Charlotte Balbier

style sheet: muted naturals

June 18th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

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Here at Brides Up North HQ we make no secret of the fact that we love super glam weddings that sparkle and shine. However we’ve found of late that we’re becoming increasingly drawn to an emerging trend at the more relaxed end of the wedding spectrum.

We’re talking about pared back, elegant weddings featuring soft, muted colour palettes. Where once bolder was seen as better, we’re now starting to see weddings returning to a simpler, more stripped back look that creates an overall feel of natural romance.

Pretty pastel colour schemes have remained strong in the industry for the past few years but the muted trend sees shades such as mint green, blush pink and lilac, toned down a level or two. A more neutral colour palette of hues including dove grey, putty and stone, also sits well within the trend, giving couples plenty of choice.

So today we’ve picked out three of our favourite muted naturals to show you how it’s done. Let the inspiration flow…

delicious caramel

caramel

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Braedon Photography| image source| image source, photography by Jemma Keech Photography| image source| image source, photography by Jacque Lynn| image source| image source, photography by Grace Photography| image source| image source, photography by Joielala| image source

As tasty as it sounds, this colour palette is warm, elegant and inviting without being at all in your face. People’s opinion on the colour caramel will vary from a light brown to more of a golden tone so we say there’s no harm in picking a few varying shades for depth and interest. This will also save you the added stress of trying match up all wedding elements to just one hue.

So let’s start with styling the wedding party. As we’re seeing more brides step away from classic white and ivory for their dress, blush and caramel tones have become increasingly accepted in the world of weddings, with designers like Mori Lee and Mark Zunino showcasing such shades within their collections. If a bride would rather stick with tradition, it’s best to dress the bridesmaids in a caramel colour instead. Again there’s the choice of a pale brown or a slightly warmer tone so brides should think about their maids’ complexions and pick what will suit best, or alternatively mix and match for a combination.

Flowers tend to look most effective when kept to a neutral palette of soft creams and whites with just the odd caramel toned bloom, such as blousy roses, dotted throughout.

The caramel colour scheme also lends itself well to light textured materials with a ripple effect (like how the running liquid itself pools and puddles). So brides might like a dress featuring soft ruffles or loose pleats and shoes with corsage type detail also work well. In terms of décor, paper pom poms and flowing ribbons can help continue the textured feel.

Thinking outside the box, couples can deliver a muted caramel scheme in more ways than one, through both colour and sweet treats. So how about a salted caramel wedding cake, fudge favours or sweet caramel apple martinis drinks reception. Delicious!

pretty pistachio

pistacio

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source, photography by Melissa Oholendt| image source| image source, photography by Hyer Images| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by AMBphoto| image source

Working our way onto another appetising palette, a pistachio scheme is both a modern and elegant choice within the muted trend. It’s simple and sophisticated appearance is less playful than previously popular mint green, but it is by no means boring.

Similarly to the caramel theme, couples can play on the flavour of pistachio as well as the hue, perhaps opting for a show stopping pistachio layer wedding cake or dainty pistachio macaroon favours.

In terms of flowers, décor and stationery it’s best to keep things clean and simple to achieve the desired level of elegance. So go for uncomplicated table settings with plain pistachio coloured crockery, glassware or linen and natural centrepieces.

Metallics such as gold and silver complement pale green colour schemes well, but to keep on track with the muted theme pick matt rather than glittery options.

Elegant, long, flowing and uncomplicated bridesmaid dress designs work best with the theme and thankfully pistachio is a flattering tone on most complexions so maids should be merry about the choice. Meanwhile the bride can incorporate the hue in her footwear and groomsmen can adopt it for their ties, pocket squares and socks.

putty in your hands

putty

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Shipra Panosian| image source, photography by Annalie Young| image source| image source, photography by Jessica Lorren| image source, photography by Helen Russell Photography

Just like caramel, putty can be interpreted in several different ways. Though often seen as an off-white or pale grey, others feel it has more of a warm mushroom or pink hue running through it, so again we suggest working several colours of this nature into your muted palette.

This means brides might like to mix up their bridesmaid dress colours rather than putting all their leading ladies in just one shade. But it’s not just the maids that can switch things up, the groomsmen could opt for mix and match trouser, tie and blazer combinations in shades of grey, putty and mushroom for both a stylish and individual look.

For brides an ivory or pale cream dress tends to complement the warm putty tones best but they hints of muted tones can be added in their flower and footwear choices.

Finally, décor should be light and elegant so think pale paper lanterns, dainty flowers in clear vases, simple candle light and polished glass wear. In terms of the cake, pale ombre creations and those with subtle texture are perhaps the most popular to complete the desired look

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Mink Silk: A Real Wedding In The North West – Nadine & Paul

February 2nd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Mitton Hall Wedding by Mick Cookson Photography

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Yesterday, I took a rare and cheeky day off from all things online – the wedding blog, Twitter, Facebook, emails, Instagram, Pinterest – you name it, I was unplugged from it, as I celebrated my birthday with my closest family.  I figured that with Baby Brides Up North on the way and a full Spring schedule of Brides Up North luxury bridal events about to begin (click here for dates, details and to register as one of our VIP brides to be) this might be my last opportunity for some me time for quite a while.

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So today I’m back, refreshed and recharged (or as much as you can be in your third trimester of pregnancy) and completely making up for our one day hiatus as I bring you Brides Up North reader Nadine and new hubby Paul’s stunning Real Wedding celebration, with images by Mick Cookson Photography.  Fabulous!

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Nadine says:  We got engaged on Tuesday 28th September 2010. The day started with a catamaran cruise to Ile aux Cerfs, which is a beautiful island fringed with white sandy beaches, palm trees and crystal clear blue lagoons, just off the coast of Mauritius. Once we’d returned to our hotel on Mauritius and changed for the evening, Paul mentioned that there was something special happening on the jetty and wanted to be nosey and take a look on our way to the restaurant for dinner. As we approached I could see a waiter on stand-by, the pergola at the end of the jetty was adorned with silks, and there was a table set for two. With the sun setting on the horizon of the Indian Ocean it looked a perfect setting for a romantic meal. As we got a little closer I whispered to Paul “Wouldn’t it be nice if that were for us!”. As we approached the waiter gestured to us and said our table was ready. Before I could apologise to the waiter and say he’d mistaken us for another couple Paul thanked the waiter, gently took my hand and escorted me to what proved to be the perfect setting for a proposal. Even at this stage I did not suspect what was to come, but shortly after we were seated and Paul bent down on one knee in front of me, the penny dropped and the moment took my breath away.

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We were married on Saturday 22nd December 2012 at Mitton Hall, near Whalley in the Ribble Valley. We planned for a Winter wedding.  It was on recommendation of my best friend Vicky. The second we walked through the door we knew it was everything we had been looking for.

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We didn’t have a theme as such but we wanted the venue to offer elegance and the atmosphere to be relaxed, informal and fun which reflected our personalities.  Our colours were very neutral. Our chair sashes were mink and the floral arrangements were creams and ivory with a hint of gold. Everything else followed suit.

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I travelled to the venue with my Dad who had come over from Jamaica to give me away. We were taken in a vintage Regent Tourer by Horgans Cars.

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My dress was purchased from Annie Laurie Bridal and although this was two hours from where I live the service they gave was worth every mile! After trying on around 12 dresses I fell in love with a Maggie Sottero  named Pasadena.

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Paul’s suit was a traditional charcoal wedding suit with tails, with an ivory waist coat and mink ruffled tie, which was coordinated with our daughter’s flower girl dress and the floral arrangements. This was hired from Groom in Warrington.

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We didn’t have any bridesmaids or grooms men, we just had our little girl as a flower girl although she fell asleep before the ceremony so didn’t get to walk up the aisle. She wore a lovely ivory dress with a satin mink belt and flower which I customised by adding a flower embellishment to the flower. We saw this dress as we were food shopping in Morrison’s! We weren’t even aware that they sold clothes but there we saw exactly what we had been looking for.

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I carried a bouquet which I made myself using satin flowers made out of satin ribbon, silk flowers and embellishments.  I had my heart set on having a bouquet that I could keep and researched different styles of bouquets. At some point I decided that I would try and make my own (something I had never done before) and after hours and hours sat making satin flowers I finished up with the most beautiful bouquet. I love being creative and can pretty much turn my hand to anything I set my mind to. I will now be framing my bouquet in a box frame which will take pride of place on our wall.

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I have since launched my own company, Handmade with a Heart, as a result of the many requests we have had from people for the special touches that we added to our wedding. 

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Flying The Knot provided our barn owl ring bearer!

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My favourite part of the day was when we were pronounced man and wife, which is when I spontaneously jumped up and down shouting “I’m married, I’m married” much to everyone’s amusement.

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Paul’s favourite part of the day was when we were walking down the aisle as man and wife when he had a few fist pump moments.

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We filled our guest boxes with personalised M&M’s which read “Nadine and Paul” on the ivory ones and “Married 22.12.12” on the cream ones and chose and wrapped 27 gifts that were given to all the children from Santa (a friend of ours who looks like the genuine article).

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Our floral decorations were by Passion Flowers in Clitheroe. 

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We struggled at first with the cake as Paul doesn’t like fruit cake, and prefers sponge, whereas I am the opposite. I really wanted my Gran to make our wedding cake as she makes the best fruit cake, but given Paul’s taste I decided to ask my Gran to make a sample cake as I knew that as soon as Paul tasted it he’d really like it! Sure enough, there was no going back once he tried it. I think it had something to do with the Jamaican white rum that she uses quite liberally to make it.

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My Gran made us four tiers which we then took to All Things Sugar in Warrington who decorated it beautifully for us. We wanted something simple but elegant.

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In the evening as well a DJ we had a chocolate fountain and casino tables from SJ Enterprises to keep the adults entertained and we had a bubble machine and candy buffet which kept the kiddies happy.

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Emma and Chris, who are friends of ours, lived in Austria for a few years and surprised us with a huge heart which was drawn on a cotton sheet along with our names and the date of our wedding. After we cut our cake, we were handed a pair of scissors each and the sheet was held up. Starting at the bottom of the heart we then had to cut it out but going in opposite directions and the first person to the top won!! We then stepped through the heart together and this symbolises stepping into a new life together as man and wife. It was such a lovely touch and was so nice as our guests cheered as we stepped through the heart.

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With it being over Christmas, and being lucky enough to have family travel over from Jamaica and LA, we decided to spend Christmas and New Year with family and delay our honeymoon. We are looking forward to flying into LA, which is where our daughter will spend time with her uncle, aunty and three cousins, whilst we go on to Tahitian island of Bora Bora. On our return to LA we intend to spend a few days together as a family in San Diego before returning home.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to plan everything quite early. That way you can enjoy all of the planning and the run-up to your big day, as oppose to things getting on top of you and stressing you out! Also spend time planning how you would like your special day to run in terms of timings and hand this to all parties involved i.e. MC, best man, maid of honour, photographer etc as that way everything will run its course without you having to worry. But most of all take time out as husband and wife throughout the day to take everything in and enjoy your day, as it goes so fast!

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Happy Wedding Day from The Sutcliffes!

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Congratulations Nadine & Paul!

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Contact me to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North.  Here’s how.

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  – Images © 2013 Mick Cookson Photography

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