April 10th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
While not exactly a Weddingworld staple in the way that a veil is, capes make an appearance on the white carpet of the bridal runways season after season. And before you dismiss the idea of a cape or cover up out of hand, be aware that they’re not just for fashion-forward brides or those craving a dramatic entrance. In fact, many brides opt for a cover up for the simple reason that they want a muted, modest look for their ceremony but then want to switch up their style for the evening; in this instance, capes or cover ups can provide versatility without going down the two-dress-route (and completely blowing the budget). Plus take note, readers: cover ups come in all shapes and styles, from sheer, delicately-beaded, vintage-style numbers to blingy Beyonce-style (faux) furs – and this season we’re even seeing fresh, unorthodox pieces such as satin bomber jackets and denim cut-offs emerge. What a time to be a bride!
So, if you fancy the statement of something trailing down the aisle behind you but a cathedral-length veil is a tad too conventional, join us as we take a look at what designers are offering in the way of capes and other cover ups.
Main post images by Savin London.
Let’s begin with something classically cape-like, such as Savannah Miller’s Lisa. So far, so vintage. Made from blush velvet and adorned with pearls, this would be glorious for a winter wedding or with a castle as a backdrop – is it just me or is there a bit of a medieval feel to this one? There’s also the May capelet, a strikingly simple tulle creation with more than a nod to the 70s with its ruffle drawstring neckline. And then there’s my personal favourite: the Edith. You’d have to have been dead (or, you know, at least have been locked out of your Instagram) to have missed the frenzy from fashion bloggers over the M&S constellation print dress over the winter, and the delightful Edith plays to the same trend. With its starry lace pattern, it’s cosmic, cute and a little bit kooky without being too far out.
So now that you’re warming up to the idea, let’s take a look at trendy trailblazer Halfpenny London’s offerings, starting with the Wren top. Halfpenny prides itself on creating vintage-style pieces for modern brides, and this mantra is perfectly encapsulated in the simple but striking Wren – we love its boxy shape, the pleated piecrust collar and the row of delicate buttons down the back. Arguably more classic in style, the Ridley’s batwing shape and sheer lace is universally flattering and is worn over a number of different gowns in the Halfpenny campaign images to illustrate its gorgeous versatility. And then there’s the Cliff dress – not technically a cape, but a fitted satin dress with an oversized sheer three-tiered lace overlay which gives the definite impression of a cover up. Striking, stylish and undeniably stunning.
March 15th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Unsure about thousands of sparkles, puff sleeves and a skirt so voluminous you disappear into it the second you sit down? Never fear – if you’re a bride who prefers the simpler things in life, there are gorgeous gown options aplenty. And to help you make your selection, for this look book we’ve rounded up a collection of our very favourite pared back & pretty designs.
Main post images by Watters.
First stop, and setting the styling bar high, is the fabulous Amanda Wakeley whose gowns are all about the elegance and glamour. The Amber is beautifully graceful dress in luxe silk jersey and showcases a pretty Swarovski-encrusted belt fir just the right amount of sparkle. The Antonella is a panelled silk Mikado dress with a full skirt and cathedral train – simple in style but luxurious in quality! We also love the Olivia – minimalist from the front but dramatic at the back, with rows of delicate beading and a draped train giving the best of both worlds!
Another brand to explore is Watters. The silk Hymn gown has the most exquisite illusion back, dotted with buttons, yet gives the impression of a clean, simple sheath from the front. Then there’s the Geneva – a dream for brides who want simple and elegant with a sexy edge. The Leona is chic and beautifully minimal, while the Mabel has a lovely satin bow detail on the back and a simple and sophisticated air. If you fancy a very plain bodice but a bit of oomph in the skirt department, try the Cassia skirt, made from soft netting. It’s playful and full but looks divine with a classic bodice for a more minimalist look.
Next up, Enzoani. See the Lindsey for a timeless gown with a gorgeously full A-line skirt. The detail comes in the form of a pretty, glimmering beaded waistband. The Lenore is an inner dress with a bateau illusion neckline over a sweetheart neckline that you can wear underneath your chosen gown for a unique look. Choose a simple dress to wear it with for maximum impact. The Justice has a sleek bodice down to the knee, before flaring into a tulle skirt accentuated with embroidered stones, while the Lacy is simple and chic at the front with a glamorous illusion back for an old-Hollywood feel. Or rock the Grecian goddess look in the Harmony, a full-length mermaid gown with beaded straps and subtle ruching.
Finally, we look to the fabulous Jesus Peiro – a designer that gets the pared back and pretty brief down to a tee. We love how gorgeous textured fabrics are used to create structured dresses with impact but that still have a calm and clear overall appearance, such as design 8000 and 8027, the latter finished with a simple yet highly satisfying bow. More slim-line gowns are in the offering too; some in sumptuous silk fabrics and others in matt. For just a touch of detailing we adore the cowl back and jewel embellishment of 8017, and also the simple sheer linear panels of 8002. However, if it’s a truly pure creation you crave, there can be no better choice than the amazingly-cut 8062.
So, as you can see, if you see yourself gliding down the aisle in a dress that you wear – rather than one that wears you – there’s an exquisite array of chic and minimalist gowns out there to get trying on. High time for some boutique bookings we feel!
March 13th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
As quite possibly the most exciting aspect of the wedding planning, we here at Brides Up North are firm believers that brides should remember their boutique visits for all the right reasons and have an experience that is professional, yet personal and fun, as they search for that one special dress.
And we’re not alone in our mantra, for the new Sponsor that we’re introducing on the blog today was built upon these very beliefs – the fabulous Perfect Daze Bridal.
In opening her gorgeous Yorkshire boutique, Perfect Daze owner Emma Roberts, wanted to offer ladies the full bridal shopping package; from a chic and relaxing setting to stunning designers, excellent customer service and faultless attention to detail – and she continuously strives to give her brides the very best experience.
Whether buying a designer gown or investing in a bespoke dress, all brides are seen by Emma as she gets to know them over a cuppa or glass of fizz, and she sees them through to their big day with assistance from her highly-experienced team in ensuring absolute perfection.
Here to tell us more about the boutique’s ethos and offering is the leading lady herself. Take it away Emma…
Images by Glix Photography.
Where is your boutique located and how would you describe the look and feel of it?
emma says: Perfect Daze is nestled in the rural village of Scissett in the heart of Yorkshire. A stone’s throw from Holmfirth, we are sat right on the boundaries of Wakefield, Huddersfield and Barnsley and only ten minutes from the M1 making Leeds and Sheffield quite close by.
The emphasis is on the whole experience and the boutique is spacious and luxurious. Large changing rooms and comfortable seating, plush fabrics and an industrial edge. Copper, steel and woods are the perfect backdrop to the chic gowns.
We stock the best of British bridal with our signature look being couture.
What designers do you stock and can you tell us a little about each one?
Enzoani Blue is at the cutting edge of bridal fashion. Designed by Kang Chun “KC” Lin, the gowns incorporate intricate lace, beautiful fabrics and the Enzoani signature cut out trains. Enzoani Blue is perfect for the style savvy bride, their gowns are anything but ordinary.
Enzoani Beautiful sits alongside Enzoani Blue with the same attention to detail, but with a slightly more traditional look. If Blue is a little too edgy for your bridal style, but you still appreciate the signature cut out trains and attention to detail then Enzoani Beautiful is perfect for you.
As for Badgley Mischka – think red carpet, think glamour, think the Oscars. This designer supplies high-octane styling for a bride who desires the wow factor. Their designs are a little more couture, sometimes quite edgy, but always focusing on fit and shape.
Suzanne Neville is a designer adored by celebrities such as Holly Willoughby, Tess Daly and Katherine Jenkins. Her gowns exude class, sophistication and elegance. Using the most opulent fabrics, every single dress is handmade in the UK and as beautiful on the inside as the outside.
Her ‘less is more’ approach to bridal is breath-taking and her famous corset shape creates the most fantastic curves.
How do you pick the right designers for the boutique and what do you think makes a good bridal collection?
I believe our designers have to work well together and their collections must complement each other.
We have a wide range of styles which are all focussed on fit, quality and elegance. When I invest in a label, I am looking for design which works well within the ethos of Perfect Daze Bridal. I firmly believe that shape and good fabrics are key, and when it comes to detail, just the right amount.
Furthermore, fantastic customer care, is essential. I need to know my designers can deliver 100% every time, I can then pass this onto my brides.
What current trends are you seeing in bridal wear and can you forecast any future trends that will be coming through?
It is all about the back in bridal at the moment. We are seeing some stunning designs and Enzoani are right at the forefront of this. We love it when a dress looks demure from the front but has a wonderful surprise in the back. Vision backs with floating lace and cut out trains give the wow factor.
I don’t think this current trend will be going anywhere for some time.
I think we might start to see a return to more structured fabrics like satin and Mikado. A sophisticated look which focuses on curves and structure. Seams and panels will replace lace, and sparkle will be there, but as a statement rather than all over. Badgley Mischka introduced these types of dresses in 2017, and my brides are loving the opulence.
What research/preparation would you advise brides to do before visiting the boutique?
It doesn’t matter whether you bring a full board on Pinterest to show me or arrive with nothing but your wedding date – every bride is individual and the fun is to find what works for each person.
If you have firm ideas about the type of look we are going for, then I need to know so I can work with your wedding day ideas. If your wedding has a rustic theme, you would probably not want to go for a sexy, glamourous gown. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to turn up to a black tie themed wedding in a crochet dress. Brides often allow their choice of dress to determine the theme of the wedding.
Prepare to be honest – this is what I ask of all my brides. I always start by saying “Be honest with me, you will not offend me, if one gown was right for everybody then I would need just one in every size. The more feedback you give me, the more chance I have of finding you ‘the one’.”
March 6th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
As the shopping trip of all shopping trips there is no doubt visiting bridal boutiques in search of that one special dress is one of the most exciting elements of planning a wedding.
You’ll want the experience to be fun, enjoyable memorable and stress-free, which is why we think its uber-important to enter into the search fully equipped with all the dos and don’ts that will see you well on the way to securing your perfect dress.
And who better to deliver such golden advice than a lady who has helped to dress hundreds of beautiful brides for their moment in the wedding spotlight, Hayley Hoyle, proud owner of top Yorkshire bridal boutiques, The Bridal Collection Harrogate and The Harrogate Wedding Lounge.
So, we’ll waste no time in handing over to Hayley to impart her insider knowledge in the form of a handy step by step guide to make your dress shopping, an absolute dream!
Homework – what research/preparation can brides do when initially beginning their wedding dress search?
hayley says: There is certainly no shortage of wedding inspiration in this world. Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, social media, magazines, wedding fairs, designers’ websites the list goes on – I would start a Pinterest board specifically for your gown and keep it as a secret board, use it to collate a collection of images you like; from a fabric, a neckline or even a specific dress or designer. This board will be useful when you start the shopping process, show your stylist and ask them to select some styles for you based on what you have been liking so far. If you are a technophobe a scrap book works just as well.
Booking appointments – how should a bride go about selecting the boutiques she makes appointments at?
First of all, I would consider the designers that have caught your eye from your research, check their websites and find your nearest stockist. Get on social media and check out the profiles of your local boutiques and see what resonates with you, each boutique will have their own brand personality and it should inspire you. Check out their reviews on Google and Facebook and look at how they respond to complaints as well as praise. Most importantly try to support your small, independent, service driven boutiques, to them you are special, you are a unique bride not just another sale.
Attending appointments – what advice would you give to brides when attending boutique appointments?
Most importantly – relax, remain open minded and let the stylists do their thing. It might be wise to wear modest seam-free flesh coloured underwear and a good strapless bra. Don’t slap on the fake tan before your appointment as it may damage the dresses and definitely don’t take too many people shopping with you! Remember the less people that see the dress the bigger the impact on the day. Finally remember to ask your boutique what extras will need paying pay for? Do they have an in-house alterations team, can you use it and how much are anticipated fittings?
Making a decision – what would you say to a bride who can’t make up their mind on a dress or that is unsure whether to visit more boutiques before making up their mind?
Don’t over think it. Think about both of the gowns in the setting of your wedding, does one work more than the other? Is there anything you would change about either of the dresses? Do they make you feel amazing? Over shopping will only make the process harder and more choices will only confuse you more. Remember there will always be more dresses and selecting yours is not the end of the process, it’s actually just the beginning. If after all of that you still have reservations, chances are you haven’t yet found your gown so head to your next appointment and keep looking, the perfect one is out there.
Fittings – is there anything you would advise brides to be mindful of during their fittings?
By the time it gets to your fittings your weight needs to be stable and you need to have the correct shoes and underwear, so your gown can be fitted to perfection. It is impossible to make a garment fit a moving target and because we want your gown to fit perfectly we advise no further weight loss once your gown has been pinned. Don’t take photos during your fittings, the gown isn’t perfect yet and looking back at a photo of a dress that doesn’t fit correctly will only cause you stress and anxiety. Trust the professionals and leave the photos until the day.
Accessories – after the dress comes the accessories. What elements should brides take into consideration when it comes to picking their finishing touches?
Your accessories should be the icing on the cake, they should complement the gown perfectly and not overpower you or the dress. When styling any outfit, I believe that less is more with regards to accessories and a wedding gown is no different. Choose one piece to shine and keep everything else simple. Oh – and always try a veil, there is only one day in your life you can wear one.
The big day – any tips on how brides can look and feel their absolute best in their wedding gown on their big day?
Make sure one of your bridal party knows how to get you in to your gown and how to bustle the train for dancing if there is one. Try practicing at your final fitting to avoid unnecessary stress on the day.
Most of all, keep calm and remember what the day is really about: you and your partner celebrating each other. Everything else is just stuff.
Aftercare – once the big day has been and gone, what should brides do with their dress/what are the options?
Depending on your sentimentality there are a few options you can choose post wedding to either preserve or recoup. If you intend to have your gown professionally cleaned I recommend you use a specialist gown and luxury fabric cleaner. We offer a post wedding dry cleaning service in our boutiques with the option of a long-term storage box in a design of your choice. Speak to your boutique to see if they do something similar or have any recommendations.
Timeless dress design: Swanson by Suzanne Neville
Showstopper dress design: Margo by Enzoani
Favourite dress trend: I love unusual fabrics, so I’m a big fan of gowns that have plenty of texture to them such as brocade, printed organza and thick textured Mikados. There is nothing more beautiful than a simple gown, expertly cut in a beautiful fabric so I’m a big fan of the simplicity popular with brides at the moment.
Celebrity style: For everyday fashion I love Holly Willoughby, she always looks expertly put together and I am constantly Googling where her outfits are from.
Favourite wedding trend: We have seen so much in the way of blush pinks, rose gold, greys and mixed metallic colour palettes over the last couple of years, I am very excited to see some strong opulent tones coming through now too – think peacocks, exotic landscapes and rich jewels.
March 2nd, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
This season, the catwalks are dancing with spectacular sleeve detail. From illusion sleeves with lace detail, to puffball sleeves, to flutter sleeves, to bell sleeves, to off-the-shoulder sleeves, to blouson sleeves … yes, OK, you get the picture. There’s an incredible array of delightful choice in the sleeve department. So, we’ve done the hard work for you (oh, it’s tough looking at wedding gowns for hours on end!) and whittled down the options to a collection of gorgeous creations that will no doubt send you all misty-eyed.
Main image Rime Arodaky.
From the bell to the blouson, Lillian West has got your arms covered when it comes to dreamy, romantic sleeves this season. Styles 6463 and 6509 have a gorgeous vintage vibe, with flared skirts to echo the flute of the bell sleeves. Flutter like a butterfly in style 6517, as ethereal chiffon cascades from the shoulders of this beautiful illusion neckline and deep illusion back. Go boho with blouson sleeves and a crepe gypsy skirt in style 6518, or an off-the-shoulder illusion blouson bodice in style 6476.
If you’re looking for effortless cool with a bit of grit thrown in (think rocking up to the church on a motorbike with bed hair and sharply contoured cheeks), Rime Arodaky is right up your alley. The puffy sleeves are to die for. Check out the Zappa, with its funnel neck, puffy sleeves and plaited high-waisted skirt. Or the Jude, a sleek silhouette with a gigantic puff adorning each wrist. The off-the-shoulder Madden sports large ruffles in plumetis and organza and brings a bit of romance to the occasion. And, for the ultimate in ruffled sleeves, look no further than the Arlo and the Joni, both crepe gowns with dazzling appeal. Pass me the black kohl eyeliner, quick.
There’s a delicate vibe to Theia’s sleeve detail that gives us the romantic feels. Sandy is sophisticated, with hand-appliquéd, scallop-edged sleeves that swish down the aisle. Layla is covered with thousands of glass-cut beads and micro pearls which, combined with the off-the-shoulder flutter sleeves, create an ethereal effect. For a long-sleeved gown with gorgeous floral detail that the designer describes as a ‘tattoo effect’, take a look at Karina. Then there’s the Sasha, with a stunning mermaid skirt and a cut-out cape-style sleeve and Ellie, with its chic silhouette and fabulous bell sleeves.
Absolutely nailing the illusion sleeve is Hayley Paige. Pascal is completely divine, with its long-sleeved illusion bodice with metallic floral micro beading. Stevie is another off-the-shoulder creation with a glorious bateau neckline and full skirt, while Rogers combines an illusion sleeve with a delicate butterfly flutter at the wrist and a low scoop back. So pretty. For a more obvious flutter, try Frida, a fit-to-flare gown with a deep V scalloped neckline and a detachable, cascading sleeve. And, finally, we mustn’t forget the cap sleeve, for a subtle nod to the season’s trend. Check out Vaughn, with its low open back, full tulle skirt and lovely bateau neckline.
So, come on ladies, dress your arms to impress. After all, they do have a huge roll to play in the proceedings, from presenting the hand upon which your dashing groom will slip the wedding ring, to making some serious shapes on the dancefloor in the evening. Whether your totally boho or a chic petite, there’s a sleeve out there for you!
February 22nd, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
This afternoon we’re talking about sculpted columns, bold lines and architectural sweeps – but this isn’t a piece about wedding venues, oh no, it’s all about dresses – specifically, simple, fuss free-wedding gowns with clean lines and sleek silhouettes.
There’s something about a minimalist gown that, while timeless, has a simultaneous up-to-the-minute feel perfect for a fashion-forward bride. Here at Brides up North we love the edginess of a dress with less, and we’ve gathered together a whole lovely loot of unadorned beauties for your browsing pleasure.
Main post images by Cortana.
First up is Spanish designer Cortana, a label which boasts a romantic, boho vibe. We love the luxe factor of the Gala gown; a silk satin bias-cut beauty which looks slinky and effortlessly chic. The attention to detail is just stunning – that diagonal row of silk-covered buttons on the back gives us all the feels – and the thin straps feel bold and youthful and a little bit 90s-Calvin-Klein, which is always a good thing in case you’re wondering.
The Cortana collection also features the stunningly minimalist Grace with daring back and thin crossed strap detail and the silk brocade Linda, made with a touch of lurex to give a super-flattering fit and stretch. There’s also the Valentina which, quite frankly, makes my heart sing – the boat neckline! The sleek drapery! And is a strong contender in my frequent ‘What Would I Wear If I Got Married Again?’ mental debate (don’t mention that to my husband, kaythanks?)
Onwards to a Brides Up North favourite – the always-opulent Eliza Jane Howell. EJH is known for their decadent vintage designs, and so might not seem a natural bedfellow of the Clean Lines brigade. However, in Gill Harvey’s recent collections, we’re seeing subtlety, simplicity and lots of plain silk alongside the embellishment and embroidery. Belle from the Leading Lady collection is a stunner with a contemporary feel, complete with bold halterneck, textured figure-hugging fabric and a daring sheer back. Daisy from the Legend collection and Clarissa from the Debutante range are unquestionably more vintage in style but still simple and sleek, with Daisy offering the tiniest hint of embellishment and Clarissa’s floaty sleeves a great option for brides less inclined to bare. Luna from the Stardust range gets close to the fussier end of the spectrum with its frothy skirt and mini train, but the long sleeves, close fit and semi-sheer overlay is dreamily clean and sculpted.
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