Charlotte Balbier

introducing: blossom & belle

November 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Blossom and Belle Launch (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (13)

One otherwise unremarkable Wednesday evening last month, I was invited along to a rather sensational little soiree at the atmospheric Barley Hall in York to celebrate the launch of blossom & belle, and preview their inaugural bridal offering. The creative brainchild of two sisters in law, Antonia Aitken and Sarah Cartwright, Blossom and Belle is the inspiration of two women whose ultimate aim is to make a woman to simply feel beautiful when she puts on one of their unique dresses.

With images by Oliva Brabbs Photography.

Blossom and Belle Launch (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (1)
Originating from a particularly ‘bad wardrobe day’ by Sarah when feeding her first child, and knowing Antonia’s original background in fashion design, Sarah asked Antonia if she could make her something just for her to wear to make her feel special again.

Antonia, with a BA in Fashion and Textiles, and Sarah, with a Marketing degree, got their heads together, and after many a long night over cups of tea, texts and phone calls, the first Blossom & Belle wrap dress was born.

With Antonia’s creative juices flowing, she started to think about the wedding dress designs she had previously enjoyed creating before she had started her family. Sarah, in the meantime, was using her marketing and business experience to get the Blossom and Belle word out there. In fact, their very first web order came from a twitter follower!

Sourcing beautiful fabrics and unique vintage additions, the collection now composes of Ready to Wear, Prom and Bridal Couture. Every garment is created lovingly by hand by Antonia to the client’s specification. Sarah now works hard behind the scenes helping to drive the business forward as part of her own Sales & Marketing agency, Searson Fox.

Blossom and Belle Launch (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (17)

From a custom butterfly print in organic cotton which was commissioned specifically for Blossom and Belle, silks, Irish linen and swarovski beads, each Blossom and Belle dress is completely unique. Wedding dresses comprise of a mix of french lace, duchess and crepe silks, organza and dupion silks. All the bridal dresses are lined in silk for the ultimate in luxury

If you choose a Blossom and Belle gown, Antonia will go through designs, fabric samples and your own ideas on the first consultation. There will be several fittings of both the toile in calico to ensure the fit and look is perfect and of the gown itself. You go away in plenty of time before your wedding with a gown created just for you and Blossom and Belle can also be there on the day of your wedding to help you dress.

Blossom and Belle Launch (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (14)

What stood out to me was the very personal nature of every gown, along with the collection’s ethereal influence.  It might have been the flickering candlelight or the baby ballerinas who took to the catwalk between scenes, but the vibe was almost medieval, with laced ribbon sleeves and long, trailing veils.

If you’re a free spirited lady who is looking for bespoke service and design for a unique and stunning wedding day look, you might just like to give Blossom and Belle a call.

Blossom and Belle Launch (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (54)

Diary Date: On the 21st February 2016 Blossom and Belle are having a Bridal Tea Party at the historic Tithe Barn, Nether Poppleton from 1pm to 4pm.  There will be a vintage tea room and luxury bridal exhibitors from flowers and cakes to photography.  Blossom and Belle will be available to discuss and showcase their beautiful couture bridal wear range and any ideas you have for your dream dress.

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diary date: charlotte balbier designer day at the little pearl bridal boutique

November 3rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry


This afternoon we’re bringing you this extra (exciting) blog post to let you know about a rather fabulous event, featuring two of our favourite ladies in the industry!

The princess of pretty and bridal wear designer extraordinaire, Charlotte Balbier, will be personally hosting a meet the designer day on Saturday 7th November 2015, alongside owner of The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique, Diana McMann, at her gorgeous emporium in Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

This exclusive event gives brides-to-be the rare opportunity to meet the creator behind the collection while trying on lots of pretty gowns and having a glass of pink fizz (or two), plus many more treats. Sounds like our kind of event!


So here’s Diana with all the details of the event, including how to book your place. Spaces are limited ladies so don’t delay!

diana says: As exclusive North Yorkshire stockists of the fabulous Charlotte Balbier, we are absolutely thrilled about our upcoming designer day this weekend.

This is an amazing opportunity for brides-to-be to meet the very lovely Charlotte herself, chat to her about their big day and enjoy some personal styling to help them find their dream Charlotte Balbier gown! There will be so many gorgeous gowns to try on, we can’t wait!

We do love to host the best get-togethers so there will be lots of pink fizz on hand, yummy treats, VIP goodie bags for all our lucky brides-to-be, plus a £100 accessory voucher with any gown order placed on the day.

The event is by appointment only, with places being £20, which will be refunded to you as soon as you arrive for your appointment. Appointments are limited, so to book your exclusive styling session with Charlotte get in touch very soon!

You can either call the boutique on 01751 798080 or email We are so excited, can’t wait to see you there!


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happy birthday to you (and a diary date!): one fine day bridal

October 22nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

One Fine Day Bridal (44)

Today we are thrilled to be wishing Brides Up North Sponsor and beautiful Lancashire boutique, one fine day bridal, a very happy birthday as it celebrates its first year in business! (*fires party poppers into the air whilst wearing party hat*)

After starting out stocking pre-loved wedding dresses to give beautiful gowns a life beyond their first wear, owner Lindsey Johnson, is now preparing to move onto a new chapter at One Fine Day Bridal by replacing pre-owned gowns with gorgeous new creations by talented designers Rosa Clara Two and Louise Bentley.

Keen to share her exciting news with others and to mark the boutique’s milestone anniversary, Lindsey has planned a very special relaunch evening event on Thursday 19th November 2015, featuring stunning catwalk shows and fabulous wedding industry suppliers – and you could be there!

Limited to just 60 places, tickets are priced at £10 each and can be booked directly by contacting Lindsey on 01772 816512, or alternatively online, with a small fee, via Eventbrite by clicking here.  

Looking back on the past 12 months, we asked Lindsey how her business has grown, what’s next for the boutique and how (pretty please) do we get our hands on tickets for this fabulous sounding event…

One Fine Day Bridal (30)

Congratulations on your first year (and happy birthday), how have the past 12 months been?

lindsey says: Thank you, it has been a thrilling, but challenging 12 months and I can honestly say I have loved every minute. I chose to build my business slowly giving me the chance to get to know my brides well and allowing me time to meet like-minded and talented local wedding suppliers. It is extremely important to me that I provide the best service possible, as purchasing a wedding dress is one of the most memorable occasions in a girl’s life. It’s an absolute honour to be part of it.

We originally opened with high-quality pre-owned dresses for brides and bridesmaids. Over the past 12 months I have listened to our brides and introduced new collections, starting with bridesmaids, accessories and veils. Now we have exclusive, new made-to-order bridal gowns.

You are having a relaunch event to celebrate your first birthday, tell us about it.

In my first year I had the pleasure of helping brides sell-on their gowns to future brides with a stock of pre-owned dresses, offering an alternative to sites such as eBay. Although I found this rewarding it has also been extremely frustrating as too often a bride fell in love with her dress and the size available was not correct.

I made the decision this summer to search for new designers to stock at One Fine Day and chose Rosa Clara Two and Louise Bentley at Harrogate’s buyer event in September. My first birthday is the opportunity to showcase my new dresses and I have chosen an intimate location (Whittles Farm Restaurant in Tarleton) close to my boutique to hold an evening of entertainment.  This will include a catwalk, live music and inspiration from selected local wedding experts such as stylist, photographer, florist and make-up professional.  I can’t wait!

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What do you love about the designers you have chosen to stock, what type of brides do their dresses appeal to?

Rosa Clara Two is a magical collection of romantic but glamorous dresses.  They use beautiful fabrics combining lace, embroidery and beadwork in a delicate way. I have been given the honour of being the only boutique in Lancashire and Merseyside to stock their collection and currently have 15 dresses on order which I will grow over the next year.

Louise Bentley is the exciting new label from the designers behind the successful LouLou collection.  They are passionately committed to quality and design and use beautiful silks and corded lace.  Many of my brides are inspired by vintage designs and these dresses offer that with a contemporary edge.

Both collections are available from sizes 6 to 30 and our price range is £1,200 to £2,200. I handpicked shapes to flatter various body shapes and all dresses are made-to-order.

The relaunch catwalk show will also include Huit Lingerie and bridesmaid dresses from Lela Rose and Dessy. Can you tell us a bit about these collections and what they offer?

I am extremely fortunate to have a spacious boutique and love to offer brides and their bridal party solutions to dressing and feeling fabulous. My experience has taught me that a good foundation is important and I offer a modest, carefully selected shape wear range from Wacoal and feminine delicate lace bridal lingerie from Huit.

One Fine Day Bridal is a stockist for all Dessy labels which enables me to find the perfect dress within a bride’s budget and offer a wide choice of styles, fabrics and colours. These include Social, Alfred Sung, Dessy, After Six, Lela Rose and new for spring, Jenny Yoo. I have selected my favourite styles to complement our bridal collection and to give our guests an exciting taster!

One Fine Day Bridal (14)

Places at the event are limited to 60, how do brides-to-be go about getting tickets?

The event will be held between 7.30pm and 9.30pm on Thursday 19th November at Whittles Farm Restaurant, The Courtyard, Tarleton, and will include prosecco and nibbles on arrival.

Tickets are priced at £10 each and can be booked directly by contacting me on 01772 816512, or alternatively online, with a small fee, via Eventbrite by clicking here.  

One Fine Day Bridal (32)

What have you enjoyed most about your first year at One Fine Day Bridal?

My career to date is as a ladies fashion buyer and I have previously worked for large companies.  I love meeting each bride personally and hearing about the finer details of her big day. I have a passion for styling and the chance to offer advice in a relaxed way is rewarding. It is this interaction with brides and their families which has shaped my business so far and I welcome feedback. The proud feeling of seeing your bride dressed on her big day and receiving a small thank-you is extremely satisfying!

What has been your biggest achievement or highlight during the first year?

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting amazing, very well respected designers in bridal fashion and the reception I have received has made me very proud. It has also given me the confidence to realise that I have much to offer brides-to-be in terms of dressing to suit their body and personality, plus a welcoming nature to provide high-quality, personal service. But seeing the smile on the face of my first bride when she found her dress has to be my absolute highlight!

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What do you have planned for the year ahead for One Fine Day bridal?

Following my relaunch on 19th November I will be planning designer days in 2016 and already have plans for some exciting styled shoots. I am also considering my third bridal label and hope this will be revealed soon!

Oh and, I have teamed up with local businesses to put together a special bridesmaid experience – details will be revealed in February!

One Fine Day Bridal (22)

What can brides expect from an appointment at One Fine Day Bridal? 

All appointments are with me personally and I am able to dedicate time especially to my bride and her family and friends. I am fortunate to have a spacious, welcoming showroom with a large changing room. One Fine Day feels very exclusive and intimate, creating a memorable experience.  (Earlier this year one of my brides actually booked an appointment to practise her first dance routine in her dress!)

We exclusively stock Rosa Clara Two which means we are the only boutique in Lancashire and Merseyside to house such designs, offering our local brides individuality.

I believe assisting a bride to make one of the most memorable purchases of her life is an honour.

One Fine Day Bridal (50)

Do you believe brides do have that ‘this is the one’ moment when searching for their dream dress and if so what is your top tip to help them to find it?

I believe the experience is different for every bride. Some brides are led by the heart, others can be more cautions as it is a huge decision. Some brides try on a gown and immediately fill with emotion; with no doubt in their mind they have found ‘the one’.

Others, like me, try on a dress and feel fabulous but their love for the design comes later. That ‘moment’ can come when they compare other dresses to it, or wake up one day thinking ‘I love it, I wish I had ordered it’.

I definitely recommend keeping an open mind, listen to the advice of family and myself. If a bride comes to an appointment with her mum or best friend I like them to pick a design too. Most brides are pleasantly surprised!

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diary date: the wedding edit (plus win an absolutely amazing romantic break at gilpin hotel & lake house)

October 14th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Love Wedding Edit

We’re interrupting your Tuesday afternoon to remind North West readers of a very special event coming up this Sunday. Introducing the wedding edit at Styal Lodge in Cheshire: brought to you exclusively by friends of Brides Up North, Emma of LOVE Bridal Boutique and Jonny Draper Photography!

This styling event is ideal for brides getting married from 2016 onwards, looking for inspiration for their wedding dress with an exciting catwalk show showcasing new collections and trends from LOVE’s designers Alan Hannah Bridalwear, Enzoani, Raimon Bundó Novias, Sarah Seven and Stewart Parvin.  Not to mention all the finishing touches from accessories to cakes, entertainment to shoes, flowers, photography and so much more…

And all glamour and inspiration aside, as an attending bride at The Wedding Edit you will be given the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win an absolutely sensational prize from our friends at Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, known as one of the best hotels in the Lake District where carefully designed ‘mini-moon’ breaks for newly weds are nothing short of spectacular.


Just by attending The Wedding Edit, you will be automatically entered into a competition to win a TWO night stay in one of Gilpin Hotel and Lake House’s new spa suites with dinner (with upgraded tasting menu with matched wines), breakfast, lunch, all drinks and their new spa journey (described below) included, totalling £1600. This is a unique opportunity for a couple to be one of the first to experience the ultimate romantic break in the hotel’s stunning new spa suites!


Each suite comprises an open plan bedroom and lounge with treatment area, an ensuite spa bathroom with steam room, sauna, hot tubs, rain maker showers and private walled garden. Gilpin Hotel and Lake House have designed a range of beautiful spa products to accompany these spa experiences which are specifically designed to be shared as a couple and as part of a spa journey. The spa journey also includes accompanying music, food, drinks, and lighting to create the ultimate romantic experience. Terms and conditions will apply.


emma says: “Jonny and I were lucky enough to stay at Gilpin Hotel during the summer and can not come close to explaining what a stunning experience we had.  The bedroom, the terrace, the lounge areas – the food, the drinks and the wonderfully attentive staff all led to us relaxing so much that we felt like we’d been away a week!  We are so grateful to our friends at Gilpin for providing this exclusive prize for The Wedding Edit and one bride to be is going to be walking away from our event with an amazing break for her and her hubby to be!

If you would like to be sure of a place on our guest list then please email with your name, wedding date, venue and the name of your ‘plus one’ (unfortunately, due to high levels of demand for places, we are only able to accommodate one guest per bride)

Be quick as there are now only a handful of places left! And remember – this is strictly a girls only event!

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hey yorkshire? things are about to get very, very pretty!

October 7th, 2015 | Julia Braime

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The next few weeks at Brides Up North HQ are amongst our busiest ever (hey, what changes?) as we gear up to deliver a serious helping of wedding inspiration to brides and grooms right across Yorkshire.  The schedule is packed, and the schedule is pretty, as we visit four of the most gorgeous wedding venues in this beautiful county, filling each with an entirely handpicked selection of wedding suppliers for you to choose from.

Whether you are still looking for your venue (and oh my goodness these are stunners) or the few final touches (we’ve got those expertly covered too), these events are a must visit.  Each event is completely bespoke and so perfectly put together, so we’d love for you to take your pick and come along to whichever takes your fancy!  We’ve also made each event so unique that all four could fit neatly into a bride to be’s diary should the opportunity arise – just make sure you’ve a plan in place for handling a grumpy groom! Top tip: bring him to one, enlist the bridesmaids for the others!

We’re so very excited about what we’ve got planned for our readers – yes, that’s you! -for the next month!  Bringing our inspirational pages to life is what we think we do best, and we can’t wait to share the events that we have been so meticulously working on for months behind the scenes.  All we’ll say is that if you think these pages are lovely… you ain’t seen nothing yet!  Grab the wedding folder, it’s time to tick off some wedmin…

Coming right up:

The Mansion Luxury Wedding Exhibition Autumn 2015

The Mansion, Roundhay, Leeds, LS8 2HH
Sunday 11th October 2015, 11am till 3pm, Free Entry

One for the fashionistas, this boutique, exclusive use wedding venue in Roundhay park is super chic. Add 35 of the area’s finest wedding industry suppliers and our bridal event equals absolute wedding planning perfection!

We’d love to help you get your glam on!

Denton Hall Autumn 2015

Denton Hall, Denton Rd, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 0HH
Sunday 18th October 2015, 11am till 3pm, Free Entry

Get ready to be Lords & Ladies of the Manor at this stunning Yorkshire country pile.

We’ve enlisted the help of 30+ luxury wedding exhibitors to help make your day even more perfect.

Wentworth Woodhouse Autumn 2015

Wentworth Woodhouse, Wentworth, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S62 7TQ
Sunday 18th October 2014, 12pm till 4pm

£5 per bride (towards restoration fund)– other guests FREE

It’s big and it’s beautiful. With it’s newly granted Civil Licence the marbled halls of stately giant Wentworth Woodhouse can be exclusively yours for a very special day.

We’re excited to be working at this brand new Brides Up North venue for autumn 2015 and will be inviting the region’s very best exhibitors to join us for a day of delight and inspiration.

Allerton Castle Autumn 2015

Allerton Castle, Allerton Mauleverer, Knaresborough, HG5 0SE
Sunday 25th October 2015, 11am till 3pm, Free Entry

This one has the WOW factor! The former residence of the Grand Old Duke of York is a real life fairy tale castle with the luxury of a boutique hotel, and it’s yours exclusively for the whole day.

We’ve filled the Great Hall and Ballroom with our selection (over 40) of the region’s best wedding industry suppliers, waiting to turn your dreams into reality.

bride to be? register now

To pre-register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack (stuffed with treats and glossy mags) at all or any of the events, simply follow the link below and select the venue of your choice. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack upon entry to the Luxury Wedding Exhibition. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.


are you a wedding industry professional?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2015/16. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions.

Click here to view the full schedule.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Since their inception in spring 2012, all exhibitions have been sell outs on exhibitor space with a record attendance for every venue. Consequently, we expect demand to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

Please email ASAP for exhibitor booking and pricing information listing the events or area that you are interested in.

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a diary date for #pearlsgirls

September 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Georgina Harrison Photography

Brides Up North fave Diana of The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (plus some of her ever so lovely friends) are hijacking these pretty pages this lunchtime with a very special invitation.

diana says: We would like to thrilled to invite you to an afternoon of pure elegance & style, hosted by the fabulous boutique venue, The Pheasant in Harome, North Yorkshire on Sunday 11th October 2015 from 1pm to 4pm.

Exclusive Event Invitation

We will shower you with fizz and canapés on arrival, where you will then have the chance to chat to some of the best local wedding suppliers there are. There will be lots more treats throughout the afternoon and a few surprises too!!

Hayley Baxter Photography
At 2pm there will be an exclusive preview of new collection gowns that have arrived in to the boutique from Charlotte Balbier, Enzoani and Sassi Holford Bridal Design plus some of their gorgeous current collections. There’ll be lots of sparkle, shoes, feathers and lingerie too from our accessory designers – Rachel Simpson Shoes, Charlotte Mills Bridal, Flo & Percy, Chez Bec, Sasso Bride, Pompadour Couture Lingerie and Amanda Wyatt. It is going to be amazingly beautiful!

Samantha Ward Photography

You can keep up to date on all of our fabulous ‘wedding friends’ that will joining us on the day via our Facebook event page. Tickets are FREE so to book your place, just call the boutique on 01751 798080, email or click here to go through to our contact form on on our website.We just need to know numbers for all the treats we have planned for you.

Get the girls together and enjoy an afternoon of wedding inspiration…

See you there! #pearlsgirls

Images by Georgina Harrison, Hayley Baxter and Samantha Ward.

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