Charlotte Balbier
Festival Wedding Exhibitions

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

Asos 3

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.

Asos

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.

Paola LowRes

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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pure & pretty: introducing rebecca juliet bridal

March 4th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Rebecca Juliet Bridal (64)

Happy Fri-yay! To get your weekend off to a beautiful start, we’re bringing you a fabulous dose of dress candy as we introduce new Brides Up North Sponsor, Rebecca Juliet Bridal, to the blog.

Through her north-west based studio, talented designer Rebecca offers brides-to-be a stunning choice of handmade dresses through her capsule collection and also gives ladies the option of a fully bespoke dress, for something totally unique.

A big believer in delivering quality and fabulousness, all of Rebecca’s dresses are created using pure silks and lace, meaning they feel as good as they look.

In addition to taking over the blog this morning to tell us all about her gorgeous designs, Rebecca is also inviting our readers to her fabulous launch event on Thursday 31st March, at the beautiful Eaves Hall near Clitheroe, from 7.30pm to 10pm.

During the evening ladies will be treated to a catwalk show featuring Rebecca’s designs, advice and inspiration from some of the area’s top suppliers as well as sweet treats and a glass of fizz (of course!) Full details, including where to get tickets, below.

For now we will leave you in Rebecca’s skillful hands…

Images by Sarah Valentine Photography

Rebecca Juliet Bridal (81)

How and when did Rebecca Juliet Bridal come to fruition?

rebecca says: I have just set the business up although it has been dream of mine for many years since I made my own wedding dress in 2002. I am a designer and seamstress and have been sewing since I was 13 and studied textiles and fashion at university so this is my natural domain and I love it!  Rebecca Juliet are my first and middle names and I wanted my business identity to have a strong emotional connection to me personally and so Rebecca Juliet Bridal was born.

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

Our bespoke space is a living, breathing studio. The studio is in Chipping in the breath-taking Forest of Bowland, and is a stunning backdrop to creating wedding dresses – it is a truly inspirational place to work! The studio is modern yet intimate designed in my brand colours of muted greys and pinks with a nod to vintage feel with my French style mirror and furniture; there are rolls of gorgeous silks and laces and a rack of carefully handmade gowns, veils and accessories. I have books and photos to inspire my lovely brides-to-be as I want this to be a fun and creative place for them to come and bring their dream dress to life.

Rebecca Juliet Bridal (75)

Tell us a little about your lovely dress designs…

Brides-to-be can chose from one of the dresses in my capsule collection or we can work together to create something completely unique; however I only work with pure silks and lace so I can ensure I create something truly fabulous for them. My sample collection dresses are all currently a size 12, however we can make dresses for any size. Most of my dresses range between £1,000 and £2,000; though some full lace gowns are more.

Do you also offer accessories?

We have a selection of silk tulle veils in a variety of lengths with lace and silk edgings; we also have a number of jackets, capes and belts to complement the dresses.

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eye candy: the separates collection by charlotte balbier

February 2nd, 2016 | Julia Braime

Tempest Lace

Our lead Sponsor here at Brides Up North, Charlotte Balbier is famous for celebrating a bride’s individuality and style and sometimes, just sometimes, breaking all the bridal rules (kinda why we love her)!

With great delight we are proud to debut the new Balbier separates collection on our pretty pages.  Charlotte has created 11 inter-changeable separates all designed for the bride to build and create her own individual look.

Tempest & 1252 Sash

Maybe a satin slip with a lace topper and satin sash, or a ball gown skirt, crop top and lace reverse bolero? Whatever your personality and look the new separates collection offers a diverse way of creating your very own bridal syle.

charlotte says: Now, more than ever before, a Charlotte Balbier bride is a free spirited feminine woman who is confident in both her fashion and bridal style, expressing her unique individuality, personality and style through her Balbier gown.

Girls, get ready for some serious dress crushing…

Harper

Harper:  A slipper satin dress with shoestring straps and low back. Fabulous with one of the lace overlay gowns, lace toppers or worn simply as it is.

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diary date: anna campbell trunk show at jean jackson couture nq plus 10% off all orders

December 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Christmas is coming early to brides-to-be who dream of saying ‘I do’ in a stunning Anna Campbell gown thanks to Jean Jackson Couture NQ who will be hosting a special trunk show event with a fabulous 10% off all orders!

Not only is there a saving to be made, but ladies attending the event will also be able to try on anna campbell designs exclusive to the Manchester boutique, providing the opportunity to create a gorgeous and individual wedding day look.

For the all-important details we’ll hand you over to Felicity at Jean Jackson Couture NQ. Diaries at the ready ladies…

Images courtesy of Anna Campbell.

Anna Campbell at Jean Jackson Couture HQ (15)

felicity says: The Anna Campbell trunk show will be held from Friday 18th December 2015 to Sunday 3rd January 2016, to celebrate the release of the Anna Campbell Gossamer collection!

There will be more than 40 combinations of Anna Campbell dresses available to try on from the Gossamer, Spirit and Forever Entwined collections, exclusively at Jean Jackson Couture NQ. Better still, there will be 10% off all Anna Campbell orders, as well as goody bags and festive treats!

Anna Campbell at Jean Jackson Couture HQ (5)

This will be the first Gossamer collection trunk show in the whole of Europe and so we are absolutely thrilled to be hosting it! Until now the Gossamer collection was a made-to-measure service and has only been available in Melbourne. However, due to the demand for the collection, Anna made the Gossamer range made-to-order, and it will still feature her iconic dresses, such as Ashlyn, Tash and Carolina.

The Gossamer collection is inspired by French romance, with its intricate detailing and delicate hand-craftsmanship it epitomises grace and glamour. There really is a dress for every bride within Anna’s collections, with a range of customisable options, including unique colours and an assortment of skirts in varying fabrics and fit! All Anna’s dresses are lined in silk too, so they look and feel amazing to wear!

I recently saw the collection when I was in New York for bridal week and it blew me away! Ashlyn is such a special dress and Annabella is another favourite of mine.

Anna Campbell at Jean Jackson Couture HQ (4)

The Anna Campbell gowns are available from a XXS – XXL, which is the UK equivalent of a size 4 to a size 18. In the studio, we have samples from a size 6 to 14. There are certain styles of Anna’s dresses that are unavailable above a size 14, however the majority of them are available in her full size range.

The Anna Campbell dresses range in price, dependant on the amount of beading and skirt choice. The UK RRP for the range is from £1,659 to £4,499, which includes shipping costs from Australia, import duty and VAT. We also offer alteration packages from £100.

Anna Campbell at Jean Jackson Couture HQ (8)

Ordinarily we are closed on Sundays, however during the trunk show we will be open on Sunday the 20th and 27th December 2015, and the 3rd January 2016, we will also be open on Monday 28th December 2015.

The trunk show will be appointment only, and all appointments will last up to an hour and a half. To book an appointment, please email info@jeanjacksoncouture.com or call 07436 535 587. There is no charge for appointments.

Can’t wait to see you all there!

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