Charlotte Balbier

fashion-forward flair: introducing felicity cooper bridal

June 13th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Felicity Cooper Bridal (2)

If you’re still on the hunt for that one perfect dress for your wedding day, this afternoon’s post may be of extra interest as we introduce new Brides Up North Sponsor, Felicity Cooper Bridal, to the blog.

Set up by talented designer and boutique owner Fiona Cooper in 2010, the stunning brand has gone from strength-to-strength and is now stocked at select dress shops in the UK and Europe, with Fiona’s own shop, The Wedding Boutique, in Cheshire, being the Flagship store for Felicity Cooper.

Dress designs are created with brides’ requests in mind resulting in fashion forward gowns that are guaranteed to turn heads. From dreamy lace Boho designs to elegant silk chiffon gowns, ladies making a decision on just one could be tricky!

Here to fill us in on all the details of the beautiful brand is the creator herself…

Felicity Cooper Bridal (9)

When and why did you first set up Felicity Cooper Bridal and what is your background in the fashion and bridal industry?

fiona says: I opened The Wedding Boutique Cheshire back in 2008. From listening to brides’ like and dislikes we decided to create a bridal label that would fill the gap we had in the boutique. This went from strength to strength and in early 2016 we made the decision to relaunch The Wedding Boutique as the flagship store for Felicity Cooper.

What type of bride is a Felicity Cooper bride?

A Felicity Cooper bride ultimately wants to have fun; she’s relaxed and fashion forward, she wants to stand out from the crowd through flair not fuss.

Felicity Cooper Bridal (1)

How would you describe the look and feel of Felicity Cooper designs?

Both First Love and the 2017 Natural Soul collections have an emphasis on fabric and cuts, flowing lines and low back detail. The new collection is bringing more embellishment and beading with a hint of colour.

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the designer series: charlotte balbier talks to brides up north about her untamed love collection for 2017

June 7th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Untamed Love at White Gallery London 2016 (15)

You may recall a little earlier this year we were fortunate enough to share with you a first look at the stunning Untamed Love 2017 collection from Brides Up North friend and Sponsor, Charlotte Balbier.

As huge fans of Charlotte’s uber pretty designs we always expect her collections to send us weak at the knees – her latest Untamed Love collection however, sent us falling head over heels as well! Our favourite of Miss Balbier’s wonderful collections to date, we absolutely adore the fabulous variety of shapes, fabrics, colours and detailing that it offers.

Perhaps the most head-turning element of the collection is its three floral patterned dresses: Untamed Love, Bloom and Posey, which we just can’t stop looking at! If you too are fixated on these stunning designs, we have a very exciting date for your diary – on Saturday 18th June, 7th Heaven Bridal in Cheshire will be holding ‘In Bloom’, A Floral Celebration, which will give brides-to-be the exclusive opportunity to try on, and order, one of these spectacular floral gowns ahead of the collection’s official release into boutiques in August. Spaces are very limited so call today on 01260 277123 to book your appointment.

After teasing you with the initial first look, we’re today revealing the remainder of the Untamed Love Collection on the blog, whilst also hearing from the leading lady herself about what went into the designs and how the gorgeous results are being received…

Untamed Love at White Gallery London 2016 (1)

You’ve just launched your new collection Untamed Love, can you tell us how this collection differs from your previous collections?

charlotte says: I hoped to capture the bride’s attention and imagination with the new Untamed Love 2017 collection. It’s a different collection from what I’ve ever crafted and I dedicated more than 12 months of love and attention to its creation.  I love to constantly evolve the Charlotte Balbier brand to be at the forefront of the market and I could not be more delighted with the new gowns.  The Untamed Love Collection is all about celebrating individuality and being your own kind of beauty.

Where did you get the inspiration for this collection from?

I’ve taken all my inspiration for the Untamed Love Collection from my brides, because my brides are the most important thing. I love to connect with all of my brides via social media and I really take on all of their feedback. It’s great to hear which styles and shapes the brides resonate with and which gowns they are truly attracted to. I travel around the country all year around to trunk shows and meet with my clients individually to chat in person. I love having a strong connection with the brides who wear my gowns to embrace the individuality, style and fabulousness of each and every one of them. I have two very distinctive styles, one is glamorous and the other side is the inner Boho girl at heart. The Untamed Love Collection embraces my inner hippy and the more opulent side to me!

Untamed Love at White Gallery London 2016 (30)

Can you give us an overview of the various shapes of gowns that the collection includes? 

I try my best to give a large variety of gown shapes to brides with our collections. Dreamy ethereal gowns sit alongside fun and playful floral print works of art combined with classical simple and romantic gowns. The Agatha, Carmel and Bayley are beautiful fitted strapless gowns. Our new Aphrodite gown is a beautiful halter neck with delicate lace detailing. The Paige gown is simply stunning with a beautiful lace on skin back detailing and fishtail back to it. The Posy gown is a fun stunning floral separate and I literally cannot wait to see a bride wearing this gown on her big day. The Rosemary gown is beautifully one shouldered with floral cut out details on the back. Our Sofia gown and Rosalie gowns pay attention to a bride’s neckline and shoulders of a bride with beautiful lace and silver beaded detailing. My collection really does take into consideration all shapes and sizes and we love to give brides a lovely choice of shapes and fits to choose from.

Untamed Love at White Gallery London 2016 (8)

And what fabrics feature within the collection?

The quality and palette of the fabrics used in the Untamed Love collection is second to none. There are plenty of uses of tulle, silks, French laces, and rich Mikado fabrics. We’ve even designed some fabrics exclusive to the Charlotte Balbier brand, including a specially designed chiffon material created in-house that is only available via our brand. Our two new floral gowns have literally wowed our stockists and the audience at The White Gallery where we launched the new collection in May. Untamed Love, is a soft sorbet of lilacs, apricot, plum, pinks and muted greens. This is a truly a show-stopping gown with on-trend pocket detail.

Why did you want to use colour within the collection and what would you say to brides who are considering wearing a coloured dress for their big day? 

I love to play with colour palettes and this is evident in the new collection. Sitting alongside the traditional ivory hues, are antique gold’s, silver pewters, apricot tones and of course my favourite blush and rose pink shades. Any bride wanting to make a statement during her wedding would wow her guests in the Untamed Love gown for sure. Colour is great for a bride who wants her day to be remembered above all others.

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a truly personal touch: louise perry bridal

May 12th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Louise Perry Bridal (2)

Providing even more fabulous inspiration for you brides-to-be currently on the dream dress hunt, we’re thrilled to be welcoming Brides Up North sponsor Louise Perry Bridal to the blog today.

Located in the pretty West Yorkshire village of Saltaire, this warm and welcoming boutique has a stunning range of dresses, with something to suit all tastes and budgets.

With customer service at the very forefront of everything she does, owner Louise takes a personal approach to ensure brides and their guests have both a memorable and enjoyable experience during their time to the boutique.

To tell us more about what ladies can expect from an appointment at Louise Perry Bridal, we’ll hand over to the leading lady herself…

Louise Perry Bridal (11)

How did Louise Perry Bridal begin?

louise says: It was my lifelong dream to own my own business and give customers a wonderful experience when they came into my shop. It was only when I got married myself that I realised a bridal shop would be the ideal business for me. Having studied dressmaking and costume history, and with many years’ experience of sewing my own clothes, I had an understanding of how dresses are made and the intricacies of fabrics and trims. My degree and experience as a manager in a large organisation had also developed my skills in customer service and administration.

I love making people happy and matching a bride to her perfect dress is a dream come true!

How would you describe the feel and look of your boutique?

I get a lot of compliments about my boutique. When I designed it, I wanted the experience to appeal to all the senses, from the soft classical music in the background, to the specially selected pure origin coffee that I serve to my customers. I’d like to think it allows a bride to take time out in a beautiful, spacious environment where she is able to make her important decision, without pressure.

The boutique itself is quite large, light and airy with beautiful wooden floorboards and plenty of space for a bride to walk around in her chosen dresses. I only see one bride at a time, which allows the bride and her guests all the privacy needed to make a decision.

In terms of the feel, a customer recently said that the moment they walked into the shop, they breathed a sigh of relief and all their troubles drifted away! That is exactly the feeling I was going for – relaxed and welcoming!

Louise Perry Bridal (1)

What designers do you stock, can you tell us a little about each one?

I currently stock three collections by Demetrios, Cosmobella and Oreasposa. All three are Italian designers and based in Milan. Cosmobella is my mid-range and largest collection. It combines beautiful detailing with affordability. Demetrios dresses are slightly more expensive, but with an exquisite finish. My OreaSposa collection meanwhile is very affordable, without compromising on quality.

In September I will also be introducing Ronald Joyce to my collections and will hold a special launch event for interested brides.

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exclusive & exquisite: introducing luella’s bridal

May 11th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Luella's Bridal (7)

Ladies on the dream dress hunt are going to want to listen up this morning as we introduce Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Luella’s Bridal, to the blog.

Aiming to offer brides a choice of stunning gowns that can’t be found elsewhere, the team behind the pretty boutique source their collections from around the world, working with an impressive portfolio of designers to find dresses that are both beautiful and original.

Though located in Wimbledon Village, London, brides-to-be don’t have to make the journey down south to view the boutique’s wonderful designs first hand, as the ladies at Luella’s are taking their entire collection of bridal dresses and accessories on tour, starting with a visit to Nottingham from 19th to 22nd May.

During the fabulous pop-up event ladies will be able to try on a selection of wonderful gowns, whilst getting expert advice and enjoying a lovely glass of fizz. To fill you in on all the details of the boutique and the upcoming event we’ll hand over the blog to Rachel Attwell, owner and creative director at Luella’s Bridal.

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Where is Luella’s located and how would you describe the look and feel of the boutique?

rachel says: Luella’s is a unique bridal boutique located in Wimbledon Village, London. Decorated with soft and beautiful wallpapers, vintage suitcases and chandeliers and furnished with antique cabinets and a day bed; it’s the perfect girly boutique for every bride

What designers do you stock; can you tell us a little about each one?

We work with a great selection of both UK and international designers, stocking pieces from collections designed in New Zealand, Australia, USA and Israel. We also launched our first own brand collection at the beginning of the year. The Luella Collection can be described as ‘Modern Bohemian’ with a ‘British Victoriana’ influence and has been inspired by the feminine and floaty shapes of bohemianism mixed with the glamorous Biba style of the late 70’s. The collection consists of seven unique styles in a mixture of warm Mediterranean colours.

For true British style we have Emma Tindley and Rasha London who offer a mix of contemporary styles and a range of more traditional style lace dresses. We are also the exclusive London stockist for Vicky Rowe’s gorgeous collection of beaded bridal wear that has been inspired by the 1970’s and we are the exclusive stockist of her new range of bridesmaid dresses.

Most recently we welcomed Israeli designer Inbal Raviv, whose designs beautifully combine romantic and modern elements to create sophisticated boho style dresses. We also stock dresses by Limor Rosen and Vered Giladi who are also from Israel. Vered offers a beautiful selection of tops and skirts and Limor’s collection includes everything from stunning lace to intricately beaded designs.

For more feminine and floaty styles we have Rose & Delilah and Sally Eagle’s collection of elegant and romantic wedding gowns, while for something really unique we have Australian designer Gwendolynne’s stunning dresses, which are a mixture of intricate hand beading on a combination of floaty silk chiffon and tulle.

In addition to dresses, we have an amazing selection of accessories, ranging from modern diamante style pieces to relaxed boho style and original vintage items.

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How do you pick the right designers for Luella’s and what do you think makes a good bridal collection?

We are so lucky to be in the position where we are approached by designers rather than the other way round. All our dresses have been sourced from all over the world and have been carefully selected because of their exquisite detailing and originality. We try to ensure that they blend seamlessly together like one large beautiful collection; making sure at the same time that they are not too similar. We look for designs that are elegant, unique and effortlessly sophisticated. The majority of our designs have straps or sleeves and are extremely comfortable to wear. We also cater for a wide range of budgets.

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bohemian beauties: rebeca juliet bridal launch event

May 3rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Rebecca Juliet Bridal (c) Sarah Valentine Photography (11)

Back in March our wonderful sponsor and new talent to the wedding industry Rebecca Juliet Bridal, held a rather special launch event in the North West to showcase a range of beautiful bespoke wedding dresses, all handmade by designer Rebecca at her studio in the picturesque village of Chipping.

Calling upon some of her creative industry friends, Rebecca treated brides-to-be to an evening of bridal fashion, complete with fizz, cakes and chocolate, at the stunning Eaves Hall in Clitheroe.

Great fun was had by all as brides were given oodles of inspiration for every element of their wedding day.

For those that couldn’t make the event Rebecca is taking over the blog this afternoon to tell us how it all went whilst filling us in on her gorgeous debut collection and giving details on how brides-to-be can book an appointment at her studio to view the collection, or discuss a fully bespoke dress for something truly unique.

With images by Sarah Valentine Photography.

Rebecca Juliet Bridal (c) Sarah Valentine Photography (99)

After months of planning, how did your launch event go?

rebecca says: It was a fantastic evening to celebrate the launch of my new business. Rebecca Juliet Bridal has been a dream of mine for many years and it was really emotional watching my dresses go down the runway to smiles and applause from our guests.

It was also a great opportunity to work with some other exceptionally talented local wedding experts; I felt honored that they had gathered to support me with my new venture and the Eaves Hall were the perfect hosts.

What did the event involve?

Upon arrival guests were given a lovely ribbon charm bracelet to wear and were welcomed by the mesmerising voice of Hannah Rose, an up and coming local musician, with beautiful mellow acoustic music that is ideal to underpin any wedding day. They were then spoiled with glasses of bubbly and delicious cake mini canapes from the award winning Lisa Marie Cakes as well as exquisite handmade chocolates from Bowland Chocolate Company.

The highlight of the evening was the catwalk where we showcased the debut collection; a blend of bohemian and chic to give a really fabulous and classy look for brides-to-be. The models looked amazing in the gowns, as they weaved through the guest tables having had a full makeover from Baie 16 using Jane Iredale products, a salon only range of beautiful make up.

They loved rocking up the runway to a great music selection from Total Entertainment Solutions, who managed all the sound and lighting for the event. After the show the models stayed in the dresses and mingled with our guests as Hannah continued to impress us with her stunning singing voice.

Rebecca Juliet Bridal (c) Sarah Valentine Photography (25)

What other suppliers took part in the evening?

Eaves Hall hosted the event for me. This exclusive venue, which is part of the fabulous James’s Places group, was beautifully decorated with floral arches and stunning blossom tree table centre pieces by the very talented Felicity Farm Flowers.

The hall was further enhanced with show stopping blossom trees and huge vintage letters from Brides Little Helper, another award winning local supplier to give it a magical feeling akin to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Sarah Valentine Photography, a fine art photographer, mingled effortlessly and captured the memories of the evening beautifully for me.

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catwalk crush: amanda wyatt, 2017 collection, she walks with beauty

April 21st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Amanda Wyatt She Walks With Beauty (c) Craig Fleming (33)

There are certain dates in the Brides Up North calendar that we look forward to every year and the annual launch of Amanda Wyatt’s latest bridal collection is most certainly one of them.

As well as knowing all about designing beautiful and wearable wedding gowns, Miss Wyatt (and her daughter, fellow bridal designer Charlotte Balbier) certainly know all there is to know about putting on a glittering event, as we were treated to a fabulous catwalk show, informative talk and delicious lunch!

Amanda Wyatt She Walks With Beauty (c) Craig Fleming (43)

Now into her 23rd year as a leading name in British bridal fashion, boutique owners and press invited to the launch of Amanda’s 2017 she walks with beauty collection show were exceptionally eager to see what pretty creations the talented lady would be pulling out of the bag next.

The answer? More than 35 gorgeous gowns inspired by old Hollywood glamour that prompted a fair few gasps, “ahhs” and “ooos” from us onlookers as the dreamy designs were showcased on the catwalk for the first time.

Amanda Wyatt She Walks With Beauty (c) Craig Fleming (77)

Earlier this year we were fortunate enough to give you a sneak peek of the collection on the blog, but in today’s post you can see it in its entirety, complete with fabulous finishing touches in veils and accessories, and even bridesmaid designs for your leading ladies. Talking of which, with the exception of Amanda herself, there was a certain someone who stole the limelight of the show (despite only being hip-high) by modelling the adorable Wyatt flower girl dresses whilst blowing kisses to those in the front row #toosweet!

Amanda Wyatt She Walks With Beauty (c) Craig Fleming (144)

But back to those stunning wedding gowns! The runway was awash with glamorous and graceful gowns featuring fabulous attention to detail, illusion backs, elegant sleeves, jewelled accents and beautiful buttons, making She Walks With Beauty Amanda’s most intricate and opulent collection to date.

As we’ve come to expect from Amanda, the collection also featured a varied and inspirational colour palette, from rich shades of ivory and champagne, to dove grey and blush pinks.

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