Charlotte Balbier

friday fabulous: thomas sabo’s love bridge collection

June 17th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Thomas Sabo Love Bridge

Here at Brides Up North, we’ve always been fans of Thomas Sabo‘s range of fashionable, wearable jewellery, so when our go-to jewellery brand decided to throw some extra romance into the mix, the result was always going to be right up our street.

thomas sabo say: Our bridal jewellery collection is all about eternalising the best day of your life with stunning jewellery designs to be treasured forever. As every bride has a different taste, we have created wedding jewellery to suit every style, whether it be vintage inspired, glamorous, classic and timeless or sweet and romantic.

The bridal selection includes carefully hand-picked pieces: delicate or statement necklaces, glorious drop earrings, bangles and bracelets to give that extra special touch to your wedding look and rings so elegant that they’ll perfectly pair with your wedding ring. The array of Thomas Sabo engagement rings offers options for all budgets, including both stunning cubic zirconia encrusted designs in sterling silver and solid gold rings with real diamonds and gemstones from the Fine Jewellery collection.

The groom will be able to complement his look with stunningly designed cufflinks, elegant watches and sophisticated bracelets and the wedding jewellery edit also includes cute Charm Club pieces for flower girls.

At Brides Up North, we are particularly keen on the The Love Bridge range for brides or bridesmaids. The idea is inspired by a romantic ritual: as a symbol of their love and everlasting togetherness, lovers attach padlocks engraved with their initials to famous bridges in the most romantic cities in the world. From New York, Paris, Venice to Cape Town, the so-called ‘Love Bridges’ have become a symbol of romance, celebrating a special promise made by two people.

Profound feelings, meaningful moments, love and happiness – the new Love Bridge line from Thomas Sabo captures important events in life with a bespoke engraving. Why not use yours to send a secret love message? #anyexcuse

Visit the Thomas Sabo website to find out more about The Love Bridge range and their stunning bridal collection

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typically us. raffia and roses for a moving wedding at sandon hall – nicola & matt

June 17th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Emotive & Beautiful Wedding at Sandon Hall (c) Fairclough Photography (68)

We just love all the little personal touches and surprises that today’s bride and groom incorporated into their big day.

From undercover entertainment to secret menu choices, Nicola and Matt planned a wedding day to reflect them as a couple whilst also keeping their guests on their toes.

If, like us, you are captivated by their stunning wedding images which capture the emotion of the day so perfectly, we have some excellent news for you. The photographers behind the images, the fabulous Katie and James from Fairclough Photography, are offering our readers an amazing £200 off their full day wedding package for those that book before 30th June 2016. Just quote ‘BUN16’, when enquiring or booking.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Fairclough Photography.

An Emotive & Beautiful Wedding at Sandon Hall (c) Fairclough Photography (40)

nicola says: We got engaged on 26th July 2014. We decided to book a short break in Summerbridge, North Yorkshire, as we’d been there not long after we first got together in 2010. We stayed at the exact same place – Springwood Lodges – in a totally secluded area, surrounded by nature, in a lovely log cabin, which was perfect for a romantic break away from the hustle and bustle! We were enjoying some bubbles in the hot tub when Matt announced he needed to get a top up from inside. When he returned and had settled back into the water, he reached over the side of the hot tub, but instead of turning back round with a glass in his hand, he had a ring box! He’d picked out the most perfect ring I could imagine and after 20 or so “Oh My Gods”, I said yes!

We set the date for 22nd August 2015 as we wanted to go for a Saturday in the summer to make it as easy as possible for all family to attend – and give us the best chance of sunshine!

An Emotive & Beautiful Wedding at Sandon Hall (c) Fairclough Photography (34)

Sandon Hall in Stafford, was our chosen venue for the wedding. Not only is the building stunning, but we had access to the grounds for the day, which are breath-taking! Our families are pretty much all based within 30 minutes of the venue, which is lovely and rural. Funnily enough what clinched the venue for us was a ‘sign’ from nature. When we got engaged in Summerbridge we spent a lot of time relaxing outside on the decking and saw a Jay bird for the first time in the wild – we saw our second one when we were just turning the corner on the long driveway up to the hall the first time we went to view the hall!

An Emotive & Beautiful Wedding at Sandon Hall (c) Fairclough Photography (53)

We didn’t have a theme as such for the wedding, we just wanted to be ourselves more than anything – still look like us in the pictures, have music we enjoyed and food we loved. The venue is so incredible it didn’t need a great deal of styling so I opted for a neutral colour scheme of pale pinks, champagne and gold for a classic look, a little bunting here and there and lots of natural textures, such as wood and raffia.

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love train. david tutera for a rustic wedding in the north west – sarah & cj

June 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Shades Canvas for a Rustic Wedding in the North West (c) Zen Photographic (25)

We just love it when a couple adds special elements to their wedding day to make it all the more memorable for them and their guests.

Today’s bride and groom decided the transport was a key area of their wedding where they could do things differently, in order to wow their guests. Having planned a marquee wedding on a relative’s farm through which a steam train track ran, Sarah and CJ seized the opportunity for their guests to travel from the church to reception by rail. But this was no mean feat, in order to make their wish come true, they had to build a temporary train platform so that the steam train could stop at the farm, and in order to do that they had to wait for a time of year when the trains didn’t run during the week so that we could work on the track. Top marks for effort guys!

Now let’s board that locomotive…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Zen Photographic.

Shades Canvas for a Rustic Wedding in the North West (c) Zen Photographic (38)

sarah says: We got engaged at Fountains Abbey, which is a place I used to go to a lot with my family when I was younger. It was just a normal afternoon on 1st November 2014, we went over for a nice walk, headed up to Anne Boleyn’s lookout, which has an amazing view to the gardens and the abbey, and whilst we stood there admiring the view, CJ asked me to marry him, completely unexpected! He’d worked with Whiting & Wilson jewellers in Rossendale to design the ring himself.

We wanted the wedding to be within a year of getting engaged and so decided to set the date for 10th October 2015.

Shades Canvas for a Rustic Wedding in the North West (c) Zen Photographic (39)

We got married at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Bury, as this is where CJ’s parents were married and he was christened. It’s also in our hometown and right opposite the steam train station, which was how we planned to transport our guests to the reception. We wanted a completely unique way to transport our guests that would be fun and meant something to us too. We live in Irwell Vale, which the steam train passes through and came up with the idea as the train passed through the village one day. My relatives have a farm, which the steam train runs right through to, so we built a temporary train platform on the farm for the train to stop at, and laid down a gravel walkway from the platform to an Indian style marquee we’d hired, which was in one of the fields. The marquee was a grand pavilion from Shades Canvas.

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be our guest: summer wedding high street haul

June 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Summer Wedding Ted Baker

Eleese Skater Dress by Ted Baker

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!

the threads

Summer Wedding High Street Haul - The Threads

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.

the finishing touches

Summer Wedding High Street Haul - The Finishing Touches

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!

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walk this way: introducing charlotte mills bridal shoes

June 15th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Charlotte Mills Bridal Shoes (74)

Prepare to fall head over heels in love (and reach for your credit card) ladies, as we welcome Brides Up North Sponsor, and true Northern gal, Charlotte Mills, to the blog.

For those of you who’ve not come across Charlotte before, this uber-talented lady creates to-die-for bridal shoes that are fashionable, girly and fun. From first setting eyes on her swoon-worthy designs we knew Charlotte would go far with brides unable to resist her super gorgeous heels.

What we love most about Charlotte’s collections is the versatility within; from high stilettoes that wrap around the leg, to cute flats detailed with hearts and stunning block glitter heels, there really is something for all – better still these shoes can easily be worn well beyond he wedding day.

We could go on all day, but instead we thought best to let Charlotte tell you all about her fancy footwear, oh and her lovely new North West boutique too!

Charlotte Mills Bridal Shoes (28)

Tell us a little about your background and how you came to be in the wedding industry?

charlotte says: For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to design shoes. I attended Cordwainers at London College of Fashion where I gained my BA in footwear design. I knew I wanted to create my own brand after designing a bridal footwear range for my final year show. This is where the dream began. After university I worked as a footwear design manager for a variety of UK brands until I felt the time was right to launch the Charlotte Mills brand in April 2014.

Charlotte Mills Bridal Shoes (41)

What is it about bridal shoes that you love?

It amazing to be able to design something which someone will love and want to wear on their wedding day to show a little bit of their personality. I find this really inspiring.

Charlotte Mills Bridal Shoes (25)

How would you describe the style of your collections and designs?

Fun yet stylish shoes, which stand out from the crowd.

What would you say is important in the design of bridal footwear?

I want to create something different to what is already on the market, brides should fall in love with their wedding shoes and not just settle. I find that creating styles which are fashion forward is important. I want brides to be able to wear their shoes again after their wedding day.

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telling the story of your day: jenny maden photography

June 15th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Jenny Maden Photography (57)

If ‘photographer’ is the next task to complete on your wedding ‘to do’ list then this morning’s post just might help, as we’re introducing you to our fabulous new Brides Up North Sponsor, Jenny Maden Photography.

Having fallen in love with photography from a young age, Yorkshire-based Jenny was committed to making her passion her full time job and is now thrilled to witness and document couples’ big days for a living.

Filled with enthusiasm, Jenny loves to get to know her couples and all their plans, striking up a real connection with her clients that encourages them to relax in front of the camera.

To explain more about passion, we’ll let Jenny do the talking…

Wedding Photography

How did you get into wedding photography?

jenny says: My love of photographs goes back as far as I can recall. As a young child, long before I took photos, I’d love digging out the family albums and I could spend hours rummaging through holiday snaps. I then went on to take pictures myself – initially on a film camera and then on my first digital camera; a Casio Exilim.

It was in early adulthood that I became a real photography enthusiast. I was bought my first semi-professional camera as a birthday present and taken to Knowsley Safari Park to photograph the animals. My love and appreciation for photography grew from there. I enrolled on a photography course and spent many weekends on photography workshops, with other professional photographers, to really get inside the technicalities and hone my photography techniques.

As my skills developed and my portfolio grew, the bookings came and I’ve really never looked back! My passion is my job – and that’s pretty awesome!

Jenny Maden Photography (18)

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer? 

There are so many things I love about being a wedding photographer!

I love getting to know my couples before the big day; getting a feel for their personalities, how they like to spend their time, what they have planned for the big day etc. I’ve stayed in contact with many of my couples, long after their weddings, in fact I’m meeting one of my ‘brides’ next month with her brand new baby!

I just love weddings! The dress, flowers, jewellery, shoes, table décor, cake, the food and drink, venue, bunting, games on the lawn, musicians – you name it! Sometimes couples incorporate quirky and unique touches into their wedding day, which I’ve perhaps not photographed before, which is a real treat for me.

Lastly, and I think perhaps my upmost favourtite thing, about being a wedding photographer, is capturing the emotion of the day; happiness, laughter and love. The feelings between the bride and groom are so evident, but the love between them and their parents, siblings and friends, is so clear to see too.

I get to witness this close-hand and document it. Being a hopeless softie with a passion for photographs, this is an absolute pleasure!

Jenny Maden Photography (42)

How do you get couples to relax on the day?

Have a giggle and allow the couple to just be themselves. It’s worked a treat so far.

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