Brides Up North

lady luxe. the designer series: ian stuart bride

July 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Ian Stuart Bride - Lady Luxe - 2015 Collection

“Bridal gowns transcend fashion, they are a timeless representation of the brides own style and personality.” Ian Stuart

Of all the bridal catwalks I’ve seen, the ones masterminded by Ian Stuart are my favourite – colour, music, personality, cheekiness, beauty… and fabulous frocks: it’s like a very good day at the theatre.  And I love theatre. Lots.

So this morning I’m honoured to welcome a truly talented Northern export home to the pages of Brides Up North, as we sneak a peek at the marvellous Ian Stuart’s brand new collection for 2015, and hear about what makes this design genius tick.

Wedding. dress. heaven.  Right here.

Ian Stuart Bride - Lady Luxe - 2015 Collection

What sort of woman do you design for? 

Ian says:  My collections are always very diverse, as are the women who wear them. As a designer- you can’t put all of your energy and creativity into creating one signature look for one type of woman. We no longer live in a society where we all fit into the same shaped hole, I believe it’s my duty as a designer to celebrate this. I’m known for my dramatic and theatrical creations, because no one else has a look like this, but I also create more demure, cleaned lined and sophisticated gowns, as well as those somewhere in between. I design for all women – this is evident on our Facebook page from all of the real bride’s photos we a share.

Ian Stuart Bride - Lady Luxe - 2015 Collection

Ian Stuart Bride - Lady Luxe - 2015 Collection

What were your inspirations for this collection?

I’m always inspired by the same things, because these are my passions: music, theatre, couture, films, photographers, we live in such a creative world, the supply of inspiration is endless. But I was particularly inspired by the new Pink Martini album, which is a collaboration with the real Von Trapp family. The music is simply magical. I locked myself away, put my headphones in, absorbed myself in the exquisite sounds, and allowed my mind to conjure designs that flowed from the music. The album was also the central soundtrack to my fashion show, it was my favourite to date.

Ian Stuart Bride - Lady Luxe - 2015 Collection

What shapes, fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the collection and why?

Lady Luxe, as the name suggests, is about those luxurious details. I’ve carefully selected laces, beading and applique that I think will make brides feel more illustrious than they could’ve imagined. The way a bride feels I think, is far more important than the way she looks, as it gives her that stunning glow you only get from being in blissful joy.

I always include many silhouettes in my collections to ensure that any bride can find a shape that sculpts and compliments her figure. I’d never eliminate a shape just because it wasn’t ‘on trend’. Bridal gowns transcend fashion, they are a timeless representation of the brides own style and personality.

Ian Stuart Bride - Lady Luxe - 2015 Collection

Ian Stuart Bride - Lady Luxe - 2015 Collection

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deluxe couture. the designer series: nicola anne bridal

July 21st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Nicola Anne Bridal - Duchess

Whatever your inclination – big bash, small soiree, elopement or five day wedding fest – it’s a rare bride who doesn’t get excited about her wedding dress.  I’m relishing my unique opportunity to share so many stunning (hot off the catwalks) bridal gowns with you on these pages, as the designers send me the first shots of their brand new collections for 2015.

This afternoon, it’s all about classical cuts, shimmering silks and demure elegance as I show off the beautiful new look book by Nicola Anne Bridal, and hear from head designer Nikki about her inspirations and influences.

I love my job.

Nicola Anne Bridal - Affection

Nikki says: My inspiration starts with choosing the wonderful fabrics and embellishments.Sometimes I instinctively know what I will do with a fabric and others just evolve into a shape. I am always looking for collection influence everywhere, and this can be in obscure areas, such as cloud formations!

Nicola Anne Bridal - 2015 Collection

The woman I see wearing my gowns is feminine, timeless in her styling and above all knows luxury and quality.

Nicola Anne Bridal - Beau

Our gowns are available in any size. We are able to offer made to measure and design changes as we are British Made. Our ‘Toile fit’ service is also available, which allows the Bride to make fit adjustments to a calico bodice before the wedding gown is completed.

Nicola Anne Bridal - Duchess

2015 looks set to be an exciting year for the brand. We are looking at overseas markets as we have had interest from areas of the world who see our British “design and made”label as unique and high end couture.

Nicola Anne Bridal - Empress

To see more and for stockist info, visit the Nicola Anne Bridal website.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 supplied by Nicola Anne Bridal

 

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Look Book: The Princess Diaries

July 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Hindi - Cymbeline

Hindi by Cymbeline

Although I’m not engaged, I’ve had the pleasure of slipping into some wonderful wedding gowns due to my line of work. Like many other gals I’ve often dreamt about the style of dress I might wear, should I ever make it down the aisle. For me it’s always been a slim-line gown that I’d see myself saying my ‘I dos’ in, but I have to admit, when you step into a voluminous princess-style gown, something very magic happens.

I think it’s something to do with the pretty layers of tulle, or perhaps the detailed bodice that chinches in at the waist before projecting into a large circular skirt. Childhood perceptions may also have something to do it. I (as I’m sure many others young girls did) thought as a child that brides were a form of princess and therefore the big sparkling dress is all part and parcel.

That magical feeling I’ve experienced when donning such a dress means I now couldn’t rule it out as an option, though it certainly doesn’t mean I’ll be going all ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ on my groom. There are numerous different styles of princess gowns available; from jewel encrusted, highly detailed designs, to simple and elegant creations (similar to the gown picked by ultimate princess Kate Middleton, for her big day).

So if you want to slip into a big, beautiful gown when you get hitched, I have some suggestions of which designers to look to.

8724 - Justin Alexander

8724 by Justin Alexander

Princess perfect is one style that Justin Alexander has mastered to a tee. The 8724 design is one of my absolute favourites – beaded bodice, sweetheart neckline, tulle ball gown skirt – tick, tick, tick! For those wanting a little lace detail, the regal 8732 satin ball gown, featuring a lace and tulle overlay, is a stunning option and offers just a hint of sparkle in its subtle pearl, crystal and sequin belt. The 8712 is more Middleton with 3/4 sleeves, a lovely choice for brides not wanting to expose the tops of their arms.

8712 - Justin Alexander

8712 by Justin Alexander

Volume and layers are key to a magical gown so Alexander’s 8742 design also makes my lust list. Cymbeline is another designer with plenty of voluminous gowns on offer. Hada is the queen of the creations boasting an immense ball gown skirt. Hadny and Harmo are equally stately dresses, though perhaps slightly easier to manoeuvre in. Meanwhile, for brides who want the best of both worlds, the stunning Hindi design provides a sophisticated slim-line dress with princess-style tulle layers at the back.

Hadny - Cymbeline

Hadny by Cymbeline

Hada - Cymbeline

Hada by Cymbeline

Harmo - Cymbeline

Harmo by Cymbeline

Maggie Sottero is a front-runner in princess attire too. The Esme Marie gown is enough to make brides go weak at the knees with its fully encrusted Swarovski crystal bodice and glamorous chic organza skirt. The whimsical appearance of Roseabel is also well worth swooning over with its classic tulle ball gown creating an irresistible air of romance.

Esme Marie by Maggie Sottero

Esme Marie by Maggie Sottero

Corbin by Maggie Sottero

Corbin by Maggie Sottero

Dawson by Maggie Sottero

Dawson by Maggie Sottero

Felicity by Maggie Sottero

Felicity by Maggie Sottero

And I’ve saved the best news until last – Alfred Angelo has actually designed a Disney collection with dresses fit for every type of princess; from the Belles, Jasmines and Cinderellas among us, to the Rapunzels, Snow Whites and Ariels. For me standout designs include Sleeping Beauty 238 with fascinating fairy-tale layers, plus floral, rhinestone, crystal and sequin detail. As a huge Aladdin fan I’d quite like to be Jasmine, though I fear sourcing a magic carpet to get me to the venue may be somewhat challenging!

Are you planning on indulging your inner princess on your big day?  We’d love to know!

225 Belle - Alfred Angelo

225 Belle by Alfred Angelo

227 Sleeping Beauty -  Alfred Angelo

227 Sleeping Beauty by Alfred Angelo

238 Sleeping Beauty -  Alfred Angelo

238 Sleeping Beauty by Alfred Angelo

Cinderella -  Alfred Angelo

Cinderella by Alfred Angelo

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited

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Delicate Femininity. The Designer Series: Ivory & Co

July 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Ivory & Co 2015 Collection

Following this season’s trip to White Gallery, London – an international designer bridal trade and press show which I attend yearly, gathering the best in British and international bridal design – I’m proud to showcase a selection of our very favourite collections for 2015 here on these pages.

This afternoon, Sarah, the head designer at Ivory & Co, talks us through her inspirations for the label’s soft and stunning 2015 collection.  Just dreamy.

Ivory & Co 2015 Collection

What sort of woman does Ivory & Co design for? 

Sarah says: The bride I design for at Ivory & Co is sophisticated and elegant – the sort of bride who loves the style of the icons such as Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.  Brides who want romantic dresses with a designer look and are comfortable with something a little more unique and striking.

Ivory & Co 2015 Collection

What were your inspirations for this collection of bridal gowns?

I worked on the designs in the new collection for months last year, sketching constantly and focusing on the styling being feminine and delicate. I took inspiration from many areas – including the romance of the Pre-Raphaelites and the romantic sweep of high fashion in the 1930′s and 1940′s (the swathes of fabric and long trains).  In the attention to detail my inspiration was fairy-tales and mythology: think A Midsummer Nights Dream crossed with embellishments of the Ancient World.

Ivory & Co 2015 Collection

What shapes, fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the collection and why?

The dress shapes for this season are flowing: whether they are full skirted or slinky they all have flowing floaty fabrics in silk chiffon or soft silk satins.  We have embellished using an array of beautiful French laces and beading in Swarovski rhinestones, real freshwater pearls and illusion sequins.  This all gives an illusion of soft decoration for a delicate and feminine look.

Ivory & Co 2015 Collection

Lets get practical.  Tell us about sizing and spend?

Ivory & Co make gowns in any size.  Our standard range goes from UK 0 to 18 but we can also make any size above that by request.  Brides can choose from two services – they can either chose a standard UK size or they can have our made to measure service where we make a whole new pattern block just to the bride’s individual measurements. 

We also provide a special bespoke service where we can either make bespoke changes to an existing design – or design a bespoke dress from scratch for a bride.  This service is no more expensive than buying from our collection.

Our dresses retail from between £1,000 – £2,000. 

Ivory & Co 2015 Collection

What does 2014/ 2015 hold for Ivory & Co?  What are you excited about?

We have just relocated to a fantastic headquarters in the gorgeous Worcestershire countryside.  We have one of the biggest bridal showrooms in the UK with over 100 dresses and over 500 tiaras and accessories. We are excited about welcoming many brides here for appointments to try the new designs – or brides can book in for a bespoke appointment with me.

Ivory & Co 2015 Collection

What are your best things in life?

My best things in life are of course my wonderful family but I’m very lucky that I have a fabulous job that I really love.  It gives me a real sense of satisfaction when I leave the office at night knowing that I’ve made brides happy that day.  I love days when brides come to collect their dress and their faces when they try it on for the first time, especially with bespoke jobs as it is rewarding to design something unique for a bride so they can have the dress of their dreams.

Ivory & Co 2015 Collection

Where can Brides Up North find out more about Ivory & Co?

Brides Up North can see more about us by viewing our website www.ivoryandcobridal.co.uk  or for accessories, www.ivoryandcotiaras.co.uk.  Brides can follow us on Twitter and Facebook and we have a blog which can be reached from our websites. 

Ivory & Co supply over 500 stockists worldwide for their accessories and over 40 stores for their bridal gowns (stockist details can be seen on the website).

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Ivory & Co

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The Designer Series: Christos Costarellos

July 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Wedding Dresses by Christos Costarellos

Each spring, I’m excited to make my annual pilgrimage to the smoke to worship at the altar of bridal design at White Gallery, London.  If you think I sound a little enthusiastic, you’d be right: with a personal background in fashion, this is the event that I look forward to most all year.  A chance to see my favourite designers’ creations up close, catch up on the industry gossip, immerse myself in inspiration, lace, tulle and sequins.

Officially, White Gallery is one of the leading international designer bridal trade and press shows, gathering the best in British and international bridal design to preview and take to market the gowns and the gorgeous that will be landing in a bridal boutique near you next season.

Unofficially, it’s heaven.

Today, in our first Designer Series feature of 2014, I’m proud to introduce a new name to the pages of this wedding blog, a designer whose work really resonates with my own personal style.  Showing for the first time in London this April, and currently without a UK stockist (lets start the campaign now girls!) Christos Costarellos is one to watch. 

Costarellos has produced a beautiful, forward thinking collection for 2015 with influences from his Greek heritage and vintage icons.  The result?  Stunning, new-boho gowns that are totally on the fashion nail for next season.

Oh. YES.

Wedding Dresses by Christos Costarellos

What sort of woman do you design for? 

Costarellos says: I don’t think I have a specific woman ‘type’ in mind when I design my dresses, but I believe that my work combines a classical, understated elegance with bold femininity and sensuality. In that sense, I design for women who have a strong personality and are not afraid to show it!

Wedding Dresses by Christos Costarellos

What were your inspirations for this collection?

The Greek landscape, history and tradition is at the heart of each of my collections, and my new bridal collection is no exception. Lace patterns found on Greek islands are combined with lines and forms inspired by one of my favourite designers from the past, Jeanne Lanvin. The collection also pays tribute to another great couturier of the early 20th century, Charles Worth – especially his luxurious embellishments which I find fascinating

Wedding Dresses by Christos Costarellos

What shapes, fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the collection and why?

In order to achieve a sense of vintage allure and lightness, transparent and very fine fabrics have been used in various ways – for instance, we have used 25 meters of tulle for a single skirt so that it would appear both playful and proper. We have also used lace extensively: as a fashion house we have many years of experience in the use of lace, and our new bridal collection is really a celebration of that tradition. Our expertise allows us to combine different kinds of lace in even more daring ways, in order to get a more contemporary look. Naturally, simple lines and forms that reference Ancient Greek dresses have also found their way into this collection, as well as more luxurious silhouettes and materials such as silk organza and embroidered fabrics.

Wedding Dresses by Christos Costarellos

What does 2014/ 2015 hold for your business?

I’m really excited about how our bridal collection has been received so far – it is the first time we have present our gowns abroad and the response has been very positive. We are also presenting our pret-à-porter summer collection in Los Angeles this year, at the Fashion Forwards showroom. As usual, we will be showing our new Spring-Summer 2015 pret-a-porter collection in Paris during fashion week in September and then we will attend NY bridal week in October.

Wedding Dresses by Christos Costarellos

Where can Brides Up North find out more?

You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all our latest news, and also check out our Pinterest boards for additional inspiration and photos! On our website you can browse images from all our latest collections, as well as an updated list with stockists carrying our brand around the world.

Wedding Dresses by Christos Costarellos

Visit the Christos Costarellos website for more information (Ed: the site uses sound so if you are browsing at work, look for the mute button at button at bottom left, or disable your browser sound first).

Wedding Dresses by Christos Costarellos

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Christos Costarellos

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The Grace Of Lace.

June 12th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Kate Middleton Wedding Dress via Marie Claire

Image via MarieClaire.com

The Duchess of Cambridge has attracted quite a following on the fashion scene, with scores of stylish ladies eager to mirror the Princess’s elegant attire.

Without doubt her most notable style statement to date (and one she will be eternally remembered for) is her graceful lace wedding dress. Designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Kate’s iconic dress featured sensational lace sleeves as well as delicate lace appliqués on the bodice, skirt, underskirt and bridal train (which measured no less than 110 impressive inches).

The media, dress designers and brides-to-be were equally captivated by the timeless creation, which has since led many fashion houses to incorporate ornate lace into their gowns. Scanning wedding dress collections online it’s difficult, if not impossible, to find one that doesn’t feature a lace design, whether it be top to toe in the popular fabric or just peppered with pretty appliqués. From structured slim-line designs to voluminous ball gown styles, there really is a lace creation to suit all.  Here our some of our current favourites.  

Lucy by Stephanie Allin

Lucy by Stephanie Allin 

Designers often use the regal material around the neckline, shoulders and back for show-stopping detail. Stunning examples of this can be found within Stephanie Allin’s ‘Look of London’ collection. Freya has wonderfully feminine lace capped sleeves and delicate open back detail while the fuller Kelly dress features the fabric in an exquisite illusion neckline.

Freya by Stephanie Allin

Freya by Stephanie Allin

Kelly by Stephanie Allin

Kelly by Stephanie Allin

For those wanting full lace sleeves – just like the princess – the fairytale elegance of Lucy is hard to resist. Being the designer genius that she is, Allin has even thought of an option for brides wanting two looks on their wedding day by pairing her simple Margot dress with Selena lace shrug.

Margot by Stephanie Allin

Margot by Stephanie Allin

Brides wanting to keep their lace look simple will also find options in Amanda Wyatt’s collection. Her chiffon off-the-shoulder Rubie dress features guipure lace trim, just on the bodice and sleeves while the soft satin Tessa dress, with a slim A-line skirt, has a touch more lace detail on the bodice and hem line.

Rubie by Amanda Wyatt

Rubie by Amanda Wyatt 

Tessa by Amanda Wyatt

Tessa by Amanda Wyatt

Ronald Joyce’s collection features more elaborate lace designs, with options to suit every size, shape and style. His 67069 creation is a particularly stunning example of a lace gown fit for a princess.

Valentina by Monique Lhuiller

Valentina by Monique Lhuiller

Sienna by Monique Lhuiller

Sienna by Monique Lhuiller

Another designer who perfects pretty lace creations down to a tee, is Monique Lhuiller. Just take a look at her 2014 Fall collection if you don’t believe me. Though spoilt for choice, I’d say Valentina and Sienna, both of which feature luxurious Chantilly lace, are standout pieces. What I love most about the collection is that it includes several short dress options for brides wanting to hitch up their hemlines – a topic I covered recently on the blog. Alessia and Flirt are equally cute options made up of re-embroidered lace for a playful yet polished look.

Alessia by Monique Lhuiller

Alessia by Monique Lhuiller

Flirt by Monique Lhuiller

Flirt by Monique Lhuiller

We’d love to know… will you be wearing lace on your big day? We want details!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited

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Heroines. A Literature Themed Bridal Shoot To Celebrate The 2015 Whiting Collection By KMR Bespoke Bridal

June 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Have I got some eye candy for you lovely lot today! The lady behind this (fabulous) wedding dress is nothing if not versatile.  She’s also extremely talented and a rather lovely person at that.  I know.  I’ve met her, and see these beauties in real life.

Step forward Kelly Redhead of KMR Bespoke Bridal.  One to watch and superstar designer of the future, she’s here to present her 2015 Whiting Collection to Brides Up North.  You saw it here first girls (oh, except from on the pages of Vogue Italia – yes, that’s exactly how we roll!).

Images by Folega Photography.

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Kelly says: A collaborative literature vintage themed shoot at Cusworth Hall, Doncaster brought together a talented group of suppliers. Cusworth Hall was a fantastic venue to hold the shoot with many of the shots taken in the Library, in keeping with the literary theme.

The little details from the various suppliers involved with the shoot worked perfectly with my designs and the fresh approach of the photography by Sarah really did make this shoot romantic and full of love.

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

The Whiting Collection is my debut 2015 collection of bridal gowns. The collection is named after my late Grandmother who inspired me from a young age to become a designer. Three of the collections gowns were used in this preview shoot at Cusworth Hall; Grace, Ivy and Annie.

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.

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

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.

There are three other gowns in KMR’s 2015 bridal collection. As this was a preview shoot of the collection the final three gowns will be revealed soon.

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

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‘Art Throb. Maggie Sottero For A Real Wedding At The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle Upon Tyne – Claire & John

May 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Andy Hudson Photography

Today’s Real Wedding is just lovely.

Claire and John’s celebration was cute, stylish, personal and full of fun… with plenty of prosecco!  Just the way we like ‘em around these parts.

With images by Andy Hudson Photography.

Andy Hudson Photography

Claire says: We got engaged in November 2012 when we were on holiday at Clavell Tower in Kimmeridge, Dorset. Clavell Towell is an old observatory folly. It was restored by the Landmark Trust in 2006.

It’s a very special, atmospheric place especially as the tower is perched on the top of a high cliff and there were gale force winds and torrential rain for most of the time we were there! It was a perfect place to enjoy our special time together before sharing our news with family and friends.

Andy Hudson Photography

We were married on Saturday 1st February 2014. We had our ceremony at St Charles RC Church, Gosforth which was followed by a party at The Biscuit Factory.

We wanted to get married in Newcastle because it is where our home is. Father O’Connor made us feel especially welcome into our local church. We love visiting The Biscuit Factory and it is one of our favourite places. We wanted to share it with our family and friends (especially the ones who do not live in Newcastle). We love eating and the Food Social restaurant had always impressed us. We liked the opportunity to design our own menu with all of our favourite things! We ate Tempura King Prawns, Rosemary and thyme marinated rump of lamb (with garlic mash) and sticky toffee pudding.

Amazing!

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

We did not have a theme although we did end up using a lot of brown Kraftcard! We stamped our guests names onto luggage labels and our invitations, order of service and menus were printed onto simple Kraftcard.

We wanted the day to be simple and relaxed and most of all fun.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Hilary Whitham did our make-up… she is amazing! My friend Sarah did our hair, which was lovely.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

I wore a dress called Bronwyn Marie by Maggie Sottero which I bought from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. Hayley, her mum and Leanne were patient, helpful and very professional.

My dad actually recommended this shop to me because he has driven past and thought the window display looked very elegant!

I wasn’t even sure I wanted to wear a ‘wedding dress’ but knew I did not want a strapless dress. The Bronwyn Marie was made of exquisite lace, fitted me perfectly and was very comfortable. I loved the buttons all of the way up the back (and would like to thank my lovely friends Helen, Amy and Megan for helping me get into it on time… Helen can tell you exactly how many buttons there were!)

I did not feel ‘ready’ until I had all of my accessories on. I felt like they were a big part of my whole outfit. I had a clutch bag instead of a bouquet and I also had a long pearl necklace which I bought years ago when I was on holiday with my mum. The talented Kelly from Tantrums and Tiaras made a pearl brooch to match my necklace which I wore on the ribbon belt around my waist.

I usually wear glasses so was a bit nervous about not wearing them (people who always wear glasses will understand this). I felt much more confident with my beautiful cap/birdcage veil from Sasso and even though I had not planned to have any form of veil I felt like it complemented my outfit perfectly.

I also wore a faux fur jacket for getting too and from the church. This is something that I would never usually wear but I loved it.

John wore a three piece navy suit from Slaters in Newcastle. They altered it so it fitted him perfectly. He also had new shoes. He looked very handsome. His best man and ushers wore their own suits.

Andy Hudson Photography

My sister and John’s sister were our bridesmaids (they are both called Helen which is a bit confusing). They chose their own dresses which were navy blue maxi dresses from Monsoon. We wanted them to feel comfortable on the day.

William our nephew was our page boy and was very trendy and Lily was our beautiful flower girl. Lily also chose her own outfit and even though her mum (our good friend Alex) wanted her to buy a blue bridesmaid dress we thought that Lily’s choice of a sparkly skirt and top with a furry shrug from Monsoon was perfect! She was very excited.

Andy Hudson Photography

Our friends Carol and Dean gave me and my Dad a lift to the church in their posh white Landrover.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

My favourite part of the day was seeing John for the first time (he said ‘wow’).  We both also really loved the ceremony itself as Father O’Connor made it relaxed and personal. I enjoyed getting ready in the morning with my lovely friends and family. We loved seeing the Biscuit Factory all prepared for us, eating the amazing food and dancing… so all of it really.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Our photographer was the lovely Andy Hudson.  We love the photos and felt that Andy made us and our guests feel very relaxed.  We also loved our pre-wedding photos.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

We had yummy prosecco in the church porch after the ceremony and a vintage route master bus (booked via Coach Direct Ltd)  transported our lovely guests together with us to The Biscuit Factory.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

We had lots of mojito cocktails, prosecco and local beer from Wylam Brewery when we arrived at the Biscuit Factory. We knew we were going to have a good party when The Biscuit Factory asked if the could replenish the cocktails within 30 minutes of arriving!

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Our beautiful white tulips on the tables were designed and made up by our lovely talented friend Cheryl Ford as a wedding gift. We were utterly speechless when we saw the Biscuit Factory set up for us… it was so much better that we had ever imagined!

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

We had Polaroid cameras with silly props for people to have fun with and leave us with some very happy memories and we had hired J&C light up letters from Doris Loves and they really suited the industrial look of The Biscuit Factory.

Andy Hudson Photography

We had a giant Colin the Caterpillar cake from Marks and Spencer!

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

The fantabulous Maverick Rejects were our chosen band. Their manager Sean was superb and made sure that everything ran smoothly. He even thought of things that we would have never even considered – like setting up during our church ceremony so they would not interrupt our celebrations.

The band were absolutely amazing and full of energy. They rocked the dance floor and were a big part of our day being so much fun.

Andy Hudson Photography

Andy Hudson Photography

For our honeymoon we went cross country and downhill skiing in Norway. It was very cold, very snowy and very beautiful. We loved it.

We booked our honeymoon through Ski Safari. Andy Hemingway was very helpful.

Andy Hudson Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax… and enjoy having all of your favourite people being in the same place at the same time… just for you!

Andy Hudson Photography

Congratulations Claire & John!

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Steel The Limelight! Silver Wedding Dresses For 2014

May 26th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Cocorico, Ian Stuart

Cocorico by Ian Stuart

Back at your screen already?  We wouldn’t leave you hanging over the whole bank holiday weekend Brides Up North! Instead, here’s a pop of cool coloured eye candy to take you through till Tuesday. 

Non-traditional toned wedding dresses have gradually crept onto the scene as bold brides have ventured beyond the standard white and ivory options.  It started with just a handful of designers daring to push the boundaries but now more and more collections feature a coloured creation or two.

Violet, Monique Lhuillier

Violet by Monique Lhuillier

Last year pink was huge, particularly warm, playful blush tones which attracted a few celebrity fans, including the gorgeous Jessica Biel. By contrast, designers have turned down the heat for their 2015 collections, switching to steely, iced hues such as silver, grey and blue.

The only celebrity I’ve known to recently wed in such a shade is actress Helen Worth, yes that’s right Gail from Corrie, but please don’t let that put you off. While Mrs McIntyre is no style icon, steely tones can dazzle on the aisle for all the right reasons.

Alicia, Jenny Packham

Alicia by Jenny Packham

Tipped as a top trend for the coming year, frosted frocks are favoured by several designers, notably Jenny Packham, Ian Stuart and Monique Lhuillier.

Caracas, Ian Stuart

Caracas by Ian Stuart

Vivaldi, Ian Stuart

Vivaldi by Ian Stuart

Boudoir, Ian Stuart

Boudoir by Ian Stuart

Although fantastically flamboyant, many of Stuart’s designs are available in a pale blue hue, offering a quiet alternative that won’t rock the traditional boat too much. His Frill Me collection has some particularly stunning steely options. Boudoir and Coco Rico are slim-line, structured designs with stand-out detailing while Caracas and Vivaldi are two larger silhouettes, featuring another top trend for the coming year – ruffles.

Grace, Jenny Packham

Grace by Jenny Packham

Packham meanwhile gives brides the opportunity to sparkle in her embellished silver gowns. Both Alicia and Grace are simple yet striking designs with intricate detailing, perfect for brides who want to add a touch of glamour to their steely themes.

Floressa, Monique Lhuillier

Floressa by Monique Lhuillier

A further sterling option comes in the form of Monique Lhuillier’s Violet frock with a structured, high-detailed bodice and soft ruffled skirt. Those set on stealing the limelight however may prefer Lhuiller’s Floressa dress. An icy blast of blue, this dress packs a punch with its dropped waist bodice and full A-line floral skirt.

Raven, Claire Pettibone

Raven by Claire Pettibone

For me personally, if it’s a steely dress with a difference that you desire, Claire Pettibone’s Raven design is hard to beat. Combining last year’s top hue of pink with this year’s on-trend grey tones, this dress combines the best of both worlds – warm and frosty shades. A stunning example of the exquisite detailing Pettibone is renowned for, Raven boasts a dramatic black tulle overlay embroidered with pink and red roses complete with silver sequins, pearl silk and long flowing train. Perfection!

Raven, Claire Pettibone

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited

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Hitch Up Your Hemline! Choosing A Short Wedding Dress

May 14th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Did you catch our exciting news last Thursday?  The Brides Up North team has grown!  The lovely Rachel joins our editorial team, and you’ll be hearing a lot more from her every week on these pretty pages.

Ian Stuart - Va Va Voom

Va Va Voom by Ian Stuart

Rachel says: When asked to picture a wedding dress the generic image that often springs to people’s minds is a traditional strapless gown complete with sweetheart neckline, corseted bodice, princess style skirt and a long sweeping train. Designers however are constantly challenging the norm to give brides much more choice and the opportunity to wear a dress that reflects their individual style.

One alteration that we’ve seen on the bridal catwalks for several seasons now is hitched up hemlines. The short dress designs are normally one of three lengths; tea-length, which comes to just below the knee, knee-length or mini. Although the dresses are shorter than traditional gowns they can still carry a lot of detail and give brides the chance to make a strong style statement.

KNIGHTLEY RIGHTON MARRIAGE

Keira Knightly in Chanel

Image via www.usmagazine.com

Some celebrities have been known to brave bare legs on their wedding days by opting for a short dress. Most recently actress Keira Knightley married in a mini. Although her fairy-like tulle dress designed by Chanel wasn’t strictly a wedding dress (the thrifty star had been spotted sporting the frock long before her wedding at a pre-BAFTA party back in 2008), Keira made a beautiful ballerina-esque bride in the pretty number. Fellow actress Natalie Portman also shunned a floor-length gown in favour of a simple tea-length dress when she tied the knot in 2012.

kate moss 4 010711

Kate Moss in John Galliano

Image via www.gofugyourself.com

Short wedding dresses are a particularly good choice for brides with fabulous legs – after all why bury your best asset away under layers of tulle? Model Cindy Crawford clearly thought this when she selected a simple John Galliano slip-dress for her barefoot beach wedding back in 1998. British icon Kate Moss also looked to John Galliano to create her beautiful 1920s inspired gown for when she tied the knot with Jamie Hince. The stunning dress featured a sheer overlay which revealed her perfect pins beneath, providing a winning combination of sexiness and elegance.

Jenny Packham - Merle

Merle by Jenny Packham

But you don’t have to be a supermodel to rock a short frock. As the trend continues to catch on more and more designers are including varied length designs in their collections with options to suit a range of shapes and sizes. Slinky-minis are best for slim brides with long, lean legs while designs with that nip in at the waist then follow an A-line skirt are a great option for brides that don’t like their hips. Meanwhile cute tea-length dresses expose just a little leg and are the perfect choice for those having 1950s inspired weddings.

Some of my personal favourite cropped-hem designs come from Jenny Packham. Merle is a stunning mini in steely silver with intricate sparkling detail, ideal for those wanting to flash some flesh, whilst Etta is a seriously glam Great Gatsby-esque gown which finishes below the knee, offering a little more cover-up.

Jenny Packham - Etta

Etta by Jenny Packham

There are lots of lovely 1950s inspired tea-length gowns to choose from including; Martha by Sassi Holford – a dreamy lace creation with flare tulle skirt; Charlotte Balbier’s Loveheart with fabulous full circle skirt, strapless bodice and satin bow corsage or Justin Alexander’s 8729 dress design with illusion neckline, 3/4 length sleeves and satin laser cut floral detail.

Sassi Holford - Martha

Martha by Sassi Holford

Justin Alexander - 8729

Style 8729 by Justin Alexander

But if it’s a show-stopping mini you’re after it has to be an Ian Stuart creation. Va Va Voom from the ‘Revolution Rocks’ collection features an array of beautiful flowers set in lavish folds of tulle and sequined lace while Firefly from the ‘Supernova’ collection boasts a three tiered skirt which moulds into a sculptural decoration at the back for that extra wow-factor.

Ian Stuart - Firefly

Firefly by Ian Stuart

Oh and ladies please remember, a short wedding dress is a fantastic excuse (not that you need one) for fancy footwear so think big – Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood, Jimmy Choo – oh the possibilities!

What do you think?  Will you dare to bare on your big day?

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited

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