January 12th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Those of you that follow me on Instagram may well have noticed that it was my 30th birthday in December as I stretched out the celebrations across three weeks, no less! As well as nights out with family and friends and a fabulous trip to Copenhagen organised by my wonderful boyfriend Andy, I was also invited to top it all off with an overnight spa break at Moddershall Oaks in rural Staffordshire. Just want the doctor ordered after copious amounts of birthday booze and dancing!
Located in 72 acres of picturesque woodland and grounds, Moddershall Oaks houses an award-winning, fine dining restaurant and is also a stunning wedding venue with options for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies and celebrations. As part of the wedding venue hire package, couples marrying at Moddershall are treated to a complimentary one-night mini-moon break with overnight accommodation in its Master Bedroom, complete with four-poster bed and spa bath, plus full use of the spa’s facilities.
The spa’s “Girly Night In” package also offers the perfect chilled-out hen do, whilst its Snug can be hired for the morning of the wedding for the bridal party to enjoy being pampered and preened from top to toe whilst sipping on champagne. Sounds perfect, right? Which is why were so keen to experience Moddershall Oaks’ spa facilities for ourselves.
As I was on annual leave, my mum accompanied me on this Blissed Out Bride visit, and given what a wonderful time we had, I would certainly also highly recommend Moddershall Oaks as the perfect place for some quality mother/daughter time.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the spa’s super friendly staff and given a quick tour of the facilities before being shown to our room. We were staying in one of the venue’s ten luxury suites with gorgeous Moroccan-style décor and use of the outdoor hot tub.
With fabulous-looking facilities both indoor and out to explore, we were quick to change into our robes and indulge in some serious relaxation!
First up, perhaps the main attraction and also Moddershall’s latest addition, the outdoor spa courtyard, including relaxation lounge, spa deli, heated vitality spa pool and kelo sauna. We braved the cold December temperatures shedding our robes and hopping straight into the warm spa pool with welcoming bubbling jets. You could easily idle away hours in this gorgeous open-air spot with views of the surrounding countryside. There isn’t even the need to get out for a drink, as attentive waiting staff are on hand to gab that glass of fizz for you – utter heaven? We thought so!
November 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
It’s not just the dress that creates a bride’s big day look, the hair and makeup styling play a big part too, which is why it’s always helpful to know a pro. So ladies, if you’re currently on the search for a bridal hair and makeup stylist, prepare to take note as we’re introducing the fabulous Becca Hunton to the blog today as a shiny new Brides Up North Sponsor.
Ticking both hair and makeup boxes, Yorkshire-based Becca is a fully qualified hairdresser and makeup artist, who’s worked in established salons and at top events in both Ibiza and London, before setting up her own company, specialising in bridal beauty.
And while Becca covers a whole range of bridal looks, she has a particular passion for vintage and festival style weddings, so if you’re planning a big day along these lines, this talented lady is definitely the stylist for you.
Here to tell us more about her services is the super stylist herself…
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into hair and makeup?
becca says: I’ve always been interested in hair and makeup since I was very young. As soon as I left school I became a hairdresser. Then at 19 I got into London College of Fashion to train in makeup. I loved it! Soon after I worked in Ibiza, creating looks for Hed Kandi and gorgeous brides. I’ve been part of many different salons, including Toni & Guy in London and have worked on shows at London Fashion Week. After ten years of gaining experience I decided to set up my own business. It’s been the best thing I’ve ever done! I’ve always loved getting brides ready for their big day and with having both hair and makeup qualifications, I can offer the full package.
What do you enjoy about working in the wedding industry?
I love working in the wedding industry because you get to meet so many new and interesting people all the time. Everybody loves a good wedding don’t they? There’s always a good buzz about the place!
What is your favourite part of your job?
I love it all but I’d say getting a bridal party ready for the big day is my favourite part of my job, it’s always such an excitable time. I love going to different venues too, I’ve been to some amazing places! I also love to see what lovely dresses the brides pick – there’s such a variety of dresses out there!
Can you tell us about the services you offer?
I’m a fully trained hairdresser and makeup artist. As well as getting a bridal party ready, I cut and colour. I also offer makeup lessons. I do a lot of vintage styling and have found that hen parties love to get involved with that. I can either do mini makeovers on all the hens, or give them makeup lessons and then they all have a go too.
What process will a bride go through if they pick you to do their wedding hair and makeup?
After contacting me we will discuss your wedding and ideas that you have. I can give you tips on where to look for ideas. A trial is included in the price, which usually happens four to six weeks before the wedding. That’s a time when we can try different looks. I take photos of the hair and makeup and also write up a face plan of the makeup I have used ready to recreate on the big day.
October 24th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
While you brides-to-be are in full wedding planning mode, us Brides Up North girls are right there with you in a whirlwind of organising and staging our Luxury Wedding Fairs throughout the north of the country.
And though we love what we do, such a high level of planning leads to late nights, early starts and bodies that ache from head to toe. So when an invitation for an overnight break at Titanic Spa in Huddersfield arrived in our inbox, we thought we had more than earned a little down time.
We have been fortunate to visit the amazing West Yorkshire spa before, though we’ve never stayed for more than a day, so we were extra excited to see what else would be in store for us.
Popular with both men and women of all ages this is an ideal retreat for brides and grooms to recharge the batteries, either pre- or post-wedding, but also makes a heavenly location for a hen do or mother and daughter day. Whatever your excuse – we mean reason, you can be sure of first class facilities and service with Titanic being named ‘Best Luxury Eco Spa’ and ‘Best Luxury Destination Spa’ at the prestigious 2016 World Luxury Spa Awards.
Upon arrival our overnight luggage was taken from us and delivered to our room which we would be able to access later in the afternoon. We knew our way round and so skipped the tour and headed straight into the spa’s well-known Heat & Ice Experience. Here guests can go between a number of hot and cold rooms, each with differing benefits to the body. The overall effect is cleansing and invigorating as you peak and dip in temperature.
We favoured the warmer rooms, such as the saunas, herbal infusion room and aromatherapy room, which cleared pores whilst draining away any feelings of stress too. In between the hot experiences we dipped in and out of the ice room but weren’t quite brave enough for the plunge pool or bucket shower experience. We did manage to idle away about 30 minutes in the foot spas though while we gossiped about all things Made in Chelsea and Real House Wives of Cheshire.
Next, lunch. We recalled how good the food was on our last visit, but as it turns out the team at Titanic have stepped things up a gear again, with the dishes surpassing our previous dining experience. We both enjoyed a Prawn, Red Pepper and Chilli Linguine washed was with a Sauvignon Blanc. That’s right, though healthy, the spa still allows for treats!
The impressive facilities at Titanic – which also include a 15 metre swimming pool, gym, relaxation room and outdoor hot tub – are so plentiful that a treatment isn’t essential for those on a short break. That said, if you’re on the run up to your wedding we highly recommend indulging in a facial or body treatment as part of your big day beauty prep.
October 7th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Two of our very favourite places in life to visit have to be the hairdressers and the beauty counters of a luxury department store. It’s therefore little surprise that we love to talk all things bridal hair and beauty, particularly with the pros who can offer an abundance of advice and those expert industry tips.
And they don’t come much more knowledgeable than our new Sponsor that we’re introducing on the bog today, the fabulous Lipstick & Curls.
With excess of 150 professional hair stylist and makeup artists on the books, these guys know their MAC from their McGrath and can provide a whole host of treatments to have you looking and feeling your very best for your big day. From bridal hair and makeup through to those all-important little extras, such as manicures, lash extensions and brow grooming, these guys have got it well and truly covered.
And if you like what you see ladies you will be excited to learn that the fabulous team are offering a 10% discount to all brides booking in 2016 if they mention Brides Up North.
Here to explain more about their super services is the director and head stylist of Lipstick & Curls, Amanda Moorhouse.
Tell us a little about the Lipstick & Curls team and the various services that you offer?
amanda says: Lipstick & Curls is a hair and makeup team of more than 150 artists providing services nationally for brides, parties, fashion and media. I established the company in London and we now have a second office in Leeds for the north of England.
We are always adding new services to our website as we try and give our customers the widest choice. We work closely with our customers helping them put a package together that will suit their group booking and event. Our most popular service is our bridal service where we can accommodate any size group and provide a wide range of services including manicure, lash extensions, brow grooming, hair styling and makeup.
We also work closely with other companies so can now help with recommendations for catering, car hire, DJ, photographer and much more.
In addition, we offer a great party service (particularly popular with hen parties) and make over lessons and masterclasses.
What makes you different to other hair stylists and makeup artists?
We are very proud to have a wonderfully talented team of more than 60 artists in the north of England, all of which have been handpicked and have an amazing body of work, outstanding skills and a winning personality!
All of our artists are highly skilled in all aspects of hair and make-up styling and are fully trained, fully insured and fully qualified to a very high standard. Our team are extremely friendly and have lots of experience working with brides on their special day. We want a reputation of being the best and we only employ the best.
What process will a bride go through if they pick Lipstick & Curls to do their wedding hair and makeup?
At Lipstick & Curls, we understand the importance of getting it perfect for a bride. We work with the bride to develop a look that will complement her dress, her features and her own personal style. We offer a very personal experience; we want all our brides to feel special. We develop a relationship with all of our brides and work together to create what they desire for their special day. This often includes sending pictures to each other including images of the dress, themselves and perhaps a colour pallet.
Most of our brides will have a trial, this usually happens six to eight weeks prior to the wedding (every bride is different however and some like to do this earlier). As soon as a bride has sorted her dress we encourage them to get in touch, if not before! We want as much time as possible to work with our brides and to be part of this process by letting us help them along the way. We can offer advice right at the beginning on head pieces, hair extensions and top tips on how to look after your hair and skin in the run up to the big day.
What advice do you offer brides when they are planning their wedding, and where do you advise that they look for bridal hair and makeup inspiration?
I’ve met a lot of brides and whilst most of them relish in the thought of planning a wedding, in hindsight it’s not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’. My main advice is it’s your day, so do it your way! There are no rules, so make this day your absolute fantasy wedding (whatever that may be).
In terms of inspiration, there is lots of information online and so many alternative options when it comes to creating your perfect day. Remember it should be fun so enjoy planning it together!
Pinterest is fab for sourcing images and collecting ideas. However, I‘m a firm believer that showing our customers our past work, often does the same. Look at as many blogs and websites as you can, and in particular look at ‘real brides’ and read about their chosen looks and experiences. It’s the best inspiration!
June 14th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Ladies, we all know the affects that stress can have on our bodies; from aching muscles and skin flare ups, to dark under-eye circles and generally feeling worn out. As one of the most stressful (but enjoyable, we hope) events you can experience in life, it’s little wonder that couples planning weddings can really feel the pressure, both inside and out.
This is why we highly recommend taking a relaxing break from the wedding schedule now and again to recharge the batteries and gather your thoughts, while treating your mind, body and soul. And what better way to do so than booking into a spa resort, whether just for the day or an indulgent minibreak.
Keen to point our readers in the direction of fabulous retreats in the North where they can escape to for solace – and a flippin good massage, we’ve been out on our Blissed Out Bride travels once again.
This time our destress-destination was Slaley Hall golf resort and spa hotel, located in a secluded area of Northumberland. Following our full-on, yet fabulous, season of spring wedding fairs across the north of the country, we were literally crying out for some R&R and so sped up the A1 for a well-deserved Slaley spa day.
As part of the Q Hotel group, the historic hall, set in 1,000 acres of stunning countryside, includes a range of accommodation and eating and drinking facilities, as well as a choice of beautiful function suites, which are available for weddings. Meanwhile outdoors Slaley boasts two championship golf courses and stunning grounds, upon which marquees can be pitched for outdoor celebrations.
The part of its facilities we were looking forward to viewing most however, was its luxury spa. Safely changed into our comforting robes and slippers we headed straight to pool side for some light refreshments and a little magazine time (one of our very favourite ways to unwind) – the pressure on our shoulders instantly lifted. As we stretched back on our loungers the humidity of the room acted as a warming cocoon and we had all on to keep our eyes open – talk about optimum conditions for relaxing!
An impressive space, Slaley’s pool area has a lovely holiday feel about it with tropical plants dotted around the pool, waterfalls and Jacuzzi, and little bridges linking the different areas together.
It was soon lunchtime so we were shown through to one of Slaley’s three restaurants (still wrapped in our robes) to receive our spa day lunch. Presented in a neat Bento Box we enjoyed a healthy (ish) yet satisfying meal of chicken salad with cous cous, vegetable sticks and dip, followed by a lovely piece of chocolate cake, which was all washed down with a tall glass of fizz. We felt this provided he perfect combination of clean and treat eating (both we feel are essential to keep a girl heathy and happy!).
Once the food had settled it was back to the pool for a little snoozing and swimming, whilst also taking some time to detox and clear our skin in the sauna.
Though we didn’t muster the strength to visit (shame on us), Slaley also boasts a health club with state-of-the-art equipment and experienced instructors, to help you reach any pre-wedding fitness goals. Feeling the need for some ultra-pampering, we were booked in for a treatment each and so made our way to the gorgeous relaxation room, complete with soft sofas and beds, to meet our knowledgeable Espa therapists. As I’m soon to be jetting off on my jollies I wanted a treatment that would refresh my skin and really make it glow while still soothing my tired muscles while Julia, who is soon to be expecting a second bundle of joy, required a relaxing facial treatment to prevent any pregnancy break-outs.
May 9th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
As one of our very favourite red carpet events of the year, we were thrilled to see celebs making a stylish return to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute last week for the annual Met Gala.
With opulent and outlandish outfits galore, garments are picked to wow, shock and stun, as stars vie for the paparazzi limelight. Their choice of threads do all have something in common though, as each year’s gala celebrates the theme of the current Costume Institute exhibition, making the dress code for 2016 – ‘Fashion in an Age of Technology’.
Cue a whole host of beautiful metallic maidens in shimmering and reflective garments with tech themed embellishment, artistic cut-outs and robotic style finishes.
As is always the case at such events there some sensational faux pars (errrrr, Madonna what were you thinking?!), but thankfully the fashion hits outweighed the skips with the likes of Sienna Miller, Kylie Jenner, Blake Lively and Jourdan Dunn setting our hearts racing.
There was one lady in particular though who caught our eye (alright, we literally couldn’t stop looking at her) and that was the fabulous Poppy Delevingne. Reminding us that there is more than one hot Delevingne on the celeb circuit, model Poppy rocked a striking sheer and beaded gown whilst dripping in lavish jewels.
While not an obvious bridal look, we feel that ladies soon to be making their way down the aisle can certainly take a style tip or two out of Poppy’s on-trend book, and so today we’re making her the subject of our celebrity spy post…
Ok, so as we said, while perhaps not wholly suitable for a wedding there are certainly elements of Poppy’s stunning Marchesa dress that translate to current bridal trends. Embellishing: check, tassels: check, metallics: check, sheer panels: check. You get the idea!
So while you brides-to-be might not be able to steal Poppy’s look from top-to-toe, you can definitely give a nod to it on your big day.
For fabulous embellishment and beaded detail we would say to look to designers such as Jenny Packham, Anna Campbell, Ellie Saab and Eliza Jane Howell. Whether it’s a boho, vintage or a super glam look you are after, a creation from one of these talented designers is sure to tick the box.
The level of detail varies from one design to the next, giving brides the opportunity to follow in Poppy’s footsteps with full on razzle dazzle appearance, or pare things back a little with lighter scattering of beads and gems.
And while most brides might want to stick close to tradition with a white or ivory design, there are also metallic creations hitting the bridal runways, broadening the choices available to gold, bronze, silver and copper.
the hair & makeup
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Amanda K Photography| image source, photography by Kristen Wood| image source| image source, photography by Shelley Richmond of Kindred Photography| image source, photography by Tamiz Photography| image source, photography by Rebekah J Murray| image source| image source, photography by EK Studios.
Poppy kept her hair poker straight and vamped up her look with a dark lip colour, but although alternative, neither of these are out of bounds for a wedding.
Just as Poppy did, keeping hair sleek and simple is a good way to let the dress take centre stage and a wise move for brides opting for heavily detailed dresses. For a slightly different take on the look, brides could wear their hair to the side with a coordinating beaded hair comb to hold locks in place, or sweep the hair up into a sleek ponytail.
While Poppy’s choice of dark plum lipstick might be a shade too far for brides, a colourful lippy can be a fun and fashionable way of adding individual personality and style to a big day look. Similar to Poppy, those choosing to go down this route should keep other elements of the makeup simple – so neutral colours on the eyes, a slick of eyeliner and mascara and just a touch of blush or bronze.
Subscribe to receive Brides Up North e-shots, our newletters and notifications of events, giveaways and offers
We strive to represent the very best in our industry, but Brides Up North cannot be held liable for the products/ services of our sponsors. Any bookings are made at your own risk. Terms & Conditions.
All images © Brides Up North/ original author. Images should not be reproduced without written permission. Terms & Conditions.