June 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime
One of our favourite bridal designers at Brides Up North HQ, and now a good friend of mine, I’m proud to share the 2016 Charlotte Balbier willa rose collection with you this afternoon on our pretty pages, marking 12 years in British Bridal fashion for this talented lady.
Charlotte amazes me year on year as her brand continues to evolve whilst ever maintaining her beautiful signature style. The new Willa Rose collection captivates the imagination with bohemian, free spirited designs to take Balbier brides on a magical journey.
For 2016, Charlotte’s ethereal, soft flowing chiffon gowns are adorned with exquisite beading, pearls and crystals, delicate rose details and her signature hand cut flower designs. There are daring low backs and, as always, graceful straps and sleeve details. The colour palette includes rose pink, antique gold and rich ivory shades.
Personally, it’s my favourite Charlotte Balbier collection yet, and standout styles for me include Harlow (bling a ling!), Lilac and the eponymous Willa Rose. Get stuck in…
Charlotte Balbier is making a personal appearance at Brides Up North Sponsor Boutique Jean Jackson Couture in the Northern Quarter Manchester on the 2nd July between 6pm-8pm. Charlotte will be on hand to meet with brides and chat over their wedding gown ideas while sipping on Rose Pink lemonade and being treated to yummy treats. The full details of the event can be seen here.
For more visit www.charlottebalbier.com
May 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is it in your diary? Great. Now let’s meet Laura.
Images by Photography By Kathryn.
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.
Which wedding gown designers do you stock?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or find out more?
March 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 email@example.com to book your Little Pearl experience now.
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
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