Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

wrapped in luxury: introducing pj’slondon silk nightwear

February 15th, 2016 | Julia Braime

PJ'SLONDON (11)

Is there anything better in the world than a new pair of pyjamas? We think not. Particularly when it comes to a special occasion, such as a romantic night away, a holiday or Christmas.

For brides, the wedding night and honeymoon will also be key events when new nightwear is required, in order to both look and feel fabulous (and, of course, knock the groom’s socks off in the process).

So to help ladies find such fitting attire, today on the blog we’re introducing new Brides Up North sponsor and luxury nightwear designer Luz Karina Huertas, who owns and runs PJ’sLONDON.

Handcrafted in Britain using 100% silk, these posh PJs take loungewear to a whole new level of luxury with robes, slips and top and bottom sets all made-to-order and finished to customers’ requirements.

To tell us more about what’s available to make your first night as a ‘Mrs’ all the more memorable, we’ll hand over to the lovely Luz…

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How did you get involved in design and the fashion industry? 

luz says: Choosing to pursue a degree in fashion design was an easy choice for me as I love the process of making a garment, from design to completion. I apply all of the skills I learnt in my degree, such as sketching, pattern cutting, sewing and graphic design, and have been able to build PJ’sLONDON whilst retaining my creative vision.

Being very persistent in doing what I believe in and getting advice from the right people and taking their opinions on-board has helped me to shape my business.

Tell us about PJ’sLONDON and the products it offers to brides? 

We produce luxurious, customised pyjamas using 100% silk and a gorgeous palette of 43 colour options! In a small studio based in London, we make every garment by hand with great attention to detail and lots of love. Every pyjama is made-to-order to ensure we avoid any unnecessary waste. Each garment is finished with the specifications required by the client, allowing the client to become the designer and select every detail of their design, from colour and fabric, to finishing touches such as the details on the neckline, waistband and sleeves. You can even add your own monogram for a completely unique finish.

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What is your favourite thing about your job? 

In my studio, I love it when a garment is taking shape and you are almost there! Seeing the end result and the client’s reaction is always the best bit. I give 100% to ensure my clients are totally happy with the finished product, and they appreciate that.

How can luxury nightwear help a bride feel special on her wedding night and honeymoon? 

Everything is in the detail and every bride wants only the best and to feel truly stunning and unique before, during and after their ceremony. Adding those extra touches of glamour with lustrous silk nightwear and robes are a great addition for the perfect wedding night. They’re a honeymoon essential, too!

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The Winter Boudoir. A Sweet Reveal shoot by Cat Hepple Photography

January 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Cat Hepple Photography

Boudoir photography has a bad name, and this is no-one’s fault but it’s own.  All to often, boudoir photography is tacky, hard, artificial, awkward and the absolute opposite of soft and and sensual.  Would I book a boudoir shoot?  Absolutely not. 

But what about a Sweet Reveal shoot?  Handled in an entirely different way at the hands of our wonderful Featured Supplier Cat of Cat Hepple Photography and her team of creatives, these shoots are less of a present for his bottom drawer, and more of a present to yourself – for your armoire or bedroom window seat.  Affirming, confidence building, celebratory and oh soooo sexy, would I book a Sweet Reveal shoot?  Well, maybe I already have…

Cat Hepple Photography

That’s for me to know, but for now, here’s Cat and her team (watch out for Brides Up North Featured Suppliers Victoria Farr and Story Of Your Day Wedding Films too) to ease you into this very good idea, as they present their “Winter Boudoir” shoot.

Cat Hepple Photography

Cat says:  Sweet Reveal shoots are stylish boudoir shoots with an editorial feel- they look like something from a glossy magazine. I created this style of boudoir for my brides who often asked for a boudoir shoot but with a more subtle and romantic feel than typical images you’d expect from a lingerie shoot.

The Winter Boudoir from Story of Your Day on Vimeo.

I always work around a theme, a styled look for each shoot, carefully crafted around the woman I’m going to be working with. Recent shoots included a Bond Girl influence, a boho look, and a Carrie Bradshaw styled look. It’s an individual as the woman.

Cat Hepple Photography

Cat Hepple Photography

For this shoot, I wanted to use ballet as our inspiration, we weren’t looking to recreate a ballet scene, but to use elements of dance to soften the feel and give it a fashion edge. Firstly the lingerie choices were so important, soft laces, high waisted knickers, tulle skirts, body stockings, all gave a nod to the world of ballet. I brought in the expert help of Jayne Winn from Sheer Bliss lingerie boutique, who sourced the beautiful lingerie pieces used in the shoot. Added to that  we sprinkled a little extra glamour using gorgeous necklaces and hair decorations. These pieces added that all important editorial feel to the finished look.

Cat Hepple Photography

Cat Hepple Photography

Cat Hepple Photography

Cat Hepple Photography

I asked Charlotte Miller from Eden and Eve to style the shoot for me. Charlotte has a lot of experience at styling and understands how to bring a concept to life. She added warm sumptuous fur throws and ballet ribbon to our scenes and suggested one necklace be worn as a headpiece to go with some beautiful sleepwear in the softest blush rose pink. The key for this shoot was not to make it look too cutesy. Women having a boudoir shoot want to look sultry, sassy, sexy and chic. So we didn’t want the look to become too fluffy. This is where Victoria Farr our hair and make up artist became so important. She created hairstyles which you wouldn’t expect to see in the ballet room, so keeping the look more edgy and fashion conscious. The whole mix works so well together.

Cat Hepple Photography

Cat Hepple Photography

Cat Hepple Photography

Many women are scared of boudoir shoots, feeling that everything will have to be on show and that they can be completely unforgiving to most women, but this simply is not true. These carefully crafted shoots are about exploiting the best parts of a woman, and giving her confidence to feel and look amazing. The transformation between a woman who arrives for the shoot feeling nervous and when they leave looking and feeling radiant and confident, is one of the best things for me about The Sweet Reveal. It’s amazing to do that for someone.

The Sweet reveal shoots make a great Valentines day gift. Imagine surprising your partner with the most beautiful little album filled with gorgeous shots of you. Currently if you book for Valentines, hair and make up is included in the price too, making it a great way to do something amazing for someone very special.

Cat Hepple Photography

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Capture The Love: The Limited Collection, An Engagement Shoot – Amy & Chris

November 28th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Welcome to another week Brides Up North!  This morning, it’s straight on with the gorgeousness with a beautiful shoot by Cat Hepple Photography, as she debuts her interesting new concept in pre wedding photography "The Limited Collection” – an intimate yet tasteful way of capturing the bond between two people.  I think these images of her very first volunteers, Amy and Chris, are just stunning. 

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Don’t you agree?

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography

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Cat explains: The Limited Collection is not a boudoir shoot. At least it doesn’t set out to be. It’s a shoot style designed to show the more intimate and seductive elements of a relationship between a couple.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Cat Hepple Photography

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Typically engagement and wedding images capture romance, joy, love and laughter which is beautiful and full of emotion. But there are other elements to a relationship, passion being one.

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Some of my couples have asked for shots on their wedding day more akin to the glamorous perfume style adverts we see in glossy mags. We’ve hinted at the passion in these but always held back to make sure the imagery is still relevant for a wedding day.

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But it started me thinking about a more up close style of shoot with couples, who are madly in love and don’t necessarily want to do the whole boudoir thing, but still want to capture those more personal elements of their relationship.

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Cat Hepple Photography

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Cat Hepple Photography

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Cat Hepple Photography

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Cat Hepple Photography

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Cat Hepple Photography

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Cat Hepple Photography

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Couples choose me as their photographer because they want the magazine look to their images. They want to look gorgeous and feel their images are fashion inspired but still romantic and beautiful. It’s important to me that any shoot like this still has those values at its core. The images must be gorgeous, they must be stylish and fashion inspired and you won’t see a black and red corset or feather boa anywhere!

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Cat Hepple Photography

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Cat Hepple Photography

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Cat Hepple Photography

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Over many months I’ve been researching, talking to couples about the images they’d like, what they’d feel comfortable with, and slowly The Limited Collection shoot has been taking shape.

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Amy and Chris kindly agreed to do this test shoot with me. It was as much about hearing their experience of this as it was for me to work on the look and approach to the shoot.

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Cat Hepple Photography

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Cat Hepple Photography

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Cat Hepple Photography

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The Limited Collection shoot will be different for every couple who book it. There’s no set formula, its about capturing each couple’s individual relationship. For some the boundaries can be pushed further, for others it may be a more modest, softer look. With Amy and Chris we worked to create both a more passionate and intimate look, for example by the side of the piano, Amy has a slip and silk wrap on, it’s falling from her shoulder as Chris kisses her. It’s not what we see that has the impact here, it’s the implied passion which tells the story and makes this a chic and beautiful set of images.

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But we also tried to capture that closeness in a softer way, outside. Amy wrapped in cashmere, Chris is a sweater,both curled up on a beautiful sofa brings a different lighter approach to capturing the same emotions.

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I want couples to know they don’t have to bare all, that’s not what this shoot is about.

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The Limited Collection is about creating some images you won’t get on your wedding day. It’s about uniting a couple in a far deeper, more revealing way, and that doesn’t have to mean revealing more skin!

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Cat Hepple Photography   Cat Hepple Photography

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Cat Hepple Photography

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Chris says: When Amy told me we were doing a “boudoir-esque” shoot with Cat, the first thing I asked was do I have to get naked!? I’m a builder not a model! I decided to just go with the flow, it helps when you live with Amy just to go with things. The day was brilliant, Cat made me feel completely at ease and gave me enough direction without making me feel like I didn’t know what I was doing – cause I didn’t! We had a lot of fun and it was good to spend the day just the two of us, the experience was something I’d recommend to my mates and I earned some major brownie points!

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Amy says: Getting Chris to agree to this was a major shock, but he trusts Cat (she’s shooting our wedding next year).  The day was perfect from start to finish. Hair and makeup with Debs and then in front of the camera with Cat, was never awkward and we felt 100% comfortable despite being semi naked, her directions were  brilliant! It’s not very often we take time out to really appreciate each other and without going all deep and meaningful it took us back to the days when we fell in love, when we really REALLY fancied each other, the shoot with Cat brought it back, I cant thank her enough for that! To boot we got the most stunning photos, they make me feel gorgeous and I look at Chris and swoon, that’s my man. They will have pride of place in our bedroom!

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Contact Cat Hepple Photography to find out more. 

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  – Images © 2011 Cat Hepple Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Bridal Burlesque! Supplier Bulletin: Masque Photography

October 15th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Burlesque

Images sourced from art.co.uk, fashionmanifesto.blogspot.com, tntmagazine.com, telegraph.co.uk

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Alongside your Strictly and your X Factor it seems that bit of razzle dazzle is just right for a Saturday night, wouldn’t you agree ladies? 

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Unless you have been buried under piles of tulle and lace, it won’t have escaped your attention that the art of burlesque has seen quite the revival in recent years.  With the fashion (and wedding) world increasingly influenced by a nostalgia for the glitz and glamour of bygone eras, it was only a matter of time before the very best of us fancied a flutter with a feathery fan. 

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You might draw inspiration for your wedding day beauty from burlesque’s old school pin up stars, fancy a little more slink from your bridal fashion or maybe even feel like having a go at it yourself.

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Funny that… Masque Photography, who are based in Yorkshire and specialise in beautiful boudoir photography are offering their clients the chance to learn the art of the tease with Secrets of the Boudoir Burlesque founder and performer, Deadly Nightshade. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Secrets Of The Boudoir Burlesque

Image provided by Secrets Of The Boudoir Burlesque

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You can learn how to pose like a pin up, peel off gloves and create a burlesque routine followed by a vintage/pin-up make-over and hour photo-shoot inspired by the poses from the lesson. 

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Whether a gift for the hen, a much needed pre wedding confidence boost, a pressie for him indoors or simply for curiosity’s sake, might you be tempted to give it a go?

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What do you reckon?

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For more details on the packages available to you contact Helen at Masque Photography

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Click here to read an interview with Helen at Masque Photography. 

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  – Images © 2011 as credited

Masque Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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.Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Kick Ass Confidence Tricks For Brides To Be

August 12th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog Assassynation

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After all those bikini shots on the blog yesterday (speaking of which, have you entered the wedding blog giveaway to win a £50 voucher to spend in the Simply Beach online shop?) I thought it was time for a bridal confidence boost.  With a little assistance from bridal blog Featured Supplier Helen of Masque Photography, here are my top tips for wedding day confidence, whether your fears are image related or otherwise. 

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1  Pamper yourself on the run up to the wedding.  It’s ok to get a little bit selfish about your “me time” right now.  Get lots of sleep, eat your greens and get moving in the fresh air.  A healthy glow cannot be faked.  It’s all about feeling good on the inside. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog Karen McGowran Photography

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2.  Treat yourself to a perfect manicure and professional hair and makeup on your big day.  This is your moment.  Indulge!  If you are treated like a superstar, chances are that you will start to feel the part too. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog Sean Elliott Photography

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3.  Invest in some super sexy well-fitting bridal lingerie. Delightful packaging (like the beautiful range from wedding blog Featured Supplier Love By Susie or bridal designer Jenny Packham) in slinky fabrics always makes you feel good.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog Love By Susie

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4. Give yourself the Gok Wan treatment and experiment by doing something empowering. Pole dancing, burlesque lessons or a hen party or boudoir photo-shoot.  Visit Helen’s website to find out more about her packages. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog Masque Photography

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5.  Quit obsessing over bad holiday photographs (who really looks great squinting into the sun on a lounger?) and pin your most flattering photograph on your dressing table mirror.  You could even go the whole hog and put together an ‘I look hot’ photo album that you can flick through at any time to remind you how beautiful you really are.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog McAvoy Weddings   Brides Up North Wedding Blog McAvoy Weddings

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6.  Shop around for your wedding dress.  Seek inspiration from magazines and wedding blogs about the styles that you like, then go in and have a massive try on.  Don’t discount any particular style without trying it first.  Remember that the bridal boutique assistants are knowledgeable professionals.  Take their advice.  Very often, that will be the dress that suits you best.

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7.  Share your fears.  Talk to your close girlfriends about how you are feeling and they will soon put your mind at rest.  Everyone has their own hang ups.  Hearing how ridiculous other people’s sound might just make you feel the same about your own. 

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8.  Remember that your guests are there for you.  They want you to be smiley and happy, not nervous or filled with dread.  The whole room is rooting for you.  Ride it.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog Tierney Photography

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9. Truly embrace the knowledge that he loves you just the way you are.

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10.  Listen to someone who has been there before.  Real Bride Up North Fiona from Skipton, North Yorkshire says "In the lead up to my wedding day I felt increasingly anxious about the big day. Not just all the little things that could go wrong but the fact that everyone would be looking at me as I walked down the aisle. I have always been quite a shy person so dealing with 100 pairs of eyes staring at me was not something that I relished. However, once I had spent hours getting ready, getting my hair and make up done and I was wearing my beautiful dress, I felt like a different person. When I walked into the church and saw my husband-to-be turn and look at me and smile, I forgot everyone else around us and just glided towards him. It really was the happiest day of my life."

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Go get him girls!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 in order of appearance: Assassynation, Karen McGowran Photography, Sean Elliott Photography, Love By Susie, Masque Photography, McAvoy Weddings (3), Tierney Photography, Damian Hall Photography

 This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Boudoir Beauty: Masque Photography

June 26th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Some sauce with your Sunday dinner, ladies?  Today I chat to Helen, the owner and photographer at Masque Photography and we hear from a real bride who has taken part in a confidence boosting boudoir shoot.

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Helen says: Masque Photography began as a concept three years ago. I always knew I wanted to set up my own studio at some point in my life and after having children I decided to take the plunge and follow my dream. I gave up full-time employment to pursue my ambition. I knew boudoir photography had taken off in the USA and thought there was definitely a gap in the market in Yorkshire and the surrounding areas for a really unique studio, exclusively tailored to all things boudoir. I’ve never looked back.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Masque Photography

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My background is in photography and graphic design.  I have a 2:1 BA Honours Degree in Design and Photography.  I worked as a studio designer for Maplin Electronics for 6 years, taking photographs of all their new products, store openings and promotional campaigns.

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A bride to be should chose a boudoir photo shoot as a wedding gift for her fiancé because he’ll absolutely love it! It is a really unique gift, which he’ll never expect. Plus its a fabulous excuse for you to enjoy a make-over and keep a memento of your bridal lingerie, whilst you’re feeling and looking at your best. The 20-page hard-back photo-book, the Grand Masquerade Package, can be personalised with your own messages too.

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The bride-to-be can expect a half-a-day experience beginning with refreshments and a brief consultation about what how we can tailor the shoot to fulfil her needs. Then she will be treated to a professional hair and make-up styling with the added option of a facial or manicure if required. The shoot itself lasts around 2 hours whereby we will work together with a mixture of direction and experimentation to create a variety of styles of photographs.

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The final outcome is the brides to be’s choice. She chooses what she would like from her own password-protected gallery online.

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More boudoir images and an interview with a Masque photography bride to be after the jump.

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