Charlotte Balbier

sunshine. a colourful wedding at the crab & lobster, north yorkshire – stacey & andrew

May 5th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

Today’s bride and groom knew that they couldn’t guarantee sunshine at their October wedding and so instead of relying on the weather to provide some rays, the clever couple created their own in the form of bright bridesmaid dresses, vibrant flowers and sunny decorations.

Their chosen venue was the Crab & Lobster in Thirsk, an incredibly quirky hotel and restaurant which Stacey and Andrew agree suited them perfectly. And so while they let the venue speak for itself, they brought their own style to the day with their fabulous attire – Stacey in her cute vintage style dress and Andrew in his handsome grey and navy get-up. Their leading lads and ladies didn’t scrub up half bad either!

And Stacey scored extra bride brownie points by getting Andrew a puppy as a wedding day gift – ladies, take note!

With images by Shutter Go..Click Photography.

As the World Falls Down

stacey says: We got engaged in Paris in March 2013. Andrew surprised me with a trip to Paris and we stayed in the most gorgeous hotel ‘Secret de Paris’ where all the rooms are themed on different Paris landmarks. On the first night we ate at a great restaurant called Bones and then at midnight we visited the Louvre museum where Andrew proposed, after which a French couple cycled past and shouted congratulations! It was amazing apart from my ring being so big it wouldn’t even fit my thumb so I couldn’t wear it for the rest of the trip (or for another month after whilst it got remade).

The Wild Bunch

We got married on 19th October 2014 which was 11 years since our first date. Our wedding was at the Crab & Lobster in Thirsk, Yorkshire – we loved the venue and the food is amazing. We didn’t fancy a traditional white wedding and I think the decor and atmosphere was just perfect for us.

Baby Don't Leave

There wasn’t a specific theme we just wanted to be relaxed, not too formal and good fun. We wanted things we liked too, not just things you should have at a wedding.

In terms of colour we had a really colourful wedding. The main colour which ran through everything, from the stationary to the bridesmaids and flowers was yellow. I really love yellow and have a yellow diamond in my engagement ring so wanted to emphasise this. Also with the wedding being in October the chances of sun was slim so I knew that I would always have sunshine with my lovely bridesmaids.

I love navy blue too so the boys went with that and then we had a bit of everything in the flowers. Crab Manor is full of colourful pieces of decor so it suited it really nicely.

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (43)

I had a tea length dress that I got from Bride & Co in my home town of Hull, the girls there we’re lovely and the whole experience at Bride & Co was fab. I knew I wanted a short dress, I don’t know why but I always did. I tried other styles but this was the one. It had a little jacket, which I wore through the day then I whipped it off for the evening and it was party time!

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

Andrew wore a mix and match grey and navy outfit with trousers and jacket from Reiss, a waistcoat from Ted Baker and shoes from Paul Smith. The bridesmaids wore amazing yellow shift dresses we bought from ASOS, it was good fun doing bridesmaid shopping – we did one day out and one massive online order all from the high street. They picked their own shoes and went for blue pointy courts. They all looked great and got loads of compliments.

The men matched Andrew apart from the waistcoat, he bought them both shoes as their thank you gifts so they were different too.

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (26)

We stayed at Crab Manor the evening before the wedding so it made it much easier, no transport required! It also gave us a chance to start the celebrations earlier with a lunch with guests and get final preparations done, whilst having a few glasses of bubbly and enjoying the hot tub too!

In Light

Our photographer was Ryan at Shutter Go..Click Photography. I found it really hard to find a photographer but absolutely loved Ryan’s style as soon as I saw some of his work. He was really friendly and good fun from the start and just got our style. I’d definitely recommend Ryan and have already passed on his details to others.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

My bridesmaids and I carried mixed hand tied bouquets that were made for us by my friend and her mum who used to be florists. The most unusual thing in the bouquet was artichokes, some open flowers and some closed, they were really striking. The button holes were made by Stacey and Barbara too, I can remember getting to the ceremony and seeing Andrew’s button hole for the first time, it was lovely and it made one of my favourite photos too.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

The venue is already jam packed with all sorts of vintage finds from a diver to old fashioned beer pumps so we didn’t need to go mad with table designs.I opted to do the table décor myself including flowers which was fun – many hours spent on Pinterest!

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

My mum and mother-in-law made it their mission to collect old bottles and vases and I ended up with such an eclectic mix, I then went for single or double stems dotted along the tables and central points, cake table, post box etc. I chose my flowers by picking some key pieces from my bouquet including Miss Piggy roses, yellow craspedia and Scottish thistles and I got them from Dave in Leeds market. It was great I popped in two weeks before, ordered what I wanted and collected them the morning before the wedding, we even picked more on the day just in case!

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (11)

Whilst the boys were in the hot tub my room was a hive of activity the evening before the wedding cutting stems, adding water to vases and grouping items together for tables, making sure everything was just right. I couldn’t have done it without my bridesmaids; Amy, Ellie and Rose and my lovely friends Kate and Steph. We also decorated the aisle with massive crepe paper flowers that we had made in advance, they went a bit floppy but still added a lovely pop of colour.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

For favours we went for a little box with two chocolates each – I never even ate mine! We got our mums lovely bouquets, our dads got tie clips that they could wear on the day and our niece and nephew got some glow stick wands to help them bust moves on the dance floor. My bridesmaids got little goody bags which included some gorgeous personalised bracelets which were hand made by my lovely mother-in-law Liz. Since then she’s set up an Etsy shop as everyone loved them.

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (75)

Cake was an interactive part of our wedding, we invited our guests to join in ‘The Great Wedding Bake Off’ and ended up with about 15 cakes. It looked amazing! Me and my friends found old plate sets and pink glasses in a charity shop and the cake stands were superglued together the night the before and luckily made it through the day.

For the big cake cutting event we doubled up cake with evening food by having a three tiered cake of cheese and a giant Wilson’s pork pie. It went down a treat and there wasn’t even a crumb left.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

Our ceremony was at 12 noon and wedding breakfast was at 4pm so we needed nibbles, rather than canapés. We organised a leg of parma ham and some n’duja, a spreadable spicy salami – by the time we were back from wedding duties there was nothing left!

For our wedding breakfast we had some absolutely gorgeous food, one of the reasons we picked Crab and Lobster. Starters were smoked roast salmon or a goat’s cheese tart, which came with mustard ice cream – we’d tried this before in the restaurant and knew we had to have it. For main it was lamb shank or halibut with a crab and coriander crust and a gorgeous saffron and lobster bisque – mmm! Desert was a simple fruit crumble and everyone had to leave room for cake!

We had Prosecco throughout the day for toasts, I much prefer it to champagne. In the evening Andrew and I had our own special bottles of fizz behind the bar called Nyetimber which is an English wine and will be our special occasion wine forever.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

For entertainment we thought more about the day than the evening as we had a good few hours in between the ceremony and wedding breakfast. We hired a magician called Chris Kendal who was magic! Chris kept our guests entertained and blew my mind, that was Andrew’s decision and it was a great part of the day. We also made use of the grounds and had a mini golf competition, I even had a go in my dress. It kept everyone busy and apart from one small injury everyone enjoyed themselves.

I'll Be Head Over Heels

In the evening we opted for a juke box rather than a DJ it added another element of interaction for our guests and it just looked really cool.

Crab Manor has a secret beer tap that we had found the day before our wedding so we let our guests know where they can grab a sneaky beer. We also had a photo booth in the evening and got our wedding guests to write messages alongside their pictures. I love looking back at it, it’s funny because you can tell the booze was flowing on some of them. We had a bubbles and sparklers instead of confetti to make more interesting photos.

We would most definitely recommend the Crab and Lobster to other wedding couples. Brilliant location, lovely staff, the perfect backdrop to a wedding.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

Andrew’s favourite part of the day (on top of getting married) was when during a jukebox disc change our friend Aaron walked into a silent dancefloor and belted out the first line of We’ve Lost That Loving Feeling from Top Gun. It was perfect timing and had everyone in hysterics. Our joint worst part of the day was our first dance, it was so cringe worthy! We chose Ray LaMontagne – You Are the Best Thing. However a few hours later was our second first dance and that was one of my favourite parts, everyone singing along to Take That, Never Forget.

vintage wedding at the Crab & Lobster (c) Shutter Go..Click Photography (18)

We went to Gaya Island in Borneo for two weeks for our honeymoon. It was an idyllic island where you could do as much or as little as you wanted. I think our grand plans of activities melted away when the warm sun hit our bodies though and we just enjoyed the relaxation of it all. We did a bit of kayaking and a few jungle hikes, we saw orangutans and ate loads of amazing food. It was the perfect place for a honeymoon and if we ever travelled to Borneo again we would have to go back.

Tales of a Firefly ~ Andrew & Stacey's Thirsk Wedding

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – enjoy it all, don’t sweat the small stuff, no one will notice and if you get stuck just ask, ask anyone, everyone loves a wedding and will feel happy to be able to get involved.

I got Andrew a puppy for his wedding gift and it was a complete surprise so that was an exciting part of the day too. We collected Ralph the day we got back from honeymoon and he has been a brilliant addition to married life!

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flying high. supplier showcase: lovebird brides

May 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (11)

This afternoon I am thrilled to welcome the gorgeous Laura to Brides Up North.  Laura is the beauty and brains behind the gorgeous new bridal boutique in West Yorkshire, lovebird brides, which opened to much excitement (and twinkle!) last autumn.  Laura is already flying high as word of her stunning new boutique, bespoke accessories and top labels spreads, and now it’s time to introduce her on these pretty pages.

First things first, I have a special date for your diaries: Lovebird Brides are holding their first ever Lovebird Accessories evening on Thursday 7th May 2015 from 5pm until 8pm, where brides can visit the boutique for a glass of fizz, try on their accessories, enjoy 10% off the range and see their special guest designers. To join them on the night or for more information email them at

Is it in your diary? Great.  Now let’s meet Laura.

Images by Photography By Kathryn.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (45)

When did Lovebird Brides open and what is your background?

laura says: Lovebird Brides opened its doors with an amazing launch party in October 2014.

I’ve had a varied career working within the creative industries, starting with a degree in design before working in interior design, event planning, teaching and then jewellery making. The problem is I’ve always got to be making something even when just relaxing in the evening! Whilst on maternity leave I took this time to focus on my love of making jewellery and when my baby was old enough, I opened my studio in the World Heritage Site of Saltaire. It turned out this decision paid off, I began making statement pieces but soon had brides visiting me to make them bespoke bridal jewellery.

One thing led to another and my other obsession for vintage dresses combined with brides telling me they were struggling to find the dresses they wanted, gowns that reflected their personality and style led to me opening Lovebird Brides. I wanted to fill this gap for brides concentrating on selecting designers that offered designs that were fashion forward, well made and practical but still maintained that beauty and elegance that a wedding dress should offer.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (39)

Which wedding gown designers do you stock?

Lovebird Brides houses a large selection of Charlotte Balbier’s wedding gowns. Charlotte’s designs are timeless, elegant and fit perfectly allowing a bride to feel comfortable on her wedding day.

We also stock Maria Senvo, I was instantly drawn to the embellishment and detail on these beautiful gowns, definitely one for the fashionista brides!

With a busy year ahead planned, you need to keep your eyes peeled for a new designer or two being introduced to the boutique.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (36)

What bridal accessories designers do you stock?

Lovebird Brides is the home of Lah De Da Accessories. I hand make this beautiful range of accessories in my studio within the boutique where all my sample pieces are available for brides to see and try on. I love that we can create a completely unique look for a bride whether it’s a headpiece, belt, statement necklace or adding beading to the dress. The finishing accessories are so important as a bride can put their own stamp on a gown and feels that they have given their own creative input into the design of these bespoke pieces. I feel this is something they will struggle to get anywhere else.

We are also very lucky to stock the amazing Charlotte Mills bridal shoes that are so pretty, beautifully made and super comfortable but what is even better is they can also be worn again and again after your wedding day!

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (10)

What makes you different?

At Lovebird Brides we focus on fashion forward brides with wedding dresses that break away from tradition, gowns that reflect their individual style and personality. As a boutique we feel it is important not to crowd the shop with too many dresses overwhelming the bride. Instead we concentrate on handpicking strong designs each very different from the next.

It is important to us when a bride first visits the boutique that our style and the layout of the shop not only reflects the individuality of our gowns but is a place where our brides can feel comfortable making the most important fashion purchase of their lives! From our zebra print rug and fuchsia pink chandelier to our Victorian clothes airer rails we want to make it an experience that our bride will never forget.

One major factor adding to our uniqueness is that we hand make all our accessories to compliment our brides dresses right here in the boutique. Even for the bride who has already found their gown we can offer them exclusive accessory appointments to create bespoke pieces for their big day, for their bridesmaids or for mother of the bride.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (3)

Where are you located?

We are located in the beautiful Yorkshire village of Addingham, just outside the centre of Ilkley. Many of our brides choose to make a day of it, celebrating with a cream tea or pub lunch in the village or nipping round the corner to view the beautiful sights of Bolton Abbey.

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

Our dresses start at £990 and go up to £2550.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (7)

What can Brides Up North expect when they come in for an appointment?

As a luxury boutique we work by appointment only. It is important to us that a bride gets the attention she deserves without any interruptions. We like to gain an understanding of the whole theme of the wedding and listen carefully to what the bride is looking for. Dress appointments are an hour and a half long and forty-five minutes for accessories. Brides can expect to have exclusive use of the boutique for their bridal party and we always have a bottle of prosecco and cakes at the ready, sometimes even homemade by me!

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (30)

What is your current favourite gown that you stock and why?

With so many it’s really hard to pick a favourite dress but if I was pushed I would say I have a real soft spot for Lucy-Lou by Charlotte Balbier, with all its lace it is just a timeless and elegant gown.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (41)

What trends do you see being popular this year?

I think the trends in bridal this year will be blush dresses and gold accessories, which I love! Embellishment on dresses seems to be what brides like so I think we will see plenty of this in new bridal collections.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (34)

Who would be a Lovebird Bride?

A Lovebird Bride is a lady who wants to look the best version of herself. She wants a dress that is elegant but shows her sense of style too. She is a bride who wants some creative input in the overall bridal look and wants to feel comfortable and classic on her most special day.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (43)

Are you married? What did you wear on your wedding day? What would you choose to wear now?

I have been married for almost four years now and wore a Maggie Sottero wedding dress that was strapless with a corseted back in dark champagne. At the time this style was definitely everywhere and although I loved it I don’t think it really reflected me. Now I would definitely either wear a dress with sleeves and a low back or perhaps separates with a bolero jacket and definitely a statement necklace!

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (25)

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

Brides to be call call us on 01943 839720, visit our website at, email or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (2)

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fit for a princess. a romantic vintage style wedding at newton hall – amy & mark

May 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (21)

Today’s groom Mark certainly made Amy feel like a princess when he popped the question in front of Cinderella’s Castle in the heart of Disneyland – is there anywhere more magical?

Having put a ring on it, the pair began organising their vintage themed wedding at the stunning Newton Hall. They’d originally planned to wed indoors but at the last minute switched to an outdoor wedding owing to a rather unusual burst of warm British weather. Hurrah!

And the rays kept coming after the big day when Amy and Mark jetted off to the sunny state of California for their honeymoon. Having travelled this area of the US myself I totally understand the couple’s desire to return for more fun in the sun!

With images by Lee Scullion.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (1)

amy says: We got engaged on 12th May 2013 in front of the Cinderella Castle in the Disney Magic Kingdom, Florida. We had been enjoying a lazy Sunday at the Magic Kingdom after a couple of days in Miami. Mark was slowing up near the end of the day as we walked past the wishing well next to the Cinderella Castle. We carried on walking along round the front of the castle and then Mark shouted me back, saying he has something to give me. I shouted “I hope it is some sparkly Minnie Mouse ears”. To my surprise I was presented with a diamond ring and Mark asked me to marry him.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (6)

Our wedding day was on 29th September 2014. We wanted an after summer wedding with the chance of having nice weather and this date fitted perfectly with the time we wanted.

Our chosen venue was Newton Hall, Newton by Sea. We instantly fell in love with the building and all of the gardens. The quirky interior and rooms just felt right and knew it was the place to get married.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (4)

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (5)

Vintage was the style of wedding we went for, choosing decorations and flowers that would fit in with this. It was just something that appealed to myself and mark while discussing and organising the day. In terms of colour we kept the scheme quite neutral.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (7)

My dress was from Mia Sposa Bridal. It was Justin Alexander’s 8641. I fell in love with it when I tried it on. I knew it was the dress.

Mark wore a brown speckled suit which was from ASOS with a fitted white shirt, brown bow tie, braces, navy and camouflage Ask The Missus shoes, handmade bird skull cufflinks from California and a handmade deer head flower pin from also from California.

The bridesmaids wore dresses from Debenhams, they were a vintage rose pink in colour. The younger bridesmaids wore full length and the older ones wore a shorter length dress.

The groomsmen wore matching brown speckled trousers with white shirts and skinny ties and vintage brown brogues, all from ASOS.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (8)

Lee Scullion was our photographer and we would highly recommend him. He made us feel totally relaxed and went about his business. He was great fun and felt more of a guest at our day than a photographer doing their job. The photos we have are amazing and we could not have asked for more from Lee. He is special.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (11)

I carried a large vintage style bouquet which was made up vintage coloured roses.The bridesmaids all carried smaller versions of my vintage bouquet which were provided by The Finishing Touch Company.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (12)

To decorate we had a selection of roses in various shades to give a vintage feel. These were displayed in bottles and jars on the tables and hanging jars on the chairs with lace bows. We had centrepieces made of books, jars, bottles and roses.

The top table had a hessian runner and flowers displayed along the front of table in jars and milk bottles. The Finishing Touch Company provided and set up the decoration and flowers.A ‘true love’ banner was also displayed which was given to us by Poptastic as a gift for us to use on the day.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (13)

I had brought vintage suitcases to be used for the cards and gifts to be deposited in. I also created my own seating plan display using a vintage case, twine, pegs and pearls.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (17)

The favours for the younger guests were jars of sweets with vintage cloth and twine as decoration. These were all made by me.The older guests received a jar of chutney which was handmade by The Master Cakesmith. These also had been decorated with vintage cloth and twine.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (19)

We chose a single tier cake which was vanilla cream and jam. It was finished with butter cream and decorated with twine, hessian and mini ‘Mr & Mrs’ bunting.We also had individual cupcakes for every guest, the fillings were cookies and cream, millionaire shortbread, salted caramel and vanilla strawberry. Again these were provided by The Master Cakesmith.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (20)

After the ceremony the ladies were provided with a strawberry and ginger mojito, the men were provided with a beer from a local brewery. Non-drinkers were provided with a mocktail.Canapés of Thai fish cakes, cheese frittatas with tomato chutney and smoked chicken and mustard tarts, were also served.

For the main meal we had a hot fork buffet which we chose as it gave the wedding a more relaxed feel with guests being up and about mingling with each other, rather than the usual ‘sit at table and don’t move till it is over’ type affair.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (25)

We hired a DJ through AMV Live Music for the evening entertainment so that a good variation of music would be played and enjoyed by all during the reception.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (34)

The most special thing about our wedding day was the weather – it was bright sunshine and red hot. At the last minute we decided on an outdoor wedding which made the day. It was lovely to be outside.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (36)

Other special touches that we added to the day ourselves was a popcorn machine, large sweet table selection in glass jars on handmade wooden boxes from reclaimed wood. Surprise gifts for the bridesmaids and the best man were also special and we gave them some careful thought. The Wild Bunch supplied the bouquets which were given to the mothers and grans of the wedding party.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (40)

We also supplied our own prop box and Polaroid cameras for guests to use on the evening.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (42)

We would definitely recommend Newton Hall to other couples. The venue is spectacular and the staff are fantastic, they will do anything you ask of them through the day and into the evening. John the MC is a fantastic man who really made the day great and flow. Everything about Newton Hall as a venue is just amazing. When we first visited the venue it was pouring with rain and the place still looked spectacular, it will be a great choice of venue no matter what time of year.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (44)

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite part of the day, the whole day was special. Getting to spend it with all of our family and closest friends in a fantastic venue with gorgeous weather was great.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (46)

For our honeymoon we travelled to Las Vegas for three nights and then toured California by road. We visited San Diego, Hollywood, Marina Del Ray, Venice, Santa Monica, Valencia, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Cambria, San Francisco, Oakland and then made our way back to Las Vegas for three more nights before flying home.

It was a trip of a lifetime and we saw some unbelievable sights while making our way between destinations, from the street performers in the Gaslamp District to the elephant seals just outside of Cambria. There was just so much to see and do and we felt as if we did not even scratched the surface. We would love to return in future and see more of what California has offer.

an outdoor wedding at Newton Hall (c) Lee Scullion Photography (50)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – try to take a minute, relax and take it all in as it goes so fast.

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made in manchester. a gypsophila inspired wedding in the city – emma & chris

May 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (25)

Sometimes it can be difficult for couples to choose a theme for their wedding and can end up over thinking it. But today’s bride Emma kept things simple by styling her wedding around her favourite flower, gypsophila.

The loved-up couple then picked one of their favourite building in Manchester to act as the backdrop to the celebrations, the city’s stunning town hall.

The combined result is a grand occasion that’s beautiful but without being too fussy. Emma we think we hit the nail on the head.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (9)

emma says: We got engaged in March 2013 on top of a mountain in the Lake District. Chris’ intention was that there’d be stunning views, but there was a blizzard with almost zero visibility. In the end we were just glad to make it down in one piece.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (7)

The date of our wedding was 25th October 2014. A summer wedding wasn’t important to us because our venue and plans dictated that almost all of our time would be indoors. We felt that more friends and family would find it easier to attend this time of you when summer holidays are over and people’s diaries are less full.

We picked Manchester Town Hall as our venue. It’s one of our favourite buildings and its location is convenient to guests from near and far. Those who live locally have many travel options with ample parking, and there are lots of accommodation options for those from further afield. The Great Hall where we had the reception is a spectacular space.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (23)

The colour scheme was based around my favourite flower which is gypsophila, so I kept everything very neutral. I opted for a very light gold colour for the bridesmaid’s dress and the male members of the bridal party as well as for some detailing at the reception. Gypsophila was chosen due to the simplicity of the flower and for its bright, clean, natural colours.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (30)

I went for a fitted, strapless lace detailed Diane Harbridge dress with a lace shrug from Cheadle Brides.

The groom, best man, bride’s father, groom’s father and ushers wore navy Prince Edward suits from Slaters with cream waistcoats and gold ruches.

My bridesmaid’s dress was from Agape in Altrincham and was a one-shoulder champagne colour long chiffon dress.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (33)

Lee Brown was our photographer – we highly recommend him. Our friends and family, including some amateur photography enthusiasts, have said they are the best wedding photos they’ve seen. We’re absolutely delighted with the results. Lee’s unobtrusive style meant that no-one felt interrupted by his presence and he did everything he could to make us feel at ease and relaxed throughout the course of our wedding day.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (34)

Blossom Flowers in Chorlton provided mine and my bridesmaid’s posies, the corsages, and button-holes. They also provided flowers for dressing the service room and the table centrepieces, top-table dressing, and chair covers for the reception.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (37)

Favours were vintage candy including pear-drops, aniseed twists, and lemon sherbets. There was also a candy-table with large jars of the same sweets and bags for guests to take candy home for their children.

I made my own cake, which was four tiers covered in ivory icing with white lace edible detailing topped with sugar craft roses. I had fruit, carrot and vanilla sponge.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (43)

To entertain our guests we hired Dave Jones disco to provide a DJ service and had live music from the Cover Cats. I corresponded with a few DJs and Dave gave me the most confidence in his ability to ensure stress-free and smooth-running whilst playing appropriate music. We looked at a number of bands on-line and loved the sound of the Cover Cats and that they had a female vocalist. They did a brilliant job.

Other suppliers that we used for our wedding day and would recommend are Ric Clements of Kegs & Co who supplied draught ale with draught serving system at a low price. Paul Hill of Uplighting Hire who provided good value for money was a pleasure to deal with.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (42)

We thoroughly enjoyed the entire day. As the bride and groom, we were very nervous until after the speeches so managed to relax as the day/evening went on.

a gypsophila inspired wedding in Manchester (c) Lee Brown Photography (51)

We went to Bali on our honeymoon which is a superb destination -great weather, beautiful tropical beaches, interesting cultural attractions, wonderful hotels and villas and lovely people.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be pick a venue where the organiser or venue co-ordinator will be helpful, reliable, and ease the pressure on you.  Also delegate as much as possible, but only to people you can trust to do what you ask, when you ask.

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best dressed. supplier showcase: elegance of scholes

April 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime

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Well, Brides Up North, last weekend’s events at Dine’s Allerton Castle and The Alnwick Garden were just magical! What an EPIC end to another amazing season of Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions… stellar turnouts and I swear our exhibitors just get more talented and creative! Thanks to everyone – brides, grooms, our suppliers and our stunning venues – for their support and brilliance. We love you.

One fabulous supplier who we all got to know a little better this season was the lovely Cat of Brides Up North Sponsor boutique, elegance of scholes.  Today, she opens the doors of her beautiful bridal shop for us to take a closer peek.

Oh and FYI: we’re already planning an autumn season of events to knock your socks off..! Stay tuned.

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When did Elegance Of Scholes open and what is your background?

cat says: Elegance opened around six years ago, but I bought it last August after deciding to embark on a bit of a lifestyle change! Prior to owning Elegance I was a full-time Corporate Event Manager, and I also had my own Wedding Venue Décor business. Both of these have set me up well with a lot of the skills needed to run my own business, and having worked in the wedding industry for a number of years I understand how brides feel and what they go through… and it’s lovely to be able to help them out with such a huge, special and important part of the journey!

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Which wedding gown designers do you stock?

We stock Justin Alexander, Ellis Bridal and Mark Lesley. All three labels complement each other really well and we have a great selection of silhouettes and fabrics to suit all tastes.

What bridal accessories labels do you stock?

We stock tiaras and veils by Richard Designs, veils by Nieve Couture and Joyce Jackson, and tiaras/ jewellery by Blossom. We update our selection of bridal accessories on a regular basis so it’s worth keeping an eye out until we have your perfect piece! We also have a small selection of shoes by Rainbow, and are looking to expand this collection in the near future.

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What makes you different?

We are a luxury boutique with an extremely high level of service. People are always taken by surprise by the size of the boutique once they enter (we get a lot of ‘wow!’ comments!), and we have two spacious private fitting rooms at the rear of the boutique so guests can relax and enjoy their experience in comfort and privacy. We also have an in-house seamstress so all alterations are carried out on the premises, meaning the dress stays with us until your big day.

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Where are you located?

We are located in a small village called Scholes, which is close to Cleckheaton. Exit the M62 at J26 (Chain Barr roundabout), and we’re a couple of miles from there.

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

Our gowns range from about £900-£1800, although we do also have a sale room for brides on a slightly lower budget.

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Do Brides Up North need an appointment?

We do tend to run on an appointment basis, purely so that we can guarantee the bride our undivided attention. Our first bridal appointments tend to be around an hour long, and we would always start with an initial chat about a bride’s ideas/wedding/preferred dress styles. From there we let the bride (and any accompanying people!) browse the dresses and pull out those they want to try on. The appointment then evolves as we eliminate certain dresses from the running/ narrow the selection down to THE dress. Quite often we add in our own opinion of dresses that girls might like to try… with surprising results! It’s amazing how many girls come in with an idea of their perfect dress, and leave with something completely different!

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What is your current favourite gown that you stock and why?

I have two current favourites (although it was pretty hard limiting myself to just two!)– Justin Alexander 8762 for the perfect princess ball-gown, and Ellis 11368, which is an absolutely stunning dress with lace sleeves and an amazing keyhole back… on the right figure it’s a definite show-stopper!

Is there a particular style of dress that is popular with your brides at the moment? What trends do you see being popular this year?

Lace continues to be popular, with the fitted mermaid-style being a particular favourite. We’re also seeing a move towards much more brides wanting sleeves or straps over strapless gowns, and the ‘feature back’ is also becoming more and more popular. As we were told when buying our new collections – “the back is the new front”… and it appears to be true!

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How does Elegance Of Scholes provide a superior experience to other wedding dress boutiques?

We pride ourselves on our relaxed and friendly service, and certainly are not pushy sales-people. Our priority first and foremost is making girls feel comfortable and happy in their search for their dress. There’s nothing nicer than the look on a girl’s face when they look in the mirror and see themselves as a ‘Bride’ for the first time, and it’s a privilege to us that we get to be the ones to put that look on their faces! We feel that we are definitely doing something right, as the majority of our appointments come from recommendations from past brides who have had the ‘Elegance Experience’ – and the comments, reviews and photos we receive after the big day are testament to this, and lovely for us to receive!

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Do you stock bridesmaid dresses?

Yes – we stock Kelsey Rose and Mark Lesley bridesmaid dresses, as well as flower girl’s dresses. Soft tulle seems to be the fabric of choice in bridesmaids this season (a lot of the new Kelsey Rose collection comes in this fabric), although chiffon is still (and I believe will remain) a very popular option. We continue to see dusky pink and pastels as key colour choices, but we have ensured we have a wide range of colours in stock to suit as many people as possible. Our bridesmaid dresses range in price from approx. £180-£280, and our flower girl dresses (from ages 6 months to 9/10 years) are approx. £69.

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Who would be an Elegance bride?

Elegance brides tend to be people that want to enjoy their experience in a relaxed and friendly setting, and who appreciate the quality behind a true designer gown such as the ones we stock. The purchase of a bridal gown doesn’t stop with just that one transaction, and with alterations and so on, we can see a bride many times in the run-up to her wedding. For this reason, we pride ourselves on the relationships we build with our brides and its always a proud moment when we see them for their final fitting right before their wedding, knowing that we’ve done everything in our power to make their dress perfect for them.

Whilst not wanting to limit ourselves to a particular ‘type’ of bride, our dresses do fall into a certain price bracket so when someone comes in with a £300-£500 budget, the only way we would be able to help out is by directing them to the dresses in our sale room (which are also stunning, but are often discontinued dresses, or ex-samples that we need to sell in order to make way for new collections).

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Are you married? 

I’m not yet married… but engaged and getting married on June 4th 2016! Everyone is always surprised to hear that I’m the owner of a Bridal Boutique and have never tried on a wedding dress in my life. Before being engaged I didn’t want to jinx it until it was my turn, and now that I am engaged I keep putting it off! Having fitted dresses to so many different people however, I have an idea of the style that will suit my figure so will be limiting myself slightly in that regard (although I can’t say what that style is, in case my fiancé reads this interview!) – and I change my mind every couple of days on my favourite dresses as I see girls trying on the different samples, so who knows which will be my final choice?!

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you?

Our website is, you can like us on Facebook, email Cat and the team at or call us on 01274 876659.

Is there anything else that Brides Up North should know?

As well as stocking our beautiful designer gowns, our in-house seamstress (another Cat!) designs and makes bespoke bridal gowns… so if you’re struggling to find that perfect dress but have an idea of what you’re looking for, Cat will be able to make it for you. We also offer a dry-clean and box service, so you can keep your gown for years to come and re-live those memories as often as you like!

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