Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

moroccan magic: a boho bride styled shoot at yellow arch studios

April 13th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Boho Bride Style Shoot (c) Kindred Photography (108)

Having already given you one gorgeous boho bride styled shoot on the blog this week, we’re spoiling you rotten with a second hit of dreamy, free-spirited wedding inspiration.

Today’s styled shoot was put together by a skillful collective in the steel city of Sheffield, using one of its stunning urban venues to showcase alternative to traditional wedding settings.

We love the warm, rich jewel tones that feature in the backdrop, décor and blooms as well as edgy and somewhat hipster styling of the ‘bride’ and ‘groom’.

To explain more about the aim and details of the shoot is Felicity Hoy of Inner City Weddings and Events – a planning and hire company that works with interesting, underused and urban buildings in the city centre of Sheffield to offer affordable and alternative wedding venue options.

With images by Shelley Richmond of Kindred Photography.

Models Jaye at The Model House and Chris Bentley.

A Boho Bride Style Shoot (c) Kindred Photography (104)

felicity says: Yellow Arch Studios where the shoot took place is a recording studio in Neepsend, Sheffield. The studio was converted from abandoned Victorian factory workshops, and has been described as “a hub of the Sheffield music scene”. Artists who have used the studios, for either practice or rehearsal, include Arctic Monkeys, My Darling Clementine, Tony Christie, Goldfrapp, Funeral For a Friend and the studios’ ‘resident guitarist’ Richard Hawley.

A Boho Bride Style Shoot (c) Kindred Photography (72)

I wanted to do a shoot at Yellow Arch to show it off as an alternative wedding venue and to demonstrate how I would style it. Our photographer for the shoot Shelley Richmond, is always looking for new interesting spaces to do shoots and fell in love with it as soon as we visited. It’s done out in a Moroccan/ boho style with really amazing lighting and colours. So we went with a bohemian theme for the shoot.

A Boho Bride Style Shoot (c) Kindred Photography (38)

The shoots we do are also about showing off local suppliers’ talents so everyone involved gets a chance to promote themselves but also the opportunity to test their creativity and give something different a go.

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handmade. a whimsical winter wedding styled shoot by independent suppliers in the north

November 25th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Winter Styled Shoot at Tanfield House (c) Claire Basiuk Photography (11)

Earlier this month on the blog we brought you a gorgeous autumnal inspired shoot, and now today we’re moving on a season to bring you this whimsical winter styled shoot, from a rather special set of suppliers.

Organised by And so to Wed, a blog based in Leeds, today’s shoot is a celebration of small Northern wedding businesses, many of which hand make their items. As a blog that highly encourages the use of northern suppliers ourselves (it’s all in the name), we’re absolutely thrilled to help spread the message and share this dreamy set of images.

To introduce you to the talented collective that helped piece this pretty together, we welcome Louise Billingham of And so to Wed, to the blog.

With images by Claire Basiuk Photography.

Winter Styled Shoot at Tanfield House (c) Claire Basiuk Photography (34)

louise says: We decided to do a winter inspired styled shoot to showcase some of the fantastic work produced by small business based in the north of the UK.

The chosen venue to provide our backdrop was (Brides Up North Featured Supplier) Tanfield House, a new wedding venue in Yorkshire that offers couples a truly unique experience, by giving them the use of the whole house to do with as they wish. Packed full of character, it provided the perfect setting.

Winter Styled Shoot at Tanfield House (c) Claire Basiuk Photography (28)

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lookbook: sheer brilliance

October 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Reem Acra 3

Over time we’re seeing bridal gowns that are less virginal and pure as designers become much bolder with their designs, chopping and changing the traditional wedding dress as we know it.

We’ve witnessed the hemline of some dresses get higher, necklines get lower, backs on full show, and more recently, cutaway detailing which exposes various areas of brides’ physiques, from their arms to their abs.

And it looks like brides will continue to bare all, as this year’s designer catwalks have been awash with striking sheer gowns.

Reem Acra 5

Though bridal dresses with see-through detailing are nothing new, the most recent take on the translucent look sees the sexiness taken up a notch – with some gowns leaving very little to the imagination.

That said, similar to the cutaway trend, brides can opt to be as coy or confident as they like with the look, be it donning a barely there gown to show off their figure from top to toe, or choosing a dress with subtle sheer detailing on just the arms or across the chest.

For brave brides Reem Acra has some fabulous sheer showstoppers. Most expose the arms, chest and torso area though the necessities are covered by decorative embroidery and lace detail that’s so delicate it appears to have been etched onto the skin. Though revealing the dresses are both soft and romantic, and in most cases follow the rule of only exposing one half of the body.

Reem Acra 4

Heightening the risqué factor further are designers such as Anna Romysh Haute Couture, who showcased daring and distinctively different dresses on the 2015 White Gallery catwalks. Though some of the gowns did offer full body cover, in the sense that they were floor length, long sleeved and high necked, flesh was still flashed though beautifully detailed sheer fabrics. Other dresses meanwhile flaunted either the pins or upper half of the body. The Romysh dresses also stood out in terms of colour, with metallics and even black designs getting runway time.

Reem Acra 6

Fortunately, there are much more toned down options available for those who like the idea of showing just a little skin, or at least giving the impression that they are doing so. While some sheer fabrics do expose the bare skin beneath, others are cleverly placed over nude slips to give the illusion of exposure. Anna Kara has some particularly pretty options along these lines within her collection, which is classic and elegant but with a modern edge.

Tamer still are dress designs with just small or subtle elements of transparency.  Such designs can be found within numerous designers’ collections, including Augusta Jones, Naeem Khan, Simone Carvalli and Sharon Elle Design. Some of our favourites however, come from Monique Lhuillier and Claire Pettibone, which show that there is no need for brides to fear the sheer!

Reem Acra 2

Main images by Reem Acra, visit our Gallery for more inspiration.

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perfect pastels. claire pettibone for a relaxed & elegant wedding at samlesbury hall – donna & ric

August 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (34)

This is another one if those weddings that’s so pretty we actually gasped when we first saw the images.

We adore Donna’s choice of a delicate lace Claire Pettibone dress, which complements her soft colour scheme of pale cornflower blue and antique pink to a tee.

Keeping things simple, Donna and Ric didn’t go OTT with their décor, instead opting for dreamy floral arrangements to bring the colour and leaving the rest of the detail to the venue. For us, this is pure perfection!

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (6)

donna says: We got engaged in May 2014 on our hotel balcony in Montmartre, Paris. Ric was hoping to pop the question in Jardins du Luxembourg earlier in the day during a picnic, but as it was a sunny bank holiday Sunday in Paris, there were crowds and never quite the right moment! We celebrated on Monday with a gastro lunch on Bateaux Parisiens cruise on the Seine, which was fantastic.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (2)

We set the date for 18th July 2015, hoping for a sunny summer’s day and our chosen venue, Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire, only had two Saturday dates left in 2015.

We chose the venue as we wanted a civil ceremony, and also somewhere with history and where we could show our family in years to come. As a historic home with bags of character and a really welcoming team, we knew Samlesbury was for us. The Whittaker Room where we were married was the old family chapel of the family that used to live there, so felt so special and unique.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

We didn’t want a clear theme as such. However, soon into planning our marriage, we tended to like vintage glamour, antique type styles. We also wanted to reflect the summer and a relaxed, elegant style. We also noticed a ‘scallop’ theme emerging in our choices – our stationery pattern, the lace in my dress and my jewellery.

Our colour scheme was pale cornflower blue (Dessy – Larkspur) and pale antique pink. We both love cornflower, and it fitted perfectly against the backdrop of Samlesbury’s black and white buildings and green lawns.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (12)

A wonderful friend of ours Nikki Graeme is director of The White Closet in West Didsbury, and it was top of my list for dress shopping! I did look at a number of different designs before making my choice. The new gown Estelle in Claire Pettibone’s Romantique collection just felt right as soon as I tried it on. I wanted something that was light and comfortable whilst also elegant with a touch of glamour. When I tried it on Sweet Disposition came on the radio and I found myself twirling around in the dressing room, so I knew it was the one!

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (15)

Ric and the ushers wore ties and pocket squares from Dessy and hired navy three piece suits from Youngs at Debenhams.

My two bridesmaids Imogen and Jen wore knee length Dessy dresses in Larkspur and our flower girls wore ivory satin dresses with netted skirts with Dessy accessories to match the older bridesmaids.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (20)

Our hair and makeup artists was Nathan Hynes. We couldn’t recommend him enough, such a lovely friendly guy and really creative and talented with hair and makeup using Charlotte Tilbury products.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (22)

On the day of the wedding, my mum, two bridesmaids and I travelled in a silver Bentley Flying Spur from David Anthony Chauffeur Services in Manchester. They were wonderful and incredibly reliable and professional.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (23)

Hayley Baxter was our photographer and she was truly exceptional. From the moment we met Hayley on our pre-wedding shoot at Dunham Massey, we felt totally relaxed in her company, and really confident in her professionalism and technical skills.

On the big day Hayley arrived at our home whilst we were having hair and make-up done, she subtly starting capturing special moments, and felt like part of the day immediately. Hayley was so discreet, yet in these quiet moments was brilliantly capturing the details of the day. Hayley has a real knack of making sure the photographs progress swiftly, whilst being charming and friendly and put all our family and friends at ease. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (26)

I had a loose bouquet of summer flowers, including peonies and roses. I cried when I saw them, they were so beautiful! We also had a flower arch over the doorway at Samlesbury Hall which looked beautiful too. The Flower Lounge provided these as well as our floral decorations for the reception. We had silver candelabras with the same theme of peonies and roses on each of our top tables.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (28)

We used Amanda at Love Invited, who was wonderful, for all our stationery using her ‘Hollywood Glamour’ designs. She was thoroughly professional and the quality of her stationery was fantastic.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (30)

To continue our Parisian theme we gave our guests favours of colourful sweet Macaroons from Sam Joseph chocolatiers in Altrincham Market. They are a local supplier who we had seen at our local market and their macaroons were exquisite!

For our wedding cake, we decided to go for a simple iced sponge cake with three tiers of different flavours: orange and raspberry, blueberry and walnut, and lemon on top. This again was from a local supplier who we have tried and tested in the past from visits to The White Closet – The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon on Burton Road. We chose a ‘The Smiths’ cake topper from Not on the High Street for a bit of fun.

There was plenty of choice on the wedding breakfast menu from Samlesbury’s chef. At our tasting we loved the lamb, so this was an obvious choice for us. Starters and dessert were a bit more of a challenge, however we went for a summery Caprese salad with parma ham to start, and finished with our favourite – an unseasonal sticky toffee pudding!

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (31)

Music was a really important element of the wedding to us and so we chose John Gilmore to play live Saxophone outside on the lawn during our canapés. We also chose songs during signing of the register and walking back down the aisle which were light hearted and set the mood of the day – happiness and celebrations.

Rick Cropper was our DJ for the evening entertainment. We met him back in September at Samlesbury Hall and were impressed by his friendly relaxed style. The dance floor was busy all night! We provided some fun kiddies packs for the little ones to keep them entertained too.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (32)

My favourite part of the day was saying our vows in front of family and friends and looking into Ric’s eyes – it was magical. For Ric it was (apparently) me walking down the aisle with my dad Peter! And the first dance, which was lots of fun and very improvised.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (39)

Following the wedding, we had a lovely relaxing minimoon in North Yorkshire, near Helmsley, in a little cottage. We are lucky enough to be visiting South Africa (Safari, Capetown and the Winelands) and Dubai next month for a longer break.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (45)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to remember that however challenging the planning might feel at times (when working long hours and decorating a new house, it can be tough) it will all be worth it the moment your day begins and all your hard work and vision pays off. You should relax and enjoy it – a few people commented that we both seemed very relaxed and involved in enjoying our day. That was absolutely the case and this was due to wonderful suppliers and time invested up front.

Claire Pettibone for a pastel wedding in Lancashire (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (48)

My other top tip would be to leave a couple of days before the wedding when you literally are all planned out and have time to relax. We finished all of the final details the weekend before so I had two days with my bridesmaids and my mum and had time to write cards, wrap presents and be pampered!

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lookbook. bell sleeves

May 19th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Delphine Manivet - Jonas

At one point strapless dresses had the monopoly on the bride-to-be market but ever since Miss Middleton covered her arms for her Westminster wedding sleeves have rocketed in popularity. Copy-Kate full-lace sleeves quickly appeared in designers’ collections giving ladies the opportunity to rock the royal look for their own big day. And as bridal trends have developed so too have sleeved designs.

We’ve seen sheer illusion like sleeves as well as those with cut out detailing and now as 70s fashions are resurrected to the fashion catwalks, big, blousy sleeved wedding dress designs are making an impact on the bridal catwalks too.

A perfect style for fashion forward brides opting for an informal outdoor ceremony, the designs are what we would call carefree couture. The beautifully cut silhouettes are fluid but without gripping every inch of the body enabling brides above a size 8 to get in on the effortless boho look.

Delphine Manivet - Aliocha

For ladies that like to keep things simple there are plain designs with elegant V necklines and long flowing skirts to mirror the ethereal bell-type sleeves. Hayley Paige’s Blush gown and Stone Fox Bride’s Frida are perfect examples.

Meanwhile for those wanting their dress to do a bit more talking there are designs with dainty cut out detailing as well as those featuring panels of differing materials such as lace and tulle. And while V necklines are certainly the most prominent, it’s possible to find designs with edgy alternatives like high-neck and off-the-shoulder creations.

Delphine Manivet - Amedee

Some of our favourite examples comefrom Delphine Manivet. The Tobivas and Amedee designs are stunning choices for brides with killer collar bones while Jonas provides plenty of cover-up but without losing shape.

Plus let’s not forget that in terms of proportions covering up one area of the body entitles you to expose another, so if you’re arms will be under wraps why not look for backless boho design so you can still flash some flesh?

Delphine Manivet - Maurice

The boho look shouldn’t be totally ruled out by brides in favour of high detailing either as certain designers are peppering their bell-sleeved beauties with sparkles and shine. Claire Pettibone is one such designer that has included boho/glam gowns, complete with sensational sleeves, within her collections. Ariel and Angelica from her latest Gothic Angel collection are among our top picks as well as plainer designs, Bianca and Laurel from her Romantique collection.

And it looks like there’s more to come. Having been at White Gallery in London this week we’ve spotted several designers that have incorporated flowing statement sleeves into their new collections, either as part of the dress itself, or as separate jackets or overlays which can give brides the option of two looks for their big day.

Delphine Manivet - Tobias

Whichever sleeved design catches your eye bear in mind that the finishing touches can really help take your look up to wow-factor level. Flamboyant florals in flower crowns and wild-looking bouquets lend themselves incredibly well to the boho look and instantly add interest to brides opting for less detailed dress designs. If however you feel a floral crown or elaborate bouquet would perhaps steal too much of the limelight, there is always the option to weave just one or two blooms into your chosen hairstyle to project that flawless free-spirit image.

Main feature images courtesy of Delphine Manivet, see our gallery for gown names and further referenced designers. 

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look book: a cut above

April 17th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Hayley Paige HP6450

Hayley Paige – HP6450

If we said cut-out wedding dress to you there’s a good chance horrifying thoughts of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding would spring to mind. But fear not, the type of dresses we’re referring to in today’s look book post are oh-so-elegant designs that reveal just the right amount of flesh and are set to be one of the biggest bridal trends on the 2015 catwalks.

We’ve witnessed cut-out detailing on in the fashion world over the past year or so, and while some designs brought out the inner-Jordan (cue the revealing bodycon) others demonstrate how baring just a little skin can be both sexy & sophisticated.

Reem Acra (2)

Reem Acra

In bridal wear designers are using cut-out detailing in numerous different ways to create dresses with graceful peek-a-boo charm. This means brides can choose which part of their figure they wish to flaunt – whether it be their chest, shoulders or midriff.

Hayley Paige HP6513

Hayley Paige – HP6513

Dresses with keyhole detailing in the back have been popular for a while now though designers appear to be getting bolder with their creations by cutting away more fabric than before. Some have also chosen to lower the keyhole from the shoulder blade area down to the lower back, which is considered a more flirtatious area of the body to reveal. Braver still, designers such as Hayley Paige offer gowns that border on being completely backless. Pretty detailing in floral corsages and intricate embellishing ensure that such dresses remain tasteful rather than tarty.

Keyhole detailing has also crept around to the front of some dress designs to reveal a little of the chest area, or even a glimpse of cleavage. These designs suit small framed brides beautifully but perhaps larger-busted ladies should give them a swerve so not to shock their vicar.

Claire Pettibone Adagio

Claire Pettibone – Adagio

Elsewhere designers are using cut-out detailing by getting creative with straps for a high fashion look. Again, Hayley Paige offers some head-turning examples within her collections – HP6450 and HP6513 being standout designs.

Hayley Paige HP6463

Hayley Paige – HP6463

For body confident brides there are some incredibly striking gowns with cut out detailing in the bodice of the dress which expose areas of the waist, hips and stomach. Reem Acra and Badgley Mischka are particularly talented at producing such dresses.

The level of exposure varies from small slits or triangles in the side of the dress, which can help accentuate a bride’s curves, to fuller areas of the torso being revealed, which might require a fair few pre-wedding-day planks to pull off.

Claire Pettibone Rachel 9back)

Claire Pettibone – Rachel

If you like the idea of flashing a your midriff but don’t want to strip back to the bare skin, there are designs that use pretty sheer fabrics to create an illusion cut away for that extra bit of coverage. Those that would prefer to keep the cut-out detailing at the top of the dress can also take advantage of effective illusion designs adorned with pretty embellishing for that extra wow factor.

Reem Acra

Reem Acra

Read on for more gowns in our Gallery…

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