Charlotte Balbier
Luxury Wedding Fairs

hessian & lace. maggie sottero for a rustic wedding in the north west – belinda & dan

October 11th, 2016 | Rachel Parry


Fans of relaxed rustic wedding styling prepare to take note, for the décor and details in this afternoon’s celebration are guaranteed to earn a place on your Pinterest board.

From hessian chair ties and cute bunting to natural log slices and twine-wrapped glass jars filled with wonderful wild blooms, Dan and Belinda’s big day has it all.

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.


belinda says: Dan proposed to me in front of Peel Tower on Holcombe Hill, on 15th March 2015. Dan knows that Holcombe Hill is my favourite place so knew it would have meaning for us to get engaged there. He asked my dad’s permission earlier in the day and then suggested we go for a Sunday evening walk. We got to the top of the hill and I started to take some photographs – when I turned around he was down on one knee with the ring in his hand. I cried for about 15 minutes before I remembered to actually say yes!

We set the date of the wedding for 1st April 2016. We had chosen this as our ‘official’ anniversary date of when we first got together (mainly so that Dan would never have an excuse to forget with it also being April Fool’s Day). The wedding fell on our fourth anniversary.


Our chosen venue was The Fisherman’s Retreat, in Shuttleworth, Lancashire. We wanted a venue where we would be able to see Holcombe Hill, and at The Fisherman’s you have the view of Holcombe Hill right from the spot you have the wedding ceremony so there was never really any other choices on the cards.


I’d describe the style of our wedding as rustic and natural! We just picked out things we liked the look of really – so lots of brown card, jars with twine, crates, log slices, wooden hearts, etc. This is just our taste in general so seemed the right thing to do!

We didn’t particularly have a colour scheme. We picked a heathery colour for the bridesmaid dresses and Dan’s tie and handkerchief (because I saw the colour on a Dessy swatch and it was the only one I liked) but apart from that we just had all different colours of wild flowers, and then the rustic details in between.


I wore a Maggie Sottero dress called Cassidy, which I got from The Bridal Lounge, in Accrington. I actually only chose it six weeks before the wedding as I had a total change of heart about the first dress I had chosen from another bridal shop. Lee at the Bridal Lounge turned everything round within the time frame and made sure I had the perfect dress on the day. I teamed my dress with a long veil and wore bright red heels as a surprise for Dan (had to get a little nod to Liverpool FC in somewhere as I had refused it on every other thing he’d suggested!)

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love on the lake. enzoani for a stylish wedding at storrs hall – sam & aron

October 3rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry


Let us help you push those Monday blues to one side with this gorgeous hit of real wedding inspiration.

Keen to keep things simple, bride Sam chose an elegant colour palette of white, navy and silver, which complemented the stylish setting of Storrs Hall perfectly.

The attire of the wedding party also kept the style bar high with the groomsmen ditching jackets in favour of relaxed shirts and waistcoats and Sam looking a million dollars in her stunning mermaid style gown.

We are thrilled to see that several of our talented Sponsors featured in this wedding, including Kelly’s Event Boutique, LOVE Bridal and also photographer Jonny Draper, whose birthday it happens to be today. There’s a Jägerbomb waiting at Brides Up North HQ with your name on it JD!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Jonny Draper Photography.


sam says: We got engaged in October 2013 while on holiday in Mexico. It was 18 months exactly from the day we first met. Aron had it all planned, a gorgeous dinner followed by a romantic walk along the beach at sunset. Though, this wasn’t what happened! It had been raining constantly for about five days, so to say Aron was slightly upset that the evening wasn’t going to plan was a little bit of an understatement. Instead of heading out for a walk he invited me onto the balcony of the hotel where he got down on one knee with the most beautiful ring (no small feat as I’m a jewellery designer so I know what I like!) I think he must have asked about three times before words actually came out of my mouth. I was in shock and completely over the moon! It may not have been what he had originally planned, but to me, it was perfect!

We married on 28th August 2015, at Storrs Hall in The Lake District. We had looked at so many venues that when we found Storrs Hall we jumped on the list of available dates – there weren’t many left, but the 28th August suited us even though it only left us six months to plan.


The outside space and the setting were just idyllic and being able to book Storrs Hall exclusively was an added bonus – the idea of lots of people we didn’t know wandering about on our wedding day didn’t appeal to us.

The colour scheme for the wedding was white, navy and silver. I wanted a classic and simple colour palette that reflected our style. As I’m not keen on colourful flowers we chose to have just white flowers throughout the wedding. I love the way it all pulled together on the day.


My chosen dress was an Enzoani mermaid design, which I wore with a long veil – though this only lasted about five minutes before the wind wrapped it around one of our guests! I got my dress from LOVE Bridal Boutique, which I would highly recommend to other brides-to-be. The owner Emma helped me find my dress with just six weeks to go!

On the day of the wedding I had a photo of my mum hanging from my bouquet as we lost her about four years before the wedding. This was my way of having my mum included in our special day.


Aron wore a navy three piece with a silvery grey tie, but as the sun was out he didn’t wear the jacket. Instead we decided on a relaxed look with waistcoats and sleeves rolled up. His chosen footwear was a pair of tan and navy brogues, which completed his look.

My bridesmaids wore navy maxi dresses and the groomsmen wore grey three piece suits (minus the jackets) with navy ties.

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get set, sparkle. ian stuart for a winter wedding at armathwaite hall – emma & mark

September 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime


Today on the blog we have some beautiful inspiration for those of you planning winter weddings as we share the details of Emma and Mark’s big day.

Following an Ikea proposal (don’t worry, he made up for it), Emma and Mark set about planning an atmospheric November wedding, complete with lots of soft candlelight and sparkling décor.

Going all out on the opportunity to wear a big dress, bride Emma chose a stunning Ian Stuart gown with accents of shimmering silver to match both the colour scheme and season. Now that’s what we call a dress with the wow-factor!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.


emma says: We got engaged in Ikea over meatballs! Honestly! But then we had my engagement ring specially made and Mark surprised me with a trip to London to see the Lion King (I love Disney). He got us box seats and had champagne and chocolates put in the box. It was amazing!

As we loved the idea of a Christmas or winter wedding we set the date for 28th November.


Our chosen venue was Armathwaite Hall in Keswick. We both love the Lake District and when we went to look at venues Armathwaite felt really personal. I like modern venues and Mark likes old fashioned and Armathwaite had the perfect blend of both.

To fit the time of year we went for a sparkly wedding theme (with a hint of Disney!) As we knew it would be dark outside we thought lots of sparkles and candles would look great.


When it came to the colour scheme we knew that we didn’t want everyone in the same colour as we had an unconventional bridal party in that the maid of honour was male and we had female groomsmen. I also wanted each of the bridesmaids to have dresses that suited them, rather than sticking to a certain theme. In the end we went for pale pastel colours accented with a silver shimmer.


I chose to wear an Ian Stuart dress from Ava Rose Hamilton. I instantly fell in love with it. I’d tried on about seven or eight dresses beforehand but none of them made me excited, or felt quite so special. I knew I wanted a big dress – the sort that you can only ever wear on your wedding day – but also wanted something that really suited me. I loved the silver woven into the lace of the dress and that it had a huge skirt but fitted silk body. I never thought I would get a strapless dress but the minute I tried it on I knew it was right.

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pastels & petals. a beautifully traditional wedding in the north west – liz & andy

September 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Pretty and Traditional Wedding in the North West (c) Lee Brown Photography (64)

It’s only Wednesday and already we’ve seen so much pretty on the blog this week. And we hope you’re prepared for even more of the good stuff as this morning we’re sharing the gorgeous big day of newlyweds, Liz and Andy.

Deciding on a relaxed and traditional wedding with a pretty pastel colour scheme, today’s bride and groom opted for a church ceremony followed by a hotel reception, complete with elegant décor.

Though subtle, the result is a stunning celebration with everything from the wedding party’s attire to the beautiful blooms and classic transport tying together perfectly!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

A Pretty and Traditional Wedding in the North West (c) Lee Brown Photography (8)

liz says: We got engaged on 1st March 2014. I had been at home all day cleaning whilst Andy was out refereeing. I had put tea in the oven and had a shower, put my onesie on and was laid on the sofa watching Ant and Dec’s Saturday night takeaway. Andy came in the room, switched the TV off and passed me an empty egg box. In each hole was a little note and in the final one was a plastic egg with a ring in. He got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him.

We set the date for 23rd July 2016. We were looking for a date at the end of July as my sister had her GCSEs so we wanted them to be over in time and this date was also suitable for both the church and reception venue. It wasn’t until I told my mum the date that we realised that my grandparents had got married on the same date in 1955, exactly 61 years ago. It then seemed like fate that we should get married on that day.

A Pretty and Traditional Wedding in the North West (c) Lee Brown Photography (9)

Our ceremony was at St Mary’s Church in Partington. My parents had been married there in 1988 and it is where my grandad’s ashes are so it’s close to our hearts. Our reception was held at The Deanwater Hotel in Woodford, Cheshire. Andy used to work there and it suited our needs perfectly. We had a number of guests travelling from afar and there were enough rooms for people to stay the night before and the night of the wedding. We had a large number of guests and the hotel was big enough to cater for us all without it feeling too busy.

We decided to have a traditional wedding with a pastel colour scheme. We are quite a traditional couple and this style was simple but effective. We wanted the day to feel relaxed, nothing too ‘in your face’ and it worked perfectly. The pastels were lovely and soft and worked well as we had quite a lot of guests and didn’t want anything too bright in the reception venue which may look too much. Also, I have an English rose complexion and so the pastel colours tend to suit me really well.

A Pretty and Traditional Wedding in the North West (c) Lee Brown Photography (47)

When it came to my dress I picked a princess style design. I tried on more than 30 dresses, all different styles, and liked most of them. When I tried this dress on I cried, then my mum cried and I knew I wanted to get married wearing it. The dress was from Agape Bridal Boutique and the staff there were fantastic. They added a bit of sparkle for me and did the alterations in-house. I felt a million dollars when I tried it on and the morning of the wedding, I was speechless as to how beautiful it looked and felt.

Andy picked an unusual checked three-piece suit with tails (which was gorgeous) for him and the groomsmen. We then picked the cravats and waistcoats to match the bridesmaid dresses, which were a lovely pastel blue. As a surprise to the boys, I bought them all pastel blue socks to wear too! The suits were from Best Man in Great Moor, again, the staff there were brilliant.

I found the bridesmaid dresses online at Mix Bridal. I could choose the exact colour I wanted and they were beautiful dresses, they all looked absolutely stunning. I had a family friend make alterations so they would fit perfectly.

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charming cherry blossom. charlotte balbier for a summer wedding at hurlston hall – jennifer & adam

September 5th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (39)

Today we’re packing in an extra punch of pretty with a second real wedding for to feast your eyes on.

For anyone planning a classic wedding that will truly stand the test of time, Jennifer and Adam’s big day is a perfect example of how it’s done; starting with a traditional church ceremony and ending with a lively reception at an elegant venue.

The dusky pink colour scheme works perfectly for the time of year and we just love the delicate touches of cherry blossom dotted throughout.

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (52)

jennifer says: We got engaged in September 2014, while we were away on holiday in Antalya, Turkey. The hotel was amazing and there was a gorgeous private beach. We went for a stroll on the second night and Adam brought his camera. He wanted to get a picture of the both of us so I sat in one of the sun huts. He set the camera up on a timer and once ready he ran over and got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife – just in time for the camera to capture the moment! I loved that he didn’t just ask me to marry him – he specifically asked me to become his wife, which was really special to me.

We picked 28th May 2016, as the date for the wedding. It was a bank holiday weekend and we wanted to give everyone an extra day to recover – we are party animals after all!

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (79)

We got married at the lovely St Michael’s Church in Aughton. If you went there yourself, you’d know why. The people there are amazing too. Our reception was at Hurlston Hall, in Ormskirk. We were over the moon with the venue. The views from the function room are breath-taking as it overlooks the golf course, plus it has an outside balcony so everyone could be in the sun.

We didn’t intend on having a theme but it kind of brought itself together – pink cherry blossom ran through pretty much everything, giving the wedding a slight oriental vibe. As such the colour scheme was of course, pink!

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (25)

My dress was a Charlotte Balbier design – Iscoyd Park – the one that Charlotte herself chose to get married in! Although I did get it made an extra metre longer as I wanted a huge train. It wasn’t what I thought I’d go for at all. When I tried it on it was like Cinderella finding that shoe; it is a truly beautiful dress and Charlotte is an amazing designer. I got the veil to match too, which was a last minute decision! I’m so glad I did though. I got my outfit from Belle’s Bridal Boutique in Liverpool, a really cute bridal shop and the girls there are lovely.

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city chic. a retro styled bridal shoot in manchester

August 31st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (12)

Today on the blog we have a little something for you urban brides out there.

In response to brides-to-be commenting that while there is plenty of inspiration for couples marrying in the countryside but there isn’t so much for those planning city centre celebrations, Lancaster-based wedding photographer Arusha set about creating a retro styled bridal shoot set against bold Manchester backgrounds.

The result is a strong collection of edgy images that show a wedding in a built-up area can be just as striking as those in rolling countryside, with brick, graffiti and even metal shutters providing standout photo opportunities.

To explain more about the looks created and areas visited, we’ll hand over the blog to the lady who captured all the action…

With images by Arusha’s Images Photography.

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (55)

arusha says: I spent many years living and working in Manchester, and the city was the inspiration for this shoot. I love the old backstreets there, the mix of modern apartments, and old alleyways. I think that the bright statement graffiti of the Northern Quarter brings so much life to the city. By contrast I also wanted to include a more modern background, and Salford Quays and The Lowry are perfect for that, with all the glass, metal and clean lines.

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (7)

Working as part of a two-man team with hair stylist and makeup artist Hannah Wells, of Beau Tink Studio, my aim for the shoot was to inspire my urban brides to get creative, and to show some different bridal looks and locations in the city.

I photograph a whole range of weddings, and in that process I have found that city and retro brides-to-be have often commented that they feel there is a stronger focus on more countryside and boho style weddings when they are looking for inspiration for their day. I love a bohemian country wedding, but I also love bold city weddings, with the strong urban backgrounds that cities provide. I also wanted to show that a little bit of retro and grunge can be stunning on a wedding day.

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (48)

I coordinated the styling, choosing to buy as brightly coloured flowers as I could for the bouquet, and tied them with a simple ribbon, which we were able to add rainbow streamer ribbons to as the shoot went on.

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