March 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
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.
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.
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.
February 19th, 2015 | Julia Braime
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.
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.
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!
agape bridal boutique, Alan Hannah, amanda wakeley, brides up north featured supplier, charlotte balbier, claire pettibone, ian stuart, Jenny Packham, love bridal boutique, raimon bundo, stephanie allin, stewart parvin, temperley london, terry fox, the big north sample sale, the bowdon rooms, the white closet, wedding dress
January 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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 email@example.com to book your Little Pearl experience now.
brides up north featured supplier, cathering elizabeth, charlotte balbier, Enzoani, flo and percy, georgina harrison photography, hayley baxter photography, leafy couture, maria senvo, pompadour lingerie, rachel simpson shoes, samantha ward photography, sassi holford, Sasso, the little pearl bridal boutique, the talbot hotel, wedding dress, wedding dress north yorkshire
January 7th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Mae by Stephanie Allin
We were recently Highly Commended in the Wedding Blog Awards 2014′s “Best City Wedding Blog” category, and chic cosmopolitan styling is one of our favourite trends for wedding day fashion, like, ever. goodbye meringues! A stylish city ceremony gives brides-to-be the opportunity to rock sleek attire that varies from the wedding norm.
Moving around busy urban areas and climbing staircases of grand city halls and hotels calls for a slim line, fluid number that isn’t going to slow you down or trip you up. And we’re not just talking dresses; a city centre do pushes the style boundaries wide open, inviting fashion forward brides to consider a two-piece skirt and top design, or even an all in jumpsuit, Solange Knowles style.
Those preferring to stick to tradition with a dress can always hitch up their hemline to free their feet ready for stepping out through bustling streets.
Pia by Monique Lhuillier
Monique Lhuillier has some particularly striking options for city brides, including stylish mini-length dresses and sophisticated two-piece designs.
Billie is a particular favourite of mine, not that I would be brave enough to work its cut-away silhouette. But for those that are, its gorgeous crisscross crop top and elegant illusion pencil skirt scream high fashion. Meanwhile, for those planning a more vintage affair, the pretty embroidered Charlotte top and ballerina skirt cover a little more flesh and are still easy to get around in.
Lhuillier’s short-length dresses are also incredibly swoon-worthy options, particularly the Pia and simple yet striking Zelda designs.
Billie by Monique Lhuillier
Zelda by Monique Lhuillier
The princess of prettiness, Stephanie Allin boasts several slim line dresses within her collections that would most definitely stand out in a city scene.
Chicago, Eternal, Ingrid and Olivia are all stunning examples of city simplicity at its best, but for those wanting a more structured design there is the Ashlea or even Mae, which has a detachable skirt, to give brides two equally wonderful looks.
The pièce de résistance has to be Allin’s Garbo jumpsuit as she dares to go where few other designers would. The fabulous sweet-heart neckline and wide-leg design also has an optional lace shrug for that extra piece of prettiness and cover-up where required.
Chicago by Stephanie Allin
Olivia by Stephanie Allin
Eternal by Stephanie Allin
Garbo by Stephanie Allin
Finally, I’d encourage city brides to consider the svetle, sleek lines of Suzanne Neville’s Novello Collection (click here to see a preview on Brides Up North), the fab and flirty frocks in Charlotte Balbier’s Iscoyd Park Collection (click here) or some of Sassi Holford’s cute designs as big day contenders.
For city brides wanting to bring a bit of bling to their big day, well, you can’t go wrong with a beaded Jenny Packham number, can you?
Simone by Jenny Packham
Rio by Jenny Packham
Noa by Jenny Packham
January 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Happy New Year! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.
Well, what can I say, from the memorable wedding proposal to the stately venue and swoon-worthy wedding attire (especially the Jimmy Choos) – this couple have style.
Chris popped the question to Sami when they were travelling together so it seemed only natural to them to incorporate their love for globetrotting into their big day celebrations – and my word they did it well.
With Sami’s creative eye and Chris’s exceptional carpenter skills, they created a host of gorgeous personal props that were a whole classy world away from what Handy Andy used to create with a piece of plywood.
So pack a suitcase guys, as it’s time to join Sami and Chris on the journey of their splendid wedding day.
With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.
sami says: We got engaged in Hoi An, Vietnam, on June 23, 2013 during our travels. We’d been travelling for nine months before Chris went down on one knee during a romantic cycle ride into the countryside, with rice fields galore. We stepped off our bicycles then walked between rice paddies to reach a distressed bamboo bridge to take photographs. The next thing I knew, Chris popped the question with a “will you marry me?” which he had created with wooden letters he bought from a market stall in Bangkok six weeks earlier and attached them onto a world map paper. Chris had created the proposal, using snatched moments when I was in the shower each evening! It was an unexpected moment even though I was hoping that Chris would propose one day during our travels!
Sunday September 14, 2014 was the date we decided to tie the knot. We chose this date as we liked the fact that September is usually warm and pleasant and with the hope of an Indian summer, still retaining the colours of the flowers and leaves from the lingering end of the season, that end of summer feeling we love so much, when the sun appears lower in the sky, giving everything a soft warm glow and it doesn’t go dark until around 8pm. The date also includes our personal significant numbers, so it all worked out perfectly, as if it was written in the stars for us!
We chose Hodsock Priory in North Nottinghamshire as our venue as it has the perfect magical, fairytale and country feel and is in a tranquil setting. It looks like a castle with its Tudor gatehouse as a welcoming entrance, grounds with woodland offering romantic walks, a quirky summerhouse and an Italian terrace, creating endless opportunities for amazing photographs. The interior of Hodsock Priory was just as perfect! What also attracted us to Hodsock Priory is its exclusivity, so we wouldn’t have to worry about sharing our wedding with another wedding party.
The moment we stepped into Hodsock Priory we immediately fell in love with it and knew nothing else could compete with this stunning and special place! Also we live near Hampton Court in London, so there are some connections – Henry VIII once visited Hodsock Priory and to us, it’s like a mini version of Hampton Court. The venue is also local to where my parents live, about 20 minutes away, yet we had never heard of it before we got engaged!
It was a no-brainer to pick a travel related theme as we had travelled around the world and visited 20 countries together in our four-year relationship. So we had a vintage travel theme with a natural, rustic boho chic style.
Our colour scheme was grey, ivory and natural kraft, which was used in our wedding stationery, along with splashes of blue, green and pink colours in the flowers. We chose this scheme because grey is one of our favourite colours and the other colours were thrown in the mix to complement it and bring the whole scheme to life with the natural look we were after. Chris made lots of wooden props, which also blended in well with the colour theme.
The day Chris and I returned from our travels in July 2013, we received our first wedding magazine as a part of our engagement gift. Already having an idea of the look I wanted in my mind, I flicked through the magazine and there it was – I spotted ‘the one’. It was Holly by Charlotte Balbier. I sourced local stockists and found Emily Bridal Wear in Sheffield, who was fantastic. I looked at dresses in other bridal shops first to make sure, but once I slipped into the Holly dress, I just knew, tears welled up in my eyes and my mum welled up too!
I wanted a simple, flowing, ethereal and dreamy dress that I could wear again after my wedding (the hem can easily be shortened). I also wanted to wear the dress rather than it wearing me, plus I wanted some details to add interest, such as embellishments around the waist and detailed bodice – that dress ticked every box! I had a halter neck strap added to it to make it a little more unique from the usual strapless dress.
When it came to accessories, I fell in love with my Jimmy Choos and I had a matching handbag to go with it. I wanted shoes to complement my dress and they did with the lattice effect just like my dress bodice. They felt so special! My floral clay circlet meanwhile was bespoke, created by the lovely Sofia of Lilain London, whose work I spotted at The Brides Show in Battersea.
Chris wore a country look grey suit. It was purchased from Reiss along with a white shirt and tan brogues. The silver/grey tie was from Aquascutum and a silver/grey silk pocket square was from John Lewis.
For our décor, we had the same flowers as my bouquet, with lots of gypsophila! We collected lots of glass jars with the help of both sets of parents for the tables. Me and my mum decorated these jars with ribbon, jute string, raffia and wicker hearts then Kay at Hodsock added the flowers. I also collected large glass coffee jars from work, filled with pebbles collected from a beach near Chris’s family’s regular seaside place; they were perfect for the table names! We had each table named after some of our favourite countries and instead of just writing them out, I made a country outline template then Chris cut it out on plywood using a jigsaw. We originally planned to have the guests guess what each country was but realised it was too difficult, so made a label with country name for each one. For each table, we also sourced candle lanterns and photo frames. We love candle lanterns as they evoke warm memories of our travels we felt they gave an enchantingly calm atmosphere.
We used props to give our day more of a personal touch. Chris made some large ‘LOVE’ letters, a wooden wedding post box and also wooden hanging hearts for the aisle, which we alternated with, bunches of gypsophila. He also made a rustic wooden signpost, which depicted some of the places we had visited. It was placed on the lawn giving photo opportunities for guests.
We added family wedding photographs of our parents and dear departed grandparents and had decorations to tie in with vintage travel theme, such as world map board used for table plan, a map photo frame with our engagement photo and C & S letters covered with world map. We also had two wooden step ladders – the large one made a lovely decoration at the entrance, with flowers scattered all over it, topped with a bicycle to represent us (we got engaged whilst out cycling) and a handwritten painted ‘welcome’ sign. We even borrowed a vintage globe from Hodsock Priory for our ceremony table.
Together with my creative eye and perfectionist way, and Chris’s skilled hands, we were able to make the decorations and props we wanted. Since we got married, we have decided to set up our own website as we are looking to go into the wedding props market.
We went for natural and wild looking flowers. I carried a bouquet filled with gypsophila, ivory and dusky pink roses, pink veronica, eryngiums, eucalyptus, small daisies, all tied together with jute string. The flowers were part of the Hodsock Priory package. Chris and the men in the bridal party wore eryngium buttonholes and the ladies wore ivory roses.
We wanted to arrive at Hodsock Priory in style while continuing our travel theme, so we hired Harry, a beautifully restored VW campervan from Vintage VolksWeddings. It was reminiscent of our road trips in Australia and New Zealand. The campervan transported me and my bridesmaids to Hodsock Priory first, where we had our final preparations. Then the groom and groomsmen were collected from a hotel, along with the groom’s parents to be taken to the venue. It was an awesome start to the day and a great photo opportunity!
Jo and Simon at Shoot Lifestyle were our photographers on the day. We discovered them by Googling and admired their blog with photographs of a couple whose wedding also took place at Hodsock Priory. We loved their natural and candid style and felt the photographs oozed freshness and colours, and lots of close up shots of details, which were also so important to us. We also hired two videographers to film our wedding as we feel it is a memory in motion that we can keep and cherish over the years.
For our favours we presented the ladies with stainless steel heart spoons and for the men we gave antique key bottle openers.
After many months of changing our minds on how we wanted our cake and cupcakes to look, we eventually settled on a lattice effect for half of the cupcakes and small ivory roses for the rest of the cupcakes. The lattice effect tied in with my dress bodice and the ivory roses with our flowers. I loved the simple dot design also, so had that for the main three-tier cake finished with cascading ivory roses. I didn’t want to decide between a three-tier cake and cupcakes, so I managed to persuade Chris to have both! Yvonne, another supplier of the Hodsock Priory package, baked the scrumptious three-tier fruitcake and sponge cupcakes made in two separate flavours – Victoria sponge with jam and lemon.
As Chris is a carpenter, he made the wooden cake stand to present the cupcakes in a creative and unique way and the top stand was personalised with engraving. We also had a wooden base for the three-tier cake. We decided to use fairylights for the lighting effect as it reminds us of travelling in faraway places, especially restaurants by the beach! The cake topper was a bespoke design, created to look like us! It was by Cheryl at Artlocke Designs.
The wines were included in the Hodock Priory package and we chose Gail Dandy as our caterer as we felt her variety of food covered everyone’s tastes. When we went food sampling and were impressed by the numbers of dishes on offer and how delicious her food was!
As we wanted everyone to join in on the dance floor, we decided to have a ceilidh band. We hired Knitters Jig, who provided an entertaining performance. It was brilliant fun. It didn’t matter if guests made mistakes, it only added to the atmosphere and everyone had a really good laugh!
We would most definitely recommend our wedding venue to others – it is such a beautiful and fairytale like venue with stunning grounds. The woodland and the lake give the place a magical, enchanted feel! George and the staff were so helpful and friendly and so well organised. We were made to feel very welcome to share their beautiful home.
It’s really difficult to pinpoint our favourite part of the day as we loved every moment. It was the best day of our lives but if we had to choose, the greatest part would be seeing each other at the aisle!
For our honeymoon we went to Hawaii for three weeks island hopping, visiting three different islands, which was a fantastic and amazing experience. We hired a Jeep for a week to explore one of the islands and we swam along with turtles and stingrays in the sea! It was an amazing honeymoon with a variety of things to do but at the same time offered a lot of relaxation time, which we so desperately needed. We didn’t want to come home!
Our advice to other brides and grooms-to-be is to enjoy the planning and make sure you leave plenty of time if you want to DIY everything and do rope in family or friends to help – make use of their skills. For example, whilst we had our own ideas for wedding stationery, Chris’s brother-in-law helped us by honing our ideas into reality with his creative graphic design skills for travel themed invitations, order of service, table plan and place cards. Although the day flies by so quickly, make sure you have time for each other but also circulate with your guests between meals like we did, it makes them feel appreciated.
If you want a creative first wedding dance, it’s worth investing in a few dance lessons to build up your confidence and learn your moves, like we did. We wrote our own promises for the ceremony as we wanted our wedding to be more personal, meaningful and unique. If you wish to do the same, make sure you leave plenty of time to think and write them.
aquascutum, artlocke designs, blue wedding flowers, charlotte balbier, coast, gail dandy, hodsock priory wedding, holly by charlote balbier, jimmy choo, john lewis, knitters big ceilidh band, lila, pretty wedding, real wedding, reiss, river island, shoot lifestyle wedding photography, travel wedding, uk wedding blog, vintage volksweddings
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