Charlotte Balbier

#squadgoals. introducing bridesmaids by amanda wyatt

November 16th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Bridesmaids By Amanda Wyatt (16)

Bridesmaids. As much as you love your best girls and they love you, let’s face it – the dress shopping bit can end up being a bit of a nightmare.  Different styles, tastes and body shapes can make for some uncomfortable changing room situations. Luckily, Brides Up North favourite amanda wyatt is here to help with her new line of bridesmaid dresses, in enough colour, fabric and style combinations to keep even the fussiest of friends happy!

Bridesmaids By Amanda Wyatt (4)

Made famous for her perfect fit, attention to detail and innovative designs Amanda Wyatt has celebrated over 20 years at the forefront of British bridal design and draws on inspiration from her love of fashion, keeping a firm eye on all the latest emerging trends from the fashion catwalks.

Bridesmaids By Amanda Wyatt (25)

The new collection of bridesmaid gowns are available in over 40 colour shades and 25 varying styles from short to long, strapless, one-shoulder and more. The fabrics in the collection span from chiffon and satin to lace and the gowns can be ordered in any style, colour and fabric, covering all ages from baby to teen and adult.

Found in over 80 boutiques nationwide, Amanda’s collection is a great way to make sure that your girls feel truly comfortable, in a gown that compliments their unique body shape and colouring, leaving you plenty of time to get on with the important stuff… bubbly anyone?

For more, visit

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wedding planning 101: super stylin’

September 29th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Be My Bridesmaid

image source

Having set your budget, booked your venue, sent out your save the dates and secured your photographer and entertainment, it’s time to move onto tasks that many brides deem as the more enjoyable and exciting parts of the planning schedule.

This is because it’s time to start thinking about how to style yourself and your venue for the big day to come! So in today’s wedding planning post we’ll be talking blooms, bridal boutiques and bridesmaids.

Check out our earlier posts in this series by clicking here (the early stages) and clicking here (the next steps).

flower power

Today beautiful blooms tend to stretch way beyond bouquets and button holes with many couples opting to incorporate pretty petals into their décor too. From dainty pew ends to grand floral chandeliers, the possibilities are pretty much endless, though you will need to find a florist that shares your botanical visions in order for them to become reality.

When searching for the right florist, it’s important to look for a trusted supplier with good testimonials from previous couples. You will also want to view examples of their recent work to get an idea of the styles and arrangements that they can achieve. So it might be that you are looking for a florist known for loose, natural and rustic designs, or perhaps neat and elegant arrangements or those that can wow with modern, striking floral structures.

Once you have whittled down a short list meet up with the florist to see how you ‘click’ and if they share your visions on bouquets and floral decorations. They might even suggest great ideas you’d never even thought of.

the one

In many cases shopping for the dream dress is a bride’s favourite part of the planning, though it can be daunting and frustrating at times too with so many options to choose from.

Having done your initial wedding dress research using magazines, blogs and websites to get an idea of the type of gown you might like and to suss out which designers fall into your dress budget, it’s time to search for boutiques that stock your chosen designers and make appointments to visit.

When attending bridal boutique appointments it can be easy for brides to get carried and invite a small entourage to accompany them but it really is best to keep numbers to a minimum to avoid becoming confused by differing opinions. Take those who know you and your style best and will give you an honest opinion – so perhaps mum, sister and maid of honour.

Though it’s good to have an idea of the type of dress you might like, it’s also good to be open minded at your appointment as a style that you’ve never considered just might turn out to be ‘the one’. Bridal stylists know their stuff so if they make a suggestion to try a certain gown on, go with it but don’t feel pressured – the decision is ultimately yours.

leading ladies

Once your dress is sorted you can move onto finding the right gowns for your maids. Again, though most ladies love to shop, bridesmaid dress hunting can be far from retail therapy with bridesmaids clashing on what they would and wouldn’t want to wear.

To avoid shopping centre tantrums it’s a good idea to get together with/speak to your bridesmaids about what type of design and colour you were hoping to dress them beforehand, giving them an opportunity to express any concerns early on. If you have maids of varying figures you could dress them in one colour but different styles of dresses to suit their individual shapes. Alternatively, if you have maids of varying hair colours and complexions, you could ask them all to wear the same design but in varying complementary colours, to suit both them and the wedding styling.

Also, when picking suitable colours for the maids’ dresses think about the styles and tones of flowers you’ve picked and how they will work together.


At this point in the planning process it’s also a good idea to get the catering search underway if the venue you’ve booked won’t be providing the food.

Over time wedding breakfast menus have been extended beyond traditional meat and vegetables, meaning that there are now lots exciting options to whet your appetite. Some couples base their food choices on their personal preferences while others make their decisions by the season of the wedding. There’s also the option to pick menus that complement the style of the wedding, so for example afternoon tea for a rustic, country themed wedding, or street food, such as pizza or Mexican, for informal outdoor weddings.

Whatever you decide look for caterers with good reputations and find out what is included in the price, such as waiting staff and glass/crockery hire, to avoid any hidden costs. Then it’s time to sample the goods with a tasting session so you’ll know exactly how the food will look and taste when it’s served up on the day.

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little flower. a bridesmaid launch by damigella d’onore

June 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Damigella D'Onore by Joanne B Photography (11)

This Friday on the blog, its all about the little people. Brides Up North Exhibitor Elena of Damigella D’onore has relaunched her flower girl range for 2015 and shares it with us today in this special shoot by Joanne B Photography, starring their daughters Sienna and Grace.

Damigella D'Onore by Joanne B Photography (42)

Elena has over 18 years of professional sewing experience behind her and now specialises in designing and making couture bridal wear. Mainly based in Yorkshire, she also covers the UK and has made dresses for clients from all over the world, including celebrities. Elena works closely with each individual client to create beautiful unique dresses using the flattering classic techniques of couture tailoring; which suit their individual style and perfectly complements each bride and their wedding day.

For her new flower girl range, Elena’s aim was to create a classic collection which would stand the test of time. All the dresses are handmade from the highest quality silk, using couture tailoring techniques; ensuring that the dresses are beautifully crafted and finished to a very high standard. Each dress can be enhanced to suit each individual girls taste, by the use of handmade silk or lace roses, bows, sashes or belts.

Damigella D'Onore by Joanne B Photography (51)

elena says: Joanne’s daughter, Grace, modelled the dresses alongside my daughter Sienna. As soon as the girls met they got on so well, which made the day 100 times more fun. They couldn’t wait to try the dresses on and I think that you’d agree that they just made the cutest models that you’d ever seen.

Damigella D'Onore by Joanne B Photography (22)

As a location for the shoot, we were hosted by the very lovely Nikki Nelson, who owns the stylish vintage Cakes d’ licious, a 1940’s themed, family run tearoom and cakery in York. Not only is it a fantastic tearoom, with a trendy retro décor, Nikki makes the most divine wedding cakes and afternoon teas, and boy they were yummy!

Damigella D'Onore by Joanne B Photography (5)

Sienna & Grace’s hair was styled by Amy Jackson, a freelance hairstylist based in Leeds, who jumped at the chance to come and do the girls’ hair for us. Amy was fantastic with the girls, making them feel very comfortable whilst making their hair look gorgeous. I have never seen my daughter sit so still whilst having her hair done!

Damigella D'Onore by Joanne B Photography (20)

There was no set theme for the day as the tearoom had a vintage feel to it, so we chose to the let the venue influence the shoot. Nikki set up a sweet little tea party for the girls, with sandwiches, cakes and orange juice served in a vintage teapot and tea set. The girls loved it! They were so happy having their lunch together.

Damigella D'Onore by Joanne B Photography (43)

The shoot was enhanced by the beautiful flowers which were made by Allison from Wild Floral Couture. I have known Allison for a few years now and have worked together previously so when we thought of flowers I knew Allison would be the perfect person. She surpassed herself by making up the cutest prettiest little bouquets for the girls to hold. The colours of the flowers perfectly complimented the vintage cakes that Nikki made, and highlighted the dresses, bringing the shoot together beautifully.

Damigella D'Onore by Joanne B Photography (68)

The girls had a fantastic day and loved posing in front of the camera. Joanne was amazing at directing the girls with such ease and confidence, which shows, through the fabulous images that we have. I am so pleased with the how the day went, everyone was happy and worked so well together. The dresses looked amazing on the girls, and the details really shone through. It was fantastic to see the girls looking so pretty, twirling round enjoying the moment, which is why I loved the day!

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the big blog debate: will you let your bridesmaids have a choice?

March 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Found on, photography by Peaches & Mint

via, photography by Peaches & Mint

Another Friday, another meaty topic to get our blogging teeth into.  Today we discuss a topic that we covered as Official Blogger for The North West Wedding Fair’s magazine this spring and one that many brides-to-be struggle to make a call on – whether or not to involve your bridesmaids in the decision making process when choosing their outfits for the big day.

The Big Blog Debate

rachel says: let them choose!

One of a bride-to-be’s top priorities is naturally going to be to look and feel the very best she can for her moment in the limelight. However not too far behind should be the same thought for your bridesmaids, for they too are playing a key role in the proceedings and will not thank you for putting them in unflattering designs and uncomplimentary colours.

Too many cooks can spoil the broth – agreed, but going ahead and choosing the bridesmaids dresses without consulting or involving them is undoubtedly going to lead to some miserable maids come the big day.

You don’t necessarily need to take all your leading ladies on the first shopping trip, but having a discussion with them beforehand will help no end. This gives an opportunity to talk about what colours and designs are on the short list and for a bridesmaid to raise her concerns if she truly feels a certain suggestion would not suit due to her complexion, hair colour or figure.

It’s also an opportunity to discuss the price range, particularly if you are just putting a contribution towards the dresses, or are asking the maids to fully foot the bill for their attire.

The respect has to come from both sides to result in a winning wedding party that looks and feels great on the inside and out. So I say get the gals on board for a shopping trip that you can all enjoy while being honest and fair in your suggestions and choices.

Found on, photography by Kati Rosado Photography

Found on, phtography Erich McVey Photography

via, photography by Kati Rosado Photography ¦ via, phtography Erich McVey Photography

julia says: it’s your decision!

Picture the scene – you’ve found the perfect gown for your maids, it’s in the right price range, it’s the right colour and would fit into the theme beautifully. But come shopping day when your friends see it they each find something they don’t like about it, and worse still they each find a totally different dress that they prefer. Bride meltdown alert.

While in theory it’s a nice idea, including all the bridesmaids in the dress decision making is likely to lead to endless and highly-stressful discussions, shopping trips and tiffs.

To keep the peace I suggest that you build up a mood board of bridesmaid dress ideas that would work well with your big day styling and then run them past a few choice people, such as your mum, the groom and your maid of honour, to get honest feedback before making the final call.

While selecting the shortlist you should also consider your maids’ colouring and figures to try to ensure they will be fairly happy with the outcome. If the maids are buying their own dresses it’s also important not to ask too much of them by looking at designs that carry a high price tag. You might consider intentionally mismatched gowns that work along a particular style or colour theme so they stand more chance of pleasing all parties while still working to your overall vision.

But when all said and done it’s your big day and the ultimate decision should be down to you.

Found on, Photography by Tealily Photography

 via, Photography by Tealily Photography

what you said on Facebook:

Kerry: “Minefield! I chose them for my special girls and with a slight apprehension handed them out… but they were all well received and my girls are happy…at least to my face!”

Keli: “I’ve given mine a colour scheme but let them choose their own! All of them are completely different in personality and body shape so really wanted them to just have something they’re happy with.”

Emma: “I’m paying so I’m deciding!”

Sarah: “My friend (the bride) set up a Pinterest group of possible options for us all to share. Her budget was really tight and last minute. Three of 4=four bridesmaids met up with her and went shopping together, luckily we found one we all liked and that suited us all, it was over her budget so we all paid the difference each.  I’d rather pay towards something we all liked than be uncomfortable.”

Rachel: “With six bridesmaids aged 40 to 13 who are all shapes and sizes I ‘ve chosen their dresses. That said I showed them all a picture before they were ordered and they like them.”

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the big debate: should you ask someone to be your bridesmaid, just because they asked you?

February 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Found on, via Lucky Mag

Image via via Lucky Mag

In this brand new Friday morning feature on the wedding blog, we’ll be debating all the most difficult wedding planning topics. Starting off with an awkward one, we ask: Should you ask someone to be your bridesmaid, just because they asked you?

Found on, Photography by Bryce Covey Photography

Found on, photography by Bryce Covey Photography

rachel says YES:

It’s not that you should feel obliged but if a relative or friend asks you to be one of their leading ladies it’s nice to return the favour, right?

As I see it there are enough catalysts to cause rifts and rows in the run up to a wedding without throwing another in to the mix by not returning the bridesmaid honour to someone who has deemed you worthy of the role.

Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve stepped-up to the position more times than perennial bridesmaid Katherine Heigl in the chick flick 27 Dresses, it might be that you couldn’t possibly return the invitation to all without a hefty entourage following you up the aisle. However, if you’ve had the honour bestowed upon you just a couple of times I think it’s a nice sentiment to include the ladies that invited you into their wedding party in your own.

Think of their strengths and the relationship you have with them and how this could contribute to their role as bridesmaid, in both the approach to and actually on the big day itself. For example, if one of the people that made you a bridesmaid is your go-to when you need a care-free and slightly crazy night out, they could well make a fabulous hen do planner. Likewise you might have been a bridesmaid for a relative who you can discuss your plans with and trust to give you an honest opinion – again, important bridesmaid skills. It could even be as simple as that the individual in question isn’t lacking in the confidence department and so would be the perfect contender to say a reading or poem allowed in church.

While you can preserve the role of maid of honour for your very nearest and dearest, building up a group of varied bridesmaids (rather than those that just look pretty in a dress) can make for a top wedding team. I also think that if you did a good job for them, they will certainly want to do their best for you and having got wed themselves they understand the importance of the role – instead of just thinking it’s a jolly.

Ultimately weddings are a pricey business and if you’re footing the bridesmaid dress bill numbers will have to come into consideration, but where possible it’s sweet for bridesmaid buddies to stick together and keep the peace.

Found on, via Kayla Elizabeth

Found on, via Kayla Elizabeth

julia says NO:

Take some advice from a girl who has pulled on a bridesmaid frock more times than she can actually remember (seriously, Katherine Heigl has nothing on me) and think twice before reading out your bridesmaid honours list.

Bridesmaids. Ask who you want to ask. Don’t ask who you don’t want to ask. And if you don’t want to ask, don’t ask anyone. That’s fine too.

First up: this is absolutely your wedding – you can do things the way you want to.  And secondly, are you sure your best girls wouldn’t rather pick their own hats for your special day?

Don’t get me wrong. Being asked to be a bridesmaid is a big deal.  A sort of public friendship badge of honour. But with great power comes great responsibility. Being a bridesmaid is about more than turning up in a pretty dress – and everyone involved needs to know it.  It’s easy (and fun!) to ask everybody in your friendship circle to take on the job, but before you get carried away in the excitement, take some time to reflect on who you really want by your side on your wedding day, and who you think will be up to the job. It’s not just about holding your bouquet during altar duty, after all.

When it comes to picking the team for your wedding day, it’s easy to get emotional. But that’s exactly the point: this choice should be based on emotion, rather than logic or loyalty. This isn’t a case of tit for tat and everyone’s idea of the perfect wedding is subjective. So what if you did the bridesmaid thang for your second cousin twice removed?! It’s your day, and I’d ask you to choose your attendants based on the people you know and love best.  After all, they’ll be hanging around in your wedding photos forever (and more).

Choose the people that mean the most to you, right now. Who cares if they asked you (or not)? Who cares what your mum thinks? Who cares what your mother in law thinks? This is your wedding.  These are your girls.

If you have to think twice, they’re not the ones for the job.

Your best girls will share in the dress shopping highs, hen night hangover lows, favour bagging cramps and cupcake sampling sugar rushes. Choose them because you love them, not because you think you should. And even if they’re not the same girls you’d choose in another 10 years’ time – so what? – you had lots of fun on the way,

And the ones you thought you left behind? The already marrieds? They’re just relieved.  They never suited peach anyway,

Found on, Photography Taylor Lord Photography

Found on, photography by Taylor Lord Photography

what you said on Facebook:

Adele: “I think if I had been a friend’s bridesmaid I would feel inclined to ask her to be one of mine.”

Shelley: “My best friend was mine but I wasn’t hers as she just had her sisters. Mine was a bigger wedding and was no hard feelings or awkwardness but we really are best mates so totally understood.”

Hollie: “I wasn’t going to have adult maids but then chose two friends who have asked me – I didn’t feel obliged though.”

Suzy: “I wouldn’t ask someone just because I was theirs, and I wouldn’t feel like they should ask me either. Everyone wants different things from bridesmaids.”

Found on, Photography by Stephanie A Smith Photography

Found on, photography by Stephanie A Smith Photography

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lookbook. peachy keen

October 28th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Wtoo 6501

oh so sweet peaches and cream is set to be one of the hottest colour schemes for 2015 weddings.

Personally I couldn’t  stand the sight of peach at one point as I was doing up a house where all the woodwork was layered in shiny peach gloss (pass the sick bucket) but just recently the pretty blush tone has sneaked back into my good books and so I’m totes in favour of this upcoming trend.

Perfect for those tying the knot in spring and summer, the palette is light, playful and girly.

It’s also a particularly good choice of hues for bridesmaids’ attire as the warm peach and subtle cream work well with pretty much all skin tones. So what are the dress options I hear you cry?

Brides can either choose to find maid gowns that feature both colours or alternatively select frocks in alternating colours, so one in cream and one in peach and so on. Or if they prefer one colour to the other on their bridesmaids they could dress their girls in just one colour, say peach, and then incorporate cream elsewhere in the wedding, like the flowers, décor, stationery or the maids shoes.

Wtoo 693

Dessy has some stunning options, particularly for those looking to feature another top look for 2015 in their wedding – bohemian. Designs such as 2919, 2920 and 6677 are long, flowing and flattering and offer a choice of different neckline options. Meanwhile for those wanting to dress their maids in cute cropped numbers for weddings during the warmer months, design 2780 in ginger and/or cream would fit in with the desired colour scheme perfectly.

Jim Hjelm also has a couple of floor-length and mini maid options in various peachy shades.  The strapless 5410 design with fashionable scalloped edges is a particular favourite of mine that would look great on a young group of adult bridesmaids who aren’t afraid to show off their pins.

Wtoo 772

Meanwhile Dessy’s After Six range and Wtoo have some fabulous options that allow brides to pick different colours for different parts of the dress, meaning they can create their very own peaches and cream showstopper.  Take the Wtoo 772 dress for example, brides can select different hues from a plentiful palette for the top, skirt and ribbon of the dress (the apricot and pearl shades work well with this theme). Likewise the incredibly gorgeous 6675 After Six dress in ginger with the choice of ivory lace over the top creates a delicious winning combination.

And the result – bridesmaids that look good enough to eat!

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