Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

fine finishes: bridal accessories trends for 2017

March 10th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

BHLDN

This afternoon on our pretty pages we have details of the top bridal accessories trends for the year ahead, courtesy of our guest writer, the lovely Izzy Hicks of media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine.

Izzy says: As big fans of all things shiny, we love keeping our eyes on the latest wedding jewellery and accessory looks here at Love Our Wedding! So today we’re excited to be sharing some the vey best up-and-coming trends for 2017 to help inspire those all-important finishing touches…

shoulder jewellery

A glamorous and bohemian take on the more traditional necklace, shoulder jewellery is perfect for those looking to make a modern statement with their wedding accessories. Pair with an otherwise simple strapless column dress for an effortless boho look. We love the Reina shoulder necklace from BHLDN.

Badgley Mischka

sparkling shoes

We’re putting this trend down to Instagram! Brides have always been fans of sparkling shoes, in our experience, but for 2017 designers like Badgley Mischka and Harriet Wilde are going for bling-heavy styles that are sure to make a real impact as the bride walks down the aisle.

Natural crystals - IMAGE CREDIT - Catherine Deane

natural crystals

Crystals in bridal jewellery is nothing new, but more alternative designers are opting for a natural, organic feel to their pieces, for a look that’s part Frozen, part Game of Thrones. Quartz-style crystals make the perfect statement tiara or a more dramatic necklace.

Charlotte Olympia

statement flats

Just because you’ve chosen not to wear heels, it doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to boring flats! Luckily, there are plenty of quirky yet comfy designs around this season, from Kate Spade’s glittering collaboration with Keds to Charlotte Olympia’s uber-cute cat-inspired slippers, which even come complete with nude hold-ups trimmed with blue lace.

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#girlsquad: bridesmaid trends for 2017

February 10th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Allure 1435-1436

Allure 1435 & 1436

We’re seeing lots of exciting bridesmaid trends coming up in 2017, which means that come the big day, your leading ladies can be looking as stylish as you (well, almost!).

This afternoon we’re putting the blog in the safe hands of our guest writer, the lovely Izzy Hicks of our media partner, Love Our Wedding Magazine, to tell us about the top bridesmaid trends for the year ahead.

floral prints

Izzy says: Floral wedding gowns were popular in designers’ 2016 collections, so it’s no surprise that bridesmaids are jumping on the bandwagon too with stunning flower print dresses. This trend can be worn a few different ways: in different colours for a cute vintage vibe, in different lengths but a matching print for an updated take on mix and match maids, or with just the maid of honour in floral print to make her really stand out! A top label for floral prints this season is Allure.

Christina Wu 22704

Christina Wu 22704

sequins

One of our favourite bridesmaid trends this year is sequins! Luckily for magpie brides, this trend is appearing in more and more 2017 bridesmaid collections, meaning they can pick sparkling gowns in a number of different styles and colours. Try full-length sequins for Jessica Rabbit glam, mixed metallics for an Instagram-worthy bridal party or sequin tops with chiffon or tulle skirts for just a hint of sparkle.

Look to Christina Wu Celebration for some dazzling options.

Kelsey Rose Style 12559

Kelsey Rose Style 12559

separates

Another bridesmaid trend taken from bridal is the separates. Instead of dresses, designers are including separate tops and skirts (or even trousers!) in their bridesmaid collections so that brides can mix and match styles for their maids. Not only does this mean that you can change up the styles depending on your bridesmaids’ preferences and body shapes, but they’re more likely to be able to wear the separate pieces again. We especially love this look combined with an on-trend crop top, perfect for boho or destination weddings. Our favourite label for separates this season is Kelsey Rose.

Special Day Diamond Collection D16556

Special Day Diamond Collection D16556

tea-length tulle

With more brides opting for 1950s-inspired tea-length wedding dresses, 2017 will be the year to have matching bridesmaids. Tea-length tulle gowns look cute on young bridesmaids and elegant on adult maids, and make the perfect choice for a vintage-inspired wedding theme. Add brightly-coloured petticoats for a fun retro twist! Special Day Ireland has some stunning tea-length tulle examples in its collection.

Jasmine B2 Style B193011

Jasmine B2 Style B193011

cold shoulder

This pretty detail updates a classic bridesmaid dress and brings it right into 2017. The cold shoulder silhouette is the ideal way to balance coverage with just a little skin showing, and flatters bridesmaids of all shapes and sizes. Wear it in pastel colours for a dreamy, summer boho vibe, or switch it up for winter with rich jewel shades. A great label for this look is Jasmine B2.

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well heeled: 2017 wedding shoes trends

January 21st, 2017 | Rachel Parry

6. BAREFOOT SANDALS - Forever soles

Forever Soles

This weekend we’re handing over the blogging reins to our guest writer, the lovely Sophie Grabham, Online Editor at Love Our Wedding Magazine, to fill us in on all the new bridal shoe trends for the year ahead…

sophie says: Gorgeous wedding shoes have always been the perfect finishing touch to any bridal look, but with shorter hemlines and high-low dresses growing in popularity, they’re more important than ever before!

Brides are now looking for show-stopping heels that play a big part in their overall look. So whether you’re in search of something comfy and low, or sky-high and striking, here are a few 2017 top trends to look out when choosing your perfect pair…

1. METALLICS - Rachel Simpson - Ginger shoe

Rachel Simpson – Ginger

metallics

Ultra-glam and bang on-trend, metallics are a great choice for stylish brides. Confident, fashion-forward brides can opt for a full-on metallic design, while those looking for a more chic and timeless style may prefer to stick to metallic detailing or muted tones. Check out this gorgeous design from Rachel Simpson, for a vintage twist on metallics.

sequins

Following on from metallics, sequins are also big news for 2017! This trend is everywhere in the wedding world right now, from bridesmaid dresses to table runners, so it’s no surprise that shoe designers have embraced the trend, too. From all-out glamour, to subtle hints of sparkle, make the sequin trend work for you by finding a design to suit your style. Rainbow Club have a stunning selection of sequin shoes and matching clutch bags this season, as do Pink by Paradox.

2. SEQUINS - Pink by Paradox Eve shoe

Pink by Paradox – Eve 

colour

A great way to add a pop of colour to your bridal look is by wearing a funky pair of colourful heels. Feeling brave? Go for a bright and beautiful pair to really stand out from the crowd, perhaps with a bold floral print – another key trend for 2017. If you’re more of a pastels girl, try chic shades of blush, champagne or nude. Or, why not choose a blue shade, so your heels can double up as your ‘something blue’? Rainbow Club offer a great shoe dyeing service, making it easy to match your shoes to your scheme.

boots

One trend we adore, especially for autumn/winter weddings, is bridal boots. We love this chic pair by Harriet Wilde that will keep you looking stylish and feeling warm! What more could you ask for?

3. COLOUR - Rainbow Club - Harlow shoes

Rainbow Club – Harlow

barefoot sandals

Forget heels sinking in the sand, the latest trend for barefoot sandals is a real game changer for those marrying abroad. The romantic boho designs simply adorn the top of the foot, and are ideal for laid-back summer celebrations. Forever Soles have a stunning range, including silver, beaded and crochet designs, that will have you looking effortlessly elegant.

shoe clips

Personalise your look and jazz-up a plain pair of heels with beautiful shoe clips. Customising a non-bridal shoe will mean you can wear them again and again after the big day, and is also a great option for matching up your bridesmaids shoes, too. Again, Rachel Simpson has some stunning designs, including embellished and floral style clips, that will instantly make your footwear fancy. Check out Brides Up North Sponsor Charlotte Mills‘s collection too.

5. SHOE CLIPS - Rachel Simpson Simone shoe clips

Rachel Simpson – Simone shoe clips

Love Our Wedding is stocked by hundreds of top bridal boutiques, venues & fairs nationwide. Visit loveourweddingmag.com to download or order your FREE monthly copy today. 

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lourdes, ladies and no gentlemen. our real life bride & celebrity columnist jane reveals all about le hen do

September 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Jane's Hen Party (2)

Last month our real life bride and celebrity columnist Jane Witherspoon, took a brief break from her hectic showbiz reporting schedule to jet off on her hen do to the south of France. Fancy!

Joined by her top ladies, Jane and her squad enjoyed a memorable weekend (well sort of), of culture, relaxation, fine food and wine – oh and champagne, oh yeah, and vodka!

Here she reveals all they got up to (well the bits she can remember), as in true bride-to-be hen do style, Jane adopted a somewhat go hard or go home approach. Jane, we salute you!

Now back home in the UK, Jane has less than six weeks to go until the big day and so is shoehorning in the last minute preparations and planning around her numerous work commitments, which includes covering London Fashion Week. Sounds glam hey? But seriously we don’t know how she fits everything in, she certainly works hard – and from what’s about to follow, she plays hard too…

Jane's Hen Party (9)

jane says: It’s often billed as a last big hurrah for many brides to be but I feel like I’ve been practicing this partying business for quite a while now. As for my hens – they definitely know how to have a good time.

I’m very lucky to have some amazing girls around me especially as I approach the six-weeks-to-go milestone. They threw me the most brilliant bash in the south of France and this blog post is dedicated to each and every one of them for the part they played. Mam, Emma, Emsy, Nicole, Karthi, Sara, Karyn and Krysia – love you ladies!

Jane's Hen Party (12)

An early start in drizzly Stansted didn’t dampen our spirits as we began our little jet-set jaunt. We were soon air bound having cleaned up on free shots in Duty Free. That’s as tacky as it got…who am I kidding!

On arrival in Lourdes we were soon in a taxi and taking a short detour to nearby town Tarbes to pick up Nicole who was travelling by train from Poitiers to meet us in the Pyrenees. I arrived wearing a fancy dress nuns habit which the girls had insisted on. Not even a ‘hello’ let alone a ‘bonjour’, ‘where’s my prosecco?’ Nicole asked. That’s how it started…

Jane's Hen Party (7)

Karyn and Krysia had invited us to spend the long weekend at their 18th Century farmhouse in Bernac-Debat, Midi-Pyrenees. As we pulled up to the iron gates we muttered ‘wow’ in unison. The place was incredible. Shutters, chandeliers and champagne. After a not so quick (the place was huge) tour of the grounds and pool, everyone bagged their four-poster beds and it was down to business. We had a weekend of eating and drinking ahead of us.

For anyone thinking of a trip to the region I couldn’t recommend our base in Bernac-Debat highly enough. It is 20 minutes from the airport on the edge of a fabulous mountain region and nearby Tarbes town and Lourdes is a must.

Jane's Hen Party (3)

After a few rounds of hum bug (a guessing game where you hum songs. Sadly these videos have been deleted) we had the most amazing roast duck meal cooked for us. So I’m told. I sadly had to leave the girls to enjoy this without me after a forfeit involving a tumbler of vodka put paid to my plans for the evening. Yes I missed the first night of my own hen do. On the plus side, my 13 hour sleep meant I was fresh as a daisy for day two.

A short bus ride meant we spent the day exploring the beautiful town of Tarbes, its cafes and fountains. A quick trip back to the house to freshen up and we were on our way to dinner.

Jane's Hen Party (6)

Emsy had booked us into a restaurant which features in the Michelin guide called Trait Blanc – albeit the booking was for the week after we were there. Our lack of French vocabulary was brushed aside and waiter Jean-Henri sat us in a private garden out the back (which was just as well because of the noise we made). The reviews said ‘look nowhere else’. The food was incredible. I’d highly recommend if you’re looking for great food that’s reasonably priced.

Sunday was pool party day. We soaked up the night before with a fry up then cranked up Gloria Estefan on the music system and went for the burn. More cheese, wine and laughs from the moment we woke till we slept. The weekend was drawing to a close far too fast. But, there was one tourist spot just down the road we had to squeeze in.

Jane's Hen Party (4)

You can’t go to Lourdes and not visit the town itself and the famous grotto. So it may not be very ‘hen do-ey’ but it’s definitely worth a visit whether you’re religious or not. It’s a beautiful town and the Cathedral is stunning. After a brief whirlwind tour and a quick prayer we were headed for the airport and UK laden with holy water! Well, we certainly didn’t need any more duty free booze!

Follow our real life bride and celebrity columnist Jane, at @Janeyspoon.

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what a beauty. our real life bride & celebrity columnist jane prepares to get glam

July 29th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Jane Witherspoon  (4)

Last time we caught up with Jane Witherspoon, our real life bride & celebrity columnist, she’d been thinking about how to impress guests with her flower, food and entertainment choices for her upcoming wedding while getting some top tips from newlywed wed actress Michelle Keegan.

Fast-forward a month and Jane’s thoughts have turned to her own appearance on the big day, and in particular what style of hair and makeup she might have for her moment in the spotlight.

Luckily Jane’s job as a celebrity reporter has once again put her in touch with an A-lister (of the beauty world) who can help. Hair and makeup artist to the rich and famous Ciona Johnson-King, whose clients include Cameron Diaz and Keira Knitghley, has styled Jane on many occasions for glittering events at which she has been reporting.

So as her wedding day approaches, Jane has called upon Ciona to give her some expert advice on her bridal beauty regime. And rather than keeping it all to herself, the generous bride-to-be is sharing all the details with you here on the blog today. What a star!

Jane Witherspoon  (5)

jane says: It’s hard to keep on top of a good beauty regime at the best of times let alone when you’re finalising plans for a wedding. I’m not doing too well at trying to eat healthier and drink lots of water. In fact, the busier I get the more I seem to consume! And as for this growing my hair malarkey, generally I’m feeling a bit of a mess. I’m sure it will all be worth it come October though.

For the big day itself, I’m thinking of eeping my hair and makeup quite simple and classic, inspired by Princess Grace of Monaco.

Luckily when it comes to bridal beauty I’ve got a trump card in the form of Ciona Johnson-King. Ciona is the make-up artist to the stars and I’m so lucky and proud to be able to call her my friend. Cameron Diaz, Audrey Tautou, Liv Tyler, Gwyneth Paltorw and Keira Knightley are just a few of the names she’s worked with.

Jane Witherspoon  (3)

With this in mind I’m handing over this month’s blog post to Cio to give you some amazing pre-wedding beauty tips, and accompanying the post are some of my favourite Ciona creations – now what style to choose?

ciona says: If you’re reading this, the chances are you or someone dear to you is about to get married. Congratulations! It’s the most magical day of your life. I thoroughly recommend it! To help you prepare, here are few of my top wedding tips…

1. Practice beforehand, using daylight when available. Your hairstyle needs to work from the sides and back as well as the front. Make sure your skin tone is the same from the face to all body parts. It’s important to be completely comfortable on the big day so don’t go too far out of your comfort zone with your hair and makeup. It’s not the time to try the latest catwalk trend. Take photos from different angles so you can see how your hair and makeup will look.

2. Take care sunbathing in the run up to the wedding as suntan marks are very tricky to disguise. If fake tanning, build up light layers over a few days or weeks rather than going for a strong spray tan just before your wedding. Find the brand and level of tan that works best on your skin well in advance. It’s all part of the research!

3. Gently exfoliating the skin really does help with radiance. This is the time to treat yourself to some good serum and moisturiser to nourish the skin too.

4. Eat healthily, drink water, exercise, sleep well and avoid stress. Basically -look after yourself!

5. On the day, allocate plenty of preparation time. Listen to your favourite playlist to help relax you. I usually ask the bride’s best friend to help keep our zone free of too many interruptions. You’d be surprised how many people pop in to say ‘hi’! The last thing you want is someone bringing in their last minute drama whilst the bride’s getting ready. Don’t forget to eat either, as fainting at the aisle isn’t a good look (as a make-up artist, I’m likely to be the one force-feeding the bride).

Here Ciona shares three of her beauty videos to help brides-to-be achieve that perfect wedding day look: Golden, Hollywood and Romantic.

golden

hollywood

romantic

Next month Jane will be bringing us all the gossip from her hen do. She and the gals are off to a friend’s 18th Century farmhouse in France. Sounds fabulous!

Follow Ciona Johnson-King at @CionaJK or for more information visit www.ciona.co.

Follow Jane, at @Janeyspoon.

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flowers, food & festivities: our real life bride and celebrity columnist jane takes some tips from michelle keegan

June 30th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Jane Witherspoon meets Michelle Keegan  (3)

Last month on the blog Jane Witherspoon, our real life bride and celebrity columnist, shared with us details of her early wedding planning, including the reasons behind deciding on North East venue Brinkburn Priory, for her upcoming wedding in October.

As a celeb reporter for the likes of Good Morning Britain, Jane also made us green with envy as she told us about her latest red carpet antics which included interviewing a certain Mr Clooney. And she’s been at it again! This time though she’s been rubbing shoulders with a big girl crush of ours here at Brides Up North, actress and newlywed Michelle Keegan.

So we’ll let Jane give you all the goss on what Miss Keegan had to say about her lavish ceremony to Mr Wright, whilst also bringing you up to date with the plans for her and beau Alex’s impending wedding.

Jane Witherspoon meets Michelle Keegan  (6)

jane says: So we’re on a train to see Alex’s parents as I write this blog. “Why don’t you write about invitations?” he says sarcastically. Oops, we really need to get on top of this ‘wedmin’! I can see why some people would hire a wedding co-ordinator as it’s hard to find the time to get organised. That said, we have got the bones of our wedding nailed down.

Wedding season is well and truly upon us. I’ve even been chatting nuptials on Good Morning Britain this month following Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan’s big day. I thought they both looked stunning. In fact I’d go as far to say that Michelle is the most gorgeous girl I’ve ever met!

They tied the knot at the beautiful Hengrave Hall in Suffolk in front of 120 guests. The same number that will be attending ours at Brinkburn Priory. I interviewed her a few weeks ago and we were swapping bride-to-be tips. She told me once the venue is booked that the most important thing was to get your flowers sorted. Having since seen the reports that she spent £60,000 on flowers I now understand why she thought it was a big deal!

Jane Witherspoon meets Michelle Keegan  (4)

We’re still undecided what to do about the floral aspect of our day but we definitely won’t be splashing out to that extent on them. I love that our venue was a medieval monastery. It’s so magical. There was talk of us putting flowers in the priory itself but the more we chat about it I like that its old stone and atmospheric. We’re leaning more to the idea of filling it with candles. Our reception is being held in two tipis on site that have pit fires in them. The tables will have eastern style lanterns on them and lots of tea lights so flowers will be minimalist.

We’re working with a lovely florist called Christine at Lavenders Blue in Northumberland. She’s got some great ideas which will add elegance and simplicity to the day. Simple glass cubes with a single ivory hydrangea and greenery. The poles of the tipis will be decorated with green foliage and have fairy lights around them too. I’m a typical magpie (had to get the Newcastle United reference in) and love anything sparkly.

Jane Witherspoon Floral Ideas

Next, glorious food. What do you serve up at a wedding that’s going to satisfy everyone with different tastes? Let me introduce Wilkins Fine Dining. Neil and his team are just amazing. We’re still to do our tasting session which Alex can’t wait for. Everyone I talk to says that the food tasting session is one of the highlights of planning a wedding. We’re thinking of serving Roulade of Ham Hock and Piccalilli for starter followed by Slow Cooked Shoulder of Wingate’s Lamb, Fondant Potato and Rosemary Sauce. For dessert it’s warm Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramel Sauce. There will of course be a vegetarian option and no doubt once we sample all of Wilkins’ taster menu this could all change!

Jane Witherspoon meets Michelle Keegan  (5)

We’ve booked the entertainment for the night too. An old friend from school put us in touch with a band called Purple Cloud of Funk. They’re incredible. In my business I get to go to a lot of gigs and these guys really stand out. They’re fun and play tunes that will have everyone on their feet. Guests can expect a mix of the latest pop tunes mixed in with some classics and lots of Northern Soul and Motown. We’ll be asking guests to suggest a song as part of their RSVP and that will make up the play list. That reminds me, those invitations!

Jane Witherspoon meets Michelle Keegan  (7)

In my July blog post I will be talking dresses and makeup. I bumped into Hunger Games actor Sam Claflin at the Burberry show at London Men’s Collection last week. We have a mutual friend – Ciona Johnson-King. She’s the best makeup artist in the business who’s worked with him since he started his career as well as Hollywood A-listers including Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz and Daniel Craig. So next month I’ll be bringing you some of her top beauty tips!

Follow Jane on Twitter @janeyspoon

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