December 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Rousseau Dress by Maje, was £280 now £224
With the festive spirit well underway, we’re enjoying shopping on the high street more than ever with lots of glitz, glamour and texture in the stores.
As such, we thought now would be a good time to offer a little inspiration to those of you fortunate enough to be attending a friend or relative’s wedding during the upcoming party season.
Cue shimmering tops, festive florals and an embellishment overload that may well lead to an impulsive shopping spree. And if you don’t have a winter wedding in the diary, surely with Christmas and New Year fast approaching, there’s a need for new outfit!
Amore Sparkle Embroidered Tulle Dress, £195, from French Connection – Usually floral patterns are associated with the warmer seasons of the year, but this winter we are seeing an array of pretty petals in bold hues that are sure to make you stand out at the party.
Maneela Jacquard Dress, was £169, now £119, from Coast – We just love a bargain and as the Christmas sales are starting earlier and earlier, you can already be reaping the rewards of discounted seasonal gems such as this stunning dress from Coast, with on-trend Bardot neckline and insanely beautiful pattern.
Rocco jacket £245, and trousers, £130, from Reiss – If you’re not keen on dresses this super smart and stylish co-ord will do just the trick. Team with a lace or shimmering top for added texture and a pop of colour.
Jacquard top, £19.99, from Zara – The perfect accompaniment to a cool trouser suit, this gorgeous, slinky top is perfect for when it’s time to shed the jacket and hit the dancefloor!
Lois Pleated Dress, was £195, now £115, from Whistles – Another bargain and a failsafe, the little black dress. We love that this design from Whistles has lots going on and ticks more than one trend-box, with pleat and lace detailing.
Supernova Cropped Embellished Tulle Top, £150, and Tulle Maxi Skirt, £120, from Net-A-Porter – Be the belle of the ball in the utterly beautiful top and skirt combo, featuring both lavish sparkling detail and dreamy layers of tulle.
Zig Zag Crinkle Jumpsuit, £42, from Topshop – Another dress alternative, and a particularly good choice for an evening wedding reception, this bold pattern and festive colour hue screams “party”.
Tilly Faux Fur Coat, £80, from Oasis – Baby it’s cold outside so be sure to treat yourself to a stylish winter cover-up too, such as this gorgeous faux fur number.
Bowwe Glitter Clutch Bag, £99, from Ted Baker – Did you ever see such a cute bag? And it’s just the right size for a phone, lippy and card. Arm-candy perfection!
Burgundy Velvet Court Heels, £68, from Office – Featuring both an on-trend colour and fabric of the season, we will definitely be bagging some of these burgundy delights!
Cincilla Faux Fur Tippet, £25, from French Connection – If you feel that a big jacket would hide your outfit too much why not go for a smaller cover-up but that still emits elegance like this super-soft French Connection design.
Gold-Plated Oscar De La Renta Clip Earrings, £225, from Net-A-Porter – If you are going for a fairly plain outfit you can afford to go all out with your accessories, starting with these fabulous floral earrings!
Pearl brooch courts, £140, from Ted Baker – The perfect festive staple, these black beauties with brooch detailing will last you for many festive seasons to come making them a top investment this winter.
Feather Fringe Cape, £65, from Topshop – An alternative to the classic faux fur capes for all you fashionistas out there!
Valentino Rockstud Metallic Textured-Leather Pouch, £470, from Net-A-Porter – The perfect accessory for toughening up girly, girl outfits and injecting a pop of festive metallics.
Statement Stud Earrings, was £15, now £20, from Warehouse – We just love jewellery that looks far more expensive than what it is. Serious steel alert!
V-Shape Ring Pack, £9, from Topshop – As the current fashion world would have it, the more rings the better, so stack ‘em up ladies!
Love Cuff, £20, French Connection – All we need is… this oh-so-sweet bangle. Says it all really!
October 19th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Smoke Velvet Maxi Slip Dress, £109, Mint Velvet
The season is changing that’s for sure, with the dark nights drawing further in and the cooler conditions causing us to bring the thicker layers out of hibernation.
This ‘in-between’ time of year can make wardrobe choices that little bit more tricky as we question if it’s time for tights and trench coats, or whether we can style out bare forearms and shins for that bit longer.
Whatever you decide, we’re offering inspiration on what you could wear to a fall wedding if you’re fortunate to have received an invite to somebody else’s wedding this season.
So prepare to indulge in rich fabrics, fabulous patterns and metallic accessories that may well lead to a spontaneous Wednesday morning purchase. And if you don’t have an autumn wedding in the diary surely there’s another special occasion coming up that requires a new outfit – go on, treat yourself!
Winter Floral Silk Maxi Dress, £115, Warehouse – keen to become known for their patterns, Warehouse has some jaw-droppingly gorgeous pieces in their latest collection that are guaranteed to get you noticed. We adore the bright colour on this pretty silk dress, perfect for adding a pop of vibrancy to dull autumn days.
Cecilia Lace Top, £79, Coast – so simple yet so striking. This gorgeous lace top with scalloped-edge detailing, is the perfect accompaniment to a long flowing skirt or cigarette style pants for a wedding, and will be a wardrobe go-to all through the autumn/winter season too!
Lavato Jaquard Trousers, £89, Coast – because you don’t have to wear a dress or a skirt to a wedding, luxurious-looking trousers like these can be just as striking. We love the metallic detailing and feel these would easily come into play again for the Christmas party period.
Velvet Pleat Chain Dress, Topshop, £85 – as well as patterns, prepare to see a lot of velvet hanging from the rails this season. We think this elegant Topshop dress is the business, with its ladylike pleats, sexy plunge neck and dainty chain detail straps.
Katz Plissé Silk-Blend Lamé Maxi Skirt, Oliva + Alice at Net-A-Porter, £485 – at the other end of the new outfit budget we have this rather special number. Ok, we know that you could buy a new TV, or even a designer handbag, for that price – but look how shiny and shimmery it is!
Printed Velvet Dress, Zara, £49.99 – yes, it’s another velvet number, but this time we have pattern too, and it’s in the most beautiful autumnal shades. While this would look stunning for a wedding with a pair of heels we think it would serve you well after the occasion too, by dressing it down with tights, flat boots and a cool leather jacket.
Snowdrop Embellished Embroidered Georgette Mini Dress, Needle & Thread, £325 – us Brides Up North gals are huge fans of Needle & Thread, which offers the most stunning patterned and embellished designs. For us this above-the-knee nude dress strikes just the right balance between sexy and sophisticated.
Marissa Faux Fur Coat, French Connection, £195 – as the temperatures continue to drop a cosy cover-up is a must, and they don’t come much cosier than this opulent outerwear.
Premium Leather Clutch Bag, Warehouse, £39 – if you go for a plain, rather than patterned outfit, we suggest adding a little extra shine to your attire with metallic accessories, such as this super-soft clutch bag.
Contrast Faux Fur Stole, Oasis, £25 – if you think a full faux fur coat will leave you a little too hot and flustered, why not bring a touch of autumn/winter opulence to your overall look with an elegant faux fur stole?
Aamaya by Priyanka Pop Velvet, Rose Gold-Plated and Crystal Choker, Net-A-Porter, £255 – resurrected from the 1990s, chockers are well and truly back on the fashion hit list. This one we have to admit is quite a splurge, but if it’s good enough for Rachel Green and The Spice Girls, we’re prepared to dig deep!
Raphael Sandals, Topshop, £49 – despite the dip in temperatures, strappy skyscrapers will continue into the autumn/winter season and are an elegant way to finish off your wedding guest attire. We suggest hitting the dancefloor early to keep those feet warm!
Small Print Metallic Effect Hankerchief Scarf, Zara, £9.99 – attention-grabbing and affordable, this skinny gold scarf will add instant interest to dark, solid block colour garments.
Vanda Ball Triple Bracelet, Coast, £15 – because arm candy doesn’t stop at your bag, why not add a bangle or two to the party as well?
Edena Clutch Bag, Ted Baker, £69 – a statement bag is one of our very favourite fashion items. Perfect for those not brave enough to wear the embroidered detailing trend in their clothing or footwear choices, this cute clutch is a high-impact accessory that will leave others green with envy.
Maggie Flared Heel Boots, Topshop, £75 – ankle boots are absolutely everywhere this season, in almost every colour and style imaginable. Metallic boots are among the most striking and provide an edgy finish to those gorgeous wedding guest threads.
June 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
As well as planning your own wedding, it’s highly likely that you’ll be attending a friend or relative’s big day during the peak summer season.
If that’s the case and you’ve still not picked an outfit to wear, help is at hand as we’ve pulled together a haul of some of the very best summer wedding guest options on the high street. Whatever budget you’ve set, you’re bound to find something to fit the bill with shops awash with pretty summer time colours, elegant free-flowing shapes and pack-a-punch patterns.
And as we’ve always got your back ladies, we’ve not only picked out the top wedding guest outfits, but also some fabulous accessories to help complete the look!
So without further ado – let’s shop!
Double Dot Silk Dress, £150, from Whistles – Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months you’ll be aware of a little trend known as the ‘cold shoulder’. This super-sweet dress is a stunning example of the trend, flashing a little flesh but then covering the tops of the arms that us girls usually get hung up about. The sugary pattern screams summer and the dainty belt will cinch waists at the most flattering point. What’s not to love?
Ada Embellished Top, £95, & Hi Low Meslita Skirt, £150, both from Coast – The absolute pros at occasion wear, Coast is brimming with sophisticated cut dresses, elegant skirts and sparkling tops for prime wedding season. We just adore their hi low skirts, and particularly this one in pale grey. There are numerous cropped tops to team with, though we thought this pretty pastel blue number was perfect for the season and gave just the right amount of sparkle!
Self Portrait Azaelea Guipure Lace Dress, £240, from Net-A-Porter – Lace has been incredibly popular in bridal wear for a while now and thankfully the wonderfully girly material is also making a strong appearance on the high street. This has to be one our very favourite lace numbers currently available with its soft, feminine detailing, thin straps and flattering flared skirt. We’re in love!
Green Drape Panel Jumpsuit, £75, from River Island – If skirts and dresses aren’t really your thing, what about a jumpsuit? Guaranteed to turn heads, this design features an attention-grabbing Missoni-style print that makes it look much more expensive than its price tag. Though bold, the drape detailing (another big trend for summer) and wide legs gives it a lovely relaxed feel.
Ruffled Wrap Slip Dress, £55, from Topshop – A real steal for a summer wedding guest dress, this cute polka dot frock will suit a variety of figures thanks to its wrap style waist. Ruffles are bang on trend, both on fashion and bridal catwalks, and give the dress a soft feminine edge while its metallic spots and a little touch of glamour.
Avenue Blazer, £130, & Avenue Slim Leg Trousers, £80, both from French Connection – Another excellent choice for those wanting to cover up more. This sleek single-breasted blazer and straight leg trouser are paired-back tailoring at its best. Comfortable and colourful this is an ideal outfit for summer weddings, and one that can be easily worn again for events beyond the big day. Bonus!
Long Printed Dress, £49.99, from Zara – Nothing quite says summer wedding like a maxi dress. If this is your cup of tea we adore this floaty number from Zara that features on-trend ruffles and a bright and beautiful floral pattern in sunshine yellow.
Needle & Thread Ornate Embellished Georgette Top, £125, & Embellished Skirt, £225, from Net-A-Porter – If you’ve got a bigger budget to blow, this is one of the most gorgeous summer occasion wear outfits that we’ve ever seen. The intricate beaded detail in pretty pastel tones and sparkling silver will catch the sun beautifully while the high-waisted skirt and backless cropped top create an elegant silhouette. Though at the higher end of the price bracket, the top and skirt could be separated to create further outfits following the wedding.
Iris Lace Dress, £260, from Whistles – If you’re wanting to pack a punch with colour this is how to do it. We fell head over heels for this vibrant patterned dress as soon as we saw it. Featuring on-trend pleats, this strappy little number will see you good through a number of summer time events.
Liesel Lace-Up Suede Sandals, £95, from French Connection – A summer wedding is the perfect excuse to buy a new pair of heels, and top of our list has to be these gorgeous strappy sandals from French Connection. In this perfect neutral tone these will match with almost any outfit, meaning you could even purchase them before finding your dress. Go on, you know you want to!
Resin Floral Necklace, £25, from Marks & Spencer – Flowers are big in accessorises for the summer season, adorning everything from bags to shoes. We think this statement necklace from M&S is a great way of dressing up plainer summer wedding outfits, for that ultra girly finish.
Florentina Statement Bow Fascinator, £39, from Accessorize – As well as flowers, bows are making a big impact in accessories too, earning this pretty fascinator a place on our top picks list. After all, what’s a wedding outfit without a fancy headpiece?
Pavola Mid-Heel Mule, £89, from Topshop – Talking about bows, we absolutely adore these gorgeous mules, which are a top shoe style for summer. Not too high to walk in, with love the powder blue colour, and check out that pearl heel ladies #swoon!
Foldover Zip Clutch, £95, from Whistles – If you can rely on one store to deliver elegant arm candy its Whistles, and it doesn’t come much more pretty than this candyfloss pink clutch with gold zip. Big enough to fit in all the essentials and small enough to tuck under your arm when it’s time to hit the dancefloor, it’s perfect!
Pearl Bird Fascinator, £35, from Coast – After something striking yet dainty to finish off your look, then look no further. This elegant headband from Coast will add that finishing touch without blocking other guests’ view in church.
Crossover Metallic Sandals, £39.99, from Zara – For those wanting to add a touch of glamour to their outfit, metallics are everywhere this summer and do the job perfectly. We love these block gold heels from Zara which will be easy to walk and in make brilliant holiday footwear too!
Mega Rhinestone Chandelier Earrings, £15, from Topshop – Another way to add some glamour to your outfit is with some glitzy jewellery. For ladies planning on an updo for the occasion, statement chandelier earrings, such as these beauties, are an ideal purchase.
Chelsea Hardcase Clutch, £45, from Accessorize – Did we mention flowers were a thing this summer? Well, you can’t get much more floral than this fabulous 3D number. Though small in size it certainly makes a statement, so just streamline your packing girls!
Round Sunglasses, £120, from Karen Millen – Finally, the absolute essential for all summer weddings – a pair of statement sunnies! Not only to keep the sun out of your eyes during the Pimms drinks reception, but also so that you can spy discreetly on other guests’ outfits. Come on ladies, we all do it!
July 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime
image via Bridal Musings
While weddings come in all shapes and sizes, the guests who attend them have a certain familiarity no matter where or how expensive the occasion.
Brides Up North Sponsor LateRooms.com has recently launched Weddingguestrooms.com – a new wedding hotel service that promises to take the pain out of booking rooms for Wedding Day guests. The site creates a bespoke page of nearby wedding day accommodation options for would-be bride and grooms who can then share it with their guests.
Whilst creating their new site, the online service – who help more than 100,000 wedding guests in the UK find their post party hotels each year – has pinpointed some serial wedding invitees and their typical characteristics with help from 100 wedding planners from their hotels.
We love their take on the guest list, so let us introduce you to the Weddingguestrooms.com line up… recognise any of this motley crew?
the awkward teenage cousin
There he is, hiding in a corner in a borrowed, ill-fitting 1995-era suit he’s been forced to wear in lieu of his usual skinny jeans, Ramones t-shirt and scuffed Converse All-Stars. He’s not happy, at least until the bridesmaids show themselves, and they remind him that the occasion is perhaps not as bleak as it at first seemed. If only he could muster enough courage to speak to a real girl…
Most Likely: To spend the whole day wishing he had a tattoo and dodging the drunken auntie.
the single older sister
Everyone, including her, thought she’d be first. And yet, for the first time in their lives, her sibling has beaten her to something. She feels the tick-tock of time as her younger sister proves finding ‘Mister Right’ isn’t about how far up the career-ladder you’ve clambered. She’s genuinely delighted for her sister but, right now, would swap any of her qualifications to be the one standing at the altar not standing in the pews, pipped at the post.
Most Likely: To win at all costs in anything competitive, even a family Monopoly game.
This wedding guest firmly believes they’re outsmarting wedding etiquette but, in reality, sticks out like a sore, and rather selfish, sore thumb. They’re always rushing to get their rounds in while the free bar’s still in full swing and almost certain to keep a bottle of gin in their hotel room to sneak a crafty top up when the bar till is operational. Will be the one waving their glass vigorously at waiters in the hope of two or three refills during the wedding toasts.
Most Likely: To suggest after hours drinking – from your hotel room mini-bar.
the party animal
They’re always the last on the dance floor and can usually be found at the end of the night, on their knees, begging the DJ not to stop the Party Anthems CD from looping one more time. Once the pumping party tunes are over they will undoubtedly invite everyone back to their hotel room to continue the celebrations, regardless of what ungodly hour they have to be up in the morning.
Most Likely: To be taken of advantage of by The Cheapskate.
the lothario groomsman
Almost certainly the groom’s best-mate, the bad-boy who’s considered by everyone who knows him to be too unreliable to be best-man. He’s never had a relationship last longer than three weeks but is never short of female attention. He’s brought some random girl as his wedding guest but barely says two words to her throughout the day – possibly because he’s too busy chasing the attention of every other female in the venue.
Most Likely: To set his sights on the chief bridesmaid but wake up the morning after alone with a red hand-mark on his cheek.
image via Ruffled
the drunken auntie
Often called ‘Nora’ or ‘Agnes’, our drunken auntie sees every wedding as her chance to make family headlines. She’ll wear an unwieldy oversized dress that demolishes entire tables of expensive wine as she whisks past, desperately trying to start a conga. She’ll be the first to leave, though not of her own accord – carried out by two groomsmen as she wheels between conscious and passed-out but insists she’s good for at least one more large glass of red.
Most Likely: To appear on a ‘You’ve Been Framed’ Wedding Fails Compilation.
the ‘down with the kids’ uncle
Uncle Bob knows his Straight Outta Compton from his Physical Graffiti. He loves classic 70s rock but pretends he totally understands the intricacies of Dubstep and Grime. He even has a Chase & Status t-shirt ironed for the morning after breakfast. He’ll happily regale you with tales of how he was the first teenager in the village to own a pair of authentic Adidas Sambas back in the day. He’s still got them, and wears them every Friday night when he hosts the Rappers Delight Beer Club at the community centre.
Most Likely: To insist that the DJ plugs his iPod into the PA system so that he can educate him on why the East Anglian Hip Hop scene is a thing.
the globetrotting relative
Why do people always travel from Australia for every British wedding? Just when you thought you were making a massive concession driving all the way from Essex to your cousin’s big day in Newcastle, this outbacker steals your ‘furthest travelled, biggest effort’ trophy seconds from you claiming all the wedding glory. Bride & groom have never met the globetrotting relative – they’re a distant cousin of the mother-in-law. And no-one ever sees them or hears from them again.
Most Likely: To be wearing a perma-smug smile and asking for extra helpings of wedding cake.
image via Modern Wedding
the man in a kilt
Why? You’ve never even been to Scotland, never mind have relatives there. Why does someone always turn up in a kilt? It’s almost like the Scots have a permanent wedding party radar and dispatch a citizen to each and every occasion to keep an eye on the celebrations. The kilt-wearing wedding guest can always be found next to a line of animated bridesmaids… you know… just in the event they ask THAT question.
Most Likely: To be asked “Is it true what they say…?”
February 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
via etsy.com, by RachelCarl
In this brand new Friday morning feature on the wedding blog, we’ll be debating all the most difficult wedding planning topics. Today we tackle a sensitive subject and ask: Should you allow your single guests to bring a plus one to your wedding?
julia says YES:
Smug marrieds. Annoying, aren’t they?
Think back to your own single days. Chances are, you weren’t sitting at home every Saturday night drinking vodka and singing to Chaka Khan on your lonesome, but equally, it’s very likely that as fabulous as singledom can be (all the duvet, no wet towels on the bathroom floor, no awkward lunches with the in laws) you didn’t much like being reminded of your solitary status during notable romantic occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas and weddings.
Your single friends? They don’t like that either.
Ok, so your best mate might have just met the “love of her life” in a club last Saturday night, but if she’s hoping he’ll hold her hand during your wedding ceremony, do you really want to deny her that happiness?
To me, the success of a wedding isn’t down to the colour of the centrepieces or the cost of your frock. It’s the people who make the party. Ok, if the budget, or space, really is very tight, then I’d always advise just asking your very favourite people and perhaps having a quiet word about why you can’t allow for any more. But if there’s some flexibility there, why not make someone’s day and allow them to bring a plus one to your wedding?
Have you ever been a guest at a drinks reception where you only know the bride and groom? Have you ever been seated at the “children’s table”? Have you ever danced awkwardly with the bride’s teenage brother? You can save your friend from all of that. What a hero.
Happier guests make for a better wedding day, even if you never see a few of them ever again. And who knows? It might be that you’re buying your hat for that plus one’s wedding in the not so distant future…
rachel says NO:
A best friend of mine who is in the wedding planning process is currently in meltdown over her ever-growing guest list – and she’s not alone, it’s a task dreaded by most to-be-wed couples.
The pressure goes far beyond simply drawing up a list of the friends and relatives you want present to share your special day as issues such as inviting children, pushy parents and plus ones come into play. As I see it ruling out plus ones from the off is the easiest way to lighten the load and means one less thing to worry about.
Weddings are expensive affairs and every extra body can add more than £100 to the bill, so couples can be forgiven for not wanting extras dining out on their big day. In most cases these would be people you don’t know anyway, essentially strangers at your wedding and allowing some friends and relatives plus ones could mean not inviting somebody else you would actually want at your wedding – someone that you would actually recognise in the congregation.
I get it, you might have a single friend who wouldn’t really know anybody at the wedding – but aren’t weddings meant to be a place where single people meet? I say mix them all in together and hope for a Cilla Black/Paddy McGuinness result.
Chances are some of your friends and relatives will meet on the hen and stag dos which breaks the ice and gives them a friendly face to look for on the big day. Also be clever with your seating plan and try to plant the singletons with others who are in the same boat and also with chatty/friendly people who are likely to make them feel at ease.
I know I’m making it sound easier than perhaps it is but if you’re planning an intimate wedding or your budget is stretched, saying no to plus ones is the way to go. Of course you have to be sensible and fair with it though – make it a one rule for all and don’t just pick who can and can’t have a plus one. I’m not suggesting you don’t invite people’s partners who they have been with for a considerable amount of time but if your mate has now been to the cinema with that guy she met on a night out he still doesn’t constitute a partner and therefore shouldn’t be given the honour of an invite. When all said and done that’s what it is, an honour.
what you said on Facebook:
Nic: “I gave everyone a plus one, including my single friends. Some of them just brought a friend. I just wanted every one to enjoy themselves as much as possible and worried they wouldn’t as much if they felt a bit left out especially as the meal is so formal.”
Beth: “If we’ve both met them and it’s a long term relationship, they’re invited. But if it’s a new relationship and nobody has met them… I’m not paying for their dinner!”
Rachel: “If they are married/living together and we know them then they’re invited if not, they’re not. Luckily a lot of our friends are mutual and we all go out as couples but we’re applying it to family as well as friends.”
We’d love to hear your side?
May 18th, 2012 | Julia Braime
I personally think this is the best party piece (or rockin’ bridal cover up) since sliced bread.
In fact, forget the bread – I’d rather go hungry in sequins!
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