and blue-grey in colour so we decided to follow that.
I chose an Eliza Jane Howell full length gown with long sleeves in a heavily beaded 20’s style, I felt so glamorous the second I put it on, I knew it was the one. I bought it from Kathryn S Trueman in Morpeth and the girls were amazing!
Louis wore a three piece navy suit, tartan tie and some fabulous Grenson shoes from End Clothing, very dapper!
Our groomsmen, all TWELVE of them wore the same as Louis, and the bridesmaids wore the Ghost dye to order Chelsea dress.
Gemma Smith at GS Studio was our photographer and she was fantastic and followed exactly what we wanted. I can’t recommend her enough, everyone was so at ease, and the pictures are so natural, exactly what we wanted!
My dad bought a 1953 Ford Popular when I was about 3 years old and after a few fun trips as a child it sadly went into retirement when I was about 8 years old. Dad knowing how much I adored the old car secretly had it all fixed up, serviced, new wheels the lot as a surprise and we’re so lucky to be able to take our little wedding car for a tootle now whenever the weather permits all be it at a max of 20mph (which made the journey to the church that morning VERY interesting!)
Helen at Bels Flowers provided the most beautiful natural bouquets of hydrangeas, nigella, dusty miller and even included some herbs so the bouquets had the most beautiful aroma.
The Finishing Touch Company provided most of the internal decorations with bell jars and watering cans bursting with flowers on the tables, the festoon lighting and the blackboard seating plan were the piece de resistance from Coco Luminaire.
We gave out Krispy Kreme Doughnuts as favours, they went down a treat!
My mum’s best friend made the wedding cake, she’s so talented! I wanted an informal cake that really represented us so she made it look like an alpine slope with two little snowboard figurines on the top dressed in our wedding clothes, it was so special and absolutely delicious!
We chose a band called the Soundcasters from London, we’d heard them on the holiday in the Alps when we got engaged and couldn’t get them out of our heads, they had the whole place jumping every night, exactly what we wanted for our special day.
100% everyone we used were top notch, we didn’t hit one hitch throughout the day, largely thanks to the co-ordination from our catering team at Sheer Elegance Catering, Anthony and Chris ran the day like clockwork and Jane from Newcastle Falcons supplied the bar. She managed to come up with every request we had and didn’t run short of a thing on the night.
Snaparazzi Photobooths supplied us with one of their fabulous booths which went down a treat and Coco Luminaire supplied the large illuminated letters, they even managed to get them outside on the lake, it looked absolutely stunning! Bit-a-Sweet supplied the sweety cart and were kind enough to keep it stocked all night.
I couldn’t choose a favourite part of the day, I guess the speeches were pretty special though, I have the give my dad, Louis and all 12 best men their dues, we were in stitches!
After the wedding we took a two week snowboarding holiday in the alps, a little energetic for a honeymoon, but it was so much fun, we had a week alone and a week with friends, my stomach still hurts from laughing so much!
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to relax, enjoy it and if you know you’re a worrier then give yourself plenty of time, it’s the most amazing day!
January 28th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Jocasta by Jenny Packham
Here at Brides Up North we love everything that glints, glistens and sparkles.
Luckily in the wedding industry there is plenty of pretty to give us a twinkle fix – from fabulous glitter encrusted shoes, to bejewelled accessories and, of course, beautifully embellished dresses.
For me a glittering gown demands a double take and is therefore an excellent choice for brides wanting to make a statement on the aisle. Just how much a bride wants to shine though is down to the individual, for there are designs that glow from top to toe, those with killer back detailing and dresses with beaming bodices.
Those who desire the latter should look to Maggie Sottero who is an expert in designing wonderfully enchanting princess style gowns, complete with sparkling bodice detailing. Dawson and Esme Marie are perfect examples with both featuring chic organza ball gown skirts topped with heavily beaded bodices and stunning Swarovski crystals.
Enzoani meanwhile offers less structured sparkling designs. Jody, Joyce and Joanna are ideal for brides wanting a slinky, slim-line dress with gorgeous glistening detail. Each of the gowns also features sparkling straps and oh so low backs, to flash a little extra flesh.
The princess of dazzling detail though has to be Jenny Packham. A master in heavily detailed frocks that radiate high-shine and glamour, magpies must check out her current collection. There are fluid designs such as Dina and Nelly with subtle sparkles then there’s the likes of Simone and Hatty, which takes the brilliance up a notch. Meanwhile for those that want a dress dripping in detail, Packham offers high-end Gatsby style in the form of her Etta dress or for red-carpet radiance it has to be the shimmering Jocasta.
We’d love to know, are you set to sparkle on your big day?
Main feature images courtesy of Jenny Packham.
January 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Urmila and John’s two day celebration was a weekend of contrasting cultures, and a great excuse for two beautiful parties in one!
I can’t decide if I prefer Urmila’s traditional, romantic styling for the Catholic wedding day, or the colourful, bejewelled Hindu celebration that followed a day later. One thing is certain – this was one fabulouswedding!
With images by David West Photography.
urmila says: John proposed to me in a particularly embarrassing and public way at the Hard Rock Cafe in Edinburgh. He sent each table a note asking them to sing along to ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ by Andy Williams at 9pm, after which he would pop the question. So at 9pm, led by one of the waiters (who pretended it was just part of a Christmas tradition), there was an impromptu sing song, just before he got down on one knee and proposed in front of a restaurant full of people. My shock (he had thrown me off the scent two weeks earlier by telling me he could not afford a ring, having actually had it made a couple of months beforehand!) was captured on camera by another customer in the restaurant and posted on Youtube. John won the ‘Most Romantic Groom’ competition for Brides magazine for his efforts.
We had always wanted to celebrate both our cultures so decided on a two day wedding celebration over the summer bank holiday weekend (24th and 25th August 2013). The venue needed to be big enough, available over that weekend, have rooms for people to stay, and allow for external Indian caterers. Redworth Hall Hotel in Newton Aycliffe fit the bill perfectly, and was beautiful to boot.
We had a lot of unusual demands; having an Indian ceremony caused complications and chaos, but Vicky Dewdney and her team there were absolutely amazing. I would thoroughly recommend them as both a hotel and a wedding venue.
The 24th was our Catholic ceremony, where the theme was classical music, champagne and opulence. We stuck to neutral colours such as pale pinks, ivory and gold, with the odd splash of dark red in order so it was not too ‘girly’. We chose classical music as we are are both keen musicians, and met through John’s father being my music teacher at school.
My dress was bought from the ever inspiring Wendy at Bridal Wish in Corbridge. Named ‘Balira’ by Pronovias, it was strapless and lace, customised with extra lace and crystals through the bodice. I had tried several gowns on but was particularly assured and impressed by Wendy’s customer service and brutal honesty! This was teamed with some very contrasting blue leopard print Christian Louboutins and a cathedral length single tier veil with crystal detailing by Joyce Jackson. The bridesmaids wore dusky pink Twobirds dresses (with my sister wearing a bespoke necklace by Emma Hedley jewellery bought online and the guys wore contrasting navy blue morning suits hired from Waltons Formal Menswear Hire in Newcastle.
We got married at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Wycliffe (John’s family’s church for a number of years). Each pew was dressed in a dusky pink chiffon material, with candles, lamps and petals by the side of each, while our aisle consisted of a white runner. The altar was dressed in the same pink chiffon with white roses around the base. The church and venue decorations on both days were designed entirely by Zoe Pierson and her team at Kelly’s Event Boutique. Her imagination and commitment are second to none and She and her team put everything together, listening to our thoughts and bringing them to life, down to the most intricate details. We could not have picked anyone better for the job.
Our ceremony was both emotional and fun. We had personalised poems and a lot of emphasis on music. John arranged the diverse music for Arco String Quartet, a small band including guitars and drums and Cantoris choir led by Stephen Pettitt. We even high fived when the priest said we were now husband and wife!
Our stationery was bespoke and based on the Moet and Chandon label. Everything, from the order of service to the menu plan was created by the extremely talented and committed Stef Chambers at Squarepeg Design. She even put together the comical ‘Hoy Wuh’ confetti packets.
Our wedding breakfast was held in the truly magnificent Great Hall at Redworth Hall Hotel. It was decorated in different kinds of chiffon, numerous candles, flowers and mercury tea lights. The mixture of high and low centrepieces and carried on our musical theme thanks to Kelly’s Event Boutique. The table names were our favourite classical composers written on manuscript, but bearing the Moet and Chandon crown, and we even had real miniature violins and tiny pianos as some of the centrepieces!
Each guest had an individual fact about them tucked into their table napkins (which bore bespoke luggage tags with their names in the champagne theme), to encourage mingling between everybody. It took a lot of arranging beforehand, but really got people talking!
Our best man’s speech featured a room change and was delivered by Jamie Miller and the very creative James Craggs of Roundhouse Productions. It featured a slideshow, a hilarious ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ style audience Q and A, and even had personal messages from Eamon Holmes, Edith Bowman and Alan Shearer (to name but a few!)
Our beautiful cake was a four tier creation by Mrs Robinson’s Cakes based in Manchester and we partied into the night with Andy Nesbitt from AM DJ Services as our DJ. Our first dance was choreographed by Neil at Newcastle Dance Centre.
My sister made a guestbook with individual envelopes for people to write messages. We also had a beautiful personalised knife with which to cut the cake, bearing our initials in English and Bengali and made by one of our wedding guest, Henk of Henk’s Woodwork.
As favours guests were given a ‘Recovery Bag’. In each bag was a mixture of painkillers, hangover food and a personalised NHS ‘prescription’, made by SquarePeg design (as I am a Doctor) with humorous instructions on how to combat Saturday’s excesses, and then prepare for more of the same!
Our second day was our entirely different Hindu wedding. The theme was based around fuchsias, purples, blues and fun, loosely termed ‘Bollywood Bling’.
We started the day with the ‘Gaye Holud’ ceremony where the bride and groom are covered with turmeric to make their skin ‘glow’. Traditionally the bridal party wear yellow saris to this function, and the bride is officially ‘given’ to her new husband’s family. This proved to be extremely emotional for my mum and I. Thereafter the girls went to get dressed into our saris whilst the boys had a football match in the grounds.
The bridal party wore saris purchased from Kolkata. Mine was a particular Banarasi silk popular in West Bengal, and eschewing the traditional red colour was violet and adorned with real gold jewellery. The bridesmaids wore contrasting turquoise saris. The groom’s side wore purple Indian outifts, while the guests loved the opportunity to dress up in something different.
Our ceremony began with a grand and noisy entrance by the groom’s family along, to the beat of the Indian Dhol performed by Apnabeat Entertainment. John however was quickly stopped however by the bridesmaids who demanded a bribe to let him into the venue.
The Hindu wedding itself was conducted under a ‘Mandap’ with plenty of colour, laughter and involvement of the audience by the priest. We provided beautiful, bespoke orders of service, which explained the ceremony, produced by Angela McGurk at Graphic Embers. She created all the Hindu stationery, based on purple, blue and pink Paisley design, but with a twist.
The wedding breakfast decor was a mixture of purples, gold and pink. Each guest’s name tag was written in both English and Bengali. We had tanks of flower petals for the top table and the centrepieces were mixtures of floating flowers and tall vase arrangements. Our seating plan consisted of individual place cards on top of a table with an adorned bronze Ganesh.
Our Indian meal was provided by Saibal Maitra at Vujon restaurant in Newcastle which we would thoroughly recommend.
We also wanted to give the guests some Bollywood bling, so we gave them ‘Bindis’ and bangles. They were so much fun that even the boys got involved!
As we had already done a first dance the previous day we instead decided to do a first ‘tune’. We therefore did a comical piano duet which consisted of plenty of hand swapping and running around.
The evening party kicked off with a wrestling match between the men from both sides (a bit unexpected, but thoroughly enjoyed) egged on by our Dhol players, before we went onto a Bhangra workshop (again provided by Apnabeat entertainment). We then danced the night away with a DJ and the band Funk Conspiracy (who were particularly good sports as we were running very late and their drum kit almost got destroyed by two people wrestling!).
All in all, it was a two day wedding full of contrasts, surprises, colour, tears, laughter, love and a hell of a lot of fun!
Our photographs were captured by David West of David West Photography along with Kristin Moat who were simply astounding in their commitment and enthusiasm. Their pictures are just beautiful and their professionalism and hard work were just amazing.
Our video was captured by hdmoments.com and can be found here. I had not met the team until our wedding day and was highly impressed with their work in capturing all those special moments. If your budget can stretch to a videographer, I would definitely recommend one!
Our honeymoon was to Bali where we literally lay and baked for ten days; after that weekend, we certainly needed it!
We were so delighted with how our wedding went. There were lots of small things that went wrong, but the reality is that none of them spoiled our days, and things that would have bothered me at the time I cannot even recall now. My top tip for other Brides Up North is if you have plenty of food and drink, good suppliers and most importantly awesome family and friends, then everything else will just fall into place.
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January 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
The Whimsical Cake Company is known for whimsical and opulent wedding cakes, also specialising in ‘naked ‘ and now chalkboard wedding cakes across Yorkshire and the surrounding areas.
I first met Skye, the owner and chief baker, when she made some stunning Brides Up North branded cake pops for one of my first ever wedding industry networking events back in autumn 2011, and she was first on my speed dial when it came to a christening cake (complete with fairies and glittering flowers) for my baby daughter last spring. Only the best for Little Miss Braime!
Skye’s cakes and treats are the prettiest around. Fact.
She’s here today to show off the range of dessert tables and wedding favours that The Whimsical Cake Company can provide to compliment their wedding cakes or as a feature in themselves. And now that Brides Up North can order her products online, these little delights would be most excellent boxed up as a St Valentine’s surprise for someone special.
Think about it. You buy him chocolate. Collect brownie points. Redeem against shoes.
You can thank me later.
skye says: Dessert tables are a huge trend for 2015 as more brides are choosing to have lots of little sweet surprises for their guests to choose from. Many of our brides come to us to supply their wedding cake, dessert table and also their wedding favours.
Our specialty is to create a bespoke dessert table with sweet treats which include, macaroons, iced cookies, macaroon towers, individual cakes, cake pops, caramel apples, cupcakes and ornate jars of sweets.
I have lots of enquiries for my dessert tables and wedding favours from brides further afield and this is why I decided to offer our wedding items online for delivery.
These chocolate pyramids are this year’s must have for any bride. The pyramids are made from pure Belgian chocolate with a cookie centre. These treats can be personalised and made in any colour and heavily featured in my dessert tables this year. Bespoke cookies are another favourite for weddings and are co-ordinated with the wedding theme or colour.
January 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
I recently shared a post on the rise of black bridesmaid dresses, favoured for their sophisticated looks, versatility and availability, but the dark hue is not for everyone. At the other end of the colour spectrum many brides-to-be choose the dress their maids in vibrant shades with dresses that pop at the side of their pure ivory attire.
Particularly well suited to weddings in the warmer spring and summer season, as well as destination weddings, bright bridesmaid dresses can really make a wedding party stand out from the crowd. Initially brides-to-be need to decide if they will be picking their maids’ dresses to set the colour theme or to fall in with it.
Ladies’ skin tones and hair colours should also be taken into account to avoid any embarrassing clashes that could result in a mardy maid or two. A growing trend for mismatched bridesmaid dresses means one shade need not suit all. Brides can pick a style of dress for her girls and then allow them to pick a suitable colour within a particular palette to achieve a selection of hues that complement each other. For brides choosing to go down the rainbow route After Six’s 6556 dress is an ideal option. The simple floor-length, floaty gown will flatter most figures and is available in a delicious variety of shades, such as Apple Slice, Clementine, Spa and Sunflower. Even better, if a bride doesn’t want her maids in solid hues, the dress is offered in three ombre designs. There’s Tropical in exotic greens and blues, Citrus in zesty orange and pink or Vintage, featuring soft purples and yellows.
Alternatively, a bride might like to mix-up both the colours and styles of her maids’ dresses. The answer here has to be twobirds. One dress that can be tied in 15 different ways to create varying looks. And the colour range is just as varied, with options spanning from Butter Yellow and dazzling Duck Egg to fierce Fuchsia.
Meanwhile those on the hunt for sassy short-length dresses in bold hues should consider one of Alfred Sung’s mini masterpieces. The likes of Sung’s structured D634 or D697 designs are available in opulent jewel tones, including in Daisy, Mandarin and Mediterranean.
For a burst of colour in a longer length, Jim Hjelm has several punchy designs with stunning back detailing worthy of a double take.
Main images by twobirds bridesmaid.
January 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime
J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams
Thanks to Bridget Jones we know that smug marrieds just love to host a dinner party. So chances are, once you become Mr and Mrs you’ll find yourself drawing up menus and guest lists as part of your social plans.
But the food you produce alone is not guaranteed to score you top marks with your Come Dine With Me guests. A rise in home entertaining as led to heightened competition in the kitchen, meaning that the setting must be just as delicious as the menu.
While changing your entire dining room décor ahead of Magda and Jeremy’s arrival might be going a step too far, ensuring you have top tableware on which to serve your culinary creations on is a wise move. This means ‘posh’ plates (and the rest of the crockery set) is an ideal item for the wedding gift list.
Your special occasion dinner set might be one that fits in with your existing interior scheme, or perhaps chosen to make a statement by contrasting from its surroundings. Whatever you desire there are plenty of tantalising options to choose from.
Marks and Spencer has some particularly pleasing designs, from flirty feminine florals to edgy monochrome collections. Sticking with the high street, Debenhams and House of Fraser’s offerings are also worth exploring when drawing up your wedding wishes. I’m particularly fond of HOF’s gorgeous porcelain Starburst dinnerware collection, with a metallic gold pattern that is bound to dazzle your diners.
And it’s not just evening sets that can be added to the list. Breakfast or tea/coffee sets are perfect purchases for when hosting afternoon tea parties, or for guests that stay over after the dinner party, brunch the following day.
So what are you waiting for? Tuck in!
Images as credited in gallery.
January 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Brides Up North reader Naomi’s wedding to her new husband Tom was a super glamorous affair. From her bespoke headpiece to his classic black tie, everything about their big day has that classic twinkle.
Just what we need to pep up the spirits on a dull January Monday morning. Bring on the sparkle..!
Images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
Naomi says: We had booked a holiday along with my family to travel to Varadero in Cuba in August 2011. On the 4th August 2011 we hired a beautiful boat for a day of deep sea fishing in the Caribbean sea. I remember my family acting very strange and looking back I remember Tom was not being himself. He asked me to sit down and opened this box which somehow he had secretly bought with him and asked me to marry him. Best day ever!
We set our date for Friday 12th December 2014 back in October 2013. Tom and I had always loved the idea of a winter wedding, with the sound of open fires crackling, crisp frosty mornings and the ambience that time of year brings. We also wanted to tie our wedding in with our honeymoon in Thailand, where we are very lucky to have Tom’s relatives living in Chiang Mai.
We got married at Colshaw Hall, Cheshire. We looked at only a few of venues before we came across Colshaw Hall. When we arrived at the venue and met the team we knew it was the place for us, it was perfect. The team were so helpful and welcoming and above all the venue was absolutely beautiful. Nothing was ever too much for the David, Georgie and the team!
As the wedding was planned for the winter we knew the ideas/themes of what we wanted from the beginning. The idea of the winter wonderland worked perfectly not only with the venue but with the time of year we had chosen. We both love candles and this was one thing we wanted lots of!
We went for a crisp white and a dove grey colour scheme for the wedding. Since I was a little girl I had always dreamed of a white wedding and Tom chose the grey which worked out to be the perfect match.
My dress was a fishtail Alexia Bridal design in ivory from J&J Designs in Newcastle Under-Lyme. I had tried on many types of styles from a range of designers but I was really struggling in finding the perfect dress for me. It was only by chance we drove past this wonderful bridal shop to find my perfect dress was there! They had a designer weekend so were only stocking this designer.
The makeup and hair was done by Jodie A Smith. I met Jodie back in July for my trial and she knew what I wanted before even I did. I completed trusted her instinct for the day even with last minute idea’s I had thought of. She made me feel like a princess. I need Jodie on speed dial!
I had my hair pieces made by the very talented Ann McKavney at Eleventh Heaven. Ann was fantastic at helping me design not only my hair pieces by also the bridesmaids.
I carried a handtied bouquet of white avalanche roses with a crystal detail which was provided by Springbank Flowers.
Tom wore a dinner suit which we hired from L&J Formal Hire. Tom wanted something slightly different and as soon as we saw the evening suits he had made his mind up. He wanted to look different from his groomsmen so he chose to wear braces. The idea worked great with our theme and of course the venue. I think we both felt like we should have been on a red carpet!
The bridesmaids wore a Jordan Fashions dress which was a floor length dove grey dress with an ivory lace bodice. This was ordered directly at missesdressy.com. The company based in New York were fantastic in both the regular contact and ensuring the dresses arrived in the UK on time. The groomsmen wore the same dinner suit from L & J Formal Hire, the only difference was they didn’t have the braces.
The best part of the day for us was when we saw each other at the ceremony. Seeing everything come together and knowing we were going to become husband and wife was the best feeling in the world.
Our photographer was James Tracey. I first spoke to James towards the end of 2013 and after our first skype conversation I knew he was perfect for us. I felt like I already knew him. We finally met James in August 2014 for our Engagement shoot which was also at the venue. He made both myself and Tom feel so comfortable in front of the camera, and the pictures turned out amazing.
Springbank provided all the decorations and flowers for the day. For the wedding we had 42 guests so we wanted the room to have an intimate feel to it so we chose to have a u-shaped table. The top table had a water trough which was dressed with floating candles, petal heads and to the side’s candles, snow and white branches. The other tables were dressed with mirrored runners which were then dressed with a winter theme.
For our favours, we provided handmade soaps by Ceri at Oakwood Soaperie. We had both a girl’s soap which was Jasmine and boy’s soap which was tea tree. Ceri beautifully wrapped the soaps in line with our theme. The boys wrapped in a grey paper and the girls in pearlised ivory paper.
Barretts Caterers provided the wonderful food for our wedding. We chose a spicy butternut squash soup for starters and breast of chicken in a brandy and shallot sauce for our mains. For our desserts we decided on something a little different as whenever me and Tom choose a dessert we always choose something different so we can share. We incorporated this into our wedding day. For girls we choose a sticky toffee pudding and for the boys a mixed fruit crumble.
We chose our cake from Marks and Spencer and Springbank dressed the cake and the cake table for us. We decided to go with a four tier cake consisting of fruit, lemon sponge and a jam sponge.
We decided to use The Word is Love to provide light up N & T Letters for our wedding. They looked amazing and provided us with some fantastic photographs. Ollie and Suzy helped us to decide where they would look best and have the best impact.
Wedding Stationery was provided by Louise at I Do Designs. Louise sent us a sample of her work which we fell in love with, and she was so helpful even up to a couple of days before the wedding in making last minute changes.
We chose Grant Niblett from Nocturnal Revolution to DJ for our evening. We met Grant before the day to discuss our music tastes and he made sure everything went to plan for us.
Our evening Sweetie Table was provided by Tess at Sweets and Feathers. Tess designed the cart to suit in with our colours and theme and everyone commented on how professional Tess and her team were on the evening. Tom and I will be looking at every opportunity to taste these lovely sweets again.
I would completely recommend Colshaw Hall to any couple who are looking for a unique and beautiful wedding venue. The team are fantastic and when you meet them you feel like a friend and not just a number.
We spend three weeks in Thailand for our honeymoon. Starting off for 5 nights in Krabi in the south and working our way to Chiang Mai in the North. We are very lucky that Tom has much of his family in Thailand so we ensured they got to celebrate the wedding by having a blessing there. It was a fantastic day and a wonderful experience. Some of the activities in Thailand were once in a lifetime experience, and we are grateful to have made those memories as husband and wife.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is when it comes to your special day, take a few moments away from your guests as husband and wife and take in everything that is going on around you. From family and friends having a fantastic time to looking at how all your hard work has paid off. The day goes by far too quickly.
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