Charlotte Balbier

hey cupid… a valentine’s day wish list

February 12th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Valentines Wish List

Whether you consider it a day of passion or a commercial con, valentine’s day is the perfect time to swindle a lovely gift out of your other half.

You might be lucky enough to have a romantic fella whose already got your pressie all wrapped up, as well as a table booked at your favourite restaurant. However, if like many of us you fear your beau is more likely to remember when Pancake Day is in February rather than Valentine’s there is still time to drop some major hints so he’ll hot-foot it to the shops before Saturday.

So get leaving your laptop open on web pages displaying your top Valentine’s picks, circle wish list items in magazines and remember to mention that your perfume is running exceptionally low.

And if you’re in need of a little inspiration we’ve put together some top Valentine’s gift ideas right here – good luck ladies!

french connection Rhea clutch bag, £75

This block colour clutch bag in Brides Up North’s favourite hue – pink – is big enough to cradle ladies’ essentials during both the day and night making it a great all rounder.

kurt geiger Sharkie shoes, £250

As the warmer spring/summer season approaches ladies’ wardrobes will be crying out for a pair of killer nude heels – and Geiger’s Sharkie heels certainly tick the boxes. The classic court-shoe design is brought bang up to date by featuring one of the season’s top material effects – mesh.

lancome La vie est belle Eau de Parfum Légère 50ml, £52

It might not take too much thinking outside the box, but a bottle of perfume will land most men in the good books. Lancôme’s latest feminine fragrance, La vie est belle Eau de Parfum Légère blends jasmine sambac, orange blossom and  patchouli essence for an irresistible spritz contained in an elegant bottle.

marks & spencer silk lace bra and knickers, £27.50, £12.50

She’s only gone and done it again! Stunning model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has created yet another swoon-worthy lingerie set for her Autograph collection and M&S. Pretty in pink this set is the epitome of romance, featuring silk and lace, all topped off with a pretty bow. A treat for both him and her!

molton brown Pink Pepperpod gift set, £72

There’s nothing us girls love more than an indulgent soak in the tub when the daily grind gets that little bit too much, which is why this decadent bath and body gift set makes an perfect Valentine’s pressie. Blended with notes of ginger, patchouli and pink pepperpods, these gorgeous goodies will leave you feeling pampered from top to toe.

miu miu purse, £330

While some ladies like to splurge on the bag, others like a posh purse to do the talking. This metallic Matelasse’ purse from Miu Miu is high up the style ranks and is guaranteed to earn partners a bucket-load of brownie points.

oliver bonas silver bracelet, £19.50

As they say, it’s the thought that counts. So if you and your other half agree to buy each other just a small gift on Valentine’s Day this is a great choice for all you accessories lovers.

tiffany & co. Grace ring, from £9,850

Ok, so a girl can dream. While this amazing platinum band with a princess-cut diamond may be a little out of some blokes’ price range, Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular times of the year for proposals. In which case we should be welcoming a surge of new readers to our pretty Brides Up North pages shortly!

yves saint laurent rouge volupte, £26

Red lips are a top beauty trend at the moment making this award-winning Yves Saint Laurent lippy in ‘rouge a danger’ a fabulous addition to any girls’ make-up bag. According to its creators, the long-lasting, comforting formula is highlighted with a unique colour-shine complex that leaves lips visibly smoother, plumper and more radiant – all the better for kissing!

dachshund puppy, POA

Because who doesn’t love a puppy? Popular with celebs including Made in Chelsea’s Rosie Fortescue and previously mentioned model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, this on-trend pooch fast becoming the next Chihuahua.

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tinsel time. julia’s christmas picks

December 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Julia's Christmas Picks

There’s absolutely no doubt about it that the big day is drawing near – cue an afternoon spent dashing round the shops like a headless chicken, toddler in tow, as I realised that today was my only possible shopping day till the big man comes down the chimney.

(Sorry about the late feature, and all that, but at least there’ll be presents under the tree!)

My Christmas shopping’s done (albeit hastily), but here’s what would be on my wish list for the 25th, if anyone out there’s paying any attention by this stage…

Or have I lost you all to a reality TV and mulled wine blur?

ruby & ed ballerina slippers, £39

Soft, snuggly and stylish, these ballerina slippers come in the prettiest berry shades, perfect for cosy Christmas evenings in.  Plus they do a tiny pair, just right for my little mini me!

charlotte tilbury Supermodel Body, £45

Her make up line is sensational, so I’m hoping that her Supermodel Body cream will do what it says on the tin.  After skipping the gym in favour of more screen time, let’s hope that Charlotte’s promise of a “slimmer shimmer” comes to fruition.

jimmy choo Rebel cross body bag, £795

I’m dreaming of a Jimmy Christmas, and this little number works for day or night. I’d chose the silver for maximum sparkle.

nails inc nail polish in Porchester Square, £14

My staple colour, and in need of a restock.  This pale grey is endlessly flattering and goes with almost any outfit (including a wedding gown). I pray this stuff is never discontinued.

topshop sequin christmas tree sweater, £46

If you’re going to join the Christmas jumper madness, then why not do it in style?  If you’re gong to join ’em, you may as well beat ’em. In sequins.

alex monroe teeny tiny diamond ring, £265

Fragile, different and contains diamonds. I’d love my digits to be adorned with this little number.

kurt geiger london Bond heels in pink, £270

Strong, sexy and in my very favourite colour.  I’d never take them off.

ted bakersequinned pencil skirt, £139

Perfect for a glitzy night on the tiles with the girls, or dressed down for a dinner date with the other half. This skirt has drama and sass, but it’s got plenty of class too.

clarisonic Aria in gold, £155

I dream of the perfect complexion, and apparently this little gadget is going to deliver.  A must for ladies getting aisle ready and apparently for the rest of us too. Sign me up.

labrador puppy, POA

Do I even need to explain?

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tinsel time. rachel’s christmas picks

December 16th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Rachel's Christmas List

Don’t know about you, but here at Brides Up North HQ, we think we’ve been pretty damn good this year, so we’re emailing St Nick with our Christmas wish-lists.  First up, it’s our lovely Rachel, who’s sticking to form with a stocking full of girly, glittery loveliness.

If you haven’t missed the elf post, you might want to leave this browser window open where your other half can see it…

urban decay Naked eye shadow palette, £37

Shimmery, sultry and sexy, Urban Decay’s Naked palette is loaded with 12 bronze-hued shadows in a stunning range of textures, including matte, satin and sparkle. I’m putting this on my Christmas list as an essential to see me through the party season and beyond. Brides searching for beautiful shadows that won’t budge during their moment in the limelight need look no further!

viktor & rolf Flowerbomb eau de parfum 30ml, £49.50

Every lady wants a new sweet scent for Christmas. My signature that I find it difficult to stray from is Vera Wang Princess, but I do love a quick spritz of Flowerbomb whenever I find myself in the fragrance aisle. I’d highly recommend this to brides-to-be in search of a romantic scent for their big day.

glitzy secrets earrings, £46

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend – but I doubt anyone buying for me this year could cover the cost of such an item. These sparklers from Glitzy Secrets are a good budget backup though. Great for dressing up the Little Black Dress over the festive period, this pair would definitely make my wish list. Also – a great choice for brides-to-be looking to add some opulent accessories to their wedding day attire.

michael kors Selma Saffiano leather bag, £302

In the words of Mariah ‘All I want for Christmas is you’. My ultimate dream pressie would have to be a Michael Kors bag. I’m head over heels for the solid structure of Selma, especially in this gorgeous shade of grey.

office shoes, £65

As I pointed out in a previous post, the festive season is a perfect time to pick up a new pair of fierce heels. These bobby dazzlers would most definitely put a smile on my face on Christmas morning. A classic court but with a whole load of in-your-face attitude! Also a stunning choice of fancy footwear for brides wanting to release their inner Cinderella, just try not to lose one!

olivia burton watch, £75

This item has been on my wish list since the beginning of the year when I first spotted Olivia’s dreamy designs on Instagram. There is a stunning range to choose from with varying straps, faces and dials. I was initially drawn to the baby blue and mint designs, but now I’m hoping Father Christmas brings me Olivia’s big dial design in gold, with classic tan strap.

paperchase tea light holders, £6

Men don’t quite understand females’ fascination with Paperchase – to them its bits of card and paper but to us it’s a whole shop of prettiness! I adore these cute tea light holders which have a Christmassy appearance but can be kept out all year round. Also, a fab décor idea for winter weddings, a few of these dotted in the middle of the table with some festive foliage would certainly set the right ambience.

reiss Lolly metallic bandeau dress, £195

Every girl needs a killer dress for the festive season and this sparkling number from Reiss would be my number one choice to find under the Christmas tree. Figure-hugging, flattering and fabulous, oh so sweet Lolly has it all – a perfect New Year’s Eve party dress, if ever I did see one!

marks & spencer Rosie for Autograph luxurious satin pyjamas, £35

A Christmas classic for every girl –PJs. This set by the stunning Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Marks & Sparks offers both comfort and class. Now if only I could request her figure from Santa Claus too.

ted baker Bowlee leather gloves, £75

As temperatures continue to plunge, lovely leather gloves are required to keep ones manicured hands protected from the wintry weather. And they don’t come much prettier than Ted Baker’s Bowlee design in playful blush pink finished with a cute metallic bow.

I seriously hope I made Santa’s nice list this year!

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halloween is here.

October 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime

halloween is here 2014 (c) Woodenhill Images  (2)

Is it just me, or did things suddenly get a little freaky around here?

I can’t resist a bit of Halloween mischief, especially when it’s executed as stylishly (and as eerily) as this gothic bridal shoot by Abi of Wooden Hill Images and her clever team.

Look out, she’s behind you…

Halloween Bride from Sarah MacVean on Vimeo.

halloween is here 2014 (c) Woodenhill Images  (6)

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halloween is here 2014 (c) Woodenhill Images  (14)

Be honest, who checked?

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Abi says: With a background in theatre and a passion for literature and transforming it into the visual, I wanted to be able to celebrate the change of season and create a Halloween ‘bride’.

My team researched the idea of a gothic bride and took influences from novels, listened to music and found a great location next to Lake Gormire at the bottom of Sutton Bank near Thirsk.

halloween is here 2014 (c) Woodenhill Images  (18)

halloween is here 2014 (c) Woodenhill Images  (23)

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Brides and Belles supplied a wonderful dress from Victoria Kay Gowns which suited the brief and then we found the black velvet coat we wanted from gothic clothes supplier The Dark Angel.

We met on a day in October and our model Simona was transformed by Deborah from Love Hair and Beauty, who never fails but to understand what we ty to achieve and knows exactly how to create it.

Jane from Wedding and Events Floral Design had created wonderful bouquets and a head dress, collected fabrics and rabbit skulls, skilfully made a bustle for the back of the coat and finished off the detailing to the top hat.

halloween is here 2014 (c) Woodenhill Images  (28)

halloween is here 2014 (c) Woodenhill Images  (26)

It was a walk into the woods, with bags, boxes, a dog, wellies, umbrellas, smoke bombs and some cameras… and in a race against weather, we created!

It has to be noted that Bill the greyhound, despite shaking with nerves was a total professional.

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halloween is here 2014 (c) Woodenhill Images  (75)

halloween is here 2014 (c) Woodenhill Images  (81)

halloween is here 2014 (c) Woodenhill Images  (82)

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When There’s Somethin’ Strange, In Your Neighbourhood…

October 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

© jamie penfold photography 2013 -

This is definitely one for the ghostbusters.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 -

I’ve seen the piles of pumpkins outside the supermarket.  Read the tabloid spoofs.  Spooked myself silly reading “The Orphan Choir” by Sophie Hannah (just don’t). Bought my baby a pumpkin outfit.  Dressed as a skeleton for #weddinghourlive…

There was no way I wasn’t going to share something frightful to celebrate the spirit of the season (see what I did there?) Ladies and gents, beware the Bridezillas this Halloween night…

Styled by Donna Hartley Redfern of North East Wedding Planner and images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jamie Penfold Photography, let me make this clear:  I do not suggest that you use this shoot as wedding inspiration!

Just horrible.  But so very Halloween

© jamie penfold photography 2013 -

© jamie penfold photography 2013 -

Donna says:  This week the wedding industry decided to take advantage of old hallows eve and show the fun side of those who work within the wedding industry.  The new folly at Woodhill Hall in Otterburn gave Jamie and I a wacky idea. So after a few phones calls lots of industry specialists offered their services to help us get spooky!

© jamie penfold photography 2013 -

Corrinne, the quirky owner of Woodhill Hall loves seeing the hall re-created with each wedding, so leapt at the opportunity to show the dark side of the stunning wedding venue to show future grooms what happens if you don’t give your bride what she wants on her wedding day!

© jamie penfold photography 2013 -

The team transformed models into bride zombies. The brides all received a make under by the unbelievably talented team including KF Make up and Amanda Williamson hair stylist, complete with wedding dresses by House of Mooshki.

© jamie penfold photography 2013 -

© jamie penfold photography 2013 -

© jamie penfold photography 2013 -

I’m off to hide under my duvet till morning!


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Jamie Penfold Photography

Woodhill Hall & Jamie Penfold Photography are Brides Up North Featured Suppliers

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

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