September 21st, 2018 | Rachel Parry
As we gear up for two more fabulous Brides Up North Wedding Shows in the north this Sunday, we have a double dose of wedding loveliness for your Friday afternoon. Prepare to pay extra special attention as we’re sharing details and images of the breathtakingly beautiful new collection of bridal gowns from our amazing Sponsor, British designer Caroline Castigliano, plus we have details of a super event taking place at her flagship boutique in a few weeks’ time that you won’t want to miss out on!
First up, those dresses! Ever a fan of Caroline’s incredible creations, her latest collection is just as wow-worthy (if not more so!) than the last, comprising beautifully feminine gowns that celebrate the female figure, in the finest fabrics complete with delectable detailing.
And so, we’re hearing directly from Caroline about her inspiration for this latest set of divine dresses and quizzing her on which are her personal favourites.
Thankfully you lucky brides-to-be won’t have to wait long to see such gowns first-hand as the collection is arriving in stockist boutiques across the country from this week. The event we have details on also provides a perfect opportunity to view Caroline’s latest designs and gather ideas for your big day to come.
Taking place on the Thursday 4th October at the Caroline Castigliano Knightsbridge store, the Evening of Wedding Inspiration invites brides to meet Caroline along with her favourite partners, all experts in their field of luxury, who will be offering top tips and advice that only insiders know.
Those who attend can enjoy mini make-up and styling sessions by the Bobbi Brown and Richard Ward teams, get wedding planning tips from Bruce Russell, talk to Scott Dunn about the perfect honeymoon destination and sample drinks from Berry Bros. & Rudd, while also meeting Luxury florist Paula Rooney, wedding and celebrity photographer Andy Mac, diamond expert Duttson Rocks, exclusive wedding cake designer Yevnig and Leeming Brothers Fine Stationery.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, all guests will receive a goody bag worth more than £150 with special gifts and exclusive offers from partners involved in the event.
But enough from us, let’s hand over the blog to Caroline now for more details on those dreamy dresses plus information on how to get your hands on tickets for that a-maz-ing event!
Can you start by giving us a brief overview of your gorgeous new collection?
caroline says: The collection is called the ‘Power of Love’ and features classic and timeless gowns with contemporary highlights and details that create a chic look.
Where did you draw inspiration from for this particular set of dresses?
My inspiration behind the collection was relaxed effortless style. I love creating glamorous pieces that fit perfectly and create a beautiful silhouette but at the same time appear relaxed and chic – no effort. The collection has gowns that are understated and quite simple but exude a sensual feeling. For me it all comes down to the cut and the movement – the architecture of the gown.
Can you tell us about the various styles and silhouettes of the gowns within the collection?
The ‘Power of Love’ collection features day to night looks – sleek fishtail gowns are paired with sumptuous detachable trains and delicate lace shrugs to transform the silhouette.
The essence of 50’s glamour is brought back with a modern take on the classic ball gown with clean lines making the statement.
I have also continued with the unique stretch corsets I’ve developed with bra cup corsets sculpting the figure to create a feminine and playfully sensual shape with layered laces creating depth and texture.
And what about the fabrics, detailing, colourways?
The collection has been handcrafted in the UK from fluid crepe, satin faced organza and guipure lace alongside new modern laces with subtle beading creating an understated yet glamorous bridal vision. Colours are soft – ivory, blush, mocha and beautiful water colours.
Do you have a particular favourite within the collection?
I really do love quite a few of them. It’s difficult to pick, though three standouts for me include:
Chrissy – the new scoop necked corset is stunning, modern and fresh with a power mesh layered with Chantilly lace and then moulded with exquisite beading very delicate and feminine, it comes with a soft water wash mocha silk organza skirt – I love the movement of this dress.
Madeira – all corded lace dress with a high neck and cap sleeves falling into a full circle lace skirt – it says young modern bride with a sense of classic.
Celia – full crepe dress with a strap and deep curved neck skimming the body – powerful yet understated, a chic glamorous style.
When will be new collection be landing in boutiques?
Dresses are arriving in stores from this week. You can find you closest Caroline Castigliano stockist here on our website.
We are excited to hear of the Evening of Wedding Inspiration that you are hosting at your Knightsbridge flagship boutique on 4th October. Can you tell us how the event will be beneficial to brides-to-be and why you’d encourage them to attend?
This is a fantastic opportunity for brides-to-be to see our latest collection of designer wedding gowns and meet some of the top experts in the wedding industry to get exclusive tips, ideas and inspiration! From bridal beauty to floral arrangements and honeymoons, we will have it all covered!
Furthermore, we will be showing a selection of our evening wear collection – just the thing for mothers-of-the-bride looking to wow in a red-carpet-worthy dress.
Tickets are available to buy online here.
September 13th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
When piecing together your big day it’s often the case that you will want one element to complement another; from the dress, hair and makeup, to the venue, styling and flowers. Entertainment is another factor often chosen to complement the wedding setting and theme – so those wanting timeless and traditional will look to string quartets and classical pianists, while those taking their celebrations outdoors for a festival style affair will be on the hunt for rocking bands that can really get the party started.
Keen to help you line up which live acts will fit in perfectly with your plans and vision, we’ve asked our amazing Sponsor, live music agency Entertainment Nation, to advise on the best types of musicians to suit varying styles of weddings.
Hooking up brides and grooms with top acts from across the country day in day out, it’s fair to say these guys know their stuff and help to make the booking process as easy as possible with a user-friendly website and friendly staff on-hand to answer any questions or queries.
So, without further delay, we’ll hand you over to Steven Robertson, Content Manager of Entertainment Nation, to share his expert opinion on which musicians to book for which settings…
We’re so lucky in the UK to have an abundance of gorgeous historic venues in which to celebrate a wedding. If you’re getting married amidst the grandeur of a majestic castle, the evocative strains of a string quartet reverberating around those ancient stone walls provide a suitably stately accompaniment to the bridal entrance.
For your evening party, how about flipping your guests’ expectations of traditional entertainment and opting for an act that’s as current as they come? Fresh from the Ibiza club-scene, DJ Live acts combine all the best bits of hiring a wedding DJ and live musicians. DJ Live acts mix pumping dance tunes spun by a pro DJ with live saxophonists to pick out those catchy melodies, percussionists to intensify the beat and live vocalists to bring it all together. We’ve seen wedding guests go wild to these acts, so if you’re in the mood for a medieval mash-up, a DJ live act can’t be beaten.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony and daytime: Gracella Strings
Evening: DJ Union Collective
For ultra-slick cosmopolitan hotel venues, you’ll want to supplement the cool, contemporary surroundings with cutting-edge wedding entertainment. We’re again suggesting a string quartet to supply your ceremony and daytime wedding music, but this time a string quartet with a difference. The addition of a beatboxer brings a brand-new dynamic to this traditional form. This modern twist on the string quartet will deliver string arrangements of the freshest chart tunes with added percussive punch.
And for the evening? Reach for show-stopping, globe-trotting, dance-along extravagance with a premier international show band. Taking their lead from the unrivalled musicality, dazzling choreography and sumptuous stage production of the spectacular world tours of superstars like Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, international show bands supply a live wedding music experience that’ll be right at home in the most opulent of city centre hotels.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony and daytime: String Box
Evening: Jam Hot
The UK festival scene has never been more vibrant. The traditional titans like Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, Download, Creamfields and the rest have been joined by an explosion in smaller festivals that offer a more curated experience. If you’re a dedicated festival-goer, why not create your very own festival line-up at your outdoor tipi wedding?
Kick things off with a chilled solo set from a singer-songwriter style singer-guitarist, before upping the ante with a roaming set from a folk-pop band. Roaming sets always go down a treat with guests, allowing them to feel part of the show as they sing and dance along to an up-close performance from wandering musicians.
As the (hopefully) sizzling sun sets and the torches are lit, get ready to let loose to all the biggest indie and rock anthems by monster bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and Kings of Leon from a mainstage-headliner covers band.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony: Sean the Guitarist
Evening: Indie Kings
Converted barns are prevailingly popular choice of wedding venue and it’s little wonder: what could be more romantic than celebrating your special day under timber beams, surrounded by rustic stonework, dust motes dancing in fanned rays of light piercing the barn’s atmospheric shade?
Pairing perfectly with a rustic barn wedding is a Mumford and Sons-style modern folk band. Versatile and upbeat, a modern folk act can supply entertainment for every aspect of your barn wedding: laid-back acoustic duo music for your ceremony, an afternoon roaming set and a fully amplified evening set of uproarious modern folk and folky spins on classic songs from throughout the decades.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony, daytime and evening: Wandering Wings
Banish all your preconceptions about cheesy wedding bands – the wedding entertainment scene is thriving right now and attracting the best young musicians around. This influx of top young musicians has led to a diversification of the styles of act on offer, so if you’re getting wed in an urban warehouse, you can hire on-trend wedding entertainment to match your slick, modern venue.
Narrowing down our wedding music selections for an urban warehouse wedding has been tough. So tough in fact, we’ve gone for two evening acts.
Starting with the infectious soul, hip hop and RnB of an urban-themed acoustic duo to perform during the early evening, things start to heat up with a mic-dropping showcase of beatboxing skills from a beatbox crew. To take you into the early hours, the booming sound of a modern brass band collective, whose New Orleans-style reworkings of rock, of songs will have the dance floor bouncing.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony and daytime: Soul Junkies Duo
If you’ve got a fairy tale wedding planned at a quintessential country hall, a wedding pianist is a sublime daytime entertainment choice, especially if there’s already a grand piano present at the venue. Creating a refined and romantic ambience, a pianist is also versatile enough to tailor their sets to suit your taste and themes. The soothing sounds of classical music partner beautifully with the clinking of champagne glasses, while mellow modern ballads form a subtle backdrop to the conversations of your guests. For your evening reception, retain the air of sophistication with a smooth performance from a premier jazz band to get heads nodding in appreciation.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony and daytime: Piers
Evening: Jazz Empire
The spacious luxury and the glowing purity of sunlight filtered through translucent white canopy makes a marquee wedding a tranquil delight. Complement the peaceful setting with the timeless melodies of classical guitarist. As well as impressively performed music from the great composers, a classical guitarist can perform intricately picked arrangements of popular modern songs for unobtrusive background music that lends your day an elegant ambience.
By day, a marquee may be a peaceful haven in which to share congratulations and reminisce with friends and family; by night, it is transformed into a space for ebullient celebrations and some seriously questionable dance moves. A high-end Motown band, resplendent in sharp suits and graceful gowns, will deliver classic songs by the likes of to compel you and your guests to flock to the dance floor.
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony and daytime: John Pizzati
Evening: Motown Inferno
National Trust members know well the joys of spending a weekend rummaging around carefully restored period properties. There’s something revivifying about being surrounded by such splendour, especially as many of these properties are home to exquisite grounds that sing with the sounds of nature. It’s easy to forget that a grand manor house was once a home, a living building that housed lavish banquets and magnificent balls – why not reinvigorate these storied halls with a decadent performance from a high-end, luxury soul, funk, Motown and pop wedding band?
Entertainment Nation suggests…
Ceremony and daytime: Elegant Strings
August 31st, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There’s a definite outdoorsy theme to today’s real wedding between Rebecca and Jason with willow hearts dressed with roses, festoon lighting draped over huge logs and gigantic blossom trees aplenty.
But before we submerge ourselves in the gorgeous details of their wedding, we must jump back in time to shine a light on the elaborate proposal Jason cooked up that put the wheels in motion for this gorgeous day. To engineer a proposal ‘event’ that involves all the members of staff on a cruise ship specially togged out in traditional Vietnamese dress for that very occasion shows some serious confidence that the woman of your dreams is going to say yes! Thankfully for Jason, Rebecca was on board (pardon the pun) and these seasoned travellers were on course to plan their greatest adventure together to date.
Their stunning choice of venue provides the perfect backdrop to their rustic celebrations which featured beautiful seasonal blooms, moss, foliage, bark and log slices, helping to bring the glorious outdoors, in!
We’re also head over heels for the super pretty bridesmaid gowns and Rebecca’s wonderfully elegant Mon Cheri dress, with delicate button detailing down the lace illusion back and a frothy train for a truly dreamy silhouette.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Lee Brown Photography.
rebecca says: We got engaged in January 2017, in Vietnam whilst on a cruise around Ha Long Bay. The boat was docked in the middle of the bay for the night and Jason had arranged for all the staff to get involved in the proposal. They all dressed up in traditional Vietnamese dress and I was called up to the main deck (I was downstairs squid fishing with two Australians we had met). I walked onto the deck and noticed that everything was quiet and everyone was looking at me. The staff surrounded me and held up signs each saying “Will you marry me?” I turned around and Jason was on one knee!
We got married on 15th June 2018. It was honestly the only day available for a summer wedding the following year! We held our ceremony and reception at Owen House Wedding Barn. It’s classy, shabby chic, laid back, rustic, farmhouse – basically everything I had envisioned my venue to look like. It’s sensational, so we would absolutely recommend it. The owners, Dan and Vanessa, do everything and anything to make your day perfect. Nothing is an issue and the staff are amazing. It makes you feel so much at ease and stress free. I thoroughly enjoyed my day as I had nothing to worry about. If you’d love something different with character and style – yet rustic, classy and also sublime – then this is the place for you. You’ll walk in and instantly fall in love.
When it came to choosing a theme, travel was a big thing – our table names were based on travel, as Jason and I have visited some amazing places in the world. We also had huge blossom trees, lots and lots of candles and nature – we had flowers, bark and wood features. We are outdoors people but we still kept it classy and neat!
For the colour scheme, we chose very neutral shades of creams, blush, copper and wood effect.
I wore a Mon Cheri dress. It was chosen for me; I would never have tried this type of dress on, so I was pleased I trusted the lady at the boutique! She insisted I tried it on after a failed attempt with six others prior to this. I knew it was the one once I tried it on; I felt amazing in it. The detail on the back is beautiful and very elegant. I’m normally seen in trainers, so it’s a far cry from my usual self!
August 28th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Having brought her fabulously cool and girly bridal shoes to the masses, we’re excited to announce that our lovely Sponsor Charlotte Mills, has now made her stunning heels an option for even more fashion-loving females with the introduction of a capsule vegan collection.
Responding to a gap in the market for stylish yet animal-friendly shoes, Charlotte has produced three of her favourite styles – George Pearl, Meghan and Chloe – in high-quality synthetic materials, which are available to pre-order now.
Keen to find out more, we’ve invited Charlotte along to the blog to give further details on the collection while also filling us in on an exciting London pop-up event taking place next month, providing a fabulous opportunity for any brides south of the border to get their hands on beautiful pair of big-day heels from Ms Mills’ wonderful collections. So, over to the talented designer herself to tell us more…
Can you tell us how the vegan bridal shoe range came to fruition?
charlotte says: It’s something we have wanted to do for a long time. We have had brides contact us so many times asking us to offer a vegan style, as they love our shoes but would not wear a leather shoe. There are not many options out there for vegan bridal shoes and they have really struggled to find something they love, which is special, luxurious but most importantly cruelty free.
How did you go about developing the range?
Kim, who is the brand manager at Charlotte Mills and is a Vegan herself, has worked with our factory in Spain to source the best synthetic materials. It’s still very important for us to offer a luxurious product so quality and aesthetics couldn’t be compromised. The final product is beautiful and we are really proud to offer vegan wedding shoes as an option for our brides.
How do the vegan designs differ to your mainline collections?
Our leather bridal shoes not only have a leather upper, but they also feature a soft leather sole, with the famous Charlotte Mills rhyme embossed into the leather. On our vegan shoes, the upper and the soles are now hand crafted with the finest synthetic materials, with the rhyme still embossed into the soles, keeping them true to the Charlotte Mills brand.
Which styles are included in the capsule vegan collection?
The first styles in this collection are George Pearl, Meghan and Chloe with more designs being added in 2019.
Where are the designs available from and what is the price range?
The shoes will be available to pre-order from August 2018, for delivery in September 2018. The vegan bridal range is exclusive to the Charlotte Mills website and prices will range from £230 to £260.
August 16th, 2018 | Julia Braime
As the very first insight you give guests into your big day it’s super important to take time when deciding on your invites. For maximum impact you will want them to be both a nod to the colour scheme and theme you have planned for the wedding, but also a reflection you and your partner.
We therefore love stationery suppliers that give brides and grooms the option to personalise designs through their wording, colour and material choices. One such company is the fabulous Basic Invite who we’re chatting to on the blog today about their utterly gorgeous paper goods, which range from save the dates and invites to on day essentials, like name place cards, menus and guest books.
Taking custom designed wedding invitations to the next level, Basic Invite offer couples an incredible range of designs, from pretty floral creations to cool graphic prints, and then give them the power to make their stationery truly unique with 180 custom colour choices, 100 font styles, plus multiple paper types and card cuts.
Better still, they’re offering Brides Up North readers 15% off orders placed on their website – just use code 15FF51 at checkout.
So, let’s handover the blog to the team behind Basic Invite to showcase some of their delightful stationery options while talking us through the design and ordering process.
Can you give us an overview of the service and products that you offer?
basic invite say: We offer truly custom stationery for all of life’s major moments! From wedding invitations and thank you notes to personal stationery and business cards. We have a card for everything and designs to suite any style!
Why is stationery such an important element of a wedding and how can it help to enhance the build-up and the big day itself?
Wedding invitations and stationery are an important element because it’s one of the first things your guests will receive in regards to the big day. It’s important that your invitations reflect you as a couple and give guests a sneak peek into your wedding style, giving them a taste of what’s to come.
How would you describe the style of the stationery that Basic Invite offer?
We have something for everyone! We strive to offer the most innovative designs while also designing timeless options that will never go out of style. The cool thing about Basic Invite is our customisation options. This offers endless options for brides to tweak their design and make it truly unique. Brides can choose styles ranging from vintage to modern, typography to calligraphy, and even photo invitations.
What is your most popular design currently?
Our most popular design for the 2018 wedding season is definitely our watercolour wedding invitations. Brides are loving the soft touches of colour and delicate floral designs. With that said, our new Seal & Send wedding invitations are coming in as a close second. This popular line offers an all-in-one design with a tear-off RSVP card and no envelope needed as addresses are printed on the front and sealed with a custom sticker. We anticipate seeing a lot of brides going for this look in the 2019 wedding season.
How far in advance of the wedding would you advise couples to source their stationery?
The sooner the better! Based on a one-year engagement we suggest couples follow the following timeline.
8+ months order samples
6+ months order your save the dates
4+ months send your save the dates and order your wedding invitations
3+ months send your invites and order your wedding day stationery
2 weeks post-wedding send your thank you notes
What elements of the wedding would you advise couples to consider when picking their stationery and where should they look for inspiration?
Incorporating wedding colours is a huge design detail that will go a long way, especially if you are keeping a cohesive theme throughout all of your wedding festivities. Theme is another element to consider. Switching things up throughout your engagement is a fun option but designing invitations that will match and transfer across to your wedding day stationery, like your menus and place cards, will make for a solid overall look which is super classy!
Basic Invite offer various ways that couples can personalise their wedding stationery designs, can you tell us more about such options?
Our customisation options are what help us stand apart from other online stationery vendors. Not only do we offer hundreds of wedding invitation designs and so many other products, we also offer 180 custom colour choices, 100 font styles, multiple paper types and card cuts, three foil colours in two styles, and almost every aspect of reach design can be edited or customised including wording, spacing, colour, and more!
Can couples order material samples and previews of stationery products before placing their final order?
Absolutely and it’s something we highly recommend. That way customers can see their invitations first hand before they order in full. Although our website shows edits in real time it’s still a good idea to see the final product before sending hundreds out.
August 14th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There’s something about a bride on her wedding day, as she brims with beauty, elegance and an inner radiance – and today’s bride, Harriet, is certainly no exception. Looking 100% gorgeous in a fitted lace gown with capped sleeves and a delicate full-length veil, she glides down the aisle with grace. And to complete the moving moment – a live church choir performing.
Harriet and Mike chose a beautiful, natural theme to complement the countryside setting and their personalities. The rustic look was echoed on the tables of the wedding breakfast, with candles, wooden log slices and trails of ivy. The two large foliage hoops hanging from the roof of the marquee provide a pretty focal point and draw guests’ attention to the fairy-lit ceiling, which really comes into its own as the light fades and the band strikes up for the first dance.
A further detail highlight has to be the cake stand made from a tree trunk, decorated with wispy foliage and topped with a naked cake in a beautiful; summery yellow hue. Confectionery perfection!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd Clarke Photography.
harriet says: We got engaged on 17th July 2015, at the breakfast table on our balcony. Mike made a lovely cooked breakfast and shortly afterwards he brought me a red velvet cupcake that said ‘Marry Me’ on it. To my great surprise, I turned to him and he was already on one knee. Later that evening we travelled to India to explore the Himalayas. What a way to start our journey!
We got married on 5th August 2017. It was one of the only dates available at the stunning Priory Cottages where we held our reception – a very popular place! Without question we would recommend the venue; it’s simply stunning if you enjoy being in the countryside. Serena and her team were very accommodating. We also reserved all the cottages for our families, which was convenient for us.
Our ceremony took place at All Saints Church in Kirk Deighton. We chose this venue because it is a beautiful church and close to my family home. I also have fond memories of the church because my eldest sister got married there in 2012. I must give a special mention to the wonderful choir that joined us at the ceremony – Collavoce from Harrogate.
We chose a rustic theme for our wedding. I felt it complemented the venue and we also like a natural approach with nothing too extravagant. There was no set colour scheme, other than whites, greens and blush pink in the flowers to bring a hint of colour into it. We wanted it to be as natural as possible.
My dress was from a shop in York called Bridal Rogue Gallery – a full-length, white lace dress from the designer Pronovias. I chose it because I liked the fit, the lace detail and the slightly lower back. It was a very statement wedding dress for me, which I wouldn’t have normally gone for. I went into the shop thinking I would choose a completely different kind of dress but instead I fell in love with that one.
My bridal makeup was done by Laura Wilkinson. She was very friendly, professional and reasonably priced. She wasn’t pushy in any way and gave advice as to what best suited my complexion. I would recommend her to anyone.
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