February 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime
It’s no secret that these pretty pages are a big source of inspiration, not only to our bride to be readers (who we love very much) but also to our wedding industry followers. I love that this creative industry of ours is – in general – such a fabulously supportive environment in which to work. I know that I owe a lot to the wedding industry friends who have championed my blog and brand over the years, so I hope you’ll take a break from the wedding planning (get some work done!) as I direct this morning’s feature squarely their way.
One such friend, and someone who is always prepared to give so much back to others in our field is the beautiful Cat of Cat Hepple Photography. Always one of my favourite ladies to work with (she created the stunning set of images for our rebrand back in April of 2014) and on my personal speed dial for advice on making things look really, really pretty, she certainly is one clever Cat.
I’d like to welcome Cat to the pages of the wedding blog today as she shares her latest achievement with us: she’s only gone and published a book! “The Power of Posing: win clients, create perfect poses and boost your business” is a guide for photographers, written to help them boost their skills and book more clients. This 28,000 word downloadable guide is designed to show photographers all the steps they need to take to put their clients at ease and to teach them to trust, so they take direction and the result is gorgeous images full of emotion.
I know that our photographer friends (*waves!*) will be reading with interest, as might any enthustiatic amateurs and anyone who just wants to take better personal pictures, so I’ll hand you over to the lovely Ms. Hepple.
Take it from someone who has been “posed” by Cat and loved the results: this is a tome that everyone needs in their creative library.
cat says: In the four years I’ve been a professional photographer, there’s one question I get asked more than any other by people in the industry: “How DO you get people to look so magazine worthy and yet so natural?”
To me it’s always seemed to be a strange question because posing my clients and getting them to look sensational has been one of my favourite parts of being a photographer, right from the start. I can’t imagine having it any other way. I’ve never done it any other way.
I’m not saying I’ve always known exactly what to do with them, how to guide and direct them but I have been certain from the very beginning of how I want them to look and feel and I’ve worked very hard to create techniques and routines which really help me achieve that.
I love posing people. I know that puts me in the minority in the world of photographers ( a bit like how much I love public speaking, again I know that probably makes me a bit odd!) but I get enormous satisfaction from creating a beautiful image which not only looks fabulous but captures a mood too. Because without emotion, your photographs are just poses, and nothing more. Emotion and mood are critical to connect an image with someone’s soul. So many photographers worry that by focusing on posing the emotion will be lost. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
So I’ve studied hard, not just how to pose someone by moving their arms and legs, hands and feet, but the psychology of working with people. I’ve learnt a lot about trust, building a client’s confidence in me and how to make that work on a shoot. I’ve studied people, considered ways to work with different body shapes and confidence levels and I’ve applied what I’ve learnt to my work. And now it’s all in a new book I’ve written for photographers.
The chances are you currently:
My book will help you to:
A simple process you can rely on.
A way to gain confidence.
Trust from your clients so they do what you ask them to do.
The art of winning people around.
The ways to guide people into poses.
The secrets to getting natural images.
Yourself as a posing expert.
Build a reputation for incredibly natural images.
Be in demand and get more bookings, because you make people look and feel amazing.
In addition to the book, Cat is now available for one to one mentoring sessions to help you develop even further and look in depth at your own specific business needs.
Visit her new website to buy the book and for more details of Cat’s mentoring offering.
And if you’re a bride to be reader who stuck around and has liked what you’ve seen, you can book Cat for your own wedding by getting in touch here.
February 19th, 2015 | Julia Braime
One of my favourite ever scenes in Friends (hey, I’m a big fan!) is the one where Monica, Rachel and Phoebe head to the NYC dress sale to search for Monica’s dream wedding dress. Issued with whistles by the ever competitive Monica to attract attention if they locate the gown, the girls split up. A frenzied scene results in a tussle over tulle and Jennifer Aniston cowering under a rail of frocks, using her whistle to sound the search alarm.
Girls, now’s your chance to unleash your inner Monica.
Our North East readers are sorted for this weekend’s plans, but Cheshire ladies… clear your calendar.
The big north sample sale is brought to you by three leading bridal boutiques in the North-West – Agapé Bridal Boutique, Love Bridal Boutique and The White Closet, and will be held at one of Cheshire’s most popular and one of Brides Up North’s own favourite wedding venues (we’ll be here a month later for our fabulous Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition), The Bowdon Rooms this Sunday 22nd February 2015.
This is the first collaboration of its kind in the North West, developed by three innovative boutiques who had the idea of bringing a host of leading bridal designers together all under one roof for Northern brides-to-be, offering a broad selection of bridal gown styles at amazing discounted prices.
Usually, a bridal boutique would host their own individual sample sale event meaning only a limited amount of brides are able to attend, with a smaller selection of dresses to choose from. The three boutiques involved pride themselves on being in tune with their brides, and knowing that the average bride likes to view a number of designers before making their final dress decision, what better way to present a sample sale than to bring the crème de la crème of bridal designers together for one exclusive event! The Big North Sample Sale allows a larger number of brides to attend and choose from a wide variety of fabulous gowns and designers.
With a collection of much sought after designers including Jenny Packham, Alan Hannah, Temperley London, Charlotte Balbier, Stephanie Allin, Stewart Parvin, Claire Pettibone, Amanda Wakeley, Terry Fox, Raimon Bundo, Ian Stuart and many many more, and with dresses available from £100 to £1700, this event is going to be seriously popular. There will also be a selection of accessories on offer too and some bridesmaid gowns. Savvy brides who know their designers, and appreciate great quality gowns will be in their element with dresses for sale at a fraction of the price. This event will also suit brides who have a shorter timescale to find their dress and whose only option may be to buy ‘off the rail’. Sample dress sizes range from 8-14.
all gowns featured are available to buy at the event
Brides will have the opportunity to try on gowns at the event, choosing a maximum of 2 at a time. There will be dedicated changing areas (predominantly communal changing areas with some private changing areas available too) and lots of mirrors around the venue. Brides are encouraged to wear nude underwear and also bring a pair of heels of the height they are thinking of wearing on their wedding day. Bridal experts from each boutique will also be on hand to offer any advice on any alterations required, recommended seamstress contacts, dry cleaning etc (alterations and dry cleaning are not included in the dress price) There is a strict girls only policy at the event too!
Payment for dresses will be by cash or card (Visa, Mastercard or Maestro).
Whistles at the ready!
agape bridal boutique, Alan Hannah, amanda wakeley, brides up north featured supplier, charlotte balbier, claire pettibone, ian stuart, Jenny Packham, love bridal boutique, raimon bundo, stephanie allin, stewart parvin, temperley london, terry fox, the big north sample sale, the bowdon rooms, the white closet, wedding dress
February 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime
The perfect valentine’s inspired bridal slipper.
I’m loved up.
February 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime
I do love a stunning piece of architecture and clearly so too do today’s real wedding couple Kate and Chris, who picked Manchester’s beautiful Palace Hotel in which to tie the knot.
Its regal marble floors, wood panelling and domed ceiling provided a stunning backdrop for the couple’s vows and evening reception. During the day the new Mr and Mrs headed out onto the streets of Manchester with their photographer James Tracey, for some edgy urban shots which contrast beautifully with those taken inside The Palace.
In addition to a great location, highlights of Kate and Chris’s big day include an opulent colour scheme, delicious food and toe-tapping entertainment. Enjoy!
With images by James Tracey Photography.
kate says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2013. I had an idea Chris might propose but when I opened all my presents and there was no ring I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. However later in the day Chris surprised me by asking me to marry him and gave me a beautiful ring. As it was Christmas it was great being with family to help celebrate our engagement.
Our wedding date was 4th October 2014. We knew we wanted a local wedding but we weren’t too bothered about it being in the summer months as you can’t guarantee the British weather. Instead we decided on early October as it was just out of season but we though the weather wouldn’t be too wintery.
We got married at The Palace Hotel in Manchester city centre. We wanted our ceremony and reception all in one venue but wanted to find somewhere with character which is why we both loved The Palace Hotel. As soon as we walked into the hotel and saw the domed ceiling we both knew it was right for us. We also thought that the hotel would be a great backdrop for our photographs in case the weather was really bad and we couldn’t have any outside, but luckily on the day we were able to get a mixture of both.
I’d definitely recommend The Palace Hotel as a wedding venue. It’s a beautiful setting for a wedding and the layout works really well. We liked the fact that the ceremony room was separate to where we had our wedding breakfast and the bar area had plenty of space for all the guests. The wedding organisers were very helpful, and on the day the service and staff were great. We didn’t have to worry about anything which is what you want on your wedding day.
When looking for wedding inspiration I loved rich, jewel colours, which I thought would be perfect for an autumnal wedding rather than the more pastel shades that you often see in spring and summer. We decided to go for two colours in the end, a deep purple and a teal colour. The teal bridesmaid dresses were the first things I bought and I thought matching the exact colour of the dresses might be difficult which is why we introduced the purple colour. I loved the fact we had two colours and that everything didn’t have to match.
I love sparkles and lace so my wedding dress was the perfect combination of both. The dress was by Ellis from the Blossom Collection. I bought it from Timeless Bride in Poynton. Janine, the owner, is lovely and made the whole experience really great. I saw the dress on the shop’s website and when I tried it on I knew it was the one! I loved the keyhole back design and little details such as the staggered button back and the floral gem waistband, which made it different to other dresses I tried on.
Chris chose his own suit and I didn’t see it until the morning of the wedding! He did a brilliant job. He wore a navy blue morning suit with a dove grey waistcoat and gold tie. He hired the suit from Swarbricks but bought his shirt and tie from Charles Tyrwhitt.
My four best friends who were my bridesmaids wore floor-length teal dresses from Coast. I actually got them in the January sales so they were a great bargain. The groomsmen wore the same navy blue morning suits and grey waistcoat as Chris. We also bought the shirts and ties for them but they wore purple ties rather than gold.
A soon as I booked the wedding I knew I wanted Donna Crompton at The Halo Rooms to do mine and my bridesmaids’ hair. She’s fantastic at up dos and is great for ideas and inspiration. Donna also put me in touch with Louise Elliott, a freelance makeup artist who did my makeup on the day. It was great being pampered on the morning of the wedding and not having to worry about anything.
I decided I didn’t want to spend a lot on transport to the venue so I travelled in a black cab to the hotel with my brother who gave me away. My bridesmaids followed behind in a separate taxi. Chris stayed at the Palace Hotel the night before the wedding so he had no excuses for being late!
We used James Tracey Photography for our photos, who we booked after he photographed my brother’s wedding the previous year. We loved James’ style of photography; he’s really friendly but also very professional and talented. He captured our day perfectly and we are so pleased with the lasting memories of our wedding day. We ended up with a great mix of more traditional and contemporary photos, especially the ones he took around Manchester city centre. I’d absolutely recommend James.
Before the wedding, I had a craft day with my bridesmaids where we created our bouquets. I liked that with artificial flowers I could create exactly what I wanted and not be restricted by what was available in terms of types of flowers and colours. It was also a cheaper alternative to fresh flowers and I’m able to keep my bouquet forever.
The Palace Hotel was great and helped with setting up our room on the day of the wedding. I had in my mind how I wanted the room to look and they recreated it perfectly. I provided mirrors, tea lights and scatter crystals for the guests’ tables and the hotel provided the candelabra. For the top table we had floating candles in glass vases as well as my bridesmaid bouquets. We also used Divine Designs who provided white chair covers with a purple sash to finish the room off.
Our favours also doubled up as our name places. Each guest had their name printed on a traditional sweetshop paper bag which we filled with a few pick ‘n’ mix sweets. Keeping on the sweet theme, our wedding cake was a gift from Chris’ parents. It was made by Joanne Howson at Imagicakes. It was three tiers – chocolate, lemon and carrot cake in a ‘bling and rose’ design. It looked stunning but it also tasted delicious!
We both love music and knew we wanted some sort of entertainment for our evening reception. In the end we booked the Live Lounge Duo who are Danny Lee and Gary Kirk. They played a great mix of songs that got everyone up on the dance floor straight away. As part of our package they also provided a DJ, which was great for keeping the party going until late.
We also had a photo booth set up for the evening reception, which was great fun. All the guests enjoyed getting dressed up with the props they provide. The photos are printed instantly which was perfect as the guests all went home with a memento from the wedding. We hired the booth for a couple of hours from Phil Burdge at Digi-booth.net.
It’s hard to say my favourite part of the day as I really did love every minute of it, it’s such a special feeling. I think we both enjoyed the evening reception when the party got started. It’s so nice to have all your friends and family together celebrating with you and having a good time.
We went on a two week road trip to Las Vegas and California as we wanted an action packed honeymoon. We spent five nights in Vegas and then flew to San Diego for a couple of nights. From there we drove up the Pacific highway stopping at various places such as LA and Santa Barbara before we reached San Francisco for the last part of our honeymoon. It was amazing!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be decide on the things that matter the most to you both about your day and spend your wedding budget on these things. It’s easy to get carried away and stress over things that won’t even matter to you on the day. Most of all, remember to enjoy it and have fun!
February 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This morning, I gave you the heads up on some of my very favourite Yorkshire venues, and I’m swinging by this afternoon with a special treat for one lucky couple from my friends at Dine At The Mansion.
I work really closely with award winning event caterers and venue managers Dine at their venues (check out our fantastic exhibition schedule here) and so I’m really proud to help them unveil their beautifully refurbished Garden Room Restaurant at this iconic Leeds venue with this special competition.
I have a feeling that love is in the air…
My friends at Dine would love you to join them to celebrate St Valentine’s Day with dinner for two at The Mansion, their beautiful wedding venue in the heart of Roundhay Park.
For one lucky couple, the evening is on them – just like the Dine Facebook page & share their Valentine’s Competition image for your chance to win.
Happy St Valentine’s y’all!
Love, julia x
Competition closes at midnight on 09/02/15. No cash alternative. Prize includes dinner for two from set menu. Prize does not include drinks. Dine At The Mansion Ltd’s decision is final. Winner to be notified via Facebook by Dine At The Mansion Ltd.
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