June 15th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Prepare to fall head over heels in love (and reach for your credit card) ladies, as we welcome Brides Up North Sponsor, and true Northern gal, Charlotte Mills, to the blog.
For those of you who’ve not come across Charlotte before, this uber-talented lady creates to-die-for bridal shoes that are fashionable, girly and fun. From first setting eyes on her swoon-worthy designs we knew Charlotte would go far with brides unable to resist her super gorgeous heels.
What we love most about Charlotte’s collections is the versatility within; from high stilettoes that wrap around the leg, to cute flats detailed with hearts and stunning block glitter heels, there really is something for all – better still these shoes can easily be worn well beyond he wedding day.
We could go on all day, but instead we thought best to let Charlotte tell you all about her fancy footwear, oh and her lovely new North West boutique too!
Tell us a little about your background and how you came to be in the wedding industry?
charlotte says: For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to design shoes. I attended Cordwainers at London College of Fashion where I gained my BA in footwear design. I knew I wanted to create my own brand after designing a bridal footwear range for my final year show. This is where the dream began. After university I worked as a footwear design manager for a variety of UK brands until I felt the time was right to launch the Charlotte Mills brand in April 2014.
What is it about bridal shoes that you love?
It amazing to be able to design something which someone will love and want to wear on their wedding day to show a little bit of their personality. I find this really inspiring.
How would you describe the style of your collections and designs?
Fun yet stylish shoes, which stand out from the crowd.
What would you say is important in the design of bridal footwear?
I want to create something different to what is already on the market, brides should fall in love with their wedding shoes and not just settle. I find that creating styles which are fashion forward is important. I want brides to be able to wear their shoes again after their wedding day.
June 13th, 2016 | Julia Braime
If you’re still on the hunt for that one perfect dress for your wedding day, this afternoon’s post may be of extra interest as we introduce new Brides Up North Sponsor, Felicity Cooper Bridal, to the blog.
Set up by talented designer and boutique owner Fiona Cooper in 2010, the stunning brand has gone from strength-to-strength and is now stocked at select dress shops in the UK and Europe, with Fiona’s own shop, The Wedding Boutique, in Cheshire, being the Flagship store for Felicity Cooper.
Dress designs are created with brides’ requests in mind resulting in fashion forward gowns that are guaranteed to turn heads. From dreamy lace Boho designs to elegant silk chiffon gowns, ladies making a decision on just one could be tricky!
Here to fill us in on all the details of the beautiful brand is the creator herself…
When and why did you first set up Felicity Cooper Bridal and what is your background in the fashion and bridal industry?
fiona says: I opened The Wedding Boutique Cheshire back in 2008. From listening to brides’ like and dislikes we decided to create a bridal label that would fill the gap we had in the boutique. This went from strength to strength and in early 2016 we made the decision to relaunch The Wedding Boutique as the flagship store for Felicity Cooper.
What type of bride is a Felicity Cooper bride?
A Felicity Cooper bride ultimately wants to have fun; she’s relaxed and fashion forward, she wants to stand out from the crowd through flair not fuss.
How would you describe the look and feel of Felicity Cooper designs?
Both First Love and the 2017 Natural Soul collections have an emphasis on fabric and cuts, flowing lines and low back detail. The new collection is bringing more embellishment and beading with a hint of colour.
June 8th, 2016 | Julia Braime
If you’re looking for inspiration for a fun city centre celebration then you might want to take note of today’s real wedding, which took place in Liverpool.
Opting for a church ceremony and restaurant reception, Zoë and Shaun’s big day had both traditional and modern influences. There are so many elements to it that we love, including the city bus tour, pastel colour scheme, personal stationery, live entertainment and Zoë’s stunning Charlote Balbier gown!
All in all a very enjoyable and relaxed big day!
With images by Ruth Atkinson Photography.
zoe says: We got engaged a couple of weeks before Christmas in 2013, when we hosted a party for our friends. Once it was suggested that we did Secret Santa at the party, Shaun’s plan came together. It was engineered so that my present was last and after opening up a notebook with a message leading to a ring in the back, I looked up and Shaun was on one knee!
Our wedding was on Friday 25 March 2016, which was Good Friday. We chose the date as we were looking for a time in spring when everyone could come together so the long weekend seemed like the perfect time. We didn’t want to get married in summer as we were worried the British weather might not be up to scratch.
We chose the church because, aside from being completely beautiful, the Minister was very open-minded about our ceremony and allowed us to have the relaxed service that we wanted, with secular readings and our own choir. The church also had beautiful cloisters and library where we were able to hold a drinks reception after the ceremony. We chose Oh Me Oh My for the reception as it is a stunning former bank serving amazing food and with a roof terrace that has the best view of the Liver Building you can possibly get.
We didn’t have a theme as such; we tended to pick elements we liked and everything fell into place. We ended up hand-making lots of elements, such as signs, table decorations, favours, all of the stationery and one thousand paper cranes. We didn’t necessarily set out to make so much ourselves but since Shaun is a designer, it made good sense.
We chose a fresh a spring colour palate, mostly pastel yellow and grey with a splash of blue and white. However we weren’t too strict with this so we could incorporate other accent colours where we wanted to.
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June 7th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
You may recall a little earlier this year we were fortunate enough to share with you a first look at the stunning Untamed Love 2017 collection from Brides Up North friend and Sponsor, Charlotte Balbier.
As huge fans of Charlotte’s uber pretty designs we always expect her collections to send us weak at the knees – her latest Untamed Love collection however, sent us falling head over heels as well! Our favourite of Miss Balbier’s wonderful collections to date, we absolutely adore the fabulous variety of shapes, fabrics, colours and detailing that it offers.
Perhaps the most head-turning element of the collection is its three floral patterned dresses: Untamed Love, Bloom and Posey, which we just can’t stop looking at! If you too are fixated on these stunning designs, we have a very exciting date for your diary – on Saturday 18th June, 7th Heaven Bridal in Cheshire will be holding ‘In Bloom’, A Floral Celebration, which will give brides-to-be the exclusive opportunity to try on, and order, one of these spectacular floral gowns ahead of the collection’s official release into boutiques in August. Spaces are very limited so call today on 01260 277123 to book your appointment.
After teasing you with the initial first look, we’re today revealing the remainder of the Untamed Love Collection on the blog, whilst also hearing from the leading lady herself about what went into the designs and how the gorgeous results are being received…
You’ve just launched your new collection Untamed Love, can you tell us how this collection differs from your previous collections?
charlotte says: I hoped to capture the bride’s attention and imagination with the new Untamed Love 2017 collection. It’s a different collection from what I’ve ever crafted and I dedicated more than 12 months of love and attention to its creation. I love to constantly evolve the Charlotte Balbier brand to be at the forefront of the market and I could not be more delighted with the new gowns. The Untamed Love Collection is all about celebrating individuality and being your own kind of beauty.
Where did you get the inspiration for this collection from?
I’ve taken all my inspiration for the Untamed Love Collection from my brides, because my brides are the most important thing. I love to connect with all of my brides via social media and I really take on all of their feedback. It’s great to hear which styles and shapes the brides resonate with and which gowns they are truly attracted to. I travel around the country all year around to trunk shows and meet with my clients individually to chat in person. I love having a strong connection with the brides who wear my gowns to embrace the individuality, style and fabulousness of each and every one of them. I have two very distinctive styles, one is glamorous and the other side is the inner Boho girl at heart. The Untamed Love Collection embraces my inner hippy and the more opulent side to me!
Can you give us an overview of the various shapes of gowns that the collection includes?
I try my best to give a large variety of gown shapes to brides with our collections. Dreamy ethereal gowns sit alongside fun and playful floral print works of art combined with classical simple and romantic gowns. The Agatha, Carmel and Bayley are beautiful fitted strapless gowns. Our new Aphrodite gown is a beautiful halter neck with delicate lace detailing. The Paige gown is simply stunning with a beautiful lace on skin back detailing and fishtail back to it. The Posy gown is a fun stunning floral separate and I literally cannot wait to see a bride wearing this gown on her big day. The Rosemary gown is beautifully one shouldered with floral cut out details on the back. Our Sofia gown and Rosalie gowns pay attention to a bride’s neckline and shoulders of a bride with beautiful lace and silver beaded detailing. My collection really does take into consideration all shapes and sizes and we love to give brides a lovely choice of shapes and fits to choose from.
And what fabrics feature within the collection?
The quality and palette of the fabrics used in the Untamed Love collection is second to none. There are plenty of uses of tulle, silks, French laces, and rich Mikado fabrics. We’ve even designed some fabrics exclusive to the Charlotte Balbier brand, including a specially designed chiffon material created in-house that is only available via our brand. Our two new floral gowns have literally wowed our stockists and the audience at The White Gallery where we launched the new collection in May. Untamed Love, is a soft sorbet of lilacs, apricot, plum, pinks and muted greens. This is a truly a show-stopping gown with on-trend pocket detail.
Why did you want to use colour within the collection and what would you say to brides who are considering wearing a coloured dress for their big day?
I love to play with colour palettes and this is evident in the new collection. Sitting alongside the traditional ivory hues, are antique gold’s, silver pewters, apricot tones and of course my favourite blush and rose pink shades. Any bride wanting to make a statement during her wedding would wow her guests in the Untamed Love gown for sure. Colour is great for a bride who wants her day to be remembered above all others.
June 2nd, 2016 | Julia Braime
Ladies on the dress hunt, it’s time to listen up, for we have exciting details on how to secure a dream gown at a dream price! Starting tomorrow, our good friend and Brides Up North Sponsor, Diana McMann, of The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique, will be holding a fabulous Summer Sample Sale, with a range of gorgeous gowns at a fraction of their retail price.
Located in the quaint North Yorkshire town of Pickering, The Little Pearl’s sample sale will run up until Sunday 12th June, and will feature up to 70% off dresses in sizes 10 to 16, from fabulous designers Charlotte Balbier, Enzoani, Maria Senvo and Sassi Holford.
To give us more details on the beautiful bargains that brides can bag, we’ll hand over the blog to the lovely Diana. It sounds like there’s never been a better time to become one of #Pearlsgirls!
With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.
diana says: It’s time to grab a wedding dress bargain as we stage our Summer Sample Sale, from Friday 3rd June and Sunday 12th June! Yes, you heard that right, our sale is on for just over a week, giving you plenty of time to come and see our gorgeous sale gowns! Remember though ladies, once they’re gone they’re gone, so get in touch quick! With up to 70% off and prices from £400 to £1,800, there are some fabulous dresses to be had!
A few star buys include the Lilac dress by Charlotte Balbier – a tulle skirted gown, with delicate lace sleeves and scattered handmade flowers – was £1,500, now just £900, in a size 10. Also, the stunning Kamila dress from Enzoani – an illusion sweetheart halter neck design, with lightly beaded lace and soft fishtail silhouette – was £2,100, now £1,050, in a size 12. Some of Sassi Holford’s gorgeous creations will feature in the sale too, including the wonderful Isla – a fabulous flowing silk design with georgette skirt, guipure lace bodice and deep V back – was £2,200, now £1,300, in a size 14.
May 17th, 2016 | Julia Braime
If you follow our social media feeds you’ll know that Team Brides Up North have been down in the smoke this week, checking out the latest collections from the British and International leading labels at White Gallery London, a trade and press event where all the big names in bridal reveal what your local bridal boutique is likely to be stocking and what you’ll be wearing down the aisle in the season to come.
More on that later, but meanwhile, one lady we were keen to catch up with this week was one of our very favourite dress designers and Brides Up North Headline Sponsor (and now personal friend), the fabulous Charlotte Balbier. This afternoon we’re fortunate once again to be bringing you a first look at her stunning new collection, Untamed Love.
Known in the industry for her pretty princess like dresses, Charlotte both surprises and delights us year on year with her girly, fun and fashionable designs that enable a bride to really reflect her individual style and personality.
Following on from her gorgeous Willa Rose collection and the incredibly stylish Balbier Separates range, we sensed we were in for a real treat with Charlotte’s 2017 designs – and ladies, we weren’t wrong! From the moment we set eyes on the first images of her totally dreamy Untamed Love collection, we were sold!
In true Balbier style, the new collection features exquisite back detail, fine fabrics and edgy separates, meaning there is an oh-so-pretty design in there for everyone!
The signature gown ‘Untamed Love’ is perhaps the biggest show stopper of them all as one of two floral print designs within the collection. Enough to make any bride fall head over heels, the delicate pattern is made up of soft, sugary sorbet tones of lilac, apricot, plum, pink and muted greens.
Charlotte’s love of playing with colour palettes is evident in the collection; as sitting alongside the traditional ivory hues are antique golds, silver pewters, apricot and, of course, Charlotte’s favourite blush and rose pinks shades.
And there’s no shortage of fabrics for brides to pick from either, with diverse designs in the finest quality tulle, silks, French laces, and rich Mikado. In addition, exclusive to Charlotte Balbier is the specially designed chiffon that is made in house.
Drawing on inspiration from Charlotte’s playful nature and free spirited style, Untamed Love is the creative vision of over 12 months of love and attention, making it the strongest collection to date.
charlotte says: A Charlotte Balbier bride is a free spirited feminine woman who is confident in both her fashion and bridal style. Expressing her unique individuality, personality and style through her Balbier gown.
The new Untamed Love collection celebrates all that encompasses a Balbier bride as well as who I am as a designer and as a woman. I think I dare to say I am the most excited about this new collection than I have ever have been over my 13 year career, I am in love.
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