Charlotte Balbier

for the stars. a styled bridal shoot at allerton castle

February 20th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Styled Wedding Shoot at Allerton Castle (c) All You Need Is Love Photography (13)

Today on Brides Up North, the stunning Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire provides the romantic setting for our styled wedding shoot.

Dating all the way back to 1066, the site is quite literally steeped in history with striking architecture and a captivating gothic interior to match. We’re talking ornate mirrors, candelabras, original fireplaces and spellbinding staircases.

Becki from all You Need is Love Photography paired up with a number of talented suppliers (including Brides Up North Sponsor Blossom and Belle) to create this dreamy yet dramatic bridal look, and we simply adore the bold palette of the bouquet, headpiece and makeup.

Don’t miss our Brides Up North Luxury Bridal Show on Sunday 5th March 2017, 11am till 3pm, Free Entry at this stunning venue! We’re filling the Castle with 30+ of the area’s most brilliant bridal suppliers, live music, bridal fashion, pretty paper, sweet treats, floral designs and all the details.  Come and see the place dressed to the nines to inspire your own perfect wedding day! Click here to register now. 

With images from All You Need is Love Photography

A Styled Wedding Shoot at Allerton Castle (c) All You Need Is Love Photography (29)

becki says: We named the shoot ‘Star Of Love’ which is the variety of astrantia that the florist, Claire Slater Flowers used in the red bouquet, which features in most of the photos. Our model, Daisy, was quite the star, too, wearing a white gown from Blossom and Belle, based in York.

In terms of inspiration for the shoot, we focused on all things vintage. We wanted an opportunity to be creative together, especially as our tastes are so similar; plus we all have a soft spot for anything vintage.

A Styled Wedding Shoot at Allerton Castle (c) All You Need Is Love Photography (16)

We loved working together to create such a timeless and elegant look for the shoot. It’s just great to meet like-minded ladies within the wedding industry that can inspire and encourage the best from each other.

Allerton Castle was the most perfect location; each room is breath taking and the staff there are incredible.

A Styled Wedding Shoot at Allerton Castle (c) All You Need Is Love Photography (26)

I visited the castle a few years back, and it has always been a dream location for me to photograph. Each element of the shoot fitted together seamlessly and the backdrop of the castle really pulled it all together. It was like stepping into a time machine, as it’s steeped in so much history.

A Styled Wedding Shoot at Allerton Castle (c) All You Need Is Love Photography (7)

We didn’t have a specific style from the outset, this emerged as we discussed our favourite looks, and before we knew it, the vintage theme took a life of its own.

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bespoke beauties: blossom & belle plus discount for wedding blog readers

January 27th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Blossom & Belle (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (5)

It’s all about the #dresslust this afternoon on Brides Up North, as we introduce you to the lovely Antonia of bespoke bridal label blossom & belle, based in the beautiful city of York.

Originally a ready to wear designer, Antonia’s team at Blossom and Belle now aims to provide their brides to be with the ultimate unique bridal service creating the ‘dress of your dreams’ and making you feel and look wonderful. Better still, Antonia is offering Brides Up North Readers 15% off a couture gown from now until April 2016.  Quote Brides Up North when making your appointment.

Let’s meet the lady behind the lace…

Images by Olivia Brabbs Photography.

Blossom & Belle (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (27)

Why did you decide to launch Blossom & Belle?

antonia says: From the age of 12 I wanted to be a fashion designer. I loved to sew and draw.  My teachers used to call me a dreamer! I loved seeing old movies to look at the clothes and particularly loved Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday and Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. I did a two year Btec and a one year of an HND in Fashion before going on to do a three year BA Hons degree in Fashion and Textiles.The six years of training gave me the technical and creative skills to pursue my design career.

I decided to launch Blossom and Belle after taking time out from being a Couture Bridal wear designer to have a family.  Blossom and Belle started as a ready to wear collection with my sister in law Sarah who after having her first baby felt deflated when she couldn’t find anything that made her feel and look good.  This is when the signature Blossom and Belle signature wrap dress was created. I worked with a print designer to create the Blossom and Belle blossom and butterfly print in organic cotton and silk and set about making a collection of ready to wear which is still available on my website.

Even though I love making ready to wear I still yearned to go back into bridal wear and after losing my mother last year it gave me the push to go for it.  I decided to buy a studio in a convenient location where brides can come in a relaxed atmosphere to see me and view my sample gowns. I now have the room to create and have fittings and spend one on one time with each client.

Blossom & Belle (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (15)

What attracted you to the wedding industry specifically?

When I graduated from university I was asked by a friend if I could make her wedding dress.  The feeling of creating a truly unique gown for someone’s special day is priceless. It is wonderful knowing you are making a bride a dress that will fit them perfectly, that is unique and just for them. I like to work one on one rather than mass production and working with the most luxurious fabrics like silks and lace is heaven.

What is your favourite thing about being a dressmaker?

It is wonderful knowing you are making a bride a dress that will fit them perfectly. I love the ability to make a three dimensional work of art whether it is flouncy and slightly over the top or elegant and classical. Being able to work with beautiful fabrics and trimmings and creating my own embroideries for a dress. The buzz of going through the process of design through to finished product.

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introducing: blossom & belle

November 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Blossom and Belle Launch (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (13)

One otherwise unremarkable Wednesday evening last month, I was invited along to a rather sensational little soiree at the atmospheric Barley Hall in York to celebrate the launch of blossom & belle, and preview their inaugural bridal offering. The creative brainchild of two sisters in law, Antonia Aitken and Sarah Cartwright, Blossom and Belle is the inspiration of two women whose ultimate aim is to make a woman to simply feel beautiful when she puts on one of their unique dresses.

With images by Oliva Brabbs Photography.

Blossom and Belle Launch (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (1)
Originating from a particularly ‘bad wardrobe day’ by Sarah when feeding her first child, and knowing Antonia’s original background in fashion design, Sarah asked Antonia if she could make her something just for her to wear to make her feel special again.

Antonia, with a BA in Fashion and Textiles, and Sarah, with a Marketing degree, got their heads together, and after many a long night over cups of tea, texts and phone calls, the first Blossom & Belle wrap dress was born.

With Antonia’s creative juices flowing, she started to think about the wedding dress designs she had previously enjoyed creating before she had started her family. Sarah, in the meantime, was using her marketing and business experience to get the Blossom and Belle word out there. In fact, their very first web order came from a twitter follower!

Sourcing beautiful fabrics and unique vintage additions, the collection now composes of Ready to Wear, Prom and Bridal Couture. Every garment is created lovingly by hand by Antonia to the client’s specification. Sarah now works hard behind the scenes helping to drive the business forward as part of her own Sales & Marketing agency, Searson Fox.

Blossom and Belle Launch (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (17)

From a custom butterfly print in organic cotton which was commissioned specifically for Blossom and Belle, silks, Irish linen and swarovski beads, each Blossom and Belle dress is completely unique. Wedding dresses comprise of a mix of french lace, duchess and crepe silks, organza and dupion silks. All the bridal dresses are lined in silk for the ultimate in luxury

If you choose a Blossom and Belle gown, Antonia will go through designs, fabric samples and your own ideas on the first consultation. There will be several fittings of both the toile in calico to ensure the fit and look is perfect and of the gown itself. You go away in plenty of time before your wedding with a gown created just for you and Blossom and Belle can also be there on the day of your wedding to help you dress.

Blossom and Belle Launch (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (14)

What stood out to me was the very personal nature of every gown, along with the collection’s ethereal influence.  It might have been the flickering candlelight or the baby ballerinas who took to the catwalk between scenes, but the vibe was almost medieval, with laced ribbon sleeves and long, trailing veils.

If you’re a free spirited lady who is looking for bespoke service and design for a unique and stunning wedding day look, you might just like to give Blossom and Belle a call.

Blossom and Belle Launch (c) Olivia Brabbs Photography (54)

Diary Date: On the 21st February 2016 Blossom and Belle are having a Bridal Tea Party at the historic Tithe Barn, Nether Poppleton from 1pm to 4pm.  There will be a vintage tea room and luxury bridal exhibitors from flowers and cakes to photography.  Blossom and Belle will be available to discuss and showcase their beautiful couture bridal wear range and any ideas you have for your dream dress.

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