Charlotte Balbier

Darling Props Of May. Supplier Showcase: China Blossom Hire

May 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

China Blossom Hire

So many Brides Up North who contact me via the blog are on the look out for creative styling details to make their big day stand out from the crowd (and I’d love to hear from you too).  So, to the rescue! 

One Brides Up North Featured Supplier who specialises in props and accessories of the quirky, vintage kind is the lovely Eliza and her team at China Blossom Hire, based in the North West.  Today she’s here to let you know how she can help to make your wedding day unique.  Let’s say hello…

… and once we have, make sure to stop by the China Blossom Hire website to see just what they can do. 

China Blossom Hire

Eliza says:  As with a lot of brides to be, I started planning my own vintage wedding and discovered that I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted at a reasonable price nearby and so started collecting pieces of china when I saw them. After many positive comments on our big day, I decided to make my own china available to brides, but then I saw a gap in the local market for prop hire as well and the business has bloomed from there.

China Blossom Hire

What can you supply and why is it special?

We believe that our large and unique range of china, along with our affordable packages, make us a great choice for any engaged couple. Whether it’s an intimate tea party for 20 or a larger gathering of 120 place settings, we will always endeavour to match any specific requirements such as all pastel trios or specific teapots on particular tables. If required, teaspoons, cake forks and table cloths can also be provided to add that extra vintage touch. We have a range of silverware which can be used to create unique centrepieces by itself or with other china pieces.

China Blossom Hire

Tell us about your prop hire service?

We believe that we have one of the best, if not the best, range of wedding props in the North West. The rise of themes such as Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Steampunk and Carnival require a large array of different props and we are confident that we can supply even the most quirky of vintage props should they be required.

We think our props have become so popular because we make and adapt a lot of our own vintage style items such as our vintage chalkboard bicycles and photo walls. We also have a novel approach of how we use props such as photo display suitcases and vintage dessert dressing tables with a personalised menu or message on the mirror for guests to read. From gramophones, picnic baskets and milk churns to giant lit letters, vintage style drink dispensers and vintage typing stations, we always find that couples are amazed by the sheer diversity of our stock.

China Blossom Hire

Where are you based and what areas do you cover?

We are currently based in Churchtown, Southport where we have a 1930’s summerhouse which we thought was a fitting environment in which to invite couples to discuss their plans (over tea and cake of course)!

We currently will travel to locations up to 150 miles from Southport or thereabouts, so this takes in Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, parts of North Wales, Staffordshire and West Yorkshire.

China Blossom Hire

China Blossom Hire

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

Our individual hire prices range from a matter of pence to £125 for our photo tent. However, due to such high demand, we have had to introduce a minimum hire charge of £50 for any order. We do have a variety of packages available for larger hires including china hire from £55 for 50 people and funfair games packages from £275. We believe it is crucial to have a range of price points so that our china and props are available to the majority of couples on any budget. A full list of our prices can be found on our website under the hire charge page, but also on each individual gallery photographs as our stock has expanded so rapidly that we were running out of space!

China Blossom Hire

Why should Brides Up North choose to work with China Blossom Hire?

Uniqueness – we pride ourselves on our unique and quirky hire items such as our vintage photo tent and candy tables using Victorian glass, suitcases and mini chalkboard heart labels. As well as our products, we believe that the attention to detail we provide is second to none. We often look at the overall theme that a couple is interested in during their free consultation and then link in any personal/family heirlooms which they may wish to use as it’s not about us, it’s all about their big day being special.

We also provide a unique service of personalising messages on our chalkboards or mirrors in a variety of styles. Our customer reviews on Facebook and our website prove that we promise and provide the highest level of service possible.

China Blossom Hire

Why do you think the trend for a vintage wedding endures?

We believe that the trend for all things ‘vintage’ has become so popular as a result of several factors. Obviously, television programmes such as Downton Abbey and The Great British Bake Off have played their part in romanticising past trends, but also, austerity has played it’s part with couples looking for a more reasonable and personal alternative.

Brides have in turn become keen to make their wedding fresh and chic, others want it to be more unique or organic. We don’t believe that this is a fad as ‘vintage’ has come to mean a whole variety of styles from Retro, English Country Garden to Art Deco and Rustic to name just a few. Even those who want a more modern approach are managing to merge in ‘vintage’ elements by having a black and white or chic Parisian theme. The current trend for colour and traditional entertainment has sparked a blossoming of all things ‘Carnival’ which is great for British weddings. 

So the trend continues…

China Blossom Hire

Who would be your dream client and why?

That’s easy, anyone from Downton Abbey! Like half the nation, I am hooked. Can you imagine a Downton bride next to one of vintage chalkboard bicycles or behind a photo wall? How fabulous!

Anything else that you’d like to share with our readers?

We are seeing an increasing number of brides and grooms requesting vintage fairground games and oversized lit items such as hearts and initials, so keep a lookout on our website for our latest prop trends and remember to email us if you have an idea as we love developing unique props for a couple’s unique day!

China Blossom Hire

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

If brides prefer a more relaxed approach, we can be contacted via Facebook at China Blossom, or by email at

You can visit our website at

We have both landline and mobile phone numbers accessible for clients on 01704 809191 and 07922038455 respectively. We would always suggest that couples visit our showroom and view any china and props before they commit themselves to anything. We are here to make planning a wedding an exciting and personal journey which leads up to to the incredible event that is their special day.

China Blossom Hire


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 supplied by China Blossom Hire

China Blossom Hire is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

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

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Makin’ Rainbows. A Cute & Colourful Styled Wedding Shoot In Northumberland

February 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Adamskii Photography for Emma Bunting at Alnwick Garden

On Monday I featured an ethereal and romantic styled shoot showing off the gorgeous designs of Claire Pettibone at The Alnwick Garden (want to see? Click here to catch up).  Now it seems that the team involved are so skilled that they had time to turn the day on it’s head and produce a second shoot – something completely different – to show off Brides Up North Featured Supplier Emma Bunting’s skills (she makes beautiful bunting, like her name suggests)!

Bright, bold, a little whimsical and a lot of colourful.  I talk about talent all the time here at Brides Up North, but it just goes to show that whatever your style, these wedding professionals have it covered. 

Let’s infuse this Friday morning with rainbows!

Adamskii Photography for Emma Bunting at Alnwick Garden

Emma says:  I was given permission to use The Alnwick Garden whilst it was closed to the public to shoot Emma Bunting’s new Rainbow range. I wanted a fun and slightly offbeat look for a relaxed bride and groom – I think we achieved that with the look of our models and the quirky style. 

I hope you like our colourful creations and pick up some bright and beautiful ideas for your own big day. 

Adamskii Photography for Emma Bunting at Alnwick Garden

Emma Bunting and her team will be exhibiting at The Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at The Alnwick Garden on Sunday 18th May 2014. A beautiful, excusive event in an extraordinary setting.  Closing our spring season for 2014, it’s set to be a magical day.  Be inspired! Click here to register for FREE ENTRY and your VIP Bride To Be Goody Bag.

Adamskii Photography for Emma Bunting at Alnwick Garden

Adamskii Photography for Emma Bunting at Alnwick Garden

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The Editorials: “Its All In The Detail”

January 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Helen Russell Photography

Helen Russell Photography 

It’s time for another online/ offline catch up folks.  The Editorials is a series I run occasionally here on the wedding blog, bringing the offline bridal freelance writing that I do on a monthly basis for numerous glossy magazines online. 

“It’s All In The Detail” was a piece penned by moi and first published in National Glossy, Wedding Magazine as a part of my Trend Alert series of columns (although it’s contents have been tweeted a few times since then)!  I hope it inspires you to accessorise wisely…

Its All In The Detail

I said:  No longer content with just the church, dress and swish wheels, trendsetting brides and grooms are thinking outside the box when it comes to the finer details of their big day.

This isn’t about following the crowd and installing a job lot of teacups, typewriters and the prerequisite bird cage table centres, but selecting unique props and decorating details that say something about the your individual tastes and interests and using them as a backdrop to your celebration.

Dan Jones Photography

Dan Jones Photography

Dan Jones Photography  

A plan is essential. It’s all too easy to get carried away at the car boot sales and lose sight of your initial vision. This isn’t an episode of ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’. Before the great rummage begins, consider your theming carefully and arm yourself with a wish list to avoid expensive mistakes. Consider enlisting the services of a prop hire or event styling specialist who will help you to bring more ambitious ideas to life.

SDS Photography

Middleton Lodge Wedding By Helen Russell Photography  (26)

CG Weddings by The Crawleys

SDS Photography, Helen Russell Photography, CG Weddings by The Crawleys 

A Personal Touch

Whatever decorating details you add to your big day, the most effective schemes will be those that really mean something to you as a couple. Travel mad? Vintage suitcases, picture postcards and grand old maps in place of table runners can add nostalgia and romance to your celebration. Love cycling? How about a bicycle made for two?

Helen Venables Photography

Jonny Draper Photography

Helen Venables Photography, Jonny Draper Photography 

Go Large

Some of the more popular grand schemes like festival or circus themed weddings need commitment to work. If in doubt, add bulk and colour – reams of rainbow streamers or paper pompoms en masse are a cheaper alternative to filling the room with flowers, and in some scenarios more definitely is more!

BUN Charlotte & Matt-94

Cassandra Lane Photography

Richard Wynn Davies, Helen Venables Photography


Before embarking on a decorating extravaganza, remember to do your sums. Props and detailing should really be somewhere near the bottom of your budget and an optional extra rather than essential expense. Decide what’s more important to you – 100 Greek urns or your Santorini honeymoon (and I’m not judging!) and budget accordingly.

Jonny Draper Photography

Shelley Hughes Photography

Jonny Draper Photography, Shelley Hughes Photography

Nothing For The Sake Of It

Often, the most stylish weddings are the simplest affairs. Don’t feel pressured to over-style your day if a themed celebration just isn’t your bag. You can still add personal touches with your favourite flowers, photographs of loved ones or a carefully chosen playlist.

SDS Photography

SDS Photography

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Style It Up! Supplier Showcase: Ruby’s Tea Party PLUS Special Offer For Wedding Blog Readers!

January 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Ruby's Tea Party

Brand new Brides Up North readers (well, hello there!) will soon find out that as well as bringing you a double daily dose of wedding inspiration and wedding gown eye candy, we also work hard to showcase the very best wedding industry suppliers in your region (see our Directory for the evidence, or browse back through our posts with the category "Featured Supplier").  Leaving you more time for shoe shopping and, er, going down the pub. 

Today we meet Brides Up North Featured Supplier Karen of Ruby’s Tea Party, a pretty styling outfit based in the North East.  Karen’s got a special New Year’s discount just for Brides Up North readers up her sleeve, and wants a challenge: to make your wedding day as perfect as possible.  I’ve know Karen for quite a while after meeting at one of my Brides Up North Tweet Ups back in 2012, and it’s time for you to meet her…

Karen is offering  a 10% discount on the hire catalogue for any new bookings confirmed by 28th February 2014. Please quote Brides Up North upon enquiry.

Ruby's Tea Party

When and why did Ruby’s Tea Party begin? 

I set up Ruby’s Tea Party in the summer of 2011 because I spotted an opportunity to help brides and grooms with their special day. I noticed the trend towards serving afternoon tea was growing in popularity and I already had a small collection of vintage pieces at home so all I had to do was start collecting more!

Tell us about yourself?

My first ever job was working in the restaurant of a local pub at weekends. I got a real buzz from making sure people were happier when they left than when they arrived and so I went on to study Hospitality Management specialising in events. I worked for top end restaurants owned by celebrity chefs and a 5* hotel to perfect my craft and just fell in love with all things wedding.

Ruby's Tea Party

What services does Ruby’s Tea Party offer?

Ruby’s Tea Party began as a vintage china hire company and has grown from there. My hire collection includes all the vintage china you could ever need to serve afternoon tea as well as cutlery and linens. Over time I’ve found my collection growing and now I offer various props and decor items to help create an overall look in a venue. I finally left the ‘day job’ earlier this year to focus on Ruby’s Tea Party and since then I’m able to more involved and offer a venue dressing service or work with couples on a full venue styling package.

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Diary Date: Inspirational Wedding Weekend At Dandy Events

September 19th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Well would’ya look at that – this weekend Brides Up North doesn’t have a bridal event planned for you lot!  It’s a very rare weekend off for me and the Brides Up North team and I’ll be spending it celebrating my best friend’s wedding.  Yes, on my days off:  I go to weddings.  It figures, doesn’t it?

Dandy Events Inspirational Wedding Weekend

As I perform my bridesmaid duties for bride to be Victoria (Hello Vic!) – and party up a storm on the dance floor – I didn’t want to leave you high and dry, so I thought I’d pop by this afternoon to tell you about where you can get your wedding planning kicks this weekend.

Brides Up North Featured Supplier and friends at Dandy Events are hosting another of their fabulous weekend  showcase events at their premises on Scotswood Road in Newcastle.  Join Denise and her team of wedding design consultants to see how they can make your styling dreams come true.  Take it from me, I’m not talking about chair covers here – these guys are seriously good.   

There’s free bucks fizz, canapés, fantastic discounts and exclusive decor ideas to be had, plus one lucky bride will dinner for two at The Biscuit Factory.

Be there – 10am till 5pm, both Saturday and Sunday, this weekend.  No appointment necessary. 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2013 Dandy Events

Dandy Events is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Shine On. Supplier Showcase: Carta Projects & Starlight Wedding Hire PLUS Exclusive 10% Discount For Wedding Blog Readers!

September 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Carta Projects courtesy of Papakata

This afternoon I’m happy to introduce a guy who can give your wedding that extra sparkle.  Martin of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Carta Projects (incorporating Starlight Wedding Hire) can add twinkle to your wedding teepee, marquee, function room, ballroom or even a village hall.  If you’ve got the imagination, he’s got the lighting.  And he’s offering a very special 10% off for Brides Up North readers…

Hi Martin, tell us about Carta Projects and Starlight Wedding Hire?

Carta Projects was formed last July, drawing on a 15 year career in technical theatre & 10 years in TV production, I decided to go back to my roots, providing and installing technical equipment for clients.  All our products incorporate LED technology, therefore we are an eco-friendly equipment supplier to the wedding and event industry, having a fantastic ‘carbon footprint’ and green credentials. 

Starlight Wedding Hire was set up to appeal to discerning brides and grooms.  We offer wedding packages in various price brackets so that the client is aware of the total cost upfront. 

We stock LED fairy lights, LED festoons, LED star-cloths, LED up lighting, LED projections, LED circle bars, LED dance-floors,LED mood lighting, LED effects and are soon to stock LED furniture. 

Carta Projects

Who makes up the team and what are your qualifications/ experience?

Carta Projects consists of two full-timers and freelance specialist technicians for deployment whenever and where-ever!  I am the Director of the company and the lead project manager and equipment specialist. I have specialism in technical stage management, event technical management, stage & TV rigging and working at height.  I also have the credentials of a TV production buyer, allowing me the ability and access to hire and purchase almost anything for any event – no matter how weird! Jo Radmall fulfils all the company administration, & Anil Patel is our senior technician, bringing his huge smile to your event – delivering and installing your equipment and also trained to complete any PAT testing of electrical products. Our freelance staff are fully experienced professionals from the event, wedding and theatrical industries.

Why should a Bride consider LED lighting hire for her wedding?  

LED lighting is an inexpensive way to TOTALLY transform your wedding reception (inside & outside) from a white box room,into a colourful reception -  the bride can choose whatever colour they wish.  They can have static colours, slow fading colours or eccentric ‘disco’ chasing light patterns. We also provide bespoke LED projections onto floors and walls with the happy couple’s names or any text they should desire.

Why does LED lighting make a wedding special and how can it enhance the décor of the celebration? Brides can hire a white dance floor and a white LED starry star-cloth alongside LED up-lighters.  Huge sparkly mirror balls can also give a fantastic effect!

Carta Projects

Tell us about your mobile bar hire and managed bar service?

We have a stunning 4.5 m LED circle bar available to hire, it is gorgeous as a cocktail bar, a bottle beer bar or even a water bar. We also work with the professional cocktail slingers at Spiritus to provide a first class cocktail experience. We can provide sumptuous cocktail menus or champagne  receptions.

Tell us about your LED dance floors?

We have the ONLY circular white LED starry dance Floor in the UK.  Stand out from the rest: instead of ‘standard’ square dance floors go circular! Wow your guests with a stunning 15′ diameter circle dance floor filled with LED stars in a twinkly wedding whirl!

Carta Projects

Why is your equipment the best?

All our products use LED technology, our bar uses lightweight stainless steel and aluminium and we also provide a PAT testing service, allowing any wedding or event client to get their equipment tested before being taken to the venue.
What sets you apart from other lighting companies? 

We stock bespoke event ideas and stunning first class equipment.

Carta Projects
What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

We can either work directly with the clients to provide all the best event equipment, or liaise with your wedding planners to create the most fantastic wedding reception!

Can you give us an idea on price?

Please see for wedding lighting packages or for our products price list.  

Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

I would love to offer a 10% offer to your readers if they mention this feature in any quotation request.  Not available anywhere else!

Carta Projects
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?

Visit our websites: or  We will look forward to hearing from you!

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by Carta Projects

Carta Projects is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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


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