May 26th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Here at Brides Up North we love nothing more than the unveiling of new bridal collections that will determine brides’ big day looks. And every season now it seems designers are getting more daring with their creations, particularly when it comes to the sheer trend – see-through fabric panels that create the illusion of bare skin – as brides are encouraged to take a less is more approach to their attire.
We love this fresh take on bridal, giving ladies the opportunity to flaunt their figures whilst still technically keeping flesh under wraps. There’s no denying however that it takes one heck of a brave bride to go against the traditional demure grain – but what if you don’t want to be smothered in fabric, but you do still want to retain some style? If you’re after something clingier, slinkier, dare I say it sexier than a meringue, but don’t want to blow Uncle Dave’s pacemaker into oblivion?
Well, that makes sheer panels, barely-there lace and see-through chiffon your new best friends, and luckily for you, dresses with such detailing are the focus of today’s look book. From long-time fans of the look Berta Bridal to the stunning new Bohemian Blush collection from Brides Up North sponsor Charlotte Balbier (as featured recently on these pink pages), it seems everyone is getting in on the act. Though fierce, such designs featuring cleverly-positioned lace, illusion necklines and backs will still preserve your bridal modesty (and Dave’s pacemaker).
Berta Bridal are industry champions in creating dare-to-bare gowns, with style 17-113 and 17-130 from the F/W 2017 collection being seriously brave takes on the trend – all dangerously plunging necklines and sheer lace. Design 17-136’s sheer chiffon skirt puts legs at centre stage, whereas 17-144 is like the love-child of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and Jennifer Lopez circa 2009 made into wedding dress form – sexy, sassy, righteous.
Charlotte Balbier’s newest offerings are typically soft, feminine and fairytale-esque, but still offer a glimpse of what lies beneath. Symphony from Bohemian Blush is to die for, with its slinky A-line cut, sheer bodice and appliqued lace. The prettily-named Poem features a plunging neckline but saves most of its sheerness for the bodice back, making the whole look arguably more realizable. There’s also Sonnett, with its delicate sheer detailing and peach and pistachio colour injection – definitely worth a lingering look.
Many a real wedding favourite, Maggie Sottero is also getting in on the flash of flesh action. Verina has a dramatic illusion lace v-back and sleeves, looking regal but not matronly. Blanche is a whole lot of daring with its double keyhole back and lace illusion sweetheart neckline and the Maren – well, just wow. More Swarovski than you can shake a stick at.
And then there’s the inimitable Elie Saab, offering up everything from sheer sublime to the slightly bonkers but beautiful. Check out that potentially pant-flashing lace number. Would you? Could you?
We say, she who dares… wins.
Main dress images by Charlotte Balbier.
April 12th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Pearl Veil – traditional lace with beautiful pearl trim detail
Nothing quite says bride like a gorgeous gown topped off with a veil. In line with fast-paced bridalwear trends it’s not a case of one style suits all, with designers creating a variety of veils to match with and complement gowns in their collections, meaning the options vary in length, layers and detail.
One of the latest designers to turn her talented hands to such accessories, is our wonderful Lead Sponsor and top British bridal designer, Charlotte Balbier. Last week on the blog we shared a special preview of Charlotte’s insanely-beautiful new wedding dress collection for 2018 – Bohemian Blush – and now the princess of bridalwear Miss Balbier, is treating us to full look at her fabulous new collection of veils.
Featuring an option for all styles of weddings, the fanciful designs range from flirty and elegant to dazzling and dramatic, with delicate fine tulles decorated with embellishments, beading, pearls and lace pattern detailing.
So, join us as we swoon over the highly-derisible designs on offer…
Silk Veil – silk tulle with floral diamante comb detailing
Antique Veil – silk tulle with antique diamante and pearl comb to complement
French Lace Veil – silk tulle with French lace veil detailing
Pearl & Diamante Veil – an intricate pearl and diamante veilcontinue reading
April 7th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
She almost managed to steal the limelight from sister, The Duchess of Cambridge, at the Royal Wedding back in April 2011, but soon Pippa Middleton will be firmly in the bridal spotlight as she prepares to marry her millionaire finance next month.
Pretty Pippa and beau James Matthews are due to take their vows on Saturday 20th May, and so speculation is rife as to what type of wedding they will be having, who will have made the guest list and which designer Pippa will have picked to provide her all-important gown.
Details we’re just dying to know ourselves! And so, to speculate further on what style of wedding dress Miss Middleton may have picked to show-off that famous figure of hers, we’ve called upon two of our Sponsors who are experts in the industry, mother and daughter British bridal designers, Amanda Wyatt and Charlotte Balbier.
charlotte says: I’m super excited for what is likely to be another major wedding day following Will and Kate, and I’m am sure the whole world is going to be watching.
Pippa has already worn plenty of amazing outfits and her style has to be praised as one to watch. She is quite adventurous in the fashion stakes compared to her sister Kate, who plays it safe.
I can picture the ambience of Pippa’s wedding day being fairy-tale like, with a mix of classic and romantic themes. Pippa will be united by Royal traditions and I believe she will choose a modern gown with a hint of regal ﬂair.
So, join us ladies as we place our bets – will it be long, short; lace, silk; sleeveless, backless? Oh the suspense!!
Charlotte’s Pippa predictions from her Untamed Love Collection…
Milena – The Melina gown is a beautiful ﬁshtail design to ﬂatter Pippa’s ﬁgure. She loves lace sleeves and this gown features lovely vintage lace capped sleeves with beautiful lace back detail too.
Aphrodite – This is a beautiful chiﬀon gown with high-neck lace details. The perfect lightweight dress if the couple opt for an overseas wedding at her ﬁnance’s family hotel, Eden Rock in St Barths.
Paige – Pippa Middleton is well-known for her love of good accessories and shoes. The Paige gown is the perfect gown from the Untamed Love Collection to dress up and accessorize for a personal touch.
Rosalie – The Rosalie gown is an amazing silk empire line dress and has intricate beading silver details. This should be spot on for Pippa as we know she’s a fan of wearing gowns with a touch of that little bit extra.
Amanda’s Pippa predictions from her She Walks With Beauty Collection…
Eleanor – Pippa earned the title “her Royal hotness” following her wonderful bridesmaid performance at the Royal Wedding. The Eleanor gown is made of beautiful organza material that would perfectly complement Pippa’s shape. I think she will embrace plenty of detail in her gown to differentiate herself from the plain bridesmaid dress she wore on for Kate and Will’s day, making the Eleanor gown, which has so many lovely intricate details, a beautiful choice.
April 6th, 2017 | Julia Braime
It’s the most wonderful time of the year (well, almost), as the countdown is on to British and International bridal designers unveiling their hotly-anticipated new collections at The White Gallery in London, next month.
We make no secret that this is one of our absolute highlights of the year, and we’re sure you’ll all agree with us, for what girl doesn’t love pouring over stunning wedding dresses and admiring designers’ talents in pushing creative boundaries to produce gowns that are heart-stoppingly beautiful!?
Though we can’t take you all to the FROW with us, we have a huge treat in store for you today as we’re sharing a super special preview of our Lead Sponsor Charlotte Balbier’s gorgeous new collection for 2018 – Bohemian Blush – which is set to be officially launched at The White Gallery, making this kind of a big deal!
Perfectly girly and beautifully feminine, we are uber fans of Charlotte’s truly swoon-worthy creations and always look forward to seeing what this stylish lady has in store for us next – and we can safely say she’s outdone herself once again, as the latest offering is her best yet!
As fellow fans will know, Charlotte has embraced the boho look in her previous dress designs, but this time around she’s gone with an all-out, injecting a breezy boho vibe into the entire Bohemian Blush collection.
Rightly so, every bride dreams her bridal gown will stand out and be remembered forever, and in this latest collection its clear to see that Charlotte has paid the utmost attention to detail to give each gown its own unique touch and character. There is the captivating Halo gown that is handcrafted with 3D floral fabrics; the Klara gown, which embraces sequins on sheer skin, and the stunning Jayde floral gown in an exclusive print to the house of Balbier, which is topped off with a fashion-forward bow.
All the gowns are hand-created from the finest French laces, soft flowing chiffons, layered organzas, rich Mikados and silk tulles. The 2018 colour palette introduces sweet tones of ballet pink, sugared peach, blush pinks and peach, pearled ivory and a pistachio green, alongside the classic ever-popular ivory and champagne shades.
charlotte says: We have always created dresses for a bride who knows who she is, to be their own kind of beauty and celebrate their individuality.
This collection celebrates the free-spirited women and Bohemian spirit. I created the Bohemian Blush collection for brides to be gorgeously unique; the gowns are easy and effortless. Whether her dream day is running through a woodland barefoot or wearing a flower crown, this sassy collection will appeal to all.
I’ve fused together my two style crushes of boho and pretty to create this delicious collection.
If (like us) you’ve already developed a serious crush on Bohemian Blush, you will be pleased to hear that we will be bringing you more on the collection soon, so watch-this-space!
February 13th, 2017 | Julia Braime
Right in time for one of the most romantic days of the year, we’ve got a super pretty styled shoot that’s bursting with beautiful blooms.
Centered around the stunning Posey separates by top British bridal designer and Brides Up North Sponsor, Charlotte Balbier, the shoot’s creative team of fabulous suppliers have shown how the design of a dress can influence other elements of the wedding without taking things OTT.
We just love ultra-feminine styling complete with romantic roses and opulent metallic touches, which work in perfect harmony with the dreamy bridal two-piece and rural backdrop. Here to tell us more is lovely makeup artist Amy L Wilkinson, who also directed the shoot.
With images by Samantha Hook Photography. Models Iain Spivey and Chloe Tong.
amy says: The theme of the shoot was flowers after I was inspired by the beautiful Charlotte Balbier Posey skirt and top. The two-piece lead the shoot in every way; we chose to incorporate flowers and floral patterns into as many elements of the day as we could without it becoming overpowered, and used a pretty colour palette mainly consisting of girly lilacs and pinks.
The location of the shoot was the stunning Swancar Farm in Nottinghamshire. We felt the rural location and the setting of an old farm house was the perfect backdrop for all our fabulous flowers. The venue is surrounded by fields, trees and flowers, so it also felt like we were bringing the outdoors, in!
I chose to keep the bride’s makeup fresh with perfectly polished skin. The gold eyeshadow was a nod to some of the styling elements and the lip colour reflected the flowers. For a subtle floral touch, the bride’s nail art by Nikki Drury featured a sweet flower design.
The bride’s shoes, from I am Florence, were decorated with white leather flowers and we also used trainers in some shots for a relaxed and alternative look.
When it came to styling the groom, we chose a floral-patterned shirt by Sauce & Brown, that remained in keeping with the theme and that wasn’t at risk of clashing with the bride’s attire. Instead of a traditional corsage, we used the groom’s pocket to create a “window box” of flowers.
For the backdrop, we styled a table setting with small flowers enraptured in geometric shapes, floral painted menus by Amy Bailey Designs and decorative glasses, all of which reflected the colours used in the floral arrangements. Touches of copper and gold helped to add a further elegance.
The cake table had flowers pouring out of the draws as well as decorating the wedding cake itself, which was designed by The Confetti Cakery. Macaroons were brushed with gold and copper to match the cake and other sweet treats provided further colour and texture.
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January 26th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s gorgeous couple were married at Broadoaks Country House in the heart of the Lake District.
Shabby chic vintage vibes? Check. Moody autumnal skies? Check. Jaw-dropping lakeside photographs? Check. Readers, you’re going to love this.
And flower fans, get those Pinterest-clicking fingers ready – I guarantee that this is the most beautiful bouquet you’ll see this year.
With images by James Tracey Photography
laura says: We got engaged on 29th September 2015. Rich took me to the Lake District, our favourite place, and had set up a proposal at Broadoaks Country House – we’d stayed there before and loved it. Rich had arranged for his brother to be there to secretly photograph the proposal. We had afternoon tea out on the terrace and Rich had bought a mug that said ‘Does this ring make me look engaged?’ The staff brought it out with the afternoon tea and Rich said ‘I think this is for you.’ Suddenly he was down on one knee and proposed with a ring that he’d chosen himself.
We wanted an autumn wedding and so we set the date for the 27th October 2016. We chose Broadoaks where we got engaged for our venue. Rich set up an appointment with the wedding planner there and we knew that was the only place we would want to get married.
We had a small wedding and didn’t want everyone to have to wear matching suits and so on. In fact, the whole day was really laidback. Our theme was vintage/shabby chic because I just love that style.
We didn’t really have a colour scheme. I don’t particularly like reds and oranges but wanted my flowers to reflect autumn; I eventually opted for berry colours and dusky pinks. My sister was my bridesmaid and I told her she could pick her own dress to go with the flowers, so she chose a dress in a mink colour.
I knew from the start what style of wedding dress I wanted and I had an idea in my head. I must have tried on more than 50 dresses, but none of them were right and then I found my dress at Lace and Co Bridal in Horbury, Wakefield. I knew it was the one as soon as I put it on. It was a Charlotte Balbier dress and was called Tabitha. I absolutely loved it. I thought it needed something extra, though, and my mum found a sparkly brooch which I added to the front of the dress to personalise it.
My bridal makeup was done by Lisa from Lime Beauty at Equinox in Bowness, and my hair was by Louise from Equinox. They came to the venue and were absolutely fab! I’d recommend them to anyone, they’re so friendly and put us completely at ease.
Rich decided he didn’t want to hire a suit and so he bought one from Hugo Boss that he could keep. It was a blue two piece and he added a grey waistcoat also from Hugo Boss which went really well.
For our wedding party we just had my sister, Amy, as my bridesmaid and Rich’s best friend Matt as best man. As Rich had bought his own suit, we asked Matt and my dad to wear what they wanted – they didn’t have to match.
My sister’s dress was a mink coloured 50’s style dress, which we ordered online. She also bought a pink petticoat which she wore to make her skirt flare out more.
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