December 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
With sight of this month’s festivities on the horizon our thoughts have turned to those planning a Christmas or New Year wedding. But more specifically, to couples who desire the party atmosphere and glamour of this most wonderful time of the year, though not the obvious wedding themes that can come with it.
As such we’ve thrown aside the seen-it-all-before-red, blinding-silver and gaudy-gold and brought together a more contemporary, clean-cut and sophisticated selection of fitting themes for this magical period.
So, in preparation for the weekend ahead, drop a little Baileys in your morning coffee and enjoy soaking up this sublime seasonal inspo…
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Marion Heurteboust Photography| image source| image source, photography by Danielle Nowak| image source| image source| image source
The theme: A sophisticated take on the ‘usual’ party-season golden wedding.
The details: While we love a bit of glitter, you can have too much of a good thing in our book and so this look is all about understated glamour. Keep the gold tones light rather than yellow/orange and even lean toward blush/rose tones for an element of girly elegance. Table décor should be more sparse and well-thought out with uniformed rows of mercury and metallic candle holders and simple, dainty floral arrangements on pressed linen. Add just a sprinkling of glitter accents and mix with matt and gloss metallics to continue the class. Greenery features can also help to keep the look grounded, fresh and clean. Sprayed flowers are a step-too-far for this theme so instead look to include beautiful caramel shades in the bouquet and add a little gold by binding with a trailing ribbon.
The dress code: A full-gold dress could have you looking more Disney princess than Meghan Markle princess, so we suggest keeping things refined with an ivory gown, complete with delicate gold detailing in beading, lace or embroidery. The accessories are one area that you can afford to turn up the glittering aspects, though perhaps just blow out on one bold item, such as the shoes, and keep other add-ons simpler. Your leading ladies on the other hand could be in top-to-toe sparkling cocktail style gowns, suiting the time of year perfectly and adding black-tie-esque glamour to the proceedings.
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Mike Cassimatis| image source| image source, photography by Blaine Siesser| image source| image source| image source, photography by Aden Priest| image source| image source
The theme: A traditional white wedding given a modern and luxurious twist.
December 7th, 2017 | Julia Braime
The official advent countdown to Christmas is on, and we have our chocolate-filled calendars half eaten with our thoughts firmly fixed on the seasonal celebrations to come.
As part of our December plans we always like to squeeze in a festive mini-break, whether it be in the UK or slightly further afield for some alternative Christmas shopping, traditions, food – and, of course, drink!
On our getaway radar this year is France, as it offers a complete change of scenery and is easy, affordable and quick to get to with flights, ferries and trains all travel options.
For you brides-to-be a French festive jaunt could also double-up as an opportunity to scope out the country as a possible location if you’re considering a destination wedding, or it could be an ideal minimoon location to check out if you’re delaying your main honeymoon until later in 2018/19. And as one of the most romantic places in the world, a trip here could be the perfect celebration for the newly-engaged among you, or perfect downtime for those of you that have been caught up in the craze of wedding planning for much of the year.
So, if like us, you’re tempted – what area will you pick, where will you stay and what will you do? Well, as this is a Christmas trip we’d want a grand yet cosy setting where we can envisage ourselves curled up with a glass of something mulled or sparkling, we’d also like it to be peaceful and picturesque though close enough to a city, so we can experience the seasonal culture of the country. One such place that ticks all these boxes is Château Bouffémont – a stunning French chateau, large enough that you could extend the invite to friends or family and have yourself a very merry Christmas at this incredible abode.
For those enchanted by the thought of its perfectly manicured grounds sprinkled with snow and who can almost hear the crackling sound of the lit fireplace from here; this dream chateau is available for a two-night Festive Season Break Package enabling you to enjoy exclusive – yes, exclusive – use of the Château Bouffémont and its grounds, together with an assortment of winter activities for you and your chosen Christmas squad.
You can make yourselves right at home, enjoying drinks by the fire, festive films and games in the lounge and fine food at the dining table. Though the French culinary traditions maybe different to those in the UK, they still like to go all out at this most wonderful time of the year. For example, in France, Christmas Eve is the day when the biggest festive meal is enjoyed in most households, with oysters and/or foie gras on the menu, followed by turkey, often with chestnut stuffing and cheese, and finally dessert of fancy log ice cream or sponge and chocolate.
And when it comes to venturing out, Château Bouffémont is situated just 30 kilometres from the centre of Paris, meaning you can schedule a trip to the ‘city of lights’ into your itinerary – what could be more Christmassy than that?! You can marvel at the jaw-droppingly beautiful illuminations, immerse yourself in the festive markets, admire the stunning festive window displays at the Galeries Lafayette department store during some serious shopping, get your skates on at the ice rink outside the Hotel de Ville, or head to Place de la Concorde for a sight of the spectacular Big Wheel. And if that wasn’t enough, you can find out more about what’s planned for the festive period in Paris at the official website of the French capital’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Sounds even better than a scene from The Holiday right? So, we say dig out the passports, get your nearest and dearest that you’d want to spend a magical mini-break with involved, and get booking. We’ll see you on the other side of the English Channel!
November 13th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
Winter weddings are a gift for the bride who wants to add a twist to her wedding attire to suit the season; whether that by covering-up more a little more flesh with luxurious detailing and fabrics, adding some sparkling accessories, or throwing on an extra cool layer. We’re thinking floaty capes, long delicate sleeves, cute high-neck collars, and even edgy biker jackets. So, in case you hadn’t guessed, today’s Look Book post is all about the latest bridalwear designs that we feel are particularly well suited to winter…
Main feature images Monique Lhuillier, see ‘the big picture’ for more styles.
The fashion-forward bride can’t go wrong with a cape for the season – and who doesn’t want to exude a Wonder Woman aura on the biggest day of her life? Badgley Mischka has some of the dreamiest bridal capes on the scene. Both The Angel and The Annabelle complement the beautiful, clean silhouettes of their gowns with divine capes that scream vintage Hollywood glamour with a boho edge. The Ally-A tulle jacket has a dreamy train that does the job of a veil as well as a cape and, for the more daring bride, the Ashton Bralette and Jacket is a sexy, vintage glam two-piece bodice, layering a long-sleeved lace jacket over a strapless sweetheart bra top that you can pair with a skirt of your choice.
In complete contrast to the ethereal cape, Monique Lhuillier is showcasing bold and edgy jackets in her Fall 2018 collection. The Alexis has biker chick written all over it, while The Sawyer has a slightly softer feel, with laser cut lace detailing. Also in the collection is The Yoko, a trouser suit for the bride who wants to break out of the box.
If you just want a nod to the season, Amanda Wyatt is showcasing some beautiful gowns with collars. The Buttercup has an elegant lace collar with cute cap-sleeves and a beaded belt at the waist. Definitely a dress that demands an up-do to show off the gorgeous detailing. Then there’s The Audrey, an A-line gown with a pretty satin collar edged with beading, and The Aria, a mid-calf length satin gown with a collar sporting no fewer than 7,000 beads from the front to the back in a pretty V-drop.
October 31st, 2017 | Julia Braime
Though the cold weather can be a turn off for some couples, winter actually has a lot to offer brides and grooms-to-be.
With celebrations by candlelight, those tying the knot during the colder months of the year can piece together a warming and luxurious big day, complete with hearty food, fine tipples, opulent décor and elegant attire.
So as the temperatures drop, and the nights draw in, we’re in the mood for some comforting winter wedding inspiration, with all the necessary elements covered for an atmospheric big day that gives a sophisticated nod to the season.
And here to provide such details is Matt Jones, managing director of award-winning catering and hospitality company Dine, which caters for more than 200 weddings each year – making him well-versed in seasonal celebrations…
Matt says: As any expert or newlywed couple will know, venue hire can often be one of the most expensive aspects of a wedding. However, if you’re looking to cut the costs while still getting married at your dream venue, winter can be the perfect season. With less demand in winter, venues may offer off-season rates, made even cheaper if you go for a mid-week rather than weekend wedding. Winter may also offer greater availability for both venue and other suppliers meaning you may be more likely to book your dream venue than another more popular season.
With its large windows looking out across the beautiful Roundhay Park, Dine’s venue The Mansion offers the perfect indoor setting for your winter wedding. The Greek Palladian style, Grade II listed building offers several ceremony and reception rooms of varying sizes enabling you to hold your wedding ceremony and breakfast in the same building. Whichever room you choose, they are guaranteed to remain warm and toasty throughout your day whilst affording you some great views.
As the bride and bridesmaids can get ready in The Mansion before having both the ceremony and reception in this stunning building, there is no worry of arriving windswept or snowed on. Situated in the rolling 700 acres of Roundhay Park, The Mansion also offers the opportunity for magical winter wonderland photography.
No matter the season, food and drink is one aspect that can make or break a wedding. The coming of winter means warming and hearty food that will leave a smile on the faces of your guests.
When guests arrive at your venue why not greet them with mulled wine or warming sloe gin? Guests will be grateful for this warm welcome to your wedding and it will leave them in a good mood for the ceremony and reception. If your guests include children try serving fun coffees and teas or luxurious hot chocolate for a family friendly alternative.
Whether you’re going for a festive theme or not, the food served at your wedding should be comforting and sustaining. After standing outside having photographs taken, your guests will very much appreciate comfort food that will bring them back up to temperature.
September 25th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
While the warmer months of the year remain the most popular time to marry, winter weddings are certainly on the rise with some couples preferring to embrace the cooler temperatures rather than rely upon the unpredictable British weather to come good.
Today’s couple tied the knot during the first week of January, giving them and their guests a fabulous celebration to look forward to beyond Christmas and New Year.
Rebecca and Alex’s big day is the epitome of elegance with a stately home setting, chic colour palette, classic blooms and gorgeous attire. We particularly love Rebecca’s Augusta Jones dress, complete with a dreamy ballgown skirt – just perfect for twirling around the dancefloor!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Mark Newton Photography.
rebecca says: We got engaged at home in April 2015, and set the date for Saturday 7th January, 2017. As Alex works abroad and has limited time at home we were forced to have a winter wedding, but we embraced this.
We had both the ceremony and reception at The Mansion in Roundhay Park, Leeds, which is owned and operated by Dine. We needed somewhere which had enough indoor space to easily accommodate all of guests for the whole day, as we knew with a January wedding time spent outside would be limited.
The general feel of The Mansion is luxurious, grand and special. This is carried over into the food and drinks that they serve, which also played a big part in our venue choice. The team’s attention to detail is exceptional.
We chose dusky lilac, silvers and navy blue as our colour scheme. We wanted the wedding to be traditional in style, and quite wintery.
I chose a gown by Augusta Jones, which I found at The Swanky Bride, Kirkburton, Huddersfield. I tried on approximately 20 dresses, but was struggling to find anything that I thought suited me without looking overly fussy, as I am quite petite, so decided to try a simpler style. My chosen dress was a plain satin strapless ballgown with a sweetheart neckline. It had a sheer overlay skirt which added a bit of interest without being fussy. I added the lace top later as I wanted to be slightly more covered up for the ceremony.
Catherine Elizabeth of York, did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair and makeup. Her team made the morning of the wedding so relaxing and the makeup looked natural. We were ready on time with no stress or worries.
July 25th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
When Rebecca and James’ Christmas wedding dropped into our inbox we simply couldn’t believe our luck. In Rebecca we saw a kindred spirit: a girl hell-bent on gorgeousness, glamour, sequins and a festive berry lip. Plus, she tells a blummin’ good story, not just spilling all the pretty details (obvs) but also gets across a real sense of the laughter and love they shared with their guests on the day. All the goosebumps.
Our highlight? Well, that Ritva Westenius gown is a beauty – a slinky statement of a dress with a simple, timeless silhouette – and the gallery setting is something very special indeed – but if the Brides Up North team could direct you to just one detail it would be that makeup. An education in how to do bridal glamour right there. You’re very welcome.
With images by Shane Webber.
rebecca says: We got engaged in 2015 while on holiday in Singapore (this makes us sound very extravagant – it was a treat!) We were sitting drinking cocktails at the long bar in Raffles (as you do), munching away on the complimentary monkey nuts (as you do), when I looked down to see that one had a ring around it. Cue floods of tears from me for the next hour – the poor barmaid didn’t know what was going on. It was a complete surprise (although there may have been some, ahem, gentle encouragement from me in the months proceeding) and the happiest moment of my life (pre-wedding!)
Initially we looked at a September wedding, but struggled to match up availability of our venue and the registrar. I also had a niggling idea about a winter wedding that wouldn’t budge…after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing and wails of “But I thought we’d agreed September!” I think it was actually James who first said “well, what about Christmas?” And that was that. We had a hankering to do something just a little bit different and we both love the festive season, so it felt perfect.
We had both the ceremony and reception at the Manchester Art Gallery. We really wanted to get married in the city centre as it’s local to us, and we both love the paintings there. We looked at a couple of other venues but when we went to look round the Gallery, James (not normally the world’s most effusive about these kind of things) turned to me and said: “I actually feel a bit excited!” I could’ve hugged the woman showing us around! It’s a beautiful building inside and out and such a privilege to marry there.
We loved the idea of an elegant, glamorous theme with a touch of Gatsby. With the ceremony being later in the day at 4pm and the time of year, this theme worked really well. We considered a black-tie dress code for guests but James wasn’t sure. In the end our invites said: “It’s Christmas, it’s evening, so feel free to throw the glitter around and GO ALL-OUT GLAM’”. Sums it up, really!
So the colours? Hints of gold, sequins and dark jewel shades for the best men. And the ‘feel’? Glamorous, warm, festive. We wanted our guests to feel special and essentially have a fantastic pre-Christmas party!
I chose a simple but elegant dress by Ritva Westenius from Isaac Charles in Poynton. It was a sample on its own in the store and when I tried it on I loved how I felt in it. Because of our theme I really wanted something that felt glamorous and luxurious (…and a bit sexy, as I said to my slightly bemused mum) The store and staff at Isaac Charles were lovely and I’d definitely recommend them to any brides-to-be.
James, the best men and both our dads wore elegant white dress shirts, black trousers and velvet dinner jackets from Reiss. The boys wore black and James’ was a dark blue just to stand out a little. They all had contrasting silk scarves, pocket squares and bow ties. I absolutely loved it; they all looked so handsome. James was really keen for something a bit different but also a ‘non-traditional’ suit (that could be worn again for special occasions) and I think he nailed it.
The bridesmaids wore floor-length gold sequinned gowns from Jenny Packham at Debenhams. I had such a strong idea of what I wanted them in that we ended up getting their dresses before mine. Thankfully, they liked them! They both looked so beautiful. Amina at Stockport Wedding Services did a great job with alterations for us all.
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