Charlotte Balbier

natural & emotive: introducing andy hirst photography

May 30th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Andy Hirst Photography (27)

This afternoon on the blog we’re thrilled to be giving a big Brides Up North welcome to our new Sponsor, Andy Hirst Photography.

This talented Lancashire-based photographer has been described as a “ninja” by his bride and groom clients in the past due to his ability to get up close the action for natural and emotive shots, but without being noticed by those around him. Now that’s skill.

Keen to strike up a good relationship with his couples, Andy is also incredibly dedicated to his work and goes above and beyond to create the perfect story of every big day that he covers.

And as if that’s not enough to tick boxes, Andy is offering Brides Up North readers a fabulous 10% discount on his photography packages for bookings made in 2016. So what are you waiting for, read on to find out more about Andy and view his fabulous work…

Andy Hirst Photography (10)

Tell us a little about your background. How long have you been in wedding photography for?

andy says: I started in TV in 2004 as a camera operator and moved onto freelancing for a few years and started to work with some wedding cinematographers around 2007, which is where the wedding bug started to catch. In 2008 I married the lovely Clare after being together since the age of 16 – cue the awww! At this point I started to see the importance of a wedding photographer who could be discreet but still capture all the events of the day; the cogs turned and here I am!

What was it that attracted you to wedding photography specifically?

I have always loved photography and every wedding I do reminds me of my own in some way. I just love being married so it’s a great combination.

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And what is it about your job that you love?

Meeting the couples and seeing how excited they are, not only about what they are going to do, but about photography. For me it’s all about the photographer/couple relationship that gets the best images.

How would you describe your style of wedding photography? What makes you stand out from others?

I suppose the word is documentary, although I’m not someone who likes to label things.  I have been called a “ninja” by wedding guests. My style is heavily influenced by street photography, where the aim is take pictures of people without them knowing and being close to them. I have gotten very good at this over the last few years and gotten some great images as a result. What makes me stand out is that I can do all this whilst going largely unnoticed. “It’s your wedding, not my photoshoot” is my motto.

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What is the feedback like from your clients? What do they love about your service?

Clients always refer to how hard I work on the day, I like to start early and finish late. They also love how their enjoyment and experience is what I put first and foremost. And then when they get their images, they love the story I have created for them.

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our love story: sarah & dave

May 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A City Engagement in Leeds (c) Jenny Maden Photography (16)

Sometimes things are just meant to be – and judging by how today’s couple got together we’d say it was written in the stars for these two.

Taking place in the urban surroundings of Leeds city centre, husband and wife-to-be Dave and Sarah, wanted their pre-wedding shoot, which they are sharing with us today, to be cool, edgy and fun. Given all the giggles, smiles and laughter, it looks like their photographer Jenny, nailed the brief.

With images by Jenny Maden Photography.

A City Engagement in Leeds (c) Jenny Maden Photography (12)

sarah says: Dave proposed while we were in Ibiza at a beautiful restaurant called Sa Capella, which we return to each year! It was a complete surprise to me, and very emotional, as I’d always said after losing my dad I couldn’t do it without him walking me down the aisle.

We plan to marry on my dad’s birthday this year at Leeds Town Hall and will then move onto The Liquorist for the reception. We don’t want lots of fuss – just a cool event to round together everyone we love and who has had a positive impact on our time together.

A City Engagement in Leeds (c) Jenny Maden Photography (11)

We first met 16 years ago in a club that neither of us have ever been back to! I was with the girls, hitting the dancefloor – and that’s where I met Dave. We laughed and chatted most of the night – my first words to him were “Ooo you’re a mover”! We never kissed or exchanged numbers. However, after that night he had a work placement in Leeds (the only time he’s ever worked in Leeds city centre) and he walked past Toni & Guy where I worked at the time, hoping to catch me. He saw me through the window, laughing with a client and sent me a calla lily with a note asking to see me again.

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strike a chord: introducing entertainment nation

May 23rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Entertainment Nation (11)

Setting the right note at a wedding goes beyond the venue and styling, which is why we are super pleased to be introducing you to Brides Up North Sponsor Entertainment Nation, today.

From past experience of attending weddings we all know the power live music has in creating a desirable ambience during different stages of the day: a choir at the church, acoustic singer at the drinks reception, string quartet in the background of the wedding breakfast and a big band to get the dance floor rocking at night.

So whether you are looking for just one live act, or a whole array, the experts at Entertainment Nation can help you secure top performers and entertainers for your big day, all at the very click of a button. To explain more about what’s on offer, we’ll hand over to the company’s content manager, Steven Robertson…

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Tell us a little about Entertainment Nation and how it came to fruition?

steven says: After working in the music industry for over a decade and realising there was a better way of doing things than what was offered at the time, our founders established Entertainment Nation.

We offer a comprehensive wedding entertainment booking service. From the first enquiry to the happy day, we are here to help couples hire the perfect entertainment for their wedding.

Our expert staff have arranged wedding entertainment for many happy couples, and have performed at countless weddings, so know a thing or two about what works at a wedding and what doesn’t. We love to get to know couples and what makes them tick so we can match them up with their dream artist, band or performer.Entertainment Nation (8)

What different types of entertainment do you offer?

We offer an enormous range of entertainment options. Whatever a couple have in mind for their big day, Entertainment Nation can help them find an act to fit the bill. On our books we have bands, string ensembles, acoustic duos, classical performers, singers, magicians and many more.continue reading

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rustic perfection. diane harbridge for an intimate wedding at the yellow broom – beth & rob

May 23rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Rustic Wedding at The Yellow Broom (c) Amanda Balmain Photography (36)

We’re getting your week off to a beautiful start with another helping of pretty, rustic wedding inspiration in the form of Beth and Rob’s big day.

Tying the knot in an intimate ceremony at The Yellow Broom in Cheshire, bride Beth decided to complement the setting with a simple rustic theme, featuring lots of twine and ethereal woodland themed décor.

As groom Rob is allergic to fresh flowers, Beth went for a pretty paper boutique which we think adds to the overall daintiness and charm of this sweet celebration.

With images by Amanda Balmain Photography.

A Rustic Wedding at The Yellow Broom (c) Amanda Balmain Photography (49)

beth says: Rob proposed on Christmas Eve 2014. We took the dog for a walk (I thought he was very quiet) and when we got back, he had disappeared telling me he had to wrap some more presents. A few minutes later, I got called upstairs to find my dog with a little Santa outfit on, with ‘will you marry me’ stitched on the back – I turned around and Rob was down on one knee with a beautiful ring! It was a complete shock and needless to say, the best Christmas Eve ever!

We set the date for 20th February 2016. We decided we’d prefer a winter wedding, but we were conscious of daylight hours and the usual English winter weather, so we thought February would be a suitable month!

A Rustic Wedding at The Yellow Broom (c) Amanda Balmain Photography (35)

We got married at The Yellow Broom in Cheshire. I only wanted a very small wedding and we also wanted a civil ceremony. After a lot of searching around, we found that we could do both at The Yellow Broom. After a visit, we saw it was such a light, beautiful venue and decided that it would be perfect. We were offered a brilliant deal on the wedding because it was in the winter and the wedding manager there Nathalie, took care of pretty much everything for us, which was exactly what I needed!

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lavender & lace. house of mooshki for a rustic wedding at nostell priory – jess & john

May 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Wedding at Nostell Priory (c) Esme Mai Photography (38)

Today’s real wedding is a real treat for all your floral fans out there as it features lots of stunning lavender arrangements put together by talented Brides Up North sponsor and Yorkshire florist BlossEm, which smelt as fabulous as they looked, according to those present.

Bride Jess focused her big day around her love of the pretty plant as well as tea, cake and Yorkshire – as a Sheffield girl myself, it’s no wonder this wedding is right up my street!

Taking place at one of our Luxury Wedding Exhibition venues Nostell Priory, this pretty northern wedding is brimming with fabulous inspiration so be sure to get pinning!

With images by Esme Mai Photography.

A Pretty Wedding at Nostell Priory (c) Esme Mai Photography (57)

jess says: John proposed randomly one night when we were at our home in Manchester. He had taken me to Iceland for my birthday a few weeks previously and we had planned to see the northern lights – this unfortunately was prevented by weather conditions – but I think this was the original engagement plan. It was still romantic and very special though!

We were married on 14th August 2015. There was no special reason for this date but we were moving to New Zealand a few days later and so we were limited by our chosen venue’s availability.

A Pretty Wedding at Nostell Priory (c) Esme Mai Photography (54)

John and I were set on a church wedding and so we decided to tie the knot at St Cuthbert’s Church in Ackworth, which is my local church. It is an absolutely beautiful building.

The reception meanwhile just had to be at Nostell Priory in Wakefield, as it’s one of my all-time favourite places. Brought up in Yorkshire, and living close by to Nostell Priory has meant that it is a special place for me. I just love it! The house, the gardens and the location are just stunning.

A Pretty Wedding at Nostell Priory (c) Esme Mai Photography (48)

The wedding theme came about from different loves and passion of mine. So anyone who knows me knows how much I love lace. I’m also well known for baking a cake, enjoying a good brew and talking about my love of Yorkshire. Finally, lavender is a plant we’ve always had in the garden growing up and the smell is gorgeous, so I wanted to include this too. All put together, this made for a Yorkshire wedding, with a burlap and lace theme, lavender colours and flowers, with a little tea and cake.

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fancy footwear: introducing pink paradox

May 19th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Pink Paradox (10)

If there’s one type of shopping us Brides Up North girls love, it’s shoe shopping! That’s why we’re super excited to be introducing our new blog sponsor Pink Paradox, to you lovely brides-to-be today.

Though it’s tempting to take a magpie approach to buying your bridal footwear; snapping up the first pair of sparkling skyscrapers you find could leave you hobbling around midway through your big day if they’re not built for all-day wear.

Thankfully the experts at Pink Paradox provide fancy footwear that scores equally high in the comfort and style stakes – plus there’s an option for all tastes. From sophisticated sling backs and pretty peep-toe platforms, to elegant kitten heels and fashionable flats – ladies, you will literally be spoilt for choice!

And if that weren’t enough, Pink Paradox also offer a fabulous range of dyeable shoes, meaning you can have your footwear matched to your exact colour specifications (perhaps to provide that something blue?). Here to fill you in on all the details are the creators themselves…

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Can you give us an overview of Pink Paradox and what it offers to brides?

Pink Paradox say: We started out in 2002 after identifying a gap in the market for bridal shoes that are stylish yet comfortable so Pink Paradox was born. What we offer brides is affordable and comfortable heels whilst not sacrificing any of the style!

How important do you feel shoes are to a bride’s wedding day attire?

We could be slightly bias here but incredibly important! Not necessarily from just a style point of view, but this is one of the biggest days of your life you’re going to be on your feet for most of the day, from walking down the aisle to your first dance, and then finding and talking to all your guests. You’ve got to make sure you have shoes you can actually walk in; and luckily that’s what we specialise in!

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What advice would you give to brides when picking their wedding shoes?

Have a selection ready and try them all on; which ones are comfortable, which can you walk in? Our best tip is to make sure brides go for something they would usually wear, do not be tempted to go for extremes as you don’t want to end up regretting it on the day!

Can you give us an overview of the different styles of wedding shoes that Pink Paradox offer?

We have quite a range on offer so we can cater to most wedding parties! We have high heels for the daring bride, mid-heels for the confident bride, flats, laced, sparkling, pleated – we can go on! With a range available we can provide heels for the bride for during the day, for the reception, for the mother of the bride and even for the bridesmaids!

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