Hardwick Hall Grand Wedding Exhibition
Charlotte Balbier

eye candy: the separates collection by charlotte balbier

February 2nd, 2016 | Julia Braime

Tempest Lace

Our lead Sponsor here at Brides Up North, Charlotte Balbier is famous for celebrating a bride’s individuality and style and sometimes, just sometimes, breaking all the bridal rules (kinda why we love her)!

With great delight we are proud to debut the new Balbier separates collection on our pretty pages.  Charlotte has created 11 inter-changeable separates all designed for the bride to build and create her own individual look.

Tempest & 1252 Sash

Maybe a satin slip with a lace topper and satin sash, or a ball gown skirt, crop top and lace reverse bolero? Whatever your personality and look the new separates collection offers a diverse way of creating your very own bridal syle.

charlotte says: Now, more than ever before, a Charlotte Balbier bride is a free spirited feminine woman who is confident in both her fashion and bridal style, expressing her unique individuality, personality and style through her Balbier gown.

Girls, get ready for some serious dress crushing…


Harper:  A slipper satin dress with shoestring straps and low back. Fabulous with one of the lace overlay gowns, lace toppers or worn simply as it is.

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bespoke beauties: blossom & belle plus discount for wedding blog readers

January 27th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Blossom & Belle (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (5)

It’s all about the #dresslust this afternoon on Brides Up North, as we introduce you to the lovely Antonia of bespoke bridal label blossom & belle, based in the beautiful city of York.

Originally a ready to wear designer, Antonia’s team at Blossom and Belle now aims to provide their brides to be with the ultimate unique bridal service creating the ‘dress of your dreams’ and making you feel and look wonderful. Better still, Antonia is offering Brides Up North Readers 15% off a couture gown from now until April 2016.  Quote Brides Up North when making your appointment.

Let’s meet the lady behind the lace…

Images by Olivia Brabbs Photography.

Blossom & Belle (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (27)

Why did you decide to launch Blossom & Belle?

antonia says: From the age of 12 I wanted to be a fashion designer. I loved to sew and draw.  My teachers used to call me a dreamer! I loved seeing old movies to look at the clothes and particularly loved Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday and Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. I did a two year Btec and a one year of an HND in Fashion before going on to do a three year BA Hons degree in Fashion and Textiles.The six years of training gave me the technical and creative skills to pursue my design career.

I decided to launch Blossom and Belle after taking time out from being a Couture Bridal wear designer to have a family.  Blossom and Belle started as a ready to wear collection with my sister in law Sarah who after having her first baby felt deflated when she couldn’t find anything that made her feel and look good.  This is when the signature Blossom and Belle signature wrap dress was created. I worked with a print designer to create the Blossom and Belle blossom and butterfly print in organic cotton and silk and set about making a collection of ready to wear which is still available on my website.

Even though I love making ready to wear I still yearned to go back into bridal wear and after losing my mother last year it gave me the push to go for it.  I decided to buy a studio in a convenient location where brides can come in a relaxed atmosphere to see me and view my sample gowns. I now have the room to create and have fittings and spend one on one time with each client.

Blossom & Belle (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (15)

What attracted you to the wedding industry specifically?

When I graduated from university I was asked by a friend if I could make her wedding dress.  The feeling of creating a truly unique gown for someone’s special day is priceless. It is wonderful knowing you are making a bride a dress that will fit them perfectly, that is unique and just for them. I like to work one on one rather than mass production and working with the most luxurious fabrics like silks and lace is heaven.

What is your favourite thing about being a dressmaker?

It is wonderful knowing you are making a bride a dress that will fit them perfectly. I love the ability to make a three dimensional work of art whether it is flouncy and slightly over the top or elegant and classical. Being able to work with beautiful fabrics and trimmings and creating my own embroideries for a dress. The buzz of going through the process of design through to finished product.

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diary date: the bridal collective at gilpin lake house

January 22nd, 2016 | Julia Braime

Bridal Collective Logo

Girls: stand by.  We are interrupting your Friday lunch al-desko with news of another exciting date for your brand new 2016 diaries!

On the weekend of Saturday 30th January 2016, five of the North’s best luxury bridal boutiques will be showing their finest dresses in the tranquility of Gilpin Lake House, a stunning wedding venue set in 100 acres of private grounds with its own lake, swimming pool and spa.

This is a special treat for the girls (no grooms allowed!) and a rare opportunity to have unfettered access to these stunning luxury bridal boutiques, some of whom *waves to LOVE Bridal Boutique and The Bridal Collection Harrogate* are our wonderful Brides Up North Sponsors.

You will be welcomed with Champagne (of course!) and later enjoy either lunch or afternoon tea at Gilpin Hotel, where they will show you their Garden Suites (with hot tubs) and Spa Lodges with their own private spas – perfect for a minimoon or even a pre wedding getaway.

If you fancy making a girls weekend of it and book a room at Gilpin for the weekend, brides will receive a complimentary pass to The Bridal Collective at the Lake House.

Where else can you find the following designers all under one roof?!?! Stewart Parvin, Suzanne Neville, Jenny Packham, Alan Hannah, Charlotte Balbier, Sarah Seven, Ian Stuart, Charlie Brear and Sassi Holford…

Tickets are £25 per person, with a maximum of 2 tickets per bride.


What’s included:

Exclusive access to 5 of the North’s best luxury bridal boutiques

Complimentary transfer from Oxenholme train station (please request when booking)

Champagne on arrival at the Lake House

Lunch or afternoon tea at Gilpin Hotel (3 AA Rosettes)

Preview of the brand new Spa Lodges and Garden Suites

For full details of how to book visit The Bridal Collective website. 

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especially for you: bespoke bridal designs by the limegate

January 21st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Image via Zsa Zsa by Design

image source

Though there are thousands of off-the-peg wedding dress designs out there for brides-to-be to choose from, some ladies still struggle to find that ‘one’ perfect gown for their big day.

As such, many brides often look to an independent dress maker to create them a completely bespoke design, tailored to their exact shape, fabric and detail specifications.

Sound appealing? Well today we’re introducing bridal wear designer Sue Laverick of The Limegate, to the blog who can help to make brides’ dream dresses a reality. Better still she can also cater for bridesmaids and mother-of-the-bride/groom, giving you the opportunity to dress your entire bridal party all in one place! Take it away Sue…

Image via Style Me Pretty

image source

How did you first get dressmaking?

Sue says: I have been dressmaking for myself, and my family, since my mother taught me to sew as a child. In fact, I come from a sewing family, my great-grandmother was a tailor and brought up her family on that income! I also learnt to sew at school and, of course, have done many advanced / specialist sewing courses since.

Why were you specifically drawn to making wedding dresses?

I started making bridal wear in the mid-1990s when I was asked to make some dresses for a friend and that led to evening dresses and bridesmaids’ dresses. About the same time I also made my sister-in-law’s wedding dress and two of the bridesmaids’ dresses.

The first bridal party I made dresses for was for my own wedding, my mother and I made my dress and the bridesmaid’s dresses, quite a while ago!

Although I specialise in wedding dresses, I also make evening dresses and other couture style garments too.

What is your favourite part of being a dressmaker?

It’s a little geeky but I love how a ‘flat’ piece of fabric can be cut, moulded and sewn into a beautiful item to wear.

Image via dobreprojekty-blog.blogspot.com (2)

image source

What are the main benefits of having a bespoke wedding dress?

The main benefit is that a bride gets a beautiful dress in a style, colour, detail and fabric they chose and represents their individuality.

Contrary to what some people may think, a bespoke dress is not necessarily a very expensive service, because the bride is in control of the design, in control of the fabric, the time and their budget.

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diary date: amanda wyatt designer day at isaac charles bridal house

January 12th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Aisla Blue 1

We are only a matter of days into the New Year and already there are lots of exciting events popping up in the 2016 calendar for you lovely brides-to-be to make a note of.

For those of you still on the hunt for that ‘one’ perfect dress, this afternoon we’re sharing details of an exclusive event that you will 100% want to be on the guest list for.

On Saturday 30th January 2016 Isaac Charles Bridal House in Cheshire, will be hosting a Meet the Designer Day with award winning designer Amanda Wyatt and there just eight appointments available.

Amelie 2

During the event Amanda Wyatt’s stunning Promises of Love collection will be featured as well as star dresses from Amanda’s Hall Of Fame. Better still, in addition to these gorgeous gowns, Amanda will be previewing a small selection of her brand new 2017 collection that has never been seen before – a major treat for the lucky brides-to-be who will be present.

And the pros don’t stop there. Those fortunate enough to get one of the eight exclusive appointments will also receive 10 per cent off their dream gown and a luxury goody bag. The fizz will be flowing during the day which promises to be fabulous, fun and exciting, with Amanda on hand to help ladies find their dream dress from her award-winning collection.


amanda says: Meeting the Amanda Wyatt brides is such a wonderful experience. I love helping brides find that ‘one’ special dress for them from the collection. With my years of experience and knowledge I know what my brides want and how to make them feel and look incredible – from the dress to the accessories, I ensure the look is styled to perfection.

I am particularly excited about this next event we have coming up with Isaac Charles as it’s in Cheshire, the area that I have lived in all my life and so it’s wonderful to be supporting a local business and meeting Cheshire brides-to-be.

Tickets for the designer day are priced at £25, with appointments available between 9am and 5pm.

To book your appointment call the boutique on 01625 876687.

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friday fabulous!

January 8th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Needle & Thread

Gowns and separates so lovely (and easy on the budget) that we were tempted to keep them as our little secret.

Voluminous Tulle Skirt, Needle & Thread (Debut Bridal Collection) £150

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