Charlotte Balbier

willa rose. a charlotte balbier launch at jean jackson couture

July 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime

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My job isn’t always as glamorous as it might seem.  Editing Brides Up North and Unveiled Magazine as well as managing and producing over 20 Luxury Wedding Exhibition events and all the copy writing, art direction, event management and business development that comes with is a more than full time job (for a team of people).  For every swanky industry event requiring sequins and Champagne, there’s a lot of long, lonely screen hours juggling emails, contracts, floor plans and all the admin that comes with being the #girlboss of a busy business.

Luckily for me though, one of those swanky industry events always seems to come along just as you need it!

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I was thrilled to be invited along as a special guest as Brides Up North Sponsor bridal boutique Jean Jackson Couture in Manchester’s Northern Quarter was transformed into a secret rose garden to mark the official launch of Charlotte Balbier’s WILLA ROSE collection and brand at Jean Jackson Couture’s two boutiques, earlier this month.

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Charlotte Balbier is our headline Sponsor for 2015 and now a dear friend of mine, so it was lovely to join the Jean Jackson Couture girls – they are a very stylish bunch – in toasting our talented designer friend and debuting Charlotte’s new 2016 Willa Rose collection (which you can see featured on Brides Up North here).

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Brides Up North was joined by Manchester brides-to-be, other industry professionals and national press to celebrate this beautiful new partnership.  The boutique was transformed into a magical space filled with beautiful blooms and a gorgeous swing by The Vintage Swing Company to re-create the Charlotte Balbier ‘Willa Rose’ campaign images.  We were also treated to rose pink lemonade, pink champagne and delicious cakes.  I told you it was a hard job being me, didn’t I?!

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The new 2016 ‘Willa Rose’ collection was modelled in a salon style throughout the evening along with a special guest appearance by the face of Charlotte Balbier, the beautiful Verity.

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charlotte says: I am so excited and thrilled to be welcoming Jean Jackson Couture as a Charlotte Balbier brand partner.  Working with a well-known and established boutique that has a long heritage in bridal and are also a family business is wonderful and mirrors my family also and business so is the perfect partnership. It’s amazing to have the gowns stocked in both boutiques and can’t wait for our next event!”

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Jean Jackson Couture is now taking appointments for brides to try the Willa Rose collection. See www.jeanjacksoncouture.com for more details and to book your appointment. 

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Images by Hayley Baxter www.hayleybaxterphotography.com

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and a silver sixpence. the little pearl bridal boutique x charlotte mills bridal

June 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

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Hold onto your heels girls, Brides Up North Sponsor Diana of The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique has some exciting news to share.  Today they announce that they are welcoming a new accessory supplier, Brides Up North fave, Charlotte Mills Bridal. At the forefront of bridal trends and bringing a fresh new look to bridal footwear, since Charlotte’s debut collection in 2014 we have totally fallen in love with her signature style of love hearts incorporated in a unique and fun way across every style.

#PearlsGirls will now be able to add that signature Charlotte Mills sixpence to their own bridal shoes.  A match made in fashion heaven.

Diana and Charlotte also have some some special treats exclusively for Brides Up North readers, with 10% off every order, and a #PearlsGirls Celebrate Summer coming up very soon… read on for details of how to claim your discount and for that diary date! 

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diana says: It’s certainly been an exciting few months here at The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique!  We’ve had the pleasure in meeting so many lovely brides-to-be and their families since opening our doors on Valentines Day this year.  We feel like we’ve been open a lot longer than four months!  Our vision for the boutique was to give every bride a special personalised one to one experience, surrounded by a hand picked selection of elegant and stylish designer gowns and accessories.  It’s been just wonderful seeing lots of ladies enjoy their time at the boutique and become one of #PearlsGirls.  Seeing them all preparing for their big day over the coming months is truly an honour!

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We are thrilled to welcome Charlotte Mills Bridal to the family.  At The Little Pearl, it’s all about the detail.  Charlotte has thought of everything when designing her collection, and we just love how personal it is to each bride.  Charlotte incorporates a Silver Sixpence into each pair of shoes and embosses the sole with the phrase “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and a Silver Sixpence in her shoe”.  We love that each of our brides carries that extra little bit of luck with them down the aisle.

Charlotte’s 2015 collection doesn’t stray too far away from her signature style, complementing it by adding soft glitters, metallics and luxury soft leathers.  We just love Charlotte’s iconic colours too – from cobalt blue to pink, they are such a fun choice and perfect for wearing after your wedding day too!  I may have to purchase a cheeky pair myself!

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Charlotte has also just launched a new selection of personalised hearts that can be added to a few of her styles.  There are over 10 different heart trims to choose from.  Whether it be a design to fit in with your theme, or your personality, the choice is completely yours.  There are fun designs embroidered with ‘Just Married’ and ‘Happily Every After’ or hearts adorned with glitter crystals and fresh water pearls.

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I have to say I love all of Charlotte’s designs, but if I was to pick a few favourites they would have to be Andi from the new collection – such a classic peep toe shape, Betty from the new collection – who doesn’t love a bit of glitter with an elegant heel, and Annabel – perfect for dancing the night away!

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Charlotte’s gorgeous shoes are now in the boutique ready and waiting to be tried on.  As a special treat we are offering all you lucky Brides up North readers a cheeky 10% off launch offer across all of our Charlotte Mills styles for the next month.  Just mention Brides up North when you come to see us.

Talking of treats we have another one coming up for you too, our #PearlsGirls Celebrate Summer Event!  So if you are still looking for your perfect gown, or accessories, come and join us for fizz, pimms and lots of summer treats on Saturday 20th June.  The event is by appointment only, so why not come and have a special girlie day.  We are taking bookings from 9am until 7pm.

To come and see us at The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique just call us on 01751 798080 or email diana@thelittlepearlbridalboutique.co.uk.

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calligraphy for weddings. a workshop.

May 14th, 2015 | Julia Braime

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You know we like to keep our readers updated with lots of key dates for your diaries including designer weekends, bridal soirees, Luxury Wedding Exhibitions (we do a few of those, had you noticed?!) and workshops, so today we are really happy to share the details of our gorgeous Sponsor, Claire of Calligraphy For Weddings‘ calligraphy class.  If you fancy adding a personal touch to your wedding stationery or simply learning a beautiful new skill, this one is for you. Places are very limited, and Claire tells me that she’ll have to be strict, so make sure to get in touch quickly to reserve your place… happy scribbling!

claire says: I’m really excited to be hosting a calligraphy class in Manchester on the 10th of June 2015 – it’s going to be lots of fun and I’d love for you to come and join me for a day playing with pens and learning gorgeous contemporary scripts. We’ll be in the Northern Quarter from 11am until 4pm and there are 15 spaces available – booking starts today!

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you’ll learn:

How to hold, wiggle and write with a traditional dip pen
The basics of contemporary lettering
It’s a hands-on day so I’ll be demonstrating a little, but most of the time you’ll be writing and I’ll be giving pointers and helping you

i’ll provide:

Calligraphy pens, paper, inks
Practice sheets and examples

you’ll need:

Just your lovely self
Please bring your own lunch

you’ll take home:

Your pen and nib set, paper and practice sheets
Guidelines for practicing at home
The beautifully lettered goodies you’ve written on the day!

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The price is £55 payable on booking – I can accept payments by bank transfer or PayPal.

To book email Claire: hello@Calligraphy-for-Weddings.com

To find out more about Calligraphy For Weddings, read our interview with Claire, here

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Images by Theresa Furey.

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hola! #barcelonabridalweek

May 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime

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If you follow Brides Up North over on Facebook, Twitter or (especially) Instagram, you can’t have failed to notice that I’ve been getting a leetle bit ridiculously excited about being in Barcelona as a guest of Barcelona Bridal Week (hashtag #barcelonabridalweek).  I’m here all week as a VIP blogger partner of XXL Comunication, Barcelona Turisme and Barcelona Bridal Week, bringing you all the news from the front line of the couture catwalks as it lands… and maybe even a little backstage action too.

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I arrived late on Monday night, and since then it’s been a bit of a Barcelona Bridal whirlwind!  I was whisked straight from the airport to the grand opening of designer Miquel Suay‘s brand new flagship boutique, where a very warm welcome from the designer and his team (and their ah-may-zing gowns) awaited me, via late night tapas and a cheeky cerveza and back to my 5* lodgings in the sensational Gothic Quarter, then awoke today for a full on day of soirees and sightseeing.

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I’m here with a hand picked selection of top bloggers and media partners including the Aussie stylistas from The Lane, the lovely Lindsay of Fly Away Bride, famous US bloggers Jen of Green Wedding Shoes and Ally of Inspired By This, gorgeous Elizabeth of Bridal Musings and the fantastic Yolanda of Girls on Film, representing So You’re Getting Married.  Together we make quite a motley (albeit fabulously dressed) crew, and I’m enjoying exchanging tips (I think Jen from Green Wedding Shoes might have changed my life with her advice on email management), gossip and trend spotting with these amazing ladies.

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If today was all about the sights; a whistle-stop tour of the fashionable and quirky Born District, a tour of Casa Batllo (the beautiful Gaudi house), an amazing seafood lunch with Barcelona Turisme at La Gavina at Port Guell, a visit to the Poble Espanyol and more glasses of Cava offered my way than on my own wedding day… then this evening was all about the catwalk.

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At 6pm we headed to the Fira Gran Via for the opening show of Barcelona Bridal Week 2015, the stunning and sensational, Rosa Clara. Official press images and info will follow, but here are a few of my favourite shots. The 2016 Collection by Rosa Clara seeks to ’emphasise the essence of female beauty’. We saw crop tops, blouses (very Olivia Palermo!) knits and beaded embroidered detailing, combined with a mixture of full and slim skirts and gorgeous fabrics like silk brocade, lace, crepe, muslin, silk organza and mikado.

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After a quick scrum backstage to meet with the directors of the show and see those gowns (and the beautiful creatures wearing them) close up, the team was whisked off to the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona for a full VIP tour of the hotel, it’s sumptuous spa and wedding facilities (again, more on this later), and treated to an exquisite evening meal… complete with the requisite three glasses of Cava… hic!

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It seems unbelievable, but we haven’t even really got started yet.  Tomorrow’s event schedule is among the craziest I have ever seen.

I have a feeling that this week is going to be one to remember, and I can’t wait to share it with you here on these pages.  Between diary updates, watch the social media feeds for live coverage and all the catwalk gossip as it happens.

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Ciao for now!

All images via Instagram @bridesupnorth.

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barcelona bridal week.

May 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

Barcelona

A blogger’s gotta do what a blogger’s gotta do.

This evening you’ll find me knee deep in summer shift dresses, cute clutch bags and the odd statement necklace as I throw a week’s worth of pretty threads into ^^^my suitcase ^^^ to take me to the FROWs of barcelona bridal week.

It’s a real honour to have been invited to Spain as Barcelona Bridal Week‘s guest to take in four days of cutting edge catwalk collections, opening parties, cultural expeditions and a rather swanky 25 year celebration.

If you are a long term reader of these pages, you’ll know that I’m ridiculously keen on my bridal fashion, and for the past five years we’ve been striving to keep you up to date with all the latest looks and trends as they break.  That’s why when the invitation to head to one of the most prestigious events in the worldwide bridal calendar dropped into my inbox, I cleared my diary, pronto.

It also helped that the weather in Barcelona currently looks like this. Nice.

For the next five days, I’ll be checking out the latest offerings from (and sipping a few cocktails with) some very, very big name bridal houses, including the likes of Rosa Clara, Miguel Suay, Jesus Peiro, Isabel Sanchis, Yolan Cris, Cabotine and Cymbeline Paris.

#dreamjob

Anyway, enough name dropping for now, as there’ll be plenty of that to come. In a special series of live-blogged features this week, I’ll be bringing you all the fashion news – and my favourites – from the front line. Watch this space – as well as our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, for the couture as it happens.

Adios for now, and I’ll see you in Barcelona!

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