January 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
by Monique Lhuillier
I’d say 80 per cent of my wardrobe is black, something I’m often told off about but it’s a classic, right? Slimming, timeless and flattering against pretty much every skin tone and hair colour. This is why in my eyes it’s a great choice for bridesmaids.
The dark, elegant colour palette provides sophistication and class, and is unlikely to rock the boat with any of your maids.
Initially the trend was mostly isolated to New Year weddings with brides and grooms going for a polished black tie theme. But now the little (or long) black dress has become more acceptable for ceremonies in seasons beyond the winter.
5531 by Jim Hjelm
Those opting for the dateless hue can keep things clean and simple with black or nude accessories, add a little sparkle with glittering metallics or opt for a contrasting colour to achieve a vibrant pop. Black maids’ dresses won’t district from or determine your choice of blooms either, giving you and your florist free range.
Looking at what’s available, designers have clearly noted the rise in popularity with most offering a fair few black creations within their collections. The simple hue is available in designs incorporating other top bridesmaid trends such as lace, illusion necklines and detailed backs.
2940 by Dessy
For those wanting a full lace number Dessy has two stunning options in contrasting lengths; the 2911 strapless knee-length and the floor-length 2940 with illusion neckline, which can be picked to suit the season and maids’ preferences on whether they would rather flaunt or cover their pins.
5476 by Jim Hjelm
Meanwhile for those that desire just a little lace detailing Jim Hjelm and Monique Lhuillier have some truly striking options that are bound to result in very merry maids. Hjelm’s 5420 and 5524 offer mini length dresses with lace appliqués and panels while the elegant full length 5476 and 5531 feature just flirty touches of the regal material.
Lhuillier’s black short taffeta dress (top) with lace bodice is a real show stopper and a LBD that I would love to own myself.
2925 by Dessy
If any brides are planning to have black maids’ dresses for a New Year 2016 wedding, then all out glamour is the way to go. Full length designs that would hit the right level of opulence include Hjelm’s 5428 with high-leg split and Dessy’s elegant 2921 and 2925. For those wanting to bring the hemline off the ground, it has to be Lhuillier’s mid-length strapless taffeta dress – pure perfection!
October 28th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
oh so sweet peaches and cream is set to be one of the hottest colour schemes for 2015 weddings.
Personally I couldn’t stand the sight of peach at one point as I was doing up a house where all the woodwork was layered in shiny peach gloss (pass the sick bucket) but just recently the pretty blush tone has sneaked back into my good books and so I’m totes in favour of this upcoming trend.
Perfect for those tying the knot in spring and summer, the palette is light, playful and girly.
It’s also a particularly good choice of hues for bridesmaids’ attire as the warm peach and subtle cream work well with pretty much all skin tones. So what are the dress options I hear you cry?
Brides can either choose to find maid gowns that feature both colours or alternatively select frocks in alternating colours, so one in cream and one in peach and so on. Or if they prefer one colour to the other on their bridesmaids they could dress their girls in just one colour, say peach, and then incorporate cream elsewhere in the wedding, like the flowers, décor, stationery or the maids shoes.
Dessy has some stunning options, particularly for those looking to feature another top look for 2015 in their wedding – bohemian. Designs such as 2919, 2920 and 6677 are long, flowing and flattering and offer a choice of different neckline options. Meanwhile for those wanting to dress their maids in cute cropped numbers for weddings during the warmer months, design 2780 in ginger and/or cream would fit in with the desired colour scheme perfectly.
Jim Hjelm also has a couple of floor-length and mini maid options in various peachy shades. The strapless 5410 design with fashionable scalloped edges is a particular favourite of mine that would look great on a young group of adult bridesmaids who aren’t afraid to show off their pins.
Meanwhile Dessy’s After Six range and Wtoo have some fabulous options that allow brides to pick different colours for different parts of the dress, meaning they can create their very own peaches and cream showstopper. Take the Wtoo 772 dress for example, brides can select different hues from a plentiful palette for the top, skirt and ribbon of the dress (the apricot and pearl shades work well with this theme). Likewise the incredibly gorgeous 6675 After Six dress in ginger with the choice of ivory lace over the top creates a delicious winning combination.
And the result – bridesmaids that look good enough to eat!
October 20th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
With the last of the summer stock swinging on sale rails, autumn winter collections are now being rolled out across shop floors. I’ve been checking out the occasion wear high street offerings for the cooler season ahead and once again I’ve been peeking my head around shop doors I’d usually sail right by. This time it’s Lipsy.
I’ve been lured into studying the store’s autumn/winter collection following a string of desirable celebrities putting their name to the brand, most notably ex-Corrie star Michelle Keegan and one of my absolute favourite style icons, Millie McIntosh of Made in Chelsea fame.
If it’s good enough for these super stylish and stunning ladies then surely it’s good enough for the rest of us, right? And that is why I deem it worthy of our high street honey accolade.
At Brides Up North’s recent season of Luxury Wedding Exhibitions I couldn’t help but notice the flurry of brides who will be tying the knot at Christmas time. And who can blame them? It’s a truly magical time of the year when everyone is in high spirits and it offers the perfect excuse for a comforting wedding breakfast (bangers and mash, anyone?).
But what does one wear to a winter wedding? Well Lipsy offers solutions not only for guests, but also potential bridesmaid and hen do outfits. From sexy strapless frocks to figure-hugging, floor-length gowns, Lipsy has lots of lovely attire to choose from.
Those opting for a short or strapless dress – such as the cream and black pencil dress or the floral print midi dress – may want to consider a faux fur jacket, of which many can currently be found on the high street, to complete their look in a classy and cosy way.
The full-length gowns are particularly striking and offer an opulent look for winter weddings and high-end hen dos. I really love the black dress with regal gold detailing as well as the maroon maxi with black cobweb panels The long royal blue gown with glitter embellished shoulder straps would make a gorgeous bridesmaid dress, complete with Christmas sparkle.
And finally, for those pre-wedding nights out, there are a couple of eye-catching jumpsuits within the autumn/winter collection that can be worn during the festive period and beyond.
Happy Lipsy shopping ladies!
August 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime
On Sunday 29th June Brides Up North Featured Supplier LOVE Bridal Boutique hosted an amazing launch event at Styal Lodge in Cheshire for their new ‘LOVE Bridesmaids’ offering in conjunction with London based bridesmaid designer Maids to Measure.
The first large scale bridal event purely for bridesmaids in the North West, the day celebrated the launch of LOVE Bridesmaids/Maids to Measure ‘Pop-up’ Events… days that you’ll be wanting to put in your diary for you and your favourite ladies.
Images by Jonny Draper Photography.
Let’s hear from LOVE Bridesmaids’ founder Emma about how it all went and how you can get in on the pretty…
Emma says: I’m pleased to report that the event was a resounding success, we had so many fabulous comments from brides and of course bridesmaids on the day about the event itself plus of course the range of dress styles and colours to choose from, and how they stand apart from a lot of bridesmaid dresses currently on the market. They really loved being able to come to an event like this and being able to share it with their maids too!
The event looked amazing, who was involved?
When we first decided to be a Maids to Measure stockiest we knew we had to make a big splash and launch it properly with a fabulous event in true LOVE style! We looked no further than Styal Lodge, a venue popular not only with us, but with a lot of our brides who have chosen it for their big day too! The wonderful Higham family at Styal Lodge were just as excited as we were when we first spoke with them about it and helped to make the event a huge success with their wonderful hospitality.
The brains behind the amazing Maids to Measure brand, sisters Sinclair and India, helped us to host the event, giving styling advice to our guests on the day, not to mention styling our models and helping backstage with the dressing for the catwalk.
A whole host of our wedding friends helped to make it a great day too including Gemma Hallowell, make-up artist, and Paisley Gamble, hair stylist, who worked their magic on our models back stage and created some stunning looks. Sian at The Flower Lounge blew us away with her dressing of the catwalk and flower styling around the venue – lots of brides were eyeing this up as a great way to dress their aisle for their big day! Hipswing provided the fabulous glitzy backdrop for our catwalk, Francesca from the Cheshire Cat Cake Company made the most amazing macarons which were given out in our goody bags. A LOVE event would never be the same without LOVE letters from The Word Is Love, and these letters lit up the entranceway to the Lodge. Our guests were kept entertained by singer Kirsty Rogers who sang throughout the day – brides loved her so much that they booked her for their big day! Sam Fitton magician went down a storm too and also the fab photobooth from Forever Photobooths who captured some hilarious moments with our guests!
Not to mention our gorgeous models, Ailsa, Jill, Natalie, Izzy, Lizzie and Sarah who showed off the dresses beautifully and looking so stunning! Thanks so much to Ailsa (of Ailsa Baker Dance) for choreographing our show too.
Our very own Jonny Draper Photography was on hand with his camera to capture the day’s events, culminating in an exciting photoshoot at the end of the day, and some hilarious Austin Powers inspiration during our catwalk show… this had to be seen to be believed!
So, when will you officially start your LOVE Bridesmaids/Maids to Measure ‘Pop-up’ Events at the boutique?
We have actually already had our first fully booked event in August which went brilliantly and resulted in lots of brides and their maids choosing dresses! We will be holding the events monthly on a Sunday; our next one will be on September 14th and this is fully booked already but we are still taking bookings for October onwards. Our next dates include Sunday 12th October, Sunday 9th November and Sunday 7th December. 2015 event dates to be released very soon.
How can brides find out more and potentially book an appointment?
For more information and to book in for one of our events please contact
or call 0161 941 6446.
August 19th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Jasmine at BHS
I’m 27 and I’ve never been a bridesmaid. I suppose this means I don’t have to worry about the ‘always a bridesmaid, never a bride’ saying, but when I was young (and now too really) I would have given anything to be one.
I remember visiting friends’ houses where their numerous redundant bridesmaid dresses had been demoted to the dressing-up box – which was as close as I got to actually fulfilling the role. I suppose it was similar to a scene from Muriel’s Wedding, but instead of trying on endless wedding gowns, I was diving into ex-bridesmaid dresses at any given opportunity.
Bailey at Monsoon
Veronique at Monsoon
Anyway, while I never got to be a miniature maid there are plenty of lucky tots that do get to don a pretty frock and follow a real bride down the aisle.
If you’re having young bridesmaids on your wedding day there are numerous adorable options to dress them in. Both designers and the high-street offer some truly ahh-worthy options, with Monsoon and BHS coming tops as our High Street Honeys for little fashionistas.
Pom Pom at Monsoon
Lydia Ballet at BHS
Lily by Monsoon
If you’re having a mix of different aged bridesmaids it’s worth remembering your adult bridesmaids don’t want to be wearing the same outfit as a knee-high maid, equally teens will want to feel grown-up and gorgeous, rather than wearing the same attire as their younger sibling or cousin. Therefore it’s often best for brides to pick contrasting outfits for their grown-up and toddler bridesmaids. For those who do prefer to match things up, there is always the option of selecting a child’s dress with a coordinating sash in the colour that your adult maids will be wearing.
August 7th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Last week (lookbook: ruffle it up!) I wrote about the trend for romantic ruffles. Like many popular looks, it wasn’t going to be long till the bridesmaids could get in on the act too…
We’ve seen it happen with the colour of the dress as maids began take to the aisle wearing white and ivory frocks – a colour traditionally associated with the bride. We’ve also seen bridal fabrics reflected in bridesmaid dresses, the lace trend being one of the most notable. And it’s happening in detailing too. Embellishing is one example that I will come to cover on the blog shortly, but for now I’m talking frill.
Ruffles are set to be a big trend for bridesmaids in 2015, whether the detailing is featured in the skirt, neckline or sleeves of the dress.
Unlike wedding gown designs, ruffles for maids are less about volume. The designs are often loose, fluid and fuss-free, with simple ruffle detailing adding that little something extra that won’t detract attention from the main spectacle of the bride’s dress.
The Lela Rose collection has some incredibly pretty designs, including both short and floor-length options. LR200 through to LR203 are all particularly flattering designs that should please most maids as they nip in at the waist before elegantly falling over the hips and lower body with the ruffle detailing cascading down the front. Similar offerings come from the Social Bridesmaid and Dessy collections.
Delicate ruffle detailing can is also used on asymmetrical shoulder designs for added interest as demonstrated in Lela Rose’s sophisticated LR104XX and Jim Hjelm’s exotic 5301 dress designs.
Meanwhile for those wanting slightly more striking dresses for their maids, there are fuller skirt options available with ruffle detailing. After Six’s 6649 and Jim Hjlem’s 5353 and 5260 are eye-catching examples with billowing skirts. Alternatively high-impact neckline detailing can add a bold twist to simple frocks such as Alfred Sung’s D470 and Jim Hjelm’s 5314 designs.
Ravishing ruffle creations are available in a vast array of colours so you ‘re bound to find a desirable option to suit your theme, whether you choose to follow the milk maid trend, put your besties in blue or go for a pretty pastel palette of varying shades.
June 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Suddenly find yourself with a gaggle of glamorous gals to dress? A host of different sizes and styles? Hope they go easy on you on the hen do? Thought so. Time to win some serious brownie points then…
You need LOVE Bridesmaids in your life.
Brides Up North favourites LOVE Bridal Boutique will be officially launching LOVE Bridesmaids at a fabulous catwalk event on Sunday 29th June at Styal Lodge in Cheshire, to give brides and their maids a first hand experience of LOVE and Maids To Measure.
Tell Brides Up North about your launch event?
Emma says: The gorgeous team from Maids To Measure will be on hand on the day to offer brides and their maids advice on the perfect style for them, with a catwalk show to show off their gowns. We will also have a hair and make-up station on offer to give styling inspiration with Paisley Gamble hair stylist and Gemma Hallowell make-up artist. Shoe designer Charlotte Mills will be there with her brand new collection, plus bridesmaid underwear from Pompadour Lingerie and lots of other little surprises too! It promises to be a fabulous event!
Why have you decided to stock bridesmaid dresses?
Ever since we opened the boutique back in 2012 we have toyed with the idea of stocking bridesmaid dresses, but kept coming back to the fact that our brides are the focus of everything we do and we didn’t want to take away from that. We are dedicated to creating a very special exclusive, private and intimate atmosphere when a bride comes into the boutique ensuring that she will have the boutique to herself for the duration of her appointment. For this reason it was a challenge for us to find a way to offer bridesmaid dresses and maintain the experience that brides love us for and are telling all their friends about. But at the same we wanted to offer those very same brides who have been asking (telling!) us for the past 2 years… ‘If only LOVE did bridesmaid dresses…’
Why did you choose to stock Maids To Measure?
I first made contact with Sinclair at Maids To Measure when we first opened LOVE to say how much I loved their dresses as I had already sent quite a few of my brides their way, as their style fit so beautifully with our bridal dress collection and whilst we weren’t then in a position to stock their gowns, we would continue to be a huge advocate of theirs by recommending them to our brides. Well, lots of emails and chats followed, including a few chance encounters at award ceremonies particularly at the You & Your Wedding Awards where we both won our respective categories of Best New Bridal Retailer and Best Bridesmaids Retailer!!
When we received our invitation to preview their latest collection this year I then contacted Sinclair to say we finally might have a way to stock their beautiful dresses so just wanted to chat it through with them and see the new collection! So we went, we saw and we are now currently the only North-West stockist of this stunning collection.
What price are we looking at?
Maids to Measure dress prices start at £265 and this price excludes any alteration fees required.
How will Maids To Measure work at LOVE?
Due to the set up of the boutique and the fact that only one appointment will ever take place at one time, we will be setting up a pop up Maids to Measure boutique one Sunday every month for LOVE Bridesmaids, to give brides and their maids the opportunity to try and buy dresses from the Maids to Measure collection on this day only. A list of recommended seamstresses will be provided in order for maids to book appointments with them directly at their convenience.
From placing an order for a Maids to Measure gown the standard delivery time will be around 12 weeks. Rush orders are available at an additional cost.
For more information about LOVE Bridesmaids and to register for their exciting upcoming event please email email@example.com or call 0161 941 6446.
May 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon I’m excited to be bringing you a sneak peek at the newest bridesmaids’ collection from one of my sponsors, Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride. We’ve heard from Jessica before about the benefits of going bespoke for your bridal gown, and now your bridesmaids can get involved too.
We’d usually wait for a full set of editorial images before leaking news of any big launch, but the lovely ladies at Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride have agreed to share some preview images on these pretty pages first.
Very special and super exclusive, this is a small collection which encompasses styles and silhouettes to suit every type of wedding and bridesmaid. Within the collection there are styles that can be worn together for those brides that wish to mix and match or there are styles that can be tweaked and altered to suit each bridesmaid when a group girls are being asked to wear the same dress.
I’ve a feeling your best girls are going to love these…
Jessica says: We have found that our clients love the opportunity to tweak the designs to make them extra unique and bespoke to their wedding. Our brides are able to choose the colours and fabrics and what type of support the dresses have. Most of the dresses in the collection can have extra boning in the bodice to give additional support and a super luxe finish.
When designing the collection we wanted to try and move away from the traditional bridesmaid’s dress to a collection whereby the girls themselves will love the dresses they are being asked to wear and feel comfortable knowing they can alter the designs to best suit their body shape and feel at their best.
We’re really excited to be able to launch this range in addition to our couture wedding dress service. The collection will continue to expand over the coming months as we introduce new designs.
If you are interested in finding out more about Jessica’s bespoke bridesmaids range please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a consultation.
May 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime
If you’re one of the many Brides Up North picking a pretty pastel colour palette for your big day this summer, you’re in luck, for the Great British High Street is awash with options. Topping our High Street Honey charts is staple favourite Ted Baker, who we think has batted one out of the park with it’s summer 2014 collection.
Flirty dipped hems, cute creases, pretty pleats and delicate details… this collection is as unique as it is charming, and although some of the price points are at the top of the usual bridesmaid budget, the pieces are oh so special. And very, very wear again (and again, and again) able.
Dress your maids in these ice cream shades and you’ll be one popular Mrs.
Top Image: Remma, £449
1 Faybll, £179
2 Priscil, £159
3 Iberis, £179
4 Pheabea, £149
5 Josa, £149
6 Verity, £179
7 Fayth, £999
8 Halina, £179
All Ted Baker
All prices were correct at the time of going to press.
To check out Ted Baker’s (gorgeous) full collection of fancy frocks click here.
This is not a sponsored post
Contact Ted Baker to submit your business as a Featured Supplier
May 12th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Did you catch our exciting news on Thursday? The Brides Up North team has grown! The lovely Rachel joins our editorial team, and you’ll be hearing a lot more from her every week on these pretty pages. Opening the blogging for another beautiful week, it’s our Rach, on blossoming bridesmaids…
The Classic Gown by twobirds bridesmaid
Rachel says: You’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid which is a great honour – you’re excited and flattered though you can’t help feeling ever so slightly anxious as you wait to find out what dresses the bride will pick for you and your fellow maids. Will it be a flattering colour, fit, style? Or are you going to be thrust into the limelight feeling massively uncomfortable while the entire experience is captured on camera? Even if you weren’t keen on the dress choice you’d have to grin and bear it right? It’s ultimately the bride’s decision, it’s her big day and you don’t want to add to her pre-wedding stress now do you?
I feel there may be one exception to this underlying rule though – a bridesmaid with a baby bump. I have great admiration for these ladies – especially those who will be approaching their due date when the big day arrives.
Alfred Sung style M423
Not only does a pregnant bridesmaid have to worry about what she will look like and how she feel at the point the wedding arrives, but also who are the other bridesmaids and how will she compare on the day with a hefty bump, enhanced breasts and the strong possibility of a sweaty, I mean glowing, appearance?
I feel mutual respect is key in such as situation – it is ultimately the bride’s decision, but she should take the feelings of her pregnant bridesmaid into account when selecting the bridesmaids’ attire so that all maids feel equally comfortable and attractive.
Dessy Collection style 2904
Dessy Collection style 2909
Dessy Collection style 2913
One option for pregnant maids is to buy a regular bridesmaid dress several sizes too big and get it altered by a seamstress nearer the time. This can work out fine though it is rather difficult for a bride to predict what stage her fluctuating weight gain will be at on the big day or in which areas she is going to expand. Therefore, in order to avoid numerous costly alterations and the dress being chopped and changed within an inch of its life, brides should consider what styles and fabrics of dresses will be most flattering and forgiving on their pregnant maids.
twobirds – High-lo Gown (above and below, with and without sash)
Another option is to choose a maternity specific dress in the same colour and fabric as the other maids’ dresses, or alternatively, choose a maternity-friendly dress for all your maids that the pregnant bridesmaid can buy simply buy in a slightly larger size for that little extra space.
Designers including Dessy and Alfred Sung have maternity specific dresses as well as designs more suitable for pregnant maids such as pretty A-line dresses and floor-length, flowing frocks. Meanwhile, twobirds is a great example of a designer with maternity-friendly options that will look equally attractive on pregnant and non-pregnant maids. Its Classic Gown (top image) has an empire waistline below the breasts which provides some support while its straps can be tied in 15 different ways for various looks and further support for those that need it. The loose jersey-blend material skims over bumps beautifully for an overall flattering appearance. The designer’s latest Hi-Lo Gown (above) is another maternity friendly option. It’s a strapless dress but with a built in bra in the same comfortable material as the Classic Gown which can be worn with a sash, to cinch the waist, or without a sash for a fabulous floaty feel.
Watters Bridesmaids Juniper style 3535
Watters Bridesmaids Max style 5537
Wtoo bridesmaid style 919
Now there’s just the question of suitable shoes to consider!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited
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