Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

Look Book: The Bow Factor

July 10th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Rosa by Stephanie Allin

Rosa by Stephanie Allin 

From small to big and neat to blousy, bows are everywhere. 

A pretty addition to many wedding dresses, ribbons, sashes and bows can be used for delicate detailing or to make one heck of a statement.

Traditionally bows appeared in the back of the dress and were used to cinch in the waist, but today designers are making bolder statements with bows, placing them on the front of the dress, the side, or even on the shoulder.

Honour by Stephanie Allin

Honour by Stephanie Allin

Graceful bows feature quite heavily in Stephanie Allin’s Day and Night collection. Rosa, Heaven and Bardot are equally dreamy designs with slim-line bow and ribbon detailing. Allin’s steely toned Masquerade dress also features a delicate bow, but in the back. Meanwhile her Honour dress (which I have swooned over too many times) gives brides the option to tie its stunning sage green sash, complete with fabulous floral corsages, in the front, back or side, depending on their styling preference.

Stephanie Allin

Images: Stephanie Allin

Those looking for simple bow designs will find options in the collections of Ronald Joyce, Ellis and Sassi Holford, including large princess style gowns as well as structured slim-line creations. Ellis’ tea-length fifties 11404 style dress is a cute example as is Sassi Holford’s Martha dress. Those looking for more detailed designs might prefer Ronald Joyce’s Bernice dress. Its slim-line silhouette features a beautiful cowl neck and embroidery detailing, all finished off with a large jewel-centred bow on the side.

Martha by Sassi Holford

Martha by Sassi Holford

17416 by Ronald Joyce

Bernice by Ronald Joyce

11404 by Ellis Bridals

11404 by Ellis Bridals

67073 by Ronald Joyce

Style 67073 by Ronald Joyce

Josephine & Josephine Skirt by Sassi Holford

Josephine by Sassi Holford

Megan by Sassi Holford

Megan by Sassi Holford

Fans of structured, rather than blousy, bows should look to Holford’s Josephine gown, which features a wide satin bow belt in the front, and her fabulously feminine Megan dress with slim duchess satin bow belt, which nips in neatly at the waist.

South Pacific Print by Ian Stuart

South Pacific Print by Ian Stuart Bride 

Blue Bird by Ian Stuart

Blue Bird by Ian Stuart Bride

Finally, for those really wanting to make a statement on the aisle, there‘s only one man for the job – step forward Ian Stuart. His sensational Supernova collection has several dresses featuring bold bows. Blue Bird (from the Killer Queen collection) is a particularly striking design with incredible oversized bowtails that waterfall down the back of the dress into a flowing chapel train. But top of the stand-out stakes has to be South Pacific that features a billowing oversized bow which cascades from the left hip and opens to reveal flowing silk gazar. A must for fashion-forward brides, this dress is also available in striking floral print for that extra wow-factor!

Ian Stuart Bride

Images: Ian Stuart Bride

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Steel The Limelight! Silver Wedding Dresses For 2014

May 26th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Cocorico, Ian Stuart

Cocorico by Ian Stuart

Back at your screen already?  We wouldn’t leave you hanging over the whole bank holiday weekend Brides Up North! Instead, here’s a pop of cool coloured eye candy to take you through till Tuesday. 

Non-traditional toned wedding dresses have gradually crept onto the scene as bold brides have ventured beyond the standard white and ivory options.  It started with just a handful of designers daring to push the boundaries but now more and more collections feature a coloured creation or two.

Violet, Monique Lhuillier

Violet by Monique Lhuillier

Last year pink was huge, particularly warm, playful blush tones which attracted a few celebrity fans, including the gorgeous Jessica Biel. By contrast, designers have turned down the heat for their 2015 collections, switching to steely, iced hues such as silver, grey and blue.

The only celebrity I’ve known to recently wed in such a shade is actress Helen Worth, yes that’s right Gail from Corrie, but please don’t let that put you off. While Mrs McIntyre is no style icon, steely tones can dazzle on the aisle for all the right reasons.

Alicia, Jenny Packham

Alicia by Jenny Packham

Tipped as a top trend for the coming year, frosted frocks are favoured by several designers, notably Jenny Packham, Ian Stuart and Monique Lhuillier.

Caracas, Ian Stuart

Caracas by Ian Stuart

Vivaldi, Ian Stuart

Vivaldi by Ian Stuart

Boudoir, Ian Stuart

Boudoir by Ian Stuart

Although fantastically flamboyant, many of Stuart’s designs are available in a pale blue hue, offering a quiet alternative that won’t rock the traditional boat too much. His Frill Me collection has some particularly stunning steely options. Boudoir and Coco Rico are slim-line, structured designs with stand-out detailing while Caracas and Vivaldi are two larger silhouettes, featuring another top trend for the coming year – ruffles.

Grace, Jenny Packham

Grace by Jenny Packham

Packham meanwhile gives brides the opportunity to sparkle in her embellished silver gowns. Both Alicia and Grace are simple yet striking designs with intricate detailing, perfect for brides who want to add a touch of glamour to their steely themes.

Floressa, Monique Lhuillier

Floressa by Monique Lhuillier

A further sterling option comes in the form of Monique Lhuillier’s Violet frock with a structured, high-detailed bodice and soft ruffled skirt. Those set on stealing the limelight however may prefer Lhuiller’s Floressa dress. An icy blast of blue, this dress packs a punch with its dropped waist bodice and full A-line floral skirt.

Raven, Claire Pettibone

Raven by Claire Pettibone

For me personally, if it’s a steely dress with a difference that you desire, Claire Pettibone’s Raven design is hard to beat. Combining last year’s top hue of pink with this year’s on-trend grey tones, this dress combines the best of both worlds – warm and frosty shades. A stunning example of the exquisite detailing Pettibone is renowned for, Raven boasts a dramatic black tulle overlay embroidered with pink and red roses complete with silver sequins, pearl silk and long flowing train. Perfection!

Raven, Claire Pettibone

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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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The Editorials: Catwalk Queen

November 20th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Kelly by Stephanie Allin

Kelly by Stephanie Allin 

In the wedding blogosphere, things move at breakneck speed, and you can be sure that any wedding blogger worth her salt will have discovered, dissected and disseminated any trend worth trying at least a season before it hits the mainstream.  Earlier this year, I visited White Gallery London – a huge exhibition and set of catwalk shows at which the big name bridal designers launch their new season collections to the trade and press – to take a sneak peek at the gorgeous gowns that will be landing in bridal boutiques near you this autumn. Let me tell you, if you are in the market for a wedding dress this season, you are in for a treat!

What followed was a collection of high profile designer interviews, right here on the pages of this wedding blog.  The collections have now landed in a boutique near you, so if you missed the previews and interviews, I’ll be republishing these to Facebook over the next few days.  Click here to like our page and stay updated. 

As well as online, I wrote about the beauty and drama of the new collections in my regular column for Loved Up Magazine.  Here’s my summary of the season.  Limited by word count, let me tell you, it doesn’t even touch the sides of all the fabulous frocks you have to choose from.  Make sure to revisit our Designer Series interviews at the earliest opportunity too!

Ipad October 695

Brides Up North in Loved Up Magazine autumn/ winter 2014

The collections this year had something for everyone with glitz, feathers, embellishment and lace, as well as simpler styles too. Skirts were either voluminous (with a nipped in waist) or sleek and swishy. Many designers drew inspiration from bygone eras – with the 1920s and 1930s being popular influences – and whatever your hemline preference: short, long or even trousers, there was something for you. Favourites included Suzanne Neville’s Vintage Rose Collection, Stephanie Allin’s fairy-tale gowns and boho styling from Terry Fox Couture. Check them out soon at a Northern stockist near you.

Cuvee Rose by Ian Stuart Bride

Cuvee Rose by Ian Stuart 

Blushing Bride

The craze for adding a pop of colour to your wedding gown continues for spring/ summer 2014 with a watercolour wash of pastel shades on the catwalks. Fashionista Ian Stuart led the way with his candy coloured Frill Me! collection.

Great Gatsby!

Where the silver screen leads bridal fashion follows, with drop waists, beading and gemstones more prevalent than ever for the new season. Add a bejewelled feathered headdress and some dancing shoes to complete the look. Daisy Buchanan, eat your heart out!

Gatsby by Suzanne Neville

Gatsby by Suzanne Neville 

Celeste by Naomi Neoh

Celeste by Naomi Neoh 

English Vintage

Contrasting with all that Hollywood glam, other designers like Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier and Caroline Castigliano stuck to what they do best – British beauty. If you favour the English rose look, their floaty skirts and frothy lace confections will be a dream come true.

Annie by So Sassi

Annie by So Sassi 

Cute & Quirky

Rarely seen in the past, there’s now a flippy little short number in nearly every designer’s collection, as well as jumpsuits and shorts making an appearance at the most cutting edge design houses. If you still favour a frock, check out flirty t-shirt sleeves, deep pockets, daisy detailing and polka dot lace to bring the cutest dresses right up to date.

Jesus Peiro 2014 Collection

Jesus Peiro 2014

Simply Divine

Don’t despair if you like your styling fuss free. Many designers kept things clean this season with a focus on structure and tailoring. Watch out for the new collection by Astral Sundholm Circa Brides for a refined and fresh look.

Tallulah by Astral Sundholm

Tallulah by Astral Sundholm Circa Brides 

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as credited

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Posted in Press, UK Wedding Blog, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

Frill Me! The Designer Series: Ian Stuart Bride

August 2nd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Cuvee Rose

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Ok, so I am more than a little bit thrilled to be sharing the 2014 collection, hot off the catwalk, of the legend that is Ian Stuart.  One of my absolute favourite bridal designers – a man who pushes the boundaries of colour, structure and expectation – and when he agreed to an interview for Brides Up North I thought that all my Christmases had come at once.

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My early career background was in fashion magazines (as a child my preferred career path was “Editor of Vogue” – watch your back Anna Wintour), and so I adore my forays into the world of bridal design.  Although I’ve already been a bride, I’d love to wear an Ian Stuart creation one day… perhaps the Pamplemousse?  Read on, all will be revealed.

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Ian Stuart puts the fashion into bridal, and it is with great pride that I welcome this secret Northerner and his stunning creations to my little corner of the blogosphere today.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Academy

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Hello Ian!  Welcome to Brides Up North.  Please introduce Ian Stuart Bride and tell us a little about your brand?

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My brand’s manifesto is to offer brides a more dramatic, fashion savvy, yet still romantic look for her wedding day. As ceremonies are no longer constrained by traditions, brides are free to express who they are, and many, like myself, love to stand out and make a statement through the designs they wear.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Amalfi

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

America

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What is your style philosophy?

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To make an impact, embrace the romance, and celebrate the theatre and drama of the big day.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Arctic Fox

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Boudoir

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Tell us about the new collection by Ian Stuart Bride? What were your inspirations behind this beautiful collection?

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I took my inspiration from the beautiful haute couture salon shows of the 1950′s, an era that embodied elegance, romance and feminine glamour. I want every bride to experience the magic of this golden age when she wears one of my gowns. I have even paid homage to my favourite gown of all time, a Christian Dior design which captures this era perfectly. It is called ‘Petal Privee’. I also designed my show to be reminiscent of this inspired mood, you can see the show on my website!

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Petal Privee

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Cavalli

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Where do you look for inspiration?

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I find it in life; in people, in flowers, in music, the every day can be just as inspiring as the greatest works of art. But I find if I need an instant fix of soul inspiring glamour, I turn to the movies. The Ascot Gavotte scene especially from My Fair Lady always fills me with overwhelming awe, Cecile Beaton created a moving masterpiece.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Cocorico – long

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Cocorico – short

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What sort of woman do you design for, did you have a specific “muse” for this collection?

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My muses are the brides I meet, at designer days and private clients. A woman who is about to become a bride is going through a very special transformation in her life, and seeing this process is a great inspiration for me, it fills me with vitality, and reason for being a designer of something so precious.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Cover Girl

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Cristal

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What fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the new collection and why?

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I’ve always been a rule breaker as far as convention is concerned, so I intentionally source fabrics that offer different properties than those typically used in bridal wear. My favourite is a taffeta that is woven with metal, that creates a memory effect, which means you can manipulate it, and the shape and draping stays as you’ve positioned it, a lot of fun for a designer! A also use beautiful silks, organzas and intricate laces.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Everdina

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Evita

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Four Seasons

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Do you have a personal favourite from the new collection?  Which piece and why?

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There is a gown called ‘Caracas’, which is powder blue, with a ruched bodice, a very big tiered skirt edged with ribbons, it sums up my new collection ‘Frill Me’ perfectly!

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Caracas

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What jewellery would you pair with pieces from your new collection?  Why?

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Many of my gowns have a detailed neckline, so I would always chose earrings and bracelet, rather than a necklace, as not to detract from the design of the dress. I have collaborated with a very talented jewellery designer to create some exquisite pieces that compliment my gowns perfectly. They are available to buy online from our website.   .

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Jakarta

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

La Cage Aux Folles

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Lolobrigida

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What beauty look would complement the pieces in your new collection? Why?

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I adore smoky eyes and nude lips. However, if the bride has a strong make-up look that she wants to carry through on her wedding day, my dresses are perfect that, as they are strong and confident too, and will balance out more unique looks.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Nova Scotia

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Do you have a “signature” piece?

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The signature gown in the ‘Frill Me’ collection is definitely ‘Nova Scotia’ It has all of the elements of a signature Ian Stuart gown.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Matahari

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Midsummer Dream

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Mocaccino

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Parisienne

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Penny Lane

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How do you decide on the “names” for your gowns?

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‘Naming Day’ is a collective process at Ian Stuart HQ! We look at each of the dresses, one by one, and each write down words, it could be a place, a flower, a film, a goddess, a musical score, a dance, whatever the dress is saying to us, then we then choose which we think is the most beautiful. We also have to make sure that the names translate for our international brides, this year, I desperately wanted to name a dress ‘Pamplemousse’ however, this is grapefruit in French, not exactly a name you want for your wedding dress!

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Piccolo

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What sizes are available in your gowns?  Are your pieces made to measure?

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Our standard sizes range from 6-22, but we can make a made to measure any size. We also do custom changes where brides can make custom changes, anything from a neckline change, adding flowers, combining two dresses, changing fabrics and colours, the possibilities are endless.

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What is the process for your clients from finding “the one” to the final fitting?

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Once a bride has found her dress, and ordered it with her boutique, it usually takes 3-4 months to make. At her first fitting, as well as fitting the dress, it is also the time to think about your bridal underwear- wearing a bra can make a big difference to the fit of the gown, so decide now! Also think about petticoats, whether you want bustle loops in the back, and practice walking in your shoes with your gown on, you should need to hold it up, you need to be confident that you wont trip! You also may have time to add extra decoration to the gown, or make small design changes if you wish. The final fitting should be just a ‘check’ to make sure everything is perfect. If you plan on loosing weight before the wedding (although I advise against it, you are all beautiful as you are!)  discuss with your seamstress a schedule so that you can have your alterations done as close to the date as possible.

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What is the retail price range for your designs?

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Our gowns range from £1500-£4000.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Renee

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Rossini

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Saramouche

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Sophia

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What sets Ian Stuart Bride apart from other bridal wear brands?

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Most bridal wear brands ‘play it safe’ because they need to appeal to the mass market, but being a independent designer sets you free from that constraint. Ian Stuart appeals to an exclusive type of girl, one who dares to make a statement on her big day. My gowns are easily identifiable as ‘Ian Stuart’, whether that is through colour, fabric, my unique draping techniques or unmistakable flamboyance.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Tippi

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Vivaldi

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How did you get into wedding dress design – what is your story?

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I originally wanted to go into theatre and do costume design, I had a natural talent for the dramatic! Bridal was a natural progression from that. When leaving college, my first job was at Bellville Sassoon, where I learned first hand traditional couturier techniques, I absorbed everything, it was great foundations for becoming the designer I am today. I then went on to work for several other bridal wear labels in New York, before returning to the UK to set up my own label.

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Was there a defining point in your career that made your business the success that it is today?

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The turning point in my career was definitely setting up my own label. After years of working for other people, and having limited creative freedom, having my own label felt like I was set free as a designer, to b who I truly wanted to be, and give brides the dresses I think they need!

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Gainsborough

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Iman

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What are your plans for the future?

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To simply continue to create beautiful dresses that brides love! While the thank you letters keep coming, I’ll keep on designing. There is nothing more rewarding than a bride telling you that you have created her dream dress, and how much she felt like a princess. Knowing that my name will be mentioned in stories for generations to come, gives me the greatest sense of pride.

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Is this your dream career?

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Yes it is absolutely! When I was young, I tried to make a wedding dress from my mothers nightdress, so I know it’s a deep soul desire!  My other talent is impressions, and I love to perform, so I guess I’d be another Alistair McGowan!

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Wild Flower

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What would “a day in the life” at Ian Stuart Bride HQ be like?

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No two days are ever the same, we work on a yearly cycle of creating and preparing to show collections, for bridal and mother of the bride. For me, this can be designing, fabric sourcing, alterations, photo shoots, collaboration meetings, but there is a whole team doing very different roles that makes it all happen, and everyone is as equally important and vital as the next, we are a wonderful family.

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Where do you go and what do you do to relax?

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My relaxing sanctuary is Bali, I have travelled a lot, and there is nowhere quite like it, it is paradise, especially with a Jack Daniels and coke in one hand and a cigarette in the other!

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Dolcissimo

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Estelle

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What are your “best things” in life?

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The people within it. Especially my partner Pete, and my dog Charlie!

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How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you/ see more of your designs? 

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We are on facebook and twitter… ask us anything! And always go to the designer days, shops have a larger selection of dresses for you to see and try, its the perfect way to start your dress hunting.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Petal Privee

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Do you have any Northern stockists – how can Brides Up North find them?

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We have some amazing stockists in the North, if you visit our website, you will find them all listed there.

If you have seen a dress that you like in a magazine or online, it’s worth calling to check if they have it in their boutique, but don’t be dismayed if they haven’t, as we offer a loan service where they can request the dress for you to try on.

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Is there anything else that we should know?

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I’m a Northern boy at heart! I was born in Holland, but grew up in Manchester. My guilty pleasure is Coronation Street because it reminds me of home!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by Ian Stuart

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Posted in UK Wedding Blog, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | 2 Comments

Style A Rainbow: Could You Rock A Colourful Frock?

July 15th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Claire Pettibone – Venus

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As well as the usual – and still beautiful – ivories and whites adorning the bridal catwalks for the past few seasons, they have also been awash with watercolour hues as wedding gown designers step away from monochrome and explore the further reaches of the rainbow.  Our regular guest blogger, Rachel Parry of Mosaic Brides has fallen head over heels for colour. 

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Rachel says:  As part of my job (and in my spare time) I spend a lot of hours swooning over beautiful wedding dresses which often results in a daydream of my very own white wedding. However recently I’ve found myself dreaming in colour as many wedding dress designers have dared to dip their gowns in beautiful blush tones and even vibrant hues, posing a controversial question to brides – would you marry in a colour?

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While many brides do stray from pure white to the heady heights of ivory, very few dare to go that step further. But with an influx of coloured gowns on the bridal catwalks for several seasons now the trend is gradually growing in popularity and has picked up several celebrity endorsements along the way. Last year the gorgeous Jessica Biel married Mr JT in a pretty pink gown and actresses Anne Hathaway and Reece Witherspoon have also walked the aisle wearing the girly hue.

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While I wouldn’t dare to go as far as fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker who married in black, I would consider the option of a pastel wedding dress. I think soft hues such as taupe, peach, powder pink and baby blue give gowns a romantic and whimsical appearance, perfect for a fairytale wedding.

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Claire Pettibone – Dew Drop

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Some of my favourite designs come from Claire Pettibone who often injects bursts of colour into her delicate and detailed creations.  For those not wanting to stray too far from tradition, Pettibone has many flattering and fashionable designs in subtle gold and blush tones with elegant embroidery detailing.

Personally I was a big fan of her pale pink ‘Dew Drop’ dress, complete with eye-catching rose bolero.

Several designs in her recent collection ‘An Earthy Paradise’ feature on-trend pops of mint green and the full coloured ‘Venus’ dress.

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Ian Stuart

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The expert in theatrical bridal wear, Ian Stuart is also an advocate of coloured wedding dresses.

His ‘Killer Queen’ collection featured many dramatic designs in muted palettes such as taupe, honey, rose and lilac as well as bolder options including the ‘Verbier’ dress in blue and ‘Broadway’ in bright peony pink. Coloured dresses also feature in his latest collection ‘Supernova’ but the confident designer has gone one step by with the addition of a floral print dress, ‘South Pacific’ which is both bold and beautiful. Australian designer Wendy Makin has also included a statement floral print dress (‘Katelyn’) in her couture collection which is attracting a lot of attention..

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Ian Stuart

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Of course these aren’t the only designers experimenting with colour. Maggie Sottero, Charlotte Balbier, Veromia and Elie Saab but to name a few have also come up with colourful creations.

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Ian Stuart

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Perhaps the queen of coloured wedding dresses though is Vera Wang who never fears to push the design boundaries. Previous collections have included the cute yellow Isabella dress and the dramatic grey and black Josephine gown. She also turned up the heat with an all red collection for Spring 2013 and her latest Spring 2014 saw the catwalk awash with striking monochrome creations for fashion-forward brides.

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Ian Stuart

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So, would you, could you, should you?  Leave us a comment and let us know!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as credited

Rachel Parry is a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

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

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Posted in Guest Blog, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

Wait Up White Gallery! I’m On My Way…

May 20th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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No rest for the wicked!

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After an absolutely cracking and very special first bridal event at our newest venue, The Bowdon Rooms (North West, I love you too!) yesterday – more on that later – I’m hopping on a train and heading South to join the party down at White Gallery, London.  Just a day late, but no one will notice that, right?  I’m certainly doing penance for my lateness with a 5am alarm call to catch the early train. 

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Ian Stuart at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

Ian Stuart at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

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It’s a good job I’ve got an excellent babysitter on hand (hello Mum!) as I just couldn’t miss this trade and press only event.   White Gallery London is a big deal behind the scenes in the wedding world: a huge exhibition and set of catwalk shows at which the big name bridal designers launch their new season collections to the trade.

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I’ve got a press pass with my name on it, some sparkly flats and my trusty iPad, and can’t wait to hit the shows to see what loveliness is in store for brides to be this season and next. In particular, I’m looking forward to the Stephanie Allin catwalk, popping out to see my friends at Caroline Castigliano, Suzanne Neville and Belle & Bunty, Maids To Measure and Emmy Shoes before heading back to the main exhibition to do the rounds, look out for some new design talent and say hello to my friends at Alan Hannah.  After all that I’ll joining the Brides Magazine team and some familiar faces for a cocktail reception and eventually pouring myself back onto a train headed North.  Phew!

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It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it!  "*Pinches self*.  I’ll be reporting back soon on which trends will be hitting bridal boutiques near you, but in the meantime, word is that the opening day of White Gallery has already been very special indeed. 

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Stewart Parvin at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

Stewart Parvin at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

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In their catwalk review and some sneak peek pictures from day one, the official pr team for the event report that the event got off to an impressive start yesterday with four stunning designer catwalk shows from some of industry’s most prestigious names.

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Amelia of Good Results says:  Opening the shows in his own inimitable style was Royal couturier Stewart Parvin. Reaffirming his signature aesthetic of chic understated elegance, the collection displayed a high fashion yet demure take on Parvin’s classic bridalwear. Trends included clean chic lines with tone on tone embellishment and an emphasis on texture and fabric which resulted in another strong collection from Stewart Parvin – the master of couture.

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Stewart Parvin at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

Stewart Parvin at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

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Stewart Parvin at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

Stewart Parvin at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

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At the second show of the day Ian Stuart chose to celebrate the diversity of women’s style with a
collection that was as cutting edge as it was classic and as eccentric as it was refined. Trends included ‘Pure and Simple’ clean lined gowns with elegant draping, ‘Natural Woodland’ distressed fabrics and untidy trimmings that created an organic feel, ‘Romantic’ beautiful ball gowns adorned with roses, bows and dramatic decorations as well as enchanting  pastel hues in blush pink, pale lilac and powder blue, with hints of cranberry and antique gold. Embodying personality and uniqueness within each design, Ian showcased a collection that ultimately reflects all that women are.
 

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Ian Stuart at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

Ian Stuart at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

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Ian Stuart at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

Ian Stuart at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

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In the afternoon Alan Hannah chose to showcase both Alan Hannah and Miamia on the catwalk. The Alan
Hannah collection includes gorgeous clean and fashion forward silhouettes in silk duchesse and taffeta with beautiful hand beaded necklines and shoulder detailing. Setting the trends for 2014, Alan Hannah has
created sheer backs with spectacular beadwork that created a dazzling presence on the catwalk.  The MiaMia collection builds on the bohemian look of the previous collection whilst adding new fabrics and
embellishments to unstructured chiffon and organza.
The updated classic theme has been developed and
expanded with unusual beadwork and  inspired floral detailing
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Hey, East Coast Mainline? Step on it!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Christopher Dadey, designers as credited

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Posted in Events, Press, UK Wedding Blog, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

Light On Black: Ian Stuart, Jenny Packham & Enzoani For A Styled Bridal Shoot At Middleton Hall

April 18th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Stan Seaton Photography

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Is anyone still at their screens this morning, or have you all bunked off for the North West Jenny Packham end of line sale?!  In case there’s anyone still out there…I’ve started so I’ll finish…

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There’s a lot of negative chat in the blogosphere about styled bridal shoots.  Now, I hate negative chat in general, but particularly when it’s based on unfounded generalisation.  Its unfair to generalise when there are creative, talented people out there working hard to do things well: whether that be styled shoots, wedding fairs (cough, cough!) or supplying excellent wedding services.  Some of us do things differently

In my opinion, styled bridal shoots are fantastic – an opportunity for talented suppliers to get together, forge relationships, show what they can do and work towards a common goal.  All it takes is their time and their imagination.  And when it’s done right – like today’s shoot (featuring not one or two but three Brides Up North Featured Suppliers no less – hello to the fabulous Stan Seaton Photography, Middleton Lodge and Make Up By Jo teams!) – the results can be spectacular.

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Behind the scenes video by RL Films Co

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This shoot, originally for editorial in Darlington Weddings’ latest issue (did you pick up your copy and catch up on my regular column?), tells the story of a bride who is persuaded to go over to the dark side… and is really just a chance to show off some beautiful gowns, a stunning venue and some really very striking bridal looks.  Enjoy this little piece of perfection. 

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Stan Seaton Photography

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Jane at Stan Seaton Photography says:  Have you ever asked yourself what type of bride you want to be? Are you perfectly classic, and favour the more traditional simplicity in structure and style or are you more unconventional, pushing the boundaries and testing the limits?

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Stan Seaton Photography

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There is a focus on colours this season where soft blush tones and compelling ivories contrast fiercely with the daring black, adding drama and elegance to every silhouette.  Ian Stuart, Jenny Packham and Enzoani have allured us with their latest bridal collections, where beautiful feminine lines and softly contoured layers create a second skin in a world where nothing is as it seems…

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Stan Seaton Photography

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Stan Seaton Photography

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Stan Seaton Photography

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Stan Seaton Photography

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Stan Seaton Photography

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Stan Seaton Photography

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Stan Seaton Photography

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Little Black Book

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Images: Stan Seaton Photography 
Dresses and accessories: Poppy Bridal
Make Up: Make up by Jo

Hair: Contemporary Hair Darlington
Location: Middleton Lodge

Flowers: Eliza Blooms

Stylist: Peta Clarke for Darlington Weddings Magazine
Models : Anna Miller & Katherine Lees
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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Stan Seaton Photography

Stan Seaton Photography, Middleton Lodge & Make Up By Jo are all Brides Up North Featured Suppliers, but this is not a sponsored post

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

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Posted in Featured Supplier, North East Wedding, Styled Shoot, Wedding Dresses, Wedding Make Up, Wedding Photography | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

Real Wedding Recap 2012: Vintage Meets Modern: A Real Wedding In Manchester City Centre – Pam & Ged

December 26th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Over the festive period I’ll be recapping some of my very favourite Real Weddings from the last 12 months on the wedding blog. It’s been a tough choice! In true Brides Up North style, each wedding featured on these pages is unique, beautiful and gorgeously personal. It’s been an exceptionally fabulous year! Enjoy…

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Jonny Draper Photography

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What better way to kick off Boxing Day (trip to the sales anyone?) than with a fabulous Manchester City Centre celebration sent to me by real bride Pam and Jonny Draper Photography.  A vintage meets modern wedding with the chicest of details and a Selfridges fly by?  My kinda day entirely. 

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Pam says:  On 26th March last year Ged proposed at ‘Grill on the Alley’ in Manchester City Centre. It was really unexpected – I don’t think Ged had even planned to propose that day but it was such a lovely afternoon.

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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We were married on 28th September 2012 at Manchester Cathedral & our reception was at The Private Room, Restaurant Bar & Grill, Manchester.

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Jonny Draper Photography

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We knew as soon as we got engaged that we wanted our wedding to be in Manchester City Centre as it means a lot to us (we live, work and breathe the city centre and it is actually where we met too). The Cathedral is actually our parish church & is such an unbelievable building! We chose Restaurant Bar & Grill as we love it anyway but Ged and I actually met in the office that is situated in the same building, so there was something really nice about having our wedding in the same building as where we first met.

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The theme was quite simple, a mixture of modern and vintage. The Cathedral was a very traditional venue whereas the reception venue was much more modern although I tried to keep the vintage feel flowing with the candles. I think my dress captured the vintage look whilst Ged’s suit was very modern.

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Jonny Draper Photography

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I wore ‘Mandalay’ by Ian Stuart from Maria Modes in Macclesfield. I knew I wanted a lace gown with a vintage feel and as soon as I saw it I just knew it was “the one”!

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Our adult bridesmaids and flower girls wore dresses from Monsoon. Ged and the Groomsmen wore suits from Reiss in Manchester. Ged’s shoes were from Jeffrey West too which he got lots of comments on!

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I love the plum colour of the bridesmaid dresses which I wanted to be complimented by the colours used in the bouquets of lilacs, pale pinks, taupe and ivory. Ged wanted to keep his suits very classic & simple with a Grey suit, white shirt and black tie!

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography was amazing! He exceeded all our expectations and the photos have just blown us away. He was fantastic on the day a lot of guests from the wedding have commented on how good he was both on the day and also how ace the photos are!

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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I carried a posy style of roses by David Wayman, Again, I wanted a modern/vintage feel to the flowers and loved the colours. All the bouquets were also wrapped with some of the lace from my dress which I had kept from when it had been altered.

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Ged wrote a poem for the ceremony which was amazing and I think had everyone in tears!

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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We used our own car to escort me to the Cathedral as we only live a stone’s throw away from the Church. After the ceremony Ged and I walked from the Cathedral to the Restaurant Bar and Grill, it was only about a 10 – 15 minute walk but we’re really glad we did as Jonny got some really great shots of us especially the balloon one which I think has to be my favourite!

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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My bridesmaids helped me to decorate the room the night before the wedding, we used pillar candles placed on slate to give a rustic feel and scattered over 200 tiny votive candles around which I had covered in lace. I also used Cath Kidston material to make little lavender hearts which we gave as favours.

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Jonny Draper Photography

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We also used Five Dollar Shake for all the stationery including invitations, Table Plan, Place Settings and Table Names.

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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During the wedding breakfast King & Jones acoustic duo helped to create a fantastic atmosphere. The Coolers’ performed at the evening reception who were brilliant – I don’t think I stopped dancing the whole night.

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Our cake was from Richards Cakes. It was 3 tiers of vanilla, chocolate and carrot cake and was delicious!

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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Jonny Draper Photography

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My favourite part of the day was our first dance! This was really special as the song means so much to us and Ged had managed to get in touch with the artist who wrote the song on twitter and he came and performed it at our wedding which was amazing! The song was ‘Moonshine & Roses’ by Franco & The Dreadnought.

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Jonny Draper Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try to remember that it’s your day. Don’t worry too much about anything as it will all turn out perfect on the day and by that point you won’t care anyway!

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Jonny Draper Photography

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HEARTCongratulations Pam & Ged! HEART

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured here on the wedding blog

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  – Images © 2012 Jonny Draper Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in North West Wedding, Real Weddings | Filed Under | 1 Comment

Pretty Vintage: A Real Wedding In The North West – Nisha & Duncan

October 28th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Morning campers!  Let’s finish this week the way we mean to start the next: beautifully.  Today’s Real Wedding is an absolute licketty-split, with a cherry on top corker!

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With images by CG Weddings, I love how Nisha and Duncan’s choice of soft, sugary ice cream tones and hand made decorations prettify and personalise their stunning stately home venue.  With a ten year engagement, this couple had certainly had plenty of time to plan – and taking their time paid off. 

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Delicious! 

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Nisha says:  We got engaged in North Wales in June 2002 and were married on August 10th 2012 at Thornton Manor, Cheshire, which we chose for beautiful grand romantic setting.

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We went for a pretty vintage theme with pastel ice cream tones. 

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings   Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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I chose a dress called Eden by Ian Stuart, accessories by Glitzy Secrets and carried a bouquet of sweet avalanche roses, Cezanne roses, apricot sweet avalanche roses and amnesia roses by Earth Flowers. There was lace entwined between the flowers.

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UK Wedding Blog

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My bridesmaids wore pretty Grecian one shoulder pastel pink dresses and the groomsmen wore matching three piece suits from Moss Bros. 

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Our registrar is a close friend of Duncan’s family, which was lovely on the day and the service was really personal.

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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We had a  four tier Victoria sponge cake from Marks and Spencer. We also had two lots of cupcakes – vanilla and strawberry both with edible glitter sprinkled on top! They were also from M&S

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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I made all my favours, place settings, table plans and used bird cages and wired pastel roses. I also made my confetti cones, windmills and bunting to decorate the venue. 

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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We had a close friend play the grand piano for our ceremony and another close friend did the evening as a DJ.

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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I can’t pick a favourite part of the day, the whole thing felt like a fairy tale and went so fast. I suppose the few moments Duncan and I had together alone during the day were lovely. There was one point we ran off into the gardens to be alone after the ceremony and it was perfect.

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings   Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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After the wedding we had a mini moon to Barcelona and are currently planning our honeymoon to Vietnam. 

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to take a step back and take it all in because when I was told it would go quickly by others, I didn’t believe it until the day was over. Now I look back and wish I could have slowed everything down!

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Thornton Manor Wedding by CG Weddings

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Congratulations Nisha & Duncan!

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Contact me to see your own Real Wedding featured here on Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 CG Weddings

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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