August 16th, 2018 | Julia Braime
As the very first insight you give guests into your big day it’s super important to take time when deciding on your invites. For maximum impact you will want them to be both a nod to the colour scheme and theme you have planned for the wedding, but also a reflection you and your partner.
We therefore love stationery suppliers that give brides and grooms the option to personalise designs through their wording, colour and material choices. One such company is the fabulous Basic Invite who we’re chatting to on the blog today about their utterly gorgeous paper goods, which range from save the dates and invites to on day essentials, like name place cards, menus and guest books.
Taking custom designed wedding invitations to the next level, Basic Invite offer couples an incredible range of designs, from pretty floral creations to cool graphic prints, and then give them the power to make their stationery truly unique with 180 custom colour choices, 100 font styles, plus multiple paper types and card cuts.
Better still, they’re offering Brides Up North readers 15% off orders placed on their website – just use code 15FF51 at checkout.
So, let’s handover the blog to the team behind Basic Invite to showcase some of their delightful stationery options while talking us through the design and ordering process.
Can you give us an overview of the service and products that you offer?
basic invite say: We offer truly custom stationery for all of life’s major moments! From wedding invitations and thank you notes to personal stationery and business cards. We have a card for everything and designs to suite any style!
Why is stationery such an important element of a wedding and how can it help to enhance the build-up and the big day itself?
Wedding invitations and stationery are an important element because it’s one of the first things your guests will receive in regards to the big day. It’s important that your invitations reflect you as a couple and give guests a sneak peek into your wedding style, giving them a taste of what’s to come.
How would you describe the style of the stationery that Basic Invite offer?
We have something for everyone! We strive to offer the most innovative designs while also designing timeless options that will never go out of style. The cool thing about Basic Invite is our customisation options. This offers endless options for brides to tweak their design and make it truly unique. Brides can choose styles ranging from vintage to modern, typography to calligraphy, and even photo invitations.
What is your most popular design currently?
Our most popular design for the 2018 wedding season is definitely our watercolour wedding invitations. Brides are loving the soft touches of colour and delicate floral designs. With that said, our new Seal & Send wedding invitations are coming in as a close second. This popular line offers an all-in-one design with a tear-off RSVP card and no envelope needed as addresses are printed on the front and sealed with a custom sticker. We anticipate seeing a lot of brides going for this look in the 2019 wedding season.
How far in advance of the wedding would you advise couples to source their stationery?
The sooner the better! Based on a one-year engagement we suggest couples follow the following timeline.
8+ months order samples
6+ months order your save the dates
4+ months send your save the dates and order your wedding invitations
3+ months send your invites and order your wedding day stationery
2 weeks post-wedding send your thank you notes
What elements of the wedding would you advise couples to consider when picking their stationery and where should they look for inspiration?
Incorporating wedding colours is a huge design detail that will go a long way, especially if you are keeping a cohesive theme throughout all of your wedding festivities. Theme is another element to consider. Switching things up throughout your engagement is a fun option but designing invitations that will match and transfer across to your wedding day stationery, like your menus and place cards, will make for a solid overall look which is super classy!
Basic Invite offer various ways that couples can personalise their wedding stationery designs, can you tell us more about such options?
Our customisation options are what help us stand apart from other online stationery vendors. Not only do we offer hundreds of wedding invitation designs and so many other products, we also offer 180 custom colour choices, 100 font styles, multiple paper types and card cuts, three foil colours in two styles, and almost every aspect of reach design can be edited or customised including wording, spacing, colour, and more!
Can couples order material samples and previews of stationery products before placing their final order?
Absolutely and it’s something we highly recommend. That way customers can see their invitations first hand before they order in full. Although our website shows edits in real time it’s still a good idea to see the final product before sending hundreds out.
August 15th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
After the most romantic of proposals in Venice, it seems only fitting that today’s couple, Lucie and Harry, ended up tying the knot at another glamorous location – Denton Hall, overlooking the Yorkshire moors.
Going for a Downton Abbey vibe, with a hint of 1920s Gatsby glamour – their big day is best described as the epitome of elegance and class, with the bride wearing a fabulous champagne gown and a lively jazz band leading the procession of guests from the church along to Denton Hall. We can just imagine what a delightful surprise this would have been!
It was by no means a traditional wedding though – not only did they have ‘groomsmaids’, they also opted for a second confetti shot while cutting their cake! There is so much more to talk about though and we couldn’t possibly spoil it for you, so let’s hand the blog over to Lucie to share all the wonderful highlights, in her own words!
p.s We’ll be back at Denton Hall on Sunday 4th November 2018 for another gorgeous Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Show. Pop that date in your diaries!
With images by Barnaby Aldrick.
lucie says: We got engaged in October 2016, in Venice, at the Cipriani Hotel. I’d always wanted to take the speedboat to the hotel and have a snoop around! Harry surprised me by taking me there for what I thought was a cocktail, which then turned into a surprise dinner, followed by a proposal on a moonlit bench in the beautiful, and aptly named, Casanova Gardens. I couldn’t stop crying, and the elaborate surprise continued when it turned out we were actually staying there in a beautiful suite overlooking the iconic swimming pool. My whole family were all waiting in Harry’s Bar on Venice mainland all evening to hear whether he’d popped the question. They got the boat over for breakfast the next day – it was just amazing, and I was unpicking the elaborate web of lies they’d all told me, for weeks afterwards!
We got married on the 5th May 2018. We though that spring would be a lovely time of year to get married and we didn’t want to wait a whole two years until summer 2018.
We got married at St Helen’s Church in Denton, Ilkley, and then celebrated afterwards at Denton Hall. We looked at lots of venues, all over the country, and knew we wanted a classic, formal but fun wedding. We wanted a beautiful historic building with bedrooms so that our friends could party and stay over, plus no early curfew! Denton was an instant hit, it had all of the above plus a very delightful and experienced team who we knew would plan and deliver a seamless wedding day. There are also several different rooms, so we were able to have the party in one and created a quieter lounge for people who wanted to sit down, plus the bar and library for those who wanted to drink and chat. The spiral staircase has a huge chandelier and is the perfect spot for photo taking and cake cutting.
The views from Denton Hall are hard to beat, and we really looked forward to people seeing the beautiful moors if they hadn’t been to Yorkshire before. We were extremely lucky that the weather was amazing all weekend, so it looked even more glorious! I grew up nearby, and it was so special to tie the knot somewhere we both love and have shared many happy memories.
We wanted a Downton Abbey vibe, with some 20s Gatsby glamour! We’re lucky that we have similar and fairly classic tastes, so the style wasn’t really a hard decision for us.
We chose a navy, gold and eucalyptus colour scheme. The skirt of my dress was a champagne colour, so there were hints of gold here and there in the accessories and decorations, but overall we mostly used florals and their subtle colour tones to decorate. We both love navy, especially for men’s suits, so that was a no-brainer when it came to kitting-out the groom and his ushers. My bridesmaids wore a lovely shade of green to tie in with the florals, which also looked good next to the champagne of my dress and the men’s navy suits.
I love dressing up, so trying dresses on was really fun! My dress came from Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I knew I wanted sleeves in my dress for added elegance and don’t think I would have changed my mind on that. The original dress didn’t have them, so the very talented dressmaker worked wonders using extra lace ordered from the designer, Justin Alexander.
It was really lovely and quite unusual to have a combination of ivory and champagne colours in one dress. I loved the simplicity of the sheath style and the way the skirt fell, and also the covered buttons all the way down the train. I had a single tier veil, as I didn’t want anything bulky that would detract from the simple lines of the skirt. The veil had some little Swarovski crystals on it for a hint of shimmer in the sunlight – I loved it so much I ended up putting it back on at some late hour on the dance floor!
My outfit felt super elegant and I also added an ostrich feather stole for an added hint of 20s glamour in the evening light! Turns out I didn’t need it for warmth, but I wore it later on anyway.
I had earrings made for the bridesmaids by Laura Rhodes, of Lovebird Bridal in Ilkley. She is very talented and also made my hair vine and shoe clips, as well as some hairpins on gold wire with pearls and beads for the bridesmaids.
August 14th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There’s something about a bride on her wedding day, as she brims with beauty, elegance and an inner radiance – and today’s bride, Harriet, is certainly no exception. Looking 100% gorgeous in a fitted lace gown with capped sleeves and a delicate full-length veil, she glides down the aisle with grace. And to complete the moving moment – a live church choir performing.
Harriet and Mike chose a beautiful, natural theme to complement the countryside setting and their personalities. The rustic look was echoed on the tables of the wedding breakfast, with candles, wooden log slices and trails of ivy. The two large foliage hoops hanging from the roof of the marquee provide a pretty focal point and draw guests’ attention to the fairy-lit ceiling, which really comes into its own as the light fades and the band strikes up for the first dance.
A further detail highlight has to be the cake stand made from a tree trunk, decorated with wispy foliage and topped with a naked cake in a beautiful; summery yellow hue. Confectionery perfection!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd Clarke Photography.
harriet says: We got engaged on 17th July 2015, at the breakfast table on our balcony. Mike made a lovely cooked breakfast and shortly afterwards he brought me a red velvet cupcake that said ‘Marry Me’ on it. To my great surprise, I turned to him and he was already on one knee. Later that evening we travelled to India to explore the Himalayas. What a way to start our journey!
We got married on 5th August 2017. It was one of the only dates available at the stunning Priory Cottages where we held our reception – a very popular place! Without question we would recommend the venue; it’s simply stunning if you enjoy being in the countryside. Serena and her team were very accommodating. We also reserved all the cottages for our families, which was convenient for us.
Our ceremony took place at All Saints Church in Kirk Deighton. We chose this venue because it is a beautiful church and close to my family home. I also have fond memories of the church because my eldest sister got married there in 2012. I must give a special mention to the wonderful choir that joined us at the ceremony – Collavoce from Harrogate.
We chose a rustic theme for our wedding. I felt it complemented the venue and we also like a natural approach with nothing too extravagant. There was no set colour scheme, other than whites, greens and blush pink in the flowers to bring a hint of colour into it. We wanted it to be as natural as possible.
My dress was from a shop in York called Bridal Rogue Gallery – a full-length, white lace dress from the designer Pronovias. I chose it because I liked the fit, the lace detail and the slightly lower back. It was a very statement wedding dress for me, which I wouldn’t have normally gone for. I went into the shop thinking I would choose a completely different kind of dress but instead I fell in love with that one.
My bridal makeup was done by Laura Wilkinson. She was very friendly, professional and reasonably priced. She wasn’t pushy in any way and gave advice as to what best suited my complexion. I would recommend her to anyone.
August 8th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
The gorgeously vivid flowers that feature in today’s real wedding between Sophie and Rob add some real pizzazz to this lovely summer celebration; in pinks and oranges, purples and yellows, they pop spectacularly against the neutral marquee and white paper lanterns and balloons. Achieving a ‘grown-up boho’ vibe for their big day, Sophie and Rob opted for some lovely homemade details, such as the chalkboard running order of the day and table plan.
Sophie went with a lesser known designer for her delicate boho-inspired dress; the Inbal Raviv creation is stunning with its lace and bead embellishments and unusual tassel straps. Completing her ensemble with a headdress of vibrant flowers and a simple pair of earrings, Sophie’s look is elegant and oh-so chic with a playful twist.
Sophie and Rob had all the right connections to make their wedding extra special. Working in PR meant Sophie had access to plenty of fantastic suppliers and being the son of the Bishop of Warrington meant Rob could secure a pretty high-profile figure to conduct the ceremony – not many people can say they’ve been married by their own father!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
sophie says: We got engaged during a weekend away that Rob booked “as he had some points on his credit card” to spend, which saw us staying in a hotel in Richmond for the weekend – one of my favourite places in London. I should have thought it was all too good to be true (we were in a huge suite) but was, of course, completely oblivious. After we’d had lunch and been to the spa, he caught me off guard in the room with the ring and I was completely shocked. We then headed for a meal by the river and a few too many drinks to celebrate! The next day he’d planned a surprise Sunday lunch with friends, too: safe to say I had a very sore head on Monday at work.
We got married on 12th August 2017 and had our reception at the amazing Priory Cottages in Wetherby, which I cannot rate highly enough. We looked at loads of places online (we live in London but wanted to get married in the north as Rob is from Sheffield and I’m a Leeds girl) and wanted somewhere we could celebrate for the weekend and that felt informal and fun. The cottages meant we could have the whole wedding party stay the night before and the night of, and it had a beautiful marquee and gardens, of which we could have free reign. Serena at The Priory was amazing and answered so many of our questions, putting us at ease and making everything super easy – we would 100% recommend it. The Priory is a stunning setting (so many people said so) and the people who manage it (shout out to the lovely Serena and Phoebe) are so helpful and down to earth and honestly made the experience so hassle free and easy. I asked so many questions and they always had an answer and can suggest great suppliers to work with, as well as tips for the big day.
We had our ceremony in a gorgeous village church up the road from The Priory, called Wighill Church. Rob’s dad is part of the church (at the time, the Bishop of Warrington) and so he married us, which was one of the most amazing parts of the day. He got everyone laughing and really matched the service to our personalities and became a bit of a celebrity at the reception afterwards.
For transport, we splashed out and hired a little red sports car – an AC Cobra for anyone who knows anything about cars – from Classic Car Hire North, which actually became one of our favourite bits about the day – it looked so good in pictures! My dad drove him and I to the church and then Rob and I drove back with the top down (the hair wasn’t loving it, but it was worth it) down all the pretty country roads.
There was no theme as such but we’re both quite non-traditional in our style and wanted something laid back to match the countryside setting. If forced to say so, I would describe it as ‘grown-up boho’, which probably started with my dress and came through in everything else. We just tried to pick things that felt like our personality. We had such a great backdrop to begin with, with The Priory, which really brought everything together.
In terms of a colour scheme, I scoured Pinterest and became obsessed with big, bright bouquets and flowers, which is the opposite to my usual style as I’m often dressed head to toe in black or one simple colour, but I loved the pictures and so decided that, to make it more ‘us’, we’d create a really simple white blank canvas, with white lanterns and balloons, and then have bright flowers popping throughout.
August 7th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Viewing shopping for wedding rings as so much more than another task on the ‘big day to-do list’, our wonderful Sponsor Lister Horsfall is keen to make the experience a truly special occasion for couples who visit their Ilkley or Halifax stores.
As such, brides- and grooms-to-be are treated to expert advice, complimentary fizz and a fabulous choice of options, whether picking a brand design or a totally bespoke piece.
But it’s not just the bands they can assist with. Housing a spectacular range of jewellery collections, the experienced team can also advise brides on the accessories for their day, plus help to pick out memorable gifts for those within the wedding party who deserve an extra special thank you.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, the generous team are offering Brides Up North readers a fabulous offer up until 30th November 2018: buy a wedding ring set from Lister Horsfall and receive a free pair of pearl earrings worth £100. Simply mention this Brides Up North blog post and offer in-store when visiting*.
To tell us more, we welcome General Manager Gemma Moody, to the blog.
Images provided by Lister Horsfall.
Can you give us a brief overview of Lister Horsfall?
gemma says: Lister Horsfall opened his Halifax jewellers back in 1902 – our proudly family-run Yorkshire business is still one of the crown jewels of the county’s top-end shopping experiences over 116 years later – and it’s this heritage, knowledge and experience passed on through generations, that brings customers to us when they want to mark a special moment in time with jewellery.
You can find us in Halifax and Ilkley, and both stores offer our customers an inviting and comfortable environment in which to explore collections. Our Halifax branch also houses our luxurious Bridal Suite, giving grooms and brides-to-be the perfect place to choose their engagement and wedding rings whilst enjoying complimentary drinks from our in-store bar.
We stock a range of jewellery from the likes of FOPE, Mikimoto, Furrer Jacot, Messika, Ponte Vecchio, Brown & Newirth, FEU Diamonds, Diamond by Appointment and CARAT. These brands offer stunning ranges and if you’re looking for bridal jewellery, bridesmaids’ gifts or even something special for the mother-of-the-bride, you’ll find the perfect choice.
In addition, we hold watches by Rolex, Tudor, Omega, Breitling, Tag Hauer, Longines and more, both new and pre-owned – which make for the perfect ‘for him’ gift if you want to mark an engagement or wedding with something memorable.
How far in advance of the wedding should couples start to shop for their wedding rings?
On average, couples start to choose their wedding rings about three months before the wedding. However, if you would like a bespoke set making, we’d advise starting the process about six months before – although we do cater for those quick turnaround moments where couples don’t want to wait before tying the knot, so we work with all kinds of timelines!
What elements should couples take into account when shopping for their rings?
We apply the same principles as shopping for an engagement ring when advising customers – agree your budget and perhaps have some thoughts on the styles you prefer. After all, we want our customers to enjoy such a special moment and feel comfortable with what they have spent so it doesn’t impact on their budget for the big day.
As you will be shopping together, you may want to consider whether your bands will be plain or set with diamonds, or whether you’ll want them engraving. Other considerations are the durability of the metal you choose, and how it fits with your lifestyle. Equally, make sure that the wedding band will sit well with your engagement ring and not wear it away.
As well as varying metals, what other choices do couples have in terms of the design of the ring?
Wherever you shop there’s an array of choices on offer, wedding ring designs have come a long way in recent years and we’ve moved on from choosing between just plain bands or diamond set.
You can choose between polished, matt and brushed effects, in a variety of metals, or select rings with mixed metals. And, if you want to go further on the finish, you could choose a more patterned ring, from a hammered effect or flat top, to a bevel or grooved one or even one with millgrain edges. In terms of diamond set, there are rings available that also incorporate patterned metals in addition to plain, so the choice is endless.
Regarding width and depth of rings, often this is led by the shape of the engagement ring as we advise on selecting a ring that will fit well with it. For gents, it’s all down to personal taste and style, we haven’t spotted a trend preference in that area.
Of course, some rings can bear an inscription that is personal to you, and our team can guide you through the ranges that offer this complimentary service.
The other thing to note is that, despite the vast choice on offer, sometimes our couples want rings creating that are unique and personal to them, which is why we offer a bespoke design service. We make a lot of wedding rings and love working with couples to get the design that is perfect for them.
Ultimately, whatever style, design or finish you choose, the only thing we say is to remember that you’ll be wearing it every day for the rest of your life!
What style of wedding rings are proving popular with couples currently?
We’ve seen a rise in rose gold styles and mixed metals, which is probably because so many couples are looking for something a little different and more individual to them within their peer groups.
As ever though, platinum and palladian are popular, and we’d recommend choosing platinum due to its brightness in colour and as it is a hardier metal.
What type of service can couples expect when shopping for their wedding rings at Lister Horsfall?
Every customer is treated with the same respect and care here at Lister Horsfall, whether you are someone who has shopped with us before or it’s your first visit to us. We understand that it’s both an emotional and exciting time when someone is about to propose or get married, so we make sure that couples get the best experience to help them make their day as perfect as possible. We don’t see ring shopping as a ‘job to be done’, we believe it’s an occasion in its own right in the run up to a wedding or civil partnership and treat it as such.
It’s why we created the bridal areas that we have in our stores – intimate settings where you can explore and try on the different ranges, seek advice and ring recommendations from our down-to-earth and experienced team, whilst relaxing and soaking up this special moment with complimentary champagne.
In addition, all our customers benefit from the Lister Horsfall promise, meaning that every piece of jewellery that you buy from us is entitled to a lifetime of clean, re-size and polish, and free valuations in the future. And, if you buy an engagement ring from us, you also receive 10% off wedding rings.
How can you assist a bride-to-be in selecting the right jewellery for her big day?
When a bride comes to us to select jewellery for her wedding day, we will talk about the colour and style of the dress, be it traditional, vintage, city-driven or boho-chic for example. This gives us a lead on the style of jewellery we would recommend to the bride, whilst also taking in to account her personal taste.
The devil really is in the detail though, so we also take in to consideration the finer elements such as the neckline, sleeve length and bridal hairstyling, as this gives us guidance as to what we’d recommend for lengths of the necklace, weight of a bracelet or even whether to go for studs or drop earrings.
From our experience, we know that pairing the right jewellery with a bridal outfit really does enhance the overall look and helps make the bride feel extra fabulous on one of the most important days of her life.
August 2nd, 2018 | Rachel Parry
While the main focus of a bride’s big day look is on her dress, there are numerous other elements that contribute to the finely tuned finished look. From hair accessories, shoes and underwear to polished hair and makeup, time and consideration is most certainly needed to ensure these all come together in harmony.
As such, we’re looking to our wonderfully-talented Sponsor, top British bridal designer Caroline Castigliano, for her dos and don’ts when it comes to accessorising your dress. So, ladies, be sure to take note as there are lots of gems of advice below that will help in your pursuit to avoid visible bra lines, awkward shoes and dreaded hair and makeup faux pas.
In your opinion, how can the right finishing touches enhance and complete a bride’s big day look?
caroline says: Accessories are very important to finishing off a ‘look’ for your big day and can make the simplest gown look glamorous. A favourite of mine is a silk crepe fishtail gown with a long two tier veil a beaded belt, complete with drop earrings and a matching bracelet – timeless, stunning and glamorous. Similarly, if you want a traditional look you could use crown as a headpiece with a cathedral length veil.
How do brides go about selecting the right underwear for their dress? Do you have any bridal lingerie shopping tips?
First of all, make sure you are professionally measured before you purchase your bra to make sure that you get a perfect shape and fit. Choose something simple and comfortable on your wedding day in ivory or nude. Bows and lace look pretty but can create uneven, visible lines.
The bra shape all depends on the gown you have selected – a good supportive strapless bra with soft, moulded, seam-free cups will give you smooth lines underneath a strapless dress.
And what about the shoes?
It’s advisable to have bridal shoes when you are measured for your dress. When choosing your shoes consider first and foremost your comfort for the day – you want to have the best day of your life, so comfort is essential.
Also, make sure you do not have brooches or bead work that will snag the bottom of your dress or a flap that the bottom of the dress will catch behind – you won’t notice until you see the pictures but then it will be to late!
What advice do you have for brides when picking their bridal jewellery – what would you suggest for a timeless look and for a statement look?
A lot of the decisions regarding jewellery come from the actual design of the dress. Timeless conjures up the idea of a simple chain necklace (platinum or gold) with either a diamond solitaire or a pearl with matching stud earrings. A statement would be more chunky big earrings and bracelet – again this all depends on the design of the gown and the total vision you are creating – modern chic will be different to understated and romantic.
If a bride is looking to switch up her look from day to night but doesn’t have the budget for two dresses what accessories could she use to style her dress in different ways?
I would look at having a shrug that could maybe be removed in the evening, there is also the possibility of wearing a straight or fishtailed gown and adding a large overskirt that is detachable. This means during the day you can appear to have a large full traditional dress and then take off the over skirt in the evening to reveal a body skimming fishtail. If you then also removed the shrug you could spend the evening in a strapless, skimming fishtail perhaps also adding a jewelled belt – two great looks!
Are you a fan of a veil?
Most definitely! I am passionate about veils – the wedding is the only day in your life you can wear one and they add such a wonderful touch of romance to the whole occasion.
My opinion on veils is they should always be cathedral length, to the floor so there are no break lines down the dress – it should be a simple sheer vision – of course the choice is broad when it comes to veil selection – any length is possible and then you have trims; beautiful laces, satin edges – the choice is endless.
And what about their hairstyle? Why would you encourage a bride to hire a professional stylist and what should they take into consideration when picking the right hair style for their wedding day?
I always say go to your wedding looking like the woman your fiancée has fallen in love with. I do not understand why a woman would want to wear her hair entirely differently on her wedding day.
It is best if you can afford it to have a professional hairdresser on hand to do your hair – they will ensure your headpiece is in place and set the veil, so it does not move and overall ensure you look perfect. It is advisable to have a few run throughs before the day, so you are confident with the style and that will help you relax on the day.
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