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Bridalplasty: Terrifying Trend Or Pre-Wedding Prep?

March 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Recent reports from Hollywood have me more than a little concerned.  What the beejezuz is Kim Kardashian up to now?! Tomorrow’s chip paper or not, with a degree in Communications Studies under my belt I firmly believe in the power of the press to persuade, normalise and control.

Along with the excitement of getting engaged and setting a date often comes a feeling of pressure for brides-to-be as it confirms the time frame in which they have to both plan and achieve their perfect wedding day look.  Obviously this includes finding the dream dress, shoes and accessories, plus an amazing hair stylist and beautician (which is stressful enough), but in certain cases brides are now taking their pre-wedding preparations a step further to ensure they are at their most radiant on their special day. 

My vote lies firmly with keeping things natural, but our regular guest blogger Rachel is back to investigate the latest beauty craze without getting over dramatic about it.  We want our readers to be informed and capable decision makers.  This is serious stuff ladies. 

So, fancy a bit of bridalplasty with your blow dry? Think carefully. 

Grazia

Image: Grazia 

Rachel says:  It’s easy to understand why brides want to look their very best as they will be centre of attention, taking their vows in front numerous friends and family while photos, and often video footage, are taken that will be passed around and down the family for years to come. It’s therefore often the case that a bride will cut out calories, up her gym membership and indulge in a few facials ahead of her big day, but it appears much more extensive wedding day makeovers are starting to evolve.

Recent studies have revealed there is a fast growing trend for brides-to-be to undergo non-invasive treatments as part of their beauty prep and UK clinics are also reporting an increase in requests for pre-wedding day surgical procedures from brides striving for perfection.

It’s thought there are several reasons for brides deciding to take such measures, the main one simply being to boost their confidence. Others suggest the average age of a bride increasing to early 30s is a factor as at this age it’s assumed women often have more disposable income and therefore can afford such treatments and procedures.

Another contributor is said to be changes in wedding dress designs. Traditionally dresses have been structured on top, with corsets pulling everything into place, while the bottom halves have been made up of meringue-style layers, perfect for hiding women’s common body hang-ups areas such as bum, thighs and hips. Today’s fluid, slinky and sometimes backless designs however can be most unforgiving and rarely allow for any kind of hidden support.

For some brides it may be that they have been considering a certain procedure for some time and their wedding day provides a trigger point while for others it’s simply a lack of time or patience which makes the quick fix treatments appealing.

So, what types of treatments are brides-to-be having?

Huffington Post

Image: Huffington Post

Botox

This is one of the most popular non-invasive pre-wedding treatments for brides-to-be. Skin starts to show signs of aging from the age of 25 as our bodies loose collagen at the rate of 1.5 per cent every year. It is this depletion that leads to wrinkles, meaning that even brides in their 20s can feel the need for anti-aging skincare procedures. During the treatment ultra-fine needles are used to target wrinkles on the forehead, around the eyes and mouth, between the eyebrows and on the neck by injecting botulinum toxin into the skin to achieve a smooth, flawless look.

Fillers

Dermal fillers are popular with brides wanting to achieve a more youthful appearance by plumping up their cheeks, filling their lips or enhancing their cheekbones. Dermal fillers are also used to fill in hollow areas of the face, smooth out wrinkles and remove scarring.

Facial treatments

Laser therapy, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are some of the most popular pre-wedding non-invasive facial treatments. These are used to revitalise the surface of the skin by removing old skin cells giving brides a fresh and more radiant appearance.

Non-surgical liposuction

Chosen by brides who want to target fat on their stomach, buttocks, hips, thighs and backs of the arms, this treatment uses ultrasonic technology to sculpt the body. During the procedure ultrasonic waves burst fat cell membranes, effectively ‘melting’ the fat away.

Double Vision Media

Image: Doublevision Media

Meanwhile those brides choosing to go under the knife are forking out for breast implants, tummy tucks, liposuction and rhinoplatry (nose alterations). And it’s not just brides feeling the pre-wedding pressure – bridesmaids, mothers of the bride or groom and even grooms are also undergoing such procedures, with some clinics even offering special pre-wedding group packages.

As someone who is too scared to switch from eyebrow waxing to threading for fear of the pain, I can’t see myself handing over money to undergo such procedures ahead of my wedding. I’m also of the opinion that we shouldn’t mess with our bodies more than is necessary and above all I’d hate to arrive at the altar and my future husband fail to recognise me.

Awkward!

That said it’s up to each individual to decide what they want to do with their body. What I will say is that the treatments and procedures discussed are not without risks.  Brides who are considering more extreme pre-wedding makeover should allow plenty of time to research and plan any procedures they are interested in having carried out and ensure they leave time for proper healing before the big day. I would also ask them to question if there is an alternative and if the money could be better spent elsewhere – perhaps on a luxurious honeymoon, a top photographer or a pair of designer wedding heels.

So what do you think?  Would you consider plastic surgery before your big day?

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2014 Grazia/ Huffington Post/ Doublevision Media/

Rachel Parry is a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

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

Posted in Guest Blog, Wedding Day Beauty | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

Hey Manchester?! Get Ready. Brides Up North Is “Official Blogger” For The North West Wedding Fair!

February 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Brides Up North is Official Blogger for The North West Wedding Fair

WHOOP WHOOP!

I’ve some very exciting news to impart this Monday afternoon folks!  And I’ve been dying to tell you about it for weeks!  You see, I’m not very good at keeping massive secrets…  

The North West Wedding Fair

A while back, I was approached by the organisers of the ma-hoo-sive North West Wedding Fair and invited act as their “Official Blogger”.  Quite the compliment!  Now, you know that we run our own  Luxury Wedding Exhibitions here at Brides Up North – including two very special events in the North West this spring – so at first I wasn’t sure… partner with the competition?  Hmm.

But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.  The North West Wedding Fair is this season’s largest premium show for brides from the North West. Visitors love that every one of their Exhibitors and Partners are dedicated to serving the North West region. Isn’t that what Brides Up North encourages:  thinking local?  Also, whilst our events are bespoke, exclusive (and perfectly formed… are they in your diaries yet?) I wouldn’t want my North West readers to miss out on the biggest juggernaut of a bridal event to come your way this season either.  There’s plenty of room in the diary for us both.

The North West Wedding Fair

So I asked around, and it turns out that my fellow industry professionals and you beautiful brides to be rate this event too.  So, I thought to myself cunningly, what better way to get my brand in front of thousands more Brides Up North and fuel this Northern Revolution even further? 

Our position as one of the top wedding blogs in the UK – and the only one specifically for Northern Brides – is extremely valuable, so alliances like this one need to be right for us. It is Mercury Events’ excellent reputation in the market that gave me the confidence to join up with The North West Wedding Fair.

The North West Wedding Fair

Plus, I get to ponce around on camera as I host the show’s official preview video, live from site (err… nervous, me?)  Sold.  I’m looking forward to contributing to a great show!

The North West Wedding Fair

Turns out that it’s going to be a bit of a love-in all round! Mercury Events, who host the fair, said some verrrry nice things about Brides Up North too, in an “official release” that went out to special press and partners last week: “This fantastic new partnership with Brides Up North reflects our focus on delivering shows to the market which are high on quality content specific to the regions they serve. Brides Up North… is established as an essential resource for brides and grooms planning their wedding in the north of England. Julia’s vast experience and indispensable creative advice and tips will add tremendous value to our overall show offer.”

The North West Wedding Fair

So watch this space – and the show’s official blog, where I’ll be posting all that indispensable creative advice they talk about about above, as well as exciting updates, exclusive competitions and insider info – for more updates soon, but for now, all you need to do is mark this in your diaries:

The North West Wedding Fair is taking place at EventCity, Manchester on 7th to 9th March 2014.  Visit www.theweddingfairs.com for more details.

Oh, and you might just want to enter MW61 at the ticket checkout to save 1/3 off usual prices.  Just ‘cos I love ya baby! 

The North West Wedding Fair

I can’t wait to get the party started!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 provided by Mercury Events

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Posted in Events, Guest Blog, Me, North West Fair, North West Wedding, UK Wedding Blog | Filed Under | 1 Comment

Look Who’s Talking: How To Nail The Wedding Speech

January 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography 

Our lovely guest blogger Rachel’s back this afternoon with more pearls of wisdom, all because she wants your wedding speeches to be memorable for all the right reasons.  Don’t forget to raise a glass to her too!

Jamie Penfold Photography

Jamie Penfold Photography 

Rachel says:  Although I’m currently as close to getting married as Justin Bieber is to winning a role model of the year award, it’s a growing concern of mine just how my Dad will manage to hold it together long enough on my wedding day to make a speech.

Basically he’s an emotional guy – he’s been known to cry over Forest Gump (forgivable), waving my 19-year-old brother off on his two-week holiday to Thailand recently caused him to blubber, even a beautifully cooked steak sandwich has been known to reduce the man to tears (I kid you not).

Andy Gaines Creative

Andy Gaines Creative 

Hypothetical talk of my wedding day is another catalyst of emotion for my Dad. It’s therefore no surprise that I worry how he will fare when it comes to delivering his farther-of-the-bride speech – a duty that has caused even the sternest of fathers to well-up.

As the only daughter I would never take the privilege away from him – I know he’ll make a wonderful job of it (no matter how many boxes of Kleenex he goes through in the process), but this trail of thought did get me thinking about who else I might like to speak at my wedding.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Traditionally speeches are delivered after the wedding breakfast by the father-of-the-bride, the groom and the best man, but as couples continue to shake up formal proceedings, speeches are taking place at different times of the day and are being delivered by different people.

A popular new addition is inviting the father-of-the-groom to deliver a speech. Witnessing a child tying the knot is a big day for any parent whether it’s a son or daughter taking their vows. As such mothers-of-the- bride/groom are also taking to the stage.

Peter Boyd Photography

Peter Boyd Photography 

To me, those picked to speak at a wedding should be the people who know the bride and groom best, both before and during their relationship. As well as a parent, it’s a nice idea for a grandparent sibling or friend to be invited to say some words too. Admittedly there needs to be a short-list, not all those nearest and dearest can contribute but speeches given by people who know the couple in different capacities gives a well rounded overview of the new Mr and Mrs that all guests can relate to.

Another change to note is the rise of the bride’s speech. After all ladies why wouldn’t we want the opportunity to thank our loved ones, speak kindly of our new husband (oh and have the right to reply to any cringe-worthy stories delivered at our expense).

JB Creatives

JB Creatives 

Much to the relief of many people’s digestion systems, speeches are often now planned to take place before, rather than after the wedding breakfast. Whether it’s outside during the welcome drinks or prior to the sit down meal, this enables all to relax and enjoy without struggling through courses with their stomach in knots.

Whoever you choose to do the honours, here are a few quick tips for a spectacular speech:

Plan In Advance

I’ve actually seen people leave their speeches until the last minute and try to wing it, I’m yet to see this done successfully. The nerves on the day are enough to contend with without piling on the pressure by having to make up a speech on the spot.

Practise

Those who plan and practise in advance often deliver the best speeches, whether they provoke tears, laughter or a combination of the two. Rehearsing will give those not used to speaking in public the opportunity to build confidence whilst running their speech passed others to gain feedback.

Stott & Atkinson

Stott & Atkinson 

Make Notes

Engaging with the audience is key to delivering a good speech so don’t bury your head in a piece of paper and read out your prepared speech word-for-word. Instead try to come across more conversational, get the main parts in your head ahead of the big day then have a few clear notes to hand during your moment in the limelight to ensure you don’t miss anything, or anybody, out.

Be Aware Of Your Audience

The last thing any wedding couple wants is a speech that warrants a #awkward or #cringe tag. While embarrassing stories, dating anecdotes and hen/stag do memories can add a humours element, speakers should consider if they are likely to upset or offend. Particularly bear in mind children, older relatives and protective parents.

Andy Wardle

Andy Wardle

Make It Memorable

Incorporating photos, videos or props in a speech can help to make it all the more memorable. It might be a souvenir from the hen do, a video message from someone unable to make the wedding day or a montage of childhood photos but whatever you choose don’t forget to take it with you on the big day.

Finally, remember the tissues – God knows I’m going to need them at my wedding!

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited

Rachel Parry is a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

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

Posted in Guest Blog, Wedding Speech | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

To Favour Or Not To Favour? That Is The Question.

December 10th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Wedding Favours - Lissa Alexandra Photography

As it’s the season for giving, our regular guest blogger Rachel is back to talk wedding favours. 

An age-old wedding tradition, favours originated in Italy in the form of five sugar almonds which were given to guests as a thank you for attending the wedding and as a symbol of good luck. Each sweet almond was said to represent a different quality that the couple would hopefully experience as husband and wife – health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity.

But just like many other wedding traditions, the favour has evolved over the years with many of today’s couples ditching dated sugar almonds in place of creative and individual gifts for their guests.  Rachel makes the case for tradition. 

Wedding Favours - Lissa Alexandra Photography

She says:  Just this week a friend of mine was telling me how a male colleague, who is due to get married next year, was having a moan about wedding favours.  His outburst went a little something like this: “Now she’s talking about what favours we should get the guests – I tell you what favour I’m getting them, a three course meal, wine and evening buffet – what more do they want?”

He makes a point I suppose, but done right carefully chosen favours can add an extra element of enjoyment and/or serve as a wonderful reminder of the big day.

Wedding Favours - Chris Milner Photography

The budget will obviously need to be taken into consideration when selecting favours and couples will have to decide if they want to buy, make and/or personalize their gifts.  Whether couples choose to blow the budget on special keepsakes, or take the cheaper novelty route, there are plenty of options to choose from (without an almond in sight):

Something to Eat

Perfect for food lovers this is a simple idea that can be as thrifty or indulgent as couples like.  A tasty treat is always greatly received by guests and can be easily personalized to fit in with the chosen colour scheme or theme.

Popular choices include handmade chocolates, cake pops, macaroons and Pic-A-Mix style bags of sweets.

Another foodie option is for couples to make and jar their own preserves such as jam, marmalade, chutney or honey, which can be individually decorated and stamped with the wedding date.

Mints served in personalised tins puts an individual twist on a classic idea while movie lovers can opt for popcorn served in bespoke containers.

(For those really wanting to impress their guests, I recently came across a company that will decorate gingerbread men to look like your guests, or alternatively you can order a DIY kit to give it a go yourself. While this involves a fair amount of organization the reaction from your guests will be well worth it.)

Wedding Favours - Peter Boyd Photography

Something to Drink

This can be a way of buying your guests a drink without having to offer a free bar. Brides pick miniature bottles of their favourite drinks to give to the ladies while grooms choose their top tipple to give to the men. Popular choices include mini bottles of wine, spirits or champagne. Miniature bottles of alcohol can also double up as name places by tying a simple name tag around the bottle neck with decorative ribbon. For those who would prefer a non-alcoholic option, fruit teas fit in well with organic and country style weddings while specialty coffee will be greatly appreciated by guests the morning after the wedding. Those with a sweet tooth may prefer to give cocoa or hot chocolate mix.

Wedding Favours - Peter Boyd Photography

Something to Grow

An ideal option for eco-friendly brides and grooms who want to give their guests a lasting reminder of their big day. Top choices include pretty packets of wildflower seeds or tree saplings for guests to take away and plant in their gardens. An alternative for foodies is to give locally grown herbs planted in recyclable glass jars dressed up with a ribbon.

Something to Break the Ice

Some couples like to mix up their guests on different tables encouraging them to get to know one another, in which case icebreaker favours are perfect. This type of favour is also ideal for couples who don’t take life too seriously and want to inject some humour into their special day. Options include old-school origami fortune tellers, table trivia and quirky wedding badges with statements such as ‘I love the groom’, ‘I’m next’ and ‘The bouquet is mine’. Couples choosing to have a fun photo booth at their wedding may want to give favours in the form of masks or fancy dress items which double up as great props for the booth.

Wedding Favours - Petals & Peonies

Something for the Little Ones

A couple’s choice of favour might not suit all ages so separate gifts for younger guests may be required. While sweet treats generally always go down well with children it’s a good idea to give a favour that will keep little ones entertained during less active parts of the day such as the meal and the speeches. A goody bag including a small present, puzzles and colouring pencils is a great solution.

Wedding Favours - JP Photography

Something to Keep

For some couples the whole idea of a wedding favour is to give a gift that will act as a lasting reminder of the big day. Popular options include personalised tea towels, coasters, mugs and pens featuring the couples name and wedding date.

A mixed CD made up of songs played during the wedding day is perhaps one of the best keepsake favours that will instantly evoke memories of the wedding.

For something a little different, couples tying the knot during the festive period could give a personalised Christmas tree decoration that will provide a reminder of the special day year after year.

Wedding Favours - Weddings Vintage

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So what do you think?  Will you be doing favours for your guests, and if so what? 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as tagged, Lissa Alexandra Photography, Chris Milner Photography, Jamie Penfold Photography, Petals & Peonies, Weddings Vintage 

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Posted in Guest Blog, Wedding Favours | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

The Rise Of The Mini Moon

November 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Cat Hepple Photography

It’s been a busy Monday morning and Friday feels a long way off.  What better time than for our regular guest blogger Rachel (we’ve missed you Rach!) to talk time out and remind you that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.  Today, she’s all about facilitating that “minimoon”.  Monday blues?  What Monday blues? Go on, get it booked…

Images by Cat Hepple Photography, as previously featured here and here

Cat Hepple Photography

Rachel says:  I don’t know about you but I love an excuse to extend a celebration. Take my birthday for example – of course the main celebration is the day itself but I like to push the partying over at least one weekend, if not two. After all there’s the family meal, weekend away with the boyfriend (I hope) and drinks, shopping and spa treatments with friends to squeeze in. And don’t even get me started on festive celebrations in our household – they stretch from the very beginning of December right into the new year (though thankfully don’t include a turkey curry buffet).

Looking at today’s wedding scene, it’s clear there are many wedding couples who share my mindset with a growing trend for weekend weddings. After all, why would you confine the celebrations to just one day when you can easily spread it across three with a pre-wedding dinner the ceremony itself and then, of course, a day of present opening, cake eating, champagne quaffing and catching up with family and friends.

But now brides and grooms are taking extending the wedding celebrations a step further by delaying their main honeymoon until later in the year, or even the following year, and taking a minimoon in the meantime instead.

Cat Hepple Photography

The minimoon was originally born out of the credit crunch when many wedding couples were forced to tighten the purse strings. Research revealed brides and grooms were swapping lavish two-week holidays to long-haul destinations such as the Maldives for shorter holidays closer to home. But as circumstances have continued to change so too have couples’ holidaying habits, with many brides and grooms now having the best of both worlds – booking themselves a minimoon for a that much-needed break straight after the wedding and a honeymoon a little later down the line, giving reason for the wedding excitement to live on.

Cat Hepple Photography

A minimoon usually consists of a relaxing three- to four-day break at a destination not too far away from the wedding location. Some couples might choose a sentimental location such as the first place they went on holiday together or the place they got engaged, while others might just want a destination that provides pure relaxation to unwind following the tense pre-wedding build up. In the UK top choices include rustic retreats, spa breaks and city locations while those flush enough to push the minimoon boundaries are jetting off to romantic European destinations such as Rome, Paris and Venice.

Cat Hepple Photography

While delaying a honeymoon in favour of a minimoon does effectively spread the celebrations, it has become a big hit among today’s wedding couples for many more reasons.

The minimoon is particularly popular with teachers and those with work commitments that can’t afford to take large amounts of time off work all in one go. It’s also ideal for those asking their guests for contributions towards the honeymoon instead of traditional gifts as they book a holiday suited to the fund following the wedding.

Cat Hepple Photography

For those who can only handle so much planning at a time, delaying the main honeymoon means there will be more time to organise the holiday after the wedding preparations have taken place. Taking a minimoon in the meantime means couples have that essential break before returning to the daily grind after their wedding day.

A postponed honeymoon also gives brides and grooms who will be stumping up the honeymoon costs themselves longer to save up and book their holiday at a time suited to the best prices and weather conditions.

Cat Hepple Photography

So while the credit crunch may curbed our Topshop sprees and cocktail drinking, we do have it to thank for the introduction of the minimoon/postponed honeymoon trend which helps keep the post-wedding day blues at bay that bit longer.

What do you think?  Will you/ did you take a minimoon?  Any hot spot recommendations for our other readers?

All images taken from Alice & Paul’s gorgeous Parisian engagement shoot with Cat Hepple PhotographyClick here and here to see the full set. 

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Cat Hepple Photography

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Posted in Guest Blog, Honeymoon | Filed Under | 1 Comment

Evening Do… Or Evening Don’t?

September 27th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Jonny Draper Photography

Our regular guest blogger Rachel – editor of Mosaic Brides – is giving me the morning off, as she takes control of these pretty pages to debate the pros and cons of a wedding at sundown.  No more worries about getting to the church on time: if you’re going to be fashionably late, why not make it official?!  Over to Rachel. 

With images by Jonny Draper Photography 

Jonny Draper Photography

Rachel says:  As marriage laws have been relaxed over the years couples have been given much more say over when and where they tie the knot.  One of the most recent changes to marriage laws means ceremonies can now be conducted outside the traditional hours of 8am to 6pm so couples can get married at any time of day or night – depending on the venue, of course.

It seems crazy that it’s taken this long for the rule to be relaxed considering it was initially introduced in 1837 to stop people marrying the wrong partner in the dark before the days of electricity (awkward).

The change is seen as a good thing for those looking to save money on their wedding day as it gives them the option to hold their celebrations in the evening, which means less expenditure on food, drink, entertainment and venue hire.

Jonny Draper Photography

But, as the law was only changed in England and Wales last year (there are no restriction on the hours of weddings in Scotland) the difficulty may be finding a venue that provides the option of an evening wedding, as most would prefer couples to hire the facilities for the majority of the day and evening.

Before deciding on whether or not to say ‘I do’ at dusk it’s worth taking a look at the pros and cons in a little more detail.

Jonny Draper Photography

Pros

Save – As previously mentioned the biggest plus point is considered to be the savings couples can make by holding their celebrations in the evening. So instead of forking out for a champagne and canapés reception plus a main wedding breakfast and evening meal, couples should be able to get away with feeding their guests just the one time. Similarly you will only require entertainment for the evening and the venue hire should be less for the amount of hours you require it for.

Relax – A later ceremony means no rushing around during the day. There will be plenty of time to decorate the venue, take receipt of flowers, cakes etc and make those final checks ahead of the ceremony. This also means more time for the bride and her maids to get ready and make the most of the venue’s facilities (halleluiah).

Personal preference – If you’re not marrying during traditional hours there’s certainly no need to stick to all the formalities. For example after the ceremony you could enjoy a cocktail hour (a trend particularly popular in America) without the fear that your guests will crash and burn before the party really gets started. Also instead of a formal sit down meal you could have street style food or a buffet so guests can mingle and the disco/live entertainment can get underway. If you are a real foodie however, the money you save on only needing to feed your guests once can be pooled on the main meal so you can really go to town and treat your guests to something special.

No lulls – We’ve all been to a wedding where we’ve found ourselves stood around with nothing to do but listen to the sound of our stomachs rumbling. A later wedding means less time to fit things in and so the proceedings should move swiftly from one part of the celebrations to the next without guests becoming bored.

Setting the scene – An evening wedding can make for a more atmospheric and romantic occasion with low lighting and twinkling fairy lights and candles. Creative couples can go all out on a decedent theme to suit the mood such as Great Gatsby with sparkling décor, elegant lighting and glamorous attire.

Grateful guests – A later time of arrival means guests can travel to the venue on the wedding day so those coming from further afield don’t need to book more than one night’s accommodation. An evening wedding, particularly on week days, can also mean that guests don’t have to take a full day off work.

Jonny Draper Photography

Cons

Blink and you’ve missed it – Most couples are put off the idea of an evening wedding simply because they’re told a wedding goes too quickly so they should make the most of it with a full day of celebrations.

Nerves – Many brides, grooms and those that will be making a speech can suffer terrible nerves on the wedding day awaiting their moment in the spotlight. A later wedding means a longer wait and more time for nerves to build.

Venue – As previously mentioned finding a venue for an evening wedding can be tricky as many places will prefer couples to hire the facilities for the day and evening. Also local authorities and religious groups aren’t forced to conduct marriages outside the traditional hours, so finding someone to conduct the legal part could also prove challenging.

Photography – Getting married later in the day, and particularly in the winter, means less natural light for photographs. Those getting married at venues with gorgeous grounds and stunning views will more than likely want to use them as backdrops for wonderful wedding pictures which require daylight. Those who do choose to hold evening celebrations should look for a photographer who has some great night time shots in their portfolio to ensure they still get some standout snaps.

Jonny Draper Photography

One area of the law that remains however is that 15 days advance notice is required for weddings – so they’ll be no drunken Ross and Rachel style wedding ceremonies taking place in England just yet!

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Jonny Draper Photography

Rachel Parry is a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

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

Posted in Guest Blog, Wedding Planning | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

Milk Maids: Would You Dress Your Wedding Party In White?

August 15th, 2013 | Julia Braime

(c) J Davies Photography

Image © J Davies Photography

Last time you met, she wanted you to wear colour on your wedding day – and now she wants you to put your bridesmaids in white!  Our regular guest blogger Rachel of Mosaic Brides keeps on arguing the case for turning the tables on traditional bridal fashion.  Over to you, Rach!

Rachel says: In my last Brides Up North feature I asked if brides-to-be dare to deviate from a traditionally white wedding by wearing a coloured dress. This time I’m switching things around to discuss if it’s acceptable to dress bridesmaids in white – or should the pure hue be reserved for brides only?

While I often to-and-fro over what colours my maids will wear (when that day finally arrives) white has never cropped up, not even on my maybe list. But having recently noted a rise in the number of brides dressing their main girls in white or ivory, I’m finally starting to warm to the idea.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bridesmaids, Guest Blog, UK Wedding Blog | Filed Under | 1 Comment

Style A Rainbow: Could You Rock A Colourful Frock?

July 15th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Claire Pettibone – Venus

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As well as the usual – and still beautiful – ivories and whites adorning the bridal catwalks for the past few seasons, they have also been awash with watercolour hues as wedding gown designers step away from monochrome and explore the further reaches of the rainbow.  Our regular guest blogger, Rachel Parry of Mosaic Brides has fallen head over heels for colour. 

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Rachel says:  As part of my job (and in my spare time) I spend a lot of hours swooning over beautiful wedding dresses which often results in a daydream of my very own white wedding. However recently I’ve found myself dreaming in colour as many wedding dress designers have dared to dip their gowns in beautiful blush tones and even vibrant hues, posing a controversial question to brides – would you marry in a colour?

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While many brides do stray from pure white to the heady heights of ivory, very few dare to go that step further. But with an influx of coloured gowns on the bridal catwalks for several seasons now the trend is gradually growing in popularity and has picked up several celebrity endorsements along the way. Last year the gorgeous Jessica Biel married Mr JT in a pretty pink gown and actresses Anne Hathaway and Reece Witherspoon have also walked the aisle wearing the girly hue.

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While I wouldn’t dare to go as far as fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker who married in black, I would consider the option of a pastel wedding dress. I think soft hues such as taupe, peach, powder pink and baby blue give gowns a romantic and whimsical appearance, perfect for a fairytale wedding.

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Claire Pettibone – Dew Drop

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Some of my favourite designs come from Claire Pettibone who often injects bursts of colour into her delicate and detailed creations.  For those not wanting to stray too far from tradition, Pettibone has many flattering and fashionable designs in subtle gold and blush tones with elegant embroidery detailing.

Personally I was a big fan of her pale pink ‘Dew Drop’ dress, complete with eye-catching rose bolero.

Several designs in her recent collection ‘An Earthy Paradise’ feature on-trend pops of mint green and the full coloured ‘Venus’ dress.

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Ian Stuart

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The expert in theatrical bridal wear, Ian Stuart is also an advocate of coloured wedding dresses.

His ‘Killer Queen’ collection featured many dramatic designs in muted palettes such as taupe, honey, rose and lilac as well as bolder options including the ‘Verbier’ dress in blue and ‘Broadway’ in bright peony pink. Coloured dresses also feature in his latest collection ‘Supernova’ but the confident designer has gone one step by with the addition of a floral print dress, ‘South Pacific’ which is both bold and beautiful. Australian designer Wendy Makin has also included a statement floral print dress (‘Katelyn’) in her couture collection which is attracting a lot of attention..

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Ian Stuart

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Of course these aren’t the only designers experimenting with colour. Maggie Sottero, Charlotte Balbier, Veromia and Elie Saab but to name a few have also come up with colourful creations.

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Ian Stuart

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Perhaps the queen of coloured wedding dresses though is Vera Wang who never fears to push the design boundaries. Previous collections have included the cute yellow Isabella dress and the dramatic grey and black Josephine gown. She also turned up the heat with an all red collection for Spring 2013 and her latest Spring 2014 saw the catwalk awash with striking monochrome creations for fashion-forward brides.

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Ian Stuart

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So, would you, could you, should you?  Leave us a comment and let us know!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as credited

Rachel Parry is a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

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

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Posted in Guest Blog, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

Sound The Bugles! The Venue Hunt Has Commenced…

May 27th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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And you thought I was going to ease you back in gently after the bank holiday break, eh?  Incorrect.

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This afternoon, we are going hard (or going home) and getting one big thing ticked off that to-do list – your wedding venue.  Dropping by to talk you through it is our regular guest blogger Rachel of Mosaic Brides.  Notepads – and cheque books – at the ready people… 

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DINE LEAFLET

Allerton Castle, North Yorkshire by Chris Chambers Photography

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Rachel says:  Last week I received a picture message of a sparkly diamond on the ring finger of a pretty manicured hand. I knew without even looking at the sender’s name that the perfectly polished hand belonged to my beautician friend Jo. Sure enough her boyfriend James had whisked her away to a romantic hotel in North Yorkshire where he popped the question in a plush roll top bath, complete with bubbles and fizz.

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When meeting up with Jo this week to hear more about the proposal (I’m a sucker for a soppy engagement story) I handed her a useful engagement pressie rather than the expected bottle of champagne. It was a cute wedding planner book from Marks & Spencer titled ‘Lots of Lovely Ideas For A Very Big Day’ with dedicated areas for the guest list, contacts, the budget and checklists as well as pages to record wardrobe, reception and ceremony details. So where to begin?

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For Jo and many others it’s the venue. This is often the biggest expense and one of the most important factors of a wedding as it sets the scene for the big day. Therefore it’s well worth researching all the fantastic venues available (particularly in the North, of course) to ensure you find one that ticks all the boxes.

Hotels remain a top choice, often favoured for their package deals and on site facilities, but changes in the law and the amazing creativity of suppliers have made the previously impossible, possible when it comes to dream wedding venues.

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So what are the options beyond the church in the UK and what should you take into consideration when doing your research?

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Something Old

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We are fortunate to have many stunning historic venues in the UK that are licensed for civil ceremonies. Options include castles, country houses, listed halls and stately homes. Such venues tend to ooze character and charm meaning little décor is required which can make a big saving. Their rooms are often of large proportions providing plenty of space for big guest numbers though those planning more modest celebrations should not be put off as smaller, more intimate rooms are often available.

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Gimble_Wade_Wedding_240

Meredith & at Denton Hall in West Yorkshire (see their full celebration by clicking here) image by Gary Micklethwaite

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Perfectly Packaged

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Most hotels or independent venues hold a civil license giving couple’s the straightforward option of having their celebrations all in one place which can eliminate travel costs from the budget altogether. It’s important to ask what’s included in the price such as room hire, the registrar and the wedding breakfast, also ask if there is a minimum guest requirement and how prices vary on different days of the week and throughout the year. To make the plans even more manageable the hotel may well have a list of recommended suppliers that you can use which can save you both time and money. Be sure to enquire about exclusivity – if you want the place to yourselves there can be an additional charge.

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Rise Hall, East Yorkshire by Peter Boyd Photography

Rise Hall, East Yorkshire by Peter Boyd Photography 

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Blank Canvas

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Marquees and tepees continue to rise in popularity with couples won over by the prospect of having a plain backdrop to go to town on for a unique and stylish celebration. While you can’t legally get married in marquee or tipi as it’s not a permanent structure, you can throw a flippin’ good party in one afterwards. The styling possibilities are endless from cute bunting and bundles of hay to natural blooms and twinkly fairy lights. Some also offer the option to create individual areas for dancing, dining and chilling, complete with cosy fur throws and roaring fires. Though a marquee or tepee might seem a cheaper option, additional costs such as the fee to plant it on someone’s land and essentials such as toilets, heating and electricity can see the price creep up.

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John Steel Photography for Totally Tipi & Horti-couture

John Steel Photography for Totally Tipi & Horti-couture

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Let’s Go Outside

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My friend Jo has her heart set on a relaxed outdoor wedding with lots of live music. While some venues do have gazebos, band-stands and the like licensed four outdoor weddings, those craving a more adventurous or quirky backdrop may still be able to secure their dream setting by doing the legal ‘I do’ bit separate. This means simply booking into the registry office prior to the outdoor celebrations for the legal formalities which can take as little as 20 minutes. A celebrant can then conduct a more personal ceremony in front of your guests at your chosen outdoor wedding setting whether it’s on the beach, a woodland location or amongst the ruins of a castle.

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Alnwick Garden

The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

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Dare To Be Different

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Changes in legislation have opened up the doorways to many unusual settings for couples to tie the knot in. Out of the ordinary options include museums, theatres, restaurants, sporting venues, private residences and art galleries.

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Happy hunting!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as credited

Rachel Parry is a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

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

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Posted in Guest Blog, Wedding Planning, Wedding Venues | Filed Under | 1 Comment

Wednesday Wedding Inspiration: Whispers Of Blue

May 15th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Whispers Of Blue Wedding Inspiration

1. Tulips Image 2. Jenny Packham ‘Shukura’ Gown 3. ‘Perdita’ Headpiece 4. Floral Cake 5. Suede Shoes 6. Upcycled Frame Noticeboards 7. Alex Monroe Flying Swallow Necklace 8. Table Decor 9. Bridesmaids Gowns

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This morning on the wedding blog our regular guest blogger and epic mood board builder Katy of What Katy Did Next is getting pale and interesting with a wash of blue and grey…

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Katy says:  I think perhaps I’m getting a little psychic! After yesterday’s splendid weather, this fortnight’s wedding inspiration board is perfectly suited to today’s grey cloud and rain!  I have a huge colour crush on the faded dove grey blue used in my ‘Perdita’ headpiece from my Winter Collection (top, right). I love the almost colourless shade and how beautifully it teams with greys, silvers and pale shades.

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The colour palette is beautifully versatile in that it can be glammed up with crystal and sparkle for a fashionable Wintery ‘do’, add lace bunting or balloons and use it for an outdoorsy barn wedding. I even love the idea of adding a few more stripes and having a nautical theme!

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The simple tulip bouquet tied with velvet ribbon is amazing as a bridal bouquet – but if you’re looking for something more extravagant try a similar style with hydrangea, ranunculus and peonies? The tulips would work perfectly for your maids, which I love in their mismatched styles (bottom, right).

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Black and white photos work perfectly with the colour scheme – I love them dotted on the upcycled frame noticeboards I found after fawning after delicious personalised silverware from The Faded Nest. The frames could also double as seating charts or menu’s and you could decorate them with old family photos from both bride and groom’s family for a personal touch in your wedding decor!

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Don’t forget to keep your requests coming in to either me or Julia. I’d love to help you out with any inspiration dilemmas…

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Remember: the plan is to share a new inspiration board in this time slot every other week, either compiled by myself, regular guest blogger Katy or YOU: get in touch with your own ideas and inspiration boards! We’ll be discussing our inspirations behind the images too so it’s simply going to be a whole load of lovely.

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If you are a little less arty but in need of inspiration and still want to play along, we will also be taking requests for colour schemes and themes and making bespoke boards for my readers. Please contact me to suggest a theme or colour scheme.

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Click here to see previous Wednesday Wedding Inspiration Mood Boards

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as credited, supplied by What Katy Did Next

This is not a sponsored post

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

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