Charlotte Balbier

autumn amour. maggie sottero for a chic urban wedding in leeds – rachel & robin

December 2nd, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s chic city real wedding simply exudes elegance. There’s a stunning Maggie Sottero dress, a gorgeous autumnal colour palette and an organic, woodland theme.

There was also plenty of personality to this stylish wedding too, with nods to the groom’s love of owls, Cockney rhyming slang table names and a real ale special brew called ‘Old Legover’!

With images by Olivia Brabbs Photography

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rachel says: Robin’s proposal centred around an owl theme. He has a particular passion for owls – since he was a child he collected all things owl. It has turned into a running joke that owls are literally taking over our house, so it was no surprise that they featured quite heavily in Robin’s proposal. Robin went to great lengths to set out an owl-themed treasure hunt, which went on for a few weeks (!) and, led by a number of clues, I found Robin under the ‘Owl of Justice’ – a carved owl that can be found at the back of the Civic Hall in Leeds, where Robin proposed and we later got married.

Our wedding date was the 9th September 2016. We both love autumn and wanted a natural earthy wedding. The weather also always seems to be lovely in Leeds in September, so we were lucky to secure the date when we did.

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We got married in the Banqueting Hall in the Civic Hall in Leeds city centre. We chose the venue for obvious reasons (hello gold owls!) but we were both so stunned at how beautiful the hall is once you get inside. We even decided to have a drinks reception after the ceremony to make the most of our time there. We really wanted to have our reception somewhere close to where we got married and settled on the Devonshire Hall in Headingley, to have our party; an amazingly grand hall of residence, which forms part of the University of Leeds. We loved the blank canvas of the dining hall and the design of the building is so lovely with the cloisters and outside space. We both got a great feel from the place when we visited so it was an easy decision.

In terms of theme, we’re big lovers of the great outdoors and our vision was for a woodland/autumnal/natural style of wedding. If we’d been brave enough (and my mum had allowed us!) we’d have had our reception in the woods, so this was a good compromise.

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Our colour scheme was navy and gold and, fitting with the autumnal theme, the groomsmen wore navy suits with a variety of dark gold and burnt orange accessories. My sister is a personal stylist so she helped choose the bridesmaid dresses, and navy is a gorgeous universal colour that looks great on everyone. I’m also a big fan of a bit of sparkle so gold shoes were a must!

If I’m honest, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to the wedding dress shopping – I had no idea what I wanted and felt a bit nervous about it all. When I walked into the first bridal shop (the wonderful Bridal Boutique in Baildon) I knew that the first dress that I saw would be the one I’d wear. I tried on all sorts of different styles anyway – and was surprised by how much I loved the huge princess dresses! But I settled for the first dress: Vidonia by Maggie Sottero. Such gorgeous detailing and I felt so comfortable in it, I knew it had to be the one. I cancelled my next booking!

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Robin and the groomsmen wore three-piece navy Ted Baker suits, which we hired from Moss Bros. We got the bowties and ties, made from knitted English silk, from the website Swagger & Swoon.

The bridesmaids wore A-line navy dresses from Coast and they each chose their own gold shoes. As a thank you for being my best women, I got them all engraved bangles made by the fab Libby Jubb Jewellery. They had a little birdy charm on them which matched the turtle doves I wore in my hair. Hannah De Ath and Annabel Bailey also did a fantastic job with hair and make-up and made my mum, bridesmaids and me feel like a million dollars.

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diary date: the biscuit factory wedding open day

November 18th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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If you’re searching for a cool city wedding venue that offers a blank canvas with character, exceptional service and amazing food, then we might just be able to help. For our fabulous Sponsor,  The Biscuit Factory, is opening its doors to brides and grooms-to-be this month for its bi-annual wedding open day.

Located in the heart of Newcastle’s cultural quarter, the unique gallery, which has been shortlisted for “Best City Venue” in this year’s UK Wedding Awards, will be hosting its open day on Saturday 26th November, between 12pm and 4pm.

Images by Sean Elliott Photography.

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The event is an opportunity to see the gallery’s dedicated events space, The Biscuit Room, laid out for a ceremony and reception.

Throughout the afternoon, The Biscuit Factory’s events team will be on hand to talk to guests, one-to-one, about the venue’s unique portfolio of services, The Wedding Collection. Guests can also enjoy a selection of handpicked canapés as a little taster of the in-house catering, accompanied by a complimentary glass of fizz.

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Speaking about the event, Tom Gostling, events manager at The Biscuit Factory comments as follows.

tom says: We’re holding our open day on a weekend for the very first time and hope that this new format will enable even more couples to come along and see our beautiful venue first-hand. We love meeting with couples face-to-face, to discuss how we can help make their dream wedding become a reality.

Located within the Ouseburn valley, The Biscuit Factory is housed within a former Victorian warehouse, providing weddings with an inspiring, culturally-infused backdrop that’s characterised by contemporary art collections, wooden beams and original brickwork. Its purpose-built Biscuit Room is one of the largest in the city, accommodating up to 150 guests for a ceremony and 250 seated guests for a meal and party.

For more information about the wedding open day, visit The Biscuit Factory events website at www.biscuitfactoryevents.com/our-news. To book your free space, RSVP to events@thebiscuitfactory.com

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lilac & lilies. a super stylish wedding at the leeds club – rachel & tom

October 28th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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When we first set eyes on today’s real wedding we were totally blown away by the bride’s cool and individual style, perfectly showcasing how to make your big day attire your own.

Wearing an insanely beautiful lilac, bias-cut silk dress, Rachel exudes Hollywood glamour by the bucket load, completing her look with a sparking birdcage veil headpiece and shower style bouquet. We love!

As the couple’s stylish choice of venue didn’t have a marriage license, Rachel and Tom made things legal with a ceremony at Leeds Town Hall a few days previous, and yes, they looked flippin’ gorgeous for that bit too!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Mark Newton Photography.

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rachel says: We got engaged on 29th February 2012, at the Bier Keller in Leeds. We’d randomly gone there for a drink after. After a discussion about wedding and such things, I decided to ask Tom to marry me, we had been together for five years after all. He said yes and we both got quite emotional. I was lucky enough to inherit my grandmother’s engagement ring so we didn’t have to buy one.

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We had our legal ceremony at Leeds Town Hall on 18th May 2015, as unfortunately the venue we wanted to have our wedding at didn’t have a licence to marry us there. We then had a blessing at The Leeds Club on 29th May, as part of our wedding celebrations. I always remember walking past the venue as a child and seeing the business men in the wing back chairs and being really fascinated as to what was inside.

We chose lilac and sage green for the wedding scheme, as we wanted colours that would complement the venue and that also matched my dress.

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I was lucky enough to have two wedding dresses as we had the two ceremonies. For the town hall I wore head to toe Vivienne Westwood. For the blessing, I was fortunate enough to have a bespoke dress from the amazing Glory Days, in York. My dress was based on 1940’s Hollywood glamour and the dresses worn by Joan Crawford. It was lilac bias cut silk, with an open back and fishtail train. It was the best dress ever.

Tom wore a suit from River Island for the town hall and then a three-piece 60’s style, royal blue suit from Topman for the blessing.

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Both my bridesmaids have very different styles, so I asked them to wear their favourite dresses. Jules made her own 1940’s style cocktail dress and Suzanne wore a floor-length maxi dress from Seraphina.

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gorgeous grandeur. pops of copper for a wedding at left bank leeds – courtney & vicky

September 1st, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (25)

There are several elements to today’s real wedding that evoke the word “wow”.

The fabulously planned surprise proposal for one (excellent work Courtney), not to mention the a-maz-ing reception venue, and then the fact that the couple managed to get one of their favourite bands to travel all the way from California to play at their wedding. Impressed? Us too!

Now let’s start by hearing that proposal story…

With images by Yolande De Vries Photography.

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (52)

courtney says: I proposed to Vicky at Cottage Road Cinema in Leeds on 4th May 2014. Cottage Rd Cinema was one of the places we went to on our first dates and is only a two minute walk from our house.

On the day of the proposal Vicky had planned to meet a group of friends in Headingley for lunch and a few drinks as a belated birthday celebration. I had suggested the two of us go to a student short film festival at Cottage Road Cinema before lunch and told her I had pre booked tickets. When we got to the cinema we were given a glass of prosecco each (we were told it was complimentary with ticket as part of the student film festival). When we got in the previews were already on and we stumbled to a few seats in the back.

When the first “short film” came on it was set to the song Skinnybones by Sea of Bees, which always reminds us of when we first got together. So instantly Vicky knew I was up to something but had no idea it was more than just a film. Part way through the very short film (it was probably only about 20 seconds of footage) text appeared that said, Victoria Hayhurst I adore you. Let’s be together forever? I then pulled out the ring I had designed as a cork popped from a bottle of bubbly, the lights went up and all our friends jumped up and yelled surprise! Vicky burst into tears, when she saw everyone and then again when she saw the ring and realised what was going on. We all had more prosecco, chatted and then walked to the restaurant we were all booked into for lunch and had a lovely day.

Exactly a year later Vicky surprised me on a walk through the woods by giving me my engagement ring at a spot that means a lot to us.

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (68)

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (77)

We got married on 27th June 2015, at Leeds Town Hall because I love the building and Leeds is where we met. The reception was held at Left Bank Leeds which is an amazing Grade II* listed former church building near to where Vicky lived as a student and where I rented when I first moved to Leeds. Before we found the venue I had wanted a grand but dilapidated building, with prosecco and exquisite canapés being served and a jazz band playing. Left Bank Leeds wasn’t dilapidated but still had the sense of grandeur I desired.

Our colour scheme was black, white, grey and navy with accents of copper. I chose these because they’re my favourite colours (I don’t really do colour!). I didn’t set a dress code but asked that everyone wore black, white, grey or navy. Everyone looks good in those colours and copper was a colour of the moment and added a bit of contrast for an extra pop.

A Wedding at Left Bank Leeds (c) Yolande De Vries (100)

In terms of my wedding attire, I made my own skirt and drafted the pattern myself. It was a full length, high waited skirt with wide waste band, concealed back zip and side pockets (for my phone) in a French navy silk from Joel & Son Fabrics in London. I chose the fabric with my best friends Vicky, Franny and Alexa. I wore the skirt with a customised white sleeveless top that I bought at Cos when I was in Berlin with Franny and Alexa.

Vicky wore French navy wide legged trousers from Crombie and a white asymmetrical sleeveless top by Vivienne Westwood.

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city chic. a retro styled bridal shoot in manchester

August 31st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (12)

Today on the blog we have a little something for you urban brides out there.

In response to brides-to-be commenting that while there is plenty of inspiration for couples marrying in the countryside but there isn’t so much for those planning city centre celebrations, Lancaster-based wedding photographer Arusha set about creating a retro styled bridal shoot set against bold Manchester backgrounds.

The result is a strong collection of edgy images that show a wedding in a built-up area can be just as striking as those in rolling countryside, with brick, graffiti and even metal shutters providing standout photo opportunities.

To explain more about the looks created and areas visited, we’ll hand over the blog to the lady who captured all the action…

With images by Arusha’s Images Photography.

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arusha says: I spent many years living and working in Manchester, and the city was the inspiration for this shoot. I love the old backstreets there, the mix of modern apartments, and old alleyways. I think that the bright statement graffiti of the Northern Quarter brings so much life to the city. By contrast I also wanted to include a more modern background, and Salford Quays and The Lowry are perfect for that, with all the glass, metal and clean lines.

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Working as part of a two-man team with hair stylist and makeup artist Hannah Wells, of Beau Tink Studio, my aim for the shoot was to inspire my urban brides to get creative, and to show some different bridal looks and locations in the city.

I photograph a whole range of weddings, and in that process I have found that city and retro brides-to-be have often commented that they feel there is a stronger focus on more countryside and boho style weddings when they are looking for inspiration for their day. I love a bohemian country wedding, but I also love bold city weddings, with the strong urban backgrounds that cities provide. I also wanted to show that a little bit of retro and grunge can be stunning on a wedding day.

Urban Styled Bridal Shoot (c) Arusha's Images (48)

I coordinated the styling, choosing to buy as brightly coloured flowers as I could for the bouquet, and tied them with a simple ribbon, which we were able to add rainbow streamer ribbons to as the shoot went on.

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modern glamour. maggie sottero for a black tie wedding in newcastle – jaimie & gemma

August 19th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Modern Glamorous Wedding at Malmaison (c) Jamie Mcelderry (9)

Today we’re heading North East on the blog to relive chic city wedding down by the Quayside in Newcastle.

Keen for a wedding that reflected them as a family and the city that they love, Jaimie and Gemma planned a glamorous wedding at the Malmaison hotel, complete with a personal ceremony and black tie dress code.

With images by Jamie Mcelderry Wedding Photographer.

A Modern Glamorous Wedding at Malmaison (c) Jamie Mcelderry (1)

gemma says: Jaimie proposed on Christmas day 2014. In January 2014, I gave birth to triplet boys and it was a pretty tough year for us as a family. By Christmas time, it felt as if we could take on anything! Jaimie hid the ring in the tree. He sat me and my daughter down and presented it to us both. Words actually failed him, I was stunned and we relied on my daughter to piece it all together!

We set the date for Monday 20th June 2016. We wanted our wedding to feel relaxed and non-traditional, which is why we chose to have it on a Monday.

A Modern Glamorous Wedding at Malmaison (c) Jamie Mcelderry (16)

Our venue was the Malmaison hotel on Newcastle’s quayside. It was perfect for us as it isn’t used for many weddings, which allowed us to really tailor the day to what we wanted. The decor has a really cool, urban chic vibe to it, which suits our modern taste. To top it all off, it’s in an amazing location overlooking the river.

Our whole ceremony was written with personal touches about us as a couple, but also as a family. We included lighting a unity candle as part of the ceremony and chose songs to feature throughout, including Beyonce and Jessica Glynne. I walked down the aisle to a mix of Disclosure and Sam Smith Latch. All our music was uplifting rather than romantic.

A Modern Glamorous Wedding at Malmaison (c) Jamie Mcelderry (59)

The style of our wedding was modern and glamorous, but in a minimal and informal way. We wanted to share our day with only our closest family and friends and wanted to give them an insight into our family and what is particularly special to us. No frills, no formalities.

I wanted everything to be really crisp, fresh and clean, so just kept to a white colour scheme with a few black touches. The male wedding party wore black tie and my two bridesmaids wore black too.

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