Charlotte Balbier

beside the sea. a pretty pastel wedding at newton hall, northumberland – michelle & nikki

April 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (49)

Today’s stunning couple had Northumberland’s first same sex marriage, and the stylish ladies certainly made sure it would be an event to remember.

Michelle and Nikki chose a gorgeous seaside location for their romantic celebration, complete with pretty floral decorations and vintage touches.

Nikki looked gorgeous in her lace Essense of Australia gown while Michelle rocked a sophisticated Marc Jacobs fitted suit during their summer ceremony.

Following the “I dos” there were cocktails, delicious food and a host of live entertainment, what more could you want from a wedding?

With images by Erika Tanith Photography.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (5)

nikki says: We went travelling around Australia together and got engaged just after midnight on 1st January 2010 on Sydney Harbour. We were enjoying celebrating the New Year out on a boat in the lightshow next to the Opera House when I asked Michelle to marry me.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (8)

We were married on 14th July 2014. We picked the date as it is in-between both our birthdays and we really wanted summer wedding.

We chose to marry at Newton Hall. As soon as we visited we knew we wouldn’t find anywhere else that compared. The hall and grounds were exclusive to us all day and night. The location was perfect with a beach nearby and we often visit Northumberland for day trips.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (16)

We didn’t have a particular theme as such but we quite liked the vintage look with a quirky twist to match the venue. We chose a pastel teal colour scheme as it would go nice with the venue, the season and complement the men’s’ light grey suits.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (17)

I chose a dress from Essense of Australia, it was a very light ivory dress with a lace dress over the top – I picked it to match the vintage theme. The dress was light and comfortable. When shopping for my dress I couldn’t believe how heavy most of the gowns were and being a summer wedding was relieved when I found my dress which was much lighter. Michelle wore a fitted black suit and blouse from Marc Jacobs.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (21)

The bridesmaids wore light teal dresses from Debenhams to match the theme while the men and children wore light grey suits from Next with black ties.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (27)

Our hair and makeup artist was a very talented lady called Maxine Ayre. She did a wonderful job of the hair and makeup for everyone in the bridal party. It is very rare that you find someone who can do both hair pinups and makeup to such a high standard. Would highly recommend – couldn’t have wished for a nicer person and who made us feel so relaxed on the morning too knowing we were in good hands.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (35)

Michelle and her family stayed at nearby Doxford Hall the night before so travelled in a VW Campervan which we hired from Brooklands Wedding Cars.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (38)

Erika Tanith was our photographer, we would certainly recommend her. The quality and creativity of her photos were stunning and she felt like part of the family on the day.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (47)

I carried memory lane and avalanche roses in my bouquet which was made by talented florists at Floral Quarter. Throughout the planning of the wedding we purchased various quirky items we thought the floral decorations would look good, from miniature teapots to jam jars and wooden boxes. Floral Quarter provided the flowers and arrangements within these and really pulled everything together beyond our expectations. Would highly recommend them.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (48)

As favours we gave ‘little bags of happiness’ which we made and put together ourselves.

The cake was three tiers, each with a different flavour, simply decorated with some falling roses. It was provided by Lilly Jack Cakes.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (50)

We attended a few wedding open days at Newton Hall where they give out free cocktails and showcased the evening food options. We were also treated to a complimentary menu taster session at the As You Like It restaurant to help us choose or favourite food and drink for the big day.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (53)

To entertain our guests while we were getting photographs taken down at the nearby beach we hired Magic Paul, a very talented magician. We also hired two sets of musical entertainment from AMV Music. Annabelle Pattinson played acoustic guitar and sang before and after the ceremony. For the evening entertainment we had a seven-piece band called Livewire. We did a lot of research on the entertainment as Michelle comes from a musical family (her mum was a singer in the North East) so it was going to be a big part of our day. Once we discovered them we knew immediately they were for us. Livewire were fantastic – they learnt our first dance song, let us choose their playlist and even allowed Michelle and her mum to sing a couple of songs!

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (9)

To add some special touches we hired ‘Love’ lights from Coco Luminaire to set the room off. Instead of a traditional guest book we had a fingerprint tree for our family and friends to stamp their finger prints. We now have this framed in our living room as a daily reminder or our special day. We also had photographs of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day and a candle to remember those that couldn’t be with us. We set up a large vintage picture frame hung by ropes from a tree which our guests loved getting their photos taken at.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (41)

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue o other couples. We were made to feel so special and the staff went above and beyond to make everything flow without us even noticing. They were amazing!

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (59)

We couldn’t pick a favourite part of the day – we loved all of it! Truly, from the moment Michelle arrived through to the ceremony, the photos, meal, toast and then the evening – it was just fantastic! After the ceremony it was great to go to the beach just the two of us with Erika and spend quality time together taking everything in.

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (6)

The day after our wedding we went on honeymoon to Punta Cana in the Dominican for two weeks. It was beautiful, just like you imagine the Caribbean to be – the staff treated us to champagne, wine and cakes for our occasion. It was very special – we also visited Saona Island where the bounty advert was filmed, total paradise!

a seaside same sex wedidng at Newton Hall (c) Erica Tanith Photography (58)

Our top tip to other Brides Up North is to enjoy every minute and don’t worry what may go wrong – it really won’t matter on the day! We just couldn’t believe how quickly the day went by after over a year of planning. Savour every moment!

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front row: amanda wyatt 2016 collection, promises of love.

April 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Amanda Wyatt Promises of Love  (30)

Is there anything more exciting than sitting front row catwalk knowing that you’re among a select few to about to clap eyes on a designer’s brand new collection for the very first time? We think not.

We were therefore delighted, enthused and excited when an invitation to the launch of Amanda Wyatt’s 2016 Collection, cutely named promises of love, arrived here at Brides Up North HQ. Today we’re extending that invitation further by sharing the designs with you, our fabulous readers, here on the wedding blog.

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For those of you that aren’t familiar with Amanda and her gorgeous creations it’s time to come out from underneath that rock as Ms Wyatt is a pretty big deal, having been a leading name in British bridal for more than 20 years.

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Forward thinking Amanda is known for creating gowns that not only look amazing, but also that make her brides feel amazing thanks to their fabulous fit, quality fabrics and sensational detailing, so we were confident that the latest collection would be just as fabulous as those that have gone before.

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And we weren’t wrong – cue soft flowing chiffons, French and Italian laces, fine tulle and rich satins, adorned with frosted pearl beading and embellished details. This lady sure knows how to make us (and plenty of other pretty-loving ladies) go weak at the knees.

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As the lights dimmed the music kicked in and the models stepped out to flaunt Amanda’s fabulous frocks. From sleek slim-line designs and flattering A-line silhouettes to short 50s style dresses and perfect princess gowns, Promises Of Love had covered all bases meaning that there was quite literally ‘the one’ for everyone. And this lady is not only big on offering brides a wide range of looks, but also a wide range of sizes as not to exclude more curvaceous ladies from the wonderful Amanda Wyatt party.

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Further choice was provided with Amanda’s exciting colour palette which strayed beyond classic ivory hues with some gowns in soft gold, blush pinks and even powder blue.

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Standout favourites for us Brides Up North girls included the headline gown of the collection, Promise – a slim design featuring delicate lace and a pretty fluid skirt. In terms of fuller designs there were plenty to choose from, including regal satin gowns and romantic tulle offerings with varying levels of detail.

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In a nod to the princess of the moment, and no we’re not talking Kate Middleton, the collection features a design named Elsa (Frozen fans will get the reference). Available in ivory or powder blue, (just like the Disney sovereign herself) this gown is what fairytales are made of with its voluminous tulle layered skirt and angelic lace detail.

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Those planning a city centre or destination wedding may well be drawn to the cute shorter length gowns in the collection, such as Nia and Cupid, which certainly caught our eye on the catwalk.

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There was however one particular dress that got us wishing for an impromptu proposal (from quite literally anyone) just so that we could put it on – Chantilly. High fashion and hot, we mean hot, this sultry little number is a guaranteed head-turner with its plunging neckline, elegant lace top and slinky skirt. Pure perfection!

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Following the catwalk show, leading lady Amanda talked us through the collection dress by dress, explaining the inspiration behind the designs, which in a lot of cases included listening to brides’ feedback via stockists and giving them exactly what they asked for, showing that this talented lady has a real connection to her clients.

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Amanda also explained that the collection had been designed with matching accessories to complement each gown, with additions including soft tulle silk veils and delicate hair accessories.

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Finally we were given a taste of the beautiful bridesmaid gown styles that Amanda has added to her increasingly popular maids’ collection for 2015, meaning both you and your gals can be styled by Wyatt for your big day.

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And that, our friends, is one promise worth keeping.

Images by Jonny Draper Photography.

Amanda Wyatt 2016 Collection from Silk Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Enter the password mere to view this exclusive video. (Trust me, it’s worth a good look, and you might just spot us FROW!)

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bridal style icon: olivia palermo

April 22nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Olivia Palermo 1

If you’re anything like us girls at Brides Up North HQ you love a celebrity fashion steal, whether you get your inspiration browsing online, flicking through a magazine or watching an episode of Made in Chelsea. While this can be a great way to piece together daytime and evening wardrobes, ladies can also look to wedded stars to help inspire special attire for their big day.

No matter what your style preference, there’s bound to be a celebrity bride that’s rocked the particular look you’re after, whether it’s classic 1950s Elizabeth Taylor, elegant Kate Middleton, dip-dyed Gwen Stefani or short and sassy Cindy Crawford.

Today we focus on a celeb bride who opted for a controversial two-piece while still remaining within her comfort zone and true to her individual taste. It is, of course, stunning American TV star and model, olivia palermo.

Wedding her beau Johannes Huebl in an intimate New York ceremony last year, stylish Olivia broke the mould of bridal wear as we knew it by opting for a Carolina Herrera romantic tulle skirt and soft cashmere jumper.

Taking note of how the effortless ensemble worked beautifully for bride Olivia, more and more designers have begun experimenting with two-pieces within their collections, giving ladies an option away from the norm.

So let’s take a closer look pretty Palermo’s wedding day style.

the dress (or in this case skirt and jumper)

Olivia Palermo Dress

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source, photography by Jana Williams| image source, photography by Steve Eichner| image source, photography by Campbell Photography| image source, via Magnoliarouge.com| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Cathleen Wolf| image source, photography by Joel Bedford Weddings

I’m a strong advocate that comfort is key and so salute Olivia for her brave move to shun a traditional structured gown in favour of a floaty, fairy-like skirt and comforting knit.

There is no razzle dazzle embellishing in sight as Olivia keeps her look simple from top to toe for a flawless appearance that simply says ‘natural beauty’.

The silhouette of the jumper with three-quarter sleeves and classic round neck sits on her small frame beautifully before the light, playful skirt adds volume and interest with a hint of detailing and tasteful leg slit. To finish Olivia adds her something blue in a pair of Manolo Blahnik heels (very Carrie Bradshaw, as is the whole outfit – think Sex and the City opening credits) and some simply jewellery.

Brides-to-be can choose to mirror the look in its entirety or take just bits of inspiration. Most two piece options are cropped top and full skirt combos that follow a similar shape to Olivia’s outfit – fitted on the top and fuller on the bottom. For those not keen on showing their midriff there are also options with dainty camis, sophisticated shirts and capped sleeve t-shirt style tops.

Olivia’s thought appears to be to express your individual style and go for a top in which you feel comfortable, no matter how un-bride like that may be (although we would perhaps draw the line at a bikini top – keep it elegant ladies).

Meanwhile for brides that just can’t stray away from a dress there is still the option to include a little Olivia with the addition of a soft knit in the form of a cosy cardigan (also incredibly practical for winter brides).

the hair

Olivia Palermo Hair

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source, photography by Spotted Photography| image source| image source, photography by Erich McVey| image source, photography by Alyssia B Photography and Brooke Bakken Photography| image source| image source| image source, photography by Tessa Barton| image source| image source.

Once again Olivia chose to keep to her personal preferences when it came to her wedding hair and opted for a wispy ponytail rather than a fancy bridal take-up.

Other than a simple band to secure her hair in place, there were no glitzy hair accessories or even a veil, making this an easy do for brides-to-be to duplicate.

The low maintenance style looks incredibly chic but is also practical in the way that all of Olivia’s brunette locks are swept up out of the way and as the look is natural if a hair or two was to come out of place nobody would even notice.

Ladies can choose to go for a high ponytail with soft romantic waves like Olivia, or lower the pony tail to the nape of the neck and even pull to the side for a slightly different take on the look.

the makeup

Olivia Palermo MakeUp

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Christie Graham Photography| image source| image source, photography by Laura Marii Photography| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source.

Olivia’s au natural makeup finishes off her flawless look perfectly with the main focus on her smoky brown eyes and full lashes.

The trick is to work with tones that naturally complement your skin tone, eye colour and hair colour. Olivia’s perfect complexion is warmed with a little peach blush on the cheeks forehead and chin, plus a little highlighter on her nose.

Finally Ms Palermo adds a slick of deep pink matt lipstick to complete her radiant look. Pure perfection!

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all together now. justin alexander for an intimate wedding in the lakes – mikki & mark

April 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime

an elegant wedding in the Lake District (c) Chapter Photography (36)

Today on the wedding blog we’re heading to one of my favourite parts of the country to relive Mikki and Mark’s wonderful big day.

This stylish couple hired an entire venue in the Lake District for their intimate celebration that brimmed with elegance, class and romance.

I especially love that Mikki and Mark chose to have one big banqueting table for their wedding meal to make it more like a relaxed family affair than a formal occasion.

Oh, and can we all just take a minute to admire those fabulous flowers. Just lovely.

With images from Chapter Photography and videography by Love Gets Sweeter.

Mikki and Marks Wedding Highlights from Love Gets Sweeter on Vimeo.

mikki says: We got engaged on 2nd October 2013 when we were on holiday in Menorca (which is our special place to relax). After a beautiful day lying on the beach having a picnic we went for a meal in a seafood restaurant at the top of a hill. We had the whole place to ourselves and Mark proposed in between courses. I couldn’t believe it, I was so overwhelmed. Obviously I said yes straight away.

an elegant wedding in the Lake District (c) Chapter Photography (5)

We chose the 6th December for our wedding. I absolutely love winter and I thought it would be such a magical time for a wedding. I loved the thought of lots of candles and romantic lighting and what better time of year for that!

We got married at Broadoaks Country House in Windermere, Lake District. We love the lakes so much and it’s always a place we like to go. When we went to view the venue we knew straight away it was the one. It was perfect for the intimate wedding we were after. We hired the whole place which meant the whole wedding party could stay over.

an elegant wedding in the Lake District (c) Chapter Photography (17)

We wanted the day to feel warm and welcoming. We didn’t have a theme as such but I wanted it to be romantic. The style was very romantic and our flowers were ivory and blush roses with gypsophila free flowing around the table surrounded by lots of candles. As we wanted an intimate setting we decided to have a banquet table so everyone was sat together.

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Our colour scheme was navy, grey and blush. We picked it because it was quite a wintery combination and the blush just added a girly and warm touch.

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My dress was from 7th Heaven Bridal in Congleton and the designer was Justin Alexander. It was a lovely lace mermaid gown that has a bateau neckline. It came with a detachable train with matching appliques which Helen from 7th Heaven turned into a veil for me.

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Mark wore a navy three piece lounge which was from Marks & Spencer and the groomsmen wore navy suits too to tie in with him.

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Our bridesmaids wore navy dresses with navy lace which were from Warehouse and our flower girl’s dress was from Tesco.

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On the morning of the wedding I got ready at the Macdonald hotel in Windermere along with my bridesmaids. When it was time to go to the wedding venue my father-in-law drove me and my dad in his car. It was a nice touch to begin the day. My sister-in-law’s husband drove the bridesmaids.

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Our photographers are very good friends of ours, Evie and Jamie Wroe from Chapter Photography. It was the obvious choice for us, their work is amazing and they make you feel so relaxed and comfortable.

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My flowers were a mix of ivory and blush roses with gypsophila running through by Red Floral Architecture – again, an obvious choice for us as I love their work so much.

Red Floral Architecture also did out the whole wedding venue with flowers and decorations. We had a banquet table which was full of roses and gypsophila and lots of floating candles. It was such a stunning table, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.

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Some of our friends call us M&M (Mark & Mikki) so we thought it would be funny to actually get personalised M&M chocolates for our favours. We also has a mini Laurent Perrier Champagne for everyone.

Caroline of Caroline’s Cake Company did our cake. We couldn’t decide which flavour to have as they all tasted so good. In the end we had three flavours: ginger, lemon and chocolate. We had lots of cupcakes and a traditional top tier.

As a little extra we had a sweet table go alongside the wedding cupcakes and instead of a guest book we had a signing frame. Next to these we had pictures of our parents from the day they got married.

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In the evening we hired a DJ for our entertainment. We also wanted to add a little something different to the evening so we went with a cartoonist called Robin Grenville-Evans to draw all of our guests. This went down really well as everyone had something to remember the wedding by.

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We would absolutely recommend our venue to anyone who wants a magical romantic feel to their wedding. It’s great for small wedding parties like ours as you can hire the whole place. It’s like having your own private house. I also would recommend all of our suppliers as they were all so, so helpful. My hair piece was custom made from Ann McKavney Eleventh Heaven, Love Gets Sweeter did our videography, Flossy and Leigh did our hair and makeup andSteve Lewis was our DJ.

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The day was so perfect I don’t think I could actually pick one part that was my favourite. Obviously marrying my best friend was a pretty special part!

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We haven’t had our main honeymoon yet, we are going to Dubai and the Maldives in May. We had a minimoon the day after the wedding. We went to Loch Lomond in Scotland for three nights. It was just a complete chill out, we went to the spa and ate lots of lovely food. It was a great time just to sit back and relax after all the planning. It is a special place to us as it’s the first place Mark ever took me when we were dating, so we thought it perfect to be the first place we go as a newly married couple.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be something that a lot of people told me to do – take a minute to look around at everything on the day and take it all in. It’s surprising what you don’t see because you’re on such a high! This really was a great tip. Also take time out, just five minutes or so with your husband, again to take it all in. The day really does go so fast, I didn’t want it to end!

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decadence. a styled bridal accessory shoot by gypsy rose vintage

April 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Gypsy Rose Vintage SS15 (c) Teresa C Photography (23)

This afternoon, its all about the accessories.  And here at Brides Up North, you know that we LOVE accessories.

Gypsy Rose Vintage is a Cheshire based brand established in 2012, boasting a unique and quirky vintage inspired range of hair accessories and bridal belts, each piece is lovingly hand crafted in Britain by owner and founder Rebecca Kwiatkowski.  

Born out of a love for bohemian styling Gypsy Rose Vintage fuses together retro influences with contemporary elements to create truly beautiful and individual one off pieces perfect for any bohemian bride.  From delicate gypsophila garlands to stunning statement peonies Gypsy Rose Vintage caters for brides and bridesmaids and wedding guests alike.  

Lets get stuck in to the pretty…

Images by Teresa C Photography.

Gypsy Rose Vintage SS15 (c) Teresa C Photography (16)

rebecca says: For Spring Summer 2015 Gypsy Rose Vintage proudly introduce our two brand new collections, “The Meadow Collection” for free spirited brides on their big day.  This Collection has a very bohemian vibe inspired by the great British countryside, featuring sweet peas and wild blooms, the perfect finishing touch for a rustic wedding day.

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If you are looking for a hint of vintage glamour to finish off your look, “The Decadence Collection” offers a wide range of premium bridal hair accessories with an Art Deco feel.  Inspired by The Great Gatsby, this collection features crystal embellishments and luxurious silk flowers, each piece is handmade and are all limited edition.

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We also offer a bespoke service, individually tailored to meet any brides needs and budget.

The collections were photographed at the beautiful Dunwood Hall, a grade 2 listed country house based in Staffordshire, with stunning gothic revival architecture.

Gypsy Rose Vintage SS15 (c) Teresa C Photography (12)

Modelled by Bethany Cammack and Elisha Carter

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