Hardwick Hall Grand Wedding Exhibition
Charlotte Balbier

eye candy: the separates collection by charlotte balbier

February 2nd, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Our lead Sponsor here at Brides Up North, Charlotte Balbier is famous for celebrating a bride’s individuality and style and sometimes, just sometimes, breaking all the bridal rules (kinda why we love her)!

With great delight we are proud to debut the new Balbier separates collection on our pretty pages.  Charlotte has created 11 inter-changeable separates all designed for the bride to build and create her own individual look.

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Maybe a satin slip with a lace topper and satin sash, or a ball gown skirt, crop top and lace reverse bolero? Whatever your personality and look the new separates collection offers a diverse way of creating your very own bridal syle.

charlotte says: Now, more than ever before, a Charlotte Balbier bride is a free spirited feminine woman who is confident in both her fashion and bridal style, expressing her unique individuality, personality and style through her Balbier gown.

Girls, get ready for some serious dress crushing…

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Harper:  A slipper satin dress with shoestring straps and low back. Fabulous with one of the lace overlay gowns, lace toppers or worn simply as it is.

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diary dates: designer events for brides & bridesmaids the little pearl bridal boutique

January 7th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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Ladies it’s time to start filling the pages of your 2016 diary with some rather special events that are set to take place at The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in North Yorkshire, this month.

If you’re yet to find your dream dress or are still on the hunt for the perfect bridesmaid gowns, then these events are most certainly for you!

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First up on Saturday 23rd January, the lovely owner of Little Pearl, Diana, will be hosting the boutique’s very first bridesmaid pop up event with leading gown designer Amanda Wyatt. Perfect for maids that will be walking down the aisle in 2016 and 2017, Amanda’s gorgeous gowns offer something to please all, with lots of different styles, colours and fabrics to choose from. There are also options for teenager bridesmaids and flower girls too, so brides can dress all their maids in just one shopping trip!

As well as browsing the beautiful collections and getting expert advice from both Diana and Amanda, ladies attending the event will also enjoy fizz and treats and bridesmaids will receive a lovely little gift to take away with them.

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The following weekend on Saturday 30th January, it will the turn of brides to take centre stage as top wedding dress designer Charlotte Balbier will be visiting Little Peal to showcase her brand new separates collection while helping to style brides for their big day.

The stunning collection features ten inter-changeable separates, designed for brides to build and create their own individual look. From elegant satin gowns and delicate lace jackets, to voluminous ball gown skirts and little lace boleros, there are numerous looks to choose from with the assistance of Charlotte to help find that match made in heaven.

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charlotte says: Meeting my Balbier brides is most definitely the best part of my job, I adore them. I am super excited to be spending the day with Diana at The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique, it’s the most gorgeous boutique and we have planned a really lovely day.

It makes it even more exciting that not only will the brides be able to view and choose ‘the one’ from my bridal gown collection, but also the new separates collection. The new collection gives brides the opportunity to choose from pieces that are interchangeable enabling them to bring out their personal style and personality through their individual look.

The Charlotte Balbier designer day will be made complete with pink fizz, cupcakes and VIP goody bags. Plus every bride who orders their unique bridal look, will get a free sash/belt or hair accessory. So what are you waiting for?

Appointments for the Amanda Wyatt bridesmaid pop up event and Charlotte Balbier designer day are limited and can be booked by emailing diana@thelittlepearlbridalboutique.co.uk, or calling the boutique on 01751 798080.

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diary date: charlotte balbier designer day at the little pearl bridal boutique

November 3rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

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This afternoon we’re bringing you this extra (exciting) blog post to let you know about a rather fabulous event, featuring two of our favourite ladies in the industry!

The princess of pretty and bridal wear designer extraordinaire, Charlotte Balbier, will be personally hosting a meet the designer day on Saturday 7th November 2015, alongside owner of The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique, Diana McMann, at her gorgeous emporium in Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

This exclusive event gives brides-to-be the rare opportunity to meet the creator behind the collection while trying on lots of pretty gowns and having a glass of pink fizz (or two), plus many more treats. Sounds like our kind of event!

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So here’s Diana with all the details of the event, including how to book your place. Spaces are limited ladies so don’t delay!

diana says: As exclusive North Yorkshire stockists of the fabulous Charlotte Balbier, we are absolutely thrilled about our upcoming designer day this weekend.

This is an amazing opportunity for brides-to-be to meet the very lovely Charlotte herself, chat to her about their big day and enjoy some personal styling to help them find their dream Charlotte Balbier gown! There will be so many gorgeous gowns to try on, we can’t wait!

We do love to host the best get-togethers so there will be lots of pink fizz on hand, yummy treats, VIP goodie bags for all our lucky brides-to-be, plus a £100 accessory voucher with any gown order placed on the day.

The event is by appointment only, with places being £20, which will be refunded to you as soon as you arrive for your appointment. Appointments are limited, so to book your exclusive styling session with Charlotte get in touch very soon!

You can either call the boutique on 01751 798080 or email diana@thelittlepearlbridalboutique.co.uk. We are so excited, can’t wait to see you there!

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floral fairytale. charlotte balbier for a beautifully styled wedding in scotland – allanah & andy

September 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

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Though today’s bride Allanah didn’t want an obvious theme or colour scheme for her wedding, the details of the day harmonise together so well that you could be forgiven for thinking this is a styled shoot rather than a couple’s big day.

The clear clue that it’s not a shoot however, is the genuine expressions of joy, excitement and love upon the faces of the bride, groom and their guests.

I’m certain I’d have been smiling from ear to ear if I was present at this wedding too. Just look at the venue, those flowers, that cake and Allanah’s stunning dress, designed by sponsor and friend of Brides Up North no less, the fabulous Charlotte Balbier.

So sit back and allow yourself to be captivated by the beauty!

With images by Kitchener Photography.

allanah says: We got engaged in April 2014 while on holiday in Japan. We were visiting Daigo-Ji in Kyoto and Andy proposed in a garden on the grounds. Cherry blossom season was just starting and the temple itself was very quiet, it was beautiful. That night we celebrated with a special dinner in the Geisha district and we saw the elusive Geishas. The proposal was much unexpected and we enjoyed the rest of the trip keeping the engagement a secret, apart from telling our parents.

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Our wedding date was 18th April 2015. We had wanted to get married in the summer but there was only a few dates left at our venue so we ended up with April, which in the end was perfect because we had a really sunny, warm day!

We got married at The Byre at Inchyra in Perthshire. We had gone to a wedding in tipis and loved the idea of having the venue somewhere a bit different. The Byre was still a building site when we went to view it but the space was perfect and we knew right away it was the venue for us so cancelled all other venue appointments! We loved how it was rustic yet had all the mod cons so we didn’t have to worry about adding kitchens or toilets!

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We didn’t choose to have a theme but words that came up often when talking to suppliers were rustic, elegant, and informal. We wanted to capture a feeling so directed lots of attention to making our guests have a great time and making it really personal to us. Flowers, dancing and food probably captured the day pretty well!

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I love the Sofia Coppola Miss Dior adverts so I was inspired by those where everything looks beautiful and polished but you’re having so much fun, it doesn’t matter if the dress gets dirty or your hair falls out or you forget to do something. If there had been a fountain, I’d have probably gotten in it!

We didn’t really have a colour scheme either, we just went with what we liked. We were definitely led by the flowers and they were whites, pastel pinks and light greens. The crockery was all mismatched and we just went with plain white linen so everything popped against it.

In terms of matching bridesmaids to groomsmen, we just did our own thing and I think it turned out for the best. The bridesmaids wore navy and the groomsmen had dark green ties. Nothing was too ‘matchy matchy’ but the colours blended well against each other.

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I wore the Iscoyd dress from Charlotte Balbier, bought at Kudos in Edinburgh. It was the only dress that I felt myself in, the neckline especially reminded me of my favourite LBD and I could dance in it, which was very important (I did a lot of pretend dancing in bridal stores)! I also liked how it had the gold detail and swiss dot lace, lots of little details. I can’t rate the service from Kudos enough, they really provide a 360 degree service and nothing was too much trouble. I would also recommend Charlotte Balbier wholeheartedly, from personal emails from Charlotte to custom making a veil to match the colour of the dress in a length I wanted, plus it’s made in Britain and a sense of ‘buy local’ was important to me.

On the wedding day I also wore a delicate flower crown in my hair made by an artisan crafter in Paris, I trawled for ages looking for something that wasn’t sparkly and came across Lysa Creation. The flowers are made from Japanese resin and they also supply French couture houses with these flowers so if it’s good enough for Chanel!

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Andy is a Yorkshireman but chose to wear a tweed kilt from Nicolsons Kiltmakers of Edinburgh. He also wore a buttonhole of ranunculus and eucalyptus. The groomsmen all wore matching kilts with a different tweed jacket to Andy. And the same buttonholes.

The bridesmaids wore navy strapless dresses with a sweetheart neckline from French Connection, which suited all of them. Our flower girl, who is my sister Scarlett, wore the Estelle dress from Monsoon with a little cardigan and a flower crown in her hair – so sweet!

On the day my bridesmaids and I had our makeup done by Emma Motion, who made everyone look exquisite and has a really calm presence. I fully endorse Emma! Our hair was by Gillian of Pin Up Hair Glasgow. Again, Gillian was so much fun to have there on the day and all the girls looked great with subtle braided updos with a hair grip from Anthropologie. For myself I wanted it quite loose, inspired by Katherine Ross in the Graduate with some Priscilla Presley vibes thrown in so we did an epic bow dry.

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We chose Kitchener Photography, a husband and wife team, Joanna and Dylan who live in Edinburgh. They’re really known for their stunning elopements and dramatic landscapes so we were thrilled to have them for the day. We both loved their use of natural light, there’s no flash photography, and their documentary style captured so many wonderful moments.

We also had the day filmed by Joe from Edinburgh Wedding Videos who did a fantastic job, we’ve had so many compliments on the highlight reel.

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I carried a hand tied bouquet of white anemones (my favourite flowers) alongside eucalyptus, pink ranunculus, pink chrysanthemums and white astilbe. They were made by Hannah of Vintage Gathering based in Edinburgh, who was fantastic. We met with her and shared all of our ideas and we shared a lot over Pinterest.

The alter where we got married had a floating flower wall and Hannah dressed the room with lots of foliage, garlands and scatters of daisies and gypsophila. I had no idea she was going to do anything like that. She also made garlands for the Byre pillars and floated flowers in the original stone troughs in The Byre, which were also filled with floating candles.

On tables we had glass jars collected and decorated with antique lace by Andy and myself two nights before the wedding. I wanted to do a little of the flowers myself so my bridesmaids and I, along with my mum and stepmum, arranged them the day before sitting out in the sunshine. We bought buckets of flowers from the Country Garden Company, you provide a colour palette and get flowers to fit – we got anemones, tulips, ranunculus and so many more!

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We weren’t really fussed about favours having been to so many weddings where they are left on tables so went with pairs of macarons in glassine bags for everyone – a sugary pick me up!

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Our cake was made by our caterer, Lazy Sunday. I was initially going to bake my own cake but decided against adding one more thing to the list and Carole was happy to do it. We didn’t want a traditional cake, instead we had a lemon sponge with buttercream icing and jam filling, covered in buttercream. The cake was beautifully decorated with flowers, and Sepia Smiles from Etsy made the cupids arrow to ‘shoot’ through it.

Carole from Lazy Sunday really had the measure of us! We met her and within days she sent us a sample menu which was perfect. Andy is a really good cook and I come from an Italian background and love to eat family style so Carole put together sharing platters of Scottish charcuterie meats, scallops, langoustines and breads and salads. Followed by the tenderest lamb over lentils – it melted like butter. We then had a dessert table filled with individual posset, meringue, macarons, cheesecakes and brownies!  The food was certainly a talking point! I can’t recommend Lazy Sunday enough and I’m bothering her about doing supper clubs just to eat her food again!

Carole also put together an evening snack of macaroni and cheese and pies – which Andy, as a diehard Yorkshireman, insisted upon, though he never got one in the end!

My friend and bridesmaid Kirsty, organised the all wine as she works for a wine merchants. Kirsty also designed the personalised wine bottles for us.

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To entertain our guests, we chose a band called Daytura. We did a long trawl for a band and really liked how they made songs their own. They did an excellent job of performing the first dance for us, The Vaccines, I Always Knew.

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We did a lot of DIY to make the day all the more personal. I tea-stained luggage tags and crumpled them up to make place settings – my poor hands were stained for days!

Because The Byre is so big, we wanted to be creative with use of space so we created a mini area on the dance floor so people could join in with the band and take a break from dancing. We also had giant gold foil balloons spelling out ‘dance’- a subtle reminder!

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The photo table plan was Andy’s pride and joy. His mum sourced the antique gold frame and Andy put it all together. We liked how it made the wedding a bit more intimate rather than names on a piece of paper and had a lot of fun choosing photos. We found Square Snaps to be a really fast supplier!

Andy also made the signs directing people to the wedding with his dad and they even had an appearance at my bridesmaid Jennie’s wedding a few months later and I think Andy’s sister might use them too!

We also had a Polaroid guest book, we just left the camera with lots of film and props in the Stable Room seeing as the flower wall would make a nice backdrop – it’s one of our favourite parts of the wedding, the photos are so funny.

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For stationary we used Teri of The Lovely Drawer. Teri was incredibly patient and creative and everyone should follow her blog for home design inspiration! We had everything printed via printed.com to reduce stationary costs and put towards more wine instead!

Finally, our natural confetti was from the Confetti Cone Company and it was definitely top quality for a really reasonable price.

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We would most definitely recommend our choice of venue. You can really put your stamp on it. There’s so much flexibility with how you can set it up that no two weddings look the same. You do need to be well organised since there isn’t an event manager and it is a blank canvas venue but Caroline and James are always on hand to answer your questions and were incredible in the lead up to the wedding.

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The highlight of the day for me was getting married to Andy and having everyone we love and care about there. We had a humanist ceremony and being able to totally personalise every aspect of the ceremony made it really memorable. Also, spending the day with all our favourite people was amazing. I’ve never laughed or danced so much – we have the best friends and family. People are still telling us how much fun they had and how the food will go down in history!

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For our honeymoon we went to Sri Lanka first, for a few days of intense sightseeing, then onto The Maldives for intense relaxation.

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After my wedding I was bridesmaid for two of my best friends and my one bit of advice to them, which I would pass on to other Brides Up North, was not to worry about it if things don’t go to plan because at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter and you’re too busy having a good time to really care. Also, one thing we did which has inspired a few others is to request that no-one takes photographs during the ceremony apart from the official photographers. It really makes a difference as everyone is enjoying the moment and not attached to phones. Finally, when planning, record every single pound you’re spending into a spreadsheet.

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pretty lovely. willa rose 2016: the full collection.

August 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime

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You know we love charlotte balbier’s beautiful gowns, right?  ^^^ Could we be more obvious?!

Well, if you hadn’t already guessed that we’re gaga for our friend and colleague Ms. Balbier’s beautiful work, look no further. After sharing some sneak peeks from Charlotte’s stunning Willa Rose collection for 2016, we’re back… and this time with the full – and extremely lovely – look book. Here, the designer talks us through each look in the collection.

Eyes down ladies, Wednesday afternoon just got interesting.

(…and very pretty).

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charlotte says: The 2016 Charlotte Balbier, ‘Willa Rose’ collection captivates a bride’s imagination with bohemian free spirited designs to take my brides on a magical journey.

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Willa Rose is the signature gown from the new collection. This dress features a soft flowing chiffon skirt with a delicate floral cotton lace bodice. This gown is the ultimate boho gown for the free spirited brides.

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Alexandria is a beautiful lace off the shoulder gown with button detailing down the back.  The lace top-half opens into beautiful A-line layers of chiffon giving the Alexandra a fabulous shape.

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Aliona has been cut into a lovely deep-plunge neckline.  The back of the gown is sheer with lace detailing flowing downwards into the main body of the skirt.

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Amba is one of the collection’s super playful gowns. Layers of tulle plunge into a v-neckline at the front and the back.  We love the sequin detailing around the waistline.

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Beth embraces the boho free-spirited bride with gorgeous floral straps embellished with hand-cut flowers.  The hand-cut flowers run through the whole gown, decorating a sheer lace back and around the lower back of the gown.

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Camille is all about accentuating a bride’s decolletage with a striking Queen-Ann neckline. The diamond cut adds a further wow factor to the back of the gown with delicate buttons embellishing the silk full skirt.

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Cara comprises stunning sequin patterns decorating a beautiful V-neck and short-sleeved dress.  Silver and ivory sequin detailing runs right down the mermaid shaped skirt.

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Erin is the figure-hugging gown halter-neck gown of the Willa Rose collection.  The back is finished with a lovely art deco silver embellishment.

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willa rose. a charlotte balbier launch at jean jackson couture

July 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime

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My job isn’t always as glamorous as it might seem.  Editing Brides Up North and Unveiled Magazine as well as managing and producing over 20 Luxury Wedding Exhibition events and all the copy writing, art direction, event management and business development that comes with is a more than full time job (for a team of people).  For every swanky industry event requiring sequins and Champagne, there’s a lot of long, lonely screen hours juggling emails, contracts, floor plans and all the admin that comes with being the #girlboss of a busy business.

Luckily for me though, one of those swanky industry events always seems to come along just as you need it!

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I was thrilled to be invited along as a special guest as Brides Up North Sponsor bridal boutique Jean Jackson Couture in Manchester’s Northern Quarter was transformed into a secret rose garden to mark the official launch of Charlotte Balbier’s WILLA ROSE collection and brand at Jean Jackson Couture’s two boutiques, earlier this month.

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Charlotte Balbier is our headline Sponsor for 2015 and now a dear friend of mine, so it was lovely to join the Jean Jackson Couture girls – they are a very stylish bunch – in toasting our talented designer friend and debuting Charlotte’s new 2016 Willa Rose collection (which you can see featured on Brides Up North here).

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Brides Up North was joined by Manchester brides-to-be, other industry professionals and national press to celebrate this beautiful new partnership.  The boutique was transformed into a magical space filled with beautiful blooms and a gorgeous swing by The Vintage Swing Company to re-create the Charlotte Balbier ‘Willa Rose’ campaign images.  We were also treated to rose pink lemonade, pink champagne and delicious cakes.  I told you it was a hard job being me, didn’t I?!

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The new 2016 ‘Willa Rose’ collection was modelled in a salon style throughout the evening along with a special guest appearance by the face of Charlotte Balbier, the beautiful Verity.

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charlotte says: I am so excited and thrilled to be welcoming Jean Jackson Couture as a Charlotte Balbier brand partner.  Working with a well-known and established boutique that has a long heritage in bridal and are also a family business is wonderful and mirrors my family also and business so is the perfect partnership. It’s amazing to have the gowns stocked in both boutiques and can’t wait for our next event!”

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Jean Jackson Couture is now taking appointments for brides to try the Willa Rose collection. See www.jeanjacksoncouture.com for more details and to book your appointment. 

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Images by Hayley Baxter www.hayleybaxterphotography.com

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