February 8th, 2018 | Julia Braime
With the weekend almost in sight, we think it’s high time for some serious dress candy; which might just be the extra inspiration you need if you’re about to embark on your dream gown search.
Today’s gorgeous loot of loveliness comes in the form of the brand-new collection from our fabulous Sponsor Luella’s Bridal. Located in the Wimbledon Village area of London, this independent boutique not only stocks a stylish range of creations from edgy international designers, but it also produces its own line of totally dreamy dresses.
Having just launched their second collection, titled Expectations, the team at Luella’s wanted you lucky Brides Up North readers to be among the first to see these utterly beautiful gowns in all their glory. And so today we’re brining you a first look at the five stunning designs that make up the collection, while finding out about the inspiration behind these fine creations.
Here to tell us more is the lovely owner of Luella’s, Rachel Attwell…
Tell us about the inspiration behind Expectations?
rachel says: The collection is inspired by Trinidadian jewellery designer, Sarah May. The collection includes five distinctly different dresses, which have been carefully designed to match Sarah’s island pod rings, which were inspired by her original engagement ring and then her subsequent life journey. Named; Happy, Love, Dream, Believe and Abundance.
The idea behind the collection, is that each ring can be interpreted in the wearers own unique way and Luella’s felt that there was something truly special about having a ring to wear that is so personal to each individual.
As such, we felt that it was important to include an assortment of styles to reflect the essence of the rings and therefore our bride’s personality. Each dress has an element of sparkle so that even the simplest styles, still look and feel truly special.
Can you give us an overview of the styles of dresses that make up the collection?
All of the dresses have been designed by the Luella’s team and are handmade in the UK. Each has been designed to reflect our beautiful free-spirited brides and includes a mixture of simple understated and intricately beaded slip style dresses and beautiful lace and tulle gowns. There is a selection of low plunging backs, soft flowing skirts, stunning hand beaded lace and our signature pleated skirt.
What about the fabrics and colourways used within the collection?
The collection is made from a variety of beautiful silks, satins and French laces and the most exquisite selection of hand beaded appliques. We have used more than 16 metres of tulle in the skirt of one of our designs! The dresses are made in a mixture of colours ranging from soft ivories to warm cream tones and our Nieve dress also comes with a slip that can be ordered in a choice of ivory or oyster.
Talk us through the dress designs one by one…
Isla – The Isla dress is made from two layers of sumptuous silk satin in a soft ivory colourway. The bias-cut design features a low v neckline and plunging v-back which is framed with the most exquisite handmade beading in a floral design in ivory and soft blush tones. The dress also features and optional long flowing train and can be made in either off white, ivory or oyster silk satin.
February 7th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Once a big day has been and gone, images and film are the ways in which we relive those important memories, and so we believe it’s super important for couples to document as much of their wedding as possible.
That said, it’s also key that brides and grooms aren’t distracted from their day, meaning they’ll need to rely on others to capture the action for them. While professionals can of course take care of this, getting guests to play photographers too allows for even more fabulous candid snaps to be taken, and can easily be arranged thanks to a fabulous service provided by our Sponsor Take a Pic.
Moving on from the days where disposable cameras were dished out to guests, Take a Pic specialises in hiring a range of digital cameras for the wedding day, which can be used by the groom and bridal parties during the prep and by guests during the main event – resulting in high quality images and video from all angles from the whole day.
There are various camera packages to choose from; from simple compacts for the tables or better quality cameras for the groom/bridal party. There are also packages with HD video camcorders, instant print cameras and even action cameras.
Better still, the process is simple and stress-free: Simply visit Take a Pic’s website and select your package, hire duration and your delivery date; then capture the action before returning the cameras in pre-paid returns packaging at your local post office. The data will then be transferred onto a USB stick and sent to your address, so you have all your guest images in one place.
Keen to find out more? Us too! As such, we’ve invited the Take a Pic team to the blog with their suggestions of the best packages and products for capturing different parts of the celebrations. And if you like what they have to offer, Brides Up North readers can get £10 off all orders using the discount code BRIDES10PO (online bookings only).
Take a Pic say: We offer a specially designed ‘His and Hers’ camera hire package ideal for capturing your entire wedding day, including all the preparation from both sides of the family. This package includes two bridge cameras, for the bride and groom, capable of taking 20MP images as well as 720p HD video with optical and digital zoom. Those who hire this package tend to give the job of photographer to the chief bridesmaid and best man alike. This package also allows you to select a number of compact cameras for your guests at the reception too.
If capturing the vows and speeches is important to you, and something which your photographer may not record on video, we recommend one of our HD video packages. Although most of our cameras have the capability of recording video, the compact handycams in these packages are much more up to the job, with 1080p HD video quality recorded straight onto a memory card. This package also allows you to select a number of compact cameras for your guests at the reception too.
The best and most popular package we offer is our standard camera hire, consisting of a select number of compact digital cameras. These are most commonly placed on your wedding tables to allow your guests to capture photos and videos during the wedding reception and into the evening.
We have an instant camera available for those who want to fill their guestbooks with a photo alongside their messages to the bride and groom. We also offer a mounted video camera with tripod and remote as an alternative to a costly photo booth, designed for capturing your personal messages to the bride and groom. These can then be put into a film, with all your guests and their special messages.
February 6th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
This morning on the blog we’re escaping to an award-winning hotel and spa set in 1,400 acres of spectacular countryside. Say hello to the beautiful Coniston Hotel in the Yorkshire Dales – the serene backdrop to Sarah and Sam’s big day last April.
Finding a venue that could accommodate all of their family and friends was a top priority for the couple, and The Coniston ticked this requirement rather nicely – and then some! Guests could really make a weekend of it, enjoying activities like clay pigeon shooting, or a more blissful experience in the spa.
Sarah and Sam’s wedding was all about the countryside feels, with plenty of natural tones, hessian and tweed. Our personal highlight has to be the couple’s jaunt outdoors on the rowing boat – true romance!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Laura Calderwood Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged on 11th September 2016. Samuel went to elaborate measures for the perfect proposal. About six months before, he began to drop hints about wanting a surprise birthday party. He then spoke to his mum and asked her to convince me that we should throw him a surprise party for his 28th birthday as he would never expect it. I agreed and believed that his mother and I were planning him the party. Little did I know, Samuel planned the whole thing, including choosing the venue, and then made his mum pass it off as her idea and suggestions. Having a busy job as a teacher meant that I was none the wiser and too busy to question anything. Lots of our friends and family were gathered in the hall on the eve on our engagement, some knew what was coming, others had no idea. I gathered everybody around the door ready to shout surprise. When I opened the door, Samuel was down on one knee! I had absolutely no idea and was blown away. After saying yes, we partied the evening away with the people we love.
We got married on 8th April 2017. Being a teacher meant that our dates were restricted to the school holidays and as a close friend was getting married in the summer holidays, we chose April. We couldn’t have been happier with the weather; blazing sunshine and 17 degrees.
We tied the knot at St Peter’s Church, Coniston Cold, Skipton, and had the wedding breakfast and reception at The Coniston Hotel. When we started to plan, we sat down and discussed our values for the big day. We wanted somewhere that was going to accommodate all our family and friends and somewhere that would listen to us and work with us to be flexible. The Coniston were just that. They truly are an amazing wedding venue. Nothing was too much and our coordinator Sharon made sure our day was absolutely perfect. Our very good friend, Luke, is a rector so he performed the ceremony for us which really made it personal and all about us. He is amazing.
There was no particular theme – we liked cosy, countryside style and knew we wanted somewhere where all our family and friends could come together and spend the weekend, with clay pigeon shooting and the spa.
We wanted a neutral colour scheme and I was a particular fan of hessian and lace. I had seen lots of inspiration on Pinterest and wedding websites and was always drawn to this combination.
I knew from the start that I wanted a dress that incorporated lace and a train. I went to a few wedding fairs with my mum, grandma, sister and bridesmaids, and tried on quite a few dresses. I was starting to get frustrated because I liked certain parts of them but always wanted to change something. We watched the catwalk at one wedding fair and my mum saw a dress that she thought would look nice on me, so we went to try it on. It was from Berketex Bride. It was the first dress I’d tried on where I didn’t want to change anything. I still didn’t know it was the one until afterwards. Every dress I looked at (on the hangers) I kept comparing to this one, so I tried it on again and knew it was right. I did have a slight panic that I’d made the wrong choice afterwards, but once I tried it on in my size at my first fitting I knew I hadn’t.
February 2nd, 2018 | Julia Braime
While planning a wedding is super exciting, it’s also classed as one of life’s most stressful events and so it’s good to have support to hand to ensure you’re organised and not overwhelmed by the task ahead.
If you’re already feeling a buried in the wedmin, or know exactly what you want but aren’t sure how to make it a reality, then the Sponsor we’re introducing on the blog today is going to be very useful to you. So, join us as we welcome professional wedding planners Andrea Swift (Northern Ambassador and Supreme Member of UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) and Debbie Rainford (UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) of Fabulous Together.
Dubbed as “Fairy Godmothers” and “Secret Weapons” these are the ladies in the know, who can help bring your wedding dreams to fruition. Whether you require a full or partial planning service Andrea and Debbie will be there to bounce ideas off, provide professional advice and banish any pre-wedding worries.
So, let’s hear more from the dynamic duo on how their approach, services and style.
Can you tell us a little about your backgrounds and how was Fabulous Together was formed?
andrea & debbie say: After working together on several large-scale luxury weddings we had a ‘lightbulb’ moment – we realised that we not only shared the same ethos, the same professional values and the same sense of fun, but ultimately, the same vision. By combining our experience and expertise, we decided we could offer the region the ultimate luxury wedding planning service: Fabulous Together Weddings.
Why would you advise couples to hire a wedding planner?
Planning a wedding can be really stressful and we know how time consuming it can be too. A big part of our role is to match our clients with people we think will best suit their style, vision and personality, then deliver the wedding day they had always dreamed of and we keep ourselves up-to-date with all the latest trends, ensuring each individual wedding has its own unique ‘wow’ factor.
Can you outline the services that you offer to brides and grooms?
Our Full Planning Service includes a detailed consultation and bespoke proposal after which clients are assigned a senior planner who will remain by their side throughout the whole process.
Our Partial Planning package would be better suited to those clients who have already undertaken some of the planning themselves. Fabulous Together Weddings will review all bookings and plans to-date, manage the booked suppliers and stay with the couple right to the end of the wedding day, ensuring everything flows smoothly.
Proving that distance really doesn’t need to be a barrier when creating your dream wedding, our Fabulous Together Weddings’ unique Destination UK service is perfect for couples who live overseas but want to marry in the UK.
What would you say to couples who think hiring a wedding planner means they will lose control of their wedding day?
Absolutely not! The relationship we have with our couples is always collaborative. We are here to help and bring their ideas to life. Think of us as super organised fairy godmothers – we’ll offer professional advice when it’s needed, banish worries and ensure everything runs smoothly from start to finish.
What area of planning would you say that couples find the most stressful and how can you help?
It is always hard keeping everyone happy and it can be a delicate balancing act, especially where parents are concerned. As we have so much experience in dealing with these sometimes tricky situations, we can provide an independent view that often puts things into perspective. That and the weather! We always ensure we have a good Plan B so we are prepared for whatever the British climate throws at us!
What is it that you love about the world of weddings and what is the favourite part of your job?
Sometimes it’s the simplest thing, that moment in the ceremony where the couple are officially married – the kiss, the love, the intimacy of it all – we feel privileged to be a part of it. But we also love hearing the guests chanting for one more song on the dance floor after a stunning band set or catching them talking in the toilets about it being the best wedding they have ever been to! At the end of it all we can slip quietly away knowing we have helped our couple have the very best day imaginable!
Are you noticing any trends in weddings at the moment and, if so, what are they?
A key element now though is that couples want the wedding to last as long as possible. We are seeing more and more ‘wedding weekends’ often at lavish venues, but increasingly at home or in the grounds of a close family member’s property, providing a more personalised option.
Do you have any particular memorable moments from weddings you’ve organised?
Lots and lots of memorable moments, yes, but some real stand out ones include the groom and his eight best men singing as they walked down the aisle, it was a definite ‘hairs standing up on the back of your neck’ moment. Of course, it did help that they were all professional singers! Then there was the wedding where we were waiting (outside in the rain), to get a call from Heathrow airport to see if the cloud base was high enough for our couple’s air acrobatic display to take place – it meant that Heathrow would have to alternate take off and landings to allow for the seven-minute display – when they finally said yes, we literally had two minutes to get the guests outside and in position. It was stressful but completely amazing when it happened as if on cue.
February 1st, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding is all about the fun factor, with newlyweds, Jen and Leigh, making sure this was one of their top priorities when planning their special day. From the ceremony and decorations to the food and music, they also injected a personal touch across every aspect of their nuptials and the celebrations after. And we’re completely smitten with the results.
The gorgeous Grade II listed Mansion in Roundhay Park, Leeds – a Brides Up North Sponsor venue, no less – provided the luxurious backdrop to the couple’s November wedding.
Jen and Leigh looked to the wintry season for inspiration, with gorgeous berry and navy tones and a touch of gold, as well as ‘wild’ floral arrangements and a hearty wedding breakfast. Other little details to look out for include gold prosecco bottles for their centrepieces and corks as place setting holders – simple yet beautiful, and an idea we think we’ll be borrowing!
DIARY DATE: We will be holding a Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Fair at The Mansion on Sunday 25th February 2018, 11am to 2pm, FREE ENTRY. Be sure to join us to see more of this fabulous venue and to meet a handpicked selection of top suppliers from the area.
With images by A Little Picture.
jen says: We got engaged on Christmas Day 2016. We had spent a couple of years renovating our house and Leigh suggested that it might be nice to have Christmas in our own home for the first time ever. We woke up on Christmas morning and opened what I thought were silly stocking presents. At the very bottom of mine was a beautifully wrapped box and when I looked up, Leigh was on one knee asking me to marry him! It was just perfect, very private and romantic with the twinkly lights on the tree. My family came over for Christmas dinner and it was so exciting to be able to celebrate with them on such a special day.
We got married on 11th November 2017. We had been together for 11 years at that point and once we had decided to get married, we didn’t want to hang around! We love this time of year, particularly crisp autumn days with all the beautiful colours on the trees and the gorgeous low light.
We tied the knot at The Mansion in Roundhay Park, and were able to have both our ceremony and reception there. As soon as we arrived, we knew that it would be the place for us. Roundhay Park is beautiful and has a wonderful family feel to it. The Mansion itself is a gorgeous old house, which is decorated in a contemporary style and is incredibly warm and inviting. It has two main rooms, so we were able to have our ceremony and reception in different places and it was big enough that, had the weather been poor, our guests could comfortably spend all day inside. From our first meeting, Dine (who run the venue) were incredibly friendly and professional, nothing seemed to be too much trouble.
We didn’t have a theme as such but wanted the whole day to feel relaxed and cosy. We decorated the building with photos of our friends and family and used candles everywhere to create a romantic mood.
We had a combination of warm berry and navy tones to reflect the time of year and our centrepieces were gold to match the colours of the building’s interior.
I wore a floor-length Essense of Australia dress from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden, West Yorkshire. I knew that I wanted something lacy and fitted but this dress went beyond my original expectations, with beautiful beading detail and a long train. The back of the dress was particularly intricate, so I went for a sheer veil in the same length as my train. I loved my dress and wish I could wear it again!
My hair and makeup artist, Anna Stephenson was amazing. She was able to replicate the images that I had shown to her as well as make suggestions.
January 30th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple know a thing or two about picture perfect settings. After a romantic proposal on the terrace of a medieval castle in Italy, Sophie and Michael then decided to host their special day in the Peak District National Park, at the exquisite Upper House in Hayfield, overlooking Kinder Reservoir.
The couple tied the knot last summer, extending their wedding celebrations across the bank holiday weekend. Opting for a classic colour scheme of blush pink and ivory, they adorned the venue with the most beautiful of floral arrangements and foliage. Festoon lighting and glowing candles, meanwhile, added a mesmerising ambience to the space.
Not only did their wedding look the part, it was also a lot of fun! Their guests were certainly in for a treat during the weekend, with a prosecco van, pizzas and ice cream, as well as garden games, a silent disco and a live band to keep everybody entertained. Everything, we think, you could possibly want for you and your guests on your big day!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
sophie says: Michael proposed while on a surprise trip to Italy on the 9th October 2015. We visited a small village called Castelfalfi in Tuscany, and Michael got down on one knee on the terrace of the medieval castle that stands in the centre of the village. We then had dinner overlooking the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany. He even managed to get the moment videoed. It was the most magical day!
We got married on Saturday 26th August 2017. We chose the bank holiday weekend as we wanted to extend our wedding celebrations. We invited all of our guests back to our venue on the Sunday to continue the party. The day consisted of lots of garden games for the children (and adults!) gorgeous pizzas supplied by The Woodland Rover, delicious ice cream by Ice Cream Dub and fantastic entertainment by Alexander Stewart. Our guests also enjoyed a silent disco.
We tied the knot at St Thomas’ Church in Mellor, and held our wedding reception at Upper House, Hayfield. Upper House stands alone on the magnificent Kinder Scout in the Peak District National Park and has to be seen to be believed. We knew instantly it was the venue for us. From the incredible views, to the courtyard, the Great Hall, the beautiful bedrooms to even having its own mini pub – Upper House is simply stunning. I couldn’t have imagined having our wedding anywhere else.
As we got engaged in Italy but chose to get married in the UK we wanted to bring a little Italian style to our wedding. This consisted of olive trees dotted around the venue, the black tie dress code, festoon lighting over the courtyard, a prosecco van and a string quartet.
I wanted a romantic and sophisticated look, so we went for a blush pink and ivory colour scheme paired with lots of candles and foliage, which I felt suited the venue and the Italian theme.
I wore a beautiful dress by Pronovias from Maria Modes in Macclesfield. I had my dress customised to include shoulder straps, buttons down the back and a sparkling belt. I also wore a Pronovias veil. My dress was one of the first I ever tried on and I absolutely fell in love with it and I knew instantly it was the one. I loved all of the ruffles and the long train, it was everything I’d ever dreamed off. I also wore Jimmy Choo shoes. I didn’t want to go for traditional satin wedding shoes, so I chose some that sparkled instead!
On the morning of our wedding myself, my bridesmaids and my mum all wore matching robes from Plum Pretty Sugar and had our makeup and hair styled by the very talented and gorgeous Samantha Green of DonebySG. She put my whole wedding party at ease and ensured we all had a fun and relaxed wedding morning.
We strive to represent the very best in our industry, but Brides Up North cannot be held liable for the products/ services of our sponsors. Any bookings are made at your own risk. Terms & Conditions.
All images © Brides Up North/ original author. Images should not be reproduced without written permission. Terms & Conditions.