Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

style sheet: modern festivities

December 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry


image source

With sight of this month’s festivities on the horizon our thoughts have turned to those planning a Christmas or New Year wedding. But more specifically, to couples who desire the party atmosphere and glamour of this most wonderful time of the year, though not the obvious wedding themes that can come with it.

As such we’ve thrown aside the seen-it-all-before-red, blinding-silver and gaudy-gold and brought together a more contemporary, clean-cut and sophisticated selection of fitting themes for this magical period.

So, in preparation for the weekend ahead, drop a little Baileys in your morning coffee and enjoy soaking up this sublime seasonal inspo…

glitter & gilded

Glitter & Gilded

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Marion Heurteboust Photography| image source| image source, photography by Danielle Nowak| image source| image source| image source

The theme: A sophisticated take on the ‘usual’ party-season golden wedding.

The details: While we love a bit of glitter, you can have too much of a good thing in our book and so this look is all about understated glamour. Keep the gold tones light rather than yellow/orange and even lean toward blush/rose tones for an element of girly elegance. Table décor should be more sparse and well-thought out with uniformed rows of mercury and metallic candle holders and simple, dainty floral arrangements on pressed linen. Add just a sprinkling of glitter accents and mix with matt and gloss metallics to continue the class. Greenery features can also help to keep the look grounded, fresh and clean. Sprayed flowers are a step-too-far for this theme so instead look to include beautiful caramel shades in the bouquet and add a little gold by binding with a trailing ribbon.

The dress code: A full-gold dress could have you looking more Disney princess than Meghan Markle princess, so we suggest keeping things refined with an ivory gown, complete with delicate gold detailing in beading, lace or embroidery. The accessories are one area that you can afford to turn up the glittering aspects, though perhaps just blow out on one bold item, such as the shoes, and keep other add-ons simpler. Your leading ladies on the other hand could be in top-to-toe sparkling cocktail style gowns, suiting the time of year perfectly and adding black-tie-esque glamour to the proceedings.

white out

White Out

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Mike Cassimatis| image source| image source, photography by Blaine Siesser| image source| image source| image source, photography by Aden Priest| image source| image source

The theme: A traditional white wedding given a modern and luxurious twist.

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style sheet: the dark ages

July 12th, 2017 | Rachel Parry


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When thinking of wedding colour schemes thoughts often instantly turn to sweet, sugary tones of lilac, peach and mint, or to soft and romantic hues of blush, taupe and cream. But what if these kinds of colours just ‘aint your jam? What if you crave something darker, richer and more enchanting? Then ladies, we give you the ‘dark ages’.

Anything but old-fashioned, this type of styling is proving popular in interiors right now and centres around bold, deep colours that give a look of luxury and opulence while still remaining grounded. It’s not blingy, nor is it particularly vibrant, but it still packs a serious styling punch. It also lends itself particularly well to outdoor and rustic celebrations, both of which are currently top of the wedding trend charts.

So, to help get the inspiration flowing, we’ve pieced together three mood boards featuring our very favourite colour combinations that are sure to captivate your wedding planning (and possibly home-décor) thoughts!

mustard & navy

The Dark Ages - Navy & Mustard

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Mustard Seed Photography| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by RS Brown Photography| image source, photography by Lucy Spartalis| image source, photography by Hot Metal Studio| image source| image source, photography by Lauren Balingit| image source

The richness of mustard – a beautiful goldie, yellow, orange hue – is a perfect choice for this look and can dominate as much or as little of your wedding palette as you wish. We suggest mixing it with tones of dark blue and lots of foliage, enabling the hue to pop-out from its surroundings.

A gorgeous choice for bridesmaids, mustard surprisingly suits most complexions and offers something a little out of the norm for your #girlsquad. Attire wise, the hue can be incorporated into the men’s outfits through ties, pocket squares and socks, while the bride, if keen, can add her own touch of mustard through her footwear.

Flower-wise there are lots of beautiful yellow-toned blooms that can feature in the button holes, bouquet and décor, including Billy Buttons, also known as Craspedia, and Daisies, that when mixed in with earthy additions, such as succulents, poppy seed heads and dainty berries, will achieve the desired effect.

forest green

The Dark Ages - Forest Green

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Erin Jean Photography| image source| image source, photography by Fabrice Tanzer| image source, photography by Hazelwood Photography| image source , photography Danfredo Photos + Films| image source, photography Phil Chester| image source| image source, photography by Alissa Saylor Photography| image source| image source, photography by Sergey Lapkovsky

Another spin-off from Pantone’s colour of the year, ‘Greenery’, forest themed weddings featuring an abundance of natural décor score highly on our lust list.

The look is all about texture and depth so use large amounts of varying foliage layered up for an element of drama, whether suspended overhead, strewn down table centres or spilling over vessels. Though planned to detail, the trick is to make sure that nothing looks overdone, instead try to build up your own forest floor.

For added interest mix dark fern tones with lighter green shades of emerald and grass, and combine raw materials such as timber and cones with luxurious elements like cut glass and metallic finishes.

Fashion-forward grooms can flirt with the option a super-stunning bottle green suit, while brides can easily become an ethereal princess with the addition of a fresh foliage crown.

slate & plum

The Dark Ages - Slate & Plum

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Laura Calderwood Photography| image source, photography by Ruth Eileen| image source| image source, photography by This Modern Romance| image source, photography by Lelia Scarfiotti| image source, photography by The Official Photographers| image source| image source

Note the plum, not purple, we’re looking for opulent jewel tones here so it’s strict no-Cadbury-zone! Softer shades of lavender, and even the odd peek of pink, are welcome, but nothing flat or dreary.

The simplest way to nail the look is to use a gorgeous and timeless shade of grey as your base colour and then build up the plum on top. So, attire-wise the groom can have a grey suit and add a plum shade or two into his accessories, while the bride can add fashionable grey heels or even don a dip-dye dress for a real style statement. The bridesmaids can then bring in more of the purple tones in the likes of violet and amethyst. Mix and match maids would work particularly well here to extend the palette.

Elsewhere pretty petals can dress tables, and for rustic weddings, fruit and berry accents and details can be added too. For a pretty spin on the look, go for light textures and dainty blooms, while for a more dramatic look pick bold blooms, such as Ranunculi and Thistles, and mix in with large-leafed greens.

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style sheet. pantone 2017: greenery

March 13th, 2017 | Rachel Parry


Following the announcement of Pantone’s 2017 colour of the year ‘Greenery’, we’ve seen popular botanical themed weddings blossom further and those having relaxed, rustic weddings switching blousy buds in place trailing foliage.

As a wedding theme, Greenery is influencing couples on several levels; though colour (obvs!) but also through the materials and patterns that they incorporate, and even the setting that they choose for their big day.

So, for those of you who heart this fresh horticultural look, we’re topping up the inspiration with our very own Greenery style sheet, showing how the happening hue can flourish in as many, or as few, elements of the wedding as you desire…



Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Gina & Ryan Photography| image source, photography by Stacy Newgent| image source| image source| image source, photography by Carley Rudd| images source| image source| image source, photography by Hikari Photography| image source, photography by Brianna Arlene Photography| image source, photography by Alissa Saylor Photography.

Following a surge of botanics in the interiors and fashion, it was only a matter of time before they began shooting up weddings too. Leafy plants and foliage perhaps reflect the greenery trend best, particularly when Pantone’s zesty shade is mixed with darker tones for luxurious texture and depth.

Replacing an abundance of flowers with such greens can be a cheaper yet equally effective way to make a styling statement. Long and low centre pieces can be created with sprawling plants, whether left in an undone, roaming fashion or delicately intertwined for a neat yet natural finish.

Suspended décor continues to crop up in weddings and is perfect for the Greenery trend, whether it be a full leafy type meadow turned on its head and hung from above, or cute cuttings secured on rows of brown string.

Those in favour of a more pared back look, will want to keep things clean with white linen, pillar candles, clear glassware and structured arrangements. If it’s a regal look that’s desired, mixing in metallic and mercury glass accessories will add an instant opulent edge.

Finally, the green theme can be reinforced with coordinating runners, napkins, glassware and crockery.



Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Luke and Mallory| image source| image source| image source, photography by Tessa Barton| image source, photography by Faye Cornhill| image source| image source| image source.

Though not a colour often associated with wedding attire, hints of green are starting to sprout in various bride, groom and maid collections, as demonstrated by Jenny Packham’s stunning Apache dress in Celadon Green.

If, however a coloured dress is a step to far for brides, they can play on the greenery theme by sticking to traditional white for their gown and adding bright and beautiful leaves to their look through their bouquet – and for ultimate impact – a flower/foliage crown. Of course, there is the option to incorporate green coloured accessories too, such as footwear and jewellery.

The maids can also get in on the stripped-back white and botanical look, or alternatively wear varying shades of green to reflect the earthy hues seen in everyday nature.

Grooms need not shy away from green either, with gorgeous deep forest tone suits coming through in collections, which team with tan leather accessories perfectly for a super-smart appearance. Those having rustic weddings can also reflect the trend through country tweed designs, or checked shirt and dicky bow combinations.



Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Sarah Shreves| image source| image source| image source| images source| image source, photography by Feather and Stone| image source| image source.  

Couples can keep the greenery theme going in the details of their day too.

Stationery designers in particular have got the look down to a tee, with an abundance of lush patterns and prints to choose from. These can feature throughout, on everything from the invites and order of service to menus and name places. Those looking for an alternative seating plan meanwhile can create an apt focal point by pinning guests’ names on coordinating ‘table strings’ with a dainty peg and plant clipping.

Thoughtful and tasty flavours can also come into play, with the option of giving bottled herb-infused oils, small potted plants, or simple seeds to take away and grow at home.

As well as being in keeping with the theme, herbs can be a great addition to a wedding to create a memorable scent from the day; whether they appear as favours, within table décor or even the buttonholes and bouquets.

Finally, sweet-wise, interest can be added to neutral coloured cakes with dainty foliage, leaves or even small succulents.

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style sheet: sing a rainbow

March 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

Bride bright hair

Mark Newton Photography image source

Ever since I first clapped eyes on Gwen Stefani’s white and pink ombré John Galliano gown in my mum’s dog-eared HELLO! way back in 2002, I’ve been self-confessed sucker for the brave use of bridal colour. Whether it’s a touch of blush pink a’la Stefani, a bold electric blue high heel or crazy pastel unicorn hair (it’s a thing, I promise), I can’t get enough of splashes of the rest of the rainbow gang against all of the ivory. Who decided that white should have all of the fun, anyway?

The current bridal runways have been full of key trends including capes (already featured here on Brides Up North) bare shoulders, plunging necklines, oversized bows and – wait for it – colour.

So what are the options for a girl who wants to go beyond the pale?


images clockwise from top left: Kazooieloki Photography image source | Maryanne Scott Photography image source | Photography34 image source | Photography34 image source | Rachel Joyce image source | Jemma King image source | Fox & Owl image source | Kimberley Waterson Fine Art Photography image source | Samantha Hook Photography image source | Jemma King Photography image source | Lee Brown Photography image source | Darren Mack Photography image source

Well, first up there’s the dress. I’m not saying that you necessarily have to go down the Dita-von-Teese purple showstopper route; Vivienne Westwood may approve, but your prospective mother-in-law might never get over it. I’m thinking soft hues like Pantone’s Colours of 2016 Rose Quartz and Serenity (a heavenly bluey-grey); less Camila Batmanghelidjh and more Jessica Biel.

Top designers such as Maggie Sottero stock a range of delicately coloured dresses without straying too far from a conventional palette, including pewter, light gold and silver. Sassi Holford peppered her gowns with colourful petals for 2017. Candy Anthony are famed for their coloured 50s frocks, or coloured waistbands and underskirts teamed with traditional white and ivory; a perfect ‘sneak peek’ of colour rather than a rainbow riot. Our lead sponsor Charlotte Balbier also included a riot of floral colour in her beautiful Untamed Love collection.


James Jebson image source

My personal favourites, Anthropologie’s BHLDN, stock an amazing range of bridesmaid and maid of honour dresses in a host of subtle hues which could easily stand in for a bridal gown – not too off-the-wall, but different enough to make a statement. The best? Maybe the rose gold sequinned Alana dress which would look the part at a smart city wedding, or the delightfully boho Inesse gown for a more countryside affair.

There’s also a popular trend for bridesmaids to wear different coloured dresses to create a palette that reflects the chosen colour scheme of the day, such as sugary pastel tones. Check out Maids To Measure, twobirds Bridesmaid or ReWritten.

If you’ve got your heart set on an ivory dream of a dress, then perhaps your man could get in on the colour action instead with an unusual choice of jacket, tie or shirt. Times have moved on since Jamie Oliver donned a powder blue suit and we’re seeing braver and broader colour options for blokes all the time.

Or how about a vibrant headpiece? You could embrace the current feather trend with a hairband or combs, or there’s always the option of including some colour in your veil or via a floral crown headpiece. There are literally hundreds of Etsy retailers ready to handcraft a headpiece to your specifications and Pinterest is brimming with inspiration. It’s an easy way to incorporate the traditional ‘something blue’ or pay a nod to the rest of your colour scheme.


Ruth Mitchell Photography image source

The day of the mid-heel ivory slingback as the only bride-appropriate footwear is well and truly over. Shoes are an area where many are prepared to be a little more daring – subtle coppers, pinks and rose golds all look stunning but, depending on season and style, emerald green, midnight blue or vermillion packs a real punch. There’s little more thrilling than the peep of a coloured toe from under a pale dress and whatever your style – vintage, modern, romantic – there’s plenty of options to suit every budget, from high street to designer.

So let’s hear it for the lovers of colours!

See more of our colourful wedding inspiration.  

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style sheet: winter wedding alternatives

December 14th, 2016 | Rachel Parry


As we find ourselves in the coldest yet most magical season of the year, we’ve been turning our thoughts to winter weddings.

Some brides and grooms may be put off marrying at this time of year due to the increasingly unpredictable British weather, but with some careful planning and fabulous styling a winter wedding can be a real treat for all the senses, and in turn, more memorable for you and your guests.

Think scented candles for fragrance and ambience, warm comfort food to evoke nostalgic memories and winter tipples to help get the party started and you’re part way there.

If, however, what’s putting you off is the somewhat ‘go-to’ styling of winter nuptials, we’re here to change your mind. For we’ve come up with three alternative winter wedding themes that steer clear of crimson red and sparkling silver schemes, plus there’s not a reindeer or bauble in sight!

Ladies, we give you both comfort and class…

very berry


Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Alyssa Turner Photography| image source, photography by Peaches & Mint| image source| image source, photography by Jonathan Ong Photography| image source, photography by Mandy Evans Photography| image source, photography by Awake Photography| image source, photography by Jenn Hopkins| image source, photography by  Eyelet Images| image source, photography by Matilda Rose| image source, photography by Dan and Melissa Photography.

Just a small diversion from the traditional red winter wedding colour palette, a winning mixture of purple, pink and burgundy shades can give a wedding an instant hint of opulence.

Such tones also work beautifully with the flowers and fruits of the season making these a great way to project your chosen colour scheme.

Big, bold and blousy bouquets and floral decorations add to the luxurious feel that the rich hues emit and will help to provide striking focal points. For further plushness, metallic accents, particularly in gold, work in perfect harmony with the beautiful berry tones and give a small nod to the festive season without being at all OTT.

Beyond the blooms, mercury glass tealight holders and metallic vessels and vases look fabulous with the palette.

To remain on theme berries can be used in the bouquets and button holes as well as within the food and drink menus and the cake.

When it comes to the bridesmaids, brides can go with just one of the berry tones that suits her maids best, perhaps magenta, indigo or violet, or alternatively can have her leading ladies in a full spectrum of the hues.

grey dusk


Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Svetlana Strizhakova| image source, photography by Kendal Riley of Ostara Photography| image source| image source| image source, photography by Taylor Lord Photography| image source| image source.

Possibly one colour scheme that works all year round, grey is both a classic and elegant choice of palette.

For winter weddings the hue can be ‘warmed-up’ by introducing different textures and shades providing both interest and depth.

Brides and their maids can easily layer their look with grey cover-ups; whether it be a faux fur jacket, feather shrug or lace overlay. Meanwhile groomsmen can opt for a tweed or woollen suit with coordinating pocket squares, dicky bows or ties in varying fabrics creating a stylish wintery feel.

Texture in tactile fabrics and finishes can be carried through to the décor too, with velvet ribbons attached floral arrangements or holding cutlery and napkins in place. Roaming foliage across tables can also help to break up the grey and works in line with on-trend botanical themes too.

Candles at various heights in pillars, tapers and tea lights will also help to set the wintery scene as will luxurious stationery in enchanting designs.

winter blues


Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Charlene Schreuder Photography| image source| image source| image source, photography by Emily Delamater| image source, photography by Shane and Lauren Photography| image source| image source, photography by E Schmidt Photography| image source| image source, photography by Gideon Photography| image source.

Though often thought of as a ‘cold’ colour, when accompanied with rich metallic accents blue can bring element of warmth and glamour to winter celebrations.

The trick is to use a deep shade of blue and not to get carried away with the glitz and glitter, instead giving the proceedings just a sprinkling of sparkle. This could be achieved through styling and stationery choices, but also through the bride and bridesmaid attire too. So, for example, brides could add a hint of shine to their outfit with metallic heels while maids can glam-up their look with delicate gold jewellery or accessories.

The table settings are perhaps the element that will require the most care in not overdoing it. For a look of understated elegance, keep things simple by adding gold-edged glassware and cutlery to a dark blue tablecloth base. For further interest and texture use rustic touches in foliage and tree slices, and perhaps even the odd pine cone (note the “odd” there).

Meanwhile for those wanting to take the sparkle up a notch, sequin table runners and cloths are an accessible and effective option. Further additions can include metallic candle holders, stationery and plate chargers but just be sure that the overall look is class rather than brash!

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style sheet: precious minerals

October 12th, 2016 | Rachel Parry


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Earlier this year we brought you a wedding style sheet post inspired by Pantone’s dreamy colours of the year – rose quartz and serenity – both of which we were crazy on.

We were therefore delighted to see rose quartz coming through in its raw form in another super stylish wedding trend of precious rocks and stones.

Particularly popular with those in favour of organic and boho weddings, the use of pretty rocks and glittering gems in natural weddings adds just a subtle touch of glitz and glamour.

To show you how magical minerals can put a plush twist on proceedings, we’re sharing three swoon-worthy precious stone inspired moodboards – and there’s not a single slate sign in sight!

rose quartz


Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Happily Ever Captured| image source| image source, photography by Booth Photographic| image source, photography by Bai & Elle| image source| image source, photography by Lindsay Madden Photography| image source, photography by Catherine Guidry Photography| image source.

A firm favourite with us pink-loving ladies here at Brides Up North HQ, we adore how this pretty blush rock creates understated elegance in an instance.

To achieve the look we advise sticking to a white and pink colour scheme and adding just the odd accent of glittering gold (and in particular, rose gold) to reinforce the ‘precious’ element of the theme.

For us this styling is dreamy and romantic so table settings should revolve around clusters of quartz and big, leafy blooms with elegant candlelight interspersed to create the desired ambience. Stationery can also be designed to incorporate the appearance of rose quartz with varying tones of pink and metallic edging.

In terms of attire, materials should be light and fluid, so maids in flowing floor-length dresses and bridal gowns featuring delicate ruffles, layering and ribbons. To keep the touch of glitz consistent accessories featuring dainty stones and gems, such as detailed shoes, ethereal headpieces and simple single stone rings, can be added.

mystical marble


Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Mikkel Paige| image source, photography by Katie Shuler| image source| image source, photography by Marissa Lambert| image source, photography by Vicki Grafton| image source| image source, photography by Carlie Statsky| image source, photography by Lost In Love Photography.

A fabulous option for you monochrome fans out there, this simple but effect styling centres round a largely black, white and grey palette.

Clean and classy, the look is paired back but super stylish. So to set the scene to guests early on pick marble effect stationery with gold type for the save the dates and invitations, which can then be carried through into seating plans and table numbers.

Keep table settings simple with either bare wooden tables or plain white linen, topped with green foliage, lots of glistening glassware and tall tapered candles placed in polished marble holders.

Marbled wedding cakes are big news at the moment to this is one area where you will be spoiled for choice and the dreamy mottled effect can also be carried over into fancy favours with iced topped cupcakes and biscuits.

When it comes to dress choices, maids in mismatched grey dresses can look particularly effective. There are also some gorgeous grey dress designs available for brides, but if this is one step too many away from tradition an ivory dress can be teamed with grey accessories in shoes with gentle gem adornments or simply with marbled material flowing from the bouquet.

glittering geodes


Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Kristyn Harder| image source, photography by Landon Jacob Photography| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Blue Rose Photography| image source, photography by Harwell photography| image source| image source| image source, photography by Alex Lasota Photography.

The choice of colour for this one is down to individual preference. For organic style weddings earthy neutral tones of pale grey, taupe and soft green work best, boho brides meanwhile might like to incorporate more mid-tones of blue, pink and purple, whilst those wanting to inject opulence should stick to strong jewel tones, such as cobalt blue and emerald green.

For this moodboard we’ve gone for a regal look using a bold blue hue with more washed-out blue undertones and lavish pops of gold.

Gilt agate based designs form the focus of luxurious stationery and cake designs while a little clever calligraphy can transform polished stones into plush place name settings and table numbers. To help illuminate the precious pieces and gold accents we’d advise using lots of twinkling tea lights dotted along tables, shelves and window sills.

While there are blue dress options out there for brides, most would prefer to leave the more colourful elements to either their leading ladies or the main man. But this doesn’t mean that brides have to miss out altogether, with blue footwear and stone jewellery providing the perfect ‘something blue’!

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