Charlotte Balbier

flying high. supplier showcase: lovebird brides

May 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (11)

This afternoon I am thrilled to welcome the gorgeous Laura to Brides Up North.  Laura is the beauty and brains behind the gorgeous new bridal boutique in West Yorkshire, lovebird brides, which opened to much excitement (and twinkle!) last autumn.  Laura is already flying high as word of her stunning new boutique, bespoke accessories and top labels spreads, and now it’s time to introduce her on these pretty pages.

First things first, I have a special date for your diaries: Lovebird Brides are holding their first ever Lovebird Accessories evening on Thursday 7th May 2015 from 5pm until 8pm, where brides can visit the boutique for a glass of fizz, try on their accessories, enjoy 10% off the range and see their special guest designers. To join them on the night or for more information email them at appointments@lovebirdbrides.com.

Is it in your diary? Great.  Now let’s meet Laura.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (45)

When did Lovebird Brides open and what is your background?

laura says: Lovebird Brides opened its doors with an amazing launch party in October 2014.

I’ve had a varied career working within the creative industries, starting with a degree in design before working in interior design, event planning, teaching and then jewellery making. The problem is I’ve always got to be making something even when just relaxing in the evening! Whilst on maternity leave I took this time to focus on my love of making jewellery and when my baby was old enough, I opened my studio in the World Heritage Site of Saltaire. It turned out this decision paid off, I began making statement pieces but soon had brides visiting me to make them bespoke bridal jewellery.

One thing led to another and my other obsession for vintage dresses combined with brides telling me they were struggling to find the dresses they wanted, gowns that reflected their personality and style led to me opening Lovebird Brides. I wanted to fill this gap for brides concentrating on selecting designers that offered designs that were fashion forward, well made and practical but still maintained that beauty and elegance that a wedding dress should offer.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (39)

Which wedding gown designers do you stock?

Lovebird Brides houses a large selection of Charlotte Balbier’s wedding gowns. Charlotte’s designs are timeless, elegant and fit perfectly allowing a bride to feel comfortable on her wedding day.

We also stock Maria Senvo, I was instantly drawn to the embellishment and detail on these beautiful gowns, definitely one for the fashionista brides!

With a busy year ahead planned, you need to keep your eyes peeled for a new designer or two being introduced to the boutique.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (36)

What bridal accessories designers do you stock?

Lovebird Brides is the home of Lah De Da Accessories. I hand make this beautiful range of accessories in my studio within the boutique where all my sample pieces are available for brides to see and try on. I love that we can create a completely unique look for a bride whether it’s a headpiece, belt, statement necklace or adding beading to the dress. The finishing accessories are so important as a bride can put their own stamp on a gown and feels that they have given their own creative input into the design of these bespoke pieces. I feel this is something they will struggle to get anywhere else.

We are also very lucky to stock the amazing Charlotte Mills bridal shoes that are so pretty, beautifully made and super comfortable but what is even better is they can also be worn again and again after your wedding day!

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (10)

What makes you different?

At Lovebird Brides we focus on fashion forward brides with wedding dresses that break away from tradition, gowns that reflect their individual style and personality. As a boutique we feel it is important not to crowd the shop with too many dresses overwhelming the bride. Instead we concentrate on handpicking strong designs each very different from the next.

It is important to us when a bride first visits the boutique that our style and the layout of the shop not only reflects the individuality of our gowns but is a place where our brides can feel comfortable making the most important fashion purchase of their lives! From our zebra print rug and fuchsia pink chandelier to our Victorian clothes airer rails we want to make it an experience that our bride will never forget.

One major factor adding to our uniqueness is that we hand make all our accessories to compliment our brides dresses right here in the boutique. Even for the bride who has already found their gown we can offer them exclusive accessory appointments to create bespoke pieces for their big day, for their bridesmaids or for mother of the bride.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (3)

Where are you located?

We are located in the beautiful Yorkshire village of Addingham, just outside the centre of Ilkley. Many of our brides choose to make a day of it, celebrating with a cream tea or pub lunch in the village or nipping round the corner to view the beautiful sights of Bolton Abbey.

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

Our dresses start at £990 and go up to £2550.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (7)

What can Brides Up North expect when they come in for an appointment?

As a luxury boutique we work by appointment only. It is important to us that a bride gets the attention she deserves without any interruptions. We like to gain an understanding of the whole theme of the wedding and listen carefully to what the bride is looking for. Dress appointments are an hour and a half long and forty-five minutes for accessories. Brides can expect to have exclusive use of the boutique for their bridal party and we always have a bottle of prosecco and cakes at the ready, sometimes even homemade by me!

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (30)

What is your current favourite gown that you stock and why?

With so many it’s really hard to pick a favourite dress but if I was pushed I would say I have a real soft spot for Lucy-Lou by Charlotte Balbier, with all its lace it is just a timeless and elegant gown.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (41)

What trends do you see being popular this year?

I think the trends in bridal this year will be blush dresses and gold accessories, which I love! Embellishment on dresses seems to be what brides like so I think we will see plenty of this in new bridal collections.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (34)

Who would be a Lovebird Bride?

A Lovebird Bride is a lady who wants to look the best version of herself. She wants a dress that is elegant but shows her sense of style too. She is a bride who wants some creative input in the overall bridal look and wants to feel comfortable and classic on her most special day.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (43)

Are you married? What did you wear on your wedding day? What would you choose to wear now?

I have been married for almost four years now and wore a Maggie Sottero wedding dress that was strapless with a corseted back in dark champagne. At the time this style was definitely everywhere and although I loved it I don’t think it really reflected me. Now I would definitely either wear a dress with sleeves and a low back or perhaps separates with a bolero jacket and definitely a statement necklace!

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (25)

How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or find out more? 

Brides to be call call us on 01943 839720, visit our website at www.lovebirdbrides.com, email appointments@lovebirdbrides.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (2)

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fit for a princess. a romantic vintage style wedding at newton hall – amy & mark

May 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (21)

Today’s groom Mark certainly made Amy feel like a princess when he popped the question in front of Cinderella’s Castle in the heart of Disneyland – is there anywhere more magical?

Having put a ring on it, the pair began organising their vintage themed wedding at the stunning Newton Hall. They’d originally planned to wed indoors but at the last minute switched to an outdoor wedding owing to a rather unusual burst of warm British weather. Hurrah!

And the rays kept coming after the big day when Amy and Mark jetted off to the sunny state of California for their honeymoon. Having travelled this area of the US myself I totally understand the couple’s desire to return for more fun in the sun!

With images by Lee Scullion.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (1)

amy says: We got engaged on 12th May 2013 in front of the Cinderella Castle in the Disney Magic Kingdom, Florida. We had been enjoying a lazy Sunday at the Magic Kingdom after a couple of days in Miami. Mark was slowing up near the end of the day as we walked past the wishing well next to the Cinderella Castle. We carried on walking along round the front of the castle and then Mark shouted me back, saying he has something to give me. I shouted “I hope it is some sparkly Minnie Mouse ears”. To my surprise I was presented with a diamond ring and Mark asked me to marry him.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (6)

Our wedding day was on 29th September 2014. We wanted an after summer wedding with the chance of having nice weather and this date fitted perfectly with the time we wanted.

Our chosen venue was Newton Hall, Newton by Sea. We instantly fell in love with the building and all of the gardens. The quirky interior and rooms just felt right and knew it was the place to get married.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (4)

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (5)

Vintage was the style of wedding we went for, choosing decorations and flowers that would fit in with this. It was just something that appealed to myself and mark while discussing and organising the day. In terms of colour we kept the scheme quite neutral.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (7)

My dress was from Mia Sposa Bridal. It was Justin Alexander’s 8641. I fell in love with it when I tried it on. I knew it was the dress.

Mark wore a brown speckled suit which was from ASOS with a fitted white shirt, brown bow tie, braces, navy and camouflage Ask The Missus shoes, handmade bird skull cufflinks from California and a handmade deer head flower pin from also from California.

The bridesmaids wore dresses from Debenhams, they were a vintage rose pink in colour. The younger bridesmaids wore full length and the older ones wore a shorter length dress.

The groomsmen wore matching brown speckled trousers with white shirts and skinny ties and vintage brown brogues, all from ASOS.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (8)

Lee Scullion was our photographer and we would highly recommend him. He made us feel totally relaxed and went about his business. He was great fun and felt more of a guest at our day than a photographer doing their job. The photos we have are amazing and we could not have asked for more from Lee. He is special.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (11)

I carried a large vintage style bouquet which was made up vintage coloured roses.The bridesmaids all carried smaller versions of my vintage bouquet which were provided by The Finishing Touch Company.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (12)

To decorate we had a selection of roses in various shades to give a vintage feel. These were displayed in bottles and jars on the tables and hanging jars on the chairs with lace bows. We had centrepieces made of books, jars, bottles and roses.

The top table had a hessian runner and flowers displayed along the front of table in jars and milk bottles. The Finishing Touch Company provided and set up the decoration and flowers.A ‘true love’ banner was also displayed which was given to us by Poptastic as a gift for us to use on the day.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (13)

I had brought vintage suitcases to be used for the cards and gifts to be deposited in. I also created my own seating plan display using a vintage case, twine, pegs and pearls.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (17)

The favours for the younger guests were jars of sweets with vintage cloth and twine as decoration. These were all made by me.The older guests received a jar of chutney which was handmade by The Master Cakesmith. These also had been decorated with vintage cloth and twine.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (19)

We chose a single tier cake which was vanilla cream and jam. It was finished with butter cream and decorated with twine, hessian and mini ‘Mr & Mrs’ bunting.We also had individual cupcakes for every guest, the fillings were cookies and cream, millionaire shortbread, salted caramel and vanilla strawberry. Again these were provided by The Master Cakesmith.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (20)

After the ceremony the ladies were provided with a strawberry and ginger mojito, the men were provided with a beer from a local brewery. Non-drinkers were provided with a mocktail.Canapés of Thai fish cakes, cheese frittatas with tomato chutney and smoked chicken and mustard tarts, were also served.

For the main meal we had a hot fork buffet which we chose as it gave the wedding a more relaxed feel with guests being up and about mingling with each other, rather than the usual ‘sit at table and don’t move till it is over’ type affair.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (25)

We hired a DJ through AMV Live Music for the evening entertainment so that a good variation of music would be played and enjoyed by all during the reception.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (34)

The most special thing about our wedding day was the weather – it was bright sunshine and red hot. At the last minute we decided on an outdoor wedding which made the day. It was lovely to be outside.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (36)

Other special touches that we added to the day ourselves was a popcorn machine, large sweet table selection in glass jars on handmade wooden boxes from reclaimed wood. Surprise gifts for the bridesmaids and the best man were also special and we gave them some careful thought. The Wild Bunch supplied the bouquets which were given to the mothers and grans of the wedding party.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (40)

We also supplied our own prop box and Polaroid cameras for guests to use on the evening.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (42)

We would definitely recommend Newton Hall to other couples. The venue is spectacular and the staff are fantastic, they will do anything you ask of them through the day and into the evening. John the MC is a fantastic man who really made the day great and flow. Everything about Newton Hall as a venue is just amazing. When we first visited the venue it was pouring with rain and the place still looked spectacular, it will be a great choice of venue no matter what time of year.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (44)

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite part of the day, the whole day was special. Getting to spend it with all of our family and closest friends in a fantastic venue with gorgeous weather was great.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (46)

For our honeymoon we travelled to Las Vegas for three nights and then toured California by road. We visited San Diego, Hollywood, Marina Del Ray, Venice, Santa Monica, Valencia, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Cambria, San Francisco, Oakland and then made our way back to Las Vegas for three more nights before flying home.

It was a trip of a lifetime and we saw some unbelievable sights while making our way between destinations, from the street performers in the Gaslamp District to the elephant seals just outside of Cambria. There was just so much to see and do and we felt as if we did not even scratched the surface. We would love to return in future and see more of what California has offer.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (50)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – try to take a minute, relax and take it all in as it goes so fast.

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barcelona bridal week.

May 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

Barcelona

A blogger’s gotta do what a blogger’s gotta do.

This evening you’ll find me knee deep in summer shift dresses, cute clutch bags and the odd statement necklace as I throw a week’s worth of pretty threads into ^^^my suitcase ^^^ to take me to the FROWs of barcelona bridal week.

It’s a real honour to have been invited to Spain as Barcelona Bridal Week‘s guest to take in four days of cutting edge catwalk collections, opening parties, cultural expeditions and a rather swanky 25 year celebration.

If you are a long term reader of these pages, you’ll know that I’m ridiculously keen on my bridal fashion, and for the past five years we’ve been striving to keep you up to date with all the latest looks and trends as they break.  That’s why when the invitation to head to one of the most prestigious events in the worldwide bridal calendar dropped into my inbox, I cleared my diary, pronto.

It also helped that the weather in Barcelona currently looks like this. Nice.

For the next five days, I’ll be checking out the latest offerings from (and sipping a few cocktails with) some very, very big name bridal houses, including the likes of Rosa Clara, Miguel Suay, Jesus Peiro, Isabel Sanchis, Yolan Cris, Cabotine and Cymbeline Paris.

#dreamjob

Anyway, enough name dropping for now, as there’ll be plenty of that to come. In a special series of live-blogged features this week, I’ll be bringing you all the fashion news – and my favourites – from the front line. Watch this space – as well as our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, for the couture as it happens.

Adios for now, and I’ll see you in Barcelona!

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friday fabulous!

May 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime

Sophia Webster Bridal Wifey For Lifey Sandal

That’s the honeymoon kicks sorted.

(Our life is just a little bit more complete because these exist).

Wifey For Lifey Sandals by Sophia Webster, £295.

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made in manchester. a gypsophila inspired wedding in the city – emma & chris

May 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (25)

Sometimes it can be difficult for couples to choose a theme for their wedding and can end up over thinking it. But today’s bride Emma kept things simple by styling her wedding around her favourite flower, gypsophila.

The loved-up couple then picked one of their favourite building in Manchester to act as the backdrop to the celebrations, the city’s stunning town hall.

The combined result is a grand occasion that’s beautiful but without being too fussy. Emma we think we hit the nail on the head.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (9)

emma says: We got engaged in March 2013 on top of a mountain in the Lake District. Chris’ intention was that there’d be stunning views, but there was a blizzard with almost zero visibility. In the end we were just glad to make it down in one piece.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (7)

The date of our wedding was 25th October 2014. A summer wedding wasn’t important to us because our venue and plans dictated that almost all of our time would be indoors. We felt that more friends and family would find it easier to attend this time of you when summer holidays are over and people’s diaries are less full.

We picked Manchester Town Hall as our venue. It’s one of our favourite buildings and its location is convenient to guests from near and far. Those who live locally have many travel options with ample parking, and there are lots of accommodation options for those from further afield. The Great Hall where we had the reception is a spectacular space.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (23)

The colour scheme was based around my favourite flower which is gypsophila, so I kept everything very neutral. I opted for a very light gold colour for the bridesmaid’s dress and the male members of the bridal party as well as for some detailing at the reception. Gypsophila was chosen due to the simplicity of the flower and for its bright, clean, natural colours.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (30)

I went for a fitted, strapless lace detailed Diane Harbridge dress with a lace shrug from Cheadle Brides.

The groom, best man, bride’s father, groom’s father and ushers wore navy Prince Edward suits from Slaters with cream waistcoats and gold ruches.

My bridesmaid’s dress was from Agape in Altrincham and was a one-shoulder champagne colour long chiffon dress.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (33)

Lee Brown was our photographer – we highly recommend him. Our friends and family, including some amateur photography enthusiasts, have said they are the best wedding photos they’ve seen. We’re absolutely delighted with the results. Lee’s unobtrusive style meant that no-one felt interrupted by his presence and he did everything he could to make us feel at ease and relaxed throughout the course of our wedding day.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (34)

Blossom Flowers in Chorlton provided mine and my bridesmaid’s posies, the corsages, and button-holes. They also provided flowers for dressing the service room and the table centrepieces, top-table dressing, and chair covers for the reception.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (37)

Favours were vintage candy including pear-drops, aniseed twists, and lemon sherbets. There was also a candy-table with large jars of the same sweets and bags for guests to take candy home for their children.

I made my own cake, which was four tiers covered in ivory icing with white lace edible detailing topped with sugar craft roses. I had fruit, carrot and vanilla sponge.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (43)

To entertain our guests we hired Dave Jones disco to provide a DJ service and had live music from the Cover Cats. I corresponded with a few DJs and Dave gave me the most confidence in his ability to ensure stress-free and smooth-running whilst playing appropriate music. We looked at a number of bands on-line and loved the sound of the Cover Cats and that they had a female vocalist. They did a brilliant job.

Other suppliers that we used for our wedding day and would recommend are Ric Clements of Kegs & Co who supplied draught ale with draught serving system at a low price. Paul Hill of Uplighting Hire who provided good value for money was a pleasure to deal with.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (42)

We thoroughly enjoyed the entire day. As the bride and groom, we were very nervous until after the speeches so managed to relax as the day/evening went on.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (51)

We went to Bali on our honeymoon which is a superb destination -great weather, beautiful tropical beaches, interesting cultural attractions, wonderful hotels and villas and lovely people.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be pick a venue where the organiser or venue co-ordinator will be helpful, reliable, and ease the pressure on you.  Also delegate as much as possible, but only to people you can trust to do what you ask, when you ask.

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