Brides Up North

the circle: be a wedding industry insider

September 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime

The Circle_Master_strapline_WO rose gold

A glittering press party at Media City, Manchester this Wednesday night saw the launch of The Circle - a brand new concept in creativity, training and connectivity for wedding and lifestyle businesses.

I’m so proud to stand along my industry friends (who also just happen to be the very best entrepreneurs in the business), Charlotte Balbier, Jonny Draper and Howard Wing, as we launch our new concept.

Finally… I’m allowed to talk about it! (It’s been killing me).

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Just so you know who you are dealing with here, Charlotte Balbier is one of the UK’s leading bridal gown designers; Jonny Draper is an award winning photographer and boutique owner; Howard Wing is the most in-demand wedding entertainer in the UK and I’m the Editor In Chief of one rather lovely wedding blog… all four of us have won numerous coveted awards and are recognised for excellence and experience in our specialisms within the industry. (*blush*)

Over the years (and over the odd cocktail or ten!) we’ve discussed the need for a club or collective – an inspiring and exciting space, comprising a combination of special events, practical training and online membership – where wedding industry suppliers can meet to exchange insider ideas, secrets and knowledge with the aim of boosting business and raising standards, profiles, contacts and turnover.

Our answer?

The Circle. Founded 10th September 2014.

Following Wednesday’s big reveal (an exciting and nail biting evening explaining the scope of our plans to assembled press luminaries like editors from Brides Magazine, Perfect Wedding Magazine… and other industry big wigs – official photos and lots of thank yous coming soon!) The Circle are now proud to announce our exclusive inaugural event, strictly limited to just 100 initial The Circle members.

Attendees should forget anything they ever knew about training days and get ready to transform or refresh the way in which they do business.

The first ever full day event is suitable for experienced industry professionals and start-ups alike and sessions packed full of insider tips and strategy will tackle topics such as brand evolution, blogging, social media wizardry, killer sales, effective networking and management, before ending the day with a VIP After Show Party.  More in-depth info about the event, The Circle’s founders and pricing info can be found over at our brand spanking new website, just live:

www.theweddingcircle.co.uk

Inspiration is guaranteed, and surprises come as standard.

As an attendee at the February event, delegates will automatically become a year-long member of The Circle’s essential online support networks, gaining exclusive access to an immediate, priceless forum in a private space to share ideas, make referrals, win business, solve problems and generate goodwill.

When you’re in The Circle, you’re one of us.

We’d love to see wedding businesses old and new, fresh and familiar faces at our first event, strictly limited to just 100 places. Since the website went live yesterday our inbox has been pinging with booking confirmations, so we’d urge you to move quickly to avoid disappointment.

This is going to get epic, and quickly…

 

the 100 club

Tuesday 10th February 2015

Styal Lodge, Cheshire

9:30am till 5pm

Then After Show Party

One day to transform your wedding business.
Inspire. Apply. Connect. Elevate

Book now at www.theweddingcircle.co.uk

 

Images by Hayley Baxter Photography

Film by Silk Wedding Films

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get ready for the launch

September 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime

The Circle_Master_strapline

 

This evening sees the launch of a project I’ve been working extremely hard on behind the scenes for the majority of this year.

Those of you who have been regular readers and supporters of Brides Up North for the past four years will know that I believe wholeheartedly in the value of carrying on the online conversation in real life. This goes for both brides to be during our busy Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition season and members of our fantastic regional wedding industry.

Those wedding suppliers who have already used our annual Brides Up North “tweet ups” and networking parties to come together to share a few cocktails, ideas, business cards and recommendations will know just how beneficial events like these can be to business.

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Well, we’ve decided to take things a bit further than that.

You know we don’t like to sit still here at Brides Up North HQ, and this year I’ve joined forces with an amazing team of industry leaders to bring industry connectivity and creativity to the next level.

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This evening, I’ll be standing (in my sequins!) alongside the fellow directors of this exciting new vehicle – Charlotte Balbier, award winning wedding dress designer; Jonny Draper, award winning photographer and boutique owner and Howard Wing, award winning entertainer – to reveal our pet project to a select group of industry friends, sponsors and press, including the biggest bridal titles on the newsstands.

Nervous, me?

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I’ve never been very good at keeping secrets, and can’t wait to reveal all on these pages.

One thing that’s guaranteed?  You’ll ALL be invited. 

More very soon.

 

Images by Hayley Baxter Photography 

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the designer series: Charlotte Balbier

August 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Charlotte Balbier

We recently featured Ms Balbier’s new Iscoyd Park bridal collection for 2015 on these very pages, and today I’m proud to hear all about the inspirations behind my wonderful friend’s beautiful designs.  So Brides Up North, will you be a Balbier bride?  You lucky, lucky things.

Click here to view the extended collection.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

Charlotte says: A Charlotte Balbier bride is confident and daring in both her wedding dress style and every day fashion choices. My brides certainly have their own sense of individuality. Whether you’re a relaxed boho bride whose bouquet choice is wild hand picked rural flowers or a city fashion forward bride who keeps it minimalist and chic. Some brides like a theme and some like to keep it eclectic, it’s a personal style and choice and both are gorgeous.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

What were your inspirations for this collection?

The Iscoyd Park Collection is very close to my heart as I designed the collection based on my wedding day to Teddy. My wedding day took place at a venue called Iscoyd Park in North Wales last December. ‘The Iscoyd Park’ collection is made up of over twenty new gorgeous gowns in an array of styles to suit the modern day bride, their wedding and style. The new collection includes two dresses I actually wore on the big day called ‘The Charlotte’ and ‘Iscoyd Park.’ I am flattered we’ve had such a positive response to brides wearing the same dress as I did on my big day! The ‘Iscoyd Park’ collection was designed with love, close to my dear heart.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

What shapes, fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the collection and why?

The Charlotte Balbier collection has always been fashion inspired.  Gowns that are forward thinking for the new generation bride. My signature style and look is using soft French laces. Charlotte Balbier is utterly feminine in charm and grace. My gowns are inherently traditional but with that added extra twist of fashion for a modern gown, bride and wedding day. The collection presents classical elegance and timeless gowns that never go out of fashion in array of styles, silhouettes, fabrics and a soft gold, pink and ivory colour pallette.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

What sizes are your gowns available in? 

Our sizing is from 0 to any size. Brides can choose the sizing they need and our stockist’s usually amend the dresses to fit the bride to perfection.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

What does 2014/ 2015 hold for your label? What are you excited about?

Charlotte Balbier has been around for more than 10 years now and we’ve built a great brand. I am now embarking on a new chapter and looking forward to another 10 years, staying at the forefront of British bridal and looking to also take the Balbier brand International. Last year I won the Wedding Ideas Magazine’s Bridal Designer Awards and I’ve just been nominated for Perfect Wedding’s Best Bridal Designer. Winning Awards is a great achievement and honour to be recognized in the industry. Brides who’d love Charlotte Balbier to win can vote here.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

What are your “best things” in life?

I am a very lucky lady because the best things in life surround me all the time! I’m constantly surrounded by lovely Charlotte Balbier bridal dresses and of course everything else in the bridal industry. I love shoes especially Jimmy Choo’s, Aruna Seth and Freya Rose. I love Clarins facials and enjoy one once a month religiously! I love my dog Buster and my dear husband Teddy!

Where can Brides Up North find out more about your label?

Visit our website, or find us on Twitter or Facebook.  A list of stockists can be found here.

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Golden Admiral. A Beautiful Butterfly Inspired Styled Bridal Shoot In The North West

May 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Celynnen Photography

It’s nearly home time and I’m finishing off your Tuesday with a burst of lovely from a very talented collection of wedding industry suppliers over North West way. 

Showcasing the butterfly inspired rare but beautiful colour combination of pale blues and rose gold and with gorgeously understated yet frightfully glam styling from friend of the wedding blog Boris & Betty, in these stunning shots from North Wales Wedding Photographer of the Year, Celynnen Photography, we’re going for gold!

Get ready to flutter! See our Little Black Book for stockists. 

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Celynnen Photography

Little Black Book

Planning & Styling: Boris & Betty

Images: Celynnen Photography

Venue: The Isla Gladstone Conservatory

Wedding Dresses: Charlotte Balbier 

Wedding Dresses: Amanda Wyatt 

Bridal Accessories: Vintage Styler

Shoes: Aruna Seth

Hair & Makeup: Artiste Creative

“Big Heart” Prop: Typical Type

Wedding Cakes: Cakes by Andrea Lee

Butterfly Garland: Flutter Designs

Sequin Backdrop & Cloth: Pudding Bridge

Art Deco China: Pretty Little Trio

Model – Abigail Tara-Lilly, CAST Models, Liverpool

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Celynnen Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Deco Does It. A Modern Art Deco Wedding Inspiration Shoot In Morecambe.

April 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Julie Lomax Photography

Earlier this spring a group of North West wedding suppliers got together to collaborate on a contemporary art deco styled wedding photo-shoot at The Midland Hotel in Morecambe on the North West coast.

Brides Up North exhibitors (you can meet them both at our Hilltop Country House event in just under two weeks – click here for details) photographer Julie Lomax and cake specialist Rachel Hanna of Marie Antoinette Cakes teamed up with Vicky Cruse at The Midland Hotel to create something really special. The Midland was originally built in 1933 and is the epitome of art deco elegance and glamour. In 2013 it was lovingly restored and transformed to perfectly blend the original grandeur with a luxurious modernist style.

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie says: As the hotel sits right along the Lancashire coastline, it provides the perfect setting for a wedding filled with seaside chic with incredible views, particularly from the fantastic bridal suite with its huge secluded balcony featuring a private hot tub!

Inside the hotel you can make use of several different spaces for your wedding but it’s the huge Art Deco staircase that we really love with elegant sweeping lines that just seem to go on forever, a chance to get some truly unique and timeless photographs.

The team spent a long time searching for the perfect suppliers to collaborate with and certainly struck gold with a beautiful selection of headpieces, statement jewellery, flowers, dresses and a classic black tuxedo.

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

I was keen to keep the shoot as in-keeping with my natural-light style as possible, something that was relatively easy at The Midland given it’s huge windows. Capturing all of the different details whilst strongly featuring the character of the hotel was something really important to me and I spent time assessing the location prior to the shoot to ensure that I got the best photos possible on the day.

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

The beautiful dresses were a selection of beaded Jenny Packham gowns – Rose, Eden and Esme from Mears Ghyll Bridal in Lancaster who also stock a wonderful selection of gowns from designers Alan Hannah, Charlotte Balbier and Suzanne Neville. The stunningly simple Maggie Sottero Oriana dress is from Butterfly Bridal in Lancaster who are also stockists of gowns by Justin Alexander and Essense Australia.

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

Samantha from Isobel Hind Couture is a very talented jewellery designer and her collection of jewellery and headpieces is really something special. Her unique style translates wonderfully to this collection which caught the eye of celebrity stylist and designer Kate Halfpenny who now stocks pieces from the range in her London showroom.

Jane from HF Couture in North Yorkshire has been designing bespoke and unique headdresses, tiaras and bouquets for over five years and they really are beautiful. If you’re looking for a one off piece that will fit perfectly with your dress then look no further. Jane has recently been commissioned by British bridal designer Madeline Isaac-James to create a range of accessories to match her 2015 bridal collection.

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

A wedding isn’t complete without flowers and Bolton-based florist Victoria from Lancashire Floristry didn’t disappoint when she created two stunning bridal arrangements with matching buttonholes for the groom. The first was a collection of black call lillies, ivory roses, brunia, black eyed chins and gorgeous succulents. Victoria also made an amazing art deco style fan of flowers using pipped hyacinth heads, tulips and beautiful white orchids, all wired together with a jewel beads.

Julie Lomax Photography

Rachel, my fellow organiser, from Marie Antoinette Cakes created a black, white and silver art deco themed cake for the shoot with clean lines, sharp edges, geometric shapes and patterns. Her award winning cakes are renowned for their eye catching design and deliciously moreish recipes. Rachel uses the best quality ingredients and takes the time to really understand your cake requirements in a free, no obligation consultation. Her designs include the increasingly popular Simply Antoinette range which was launched in 2012 but bespoke designs are equally as in demand. Not only does she create tiered cakes but also makes cupcakes, cake tables, dessert tables and wedding favours.

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

Debra from Ruby Red Lips Makeup is based at her studio at the beautiful Last Drop Village in Bolton and has a real passion for makeup and really making you and your bridal party feel extra special. Debra takes the time to really understood your skin and the look you want to create in a pre-wedding trial so that everything on the day runs smoothly and you and your bridal party can really enjoy the experience and feel pampered. For this shoot so created really strong eyes and lips and took inspiration from the flowers with deep purple on the eye lids and on the lips.

Alex Lee from Sarah’s Hair in Bolton was the hair stylist on the day and spent time beforehand understanding the models hair, researching art deco hair styles and understanding the headpieces before deciding upon a style. She used thin tongs to create curls which were then softened to create a modern, softer version of the classic finger wave. Alex was then on hand throughout the course of the day to fix various headpieces into place which she made look a lot easier than it actually is!

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Julie Lomax Photography

Julie Lomax Photography

Chelsea Leigh Edgar – Miss Bury 2014 – was the stunning bride for this wonderful shoot and looked amazing next to our groom, Peter Smithson. Chelsea is studying for a degree in Fine Art but enjoys modelling in her spare time having worked with me on previous shoots. 

Julie Lomax Photography

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Julie Lomax Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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First Look: Charlotte Balbier’s 2015 Iscoyd Park Collection

April 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

I’m really happy to welcome my lovely industry friend and colleague Charlotte Balbier to the wedding blog this morning, as I give you a sneak peek at her beautiful 2015 Collection, straight from the catwalk at last week’s White Gallery.

I’ve known Charlotte for some years now, and spent a little time with the lady herself and her lovely Mum, the fabulously talented Amanda Wyatt, on their stand at the show, watching as Charlotte unveiled her new line to assembled buyers and press.  I can absolutely vouch for this:  This is a designer who really cares.  A lot of heart goes into each and every Charlotte Balbier design, and she positively glowed as she swirled and showed her designs to the audience and discussed what made each and every one unique and special. 

And glow she might, for the new collection is an absolute triumph. 

Charlotte, you should be very proud.  Brides Up North, they’ll be landing in a stockist near you soon. Yippee!

Charlotte Balbier Wedding

Charlotte’s own wedding day at Iscoyd Park, Cheshire

The collection was designed in celebration of Charlotte and her new husband Teddy’s 2014 wedding day and is inspired by the historical and traditional setting of Iscoyd Park.  2015 marks eleven years for Charlotte at the forefront of British Bridal design, a truly amazing decade as one of the UK’s leading bridal designers.

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

The Iscoyd Park Collection is made up of over twenty gorgeous gowns in an array of styles, and delightfully includes two of Charlotte’s own wedding gowns, named ‘Charlotte’ and ‘Iscoyd Park.’ Charlotte’s designs inherently traditional but with that added extra twist for a modern gown.

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

The 2014 collection, ‘A Decade of Style’ won the Wedding Ideas Magazine ‘Designer Of The year’ award and this year is all set to become Charlotte’s most successful year to date with exciting plans and collaborations ahead.  Go girl!

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

To find out more about Charlotte Balbier’s designs and view a list of Northern stockists, visit her website.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Christopher Dadey at White Gallery

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Designer Preview. White Gallery 2014.

April 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Lusan Mandongus by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Wrapping up last week’s fashion marathon as I recapped the catwalks I’d seen at White Gallery London, I thought I’d ease you into an equally fabulous (but perhaps not quite so manic from my POV) week with one last bit of eye candy… for now. 

The Designer Preview catwalk showcases a selection of gowns from twelve big name designers and due to it’s eclectic and diverse collection is always a favourite of mine. 

My take on this season is that it’s all about shape and detail – whether high fashion or big romance – as the bridal catwalks echo haute couture with high low hemlines, interesting backs, bold use of pattern, embellishment, fit and flare and florals, florals, florals.  Colours are pale and interesting – a watercolour wash of pale pink, blues and greys. 

I loved every second.  And here’s my pick of the bunch…

Lusan Mandongus by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Lusan Mandongus

A wonderful white-out that sang with style and luxury. The collection by Lusan Mandongus is vintage inspired with rich yet subtle details, incorporating different stunning features focusing on elements such as higher necklines, sleeves and peplum waist detail. 

Yolan Cris by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Yolan Cris

The Barcelona based label totally rocked it with their style setting detailed designs and rich handcrafted applications.  Daring, stylish and different. 

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Charlotte Balbier 

A Charlotte Balbier bride is a free spirit who expresses her personality and individuality through her Balbier designed gown.  My favourite? Iscoyd Park, the collection’s title gown that Charlotte designed for her own evening reception. 

Anna Romysh Haute Couture by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Anna Romysh Haute Couture

Daring,different and sometimes (very seriously) barely there, these gowns raised a few eyebrows (and iPhones!) but I salute the risk taking label for putting a high fashion stamp on their collection. Avant garde meets ultimate fashion. 

Naomi Neoh by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Naomi Neoh 

For the romantics.  Naomi Neoh’s stunning skirts were dipped in a swish of pink for the prettiest wedding day look.  And you know I love pink!  The designer has taken inspiration from the glamour and romance of vintage Hollywood and her gowns are crafted from only the finest silks and French lace. 

Timeless Couture by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Timeless Couture

Just what it says on the tin: timeless, couture.  Encapsulating elegance and glamour, with a dramatic and contemporary twist.

Terry Fox by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Terry Fox 

Boho and beautiful as ever, this truly romantic collection for 2015 encapsulates mystical creatures of the sea and the ancient call of the Siren song.  Magical.

Sadoni by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Sadoni

The Nordic signature of Sadoni expresses pure simplicity and understated luxury through their flowy, feminine silk dresses. 

Ivory & Co by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Ivory & Co

Sometimes better known for their twinkling bridal accessories and tiaras, Ivory & Co also specialises in stunning silk designer wedding dresses.  I’m in love with the subtle, swishy, silky glamour of the gown above.  One to add to your dress hunt for sure. 

Brides Desire By Wendy Sullivan & Jack Sullivan Bridal

Brides Desire By Wendy Sullivan & Jack Sullivan Bridal

A unique collection from Australia’s leading designer, a new and updated take on vintage bridal style. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Christopher Dadey for Designer Preview 2014 at White Gallery

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Wahoo! We’re Off To White Gallery London 2014.

April 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Anna Dello Russo For H&M

Image: Fashion Gone Rouge

So that’s another fabulous Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition done and dusted!  The already beautiful Nostell Priory looked the prettiest I’ve seen it yet yesterday at our fifth event of the spring season. Big, big love to all our amazing exhibitors (a truly superb selection) and gorgeous brides and grooms who supported our event.  We salute you… and hope you left feeling inspired by the talent on show and super duper excited about your big day! Hooray!

If you’ve not popped in to see us at one of our beautiful events yet – or if you have and would like to do it all over again – there’s still plenty of time this season!  Pop one of these stunners in your diary

Its a quick turnaound at Brides Up North HQ today – no rest for the wicked (I must be pretty damn wicked!) – as we were up at the crack of dawn and are already on the East Coast Mainline down to the smoke, to catch up with the fun that’s already started at White Gallery London

Recognised as one of the leading international designer bridal trade shows, White Gallery London is set to present the finest in bridal design at its sold-out forthcoming fifth edition.  Press passes in hand, Ellie and I will be joining the trade at this hunting ground for the best in British and international bridal design, previewing the gowns and the gorgeous that will be landing in a bridal boutique near you next season.

It’s one of my very favourite events of the whole year, and I can’t wait to (do a bit of schmoozing and) see what my favourite bridal designers have lined up for us in 2015.  I’m hoping for structural extravagance, sexy silhouettes and even bolder use of colour in bridal wear.  Let’s wait and see…

Over 70 leading designers will preview their new bridal wear and accessories collections at the event including Alan Hannah, Amanda Wakeley Sposa, Anna Romysh Haute Couture, Annasul Y, Augusta Jones, Benjamin Adams London, Blue Bridalwear, Brides Desire by Wendy Sullivan, Cabotine Novia by Gema Nicolas, Caroline Atelier, Caroline Castigliano, Charlotte Balbier, Charlotte Mills, Christos Costarellos, Cocoe Voci, The Couture Veil, Cymbeline, Eliza Jane Howell, Emma Hunt, Emma Tindley, Encore, Franc Sarabia, Freya Rose, Gemy Maalouf Bridal, Hadas Cohen, Halo & Co, Harriet Wilde, HT Headwear, I Love Gorgeous, Ian Stuart, Ivory & Co Bridal, Ivory & Co Tiaras, Jack Sullivan Bridal, Jenny Packham, Jesus Peiro, Johanna Hehir, Karen Willis Holmes, KatyaKatya Shehurina, Lark Bridal, Linea Raffaelli, Lou Lou, Lusan Mandongus, Lyn Ashworth by Sarah Barrett, Maddy by Madeline Isaac-James, Madeline Isaac-James, Accessories by Madeline Isaac-James, Malis Henderson, Mia Mia, Miguel Suay, Miranda Templeton, Mooshki Boutique, Naomi Neoh, Nicki MacFarlane, Nicola Anne, Nicola Harvey Couture, Nilah & Company, Nordic Gems, Novia D’Art, Nymphi, Ozlem Suer, Parthenis, Patricia Avendano, Polly Edwards, Qiana Bridal, Rachel Simpson, Raimon Bundo, Sadoni, Sassi Holford, Sasso, Shelle Belle Couture, So Sassi, Stephanie Allin Couture, Stephanie James Couture, Stephen Yearick, Terry Fox, Timeless Couture,  Victorio & Lucchino, Watters Brides, White Ivy, YSA Makino, Yolan Cris and Zaeem Jamal. 

Then we’ll come back to tell you all about it!

We’ve seats lined up at some of the iconic catwalk shows including Ian Stuart, Madeline Isaac-James and Suzanne Neville, plus drop in appointments with our pick of the bunch.  We’re also looking forward to catching up with our friends and supporters from bespoke bridal label House Of Mookshi – based in the North East – at this their debut show.  Specialising in custom designed wedding dresses and bridal gowns from vintage inspired through to gothic, those girls have always got something fabulous up their sleeve.  

After all that, we’ll be ready for a drink (or three) and will be hitting the hard stuff with our industry colleagues at Kensington Roof Gardens for a cocktail party sponsored by Perfect Wedding Magazine and in association with the Retail Bridalwear Association.  I’ve a free pass for the evening as the hubby’s on babysitting duty back Up North, so make mine a Mojito please!

See you on the other side.  There’ll be lots of catching up to do…

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2014 Anna Dello Russo for H&M via Fashion Gone Rouge

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Flower Power. Charlotte Balbier For A Real Wedding In Lancashire – Caroline & Stuart

April 2nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Natural Touch Photography (30)

It’s off to Ormskirk, Lancs this evening as we join Caroline and Stuart to share in their gorgeous Real Wedding.  Caroline chose to style her day with an abundance of floral displays – to blooming beautiful effect!

With images by Stephen Rooney at Natural Touch Photography

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Caroline says:  We got engaged in Cyprus in July 2012 and were married on 11th October 2013 at West Tower Country House Hotel, Ormskirk. 

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We had looked at about thirteen venues across the North West but we couldn’t decide on any. There was something not right about all of them for us, but then we visited West Tower and it was absolutely perfect. Beautiful setting, friendly staff, incredibly organised – it just felt right.

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I stayed at Formby Hall the night before with my family and bridesmaids and my chief drove us over to the West Tower in the morning where we got ready.

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I chose quite a vintage style dress. It was Mocha in colour with cream lace over the top. It was a Charlotte Balbier dress from The White Closet in Didsbury.

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After lots of shopping around and trying on, the bridesmaids were in navy dresses from Coast and the groomsmen were in grey tails from Groom in Liverpool.

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I carried a hand tied bouquet of whites and creams, the majority of which were roses.  We used Flowerstyle by Laurie who is in Formby – an absolutely amazing florist.

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As a special treat for our guests we used Ice Cream Dub who provided our chosen ice cream and sorbet and served them from their vintage VW camper van.

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Steven Rooney of Natural Touch Photography was our choice of photographer.  He was very easy going and professional.

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Red Events Creative provided the chair covers and sashes and Flowerstyle By Laurie our beautiful centrepieces.  Our table plan was our favourite places we had travelled to together rather than numbers. 

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Our cake was the “Vintage Fairy-tale” design from Waitrose – just beautiful. 

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We used Steve Mitchell Wedding DJ in the evening.  He really was excellent.  Our free bar also helped too get the party going!

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I loved every bit of the day!  I really enjoyed getting ready with bridesmaids in the morning, I loved the actual ceremony which surprised us both, the speeches were fantastic and I finished off the day dancing with my new husband and then my Dad! Just seeing everyone having a blast was amazing!

Natural Touch Photography (49)

Natural Touch Photography (51)

After the wedding we went to Australia for an epic honeymoon for five and a half weeks, stopping in Dubai on the way home.

Natural Touch Photography (52)

My top tip for other Brides Up North is that flowers make such an impact. Shop around for the best but always barter!

Natural Touch Photography (53)

Congratulations Caroline & Stuart!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Natural Touch Photography

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Style A Rainbow: Could You Rock A Colourful Frock?

July 15th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Claire Pettibone – Venus

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As well as the usual – and still beautiful – ivories and whites adorning the bridal catwalks for the past few seasons, they have also been awash with watercolour hues as wedding gown designers step away from monochrome and explore the further reaches of the rainbow.  Our regular guest blogger, Rachel Parry of Mosaic Brides has fallen head over heels for colour. 

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Rachel says:  As part of my job (and in my spare time) I spend a lot of hours swooning over beautiful wedding dresses which often results in a daydream of my very own white wedding. However recently I’ve found myself dreaming in colour as many wedding dress designers have dared to dip their gowns in beautiful blush tones and even vibrant hues, posing a controversial question to brides – would you marry in a colour?

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While many brides do stray from pure white to the heady heights of ivory, very few dare to go that step further. But with an influx of coloured gowns on the bridal catwalks for several seasons now the trend is gradually growing in popularity and has picked up several celebrity endorsements along the way. Last year the gorgeous Jessica Biel married Mr JT in a pretty pink gown and actresses Anne Hathaway and Reece Witherspoon have also walked the aisle wearing the girly hue.

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While I wouldn’t dare to go as far as fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker who married in black, I would consider the option of a pastel wedding dress. I think soft hues such as taupe, peach, powder pink and baby blue give gowns a romantic and whimsical appearance, perfect for a fairytale wedding.

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Claire Pettibone – Dew Drop

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Some of my favourite designs come from Claire Pettibone who often injects bursts of colour into her delicate and detailed creations.  For those not wanting to stray too far from tradition, Pettibone has many flattering and fashionable designs in subtle gold and blush tones with elegant embroidery detailing.

Personally I was a big fan of her pale pink ‘Dew Drop’ dress, complete with eye-catching rose bolero.

Several designs in her recent collection ‘An Earthy Paradise’ feature on-trend pops of mint green and the full coloured ‘Venus’ dress.

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Ian Stuart

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The expert in theatrical bridal wear, Ian Stuart is also an advocate of coloured wedding dresses.

His ‘Killer Queen’ collection featured many dramatic designs in muted palettes such as taupe, honey, rose and lilac as well as bolder options including the ‘Verbier’ dress in blue and ‘Broadway’ in bright peony pink. Coloured dresses also feature in his latest collection ‘Supernova’ but the confident designer has gone one step by with the addition of a floral print dress, ‘South Pacific’ which is both bold and beautiful. Australian designer Wendy Makin has also included a statement floral print dress (‘Katelyn’) in her couture collection which is attracting a lot of attention..

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Ian Stuart

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Of course these aren’t the only designers experimenting with colour. Maggie Sottero, Charlotte Balbier, Veromia and Elie Saab but to name a few have also come up with colourful creations.

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Ian Stuart

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Perhaps the queen of coloured wedding dresses though is Vera Wang who never fears to push the design boundaries. Previous collections have included the cute yellow Isabella dress and the dramatic grey and black Josephine gown. She also turned up the heat with an all red collection for Spring 2013 and her latest Spring 2014 saw the catwalk awash with striking monochrome creations for fashion-forward brides.

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Ian Stuart

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So, would you, could you, should you?  Leave us a comment and let us know!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as credited

Rachel Parry is a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

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

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