March 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime
To me, Marilyn Monroe is the ultimate Hollywood icon – all curves, pout and platinum locks – so when a talented North West collective of wedding industry suppliers asked me to share these styled bridal images of a modern day Marilyn, it was lights, camera, action…
Photographer Julie from Julie Lomax Photography has been running her own business in Bolton for 10 years. As well as weddings she does a lot of portrait work so really enjoys working with people to ensure they’re comfortable and at ease so that she gets the best shots possible.
julie says: When we first started to plan this photo-shoot we’d been inspired by the undeniable and timeless beauty of the fabulous Marilyn Monroe. Our model, Melissa Jade Cheetham has that enviable petite figure, killer smile and cropped blond hair and was the inspiration behind the look that we eventually created. However, Melissa’s classic features were brought up to date with a more edgy side complete with tattoos and piercings, elements that really showcased her personality and made us want to bring Miss Monroe bang up to date!
After doing some research and creating some inspirational mood boards on Pinterest, we decided that to achieve a more up-to-date, on-trend bridal look we would have to add in some sparkle and chose gold metallics combined with black to create our look.
My style of photography requires plenty of natural light which is why The Dance Mill, Halifax was perfect, it has fabulous big industrial windows and a large mirrored wall for the students to practice in which reflected all the light beautifully, enabling me to really show off the details on the dress and capture the colours perfectly.
With over 10 years of designing and dressmaking experience, Charlotte Yates and the team at Legend Bridal, Lancashire have a spectacular reputation with customers travelling from all over the UK. As well as designing and creating fabulously unique, made-to-measure wedding dresses, Legend Bridal also create all manner of dresses, costumes, ball gowns, mother of the bride outfits and a wide range of accessories from bridal head pieces to corsages, bags and hats. Between them, the team have a wide range of training and disciplines, from design and couture, to embroidery, beading and millinery.
charlotte says: We thought of the iconic ‘Marilyn’ dresses; the signature empire cut and nipped in waistline. We took those elements, updated it with gold sequins and added a Legend twist teaming it up with jagged tulle and black petticoats.
Debra opened Bolton’s first make-up studio and works with her team of talented make-up artists at Bolton’s Last Drop Village. The team have a loyal customer base for weddings, special events and proms and work with their clients to achieve their desired make-up look whether that be a natural look or full-on glam.
debra says: We wanted to work with Melissa’s natural pale skin tone but add some classic Marilyn elements by giving her statement eyebrows, fabulous long fluttery eyelashes, bold rep lips and of course that iconic beauty spot!
Lucinda is a freelance hair-stylist based in the North West but travels all over the country creating spectacular hair styles. With over seven years of experience, Lucinda started the business two years ago and has seen it go from strength to strength, even styling the hair for the prestigious Miss World Competition last year. As well as bridal hair, Lucinda specialises in colouring, cutting, and styling for photo-shoots and shows.
lucinda says: I used heated tongs to create the curls and then set the hair to get that retro look. Once cooled, I brushed the hair out and created volume using a backcomb spray before setting with hairspray to make sure it held throughout the shoot. The look was finished with a shine spray to make sure it looked perfectly glamorous, just like Marilyn!
The styling for the shoot was done using a selection of props including some on-trend giant lit letter M’s courtesy of Hollywood Letters, fabulous florals from Victoria at Lancashire Floristry and beautiful cakes created by Rachel at Marie Antoinette Cakes.
Phil Ingram started Hollywood Letters in 2014, based in the North West, they supply giant lit letters for any occasion or event. Whether you want individual initials, full words, giant love hearts, or even smaller table top letters, the team at Hollywood Letters can help. Their large white M and smaller black M were perfect for the shoot and really helped bring that classic Marilyn look up to date.
The team asked Victoria from Lancashire Floristry to create some beautiful floral arrangements for the shoot and she didn’t disappoint. Embracing the colour scheme, Victoria, who works from her shop in Bolton, supplied arrangements in a selection of rose gold vases teamed up with whites, pale pink and black to complete the look.
The cakes were designed and created by the photo-shoot’s co-organiser Rachel from Marie Antoinette Cakes. Based in South Manchester, Rachel has been creating people’s wedding cakes for the last three years and has quickly developed her own signature style.
rachel says: The colour scheme and theme were a dream for me, pastels, gold and black are just so popular right now and styled shoots like this really give me the opportunity to show clients what can be done when it comes to their wedding cake. Cake decorating has really come on leaps and bounds in recent years and there’s just so much possibility. We used a selection of techniques to create three stunning cakes, including edible gold leaf, edible gold sequins, sugar ruffles, and a selection of handmade sugar flowers. The whole look really came together when teamed with the other elements of the shoot, we’re really pleased!
December 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Unless you just got engaged, like, yesterday (and hey, if you did, congratulations – you are in the right place!) then you might have caught onto the trend for spelling out your love in lights. One supplier who has that service nailed over in the North West is the lovely Megan of Typical Type, who shares this pretty, retro styled shoot with us here on the wedding blog today.
big love people. big love.
With images by Tiree Dawson Photography.
megan says: The premise behind the shoot was the idea that, as suppliers, we are starting to see women styling their hen do’s along the same lines as their weddings. We have also noticed that hen do’s are no longer all about wild nights out, women are choosing quality time with their girlfriends and family. We feel this is really reflected in Tiree’s photographs.
We decided to use The Midland Hotel, Morecambe, which is an iconic 1930′s hotel as we knew it has lots of amazing areas for us to photograph in. However, instead of sticking with the glamorous 1930′s we decided on more of a fun and flirty 1950′s influenced theme.
We asked the best suppliers around to come on board and they did. We invited a stunning mother and daughter combo to model, who along with beautiful Hannah, really made the photos come alive. And so, one hair dresser, one make up artist, three models, one bridal shop, a florist, an ice-cream tricycle and a macaroon supplier later what had initally started life as a mini shoot had blossomed into something a bit more special!
And the rest, they say, is history.
We hope Brides Up North love our work – as you will see, we are all proud Northern Birds!
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December 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… this bloomin’ beautiful styled bridal shoot in the heart of Manchester City Centre, that’s what.
Iconic backdrops, sexy styling and seriously stunning gowns. What’s not to adore about this beautiful collection of images, styled by Vicky of Isla Jean Bridal Boutique and with images by Claire Penn Photography.
Let’s get lost in love…
vicky says: The concept for the shoot was created whilst driving along Deansgate in Manchester at the height of rush hour. Imagine being in such love with your other half that you are unaware of the people around you.
I decided that the new gowns from Belle and Bunty would be perfect dresses to fit in with my vision and I ended up running out of daylight time to fit all the planned gowns in!
I decided to get in touch with a good friend, the amazing Claire Penn and asking whether she would like to be involved. She said yes straight away! From that point I started my mood board on the priceless Pinterest gathering images showing couples posing and being ‘connected’. This was mainly so I had some visual reference to show the models which would help to guide them.
After choosing the most gorgeous models, Erin and Tom (Nemesis Manchester) the date and destination was set.
The day ran really smoothly and the models, as you will see from the images just completely understood what we were trying to achieve and whilst only meeting hours earlier, really made it look like they had known each other for years and, best of all looked like they were utterly in love!
As a Northern girl, I absolutely wanted to capture some of the most iconic landmarks in the city and we got to shoot in Piccadilly Train Station, Deansgate, The Great Northern Courtyard, the infamous Market Street and Liverpool Street. I love the rawness and honesty of both Market and Liverpool Street. As we were just about to call it a day in the train station, we were lucky to have a train just pulling in so managed to have the final images with lots of commuters passing us by. Needless to say we all finished on a massive high!
The hair and make up was done by the lovely Sophie of Make Up by Sophie Battersby who specialises in all make up and hair but really excels in the vintage era look.
The photography by Claire Penn, captured my vision perfectly, using natural light and femininity Claire has managed to put my vision in images. Claire and I have worked together now on a couple of occasions and I have got to say I am so thankful to Claire as she has just understood me from day one.
I had a list of dresses I wanted to show but actually in real time, got to use four. There are only so many hours in a day!
The dresses used were from the most lovely designers Belle and Bunty and the wonderful Lucille from Eliza Jane Howell. Each dress has movement and details, whether it be the detail of the beads or the sheer simplicity of beautiful silks each has its own magic. I wanted to show the movement of the gowns and how bringing style and the unexpected shapes of a gown really can make the most beautiful wedding gown.
The gorgeous wedding heels were by Charlotte Mills Bridal and flowers by Bloomin’ Lovely.
November 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Designed and shot by husband and wife team Kristin & Mark (collectively Mr & Mrs W), I’ve a styled bridal treat lined up for you today! With rich colours, dramatically dark styling and texture galore, this is a decadent close to an autumnal Thursday afternoon.
Wrap up warm…
With styling and images by Mr & Mrs W.
Kristin says: Our inspiration for the shoot was in essence ‘Tweed and Country’. With tweed being seen more and more in wedding fashion, I wanted to incorporate it with the Bride as well as the Bridegroom and nothing encompasses tweed and country than a Cheshire farm shoot, in both senses of the word.
I wanted to start with outdoor pursuits and end with a debauched party and feast with a dark undertone, using antlers, feathers and the odd skull here and there.
The team we used for the shoot are local to the area. We worked together before and I knew that each supplier would provide exactly what I envisaged, which sometimes even I can’t do!
To realise my concept, the venue was always going to be Owen House as its so rustic, quirky and rural and there is nowhere quite like it in the North West.
For menswear it was no contest with the tweed experts at Whitfield and Ward being close at hand, and the beautiful wedding dresses came from The Wedding Boutique Cheshire. Fiona actually hand designs and makes her own styles so was able to make all the little extras I needed.
The shoot was such good fun. Everyone got so involved and really understood the brief. We hope that you like the results! Going forward I have another couple of shoots in mind and I might even go a bit darker next time, but in the meantime I am looking forward to creating some enchanted woodlands and a sequin extravaganza in a Tipi for some real life brides.
All the suppliers, props and styling are all available in and around the Knutsford area.
October 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime
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…
Be honest, who checked?
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.
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.
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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