Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

Wedding Dress Wonderland! Supplier Showcase: Award Winning Confetti & Lace

June 11th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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This morning I am thrilled to welcome Abbi Lewis from Award Winning Confetti & Lace and Brides of Harrogate to the silver swirly pages of the wedding blog.  I first met Abbi when we shared a table at the Bridal Buyer Awards back in 2011 and was struck by how lovely she was then – it turns out that I am a great judge of character!

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Abbi has been generous enough to sponsor our current headline competition here at Brides Up North: the chance to win not only your wedding dress but your bridesmaid dresses and menswear too, to the value of £2,000!  We do like to spoil you. 

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There is not long left to enter so make sure to click here for the chance to win this fabulous prize.  All you have to do is leave a comment on the original competition post (or register at one of the Brides Up North Spring wedding showcases) and you are in in to win it.  What are you waiting for?  The competition closes at midnight on 26th June 2012. 

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Meanwhile, lets meet Abbi. 

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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When did Award Winning Confetti & Lace open and what is your background?

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I opened Confetti and Lace nearly seven years ago on October 15th 2005 after working as a bridal shop manager.  I grasped the opportunity to run my own bridal business doing the job I love with both hands! I started up with two part-time ladies (previous work colleagues) and a seamstress and now we have twenty two staff across four branches so I feel very lucky!

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I expanded our bridal shop after a couple of years and then found that our brides were having difficulties sourcing menswear so opened up Yorkshire Menswear in Rodley, Leeds in April 2009 and our second bridal branch, Brides of Harrogate exactly four years to the day I opened Confetti.   Six months later we launched our second menswear branch in Harrogate and have never looked back!

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What lines of wedding gowns do you stock?

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We have so many designers and have built up great trust and great relationship over the years that we only stock dresses we know are best in class, value for money, constructed well and where the quality and fit is superb: designers such as Alfred Angelo, Mori Lee, Justin Alexander and Benjamin Roberts.  We are also the premier stockists for Pronovias in the North of England and have one of the largest collections outside of Harrods and their London Flagship Store! I very much enjoy going to Barcelona each year to see their latest collections and bring them back to the UK.

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Impression Bridal are a great label from the US and English designer White Rose is one of my favourites with great boning, design and fabulous fabrics such as sumptuous silks and taffeta’s. Essence is a fabulous Australian designer and offers such a flattering fit.  The list goes on and on and we carry over 200 designs in sizes 6-32 in each bridal store.

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What lines of accessories do you stock?

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We are a major stockist for Rainbow Club where we can dye handbags and shoes to match any outfit. We have hundreds of tiaras, veils and bridal accessories including ring cushions, garters, hairpins etc. and if we don’t do it (very rarely) we know someone who does!

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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Where are you located?

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace is situated between Leeds and Bradford near M&S/ASDA at Owlcotes, Pudsey.  We also have one of the largest bridal showrooms in the North of England, Brides of Harrogate, close to Betty’s Tea Rooms with over 6,000 square feet of bridal, bridesmaids, mother of the bride/groom, menswear and accessories.

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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Bridal gowns range from just £450 upwards and we have payment plans to help brides budget for their whole wedding outfits if need be.  Many are taking advantage of this easy monthly instalment plan with no hidden charges or extra costs.   Some top designers such as Pronovias carry a £1400+ price tag but most of our stock is around £800 – £900 on average. We always carry several sale items which are ready to wear and can be up to 75% off so we truly believe we cater for all tastes and budgets.

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Do Brides Up North need an appointment?

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We would recommend that brides make an appointment as we want to allocate a dedicated, experienced member of staff to help and a changing room to get changed in.  We have between seven and eight changing rooms in each bridal store so we can usually help even if you’re calling in on the off-chance although appointments take priority of course. 

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

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You can expect a warm and friendly welcome, expert, knowledgeable and down-to-earth staff who are there to help you. We like to put you (and your guests) at ease and we serve bubbly/ bucks fizz/ tea and coffee as it can take anywhere between one to two hours to try on different styles. In our Leeds store we open seven days, two evenings a week for our customers’ convenience and in our Harrogate store we have huge private changing rooms for both the bride and their parties. 

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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

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I have so many favourites!  In our Harrogate store I love a gown called Benicarlo by Pronovias and it has a lovely sweetheart neckline which is tastefully covered in feathers! It has a full romantic skirt which is high-waisted so very flattering. In our Stanningley Store my favourite is a dress named after me, Abbi by Phil Collins Bridal and is a beautiful princess line gown in matt duchess satin with a georgette (chiffon) overlay across the bust and scattered crystals all over the gown, concentrating on the neckline. It has a flattering ‘ruched’ waist effect, a detailed train and a lace up corseted bodice. It comes in white or ivory, is flattering in any size and is £900.  With all that detail and work, I think it’s excellent value for money.

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Is there a particular style of dress that is popular with your brides at the moment?

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Lace is a particular favourite at the minute and vintage themes have been very popular. We are getting asked for gowns with straps, sleeves or higher necklines and as we are dress-makers can offer this service on most of our dresses.  We also have in store a large range of jackets, boleros, shrugs and stoles to compliment all of our gowns.

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How does Confetti & Lace provide a superior experience to other wedding dress boutiques?

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I think a lot of other bridal retailers do a sterling job, especially faced with internet sellers and as mentioned before I think the service and quality of the dresses plus a full and comprehensive alterations service means we can offer much more than taking a big risk on the most important dress of your life!

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We have seen an huge influx the last few years of cheap copies and substandard gowns, often with little or no boning, cheap glued on crystals and no lining!

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Our customers can expect top class service from wedding professionals who are fully insured (we are members of the British Bridal Retailers Association, BBRA and the Retail Bridal Association RBA) who guarantee that you are covered in case of theft, loss or damage.

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We’ve also won most of the major bridal accolades and awards over the years, most recently we we’re runners up in the Best Bridal Retailer 2012 and also UK Menswear Retailer of The Year, plus finalists in the Wedding Industry Awards and Wedding Idea’s Magazine 2012 – these are voted for by customers, peers and industry professionals so we’re very proud!

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Check our Google reviews and ask around, we have many recommendations and see a lot of our past brides and bridesmaids coming in with friends and family who are now getting married. You can’t ask for better than that.

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Do you stock Bridesmaid Dresses?

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We have a huge range of bridesmaids dresses with dedicated bridesmaids’ departments in both stores. We have Dessy, Mori Lee, Alfred Sung, Lela Rose in our Harrogate store and Alfred Angelo and Impression maids at both with the whole Kelsey Rose range in our Stanningley branch. Over 200 styles that come in sizes 0 to 30 plus and in up to 255 colour combinations!

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What about Menswear?

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Yorkshire Menswear.com provide suit hire by Cameron Ross who themselves are recipients of Best Groomsmen Supplier UK Awards 2010, 2011 and 2012. We can cater from age 2 to size 60" chest and even though it’s hire wear the quality is superb with up to a 37" inside leg (most retailers only go to a 33), extra long sleeved shirts and waistcoats can come as standard too.

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Our suit packages are mainly £99 which includes any jacket, trousers (in lots of styles and colours), new shirt, waistcoat (over 60 to choose from), tie, hanky and cufflinks. One in five suits is FREE and we offer a free UK wide measure and collection service for those in the party outside of Yorkshire in any one of over 180 outlets. Our suits normally come in at least a week before the wedding also which is pretty unheard of in suit hire. We do Highland Wear (one of my favourites!), dinner suits, lounge jackets, Prince Edwards and Tailcoats so if you need a suit for a wedding, black tie, cruise, the races, prom or special event, we’re on hand to help…and fast!

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Are you married? What did you wear on your wedding day?

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I got married last year in February to Martin (who can be found in Yorkshire Menswear!) and I wore a dress by Ellis Bridal with straps, crystal detail on the shoulders, dropped waist, delicate crystal bodice modesty panel and buttoned back.  As it wasn’t my first marriage and I’m now in my 40′s and a size 14 I felt comfortable in it and it was appropriate for me.  I teamed it with a silk bolero jacket because of the time of year and I looked and felt my best – I had lots of lovely comments and that was brilliant. Looking back on my photographs I was really pleased with my choice too – after all you have one chance to capture the day and there is no time for regrets!

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

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You can ring Leeds 0113 2360652 (7 days a week) or Brides of Harrogate 01423 500010, visit our website at www.confettiandlaceweddings.co.uk or email us at info@confettiandlaceweddings.co.uk

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Anything else that Brides Up North should know?

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ITV are currently making a documentary film about us and our brides and grooms called The Wedding Shop to be aired in the Autumn/Winter at the prime 9pm timeslot (date to be confirmed) so we’re very excited and we hope you enjoy the programme!

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We’re already slightly famous after appearing on BBC’s Don’t Tell The Bride and we had beaten several other shops in the UK for this programme to go ahead – we like to think of it as an upmarket My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and we are happy to be a Yorkshire business representing the UK wedding industry!
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  – Images © 2012 supplied by Award Winning Confetti & Lace 

Award Winning Confetti & Lace is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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As Audrey Would Say: ‘I Believe Happy Girls Are The Prettiest Girls’: Supplier Showcase: Choola, Sheffield

February 22nd, 2012 | Julia Braime

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I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and… I believe in miracles.  Audrey Hepburn
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Today we meet an Audrey fan who lives by her idol’s motto – the fabulous Francesca from the even more fabulous (if it’s possible!) Choola bridal boutique, Sheffield.  Form an orderly queue girls. 

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With images by Jess Petrie

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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When did Choola open and what is your background?
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Choola proudly opened its doors in July 2008 and is run by myself and my partner Ivan. I’m thrilled to say since opening, we have become one of the leading boutiques in Sheffield and the Northern region with brides travelling from all over the UK and now even abroad to visit us! We have worked very hard to establish ourselves and we are thrilled to have been recognised enough that we were selected to appear on Wedding TV, be the supplier to National and local Radio competitions and regularly featuring in the leading bridal magazines.

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Bridal had always been my passion, having religiously bought the wedding magazines each month for years and losing myself in a world of style, fashion, flowers and cakes! After being a bridesmaid 6 times, I had known for many years that I wanted to open my own boutique but it was only when driving down Ecclesall Road one day and spotting the empty shop that the ‘Eureka’ moment hit me! It was now or never!

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That was back in January 2008 and within weeks I had gone part time in my job, signed the lease and all focus was now on turning the once bathroom and shower showroom into a gleaming bridal boutique!

Ivan and I did all the work ourselves with a huge amount of help from our family and before we knew it the appointments were flooding in and we were in full swing. 

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Having graduated in 2004 with a degree in Law and working within the field of policy and procedure, suddenly running my own business was a huge shock to the system! However, Ivan and I were used to throwing ourselves in at the deep end and having previously worked as a Rent Arrears Officer for the Council, I was certainly not afraid of a challenge.  My fiancé and business partner was no stranger to the complexities of business with a degree in Business Studies and having run a successful property development company. With his business expertise, my legal background and passion for all things wedding, we knew we had the perfect mix for a fabulous new venture. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What lines of wedding gowns do you stock?

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We were really keen to have a mix of designers both well established and up and coming and over the years this has developed significantly. We aren’t afraid to change which designers we stock as quality and service is everything to us and we have successfully managed to carve ourselves a niche for showcasing dresses with "that little bit of something different". The dresses aren’t so far off centre as to limit our clients but yet edgy enough to set the Bride apart from the crowd.

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We have stocked Lyn Ashworth from first opening and these are our classic British made gowns. With an exceptional cut and quality of silk and lace, these our firm favourites with our brides seeking the quintessential English wedding style.

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For girls who love beautiful fabrics with more emphasis on cut than embellishment, we stock the French design house of Lambert Creations. All handmade and made to measure in Brittany, these gowns can seldom be found anywhere else in the UK. 

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For our brides who favour lace and intricate beading we stock the Portuguese designer Maria Karin which again has few UK stockist so brides can be assured of exclusivity.

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The award winning Mark Lesley range provides beautiful dresses with a more traditional element but still with some great contemporary twists.

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We then have then very glamorous designs of Anoushka G, favoured with the celebrities, these dresses are perfect for brides who want to be fashion forward and not feel overly "bridey"! The collection boasts a lot of silk-chiffon which is also perfect for brides having destination weddings.

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Our two newest designers to Choola are Jonathan James Couture and Private Label by G. We were drawn to Jonathan because he isn’t afraid to break the rules when it comes to his collections! He can just as easily create a simple unembellished gown as he can a heavily beaded princess dress and with the ability to bespoke gowns for our clients, he was a definite must!

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Private Label by G has only just been introduced in the UK with its cult following being in the USA and Canada but always wanting to be ahead of the crowd we quickly sought to introduce the label into Choola! The first dress from their fabulous collection was sold within an hour of arriving at the boutique and already are proving a real talking point! The Private Label collection literally has a dress for every bride, from vintage glamour to full on fairy-tale romance. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What lines of accessories do you stock?
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I love my sparkly things! We stock stunning headpieces and veils from Ivory & Co, Studio Bridal and Emmerling. We have an eclectic mix of vintage inspired pieces, art deco styled hairbands, traditional tiaras and some quirky birdcage veils and fascinators.

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As a huge shoe lover we have over 30 pairs of shoes to choose from by celebrity favourite Benjamin Adams. We love their shoes because they are stylish, fashionable and all beautifully handmade. The best thing is that most of them can be dyed after the wedding and worn again so they don’t end up gathering dust in the attic. I have several pairs in several colours that look great with pair of jeans or the infamous LBD. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Where are you located?

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Our beautiful boutique is based in one of my favourite places in Sheffield, Ecclesall Road. This road has always been a favourite with the independent boutiques and the trendy bars.  It has a great cosmopolitan buzz to it and perfect to be able to spend a whole day on, browsing the shops, having lunch and a glass or two of wine! It also has a fabulous park with beautiful views. In my opinion there is nowhere else we could have had our boutique.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Can you give Brides up North an idea on price?

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Our dresses start from around £900 to approximately £2700. A good retailer will always chat with a bride about budget as the last thing we want to do is put you in a dress you fall in love with, only then for you to find out that the price is above what you would like or more importantly able to spend. Don’t be afraid to be honest about what you are able to spend, the more honest you are the more we will be able to help you. For us its not about selling you the most expensive dress in the boutique, its about selling you the perfect dress for both your body shape and personality. The bride after all is our walking advertisement!

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Do Brides up North need an appointment?
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We will always try and see a bride if somebody pops in and we have the time to do so but we always advise brides to book as there is nothing worse than travelling a long way to see us, only to be turned away as we already have a full diary. Booked appointments are a must on Saturdays and need to booked well in advance. We always suggest a bride to come on a week day if she is able to take time off work as we can generally spend a little longer with her. However, as a busy woman myself, I understand that its not always possible, therefor we offer late appointments on both Mondays and Wednesdays. We only close Sundays so we are very accessible to both busy brides and those who live further afield.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What can Bride Up North expect when they come for an appointment?
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When brides come to visit us we want everyone to leave feeling energised and excited! They will have time to browse the gowns, chat through their thoughts and feeling about what they envisage for their day and then be taken to their private fitting area.

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Looking for your dress is one of the most important and exciting parts of the wedding planning, this is where it all starts! We are genuinely passionate about what we do and I think that shows. We take time getting to know our brides, we listen and support. We offer constructive advice and never pressure brides into a decision. We ask brides to pick out their own dresses to try on but then we will make our own suggestions and often a bride is surprised to fall in love with the dress she never dreamed of. 

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We only see two brides at a time but they are both on separate floors so each bride has her own consultant and more importantly her own privacy. Great refreshments are also a must and we always have plenty of drinks and freshly baked cupcakes to nibble on! For us, providing a woman’s dress for her wedding is a real honour and privilege so we always strive to provide the best level of service and advice. We all still regularly attend training events with designers and all staff have completed national qualifications in customer service and business.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What is your current favourite gown and why?
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My favourite dress changes regularly depending on my mood or who has just tried it on. I’m a real fan of quirky dresses that have intricate pattern cutting or unique fabrics.  At the moment though, I’m really in love with Elenore by Anoushka G. Its a silk dress with cowl neck and back and an amazing waterfall train! I also love Gwendoline by Lyn Ashworth as its very Audrey Hepburn and as you will be able to tell from the amount of Audrey Hepburn pictures in the boutique she is my style icon! Elegant yet quirky, chic yet individual!

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Is there a particular style of dress that is popular with your brides at the moment?

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The vintage and lace styles have been popular for several years now but I think we are seeing a move away from the vintage trend with a number of our brides opting for either the more classic style or braving a more contemporary look. Organza has become very popular as you can create a number of looks with this versatile fabric. What I love though is that a style of dress can look so very different on each bride, this is what makes the job so interesting. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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How does Choola provide a superior experience to other wedding dress boutiques?

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I think this is a really tough question to answer as the one thing I’m not so good at is saying how good we are! I think we would all like to believe we are the best at what we do and it can become easy to criticise other boutiques in the process. The fact is though, that Sheffield and the surrounding area has some fabulous boutiques and when we started the business we wanted to become a part of that, to really put Sheffield on the map. We are pleased to say we have forged some great friendships with other bridal boutique owners which is not only beneficial for us and them but also for the brides.

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We take great pride in our attention to detail in both our service and how the boutique looks and feels.  We are very humbled to have a shop filled to the brim with thank you cards and photos from past brides and with a huge amount of our business coming from recommendations, I guess that tells us we really are getting it right! Many brides have now become firm friends and come back with friends and family either to help someone else shop for a dress or simply just to pop in and have a chat. 

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We are very honoured and proud to have been nominated for 2 awards within 12 months of opening, getting to the finals of Wedding Boutique of the Year UK and the top 50 Hottest boutiques in the UK! This was especially exciting as we were categorised alongside the very best of the best such as Bruce Oldfield and Suzanne Neville! It was a lovely surprise as a lot of awards you have to put yourself forward for but this was completely out of the blue!

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We have a genuine enthusiasm for our business and I’m a bit of a wedding-a-holic! I go home and watch Wedding TV and read the bridal magazines, I just cant get enough of it! Our brides tell us we have a lovely warm atmosphere here at Choola and I think it’s because our business is family run so our dedication and passion radiates through all of us! We also have fun! My heart swells when I hear the shrieks of laughter and the champagne corks popping, its a feeling like no other. 

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Our ethos here is to treat brides how we would want to be treated, simple I know but its strategy that works! We are honest with our brides and try to give them as much information as possible to enable them to make an informed decision about their gown. Our boutique is chic and stylish with great lighting and lots of space and privacy, There are always fresh flowers and our boutique smells divine thanks to our fab candles.  We have soft cosy cream sofas and carpets and stunning mirrored furniture. The changing areas are luxurious and large enough to really move in the dresses. We offer a full styling service as well as being able to provide contacts for other bridal industry experts. We know our gowns and industry inside and out and most importantly, know how to dress a woman to show off her figure and personality to its full advantage. All in all we believe our dress shopping experience is exactly what it should be, fun, relaxed, special and a memory to be treasured.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Do you stock bridesmaid’s dresses?

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We have two great collections by Mark Lesley and our newest designer Kenneth Winston. The dresses are a wonderful mix of traditional, contemporary, quirky and style led. A lot of the dresses are perfect to be worn again after the wedding. We have a great array of colours and many of the dresses my friends and I order to wear at days at the races and awards events as they are that gorgeous. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Who would be a Choola bride?

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Anyone can be a Choola bride! We literally have a dress to suit every figure and personality and love that fact that over the years we have dressed brides from the ages of 20 to 60 and every size and shape that’s in between! We have brides who aren’t particularly "girly" and don’t want to look "bridal" right through to brides who have dreamt of being the princess from a little girl. I love the quirky mix of brides we have and how individual and different they all are.

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Are you married?

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In case anyone didn’t know, Ivan and I got engaged last year and are marrying in early summer! I’m so excited that I tell everyone! I’m extremely fortunate to be able to have a couture gown made for me by one the most talented designers (I’m keeping it secret for now!) The whole process of sitting down and sketching out the dress has been a fabulous experience and watching the dress develop step by step is truly amazing. I’m so excited to see the finished gown and I think there will be lots of tears when I have my final fitting! I can tell you though that I am having the most stunning pair of Aruna Seth shoes and they aren’t ivory. I’m a bit of a Carrie Bradshaw and have more shoes than I care to admit (or want Ivan to know about) and these are just to die for!

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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How can Brides up North get in touch with you and find out more?

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Brides can visit our website www.choola.co.uk, our facebook page, Choola Bridal Boutique and our Twitter page for more information about us. We will soon have a blog where I can talk wedding till my hearts content! Or if you just want a chat the good old fashioned way you can call us on 0114 2671303.

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Anything else Brides up North should know?

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Yes, we will soon be having our very first celebrity bride tie the knot! My lips are sealed but when the time comes keep your eyes peeled and there may even be an appearance in OK magazine… watch this space!

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  – Images © 2012 Jess Petrie

Choola 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

Posted in Bride, Featured Supplier, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | 3 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

High Street Honey: OMG. The New Bridal Collection By Coast Is To Die For!

January 28th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Oh my goodness.  It was a fairly standard recce of the internets this week, just seeing what had come into my favourite high street stores by way of bridal beauties, when BAM!  Gold was struck.  And shrieks of excitement were heard (!)

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Coast are fairly consistent when it comes to producing affordable, well cut, wedding-y fashion, but OMG, this season they have hit the nail right on the head. 

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Enough exclamations of wonderment!  See for yourself.  Note the screen siren influences (Monroe and Angelina), and more than a hint of the Princess Catherines (see Cora and Aston)… LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

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Click the image to go there. 

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Coast Angelina

Angelina

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Coast Cora

Cora

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Coast Darling

Darling

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Coast Aston

Aston

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Coast Hartley

Hartley

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Coast Analie

Analie

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Coast Monroe

Monroe

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Coast Miasara

Miasara

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About time I turned off this laptop.  And perhaps went shopping. 

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  – Images © 2012 Coast

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

Posted in Bride, High Street Honey, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

What A Do Weddings Is Not On The High Street (If You See What I Mean!) Plus Limited Edition Wedding Blog Tote Bags Up For Grabs!

January 26th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North Featured Supplier Helen of What A Do Weddings, and the designer of the amazing limited edition Brides Up North tote bags (watch out for a very special hot pink version coming soon!) has some exciting news which will make her range of fabulous wedding stationery and screen printed bags so much more accessible to brides planning their big day. 

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What A Do Weddings - Image by McAvoy Weddings

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Helen says:  I’ve been designing stationery for years but recently found a passion for screen printing. A combination of this and a love of all things wedding led me to produce a few ‘wedding themed’ screen printed bags and kids wedding day favour bags.

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Following good feedback from other wedding suppliers and couples planning their weddings who I’ve met at wedding fairs throughout  2011, I started selling them on Etsy.  They went down a storm, so I decided to try my luck landing an even bigger fish – Not On The High Street.com – where I am now trading under my business name Solographic Art!  

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What A Do Weddings

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What A Do Weddings

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I know others who’ve failed  and know that over half of applications fail but I believe I have something unique and during December I applied.  I put together a scrapbook of images very loosely and sent them over and to my amazement I was accepted. I wanted it to be right so I commissioned a photographer I love who specialises in product  photography and works with others who sell on the site and she produced some great shots of my work.

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What A Do Weddings

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The product I believe won the application for me is the kids personalised gift bags. They can be coloured in with fabric pens, washed and coloured again and again. They have been bought for a number of occasions but were designed originally as children’s wedding favour bags/activity packs.
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What A Do Weddings

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What A Do Weddings .

What A Do Weddings

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I won’t be selling all of my wedding stationery on Not On The High Street,  just a few popular styles but want all brides to be out there I have a  huge range which I’ll be selling direct through What A Do Weddings as a lot of my brides to be prefer to have something bespoke designed, and this way I can still offer a very personal service.

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What A Do Weddings

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What A Do Weddings

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Check out Helen’s first productsclick here to snap ‘em up while you can.

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HEART

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Andddd… ok then, I’ll let you into a little secret!  Those limited edition hot pink Brides Up North totes I mentioned?

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The first 200 brides to register for the Brides Up North Super Showcase on Sunday 4th March 2012 at Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham and come to collect one on the day get one to take home – absolutely free

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Get your name down by clicking here. 

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While stocks last.

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HEART

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  – Images © 2012 What A Do Weddings

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Posted in Bride, Bridesmaids, Featured Supplier, Wedding Favours | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Accessorise That! You Are Invited To A Bridal Accessories Designer Evening with Debbie Carlisle At White Room Sheffield

January 17th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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DC

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White Room Sheffield/ DC Bouquets/ India Hobson Photography

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This is a date that should be twinkling away in your diaries!

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On 3 February 2012, Brides Up North Featured Supplier, The White Room Sheffield are hosting a fab open house for Debbie Carlisle accessories and bouquets. This is a walk in service, where Chloe and her team will be offering 10% off all purchases, style advice, bridesmaid accessories and cuffs plus the usual goodies and White Room service!

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Debbie Carlisle designs fashion forward bridal headpieces with a vintage twist – for the bride who wants to walk down the aisle with style. Her bridal designs fuse vintage glamour with a rock and roll edge and it is this ethos that Debbie brings to the White Room Maid collection. Debbie’s new bridesmaid designs promise glamour, sparkle and a few textural surprises, perfect for bridesmaids looking for a modern, elegant look. The headpieces can be mixed and matched across the entire White Room Maid range and work seamlessly with Debbie’s bridal headpieces – a selection of which are stocked by The White Room.

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Click here to view the White Room Maid fashion exclusive, here on the wedding blog. 

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White Room Sheffield/ DC Bouquets/ India Hobson Photography

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White Room Sheffield/ DC Bouquets/ India Hobson Photography

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White Room Sheffield/ DC Bouquets/ India Hobson Photography

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White Room Sheffield/ DC Bouquets/ India Hobson Photography

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For further information contact Chloe at The White Room Sheffield on 0114 2722336 or at chloe@whiteroombridal.co.uk 

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  – Images © 2012 India Hobson Photography 

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Curtain Call: Wedding Blog Fashion Exclusive! Bridesmaid Heaven With The White Room Maid Collection

January 4th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Well hello there!  I’ve a little couture treat for you this morning on the wedding blog to ward away those post Christmas blues.  Call it a BRIDAL FASHION EXCLUSIVE!

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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Just before the festive break, I blogged about the forthcoming launch of The White Room Maid by Kate Harrod, a bespoke bridesmaid collection especially for The White Room Sheffield

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Offering a capsule collection of bridesmaid gowns and a couture service for Mother of the Bride to compliment the boutique’s range of gowns by Jenny Packham, Cymbeline, Claire Pettibone and Stephanie Allin, Kate, the winner of the “Bridal Buyer 2011 Student Bridal Designer Of The Year Award", will operate under the “White Room Maid by Kate Harrod” label.

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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Today, in this Brides Up North bridal fashion exclusive, The White Room Sheffield and Kate Harrod unveil the Spring/ Summer 2012 collection with a special curtain call shoot at The Lyceum in Sheffield, a beautiful theatre which has been an iconic Sheffield space for many years.

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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Chloe Curry of The White Room Sheffield says:  Great design, intelligence and thought went into The White Room Maid’s initial creations. We took inspiration from real women: those who embody femininity, timeless elegance and rock and roll glamour and created four capsule gowns in chiffon and silk with leather belts and tulle skirts to create a modern and memorable bridesmaid look.

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The White Room Maid

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We wanted to create a sense of “getting ready for the show”, so used the models to create a sense that they together were helping each other perfect their own look to support the leading lady – the bride – even though she wasn’t there on set. 

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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Introducing Gwen, Evangeline, Marilyn and Lottie for The White Room Maid by Kate Harrod Spring/Summer 2012 bridesmaid collection.

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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GwenA bold and eclectic gown combining soft charcoal chiffon with ash grey leather, we took inspiration from Gwen Stefani, one of the celebrity world’s recognized fashion trend-setters. With a rock and roll feel and a Hollywood glamour undertone,  Gwen encapsulates the heart of our collection, where we seek to play with new and interesting style influences, fabrics and textures to make bridesmaid wear feel very 2012.

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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“Gwen” paired with DC Bouquets forehead chain and flowers from Swallows and Damsons

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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Evangeline – Drawn from a vintage influence, we wanted to embody retro looks without looking dated. Evangeline is constructed in a platinum pink chiffon and silk, with a 1920′s inspired bat wing sleeve that can be worn draped over the arm or pinned with a dress brooch to create a one shoulder effect. Debbie Carlisle of DC Bouquets has made some beautiful pieces to wear on the sleeve including a soft metal clip with a striking vintage brooch. We suggest pairing this with a ’40s pin-up, swept-up hairstyle or ’20s-style hairpieces for a striking look that embodies looks of old but looks very now.

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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“Evangeline”

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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Marilyn - Named after the icon herself, Marilyn is a full skirted tulle and silk chiffon gown which was influenced by Monroe as her sole purpose for dressing was to show off her body in a fun, flirty and sexy way. This is exactly what Marilyn does whilst resonating with 50′s femininity and 2012 modern, clean lines and colour. Pair with a soft platinum leather belt for a kooky, rock and roll edge to a soft and flirty gown.

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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Marilyn” paired with DC Bouquets headband and Rachel Simpson “Rosalyn” shoes

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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LottieThe girl of the group – soft, short and angelic – Lottie is created from stardust chiffon and silk to create a gown with fluidity, movement and sway. We wanted to make a gown that looked young and fresh, that is perfect for the country wedding with a tea party twist or the cocktail party where the gown is just effortless and sassy yet screams couture. Pair with one of DC Bouquets’ soft leather headbands or platinum embellished cuffs for a rock and roll edge.

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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“Lottie” in stardust chiffon and silk

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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The White Room Maid/ India Hobson Photography

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I think that deserves a standing ovation!

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The White Room Maid

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  – Images © 2012 India Hobson Photography/ The White Room Sheffield

The White Room Sheffield is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but 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

Posted in Bridal Accessories, Bride, Bridesmaids, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | 2 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Designer Focus: First Look At Suzanne Neville’s Bridal Collection 2012 PLUS A Special Treat For Wedding Blog Readers!

December 21st, 2011 | Julia Braime

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You ask, I deliver!

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I have had lots of requests from readers for more bridal fashion features here on the wedding blog, and particularly for those showcasing wedding gown designers who are located in or stock boutiques in the North of the UK.  Your wish is my command, and today I am proud to share the gorgeous new collection from Suzanne Neville, who got in touch to ask me to feature this beautiful Nostalgia 2012 shoot.

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Each and every gown in Suzanne’s latest collection is stunning, but my vote this time has to go to the pleated chiffon Lombard number.  It’s got silver screen elegance by the bucket load!  Which is your favourite?

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Better yet! Exclusive to Brides Up North wedding blog readers, thank you very much, Suzanne Neville are also offering each and every bride that goes into their Wilmslow (North West) store for an appointment and mentions Brides Up North a free Suzanne Neville fragrance.*  Merry Christmas!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Suzanne Neville

Aphrodite

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Suzanne Neville says: Inspired by the golden ages of glamour, the design team have taken the best parts of a by-gone era and turned them into modern day bridal gowns, fit for a style conscious screen goddess.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Suzanne Neville

Hepburn

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The new collection includes elegant draping, luxurious satin and crepe fabrics and beautiful necklines and sleeve details. Inspired by the classical, silver screen greats such as Greta Garbo and Sophia Loren, who have influenced the names of the 1930′s and 40′s style gowns that are an integral part of the overall collection.

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Pleated silk organza, silk chiffon and French lace feature heavily throughout. Many of the gowns have interesting sleeve and neckline detail as more and more brides move away from the popular strapless styles of the past few years.

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Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress Designer

Broadway Belle

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Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress Designer

Carly

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Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress Designer

Charisse

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Beautiful full layered skirts with perfectly fitted bodices give a romantic, movie star glamour to the collection, as seen with ‘Gracie’. The hand embroidery and beading on gowns such as ‘Broadway Belle’ was show stopping.  As always, our trademark corsetry features throughout the collection, with a modern twist and injection of red carpet glamour.

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Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress Designer

Gracie

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Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress Designer

Image

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Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress Designer

La Verite

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Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress Designer

Leading Lady

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Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress Designer

Goddess

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Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress Designer

Love Affair

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Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress Designer

Lucia

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Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress Designer

Lombard

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Suzanne Neville Wedding Dress Designer

Spellbound

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Falling in love?  Here is a list of Suzanne Neville stockists across the UK. 

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Check back later today for more from this fabulous wedding dress designer, as we hit the catwalk!

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* For a limited period & while stocks last. 

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  – Images © 2011 Suzanne Neville

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

Posted in Bride, Eye Candy, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | 2 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Fisherman’s Friend – A Styled Bridal Fashion Shoot By Lissa Alexandra

November 17th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Lissa Alexandra Photography

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Something fishy’s going on today on the wedding blog.  But don’t get your tackle in a twist, it’s only the gorgeous Lissa Alexandra Photography with her fabulous seaside bridal fashion shoot.  Man the lifeboats!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Lissa Alexandra Photography

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Let’s hear from Lissa, who explains the concept behind the shoot.  She says: For ages I’ve wanted to do a bridal shoot, but with a twist. It’s very popular for photographers just to plonk a model in a field and shoot but I wanted more depth to mine. As a Yorkshire lass with a love of the sea, the North East coast seemed a perfect location. My style of photography is slightly vintage and I love rural/ traditional locations, so Staithes and Robin Hood’s Bay fitted this perfectly. Rather than just have the girls walking round the villages I wanted to quirk it up a bit. For some reason the idea of a bride dressed as a fisherman made me smile and I hoped it would make the viewer smile too! So the theme for the shoot was born: vintage coastal life with a dash of kitsch.

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Lissa Alexandra Photography

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My first task was to find the models. My fellow photographer buddy Ella jumped at the chance and her best friend Pam joined the fun too. Once I’d had their dress sizes I was lucky enough to borrow some stunning dresses from Sharon at Eternity Bride.  I wanted one with a really long train as I had visions of it bellowing in the wind on the beach. This was the champagne coloured strapless dress. The other dress was white and stunningly simple with just two string of pearls across the back. The final dress used in the shoot is from one of my client’s businesses Heirloom CoutureIt was a genuine vintage dress in champagne with a sage green coral style embroidery pattern. It was perfect for the shoot! All dresses are available for purchase, contact Lissa Alexandra Photography.

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Lissa Alexandra Photography

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Lissa Alexandra Photography

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Lissa Alexandra Photography

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With my shots in mind, my next mission was to source the props. The lovely Rachel, from Simply Vintage Events was fantastic! After a random list of weird and wonderful things from me she came up with everything I wanted including anchors, fishermen’s hats, starfish, parasols, horseshoes, smoking pipes, bucket of flowers and much more!

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Whilst at a wedding fair I met the very talented Katy from What Katy Did Next I was in awe of her stunning headpieces. I knew I definitely wanted to use her pieces for my shoot, and I think you’ll agree, they look amazing plus the models wanted to keep them all!

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{Note: A What Katy Did Next headpiece is currently up for grabs on the wedding blog – click here to enter}

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Katy then suggested I take a look at the button bouquets made by Emma at Beau Buttons
Again, wow, I fell in love! What fabulous bouquets and such a great alternative to flowers. I love the fact that they can be kept for life for passed down through generations.

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One of the models had worked with the make up artist Natalie Greenwell. 
Nat was a complete godsend. Not only was she brilliant at makeup and did exactly what I asked for but she was so jolly and upbeat. She even stayed the whole day and helped out as my assistant, superstar!

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Lissa Alexandra Photography

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Finally the last piece of the puzzle was to find somewhere to stay. After doing a reccy of the villages I came across Staithes Cottages. Maureen sorted me out the perfect cottage dead in the centre of Staithes so we could walk about easily, which to the local and tourists caused much humour and intrigue!

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Lissa Alexandra Photography

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The shots in all are a mixture of quirky, romantic and creative photographs which is generally how I cover my weddings. I like to capture natural moments sharing the subject’s personality. I also love to use props which I carry to all shoots with me. They’re a great way of helping people relax in front of the camera. By giving them something to do it really helps them with their confidence and they have a laugh with things, leading to more natural results, which I love!

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You’ll want to click through to see more seaside prettiness…

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Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bride, Styled Shoot, Vintage Wedding | Filed Under | 10 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Save 10% on Alfred Angelo Bridal With Simplicity Weddings

November 12th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Wedding blog Featured Supplier, Gemma of Simplicity Weddings in Shotley Bridge, Durham, has been in touch to let Brides Up North know about their Alfred Angelo event which is running Friday 25th November from 5pm-8pm, Saturday 26th November from 10am-5pm & Sunday 27th November from 11am-3pm.

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Gemma says: We are celebrating the launch of the new 2012 Alfred Angelo collection of Bridal and Bridesmaid styles in store with 10% discount on all dresses ordered over the weekend.  We will be showcasing gorgeous new designer styles in some fabulous new colour pallets.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Alfred Angelo    Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Alfred Angelo

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Alfred Angelo    Alfred Angelo

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Alfred Angelo    Alfred Angelo

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Alfred Angelo     Alfred Angelo

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To make an appointment contact Gemma on 01207 504 941 or at simplicityweddings@googlemail.com

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You can view the entire 2012 collection from Alfred Angelo by clicking here to visit their website

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  – Images © 2011 Alfred Angelo via Simplicity Weddings

Simplicity Weddings is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Eye Candy: Lyn Ashworth

November 6th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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It’s Sunday night.  It’s cold.  It’s dark.  You’ve got work tomorrow. 

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When Downton Abbey is the only thing that seems worth living for, I think we need a good old dose of gorgeousness, don’t you agree?

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I almost feel that it has become my duty to report back whenever I happen to perchance upon such visions of loveliness as these beautiful bridal gowns by wedding dress designer Lyn Ashworth.  My newest addition to the Brides Up North Eye Candy Hall of Fame does English Rose bridal to perfection.

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Form an orderly queue people.  I think you might just like what you are about to see.  No pushing and shoving, and absolutely no hair pulling!  That’s just not ladylike…

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But these are… and I think Lady Grantham and the Dowager would absolutely approve. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth    Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth

Veronica / Paola

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  Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth    Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth

Mitzi / Jacqueline

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth    Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth

Angelique / Bella

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth    Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth

 

Constanza Long / Constanza Short

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth    Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth

Scarlett / Stardust

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth    Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth

Rebecca / Samantha

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth    Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth

Sarah / Gwendoline

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth    Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth

Daphne Long / Daphne Short

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth    Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Lyn Ashworth

Fiona / Helena

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To find your nearest Lyn Ashworth stockist in the North and to find out more about the collection, click here

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  – Images © 2011 Lyn Ashworth

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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