March 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
We love local, and we love stylish weddings – so as well as promoting our own luxury bridal events via these pretty pages we also like to tell our readers about certain selected special events – like the massive North West Wedding Fair this weekend – or this rather lovely little event, The Exquisite Secret Vintage Wedding Fair, hosted by our friend and Brides Up North Exhibitor, Rebecca Jenkinson of Pretty Little Trio Vintage (Rebecca will be showing you what she can do at our Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at The Bowdon Rooms, later this month).
To celebrate the announcement of the secret location of the show, released later today, these beautiful images were curated by Rebecca and were captured by exhibitor Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography. We’re thrilled that they chose Brides Up North to show them off.
rebecca says: The inspiration for our shoot was a modern interpretation of one of my favourite vintage styles, Art Nouveau, with a hint of the twenties too. I wanted to showcase our beautiful secret venue and took inspiration from the surroundings and weaved in pretty spring oranges, a hint of teal blue, deep greens and of course a beautiful dash of gold sequins and vintage elements.
For the shoot we wanted to produce images that could be easily interpreted as inspiration for real wedding days rather than anything too aspirational so the general brief we took was everything was to be beautiful but achievable.
When planning the shoot, in the same way as many brides planning their wedding ideas, I found Pinterest a huge help in pulling thoughts together. I selected ideas for colours, dresses, hairstyles, makeup, props, stationery, cakes and lots of other details and then shared the board with the team ahead of the day so we could all add our skills to bringing the vision together.
Our bride Charlotte was dressed by Fiona of The Wedding Boutique Cheshire, all the stunning designs are from the Elizabeth Cooper Collection and are exclusively designed and crafted by Fiona in her boutique where she takes inspiration from vintage styles and materials. She is going to be debuting her latest collection at London Bridal Fashion Week in May, I’m so excited for her.
Charlotte’s pretty hair and make up are by the amazingly skilled Sophie, part of the fabulous Manchester based Bethany Jane Davies - Vintage Beauty Parlour.
The stunning flowers are by the super talented Heather at Living Colour Floral Design, there is literally no vintage style this girl can’t master for you whilst giving it a contemporary feel too.
All the beautiful stationery, so perfectly vintage, is created by Emma at Hattie Boo Designs. It has a real vintage heritage being based on wedding stationery found in an old wooden box from the wedding of Emma’s Nanna’s Husband’s first marriage in the 1920’s!
The beautiful swirly icing art nouveau inspired white and gold tiered cake was created by Manchester based Beth at Cakes by Beth. She is a total genius and can turn her hand to any idea you might have and they taste phenomenal too!
I supplied all the vintage china, suitcases, books and other props through my vintage hire company with the look completed with dazzling table cloths from lovely Helen at Pudding Bridge, who hires nationwide.
The team involved in the shoot are just some of our wonderful exhibitors, I’d definitely recommend any one planning their day with a vintage flavour to come along on the 8th March to enjoy the event and meet our lovely exhibitors.
The Exquisite Secret Vintage Wedding Fair returns to Manchester city centre for its second year this Sunday the 8th March 2015. It is a vintage wedding fair with a bit of a difference, as the exact location is a total secret until just days 5 before when the secret venue is unveiled. (That’s today!)
Tickets are £2.50 in advance (£5.00 on the door) and £10.00 for group tickets.
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March 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Several of our previous lookbook features have focused on wedding dress trends that encourage brides to flash some flesh, but today we are swooning over graceful gowns where modesty is key.
Somewhat unexpectedly dresses featuring high collars and capes (sorry Madge) have come to rule recent bridal runways promoting sophisticated styles that scream high fashion.
Though it didn’t work out for Madonna at The Brits (awkward) capes are a stylish accessory and can prove an incredibly practical choice for ladies having religious ceremonies that need to cover up that bit more, as well as brides with body hang ups that want to detract from the bits they’re less keen on.
A cape is a demure alternative to a shrug, bolero or jacket that comes in a variety of lengths and designs so brides can choose the type of style statement they wish to make.
The shorter options are fabulous for covering shoulders and the tops of arms while still showing off the main spectacle – the dress. Meanwhile long capes are particularly popular with brides looking to make a dramatic entrance on their wedding day without the use of a regular veil or train.
Solange Knowles is one high-profile bride that recently rocked this look on her wedding day, donning a cape with both her elegant gown and edgy jumpsuit outfits.
High low capes provide an option between the two either as a full coverlet or semi open design depending on how much of the dress a bride wants to be on show.
When it comes to detailing ladies opting for plainer dresses can add interest with laced and blinged-up designs. Meanwhile brides with highly detailed gowns are likely to stick to a simple sheer design though there are no hard rules to abide by.
Whichever option, caped brides can remove the additional garment for the evening celebrations giving them two different looks for their big day whilst also ensuring the all-important dress gets the exposure it deserves.
Designers that we think are executing the caped look exceptionally well within their collections include Monique Lhuillier, Jenny Packham and Claire Pettibone, though our favourite has to be Jasmine from Enzoani, which combines modern elegance with vintage glamour for one gorgeous dress.
Moving on to another covered-up trend – collars. Overtime the wedding dress neckline has crept up and where once the strapless sweetheart gown reigned supreme there are now full-sleeved designs as well as those with illusion necklines and high-necks.
In some cases the neckline has developed into a fully-fledged collar creating an incredibly regal look, which was favoured by one of the most elegant ladies in history on her wedding day – Grace Kelly.
Similar to the cape, a collard neckline can offer that bit more cover-up for body conscious brides whilst also emitting a theatrical look that’s bound to make a statement.
Many of the collared designs feature delicate lace collars but alternatives can be found in striking shirt necklines and super cute Peter Pan collars. Designers doing up the collar look perfectly include Pronovias, Ian Stuart and Charlotte Balbier – we heart her oh so sweet Flora dress.
All gowns featured are credited in our gallery.
March 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding is one classy do. Laura and Giles chose a traditional church wedding followed by a reception and the stately Hassop Hall.
Their big day is brimming with elegance, from the bride’s wedding attire to the beautiful blooms and transportation in the form of a horse-drawn carriage.
Though clearly a sophisticated couple, they didn’t take all elements too seriously as their wedding album features a rather unusual image. Their photographer Kate Cooper explains: “Giles and Laura requested a shot that I’ve seen online where a dinosaur is superimposed on a photo of a screaming bridal party – I joked that I could superimpose whatever I liked, cue the giant hamster artwork from the Beastie Boys Intergalactic single.”
Images by Kate Cooper Photography.
laura says: We were on a walk in the countryside near one of our favourite pubs when Giles suddenly asked me to marry him on the first warm day of spring 2013. Although I’d hoped he would propose sooner or later, it was a complete surprise and I was very touched that he’d secretly asked my father for my hand in marriage the day before.
We both really love the month of September, so thought it would be a good time to get married – we set the date for 20th September 2014.
We had our ceremony at St Giles Church in Great Longstone, Derbyshire, and the reception was held at Hassop Hall which is about 1.5 miles away. Although we live in London, we decided to get married in the Peak District which is where Giles grew up and where a lot of his family live. It was important to us to get married in a church. St Giles is the parish church in the village in which Giles’ mother lives. It is a beautiful medieval church and we also liked its name! Once we’d chosen the church, we started looking at reception venues. We were absolutely thrilled to have our reception at Hassop Hall which we cannot praise highly enough.
We didn’t have a theme as such, it was just a complete jumble of stuff that we liked. For the reception stationery we had a loose travel theme (a seating plan map, luggage tag name cards etc) but this theme wasn’t reflected in our save the dates or wedding invitations. We didn’t have a colour scheme as such either, although I was quite keen on the idea of having muted dusky shades in the girls’ dresses and the flowers because I thought they’d look nice together.
I wore a Maggie Sottero lace and tulle dress called Bronwyn which was customised by a local seamstress who removed the top of the keyhole back to make a low v back and altered the sleeves. I bought it from Allison Jayne in Clifton, Bristol, which is where one of my sisters lives. To be honest, in the run up to our wedding, the dress felt like a real compromise. I chose it because it was comfortable, in budget and I liked the warm ivory colour. In my heart I would have liked a Jenny Packham dress but we needed a new boiler so I was determined to be good! However, on our actual wedding day I loved my dress, especially when it was combined with all my lovely accessories.
I wore Rachel Simpson shoes, a veil that was custom made to match the dress by Ali Rouse at Unique Dress and pearl drop earrings that were a gift from Giles. In the evening, I wore art deco style earrings, headband and a matching belt. I also wore a faux fur stole which was borrowed from a friend.
One of my sisters lives in Sheffield so she was able to winkle out some fabulous contacts for us. She recommended Jenn Edwards and her team who did hair and makeup for me, the bridesmaids and my mother on the day of the wedding. I’d wholeheartedly recommend Jenn and her team. They were very funny, incredibly talented and we all felt like more beautiful versions of ourselves.
The bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses in dusky shades – blue, green and grey – cream cardigans and nude shoes. I wanted them to have a romantic country feel, but wear colours that they liked and styles that they might feasibly wear again. The mismatched dresses were much more difficult to find than I had envisaged. After many hours of trawling the internet and a thorough search of the high street we bought the dresses from Ariella (available at House of Fraser), Debenhams and Monsoon. The cardigans were from Boden and the girls wore their own shoes. The groomsmen wore their own suits and ties to tone in with the girls’ dresses.
My mother-in-law hired a horse drawn carriage for the travel to and from the church. I was initially a bit apprehensive as I was worried it might be a bit Big Fat Gypsy Wedding but it was a really thoughtful touch and one of my favourite parts of the day. It was wonderful travelling in the carriage with my father from the cottage that we had hired in Little Longstone to St Giles Church and hearing the wedding bells ring across the fields.
Kate Cooper was our photographer. She was recommended by one of my sisters who met her through friends. I would 100 per cent recommend Kate – she’s very good at catching little intimate moments and managed to take some lovely photos of two people who don’t really like having their photo taken. We felt very relaxed and laughed a lot when Kate was taking our photos and I think that shows in the end results.
My vintage style bouquet was made by Swallows & Damsons, based in Sheffield. It was made up of dusky pink roses, pepita spray roses, ivory waxflower, steel berries, astilbe, dusky pink astrantia and purple veronica and eucalyptus. I loved it so much but was still happy to throw my bouquet at the end of the evening!
We had lots of flowers from Swallows & Damsons at our reception too – similar to the flowers in my bouquet. The urns and small vases were at the church to begin with, as pedestals and pew ends, and were then transported to Hassop Hall for the reception. Before the wedding day I also spent hours writing names on luggage tags in straggling calligraphy then tying these on to rolled napkins with ribbons and lavender sprigs for the tables.
Instead of giving out favours we made a donation to the Disasters Emergency Commission.
My lovely sisters and mother made our wedding cake. Extra special thanks go to my sister Miranda who made hundreds of sugar flowers to match our wedding flowers which cascaded down the side of the cake. I’m not a huge fan of fruit cake, so we had a chocolate tier, an orange and almond tier and a coffee tier. It was delicious!
For our wedding meal we had a smoked chicken and bacon salad with a honey and orange dressing, followed by onion soup, then roast pork with all the trimmings and to finish, individual summer puddings. We went to Hassop Hall for Sunday lunch with our parents so we could taste different menu options. It was a difficult choice as they were all delicious but these were our favourite dishes.
Giles’ school friend Emlyn, was kind enough to arrange a pair of jazz musicians for us as a wedding present to provide entertainment. They played during the drinks reception. We also had a disco provided by Spirits High after dinner.
I can’t praise Hassop Hall enough. We live in London so weren’t able to visit the venue very often but Helen thought of every last detail and ensured that the day ran absolutely seamlessly. The service was excellent and the wedding breakfast was one of the best mass catered meals that I have ever eaten.
My favourite part of the wedding would be the horse and carriage ride with my new husband from the church to Hassop Hall, it was really lovely to be able to have ten minutes to take everything in together. I also enjoyed the impromptu midnight feast that Hassop Hall rustled up for a hungry bride at the end of the night.
For our honeymoon we went to Scotland for ten days, breaking our journey in the Lake District. We were blessed with good weather so enjoyed lots of wonderful walks together in the stunning scenery as well as some fabulous food. Our favourite places that we stayed were The Gilpin and Monarchyle Mhor.
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to outsource where possible – the less you have to do in the days before the wedding, the better, as there will always be last minute issues. Spend some time working out the logistics of the wedding day and the days either side. We had a plan of who was doing what when and how things (flowers that were re-used, luggage etc) were moving from one venue to the other. We circulated this plan to the bridesmaids and groomsmen and think it really helped the day to go without a hitch.
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February 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Hilltop Country House is special. A stunning, exclusive use, family home wedding venue with seriously gorgeous gardens, a pristine permanent marquee, rooms on site and a civil license, book nothing till you’ve seen it!
And you can see it, at our open doors, Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition at Hilltop Country House, Cheshire this Sunday 1st March 2015, 12pm till 4pm, FREE entry.
Add 30 of the region’s very best wedding supplier stars and with every detail beautifully covered, we’ve a recipe for another crazy beautiful day. Are you in?
bride to be?
As well as all that inspiration – completely FREE – we are also giving away up to 150 FREE Bride To Be welcome bags, filled with glossy magazines, on the day discounts, treats from Brides Up North and some little pressies from our amazing sponsors John Lewis Cheadle. Just because we love you. As demand is high, to pick up your bag and all you need to do is pre-register using the form below. While stocks last only.
The first 150 brides through the doors on Sunday will also take away two tickets to The North West Wedding Fair on Sunday 8th March 2015, worth £30, completely free of charge. It’s on us!
To register for for speedy entry and a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be goody bag fill in your details below. Only the bride need register for larger groups.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not wish to use the contact form. Welcome bags are limited and subject to availability. We operate a first come, first served policy.
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February 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
get ready to take flight.
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