November 17th, 2017 | Julia Braime
Is there anything more perfect than bagging your dream dress at a fabulously discounted price? We think not!! And so we’re delighted to be brining you news of an exclusive autumn sample sale set to take place at Brides Up North Sponsor, LOVE Bridal Boutique in Altrincham, Cheshire, later this month.
Owner Emma Draper and her team will be hosting the event on Sunday 26th November 2017, that will see a selection of the gorgeous boutique’s designer gowns available at unbelievable prices – we’re talking dresses from as little as £200 ladies, meaning you’ll be able to afford those dream designer heels after all!
But this is a one-day, appointment-only event, so you’ve got to be quick off the mark to secure yourself an appointment, which could result in you being the proud owner of one of the stunning gowns featured in this post!
So, prepare to take note, as the lovely Emma is here with the all-important deets!
emma says: The sample sale will take place between 9.30am and 5pm on Sunday 26th November, with 45-minute appointments available.
The event will be an exciting opportunity to get your hands on the last few dresses I have from previous collections (including 2017 styles) to make way in the boutique for brand new arrivals.
Because we only have one of each of these samples available to buy, we are selling these beautiful gowns at a reduced price and, for those brides who have done their research, we can promise these are deals you won’t want to miss.
Sample sales are ideal for brides who yearn for a designer dress, but whose budget won’t quite stretch, for brides with less than six-months to go before their big day (so no time to order new) or for brides who know exactly what style and fit of dress suits them.
All the dresses on display are for sale ‘off the peg,’ available to take home with you on the day, and must be paid for in full, so we encourage bringing someone with you who is both honest and decisive!
The gowns included in this event generally range from a bridal size 10 to a size 12, but most can be taken in by up a couple of dress sizes too.
Don’t miss your chance to snap up your dream gown at a phenomenally lower price – when they’re gone, they’re gone!
To secure an appointment, email email@example.com, or call 0161 941 6446, but be quick! First come, first served!
November 16th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
For this afternoon’s post we’re remining at the same venue as our featured real wedding – the stunning Arley Hall & Gardens in Cheshire, which is famed for more than just its glorious big day offering.
Having formed the backdrop to many a television programme and film set, you’re probably more familiar with this fine country house than you realise; especially if, (like us) you’re a Peaky Blinders super-fan. The BBC 2 hit series, which returned to our screens for its fourth series this week, used the grand Hall as the home of main character Tommy Shelby, who also happened to marry his now late-wife Grace at the premises.
In a nod to this link, fellow Peaky Blinders fan, Rebecca Jenkinson of Pretty Creative, came up with the concept of a gorgeous 1920/30s casual glamour shoot at Arley Hall, which she styled to perfection with the help of a talented team of North West suppliers.
And, just like the programme, the end images are nothing thought of gripping! We can’t get enough of the grand backdrops, splendid table setting and stylish attire, not to mention that bouquet!
One of the main reasons we’re so addicted to Peaky (other than a rather HUGE crush on lead actor Cillian Murphy) is the amazing outfits that are generally opulent yet understated for the females and incredibly dapper and sharp for the males – who would have thought a bearded guy wearing a baker boy’s cap could make us go so weak at the knees!
So, ladies, it’s time to embrace you’re inner Polly or Ada as stylist Rebecca takes over the blog to explain how she and the team achieved this deliciously decadent look…
With images by Amy Faith Photography.
Models, Rob Hunter and Stacey Taylor.
[jennaopne]rebecca says: Our inspiration for the shoot was casual 1920/30s glamour, with a bit of edge, influenced by the bad boy done good story of the cult TV series Peaky Blinders. We shot in late September as autumn was just starting to drift into the landscape.
The shoot was captured by Amy Faith Photography, who I love working with. She’s so good at conveying authenticity, beauty and edginess in her images. If you are looking for a wedding photographer, you really need to look at Amy’s beautiful work.
Our venue for the shoot, Arley Hall and Gardens, is a gorgeous Cheshire wedding venue, totally steeped in history and home to lots of different TV and film sets, including Peaky Blinders. I’m a huge fan of the TV series, so when the chance to do a shoot at Arley Hall came along, I knew it had to be our inspiration. With our own peaky blinder bad boy groom and his stunning bride.
In the last series, Arley Hall was the stately home of the main character Tommy Shelby, played by the gorgeous Cillian Murphy. It depicts a time where he’s made his ill-gotten fortune on the betting circuits at the horses (and general dodgy dealings!) and it’s where he marries Grace.
Although Peaky Blinders is really quite dark at times, there is an incredible love story within, kind of against the odds. It’s that feel we were looking to create, with a nod to the era, beautiful imagery, bridal inspiration and to capture the romance of the two main characters, Tommy and Grace.
November 16th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
Yes, we have a dress crush. Today’s bride Arlene wanted to look like a Bond girl on her big day and we reckon she absolutely nailed it in a gorgeous, backless Rosa Clará number with a graceful silhouette and divine vintage detailing on the shoulders and down the back. We also have garden envy, because the grounds at today’s venue, Arley Hall, would give any National Trust property a run for its money: deep borders bursting with colour and texture are juxtaposed with crisp topiary and rich red brickwork. The photographs offer up a visual feast.
In a colour scheme of navy and dusky pink, Arlene and Simon went for an elegant, regal feel with a touch of femininity to complement the glorious Elizabethan-style Victorian country house. With its opulent interiors, who could fail to feel a little bit Bond-esque?
With images by Cris Matthews Photography.
arlene says: Simon proposed to me at home on August bank holiday in 2015, after more than six years together with bubbles, Bob Marley playing and a display of photographs of us on our fabulous holidays. We then went to Gaucho in Manchester for steak dinner and he had organised a surprise party with our close friends at Epernay. The next day I was whisked off to Moddershall Oaks for an overnight spa break.
We got married on Saturday 29th July 2017. We wanted a summer day and a weekend, as we have a lot of teacher friends. My dad flew over from Panama to walk me down the aisle and the date also worked well for my 11-year-old stepsister and her school holidays in Panama.
Our chosen venue was Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire. We had our ceremony in the drawing room, the wedding breakfast in the gallery and the reception at Olympia Barn on site. I visited the venue one afternoon with some friends, as it’s open to visitors. I fell in love instantly – butterflies! Simon loved it as much as I did. Arlene driving up Arley Road to marry at Arley Hall – it was meant to be!
We also liked the venue as it was local and had a good mix of rooms to use and stunning gardens. Plus, I liked the idea of having a more informal area for the evening guests to party.
I wanted a fairly simple, elegant, classy style for the day. The venue is so opulent that I didn’t want to take away from/spoil its beauty. We would definitely recommend the venue: as well as it being utterly gorgeous, the staff were professional and friendly and we felt reassured the day would run smoothly.
My gown was from Knutsford Wedding Gallery. I am quite particular with my style and wanted a unique dress. After searching bridal websites and magazines, I decided I liked Rosa Clará gowns and booked an appointment as I knew they were stocked there. I was very keen on a backless, slinky dress. My spec was I wanted to look and feel like a Bond girl! When I tried it on first I knew it was the one, but that didn’t stop me from trying on 29 more dresses. Milking the moment!
My hair and makeup artist was Make-up By Sophie, based in Oldham. She followed my Bond girl spec –my bridesmaids and I felt very glam.
November 15th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We’ve been out on the road again all in the name of research to share with you our experiences of the North’s finest hotels, getaway retreats and spas, providing inspiration for pre- and post-wedding relaxation, and sometimes also a setting for the big day itself!
Cue our recent visit to Matfen Hall – a stunning stately home set in 300 acres of lush parkland in the Northumbrian countryside. The award-winning Hall houses fabulous function spaces, accommodation and spa and leisure facilities, making it an option for sophisticated hen dos, romantic getaways, such as a minimoon, plus a dream wedding venue too.
All images by Sean Elliott Photography.
Ahead of a super-exciting wedding refurbishment at Matfen, we were invited to view the current celebration spaces and to see what’s in store to take this already gorgeous venue to the next level. And my word, are couples saying ‘I do’ to Matfen in for a treat! Keen not to give away too much at this stage, we will be following up with a Dream Venue post soon that will detail the stylish refurbish plans in more depth.
Furthermore, on Sunday 4th March 2018, we will be holding a Luxury Wedding Fair at Matfen to reveal the results of the quarter-of-a-million-pound-refurbishment programme first-hand – so be sure to mark the date in your diaries!
But for today’s post, we return to our visit. During our blissful overnight stay, we experienced Matfen’s warm and welcoming hospitality, making use of its leisure facilities, restaurant and accommodation.
We began as any busy business ladies should, with a trip to the spa! Hotel guests can enjoy access to such facilities or there are a number of full and half-day ‘Escape’ packages to choose from, comprising different treatments, food and drink, so ladies (and gents) can pick which best suits their needs and wishes.
There is a 16-metre swimming pool and spa pool, plus thermal suites including an aromatherapy room, steam room, sauna, ice cold bucket shower, monsoon shower and ice fountain. We worked our way round, prioritising the warmer options, to relax and revive weary muscles, before indulging in a little chill time around the pool.
Matfen’s treatment choices cover off facial, body and massage therapies for men and women, as well as ‘Finishing Touch’ treatments such as nails, waxing and tinting.
Feeling in need of a radiance boost part-way through our autumn season of wedding fairs, we both opted for the Skin Specific Facial. Having been led to quiet, candle-lit treatment rooms, our knowledgeable therapists took time to enquire about our skin concerns before tailoring our facials to help combat such issues using heavenly Elemis products. We both emerged with hydrated, glowing complexions and super-soft skin (if only we could indulge one of these treatments every week!).
Leaving the spa feeling super-relaxed, it was time to freshen up (and wake-up!) before dinner. We were staying in one of Matfen’s stunning Principal Rooms in the original part of the Hall, that was spacious, comfortable and boasted gorgeous views of the garden.
November 15th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on Brides Up North, we’re in tipi heaven, as we escape to the wild and wonderful backdrop of High Barn, near Penrith, for a beautiful outdoors wedding weekend. Yes, that’s right – our couple, Emma and Chris, turned their nuptials back in September into a fabulous three-day affair, complete with quiz, fish and chip van, games and Sunday brunch!
There are so many talking points; we don’t know where to start! There’s everything from camper vans and specially made Egyptian jam favours, to a rather tasty selection of pies and pizza, not to mention plenty of bunting, fairy lights and – something a little bit different – dried flowers. And then there’s the picture-perfect rainbow, beautifully captured by their photographer.
Here, we invite Emma to reminisce about all the wonderful details…
With images by Johnny Dent Photography.
emma says: We got engaged on the top of Pendle Hill on New Year’s Eve 2016. I think it’s a really special place but on this particular day the wind was so strong I was worried we’d be swept off the top! I kept asking if we should turn back, but Chris was determined to get to the top. Once we had eventually made it, we had to hunker down on the side of the hill, as the wind would have knocked us off our feet! We were with our little dog, Barney and he did not like it. He was whimpering and wouldn’t stay still, so Chris quickly pulled out a bottle of champagne and asked me if I’d ‘wash some pots with him!’. I said “yes” and we finally cracked the champagne open once we were off the top!
We decided on the 9th September 2017 for the wedding. I love autumn and we figured that for the past few years the summer has been a bit of a washout, and it has seemed to improve in September. We were right! We had a wedding weekend, starting with drinks and a quiz on the Friday and ending with brunch on the Sunday.
We got married at St Cuthbert’s Church, Edenhall, and then had the reception a mile away at High Barn, Edenhall Estate, near Penrith. We had looked round a few places but once we saw High Barn there was no question; it was exactly what we wanted. High Barn is surrounded by the Lakes, the North Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales, in the middle of a field, next to a wood and nothing else. We knew we wanted to do everything ourselves and we were able to do that, a real DIY wedding.
For the main event, we hired two giant tipis from Special Event Tipis. They were fabulous! There is such a special atmosphere inside those amazing structures, and we had lots of fairy lights, bunting, lots and lots of candles and a fire pit to make it even more special. They were a bit of an extravagance, but I’m so glad we got them. They really make an event very special.
As we made a weekend of it, accommodation was a must. There are some cottages on the estate and there is a hotel in the nearby village, but for people who were staying on site, we arranged the Belle Hotel to come up. This is a mobile hotel room, guests book online and when they arrive, there is a beautiful belle tent waiting for them, futons, rugs and bunting too! They look really cool too and people couldn’t stop taking photos of them.
We didn’t have a set wedding theme in mind initially, but as we started to plan, things came together. I suppose you could call it rustic. Our stationery was brown card with twine, we had table decorations of gin bottles full of flowers and candles everywhere; we had teacups, bunting and dried flowers. We didn’t think about it too much and in the end everything seemed to go together just fine.
There wasn’t really a colour scheme either. The boys wore blue jackets, the bridesmaids wore a mink colour and the flowers were a mixture. We just went with what we liked. It worked!
November 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
A post for you and your #girlsquad this afternoon as the focus is on finding the perfect outfits for your leading ladies. Here to suggest how to shop smart and keep everyone onside in the process is our lovely guest writer, Carrie Marsden of media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine.
carrie says: So, the day of choosing your bridesmaids’ dresses has finally arrived. Everyone has assembled excitedly for brunch somewhere uber-chic first (the flowergirls and smaller bridesmaids are meeting you later). There’s a free prosecco fountain in the middle of the restaurant and, obviously, in the background, Bradley Cooper is setting the mood on the harp. You get down to business and brainstorm some dress ideas and are delighted to find your bridesmaids in unanimous agreement on your style of choice – even more surprisingly, they suddenly break into a rousing burst of spontaneous applause. Bradley Cooper is so moved by this show of female solidarity that he sweeps you off your feet and then…you wake up!
Real talk, it’s more likely that the day will begin with your maid of honour calling to say she’s fallen out with the other bridesmaid over hemlines; one of your maids will casually let you know that she can’t possibly wear any shade of pink… or blue; your best friend will reveal she’s pregnant and will be eight months’ gone by the time of the wedding, and your flowergirl lets you know she’s not coming if you try and put her in a dress. Bradley Cooper is nowhere to be seen.
As unlikely (and borderline depressing) as it may seem ladies, choosing your bridesmaids was the easy bit. Whether you’ve gone big and love the thought of fifteen girls of all ages accompanying you down the aisle, or have chosen an intimate and select group of your very closest two besties, there are still potential minefields to navigate. To help ensure nothing but smooth sailing ahead, read on for top tips for dressing your bridesmaids and be ahead of the game when that day of shopping arrives…
Being honest with yourself about what sort of a bride you are and your vision for how the bridal party will ‘look’ is paramount. And this is information that needs to be shared with your bridesmaids from the outset. If it’s important to you that all maids wear a particular and uniform style in a colour that you’ve been dreaming of since you were ten (and there’s nothing wrong with this approach whatsoever; in many ways, it makes life easier!), then tell your maids before you go dress shopping. If they’re worthy of the bridesmaid banner, they’ll respect that this is your day and that your wishes are the only thing that matter.
Again, a frank and candid discussion with your best girls about who you anticipate paying for the dresses is needed at the very beginning of the whole process. Bear in mind the overall expense of your wedding for your bridesmaids, including travel, and accommodation etc. Many brides negotiate this often awkward conversation by offering to pay for the dress but ask their maids to cover the cost of shoes. Do also consider the budget for hair and makeup too – will your bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done with you on the big day?
If you see your bridesmaids in styles and colours that are tailored to suit them but loosely coordinate under a general theme, approach dress shopping collaboratively. That picture of prosecco-fueled fun with all your best girls need not be out of the question (sadly, we fear Bradley Copper’s presence might). We women of the world have some incredible insights; get your maids involved with the process! Consider hosting a ‘mood board’ party. Give your best girls some general guidelines then ask them to do their research and bring two or three dress ideas to the party. Put everyone’s ideas up on the wall to pack a visual punch and let the creative juices flow! Out of the mix, a sharper sense of clarity could well emerge, as well as fostering a truly positive dialogue that helps everyone empathise and understand one another’s hopes for, or anxieties about, the big-day look. Plus, this mood board will make an excellent memento for you afterwards!
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