Charlotte Balbier
Luxury Wedding Fairs

more than music: introducing entertaina

September 14th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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So the venue is booked, the flowers are on order and you’ve found your dream dress – but have you given any thought to the entertainment for your big day yet?

If not, no need to panic, as this afternoon we’re introducing a new Brides Up North Sponsor to the blog who can help make your wedding day even more memorable – say hello to Entertaina.

Operating via an easy to use website, couples can search for bands, singers and musicians, as well as more unusual acts, such as jugglers, caricaturists, silent discos, all at the click of a button with no need to fill in laborious forms or register.

To explain more about the fabulous talent on offer we’re handing over the blog to the friendly Entertaina team…

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Tell us a little bit about Entertaina and the services that it offers to wedding couples…

entertaina say: The website is an entertainment directory that launched in 2015 and is run by professional musicians, passionate for live entertainment. Our aim is to make finding an act for your wedding quick, simple and hassle-free. There’s no need to sign up or register any payment details with the site. You simply view entertainer profiles, save your favourites, and contact acts directly through their profile to make an enquiry. Our directory is completely free to use and we do not charge or take a cut from any bookings made. Payment is made directly to the entertainers, ensuring you get the best possible price and do not incur any extra charges.

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What different types of entertainment does Entertaina offer?

We have a whole host of entertainment, from bands, singers and musicians to jugglers, magicians and comedians! One of our latest acts is one of the world’s top foot jugglers. Educated by Juan Liu (Chinese State Circus, Cirque du Soleil), she uses her technical perfection and theatrical skills to create something unique and breath-taking.

In our opinion, how can live entertainment help to enhance a wedding day?

To us, live entertainment is everything. You really can’t beat it, from a magician performing the impossible and breaking the ice with your guests, to an eight-piece band getting your guests dancing all night long. Live wedding music can really add something special to your day. Nothing resonates louder than hearing your favourite melodies on an instrumental piano or quartet as you walk down the aisle, or a live band playing your first dance at the reception.

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pastels & petals. a beautifully traditional wedding in the north west – liz & andy

September 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Pretty and Traditional Wedding in the North West (c) Lee Brown Photography (64)

It’s only Wednesday and already we’ve seen so much pretty on the blog this week. And we hope you’re prepared for even more of the good stuff as this morning we’re sharing the gorgeous big day of newlyweds, Liz and Andy.

Deciding on a relaxed and traditional wedding with a pretty pastel colour scheme, today’s bride and groom opted for a church ceremony followed by a hotel reception, complete with elegant décor.

Though subtle, the result is a stunning celebration with everything from the wedding party’s attire to the beautiful blooms and classic transport tying together perfectly!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

A Pretty and Traditional Wedding in the North West (c) Lee Brown Photography (8)

liz says: We got engaged on 1st March 2014. I had been at home all day cleaning whilst Andy was out refereeing. I had put tea in the oven and had a shower, put my onesie on and was laid on the sofa watching Ant and Dec’s Saturday night takeaway. Andy came in the room, switched the TV off and passed me an empty egg box. In each hole was a little note and in the final one was a plastic egg with a ring in. He got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him.

We set the date for 23rd July 2016. We were looking for a date at the end of July as my sister had her GCSEs so we wanted them to be over in time and this date was also suitable for both the church and reception venue. It wasn’t until I told my mum the date that we realised that my grandparents had got married on the same date in 1955, exactly 61 years ago. It then seemed like fate that we should get married on that day.

A Pretty and Traditional Wedding in the North West (c) Lee Brown Photography (9)

Our ceremony was at St Mary’s Church in Partington. My parents had been married there in 1988 and it is where my grandad’s ashes are so it’s close to our hearts. Our reception was held at The Deanwater Hotel in Woodford, Cheshire. Andy used to work there and it suited our needs perfectly. We had a number of guests travelling from afar and there were enough rooms for people to stay the night before and the night of the wedding. We had a large number of guests and the hotel was big enough to cater for us all without it feeling too busy.

We decided to have a traditional wedding with a pastel colour scheme. We are quite a traditional couple and this style was simple but effective. We wanted the day to feel relaxed, nothing too ‘in your face’ and it worked perfectly. The pastels were lovely and soft and worked well as we had quite a lot of guests and didn’t want anything too bright in the reception venue which may look too much. Also, I have an English rose complexion and so the pastel colours tend to suit me really well.

A Pretty and Traditional Wedding in the North West (c) Lee Brown Photography (47)

When it came to my dress I picked a princess style design. I tried on more than 30 dresses, all different styles, and liked most of them. When I tried this dress on I cried, then my mum cried and I knew I wanted to get married wearing it. The dress was from Agape Bridal Boutique and the staff there were fantastic. They added a bit of sparkle for me and did the alterations in-house. I felt a million dollars when I tried it on and the morning of the wedding, I was speechless as to how beautiful it looked and felt.

Andy picked an unusual checked three-piece suit with tails (which was gorgeous) for him and the groomsmen. We then picked the cravats and waistcoats to match the bridesmaid dresses, which were a lovely pastel blue. As a surprise to the boys, I bought them all pastel blue socks to wear too! The suits were from Best Man in Great Moor, again, the staff there were brilliant.

I found the bridesmaid dresses online at Mix Bridal. I could choose the exact colour I wanted and they were beautiful dresses, they all looked absolutely stunning. I had a family friend make alterations so they would fit perfectly.

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charming cherry blossom. charlotte balbier for a summer wedding at hurlston hall – jennifer & adam

September 5th, 2016 | Julia Braime

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (39)

Today we’re packing in an extra punch of pretty with a second real wedding for to feast your eyes on.

For anyone planning a classic wedding that will truly stand the test of time, Jennifer and Adam’s big day is a perfect example of how it’s done; starting with a traditional church ceremony and ending with a lively reception at an elegant venue.

The dusky pink colour scheme works perfectly for the time of year and we just love the delicate touches of cherry blossom dotted throughout.

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (52)

jennifer says: We got engaged in September 2014, while we were away on holiday in Antalya, Turkey. The hotel was amazing and there was a gorgeous private beach. We went for a stroll on the second night and Adam brought his camera. He wanted to get a picture of the both of us so I sat in one of the sun huts. He set the camera up on a timer and once ready he ran over and got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife – just in time for the camera to capture the moment! I loved that he didn’t just ask me to marry him – he specifically asked me to become his wife, which was really special to me.

We picked 28th May 2016, as the date for the wedding. It was a bank holiday weekend and we wanted to give everyone an extra day to recover – we are party animals after all!

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (79)

We got married at the lovely St Michael’s Church in Aughton. If you went there yourself, you’d know why. The people there are amazing too. Our reception was at Hurlston Hall, in Ormskirk. We were over the moon with the venue. The views from the function room are breath-taking as it overlooks the golf course, plus it has an outside balcony so everyone could be in the sun.

We didn’t intend on having a theme but it kind of brought itself together – pink cherry blossom ran through pretty much everything, giving the wedding a slight oriental vibe. As such the colour scheme was of course, pink!

An Elegant Wedding at Hurlston Hall (c) Jonny Draper (25)

My dress was a Charlotte Balbier design – Iscoyd Park – the one that Charlotte herself chose to get married in! Although I did get it made an extra metre longer as I wanted a huge train. It wasn’t what I thought I’d go for at all. When I tried it on it was like Cinderella finding that shoe; it is a truly beautiful dress and Charlotte is an amazing designer. I got the veil to match too, which was a last minute decision! I’m so glad I did though. I got my outfit from Belle’s Bridal Boutique in Liverpool, a really cute bridal shop and the girls there are lovely.

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once upon a time. a story book themed wedding at hyde bank farm – jessica & rob

August 25th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Story Book Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (72)

Today’s wedding is brimming with beautiful inspiration, so be sure to have your Pinterest boards at the ready ladies.

Tying the knot at a rural barn setting in Cheshire, bookworm bride Jessica decided to theme the wedding around her favourite childhood stories, with nods to everyone from Peter Rabbit and Toad of Toad Hall, to the beautiful Snow White.

Looking every inch a princess herself, we adore Jessica’s stunning duchess satin gown as well as the bridesmaids’ vintage dresses and the groomsmen’s dapper suits!

Another stand out element for us has to be Jessica’s dreamy bouquet made by her talented mum – who just so happens to be a florist, and a fabulous one at that!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.

A Story Book Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (9)

jessica says: Rob proposed on Christmas Day 2013. Christmas is my favourite time of the year but I didn’t see the proposal coming. We had talked about getting married for years but finances had been tight as we were renovating our home.

I woke up at about 4.30am, which is normal for me on Christmas Day. We spent some time opening our stockings in bed before moving on to the Christmas tree in the living room. Rob opened his presents from me first and then it was my turn.

I unwrapped my first gift which was a poem from Rob asking me to be his wife. Rob was filming me and I read it out loud but couldn’t read it in full. My legs went to jelly but I thought he was winding me up. I started to cry and he handed me another present. I unwrapped a ring box and inside there was a note saying ‘Find Me, I’m hanging on the tree’.  I couldn’t contain my emotion at this point. I tried to stand up but my leg were shaking too much! Eventually I found the ring on the tree. The ring was beautiful. I was ecstatic. We celebrated with a bacon butty and a glass of champagne.  All this at 5am!

A Story Book Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (27)

We set the date for 7th May 2016. We chose May hoping for good weather and we got it! It was warm, but not too hot, and it stayed dry for the majority of the day.  We chose the 7th as number seven is a lucky number for the family and we were automatically drawn to it.

We got married at Hyde Bank Farm in Romiley, Cheshire. It was the only venue we looked at and we booked it straight away. Rob’s dad used to work there as a teenager back when it was a dairy farm. He actually used to work in barn where the ceremony was held. The farm is still run by the same family he used to work for.  The venue is perfect for an intimate ceremony but because it has two floors and outdoor space, it can hold up to 100 guests in the evening.

A Story Book Wedding in Cheshire (c) Lee Brown Photography (81)

Our theme was classic children’s books. Each table was named after a classic tale: Wind in the Willows, The Railway Children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. This was chosen because since a very early age I have been a bit of a bookworm. These were my favourite stories as a child. My mum has always compared me to Snow White with dark hair, fair skin and cherry red lips.

We went for a vintage look when it came to picking the colour scheme for the outfits and flowers. The bridesmaids wore vintage style dresses in powder blue and Rob, the dads and groomsmen wore navy. The flowers were vintage/rustic, in keeping with the venue, using predominately blue and lilac flowers.

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framing moments: sier photography

August 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime

North Yorkshire Wedding

This afternoon we’re thrilled to be introducing another talented wedding photography company to our list of fabulous list of Sponsors – say hello to Sier Photography.

Set up by Sheffield-based husband and wife team Matthew and Deborah, Sier Photography offers the services of two skilful photographers with more than a decade’s experience of shooting weddings.

Capturing the day as it unfolds, the dynamic duo aim to blend into the background, framing beautiful moments as they happen while also working to a couple’s brief to ensure they achieve exactly what the bride and groom want for their big day images.

For those of you that like what you see, Sier Photography is offering a free pre-wedding photoshoot to our readers who book them for their wedding, simply quote “Brides Up North”. Just be sure to hurry though as these guys are in demand!

To explain a little more about their wedding day image style and approach we’ll hand over the blog to the main man himself, Matthew.

North Yorkshire Wedding

Tell us a little about your background…

matthew says: We have been photographing weddings for a little over ten years. Our first was as a favour to a colleague of Deborah’s who wanted a few images of her day. As well as being our first, it is also our smallest to date with a total of eight guests, including us!

What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?

We love weddings and being there to capture the emotions of the day for everyone involved gives you such a buzz. It was the thought of helping create memories for our clients that appealed to us.

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And what is it about your job that you love?

I think we both like the happiness of the day, seeing people at their best and most lively. It is a wonderful privilege to be part of one of the biggest days in a couples lives (up to then at least) and so nice to be able to capture it for them.

How would you describe your style of wedding photography and what makes you stand out from others?

Our style of wedding photography is to be as hands-off as possible. We love to capture the day as it unfolds around us, using the features of the venue and lighting to give our clients the best images possible. We try to work in a relaxed and informal way, to blend in with guests. This doesn’t mean that we won’t take any formal shots or grouped posed photographs though. We always say it is your day, your way and we are there to work for you.

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What do your clients love about your approach, service and images?

The feedback from our clients has always been highly positive and they are always really surprised just how hard we work for them on their wedding day!

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believe the hype: brides up north visits le petit chateau

August 17th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Le Petit Chateau (c) Scott Spock

Image by Scott Spock, all others by Sean Elliott

There are wedding venues with the wow-factor and then there’s the likes of Le Petit Chateau, a brand new venue to the North East, which pushes the jaw-dropping bar even higher.

When we first learned that the award-winning Apartment Group were working on a new wedding venture following the success of their other venues, including the gorgeous Newton Hall, we were told to expect something luxurious and different – and that’s exactly what they’ve delivered.

Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott (8)

Situated within beautiful countryside in Otterburn, Northumberland, Le Petit Chateau started life in the form of a 17th Century Coaching Inn, in its previous incarnation as The Percy Arms Hotel, but it has now been transformed into a first class wedding venue, complete with spectacular function rooms, boutique bedrooms and perfectly manicured Mediterranean Gardens.

As we heard more about the venue during its development stages the excitement grew, we were intrigued by its South of France influences and talk of a breath-taking ceremony room, and then as images of the venue started to emerge, we became desperate to see for ourselves if Le Petit Chateau lived up to the hype.

Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long as the wonderful Apartment Group team invited us for an overnight stay at Le Petit Chateau, not long after opening its doors. As Julia had not long welcomed her beautiful second daughter Lili, I took one for the team (it’s a hard life) and snapped up the invitation, taking my mum along with me for a girly weekend away (much to my boyfriend’s disappointment).

Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott (1)

On the weekend that we visited the venue was hosting no less than three weddings, one on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which proves its instant popularity. As an exclusive use venue Le Petit Chateau only ever hold one wedding per day and the building has been cleverly designed so that brides, grooms and guests don’t clash with previous wedding parties, or members of the public.

Upon arrival we enjoyed a drink in the William de Percy, Coaching Inn and Creperie, which sits on the site of the old Percy Arms. Its warm atmosphere and chic rustic décor give us a slight taste of what’s to come. It’s not long before we are shown to our room and the real opulence and extravagance of Le Petit Chateau is revealed. Passing through reception we climb to our first floor twin room, which causes us to gasp as we enter. Looking like a bedroom that one would expect to find in a luxurious French manor, the décor and furnishings were nothing short of stunning. Known for their incredible attention to detail the Apartment Group have thought of everything to make guests’ stay both a unique and unforgettable, with each of the 29 bedrooms individually designed for to create that certain je ne sais quois.

Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott (4)

After the incredible detail, the next thing to hit you about Le Petit Chateau is the hospitality. All the staff are friendly and attentive, creating a warm and enjoyable atmosphere which encourages people to instantly relax and have fun. During our visit we were incredibly well looked after by the General Manager Dale, while the wonderful Master of Ceremonies Tim took time out to give us a tour of the function side and the venue and head of housekeeping was proud to show off the rooms that she and her team lovingly look after. Beyond that, all the bar, waiter and events staff also go about their work in a happy and enthusiastic manner, which all in all says to me that couples marrying at the venue would be incredibly well looked after!

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