Brides Up North

mists & mellow fruitfulness… an autumnal styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle

October 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (30)

Despite the driest September since records began, it definitely feels like the season is changing.  Dewy grass, crunching leaves underfoot and clear night skies can only mean that October, and with it autumn (my favourite season of all) has arrived.

I celebrate my fourth wedding anniversary in a fortnight’s time – a very busy fortnight, there’s a lot to get done between now and then – and I’m looking forward to taking some time with my husband to reflect on a very special time of year for the two of us.

For now though, let’s celebrate the fall with this beautiful styled bridal shoot, sent to me by Brides Up North Sponsors JB Creatives and Bolton Castle, and their fabulous team of talented industry experts.

There’s definitely something in the air…

With images by JB Creatives.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (24)

The team say: We set out to create some romantic, fairy tale castle wedding images that would compliment the venue and inspire couples that are considering getting married at Bolton Castle. Bolton Castle is a stunning venue. A wedding here would be an authentic Castle experience. It has great big fireplaces, turrets with circular stairs, stone floor, terraces with amazing view of the incredible Dales countryside around. We wanted to create an outside space that used the stunning views of the Dales and showcased the location of this fairy tale wedding venue and captured a set of beautiful images.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (37)

Amy of The Greenhouse Florist created an outside dining area for the bride and groom with the Dales as their backdrop, such a romantic and unique setting. We used a chaise longue in the field for some intermate photographs. We wanted to add props into the scenery that wouldn’t usually be in that situation. The chaise longue really made a beautiful contrast to the endless views of the green fields and dry stone walls and brought opulence and luxury to the historic setting. Simple yet effective.

Amy created beautiful flowers of soft creams, vanillas, pinks and apricots, punctuated with pops of zingy orange and flashes of blue.  She used lots of different textures in amongst luscious greenery.  The warm tones complimented to tones of the castle walls, and were highlighted against the grassy fields. She also made a jasmine and rose circlet, fragrant and beautiful with warm apricot tones complimenting the colours of Libby’s complexion.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (49)

Jane of JB Creatives made beautiful place names and menus for the bride and groom’s intermate dining experience. Her stationery designs are bespoke, beautiful and made to the high quality that will undoubtable exceed your expectations.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (48)

Jane photographed the couple in and around the castle using the gorgeous scenery and all the venues little quirky details to capture a set of beautiful images that tell a gorgeous love story. Jane’s fine art style is very much capturing the story of a wedding day as it unfolds with all the beautiful details and emotions that come with it.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (20)

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (47)

Deborah and Kelly from Love Hair and Beauty Boutique Ripon did Libby’s hair and makeup to enhance that romantic, soft and warm tone we wanted for the shoot. The ladies are highly experienced and specialists in the wedding industry with a reputation for their creative skills and professionalism.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (9)

Kellie from Wedding Belles of Otley supplied the beautiful gowns, veils and accessories for the shoot. The dresses used in the shoot were Aubrey by Nicola Anne and Emily by White Rose.

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (1)

a fairytale styled bridal shoot at Bolton Castle by JB Creatives (8)

All the props and furniture featured are available to hire from The Greenhouse Florist.

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vibrant love. supplier showcase: Sarah Beth Photography

September 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Sarah Beth Photography (4)

This morning I’m thrilled to formally introduce one very talented lady to the pages of the wedding blog, the lovely Sarah Aylward of Brides Up North Sponsor, Sarah Beth Photography.

Sarah’s work is right up my street – light, natural and full of emotion and radiance.  I know you’re going to love her style too.  Let’s say hello.

Sarah Beth Photography (33)

How did you get into wedding photography? 

I’ve always been interested in photography since I was little. I was always the one friend or family member in charge of the camera (I think everyone knows one of these people!). My home made family videos and large photo collages which adorned the walls of my bedroom were something to be marvelled. So it only seemed natural for my 21st birthday to asked for a DSLR camera and after graduating from university I decided I wanted to take things a little more seriously so invested a lot of my time learning and studying about photography.

Why wedding photography specifically? 

Finding your feet with photography can take you in all sorts of different directions, I started professionally shooting as a nightclub photographer and then ventured into music photography including photographing for local music venues. I still enjoy photographing bands, I love music so it enables me to combine my two passions and I get to meet some interesting characters! However, after photographing my first wedding I soon realised that I was hooked, I love the energy and emotions that come with a wedding day and It really is a privilege to feel like your photography is meaningful enough to last for generations.

Sarah Beth Photography (1)

Sarah Beth Photography (3)

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer? 

My favourite part is getting to know my couples and seeing how they plan their wedding day. I have been very fortunate to photograph some absolutely beautiful weddings, from completely wacky to small and intimate, I love how every wedding day is different. Every wedding I have photographed I always feel like I’ve walked away with a new set of friends, often keeping in touch with many of my past brides and grooms. Its a great feeling being able to feel like not just a photographer for the day but also a guest too.

Sarah Beth Photography (38)

Sarah Beth Photography (39)

How do you get couples to relax on the day?

With all my couples I get to know on a more personal level first before I stick my camera in their faces! With my wedding photography package I offer a complimentary and totally optional pre-wedding photo shoot so my couples can start to feel more relaxed in front of the camera before their big day. It is a great opportunity to get to know each other and also have some lovely photographs which can be used to decorate your reception area or used for thank you cards or favours.

Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?

I assure you I am exactly the same when it comes to having my photo taken so I total empathise with brides, or even grooms who feel nervous at the thought of having their photo taken. Over the years I have found it better to be photographed naturally and when I am not expecting it, so when photographing a couple I like to take on this approach also. My advice would be to enjoy your day, do not stress about having your photo taken as on your wedding day you will feel completely different. Enjoy your day and enjoy each other, there is nothing more beautiful or natural than a bride and groom in love.

Sarah Beth Photography (37)

What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures? 

Make up should be as flawless and natural looking to compliment the brides features. I would always advise booking in with a make up artist before your wedding day so they can guide you through the process and find a look you love.

Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures? 

I am not particularly fond of poses which look forced or uncomfortable. I find it important that the couples I shoot are as comfortable as possible and would never put them in a pose or situation in which they feel otherwise.

Sarah Beth Photography (24)

Sarah Beth Photography (22)

Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why? 

If Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gorden-Levitt were actually a real couple, it would totally be their wedding. How amazing would that be?

Any really memorable weddings that you have captured? 

In 2013 I had the privilege of photographing a wedding in the Amalfi Coast, Italy. I fell in love with Italy after visiting Venice a few years before, so was extremely excited to be photographing a beautiful wedding there. Every where you turn in the Amalfi Coast there are photo opportunities, with soft sandy coloured houses and a backdrop of blue skies. This day was particularly moving and emotional as Emily’s mum unfortunately couldn’t be there due to illness. I was able to surprise Emily and Sam with a short video of the day to show her mum so she could re-live the day without feeling missed out.

See the full wedding here on Brides Up North.

Sarah Beth Photography (13)

Are you married? 

Not yet, hopefully one day! I would love to plan a fun destination wedding to Las Vegas.

Any funny stories to share? 

Sometimes I get too involved in taking the photo and once stepped back and ended up sitting on a candle! Its safe to safe the dress I was wearing was ruined…

Sarah Beth Photography (14)

What sets you apart from other wedding photographers? 

My style of photography is very natural and genuine, I love shooting reportage and capturing those little candid moments which you may never have seen on your wedding day. I won’t ask you to pose endlessly for the camera while forcing you to smile, I’m all about real emotion and showing how ace you both are together.

Sarah Beth Photography (18)

Sarah Beth Photography (17)

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

On a wedding day I usually begin at the brides house photographing all the little details. The morning preparations are possibly one of my favourite parts of the day, there is so much nervous energy and excitement which is great to capture. From there I usually visit the boys (we can’t leave them out can we!) this is usually at the venue where I can also prepare for the brides entrance. Although I love to photograph the day as it happens I also believe in the importance of capturing more formal photos of the bride and groom with their families. I like to keep this part of the day fun and quick so they can get back to enjoying their day.

This is based on a wedding day with just myself however I do offer the option of a second photographer.

However I’m not just the wedding photographer on the day, I also have some very helpful skills I’ve acquired in the past two years such as dress carrier, buttonhole pinner, bouquet holder…. The wedding day can be quite stressful as well as fun and after experiencing a few weddings in my time I am happy to lend a hand wherever needed.

Sarah Beth Photography (21)

What is included in your “package”? 

I offer a full day package, with coverage from morning preparations to your sit down meal with the option to add extra coverage for your evening reception. I also include an optional Fun Photo Booth for your evening coverage to get your wedding guests joining in the fun by getting dressed up and doing some silly poses.

In my package I also include a complimentary pre-wedding photo shoot with 20 high resolution images, this is a great way for couples to get used to being in front of the camera and to see how I work. I usually organise this for 4-5 weeks before the wedding day and team it up with a pre-wedding consultation to catch up with my couples and talk about their day.

All the images that my couples receive I make into a lovely little slideshow which is set to music, it is a great way to view your images of the day but definitely keep the tissues handy!

My package includes all digital high resolution copies of your images with royalty free licence (so you have full access to printing and sharing your images) I deliver these on a beautiful hand made wooden USB stick with presentation box which looks lovely around the home.

Can you give us an idea on price? 

My wedding photography package currently in 2014 stands at £800.

However I would advise strongly to all couples looking for a wedding photographer try not be swayed on price, I understand every couple has a budget but when looking for your photographer keep in mind these are lasting memories of your day.

Sarah Beth Photography (7)

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

My website can be found at:

You can find me tweeting over at @photosarahbeth, on Facebook or pinning my dream Vegas wedding.

Sarah Beth Photography (10)

Anything else we should know?

I am currently based in Yorkshire, UK but specialise in weddings all over the UK and abroad. If you are planning to get married abroad, please get in touch for a bespoke quote.

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supplier showcase: Camera A Photography

September 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Camera A Photography (6)

This little corner of the internets wouldn’t be here without my fabulous Brides Up North Sponsors (by the way, have you checked out our slick new Directory yet… you could explore for hours, and do all your wedding planning at once!) so today, I’m very pleased to introduce the lovely Jane of Camera A Photography to these pages.

And it’s a Happy Friday indeed!

As a special treat for Brides Up North readers Jane is offering a pre-wedding shoot at her studio or at a venue within 20 miles of her studio if you quote ‘brides up north’ on booking. You can then choose your favourite image and Camera A will produce a guest signage board free of charge. Lovely!

Let’s say hello.

Camera A Photography (8)

How did you get into photography?

Camera A Photography is a family run business. My mum Ann set up the business when I was born, 32 years ago, working from home. She was college trained and worked for a photographer before going it alone. Twenty two years ago we moved to our present studio: which is situated at 3, Skinnergate, Darlington.

I joined the business 10 years ago to originally help mum expand the business as my background is in marketing and sales. However, I fell in love with photography and the wedding business is now mine (mum works for me)! After joining the business and many courses later I achieved my diploma in photographic practice. You never stop learning with photography. Sarah Atkinson who is college trained also works for me, and has been with Camera A for 8 years. We also have Zoe who has worked for Camera A for 15 years part time, who is again fully trained and insured. We are a well established all female team.

Why wedding photography specifically?

A wedding is one of the most important days in people’s lives, so it is a great privilege to be a part of that day. We also have a studio, where we do lots of family portraits, so the next best thing is when a bride and groom bring their newborn baby for me to photograph.

Camera A Photography (1)

Camera A Photography (4)

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

Being female, as I can really connect with the bride because I understand what she wants from her special day. It enables me to go into the bedroom at home or the hotel to take photographs of the finishing touches. I can be on hand and offer you help, advice & support, like an extra girlfriend! At this point I also take photographs of all the flowers, your jewellery, all the extra details that you have put into the wedding that makes it special to you.

How do you get couples to relax on the day?

By the time the wedding day comes, the bride and groom will have met me a few times so they already feel like they know me. I have discussed with them their requirements regarding family and friend photographs and made a plan of the day together, so everything runs smoothly and all they have to do is enjoy themselves.

Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?

It might sound a bit obvious, but I say to them not to worry, the day goes by so quickly and half the time they will not even realize that they are having their picture taken. They will be naturally beaming which will come across in the photographs. On the day, our priority is the bride. We have over 30 years experience in the wedding business, we know what works and what doesn’t, experience is priceless. We have come across every scenario and can help you keep calm.

What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?

I would always recommend a makeup artist, as a make-up artist will make the most of the brides features. We would also advise not to wear glitter, as this can reflect if flash is used and to use a matt foundation to help with the shine. Always have a trial to make sure you like it, this goes for hair too.

Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures?

If you are going to have a spray tan, make sure you have it a good few days before hand!

Camera A Photography (3)

Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?

I’m going to have to say the obvious, Kate Moss. She has cheek bones to die for and she wouldn’t take a bad picture, I’m sure!

Any really beautiful weddings that you have captured?

I did such a beautiful wedding at Judges in Yarm in May. All of the pink blossom was out on the trees. The bride was stunning, the bridesmaids had these lovely short funky dresses on, the sun was shining and the bride arrived on a carriage pulled by two white horses. If this was not a fairy tale wedding, I’m not sure what is. As a surprise the brides own horse was brought to the wedding, with pink roses plaited into his mane, it was perfect. (I have a horse myself, so I just loved it even more).

Camera A Photography (2)

Any funny stories to share?

Ann crashed her car on the way to a wedding once, it was her fault. The man she crashed into was not pleased as you can imagine. Her car could no longer be driven but she knew she could not be late for the wedding and had no time to wait for the AA so made the man who she crashed into drive her to the wedding! He was really not happy about this, but did as he was told. Well a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

Camera A Photography (5)

What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

The fact that we are a larger team sets us apart from others, there’s myself, Ann and Sarah as three main fully trained and insured photographers. With all the goodwill in the world, if you are ill or an emergency happens, there may be a reason why the photographer you have booked cannot attend the wedding. This would not happen with Camera A. As we are a large team we will always have back up.

The quality of our work also stands out; we use Photoshop to edit our images and to make them as perfect as possible. You have gone to so much time and effort to look and feel good, so we carefully enhance and can soften the skin to give you that little extra celebrity help, as all of the magazines do. You can tell us how much or little airbrushing you would like!

Camera A Photography (7)

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

Amazing photography, a fantastic time and professional service.

What is included in your “package”?

Camera A Photography offer many different packages, which can also be tailored to suit the requirements of each bride and groom.

We offer coverage from the brides preparations until the wedding breakfast as standard then additional coverage to include speeches and the first dance can be added if desired.

We have packages with one photographer and two photographers.

Every image is edited as standard to make then as perfect as your special day.

All images can then be provided on disk as high resolution files with the copyright to the image and we have a wide range of options which include beautiful albums and Graphistudio Wedding Books. If a Wedding Book package is opted for, you will also receive 20 mini books for family and friends.

Thank you cards are included and in the thank you cards are details of how guests can access your wedding photographs with your own unique password from our website.

Camera A Photography (9)

Can you give us an idea on price?

We offer a mid week special package, which is one photographer to cover from the bride’s preparations to the wedding breakfast. All images provided on a DVD slideshow to music, an A4 Wedding Book, a disk containing all album images, 20 mini books, all for £995.

For a Saturday and Sunday, the above package is a larger 25x35cm Wedding Book starting at £1395 including 40 thank you cards.

Our Ultimate Collection is more expensive but is the best value for money. Two photographers to cover from the bride’s preparations to the first dance. A DVD slideshow of all images as well as the high resolution files and copyright to all of the images. A 30x40cm Wedding Book with 70 images. 2 parents books which are A4 in size, 20 mini books and 40 thank you cards, all for £1995.

If you would prefer not to have an album we can do all of the images on disk starting at £900 for mid week or £1000 for a Saturday or Sunday.

Any treats for Brides Up North readers? 

If you quote ‘brides up north’ I can offer you a pre wedding shoot at the studio or at a venue within 20 miles of the studio. You can then choose your favourite image and we will do you a guest signage board free of charge.

Camera A Photography (10)

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

We would love to hear more about your wedding and to be given the opportunity to put a package together for you and to show you examples of our work, hopefully at your chosen venue.

Please call us on 01325 381055, email or our web address is

Come along and meet the Camera A team at our Brides Up North Bridal Bonanza at Hardwick Hall Hotel on Sunday 28th February 2014, 12pm till 4pm, free entry. Click here to find out more

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a rustic romance. a wedding in rural northumberland – rachel & james

September 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

Rachel and James’s lovely wedding in the heart of the Northumberland works with the natural landscape around it to create a beautiful day that just fits.  A setting that means something, allowed to shine.  And a big dash of countryside glam.

It’s a breath of fresh air for a Thursday afternoon.

With images by Jamie Penfold Photography.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

Rachel says: James and I met at a mutual friend wedding in Newcastle, but he lived in Bath and I lived in Northumberland. We spent hours on the phone and we quickly arranged a first date weekend in Bath. After collecting me from the early flight down, we went for breakfast at a cafe under Baths beautiful Pultney bridge, and knew at that point that we were both smitten. 8 years later, we both live in Bath and totally unexpectedly, James proposed under this bridge with a surprise audience of friends watching over and with a ring from a jewellers on Pultney bridge! It was an amazing moment.

We got married on June 27th 2014 in my family church in Northumberland, literally just over the hill from my family home. It’s beautiful countryside and a special place for both of us now so there was no question about it. My 94 year old grandfather drove us over the steep hill from church where we stopped for fizz and photos and we had a the reception back in the garden at the farm. It was my dream wedding.

The Northumberland countryside and my family garden already has so much character and natural beauty, I wanted a theme to work with that but I’m artistic at heart, so wanted to do tradition with a rustic/ vintage twist to compliment the old farm and house. The theme just evolved sticking to using props from the farm such as hessian sacks, old doors, an old Singer table, vintage mirrors… I got carried away with rustic vintage but loved the simple and yet effective finish.

The colour scheme was simple muted white and beige of the crisp white cloths and the beige of the hessian, combined with fresh green and white on the groomsmen and flowers. My bridesmaids were dresses in coral and white lace- which worked well with my dress and the soft flowers.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

I love my dress! I chose it from Bella B in Berwick where I have shopped for years for other people’s outfits and where they had made bridesmaid dresses to fit me. Their Friday section is fantastic and I chose my dress easily and they made me a bespoke jacket to cover my shoulders and arms. Like a lot of brides, I had a thing about my arms and as a bit of a traditionalist wanted my shoulders covered in church. I had the best of both works to be able to remove the jacket at night. The dress has beautiful lace and diamond detail, a beautiful train and I matched it up with a few sparkles and a veil. The lace trimmed veil was the finishing touch that made me feel fabulously bridal (and hid a few happy tears going into the church!)

Our flowers  were done by a friend but professional based in Northumberland, Sandra Dickenson. I wanted simple and light, so I swayed totally to baby’s breath… everything! Except for my bouquet where I included some peonies. Sandra is so talented and went the extra mile to accommodate my weird and wonderful requests.

James wore traditional tails for a traditional wedding. The button holes matched the hessian and baby’s breath of my bouquet and we had the ties made in a green and blue liberty pattern which was a soft but summery finish. He had a massive 10 ushers all dressed the same with a buff waistcoat to work with the hessian. With this amount of ushers it was far cheaper to make ties and to get enough for 10 and in a design to suit. I’d really recommend it.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

Our photographer (Jamie Penfold Photography) was fantastic. Before the big day he came down to Bath to shoot us where we got engaged which was a great way to get to know him so that we were relaxed with him and the camera on the day. It also gave him the chance to get to know us as a couple and the type of photography we were hoping for. Not only did we do all this, but we also got some great shots of us in Bath which was an added bonus! We are so pleased with the shots of the big day, he has captured the whole feel of the day perfectly, our emotions, our guests reactions, the scenery and the wedding detail you are proud of. Most of our guests didn’t know we had a photographer- that’s a sign of a good one I think!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

Instead of a traditional cake we went for cheese from The Northumberland Cheese Company. They were brilliant to work with: we tasted some amazing cheeses, it was hard to decide what to go for. The cake itself was assembled by the florist and the whole thing was demolished on the night! My theory is that people want savoury more than sweet after a few glasses of fizz and wine… and it appears they certainly did!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

In the evening we had a band, Groove All Stars - they were brilliant! Offered a wide range of music playing as a duo for the reception and as a 7 piece in the evening. We pulled together our own dance to Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’. The band learned the music especially for the dance and were very happy about me getting behind the mic to start the song (which was planned I might add!)

They were a lovely bunch of people, very willing to bend over backwards to make you happy. That they definitely did – the dance floor was never empty!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

I have two favourite moments from the day… walking into our beautiful little church on my proud dad’s arm and seeing James’s face at the end of the aisle – priceless and a lifelong memory of an amazing emotion.

Then, walking into the reception with my nephew leading us into a tunnel crowd of all our guests cheering. It was at that moment that it dawned on us- they are all here for us, all our most treasured friends and family are all around us  and we’ve done it, we’re married and it feels amazing.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

We set off tomorrow for Crete – I can’t wait. I’ll let you know on our return if we’d recommend it!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 -

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full bloom! supplier showcase: red floral architecture

September 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (20)

This afternoon I’m very proud to welcome the fabulous Mat Hepplestone of Red Floral Architecture to the Brides Up North stage. I’m very privileged to be working with Mat on a special project this week and am ready to be lost in the scent and sensation of his amazing blossom masterpieces.  A true architect, this man makes cathedrals and castles from roses and peonies, and we love him here at Brides Up North HQ.

With images by Mick Cookson Photography, or otherwise provided by Red Floral.

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (3)

Mat says: My interest in the industry started from a very early age when my family moved house and the new next door neighbours had a local florist shop. I was asked to help out over busy periods and at weekends. At the age of fourteen I ran my own dried flower business from the cellar of the house, going doing dried flower parties in the evenings and selling my wares to the school teachers.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (18)

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (5)

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (5)

Where do you get your inspiration for flower design?

I am very much inspired by fashion. Looking at the season’s catwalk trends leads to the colour choices I produce for the annual season. The American luxury style is what appeals to me and I research the trends across the world to keep the Red Floral style innovative and at the forefront of design.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (9)

Describe some of the most recent weddings you have been working on?

Red Floral are lucky enough to house a team of designers who can create an eclectic mix of designs suitable for any venue. Recently we created traditional grandeur at The Monastery in Manchester and a life-size enchanted forest over in Liverpool. The more outrageous the request the more of a buzz we get here at Red.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (3)

What advice can you give to a bride when working with a florist?

Be aware that your wedding florist is the person who is solely responsible for creating the desired look for your wedding and stamping the luxury throughout the day. Make sure you select a florist who can communicate your vision, likes and dislikes. Red Floral wants to make your wedding absolutely breath taking so you need to relax and put your trust in your vendors. Brides often book the florist last which is a mistake because you need to get an idea of what everything costs and your budget. It’s good to look at your florist’s portfolio and tons of pictures to help what you’d like your floral design to look like. Also pick a florist with a massive portfolio of weddings as they’re more likely to help you.

Facebook and Pinterest are great tools for gathering together your dreams but please make sure when you go to your florist that the work they show you is actually created by their own fair hands and not just whipped off the internet. Believe me I have seen and heard the horror stories first hand. The common problem at the moment is that many of the ‘floral designers’ out there have little experience within the industry and with the ‘trend’ for messy vintage style arrangements created in jam jars it is very easy for someone to label themselves a florist.

Make sure you know the background of your chosen designer, someone who knows the technical stuff and is savvy enough to know what they are talking about and offer expert advice and alternatives.

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (9)

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (8)

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (7)

What about the timescales for wedding planning and arranging?

Flowers are ordered from all over the world, from South America, Holland and beyond. We need the plan for the wedding to be finalised at least four weeks ahead of the wedding in order to satisfy the wedding demands. What goes on behind the scenes in the world of floral design is crazy in delivering your product on the day.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (10)

Any secret tips?

Brides are often scared off by the more expensive flowers like phaleonopsis orchids and peonies. These flowers albeit more expensive are striking in minimal numbers and are guaranteed to scream luxury at any wedding regardless of volume.

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (12)

And what about some advice on picking colours?

So you have set the colour scheme for your wedding, let’s say for example you have chosen purple and ivory. That is a starting point, but please don’t think that everything has to be the exact colours. There is nothing worse than walking into a venue and it looking like an advert for Silk Cut cigarettes. Speak to your florist about tones and contrasts, introducing paler of darker shades from the same palette will give the wedding flowers impact and interest and stop the whole look becoming predictable, tired and dated. A bride’s bouquet created in strong colours will always become the dominant factor in a photograph, so if you want your dress to shine and be the centre of attention, then work the bouquet so it enhances the colours of the bridal gown.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (19)

Can you give us a brief outline of flower seasons?

Certain blooms such as roses and carnations are inexpensive flowers and are available all year around. Other flowers may fluctuate in price depending on the season. Daffodils and tulips are available in the spring-time and are a great way of creating some amazing springtime looks. If you have your heart set on peonies then be looking at May or June for your wedding date. I do have brides who set the date in these months especially to have peonies as the focal flower.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (6)

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (8)

What about the timescales for wedding planning and arranging?

Flowers are ordered from all over the world, from South America, Holland and beyond. We need the plan for the wedding to be finalised at least four weeks ahead of the wedding in order to satisfy the wedding demands. What goes on behind the scenes in the world of floral design is crazy in delivering your product on the day.

Can you tell us about your favourite season?

The summer season is the season that really does it for me in the flower world because I am a huge fan of blousy fragrant blooms. Summer time is the perfect opportunity to get creative with some exquisite English blooms and the sunshine brings out masses of flowers. The vibrancy of dahlias, the aroma of sweet peas and of course the beauty and colour range delphiniums and peonies make for some show stopping designs. With so many flower choices, Red Floral can create lavish wedding displays that are so sought after. Blush pink flowers, lilacs and lavenders with hints of nude and peach are available widely and produce stunning loose ethereal designs…

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (17)

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

Visit our website at  

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fancy footwork. the designer series: Charlotte Mills Bridal

September 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (5)

A relative newcomer to the bridal design scene, Charlotte Mills is a bit of a genius.

Launched to huge acclaim within the industry, the talented designer (and all round lovely North West lass) offers affordable luxury to style conscious brides giving them a more fashion forward option to traditional wedding shoes.

We like her style.

And we want her shoes.

With images by Jonny Draper and Sarah Saddler (see little white book for full credits)

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (1)

Charlotte says: We create beautiful, elegant, fun, romantic designs we hope brides will fall in love with and want to wear again and again after their wedding day.

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (12)

What were your inspirations for this collection?

Love hearts provide the inspiration for collection each style incorporating them in a unique and individual way.  I love art deco and art nouveau, so studied heart shapes and also the lines used in the architecture of these era’s and gave them a modern twist to create the designs.  For as long as I can remember I have always has a passion for shoes. I couldn’t imagine designing anything else.

It amazing to be able to design something which some one will love and want to wear on their wedding day to show a little bit of their personality. I find this really inspiring.

Each shoe is hand finished with a silver sixpence and the leather sole is embossed with the phrase ‘Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe.’

We have covered all bases. The Sixpence is also the Something Old, the Something New is the shoe, the Something Blue is detailed on the insock and the Something Borrowed will be inside the shoe box. Brides love this old tradition. This detailing is unique to Charlotte Mills Bridal shoes.

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (19)

What shapes, materials and embellishments were chosen for the collection?

The collection has been created using laser cutting, appliqué and embroidery techniques. Each shoe is handmade in Spain using finest materials such as Italian Kid Suede, silks, tulle or metallic and pearlised leathers and is embellished with large structured bows, embroideries, appliqués or Swarovski crystals.

What is your average retail price?


Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (23)

What does 2015 hold for Charlotte Mills?  What are you excited about?

I am busy designing lots of new styles to add to the range and working on a top-secret collection.

Seeing images of all the ‘Charlotte Mills brides’ is so exciting and as we have only just launched there is a time delay because people tend to buy so far in advance for weddings. It will be amazing to see our shoes featured in someone’s special day.

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (4)

What are your ‘best things’ in life?

Shoes Shoes Shoes!

My husband, family and friends, my dogs Meg and Coco, pink, holidays, cake, weddings and fashion – I could go on and on…

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (1)

Where can Brides Up North find out more about Charlotte Mills? 

You can visit our website at, follow on Twitter or like on Facebook.

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isn’t she lovely? enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge – sophie & jeff

August 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (34)

Ahh! Time for your Friday morning cuppa, bacon sarnie and wedding watching.

Friday mornings go so well with catching up on your favourite blogs, don’t they? It’s been a very pretty week here at Brides Up North HQ… take some time to browse… but we’re so excited to bid adieu to August and start our Brides Up North luxury wedding exhibition season with gusto this September and beyond.

One very lovely stop on our journey will be at the drop dead gorgeous Middleton Lodge in Richmond on 12th October 2014. Already gorgeous, this fine, exclusive use wedding venue has just added a brand new boutique hotel and restaurant to it’s offering.  It’s most definitely one with the wow factor, a date for your diaries, and just happens to be the beautiful backdrop to Sophie and Jeff’s wedding day, which we are happy to share with you this morning.

With images by Keith Moss.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (6)

Sophie says: We got engaged after returning from an amazing holiday in Egypt. I think my exact words were, “Just set the date!”

We got married on 3rd May 2014 at St Michael and All Angels church in Middleton Tyas, followed by Middleton Lodge. We found Middleton Lodge after I had provisionally booked another venue while Jeff was working away, and when he went to look around he didn’t like it (groomzila, I know)! I had removed Middleton Lodge from our search as felt it was a little bit too far for our guests to travel but once we went to look round, we fell in love with it. We found the church afterwards with the help of Anna, their wedding coordinator. The church was so pretty, it was perfect.

I picked a striped fabric for my bridesmaid dresses so styling wise, went down this route with pink striped bunting, orders of service and name settings. Our orders of service, name settings and table plan were all designed and created by my friend Christina. It all looked lovely, she did a brilliant job.

Colour wise, I prefer natural colours and trawled Pinterest for months looking for ideas for my bouquet! I went to my florist with a bunch of ideas and they came up with the gorgeous combination of muted pinks, greys and creams.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (25)

I chose an Enzoani dress from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. I actually spotted it whilst out on Bridesmaid duties with my friend who was also getting married. I saw it on the hanger and knew instantly that was the one. I went back a couple of weeks later and tried it on and bought it the same day.

My shoes were Nicholas Kirkwood. I had spotted them in Las Vegas in the September but decided to wait and look once I got home. After trawling the internet and shops I still couldn’t get these shoes out of my head but I had called the Nicholas Kirkwood store and had found out the price –  I thought they were too expensive so continued looking for another pair. I came home one day from work to find them waiting for me! Jeff had ordered them for me as a surprise. I absolutely love them and will definitely wear them again.

My flowers were anemone, verbena and tulips which were created by Darling and Green. I also had a vintage badge attached to the lace on my bouquet as my something old, my mum gave this to me as she had worn the same one on her wedding day

Jeff wore a bespoke suit from Bakers Tailoring. We visited the store in Middlesbrough every Saturday for a month until he finally made a decision on which fabric he liked! Paul at Bakers sourced hundreds of fabric samples for us to choose from. The service was excellent and Jeff chose everything from the buttons,  to how many pockets he wanted and even had a J&S stitched into the blue polka dot lining. He is already planning the suit that he is going to order next!

The bridesmaids wore custom made candy stripe Kate Fearnley dresses and the groomsmen wore dark grey suits from Bakers Tailoring.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (22)

Our photographer was Keith Moss, who I met through a friend when we were working on a fashion project. He also lives in the same village as my parents, and was the photographer at a friends wedding, so I knew that I loved his style of photography. As we are both a little bit scared of the camera, we wanted the majority of our wedding shots to be natural. Also as we got married at 2pm, the last thing we wanted was to spend our wedding day posing for photos! We wanted to be there, and experience our day.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (18)

Darling and Green dressed our wedding reception. This included  a hanging flower ball and floral swag in the speeches hall at Middleton Lodge, cups which spelt out LOVE with flowers in them, petals and floating candles in the font, plus various scattered bottles and jars with flowers in. They also provided the flowers for our wedding cake.

I had also collected a selection of tea lights, plants, candles and lanterns which I used to decorate the venue. As we had the whole place exclusively to ourselves I wanted to decorate every single corner.

We also had Giant LOVE light up letters from Coco Luminaire which provided a fab focal point and wow factor on the dance floor and a Booth Revolution photobooth. To finish our day, we had a karaoke machine in the famous Middleton Lodge cellar bar!

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (24)

Having good quality food at our wedding was very important to us and after eating at Middleton Lodge before the wedding, we knew that we would not be disappointed!

My cake was kindly made by my very clever Aunty Andria! We had four tiers of fruit, lemon, red velvet and Victoria sponge.

For our favours we chose personalised biscuits and macaroons for adults and disposable cameras, colouring books and toys for the kids.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (56)

We had Jamie Graham playing acoustic guitar during the day, followed by The Fallen band at our evening reception. We are really into our live music and we wanted a band which was going to get everyone up and dancing!

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (58)

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (68)

My favourite part of the day was the speeches. We decided to do the speeches (father of the bride and groom) during the drinks reception. I am so glad we did this, as we wanted to day to feel laid back and not formal at all. We did the speeches on the staircase in the main hall and it was a lovely atmosphere and really got the reception off to a great start.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (71)

For our honeymoon we went to Sugar Ridge in Antigua. It was absolutely beautiful, I felt like I had jumped into a postcard once we saw the gin clear sea and white sandy beaches. The people were so friendly too and the food was fantastic.  Plus, we were often the only people on the beach! It was amazing.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (52)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get your wedding filmed! I wasn’t going to bother but a friend showed me hers and I was hooked! As she said – ‘You can snuggle up on a rainy day with some chocolate and re watch your wedding over and over again’

Our wedding was filmed by Adam Mendum.

enzoani for a wedding at Middleton Lodge (c) Keith Moss (66)

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LOVE Bridesmaids. a Maids To Measure event popping up near you soon

August 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime


On Sunday 29th June Brides Up North Featured Supplier LOVE Bridal Boutique hosted an amazing launch event at Styal Lodge in Cheshire for their new ‘LOVE Bridesmaids’ offering in conjunction with London based bridesmaid designer Maids to Measure.

The first large scale bridal event purely for bridesmaids in the North West, the day celebrated the launch of LOVE Bridesmaids/Maids to Measure ‘Pop-up’ Events… days that you’ll be wanting to put in your diary for you and your favourite ladies.

Images by Jonny Draper Photography.


Let’s hear from LOVE Bridesmaids’ founder Emma about how it all went and how you can get in on the pretty…

Emma says: I’m pleased to report that the event was a resounding success, we had so many fabulous comments from brides and of course bridesmaids on the day about the event itself plus of course the range of dress styles and colours to choose from, and how they stand apart from a lot of bridesmaid dresses currently on the market. They really loved being able to come to an event like this and being able to share it with their maids too!




The event looked amazing, who was involved?

When we first decided to be a Maids to Measure stockiest we knew we had to make a big splash and launch it properly with a fabulous event in true LOVE style! We looked no further than Styal Lodge, a venue popular not only with us, but with a lot of our brides who have chosen it for their big day too! The wonderful Higham family at Styal Lodge were just as excited as we were when we first spoke with them about it and helped to make the event a huge success with their wonderful hospitality.

The brains behind the amazing Maids to Measure brand, sisters Sinclair and India, helped us to host the event, giving styling advice to our guests on the day, not to mention styling our models and helping backstage with the dressing for the catwalk.

A whole host of our wedding friends helped to make it a great day too including Gemma Hallowell, make-up artist, and Paisley Gamble, hair stylist, who worked their magic on our models back stage and created some stunning looks. Sian at The Flower Lounge blew us away with her dressing of the catwalk and flower styling around the venue – lots of brides were eyeing this up as a great way to dress their aisle for their big day! Hipswing provided the fabulous glitzy backdrop for our catwalk, Francesca from the Cheshire Cat Cake Company made the most amazing macarons which were given out in our goody bags. A LOVE event would never be the same without LOVE letters from The Word Is Love, and these letters lit up the entranceway to the Lodge. Our guests were kept entertained by singer Kirsty Rogers who sang throughout the day – brides loved her so much that they booked her for their big day! Sam Fitton magician went down a storm too and also the fab photobooth from Forever Photobooths who captured some hilarious moments with our guests!

Not to mention our gorgeous models, Ailsa, Jill, Natalie, Izzy, Lizzie and Sarah who showed off the dresses beautifully and looking so stunning! Thanks so much to Ailsa (of Ailsa Baker Dance) for choreographing our show too.

Our very own Jonny Draper Photography was on hand with his camera to capture the day’s events, culminating in an exciting photoshoot at the end of the day, and some hilarious Austin Powers inspiration during our catwalk show… this had to be seen to be believed!



So, when will you officially start your LOVE Bridesmaids/Maids to Measure ‘Pop-up’ Events at the boutique?

We have actually already had our first fully booked event in August which went brilliantly and resulted in lots of brides and their maids choosing dresses! We will be holding the events monthly on a Sunday; our next one will be on September 14th and this is fully booked already but we are still taking bookings for October onwards. Our next dates include Sunday 12th October, Sunday 9th November and Sunday 7th December. 2015 event dates to be released very soon.


How can brides find out more and potentially book an appointment?

For more information and to book in for one of our events please contact

or call 0161 941 6446.

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the friday feeling! a fun & fabulous wedding at Heaton House Farm – helen & ryan

August 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (85)

Sometimes a bank holiday weekend comes around exactly when you need it.

Even when you love your job as much as I do, sometimes you can still have one of those weeks.  Computer issues (no good for a blogger let me tell you), having to put the heating back on, wifi troubles (kill me now) building work, boring admin, deadlines, husbands (!) and just too much to do, means I’m frazzled and frustrated.

So I decided to shift the schedule round a little and end the week on a high with this fun and fabulous wedding sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.

Pour me a massive glass of wine.  It’s the weekend, Brides Up North!

And yes, I will be having Monday off!

(see you on the other side)

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (15)

Helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012.  The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!

We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014.  As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!

Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (26)

My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye.  As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come.  I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.

Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50′s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.

My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme.  My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (35)

Jonny Draper was our photographer.  The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job.  I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (39)

Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.

We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste.  We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.

As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags.  The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (62)

On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.

We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (65)

We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day.  There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (79)

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (94)

We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September.  I can’t wait!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (98)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key!  We were very organised which saved a lot of stress.  Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (61)

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simple treasures. a styled bridal shoot at Denton Hall

August 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a styled bridal shoot at Denton Hall (c) Sugarbird Photography (41)

Sometimes, elegance speaks for itself.

This simple yet glamourous bridal shoot at Brides Up North Featured Supplier venue, Denton Hall, was put together by makeup artist Charlotte Hubbard of Leeds and photographer James Mieskowski of Sugarbird Photography, Halifax.

a styled bridal shoot at Denton Hall (c) Sugarbird Photography (27)

Charlotte says: James and I have collaborated on various fashion photography shoots in the past and wanted to showcase Yorkshire’s beautiful countryside and the skills of our local wedding industry creatives (see the Little White Book for details) in this styled piece with ballerina Steph Elstob.

a styled bridal shoot at Denton Hall (c) Sugarbird Photography (14)

I wanted to create a natural soft bridal look for our model to compliment the pale floral colours. I used pink and soft beiges with natural effect false lashes by Eyelure to highlight her beautiful eyes. For touch ups and shadows I always rely on YSL’s ‘Touche Èclat to even the skin tone and bring light to the face.

a styled bridal shoot at Denton Hall (c) Sugarbird Photography (21)

a styled bridal shoot at Denton Hall (c) Sugarbird Photography (47)

a styled bridal shoot at Denton Hall (c) Sugarbird Photography (52)

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