Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

wedding planning like a pro: dine’s dos and don’ts

February 28th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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Following a surge of engagements over Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s, we’ve been welcoming lots of lovely new brides-to-be to our pretty pages. If you’re one of them you may well be looking to steam straight into the wedding planning process, though feel a little overwhelmed with all the different elements to consider.

What areas should you tackle first, where should you invest the majority of your time and effort, and what should you look for in suppliers? Here to assist with some of the questions is our fabulous Sponsor, award-winning catering and events specialist Dine.

Catering for more than 200 weddings each year, the Dine team has drawn on its vast experience of hospitality and event management, whilst also taking into account comments from some of its happy newlywed couples, to share its top ‘do and don’t’ tips to planning the perfect wedding.

We will be hosting one of our Luxury Bridal Show with the Dine team at its flagship venue The Mansion at Roundhay Park in Leeds, on Sunday 12th March, 11am till 3pm, free entry where you can gain further pointers and advice while meeting some of the area’s finest wedding suppliers. You can pre-register for the free-entry event here.

Now, on with those tips…

Images supplied by Dine/ Joel Skingle Photography

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make sure you do

Give yourself plenty of time to plan and appreciate every part of the process. As the actual day goes by so quickly make sure that the anticipation and build up is also something you will remember with fondness.

Think carefully about the expense and research all aspects to ensure that your budget isn’t overstretched. You may well end up spending more than you originally planned. Wedding planners like ourselves can be a great asset when it comes to budget planning, as we have lots of experience and can advise where savings can be made and where it is worth splashing out.

Book the main aspects of the wedding such as venue, photographer and the registrar first as these often get booked up the quickest. Once these have been sorted it’s much easier to plan the rest of your wedding around them. For example, if your wedding is going to be in a stately home you may decide to theme the day accordingly.

To avoid disappointment, sit down with your photographer prior to the wedding to ensure they are fully aware of what you want to achieve and the photographs you’d like to be taken.

Communicate with each other and family, friends and suppliers. It is important that both the bride and groom with the plans for the day and communication is the best way to make sure this happens.

Remember that you have your partner to rely on. Even if everything feels like it is getting out of hand, the relationship between you and your partner means more than anything and should come before any wedding planning.

Make sure you involve all of your guests on the day as it is important everyone has fun. Think of the different age groups that will be present and plan elements, such as food and entertainment, accordingly.

Enjoy the day! It goes by in a flash so make sure to take it all in and take time out with your partner. Having an events caterer such as Dine means that you can spend more time with each other, as they will be checking everything runs smoothly, leaving you to simply relax and enjoy.

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but don’t

Leave planning to the last minute. Foresight saves you money, hassle and stress and no stress means you enjoy planning the big day far more.

Book suppliers that you don’t trust or whose work you haven’t looked at otherwise there’s a very high chance you’ll be unhappy with the results. Responsible suppliers also mean that on the day you can relax as you know they will be doing a great job.

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style sheet: winter wedding alternatives

December 14th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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

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

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

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

Ladies, we give you both comfort and class…

very berry

very-berry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

grey dusk

grey-dusk

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

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

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

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

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

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

winter blues

cool-blues

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

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

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

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

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

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fiesta in the woods. a carefree & colourful wedding styled shoot in yorkshire

November 25th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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It’s time to forget about the cold and miserable weather that we’ve been having as we brighten up your Friday morning with this fun and fabulous styled shoot.

Captured by Yorkshire-based photographer Chloé Grayson of Fox & Owl Photography, the shoot provides perfect inspiration for any laid-back and boho brides out there who crave a vibrant outdoor wedding in natural, rustic surroundings.

We love the lively tropical hints and bold splashes of colour showing how bright hues can be incorporated into a wedding in a beautiful, rather than brash way.

Here with all the details on the styling and the full team behind the shoot is photographer Chloé…

With images by Chloé Grayson of Fox & Owl Photography. Models Sophie Martin-Stokes, Lianne Kaye and Katie Beck.

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chloe says: We teamed up with a bunch of very inspirational local vendors for this shoot, who all worked incredibly hard organising and carrying out preparations. As a group, we wanted to put together a styled shoot that was bold, full of colour and a lot of fun – we quickly opted for a summery ‘fiesta in the woods’ theme that would provide the perfect inspiration for any laid-back brides out there.

With an intimate three acres of woodland in Leeds, unique venue Applewood Weddings provided us with the perfect backdrop for this outdoor wedding shoot. We made the most of the venue’s woodland walks, ceremony area, cocktail shed and decking. The way-finding signage pictured throughout the shoot was also the perfect way for us to tell the ’story’ of the day in a more coherent manner.

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The fiesta look is quite laid-back and is the perfect theme for adding splashes of bright primary colours amongst more traditional and neutral tones. Stylists, Whimsical Events adorned the trees with festive crepe streamers and hand-made tissue paper pom-poms that bounced around excitedly in the wind.

Applewood’s cocktail shed and decking area were dressed up with more of these pom-poms as well as fruity paper pineapples. Little details were important too. A string of pink Flamingo fairy lights injected some light-hearted fun into back of the shed. Both the bar and tables were decorated with vibrant food objects and party cocktails.

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Not for the traditional, our three-tier cake boasted every colour of the rainbow. The eccentric base, which looked like it had been caught in the middle of a paint party, juxtaposed with an elegant top tier arrangement of icing flowers and ribbons. Taking on bespoke projects to match clients’ personalities, Debbie Gillespie Cake Design is no stranger to unconventional requests and here is the evidence.

Our woodland fiesta was further beautified by the wildly romantic British flowers; locally grown, cut and arranged by Owl House Flowers. Organic, colourful and relaxed in style, the bouquet and arrangements fit in with the theme just perfectly.

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style sheet: precious minerals

October 12th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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

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

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

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

rose quartz

rose-quartz

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

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

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

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

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

mystical marble

mystical-marble

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

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

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

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

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

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

glittering geodes

glittering-geodes

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

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

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

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

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

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words of wisdom – real brides up north top tips

July 13th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Sian & Joe - Elegant Wild Photography

Mori Lee for a Sheffield themed wedding at Kelham Island Museum – Sian & Joe

In a bid to help guide you, our lovely readers, through the minefield that can be planning a wedding, we always ask our featured brides who share their big days on the blog to share a few words of wisdom too.

This can range from practical advice on suppliers and the budget, to emotional advice, such as who to include in your special day and how to remain calm and composed. Either way we’re always super impressed with the gems of knowledge that our brides pass on following the lessons they’ve learnt when planning their own celebrations.

So today we thought it would be helpful if we took a little time to recap what we feel are the top 20 tips from brides who featured on the blog during the first half of 2016.

Ladies, prepare to take note as these wise brides complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…

Click on the links to see each wedding in full. 

sian says: [Top image] It’s never too early to start organising. Get ahead and it will help you later on. The final two weeks can be extremely stressful and they certainly were for me, I was just glad that I had done what I could in the early stages. Also, you may get hung up about the fine details but remember that you won’t be able to do everything and not every cute idea that you see on Pinterest has to be part of your day. There were things like broken pompoms and a dud balloon canister that meant that I could not use all of the decorations and ideas that I had in place. In the end, it mattered little!

Katy & Warren - Adamskii-Photography

Vera Wang for a stylish and sophisticated wedding at Newby Hall – Katy & Warren

katy says Tailor the wedding to your own styles/interests and preferences and don’t be swayed by others. At the end of the day, if you are enjoying your day, then everyone else will enjoy it too!

Jennifer & Warren - Tim Simpson Photography

A pretty and personal homemade wedding in Oldham – Warren & Jennifer

jennifer says: If you are having a wedding at home remember the less glamorous things like sound/audio equipment, skip hire, generator, water supply and parking. Also, consider a videographer. We were unsure but so glad we did as there are so many things you forget or miss on the day and having the video fills those blanks.

Anna & Dan - Stella Photography

Ronald Joyce for a Christmas wedding at Eaves Hall – Anna & Dan

anna says: Consider having a party/gathering the night before the wedding if possible. We loved having a little Christmas party the night before. It was a great way to get everyone together and relaxing before the big day and meant we had more time to spend with our guests. Getting married just before Christmas was brilliant too as we just continued celebrating into the New Year!

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style sheet: ethereal metallics

May 24th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Metallics

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When asked to think of a metallic styled wedding, visions of a glitzy and glamorous celebration with lots of sparkling décor might well spring to mind. However, brides looking for a more muted palette should not instantly rule out metallics, as hues of bronze, gold and silver can be easily stripped back for a more natural and dreamy finish.

Particularly well suited to outdoor and ethereal style weddings, there is a clear trend emerging for muted metal tones that provide opulence without the OTT element.

We love to see elegant table set ups of mercury glass vases and worn metal candelabras mixed in with earthy foliage for an almost Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Lord of the Rings feel. And it’s not just the décor were these fanciful hues can be added to the big day – what about a gold embellished wedding dress, silver muted heels or bonze bridesmaid dresses?

So to help spread a little metallic magic here on the blog, today we’re sharing three swoon-worthy metal inspired mood boards…

beautiful bronze

BRONZE

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Katie Bryant Photography, Love Ya Jess| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Amy Fanton Photography| image source| image source, photography by Ashley Ludaescher Photography| image source.

Though associated with third place, bronze can be a winning choice of colour scheme, particularly for those wanting to incorporate lots of foliage into their big day as its darker tone sits beautifully alongside earthy greens.

Bronzes also have lovely worn qualities whilst still retaining an element of shine, giving a sense of luxury but that isn’t too polished.

For table settings think long timber tables with trailing centrepieces that creep along, interspersed with bronze candle stick holders and table wear. Elsewhere hanging decorations work particularly well with ethereal metallic themes and can easily be suspended from branches if marrying in the open air, or from beams if, for example, marrying in a barn-style venue.

In terms of attire bronze is a bold and untraditional choice for a bride and therefore those wanting to incorporate the hue are more likely to do so through accessories, such as shoes and jewellery. There is also the option of bronze bridesmaids, with its warming tones complementing many complexions and hair colours.

silver sophistication

SILVER

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Mi Amore Photo| image source| image source| image source, photography by Jen Wojcik Photography| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Conforti Photography| image source| image source.

To achieve an ethereal look with silver it’s best to mix varying finishes; from shiny silverware, to worn pewter and varying tones of grey. This way there is a good mix of depth, interest and texture, which will prevent the premium hue looking too glam.

The level of décor detailing is up to the individual with the option to strip things right back to bare wooden tables dotted with small shiny and muted pots of cactuses or succulents, or to go all out with large glass and mercury vases and urns over spilling with greenery and linked up with leaves and moss. Given that it’s done effectively the latter should look natural and uniformed rather than cluttered and messy.

Large pewter lanterns are an effective way to add ambience whilst remaining on theme and can look incredibly effective when used outdoors to line pathways, entrances or the aisle.

Dresses embellished with dainty detail in silver beads and sequins are not unusual on the bridal catwalks, giving brides the option to venture beyond traditional ivory for their big day. The men can easily be included in the theming too with grey being among the most popular choice when it comes to grooms picking their suits. For added interest the groom and his groomsmen can pick varying shades of suits as well as ties/Dicky bows.

To keep things simple those wanting metallic maids should look to dresses with simple shiny detailing, rather than top-to-toe sparkle.

going for gold

GOLD

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Conforti Photography.

Perfect for those wanting a stripped back outdoor wedding but still with a hint of elegance; simple touches of gold be the perfect way to add an opulent edge.

Similar to bronze, gold works well with leafy green plants as it provides a complementary contrast between raw and regal.

For the décor little pops of gold works best – so you might want to add metallic finished cutlery, glass wear or napkin rings. Also, stationery such as name places and menus can bring a hint of shimmer with gold leafing detail – as can the cake. Gold antique mirrors are also an excellent choice to create unusual seating plans and signage.

Just as we’ve seen silver embellished dresses grace the catwalks, gold detail dresses are no stranger to designers’ collections either, with the likes of Jenny Packham well known for her metallic creations. If however, that’s a little too glitzy for the bride, a simple gold Game of Thornes style head piece or botanical detail shoe or jewellery can be the perfect way to give a discreet nod to the theme.

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