Brides Up North

something for the weekend?

September 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Hilltop leaflet-1

And so, it starts (yippee!)…

Luxury Wedding Exhibition

Hilltop Country House

Flash Lane, Prestbury, Cheshire, SK10 4ED

Sunday 14th September 2014

12pm till 4pm

FREE ENTRY

Hilltop leaflet-2

As well as all that inspiration – completely FREE – we are also giving away up to 150 FREE Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, on the day discounts, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our amazing sponsors like John Lewis, Clarins and Cheshire Bride.  Just because we love you.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.  While stocks last only.

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.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

Number of people attending the event (including yourself) (required)

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the circle: be a wedding industry insider

September 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime

The Circle_Master_strapline_WO rose gold

A glittering press party at Media City, Manchester this Wednesday night saw the launch of The Circle - a brand new concept in creativity, training and connectivity for wedding and lifestyle businesses.

I’m so proud to stand along my industry friends (who also just happen to be the very best entrepreneurs in the business), Charlotte Balbier, Jonny Draper and Howard Wing, as we launch our new concept.

Finally… I’m allowed to talk about it! (It’s been killing me).

circle -4

Just so you know who you are dealing with here, Charlotte Balbier is one of the UK’s leading bridal gown designers; Jonny Draper is an award winning photographer and boutique owner; Howard Wing is the most in-demand wedding entertainer in the UK and I’m the Editor In Chief of one rather lovely wedding blog… all four of us have won numerous coveted awards and are recognised for excellence and experience in our specialisms within the industry. (*blush*)

Over the years (and over the odd cocktail or ten!) we’ve discussed the need for a club or collective – an inspiring and exciting space, comprising a combination of special events, practical training and online membership – where wedding industry suppliers can meet to exchange insider ideas, secrets and knowledge with the aim of boosting business and raising standards, profiles, contacts and turnover.

Our answer?

The Circle. Founded 10th September 2014.

Following Wednesday’s big reveal (an exciting and nail biting evening explaining the scope of our plans to assembled press luminaries like editors from Brides Magazine, Perfect Wedding Magazine… and other industry big wigs – official photos and lots of thank yous coming soon!) The Circle are now proud to announce our exclusive inaugural event, strictly limited to just 100 initial The Circle members.

Attendees should forget anything they ever knew about training days and get ready to transform or refresh the way in which they do business.

The first ever full day event is suitable for experienced industry professionals and start-ups alike and sessions packed full of insider tips and strategy will tackle topics such as brand evolution, blogging, social media wizardry, killer sales, effective networking and management, before ending the day with a VIP After Show Party.  More in-depth info about the event, The Circle’s founders and pricing info can be found over at our brand spanking new website, just live:

www.theweddingcircle.co.uk

Inspiration is guaranteed, and surprises come as standard.

As an attendee at the February event, delegates will automatically become a year-long member of The Circle’s essential online support networks, gaining exclusive access to an immediate, priceless forum in a private space to share ideas, make referrals, win business, solve problems and generate goodwill.

When you’re in The Circle, you’re one of us.

We’d love to see wedding businesses old and new, fresh and familiar faces at our first event, strictly limited to just 100 places. Since the website went live yesterday our inbox has been pinging with booking confirmations, so we’d urge you to move quickly to avoid disappointment.

This is going to get epic, and quickly…

 

the 100 club

Tuesday 10th February 2015

Styal Lodge, Cheshire

9:30am till 5pm

Then After Show Party

One day to transform your wedding business.
Inspire. Apply. Connect. Elevate

Book now at www.theweddingcircle.co.uk

 

Images by Hayley Baxter Photography

Film by Silk Wedding Films

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shore thing. justin alexander for a simple yet stylish seaside wedding – nicola & eamonn

September 11th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (34)

There’s something about being by the seaside that causes a welcome state of relaxation.

Nicola and Eamonn chose the pretty seaside town of Scarborough for their laid-back big day which they were proud to show-off to their guests via an open-top bus ride and fabulous sea-front reception venue.

What I love about this wedding is that the bride and groom didn’t get swept up in wedding planning mania, but instead really thought about what they wanted and then executed it to perfection.

This fab real wedding oozes style and sophistication and is topped-off with a good glug of fun.

With photos by Photography34.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (18)

Nicola says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2012 after being together for 11 years.  Eamonn surprised me by dropping to one knee in front of our two little girls. It was very romantic as he had written a poem which incorporated all of the favourite places we have travelled to together.

We got married on Saturday 27th July 2013. We chose the 27th as it was Eamonn’s mother Helen’s birthday – she sadly passed in 2010.

Our wedding ceremony was at St Peters RC Church in Scarborough, our girls were baptised here so it was a natural choice. It’s a very beautiful building.  I chose for my brother to walk me down the aisle. We celebrated afterwards at the Ambassador Hotel and Spa, which we chose because it’s such a lovely boutique hotel with fab views of Scarborough. The venue was perfect for our requirements. We would have no hesitation in recommending it to future brides and grooms. Kieran there listened to our every request and suggestion and together we made it all work to create our perfect day.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (20)

The one thing Eamonn and I discussed at length though at the start of the planning process was how we wanted the day to play out.  We wanted everyone who shared the day with us to be there from the beginning until the end – it did limit us to the number of guests for the day (120) but everyone agreed that the day had a great flow to it.  From the moment we were married we all travelled together to the reception (the long way around the Marine Drive at Scarborough so we could take in the stunning views on the open-top bus) and while everyone had their Meze starters outside the venue we snuck away with our photographer Tony for a quick photo shoot.  We’ve all been to weddings where there is a pause in the day for photos and then another while the evening guests arrive and we didn’t want that. We chose to have the wedding a little later in the afternoon at 3pm which did put us on a tighter timescale than most weddings but we wanted the day to be one continual celebration with a natural flow and relaxed feel.  As a result of the thought and planning that we put into the scheduling of the day it all played out really well and all of the guests thought that it had happened by chance.

There was no particular colour theme from the start – it all kind of just pulled itself together. Once we found the taupe bridesmaid dresses it cemented the spectrum of colours we used, from the invitation to the cake and the flowers.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (25)

I was quite nervous about shopping for my wedding dress. I was completely out of my comfort zone but with the help of my trusty bridesmaids and the ladies at The Wedding Room in Scarborough we picked out about seven dresses in all sorts of cuts and styles to work out what I might like.  The first dress I tried was beautiful – big, full and very princess like (I thought this might be the type I would go for) but when I stepped out in it and looked in the mirror I was overwhelmed with the size of it! I cried and wanted to turn and run. But the ladies at the Wedding Rooms had obviously seen this before and whipped me straight back into the changing rooms to get out of it and encouraged me to try on something not so huge. Gypsy bride it wasn’t, but it just didn’t feel right for me.  I tried a couple more on and they were all beautiful but I couldn’t pick between them. Then I tried on the fourth dress – it was a very detailed fishtail dress with lace, sequins, pearls and bugle beads by Justin Alexander. The moment it went over my head and I looked in the mirror I knew it was the one. I just loved the way I felt in it and when I walked out to show my bridesmaids I cried again – this time with happiness – their faces confirmed what I was feeling.  It was so disappointing to put on my own clothes after wearing such a fabulous dress.

Eamonn wore a tailored suit from Mullen and Mullen in York. He chose a dark navy blue colour suit with a waistcoat. The suit jacket had a taupe colour lining to complement the bridesmaid dresses and he got our initials and the wedding date 27.07.13 stitched into the lining which was a lovely touch.  I always thought Eamonn wore a suit well but have to say seeing him in a tailored suit made him look particularly dashing!

The bridesmaids wore a Jenny Packham No.1 taupe lace bodice maxi dress from Debenhams while the groomsmen wore dark grey lounge suits from Jaeger to complement Eamonn’s suit.

My flowers came from the very talented Kirsty Berridge from Minnie Bee’s Floral Design. I didn’t have a clue about flowers but I used my wedding board on Pinterest to show Kirsty what type of flowers and colours I liked. She was fabulous and brought lots of pictures of previous bouquets she had done to show me. She came up with my fabulous hand-tied bouquet of gypsophila, soft vintage pink hydrangea, dahlias, peonies and English grown roses in soft pinks, peaches and cream.  We had two fabulous pedestal arrangements in the church and the tables at the reception venue again featured the same flowers, although we went for a much brighter tone of colours and displayed them in jam jars all supplied by Minnie Bee’s.

The bridesmaids all carried hand-tied bouquets of gypsophila and the flower girls carried small pomander balls of gypsophila and the groomsmen had button holes made of the same. Kirsty also supplied gypsophila on bits of wire to add to the bridesmaids’ and flower girls’ hair.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (31)

I had five bridesmaids and two flower girls (my daughters Stella and Grace), plus my mum and my brother to get from the hotel to the church so Ozzy the camper van from Scarborough Kombi Van Hire was the perfect solution. We had a lot of guests from out of town and abroad who we wanted to see the beauty of Scarborough while they were here, plus parking can be quite tricky around the church, so hiring an open top bus from Shoreline Suncruisers to take us all to the reception made perfect sense – and it was great fun!

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (32)

Our photographer was our good friend Tony Wilson from Photography34 who has documented a number of our special days over the last couple of years, our daughters’ baptism being one of the first.  Tony does such a great job of translating the feel of the day into pictures.  We will be forever grateful for the precious moments that Tony has captured for us – we will always have them to look back on. He was also a guest at our wedding so he can definitely multitask.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (39)

The cake was provided by Gemma Flood at Cotton House Cakes. It was a four-tier chocolate fudge cake topped with Italian meringue butter cream. The colour graduated from light to dark – another spot on Pinterest.

For our wedding meal we decided that we didn’t want something that was going to be too gastro, even though Eamonn is a bit of a foodie. We went for a bit of a Greek theme with the food as we enjoy holidaying there and love the food. We chose to have a Greek meze as an informal starter which was served on arrival. We had these instead a formal starter as we didn’t want to be sat inside for a lengthy three-course meal. The Ambassador did a great job of serving these in a way that were easy to eat with fingers and stood up while relaxing outside.  We decided to have the speeches before the main meal once everyone was seated indoors – this just seemed like a natural break to fit in the best man’s and groom’s speeches.  We continued with the Greek theme for the main meal opting for a choice of beef stifado or vegetable moussaka.  We kept the wedding cake as a dessert and then had a selection of cheeses that were brought to each of the tables so everyone could nibble throughout the evening.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (38)

We wanted a relaxed theme so didn’t go heavy on the entertainment. We did want some music for when we arrived at The Ambassador in the open-top bus and while we had the drinks reception and starters.  We had discussed various live acts but Eamonn saw a young jazz band busking in town and booked them for the wedding! The Jelly Jolly Jazz Band fronted by a young musician called Laurence Marshall were just great, they played some really uplifting jazz which set everyone off on the right tone for the day.  For the evening we opted for Spectrum Discos, who were great!  We had a few particulars we wanted playing but were pretty relaxed with the play list. Our first dance was a Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel classic You’re All I Need to Get By, which was just perfect!

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (44)

To keep our young guests entertained, I ordered some small cardboard suitcases and filled them with colouring books and quiet toys. I also asked The Ambassador to add a small pack-up so the children could tuck in as soon as we sat down. They could then run around the dance floor after the speeches had taken place while the adults enjoyed their stifado!

We chose to have circular tables for everyone, so no top table – just to avoid any issues with who might feel they should be sat on it!  We had paper pom poms, added by Alex Anderson from Homebird House, hanging from the ceiling above our table just to make it a focal point. They were also hung above the table for wedding cards which we decorated ourselves with an old suitcase, a beach towel, ball, bucket and spade.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (49)

Eamonn and I had told all of our guests that we didn’t expect any gifts as many people were already travelling great distances to attend the wedding but any gifts of money we did receive would be used on what we were calling a ‘familymoon’.

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (51)

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (59)

We couldn’t choose a favourite part of our wedding – we loved the whole day! We really thought about what we wanted and what was important for us and we made it happen. All of our guests really got that the day was a reflection of us and enjoyed it as much as we did!

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (64)

Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be not to get sucked into everything that’s on offer. We had a very traditional church wedding but personally picked everything that went around that, including flipping around the proceedings of the day and for us that really worked.  Everyone is different but it’s so easy to get pulled into ‘the perfect Pinterest wedding’ which can be daunting and crazy expensive.  We decided that we wanted a simple wedding which was about Eamonn and I standing up in front of our loved ones and saying ‘this is us forever’ followed by great food and drink and a kick ass party!

a simple but stylish seaside wedding (c) Photography 34 (69)

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get ready for the launch

September 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime

The Circle_Master_strapline

 

This evening sees the launch of a project I’ve been working extremely hard on behind the scenes for the majority of this year.

Those of you who have been regular readers and supporters of Brides Up North for the past four years will know that I believe wholeheartedly in the value of carrying on the online conversation in real life. This goes for both brides to be during our busy Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition season and members of our fantastic regional wedding industry.

Those wedding suppliers who have already used our annual Brides Up North “tweet ups” and networking parties to come together to share a few cocktails, ideas, business cards and recommendations will know just how beneficial events like these can be to business.

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Well, we’ve decided to take things a bit further than that.

You know we don’t like to sit still here at Brides Up North HQ, and this year I’ve joined forces with an amazing team of industry leaders to bring industry connectivity and creativity to the next level.

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This evening, I’ll be standing (in my sequins!) alongside the fellow directors of this exciting new vehicle – Charlotte Balbier, award winning wedding dress designer; Jonny Draper, award winning photographer and boutique owner and Howard Wing, award winning entertainer – to reveal our pet project to a select group of industry friends, sponsors and press, including the biggest bridal titles on the newsstands.

Nervous, me?

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I’ve never been very good at keeping secrets, and can’t wait to reveal all on these pages.

One thing that’s guaranteed?  You’ll ALL be invited. 

More very soon.

 

Images by Hayley Baxter Photography 

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this sunday! we’re off to Hilltop Country House!

September 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Hilltop leaflet-1

I’m so, so excited to be launching our extremely beautiful season of Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions for autumn 2014 this very weekend at the sensational Hilltop Country House on Sunday 14th September 2014, 12pm till 4pm.  Hooray!

You can see our full schedule of nine dates and venues by clicking here, but we’ll be starting exactly as we mean to go on – gorgeously.

Lee Brown Photography

Hilltop Country House

Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition

Flash Lane, Prestbury, Cheshire, SK10 4ED

Sunday 14th September 2014

12pm till 4pm

FREE ENTRY

Lee Brown Photography

If you missed our last beautiful show at this pretty and unique venue (or if you loved it so much that you want to do it all over again!) you need to be here.

Hilltop’s just a little bit a lot special.  A stunning, exclusive use, family home with seriously gorgeous gardens, a pristine permanent marquee, rooms on site and a civil license, book nothing till you’ve seen it!

Add 30+ of the region’s very best wedding supplier stars – this line up is an absolute knockout – and we’ve a recipe for another crazy beautiful day.  Are you in?

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

bride to be?

As well as all that inspiration – completely FREE – we are also giving away up to 150 FREE Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, on the day discounts, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our amazing sponsors like John Lewis, Clarins, Amanda Wyatt and Charlotte Balbier.  Just because we love you.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.  While stocks last only.

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.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

Number of people attending the event (including yourself) (required)

You can also email contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk if you do not wish to use the contact form. Welcome packs are limited and subject to availability.  We operate a first come, first served policy.

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

Lee Brown Photography

wedding industry professional?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2014. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this autumn.

Click here to view the full schedule.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Since their inception in spring 2012, all exhibitions have been sell outs on exhibitor space with a record attendance for every venue. Consequently, we expect demand for our autumn season to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

Email Julia at contact@bridesupnorth.co.uk today.

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full bloom! supplier showcase: red floral architecture

September 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (20)

This afternoon I’m very proud to welcome the fabulous Mat Hepplestone of Red Floral Architecture to the Brides Up North stage. I’m very privileged to be working with Mat on a special project this week and am ready to be lost in the scent and sensation of his amazing blossom masterpieces.  A true architect, this man makes cathedrals and castles from roses and peonies, and we love him here at Brides Up North HQ.

With images by Mick Cookson Photography, or otherwise provided by Red Floral.

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (3)

Mat says: My interest in the industry started from a very early age when my family moved house and the new next door neighbours had a local florist shop. I was asked to help out over busy periods and at weekends. At the age of fourteen I ran my own dried flower business from the cellar of the house, going doing dried flower parties in the evenings and selling my wares to the school teachers.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (18)

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (5)

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (5)

Where do you get your inspiration for flower design?

I am very much inspired by fashion. Looking at the season’s catwalk trends leads to the colour choices I produce for the annual season. The American luxury style is what appeals to me and I research the trends across the world to keep the Red Floral style innovative and at the forefront of design.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (9)

Describe some of the most recent weddings you have been working on?

Red Floral are lucky enough to house a team of designers who can create an eclectic mix of designs suitable for any venue. Recently we created traditional grandeur at The Monastery in Manchester and a life-size enchanted forest over in Liverpool. The more outrageous the request the more of a buzz we get here at Red.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (3)

What advice can you give to a bride when working with a florist?

Be aware that your wedding florist is the person who is solely responsible for creating the desired look for your wedding and stamping the luxury throughout the day. Make sure you select a florist who can communicate your vision, likes and dislikes. Red Floral wants to make your wedding absolutely breath taking so you need to relax and put your trust in your vendors. Brides often book the florist last which is a mistake because you need to get an idea of what everything costs and your budget. It’s good to look at your florist’s portfolio and tons of pictures to help what you’d like your floral design to look like. Also pick a florist with a massive portfolio of weddings as they’re more likely to help you.

Facebook and Pinterest are great tools for gathering together your dreams but please make sure when you go to your florist that the work they show you is actually created by their own fair hands and not just whipped off the internet. Believe me I have seen and heard the horror stories first hand. The common problem at the moment is that many of the ‘floral designers’ out there have little experience within the industry and with the ‘trend’ for messy vintage style arrangements created in jam jars it is very easy for someone to label themselves a florist.

Make sure you know the background of your chosen designer, someone who knows the technical stuff and is savvy enough to know what they are talking about and offer expert advice and alternatives.

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (9)

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (8)

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (7)

What about the timescales for wedding planning and arranging?

Flowers are ordered from all over the world, from South America, Holland and beyond. We need the plan for the wedding to be finalised at least four weeks ahead of the wedding in order to satisfy the wedding demands. What goes on behind the scenes in the world of floral design is crazy in delivering your product on the day.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (10)

Any secret tips?

Brides are often scared off by the more expensive flowers like phaleonopsis orchids and peonies. These flowers albeit more expensive are striking in minimal numbers and are guaranteed to scream luxury at any wedding regardless of volume.

Image supplied by Red Floral Architecture  (12)

And what about some advice on picking colours?

So you have set the colour scheme for your wedding, let’s say for example you have chosen purple and ivory. That is a starting point, but please don’t think that everything has to be the exact colours. There is nothing worse than walking into a venue and it looking like an advert for Silk Cut cigarettes. Speak to your florist about tones and contrasts, introducing paler of darker shades from the same palette will give the wedding flowers impact and interest and stop the whole look becoming predictable, tired and dated. A bride’s bouquet created in strong colours will always become the dominant factor in a photograph, so if you want your dress to shine and be the centre of attention, then work the bouquet so it enhances the colours of the bridal gown.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (19)

Can you give us a brief outline of flower seasons?

Certain blooms such as roses and carnations are inexpensive flowers and are available all year around. Other flowers may fluctuate in price depending on the season. Daffodils and tulips are available in the spring-time and are a great way of creating some amazing springtime looks. If you have your heart set on peonies then be looking at May or June for your wedding date. I do have brides who set the date in these months especially to have peonies as the focal flower.

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (6)

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (8)

What about the timescales for wedding planning and arranging?

Flowers are ordered from all over the world, from South America, Holland and beyond. We need the plan for the wedding to be finalised at least four weeks ahead of the wedding in order to satisfy the wedding demands. What goes on behind the scenes in the world of floral design is crazy in delivering your product on the day.

Can you tell us about your favourite season?

The summer season is the season that really does it for me in the flower world because I am a huge fan of blousy fragrant blooms. Summer time is the perfect opportunity to get creative with some exquisite English blooms and the sunshine brings out masses of flowers. The vibrancy of dahlias, the aroma of sweet peas and of course the beauty and colour range delphiniums and peonies make for some show stopping designs. With so many flower choices, Red Floral can create lavish wedding displays that are so sought after. Blush pink flowers, lilacs and lavenders with hints of nude and peach are available widely and produce stunning loose ethereal designs…

Red Floral Architecture by Mick Cookson Photography (17)

 How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or find out more?

Visit our website at www.redfloral.co.uk  

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a wedding alphabet: A is for accessories

September 9th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

burnettsboards.com Photography Kristen Weaver Photography  Dress Claire Pettibone Hair Alycia Johnson Makeup Make You LLC

Image via burnettsboards.com, photography by Kristen Weaver Photography

With a sparkling new-look blog comes sparkling new content. So while we will be keeping faithful posts such as glam real weddings, stunning styled shoots and lookbook loveliness on our pretty floral pages, we will also be bringing you a host of brand spanking new posts to provide you with bucket loads of pretty wedding inspiration.

One of those new posts will be an A to Z of weddings; giving you a whole alphabet of advice, options and suggestions to help you along your big day planning journey.

So let’s begin. ‘A’ is for accessories – and in this case we’re talking hair accessories.

For individual image credits/designers please see ‘the big picture’ at the foot of the feature.

a is for accessories (3)

I recently shared a post on veils, exploring the various headdress options for brides keen on sticking with tradition. So now I’m identifying some alternatives – and boy are there plenty to choose from.

stylemepretty.com Photography Tamara Lockwood Photography Hair Shealyn Angus Events  Makeup Becky Grimman Wedding Dress Ines Di Santo

image via stylemepretty.com, photography by Tamara Lockwood Photography

There’s a different offering to suit almost every imaginable style and theme, from glam Hollywood style accessories, to sweet vintage pieces and beautiful bejewelled creations. Brides can choose to make a bold statement with their hair accessories by selecting a striking headdress or by contrast they can just add a few subtle hints of detail, using delicate slides and pins.

theperfectpalette.com Headpiece by victoriamillesime.co.uk

Image via theperfectpalette.com, headpiece by www.victoriamillesime.co.uk

For those wanting pretty, natural looking hair accessories beautiful floral corsages on pins, slides or headbands are a fabulous option. The soft layers of fabric that make up the flowers’ petals create an air of romance perfect for a wedding day. While some are simply plain, others include different fabrics such as tulle, chiffon and lace, plus extra detailing in beads or jewels. Depending on their chosen hairstyle, brides can go as large or small as they wish with their blooms. So for ladies wearing their locks loose, a headband with large, blowsy corsages can be an effective way to top off their attire. Meanwhile tiny flower pins look super cute in more structured dos, such as boho style fishtail plaits. Delicately detailed organza headbands worn in the hair or across the forehead offer further options for ethereal style brides.

a is for accessories (2)

The release of Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of the Great Gatsby last year brought with it a surge of 1920s inspiration that many accessory designers incorporated into their collections. These show-stopping, high-glam pieces are perfect for brides wanting to reflect the elegant era. Heavily detailed, Art Deco style pieces offer an incredibly glamorous look and can make the perfect statement for those donning a simple style dress, or alternatively, add the missing piece for brides looking to sparkle from head to toe. Ladies can choose from large, lavish diamante headpieces and hair combs to more delicate creations such as diamante detailed organza headbands or droplet forehead circlets.

a is for accessories (1)

Traditional tiaras remain popular with princess style brides, keen to top off their attire with a sparkling crown all of their own. Though often worn with a veil the glistening accessory can be worn alone. Designs feature all things sweet and shiny from pretty pearls to Swarovski crystals.

theberry.com

image via theberry.com

Meanwhile for brides that have picked a vintage themed big day there are lots of fitting hair accessories worth crushing on. The 50s and 60s inspired pieces vary from pearl encrusted creations and shimmering glass beaded combs to fine feather headbands and antique broach adorned slides. To create the ultimate vintage vision, many of the hair accessories can be combined with statement bird cage veils, giving brides the best of both worlds.

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crafty corals. a san patrick gown for a flower filled wedding in derbyshire – lisa & sam

September 8th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (18)

I think I may have mentioned recently that I’m totally obsessed with wedding flowers. Well, Sam and Lisa’s fab big day features the most amazing blooms that I just can’t stop swooning over.

They formed a key part of the chosen theme, which put simply was all things pretty – including a gorgeous coral colour theme, antique lace and elegant glassware.

The crafty couple rolled up their sleeves to add lots of lovely special touches to their big day – and roped in their talented family and friends to help along the way.

This stunning wedding is quite literally bursting at the seams with inspiration so grab your planning scrapbook and prepare to take notes ladies.

With images by Kate Cooper Photography.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (4)

Lisa says: We got engaged on Friday November 4th 2011. I had absolutely no idea that Sam was even thinking of proposing. We’d been together for ten happy years having met at university. We’d lived together for a few years with various friends and finally after nine years of being together, we could afford to live on our own in our own home – something we’d wanted to do for so long. I’d just started my first job as a teacher and we were beginning to do up our house. Life as a ‘proper’ grown-up couple in our home was feeling great but I had no idea we were about to get engaged. The next thing I know, Sam was proposing! He proposed at home under a star lit lounge (he’d put fairy lights up round the room) and got down on one knee. It was simple, personal, private and lovely.

Our big day was on Thursday 1st August 2014. Being a teacher, I wanted to get married in the summer holiday. We also love summer weather so we chose an August wedding date. We had our wedding on a Thursday as it was cheaper to get married during the week at our venue.

We chose Stancliffe Hall in Darley Dale, Derbyshire, as our wedding venue. We’d looked endlessly for venues – both around the Sheffield area where we live and also down in Sussex where Sam is from. Nothing felt right and we were about to give up when we stumbled across Stancliffe Hall on a different Google search.  As soon as we drove down the sweeping driveway lined with rhododendrons we knew we were somewhere special. The butterflies we had in our stomachs as we arrived continued as we looked at round the house. We were stunned at how beautifully the stately home had been renovated from a boarding school into a fabulous home and wedding venue. There is an amazing feel to the place – mixing complete luxury and boutique styling throughout the house, with traditional features too. There are so many beautiful touches around the house and there are lots of different rooms, balconies and nooks and crannies to explore. It’s surrounded by stunning scenery and is completely private. It also had its own beautiful wooden chapel that sits just outside the main house which meant we could get married on site too.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (8)

I had never been a girl who had dreamt up or imagined my wedding day so I didn’t really know where to start but I bought a couple of magazines and off I went! I knew I wanted a pretty, natural, floral theme and I was ridiculously excited at choosing the flowers. I started by thinking about the sort of blooms I wanted and one of my favourite flowers is the coral crush peony. My first and easiest decision was the colour scheme. Coral – a pretty, summery colour and one of my favourites! Grey – because Sam wanted to wear grey and it goes really nicely with coral. And yellow – because it complimented the rest! Next came the dress which was a lace gown which then became incorporated into the theme. My grandma gave me her cameo brooch as my something borrowed, and this then became something we incorporated into the theme. So the overall theme was a mix of – pretty, coral, lacey, cameo, homemade and vintage.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (10)

For my wedding dress I chose the Rita gown by San Patrick which was not an easy find – a bit of a mission in fact. I had looked at so many dresses online, in magazines, on wedding blogs and in shops. I wanted something pretty and feminine but with an edge to it. I stumbled across a dress online by San Patrick called Risco which made my heart skip a beat every time I looked at it. But it was so difficult to track it down and find somewhere that stocked it. I persisted and eventually I found a bridal shop called Xquisite Bridal in Leighton Buzzard that stocked it. Sabrina, the owner, had one left in stock and I think it had been discontinued – hoorah, I’d found my dress! I made an appointment to try on Risco in the boutique for the next month. By the time I had arrived, it had been sold to another bride! I was devastated. All that effort to find it and a three-hour trip to get there and it had been sold! Really kindly Sabrina let me try on the dress, but after all that excitement and anticipation, it didn’t even suite me! I had a backup dress to try on though – Rita. She was beautiful and my mum and sister both agreed that it was much better on me than Risco. Never someone to rush into a decision, I didn’t have the ‘it’s the one’ moment so I went away to think about it. In the meantime, I tried on some other dresses and confused myself even more. I was torn between Rita and a Benjamin Roberts gown. However, eventually after going back to Xquisite Bridal, I decided that Rita was the one for me. Not only was it a beautiful dress but she shared my late auntie’s name. I decided to have straps added and the skirt taken in at the knees to give it slightly more fishtailed look. I also bought a beautiful sash belt from Pearl and Co. who are based in the Manchester area who also made my garter using my grandma’s lace. I have to say, I did doubt my choice (I’m so bad at making decisions and sticking to them) but on my wedding day I absolutely loved every minute of wearing her!

Sam wore a bespoke tailored suit from King and Allen in Wilmslow. Sam got to choose the material – a lovely lightweight material which wouldn’t be too hot for our summer wedding. He decided on a classic fit so that he can continue to wear it through the years. We also had our names and wedding date embroidered into the jacket which added a really nice touch. His shoes were brown Barker brogues. As a little extra, I bought Sam some Edwardian cameo cufflinks that I found on Etsy to fit with our theme.

I’m so lucky to have such a talented mum who made the bridesmaid dresses and without really even following a pattern. I’d found a dress that I loved, but it didn’t come in coral. In fact, finding anything in coral was almost impossible at the time. So in the end I stumbled across some coral lace on a market stall and I nearly ripped the woman’s arm off for it. My mum is such a perfectionist and worked her magic using just a picture of the dress I liked for reference. After six months of work on them (she’s a retired teacher with time on her hands) they were perfect. The groomsmen all wore light grey suits, similar to Sam’s. The dads wore their own choice of grey suits.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (11)

Our photographer was the lovely and talented Kate Cooper. Sam works with her husband which is how we found Kate, and she was just the loveliest person to have around on the day. I couldn’t recommend her enough because she has such a good eye for detail. She really knows how to capture the ‘feel’ of an event and she’s so calm and sweet – she even helped me to get ready and she is so inconspicuous on the day. She just seemed to glide around without being imposing in any way and she made us feel completely at ease.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (16)

Flowers formed the main theme of our day so we really went to town on them. All the flowers were put together by Tracey Campbell of Campbell’s Flowers incorporating the colours we had picked along with the feel we were trying to create – vintage-inspired, natural and romantic.

My hand-tied bouquet was a posy-style design that was quite open and loose with lots of textural interest but still feminine and pretty. Flowers included were coral David Austin roses, succulents, craspedia, burnt orange leucospermum, brunia, rosemary, peach hypericum, eucalyptus cinerea and a little gypsophila. I also asked Tracey to include a tiny piece of holly from my dog’s grave which I gave to her.

The bridesmaids had vintage-inspired double wrist corsages which were put together on an ivory organza ribbon using two David Austin roses, a sprig of gypsophila and a cameo brooch. Meanwhile the button holes were based on a David Austin rose design using elements from my bouquet. They were constructed on their natural stem and bound and finished with a tie of lace. Coral ribbon was also added to Sam’s button hole.

For the chapel we had collections of random clear glass bottles at different heights and apothecary jars along the edge of the ceremony table which featured a random selection of our chosen blooms. To continue the vintage theme throughout the floral designs Tracey used cream enameled candlesticks topped with beautiful gypsophila topiary balls and finished with floating glass baubles filled with David Austin Juliet roses. Pretty glass baubles, again filled with delicate peach roses, were also hung from the walkway between the house and ceremony room.

When it came to dressing the room for the wedding breakfast, some of the flowers from the ceremony room were transferred and a few new arrangements in tiny cut glass heirloom vases were added. We had bought an antique French chest of drawers which we wanted to use at the venue because it is so beautiful. We used it outside the chapel to place the order of service and confetti cones on. We then transferred the drawers into the house for guests to place cards and gifts in. We had one drawer filled with flowers designed by Tracey to look as if they were tumbling out.

Other decorations we had included photo frames with old family wedding photos in, candles in storm lanterns, olive trees, hanging pearl hearts, homemade lace lanterns, a large free-standing metal heart that I decorated with lace as the table plan, a homemade wish tree with luggage tags for people to write on and hang from the tree and finally we had a floral ‘L’ and ‘S’ made by my mum. She bought cardboard letters for our initials, hollowed them out and painted them green and then filled the inside of them with oasis and flowers. It looked so pretty.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (25)

We had homemade jam and liquors as our favours. Glassware was another theme of the wedding which we used to present the flowers in and also for a sweetie table in the evening, so we carried the glassware theme through into the favours using pretty bottles and jars for the jams and liqueurs. The idea was to have translucent pastel colours from the preserves and liqueurs – peaches, yellows and greens to make the tables look lovely. Sam’s parents made the liqueurs for us – Limoncello, Pompelmocello (pink grapefruit Limoncello), and Rhubarbcello (rhubarb). I made the jams and curds: lemon curd, lime curd, pink grapefruit curd, gooseberry jelly and rhubarb jelly (the fruit coming from my grandma’s garden). I made salt dough hearts that I stamped in the same way as I stamped the stationary to give them a texture and colour. We tied them to the bottles and jars and my sister made lovely labels to go on them. We had some lace from the bridesmaid dresses left over so we used this to top the jars. My sister alos made beautiful cake pops for the children.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (19)

After getting a few ‘real’ quotes from some amazing cake makers, we decided that we didn’t want to take that amount of money out of the wedding fund, so we had to push the cake down the priority list.

We decided to go with a lady called Val Brown who makes cakes as a hobby and is really good at it. We designed the cake ourselves – taking elements of different cakes that we’d seen and liked. We drew a plan for Val to follow. She did a great job but when mum and her partner Norman picked up the cake it was absolutely enormous! Transporting the Eiffel Tower sized cake on the most humid day of the year, along the windiest road wasn’t exactly favourable. Disaster struck when we arrived at the wedding venue and opened the box. The whole thing was collapsing in front of our eyes. In the end we had to dismantle the cake and we were left with three separate tiers. Chocolate, lemon drizzle and fruit cake. But it wasn’t pretty and we wouldn’t have a cake to cut. To cut the rest of a very long story short, Val remade the top two tiers overnight using polystyrene. We salvaged enough of the pearl beading and icing details to remake the cake. Nobody knew it had happened by the time she had finished, and we were able to serve the cake that we’d saved from toppling off the cake.

We were really lucky with our food. Stancliffe Hall don’t have their own caterers but they had three outside caterers that we could choose from which meant we could be creative with the menu. We had a company called Coghlans do our catering and they were absolutely fantastic. Andrew (the boss) met with us and discussed our favourite foods and what we envisaged for our wedding food and then came up with a bespoke menu. First we had canapés which were an Italian Anti-Pasti theme. For starter we had ravioli of king prawn and scallop topped with a lobster cannelloni and a light caviar butter sauce. Main was fillet of pork wellington with apricots and sage, served with fondant potato and calvados jus lie. And dessert was iced raspberry parfait and raspberry shortbread rounds topped with gold leaf and chocolate disks.

Coghlans were also responsible for the drinks, which again, we were able to be creative with. We did a wine tasting before the wedding where we matched wine with the food. We had Mr and Mrs cocktails. My choice was the Aperol Spritz – the perfect colour and my favourite drink from a trip to Italy with my best friend a few years before. Sam’s was an old fashioned but made with Jacquin’s whiskey which has fruit in the bottle and gives it a peachy colour. We served these as our reception drinks and also in the evening too.

We had a rustic evening buffet with a whole serrano leg of ham that Sam’s parents had bought back from Spain. We served it with breads, olives, cheese, biscuits, pasties and my grandma’s fruit cake, served with the cheese.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (35)

We have lots of talented people in our family that do all kinds of things so the wedding ended up being a real family affair. Everyone, including myself and Sam, had a hand in creating things for the wedding to add lots of special touches.

Not only did my mum make the bridesmaid dresses and our beautiful L and S, but she also made our beautiful ring cushion out of little bits of lace that belonged to my grandma and great grandma (some of the lace was over 100 years old). My dad is a classical musician and he composed a song for uscalled The Presence of Love which was such a special thing to have. He had some members of his London choir travel to Derbyshire to sing it on the day as I walked down the aisle.

Sam’s mum spent a long time searching charity shops for glasswarethat we could use for the sweetie table. My uncle made my jewellery, except for my bracelet which was a gift from Sam’s parents. He designed my earrings and necklace to go with the bracelet. He also made my engagement and wedding ring. Lots of people made homemade sweets for the sweetie table including me, my mum and sister and Sam’s parents. We also made our own stationery, handmade confetti and doily cones, embroidered coral place napkins and we hand-dyed coral socks for the groomsmen.

We had a wedding blessing after the civil part of the ceremony as it felt like we were missing something by not having a vicar marry us. In between the ceremony and blessing we had a 15-minute mini concert where my dad’s choir sang some songs and he also played a couple of piano pieces. Our dads both did speeches on the day while our mums put their feelings down in words and presented us with letters.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (34)

For both of us the ceremony was our favourite part of the wedding. It is such an amazing experience to say our vows to each other and to have my dad’s choir sing his song for us. To be in such a beautiful place and to be married in front of our closest friends and family was just so special. It was really overwhelming and a bit like an out of body experience, but totally amazing.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (43)

Sri Lanka was our honeymoon destination. We spent three weeks there in total. We spent the first week at an incredible resort where we sunbathed on an amazing beech, had spa treatments and did morning yoga. After that we travelled around to lots of other destinations and packed loads in including doing safari, visiting tea plantations and Buddhist temples, rock climbing and eating lots of food.

Our advice to other wedding couples would be to do things that are important to you. If you like crafting, do crafting. If you like food – do foodie things. Some people thought I was mad doing as much ‘making’ as I did but it was one opportunity in my life where I could go to town doing things that I love. Organisation is key and giving yourself plenty of time to get everything done is so important. We had planned everything to be done and dusted with a week to spare so that we could relax in the run up to the wedding. Of course we were running round like headless chickens in the week before and if I could go back I would try to get more done beforehand so that we could have had a day or two to ourselves. I also wish I’d had a few minutes before going into the chapel to soak in what was about to happen. I wanted time with my mum and dad before they gave me away and time with my bridesmaids but my makeup artist messed up the timings so I was the last one to have my makeup done. My advice therefore is to make sure you know exactly what time you’ll have your hair and makeup done so you can plan in some ‘reflection’ time and just be in the moment and soak up the experience before you walk down the aisle.

My sister was a huge support throughout planning the wedding and on the day itself. She was like my personal assistant and did so much for us. If a bride can enrol the support of someone like a sister or a best friend to help with all things wedding, it makes the whole experience even better.

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fancy footwork. the designer series: Charlotte Mills Bridal

September 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (5)

A relative newcomer to the bridal design scene, Charlotte Mills is a bit of a genius.

Launched to huge acclaim within the industry, the talented designer (and all round lovely North West lass) offers affordable luxury to style conscious brides giving them a more fashion forward option to traditional wedding shoes.

We like her style.

And we want her shoes.

With images by Jonny Draper and Sarah Saddler (see little white book for full credits)

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (1)

Charlotte says: We create beautiful, elegant, fun, romantic designs we hope brides will fall in love with and want to wear again and again after their wedding day.

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (12)

What were your inspirations for this collection?

Love hearts provide the inspiration for collection each style incorporating them in a unique and individual way.  I love art deco and art nouveau, so studied heart shapes and also the lines used in the architecture of these era’s and gave them a modern twist to create the designs.  For as long as I can remember I have always has a passion for shoes. I couldn’t imagine designing anything else.

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

Each shoe is hand finished with a silver sixpence and the leather sole is embossed with the phrase ‘Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe.’

We have covered all bases. The Sixpence is also the Something Old, the Something New is the shoe, the Something Blue is detailed on the insock and the Something Borrowed will be inside the shoe box. Brides love this old tradition. This detailing is unique to Charlotte Mills Bridal shoes.

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (19)

What shapes, materials and embellishments were chosen for the collection?

The collection has been created using laser cutting, appliqué and embroidery techniques. Each shoe is handmade in Spain using finest materials such as Italian Kid Suede, silks, tulle or metallic and pearlised leathers and is embellished with large structured bows, embroideries, appliqués or Swarovski crystals.

What is your average retail price?

£250.00

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (23)

What does 2015 hold for Charlotte Mills?  What are you excited about?

I am busy designing lots of new styles to add to the range and working on a top-secret collection.

Seeing images of all the ‘Charlotte Mills brides’ is so exciting and as we have only just launched there is a time delay because people tend to buy so far in advance for weddings. It will be amazing to see our shoes featured in someone’s special day.

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (4)

What are your ‘best things’ in life?

Shoes Shoes Shoes!

My husband, family and friends, my dogs Meg and Coco, pink, holidays, cake, weddings and fashion – I could go on and on…

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (1)

Where can Brides Up North find out more about Charlotte Mills? 

You can visit our website at www.charlottemillsbridal.com, follow on Twitter or like on Facebook.

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friday fabulous!

September 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Alex Monroe

Looking for pretty alternative to traditional?

Get excited… I’ve got your hardware sorted.

Fine Twig Ring with diamond, £108, Alex Monroe

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