Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

style sheet: sing a rainbow

March 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

Bride bright hair

Mark Newton Photography image source

Ever since I first clapped eyes on Gwen Stefani’s white and pink ombré John Galliano gown in my mum’s dog-eared HELLO! way back in 2002, I’ve been self-confessed sucker for the brave use of bridal colour. Whether it’s a touch of blush pink a’la Stefani, a bold electric blue high heel or crazy pastel unicorn hair (it’s a thing, I promise), I can’t get enough of splashes of the rest of the rainbow gang against all of the ivory. Who decided that white should have all of the fun, anyway?

The current bridal runways have been full of key trends including capes (already featured here on Brides Up North) bare shoulders, plunging necklines, oversized bows and – wait for it – colour.

So what are the options for a girl who wants to go beyond the pale?

COLOUR CONFIDENCE

images clockwise from top left: Kazooieloki Photography image source | Maryanne Scott Photography image source | Photography34 image source | Photography34 image source | Rachel Joyce image source | Jemma King image source | Fox & Owl image source | Kimberley Waterson Fine Art Photography image source | Samantha Hook Photography image source | Jemma King Photography image source | Lee Brown Photography image source | Darren Mack Photography image source

Well, first up there’s the dress. I’m not saying that you necessarily have to go down the Dita-von-Teese purple showstopper route; Vivienne Westwood may approve, but your prospective mother-in-law might never get over it. I’m thinking soft hues like Pantone’s Colours of 2016 Rose Quartz and Serenity (a heavenly bluey-grey); less Camila Batmanghelidjh and more Jessica Biel.

Top designers such as Maggie Sottero stock a range of delicately coloured dresses without straying too far from a conventional palette, including pewter, light gold and silver. Sassi Holford peppered her gowns with colourful petals for 2017. Candy Anthony are famed for their coloured 50s frocks, or coloured waistbands and underskirts teamed with traditional white and ivory; a perfect ‘sneak peek’ of colour rather than a rainbow riot. Our lead sponsor Charlotte Balbier also included a riot of floral colour in her beautiful Untamed Love collection.

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James Jebson image source

My personal favourites, Anthropologie’s BHLDN, stock an amazing range of bridesmaid and maid of honour dresses in a host of subtle hues which could easily stand in for a bridal gown – not too off-the-wall, but different enough to make a statement. The best? Maybe the rose gold sequinned Alana dress which would look the part at a smart city wedding, or the delightfully boho Inesse gown for a more countryside affair.

There’s also a popular trend for bridesmaids to wear different coloured dresses to create a palette that reflects the chosen colour scheme of the day, such as sugary pastel tones. Check out Maids To Measure, twobirds Bridesmaid or ReWritten.

If you’ve got your heart set on an ivory dream of a dress, then perhaps your man could get in on the colour action instead with an unusual choice of jacket, tie or shirt. Times have moved on since Jamie Oliver donned a powder blue suit and we’re seeing braver and broader colour options for blokes all the time.

Or how about a vibrant headpiece? You could embrace the current feather trend with a hairband or combs, or there’s always the option of including some colour in your veil or via a floral crown headpiece. There are literally hundreds of Etsy retailers ready to handcraft a headpiece to your specifications and Pinterest is brimming with inspiration. It’s an easy way to incorporate the traditional ‘something blue’ or pay a nod to the rest of your colour scheme.

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Ruth Mitchell Photography image source

The day of the mid-heel ivory slingback as the only bride-appropriate footwear is well and truly over. Shoes are an area where many are prepared to be a little more daring – subtle coppers, pinks and rose golds all look stunning but, depending on season and style, emerald green, midnight blue or vermillion packs a real punch. There’s little more thrilling than the peep of a coloured toe from under a pale dress and whatever your style – vintage, modern, romantic – there’s plenty of options to suit every budget, from high street to designer.

So let’s hear it for the lovers of colours!

See more of our colourful wedding inspiration.  

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fairy lights & flamingoes. a magical wedding at as you like it in newcastle – jess & stephen

February 16th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Quirky Wedding at As You Like It (c) Bennett Media (24)

If a bucket load of quirkiness is your thing, then you’re going to love this afternoon’s third installment of gorgeous – one beauty of a real wedding, set in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Jess and Stephen tied the knot at As You Like It in Jesmond last year, transforming the intimate city venue into a hullabaloo of rainbow-bright colours, gorgeous flowers, fairy lights, flamingoes and even Prosecco gummy bears!

We don’t want to spoil it for you though, so scroll down for all the oh-so-pretty pictures and wonderful details…

With images by Bennett Media

Jess & Stephen | Wedding Film from Bennett Media on Vimeo.

jess says: We got engaged in Italy. We were at Marina Grande in Sorrento, which is a local fishing harbour where Sophia Loren starred in Italian cinema. The local fishermen bring in their catch of the day and take it straight to the restaurants to dish up on your plate. Stephen drank lots and lots of Chianti and proposed, down on one knee, on the beach by the harbour. It was a complete surprise…

“Jess my darling on this Italian night

I hope that you will think it’s right,

To take this ring a gift for life

To honour me and be my wife”

I jumped up and down in the sand screaming yes then it was off for Champagne and gelato.

A Quirky Wedding at As You Like It (c) Bennett Media (19)

We got married on 12th August 2016. Summer is our favourite time of year as everyone is in good spirits because it’s the best chance of sunshine and, luckily for us, the sun had his hat on that day!

We only ever looked at one venue  – As You Like It in Jesmond, Newcastle. It’s cool, quirky and has fairy lights – what more could anyone want? It suited us and our vibe, and we are both big cocktail fans (well, one of us more than the other!).

A Quirky Wedding at As You Like It (c) Bennett Media (45)

There was no religious element to our wedding, just tears of laughter, joy and happiness. It really was the best day of our lives.

The style was vintage meets quirky, weird, wacky and wonderful. My mum and me collected all sorts of quirky weird wonderfulness ranging from pink flamingoes to gold parrots. We had a full vintage tea set, old records, black and white postcards, hibiscus flowers for the Prosecco, along with Prosecco gummy bears. There were cocktails, magicians and a whole tropical rainforest – it was the best vintage mish mash ever!

A Quirky Wedding at As You Like It (c) Bennett Media (42)

My colour scheme was every colour under the rainbow! (Seriously, it was!)

The bridesmaids were in pastels, meanwhile the groom was in burgundy red tweed, and the ushers and best man wore dogtooth tweed and burgundy braces with vintage badges.

My flowers were breathtaking – boho gypsy style with lots of peonies. Some of the flowers were even imported especially; they were so unusual.

A Quirky Wedding at As You Like It (c) Bennett Media (50)

My hair was like Rapunzel and plaited with flowers and gold feathers. I wanted to look like Downton Abbey meets boho bride, so I went with a dress from The Wedding Dress Company in Corbridge. It was ivory lace over cafe latte silk encrusted with old-fashioned antique jewels. It was divine! Stella York made it and I got Alexander McQueen shoes to match, and finished off the look with a Swarovski veil.

Stephen wore a burgundy tweed skinny fit suit from Next along with a shirt and cravat from Woven in Durham paired with brown brogues. The groomsmen wore summer tweed from Woven in Durham and the bridesmaids wore pastel 1950’s style dresses with petticoats from ASOS.

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real wedding recap: justin alexander for a colourful wedding in the north west – molly & luke

December 28th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) Stella Photography (5)

It might be cold outside but today’s real wedding is bound to make you feel lovely and summery.

Bride and groom Molly and Luke, decided to let their rustic venue do the majority of the talking when it came to creating the right setting for their big day. They did however inject some fabulous pops of colour into the day in the form of seasonal blooms and vibrant paper pompoms. Simple, yet incredible effective.

There’s lots we love about this wedding, including Molly’s gorgeous pale blush dress, the super cheery décor and stunning naked-style cake.

With images by Stella Photography.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) Stella Photography (48)

molly says: We got engaged on 23rd November at home. I turned around to find Luke down on one knee with beautiful ring that he’d designed himself! He totally took me surprise. I had been away with the girls a week before and it turned out that while I was there Luke had been up to visit my parents and ask my dad for permission. This meant so much to me!

We set the date for 4th September, which was perfect for the late summer we had imagined.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) Stella Photography (72)

Our chosen venue was The Tithe Barn at Browsholme Hall in Clitheroe. We wanted somewhere unique with rustic and relaxed feel to it. The barn was perfect! It was the first venue we visited and we fell in love with it straight away. Rebecca and her team there were wonderful.

We didn’t want to introduce a wedding theme as such because the barn already has its own style. We just wanted to create a fun and relaxed atmosphere and to let the beauty of the barn shine though.  Luke loves superheroes so we did make sure that there were some sneaky super hero references dotted throughout the day, which included Lego superheroes in the buttonholes and superhero table names.

We chose a mixed pallet of colours for the day as we wanted pops of colour everywhere. We drew inspiration from the paper we chose for the invitations – it included muted tones of blush, orange, yellow, green and blue.

A Colourful Wedding in the North West (c) Stella Photography (108)

In keeping with the scheme I chose a pale blush pink gown which was Sincerity by Justin Alexander. It was A-line with a sweetheart neckline and I added a beautiful capped sleeve jacket over the top to make it unique to me. I bought it from Lulu Brown’s in Whalley- such a beautiful boutique! Kate and Jennie there were absolutely wonderful! I also wore Betty shoes by Charlotte Mills.

On the day of the wedding Nina Rochford MUA took care of my makeup and Claire from P&J Palmer in Whalley, styled my hair. I’d recommend both these ladies to other brides.

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never gonna let you lego. a summer wedding at hyde bank farm, cheshire – ali & dave

December 14th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog, we escape to Cheshire, to the captivating 17th century Hyde Bank Farm for Ali and Dave’s glorious summer wedding.

We’ve seen all kinds of unique and curious wedding themes on Brides Up North, but this is the first time we’ve encountered Lego – and we love it!

From cute Lego-inspired cake toppers and snazzy cufflinks and socks to Christmas baubles (yes, you read that one right!) – this is a wedding brimming with originality.

With images by Steven Rooney.

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ali says: We got engaged in Mykonos in Greece. Dave had secretly purchased the ring and asked my dad beforehand. He was almost caught out by airport security staff who decided to go through his bag twice! Unable to wait any longer, he proposed on the first night, at the hotel, under the air conditioning, boiling hot as we had got lost on the way back from dinner!

Our wedding took place on 25th June 2016. We chose this date as there were only three dates left for 2016 at our reception venue, Hyde Bank Farm, and as I am a massive Christmas lover, it was fairly significant being six months to/from Christmas.

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We got married at Norbury Church in Hazel Grove. I have connections with Norbury having grown up going there, and my dad is a clergyman there too (although he didn’t do the service!). We both wanted a church wedding so it fitted the bill perfectly.

We had a Lego theme. Our cake toppers were Lego figures and the groom, best man, groomsmen and father of the bride/groom all had different coloured Lego cufflinks with matching socks. We chose this theme as we’re both big kids at heart.

As for the colour scheme, we picked mint with a hint of blush. We thought this combination was quite summery and mint is one of those colours that suits everyone. The bridesmaids looked gorgeous in their mint dresses.

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I eventually went with an Enzoani strapless mermaid wedding dress after trying on quite a number of different dresses. I saw the dress online, spent a while tracking it down, tried it on – and that was it – job done! It was very flattering and easy to get around in. The dress ticked all the boxes and also gave me the option of wearing a lace topper so I had two looks on the day. It was from the Wedding Boutique in Knutsford, which has since rebranded to Felicity Cooper bridal. Shoes wise, I got a pair of Rachel Simpson Matilda shoes online – only two inches high, and so lovely and comfortable.

My grandma kindly offered me her veil to wear for the ceremony which was a really special touch. She and my grandad got married in 1948 so it was very old! Unfortunately though it didn’t match my dress, so instead of wearing it, we draped it over the table that we signed the register on at the wedding to have it on show. I’m not sure how many people were aware of it but it was very special to us that it was there.

For hair and makeup, I booked Rebecca Anderton for my four bridesmaids and myself. She was so lovely and everything turned out great.

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Dave wore a navy suit from Moss Bros with a mint coloured cravat, and paired the outfit with a pair of brown shoes from Next. The groomsmen also wore the same navy suit and mint coloured cravat from Moss Bros. They wore navy waistcoats whereas Dave donned an ivory waistcoat.

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dare to do it yourself. a family-focused diy wedding on ullswater, penrith – louise & david

November 28th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s real wedding is a testimony to the power of DIY. Louise and David did what so many of us dream of doing (if only we were brave enough!): they hired a village hall on Ullswater in Penrith, created a bright, white blank canvas and went to town with personal touches and pops of pastel colour.

Family is everything to this gorgeous couple and there’s plenty of inspiration here for family-focused wedding planning; from kids’ goody bags to their relaxed honeymoon in Pooley Bridge.

In need of some pretty on this Monday morning? Sit back and enjoy.

With images by Jenna Carpenter Photography.

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louise says: We got engaged while on holiday in Tenerife with our little girl Alice and our friends. I had been making several (fairly obvious!) hints to David but he seemed oblivious. One evening we went to a restaurant and everyone was just chatting away when David started talking to me, at first I didn’t realise what he was saying or what he was taking out of his pocket! It didn’t register until our table fell silent and I saw that everyone had massive smiles on their faces. It was so lovely and just the kind of proposal I’d dreamed of. He said some lovely things and I said yes, of course! I later found out that he’d gone to my parents and asked for their blessing and then asked my friend Sarah to take care of the ring for him as we went through the airport!

Our wedding date was Saturday 20th August 2016. We chose it as we thought a summer wedding would be lovely and the date just jumped out at us.

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We got married in Ullswater, Penrith at Watermillock Village Hall. We absolutely love the Lake District as a family and have lots of ties with the place so we knew it was meant to be.

The venue we chose was actually where my sister’s wedding reception had been held. We checked that she was ok with it first and thankfully she was. It’s a great little place: completely versatile, large rooms and a nice big field for a marquee for our ceremony.

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We used a celebrant on the day as the hall wasn’t licensed for weddings. We had such a personal ceremony conducted by Louise Burns from The Ceremony Company. There were several different ceremonies we could choose from and then personalise and Louise spent lots of time asking questions and finding out about us. We went for a traditional service with the vows included and it all came together in the most amazing service, full of tears and laughter. My sister read from A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton, which was lovely! Louise did an amazing job and we are so thankful for the care and attention she put into our ceremony.

The style of our wedding was laidback and relaxed. We just wanted everyone to have a good time, enjoy the day and let their hair down. I think the theme could perhaps be described as ‘love and fun’ in the end!

Our colour scheme was white with bright pastel colours. I knew straight away that I wanted a bright, white backdrop. Then the pastels could be integrated in different ways, from flowers to table decorations.

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fiesta in the woods. a carefree & colourful wedding styled shoot in yorkshire

November 25th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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It’s time to forget about the cold and miserable weather that we’ve been having as we brighten up your Friday morning with this fun and fabulous styled shoot.

Captured by Yorkshire-based photographer Chloé Grayson of Fox & Owl Photography, the shoot provides perfect inspiration for any laid-back and boho brides out there who crave a vibrant outdoor wedding in natural, rustic surroundings.

We love the lively tropical hints and bold splashes of colour showing how bright hues can be incorporated into a wedding in a beautiful, rather than brash way.

Here with all the details on the styling and the full team behind the shoot is photographer Chloé…

With images by Chloé Grayson of Fox & Owl Photography. Models Sophie Martin-Stokes, Lianne Kaye and Katie Beck.

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chloe says: We teamed up with a bunch of very inspirational local vendors for this shoot, who all worked incredibly hard organising and carrying out preparations. As a group, we wanted to put together a styled shoot that was bold, full of colour and a lot of fun – we quickly opted for a summery ‘fiesta in the woods’ theme that would provide the perfect inspiration for any laid-back brides out there.

With an intimate three acres of woodland in Leeds, unique venue Applewood Weddings provided us with the perfect backdrop for this outdoor wedding shoot. We made the most of the venue’s woodland walks, ceremony area, cocktail shed and decking. The way-finding signage pictured throughout the shoot was also the perfect way for us to tell the ’story’ of the day in a more coherent manner.

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The fiesta look is quite laid-back and is the perfect theme for adding splashes of bright primary colours amongst more traditional and neutral tones. Stylists, Whimsical Events adorned the trees with festive crepe streamers and hand-made tissue paper pom-poms that bounced around excitedly in the wind.

Applewood’s cocktail shed and decking area were dressed up with more of these pom-poms as well as fruity paper pineapples. Little details were important too. A string of pink Flamingo fairy lights injected some light-hearted fun into back of the shed. Both the bar and tables were decorated with vibrant food objects and party cocktails.

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Not for the traditional, our three-tier cake boasted every colour of the rainbow. The eccentric base, which looked like it had been caught in the middle of a paint party, juxtaposed with an elegant top tier arrangement of icing flowers and ribbons. Taking on bespoke projects to match clients’ personalities, Debbie Gillespie Cake Design is no stranger to unconventional requests and here is the evidence.

Our woodland fiesta was further beautified by the wildly romantic British flowers; locally grown, cut and arranged by Owl House Flowers. Organic, colourful and relaxed in style, the bouquet and arrangements fit in with the theme just perfectly.

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