Brides Up North

look book: black magic

January 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Black short taffeta dress with lace bodice - Monique Lhuillier

by Monique Lhuillier

I’d say 80 per cent of my wardrobe is black, something I’m often told off about but it’s a classic, right? Slimming, timeless and flattering against pretty much every skin tone and hair colour. This is why in my eyes it’s a great choice for bridesmaids.

The dark, elegant colour palette provides sophistication and class, and is unlikely to rock the boat with any of your maids.

Initially the trend was mostly isolated to New Year weddings with brides and grooms going for a polished black tie theme. But now the little (or long) black dress has become more acceptable for ceremonies in seasons beyond the winter.

5531 - Jim Hjelm

5531 by Jim Hjelm

Those opting for the dateless hue can keep things clean and simple with black or nude accessories, add a little sparkle with glittering metallics or opt for a contrasting colour to achieve a vibrant pop. Black maids’ dresses won’t district from or determine your choice of blooms either, giving you and your florist free range.

Looking at what’s available, designers have clearly noted the rise in popularity with most offering a fair few black creations within their collections. The simple hue is available in designs incorporating other top bridesmaid trends such as lace, illusion necklines and detailed backs.

2940 - Dessy

2940 by Dessy

For those wanting a full lace number Dessy has two stunning options in contrasting lengths; the 2911 strapless knee-length and the floor-length 2940 with illusion neckline, which can be picked to suit the season and maids’ preferences on whether they would rather flaunt or cover their pins.

5476 front - Jim Hjelm

5476 by Jim Hjelm

Meanwhile for those that desire just a little lace detailing Jim Hjelm and Monique Lhuillier have some truly striking options that are bound to result in very merry maids. Hjelm’s 5420 and 5524 offer mini length dresses with lace appliqués and panels while the elegant full length 5476 and 5531 feature just flirty touches of the regal material.

Lhuillier’s black short taffeta dress (top) with lace bodice is a real show stopper and a LBD that I would love to own myself.

2925 - Dessy2925 by Dessy

If any brides are planning to have black maids’ dresses for a New Year 2016 wedding, then all out glamour is the way to go. Full length designs that would hit the right level of opulence include Hjelm’s 5428 with high-leg split and Dessy’s elegant 2921 and 2925. For those wanting to bring the hemline off the ground, it has to be Lhuillier’s mid-length strapless taffeta dress – pure perfection!

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Here Come The Girls! High Street Honey: Monsoon

February 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime

High Street Honey Monsoon

1. Effie Dress, £169;  2. Dallas Dress, £109;  3. Ava Dress £99;  4. Ania Dress, £139;  5. Crissy Dress, £119;  6. Evina Dress, £179;  7. Beatrice Dress, £139;  8. Bonnie Dress, £89;  9. Lyra Dress, £139;  10. Lainie Maxi, £179;  11. Lorena Maxi, £119;  12. Lyra Maxi, £179. 

You know we’re not adverse to a bit of high street browsing here at Brides Up North HQ in our quest to uncover the prettiest bridesmaid offerings and bridal accoutrements out there – in boutiques, online and by pounding the pavement.  It’s a hard job… yaddah yaddah yaddah. 

This afternoon, step forward Monsoon, with their tonal selection of pretty gowns in a wash of muted red, white and blue.  Given our recent weather, Monsoon may not be the best named retailer on the block, but in terms of bridal party offerings, it’s as good as a day on the beach. 

Click here to check out my other recent High Street Honey finds

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Monsoon

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Bridesmaid Mecca. High Street Honey: Coast

January 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Researching for our regular Friday Fabulous feature is no great hardship –  I love scouring the interwebs for the prettiest new things.  It sometimes hurts my credit card, but other than that, the pleasure is all mine.  Chancing upon something really rather lovely from Coast for this afternoon’s coveted spot (wait and see), I decided to stick around and browse the rest of this High Street Honey’s new Spring collection.

High Street Honey Coast S14

All dresses by Coast:  Amorette, in naturals, £150; Venus, in yellow, £95; Riley, in orange, £135; Poppy, in green, £125; Tulia, in pink, £165; Mandy, in naturals, £125; Glamour Bow, in orange, £160; Lori Lee Lace, in grey, £125; Mirabella, in yellow, £125; Aloisa, in white, £350; Carraway, in blue/ silver, £160; Darling, in white, £295

As I said at the end of last year, in 2014 I’ll be checking out all the most popular High Street retailers (and lesser known online finds too) and picking our favourite looks for, so that you don’t have to.  No gorgeous gowns get past me!  Whether it’s bridesmaids dresses you need, a frock for your reception dinner or heading off on honeymoon, we’ll have it covered.

Let me tell you ladies, if you are in the market for bridesmaid dresses this season, I think we’ve just found heaven.  Usually strong on this front, those fabulous people at Coast HQ have just raised the bar that little bit higher. 

The lines come in sizes 6 to 18, are pretty affordable and with a new petites range just added, this wedding blogger is seriously impressed.  Here’s my top picks for maids and mates.  Gather your girls, but hands off Riley, she’s all mine!

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Coast

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Real Wedding Recap 2012: A Proper Winter Wonderland! A Real Wedding In The North East – Rachel & Ryan

December 24th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Over the festive period I’ll be recapping some of my very favourite Real Weddings from the last 12 months on the wedding blog. It’s been a tough choice! In true Brides Up North style, each wedding featured on these pages is unique, beautiful and gorgeously personal. It’s been an exceptionally fabulous year! Enjoy…

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Rachel and Ryan's Wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, County Durham by Katy Melling Photography

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Starting off our seasonal recap in style, today I am honoured to share the Real Wedding of one of my best girlfriends in the whole wide World, Rachel. I was lucky enough to be a bridesmaid for Rachel and Ryan, and was more than a little nervous that one of my favourite photographers and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Katy Melling Photography would be there to see me descend into drunken Christmas wedding merriment at what has to be one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever attended (you’ll see!*).

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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After all, elegance aside, this was also the wedding where I could be found singing shouting Christmas carols at 4am, where my husband set fire to himself on an aisle candle (yes really!) and where a faux snow fight left everyone twinkling!  Proper Geordie fun! I did catch Katy snapping a shot of me taking a big slug of white wine, but it hasn’t made it into the final edit.  Thanks Katy!

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Without further ado, over to my best friend Rachel: We got engaged on 10th December 2010 in Central Park in New York and were married at home in County Durham on Sunday 18th December 2011, at Rockliffe Hall.  We said our vows in the Rockliffe Suite and then had a drinks reception in the Old Hall while the Rockliffe Suite was done up for the wedding breakfast.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's Wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, County Durham by Katy Melling Photography

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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As soon as we visited Rockliffe we loved it. On the practical side we had a large guest list and it was able to cater for 180. It also had 60 bedrooms so all of the guests who wanted to stay were able to be accommodated.

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It seemed a bit more luxurious than some of the other venues we visited and was decorated to our taste. It is about 45 minutes away from Newcastle so was fairly easy for our guests to get to. It is just a lovely hotel and felt cosy and we thought it would suit the wintery/ Christmassy feel we were after. It has a lovely area called the Old Hall which we used for the drinks reception and also has a fabulous spa which our guests got good use of the day before and the day after the wedding.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Obviously the wedding was very near Christmas so overall we had a bit of a Winter Wonderland theme.

We also had some Christmas touches like snow on the tables and bauble name holders (by Cox & Cox) and candy canes as favours for people to hang on their Christmas trees after the wedding.

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Overall, I wanted the wedding to be very white. We had no colour in our flowers and I wanted the room to look white, snowy, twinkly and pretty.  The bridesmaids wore an aubergine colour which was reflected in the ushers’ ties but other than that the rest of the wedding was all white.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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My dress was Jenny Packham. It was very detailed and glitzy around the neckline which went down my back and then it had a tulle skirt. I also had a Jenny Packham headdress. I tried on a Jenny Packham dress in a shop in Newcastle but then went to her shop in London as it was a good excuse for a weekend away with my Mum. There were a few that I liked but the one I chose was most appropriate for a Christmas wedding.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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My bridesmaids wore aubergine one shoulder dresses.  The designer was Alvina Valenta and I got them from Lily White Bridal in Jesmond.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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I carried a hand tied bouquet of paper white flowers with brooches inside the bouquet to give it some extra sparkle.  This was by Hart Company.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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We had a lot of music and entertainment during our reception: my good friend Emma Kendall sang during the service, and then we enjoyed the Opus 4 String Quartet, carol singers and some singing waiters, before hitting the dance floor to Jeff Dingle and the Moonswing Trio.

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Thinking about favourite moments, my mum and dad had organised the singing waiters as a surprise for Ryan and me. I loved this and we were all up dancing on our chairs for an hour so that was really fun. In general I just loved it all as I wanted it to be a massive party and that’s what it was. I also loved the girly time on the morning of the wedding with the bridesmaids and all my family.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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We had a simple cake made by Gemma at Love Lily Cakes. It was all white and had a flower appliqué on it. We had 3 tiers which consisted of Victoria sponge cake, chocolate cake and lemon cake.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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After the excitement of the wedding we had a mini moon for a few days to the Feversham Arms in Helmsley and we are hoping to go to New York at the end of the year. We live in Dubai so we wanted to stay in the North East to enjoy the rest of the festive season with our friends and families.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be just to enjoy it and try and take it in. It is such a fun day but it goes so quickly. We got married 6 weeks ago and it already feels like it was so long ago.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Congratulations Rach & Ry!

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*I cannot guarantee that no tears were shed during the editing of this blog post.

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  – Images © 2012 Katy Melling Photography

Katy Melling Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Friday Fabulous!

September 28th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Friday Fabulous - Hestia By Project D

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Is this not the prettiest, glitziest little bridesmaid number that you ever did lay eyes on?

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Definite wear-again-ability.  By the sequin load.

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Hestia by Project D – price dependant on stockists

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  – Image © 2012 Project D

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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