Charlotte Balbier

happiness, laughter & love: say hello to jenny maden photography

August 30th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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This morning on the blog, we’re delighted to be catching up with one of our fabulous Sponsor photographers, Yorkshire-based Jenny Maden.

A self-confessed “softie”, Jenny loves capturing every element of a big day; from the thought-out details and styling, to the true emotions and expressions of those involved.

Summing up her style as natural and relaxed, Jenny prides herself on making couples feel totally at ease so they barely even notice her capturing their day.

Here to tell us more about her passion for photography (and romance) is the lady herself…

Jenny Maden Photography (28)

When did you first start photographing weddings and what was it that attracted you to the industry?

jenny says: I’ve been photographing weddings on a full-time basis since 2014. I love photographing people and wedding days are so full of opportunities to capture expression and emotion.

How would you describe your style of photography?

My style is very relaxed. When I’m working with my couples, they are generally chatting and laughing throughout, either with me or with each other. So much so that many couples tell me that they almost forget I’m photographing them. As a result, I achieve images that capture ‘you’.

I also constantly watch the light, the image composition and the angle in which I’m shooting, to ensure that the final images are polished and flattering – as well as natural.

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What is it that you love most about your job?

There are so many things I love about being a wedding photographer!

I love getting to know my couples before the big day; getting a feel for their personalities, how they like to spend their time, what they have planned for the big day etc. I’ve stayed in contact with many of my couples, long after their weddings, often meeting them again to photograph their growing families.

I just love weddings! The dress, the flowers, the jewellery, the shoes, the table décor, the cake, the food and drink, the venue, bunting, games on the lawn, musicians…you name it. Sometimes couples incorporate quirky and unique touches into their wedding day, which I’ve perhaps not photographed before, which is a real treat for me.

Lastly, and I think perhaps my upmost favourtite thing, about being a wedding photographer, is capturing the emotion of the day; happiness, laughter and love. The feelings between the bride and groom are so evident, but the love between them and their parents, siblings and friends, is so clear to see too. I get to witness this close-hand and document it. Being a hopeless softie with a passion for photographs, this is an absolute pleasure!

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In your opinion what are the most important things for a couple to consider when deciding which photographer to book for their wedding?

I strongly suggest you review their portfolio of work, to ensure that their style of work is to your taste. I also think it’s useful to meet as it’s really important that you feel at ease with your chosen photographer.

What is the feedback like from your couples?

I’ve had some lovely feedback, which I hugely value. Instead of me paraphrasing, take a peek for yourselves here.

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Do you have a favourite part of the wedding day to capture?

I genuinely love the whole day. The bridal prep, the ‘first look’, the ceremony itself, the speeches, the first dance, but I also really love those quiet moments when I take the bride and groom off for a few pictures away from the guests. It’s often the only part of the day that they are alone together, and it’s a really special time that I get to capture.

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new venue alert: tilstone house

August 22nd, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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One of the biggest tasks of wedding planning has to be the venue search – finding that one perfect place that will set the scene for your big day celebrations. As such, we love to hear about new venues that are set to open their doors to brides and grooms, extending the already fabulous offering that we have here in the North.

Today we’re sharing details of a brand new wedding venue to the North West  the beautiful Tilstone House, located just outside of Tarporley, Cheshire.

A stunning stately home in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, this splendid setting is available exclusively to couples and boasts a stunning range of ceremony and reception spaces, both inside and out.

In addition to use of the wonderful House, couples marrying at Tilstone will also receive exceptional service and assistance planning their big day courtesy of Charlotte Elise Weddings and Events, who will be managing all weddings at the venue.

Better still, as a special introductory offer, the venue’s team are offering the first ten couples who book Tilstone House, 10% off their venue fees. So, if you like what you see ladies, act fast, and you could increase your dress and accessory budget with the money you save. Jimmy Choos anyone?

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Can you tell us a little about the history of Tilstone House?

charlotte says: The House was built in 1888 by Lord and Lady Daresbury – it was originally used as a hunting and shooting lodge and was sold and lived in by many different families over the years until the current owner decided it would be a fantastic and beautiful wedding venue.

How would you describe the look and feel of the venue

Tilstone House is a luxury wedding venue. It has a Victorian style exterior and many traditional features within, such as fireplaces, staircases, flooring and the tall ceilings, have all been maintained but we have undergone a recent refurbishment to make it more current and contemporary without it being too modern, so it lends itself to all styles of weddings.

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Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas?

Tilstone House has many different ceremony options – our beautiful lawns and pergola are licensed for civil ceremonies for over 100 guests; we have a small indoor ceremony room for up to 40 guests, and also a larger conservatory ceremony room for up to 100 guests. We have a large function room has been recently renovated and can seat around 100 guests comfortably for the wedding breakfast and then extra guests in the evening.

We offer exclusive use of the house so all rooms can be used by guests, no-one lives in the property so no areas are out of bounds. Couples could have an intimate gin bar in one of our drawing rooms and a whisky bar in another if they wish. We have a lovely library room for guests to enjoy as well if they would prefer to be away from the action of the wedding and would like some time to themselves.

What makes Tilstone House a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

The exclusive use aspect is really important for us at Tilstone House and myself and my team deliver a personal and bespoke service to our couples leading up to, and on the day of, the wedding.

Brides and grooms will be able to utilise the house and the grounds in any way they fancy – there are no rules as to where you can and can’t go for pictures, there are no rooms that are blocked off. The second the exclusive use starts, couples can rest assured that the only people in that house will be their suppliers, guests, the caterers and my team.

There is nothing that we can’t do for our clients – we will be working the morning of the wedding to dress the venue, put everything out and meet with the suppliers as they arrive to set up – so couples and their guests will not need to lift a finger.

I truly believe Tilstone House is going to become the best venue in the North West – the services, care and wedding couples will receive at Tilstone House will be second to none and nothing will be too much trouble for us. There are no limits as to when we can have meetings; we can meet daytime, evening, weekends – as many times as the bride and groom would like leading up to their wedding, again, a bespoke service that not all venues offer.

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love lights. lusan mandongus for a pretty springtime wedding at victoria warehouse – alicia & paul

August 16th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Spring Rustic Wedding at Victoria Warehouse (c) Rebecca Parsons Photography (44)

As if we planned it *wink,wink*, we’re following up this morning’s post about our fabulous upcoming BIGCITYWEDFEST’17 event at Victoria Warehouse on Sunday 3rd September, with a wedding that took place at the venue so we can showcase why we think it’s such an amazing place to get hitched.

Instantly falling in love with its cool urban style, bride Alicia planned a pretty springtime wedding with yellow accents and rustic details to both complement and contrast with the industrial setting.

Alicia and beau Paul, then went all out on the lighting, to ensure a striking celebration that shone in more ways than one.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Rebecca Parsons Photography.

A Spring Rustic Wedding at Victoria Warehouse (c) Rebecca Parsons Photography (40)

alicia says: The proposal was totally unromantic, but very ‘us’ – over tea on a Monday night! I thought it was a bit unusual that Paul 1) Had tea on the table ready for me getting home, and 2) Wasn’t eating very much of it. Half way through eating he said that he’d been to see my dad and I asked if it was to see about him helping to fix our bannister, to which he replied, “No. To ask if I can ask you to marry me – and he said yes, so…” He then got on one knee whilst I sat open-mouthed in shock for ten minutes before saying yes!

Our wedding date was 29th April. There wasn’t a specific reason per se, but we ideally wanted a Saturday wedding in spring, and I love the colour yellow so around Easter was perfect!

A Spring Rustic Wedding at Victoria Warehouse (c) Rebecca Parsons Photography (26)

We had both ceremony and reception at Victoria Warehouse in Trafford Park, Manchester. Six days after getting engaged my best friend suggested we attended a wedding fair at Victoria Warehouse, I thought it was a bit early but figured I’d have to start getting ideas from somewhere so might as well! I fell in love with the venue straight away whilst looking around, so I asked if they do weddings there, when they said they did I pencilled our names in without Paul knowing! I later took Paul to see Victoria Warehouse and, luckily, he loved it as much as I did, and the rest is history!

We did have a look at a few other venues around Manchester as we thought it was too good to be true to fall in love with the first place, but nothing else came close for us.

A Spring Rustic Wedding at Victoria Warehouse (c) Rebecca Parsons Photography (31)

Our theme was slightly vintage/rustic – mason jars, bunting, wooden centrepieces, vintage suitcases etc. because we wanted to keep the authentic feel of the warehouse.

As we are very proud Mancs, there was also an air of Manchester running through the day, including our table names and seating plan. The main colour scheme was ivory with accents of yellow as this is my favourite colour and fit well with the spring/Easter timing of the wedding.

A Spring Rustic Wedding at Victoria Warehouse (c) Rebecca Parsons Photography (47)

I had a Lusan Mandongus lace, full-length dress, which I purchased from The White Closet in Didsbury. I tried several on but just knew when it was the one! It was originally sleeveless but I prefer a capped sleeve, so took the dress to Tusneem at Boutique Alterations, in Bramhall, who is amazing! She altered my dress to perfection (size and length) and then added capped sleeves for me too. I can’t thank her enough!

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personal & unique: introducing one fine day bridal

August 15th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

One Fine Day Bridal (7)

Our online ‘Suppliers We Love’ directory is a go-to for our readers looking for professional and trusted local businesses that can help to bring their wedding visions to life. From photographers and florists, to entertainment and accessories, there is a category for every requirement.

And this afternoon, we’re delighted to be introducing another gorgeous boutique to our ‘bride’ category, a useful source for those of you on the dream dress hunt. Our new Sponsor, One Fine Day Bridal, based in Hoole, Lancashire, was set up by owner Claire Bland after feeling underwhelmed by her own wedding dress shopping experience.

Running the boutique with her mum Pam, the duo have created a warm and welcoming atmosphere and have filled the shop’s rails with beautiful and unique dress designs to offer brides and memorable and exclusive experience.

Here to tell us more is the lady herself. Take it away Claire….

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Where is One Fine Day Bridal located and can you describe the style and feel of the boutique?

claire says: One Fine Day Bridal is in a small village called Little Hoole, Lancashire – we are located just of the A59 so you can’t miss us! Our boutique has a warm, friendly, homely feel. We want all of our brides to feel relaxed and at ease when finding their dream dress.

Can you tell us about the designers that you stock at the boutique and what type of brides they would appeal to?

We stock the Spanish designer Rosa Clara & Rosa Clara Soft, perfect for the bride who loves something a little different, using luxurious fabrics, such as silk Mikado, ottoman and brocade. Also in our boutique is the fabulous Watters Bride & Bridesmaid collections, both absolutely dreamy ideal for the modern bride. Nicole Spose is our last collection, gorgeous crepe fabrics and masters of ‘slinky’ gowns, perfect for the bride looking for a figure-hugging dress.

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How do you select the designers that you stock?

We like our designers to be unique, so we don’t stock designers that you will find in every other boutique. We make sure the gowns are well made and are of a great quality, but we also like to ensure that nobody else with our area stocks that particular designer. We like to be individual and make sure are brides are choosing something exclusive.

Can you tell us about the accessories that you stock at the boutique?

We stock Linzi Jay and Ariana Tiara for our head pieces, jewellery and veils, we also use Elizabeth Dickens for our veils ensuring we have a wide variety of choice to suit all dresses.

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How do you help brides to find their dream dress and to complete their look with accessories?

We like to make sure our brides try one of every style, even if they have an idea in their head, this some of the time doesn’t always look how they expected. Once they think they have found ‘the one’ we like to add in veils and accessories so the look is complete. Even once they have found their dress with us, we encourage them to come back for a styling appointment after their hair and makeup trial so the full vision can be seen.

What are your top tips for brides when dress shopping?

Be open minded and try something you never imaged you would go for – you could be surprised.

Even though it is nice to bring family and friends to enjoy the experience with, don’t be swayed by too many opinions – it’s the bride’s day! It is good to get a feel for style but when you think you’ve found the one, stop trying and stop looking, it is very easy to become overwhelmed and it can get very confusing.

What sets One Fine Day Bridal apart from other boutiques and what can brides expect from an appointment at the boutique?

We are a mother and daughter team here at the boutique. We decided to do this because of my own experience which I didn’t enjoy so we try to make sure our brides don’t feel deflated or under whelmed by their experience, like I did. We offer a relaxed and luxurious experience, we let the bride lead the appointment and offer our advice when we feel appropriate. We always offer to dress our bride the morning of the wedding, we know how stressful it can be so we like to ease the pressure wherever possible.

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What trends are you seeing coming through in bridalwear and accessories?

A flutter sleeve or capelet – we think these could be a huge trend for 2018, along with a statement bow which is a theme that runs through our Rosa Clara gowns.

What is the size and price range of the dresses that you stock?

We stock sample sizes from 6 to 16, and price range between £950 and £3,500.

What is the feedback like from brides who found their dress and One Fine Day?

Our brides always comment on what a lovely personal service we offer from beginning to end. We get a lot of comments about how welcoming and professional we are and how beautiful our boutique is. Our brides love that we are not pushy, in some cases we encourage the bride to go away and have a think, then come back.

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fun factor: add a burst of confetti to your big day decor

August 9th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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A fluttering of confetti is an iconic tradition most couples embrace shortly after saying “I do”, but pretty dried petals can inject fun and colour into more than just this one element of the day.

As such, we’ve invited our fabulous Sponsor, Shropshire Petals, growers and producers of natural petal confetti, to take over the blog and inspire us with their top confetti décor ideas. They’ve also just launched an exciting new product that will help lift your confetti moment to the next level…

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shropshire petals say: There’s nothing we love more than a great confetti moment, though our pretty petals can be extended beyond sprinkling the newlyweds; to room decor, petal pathways and table centrepieces.

There are also ways to enhance the celebratory confetti throwing; from creating your own confetti bar to using our confetti pops, or perhaps our brand-new confetti balloons.

These attractive balloons instantly add the fun factor and look super stylish too. They can also make your confetti shot even more spectacular by asking a member of your bridal party or guest to pop them over you as the camera snaps. Filled with your choice of natural petal confetti, the giant and standard confetti balloons are a fabulous way to decorate your venue and are guaranteed to make a statement.

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Here are our top ideas for incorporating confetti balloons into your special day:

  • Place a giant confetti balloon at either side of your ceremony venue entrance for a touch of glamour.
  • Use a single giant confetti balloon on each of your reception tables surrounded by some colourful smaller balloons for an alternative table decoration. Make your own balloon tassel ribbon to add a dramatic effect.
  • Have a romantic photograph taken of you as a newlywed couple holding one or two giant confetti balloons.
  • Suspend giant confetti balloons from your venue ceiling for a fun, creative ceiling decoration.
  • Line your aisle with a mixture of giant and standard confetti balloons filled with confetti to match your colour scheme.
  • Use confetti balloons to take some fun photos of the bridal party and guests.
  • Group several confetti balloons together to make a feature or backdrop at your venue.
  • Place a single giant confetti balloon behind each of the bride and groom’s chairs on the top table.
  • Hang confetti balloons over your dance floor during your first dance, or with all of the bridal party, and have them popped over you to add a shower of magical confetti to the dancing.

Each 3ft giant confetti balloon comes deflated (customers are required to provide their own helium) and are pre-filled with 1.5 litres of beautiful natural petal confetti in your chosen colours. Standard confetti balloons are supplied with half a litre of confetti and measure 14 inches.

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lookbook: so sassi 2018 collection

August 3rd, 2017 | Julia Braime

Roxie

Ladies, we think it’s high time for a little dress candy – and the treats we have in store today are nothing short of delicious!

Courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor So Sassi, we invite you to swoon over the new 2018 Collection from this fabulous set of designers.

Made up of a bright collective of fashion graduates, the So Sassi design team works hard to develop unique, individual and fashion forward styles, giving their brides a collection, which is not only all those things, but one that is created with love and passion.

According to its creators, the 2018 collection celebrates brides who want to embrace their own style, brides who are not afraid to make a statement and brides that want a twist on tradition. Tick, tick, tick!

There is a gorgeous blend of styles, silhouettes and fabrics, with new design elements including cold shoulders, fringed back details, feature sleeves and ballerina-length tulle skirts.

Having already poured over the collection numerous times, highlights for us include Charlie, Rosie and Scarlett, but we’d love to know which of these beauties melt your heart most, as we take you through the designs, one by one!

Annalise

Annalise: Beautiful soft fishtail gown with gathered tulle bust and diamante detail.

Aria

Aria: A wow gown with lace side and back cut-out detail gives this gown a real edge. Style with Aria shrugette for an alternative look.

Anya (2)

Anya: A striking fishtail gown with soft sweetheart neckline – perfect for accessorising!

Bianca (2)

Bianca: All about the bohemian vibes with this stunning lace column gown and v neckline detail.

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