Charlotte Balbier
Luxury Wedding Fairs

a planning pro: introducing silver sixpence weddings

August 18th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

James Tracey Photography (4)

We all know that while wedding planning can be a fun and exciting, it can also be a daunting and stressful task, which is why having an expert to help can really lighten the big day load.

Contrary to what some may think, hiring a wedding planner doesn’t mean a couple are left out of the decision-making, but instead the bride and groom-to-be work with a professional who knows the industry like the back of their hand to piece together their perfect big day, saving time, and in some cases money, along the way.

Cue an introduction for our fabulous new Sponsor, wedding planner Justine Vincent of Silver Sixpence Weddings. Whether a couple just need assistance certain elements, such as venue and supplier suggestions, or instead want a professional on hand at every point of the planning journey for guidance and inspiration, Justine is the lady for the job.

Described by her clients as “amazing” and “a godsend” perhaps we could all do with a Justine to organise our busy lives, but for now we’ll leave her explain how she can help to plan your perfect big day…

KC Photography (2)

Tell us a little about your background and how you came to set up Silver Sixpence Weddings?

justine says: As long as I can remember I’ve always loved planning! Whether it’s been a party, corporate event, holiday or wedding. Over the years I’ve helped many friends, family and even the odd work colleague plan their special day. Before starting my new business I worked various organisational/planning roles, however these were never as fulfilling as my passion for wedding planning – for me was the best thing ever.

After having my little boy I decided it was the right time for me to do the one thing that I have wanted to do all my life and that was to become a wedding planner. After lots of research in to the wedding industry, hard work and planning Silver Sixpence Weddings became a reality.

Do you offer full planning packages or can couples opt to just use one or two services, such as venue search assistance?

I do offer a full planning package, however this I know is not necessarily for everyone. That’s why I offer a number of services, including venue and supplier searches as well as on the day management to ensure the smooth running of the day from the bride and groom’s perspective. As I’m independent anything can be tailored to suit each and every couple. I can even help the bride to find her perfect dress!

Chris Milner Photography (3)

Do you offer your services nationwide or just in a particular area?

At this moment in time my clients are Yorkshire based, however I’m more than happy to travel to any couples that require my help.

What is it that you love about working in the wedding industry?

I love all the different people that I meet in my job. These people enable and help me to create a wedding that’s as individual as my couples’ personalities. Creating ideas with them and seeing them come to fruition is truly amazing. What could be any better than being involved in the best day of someone’s life?

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zoom in: picking the right wedding photographer for you

August 10th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

ZT Photography (2)

ZT Photography

We often mention on the blog how much of an important role a photographer plays in a wedding; not only on the big day itself, but also in the years that follow, with their images serving as life-long memories of the special event.

As such it’s super important that you like the style of the images that your chosen photographer produces, but with so many differing types of photography to choose, making a decision can be somewhat overwhelming.

To demonstrate the different outcome a wedding album can have depending on who is behind the lens, a talented group of North West based photographers got together at the stunning Ashfield House in Wigan, to shoot the exact same subjects in the very same location.

The results, which we’re sharing with you on the blog today, are all stunning but all rather different and, as intended, perfectly highlight the importance of couples choosing the right style and personality of photographer to suit both them and their wedding.

So prepare to be impressed and amazed as we hand over the blog to Katie Street, the owner of Ashfield House who came up with the clever concept for the collaborative shoot, plus the photographers who took part: Neil Redfern, David Stubbs, Andy Wardle, ZT Photography, and our very own Brides Up North Sponsor, the lovely Jonny Draper.

Andy Wardle Photography (9)

Andy Wardle 

katie says: The way couples pick a photographer was something I’d been thinking about for a long time before suggesting this shoot. Each time I heard “she’s a friend of a friend” or “my cousin used him and he was good” I got more and more frustrated knowing these couples could be missing out on picking a photographer that was more suited to their style. As an exclusive wedding venue, we work with a number of trusted photographers to capture the romance, emotion and fun of each wedding day, each with a totally different approach to their work. I wanted to give the photographers the same day, same backdrop, same couple but capture each photographer’s individual creativity and the difference in each set of images for all to see.

Jonny Draper Photography (10)

 Jonny Draper

At Ashfield House, we don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to weddings and encourage our couples to be as individual and inventive as possible. We know that the best weddings at Ashfield play to the strengths of couples’ personalities, quirks and their passions. Photography is very similar. I’ve taken a keen interest in photography myself as an art form over the years, and am continually astounded by the quality and individuality of each photographer’s work who steps through the doors at Ashfield. My team and I stare in awe at the array of photographic work shared with us, and have often commented about the striking difference between styles and end results – even though the setting is the same. I wanted to show that picking a ‘good’ photographer isn’t enough, you need one that’s good for you.

D Stubbs Photography (9)

David Stubbs

Choosing suppliers who share your vision is absolutely key to an amazing wedding and, alongside your memories, photographs are the only thing you have left, so choose wisely! The photographers that took part were equally pleased with the final results as I was…

Neil Redfern Photography (9)

Neil Redfern

neil redfern says: Seeing everyone else’s different approaches and the way in which we each interacted with the couple was great. What I loved was that although we were all taking shots in the same location we each saw different things and that just illustrates how unique one photographer is to the next. I don’t think there was ever a time when we each wanted to take a shot the same as somebody else had.

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keeping you organised: introducing perfect planner

August 9th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

PP1

There’s no denying that planning a wedding is an exciting experience, but it can be a little overwhelming too with so many venues and suppliers to choose from.

To help you whittle down your search to suppliers for your style of wedding, guest numbers and budget, we’re introducing you to our helpful Sponsor Perfect Planner.

This easy-to-use site offers a fairy-godmother style planning tool that matches couples with suppliers which meet their individual requirements at the click of a button. It also has an array of handy organising features to help brides and grooms keep track of everything from the table plan to the guest list.

To explain more about the benefits that Perfectplanner.co.uk offers, we’re handing over the blog this afternoon to its managing director, Sham Mahmood.

PP2

When and why was Perfect Planner set up and what does it want to bring to the wedding industry?

sham says: Perfect Planner officially launched in May 2016. Our journey, however, began in September 2013 shortly after my wife and I were married.

From our market research, we were driven to create the perfect wedding tool which would connect couples and suppliers. At Perfect Planner, our core values are to create an enjoyable experience for the wedding couple. This entails creating increased transparency between the couple and the supplier(s).

PP3

What makes Perfect Planner different to other online wedding planning sites?

Perfect Planner is the only wedding website to use key details in a single search to match couples with suppliers that meet their requirements. We ask users to simply provide information regarding their budget, the type of wedding, number of guests, location and time of year. This information is processed and the users are provided with a list of suitable service providers to contact.

As for wedding suppliers, our website allows businesses to create various packages to present to couples. This includes; summer, winter, bronze, silver and gold packages.

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dazzling decor: say hello to lovelight hire

August 2nd, 2016 | Julia Braime

Lovelight Hire (5)

Perfect for those of you looking to add the wow factor to your wedding day décor, we’re catching up with our good friends at Lovelight Hire on the blog this morning.

As well as creating a cool talking point and fabulous photo opportunities, light-up letter décor, such as the wonderful products offered by Sarah and the team at Lovelight Hire, also help to create a romantic ambience and fabulous party mood for your big day celebrations.

We adore the classic ‘love’ letters but are also super impressed with the company’s band new neon “Til’ death do us party” sign. To tell us more about the fabulous products on offer, we’ll let Sarah do the talking…

Can you tell us a little about Lovelight Hire and what it offers to brides and grooms?

sarah says: A big hello from us firstly! We hire illuminated prop hire for weddings and events. You may be wondering what illuminated prop hire is? It’s a unique and quirky idea that incorporates wedding decor with lights! We hire giant (and smaller!) letters spelling out different words! The idea started in July 2013 after seeing a much simpler version in the south. A couple had made a small set of wooden letters spelling the word “love”, they had placed them outside with a floodlight behind them, after watching the wedding party gather round posing in an around the letters to get their photos taken and the visual impact and atmosphere they had created, I fell in love with the idea and so Lovelight Hire was born!

Why are illuminated letters a great addition to wedding day décor?

For a relatively low cost you can create a big impact with our letters. Standing at 1.5 metres tall with twin bulbs they are unmissable! Illuminated letters provide some amazing photo opportunities, we receive photos each week from our couples that look as though they fell out of a high fashion photo shoot! They can be used in any venue; on a stage, behind the top table, in an entrance to welcome everyone – the possibilities are endless. Our letters work really well for transforming a simpler setting, such as a barn, village hall or marquee, but look equally impressive in a grander venue.

Lovelight Hire (6)

What lights are available to hire from Lovelight Hire?

All of our letters are made to the highest specification, my fiancé just happens to own a metal fabrication company (lucky me!). Our letters are 1.5 meters in height, powder coated in cream rather than white and feature twin cabochons lights for a warm lacy lighting effect. We currently have the following available to hire:

LOVE letters – Our originals are by far the most popular, of course we have a twist on ours, the ‘O’ features a heart which can be either cream or red and is also removable.

Big Heart – A 6ft heart arch, this is just beautiful, very simplistic and unique. We have had this used as a photo booth wall before which created some excellent photos for the couple to keep and treasure of their guests and themselves.

MR & MRS – Our most majestic piece, this spans just over 8 metres whenset up and creates the biggest impact.

Initials – Personal and cute while still standing out, you get two letters with an ampersand to go between. We have a special offer on at the moment for a mini heart or star to accompany your letters complimentary.

Wish Tree – This isn’t a normal wish tree, its five-and-a-half foot tall with light up leaves. We provide the tags, pens and pegs for your guests to leave you messages and then you can create a scrapbook or a frame out of the well wishes.

Stacked Mr & Mrs – A much smaller version on top of each other, we love this original piece. Have it next to your surname initial letter (Mr & Mrs B) or stand alone!

Mini Mr & Mrs with surname – We also have a small Mr & Mrs which can be balanced on top of your surname.

 

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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

image source

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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