Charlotte Balbier

flying high. supplier showcase: lovebird brides

May 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (11)

This afternoon I am thrilled to welcome the gorgeous Laura to Brides Up North.  Laura is the beauty and brains behind the gorgeous new bridal boutique in West Yorkshire, lovebird brides, which opened to much excitement (and twinkle!) last autumn.  Laura is already flying high as word of her stunning new boutique, bespoke accessories and top labels spreads, and now it’s time to introduce her on these pretty pages.

First things first, I have a special date for your diaries: Lovebird Brides are holding their first ever Lovebird Accessories evening on Thursday 7th May 2015 from 5pm until 8pm, where brides can visit the boutique for a glass of fizz, try on their accessories, enjoy 10% off the range and see their special guest designers. To join them on the night or for more information email them at appointments@lovebirdbrides.com.

Is it in your diary? Great.  Now let’s meet Laura.

Images by Photography By Kathryn.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (45)

When did Lovebird Brides open and what is your background?

laura says: Lovebird Brides opened its doors with an amazing launch party in October 2014.

I’ve had a varied career working within the creative industries, starting with a degree in design before working in interior design, event planning, teaching and then jewellery making. The problem is I’ve always got to be making something even when just relaxing in the evening! Whilst on maternity leave I took this time to focus on my love of making jewellery and when my baby was old enough, I opened my studio in the World Heritage Site of Saltaire. It turned out this decision paid off, I began making statement pieces but soon had brides visiting me to make them bespoke bridal jewellery.

One thing led to another and my other obsession for vintage dresses combined with brides telling me they were struggling to find the dresses they wanted, gowns that reflected their personality and style led to me opening Lovebird Brides. I wanted to fill this gap for brides concentrating on selecting designers that offered designs that were fashion forward, well made and practical but still maintained that beauty and elegance that a wedding dress should offer.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (39)

Which wedding gown designers do you stock?

Lovebird Brides houses a large selection of Charlotte Balbier’s wedding gowns. Charlotte’s designs are timeless, elegant and fit perfectly allowing a bride to feel comfortable on her wedding day.

We also stock Maria Senvo, I was instantly drawn to the embellishment and detail on these beautiful gowns, definitely one for the fashionista brides!

With a busy year ahead planned, you need to keep your eyes peeled for a new designer or two being introduced to the boutique.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (36)

What bridal accessories designers do you stock?

Lovebird Brides is the home of Lah De Da Accessories. I hand make this beautiful range of accessories in my studio within the boutique where all my sample pieces are available for brides to see and try on. I love that we can create a completely unique look for a bride whether it’s a headpiece, belt, statement necklace or adding beading to the dress. The finishing accessories are so important as a bride can put their own stamp on a gown and feels that they have given their own creative input into the design of these bespoke pieces. I feel this is something they will struggle to get anywhere else.

We are also very lucky to stock the amazing Charlotte Mills bridal shoes that are so pretty, beautifully made and super comfortable but what is even better is they can also be worn again and again after your wedding day!

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (10)

What makes you different?

At Lovebird Brides we focus on fashion forward brides with wedding dresses that break away from tradition, gowns that reflect their individual style and personality. As a boutique we feel it is important not to crowd the shop with too many dresses overwhelming the bride. Instead we concentrate on handpicking strong designs each very different from the next.

It is important to us when a bride first visits the boutique that our style and the layout of the shop not only reflects the individuality of our gowns but is a place where our brides can feel comfortable making the most important fashion purchase of their lives! From our zebra print rug and fuchsia pink chandelier to our Victorian clothes airer rails we want to make it an experience that our bride will never forget.

One major factor adding to our uniqueness is that we hand make all our accessories to compliment our brides dresses right here in the boutique. Even for the bride who has already found their gown we can offer them exclusive accessory appointments to create bespoke pieces for their big day, for their bridesmaids or for mother of the bride.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (3)

Where are you located?

We are located in the beautiful Yorkshire village of Addingham, just outside the centre of Ilkley. Many of our brides choose to make a day of it, celebrating with a cream tea or pub lunch in the village or nipping round the corner to view the beautiful sights of Bolton Abbey.

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

Our dresses start at £990 and go up to £2550.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (7)

What can Brides Up North expect when they come in for an appointment?

As a luxury boutique we work by appointment only. It is important to us that a bride gets the attention she deserves without any interruptions. We like to gain an understanding of the whole theme of the wedding and listen carefully to what the bride is looking for. Dress appointments are an hour and a half long and forty-five minutes for accessories. Brides can expect to have exclusive use of the boutique for their bridal party and we always have a bottle of prosecco and cakes at the ready, sometimes even homemade by me!

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (30)

What is your current favourite gown that you stock and why?

With so many it’s really hard to pick a favourite dress but if I was pushed I would say I have a real soft spot for Lucy-Lou by Charlotte Balbier, with all its lace it is just a timeless and elegant gown.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (41)

What trends do you see being popular this year?

I think the trends in bridal this year will be blush dresses and gold accessories, which I love! Embellishment on dresses seems to be what brides like so I think we will see plenty of this in new bridal collections.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (34)

Who would be a Lovebird Bride?

A Lovebird Bride is a lady who wants to look the best version of herself. She wants a dress that is elegant but shows her sense of style too. She is a bride who wants some creative input in the overall bridal look and wants to feel comfortable and classic on her most special day.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (43)

Are you married? What did you wear on your wedding day? What would you choose to wear now?

I have been married for almost four years now and wore a Maggie Sottero wedding dress that was strapless with a corseted back in dark champagne. At the time this style was definitely everywhere and although I loved it I don’t think it really reflected me. Now I would definitely either wear a dress with sleeves and a low back or perhaps separates with a bolero jacket and definitely a statement necklace!

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (25)

How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or find out more? 

Brides to be call call us on 01943 839720, visit our website at www.lovebirdbrides.com, email appointments@lovebirdbrides.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

Lovebird Brides (c) Photography By Kathryn (2)

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a lovely launch: The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique

March 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (55)

We are so proud of our fabulous industry Sponsors here at Brides Up North, and were thrilled to support gorgeous Diana of The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in the run up to her (very pretty) launch party.

A little while ago, we ran a feature to introduce the beautiful boutique and show off some of the amazing gowns that they’ll be stocking.  You can click here to catch up on the stunning shoot and hear about, and if I was excited then..

Girls, doors are officially open!

Images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (4)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (7)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (2)

diana says: It seemed only right to have a little party to celebrate the launch of our gorgeous new boutique, so a few days before our open day, we had an exclusive launch evening for our lovely family, friends and industry friends.  It’s certainly been hard work getting to this point, but to see everyone’s expressions when they came into the boutique that night was unforgettable.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (31)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (28)

The night was filled with a flurry of emotions, from being paranoid about fizz getting spilt on the freshly laid carpet to having to make a speech!  Thankfully no fizz was spilt and the speech as someone else described was ‘epic’, although I wouldn’t have given it that description!  It was really important for me to thank my family for all the love, support and hands on help they have given me to get the boutique looking like it does.  I could not have done it without them. The look and feel of the boutique is everything I had hoped for and more.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (21)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (13)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

I was also very touched by so many industry friends travelling from near and far to support the launch.  I know how manic this industry is and how busy everyone’s diaries are, so to see so many there was just lovely.  To top the night off we made a booking for a bride to be too!  We were so pleased with how a great an evening everyone had and there was certainly a buzz in the air ahead of our official open day.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (57)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (45)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (37)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (22)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (26)

At The Little Pearl we pride ourselves in offering a one on one, by appointment only service to all of our brides, in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. We have carefully selected our gown and accessory designers to bring our customers the very best in bridal wear, whilst suiting a wide variety of styles.  Our gown designers are the award winning Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier and Enzoani and the up and coming Maria Senvo. We also offer accessory styling appointments for all those finishing touches.  Our accessory designers are Rachel Simpson (shoes), Flo & Percy (headwear and jewellery), Sasso (stoles) and Pompadour (garters).

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (24)

Valentine’s Day is not only the day of love but also the day The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique opened its doors!  We had a day of bookings and lots of lovely treats for the bride-to-be and their families.  This is what all the hard work has been about, getting to meet these lovely ladies and helping them on their journey to finding the perfect gown and accessories.  We had lots of happy brides in the boutique, who had such lovely things to say about The Little Pearl.  We are so proud of our boutique already and can’t wait to welcome more lovely ladies through our doors.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or sign up to ‘Pearl’s Girls’ via our website to keep up to date with everything at The Little Pearl. Contact us at diana@thelittlepearlbridalboutiqe.co.uk to book your Little Pearl experience now.

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lookbook. collars & capes.

March 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Jasmine - Enzoani

Several of our previous lookbook features have focused on wedding dress trends that encourage brides to flash some flesh, but today we are swooning over graceful gowns where modesty is key.

Somewhat unexpectedly dresses featuring high collars and capes (sorry Madge) have come to rule recent bridal runways promoting sophisticated styles that scream high fashion.

Capes

Though it didn’t work out for Madonna at The Brits (awkward) capes are a stylish accessory and can prove an incredibly practical choice for ladies having religious ceremonies that need to cover up that bit more, as well as brides with body hang ups that want to detract from the bits they’re less keen on.

A cape is a demure alternative to a shrug, bolero or jacket that comes in a variety of lengths and designs so brides can choose the type of style statement they wish to make.

The shorter options are fabulous for covering shoulders and the tops of arms while still showing off the main spectacle – the dress. Meanwhile long capes are particularly popular with brides looking to make a dramatic entrance on their wedding day without the use of a regular veil or train.

Solange Knowles is one high-profile bride that recently rocked this look on her wedding day, donning a cape with both her elegant gown and edgy jumpsuit outfits.

High low capes provide an option between the two either as a full coverlet or semi open design depending on how much of the dress a bride wants to be on show.
When it comes to detailing ladies opting for plainer dresses can add interest with laced and blinged-up designs. Meanwhile brides with highly detailed gowns are likely to stick to a simple sheer design though there are no hard rules to abide by.

Whichever option, caped brides can remove the additional garment for the evening celebrations giving them two different looks for their big day whilst also ensuring the all-important dress gets the exposure it deserves.

Designers that we think are executing the caped look exceptionally well within their collections include Monique Lhuillier, Jenny Packham and Claire Pettibone, though our favourite has to be Jasmine from Enzoani, which combines modern elegance with vintage glamour for one gorgeous dress.

Collars

Moving on to another covered-up trend – collars. Overtime the wedding dress neckline has crept up and where once the strapless sweetheart gown reigned supreme there are now full-sleeved designs as well as those with illusion necklines and high-necks.

In some cases the neckline has developed into a fully-fledged collar creating an incredibly regal look, which was favoured by one of the most elegant ladies in history on her wedding day – Grace Kelly.

Similar to the cape, a collard neckline can offer that bit more cover-up for body conscious brides whilst also emitting a theatrical look that’s bound to make a statement.

Many of the collared designs feature delicate lace collars but alternatives can be found in striking shirt necklines and super cute Peter Pan collars. Designers doing up the collar look perfectly include Pronovias, Ian Stuart and Charlotte Balbier – we heart her oh so sweet Flora dress.

All gowns featured are credited in our gallery.

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the big north sample sale.

February 19th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Hollywood

One of my favourite ever scenes in Friends (hey, I’m a big fan!) is the one where Monica, Rachel and Phoebe head to the NYC dress sale to search for Monica’s dream wedding dress.  Issued with whistles by the ever competitive Monica to attract attention if they locate the gown, the girls split up.  A frenzied scene results in a tussle over tulle and Jennifer Aniston cowering under a rail of frocks, using her whistle to sound the search alarm.

Girls, now’s your chance to unleash your inner Monica.

Our North East readers are sorted for this weekend’s plans, but Cheshire ladies… clear your calendar.

Big North Sample Sale

The big north sample sale is brought to you by three leading bridal boutiques in the North-West – Agapé Bridal Boutique, Love Bridal Boutique and The White Closet, and will be held at one of Cheshire’s most popular and one of Brides Up North’s own favourite wedding venues (we’ll be here a month later for our fabulous Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition), The Bowdon Rooms this Sunday 22nd February 2015.

This is the first collaboration of its kind in the North West, developed by three innovative boutiques who had the idea of bringing a host of leading bridal designers together all under one roof for Northern brides-to-be, offering a broad selection of bridal gown styles at amazing discounted prices.

Usually, a bridal boutique would host their own individual sample sale event meaning only a limited amount of brides are able to attend, with a smaller selection of dresses to choose from. The three boutiques involved pride themselves on being in tune with their brides, and knowing that the average bride likes to view a number of designers before making their final dress decision, what better way to present a sample sale than to bring the crème de la crème of bridal designers together for one exclusive event! The Big North Sample Sale allows a larger number of brides to attend and choose from a wide variety of fabulous gowns and designers.

With a collection of much sought after designers including Jenny Packham, Alan Hannah, Temperley London, Charlotte Balbier, Stephanie Allin, Stewart Parvin, Claire Pettibone, Amanda Wakeley, Terry Fox, Raimon Bundo, Ian Stuart and many many more, and with dresses available from £100 to £1700, this event is going to be seriously popular. There will also be a selection of accessories on offer too and some bridesmaid gowns. Savvy brides who know their designers, and appreciate great quality gowns will be in their element with dresses for sale at a fraction of the price. This event will also suit brides who have a shorter timescale to find their dress and whose only option may be to buy ‘off the rail’. Sample dress sizes range from 8-14.

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all gowns featured are available to buy at the event

Brides will have the opportunity to try on gowns at the event, choosing a maximum of 2 at a time. There will be dedicated changing areas (predominantly communal changing areas with some private changing areas available too) and lots of mirrors around the venue. Brides are encouraged to wear nude underwear and also bring a pair of heels of the height they are thinking of wearing on their wedding day. Bridal experts from each boutique will also be on hand to offer any advice on any alterations required, recommended seamstress contacts, dry cleaning etc (alterations and dry cleaning are not included in the dress price) There is a strict girls only policy at the event too!

Payment for dresses will be by cash or card (Visa, Mastercard or Maestro).

Whistles at the ready!

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pearl’s girls. introducing the little pearl bridal boutique.

January 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (3)

This morning on these pretty pages I’m very proud to introduce a new Brides Up North Sponsor and brand new (so new its doors haven’t even opened!) bridal boutique for North Yorkshire, The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique.

The boutique’s fabulous owner, the lovely Diana, wanted to organise a special photo shoot to show off the wedding dresses that you’ll be able to find at The Little Pearl on launch day and beyond.  I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously excited…

Readers, I give you, pearl’s girls.

Images by Hayley Baxter Photography, Samantha Ward Photography and Georgina Harrison Photography, as individually credited in our gallery.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (9)

diana says: The inspiration behind the launch shoot for The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique was creating our own style of hollywood glamour.  Our vision for the boutique is elegant yet stylish with a warm, relaxed and welcoming feel.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (16)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (2)

We decided on The Talbot Hotel in Malton as a shoot location due its classic British design, period features, but also its modern take on traditional comforts.  The landscaped gardens and historic setting also provided some great backdrops for the photographers to work their magic!  We had the most talented people in Yorkshire involved on the day, all assisted by my good friend Jonny Draper at Jonny Draper Photography, who helped bring all these fantastic people together.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (15)

We had the best photographers Yorkshire has to offer, who all brought their different style and edge to the shoot.  Hayley Baxter has such a contemporary style to her shooting, with the most stunning use of light.  Samantha Ward takes a relaxed and romantic approach. She’s passionate about film photography and incorporates shooting film within the wedding day, producing beautiful images, rich in tone and depth. Sam was thrilled to be involved in the Little Pearl Bridal photo shoot and says “Diana has sourced some stunning dresses for her boutique along with incredibly beautiful accessories and what a wonderful opportunity to be able to photograph these gowns and details creatively with film.”

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (11)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (10)

Georgina Harrison shoots hybrid with traditional medium format film along side digital. Her style is feminine, using natural light to create luminous , light airy images that have a sense of romance with soft pastel tones. She always loves shooting bridal portraits and making woman feel comfortable so was delighted to be involved in this shoot and despite the damp, grey day she produced some gorgeous soft, light romantic images.

Having these photographers come together for our launch shoot was an honour and they’ve captured such beautiful and complimentary shots between them.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (4)

Our stunning models were styled by the superb and internationally renowned, hair and make up artist, Catherine Elizabeth.  She came along knowing exactly what would work both for the shoot and on the models themselves – a true pleasure.  I even learnt a few techniques myself!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (8)

Sarah of Leafy Couture brought along some stunning floral displays, from bouquets to floral crowns, which helped bring the essence of glamour and elegance together.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (3)

The models (Laura, Kirstie, Livvie and Molly) are all friends of mine and even though it was a new experience for them, they were naturals! They all brought something different to the shots and loved playing dress up for the day!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (6)

The shoot itself went so well! Obviously it was my first time organising and running something like this, and everyone involved was so supportive and helpful throughout the day.  I loved finally seeing the dresses on, watching their movement and experimenting with different accessories to complete the look.  They all looked stunning!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (7)

The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique is a beautifully elegant boutique, situated in the historic market town of Pickering, North Yorkshire.  We will be opening the doors in February and can’t wait for brides to come and see us.  Searching for your perfect gown is such an emotional experience, and should be a joy from the moment you start seeking out what designers you like to the day you walk down the aisle.

I have had a passion for all things bridal for as long as I can remember.  After working with my husband in the wedding industry and then searching for my own gown, I knew that opening a bridal boutique was my destiny.  I wanted to give brides the experience that I feel you should have when planning such an important purchase!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (1)

At The Little Pearl we pride ourselves in offering a one on one, by appointment only service to all of our brides, in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. We have carefully selected our gown and accessory designers to bring ourcustomers the very best in bridal wear, whilst suiting a wide variety of styles.  Our gown designers are the award winning Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier and Enzoani and the up and coming Maria Senvo. We also offer accessory styling appointments for all those finishing touches.  Our accessory designers are Rachel Simpson (shoes), Flo & Percy (headwear and jewellery), Sasso (stoles) and Pompadour (garters).

We have lots of exciting plans for the boutique, including exclusive events and helping brides and their families get access to and experience the very best wedding suppliers in Yorkshire.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (14)

The diary is now open! We will be having a launch open day, so follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or sign up to Pearls Girls via our website to keep up to date with everything at The Little Pearl.  Contact us at diana@thelittlepearlbridalboutiqe.co.uk to book your Little Pearl experience now.

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