Charlotte Balbier

suits you sir: t.m. lewin

July 16th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

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In preparation for a wedding a lot of attention is focused on the bride and what she will wear for her moment in the limelight. But we shouldn’t forget that the groom is also a main focal point and they too will want to look and feel their best on the big day.

Over time we’ve seen menswear designers branch out on the formalwear front to give style-conscious grooms choices beyond traditional top hat and tails and standard Prince Edward suits. This not only gives grooms the opportunity to be more fashion forward, but also means they can pick attire that will complement the bride, theme and even the setting.

To tell us more about current groom looks, we’ve called upon our expert friends at British menswear retailer T.M.Lewin, whose latest collection of luxurious tailoring includes up to 30 different cuts of suits in wool/mohair mix cloths, plus an unrivalled choice of beautifully finished 100% cotton shirts and finishing touches in the form of smart ties and dapper pocket squares.

Here they share their top five occasion wear trends for the upcoming season, and they’ve even gone to the trouble of matching them up to some of Brides Up North’s very favourite wedding venues. Handy eh?

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cool contemporary – alnwick garden

A cool setting calls for a cool suit. Blue is perhaps the new grey when it comes to an alternative groom look so those planning a wedding in modern setting, such as The Alnwick Garden in the North East, should consider the handsome hue. We can easily imagine a groom in the bright and airy Pavilion Room taking his vows while overlooking the incredible gardens in a relaxed two piece suit. And to complete the look a crisp white shirt, tan belt and shoes, and textured bow tie. Finally, for the ultra-cool groom, a polka dot pocket square as men appear to be dotty about all things spotty at the moment.

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urban elegance – braime pressings

City weddings give grooms the opportunity to mix up their look with some modern additions. For a venue such as 125-year-old steel factory Braime Pressings, attire that mixes old with new is an excellent choice as it will pick up on the venue’s heritage as well as its modern day surroundings.  We suggest a classic three-piece suit but in a slim-fit cut and edgy blue hue to strike the right balance. Through industrial, Braime Pressings, in the heart of Leeds, features impressive parquet flooring and a marble bar which call for a hint of elegance. This can be achieved in finishing touches of a fabric button hole and slim tie, complete with tie bar.

Lee Scullion Photography for Braime Pressings (148) 2015_03_02-06_TMLewin_0434b

timeless traditional – allerton castle

Certain venues do lend themselves well to traditional groom attire including the likes of Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire. Its fairy tale interior and dramatic features give brides the opportunity to be a real princess for the day, but of course they need a prince to match, making a three-piece suit with waistcoat a top option. We find that light grey and tonal blue tailoring is an ideal choice for a formal wedding day and our 50s inspired pastel accessories will polish off the look perfectly, whether it’s a sharp mint green fitted shirt with textured cotton linen mix tie, or a colourful pocket square and stylish lapel pin.

2015_03_02-06_TMLewin_0453 Chris Chambers009

country casual – hilltop country house

With an increase in country garden themed weddings it seems only right that designers have come up with fitting groomsmen attire. Whether indoors or out, a wedding at a countryside location, such as Hilltop Country House in Cheshire, gives grooms the opportunity to go for a more laid back look that complements with their surroundings. Our new casual blazers are ideal for those in favour of more informal attire. Woven in tweeds exclusive to T.M.Lewin, they’re still smart when paired with a pressed pair of cotton chinos and one of the season’s new plain, patterned or textured pocket squares. Those wanting a smarter look still can add a waistcoat and tie while those who prefer the simpler things in life can go for a blazer, chinos and open neck shirt.

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modern classic – the mansion

Just as some old venues are brought up to date with a few cosmetic tweaks so too are classic suits. So for a groom saying his ‘I dos’ in grand stately home, such as The Mansion in Leeds, which boasts beautiful boutique style décor, we suggest a simple yet sophisticated two piece suit, with a one or two button blazer. The accessories can then be picked to suit the colour theme and/or bridesmaid dresses whether that means pairing with a pale pink or elegant blue shirt, tie and matching pocket square.

2015_03_02-06_TMLewin_0476 W Ellen & Jonathan [Printable] 224 Colour

For more designs and information, visit www.tmlewin.co.uk

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the big debate: should you get your groom involved in the wedding planning?

April 10th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Found on blog.myweddingreceptionideas.com, photography by Jennifer Rotz Photography

image source, photography by Jennifer Rotz Photography

pesky boys.

Should you let them anywhere near the wedding planning? Today on the blog, that’s what we’re talking about.

We’d love to hear your side of the argument.

Found on bows-n-ties.tumblr.com

image source

rachel says: get him involved

As more couples ditch traditional weddings in favour of personal affairs, I think it’s hugely important that input comes from both sides to ensure the big day is a reflection of both the bride and groom. It’s all about striking a balance.

Most females (myself included) have dreamt about their wedding day from being a little girl and while we want the groom to get involved and show an interest/support we also don’t want them taking over the show.

That can be the trouble, nag a guy to do something and he goes from ‘whatever’ to ‘I can do it better’. In the first instance I think it’s best to sit down and discuss the main factors – location, budget and numbers – together. Then when it gets to the more creative side of things – colour theme, styling, décor, food and entertainment – write down your ideas separately (so he has to put some thought into it) and then come back together to discuss what you’ve come up with. A little bit of compromise might well be required at this point.

Don’t sweat it if he doesn’t want to be involved in all elements, such as bouquets, button holes and sashes, but I say definitely try to get him fired up and to take the reins when it comes to areas he’s passionate about, such as food, entertainment, transport and the honeymoon.

Just remember the main reason you’re getting married – love – and try to make it fun, attending events such as wedding fairs and tastings together. I’ve read numerous real weddings where the bride and groom have created some great memories during days out planning their big day and the joint-efforts really shine through.

Found on m.bridalguide.com

image source

julia says: keep him out of it

Why is this even up for debate? Girls, haven’t you seen Don’t Tell The Bride?!

Sure, they all laugh and say how well the hapless husband has done at the end of every episode, but by that point they’re blinded by relief (that their wedding wasn’t the skydive episode), impending Sky Living stardom or alcohol (well, wouldn’t you get smashed in that scenario?!). Ladies, do not be fooled by “happily ever after” episode formatting: take control.

Other than making sure your wedding day is one to remember for the right reasons, I think that this is only fair. Has your other half dreamed of his big day since he was a little boy? Did he dash straight out to the newsagents and clear the bridal title shelf right after you made it official? Does he even know that wedding blogs exist? Girls, this is your time in the sun. If I were you I’d grab that wedding folder, and enjoy every blissful minute of independent planning. Hey, he got to plan the proposal (didn’t he…?)!

Yes, this is his wedding day too. Of course it is. And I know I’m generalising (and yes, being pretty sexist, but hey, it’s for the good of the piece), but what does he know about pastel Pinterest boards, bridesmaids’ frocks and sugar craft?

If you must, get him involved in some of the less pretty bits, like shopping for formal wear, making a wedding playlist or even let him loose on “the honeymoon project”. Be warned though, men can get some funny ideas when left to their own devices.

Make it extremely clear just how far any decision making autonomy can go, or you’ll end up with a rugby anthem for every hymn, some dubious waistcoat options and bottled beer for reception drinks.

I know. I’ve lived it.

My advice to you? Schedule a few Don’t Tell The Bride viewing sessions with your groom to be, watch him take in the worry, sweat, tears (and usually ill-advised tattoos) involved, then click off before the finale, telling him not to worry, you’ll take care of everything, hey, even the budget.

Control established, grateful brownie points won, budget extended, wedding saved. And if that isn’t a win, win scenario, I don’t know what is.

Found on ruffledblog.com, photography by Red, White & Green Photography

image source, photography by Red, White & Green Photography

what you said

Gillian: “My other half is planning what the boys wear and also planning the drinks menu.”

Leah: “We are both planning our wedding together, he has been involved in every part (excluding the dress). It takes a lot of the stress away to plan it together.”

Gemma: “My other half is taking some coaxing. As he put it he’s only an ornament on the day. I wasn’t best pleased and since then he’s picked up his game! He’s responsible for sorting out music and taking the fellas to get their suits, also he doesn’t know it yet but because he’s a perfectionist he’ll be making the majority of the invites.”

Angie: “Mine wants to be involved so much that I keep telling him it’s about me too, I’m the bride.”

Found on ruffledblog.com, photography by Sarah McKenzie Photography

image source, photography by Sarah McKenzie Photography

 

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The Editorials: Va-Va-Groom!

February 18th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Wedding Magazine

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In this new blog series, The Editorials, I share my pre-published offline content, online.  I write on a freelance basis for numerous regional and National glossies, and rather than be relegated to being rather posh chip paper, I thought that my words might be useful to my online readers who didn’t manage to pick up a print copy of my features.  Double the pretty!

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Wedding Magazine

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The second instalment in this series (click here to see the first, focussing on the trend for all white weddings) catches up on a column I wrote for Wedding Magazine before Christmas, all about giving your groom some va-va-voom!

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Wedding Magazine

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I wrote: The days of identikit grooms are long gone. You might be preoccupied with selecting the perfect wedding gown, but you can bet that your other half is also giving some careful thought to his own wedding day look. For him too, this is a day where he wants raise the style stakes and feel that little bit special.

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Peter Boyd Photography

Image credit: Peter Boyd Photography

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Luckily, there has never been more of a sartorial selection for a groom to choose from. Whether he is a traditionalist looking for a classically cut morning suit or an individual wanting to cut a dash with quirky accessories, it’s now acceptable for the groom to look beyond a hired waistcoat and cravat. Whilst it’s true that his choice of attire should complement the overall style of the bridal party, some of my favourite wedding day images are those where the personality of the groom shines through.

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India Hobson Weddings

Image credit: India Hobson Weddings 

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Damian Hall

Image credit: Damian Hall Photography

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Top man

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If he wants to keep his look classic, help him to stand out from the rest of the wedding party by choosing a different colour of tie or more elaborate buttonhole.

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Katy Melling Photography

Image credit: Katy Melling Photography 

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Katy Melling Photography

Image credit: Katy Melling Photography

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The cravat caveat

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Rather than sticking to the status quo, encourage your man to mix things up with by adding a special touch. How about a colourful bow tie, socks, braces, sharp shoes or a neckerchief?

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

Image credit:  Phil Drinkwater Photography 

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David Lawson Studios

Image credit: David Lawson Studios 

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Keep it comfortable

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For a relaxed celebration or destination wedding he needn’t be trussed up like a turkey. Work with the style of his surroundings and opt for light fabrics and a pale colour palette.

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Andy Hook

Image credit: Andy Hook Photography

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Lissa Alexandra Photography

Image credit: Lissa Alexandra Photography 

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A man in uniform

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If he’s decorated, this is his chance to show it off. I also love to see a groom in national dress: kilts at the ready boys, it’s time to show some leg!

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Jonny Draper Photography

.Image credit: Jonny Draper Photography 

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Andrew Ward Photography

Image credit: Andrew Ward Photography 

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Toys for the boys

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Indulge him! If he has a need for speed, why not hire a cool car or vintage scooter to get him to the church on time and in style.

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Insight Photography

Image credit: Insight Photography

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  – Images © 2013 as credited

This is not a sponsored post

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Very Significant Other: Getting Your Fiancé Involved

December 17th, 2012 | Julia Braime

David Lawson Studios

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Let’s get Christmas week off to an all-inclusive start with some advice from our regular guest blogger the lovely Rachel of Mosaic Brides about how you can get your other half involved in the wedding planning process.  And this isn’t just about getting the boys in order either, as this advice can apply to any wayward fiancé on either side of the partnership.  Get ‘em involved, people!  Using images from my own wedding (a groom who did as he was told FYI!) by David Lawson Studios

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Rachel says: For most of us girls an engagement ring isn’t necessary to start planning our big day, it simply signals a time to put our thoughts into action.  Long before we meet Mr or Mrs Right we spend time swooning over wedding dresses, deciding who our bridesmaids will be and how we will dress them – we even think about the flavour of the sponge and filling for our three-tier wedding cake (mine’s a simple iced white cake with vanilla, lemon and chocolate layers, decorated with fresh vintage style flowers)!

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By contrast our significant other may not have given any consideration to their wedding day, and for some even getting down on one knee does not prompt such thoughts.  As a result it’s sometimes the case that a bride can feel alone during the planning process when her partner takes a back seat and utters those three frustrating words "I don’t mind". But with many couples ditching traditional weddings in favour of more personal affairs, it’s never been more important that input comes from both sides to achieve a day that’s a reflection of both of you. 

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David Lawson Studios

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So, if your husband or wife-to-be is under the impression that their duties end at the proposal, suit hire and picking a best man or woman who will plan them a send off to rival The Hangover, I suggest the following…

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In the beginning

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Sit down and talk. From the very start make clear to your fiancé that you want them involved with planning the wedding and the ways in which they can help.

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Next, discuss your opinions on the main areas like destinations, venues, styling, size of the wedding, food, entertainment and, of course, the budget. To encourage your partner to come up with their own ideas, or to prevent them just going along with what you say, try writing down your ideas separately and then coming back together to discuss your thoughts. While you might have the same ideas on some things other areas might need compromise – it’s no good asking for their opinion and then ignoring it.

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David Lawson Studios

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Work as a team

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Part of being in a relationship is working as a team, a quality that can be incredibly useful when planning a wedding.

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Discuss which elements you can do together such as attending wedding fairs and venue visits then look at your strengths and divide some of the other jobs between you.  For example, if one of you is particularly creative then take the lead in styling the venue or designing invitations, if the other is good at research they can spend time looking up venues, entertainment, transport and so on. 

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It also makes sense to let the person who is good with numbers handle the budget while the more ballsy of the two can take charge when it comes to haggling.

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David Lawson Studios

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Talent spotting

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Don’t be offended if your partner doesn’t take an interest in every little thing.  It may well be the case that they don’t mind (or even care) which flowers, favours or bridesmaid dresses you have in mind but this provides the perfect opportunity to involve other relatives and friends. Meanwhile your fiancé can take some time out with their side of the bridal party to pick their wedding attire.

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Also allocate your other half jobs that you know will spike their interest. So if they love music leave them to look for a band or to plan the play list, if they fancy themself as the next Jamie Oliver ask them to consider food options or if they usually organise your annual holiday let them arrange a dream honeymoon.

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David Lawson Studios

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Keep calm and carry on

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If despite your best efforts you feel that your husband or wife-to-be is still not taking an interest talk to them – communication is key in a relationship and is absolutely essential when it comes to planning a wedding.

Let your other half know that you want them to be involved and explain the ways in which you can inject elements of your personalities into the day as this might help to engage them.  Equally don’t get carried away and leave your partner out – the day belongs to both of you.

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There is no doubt that planning a wedding is a stressful and demanding task that can lead to arguments but it should also be a time you enjoy together.  To avoid fall outs don’t talk wedding all the time. Try to have a night or two where discussing weddings is strictly off limits, giving you both a break and a chance to spend quality time with one another.

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Finally and most importantly don’t lose sight of the reasons why you are actually getting married, beyond the paper pompoms and that three tired cake there should be a whole lot of love.

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  – Images © 2012 David Lawson Studios

Rachel Parry of Mosaic Brides is a regular guest writer for Brides Up North

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Purely Wedding Research, Honest! A Styled Menswear Shoot In The North East

October 27th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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So, fancy a bit of eye candy on a Saturday?

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I’m off to see the latest 007 this afternoon so I’ll be getting my kicks Daniel Craig-stylee, and thought it most unfair not to leave something lovely for you ladies to gaze upon, courtesy of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Stan Seaton Photography and Darlington Weddings (pick up the latest issue to see this shoot in print along with my spread on styling a winter wedding). 

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Plus, I’ve seen first hand that Affleck & Moffat – one of my amazing exhibitors at our Brides Up North Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibitions – really know how to dress a gent, so they’d be worth a visit for his wedding day styling.

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If he asks: its wedding research.  Got it? 

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Jane and Stan of Stan Seaton Photography say: We love photographing brides and ensuring that their wedding day photos reflect how amazingly beautiful and happy they looked and felt on their big day, but it is good to show our clients – and especially the girls – how good their grooms can look too!  When Darlington Weddings offered us the opportunity to do a featured menswear photo shoot for their latest magazine, in conjunction with Affleck & Moffat menswear, Paul David Hairdressing and Crathorne Hall Hotel, we couldn’t resist!

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I say: Hello, boys!

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Little Black Book

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Images: Stan Seaton Photography

Menswear: Affleck & Moffat

Grooming: Paul David Hairdressing

Venue: Crathorne Hall Hotel

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UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2012 Stan Seaton Photography

Stan Seaton Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

 

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