Charlotte Balbier

a truly personal touch: louise perry bridal

May 12th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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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…

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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!

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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

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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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the big debate: high street vs designer

April 15th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Every couple is different when it comes to planning their wedding and every bride is different when it comes to picking their dress. There is no rule book to follow on how much the overall budget for the wedding should be, or how it is to be split between the different elements of the day. And while for some, the venue and food will be top of the list, for others it’s the honeymoon, entertainment or attire that gets the majority of the cash.

In terms of the bride’s spend on her dress it may be the case that she’s been saving on the side of the main budget to buy her dream dress, or that this is something her parents have said that they would like to contribute to. Whatever the case, the dress ‘allowance’ generally comes down to the bride’s mind-set: ‘you only do it once – spend on an amazing designer gown’ or ‘it’s only one day – save with a high street dress’.

So today on the blog we’re debating if ladies should be booking appointments at bridal boutiques filled with fabulous designer gowns once that ring is firmly on her finger, or if it’s worth giving the high street options a go for a pretty gown at the fraction of the price?

(All gowns pictured in post body by ASOS. This is not a sponsored post, we just think they are pretty!)

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rachel says: high street happy

Once upon a time I would never have suggested a bride look to the high street to find her wedding gown but now I would say it’s certainly worth considering.

We’ve seen the likes of BHS, Monsoon and Phase Eight releasing wedding dress collections (and making a good job of it too) and now more stores are jumping on the bridal bandwagon by launching their own big day collections – most recently fashion giants ASOS and H&M.

This means there is now more choice than ever for brides-to-be when it comes to selecting a gown at the lower end of the price scale, with high street designs starting from as little as £100 – leaving lots more in the spending pot for the shoes and accessories!

And just like the designers, the high street are taking notice of brides’ desire for individuality and so you won’t just find a one-style-suits-all approach within the collections. Instead there are options for the boho bride, the fashionista, the style statement maker and fans of vintage. Just this week Self-Portrait has launched its first bridal collection within selected Selfridge’s stores (and it includes some real beauties – some of which are shown in our Gallery below). With modern and rock n roll influences, the brand has created “a contemporary capsule of affordable, timeless wedding dresses for the ‘untraditional bride’”. Sounds good to me!

I’m also bowled over by Needle & Thread’s swoon-worthy bridal collection with dreamy designs varying from slinky floor-length gowns, to modern separates and mini dresses, not to mention ridiculously pretty tulle, almost ballerina, style creations.

One of the main reservations of buying bridal from the high street can be the thought of missing out on the boutique experience – and while having specialist on hand to help you pick a dream dress is a hugely valuable service – there’s nothing to stop you creating your own special shopping experience at home or on the high street. Either make a day out of it with your leading ladies, factoring in time for a lush lunch and a champagne stop (or two) on the agenda. Or, order online and invite your nearest and dearest to help you pick over an evening of fizz, canapes and cupcakes (surely that’s an ideal job to delegate to your bridesmaids). Who knows, you might even be able to afford to keep more than just the one dress!

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julia says: undoubtedly designer

We’ve featured all sorts of amazing frocks on these pretty pages, from vintage finds to high street bargains to couture masterpieces and the one thing that they had in common was that the bride felt like a million dollars in them and they all looked bloody beautiful.

I also think it’s wonderful that there is now a range of fashion forward options at varying price points for today’s bride and would never judge a friend for choosing a more affordable option, but would I pick up my wedding dress during a high street haul?  Not a chance!

I’ve been lucky enough to sit on the front row of some of the world’s most prestigious bridal events and work alongside some of the most talented designers in the business.  What makes these labels successful is the unbelievable attention to detail that they pay to every gown, every sequin and every client.

What makes these dresses worth saving for and spending on is the whole ‘dream dress’ experience.  It’s in the exciting trips to the boutique or atelier with your loved ones; the anticipation (and pop of Champagne) at every fitting; the rustle of tulle in a big, starched box; the million hand sewn pearl buttons; the bespoke accessories and additions and the perfectly steamed silk chiffon.

Not only that, it’s the exquisite fabrics, perfect cuts and delicate boning that nip, tuck, lift and skim in all the right places. These gowns really will make you look the best you ever have, and I think that’s worth paying for.

On your wedding day you want to feel special, beautiful, unique and individual, not just one of thousands of off the rail identikit Saturday shoppers.  Your wedding day fashion can be flash, but it should never be fast!

I love some of the most recent designs hitting the high street and featured here today, but I still wouldn’t give up the couture experience over bagging a stylish bargain.

To be honest, I’ve never seen a clearer cut need for a two dress wedding day… some of these numbers would look amazing on the dance floor!  Pass the credit card.

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what you said on social…

Elizabeth says: “I’ve dreamt of getting married since being a little girl and so have saved up for my dream dress. Going to the boutiques was an amazing and unforgettable experience so for me it would have to be designer every time!”

Jemma says: “We’re doing our wedding on a £4,000 budget (excluding the honeymoon) and so I’ve decided to buy from the high street. I’ve fallen in love with a lace Monsoon gown with scallop detail which is just under £300. I think it could be ‘the one’.”

Fay says: “I’ve already picked a designer gown and enjoyed every minute of the shopping experience. However it’s quite a voluminous dress and after recently seeing a real wedding on a blog where a bride chose a slim-line high street gown to change into for the evening do, I’m tempted to do the same.”

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eye candy: amanda wyatt ‘she walks with beauty’ collection 2017

March 15th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Ariella LowRes

One of our very favourite parts of our job is getting to see designer’s new wedding collections before they’re launched to the masses – and it’s even better when we get to share a sneaky first look with our lovely readers too!

Today is one such occasion when we’re giving you a fabulous first glimpse of hot-off-the-sketch-pad designs as we introduce the brand new she walks with beautycollection by Amanda Wyatt.

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A leading name in British bridal for more than 20 years, this forward thinking, design-led fashion house year on year delivers beautiful wedding gowns that we know our readers love. And Amanda’s 2017 collection, we think you will all agree, is no different with beautiful dresses to suit differing figures, tastes and styles.

Drawing on inspiration from old Hollywood glamour, the She Walks with Beauty collection celebrates the Golden age of fashion, featuring an array of breath taking gowns that oozes glamour and grace, which demand to be adored.

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Daring cut-away back detail with bejewelled accents for the red carpet styled bride sit alongside graceful and alluring romantic gowns in Amanda’s signature chiffon.

The 2017 colour palette includes dove grey, blush pinks, champagne and rich ivory shades, giving ladies the option to push traditional boundaries if they so wish.

Over 35 new gowns, all with attention to detail in illusion backs, sleeves, jewelled accents and beautiful buttons, make this Amanda’s most intricate and opulent collection to date.

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The She Walks with Beauty collection is priced from £950 to £1,700 and will be available in boutiques from early spring onwards.

For more details email fashion@amandawyatt.com.

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