Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

get the look: miranda kerr

August 10th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Image via

Image via Hello Magazine

As peak wedding season continues more high-profile brides are making their way down the aisle providing some fabulous A-lister style inspiration for us all. This includes one of biggest girl crushes – Miranda Kerr, who we totally and utterly adore – not only for her looks, but her sweet personality too!

Though a huge name in the modelling world, the 34-year-old shunned a large, lavish affair in favour of an intimate ceremony, marrying her beau Evan in the backyard of their Californian home, with just 45 guests making the “invite” list.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, modest Miranda chose to cover-up that killer bod that gained her Victoria Secret’s Angel status, and wore a long-sleeved, high-neck Dior Haute Couture gown inspired by the wedding dress of 50s fashion icon, Grace Kelly.

So, for those of you that are looking to go more demure than daring on your big day, we’re taking a closer look at classy Kerr’s winning wedding day style in today’s celebrity spy post…

the dress


Understated glamour was definitely the key to Miranda’s luxurious wedding day attire. Her A-line satin gown with flowing train and delicate lily appliques is the very epitome of elegance. Though this is a one-of-a-kind creation, brides can look to reflect elements of Miss Kerr’s gown in their own dress choices.

Pared back, plainer gowns in simple fabrics have been making a comeback on recent bridal catwalks, meaning there is the option to mirror Miranda’s effortlessly chic appearance. Look to the likes of Pronovias, Jesus Peiro and Caroline Castigliano for these sleek yet structured silhouettes. Long-sleeves are also easy to find in designer’s collections, though often these are lace, which is perhaps good news for those wanting to add a little more detail to their look.

Though subtle, Miranda does make a style statement with the 3D florals scattered across her gown. Again, this has been a rising look on the runways with beautifully appliqued designs from the likes of Osacar de la Renta and Katya Katya Shehurina, catching our eye.

the hair


Totally effortless once again, Miranda’s super sleek bridal hair reportedly took just 15 minutes to style and is easy enough to recreate at home.

A simple centre parting sees Miranda’s locks swept clear of her gorgeous face and secured into a low ponytail that is then twisted into a neat chignon. This is a such a timeless look, and one that us Brides Up North girls love!

While Miranda chose to top her look with a rather incredible pearl-encrusted veil, we think a pair of statement earrings would be a fabulous finishing touch for brides opting to rock the centre parting.

the makeup


Perhaps saving the best bit until last, Miranda has actually shared her big day beauty regime online via a special step-by-step tutorial video for Vouge – see, we said she was sweet!

Keeping with her classic approach, the famous model opted for a fresh, glowy look. After creating a flawless base (on her already flawless skin), she applies a rose glow blush to her cheeks and a little gold shadow to her lids before enhancing her lashes with mascara and using a combination of lipsticks to achieve a perfect pink pout.

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celebrity spy: heidi range

November 9th, 2016 | Rachel Parry


image source: Daily Mail

This afternoon we’re sweetening up the blog with a little celebrity wedding inspiration as we take a look at the beautiful big day style of recent bride and former Sugar Babe, Heidi Range.

Marrying her rather handsome beau Alex Partakis in a stunning Tuscan ceremony a little earlier this year, super-pretty Heidi looked every inch a princess in her floor-length, lace-sleeved wedding dress, created by none other than bridal designer to the stars, Suzanne Neville.

In addition to Heidi’s incredibly swoon-worthy gown, the singer had flawless hair and makeup to match, complete with a gorgeous sun-kissed tan.

Whether marrying in overseas sunshine or not, we think that we can all take a little something from Heidi’s fairy-tale look, and so today we’re giving tips and inspiration on how to mirror the star’s style for your own wedding day.

the dress


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Heidi’s gorgeous Suzanne Neville gown is the perfect choice for those who seek timeless elegance, with its traditional A-line shape and classic lace detailing.

The sweetheart bodice adds another element of romance to the design while the off-the-shoulder lace neckline gives it a slightly modern and flirty twist.

For those wanting to steal Heidi’s style there are plenty of similar stunning lace designs within designer’s current collections, including creations by Rosa Clara, Pronovias, Caroline Castigliano and, of course, Suzanne Neville.

If however the full-length princess gown is a little too traditional, brides can opt for identical sleeved-designs that are either shorter in length or slimmed-down in structure. Alternatively, brides could opt for a capped-sleeved dress or one with a lower neckline.

It’s also worth brides bearing in mind that the look can be created with a plain gown worn with a lace topper, so bridal separates from designers such as Charlotte Balbier, should not be ruled out. Such collections can also offer a bride two differing looks for her wedding day, as a topper could be removed for the evening reception and replaced with a sparkling belt accessory for a more glammed-up look.

the hair


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Again Heidi has gone down the classic root in terms of her hair, with her long golden locks swept into a super-neat, up do.

A sensible choice in the Italian heat, Heidi’s hair is pulled back away from her face and secured in a sophisticated chignon style, topped with a detailed hair accessory for just a touch of sparkle. The singer also opted for a cathedral-length veil, which sat at the top of her head and framed the dress beautifully.

Those who would prefer a slightly less-stayed style could go for a loose and more ‘messy’ up do and forgo the veil resulting in a less formal look.

the makeup


Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Almond Leaf Studio| image source, photography by Sugar Love Weddings| image source, photography by Rachel Foster Photography| image source| image source, photography by Bellamint Photography| image source| image source, photography by Stephen McGowan Photography| image source| image source| image source.

Sporting a beautiful holiday tan, Heidi doesn’t require too much makeup to achieve her radiant appearance.

Keeping things simple and girly, Heidi’s glowing skin is topped with a little blush to the cheeks, a glossy natural pink lip, defined brows, brown eyeshadow and lashings of mascara. Just like the rest of Heidi’s look the result is highly effective and highly elegant!

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celebrity spy: eva longoria

August 23rd, 2016 | Julia Braime

Eva Longoria Wedding

image source

We thought it was high-time we got a little big day inspiration from an A-lister who has recently hotfooted it down the aisle, and so today we’re shining our celebrity spy spotlight on stunning Desperate Housewives star, Eva Longoria.

Tying the knot to her beau Jose ‘Pepe’ Antonio Baston during a romantic lakeside ceremony in Mexico back in May, the dress was one element of the wedding that pretty pint-size Eva need not worry too much about. As a lady with friends in high places, she called upon the services of her talented bestie and top fashion designer Victoria Beckham, to create her not one, but a whole trio of dream dresses for the lavish celebrations that spread across three days.

In this post we’ll be focusing our attention on the main silk crepe gown worn by Eva for the dreamy ceremony, whilst also providing inspiration for similar hair and makeup styles to those chosen by the gorgeous actress for her big day.

the dress


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Opting for a flawless yet fuss-free look, Eva’s stunning ceremony gown was revealed as a fitted slim-line design with elegant straps and sweetheart neckline.

Perhaps plainer than what a lot of people would expect from fashionable Eva, the delicate design clung to her incredible figure in all the right places, before flowing elegantly to the floor and also fitted in perfectly with the paradise-like overseas setting.

This season’s bridal catwalks have seen a real return to simplistic designs, free from beading, pearls and crystals, and so brides wanting to mirror Eva’s dress shouldn’t be short of choice.

For the less is more look there are ultra-uncomplicated designs that leave the talking to elegant silhouettes and luxurious fabrics. Meanwhile for those wanting a little more detailing to their dress, interest can easily be added with a sparking belt, decorative straps or feminine lace trim.

Given the clean appearance of the dress, it’s key that brides don’t detract from the main spectacle by overdoing it with their accessories. Eva hits the nail on the head with a delicate Calla Lily bouquet and dainty necklace to complete her look.

the hair


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Though she has many assets, Eva’s thick glossy hair has to be one that we envy most.

Again, keen not to withdraw attention from her gorgeous VB gown, Eva opted for effortless barrel type waves with her long, dark locks swept gracefully to one side. On the opposite side she added just a touch of detail with a small hair accessory, pinning the divine do in place.

A look best copied by brides with long trestles, the intensity of the waves will tend to drop slightly throughout the day resulting in a neater look for the ceremony and a more undone appearance for the evening celebrations.

the makeup


Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Ben & Hope Photography| image source| image source| image source, photography by Olive Photography| image source| image source, photography by Roma Elizabeth Photography| image source, photography by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography| image source| image source| images source.

Eva’s dark olive skin tone sets off her white dress off wonderfully, and we’re pretty sure that even without a scrap of makeup that her flawless complexion would be glowing on her wedding day.

Going for a popular bridal look of the moment, Eva’s makeup centred around a gorgeous dark smoky eye and pale pretty pink lip to frame that sublime Hollywood smile.

A touch of bronzer and sweep of highlighter later, and this hot wife is looking far from desperate.

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celebrity spy: met gala 2016: poppy delevingne

May 9th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Image via

image source

As one of our very favourite red carpet events of the year, we were thrilled to see celebs making a stylish return to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute last week for the annual Met Gala.

With opulent and outlandish outfits galore, garments are picked to wow, shock and stun, as stars vie for the paparazzi limelight. Their choice of threads do all have something in common though, as each year’s gala celebrates the theme of the current Costume Institute exhibition, making the dress code for 2016 – ‘Fashion in an Age of Technology’.

Cue a whole host of beautiful metallic maidens in shimmering and reflective garments with tech themed embellishment, artistic cut-outs and robotic style finishes.

As is always the case at such events there some sensational faux pars (errrrr, Madonna what were you thinking?!), but thankfully the fashion hits outweighed the skips with the likes of Sienna Miller, Kylie Jenner, Blake Lively and Jourdan Dunn setting our hearts racing.

There was one lady in particular though who caught our eye (alright, we literally couldn’t stop looking at her) and that was the fabulous Poppy Delevingne. Reminding us that there is more than one hot Delevingne on the celeb circuit, model Poppy rocked a striking sheer and beaded gown whilst dripping in lavish jewels.

While not an obvious bridal look, we feel that ladies soon to be making their way down the aisle can certainly take a style tip or two out of Poppy’s on-trend book, and so today we’re making her the subject of our celebrity spy post…

the dress


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Ok, so as we said, while perhaps not wholly suitable for a wedding there are certainly elements of Poppy’s stunning Marchesa dress that translate to current bridal trends. Embellishing: check, tassels: check, metallics: check, sheer panels: check. You get the idea!

So while you brides-to-be might not be able to steal Poppy’s look from top-to-toe, you can definitely give a nod to it on your big day.

For fabulous embellishment and beaded detail we would say to look to designers such as Jenny Packham, Anna Campbell, Ellie Saab and Eliza Jane Howell. Whether it’s a boho, vintage or a super glam look you are after, a creation from one of these talented designers is sure to tick the box.

The high street also have plenty of plush designs that would get Poppy’s approval, with stores including Monsoon, Phase Eight and Asos, encouraging brides to get their glam on!

The level of detail varies from one design to the next, giving brides the opportunity to follow in Poppy’s footsteps with full on razzle dazzle appearance, or pare things back a little with lighter scattering of beads and gems.

And while most brides might want to stick close to tradition with a white or ivory design, there are also metallic creations hitting the bridal runways, broadening the choices available to gold, bronze, silver and copper.

the hair & makeup


Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Amanda K Photography| image source, photography by Kristen Wood| image source| image source, photography by Shelley Richmond of Kindred Photography| image source, photography by Tamiz Photography| image source, photography by Rebekah J Murray| image source| image source, photography by EK Studios.

Poppy kept her hair poker straight and vamped up her look with a dark lip colour, but although alternative, neither of these are out of bounds for a wedding.

Just as Poppy did, keeping hair sleek and simple is a good way to let the dress take centre stage and a wise move for brides opting for heavily detailed dresses. For a slightly different take on the look, brides could wear their hair to the side with a coordinating beaded hair comb to hold locks in place, or sweep the hair up into a sleek ponytail.

While Poppy’s choice of dark plum lipstick might be a shade too far for brides, a colourful lippy can be a fun and fashionable way of adding individual personality and style to a big day look. Similar to Poppy, those choosing to go down this route should keep other elements of the makeup simple – so neutral colours on the eyes, a slick of eyeliner and mascara and just a touch of blush or bronze.

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lourdes, ladies and no gentlemen. our real life bride & celebrity columnist jane reveals all about le hen do

September 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Jane's Hen Party (2)

Last month our real life bride and celebrity columnist Jane Witherspoon, took a brief break from her hectic showbiz reporting schedule to jet off on her hen do to the south of France. Fancy!

Joined by her top ladies, Jane and her squad enjoyed a memorable weekend (well sort of), of culture, relaxation, fine food and wine – oh and champagne, oh yeah, and vodka!

Here she reveals all they got up to (well the bits she can remember), as in true bride-to-be hen do style, Jane adopted a somewhat go hard or go home approach. Jane, we salute you!

Now back home in the UK, Jane has less than six weeks to go until the big day and so is shoehorning in the last minute preparations and planning around her numerous work commitments, which includes covering London Fashion Week. Sounds glam hey? But seriously we don’t know how she fits everything in, she certainly works hard – and from what’s about to follow, she plays hard too…

Jane's Hen Party (9)

jane says: It’s often billed as a last big hurrah for many brides to be but I feel like I’ve been practicing this partying business for quite a while now. As for my hens – they definitely know how to have a good time.

I’m very lucky to have some amazing girls around me especially as I approach the six-weeks-to-go milestone. They threw me the most brilliant bash in the south of France and this blog post is dedicated to each and every one of them for the part they played. Mam, Emma, Emsy, Nicole, Karthi, Sara, Karyn and Krysia – love you ladies!

Jane's Hen Party (12)

An early start in drizzly Stansted didn’t dampen our spirits as we began our little jet-set jaunt. We were soon air bound having cleaned up on free shots in Duty Free. That’s as tacky as it got…who am I kidding!

On arrival in Lourdes we were soon in a taxi and taking a short detour to nearby town Tarbes to pick up Nicole who was travelling by train from Poitiers to meet us in the Pyrenees. I arrived wearing a fancy dress nuns habit which the girls had insisted on. Not even a ‘hello’ let alone a ‘bonjour’, ‘where’s my prosecco?’ Nicole asked. That’s how it started…

Jane's Hen Party (7)

Karyn and Krysia had invited us to spend the long weekend at their 18th Century farmhouse in Bernac-Debat, Midi-Pyrenees. As we pulled up to the iron gates we muttered ‘wow’ in unison. The place was incredible. Shutters, chandeliers and champagne. After a not so quick (the place was huge) tour of the grounds and pool, everyone bagged their four-poster beds and it was down to business. We had a weekend of eating and drinking ahead of us.

For anyone thinking of a trip to the region I couldn’t recommend our base in Bernac-Debat highly enough. It is 20 minutes from the airport on the edge of a fabulous mountain region and nearby Tarbes town and Lourdes is a must.

Jane's Hen Party (3)

After a few rounds of hum bug (a guessing game where you hum songs. Sadly these videos have been deleted) we had the most amazing roast duck meal cooked for us. So I’m told. I sadly had to leave the girls to enjoy this without me after a forfeit involving a tumbler of vodka put paid to my plans for the evening. Yes I missed the first night of my own hen do. On the plus side, my 13 hour sleep meant I was fresh as a daisy for day two.

A short bus ride meant we spent the day exploring the beautiful town of Tarbes, its cafes and fountains. A quick trip back to the house to freshen up and we were on our way to dinner.

Jane's Hen Party (6)

Emsy had booked us into a restaurant which features in the Michelin guide called Trait Blanc – albeit the booking was for the week after we were there. Our lack of French vocabulary was brushed aside and waiter Jean-Henri sat us in a private garden out the back (which was just as well because of the noise we made). The reviews said ‘look nowhere else’. The food was incredible. I’d highly recommend if you’re looking for great food that’s reasonably priced.

Sunday was pool party day. We soaked up the night before with a fry up then cranked up Gloria Estefan on the music system and went for the burn. More cheese, wine and laughs from the moment we woke till we slept. The weekend was drawing to a close far too fast. But, there was one tourist spot just down the road we had to squeeze in.

Jane's Hen Party (4)

You can’t go to Lourdes and not visit the town itself and the famous grotto. So it may not be very ‘hen do-ey’ but it’s definitely worth a visit whether you’re religious or not. It’s a beautiful town and the Cathedral is stunning. After a brief whirlwind tour and a quick prayer we were headed for the airport and UK laden with holy water! Well, we certainly didn’t need any more duty free booze!

Follow our real life bride and celebrity columnist Jane, at @Janeyspoon.

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by george (clooney)! a catch up with our real life bride and celebrity columnist, jane

May 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Jane at Tomorrowland premiere

Last month on the blog we introduced you to real life bride & celebrity columnist Jane Witherspoon, who is sharing her planning journey exclusively on Brides Up North in the run up to her October wedding.

If you recall Jane has a pretty cool but extremely busy job as a showbiz TV reporter and presenter for the likes of Good Morning Britain. And while that does mean rubbing shoulders with the celebs, it also means a hectic schedule full of early starts and late finishes, making finding time to plan a wedding all the more challenging.

In this month’s post Jane brings us up to speed with her glitzy TV work (which includes chatting with a certain Mr Clooney – jealous, much!) and she also spills the beans on the gorgeous venue for her big day. Over to you Jane…

Jane at Tomorrowland premiere (3)

jane says: As I sit down to write this month’s blog the panic sets in. I keep telling myself we’ve got loads of time to organise our wedding but it’s now just over four months away – 17 weeks to be exact (I’ve just read the last line out to Alex and his reply was ‘Oh thanks for that, you’ve got me worried now’)! I’ve discovered as time goes by that Alex has been approaching the organising of our day very cleverly. Let’s put it this way – he’s a great project manager! Then again I can be a bit of a control freak so it works.

May has been a crazy month workwise. It started with a charity ball with the cast of Downton Abbey followed by the General Election. No matter how much I do it, waking at 3am is never easy. It was a buzz hanging outside Conservative HQ waiting to grab the first shots of the Prime Minister to arrive from his count in Whitney.

Jane at General Election

And then there was George! Clooney that is! I’ve been lucky enough to interview him a few times over the years and he’s always a dream interviewee – so charming and professional. When reporting from the red carpet of the premiere of his new film Tomorrrowland in Leicester Square I seized the opportunity to ask him a bit of advice for that first year of marriage. His reply: “I would say, your husband is always right…just a thought.” That’s apart from when he’s wrong of course George!

Jane at Tomorrowland premiere (2)

It’s quite full on trying to organise a big event around our work schedules but we’re getting there. I think that’s mainly due to the fact that we decided on a venue very early on. Alex is from a very small family which is just as well as mine is huge. Speak to any bride and groom and I’m sure they’ll tell you the most stressful thing about organising a wedding is deciding who to invite. It’s the most awful thing having to whittle down a list of friends and family. In fact, it’s quite brutal. Everyone tells you to just invite who you want and people will understand. That’s all well and good but they’ve never met my Mum. She had her own list from the off!

Brinkburn Priory 4

Luckily the venue pretty much dictates how many people can be accommodated so that does help in deciding numbers. When choosing where to get married there were only two choices for us, Wigan (where Alex is from) or the North East (my roots).

Just after the New Year we decided to visit two potential venues in Northumberland: Short Flat Tower in Belsay and Brinkburn Priory near Rothbury. We went to Brinkburn first. We never made it to Belsay. From the moment we pulled up to Brinkburn we were sold on it. It is the perfect place. Emma, Jan and the team there are so welcoming and totally got us and what we wanted from the day from that very first meeting.

Brinkburn Priory 3

The priory was a 12th Century Medieval monastery built on a bend on the River Coquet. It’s beautiful. The priory church is like a mini cathedral and the converted stables mean there’s lovely spacious accommodation on site for family. We’ve decided on welcome drinks on arrival and then our 120 guests will take their seats in the Priory before dinner, drinks and dancing in the tipis which will be erected on site. I love that we don’t have to move location throughout the day and that it’s all confined to this beautiful English Heritage site.

The food on the day is being organised by Wilkins Fine Dining. Their menus are incredible and we’re actually off to the North East next weekend for a tasting session. This is surely one of the fun points in organising a wedding! Wilkins source and use local produce for their meals which I’m thrilled about. It’s great to support local businesses.

Jane at Tomorrowland premiere 4

There’s one question that I keep getting asked about the wedding and that is ‘What’s your theme?’  I didn’t realise how important this is to some people. I still don’t have a theme as such but I know it will be a classic, fun day and night. There’ll be lots of laughs, candles and fairy lights to enhance the already magical setting.

I’d love to know: have you picked a theme for your big day, and if so, what?

Follow Jane on Twitter @Janeyspoon

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