Brides Up North

friday fabulous!

August 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Charlotte Mills
Something blue, new and a silver sixpence for your shoe. Sorted. Ana Blue, £250 by Charlotte Mills Bridal 

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isn’t she lovely? enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge – sophie & jeff

August 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (34)

Ahh! Time for your Friday morning cuppa, bacon sarnie and wedding watching.

Friday mornings go so well with catching up on your favourite blogs, don’t they? It’s been a very pretty week here at Brides Up North HQ… take some time to browse… but we’re so excited to bid adieu to August and start our Brides Up North luxury wedding exhibition season with gusto this September and beyond.

One very lovely stop on our journey will be at the drop dead gorgeous Middleton Lodge in Richmond on 12th October 2014. Already gorgeous, this fine, exclusive use wedding venue has just added a brand new boutique hotel and restaurant to it’s offering.  It’s most definitely one with the wow factor, a date for your diaries, and just happens to be the beautiful backdrop to Sophie and Jeff’s wedding day, which we are happy to share with you this morning.

With images by Keith Moss.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (6)

Sophie says: We got engaged after returning from an amazing holiday in Egypt. I think my exact words were, “Just set the date!”

We got married on 3rd May 2014 at St Michael and All Angels church in Middleton Tyas, followed by Middleton Lodge. We found Middleton Lodge after I had provisionally booked another venue while Jeff was working away, and when he went to look around he didn’t like it (groomzila, I know)! I had removed Middleton Lodge from our search as felt it was a little bit too far for our guests to travel but once we went to look round, we fell in love with it. We found the church afterwards with the help of Anna, their wedding coordinator. The church was so pretty, it was perfect.

I picked a striped fabric for my bridesmaid dresses so styling wise, went down this route with pink striped bunting, orders of service and name settings. Our orders of service, name settings and table plan were all designed and created by my friend Christina. It all looked lovely, she did a brilliant job.

Colour wise, I prefer natural colours and trawled Pinterest for months looking for ideas for my bouquet! I went to my florist with a bunch of ideas and they came up with the gorgeous combination of muted pinks, greys and creams.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (25)

I chose an Enzoani dress from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. I actually spotted it whilst out on Bridesmaid duties with my friend who was also getting married. I saw it on the hanger and knew instantly that was the one. I went back a couple of weeks later and tried it on and bought it the same day.

My shoes were Nicholas Kirkwood. I had spotted them in Las Vegas in the September but decided to wait and look once I got home. After trawling the internet and shops I still couldn’t get these shoes out of my head but I had called the Nicholas Kirkwood store and had found out the price –  I thought they were too expensive so continued looking for another pair. I came home one day from work to find them waiting for me! Jeff had ordered them for me as a surprise. I absolutely love them and will definitely wear them again.

My flowers were anemone, verbena and tulips which were created by Darling and Green. I also had a vintage badge attached to the lace on my bouquet as my something old, my mum gave this to me as she had worn the same one on her wedding day

Jeff wore a bespoke suit from Bakers Tailoring. We visited the store in Middlesbrough every Saturday for a month until he finally made a decision on which fabric he liked! Paul at Bakers sourced hundreds of fabric samples for us to choose from. The service was excellent and Jeff chose everything from the buttons,  to how many pockets he wanted and even had a J&S stitched into the blue polka dot lining. He is already planning the suit that he is going to order next!

The bridesmaids wore custom made candy stripe Kate Fearnley dresses and the groomsmen wore dark grey suits from Bakers Tailoring.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (22)

Our photographer was Keith Moss, who I met through a friend when we were working on a fashion project. He also lives in the same village as my parents, and was the photographer at a friends wedding, so I knew that I loved his style of photography. As we are both a little bit scared of the camera, we wanted the majority of our wedding shots to be natural. Also as we got married at 2pm, the last thing we wanted was to spend our wedding day posing for photos! We wanted to be there, and experience our day.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (18)

Darling and Green dressed our wedding reception. This included  a hanging flower ball and floral swag in the speeches hall at Middleton Lodge, cups which spelt out LOVE with flowers in them, petals and floating candles in the font, plus various scattered bottles and jars with flowers in. They also provided the flowers for our wedding cake.

I had also collected a selection of tea lights, plants, candles and lanterns which I used to decorate the venue. As we had the whole place exclusively to ourselves I wanted to decorate every single corner.

We also had Giant LOVE light up letters from Coco Luminaire which provided a fab focal point and wow factor on the dance floor and a Booth Revolution photobooth. To finish our day, we had a karaoke machine in the famous Middleton Lodge cellar bar!

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (24)

Having good quality food at our wedding was very important to us and after eating at Middleton Lodge before the wedding, we knew that we would not be disappointed!

My cake was kindly made by my very clever Aunty Andria! We had four tiers of fruit, lemon, red velvet and Victoria sponge.

For our favours we chose personalised biscuits and macaroons for adults and disposable cameras, colouring books and toys for the kids.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (56)

We had Jamie Graham playing acoustic guitar during the day, followed by The Fallen band at our evening reception. We are really into our live music and we wanted a band which was going to get everyone up and dancing!

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (58)

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (68)

My favourite part of the day was the speeches. We decided to do the speeches (father of the bride and groom) during the drinks reception. I am so glad we did this, as we wanted to day to feel laid back and not formal at all. We did the speeches on the staircase in the main hall and it was a lovely atmosphere and really got the reception off to a great start.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (71)

For our honeymoon we went to Sugar Ridge in Antigua. It was absolutely beautiful, I felt like I had jumped into a postcard once we saw the gin clear sea and white sandy beaches. The people were so friendly too and the food was fantastic.  Plus, we were often the only people on the beach! It was amazing.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (52)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get your wedding filmed! I wasn’t going to bother but a friend showed me hers and I was hooked! As she said – ‘You can snuggle up on a rainy day with some chocolate and re watch your wedding over and over again’

Our wedding was filmed by Adam Mendum.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (66)

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eye candy: introducing Jesus Peiro’s 2015 ‘Perfume’ collection

August 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Jesus Piero Perfume Collection 2015 (5)

This afternoon I’m delighted to give you an exclusive sneak peek at the impeccable new collection from one of my very favourite bridal fashion houses, Jesus Peiro. Entitled ‘Perfume’, the 90 piece collection designed by Merche Segarra takes inspiration from, and pays homage to, the delicacy, individuality and uniqueness of a fragrance.

Alongside the pieces, the brand has created its very own perfume – Jesus Peiro - to complement the stunning collection and add an enchanting touch in its 26th year.

Jesus Piero Perfume Collection 2015 (2)

The team say: Drawing on a scent’s precise creation, its allure and the emotions it conceives and conveys, the collection is exquisitely bold and abundant through its use of textures, the curious combinations of fabrics and the overall embellishment of each design.

Jesus Piero Perfume Collection 2015 (1)

Reflecting the current trend for soft, smooth and romantic silhouettes, the collection has been designed to showcase a range of volumes in a modern way. Dresses that open into full ball gowns from the waist with cartridge pleating to increase the texture of the fabric and display all the mystical grandeur of the skirt. More streamlined in terms of proportion, the cut at the hips is achieved through symmetrical pleats opening to an exaggerated flare while empire waists are made softer through lighter structures. The dramatic mermaid cut has also been given a new updated touch – all coming together to deliver a lighter, more contemporary twist on the big volume style.

Jesus Piero Perfume Collection 2015 (4)

Traditional ivory dominates the colour theme and is complemented by a chalk white hue, light tea, soft silver and mother-of-pearl in embroideries, fabrics and embellishments. Cabochons in stone grey crystal contrast with butter-coloured crepes, old gold and copper hues create a little vintage feel, and a touch of amber draws us back to the collection’s fragrant inspiration. The fabrics include Chantilly lace used alone and in combination with other materials to create new shapes, appearances and lines; tulle in distinct finishes, weights and hues to deliver a charming, romantic effect; and plain fabrics offer fluidity to each design.

Jesus Piero Perfume Collection 2015 (6)

Motifs are in line with the geometrical trend – stripes, dots and borders are balanced, whilst embellishments and embroideries are in the form of tiny motifs and crystal and metal beads.

Jesus Piero Perfume Collection 2015 (8)

Jesus Piero Perfume Collection 2015 (9)

The fragrance used to complement the collection was created by Daniel Joiser, one of the best-known perfumists of today who has developed scents for Yves Rocher, Puig and L’Occitane.  ‘Jesus Peiro’ combines citric notes – lemon, oranges, Italian bergamot and mandarin from Sicily – with intense cardamom, a sweet touch of caramel and the strength of musk to offer a fresh, sparkly, elegant and contemporary scent perfect for any bride.

Jesus Piero Perfume Collection 2015 (11)

For more, or stockist details, visit www.jesuspeiro.com

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flower power. maggie sottero for a dreamy rural barn wedding in Yorkshire – amy & andy

August 28th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (18)

Wow – just wow! This wedding knocked my socks off the moment I received the images of Amy and Andy’s big day set in good old Yorkshire.

The beautiful colour palette of coral, yellow, creams and gold sets the prettiness level sky high and Amy makes one of the most stunning brides I’ve ever seen in her customised Maggie Sottero dress and ethereal twisted-twig flower crown.

There are lots of cute personal touches in this wedding that made for a memorable, stylish and super enjoyable day.

So let’s go back to the start – the proposal. Be warned ladies, it’s a tear jerker (excellent work Andy)!

With photography by Kate Cooper.

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (6)

Amy says: Andy proposed on February 16th 2013. He had taken me out for an Italian and when we got home he asked me to stay in the car for a minute and, although confused, I did as I was told. After about five minutes, and almost freezing to death, he came out to get me. When I walked into the house he’d covered the living room in candles and our favourite song, A Real Human by College and Electric Youth, was playing. It was beautiful. As I walked further into the house he’d lit candles up the stairs and alongside the candles were little notes tied to a long ribbon. As I went up the stairs the notes went through all of the best moments we’d had so far including moving in together, our first holiday and bringing home our miniature schnauzer, Enzo.

The ribbon went up the stairs and into the bedroom where it stopped on the bed. The card on the bed told me to turn around and he was down on one knee behind me. We both cried, I said yes and then cried some more down the phone to anyone who’d answer my calls! I loved my proposal and he’d put so much thought into everything. It was such a perfect evening and it made it more special that it was just us two at home.

We set the date for Saturday May 31st 2014. Our plan was to get married later on in the year but my grandparents fell ill and so the most important thing was that they shared our day with us. Unfortunately, two of my grandparents passed away during our engagement but we know they were looking down on us and we tried to make them proud.

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (12)

We chose the Whiston Manorial Barn in Rotherham as our wedding venue. We had always loved the idea of having a barn wedding but found it difficult to find exactly what we wanted. When we finally looked around the Manorial Barn we instantly knew it was where we’d marry. It is such a breath-taking place and it was exactly what we’d spent so long looking for. We would definitely recommend this venue to other couples. The women who co-ordinate the weddings at the barn, Claire and Karen, were so helpful and were always at the other end of an email or phone call whenever we needed advice or help.

We didn’t necessarily have a theme for our wedding, but just wanted it to be a fun atmosphere full of colour. We were very unsure about the colour scheme at first but as it was a summer wedding we decided to go for something bright. My favourite colours are coral and yellow and so we wanted to incorporate these and we tied them with creams and gold. We wanted the flowers to be the main focus of the decorations as they added so much colour so we kept everything else quite neutral and it seemed to work well.

We hired a cream Daimler V4 1/2 to transport the bridal party to the venue. As the company were based only 15 minutes away we decided to have just one car to do two trips so my bridesmaids and mum went first and then it came back to collect me and my dad. I remember the wait feeling like forever when really it was only half-an-hour. The service we used was called American Pie Limos, based in Wales, South Yorkshire. We would highly recommend them as they were perfectly on time and free Champagne is always a winner!

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (15)

I’m quite into textiles and sewing and so my initial plan was to make my own wedding dress. I had help from my grandma as she used to be a seamstress and we bought a few Vogue patterns to use and modify. Unfortunately around August last year my granddad was diagnosed with cancer and so everything was put on hold. As it was such a stressful time for the family, I decided to visit a bridal shop called Blushes in Sheffield. The shop assistant Zoe, took down my details and potential styles I liked. After describing my ideal dress she pulled one out and it was perfect – well almost. The dress was Dalton by Maggie Sottero but I had it altered quite a lot to fit the design that me and my grandma were initially going to make ourselves. It was supposed to have a zip right up the back which was made into a ‘V’ back and we shortened the sleeves. We also added netting underneath to make it kick out more.

Andy wore a three-piece Hugo Boss suit in steel grey which fitted him perfectly! He had a white shirt with ivory wool tie. He’d also bought a pair of dark brown brogues. He looked so dapper!

We didn’t really have set rules on what our bridesmaids/groomsmen would wear. This was mainly because we wanted them to be able to wear their outfits again and so it was important that they really liked them. The adult bridesmaids, Katherine, Laura and Beth, wore art-deco style taupe gowns embellished with steel beads by Adrianna Papell from House of Fraser. The dresses were gorgeous and the girls looked absolutely stunning! Our nieces and flower girls, Lily and Josie, wore dresses from Monsoon and looked so adorable.

The groomsmen all wore different suits and whatever they felt comfortable in. We just wanted everyone to feel relaxed – and they really brushed up well!

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (22)

When it came to our wedding flowers, I carried a bouquet made up of Garden Roses, Peonies, Scabia seed heads, Eucalyptus, Freesia, Craspedia, Panicum Fountain Grasses, Larkspur and Nigella. As mentioned, we wanted the flowers to be the focus of our wedding and they were the main decoration for the barn. The coral, orange and yellow colours tied together beautifully and the florist did such a great job at putting them all together. I also wore a flower crown with just a few flowers on one front side of the band. This was made from twisted stems/twigs and I loved it!

My bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet but the colours were a bit more subtle. Lily had an even smaller bouquet and Josie had a single peony wrapped in ribbon. It was all put together by the very talented Kath who owns Of The Wild in Broomhill, Sheffield. She got everything absolutely spot-on and I actually cried when I saw our flowers because they were so stunning and were exactly what we had asked for. Kath is very highly recommended if you’re after something a little different and more detailed than your average bouquet.

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (26)

Our photographer on the day was the amazing Kate Cooper. We arranged an engagement shoot with her beforehand just because Andy and I aren’t the most graceful people in front of a camera. She made us feel so comfortable and laughed along with us when it was a little awkward –  it was fun overall and we soon loosened up. We did get some lovely photos and it definitely set us up for the main event.

We had always liked the idea of our photos being natural and we wanted someone to capture people in naturally happy settings and record the general mood of the day. We did have a few staged photos of family  but the rest we left completely to Kate. We put a great amount of trust in her (sorry Kate) but we knew she’d do an amazing job. We are going to recommend her to anyone in need of a photographer because she is honestly one of the nicest people we have ever met and worked with. We are so thankful that she was there, not only to capture our day, but to help us celebrate. Knowing that Kate was around meant that we could enjoy our day so much more without the worry that the atmosphere wouldn’t be captured and that things would get missed. Kate covered absolutely everything from table settings, venue details, to our terrible first dance and we were speechless when we received our photos. They were simply incredible.

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (43)

Our floral decorations added an amazing boost of colour to our tables and brought a summery feel to the venue. To add to the decor, I made a trip to Ikea where I bought polka dot lace fabric and made table runners. We had yellow and orange candles scattered around and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law made some lovely bunting for us to tie from the beams. Andy is very artistic and he did a great job of designing all of our table names, seating plan and stationery himself. We had our chair covers done by a lady named Paula from Cover in Style and she also put up some fairy lights for us which looked gorgeous at night when the main lights were dimmed.

Andy’s mum, Margaret, is the best at baking so there was never any question about who would make our wedding cake. We had a few designs in mind but wanted to keep it quite simple. We finally decided on a deep two-tier cake with little icing beads at the bases and a large pink peony on top. One tier was Victoria sponge and the other chocolate and we decorated the cake board with gold glitter to tie it all together. It was so delicious! Margaret also made us our wedding favours which were little heart shaped shortbread biscuits topped with white icing and gold glitter sprinkles – yum!

Our wedding menu consisted of pate for starters, ‘Chicken Manorial Barn’ for main, which was chicken in puff pastry served with vegetables, and then Andy’s favourite for dessert – treacle sponge. The food was provided by the staff at the Manorial Barn and it was well presented and gorgeous! For the reception we also hired Emily’s Ice Cream Bike who provided our guests with yummy ice cream in all sorts of flavours. If anyone hires them they’d be a fool not to choose Jaffa Cake ice cream, it was so good!

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (33)

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (37)

We wanted to keep things simple at the reception and just enjoy ourselves in a relaxed environment so we simply had a DJ provided by the barn as our entertainment. He was great and we were able to put together our own playlist before the night. We incorporated this into our wedding invites and asked guests to suggest a song to dance to. The responses were somewhat interesting but it just made it that bit more personal for the guests and everyone really enjoyed it. We had dance-offs, dirty dancing lifts (ending with collapsed tables and red wine on white shirts) and general sassiness, especially from the boys!

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (42)

There were several special touches on the day which helped to make it all the more personal and memorable. We both wrote our own vows for the ceremony as we found the standard vows very basic and not very personal. We decided not to show each other until we read them in front of each other on the day which made it that much more exciting! They were both very different but it is something we will both remember and we kept the books we wrote them in so we can look back at them from time to time.

My nan also lent me her wedding pearls for the ceremony which I thought was very touching. The pearls had been worn by my nan, my mum and my auntie on their wedding days so it was an honour to be able to wear them. I had decided to put the necklace on just before leaving my parents house but as I put it on one of the strings snapped and it was then a mad rush to fix it. Luckily my matron of honour, Katherine, whipped out a sewing kit and gave it to me all brand new when I arrived at the barn. My other nan had always kept a bottle cork with a penny stuck through the middle of it. I was told this was supposed to be good luck but with my bouquet I was unable to carry it, so it got stuck in my bra – classy!

Andy’s dancing also added a certain special touch to the day. It’s not possible to describe this – it has to be seen to be believed, trust me!

I have so many favourite moments but if I had to choose just one, it would have to be the ceremony. I loved that we were able to say our own vows and that it was so personal to us. It was made more perfect that all of our family and friends were together in one space and the moment we became husband and wife was the happiest I’ve ever felt in my whole life. Secondary to that would have to be the moment Andy threw himself at his best man, James, when Time of Our Lives (Dirty Dancing) came on. They both flew backwards, into a table and ended up covered in red wine. Andy got up the next morning and said “where did all of this wine come from?” He was mortified when I told him!

maggie sottero for a beautiful barn wedding in yorkshire (c) Kate Cooper (49)

Andy surprised me with a trip to America for our honeymoon. We flew to Washington and once on the plane Andy told me what we would be doing. I cried when he started telling me that we would be transferring from Washington to San Francisco then renting an RV to drive around California and back up the coast. Andy arranged everything perfectly and I’m so grateful to him!

Our advice to other couples would be don’t dwell too much on the materialistic things. Sometimes things don’t work out how you imagine them to and it’s not the end of the world. Of course there are bound to be problems along the way, but for us it all came down to family. All we wanted was to be surrounded by the ones we love the most and to make sure that everyone had as much of a good time as we did. Planning our wedding has taught us to think about the bigger picture and to try not to get carried away with things that really don’t matter that much in hindsight. Our parents and families helped us every step of the way during our wedding planning and we are still completely overwhelmed with how amazing these people are. We will never forget their generosity and kindness.

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the designer series: Charlotte Balbier

August 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Charlotte Balbier

We recently featured Ms Balbier’s new Iscoyd Park bridal collection for 2015 on these very pages, and today I’m proud to hear all about the inspirations behind my wonderful friend’s beautiful designs.  So Brides Up North, will you be a Balbier bride?  You lucky, lucky things.

Click here to view the extended collection.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

Charlotte says: A Charlotte Balbier bride is confident and daring in both her wedding dress style and every day fashion choices. My brides certainly have their own sense of individuality. Whether you’re a relaxed boho bride whose bouquet choice is wild hand picked rural flowers or a city fashion forward bride who keeps it minimalist and chic. Some brides like a theme and some like to keep it eclectic, it’s a personal style and choice and both are gorgeous.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

What were your inspirations for this collection?

The Iscoyd Park Collection is very close to my heart as I designed the collection based on my wedding day to Teddy. My wedding day took place at a venue called Iscoyd Park in North Wales last December. ‘The Iscoyd Park’ collection is made up of over twenty new gorgeous gowns in an array of styles to suit the modern day bride, their wedding and style. The new collection includes two dresses I actually wore on the big day called ‘The Charlotte’ and ‘Iscoyd Park.’ I am flattered we’ve had such a positive response to brides wearing the same dress as I did on my big day! The ‘Iscoyd Park’ collection was designed with love, close to my dear heart.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

What shapes, fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the collection and why?

The Charlotte Balbier collection has always been fashion inspired.  Gowns that are forward thinking for the new generation bride. My signature style and look is using soft French laces. Charlotte Balbier is utterly feminine in charm and grace. My gowns are inherently traditional but with that added extra twist of fashion for a modern gown, bride and wedding day. The collection presents classical elegance and timeless gowns that never go out of fashion in array of styles, silhouettes, fabrics and a soft gold, pink and ivory colour pallette.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

What sizes are your gowns available in? 

Our sizing is from 0 to any size. Brides can choose the sizing they need and our stockist’s usually amend the dresses to fit the bride to perfection.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

What does 2014/ 2015 hold for your label? What are you excited about?

Charlotte Balbier has been around for more than 10 years now and we’ve built a great brand. I am now embarking on a new chapter and looking forward to another 10 years, staying at the forefront of British bridal and looking to also take the Balbier brand International. Last year I won the Wedding Ideas Magazine’s Bridal Designer Awards and I’ve just been nominated for Perfect Wedding’s Best Bridal Designer. Winning Awards is a great achievement and honour to be recognized in the industry. Brides who’d love Charlotte Balbier to win can vote here.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

What are your “best things” in life?

I am a very lucky lady because the best things in life surround me all the time! I’m constantly surrounded by lovely Charlotte Balbier bridal dresses and of course everything else in the bridal industry. I love shoes especially Jimmy Choo’s, Aruna Seth and Freya Rose. I love Clarins facials and enjoy one once a month religiously! I love my dog Buster and my dear husband Teddy!

Where can Brides Up North find out more about your label?

Visit our website, or find us on Twitter or Facebook.  A list of stockists can be found here.

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LOVE Bridesmaids. a Maids To Measure event popping up near you soon

August 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime

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On Sunday 29th June Brides Up North Featured Supplier LOVE Bridal Boutique hosted an amazing launch event at Styal Lodge in Cheshire for their new ‘LOVE Bridesmaids’ offering in conjunction with London based bridesmaid designer Maids to Measure.

The first large scale bridal event purely for bridesmaids in the North West, the day celebrated the launch of LOVE Bridesmaids/Maids to Measure ‘Pop-up’ Events… days that you’ll be wanting to put in your diary for you and your favourite ladies.

Images by Jonny Draper Photography.

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Let’s hear from LOVE Bridesmaids’ founder Emma about how it all went and how you can get in on the pretty…

Emma says: I’m pleased to report that the event was a resounding success, we had so many fabulous comments from brides and of course bridesmaids on the day about the event itself plus of course the range of dress styles and colours to choose from, and how they stand apart from a lot of bridesmaid dresses currently on the market. They really loved being able to come to an event like this and being able to share it with their maids too!

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The event looked amazing, who was involved?

When we first decided to be a Maids to Measure stockiest we knew we had to make a big splash and launch it properly with a fabulous event in true LOVE style! We looked no further than Styal Lodge, a venue popular not only with us, but with a lot of our brides who have chosen it for their big day too! The wonderful Higham family at Styal Lodge were just as excited as we were when we first spoke with them about it and helped to make the event a huge success with their wonderful hospitality.

The brains behind the amazing Maids to Measure brand, sisters Sinclair and India, helped us to host the event, giving styling advice to our guests on the day, not to mention styling our models and helping backstage with the dressing for the catwalk.

A whole host of our wedding friends helped to make it a great day too including Gemma Hallowell, make-up artist, and Paisley Gamble, hair stylist, who worked their magic on our models back stage and created some stunning looks. Sian at The Flower Lounge blew us away with her dressing of the catwalk and flower styling around the venue – lots of brides were eyeing this up as a great way to dress their aisle for their big day! Hipswing provided the fabulous glitzy backdrop for our catwalk, Francesca from the Cheshire Cat Cake Company made the most amazing macarons which were given out in our goody bags. A LOVE event would never be the same without LOVE letters from The Word Is Love, and these letters lit up the entranceway to the Lodge. Our guests were kept entertained by singer Kirsty Rogers who sang throughout the day – brides loved her so much that they booked her for their big day! Sam Fitton magician went down a storm too and also the fab photobooth from Forever Photobooths who captured some hilarious moments with our guests!

Not to mention our gorgeous models, Ailsa, Jill, Natalie, Izzy, Lizzie and Sarah who showed off the dresses beautifully and looking so stunning! Thanks so much to Ailsa (of Ailsa Baker Dance) for choreographing our show too.

Our very own Jonny Draper Photography was on hand with his camera to capture the day’s events, culminating in an exciting photoshoot at the end of the day, and some hilarious Austin Powers inspiration during our catwalk show… this had to be seen to be believed!

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So, when will you officially start your LOVE Bridesmaids/Maids to Measure ‘Pop-up’ Events at the boutique?

We have actually already had our first fully booked event in August which went brilliantly and resulted in lots of brides and their maids choosing dresses! We will be holding the events monthly on a Sunday; our next one will be on September 14th and this is fully booked already but we are still taking bookings for October onwards. Our next dates include Sunday 12th October, Sunday 9th November and Sunday 7th December. 2015 event dates to be released very soon.

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How can brides find out more and potentially book an appointment?

For more information and to book in for one of our events please contact

bridesmaids@lovebridalboutique.co.uk

or call 0161 941 6446.

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a midsummer day’s dream. a wedding at home – alex & jenny

August 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (50)

Let’s get stuck into some beautiful.

Jenny and Alex’s pretty country garden wedding is full of blooms, dappled sunshine and pretty touches.  If you’ve spent the long weekend wondering where British summertime has disappeared to, it’s right here on these pages.

With images by Jessica Reeve Photography.

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (9)

Jenny says:We got engaged on my birthday last year; Alex was very romantic and I cried a lot when he asked me to marry him! He had spent the previous 6 months trying to ‘throw me off the scent’, so it was a big shock!

Our wedding date was the 21st of June. We wanted a summer wedding and this worked for my little sister who is doing AS levels – and it was midsummer’s day, so we hoped it would give us the best chance of sunshine, as well as being romantic!

We decided to get married in the church I grew up attending. We wanted to have the ceremony somewhere that had a link to us, so as well as being a beautiful church, St Mary of the Angels in Bolton le Sands fitted the bill. For the reception, it was important to us that our reception would be private – we didn’t want a location where non-guests would be wandering around, so we decided to bite the bullet and have a marquee on the lawn at my parents’ house. We are very fortunate that my parents have a lovely house and they worked incredibly hard over our engagement to make sure the gardens were looking beautiful on the day.

Our marquee was provided by Ashfell Marquees, who are based in Cumbria. They did a fantastic job, the marquee looked stunning and they made the assembly look easy!

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (16)

We were undecided on the exact theme or style of the wedding for a while. We knew we wanted it to be fairly classic and understated, but were unsure about the rest. However, as soon as I tried on my dress, I felt as if everything fell into place. The dress has lace roses on, and is quite a classic style. The wedding theme became clear – The theme was roses, with a style of a country house garden party. As soon as I had the dress on I could imagine walking around the marquee, across the lawn, I could imagine how I wanted the bridesmaids to fit, how I wanted it all to feel! It was a slightly surreal moment.

I picked the colour scheme based partly on what would fit with the church. I wanted something fairly traditional and elegant, so we opted for dusky pink, ivory, gold and sage green.

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (22)

My dress was from The White Dress Boutique in Leamington Spa, the town where Alex and I live. I had tried on a few dresses but when I tried on Boadicea by Charlotte Balbier all the others went out of the window! It had beautiful rose lace back and a high neck, and an absolutely gorgeous satin skirt and train. It was simple but beautiful, and as soon as I tried it on I knew it was the one. I was comfortable in it, and I could then imagine the rest of the wedding!

For the ceremony I wore a full length single tier veil – after all, you don’t often get the chance to wear a one! I had a small hair piece from Debenhams. I went for simple shoes – which I needed up taking off for the dancing like most of our guests!

I carried a hand tied bouquet which was a mix of roses, pink astilbe, lisiansthus, scabious and some beautiful variegated foliage. The colours matched the scheme and were cream, dusky pink and sage green. They were provided by Dalton Square Florists, who did a fantastic job. I also put a small sprig of blue flowers in from the garden for my ‘something blue’!

Alex wore a traditional three piece morning suit with grey trousers and a black jacket. He had a grey double breasted waistcoat and a pale blue tie. The suits were hired from Moss Bros and the tie was from House of Fraser.

I wanted maxi dresses for the bridesmaids, and found a beautiful, pale green maxi dress from Phase Eight which matched the colour scheme so perfectly. It was actually the first dress they tried on – it suited them all beautifully and fitted with the whole elegant but relaxed look I wanted. They had jewellery and head pieces from Accessorize.

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (30)

For the reception we didn’t have a huge amount of cut flowers – there were plenty growing in the garden so we didn’t need many more! We went for low gold vases as our centrepieces, filled with roses, astilbe and hydrangeas. The florist did an amazing job of working out exactly what we wanted and the end result was beautiful!. We also had a couple of pedestal displays in a similar style. Our lovely church flowers were provided by Sentiment Flowers, who are based in Bolton Le Sands.

We didn’t do favours, and instead decided to donate money to charity. We picked charities that meant something to us.

Our caterer was Karen Rhodes. She does the catering for weddings at a local country house, so we used this as a good idea she would be reliable! And she did a fantastic job, and looked after everything. The wedding went so smoothly on the day and a lot of this was down to her! She also ran the bar and the drinks reception, with a team of excellent staff.

I actually made my own wedding cake – I really enjoy baking and took it as a bit of a challenge! I kept it simple – a light fruit cake on the bottom tier and chocolate fudge for the top two tiers. I then decorated with plain ivory icing, a gold ribbon and fresh roses from my mum’s garden.

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (33)

Our photographer was Jessica Reeve, and we could not recommend her highly enough. Her photos are stunning (which was why we got in touch with her in the first place) but she was also lovely to have around on our wedding day as well. She was relaxed and fun and got some fantastic photos. The photos really capture the atmosphere of our day and tell the story perfectly.

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (45)

In the evening we had a ceilidh band, called Northern Lights. Our criteria for our entertainment was something that would get everyone on the dance floor. A ceilidh is a traditional Scottish dance, and everyone got into the spirit and gave it a go – it was lots of fun!! After they finished we used their sound system and plugged in an ipod for the rest of the evening –the dancing was still going at 2am, so we were pleased!

The other special touches were mainly the result of hard work from friends and family! My sister in law, Helen, created a beautiful board for a Polaroid booth – lending us her camera and all her booth props! Its something she’s going into business with – so watch out for Treacle Town Designs! She also ran a sweet table for us, which was a huge hit! Another friend of mine created a gorgeous bird cage as a guest book. We also hired a caricaturist (Robert Grenville Evans) for before and after the meal – he did some fantastic pictures and kept the guests entertained!

The day before the wedding the close family decorated the garden – we had bunting on the fences and on the wooded footpath up from the church. I also bought led lights and hung them in the trees and on the outdoor tables so they came on as soon as it got dark – the garden looked magical, especially after the heat of the day!

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (53)

I think my favourite part was the ceremony. It felt so special, and perhaps more moving than I expected it to be. It felt very intimate and private – Once we were saying our vows I forgot about the guests, it felt like it was just Alex and I (and the priest). It was lovely as well to see our church so full of friends and family – having everyone together in the same place meant a lot.

a summer wedding at home - alex & jenny (c) jessica reeve photography  (57)

We went to Italy for our honeymoon – we both love the food, the wine, the culture and the weather! We had a relaxing few nights in Sardinia and then went to Verona, which was beautiful and a great base to explore other parts of Italy (such as Venice and Lake Garda). We had a fantastic two weeks which gave us chance to spend some quality time together and go over the whole wedding weekend again and again!

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try to enjoy the run up to the wedding as possible. Go with suppliers you can trust – on the day everything went so smoothly and that was down to our professional team who between them must have run hundreds of weddings!

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shortlisted (but still no Manolos!): The Perfect Wedding Awards 2014

August 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

It’s been a phenomenal year for us here at Brides Up North HQ so far.  A brand new look, more fabulous sponsors getting behind us than ever before, a fan-blooming-tastic spring and autumn exhibition schedule, and now, as we say goodbye to summer, a hat-trick of industry award nominations.

I used to think a blogger’s life would go a little like this: sleep late, RSVP to a few party invitations, full hair and make up, coffee with beautiful industry friends, a bit of light writing, meet the husband for cocktails and skip off to bed… how wrong I was.

Running (and writing!) a full editorial schedule, organising and styling shoots, managing twenty wedding exhibitions, sales, admin, marketing, keeping on top of a mountain of emails, taxes, VAT, meetings with sponsors, working on new projects, liaising with the press and PRs, freelance features, social media, venue visits whilst simultaneously nurturing a young family… and remembering to brush your hair in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, It’s fun, fulfilling, exciting and no day is ever the same.  But its not the Carrie Bradshaw life I thought it might be.

I still don’t own any Manolos, for a start.

So it’s with pride and pleasure that I celebrate the fabulous bits.

I’ve already told you about our nominations for “Best Wedding Blog” in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards, and “Best City Blog” in The Wedding Blog Awards, and now our friends at Perfect Wedding Magazine have gone and absolutely made my year, by shortlisting us in the “Best Wedding Blog” category in their prestigious industry awards.
PWAwards2014_logo_Nominee_forweb

Despite all the events, networking parties and the constant conversation on social media, blogging can be a pretty secular profession, so this support really does mean a lot.  It tells me that you like what I do, what I’m striving towards (#jointhenorthernrevlution y’all!) and that I should keep on doing it.

Thank you.

If you’ve got a minute on what’s sure to be a busy Tuesday back in the saddle – how was your Bank Holiday weekend? – I’d love it if you could spare a sec or two to vote for Brides Up North.  The line up in our category is pretty stellar, so this Northern Revolution needs some people power.

Click here to vote for Brides Up North in the Perfect Wedding Awards

(If you needed any encouragement, every person that does is entered into a special draw to win an amazing one-night break for themselves and a guest at one of 18 luxurious spa venues in the UK, a delicious three-course evening meal, breakfast, a 60-minute spa treatment for each guest and a cream tea courtesy of Q Hotels.  Nice.)

Voting closes 29th September.

Whilst you’re feeling generous, we’d love your vote in these sequin clad showdowns too:

Click here to vote for Brides Up North in The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2014 

(voting closes 29th August!)

Click here to vote for Brides Up North in The Wedding Blog Awards 2014

(voting closes 1 September!)

And I’ll love you forever. 

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the friday feeling! a fun & fabulous wedding at Heaton House Farm – helen & ryan

August 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (85)

Sometimes a bank holiday weekend comes around exactly when you need it.

Even when you love your job as much as I do, sometimes you can still have one of those weeks.  Computer issues (no good for a blogger let me tell you), having to put the heating back on, wifi troubles (kill me now) building work, boring admin, deadlines, husbands (!) and just too much to do, means I’m frazzled and frustrated.

So I decided to shift the schedule round a little and end the week on a high with this fun and fabulous wedding sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.

Pour me a massive glass of wine.  It’s the weekend, Brides Up North!

And yes, I will be having Monday off!

(see you on the other side)

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (15)

Helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012.  The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!

We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014.  As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!

Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (26)

My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye.  As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come.  I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.

Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50′s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.

My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme.  My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (35)

Jonny Draper was our photographer.  The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job.  I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (39)

Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.

We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste.  We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.

As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags.  The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (62)

On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.

We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (65)

We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day.  There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (79)

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (94)

We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September.  I can’t wait!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (98)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key!  We were very organised which saved a lot of stress.  Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (61)

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friday fabulous!

August 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Karol Glitter Heel by LK Bennett

What the coolest girls will be wearing under their tulle skirts this season.

Karol Glitter Court Heel, £225 by LK Bennett

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