Charlotte Balbier
Luxury Wedding Fairs

dress date: caroline castigliano 2017 collection trunk show at the bridal collection

October 18th, 2016 | Julia Braime


As huge fans of bridal designer Caroline Castigliano, us Brides Up North girls would most definitely be making an appointment for the event that we’re sharing with you this afternoon – if only we had an occasion that required a wedding dress, that is!

But while we don’t have an excuse to attend the Caroline Castigliano 2017 Collection Trunk Show at our fabulous Sponsor boutique, The Bridal Collection, you lucky brides-to-be most certainly do.

Taking place on Saturday 29th October, the stunning Harrogate boutique will be showcasing Caroline’s exquisite 2017 Love is in the Air Collection, providing a unique opportunity for you to be among the very first to see, and try on, the latest designs from this incredible designer.

Here to give us all the details is owner of The Bridal Collection, the lovely Hayley Hoyle…


What can brides expect from the Trunk Show event?

hayley says: For this day only we will have an extended selection of gowns from the 2017 Collection along with some of Caroline’s Signature Classics so it’s a perfect time to come and find your dream Castigliano creation.

The Love is in the Air Collection features exquisite back details, clean lines and flattering silhouettes. A variety of fabrics include luxury Mikado, silk organza, beautiful stretch crepe new for this season and Caroline’s signature beaded Chantilly lace.

Tell us about a little about Caroline Castigliano designs/collections, what type of brides do they appeal to?

Celebrating 25 years as a leading bridal wear designer this year, Caroline’s gowns are renowned for their classic and timeless style mixed perfectly with contemporary trends for the modern bride. The emphasis of each dress is to enhance the female form, which is achieved through incredible corsetry and luxury fabrics – and the latest collection is no exception.

For you personally are there any standout/favourite designs that will be featured at the event?

Mirabeau from the collection features a show stopping sheer back with incredible metallic embroidery. It’s a real standout design for us and was a must when we chose our selection.

For something with a fuller skirt we fell in love with the Eternal Love gown, which has a tiered skirt with a fitted bodice and a gorgeous sweetheart neckline.

The collection also showcases many timeless shapes with impeccable fit and fabric, with the addition of jackets, shrugs and belts allowing brides to customise their look.


What is the price range of the Caroline Castigliano gowns that will be featured at the event?

Prices for the collection range from £2,200 to £5,000.

Is there any preparation that brides can do prior to attending the event?

Take a look at our website and social media pages to gain a good insight into the collection and Caroline’s designs.

How long will appointments be during the event and what can brides expect during their appointments?

Saturdays at The Bridal Collection work a little differently. Personal appointments and a tailored experience are at the forefront of everything we do and so when many bridal boutiques pack their most popular shopping day full to the rafters with brides, we have taken a unique approach. With extra special treats and a longer more relaxed appointment this really is an experience to enjoy.


What are you most looking forward to about the event?

As the collection is yet to land in boutiques around the country, we feel very privileged to have the full collection here for the weekend and we are looking forward to seeing all of the collection again and showcasing the beautiful designs to our brides.

How do brides go about making an appointment for the event?

Appointments are very limited and demand is expected to be high so appointments carry £30 consultation fee to secure your slot, this is fully redeemable against any dress purchased.

If you would like to be part of this amazing trunk show call us on 01423 202029 to reserve your spot, alternatively you can email us at

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vintage vows. a picturesque wedding in the lake district – sabine & steven

October 18th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh


The vintage-themed real wedding that we’re sharing today features spectacular views, a relaxed and rustic vibe and a big ol’ slice of pretty.

As well as being mesmerised by the beauty of this wedding it’s also given me a new life goal: to taste a big ol’ slice of pink lemonade cake. Yes, you read that right – pink lemonade cake! What could be more wonderful on an autumnal Tuesday morning?

Photographs by Jenny Winstone Photography.


sabine says: We got engaged at home on Christmas Eve, 2014. Steven cooked us a three course meal and told me that I could open one of my Christmas gifts a day early. I was so excited that I couldn’t wait until we’d finished so he let me open it after the first course. As I tore off the wrapping paper I saw a ring box. He projected a picture of our little boy onto our television screen with the words “Say yes, Mummy” above it, then he got down onto one knee.

Steven has always been one for grand romantic gestures but, as this was our first family Christmas with our six-month-old son Thomas, it really was just perfect. I was quite unwell following complications after childbirth so the fact he wanted to marry me at such a difficult time really meant the world to me; I knew he would be there for us, for better and for worse.

Our wedding date was Sunday 14th August 2016. We chose this date because we love summer, we wanted a weekend and all the Saturdays that month were booked up so we decided a Sunday would work really well.


We got married at The Inn on the Lake: a beautiful hotel with the most spectacular views overlooking Lake Ullswater, in Glenridding, in the Lake District. We love the Lake District, it’s a very special place for us and we love how we can drive an hour-and-a-half from our hectic city life in Manchester and feel a world away with breath-taking views and a more relaxed pace of life.

We were lucky that the weather allowed us to get married outside under the gazebo overlooking the lake. There was also a separate building for the evening reception with a recent and very impressive extension called The Ramblers Bar and Candleroom. We loved the fact that, although our wedding took place at one venue, there were different buildings, sections and huge, stunning grounds.


Theme-wise, our wedding theme was a romantic summer wedding with a vintage vibe. We knew that the surroundings of our wedding venue would provide a romantic feel, plus I love anything and everything vintage and I’m incredibly girly.

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diary date: the black swan wedding open day

October 17th, 2016 | Rachel Parry


If you’re currently on the hunt for a wedding venue that offers a beautiful rustic setting, stunning reception rooms, first class service and to-die-for food, then we might just be able to help. For our wonderful Sponsor, The Black Swan hotel is inviting brides and grooms-to-be to see its fabulous wedding offering for themselves during a special open day between 12 noon and 4pm on Sunday 6th November.

Located in the idyllic North Yorkshire market town of Helmsley, The Black Swan is renowned for being among the North’s finest weddings venues and has twice been voted ‘Best Venue in the North East’  in the prestigious Wedding Industry Awards.


During the open day event, couples will be able to see two of the cosy boutique hotel’s unique reception rooms, ‘The Garden Room’ and ‘The Gallery’, each with their own character, individually styled for a wedding reception for up to 50 and 90 guests. It will also provide the perfect opportunity for brides and grooms meet the venue’s preferred suppliers and the friendly in-house team, including wedding coordinator, Nicola Bolden, who can help bring their big day dreams to life.


The Black Swan houses four welcoming reception rooms in total: ‘The Crosland Room’, ideal for small, wedding sophisticated parties; the hotel’s restaurant ‘The Gallery’, the largest reception room; the cosy and intimate ‘Tudor Lounge’, and the lovely ‘Garden Room’, with its access onto the hotel’s stunning English walled gardens.

Meanwhile for those who wish to marry outdoors, there’s the hotel’s locally hand-crafted oak gazebo, which is licensed for al fresco ceremonies and makes the perfect setting for an English country garden wedding.


To help couples save time and money when planning their big day, The Black Swan offers an all-inclusive wedding package. Available on select dates during 2017, up to 50 guests can enjoy food and drink, accommodation and many other extras for just £5,600. There’s also a generous 20% discount* off the hotel’s standard wedding package in January, February and March 2017, making the charming venue an even better proposal!


Preferred suppliers supporting the open day include Emma Dodsworth Photography, Brides of York and the Bridal Lounge Northallerton, Libby Butler Jewellers, Busy Liz’s Floral Design, Kate Pymm Hair and Makeup, Fabulously Finished Events, Celebrate Country Cake Design, Yorkshire Chauffeur Company, and live entertainment, courtesy of magician Mark Waddington, with live music by pianist, David Robertshaw, and vocalist/guitarist, Val Hill.

The event will also include opportunities for canapés and wine sampling from the hotel’s wedding packages. Entry is complimentary and so is car parking at the hotel.

Images by Annemarie King Photography/ supplied by The Black Swan.

*Terms and conditions apply (see website for full details)

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butterflies & blooms. a romantic blush pink wedding in the north west – charlotte & chris

October 17th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh


Today’s bride and groom were married at the stunning Warrington Golf Club surrounded by their very nearest and dearest.

The wedding day was a sublime, pink-hued affair with more than a hint of Midsummer Night’s romanticism and revelry.

There were plenty of nods to tradition, including Charlotte’s showstopper of a Camelot-inspired dress, but also plenty of fun, personal touches, such as the Marvel Comics cake and Molly the Chorkie dressed in dusty pink.

So, ready for some romance?

With images by Helen Smiddy of HJS Photography.


charlotte says: We got engaged during a cruise to the Bahamas in June 2014. Chris proposed on a starlit night whilst we were on route to Miami. It was very romantic, although he had to walk me around the ship four times before he plucked up the courage to ask the question!

We decided to get married on 11th June 2016. We chose this date for two reasons: it was exactly two years from the date of the proposal, and I’d always wanted to be a June bride.


We were married at our local church, St Mary’s, in Great Sankey. Chris and I wanted a traditional church wedding, and St Mary’s is so pretty and traditional. We then travelled to Warrington Golf Club for the wedding breakfast and evening celebrations.

Our theme was based around butterflies; I love butterflies, and they always make me think of summer. Our colour scheme was a dusty pink. I’m a self-confessed girly girl and pink has always been my favourite colour.


I wanted a dress and veil that were a little different and suited my style. I’d always admired the fairy-like style of dresses in movies, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Camelot, and I hoped to emulate this style. I bought the dress in Blackpool and had the veil made to match. My shoes were ordered from Monsoon and my hair vine and jewellery were from Debenhams.

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handcrafted with love: say hello to the bobby pin

October 14th, 2016 | Rachel Parry


To finish off your week in style we’re bringing you a whole lot of pretty as we introduce our wonderful new Sponsor, The Bobby Pin.

With a clear love for all things bridal, accessory designer and owner of The Bobby Pin, Lisa Steane, creates beautiful finishing touches for brides in the form of elegant headpieces, hair vines, sashes, cuffs and jewellery, plus much more.

In addition to her stunning ready-to-wear collection, which is available to buy online, talented Lisa also offers bespoke designs, perfect brides in search of a special one-of-a-kind piece for their big day.

So without further ado we’ll hand you over to the lovely lady herself to explain more about her dreamy designs…

With images by Fkb Photography.


Tell us a little about your background and how you came to set up The Bobby Pin?

lisa says: I lived in Canada for three years and I needed a head piece making for a special wedding I was going to. I knew a girl I worked with did millinery on the side so she made me a piece. I absolutely loved it and thought how amazing would it to be to have a business making these beautiful things. So when I moved back to the UK I decided to enroll on the millinery course at Leeds College of Art. I loved it from the word go and just started doing my own designs and making pieces for family and friends when the occasion arose. The big push was in spring this year when I decided to leave my head buying role in toys and set up The Bobby Pin. I always wanted to be my own boss and I was finding the commute and the travelling a bit too hard to juggle with a one-year-old. So I trademarked my brand, made my stock and launched my website in August.

What types of accessories do you offer?

I make and sell bridal headpieces, halos, vines, pins, bridal sashes, bridal cuffs and jewellery. I am also going to do more flower girl and bridesmaid designs.


How would you describe the style of accessories that you design and what types of brides do you think that your products appeal to?

I would describe my style as delicate and pretty. I think my designs will appeal to most brides as I do a range of different styles and designs and also experiment with different colour pallets. Above all I think I will appeal to brides who want something beautiful and different, but also that’s affordable.

What are the main materials and detailing that you use in your designs?

Most of my pieces are made from gold and silver plated wire with Swarovski crystals, pearls and beads. I also work with beautiful feathers, tulle, lace and silk. I want my pieces to look the very best quality so that’s why I always use the finest materials.


Why do you think accessories are such an important part of a bride’s attire?

I think bridal accessories complete the overall look for a bride. Some brides chose to have a fairly plain dress then really go crazy with their accessories. I love these brides! I also love that brides are choosing to wear bridal sashes to give their dress a lift. I think sparkle brings opulence to a bride and makes her feel special on the biggest day of her life. I’m finding that brides today are not afraid to experiment with their look and I love creating bespoke pieces for these kind of brides.

How does your bespoke service for brides wanting one-of-a-kind accessories for their big day?

The process for my bespoke commissions is that I start with a consultation which can be on email, skype, or even at my studio in Yorkshire. Once I get an idea of what the bride requires I draw up some designs to show the bride to see if this is on the right lines. If all is good, I go into making the piece. When the piece is made I send though images of the design to the bride to see if she is happy. This is the time we can tweak anything. Once that is done the piece is shipped to the customer or they can come back for the piece to be fitted.

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bunting & blooms. johanna hehir for a pretty springtime wedding at the ashes – tracey & neil

October 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Tracey + Neil's Rustic Spring Wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire

Keen to give their guests a day to remember, today’s bride and groom put great food and drink and fabulous entertainment high up on their list of priorities.

They styled their day with cute bunting, colourful blooms and a sprinkling (or two) of gold glitter, and enjoyed celebrating within their stunning rural venue, whilst also seizing the opportunity to make the most of its surroundings too!

We love bride Tracey’s stunning sleeved gown, topped off with a pretty paper flower crown.

With images by Paul Joseph Photography.

Tracey + Neil's Rustic Spring Wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire

tracey says: Neil proposed to me at Castle Howard in York, at the end of December 2014. It’s one of my favourite places in the world! We visited York as part of our very first weekend away together in the infancy of our relationship – we stopped off at Castle Howard because of my obsession with the novel Brideshead Revisited. We had such a brilliant time there and it’s so incredibly beautiful – Neil later told me, once he’d proposed, that for a long time he knew he would propose to me there. He’s a good egg!

Tracey + Neil's Rustic Spring Wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire

As I’m a teacher, we were slightly constrained when it came to picking a date for the wedding. I didn’t want to get married over the summer as I don’t like the heat at the best of times. We also wanted to get the wedding done and out of the way so we could go on a massive holiday of a lifetime over the summer (this was our attitude in the early days of our engagement: the wedding was an excuse for a big party and a means to going on a huge holiday adventure together). We thought Easter might make a nice time and started looking at venues with that two week window in mind. When we mentioned Easter to close family and friends, they started to swoon at the idea of spring and the flowers about – and so we ended up getting married on Wednesday 6th April.

Finding a venue proved to be really tough. We visited a couple in our area that were not really ‘us’. At that stage, we didn’t really know what we wanted, we were just going on gut instinct. Fortunately, Neil found The Ashes one night whilst he was reading about wedding awards online – the venue, which is located in Staffordshire, had won one award a few years on the trot and so we thought it might be worth visiting. We liked everything about The Ashes; its informality, its beauty, the organisation of it all. We booked it that day.

Tracey + Neil's Rustic Spring Wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire

I tried to steer away from themes and just did things I thought might look nice. We ended up with pastel colours because of the season. There was also a lot of gold glitter. Ask my dad about gold glitter and he’ll tell you that he’s still finding it in the boot of his car almost six months on! We hoarded jam jars and interesting glass for months before the wedding and then used PVA glue and gold glitter to decorate them – it doesn’t sound that impressive but we were really pleased with how they turned out and people were able to take jars home at the end of the night. This spread the gold glitter love even more!

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