Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

#getcreative: bridal beauty by aj edgar mua

January 15th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

AJ Edgar MUA (13)

While it can be tempting to have a complete beauty overhaul ahead of your big day, we believe it’s incredibly important to be the very best version of you on that special day, and not to take things too far so that you look like someone else altogether.

With this being our mantra, we’re very much in favour of our talented Sponsor Alexandra Jane Edgar’s approach to bridal beauty: “you wear the makeup, it does not wear you”. For, as Alexandra explains in today’s post, hiring a professional to create your wedding makeup doesn’t mean changing the way you look, but enhancing your features and complementing your big day plans, with luxury brand products that are kind to skin and long-lasting.

As an out and out pro, with experience of working for and training with some of the world’s most luxurious brands and cosmetics houses, we’ve invited Alexandra to the blog today to tell us more about her fabulous makeup services while also sharing a few top tips and tricks along the way…

With images by Joe Laws Photography.

AJ Edgar MUA (2)

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to be in the wedding industry?

alexandra says: Yearning for a creative career I began working in the cosmetics industry 16 years ago. I have represented the world’s most luxurious brands and cosmetics houses and have had extensive training throughout my career from the industry leading names, such as Lisa Eldridge, Francois Nars, Eve Nom and Sylvie Chantecaille. I have been so fortunate to come into the wedding industry purely through client demand for my services on their big day.

Can you give us an overview of the services that you offer and the area that you cover?

I travel throughout the North East to your bridal venue on your big day. I am based full time in an award-winning wedding and portrait photography studio in Newcastle Upon Tyne. This is where you can come for your makeup trial and very excitingly receive a digital photograph. This is a wonderful opportunity to see how you will photograph on your wedding day whilst giving you a confidence boost and a little experience being in front of a camera. We even host hen party experiences, which is fun opportunity to meet us and trial your big day look, with a fabulous photo shoot of you and your bridal party.

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How can brides-to-be prepare for a wedding makeup trial?

Start to consider your wedding day look when you have chosen your palette, flowers etc. so we can complement your ideas. It really is important to know you are going to look and feel your best on your wedding day. I can then also advise you on skincare to really get your complexion radiant in plenty of time for your big day. Afterwards, just relax and look forward to your wedding morning.

Why would you recommend a bride hires in a professional makeup artist for their big day?

Brides tell me they could not have achieved the same look themselves and they all enjoy a professional, pampering and relaxing service on their wedding morning.

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What should a bride look for when hiring a makeup artist?

It is your day! You need a good relationship with any professional to feel happy and confident.  Experience is essential. I use luxury brands of skincare and makeup and I create looks for ladies of all ages every day.

What would you say is the best part of your job and what you excel at?

I love meeting new people and being a part of your most special day is so rewarding and the feedback from my brides and the bridal party is so positive and encouraging. I am told from my clients that they do not feel any makeup on their skin so they can just feel and be themselves. This is definitely my signature style – you wear the makeup, it does not wear you. Making a woman feel transformed, beautiful and her best is extremely empowering.

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Where do you look to for inspiration?

I work in such a creative space, as a team we are constantly challenging ourselves with new looks, lighting techniques, photographic editing. We pore over fashion magazines and Instagram for inspiration and bounce lots of ideas around the studio and on location. We never stop creating – #getcreative is our thing. I recently created a stunning Baroque inspired look for a shoot for Kathryn Russell, an incredible couture bridal gown designer who is based in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne.

What bridal makeup looks are in vogue currently?

Brides always tend to require timeless and classic makeup for their wedding day. I’ve recently noticed an increase in brides requiring elements of glitter and sparkle into their looks too.

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country luxe: a seasonally glamorous styled shoot at castle farm barn

January 12th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

Country Luxe at Castle Farm Barn (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (17)

You’d be forgiven for thinking an entire garden had gone into the creation of today’s styled shoot. The frothy floral creations bursting with abundant rich greenery brought together by our wonderful Sponsor Leafy Couture, plus the most wonderful sweet treats gracing the dessert table (and the cute little tomatillos on the place settings), are enough to turn our eyes heart-shaped!

The shoot was orchestrated by florist extraordinaire Sarah of Leafy Couture, who runs flower classes, including DIY wedding flower classes for beginners and hen party flower crown tutorials – great options for our crafty brides-to-be out there!

It’s fair to say we are totally blown away by this shoot as there is so much beauty to feast your eyes on and gorgeous inspiration to take note of. As such, we’ll hand over the blog to the lovely Sarah, so she can fill us in on the all-important details…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Laura Calderwood Photography.

Country Luxe at Castle Farm Barn (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (28)

sarah says: Castle Farm Barn in Knaresborough, is a beautiful space in a gorgeous setting; the perfect blank canvas. The inspiration for our styled shoot was the fact we really wanted to show how to make the tables stand out and add interest to a barn space. We wanted to portray a luxury feel while keeping a country vibe, using textured foliage and seasonal-inspired tones. Small details were added, such as autumn fruits and velvet ribbons, to complement the linen and tableware. Bridal P.A. styled the shoot, assisted by L27 Weddings.

Country Luxe at Castle Farm Barn (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (60)

In the bouquet, we used beautiful seasonal flowers, including antirrhinums, avalanche roses, eryngium, eucalyptus parvifolia, wax flower, succulents, astilbe and prunus. In the frame, we used succulents, wax flower, eryngium, tuberose, astilbe, moss and ranunculus. The buttonholes comprised an avalanche rose, euc parvi, wax flower and succulent, while the wrist cuff showcased a succulent, wax flower and viburnum tinus. We were assisted in the floristry by The Mindful Florist, Inspirations 288 and Sandra’s Flower Studio.

Country Luxe at Castle Farm Barn (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (46)

For the styling, we used gold icon vases, antique gold candelabras and floral hoops to make use of the roof space within the barn. Extra details were added with votives, candlelight and fresh petals, all creating an opulent feel.

Country Luxe at Castle Farm Barn (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (12)

Our models, Phoebe and Eve, wore amazing wedding dresses designed and supplied by Charlotte Balbier and bridesmaid dresses by ASOS. The wedding gowns had an elegant, timeless look with a touch of 1940’s/50’s Hollywood glamour. The makeup by Smink Make-up Artistry (who also styled the hair) was natural with an understated feel, yet achieved a glamorous look with berried tones.

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new year offer: caroline castigliano x omniya

January 12th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Simplicity with Juliet Cape

We’re bringing you an extra post this lunchtime with details of a super-special new year offer courtesy of our wonderful Sponsor and leading British bridal designer, Caroline Castigliano.

To celebrate the start of 2018, Caroline and her team are offering brides-to-be a fantastic shopping experience at their Knightsbridge flagship store.

During appointments, brides will be able to sip on champagne as they are guided through their consultation assisted by experienced wedding stylists, who are all pros in bringing each bride’s individual big day vision to life.

And as an extra special treat, Caroline has teamed up with OMNIYA, the leading mediclinic in Knightsbridge, to offer brides-to-be a fantastic opportunity to prepare their skin and body ahead of their dream day. Quite literally the best January gift a bride could wish for!

Those who order a full-price bridal gown from Caroline Castigliano’s Knightsbridge store up until 31st January 2018, will receive a complimentary 30-minute face consultation and will also be given the opportunity to have six facials for the price of three at OMNIYA, a fantastic saving of 50% off.

To make an appointment at the Caroline Castigliano flagship store, call 0207 590 9120 or request via their website.

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be beautiful: say hello to becca hunton hair & makeup

January 11th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

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If there’s one day you should be pampered and preened celebrity style, it’s your wedding day – and so a professional hair and makeup artist is a must in our books!

Not only are these pros up to date with all the latest looks, but they have the skills, products and tools to keep your beauty game strong all-day long.

Today on the blog we’re catching up with one of our fabulous Sponsors who has 15 years’ experience in the industry, having worked for top brands and national fashion events before focusing on the wedding industry to make brides look and feel their most beautiful.

So, say hello to the lovely Becca Hunton – a Yorkshire-based hair stylist and makeup artist who has a particular passion for bohemian and vintage looks, and who is here today to tell us all about her services while passing on some real beauty advice gems, so prepare to take note ladies…

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How long have you been in the industry for, can you tell us a little about your background?

becca says: I’ve been in the hair and makeup industry since leaving school at 16. Over the past 15 years I’ve gained so much knowledge and experience. I absolutely love my job and I couldn’t think of doing anything else. Over the years I’ve gained a diploma at London College of Fashion. I worked for Toni & Guy – a real high point of my career was working on shows at London Fashion Week for Toni & Guy’s styling team. This had been a dream of mine since being very young and watching the clothes show every Sunday. I regularly attend courses at the Illamasqua School of Makeup, keeping my techniques up to date.  I kind of fell into the wedding industry but I couldn’t happier. There’s no better feeling than making a bride feel her very best on her most important day.

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Can you give us an overview of the services that you offer and the area that you cover?

When booking me you can choose a bespoke package to suit your big day. Whether it be I just come in the morning and get you all ready, or I can stay until after the photos for any needed touch ups. I also offer a full day package to have me on hand throughout the day, I can give you an evening look and I can also offer hair and makeup touch ups for the guests, getting them in the party mood for the night ahead.

I’m based in Northallerton and cover the surrounding area, the Yorkshire Dales, York and as far as Leeds, Newcastle or Durham.  I can travel further afield, or abroad, which is something that can be discussed.

How far in advance would you advise brides to book a makeup artist and hair stylist?

I advise booking as early as you can, dates fill up extremely fast. Even as much as two years in advance.

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Why would you recommend a bride hires in a professional to do their hair and makeup rather than doing it themselves?

By hiring a professional hair and makeup artist you’re taking the stress out of your morning and receiving VIP treatment on that most important day. Your hair and makeup will last all day and you will look your very best on your wedding photos. I always recommend a trial before the big day too, so we can plan out exactly what we are doing.

What should a bride look for when hiring a makeup artist / hair stylist?

When choosing your hair and makeup artist, choose somebody who reflects your tastes and style. It’s very personal to you and you want somebody who understands what suits you and your tastes. Websites, Instagram and Pinterest will give you a good idea of the person you’re about the hire.

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What is it that you love about your job and would you say that you have a signature style?

I’m very versatile and love creating all sorts of different looks, but I’d say I attract a bohemian or vintage type of bride. I’m a hippie at heart and think that shines through my work.

Where do you take inspiration from? Any celebrity crushes?

I have a few celebrity crushes and style icons. I love how quirky Helena Bonham Carter looks and her crazy, dishevelled hair. I also love how effortlessly beautiful Sienna Miller can be, she always looks so natural and bohemian. I also follow a lot of Fearne Cotton, I love her style and how she puts outfits together. She always looks fab!

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dream venue: howsham hall

January 10th, 2018 | Julia Braime

04-Photography by Jane Beadnell-UNVEILED at Howsham Hall17

Here at Brides Up North we pride ourselves on keeping you, our wonderful readers, informed on all the latest developments, trends and announcements in the wedding industry, and in particular, the fabulous offering of venues and suppliers in the North of the country.

We’re therefore delighted to be introducing you to another spectacular venue located in the top half of the UK that has just recently opened its doors to brides and grooms, providing a brand-new celebration setting that hasn’t been seen before.

Located in Malton, near York, Howsham Hall is a Grade I Jacobean stately home, which has been transformed into one of the most impressive wedding venues we’ve had the pleasure of visiting, with the most incredible interiors that have to be seen to be believed!

Adding to its already fabulous portfolio of venues, award-winning hospitality specialists Dine will provide couples marrying at Howsham with a full event management service and first-class catering to complete their dream day.

Images by Jane Beadnell Photography for UNVEILED Magazine (styled by yours truly no less!) and DJB Photography.

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Can you tell us a little about the history of Howsham Hall?

dine say: The Grade I listed Howsham Hall lies to the north east of York in a quiet, secluded valley. Originally part of a large traditional estate stretching to 11,000 acres and having been a family home for 350 years. Howsham Hall has been transformed into a luxurious North Yorkshire countryside retreat, located 14 miles from York.

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How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?

A beautiful blend of heritage and modern luxe. Far from the traditional, tired country house – this Jacobean treasure has been restored to an exceptionally high standard. Accentuating stunning original features with a splash of modern interior design, creating a truly stunning space for private hire.

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Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas and how many guests the venue can cater for?

There are five formal reception rooms – 250 guests can be accommodated in a marquee in the grounds or 160 for a seated meal in the house. Each room is unique and in particular, the Great Hall and Drawing Room lend themselves beautifully to wedding ceremonies and celebrations.

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What makes Howsham Hall a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

The stunning building has never been used for weddings before, so you won’t be copying any of your friends or family with your venue choice. Those marrying at Howsham are also given exclusive use of the venue, so couples and their guests can enjoy total privacy during your stay at the Hall.

What sort of bride would be a Howsham Hall bride?

A bride who wants something totally unique, with a little luxury and grandeur. For a blushing bride that wants total privacy on her day with the most incredible food and service to match the breath-taking setting.

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How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

We will make sure that the finer details are taken care of; your dedicated event manager will run through your requirements and will work with you to create your perfect day – they will be there with you on the day to make sure everything is delivered and exceeds expectations. Our team understand that every wedding is unique and will ensure that your day is truly special.

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#girlsquad sorted: introducing joy’s bella bridesmaids

January 9th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

CREDIT NEEDED -Matt Ethan

Matt Ethan Photography

There’s no doubt that picking your bridesmaids can be a tricky task, but often choosing what they will wear for the big day can be even more difficult. There are different colours and styles to debate, and while one of your leading ladies might love your suggestions, another could take a little more convincing.

In order to help ensure shopping for your gals is an enjoyable rather than exasperating experience, we’re introducing you to our fabulous Sponsor Hannah of Joy’s Bella Bridesmaids, who has numerous bridesmaid dress designers and styles all under one roof with something to suit all ages, preferences and styles.

Frustrated that there wasn’t a special boutique that catered for groups of ladies to find the perfect gowns for their key role in the proceedings, owner Hannah Robinson set up Joy’s Bella Bridesmaids in North Yorkshire, which has proved hugely successful as news of its unique offering has spread.

With more than 300 different dress styles stocked at the boutique and a full floor dedicated to trying and fitting with spacious changing rooms and comfortable seating for brides to have fun with their bridesmaids, this is serious wedding #girlsquad heaven!

Sorella Vita

When and why did you decide to set up Joy’s Bella Bridesmaids?

hannah says: I set up the boutique in September 2015, I married in May 2015, and my sister got married the year before. We both really struggled to find somewhere to go to choose bridesmaids dresses. We found we had an amazing experience as a bride choosing our bridal gown but when it came to buying the bridesmaids dresses we were really limited. We couldn’t find a boutique that had a large selection of styles, colours and designers to try all in one place. I thought that there must be a better way to do things which led to opening Joy’s Bella Bridesmaids. I wanted to create the same experience for bridesmaids as the bride has. You choose your family and your best friends to be your bridesmaids, it is such an important and special time.

Where is Joy’s Bella Bridesmaids located and can you describe the boutique?

The boutique is in a rural location between York and Selby, in a converted granary. It’s definitely peaceful and a very relaxed atmosphere. When I was choosing premises for the shop I wanted somewhere a little off the beaten track with a lot of space and plenty of parking right outside. I think The Old Granary is perfect!

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Can you tell us a little about the designers that you stock at the boutique?

I stock Sorella Vita, Dessy, twobirds and Amanda Wyatt. I wanted to have the highest quality designers that offer the largest range of styles and colours. Each of my designers offer something different, whether it’s Dessy who offer such a variety of fabrics, Sorella Vita with their sequin collections, twobirds which have such an ingenious solution for a large number of bridesmaids or Amanda Wyatt who have matching styles for all ages.

How do you select the designers that you stock?

A lot of research! The designers have to mirror the image and feel that I am creating within the boutique, they have to be so focused on getting it right for the bride.

Do you also stock flower girl dresses too?

I do stock flower girls dresses, they range from classic ivory dresses with matching sash to so many different styles to coordinate with adult dresses.

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