Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

Wahoo! We’re Off To White Gallery London 2014.

April 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Anna Dello Russo For H&M

Image: Fashion Gone Rouge

So that’s another fabulous Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition done and dusted!  The already beautiful Nostell Priory looked the prettiest I’ve seen it yet yesterday at our fifth event of the spring season. Big, big love to all our amazing exhibitors (a truly superb selection) and gorgeous brides and grooms who supported our event.  We salute you… and hope you left feeling inspired by the talent on show and super duper excited about your big day! Hooray!

If you’ve not popped in to see us at one of our beautiful events yet – or if you have and would like to do it all over again – there’s still plenty of time this season!  Pop one of these stunners in your diary

Its a quick turnaound at Brides Up North HQ today – no rest for the wicked (I must be pretty damn wicked!) – as we were up at the crack of dawn and are already on the East Coast Mainline down to the smoke, to catch up with the fun that’s already started at White Gallery London

Recognised as one of the leading international designer bridal trade shows, White Gallery London is set to present the finest in bridal design at its sold-out forthcoming fifth edition.  Press passes in hand, Ellie and I will be joining the trade at this hunting ground for the best in British and international bridal design, previewing the gowns and the gorgeous that will be landing in a bridal boutique near you next season.

It’s one of my very favourite events of the whole year, and I can’t wait to (do a bit of schmoozing and) see what my favourite bridal designers have lined up for us in 2015.  I’m hoping for structural extravagance, sexy silhouettes and even bolder use of colour in bridal wear.  Let’s wait and see…

Over 70 leading designers will preview their new bridal wear and accessories collections at the event including Alan Hannah, Amanda Wakeley Sposa, Anna Romysh Haute Couture, Annasul Y, Augusta Jones, Benjamin Adams London, Blue Bridalwear, Brides Desire by Wendy Sullivan, Cabotine Novia by Gema Nicolas, Caroline Atelier, Caroline Castigliano, Charlotte Balbier, Charlotte Mills, Christos Costarellos, Cocoe Voci, The Couture Veil, Cymbeline, Eliza Jane Howell, Emma Hunt, Emma Tindley, Encore, Franc Sarabia, Freya Rose, Gemy Maalouf Bridal, Hadas Cohen, Halo & Co, Harriet Wilde, HT Headwear, I Love Gorgeous, Ian Stuart, Ivory & Co Bridal, Ivory & Co Tiaras, Jack Sullivan Bridal, Jenny Packham, Jesus Peiro, Johanna Hehir, Karen Willis Holmes, KatyaKatya Shehurina, Lark Bridal, Linea Raffaelli, Lou Lou, Lusan Mandongus, Lyn Ashworth by Sarah Barrett, Maddy by Madeline Isaac-James, Madeline Isaac-James, Accessories by Madeline Isaac-James, Malis Henderson, Mia Mia, Miguel Suay, Miranda Templeton, Mooshki Boutique, Naomi Neoh, Nicki MacFarlane, Nicola Anne, Nicola Harvey Couture, Nilah & Company, Nordic Gems, Novia D’Art, Nymphi, Ozlem Suer, Parthenis, Patricia Avendano, Polly Edwards, Qiana Bridal, Rachel Simpson, Raimon Bundo, Sadoni, Sassi Holford, Sasso, Shelle Belle Couture, So Sassi, Stephanie Allin Couture, Stephanie James Couture, Stephen Yearick, Terry Fox, Timeless Couture,  Victorio & Lucchino, Watters Brides, White Ivy, YSA Makino, Yolan Cris and Zaeem Jamal. 

Then we’ll come back to tell you all about it!

We’ve seats lined up at some of the iconic catwalk shows including Ian Stuart, Madeline Isaac-James and Suzanne Neville, plus drop in appointments with our pick of the bunch.  We’re also looking forward to catching up with our friends and supporters from bespoke bridal label House Of Mookshi – based in the North East – at this their debut show.  Specialising in custom designed wedding dresses and bridal gowns from vintage inspired through to gothic, those girls have always got something fabulous up their sleeve.  

After all that, we’ll be ready for a drink (or three) and will be hitting the hard stuff with our industry colleagues at Kensington Roof Gardens for a cocktail party sponsored by Perfect Wedding Magazine and in association with the Retail Bridalwear Association.  I’ve a free pass for the evening as the hubby’s on babysitting duty back Up North, so make mine a Mojito please!

See you on the other side.  There’ll be lots of catching up to do…

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2014 Anna Dello Russo for H&M via Fashion Gone Rouge

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Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Everything But The Dress… Supplier Showcase: Liberty In Love PLUS 15% Off For Wedding Blog Readers Until 14th July!

July 3rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Victoria I Headband by Sash & Co at Liberty In Love

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I’m so excited to introduce you to a Brides Up North Featured Supplier that I used personally in the run up to my own wedding in 2010, and whose absolutely stunning online shop has gone from very beautiful to oh-my-god gorgeous in the past three years.  Any bridal accessories designer worth their salt can be found on their pretty pages. 

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So ladies, I’d love you to meet Siu of bridal accessories treasure trove Liberty In Love, show you just some of sparkle available via their site and let you know about a very special little promotion especially for wedding blog readers!

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

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To enjoy 15% off all orders over £100 at Liberty In Love, please use the shopping code SUMMER15 at checkout.  This promotion is valid for 2 weeks only. (see terms and conditions below).

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Elizabeth Sparkle Belt by Sash & Co

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Why and when did you decide to launch Liberty In Love and what is your background?

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For most brides, their wedding day is a pivotal moment in their lives. My own big day (which took place in a spectacular caldera view cliff-top in Santorini in 2007) was just that – and much more besides. It was the inspiration behind my dream business, a stylish online bridal accessories boutique. 

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I have always loved accessories.  When I was a little girl, I carried my treasured red vanity case around with me everywhere until it quite literally fell apart. I even had a habit of wearing new shoes to bed, such was my reluctance to be parted from them.  So, when it came to my wedding many years on, I happily developed a magpie-like obsession with accessories and all-things stylish and sparkly.

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It was from my wedding that the seed was planted.  After our big amazing day, I quickly settled into married life and continued working as a Business Development Manager at a design agency in Cheshire.  But, even a couple of years on, my idea for a stylish online boutique that offered ‘everything but the dress’ just would not fade.  Then, suddenly somehow, the planets seem to align and it suddenly felt like a case of ‘now or never’.  I quit my job and launched my business.  The website went live in April 2010 and I’m thrilled to say that Liberty in Love has truly gone from strength to strength.  And three years on, dealing with brides and working with some of the industry’s most incredible talent, it’s still as exciting as those early days. 

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How do you select the products that are featured in your online shop?  Tell us about the process?

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These days, we are fortunate to be approached by many amazing designers and I always like to meet with the designers and view samples.  Having dealt with thousands of brides, we have a good feel of what will work.  Needless to say, we are very particular about quality – only the best quality and most stylish will do and there’s plenty that don’t make the grade. We attend all the key trade shows to hunt for new designers.  I also spend far too much time reading wedding blogs and magazines in the name of research…

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What bridal accessories are available to buy at Liberty In Love? 

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At Liberty in Love, we sell ‘everything but the dress’.  Our website is brimming with bridal must-haves that make stylish finishing details.  Our collections include wedding hair accessories, jewellery, veils, cover-ups and bridal sashes, bridal lingerie, shoes and bags.  Also, our gorgeous gift ideas are really popular, and are ideal with brides, bridesmaids and mums.

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

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Each of our 700-piece collection has been chosen for its beautiful style and exceptional quality, and is made using the finest materials, such as freshwater pearl, Swarovski crystal, silks and laces and vintage trims.  As most of the pieces are handmade, many designs can be customised to suit individual requirements.  For example, with sizing, crystal/pearl colour, etc.  We always encourage customers to get in touch if they love something but it isn’t quite right somehow, as there’s a good chance that we can help.

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

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Tell us about some of the designers that you stock?

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We work with some of the most talented independent designers in the industry. Our designers include Stephanie Browne, Peter Lang, Victoria Fergusson, Harriet Wilde, Florrie Mitton, Emmy, Halo & Co, Freya Rose and Ivory & Co

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In my opinion, these names lead the way when it comes to design and craftsmanship. Some of these designers produce the most beautiful classic pieces that are exquisite heirloom pieces in the making, whilst other designers make incredible statement creations that simply take your breath away.  Whichever designer at Liberty in Love you choose, you can be assured of beautiful quality and style.

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What bridal accessory trends have been popular in 2012 and what trends do you see emerging in 2013 and beyond?

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Vintage as a broad style was an enduring theme in 2012 and this shows no sign of slowing.  But, Art Deco style is definitely a key trend for 2013.  As well as the Art Deco aesthetic that brides find so appealing, Art Deco accessories are very versatile.  Depending on how you style the accessories, you can be as classic or as fashion-forward as you like. 

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

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To work the look, I would choose a designer like Emmy, whose style heritage is embedded in that era. Or, look to a designer such as Stephanie Browne, who has been creating amazing Art Deco led bridal accessories for many years, and whose couture pieces have an enduring quality.  This year, Stephanie Browne has just introduced the Art Deco Alice band and Art Deco cufflinks which match the popular Art Deco earrings in her existing collection.  These pieces are just gorgeous – I’ve already ordered of the Art Deco cufflinks for my husband!

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Art Deco Alice Band by Stephanie Browne

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Art Deco Cufflinks by Stephanie Browne

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For more, see our vintage-inspired accessories collection or our Art Deco-inspired accessories collection.

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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As well as high end pricier pieces, we also stock lower price point items, which means there’s something to suit most pockets.  For example, bridal hair combs range from £30 to £345.  If you are working to a particular budget, then you can very easily refine your search on our website by price.

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To enjoy 15% off all orders over £100, please use the shopping code SUMMER15 at checkout.  This promotion is valid for 2 weeks only (terms and conditions apply).  Click here to visit the Liberty In Love website. 

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Terms and conditions:  Only valid on new orders – Does not include shoes by LoveArtWearArt, veils by Faulkner & Carter or gift certificates.  May not be used in conjunction with any other promotion.  Valid from 1.7.13 and expires 14.7.13.

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What can Brides Up North expect when they use your service?

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Our aim is to get it totally perfect for our customers and minimise any accessories-related stress.  Having been there myself, I totally understand the importance of providing a first rate customer service.  After all, it’s such an important occasion and brides put themselves under immense pressure to get things right.  We are absolutely committed to delivering a fantastic service to our customers. Where required, we provide styling advice to customers, to help whittle down those choices.  I do know that some brides find this aspect of our service extremely helpful.  We also offer a 14 day No-Quibble returns policy, which means if you don’t absolutely love your chosen pieces, we are happy to exchange or refund.  This includes made-to-order items (but excludes bespoke pieces).  Finally, it’s also worth mentioning that we offer a next day delivery for many pieces – perfect for brides in a hurry!  

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What is your current favourite piece and why?

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I have so many favourites, it’s so hard to choose.  But if I were getting married again tomorrow, I think I would find the Martha t-bar shoes by Harriet Wilde, the Elizabeth bridal sash by Sash & Co, the Windsor bandeau and Paris pearl bracelet by Stephanie Browne hard to resist.  And, I would definitely treat myself to our Dahlia bride ruffle knickers with bow detail and personalised crystal letters by Gilda and Pearl!

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Martha by Harriet Wilde

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Windsor Bandeau by Stephanie Browne

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Paris Bracelet by Stephanie Browne

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Dahlia by Gilda & Pearl

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Is there a particular style that has been immediately popular with your customers?  What is your best-selling piece?

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Our customers love anything classic and pretty with a vintage twist.  Also, our personalised bridal lingerie has also been popular.  In terms of best sellers, it’s been the Kelly pearl earrings and Kelly pearl bracelet by Stephanie Browne, part of the Kelly collection inspired by Grace Kelly.  Also, the Autumn side tiara headband by Halo & Co and Aphrodite garter by Florrie Mitton.

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Kelly Pearl Earrings by Stephanie Browne

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Autumn by Halo & Co

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Aphrodite by Florrie Mitton

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How does Liberty In Love provide a superior experience to other online accessory retailers? What is your philosophy?

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My guiding philosophy has always been to put the customer at the heart of what we do, which means that our service is very much designed around the needs of our brides. This means having:

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A wide selection of gorgeous accessories that she can pick from (and fall in love with!) 

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An enjoyable website browsing experience, with superior photography that showcases our collections beautifully

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Prompt delivery and professional yet friendly communications with us

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And although we are online, we do also offer a tailored, personal service of boutique-style shopping, where this is required.

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Do you stock pieces that would be appropriate for Bridesmaids?  What would you recommend?

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Yes, we do, our ranges cater really well for bridesmaids!  When it comes to choosing bridesmaids accessories and jewellery, there’s no rules as such.  It’s not necessarily about being overly ‘matchy-matchy’ as I think a mix-and-match approach allows you to bring in the individual style and personality of each bridesmaid.  That said, it’s good idea to complement the bridal look/overall theme and perhaps select slightly more understated versions of what the bride’s wearing. 

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

London Pendant Necklace by Victoria Fergusson

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Acorn Earrings by Victoria Fergusson

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In terms of what’s been popular, we’ve sold the London pendant necklace, Bellini bracelet and Acorn earrings for many bridesmaids (all by Victoria Fergusson).  These are very simple and classic and a great choice if the bride is wearing pearls too.  Also, the Victoria I headpiece by Sash & Co, which can be worn as a classic headband or in a more bohemian style, has sold really well for brides and bridesmaids alike. 

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

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For bridesmaids gifts, our bridesmaid tote bags and pouches are great gift ideas for your best girls.

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

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What about Mother of The Bride?  What would you recommend?

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For mums, I would pick out elegant and sophisticated pieces in a style that she would love. I love the Triple ivory pearl strand choker necklace with fan bow motif (NE9589) by Peter Lang and Short ivory pearl drop with cabochon wing earrings by (EA5269) Peter Lang. 

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Triple ivory pearl strand choker necklace with fan bow motif by Peter Lang

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Liberty In Love Bridal Accessories

Short ivory pearl drop with cabochon wing earrings by Peter Lang

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How are your products packaged? 

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Most accessories are presented in the designer’s branded packaging and make gorgeous gifts. 

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or find out more?

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Email:                     hello@libertyinlove.co.uk

Phone:                   01925 357488

Website:                www.libertyinlove.co.uk

Facebook:             Facebook page

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Anything else that Brides Up North should know? 

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I’m really proud that Liberty in Love was the North West winner in The 2013 Wedding Industry Awards for the category of ‘Best Bridal Accessories’. I’m particularly thrilled as The Wedding Industry Awards is the only client-voted national awards in the industry.  We had so much support from our brides and that was utterly brilliant in itself.  Oh, and not to mention the great party that we enjoyed earlier this year in London with some of the industry’s very finest! 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by Liberty In Love

Liberty In Love is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Just Dreamy! Supplier Showcase: Dreamcatcher Bridal

May 1st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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Today I am proud to introduce you to Dreamcatcher Bridal, one of our fabulous Featured Suppliers and definitely worth a visit for all our North West readers on the hunt for their dream dress.  These ladies know their gowns, and goodness, what gowns they stock!  Let’s meet them…

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Dreamcatcher opened its doors in July 2000, a family business run by mother and daughter team, Gill and Georgina. Having had some bad experiences ourselves during bridal gown shopping and realising that it would be necessary to travel long distances to find designer dresses, we set upon our venture to bring couture designer collections to the Preston area. Gill with a passion for beautiful fabrics and a background in the technical side of dress design and construction and Georgina with the business brains, artist flair and youthful enthusiasm, we knew we’d make the perfect partnership. 

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We have bridal gowns to suit all budgets with bargain sample sale gowns under £500 to new gowns from £650 to £3500.

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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Following months of research and planning, the designers at the top of our wish list were Sassi Holford and Suzanne Neville. Both designers of exquisite, classic gowns with amazing cut, structure and style, yet each bringing an individual twist. Sassi the pure genius with lace and Suzanne with the ability to create smooth sculptured bodices that somehow make all brides instantly drop a dress size.

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At our very first Harrogate Bridal Buyer Exhibition, some 13 years ago, we were fortunate enough to be introduced to Benjamin Roberts and knew instantly that the label was just what we were looking for. With beautiful embroidery and stunning beadwork at amazing prices but still with the quality and structure we weren’t prepared to compromise on.

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Over the years we have added new designers to our range including Enzoani and Essense of Australia. Enzoani offers a modern European style using soft satins, chic layers, signature high quality and rich detail using the finest Swarovski crystals. Essense gowns feature luxurious fabrics and just the right amount of head-turning sparkle. With the added option of a lace up or zip/button up back this diverse collection is a popular choice with both our staff and brides to be.

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We are also extremely proud to stock beautiful designs from Anoushka G, perfect for destination weddings, Veromia, for the traditional fairytale wedding and Sonsie by Veromia, a stunning range specially created for the curvier figure. The newest addition to our extensive collection is Anny Lin, offering a definite WOW for the more daring bride. The usual fabrics and delicate, yet stunning beadwork make Anny’s designs stand out amongst the crowd.

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Our range is so diverse with so so many amazing designs. If absolutely pressed our favourite at the moment is Faye by Sassi Holford. It’s a simple waisted style in rose damask with a plain duchesse satin sash with buttons and large bow detail down the back. The fabric is so unusual, simply subtle and stunning!  Currently lace gowns are particularly popular, with brides looking for a more covered demure look.

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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Loving all things that sparkle, we have a fantastic range of accessories, hand selected to complement each bridal gown. With designs from Halo & Co, Polly Edwards, Ellie K, Richard Designs and Bijoux Bec, all offering coordinating headpieces and jewellery handcrafted using Swarovski stones. A large selection of veils from Joyce Jackson and The Couture Veil, designed by Sassi Holford using gorgeous soft vintage tulles with a wide variety of lace edges which perfectly match Sassi’s superb bridal designs. There really is something for everyone!

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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We have an excellent selection of bridesmaid’s gowns with collections from JLM Europe, Watters & Watters and Veromia. With traditional bridesmaid’s styles to cutting edge designs all available in a variety of fabrics and colour options. We also have a beautiful collection of silk flower girl styles from Nicki Macfarlane.

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Not wanting to leave out the Men, we offer an extensive range of high quality hire wear from Peter Posh and Highland wear from Cameron Ross, catering for both traditional and contemporary weddings. When everything’s available under one roof it’s much easier to co-ordinate styles and colours to ensure the perfect match.

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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It’s official! We stock some of the best in the business. The recent Bridal Buyer Awards proved to be very successful for some of our designers, not just Bridal designers, but Bridesmaids and accessories too. Massive congratulations to Sassi Holford, for winning British Bridal Designer of the Year 2013, Benjamin Roberts for winning Best Bridal Manufacturer 2013, Sonsie by Veromia for winning Best Plus Size Collection 2013, JLM for winning Best Bridesmaids Collection 2013 and Ellie K for scooping the award for Best Headdress Designer 2013. This we think proves we have fantastic taste and stock the best in the business!

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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We’re located in Kirkham approximately half-way between Preston and Blackpool. Very easy access from Junction 3 of the M55, 300 yards from Kirkham & Wesham railway station, with free parking right outside.

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Appointments are not essential but advisable especially on a Saturday and Thursday evening to avoid disappointment. Private appointments are also available upon request.  Brides can expect a very warm welcome from a friendly, experienced and knowledgeable team, dedicated to finding the dress of your dreams.

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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As most of our business now comes from personal recommendation we must be doing something right! We pride ourselves on the calm and relaxed atmosphere in our boutique with customer service being of paramount importance to us. We believe that all our brides should feel like the only bride in the world. We also have an excellent reputation for fit. Our in-house personal fitting and alteration service is second to none.

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Brides can get in touch via our website, email info@dreamcatcherbridal.co.uk or telephone 01772515090.  We’re also on facebook and twitter @BridalInfo so like our facebook page and follow us on twitter for up to date news, special offers and events.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as supplied by Dreamcatcher Bridal

Dreamcatcher Bridal is a Brides Uo North Featured Supplier, and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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