February 22nd, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
This afternoon we’re talking about sculpted columns, bold lines and architectural sweeps – but this isn’t a piece about wedding venues, oh no, it’s all about dresses – specifically, simple, fuss free-wedding gowns with clean lines and sleek silhouettes.
There’s something about a minimalist gown that, while timeless, has a simultaneous up-to-the-minute feel perfect for a fashion-forward bride. Here at Brides up North we love the edginess of a dress with less, and we’ve gathered together a whole lovely loot of unadorned beauties for your browsing pleasure.
Main post images by Cortana.
First up is Spanish designer Cortana, a label which boasts a romantic, boho vibe. We love the luxe factor of the Gala gown; a silk satin bias-cut beauty which looks slinky and effortlessly chic. The attention to detail is just stunning – that diagonal row of silk-covered buttons on the back gives us all the feels – and the thin straps feel bold and youthful and a little bit 90s-Calvin-Klein, which is always a good thing in case you’re wondering.
The Cortana collection also features the stunningly minimalist Grace with daring back and thin crossed strap detail and the silk brocade Linda, made with a touch of lurex to give a super-flattering fit and stretch. There’s also the Valentina which, quite frankly, makes my heart sing – the boat neckline! The sleek drapery! And is a strong contender in my frequent ‘What Would I Wear If I Got Married Again?’ mental debate (don’t mention that to my husband, kaythanks?)
Onwards to a Brides Up North favourite – the always-opulent Eliza Jane Howell. EJH is known for their decadent vintage designs, and so might not seem a natural bedfellow of the Clean Lines brigade. However, in Gill Harvey’s recent collections, we’re seeing subtlety, simplicity and lots of plain silk alongside the embellishment and embroidery. Belle from the Leading Lady collection is a stunner with a contemporary feel, complete with bold halterneck, textured figure-hugging fabric and a daring sheer back. Daisy from the Legend collection and Clarissa from the Debutante range are unquestionably more vintage in style but still simple and sleek, with Daisy offering the tiniest hint of embellishment and Clarissa’s floaty sleeves a great option for brides less inclined to bare. Luna from the Stardust range gets close to the fussier end of the spectrum with its frothy skirt and mini train, but the long sleeves, close fit and semi-sheer overlay is dreamily clean and sculpted.
February 9th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
We may be desperately trying to shake off the current cold season and focus on the brighter months ahead, but we’re finishing the week with a truly delectable dose of winter wedding inspiration.
Those of you planning your wedding for such time of year are certainly going to want to have your Pinning-fingers at the ready, as this shoot epitomises an opulent winter wedding at its finest, complete with a warming palette of golds and berry reds, plus plenty of crystal and jewel detailing.
Engineered by a talented group of Yorkshire suppliers, the shoot, captured late last year, took some of its inspiration from festive season and shows how utterly gorgeous an alternative Christmas wedding can be – thankfully there’s not a single candy cane in sight!
Here to tell us more is the award-winning Betty Timbo of Bespoke Vintage Castle, who made the beautiful accessories featured in the shoot – including a rather gorgeous clutch bag that us magpies at Brides Up North just love!
With images by Jane Beadnell Photography.
betty says: The shoot was inspired by all things seasonal and wonderful, full of rich vibrancy, opulent flowers and exciting glittery elements. A jubilant collection of colours, moods and textures were evoked by the Christmas spirit with the shoot taking place late last year. We were also keen to showcase the very best Yorkshire talent and what a wedding could be like when this theme comes together.
The location – The Orangery at Settrington – was perfectly chosen by photographer Jane Beadnell, who wanted to capture a place with bold structure, clean colours and a decadent finish. We loved the venue’s large windows that drew in the cooling winter sun, stunning pillars that shaped the room and the warming glow of the muted colour palette. We were free to roam the grounds and were met with beautiful leafy arches, artistic sculptures and marble structures. The Orangery at Settrington is a beautiful location in all seasons and we really wanted to showcase all its art, beauty and refinement in our finished images.
The decoration was beautifully designed and put together by Laura from Ambience Venue Styling in York. The team worked with a rich, opulent burgundy, gold and red tonal colour palette and there were tables laden with scented candles, extravagant golden cutlery and sequined tablecloths.
The stunning cakes by Zoe’s Fancy Cakes echoed the colour theme and were each hand-adorned with colours and breath-taking artwork.
December 7th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
Eliza Jane Howell
T’is the season to be festive and that means going all out with the glitz and the glamour – we’re talking heavily embellished, glittering gowns to send your betrothed weak at the knees, full-on swishy skirts a princess would be proud of (take note, Meghan) and gold and silver metallics to make your guests’ jaws drop. Feast your eyes on these glitz and glam gowns.
First stop on the train to destination sparkle is Jenny Packham, an expert at marrying glittery gorgeousness with an elegant silhouette. Take the romantically named Valentine – an extravagantly detailed bodice balanced with a crepe lace skirt – and the Euphoria, which is embellished from head to toe in flattering vertical contours. Awe epitomises daring sophistication – a crystal-encrusted figure-hugging number that balances a plunging neckline with beautiful cap sleeves – while Rapture is star-studded and glorious.
For serious swishability style points, Hayley Paige is right on the money, with dreamy skirts just begging to be whisked around a fairy-tale dance floor. We’re awarding the Gael a whopping 10/10 on the swishability scale – an embellished ball gown with dimensional floral beading and embroidery, a rhinestone-beaded strap, a low open back and, of course, that glorious full tulle skirt. Hot on its heels is the Lincoln, a sequin- and crystal-encrusted ball gown with a full, layered tulle skirt and the Rory, a lace ball gown with cashmere lining and a full, cascading tulle skirt. Just don’t swish too close to the candles.
Eliza Jane Howell
Eliza Jane Howell’s collections take us on a historical journey, each gown evoking an era and style that is breath-taking. Within the Stardust collection you’ll find sassy silver dresses exploding with pizzazz. Take Portia, Zeta and Comet – you could be forgiven for thinking real stars lie captured in the shimmering fabrics. Full-on, unforgettable dazzle with a vintage vibe: not what your guests will expect. If you love a bit of silver but want to tone it down a bit, take a look at the Fredrika, a flapper-style, rather regal gown, and the Hope, with its art deco vibe. Both rock a beautiful silvery accent that delivers more than just a nod to the party season.
From shimmering silver to glimmering gold, Ruth Milliam is showcasing statement gold-kissed gowns this season – some a little whacky, like the yellow-tinted Orphelia. We love the Tatiana, with its hand-sewn gold-leaf beading, and the Bianca, a voluminous tulle skirt with delicate floral lace topped with gold detailed straps. For the bold bride there’s the Ianthe, a long-sleeved gold and silver hand-beaded gown that doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination but is balanced with a full, silk organza skirt. Milliam gowns are made to order and can be hand-dyed to any colour so, if you fancy a jolly Father Christmas red for your Christmas Eve wedding, you can go for it! Who said a bride should wear white?
August 22nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Some brides adopt the subtlest hint of a theme – a whisper of a winter wedding, a flicker of a fairytale feel – and some brides go to town. In case you’re wondering, today’s 1920s Great Gatsby-inspired wedding is very much the latter, and when we first saw these breath-taking photographs we could barely contain our glee.
The lovely Victoria and William set out to wow with a wedding that would pay tribute to Fitzgerald’s compelling love story – with all of the romance and none of the tragedy, obviously – as well as recreating the decadent party vibes and stunning 1920s styling of Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 film version.
Looking at these stunning photographs, I’m a believer – Gatsby and Daisy are very much alive and living a beautiful alternative reality after getting hitched in an Eliza Jane Howell frock and a striking bespoke suit. And they danced the night away – the Charleston, of course. Our very favourite type of ending – a happy one.
With images by Todd & Moore Photography.
victoria says: We were engaged on the 30th January 2015. William took me away to the Black Swan at Oldstead, a Michelin Star restaurant run by the successful Great British Menu-winning chef Tommy Banks. Dinner was an elaborate tasting menu and, as one of the dessert courses was being served, the waitress placed an open ring box in the middle of a display of Douglas fir. Out of an ethereal mist created by dry ice, the ring – a marquis solitaire diamond – revealed itself. It all happened in the blink of an eye, and was a huge surprise – one that William had clearly put a lot of thought and planning into.
We were married on the 18th March 2017. My sister was to be married in March 2016 and so we decided to wait until the following March and keep tradition going as my parents also married in March almost 50 years ago!
We were married at Goldsborough Church: an ancient parish church in the village of Goldsborough, North Yorkshire, and adjacent to Goldsborough Hall where we held the reception. We chose Goldsborough as it had connections to Harewood where we live and, as we were planning a 1920s Great Gatsby-style wedding, we felt it would fit perfectly. We also wanted a venue where we could have exclusive use for the day and somewhere our close family and friends could stay overnight.
The 1920s Great Gatsby theme stemmed from the fact that we wanted to do something totally different and that no one would expect. We both love the film and its opulent party style, and so an idea was born.
Everything was inspired by the Art Deco period, so black and gold in the main with lots of feathers, pearls and orchids.
I wore a 1920s style Eliza Jane Howell dress. I purchased it from Bridal Rogue Gallery in Harrogate. I also carried a fan made from ivory ostrich feathers made by Kathrine at Fleur Adamo. It was befitting of the era and looked stunning.
William wore a specially designed three-piece suit by Roodduke Bespoke Tailoring, York.
August 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Naeem Khan – Chrysler
Today’s look book is all about those subtle details and gorgeous embellishments that can transform an otherwise ordinary wedding dress into something extra special and utterly Instagram-worthy.
Usually – and quite rightly so – we focus on the overall style and fit of a gown, not to mention the sumptuous lace, tulle or silk fabrics and such like. But, for us, the delicate embroidery and finer detailing are where it’s at when it comes to choosing your dream dress.
Whether it’s flapper-esque fringes (we’ll never ever tire of a Gatsby throwback), intricate beading or dazzling diamantes, there’s lots to capture the imagination of the discerning bride-to-be – and add a touch of sparkle too, of course. Vintage, glamorous, kitsch, contemporary – whatever the style or theme, there’s an embellishment out there to make your gown quite literally the perfect fit for your special day.
As always, here at Brides Up North, we’re looking to some of our favourite designers as well as the runways for top bridal fashion inspo and have rounded up a few of the most coveted looks you’ll find on the rails this season.
Jenny Packham – Harmonica
Jenny Packham’s demure styles ooze a feminine aesthetic and timeless elegance; and we can see why her designs are so popular among the celebrity elite, thanks to their floaty, slinky silhouettes. Treasure is one of our favourites from the new 2018 collection – a beautifully embellished ivory gown, brimming in sparkle but by no means OTT. Combining plush silk chiffon with a fringe studded lace panel – Harmony is another gorgeous creation guaranteed to make a statement. By contrast, the barley-hued Dare gown is all about the shimmer, with a heady dose of sequins for a full-on spectacle, and the ever so pretty Verity & Bloom halter neck dress is altogether more understated, with a pretty pearl and crystal-adorned bodice.
Fringing, feathers and floral appliques feature heavily in the new collection from designer Naeem Khan. Be warned though, these designs aren’t for the fainthearted bride! The Chrysler gown is embellishment at its best, with swathes of fringes and flashes of silver tumbling from the fabric, head to toe. We just love the flapper look embodied by the Argentina dress; skimming the knee with frivolous fringing and plenty of sparkle. Then there’s the Sedona from the Fall 2017 collection – an ultra-chic and glam gown – we’re talking silk fringes (perfect for swishing around on the dance floor!) and a jewel-embroidered neck. If you’re daring to be different on your big day and fancy a couture-inspired moment while walking down the aisle, then this is the designer for you.
Eliza Jane Howell – Luna
Sabrina Dahan’s ethereal styled gowns are dreamy creations, pairing lavish fabrics with dainty beading and subtle hints of shimmer. The Isabelle gown brings the pretty by the bucket load and is, we think, the epitome of bridal elegance. As for the stylish Liliane – who could resist that beautiful tulle wrap and pretty floral detailing? The Sylvie, meanwhile, is a gorgeous backless number from the new spring 2018 collection, boasting that sought-after fuller skirt and a sprinkling of twinkly sequins.
For supreme vintage glamour, look no further than Eliza Jane Howell, another favourite of ours whose designs look to the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 30s for bridal inspiration. The new Stardust Collection is brimming with decadent, unstructured gowns, adorned with exquisite embroidery – perfect for the modern-day bride after a retro twist. The Tucana with its fabulous billowing sleeves and the Aerial with its floral detailing are just two of this season’s stunning highlights.
With so many options (and let’s be honest, we’ve only featured a mere snapshot of what’s out there!), any sparkle-loving brides-to-be will certainly be spoilt for choice.
February 28th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Could there be anything more special than hosting your wedding reception in a friend’s garden? Today’s couple did exactly that – and we simply adore everything about their laid-back and very personal day.
Hayley and Gary exchanged their vows at the most picture-perfect, quaint church, before heading onto a close friend’s house to celebrate inside a beautiful marquee decorated with paper lanterns.
We think this might just be country chic at its very best.
Images by Kimberley Waterson Fine Art Photography
hayley says: Gary proposed on 23 November 2014 in Grand Central Station, New York.
Firstly, Gary surprised me with the trip to New York. I knew I was travelling overseas, I just didn’t know where that was until we arrived at the airport. I even carried my engagement ring in my hand luggage without realising!
Little did I know until after the proposal that Gary had been having a nightmare with his three chosen locations for where to propose, due to TV film crews, swarms of seagulls, children throwing food, and busy crowds in unexpected areas. We eventually arrived at Grand Central Station in the afternoon where he made an amazing job of asking me to be his wife!
We got married two years later on Saturday 27 August 2016. We always knew we wanted to have the wedding on a bank holiday. In order to plan and save for the day properly we picked this month. We also hoped for sunshine with it being in the summer!
Although we are both originally from Co Durham in the North East, Gary’s work has taken him to the south. We decided to get married in the small local church in Lindsell, Essex. This is where Gary now works and lives. We then had the wedding reception in Gary’s employer and very close friend’s garden at his home.
Gary is a professional carer for individuals with spinal injuries. He works and lives with the man who he cares for. Martin, or Tiny as everyone knows him, is a very special person to both of us. His extended generosity to hold the wedding at his home is precedent for the loving and caring man he is. He is very much like a father figure to us both; so much so that he provided the Father of the Bride/Groom speech on the day – and did a fantastic job!
The main wish for our day was for everyone to be as relaxed as possible and to have fun. We therefore adopted a theme for our day of an informal garden party. Our chosen style was vintage country.
The main colours for the day were mint green, dusky pink and gold. I always imagined these colours would work well together and we both agreed these complimented the vintage country style.
I wore a bridal gown named Elsa from designer Eliza Jane Howell, purchased from Kathryn S Trueman Bridal and Occasions in Morpeth. I initially did not have a preference for a style or shape of dress. I wanted to find something I could move around and eat in – and something unique!
After trying on lots of dresses, I knew I wanted something with a higher neckline and coverage on my arms. This designer has such a 1920s vintage style and this particular dress was lightweight, with a soft sequin covering, small train, ¾ batwing sleeves and high neckline – perfect! I knew it was the one when my mam cried when she saw me wearing it. I felt like a perfect bride!
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