Brides Up North

eye candy. So Sassi 2015

December 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime

So Sassi 2015 - Gabrielle Back CU

It’s Friday.  Got your cuppa in one hand, bacon buttie in the other?

Excellent.  Time for a bit of dress gazing

So Sassi 2015 - Paige & Jacket 1

This morning, we debut multi award-winning wedding gown designer Sassi Holford’s 2015 Collection of her esprit label, So Sassi. Perfect for the young, modern bride with a sense of fashion and her own style, So Sassi is the creation of a young design team working in a highly creative environment under Sassi’s expert tutelage.

So Sassi 2015 - Petula CU 1

So Sassi 2015 - Paige CU 1

So Sassi 2015 - Colette

sassi says: The collection features fresh, spirited dresses that combine exquisite silks and laces with contemporary twists – key hole backs, cut outs, sheer cap sleeves and ballerina length tulle. The dresses are handmade in our workrooms in Somerset and the collection retails from £1,100.

So Sassi 2015 - Kitty

Our young designers understand the exuberance and style of contemporary brides and that really comes across in the collection.  It’s attracted a great deal of interest from brides looking for dresses that express that sense of joie de vivre that makes a wedding day so special – and being ‘made in England’ has become a key element.

So Sassi 2015 - Arabella back CU

So Sassi 2015 - Willow 1

So Sassi 2015 - Maisie CU 1

For more, visit www.sosassi.so

For more gowns and dress details, see our gallery below.

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eye candy. a first look at BHDLN’s spring 2015 collection

December 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime

BHLDN Preview

The lookbook has just landed, and I’ve shifted a few features around today to bring Brides Up North the first look at the highly anticipated spring 2015 collection from BHDLN. Those clever people behind Anthropologie really do know how to do pretty, pretty perfectly.

Here at Brides Up North, we’re desperate to play dress up. Anyone got a spare ticket to NYC?

Maelin Corset and Priya Skirt

bhldn say: The collection, launching January 6th, features 18 new gowns and a multitude of accessories that draw upon two distinct inspirational concepts: The Painted Garden and Bon Vivant.

Zaden Gown

Raquel Dress

Winnie Gown

Gowns inspired by The Painted Garden feature sheer elements like illusion necks and backs along with intricate back details, extra fine lace and voluminous trains while those of the Bon Vivant feature delicate beading, strategic draping, soft tailoring and eye-catching embroidery.

Marlowe Gown

Aria Gown

Angel Gown

When it comes to accessories, we see a focus on sheer fabric trims, mixed elements on sashes, freshwater pearl accents and dramatic moments created by long draping tulle on both sashes and halos. Other refined “drippy” pieces feature mixed metallics with fine embellishments along with both champagne and metallic pearls. Headpieces with carefully placed crystals have a structured and polished feel while luxurious fabrics like silk charmeuse bring an element of luminosity to sashes and clutches.

Tiered Petal Maxi

Wisteria Gown

Alhambra Gown

Amelie Gown

Beloved designers like Catherine Deane, Watters and Nicole Miller return with new styles that mirror the stars of previous collections while designers that are new to BHLDN like Rosa Clara, Something Blue Vancouver and Johanna Johnson bring a fresh take to the assortment.

For more details visit the BHLDN website, and if a quick hop over to New York City isn’t covered in the wedding budget, details of international shipping can be found here.

For individual gown names and more gorgeous frocks, check out our gallery. 

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what a wonderful world. a travel themed wedding at Hodsock Priory – sami & chris

December 2nd, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (36)

Well, what can I say, from the memorable wedding proposal to the stately venue and swoon-worthy wedding attire (especially the Jimmy Choos) – this couple have style.

Chris popped the question to Sami when they were travelling together so it seemed only natural to them to incorporate their love for globetrotting into their big day celebrations – and my word they did it well.

With Sami’s creative eye and Chris’s exceptional carpenter skills, they created a host of gorgeous personal props that were a whole classy world away from what Handy Andy used to create with a piece of plywood.

So pack a suitcase guys, as it’s time to join Sami and Chris on the journey of their splendid wedding day.

With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (8)

sami says: We got engaged in Hoi An, Vietnam, on June 23, 2013 during our travels. We’d been travelling for nine months before Chris went down on one knee during a romantic cycle ride into the countryside, with rice fields galore. We stepped off our bicycles then walked between rice paddies to reach a distressed bamboo bridge to take photographs. The next thing I knew, Chris popped the question with a “will you marry me?” which he had created with wooden letters he bought from a market stall in Bangkok six weeks earlier and attached them onto a world map paper. Chris had created the proposal, using snatched moments when I was in the shower each evening!  It was an unexpected moment even though I was hoping that Chris would propose one day during our travels!

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (10)

Sunday September 14, 2014 was the date we decided to tie the knot. We chose this date as we liked the fact that September is usually warm and pleasant and with the hope of an Indian summer, still retaining the colours of the flowers and leaves from the lingering end of the season, that end of summer feeling we love so much, when the sun appears lower in the sky, giving everything a soft warm glow and it doesn’t go dark until around 8pm. The date also includes our personal significant numbers, so it all worked out perfectly, as if it was written in the stars for us!

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (13)

We chose Hodsock Priory in North Nottinghamshire as our venue as it has the perfect magical, fairytale and country feel and is in a tranquil setting. It looks like a castle with its Tudor gatehouse as a welcoming entrance, grounds with woodland offering romantic walks, a quirky summerhouse and an Italian terrace, creating endless opportunities for amazing photographs. The interior of Hodsock Priory was just as perfect!  What also attracted us to Hodsock Priory is its exclusivity, so we wouldn’t have to worry about sharing our wedding with another wedding party.

The moment we stepped into Hodsock Priory we immediately fell in love with it and knew nothing else could compete with this stunning and special place!  Also we live near Hampton Court in London, so there are some connections – Henry VIII once visited Hodsock Priory and to us, it’s like a mini version of Hampton Court. The venue is also local to where my parents live, about 20 minutes away, yet we had never heard of it before we got engaged!

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (16)

It was a no-brainer to pick a travel related theme as we had travelled around the world and visited 20 countries together in our four-year relationship. So we had a vintage travel theme with a natural, rustic boho chic style.

Our colour scheme was grey, ivory and natural kraft, which was used in our wedding stationery, along with splashes of blue, green and pink colours in the flowers. We chose this scheme because grey is one of our favourite colours and the other colours were thrown in the mix to complement it and bring the whole scheme to life with the natural look we were after. Chris made lots of wooden props, which also blended in well with the colour theme.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (19)

The day Chris and I returned from our travels in July 2013, we received our first wedding magazine as a part of our engagement gift. Already having an idea of the look I wanted in my mind, I flicked through the magazine and there it was – I spotted ‘the one’. It was Holly by Charlotte Balbier. I sourced local stockists and found Emily Bridal Wear in Sheffield, who was fantastic. I looked at dresses in other bridal shops first to make sure, but once I slipped into the Holly dress, I just knew, tears welled up in my eyes and my mum welled up too!

I wanted a simple, flowing, ethereal and dreamy dress that I could wear again after my wedding (the hem can easily be shortened). I also wanted to wear the dress rather than it wearing me, plus I wanted some details to add interest, such as embellishments around the waist and detailed bodice – that dress ticked every box! I had a halter neck strap added to it to make it a little more unique from the usual strapless dress.

When it came to accessories, I fell in love with my Jimmy Choos and I had a matching handbag to go with it. I wanted shoes to complement my dress and they did with the lattice effect just like my dress bodice. They felt so special! My floral clay circlet meanwhile was bespoke, created by the lovely Sofia of Lilain London, whose work I spotted at The Brides Show in Battersea.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (2)

Chris wore a country look grey suit. It was purchased from Reiss along with a white shirt and tan brogues. The silver/grey tie was from Aquascutum and a silver/grey silk pocket square was from John Lewis.

The bridesmaids’ grey/silver dresses were purchased from Coast and the groomsmen’s light grey suits were from River Island. The pale blue ties were from John Lewis.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (3)

For our décor, we had the same flowers as my bouquet, with lots of gypsophila!  We collected lots of glass jars with the help of both sets of parents for the tables. Me and my mum decorated these jars with ribbon, jute string, raffia and wicker hearts then Kay at Hodsock added the flowers. I also collected large glass coffee jars from work, filled with pebbles collected from a beach near Chris’s family’s regular seaside place; they were perfect for the table names! We had each table named after some of our favourite countries and instead of just writing them out, I made a country outline template then Chris cut it out on plywood using a jigsaw. We originally planned to have the guests guess what each country was but realised it was too difficult, so made a label with country name for each one. For each table, we also sourced candle lanterns and photo frames. We love candle lanterns as they evoke warm memories of our travels we felt they gave an enchantingly calm atmosphere.

We used props to give our day more of a personal touch. Chris made some large ‘LOVE’ letters, a wooden wedding post box and also wooden hanging hearts for the aisle, which we alternated with, bunches of gypsophila. He also made a rustic wooden signpost, which depicted some of the places we had visited. It was placed on the lawn giving photo opportunities for guests.

We added family wedding photographs of our parents and dear departed grandparents and had decorations to tie in with vintage travel theme, such as world map board used for table plan, a map photo frame with our engagement photo and C & S letters covered with world map. We also had two wooden step ladders – the large one made a lovely decoration at the entrance, with flowers scattered all over it, topped with a bicycle to represent us (we got engaged whilst out cycling) and a handwritten painted ‘welcome’ sign. We even borrowed a vintage globe from Hodsock Priory for our ceremony table.

Together with my creative eye and perfectionist way, and Chris’s skilled hands, we were able to make the decorations and props we wanted. Since we got married, we have decided to set up our own website as we are looking to go into the wedding props market.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (21)

We went for natural and wild looking flowers. I carried a bouquet filled with gypsophila, ivory and dusky pink roses, pink veronica, eryngiums, eucalyptus, small daisies, all tied together with jute string.  The flowers were part of the Hodsock Priory package. Chris and the men in the bridal party wore eryngium buttonholes and the ladies wore ivory roses.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (29)

We wanted to arrive at Hodsock Priory in style while continuing our travel theme, so we hired Harry, a beautifully restored VW campervan from Vintage VolksWeddings. It was reminiscent of our road trips in Australia and New Zealand. The campervan transported me and my bridesmaids to Hodsock Priory first, where we had our final preparations. Then the groom and groomsmen were collected from a hotel, along with the groom’s parents to be taken to the venue. It was an awesome start to the day and a great photo opportunity!

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (27)

Jo and Simon at Shoot Lifestyle were our photographers on the day.  We discovered them by Googling and admired their blog with photographs of a couple whose wedding also took place at Hodsock Priory. We loved their natural and candid style and felt the photographs oozed freshness and colours, and lots of close up shots of details, which were also so important to us. We also hired two videographers to film our wedding as we feel it is a memory in motion that we can keep and cherish over the years.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (32)

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (35)

For our favours we presented the ladies with stainless steel heart spoons and for the men we gave antique key bottle openers.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (44)

After many months of changing our minds on how we wanted our cake and cupcakes to look, we eventually settled on a lattice effect for half of the cupcakes and small ivory roses for the rest of the cupcakes. The lattice effect tied in with my dress bodice and the ivory roses with our flowers. I loved the simple dot design also, so had that for the main three-tier cake finished with cascading ivory roses. I didn’t want to decide between a three-tier cake and cupcakes, so I managed to persuade Chris to have both! Yvonne, another supplier of the Hodsock Priory package, baked the scrumptious three-tier fruitcake and sponge cupcakes made in two separate flavours – Victoria sponge with jam and lemon.

As Chris is a carpenter, he made the wooden cake stand to present the cupcakes in a creative and unique way and the top stand was personalised with engraving. We also had a wooden base for the three-tier cake. We decided to use fairylights for the lighting effect as it reminds us of travelling in faraway places, especially restaurants by the beach!  The cake topper was a bespoke design, created to look like us!  It was by Cheryl at Artlocke Designs.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (53)

The wines were included in the Hodock Priory package and we chose Gail Dandy as our caterer as we felt her variety of food covered everyone’s tastes. When we went food sampling and were impressed by the numbers of dishes on offer and how delicious her food was!

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (51)

As we wanted everyone to join in on the dance floor, we decided to have a ceilidh band. We hired Knitters Jig, who provided an entertaining performance. It was brilliant fun. It didn’t matter if guests made mistakes, it only added to the atmosphere and everyone had a really good laugh!

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (60)

We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue to others – it is such a beautiful and fairytale like venue with stunning grounds. The woodland and the lake give the place a magical, enchanted feel! George and the staff were so helpful and friendly and so well organised. We were made to feel very welcome to share their beautiful home.

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (62)

It’s really difficult to pinpoint our favourite part of the day as we loved every moment. It was the best day of our lives but if we had to choose, the greatest part would be seeing each other at the aisle!

Shoot Lifestyle

For our honeymoon we went to Hawaii for three weeks island hopping, visiting three different islands, which was a fantastic and amazing experience. We hired a Jeep for a week to explore one of the islands and we swam along with turtles and stingrays in the sea!  It was an amazing honeymoon with a variety of things to do but at the same time offered a lot of relaxation time, which we so desperately needed. We didn’t want to come home!

a travel themed wedding at Hodstock Priory (c) shoot-lifestyle.co (65)

Our advice to other brides and grooms-to-be is to enjoy the planning and make sure you leave plenty of time if you want to DIY everything and do rope in family or friends to help – make use of their skills. For example, whilst we had our own ideas for wedding stationery, Chris’s brother-in-law helped us by honing our ideas into reality with his creative graphic design skills for travel themed invitations, order of service, table plan and place cards. Although the day flies by so quickly, make sure you have time for each other but also circulate with your guests between meals like we did, it makes them feel appreciated.

If you want a creative first wedding dance, it’s worth investing in a few dance lessons to build up your confidence and learn your moves, like we did. We wrote our own promises for the ceremony as we wanted our wedding to be more personal, meaningful and unique. If you wish to do the same, make sure you leave plenty of time to think and write them.

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a wedding alphabet. G is for Gown

December 2nd, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Amaryllis - Claire Pettibone

Amaryllis by Claire Pettibone

A bride’s wedding attire had to appear somewhere in our wedding alphabet, so here it is under the letter G for gown.

This is the element of a wedding that most girls picture first, and that some dream about from being a little girl. Watching the Disney princesses flaunt their posh frocks when I was a youngster certainly helped me conjure up an image of what my very own ‘princess’ dress might look like for the day I would wed my prince charming.

My first thoughts were very much along the lines of Ariel’s wedding dress with corseted top, Princess Diana-esque puff sleeves and an almighty voluminous skirt. Of course over time our ideas and tastes change (thank God), and we come to realise the vast number of pretty bridal dresses there are to choose from beyond the standard fairytale gown.

But how do you find the one? When collating our fabulous real wedding posts for the blog, it becomes apparent that while some ladies find their dream dress almost instantly, others trawl numerous boutiques, toing and froing for months before making their decision.

Leila - Jenny Packham

Leila by Jenny Packham

While we can’t put a time on how long it, will take we can offer a little guidance. So, here are some top tips to help when wedding dress shopping, along with some of my favourite current designs for some extra inspiration:

money matters

Like a helpless moth to a flame, it’s easy to be drawn to stunning full lace gowns, those with intricate detailing or a dress with a killer train to rival Kim Kardashian’s. But if it carries a price tag that is well out of your league it really is pointless, if not a little heartbreaking. So to save you the pain, set a budget and look for designers/boutiques that fall into your price bracket. Also bear in mind that your attire allowance needs to also cater for the accessories that will complete your look, such as shoes, veil, under garments, jewellery and hair accessories.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

Charlotte Balbier‘s Iscoyd Park Collection

early bird

One panic buy you don’t want to make is your wedding dress so be sure to give yourself a suitable amount of time (usually around eight months) to shop around and have alterations made. At the same time, be careful not to start too early or you run the risk of buying something too far in advance and then see something you prefer closer to the big day.

Alchemy - Claire Pettibone

Alchemy by Claire Pettibone

picture perfect

Build up an image of the types of dresses you like using magazine cuttings and Pintrest to record your findings. As well as basing choices on your personal style preferences, also take into account elements of the wedding, such as the venue and season and how your dress might work with this in terms of its colour, fabric and design.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

Charlotte Balbier’s Iscoyd Park Collection

bookable boutiques

When booking appointments at bridal boutiques, make sure they stock designers that you like, that are within your budget and that go up to your size. If you have your heart set on trying on a certain design ring ahead and make sure they stock it. Once you have made your bookings be sure to go along prepared with suitable nude underwear and heels of a height similar to what you plan to wear on your wedding day so you can see how the dress falls.

Simone - Jenny Packham

Simone by Jenny Packham

keep an open mind

During the search if a bridal shop owner or assistant suggests trying on something you wouldn’t pick out yourself, don’t dismiss it straight away. These people are experts in the field, and don’t forget, a dress can look completely different on the hanger to what it does when it’s on. A real bride featured on the blog recently (the lovely Fiona) is a great example of how being open minded can work in a bride’s favour. She took up the suggestion of trying on a pink gown (more out of politeness than anything else) and ended up falling head over heels for it.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

Charlotte Balbier’s Iscoyd Park Collection

don’t crowd me

Too many cooks and all that! You need to select your dress shopping companions carefully. It’s advisable to take just two or three people when trying on dresses in the early stages. For most it’s a combination of their mum, sisters, best friend and/or nan. Basically the people whose opinion you value the most. What you need is honest and reliable thoughts, not confusing and conflicting opinions. Once you have made your decision you can always take a few other friends or relatives along to a later fitting for a sneak peek.

Julia - Claire Pettibone

Julia (great name!) by Claire Pettibone

be true to yourself

Ultimately the final decision comes down to you so trust your instinct and don’t be swayed by others. You might not have that teary, speechless, dramatic moment, but the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident with your choice. When you do find ‘the one’ be sure to order it in the size you currently are, not what you aim to be. Organising a wedding can be stressful enough without putting yourself under added pressure to drop several dress sizes before the big day. If you do lose weight in the meantime, you can always have the dress taken in.

Above all remember that shopping for your wedding dress should be an exciting and memorable experience so keep calm and enjoy!

Garbo - Jenny Packham

Garbo by Jenny Packham

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lost in love. a styled bridal shoot in Manchester

December 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (55)

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…

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (9)

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!

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (15)

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.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (17)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (18)

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!

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (19)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (22)

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!

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (27)

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.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (34)

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.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (39)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (42)

The dresses!

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.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (48)

The gorgeous wedding heels were by Charlotte Mills Bridal and flowers by Bloomin’ Lovely.

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (52)

Isla Jean Bridal - Lost In Love  (61)

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lookbook: ’bout that base

November 18th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Jenny Packham -  Isabella

Main feature images courtesy of Jenny Packham

Shopping for a wedding dress should be an exciting experience for a bride-to-be, no matter what her style, age or size.

That said I’ve heard upsetting stories from a number of fuller-figured brides when searching for the dress, which have hindered their enjoyment. From tales of being asked to squeeze into small sample dresses and to ‘imagine’ how it might fit, to being told collections don’t go up to their size, or simply feeling that there is nothing out there for them.

I’ll bet Kim Kardashian had no such problems at Givenchy.

Well, even if you’re not quite ready to ‘break the internet‘ with your own booty, I’m pleased to report there are some truly stunning plus-size wedding dress collections out there, with certain gowns going up to a size 32. And better yet, more designers are beginning to branch out into plus-size creations by extending their size range.

Jenny Packham - Josephine

The queen of bridal prettiness Jenny Packham, included flattering gowns for plus-sized brides in her Spring 2015 collection which were showcased by gorgeous fuller-figured models on the catwalk. Her Josephine dress in steely grey features incredibly elegant lace sleeves, a pretty sash and signature intricate detailing, drawing the eye to all the right places. Likewise Packham’s Isabella dress covers up the tops of the arms with a delicate and stylish cape, while sparkling crystal detailing frames the under-bust area of the dress perfectly.

Veromia is another designer that offers stunning plus-size dresses with support and structure so that brides feel both confident and comfortable during their moment in the limelight. Veromia’s Sonsie collection offers designs to suit a wide range of tastes, from the fluid SON91452 with fluttery capped sleeves, to the 1950s tea-length SON91462 and the fuller SON91465 with illusion neckline detail.  Meanwhile for autumn and winter brides who crave more dramatic dress designs, Veromia’s SON91208 in ravishing gold, and S91051 in deep regal red, are bound to tick boxes.

Jenny Packham SP2015

Bonny Bridal’s Unforgettable collection has further stunning offerings in plus sizes. Standout designs include 1207 and 1304, which boast fairytale style ruffle detailing, as well as 1424 and 1206, which feature feminine lace sleeves.

Style and structure can also be found within Cara Mai’s wonderful collection. Again brides-to-be are given a choice of both fitted and fuller gowns. The simple, strapless 29228 is a firm favourite within the collection, but for those brides in search of a little more support, the 29244 with tulle overlay and pretty lace appliqués frames curvaceous ladies’ figures beautifully.

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let’s get fizzy! A colourful champagne poppin’ wedding at Colshaw Hall – miriam & richard

November 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (21)

Packing a zesty punch to end the week on a vibrant high, we welcome Miriam and Richard to the blog with their opulent, colourful and champagne fuelled Algerian inspired wedding.

Get ready to pop the fizz… this looks like my kind of celebration.

With images by Matt Horan.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (2)

Miriam says: Richard proposed when we went away for the weekend to the lakes, it was actually my brother in law’s 30th Birthday which Rick kyboshed. We walked up to the room and the bed was laid out with flowers, it took me a while to comprehend what they said and the first thing that came out my mouth was “ I think we are in the wrong room!” anyway, on closer inspection the rose petals said “Will you marry me?” and I turned round  and Rick was on one knee. It was a surreal moment but I of course said yes and the champagne got opened.

We were married on Thursday 17th July 2014 at Colshaw Hall in Pever. We just fell in love with this place. It is a stately home and was just beautiful. The owner is also very down to earth which made us want to go with them even more.

It is just the most beautiful venue, gorgeous gardens and you felt you were a million miles away even though you weren’t.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (1)

My dress was a Heritage gown, by Amanda Wyatt and Charlotte Balbier. I got it from Love Bridal Boutique and I just fell in love with it. Rick wore a tailored suit that he had especially made for him and my fabulous bridesmaids all wore dresses from Debenhams.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (14)

We had a Algerian theme as my dad is Algerian and also a fizz theme as I love Champagne, so all the tables were named after Champagnes. The colours were all middle eastern and the food followed this theme.

Our flowers were from Red Floral Architecture and were very blingy with diamante in them! We also had lanterns and candles.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (17)

Matt Horan was our photographer and we’d certainly recommend him! He was very natural and really caught the moment.

We had a videographer, Tom from Silk Wedding Films who was great, you didn’t even know he was there.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (20)

We used a wedding planner called Janice who really supported and helped us through the whole process.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (30)

We carried the Algerian theme into our wedding breakfast so served a mezze to start which included taboluh, merguez sasuage, humous, feta with harissa, flat breads, we then had lamb and couscous with roasted veg and a trio of desserts.

My dad picked all the wine which included red, white, fizz and champagne.

We gave Algerian sweets as favours and instead of a wedding cake we had lots of mini pavlovas, they were lovely!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (35)

We had a jazz band in the day called Gypsies of Bohemia and a band called The Rush in the evening – we all had a good dance!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (38)

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (41)

The whole  day was just amazing but it just went very quickly. We are both foodies so I would have to say the food part was lovely, even though Rick was too nervous to eat as he knew he was going to do his speech!

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (45)

We went to France, Italy and Spain for our honeymoon.

In France we stayed in a Michelin starred chateaux for 4 nights, we then got the train to Italy for 4 nights where we visited Lake Maggorie and finally relaxed in a villa in the Andalusian mountains for a week.

It was great that we visited a few different places.

a bright and beautiful wedding at Colshaw Hall (c)  Matt Horan (49)

I am sure all brides say this but my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to ENJOY every second as it flies by!

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the designer series: KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer

October 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (28)

A collaborative styled shoot at Carlton Towers brought together a fantastic group of Sheffield based wedding suppliers to showcase the 2015 whiting collection from Brides Up North Sponsor Kelly of KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer.

The Whiting Collection is made up of seven bridal gowns which reflect the label’s signature style and showcase various shapes, fabrics and looks that brides can choose from.

I’m just a little bit absolutely head over heels.

With images by RJH Wedding Photography.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (59)

Kelly says: The concept of the shoot was to emulate heritage and inspire brides to embrace the past whilst incorporating modern themes and traditional values.  We chose Carlton Towers a grand and traditional wedding venue which we juxtaposed with an ethereal whimsical feel.

The shoot day was fantastic, the team of suppliers involved helped create such amazing results. We were shooting for 12 hours! We were able to use the entire venue for shooting which gave us some fantastic shots in the wedding reception rooms, hallways, snugs, outside and in the bridal suite.

This styled shoot showcased my 2015 Whiting Collection and brand new accessories range which will soon be able to purchase on our website. The collection is named after my late grandmother, who taught me to sew and inspired me to become a designer. The names of the gowns are Grace, Pamela, Ivy, Marlene, Elizabeth, Ruby and Annie.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (54)

Grace is an elegant floor length bias cut ivory silk crepe and guipure lace gown.  A high illusion neckline is finished with bound silk crepe detailing and delicate cap sleeves. A KMR signature of a keyhole back opening paired with a detachable lace train creates a stunning back. The gown is finished with a silver crystal embellished waistband.

Ivy is a stylish ivory embroidered lace and silk crepe backed satin gown.  Elegant lace sleeves and a deep V-shaped neckline at the back of the gown are finished with a delicate scallop lace edging. Creating a figure enhancing silhouette the gown has a bias fishtail skirt with a train to add a feminine touch. The gown is finished with delicate covered buttons and rouleau loops down the back.

Annie is a sophisticated strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline. The elegant circle skirt is made up of layers of silk taffeta and silk chiffon with a beautiful train. The bodice is finished with delicate pleated silk taffeta, a plunging back and fastened with rouleau loops and covered buttons. The gown is finished with a stunning silver crystal motif on the waist.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (33)

Marlene is a tea length bridal gown with an ivory silk taffeta circle skirt with layers of net and tulle to create a classic silhouette. The bodice is made from laser cut silk organza with an illusion neckline finished with bound silk taffeta and a floral laser cut finish on the waistband. Delicate rouleau loops and covered silk button create a beautiful fastening down the back showcasing the unusual fabric and floral detail.

Pamela is an ivory floor length lace gown with three quarter length lace sleeves. It has a deep V neckline at the front and back of the gown with scallop lace edge detailing on the neckline, sleeves and hem. The gown is fastened with pearl buttons down the back. We have styled Pamela with a cathedral length KMR veil with a thin lace edging.

Ruby is an ivory duchess satin gown with a low V neck back, large pleated skirt and applique shoulder detailing creating a modern silhouette. Ruby has been styled with one of our bridal belts and headpieces from our new accessories collection.

Elizabeth is an ivory duchess satin, tulle and embroidered lace strapless wedding gown. It is styled with one of our brand new bridal sashes and a beautiful floral crown from Campbell’s flowers with a KMR drop veil.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (32)

Showcasing this shoot on Brides Up North has come at an exciting time for KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer. We have just announced that the brand new bridal boutique The Bridal Emporium, in Leeds, will be our first stockist of our Whiting collection and accessories range.  Our 2015 accessories range will also be available to purchase on our website very soon.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (56)

Rob and Alice at RJH Wedding PhotographyWorking with other exceptionally talented suppliers on styled or editorial shoots like this gives each of us the opportunity to bring something new and exciting to the mix. Collaborating helps us all to enhance one another’s individual skills and therefore realise something greater as a result.

KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer’s new 2015 Whiting Collection inspired us to produce imagery that complimented the style, elegance and luxury of her collection and Carlton Towers was the perfect setting.

As photographers, RJH Wedding Photography subscribe to a more traditional style where we use a delicate balance of light, texture, colour and form combined with an understanding of the setting and subject to best evoke a desired mood or style. The combination of the fantastically dressed and styled models, in such an impressive setting, really helped to represent the luxury and elegance that we, as photographers, try to capture in every wedding we cover.

We aimed to create a visual tone, in keeping with the period, grandeur and elegance of the setting which equally complimented the grace and beauty of each dress. This concept was kept in mind through the work on the day to post production and we have been proud to help launch KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer’s new collection.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (53)

Tracey at Campbell’s Flowers: I designed several bouquets for the shoot, all in my very relaxed, soft, natural, ‘just picked’ style in different shapes to suit the different silhouettes of Kelly’s gowns. Bouquets featured a meadowy cascading, almost sheaf-style in lovely bright locally grown, summery blooms using wheat, lavender, daisies, nigella, ammi, lysmachia and sweetly scented herbs such as clary sage, mint and oregano. I also created a slightly smaller more posy-styled bouquet using similar flowers but with the addition of an alternative variety of daisy and lots of pretty white thistles.

Here at Campbell’s, we’ve found that many of our brides are looking for an unstructured, slightly asymmetric bouquet using seasonal blooms. This I created in muted tones of soft pale pinks, lilacs, lavenders, all of which are very much on trend at the moment.  Flowers and foliage were highly textured and included ‘Memory Lane’ roses, peonies, hydrangea, spray roses and campanula teamed with lots of soft trailing ferns, gorgeous silvery senecio and jasmine vines. To complete the look I designed a really full bridal crown using more of the roses and pretty green eustoma, along with wheat and white thistles.

For my final bouquet, I put together stylish, classic ‘balls’ of the babiest shell pink hydrangea to work alongside a slightly more elegant, formal gown, along with a ‘pom-pom’ buttonhole to match, for our groom. Kelly had also dropped off a really stunning silver candelabra which had belonged to her grandmother, which seemed to cry out for balls of hydrangea, softened with wispy asparagus fern!

Lastly, in keeping with the grand, historic surroundings, I designed a really soft, flowing design into an urn I’d brought along with me filling it full of lush, opulent, open peonies, hydrangea, roses and lots of gorgeous foliage kindly donated by the lovely gardeners at the Carlton Towers estate.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (58)

Lydia from Sweet Additions: For the cake we created a soft ombré effect using delicate sugar ruffles wrapped around each tier. We chose a subtle dusky pink shade which we gradually faded to white. The gentle ruffle layers created an almost peeling effect which gave the cake a beautiful antique look.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (13)

Makeup artist Sarah Gray: With the shoot showcasing all of Kelly’s new collection there were plenty of different styles of dresses from quite classical to vintage to more of a fishtail design so I wanted to show a variation off different bridal looks which could work well with Kelly’s designs. The four looks were designed to appeal to every type of bride whether they would want something very natural to full on glamour.

Tina Howarth from Beau Hair: I created a range of 2015 Inspired Bridal Hair designs to compliment both the stunning bridal gowns and the romantic whimsical nature of Carlton Towers. Three themes were selected and adapted to compliment and to show how the gowns were adaptable to all brides and to show off the various headpieces and veils in the range and how to wear them in various hair designs.

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girls only. this weekend: the wedding edit

October 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

LOVEbridesmaids-launch-styallodge-BUN_187

Brides Up North Sponsor Emma of Love Bridal Boutique would like me to extend a fabulous invitation to my readers (because she knows you’re pretty fabulous too) to the wedding edit.

The Wedding Edit

Happening this weekend – clear your diaries – on Sunday 26th October 2014, from 12pm at Styal Lodge, Cheshire, this event is your chance to see Love Bridal Boutique’s stunning new gowns in their catwalk show from some of Brides Up North’s favourite designers including Stewart Parvin, Raimon Bundo, Alan Hannah, Enzoani, Terry Fox, Mia Mia and Maids To Measure.

LOVEbridesmaids-launch-styallodge-BUN_190

Emma says: It’s going to be an amazing catwalk show, showcasing all our designers’ new collections (including bridesmaids) and then there’s a unique opportunity to chat with all of our wedding friends who are there to offer their advice about all things wedding planning. There will also be a lot of prosecco and canapés!

Strictly no boys allowed. 

This event is guest list only.  To reserve your place, please email hello@lovebridalboutique.co.uk.

LOVEbridesmaids-launch-styallodge-BUN_196

Images by Jonny Draper Photography 

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designer diary date. Charlotte Balbier styling weekend

October 21st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

We’ve just closed our beautiful Yorkshire season of Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions (just one show left in 2014, can you believe it?! We’ll be at the unique and individual The Bowdon Rooms, Cheshire in just under two week’s time) but that doesn’t mean that the real-life inspiration for Yorkshire brides stops this side of Christmas. Oh no!

My fabulous sponsor and lovely colleague Charlotte Balbier will be hosting an exclusive designer weekend at Lace & Co in Wakefield on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd November 2014 to mark the occasion of the award winning Yorkshire boutique’s first birthday.

I’ve seen (and tried on – come on, who wouldn’t play a little dress up?) Charlotte’s gorgeous collection of gowns and these frocks truly are something else.  If you’re still looking for ‘the one’, you might want to pop this one in your diaries…

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

For two days only brides to be will be able to view and purchase wedding gowns from a stunning array of dresses specially selected from Charlotte Balbier’s award winning ‘Iscoyd Park’ Collection as well as many of the timeless classic pieces from her legendary ‘Hall of Fame’ collection.

Charlotte Balbier will also be making a personal appearance in the boutique on Saturday 22nd November 2014. Charlotte will be on hand to help style and guide you into finding your dream wedding dress, Charlotte has been designing and styling brides for the last 11 years and will ensure that every bride feels and looks amazing in their Balbier design by showing you how to style and accessorize your dress to suit your own style and personality.

Every bride who buys a Balbier gown over the two days will receive a luxury Charlotte Balbier goody bag brimming with treats. Champagne and yummy cakes as standard!

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014
This is an appointment only event. Places are limited.  Book your place by calling 01924 277725 or visiting www.laceandco.com

 

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