Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

peachy keen. ivory & co for a rustic wedding at rivington hall barn – gill & chris

May 4th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Rustic Wedding at Rivington Hall Barn (c) Ally M Photography (25)

Today’s real wedding showcases a simple rustic theme paired with the dreamiest of neutral palettes.

Our bride and groom, Gill and Chris, hosted their big day at the exquisite Grade II listed Rivington Hall Barn in Bolton – think traditional Saxon beams, gorgeous fairy lighting and sprawling open grounds.

With friends and family travelling from far-flung destinations such as America and New Zealand, and others rallying round to provide help on the day itself (a special mention goes to the mother-of-the-bride) this wedding reminds us that when it comes to saying “I do” – it’s all about the people you share that special moment with.

With images by Ally M Photography

A Rustic Wedding at Rivington Hall Barn (c) Ally M Photography (12)

gill says: We got engaged in June 2015. We had been together for seven years and both wanted to seal our commitment and love for each other properly, in the eyes of god and all our families. We are both very fortunate to have our parents, who we very much wanted to be there with us on our special day.

We got married on Friday 19th August 2016. We chose this date as it was during the summer holidays. Both Chris and I have our birthdays on the 19th of the month too and have just moved into house number 19, so, it seems 19 is our lucky number!

A Rustic Wedding at Rivington Hall Barn (c) Ally M Photography (29)

Our ceremony took place at Horwich Parish Trinity Church, which is where I was baptised and confirmed. My mum tells me I went to the church at ten days old! It is also the nearest church to all our families and just two miles from our reception venue.

We then had our wedding breakfast and celebrations at Rivington Hall Barn, which is the best place to have a wedding. We both went to Rivington High School and have grown up in and around this area. Rivington Hall Barn is run by the loveliest family who were so kind, helpful and went above and beyond to make our day extra special.

A Rustic Wedding at Rivington Hall Barn (c) Ally M Photography (33)

We chose a rustic and natural theme, as the reception venue is a Grade II listed barn. Nothing too fancy or over the top, and sympathetic to the surroundings.

We opted for soft colours – peaches and creams – complemented by hessian to give a subtle but rustic touches.

A Rustic Wedding at Rivington Hall Barn (c) Ally M Photography (39)

I wore a beautiful Ivory & Co silk dress with a stunning lace bodice and cream satin waistband. I chose it for its simplicity, elegance and how it instantly felt when I tried it on! I purchased it from Bridalwear by Emma Louise in Bolton. An amazing local dressmaker, Margaret at Something Special Bridal Shop in Horwich, altered it nearer to the time and it fitted perfectly. My very clever and talented mum also added over 100 satin buttons all the way down the back of the dress and train to give it that extra special finish. I had a hand finished matching lace bolero, which I chose to keep on as it complemented the dress immensely.

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how does your garden grow? an outdoor wedding in lincolnshire – gemma & adrian

September 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (31)

This wedding is something else.  Not only is the walled summer garden setting super special, it was also hand planted by the bride and groom themselves.  And if that’s not a labour of true love, I don’t know what is!

Let the love grow… this one’s bloomin’ beautiful!

Images by Graeme Oxby.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (6)

Gemma says: In July 2013 Ady planned a surprise overnight stay to Settle. The Yorkshire Dales is my favourite part of the country. It was a lovely hot sunny day when we set off for a walk in the morning. We stopped for lunch on a hill-side with a beautiful view. Ady produced a rolled up pair of gloves from his backpack, which seemed quite an odd thing to be carrying as it was such a hot day, however he pulled out a ring and proposed, we cut the walk short and went into the town to celebrate.

We said I Do at  St Hybalds church, Ashby De La Launde, Lincolnshire. The church was very small making the service more intimate. There are beautiful views from the church over adjacent fields and woodlands.

Our reception was in a marquee inside a Walled Garden, in Ashby De La Launde owned by the father of the groom. Ady grew up at the venue and we both decided a long time ago we would have the reception in the walled garden, and have spent most weekends working on it to get it how we wanted. We reinstated the stone paths, rebuilt the old doors which had collapsed, planted new herbaceous borders and built the pergola in the centre of the garden, as a feature for the guests to gather around.

We wanted to be the first couple to use the garden for a wedding reception but in the future we would love to hire out the walled garden to use as a venue for events and weddings. We loved working together to get the venue right, and would enjoy doing the same for others.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (14)

We went for an English country garden style due to the nature of the venue. We mainly used items we found around the garden to decorate the marquee: Victorian terracotta pots, old fruit crates and wooden boxes planted up with plants we had grown from seed.

We felt the garden looked so vibrant and colourful that all other colours should be subtle and soft such as the pale lavender coloured bridesmaid dresses, white table linen and lilac and white flowers in the church and marquee.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (13)

I wore a Lusan Mandongus long slim fit, vintage lace ivory gown with cap sleeves and puddle train, from Limelight Occasions in Lepton, Huddersfield. It was so comfortable and lightweight when I first tried it on I thought it would be perfect for a garden reception, also the lace roses and floral motifs on the dress echoed the setting of the English country garden. I wore an Ivory and Co floral head piece with freshwater pearls, antique pieces of jewellery that were family heirlooms and other pieces that I found from antiques centres in Lincoln.

Ady wore a dark grey morning suit, with dove grey double-breasted waistcoat and dark grey cravat from Limelight Occasions.

Our bridesmaids wore pale lavender maxi dresses from Coast.

I chose hand tied country style bouquets made by Flowers by Suzanne based in Lincoln. The bouquets contained: peach David Austin roses, white dahlia, white astilby, scabious seed heads, white veronica, abliflora berries, and lavender.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (16)

We hired a  1936 Rover P2. from Ivory Vintage Wedding Car Hire, a family run enterprise based in Lincoln. The owner chauffeured the car personally from the Old Palace Hotel in Lincoln where the bridesmaids, my parents and myself got ready.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (33)

We used Graeme Oxby as our photographer.  Graeme is a great photographer and would definitely recommend him. He produced amazing shots that made us very happy and emotional when we first saw them.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (22)

The flowers for table arrangements and church decorations were home grown in the walled garden. My Mum, Sue, made all the flower arrangements the day before the wedding.

The women each received a small home grown Echeveria, in a little terracotta pot which was painted and decorated by the bride. The men received a bottle of ale which was made by a local brewer (Poachers) and a friend, the couple met at university drew the caricature for the label.

Brosters Farm Shop, in Huddersfield, which is near where we live, made us six different sized tiers of pork pie, all different flavours. We then stacked it up using dowel, and decorated it with ribbon, summer fruits and herbs. We wanted to have a summery harvest festival take on the traditional wedding cake look. Also neither of us like wedding cake! The pie was a huge success and we received so many compliments from guests saying it was so good they went back for seconds and even thirds!

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (27)

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (24)

Entertainment wise, it was just the good old DJ, and dance floor. We gave the DJ a long list of songs which meant something to us before he arrived, and he added the rest. It was great to keep hearing songs which brought back memories for us, friends and families.  We also had large wooden skittles on the lawn, as an afternoon game which we borrowed from the best man’s father.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (36)

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (37)

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (42) - Copy

For a minimoon we went full circle and went back to the Yorkshire Dales to stay in the same hotel where we got engaged. We went on the same walk and stopped for lunch at the same place as where we got engaged a year back. We are looking forward to our honeymoon in October, we are going to Sorrento in Italy for a week.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (45) - Copy

The best advice I could give other Brides Up North is share as much of the planning and preparation as possible – it was so much fun and really exciting. You feel extra special as a couple when you can look back on your wedding day and know you did it together.

a walled garden wedding (c) Graeme Oxby (51)

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Designer Preview. White Gallery 2014.

April 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Lusan Mandongus by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Wrapping up last week’s fashion marathon as I recapped the catwalks I’d seen at White Gallery London, I thought I’d ease you into an equally fabulous (but perhaps not quite so manic from my POV) week with one last bit of eye candy… for now. 

The Designer Preview catwalk showcases a selection of gowns from twelve big name designers and due to it’s eclectic and diverse collection is always a favourite of mine. 

My take on this season is that it’s all about shape and detail – whether high fashion or big romance – as the bridal catwalks echo haute couture with high low hemlines, interesting backs, bold use of pattern, embellishment, fit and flare and florals, florals, florals.  Colours are pale and interesting – a watercolour wash of pale pink, blues and greys. 

I loved every second.  And here’s my pick of the bunch…

Lusan Mandongus by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Lusan Mandongus

A wonderful white-out that sang with style and luxury. The collection by Lusan Mandongus is vintage inspired with rich yet subtle details, incorporating different stunning features focusing on elements such as higher necklines, sleeves and peplum waist detail. 

Yolan Cris by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Yolan Cris

The Barcelona based label totally rocked it with their style setting detailed designs and rich handcrafted applications.  Daring, stylish and different. 

Charlotte Balbier by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Charlotte Balbier 

A Charlotte Balbier bride is a free spirit who expresses her personality and individuality through her Balbier designed gown.  My favourite? Iscoyd Park, the collection’s title gown that Charlotte designed for her own evening reception. 

Anna Romysh Haute Couture by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Anna Romysh Haute Couture

Daring,different and sometimes (very seriously) barely there, these gowns raised a few eyebrows (and iPhones!) but I salute the risk taking label for putting a high fashion stamp on their collection. Avant garde meets ultimate fashion. 

Naomi Neoh by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Naomi Neoh 

For the romantics.  Naomi Neoh’s stunning skirts were dipped in a swish of pink for the prettiest wedding day look.  And you know I love pink!  The designer has taken inspiration from the glamour and romance of vintage Hollywood and her gowns are crafted from only the finest silks and French lace. 

Timeless Couture by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Timeless Couture

Just what it says on the tin: timeless, couture.  Encapsulating elegance and glamour, with a dramatic and contemporary twist.

Terry Fox by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Terry Fox 

Boho and beautiful as ever, this truly romantic collection for 2015 encapsulates mystical creatures of the sea and the ancient call of the Siren song.  Magical.

Sadoni by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Sadoni

The Nordic signature of Sadoni expresses pure simplicity and understated luxury through their flowy, feminine silk dresses. 

Ivory & Co by Christopher Dadey at White Gallery London 2014

Ivory & Co

Sometimes better known for their twinkling bridal accessories and tiaras, Ivory & Co also specialises in stunning silk designer wedding dresses.  I’m in love with the subtle, swishy, silky glamour of the gown above.  One to add to your dress hunt for sure. 

Brides Desire By Wendy Sullivan & Jack Sullivan Bridal

Brides Desire By Wendy Sullivan & Jack Sullivan Bridal

A unique collection from Australia’s leading designer, a new and updated take on vintage bridal style. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Christopher Dadey for Designer Preview 2014 at White Gallery

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

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She Who Wears The Crown: A Real Wedding In The North West – Steph & Jonny

October 10th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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I’ll be honest.  As a , I see a whole lorra of weddings.  Each and every wedding is beautiful – that’s for sure – but editorially speaking, it’s also nice to see variety.  It’s the spice of life after all.  That’s why I’m glad that Brides Up North’s USP is its regional focus and not the style of weddings that I feature.  I’m far to fickle for that. 

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One pretty style that I do see more than most is the popular theme of vintage tea cups and bunting.  Don’t get me wrong, I really do love fine china and pretty prints – but it needs to be done right – and on a blog that sees hundreds of gorgeous Real Weddings a year, with standout style.

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Today’s bride, the lovely Steph, shows us exactly how to carry off this beautiful and popular theme with panache.  With images by Martin Hambleton Photography, beautiful calligraphy place settings and fantastical florals, it’s hard to imagine a prettier wedding breakfast.  

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I’ll have two sugars please! 

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Stephanie says:  We got engaged in December 2010. Jonny arranged a luxury spa break at The Doubletree Hotel and Spa in Hoole, Chester. It was a lovely and very romantic way to get engaged.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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We were married on 25th August 2012, bank holiday weekend. A day that was due to be rainy and cold but actually was bright and warm for the photographs and most of the day.

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Our ceremony took place at St Oswald’s Church, Lower Peover, Cheshire and the reception venue was Peover Golf Club, Lower Peover, Cheshire.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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I sang in the church choir from the age of nine and was christened and confirmed in the church. I also attended the local primary school and we performed all our seasonal services in the church. It was just a large part of my life growing up. Singing in the choir at weddings throughout the years, gave me time to plan the perfect wedding and from the age of nine I knew that I would have a horse and carriage as transport, ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘I vow to thee my country’ as hymns and no children to spoil the service!  St Oswald’s is set in the most beautiful Cheshire countryside and I just knew it would be the perfect back drop for the wedding photos. We also live in the village of Lower Peover and I grew up in the next village, Plumley, so I wanted to get married somewhere that was home to us both.

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I worked at Peover Golf Club whilst at university and worked at many weddings there myself and always thought it was the most beautiful place. The function room is open and light with Bougainvillea in flower, growing up the oak beams; the perfect setting for my theme. The staff, some I have worked with and some I haven’t, are tirelessly helpful and will do anything to make sure that things are just right for you. The golf club is also very close to the church so the five mile limit for the horse and carriage journey was covered in the distance. The room is also cosy and seats 72 people for a wedding breakfast. This suited us well as we both have small families and might have ‘rattled around’ in a larger venue. We never looked at another venue as we both just knew we wanted to hold the wedding reception there.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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The theme was biggest part of the planning for us. We went for the vintage country look and purchased 71 mis-matched vintage tea- cups, saucers, side plates jugs and sugar bowls from markets, charity shops and antique shops. I absolutely loved collecting them and treasure them all still. We also had 26 metres of bunting made and hung it from the beams which looked beautiful. The flowers, the stationery and vintage suitcase I had relined in chintzy fabric and lace, complimented the theme so well and many guests commented that they had never seen a wedding venue look so beautiful.

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The colour scheme was pastel pinks, greens, blues, yellows, lilacs and florals. Just a very pretty mixture of colours that complemented each other.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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I chose an Alfred Sung dress from Puure Bridal in Lymm. The dress was in dark ivory and had one strap which was full of detail with white flowers and diamonds. It was fitted down to my hips and then flowed out to the floor. The fabric was gathered into ‘roses’ and had a large train on the back. I loved it! I wore it with a veil which was satin trimmed and had little crystals within it. I also wore an Ivory and Co head piece which was similar to the strap detail on the dress. My shoes were from Dune and were ivory with little diamonds on the front.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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The bridesmaids wore a pale sage green dress from Puure Bridal in Lymm. They were made by True Bride and were long, strapless and had some detail under the bust. All of the girls wore the same and the colour complemented the theme really well. They all looked very elegant.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Country Flowers from Knutsford, Cheshire created beautiful bouquets for the bridesmaids and me.  I carried a country posy of white peonies, sweet avalanche roses, pink and cream spray roses, pink snap dragon, cream stock, pink limonium ellie and eucalyptus foliage.  The church and venue flowers looked meadow like and natural which is exactly what I wanted.

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Stephanie-and-Jonothan-at-Peover-Golf-Club-288

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Our favourite part of the day was the wedding ceremony at church. As I arrived up the aisle, Jonny said to me, ‘You look beautiful’ and I felt it. The vicar performed a lovely heartfelt ceremony and I couldn’t believe after watching all those weddings as a child and teenager in that church, it was finally my turn. Jonny was also overcome with emotion during the service and it all just felt so real and special, we wish we could do it all again!

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography   Martin Hambleton Photography

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We hired a vintage typewriter and suitcase from Ems Originals. Guests used the typewriter to write messages on and the case was also complete with paper and pens for that purpose also. We also bought our own vintage suitcase, relined it and used it as the card box for guests.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Urbis Scriptores from Comberbach, Northwich created the place names which were a real ice breaker across the tables. Each one had the guests name and meaning decorated with ribbon and little crystals. These were also our favours as they doubled up as a bookmark.

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Martin Hambleton Photography   Stephanie-and-Jonothan-at-Peover-Golf-Club-411

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We chose a three tier cake from Supa Dupa Cakes. One tier was lemon butter cream and sponge, one was chocolate butter cream and sponge and the other jam and butter cream. We had it decorated with iced bunting which looked like it was blowing in the wind. We decorated the top with flowers similar to those in the bouquets and used a pearl and lace ribbon to decorate the cake with.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography   Martin Hambleton Photography

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Olive Tree Catering who are based in Northwich and North Wales and who are also the recommended caterers for the Golf Club created a delicious wedding breakfast and barbeque in the evening which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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We hired an ice cream bike from Lanza’s Ice Cream, Leek, Staffordshire which was a special addition to the wedding. As guests arrived from the church to the reception, they enjoyed farmhouse ice cream and I also provided sprinkles and marshmallows in little teacups for the guests to use.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography was everything we wanted in a photographer. He was so professional and has created photographs that document the day in the way we dreamed of.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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We went to Portugal for our honeymoon and spent the week relaxing. We asked guests for a contribution to our honeymoon as their gift and despite having covered that, we even have enough to travel to New York at Christmas or in the Spring. We can’t wait for that, it will be like our second honeymoon.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to make sure that you put the time and effort in to making the day what you have always dreamed it would be. It took a lot of time and money to source all those vintage tea cups but I am so glad I did it; it looked fantastic! Also, give time to choosing the right photographer who is going to capture your wedding the way you want to. This will be your big memory of the day to look back on in years to come and you want it to be the best most beautiful memory you have got.

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Martin Hambleton Photography

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Congratulations Steph & Jonny!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North!

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  – Images © 2012 Martin Hambleton Photography 

This 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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As Audrey Would Say: ‘I Believe Happy Girls Are The Prettiest Girls’: Supplier Showcase: Choola, Sheffield

February 22nd, 2012 | Julia Braime

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I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and… I believe in miracles.  Audrey Hepburn
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Today we meet an Audrey fan who lives by her idol’s motto – the fabulous Francesca from the even more fabulous (if it’s possible!) Choola bridal boutique, Sheffield.  Form an orderly queue girls. 

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With images by Jess Petrie

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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When did Choola open and what is your background?
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Choola proudly opened its doors in July 2008 and is run by myself and my partner Ivan. I’m thrilled to say since opening, we have become one of the leading boutiques in Sheffield and the Northern region with brides travelling from all over the UK and now even abroad to visit us! We have worked very hard to establish ourselves and we are thrilled to have been recognised enough that we were selected to appear on Wedding TV, be the supplier to National and local Radio competitions and regularly featuring in the leading bridal magazines.

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Bridal had always been my passion, having religiously bought the wedding magazines each month for years and losing myself in a world of style, fashion, flowers and cakes! After being a bridesmaid 6 times, I had known for many years that I wanted to open my own boutique but it was only when driving down Ecclesall Road one day and spotting the empty shop that the ‘Eureka’ moment hit me! It was now or never!

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That was back in January 2008 and within weeks I had gone part time in my job, signed the lease and all focus was now on turning the once bathroom and shower showroom into a gleaming bridal boutique!

Ivan and I did all the work ourselves with a huge amount of help from our family and before we knew it the appointments were flooding in and we were in full swing. 

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Having graduated in 2004 with a degree in Law and working within the field of policy and procedure, suddenly running my own business was a huge shock to the system! However, Ivan and I were used to throwing ourselves in at the deep end and having previously worked as a Rent Arrears Officer for the Council, I was certainly not afraid of a challenge.  My fiancé and business partner was no stranger to the complexities of business with a degree in Business Studies and having run a successful property development company. With his business expertise, my legal background and passion for all things wedding, we knew we had the perfect mix for a fabulous new venture. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What lines of wedding gowns do you stock?

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We were really keen to have a mix of designers both well established and up and coming and over the years this has developed significantly. We aren’t afraid to change which designers we stock as quality and service is everything to us and we have successfully managed to carve ourselves a niche for showcasing dresses with "that little bit of something different". The dresses aren’t so far off centre as to limit our clients but yet edgy enough to set the Bride apart from the crowd.

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We have stocked Lyn Ashworth from first opening and these are our classic British made gowns. With an exceptional cut and quality of silk and lace, these our firm favourites with our brides seeking the quintessential English wedding style.

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For girls who love beautiful fabrics with more emphasis on cut than embellishment, we stock the French design house of Lambert Creations. All handmade and made to measure in Brittany, these gowns can seldom be found anywhere else in the UK. 

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For our brides who favour lace and intricate beading we stock the Portuguese designer Maria Karin which again has few UK stockist so brides can be assured of exclusivity.

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The award winning Mark Lesley range provides beautiful dresses with a more traditional element but still with some great contemporary twists.

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We then have then very glamorous designs of Anoushka G, favoured with the celebrities, these dresses are perfect for brides who want to be fashion forward and not feel overly "bridey"! The collection boasts a lot of silk-chiffon which is also perfect for brides having destination weddings.

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Our two newest designers to Choola are Jonathan James Couture and Private Label by G. We were drawn to Jonathan because he isn’t afraid to break the rules when it comes to his collections! He can just as easily create a simple unembellished gown as he can a heavily beaded princess dress and with the ability to bespoke gowns for our clients, he was a definite must!

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Private Label by G has only just been introduced in the UK with its cult following being in the USA and Canada but always wanting to be ahead of the crowd we quickly sought to introduce the label into Choola! The first dress from their fabulous collection was sold within an hour of arriving at the boutique and already are proving a real talking point! The Private Label collection literally has a dress for every bride, from vintage glamour to full on fairy-tale romance. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What lines of accessories do you stock?
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I love my sparkly things! We stock stunning headpieces and veils from Ivory & Co, Studio Bridal and Emmerling. We have an eclectic mix of vintage inspired pieces, art deco styled hairbands, traditional tiaras and some quirky birdcage veils and fascinators.

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As a huge shoe lover we have over 30 pairs of shoes to choose from by celebrity favourite Benjamin Adams. We love their shoes because they are stylish, fashionable and all beautifully handmade. The best thing is that most of them can be dyed after the wedding and worn again so they don’t end up gathering dust in the attic. I have several pairs in several colours that look great with pair of jeans or the infamous LBD. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Where are you located?

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Our beautiful boutique is based in one of my favourite places in Sheffield, Ecclesall Road. This road has always been a favourite with the independent boutiques and the trendy bars.  It has a great cosmopolitan buzz to it and perfect to be able to spend a whole day on, browsing the shops, having lunch and a glass or two of wine! It also has a fabulous park with beautiful views. In my opinion there is nowhere else we could have had our boutique.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Can you give Brides up North an idea on price?

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Our dresses start from around £900 to approximately £2700. A good retailer will always chat with a bride about budget as the last thing we want to do is put you in a dress you fall in love with, only then for you to find out that the price is above what you would like or more importantly able to spend. Don’t be afraid to be honest about what you are able to spend, the more honest you are the more we will be able to help you. For us its not about selling you the most expensive dress in the boutique, its about selling you the perfect dress for both your body shape and personality. The bride after all is our walking advertisement!

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Do Brides up North need an appointment?
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We will always try and see a bride if somebody pops in and we have the time to do so but we always advise brides to book as there is nothing worse than travelling a long way to see us, only to be turned away as we already have a full diary. Booked appointments are a must on Saturdays and need to booked well in advance. We always suggest a bride to come on a week day if she is able to take time off work as we can generally spend a little longer with her. However, as a busy woman myself, I understand that its not always possible, therefor we offer late appointments on both Mondays and Wednesdays. We only close Sundays so we are very accessible to both busy brides and those who live further afield.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What can Bride Up North expect when they come for an appointment?
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When brides come to visit us we want everyone to leave feeling energised and excited! They will have time to browse the gowns, chat through their thoughts and feeling about what they envisage for their day and then be taken to their private fitting area.

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Looking for your dress is one of the most important and exciting parts of the wedding planning, this is where it all starts! We are genuinely passionate about what we do and I think that shows. We take time getting to know our brides, we listen and support. We offer constructive advice and never pressure brides into a decision. We ask brides to pick out their own dresses to try on but then we will make our own suggestions and often a bride is surprised to fall in love with the dress she never dreamed of. 

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We only see two brides at a time but they are both on separate floors so each bride has her own consultant and more importantly her own privacy. Great refreshments are also a must and we always have plenty of drinks and freshly baked cupcakes to nibble on! For us, providing a woman’s dress for her wedding is a real honour and privilege so we always strive to provide the best level of service and advice. We all still regularly attend training events with designers and all staff have completed national qualifications in customer service and business.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What is your current favourite gown and why?
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My favourite dress changes regularly depending on my mood or who has just tried it on. I’m a real fan of quirky dresses that have intricate pattern cutting or unique fabrics.  At the moment though, I’m really in love with Elenore by Anoushka G. Its a silk dress with cowl neck and back and an amazing waterfall train! I also love Gwendoline by Lyn Ashworth as its very Audrey Hepburn and as you will be able to tell from the amount of Audrey Hepburn pictures in the boutique she is my style icon! Elegant yet quirky, chic yet individual!

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Is there a particular style of dress that is popular with your brides at the moment?

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The vintage and lace styles have been popular for several years now but I think we are seeing a move away from the vintage trend with a number of our brides opting for either the more classic style or braving a more contemporary look. Organza has become very popular as you can create a number of looks with this versatile fabric. What I love though is that a style of dress can look so very different on each bride, this is what makes the job so interesting. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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How does Choola provide a superior experience to other wedding dress boutiques?

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I think this is a really tough question to answer as the one thing I’m not so good at is saying how good we are! I think we would all like to believe we are the best at what we do and it can become easy to criticise other boutiques in the process. The fact is though, that Sheffield and the surrounding area has some fabulous boutiques and when we started the business we wanted to become a part of that, to really put Sheffield on the map. We are pleased to say we have forged some great friendships with other bridal boutique owners which is not only beneficial for us and them but also for the brides.

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We take great pride in our attention to detail in both our service and how the boutique looks and feels.  We are very humbled to have a shop filled to the brim with thank you cards and photos from past brides and with a huge amount of our business coming from recommendations, I guess that tells us we really are getting it right! Many brides have now become firm friends and come back with friends and family either to help someone else shop for a dress or simply just to pop in and have a chat. 

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We are very honoured and proud to have been nominated for 2 awards within 12 months of opening, getting to the finals of Wedding Boutique of the Year UK and the top 50 Hottest boutiques in the UK! This was especially exciting as we were categorised alongside the very best of the best such as Bruce Oldfield and Suzanne Neville! It was a lovely surprise as a lot of awards you have to put yourself forward for but this was completely out of the blue!

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We have a genuine enthusiasm for our business and I’m a bit of a wedding-a-holic! I go home and watch Wedding TV and read the bridal magazines, I just cant get enough of it! Our brides tell us we have a lovely warm atmosphere here at Choola and I think it’s because our business is family run so our dedication and passion radiates through all of us! We also have fun! My heart swells when I hear the shrieks of laughter and the champagne corks popping, its a feeling like no other. 

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Our ethos here is to treat brides how we would want to be treated, simple I know but its strategy that works! We are honest with our brides and try to give them as much information as possible to enable them to make an informed decision about their gown. Our boutique is chic and stylish with great lighting and lots of space and privacy, There are always fresh flowers and our boutique smells divine thanks to our fab candles.  We have soft cosy cream sofas and carpets and stunning mirrored furniture. The changing areas are luxurious and large enough to really move in the dresses. We offer a full styling service as well as being able to provide contacts for other bridal industry experts. We know our gowns and industry inside and out and most importantly, know how to dress a woman to show off her figure and personality to its full advantage. All in all we believe our dress shopping experience is exactly what it should be, fun, relaxed, special and a memory to be treasured.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Do you stock bridesmaid’s dresses?

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We have two great collections by Mark Lesley and our newest designer Kenneth Winston. The dresses are a wonderful mix of traditional, contemporary, quirky and style led. A lot of the dresses are perfect to be worn again after the wedding. We have a great array of colours and many of the dresses my friends and I order to wear at days at the races and awards events as they are that gorgeous. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Who would be a Choola bride?

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Anyone can be a Choola bride! We literally have a dress to suit every figure and personality and love that fact that over the years we have dressed brides from the ages of 20 to 60 and every size and shape that’s in between! We have brides who aren’t particularly "girly" and don’t want to look "bridal" right through to brides who have dreamt of being the princess from a little girl. I love the quirky mix of brides we have and how individual and different they all are.

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Are you married?

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In case anyone didn’t know, Ivan and I got engaged last year and are marrying in early summer! I’m so excited that I tell everyone! I’m extremely fortunate to be able to have a couture gown made for me by one the most talented designers (I’m keeping it secret for now!) The whole process of sitting down and sketching out the dress has been a fabulous experience and watching the dress develop step by step is truly amazing. I’m so excited to see the finished gown and I think there will be lots of tears when I have my final fitting! I can tell you though that I am having the most stunning pair of Aruna Seth shoes and they aren’t ivory. I’m a bit of a Carrie Bradshaw and have more shoes than I care to admit (or want Ivan to know about) and these are just to die for!

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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How can Brides up North get in touch with you and find out more?

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Brides can visit our website www.choola.co.uk, our facebook page, Choola Bridal Boutique and our Twitter page for more information about us. We will soon have a blog where I can talk wedding till my hearts content! Or if you just want a chat the good old fashioned way you can call us on 0114 2671303.

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Anything else Brides up North should know?

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Yes, we will soon be having our very first celebrity bride tie the knot! My lips are sealed but when the time comes keep your eyes peeled and there may even be an appearance in OK magazine… watch this space!

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  – Images © 2012 Jess Petrie

Choola is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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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Twinkle Twinkle! Supplier Showcase: Damselle Tiaras (and a 10% DISCOUNT!)

August 15th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Every day feels like Christmas at wedding blog HQ at the moment, with all these sparkly wedding treasures scattered around my laptop!  Today I chat to the lovely Kathryn from online bridal accessories shop Damselle Tiaras about her gorgeous headpieces.  PLUS watch out for a very special giveaway from celebrated Damselle Tiaras’ designer Polly Edwards coming up later on today!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Damselle Tiaras

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How did Damselle Tiaras begin?

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The concept of Damselle Tiaras started at the British Bridal Exhibition in Harrogate in 2004.  My husband and I wanted to start a small online business and as both our daughters were getting married we decided upon tiaras and accessories. After attending numerous wedding fairs and exhibitions we thought that this would be easy!  Big joke!  I had a lot of support and advice from Kirstie at Flo and Percy who gave me lots of encouragement.

.Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Damselle Tiaras

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What products are available to order on the Damselle Tiaras website?

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The products available are tiaras, belts, sashes, millinery and jewellery.  Our best sellers are Polly Edwards, Ivory and Co and Louis Mariette.

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Both Polly Edwards and Louis Mariette designs are hand made in the UK.

.Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Damselle Tiaras

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Tell Brides Up North about your range of hats and fascinators?

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Our daughter Melissa was lucky enough to be able to train in millinery in Leeds, our hometown, at the Leeds College of Art and Design and takes her inspiration mainly from the 1940’s and 1950’s at the moment and uses best quality materials and everything is handmade by herself. Melissa loves to work with her customers to create and capture the style and design that they want.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Damselle Tiaras

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Which of your products would you recommend for a bride on a budget?

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For a bride on a budget Ivory and Co have a fabulous range that can look very expensive and prices start at approximately £50.00 whereas if money is not an option and the bride to be wants to splash out then there are pieces like Patchouli by Polly Edwards at £795.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Damselle Tiaras

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What sets your website apart from other online bridal retailers?

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I think that there is so much competition these days both in store and online but I believe that giving the best service that you can possibly offer, staying in contact with the bride to be, reassuring and assuring her that everything is going to plan and treating your customer as you would like to be treated yourself and I don’t think that you can go wrong with that. Everyone wants to be treated just that little bit special and lets not forget that we are working with someone who is getting married who is getting stressed out and my job is to ensure that they receive the tiara/headpiece of their dreams in plenty of time for their fittings and their big day.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Damselle Tiaras

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Which celebrity would you like to see in a Damselle Tiaras piece and why?

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I think that every bride to be feels like a celebrity on her wedding day but if I had to choose a celebrity today to wear a tiara I think that I would choose Grace Woodward as she has her finger on the pulse of fashion but has a quirky side so think that she would carry off something by Louis Mariette wonderfully well.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Damselle Tiaras

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How far in advance should Brides Up North place their order?

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The timescales for ordering would be dependant on the designer. Ivory and Co can be dispatched within 48 hours whereas others can be anything between 4 to 6 weeks although Polly Edwards does offer a fast track service.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Damselle Tiaras

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Can you offer a discount to Brides Up North readers?

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I am always happy to help anyone getting married save some money so will offer any reader who quotes BRIDES UP NORTH a 10% discount on anything on the website and even if someone found something from one of my suppliers that is not on the website, the discount would still stand.

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Savannah

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How can Brides Up North contact you/ find out more?

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Brides Up North readers can contact me either by telephone (07876 680425/0113 2697620 or via email enquiries@damselle-tiaras.com. I am always happy to put the kettle on and have a chat with brides to be, mums and bridesmaids who want to call round to try tiaras on but just give me a call first!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Damselle Tiaras

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Why did you choose to Join The Northern Revolution?

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I like Brides Up North as it is a great read, it is good to know what brides to be are looking for, what is shaping fashion and because I love anything sparkly and wedding related!

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INES BRACELET RRP £264

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Watch out for a very special giveaway from celebrated Damselle Tiaras’ designer Polly Edwards coming up later on today!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 Damselle Tiaras

Damselle Tiaras is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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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