Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

the best intentions: amateur vs pro wedding photography

April 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Best Intentions (c) Jonny Draper (7)

Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re huge advocates of choosing a wedding photographer that’s right for you and your big day. But in order to get perfect results, it’s not just about picking your favourite style of photography, but also someone who has the professional experience, skills and equipment to capture your day without fault. After all, you only get one shot.

As the cost of a wedding can easily stack up, we appreciate the temptation to take up a ‘mates rate’ offer from your relative or friend that has a flashy camera, but an ‘all the gear and no idea’ approach is a sure recipe for disappointment.

Best Intentions (c) Jonny Draper (1)

In a bid to demonstrate the difference between images taken by a professional versus a have-a-go snapper with a DSLR camera, our Sponsor and award-winning photographer Jonny Draper, teamed up with some of the team at Lancashire wedding venue Ashfield House, and a number of other North West suppliers, to showcase how the results of each vary.

Lighting, focus and composition are just a few of the issues to look out for, but it’s certainly easy to spot the difference between the pro and amateur pics.

Here to explain more about the concept and results of the comparison shoot is Ashfield House co-owner and wedding coordinator, Katie Street.

Best Intentions (c) Jonny Draper (11)

Best Intentions (c) Jonny Draper (30)

katie says: With the average UK wedding costing £26,989* it’s no surprise that couples are faced with tough cost-saving decisions when their budgets creep up and up. It’s heartbreaking however, to hear from couples who are disappointed with their photographs after the wedding because they chose the slash their photography budget. That friend with a decent DSLR camera may have the best of intentions but will the results be good enough?

With the help of our friend and award-winning wedding photographer Jonny Draper, we decided to conduct our own side-by-side, like-for-like wedding photography experiment.

Jonny, armed with his high-end equipment and years of experience was pitched against Karen, our assistant general manager, complete with her ‘decent’ DSLR camera, and our makeup artist Kerry Baker was on hand to snap away with her camera phone too.

Best Intentions (c) Jonny Draper (22)

Best Intentions (c) Jonny Draper (46)

Your friends and family, or the hobbyist, will have incredible intentions yet, if they haven’t got the equipment or the technical expertise and continued learning, then there really is no comparison. Most of the work in photographing a wedding is before and after, hours of painstaking editing, which our average enthusiast doesn’t have the ability to get right.

Years ago, taking the actual photographs was the easy part. The processing in the dark room and time spent with chemicals could go on for days. Photography was reserved for those elite professionals who had invested in their cameras, lenses, lights and film, plus the need for a dedicated dark room. It was big business! Every high street had a celebrated photography studio and you needed to book weeks in advance to arrange your sitting for family portraits, and months in advance to secure your wedding day photography.

Best Intentions (c) Jonny Draper (10)

Best Intentions (c) Jonny Draper (27)

This day and age, you can teach yourself the necessary skills from the comfort of your own laptop, and, if you have the money, invest in the world’s best kit. But – as these images show – that doesn’t replace the skill, expertise and experience of a dedicated wedding photographer.

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laidback loveliness. a rustic wedding at owen house wedding barn – carly & wayne

April 20th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Rustic Wedding at Owen House Barn (c) Stella Photography (47)

Today’s real wedding took place at Owen House Wedding Barn, a stunning family-run barn venue in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. A relaxed vibe was the number one priority for bride Carly and husband-to-be Wayne’s big day, and Owen House delivered with a low-key, rustic setting and a highly-personalised experience.

Add in some woodland details, lots of hessian and a jaw-dropping undone wildflower bouquet, and what you get is one of the most gorgeous easy-going weddings we’ve ever seen here at Brides Up North HQ.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Stella Photography.

A Rustic Wedding at Owen House Barn (c) Stella Photography (42)

carly says: Wayne proposed on our first Christmas Day in our new home. He started the proposal 12 days earlier with the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas. I received a dozen white roses and then another present each day leading up to Christmas. On Christmas morning, Wayne had told me to get ready as we were going to our parents’ early on. In fact, he just wanted us both to be dressed when the camera he’d hidden captured the moment he got down on one knee! I couldn’t believe it; I kept saying “Are you being serious or are you joking?!” Obviously, I said yes!

A Rustic Wedding at Owen House Barn (c) Stella Photography (9)

We were married on the 10th December 2016. This was one of only a few dates that our venue had available and it felt perfect as it was Wayne’s nana’s and stepfather’s birthday and was also very close to the date we first met.

We were married at Owen House Wedding Barn. The ceremony took place in their ceremony room and our wedding reception then took place in the barn next door. As soon as we walked in, we fell in love with it! We’d originally planned on getting married abroad but wanted to check out a venue or two in the UK before booking. This was the first and only venue we visited. We knew as soon as we left that first viewing that we wanted to take our family back with us the next day with a view to booking our wedding day. The style of Owen House is rustic and out of the ordinary; it matched our style perfectly.

In fact, we loved our venue so much that we didn’t want to overpower it with any sort of flamboyant decoration. We’re both very relaxed people and we wanted our wedding day to be the same, so we chose a rustic theme in keeping with the venue.

A Rustic Wedding at Owen House Barn (c) Stella Photography (14)

Our colour scheme was mainly based around flowers. We used lots of hessian and wild pink and purple flowers. Our bridesmaid dresses matched the flowers and the groomsmen’s ties also matched. We wanted our colours and theme to be quite simple, so lots of natural woods, hessian and tea lights. We used tree logs as centrepieces for our tables and for our cake stand, again in keeping with the rustic nature of our venue.

A Rustic Wedding at Owen House Barn (c) Stella Photography (40)

After visiting a few wedding boutiques and not having much luck, a friend recommended a bridal shop in an old mill in Mottram where they sell one-off sizes and designs. I was lucky enough to try on only a handful of dresses before I found the one! It was a sweetheart/mermaid-style lace dress. I loved it on account of how it pulled me in at the waist and how I felt taller in it. Originally my mum was going to make my gown, but having tried this one on we decided to just do some ‘tweaks’. My mum made a lace style bolero to go over the top and added buttons down the back, which made it unique.

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hey #bridesquad… you need to be at our urban luxe bridal show at cutlers’ hall, sheffield

April 19th, 2017 | Julia Braime

PNE1470_BUN_CutlersHall_OnlineFlyer

We’re really excited to be able to invite our readers to our city chic Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Show at the the stately and sensational (whilst still being in the very heart of the city centre – how cool is that?!) Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield on THIS SUNDAY 23rd April, 11am till 3pm, FREE ENTRY.

Lovely Pretty Things at Cutlers Hall (c) RJH Photography (31)

In our usual style, we’ve also packed the (really, really) lovely space with so much amazing wedding day inspiration, that it’s starting to feel like a bit of a pretty party! There’ll be bubbles on arrival, bridal fashion (including a one off special designer dress sale from the likes of Pronovias, House of Mooshki, Eliza Jane Howell, LouLou and Caroline Castigliano all priced at under £800!) floral design, cakes, photography, all the little details… you name it, with all the area’s very best and most creative wedding bods.

You have to see this place!

Lovely Pretty Things at Cutlers Hall (c) RJH Photography (10)

Cutlers’ Hall is the most romantic wedding venue right in the heart of Sheffield.

Cutlers’ Hall is a licensed wedding venue, with a choice of five elegantly decorated rooms which are ideal to host any aspect of your day. The Reception Room is perfect for an intimate ceremony and wedding breakfast for up to 100 guests, whilst the Old Banqueting Hall can cater for up to 120 guests, and the Main Hall can cater for over 200 guests.

The Grade II listed building is the perfect setting for those memorable images, with the Grand Staircase being a particular favourite of many wedding couples. Photo opportunities are in abundance throughout the building, and the famous Winter Gardens, or beautiful Peace Gardens are just a five minute walk away.

Lovely Pretty Things at Cutlers Hall (c) RJH Photography (22)

bride to be?

To register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack (stuffed with treats and glossy mags, including the brand new issue of UNVEILED Magazine) and FREE ENTRY, fill in your details below. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack upon entry to the Luxury Wedding Show. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW AND REGISTER FOR ANY OF OUR EVENTS THIS SEASON

Lovely Pretty Things at Cutlers Hall (c) RJH Photography (28)

wedding industry professional?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2017. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding shows across three regions.

Click here to view the full schedule.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

Please email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk for exhibitor booking and pricing information listing the events or area that you are interested in.

Lovely Pretty Things at Cutlers Hall (c) RJH Photography (8)

Images by RJH Photography.

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cool yule. a winter wedding at eaves hall – sally & chris

April 19th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Winter Wedding at Eaves Hall (c) Sally Eaves (6)

Spring might have finally sprung (can you feel it?!) but this morning we’re stepping into the romantic backdrop of Eaves Hall in Lancashire, for today’s sublime winter wedding.

Deciding on a timeless white and silver colour scheme complemented by plenty of twinkling fairy lights and a pared back setting, Sally and Chris’s wedding is the epitome of elegance and class. Add in some rather pretty gypsophila flowers, a hint of glitter and some delicious cupcakes and we think you’ll be swept away by Sally’s recount of their special day.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Sally Eaves Weddings.

A Winter Wedding at Eaves Hall (c) Sally Eaves (13)

sally says: We got engaged in 2015, while in New York for Christmas. On the evening of Christmas Day, Chris took me to the Rockefeller tree and proposed there – it was the best trip of our lives.

We got married a year later, on Christmas Eve. Christmas is a special time for us, with it being the time we got together and also when we got engaged, so we thought, why not? We couldn’t think of anything better than being with all of our friends and family for Christmas.

A Winter Wedding at Eaves Hall (c) Sally Eaves (30)

We got married at Eaves Hall, Lancashire. We instantly fell in love with it when we visited. It is so unique and beautiful, and it makes the perfect Christmas venue.

We chose a winter white and silver theme, complemented by lots of Christmassy fairy lights.

A Winter Wedding at Eaves Hall (c) Sally Eaves (1)

I purchased my dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Barrowford (now moved to Colne). I instantly fell in love with the gown because of the fabric. I wanted lace and I could have a lace top to go over it. I took this off for the night do, so it looked like two different dresses.

Chris wore a navy blue suit from Next. He decided on braces and bow ties too. The groomsmen wore the same suit as Chris and our bridesmaids wore silver sparkly dresses from Maya at ASOS.

A Winter Wedding at Eaves Hall (c) Sally Eaves (34)

The bridal party stayed at the Eaves Hall lodge the night before the wedding while Chris hired a Range Rover from one of his friends to arrive at the venue in.

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look book: charlotte balbier veil collection

April 12th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Pearl Veil

Pearl Veil – traditional lace with beautiful pearl trim detail

Nothing quite says bride like a gorgeous gown topped off with a veil. In line with fast-paced bridalwear trends it’s not a case of one style suits all, with designers creating a variety of veils to match with and complement gowns in their collections, meaning the options vary in length, layers and detail.

One of the latest designers to turn her talented hands to such accessories, is our wonderful Lead Sponsor and top British bridal designer, Charlotte Balbier. Last week on the blog we shared a special preview of Charlotte’s insanely-beautiful new wedding dress collection for 2018 – Bohemian Blush – and now the princess of bridalwear Miss Balbier, is treating us to full look at her fabulous new collection of veils.

Featuring an option for all styles of weddings, the fanciful designs range from flirty and elegant to dazzling and dramatic, with delicate fine tulles decorated with embellishments, beading, pearls and lace pattern detailing.

So, join us as we swoon over the highly-derisible designs on offer…

Silk Veil

Silk Veil – silk tulle with floral diamante comb detailing

Antique Veil

Antique Veil – silk tulle with antique diamante and pearl comb to complement

French Lace Veil

French Lace Veil – silk tulle with French lace veil detailing

Pearl & Diamante

Pearl & Diamante Veil – an intricate pearl and diamante veilcontinue reading

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serene beauty: a captivating styled bridal fashion shoot in the scottish borders

April 12th, 2017 | Julia Braime

High-Class-Wedding-Photography-by-Stan-Seaton

At this mid-way point in the week we’re helping to give you a little break from the daily grind by transporting you to a place of calm and beauty for a dreamy bridal shoot.

Styled by the team at Darlington-based boutique Poppy Bridal, and captured by Brides Up North Sponsors and North East photographers, Stan and Jane of Stan Seaton Photography, we are totally hooked by these mesmerising images.

Everything in the frame emits ethereal elegance, with the setting, gowns, hair and makeup all hauntingly beautiful. Huge kudos to model Victoria too for managing to look so incredibly graceful while posing loch-side in some rather chilly temperatures.

We’ll now hand over the blog to Jane, to fill us in on how the shoot was executed on the day.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Stan Seaton Photography.

Portrait_Photography_by_Stan_Seaton

jane says: The location of this shoot – St Mary’s Loch in Selkirk – was suggested by Paula Whittaker, owner of Poppy Bridal, who supplied the stunning gowns for our model. She had visited the location a few years earlier and had been struck by its sheer natural beauty.

Portrait_Photography_by_Stan_Seaton

To get the feel just right for the shoot, we drew our inspiration from the tranquil and untouched surroundings of the Scottish mountains and the dark and mysterious lochs.

We wanted to keep the styling very simple to fit in with the totally raw landscape. Peta Clarke, who is a makeup consultant with Estee Lauder as well as being a Poppy Bridal stylist, did the model’s hair and makeup, ensuring that she got the look and feel that she envisaged to enhance the simple elegance of the Maggie Sottero dresses, which featured in the shoot. Channeling ethereal grace, the captivating gowns featured shimmering embellishments and elegant lightweight fabrics.

Portrait_Photography_by_Stan_Seaton

As with many shoots we didn’t get entirely what we expected, we scheduled the shoot for late August anticipating some gorgeous early evening golden light. However, the forecast was dark and dreary with suspected showers. The reality was constant rain and no sign of golden sunshine!

Portrait_Photography_by_Stan_Seaton

Our aim was to have a fun and inspirational day and create a gorgeous set of images to show off the stunning set of bridal gowns. Wellies, umbrellas and warm coats are not entirely what you would expect on an August photoshoot, but we had lots of laughs and our stunning model Victoria was an absolute star, despite getting wet and frozen through she still managed to keep smiling and looked amazing!

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