Charlotte Balbier

lookbook: power skirts

July 19th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

Morilee Mystique

When it comes to finding the perfect wedding dress, it’s all about the finer details. The neckline, the sleeves, the detailing to the back, the train, the fabric – they all play a special part in creating your bridal look.

But for us, one of the most captivating features of a bridal gown has to be the skirt. This is what, by and large, defines the overall style of the dress – whether it’s vintage, boho, ethereal, all-out flamboyant or something else just as gorgeous, prim or fantastical.

And that’s why today’s look book spotlights some of the most irresistible on-trend styles with wow-factor skirts from some of our very favourite designers. Gals, you’re in for a treat!

Morilee 1959

ball gown

We’re opening our look book with the definitive all-time classic – the ball gown. It’s the stuff of fairytales and let’s be honest, we all want to try on a skirt in this style at least once, just to experience our very own Cinderella moment. The ball gown skirt doesn’t need to be an extravagant puffball or meringue, as perfectly showcased by Morilee with their variety of chic, understated styles – all with a magical sprinkling of va-va-voom that’ll be sure to make you feel like a modern-day princess.

ruffles

If the classic A-line skirt seems a bit too conventional for your special day, the ruffle offers up an alluring alternative that will add dimension and movement to your silhouette (we’re already imagining this skirt whooshing its way down the aisle). Wavy, fluted, cascading, spiraling or even frilly – ruffles come in so many gorgeous styles and sizes, all perfect for accentuating your figure and adding a playful twist to your bridal look. For sublime sophistication, look to Justin Alexander for gorgeous skirts designed with layers upon layers of tiered ruffles in sumptuous tulle or organza.

Morilee 2887

splits

Skirts with a sassy split are still very much an underrated option, but for the bride who likes something a touch risqué this is the choice du jour for a look that will be unlike anything else your wedding guests will have seen before. There are lots of variations – the split can be to the front or the side, knee-high or (hold your breath) thigh-high. Keep things romantic and sophisticated by teaming this style with luxe fabrics such as lace, organza or silk, and exquisite sweetheart necklines or embellished illusion bodices. One of our current favourites perfecting this style is Pronovias, with their delicately flowing fabrics and flawless, demure designs.

high low

Another style that we simply adore on the runways (yes, we’re looking at you Monique Lhuillier) but which we rarely see worn by real brides is the high low skirt. For the style-savvy bride who wants to make an entrance – the high low skirt is one of the few designs that will put your wedding shoes (and your pins) firmly in the spotlight. Combining the glamour of a mini dress with a classic long train – the high low hemline is bold, beautiful and flagrantly chic. Consider voluminous ruffles for added drama or a slinky lace skirt for a flattering silhouette.

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happy heritage. alan hannah for an elegant wedding at the hospitium, york – adwoa & jonny

July 19th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (70)

Adwoa and Jonny’s elegant town wedding combined a traditional British feel with Ghanaian touches to reflect the bride’s proud heritage. The result? A completely unique celebration. This couple were married in spring in the beautiful city of York and if you can show me a dreamier combination of location and time of year I will happily eat my fascinator.

Bethany Lloyd-Clarke captured the love with her typical flair and these photographs totally warrant all the gushing. We just adore the honest beauty of her images – the bride joyfully tangled in her veil, the groom’s last-minute hair check courtesy of his best man and especially the look of utter glee on Adwoa’s face in the back of their wedding car. You simply can’t fake that magic!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Lloyd-Clarke.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (14)

adwoa says: Jonny proposed before Christmas 2015 in Dean’s Park, just behind York Minster. We’d recently moved to York and Jonny said he wanted to go for a festive walk around town when, much to my surprise, he got down on one knee and popped the question. It was a wonderful surprise and although it was raining at the time, neither of us seemed to notice!

We were lucky enough to go back to the site of the proposal when we had our engagement photoshoot with the talented Bethany Lloyd-Clarke. She captured some beautiful pictures of us – this time in the spring sunshine.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (17)

We got married on the 29th April 2017. We both loved the idea of a spring wedding, and chose the Bank Holiday weekend to give our loved ones time to enjoy York after the wedding if they wanted to.

We had our ceremony at our parish church, the beautiful and ancient Holy Trinity on Micklegate, which predates the Domesday Book. For our reception, we really wanted to make the most of the spring wedding, so booked the 14th century Hospitium in Museum Gardens in York. It’s an absolutely gorgeous setting by the river within botanical gardens. We were a little worried that it might rain on the day and our guests wouldn’t get to enjoy the lovely surroundings, but we were very lucky with the weather.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (71)

We didn’t have a special theme as such, but we did want to combine my Ghanaian heritage with a traditional British wedding. Our favours were pocket squares made from Ghanaian wax print cloth with motifs symbolising the beauty of marriage. They were handmade by Jonny, who tried out a sewing machine for the first time! We also wore traditional Ghanaian outfits for the evening. Other than that, the colour scheme was classic: champagne and ivory with gold highlights.

A Classic Wedding at The Hospitium (c) Bethany Lloyd Clarke (59)

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ask the pros: say hello to warble entertainment

July 18th, 2017 | Julia Braime

Warble Entertainment (7)

Whether you want to book a simple string quartet, a rocking live band or Britain’s Got Talent finalist-worthy entertainment for your wedding day, it’s helpful to know a place you can browse and book online with pro advice and tips to hand.

Our fabulous Sponsor, Warble Entertainment, offer one such easy-to-use service and have more than 1,000 acts on their books making them a must-look-up company when planning how to set your big day scene and wow your guests.

From musicians to comedians and look-a-likes to sword swallowers – you’re bound to find a fitting act when browsing their site and will have peace of mind when booking through the experienced and trusted business.

Here to tell us more about Warble Entertainment’s fabulous service and selection – and to offer our readers a 10% discount from the booking deposit when quoting “Brides Up North” – is founder Tracey Warren.

Warble Entertainment (18)

When was Warble Entertainment set up and how has it grown since that time?

tracey says: Warble was established in 2007 by myself and my husband Matt. Ten years later we have a brilliant team of 14 who are all just as dedicated and passionate about providing exciting, fun and professional entertainment for more than 6,000 weddings each year, as we are!

What does Warble Entertainment aim to bring to the wedding industry and what types of services does it offer?

Matt and I set up Warble to help couples find the perfect wedding entertainment for their big day no matter what their budget, style or theme. We wanted to make the whole process easy and enjoyable as we understand how busy couples can be and how stressful planning a wedding can get.

We literally provide any entertainment you can think of, from live bands magicians, caricaturists, string quartets, fire jugglers, walking trees, photo-booths and so much more!

Warble Entertainment (16)

In your opinion, how can live entertainment help to enhance a wedding day?

The first thing I would do is encourage couples to look at the feedback page on our website. There are literally thousands of references from genuine couples and they explain perfectly what entertainment brought to their big day. For example: “This band were one of the best things that could have happened to our wedding. They were incredible. They bought life and soul to the evening and everyone wanted the music to last forever.” Booking the right entertainment will elevate a wedding from being lovely to absolutely amazing! It can also augment and bring your chosen theme to life as well as making the day flow easier and it can take a lot of pressure off the bride and groom from having to entertain their guests.

Warble Entertainment (13)

What are the benefits of couples arranging their wedding entertainment through Warble Entertainment and how does your website help to make the process simple?

First of all we have literally thousands of acts to choose from that have all been through a vigorous vetting process so you know whatever act you book will be professional and do exactly what is expected of them. This saves the couple so much time and worry of searching and vetting acts themselves.

We make the whole process simple, easy and fun. You can enjoy browsing acts on our friendly and easy to use website and we’ll make sure all the important bits are sorted including any paperwork your venue may require such as insurance certificates etc.

We have a 24 hour emergency helpline. Acts and entertainers are only human so occasionally they may fall ill or be unable to make your wedding for some reason. If this was to happen and you booked an act direct you would most likely be left without a band or the entertainment you booked or having to spend part of your day calling round trying to find an alternative. If you book via Warble we would take any of this worry away and ensure a suitable alternative is in place – in most cases without you even noticing!

Lastly, we are experts in booking wedding entertainment and so have so much invaluable advice and tips and will be able to answer any questions you or your venue may have.

What sets you apart from other wedding entertainment companies?

Our customer service. We absolutely understand this is the biggest day of the couple’s life, that it can be stressful and it is likely to cost a lot of money, so we do everything in our power to make sure the entertainment they book from us is not only perfect for them and their big day but the whole process is fun and easy. There are never any strings attached. We are passionate about weddings and entertainment and it shines through in everything we do.

Warble Entertainment (15)

How do Warble Entertainment select the bands and acts that they represent?

We have a full artist liaison team in place who will respond to our customers’ requirements. If there is a gap in our roster they will fill it. They have a full process to vet and sign-up acts and we would never work with an act that didn’t fully meet our requirements and also share the same passion and outlook on weddings and customer service as we do.

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pastel fantastical. a spring wedding at colshaw hall, cheshire – kate & danny

July 18th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Spring Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Ragdoll Photography (39)

Today on Brides Up North, we’re reminiscing with newlyweds Kate and Danny, who tied the knot earlier this spring at the stunning Colshaw Hall in Cheshire – a private 300-acre estate.

With a penchant for all things Easter, the couple treated their guests to an egg-stra (sorry, had to be done!) spectacular day filled with chocolate eggs, cute bunnies and beautiful daffodils. Their dog Maddie even had a special role to play.

With not just two, three or even four but six bridesmaids and a flower girl – all coordinated in rainbow-bright pastel shades – and the bride herself dressed in an elegant vintage style gown, get ready for a cute springtime wedding.

With images by Ragdoll Photography

A Spring Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Ragdoll Photography (43)

kate says: We got engaged on 13th December 2015, at the top of the big hill on Barlaston Downs Banks when taking our little dog Maddie on a Sunday walk. It was also our seven-year anniversary!

Our wedding took place on 12th April 2017 – we picked this date because we wanted a springtime, Easter wedding. We got married at Colshaw Hall in Knutsford, Cheshire – we fell in love with the venue from day one. It has amazing grounds and both the ceremony room and reception room were beautiful boasting natural colours. The accommodation was amazing too – 36 guests from our close family and the bridal party stayed there the night before as well as on the big day itself.

A Spring Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Ragdoll Photography (36)

We picked our theme based on my love for Easter. As a little girl, it was always an exciting time in my house, with all the bunnies, chicks and beautiful colours. My family would always get together at this time too.

We chose a pastel palette for our colour scheme, consisting of mint, purple, lemon and lilac – all of my favourite colours! They worked perfectly with our Easter theme.

A Spring Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Ragdoll Photography (46)

I brought my dress from Bridal Couture By Josephine in Cheadle. After trying on about 50 dresses, I decided A-line was my kind of dress and the most flattering style. I love lace, so really wanted this fabric, as well as sleeves to cover my arms. When I tried the dress on, it was just perfect!

A Spring Wedding at Colshaw Hall (c) Ragdoll Photography (41)

Danny wore a navy blue slim-fit suit, with a grey and blue check waistcoat with brown shoes, purchased from Maria Modes in Macclesfield. The groomsmen wore matching navy suits with ties made from the same material as the bridesmaid dresses.

Speaking of which – I had seven bridesmaids and one flower girl – two wore lilac, with two in lemon, two in mint and another in pink. The dresses were bought from DIY Dress which is such an amazing website. A special mention should also go to dressmaker Victoria Anthony who altered my bridesmaids’ dresses and made all the ties.

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make it personal: wedding styling tips from one stylish day

July 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

One Stylish Day (9)

One piece of precious advice from our featured brides that comes around time and time again is “make it your own”. But with wedding inspo coming at you from all angles, it can sometime be a little tricky to know how to put a truly personal stamp on the proceedings.

Luckily for our readers, we just happen to know an expert in this area who is a pro at taking wedding styling to the next level of gorgeous, while it still remaining a reflection of the happy couple. So please prepare to take note as our wonderful Sponsor Louise Hughes, the fabulously stylish event designer behind One Stylish Day, takes to the blog…

Main post images by Kate McCarthy Photography or otherwise provided by One Stylish Day, with additional gallery images from Nicola Dixon Photography.

One Stylish Day (13)

louise says: When browsing Pinterest and Instagram, you’ll see the same wedding trends come up over and over again. They may look fabulous, but are a bit, well, ‘done before’. You want to create a dream day that will surprise and delight your guests. So, how can you design a wedding day that doesn’t look like all the rest? Here, I share my top ten tips for creating a wedding day that is both achingly stylish and completely personal to you…

One Stylish Day (17)

Know the difference between trends and style

The key difference between trends and style is that a trend is for everyone, whereas style is deeply personal. Trends can be fleeting but style has longevity. Great style has confidence and authenticity – focus on finding your own personal wedding style for a truly unique day.

Identify your Couple Style

Think beyond superficial fashion or design details to get to the heart of what makes you tick as a couple. Are you fun-loving explorers or city dwelling culture vultures? Are you famous for your cocktail parties or kitchen table suppers? The wedding style should be comfortable for both of you and reflect both your personalities.

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work it out. a quirky & colourful wedding at the wellbeing farm – lainey & lex

July 17th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Colourful Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Rustic Lovebirds (26)

Fitness vloggers Lainey and her beau Lex are no strangers to the limelight, but Lainey confesses in today’s real wedding that the couple had considered eloping. All we can say is praise the wedding gods they didn’t, as instead we have this super-quirky and colourful big day full of rustic-themed inspiration to obsess over.

With almost half a million Instagram followers between them, not to mention their epic YouTube following, it’s no surprise that the couple turned to the social media platform for big day inspiration. More used to donning gym gear than formalwear, Lainey admits that the idea of dress shopping was “a bit of a nightmare” – however, Instagram saved the day and led her to the one: a simple and slinky lace number which accentuated her gym-honed curves.

So, over to Lainey to tell us more about a celebration featuring donkeys, llamas and vintage tractors, plus some great advice on how to DIY your socks off.

With images by Rustic Lovebirds Photography.

A Colourful Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Rustic Lovebirds (21)

lainey says: We got engaged in New York. I surprised Lex with a trip to NYC for his birthday in November 2016. I‘d planned a number of surprises on the trip: nice restaurants, tickets for The Lion King on Broadway and, of course, tickets to go up the Empire State Building – and we decided it would be fun to dress like complete tourists to head up the famous tower. I had no idea he planned to surprise me, getting down on one knee at the top of the Empire State. I was in complete shock!

A Colourful Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Rustic Lovebirds (52)

We booked our wedding as soon as we returned to the UK. I‘d waited three years for him to propose and didn’t want to wait to get married! I knew I wanted an intimate but quirky wedding and started researching barns in the area that could host our day. We visited The Wellbeing Farm, in Lancashire, and fell in love; Celia and all the staff were so helpful and enthusiastic about all the crazv ideas we had.

I wanted a May wedding – I love it when all of the springtime flowers are in bloom – and so we chose 6th May.

A Colourful Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Rustic Lovebirds (34)

Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Wellbeing Farm. Lex’s Mum, Jane Griffin, is a wedding celebrant and she married us on the day.

We went for a rustic wedding theme. I wanted to have a lot of white lace with bright colours to contrast. My favourite colours are orange, red and yellow and, although they’re quite autumnal colours, I think they worked well on the day.

A Colourful Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Rustic Lovebirds (79)

I’ve never been a girl who dreamed of a big white wedding and, honestly, if I’d had my choice we probably would have eloped. Shopping for a wedding dress, therefore, felt like a bit of a nightmare! However, Instagram was a great source of inspiration and I came across Australian wedding dress company Grace Loves Lace. They had simple yet elegant designs – I feel like wedding dresses are moving towards simpler, more elegant lines in general. You correspond via email and get help with choosing a style you like, then you send in your exact measurements and voila – six weeks before the wedding my dress arrived and it fit like a glove! I chose to design my own shoes as I couldn’t find ones to match and I used online shoe company Shoes Of Prey. The first pair arrived and I didn’t like them – plus they didn’t fit properly – but I simply returned them, requested adjustments and they came back perfect.

Our wedding rings were designed and made by Two Become One Jewellery.

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