Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

pronovias perfection. blush & gold for an elegant wedding at oulton hall – abbie & darren

February 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Belle & Beau Photography (30)

Today we are welcoming Abbie and Darren back to the blog to share their big day with us, having previously shared their sweet engagement shoot on our pretty pages.

This wedding is a lesson in luxe styling – there’s a pair of Valentino Rockstuds softened by some perfect floral detailing, romantic calligraphy and plenty of gold and blush accents.

Quite frankly, Abbie and Darren’s big day at Leeds’ stunning venue Oulton Hall, gives us goosebumps.

Today’s mantra? Go gorgeous, or go home.

With images by Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Belle & Beau Photography (35)

abbie says: We got engaged in Santorini in June 2014; it was just perfect. Darren presented me with a gorgeous princess cut diamond ring, which was exactly what I wanted. Our engagement shoot was featured on Brides Up North last year.

Our wedding date was Saturday 30th July 2016. We chose this date because we wanted a summer weekend wedding, plus it means we get to celebrate our anniversary in summer – who wouldn’t want that? I’d always wanted a string quartet at our wedding and had pictured them playing outside while our guests enjoyed the summer weather and drinks. Amazingly, it was a beautiful summer day and the dream became the reality!

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Belle & Beau Photography (27)

We got married at Oulton Hall in Leeds. I’ve always loved this venue as it has the modern décor I adore while still having the charm of an older building. We also loved the courtyard which turned out to be perfect for the drinks reception.

The style of our wedding was elegant and romantic, with lots of floral patterning, blush and gold tones and lots of white. I love these colours and Darren let me run away with my ideas for the colour scheme!

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Belle & Beau Photography (20)

I choose a Pronovias gown called Duende from Bridal Rogue Gallery in Harrogate. After trying on probably around 20 dresses, I just knew this was the one. I hadn’t wanted tulle to start off with – in fact, I had my heart set on a lace fishtail gown. However, after lots and lots of trying on, I still couldn’t find one to fit the bill. My dress was the perfect mix of tulle and lace and I customised it to make it perfectly ‘me’ – it originally had feathers! I also wore a pair of Valentino nude rockstud heels – man, I love those shoes! I also wore a pair of diamond earrings that were gifted to me by Darren the morning of the wedding.

Darren wore a dark navy suit from French Connection with a navy bow tie. He wore a pair of brown Ted Baker shoes to complement the suit. I know I’m biased, but he looked so handsome!

Our bridesmaids wore fitted fishtail blush dresses from Coast. I wanted my bridal party to feel gorgeous and they got lots and lots of compliments on the day.

An Elegant Wedding at Oulton Hall (c) Belle & Beau Photography (49)

The makeup artists for the bridal party was Frankie of Makeup by Frankie. I would recommend her wholeheartedly to any bride. My sister was so nervous about having her makeup done but Frankie put her completely at ease and my sister was delighted with the result. We also used a brilliant hairdresser, Bridget of Hair One located in Ossett. Again, I’d recommend Bridget to any bride-to-be.

Our groomsmen and both fathers wore navy suits from Slaters with navy ties – we wanted them to match but make sure that Darren stood out. It all ended up looking perfect.

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a touch of class. enzoani for a romantic wedding at the grand hotel and spa – hannah & michael

October 31st, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog we bring you Hannah and Michael’s special day, at the beautiful five-star Grand Hotel and Spa, in York. The historic city was already close to the couple’s hearts and they were totally won over by the Edwardian venue’s truly romantic backdrop.

Opting for a gorgeous gold, bronze and blush pink colour scheme complemented by an abundance of candles, petals and even pom poms – this is a wedding exuding understated glamour and charm.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Richard Perry Photography.

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hannah says: We got engaged at home, in our living room, on 13th April. Everything was pretty hectic as we were planning a move to the Middle East with Michael’s job. It was just perfect, I was sat playing with our little boy, Archie, and Michael literally gave me the shock of my life as he appeared with a box and got down on one knee to propose. I couldn’t believe it!

We got married on 4th August 2016 – we didn’t want to wait, plus I had always really wanted a summer wedding. With it being last minute, we were limited by dates but after settling on August, this date just seemed right.

Our wedding venue was The Grand Hotel and Spa, in York. We knew the venue had to be in York as it has a lot of special memories for us – from our first date to the birth of our son, as well as it being my hometown. I fell in love with The Grand Hotel from the moment I saw the grand boardroom; the venue’s elegance and history was just perfect.

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Our wedding theme was vintage glamour with a touch of romance. I wanted something with class and sophistication, and once we found the venue, I knew that the grand features of the hotel would work perfectly. As for the colour scheme, this focused on gold, bronze and blush pink.

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I found my wedding dress at The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in North Yorkshire. I always knew this would be my starting place, as I know the owner Diana through a close friend. As soon as I stepped into the boutique I knew my dream dress would be in there, somewhere. After trying every different style and fit, I finally found the one – that butterfly feeling was most certainly there! I chose an Enzoani gown in ivory; a vintage style silk and lace embellished dress. It matched the venue and style of the wedding perfectly. I could not recommend Diana and The Little Pearl more. I had the most magical experience from start to finish and felt like a true princess. Diana didn’t miss a detail and would go out of her way to accommodate any request.

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Michael wore a pale blue French Connection suit with a blush pink tie from Reiss. His shirt was from The Kooples and he bought shoes from Jones Bootmaker.

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real wedding recap: enzoani for a wonderfully whimsical wedding in the north west – natalie & jamie

June 21st, 2016 | Julia Braime

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th July 2016 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

A Secret Garden Wedding (c) Stella Photography (69)

Wow! is the word that we would use to sum up today’s real wedding on the blog!

We love everything about Natalie & Jamie’s big day, built around a secret-fair-garden-type theme.

Natalie’s stunning dress, bouquet and super cute daisy chain headband make her look wonderfully whimsical and elegant and we could spend an age just looking at her, though there are lots of other gorgeous elements to take note of, including the maids’ cute dresses and incredible centre pieces.

Prepare to swoon…

With images by Stella Photography.

A Secret Garden Wedding (c) Stella Photography (67)

A Secret Garden Wedding (c) Stella Photography (39)

natalie says: We got engaged on a beautiful beach in Portugal. Jamie’s plan was to propose on a jet ski, but as I don’t like the sea, I refused to get on! His backup plan was to propose in one of the caves in the sea…again, I was awkward and refused to take part! Eventually, he gave in and proposed on the beach.

Our wedding was on 23rd May 2015, at The Great Hall at Mains in Lancashire. We chose the venue as its very local to us (literally round the corner from our house). As we were only having a small wedding, it was important that all our guests would be able to make it!

A Secret Garden Wedding (c) Stella Photography (31)

We wanted to choose a theme that suited our style and that wasn’t too serious. We’re not massive fans of traditional weddings so we wanted something a little bit different. In the end we chose a whimsical theme – like a secret fairy garden.

The colour scheme was mainly pale pink and apple green. I didn’t have a scheme in mind until we went shopping for bridesmaids dresses – the dresses we found were perfect for the theme so they determined the colour scheme!

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floral fairytale. charlotte balbier for a beautifully styled wedding in scotland – allanah & andy

September 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (51)

Though today’s bride Allanah didn’t want an obvious theme or colour scheme for her wedding, the details of the day harmonise together so well that you could be forgiven for thinking this is a styled shoot rather than a couple’s big day.

The clear clue that it’s not a shoot however, is the genuine expressions of joy, excitement and love upon the faces of the bride, groom and their guests.

I’m certain I’d have been smiling from ear to ear if I was present at this wedding too. Just look at the venue, those flowers, that cake and Allanah’s stunning dress, designed by sponsor and friend of Brides Up North no less, the fabulous Charlotte Balbier.

So sit back and allow yourself to be captivated by the beauty!

With images by Kitchener Photography.

allanah says: We got engaged in April 2014 while on holiday in Japan. We were visiting Daigo-Ji in Kyoto and Andy proposed in a garden on the grounds. Cherry blossom season was just starting and the temple itself was very quiet, it was beautiful. That night we celebrated with a special dinner in the Geisha district and we saw the elusive Geishas. The proposal was much unexpected and we enjoyed the rest of the trip keeping the engagement a secret, apart from telling our parents.

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (14)

Our wedding date was 18th April 2015. We had wanted to get married in the summer but there was only a few dates left at our venue so we ended up with April, which in the end was perfect because we had a really sunny, warm day!

We got married at The Byre at Inchyra in Perthshire. We had gone to a wedding in tipis and loved the idea of having the venue somewhere a bit different. The Byre was still a building site when we went to view it but the space was perfect and we knew right away it was the venue for us so cancelled all other venue appointments! We loved how it was rustic yet had all the mod cons so we didn’t have to worry about adding kitchens or toilets!

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (19)

We didn’t choose to have a theme but words that came up often when talking to suppliers were rustic, elegant, and informal. We wanted to capture a feeling so directed lots of attention to making our guests have a great time and making it really personal to us. Flowers, dancing and food probably captured the day pretty well!

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (25)

I love the Sofia Coppola Miss Dior adverts so I was inspired by those where everything looks beautiful and polished but you’re having so much fun, it doesn’t matter if the dress gets dirty or your hair falls out or you forget to do something. If there had been a fountain, I’d have probably gotten in it!

We didn’t really have a colour scheme either, we just went with what we liked. We were definitely led by the flowers and they were whites, pastel pinks and light greens. The crockery was all mismatched and we just went with plain white linen so everything popped against it.

In terms of matching bridesmaids to groomsmen, we just did our own thing and I think it turned out for the best. The bridesmaids wore navy and the groomsmen had dark green ties. Nothing was too ‘matchy matchy’ but the colours blended well against each other.

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (34)

I wore the Iscoyd dress from Charlotte Balbier, bought at Kudos in Edinburgh. It was the only dress that I felt myself in, the neckline especially reminded me of my favourite LBD and I could dance in it, which was very important (I did a lot of pretend dancing in bridal stores)! I also liked how it had the gold detail and swiss dot lace, lots of little details. I can’t rate the service from Kudos enough, they really provide a 360 degree service and nothing was too much trouble. I would also recommend Charlotte Balbier wholeheartedly, from personal emails from Charlotte to custom making a veil to match the colour of the dress in a length I wanted, plus it’s made in Britain and a sense of ‘buy local’ was important to me.

On the wedding day I also wore a delicate flower crown in my hair made by an artisan crafter in Paris, I trawled for ages looking for something that wasn’t sparkly and came across Lysa Creation. The flowers are made from Japanese resin and they also supply French couture houses with these flowers so if it’s good enough for Chanel!

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (38)

Andy is a Yorkshireman but chose to wear a tweed kilt from Nicolsons Kiltmakers of Edinburgh. He also wore a buttonhole of ranunculus and eucalyptus. The groomsmen all wore matching kilts with a different tweed jacket to Andy. And the same buttonholes.

The bridesmaids wore navy strapless dresses with a sweetheart neckline from French Connection, which suited all of them. Our flower girl, who is my sister Scarlett, wore the Estelle dress from Monsoon with a little cardigan and a flower crown in her hair – so sweet!

On the day my bridesmaids and I had our makeup done by Emma Motion, who made everyone look exquisite and has a really calm presence. I fully endorse Emma! Our hair was by Gillian of Pin Up Hair Glasgow. Again, Gillian was so much fun to have there on the day and all the girls looked great with subtle braided updos with a hair grip from Anthropologie. For myself I wanted it quite loose, inspired by Katherine Ross in the Graduate with some Priscilla Presley vibes thrown in so we did an epic bow dry.

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (47)

We chose Kitchener Photography, a husband and wife team, Joanna and Dylan who live in Edinburgh. They’re really known for their stunning elopements and dramatic landscapes so we were thrilled to have them for the day. We both loved their use of natural light, there’s no flash photography, and their documentary style captured so many wonderful moments.

We also had the day filmed by Joe from Edinburgh Wedding Videos who did a fantastic job, we’ve had so many compliments on the highlight reel.

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (52)

I carried a hand tied bouquet of white anemones (my favourite flowers) alongside eucalyptus, pink ranunculus, pink chrysanthemums and white astilbe. They were made by Hannah of Vintage Gathering based in Edinburgh, who was fantastic. We met with her and shared all of our ideas and we shared a lot over Pinterest.

The alter where we got married had a floating flower wall and Hannah dressed the room with lots of foliage, garlands and scatters of daisies and gypsophila. I had no idea she was going to do anything like that. She also made garlands for the Byre pillars and floated flowers in the original stone troughs in The Byre, which were also filled with floating candles.

On tables we had glass jars collected and decorated with antique lace by Andy and myself two nights before the wedding. I wanted to do a little of the flowers myself so my bridesmaids and I, along with my mum and stepmum, arranged them the day before sitting out in the sunshine. We bought buckets of flowers from the Country Garden Company, you provide a colour palette and get flowers to fit – we got anemones, tulips, ranunculus and so many more!

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (54)

We weren’t really fussed about favours having been to so many weddings where they are left on tables so went with pairs of macarons in glassine bags for everyone – a sugary pick me up!

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (56)

Our cake was made by our caterer, Lazy Sunday. I was initially going to bake my own cake but decided against adding one more thing to the list and Carole was happy to do it. We didn’t want a traditional cake, instead we had a lemon sponge with buttercream icing and jam filling, covered in buttercream. The cake was beautifully decorated with flowers, and Sepia Smiles from Etsy made the cupids arrow to ‘shoot’ through it.

Carole from Lazy Sunday really had the measure of us! We met her and within days she sent us a sample menu which was perfect. Andy is a really good cook and I come from an Italian background and love to eat family style so Carole put together sharing platters of Scottish charcuterie meats, scallops, langoustines and breads and salads. Followed by the tenderest lamb over lentils – it melted like butter. We then had a dessert table filled with individual posset, meringue, macarons, cheesecakes and brownies!  The food was certainly a talking point! I can’t recommend Lazy Sunday enough and I’m bothering her about doing supper clubs just to eat her food again!

Carole also put together an evening snack of macaroni and cheese and pies – which Andy, as a diehard Yorkshireman, insisted upon, though he never got one in the end!

My friend and bridesmaid Kirsty, organised the all wine as she works for a wine merchants. Kirsty also designed the personalised wine bottles for us.

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (6)

To entertain our guests, we chose a band called Daytura. We did a long trawl for a band and really liked how they made songs their own. They did an excellent job of performing the first dance for us, The Vaccines, I Always Knew.

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (7)

We did a lot of DIY to make the day all the more personal. I tea-stained luggage tags and crumpled them up to make place settings – my poor hands were stained for days!

Because The Byre is so big, we wanted to be creative with use of space so we created a mini area on the dance floor so people could join in with the band and take a break from dancing. We also had giant gold foil balloons spelling out ‘dance’- a subtle reminder!

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (11)

The photo table plan was Andy’s pride and joy. His mum sourced the antique gold frame and Andy put it all together. We liked how it made the wedding a bit more intimate rather than names on a piece of paper and had a lot of fun choosing photos. We found Square Snaps to be a really fast supplier!

Andy also made the signs directing people to the wedding with his dad and they even had an appearance at my bridesmaid Jennie’s wedding a few months later and I think Andy’s sister might use them too!

We also had a Polaroid guest book, we just left the camera with lots of film and props in the Stable Room seeing as the flower wall would make a nice backdrop – it’s one of our favourite parts of the wedding, the photos are so funny.

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (29)

For stationary we used Teri of The Lovely Drawer. Teri was incredibly patient and creative and everyone should follow her blog for home design inspiration! We had everything printed via printed.com to reduce stationary costs and put towards more wine instead!

Finally, our natural confetti was from the Confetti Cone Company and it was definitely top quality for a really reasonable price.

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (60)

We would most definitely recommend our choice of venue. You can really put your stamp on it. There’s so much flexibility with how you can set it up that no two weddings look the same. You do need to be well organised since there isn’t an event manager and it is a blank canvas venue but Caroline and James are always on hand to answer your questions and were incredible in the lead up to the wedding.

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (61)

The highlight of the day for me was getting married to Andy and having everyone we love and care about there. We had a humanist ceremony and being able to totally personalise every aspect of the ceremony made it really memorable. Also, spending the day with all our favourite people was amazing. I’ve never laughed or danced so much – we have the best friends and family. People are still telling us how much fun they had and how the food will go down in history!

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (68)

For our honeymoon we went to Sri Lanka first, for a few days of intense sightseeing, then onto The Maldives for intense relaxation.

A Stylish Wedding in Scotland (c) Kitchener Photography (67)

After my wedding I was bridesmaid for two of my best friends and my one bit of advice to them, which I would pass on to other Brides Up North, was not to worry about it if things don’t go to plan because at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter and you’re too busy having a good time to really care. Also, one thing we did which has inspired a few others is to request that no-one takes photographs during the ceremony apart from the official photographers. It really makes a difference as everyone is enjoying the moment and not attached to phones. Finally, when planning, record every single pound you’re spending into a spreadsheet.

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friday fabulous!

March 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Coco

This shimmery little number will be by your side on the big day and beyond.

Coco Embellished Clutch, £90 by French Connection

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hey cupid… a valentine’s day wish list

February 12th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Valentines Wish List

Whether you consider it a day of passion or a commercial con, valentine’s day is the perfect time to swindle a lovely gift out of your other half.

You might be lucky enough to have a romantic fella whose already got your pressie all wrapped up, as well as a table booked at your favourite restaurant. However, if like many of us you fear your beau is more likely to remember when Pancake Day is in February rather than Valentine’s there is still time to drop some major hints so he’ll hot-foot it to the shops before Saturday.

So get leaving your laptop open on web pages displaying your top Valentine’s picks, circle wish list items in magazines and remember to mention that your perfume is running exceptionally low.

And if you’re in need of a little inspiration we’ve put together some top Valentine’s gift ideas right here – good luck ladies!

french connection Rhea clutch bag, £75

This block colour clutch bag in Brides Up North’s favourite hue – pink – is big enough to cradle ladies’ essentials during both the day and night making it a great all rounder.

kurt geiger Sharkie shoes, £250

As the warmer spring/summer season approaches ladies’ wardrobes will be crying out for a pair of killer nude heels – and Geiger’s Sharkie heels certainly tick the boxes. The classic court-shoe design is brought bang up to date by featuring one of the season’s top material effects – mesh.

lancome La vie est belle Eau de Parfum Légère 50ml, £52

It might not take too much thinking outside the box, but a bottle of perfume will land most men in the good books. Lancôme’s latest feminine fragrance, La vie est belle Eau de Parfum Légère blends jasmine sambac, orange blossom and  patchouli essence for an irresistible spritz contained in an elegant bottle.

marks & spencer silk lace bra and knickers, £27.50, £12.50

She’s only gone and done it again! Stunning model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has created yet another swoon-worthy lingerie set for her Autograph collection and M&S. Pretty in pink this set is the epitome of romance, featuring silk and lace, all topped off with a pretty bow. A treat for both him and her!

molton brown Pink Pepperpod gift set, £72

There’s nothing us girls love more than an indulgent soak in the tub when the daily grind gets that little bit too much, which is why this decadent bath and body gift set makes an perfect Valentine’s pressie. Blended with notes of ginger, patchouli and pink pepperpods, these gorgeous goodies will leave you feeling pampered from top to toe.

miu miu purse, £330

While some ladies like to splurge on the bag, others like a posh purse to do the talking. This metallic Matelasse’ purse from Miu Miu is high up the style ranks and is guaranteed to earn partners a bucket-load of brownie points.

oliver bonas silver bracelet, £19.50

As they say, it’s the thought that counts. So if you and your other half agree to buy each other just a small gift on Valentine’s Day this is a great choice for all you accessories lovers.

tiffany & co. Grace ring, from £9,850

Ok, so a girl can dream. While this amazing platinum band with a princess-cut diamond may be a little out of some blokes’ price range, Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular times of the year for proposals. In which case we should be welcoming a surge of new readers to our pretty Brides Up North pages shortly!

yves saint laurent rouge volupte, £26

Red lips are a top beauty trend at the moment making this award-winning Yves Saint Laurent lippy in ‘rouge a danger’ a fabulous addition to any girls’ make-up bag. According to its creators, the long-lasting, comforting formula is highlighted with a unique colour-shine complex that leaves lips visibly smoother, plumper and more radiant – all the better for kissing!

dachshund puppy, POA

Because who doesn’t love a puppy? Popular with celebs including Made in Chelsea’s Rosie Fortescue and previously mentioned model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, this on-trend pooch fast becoming the next Chihuahua.

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