June 6th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Though not technically royal family herself, Pippa Middleton’s recent wedding to her millionaire beau James Mathews caused media waves across the globe, with newsrooms worldwide on high alert ready for the first reveal of the blushing bride.
Dubbed the “society wedding of the year” many were intrigued to see which high profile individuals and celebs had, or even more so, hadn’t made the guest list. For us though the intrigue was all about the dress – questions that had been lingering for months would finally be answered; who designed the gown? Slinky or princess? Lace, satin or silk?
Contrary to what some people had predicted, Pippa covered up the curves that made her a household name at her sister Kate’s royal wedding back in 2011, instead opting for a stunning lace princess gown with beautiful A-line skirt for a demure look with a stylish twist.
We would certainly love to wear such a gorgeous gown for our nuptials – and if you too are crushing on Pippa’s big day look, we’re going to discuss how to mirror her impeccable style in today’s celebrity spy post. Prepare to take notes ladies!
Giles Deacon was the designer who put Miss Middleton’s breath-takingly beautiful gown together – and we loved e-v-er-ything about it. However, if the rumours are anything to go by, such a gown would take a £40,000 chunk out of the wedding budget, placing it out of most bride’s reach.
Though all is not lost, for Pippa wore a classic shaped gown and some of the key detailing on her dress features in many other designers’ collections, meaning you can steal this style without blowing the entire wedding budget!
Though stunning, full lace gowns usually come with quite a hefty price tag and so savvy brides may prefer to look for gowns similar to Pippa’s but that just feature lace on just the top half of the dress. Then there’s the sleeves to consider – whether to go for a cute capped sleeve like Pippa or throw in some inspiration from sister Kate with full length lace sleeves instead.
The super elegant high-neck though not a hugely popular trend (yet!) could be spotted in some designs on the recent White Gallery catwalk and is a look worn by one of our other fav celebrity brides, Nicky Hilton.
Perhaps a little unexpected was the heart-shaped key-hole back to Pippa’s dress that revealed a hint of skin. For those wanting to follow in Pippa’s style steps, there are plenty of gowns with such detailing, from princess designs similar to Pippa’s as well as more fitted gowns. If feeling brave then you could go for more of a cut away design that would show off a larger proportion of skin.
Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by The Loved Ones| image source, photography by Erich McVey Photography| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source
In classic bride style, Pippa chose to wear her hair up in a chignon inspired do with all locks pulled clear of her face to show-off that beautiful high-neck detail.
Pippa’s do was loose but still had an element of structure. Chignons come in all varieties, from sleek and polished to almost messy and undone, so ladies can pick a style to suit their overall bridal look.
Pippa finished off her look with just a touch of sparkle in the form of a delicate tiara and drop earrings.
Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Brandi Smyth Photography| image source| image source, photography by NV Maui Media| image source, photography by Olive Photography| image source, photography by Bellamint Photography| image source| image source, photography by Jonny Draper Photography| image source, photography by Jay Emme Photography| image source| image source
Pretty Pippa chose to keep things real on the makeup front with a natural English rose look.
Her slightly tanned skin has a luminous glow though and there are no signs of heavy liquids, powders or contouring. Instead just a flush of pink blush is swept across the cheeks, eyes are delicately lined and brows defined. A coat of mascara and pretty pink lippy finishes off the look perfectly.
Royal, or not, this lady has certainly earned herself a spot in our celebrity bride hall of fame!
May 20th, 2017 | Julia Braime
The wait is OVER! #WEDSTIVAL’17 is FINALLY here!
Capesthorne Hall, Congelton Road, Macclesfield
Sunday 21st May 2017, 11am till 4pm
FREE entry for registered brides plus a FREE VIP media pack whilst stocks last.
bride to be?
Please register for free entry to WEDSTIVAL’17 for you and your party.
We’re giving away up to 300 free Bride To Be media packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North. As demand is high, to pick up your media pack all you need to do is fill in the form below. While stocks last.
Brides Up North in association with Shades, Big Chief Tipis, Capesthorne Hall, UNVEILED Magazine and the North West’s finest wedding industry suppliers are proud to host the UK’s original and finest dedicated festival wedding fairs in 2017.
We’ve just celebrated two absolutely EPIC weekends on the trot at Stockeld Park and Ormesby Hall (photos coming very soon!) but we’re not ready to hang up our flower crowns yet… oh no! The WEDFEST’17 TOUR continues!
With free entry for you and your bridal party and open 11am till 4pm, on Sunday 21st May 2017 Capesthorne Hall will be transformed into a wedding wonderland!
There’ll be a huge sail cloth tent, tipi hats, vintage MASH tent, a blow up pub (yes really!), a honeymoon bell tent, Pimms, prosecco, street food – and drink, LOTS of drink! – vendors (so stay for lunch and a tipple or ten!), a cars and campers, live music, bridal fashion – including a brilliant designer dress sale and a pop up boutique with gowns starting at just a fraction of the original price! – and 60+ luxury wedding suppliers covering absolutely all the details to make all your wedding planning ideas a reality.
All under cover in our warm and weatherproof outdoor wedding structures and the grand building itself, come rain or shine (we know you love a bit of drizzle and we come prepared!), we’ve got your inspiration sorted.
Bring your bridesmaids, designate a driver, wear flowers in your hair and make a day of it… this is set to be an event to remember, and it won’t cost you or your wedding party a penny!
Use the hashtag #WEDSTIVAL17 to follow the event build up across all our social media feeds.
Images from previous events by Peace Wedding Photography and Jonny Draper Photography.
April 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re huge advocates of choosing a wedding photographer that’s right for you and your big day. But in order to get perfect results, it’s not just about picking your favourite style of photography, but also someone who has the professional experience, skills and equipment to capture your day without fault. After all, you only get one shot.
As the cost of a wedding can easily stack up, we appreciate the temptation to take up a ‘mates rate’ offer from your relative or friend that has a flashy camera, but an ‘all the gear and no idea’ approach is a sure recipe for disappointment.
In a bid to demonstrate the difference between images taken by a professional versus a have-a-go snapper with a DSLR camera, our Sponsor and award-winning photographer Jonny Draper, teamed up with some of the team at Lancashire wedding venue Ashfield House, and a number of other North West suppliers, to showcase how the results of each vary.
Lighting, focus and composition are just a few of the issues to look out for, but it’s certainly easy to spot the difference between the pro and amateur pics.
Here to explain more about the concept and results of the comparison shoot is Ashfield House co-owner and wedding coordinator, Katie Street.
katie says: With the average UK wedding costing £26,989* it’s no surprise that couples are faced with tough cost-saving decisions when their budgets creep up and up. It’s heartbreaking however, to hear from couples who are disappointed with their photographs after the wedding because they chose the slash their photography budget. That friend with a decent DSLR camera may have the best of intentions but will the results be good enough?
With the help of our friend and award-winning wedding photographer Jonny Draper, we decided to conduct our own side-by-side, like-for-like wedding photography experiment.
Jonny, armed with his high-end equipment and years of experience was pitched against Karen, our assistant general manager, complete with her ‘decent’ DSLR camera, and our makeup artist Kerry Baker was on hand to snap away with her camera phone too.
Your friends and family, or the hobbyist, will have incredible intentions yet, if they haven’t got the equipment or the technical expertise and continued learning, then there really is no comparison. Most of the work in photographing a wedding is before and after, hours of painstaking editing, which our average enthusiast doesn’t have the ability to get right.
Years ago, taking the actual photographs was the easy part. The processing in the dark room and time spent with chemicals could go on for days. Photography was reserved for those elite professionals who had invested in their cameras, lenses, lights and film, plus the need for a dedicated dark room. It was big business! Every high street had a celebrated photography studio and you needed to book weeks in advance to arrange your sitting for family portraits, and months in advance to secure your wedding day photography.
This day and age, you can teach yourself the necessary skills from the comfort of your own laptop, and, if you have the money, invest in the world’s best kit. But – as these images show – that doesn’t replace the skill, expertise and experience of a dedicated wedding photographer.
February 21st, 2017 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon, we’re talking entertainment, and in particular, how certain elements of a wedding venue can affect the performance of live acts and musicians.
To ensure the advice is coming directly from those with excellent experience in the field, we’re welcoming our wonderful Sponsor Seventh Second, back to the blog. Set up and run by talented and knowledgeable musicians, those behind Seventh Second know exactly what is required to secure professional, reliable and talented musical acts that will help to make a wedding day truly unique and memorable.
Following their previous guide on how to pick the right wedding band, the agency is taking over the blogging reins once again to advise what elements of a venue need to be considered to ensure you can have your desired choice of wedding entertainment.
Seventh Second say: This is the number one consideration as your wedding venue is going to most likely be your most expensive purchase. Hidden costs can turn your dream wedding venue into a huge expense. I think most of us would agree that a venue means nothing unless it’s filled with beautiful decorations, happy guests, fantastic food, service and entertainment, so consider what else you want at your chosen venue and plan and budget accordingly. You may have to compromise on a few little things so that you can afford the venue, entertainment and extras that you want.
Most of us Brits only really let loose once we’ve had a few beers and we’ve noticed over the years that by the time we get close to bedtime most people have only just plucked up the courage to dance, and so just as we finish the night’s entertainment, the party is getting started! We therefore suggest thinking about what kind of guests you have, what kind of wedding atmosphere you want to create and checking the opening hours whilst selecting your dream venue.
space and layout
Many clients ask us, how much space does the band need? We typically say a minimum of three by four metres for a three- to four-piece act is best and ask any act bigger than that. All our acts know what they need for any situation and band size, so just ask us for more information. Most wedding acts out there should know what they need if they are professional.
There’s also stages, plugs and power requirements. If the venue has a stage and its free, use it. If you have to rent one in, it will make the whole performance area look better.
Plugs and power-wise, a minimum of four standard plug sockets is usually fine but again, check what the venue actually has and then chat to the band. If you are running a generator, check its specifics. Don’t forget that you want a nice big space for dancing so chat to the venue about that too.
Ask venues if they have sound limiters, what decibel limit they are set to, and if acts have to use them. As a guide, any limiter that’s under 100 decibels is going to affect their performance a lot and anything under 90 decibels is only advised for acoustic acts.
filling the dancefloor
Wedding acts perform to their max when they have a packed dancefloor.
If you can help it, don’t serve food when a live band is performing. Try and coordinate with the band so their break coincides with your food service. No one dances with a wad of cake in their hand or a freshly filled stomach.
If the bride and groom are on the dance floor (i.e. you!) then your guests will be. Stay there and get your guests comfortable strutting their stuff and they will stay there too.
Pick great live wedding entertainment! Guests can tell if a band is not really putting their all into a performance. Read our guide on picking a wedding band or talk to us to get all the advice you need.
Not a must, but we often notice that the more freely available alcohol there is, the more dancing there is!
sound system and lights
If a venue has equipment the wedding band either has to use, or can use, it’s worth checking for sound limiters and making sure your wedding band has all the technical details of the sound and lighting system. Built in sound systems are becoming common as venues struggle to deal with noise complaints so if a venue has its own PA and lighting system this is probably for the best and any live act should be encouraged to use them. Regardless, all our acts follow a self-contained philosophy so they always have all the sound and light equipment you’d need for a great wedding.
To find out more abut Seventh Second and their acts and service, visit their website.
February 9th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding will really get you in the party mood, with bagpipes, live music, caricatures, Irish dancing, magic and more!
Lindsey and Rory had the perfect countryside church wedding and celebrated afterwards with a rustic-themed do at Heaton House Farm.
You have been warned, though: further reading may result in foot-tapping, seat-dancing and a sudden urge for a glass of stout. Maybe best to leave this one until you’re out of the office…
With images by Jonny Draper
lindsey says: We got engaged in Dublin at Clontarf Castle on 16th May 2014. The beginning of that week Rory asked me to get the Friday off work as he fancied going away for the weekend – then he surprised me and told me that we were going to Dublin. I assumed we would be staying in the centre of Dublin where we have stayed before; however, we carried on and arrived at Clontarf Castle. I still didn’t have an inclination! During the afternoon, Rory suggested we have a few drinks in the bar before getting ready to head out for our meal later on. I remember just wanting to relax but little did I know that Rory had arranged for the room to be made up with rose petals scattered round the room and a dress he had bought for me laid out on the bed, along with champagne and chocolates. As we left the room Rory said he ‘forgot his wallet’ but that was just so he could get the ring from his bag and leave it in the bathroom bin ready for the proposal! After a few drinks we came upstairs and I was surprised at the room all beautifully decorated…I turned around and there he was on one knee! It was perfect in every way and I was glad it was just the two of us sharing the special moment together.
We got married on Friday 11th September 2015. We originally wanted Saturday 12th September, as that was the anniversary of the day we met, but it wasn’t available. Looking back, we made the right decision as the weather was perfect whereas on the Saturday it was chucking it down!
We got married at Gawsworth Church, St James The Great near Macclesfield, and our reception was held at Heaton House Farm. I’d always wanted a church wedding and the church is set in the beautiful countryside – the perfect scene for a wedding. Heaton House Farm is only 20 minutes away from the church and we couldn’t have asked for a better venue for our reception.
Both Rory and I love all things rustic and so a rustic wedding theme was an easy decision. I went for a purple/pink colour for my three bridesmaids and Rory and his groomsmen wore blue suits. Once they were both chosen it was easier to think about a colour scheme for flowers and decorations. Purple was the main colour throughout, however we incorporated other colours that would complement this and even it all out.
I didn’t shop around much for wedding dresses as I found a designer that I loved so it was just a case of looking for bridal shops which stocked her dresses. I ended up going to Amelia’s Bridal Boutique in Clitheroe, Lancashire, where I found my Morilee dress designed by Madeline Gardner. Her collections were just what I was looking for – elegant, feminine and stylish – and my chosen dress was just gorgeous. It was a white, trumpet style gown with a sweetheart neckline with beading and gems to the top of my neck. I also wore a long veil decorated with a few gems so that it would catch the light and complement my dress.
As I’d had such a good experience at Amelia’s Bridal, we decided to get Rory’s suit from there too. It was blue with a white shirt, a blue tweed tie, a grey tweed waistcoat with blue and brown checks on it and brown shoes.
January 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Luisa and Peter pulled off the impressive feat of a winter wedding without a can of snow spray or a gilded pine cone in sight. Instead, their big day at Colshaw Hall in Cheshire, was led by an organic woodland theme, full of warm earthy tones and plenty of grown-up black-tie glamour.
The food and the playlist were particular focal points for this Manchester music-loving pair, and the following day saw the festivities extended with an aprés-ski extravaganza. So get comfortable, perhaps with a glass of Malbec or a mulled wine – go on, Luisa would definitely approve!
With images by Jonny Draper Photography
luisa says: Peter and I got engaged in Barbados. One night we went down for dinner and, instead of heading for our usual table in the restaurant, we were led down a path lined with candles that took us to a private beach and a table for two. When we sat down and opened the menus, I saw all of my favourite foods and champagne. Then a steel band appeared playing Elvis Presley’s I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You. When I looked around, Peter was down on one knee; it was a truly magical moment. He made a beautiful speech and, of course, I said yes. We spent the rest of the week celebrating and relaxing; it was just so perfect!
We chose to get married on 19th December 2015 because it was the closest Saturday to the Winter Solstice – a date important to me and my mum. We wanted a winter wedding as we felt that there were lots more options to explore in terms of the decorations and the vibe that we could create.
For the venue, we chose Colshaw Hall in Cheshire. We wanted to make sure that the event was totally private and this was the huge bonus of Colshaw: the venue and all of its grounds are hired exclusively so we wouldn’t be sharing our special day with anyone else. Secondly, as Peter’s family are based in Suffolk, we wanted to make sure that there was accommodation onsite to ensure that the wedding weekend was as easy as possible for those travelling. Having looked at quite a few venues in the area, Colshaw’s accommodation was, we felt, the most beautiful. Each room has its own stunning theme and beautiful view over the grounds. Colshaw’s Peel Suite also offered a beautiful blank canvas; no wedding looks the same there. We had hired the main house for the drinks and canapés straight after the service and this offered a unique, cosy, Christmas drinks party atmosphere.
Theme-wise, we wanted to create a natural and organic winter forest. Peter and I love walking our dog Digby up on the Edge and we wanted to recreate that same earthy, woodland environment. I wanted my wedding to be just that little bit ‘out there’, and having the trees as the centrepiece certainly achieved that goal. As our wedding was the weekend before Christmas, I think people expected us to go down the more conventional festive route and it was truly lovely seeing their reactions to the chapel and the main room. We’d focused on lots of earthy tones, such as dark greens and ambers, making sure that everything was lit by candles to create warmth.
I had chosen quite a traditional and simple gown designed by Stewart Parvin with the lace detail as a nod to my Italian heritage. My dress was bought and styled by the incredible ladies at LOVE Bridal in Cheshire. They helped accessorise my gown with a Stewart Parvin veil, lace jacket and honey-toned belt which contemporised it perfectly. My shoes were Hangisis by Manolo Blahnik; I just loved their quirkiness. In the evening, I removed the lace jacket and added a thin sparkly belt to liven it up for the dancing. I visited several bridal stores and LOVE Bridal’s service surpassed all the London boutiques. From the beautiful little cakes they serve to the ‘grand reveal’, the wonderful Emma and Clare have it covered.
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